YIE, but could it really be one of “those” years?


There is a new acronym to be added for use by the English-speaking sports fans. YIE. Yes It’s Early!

So this blog contributor will be the first one to say: YIE.

But, sometimes there is a feeling with a team, a coursing through the veins of a fresh transfusion of confidence and luck that cannot be explained. Certainly, what the Astros have done so far this season can be undone in the stretch of a tendon, the crack of a bone or a return to reality of a whole team. However, there is a lot to be said for a team not only getting off to a decent start in the season, but picking up momentum on the road.

YIE, but….Sunday’s win combined with the Angels’ extra inning loss gives the team formerly known as the Lastros (should we call them the Firstros?) a 2-1/2 game lead in the division. Let’s face facts, this 11-7 start with the division stinking it up is a best case scenario that nobody involved with this blog foresaw.

YIE, but… one of the things that is making one wonder long-term is the way the Astros are playing and the way they are winning. After a 4-6 start to the season that was only that good because of great pitching, the Astros have seven wins in the last eight games that are a blue print for how this team could be successful going forward. And that is by having many different heroes, having the bullpen pick up the starters, having the offense pick up the relievers and having the starters be (with one exception) stellar.

Here is a quick summary of the last 8 games:

  1. 4-0 Astros over Angels. After dropping the opener to the Angels, the Astros rode six great innings from Dallas Keuchel and three more from the pen, then got two late homers by George Springer and Robbie Grossman to even the series.
  2. 4-3 Astros over Angels. A solid effort by Scott Feldman (6 IP/2R), just enough bullpen and a big home run by Luis Valbuena to send the Angels packing with their heads between their legs.
  3. 7-5 Astros over Mariners. The bullpen picked up after a poor outing by Asher Wojociechowski, holding the M’s to 1 run in the last five innings and Jed Lowrie (2 RBI’s) and Valbuena (2HRs and 3 RBIs) led a late inning comeback from a 5-3 deficit. Magic seemed to be starting.
  4. 6-3 Astros over Mariners. Magic continued as Collin McHugh gave up three runs early, but held on until the Astros scored five runs in the eighth to overturn a 3-1 deficit. Jose Altuve‘s three-run double was the key hit in winning this one.
  5. 3-2 Mariners over the Astros. The only loss in the last 8 games was a shoulda, coulda, woulda as the Astros turned 10 hits (including Chris Carter‘s first HR of the season) and three walks into only two runs. Roberto Hernandez gave up three runs in seven solid innings, but the Astros left the tying run at third with one out in the ninth and missed the sweep.
  6. 5-4 Astros over the A’s in 11 crazy innings. The teams combined for no runs on nine hits through the first nine innings (including Shaft Keuchel’s brilliant two hits allowed in nine innings) and then combined for nine runs on 10 hits in the last two innings as the Astros somehow hung on for the win. Grossman, Springer and Marwin Gonzalez were the hitting heroes in this wild win in the rain.
  7. 9-3 Astros over the A’s. Feldman put in a workman 6.2 IP giving up three runs that might have looked better if he was yanked a batter earlier. Everyone hit including dingers by Altuve and Springer and the Astros won another series with a chance to sweep on Sunday.
  8. 7-6 Astros over the A’s. Another poor Wojo start rescued by five innings of one-run ball by the bullpen. Evan Gattis entered the game with one RBI in 17 games and knocked in four crucial runs including the game winner in two bases-loaded ABs. Oh, and Jake Marisnick shook off the rust of two games missed with an injury and jacked out two hits including a 400+ foot HR bomb, scored three and knocked in two more runs as the Astros swept the A’s for the first time ever.

So YIE, but…. there are signs that this could be one of those years. Like reliever  Tony Sipp tying for the team lead in wins with two. Like three come from behind wins in the last eight games. Like blowing the lead in Friday’s crazy 5-4 game, but winning it anyway. Like being four games over .500 despite being eleventh in the league in runs scored/game.

