CHIPALATTA

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Astros quick review after a long weekend


So, after my post which ran Friday morning, it seems the Chipalatta team dropped the ball like Villar on a routine grounder this weekend. Chip, Dan and I didn’t have the time to write you a new post. Fortunately, you kept the conversation going.

Well, I’m here to take the burden off your shoulders with a few basic conversation starters.

1. A couple of sportswriter yahoos — without giving any attribution — have said Preston Tucker is on the auction block. Well, I say baloney! Tucker hits for average (.341 after Monday), hits for power (.585 slugging percentage) and in 46 times to the plate has only whiffed seven times while drawing five BB. I’m pretty sure if you look up the definition of a “Luhnow hitter” on that hacked computer of the Astros’, you’d find a photo of Preston Tucker. Offensively, he’s what George Springer is supposed to be. Oh, and Rasmus will be gone by this time next year … if not sooner. Does Luhnow really trust Domingo Santana to fill those shoes?

So, how much credence do you really give those un-sourced reports? On a scale of 0 to Pitchforks-at-Crane’s-House, how mad would you be if Tucker was traded?

2. Speaking of trade bait … Look, I love our minor leaguers. But if a couple of them can bring the Astros some help, a solid starter or a quality bat … or a solid starter … then I will wish them well (when not playing the Astros) and send them out the door.

So, we hear all this talk of Jon Singleton and Carlos Correa in the minors. Anyone been watching Andrew Aplin lately? The guy who tore up the AFL is back in Corpus after a poor stint in Fresno, and tearing it up. In nine Texas League games, Aplin is hitting .452 with 9 BBs and 3 Ks. Sure, he got off to a slow start in Fresno, but AA isn’t some chump league. And someone who can dominate there might be worth dangling as trade bait.

Would you part with Aplin for the right price? What about Hooks pitcher Chris Devenski?

3. Speaking of Corpus Christi, Conrad Gregor is now hitting .289 with a .765 OPS. The 23-year-old first baseman hasn’t exactly been a big slugger, with most of his 20 MiLB homers coming at Lancaster, but in 167 plate appearances this season in AA, he’s walked 23 times and whiffed 33 times.

Compare that to Mr. Singleton. Mari-Jonny has hit .291 with 14 HRs this season. And, he’s only whiffed 35 times in 188 PAs while walking 29 times. But, he famously collected 134 Ks in 361 PAs in Houston last year.

Has Singleton finally figured it out? Or are you starting to join Team Gregor? Any other “top prospects” got someone nipping at their heels?

4. With five games remaining in May, the Astros are currently 14-10 on the month. One more win (29 games in May for the Astros) secures another winning month. Furthermore, the Astros have not lost a series since getting swept by the Rangers way back on May 4-6. If you’ll recall, the Astros finished April at 15-7. Say Houston wins three of the next five — not a stretch considering their record — and ends April at 17-12. That’ll put them 13 games over the break-even point on the season.

All this despite Jose Altuve‘s slump, Chris Carter‘s standard start to a season, Luis Valbuena, Evan Gattis and George Springer all under-performing. All this despite no real No. 5 starter. All this (well, the May part) with Jed Lowrie out of the lineup and Carlos Correa getting his mail in Fresno.

Imagine if a couple of big sluggers got hot — really hot — for a month or even three weeks. Imagine what happens when Correa gets called up? Imagine what happens if the rotation finally solidifies. Where would the Astros be then? Would Crane be looking for another spot in the stadium to hang one of those playoff banners?

Will a winning June make a believer out of you, if you’re not already?

5. We’ve all talked here about how this year feels different. Last year, that game Sunday in Detroit would have been lost the moment Hernandez gave up those five runs. May 3, the Mariners put up a 4-spot in the 7th to tie the game. In 2014, you’d feel the wind out of the sails. No way the Astros respond with a run in the 8th and the win. May 7, the Astros have two hits through 8 innings, and Huston Street is coming in to lock it down in the ninth. The Astros get four hits and score the winning run when Altuve beats a double play relay at first base. Astros win 3-2. That does not happen often — if at all — in 2014 or 2013 or even 2012. But we see it time and again in 2015.

To me, though, I loved hearing the other night how mad Collin McHugh was about his loss. Eventually, Houston lost 6-2, but McHugh said, “I was pretty bad. I was pretty bad with the fastball command. Too many cutters. Too many hard-hit balls. I was behind too many batters. They had nine hits in seven innings. Every mistake I made, they were hitting hard. No, I didn’t feel very good about it.”

