If they let Craig Calcaterra write all the content, they would be fine, as I believe CC should be deified at the earliest available opportunity and held up as exemplifying everything that is right with baseball journalism, but occasionally they give column space to less enlightened individuals.
This is an example of one such instance where someone who doesn't watch the Astros tries to write about the Astros. Or maybe I'm wrong and a biased wonk. According to the post our rotation sucks, our bullpen is awful and our lineup is going to be torn to shreds by opposing pitchers week in week out.
The most headscratching one is the bullpen, as minus Lindstrom, it is basically the same unit, and even with Tim Byrdak I would say it was a strength. Who knows. I only watched 162 games a year what do I know (although I usually fall asleep before 7th inning stretch so maybe this accounts for my blind spot). And Lindstrom was injured for half the season. Melancon, Lindstrom and Abad will return (if Abad doesn't win the fifth starter's spot). Figueroa and whoever misses out on the starter's job could be there, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Aneury Rodriguez or Lance Pendleton, or any of the guys Wade has added into the mix.
Myers will be hard-pressed to match his 2010 season, but a full season from Happ should help the group and Norris could take a bit of a step forward, though I still believe his future lies in the pen and the closer’s role.
Myers did well in 2010 therefore it was a fluke.
The infield is going to make a whole lot of outs, especially if Barmes bats second as anticipated. I don’t see Johnson as a long-term regular, and Wallace has an awful lot to prove as well.
Basically there are a lot of question marks, but it boils down to Johnson did well in 2010, therefore it was a fluke. People have said his numbers were a result of an unusally high BABIP, but he still has a good chance to be a contributing regular in the lineup for (hopefully) years to come.
I'm not sure where this Norris to the closer's role talk has come from. Possibly because Baseball America's team of 2014 had Norris as closer. I know a lot of people during the season mentioned that if either Norris or Paulino did not work out as starters it might be worth converting them to relief, but I still think Norris has a long way to go before we consign him to the pen. In the long-term I think he could be a very serviceable (and cheap) mid-rotation starter with a little help from Brad Arnsberg (MORE CHANGEUPS BUD) and better control (his 4.5 BB/9 in 2010 needs to be drastically improved).
Basically If everything goes wrong in 2011 it will be a pretty awful season. But you could say that for about a dozen teams in the majors. Why we have to put up with this drivel because nothing else is going on is beyond me.