2014: Astros Post-Season Multiple Choice Quiz


As the Astros’ 2014 season fades away in the rear view mirror like a wreck on the highway and the 2015 season appears full of potential like a mirage on the horizon, here is a multiple choice quiz that combines the serious and the whimsical.

1. If I could only have one – for the 2015 season I would like to see a most improved year from….

a. Jason Castro

b. Matt Dominguez

c. Jonathan Villar

d. Jon Singleton

 

2. The player most likely to repeat their 2014 success next season….

a. Jose Altuve

b. Dallas Keuchel

c. Collin McHugh

 

3. If George Springer plays 150 games in 2015 he will hit…..

a. 25 HR

b. 30 HR

c. 35 HR

d. 40 HR

 

4. AJ Hinch sounds like…

a. A bookkeeper in a Charles Dickens novel

b. A dirt track race car driver

c. A beet farmer on the edge of town

d. Your CPA

 

5. The minor leaguer I most hope to see with the big club some time in 2015 is….

a. Domingo Santana (I’m not counting his 17 AB disaster from 2014)

b. Joe Sclafani

c. Mark Appel

d. Tony Kemp

e. Other – you name them

 

6. The TV deal will get done….

a. Before the Rockets’ season starts in November 2014

b. Before the Astros’ season starts in April 2015

c. Sometime before the end of 2015

d. When Beelzebub’s thermometer shows 32 F

 

7. I’d be extremely worried about my future if my name was….

a. John Mallee

b. Jesus Guzman

c. AJ Hinch

d. Jeff Luhnow

 

8. The Astros starting CF in 2015 better be….

a. Jake Marisnick

b. George Springer

c. Dexter Fowler

d. Anyone but Dexter Fowler

 

9. The pitcher who will come out of nowhere to have the best year will be….

a. Brad Peacock

b. Asher Wojciechowski

c. Michael Foltynewicz

d. Josh Fields

e. Other

 

10. The most popular give-aways at Minute Maid Park next season will be…

a. The Bud Selig in a retirement home bobble head

b. The Jesse Crain / Sugar Land Skeeter jersey

c. A Jeff Luhnow – tandem pitching calendar

d. Nostalgia Night with the first 10.000 fans getting Shawn Chacon boxing gloves

 

So go ahead – take a shot at the quiz!

 

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62 comments on “2014: Astros Post-Season Multiple Choice Quiz

  1. 1. Singleton because he has no value to the Astros or anybody else right now and it would be a shame to have waited so many years for someone who wasn’t a player.
    2. Altuve because the guys who were right behind him in average are getting old and Martinez was in his contract year. I also think you could answer any of these three and be right, because I think they are all capable of getting better.
    3.Springer-35 HR
    4. AJ Hinch sounds like a dirt track driver
    5.Preston Tucker, because it means he did his job and is ready for the majors. His job is to hit and hit w/ power. It would also mean a Luhnow Astros draftee made it to the majors and the game is finally on!
    6.TV deal gets done by April.
    7.I’d be worried if I were Guzman
    8. CFer- Marisnick
    9.The pitcher who comes out of nowhere- Fields.
    10. Most popular giveaway- The Craig Biggio Hall of Fame Night Giveaway. A very special night.

    Like

  2. 1. D. I don’t even want to see the others on the club next year, esp. A. We really need Singleton to step up, though. He was a highly touted guy and if he and Santana bomb, then all we have to show for the Pence trade is Josh Zeid.

    2) A, but all 3 will be great.

    3) C

    4). C

    5) B

    6) C

    7) B

    8) D

    9) C

    10) B

    Like

    • Well both Singleton and Santana are so young and of course we also have the remnants of the Cosart trade – not giving up yet.
      So you are a Sclafani fan too.

      Like

      • I like these type of guys who are scrappy, play wherrever and do whatever it takes to get on base. Even in Australia

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      • Devin – lol man.
        Billy C – yes where to play Sclafani is the question – in short spurts he has butchered 3B – much better at 2B where we don’t need him. And of course there is the question about whether he will get on base in the bigs where they may not be afraid to pitch to him with his lack of power.

        Like

  3. Kind of late for me to be throwing in my thoughts, but I’m on AA 2490, a bit south of Chips home turf, heading into IAH.

    Some good questions presented and fodder for comments.

    1. Got to take Singleton, because at this point, I think he’s our next bust. I just don’t see him having the fortitude to be a major leaguer.

    2. I think all three guys are going to have continued success. And that’s what makes me optimistic about this club. Altuve can actually get better in some ways by being more selective. What does a pitcher throw to a guy who hits everything in the zone?

