MMQB: Astros are playing, but is anyone noticing?


Believe it or not, they’re actually playing baseball. Yes, the Astros salvaged a win Sunday in the three-game series with the White Sox. Missing three starters, the Astros pounded out 17 hits in the 11-7 win after two one-run losses to start the second half.

Unfortunately — or maybe fortunately for Bo Porter — the conversation has been focused mostly on off-field activities. “Another black eye,” reads one headline. “Major perception problem,” blares another.

Winning on the field might deflect some of the conversation and criticism, but that doesn’t appear imminent. As a result, the growing list of black eyes will continue to focus the spotlight on Houston in a way that Jim Crane never wanted.

But, as the draft news continues to drip, drip, drip, here are some thoughts on the on-field product as the trade deadline approaches.

  • How much longer does Jon Singleton get in Houston? He has 27 hits, 22 RBI and 62Ks to go along with a .182/.269/.345 slash in 167 PAs. He would project to 251 Ks over a 162-game schedule. Not to mention seven errors in 41 games. Better question may be: Would better option is there?
  • Porter pushed his luck Sunday by writing in Kike Hernandez in center field. Why? He’s played there all of two — count ’em TWO! — games in his pro career. Meanwhile, Robbie Grossman has 362, including 30 at the major league level. And, L.J. Hoes has more games in RF than LF in the majors. But Porter puts Hoes in LF, Hernandez in CF and Grossman in RF. Go figure.
  • Here’s hoping Luhnow doesn’t do something desperate at the trade deadline in an effort to try to make up for the leaks, the draft and the unrest in the Middle East, which is probably his fault. It would be the icing on the cake if he attempts to pull off a blockbuster that backfires.
  • Part of the problem with the Astros’ organization is that virtually everyone in a key position is a rookie. Crane. Luhnow. Porter. Director of Scouting Mike Elias. Reid Ryan. Asst. GM David Stearns. Even Dave Trembley is bench coach for the first time in his 30 years in baseball. In other words, first timers in key positions serving as decision makers in organization-changing situations. When you go to the Astros’ front office directory, few names are recognizable, especially those making choices.
  • The failed four-game tenure of Domingo Santana and Singleton’s 41 games have slowed the chant from fans begging to see the prospects in Houston. Still, another roster shuffle is likely in the coming days and weeks. But it could be September before Michael Fotynewicz, Nick Tropeano or others make their way to Houston. In fact, it’s more likely that OKC will find reinforcements from Corpus Christi before Houston gets significant help from OKC.

Only a month ago, the target was on Porter’s back. Now, the manager with a 92-169 record is an afterthought in most articles and conversations. Frankly, the organization is in uncharted territory. The last turn down that gravel road may lead the Astros to the Promised Land or another night with the frogs.

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67 comments on “MMQB: Astros are playing, but is anyone noticing?

  1. – Singleton should be on a short leash – unlike Springer who started off very slow and then took off, Jonathan has not. The question is – was he promised something to sign that contract? Who to go to? Kike!
    – Kike has been great every place he has played – but CF is a stretch.
    – The biggest question at the deadline will be – will Luhnow try to sell off a few veterans – again. I’m saying he can’t resist.
    – Yes – we seem to be totally missing “veteran” help in the front office. And that seems to count in management like it does on the field.
    – Who / what is traded will drive the callups in the next few weeks. Question – if Feldman is traded do they call anyone up or does it mean both Peacock and Obie are in the rotation?
    – Porter is like some scandal in the news that gets over shadowed by the latest celebrity death or mass shooting. He can fly under the radar right now.

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  2. No fan of Porter here, but when he has a short bench and has to start a couple guys hitting below .200 – does it make any difference where they play? As so many have commented this year, this team has either a weak bench or NO bench. And the cavalry arrives riding on a burro.

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  3. I read an article in The Oklahoman this morning that was about Nick Tropeano. In the article Tropeano admits that some of his inconsistency issues last year were because of the tandem system the Astros used and that he is pitching better this year because of being in a regular 5-day rotation.

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    • I’m hoping Feldman gets moved. Otherwise, Tropeano might be out of innings by the time September rolls around. Unless he gets in trouble for being quoted in a newspaper. I think that’s against house rules.

