FREE BLOG WEEKEND: Things that will fix the Astros


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.

Stay calm.

  • 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.

Step up to the plate.

  • You’re up now. Fix the Astros!
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18 comments on “FREE BLOG WEEKEND: Things that will fix the Astros

  1. They’ve won 7 of their last 38, by playing the worst baseball I’ve ever seen a major league team play. In some respects, they are playing worse than they finished 2013. At some point, when a team continues to play so poorly, and makes so many mental mistakes, you’ve got to really shake things up, make the ultimate change. Would an ugly four game sweep by the A’s this weekend do it? I don’t know, but it should. I hate to see the new guys playing in such crappy environment.

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    • Agreed. Additionally, the Twins are 11-10 and the Mets are 12-10. Obv sample size should be considered, but should either of those teams be head and shoulders better than HOU at this point (st least on paper)?

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      • Devin,

        Wow, that’s a great point. This team should be better. The scrubs need to be sent to OKC and young, hungry kids brought up.

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  2. You fix this team with a major league first baseman, a major league left fielder, a major league DH and a major league closer. Those were all huge holes that needed to be filled in the off season and the GM failed to do it.
    Right now you have a major foulup in the manager’s slot and a roster full of young, unproven players with fifty minor league prospects on the way up.
    This is no way to run an airline!

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    • oldpro, agreed, Luhnow seems to be avoiding any criticism, but at this point, he’s got to be accountable too. Not having a legitimate left handed reliever is glaring error.

      I think the present roster (most of it anyway) will get a couple of more weeks to come out of their funk. The club just does not want to give up on a guy like Carter. I’m looking at Monday, May 12 as a potential date for significant change. The Rangers come back in to start the home stand, and we’ll be a quarter of the way into the season.

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  3. Wow some great questions Chip. Watching the game last night it was very obvious what a professional baseball team looks like and why the Astros aren’t, I grew up a Tiger fan as in the 68 Tigers, Al Kaline was my hero. My folks moved to the fledgling Woodlands in 1977 and in 1980 I became as Astros Fan, Through some tough years and some great ones, nothing had prepared me for the last 4 years.

    It seems like we have caught a bad karma bug, everything we do and touch doesn’t work. I believe you need a plan, not very many team can spend 150 million a year on players, but 4 years later, one of the best minor leagues, and we still cant hit, pitch , run the bases, catch, its amazing.

    Honestly some games we look like a bunch of Sunday softball leagues dudes. I mean we bring up our young guys they stink, we sent them back down there great.
    We sign decent guys they catch (astroitise ) and tank., we trade guys and they are doing well. UGH

    I don’t have any ideas anymore I’m just tired of stinking the joint up I guess bring up the kids cant be any worse than this Sunday Softball team.

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  4. It is got to be close to check down time for some of these players. How long is Carter’s leash? Guzman’s? Villar’s? Krauss? On better teams individually any of these players may get the it’s too early and they could hit a hot streak any minute type of defense, on this one, we are slowly turning the ship to one of the worst seasons EVER for a major league club by continuing to trot them out there. I thought this was the year we have up having the number 1 pick annually for a while.

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  5. There are a number of things bothering me at this point including the thought of the team again playing a season of meaningless games and still not knowing who will help them in the future.
    – I think if after a couple more weeks the team does not start hitting better they need to look a lot closer at whatever process they have in place for hitting. I know a lot of these guys are not the most talented in the world – but there is really no one hitting better now than they have previously. And you bring Springer up and he quickly joins the Mendoza parade and you have to wonder. All I’m saying is that in general I see better approaches and improvements on the pitching side especially with the starters. (I cannot say if this is a John Mallee problem or a problem with a hitting philosophy forced upon him).
    – I don’t think I would freak out about the 5 errors in a game – note they had only a AL best 7 errors coming into the game.
    – I think they do need to start making the future today – not just for the fans, but to find out who is the real deal and who is not from down below.
    – I am not a big proponent of scrambling the lineups a lot – but if I were a manager I would have two lineups – one against righty starters and one against lefty starters.
    – I don’t want the manager or the main coaches managing and coaching while looking over their shoulders – but I am sick of seeing players that are not hitting as well and not playing smart on the diamond. Bo Porter – this does not mean you need to complain about them to the media – we just need to see some progress in real terms – not words.

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  6. I can’t see them on TV, barely hear parts of the game on the radio, so all my info comes from here or cron.com. That being said I don’t feel like I have enough info to comment but
    I do know this much. Guys are playing good at OK city and then falter when they get to Houston, go back to AAA and start playing well again. I’m aware ML is much more difficult but we’ve seen this same pattern for several years now. The same thing for new players arriving and guys we’ve traded.
    Can there be any other explanation other than management?
    It also bugs me when I read Bo is not concerned that Springer is in a slump. After only being here a couple of weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mediocrity is breeding in this club house, and if it’s not stopped soon, Jim Crane may
    see his investors asking for their money back, and THEN some. The Starting pitchers have for the most part carried this team, and so far I’m impressed with the
    pitchers. Time to look at this whole bunch of position players, and sift the wheat from the schaff. I agree with Dan………Porter needs to shut his mouth around the media, reminds me of the way Cooper used to mouth off. The A’s are just *one* of the good teams we will play this year, it’s time to put up or shut up. Start acting like a professional baseball team, instead of a group of 5yr. olds playing Tball. Luhnow must be pulling his hair out……….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said. Porter is indeed the ghost of managers past. But on a lighter note [?] you should know that 5 year old T-Ball players everywhere are expressing outrage about your comparison of them with this year’s embarrassing crop of Astros. At least Tee-Ballers are fun to watch, easy to root for – and not getting paid big money to stink up the place.

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  8. The environment is absolutely toxic – as evidenced by many factors that have been mentioned on this blog. Since owners cannot be fired or traded, the new mojo has to start with new clubhouse leadership. Free Bo Porter.

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  9. Albers to the DL. And, now, Mark Appel is off to extended spring training because of his rough start, which Luhnow calls “a little unsettling”. Apparently, among other things, he’s had trouble adjusting to the tandem rotation.

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    • I understand the reason they are doing the tandem rotation, but I hate it. I would rather see our young pitchers develop arm strength and get used to pitching 6,7 or 8 innings (9 is out of the question with our upper management philosophy) in a game.

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