Well, friends, what can you say? What else can you say? What we have witnessed since April 6 is virtually unlike anything we have seen in Astros’ history.
You want relevant? Check.
You want competitive? Ah, well, yeah!
You want dominant? Yup.
You want fun and downright dizzying giddiness? Oh, yeah.
I’m going to go out on the limb and say this: There should be no — repeat NO — complaints at this moment.
This Astros’ ship is chugging full steam ahead, destroying everything in its path.
Now, a couple of things.
Jeff Luhnow got it right…
- Evan Gattis can’t flat hit a baseball a long, long way.
- Jon Singleton wasn’t ready to play at the MLB level. And he may never be ready for the big time in Houston.
- A.J. Hinch. The less you hear about a manager the better and Hinch’s name has basically only been seen in post-game quotes.
- Roberto Hernandez. Look, when you 4-guy pitches like Hernandez has, you move onto other issues on the team.
- The fifth starter. We now recognize why Luhnow was looking for another pitcher. He was right. Even thought Asher Wojciechowski, Brad Peacock or Brett Oberholtzer may fill the need, it’s quite possible that none of the three will be long-term solutions.
- The Plan. Debate it, shame it, despise it, shoot it down. You can not argue with the results to date. How does Sports Illustrated’s 2017 prediction look now?
- And Jake Marisnick. You could argue that no one but Luhnow saw this one coming. No one. Hey, I’ll call you out, but no one in Houston foresaw his production and contribution.
- George Springer. You NEED that arm in right field. You WANT that arm in right field. How many people screamed and demanded that Springer move to his “right” position. I think he’s there and could develop into a premier right fielder.
Now, let’s talk about change.
Lest we forget, the Astros are 18-7, best record in the American League (wow, that felt good!) and second best in all of baseball! There is no way — absolute no way — that the Astros should make a big splash right now. Fuhget it!
It is not the right time for a Carlos Correa, Mark Appel or perhaps not even a Preston Tucker. And, timing is everything! The longer these players incubate, the better. There will be a day — and it could be soon — that Luhnow will pull the trigger on Correa and/or Preston. That’s the delicate balance of a team’s development cycle, making the right moves at the right time.
Wait, for example, for the Astros to start down from the current high. That may not necessarily be measured in wins, but Hinch and Luhnow will recognize it in the clubhouse, in the dugout and on the field. When the team needs that burst and that pick-me-up, it will be Correa Time!
Jonathan Villar? Come on, the Astros are 18-7 with him in the starting lineup the last two games.
Roberto Hernandez? Really? He’s pitched at least six innings in four of five starts and Houston has won the last two he’s started. He’s the #4, for cryin’ out loud.
Chris Carter? Do you really want to ship him out, sit him down and give up on Mr. Carter right now? Remember, the team is 18-7. Remember, also, this can be a streaky team. If he gets hot when Gattis cools down, he could carry the team.
Hank Conger? Yes, he’s a backup catcher and it’s clear that Hinch is going to pencil in Jason Castro as the starter as many times as he can. At the current rate, Conger will get about 150 ABs this year. Folks, he may be good behind the scenes with pitchers and even with Castro. Want to talk about the trade or how much you miss Carlos Corporan. Okay, but the Astros are 18-7.
I could go, but I think you get the point. I am in a giddy mood. Far above the criticisms, complaints and even the concerns. At this point. Just enjoying the ride.
Regardless, you have to admit: Mr. Luhnow is lookin’ pretty good right now. What was it many of us said early on? In Luhnow We Trust.