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2015 is in high gear, but let’s take a look ahead


Only a year ago in this space, we were discussing the off-season plans of the Astros. Yes, in August 2014, there wasn’t much else to discuss other than complaints. Yes, you were frustrated with Bo, Matt Dominguez, Jonathan Villar, Matt Albers and that guy who was supposed to be the all-that closer, but never pitched an inning for Houston (What was his name again?).

The future looked good with Nick Tropeano and Mike Foltynewicz warming up in the wings and it looked as though Chris Carter may have turned a huge corner. Dallas Keuchel had become a top of rotation pitcher and Collin McHugh had become one of the most pleasant surprises in Astros’ memory.

So while the Astros seem to be on a road trip to the playoffs this season and we’re discussing call ups and 2015 post-season rosters, what about 2016? Who goes? Who stays? What should the priorities be?

Let’s take a quick look at the needs book.

The rotation.

With Lance McCullers Jr. and Vincent Velasquez already proving themselves at the major league level, you could argue this is one area Houston is set for the foreseeable future. Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Velasquez and McCullers could make a dominant rotation for years to come.  Scott Kazmir may be the question mark going into the off-season since he can be a free agent. He’ll hold all the cards since the Astros can not submit a Qualifying Offer for him. Mike Fiers and Scott Feldman could be movable parts if Kazmir returns or both could stay on as inexpensive options.

The $64,000 question: Will Mark Appel be ready for prime time in 2016? And what about Michael Feliz, who got a brief stint in Houston?

Notice that names like Asher Wojciechowski, Sam Deduno, Dan Straily, Jake Buchanan and Brad Peacock are no longer considered in the mix. Is it possible that the Astros could enter spring training with a set rotation of quality pieces rather than a battle of also-rans for the fourth and fifth spots?

Biggest move. Re-sign Kazmir to a two-year deal. A repeat of his current two-year, $22 million contract isn’t likely, but the lefty would be the easiest solution to solidifying the rotation and allow Jeff Luhnow to focus the necessary attention to the real needs.

Trade candidates. Feldman, who will be in the last of a three-year deal ($8 million in 2016) and Fiers would seem the obvious options.

The bullpen.

Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek are under contract and Houston has an option on Chad Qualls. Tony Sipp is a free agent and both Will Harris and Josh Fields head to arbitration for the first time. Hard to argue with the pen that Luhnow has put together this season. It will be hard to break up, but it’s also obvious that Luhnow wants a hard thrower there to complement Gregerson,

The $64,000 question: Can the Astros afford to keep this group together? Sipp earns $2.4 million this year and Harris and Fields will get a bump as well.

Biggest move. Pick up the Qualls option or shift Velasquez to the bullpen full-time.

Trade candidates. None is obvious, but next to the rotation, there is somewhat of a surplus if you want to call it that.

The infield.

Houston is set for the next decade plus up the middle with Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. The corners continue to be problematic and must be addressed in the offseason.

Jed Lowrie is signed through 2017 and is the most viable option at one of the corners. Luhnow signed him to a long-term deal knowing that he would be supplanted soon by Correa, so it’s likely Lowrie will be penciled in to fill one of the corners. Luis Valbuena has been a disappointment to say the least despite his team-leading 22 home runs.  He will earn more than his current $4.2 million in his final year of arbitration, but the Astros could use that money elsewhere.

Carter and Jon Singleton haven’t cut the mustard at first and both could be out of a Houston uniform could opening day 2016. Tyler White will be 26 in October and he’s blooming, but it’s unlikely Luhnow would simply hand him the job without a backup option.  He has less than 1,200 plate appearances, but could get a look-see in September. A.J. Reed may also be a consideration.

Otherwise, Marwin Gonzalez continues to earn his keep and he’s under team control through 2018. Does anyone expect him NOT to be back?

The $64,000 question. What to do about Carter and Singleton? Seems their time has come and gone, but is Luhnow ready to move on?

Biggest move. Find a solid piece for at least one of the corners. Don’t depend on internal solutions and don’t bring in sub-par candidates to battle it out.

Trade candidates. Of course, Lowrie could be an option here, though not likely, especially given his injury-prone status and the need for solid pieces on the roster. Carter is under team control with three more years of arbitration, so he (and Singleton) could both be on the block.

The outfield.

Beyond George Springer, your guess is as good as mine. There is a myriad of possibilities, though, the ranks will be slimmed some since Colby Rasmus, Domingo Santana, Alex Presley, Robbie Grossman will not be in the mix.

