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Let the Astros’ Carlos Correa Coronation begin; Velasquez also up


UPDATE: Now, Vincent Velasquez will also join Correa for the White Sox series. Is this turning into a roster shakeup or are the Astros just finding out what they’ll really need at the trade deadline?

• •• ••• •• •

Well, friends the king has given the minions what they’ve begged for. The Carlos Correa Coronation has begun.

With the worst-kept-secret in baseball now official, Correa will join two other members of the Astros’ 2012 draft on the major league roster for the White Sox series on Monday. Already, Lance McCullers Jr. and Preston Tucker have begun to solidify their places on a team that has surprised to start the 2015 season.

Who’s next? Who cares?

Jeff Luhnow and the Astros have timed the Correa promotion to coincide with perhaps the last draft in which the Astros will have a Top 10 pick for quite some time. The first rounds of the draft are Monday and Houston picks second and fifth (Dan Peschong has an update later Monday).

With three players from the 2012 draft already “up”, that draft can possibly develop into one of the best, if not the best, drafts in Astros’ history. Consider that Andrew Aplin, Brady Rodgers, Brett Phillips, Tyler Heineman and Joe Sclafani among others are also on the list of possible future major leaguers and the build-through-the-draft philosophy appears to have a strong future in Houston despite some obvious gaffes along the way.

So, what are you thoughts on the Correa promotion? Too early? Too late? Will he make a difference?

  • Are the Astros now committed to being all-in in 2015?
  • Is there another obvious promotion waiting to happen?
  • Who goes off the 40-man roster to make room for Correa? Again, does it really matter?
  • Where does Correa bat? Third? Sixth to start?
  • What does the promotion say about Jed Lowrie and Luis Valbuena?
  • Will manager A.J. Hinch now start plugging others into first base (e.g. Valbuena, Evan Gattis) in preparation for moving Chris Carter?
  • Is the Correa promotion permanent?
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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO, and wakes up each morning to the tallest spot in the region, Pikes Peak. He is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 50 years. A native of another picturesque city, Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. Pastor Bosman came up with Chipalatta, and it has stuck.

39 comments on “Let the Astros’ Carlos Correa Coronation begin; Velasquez also up

  1. Dan P
    June 7, 2015

    When I heard this Chip – my thought was “Tomorrow is here”.
    – I don’t know if they are all in but they certainly are more in than they have been in the last 5 years.
    – Another promotion? No obvious one immediately though I have no idea why Villar is still on the 25 man.
    – I know they are sending Buchanan down but I did not hear that he was being DFAd
    – I would bat him a little farther down to start 6th would be ok
    – I would think Lowrie will be moving around the infield – Valbuena might b sitting some
    – I hope that if someone else plays first they can find it with their foot better than MarGo did the other day
    – Correa ain’t going nowhere boss

    Liked by 1 person

  2. becky
    June 7, 2015

    When????????? Tomorrow??? Oh my gosh this the best news in like *forever*!!

    Like

  3. BrianT
    June 7, 2015

    This, combined with Lowrie’s eventual return, will change everything.

    MarGo goes back to super sub, Villar goes to Fresno and Valbuena gets packaged with some minor leaguers for Cole Hamels.

    Like

  4. rj
    June 7, 2015

    what a big weekend this is turning into. correa is here, we get the picks tomorrow. will we make a trade or promote from within in regards to pitching for the near future? fun fun fun
    Chip i do think the astros have a go all in outlook. The timing will be the question, is it soon they make a trade or do they stay with their own until near the trade deadline and make the move then.
    i don’t know an obvious one, but i bet a pitcher or two get their chance.
    jake buchanan went and it matters only in the astros now have one less pitcher on the major league roster.
    I think lower in the order to start off with. he can always be moved up if he is performing.
    It may say hello platoon to jed and luis.
    i don’t think they move carter until the big trade for a TOR pitcher comes around and they may not move him at all.
    i hope this promotion is permanent, it would mean he is performing well. and i think it will be.

    wooohooo HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN

    Like

  5. daveb
    June 7, 2015

    Boy, with family on island, its tough to keep track of things, and gruelling too. Is my fabvorite guy, Joe Scafani hurt?

    Like

    • Becky
      June 8, 2015

      No your favorite player is not hurt.

      Like

      • uncleknuckle
        June 8, 2015

        The guy apparently sat between June 1 and 6. And yet still, he’s managed to get his BA up to .289 and his OBP to .410.

        Like

  6. Billy Castillo
    June 8, 2015

    I would’ve kept Buchanan and cut hernandez
    .

