CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

Pondering stats, questions and things that go bug in the night


Sitting at Starbucks with a nice, warm venti white chocolate mocha with sleet falling outside and watching the world around me while wondering about some questions as the spring season gets underway in Florida. Would you be able to help with your thoughts on my answers and a different perspective on the questions?

Thank you in advance.

When will the Astros have a normal franchise?

  • It’s been awhile, but the Astros could easily have employed the slogan “Don’t try this at home” over the past few years. It would be nice to experience an under-the-radar type season, free at least of the PR and other debacles that have plagued the Astros for the last decade. There are too many to list here, but they began shortly after the World Series appearance and have continued through the early years of the Crane Administration.
  • Question: Are the Astros just cursed, or will 2015 be more of a normal season?

Who will be the next legitimate Astros’ ROY candidate?

  • With so many high draft choices and even those who have joined the organization through trade, shouldn’t the Astros have had a player or two in Rookie of the Year consideration? It’s a small thing perhaps and it’s probably low on the organization’s totem pole, but Jon Singleton and George Springer should have been groomed as candidates. You could argue that others were pushed along ahead of schedule, thereby “eliminating” them from the consideration. Jose Altuve was a mid-season addition and even Matt Dominguez was pushed.
  • The real question actually relates to the first. Does an organization in disarray (read: without a farm system and forced to work with a patchy roster) force the hand and upset the normal routine enough to keep players from “participating” in the normal activity of awards, etc.?
  • Question: Who has the best shot at becoming the next Rookie of the Year for Houston?
  • Question 2: Should the Astros plan a smooth transition early enough in the year for players like Carlos Correa and Mark Appel to garner the stats to be considered?

If an individual player delivered these lines at his position this year, would you be good with that?

  • Fifth starter. 30 starts, 160 IP, 4.30 ERA, 1.4 WHIP, .250 BAA, .280 BAbip. Record of .500 or just under.
  • First base. 130 GS, 25 2B, 20 HR, 75 RBI, .250 BA, .350 OBP, .800 OPS.

And, how about these players? If you could cement these numbers now for the season, would you do it?

  • Springer. 140 G, .270 BA, .330 OBP, .800 OPS, 25 HR, 80 RBI, 160 K.
  • Castro. 125 G, .240 BA, .300 OBP, .720 OPS, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 160 K.
  • Keuchel. 30 starts, 190 IP, 3.30 ERA, 1.2 WHIP, .250 BAA, .300 BAbip. 15 wins.
  • Scott Feldman. 30 starts, 190 IP, 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .260 BAA, .290 BAbip, 12-13 wins.

Does it bug you that… Does it still bug you that … Or, How much does it bug you that …

  • The Astros could have had Carlos Rodon and Kris Bryant on the field this season?
  • Jonathan Villar, Dominguez or Robbie Grossman are still in the organization?
  • Jeff Luhnow seems content to set a team strikeout record — and perhaps a MLB record — with the roster and lineup he’s putting in place?
  • Springer could play his entire Astros’ career in right field?
  • Houston is playing in the American League?
  • The Astros may have better solutions than Singleton and Luis Valbuena at the corners, but may go with that at the start of the season anyway?

Thank you for your help. By the way, one of the questions above was a sort of trick question. The fifth starter line essentially belongs to Roberto Hernandez (2014) and the first base numbers are the cumulative totals for Singleton at AAA. If those are acceptable, there is some historical evidence they are attainable this season.

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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.

35 comments on “Pondering stats, questions and things that go bug in the night

  1. daveb
    March 5, 2015

    Venti white chocolate mocha? Chip, I didn’t figure you for being one of those guys that slows the line ordering exotic concoctions. I go with a tall red eye.

    I think this club has not had a chance to be a normal franchise. That said, I’m not sure if an owner like Crane or a GM like Luhnow will ever allow us to get there. Good or bad? I don’t know. I’m more a traditionalist until someone shows me it can get done in other ways. I’m also not impressed with how these guys have handled the HR Department to date.

