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Three takeaways from Astros’ opening day


After a delayed opening day, the Astros are quickly out of the chute. Here are three quick takeaways from Wednesday.

Keuchel is still the man.

For a guy whose ERA was above 5 for two seasons, Dallas Keuchel has become one of the top elite pitchers in the majors since turning 26. Since 2014, Keuchel is 33-17 with a 2.69 ERA, a 1.089 WHIP and a 3.56/1 K/BB ratio. You can take that to the bank everyday and twice on Sunday!

It’s hard to argue he isn’t the Astros’ MVP. Further, it’s easy to say he would be the player the Astros would most miss if he were injured.

Correa is better than elite.

Byron who? Remember when the Astros made Carlos Correa the first pick in the draft, passing up players like Byron Buxton? Now who’s second-guessing? Correa is clearly one of the most exciting players in the game and may establish himself further this season. It’s a shame he wasn’t playing the game when Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio and Ken Caminiti came up. What an infield!

Correa plays the game with reckless abandon like Biggio and has the smarts of a Bagwell. He’s the anchor the Astros have needed for years and he makes everyone around him better. That’s the sign of a star player.

There is still depth.

The Astros announced their minor league rosters and it’s clear there is still depth, despite a “sell off” of sorts, especially in the pitching realm, over the past several months. The most interesting observation is that the top prospects in the organization — at least those who may be ready in the next year — are mostly position players. Alex Bregman and Derek Fisher start the season in Corpus Christi while Fresno boasts a tough corner set in A.J. Reed at first base and Colin Moran at third base.

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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.

118 comments on “Three takeaways from Astros’ opening day

  1. Dan P
    April 7, 2016

    The radar in NYC shows the rain clearing out by game time …..YAAY

    Like

  2. MarkW
    April 7, 2016

    Musgrove is scheduled in Corpus, so will be interested how that goes. Sure enough, it’s that bulldog Devenski! Hoyt’s now on the radar again. Feliz had one helluva trial by fire.

    Speaking of, the Yankees are batting .318 (7×22) against Fiers with .389 BABIP, 17.4 K%, and 4.3 BB%. Meanwhile, we have absolutely been spelled .152 (10×66) with a .200 BABIP, 23.4 K% and 11.7 BB% against Eovaldi

    A rainout and regroup doesn’t kill ya because this is another game in a row Hinch has a pitching disadvantage. We have to see one full rotation to know, but Spring already signaled some things to come. I thought the surprise, like Sandy, was going to be Fiers… Hope its the good kind!

    Op and following the Captain into War? Classic!

    Like

    • Dan P
      April 7, 2016

      Well according to mlb.com Gameday – all of Eovaldi’s fastballs were in the 98-99 mph range with a 90 mph splitter mixed in. Man that sounds tough to hit.

      Like

      • Dan P
        April 7, 2016

        I meant in the first inning…..

        Like

      • uncleknuckle
        April 7, 2016

        He was 14 and 3 last year, but with a 1.45 WHIP. He’s hittable. Ask Tyler.

        Like

      • Devin_
        April 7, 2016

        He threw gas against Houston last year…so sounds about right. Short strokes like White’s take away the velocity advantage.

        Like

  3. Mr. Bill
    April 7, 2016

    That Tyler White dude seems to want to stick around.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      April 7, 2016

      And so does elder brother Tucker. That’s a bam-bam.

      Like

  4. Dan P
    April 7, 2016

    For those stuck at work or whatever – Tyler White collects his first major league homer – driving in Luis Valbuena who had doubled.
    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      April 7, 2016

      P-Tuck – back to back with White – Astros 3-0 in the 2nd.

      Like

    • sargeh
      April 7, 2016

      Tyler stated his goal for the season is to drive in a run in every game. Well, not exactly every game but he has 4 RBI in 3 games.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        April 8, 2016

        I hope the Great White, the Gorgeous George, the Captain, and the Brother Tucker all do so and keep a friendly day-by-day competition going all year to see who leads the team in RBIs. If our team leader in RBIs is Evan Gattis again this year with about one RBI in every two games we are in trouble in our division – especially considering our pitching woes thus far.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. uncleknuckle
    April 7, 2016

    Kevin, I know it’s early, but how are you feeling about that rainout right now

    Like

  6. Kevin
    April 7, 2016

    LOL OP I’m sure glad we played today, as always just having fun with my Astro family. Tucker Moon shot!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Becky⚾
    April 7, 2016

    It’s a Tyler White kinda day!! Sooo cool for that kid! Devenski added to the 40 man a great move, it keeps him from falling in the rule 5. I’m with OldPro….this is * WAR*.

    Like

    • Devin_
      April 7, 2016

      Becky, it’s gotta be pretty exciting to take the Yankees deep for your first MLB HR, wouldn’t you agree?

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        April 7, 2016

        You got THAT right! Just think how cool it would have been to have him at 1st base last year instead of Carter!!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. uncleknuckle
    April 7, 2016

    Problem is, Fiers is not fooling anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Kevin
    April 7, 2016

    So what we going to do with King Kong when he is healthy? Great problems to have.

    Like

  10. Becky⚾
    April 7, 2016

    The Astros have offered Wandy a minor league deal, and I hope he takes it. Actually Wandy pitched very well in spring training, and if one of our guys goes down and lands on DL, he could come up to pitch. Just my opinion, so don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me!

    Like

    • Kevin
      April 7, 2016

      I’m In on Wandy. I think the Yankees must be getting our signs Please tell me I’m right.