    Meh…who cares. The future is here !!!

    Like

  7. Tim
    June 8, 2015

    Just like everyone else I am glad Correa is here. I only wish his first game wasn’t against Chris Sale, but otherwise he is a big shot in the arm for this team as they are struggling. Instantly, he is an upgrade over Villar and MarGo. I hope we can get Lowrie back soon after the ASB, but I am not sure if Correa is enough of an offensive improvement.

    Like

  8. Mr. Bill
    June 8, 2015

    Somebody please get hot, beat the White Sox in their own park, and put an end to this losing streak. Looking specifically at you George Springer, Jose’ Altuve, Preston Tucker, Evan Gattis, Jake Marisnick, and Luis Valbuena. Give us a really good reason to celebrate Carlos’ coronation with some fan fare when the team gets back home.

    Like

  9. Mr. Bill
    June 8, 2015

    * Who’s next? Who cares? *

    I suspect this was written with tongue in cheek, but after reading all the panicked ‘my kingdom for a horse’ sentiment expressed on this blog recently I am not completely sure. At any rate, I assure you that several of us old timers ‘care’ very much who comes up next. Barring an injury-necessitated call-up [Heaven forbid], you see,who is the next ‘new arrival’ could well signal what we have learned in our day to call ‘regime change’.

    Scenario #1: Singleton is the next call up. This would signal that the Astros are finally giving up on Carter – or Gattis, but of the two, Gattis is presently hitting about .30 points higher, while Carter can’t even keep his average above the Mendoza line.

    Scenario #2: Sclafani is the next call up. This would signal that Villar – and probably MarGo as well – are history. This might even feasibly include Valbuena as well upon the successful return of a healthy Jed Lowrie.

    Scenario #3: Velasquez, Devenski, or Appel is the next call up. Unlikely, but this would signify that the Astros are looking in-house for rotation solutions, instead of dabbling in the occult arts of fortune telling in hopes of finding the rare stallion instead of just another an old grey mare that ain’t what she used to be.

    Scenario #4: Kemp is the next call up. Even more unlikely, but this could signify the beginning of the ‘New Astros dynasty – a major shift in team philosophy toward OBP and strategic offense and away from ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the increasingly rare sighting of a home run.

    Scenario #5: Heineman is the next call up. That would mean the Hank Conger experiment is finally, mercifully, over – and that Jason Castro will either have to excel or be gone as well. The Toronto series exposed our ‘holding runners’ game to be pitifully weak. They ran all over us, and while it’s mostly on the pitchers, it’s ultimately up to our catcher to keep the pitchers on their toes in this regard. Castro and Conger will either have to get on top of this, or we will have to find someone who will. Heineman and Stassi or Pena are probably the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steven
      June 8, 2015

      Trading for a TOR starter isn’t trading your kingdom for a horse.

      It’s the last step to a championship. Also, noone’s suggesting giving the Phillies their choice of steak. You make an appealing offer, you can’t get a guy like Hamels for free, but I never saw anyone say yea just call up the Phillies, and lets package Correa, Velasquez, Tucker and McCullers, that should do it. Sending them Phillips, Hader and Kemp would be acceptable since we have depth at all those positions in the system, and that certainly wouldn’t consitute “the kingdom.” And if that offer isn’t good enough for them (or similar minor leaguers), thanks for playing, move on.

      I’m skeptical on Kemp. I’ve called them wrong before, I was the guy in love with Shuck’s near .400 OBP, but I don’t know about this guy. Call it Shuckism, I don’t want to be fooled again. Always concerned about guys that lack power and seeing that OBP translate. Kemp is a better hitter than Shuck, he should have a better batting average – but whats that mean in translation to the majors, where guys throw more strikes? I could see a .275 avg and .335 OBP from him, but with no power and his primary position occupied by a better hitter, what does that mean? Good numbers utility wise, but can he give 100 innings at SS in the major leagues? I don’t know that we see Kemp this year, the fit doesn’t seem right. An Altuve injury could change that.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        June 8, 2015

        I personally think Kemp has shown a ton more gritty ‘playmaker’ ability than J.B. Shuck ever did. He’s a grinder – not just a finesse guy. But since the reference has been made to J.B., it is only fair to note that even J.B. is now hitting .268/.333 – albeit in a back-up role – for the Chicago White Sox. In 64 PAs J.B. has walked 5 times and struck out only 4. It should be noted that J.B.’s .268 BA and .333 OBP would put him 2nd on the active Astros team in both categories right now. That OBP -albeit in small sample size – is only .004 points behind Altuve.