The $64,000 question: Does Houston keep Carlos Gomez since he’s in his walk year or trade him for major league ready prospects at an infield corner or other spot? Gomez  has struggled since arriving in Houston (.188/.226/.250) and he’s a career .259 hitter.

Obviously, Preston Tucker and Jake Marisnick will be there and players like Tony Kemp could even join the mix in spring training. Houston certainly could have used Brett Phillips here.

Biggest move. What to do with Gomez. Trade, re-sign or keep him in center until at least the trade deadline.

Trade candidates. Gomez, possibly Marisnick, if the Astros acquire other options.

Catcher.

Is it time to move on from Jason Castro? He may have passed the height of his trade value and he doesn’t appear to be an everyday catcher of the future. Hank Conger is obviously not the answer and Houston doesn’t have a catcher in its Top 30 prospect list either.

The $64,000 question: Do you stick with Castro, the known commodity? Or trade him and hope to find another solution?

Biggest move. Finding a solid backup (didn’t the Astros have that in Carlos Corporan?) as a fail-safe.

Trade candidates. Both Castro and Conger could be on the block.

Designated Hitter.

Folks, I hope you like Evan Gattis. If you don’t, I would suggest finding something about him to hang you hat on. It’s unlikely he’s going anywhere, especially given what Houston gave up to get him in the first place. Perhaps the good news is this: The 29-year-old is entering the prime years, so perhaps there will be an uptick in production in 2016. He earned near the minimum in 2015, is under team control through 2019, so pencil him in at DH and move on to catcher and the infield corners.

Biggest move. Continue to prepare your younger kids for the role in 2017.

Trade candidates. Gattis is going nowhere.

Of course, the names mentioned above don’t include possible trades, free agent acquisitions or one other key area: Is there a surprise lurking in the system? For example, who would have thought McCullers or Velasquez — or even Correa — would have been key components in 2015?

Clearly, the Astros have much more to work with going into this offseason than last. That said, the question marks are still the same for the most part. Plug the holes in the corner infield and at catcher and shore up/finalize the outfield. You would think that Luhnow would play the hold card for the rotation and bullpen, but it won’t be surprising to see moves in both categories.

Questions for you…

  • What is the biggest need in the offseason?
  • Which of these players is more likely to be traded: Gomez, Castro, Lowrie, Carter?
  • Should the Astros re-sign Kazmir? Should that be a top goal?
  • What will the opening day outfield look like?
  • Other than Qualls, if the Astros were to trade a prominent bullpen piece (Gregerson, Neshek, Harris, Fields), who should go?

 

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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.

82 comments on “2015 is in high gear, but let’s take a look ahead

  1. astrocolt45
    August 24, 2015

    1. Biggest need. Perhaps getting lucky again. For the team to improve, we need to move the non-performers out and HOPE what we add is equal or better. Carter, Singleton, Valbuena & Conger have to be replaced. (One caveat is perhaps one of them had a nagging injury that did not get reported. Like maybe Conger needs tommy john surgery on both arms. 2. Carter mostly likely to be gone. Gomez most likely to be traded. If you trade Castro, you have to get at least a backup in return. 3. Yes and No. If Feldman was worth $10 Million a year, Kazmir is worth more for next two years. But if some team offers him $50 million for 5 years, you have to let him walk. 4. Springer, Tucker, Marisnick or Gomez if still here. 5. Gregerson for a flame thrower (with control) would be nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mr. Bill
    August 24, 2015

    *What to do with Gomez. Trade, re-sign or keep him in center until at least the trade deadline.*

    Gomez is fast and fearless, I’ll give him that. But his strange and potentially damaging choices in the field as well as on the bases – as well as his lack of any real substantive offensive punch – make keeping paying him illogical and impractical – especially at his asking price. I have daily nightmares of seeing him plow into Carlos Correa and/or Jose Altuve on pop-ups to shallow center, causing us to lose our real producers for the season, for the playoffs, or forever. Gomez has had a close call with the Captain already. Shades of Carlos Lee and Adam Everett! Beyond that, has Mr. Gomez really shown us anything at all to make us believe he is really a good fit for this team going forward? I am open to somebody playing the devil’s advocate. But I can’t see why we shouldn’t just let Go-Go go.

    Like

    • Devin_
      August 24, 2015

      JFSF is occasionally amazing and frequently terrible at the plate. Gomez gives you a similar level of defense and higher expected offensive value. The wildcard here, I think, is actually Rasmus. He holds all the cards, but is great defensively and has provided the some (inconsistent) offense. If you want to re-sign him you have latitude to trade Gomez. If you don’t, the defense could quickly become Springer in CF flanked by Tucker and Marwin/Gattis/etc.

      Like

    • Becky
      August 24, 2015

      But he thinks he’s sexy!!! LOL!!!

      Like

  3. Tim
    August 24, 2015

    Considering Luhnow’s trade history compared to his draft history and knowing Gomez is a much better offensive player than he has shown, and definitely an upgrade from Marisnick, I would prefer to keep him next year, give him a qualifying offer and take the supplemental draft pick. He is still an exceptional defensive CFer and we know he isn’t going to hit .200 next year like he has so far with the Astros. He is a much better offensive player than he has shown.

    Regarding Kazmir, I strongly believe the reason Luhnow traded for him was his intention to make a strong effort to re-sign him in the offseason. If you can lock him down for something like 3/$36-40M I am fine with it and he can help anchor this staff with Keuchel. Speaking of Keuchel I just received a Bleacher Report alert that he and the Astros are working on a contract extension. The quote from Keuchel is “This is where I want to be”. This is great news!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. 1oldpro
    August 24, 2015

    I think everyone is selling Gomez short. His BABIP with Houston is over 100 points below his career BABIP. The guy was a career Brewer and now he is with a whole new set of team mates. Of all the players to have a learning curve you would think it would be him because of his high strung makeup.
    I think his BABIP could adjust and he is the kind of player that, once he relaxes, could really go on a tear. I think he is really trying to fit in and maybe this road trip might help him relax. He wants to impress so badly. I think his hands are gripping that bat like a vise.
    He is signed for next year at a price just above Rasmus’s salary for this year. I think the Astros would like him in their outfield next season, unless he’s causing problems we don’t know about.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chip Bailey
      August 24, 2015

      Chip, if Gattis is entering his prime at age 29, isn’t Gomez doing the same at 29 with a lot more tools?”
      ~~~ yes, OP, but on the business side, the equation is different. Gattis is much cheaper and under team control. Gomez could walk at the end of 2016, and I’m guessing the Astros aren’t interested in the $100 million contract he could attract.

      Yes, Gomez could go on a tear and is also entering his prime, but Gattis won’t tie up the funds either.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        August 24, 2015

        The reason Gattis won’t tie up the funds is that he cannot play defense anywhere, and he is a negative WAR offensive player. It’s pretty simple. A replacement level DH would give you more production than Gattis has given and Gattis has tied up the #4 spot in the lineup all year with bad offense.

        Like

      • Mr. Bill
        August 24, 2015

        I wonder, can we keep both Preston Tucker and Evan Gattis for 2016? The only way I can see that happening is if we add Tony Kemp [or sign/trade for another speedy lefty or switch-hitting outfielder] to replace Rasmus and then do a platoon at DH between Bam-Bam and Gattis. Whoever does not get the start on a given night would be a pinch-hitting/replacement DH when the opponent’s bullpen comes into play.

        If we keep Tucker and Gattis as platooning DH’s, we surely can’t keep more than one, at most, of the terrible trio of Carter, Valbuena, and Singleton. That’s fine with me – I’d keep either Singleton or Valbuena, but not both, then let whoever we keep fight it out with Tyler White and A.J. Reed in ST to see who plays 1B on opening day.

        Like

    • Aggiesfan
      August 24, 2015

      Gomez and Gattis are two different players. If Gomez does play better for us next year and is on a .280-20-80 pace with stolen bases it will be a good problem to have. The dangerous part for Houston in keeping Gomez is this – what if you are only 5 games over .500 in July next year? You might be in striking distance of winning the division but far enough away to put you in a spot.

      I think the Astros open with an outfield that is Springer in RF and Gomez in CF and see where it takes them. Sounds like the best decision to me.

      Like

  5. 1oldpro
    August 24, 2015

    Singleton, Carter, Valbuena, Duffy and White. Something has to happen at first base. We have to find two major league first basemen from them for 2016 with AJ Reed looming for 2017. Reed will probably win the Astros Minor League POY for 2015 and move up early in 2016 to AAA. Room has to be made!
    I don’t think Tucker or Gattis have what it takes to play 1B and I think the Astros are fully aware of that.
    I would be surprised if we let Marwin go. I think Valbuena needs to get hot with his bat to guarantee a spot next year. If I had to pick a starting 3B for 2016 from all the guys we have now, I would sure think hard about Marwin.
    The Lowrie I saw the first three weeks of this season would make a terrific DH. I don’t think he is in playing shape yet. But his injury bug could start to factor into his future on this team.
    Chip, if Gattis is entering his prime at age 29, isn’t Gomez doing the same at 29 with a lot more tools?