In his defense, the only runs scored off McHugh were on a J.D. Martinez 3-run homer.

Keep in mind, this is after a seven-inning, 3 ER quality start. Most pitchers would talk about it just not being their night. Maybe tip their cap to the opposition. No. Mild-mannered, thoughtful Collin McHugh sounded downright angry. I almost feel sorry for the next team he faces.

What, to you, has been the biggest evidence of an attitude shift among these Astros? Is that shift just a byproduct of winning, or is the winning a byproduct of that attitude?

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About BrianT

Brian Todd is a freelance writer working and living in Rochester, Minn.

61 comments on “Astros quick review after a long weekend

  1. 1oldpro
    May 26, 2015

    One of the things we might tend to forget is that Keuchel and McHugh helped form their reputation during the last few months of 2014, not the beginning. They got better as the year went on. That may not happen this year, too. But we know that it is a possibility.
    1. Trading Tucker. We watched, waited, hoped, believed, and now he has arrived and has not disappointed. So, with what we have gotten from him so far, and knowing he is going to be available at a great price for the next four years or so, Luhnow would trade him? It goes against everything we have read about the way Luhnow wants this team built, position-wise. Good power, good OBP, good run production, low Ks, good eye, good hit tool. He inherited all the swing and miss, but he hasn’t drafted it.
    If a team wanted Tucker so badly they would offer a very good pitcher with years left on his deal rather than months, I could see them possibly doing it. But I think it would not be likely, and I still wouldn’t like it.
    If Tucker is with the team at season’s end, I see him working the entire offseason on his first base skills, just like he did on his outfield skills this past offseason.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      May 26, 2015

      Regarding Preston Tucker, the other thing that you have to like about him is one of those infamous OTBG ‘intangibles’ – the one I personally call ‘game presence’. Preston is always ‘in the game’, even when he is just called upon to pinch hit. And when he is in the game, he is always on top of his game, and making good things happen. Compare Jonathan Villar – more raw talent, more speed, etc. – but he has no ‘game presence’ whatever. As a result, most of the time, despite all his potential, he makes more bad things happen than good things.

      Like

  2. Mr. Bill
    May 26, 2015

    * What, to you, has been the biggest evidence of an attitude shift among these Astros? *

    For me it starts with A.J. HInch. He has not publicly thrown any of the under-performing players under the bus like Bo Porter did. Part of that may be that we are still managing to win a lot of games despite some really poor performances by key players – but I am beginning to wonder if the winning this year is a matter of chicken or a matter of egg?

    Secondly, I look at George Springer and Jose Altuve. These guys always play hard – and their positive attitudes infect their team-mates. Would I like to see Springer get his offensive contribution in line with the rest of his game? Of course. I’d also like to see Jose break out of what for him is a huge slump. And I believe both will happen. Meanwhile, these guys carry the team with their attitude and hustle even when they aren’t carrying the team with their bats. I also see some leadership from Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus, who seem to have a new lease on life. The Never-say-Die attitude is HUGE – several players may underperform, but the team still finds a way to win.

    Thirdly, I cannot say enough about Kid Keuchy, Colin, Hernandez, and now McCullers. These guys have been giving us a solid chance to win every game they pitch. Feldman has been good at times, but not at all reliable.

    Fourthly, perhaps the most encouraging thing is that this year the bullpen has actually looked like the Guardians of the Galaxy instead of the Temple of Doom. To know that we can keep a lead if we get one give the hitters and base-runners confidence that everything they do really may matter to the result of the game. That was not the case the last few years – when after the fifth inning it was every man for himself and his stats.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Becky
    May 26, 2015

    Brian……..I don’t think we have to “imagine” too much longer. I have a feeling after this road trip we might be seeing a SHINY NEW much awaited short stop on the field. Luhnow went to Fresno specifically to “see Correa”, AND Singelton. I’m a glass half full gal!!

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      May 26, 2015

      Becky, I wanted Correa in Houston more than a month ago, but I would be so disappointed with them if they promoted him this week, before gaining that extra year of arbitration control. That date will be probably achieved by the draft weekend and after that I think it would be great.
      I also think they would know a lot more about their infield future after this year’s draft. There are three SSs in the top ten players of this year’s draft and I would be surprised if the Astros don’t end up with one of them.

