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Half full / Half empty: Two looks at the Astros


I thought I would steal from the best and present a take on the Glass Half Full Guy as we totter through the last 6 weeks of the season. So, here is a Point/Counterpoint between Glass Half Full and Glass Half Empty Guys or Gals. And to make a classic SNL reference, there will be no “Jane, you ignorant slut” arguments allowed.

  • Glass Half Full (GHF) – Hey, the Astros are on pace to beat their 2013 win total by 17 games. And considering they have been winning about 46% of their games since early May – they could easily end up better than that!
  • Glass Half Empty (GHE) – Boy, talking about setting the bar low – we are now excited about a potential 68-94 record. After the original expansion team hangover (when the Astros were losing 96-97 games for their first 4 seasons) do you know how many times the Astros lost 94 or more games between 1966 and 2010? Twice – in 1975 and in 1991 they lost 97 games both seasons. We are so numb from the 3 previous seasons of futility that we think this is good.

 

 

  • GHF – Just look at how improved that starting rotation is. The dip from 4.72 to 4.12 is an almost .60 ERA improvement over 2013. And the current starting 5 of Scott Feldman, Collin McHugh, Brett Oberholtzer, Dallas Keuchel and Brad Peacock have an even better combined ERA of 3.93. This is a good base to build the club.
  • GHE – I grant it that the starting pitching is much improved , but still tied for 9th in the AL and nearly a full run behind the 3.16 ERA of the Seattle Mariners amazing starting staff (maybe we need to lower the pitching mounds again – at least for the M’s). What bothers me is that the guy who is building the club as you reference – Jeff Luhnow – went out and concentrated big time on improving the bullpen in the off-season, bringing in Chad Qualls, Matt Albers, Jesse Crain, Jerome Williams and Anthony Bass to shore it up. The result of that was a bullpen ERA that was 4.92 and last in the AL in 2013 and currently stands 4.96 and last in 2014. So far the best bullpen performances (if we ignore Albers meager 10 IP contribution) have been from Qualls and 3 waiver pickups in Tony Sipp, Jose Veras and Darrin Downs. Thank God, Luhnow did not concentrate on improving the starting rotation.

 

 

Anyways – this was just a discussion starter. Are you more a GHF or a GHE kind of person?

 

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

106 comments on “Half full / Half empty: Two looks at the Astros

  1. Becky
    August 21, 2014

    I’m still a half full kinda girl……..if the guys who have been in the lineup for the last few weeks, are getting it done, what do we do when Springer (if he ever does) comes back? When Presley comes back? I’ve nearly forgotten what Springer even LOOKS like……..Grossman has been a VERY GOOD fill in while Springer has been out. So yeah there’s a LOT to be happy about when we get our regulars back!!!
    The Yankees website is *STEAMING*, and I love it! Let’s go for a SWEEP!
    And I haven’t even mentioned Jesse Crain or Matt Albers!!

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      I am usually a half full guy – I certainly am right now – though I have fun arguing both sides of the argument.
      Springer had 20 HR and 51 RBI in less than 1/2 a season (78 games). If he is back he is in the lineup period.
      If Presley comes back first, which is likely to happen – you put him in Krauss’ spot.
      I don’t think Springer comes back until after Sept 1 – so you won’t have to send anyone down.
      Outfield-wise, Grossman has earned a regular spot in my mind or at worse against rightys. Since the beginning of July he has put up a .268 BA / .393 OBP / .791 OPS. That OBP has been great especially in the leadoff spot.
      Marisnick has looked OK – I think he really needs some ABs down the stretch to work on his hitting.
      I think an OF of Fowler, Springer, Grossman down the stretch would be a solid offensive trio – and the defense would be good too.

      Like

  2. Dan P
    August 21, 2014

    It is kind of sweet reading about how the Yankees were supposed to fatten up against their “soft” schedule at home and they are turning out to be the soft ones (basically a quote from the daily news)….
    Day game today – Keuchel will be manning the broom!

    Like

  3. Dan P
    August 21, 2014

    Of course the Yankee (spit!!) fans think the playoffs are a birthright. Between Jeter’s rookie season (1995) and 2012 – they made the playoffs 17 of 18 seasons and the year they missed they won 89 games. But right now they are likely to miss the playoffs for the 2nd straight season – something they have not seen since the 1982 to 1993 drought (I don’t count 1994 when they would have made the playoffs if there had been one…) Oh horrors!

