Every team has question marks entering a new season and the 2015 Houston Astros are no exception to that rule. The hope is that there are fewer question marks this season than last and that more of the answers are already with the big club.
To that end, today’s question is simple: Is Jon Singleton the Most Critical Question Mark on the 2015 Astros?
There are many different ways to look at this, but in the end, Jon Singleton is going to have a longer leash than any of the other players who are on the watch list. Therefore, he may end up doing the most damage to the Astros hopes or hopefully gives a bigger lift to the team than the other potential options for most critical.
Of course there are other arguments here…..
Argument. Matt Dominguez is the most critical question mark
- While 3B is a bigger question mark than 1B in the scheme of things, Dominguez himself is not a more critical question mark. That is because his leash is extremely short. Jeff Luhnow has straight out said that 3B might be manned by Marwin Gonzalez, and it is possible it could be covered by a combination of Gonzalez and Jed Lowrie. The point is that Matty D will not be allowed 500+ ABs to prove he is not the guy like he was given in 2014, if his production stinks like in 2014.
- Yes, both of these guys are critical to the Astros success, but after their recent stats they are both exclamation points, not question marks. They do need to produce, but it is not like they are coming off of injury or off of poor 2014 seasons.
Argument. Jake Marisnick is the most critical question mark
- The assumption is that Marisnick will be the third starting OF with Fowler and Springer, but of course that is just an assumption at this point. If he does not produce, the team can throw Alex Presley or Robbie Grossman out there or bring up Domingo Santana or Preston Tucker for the spot. That is, if Marisnick is one of the starting three out of Spring Training.
Argument. Brad Peacock and his recovery from surgery is the most critical question mark
- There was never any guarantee that Peacock was going to be the fifth starter heading into 2015 in the first place. It could be one of the alphabet twins Michael Foltynewicz or Asher Wojciechowski. It could be a dark horse like Alex White or Sam Deduno. The fifth spot in the rotation will be a question mark but Peacock may never have been the answer to that question.
Argument. A.J. Hinch is the most critical question mark
- Managers drive us crazy, especially managers of bad teams with bad players, because not surprisingly they make more “bad” decisions because they have bad options. It appears that Hinch will have a decent roster to work with – but how much will his lineup set-up and bullpen moves really affect the final product? Maybe five games difference between great and average managerial work? He is a question mark, but not the most critical one.
Argument. Jon Singleton is the most critical question mark
- The argument here is that Singleton will most likely be given a half season to prove himself. If he is the same whiff machine he was down the stretch in 2014, this would be a terrible drag on an offense that needs to step forward in 2015.
There are other options available, like throwing Chris Carter at 1B, though the front office should check out his offensive numbers as a DH in 2014 (.240 BA / .840 OPS) vs. his numbers playing 1B (.109 BA / .475 OPS) when making that call.
So what individual do you think is the most critical question mark for the Astros entering 2015?