    ROY does not mean much to me, but Correa should have the best shot. Thing is, will this organization ever allow a rookie to break camp in April and go directly to the big club? (see HR Department). The best 25 guys should be in the dugout on Opening Day, regardless of financial ramifications. This also helps build long term relationships (See Springer).

    I want Oberholtzer to be our fifth starter. I think he can produce better stats than that. Problem is that we have not identified a real fourth starter to date. I miss Cosart. Heck, he could have ended up as our 1, 2, 3 or 4 guy.

    Sure I’d take that from first base. And if Singleton were to give us those figures; a .250 average and 30 homers, his RBI total would easily top 75.

    And yes, I’d take those starts from the four other guys. But if Springer is healthy, he’ll hit well more than 25 dingers. Have I mentioned that we should put our centerfielder of the future in centerfield and leave him there?

    Yes, Roden especially. Let’s face it, Luhnow does not have a great track record in the draft (see HR Department) to date.

    I don’t have a problem with Villar, Grossman or Dominguez still being in the organization. But I don’t think two out of three of them should have any chance of making a 25 man ML roster right now.

    That’s the main reason I’m not sold on the most recent off season acquisitions. Breaking the ML record for team K’s is probably the best Vegas bet we could make right now. We’re going to get multiple guys on base to start an inning this year and see the next three go down without putting the ball in play.

    Springer could play his entire Astro career in right and then go on to be a Hall of Famer in center with another organization. It’s the HR Department theme again.

    The American league thing is not that big a deal. Most of us don’t leave the park shaking our heads about how crappy that American League game was. At least the people I talk to.

    Third base is set for Opening Day. Not so sure about first though.

    Like

  2. Steven
    March 5, 2015

    Oh first crack!

    ■Question: Are the Astros just cursed, or will 2015 be more of a normal season –

    Let’s say, if I was a guessing man, the Astros are about to leave 3 years of “turible” (best Chuck Barkley imitation I can do) and enter about 3-5 years of mediocrity. Getting beyond that mediocrity is going to depend on the growth of Springer and Altuve, and the development of Correa and Appel. One or two surprise ups from the system (like a Moran or something) to be big contributors, a few good players from the system, and things can start to look up. The reason I give such a long timeline on it is because even when Correa and Appel do get here, if they become quality, championship caliber players, it won’t be on day 1. It will be down the road a bit. A 28 year old Correa should be a ton better than a 23 year old Correa.

    ■Question: Who has the best shot at becoming the next Rookie of the Year for Houston?

    Let’s say partly cloudy. Here is to guessing the David Price treatment that Springer got, and that Bryant will get this year, will become fairly common place. I think Correa and Appel will probably both get it, but so will a lot of people. Correa should be a candidate next year – after he sits at AAA until 1 June.

    I think anyone takes that from a 5th starter and a first baseman. I think you are shooting under Springers potential, I am hoping for (and expecting) more. I think Castros numbers are on par if he plays that many games, but I think Conger will be better than expected and cut into it a little more than that, maybe more like a 100-60 game split between the two. Keuchel looks about like I expect, but hope for more. I don’t know that we will get a healthy Feldman two years in a row – it’s never happened – but even the sun shines on… you get it.

    Correa was the last pick they made that I agreed with. Drafts are generally overrated in baseball anyway, but I would like to see the Astros do better this year in it – unfortunately this draft doesn’t look like it has any Correas/Bryants/Rodons in it.

    As long as they have options, I don’t have a problem with them on the roster. Not a big fan of Dominguez, or Villar, but as long as they are cheap and controllable, and can be sent to AAA for a penance, give them a chance to show something in Fresno. Once the options are gone though, I am guessing they will be too. Grossman on the other hand could end up your starting LF, so if you are sick of him now, here comes the pain.

    As for the K – I am preparing myself mentally for alot of 2nd 3rd with one out situations that we leave with nothing. Hopefully if we find ourselves in those situations in the 8th and down by a run, Hinch has the flexibility to pinch hit for a Carter or Singleton with a guy more apt to make contact. Bottom line, if I could avoid having such a K ridden lineup, I would, you become too dependent on BABIP, which can be shut down by either/or good pitching and good defense, but I am more concerned with the options handed to Hinch to manage those K’s in crucial situations.

