Happy Mother’s Day! Shout out to every mom, including my own 80-year-old mom in Natchitoches. I’ve included pictures here, one of her at 19 and the other of she with my 86-year-old dad at the end. A classic photo.
Just thought I’d jump in today with a quick entry to point out some of the upcoming decisions as injuries and other things continue to force a slow shuffle of players. Let’s go to the video tape.
The Astros’ lefty is scheduled to make his debut on Wednesday. This move shouldn’t present a dilemma. Obie slides into the role previously held by Asher Wojciechowski and Sam Deduno. Deduno moves back to the pen as the long relief guy and Wojo heads back to Fresno. Folks, if Oberholtzer doesn’t become serviceable with 2-3 starts, look for trade rumors to dramatically increase. Obie needs to hold the fort.
The natural expectation would be to swap Springer for Preston Tucker. Right? After all, it was Tucker who came up when Springer was hurt. Tucker has not lit the world on fire, but he has certainly not been a Domingo Santana either. In fact far from it, he has shown signs of sticking with more walks (2) than Ks (1) in his first 11 bats. In other words, he’s putting a bat on the ball and doesn’t look overpowered at the plate.
- Most likely option: Bye bye Robbie Grossman. Grossman has not established himself in any role, is well down the depth chart (fourth in LF, third in CF). This is not only the most likely option, it out runs the others by a long shot.
- Next up: Trade Colby Rasmus. What you talkin’ about Willis? Unless the Astros are presented with an incredible opportunity to pick up a pitcher, ain’t happening. Rasmus is on a 30 home run pace and clearly has gas left in the tank. Besides, if Jake Marisnick is injured or slows his hitting pace, Rasmus is the only clear backup there (unless you want Jonathan Villar out there regularly).
- Chris Carter gone. Later.
- A pitcher goes to AAA. Sure, it’s a possibility since the team is carrying 13 pitchers, even with closer Luke Gregerson out. But given the fact that Gregerson is out and the unsettled nature of the rotation, not likely. At all.
Early on, I coupled Carter with Gattis to call them Cartis because they appeared to be the same player, providing similar, umm, production, abilities and mirroring one another in almost every aspect. Gattis separated himself somewhat. Carter is here because the Astros haven’t had success finding a consistent first baseman. As a side note: Wonder how much Jeff Luhnow wishes he could have anted up a few more million last year for Juan Abreu, who ended up signing with the White Sox.
Carter probably won’t be going anywhere soon. Not necessarily for the production he will provide over the next six weeks, but for the production he could possibly deliver over the summer. I expect the Astros to play a futures game with Carter, as in oil futures. Don’t underestimate the value (whatever it is) that will possibly be a temptation to other GMs, including Luhnow, that Carter can duplicate last summer’s explosion.
While Carter isn’t going anywhere soon, Houston should begin to prepare for the possibility by sliding Gattis into a game or two there.Tucker? Not so much, let him get acclimated to the game in the spot he’s used to…at least for a while.
Folks, this is a huge problem. Maybe doesn’t look like it, but the Astros didn’t have a Tucker to slide in when Jed Lowrie went down. And, I can’t emphasize enough that Lowrie’s timeline is not certain. He is “out until after the All Star break”. After. By then, the summer will have begun to solidify. Everyone knows that Marwin Gonzalez and Villar are not the answers.
The answer seems obvious to many. If Carlos Correa for President has a nice ring to it, certainly he could handle shortstop at Minute Maid Park, right? Why not. Here’s what I would expect from the Astros. A promotion soon…to Fresno. If all goes well in a short stint and Correa handles the transition, his days in Fresno will be short. Perhaps very short.
A trade for a stop-gap shortstop just doesn’t seem likely. Why waste the prospects on an upgrade for only a couple of months. Think about it: Gonzalez can be a decent gap filler, so a new shortstop (with Correa one flight away and Lowrie due back in a few months) would have to be a much better than Gonzalez. Nope, at this point, the shortstop in June appears to be either Gonzalez or Correa.
With Correa at shortstop, the Astros will face more decisions when Lowrie returns, but those will be made easier with two of the top prospects now in the fold.
I’ll let visions of sugar plus dance in your heads with a lineup that includes Correa and Tucker. Is there any doubt now that 2015 will be that year?