“It’s one of those things where you’ve got a new regime in here. They want their guys and it’s coming later in the season; it’s getting closer to September. So they’re going to try their guys and see what happens.” — Lucas Harrell.
Yes,eventually, all of the players on the major league roster and, for that matter, the organization will be “their guys”.
But Jeff Luhnow isn’t stupid. No matter what you may think of the second-year general manager, he has a vested interest in building a quality organization. Even if the team isn’t competitive in 2013, he seems to be following the same principles that he will in 2014, 2015 and beyond.
In other words, it’s difficult to believe he would choose one player over another with the sole reasoning that “he’s my guy”.
Only ten players among the current Astros’ 25-man roster joined the organization after Luhnow became general manager. Here’s the list:
- Erik Bedard, Travis Blackley, Josh Fields, Jose Veras, Ronny Cedeno, Matt Dominguez, Jake Elmore, Carlos Pena, Chris Carter, Marc Krauss.
Fifteen others on the 25-man joined the organization under older regimes. And, frankly, that breakdown isn’t probably going to significantly change anytime soon, though it is surprising the balance isn’t different considering the dramatic turnover in the organization in the last 18 months.
Without another round of trades that sends old regime players (e.g. Harrell, Bud Norris, Brett Wallace, J.D. Martinez, Wesley Wright) packing, it could be 2-3 years before the scale tips to Luhnow’s “guys”.
While Luhnow has indeed turned the organization upside down and eliminated a lot of the riff-raff, it’s nigh impossible to clean house completely. In fact, only 18 members of the current 40-man roster joined the organization since Luhnow came on board. Moreover, only 4 of the current Top 10 prospects came in under Luhnow’s watch.
Numbers are one thing, but clearly the philosophy has changed from the previous administration. Indeed, in any organization where there is a change of leadership, many holdover often find it difficult to “blend in”. Generally, those members will sift themselves out sooner or later.
And, that friends, is the bottom line: It doesn’t matter whether a particular player came into the organization when Tim Purpura, Ed Wade or Jeff Luhnow was the GM. What matters — and what will matter as the season and decade progress — is that the players who hope to be long-term are those who buy into the system and understand the expectations.
Those players will be Luhnow’s “guys”.
At this point, some of Harrell’s comments indicate he may not be in the fold.