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What they said, what they meant: Award Season Edition


Well, at this point the Astros are just waiting on Jeff Bagwell’s Hall of Fame vote. But with Keuchel’s rounding out the Astros’ award season, it’s time for another edition of … “What they said, What they meant.”

But this time, there’s a twist ending. In addition to What they meant, we’ll also hear What they should say. Plus, I’ll be scouring the web for my quotes … mainly because I don’t subscribe to the Chron (spit!).

So, without any further adieu, WTS, WTM brings you quotes from the shelf bling season.

A.J. Hinch after finishing second to the Rangers’ Jeff Banister for AL Manager of the Year.
What he said: “I think it’s an honor to even be considered, given not just the success of the three teams that were represented, but plenty of other teams that had successful managers. I’m proud of the exposure for our team and our organization.”
What he meant: “I thought some people picked the Rangers to contend. So why should anyone be surprised when they make the playoffs? I took a team due for regression and add a dozen wins to its Steamer projection. That’s management, bitches!”
What he should say: “I can’t believe I finished second to that guy again. Believe me, it’s the last time.”

 

Jeff Luhnow on what the Astros will need this off season, Part 1.

What he said: “The fewer spots you have where you can improve, the more pressure there is to improve on those spots. We’re obviously not looking for a shortstop; we’re not looking for a second baseman. We feel pretty good about the top of our rotation.”
What he meant: “Man this job looks a lot easier this year. I need a lefty bat — preferably at first base — and a back-of-the-bullpen guy so I can move Gregerson to the eighth inning. That’s pretty much it. Once Rasmus to the qualifying offer, I was about a quarter done. Now, has anyone seen Tony Sipp. I need to make sure he’s coming back.”
What he should say: “Last year, I barely had time to go to church on Christmas day. This year, I’m doing my own Christmas shopping. That’s what building a winner looks like.”

Jeff Luhnow on what the Astros will need this off season, Part 2 (first base).

What he said: “We won’t know until Spring Training is over and maybe not until the season is under way, but we do have a number of guys that we like that all play (first base). We’ll have to see if there’s an opportunity to bring someone in at that position. We’d have to think about it, but I’m not sure it makes sense given the depth we have there.”
What he meant: “Have you seen our depth at first base? I mean, crap, Jon Singleton is an afterthought at this point. A.J. Reed is a monster. Tyler White can play first. Matt Duffy owns a first baseman’s mitt. And we haven’t even tried teaching Preston Tucker how to play first. Sure, I could sign Jason Heyward, but we just got stuck with Colby Rasmus at basically $16 million, so I don’t think Heyward is in the cards.”
What he should say: “First, we’ve seen the last of Chris Carter. And Marwin Gonzalez is really just a stop-gap at first base, so get that out of your head. Truth be told, I’d rather break the bank on the bullpen, so Reed is looking like our first baseman unless he shows up stoned in February … so we’re keeping him away from Singleton over the winter.”

Jose Altuve on winning his first Gold Glove award.

What he said: … OK, so finding a quote from Altuve has been difficult. Apparently, he’s in Venezuela and there’s no interview with him. But here’s …

What he should have said: “First, it’s ‘Oh, he’s too short to be a professional baseball player.’ Then it’s, ‘Well, he’ll never be a major leaguer.’ Then I hear this crap about ‘He’s too short to be a good defender.’ Really? I’m playing second base, not trying to guard Yao Ming in the paint.”

 

Dallas Keuchel on winning his first (of many …) Cy Young awards.

What he said: “Just playing the game is good enough for me, and just to be in the same category as Sonny and David was special in its own right. There’s a number of pitchers I look up to and it’s something that hasn’t sunk in, and I don’t think it will for some time.”

What he meant: “Let’s face facts, I’m ultra competitive. You don’t make it to the major leagues without being ultra competitive. David, Sonny, nice guys. Good pitchers. But I’m the one with a big freakin’ trophy.”

What he should say: “I’m looking at a long-term contract, having my arbitration years bought out and … Bam! Money in the bank. I could buy a new beard trimmer every day.”

 

Jeff Bagwell on the importance of the Hall of Fame.

What he said: “We have five kids and three dogs and that puts everything in perspective to me. I would say a couple of things: One, playing baseball does not define who I am. Secondly, it’s crazy. I was in Albany, N.Y., when I got traded, and my dad had to come and get me, and now here I am talking to you about the Hall of Fame. It’s kind of ridiculous.”

