Each of the teams in last place in the American League right now were in contention until the last weekend in 2015. Two of those teams, in fact, actually made the playoffs.
The Houston Astros, who had lost over one hundred games for successive seasons, were the feel-good story for reaching the ALDS of the last year. After one month into 2016, however, they find themselves back in the basement of the A.L. West.
In spite of the disappointing record, the worst thing the Astros could do right now is make changes. They still have a solid lineup of young All-Stars, anchored by 2015 Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa at short and batting champion Jose Altuve at second.
The rotation has struggled almost as much as the offense, but it still has Cy Young Award winner Dallas Kuechel as its ace. The club is likely to turn things around soon on its own, but a last place finish this year certainly does not diminish its great future.
The Minnesota Twins, who were in contention for the Wild Card up until the final weekend last season, are right now in the cellar of the A.L. central. The club has played a little better after losing their first nine games, so there is no reason for the Twins to panic.
Like the Astros, they are stocked with young stars and not quite ready to peak. Even if Minnesota cannot pull itself out of last place this year, they must stick with their current roster because of its bright future. Outfielders Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are almost certain to become All-Stars, as is pitcher Jose Berrios.