So a few starter questions or statements here:

  • Finish this statement, Yes it is early, but…..
  • So, which of these areas is closest to where it will end up:
    • The Astros starting pitching: fourth in the AL with a 3.63 ERA
    • The Astros relievers: third in the AL with a 2.39 ERA
    • The Astros hitters: eleventh in the AL scoring 3.89 runs/game
  • Should Dan P be sent back to Astroholics Anonymous rehab for thinking this could be “One of those years”?
  • How many wins will be needed to take the AL West this year?
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127 comments on “YIE, but could it really be one of “those” years?

  1. 1. Yes it is early, but if Springer and Carter get hot and Ober gets healthy this team could keep the lead in the AL West.
    2. The Astros starters ending fourth in the AL in ERA.
    3. Buy DanP a drink.
    4. I think 91 wins could win the AL West this year because the Angels aren’t quite as good and there is one less bad team in the division.

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    • We’ve seen Wojo (who has been a lot luckier on runs support than say Shaft Keuchel who could easily be 4-0) and know we need something else. So, could Oberholtzer be that something else? If Obie turned into 75% of Keuchel – that would be a great addition to the bottom of the rotation.

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      • Dan, I guess that I need to join Astroholics anonymous too. They look like the real deal to me, especially with the middle of the order underperforming, yet the team still winning. In the unlikely case that the Astros become buyers at the trade deadline, what do you think they need to buy? Another starting pitcher? A first baseman who can make contact?

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      • Larry – maybe another starting pitcher – though any additions at the trade deadline could tie directly to injuries between now and then.

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    • OP, mentioned this on the previous entry, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Astros simply flipped Deduno and Wojo and give the former a start or two, especially considering how Wojo did in that one relief appearance. Having Deduno relieve yesterday could be a tell tale since they’ll now be on the same “clock”.

      91, eh? The bigger question now is: Can the Astros win 91?

      One other thought: Nine teams finished above .500 last year in the AL. At this point, YIE, there are only six teams above .500. So perhaps the one bad team you referred to has been replaced by a couple of other bad teams?

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      • Yes, and Sam got his work in yesterday. So with a bullpen or two, he’s lined up for the start, unless of course he’s needed sooner!

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      • Well perhaps the other AL West teams will get above .500 when they don’t have to have their butts handed to them by the first place Houston Astros. How is that for smack talk from someone completely on the sidelines?

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      • daveb – the hope sure is that someone (maybe Deduno) can bridge until Obie is back with the club. Of course Peacock may think he is the one being bridged to….

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      • The one less bad team in the division is Houston. And they are going to win some games from Seattle, Oakland and Analangelos that they didn’t last year, thus keeping the division winner from winning 98 games.
        I still think the Angels will get a boost when Hamilton leaves, because he is an anchor around their necks and I think everybody in that organization wants him gone, even though he hasn’t been with the team.

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      • Oldpro, I don’t get this. Moreno keeps saying he is tapped to the breaking point, but then adds another $20 million contract at his leisure. Following the Hamilton relapse it has been him (the owner) saying things the players might not like, not Hamilton. Why should moving him to a divisional oppenent while still paying the bulk of his salary improve things?

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      • Dan, you know, I’m looking forward to having Obie back too, but I don’t think we can assume he’ll be all that effective. Maybe I want more out of a 5th starter than I should expect.

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      • Devin, my opinion on Hamilton is based on reading between the lines in a ton of articles on the subject. The owner is going to talk to his GM who is going to his veteran manager to get a feel for the team’s opinions. I just get the feeling that everybody from the batboys up on the Angels is ready to move on from the drama of Josh Hamilton.

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      • It is crazy that a guy could be so much of a poison that you would pay 80+% of his salary (based on what I am reading) to give him to a division rival. He must be a J-Lo sized diva. (or A-Rod if you want a baseball analogy).

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  2. Drellich reported that Hinch intends to put Gattis in LF at least once in SD.

