Astros Links: Appel, Gray, Rotation

The Astros enter Wednesday tied for eighth in terms of runs scored in the American League, but their pitching has been far and away the worst in baseball thus far (5.42 ERA). Here's more on Houston's team in its first year as a member of the American League…

  • Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray are the consensus top two prospects in the 2013 Draft, but Jon Heyman of CBS Sports tweets that there are no guarantees Houston will select either right-hander. Heyman notes that the Astros like the "2 for 1" method they employed last year when they signed Carlos Correa to a below-slot bonus and re-allocated the funds to add high-priced talent with their later picks.
  • Manager Bo Porter told Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle that the team isn't afraid to make changes if there aren't improvements in the near future: “We won’t (continue). It’s either these guys are going to get it done, or we’re going to find five that will get it done,” Porter told Smith in regards to Philip Humber, Erik Bedard and Brad Peacock.
  • Within that same piece, Smith notes that the tandem starter experiment for the Astros has been discontinued at the Triple-A level.
  • The Astros' offseason plan to make risk-reward additions like Bedard and Humber made sense at the time, writes's Matthew Leach, but it's started to "look pretty ugly." Leach notes that the team can't punt the season entirely, as losses where they're out of the game before they knew what hit will be a mental grind on the young players.

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