HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 18: Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow answers questions during a press conference to introduce right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers, who was selected in the compensation first round (41st overall) of the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft at Minute Maid Park on June 18, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Houston Astros currently sport the worst record in baseball, at 39-80. This may cause you to ask the question; how much worse can things really get? Randy Harvey of the Houston Chronicle believes there’s room for additional agony in Houston, as the Astros prepare to join the American League starting next season:
Here’s a little taste of what you’re going to see if nothing dramatically changes between now and this time next season.
AL teams, through Monday, were hitting an average of 128 home runs. The Astros had 99. AL teams were averaging 518 runs. The Astros had 438. AL teams were averaging an OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage) of .738. The Astros had an OPS of .679.
While the Astros aren’t joining the AL BEast, they will become the fifth member of the formidable AL West. The Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels were supposed to be the teams vying for a division crown entering the season, but Billy Beane’s Oakland Athletics have decided to join the hunt.
The Astros are currently committed to rebuilding, and this resulted in numerous trades starting in the off-season with Mark Melancon and throughout the summer with the club’s barrage of transactions. Following the fire sale, the Astros are left with three players on their roster age thirty or older.
Houston’s general manager, Jeff Luhnow, doesn’t attempt to sugar-coat the situation. He admits that the Astros have "so much to do" that’s independent of the league they’re in. The club’s focus is currently on "pitching, defense and run production," and Luhnow said he "will almost consider it a luxury where we’re focusing on getting a designated hitter."
So while the Astros are currently the only club in the majors that has yet to notch forty wins this season, things in Houston could get worse before they get better.
When will the Astros next field a winning team?