A gamble: An early look at the Astros’ 2015 lineup


Back in the 1980’s when the oil bust hit Houston, I moved my family to Arkansas to work in the power industry. One year there was a referendum on the ballot for allowing casino gambling in the state. I vividly remember an extremely cheesy anti-gambling commercial showing a young dad at the craps table about to throw the dice and yelling out “Baby needs a new pair of shoes”. Well, he loses and baby never gets those shoes.

So what does that have to do with my Astros post today and the potential Astros lineup for 2015? Just this: if your kids or grand kids need a new pair of shoes do not use any of my predictions here as a basis for a Las Vegas betting spree.

Anyways, here is a look at the 2015 Astros by position, including the starting rotation.

Hold ’ems
These are players that should definitely be in the starting lineup/rotation in 2015.

2B Jose AltuveHey, I fully confess I was wondering if Altuve was worth more as a trade chip than as an Astro after a very shaky 2013 season. But with a couple of good bats around him (Fowler and Springer) – he has had a brilliant first half of 2014. He is leading the majors in hits (116), leading the AL in batting average (.344) and stolen bases (37) and more importantly after leading the league in getting caught last season – he has only been caught 3 times this season. He has struck out 23 times this season (a good week for Chris Carter) and only has 2 errors in the first half of 2014. He has moved from being a possible mover to an absolute keeper.

RF George SpringerI don’t know what OF position he will play in 2015, but if he is healthy Springer will be high up in the lineup. Yes, his BA (.245) is nothing to write home about and even with a mid-April call-up – he is leading the AL with 94 Ks. But he has been an impact player for the Astros. His 16 HRs are the most by an Astro rookie before the All Star break — ever. (Note – Jeff Bagwell had 15 HRs total in his ROY season of 1991). His .835 OPS is strong and his 43 RBIs (tied for most by an Astros rookie before the ASG with Mitch Meluskey) have come in many critical situations. Once he settles in at the plate and in the field, this guy should be a superstar.

1B Jonathan Singleton. Based on what we have seen so far I cannot bet on Singleton being “the man” at 1B long term. But at his young age and with his hitting background, I would bet he starts 2014 as the Astros’ first baseman (as long as he stays away from the state of Colorado before his next drug test).

SP Jarred CosartAfter a  rough first 4 starts this season, Cosart has steadily developed into a very solid #2 or #3 type pitcher in his subsequent 12 starts. He has shown a propensity to remind me of Bud Norris (no, not due to snarky “the Astros hurt my feelings” remarks) in that he can head quickly towards 100 pitches without putting very many innings behind him. He has great stuff – but not always the best control. The last few starts he has been able to get deeper into games and those are the type of performances that might propel him towards the ace categroy.

SP Dallas KeuchelRecent wrist swelling aside, Keuchel has been a pitcher not a thrower this season. He has cut his ERA almost in half from a tough 2013 and looks like he could be one of those long time clever leftys with good control and lots of ball movement.

3B Matt DominguezYeah, I know that he is not a consistent offensive player and he may never be, but a team that values having the opposition pound it into the ground will want this guy protecting the left side and will gladly take his 20+ HR 70+ RBI projections at the plate. I don’t think anybody will bump him off from within the organization by 2015 and I don’t see them trading to shore up 3B at this point.

Better than 50/50

These players could easily be gone by the deadline or the off-season, but are ones who I believe will be in the starting lineup / rotation if they are here next season.

CF Dexter FowlerExcept for missing a little time with an illness and an injury – Fowler has been exactly what this team needed, solidifying the defense up the middle and filling in whatever role (leadoff, 3 hole) he has been asked to do offensively.  The biggest concern with Fowler was that playing at sea level would deflate his Colorado numbers. So far – he has been almost exactly spot-on to last season (2013  .263 BA / .369 OBP / .776 OPS – 2014  .270 / .377 / .774). (Note: Fowler has been placed on the 15 day DL retroactive to Friday June 27. Does not really affect this evaluation).

