LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2013 — The Houston Astros said goodbye to the National League after the 2012 season, as they will join the American League this year. In doing so, they traded strategy for a designated hitter, as well as going from a somewhat weak division in the National League Central to one of the best in baseball in the American League West.
They will have their work cut out for them, but at least a new state of Texas rivalry will be born with the Texas Rangers. Although, I suspect that rivalry will be pretty lopsided for the foreseeable future.
The Astros compiled the worst record in the Major Leagues for the second year in row in 2012 with a 55-107 record, one less win than they had in 2011. Things won’t get much better for them on their maiden voyage in the American League West as they are in full blown rebuilding mode.
Projected 2013 Payroll: $14,575,000
Notable Players Out: SS Jed Lowrie, OF Jordan Schafer, OF Scott Moore
Notable Players In: LF Chris Carter, DH Carlos Peña, RHP Phil Humber, LHP Erik Bedard, RHP John Ely
Prospect Watch: 1B Jonathan Singleton and RHP Brad Peacock
Highlight Hitter: 1B Chris Carter (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .237/.337/.466 28 HR/76 R/77 RBI)
Highlight Pitcher: RHP Bud Norris (ZiPS 2013 Projections: 8-11, 4.55 ERA, 8.93 K/9, 168.3 IP)
Projected lineup: C Jason Castro, 1B Brett Wallace, 2B Jose Altuve, 3B Matt Dominguez, SS Tyler Greene, LF Chris Carter, CF Justin Maxwell, RF Fernando Martinez/J.D. Martinez
Projected rotation: RHP Bud Norris, RHP Lucas Harrell, RHP Jordan Lyles, RHP Phil Humber, LHP Erik Bedard
Projected closer: Jose Veras
Manager: Bo Porter
Projected 2013 Finish in AL West: 1. TBA 2. TBA 3. TBA 4. TBA 5. Houston Astros
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