Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 6/8/12
The Astros, coming off an unsuccessful homestand in which they lost four of six to the Reds and Cardinals, begin a road trip to play the White Sox, Giants and Rangers that could determine the club's fate for 2012. It may only be June 18th when they return home. But if they don't have more success on this trip they will be where most pre season prognosticators had themwell under .500 and perhaps only ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central. That would be disappointing, but nothing to alter the Astros "master plan" for rebuilding. It would also allow the front office to attempt to make moves with high dollar, but still productive players and not have to second guess the moves if the Astros appeared to still have a chance in the admittedly weak division. The Astros goals are far loftier than just having a chance to win a division title. Building the franchise to be a true power in their new American League home is the main goal. Jim Crane and his staff have a dream of the Astros being a very good team for many years once young players signed and developed. The process actually began last year when players like Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn were dealt away for top prospects. It continued this week with the amateur player draft. The Astros and those who have studied the draft like what was done in Houston. The process will continue if the club can peddle some other veterans on the current roster for more prospects. As for the upcoming road trip even a team with stronger credentials than the Astros would be expected to have trouble with it. The White Sox are leading the AL Central. The Giants are second in the NL West and have a pitching staff with a NL high five shutouts. Then they wind up in Arlington to face the Rangers who are leaders of the AL West. Already 24-33 before the trip and only 6-19 on the road thus far it is hard to be optimistic. But that is why we play the games. Nothing is certain. Maybe the bats get hot. Maybe the starters get back to where they were a couple starts back. No matter how the trip turns out, though. The Astros plan will continue to roll in building a deep and talented system full of players who will be part of the next golden era of Astro baseball. Just be patient.
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