      Singleton is lost out there. This is a guy that generally put the bat on the ball in AAA with 42 BB’s and just 52 K’s. But he’s missing more than Carter does and is very tentative around the bag. I’d send him down based on the damage that might be getting done to his already fragile psyche.

      It’s pretty ugly right now. If Fowler remains out for a lengthy period of time, and it appears to be more and more the case, this is an offensive offensive team. I suspect Hernandez will correct down soon and Marwin always has. Nice to see Enrique’s spunk though. And it’s looking more and more like a lost year for Castro.

      Maybe we’ll see some roster shuffling in the coming weeks, but there are not that many new faces obviously ready to make the jump.

      Could be a real grind of a summer..

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  4. What a mess it is. I wish someone had the answer . We dont count, Crane is a chump, Lunhow and his braniacs Clueless . Start over with successful proven baseball people. How ridiculous have to send Singleton down, for what Krauss. A mess.

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  5. Chip’s Question: How much longer does Jon Singleton get in Houston?

    Alas, Jon Singleton is the least of our worries. Who on earth is he blocking – or taking ABs away from – that is capable of any better performance? Perhaps we could just pencil him against in the 8-hole between Kike and Marwin, and give him a chance to figure it out. Occasionally we could rest him with Jesus Guzman. But please, no Chris Carter in the field.

    After all, for the past three years or so we have effectively accepted a new Mendoza line in Houston – at somewhere around .150. We have become the one team every arbitration-eligible or Free Agency-year pitcher wants to face in order to build up his k/bb, k per 9, and IP stats.

    The MLB players association and player’s agents should hush their slander and start thanking their lucky stars they still have the Astros in the league to kick around. We make them all look so much better than they are.

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  6. Good Post Mr Bill . I just saw a post that last week while the deadline was coming Lunhole was with his family vacationing in Mexico. It probably didn’t matter at all, but perception. I hope people are ringing Nolan’s phone of the hook and asking why he is part of this, aren’t you embarrassed. If ‘Im Nolan and Reid I’m having a big time meeting with Crane, without Lunhole in the room.

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  7. Singleton is the future. He needs to work it out.
    Porter’s outfield positioning was a head scratcher yesterday. I know he’s got half a team to fill a full lineup, but he adds to the mess.
    I think Luhnow makes one trade, and it’s not a blockbuster.
    Hey, remember when we wanted a new manager, a new GM, a bunch of new players? Man were we stupid.
    I’ve had enough with help from below. Unless someone is injured, I say we wait to September to bring anyone up.

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    • Conrad Gregor 1b Lancaster 180AB’s since promoted 12Hrs 45 Rbi’s OPS 1.126. I know its the Hanger just saying. I know I’m in the minority, but a great Astro team doesn’t have Domingo at 3rd or Singleton at 1st. IMHO

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      • The stats you give about Gregor are the ones that will be inflated in Lancaster. But the stats that don’t necessarily get inflated are the .367 batting average and the 27 walks versus only 25 strikeouts. That kind of stuff appears legit! Also, Gregor has not had Correa or Kemp batting in front of him to get him better looks at the plate. Right after he got there, the other two left.

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      • Domingo is 20 or 21 years old in AAA and he doesn’t play 3B he’s a corner outfielder and he has massive raw power…Singleton is what 22? He struggled mightily at AAA in his first taste, he’ll come around and at least be a masher vs RH’ers. Platoon with Carter possibly. Give them time.

        I’d like to see Preston Tucker be given a chance this season as well as Matt Duffy who hits RH’ed and has played 20 games at 1B in AAA this season (platoon?).

        The Stro’s are going to be in a huge 40 man roster crunch this year and the coming years in for the rule 5 draft….gotta see who can get the job done or possibly trade some prospects for MLB proven talent.

        The future is Teoscar Hernandez in the OF, he’s the real deal – he has been compared to Springer tools wise. But he like, Springer and Santana both strike out a lot. Key is BB rate and BABIP with SLG% – Late 2015 call up depending on K rate, but hits for high avg like Springer did in minors.