      Like

      • Becky
        May 26, 2015

        I’m the biggest optimist in the whole world! I can hope can’t I??!!

        Liked by 2 people

    • Kevin
      May 26, 2015

      Me also, 4 weeks and I’m in Coors with my entire Astro’s wardrobe.

      Like

  4. 1oldpro
    May 26, 2015

    Jake Marisnick April: .379/.422/.621 w/ 4 BBs and 10 Ks
    Jake Marisnick May: .189/.218/.257 w/ 3 BBs and 25 Ks
    I just wanted to add that to the list of stuff that happened in May that the club has had to overcome.

    Like

  5. Kevin
    May 26, 2015

    Yup I think JFSM premiums were do and he was out of hits. I hope he can land some where in the middle of April and May.

    Like

    • Devin_
      May 26, 2015

      He was too busy helping people save mass quantities.

      Like

    • Mr. Bill
      May 26, 2015

      6′ 6″ tall Akeem Bostic takes his .056 ERA, .044 WHIP, and .109 BAA to the hill for Quad Cities tonight against Kane City. Thank you Carlos Corporan and Texas Rangers for giving us this prospect. Here’s hoping the lanky fellow becomes Houston’s next “Akeem the Dream”!

      Like

  6. Kevin
    May 26, 2015

    JFSF sorry

    Like

    • rj
      May 26, 2015

      i dunno kevin jake from s & m sounds about right for his may numbers….

      Like

  7. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    May 26, 2015

    I don’t see us trading Tucker. I think Rasmus would be odd man out if his performance has improved his value enough to receive a decent return. May depend on how JFSF performs. Tucker could easily replace Rasmus in left. Defensively not as good as Rasmus but with JFSF in CF should be good enough. Tucker hits LH like Rasmus but is a whole lot cheaper for a lot longer time than Rasmus. Now if JFSF fizzles with the bat, I could see them moving Rasmus to CF and keeping JFSF for his speed and defense with Tucker as starting LF. But ultimately, it depends upon how the team performs over the month of June. I think they will be afraid to make any big changes as long as the Astros are leading the AL West by 6-7 games. But those Rangers and Angels are playing better now. Even Mariners and A’s are looking more competive lately. But I really wish we could get a TOR pitcher. Wish we had saved Tropeano and Folty to use on a package like that. Don’t think the current Appel is doing anything to increase his value to us or anybody else. If the Phillies would take Appel and Singleton as part of a deal for Hamels, I’m in. But I suspect Cole would not waive his no trade clause for Houston and will probably end up in LA.

    Guess I took #1 and ran all over the place with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Becky
    May 26, 2015

    Nance…….How crazy would it be for the Phillies to take Singelton back in a trade!!
    But you’re right (as usual) Hamels would probably rather eat a live snake, than be traded to the Astros!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. SargeH
    May 26, 2015

    I have absolutely no confidence in the sportswriters’ idea of Tucker leaving the Astros. The team is looking to win and trading away a budding star is counterproductive to that end. BUT… if he were to be traded, then YES, I would be at Cranes’ front door with white-hot pitchforks!

    Moving Aplin is fine with me considering the club have a surplus of outfielders in the minors. Devinski and his sparkling stats stay in the Astros’ system.

    If Singleton is brought up to play, then where does Carter play? Would the Astros give up on him? Gattis is producing much more than Carter, even with the minute batting average. I would go ahead and bring Singleton up though and sit Carter.

    I am a believer already but with a winning June, the rest of the baseball environment would also jump on the bandwagon.

    The biggest evidence of an attitude shift among these Astros is the fact that they have the winningest record in baseball! The winning a byproduct of that attitude as evidenced by a renewal, overhaul, and restructuring of the bullpen.

    Like

  10. daveb
    May 26, 2015

    1. Who knows what Luhnow might do or not do? I sure don’t have a pulse on his thought process. I still don’t Tropeano for a back up catcher? We already had a couple. Foltynewicz? We never even gave him an ML start before deciding he was not going to fit into the future here. Gattis has had a pretty good impact to date, but heck, with Folty around, we might not be so concerned about a deal for a top of the rotation guy. I think we’ve already got that guy in Keuchel anyway.

    With Jake acting more and more like the guy who has not proven he can hit, Tucker becomes an important part of the 25 man. And there should be no discussion about moving Rasmus anytime soon either.

