CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

Astros 2015: The game has changed


Okay, so who is that guy sitting in the GM chair at Minute Maid Park and what have you done with Jeff Luhnow?

If one thing is clear over the past month, the game has changed for the Houston Astros. The tipping point in a transition from rebuilding and reconstructing to win now will be debated for years. Perhaps it was the plan all along to start adding at the MLB in 2015. Perhaps all the planets just aligned perfectly and the organization said “let’s go!” Perhaps Jim Crane lit a fire under his GM or Luhnow simply was handcuffed with the Bo Porter relationship,

Regardless, there are fewer holes in the major league roster than a year ago and perhaps at any time over the past five seasons. But, the number of questions remains the same, although the list is now different from even just a few months ago

First Evan Gattis is acquired. Then Dexter Fowler is moved. Don’t worry, there’s more. Colby Rasmus will now roam centerfield. Oh, and Ryan Vogelsong may be next on the list to become an Astro. We’ve rehashed the lineup and prospective lineups, so let’s reset the new Astros a bit more.

Where does this leave the team’s payroll?

  • Good question. Forget everything you knew. The game has changed here too,butLuhnow obviously is workinghiscalcluator. Fifteen players presently take up $63.015 million for 2015, which means that there are perhaps other moves coming, especially iftheAstros plan to fall into the previously advertised $65-$70 million category. (Hint: That ain’t happening.) Other players,includingGattis, will come in at or around the league minimum.

Will the recent movement block anyone in the vastly rebuilt minor league system?

  • Again, Luhnow has been shrewd, apparently limiting exposure to primarily the 2015 season. Yes, it appears Gattis may be around longer, but the one-year Rasmus deal and even the reported one-year deal for Vogelsong lines up with the long-term plan that will not block prospects like Domingo Santana, Preston Tucker and Mark Appel. The Plan lives.

Yes, but why now?

  • Let the debate begin, but you cannot discount the fact that it may have been part of the plan all along. Everyone knew — yes, you too — that the day would come when Houston would trade prospects for major league players. Many, in fact, have begged for it. That it would be so dramatic and all at once rather than a more gradual approach has caught many by surprise. For better or worse, The Plan has taken a 90 degree turn.

How big of a gamble is the Super K lineup?

  • Every team has one or two whiffers, but the Astros may be assembling a record K Krew! Whether or not the lineup can survive as many high home run/high strikeout guys remains to be seen. Luhnow has addressed it, but with so few guys getting on base, the Astros could also be the league leaders in solo home runs. Look at it another way? If the pitching corps keeps it close, Houston is always a batter away from tying the score or winning in the late innings.

And do you remember?

Closed door to wide open Luhnow.

  • Another interesting change this off-season is the apparent openness of Luhnow with the media and others. In years past, Luhnow has not only played it closed to the vest and kept his powder very dry, he’s seemed even to mislead at times. Over the past few months, he’s apparently been somewhat open about the Astros’ plans. For example, he’s confirmed the Astros’ interest in Vogelsong and been up front about the state of the Astros (e.g. left side of the infield, Singleton, etc.). The new and improved Luhnow? Or is just now more comfortable with a new contract, a new pocketbook, a new vote of confidence and a new manager with whom he can build trust?

Strongest part of this team now?

  • Just a few short weeks ago, the rotation was the strongest part of the Houston Astros. Now, hard to say? Defense? Hmmm, nope, though the outfield my be decent. The lineup? Probably should take a wait-and-see approach here too, but it could be a strong point. Speed? Forget it. Base stealing? Nope. If the team adds Vogelsong and another prospect (Appel?) joins the rotation this season, Houston’s starting five could claim the top spot for strongest area. Stay tuned.
Advertisements

About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO, and wakes up each morning to the tallest spot in the region, Pikes Peak. He is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 50 years. A native of another picturesque city, 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. Pastor Bosman came up with Chipalatta, and it has stuck.

77 comments on “Astros 2015: The game has changed

  1. 1oldpro
    January 21, 2015

    Right now, the strength of this team is it’s depth and age. The 40-man roster is loaded with major league players and most of them are under 30 years old.
    * The Astros could actually end up with three center fielders starting in the OF
    *The Astros actually have three first baseman with HUGE power, in Singleton, Carter and Gattis.
    *Villar and Dominguez, who were opening day starters last year, may not even make this team.
    * If they sign Vogelsong, they actually have seven major league starting pitchers on their 40-man, including Peacock. None of those seven are named Williams!
    *They will start the year with three major league catchers on their 25 man, but one of them won’t have to catch.
    * Their bullpen is in the best shape it’s been in seven years.
    *The only top 20 prospect who appears blocked in his best position is Tony Kemp and Kemp could prove to be very valuable to this team, even being blocked.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      January 21, 2015

      OP, I love your enthusiasm. I wish I shared it. I hope you are right. I have to say, though, to me Vogelsong sure does look like Woody Williams reincarnate, Rasmus sure does look like a Rick Ankiel dopplegamer [except Rasmus can’t help us with pitching], and Gattis sure does look to me like a guy who spends half the year – if not most of it – on the DL. Luis Valbueno? Meh. He’s better than Matty D, I’ll grant you – but so probably were you and I in our day. And all this place-holding stuff would be fine except that we HAVE AT MOST ONE MORE PIECE OF THE 2017 TEAM IN PLACE [i.e. Moran, who was virtually substituted for Ruiz] NOW THAN WE DID BEFORE WE STARTED ALL THIS FRENZIED AND VERY EXPENSIVE PLACE-HOLDING ACTIVITY. You can only trade a good-looking chip like Cozart, Tropeano, or Folty once – you need to make a real haul when you do so.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        January 21, 2015

        I was try to answer the question Chip asked us: What is the strength of the team. Thanks for the comment.
        What do you think about my points on the strengths of the team
        What do you see are the strongest parts of the team for 2015 as the personnel currently stands?

        Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        Mr. Bill,

        You lost me when you compared Colby Rasmus to Rick Ankiel. 🙂

        Like

      • BrianT
        January 21, 2015

        Rasmus is leaps and bounds better than Ankiel. Better fielder. Better hitter. I wish he would cut down on the whiffs. As Lou Brown says, “With your speed you ought to be legging ’em out.” More contact would make me happier. But he’s still better than Grossman or JFSF.