    3. D, a big D.

    4. Great question. A of course.

    5. I’m at 38,000 feet with a few beverages in my system, but I don’t need to answer this question. Regular readers already know my response. In fact, is this a trick question?

    6. I will ignore this question so as to not spoil my present lofty mood.

    7. Another trick question. Answer: All of the above.

    8. I’ve already resolved this non issue in prior posts.

    9. Best question yet. I want a fireballer, an old fashioned guy, somewhere on the pitching staff. As much as I want Wojoski to be that guy, I think Folty could become the next Brad Lidge.

    10. None of the above. Rather: complimentary 20 ounce, or whatever the size is, frosty cold Stella Artois in tap. Right now it’s 9.25 a pop, but

    Like

    • Good job daveb – I had the feeling that Singleton would be an unanimous choice for #1.
      AJ Hinch sounds like:
      One of those smarmy 70’s shows – AJ Hinch – Mall Cop
      The guy who repairs your pickup truck
      Almost anything than a manager

      Like

    • Gogo in flight is not perfect, but…..I’d love to have the house buy me a beer one time. It’s been too many decades and too many liability issues since standing in line for a foamer in the Domer experience. How many of you folks were old enough to drink that free beer back in the day after an even number on the clock homer?

      Like

      • I’m old enough to remember the Alamo but the only thing I got free at the Dome were the times when I got invited to those fancy blue-seat boxes way up there. Man those were the days.
        Nowadays $9.25 buys Bar-S Hot Dogs for the month for me and the Mrs.
        daveb, you be careful up there. Amelia told me that airplanes can kill ya. She was right, dagnabbit.

        Like

      • The freebies I got relative to the dome – if you had straight A’s you could send your grades in with a form and get two tickets to some games of your choice (it seemed like San Diego was always one of the main choices but there were some other better ones). That was grade motivation for me. Saw quite a few games that way.

        Like

  4. 1. singleton. i think improvement by him helps the club most
    2. altuve. he can flat out hit and has matured into a very good player, he’ll have great success again next year
    3. 35 (and has more stolen bases than HR)
    4. the Charles Dickens character, but it also sounds sorta like a wedgie
    5. i’ll say appel, because with our pitching depth he would have to be pitching lights out to see the big club next year.
    6. well i would hope before the astros season opener, but more realistically on lawyer time schedule i’ll say sometime in 2015. possibly about the same time bopert buys season tickets
    7. hands down guzman
    8. springer will be here longterm (till 2020 isnt it?) so i would put him in center and leave him there for a long long time.
    9. hmmm folty or fields. im gonna say fields bounces back and even closes some.
    10. well who wouldnt want a booble head of selig retired. wish i had one 5 years ago.

    Like

    • Good thought about Appel and his performance to earn the big club. I sure hope he does not come un-done with more tandem pitching.
      You know me and Selig – I wanted a Bud Selig pinata night originally.

      Like

      • Dan, Is it ok to talk about this Appel/ tandem situation for a bit? Appel’s said his problem with the tandem was the limitation on innings/pitches not allowing him to develop rhythm over time. But the bigger problem was the Astros choice to not use him in the back half of the tandem like they were doing with other pitchers, causing friction because of preferential treatment. Then his promotion! This happened at Lancaster.
        Moving to 2015 the Astros have set up their CC roster w/ Devenski, Appel, Hauschild, Jankowski, Heidenreich, Hader, Rodgers, West, Rollins, Kyle Smith, all of whom were tandem starters last year. They also have Vince Velasquez playing AFL to get his IP up and he’s got to get to AA next spring, unless they trade him, because he’s rule 5 eligible.
        So that’s 11 starting pitchers. plus Weiland, who just turned 28, by the way. Even if they thin the ranks and have the tandem, do they use Appel in the back end or not do that and slap other pitchers on the face.
        I’ll say this. The tandem has allowed them to assess tons of pitching talent, but their two top pitching prospects are now going to AFL to try to make up some innings and they have set themselves up for pitching problem down the line, not the least of which is their top pitching prospect not being able to prove himself yet, while some are talking about him perhaps being in the majors by 2016.
        Thoughts from anyone/everyone?

        Like

      • Good point – the logjam at AA also prevents promoting more guys from the lower ranks in season. I still don’t like giving up Cosart, despite the return, but at some point they have to make those hard decisions. I think the surplus of arms is used to pry mid-range, MLB ready position players to plug holes this off season.