      Like

  11. Dan P
    April 7, 2016

    So – again for those who aren’t linked in – White is 2 for 2 – a 2 run single and a 2 run homer and is batting .714 on the season. The Astros were up 3-0 then 3-2, then 5-2 and now 5-4 going into the 5th.
    Our starting pitching is not fooling anyone as they said above

    Like

  12. Diane
    April 7, 2016

    Good pitching beats good hitting. Somebody tell me it’s not true. Please. Who have we got on the farm who wasn’t traded away who can throw?

    Like

  13. Becky⚾
    April 7, 2016

    It makes me nervous when you have back to back starting pitchers, who are getting hammered…..especially when Feldman and Fister are up next. Does not give my a warm and fuzzy feeling about the next series in Milwaukee. 😟😟

    Like

  14. Tim
    April 7, 2016

    Ok, I was wrong. We should be very, very worried about Ken Giles. He’s been brutal as an Astro, so far. This will be a crushing loss this early in the year. 5 runs should be enough to win for a team alleging to be a contender.

    Like

  15. Kevin
    April 7, 2016

    UGH 21 runs in 2 games Strom needs a pitchers only meeting fast. No more trades with the Phillie please.

    Like

    • Kevin
      April 7, 2016

      sorry 24 runs

      Like

    • uncleknuckle
      April 7, 2016

      Way too early to jump off the bridge. Top four guys in the lineup were 1 for 16. That won’t happen too often. It was a team loss. My only concern is that Giles does not seem to like his present job.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 7, 2016

        Tyler White is not capable of beating the Yankees by himself, but he sure gave it a good try.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Dan P
        April 7, 2016

        I got home from work in time to see White’s last at bat. There is something wrong with this kid. When he had 2 strikes on him and Miller threw a nice strike on the outside corner – instead of trying to pull it and roll a grounder to SS – he did this weird thing where he kept his hands back and drove a line drive the other way into right field. What kind of example is this .667 hitter setting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Becky⚾
        April 7, 2016

        Tough sh*t……he needs to EARN the job he wants….so far he gets an F.

        Like

  16. Mr. Bill
    April 7, 2016

    At least Gomez got off the snide. No help at all yet from MarGo or the catching position, though. And the pitching has been . . . well, so 2013.

    Like

  17. sandy
    April 7, 2016

    Didn’t really soothe my nerves to hear Ashby talking about ” Just because a team went to the playoffs last season doesn’t guarantee they will repeat this year.”

    Like

  18. Becky⚾
    April 7, 2016

    Our boys need to come home and sleep in their own beds, and eat some mom’s food. At least when they play in Milwaukee the roof is closed, and they won’t freeze their tails off. Man…it has been BEAUTIFUL here in Houston the last week.
    Giles wants to close…..Dude, you have to EARN that job, and so far you are getting an F- in the job you have right now.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. astrosfan57
    April 8, 2016

    So how long before we can start to panic about the way the pitchers are throwing?
    The offense while not a great all around showing have had enough people step up and scored enough runs in all three games that they should have swept the series.

    Like

    • sandy
      April 8, 2016

      One more time through the rotation with no improvement and I’ll be there

      Like

      • MarkW
        April 8, 2016

        Musgrove and Yuhl combined for a two-hit, no walk shutout last night. Those are two guys who may answer the call this season.

        Even so, been saying it all Spring. We need a #2 to complement Keuchel. Its probably going to be LMJ, but this “soreness” is really irregular considering his workout routine. Its just the first series, but if we dont get 3 or 4 quality starts out of a rotation, we dont have a “rotation” yet!

        Like

    • Mr. Bill
      April 8, 2016

      No panic here, AF57, but i do think a dose of reality this time of the year always has the potential to be a good thing. All the pre-season hype about the WS notwithstanding, we still have to go out and win games. And with the departure of Velasquez, the unavailability of McCullers, and the early struggles of McHugh, Fiers, and Fister, everyone should realize that the rotation behind the Beard is nowhere near as good this year as last. This is where our pitching coach earns his money, because right now, with the exception of DK, everything everybody is throwing is either up in the zone and crushable or in the dirt. That is a dangerous situation that gives professional hitters the ability to wait for the former and destroy it.

      Like

  20. sandy
    April 8, 2016

    Last year no one expected anything from this team so they had the surprise factor. This year they’ve been under the magnifying glass, talked about, and scouted. No surprises.

    Like

  21. 1oldpro
    April 8, 2016

    As the Astros and Fresno let Gustave and Hoyt sit on the bullpen bench last night, Jordan Jankowski and Juan Minaya served up three gopher balls between them in the last three innings to turn a 4-2 lead into a 6-4 loss. The final homer was a walkoff by Marc Kraus, who was the guy Minaya was brought in to face. Fresno used five pitchers and each one of them gave up at least one run. Singleton was 0-4 with two Ks as the DH. Danny Worth was pretty much the entire Grizzlies offense.
    Lancaster and QC lost.
    The highlight of the night was the pitching for CC in a 2-0 shutout. Joe Musgrove started and faced 16 batters in five complete innings. He gave up 1 single and got a first pitch strike on every single hitter. Keegan Yuhl then came on in relief and gave up one hit only in an otherwise perfect four innings. He faced the minimum 12 batters. Second baseman Mott Hyde drove in both CC runs hitting in the #9 spot.

    Like

    • Diane
      April 8, 2016

      So, again, are we saying there’s help for the “rotation” from the hinterlands ?

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        April 8, 2016

        If they don’t trade it away.

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 6, 2016 by in Astros.
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