Astros 2016 – Would You Rather

The Astros Front Office is slowly, but steadily honing the squad down towards the  final magic number of 25. Looking ahead, here are some either or questions for your enjoyment and input.

Would you rather:

  • The Astros send Jon Singleton back to the minors and possibly absorb ABs that others could use or just let him go and eat the $$ owed to him? (The possibility of him making the big team at this point is too horrific to imagine).
  • When Evan Gattis returns the team makes him the full time DH or work him in as a backup C and PH or send him away in a trade?
  • They use Ken Giles or Luke Gregerson (if well) as the closer?
  • They choose as odd man out for the 5 man rotation – Wandy Rodriguez or Doug Fister or Scott Feldman or Mike Fiers?
  • When Lance McCullers Jr returns to the rotation should they make the decision on who to move out based on early season performance or previous seasons performance or money owed?
  • They forget about control issues down the road and keep him on the 25 man or let AJ Reed marinate in the Minors for a couple months?
  • The front office chase a back up catcher or a LH reliever or stay pat?
  • The Astros use their #1 draft pick on a raw high schooler or a more complete college player?

48 comments on “Astros 2016 – Would You Rather

  1. With regard to Singleton why not send him to Corpus where there is no current hot 1B prospect and let Reed get some time in Fresno. Right now I think White is more ready than Reed and keeping White on the club gives him a chance to show that he is the real thing (which I think he is). If White hits better than Gattis then Gattis becomes the backup catcher and part time DH against lefties when White is playing first. For what Gattis is being paid you need him to be more than a once every five days catcher. And if he is the only backup catcher that will limit his pinch hit availability.
    I’m anxious to see how Gregerson progresses. As shaky as Giles has been this Spring I’m inclined to start the season with Gregerson at closer if he is healthy simply because he has the track record and I expect his veteran presence at the back end of the bullpen to be an early steadying influence. Giles will get his opportunities but let him find himself in the eighth inning instead of the ninth to begin with.
    Tough call on what to do with the starting pitchers. I’m just hoping that McCullers does come back strong. I was a Reds fan when I was growing up and remember a young phenom named Gary Nolan who was lights out as a rookie or second year guy, got hurt and never regained effectiveness. Hoping that same fate doesn’t fall on McCullers.


  2. I would rather:
    See Singleton put on waivers and see if someone could use him. That gives him a chance to start anew with another team. When he isn’t claimed I would use him as a DH in Fresno or Corpus.
    Fit Gattis in where he is needed when he is ready to return. A lot depends on how the backups are doing and how the team is performing.
    Use Giles and Gregerson as closers as needed.
    Go with the F pitchers.
    Let nature take it’s course on who McCullers replaces when he’s ready.
    Forget team control issues on White and put him on the team at 1B and let Marwin play there every once in a while, too.
    Chase a right handed hitting catcher.
    Use the draft pick on a college pitcher, preferably a LHP. But I would use my board first and always. I am of the opinion that the Astros’ process of making their board is so complicated and imaginative that I just go with Luhnow on the draft. He is good at the Draft!


  3. I think we all have it “pretty well figured,” sort of splitting hairs at this point on the key players.

    I dont know, sounds good, Singleton on waivers or in Corpus. Or gone asap. Whatever value is salvageable.

    No, dont agree on Gattis as backup C. That was then, this is now, plus his type of injury. The assumption is he will hit and force himself onto the field. I’d say he’s been thoroughly supplanted. He’s a guy who might hit and produce to gain trade value! There’s plenty of catcher talent in-house and on waiver wire, also Brewers will be desperate in the 11th hour for another Lucroy look-see. Otherwise, Im fine til Castro plays like Op expects, then we can plug in Heine or Pena. I’m of the mind that Stassi’s 350 avg w 42 MLB AB’s could be more intriguing than enough for other teams, not that Max doesnt deserve his chance!

    When you assign the word “closer” (recent article), its a kiss of death long term. Use the hot hand to intensify competition. These are EGO guys, they are supposed to thrive on it.

    Wandy is wily, and he has those brilliant moments, but he is very hittable. The ball hit the other day that Loreano tracked down was in a gale wind, easily out in most parks. If so, we’d be begging for Cotts back. Wandy is shaky ground til we get a legit #4 type SLHP.

    Bc the LMJ equation is so tough, you can see why after already wanting to limit his 2016 innings, it was convenient the guy with options comes up “sore.” Boras getting value after McCullers is reported to having an insane Winter workout – it follows he’s just resting. Who does he replace? No idea but my guess is Wandy the swingman, or Fister is at bottom of depth.

    The Reed question is by far the biggest! So many here and abroad say he needs to figure out AAA pitching first. I say, no way! If this is about another year for super 2, then that kind of foresight (Op) alluded to, they are considering many moving parts I dont know about. My two cents is we lost the division by two games last year. Guaranteed Reed makes up that difference today. Just pay the guy early like Keuchel, and like we tried to offer Springer. I think if you simply wait on everybody to control them, players reason “it’s a business, not a family.” That sticks in your craw. The reality is they still want to see what’s up with Gattis, and kills two birds.

