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Astros have a handful of successful under achievers


Some times in the world of sports, things do not make sense. The 2015 Astros may be a perfect example of a team that is a true team where the whole is bigger and better than the sum of its individual parts. The Astros’ winning ways and division leading results tend to cloud the fact that through the first half of the season any of these players are under performing vs. their career stats or even what they put up in 2014.

The “Underachievers”

  • Jason Castro. Castro is boasting a below average line of .211 BA/ .281 OBP / .648 OPS vs. career numbers of .239/.311/.707. And while his 7 HRs to date are fairly close to his career norms, his 19 RBIs in 61 games is far lagging his 59 RBIs in 162 games career average.
  • Chris Carter. The cynic will say he is keeping up his K numbers (113 and leading the majors) in line with his career stats. But his .197/.309/.707 line is below his career norms of .217/.312/.761, while his 15 HRs and 41 RBIs are on pace for just below his career numbers.
  • Luis Valbuena. Maybe the best example of a successful under achiever. Yes his .203 BA and .286 OBP are ugly, but his OPS is a decent .725 though trailing his very good .776 in 2014. He has played in basically 1/2 the games he did with Chicago last season and if he doubles his stats in critical categories he will blow away last season with 86 R vs. 68 R, 38 HR vs. 16 HR and 72 RBI vs. 51 RBI.
  • Evan Gattis. His line this season of .246/.274/.730 is trailing his career line of .251/.295/.773. On the other hand he was brought in to knock in runs and he is running at just under the 100 RBI pace this season.
  • Collin McHugh. His 4.54 ERA/1.299 WHIP and 7.1 K/9 IP are all trailing his career numbers, but more importantly are far trailing his breakout 2014 season and his 2.73 ERA/1.022 WHIP and 9.1 K/9 IP. Due to very good run support he still sports a 9-4 record.
  • Scott Feldman. While his WHIP and K/9 IP numbers are in line with his career numbers, his ERA of 4.80 is both above his career ERA (4.49) and also his  good 2014 ERA of 3.74. More importantly he and his 6 innings per start are missing a critical portion of the season with a knee injury.
  • Chad Qualls. The rock of the 2014 bullpen has been a boulder around this bullpen’s neck as his 5.11 ERA stands out (in a bad way) from the quality the rest of the pen is showing. Surprisingly, his K/9 IP is up to 8.4, which is in line with his prime years, but he is walking batters about 3 times as often as last season and giving up home runs about 50% more often. Maybe he will come back from his pinched nerve with his old form.

Note while Jose Altuve is below his insanely good 2014 season – his numbers this year are as good or better than his career numbers .303/.348/.771 vs. .303/.341/.745. His next home run (#8) will set a new season high for him and he is on pace to knock in about 70 runs, 11 more than the 59 he knocked in last season.

This does not even get into the poor starting pitching by Roberto Hernandez, Asher Wojciechowski and Sam Deduno or the meltdown by Brett Oberholtzer, or the injury after 18 games to Jed Lowrie. Now obviously, there has been overproduction at a number of spots (Dallas Keuchel, Will Harris, Lance McCullers Jr., Carlos Correa, Josh Fields and Colby Rasmus). And there has been some addition by subtraction playing without Matt Dominguez, Paul Clemens, Jerome Williams and Anthony Bass. But there is a lot of room for improvement without changing out a part if the folks listed above do a bit more in the second half of the season.

Questions for you:

  • Who do you think will improve from the so-called under achievers in the second half of the season?
  • Who do you think may be gone?
  • Who may regress in the second half?
  • Are you more worried or heartened when you look at what has occurred in the first half of the season?
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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

81 comments on “Astros have a handful of successful under achievers

  1. Zanuda
    July 9, 2015

    Correa in a “mini slump”. Hitting just not there as of lately. Winning .333 not going to get it and the Angles are closing fast. I hope the party isn’t over but we need to get our act together to maintain the lead.
    Gattis appears to be the only one who appears to be improving. As for the others…Meh.
    Gone – Carter, but the others stay because unless they are released nobody else would want them.
    2nd half regression – hope not since that will probably put us out of playoff contention. Sometimes I think others (Altuve, Correa) start to press when they feel like they have to do it all.
    Definitely heartened by the first half since nobody expected the surge but let’s hope it continues and the wheels don’t come off. Got to get Lowrie and Springer back in the fold to have a shot.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mr. Bill
      July 9, 2015

