After a horrible night when Collin McHugh and the defense couldn’t get hitters out and the Astros hitters couldn’t square up on a pitch, Carlos Correa went 1-for-5 in his Grizzlies debut. I wonder how many Correa jerseys were sold in Fresno last night. In fact, this stretch of poor offense and squeaking out a few wins has a couple of thoughts running through my mind.
Okay, there are actually eight things I think I think about the Astros during this moment in time.
1. A good pitcher can shut down the Astros. Chris Heston dropped his decent 3.38 ERA to an outstanding 2.91 ERA. That said, I’m hoping some hurlers having poor seasons can jumpstart Houston’s bats. Tonight, San Francisco trots out Tim Hudson, who’s season has looked a bit like Scott Feldman‘s. Some nights he shuts down his opponents, others he gets battered around. Toronto’s Drew Hutchison sports a 6.69 ERA. His last outing — at home — was good, but is an anomaly among his outings. The Jay’s then trot out R.A. Dickey (4.50 ERA) before bringing out converted bullpen arm Marco Estrada (3.54 ERA).
If the Astros are going to gain some games on .500 this month, there’s no better time than the present. The only thing stopping them could be their putrid offense.
2. After Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick — and the injured Jed Lowrie — the Astros don’t have a .250 hitter on the team. And aside from Colby Rasmus and Hank Conger, no Astros hitter other than the “big three” has an OPS over .700. Yep, that’s a lot of bad hitting. And with 20 percent of the season gone, I’ve got to wonder when this positive progression will start. Last night, two hits. The night before that, just one.
4. Speaking of Tucker, I keep hearing his name high on the draft board. Kyle Tucker sounds like a legit top-10 pick. If he’s better than Preston, I say we grab him. The No. 2 pick should be a college kid who can impact that 2017 World Series team. But the No. 5 pick should be all about the ceiling.
5. I’m not sure who the Astros should take at pick #37, but that’s about when Lance Nix will be available. Too bad Nix didn’t sign the waiver letting the Astros take him again. After all, he got some settlement, went to pitch for his agent’s “team,” and will certainly get his money. I don’t know what he’s angry about.
6. I do know what Brady Aiken is angry about. He got some bad advice and he took it. One list of draft prospects I saw listed Aiken as #21. That would be just under $2.2 million. And while I’m not sure about negotiating ettiquite, but I don’t think asking for above slot is cool when you’re recovering from Tommy John surgery with your undersized ligament. If he’d just taken the Astros’ offer — either the $3-plus million or the last-minute $5 million — he’d be rich.
7. Either way, with four of the top 46 picks, Houston’s rich farm system is about to get a little richer. And when you consider this system has teams that have won championship after championship lately, it seems like that winning attitude will continue. Quad Cities has lost just 7 games. Yep, I see another title from the farm hands.
8. Finally, I’m glad I have Chipalatta to read. I avoid the Chron (spit!) and while the Crawfish Boxes might get a bunch of traffic, it’s where disgruntled Chron (spit!) commenters go when they’ve been banned. And anyone not toeing the company line (Luhnow is right, all the time) gets shunned. Climbing Tal’s Hill is where good story ideas get short shrift. And the rest of the Astros sites are a poor imitation. So …
Tell me, what do you think about what you think right now.