The Astros are currently 12.5 games out in the NL Central and 8.5 games back in the wild card race. However, they won’t be throwing in the towel yet. Said owner Drayton McLane:
"I don’t like to give up, and I think it’s too soon to give up on this season…The Astros have been for several years a second-half team, and we’re optimistic we can start playing much better baseball."
I am not a fan of this logic, that something about putting on an Astro uniform makes a team play poorly in the first half and incredibly in the second. Even if the Astros had the exact same players from 2004-05, I still wouldn’t buy the logic. Similarly, I hate it when announcers talk about a veteran pitcher’s career performance against a certain team. It means nothing, given the roster turnover.
Moving on, the above-linked article from Brian McTaggart suggests the Astros are unlikely to trade any high-priced veterans. It sounds like Ed Wade might have to rely heavily on free agency to build a winner in ’09. I could see a big-ticket starting pitcher – here’s the ’09 free agents list.