      Good pitchers are finding and exploiting Carlos’ weak spots. Hopefully he will adjust. It took him awhile to get in the groove at AAA. He started so strong at the MLB level that word got around that Superman was in town. So, Lex Luthor went and mined Kryptonite. The problem is we need a couple of guys to pick Carlos up while he is adjusting. Last night only Preston Tucker [2 hits out the team’s 6] and Gattis [a 2-run HR in the first, followed by 3Ks] offered much support.

      Like

    • astrocolt45
      July 9, 2015

      Z-Man: I agree on Carter, but it appears that we have to play “Good field – No hit” Carter for now. I watched the replay of Singleton trying to catch a grounder hit directly at Altuve, and then coming with inches of failing to cover 1st. I hate to give up on Singleton again with such a limited amount of playing time, but if you play 500 games in the minors at 1st and still don’t know how to play the position, there is not much hope. This in not an endorsement for Carter – but right now we have a “bad choice” or a “terrible choice.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tim
        July 9, 2015

        Yes, that is the biggest issue in not having a viable replacement for Carter. I have seen some comments on the Chron suggest Tucker, but he hasn’t played 1B since college and asking him to learn it again during a pennant race is not a good idea, in my opinion. Unless we can make a trade for a 1B we are stuck with Carter. Of course, Lowrie is an option once he returns, but many want him to replace Valbuena. I think the 3 can rotate among 1B and 3B with Lowrie starting the majority of the time somewhere.

        Like

  2. Mr. Bill
    July 9, 2015

    Good job, Dan. I hope they all improve, but I expect improvement only from Valbuena, McHugh, and Feldman. I think we are seeing Chris Carter and Jason Castro for exactly who they are. Chris is no hero. He is going to hit 25 – 30 bombs – mostly meaningless stat-padding solos – during the course of a season, but in between those bombs he is going to lead not only the team but the league in strikeouts and in unproductive at-bats. He will make you sigh in despair every time you see him step into to the batter’s box with someone else on base and the game is on the line. Castro is a very solid signal-caller, and has vastly improved his defense over last year in every area. That is is his focus, and that is what we primarily need from him. But hit? No, he won’t do much of that for us. And as he ages his offensive production will only get worse,not better. He’ll make us wish we could have a DH for our catcher. Qualls? This looks to be a make or break year [actually, half a season] for him. If he doesn’t pull it together – and soon – I think retirement will be calling. Gattis? He’s a stopgap. He is what he is. At least he’s good natured, fun to watch, and drives in runs. We need to be looking for a clean-up hitter who hits .300 or better and drives in 125 or more. Will that be A.J. Reed?

    Like

    • Steven
      July 9, 2015

      The “solo stat padding HR” theory was already debunked last year. He is hitting 44 points higher with men in scoring position. Last year he hit .270 with men in scoring position. He strikes out less with men in scoring position. This year he has hit fewer HR with men on base than last year, but the rate of HR with men on and bases empty are not that far apart for his career.

      Matter of fact, if you look at Chris Carter’s stats with men on base, you almost wish he would be pinch hit for everytime he bats with noone on base.

      Like

      • astrocolt45
        July 9, 2015

        Steven: I think we must be looking at different stats. CC is hitting 44 points higher with men in scoring position unless there are 2 out. Then he drops to .170. He has 15 HRs with 9 of them bases empty. He strikes out 40% of the time with runners in scoring position. But I do agree with making him a pinch hitter until we have runners on base and less than 2 outs. And I do agree that we have no other options currently.

        Like

      • Steven
        July 9, 2015

        As I pointed out, I am looking at career stats when I say those things. I concede that this year, in 64 at bats with men in scoring position, he has managed only 3 HR, far below his career norms for HR %. I didn’t jump down to how many outs with men in scoring position, only simply average regardless of outs.

