Would you rather: Spring training edition


Today we revisit a previous post as we do an updated version of… ”Would You Rather?”

As a reminder, you can answer some or all of these questions but stating the reasons behind your choices is what really drives this blog’s boat.

Would you rather….

1.

a) Have Jon Singleton win the starting 1B job or……

b) Have Singleton start off in Fresno or….

c) Have Singleton start off in Miami or somewhere else?

2.

a) Have Evan Gattis as the full time DH or….

b) Have Chris Carter as the full time DH or…

c) Have Gattis play a lot of 1B or….

d) Have Carter play a lot of 1B?

 

3.

a) Have Roberto Hernandez as the fifth starter or….

b) Dan Straily or….

c) Asher Wojciechowski or…

d) Brad Peacock when he returns?

4.

a) See the Astros trade Jonathan Villar or…

b) Send Villar down to Fresno or….

c) Assign him to clean Becky’s pool this summer?

 

5.

a) Have them name Chad Qualls as closer or….

b) Luke Gregerson as closer or….

c) Pat Neshek as closer or ….

d) Mr. I.M. Committee as the closer?

 

6.

a) See them send L.J. Hoes packing or …

b) Alex Presley packing or….

c) Robbie Grossman packing or …

d) George Springer pack for all three and send their luggage ahead to meet them?

 

7.

a) Have them drop Alex White from the 40 man roster or…

b) Asher W. or…

c) Sam Deduno or…

d) Kevin Chapman?

 

8.

a) See Jake Marisnick play the majority of games in centerfield this season or….

b) George Springer or…

c) Colby Rasmus?

 

9.

a) See a 2015 call-up of Carlos Correa or…

b) Mark Appel?

 

10.

a) See Jim Crane predict an Astros playoff run and be right or….

b) Have Jeff Luhnow trade for immediate help at the trade deadline and the team falter down the stretch or…

c) Have Jeff Luhnow make cost cutting trades at the deadline, but bring up the young guys like Correa, Appel, Tucker and others to finish off the season.

 

Have fun – hope you enjoy!

 

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40 comments on “Would you rather: Spring training edition

  1. 1 – I would rather he hit well enough to be the 1B, but would be opposed to just sticking him out there because you are paying him money. If he earns it this spring, not in stats, but by handling himself the right way, working hard, and is making sound contact consistently, yes, I would rather see him there. Don’t have a dog in the fight sortapeak, I just want the best first baseman on the roster to be there, if it’s him, good, if not, Carter is fine.

    2 – I would like to see Gattis as full time DH to save wear and tear on his knee this year. You never will know where that thing is until game 15 on day 19 of a 23 day roadtrip. A year of getting it right, and we can explore options of him returning to the field.

    3 – Gonna lean towards Straily. Hernandez had one truly great season, and a bunch of bad ones. At some point, soon, we have to see what Wojo can do with big league hitters. Peacock has a live arm, but he fails at barely missing strike zones, which won’t fool the better hitters. He really needs work on command. Of the group he probably has the livest arm if he can master command, but I wouldn’t want him as the 5th starter until he does that. An extended rehab would be in line if I was Luhnow.

    4 – Pool.

    5 – Gregerson. Neshek has been so bad against lefties at times he was once released by the Cardinals for it. Qualls hasn’t exactly been Mr. Consistent against them either. Now Luke hasn’t exactly been lights out on lefties, but a little better, and that career .235 average doesn’t exactly scare me, or make Hinch tell a BP coach to get Sipp up, and may not even be enough to make an opposing manager send up a lefty or two as pinch hitters to try and create an advantage.

    6 – I can’t see anyway Hoes makes the team out of ST. They all 3 have strengths and visible weaknesses. Just because they don’t make the team out of ST doesn’t mean they won’t be here at some point. I’m a fan of all 3 on the 40 man as long as they aren’t blocking someone – a Gattis and Springer trip to the DL can wreck havoc on you if you have sent all 3 packing.

    7 – If White doesn’t start regaining that velocity it will be tough for him to make this roster. All 4 should remain with the franchise, but all 4 may do so at AAA. Given my choice, out of ST Deduno would probably be my swing man.

    8 – I would rather see Springer play 150 games in CF. What I think we will get is a Marisnick/Rasmus platoon with Springer in RF. LF I think will be split between them playing Gattis as much as they think he can, and spelling him with Grossman. Presley will probably be 5th OF’er fodder that won’t see as much time as he would like.

    9 – I’ll take all of the above – Correa by June and Appel by Sept.

    10 – In the immortal words of Jim Mora – “Playoffs? You are talking playoffs? Playoffs? Are you kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game.”

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    • Lots of good input there Steven – it would be nice if so many guys were performing well at the mlb level that you did not need some of the guys you send down – but that never happens.

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  2. I want to answer one or two at a time so that we can prolong our discussions and try to include a lot of our friends in that.
    1. I would rather a) Jon Singleton win the 1B job. He is a talent. He has great power. He is a left handed glove on first base which gives better pickoff coverage and the glove is on the hole side. He is a monster who will be harder to hit line drives over. But, most of all, he was a high prospect who we want to see succeed for the good of the organization so that we become more respected for holding onto him and being patient with him on and off the field. A successful Singleton is also an affordable power first baseman, which means we can spend money on other players for the next five or six years. He hits left handed and, right now, our players of the future: Altuve, Springer, and Correa are right handed batters. A rockin’ Singleton gives our lineup a good left handed power hitter and we have not had that since Lance Berkman.

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  3. Man I can’t argue with any of that old pro – all great reasons to want Singleton to succeed. Have to wonder how they would play / rotate Singleton / Gattis / Carter. I’m hoping smart lineups is a Hinch specialty.

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  4. I would like to see Singleton win the 1B job, but I don’t have a problem with him starting the season in Fresno. Not only does he need to improve at the plate, but defensively, he is a complete sieve right now. I would almost rather see him at DH except for the fact I, like Steven, want to see Gattis there as much as possible to save the wear and tear on his knees. Carter is not a good defensive 1B either, but I think I like what he does defensively a bit more than what I have seen from Big Jon.

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    • Now I don’t know whether it was because he did not have time to work with the pitchers on defense enough, but down the stretch of last season, every ball hit between the pitcher and 1B was a total adventure. Between going for the ball and covering first base he seemed to pick the wrong one half the time or even worse struggled with picking either one.

      I hope he can harness his talent and help this team – he has a lot of power in that bat, but none of it matters when he is missing pitches or popping them up.

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  5. 1. a – if Singleton wins the job it means he outplayed the other options. Because Gattis and Carter cannot both DH, it would likely mean Gattis in LF primarily or that Carter was traded. If Gattis in LF, then big Jon outplayed the OF candidates from RG, JFSF, AP, etc. as well.
    2. b – I want to hide Carter’s glove. Gattis may not be a gazelle, but as long as he doesn’t hurt himself I don’t think he costs us too much in the OF. JL needs to invest some time briefing him on tendencies and our pitching strategies to minimize expected number of steps per game though.
    3. c – Wojo. I’m OK with Peacock or Straily – both have shown flashes and are inexpensive. Hernandez is expensive. Unless the plan is to get a Brett Myers-like rejuvenation and flip him at the break, I don’t see the future upside.
    4. c – That pool won’t clean itself! OK, being serious, I would say Fresno until he blocks Correa. We probably won’t have Marwin next year due to cost considerations. The question is what happens if Correa is ready in early 2016. Do we make Lowrie the super-sub for all infield positions (and pay him among highest on roster?)? What if Moran is ready? Can we keep Valbuena, Lowrie, and Villar on the roster when none are starters? I think we start moving middle infielders to other clubs this November.
    5. e – Fields as closer. I really like Qualls, but it was obvious he was out of gas at times last year. Gregerson was fantastic in Oakland, but doesn’t miss enough bats. Even Trevor Hoffman who topped out at 92mph on his fastball in his prime averaged more than a K per inning. I want to see a pen that shortens the games by not letting leads be erroded or lost in innings 6-8 this year.
    6. a I- don’t see room for all those OF and don’t believe the short sample of success from AP prior to injury represents any future performance we can expect…but think he is more versatile than Hoes. We can’t trade all as our minor league prospects are obviously not ready yet.
    7. I don’t want to answer this one. White didn’t have any success in his first spring appearance, but as you all know, I am a fan of his dating back to his college days. Wojo has shown flashes. Deduno has some MLB experience. Chapman is left handed and has a pulse. It’s nice that the options are tougher than, say, what to do with Paul Clemens.
    9. a – Appel. He needs to learn before being counted on in a playoff drive, in my opinion. Correa is really young. I would let him get his minor league at bats.
    10. a – Being in the hunt instead of playing meaningless games would be great!

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    • Good takes, Devin and I should have included Field in the #5 discussion – glad you brought him up because he certainly has the arm – if he can just improve the accuracy.

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    • Agreed – of the arms in BP, it would appear Fields has the best potential at making bats miss – I had mentioned a few weeks back that I think he will be the closer in 2016, I just don’t know about 2015. His command is still a work in progress. If we are in June and already 6-7 games under .500, I would probably go with him and see how it works.

      I say Gregerson not because I think he is the necessarily the best option, only that I am guessing when Luhnow sat at the table with him and his agent he probably told Luke he would get a crack at it. I do think he is a better option than Neshek or Qualls and will probably have the job out of ST. Qualls and Neshek certainly have important roles to play though and will decide a lot of games also.

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      • Interesting take on Fields vs. Gregerson – it would have been fun to have sat in on negotiations with both the new relievers.

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  6. 2. I would rather have Gattis play a lot of LF, because I want Singleton to be hitting well at 1B and Carter hitting in the DH.
    3. I would rather Wojo win the #5 spot so that one of our long time rebuild acquisitions making it would actually pan out. I’d also like Peacock to come back after his surgery and provide us with a reliable sixth starter.

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    • I would really like to see a younger guy like Wojo step up and take that 5th spot by the neck. It is time to get these younger guys experience and I would rather see that than giving it to a so-so veteran.

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    • I would agree that our best options offensively have Gattis in LF – I just worry about that knee if he plays 5 games in 6 days in LF. Sometimes things feel great coming out of protected environments like ST, and you don’t know where you really are until you’ve made 4 hard sprint catches, a wall bump, 3 hard backpedals, and THEN you start feeling discomfort. A lot of what Hinch does will probably depend on a combination of what Gattis says, the doctors say, and the trainer says.

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      • I agree, but suspect we see Gattis get the game off against a lot of tough RHP. This also presents the luxury of bringing him off the bench to pinch hit in the late innings of those games.

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  7. 4. I would rather see the Astros send Villar to Fresno because he doesn’t make this team and he’s not very tradeable. If Lowrie were to get hurt, it would be nice to still have him available.
    5. I will stick to what I said a month ago: I would love for Fields to catch fire and blow the Astros away and earn the Closer role. My second choice would be Qualls to continue to close and let the other guys seal the seventh and eighth innings down.
    6. I would rather see them send Hoes packing in a trade for a low A arm with several years protection from the Rule V draft.

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  8. By all means, I’d like Singleton to win the job now. That gives us our best guy there defensively of the three considerations and gives us his much needed lefty bat. And so far he’s hitting. 5 of his six hits are doubles. So far, he’s making the decision at first an easy one.

    Unless Carter gets moved or Singleton self destructs, Gattis is our leftfielder. Not many options when a club hires two righty designated hitters, both who are liabilities with a glove on. Still shaking my head over the Gattis deal.

    5th starter? Looks like Hernandez has the inside tract, but I’d give the job to the guy who’s pitching best. Obviously a guy like Wojo would be cheap. And I’d like to see once and for all what he might do. I don’t see much in Straily. And it seems that Peacock is just hanging around.

    Might as well send Villar back to Fresno. He’s still a better athlete than most guys. Someday, somewhere, he’ll be a pretty good ballplayer. And I think if Becky had him over to do the pool, she’d take to him.

    We don’t have a closer. So the guy that gets the first shot will control his own destiny. I’m not counting on much out of Qualls this year.

    I’d send Hoes and Presley packing. But we’re stuck with Presley for the time being. That million guaranteed to him is another head scratcher to me.

    I’d keep Wojo on the 40 man. The other three guys would not be missed, but the lefty might hang around.

    Everyone BUT Springer has been playing Springer’s natural position. So, it seems to me that Rasmus will be there on Opening Day. Gattis-Rasmus-Springer.

    No hurry for either guy, but I think we see Appel soonest.

    Feldman, Carter, Castro, maybe even Lowrie……I can see Luhnow moving several guys out come June/July/August. I don’t see this present squad as all that competitive, so there is still roster building ahead.

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  9. 7. I don’t really want them to drop any of those pitchers from the 40-man until we see how the entire spring training works out. When has a team not had a couple of pitchers go on the DL after throwing a lot in the spring?
    8. I would rather see George Springer play the majority of games in CF this season. Why? Because of the long term implications of the roster. I don’t see Rasmus being here longer than this season. I don’t see Carter and Gattis vying for AB’s for two or three years at DH. I don’t see Presley here next year unless he hits over .300 as a pinch hitter and does a terrific job filling in for outfielders. Because I doubt if Marisnick and Grossman are both in the long term outfield plans for the Astros.
    Springer in CF just seems like a solid solution in CF for the next few years and if he isn’t here for his entire career, then it seems he is much more valuable as a power hitting CF than a power hitting COF down the line.

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  10. Woke up with a migraine this morning, so I’ll answer the above questions later.
    Safe to say if Villar ever came over to my house…….I would drown him in my pool.

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  11. Three big surprises from the Astros so far this Spring.
    1. They are not striking out nearly as much as predicted – yet, at least;
    2. They are not hitting home runs nearly as often as predicted – yet at least; and
    3. Grossman, Singleton, and Marisnick all look great – so far at least.

    As far as Joe Sclafani goes . . . AS ADVERTISED. This kid comes to play.
    As far as Carlos Correa goes . . . just call him ‘the Natural’.
    As far as LJ Hoes goes . . . is he really still on the 40-man roster?
    As far as Matty Dominguez goes . . . you are a square peg; we have a round hole.
    As far as Alex White goes . . . we keep hopin’, but we sure ain’t seein’.
    As far as Hank Conger goes . . . well, hey, at least the kid can frame pitches.
    As far as Dan Johnson goes . . . well, he definitely walks, but can he hit, field or run?
    As far as Domingo Santana goes . . . put him back in the oven, he’s still not done.
    As far as Jonathan Villar goes . . . see Alex White, above.
    As far as Evan Gattis goes . . . the dude really is a sultan of swat. If he can just learn to play outfield.
    As far as Chris Carter goes . . . okay, we have seen the ‘bad’ Chris Carter. Is the ‘good’ Chris Carter still in there somewhere?
    As far as Colby Rasmus goes . . . can you please keep that 5 walks and 2 RBI for every strikeout ratio going?
    As far as Max Stassi goes . . . please be ready soon. We need you to pinch hit for Hank Conger.
    As far as Luis Valbuena goes . . . Houston, we have a third-baseman.
    As far as Becky’s pool goes . . . Alex Presley’s agent says he will gladly clean your pool for a cool million – since it doesn’t look like he’s likely to be patrolling any outfield positions for the Houston Astros this year.

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    • Alex Presley is going to be paid 1/3 of the average major league salary and I figured that he will receive checks for 26 consecutive weeks of $38,460 per check, less deductions.
      Alex Rodriguez will get 26 paychecks of around $1,050,000 per check, less deductions.

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      • Well it is obvious that if Presley had invested his minor league money on PEDs he could make a million every two weeks instead of every year and be one of the most reviled players around.
        By the way if you paid me Presleys salary you could revile me all you want.

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  12. Question
    9. I would rather see Correa at the end of 2015 because he was drafted a year before Appel and it may matter for him to be on the 40-man at the end of the year anyway. Plus, I don’t know if I want Appel pitching extra innings after the AAA playoffs end. Jeff has had a habit of shutting down his top pitching prospects at 150 innings.
    10. I want to do the smart thing for the team in July at the deadline. If somebody wants to give equal or higher value for Rasmus or Carter and it sets us up to be better in 2016, I’m for that. If we’re in a race for the pennant, I have to trust he can make moves and deals that will keep the team winning this year, but also be better for next year at the same time. He isn’t the GM for just the bad years, he has to be smart in good years, too.

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    • You are assuming that Appel stays healthy enough to ge to 150 innings …
      I would sure want them to be trading to keep us in a pennant rc that is for sure…

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  13. 1. We need to let Singelton show us what he’s got, and so far that’s enough for him to claim 1st. base.
    2. Gattis……..I’m not sure we’ve seen too much of his “power” yet, but yeah I’d DH him.
    3. Sprailey…….he’s not been lit up yet, and Hernandez was too late to the party.
    4. NO pool……. send Villar to Siberia, he can’t make that many errors there.
    5. I’m going with Gregerson , but Fiellds has been LIGHTS out so far!
    6. Hoes is not part of the plan going forward, same for Presley and (((sigh)) Matty D.
    7. ??? Wojo maybe?
    8. Springer…….but Luhnow will want Marisnick, or Rasmus in center.
    9. A&B!! I’m greedy, I want to see BOTH of them up this year!
    10. I’m a glass half full girl……so I hope Crane is right!

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  14. After trailing for the entire 24 hours in TCB Astros Favorite Player Contest, Evan Gattis ended up beating Jon Singleton by two votes, 152 to 150. That’s a terrific showing by both players. They both beat their first round opponents by a lot, so this was a showdown.

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    • Is it just me or is it weird for a guy who hit a buck sixty last year and a guy who has never played for the team duking it out for the most popular. No Altuve or Springer?

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    • OK I understand now – this was just a head to head early round matchup (like March Madness) – it was not for the overall championship or anything.

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      • Altuve, Springer, Keuchel and McHugh have been blowing their opponents away. But they haven’t been head to head with another stud yet.

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      • That is an interesting question – you would think that Altuve would win the overall this season, but somebody like Springer could step up with a huge 2015.

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