Nick Caserio bought himself more time by hiring DeMeco Ryans. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images.
I've heard the rumblings. I've seen the discussions. I've paid attention to what people are saying. People are either pleased with the way the Texans offseason is going, or they can't stand it. General manager Nick Caserio and head coach DeMeco Ryans have seemingly worked well together so far in putting together the roster for the upcoming season. As of this writing, they've signed: DT Sheldon Rankins, WR Robert Woods, WR Noah Brown, S Jimmie Ward, QB Case Keenum, DT Hassan Ridgeway, DE Chase Winovich, RB Mike Boone, and FB Andrew Beck. They've re-signed guys like S Eric Murray and DE Derek Rivers.
One thing that sticks out to me is none of these guys are splash signings. ESPN Houston's John Granato said it seems like the same old thing every year with no splash. His radio partner Lance Zierlein said he thinks the conservative approach is smart. Along these same two lines are where the fans are split. There are fans who are taking it in stride with the wait-and-see method, and there are also fans that want to see a winner built yesterday. While two things can be true, are they both true in this case?
In my opinion, yes. They're both true. While I'm not a fan of many of these moves, I do see the reasoning behind them. Caserio has worked at cleaning up the mess left behind by the previous regime. Cap space is looking great, and the team has tremendous draft capital moving forward. Caserio is in the hot seat with the impatient fan contingency. He's being given slack from the patient side. Both sets are head over heels in love with DeMeco. He covers up a LOT of the stench of the moves the team is making with the hot seat side. So does the draft capital.
I see the reasoning behind not making splash signings this offseason. The team wants to see what they have in this year's and last year's rookie classes. They also want to see what the free agents they brought in will be able to contribute. In the first year of a REAL long-term answer at head coach, there's no need to try to build a contender. He and his staff need to figure out what they have and what they truly need to build for the future. A franchise quarterback is the most obvious and glaring need. You have to get one in the draft because it's harder to find one in free agency or via a trade. I have a better chance of being bitten by a shark or struck by lightning.
Outside of that, just about every other position can be found using other means. They can also be found by using lower draft picks than your number two overall selection in this draft. Number twelve overall is a turning point when it comes to the draft. Typically, you want a playmaker at that spot. Whether offensive or defensive, that guy needs to be a difference maker and starter. Ideally, you want anyone drafted in the top 100 or so to be a potential starter and/or key contributor. Letting the full draft classes Caserio has chosen to play it out and see what they have allows DeMeco and his staff to evaluate them. When this team didn't have a full complement of draft picks in Caserio's first full offseason, ALL fans were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After his first full draft class, fans expected a lot more. Now, I see the divide.
I'd like to see Caserio given grace. The man turned around a desolate franchise and is in the process of building a contender. With DeMeco in the driver's seat on the sidelines, let them work together for a couple of years before hitting eject on the GM. Sit down. Take a break. Relax. Caserio appears to know what he's doing. DeMeco is in his first year as a head coach. Ownership obviously lit a fire under Caserio if you watched his presser a couple of months ago. EVERYONE is all in on DeMeco! Why would you want to shift the dynamic now? People who think like that are the ones that want their fancy $300 dollar dinner to come out in five minutes or less after they order but will wait in line for fast food for 15 minutes! As the kids say today: LET THEM COOK!
With a new season on the horizon, the Astros have high hopes for 2024 after coming just one game shy of being in the World Series for three consecutive seasons.
If Houston wants to get back to the Fall Classic in 2024, they're going to have to rely on their pitching. Owner Jim Crane believes the club has 8 starting pitchers when Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. return mid-season.
Which allows several of the starters to move to the bullpen and provide even more depth. Add those guys to Bryan Abreu, Ryan Pressly, and Josh Hader and you have a recipe for success.
Check out the video above as ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham goes through the entire staff and makes his case for the Astros having the best pitching staff in baseball.
You can listen to The Killer B's with Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank every weekday on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 from 3 pm - 6 pm!