        At some point we can get down to the ridiculous and start talking about what inning, how many outs, situationally. I am sure his average is great in the 7th inning with two outs, in a 4-2 game, with men on 2nd and 3rd, and probably horrible in the 6th inning of 6-2 games with one out and noone on.

        The bottom line is that both his career stats, and alot of them even this year, are better when ducks are on the pond then not. This year not withstanding, with the 12 solo shots in 15 HR, that has not been a pattern for him career wise. It’s a debunked myth.

        Like

      • Mr. Bill
        July 9, 2015

        Steven, congratulations – that reply is a classic.

        Like

  3. astrocolt45
    July 9, 2015

    My favorite stat is “Wins.” So the team has over achieved through the All Star break. We baseball fanatics love stats. So how can we explain the A’s having a +49 run differential with -9 more losses. Answer, it is baseball. I can live with the mass of under achievers as long as the Astros win. However, those negatives have to catch up with us. I am “heartened” because we are still in positive territory. Our SP as currently composed can only expect to win 1/2 the remaining games at best unless they get an infusion of run support. The pitching is tied for 2nd in Complete Games and tied for 10th in shut outs. I would say as a group, they are over achievers. I just don’t see the pitching holding up through the end of the season.

    Like

  4. 1oldpro
    July 9, 2015

    I think Qualls may be able to improve if he gets healthy.
    I think Thatcher has been discovered by the league as a 1 pitch pony. I think Sipp is totally telegraphing his pitches and has lost his sweeping curve ball to lefties.
    I think if Valbuena improves his batting average his power will suffer.
    Gattis doing what he’s doing is fine with me.
    Castro at the plate looks hopeless. I hope it doesn’t start to affect his defense.
    The TV crew is wrong about Correa. He doesn’t need to make any adjustments. He just needs to stop swinging at pitches outside the zone. Even Gattis doesn’t swing at pitches that are high and inside. Carlos is pressing and when he presses he does the same thing Springer does when he presses. He forgets about hitting to the opposite field and tries to jack everything.
    Do we have a hitting coach?

    Like

  5. 1oldpro
    July 9, 2015

    I guess I’m the only one who wasn’t impressed by Straily. He got away with a ton of bad pitches up in the zone and the only one he consistently went low on was Moss, who is hitting like Castro right now. I think a good hitting team would have bombed him last night. He reminded me of Wojo with his pitch location.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      July 9, 2015

      You are not the only one, OP1. Straily looks like a disaster waiting to happen.

      Like

    • daveb
      July 9, 2015

      1OP, Straily gave us the solid outing we needed, maybe getting away with a few pitches, also losing a call or two along the way. But he is certainly not an answer going forward. I think we can already rule him out.

      Like

  6. Dan P
    July 9, 2015

    Lots of good thoughts folks.
    – Castro at time looks hopeless. He also seems to hit about one line drive a game (against rightys) that is right at someone. Hey, I like what he has done with his defensive game this season – if he could trend upward on his offense it would help.
    – I will say this about Correa – I can’t tell if he has stopped trying to go to right field, because they are pounding him inside. Yes, he should not swing at non-strikes inside, but he is pressing to show that he can handle those pitches.
    – Straily looked like a typical AAAA / 5th starter replacement – but his results were decent.
    – With Qualls not performing well and now out, Hinch is using some of the other guys more (like Thatcher) and exposing them.
    – A few games ago they had Carter at DH and Singleton at 1B. Should have reversed it. Singleton has zero instincts about what to do over there. He does not go after balls he should and goes after balls he shouldn’t.
    – The bad part is the Angels are charging and the Astros are faltering. The good part is that perhaps the Astros are due for another hot streak when you least expect it.

    Like

  7. Devin_
    July 9, 2015

    This feels like déjà vu from the first series of the year.

    Like

  8. Billy Castillo
    July 9, 2015

    Castro’s career stats are skewed by his career season in 2013. What he’s doing now is continuing his trend from last year.

    Still better than Conger though.

    Like

    • Tim
      July 9, 2015

      I am not sure he is better than Conger. I think Conger has gotten a bad rap on here because of his play early in the year. He looks improved to me over the last month.

