CHIPALATTA

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If the Astros’ season started today…


Though the wheeling and dealing is not likely complete, the Astros’ off-season upgrade has already provided upgrades. Here’s where the team would likely stand if the season started today.

25-man roster. This will change, perhaps by as many as six-plus names by opening day.

Batting order. No matter how it shakes out, new manager A.J. Hinch already has more to work with than his predecessor. Here’s one lineup. You’ll have another and the next guy yet another. By opening day, the names will have changed to protect the innocent.

  • Fowler.
  • Altuve.
  • Springer.
  • Chris Carter.
  • Lowrie.
  • Dominguez.
  • Singleton.
  • Castro.
  • Marisnick/Grossman.

Players most likely to be traded by spring training.

  • Gonzalez. He would be a great super sub, but could be valuable as a trade piece.
  • Carlos Corporan. He’s probably packing boxes now. Could stay only if Castro is the goner instead.
  • Oberholtzer. If the Astros acquire another starter as rumored, Obie could be gone, especially if the addition is a lefty.
  • Peacock. How many times have you heard this name mentioned in connection with the Astros’ rotation. With three slots locked up and other possibilities, it could get crowded.

The remaining lists. If you recall a previous post of priorities, the mandatory item on the checklist was to upgrade the left side. Check. Now, here are some other items still lingering that could be addressed soon.

  • Address the Fowler situation. With all the many blockbusters already occuring this winter, it would not be surprising to see the Astros get involved in one.
  • Roster clutter. The 40-man is full. There isn’t as much riff-raff as in previous off-seasons, so the decisions will be more challenging. Still, some fat needs to be trimmed.
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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in Colorado Springs, CO, and is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 40 years. A native of Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. He came up with Chipalatta, and it’s stuck.

67 comments on “If the Astros’ season started today…

  1. 1oldpro
    December 17, 2014

    If Downs doesn’t make the roster as a lefty reliever, you may as well trade or release him because he’s doing you no good in AAA at age 30 with Sipp and Chapman already on the team and Shirley and Lambson needing the work.
    Wojo and White and Folty are on the 40-man, but the first two need to be ready to pitch in the majors or they are just taking up space. Folty is 23 and would be better off as the opening day starter in Fresno than pitching one inning every two or three days in Houston.
    Ronald Torreyes hit .292 in AAA at the age of 21 last year. Is he really that good? If he is, what will he do this year and if he gets even better, does that make Marwin a good guy to trade?
    Peacock is listed above as the 5th starter. Will he even be pitching in April? Hip surgery?
    With Dominguez, Castro and Singleton all in the starting lineup, are they there because we want them to be good? Are they there because we can’t afford anyone better? If they aren’t considerably better in 2015 do we have any chance of 80 wins?
    Dominguez’s past stats indicate a bad player. His 2015 projections are well below an average player. What do we do with him? Do we have enough meat in the top five spots of the lineup to have two or three negative WAR batters in the bottom?

    Like

  2. 1oldpro
    December 17, 2014

    Can someone please shed some light on what happened to Allen Craig in 2014? Was he hurt?

    Like

    • tedf1948
      December 17, 2014

      Craig had a Lizfranc foot injury in 2013 and his 2014 year was extremely subpar.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 17, 2014

        Thanks Ted. That explains going from an All Star to sub replacement in one year.

        Like

      • Dan P
        December 18, 2014

        He had a Pat Listach foot injury?

        Like

  3. Lester J. Gillis
    December 17, 2014

    Dominguez will probably get a chance to start the season with the big club, but I expect him to be on a pretty short leash. Singleton will get a longer opportunity to get straightened out because of his contact. Gonzalez could be a very valuable trade option if the front office thinks Torreyes is ready to take his place. So who plays 3B? How about Matt Duffy? I like him better than Moran, especially on defense, at least until Ruiz is ready.

    I think we are looking hard for another starter, because (as Old Pro correctly pointed out) Peacock probably won’t be ready for Opening Day. And one of the catchers could be part of the deal to make that happen – Castro for a bigger name, Corporan for a lesser one. One of them has to go.

