Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 3/21/12

I am going to tell you something that will shock you: the Houston Astros are not a very good team. They weren't a very good team last year (especially after trading Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence), and they're especially not good this season. The lineup is mostly made up of prospects from their own weak farm system, failed prospects from other organizations, and Carlos Lee. This is not the path to success.

Astros on TOC
End of Season Postmortem
Top Ten Prospects
You May Say I'm a Dreamer

Depth Chart (3/20)
C: Jason Castro
1B: Carlos Lee 
2B: Jose Altuve
SS: Jed Lowrie
3B: Jimmy Paredes
LF: JD Martinez
CF: Jordan Schafer
RF: Brian Bogusevic
SP: Wandy Rodriguez
SP: Bud Norris
SP: JA Happ
SP: Livan Hernandez
SP: Jordan Lyles
CL: Brett Myers

New Faces
New shortstop Jed Lowrie (and rotation candidate Kyle Wieland) came over from the Red Sox in exchange for Mark Melancon. The team signed journeyman starter Livan Hernandez to eat innings. Chris Snyder was brought in to back up and mentor Jason Castro behind the plate. The Astros also signed former top Mets prospect Fernando Martinez, and strikeout king Jack Cust. There's also a new general manager in the fold, with Jeff Luhnow replacing Ed Wade.

Departures
Melancon was dealt to Boston, and the team got decent value in return. A pair of bench players, Humberto Quintero and Jason Bourgeois, were dealt to the Royals this week. Middle infielder Clint Barmes signed with the Pirates, and bench outfielder Jason Michaels signed with the Nationals.

Impact Rookies
While Houston has a lot of young players in their lineup, none are really rookies after using up their eligibility last season. JB Shuck, currently slated for the bench, could earn some playing time in the outfield. Reliver Juan Abreu could also get called up into the major league bullpen sooner rather than later.

Position Battles
Brett Wallace appears to be in an odd place right now, with Paredes having more talent than him at third base, and Carlos Lee and his massive contract blocking him at first base. Wieland is currently on the outside looking in at the rotation, but should be there before the end of the season. The same situation is befalling Aneury Rodriguez.

Injury Concerns
Everyone is healthy....for now.

Burning Question
How is Brett Myers going to respond for being moved into the closer's role for the first time since 2007?

Best Case
Everything goes perfectly right for the Astros, and they finish in fourth or fifth place. Any higher than that seems impossible.

Worst Case
All of their young players show why they're not top prospects, and all of the veterans look over the hill as Houston loses 110 games.

Realistic Prediction
This is probably your last place team in the AL Central, and I don't think anything will be able to stop that. If the Astros escape the cellar, it will be a miracle.

[follow]

{loadposition content3}

This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Oregon headed to first Final Four in 78 years as Jordan Bell & Tyler Dorsey dominate Kansas

This is the Gonzaga we’ve been waiting for

Jets won’t rule out selecting another QB in 2017 NFL Draft

Rougned Odor threw a cup of water into Felix Hernandez’s face on the field

Michael Irvin rips Texans for not trading for Tony Romo

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Richard Sherman on trade talk: ‘I just laugh it off, man’

Grumpy writer complains about 'SI for Kids' reporter

Report: Archie Miller closing in on seven-year deal to coach Indiana

Alex Rodriguez said he 'made an ass of' himself denying PED allegations

LaVar Ball finally got what he deserved

Adrian Peterson makes statement, says it is ‘not all about the money’

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker