February 28, 2021

Astros concerns include impossible task of replacing Gerrit Cole (New York Post)



WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Being labeled MLB’s biggest cheaters is not the Astros’ only problem. They have to find a starter to replace Gerrit Cole, now the Yankees ace.

That means finding 20 wins, an .800 winning percentage, a 2.50 ERA, 212 innings and 326 Ks, not to mention four postseason victories last October.

Lance McCullers Jr., come on down. Complicating matters is the fact McCullers is coming off Tommy John surgery. Don’t forget the Astros still have Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke at the top of their rotation.

“You have to replace the victories, No. 1,” Baker told The Post recently at the Astros’ complex. “And they say victories aren’t important. They are way important. Then you have to replace his seven innings a start. You got Verlander and Cole back to back, your bullpen is basically taking a rest. Somebody has got to pick up those innings. That’s why McCullers is going to be so big for us.”

Baker, 70, knows he’s got quite the job ahead of him but he also knows how much talent the Astros possess. As for McCullers coming back from Tommy John surgery, Baker has had a front row seat to the advancements made through the years with that…

Read “Astros concerns include impossible task of replacing Gerrit Cole” at New York Post