The Astros are 3-0 in August and should be getting some of their future back soon. Meanwhile, with 50 games to go, the Astros are on pace…
- For 68 wins, a 17-game improvement over 2013.
- To hit 178 HRs, the most since 2004 (187).
- For 1.8 million attendance, the most since 2011 (2.067 million).
- To get pick #4 in next summer’s draft to go along with the #2.
Here are some other thoughts as the team takes one of its two off days in the month of August.
Chris Carter: Transformation or fluke?
- With every passing day, it grows harder to call Carter’s run a fluke. His stats have followed an improving trend since May 24, basically a third of the season. He picked up the pace in July, hitting .289 with a .355 OBP, .314 BAbip and 1.005 OPS. Strikeouts are slightly down and the 27-year-old has taken to hitting in the three hole. Can he continue the next third of the season?
Reflections on the Cosart trade.
- As the dust is settling on a frenzied trade deadline, the one trade the Astros made (Jarred Cosart to Miami) seems to favor the Astros…today. With a first-rounder from 2013 (Collin Moran), a major league ready OF (Jake Marisnick) and a pitcher, one of the biggest acquisitions may have been the 35th pick in the draft. That means the Astros will likely have 4 of the top 50 picks next June. Now, if Austin Wates turns into Michael Bourn and Cosart corrals his wildness, the scope of this trade may change.
Clock is ticking…
- Dexter Fowler and George Springer are due to return soon and another roster shakeup could follow with their activations. Any of the four current outfielders on the roster (Robbie Grossman, Domingo Santana, L.J. Hoes or Jake Marisnick or Marc Krauss) could find themselves in Oklahoma City in the coming days. Perhaps the bigger question is where to hit Springer and Fowler. With Jose Altuve hitting nicely in the leadoff role and Carter solidifying himself in the three spot, it’s likely Fowler will slot into #2 and Springer back into the cleanup or fifth spot?
Are Astros done trading?
- Most likely, yes. Like most teams, Houston will put the majority of its players through waivers, pulling most back if they are claimed. Honestly, due to the low salary paychecks, many players will be claimed. Players like Scott Feldman, Fowler, Chad Qualls might cause teams some pause for a variety of reasons. Otherwise, don’t expect movement.
Is September really next month?
- Frankly, most of the players who will be on the roster this time next month have already been in Houston at some point in 2014 so new call ups should be minimal. There should be no surprises. Asher Wojciechowski and Alex White haven’t pitched well, Josh Zeid and maybe Matt Albers (yeah, right!) should be back from the DL, so pitching should take care of itself. Nick Tropeano should get a look-see. Add C Max Stassi (he’s on the 40-man) and another position player or two and that should be it.
And, to give you something to do on the day off, here’s a return of the either/or for you.
- Who would you rather have in the rotation: Brad Peacock, Jake Buchanan or Tropeano?
- Best chance to join the rotation in April 2015 (for the first time): Tropeano, Mark Appel, Wocjiechowski, White, Thomas Shirley or someone else?
- Who will lead the Astros in home runs this season: Springer (currently 20) or Carter (22).
- Of the players traded last week, which did you hate most to see go: Wates, Cosart or Kike Hernandez?
- Which player will have the biggest impact upon their return from the DL: Fowler, Springer or Albers?