    Like

    • BrianT
      August 21, 2014

      I love when the Yankees (spit!) miss the post season. That’s as good as Notre Dame having a losing football season (and I’m Catholic!).

      Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      I’m the same way Brian T – also Catholic and also sick of Notre Dame having their own TV deal, etc. A long time in purgatory awaits me I guess…..

      Like

  4. 1oldpro
    August 21, 2014

    I think the perspective one has now depends on the view one had at the beginning of the season. With an outfield of Grossman, Fowler and Hoes in it, an infield with Villar and Krauss in it, a rotation with Harrell in it and a bullpen with Raul Whatever in it, the Astros looked horrible and they were horrible.
    But the Astros are now a team that went into Boston and disappointed us because they should have swept the Sox. The two games they lost were given away by starting a pitcher who shouldn’t be there and the other was lost by a bullpen which should have been better. They took the first two games in Yankee stadium from a team of veteran highly paid players fighting for a playoff spot and they did it without their young heart Springer.
    I’m pretty damn proud of my Astros right now.
    They acquired Marisnick and have a starting pitcher in AAA who should fight for a spot in the rotation next Spring, in Tropeano and they have given several young future stars their chance to get into the lineup.
    I think Nolan Ryan can help Luhnow assemble a better bullpen for next year and with a TV deal providing some money my glass is half full. Just don’t spoil my drink with talk of Jesse Crain helping us out next year. My ship has sailed away on that. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice….

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Good perspective Old pro – they are farther down the line towards a respectable team. It is unfortunate that between Qualls. Albers and Crain – only one helped them this season. If either Crain or Albers had also come through – I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to picture this team 5 wins or more better at this point. They have only 21 saves in 42 opportunities – that is dismal. But from past experience a bullpen should be more easily fixable than – say – a starting rotation.

      Like

      • BrianT
        August 21, 2014

        If we don’t blow even half of those blown saves (say 10), this is a different season. We’re not heading toward 60 wins, we’re heading toward 70 with talk of 80 being a very real possibility. And that’s if we’d still blown 11 saves.

        Fixing — really fixing — the bullpen needs to be Luhnow’s No. 1 priority this offseason.

        Like

    • Flash
      August 21, 2014

      OP you allude to something that I think needs to change starting next year. The Astros, even under Ed Wade, have begun the year starting a lot of lottery tickets in hopes they could meld into a winning team. Then by June those guys are gone, replaced by who we all thought would be better players and the team is double digits out of the race. That was fine when we didn’t really have better players, and the bet was perhaps a good one. Now we have good players, and Crane should have enough money to get a couple of legitimate FAs. Next year there isn’t any reason not to put a competitive team on the field from day one.

      Like

      • Dan P
        August 21, 2014

        I think a very good point Flash. They were 11-26 on May 10th and even with a bullpen that has more arsonists than firemen – they have been 43-47 ever since, which is competitive in my book.
        It is time to start the season with a gun that is as loaded as possible and leave the blanks at home.

        Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Dittos on the bullpen fix Brian T

      Like

  5. Devin
    August 21, 2014

    I’m GHE right now. Recall that I predicted Carter would find a groove peppering the right-center bullpen at MMP with home runs, cut down on his K’s, and put fear into opposing lineups. Instead, he did a great Carlos Lee impression (no production when it mattered) in the first three months before turning it on to thrill us with the first 30 HR (& counting) season by an Astro since 2007. If this is the guy that shows up in (where is our ST now? Still Kissimmee?) Then I’ll start throwing out predictions that Springer stays healthy, they make some “blastoff brothers” posters of the two, and Houston beats both Oakland and the California Angels of suspect geographic name changes in the standings next year. Then again, is this the real Robbie Grossman, or is it the guy who couldn’t pull above the Mendoza line that I kept calling “Rex”?

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Addressing Grossman – you have to realize he is just now getting to 500 ABs in the majors or about a full season’s worth. And it has been split into small inconsistent chunks with getting sent down and brought back up in 2013 and 2014.
      I could be easily wrong – but he is starting to look solid and comfortable up there with the consistent ABs and consistent spot in the order.
      I am hopeful on Carter – though I doubt he will ever be a low K hitter. I imagine the real Chris Carter is somewhere between the useless first 3 months of the season and the extremely productive last 2 months of the season. But I do believe the recent success is building his confidence – especially in tight situations.
      I can’t promise anything, but they both are in much better spots than two months ago.