    And, I agree with OP again that Folty doesn’t need to be sitting in the bullpen when he could be working regularly in Fresno. Of course, he and Castro get traded to the Phillies for Hammels in my dream world, so it’s a mute point there.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 17, 2014

      Lester, if we acquire Hamels it has to be by giving up guys that are going to hurt, especially if we want monetary help from Phily. Hamels is one of the best pitchers in baseball and we are going to have to give up at least two top ten prospects and a guy who can fit into their rotation now. They are going to want Appel, Phillips and Ober, as a good example.
      Hamels is not a guy who is seeking to be a free agent soon. He is a star pitcher with four years of prime control left, plus a fifth year option on his deal and acquiring him will cost us nearly $120 MIL in salary and some big time prospects. He is worth that to a team with money. Is he going to be worth that to the Astros? If I had to answer, I would say he would be in December of 2015, but maybe not in December of 2014.
      I just think now is a time to find a #3 guy for $10 mil per, slot him ahead of Feldman, keep Ober as #5, put Folty in Fresno as the opening day starter and let Wojo and White battle Ober for the spot if they can make a big move on him in March.
      We have 21 pitchers on the 40-man and tons of pitchers on the AA roster and they all are not going to fit. Some guys will exit by April 6th.

      Like

      • Lester J. Gillis
        December 17, 2014

        You’re right, we’ve got tons of pitchers on the 40-man and throughout the system, and some might be attractive to the Phils for Hammels. Which ones and how many many, I don’t know. The money, while in a different stratosphere than the Astros have been used to, is pretty reasonable in this Jon Lester/Max Scherzer world in which we live. And Hammels might be a better fit next year for the Astros, but he won’t be available next year.

        Like

  4. Kevin
    December 17, 2014

    Op what about Castro Appel and Villar, and Wojo.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 17, 2014

      If you put Ober in Wojo’s place, Philly might do that deal. I don’t think they would see Wojo as a guy guaranteed to fit into their rotation, like Ober would.. Would I do that deal? Probably. Would Hamels ok that trade? I’m not sure. There isn’t enough meat in that lineup and no sure closer in the bullpen. He would probably be OK with Conger/Corp at Catcher, but with Dominguez at 3rd and Grossman in Left. Yuck!

      Like

      • Kevin
        December 17, 2014

        I don’t know who else is chasing Hamel;, but I don’t see the Phillies being relevant for a while either, But cant argue Grossman and Matty D not being to inspiring.

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      • Steven
        December 17, 2014

        I doubt alot of it will have anything to do with the specifics of lineup supervision – he will probably be more interested in the direction of a franchise as a whole, not about the Marisnick/Grossman dynamic or Dominguez.

        Like

      • Steven
        December 17, 2014

        And the other side of the equation is a 30 year old pitcher about to cross 2000 innings. Very chancy to give up Appel in that deal. He has 5 straight 200+ innings seasons, and 8 straight at 180+. When do the wheels fall off?

        I haven’t studied Hamels delivery, only seen him pitch 2-3 times on TV, he doesn’t look injury prone in his delivery, but I would be asking the questions as GM to my smart people.

        I do agree OP, they would probably want Appel and Oberholtzer, matter of fact I bet, just for gamesmanship, they start with asking for Appel and Keuchel, to try and negotiate from a higher spot, and make us think they are “settling” on Appel, Castro and Oberholtzer, and probably one of our AAA infielders.

        Rumor has it though they are looking for 3 “top grade” prospects. At best, if we sell Santana as that, we can go Appel, Santana and another top notch pitcher, but they will ask for Correa. Knowing Luhnow he probably suggested a Corporan/Dominguez deal straight up.

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      • Flash
        December 17, 2014

        Actually, Appel has more surplus value than Hammel. Cole is about worth the money on his contract. Appel for Hammel straight up with a little salary relief would be my starting point. If they want Obie, then maybe pick two from Wojo, Thurman, Hader and Smith.

        I want them to get Hammel, but Appel + ML pitchers and position players is too much.

        Like

  5. BrianT
    December 17, 2014

    You didn’t have a separate spot for DH on the 25-man roster, and you forgotCarter there. I’m sure that means goodbye to Villar on the 25-man roster.