        Like

      • Steven
        January 21, 2015

        I am a little more skeptical on the Rasmus front. He has some power, but he has never been a BIG time power guy. 15-20 seems to be his zone, a few seasons better, but not a lot and not consistent.

        His K rate last year was 33%. That is Singleton/Carter domain, and probably not what this lineup needed. His OBP last year was .287. Again, not what this lineup, that was 21st in OBP last year, needed. Sure, those could be down year numbers, but his K rate has been trending downwards for years.

        It simply looks like a high risk high reward move to me. Eight doggies is a lot of doggies to risk just hoping the guy can find a .250+ average again and push his K rate down 10% from last year.

        I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again, baseball is a hard game. It takes a LOT of work to get good at it. Sometimes guys figure it out. It’s just as easy to unfigure it out by not working hard. Rasmus is a guy that the Cardinal organization basically gave up on. The Jays didn’t exactly seemed enamored with him, nor made a real effort to bring him back. Trending downward numbers at a young age, professionally ran organizations basically waiving you, not getting along with management people that don’t have similar problems with any other players in their organizations, I’m not sold on this move. Benefit of the doubt to Luhnow though, he knows Rasmus personally before this deal is done, and having first hand knowledge of Rasmus and the relationship he had with the organization he probably knows something I don’t. I just hope he knows something about his K rate that I don’t also. It’s just, wow, 8 million. At least it wasn’t a 4 year deal at 8 per, and it’s not my money.

        The bottom line, this does look eeringly similar to the patch job of 2006. High priced, underperforming vets replacing young guys that failed – Valbuena for Dominguez, Lowrie for Villar looks a lot like Feliz for Ensberg, Matsui for Burke, even Rasmus and Gattis can be questioned for differing reasons – one is injury prone, the other was awful last year (and, btw is also injury prone). Vogelsong is probably better than Williams, Woody was smoke and mirrors by the time we signed him, Vogelsong’s velocity still seems OK, but this isn’t a Shields/Scherzer signing, or even a sexy one like the newest Japanese import, this is a high risk/high reward signing that is just as likely to backfire. The surest bet of them all seems to be Gattis, whose risk isn’t tied to performance, but health.

        I almost feel like the Astros are trying to convince us they want to be better, but doing it on the cheap will only backfire.

        Like

  2. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    The question has never been whether we would trade some prospects. Of course we would. The question has always been what the front office would look for – indeed require – in return. Trading excellent prospects – especially excellent pitching prospects – for marginally better position players that are no one projects will be here – or even be tradeable for another piece of the future – in two years was not what I personally envisioned.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 21, 2015

      My opinion of the four pitchers we traded are that the Astros thought that the guys they kept were better pitchers than the ones they traded. I think the Astros figure that once these current pitchers get expensive or leave in the next few years, that Feliz, McCullers, Velasquez, Hader, Appel, Smith, Emanuel, Shirley, Brunneman, and maybe Sims might be better pitchers than Folty, Tropeano, Cosart and Thurman would have been. The Astros top brass like the pitching prospects they have acquired better than the ones they inherited. That may simply be because they targeted a certain kind of pitcher when they acquired them.

      Like

  3. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    OP, I think the 2015 ‘Stros will again hit a lot of home runs again – probably even a few more than we did last year. But as we have discussed, and as last year’s stats prove, a lot team home runs without a high team OBP does not produce enough runs to win ballgames in the AL. Home run numbers, I suspect, will be our primary – if not only – ‘strength’ in 2014 other than Jose Altuve. I think our defense is going to be atrocious. I think our baserunning is going to be embarrassing. I think hit-and-run, hustle doubles, and game-saving defensive gems are completely off the board. I suspect our starting pitching will regress significantly as the league catches on to the game of Keuchel and McHugh and as Feldman loses a little more velocity and movement. I further expect that an injury to one of the top three will require extensive DL time and send us into a tailspin because we have no replacement ready. I suspect the bullpen will be better in the seventh and eighth innings, as projected – but still painfully inadequate in the 9th. I suspect we will see Tony Sipp look much more like the mediocre to horrible Tony Sipp of prior years than the who-is-this-guy Tony Sipp of 2014. I expect we will again come close to leading the league in blown saves – but that more of them will be blown in the 9th. After all, I do not believe for a moment that Oakland isn’t the only team with people smart enough to figure out an aging Chad Qualls.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 21, 2015

      On opening day, 2014 the Astros’ outfield was Grossman LF, Fowler CF and Hoes in right RF. Two days later Fowler had food poisoning and our outfield was Krauss, Grossman and Hoes. Fowler was useless for at least two weeks after that and so we signed Presley and brought up Springer, finally. Then we stuck Springer in RF, which he hadn’t played in years, and he was atrocious for two weeks.
      You call an outfield of Gattis/Marisnick, Rasmus and Springer atrocious?
      You may be unhappy, but surely your memory hasn’t disappeared. tis outfield is ton’s better defensiveley than what we had last spring and tons better offensively, and we still have Grossman and Hoes if that makes you feel better.

      Like

    • rj
      January 21, 2015

      Mr. Bill i don’t think you’ll see much of Qualls in the 9th, i expect that Gregerson and Fields will be there more than him. They have four arms now when you add in Neshek that are capable of late inning relief. So it will probably be some sort of mix of them all when viewed over the entire season. But Qualls won’t be a stand alone closer.

      Like

    • BrianT
      January 21, 2015

      Why? Why will the league figure out McHugh or Keuchel. They didn’t all of last season. It’s not like they waited until this winter to watch video on those guys.

      I think there’s a difference between being cautiously optimistic and being an out and out pessimist.

      Hey, to each his own. But both have the stats to back up what they did.

      Like

      • Steven
        January 21, 2015

        I think regression wouldn’t be surprising statistically, the bottom line is they were both so good that if they repeated their seasons it would actually be surprising. A little of that will be that major league hitting coaches will have a book on them that they didn’t have at the start. They both seem like bright enough, capable enough young men to make adjustments to the adjustments though, I don’t expect either one are going anywhere, but to expect that they will both have sub 3 ERAs over the course of 200 innings again, well they aren’t hall of famers. It’s a heavy expectation.