C Jason Castro. He has been a disappointment this season, but he still has the 4th most RBIs among AL catchers and is throwing out runners at about league average. The biggest question with replacing Castro at this point would be with who? None of the catchers at AA or AAA (Max Stassi, Carlos Perez, Tyler Heineman, Rene Garcia) are hitting any better in the minors than Castro is in the majors. A trade? Good hitting catchers are so rare, who would be willing to part with any of the ones that produce better than he does?

SP Scott FeldmanHe’s obviously not the ace of the staff – but he has been solid and consistent for the team – in only 2 of his 14 starts has he given up more than 2 runs. The biggest complaint I have is that in his last 11 starts he has not thrown more than 6.1 innings in any game. My gut is that they will look to trade him at the 2015 deadline when he would have about $13 million owed for the 1-1/2 years to go at that point.

CL Chad QuallsAfter getting ripped for 5 runs in his first 6 appearances – Qualls has given up 16 hits, 1 walk and 1 earned run in his last 23.1 IP and 25 appearances. That is strong and has given the bullpen an anchor at the back.  They could trade him at the deadline, but unless someone comes off the DL soon I don’t see it.

Less than 50 / 50

These are players who will have to prove a lot in the second half to hold their spot.

SP Colin McHugh.  In his 4 wins, McHugh has a 0.34 ERA. In his other 9 starts he has a 4.76 ERA. I like the movement on his pitches, but I’m just wondering McWho is the real McHugh.  This would seem to be the best landing place for a Nick Tropeano or a Mike Foltynewicz.

SP Brad PeacockFrankly, looking at Peacock’s stats since joining the starting rotation in late April, he has been good with a 2.88 ERA. He has yet to pitch past 6.2 IP but you can pencil in a solid 6 innings whenever his turn comes around. He would just seem to be a guy they could dangle out there in a trade offer.

SS Jonathan VillarThis kid who just turned 23 is a very polarizing figure. Gets to lots of balls. Makes too many errors. Has a lot of speed. Makes baserunning mistakes. Hot streaky hitter (.758 OPS in April with 11 extra base hits). Cold as Bud Selig’s heart hitter (.500 OPS in May and June). I think they will try to upgrade at this position possibly by trade or FA, but it is tough to find very many good SS’s period. With Correa’s injury, the cavalry is no where near the majors though they may bring up a guy like Petit to let Villar go down and get his head straight. (Note – it appears they are bringing up Enrique Hernandez to let Villar get his head straight or never see the light of day again)

Drawing to an inside straight

These guys have very small odds of staying and will be gone gone gone, either by cut, trade or mysterious accident……

DH Chris Carter. You know that Jersey Shore guy called The Situation? Carter is The Enigma. 58% of his hits are for extra bases! However, less than 19% of his ABs are for hits. He cut down his strikeout rate by 5% this season! He still strikes out 37% of the time. Last season his road OPS (.925) was way better than his home OPS (.605) so this year he has improved his home OPS to .719! Of course his road OPS is now at .617. They need a real DH and his name is not The Enigma. Unless someone like a Preston Tucker steps up big in the second half this might be a spot that is filled by FA or trade. But it needs to be filled.

LF – Grossman/Presley/Hoes – OK – maybe they won’t all be gone – but it is hard to see a scenario where any of these three is the starting LF going into 2015. With a combined BA of around .200 and a combined OPS below .600 – this has been a dark hole in the lineup. There is a good chance none of these guys will be the 4th OF either. Obviously Domingo Santana is the long term 3rd OF and Austin Wates has a shot on the shorter term to come grab a spot. (Note – Santana is being called up with Fowler going on the DL. Here is hoping he does so well that he stays up when Fowler returns).

So – here is my shot at who the main players will be starting the 2015 season.

Dan’s not-for-betting-purposes 2015 Astros’ lineup and rotation

Everyday Starters Rotation + Closer
CF – Dexter Fowler SP – Dallas Keuchel
2B – Jose Altuve SP – Jarred Cosart
RF – George Springer SP – Scott Feldman
DH – Victor Martinez SP – Nick Tropeano
LF – Domingo Santana SP – Mike Foltynewicz
1B – Jonathan Singleton CL – Jesse Crain
3B – Matt Dominguez  
C – Jason Castro  
SS – Enrique Hernandez  

Who are your main players for next season?