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    • Chip Bailey
      December 17, 2014

      Well, duh. Yes, need to account for Carter and that will likely come at the expense of a Grossman/Marisnick or perhaps VIllar/MarGo.

      Like

    • Tim
      December 17, 2014

      Do we need to ask what Becky thinks we should do regarding Villar? 🙂

      Like

  6. Kevin
    December 17, 2014

    Doesnt the fact we still have guys like Grossman and Matty D on the 25, say something to a Hamel’s about the direction of a franchise?

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    • Steven
      December 17, 2014

      You assume Hamels shares Kevin’s opinion of Grossman and Dominguez. I suspect Hamels is more interested in 3 straight 100 loss seasons and an improved roster overall than he is specific names, and probably more interested in battery mates and fellow rotation guys Keuchel and McHugh with another veteran like Feldman than he is LF or 3B.

      Besides, Grossman is a far better player than Dominguez, and coupling the two suggests you buy into the either you are good, or you are bad, mindset. Robbie has holes, he is a poor defensive OF’er, and he strikes out a bit much, but he gets on base better than most of this current roster, has some speed on the bases, and a bit of power. He has struggled with bouts of inconistency, but his overall numbers reflect a young player that is finding his stride.

      Here is a prediction for you that will make you think I am crazy – by the end of the year, RG will have played himself into either the everyday LF job or RF job, and he will hit .270, have double digit dingers (lets say 13-15), post 60+ rbi, steal 10+ bases, and most importantly, post a .350 OBP. Mark the tape on this one – I’ll go back myself to this very post and cite my prediction in September – he won’t be a superstar, but he will be a plus major leaguer.

      Just look at this one statistic – RG in his career has chased pitches out of the strike zone just 21.3%, and last year was just 20.2%. That is about 7% lower than the average major leaguer, and almost half of Marisnick’s 37%! Granted, Marisnick is younger, for JFSF it has been a smaller sample, but 355 plate appearances isn’t a miniscule sample (like you would get from looking at Santana right now). RG tells a ball from a strike early, and you can’t teach that, it’s instinct.

      Like

    • Tim
      December 17, 2014

      Steven, I sent a text message to one of my friends this week predicting Grossman will have a slash line of .260/.350/.750. I think this is the year he finally figures it out (meaning he brings a positive value to the Astros). I was laughing reading your post because I made the same bold prediction.

      Like

    • Steven
      December 17, 2014

      Tim – I hope noone reads that as a damnation of Marisnick though. I do think the Astros would be better off giving Grossman more plate appearances, but Marisnick does enough things well that he belongs here. If anyone needs to go its Presley, but a million dollars says he stays.

      I just think the difference of a 50 or more points in OBP over 500+ plate appearances is huge in a struggling offense, gold glover or not.

      I also look at this way – they both strike out too much, both about a quarter of the time. Grossman strikes out because he isn’t aggressive enough, Marisnick strikes out because he is too aggressive. I think a study of past players would suggest that Marisnick can have a decent season chasing a lot (see CJ, 2013), but Grossman can have a decent CAREER chasing little. Neither will be HOF’ers, or even all stars.

      Like

      • daveb
        December 17, 2014

        I’m prepared to accept a Marisnick/Grossman platoon. My lineup would also have our centerfielder of the future in centerfield, and in a perfect world, our on base professional in left.

        I’d also give Marwin the job at short and put Lowrie at third from the start. Then let things sort themselves out with Correa, Moran/Ruiz and maybe even a replacement for Singleton towards the end of the year or in early 2016. Dominguez would be dismissed altogether. His 3B defense alone is not enough to give him a roster spot. I’d rather have a Sclafani on the bench.

        But as Chip notes, it’s probable we’ll have significant change between now and April 1. I just want the best 25 guys in the system on the roster when the season starts. And I don’t think that includes Dominguez, Hoes, Villar or even Presley.

        I admit to being a bit stumped at the catcher position, but I do think Castro remains the guy that would provide the most production.

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  7. Steven
    December 17, 2014

    Position player wise – it does look like you have a pretty good idea of what the roster will shape up like – though as Brian pointed out, and I believe the Astros will soon learn – it is very difficult to carry 5 OF’ers AND a full time DH. Carter is a lock, Presley got that shiny new car, so I am guessing Marisnick and Grossman will fight it out. We would all be fortunate if Presley’s new contract doesn’t lock in a spot.