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      • Old pro – I get the fact that the tandem gets more pitchers a decent amount of starts. I struggle with what it does not do. Does not let the pitchers stretch out, you won’t know how they will deal with the 3rd or 4th time through the lineup, won’t know how they are doing after 100 pitches etc
        And like you said it can cause some friction when pitchers are not treated the same. Though it is not unusual to treat 1-1s different anyways.

        Like

  5. 1. Jon Singelton
    2. *ALTUVE*
    3. 30hr’s……..36 stolen bases
    4. My CPA, is my husband……..so Hinch would be like a geeky IRS guy.
    5. Tony Kemp……..or Hernandez
    6. Before the 2015 season, or I’m putting out on contract on him.GRRRRRRRR
    7.Jesus Guzman…….the invisible dude on the bench.
    8. Springer……..FOR TE REST OF HIS EARTHLY LIFE!
    9. Josh Fields……the guy can pitch.
    10. Shawn Chacon boxing gloves with Ed Wade’s face plant on them!
    By the way, what ever happened him???

    Like

    • “Miss Becky – the IRS auditor Mr. Hinch is here to see you….”
      I’m not sure you are asking about Wade or Chacon.
      Wade is a special advisor back with the Phils.
      Chacon never played in the majors again. He played in an independent league and the A’s signed him. He got up to AAA but pitched poorly and it was over. They say he coaches Little League and gives private lessons. They did not say whether he is giving baseball lessons or martial arts lessons.

      Like

  6. Our ex “can’t get through the 6th. inning” pitcher Bud Norris is starting game three
    for the O’s…………I bet a dollar he self destruct’s, and losses that game.

    Like

  7. I would like to suggest that the Astros hire an experienced minor league pitching coach and coordinator. He would report to Jeff Luhnow directly and his position would be equal to and separate from Quinton McKracken’s.
    Looking at the Astros Baseball staff they have almost no one with extensive, high level pitching coach experience, aside from Strom. Brocail has had one job as pitching coach and that was with the Astros and that did not go well. Bjornson is the bullpen coach and has no high level experience as a coach or player. He never played or coached above low A ball. Dierker is a special assistant to the club, but can you imagine how much input he gives? He never was a pitching coach. Clemens is a Luhnow advisor, but he never was a pitching coach. Looking up and down the Astros staff, nobody but Strom has any experience working with pitchers.
    My suggestion is to get with Strom and have him recommend somebody he can work with who is qualified to develop all these young pitchers and coordinate their Minor League instruction and also have the ability to determine if what the club is suggesting is actually working individually and as a group and implement procedures to correct what is not. Brocail may be a Luhnow guy, but they need somebody supremely qualified to do this job, not a guy who goes around delivering messages from above and below.

    Like

    • By the way, Leo Mazzone, considered the greatest pitching coach ever, is available. If he doesn’t want the job, maybe he knows somebody who would be great and does want it. I’m just sayin’!

      Like

    • Nolan Ryan is in the organization too, but he would not be headed to the backwaters like that.
      I think it is a great idea especially with there being so much chaff and wheat to separate.

      Like

    • It would be interesting to know what Strom thinks of it since he does not have to follow it but has to live with the promoted results of it.

      Like

    • And that is a good point. But the object of having someone with exceptional experience and knowledge is to use this person as a guide to what needs to be done to develop our minor league pitchers to their fullest. So he comes in and watches the tandem system and then makes changes or tweaks to it or makes a recommendation based on his observances and using his knowledge to evaluate that particular system.
      The bottom line is to have a pitching genius developing our huge investment in young arms, as opposed to someone who is not a genius or not even a qualified teacher.

      Like

  8. If you wonder about the Astros not having enough players to draw from their AAA team or why their AAA team doesn’t seem strong here are some names off the April opening day roster:
    Amador

    Like

    • I hit the wrong spot!
      Amador,Cisnero, Doran, Chia Jen Lo, Ryan McCurdy, Ruben Sosa, Aldron Chambers, Zeid.
      Practically all of those guys are either gone or were out for the whole year. Their pitching staff had one guy who was on the roster the whole year, Stoffel.

      Like

      • And Wojo, White and Owens all missed significant time and so many guys rolled back and forth between AAA and the majors….

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  9. I have to add that “tandem pitchers” and the “DH” are very similar. Both sound like a great idea, but really stink upon implementation. One keeps the younger players from blossoming and the other allows old players to keep a job they do not deserve. Next will be the “DH-DR” rule that allows a younger, faster guy with no talent to run to first for the old DH, and “Triplets” which allows MORE pitchers but they can only go 3 innings.