Advertisements

85 comments on “A gamble: An early look at the Astros’ 2015 lineup

  1. Apologies, Victor Martinez will not be available to you, we’ll be wrapping him up in the off season. May I suggest Torii Hunter as an alternative. I can make him available to you for any of George Springer, Jon Singleton or Jared Cosart straight up. Regards, Dave Dombrowski.

    Like

    • Let’s see – Hunter turns 39 in July and has an OPS barely above Chris Carter’s. He will be an FA in the offseason like Martinez – so if I’m chasing one – it is not Torii.
      But I’m glad you read all that and I just threw out Victor’s name for the heck of it. Who would you chase in the off season if anyone?

      Like

  2. Fowler CF
    Altuve 2B
    Springer RF
    Singleton 1B
    Santana LF
    Castro C
    Dominguez 3B
    Hernandez DH
    Villar SS
    Cosart, McHugh, Keuchel, Feldman, Wojo
    They know exactly how much the payroll is once Castro’s arbitration is established. By the end of the year Tucker, Tropeano, Correa, Stassi , and Folty are ready to make the jump and Kemp, Cruz and Torreyes are close.

    Like

    • Obviously Hernandez is not a traditional power bat for the DH role – but I assume you are basing this on the price being right.
      Wojo – who just was reactivated has a hill to climb to show he is more deserving of a starting spot than Tropeano or Folty or Obie (I’m starting to feel like Milo Hamilton – giving everybody fake nicknames ending in y or ie).
      But by the start of next season – you could be right.

      Like

      • I was actually basing Hernandez being the DH on his BA and OBP. You will notice there is no lack of power or strikeouts in the five spots in front of him. Money had nothing to do with it, but it is a turning away from a Carter added to this lineup.
        Hernandez gives a totally new look to our DH and adds an extra utility infielder to go with Villar and maybe Marwin in an occasional case of resting Altuve or Dominguez by putting them at DH and playing Hernandez in the field.
        My hope was that Hernandez might add a steadiness to an otherwise all-or-nothing middle of the lineup.

        Like

    • Bo – is that comment to me? I put him in the less than 50/50 category – said his spot in the rotation was a likely landing spot for Tropeano or Folty and then did not show him in my 2015 rotation. Where did I flip flop?

      Like

      • Yes, I thought you were among the crowd that thought McWho is the next coming of Greg Maddux. But then again, I also thought you were one of those who considered this team a .500 ballclub…

        Like

      • Bo – I never jumped on the McHugh wagon – I needed to see more from him for longer. If you go back on my posts – I thought the Astros could go close to .500 for the rest of the season after their 15 game under start – thought they were aiming for around 70 wins or so. Still think that.

        Like

  3. Any FA money spent in the offseason has to be on upgrading the bullpen and SS. These are glaring holes on the Astros roster and must be fixed by opening day 2015 (maybe Kike will surprise and prove he is woth the starting SS job). I don’t feel comfortable that Crain will be healthy and probably will not return next year. Qualls is nice, but he would be better suited to be our 8th inning guy. We need a legitimate closer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • List I looked at for unrestricted SS for 2015 shows Asdrubal Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, J J Hardy and Jed Lowrie.
      Cabrera has more errors than Villar and average offensively though on a career decline. Gonzalez is 37 and done. Lowrie is a so-so fielder, his offense is poor this season and he will be 32 next season. Hardy is a plus fielder and is one year removed from 3 seasons where he hit 22 to 30 HRs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think they will try to take at least 3 or 4 of Crain, Albers, Sipp, Veras, Qualls with them on opening day of 2015. So I’m thinking they may look for a closer, but might end up with most of those guys and choose a closer from among them and Fields.

        Like

      • Crain will be a FA, Albers they have an option on.
        I kind of agree that they will pick one from a grouping rather than sign one.