    Pitching is a little more open to some interpretation. Not sure if Peacock will be healthy. I would also think Oberholtzer is going to have to pitch his way in at this point with nothing promised. He may very well do it, the Astros love guys that throw lots of strikes. For that reason I am not sure Peacock would be there even if he were healthy. I suspect the Astros are interested in seeing Folty win that 5th starter job outright, though for the BP’s sake it maybe better to call him a 5th starter but pitch him between Keuchel and McHugh since he will probably post a LOT of 5 inning starts early on.

    Bullpens are a crap shoot. Love me now, blame me later has always been their game. They all end up relievers because they have some hole that prevents them from pitching to batters multiple times. You can usually guarantee one thing, and that is there are no guarantees. The history of BP’s would suggest we will have 2 to 3 that we thought were locks pitch themselves out of town, and get 2-3 pleasant surprises. As an opening day group though, vastly improved, and I think your current roster comes pretty close to what we see April 1st.

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  8. Chip Bailey
    December 17, 2014

    For all the Hamels talk, not sure how likely that really is. He can block a trade to 21 teams and he is saying he wants to play for a team “that wants to win”. You can make both arguments for Houston about winning, but it’s going to come down to what Hamels believes about the franchise’s direction. And…if the Phillies want Appel or Correa as part of a deal, Luhnow should just hang up. Not sure I’d be in on Hamels either unless the Phillies ate around half the remaining $$$.

    Obviously, Hamels by himself would remove all doubt about the direction of the franchise, something that Feldman, Neshek, Qualls, or Gregerson have done single handedly. But the price would be steep…

    Like

    • Tim
      December 17, 2014

      I would hang up the phone with Correa, but not sure if I would automatically say ‘no’ on the inclusion of Appel. Hamels is a no-doubt proven #1 starter. Appel is projected the be a solid #2. Very few teams win a world series without a bonafide #1 and the Astros don’t have one and no one in their system projects to be a #1. If Philly asked for Appel, Santana and another decent prospect I think Luhnow may have to consider it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Devin_
      December 17, 2014

      On the note of the no trade clause, there is less incentive for Hamel’s to waive a trade to a team like Houston, whose biggest selling point is the wealth of prospects, if some of the best prospects would be moved to get him.

      Like

      • Tim
        December 17, 2014

        We have so many very good prospects I doubt giving up 2-3 is going to alter Hamel’s decision. If he voids a trade here that won’t be the reason

        Like

  9. astrocolt45
    December 17, 2014

    One thing that would help the Astros make the playoffs would be if they could play in the NFC South Division.

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    • Steven
      December 17, 2014

      Sure thing – they could win 65 games and make the playoffs!

      Like

  10. Kevin
    December 17, 2014

    Colt 45 nice take LOL. Really i don’t see Hamel’s at all , just fun to debate about. I hope your right on Grossman, I just don’t see him or Matty D getting any better. Correa no way, Appel I think we can part with on the right deal. Appel reminds me of another dude from Stanford, nice guys, smart , but i don’t think they have that ‘IT” factor.

    Like

  11. rj
    December 17, 2014

    anybody have an opinion on Will Harris that we picked up on waivers? young guy, good strike out to walk ratio looks like. looks like he played for our manager a bit.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 17, 2014

      Heard some say they can’t believe he got put on waivers and we’re lucky to have him. Definitely in the bullpen mix.

      Like

  12. Becky
    December 17, 2014

    Cole Hamels is *NOT* coming to the Astros………anymore than Scherzer is.

    Like

    • Tim
      December 17, 2014

      Bah humbug!

      Like

      • Becky
        December 17, 2014

        It’s called REALITY………….

        Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      December 18, 2014

      It’s called reality until it really happens. Sure, the likelyhood of the Astros getting Hamels is high, but noone can dispute we have the prospects to entice Philly. The big question is whether Luhnow wants to give up those prospects and, if so, will Hamels waive his no-trade clause. Yes, not likely, but you never know.

