CHIPALATTA

All Things Astros and a whole lot more

Free Blog Weekend: Failed prospects, July lineup and other notes


Jesus said the “poor will always be with us”. So, too, will the baseball prospect always be with us.

The organization that can discern the difference between a prospect and a future major league baseball player is destined to be among the best teams. It’s that simple, at least for the teams not in the farther part of the Northeast or California (e.g. Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, etc.).

Jeff Luhnow became general manager of the Astros in December 11, 2011. The learning curve was great. Add to it the fact he was disassembling and assembling virtually an entirely new organization, from the dugout, to radio, to PR to scouting to administration, it was obvious the timeline upward would start slowly and pick up later.

That explains, at least in part, why the draft classes for Houston are just now reaching Houston and why some of the so-called prospects acquired in trades have not panned out. Carlos Correa was a no-brainer to be planted at shortstop in Houston for years. The Astros may have hit it big with seventh-round pick Preston Tucker and even 37th pick Lance McCullers Jr.

But others haven’t been so lucky or at least haven’t paid off…yet. Let’s take a look at some of the prospects many of us — and Luhnow too — had high hopes for. Some have moved on and others are still languishing in the Astros’ organization.

Matt Dominguez. Acquired in the Carlos Lee trade, Dominguez had every opportunity in 1200+ at bats to become the everyday third baseman for the next decade. He was the 12th pick in the 2007 draft but never lived up to his expectations. He’ll get a second chance in Milwaukee after the Brewers picked him up off waivers this week.

Brett Wallace. Another former first round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals who could have been the Astros’ everyday first baseman today. Like Dominguez and so many others, never lived up to the rankings. Wallace is with his third organization since leaving the Astros. He hasn’t played in the majors since 2013, but is living up to his AAAA comparisons, hitting .298/.372/.455 with AAA El Paso.

Jon Singleton. Yes, he’s still a prospect and could still make the most of the rankings that have listed him among the best Astros’ prospects since he was acquired in 2011 in the Hunter Pence trade. He was among baseball’s Top 100 from 2011-14 and should get one more long opportunity to make it with the Astros.

Jarred Cosart. Many fans were chagrined when Cosart was traded to Miami for Colin Moran, Jake Marisnick and the compensation pick that turned into outfielder Daz Cameron in last week’s draft. Cosart could have easily found a place in this year’s rotation, but his low K/9 totals, high BB/9 totals and other factors may not have been a fit in Houston.

Nolan Fontana. A personal favorite, Fontana probably doesn’t have the bat to become an everyday player in the majors. His glove and his ability to walk (260 walks in 1216 plate appearances) keeps him on the field at Fresno and on many prospects list. In other words, he’s a Jeff Luhnow-type guy. If he could consistenly hit .260-.270, he’d a future consideration. However, he could be a casualty as early as this fall, if not packaged in a trade this summer.

Delino Deshields Jr. The Astros didn’t protect him and the Rangers grabbed him in the Rule 5 draft last December. He’s had a solid start (.269/.358/.386) and has been an integral part of the roster thus far. This could be a miss for the Astros.

Jonathan Villar. He was 12th on Baseball America’s Astros’ prospect list, but has been inconsistent in several previews with the Astros. He’s presently in Fresno and likely “off” the prospect list for Houston. Trade candidate, though he’s still young and serviceable in many ways so he won’t be released.

Brett Oberholtzer. The lefty who came over in the 2011 Michael Bourn trade and, while he is no longer a true prospect, he’s one of those players for which the Astros have had high hopes. He was seventh on Baseball America’s 2012 Astros’ prospect list and is likely getting his final shot at establishing himself in the team’s rotation.

Telvin Nash. He was tenth on BA’s 2012 list, but has failed to generate any consistency. At 24, he’s still at Corpus Christi and not making a strong case.

Jiovanni Mier. A much-ballyhooed first round pick in 2009, Mier never got any traction, though he was ranked among Baseball America’s Top 10 Astros’ prospects from 2009-2011. At 24 years old, he is still playing at AA Corpus Christi.

