Sure would like to get a look at Jeff Luhnow’s blueprint. Wonder if it’s in pristine condition or whether it looks more like Bo Porter‘s lineup card?
You have to figure that the Astros aren’t following the script that Jeff Luhnow wrote. Even the outline he and Porter brainstormed in spring training.
You have to imagine that Luhnow anticipated an improvement over the 107 losses in 2012. Not the team that is presently on pace for 108 losses.
And, with three recent Mexican League signings, more trades for prospects and the continued shuffling between Houston and Oklahoma City, you have to believe that the Astros are still feeling their way through this reconstruction.
Rather than a clean, straight line from bad to good, the Astros are gathering as much mud as possible to throw against the wall and hope a little of it sticks. Not necessarily a bad thing, especially considering the attrition rate of prospects and pitchers in general. Consider John Ely and Alex White.
Half the 25-man and 40-man rosters are still filled by players who pre-date Luhnow. By the time the first game rolls around next April, this team will be lean Luhnow-heavy. Even the Jarred Cosarts and Jose Altuves who remain from the previous regime will have the Luhnow philosophical stamp on their games.
To be sure, there will be no sure things going into spring training. Yes, perhaps Altuve has a spot, but with his reasonable signing recently, some team could come along and sweep Luhnow off his feet. Especially when you consider that the free agent crop of second basemen will be slim.
So here’s a bit of a quiz to start your week. You know who leads the team in home runs and strike outs, but do you know which player leads in:
And a few other questions for your consideration:
We all made predictions before that first pitch on April Fool’s night against the Rangers. If you’re like me, you’ve missed on a few of those. But one that I’m close on is this one regarding a “breakout season” for Jason Castro: “A .275 average with 15 home runs and 65 RBI would be a positive, but a successful season would mean Castro plays in 120+ games and improves his defense.”
He’ll hit the HR mark and get close to the average (.267) and RBI (47). Defensively, he’s fifth in the AL in CS% (24.2), but second in the league in passed balls (10). The Castro discussion continues.