        Rio Ruiz at 3B is 20 and is improving every year, when he was drafted in the class with Correa he had missed a lot of time due to a bad shoulder injury. He’s recovered and showing gap power now which hopefully he can translate in-to HR power to match his Raw Power potential. He’s very solid defensively and hopefully will be ready by 2016.

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  8. I think some of us are being too hard on Luhnow’s pick. Virtually everyone had Aiken 1.1. It was a sound pick. Not poor scouting unless all teams are terrible at scouting. My only objection is as a GM he should determine the value of the pick and stick with it. To all but the most loyal Luhnow flunkies, it looks like he was trying to stick it to a 17 year old, and stuck it to the Astros instead. And NO, he does not deserve to be “fired” over this. But I bet there is a “warning” in his personnel file today. And he needs to get busy on the trade deadline. He has $7 Million to play with per Crane.

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    • So what does it take to get him fired as a major league GM? A bad record on the major league level? Embarrassing the entire organization with this years 1.1? His admission that he messed up last year’s 1.1 by handling him wrong? Signing a reliever for 3.3 million who is injured and hasn’t played? Signing Guzman and him being terrible? Bringing up Santana and sending him down four games later? Getting his beloved Ground Control hacked and getting other GM’s in trouble? How about Springer being kept down for bad reasons and then bringing him up too late to salvage the season? How about having a pitching system that keeps starters in the minors from going deep into games, while all your major league starters are having trouble going deep into games? How about swearing by your shortstop after his terrible debut last year and then he’s worse this year? How about having the worst DH in the league last year and then naming a DH who takes four months to get his average up to .200 this year. How about your GM bragging about the bullpen being improved, even though it has been the worst bullpen in the majors all year?
      What does it take for a GM to mess up enough to get fired? So we have the best minor league system, but have the 12th best winning percentage in the minors? What’s up with that? Maybe Jeff needs to give himself a contract extension. Looking good!

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      • Aiken’s non signing will be a blessing in disguise IMO. His UCL is very short which will tear with repetitive motion over time. The kid is 17 and throws 95+ with hard breaking stuff, its going to snap. R.A. Dickey was drafted in 1993 by the Rangers with the 16th pick – he had a deal for over 800k on the board….MRI show he DID not have a UCL at all….they offered him 75k….he took it. (He was a college senior). Point is Aiken was ticked that 1 he thought he was already giving the team a discount at 6.5 mil when the slot value was 7.9 or so so they could over slot his friend Nix at 1.5 million so when the 3.1 mil offer came he probably just said ‘#$#@$# the Astros’ (Nix is a hard thrower mid 90s but is extremely raw) and Marshall was no bet on signing regardless. Point is all three are high schoolers, with Aiken being the closest to the majors, which at BEST would be 3 years but more than likely when he was 21-22. If he injures his elbow that sets him back another year. He could also just be another “Todd Van Poppel” the can’t miss prospect that misses. Did Lunhow and company blow it? I don’t think so, out of a scale of 1-10 i give it a 3 on the effects of the rebuilding project. By the time the Astros have Hader, Smith, Tropeano, McCullers, Folty, Feliz, Velasquez (stay healthy) by 2016 Aiken and Nix would stil be in A or A+ ball at 19-20 years old.

        The advisor for Aiken who is also Nix’s advisor is the one who blew the pooch. He shouldn’t have sent Nix to Houston for a physical before AIken. Also, no one has disputed the abnormality of the short UCL on Aiken’s MRI. Aiken ‘feels’ fine and he isn’t injured…yet. Close the advisor really bad mouthed Lunhow and company but he’s the one (or Aiken) who messed up the entire thing. How stupid could you be as a 17 year old to turn down 5 million signing bonus when you have an abnormality in your left elbow? Yes he can go to JUCO this year and be in the 2015 draft, but after this debacle he won’t get 1.1 and definitely won’t be picked 1.2 by the Stro’s he’ll be lucky to get a 5 mil signing bonus ever again. Also you have to put in effect the money he’s leaving on the table for not getting his playing days started…in theory he would make it to the Majors a year sooner if he’da signed this year which would have started his clock and his years to arbitration. If he’s that good, he’s leaving 10+ more million on the table plus the 5 million dollar bonus. And if he decides to spend 3 years at UCLA he could be leaving a huge FA contract on the table.

