Heading into the 2022 season, one could put together a list of the Top 10 Astros and it might include many of the usual subjects like Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman Michael Brantley, Yuli Gurriel, Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr.
Today we are facing the depths of winter here in the Houston area. It is a frigid 75 degrees this morning and warming up to a brisk 82 this afternoon. OK, so it is not exactly Christmasy around here, but from a baseball news standpoint, we are definitely in the depths of winter.
This is a presumptive post today. We are presuming that the lockout will end and that the biggest concern isn’t losing a chunk of the season.
Let’s face it. Even in the most active times, the baseball off-season is pretty patchy as a source for new writing material.
The Astros signed free agent reliever Hector Neris to theoretically take the place of Kendall Graveman in the back of their bullpen. The former Philly fireman was a bit shaky as a closer in the first part of 2021 but excellent as the set-up man in the second half of the season. With the Astros losing relievers Graveman, Yimi Garcia and Brooks Raley, it may sound foolish to say the Astros will not further bolster the bullpen, but let’s talk about that a bit.
Throughout the major league baseball off-season, there are all sorts of deadlines and critical dates, whether it is the deadlines for offering or turning down qualifying offers, the deadline for setting the 40 man rosters, the date for the Rule 5 draft, the date for exchanging arbitration figures and on and on. But this off-season, there is another critical date that occurs this week. On Wednesday, December 1st at midnight, the collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players union expires, and all indications are that it will expire before a new deal.
Today’s post springs from curiosity on this writer’s part after noting that the Astros had multiple players and their manager receiving votes for the four major league awards in 2021, Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and MVP. I was wondering about whether the team had done this before in the recent past (they have multiple times) and then it became a bit of a fun research project, that I decided to take all the way back to the year after their first World Series appearance, 2006.