      Like

  13. Dan P
    December 18, 2014

    Doing this on the fly – read the article – did not have time to read the comments.
    I am still looking at the success will be driven by adding 3 positive players a season.
    I think between Gregerson Neshek Lowrie a full season of Springer and some improvement from Castro or Dominguez or Singleton we will get 3 positive additions this season.

    Like

    • Steven
      December 18, 2014

      But that assumes repeat seasons from Altuve, Keuchel, McHugh, Qualls, and Sipp. I think Altuve may repeat, or something close, but Keuchel and McHugh, until they prove they can, are no locks. Neither have experienced success at this level to the degree they did before, it will be time to see how they respond. Hitters will adjust to them, hitting coaches will create notesheets on them, time to see if they adjust back.

      The bullpen pieces, I would guess Sipp might be OK but could also bomb. Qualls I am a little more confident about since he has multiple seasons of success, but pitching out of the BP is one of the hardest thing in sports to do and stay healthy.

      Like

  14. 1oldpro
    December 18, 2014

    I suppose everyone here has realized that the lineup above has all the same names as last year’s terrible hitting lineup. The only change has Marwin’s 1.4 oWAR replaced by Jed Lowrie’s .8 oWAR. The anticipated improvement in the Astros’s offense comes from the hope that some players get better, rather than improving the lineup.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      December 18, 2014

      OP, I doubt anyone will be happy or content if this is the lineup come April. I believe the anticipation and optimism is centered around the fact that other moves seem almost obvious or virutally inevitable after three quality signings that seem to have improved the overall team.

      That said, I do believe all of these players (e.g. Singleton, Castro, Dominguez) can’t possibly perform at the same levels as 2014. One of them at least will improve or break through. Right? Moreover, Springer and Fowler can’t possibly miss as many games as 2014. Right? But — BUT! — if Luhnow puts all his eggs in those baskets of hopeful, wishful thinking, then he deserves what he gets.

      I’m guessing that the Astros and other teams believe that MarGo is not an everyday player and that he couldn’t sustain that 1.4 oWAR over a full season. If other teams believed he was everyday, he would already have been gone…long ago.

      In summary, I don’t believe fans are satisfied with the lineup I submitted above. For me, at least, it’s only a snapshot of the roster today. THe squirming will increase the closer we get to spring training and opening day if this doesn’t change.

      Key sentence from the entry: “This will change, perhaps by as many as six-plus names by opening day.”

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 18, 2014

        Chip, do you believe the changes will be to the starting lineup or to the reserves? Do you think the changes will be additions or subtractions by trades. Luhnow has already added $20 million in salary. How does the lineup get better if there isn’t more money to be spent? Trading prospects and some present starters for better starters?

        Like

      • Chip Bailey
        December 18, 2014

        OP, there are still some ways to upgrade the lineup. Obviously, there’s still wiggle room, especially if you consider the $$$ that are designated for arb-eligible players (e.g. Castro, Fowler, Carter et al). Moreover, Crane has suggested that they could/would go over budget for the right player.

        Here’s what I “read”: Luhnow is content with Singleton for the near term. He’s looking for backup, not upgrade. He gave up a good prospect to get Conger, so he wants to upgrade C (he’s overloaded in that spot now) and he’s been looking to upgrade the left side (read: not happy with Villar/Gonzalez/Matty D). And, he may not be done on the left side.

        He has kept his powder dry with arb-eligible players. Not entirely unusual at this point, but it’s allowing flexibility with the trade market.

        My guess is that Marisnick and Grossman are merely stop gaps or safety nets and that Fowler and some prospects perhaps are his bargaining chips. Interesting that very little has been said about Carter this off season, but he’s not necessarily a Luhnow “type” (high OBP, etc).

        While I do believe other changes will happen in the next 60 days, it’s quite possible he carries his “flexibility” into the season and upgrades at mid-term. By then, you’ll know which of the players will bounch back (e.g. Singleton, Matty D, Grossman/Marisinick) and you can continue the reconstruction then.

        Nothing says it has to be done by April 1.