        Like

    • Steven
      January 21, 2015

      Pro – yes I call Marisnick atrocious, though he will provide defensive gems. I also suspect that he will take a lot of games away from Rasmus as the Astros would be smart to not have Rasmus, a fairly atrocious hitter in a lot of regards, playing against lefties. Gattis in LF is a defensive nightmare that will make you long for El Caballo again. I would almost rather have Carter in LF honestly.

      This team was better off acquiring Gattis to play 1B or DH, Carter to do the other, and letting Marisnick and Grossman battle it for RF, kept Fowler and put him in LF, and put our CFer of the future in CF now and forever.

      I share many of Bills opinions, though I think the opposite will happen with the bullpen, the 9th will be fine with Luke, he will be a better than average closer I think, its getting to him that scares me. I agree that Sipp is that one year BP wonder, and I think Neshek is overpaid. I think Qualls will be what he has always been, solid most of the time, but will have a few games that makes Hinch reach for the tums. I think we blow a lot more leads in the 7th or 8th than the league average, though I think the BP will blow less than last years pen, but how could you not?

      Like

    • Frank Smith
      January 22, 2015

      Wow, what would we do without fans like you? Oh, i know, enjoy our lives and enjoy rooting for our hometown boys without thinking doom and gloom is just around the corner. Jeez, why do you even bother getting up in the morning? I couldn’t disagree with you more on so many levels, I have to defend my team, though, so let me offer my opinion, which, like all others, doesn’t amount to squat in what will actually take place on the diamond this summer.
      I think defensively we will be much improved over last year, esp. in the outfield. Springer, Rasmus, Marisnick and Presley (who prob. won’t make the opening day roster) are all very good outfielders who can play anywhere. Grossman and Gattis are a dropoff defensively from the others, but if put in LF won’t be much of an issue. If Carlos Lee could handle it, they certainly can. Lowrie is a big improvement over Villar at SS and Valbuena is just as adequate as the Turtle is/was at 3B. 1B and 2B won’t change any defensively from last year. I’ll even go so far as to say that Singleton and Carter will be better defensively this year.
      Baserunning? Who cares? We’re in the AL now, not that big of a deal. We’ve still got Altuve and Springer, and Valbuena has got to be better than the Turtle. Lowrie, Marisnick, Villar, Grossman, Rasmus, Castro, (and even Carter and Singleton for their size and position) are all adequate baserunners, for what it’s worth!
      I am a little concerned with our starting pitching depth, so I wouldn’t mind signing Vogelsong, if we have any leftover funds after way overpaying for Rasmus, IMO. I think Straily will turn it around and hopefully resemble his Oakland A;s self, rather than his bad Cub self, and be a productive fourth or fifth starter. Obie is the X factor, IMO; hard for me to say what we’ll get out of him this year. I think with Wojo, White, Deduno, and later in the year, Peacock and Appel, we have enough arms to avoid disaster, even if losing one of our top three to injury. Our pen will be vastly improved over last year, with the new FA pickups Gregerson, Neshek, waiver claim Harris and trade newcomer Hoyt, all improvements over so many of those middling jokers we put out there in the early season. In addition, young talent like Chapman and Stoffel will have a chance to contribute. I wouldn’t mind re-signing Veras for more depth, just don’t think we have room for him right now.
      The sky is NOT going to fall on us. We’re not Chicken Little anymore. Even if we set a new record for K”s and OBP futility, I don’t care, as long as we improve in the win column, which, I think we will, without a doubt. Whatever the case, this team will be fun to watch and should light up the scoreboard. Let the games begin!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    2014 should be 2015

    Like

  5. Tim
    January 21, 2015

    Can someone bring Mr. Bill off the cliff? Wow! He thinks our defense is atrocious and we will lead the league in blown saves again. Luhnow is on record saying Gattis will not play much in LF. Our OF defense could be outstanding if it Rasmus in LF, Marisnick in CF and Springer in RF. Our IF defense is not strong, but we shift so much to help in that area. We added 2 very strong bullpen arms, but apparently Sipp and Qualls have turned into Jerome Williams.

    Like

    • Steven
      January 21, 2015

      If Marisnick and Rasmus are both starting in the OF, our OF will be the worst strikeout machine OF in all of baseball, perhaps including even the minor leagues. Caveat that with Marisnicks lack of power, and you will be expecting Springer to carry the load.

      I have no idea what this blog sites mancrush is with Marisnick. He is not a solution to get 500 plate appearances and think this teams offense will improve. He is a great 4th OF’er, can play all 3, and all 3 at gold glove level, he can run, he hits well enough that he doesn’t hurt you too much at 200 plate appearances, I love the guy being on the roster, but starting, yuck.

      Like

  6. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    Tim, in 2007 Ankiel hit .285, with an OBP of .328 and a slugging percentage of .535.
    In 2008, he hit .264, with an OBP of 337 and a slugging percentage of.506. Then he began to regress a little at a time. He had a little resurgence in 2010. That is exactly the pattern I see with Rasmus. His ‘Ankiel’s 2007’ was in 2010. His ‘Ankiel’s 2008’ was in 2011. His ‘Ankiel’s 2010 resurgence’ – which like Ankiel’s proved to be non-reproducible – was in 2013. 2014 was pretty much what I expect from Rasmus’ future. Just like Ankiel. Move along, folks – nothing to see here.

    Like

    • Tim
      January 21, 2015

      I made the assumption you were comparing him to the 2013 Houston Astros Rick Ankiel. If not, then I apologize. Considering we only signed Rasmus for one year I will be ecstatic if we get the same production from Rasmus that the Cardinals got from Ankiel.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 21, 2015

      Rasmus had a bad hamstring last year. He started off well and got hurt. He was a Georgia boy who was playing in Toronto. He is not 32 like Ankiel was. He was not a pitcher for ten years like Ankiel was. He’s 29 and healthy now and loves Houston.
      If a bad year means regression is starting, how do you account for Altuve suddenly having a 50 point jump in his BA after getting hurt in 2013. Regression in a young player happens due to circumstances. Rasmus’s circumstances have radically changed. He has just as good a chance of a good season as Lowrie did when he left Houston and went to Oakland, where he flourished and stayed healthy. Rasmus may not be great or even good, but he was better than Hoes or Grossman were last year and I think he will be better this year than he was last year, if he stays healthy.

      Like

      • Steven
        January 21, 2015

        In 2008, as a rookie, he had a 18% K rate. It has steadily climbed year after year, with only one exception. It was 33% last year.