      Like

      • Devin
        August 21, 2014

        It is dangerous to draw conclusions from small samples, but if Grossman has the same trend for a third year in a row we need to sell him to the Hiroshima Carp. That trend is an abysmal start, demotion to minors, recall, good enough production to justify a roster spot. Instead, we need to see good enough to justify a roster spot from the get-go.

        Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Hey Devin – you could be right, maybe he will always start the season this way and end up on an upswing – but at the beginning of 2013 he had 0 mlb ABs under his belt when he started and at the beginning of 2014 he had 230 or so mlb ABs under his belt. I would like to give the young man the benefit of the doubt – plus I think he would be one of our top 4 OFs heading into ST next year unless there is some kind of signing or trade.

      Like

      • Steven
        August 21, 2014

        It is just as dangerous to draw the conclusion from the small sample of his failed time also, especially given years of success at all levels prior to his inconsistent MLB audition. He is just getting comfortable. He has earned every opportunity to start in LF next year, bat 2nd, or even leadoff – though I prefer Jose there for the wheels – and let him go.

        Like

      • Dan P
        August 21, 2014

        Thanks Steven – you must be right if you agree with me – haha

        Like

    • Flash
      August 21, 2014

      Devin,

      I had a well thought out, heavily researched retort that somehow got lost in the ether. I’m not going to try and recreate it. But suffice to say, Carter and Grossman aren’t Carlos Lee (yet), and give them the necessary time to develop before cutting them loose.

      Like

  6. rj
    August 21, 2014

    catcher- serviceable, 1B- very young will get better, 2B- one of the best in the business, SS- oh lord. can villar figure it out alittle while we wait on correa, 3B- help on the way, OF- springer, fowler, marisnick, grossman, getiing there but could use another power bat. rotation- getting better, should be better next year. bullpen- divine intervention may be needed. bench- help needed.
    all in all much better than the last two years and moving forward. glass half full.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Nice concise summary rj. Good job.

      Like

  7. BrianT
    August 21, 2014

    When it comes to wins, I used to be half full, but now I’m slouching toward half empty. I want a competitive team. Not just competitive against the standard of recent futility. So 2015 had better be an 80-plus win season. Will that happen? I’m GHE on that.

    I’m a lot more “half full” on the rotation. In fact, I’m more like four-fifths full. Not a big believer in Peacock. As someone else — a poet and genius, I’m sure — said, and I’m paraphrasing here, I don’t put a lot of faith in starters who can’t seem to get out of any inning with less than 20 pitches.

    Getting relievers to come here must have been hard. Obviously. Luhnow was waving a wad of cash for bullpen help, and all he could get is former Astros and a guy who was injured. Yep, that’s slim pickin’s. The waiver pickups have been good (unless you count Farnsworth …) so that’s been nice. But the pitching staff is half full and half empty. I guess it just depends on the inning and the pitch count.

    I’m still half full on the farm system. Mainly because it is still early to harvest the crop. Still, this year has looked like a lot of weeds in the field, yet you look at Tony Kemp, some of the young pitchers (Hader, Velasquez) and you consider that the Correa setback is temporary, the Appel setback is probably temporary, well, I’m guessing we’ll see some good produce coming in 2015 and especially 2016.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      And folks there you are – the Brian T – Minnesota Farmer’s Almanac predictions for the player crops in 2015 and 2016….

      Like

      • BrianT
        August 21, 2014

        I’m not really a farmer.

        Like

      • Dan P
        August 21, 2014

        But you sure speak the language….

        Like

  8. Steven
    August 21, 2014

    I’m GHF. I know, the original GHE guy, but I like what the Astros have done since 2008. It was necessary given years, and I mean YEARS, of bad drafting. Something about the previous owner and spending money on scouting. He preferred to spend money on Clemens, Pettitte, Lee, etc., and it almost worked, as he did get to the finish line, the Sox were just better at the time. But we spent 6-7 years paying the penance.

    Now the team is fresh. Grossman is starting to show he can do in the majors what he was so consistent at doing in the minors, getting on base twice a game. Carter is becoming what Oakland hoped they were not giving up. So many people dumped on by bloggers early in the year are playing better – and the results are trending upwards.