      Like

  9. daveb
    July 9, 2015

    I always expected the Angels, or someone else, to show up. Let’s face it, our guys have been very entertaining but still, it’s a club with weaknesses, and when you lose a Springer, it gets tougher. We are a .500 team since early May. If someone would have asked me in late March, I would have been pleased with a .500 record approaching the All Start break.

    We’ve got a couple of underachievers at first. We’ve got two or three in the rotation. The pen has been exposed a bit. Qualls, Thatcher, Sipp, you’d have to call them underachievers too.

    Third base and catcher might also qualify.

    So yes, plenty of work still to be done.

    I think Carter will get less worse, based on his history. If Valbuena hits 15 or 17 more homers and hits .203, then I’d take that. Lowrie should help make us better. Gattis might get a bit better at getting on base. Correa, if he gets over his recent issue with the inside pitch, he’ll be better. But I can see him regressing too. It’s a tough game. He’s just 20. As OP notes, he’s just got to lay off that stuff. And I fully expect Altuve to get the average up to .315 or .320.

    I don’t know who might pitch better though. That’s our biggest issue going forward. How many innings can Keuchel, McCullers and Velasquez throw? I sure hope McHugh has a second half like last year, but I am dubious. I don’t think the pen will get better. Some of those guys will remain reliable. Some of the guys will remain unreliable. In general though, I think the pen will regress in the second half. They were just too darn good in the first half.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      July 9, 2015

      Dang it, don’t you just hate it when it rains on a really good parade!

      Like

  10. Dan P
    July 9, 2015

    My gut feeling is that if there is going to be improvement it will most likely come from the offense. There is more room there for players to trend back towards norms.
    As far as Castro goes – I could live with lower BA/OBP if he was driving in runs like he did last year which was not his career year.
    The starting pitching is a worry, because when it becomes inconsistent (or Obie gets thrown out after 1.1 innings) it puts additional innings and strain on the bullpen.
    The bullpen is already regressing – it will not regress to the last few years, but it might trend back towards a 3.00 ERA, which is still a good number vs. the league and especially compared to the 2013/2014 disasters.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mr. Bill
    July 9, 2015

    With the exodus of its stars for Fresno and Houston, starting the 2nd half of the season Corpus is now sitting in last place in the Texas League standings. They need a hero. They need A.J. Reed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      July 9, 2015

      Bill, they have already qualified for the playoffs. Lancaster has not, so I think the Astros would love for the big hitters in Lancaster to get a lead in their 2nd half and then promote the boppers to Corpus for the playoffs.
      The problem in Lancaster has been their pitching and there might be some guys moving up to help them with their staff.
      The Astros have historically thrown out the tandem for the playoffs, so they might do some pitcher distribution by September to give all their teams a chance in the playoffs. The last two years other teams were putting 24-25 year old pitchers in the Cal league playoffs. We won’t do that, but we might have some surprises to send to Lancaster late in the year.
      Gotta go do Grampa stuff. See yall tonight.

      Like

  12. Mr. Bill
    July 9, 2015

    So, what does everybody project our a. win-loss record and b. position in the AL West standings to be:
    1. at the All-Star Break? and
    2. at the end of the season?

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 9, 2015

      Dan Ps not for gambling use predictions
      – 51-40 at the All Star break (Note they won 51 games in all of 2013)
      – 88-74 at the end of the season

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        July 9, 2015

        Mr. Bill’s projections:
        – at ASB 51- 40 [we win 2 and lose 2 before the break]
        – at end of season – 84-78 at end of season, in 2nd place in AL West

        Like

      • Mr. Bill
        July 9, 2015

        The most critical series’ will be:

        Astros vs. Angels – 9 games [6 @ home, 3 in LA]
        Astros vs. Rangers – 13 games [6 @ home; 7 in Arlington]
        Astros v. Athletics – 10 games [3 @ home, 7 in Oakland]
        Astros v. Seattle – 6 games [3 @ home, 3 in Seattle]

        But we also have to play 3 game series’ @ KC and @ NY Yankees and Minnesota, and we have 3 home games vs. the Dodgers and 2 vs. the Giants, all of which could be very problematic for this team.

        Like

    • astrocolt45
      July 9, 2015

      I think 50-41.
      I am still looking at .500 the rest of the way. So 84-78.
      I love being wrong. And they won only 70 last year.