    2. I am fully prepared to have top 20 ranked minor league talent traded for a 2 or 3 starting pitcher. We don’t need an ace. I think we have one. I’d let Singleton go without any pain. There are others. Obviously, Correa is an untouchable, but nobody else really is, especially if we get a major league pitcher who wants to be here. Cueto was complaining about his offense the other day. We don’t want a guy like that.

    3. I’m not convinced that Gregor is the guy anymore than I am convinced that Singleton is. But I think we can invent a first baseman in house if need be. If Carter starts hitting, we’ll be delighted with his play around the bag. Bagwell turned into a pretty good first baseman. Visually, Santana reminds me of Frank Thomas. Unfortunately, I’m starting to think that he’ll be hitting a bunch of homers for another team one day. But as op notes, maybe Tucker is in the mix down the road. He’s smart enough to learn the job.

    4. We will hit more. But the rotation will not solidify on it’s own. And the pen is already coming back down to earth a bit. Our closer is not making it look easy. Will we hit enough to conpensate for some pitching woes to come?

    5. The team is winning because it is finally getting better. Winning makes things fun. When you’re having fun, the job is much easier. I also think the entire coaching staff seems to be a pretty good group, all on the same page. We’re seeing more and more kids that still love playing the game. We no longer have a bunch of jaded guys in the dugout, playing out the string, knowing they might not see another major league contract.

    Like

  11. Devin_
    May 26, 2015

    We seem to be talking about selling high on Tucker. Often we talk of selling low on Carter. We probably sold low on Folty and managed to net Gattis…who is fighting to stay above .200 and has a .234 OBP. In fact, Gattis is tied for worst OPS on the team at .670 with Luis Valbuena.

    Unless you really believe Tucker’s NCAA and MiLB numbers represent a mirage it makes no sense to move him for the sake of making a trade. The team cannot continue winning without improving their OBP. If Tucker can net you an improvement in some other facet of the game, well, maybe it would be worth it…but most likely it will just remove an inexpensive, talented hitter who is under team control from the system.

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      May 26, 2015

      Don’t mean to jump on the “Devin Bandwagon” but how many times yesterday with ducks on the pond did anyone else say “Don’t need a homer, just a base hit.” 15 LOB. One single wins the game.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        May 26, 2015

        And, ironically, the Orioles had no runners left on base. They never had an at-bat in that game with a runner in in scoring position.

        Like

    • Tim
      May 26, 2015

      I have to ask, but why can’t the team keep winning with a low OBP? They are 29-17 so far and it isn’t like the starting pitching is really carrying us. What is carrying us is the HRs, SBs and bullpen and I don’t see much of a drop off in those. Yes, I want the OBP to pick up, but as long as the slugging part of the OPS stays up I think we can still keep winning.

      Like

      • Devin_
        May 26, 2015

        It’s all about probability. They could have amazing timing with the HRs and parlay it into wins, but ask yourself how likely that is. The team record is 249 and ML record is 264 in a season.

        Also, lower OBP means fewer plate appearances for the team and more time on defense.

        Like

      • astrocolt45
        May 26, 2015

        O.K. Tim. I am not going to argue any new fangled stats or math with you. However, this team and you are about to convince me that I know NOTHING about baseball. They do everything wrong except in the win column (and those 3 items that you mentioned.) So unless they go on a long losing streak, you can have your cake and eat it too, plus you might as well eat mine. Apparently my cake is a cow patty. And Castro just go a double to go ahead 2 to 1.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tim
        May 26, 2015

        Devin,

        I don’t disagree with anything you said, but a 30-17 record with the lowest team batting average and one of the lowest OBPs in the majors speaks for itself. If you mash HRs you will score runs and it will lead to victories. Now, you can’t just be a power-hitting team only. The Astros also play very good defense and have a very strong bullpen. Those 3 things can lead to victories even with a low OBP. Ideally, I would love a team that had a high OBP and hit a ton of HRs, but, at least for this year, we are not built that way. I don’t see any reason why the Astros can’t continue winning unless they have a rash of injuries.

        Like

  12. Chip Bailey
    May 26, 2015

    And now…hitting third for your Houuuuuuston Astros!….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky
      May 26, 2015

      Interesting that Tucker hits 3rd. and Carter hits 7th. !!!