What he meant: “It’d be nice. Make Biggio sit and wait on me and say nice things. But honestly, after getting in I’d probably never visit the place again.”

What he should say: “I wouldn’t give a rat’s backside, but it’s all about the damned PEDs. Hey, I used a precursor before anyone knew they should be banned. Then they banned them and I stopped. For that, I’m on the outside looking in. What a crock.”

 

A.J. Reed on the 2015 season and Arizona Fall League season.

What he said: “It was a great year. The thing for me was I was just really excited to help two teams, make the playoff run at Corpus and help the team at Lancaster while I was there.

What he meant: “Now that I’m done pitching, it’s just ‘See ball, hit ball.’ And I guess I’m working on ‘Catch ball’ because Chris Carter looks like a guy on his way out.”

What he should say: “Last year I helped two teams. God willing, I’ll only be helping one in 2016, and that’s the Astros. Damn it, I can pound the ball.”

 

Becky on hearing Jonathan Villar has been traded.

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About BrianT

Brian Todd is a freelance writer working and living in Rochester, Minn.

100 comments on “What they said, what they meant: Award Season Edition

  1. Tim
    November 20, 2015

    Your comment on keeping Reed away from Singleton over the winter was priceless. Great job, Brian!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1oldpro
    November 20, 2015

    What AJ Hinch should have said
    This team was not too hard to manage. Sure, I had 125 different lineups but they basically did two things. They either walked back to the dugout from home plate or trotted all the way around the bases. How hard is that to manage? I’m looking forward to having some baserunners score from everywhere next season. Can somebody please turn that music down, or whatever you call that!

    Like

  3. 1oldpro
    November 20, 2015

    What Bagwell should say: I don’t have a clue why they are looking for a first baseman. They have a guy who was the College POY and then was the MILB POY.
    They don’t need a telescope to find a first baseman, they need a cellphone and a plane ticket and a little common sense.

    Like

    • SargeH
      November 20, 2015

      Amen!

      Like

  4. Dan P
    November 20, 2015

    Nicely done Brian T – you know I love this stuff.
    Dan’s version of what they should have said:

    Hinch: “Let’s see our budget was $70 million and the Rangers’ was double that – $142 million, so to be overachieving Bannister should have gotten about 175 wins this season. Way to squeeze 2 more wins out of that extra $72 million, Bannister.”

    Luhnow: “Nice to be the one with so much talent that we have to think hard about how to protect it and promote it. Much better than sniffing around the Rule 5 and releases trying to improve a crappy product.”

    Altuve: “It helps to have a real SS next to you, who seems to know where I am going to be before I do. I’m betting I’m the shortest player ever to win a GG.”

    Keuchel: “If you stare down the manager enough to let him leave you out there and then show him why that was the right thing to do – you can win this type of award. But I would trade it for one more win in the KC series.”

    Bagwell: “It doesn’t help that I looked like Terry Puhl when I came up and then grew Popeye’s forearms later on.”

    Reed: “If they give me the shot at the majors out of ST, they will not regret it. If they wait a while like they did with Correa I will come up kick butt and not be sent down.”

    Becky on hearing of the Villar trade: {Speechless except for an indecipherable scream} and then she does her happy dance which looks like Snoopy in a Peanuts cartoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BrianT
      November 20, 2015

      Dan, your Hinch quote is infinitely better than mine. I laughed hard at that.

      Like

      • Dan P
        November 20, 2015

        Your Altuve not having to be tall enough to guard Yao Ming was the one that made me laugh out loud, Brian.

        Like

      • Dan P
        November 20, 2015

        That would be a heck of a picture as Yao is almost 2 feet taller than Jose.

        Like

  5. 1oldpro
    November 20, 2015

    What Keuchel should say: I love my team, my catcher, my fans, my reputation and this trophy. I want to get paid and get ready to pitch for one of those rings. Let’s go!

    Like

  6. 1oldpro
    November 20, 2015

    What Luhnow should have said: We’re combing through the minor league rosters of the Mariners and the Rockies, trying to find a trade good for Jon. We would like him to fit in somewhere comfortably.