        Like

      • It didn’t work because 2 of the 3 guys they acquired had, for the most part, season-long injuries (and that is not even counting Bass who has missed substantial time). I wonder what our record would be if Albers did not get hurt and Crain returned in May, as originally projected. Our bullpen is still the worst in the league, despite the improvement from last year. This is the most glaring need to upgrade next year. Name me a world series winner who doesn’t have a strong bullpen?

        Like

      • I guess the question Tim is – if they can hit 2015 with Sipp, Qualls, and healthy Fields and Albers do they need to get more bullpen guys or just fill in with guys already under their control like Bass?

        Like

      • Sipp has been a nice addition, but he was pretty much a castoff from the Padres. Thus, is he a flash in the pan or is this legitimate? I am not sure I am comfortable he can repeat his performance again next year. I have very little confidence in Fields, Zeid or Bass as strong bullpen arms and I wonder if Albers can stay healthy (he is not in the best of shape). Therefore, I stand by upgrading the bullpen as the first priority in the offseason.

        Like

      • I like what I see of Sipp – he looks legit (but so did Chapman last season). You have justified doubts elsewhere.
        The question for the Astro staff – can they do a better job of picking them next season if they bring them in from elsewhere?

        Like

  4. It would be nice to see real progress at SS and DH, but I’m not confident there. No one will sign a long term deal to play SS here. Let’s be honest – we don’t know the full impact of Correa’s leg injury and time off, but it was clear he was ready to compete at AA. If he comes back strong it isn’t unreasonable to think he could be an option in the second half of 2015, but it would be more likely to see him compete for the 2016 job in spring training.

    As for DH, if Tucker continues to figure out the AAA vets then you have to think they will give him a shot next spring. However, there are a lot of bats with more upside than Chris Carter set to be free agents.

    It would not shock me to see them try Tony Kemp out in LF. It may be a little against the grain as he is an OBP and speed guy rather than a power bat, but can you imagine how many runs better our team would be with multiple Altuve instead of the swing and miss crowd? It still frees them up to play Fowler, Springer, and Santana at the same time as a DH spot could rotate as desired. I know I’m skipping DDJ here, but I’m never excited about speedo think they are sluggers.

    Like

    • I would take a shot with a 2 yr contract for Hardy.
      Almost anyone would give you more than Carter. Tucker at AAA so far shows he needs more time at AAA – no power so far but he has only been there a few weeks.

      Like

      • Dan, I thinks Santana’s early callup gives Tucker some more time at AAA. At his age and at that level I think he may get a look in September, but still be at AAA come April.
        I see Villar staying at AAA and see how he does for the rest of the year. If he does well I think they follow their normal Grossman/Wallace/ JD plan of giving him another shot next spring. I don’t see them signing a FA SS because it’s too late for that. Correa is the starting SS in April 2016, injured now or not. Thanks for letting me post.

        Like

  5. So interesting to look at 2015. Just for comparison – staring in 2013. Altuve, Wallace, Carter, Pena, Maxwell, Castro, Dominguez, Barnes, Cedeno, Norris. Expect more turnover if the improvement is to continue.

    Like

  6. First of all, I’m not calling Enrique Kiki. Somehow it seems to diminish the kid. Enrique is a much better baseball name. Kiki is a basketball name.

    Anyway, I’m as impressed with the 22 year old as much as anyone. I’ve been keeping an eye on him only since this spring, because really, he has never done much in the past. That said, maybe he’s just finally figured things out. Would not be the first time. But it’s much, much too early to put the kid at short or even DH in 2015.

    When Correa went down with the injury, I suggested that Enrique get penciled in at short every night in OKC to see if he could play the position. That’s where we most need help here. But I’m guessing he lacks some skills at short. Maybe it’s a mobility issue. He’s not a base stealer. Thing is, why would OKC keep playing him all over the place if he was any good at short? No reason why Petit should be blocking him.

    oldpro, you might be in the right track. If Enrique posted an .OPS in the .800 range, (I think he was at about .870 in OKC) he’d be our DH of the century.