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      August 24, 2015

      I would like to add something about 1st base. That is one infield spot that the player many times has two choices. Charge the bunt or stay on first. Range toward 2nd or go to the bag. The other positions can determine what they will do prior to the pitch – in most cases. We are yet to have a melt down (insert Bill Buckner) at first. We botched some plays that a regular 1st baseman would make, but nothing terrible. But if we have one of these substitutes injure our pitcher or fail to cover 1st in the playoffs, it could unravel the game. Carter can’t stay because of his bat. These other choices can’t stay in 2016 because we need a real 1st baseman.

      Like

    • Aggiesfan
      August 24, 2015

      A man with bad knees is the last guy I want playing 1B. Making that stretch 4-5 times a game and reacting to bad throws can be stressful on them. Leave Gattis at DH.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan P
    August 24, 2015

    Good post Chip
    What is the biggest need in the offseason? To me it is the same biggest need during the 2015 season. Someone who can bring power to the power position of 1B without bringing a windmill strikeout mentality.
    Most likely to be traded: Gomez, Castro, Lowrie, Carter? I don’t think they will trade Gomez just after getting him. I don’t think they can trade Castro without a sutiable replacement – he has been a much better defensive C and C is not a great offensive spot around the league. I don’t think they can trade Carter unless they find a GM who has recently undergone a lobotomy. So, that leaves us with Lowrie, who they love to trade away already….
    Should the Astros re-sign Kazmir? Should that be a top goal? I’d love to see it – they certainly could afford it looking at their relative payroll.
    What will the opening day outfield look like? Well after they tear down Tal’s Hill and move in the fences – it will look more like an everyday outfield….Oh you meant people. I think Rasmus is gone and someone else moves into his spot along side Gomez and Springer – perhaps Kemp?
    Other than Qualls, if the Astros were to trade a prominent bullpen piece (Gregerson, Neshek, Harris, Fields), who should go? They might be able to sell Harris at the top of his value. He might sink back into oblivion next season.

    Like

  7. Mr. Bill
    August 24, 2015

    With one out and two on against the Yankees Chris Carter comes up. He can’t even foul off a pitch. Not only does he strike out with two men on, he goes down on 3 pitches, so he doesn’t even help out towards raising the Yankee’s starter’s picth count. TOTAL FAIL.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      August 24, 2015

      But, but, Bill, he hit 37 home runs last year.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Dan P
    August 24, 2015

    Would someone tell Carlos Gomez that there is no point in trying to hit a 700 ft home run, because it does not count as two home runs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. astrocolt45
    August 24, 2015

    Well Qualls lost the game. Everyone else really played great. Carter looked super.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 24, 2015

      I don’t get this. Qualls comes into the game with the bases loaded on walks and nobody out in the ninth. The first guy flies out and the game is over. And that guy is Carlos Beltran, one of the best hitters of the last fifteen years.
      The people who lost that game were the hitters who can’t hit, the pitcher who walked the bases loaded and the dumb move by the manager to put in the reliever who walked the bases loaded. Since when is Perez the guy you want in there?

      Liked by 2 people

      • astrocolt45
        August 25, 2015

        I was just being facetious. The inability to take each at bat and do what was required lost the game. You can’t play hit and run without the ball striking the bat. You can’t sacrifice unless you put the bat on the ball. We had more base runners and fewer runs.

        And hats off to Beltran. He only needed a medium fly ball. So he made an out that won the game. That is a carbon copy of the situational hitting that Becky talks about.

        Like

      • SargeH
        August 25, 2015

        My thoughts exactly! I bemoaned, to the little wife, the fact that Hinch placed Pérez in the game. I put this one on Hinch for that choice. Yes, the hitters are to blame as well but they could have had chances in the top of the next inning.

        Like

    • Tim
      August 25, 2015

      I disagree that Qualls lost the game, but I also disagree with OP that Hinch erred in bringing in Perez. The Yankees had a slew of LH hitters coming up in the 9th inning and Perez has been very good in getting out LH hitters this year, even better than Gregerson. Perez just didn’t have it today and that happens at times.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        August 25, 2015

        Well, the Yanks used their closer when it was 0-0. Then, we bring in Perez. Then, he walks a guy, throws a wild pitch and is instructed to walk the next guy. You still have a chance to salvage it, but you leave him in and he walks another.
        If that’s not an error I don’t want to see a real one. I wonder what the odds are of a guy getting the next guy out after a walk, a wild pitch and an IBB. It has to be miniscule.
        If it was the right move, do you think Hinch will do it again?

