For your discussion: Jeff Luhnow is the Anti-Christ

Reading the recent verbal attack by former Speaker of the House John Boehner on Ted Cruz, calling him “Lucifer in the flesh”, makes one wonder if Citizen Boehner had been reading some of the comments here about Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow for inspiration.

There is a lot of frustration with the Astros GM after a very slow start to the season for “his” team and a series of moves that have been far more negative than positive lately. Cooler heads will say that this town saw the results of an early season knee jerk change across town when the Rockets unloaded Coach Kevin McHale 11 games into the season. That was also 11 games removed from a very strong run to the Western Conference Championship series. The results of that change was a season long slow slog to a last game play-in to the playoffs and an almost defenseless slaughter by the same team they fought bravely last season, a playoff series where they played worse with NBA MVP Steph Curry on the sidelines than when he played.

But enough digression, here, where do you stand on the very polarizing Mr. Luhnow?

  • Are you happy that the team went from the dregs of the earth (2013) to the playoffs in 2015?
  • Are you hacked off that the playoff team from last year seems to be the team that takes plays off this year?
  • Do you praise the brilliance that allowed him to grab Carlos Correa at a discount and used the money to also sign Lance McCullers Jr.?
  • Do you scoff at the idiocy of someone who drafted high school pitcher Brady Aiken instead of Carlos Rodon and Mark Appel instead of Kris Bryant?
  • Do you like the velvet touch that Luhnow’s manager choice A.J. Hinch showed during the 2015 season?
  • Do you hate the ham handed approach that Luhnow’s guy, Hinch, is showing so far in 2016?
  • Do you love how Luhnow took one of the worse minor league systems and turned it into a showcase in a few years?
  • Are you pulling out your hair as the minor league teams seem to be mirroring the struggles of the big club this season?
  • Were you happy when Luhnow promoted Correa, McCullers and Preston Tucker in moments of need in 2015?
  • Were you unhappy when young talent like Vincent Velasquez, Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, Jacob Nottingham and Josh Hader were sent packing?
  • Were you happy when the Astros made the playoffs with one of the lowest payrolls in the majors?
  • Were you hacked off when the Astros held deserving players back (George Springer and Correa) until they could be controlled for another season?
  • Were you joyful when so many minor league pitchers were given chances to start games?
  • Were you unhappy when so few pitchers were allowed to pitch more than 5 innings?

And this could go on ad nauseam…..

Where do you stand on Jeff Luhnow and how hot is his seat? And how hot should it be?

235 comments on “For your discussion: Jeff Luhnow is the Anti-Christ

  1. At the end of yesterday’s win for the Corpus Christi Hooks, the starting lineup had a batting average of .205. The highest BA in that lineup belonged to Chan Moon, who has only 11 ABs and was batting ninth.
    None of the Astros minor league teams has a winning record.
    The Astros minor league teams had a combined 23 hits in four games yesterday.
    Yu Darvish pitched two hitless innings against CC yesterday, which shirley is not that big a deal. Darn near every pitcher pitches hitless innings against them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Without our castoffs, however, where would the Brewers be?

    Carter, Villar, Santana, and Presley have contributed 12 HRs, 38 RBIs, and 39 runs scored to the Brewers’ offense. The lowest BA of the 4 is Santana’s at .259. The lowest OBP among them is Presley at .333. Oh, in fairness I should point out that they also have 81 Ks between them as well.

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    • The answer is: Where would the Brewers be without our castoffs? Right where they are – in last place in the NL Central.

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  3. Last year’s strikeout kings were the Chicago Cubs, as they led all of baseball in Ks.
    But this year the Cubs are 26th in the league in striking out.
    Meanwhile, last year’s #2 team in striking out, the Houston Astros, have moved up to take that #1 spot. Congratulations, Mr Luhnow and Mr Hinch. Your team is tops. What a disappointment that Cubs team is!

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  4. Some things I’ve learned from watching baseball for the last 50+ years is that:
    a) You can’t project full season great performance based off of the first month of the season
    b) You can’t project full season poor performance based off of the first month of the season.

    I’m guessing that Carter will not end up with 68 doubles for the season or that 77% of his hits will be XBH and that he will probably not stay below 30% K rate.