    Because todays exercise is simply designed to take a stab at a maybe 2015 lineup, I’d guess Hernandez for left field, with Springer in center and Santana in right. Sadly, I see Fowler gone.

    Like

    • Well his defense improved a lot this season – last season he was making an error every 3 games instead of 5. If he could improve again over the off season on his offense that might do it.

      Like

    • He just homered in the bottom of the fifth. Astros 2-0 on solo dingers by “utility” infielders, Gonzalez and Hernandez. Baseball is so weird and so humanly different.

      Liked by 1 person

      • By the time I looked at the box score in the 6th the lead was gone. But – yes Hernandez and Gonzalez would not be your first choices to hit dingers in this lineup.

        Like

  7. Astro45…….DANG……you just made my head hurt, remembering that lineup from 2013! I want to know if Jesse Crain has used Luhnow as a nice paycheck, while he has “rehabbed” over this season. Seems like a regular report that he’s “not ready” yet, with no real time line for a return. The infusion of young talent, is like a breath of fresh air…….and discounting last night’s shelling, this club SHOULD be playing much better going forward. I think Oberholtzer is worthy of a spot next year, he has pitched well, and *should* be given a fair shot.

    Like

    • You know there is no reason to think the guy is milking it – he had five straight years of 50 to 70+ appearances and was heading for a 6th last season when he went down. It is sad but it happens. They took a $3 million risk and so far lost.

      Like

  8. I think the entire conversation is complicated by the possibility of using minor league assets to acquire keeper major league talent. Surely this will happen when the team becomes competitive, perhaps they’ll start putting pieces in place for 2015.

    Or, as Dan P suggests, acquire proven major leaguers through free agency to plug the gaps. Victor Martinez is a great example, but how about his “little brother” JD Martinez? (smile)

    Like

    • Good points Steve – at some point soon they have excess that can be used to help the big club.
      As somebody said here – it is too bad JDM didn’t adjust his swing a year before. We would have our DH.

      Like

      • Well let’s see if MLB readjusts to JDM. Good for him though to find success. He even looks more competent in left. Relaxed, confident, enjoying the game again. A spring in his step. Every guy has a different personality and everyone needs to be handled a bit differently, based on their differences. Maybe all this geek stuff fails us at times in the human relations department. Asmus must have grasped something.

        Like

  9. When I looked up the SI box score they showed our DH as Hernandez, Kike. So will the Jewish Anti Defamation League going to go after him?

    Like

      • Twins: 38 – 45
        Red Sox: 38 – 47
        Padres: 38 – 47
        Cubs: 37 – 46
        Rangers: 37 – 47
        Mets: 37 – 48
        Phillies: 36 – 48
        Rockies: 36 – 49
        Astros: 36 – 50
        DBacks: 35 – 51

        Those are all crappy teams that are bunched together in wins – losses. Bopert can do the salary analysis exercise, but I don’t see any reason why the Astros can’t recover from this SEA series and play good enough ball to at a minimum pass the Rangers. That assumes they don’t want another 1.1 and tank the rest of the way, but the callups give me hope they are playing to improve the 2015 team’s chances rather than just going through the motions.

        Liked by 1 person

    • No matter how you spin it, or how half full your glass of koolaid is, not signing Aiken is a BAD thing for all parties.

      Think about it for one second. Why wouldn’t Aiken sign? Why would the man defer his big payday for an entire year? Why would he lose a full season of development in a career that only gives him a limited number of years?

      Could the reputation of the franchise have something to do with it? Is his agent turned off by Luhball? Does he not think the team has a chance to win in the medium term??

      There is absolutely no good reason for this signing not to happen… unless he’s being lowballed, or considers losing a whole year of professional development superior to playing for the Lastros.

      Like

      • As I understand they still have a couple weeks to complete the deal – so it may just be normal negotiation going on. Aiken has more leverage than some with college and not being desperate for money than some choices. We have plenty of time to pile on if it does not happen.

        Like

      • That’s true. Totally agree with you. In fact, it’s wise to go to the wire when negotiating.