      Like

  13. Steven
    May 26, 2015

    Singleton is doing what many of us said would happen. He is adjusting a year later at a new level. He has had his time. I don’t know that he can duplicate what he is doing at AAA here – and I wouldn’t expect it given that it would be near MVP level stuff. I would still rather see him than Carter.

    Hamels name keeps popping up on comments. My concern is not what we have to give up, but that maybe Howard is being discussed as part of any deal with Philadelphia. They are really working hard to get rid of that contract according to Philly outlets. I can’t imagine any deal to get Hamels being worth giving up Singleton and/or Appel/McCullers and requiring taking on Howard even if Philly is paying a large part of the salary. Hopefully the Astros are not into taking on Howard – not even about the money, but about the roster position, the PT at 1B that we would rather see someone else get, and the message it sends by playing him everyday. It almost seems like the same message as the one with Rasmus – it doesn’t matter if Tucker is the better option, we are paying this guy 8 mil, he is going to play a bit more than the other guy, and if Tucker is a part of the deal, UGH.

    Like

    • Tim
      May 26, 2015

      I agree with you that I would prefer to see Big Jon over Carter, despite Carter’s big 2-out RBI single tonight. If Singleton hits around .235 with a .325 OBP and hits his normal amount of HRs he will be an upgrade offensively over Carter. Now I still have concerns about Singelton’s defense at 1B. Carter has done a serviceable job there and Singleton was a complete butcher there last year.

      Like

  14. 1oldpro
    May 26, 2015

    If Lowrie is healthy after the All-Star break he could be a very good trade chip the way he played before his injury.
    If Lowrie isn’t traded he would be a very good player to put on first base. I’d trust any Major League SS to be able to handle 1B and he would be the best hitter we’ve had there since Berkman, and, by golly, he’s a switch hitter who can actually hit from both sides.
    Carlos Correa at SS.
    Move Valbuena to the bottom of the order and tell him to stop uppercutting and just hit the damn ball.
    Keep Gattis and trade Carter.
    Put Tucker in LF every day.
    Play Rasmus in CF against righties
    Play Marisnick in CF against lefties.
    Play Springer in RF
    Play Altuve at 2B every day
    Keep Marwin, trade Villar.
    Keep LMJ in the rotation until he starts to get wild. Then put him in the pen.
    Trade for Hamels, even if it means getting Howard. He can DH against righties, against whom he is currently bombing the ball.
    That’s my Astros down the stretch.
    Anybody currently in the minors not named Correa, Heineman, Velasquez or Phillips is available

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      May 26, 2015

      Speaking of Velasquez, he gets the start tonight at Corpus. Meanwhile, Daniel Mengden [1.63 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, .216 BAA] will walk to the bump for Lancaster, and Akeem Bostic, with his even better .056 ERA, .044 WHIP, and .109 BAA takes the hill for Quad Cities.

      Not bad for our lower level teams!

      Wojo will get the start for the Grizzlies. Hopefully, he will have his best outing of the year and we will have another clean sweep for the system.

      Like

    • drbill14
      May 26, 2015

      Great analysis OP. Wish your comments were up before I sent mine. Would have saved me some typiing.

      Like

  15. Dan P
    May 26, 2015

    Lordy lordy – no Tucker trade please. We have plenty of guys who can slug once in a while – but very few discerning hitters.
    Aplin would probably not garner that much in a trade having been sent down a level. Devenski might be worth more.
    I wouldn’t mind Singleton getting another shot – it might take an injury or trade to make it happen.
    As Neil Diamond wrote and the Monkees sang – “I’m a Believer” already.
    Over and over we’ve seen these wins we did not see last season – come from behind and hang on late and win the close ones. They all feel great.

    Like

    • drbill14
      May 26, 2015

      I wonder if Aplin going down was less a demotion and instead a way for him to play everyday once Grossman went down. to Fresno to play every day. You still have Hoes and Santana in the OF who are on the 40 man and Presley who is not but is nonetheless pulling down a cool $1m to play AAA.

      Like

  16. drbill14
    May 26, 2015

    Tonight’s lineup is very encouraging to me in a couple of ways. First, I like it a LOT that Tucker is hitting third. Springer leading off and Altuve second seems like a good fit. Jose was hitting best when Jake was hitting 9th and getting on base ahead of him. Springer’s OBP should play well at leadoff even though he’s not the prototypical leadoff guy. And Valbuena is finally out of the first third of the order. He is grossly miscast there despite his 10 homers (all solo shots I believe). He has only driven in 6 other runners besides himself in a quarter of the season. Why he was hitting third yesterday against a lefty was completely mystifying to me.