    I’m guessing that Jonathan Villar, who has consistently committed errors every 4 – 4.5 games his whole career to date will not suddenly go 7+ games between errors.

    I’m guessing that Ken Giles will not finish the season with a 9.00 or greater ERA.

    I’m guessing that Jason Castro will at some point break through the Mendoza line.

    I could be wrong. I have been in the past. I think this is a crucial homestand for the team to screw their collective heads on straight. I am hoping they do not take this opportunity to let Dave Hudgens get deeper into the hitter’s heads. Just sayin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well let me take you back to mid-April 1969. The Astros were feeling pretty bad about themselves early as they broke a 7 game losing streak and were sitting there with a 4-12 record. Well they felt even worse after an 8 game losing streak including being no-hit by Jim Maloney of Cincinnati to close out April 4-20.
    Fiery Don Wilson was ticked off because he had given up 7 runs in a 14-0 thwacking by Cincy during the earlier 7 game losing streak.
    Wilson trumped Maloney’s no-no with one of his own the day after and the Astros went on a 20-6 streak in May and ended the season with their first .500 record in their history – 81-81.
    Things can change. Things can turn on a dime.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oldpro, I missed your Jake Arrieta comment from the first page. I saw him two consecutive years in Norfolk. That Jake Arrieta would have fit into our rotation of 88-90mph guys. When Baltimore traded him to Chicago he was not dominating or overpowering anyone. We had plenty of those guys in our system already in 2013.

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  7. “There are a lot of people who know me who can’t understand for the life of them why I would go to work on something as unserious as baseball. If they only knew.“

    “[Baseball] breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart.”

    Don’t know whether people here like or detest Bart Giamatti, but he said those two things. I surely do feel a lot of pain here. It’s kind of typified by Kevin, who keeps asking, “Someone help me here. How did we go from contender to concessionaire (or something like that) in a few months?”

    It’s the big hurt, man. It’s why I didn’t watch the Astros for half the season last year, even while people were telling me to look. “They’re fun to watch,” people kept saying.

    Yes, I know life is fun. Sometimes. But it can turn on something even smaller than a dime. I wish I could help Kevin, cause then I could help the Astros. But if I could help the Astros, then I wouldn’t need to help Kevin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so right. It is so hard for me to watch them. All these years of pulling for a loser, no, not a loser, but a team who actually tried to lose. And now we end up with a team like this, run by a group of executives who use baseball history and baseball knowledge for a spittoon and all they have to say is that they are ready for their team to start playing good.
      It’s like they think that somebody is going to hit a key on a keyboard and these guys are going to start winning. While other teams are thrashing us with 95 MPH fastballs, we watch our 87 mph fastballs get knocked out of the park and our great spin-rate curveballs bounce in the dirt.
      But the future looks bright with all of our minor league teams getting hammered on a regular basis, just like our MLB team.
      But this is May, and we’re undefeated.

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  8. Does anyone besides me find themselves praying that Gattis will strike out when he comes up with a runner on first and less than two outs? He has become Mr. GIDP in addition to providing his usual negative WAR.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mr. Keuchel is just not having a good season, and being home does not seem to be helping him any. He cannot throw strikes. And when he does, there is no movement on them, so they are getting hit. Shave the beard, Dallas; it has just become a distraction.

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  10. When the M’S get 3 runs on us………we will lose this game. Happens every time.
    I don’t get it, I really don’t.

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  11. Crazy how he was relatively cruising and after the groundout was reversed he just crashed and burned – throwing more pitches in the 4th than in the first 3 innings.

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    • Million Dollar question there. Crane needs to step and say its on me I thought we had the right GM . We are going to change directions here an go with intelligent, humble Baseball folks!

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      • Kevin, If that were to happen things could start to turn around.
        We’re fans and we are all miserable. Just imagine how these young players feel. This team is ruining any chance they might have at a career. I bet they all wish to be traded. It shows in the ones that have moved on

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  12. Can’t decide what aspect of the game we stink at most. Pitching is horrible. Baserunning is atrocious. Hitting is pitiful. At least we have clean uniforms.