Yes, I could live with this lineup next month when Jed Lowrie returns.

And a few other notes and thoughts:

  • The Astros seem to have no interest in playing Evan Gattis in left field or first base. No need for left field with so many options, but seems his bat in the lineup in place of Chris Carter might be an option at times.
  • Houston has hit multiple home runs in 27 games this season and is unbeaten in those games.
  • Interleague play has long been a challenge for Houston. This year, however, the team is 8-1 in interleague play, compared to 8-12 (2013) and 5-15 (2014).

 

 

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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.

66 comments on “Free Blog Weekend: Failed prospects, July lineup and other notes

  1. Zanuda
    June 19, 2015

    Chip, great column. I agree with pretty much everything you say. It will be interesting when our current prospects are ready for the call-up. I agree that Carter will probably get dealt sooner than later and I don’t believe that Gattis will be here next year if others pan out. He’s pretty much one dimensional and therefore if we’ve got a guy who can DL and play one or more positions I would like that scenario better. Pitching is still a question mark so we’ll have to see where that ends up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      June 19, 2015

      I think Gattis will be here simply because he is a very cheap, team-controlled player who strikes out less than Chris Carter. We are in the A.L. and Gattis is a perfect D.H., but he may see his playing time diminished if he doesn’t get his batting average up above .250 as he does’t walk much.

      Like

  2. Tim
    June 19, 2015

    I thought Telvin Nash was released by the Astros a few weeks ago. Am I thinking of someone else?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Becky
      June 19, 2015

      Tim……yes he was.

      Like

  3. Roger
    June 19, 2015

    Excellent column and questions, Chip. Because of the serious interest that teams show these days in psychological factors, one has to wonder how such variables affected the outcomes, to date, of the players Chip listed.
    Since it’s a FBW, I’ll share the following, which “hit” me after looking at the great facial reactions of Santana yesterday, after his first HR. Psychologist Nick Rule (Univ. Toronto) has shown that lay people can predict, from still photos, long-term professional success (e.g., CEO’s, attorneys, etc.) at a level significantly better than chance (over 50%). The success is roughly shown to range from 55% to 65%, depending on the variable studied. So, it isn’t great, but, Hey, it means we could add another dimension to our predictions, as could the Astros, providing the Cardinals then don’t the steal it from them!
    And, yes, unconsciously, we probably all do/did this when meeting a prospective SO. And, no, don’t go mentioning this to your SO, or your kids, or even look at yourself in the mirror.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Roger
    June 19, 2015

    Note: Rule has done this retrospectively—- the CEO’s were already successful and the people viewed photos taken after the fact. I don’t think he has tried this to predict future success, but he could.

    Like

  5. 1oldpro
    June 19, 2015

    I think it is interesting that Brett Oberholtzer has more accumulated WAR this season than Cosart.
    I think it is VERY interesting that Gattis is the only regular in the Astros lineup with a negative Accumulated WAR this season. I am counting Marwin’s negative WAR as a bench player.
    I think July is lining up to be the most interesting month in the last ten years for the Houston Astros, because it will be the month of a build and not a demolition.

    Like

  6. Tony Eusebio
    June 19, 2015

    Why so down on Obie? He’s shown in my mind that he has the potential to be an above-average MLB starter. Even last year when his ERA was a little higher than you’d like it to be his FIP was a very respectable 3.56. And he’s off to good start this year now that his blister issues appear to be resolved.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kyle P.
    June 19, 2015

    I would like to see more of Colby Rasmus in center now that Marisnick has significantly cooled off. His OBP is below .290 and he’s starting to strike out a ton. I know he plays a better center field but the bottom of our lineup is turning into a black hole with the injuries and Castro and Gonzales’ inability to hit consistently. I can see Marisnick as more of a late game defensive replacement and pinch runner if he doesn’t pick it up, and fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 1oldpro
    June 19, 2015

    You know things must be a little hectic in Troy NY. Tri City opens tonight and they have five players listed on their roster. Crazy, but I wouldn’t bet against them winning.