        And now regarding Mr. Kemp. Tony was an outfielder before he moved to 2nd base to cover the need at Vanderbilt. He can definitely play CF as well as 2B. Of course, if you love Marisnick, and believe he’s the long term answer in CF, great – Kemp is expendable. But if, like me, you see Jake Marisnick as an inconsistent hitter, and a high strike-out, low ceiling, but good fielding stop-gap, you see our 2017 outfield as composed of either Springer in Right, Kemp in Center, and Tucker/Santana in left, or Phillips in Right, Springer in Center, and Tucker/Aplin in left.

        Liked by 1 person

    • jake
      June 8, 2015

      Im sure the future will be Pena and Heineman.

      Like

  10. Mr. Bill
    June 8, 2015

    Well, if I am hearing correctly, there’s your answer. See scenario #3 above.

    Like

  11. 1oldpro
    June 8, 2015

    I think the Correa announcement was on time considering all the circumstances and the Villar-caused loss yesterday. I guarantee you Altuve was livid after yesterday’s loss.
    I think Chip left Fontana off that 2012 draft list.
    There has to be some kind of trade coming soon to make some room in Fresno for some players to move up.
    I don’t know if there is an obvious promotion waiting to happen. They have to make a move to get Captain on the 40-man. Is it a trade or a DFA or what. None of Cruz’s numbers look good for AAA, so he could be a candidate. If he can’t conquer AAA there is no reason to think he can get MLB hitters out, is there?
    I don’t have a clue what they’re thinking about Valbuena and Carter.

    Like

  12. 1oldpro
    June 8, 2015

    Vincent Velasquez called up to the majors and is heading to Chitown to face the Sox on Wednesday. Fausto to the bullpen for now. Another 25 man move has to be coming from that.

    Like

  13. Devin_
    June 8, 2015

    – There is no reason to go all-in in 2015. Keep making moves, but focus on growing the young core and adding controlled pieces or bargains.
    – No. Maybe Matty D to replace Valbuena.
    – who to remove is the interesting one. I vote Chapman. The big problem is that Lowrie coming off 60 day DL will require another move. Either a trade is brewing, Deduno/Feldman are hurt enough to go on 60 day DL, or they will cut some chaffe.
    – Seventh. Let him get some RBI opportunities without dropping the weight of the world on him.
    – it says they are making a lot of money to get a good spot on the bench for one…probably fewer PA for both.
    – I think the immediate concern should be finding a reliable backup. Lowrie is a good candidate once healthy enough to play…assuming hand is really ready for the impact of throws at 1st.
    – If he plays better than Villar has been then it is permanent. Correa has been wracking up E’s at Fresno of late…he needs to be steady or will force a demotion.

    Like

  14. Dan P
    June 8, 2015

    The news that Velasquez is coming up to start on the tail of the Correa call-up is very heart warming news to me. I want these young guys up here when they have earned the opportunity and I want them banking their experiences as soon as possible.
    I’m guessing they may send Villar down (or do they have to DFA him) to make room for Velasquez, unless there is a trade in the making or Chad Qualls is about to suffer a pulled eyebrow.
    It feels almost out of body to me – we have been waiting so long to get help from the minors, but came out of spring training with no one making their major league debut. But now it has been Tucker, McCullers, Correa and Velasquez in the last month. It is a great feeling to finally see some fruit blooming from the nurtured plants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      June 8, 2015

      Velasquez is already on the 40 man, but Correa has to be added, so….maybe they shift Peacock to the 60 day DL???

      Like

      • Devin_
        June 8, 2015

        I’m guessing we see them try to pass Chapman or Hoes through waivers. Both could ostensibly be moved for a PTBNL. Villar can be optioned to AAA I believe.

        Like

      • Dan P
        June 8, 2015

        I wonder how many innings they picture using Velasquez – since he only threw about 67 innings last season, has pitched 25 so far this season and has a history of injuries.

        Like

      • Mr. Bill
        June 8, 2015

        The way I see it, Velasquez has thrown 26.1 innings thus far. We have about 100 games left in the regular season. If he throws every fifth game the rest of the year, and averages 6.0 per inning, that’s 120 more innings, bringing him to a total of 146 – 150 innings prior to post-season. That is not enough to worry about for a 23 year old pitcher. If he suffers an injury or recurrence, it won’t be overwork that causes it.

        Like

  15. Kevin
    June 8, 2015

    I an so Pumped right now going to go run a 5 miler. Correa and now VV and I have 3rd base tickets next week In Denver for both games. 5 rows behind the dugout. I may have to rent a kid to get autographs!!!!

