CHIPALATTA

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Monday countdown: Carlos Correa and the all-time Astros’ shortstops


The countdown is on. Two series. Six games. One long road trip. As I mentioned yesterday, when the weekend is over, we’ll be discussing rosters, lineups and rotations. Either for the playoffs or for 2016.

Each day this week, we’ll come at you with some quick-hitting thoughts, questions or ideas to ponder. Today’s conversation is simple.

How long will it take Carlos Correa to enter the conversation as the best shortstop in Astros’ history?

Shortstop is not a deep position when you talk of Astros’ history. Dickie Thon comes to mind immediately. Though he was considered “no hit”, Adam Everett likely had the best glove of any shortstop on the list. There is Roger Metzger from the early days, and Craig Reynolds and even Denis Menke.

Some might argue that Correa has already established himself in the group in less than a full season, but that wouldn’t be fair to the others on the list. Or would it?

To be sure, other positions aren’t as easy. Despite four seasons of top production, it will takes years before Jose Altuve unseats Craig Biggio, though he may be moving into the Bill Doran category. You may also include Joe Morgan in the group, though he didn’t play most of his career in an Astros’ uniform.

Back to shortstop. Correa has already hit more home runs in a season than any other prior shortstop. He’s proven he has the range and the glove. Will he have Biggio longevity? As he matures and fills out physically, will he continue to be the best option at shortstop or will a move to third base be more advantageous? Is he the prodigious three-hole hitter or will he eventually turn into the leadoff or even cleanup hitter?

It’s the discussion of the day as we countdown the 2015 season.

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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in Colorado Springs, CO, and is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 40 years. A native of 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. He came up with Chipalatta, and it’s stuck.

61 comments on “Monday countdown: Carlos Correa and the all-time Astros’ shortstops

  1. astrocolt45
    September 28, 2015

    Having spent many years on the Texas Island of Elba (Arlington), I missed seeing Thon and Reynolds. Menke was the smartest ballplayer of the group with less than average fielding – good hitter (90+ RBIs). Metzer never became the hitter expected. Everett is unsurpassed with the solid glove play – automatic out fielding and batting. But even today after less than a year, Correa is the best by far of the ones I watched play. In fact, in watching 60+ years of baseball, he has more tools and abilities than any I have ever seen – period. Long live King Carlos.

    Like

  2. 1oldpro
    September 28, 2015

    There is a lot to like about Correa. He is a good fielder, has a great arm and terrific range. He hits for average and he hits for power.
    I think he will work on his defense this winter because he listens to people talk about his weaknesses and then fixes them.
    For now, he is the Astros best rookie SS ever. I suspect he will become the best Astros SS ever. I think he will become one of the best of all at the position, but that is a huge hill to climb.
    Personally, I wouldn’t mind him becoming a great third baseman in ten years, because that would mean a longer career and it would also mean the Astros had found someone good enough at SS to make the move feasible.

    Like

    • Larry Leach
      September 28, 2015

      I think Correa will play shortstop next season and then be our best third baseman in Astro history starting in 2017. I think Alex Bregman will then be our shortstop in 2017 and bat second ahead of Altuve and behind Correa. Then if A.J. Reed does what I believe he will, he’ll bat cleanup and we’ll have the best infield in baseball.

      Like

      • SargeH
        September 28, 2015

        Larry, so you are saying that Correa will bat leadoff, Bregman second, and Altuve third? Seems to me that this lineup should be reversed.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        September 28, 2015

        Larry, you may be right but I think you are jumping the gun.
        Bregman had 16 errors in 60 games this year at SS.
        He hit great in Lancaster but not so much in QC.
        He is only 21.
        Moran is two years advanced on Bregman. Let’s assume one thing and see how it could change 2017. Let’s assume Moran hits over .300 in AAA next year and shows the kind of power he did in the second half of this past season and is a decent fielding 3B.
        Who is in the outfield of the future besides Springer? Marisnick? Gomez? Aplin? Grossman? Rasmus?
        The answer is probably none of the above.
        But a #1 prospect who can run, has a good arm, great on base skills, and is a good hitter and is known for his baseball savvy could fit nicely in LF or CF where we currently are hurting. Maverick and Domingo are gone and we are not great in the minors except for 18 year olds.
        Rather than replacing a 22 year old All-Star SS in Correa for 2017, maybe we slot Moran at 3B Correa at SS Altuve at 2B, Reed at 1B, Bregman in LF and Springer in CF. Tucker, White, Duffy fill in some gaps and we’re looking for a RFer.
        That is a very young team with rookies at 3B, LF and 1B. But I think it is a better hitting team than the one we put on the field this season, by a long shot.