    Like

  9. Devin_
    June 19, 2015

    Springer is up to .277 avg with an .842 OPS. The team is 40-28.

    Someone (Nance?) asked how we felt about McHugh lining up as starter #2 in the playoffs yesterday. I think I would be happy with that for a couple reasons.
    1. Making the playoffs would exceed my expectations
    2. Wild Card spots make the hunt for a spot more competitive. There is no guarantee we could clinch a spot and set our rotation.
    3. He has dominated at times.
    4. We win a lot of his starts…at least this year.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      June 19, 2015

      And, he turned it on big-time in the last two months of the season last year. He was Terrific!!

      Like

    • daveb
      June 19, 2015

      I based my response on YTD. A 5.02 ERA out of your #2 guy is not going to cut it in the playoffs. His recovery yesterday was encouraging. Let’s see what he does going forward.

      Like

  10. 1oldpro
    June 19, 2015

    Mier. A franchise defining moment. It’s time for you to make your first round pick in the 2009 draft. In front of you are Mier and Mike Trout. You choose the little SS. Six years later you look at that choice and wonder what the heck they could have been thinking and what might have been if a grocer hadn’t been calling all the shots. A year later, Trout and Hank Conger are fighting it out to see who would be the Angels’ #1 prospect. That is another interesting one to reflect on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Devin_
      June 19, 2015

      In fairness, Garrett Richards is about the only other first round pick after Mier who clearly belongs in MLB. I think this speaks more to picking the best player available rather than trying to fill an organizational need.

      Like

    • Chip Bailey
      June 19, 2015

      OP, totally agree on the bungled pick of Mier. However quite a few other teams missed out on Trout. In fact, the Angels took him with their second pick in that draft. The other was a guy named Randall Grichuk, certainly a household name among his family today I’m sure.

      Still doesn’t negate the horrific pick that Mier was..and many people said that at the time of the pick, as I recall.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Kevin
    June 19, 2015

    Hello Gang Just back from Coors field, what an awesome 2 days. We were 10 rows up beside the Astros dug out. It was great we were surrounded by at least a 100 other Astro Faithful , we had fun not so much the people in purple.

    Being that close man is Correa impressive, even Rockie fans where like who is this kid. He was great both games signing tone of autographs, along with Keuchel who must have signed hundreds. Talk about a big smooth man Domingo, and what a bomb he hit. Springer was Springer playing great and having fun, and Tucker looked great also with a couple moon shots!

    I walked down to the dug out had a nice little chat with Strom , really nice guy.
    What a great future we have fellow Chipsters.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Becky
      June 19, 2015

      I told Dan yesterday, Luhnow should have Strom sign a new contract for the next 50yrs. but he said I had to talk to the man upstairs to work that out!!! Thanks Kevin for the great info on our boys!!

      Like

      • Kevin
        June 19, 2015

        I told him the same when he walked away. I said Stromie, us Chipster’s, need you to stay an Astro for a long time, He said check with me after we got out of Mile high LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan P
    June 19, 2015

    Thoughts on the guys on your list Chip.
    – Obie – though I don’t think he will ever be Keuchel, he is another lefty who maybe is hitting his stride a little later in baseball life. Maybe another Bob Knepper?
    – Singleton – He could be a good major leaguer, but he may never get the chance unless he is traded, Carter is traded or Carter gets hurt. The Astros don’t yet seem ready to take that risk of handing him the job again.
    – Cosart – They thought they were getting more over time than what they gave up. And maybe they thought he had a bit of an attitude. Martes, Moran or Cameron could prove this a good choice. Marisnick is who he is.
    – DDJ – This may have been a mistake by the organization.
    – Matty D – We didn’t think we could get much in exchange for Carlos Lee and his remaining contract and we were right.
    – Brett Wallace – I kept thinking Moonpie was going to break out and I guess so did all the clubs who tried him and gave up.
    – Nolan Fontana – As daveb often pointed out Joe Sclafani was a better hitter while getting on base a lot. Fontana just can’t keep that average up.
    – Telvin Nash – Chris Carter Part 2? Lots of power – lots of Ks – struggles with BA.
    – Jiovanni Mier – Just a bad choice by a bunch of bad choosers.
    – Jonathan Villar – like that good looking girl friend who you keep allowing to break your heart and then you realize it is all facade…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dan P
    June 19, 2015