        Like

      • Aggiesfan
        August 25, 2015

        The Yankees used Miller because after 8 at home in a tied game there is no save situation possible.

        I would have used Gregerson regardless of it being a save situation or not. You put your best pitcher on the mound in that spot to try and get a 10th. Worry about the save situation in the 10th when you get to the 10th. I can’t blame Hinch for using Perez though. I can blame Luhnow for Perez being the best LH option he gave Hinch for that spot though. Perez has always struggled with the strike zone.

        The part I blame Hinch for is things like playing Carter against a hard throwing righty. He made Carter look dumb all night long. Carter looked like he was swatting at flies. He swung like he knew he was overmatched. The kid was throwing 98-100 all night. That is a terrible matchup for Carter, especially when Lowrie is sitting there not in the lineup.

        Like

      • Tim
        August 25, 2015

        OP,

        The Astros brought their closer in a couple times on the last home stand in a tie game in the 9th inning. It is common for the home team to do this as there will not be a save situation for the rest of the game. The visiting manager will keep his closer available for a potential save situation. It didnt work out this time, but there is no guarantee Gregerson would have succeeded either.

        Also, the odds are more likely an out will occur than not after your above scenario simply based on mathematics. Very few players have an OBP above 50%.

        Finally, I am confident Hinch would do it again if Perez gets LH hitters out going forward. Until yesterday, he has done this with the Astros.

        Like

      • Tim
        August 25, 2015

        Aggiesfan,

        Lowrie was injured and not available yesterday.

        Like

      • Aggiesfan
        August 25, 2015

        He should have considered Castro at 1B in that case. Castro would still be available to step in at C if necessary. Castro still K’s a lot also. At least it would have been a lefty bat looking at the pitchers arm that strikes out less.

        How much longer does Marisnick and/or Carter stay on this roster if you are going to carry 13 pitchers? Having 3 bench players limits what you can do in your lineup.

        Like

  10. Zanuda
    August 24, 2015

    I disagree with Qualls losing the game. That dishonor goes to Perez who WALKED THE BASES LOADED. And an dishonorable mention to “K Man” Carter who had 3 “K’s” tonight. Carter’s K in the 9th was absolutely one of the most pathetic swings I’ve ever seen. (Oops, I may have missed your sarcasm).

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Zanuda
    August 24, 2015

    I can’t believe that JL is so enamored with Carter that he will put our chances of making the playoffs in Jeopardy just to keep him around.

    Like

  12. astrocolt45
    August 24, 2015

    One of the changes in the rules that have been discussed is there no reason to waste time with an intentional walk. Let the manager hold up “4” fingers and the player goes to first. I would like to suggest there be another rule change. When Carter comes to the plate, hold up “3” fingers and have him walk back to the dugout and call it an out. No reason to waste time throwing to him.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Becky
    August 24, 2015

    Qualls came into this game tonight knowing he was gonna lose this game. So as far as I’m concerned he didn’t factor into this loss. After the 7th inning I figured it was gonna come down to a sack fly to win the gane. Feldman was OUTSTANDING tonight. If we can get the same performance out of the rest of the rotation on this road trip we’ll be sitting mighty pretty! There are a couple of catchers you don’t try to run on, and one of them us McCann. These guys should remember that the next couple of days…….. it would be wise.
    Chip…you addressed the need for a flame thrower for a closer, and most of us agree we could really need a guy like that for a closer. BUT…remember when Luhnow was trying to get Kimbrel or Chapman? The price was WAAY too high for either one of them in July, and I don’t think the price will go down over the winter. The Padres wanted McCullers AND Correa and a couple more high pick minor league pitchers.
    And the Reds wouldn’t give Luhnow the time of day, so unless we can find another
    Proven closer…..a bonified flame thrower, we might be out of luck. These are the guys I wouldn’t part with in the bullpen:
    Fields
    Neshack
    Gregersen
    Harris
    It will be interesting to see what luhnow wants to do with Velasquez. I’m wondering if he sees Velasquez as a starter, or a BIG part of the bullpen next year.
    These are the guys I see either traded or non tendered next year.
    Karter
    Singelton
    Conger
    Rasmus
    Valbuena ( maybe)
    Marisnick has value in that he can play any outfield position, and Lowrie still has a pretty good bat, besides he can play all over the infield. I doubt Luhnow is gonna trade Gomez, since he cost us Maverick, which was in my opinion too high of a price to begin with.
    These guys are gone from the bull pen:
    Sipp
    Qualls
    Perez
    Luhnow needs to find a good lefty…..and NO MORE dumpster diving.
    The news of Keuchel wanting to sign as contract should be a no brainer. Crane needs to show him the money, and i doubt we are going to keep Kazmir because he’s going to be costly to sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 1oldpro
    August 24, 2015