        Like

      • Larry Leach
        September 28, 2015

        Sarge, What I meant is: 1. Atuve, 2. Bregman, 3. Correa

        Like

      • SargeH
        September 28, 2015

        Gotcha. I thought that is what you meant. 😉

        Like

  3. Kevin
    September 28, 2015

    I never saw Menke or Metzger play before my Astro days, grew up a young Tiger fan, Kaline was my hero. I told my wife when CC got to Lancaster and I got to watch him on TV, if he stays healthy he is a HOF LOCK. I think that says it all for me. He may grow into 3rd, so he will be the best SS and 3B ever in Astro history.

    Like

  4. Devin_
    September 28, 2015

    What impressed me most in ST and in his first weeks in big leagues was his approach. When we needed baserunners he was happy to work the pitcher and hit solid singles to RF. This is in contrast to many guys we have. I love watching Springer, but striking out on a huge swing on 3-2 count late in the game (curveballs above the belt) made no sense! It’s in MMP and a half swing could reach the Crawford boxes! In other words, I want Correa to rub off on our other guys and not learn any bad habits them.

    Like

  5. Zanuda
    September 28, 2015

    Agree wholeheartedly with the CC comments. As Devin mentioned about the hitting the rest of the guys need to take contact hitting lessons from Altuve & Correa. If you put wood on the baseball good things will eventually happen. I don’t believe anybody ever won a game by striking out.

    Like

  6. Roger
    September 28, 2015

    I’ve seen them all—-even Bob Lillis(!)— and Correa gets my vote.

    Like

    • SargeH
      September 28, 2015

      Myself Roger. Been watching the club since 1962.

      Like

  7. Dan P
    September 28, 2015

    I have been watching Astros baseball since we moved to Houston in 1965. Carlos Correa is the best SS we have ever put out there. I watched him hit two HRs on Saturday in person and they were two totally different pitches and results – lifting a moonshot on to the tracks and then hitting a line drive Crawford Box special to tie it later.
    He is such a smart player, knows the situations, and adjusts his swing as needed. I love watching this kid play and hope I get to do that for the next 15 seasons or more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. astrocolt45
    September 28, 2015

    Going back to the previous posts about umpiring, there was a game in which Walt Bond hit a long fly to center field. As he rounded 1st, the 2nd base umpire was half way to the wall and circled his fingers meaning Home Run. Bond broke into a trot and was throw out at 3rd. The umpires had the usual conference in those days and the out call stood. That was my all time worst call.

    “My reasoning was that the home run signal influenced (Walt) Bond’s running and he was misled by the signal and should not be penalized. If the protest had been formally lodged and reached my office and no different facts presented, I feel sure I would have allowed it and resumed play with Bond on second base in place of being declared out at third.” – National League President Warren Giles in Baseball Digest (August 2003)

    Like

    • SargeH
      September 28, 2015

      Did knot know about that play… just wow….

      Like

      • SargeH
        September 28, 2015

        Knot??? heheh “not”

        Like

  9. rj
    September 28, 2015

    folks just six games left and we are still in the hunt. thats why you never give up till you are eliminated. here is a link to some info about scenarios for the astros to get to the playoffs. still plenty of room for hope.
    http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2015/09/27/breaking-down-the-astros-playoff-scenarios/

    Liked by 1 person

    • SargeH
      September 28, 2015

      Always hope until mathematically eliminated.

      Like

      • astrocolt45
        September 28, 2015

        Just win tonight. Win LMJ and we can talk about the date later. Much Later.

        Like

  10. Becky
    September 28, 2015

    You probably can believe this, but I saved my “Believe” posters from the World Series games 10 yrs. ago! Guess what’s in my front window!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. daveb
    September 28, 2015

    Until he got hit, Thon was on his way to being the guy we’d be comparing Correa to today anyway. Dickie was a 20 homer guy in the Dome. And a smart kid too, an excellent, smooth fielder who could run. When it’s all said and done though, Correa might be as good as anyone we’ve seen come along in the last generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billy Castillo
      September 28, 2015

      We might have posted that at the same time…great minds thing alike!

      Like

  12. Billy Castillo
    September 28, 2015

    Carlos may already BE the best ever Astros SS….best in the 25 years I’ve been watching, for sure. Only thing that could hold him back is he gets hit in the eye a la Thon, otherwise he’s golden.

    I think by the time it’s all said and done, he’s gonna end up being the best Astro ever regardless of position.

    Like

    • astrocolt45
      September 28, 2015

      That’s why every time he and Altuve run together or Springer bangs a wall, you hold your breath. It can end in an instant. There are a many like Thon, Herb Score, Tony Conigliaro and others.

      Like

  13. sandy
    September 28, 2015

    Tigers 6, Rangers 1. Mr Ausmas is helping the old team out.

    Like

  14. Becky
    September 28, 2015

    Tigers knocked Lewis out of the game early tonight. 5th inning Tigers 6 Rangers 1
    Verlander the magician is throwing for Detroit!!

    Like

  15. Becky
    September 28, 2015

    Gattis and Springer!!! I’ll take it!!

