A 14-17 start to the 2012 season may not sound like much, but after their disastrous 2011 campaign, the Houston Astros will take it.
Expectations couldn't have been lower for the Astros this year, as new management began a multi-year rebuilding process after the franchise reached rock bottom in 2011. Houston was coming off a 56-106 season with a -181 run differential; no other team finished with fewer than 63 wins last season.
However, hope always begins anew every spring, and the Astros have done enough to at least stay competitive in the NL Central in 2012. They are currently one-game ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs, tied for last place at 13-18, and six games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals.
The division as a whole hasn't been very competitive, as only two teams, the Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds, are currently above .500.
For more news and notes on the Astros, head over to The Crawfish Boxes.