    Dean Deetz pitched seven no-hit innings for Quad Cities tonight in a 18-0 win. Steve Naemark pitched the last two innings and gave up a single with one out in the ninth to end up a one-hitter.
    And Fresno got one hit tonight in a 9-0 shutout by Iowa. Presley got a single.
    Lancaster trails 5-4 in the sixth and Bregman is 2 for 4 with a home run and he is hitting .324 right now.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 25, 2015

      Lancaster scored six runs after I signed off last night. Final was 10-5 over Rancho Cucamonga. Lancaster is closing in on a playoff spot.

      Like

  15. rj
    August 24, 2015

    dave was at the game in ny tonite i believe. interested to see his report.

    Like

  16. daveb
    August 24, 2015

    Tough night in the Bronx. If I recollect, we had three hits in the first two innings and then one the rest of the way. We lost a base stealer. We lost another guy on the bases, although that play, while sloppy, did not change things. Our guys looked tired tonight. That’s a tough line up to win with. Losing Lowrie again and not having Tucker on the field takes two of our better lefty bats out of the game. When you don’t score runs, yo’ve got to play a pretty perfect game to have a chance, No room for mistakes.

    And don’t blame Qualls. Heck, Hinch can’t watch someone walk the bases loaded and then hand over the ball to a miracle worker. It won’t hapen very often.

    Luhnow has done the organization a disservice by not fixing first base. His neglect there is almost criminal.. Keep Castro. Find an upgrade in place of Conger. God bless Jake, he does everything well but hit. He just does not hit enough to keep a job on a 25 man roster. I can’t jjustify Gattis either. Cheap is not a reason to keep a guy. He’s a one dimensional player with a negative WAR.

    Gomez will stay, at least until mid 2016. He will hit again. And he’s a multi tool guy that will work very well next to Springer.

    We have about seven starting pitchers. One of them might be our closer. And if not, one of them can get traded to help get that closer. I think Kazmir is pretty much a done deal.. We want two lefty starters.

    This newest version of Yankee stadium does not have the character of the old place, pre and post renovation. Becky, your Bud Light is 9.75, and that’s for the 12 ounce size. For a fast paced city, trying to buy a hotdog at the ballpark is a slower process than drivers license renewal. We’ve got a better home park in Houston.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sandy
      August 25, 2015

      Dave, I was hoping they would win for you last night.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 25, 2015

      I feel like I was there. Thanks, Dave.

      Like

    • rj
      August 25, 2015

      thanks for the update dave. feldman gave you another starting pitcher gem to watch. too bad we couldn’t win it for him.

      Like

  17. daveb
    August 25, 2015

    Sandy, I’m hoping they’ll win one for us tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 1oldpro
    August 25, 2015

    It is not too late to DFA Chris Carter. With his 85 wRC+(100 being replacement level), his -0.4 WAR, there is still time to replace him with Duffy or White and add positive value to the team.
    We still have a 3.5 game lead! It’s not too late, Astros!
    Negative value means that he is worth losing for nothing!
    Hello, you can gain value by paying someone to take him!
    Earth to Luhnow? Do the math, over!

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      August 25, 2015

      If you have ever kept a car or truck too long, if you have ever spent more money than it would ever be worth, if you have ever realized finally that you could have a new vehicle for less money than you were paying for the old, if you have ever realized that you could be more comfortable with a new vehicle, please raise your hand and phone the Astros FO explaining how dumb you were in the past. They hung up on me. (Just kidding – but the scenario is accurate)

      Like

    • Tim
      August 25, 2015

      I am still holding out hope that Luhnow will make a trade for a 1B that has cleared waivers before September 1st. He seems dead set on not calling up Tyler White so I am holding out hope that he can acquire a 1B, preferably a LH hitting 1B, and include Carter with a prospect (not a high level prospect) to upgrade our 1B situation.

      Like

    • daveb
      August 25, 2015

      OP1, fully agree. We have a week left. Luhnow needs to show the other 24 guys on the roster that he’s willing to help them out.

      Like

  19. 1oldpro
    August 25, 2015

    Holy Cow! 19 year-old Francis Martes assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi.

