The Houston Astros inactivity at the deadline could come back to haunt them.
There were no shortage of trades taking place leading up to the trading deadline. With players shifting teams at a frequent rate, one of the teams standing pat was the Houston Astros.
A glance over the standings suggests the Astros are in great shape and may be fine for not mortgaging future prospects for rental players. They are currently in second place in the division, just 2.5 games behind the division-leading Oakland A’s. With the top two teams in each division making the playoffs (plus two wild-card teams), and the Astros sitting eight games up on the Seattle Mariners, they are nearly a lock.
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Getting into the playoffs isn’t why teams make trades at the deadline though. They sell off prospects to win playoff series’ and hopefully win the World Series.
The Astros are not a World Series team right now, because of their blaring weakness. The bullpen.
Failing to bring in any veteran arms will be the downfall of the team this postseason. Closer Roberto Osuna is out for the year. Backup closer Ryan Pressly has appeared to right the ship after struggling early on. After that, there are a lot of young, untested arms in the bullpen.
Yes, Blake Taylor and Andre Scrubb have pitched well thus far. Playoff baseball is a different animal though. High leverage innings come from the time the first pitch is thrown rather than the “close and late” experiences the players are getting right now.
There were several veterans, playoff experienced arms out there for the taking, yet the Houston Astros chose not to acquire any.
After a couple of years of getting big-name players at the deadline (see Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke trades), the cupboards are a little bare. I could see this as a reason why the Astros didn’t bring anyone in. The market for relievers wasn’t that stout this year. A quality arm could have been had without giving away the farm.
Best of luck Houston in the playoffs when you are running Brooks Raley out to the mound in the seventh inning.