    I love seeing so many comments left by so many different folks and especially the new folks – you bring a lot of fun and flavor to this ol blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky
      June 19, 2015

      Like, like, like like! 🙂 🙂

      Like

  14. daveb
    June 19, 2015

    Re the Marisnick/Santana issue and who stays. After just two games I’ve got to admit that I’d hate to see Santana included in a trade for rotation help. He looks like a totally different guy than we saw K 14 times in 17 at bats last year.

    Actually, when Rasmus gets back, I’d like to keep both Santana and Marisnick. I know this will not happen, but I’d try to find a place to send Gattis. What? Yeah, I think we’re a better team going forward with Marisnick, Rasmus, Tucker, Santana and Springer. I think with Santana and Tucker sharing the DH role based on matchups, we get better production than Gattis gives us and a significantly better OBP. And both guys can go out in the field without doing damage. We can’t say that about Gattis. Also, no reason why Rasmus and Springer can’t DH every now and then to give them an easy day. We just become that much more athletic with Gattis gone.

    Like

  15. 1oldpro
    June 19, 2015

    Some thoughts on this prospect stuff. Correa has been in the league for two weeks. Now we are starting to hear stuff like he has the seventh best MPH of batted balls coming off his bat in all of baseball. Think about that.
    How long have the Astros known about that? How were those numbers in Lancaster last season and CC this year. Certainly the Astros knew those MPH numbers were probably the highest in the leagues when he was there. Is that why he flew through the minors so fast?
    When Kyle Tucker and Daz Cameron worked out for the Astros in Florida the Astros must have had all that equipment set up and probably did in all their other big tryouts. What does your logarithms say the speed off the bat will project to when they fill out?
    How does Bregman stack up in those numbers in front of the Astros’ cameras and tech machines? What about his line drive numbers? How many MPH does he get on a throw from the hole or from second to first on the DP turn?
    What’s the spin rate on the breaking pitches of the top two pitchers the Astros drafted. What does Strom think they will look like when he gets finished with them.
    How much does all the technology go into the fact that Springer and Tucker flew through the minors at a very similar pace in plate appearances. Did our technology tell us that their finished product would produce such high MPH and line drive rates, that they would shoot through the minors while others linger?
    This kind of info is perhaps what other teams would covet. Luhnow is the cutting edge and even with new bifocals, I can’t see this stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kevin
      June 19, 2015

      All I can say on watching Correa for 2 games close up, man is he impressive for 20, at the plate , at SS, and on the bases, shoot he stole 3 bags yesterday , twice 3b right in front of me not even close.

      Here’s one you sll will love. Right before the game yeaterday Fields was heading out to the pen, he yelled over to Correa like hey man, Correa ran over and they had a man hug ,. It was awesome stuff!

      Like

    • Devin_
      June 19, 2015

      So, these are some really interesting questions. I don’t think they had sufficient equipment to take those measurements at milb facilities, but likely can extrapolate results from what footage they did get of all.

      Having said that, there were a couple times the other night where I confused Correa with Springer based on his bat speed. Also, watching Evan Gattis, I am disappointed we can’t see him race Matty D. Does anyone have a gif overlaying the two running to 1st base? If we could put Carlos Lee in as well it could be epic.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        June 19, 2015

        Devin: If I own that equipment and I put on an event where dozens and dozens of college and high school draftees are showing their stuff(I think the Astros had 3 such workouts in the country this spring) I schedule that stuff when the Astros are on the road and I take some of that equipment from MMP to the workout site and set it up and get that information. I want everything at my disposal to make the most informed decisions on how I’m going to spend my $17 million worth of slot money. My tech guys tell me what they need and I find a way to get it there and then return it for the next home series.
        Heck, for all we know, they bought mobile stuff to move around wherever they need it and might move it around their minor leagues, too. They might send it to Fresno while the Astros are in Baltimore for all we know.