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  13. Has anyone noticed how quiet Crane has been this season? At least Drayton would give them ‘Play like a champion’ speech.

    It’s very depressing because I have the feeling last year was the lone bright spot for awhile. I’m ready, at the deadline, to start trading off anyone that’s not under team control past 2017. Restock the farm system and stick with them and spend in free agency, but not exorbitantly. We trade off prospects for cheap, team controlled players because that’s the mandate from the corner office.

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    • My fear is this team will put together a really strong second half, miss the playoffs by two games, and fool the “brains” calling the shots that our flaws and putrid start are bad luck as opposed to a real representation of our coaching, approach, and expected results.

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  14. Twitter is all abuzz with projections that Joe Musgrove will soon be on the move. I pray they don’t have him skip Fresno and come straight to Houston – no rookie deserves to be thrown into this absolute disaster.

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  15. Hopefully that was a confidence builder for both Mr. Feliz and Mr. Giles. Now if they can just do something good in a game in which we are not being blown out by a team with a worse record [before tonight] than ours.

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  16. Speechless that a team that supposedly has so much talent can play so poorly…..what kind of mush has management and front office filled their heads with? Or did they fill ours with mush making us think this team had talent? Is it just smoke and mirrors?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The team lost the game in the bottom of the second and the bottom of the third.
    Tucker homered in the second and the bottom of the order set up Altuve with a golden opportunity to hurt the rookie pitcher. No dice.
    In the third inning the rookie was begging to be blown up. First two batters walk and it’s all set up for the cleanup and #5 hitters to break it open. Strikeout, double play.
    The whole team fell apart after that.
    No heart.

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  18. Listening to 790 AM this morning – there was a bit of gallow’s humor going on.
    They were talking about this baseball season like it was a beautiful woman you were anticipating having a relationship with, but you suddenly break up with them. And they said it was like this was the second beautiful woman you did this with, because you just got down with the Rockets the same way. In both cases the 2015 season left great anticipation for 2016 and then the reality of 2016 cut the heart out of you.
    They were talking about how bad it would be to spend a long hot summer with a crappy team. In my mind if this team does not turn it around, this would be worse than 2013, because that was expected, that was the plan. To have high expectations and then get served a crap sandwich of a season is hard to take.

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    • Dan, it is so much worse. In 2013 we had a minor league system full of talent just waiting for the right moment to unleash it. Today we don’t have a anything.
      My head is spinning trying to understand what happened.
      Like OP says, this team has no heart. Buy why?

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      • We have no heart because we told the prospects they were the future. We lied to them. Guys who performed in the minors, like Preston Tucker and Matt Duffy and Tony Kemp fought their way up and then saw their fellow prospects traded off for hasbeens who then were given the jobs the young guys were supposed to get.
        It was even worse for the pitching prospects. They had to share their innings with inferior pitchers in the tandem and then all of the pitching prospects who voiced any objections were traded off, while the team paid millions to over-the-hill starters to take their places.
        The the final straw! Five pitching prospects traded away for one reliever. All the heart got lied to.
        Who in the hell wants to play for this team?

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    • Is the sandwich even that good, Dan ? I kept preaching lower expectations, but even I did not expect this. And this morning a manhole cover got stuck vertically up under my car and I got a letter from the IRS saying they lost my tax return and will I please re-file ? Up above you mentioned fresh H*** and that’s the exact phrase that kept echoing in my head this lovely morning even before I came to Chipalatta. Dorothy Parker nailed it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I wonder how many baseball blogs have a Dorothy Parker reference in them. I wonder how many baseball posters know that Dorothy Parker is not Dave’s mom.
        Nicely done, Diane.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
        A medley of extemporanea;
        And love [for a baseball team?] is a thing that can never go wrong;
        And I am Marie of Romania.

