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Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Time to reforecast?


Everything has changed. Nothing has changed.

Most every organization worth its salt reforecasts at some point. Personnel. Budget. Direction. Even the stock market corrects itself from time to time.

Perhaps it’s time for diehard Astros’ fans to consider a reforecast of the 2014 season.

Have you noticed in recent days — even weeks now — that the naysayers have diminished. If not in number, certainly in decibels? Have you become a little more frustrated recently that you can’t watch the Astros on television?

Now, to be sure, the ship hasn’t done a complete about face in the 180 degree direction. But clearly, the team has more of our attention and Jim Crane, Jeff Luhnow and Bo Porter have less.

The conversation has changed as well. When is the last time someone projected how many games the Astros will lose this season? By the way, the current projection is “down” to 103, thanks to a May run.

We’re talking less about the bad bullpen and more about the prospects to improve it even more. Asher Wojciechowski and Alex White are within sight of joining the team. More focus on the cavalry that is clearly moving from the “knocking on the door” category to approaching “kicking down the door” mode.

And, many of you are now discussing which prospects will have to move to another position rather than if they’ll make it to the big show.

Time to reforecast your projections? Time to reforecast your predictions? Time to reforecast your opinion of Luhnow? Porter?

Everything has changed. Nothing has changed.

Here are some questions to help shape your reforecast:

  • Are the Astros one player (Jon Singleton) and a couple of pitchers (Wojo, White) away from a .500 season?
  • Does this run in May change your prediction of a fourth straight 100-loss season?
  • He may still be in your doghouse, but has Porter done anything recently to cause you to retract your “out-with-Porter” petition? At least temporarily?
  • Assuming that May is no fluke, what is the biggest factor in your reforecast upwards of the Astros?
  • These players are “trending” now: George Springer, Collin McHugh, Dallas Keuchel, Matt Dominguez, Dexter Fowler, Jose Altuve. Rank them 1-6 with #1 being Most Likely to Succeed to #6 being Most Likely to Crash and Burn.
  • How long has it been since the Astros had more than one player on the All Star team? Is that possible this year?
  • Don’t you know that several players on the current roster are counting the number of days they’ll continue to draw a major league salary? Name them.
  • Followup: Is there more dead weight on the position roster? Or on the pitching staff? Does that represent a change from early April?
  • Is it too soon to reforecast?
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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.

25 comments on “Everything has changed. Nothing has changed. Time to reforecast?

  1. Dan P
    May 22, 2014

    As usual Chip – a strong thoughtful post.
    – Yes the Astros are one player (Nelson Cruz – 14 HR / 41 RBI – signed for 1 yr $8 million) and two pitchers (Fernando Rodney – 11 saves – signed for 2 yrs $14 million and Scott Kazmir 5-1 / 2.39 ERA signed for 2 yrs $18 million. Lol
    – I conveniently cannot find my prediction from before the season – but I think I predicted less than 100 losses – maybe 68-94 – that feels about right to me.
    – Porter looks better when they play better and frankly settling down with Altuve – Springer – Fowler at the top of the lineup has done them well. When they are playing better he does less disciplining through the press which is good.
    – Not really reforecasting – but the Astros future success hinges on better than expected fielding, decent starting pitching and bats that are starting to wake up – last night being an anomaly recently. The wild card is the bull pen which has a lot of room to improve.
    – Very tough to rank where the players you listed will end up – I like what I’ve seen with all of them and I would say Mc Hugh is the one who needs to do it over a longer period.
    – Gosh it must be 5 yrs since we had 2 on the AS team. I’m thinking we will still have only 1 (Altuve) due to name and that Keuchel will get lost in a bunch of good AL pitching.
    – On MLB death watch – Krauss / Williams / Presley
    – There is deadweight in both the everydays and pitchers
    – I think the time to reforecast will be nearer the 1/2 way mark. We will know better what is real and what is a mirage.

    Like

    • Dan P
      May 22, 2014

      First point should say “away from .500” at the end of the line.

      Like

  2. 1oldpro
    May 22, 2014

    Astros roar back into the lead for June 2015’s 1.1 pick! Minor leagues are gonna be awesome!!!

    Like

  3. kevin
    May 22, 2014

    Funny how a 3 game winning streak gives us beat up Astro fans hope.
    70-96
    We have a ton of talent in the minors 2015 will be better, In the meantime, like I’ve said before, we need .260 out of First and LF, that’s worth 6-8 more wins and its not Hoes, Presley, Krauss, Guzman, they need to moved or sent down, I love Villar but he has to be more consistent at the plate at least .250-.260. Keeping the line up some what consistent especially at the top helps a ton.

    Hoping we get back to hitting in Seattle.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      May 22, 2014

      Kevin, my thoughts today are not based on “a 3 game winning streak” but more of a sustained month of May. Improved hitting. Improved pitching overall. More steady lineup. Help on the way.