        I would disagree that he was better than Grossman last year. I think you underestimate Grossman’s contributions to that 53-60 finish. I would argue that Rasmus is a step DOWN from Grossman, not a step up. Grossman is a 25 year old trending upwards in swing rates, contact rates, Rasmus is 29 and trending downwards.

        I would rather have Marisnick in the OF than Rasmus. This is a terrible signing.

        Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        Steven,

        If you think the Rasmus signing at $8M was terrible then you must also think signing Fowler for $10M would have been terrible as well. Last year was the worst OBP year for Rasmus and he still put up a .735 OPS. His UZR in CF was not good last year, but compared to Fowler he was gold glove (-9.1 to -21.8) and Rasmus had some injury issues. A healthy Rasmus in 2013 had an OPS of .830 and a UZR of 11.2. Sorry, this looks to be a fair signing.

        Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        Misprint: Rasmus’ OPS in 2013 was .839. Fowler has never had a positive UZR in CF. Also, Steamer projects Rasmus to have a 1.9 WAR this year and Fowler to have a 1.4. Both have injury histories as well. For me, if I had a choice between Fowler/Dominguez or Rasmus/Valbuena, well, let me just say it isn’t even up for debate. The latter is a much better option.

        Like

  7. Chip Bailey
    January 21, 2015

    Tim, I’m not sure that Mr. Bill is on the edge of the cliff. While I will say that the team seems to be improved, I do believe there is some inherent risk with this type of lineup, Ks not withstanding. I’ve adopted a wait-and-see approach, in part, because as we’ve seen over the past week, things can change by the time I write this comment.

    Oh, and I haven’t seen Luhnow “on record” about Gattis and left field. At this point, Gattis is the Astros’ left fielder. Can you direct us to those comments from Luhnow? Now, if Singleton struggles or Carter Ks the first 25 ABs, sure, Gattis moves then.

    I think Gattis will get a few reps at 1B and some time at DH, but only on specific days. I think if the plan would develop as Luhnow preferred, that Gattis (LF), Carter (DH), Singleton (1B) would each get about 140 games in at their position and be interchangeable with the remaining positions.

    Like

    • Tim
      January 21, 2015

      Chip,

      Read Evan Drellich’s story on the Rasmus signing. In the article he talks to Luhnow where Jeff says he doesn’t see Gattis playing much in LF.

      Like

      • Chip Bailey
        January 21, 2015

        Tim, it may come down to who brings more to the table or who is the hot hitter: Marisnick, Singleton Gattis or Carter. If Singleton is the real Singleton, he’ll be in the lineup. If Carter is the second-half-2014 Carter, he’ll be in the lineup. They didn’t give up prospects for Gattis to have him on the bench. That means that Carter, Singleton, Gattis and Marisnick are essentially playing musical chairs with three positions.

        My vote for ultimate odd man out is Marisnick. Unless, of course, Luhnow has other moves planned for either Carter or Singleton.

        Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        Is a Carter trade a possibility? I am just going off Luhnow’s comment that Gattis will not be our primary LF.

        Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        Or they may start Singleton in AAA.

        Like

    • rj
      January 21, 2015

      “We don’t know what Gattis is going to look like in left field,” Luhnow said. “If he’s good out there or adequate, I’m sure he’ll get some at-bats out there. Is he going to be our everyday left fielder? I can’t imagine that happening with the guys that we have, but we want to have that bat in the lineup.”

      Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        Thanks RJ.

        Like

  8. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    Tim, to play in MMP we have to feature pitchers like Keuchel who make people pound the ball into the ground. To make that strategy work effectively for us we need a very, very quick, sure-handed set of infielders. We also need to keep the other team’s baserunners from taking extra bases. Rasmus had how many assists last year? Springer? Marisnick? Grossman? Presley? And our catchers are known primarily as pitch framers, not as effective deterrents to base-stealing.

    Like

    • Tim
      January 21, 2015

      Rasmus and Springer were injured for a large part of the year and Marisnick only played 2 months. Presley and Grossman are backups. Are you questioning the range and arm strength of Springer and Marisnick?

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        January 21, 2015

        Tim, except for Gattis the defensive problems that I see with the 2014 team are not related to range. With Springer, the problem is not so much arm strength – but throw accuracy. So far he has not been tested enough to make a call one way or the other. But other teams have no reason to fear running on him and taking a chance. Of course, we’ve seen too little of Marisnick to know one way or another how his arm and throw accuracy will turn out. Being able to plan a route and run like a deer does not necessarily mean he can throw anybody out at a base once he catches up to the ball. And Rasmus is a significant downgrade from either Springer or Marisnick. The bigger problem I have is that we are not setting ourselves up for real contributions from long-term players in 2016 and 2017. We really don’t have another Springer – or even a Fowler – in the pipeline, unless maybe Domingo Santana can get it together. So we sign Hank Conger and Jed Lowrie, trade away Cozart, Kike Hernandez, Rio Ruiz, Dexter Fowler, Nick Tropeano, Folty, all to pick up Colby Rasmus for 1 year and find a third baseman a little better than Matty Dominguez? That is not the direction I was hoping the team was going. No hate. No anger. No sarcasm. Just very real disappointment.

        Before you worry about me and the edge of some cliff, however, keep in mind that I have been a fan, and close follower of this team, since its formation in 1962. I quite frankly am not excited about maybe winning 75 to 80 games in 2015. I am looking down the road, hoping for a real team – a team my grandchildren can get excited about the way I did about the teams on which Nolan Ryan, J. R. Richard, Mike Scott, Billy Wagner, Art Howe, Enos Cabell, Cesar Cedeno, Phil Niekro, Glenn Davis, Jeff Bagwell, and Craig Biggio starred. All my concern has to do with wasting opportunities to trade the prospects and respected ballplayers we had, like Cozart and Fowler, for big, long term pieces, and instead wasting decent prospects and salary money to pick up extremely expensive, low potential return, short-term fill-ins like Colby Rasmus, Hank Conger, and perhaps, if rumors are correct, likely the most ridiculous waste of good money of all, Mr. Vogelsong. Of course, I hope to be proven wrong.

        Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        Mr.Bill,

        We got Moran, Marisnick and a supplemental pick for Cosart. We have team control of Gattis for 4 years and 2 years of Valbuena (one more than we had with Fowler). Rasmus and Lowrie were FA signings and didn’t cost us any players. We have a stocked farm system including the #2 ranked prospect in all of baseball. We have many young pitching prospects in the minors. There’s plenty of options for 2017 and beyond. We don’t know what Folty, Nitro, Cosart or Thurman will turn into, but we received quality in return for these guys. It seems like you think we have no farm system depth. We traded away some, but the players we got back will be under team control for several years. This is why I said come back off the cliff. You are using worst case scenarios to justify why these trades and how we will fail this year. We have greatly improved our team for 2015, have not blocked our top prospects and still have a stacked farm system.

        Like

  9. Chip Bailey
    January 21, 2015

    Corporan to Texas for a former second rounder. 19-year-old Class A pitcher

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      January 21, 2015

      That actually excites me. Corp wasn’t going to make it with us. Let’s see what kind of young arm we got.

      Like

      • rj
        January 21, 2015

        I liked Corporan myself, but it was clear he was expendable after the moves this year, the young guy we got for him actually looks pretty good from what i have read. 19 yrs old.

        Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 21, 2015

      That is a lot better than waivers because it shifts his salary immediately, clears a needed spot on the 40-man(Rangers had to waive a player they got yesterday), and we actually get a former second round pick that the Rangers paid his signing bonus on and we didn’t.

      Like

      • Chip Bailey
        January 21, 2015

        Well, the Corporan trade doesn’t actually clear a spot on the 40-man since they did that yesterday with the DFA to make room for Rasmus, but your point is well taken. Luhnow may still need to clear more space (Hoes? Deduno? Harris?). Stay tuned.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        January 21, 2015

        Chip, what I meant was that the Astros did not trade for someone who had to go on the 40-man. Corporan clears the spot for Rasmus and our return doesn’t take up a spot. As a matter of fact, the pitcher we got in return has three more years before we have to make a decision on him.

        Like

  10. Kevin
    January 21, 2015

    I’m not the smartest guy in the room, but I always view prospects as prospects, what 1 out of 25 really make a decent MLB player. I wish we could keep them all but you can’t. I liked tropeano, folty ruiz etc, but i don’t think the Astro’s trade them if their evaluaters saw perennial All star associated with them.

    Now if we gave up Correa or Appel for what we have gotten then UGH. I think our 25 man roster this year is good for at least 12-15 more wins than 2014. Rasmus we have for 1 year, he is not the Ankiel thatt we got! If Gattis is just OK then trade his ass in 2 years.

    I have to agree with OP, we still have a lot of potential, I say potential, on the farm and no ones growth, has been blocked yet,

    Like

  11. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    OP, my friend, you must have misread. I never said our outfield was atrocious. What I said I thought our DEFENSE would be atrocious. As I pointed out to Tim, the defensive problems I see – especially for MMP brand baseball- are primarily in the infield and behind the plate. I am also concerned that we do not have any real killer arms in the OF to slow down other teams’ baserunners from taking extra bases. Is the opening day outfield better offensively than the guys on the field in early 2014? Some. Is it better defensively as far as range – I think so, but we will see who plays where and how they do. Gattis’ defense does not excite me. Marisnick’s offense does not excite me. Springer’s arm – especially its accuracy – does not excite me. So while we may look better in the outfield that we did in 2014 – IF Springer stays healthy – we still have not acquired [a] enough pieces to compete in 2015 or [b] any significantly improved pieces for the 2017 team.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 21, 2015

      OK, Dominguez had a negative dWAR, last year, Villar was atrocious, Altuve had a negative dWAR at 2B and Krause and Guzman had a negative dWAR at 1B.
      So, now we have Valbuena, Lowrie, Altuve and Singleton. Defensively, if that is a wash, our improved outfield defense, our improved catching defense and framing, keeping the same starting pitcher’s on defense, then, defensively we are better this year than last year.

      Like

  12. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    OP – as to your question about Jose, there is a simple answer: Altuve is spanish for Superman. ; )

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    Brian T. the stats you mentioned that back up what I said about the starters are right here: In 2012 Dallas Keuchel had an ERA of 5.27 and a WHIP of 1.55. In 2013 he had a WHIP of 1.54 and an ERA of 5.15. He had a great 2014. Before 2014 he had not had an ERA under 3.77 since his first minor league season, when nobody knew him. The numbers he posted last year were great. He showed he is a great guy and a fierce competitor too. Tip the hat. But let’s be real. The numbers he posted last year were WAY out of line with his historical numbers.

    The difference is even more dramatic with McHugh. Albeit in limited appearances he went from ERAs of 7.59 to 10.29 and WHIPS of 1.64 to 2.14 over the past couple of years to an astonishing ERA of 2.73 and a totally uncharacteristic WHIP of 1.20 in 2014. Based on history, the odds of him repeating in 2015 would seem to be pretty long.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 21, 2015

      Bill, your theory only applies if the pitcher is really not a good pitcher. If a pitcher has become a good pitcher, then he can stay a good pitcher if he keeps pitching well.
      If a young pitcher adds pitches, successfully adapts his delivery to mimic his different offerings and then becomes a “good” pitcher he has a much better chance to remain a good pitcher for years until his body doesn’t have it anymore. To assume that every young pitcher will get better and then regress negatively means that you expect every pitcher to not be a good pitcher, but just lucky for one year. I happen to believe that the Astros have found two pitchers who were not so good early and now have learned to pitch and are quite possibly “good” pitchers.
      If you questioned the top 50 pitchers in all of baseball right now, how many will tell you they never really struggled, they were just good from the beginning? Not many.

      Like

      • Steven
        January 21, 2015

        I expect some regression because I think its unreasonable to expect BOTH will be ALLSTAR caliber pitchers again. Not saying either one will go back to being pitchers that were not taken as serious candidates for rotations, but expecting any pitcher on the planet to have back to back sub 3 ERA seasons is a tough sell to me when there are 2 of them to do it, and neither has a history that suggests they are yet capable. One or both may build that history, but the league is just as littered with guys that had great single seasons as it is guys that became annual allstars. I’m guessing that Keuchel comes closer to repeating, that McHugh becomes a just better than average, but neither have sub 3 ERAs again.

        Like

  14. Tim
    January 21, 2015

    Dave Schoenfield wrote a nice article today on espn.com making a case the Astros could be the surprise team of 2015.