    There will be hiccups. They are still young enough to have a 5 game losing streak. The pitchers are still young enough to let innings get away from them. the fielders are still young enough to occasionally throw to the wrong base, or make a base running error. There will still be times where we think ouch what happened. Just remember, reading baseball isn’t like other sports, its an analytical practice more akin to reading the stock market than it is its fellow sports. Search for the long term trend, not the short term success or failure, and to this point, considering where it started in 2008, the trend is starting to shift upwards. There will be bad weeks, just like the market, but the overall trend is going up.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      And there you go folks the Steven / Dave Ramsey Financial Times Predictions of the long term trends for the Astros’ organization…..

      Like

      • Steven
        August 21, 2014

        Glad to be of service. I still wouldn’t invest in them though. Give me a TV deal. Tired of fangraphs, time for a little ACTUAL baseball.

        Like

  9. Billy Castillo
    August 21, 2014

    Prediction…nest year we win about 75 games.

    That is, IF the bullpen is a bit better than this year. If it’s a lot better, we’ll have a winning record.

    Glass 3/4 full.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Nicely done Billy C – I like where this is headed….

      Like

    • daveb
      August 21, 2014

      Billy, if 75 is all we can expect for next year, I’m decidedly half empty.

      Like

      • Billy Castillo
        August 21, 2014

        That’s with the current bullpen or only a very.slightly improved bullpen. Otherwise, we’ll have a winning record easily.

        Like

      • Dan P
        August 21, 2014

        You meant 75 wins by the end of August – right?

        Like

  10. Becky
    August 21, 2014

    BrianT …..just hit on what we all know, not *everyone* who is available in the off season are willing to come here……no matter *what* money is offered to them.
    “Fixing” the bull pen is once again, our biggest problems.Matt Domenguez is
    not as important as the bullpen. If Moran keeps playing as he has, THEN we have
    to take a second look at third base. My hope is that Villar has had time to stop
    making stupid mistakes, but I would KEEP Marwin G. on the bench just in case.
    Still………the guys are playing better, and better in the last six weeks!

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Yes, so it would seem that you would need to trade for bullpen help or overpay (which I hate) for bullpen help.

      Like

  11. Becky
    August 21, 2014

    We (Luhnow) has to start thinking about who this organization needs to protect at the start of September. There are a LOT of guys that would be making other teams lick their chops at the thought of claiming. Who would YOU protect?

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Well, the key Becky is who is exposed to the Rule 5 draft if left unprotected – that is why Luis Cruz was put on the 40 man – not so much that he was one of the top 40 guys in the organization as he was someone who could be plucked. Springer was not on the 40 man because he could not be grabbed.
      This will be the most challenging protection time for Luhnow – though there are some obvious candidates (Guzman, Krauss, Hoes, Presley, White, Owens and others) to be exposed.

      Like

      • Steven
        August 22, 2014

        I hope they find a way to NOT expose Krauss, but with Carter already here there are obvious candidates over him to get on the 40 man. Maybe they can figure it out.

        Like

  12. BrianT
    August 21, 2014

    Did that game just end in 2 hours and 13 minutes? Wow, that’ll bring down the daily average.

    Like

    • BrianT
      August 21, 2014

      Of course, no pitching changes. Just three runs. Not a ton of base traffic. Pitchers who work quickly. No one trying to hold Matt Dominguez on first base.

      Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      When is the last time you saw a game where neither side drew a walk?

      Like

      • BrianT
        August 21, 2014

        I know, right?

        Like

  13. 1oldpro
    August 21, 2014

    Players I want to protect who are not on the 40-man now:
    Tropeano
    Torreyes
    DeShields
    Shirley
    Feliz
    Velasquez
    If I have to leave one off I leave off Shirley and hope nobody else wants a guy called Shirley.
    Players taken off to make room:
    Petit, because he’s 30 years old
    Guzman He’s 30
    Presley- He is 29
    Crain
    Albers-has team option for Three Million for 2015
    Cisnero

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 21, 2014

      I forgot Kraus to leave off

      Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      Not a bad set to protect – by my calculation they would all be eligible for the Rule 5 this time around.

      Like

  14. Dan P
    August 21, 2014

    Keuchel had a problem with a few batters in one innning and got the loss. Of course if he had given up 1 run or 11 runs it would not have made a difference because the Astros’ bats were colder than Bud Selig’s heart today.

