The Springer Watch is on for Astros

The George Springer Watch is on!

Now that the Oklahoma City Redhawks are out of the playoffs, there are no longer any obstacles to Springer’s major league debut with the Astros. Right? RIGHT?

Most true baseball aficionados have agreed with Jeff Luhnow in allowing Springer to fully incubate in OKC after starting the season in Corpus Christi. After all, the Astros’ first-round choice in 2011 has only two full seasons in the minors under his belt.

But now that the Astros’ season is history and Springer is cleaning out his OKC locker, can the debut be far away?

The Astros’ 40-man roster is full, so someone would have to go before Houston could add Springer or anyone else.

So, here are some questions for you as The Springer Watch grows and likely draws more attention over the next few days.

  • Should the Astros put him in the lineup the rest of the season and let him play everyday?
  • Where should he bat in the lineup?
  • In fact, write the top four or five in the lineup with Springer on your card.
  • What are your expectations as far as production?
  • What position should he play? Right? Center? DH?
  • Is there any reason to just let him go home and “save” him for spring training.

Most of the original candidates for September call-up — players like Jarred Cosart, Bret Oberholtzer, Brad Peacock, Jonathan Viller et al — are already in Houston, but there are a couple of other possibilities:

  • Jonathan Singleton hit .350 over his last 10 games, showing signs of kicking out of his season funk.
  • Asher Wojciechowski has pitched 160 innings between Corpus Christi and OKC, so it’s a good guess his season is done.
  • Jimmy Paredes is already on the 40-man, so he could be called for late-game speed.

Anyone else you might like to see?


23 comments on “The Springer Watch is on for Astros

  1. So who are you wiling to expose to the Rule 5 draft? Carlos Perez? Bobby Doran? Jason Stoffel?

    It isn’t as simple as designating Trevor Crowe to make room. It isn’t about this year’s 40 man roster. The Astros will have about 10-12 open 40 man spots and at least that many decent prospects to protect. And that is before they go out and sign that All-star team everyone insists Crane sign. If they add Springer this year, they will stand to lose a decent prospect in the next Rule 5 draft.

    That is why they should not bring him up.


  2. Put Springer in CF. I know a lot of people live Barnes ( he is a good defender) but he can’t hit and is an awful base runner despite decent speed.


  3. I’m torn on the Springer question. My gut and personal desire say it is counterintuitive to say that the probable minor league player of the year has no place on the 40 man roster of the worst team in the majors.
    The brain side of me sees where Flash is coming from – that they need to protect others before the Rule 5 draft.
    I’m just tired of waiting – throw me a bone Mr. Luhnow. At this point I don’t care who it costs me. That is why I’m a fan and not a GM.


  4. The long list of players the Astros could easily “risk losing” to bring up Springer include: Cruz, Harrell, Humber, Keuchel, Lo, Rudy Owens (who?), DeLeon, Zeid, Elmore, Gonzalez, Laird, Wallace, Crowe, McLovin’, Pagnozzi, Clark and Krauss.

    And this is a generous assessment as it’s probably true that Ely, Peacock, White, Corporan, Barnes, Paredes, Villar, JDM, and…. (need I go on ad nauseam?) have little-to-no value and almost ZERO chance to be protected by other franchises either.

    This is a truckload of crap at worst,and mediocrity at best. And THAT’s what I keep warning about. This franchise is doomed for on-going mediocrity. If you protect mediocre players, then that is exactly what you should expect moving forward.

    Is Max Stassi really the next Johnny Bench? Dominguez the next Mike Schmidt. C’mon! Be real!! How many scrubs can one team “protect”?

    If mediocrity is not the concern, then what about standard protocol? Springer is the real deal. He’s tearing up the minors and is the player of the year, and he cannot even get a real paycheck and a cup of coffee in The Bigs?? That’s what all the other teams do and have done for decades. It’s called REWARDING PERFORMANCE.

    This is a huge problem folks. Think about it for one second. What message does this send to the fans, and to the players.

    If you don’t know the answer to the last question, then just take a gander at the ad-signage donning MMPs left field. It’s bush league!!


  5. Bo, unfortunately, your responses show you neither read others’ comments (specifically Flash’s) nor have a smidgen of understanding about the Rule 5 situation. I don’t even know where to begin. Perhaps someone else would like to take a shot, but this isn’t about “protecting” Humber or Harrell or Keuchel.

    So the main reason to bring up Springer now is supposedly fan gratification? Sorry, as much as I’d like to see him play over the last few weeks, that’s laughable.

    I’d prefer not to lose another Johan Santana.


  6. I’m going to stretch and say that while Bo is a vitriolic in his dislike of Crane – that is a list of what-the-heck-are-we-thinking type players. I could live with outright releasing Humber right away to see Springer. I also think its more important to get Springer his first taste of the big leagues now. I am not sure saving Humber’s space to protect Doran is worth not seeing Springer.

    IF you are going to see him in CF next year he will need one of those spots anyway. I realize you are just trying to get to December – but here is your problem. Say you let Humber go right after the season. You then add Stoffel to the 40 man, and leave Springer off. They are both safe, got it. But what happens in Spring Training? Stoffel is still sitting on your 40 man. Springer isn’t your starting CF’er unless he takes someones spot on the 40 man. Either way you end up either exposing someone in the draft and taking a chance, or waiving them in order to remove them from the 40 man, thus exposing them to immediate pickup. Either way you lose the player if another organization wants him.

    The list of absolutes is pretty short in my opinion. Perez is on it. I believe Singleton will have to be on the 40 man this coming year too. We, like every organization, are going to have a long list of 3 to 4 year prospects (based on when they signed) that are judged as marginal and are going to be exposed, there is no way around it. I would rather lose a marginal or possibly slightly above guy to get what looks like our best chance for our next superstar in the lineup now, to get him those reps against major league pitchers now, some of which will be pitching for playoff spots. I think it will be invaluable to getting him a good jump on next season.


  7. Steven, I understand your position, but there is so much that can happen between now and December and between now and Opening Day. The Astros will likely be active in the Rule 5 themselves, requiring a 40-man spot or two. There could also be trades, injuries or even — wait for it — free agent signings.

    Honestly, if the Astros are intent on ending Springer’s season now, it may be erring on the side of caution and keeping as many options open as possible. Springer won’t get much out of the possibly 50 ABs to make a huge difference. He’ll basically learn where the players park and be able to find the players’ entrance to Minute Maid.

    Indeed, the “list of absolutes” may be pretty short, but all the more reason to expand your options and keep as many spots open as possible.The Astros ran out of “options” with Johan Santana and had to expose him. I’m beginning to talk myself into the “see ya in the spring, George” category.


  8. Indeed I read Flash’s comments, and repeat my point with emphasis.

    Flash’s comments have no merit because whether he’s talking about this year’s 40-man roster or next, it still so chock full of mediocrity that whether it’s one man or or dozen that ultimately get ditched, Springer belongs! He belongs now, and he belongs next year.

    Chip, Mr Luhnow, Mr. Crane… he’s earned it. Plain and simple.

    More to the point, there is absolutely nothing to protect! — except the cost of paying Springer one extra month of Big League salary, which he’s AMPLY earned.

    To compare this roster to the 1999 roster is what’s laughable. There is no dilemma now, whereas the roster was so loaded in 1999 that there was a legit dilemma then.

    And yes, I do understand the 40-man roster and the Rule-5 draft. And I understand that Rudy Owens is not going anywhere, regardless. He’s a scrub.


  9. Here’s an idea: Punt Ankiel and protect Nate Frieman. Oops, too late for that.

    And your first response may be “hey, it’s not like Nate Frieman is tearing it up…”(except against Astros pitching, that is).

    And that’s the tricky part (the “dilemma”) about the Rule-5 Draft and the 40-man roster. The draftee must remain (“protected”) on the Big League roster (25-man roster) the entire season, or he goes back.

    So I point you back to my exhaustive list of scrubs in my original post. Who in that list is legitimately worth drafting AND protecting by other franchises? Is there one bona-fide pro in that list?

    Springer is a legit pro, however. And he deserves his reward. And he would very likely get his due if it were any other franchise.


      • Actually not. I’d keep Frieman around, just as the A’s, who are in a pennant race and have a pretty stacked roster, have chosen to do. Why? He has power upside and a good eye, which is good profile for a corner IF position. Will he pan out? Maybe, maybe not. But he’s not a scrub. And they can demote him next year, if they choose to, since they kept him on the 25-man roster this year.

        If my list is so “exhausting”, then humor me with an answer to my question: which of these players on the list do you believe would be scooped up and protected by other organizations? Is there even one??

        Would you keep Springer in the minors next year too?


  10. I think the worst team in the majors can afford to jettison some of the garbage on their 40 man roster, and they’ve got plenty of it. Springer belongs. We look ridiculous for not bringing him up earlier. How can you justify not bring up a guy with his stats? Personally, I think they’ll bring him up in time to make a big production out of it at the beginning of the next homestand.


  11. Bo, You should take Mark Twain’s advice.

    I will differ to people who make their living evaluate minor league talent. They say the Astros have a pretty good farm system. I don’t know who you think Springer is going to play with.

    Steven, I understand that GS is going to have to take someone’s spot on the roster eventually. The advantage of keeping him down for the next four weeks dwarfs any benefit. Suppose a team comes calling for Chris Carter or Lyles. That opens a spot you didn’t expect. Put him on the roster Opening Day, after the AFL, free agency, other teams rosters are set, potential trades are completed, etc. Losing a roster spot now weakens your options from now to Opening Day.


    • In normal circumstances, I’d agree with your take.

      But Crane is well known for making a living by ripping people off. Taxpayers, the other owners, and fans. And now it’s his own players. Top players. Deserving players. Luhnow is hamstrung in this deal…but make no mistake — there are severe problems at the top.

      George being Spring-rolled by Crane is yet another symptom of the overarching problem.

      The roster is garbage. If you cite “advantages” to keeping the man down, then articulate them please. There is absolutely nothing to protect. There is no “flexibility” to gain. NONE! The problem is paying the man sooner than otherwise, period.


  12. This team is 47-96. We are worrying about protecting our 41st – 45th? best player. You have to be kidding. Really, you have to be kidding. I don’t know if Springer is worth a roster spot, but we have seen a ton of really nice guys this year that can’t play MLB baseball. One easy way would be if you were born in 1983 or earlier, thanks for your service. That gets rid of 5 right there.


  13. Going back to comment made by Flash. He is correct that a catcher like Carlos Perez needs to be protected, but the stupid move of acquiring Pagnozzi so we could keep Perez in the minors another month — now REALLY looks stupid. When a team promotes its best prospects, then the protection of them is automatic.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s