    Like

  15. Razor
    January 21, 2015

    Longtime lurker, love this website/blog. Always a fun read. I’m with Becky, I can’t wait for the catchers and pitchers to report. I liked Corporan also, he just seemed like a great teammate, but this was a good trade for the Astros and a fresh start for Corporan.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    In 2017 we project Altuve at 2B, Correa at SS and Springer in one outfield position. Hopefully Moran will turn out to be a quality third baseman, but he has not proven himself even in the minor leagues yet, so we need to be constantly looking – if nothing else for depth. Trading Rio Ruiz was a step backward. There is no one else in the system if Moran bombs. We need to be raising up a starting catcher who can both catch and hit and a sub who can give him a day off. We are way behind. We need a league average or above 1B – and maybe that’s A.J. Reed, and maybe that’s Jon Singleton, but neither is an heir apparent to the position like Correa is for SS. We need two starting outfielders to go with Springer – younger and more talented than Rasmus and much, much better than Marisnick. We need a dependable utiltity tandem – lefty and righty.

    Pitching wise, we at least have some starters with a shot at making the 2017 rotation. If OP is right [and I hope he is] that McHugh and Keuchel can somehow reproduce the 2014 smoke and mirrors show successfully in the future, we can take a reasonable leap of faith and ignore some bad times at the beginning of his career due to the dreaded tandem pitching disease and write in Mark Appel near the top of the order for the best ‘Big 3’ we have had since Clemens, Oswalt, and Petit. Who knows, maybe two out of the McCullers, Hader, Feliz and Shirley batch – if they don’t get traded away in the interim for another short-term bench player or DL canditate – can fill out a championship quality rotation. Bullpen? Always a shot in the dark. But where is the dominant closer a la Billy Wagner and Brad Lidge going to come from out of who we have at AA or above?

    The point is that time is running out for 2017. And we have a long way to go. Looking at last year’s AAA team is uninspiring to say the least. Looking at our AA Corpus Christi team’s stat sheet is only slightly more encouraging. The guy with the best BA [Kike Hernandez] is gone. The two guys on the AA club with the best OBP – Fontana and Kemp – are both considered blocked at the MLB level. The guy with the best OPS – Preston Tucker – is way too slow to do anything but DH. Except perhaps for Matt Duffy and Joe Sclafani making the bigs as utility players, the rest of last year’s AA position-player talent pool looks extremely unlikely to contribute to the big team. Stacked farm system? Yes – at 2B and starting P. Elsewhere, not so much, when you start looking at it closely. Taking that triple-whammy on the 2014 draft really set us back in that regard. But basically what is becoming pretty apparent is that we just do not seem to draft very well – at least in comparison to other teams who have enjoyed high draft choices lately. Kris Bryant – on whom our guys passed – seems poised to tear the NL apart next year. Carlos Rodon is ready to show the league his stuff too. We could have had both. We got neither.

    Like

    • Steven
      January 21, 2015

      I agree that Bryant and Rodon are both tough pills to swallow. Those two are probably contributing factors as to why Luhnow is making these choices on personnel now, feeling some pressure. It maybe also why Appel sees the majors way sooner than any of us think he should.

      If Correa is going to be your criteria for a lock as prospect, well, there are only 3 or 4 locks in all of major league baseball then. There is some guy in the minors right now we all love that will end up a failure, someone like a Santana, that will end up not cutting it – not saying Santana won’t, just using it as a name most people see as an up guy that might not be a real up guy. Likewise there is some guy like Sclafani or Torreyes not being taken seriously at most organizational levels or national press that become quality major leaguers.

      I would take the wait and see approach, and not worry about 2017 until the fall of 2016, unless we are contending in 2016 then I worry about 2017 the winter of 2016. Projecting lineups for 2017 can be fun, but cant be done seriously. Afterall, even a “lock” like Correa can end up with a broken leg and never return the same.

      Like

    • Tim
      January 21, 2015

      First, how many teams have someone labeled a shut down closer in the minor leagues? Closers are usually discovered later or acquired via trade/FA. The Giants won the World Series with Santiago Casilla as their closer. Second, we have J.D. Davis as a nice looking prospect at 3B and Carlos Correa could also be moved there opening up a spot for the ‘blocked’ Fontanta. In our top 20 prospects we have Teoscar Hernandez, Derek Fisher, Domingo Santana and Brett Phillips in the OF. I could include Preston Tucker in there as well. You seem to doom and gloom without merit.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      January 21, 2015

      If Chris Bryant tears the league apart, there’s nothing you can do about it. He’s a Cub.
      * Tucker is the first guy who should be ready. He’s already at AAA and he is a power hitting LH batter who has good OBP, decent K and BB and a big time RBI guy. He is an outfielder who has a good arm but has shown poor range. He is acutely aware of that and vowed to work on his routes this offseason.
      *Carlos Correa was pegged yesterday to lead all of the minors in batting average this coming season by a baseball man. He describes Correa as a future superstar.
      *Tony Kemp has huge OBP and high batting average all the way to AA and he has been in the system for only one full season. He was the minor league Gold Glove *2B. That is given to one guy in all of the minors. It doesn’t matter if Altuve blocks him. He is gonna be good.
      *Moran is a high prospect, but very young. He is already rated as a 65 out of 80 for his bat and that is the same rating as Correa has. We already have JD Davis at QC at 3B and he should be the 3B for Lancaster this year. Davis has power!
      *Maverick Phillips is a five tool prospect who burst into stardom this past season and jumped into the Astros top 10. Lance Mc Jr said Phillips is the best player he has ever played with or against.
      *J. R Reed is an extreme power hitter with a fabulous arm and he is A LH 1B who could play COF. He was the best college player in the nation in 2014. Oh yeah, Kemp was the POY in the SEC in 2013.
      *Domingo Santana is a fast OF with a great arm and middle of the order power. He is two years away from being another Cespedes. He just has to grow up He is only 22.
      *Teoscar Hernandez is a very young, five-tool CF in AA ball. He hits for average, and for power. He is fast, has a good glove and a good arm. He is still way below AA age but is scheduled for the majors in 2017.
      *Derek Fisher is incredibly fast, may be the best CF in our entire organization and has a well thought of bat. Just drafted this June he will probably be a CF in Lancaster this year after Phillips gets promoted.
      Max Stassi is a good defensive catcher. He has power. A lot of people think he was a disappointment this year in AAA. The guy is 23 years old. By the time this guy is 25 he is going to be our starting catcher and he will be good. Pencil him into your lineup for 2017.
      I’ve left out the pitchers and several other players, but don’t criticize Fontana and then skip over Torreyes. Torreyes is a Kike!