    I think the reliever ERA is closest to actual because of the depth. We shouldn’t see guys get overused unless a couple bad starts get stacked together. Also, if Olberholtzer replaces Wojo, you ate looking at five guys capable of averaging over 6 innings per start.

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    • Devin, not surprising, though, it might be easier to “hide” a glove at first base in that park. 🙂 It will be hard to sit that bat! Gattis can handle it I’m sure, but it will put a little extra load on Marisnick. He may be playing an inch or two closer to left than normal.

      And, with three RHP for SD, wouldn’t be surprised ot see Marwin at first a night or two this week…

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      • Not that I’m pushing for this – but would they ever put Gattis (who played about 80% of his career games behind the plate in 2013 and 2014) behind the plate – even for a game here and there? I suppose not – but just wondering.

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      • astrocolt45 – loving that comment – but one question – are you:
        – Protecting the pitcher from having to depend on Gattis’ defense?
        – Protecting the fans from having to watch a butcher job in LF reminiscent of Chris Carter?
        – Protect the other fielders from being bulldozed by a very large individual?
        – Protect Gattis from taking one off the noggin’?

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  3. I just smiling here, reading a bunch of positive post about a winning Astro’s team not 7 games out of first after the first 18. Been a long time and many long summers!

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  4. Interesting data on run differential for the AL West and when you read this remember – YIE! This is runs scored minus runs given up and the team’s recoreds.
    Oakland +11 (8-12)
    Houston +6 (11-7)
    LAAAAAA – +1 (9-10)
    Texas – -15 (7-11)
    Seattle – -22 (7-11)

    So it looks like Oakland should be doing better (heck they were +19 with a 8-9 record when the Astros came to town) and that Seattle is lucky to be only 7-11.

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    • I wouldn’t trust the run diff too much yet. Oakland has the following wins:
      SF 8-2
      TEX 8-0
      TEX 10-0
      SEA 12-0
      HOU 8-1
      ANA 9-2
      And the following losses:
      TEX 10-1
      ANA 14-1
      HOU 9-3 (could have been worse)

      Over the course of the season you would think the games would be closer. 9 of 19 games decided by such large margins seems to not indicate consistency. The Astros, with the exception of a the Oakland games don’t have any that skew the results one way or another. I think this the can compete through the season. I’m not sure we will see as many wins as we want, but don’t expect too many blow outs.

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  5. On Josh Hamilton, a couple of things:

    * It could be a month or two before he’s ready, but it could have an impact on Delion Deshields Jr. He has only 11 ABs and could be an odd man out, though I’m guessing that Hamilton will primarily DH. Would the Astros take/want him back?
    * You can never judge by public comments in these types of situations, but the word is that Moreno is the one who wanted Hamilton gone. The GM and manager wanted his bat in the lineup. I’m guessing this is one of those “stories” that we’ll hear the “inside scoop” on 20 years from now…

    Also, found this yesterday scouring the LA papers…

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/moreno-659422-hamilton-angels.html

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    • Chip – this is surely a “check back later” situation. Hamilton was such a feel good story when he came back from the depths – but the demons were lurking and grabbed back control.
      I wonder if we would buy back DDJ or would like to work out a trade for him with the Rangers.

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      • But if you get to the point where he is offered back to you – do you just say no or try to get some value out of him – even if it is for some 18 year old rookie league pitcher with a heater.

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      • I am with you, Dan. I don’t just give DDJ away. He has some value even if it is not with the Astros. If you can’t work out a trade with Texas then take him back and try to work out a trade with the other 28 teams. He definitely has some value or Texas wouldn’t have taken him in the Rule V draft.

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  6. What do you all think? My gut keeps telling if and wen crater starts hitting a bit, He will be packaged with a couple others for a SP.

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    • You have to feel like Luhnow will make a move after things have smoothed out and guys value has returned. SP would be a place I would look – but I guess we won’t be alone in that area of need.