      Like

    • SargeH
      July 9, 2015

      At the break – 52-39

      At the end of the season – 91-71

      Like

      • SargeH
        July 11, 2015

        Welp… I missed my break estimate…

        Like

  13. drbill14
    July 9, 2015

    Dan: I think your 88 win total is probably pretty reasonable and I think good enough to snag a wild card. That would be a huge accomplishment for this team and anything after that would just be gravy. I would hope it would also make them more hungry for 2016. I do expect the Angels to win the division. No one else has two big run producers like Trout and Pujols. Pujols might fade but he’s looking pretty strong now.

    Two guys who could really make us a greater threat are Altuve and Correa even though they are already doing a lot. Perhaps this is just my hunch but when they go into a little slump both get real impatient. Kind of like a guy who needs his hit-fix and grasps at anything in the vicinity of home plate. If Altuve and Correa would learn to tighten their strike zone instead of expanding it when they start to slip a whole lot of good things could come of it. Unlike Carter who does draw a fair amount of walks, both Altuve and Correa can punish a pitcher with their legs directly and indirectly with their threat to steal distracting the concentration of the pitcher.

    I’m not completely down on Carter because he has played a competent 1B and I’m not completely down on Castro because he has been much better defensively than I’ve ever remembered him and offensively his K% is slightly down and his BB% slightly up compared to last year. His BABIP is down some from last year. He may improve offensively. I would be pleasantly surprised if Carter improves but don’t expect it. Having him hit 7th or 8th with low expectations may be the best place for him. Singleton has certainly not shown he’s ready. I’ve seen nothing from him to suggest he has a single clue what he’s doing at the plate or in the field. I think its telling that most of the time when he and Carter have been in the lineup together it is Carter who plays the most at 1B. Until Jon starts to understand the mental game of baseball his physical talent will never materialize.

    I do think Lowrie will be a big help and probably even Feldman. Feldman had a DL stint last year and came back pretty strong. He ought to have a much fresher arm than a lot of the guys and could be a season saver. OTOH if he stinks we could be in big trouble. It would help A LOT if Obie can get his stuff together to salvage this series and the road trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      July 9, 2015

      That is a very reasonable take Dr Bill – sure would love some uptick performances in the 2nd half

      Like

    • Mr. Bill
      July 9, 2015

      I agree wholeheartedly on Lowrie and Feldman. And Preston Tucker has a really high ceiling – above where he is presently performing – so he could produce a lot more in BA, OBP, HR, and RBI for us down the stretch. The biggest challenge will be getting anything more out of Carter, Castro, and Marisnick on the offensive side, or out of anybody on the pitching side.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Bill
        July 9, 2015

        I should also mention that I have an expectation for a little improvement by Valbuena as well – at least in the OBP area [19 more HRs would be okay too, but I don’t expect that]. I also expect to see a lot of Lowrie at 3B vs. lefties, so even if Luis cannot get more balls to fall in for hits, 3B should be more productive for us in the 2nd half than it has in the 1st. It’s just the offensive production of 1B, C, CF and that all important pitching that look to be really hard to improve.

        Like

  14. Dan P
    July 9, 2015

    The lineup tonight
    Altuve 2B
    Tucker RF
    Correa SS
    Valbuena 3B
    Gattis DH
    Rasmus LF
    Conger C
    Singleton 1B
    Marisnick CF

    Obie on the mound and Conger currently circling the bases

    Like

    • Becky
      July 9, 2015

      Not for long..score is tied, with runner at third base. Score is 3-1indians. This is a ream whose been playing with smoke and mirror’s. But they have been a ton if fun to hear…on the radio. Good hitter’s can usually hit good pitchers, which brings me to the question who or where is the hitting coach.

      Like

  15. Dan P
    July 9, 2015

    This offensive anemia must end – they badly need a crooked number scoring inning on their side of the ledger. I do not know if they have a hitting coach – there is little evidence that anyone is improving during the season.

    Like

    • Becky
      July 9, 2015

      Final score 3-1. Ober Holter pitched better than this score. Glad to see him straighten out…we are going to need him. Tough series to lose, they have a mountain to climb with the Rays. Get on the plane and leave this bad karma goodbye.