      Like

  17. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    Somebody’s got to plan ahead – ask Rocky Balboa. Hopefully somebody with some saavy in the front office is planning ahead for the 2017 and beyond Astros. The reality in today’s world is that the starts do not just align right and somehow make championship baseball happen. It is a chess game played by master strategists – a give and take process developed over the course of several seasons. All sorts of surprises – pleasant and unpleasant – will occur. But that is why the process of preparation needs to take place at multiple levels, depth charts need to be prepared, and contingency plans need to be developed. What you do not want to do in the course of building a dynasty is waste talent – much less someone else’s perception of your potential talent – and get nothing significant in return.

    Like

    • Devin_
      January 21, 2015

      I agree with you and Steven today, but have to offer there is no reason for JL to plan for 2017. If the team wins 75 or fewer this year, he’ll be out on the street. If he can get a team on the field that gets above .500, well, he will be able to sign more heralded FA next off season. As for the kept prospects possibly flaming out, the only net their is the depth of our system…but that isn’t an issue only faced by Houston.

      Like

    • Steven
      January 21, 2015

      I am not suggesting you completely not plan for 2017, what I am saying is you can’t plan on Correa being your SS in 2017. The plan should be to get players like Correa into the system, and let the system do its work, but don’t ignore your product.

      Most people here tired of Boperts pessimism. I thought he was right in a lot of regards, even if he didn’t say eloquently enough. I could live without the nifty crooked nicknames, but teams across the league, real teams trying to compete, manage to both develop great players WHILE winning, or at least attempting to win. They are your models. The Angels didn’t draft Trout to be starting in CF in 2012, it just happened. They did draft him because he fit the model of what they were looking for, and probably hoped by 2015 he would be a good player. The plan is draft the best, young, available talent, monitor them, and not try and project them, let them play into themselves. Some will make it, actually most won’t make it, but the ones that do, great, when you actually have a decent major league SS for them to displace they will actually end up better for competition.

      Like

  18. daveb
    January 21, 2015

    I’m almost exhausted reading all this back and forth. Obviously, I think we got less athletic overall, which means to me a potentially weaker defense and certainly less activity on the bases. Maybe OPS will overcome these potential issues. Right now, maybe we are marginally better, but it’s a tough call for anyone to make. Some guys will regress and some guys will have better years. Some guys will go on the DL. My problem is that I was finally liking the direction we were heading in, that is, until July 31.

    I know I’ll be spending as much time keeping an eye on Tropeano, Cosart, Folty and even Ruiz and Fowler. And by summertime, we’ll all have a much better idea whether or not Luhnow will be around for the next couple of years.

    Like

    • Tim
      January 21, 2015

      That’s the Chip approach (wait and see approach) and that is probably the best way to handle this. I will also be keeping tabs on our former players to see how they are performing, but I won’t panic if they are doing well nor will I call the trades a success if they are struggling. As with any trade it takes several years to fully evaluate how they turned out.

      Like

      • daveb
        January 21, 2015

        Equally my approch Tim. I don’t think it will take several years to evaluate though. All the guys we’ve picked up are short term investments. Really, only the kids we gave up might take awhile to figure out.

        Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        I am referring about the players acquired in trades. All of them are under team control for at least 2 years, most for more.

        Like

  19. Mr. Bill
    January 21, 2015

    Bopert was/is Eeyore with poison darts in his tongue and his tail. His position was basically ‘we will never win’, because the powers that be of the franchise are cheap and care only about saving and skimming money. To Bopert, winning was never even part of the franchise plan. His posts were not based primarily upon baseball issues or analyses but focused instead primarily upon an intense and irrational hatred toward the owner[s] and the GM. Bopert was the guy who saw himself as the 99% and saw himself at war against the 1%.

    I do not subscribe to Bopert’s form of cynicism for a second. I don’t want to talk moneyball or baseball politics. I want to talk about stuff that happens on real baseball diamonds, in the heat of real games. I want to talk positions and strategies and use of personnel. I even want to talk statistics – especially in the off-season.

    Unlike Bopert, I am a Astros believer as well as a fan. I believe my team will ultimately persevere, overcome, and be great again. I believe our city will demand it – and I believe our owners hunger for it every bit as much as we do. However we are doing, or how much I may personally disapprove of the direction we are heading at a given time, I will always watch every game I can. When I cannot watch the game when it is over I’ll study the box score like it was an algebra test and my semester grade depended upon acing it.

    I am also not a pessimist. I just care very little about – and expect nothing spectacular at all from – the team in 2015. That does not bother me, or deter me in my support of the ‘Stros at all. All I want to see them do is nurture the talent in the pipeline, and let the future stars in place and get their feet wet. My focus is on the two years that will follow 2015. But I do not get all tingly inside when my team settles for another team’s cast off – and pays him $8M, or when they trade away chips that could have brought long-term potential for improvement for mere also-ran place-holders.

    I am still believing it will happen in 2017 and beyond. Just not in 2015.

    Like

  20. Becky
    January 21, 2015

    OH LORD………reading these comments might make me go back to drinking! I already gamble, so I don’t need another vice. Calm down fellas……we haven’t
    even gone to spring training yet! Who knows……Rasmus may turn out to be the
    BEST signing of all this winter. Whew!!!

    p.s. I feel sorry for Corp, he will have to deal with the Texas summer in Arlington
    when it can get 117 degrees on the field. Poor guy!

    Like

    • Kevin
      January 21, 2015

      Thanks Becky i can put the razor blades away Stros in 15

      Like

    • Devin_
      January 21, 2015

      It’s a dry heat though!

