It’s wide open. It’s a FREE BLOG Weekend! Assume Jim Crane, Jeff Luhnow and Bo Porter are reading and paying attention.
The weekend question is simple: What will fix the Astros? Not necessarily what will get them to first place or even the playoffs, but what will make them worth watching or following?
Here are some starters:
And oldie, but a goodie.
- Just bring up the kids. Hey, I’m convinced Jonathan Singleton and Austin Wates can hit at least .190 (like Jesus Guzman) or .167 (like L.J. Hoes). Pretty sure Mike Foltynewicz could throw out a 5ish ERA like the other guys. So, why not let ’em get their maturation in front of 19,000 fans per game instead of 4,000? Monday’s an off day, always a good opportunity for roster movement. Just sayin’.
Get back to the basics.
- If I were Porter, there would be extra infield/outfield practice daily. Yes, daily! Baserunning drills would be part of the daily activity. Daily team meetings to review fundamentals. Hey, it’s like the preacher whose sermon was the same Sunday after Sunday. One parishioner came up and asked: “Preacher, the people are getting tired of the same old sermon every Sunday. When are you going to stop preaching on tithing?” The preacher looked back and said: “When the message sinks in and everyone seems to catch on, I’ll move on.” Ditto for bunting, throwing to the right bases, taking the extra base, base stealing, etc. Keep preaching it Bo until they catch on.
Just stick with it.
- Probably another dead cat. But just keep putting the lineup out there. In 23 games, Porter has used too many lineups to count. Five players have hit leadoff, five in the two hole and six different players have hit cleanup. Does anyone — including the pitchers — know their roles at the end of the game? We’ve often debated the usefulness or necessity or importance of having a defined closer. I believe this season thus far seems to suggest there is an advantage to identifying a closer and sticking with that decision…at least on a regular basis.
- The Astros are 23 games into a 162-game schedule. No time to panic. Should there be an urgency? Perhaps, but if the Astros are on a five-year plan, the demeanor should reflect that. Now, if Porter is managing for his job, we’ll continue to see an unsettled nature and a restlessness. Frankly, no manager should be managing for their job in his second year. And, I honestly doubt that Luhnow has put Bo on notice.
Keep sifting out the riff raff.
- Last year it was Rick Ankiel, Ronny Cedeno et al. This year, Brett Wallace and Lucas Harrell. Let the #purge continue. Who’s next? Krauss? Guzman? Hoes?
Step up to the plate.
- You’re up now. Fix the Astros!