Opening Day 2014: Previewing The American League West

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We will refrain from making any comments about 5-foot-6 two-time All-Star Jose Altuve, other than to say he’s one of the similarly vertically challenged writer’s favorites. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

5. Houston Astros

Last year: 51-111, fifth place
Projected finish: Fifth place
What’s New: RHP Matt Albers (Cleveland), RHP Jesse Crain (Tampa Bay), RHP Scott Feldman (Baltimore), OF Dexter Fowler (Colorado), RHP Chad Qualls (Miami), RHP Jerome Williams (L.A. Angels).

Who’s Gone: OF Brandon Barnes (Colorado), LHP Erik Bedard (Tampa Bay), RHP Jordan Lyles (Colorado).

Who’s Down: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (15-day DL, right lat strain), RHP Alex White (15-day DL, recovering from Tommy John surgery), RHP Jesse Crain (15-day DL, recovering from shoulder surgery).

Outlook: The Astros are loaded in the farm system and tried to augment the kids with some veterans such as Dexter Fowler and Scott Feldman. A sneaky-good addition could be Jesse Crain in the bullpen; he was an All-Star with the White Sox last year before shoulder problems shut him down.