    It would bug me that Springer plays another inning in RF, much less a season or a career. I It would bug me that he would not be an Astro forever, but I don’t think he will be. The AL thing bugs me daily because it removed a strategic value to the game that fans enjoy – at least true baseball fans. The casual fans dig the long ball.

    I’m not bugged with Singleton at 1B. Unless he is lazy and effortless in ST, I would put him at 1B. His K rate was astronomical, but if you look at his swing rates in and out of the strikezone you can see room for growth. His BABIP was also so bad that it can’t possibly repeat (look at his BABIPs coming up). He will be better. Better enough to keep his job, I don’t know, but I expect him to follow that pattern he has established of being bad at a level before becoming better.

    Like

    • daveb
      March 5, 2015

      Steven, I sure hope you’re wrong about mediocrity potentially taking us all the way to 2020. I might start going to Cricket matches.

      Like

      • Steven
        March 5, 2015

        Mediocrity would sure beat 3 straight 100 loss seasons – at least you will attend every game with hope.

        Liked by 1 person

      • daveb
        March 6, 2015

        Living down here, I only get to about a dozen games a year these days. And that’s probably a good thing!

        Like

  3. 1oldpro
    March 5, 2015

    Your first question is a tough one because I don’t know what a normal franchise is. Luhnow doesn’t strike me as a normal GM. Crane doesn’t strike me as a normal owner. The TV deal isn’t normal now, but may be normal in a few years as companies find out baseball doesn’t pay for them like they thought it would. As long as the Astros are hurting for money, they probably won’t be operated like a normal MLB franchise.
    I don’t think the Astros will have a legit ROY candidate until Correa gets called up. Tucker might have a shot if he spends the year in AAA and makes the team next year as a starter. But Tucker is going to have to put up 25 HRs and 90 RBIs to do it. He has a chance to do it because he bats from the left side and faces more opposite handers than somebody like Santana would and Tucker also hits lefties pretty well also. Tucker came to bat as I typed this and he took a 3-1 pitch outside for ball four. Tucker is a pretty smart hitter.
    Astros have hit 3 homers so far today: Valbuena, Grossman and Gonzalez.

    Like

  4. Devin_
    March 5, 2015

    Last 10 ROY:
    2014: Jose Abreu / Jacob deGrom
    2013: Wil Myers / Jose Fernandez
    2012: Mike Trout / Bryce Harper
    2011: Jeremy Hellickson / Craig Kimbrel
    2010: Neftali Feliz / Buster Posey
    2009: Andrew Bailey / Chris Coghlan
    2008: Evan Longoria / Geovani Soto
    2007: Dustin Pedroia / Ryan Braun
    2006: Justin Verlander / Hanley Ramirez

    If memory serves, Harper, Myers, and Posey all got sent to AAA for most of April or more. I would say the stats of all but a few are achievable in 130 games or less – the exceptions being Kimbrel (46 saves), Abreu (37HR, 107RBI, .317avg), Trout (30HR, 49SB, 129 runs!!!), Feliz (40 saves), and Verlander (17-9 record).

    I think Correa will have the best shot – he has the most hype and unless he stumbles this year should be in our starting lineup no later than next May. I don’t think any arm in our system has the potential to dominate in their first cup of coffee / season. Finally, the Gattis trade makes me wonder which players get the gold star in Luhnow’s spreadsheet and which he would like to turn into other assets.

    Like

  5. Dan P
    March 5, 2015

    Thanks for punching this out in the cold and sleet for us to ponder over today, Chip.

    – Normal Franchise – I have this picture in my mind of Jeff Luhnow entering Crane’s office holding a glass jar in his hand. Crane asks him what it is and he tells him it is a normal brain. Later on he tells him that it was the brain of Abby someone – Abby Normal.
    I think this franchise has chosen to take a road less traveled and as such – it will not be operated normally as we go forward. Maybe after 53 seasons with no championship – abnormal is worth a try.
    – Who has the best chance of ROY? I think old pro may be on to something in that it may need to be some lesser name like Tucker, since the bigger names will have their call-ups carefully timed to keep them under control longer.
    – I don’t think the organization gives a flip about ROY and won’t groom anyone for it.
    – I agree that I expect more from Springer (20 HR and 51 RBIs in only 78 games) over a full season, but would be happy with the other 3’s stats.
    – I’m especially upset by the bypassing of Rodon, much more than Bryant. I think they out-thought themselves.
    – Villar is entering his age 24 season, while Grossman and Dominguez are entering their age 25 season. When you start tossing out too many guys too young you may well be kicking yourselves in the keister later.
    – Strikeout record – So in a few seasons there will be a book that will come out titled “Funny Ball” and when the movie is made – a slightly older Brad Pitt will play Jeff Luhnow – who will be a genius to notice that everyone is striking out more in the new mlb and doesn’t care as long as they hit some HRs along with striking out.
    – Springer will probably get CF in a year or two
    – Sorry after watching AL baseball the last few years, I hardly notice that the pitchers are not batting since our regular hitters strike out so often
    – I think Valbuena will get the majority of the starts at 3B – I think what happens to Singleton will be the greatest mystery to be solved in ST.

    Like

  6. Mr. Bill
    March 5, 2015

    What he [Jake Marisnick] asked: What do I have to do to break ST with the big club?

    What Robbie Grossman responded today: Dear Jake. It’s nothing personal, buddy. And there is still a long, long way to go of course . . . but let’s just say that I am not planning on making it any easier for you.

    Like

    • Steven
      March 5, 2015

      I think Marisnick breaks unless he stinks. It’s Presley that might have to take note, or maybe even Singleton.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        March 5, 2015

        It is still early, of course. But you have hit the nail on the head that Presley and Singleton [both of whom we will have to pay pretty big money this year for starting in the minors if they don’t break camp] are on notice that they will have to outshine Mr. Marisnick to hold their place. Singleton’s RBI double and Presley’s RBI single, as well as Grossman’s 2-3 with a dinger and 2 RBIs, should hopefully combine to send Jake a nice little early message that absolutely everyone in the running for the spot he wants beat him out of the starting blocks.Jake’s O-2 today, without striking out, is not regarded as ‘stinking’; but with a start like that vis-a-vis the other guys in the running I don’t think he can string too many 0-fer days together like a Lowrie, a Castro, a Carter, an Altuve, a Springer, or a Valbueno can.

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  7. astrocolt45
    March 5, 2015

    1. No MLB team is ‘Normal.” They are all rich men’s toys. 2. ROY – probably some guy that comes up and hits like crazy or wins 10 straight games. Not the usual suspects. 3. Good with all of those returns. 4. The draft: NFL 400 picks, NBA 300 picks, MLB 1200 picks. MLB Draft is a complete numbers game of getting as many as you can signed. There are no experts in the drafts – just smart men with a hunch. So no genius knew of the elbow ligament question with Aiken. It is like someone having “a system” to win the Powerball Lottery. Just buy more tickets than the other guy. 5. V-D-G as long as they earn a sport or go to Fresno I am happy. The next 3 are a push for me. Just win. Last one – don’t know who are the better options at 3rd. It is time for Singleton show. You guys are seeing something in Singleton in the minors that I am missing. Brett Wallace was comparable if not better in the minors.

    Like

    • Steven
      March 6, 2015

      In his ability alone, Singleton is better. His pitch selectivity is better. His ability to draw walks is better. He swings at less pitches out of the strike zone than Wallace ever did.

      Pitch trax tells you all these things. Wallace may have had better AVG/HR/RBI stats, but he played every level much older.

      Now that’s not saying that Singleton is GOING to better than Wallace, only that he has the potential – because he has the instinct to tell a ball from a strike earlier in that .45 second window it takes a 90 MPH pitch to get to him. Tests show the average human takes .6 seconds for hands to react to what the brain tells it, so you know right away hitting is instinctual, not a thought process. Guys who demonstrate that natural tendency to be faster than .45 seconds are the guys that build long careers. Bagwell had it. Biggio had it. Alou had it. Even Carlos Lee had it. Altuve not as much as those other guys, but he has the bat speed and hand strength to more than make up for it. This was Wallace’s downfall. The better the pitching got, the more his weakness was exposed. He is a classic AAAA guy.

      It’s also while I am rooting for Marisnick, I don’t see him with enough instinct at the plate to overcome that, size and look be damned.

      Singleton has the instinct. Whether or not he has the effort though, we can’t know.

      I was talking to a friend of mine who is a huge Diamondbacks fan. We were discussing Goldschmidt, and we just googled him, and found some good writeups. This guy is like the first guy to the park everyday, he spends at least an hour everyday in the filmroom watching breakdowns of the pitchers he will be facing that day, goes to the weight room, runs a few laps around the park, and takes 50 grounders a day. No days off. I don’t know if Singleton has that in him, or if he is the guy that gets to the park when required, skips fielding practice when he can, and doesn’t bother with scouting reports and film, thinking he can hit off natural talent because he always has – which won’t work in the big leagues. There is no way for fan of a blog to know this, so we leave it in the hands of Hinch.

      Like

      • astrocolt45
        March 7, 2015

        Steven, I hope you don’t take this as an argument because it isn’t. But my take is if a guy hits 5 balls on the nose in the game, and they are all caught, he is 0-5. To me the rest is unimportant. I have joked on here before about Fred Gladding. He was effective in relief. However, the average distance that balls traveled per inning against him was somewhere near 1,000 feet. But they were still outs. (Just as an illustration on Freddy Flintstone) On the other hand, I watched Jeff Burroughs hit fly after fly into the teeth of the Sonora Winds into Right Field at Turnpike Stadium. When he left for Atlanta, a Dallas sportswriter wrote that he would probably break Babe Ruth’s record in Atlanta. (And he did hit 40 one year). But it never happened again. Seriously, had Burroughs been playing in Atlanta in the early 70’s – he might have approached 60. But in the end, he didn’t. So as to Singleton, I fully understand why they gave him a chance. With the vast improvement in Carter, I understand why they would give Singleton at least a 1/2 season more. No reason not to do it. But no matter the potential, if Singleton fails to produce (just as Wallace failed to produce) – you have to look at other options. I just remember seeing Wallace go back to the dugout and sitting on the bench looking like a guy on a toilet with constipation. All the pieces were there except the results. So he sat there staying off into space with that blank look.

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      • Steven
        March 7, 2015

        That’s definitely fair enough.

        I would agree that there is a lot more to it, analytics are just a start – they give us the idea that he is POTENTIALLY a better hitter. There also has to be something in between the hitters ears that click also – and Singleton has to demonstrate he has that piece as well.

        Like

  8. 1oldpro
    March 5, 2015

    I don’t think the Astros should or would plan a transition for their players with ROY in mind, especially for Appel or Correa. Because these two players are 1.1 picks, the Astros have huge investments in them from the beginning. Drafting Correa at age 17 they knew he was going to need at least four years to get to the majors. Appel is different because of his four years of college. But they already have had problems with Appel , so I don’t see them rushing him or doing anything with him before the brass, Strom included, think he’s ready to get MLB batters out.
    The Astros beat one of the poorer teams in baseball in their spring opener and played 20 different position players and seven pitchers. This one game changes nothing for anyone other than to show that our minor league pitchers gave up the runs and McHugh didn’t. We didn’t score off of Cliff Lee either. Tomorrow is another day and there is a lot of baseball left to play before we find out who makes the team.

    Like

  9. 1oldpro
    March 5, 2015

    Hunter Pence hit by pitch in forearm today. Fractured ulna. Out six to eight weeks.
    You just never know what’s going to happen out there.

    Like

    • Dan P
      March 6, 2015

      I hate to hear that – Pence has always been one of my favorites and a guy who plays like his hair is on fire all the time.

      Like

    • Devin_
      March 6, 2015

      Terrible news. Hopefully the injury bug won’t hit too many this year. I know Sale is also out with a broken foot.

      Like

  10. 1oldpro
    March 6, 2015

    Does it bug me?
    It doesn’t bug me that the Astros don’t have Carlos Rodon on the field this season. It does bug me they don’t have Rodon somewhere in their system. This year’s #2 doesn’t make up for it. There is no Rodon in this year’s draft.
    It does not bug me that Villar, Dominguez and Grossman are still in the system. It bugs me that Jared Cosart is not.
    Yeah it bugs me that Springer could be in RF. It bugs me that it’s their plan but they didn’t plan on him being there until they got him to the majors. There is a lot of stupid in the Astros’ front office. It’s like putting a guy in management training for three years and then making him a salesman because the boss’s nephew got hired at the last second.
    I’m over the AL deal. Baseball found it’s mullet and his name is Crane. He’s the one paying for the dwindling attendance, not me. If he gets any money from me it’s going to be on a hat from Academy.
    If the Astros have better solutions than Singleton and Valbuena, they better not be like Guzman or Dominguez. I’m pretty happy with Valbuena, although I can’t believe he beat #2 seeded Grossman in the March Madness TCB Tournament. That hurt!
    Game two of ST coming up. Who’s going to be today’s “look out, Jake” player of the game.

    Like

    • Devin_
      March 6, 2015

      I agree with you. As a UNC alum, I had to come to grips with the possibility an NCSU star would be our #1 pick last year, but after watching him dominate us as a soph. I had jumped on the bandwagon with no reservations! I was never excited about the thought Colin Moran could be drafted by Houston…take that for what you will. I think it all came down to money. Rodon wanted the full slot signing bonus, I suspect, and Crane/Luhnow wanted a discount. I also wonder if Appel’s start to 2014 gave them cold feet. Ultimately, however, I’m reminded of a few years back when our ST was littered with former first round picks of other squads who flamed out…cheap quantity over quality in hopes of one or more being a lotto ticket winner.

      Like

    • Mr. Bill
      March 6, 2015

      OP1, I personally hope the ‘look out, Jake’ player of the game today is somebody like Domingo Santana or Joe Sclafani. But I also hope that if Khaki-Pants Jake gets to play today he absolutely dazzles, looking like a cross between Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Hank Aaron – so don’t mind me. I don’t really care who shines, you see – I just want to as many warm bodies as possible who wear the Navy and Orange lighting it up like the budding superstars I hope my sons and grandchildren will get attached to the way I got attached to Aspromonte, Staub, Morgan, Watson, Glen Davis, Biggio, Bagwell, and Berkman.

      Like

      • Devin_
        March 6, 2015

        JFSF is hitting leadoff.

        Like

  11. Mr. Bill
    March 6, 2015

    Still no Santana, Duffy or Sclafani sighting. Maybe before the end of the day.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      March 6, 2015

      Santana is listed as 2nd RF, Sclafani as the second DH and Duffy as the third first baseman in today’s lineup. You can find a picture of that on the Astros twitter account. I don’t tweet so I google Astros Twitter and bring that up on my PC.

      Like

      • daveb
        March 6, 2015

        op, the grand kids teaching you all this stuff? I don’t know how to tweet or twitter.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        March 7, 2015

        Back at the start of free agency I constantly found myself trying to find the latest news. The best way to do it was to go to the twitter accounts of guys like Rosenthal, Heyman, Morosi, etc. Apparently if you have a twitter account you can sign up to get their tweets automatically. Since I don’t care to do that I just google them on the web. So now, during spring training I google Evan Drellich Twitter or Brian McTaggart Twitter and get their accounts up to get the latest news on the Astros. If I find something important or refreshing I share it with my family. That’s y’all.

        Like

  12. Mr. Bill
    March 6, 2015

    Second game of ST is in the books. Marred by three errors by CIF. [No, Valbueno did not play. The errors belonged to Dominguez, Moran, and Singleton].

    Obey stayed in trouble, and gave up 4 hits in 2 IP, but managed to escape it all with only one unearned run.

    Alex White has to be extremely disappointed in getting through only 1/3 of an inning, while giving up 3 hits, 2 walks, 4 earned runs, and having to be rescued. I score it Wojo 1, Deduno 1, White 0, and Straily yet to come to bat in the race for 5th starter.

    That was most definitely not how White wanted to start this most important Spring of his baseball career. I am assuming he still does not have anything close to his old velocity back, but did anybody see what the gun was saying?

    At least Joe Sclafani got in, scored a run, and is hitting 1.000. At least Gattis has his first Astro EBH. At least Carlos Correa has a hit and an RBI. And at least Domingo Santana did not strike out every he came to bat, and actually got an RBI.

    Some days are diamonds; some days are stones.

    Like

  13. Becky
    March 6, 2015

    DANG……..I hate losing to the Cards. I keep praying my utter hate will soften my heart, but it ain’t working.

    Like

  14. Tim
    March 6, 2015

    The Astros could have had Carlos Rodon and Kris Bryant on the field this season?
    In hindsight I would rather have Rodon than the #2 pick in this year’s draft, but Aiken was the consensus top pick by most scouts and experts so I don’t fault Luhniw for drafting Aiken over Rodon. I wish we had been able to do a physical on Aiken before the draft, but the rules don’t allow for it.

    Jonathan Villar, Dominguez or Robbie Grossman are still in the organization? I definitely think Grossman will be with the Astros.

    Jeff Luhnow seems content to set a team strikeout record — and perhaps a MLB record — with the roster and lineup he’s putting in place?
    This is a concern, but I am also intrigued by the abundance of power in our lineup so I am not overly bugged by this.

    Springer could play his entire Astros’ career in right field?
    If Marisnick proves he deserves to play everyday then I am fine with this. Otherwise, I will be bugged if we keep signing or trading for players who are not as good defensively and keep plugging them into CF (I am talking to you Dexter Fowler and Colby Rasmus).

    Houston is playing in the American League?
    At first, I was annoyed by this and thought I would hate the DH, but as it turns out it doesn’t bother it in the least. It is still the Astros so I am fine.

    The Astros may have better solutions than Singleton and Luis Valbuena at the corners, but may go with that at the start of the season anyway?
    I don’t see a better option than Valbuena at 3B, but I will be disappointed if Singleton is playing 1B on May 15th with similar numbers like he had last season.

    Like

  15. 1oldpro
    March 7, 2015

    Friday’s starting lineup vs Yankees:
    Altuve 4
    Grossman 7
    Springer 9
    Carter 3
    Valbuena 5
    Lowrie 6
    Castro DH
    Conger 2
    Presley 8
    Keuchel 1

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      March 7, 2015

      Yes, we finally get to see:
      1. if Jose Altuve is still .. . well, still Jose Altuve;
      2. how old or young Mr. Lowrie looks and plays now, after returning from his adventures in Oakland;
      3, Whether Alex Presley really does shine in centerfield; and
      4. just how much Mr. Conger’s famed ‘pitch framing’ skills impress American League Umpires in general and Dallas Keuchel in particular;

      Alas, I still can’t help cringing a little bit every time I see a line-up that shows Chris Carter being assigned a defensive position. Chris be nimble, Chris be quick, Chris, we’d rather you just swing the stick.

      Like

    • Dan P
      March 7, 2015

      Mr. Bill I cringe less when I see Carter at 1B than in LF. When he played LF a bit 2 seasons ago he made Carlos Lee look like JFSF. He seemed OK when I’ve seen him at first before and it is not like he is bumping anyone great defensively at 1B.
      If I keep writing I might convince myself this is OK. Maybe this is normal early spring training delusions on my part….

      Like

  16. 1oldpro
    March 7, 2015

    The only base on balls for the Astros Friday was drawn by leadoff batter, Jake Marisnick. Look out, Robbie Grossman!
    Look out, Luis Valbuena! Joe Sclafani is hitting 1.000 after Friday’s game! You just cannot stop him, only watch helplessly.
    Spring training! Where everyone is a player.

    Like

  17. 1oldpro
    March 7, 2015

    Yu Darvish and Rangers mulling possible TJ surgery. May seek second opinion.

    Like

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This entry was posted on March 5, 2015 by in Astros.
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