    Like

  20. Kevin
    August 25, 2015

    I have said for weeks if the line up has a mix of Carter, Conger, Valbuena and sadly throw in JFSF, we will loose 80% of the time. So I marked this game as a loss in the 1st inning )-: #nochance .

    Like

  21. Zanuda
    August 25, 2015

    Just ran some numbers so hope they are accurate.
    K’s as a % of AB’s
    Carter – 39.5, Singleton 36.4, Rasmus – 36.1; 7 total greater than 30%;
    9 greater than 20% and only 1 that’s less than 20 (Altuve @ 10.8%).
    HR’s as a % of AB’s
    Valbuena @ 6%, 5 greater than 5%, 4 greater than 4%, 11 between 1 and 4%.
    Even Becky’s favorite play Villerror K’s @ 28%.
    What does all this mean (at least to me) is that we have way too many guys who we hope will hit a HR but more than likely they are just moving air around the batters box. I give kudos to these guys for hanging in there but please put wood on the ball if we want to get to the playoffs.

    Like

  22. Mr. Bill
    August 25, 2015

    If the batting glove don’t fit; you must omit.
    If all he does is K, you must DFA.
    If you can’t recall his last dinger, please don’t let him linger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin
      August 25, 2015

      Nice Mr Bill

      Like

    • rj
      August 25, 2015

      or maybe give him the finger

      Like

  23. Kevin
    August 25, 2015

    OP whats your input on C Alfredo Gonzalez at CC TY

    Like

  24. Becky
    August 25, 2015

    Currently it’s the 3rd iNing and the Grizzlies and Iowa are tired 1 to 1. Wojo is pitching and the cool part of this is the Grizzlies only need one more win to secure a playoff spot!! So
    Go Tony D. Go!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      August 25, 2015

      Wojo walked four in six innings and the third one turned into the third run and it beat him, 3-2.
      Walks! OMG, walks! They kill you!

      Like

  25. Sandy
    August 25, 2015

    With a week left before rosters expand, why cut Carter altogether? Just limit his AB’s come September. You keep everybody in the system and all your options open.

    This is supposedly a quote from JL. It would probably make sense if we had a few more options for the lineup, but with Lowery hurting, Tucker gone, and 13 pitchers…
    Not a lot of wiggle room.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      August 25, 2015

      Oh, how silly of me, JL. I thought that with only a 3.5 game lead that every game mattered – even the ones we will play between August 25 and August 31. And how clumsy of me – I thought that having Chris Carter eligible to be placed on your play-off roster would be the equivalent of saying we might want to tie one hand behind our backs and wear one lead shoe to every game from here on out.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. 1oldpro
    August 25, 2015

    My idea of cutting Carter is so that it frees up a spot to get a guy onto the 25 man roster who will help tonight, tomorrow and for the six games against Minnesota. With a 3.5 game lead, that’s eight games at least before callups and I want guy who can help versus a guy who hurts.
    DFA Carter. He hit .109 in July and .150 in August. Duffy is hitting over .300 for the year at AAA and he could not hit that bad except with a blindfold on. Plus it gives you a chance to see Duffy at the MLB level since he has to be protected anyway this winter.
    By the way, we all kept waiting for Carter to have his good months, but we totally missed them. Look at his splits and you will see his two good months were May and June, when he hit .215 and .209. The rest of them were below .160. We just didn’t realize how bad his two good months were going to be this year.

    Like

    • Devin_
      August 25, 2015

      I submit to the jury as evidence, Marc Krauss.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky
        August 25, 2015

        BWAHAAAA!!! Devin pretty dang funny!!

        Like

  27. Becky
    August 25, 2015

    Grizzlies play game two….they.lost 3-2 this afternoon. They had plenty of chances to get it done, so even though walks killed Wojo, his team went to sleep in the 9th. Mark App starts this evening with Singleton as DH and White at first. Good luck guys!
    I’m afraid we’re going to see a repeat.of last night’s game again tonight. Low or no scoring game…..
    Dave, are you going to tonight’s game too??

    Liked by 1 person

  28. rj
    August 25, 2015

    hey dave are you at the game tonite?? might be a bit better ending.

    Like

  29. Zanuda
    August 25, 2015

    The good guys score 5 times in the 1st…..yee ha!

    Like

  30. rj
    August 25, 2015

    drive a dagger into their heart gattis !!!

    Like

  31. Dan P
    August 25, 2015

    It sure would be nice if this offense got on a roll. They have been in reverse for far too long.

    Like

  32. rj
    August 25, 2015

    woohoo push it in little farther marwin.

