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What comes next for the Houston Astros?


The bad news is the Astros still have to play the Texas Rangers nine more times this season. The good news is they don’t play them next until almost two months from now. Will the team tail spin after a hurtful 1-3 series against the Rangers where they had a shot in every game? Are they like the alligator armed alligator in the Geico commercials, not quite able to grab winnable games that should be in reach? Or will they do like they did after the Rangers swept them a few weeks ago and go on another 11-2 run to above .500?

Fans are hopeful that the Astros will return to their winning ways now that the Rangers are behind them for the time being. There were a lot of positives during that 11-2 run, but how much of that can be sustained?

  • George Springer has already cooled down a bit from his initial hot start in the lead-off spot.
  • As many have pointed out, the Astros have not much to fall back on when the Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa triumvirate are having an off day.
  • Evan Gattis has also cooled off from the HR run he was on after coming back from the minors as the back-up catcher. The flu seems to have slowed down a little hot run Jason Castro had going. Colby Rasmus, Tyler White, Luis Valbuena and Jake Marisnick have not brought much to the table lately. Is the spark going to come from one of them turning things around? Or from some source in the minors?
  • Only Doug Fister (of all starters) has given consistent outings from the starting rotation lately. Dallas Keuchel has shown flashes of 2015 mixed in with flashes of 2013. Collin McHugh and Mike Fiers seem to vacillate from giving up runs early in the game to giving up leads later in the game. Lance McCullers is just now rounding into shape and has pitched decently, but not deeply into games.
  • The bullpen has been over-worked and it has been the ability of Michael Feliz, Chris Devenski and Scott Feldman to go multiple innings that has kept the overall ‘pen from crashing and burning from over-use. The bullpen has also been the key to the Astros winning five straight extra inning games as they have stubbornly held onto leads (sometime leads one of their members gave up in regulation).
  • Is the very impressive Will Harris now the closer after two straight saves? Can the team get the lead to him if he is?

So where do you think the Astros are headed now? Will they get back up off the mat or go down for the count?

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

186 comments on “What comes next for the Houston Astros?

  1. Zanuda
    June 14, 2016

    Here’s one for Becky. I tuned in to the Brewers/Mets game the other day and they were talking about how J Villar is becoming one of the best defensive/offensive shortstops in the game today. These were Met announcers.

    Just wondering if Villar tanked plays so he could be traded since he was never going to get to play SS for the Astros. It just makes you wonder if it was him, management, or a combination of both.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      June 14, 2016

      I think Villar’s liabilities had him overwound as an Astro. I think he was scared to death to make a mistake.
      The fresh start somewhere else was what he needed. I thought he had talent as did several others here. I’m not surprised he is a better player. We have our SS, the Brewers have theirs.

      Like

    • Becky⚾
      June 14, 2016

      Villar needed to get traded, like OP said, he may have been so scared NOT to make a mistake, that he made an error nearly every game. He’s happy….we’re happy!!

      Like

    • daveb7
      June 14, 2016

      I can’t say I’m happy about Villar. Zanuda, no way the kid was tanking. It was pretty obvious there was potential when we’d see him make plays that few guys ever make. Too tightly wound? Maybe that’s it. If he was so afraid to make a mistake, his working conditions must not have been ideal. But damn, what if this organization could have done for him what has happened in Milwaukee? He’d have made a heck of a third baseman or leftfielder for us potentially. I want our club to get the most out of guys. We fail too often in that regard.

      Like

      • sandy
        June 14, 2016

        We fail MOST of the time. Someone or something ruins good players when they get here.
        I can’t get excited about the draft or even the kids we already have in our minors. When they bring them up they destroy everything good about them.

        Like

    • sargeh
      June 14, 2016

      Reading where Medlen and Fister have been interviewed and commented about how the Astros tried to get them to change their mechanics, I fully place the blame upon the club!

      Like

  2. 1oldpro
    June 14, 2016

    I was linked to this by Astros County, so, a shout out to them. I thought I would share this with my friends. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/astros/article/Coaches-applaud-work-ethic-of-Astros-top-draft-8113053.php?t=89199511e9&cmpid=twitter-premium

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      June 14, 2016

      *AWESOME*!!

      Like

  3. 1oldpro
    June 14, 2016

    Before Dan moves on, I want to reiterate that the changes I suggested earlier in this blog are suggestions based on the Astros being out of the race by July 1st and are meant to be done as a fashion of order. I don’t mean to suggest that the organization just throw players away. I mean for the team to systematically and orderly start to trade guys who who will be free agents next year for something of value, bring up players who are next in line to be here and leave players like Reed, Bregman and Moran in the minors until September.
    Once 2016 is decided, 2017 becomes the priority, and we need to get our top prospects as ready as possible to be on the major league club next year and get 1 or 2 players from outside the organization to fill in where needed because there will be a lot of money available to the Astros over the winter for payroll.
    I suggested changes in the front office after the season is finished, not just firing people as a reaction to losing.
    If Crane is happy with the performance of the club after five years, there is nothing we can do but live with his decision or find something else to do instead of continually spend money and time on a team that refuses to try to improve itself by eliminating things they are doing now that are leading to losses despite not one major injury all year.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. TNT
    June 14, 2016

    I have read the suggestions about trades and other moves to try and improve the team. I agree that something should be done be done.
    That said, I am not quite sure why other teams would really want low average hitters (anyone not named Altuve, Springer, Correa). I would not think that the pitchers suggested as trade bait, would have a lot of value either.
    If the team continues on its present path, most of these players value will be at career lows. Maybe just by not resigning them, the team is improved a bit, but I would hate to go back to the days of the not too recent past and start over yet again.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      June 14, 2016

      You can trade them because you are sellers and other teams are buyers and because there is no contactual obligation beyond this year for these players by the teams acquiring them.
      A team in the pennant race has one of their starting outfielders go down, or needs another proven OF for the stretch. The Astros are asking for a young, decently high prospect that team can afford to give up for the player they desire for the stretch run. Kinda like we did for Kazmir last year.

      Like

    • Tim
      June 14, 2016

      Valbuena will definitely have value at the deadline. He is hitting around .240, has a decent OBP and plays great defense. In addition, several contenders are in need of 3B help.

      Like

  5. Tim
    June 14, 2016

    According to Jake Kaplan the Astros are bringing up Danny Worth. No news on DFA candidate or who’s being sent down, but I’m guessing Tyler White is sent to Fresno.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      June 14, 2016

      Interesting. Is Correa hurt worse than we thought?

      Like

      • Tim
        June 14, 2016

        I’m speculating, but I believe he’ll play 3B and VB moves to 1B.

        Like

      • Tim
        June 14, 2016

        However, if Correa has to go on the DL then no one needs to be sent down, but someone will have to be DFA’d to make room on the 40-man roster.

        Like

      • Becky⚾
        June 14, 2016

        No…..I don’t think so. He’ll be fine.

        Like

  6. Kevin
    June 14, 2016

    Found this interesting

    Alex Bregman, 3B, Houston Astros (Double-A Corpus Christi): The Houston Astros might be the most disappointing team in baseball. And while the next Carlos Correa probably isn’t waiting in the wings—check back in another decade or so—it’s possible that Alex Bregman can give them a much-needed spark before their season goes completely down the drain.

    Correa did make a quick stop in Triple-A before he was called up to the majors last season, but the fading Astros might not be able to wait much longer on the 22-year-old Bregman if they think he can help them out.

    The 2nd overall pick in the 2015 draft, Bregman has been a man among boys in Double-A with a 1.007 OPS to go along with 13 homers and more walks (27) than strikeouts (20), which is a good sign that he can handle himself against big league pitching. He’s only played seven games at third base, although a move from shortstop shouldn’t be a difficult transition.

    Like

  7. Dan P
    June 14, 2016

    Lots of interesting things passed along today from y’all.
    – Villar – I don’t think he was tanking. If you look at his fielding throughout the minors and into the majors – he was making errors at the same pace (1 error every 3.5 -4 games if I remember right) the whole time. The eyeball test told you that a lot of these were dumb unforced errors – easy plays where he just did not concentrate or impossible plays where he should have stuck the ball in his back pocket. His offensive side was a good bat with dumb running attached. In both cases, some maturity or coaching could improve the kid and it looks like it has.
    – Loved the article on our first round draft choice. I think he has what Villar lacked for years – maturity.
    – Danny Worth – even if he is crummy – has earned a shot up here. Tore it up in ST. Tore it up at AAA. I know he is 30, but I saw the movie the Rookie. I believe in the old underdog.
    – I’m wondering when Bregman gets promoted to AAA or to mlb. I know they want to keep that dollar clock from starting, and I’m sick of this way of thinking. (Note – I don’t have $10 million to throw in the pot to make my opinion worth considering).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim
      June 14, 2016

      On Bregman, and this is pure speculation on my part, but believe he gets promoted shortly after the Hooks clinch the 1st half title. I’m guessing he’ll go to Fresno and, if he performs well and the Astros get back in the playoffs picture, will be promoted to Houston later this year.

      Like

    • Zanuda
      June 14, 2016

      No, I was not implying that Villar was tanking it, but there was obviously a reason that his performance was not up to par. It is also pretty apparent that he’s bulked up and is a much stronger guy than he was with us. I agree that the talent was there but there was a “head” issue.
      We’ve all touched on the issue that something is just not right with the coaching staff we have because of all the aforementioned issues.

      Like

  8. Kevin
    June 14, 2016

    I have high hopes for Bregman , What I found interesting was the writers statement “the Astros might be the most disappointing team in baseball”.

    Like

  9. 1oldpro
    June 14, 2016

    I don’t mind calling up a player who has hit all year long and sending down a player who hasn’t hit anything in two months, especially if multiple teams have started calling about Worth’s availability.

    Like

    • Devin
      June 14, 2016

      Hmm, calling him up is almost entirely guaranteed to diminish his trade value! Wait, I forgot about Kike Hernandez…

      Like

      • Kevin
        June 14, 2016

        Devin good point. If he gets called up with Hinch and his coaches, he will soon be a .210 hitter with a high K Rate.

        Like

  10. MarkW
    June 14, 2016

    I glanced up to see Villar kick a routine grounder yesterday (I believe) – he reminded me of a too-loose Eric Bruntlett here, good clubhouse guy although I didnt watch much of the Stros those days.

    Just ck’ing back in for insight tonight, as Im thinking Garcia is susceptible to shelling in June? Might be a good spot for another Fister QS.. The Worth thing sheez finally! I just wish he were like K Bryant who is interchangeable on the field. Excited to see an injection of better hitting, and I think we lose sight of how when our offense gets anemic, it changes direction of the ship so drastically. There’s probably been a lot written here about the Astro lame lineup (BA), poor clutch hitting, esp. vs last year. Whether its lack of development, having a pick-me-up player every night, expert moves by a skipper, star players being who we thought they were, orrr, guys who are waiting in the wings!

    It takes all kinds throughout a season, and I dont count us out quite yet. I still have hope we’ll trim the fat (in orderly fashion), and right quick. Problem with this is: who are the future Hader, Nottingham, Valesquez, Zobrist, JD Martinez’, Folty, Straily’s? Is it Kemp, Fisher, Davis, or a few catchers? Anybody blocked by our core. ‘Who is the core?’ is now becoming relevant again.

    On Bregman, bring the kid up already! Get busy with Reed in the fold.. at a certain point “orderly” keeps them all-too-comfortable? Contracts and players unions help serve up the Gomez-type (Feldman, Valbuena) deals. Are we going to become the organization that players just pass through? Was is smarter still in retrospect to limit DK’s long term contract, or did it just upset him?

    I think these guys all have proper incentive every game to give their all. If not for their teammates, family, coaches, city, pride, then for their bank account. Talk of purposely playing poorly here is less plausible than voodoo, which in my mind has some merit Lol!

    Like

  11. Becky⚾
    June 14, 2016

    Gregersen was put on family emergency leave this morning. No idea what is wrong.
    Wasn’t he out a couple of times last year due to family crisis? I hope its not serious .
    They DFA’D Manyia this morning, he had just come off the DL yesterday, pitched a clean 8th inning in last night’s game.

    Like

  12. daveb7
    June 14, 2016

    If Worth comes up and gives us .210, I won’t blame that one on coaching. That’s pretty much the guys historical major league ceiling when he’s gotten a shot in the past, but Dan, it would be a nice story if he comes up, keeps hitting and ignites something in our underachieving baseball club.

    Like

    • Mr. Bill
      June 14, 2016

      He’s going to get a chance in the 2-hole, at 3B, tonight vs. the Cards.

      Like

    • Becky⚾
      June 14, 2016

      Daveb…let’s keep our fingers crossed for that to happen! If I was Hinch, I’d tell my pitcher to stand in the box with the bat on his shoulder.

      Like

  13. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    June 14, 2016

    The Cards pitcher has a higher BA than all but 3 of our position players…..chew on that if you want.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      June 14, 2016

      *UGH*!!

      Like

    • Mr. Bill
      June 14, 2016

      Springer – .271/.358/.835, 14 HR, 37 RBI
      Worth – [at Fresno: .340/.449/.998, 8 HR, 36 RBI]
      Altuve – .344/.419/.970, 10 HR, 38 RBI
      Correa – .256/.351/.744, 8 HR, 32 RBI
      Gattis – .216/.283/.703,9 HR, 24 RBI
      Rasmus – .222/.314/.692, 8 HR, 35 RBI
      Gomez – .181/.249/.545, 3 HR, 9 RBI
      MarGo – .247/.289/.665, 4 HR, 13 RBI

      Like

  14. 1oldpro
    June 14, 2016

    Pitcher Juan Minaya DFAd to make room on the 40-man and Gregerson put on family emergency medical leave to make room on 25-man for Danny Worth. This makes sense because with a day off yesterday and a day off Thursday, the Astros are fine with one less pitcher.

    Like

  15. Tim
    June 14, 2016

    The lineup is Springer, Worth, Altuve, Correa, Gattis, Rasmus, Gomez, MarGo and Fister.

