Here are the 3 most important Houston Astros lessons learned so far in 2023

HARD LESSONS

The Houston Astros received a lot of positive feedback in the offseason for their free agent acquisition of first baseman Jose Abreu. Many fans were disappointed to see Yuli Gurriel leave, but understood there was an opportunity to add some pop in the lineup by signing Abreu.

Houston also re-signed reliever Rafael Montero and outfielder Michael Brantley to bolster the roster. What do all these things have in common? All three of these moves occurred while the Astros were without a general manager after James Click was relieved of his duties.

So it's no surprise that many are lumping all these signings together because at this point in the season, none of these decisions have worked out. Abreu still isn't hitting and continues to be slotted in the cleanup spot by manager Dusty Baker. Montero has an ERA over six, and Michael Brantley is still dealing with a shoulder issue and hasn't played for the Astros.

Even at the time of these signings, many people did not feel like these were typical Astros moves. So is it fair to be critical of Astros ownership for these deals not working out? Or is it unfair to point the finger at the Astros when most fans and media loved the Abreu and Brantley signings when they took place?

Don't miss the video above as we address these tough questions.

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Listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5.

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Player safety is clearly not a concern for the NFL. Composite Getty Image.

The wait is finally over! The Houston Texans schedule has been released and we have some thoughts.

With the Texans playing on Christmas Day (Wednesday) against the Ravens, that means they'll have to play three games in 10 days. And it's not like the opponents are pushovers. They have to face three playoff teams from last year (Dolphins, Chiefs, and Ravens).

Don't miss the video above as ESPN Houston's John Granato & Lance Zierlein react to the '24 Texans schedule release, and discuss the “beast” of a second half they'll face.

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