        Regardless, next years class is very very talented not just pitching heavy either. Having 1.2 and probably another one in the top 5 with the largest Money Pool will make 2015 draft possibly the most dynamic draft in a long time.

        On not bringing Springer up….salvage what season? LOL Springer was brought up way before the Super 2 deadline so was Singleton (when he agreed to a MLB Contract) when we had/have no chance of competing until at least 2015 probably 2016. The Pirates who had a playoff calibre team but a massive hole in RF with Travis Snider and Tabata yet had a ‘superstar’ prospect Gregory Polanco in AAA hitting over .400……he was called up after the draft and Super 2 deadline.

        On Springer they offered him a solid major league contract over 40 million I believe and he declined. Singleton was offered a major league contract as well and accepted, the deal on the surface looks like a ‘steal’ for the Stros, but with incentives its worth up to 30 million I believe. Essentially they bought out a couple Arbitration years and added performance incentives.

        On Santana, he was on a tear in AAA – and has dynamic power. He only stayed 4 games because he struck out 11 out of 13 plate appearances, clearly overmatched. But, isn’t his call up what Stro’s fans have been calling for? Bring up the talent! Santana clearly isn’t ready he is 21 won’t be 22 for another month, but he got a cup of tea (brisk though) and now he knows what to expect and what to work on while in AAA this time around. Since returning to the minors he’s k’d 18 times in 41 plate appearances with 7 bb’s

        On Singleton, in 2013 when he had a .980+ ops in AA and was promoted to AAA he was horrible – actually mirrors this season in the majors quite a bit. in 290 plate appearances he struck out 90 times with only 40some bb’s he hit .220 with a .347 SLG percentage……he was 21. Move on to 2014, Singleton adapts and in 240 plate appearances only has 52 k’s to 42 bb’s with 14 bombs and a .267 avg .390 OBP and over .550 slg%. He is 22 won’t be 23 until sept 18th.

        BTW Springer is 24 and will be 25 in September……

        Pitching….Folty isn’t ready and no reason to start his clock – I’d love for him to have a run of good outings and have a september call up, and show that he can be a mid rotation or better starter and then exit spring training as one of the starting 5.

        Tropeano – has improved every facet of his game while pitching in the PCL and deserves a shot at the rotation. I would expect to see him called up but the problem is he isn’t on the 40 man roster and they would need to designate someone or trade to create an opening for him.

        Preston Tucker is also not on the 40 man roster, nor is Folty…Fontana, Kemp, Conrad, Deshields, Duffy, Hader, etc They do not have have a lot of players they could designate, David Martinez is one….they could release Guzman….other than that they have to many people on the 15 Day D.L. – 5 that count against the 40 man. If they trade Sipp for a couple young minor leaguers or Qualls (which I think Lunhow might have been driving his price up with Qualls being 35 and dominant saying he’s almost untouchable to trade – with what Street and Soria got on the open market Qualls could bring back a nice haul). They could try to sneak Peackock, Paul Clemens, Asher Wojo, Alex White, Rudy Owens through waivers…to clear some space. They could outright Alex Presley when he comes off the D.L. Martinez is really the only one I see the Astros releasing to clear space on the 40 man until the offseason though. I’d like to keep control of Owens, Wojo, White (pitching for first time since 2012, gotta give the former top prospect a season to adjust, pitched well tonight 4 ip 1 hit 1 run) Not a fan of Peacock or Buchanan long term but they’re young and have shown flashes, I would try to include them in a trade along with Sipp or if someone would take Downs for young prospects/minor leaguers. Clemens I’d do the same but if I couldn’t find a trade partner I’d outright Clemens and Downs. To make room for Tropeano and Folty on the 40 man before the rule 5 draft and call them up in Sept.

        Rant is over, yes the Aiken situation was a PR mess. But MLB backed the Astros in their dealings and the Players Union is silly they agreed to this draft style/slotted money and they DON”T even represent the players in the draft….Tony Clark is ridiculous.

        I for one was hoping the Astros would draft Rodon over Aiken…..I prefer proven college arms or the advanced High School bat…..I wanted Bryant at #1 last year over Appel.