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  7. Yes it is early, but…..

    I can see the Astros playing at .500 or better throughout the year. Carter and Springer have me beginning to worry but YIE!

    So, which of these areas is closest to where it will end up:

    The Astros relievers: third in the AL with a 2.39 ERA. Regarding the starters, the #4 and 5 pitchers will keep the ERA up a bit. The relief corps should remain lights out. YIE…

    Should Dan P be sent back to Astroholics Anonymous rehab for thinking this could be “One of those years”?

    I am hoping Dan is spot on! YIE…

    How many wins will be needed to take the AL West this year?

    YIE but, I see the division champ still needing to acquire 95-98 wins. To answer the unasked question… no, the Houston club cannot reach that peak at this point, but… YIE.

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  8. YIE, but the Astros have one of their prospects leading the PCL in RBIs and Home Runs. Preston Tucker also happens to be hitting around .320 w/ a career low K rate.
    YIE, but the Astros have one of their prospects leading the Texas League in RBI’s, SLG and OPS. Carlos Correa also leads the league in doubles and is second in a few other categories. Oh yeah, he’s hitting .370 and hasn’t committed an error at SS. He’s what, the second youngest player in the league?
    Coming soon to a stadium near you!

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      • I guess from what I’ve seen he might be better than Singleton and likely worse than Carter, who has been decent so far.

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      • OK, good question. Tucker worked on his OF defense this offseason and has shown improvement in his coverage in the outfield this spring. His numbers look better there. As far as 1B is concerned I would have as much confidence in him at 1B as I would Gattis. None! And I have twice the confidence in Tucker as an outfielder.
        Tucker is an outfielder. He has been an outfielder for years and he is not going to be an embarrassment in the Astros outfield. That said, when a real good outfielder with a real good bat and real good speed comes up from the minors and replaces Tucker, then Tucker is a really good candidate for DH if he hits like Jeff Luhnow thinks he can. If in 2017 Tucker is a .280/.345/.480 hitter with 25 HR/90RBI potential as a hitter, he could be a great lefty DH because he hits all pitchers and doesn’t need platooning there AND is a fifth outfielder on a team who can actually play the corner OF spot and has a decent arm.
        What I see in Rasmus that I don’t see in Tucker is speed and, therefore, coverage. What I see in Tucker over Rasmus is a better hit tool leading to a higher BA, more HRs and more RBIs and less K’s especially against same-side pitching. I also see a player making $500,000 vs $8 million and we have him for years! The difference in salary alone allows us half the money we need for another starting pitcher or a closer on our world series team, if we choose to sign them.

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      • Well the genius of having Rasmus on a one year contract is that he is out to prove he deserves a longer term contract – hopefully playing well and it gives the young buck (or tuck-er) a chance to prove he belongs. Love having talent pushing for the majors rather than being called up whether they are ready or not.

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    • oldpro – sure Correa has more runs scored (16) and more RBIs (19) than games played (15). And sure 10 doubles in 15 games on a pace for like 80+ doubles looks impressive (along with his .429 OBP and 1.147 OPS). And sure Tucker’s 24 RBIs in 17 games seems like a lot (especially after seeing Castro, Carter, Gattis, Springer, Rasmus and Grossman total 24 RBIs in 18 games) along with his meager 7 HRs and 1.003 OPS.
      But believe me it is a mirage – they just can’t hit. (If anyone is getting angry – this is called sarcasm)

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    • How many AB do we need before starting a Free Tucker movement? The issue, as I see it, is that he is a LF/DH who struggled when given a chance to play 1B. If I were Luhnow, I’d have him working there on the back fields just to provide some versatility and present as an option.

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      • Hard to say Devin – they certainly need to get farther down the road with the guys they have – need to ride out their cold streak and see how much Tucker sustains – but it is a decent question.