      Like

      • Becky
        July 9, 2015

        Phone wouldn’t let me spell Obie ‘ s full name.

        Like

  16. Dan P
    July 9, 2015

    We knew this would be a critical 10 game road trip and it is turning intyo one. They need a quick turn around in Tampa.

    Like

    • Tim
      July 9, 2015

      2-5 so far on this road trip and I can’t remmber the last time they won a series on the road. They desparately need to win the series in TB or the Astros will probably go into the ASB in 2nd place.

      Like

  17. Dan P
    July 9, 2015

    They need someone to go nuts – someone to hit 5 homers in 7 games – something to move the meter.

    Like

  18. 1oldpro
    July 9, 2015

    It is currently in the top of the sixth inning and Lancaster leads Rancho Whatever, 5-0. Reed already has a double, a triple and a walk and Akeem Bostick has given up 2 singles and 3 walks thru 5 innings.
    I got used to finding comfort in the minors over the last 3 years so it is what I turn to when the Astros lose.

    Like

    • Becky
      July 9, 2015

      A.j. Reed is a *beast*.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        July 10, 2015

        Reed finished with a single, double and triple and a walk and was on deck when the last Lancaster out was made.

        Like

  19. 1oldpro
    July 9, 2015

    Tyler White has hit his first AAA homer, a 2-run job and is still hitting over .440.

    Like

  20. 1oldpro
    July 9, 2015

    Francis Martes had another good start for Quad Cities tonight and was the winning pitcher. His best stat was no walks and 5 Ks in 6.1 IP.

    Like

  21. Becky
    July 10, 2015

    Thank you Seattle!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Roger
    July 10, 2015

    Amazing to me that when a physical injury occurs it is analyzed to death. But when Obie throws a pitch that misses a batter and is sent to the minors, everything is swept under the rug. No effort to ask him what he did and why, what his reaction was to the demotion, and what he has learned. I’ve never seen a pitcher demoted for missing a batter, and yet no reporter is comfortable in pursuing it. It’s “emotions” so it’s off limits. I guess it just reflects the rest of society.

    Like

    • daveb
      July 10, 2015

      Roger, is that the outcome, that he got sent down because he did not successfully bean ARod? I just figured that he put his team in a bad way by getting himself tossed so early in a game when the pen was already a bit weary. Unfortunately, we don’t get to hear most of the real good stuff that goes on behind the scenes. There are no longer any beat writers lurking in the corners of the clubhouse reporting back in their daily columns. Those were the good old days. The way I’ve read the whole issue is that Oberholtzer would not have been brought back up so quickly, but we’ve got a real problem with the rotation with very few real options right now.

      Like

    • Sandy
      July 10, 2015

      I agree. It’s like politics, if it isn’t politically correct it’s covered up.
      In all my years as a baseball fan, I’ve never seen anything close to that.
      In my opinion the ump, the Astros FO, and the Yankees overreacted.
      Unless something was said or done that we all missed.

      Like

    • drbill14
      July 10, 2015

      On the radio pre-game show yesterday Hinch was asked about Obie’s demotion and he answered that the incident was behind them, there is a mutual understanding and that the matter has been addresses behind closed doors. He said that the team is not going to live in the past and he expected Obie to come in and perform. While not really stellar he did pitch reasonably well yesterday. I think its pretty obvious that Obie coughed up a huge hairball against the Yankees in a sold out stadium. One measure of his complete ineffectiveness was that he did miss Rodriguez when he was trying to plunk him.

      In that same interview Hinch displayed a strong hint of dissatisfaction with the 1B situation stating that they are looking for someone to take the position. He said he almost penciled in Margo since he’s been swinging the bat pretty well but wanted to give Singleton a start. Turns out Margo pinch hit for him later in the game. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Jon on a flight back to Fresno soon.