        Rant over, Lunhow built the Cardinals – be patient their will be bumps along the way. Their is talent on the way, but its not ready yet…..see Santana and Singleton.

        Hopefully trade Sipp and/or Qualls, possibly find a taker for Veras…..and I wouldn’t mind trading Feldman if the price is right, but he gives quality innings. The players aren’t going to tank, but I sure would like to have a 1.2 and a 1.1-1.5 pick as well.

        Later

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  9. Three thoughts:
    1. What is the ordering on our 40 man roster in terms of ‘if this player gets traded, we riot…’ To ‘let us help him pack his bags…’?
    2. Carter stole a base last night…?!?!?
    3. How long do we stay above the Rangers in the standings? Is the brain trust hoping to eke out another 1.1? The players won’t tank…their financial future is predicated by wins and production.

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  10. I asked last week and I’ll ask again. Where, oh, where is Jesus Guzman? He’s not on the DL, he isn’t in OKC, he hasn’t played since the break and, in fact, he has only 3 ABs since July 1. With others not playing regularly but still on the roster (Castro and Springer), how do you let Porter play one man down? That’s bizarre! Or am I just missing something?

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    • I can’t remember if it was Saturday or Sunday on the telecast – but they said Guzman was originally supposed to play – but that he had some issue with his back.
      In the last 2-3/4 months he has 15 hits including 2 doubles,no HRs and 4 RBIs. They could call up their worst AAA guy and get more production I think.

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  11. Singleton is getting paid more than Springer AND Altuve. He can not be sent down because it would make the “brain trust” look inept. (I am sorry, I believe this post is redundant)

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  12. Well, here is a weird stat. Folty is 6-1 pitching on the road this year and 1-5 at home and his era is three runs higher at home. I wonder what is the cause of that. Has he been unlucky to start against good teams at home and lesser teams on the road or does he just have something distracting him at home.
    Folty pitches at home tonight.

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      • Something is definitely amiss. He gave up 8 earned runs in 4 innings at home tonight. How come nobody is fixing this or talking about it. He’s our top pitching prospect and his record at home is really bad. And on the road it’s really good. This isn’t something that is happening for no reason.

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  13. The Brady Punch. [The Audience will please refrain].

    Here’s the story . . . of a kid named Brady
    who got drafted by the Astros number one.
    Pretty soon his youthful eyes were seeing millions;
    he thought the deal was done.

    But here’s the story of a guy that shady.
    this guy was thinking of some millions of his own.
    He was counting on this kid to be his stallion;
    a Clayton Kershaw clone.

    Till the one day when the young man saw a doctor,
    and he found the poor dude’s UCL was whack.
    Over six M dropped to three – he got insulted.
    he wouldn’t call Crane back.

    Now the Astros have a huge PR disaster.
    And the press is really eating Luhnow’s lunch.
    Meanwhile in Astro-land our broken hearts are Aiken,
    And our Kool-Aid’s turned into Brady Punch.

    The Brady Punch. The Brady Punch –
    Now our Kool-Aid’s turned into Brady Punch.

    Good night Florence Henderson, wherever you are.

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  14. I should point out that I dread off days. I fully believe the teams and sport in general would benefit from more of them, but I don’t care really about the results of any games the Astros aren’t playing in.

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    • Which is why – no matter what anyone thinks of Crane / Luhnow or whoever – that I don’t want the solution to be for the club to go belly up and slide out of town. The NFL was dead to me when the Oilers left until the Texans showed up. The only time I got excited was to root against the Oiler/Titans in the Super Bowl and that is a sick feeling.
      Now, if somebody else bought the team and kept it here or minority owners bought out Crane – that would not bother me in the least.

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      • Dan, MLB won’t let the club leave this market. There is far too much upside with this market. But I’m pretty confident the minority owners could afford to buy out Crane if that’s what they wanted to do. There is plenty of money in Houston.

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  15. Just curious about DanP last comment. As far as anyone knows – are the Astros on Comcast and getting paid -0- for the rights currently? That hardly sounds fair even in bankruptcy and I have to stretched a Looonnnggg way to begin to worry about Crane getting paid. Have heard nothing for a long time about the Judge’s ruling or whatever he was going to do back in April.