    AND THE DRAFT TONIGHT WAHOO

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      June 8, 2015

      I’m so pumped I’m going to run a 5 yarder!

      Like

      • Kevin
        June 8, 2015

        That’s a good one OP

        Like

  16. Steven
    June 8, 2015

    – Most of these moves are saying all in for the next 10 years. The rumor mills are churning hard that Luhnow is after a TOR guy, specifically Hamels. Some like the idea, some hate it, but Luhnow wants another guy to plug into a rotation for games 1 through 3 of a playoff series. In a weak AL, you have to think a Keuchel-Hamels-McHugh rotation would be as good as it can get. I love McCullers and Velasquez both as power arms that can succeed in the playoffs, I just don’t know if either will still be throwing by that time.

    – They already called up 1 and 1A on talent. Correa and Velasquez are the two most talented baseball players that are Houston property. The only other that is obviously going to see time in Houston this year is Singleton, but that is going to take roster moves the Astros may not want to make in the next 2-3 weeks. I think the next one up is prompted by injury.

    – I can see Peacock moving to the 60 man DL. If not that move, than Cruz.

    – Bat Correa 6th or 7th.

    – Lowrie knew signing with Houston that the guy was the future SS. He knows his role will be all over. Villar is the one that should be looking over his shoulder. Lowrie can play all over the IF and DH some in a pinch. Valbuena will likely see some of his PT cut when Lowrie comes back, but I think he survives.

    – IDK, is Carter on the block? I’ve read a ton of that here suggesting he should be moved, but any Carter related talk seems quiet everywhere else. I am not sure there is a ton of demand for him.

    – Unless he hits below .250 after an extended go, I am going to say the Astros are making the move to play the guy at SS 4 out of every 5 games, so yes, I think its permanent.

    Like

    • Tim
      June 8, 2015

      The only way I trade Carter is if we get a dependable 1B back in the trade. I am not ready to hand the reigns over to Singleton on a full-time basis. I don’t think they trade Carter, but he may see his playing time diminished once Lowrie comes back as Jed can also play some 1B.

      Like

  17. Becky
    June 8, 2015

    I don’t know if my heart can take all this GREAT news! I might have to call my doctor
    for a refill on my heart meds.!! By the way…….I went to the casino yesterday……….. I won the Astros did not. Is this the best summer yet???!!!

    Like

  18. Becky
    June 8, 2015

    Please Lord, let it be Villerror to be sent down……or *RELEASED*.

    Like

    • sydboone
      June 8, 2015

      Save your prayers for important matters, Becky.

      Like

  19. Becky
    June 8, 2015

    Matt D. DFA’d this morning, in order to add Correa. Whose next??

    Like

    • Tim
      June 8, 2015

      As you know Matty D is my Villar so I have no problem with this move. LOL!

      Like

  20. Tim
    June 8, 2015

    I am excited that they brought up LMJ and Velasquez to add to the rotation, but Dan and Steven raise a good point. If the Astros make it into the playoffs are we going to allow these young, top prospects to pitch that many innings this year? Are we going to rely on these young prospects to pitch under the pressure of the playoffs with so many innings under their belt? This is where a trade for a pitcher will really help. Even if it isn’t a TOR, but someone like Harang, it will allow us to monitor the innings of the 2 young pitchers and, possibly, move one of them to the bullpen, if we make the playoffs.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      June 8, 2015

      Tim, I mentioned this last week when McCullers looked so good after a few starts. He’s going to “eat” up his innings quickly…I said then the Astros might make it through the summer with him as a starter, make a trade for another starter and put him in the pen, but that’s only a guess…

      INDEED, Luhnow and Hinch must have a plan for that…neither of those have been stretched out for a full season and it’s hard to see them going that far…

      The team/organization has made some decisions, but there are still plenty ahead…and they aren’t that far away.

      Like

  21. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    June 8, 2015

    Valbuena – 29 YO. .184/.253/.398/.651. This year
    MattyD – 25 YO. .215/.256/.330/.586. Last year

    Just saying…..

    Like

    • Tim
      June 8, 2015

      It looks like the Astros made the right move. Valbuena has the higher OPS.

      Like

  22. Wallee
    June 8, 2015

    There is at least one more on the farm in Corpus who could possibly help us … he’s 6-0 with a 0.71 ERA and 0.88 WHIP. But that would have required yet another DFA and demotion to fit him onto the 25- and 40-man rosters … but Chris Devenski should be given a shot before we save the Phillies GM’s job.

    Like

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