      For the rest of the year, would you rather the Astros play like they did in April? Or May?

      Like

      • kevin
        May 22, 2014

        They have gotten better, my point was that we have a long way to go with a lot of B players. still on the roster. In the end I will die a stros fan, just amazing how far the ship sank since the early 2000, that I’m excited with the hopes of a 70-96 season.

        the good news no matter who Lunhow, Porter, whoever we have, talent is coming up and with a few smart veteran signings there is hope, in the next few years.

        GM’s -GM, coaches coach, but you have to have players that can hit, pitch, and catch. WE all give way to much credit or criticism to Lunhow or Porter. You have to have players, that can perform and succeed on a Major league level, we just don”t have enough yet

        Like

  4. 1oldpro
    May 22, 2014

    Imagine an 8-11 record as being talked about as being “a run in May” and the next seven games are all on the road.
    Imagine if the Astros were one player away from .500, and that player is on the 40-man roster and is on your AAA farm team.
    Imagine dreaming about 3 pitchers, who have never pitched for you and having been on the DL all year, coming in to save the day.
    Imagine how bad some of your players have been, if you have the worst record in baseball and have multiple guys worthy of All-Star consideration.
    Imagine the excitement the best amateurs in the world are feeling right now knowing they might be coming to the Big Shop of Horrors in the Juice Box,
    Imagine being 17-30 and feeling good about it. That is a Bo Porter moment.

    Like

  5. Devin
    May 22, 2014

    I’m still closer to bopert than andynew with my predictions/projection/perception. Last night when Springer got plunked my immediate thought was that he could try to steal 2B and maybe we’d tie the game. Then, I got depressed and thought “…but there is no one left in the lineup that will scare Weaver.”. What did Weaver do? He wasted three pitches out of the zone and then came back with a changeup over the middle knowing Fowler wouldn’t be swinging, and then a get me over curve ball because he had no concern. That was with the tieing run on first in the ninth inning! So no, I think we are a little further than one player from .500.

    Like

  6. 1oldpro
    May 22, 2014

    If you want to get a vision of the minor league version of the Astros take a look at the play-by-play recap of the OKC- New Orleans game yesterday. As bad as OKC played, New Orleans was like a bad circus team. I mean New orleans had to play the worst game ever to lose 6-1 to an OKC team that did almost nothing to win. Reading that recap made me want to watch the replay of a 0-0 soccer match.

    Like

  7. daveb
    May 22, 2014

    I’m not impressed. As Dan semi joked above, had we been more aggressive during the winter and been able to sign a couple of real impact guys, including a closer, and just as importantly, had we put Springer in the opening day line up, I think this club could be close to .500 right now.

    So no, I’m not impressed with Luhnow’s work this year. Say what you want about unexpected injuries to the pen, but Luhnow signed guys that got injured. Luhnow signed a guy already injured. It’s his job to build that good pen. He assured us that the pen would be much improved. He would have gotten the credit. He deserves the blame. I also believe that Springer’s transition would have been much easier had he opened the season in Houston. Luhnow’s call too.

    Bo has received a temporary reprieve because his club has had a bad May after a terrible April. Yes, the starters are pitching pretty well and yes, the team batting average is up, but for the most part, this squad simply does not score runs when it needs to. And let’s not forget that Bo has won just 17 of his last 62. That’s certainly worthy of a firing squad.

    The only good thing I can say about Crane right now is that he’s not saying much. He’s got nothing good to report. To date, he’s been a dismal failure as an owner. The ballpark is a morgue. And don’t think that a poorly run organization will continue to be able to sign the all prospects they are after. If I’m representing a high draft choice, I would not feel 100% comfortable in steering him towards this operation right now. Too many question marks.

    All that said, I remain interested in this club mostly based on the light at the end of the tunnel provided by minor league talent. I want to see what these guys will do at the major league level. It’s a real tease. But, Crane remains a bad owner. That won’t change. Not even a television deal will convince me otherwise. The jury is still out on Luhnow, but his free pass has been used up. His radical ideas as to how to groom pitching at the minor league level raise eyebrows as much as his ultra conservative approach to promoting prospects.

    We’re still going to lose 100 games, unless we start using OKC in ernest. It’s about time.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      May 22, 2014

      How about the big damn lie: Appel is not injured, he wasn’t ready. Appel didn’t have a spring training, but he’s not injured. We sent him to Florida but it’s not an injury, it’s my fault.
      Three weeks later Evan Drellich comments on Appel having been “sore”. Three weeks to recover from being “sore”.
      Maybe Appel was “sore” about all the damn good starting prospects in the organization having to pitch in relief!