    Like

  7. Diane
    November 20, 2015

    Becky is in “message received” mode. The real Becky will return to us someday in all her splendor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      November 20, 2015

      Sooner rather than later…..I hope

      Like

  8. astrocolt45
    November 20, 2015

    AJ on Bannister; “Now I know how John Landy felt when Roger Bannister ran the sub- four minute mile. Well Roger went on to become a physician. Lets see if Jeff goes to med school.”

    Like

  9. astrocolt45
    November 20, 2015

    Reed on making the team: “I just want to go to Florida and try to help the team. Also, I LOVE standing down wind from Big John.”

    Like

  10. 1oldpro
    November 20, 2015

    The Astros’ season opener is a nationally televised game on ESPN at 12:05 pm on Opening Day Monday from Yankee Stadium.

    Like

  11. astrocolt45
    November 20, 2015

    Becky – what she said on a recent trade: “……………………………………………”

    What she was thinking; “There is a God.”

    Liked by 2 people

  12. 1oldpro
    November 20, 2015

    So far we have found out that:
    – The Astros favored Marisnick and Hoes over Grossman.
    – Luis Cruz was one of those guys, like David Martinez, who’s stuff was good at AA level but could not take the next step. The Astros stuck with Cruz and gave him opportunities.
    -Losing DDJ to the Rangers did not sit well. Will that help Aplin or Teoscar make it to the 40-man?
    -Correa truly made Villar available and now we know how he was valued. The only grades I saw on Sneed was a grade of 60 on his Fastball and 45 on his curve. But, with the Astros, they might have seen something else in his numbers to give them an indication of a future. Strom has always been a master of teaching offspeed pitches. Maybe they see him as having stuff for a bullpen guy, given that he has a very funky step in his delivery.

    Like

    • Devin_
      November 20, 2015

      The Baltimore organization really liked Hoes. I think the Astros value him much more highly than fans who want him to be a player he is not.

      I read a comment somewhere (TCB probably) that Strom is tight with Sneed’s college coach. Given how much he improved from 2014 to 2015 they probably figure he was worth a couple years of evaluation. Also, the deal to send Villar to Atlanta for Freddie Freeman, straight-up, probably fell apart.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Devin_
    November 20, 2015

    Drellich reports that Astros protecting:
    C Alfredo Gonzalez
    P Jandel Gustave
    P Juan Minaya
    P Joe Musgrove
    P David Paulino

    Guduan surely gets chosen, but I figure there is a decent chance he gets sent back after ST. I wonder if the Rangers will take one of our catchers to troll us.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      November 20, 2015

      The Rangers get a much lower pick this year, but I could see teams picking our catchers.
      Juan Minaya?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        November 20, 2015

        I comment on Minaya because MILB had shown him released by the Astros on Nov 6th and WTHB also showed him listed as a free agent.

        Like

    • jake
      November 20, 2015

      Im about to go crazy. Can somebody explain how in &$&÷&#&!($)$))£*÷\* mr. Luhnow left Pena and Heineman out the roster for a catcher who was a backup all year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        November 20, 2015

        I can. This was his seventh season in the organization. He was hiding in the lower levels for six seasons and jumped three levels to AA this past season. He hit .321 for the year with a high walk rate and a low strikeout rate and they can’t hide him any longer. They value his potential higher than Pena or Heineman. It’s pretty much as simple as that.
        The coaches at CC saw Heineman, Pena and Gonzalez all this season. Look who the Astros protected.
        I told you we would learn a ton more about how the Astros value their prospects in the next couple of days. I’m thinking the pitchers Gustave and Minaya are getting closer to being ready in the bullpen than we might anticipate.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        November 20, 2015

        Of course, they might trade him tonight, too. Who knows. I just gotta believe that batting average tells us a lot about how the
        Astros value him.

        Like

  14. astrosfan57
    November 20, 2015

    I’m not familiar with Alfredo Gonzalez, can someone share some info on him?

    Like

    • jake
      November 20, 2015

      At the end of the day its luhnow’s call but Im sure Ensberg is not a happy person

      Like

      • astrosfan57
        November 20, 2015

        Why would Ensberg be upset?

        Like

  15. Becky⚾
    November 20, 2015

    Let’s see who gets protected after the dust settles, but losing Devenski would be a crime. Losing the guy they traded yesterday, was the best move for both him and us. That’s all I’m going to say about that. We should close the book on him. Ok?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin
      November 20, 2015

      Who?

      Like

    • rj
      November 20, 2015

      we have to evaluate this trade going forward, just like we do all the others. sorry becky

      Like

  16. astrosfan57
    November 20, 2015

    Thanks Oldpro for the insight on Alfredo Gonzalez

    Like

  17. SargeH
    November 20, 2015

    I hit on the three pitchers I predicted that they would save as I mentioned in the previous story. I am glad they saved these fellows.

    Like

  18. 1oldpro
    November 20, 2015

    The Astros have DFA’d LJ Hoes and added Andrew Aplin and Nolan Fontana to the 40-man which is now full at 40. The roster is currently set and the deadline has passed.

    Like

  19. 1oldpro
    November 20, 2015

    Congratulations to the players who have worked for years in our system and today were rewarded with a spot on the major league roster. The Astros got even younger today.

    Like

  20. uncleknuckle
    November 21, 2015

    The one I can’t figure out is Fontana. He’s a soft hitting guy with a .249 lifetime minor league average who will turn 25 in June. And he struck out 99 times in 470 something at bats. I’d have made room for another of the catchers. Fontana is a former high pick though. Tough for Luhnow to give up on him. I’m still going to continue to follow and compare him to what Sclafani does. I can’t help it.

    Like

  21. astrocolt45
    November 21, 2015

    There is one thing worth noting in stats for Alfredo Gonzalez, he didn’t hit squat in the minors until last year. Makes me wonder if he got good coaching or did they buy him some contacts or glasses. He hit for average at all three stops last year. (A – .326, AA- .340, AAA – .300 in all total 294 PAs. But he shows a good arm in the stats going back to when he was 18 years old.)

    He did pitch 1/3 of an inning in CC. K 1 and hit a batter. Maybe he was sent in to “send a message” and no one cared if he got tossed.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      November 21, 2015

      I just found out reading through the TCB comments section that Minaya and Gonzalez would have become free agents if the Astros had not protected them, because of the length of their MILB careers. Any team could have signed them to a contract and not have had to keep them on their 25-man roster.

      Like

  22. 1oldpro
    November 21, 2015

    They probably added Fontana in case they need a SS available if Correa or Marwin were to get injured, because Villar is gone.
    They protected Aplin because Grossman and Hoes are gone and they need another outfielder in Fresno who is on the 40-man. Aplin was eligible to be drafted and Kemp wasn’t.
    The Astros actually protected seven young players in their system. I love that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rj
      November 21, 2015

      Like dave, keeping fontana is a head scratcher for me. we have correa, marwin
      and lowrie already on the roster. thats 3 deep at ss if necessary. I’m wondering if they thought they might lose him to rule v for no value while they think they may be able to package him as part of a trade later if he is protected and get some value.

      Like

    • uncleknuckle
      November 22, 2015

      I’d still rather have Villar over Fontana.

      Like

  23. 1oldpro
    November 21, 2015

    The Astros now have 20 pitchers, 19 position players and Evan Gattis on their roster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • uncleknuckle
      November 22, 2015

      I’d never wish a serious injury on any player, but I would not mind if Gattis pulled a hamstring late in the Spring. That might be the only way White gets his shot.

      Like

  24. astrocolt45
    November 21, 2015

    In looking at the personnel decision, we might pick one over another, but it appears that the FO is playing a numbers game. In DanP’s post we had Musgrove, Devinski, Gustave, Heineman, Hauschild, Jankowski, Aplin, Vasquez, Paulino, Hernandez+ the others listed. They opted to protect 1 catcher, 1 INF, and 1 OFer. Then all the pitchers they could. So with the rest, the worst that can happen is to lose 3. Not good, but not decimating. And as much as I would like to see 3 off the 25 man go – today they have more value that someone at AA ball. So all in all, the only problem that I see is the Astros have too many good prospects. 🙂

    Like

  25. Becky⚾
    November 21, 2015

    To quote MLBTRADERUMORS.COM…….the Astros are “hell bent on getting a closer”.

    Like

  26. Devin_
    November 23, 2015

    Protecting Fontana doesn’t bother me. He had a strong second half at AAA last year. He can play three infield positions well. He hit better off lefties (in smaller sample) than righties. The lack of power surprised me a bit, but figure he would increase it a bit at MLB with short distance down RF line at MMP.

    Like

  27. Mr. Bill
    November 23, 2015

    Our guys’ final Arizona Fall League stats:

    Position players:

    JD DAVIS: 17 G, .279/.329/.456, 8 R, 19 H, 6 2B, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 20 K

    DEREK FISHER: 17 G, .254/.397/.424, 7 R, 15 H, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K, 3-for-5 SB

    AJ REED: 11 G, .231/.326/.385, 6 R, 9 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 8 K, 1-for-1 SB

    CHAN MOON: 13 G, .093/.241/.116, 3 R, 4 H, 1 2B, 4 RBI, 9 BB, 7 K, 1-for-1 SB

    Pitchers:

    BRIAN HOLMES: 6 G, 16.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 13 BB, 14 K – 1.13 ERA, 7.3 BB/9, 7.9 K/9

    CHRIS COTTON: 8 G, 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K – 1.17 ERA, 0.0 BB/9, 11.4 K/9

    ALBERT MINNIS: 9 G, 11.2 IP, 12 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K – 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9, 4.6 K/9

    Keegan Yuhl: 8 G, 8.0 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K – 7.88 ERA, 4.5 BB/9, 3.4 K/9

    Well, this definitely wasn’t our organization’s most impressive showing.

    Like

    • Dan P
      November 23, 2015

      Such small samples to judge anyone, but 3 of the pitchers were very good, Fisher very good and Davis solid.

      Like

    • astrocolt45
      November 23, 2015

      Maybe these guys caught that dreadful late season “Kazmir Disease.”

      Like

  28. Mr. Bill
    November 23, 2015

    Agreed, Dan. No judgments on individual players was intended. This was an extremely small sample, and all these guys – with the possible exception of Cotton, who was lights out – look to be significantly better than represented in this small sample.

    Like

  29. 1oldpro
    November 23, 2015

    I set up to record the Texans vs the Jets and I’m glad I did. About 30 minutes before game time my wife started the 45 minute drive to my hospital and by the time SNF was on, I was in surgery. I’m too old for this stuff. Anyway, I’m minus an appendix and am feeling pretty miserable tonight.
    Please forgive me if I’ve made anybody mad here. It was a long reflective weekend and I’m not finished talking Astros baseball. Talk to you tomorrow, God willing. Where’s those drugs?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Bill
      November 23, 2015

      Get well soon, OP1.

      Like

    • rj
      November 23, 2015

      good grief op. take care of yourself and have a much much better rest of the holidays.

      Like

    • Zanuda
      November 23, 2015

      1OP… glad to hear you’re OK. Your opinion and comments are always welcome and appreciated. We’re kind of a family if nobody minds me using that term. Hurry back soon.

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        November 23, 2015

        We are, and have been a family for a looong time!!!

        Like

    • uncleknuckle
      November 23, 2015

      Godspeed 1OP. Hope you’re back in action soonest.

      Like

    • astrocolt45
      November 23, 2015

      Take care of yourself, 1OP. Rest up all winter. Plenty of time before ST.

      Like

    • Devin_
      November 23, 2015

      1op, there are better ways to lose weight than having internal organs removed! Rest up, get well, and be ready to come out firing on Feb 18th.

      Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      November 23, 2015

      oP, So glad you’re OK. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

      Like

  30. Becky⚾
    November 23, 2015

    Oh my goodness…….thank the Lord you’re ok, but I’m sure ok is not the right word for it. I had that surgery a looong time ago, in my 20’S and when you get to be our age, it ain’t so fun. Take it easy….and get better! This is a pretty fast week anyway, so maybe while we munch on Turkey and dressing, Jeff Luhnow will pull the lucky end of the wish bone, and we’ll get a much needed piece to our lineup for next year!!
    You my friend are a VERY important part of this blog, and we need to to get bettrr, so you can post one of your very insightful thoughts!! God bless you dear friend.

    Like

    • Roger
      November 23, 2015

      Best wishes 1 op. You are one of the MVP’s here. Get well soon.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      November 24, 2015

      Becky, the way they do the surgery now is just plain sick! They go drill three holes in the belly. One for insertion, one for inflation and one for expedition. They inflate the torso providing room to maneuver and they seek out the sick appendage and remove it. Shirley, I’m over-simplifying it, but now we’re talking airplanes, and that is your area of expertise.
      I’d like to recommend a post. List all the projected salaries of the remaining members of the Astros 25-man playoff roster and give that total. Then we all toy with that roster to deliver the roster we want, with the payroll we think Crane has given us to work with, reasonably. The goal: The World Series trophy in Jose Altuve’s hands as he circles MMP in victory, next November. We get to tweak it to work. Right now, the meds have me way too fuzzy to pull this off. How many words have I misspelled thus far? woooooooooooooooooooo!