      Like

      • Roger
        July 10, 2015

        Actually, dr. Bill you are making my point. Saying “the incident was behind them, discussed behind closed doors”, etc. is exactly the sort of non-answer that people feel contributes to sweeping it under the rug.
        Some investigative reporting, looking at the frequency of such meltdowns, their causes, speaking with sports psychologists, etc., would provide some great insight into an area few choose to look at. What about player reactions, Obie’s history? Again, no one wants to touch it, but it is so relevant a variable that it’s almost comical that it is being treated in such a non- issue sort of way.

        Like

    • Dan P
      July 10, 2015

      It is an interesting point to discuss. One of the things I did not like about Bo Porter was too much dirty laundry discussed in public. What I don’t know is whether the club is refusing to discuss this specific very unusual incident in order to sweep it under the rug or to protect the young man.
      I think in the old days of real journalists like John Wilson traveling with the team and being in their midst every day we would have gotten a clearer picture of what this was about. I am hoping they were only trying to get across to Obie that his only true path to long term success was to control his emotions.

      Like

      • daveb
        July 10, 2015

        Dan, indeed, the day of the beat writer is pretty much over. In some respects, I miss Richard Justice. He would have delved into the Ober demotion and we would have gotten at least one column out of it. And we’d have also heard by now exactly what Tucker was thinking last night when he gave himself up. That was a huge, huge boner. It was out only inning as it turned out, where we had a real rally stewing.

        Like

      • Roger
        July 10, 2015

        Totally agree that they are trying to protect him. But, what about an interview with the umpire? What did he see that caused him to react so forcefully? Can the team prevent the umpire from commenting? Has anyone approached him? The umpire’s response would not violate confidentiality, nor would it provide any psychological insight, but it might be interesting to pursue.

        Like

      • Dan P
        July 10, 2015

        Would I be overtly cynical if I said that I bet the chron.com (spit!!!) journalists probably don’t know the name of the ump involved and would not do the research to find out?
        I don’t know how things work these days. I think in the old days a single pool writer was allowed a few minutes after the game with the head of the umpiring crew only. Not sure how it works these days.

        Like

      • Billy Castillo
        July 10, 2015

        Cecil Cooper was bad at that too. I’ll never forget how he actually called out J.R. Towles’s performance publicly, Kid wasn’t doing too bad at the time, but afterwards the bottom fell out for him, and he never recovered.

        Like

      • daveb
        July 10, 2015

        Roger, very rarely will even the best writers get a comment out of an ump. They’re basically not allowed to talk.

        Like

  23. daveb
    July 10, 2015

    I’m a bit concerned about the young guys, like Correa and Tucker, catching a dose of the swing at everything flu. We’ve got a lot of those germs floating around the clubhouse!

    Like

  24. Zanuda
    July 10, 2015

    Pretty pathetic last night in the runs, hits area. We had 4 hits and 3 walks. Doesn’t make any difference how well we pitch. If we can’t score runs the point is moot.
    As for Obie, I suspect that was more to this than just a meltdown. It appeared that he did not want to be out there. I’m sure there are times when a pitcher realizes that he just doesn’t have it and would prefer to be elsewhere. You might say that his job is to go out there and play regardless but we’ve all experienced those days when we just “aren’t in the game”.

    Like

    • Devin_
      July 10, 2015

      I can’t recall ever having an Astros team that lit rookie pitchers up. Too often they get dominated by guys who 2-3 starts later have mid-5 ERA.

      Like

  25. Roger
    July 10, 2015

    Good point Zauda. However, we are mercilessly critical when a player is lackadasiacal and doesn’t run out ground balls to first, which could also be a version of “aren’t in the game”.That’s because the lack of running is physical and we are more comfortable discussing it. Actually, i would have appreciated it if Hinch had said somehing like what you just said, “Obie had a bad day at the office. He really didn’t want to pitch today, and he needs to reflect on that.” Now that would have been inpressive, even if it didn’t tell the whole story.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 10, 2015

      On the other hand, Roger, one of the things we like about Hinch is that he hasn’t thrown players under the bus and criticized them publicly. I, personally, couldn’t stand the way Porter aired the dirty laundry that should have been thrown in the washing machine and cleaned.

      Like

      • drbill14
        July 10, 2015

        With Porter I think it was all about him showing how much of a tough guy he could be. Hinch doesn’t need that kind of ego stroke and good on him.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Zanuda
      July 10, 2015

      I tend to agree with you. It wouldn’t be making excuses, just stating a fact. We (the fans) understand that.

