Bud Norris is maybe the one established starting pitcher for the Astros. Everything else in the rotation is up in the air.
While watching the 2013 season opener on national television we learned something fairly interesting about the new-look Houston Astros — new ownership, new front office, new league, new everything.
That night, the national analysts told us of the Astros' plan to have as many as eight starting pitchers in their rotation and go with who's hot at the time while limiting pitch counts of their starters. They haven't stuck with that plan in total, as seen by the emergence of their "ace" Bud Norris, but they're showing some of that plan in this weekend's series with the Rangers, the second time to face their in-state, new division rivals this season.
The Astros and manager Bo Porter will run out lefties Dallas Keuchel and Erik Bedard, both relievers, as starters this weekend. In fact, Bedard pitched in relief in that Opening Night win over the Rangers. Keuchel will be making his first start of the season. Righty Philip Humber, who threw a perfect game last season with the White Sox, will move to the bullpen after recent struggles.
It'll be interesting to see how the approach pays off for the Astros, who are probably trying just about anything to scratch together some wins and are coming off a series against the Los Angeles Angels, taking two of three from the Halos.