        Like

  16. Becky
    June 19, 2015

    I’m ok with all the guys who have come and gone except Oberholtzer. He’s still young enough to stay in the rotation as a back of the rotation guy. McHugh makes me wanna bite my fake fingernails! Just when we think “uh oh he’s toast” he comes back and strikes out 8 or 10 batters. The Cosart trade was VERY controversial only
    because none of us saw that coming. He hasn’t found the same mojo in Florida as he did here. I think the Marlins are starting to second think that trade.
    Stats from yesterday:
    The Astros struck out *17* times yesterday and won the game!
    The game yesterday was the 40th. this year……..these guys did not
    have 40 wins until……..AUGUST 16TH. 2014!!!
    Chew on that for a minute!!
    As DanP said…..Welcome to all the new “faces” on this great blog!
    Don’t be a stranger, join in the fun that we have on here!

    Like

    • Roger
      June 19, 2015

      Agree fully, Becky, about Obie, and perhaps Dan is correct in equating him with Knepper? My strongest memory of Knepper, though, is he often seemed to pitch 8 great innnings, be ahead like 1-0, or 2-1, and then lose it in the 9th. Of course hitting was not a strength then.

      Like

  17. Becky
    June 19, 2015

    And one more thing……what to do with Qualls.

    Like

    • Devin_
      June 19, 2015

      Get Chris Carter to teach him how to sing, obviously.

      Like

    • Roger
      June 19, 2015

      How about just adding a big S before Qualls and hope he blows out of town quickly?

      Liked by 2 people

  18. token
    June 19, 2015

    Hopefully we will beat up more on the Mariners this series, but then we have some tough series up to the All-Star Break. Angels, Yankees, Royals, and Tampa Bay (with one quick 3-game respite in Boston).

    A 12-11 record in the remaining 23 pre-ASP games gets us to 52-39 at the break. That seems like a worthy goal — it projects to 93 wins on the season!

    Like

  19. John Marshall
    June 19, 2015

    Chip, you must have missed it, but the Astros released Telvin Nash on May 25. From: CHIPALATTA To: jmarsh3rd@sbcglobal.net Sent: Friday, June 19, 2015 6:01 AM Subject: [New post] Free Blog Weekend: Failed prospects, July lineup and other notes #yiv6385029846 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv6385029846 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv6385029846 a.yiv6385029846primaryactionlink:link, #yiv6385029846 a.yiv6385029846primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv6385029846 a.yiv6385029846primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv6385029846 a.yiv6385029846primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv6385029846 WordPress.com | Chip Bailey posted: “Jesus said the “poor will always be with us”. So, too, will the baseball prospect always be with us.The organization that can discern the difference between a prospect and a future major league baseball player is destined to be among the best teams. I” | |

    Like

  20. Becky
    June 19, 2015

    Folks……..as we cheer on our young men this weekend, let us stop for a few minutes and remember the families of those who they loved that were murdered this week in Charleston SC. This might not be the place for it, but I believe deep in my heart that you will say a prayer for these families. Thanks, Becky

    Liked by 2 people

    • Roger
      June 19, 2015

      I share your thoughts, Becky. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Chip Bailey
    June 19, 2015

    Some has called for Chad Qualls’ head, but that won’t happen soon in my opinion. He was a critical part of the club last year and, unless other bullpen pieces implode, Houston will give him plenty of time to recoup and recover. Moreover, he’s signed through 2016, so there’s another reason he’ll be hanging around a while longer. He’s one of those guys who could right the ship by the middle of next month and be a critical piece to the puzzle down the stretch. This isn’t Chris Carter who has no track record.

