Projecting the Houston Astros' 2013 Starting Rotation
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It will be a long year in 2013 for the Houston Astros and their fans.
As they enter the American League West, the Astros come off a season where they went 55-107 in the National League Central.
After 51 seasons in the National League, Houston will now be in the same division as its cross-state rivals, the Texas Rangers, the hard-slugging Los Angeles Angels and the defending champion Oakland Athletics.
It just will not be easy as the Astros settle into the American League.
With so many games against division rivals that hope to feast on them, it will be very hard for Houston to even match its record from 2012.
As it goes forward into the future, here are the five pitchers expected to be in the starting rotation when the season starts March 31 at home against those Rangers.
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Harrell’s first year in the rotation was actually very good.
He won half of his decisions, going 11-11, and threw more innings than hits allowed, pitching 193.2 while giving up 185.
With a very solid ERA of 3.76, the 28-year-old struggled with his control.
Harrell walked 78 while striking out 140 on the season.
Overall, those are pretty good numbers.
If Harrell can go out and get his team seven innings a start then he certainly will fill the role of staff ace well.
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Norris did not have a bad 2012, and should have a decent 2013.
In making 29 starts last year, Norris also pitched more innings than hits allowed, hurling 168.1 while allowing only 165.
Where Norris struggled, however, was in giving up home runs. The 23 he allowed last year were a big part of the reason why he posted an ERA of 4.65.
Still, his control is pretty good and, if he can match his good 2011, can give you about 30 starts a year and give you six innings each time.
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Lyles is penciled in as a No. 3 starter this year for Houston.
2013 will be his second full year in the rotation.
The good news for Astros fans is he is still this 22 years old.
2012 was not kind to Lyles. The youngster struggled in going 5-12 while posting a hefty ERA of 5.09.
Lyles went 5-0 in seven starts in Triple-A Oklahoma City before being called up to the big club last year.
With most clubs, Lyles would probably still be pitching in the minors. Houston, on the other hand, does not really have that luxury and Lyles will certainly be learning the hard way.
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The good news for Astros fans is Humber pitched a perfect game last year in Seattle. The bad news is that he pitched himself out of the rotation by early August.
The Astros are hoping that his familiarity with American League ballparks will help them this year as they make the adjustment from one league to the other.
In 2011, Humber was actually a .500 pitcher and posted an ERA of 3.75 while starting 26 games for the White Sox.
If Humber can approach those numbers then Houston will consider this a very good claim.
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As part of this strange starting rotation that the Rockies used last year that featured pitchers going about four or five innings, White really struggled.
His control is not really all that good, walking 51 while striking out 64 in 98 innings for Colorado.
With a 2-9 record and an ERA of 5.51 last year, White will have to earn this job in spring training as the Astros have enough pitching prospects to take his spot away.