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    • The last thing I heard they were not getting paid for rights. I’m not concerned about Jim Crane – but I don’t want some crazy option where they leave town ala Bopert.

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  16. Singelton is staying up, because he is SUPPOSED to be “the” guy at first,
    I don’t see anyone knocking the door down in OKC to take his place. Where
    is Guzman? Probably on Bo Porter’s sh-t list, because the guy is invisible.
    It was reported that he had a back strain putting on his cleats…….ARE YOU
    KIDDING ME??!!! Nah…. I don’t buy it. Crane will let Luhnow stick around for another year or two, since he has NO idea what the plan IS. Until or unless
    he get’s some outside advice about how Luhnow is screwing up……he stays.
    Jim Crane owns a LOT of company’s, and this team is just one of them…….
    so if he thinks Jeff Luhnow is costing him money, he’s leaving the on the field
    product to him. NOW…….if Nolan Ryan starts making noise about Luhnow
    THAT might get his attention, but I wouldn’t count on it. Lord I hope these
    guys don’t lose another 112 games again this year, or MLB, might tell us
    to take a hike!!!

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  17. There have been several comments about the pitching “prospects”. Folty, Appel, Wojo-alphabet and others. While the bulk of the criticism is on the tandem system, it’s important to remember also that these guys are … well, prospects. With the system being ranked in the top 5 in many rankings, you’d think that most of the prospects would pan out. They’re still prospects. Look at Singleton. Are you beginning to wonder? How many of the prospects at AAA will actually be serviceable or regular major leaguers? We’ll see. Just remember: They’re still only prospects!

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    • I agree we have to many hopeful prospects that we all have probably put to many unrealistic expectations on because that is the plan. Don’t sign or pay for proven players, build the minors and develop your own stars. I think you need both/balance and we don’t. I’m not sure you can achieve that balance on a 40 mill payroll?

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      • Kevin, I wouldn’t disagree on the “balance” part of your statement. Part of it is that you have to get lucky every now and then. So far, the Astros have had zilch in the way of luck. Blame the tandem system if you’d like too, but part of it is injuries and some prospects just simply not living up to expectations. The Astros have indicated — and so far lived up to the promise — that they would increase budget year-to-year. I’d expect that to be the case again next year. Remember, they’re actually spending *$50 million* this year, counting the $5.5 million they’re on the hook for on Wandy’s salary. That’s why they call it a 5-year plan. Next year, budget increases, another prospect or two makes their way to the top and the plan progresses. That’s the “plan”, anyway. Stay tuned.

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    • I’m not overly concerned on Singleton. He did the same thing adjusting to AAA. He’s chasing pitches he didn’t in the minors and just needs to adjust.

      As for the pitchers, not everyone can remain a starter. At some point you will see some big arms in the system move to the bullpen or be traded.

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    • Yes Chip, that’s why I’m dubious when people rank our system as one of the best in the game. And we always hear things like, “when he’s ready”……Heck, most of the guys, the great majority of guys in our system will never be ready. That’s why they call them prospects.

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  18. .135/ .231/ .240/ .471
    .295/ .360/ .591/ .951

    I’d be more concerned about Singleton if I had not read the splits above. That .135 average comes when hitting against righties. The stats on the second line, although in a limited sampling, are against lefties.

    The guy has got to be able to hit right handed pitching at some point doesn’t he?

    Although he only hit .244 against righties in OKC this year, he still posted a .401 OBP and a .952 OPS against them.

    I don’t have access to Singleton’s minor league splits from past seasons, but I’ve got to figure he’s hit righty pitching in the past.

    Has there ever been a left handed batter that has gone through a career who could hit lefties but not righties?

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  19. So anyway, one more thing about Singleton. If someone can convince him to go with a pitch, he’s got plenty of gap power for left center and more than enough to loft a batch of dingers into the Crawford boxes.

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  20. From 2011 through 2013 he always hit righties at a rate of 75 to 80 points higher than lefties. So his not hitting righties now seems to be not normal based on his history.

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  21. I also didn’t notice a few things about our former Astros.

    Chris Johnson looks to be back to being the old CJ we all knew and loved. That 3% BB rate is down right scary bad. His batting average is back to earth. And he isn’t exactly demonstrating a lot of power.