    I would hope Tucker is untouchable for anything less than a legitimate TOR pitcher. We need a bat like his in the first inning.

    For MOR pitching I would happily dangle Singleton, Santana, Aplin, probably Appel, maybe anyone else not named Correa. I really don’t think we will miss Folty or Tropeano in the long run but I am disappointed in what we got for them so far. I hope Gattis changes my mind.

    Like

    • daveb
      May 26, 2015

      I’m already concerned abut the loss of Foltynewicz, and to a lesser degree, Thurman.

      Like

      • Becky
        May 26, 2015

        Dave— I agree that one REALLY hurt. Folty is looking like the kid of pitcher the Braves LOVE to have.

        Like

    • Devin_
      May 26, 2015

      9 solo shots, one 2-run job.

      Like

    • Tim
      May 26, 2015

      How ironic that the day they move Valbuena down in the order he hits a BIG 2-run, 2-out double, against a LH of all things, to give the Astros some insurance runs.

      Like

    • Tim
      May 26, 2015

      I am with you on Folty and Tropeano. It’s not long Folty is tearing it up for Atlanta so far. He has a 4.25 ERA with a 1.416 WHIP so far this season, pitching in a pitchers ballpark. This is not to say he won’t improve, but it isn’t like he is proving to be a big loss yet either. I think the bigger issue is did we get enough for those players. I don’t see either of them being TOR starters, but it doesn’t mean we couldn’t have gotten more than we did, especially Tropeano since we only got a backup catcher and included a catcher in the trade to LAA.

      Like

  17. Becky
    May 26, 2015

    These two pitchers are like Siamese twins……..they can’t pitch and they are walking guys all over the place. Thank God for the double play’s!!!!

    Like

  18. Becky
    May 26, 2015

    OP………please tell me WHO would want Villerror in a trade????

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      May 26, 2015

      Becky, I would guess only a team that has a good solid pitcher that is only effective while pitching from the stretch and preferably with the runner on second.

      Like

      • Becky
        May 26, 2015

        astrocolt45………shaking my head.

        Like

    • 1oldpro
      May 26, 2015

      Some team who doesn’t have Carlos Correa sitting in AAA and whose SS tears his hand up sliding into home plate, breaks a leg and has two twelve paks of strawberry ale ready to trade.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        May 26, 2015

        Oh wait, one of those twelve paks just got picked off of first. by the pitcher and was thrown out at second base.

        Like

  19. Dan P
    May 26, 2015

    Good job by Feldman to keep it together and not let one loss become two. Clutch late hitting…..again.

    Like

  20. BrianT
    May 26, 2015

    First team to 30 wins … with the Cardinals playing later.

    For what it’s worth, here are my answers to my own questions.

    1. I think anyone who believes Tucker is on the auction block doesn’t know the Astros or Jeff Luhnow. Does that mean he’ll 100 percent not be traded? Well, if the Phillies offered Hamels and picked up a huge chunk of his salary — and didn’t mention Ryan Howard — Luhnow would have to listen. Still, I think it’s so unlikely it was a waste of internet space on MLB Trade Rumors.

    2. I think Aplin has more value than you think. Good hitter, lead-off type. Speed. Defense. The Rangers took DDJ without the promise of much more than that. As for Devenski, I’d be willing to sell if it meant winning this year.

    3. I think Singleton has adjusted. Bring him up and he’ll need to adjust again. But this time I don’t think it’ll be as big a leap. As for Gregor, I think he’s eventually a 10-15 HR guy. If Singleton really has figured things out, Gregor might be part of a good trade package.

    4. Am I a believer? Um, mostly. There’s a lot of season left, and this team has some flaws that it’s been living with. But those flaws — Ks, poor average and OBP — could still drag them down. Especially if the pitching becomes just really good instead of exceptional. That said, if the Astros have 47-50 wins by June 30, I’m not sure what remains in their way.

    5. Between Hinch being a smart leader — at least in public, but that’s a good sign — and the guys who have lived through enough of the bad years — Altuve, Keuchel, Castro, MarGo, and even Carter — believing in the team overall, this is a different group.