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  9. The Rangers were more than happy to trade Hamilton. His wife’s father was his “person”…….and now they are getting a divorce. Josh is a complicated man, and the drama he brings weighs heavy on the GM, and the players. He *has* to have someone with him 24/7, and that’s not an easy task. This will be the last, last chance he will be given, as the front office knows all to well what happens when “it” happens. I feel for the guy, but GOOD LORD…….he’s made more money in his last 7yrs. than most could ever dream of. My prediction is by the time he is outta baseball, he will be dead broke within just a few years. Josh Hamilton’s middle name is *toxic*.

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    • Becky, I have a bit different take. Yes, Hamilton may be a “compicated man”, I dunno. It’s not uncommon for sports athletes to have people around them regularly. There is an accountability thing. Obviously, in his case, there is more need for accountability, but it’s just as much to keep the riff raff away as it is from him wandering off, so to speak.

      This may not be the best analogy, but Billy Graham would never travel alone…wouldn’t even get in an elevator with a woman unless someone else was in the elevator. Before he walked into his room at a hotel, he had his assistant check the room to make sure someone wasn’t in there. Celebrities are often targets and they have to be on their guards. Now, he may well need someone there to keep him on the right track, but sounds like he realizes it, which is actually a good sign. Most people don’t recognize it.

      He actually self-reported, another good sign I think.

      I’m not sure about the “toxic” label. The players — and we’re told even the GM and manager — wanted him back in LA. Moreno did not. Many players were even vocal about it, and they didn’t have to say a thing at all.

      Yes, indeed, it could be his last shot, but the Rangers are getting a deal here to be sure. Oh, one last note: The Rangers didn’t trade him, he signed with the Angels as a free agent.

      Just my thoughts…I agree with you on several points, but the fact that he recognizes where he is and seems contrite does change the game a bit for me.

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      • These things always get interesting – God will continue to give you chances, but we humans and fans run out of patience and forgiveness sooner it seems. Yes, self reporting is good – not falling off the wagon again is better.

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    • Hoes was hitting .418 with 12 RBI in 15 games at Fresno. Obvious pick since he was on the 40 man already.

      the bigger question may be who will pitch on Friday? Oberholtzer or Deduno or someone else?

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    • Chip, I think Villar is still the first guy back up. They’ve got him leading off and playing short. So far anyway, Fontana and Torreyes are sharing second. And as a result, my favorite guy Sclafani is out of a job again, with just one start over the past week. At this point, I’m almost hoping he gets a shot with another organization.

      Sure, Hoes is hitting the heck out of the ball right now, but we’ve seen that before. His outfield play is unremarkable, he’s not exactly a gazelle on the bases and he can’t play any infield. As frightening as it may seem, Villar provides more flexibility to the manager than any other guy on the bench.

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  10. I know an infielder who goes R/L, great OBP history in AAA, good base runner, has even played a bit of left, smart spark plug type of guy……oh wait, he’s not on the 40 man……

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    • daveb, if memory serves, once he’s optioned, a player must stay optioned for 10 days, barring injury. Villar was sent down on April 23, so he’s not “eligible” until next week.

      That’s what happened with Wojo, if you recall. He was optioned, Peacock activated, but he was able to come back up sooner because Peacock was actually injured and ewent back on the DL.

      And, that goes to my question about who pitches Friday. Barring injury, Wojo won’t be eligible, so Deduno or Obie or someone else from Fresno. Or Appel. J-u-s-t k-i-d-d-i-n-g. Don’t send me any emails!

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      • Chip, I’ve got to admit, I’ve never taken the time to understand the intricacies of options, waiver rules, and the like. So I appreciate the explanations provided here from time to time. I’ve got to project Sam as the starter on Friday unless he gets called into a game between now and Friday.

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  11. I think it was Hoes because they do not want to disrupt any true prospect’s year. In the majors he hits a home run every 70 ABs and in the minors he hits one every 100. So he will sit most of the time. And he is a better hitting option than the tired pitcher in NL games.

