Houston Astros: The coronavirus delay could be a benefit for team

Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

With MLB still unsure if and when it will have a 2020 season, House Of Houston’s Andrew Elderbaum says the delays could be a blessing in disguise for the Houston Astros.

With the 2020 seasons sure to be truncated or cancelled completely, it begs the question is this a good thing for the Houston Astros? Here are some pros and cons for both sides of the debate.

The Pros: If anyone has a down year, it could be blamed on lack of spring training, the shortened season, strange environments. The players won’t have to hear it’s because they don’t know what’s coming because they cheated. If George Springer hits .230 with mediocre power it will have nothing to do with him being tipped off like he was in the past.

The team will not have to deal with capacity hostile crowds, booing them viciously because they cheated. If games are played on neutral sites in half-full facilities it would probably make the season easier for the Houston Astros. Spring training already showed some frayed nerves and the regular season was only going to be worse.

By the time baseball is in full swing again the media focus will be on life after lockdowns. Sure there will be questions because the Houston Astros cheated, but the heavy scrutiny the team would have otherwise been under will be diffused with questions about the new world we’re in, and what it means for the sport.

Now for the cons: Easily the biggest con will be the continued aging of key players, specifically Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke and Yuli Gurriel. Not to mention the injury-prone and aging

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Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick. Even Jose Altuve and Springer are crossing over into their 30s. Any missed time or seasons will chip away at the core of the club’s championship window dramatically.

That lack of prep time that could be used as an excuse for poor play is also negative for the same reason. Lack of training time or a rushed schedule can contribute to injuries and poor performance. Look at the numbers for some of those last-minute signees from 2019 for proof. With an already shrinking margin for error, the Houston Astros can I’ll afford multiple off-seasons or injuries if they’re still going to contend.

The team also would suffer if games were relegated to one locale like Arizona or Florida for the duration of the season. Houston would lose their home field advantage, their vocal fans, and access to their video crew for tips. It would be a real tragedy.

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So there you have it folks, some pros and cons for the Houston Astros if MLB does play a short season under different rules. As professionals, I’m sure the team would weather the storm as best they could and try to show the world they can win unaided by sign stealing. However unlike the last few seasons, COVID-19 may just throw them a curveball they couldn’t see coming.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s Web site or the Web site for your state’s Department of Health.