    Like

  21. rj
    May 26, 2015

    it is really encouraging to me to see springer heating up at the plate, he looks like he is about to go on a tear.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      May 27, 2015

      If he does heat up, can you imagine a line-up with a red-hot Springer leading off, followed by Altuve, then Tucker, then Carlos Correa?

      Like

  22. 1oldpro
    May 26, 2015

    I also like the way Castro is swinging the bat.

    Like

  23. Becky
    May 26, 2015

    The “cardiac kids” from the late 90’s are BAAAAAACK!!

    Like

  24. Syd Boone
    May 27, 2015

    Watching from afar, AJ Reed seems to be the first baseman of the future if Singleton doesn’t make it. You folks know a lot more about him than I, so please share your thoughts on AJ. Man can bomb, and was MVP at everything last year in college. College POY, etc.

    Like

    • Devin_
      May 27, 2015

      Many of us were excited they got him last year in the draft so low – it seemed like a steal. The knock on him was possibly too long a swing causing trouble with the fastball at upper levels, but he seems to have been making adjustments well and has a ton of raw power.

      I like him a lot, but also like the Lancaster 3B, JD Davis, a lot as well. Unless Davis improves his defense quickly there is a bit of a conundrum how to find innings in the field going forward for them both as well as the guys at CC. This may have contributed heavily to Telvin Nash being released. Hey – it’s a good problem to have though, right?

      Like

  25. Syd Boone
    May 27, 2015

    Mean HIS last year in college.

    Like

  26. 1oldpro
    May 27, 2015

    Keith Law has updated his prospect rankings for MLB and Carlos Correa is the #1 ranked prospect in baseball.
    Correa was 2-4 last night with a home run to LF.

    Like

  27. 1oldpro
    May 27, 2015

    Thanks, San Diego! Padres shut out Angels and the Rangers are now tied with the Angels for second place 6.5 games behind the Astros. That Silver Boot might turn out to be a lot more coveted this season than in the past!
    The month of September we play three games against the Twins and all the rest of our games that month are against the division. Should be a barn burner.

    Like

  28. 1oldpro
    May 27, 2015

    2. Devenski- He is pitching great but his stats scare me a bit because they look similar to the David Martinez/Jake Buchanan run of a couple of years ago in Corpus. There doesn’t seem to be enough K in his game and that might hurt him when he moves up. Would love to have Strom look at him live and advise Devenski and the team what Chris needs to step him up to the next level. Devenski needs a wipeout pitch to put major league hitters away.

    Like

  29. 1oldpro
    May 27, 2015

    Brett Phillips turns 21 in three days. Looking at his Lancaster numbers, they are very similar to Correa”s. He actually has passed Correa in High A plate appearances and lags behind Correa in BBs, RBIs and stolen bases. The first two are easily explainable because Phillips is leading off and pitchers don’t pitch around him and Phillips doesn’t have Tony Kemp on base every time he strolls to the plate.
    So, currently, it appears that Phillips lacks Correa’s baserunning skills.
    I’m thinking Phillips might see 500 plate appearance in Lancaster, similar to what Springer and Tucker saw. That could mean a move to CC by July.

    Like

    • Devin_
      May 27, 2015

      Maybe. There is a bit of a logjam right now at CC. Note that Phillips is likely holding back Fisher at QC as well…who is older, I believe.

      Like

  30. Mr. Bill
    May 27, 2015

    Our minor league outfield situation is going to require that some moves be made before too long. Having three ’emergency call-up’ guys – L.J. Hoes, Robbie Grossman, and Alex Presley, plus Domingo Santana, creates a logjam at Fresno and is probably unsustainable. Having Teoscar Hernandez, Andrew Aplin, Brandon Meredith, Leo Heras, and Jon Kemmer at Corpus – with Tony Kemp being given some outfield starts for obvious reasons – means Maverick’s move to CC, when it comes, is likely to cause some ripples at the top of the system. And don’t forget, Danry Vazquez is looking pretty good in the Lancaster outfield and Derek Fisher is no slouch in the Quad Cities outfield as well.

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      May 27, 2015

      Looks like time is quickly running out on Hoes, Grossman & Presley. Also I wonder if the Nash release was a note for Santana to post on his frig that his time is running out soon also.

      Like

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This entry was posted on May 26, 2015 by in Astros.
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