    Like

    • kevin
      August 21, 2014

      Dominguez and Singleton still looking strong

      Like

  15. Becky
    August 21, 2014

    Was that Keuchel’s 4th. or 5th. complete game today? That make a TON of quality starts for our NEW “ACE”!!!

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      It is nice to rest the good end of the bullpen. And it feels good when the starter isn’t throwing his 60th pitch in the 3rd inning….
      Keuchel has been so solid.

      Like

  16. Becky
    August 21, 2014

    Oldpro……….You list is spot on, except I didn’t see Perez. Was he added last year,
    or do you think he is not worth protecting?

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      I don’t think they picture Perez as a likely Rule 5 pickup. His offense is just ok though his defense is good to very good.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 22, 2014

      I had him on the list, took him off when I remembered they didn’t protect him last year. I think somebody would grab him but they only can carry two catchers and I’m just not sure a team wants to guarantee him a 25 man roster spot for the entire season at the catcher position. That’s a big gamble on a guy who has never sniffed the majors. I think Perez might be ready for the backup role in Houston next season if they decided to trade a catcher. You really couldn’t criticize Perez for hitting .200 in the majors as a backup next year, when our starting catcher this year has hit only .220 all year and strikes out amongst the league leaders, can you?

      Like

      • Dan P
        August 22, 2014

        Perez vs. Castro 2014 is not a big step down offensively and he consistently throws out more than 30% of runners. If Castro 2013 re-appeared then it would be a big step down, but that guy is MIA right now.
        And Perez has consistently hit in the .260s and above in the minors – so he might do you better than .200 in the majors.

        Like

      • Billy Castillo
        August 22, 2014

        Heck Perez vs Castro 2012 wouldn’t be that much of a step down either. Castro’s 2013 season was a fluke

        Like

  17. rj
    August 21, 2014

    i agree dan. one of the best ways to compare pitchers to determine who is your ace, is complete games. i dont know how many he has (5-6?) but he leads the team no doubt. i would guess he also leads in innings pitched and possibly strikeouts.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 21, 2014

      He is the leader in wins, IPs and Ks – though McHugh will pass him back up in his next start in Ks.

      Like

      • drbill14
        August 21, 2014

        Keuchel not only leads the Astros in complete games with 5, he leads the league. Only Clayton Kershaw with 6 has more. Pretty good company.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dan P
        August 21, 2014

        Good stat Bill

        Like

  18. Becky
    August 21, 2014

    Appel’s line tonight:
    6 innings
    8 hits
    4 runs/ 3 earned
    1 walk
    7k’s
    Not bad, he’s getting better everytime he pitches.

    Like

    • drbill14
      August 21, 2014

      Good to see the nice K total but not so much the hit total. Overall works out to a 1.5 WHIP which is pretty mediocre but certainly a lot better than his Lancaster figures.

      Like

  19. Astro45
    August 22, 2014

    My guess is I’m G1/3FG. Record today. Ahead of Rangers, DBacks & Rockies in Wins. Within 3 wins of Phillies, Red Sox and Twins. Much improved over 2013 & start of 2014. Probably some are getting their MLB legs now. With 10 days to go, we don’t have too many that I see people demanding someone be promoted. Mostly lets “protect our prospects.” (Not a bad situation) But that means we are at least another couple years away. So if “Full” is making the playoffs, with improvement, move me to GHF next year.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 22, 2014

      Astro45 – Seems like a fairly measured response as they slowly wobble towards respectability and beyond.
      Interesting comment about September call-ups. One of my friends had asked me who I thought they would call-up. Looking at OKC – it is not like there are a bunch of guys breakijng down the door at this time. Do you recall Hoes, Villar and Santana? Do you give Perez a cup of coffee? Among starting pitchers – Tropeano has been the standout. Asher W. has poor numbers overall, but has been improving lately coming off his injury. Maybe you bring Stoffel up to see if he can help the bullpen.

      Like

  20. daveb
    August 22, 2014

    Yes Dan, Sclafani could be a Zobrist type utility guy at some point. He didn’t have a position to play in CC, same thing in OKC. He forced the issue. My kind of player. What do you do with a guy who has a .419 OBP and is hitting .338? You almost have to give him a shot. The really tough thing is, is there room on the 40 man roster for a guy who’s best position is second base, and probably projects as a part time player? I think he’s going to be a successful ML player somewhere. Could he challenge Dominguez for the third base job in 2015?