        But my point is to downplay a non-signing as “no big deal, we’ll have two picks next time around” is absolutely ludicrous.

        And more than once Chip has taken this position. It’s almost like he’s in advance denial of a serious problem.

        Like

      • Not predicting it – but say they can’t sign Aiken – it is totally possible they could sign a college kid with the replacement pick the next season who is as good and is closer to the bigs. It is not optimum but not the disaster of not signing one when the farm system is bare.

        Like

  10. I’m going outta town for the weekend……….if your theory is correct, this team will start winning again. And, no I’m not going on a slow boat to China! Brats!!

    Like

  11. Interesting……Crain and Albers will NOT be back before the AS break.
    I thought Albers was close to coming back…..hmmmmm.

    Like

      • One thing I’ve noticed is Porter is not over-using Qualls…..yet. I still predict he will eventually break down and become ineffective.

        Like

      • The last 9 seasons Qualls has worked between 51 and 89 games and between 52 and 88 innings in those seasons – he is on a path towards about 60 games and 60 innings this season. I don’t see why it is a big concern. Anybody can break down – but he has been pretty sterady.

        Like

      • Still leary of latent knee, quad, and back issues. We’ll see if Porter can contain himself over the long haul.

        Like

      • My point is that he has not been missing significant time the last 9 years and being used in a closer’s role he is probably being used on the lower end of those 9 years – closer to 52 innings than 88 innings. Any 30+ pitcher can break down – but he is not a lot more susceptible than others.

        Like

  12. From my son Adam
    Good analysis dad. I gotta believe that a free agent will be involved somewhere in there. If this team is continuing to improve next year, we may trade some guys for help in the trouble spots, and as long as it isn’t an overpaid, washed up “slugger”, we should be ok.

    Carter reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix’s character from Signs.

    Military recruiter, “I was there the day you hit that 500 footer. Why aren’t you in the big leagues?”

    Other guy, “Because he has another record for strikeouts. He had more strike outs than any two players.”

    Unfortunately, I don’t see a scenario where “swing away” saves the day for the Astros.

    Speaking of “who will be here next year.” The coach is definitely in a better spot than I would’ve predicted at this point in the year. Although if it falls apart, maybe we’ll go “NBA” style and take Jeter as the coach…or GM…or league commissioner. You know. Jobs one month retired players are ready for.

    Like

  13. Get your predictions here. I am going on record here:

    This team will NOT be a .500 ballclub in 2015. They may be slightly less crappy than they are now, but that’s all. Write it down. Mark your calendars and call me on it in 15 months’ time.

    Like

    • What matters to me is the team the Astros put on the field today, in 2015, in 2016. For the last three years I have been talking about and reporting on the prospects we have in the minors. Now those prospects are slowly making their way onto the club. Some prospects will burst onto the scene, some will flame up and then poop out like some of the fires on my charcoal grill.
      I am confident that there will be enough talent here in the coming years that we will be young and accomplished and very entertaining. I am confident we will be winners and I am confident we will be able to watch on TV.
      I am confident that some of your predictions are spot on and some of them you will be wrong. Nothing you predict will change my love for the Astros, their team or my fellow fans.
      I am proud you are my fellow blogger, because without you I would not have a balance or check on my enthusiasm. You constantly remind me that building a winning team from scratch is a huge undertaking, just as building any business from scratch with nothing but desire is hard. I salute you, Bopert, and encourage you to look deep into the Astros future with some of the young and extremely talented players in their system, and look forward to better times coming for us fans.
      My team got blitzed the past three days by a team who made a huge move to get better this past offseason and whom we beat up pretty good last year. The Mariners are definitely not the same team they were the last time Keuchel beat them with “average” stuff. Now it’s our turn to turn up the heat on them. They showed us we have to keep getting better to keep up.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Good points there daveb. I agree with a lot of what bopert says – I disagree with some things like I do with a lot of folks – my only huge hangup is the “they will never be better than mediocre”. Never is a word with a specific meaning that I can’t apply to this situation. If you say they never will win a WS – you might be right because in 53 seasons they never have done it – but again never covers a lot of ground and a lot of changes over the years.