    Like

  16. sandy
    September 28, 2015

    Becky, I’m assuming you aren’t watching. They’re wearing their home uniforms.
    Astros instead of Houston. Hope that works.

    Like

    • Becky
      September 28, 2015

      Nope…no tv. But Mccullars had a tough first.inning. 26 pitches to get out of it. The bull pen is gonna get hammered tonight. Orange tops??

      Like

      • sandy
        September 28, 2015

        Yes orange tops and yes the bullpen is probably in for a long night.

        Like

  17. Becky
    September 28, 2015

    If it ever get hold of the base running coach for the Astros….I’m gonna wring his neck.
    Giving the other team a free out on the bases is UNACCEPTABLE!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
    If it came from Hinch….he’s in hot water with me TOO.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 28, 2015

      Considering Gary Pettis was not exactly the best percentage base runner in his career, well, not surprised. He was fast, but a bad baserunner.

      Like

    • sandy
      September 28, 2015

      Looked like a hit and run.

      Like

  18. Devin_
    September 28, 2015

    I feel like the A’s are trying to keep us out of the post season by not beating TEX and ANA and playing their hardest against us.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky
      September 28, 2015

      We were the spoilers last year, and the year before. Everyone is gonna try and keep the Rangers, and Astros out of it. The Twins won tonight….and the Rangers lost.

      Like

  19. Billy Castillo
    September 28, 2015

    Lance certainly calmed down after a rough start. Looking like yesterday so far.

    Like

  20. Becky⚾
    September 28, 2015

    Not over in Arligton…..hopefully through Tigers an put this away. The score Tigers 7 Rangers 4 bottom of the 9th. Come on Detroit…..give us a break!!

    Like

  21. Becky⚾
    September 28, 2015

    Final Tigers 7 Rangers 4 !!!!

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 28, 2015

      Good deal! Hope the Tigers sweep those clowns.

      I see we’re tied. They turned the game off here to watch Monday Night Football. Snore. Having to check on my work computer periodically.

      Like

      • sandy
        September 28, 2015

        Mr Carter does it again.

        Like

  22. Billy Castillo
    September 28, 2015

    Wow…Carter is on fire….hopefully this increases his trade value…

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Becky⚾
    September 28, 2015

    Sipp just picked off a guy off 1st. Qualls is warming up……please Lord no!!!

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 28, 2015

      That’s bad, but at least it’s not Perez.

      Like

      • Devin_
        September 28, 2015

        Perez and Neshek now.

        Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 28, 2015

      Oh God…Tweedle BB and tweedle Home Run.

      Like

  24. Becky⚾
    September 28, 2015

    Loaded the bases and could not get a run across. Situational hitting is gonna kill this team…..they are 0 and 8 in one run games in September.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 28, 2015

      Key is to make it a 2 run game 😉

      Like

    • Zanuda
      September 28, 2015

      It’s either a HR or nothing!

      Like

  25. Billy Castillo
    September 28, 2015

    Thank you Tony Sipp!

    Like

  26. Zanuda
    September 28, 2015

    How about that “K”astro. 0 for 4 with 4 k’s.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      September 28, 2015

      Needs a day off…need to start Stassi tomorrow.

      Like

      • Zanuda
        September 28, 2015

        Good idea but don’t count on it.

        Like

    • Becky⚾
      September 29, 2015

      I’d rather have him catching other than letting Conger watch the M’S run all over the place. I wouldn’t mind letting Stassi catch, he’s shown he can hit the ball!!

      Like

  27. Zanuda
    September 29, 2015

    Yee HA!

    Like

  28. Becky⚾
    September 29, 2015

    *************** WE WIN **********!!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      September 29, 2015

      Sweet dreams all!

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        September 29, 2015

        Backacha girlfriend!!

        Like

  29. astrocolt45
    September 29, 2015

    You are up, Fiers. We just need one win.

    Like

  30. 1oldpro
    September 29, 2015

    Perez and Gregerson saved Hinch’s stupid butt. If you are going to pinch run and then sacrifice a guy to third, why wouldn’t you pinch hit and get somebody to the plate who could actually touch a baseball with a bat.
    They absolutely do not want Conger behind the plate!
    Way to go, Astros! Three runs, three home runs.
    Thank you, Tigers!
    Angels walk off single in the ninth.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      September 29, 2015

      Sorry OP….I didn’t want Conger in the game either. If I never see that guys face again, it will be too soon. Worthless behind the plate…..worthless in keeping the run game in check.

      Like

  31. daveb
    September 29, 2015

    A great win, so essential to starting the road trip. Hit the ball hard. Excellent defense. Pen looked like the early season group. McCullers showed that he’s a big game guy. Some of the best pitchers in the game had problems in the first inning. I think he’s going to be one of the best.

    Like

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This entry was posted on September 28, 2015 by in Astros.
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