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    • Hoes is only a body and may not be in Houston through the weekend. He could be used in a double switch or late inning defense. For example, I could see Hinch using Gattis or Carter as a pinch hitter late in the game, then inserting Hoes into the lineup in the bottom half.

      He was the obvious one since he was on the 40-man roster. Presley is not and Santana isn’t ready for another shot just yet. Hoes possibly goes back to Fresno when the Astros need a starter for Friday’s game (Oberholtzer?).

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  12. Tonight we face James Shields.

    Shields has made 4 starts this year and is averaging 6.1 innings/start [about even with McHugh, who has made 3 starts with a similar average].

    Shields’ ERA is 3.24 – a little worse than McHugh’s 2.41.

    Shield’s WHIP is 1.120, slightly better than McHugh’s 1.179.

    Shields has struck out 29 and only walked 8 in 25 innings, compared to McHugh’s striking out 18 and walking 4 in 18.2 innings. He’ll probably K more of our guys, but McHugh should get some of their guys as well. Neither can be expected to walk many.

    Shields has given up 3 HRs [average 1 every 8.1 innings]; McHugh has yet to yield a dinger.

    They have a higher team BA and have scored more runs. But we have more HRs and more SBs, and draw more walks, and so far we just keep finding a way to win.

    Advantage? Who am I kidding? When you put 18 guys on a baseball field, anything can happen. Go Collin! Go Jose! Go George! Go Jed! Go Luis! Go Jake from State Farm! Go Jason! Go Colby, and Marwin, and whoever else wears the Astros’ orange and blue. Let’s rumble with the local friars club!

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    • Sorry, Mr. Bill, but don’t you mean “On Collin, on George, on Jose, on Comet and Blitzen…” Oh, nevermind, sorry, wrong game…that dang weather has been so horrible here today it’s messing with my brain.

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    • You forgot a very important number comparison – McHugh makes about $500,000 for the year, Shields makes about $300,000 per start…..

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  13. Daveb, it looks like Joe Sclafani is finally going to get a chance to play in the great state of Texas – just not in Houston where we’d like to see him. He’s just been reassigned to Corpus Christi, apparently to cover Jio Miers, who just got put on the DL.

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  14. Well Mr. Bill, that’s a step backwards for a guy that had a .420 OBP in AAA last year, but if he gets a chance to play everyday, maybe someone else will see him and want him. Our experts must think quite a bit more of the younger Torreyes, who is struggling YTD and has not historically produced what JS has at the plate. I qualify my head scratching to a degree though, because I’ve never had the chance to see either guy play. I can only assume that Sclafani is not very good defensively, at least in the minds of the decision makers.

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    • Maybe they just want more power out of him – thinking that without power he will not walk that much at the major league level.

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  15. Here’s a question for you guys that do follow the intricacies of options, waivers, free agency and the like. Using a guy like Sclafani as an example, is he in a position at any point soon where he can decide to go play for another organization, I suppose by declaring himself as a minor league free agent? How long is he under team control?

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    • Dave, there are some loopholes, but generally a guy who’s never signed a MLB/MiLB contract is “tied up” for 7 years. There are a few exceptions, but generally long before then, they’ve either been traded, advanced through the system, seen the hand-writing on the wall or gotten injured and quit.

      Chase Lambin, who played for Sugar Land last year was one of the oldest minor league players to never make it to the majors. He’s 35 now, from Houston, played at UL-Lafayette and now coaches (I believe) in the Rangers’ organization.

      Every organization needs “bodies” or filler players, so they’ll always be around. Honestly, most of ’em get tired, give up and go home and start their lives and their families.

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    • Sclafani will be subject to the rule V draft after 4 seasons, if I’m not mistaken. His problem is that he was taken in the same draft as Correa and Fontana, all three of them being shortstops.

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      • That’s positive. I hope the guy gets picked up at some point by an organization low on second basemen. I think that’s where he belongs.