      Like

      • uncleknuckle
        November 24, 2015

        Well, you were talking about some lady named Shirley. Don’t get in trouble with Mrs. 1OP.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        November 24, 2015

        The Mrs. has heard me say “Don’t call me Shirley” so many times! She may have forgotten the movie by now.

        Like

  31. rj
    November 23, 2015

    yep becky, a hard throwing closer in our stocking would be nice!!

    Like

  32. Becky⚾
    November 23, 2015

    I absolutely love “karma”……..remember how Lloyd Mcclendon said Dallas Keuchel was just “average pitcher”? He just got another manager’s job, with the Tigers…….as a TRIPLE A manager!!!! Ha! Ha! Ha!!! That’s what you get when you’re just an “average” major league manager!!! KARMA STRIKES AGAIN!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Tim
    November 23, 2015

    This trade proposal was posted on Twitter by a CTH blogger and the responses were fairly split. I thought I would run it by my fellow Chipalatta posters. Would you trade Collin McHugh for Andrew Miller?

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      November 23, 2015

      I’ll vote ‘yes’ if they throw in OF Slade Heathcott,

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        November 23, 2015

        . . . and take Chris Carter.

        Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      November 24, 2015

      Tim, can I do this tomorrow. Lucy in the sky with diamonds!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tim
        November 24, 2015

        Of course, OP. Rest and get well soon. We need a healthy OP for this blog to continue being at its best.

        Like

  34. Tim
    November 24, 2015

    Just for the record I would do it in a New York minute if I was Jeff Luhnow. We have tons of SP depth and, while I like McHugh, he is probably a #3 SP and these are usually cheaper to obtain via free agency that a shutdown closer. In addition, this trade would not cost us any of our prospects.

    Like

    • Tim
      November 24, 2015

      He’s probably more of a tweener between a #2 and #3. A 3.89 ERA and 19 wins tells me he was the beneficiary of some good run support. Bud Norris had a similar ERA for us in 2013 before he was traded and most viewed him as a #3. I think McHugh is slightly better than Bud was then, but not significantly. I don’t see anyone in our system than can give us the production of Andrew Miller in 2016. You can make a case either way, but with guys like Musgrove, Appel, VV and Feliz along with several free agency options I just feel it is easier, and less costly from a players lost standpoint, to replace McHugh than obtaining a shutdown closer who can throw 95+ consistently.

      Like

      • SargeH
        November 24, 2015

        I would keep a pitcher who went 30-16 for the last two years who has proven that he WILL get the final innings of a game to turn it over, with a lead, to the bullpen. Sure, Miller had 36 saves but that was for a single, break out, year this past season. Miller has been in the majors for 10 seasons and is 30 years old. McHugh has been in the majors for 4 years and is 28 years old.

        McHugh hands down.

        Like

  35. Diane
    November 24, 2015

    Cheers, OP. I know it hurts, but hang in there. We need you here. 🙂

    Like

  36. 1oldpro
    November 24, 2015

    I see McHugh as a #2 starter on an MLB playoff team which translates to a #2 starter just about anywhere on the planet. 19 wins plus a road playoff winning start.
    Pretty much everyone expected negative regression from his vitals(that’s hospital lingo for stats) and they got it, but he clearly moved into that #2 starter class with his record.
    The thing I don’t see is the tons of SP depth, that equates to plugging in a prospect who provides what McHugh provides.. Where is the 19 game winner in the minors for 2016? It sure isn’t Appel. It could be Musgrove, but none of them is going to be McHugh in 2016 and that is what this trade is all about, 2016! In 2017, McHugh makes the jump from a #2 starter at a half million dollars to a #2 starter at arbitration.
    So this trade is about a getting a closer in exchange for a #2 for one year. With all the talented pitchers in our system, we have a better chance of finding a closer than a #2 starter for 2016 down there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      November 24, 2015

      I hesitated to reply to Tim’s post because I don’t know much about Andrew Miller. I do know that I feel comfortable when McHugh is on the mound.
      Thanks for your insight OP. I agree with you.
      Hope you’re feeling a bit better today.

