The Houston Astros suffer from the same setback as just about every American League team. The starting pitching isn’t exceptional. Houston has a proven ace, but their rotation isn’t deep. With a lineup that’s full of star power and amazing potential, can the Astros pitching staff compliment the bats? Here’s a look at the Houston Astros projected rotation for 2017.
- Dallas Keuchel
Dallas Keuchel had should inflammation problems last season, which left the Astros pitching thin in August and September. It was sad to see Keuchel fall from his amazing 2015 season. Last season, he went 9-4 with a 4.55 ERA. If anyone can bounce back from a rough season, it’s Dallas Keuchel. He’s one of the best pitchers in the American League, when healthy. Keep your eye on his coming bounce-back season.
- Lance McCullers
At just 23 years old, Lance McCullers could very well be the long-term future of this Houston Astros pitching staff. He finished 2015 and 2016 with a 3.22 ERA, over 22 and 14 games respectively. Honestly, McCullers has been overlooked over the last few couple years. He has had a few stints on the disabled list but should be ready to go for the 2017 season. Like Keuchel, if he can stay healthy, McCullers will have a huge impact on the Houston Astros rotation.
- Collin McHugh
Collin McHugh had a 4.34 ERA in 33 starts last season, but has a 3.71 ERA in 90 career starts with the Houston Astros. He has been reliable for the club and is able to hold solid placement in the rotation. McCullers seems to have hit a stride since coming to the Houston Astros. His stints with the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies weren’t near as complete looking as his time in Houston. Look for him to show improvement in 2017.
- Mike Fiers
After showing reliability and consistency in his time with the Houston Astros, Mike Fiers seems to be the front-runner for the No. 4 spot in this rotation. He is by no means a top starter but is serviceable and a slightly, ever so slightly, above-average pitcher. Fiers will most likely never find his way past the middle of the rotation. With that being said, every club has to have someone in the middle to back-end of their rotation. Fiers can provide reasonable confidence in that aspect.
- Charlie Morton
Charlie Morton was picked up by the Houston Astros for a two-year, $7M a year, contract this off-season. A lot of reports say that Morton may not make the rotation, and could be pitching from the bullpen. However, I truly feel that he’ll land the No. 5 slot once the season starts. Over his nine-year career, he has time with the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Philadelphia Phillies. In that span, Morton has a 4.54 ERA in 162 games pitched. Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock, David Paulino and Frances Martes are all competition for that fifth spot in the rotation. It may be a shootout in Spring Training, but I feel that Charlie Morton will come out on top of that list.