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  16. Correa already 2 for 2 with a triple and a single tonight and an rbi with each hit. Currently has his BA up to .394. It seems he must have come off of third after the triple and caught off the bag for an out. The recap wasn’t real clear about that play.

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  17. – YIE, but the bottom of the order (first week – Lowrie, Rasmus, Marisnick) has been impressive. They have given the team a Plan B offensively even as they have moved in the order.

    – Closest: Hitters. Pitchers fall back to 4. Hitters get just over 4.

    – Yes.

    – 94. Weaker division this year.

    We need another consistent offensive force and another pitcher in the McHugh-Keuchel range to be a playoff team.

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    • Thanks for the input – my Astroholics rehab is not that bad a place – except they keep showing us the last game losses for the 1980 and 1986 playoffs. Kind of breaks my heart every time.

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      • I think it was Bull Durham that produced the quote, “Every woman deserves to wear white”.
        Well, especially after the last few years – Every Astro fan deserves some optimism. Hopefully the long wait will not continue too much longer.

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      • Hey – we are having fun right now – which we have not been able to say too often over the last few years.

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  18. Cosart had 8 shutout innings tonight. The Marlins bullpen gave it away in the ninth though. His 2.49 ERA would be nice, but wr are getting some great production from JFSF and Moran is starting to heat up too.

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  19. Quick thought on tonight’s game:

    The long flyball to center Altuve hit for a double, as the ball was in the air I thought the center fielder would get it. Because if it had been Marisnick in CF, I think JFSF tracks that ball down.

    And that’s the difference between competent outfielders and outstanding ones.

    Oh, and nice play by Marwin in the 8th, recovering to make that throw.

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  20. Astros win 9-4. I went and got direct TV and I am using it! Great job by Astros tonight. Beat a good pitcher who shut us down last year in KC and also knocked Benoit around, who has been lights out for SD.

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  21. Lowrie hurt. Pulled from game after sliding home. Drellich saying that Lowrie told him he’s flying back home for an MRI. That doesn’t sound good. Where are we going to find a SS?

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  22. Well, if Correa comes up, what incredible interest he’ll create. I don’t think the club will miss a beat. And while Lowrie might be getting Wally Pipped, we sure become a stronger club if he eventully becomes an upgraded version of Marwin Gonzalez.

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  23. There are certain moments in time that are embraced and turned to your righteous advantage or they are ignored and wasted.
    The Astros have been a PR disaster
    The Astros have been an attendance disaster.
    The Astros have been an on-field disaster.
    But they may have one of those moments right now, coming off what may be one of their best road trips ever with a winning record and in first place. If Lowrie is hurt bad and the Astros are coming home to face their closest competitor in a weekend series, bringing up their best player from the minors, who specializes in doing what Lowrie has been doing, could be the moment this team is embraced by the local and the national baseball community as a having moved up to the next level of baseball food chain.
    This may be their best chance to throw the gates open like wide open arms and see what the fans will do.
    Cano, Cruz, King Felix and the rest of the Mariners and the media are coming for four big games this weekend. Astros, what are you going to do about it?

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    • I have to agree – the last 4 years have been hurry up and wait – it is time for the front office to put their big boy pants on and show they are ready to step up.

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  24. So – we are at an interesting spot in the team’s development. Sticking to the “plan” does not involve bringing Correa up at this point. Of course a lot of this may tie to how long (if at all) Lowrie is out. Some pros and cons:
    Pros for Correa
    – May be the most talented player in the whole organization – period.
    – Is making monkeys of AA ball right now (kind of like his future fellow double play mate – Altuve did before he was called up).
    – The Astros may have moved into win now mode as they have a 3 game lead in the AL West and a lot of momentum
    – He would certainly be the best offensive choice for SS that the team could make
    Cons
    – He has not played above AA and not that many games there
    – They may not want to start his “clock” right now
    – He is not on the 40 man roster yet
    – They may be taking the YIE tack (without the word “but” added to it). Does the Astros front office think they are for real?

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