    Like

  33. Zanuda
    August 25, 2015

    I like Gomez’s fire but he’s a little bit over the top. Just not what I’ve always expected from Houston players. Not sure if he’s what we need on the team.

    Like

    • rj
      August 25, 2015

      i don’t get to see the game zanuda, but thats what it sounds like to me. i like gomez as a player, but at some point for the safety of your teammates you ought to dial it down. no sense getting people thrown at. kc already gave us more than our share of injury from that.

      Like

      • Zanuda
        August 25, 2015

        The guys are having fun tonight and it looks like Keuchel is just going through the pitching motions. Almost feel sorry for the Yankees (not!).

        Like

  34. rj
    August 25, 2015

    hee hee hee hee tonite when you say yankees – you don’t have to spit – just point at the scoreboard.

    Like

  35. BrianT
    August 25, 2015

    With one out in the bottom of the 7th, Keuchel has thrown half the number of pitches (79) as the Yankees pitchers combined (159) in their seven full innings on the mound.

    Yep, two touchdowns and one 2-point conversion instead of a PAT will keep the opposition’s defense on the field.

    Like

  36. Becky
    August 25, 2015

    Keuchel made a case for himself to be the Cy Young winner for the AL this year. He was down right nasty tonight! And…..I have no problem with Gomez showing some peanuts tonight, at least we know he “ain’t gonna take anything off anybody”. 15-0 daaang that looks good!! (((((( grinning. ))))))

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Becky
    August 25, 2015

    Two things to take away from this game tonight. Dallas Keuchel is the first pitcher in 7 yrs with 15 wins. We won our 7th game tonight. The club only won 70 games in all of last season. The kids are all right. Yes sir, the kids are all right!!

    Like

    • Becky
      August 25, 2015

      70th….not 7!!

      Like

  38. Mr. Bill
    August 25, 2015

    Now to see if we can start stringing offensive outbursts together over several games.

    Like

  39. astrocolt45
    August 25, 2015

    I know tonight was no more important than the other 69, but it sure felt good to look into a 90% empty Yankee Stadium in the later innings. And Gomez did nothing extreme or out of line that I saw. He is fiery. But it was not directed at anyone. The person that came closest to hurting a teammate was two questionable off line throws to 2nd by Carter in the 9th.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zanuda
      August 25, 2015

      You’re spot on on “K”arter. Both throws could have gotten Correa injured. Gomez definitely has the fire in his belly but also a quick temper. I just think he needs to temper it somewhat. I’d be interested in what was said in the exchange with Gerardi.

      Like

  40. Sandy
    August 25, 2015

    And to top things off, Rangers lose 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky
      August 25, 2015

      YES!!!!!!

      Like

  41. Becky
    August 25, 2015

    Springer might be sent out the end of its week to play some rehab games, if he continues to improve he COULD be back in the lineup the first week of Sept!!! I know this is the best news we’ve had in a long time! I really wasn’t looking for him to be back until the middle of Sept.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. daveb
    August 25, 2015

    Well, tonight Uncle Knucklehead took three of his nieces to the new Broadway show, Hamilton. By the way, any of you know that Alexander Hamilton was born in Nevis, my home base?

    A shame to miss it rj, but had I known in advance that the Stro’s would win by 14 if I missed the game tonight, I would have given one up for the team regardless. Anyway, we saw a great show that has received stunning reviews by the NY Times and as soon as I turned my phone back on I saw the happy game results. So a great night!

    I too hope that Gomez settles down. He means well, but will bring controversy, especially in the heat of a pennant race. Hopefully a guy like Altuve or even a Correa will convince him to tone it down a bit. On the bright side, I think we’re going to get a much better Gomez in September than we’ve seen to date. He can play a huge role in putting us over the top. What great production from the lower part of the order tonight.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. 1oldpro
    August 25, 2015

    Gomez had the homer and a double. But he also hit a barreled up line drive to center and a missile to third base for outs and a slow roller that he almost beat out. He handled CF well and may have had that breakout we were talking about earlier today. He looked comfortable at the plate all night.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. astrocolt45
    August 26, 2015

    I find it ironic that the Yankees retired # 44 in honor of Reggie Jackson. Here are a couple quotes about him. “There isn’t enough mustard in the whole world to cover that hot dog.” – Darold Knowles. “He’d give you the shirt off his back. Of course he’d call a press conference to announce it.” – Catfish Hunter.

    So I wonder what would be Girardi’s definition of “a little professionalism.”

    Liked by 1 person

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