On opening day the Astros looked reasonably strong in the starting rotation. Cy Young candidates Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole were the headliners. Wade Miley was coming to Houston after a strong season at Milwaukee last year. Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh, veterans with proven track records of success, rounded out the 4 and 5 positions.
And then there was the depth in the minors. Forrest Whitley would surely be the Walker Buehler of 2019, Josh James would be ready to bring his 100 MPH stuff into the big-time. Framber Valdez showed promise in his cup of tea last year.