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  19. GM who ever Nolan and Reid chose. Mgr Biggio, coaches 1st base Ensberg, 3base Everett, we need some laughs so Berkman bench coach, Bagwell hitting coach, and PC Roy or Hampton

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    • Kevin, Bagwell is a mess, but I wouldn’t mind having all the other guys around full time, starting with a GM named Ryan. That bunch of guys would at least instill an immediate sense of pride back into the organization.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Awake, Captain, awake! The Cracken has caught us sleeping! I do believe he’s shivered our timberz! The main mast has been broken into splinters. The riggin’ is fluttering in the breeze like milady’s bloomers hung out on a line to dry. I’d darn near certain I just saw the rudder in three pieces, floating by us, a-goin’ hard the other way. The hull is leaking like a sieve and water pouring into the hold. The stern is a bloody mess. The bridge is a disaster area. The helmsman has been washed into the deep. And someone said the rum was gone.

    Captain, what are your orders? Captain? CAPTAIN?

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    • We are making internal corrections that are not obvious to an outsider. That is how Hinch says they are fixing things. In others words: This is the Titanic, and it is unsinkable. We got this!

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      • While we are on the Dorothy Parker theme, here is one of my favorite Dorothy quotes. Remember this, Mr. Hinch: “Brevity is the soul of lingerie”. Take cover, good man.

        Meanwhile, I think it is time for Chip and Becky to lift their voices and sing: “My Heart Will Go On”.

        Liked by 1 person

    • You are waxing poetic today Mr. Bill.

      Oldpro – I don’t know what your problem is – the deck chairs have been rearranged into a perfect configuration per our computer program.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I waxed once, Dan – but I quickly found out there was nothing poetic about it – and I don’t want to talk about it ever again!!!

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      • Ladies and Gents, in light o’ the dire circumstances in which we currently ourselves – by no fault o’ our own, I daresay – I ask ya once agin’ – are ya still of the mind to laugh me plan o’ mutiny down to scorn – or perhaps arrrrrgghhh ya warmin’ up to the notion jus’ a wee bit?

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  21. I had typed up a post this morning, but I deleted it because it sounded too negative! But the reality is that we still have a real problem at catcher, third base and one of the outfield positions. And although I think first base will be ok, it’s still a question mark today.

    We have a suspect bullpen looking more suspect everyday, due to a rotation that can’t give us innings. And the rotation, one of the best in the game last year, gives us five more big question marks. Who has real confidence in any one of those guys right now?

    Our field manager can’t seem to motivate our guys into playing smart baseball. But I think what it comes down to is that too many of our baseball players are not real smart. And our field manager is not real smart either. God bless Marwin, but we already know that he can’t hit right handed pitching. He’s proven it once again YTD with an exclamation point, by hitting .133 against them with a .133 OBP, including 0 walks and 13 K’s. No computer needed!

    And the gloves are now off between me and Luhnow. I’m done tempering my comments about the guy. He has screwed up the future of this club. Has he really developed a great minor league organization? No. He had a bushel full of great picks. He got a couple right. But he’s also missed badly with a first round pick, he’s mismanaged a first round pick and he’s traded away the rest of the best guys ready to make an impact at the major league level today. And in return, we’ve received declining talent ignored or rejected by smart organizations.

    Most of us have been waiting patiently for this club to become a regular contender again. It’s not going to happen now. 2015 was a tease.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No, no ,no! I just came from the Crawfish Boxes and we have the elite pitch framer in all of baseball behind the plate now in Castro. Our catcher position is great! He has provided the Astros almost a half of a win this year in pitch framing alone. With this guy manning the lifeboats, things will soon turn around for this ship.
      Gomez cannot keep this badness up! We must show patience with him because of who he has been in the past. He will turn into a beast for us because of who he was for the Brewers.
      Third base! Just you wait. Valbuena has always shown that he is a 25 HR guy and he will be again, because “the Boxes” knows about positive regression and just because the team was a lousy strikeout, lousy w/RISP team last year, you can ignore that they are the same this year because they just are.
      I hope that clears this mess up.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Do you ever post at TCB? I’m getting taken to the woodshed over there because I asked how long of a leash Luhnow and Hinch have. They claim my comment was ‘goofy’ because I suggested Luhnow should be fired one month into the season, even though I didn’t make that suggestion. You can’t have negative opinions about Luhnow because of 2015. When I pointed out that a 10-game winning streak can more easily be explained than underperforming players and this team is not as good as most think I got lambasted.

        Of course, I haven’t gone away and continue giving my strong opinions whether they are in agreement with the majority at TCB or not.

