From time to time, Dan, Brian and I get together to confab over baseball issues, life matters or — and this is the one we confab most about — the blog.
On Wednesday, they attempted to talk me off the ledge after reading many of the comments left on Brian’s entry. You may suggest I’m drinking the koolaid or see a glass half full, but at the risk of alienating some, infuriating others and hopefully engaging everyone, I’m going to share a few thoughts about your thoughts and the 2014 season thus far.
The sky is not falling – it fell already – it just isn’t jacked back up to its right place in the heavens. — Dan Peschong.
Yes, Dan, you are correct. In fact, the Astros’ main struggle is to find all the pieces before trying to reassemble Humpty Dumpty and the sky that is laying all across the baseball world.
The tandem pitching question.
- This is one of those love it or hate it conversations and there seems to be evidence to support both arguments.. But remember, the minor leagues is a developmental league. It’s not the end game. The tandem pitching differences come from expectations. The program is designed to get innings for as many pitchers as possible. It’s not designed to set a pitcher up to be a starter (or reliever). It’s not designed to stretch a pitcher out. It’s not designed to get wins for your team. None of that matters. That’s why the minor leagues are developmental.
- Jeff Luhnow made a wrong call on Mark Appel, but it wasn’t the tandem setup. Since he didn’t have much of a spring because of the surgery, he should have gone straight to extended spring training rather than Lancaster.
- The tandem pitching program is good for the first half of the season. It’s designed for only 8-10 weeks to help winnow out the chaff from the gold nuggets.
- The tandem pitching routine didn’t seem to bother Collin McHugh since he has thrown more pitches in each of his games in Houston than in any single game at Oklahoma City.
But the reason they we’re here is that Luhnow doesn’t know baseball. –oldpro
- oldpro, I would disagree. I would submit, however, that most anyone would be over their head with the project that he inherited. The key will be can he organize a team that can assess the problems, recommend and implement solutions and move the organization forward. If he’s worth his salt, Luhnow will have to admit his mistakes, including personnel from players to coaches to front office, fix the problem and move on. Otherwise, we’ll be having this same conversation in 2016 and 2017.
“Something is VERY wrong in Astros land, and we are getting a bad reputation through out MLB.” — Becky.
- Becky, couldn’t disagree in some respects. I do believe the opinions of the organization vary, however. Some people laugh at the Astros, others look at the long-term blueprint and praise the direction of the organization. Is it time for a uptick in play and win/loss record? Absolutely. We’re halfway through the Luhnow 5-year plan and his team needs to show some on-the-field improvement. It’s time for something good to happen. Don’t look now, but George Springer (.353), Dexter Fowler (.318), Jose Altuve (.300) and Jonathan Villar (.294) have a decent stretch of games going since May 1.
Yes, the clock is ticking.
- As I alluded to above, the team needs to show improvement in the second half. That means Bo Porter needs to improve, the team needs to hit and pitch better, the draft needs to go well (again) and the number of wins should increase. But, honestly, I expect all of that and more to happen (with the possible exception of Bo improving). If the team continues to drive like a car with three flat tires, Porter will be the first one to go. The talent is better on this team than last year — and it should improve with Jonathan Singleton and others added along the way — so the results should be better by late summer and fall.
Minority owners and MLB owners will get restless.
- Perhaps minority owners, but what can they do? Do you know how difficult it would be to get them all on the same page against Crane? And, then what? Would one of the minority owners take over? Doubtful. And, oh yes, the franchise ain’t going nowhere (mis-grammar intended).
- Would major league owners get so restless they would implement some sanctions or other procedures to force the Astros’ hand? Not only doubtful, but very doubtful. Believe it or not, it would need to get worse — a lot worse — before MLB owners step in. Is there a precedent for that? Morever, unless it was a clear-cut case of ineptitude or incompetence for an extended period of time, they won’t engage…primarily because they would be concerned that the tables could be turned on them at some point.
Okay, there. Now, I’ve said it. It’s out there. Thanks for your time. Please know I’m off the ledge, the window is shut and I’m resting comfortably in my easy chair, patiently awaiting your response as the conversation continues.