        Liked by 1 person

      • daveb
        December 18, 2014

        You know Chip, I was never a big Marwin fan, in fact I used to insist we were wasting a roster spot on the guy. But today, I do think he can maintain his numbers from 2014 with 500 PA’s in 2015. He’s shown improvement every year. He’s young, but maturing. At 6’1” and 200, he’ll hold up. If you look at his splits from last season, he was pretty steady all year long, in most all areas. I think if given the job five days a week, with a rest against tough lefties, he’d give us more offense than the average ML shortstop. That’s why I’d also put Lowrie over at third from the start and try to move Domingeuz now.

        Like

    • Devin_
      December 18, 2014

      Yes…and that we get more games out of Fowler and Springer, get no at bats by Guzman (165), Krauss(186), or Hoes (122). As for the improvement of players, I think it’s reasonable to expect that Singleton improves and that Jed & Marwin reduce the at bats by Dominguez (564…2nd most on team last year). We are also counting on Grossman and Carter playing more like their second halves indicate they are capable and not like their disastrous first halves.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 18, 2014

        So, basically, Hope, not Change.

        Like

      • Devin_
        December 18, 2014

        Yes, I’ll concede that point. There is only so much you can do when the prospects you wish to rebuild from were largely drafted as 18 year olds and you pass on some college talent another year for the privilege of drafting high school kids you end up paying $1.5 million to not sign. That is, unless you get Boston/LAD money to spend each off season.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Mr. Bill
    December 18, 2014

    Question: Assuming no more trades or signings, what are the chances guys like Domingo Santana, Preston Tucker, Matt Duffy and/or Joe Sclafani show up at ST ready to contribute to the big club at a level greater than Grossman, JFSF, Dominguez, Singleton, and MarGo?

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 18, 2014

      Bill, if I had to speculate, I would say the odds aren’t good. Three of those four aren’t on the 40-man and Santana is on it but doesn’t appear to be ready. I would say that someone like Torreyes might have a better shot, because he’s already on the 40-man and is a utility guy who has a low strikeout rate and is a Luhnow guy, meaning JL went out and acquired him.
      I like Duffy because he has some pop and can play 1B or 3B, but do the metrics like him? I’m not sure they do. You hear virtually no chatter about Duffy from the Astros.
      Of all those names you mention, JFSF seems to have the best chance to make a difference because of his superior defense and the fact that he seemed to improve at the plate and performed better offensively at a young age in the majors than he ever seemed to before. Grossman also can be a difference maker if he can overcome his bad starts out of the gate, and not spend the rest of the season working his way toward being average.

      Like

  16. Dan P
    December 18, 2014

    I will say this relative to hope vs change – when you have the youngest offensive team in the league by a large margin I don’t think it is hopeless optimism to expect (not hope for) improvement for at least some of the kids.

    Like

    • Tim
      December 18, 2014

      That is a very fair point. We improved by 19 wins with the worst bullpen in the majors, the worst starting 3B (from an offensive standpoint), the worst starting 1B (both offensively and defensively) for the majority of the season and only 1/2 season from Springer. I think it can easily be expected to have improvement on the offensive side of the game. With that being said, some seem to think Dominguez can perform at his 2013 level. a .285 OBP is horrible regardless of the power.

      Like

    • Tim
      December 18, 2014

      I don’t see what Luhnow sees in Dominguez and why he is even going to get a chance to start the season as our regular 3B. He is an abysmal offensive player and I don’t see him even getting to perform at a slightly below average level for a 3B. There is hope for Singleton based upon his plate discipline and power, but Matty D has no business starting for any major league team.

      Liked by 1 person

      • astrocolt45
        December 18, 2014

        Tim, when you post here, could you please be specific in your opinion. No need to beat around the bush. Just come right out and express how you feel.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Steven
        December 18, 2014

        All those opposed, say nay. I think they yea’s have it. Let’s vote Dominguez off the island.

        Like

      • Steven
        December 18, 2014

        But I would like to disagree with one point. I think Dominguez would like fine Ranger blue. Yes, I think the Rangers would be a perfect fit for him.

        Like

      • Tim
        December 18, 2014

        AstroColt45,

        I apologize for not getting to the point. I will make an effort to be more specific. 😄
        Thanks for the laugh. I am passionate when it comes to the Astros just like most that post on Chip’s blog,

        Like

      • Billy Castillo
        December 18, 2014

        I think most people have a player that they just don’t like. You have Dominguez, Becky has Villar, and I have the laziest catcher in the majors.