    Like

    • MLB definitely moving into the realm of the new NFL. There is something to be said for being old enough to remember real baseball and real football. I absolutely hate the way players step out of the box after every pitch. Just can’t believe MLB won’t fix their game.

      Like

      • Op – maybe they should tell each batter 2 step outs per at bat. After that it is a strike – use it well.
        And if a catcher or IF visits the mound it counts as a mound visit – next visit by anyone – he’s out of the game.
        A pitcher can’t make more than 2 throws to 1st without throwing a pitch
        I’m sure there are lots of thoughts here.

        Like

  10. Oi, I can finally get to this quiz. What a busy weekend.

    1. With the rest of the group, I’d pick Singleton, especially the way the question is phrased … “most improved.” With that caveat, the answer is easy. Singleton needs the most improvement. He was awful. That said, I’m hoping we replace Dominguez and Villar, and Castro has a little bit of a bounce back toward 2013.

    2. I think Altuve is most likely, but that doesn’t mean another 225 hits and a BA over .340. But I think that means a high WAR, and an OPS at or near .800. That said, I think Keuchel and McHugh could actually improve on 2014 if they have a better bullpen backing them up and a better offense taking off the stress.

    3. I’d be surprised if we didn’t see 35 Springer Dingers and 100 RBIs. Wouldn’t that be great!

    4. AJ Hinch sounds like a character from a children’s book.

    5. The problem with wanting a minor leaguer means I’ve given up on getting a free agent or a MLB player in a trade. That said, I’d take either Sclafani or Moran at 3B.

    6. The TV deal will get done before April. I think Crane and Ryan know their heads will roll if this mess continues.

    7. I’m pretty sure Jesus Guzman knows he’ll be signing a minor league deal with someone else this winter.

    8. I know there’s a lot of talk about putting Springer in CF and leaving him there for the next seven years, but I just think Marisnick is a touch better as an outfielder. Put Jake in center, Springer in right and Fowler (or Preston Tucker) in left.

    9. I think it’ll be Folty. He’s going to end up closing or being the 8th-inning closer-in-waiting next year.

    10. I’m looking forward to my Craig Biggio Bustin’ Down The Hall Of Fame Doors bobblehead.

    Like

    • I could really hack everyone off if I graded these quizzes. “No, no Brian T – the correct answer is D. 40 HRs….”
      I will say this – I am much more looking forward to 2015 than I was to 2014. I just anticipate growth, improvement and better play ….

      Like

      • So, did I pass?

        Yes, I anticipate 2015 much more than I was looking forward to 2014. The sad reality was that no matter what the Astros spent, they’d never land enough talent to get to .500 this year. Injuries happen (Fowler, Springer, Bullpen), and this organization wasn’t deep enough at its upper levels. But that’s changing this year.

        Say we go out and sign a legit third baseman, then that player goes on the DL for an extended period starting in June or July. Well, who cares? We’ll have Sclafani or Moran ready to make the jump by that time.

        My only concern is the Astros have committed financially to Singleton, and we just don’t know what the Astros are going to get from him. He’s usually taken some time to adjust when moving up a level, so my guess is we’ll see a slightly improved version in April and May, then he’ll become better (.250/.320/.400) for the remainder of the season.

        Like

      • They really need improved production at the corner IF spots. It would be hard to imagine Singleton repeating that insanely bad BA again

        Like

  11. From my son Adam – who follows the Astros from afar….I always love Adam’s dry sense of humor….

    1) D Singleton. I have to believe that he can do better.

    2) C McHugh. I think he has some solid stuff

    3) I’ll conservatively go with B – 30, but I think he may end up somewhere between there and 35…assuming he plays 150 games (chuckles)

    4) AJ Hinch sounds like a name that JK Rowling would release a book under until her publishers made her tell everyone who wrote it.

    5) Delino Deshields Jr…or maybe Sr.

    6) D) When hell freezes over…this deal is Com-caustic

    7) Mallee…despite improvements, we shouldn’t have pitchers struggle to win games where they give up two runs.

    8) D) Anyone but Dexter Fowler…George Springer? Michael Bourne? Steve Finley? Cesar Cedeno?

    9) b. Asher Wojciechowski – he’s still young. The real question is, can we fit his name on the back of a uniform?

    10) Selig bobblehead – kids of all ages can enjoy that one.

    Like

  12. Ok I was wrong about Norris g it up today, and it looks like I owe you guys a dollar.
    BUT……..I’d rather “owe you a dollar for the rest of your life, than cheat out out of a penny”!! I’m currently watching CJ Wilson melt down……. This guy has been terrible this whole season. Our guys beat him TWICE!

    Like

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