      Like

    • Devin_
      November 24, 2015

      I view McHugh in a manner the statistically inclined will not support. It couldn’t surprise me to get the same innings and ERA he provided from either Oberholtzer, Musgrove, or Appel (well, maybe not the innings from him). The difference between winning games, as a starter, and getting an L or ND is often a matter of when the runs are surrended. Up 2-1 in the fifth? A two run HR will stick you in a bad spot and get us into the bullpen early. Going down 2-0 in the first or second inning? You can buckle down and let the offense get it back for you.

      Like

    • SargeH
      November 24, 2015

      Exactly!

      Like

      • SargeH
        November 24, 2015

        Exactly as in I am in agreement with OP.

        Like

  37. 1oldpro
    November 24, 2015

    I spent a couple of days weaving through the IVs and staring at ceilings trying to add up the salaries of the Astros 25 man roster, as it now stands.
    If you add up the salaries of the 8 players we have under contract, the projected salaries of the 8 players who are arb eligible, that leaves only nine open roster spots on the 25-man. I assigned those nine spots a league minimum $500,000 each and guess where our payroll currently stands. Between $92-95 million. That’s with no free agents, no trades added in, and no Kazmir. Gregerson is our closer, Neshek is our setup guy, and all of the strikeout kings we had last year are still starting in their same spots in the lineup.
    So our current payroll is $25million higher than opening day 2015 and there isn’t a lefty in the pen. and all the main guys are the same from the team that got knocked out.
    Then you read all the gurus who are recommending signing Chris Davis or David Price or this guy and that guy.
    Is there anybody out there who believes Jeff Luhnow wants to lead the majors in striking out with a $120million payroll? That’s crazy!
    Please double check my math and see what you come up with. Maybe I’m just high on pain killers and made a $20million error.

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      November 24, 2015

      Simple. Get rid of some high strike out contracts.
      If JL keeps the same lineup expecting a different outcome, he loses what little respect I had.

      Like

      • Tim
        November 24, 2015

        Sandy,

        I have to ask why you have such little respect for Luhnow especially considering how quickly he turned this franchise around. I really don’t get the disdain toward JL from Astros fans. The Astros are 1-2 years ahead of the schedule predicted by most ‘baseball experts’ and are on track for several years of success.

        Liked by 2 people

      • sandy
        November 24, 2015

        Tim, I don’t really know why I distrust Luhnow. When he was first hired I believed he could be a good GM. You read OPs post about the salaries. I can’t understand holding on to the likes of Carter, Gattis, and Conger while putting prospects in jeopardy. Without their salaries we could add to the bullpen and maybe the rotation.

        Like

      • Tim
        November 25, 2015

        They have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. I’m not sure what prospects were put in jeopardy. All I do know is this team won 86 games last year and nearly upset the World Series champions in an epic 5-game battle. Considering what little payroll he had to work with I think Luhnow did a magnificent job. In addition, MILB just voted the Astros as having the best minor league system. I don’t know what more he could have done.

        Like

    • rj
      November 24, 2015

      hey op. i went to baseball reference and they had an estimate of 96.2 for 2016, so you were pretty dang close. interestingly they also had:
      2017 – 57.2
      2018 – 60.1
      2019 – 55.2
      2020 – 56.7
      2021 – 62.2

      Like

  38. Mr. Bill
    November 24, 2015

    i see Gio Meyer just signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays organization. Good luck Gio! We’ve sort of got our shortstop[s] for the future, so hope you can put it all together in Canada.

    Like

  39. uncleknuckle
    November 24, 2015

    That’s a tough one, re: Miller and McHugh. Miller was worth 36 saves, he only blew 1. Gregerson gave us 31 saves. I think he blew 3. Gregerson gave us a great season for the dollars. But, to get to that next level, I firmly believe we need a big gun closer.

    However, we got 203 innings out of McHugh. 19 wins. Went 10 -2 in the second half. 4-0 down the stretch. Not many guys around doing that. He’s my firm # 2 in the rotation at least until someone like McCullers challenges him.

    Bottom line is that indeed, McHugh is much tougher to replace than it will be to get that closer we need. 1OP, foggy as you might be, I agree with you.

    And Sandy, give me Reed at first and White at DH. And get rid of a few of those salaries belonging to Gattis and Carter and hopefully Singleton and Conger too.

    Really, I don’t care what Crane has to spend. He’s way overdue.

