Houston Astros

Does Ivan Rodriguez Make the Astros Contenders?

Josh LevittSenior Analyst IMarch 17, 2009

When the Astros signed Ivan Rodriguez yesterday, common sense finally prevailed. The Astros needed a starting catcher because the combination of Humberto Quintero, JR Towles, and Lou Palmisano was not going to get it done behind the plate. And Rodriguez needed a place where he could start and prove to all the detractors that he can still be a productive player even in his "advanced age."

So as we can see, this was a great fit for both sides. For 1.5 million bucks, the Astros got their starting catcher, who just happens to be one of the best catchers of all time and a certain hall of famer. This signing is a very low risk move for the Astros, who have nothing to lose by signing Rodriguez to a one year deal. Even though Pudge has declined a lot from his glory days with the Texas Rangers, there is a lot to like here from the Astros perspective.

But the question remains: does Ivan Rodriguez make the Astros contenders in the National League?

And the answer is...no. Rodriguez brings certain intangibles to the table: defense, leadership, power, batting average; but he cannot pitch.

The fact remains that the Astros pitching staff is a mess. Aside from Roy Oswalt, Jose Valverde, and hopefully Wandy Rodriguez, there is just not much talent there. It's hard to see a team competing for a division title when the rotation consists of a washed up Mike Hampton, Brian Moehler, and whatever is left of Brandon Backe.

The key to the Astros competing this season has little to do with Ivan Rodriguez...unless he can fix their terrible pitching staff.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices