CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

Since wins, losses, stats mean nothing, no worries, right?


The Astros reported to spring training a month ago and are less than three weeks from the beginning of the major league season.

If spring training stats and wins or losses mean nothing, then there are no worries for players like Jonathan Singleton, George Springer, Brett Oberholtzer or Matt Dominguez.

But you can bet that Lucas Harrell and Marc Krauss are making sure that the stat sheets are making their way to the hands of Bo Porter every day.

Still, most fans are expecting both Singleton and Springer to break camp in the everyday lineup. But when two of the top prospects are 6-for-41 with a couple of RBI to their names, Porter is surely making out lineups with a pencil now rather than a pen.

Meanwhile, Dallas Keuchel and Harrell have been sharp if not downright top flight in early returns.

But while these are, indeed, early returns, expect an increased number of ABs and IPs for all of the aforementioned, as well as Jarred Cosart, Scott Feldman and Jerome Williams.

For what it’s worth, the stats are early returns are mixed:

  • Jose Altuve doesn’t have a HR, RBI or SB.
  • Springer has 9 Ks in 23 ABs.
  • Marwin Gonzalez has 11 hits (.440) with 5 doubles.
  • Singleton (.346) and Springer (.400) have great OBPs thanks to 8 and 7 walks respectively.
  • The Astros have scored 6 or more runs in half their spring games.
  • Jonathan Villar has a homer and six RBI, but 5 errors in the field (in less than 50 innings).
  • What’s the backup plan at third base if Matty doesn’t hit?

To be sure, many of the projected starters must be causing Jeff Luhnow and Porter some sleepless nights.

All the while, Houston still needs an opening day starter on the mound and has to settle on the flanks for center fielder Dexter Fowler. Not to mention shoring up the bench and getting some players healthy.

Not a problem. It’s only spring and the games and stats mean nothing, right?

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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO, and wakes up each morning to the tallest spot in the region, Pikes Peak. He is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 50 years. A native of another picturesque city, Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. Pastor Bosman came up with Chipalatta, and it has stuck.

20 comments on “Since wins, losses, stats mean nothing, no worries, right?

  1. Dan P
    March 13, 2014

    Let’s face it Chip the only important thing this spring is the process that will be followed to make personnel decisions.
    How many guys are on the team no matter what they do – how many guys have to play great to make the team – how many guys could lose a shot with bad performance?
    That is all that matters in the end.

    Like

  2. 1oldpro
    March 13, 2014

    A couple of observations. Last year I noticed a disturbing pattern develope in spring training. The Astros were clearly outclassed in the early innings by the opposing team’s starters and then were playing catchup against the other team’s scrubs. That has not been the case this spring, so far.
    Also, I observe that the Astros are nailing down their team early. Last year Luhnow had Altuve, Dominguez and Castro targeted as starters and this year he has those three plus Carter at DH, Grossman at LF, Fowler in CF and Hoes and Krauss have made this team. The pitching situation is working itself out with Keuchel nailing down the fifth spot and Harrell and Chapman nailing down places and Valdes, Wojo and Crain and Wallace leaving themselves out. Moylan looks in, Colin looks gone and Qualls, Albers, Fields and that other lefty look like they’re in. With Wallace out, Singleton looks headed for OKC as the 1B as does Amador at DH.
    I don’t think the Astros are good but it looks like they’ve answered a lot of questions and are really learning what they have for the future. Marwin might take Villar’s place in the bottom of the lineup with his spring, because Villar was horrible in 2013, in winter ball and this spring defensively. He is not a capable shortstop in the field. He’s scary bad and Correa looks scary good for next year.
    Right now I want to see Springer in RF but for an even better reason than just his play. I would like him to be a 2nd year player next spring so that guys, like Appel and Singleton, Tucker, Folty, and Correa come to camp next spring and have had Springer alreading having paved the way for them and be a leader with some experience for them to follow next spring. The leader of the New Wave.
    That’s my take on the Astros camp up till now.

    Like

    • daveb
      March 14, 2014

      oldpro, shortstop could be a real hole. Villar is preparing to lose the job because he can’t field the position. Marwin is a good spring hitter, but he’ll end up giving us an OPS somewhere around .600 during the regular season. Our shortstop situation is another good reason for starting Correa out in Corpus rather than A+ ball.

      Like

      • Dan P
        March 14, 2014

        Yeah Correa is coming across as the real deal. Marwin always teases with early offense that evaporates. Villar makes Carter look like a good fielder.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 14, 2014

        I now agree with you on starting Correa in AA, which was contrary to what I desired previously. I wish we could afford to start him off in High A and then promote him but i’m afraid we don’t have that luxury and he looks now like he can handle the jump to Corpus.

        Like

    • BrianT
      March 14, 2014

      If Grossman, Fowler Krauss and Hoes are in — and Krauss is an outfielder — then Springer is out. If Krauss is a first baseman, that bodes well for Springer.

      I will say this about out UConn Huskie, walks are nice but in the spring they are often a result of bad pitching/minor league pitchers AND we’re paying you to rip the cover off the ball, not amble to first base. Kudos on the patience, but start cracking some, please.

      Like

      • Dan P
        March 14, 2014

        I would think that Krauss will see time at 1B if he makes the roster. Not sure how much – Porter has said he is not big on platooning.
        I hope Springer starts whacking it – Singleton finally had a dinger – maybe the last 3 weeks of ST will be their time to shine. Singleton would seem to be writing his ticket to OKC – I wish I knew what they are thinking about Springer.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 14, 2014

        I still think Krauss can swing at #5 outfielder and #6 infielder and keep Springer up. Krauss could get a lot of work as a backup LH COF, backup LH 1B, LH DH, or LH bat off bench.

        Like

    • 1oldpro
      March 14, 2014

      Marwin turned 25 today. He had to stay in the majors after rule 5 and that hurt his progress. I still think he has a chance to be a little better than he has been in the field and at the plate. 25 is still young for a player who has been a backup for the last two years and spent too much time on a major league bench when he should have been in AAA playing everyday. Besides that, he is stll a hero, right Yu?

      Like

    • kevin kuns
      March 14, 2014

      1Oldpro good stuff and have to agree with 95% of it

      Like

  3. Chip Bailey
    March 14, 2014

    Krauss will need to prove he can sustain his spring. He doesn’t have to hit .400, but will need be consistent. He’s a .277 career hitter in the minors, but his other numbers point to positive things. High OBP and a declining K rate. Remember, Rick Ankiel blew up in the spring, then crashed. Does anyone remember (without looking) how the Astros acquired Krauss?

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      March 14, 2014

      Chip, you are right about Ankiel last year but I checked something out after he was released. Ankiel was staged in Spring Training. He had no at bats against lefties at all. He got hot against spring training righties and then was named the starting RF. All his ST numbers were generated by a curtain of ease and when he faced big league pitching, it all vanished. I’m hoping that is a lesson learned by a rookie manager.

      Like

    • Bo Weaver
      March 14, 2014

      And crash he will….

      Like

  4. BrianT
    March 14, 2014

    Just to prove my point about the media:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/how-two-elite-prospects-could-help-rescue-the-cubs-from-misery-180004462.html

    That this would get printed before a similar story about the Astros just proves the point.

    Like

  5. kevin kuns
    March 14, 2014

    Chip didnt Krauss come in the CJ trade AZ

    Like

  6. Chip Bailey
    March 14, 2014

    @kevin kuns, yes, CJ trade. Also, it’s that other “5%” that’s always the sticking point, no? @1oldpro, sure, he may have been “staged” to some degree in spring training ’13, but he was also “staged” after he faltered in the regular season and then failed terminally.

    Just saying that, while the early returns look good for Krauss, we shouldn’t get too far ahead. The next 25 ABs and next two weeks will be the tell tale.

    One other note on Marwin. At this point, he’s in. If nothing else, he’s the backup 3B and could find himself starting some games there is Dominguez doesn’t pick up his game.

    Like

    • daveb
      March 14, 2014

      Yes, he’s pretty much guaranteed a spot. But if Marwin is given short, the bench gets that much weaker. Villar will get every chance to hold on to that job at least to start the season.

      Like

  7. Steven
    March 14, 2014

    Krauss and Borchering for CJ. So much potential from both at the time – but so far CJ has obviously outperformed the other end. Krauss is the last hope, but even as much a Krauss fan as I have sounded, I don’t see him approaching anything like 2nd in the NL in batting by the end of the year.

    Like

  8. Steven
    March 14, 2014

    Is Borchering even back in minor league camp this year? I know there was some problems last year, and I don’t believe he even played. Is he even listed in the organizational charts anymore?

    Like

  9. Steven
    March 14, 2014

    Scratch that, I see he was in Greenville and Quad Cities last year, just a late start for “confidential” reasons. I believe he is already 23, so if he isn’t making an impact in AA at least this year I would guess the former first rounder will become a major bust.

    Like

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This entry was posted on March 13, 2014 by in Astros.
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