Help needed: Questions — and no answers — for Astros
Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Spending the day in my childhood home with my parents. My dad is 87, my mom 81 and they are celebrating their 62nd anniversary this Mother’s Day! Double celebration!
While sitting around with them, I had a few questions and realized I’m not sure I have the answers. Will you help?
Why do players come to Houston and either don’t perform or underperform? There is a slew of examples, but here are a few current cases in point.
- Carlos Gomez. He was an All Star in 2013-14 and was hitting .262/.328/.423 when he came to Houston last year. He was the three-hole hitter in Milwaukee. Boom, not in Houston.
- Ken Giles. Someone please help me with this one. Houston gave up a haul perhaps second only to the Herschel Walker deal a few decades ago. Geez, this guy still has an opportunity to turn things around and make the deal look good for Houston, but what happened from last year to this?
- Evan Gattis slashed .253/.304/.487 in two Atlanta seasons and only .241/.282/.448 in nearly the same number of at bats. Of course he changed leagues, essentially moved to a new position (DH), but should that make that significant of a difference.
Of course, for every Gomez, Giles and Gattis, there’s a Collin McHugh or Will Harris or even Colby Rasmus, but what has caused so many players to arrive in an Astros’ uniform and either bomb or fail miserably?
Are the Astros really just one big starter away from righting the ship?
- Good question. If that’s the case, Lance McCuller Jr.’s soon return should go a long way to making things “right”. But Houston still needs two solid corners, a dependable bullpen and a bit more. The Astros apparently are still in the market for a hard-throwing pitcher, either for the bullpen or the rotation. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes. But who’s waiting in the wings for the lineup? Rah-roh George! They haven’t been able to shore it up through other acquisitions, so Gattis is off to Corpus to get his catching feet back underneath him.
- Will McCullers turn around the rotation?
- Do the Astros need to consider a trade for the bullpen or rotation?
- Will Castro be on the block when Gattis is ready?
- Is there a solution in the organization for either infield corner?
What’s the over/under panic date?
- Houston doesn’t have the worst record in baseball and, in fact, two teams have worse records in the American League. Too early for panic, but not too early for exploring tweaks and remedies. If Gattis is learning to catch again, is Jason Castro expendable? Which outfielder becomes trade bait, and when? When does Alex Bregman move to third at Corpus Christi before jumping to Houston? When does Joe Musgrove have enough grooming and follow other AA pitchers making the jump?
- Over/under date for panic?
- Who can help and when?
- When should/does the team throw in the towel for 2016?