    Like

    • Becky
      June 19, 2015

      I don’t know WHAT they are going to do with him, but safe to say Hinch won’t use him in a tight game, unless he is FORCED to. He makes me nervous……….

      Like

    • Tim
      June 19, 2015

      Chip,

      I believe he was signed to a 2-year contract with a team option for the 3rd year. Thus, he is only signed through the end of this year, if I am reading the contract details correctly. http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/10098878/chad-qualls-houston-astros-agree-2-year-deal

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        June 19, 2015

        2016 option for $3.5 mil. $250,000 buyout.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        June 19, 2015

        So far, Qualls has an Accumulated WAR of negative 1 for 2015.

        Like

  22. 1oldpro
    June 19, 2015

    The Fresno Grizzlies, who have been in the PCL since 1998, have never made the playoffs. In their first year as an Astros affiliate, they have an 8.5 game lead on the second place team in their division.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 1oldpro
    June 19, 2015

    Alex Bregman thanked LSU and his friends this morning by twitter and said his next stop was H-Town.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 1oldpro
    June 19, 2015

    Marisnick to DL.
    Rasmus back.
    Astros sign 5 more draftees
    Lowrie taking grounders at third base, per Julia Morales.
    All of that info from Evan Drellich Twitter

    Like

    • Dan P
      June 19, 2015

      Thanks OP – lots of important stuff in that post.

      Like

  25. 1oldpro
    June 19, 2015

    The Tri City Valley Cats season started one minute ago. There are now 35 players listed on their roster, including some that I didn’t even know had signed yet, like Drew Ferguson.

    Like

  26. Wallee
    June 19, 2015

    Some folks never learn … the Padres have just announced they are calling up Brett Wallace. I’ll see him tomorrow in Phoenix … what a trip!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. astrocolt45
    June 19, 2015

    First, let me tip my hat to Tim. He believes in looking at trades years later. My preference is the first two weeks. However, in 2011 Bourn + cash for Schafer, Obie, Clemens, & Abreu does not look like a good deal. However, the Braves lost Bourn to FA. Now he is making $13.5 Million. The Indians are getting .243/.311/.607 while the Astros are paying JFSF 1/26th that amount and are getting .245/.283/.674 and some think he needs to be sent down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      June 19, 2015

      Thanks AC. I appreciate the hat tip. It’s still early, but many did not like the Cosart trade 2 hours after it happened. Right now, it looks like a steal for the Astros, but not yet ready to call it a win. I think we will have a better feel for that trade around the trade deadline next year.

      Like

      • Steven
        June 20, 2015

        I don’t know, I don’t see a win. Marisnick is not a quality outfielder. The rest are minor leaguers. Cosart hasn’t been very good, and is on the DL at the moment, but overall I think his season is at least comparable to Marisnick, and he has more potential to make an impact. It will come down to whether or not Marin turns into anything.

        Like

      • Tim
        June 20, 2015

        It’s a win, so far, based upon how the players have performed at the level they are playing. Cosart has been decent, but no one else in the trade has done much for Miami and Kike is now in L.A. Again, it is early, but the Astros are ahead in the trade at this point. If we used just major league stars then I guess the Astros are winning both the Evan Gattis and Hank Conger trades, which I think everyone on here would agree, at present, the Astros are losing those trades.

        Like

    • daveb
      June 20, 2015

      45, if you take away that first month of the season, well, it’s hard to justify keeping Marisnick around right now. If Santana hits over the next couple of weeks, it’s likely that Jake will end up in Fresno. But I stated my opinion above. I’d keep both Marisnick and Santana.

      Like

      • astrocolt45
        June 20, 2015

        Just to clarify and not argue. Would anyone rather be the Indians with Bourn and his $13 Million price tag, and a 26 yr old journeyman in AAA as your only replacement, or the Astros with Marisnick (who can be sent down) or Door #3 (Schafer). Each of us have an opinion of a particular trade when it occurs. Yet, 2-5 years down the road, those opinions sometimes change and change drastically. For me, I thought Bourn and Pence were terrible trades and Carlos Lee for anyone was a great trade. Today, my opinion has changed.