    Like

  16. Nance (@Bbfanlady)
    June 14, 2016

    And makes perfect sense that we would DFA Minaya. He throws too hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky⚾
      June 14, 2016

      I’m still scratching my head over this. Evidently his numbers in Corpus weren’t that great, and since they brought him up to Fresno he’s been ingured. I am in the camp with the “you can never have too many pitchers”.

      Like

      • Dan P
        June 14, 2016

        I think the front office is in the camp of – “you can’t cut or trade away for minimal returns” too many pitchers.

        Like

  17. 1oldpro
    June 14, 2016

    All of Minaya’s stats have taken a big tumble this year. Every one of them.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      June 14, 2016

      Not all of his stats…ERA has risen rather than tumbled….

      Liked by 2 people

  18. Billy Castillo
    June 14, 2016

    Anybody check out Robbie Grossman’s stats so far this year?!
    325/.464/.623 with 5 HRs in 77 ABs…

    Like

    • sandy
      June 14, 2016

      Hush Billy, you don’t want to make me cry.

      Like

      • Billy Castillo
        June 14, 2016

        On a brighter note…Brett Wallace is back to being Brett Wallace…

        Like

  19. Dan P
    June 14, 2016

    Worth goes the other way and is hitting 1.000.
    What a concept!

    Like

    • sandy
      June 14, 2016

      Gaige the Astros time Dan, they’ll straighten him out.

      Like

  20. sandy
    June 14, 2016

    Give, sigh

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dan P
    June 14, 2016

    I’m guessing our batting coach does not spend time with the pitchers, which is why Fister just lined a huge 2 run single up the middle to give himself a 5-2 lead in the 7th.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Dan P
    June 14, 2016

    On the other hand, he must have spent time with Danny Worth (as Sandy suggests) in turning his 1 for 1 into a 1 for 4. Is Dave Hudgens the “Cooler”?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Becky⚾
    June 14, 2016

    It’s ALWAYS good to get a win against the Cards!! Fond memories playing them in the NL!! Gomez and Rasmus had a nice game tonight…..go celebrate fells!

    Like

    • Dan P
      June 14, 2016

      Gomez wearing the glasses tonight had 2 hits and 3 runs scored……hmmmm

      Liked by 1 person

      • Becky⚾
        June 14, 2016

        Are. You. *Kidding* Me.!! He wore glasses? JEEZE…..look how much better he could have been, if he had worn his glasses!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Devin
        June 14, 2016

        Are we being silly or do we know whether he wears contacts normally?

        Like

      • Becky⚾
        June 14, 2016

        Devin….I have no idea if he wears contacts, but when he went down to Corpus he started wearing glasses…..AND he was hitting the ball! I hope he wears his glasses every single game from now on!!

        Like

    • sandy
      June 14, 2016

      Yes Becky, lots of good memories from the NL central. Seems like more than just 4 years.

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        June 14, 2016

        We played them hard every game, and we respected each other. We secretly wanted uncle Albert on OUR team. I love the guy he is a really good man, who just happens to be a great baseball player!! We don’t have that same feeling towards the club in arlington, and it will never happen. I despise that club, always have and that’s not gonna change. My feelings only.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        June 15, 2016

        My feelings too.

        Like

  24. 1oldpro
    June 15, 2016

    Danny /Worth is hitting .250. I’d be happy if he hit .250 for the rest of the year.
    That last curve from the lefty to strike out Rasmus was filthy.
    What if Fister doesn’t get that hit?
    What if Hinch had pinch hit for Fister?
    What if we hadn’t gotten Fister?
    Three big RH bats go 0 for 12 tonight for Houston against a lefty.
    Cardinals looked ready to call it a night in the bottom of the ninth.
    8 Hooks players on the Texas League AS Team, including three starters, Bregman, Teoscar and Derek Fisher.
    Gustave was awesome in two innings of relief tonight for Fresno in a 6-3 win over Sacramento.
    CC Hooks magic # is 3 for the automatic playoff spot.
    DSL Orange finally lost their first game of the year in a one run loss. They are 9-1.
    Kent Emanuel looked better tonight in his start for CC.
    Do the Astros have an eye doctor? Where has he been the last year?

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Mr. Bill
    June 15, 2016

    Congrats to Fister, Rasmus, Gomez, Sipp, Giles, and Harris on a great game last night.

    Danny Worth – welcome to the Astros!

    MarGo – Sigh! What on earth were you thinking?

    Colin McHugh – Your turn, Coach!

    Like

  26. Mr. Bill
    June 15, 2016

    After going 4-6 and walking it off for Corpus with a double in the 12th, Teoscar Hernandez is now slashing .306/.380/.807. Bring it, Teoscar!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Mr. Bill
    June 15, 2016

    Congratulations to the boys at Fresno for finding a way to score 6 runs and win despite losing their best hitter to the Astros. Man, those Fresno BAs are atrocious.

    Like

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