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 22, 2014

      Yeah – the position question is the biggest one with him. He sure is not playing a very good brand of 3B in the minors this season (8 errors in 66 chances – yuck). His ability to draw about as many walks as Ks and to get on base at a 40+% pace – sure are attractive. I guess we will see whether they give him a shot or send him Kike packing in a trade.

      Like

    • Steven
      August 22, 2014

      But he lacks power. When he gets to the majors he won’t be walked like he is in the minors. Ask Shuck, he can verify. I’ve never seen the guy play, or for that matter even seen a picture of him, but by reading all the lines im envisioning a shorter, 175 lbsish guy with defensive limitations – meaning utility is probably not in his future.

      He is also maintaining a .388 BABIP at AAA, something not even Tony Gwynn could repeat. His average has been very jumpy, but it has been jumpy in the upper half of the 200s at least.

      He has way too many limitations to me to be successful as a backup. He is almost in Grossman land, where the only place he helps you is getting 5 plate appearances so he can get on base twice. Otherwise, he isn’t going to make gold glove catches, he isn’t going to steal a bunch of bases, he isn’t going to hit a 3 run homerun on occasion, he doesn’t provide a matchup problem for an opposing manager, I’m just not sold on him,and you can thank J.B. Shuck for my pessimism.

      Like

      • Dan P
        August 22, 2014

        I understand, Steven – but I don’t think his OBP is fluky – it has been high everywhere he goes. I don’t see him as a starter, but as a sub – I could see it.
        But you provide some good provisos.

        Like

  21. uncleknuckle
    August 22, 2014

    The other guy of interest to me right now is Thomas Shirley. His last 7 appearances have all been out of the pen, and he’s given up no runs in each. Has he been told that his best path to the bigs is through the pen? Maybe we’re finally seeing Luhnow take a couple of guys from in house and make them into relief pitchers, at least temporarily.

    Like

    • Steven
      August 22, 2014

      I like Shirley. I think he has a future in MLB – and better than a LOOGY.

      Like

  22. Dan P
    August 22, 2014

    Well lefty releivers can certainly come in handy.
    Small sample at OKC for Shirley – but it is really weird how he had such an outstanding K to walk ratio at CC (8.1 K/ 9 IP vs. 1.8 BB / 9 IP) and is now walking almost as many as he K’s at OKC (5.1 K/ 9 IP vs 4.2 BB / 9 IP).

    Like

    • uncleknuckle
      August 22, 2014

      Dan, that could well be related to the fact that he’s suddenly thrust into a relievers role, rather than taking the hill to start the game…..pitching from the stretch?

      Like

  23. 1oldpro
    August 22, 2014

    Five Families, four grandkids under the age of four, 1500 square feet, 1 kiddee pool, one four-wheeler, one JD Gator, one sand pile, one fire ring, one swing,100 degrees, five moms who haven’t all been together since the last wedding.
    1 ice chest of wine, one ice chest of beer, one ice chest of ale and soda, ten gallons of milk.
    Two bathrooms.
    Help.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 22, 2014

      Oldpro – it sounds like you could use:
      A basement to escape to
      A garage to hide in
      A trip to the neighborhood sports bar
      A road trip
      A sudden call from your work asking you to go out of town on business
      A tall cold one from that ice chest….

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        August 22, 2014

        Saving grace: 30 acres of trees, one of those cold ones, and that Gator. Oh my! It’s going to be a weekend.

        Like

    • Devin
      August 22, 2014

      That’s not nearly enough beer or milk. Take the opportunity to make some resupply runs to keep your sanity.

      Could be worse, though. You didn’t mention people bringing their pets too!

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        August 22, 2014

        Grampa draws the line there.

        Like

  24. Dan P
    August 22, 2014

    Oldpro – hiding in the trees….oh well at least you live in a world where Jose Altuve is an Astro – that is a positive.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 22, 2014

      Dan, the kids who are always late for everything, just called to say they are going to be very late. Where’s that ice chest? Point me toward the forest!

      Like

    • Dan P
      August 22, 2014

      You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family – but you can hide from them

      Like

  25. Dan P
    August 22, 2014

    Why does uncle knuckle make me think of the Rock opera Tommy – didn’t he have an uncle knuckle?

