The Astros will reach the halfway point of the 2014 season with Friday’s game against Detroit. While the team has taken a step back in June after a couple steps forward in May, Houston is now headed toward a 69-win season at its current pace.
Not exactly a winning season, not exactly the playoffs. Still, a 69-93 finish would represent an 18-game improvement and that should be a good stepping stone to 2015.
AL Rookie of the Year.
- George Springer has joined the race and it’s now a two-man contest. Jose Abreu, the guy the Astros didn’t sign earlier this year, is still in control, but Springer is moving into range to challenge. At this point, Springer is on pace for a 30 HR, 80 RBI season, not bad for a guy who spent the first three weeks in the minors. One of the keys to the race for Springer may be how well Jon Singleton, Matt Dominguez or others around him hit the rest of the way.
Send that man a Christmas card!
- Ed Wade should get a medal. Or two. Or at least a Christmas card. If the Astros continue to improve and, indeed, come anywhere close to Sports Illustrated’s prediction in 2017, many of the key players will have joined the Astros during the Wade administration. George Springer, Singleton, Jarred Cosart, Jason Castro, Jose Altuve and a few others all pre-date the current Jim Crane era. Of course, some of those could be elsewhere or non-performing in a couple of years. But remember, it was Wade who put together the Phillies’ championship teams last decade. He was fired three years before Philly hit it big. Can lightning strike twice? Is Wade that good?
See ya Chris, but “no!” to Chad!
- ESPN’s Jim Bowden says there’s a 60 percent chance that Chris Carter will be traded before the deadline. Really? If Jeff Luhnow can get something decent in return, pull that trigger in June. With Jose Veras back in the fold, it could mean that Chad Qualls is expendable. As well as Qualls has pitched in his age 35 year, the Astros could sell high or at least package him with another prospect for a bigger return. Would hate to see Qualls packing, but it could also open the door in the second half for one of the young guns at Oklahoma City.
Where are they now?
- Former GM Tim Pupura. Senior Director of Player Development, Texas Rangers.
- Former GM Ed Wade. Special consultant, Philadelphia Phillies.
- Former GM Gerry Hunsicker. Special advisor to the GM, Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Former Astros’ coach Dave Clark. Third base coach, Detroit Tigers.
- Former Astros’ broadcaster Dave Raymond. Studio host, MLB.com.
- Rick Ankiel. Lives in Jupiter, Florida, with his family looking for a job in baseball.
- Former manager Phil Garner. Special assistant, Oakland As.
- 2001 opening day starter Scott Elarton. Pitching coach, GCL Pirates (Pittsburgh).
- Former #1 pick Floyd Bannister. Runs his son’s photography business in Phoenix.