        Like

      • Sorry – good points old pro – (though daveb makes good points too). I would blame my phone but I was using the computer.

        Like

    • Not a tough prediction – this is a team that is depending more and more on very young players with very little experience. Even good young players will falter as a team. The Astros in 1991 had Biggio, Bagwell, Finley, Gonzalez and Lofton (guys who ended up with 2400+ hits if I remember right) and Caminiti and stunk. The Braves of the late 80’s had guys like Smoltz, Glavine, Avery, Justice and Murphy and were terrible.

      Like

      • Good point! Good young players (translate: cheap) do NOT a competitive team make. In fact, it’s more accurate to say that mature, proven pros make competitive squads.

        You know, the ones that cost big dollars.

        Like

  14. Among other things that were confirmed this week as we saw our young assassins totally embarrassed by a pretty ‘average’ group of Mariners, was how important two players are to our club’s ability to consistently compete. I am talking about the ‘D’ Crew – i.e. Dallas Keuchel and Dexter Fowler. I hope we keep these two a long time. I also hope the last few weeks have also confirmed in everyone’s mind that keeping a DH in the line-up who strikes out 35% to 37% of the time and whose BA hovers around the .180s and whose OBP around the .260s is just not something we can continue to do. When Dexter comes back from the DL, perhaps it is finally time to DFA Chris Carter and to DH Aaron Presley.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill – Carter has been a black hole of a DH for a long time – I think that ship sailed a while back this season when he showed no improvement (in fact he got worse over the offseason). Presley, Hernandez, Gonzalez, Corporan, Castro (on off days) and half the pitching staff might do better.

      Like

      • Most assuredly, you, Chip, Daveb, Oldpro, Becky, and for that matter virtually everyone else on this blog saw the Chris Carter experiment as a hopeless and irretrievable failure a long time ago. That ship would never have gotten near a bottle of christening champagne if we were making the decisions. But the people I was talking about when I used the euphemism ‘everyone’s mind’ in the post above are the people who make the roster and line-up decisions for our organization. *Spit*

        Like

  15. Since this post is about speculation on the future, here is some current tidbits with the future in mind:
    Today’s starting pitcher for Astros Greeneville is Devonte German, a 6’2″ 220 lb 19 year old who was a senior at a Catholic HS in Reno last year.
    Pitching for Quad Cities is 21 yo Kevin Comer, acquired in the Happ trade from Toronto.
    Pitching for the GCL Astros is Kyle Weiland, who last year was pitching to Wilson on a desert island.
    Pitching for Lancaster is undefeated, 20yo, stringbean lefty, Josh Hader who was pitching in the Orioles system before being traded to us for Bud “Happy” Norris last summer.
    Pitching for OKC today is the only perfect reliever in the Astros bullpen this year, Jake Buchanan.
    Pitching for Corpus Christi is the only guy in our AA affiliate who gets a Senior Citizen’s Discount at Denny’s, 25 yo Jordan Jankowski, who uses a walker to get to the mound.
    Lot’s of stories today in Astroworld.

    Like

    • Thanks for keeping on top of things old pro. If Springer had not been brought up he could have borrowed the walker when he turns 25 in September.

      Like

  16. You mention on who to replace Castro? Stassi, Heineman, Perez and Garcia. You r forgetting their top defensive catcher for the past 4 seasons. He is hitting and has a 59%. Manager Linares pretty much said he is ready and there was an article talking about other team Lookn at the astros catching depth in Washington about 3 weeks ago. I’m saying they were Lookn at Pena at high A all star game. Also was looking at his numbers and he way better defensively than the rest n offensively a lot better an improving. He was compare to Yadier Molina whe drafted. Defensively better than anybody n his bat will come along. Just like Molina who was not a hitter back then.

    Like

    • Pena is tremendous at fielding – his hitting is a little bit below average for Lancaster. I just did not think he would be in the mix for us in 2015.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s