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 22, 2014

      Ever since I was a young boy
      I had the Silver Boot.
      From Soho down to Brighton
      I never gave a hoot
      Then they got Josh Hamilton
      And our train, it wouldn’t toot
      That big, bad Yu Darvish
      Sure plays a mean FastBall!

      Like

  26. 1oldpro
    August 22, 2014

    I’m sorry, but I nearly choked on my watermelon when I read on MLB Trade Rumors that Wade LeBlanc might be one of the pitchers the Angels might consider to replace injured Garrett Richards. The thought just sends me into spasms. The Angels have the best record in baseball and considering that guy is like Sigourney Weaver buying “Alien” for a housepet.
    Hector Ambriz was released by the Padres today. Why aren’t they worried he will come back to haunt them bigtime?
    Tyler Greene has been playing against OKC for the El Paso Chihauhuas this week. Why does that seem like justification to me? In his deepest voice: “I’m a Chihauhua and proud of it”.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 22, 2014

      – If I were the Angels I think I would rather have Matt LeBlanc from “Friends”.
      – The “Alien”….ooh I saw Aliens (the second movie) in Chicago while on a business trip and I think it was the creepiest – most claustrophobic movie I ever saw. You are never sending me into deep space on a search and get destroyed mission – that is for sure.
      – Hector Ambriz – another blast from the recent past – he was one of those stalwart guys you would bring in to make things worse…
      – And are you making a Tyler “Ren” Greene reference here?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        August 22, 2014

        No, I’m saying that going from a Luhnow Cardinal to an Astros reject to an El Paso Chihuahua just seems like my idea of multiple bounces off the face of a cliff for such a pedigree as Tyler Greene. TeeHee!

        Like

  27. daveb
    August 22, 2014

    Steven, having a hard time posting again. Not sure what my name might end up being. Maybe you’re a bit gun shy after going all in on Shuck, and your deeper Sclafani stats don’t lie. I’m guessing he does not get protected on the 40 man and we lose him. I’m also going to say that he goes on to have at least a Keppinger type career, maybe better. The kid just finds away to keep a job, even after being disregarded every step of the way. I’d want him on my squad.

    Like

  28. 1oldpro
    August 22, 2014

    Sclafani was drafted in 2012 and is not eligible for the rule 5 draft and does not need to be protected.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 22, 2014

      So the good news is that we won’t lose Sclafani in the Rule 5 and the bad news is that they probably won’t put him on the 40 man any time soon since they won’t risk losing him…..

      Like

    • uncleknuckle
      August 22, 2014

      Thanks oldpro, here I was needlessly losing sleep over a non issue.

      Like

  29. 1oldpro
    August 22, 2014

    They need to protect guys who can be drafted. I don’t see the need to rush Sclafani. If they felt they needed a guy like him at this moment they would have not traded Kike.
    There are more pressing problems, like Feliz, who needs protecting because he was drafted young, but is still at low A ball. That is a dilemma now and next off season too, because there is a guy you don’t want to lose, but who also will tie up a spot on the 40-man two years before he is even near ready for the bigs. Which is what Luis Cruz is doing right now.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 22, 2014

      As good as Feliz is – would a team put a guy who has never been above A ball on their major league 25 man for the whole season?

      Like

  30. 1oldpro
    August 22, 2014

    That’s a terrific question and we don’t know the answer to it. If they thought he was good enough to use out of the pen like we used Fields before he was ready, they might draft him because once he makes it through the first year(maybe on the dl with a mysterious shoulder ailment for a few months) then they have his options for the remainder of his career and can send him to AAA the next year and he’s theirs.
    That’s why young pitching prospects get traded. Can you afford to tie up three spots on your 40-man for Velasquez, Cruz and Feliz, while waiting for them to be ready, which they certainly are not.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 22, 2014

      So which one is most likely to be protected and which traded

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        August 23, 2014

        I think they’ll trade Lyles and keep the three bears.

        Like

      • Dan P
        August 23, 2014

        OK – totally confused here op – are you flashing back to Jordan Lyles for us?

        Like

  31. Becky
    August 22, 2014

    I *love* games when the other team goes all crazy in an inning and the commit *2* errors! (((((((((( WE WIN))))))!