      Like

  8. Astro45
    May 22, 2014

    Replies in reverse order: Yep. too soon. Yep, lots of dead weight, little change since April. Presley, Corporan, Carter, Krauss, MGonz, Williams, Guzman, Bass, and others. They are too expensive to sit on the bench (2015), and not good enough to play and win with. We may have improved from the worst team in MLB, to the 2nd worst, or maybe 3rd worst, but .500 is at least 3 MLBers away. And for some reason, we keep thinking that a solid Minor leaguer is going to translate automatically into a solid MLBer, and time and time again, that is not the case. Is the 2014 team better than 2013 – YES, but that just makes it better than the worst team in MLB. If we project a 3 win improvement over 41+/- games, we can say 12 more wins in 2014 which is great and an improvement, but still yields 99-100 losses. Still not a good team, YET.

    Like

  9. Dan P
    May 22, 2014

    I think one of the reasons May has seemed much better than April also includes more competitive games – 8-11 with 6 one run Losses. They’ve only been out scored 85 – 82 in May compared to 88 – 142 in April.

    Like

    • Dan P
      May 22, 2014

      Should have typed 142 – 88

      Like

  10. daveb
    May 22, 2014

    Might as well bring Wandy in to help out in the pen. We’re already paying him 5.5 million.

    Like

  11. Becky
    May 22, 2014

    Sorry guys, I can’t focus on baseball today. My 10yr. old grandson was taken to surgery at 2:00 this afternoon for major chest surgery. Please lift Tanner in prayer,
    he was born with a caved in chest, and the doctors are breaking his breast cavity to implant a steel plate, so he can be a normal little boy. This is the grandson who has two brain tumors, and he’s been through a lot. I know I’m not supposed to worry when I pray to the Lord……….but my tears keep coming. Thanks, Becky

    Like

    • Dan P
      May 22, 2014

      Wow Becky – thankps fot sharing – I just stopped and said a prayer for Tanner and I bet your other friends here will also.

      Like

    • Sandy
      May 22, 2014

      Absolutely praying for the little guy. Please keep us posted.

      Like

    • Astro45
      May 22, 2014

      Becky, thanks for sharing. Praying that his health be restored and you can enjoy him for a long time. Grand kids are special, and each of us hate to see them in pain. Please keep us updated.

      Like

  12. Billy Castillo
    May 22, 2014

    Pirates cut Wandy Rodriguez today…

    Like

    • Astro45
      May 22, 2014

      So do you think the Pirates get to keep the rest of the $5 Million?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        May 22, 2014

        His salary is guaranteed. He will be paid the rest of his contract, from whomever it is owed.

        Like

  13. Becky
    May 23, 2014

    A VERY looooooong day for my family today. Tanner’s chest was so caved in, that his heart was almost under his left arm. The doctors had to make another incision to try and position his heat back to where it should be. His mother is spending the night with him tonight………and every night until he is released. Thank you for your prayers, I have been a mess all day. God is indeed a loving God.
    Yes, I saw the news about Wandy, and judging from his last start I’m not surprised.
    He can retire a wealthy man. Tough loss tonight…….Cosart just ran out of gas.

    Like

    • tedf1948
      May 24, 2014

      Becky, I have tears in my eyes for Tanner. He is in my prayers, as are you and the rest of his family.

      Like

  14. Tim
    May 23, 2014

    Are the Astros one player (Jon Singleton) and a couple of pitchers (Wojo, White) away from a .500 season? They could play .500 ball the rest of the season once these players get called up, but not .500 at the end of the season.
    Does this run in May change your prediction of a fourth straight 100-loss season? Not necessarily this run, but just the notion that some of our top prospects will be up this year. So, yes, I think they will avoid 100 losses.
    He may still be in your doghouse, but has Porter done anything recently to cause you to retract your “out-with-Porter” petition? At least temporarily? I still want Porter gone. His in-game decision making is not good.
    Assuming that May is no fluke, what is the biggest factor in your reforecast upwards of the Astros? The prospects at the top level of the farm system.
    These players are “trending” now: George Springer, Collin McHugh, Dallas Keuchel, Matt Dominguez, Dexter Fowler, Jose Altuve. Rank them 1-6 with #1 being Most Likely to Succeed to #6 being Most Likely to Crash and Burn. 1. Springer 2. Altuve 3. Fowler 4. Keuchel 5. Dominguez 6. McHugh
    How long has it been since the Astros had more than one player on the All Star team? Is that possible this year? I don’t think it will happen this year, but it is possible with Altuve and Keuchel.
    Don’t you know that several players on the current roster are counting the number of days they’ll continue to draw a major league salary? Name them. Karter and Krauss are definites, in my opinion. I am thinking Presley might be another.
    Followup: Is there more dead weight on the position roster? Or on the pitching staff? Does that represent a change from early April?
    Is it too soon to reforecast? Villar is really regressing both at the plate and in the field. He may be another casualty soon. I didn’t expect much from him so this is not a change from early April.

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2014 by in Astros.
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