    Definitely need a future catcher and lefty starter. We’ll need Apr to figure out what we have already. What, we have #17 pick? Is the ghost of Fernando or Mike Piazza in this draft?

    Happy Easter all!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can see some of these comments of mine coukd be very naive, based on the fact that I dont know the incentives in each contract. When a guy like Gregerson has his contract front end loaded with actual saves, but he doesnt get his chances. Everyone knows its a business, but… Its up to the management to communicate well, and allow guys like Cotts to find a home if not here. Its still a business about respect and treating players with integrity, while This organization excels in taking care of its own. Witness all the former players who come back to contribute.


  5. If a guy is ever set up for a great year, it’s Colby Rasmus. Coming off big-time success after a swing change last fall, he has the security of a position in LF, a spot in the middle of the order, making more money than he ever dreamed of in a place he loves and wants to be.
    I look at tendencies only in Spring training and he looks very comfortable in left field and is seeing the ball well while only striking out at a 16% clip, while hitting in the beginning of games facing mostly major league pitching.
    I could see him getting off to a great start as the Astros look to possibly face all right handed starters in their first six road games(unless the yanks or Brewers make some rotaion changes).
    So far this spring Rasmus has more hits than Ks. Last season Colby had 103 hits and 154 Ks(31% K rate). I look at tendencies and cannot ignore career stats, so I have to be careful, but if anybody shows a tendency to make an advancement in his game, it looks to me like it could be Colby Rasmus. He looks locked in, maybe more so than he’s ever been. With his power and the guys he has hitting in front of him, if he hits between .250 and .260, he’s going to get a bunch of RBIs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, “tendency toward advancement.” Agree fully on Rasmus and see that as a major block for Tucker this year (and beyond?)
      Likewise, Marwin having more RBI than strikeouts, and two of his HR’s vs RHP against the wind? Thats called turnin’ the corner!


      • But if Gattis is on the DL, White is on 1B, Singleton is in the minors and Tucker is the DH, those first six games against righties gives Tucker a chance to hit his way into a comfortable spot with this club, too. A big bat is a big bat and they are welcomed with open arms everywhere.


  6. Dr Bill – I pray that they are just being careful and LMJ is just down for a short time.
    Old pro- Love the AL West prediction, love the Rasmus potential big year and agree to let Luhnow rip on the draft.
    Mark W – this is the drawback to a fan blog – we don’t have the inside scoop on contracts, motivation or personalities. Though these days the newspapers don’t seem to be filling the need either.


  7. Understood fully, Tucker vs Righties seems creamy in the middle.. Yum!

    One such scenario I’m positing is Tucker goes 0-4 in New York, Reed goes 4-4 with Grand Slam in Fresno.

    Gotta play the games to figure out which is most likely…


    • Do I need to burn my retina out after reading the name “Hank Conger”?
      Maybe we can trade Joe Sclafani for someone, since we are not going to be using him….
      I like one of the comments below in that article, old pro, that says we are trading Wandy for Brad Ausmus.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I laughed too, and then thought hold on, Brad still looks great!

        How out of touch is Footer yesterday tweets watching Carlos Corporan taking Yankees BP, will he be an Astro soon?

        And Conger? If he’s all out of options moving forward, he signs a deal with Orbit to split time in the stands. Duties include, HR dugout celebrations, joke-telling on plane trips and mixing music during innings break? He could join Jake in Fresno doing a ninja act after we acquire Inciarte.

        Hey, if we have a, what is Ensberg’s title – why not call Conger Executive Bobbling Morale Booster?


    • Exactly. They scouted the Tigers kid the other day. There are so many possibilities at backup here. Why would we be hot on, if Gattis were truly an option? Especially a 2yr-Lucroy deal, which would timeline bypass our Gattis at DH interest.

      I think it’s interesting that on record, staff will hype our younger guys – probably to keep their hopes alive (like naming Singleton as pre-Spring starter, or like coaches saying they think Pena has all the tools to compete.) Everyone knows though, when we had Ausmus & Everett in the lineup, just like the other day – (Mets maybe) pitched around two batters to load bases, in order to get to Castro. They found their K-man. We need an offensive threat. Big *if that Gattis is that guy defensively, but I would Love the versatility if it could work! It would open up that (Hoyt or) Duffy spot, who I believe is ahead of Moran, just as Feliz is ahead of Musgrove and Martes. Each are close though, and can be used (righty/lefty) situationally. Duffy’s a slugger, and 366 OBP in Fresno? Cant trade it til we see how it translates, humble opinion.


  8. Well this old fart has seen enough of Puff Daddy, include him in a trade for a back up catcher. I would have White and Tucker on the 25 for the first 4 weeks, see how things shake out. We have a lot of good bull pen options, they will play themselves out in April. I hope JFSM can hit over .200. I think Castgro will be better this year like .235-.240. Gattis good guy, have no clue what to do with HIM?