    Like

    • Tim
      November 24, 2015

      I think Gregerson had 6 blown saves.

      Like

      • Tim
        November 24, 2015

        *correction: according to Fangraphs Gregerson had 5 blown saves in 2015.

        Like

      • uncleknuckle
        November 24, 2015

        Yes, 5 sounds accurate.

        Like

  40. Dan P
    November 24, 2015

    I’ve been buried in work commitments and having my son and his wife visiting from Australia – so – OP glad you are still with us and your appendix is not.
    I think I keep McHugh – but it does give one pause. But I am not sure where I find 19 wins easily.

    Like

  41. Tim
    November 24, 2015

    I just want to throw this out there as wins is a very over rated stat to judge a pitcher’s worth. In 2014 McHugh had a 2.73 ERA and only 11 wins and last year Fiers had a 3.69 ERA and only 8 wins. I like McHugh, but do you see Fiers as a #2 SP? We have to be careful using wins to determine where a starting pitcher fits into the rotation. I think, with more run support, we have several options to replace those 19 wins. What we don’t have, in my opinion, is someone who can come into a game, in the later innings with a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs, and feel like he can close the door with a strikeout or two. It’s a tough call because Luhnow is ‘hell bent’ on finding a closer so do we want to trade some of our top prospects or one of our SPs who is probably at an all-time high point to sell. I can’t see McHugh’s value ever being higher.

    Like

    • Tim
      November 24, 2015

      *correction: Fiers only had 7 wins last year.

      Like

      • astrocolt45
        November 24, 2015

        Tim, he had 5 with the Brewers. So I think it is OK to give him credit for one more win on that team last year.

        Like

    • Devin_
      November 24, 2015

      With more run support you may have less need for a closer as well.

      If you take a starter that averages +6 IP / G and replace him with a – 6 IP / G pitcher you are necessitating an extra bullpen arm usage every five days.

      Like

  42. Zanuda
    November 24, 2015

    As I look at the SP position we have Keuchel, McHugh, McCuellars, Feldman and Fiers. That’s 5 if my math is correct (and I didn’t even need a calculator). What changes does everybody envision in the pitching with Appel, Musgrove, and many more in the wings?

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      November 24, 2015

      Vince Velasquez is another high-potential rotation piece if we need him to be.

      By the way, it is interesting to note that although Colin McHugh won 19 games last year, and is a gutsy guy who pitched extremely well in some very clutch games for us down the stretch, both McCullers and Fiers actually had lower ERAs, lower WHIPs, and better K/9s than Colin did. That’s not a knock on Colin by any means, as he was super for us – that’s just another reason to feel really good about our rotation next year.

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        November 24, 2015

        I’d really like the club to give Velasquez a chance to start. Luhnow kind of gave up on Nick Tropeano, and traded him…….turns out he is turning out to be a pretty dang good pitcher. If not Vince, I want to see how Musgrove performs in spring training.
        Musgrove and A. J. Reed are nearly the same size……the dude is a monster!! You know me…..I love a BIG righty in the rotation!!
        As far as the payroll is concerned……the first thing I wanna see is a 3-4yr contract for Keuchel, in the neighborhood of $40-45 million. I’m going to out on a limb and do a prediction….payroll will be somewhere around $135-145 mill next year.

        Like

      • Tim
        November 24, 2015

        Those are some interesting numbers and why I see Collin more of a 2-3 SP tweener. He is definitely an asset to the Astros, but as I said earlier, I don’t his value will being any higher for us. I look at LMJ as more of our #2, but McHugh definitely has value, especially considering his salary. This trade discussion is a moot point as the Yankees won’t trade Miller for McHugh straight up even if Luhnow would.

        Like

  43. 1oldpro
    November 24, 2015

    McHugh pitching like he pitched in 2015 for $510,00 is only surpassed by him pitching for us for $520,000 in 2016. He’s a dream come true. When he took the mound the team went 21-11. That’s 10 games over .500 with one guy on the mound by a team who was 10 games over .500 for the entire year. It’s not McHugh who is lucky, it’s the Astros who are lucky to have him pitching.
    The Astros had an Ace and now people finally believe it.
    The Astros have a true #2 and one day people will realize that, too.
    If the Astros payroll is between $135-145mil, Reed and White will be in Fresno. That would be a huge waste of money and resources, in my opinion.

    Like

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This entry was posted on November 20, 2015 by in Astros.
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