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      • Devin_
        December 19, 2014

        I think if there hadn’t been so many early busts last year (Villar, Grossman) and injuries to our starting outfield you would have seen Dominguez suffer a mysterious lat pull, abdominal strain, or other such injury not requiring surgery, but capable of giving him a four week, paid vacation. I think Luhnow gave him so much rope to avoid adding someone to the 40 man … Especially since Carter and Altuve were carrying the offense, the defense of Dominguez in his shifts was to his liking, and he didn’t want to win too many games (2015 draft positioning).

        Like

  17. astrocolt45
    December 18, 2014

    This is NOT a “bash JL” question. But can someone explain why with Springer, Marisnick, Grossman, and maybe even Krauss or Hoes – for what reason was Presley, who was not Arb eligible, given $1 Million? When I look at who will probably be in the outfield, that is a very confusing contract. This was the kind of stuff that caused some grumbling with the pitchers last year in the “odd” contracts to non-Arb players.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      December 18, 2014

      astrocolt, indeed, Presley was arbitration eligible. Luhnow just jumped the gun on the process.

      Like

      • astrocolt45
        December 19, 2014

        I was looking at Baseball Reference and it shows 2016 for Presley. But it also shows him at 2.162 and Chris Carter at 2.159. So it appears both are Super Two and Baseball Reference just did not update his page. Thanks Chip. That why we “voted” to let you be in charge.

        Like

  18. Becky
    December 19, 2014

    Luhnow is now in print talking about Marwin to start at 3rd. next year. Matty D has options left, so if he comes to Spring training with the same lazy swing in his bat, it looks like Gonzalez might just take his place at the hot corner. As for Villar………..
    the kid can make some plays that makes you go *WOW*, but his head is stuck where the sun don’t shine, and THAT’S why his leash will be very short. The next move Luhnow is gonna make is a trade for a starting pitcher.
    Who wrote the poem “The night before Christmas” Astros style last year???
    Who ever it was you need to post it again, it was funny and true!

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  19. 1oldpro
    December 19, 2014

    So, in the last two days, the light-hitting Padres have acquired Wil Myers, Justin Upton and Matt Kemp to play in their three outfield slots. It appears they are serious about winning.

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    • Chip Bailey
      December 19, 2014

      OP, I’ll agree the Padres have been aggressive, but if I had an opportunity to create a clean slate with an entirely new outfield, not sure that’s the route I’d go. Myers, I’d like, the others, not so sure, especially with the huge, big money. Maybe I’m way off base, but without the DH to fall back on and defensive skills, this could be — could be — a somewhat dysfunctional outfield. Tell me, am I way out in left field? Hmm?

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      • 1oldpro
        December 19, 2014

        I am not saying I agree with it or that is the way I would do it. I’m saying that they are letting their fans know they are serious about trying to win by adding a lot of power in a big ballpark. Since they are considered to have good pitching, they are going after big name hitters to try to score some runs.

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      • Devin_
        December 19, 2014

        It’s a good move in fantasy baseball for their new GM who will be looking for a new job in 2-3 years. Kemp can’t cover the ground in that CF, Upton looks to me as if his body is inducing defensive decline more quickly than an athlete of his caliber might expect, and TB fans will mostly compare Myers, defensively, to Robbie Grossman.

        I don’t know…it feels like 2nd place is their best hope in that division, but SF should still win a lot of games next year. Do we suddenly have a lot of teams spending like crazy for a one or two year shot at a wild card? I don’t like that strategy.

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    • Tim
      December 19, 2014

      I would agree with you, Chip. Kemp’s injury history and the fact Upton only has 1 year remaining before he becomes a FA makes these moves very suspect. I definitely like Wil Myers for many reasons, but the other 2 don’t make much sense from a Padres standpoint. I doubt they will be able to re-sign Upton.

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  20. Tim
    December 19, 2014

    Justin Upton has been traded to the Padres. Is S.D. going to trade for every offensive player on the block? Wow, they are really going for it next year.

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This entry was posted on December 17, 2014 by in Astros.
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