Some suggest that Bud Norris’ latest start — one of his worst of the season — was somehow critical to his season…and the Astros’ season as well. Now, manager Bo Porter is hoping to somehow salvage Tuesday’s debacle by saving Norris for the All Star Game. With Yu Darvish headed to the disabled list, perhaps Bo knows. Is Norris an All Star?
Indeed, the Astros’ (ahem) ace has been brilliant at times, even dazzling! Take away those three of 19 starts he gave up six or more earned runs and he’s been absolutely spectacular. But make no mistake, one start shouldn’t change the season. And, one start — spectacularly good or horribly bad — won’t change the opinion of teams who may be interested in trading for him. They have enough data from the 19 starts this season and 116 over the past five to reach a conclusion of whether he’d make a difference on their team.
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Speaking of making a difference, how much of an impact would Jed Lowrie have made on this current Astros’ team? Easy to look back and make a judgement in hindsight, but Lowrie has performed well with his new club in Oakland. He’s hitting .303 with a .372 OBP and .800 OPS. Would have fit nicely into the two-hole behind Altuve. Or even the third spot in the order, perhaps ahead of Jason Castro. But would he have made a huge difference, or would he be hitting .230 with the rest of the team?
The biggest question with Lowrie — at least for me — was his dependability. He’s never played more than 97 games in a season (2012), so the second half of the season will be critical for the player involved in Jeff Luhnow’s first trade.
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How ’bout that Brett Wallace? After a 4-for-5 night Wednesday, are you ready to take back all those nasty words? I’ve lost count if Wallace is on his third, fourth, fifth or sixth life with the big club, but he’s putting together perhaps his best stretch of games as an Astro. Which is fine, since Jonathan Singleton hasn’t found his stroke at Oklahoma City.
Let’s go out with a lightning round:
- First base in 2014: Wallace, Singleton, Pena or someone else?
- Bo Porter or Tony DeFrancesco?
- Pitcher you’d rather see in Houston first: Jarred Cosart or Asher Wojciechowski? (Moot point now since Cosart was called up overnight.)
- Astros’ MVP through the first half: Altuve, Castro, Norris, Veras or someone else?
- Which of these players is not on a pace for 100 Ks this season: Chris Carter, Castro, Brandon Barnes, Matt Dominguez or J.D. Martinez?