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Becky
    June 19, 2015

    What is going on here…????? People dropping balls and letting balls drop in between them. Maybe they are still trying to recover from the mountain air.

    Like

    • Steven
      June 20, 2015

      First inning was awful defensively. Tucker should have gotten to that and called off Valbuena. Carter should have “tagged the bag” and not went for Morrison. Gonzalez. Ugh.

      Like

  29. Steven
    June 20, 2015

    Still concerned about McCullers this season. His command is very iffy. He throws some quality strikes, but he doesn’t throw quality balls at all. In the first two at bats against Cruz he didn’t throw a pitch out of the strike zone that was within a mile of the zone. He needs to learn to throw pitches on the edges and get guys to chase or hit it softly. No doubting his stuff in the zone, his strikeouts speak for themselves, as does his BAA. Three years from now the guy maybe an allstar, but today, he is just as capable of a 2-5 stretch with a 4.50 ERA as he is 5-2 with a 2.50 ERA, and either way he stretches a bullpen.

    Like

  30. daveb
    June 20, 2015

    Right now though, you have to stay with the guy. He was down 3-1 last night and Seattle had not hit a ball hard off him. I’m still encouraged. Good thing we have a serviceable long man in the pen.

    Like

  31. astrocolt45
    June 20, 2015

    I wonder if a decision has been made that LMJ and Fausto will be tandem pitching?

    Like

  32. 1oldpro
    June 20, 2015

    I’m not going to let one loss ruin my night. McCullers is a young rookie and he lost a game on some strange plays and weak hits. We stacked a RH hitting lineup against a lefty pitcher and they didn’t hit him and our two LH batters did what they do against lefties.
    It’s a loss. An 85 win team is gonna have 77 of them. We try it again on Saturday night.
    Fresno lost, but Kemp had a spectacular, full speed, diving, back handed catch playing CF tonight. It was a play that my guy Preston Tucker will never make, but I still think there is room for both on this team.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. 1oldpro
    June 20, 2015

    David Paulino is set to make his organizational debut tonight as the starting pitcher for Tri City. He is the PTBNL we received in the Veras/Tigers trade from two years ago. Paulino has spent the last two years recovering from TJ Surgery he underwent before he was traded to us. He was a 19 year-old power pitcher and makes his Astros debut now at age 21.
    Listening to the first few innings of the Tri City opener, the announcer was talking about all the 2015 draftees on the Valley Cats team, including 5 in the starting lineup. He mentioned that the Tigers had no 2015 draftees on their Connecticut team because they started all of their rookies at lower levels. Interesting that the Astros are at the top of minor league rankings and the Tigers always at the bottom.

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    • 1oldpro
      June 20, 2015

      I guess it’s also interesting that Veras is pitching in AAA Fresno for us and that Danry Vasquez, the other player we received is playing in Corpus Christi. The baseball world does turn.

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  34. 1oldpro
    June 20, 2015

    Interestingly, Dexter Fowler is hitting below replacement level in Chicago and fielding above replacement level for the season. He’s making $9.5 mil.

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    • astrocolt45
      June 20, 2015

      I was looking at Baseball-Reference and those numbers are reversed. Makes no difference either way except one would expect his “d” to be below par if “getting to the ball” was of any importance.

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      • 1oldpro
        June 20, 2015

        I looked at Baseball Ref. too and everything looked wrong. His actual batting numbers didn’t add up to the WAR. So I went to Fangraphs and they have him negative for hitting but his defensive numbers bring him up to the positive WAR.

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  35. 1oldpro
    June 20, 2015

    Dan Straily starts tonight for Fresno, following up on his best start of the year last time out.
    Brian Hunter Holmes starts for CC tonight against the Ranger’s AA prospects from Frisco.
    19 year old flamethrower Francis Martes starts for Quad Cities tonight. Martes came from the Marlins in the Cosart deal.

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This entry was posted on June 19, 2015 by in Astros.
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