      Like

  26. Dan P
    July 10, 2015

    Keuchel’s turn in the rotation is Saturday – I assume that would not affect him pitching in the ASG on Tuesday. I would love to see him get the start. Have they announced the pitching starters? It has to be him or Sonny Gray I would assume…

    Like

  27. 1oldpro
    July 10, 2015

    Looking at the Corpus Christi roster, I noticed something interesting. The Astros put Velasquez on the Temporary Inactive status on the CC roster, meaning he rests for a while.
    But right there with him is a lefty who is apparently resting, too. Josh Hader’s last appearance was a 2 inning relief stint in which he recorded 6 Ks, 5 of them swinging. He gave up a ground ball single and a line drive single.
    I wonder if Hader is working on things that might help him turn into a dominant relief option soon.
    Just thinking about our two current lefty bullpen options.

    Like

    • Devin_
      July 10, 2015

      Hader is pitching for Team USA in Pan Am games right now, I believe.

      Like

  28. Becky
    July 10, 2015

    Brett oberholtzer. Has never had a melt down like he did facing the Yankee’s….so I’m chalking that game up as a bad day at the office. Let it go already. The biggest problem this team has right now is hitting that little white ball. I love the aggressive approach Preston tucker had yesterday…but making an out by trying too hard usually doesn’t go well.
    We all thought the series with the Yankees was the most important so far…I think the series with the Rays is gonna be this club’s first half defining games. If these guys can’t win at *least* two outta three games, some heads will roll. Who knows the hitting coach may be the fall guy, but I doubt it…he’s a personal friend of a.j. Hinch. Now that Jim crane and luhnow have tasted first place they want to stay there, so I look for someone to get a pink slip. And…wouldn’t it be the bomb to see Keuchel get the ball to start the all star game!!!! I usually don’t watch the game but I will this year!!

    Like

  29. 1oldpro
    July 10, 2015

    Their are a lot of flamethrowers in the Astros system that are going to be moving up. McCullers and VV have shown the Astros that young pitchers can contribute.
    Guys who throw big heat in the Astros organization are Hader, Feliz, Musgrove, Guduan, Gustave, Martes, Bostick, Paulino and Riley Ferrell.
    It’s going to get very hot around here.

    Like

  30. 1oldpro
    July 10, 2015

    Here is an interesting statistic. Tyler Heineman has 100 PAs at AAA Fresno and has 13 RBIs and 3 strikeouts.

    Like

  31. drbill14
    July 10, 2015

    Unless he does something otherworldly in the Rays series I don’t see Singleton on the roster after the ASB. Why keep him? I think the guy just doesn’t have the mental toughness to handle MLB. I actually hope he gets packaged in a trade and then we can go the rest of the year with a flawed Carter and address what to do with first base the next year or two until Reed arrives in the off season.

    Like

    • drbill14
      July 10, 2015

      Lowrie might be the 1B answer even this year and would certainly be an in-house option for next year. Reed arriving mid 2016 does not sound like a stretch to me, especially if he gets to Corpus this year.

      Like

      • Roger
        July 10, 2015

        Good points. Agreed.

        Like

    • Tim
      July 10, 2015

      I agree on Singleton. I hope they trade him before his value is nearly nil.

      Like

      • Old Senior
        July 10, 2015

        I am wondering if Singleton’s salary plus his MLB performance could keep anyone from wanting him in a trade? Not a good track record for sure.

        Like

      • Dan P
        July 10, 2015

        Old Senior I think that is a point we do keep forgetting. Hoes would be worth more than Singleton you would think.

        Like

  32. drbill14
    July 10, 2015

    When Lowrie comes off the 60 day there will have to be a 40 man move too. Wonder who is on the hot seat for that?

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 10, 2015

      Usual suspects?
      Grossman
      Villar
      Hoes
      Or a pitcher they are not as hot about – Wojo or Cruz??

      Like

      • Old Senior
        July 10, 2015

        A possible trade of Hoes?

        Like

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This entry was posted on July 9, 2015 by in Astros.
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