    Like

  32. Dan P
    August 22, 2014

    A game tonight where not that much happened until the last 1-1/2 innings. Peacock pitched well but for only 5 innings. The bullpen did the rest with a little help from the Indians.
    In the 8th the Indians get the first two guys and then carelessly run into 2 outs on the path. Then they throw it around in the 9th to let the go ahead run score. Singleton works it and works it and then cranks one to the opposite field to put it away. The Astros defense gets Qualls in trouble and then he makes the pitches to get out of it.
    The bottom of the order did the damage tonight.

    Like

  33. Becky
    August 23, 2014

    I know I’ve said this before………..but Marwin Gonzalez has stabilized this infield sooooo much since he’s been at short. He’s stable, and smart………give me a stable smart guy ANYDAY. That play bailed out Matty D. *AND* Singelton! Peacock might be going to the DL…..I vote for bringing back up Jake Buchanan to take his spot if that happens. I doubt they will start Folty, because of his innings limit, but ya never know.

    Like

    • uncleknuckle
      August 23, 2014

      Wouldn’t you rather see Tropeano at this point?

      Like

    • drbill14
      August 23, 2014

      Still can’t bring him up unless he’s on the 40 man. I would be shocked if we see Tropeano before next spring.

      Like

  34. Dan P
    August 23, 2014

    Marwin does not have the range of a Villar but he is solid and he has done a decent job offensively.
    I was reading that the Astros felt Peacock was tipping his pitches – dfferent delivery points for his fastball and curve – they cleaned that up and he had a very good start last night with no walks. Too bad if he gets put on he DL – came out with soreness to his arm in the 5th.
    So I’m betting it would be Buchanan – he has been ok in previous shots – if needed.

    Like

    • Becky
      August 23, 2014

      Dan…..are you as impressed with Brent Strom as I am? This guy has really helped
      our young pitchers a LOT.

      Like

    • Dan P
      August 23, 2014

      Yes – I am Becky. The pitchers seem to have a better idea plan-wise now than in the past. Look at how much better they are at coaxing ground balls and they seem to have much better control (overall). I know the starting rotation has shown a lot of improvement and the bullpen has not – but it is hard to improve the bullpen when there are so many injuries and you are throwing your 3rd and 4th level relievers out there.
      Keuchel has gone from a 5+ ERA / inconsistent to just barely above 3 ERA and going deep in games.
      McHugh has gone from a guy who looked bad in the majors to a very solid starter.
      Oberholtzer was bad the first time up this season and much better now.
      I am seeing a much more focused approach with the starters and that has made this team a nearly .500 team for the last 3+ months.

      Like

  35. uncleknuckle
    August 23, 2014

    Marwin is having a career year at the plate with .308 OBP and a .691 OPS. Not enough. Sure he’s steady at short, but average there. I’m in no may satisfied with what he’s provided. We need a better solution in 2015.

    Like

    • Astro45
      August 23, 2014

      UK (all you other aliases 🙂 We can do better, but right now he is putting up similar hitting to Villar at AAA and his fielding % is better. Plus MG has played every position except pitcher and catcher. We just don’t have anyone to take his place and no one in the near wings. (I agree he probably having a career year, but he is only 25 and again, right now, is hitting better than Jeb Lowrie) Let’s hope this is a new norm or floor for him.

      Like

    • Devin_
      August 23, 2014

      134 games into the season we have four position players who have hit triple digits in games played – Dominguez (.614 OPS), Altuve (.811), Carter (.808), and Castro (.683). Without injuries, Springer (.804) and Fowler (.793) would have hit the mark too. Let’s assume Singleton (.664) will be the full timer at 1st base next year – that basically leaves one outfield spot and SS up in the air.

      Marwin brings value because of his versatility. As long as he is playing strong defense he can win a spot on the 25 man. Whether he starts depends on whether we can find someone better. With expectations of Correa ’16, I don’t think they’ll open the wallet for a SS this offseason. I’m open to hearing about the better options who will want to come to Houston for a 1 year contract. I am assuming that Petit (not enough data) will be released from the 40 man prior to the Rule V.

      Like

  36. drbill14
    August 23, 2014

    Marwin is a guy who has steadily improved and since he is only 25 why suspect he’ll stop improving? I think he will be a solid placeholder for Correa and then can evolve into the utility guy of the future.

    Like

    • Dan P
      August 23, 2014

      That is a probable scenario dr bill – unless Villar becomes like the Scarecrow and discovers his brain….

      Like

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This entry was posted on August 20, 2014 by in Astros.
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