  9. I swear, I am not fibbing you. Tommy Shirley is listed in the bullpen for tonight’s game in Mexico City. Saw the lineup card in Drellich’s twitter account.
    Shirley Sighting!!


  10. MLBTR has said that Folty looks to have the best shot at being the Braves #5 starter. They also report that Joe Thatcher will not make the Indians final roster.


    • Thanks for pointing that out Mark. I would not have known what “Beisbol de las Grandes Ligas” was about – would have paged right past it. Ch 703 on our local Comcast here.


  11. I don’t have a channel 464 or 703 down here! Hopefully someone will keep the box up to date on line.

    Unless there is a return for Singleton, I think he stays in Fresno, spending most of his time as the DH. Thing about the guy is that he might turn into a pretty good ML hitter someday, for someone else, but I don’t think high stress situations are his forte. In other words, he’s not the guy I want in my October line up.

    Gattis can’t automatically have the full time DH job back if someone else is already hitting in that role. So he’d have to be some kind of back up at least until the other guy(s) stopped hitting. And maybe he can be convincing enough as a back up catcher. But trading him would simplify things although we also don’t want to get stuck with a back up catcher hitting .160.

    They paid too much for Giles not to be the Closer. That’s got to be the plan, as long as he gets the saves.

    Odd man out for the rotation should be the guy who pitches worse than the others. But Fister will get more chances. I still don’t see where Wandy fits in, unless the club thinks he can be successful in multiple roles.

    Performance! But we know that guy with the bigger paycheck is going to get more chances. See Fister above

    I think Reed will marinate for a while, or maybe stew.

    FO will be on the lookout for both, unless they do the big thing and get Lucroy. But then we’d still need a back up for him too. As far as the lefty goes, I wish we had kept Cotts. He was .186 against lefty bats last year.

    High school picks seem to be more of a crap shoot. Plus we have to wait longer on them. I’m too impatient at this point.


  12. i like dr. bills idea of sending singleton is AA. takes no at bats from the guys we think will be coming along this year and maybe maybe finally lights a fire under him.
    i think gattis comes back as a backup at dh, c and pinch hits a bit. if he gets hot he moves into a starting role, if not he stays as a backup.
    if i have to pick i pick giles, but i wouldnt mind both getting chances if neither grabs the job by performance.
    i have to think wandy is only a emergency starter, long guy and/or loogy.
    performance always has the be the deciding factor. current performance is the guide assuming its many days not just a few days.
    id like to see reed up only if he is gonna get regular at bats, otherwise simmer till the need arises.
    i think we will get a shot at a decent backup catcher when rosters are cut to 25, maybe a lf reliever as well. would rather get both than stand pat.
    college player for sure…. see aiken.
    bonus answer. we have so much minor league talent and if luhnow has his usual good draft a good bit more coming, that a major trade for a missing world series piece near the deadline seems likely.


  13. Watched the game on Univision and heard nothing. But that was a whoopin’. Don’t understand the talk about White having little power. He absolutely crushed that home run. He won the Texas League Home Run Derby and tied for his winter league lead in home runs. 11-1 final and the Padres scored their one run off low A pitcher Jose Hernandez, who is from Mexico, with two outs in the ninth inning.
    The Astros look good.


    • I ended up having to watch the game via my smartphone until the eighth. Then I listened to MLB on SiriusXM on my way home. Then back to the MLB website on my home computer to get the finals.


    • You know 1OP, White also had 99 RBI’s in 116 games last year. That gets overlooked sometimes. And last night, overlooked was his getting his bat on a ball and lifting it to shallow right center with a man on third. In the regular season, Worth would have scored. White is a situational hitter. He will not strike out too often with the bases loaded. We’ll have to deal with a fair amount of GDP’s, but he just looks better and better.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Apparently they are going to give him one more start and make a decision. It might be that since he already has told them he will not accept an assignment to Fresno, thus limiting the Astros’ options, they both he and the club have agreed to push the date back to give the club one more Wandy sample


  14. I am watching the mexico city game live on my PC. Went to astros. com and they show the game as free on and I hit the word “watch” and the game is live with Padres announcers.


  15. Maybe I shouldn’t watch. Brady Rodgers gave up 8 runs in the first inning and was pulled with 2 outs. Astros should have saved some runs from last night.
    Rodgers gave up 3 home runs in 2/3 of an inning.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Well for those that look here for updates, the two games are the Tale of Two Cities.
    In Lakeland the Astros are killing the Tigers 8-1 in the 7th, Reed, Castro and Singleton are providing the bulk of the offense, while Feldman gave up 1 run in 4 innings and Gregerson!!!!! had 3 Ks in one perfect inning of relief.
    South of the border, the story is Not Ready for Prime Time pitcher Brady Rodgers who gave up 8 runs in 2/3 of an inning, including 3 HRs. The good guys are losing 8-0 in the first and Travis Ballew has not been able to secure the 3rd out so far….


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