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  22. Which brings me back to what I’ve been saying for months…..the bright and shiny prospects in the minors see the dollar signs on their backs. The absolutely know the probability of playing for THIS organization is slim. What has me scratching my head is why all of a sudden has White lost his swing. The guy was raking in ST and over the winter in winter ball. Unless Fister becomes Roger Clemens reincarnated the $7 million Luhnow gave him to come here is money flushed down the toilet. Right now in Fresno…..they are hitting with guys on base, they are pitching good games, James Hoyt is closing down games. I shot off a red *HOT* email to Hildreth last night, I’ll let you know if he responds.
    1. A new hitting coach?
    2. A new third base coach?
    3. A new (different GM)?
    4. A team Mom to grab them by the ear, and tell them to shape up, or go home.
    No…….I’m not volunteering for the ear pinching team Mom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I vote we tell the guys “If you hit and pitch and field really well – AJ will be dealing with you. But if you screw up, this blue haired lady with the ninja death grip will be attached to your ear.” I think that will motivate them in a hurry.

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    • I think Mr. Bill nominated me to provide the “kick in the pants”. If I ever run into Mr. Smarter Than Everybody, I might need a GoFundMe account for bail. Just kidding. Gotta keep a sense of humor to keep from crying.

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  23. Well it’s pretty obvious that are team is huge mess starting with MR CY young and working its way down the roster. However, TY you all for making me laugh a lot, if nothing else, we have a ton of intellidence and quick wit at Chipallata

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  24. This season reminds me a bit too much of 2000.

    Last night was depressing. The team has to figure out how to grind out wins. Everyone is looking for the glory. Marwin and Gattis were trying to tie the game (4 run defecit) with no one on base. Earlier, Springer was trying to pull the away stuff with two outs and Altuve on 2B. Instead of poking a single to RF to cut the defecit he pulls off two swings and finally hits one off the end of the bat harmessly to the LF to the CF side of the Crawford boxes. Correa, White, and Tucker all had similar at bats late in the game. Rasmus swung at a curve that may have bounced in front of the plate…but I’m willing to give him benefit of the doubt as it wasn’t a ridiculous swing.

    Fix the approach! Stop trying to be the hero and do your job!

    I have no concerns with the pitching from last night, which may surprise you all.

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    • Really Devin, Keuchel doesn’t concern you? Every aspect of this team concerns me.
      I think Becky has a point in the moral of the team. But you’d think they would play their best so they could get traded to a club with better management. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe they are trying to hard because they want to be traded.

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      • Yep. A couple poor outings where he struggled with control doesn’t negate how good he was last year. He may not reach the same level, but I still think he bounces back to All Star form.

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      • Oh boy, Astro fans, Carlos Gomez is returning to the line-up.

        Why are you yawning? Don’t you realize yet what an impact player Carlos Gomez is?

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  25. What he [Hinch] said after last night’s [the latest] embarrassment:

    We’ve been punched in the mouth the first five weeks. No one is going to feel sorry for us. This is a team that’s tough enough to be resilient and get through this lull. We’ve had tough stretches had a group. This is the big leagues. This is a tough league, and we’re going to have to counterpunch to get better.”

    What he meant:

    The GM of this franchise stole all the towels from the dugout and clubhouse, or I would have thrown the whole linen closet in after we got swept by the Rangers. Meanwhile, if you need me I will either be playing catch with Evan Gattis or babysitting Carlos Gomez. Those guys are the future of this franchise, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Somebody tell me why the Astros are going to watch Tim Lincecum tomorrow ???
    He only wants to start…..but haven’t we already rummaged through the garbage bin in search of fools who have no business pitching for ANY club?
    Once again….I don’t get “it”.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. It was the best of times – it was the worst of times…. I was just reading that McCullers is closer to rejoining the Astros followed by reading that Gomez is close to playing again…..

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  28. I’m having the first colonoscopy since my chemo tomorrow at 7:00am. You KNOW what I’m doing today……..UGH. Think good thoughts that the biopsy my doc gets tomorrow will show me cancer free. Man….if they could just figure out a better way to do a colonoscopy without drinking this crap! Ha! Ha! I made a funny!! Becky⚾

    Liked by 2 people

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