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ESPN Grades Astros Offseason: D

Well, I guess such a grade is expected when an offseason is headlined by the acquisitions of Clint Barmes, Bill Hall and Ryan Rowland-Smith.

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The Astros failed to address some needs, but that makes sense;  this team is in rebuilding and selling mode. We can't logically expect the Astros front office to go out and spend, spend, spend to fix a broken team. I'm okay with the lack of spending. For now. 

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But you don't get a D in an offseason for sticking pat with the team you have, especially when that team is 40-33 in the second half of the prior year. 

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No, it looks as though the Astros may have taken a step or two backwards, at least when the bullpen is concerned.

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The 2010 Astros bullpen ranked in the lower echelon of every pitching category, ranking 27th in ERA and 29th in BAA to name a few.

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And though I do not love Matt Lindstrom in any manner, one of the few power arms in the bullpen was traded for a player who may not out produce his replacement.

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Closing duties have been handed over to Brandon Lyon, but one must have to ask how effective Lyon can and at age 31, especially when his pitches aren't overpowering or fooling any hitters. 

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The 2011 Astros bullpen will be interesting to say the least. It has intriguing pieces like Fernando Abad, who's tearing it up in the Domincan Winter League, and will compliment a starting rotation that has been surprisingly effective. And, atleast ESPN did take note of that: 

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Bet you didn't know that, even in a season in which they traded away Oswalt, the Astros had as many quality starts last year (95) as the Giants. True story.

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 So I really can't complain or argue with ESPN's grade. I may not have given it a D, but maybe that's because I'm somewhat optimistic about this year. I guess we'll have to see how everything turns out.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.