    Lyles was great for about 45 innings, downright awful for about 20, and is now on the 60 day DL. Barnes is tearing it up. By that I mean his stats look like Brandon Barnes like stats. Even if Fowler hasn’t proved to be as durable as hoped, we obviously got the better end of the stick.

    The good news is if we are looking for a left fielder, Carlos Lee is available.

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    • Johnson has already been thrown outta the game three times this year.
      His mouth get’s him in a LOT of trouble. Throwing your helmet and cussing out
      the home plate umpire won’t win you too many friends in baseball.

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    • No change in those stats last night. But I guess Jesus Guzman showed him how he’s supposed to do it against lefties [0-4, 2Ks, 1 BB]

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  22. And aliens have taken over Chris Carter – in July he has a.306 BA and 1.087 OPS before getting 2 hits and 2 RBIs in his first 2 ABs tonight.

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  23. Good things today. Hoes with a game winning home run. Bullpen with four scoreless innings. Ober with a quality start. Beating the best team in MLB at their home park.
    Other notes. Appel’s next start pushed back three days, obviously with the intent of getting him out of the Hangar and on the road. He starts Thursday night.
    Lancaster hanging in there with the best record in Cal League, even after losing a ton of their best players to promotions and injuries.
    OKC Greeneville and CC with losing records for the year through last night’s games and Quad Cities one game over .500. Lancaster and Tri-City keeping the Astros affiliates in the black.

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  24. I’m almost positive that I was the only 65yr. old woman who stayed up until 2:00 am
    listening to these guys play! Who is this guy cHRis Carter? ? DAAAANG! He drove in the only two runs we had in the 3rd. and if Altuve had not called out in the first we would have had a couple of more runs! The boys stood tall last night, and Oberholtzer didn’t blink!! BUT………we need Springer back BIG time.

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  25. Seemed that every guy out of the pen last night for the A’s had an ERA in the 2’s. So, I just took a quick look:

    Fernando Abad, 29, .087 WHIP, salary, 526K
    Lucas Gregerson, 30, 1.05 WHIP, salary, 5.07 Million
    Dan Otero, 29, 1.04 WHIP, salary, 503K
    Sean Doolittle, 27, 066 WHIP, salary, 505K
    Drew Pomeranz, 25, 1.24 WHIP, salary, 505K
    Ryan Cook 27, 1.29 WHIP, salary, 505K

    Doolittle is the only guy from within the A’s system. Obviously we know where Abad has been. The A’s lead their league for several reasons, but how do they find a way to build such an effective pen for a lot less money than it costs to provide the worst pen in baseball? We were talking about luck the other day. Well, it’s not luck. It’s a much smarter organization than our own. Luhnow continues to get schooled.

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    • My guess is some is also management of those people, putting them in the right spots, in the best matchups, and assigning them to their proper roles. LaRussa made a living out of having 5 guys in his bullpen with sub 3 ERA’s at a time, and none of them were big names with overpowering stuff. There is a science to it.

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      • No doubt Steven, all of the above, and despite all of the technology and statistical information utilized, we still build the worst pen in the league. It’s a science that our guys are obviously not familiar with.

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      • But even with Stats and tech and scouting, how do you make the mistake of taking valuable money, of which the Astros have little at present, and sign a guy who is injured. Jesse Craine’s signing could be the worst signing ever, because you used good money for a guy who may never wear your uniform and his signing kept you from getting one or two guys who could have helped. That move seems as dumb as playing craps with round dice.
        An even better question is: how can Abad be so good in Oakland and so bad for us for so long. Don’t we have anyone who can develop pitchers?
        An even better question might be: Who is the doctor who told Luhnow that Crain would be fine? Surely, our doctors looked at him. Don’t call you what?
        An even better question might be: Where in the world is that big time arm for our bullpen, considering all the trades, all the signings and all the draftees and all the players we have had come through here. Other teams are running 96-98mph guys out there all night long. Folty is the only guy in AAA with that kind of potential and he has steam coming out of his ears at the mention of him in the bullpen. And all our other guys down there are 88-92 mph guys max and they’re not getting too many AAA guys out lately.
        Pitching, is a problem.

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