      Like

  21. Dan P
    January 21, 2015

    Why I’m cautiously optimistic (what can I say – I am an engineer – naturally questioning and cynical – cautiously optimistic for me is ecstatic for most human beings):
    – Rasmus is 28 years old. Even though he was one of the youngest FAs around – he had to settle for a 1 year contract. He knows if he is bad again that he might be signing for 1 year at $1 million next time. I see motivaton.
    – Even though they will pitching later in the game – I can see a combined 2.50 ERA from Gregerson/Neshek indirectly replacing about 130 innings that last season were given to Jerome Williams (6.04), Anthony Bass (6.33), Darin Downs (5.45) and Paul Clemens (5.84).
    – There is maybe the slightest chance that out of youngsters like Singleton, Springer, Grossman, Marisnick, Villar, etc, some of them might improve just a teensie little bit … especially if they have more legitimate major leaguers around them.
    – Man give me 150 games of Springer – I know a lot of you did not get to see him play last season, but he was a treat and impacted the game and his teammates almost every game.
    – You can say almost anyone can beat Dominguez’s numbers which belittles the fact that 3B should have much better numbers this season whoever is there.
    – Somehow Singleton knocked in 44 runs while batting .168 in 310 ABs. If the kid can bring that average up to anything reasonable he could make a huge difference.
    – Yes, McHugh and Keuchel might regress. Heck an arm could fall off. But what I saw the last half of 2014 did not look like a mirage. It looked like very good pitching as opposed to hard throwing.
    – I really want to see Springer / Gattis / Carter / Singleton in the middle of the lineup. I know it may be K city – but 2/3 of the time it won’t be.
    – I keep saying this – they just need to score a bit more / game (0.3 runs /game let’s say) and stop the other team a bit more (0.3 runs / game) and they will be even which usually works out to around to a .500 record. I think their improved bullpen and more fire power will get them there.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Tim
    January 21, 2015

    Does anyone else think Luhnow has some concerns about Singleton being a productive player this year? His comments regarding Gattis not being our primary left fielder, but wanting Gattis’ bat in the lineup everyday, to me, is very telling. Where is Gattis going to play? Unless we trade Chris Carter it sounds like Singleton may not be in the 2015 plans. i was thinking about this over dinner. Maybe he is trying to light a fire under Big Jon, but someone is out of the pitcher if Gattis is going to be in the lineup every day, but not in LF.

    Like

    • Dan P
      January 21, 2015

      They could move Gattis around – Some LF some DH Some 1B some C – but it makes you wonder if he is going to make another move

      Like

    • Tim
      January 21, 2015

      *picture…It really bothers me when I make such blatant spelling errors. Ugh!

      Like

    • Chip Bailey
      January 21, 2015

      Tim, I’ve suggested that on many occasions in recent weeks. Singleton is the only one in the bunch who doesn’t have many options. And by that, I mean, he either plays 1B or DH. Carter and Gattis have three options (LF, 1B, DH) and in the case of Gattis, also catcher. Even Marisnick essentially has three options.

      Just remember. Luhnow signed Singleton to a multi-year deal, so he’s not going to want him playing in Fresno for $2 million unless he absolutely has to. Morever, with more punch in the ’15 lineup, Singleton won’t have to carry as much weight as they were trying to get him to carry in ’14. If that makes sense.

      All that said, yes, can’t help but think there is another move coming. It’s still possible Castro is moved and Gattis spends times behind the plate, no?

      Like

      • Tim
        January 21, 2015

        I would be more concerned with Gattis behind the plate than in LF at MMP. I think much of his injury woes are related to playing catcher. I am guessing Luhnow tries to sell high on Chris Carter and trades him. I guess we shall see as something will have to happen between now and April 6th.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        January 21, 2015

        Good golly, Tim! That is what I have been thinking for two days. 1)Gattis is the LF. All of a sudden 2)Marisnick deserves a shot at LF. All of a sudden 3)Rasmus is in the OF.
        But before all that Luhnow settles with Carter for way more money than anyone thinks Carter is going to get. Now, a guy who has spent years pinching pennies pays way over value to Carter without even a whisper. If Carter is removed from the picture, so is his salary. Then Gattis moves to DH, Rasmus to CF and all of a sudden Marisnick deserves a shot in LF, based on the way he finished last season(Luhnow’s words, not mine). If you move Carter for something of value you have money for a BOR free agent pitcher. You replace Carter(RHSO/HR guy)at almost $5mil with Gattis(RHSO/HR guy) who makes half a mil. That might be where you fit the final FA pitcher into your $70mil budget. You get rid of one of your slow, no defense, high K homerun hitters and replace him with another for a tenth of the money and Marisnick gives you the best OF defense in the league.

        Like

      • Tim
        January 22, 2015

        OP,

        It just seems to me that Carter and Gattis are both suited to be DH so one has to go. However, now that it appears Vogelsong is not coming here the SP market has really thinned. Chris Young is a severe flyball pitcher and not a good fit at MMP. Shields is out of their price range. The only other option I can think of is Kyle Kendrick, unless a SP is obtained if we trade CC.

        Like

  23. Becky
    January 22, 2015

    The Vogelsong deal has fallen through….it seems the Giants have sweetened the pot for him. I got feeling another *big* trade is about to happen, and this one
    might hurt a LOT.

    Like

  24. Dan P
    January 22, 2015

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I just feel so unsettled with the “new” front office of the Astros – I am about 5 steps behind them all the time and rarely can guess what they are thinking.
    Frankly, at this point with Vogelsong out of the picture, I would prefer them to give somebody like Wojciechowski or Deduno or Buchanan a shot at the 5th spot coming out of ST and then see when/if Peacock comes back who you want to hold down that spot.
    It might make more sense to see how things are working out for a month or two and if they aren’t – at that point look at bringing someone else up from AAA (Appel?) or make an in season trade for a 5th starter.
    I really don’t want to see any more depletion of the prospects at this point in hurtful trades (as Becky is afraid we are facing).

    Like

  25. Dan P
    January 22, 2015

    It is a little strange that the highest paid Astro – Scott Feldman is probably the least talked about or written about Astro. Almost the invisible man.

    Like

  26. 1oldpro
    January 22, 2015

    I read an article this morning where Rasmus said Houston was his first choice of places to play. He said Berkman told him how great Houston was several years ago. He said he was never comfortable living in Toronto.
    He said he was most at home in CF but would play anywhere the Astros asked him to play. Fowler never said that in public.
    Luhnow said Rasmus would play against all righties and some lefties.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on January 21, 2015 by in Astros.
Follow CHIPALATTA on WordPress.com

Our Team

%d bloggers like this: