So, just how goofy are Astros’ fans?


OK this goes well beyond the base question of living and dying with a team that in its 55th season of existence has still not won a championship. Fan is short for fanatic and the folks who write, read and comment on this blog are just a little …..off. (In a good way….but don’t ask our spouses about that).

This goes more to a comment that Mr. Bill made in the last post.

“If you ‘buy’ Jose [Altuve] now, you buy through at his highest value. He’s hitting .47 points above his career average and his OBP is .80 over his career average. I love Jose, but even I don’t think he can keep up this crazy pace. Let’s talk in the off-season.”

This encompasses most who hang around this blog (including the writer of these words). There is too much tunnel vision, too much impatience, too much focus on smaller samples of statistics and a refusal to remember that six weeks of bad baseball by a player or a team can be offset by the same amount of good baseball and vice versa.

Fans always want to trade Luis Valbuena or Carlos Gomez or Jason Castro or (fill in the blank) at the depths of a slump at the nadir of value. Fans want to sign the guy on a hot streak to the long term contract at the height of his worth. Folks have been used to a NOW culture where knee and jerk are tied together in immediate actions and hopefully immediate results.  But sometimes this causes us to miss the wonderful comeback that might be around the corner. If a person quit on the 2005 Astros the day the Tombstone appeared on the front page of the Houston Chronicle (spit!!) sports section, they would have missed one of the great turn-arounds of all time.

Is Houston Astros fandom lucky that neither Jeff Luhnow nor A.J. Hinch were thrown to the dogs 5 weeks ago?

Were the fans fortunate that Valbuena and Gomez were not traded or released by now?

Or were we just our goofy normal selves? Ready to pull the trigger even when the gun is in someone else’s gun safe locked away…..

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181 comments on “So, just how goofy are Astros’ fans?

    • Shirley had a good outing for Fresno last night, but unless I listen to the games, which I don’t, there is nowhere for a stat novice like me to find out what our minor league pitchers actually are throwing. How’s his fastball? He had a good one before last year’s surgery, but I can’t read what he’s doing now.
      Is he lefty reliever material? We really don’t value Lefty relievers much because we shipped Mengden, and Hader off and let Rollins go. Then we draft a guy like Freeman whose whiffleball worked in college, but not in AA. Chapman is a left handed Josh fields, in that he’s on today but kills you tomorrow.

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      • I’m in the same boat, OP1. I don’t think he is really a power pitcher/closer type. But what I do see in his stats since coming back is a 0.92 WHIP, a .206 BAA, and a low BB/9 [5 and 22 Ks in 29 innings, to go with a 2.76 ERA. I don’t see him breaking into a rotation that has McCullers, Feliz, Musgrove, Devenski, and Yuhl, Sneed, Frias, or Rodgers in it, though, so I’m figuring his future is in relief.

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  1. McHugh sails through the batting order the first go round but walks Shuck on four pitchers and that explodes in his face when the lineup flips and his 89 mph fastball doesn’t fool them the second go round.

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    • The ChiSox are making him throw a lot of pitches, and he’s missing the strike zone way too much. At over 70 pitches and not sharp – despite all the 3-2 strikeouts. Feldman or Devenski?

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  2. Situational hitting is gonna kill this team…….and McHugh walking guys all over the place. It’s still only 2-1 but at this rate it won’t be for long. Heard Luhnow say they are thinking of stretching out Feliz in August, but if he doesn’t get into the rotation this year, he will be next year. That’s the good news!
    OP…..I was really pi$$ed off about trading( the next Chris Sale) Josh Hader, but I remember you saying he WANTED to get traded. Sure could use him in our system now, and from what I see how he’s doing with the Brewers, he’s gonna be one special pitcher. That one stung a LOT.

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  3. Question in previous comment on who starts a one game WC? I give the ball to Devenski with Feliz ready to follow. This lets you set your rotation for the next series AND let’s the two guys throwing the best (right now) fight to get you into the ALDS.

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  4. I’m sick of so many easy outs today by our hitters. Too many flyballs that are not carrying and not enough line drives – need better ABs.

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    • It’s peaks and valleys with this offense. The series loss feels like last August/Sept though where we questioned every move by Hinch.

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  5. Brad Peacock does his best to kill Fresno’s momentum as he gives up nine hits, one walk and seven runs in the first two innings in Salt Lake City. He’s 28 years old now with a 5.23 era in AAA. Hard to believe he’s still on the 40-man.
    Bregman does his best to get Fresno back in it with a 3-run bomb in the fifth. Who knows? Maybe they can get back in it with Peacock out of the game.

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      • It’s tough, but going into this series I would have been happy not to lose ground on the Rangers considering they were playing the Twins and we were playing the White Sox facing both Sale and Quintana. Of course, I was expecting both teams to win 2 of 3 and, alas, we missed a golden opportunity to gain a game on the Rangers.

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  6. Soooo…..how long do you guys think Luhnow will continue to stick with Reed?
    How long do ya think it will take before Bregman force’s Luhnow’s hand and they bring him up?

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    • Becky, if they are a half dozen games over .500 at the break, I think Luhnow sticks with his team. If not, I can’t guess what he’ll do. I still think he wants a LH reliever and a starting pitcher.

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      • That scares the heck out of me OP. You think he trades Bregman or Holt for a band aid to hobble to the playoffs? Please, someone tell me that’s not gonna happen.

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  7. I was surprised when Bill Brown casually commented that the Astros had signed a dozen free agents yesterday and that the Astros weren’t nearly finished.
    I am really tired of Alan Ashby in the booth. It’s like listening to the same Minute Maid commercial for the five thousandth time.
    I know LMJ hasn’t pitched much, but if I had to pick one of our pitchers to start a wild card game right now I would hand him the ball and ask him to give me five innings of his best stuff and then use my six best relievers on a reliever-laden one- game roster to finish the game if I had to.
    The White Sox got two great pitching performances this weekend and deserved to win. It’s so important to throw big time fastballs when they are needed and we just don’t have enough of that stuff. Our guys just wilted at the plate facing big fastballs the last two days.

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  8. Our guys just came off of a great stretch. I’m hoping they win more than they lose until the break. But we still have a roster that’s got some holes in it. We don’t have enough bats. Between Gregerson and Giles and even Harris, every save seems to be an adventure. We’ve talked about Sipp enough already. And the question of who would start a one game wild card game is a good one. There is no unanimous choice.

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  9. wow finally. ive been trying to comment for a few days with no luck.

    dan this post is excellent. close to my own thoughts on it, but much more professionally put. thank you.

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    • Thanks rj – sorry you’ve been struggling to post. This is just the way I feel when I step back and look at the fans including myself.

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  10. We gotta a lot of games before we start talking about who the starter will be.
    I’m just concerned about the next three games….’cause they aren’t gonna be a walk in the park.

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  11. Don’t know if Luhnow is trying to work a deal with the Blue Jays, but the Jays are scouting Martes and seem to be pretty interested. I’d sure hate to lose another promising pitcher like him.

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  12. Interesting that the Astros hit a home run in the first inning of the last two games and lost both of them.
    Altuve is 10 for 15 lifetime against Miley.
    Seattle throws Wade LeBlanc against Houston on Wednesday. Any lefty will do.
    Why is it that Springer and Correa don’t excel against lefties?
    Does anyone know of any reason whatsoever that Devenski would have hit Abreu on purpose? The guy had 1 RBI the whole series. That is the weird thing about the whole situation. Why did Abreu or the White Sox think a rookie would intentionally throw at somebody so late in a close game? Maybe because Devenski doesn’t like the White Sox?

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    • The Sox fans were totally convinced that the hit was intentional. Can’t, for the life of me, come up with a reason. It’s not like they were embarrassing us. The game was still winnable.
      I remember Obie getting tossed last year for throwing ” close ” to A-Rod. Hinch had a legitimate complaint yesterday. The umpire was wrong.

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  13. The Astros haven’t won a game on the 4th of July since 2006…….let’s change that today and get McCullers a win!! Happy Independence Day everyone! Stay safe and watch the oppressive heat. I’ll be spending the evening holding my dog, he is sooo afraid of the noise of fire works!! Becky⚾

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  14. We could sure use a win today. And we could sure stand to see Lance McCullers, Jr. project his future upper echelon ace persona for at least seven or eight innings.

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    • Well you got 7 innings / 1 run out of LMJ (assuming he does not come out for the 8th). He did a great job getting out of that bases loaded and nobody out jam.

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  15. Oh how losing the White Sox series hurt. We now are back to a tie [with Seattle] for fifth place in the AL wild card race. Fortunately the folks above us in the standings face tough series’ as well. Boston has to play the Rangers. Detroit has to go to Cleveland to face the Indians. Toronto and Kansas City have to play each other. Nobody is saying the Mariners series will be easy. But what I am saying is that it looks pretty essential.

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  16. CLAP! CLAP!CLAP!!!! McCullers did an *AWESOME* job today!! 7 innings, 1 walk
    10 strike outs!! That young man will be our ace for a looong time!! Cross your fingers and toes that we can hang on to win his game! Top of the 9th Harris is on for the save!

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  17. I am so glad that a really smart person did not decide it was a good time to give George Springer a much needed day off.
    “A much needed day off” is a baseball phrase I cannot stand.

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    • Yes, I love the fact that Valbuena and Rasmus are both hitting way above their lifetime averages. But neither they, nor Gomez, nor Gattis, nor anyone else on our team that hits below Correa makes it ever ‘safe’ to give Springer, Altuve, or Correa a day off. When will we get a consistent hitter to follow Correa? We hoped it would be Carter – it wasn’t. We hoped it would be Gattis or Gomez – it wasn’t. We hoped it would be PTuck, Matt Duffy, or Tyler White – it hasn’t happened [yet]. Now we hope it will be A.J. Reed – but it doesn’t look like it will happen any time soon.

      Sorry George, Jose’ and Carlos – your next day off will be July 11, 13, 14, and 21. And you had better enjoy those, because after that, it looks like the last one you’ll see until August 15.

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      • The larger concern for me is that we can’t expect Altuve to keep hitting .350 and I expect both Valbuena and Rasmus to correct down a bit at some point. Who picks up the slack?

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      • Dave, if that happens, we better hope our pitching becomes untouchable. Not counting Marisnick – who . . . well … frankly doesn’t count – the only two position players we have that are presently hitting below their career averages are Gomez [who despite a limited resurgence does not look to ever get close to historic numbers for us] and Gattis [who had a hot streak when he came back from Corpus, then reverted to the Gattis with which we are intimately familiar]. Castro’s BA is down a little, but his OBP is way up. Our best offensive hope appears to be that Correa and Springer catch fire and finish the year close to .300, and that Altuve does not drop below .330.

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  18. I see Akeem Bostick is slated to pitch for Lancaster tonight vs. the Visalia Rawhide. Here is hoping that Akeem gets his mojo back in the high desert.

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  19. Bregman hit another 2 run homerun tonight……8th inning Valdez went 7 innings
    O walks, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 5 strikeouts. Fresno up 2-1.

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  20. Not to worry about that tight score. Mr. Bregman hits another home run in the eighth and Mr. Hernandez triples in another. Mr. Hoyt is on in the ninth to try and save the game for Mr. Valdez.
    Mr. Hoyt makes quick work with 2 strikeouts and Fresno wins 4-1.
    Alex and Teoscar seem to like AAA.

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  21. Fantastic pitching performance for Elieser Hernandez of Quad Cities. Eight innings, one hit allowed, one walk and 10 strikeouts. QC wins 9-1. His Game Score was 94. That’s rockin’ and rollin’.

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  22. Akeem Bostick wasn’t anything to write home about, but Lancaster came from way behind and scored six runs in the last two innings and beat a very good Visalia team 9-7 tonight.
    The real hero was Bryan Muniz who hit RBI doubles in both the seventh and eighth innings.

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  23. Last season Colin Moran was 22 and 2.2 yrs younger than the average AA player.
    His stats thru July 4th, 2015 were 0 HRs, 28 RBIs .260/.317/.360/.677.
    This season Moran is 23 and 3.6 yrs younger than the average AAA player.
    His stats thru July 4th, 2016 are 5 HRs, 40 RBIs .284/.341/.402/.743.
    He exploded in the second half of 2015 to a tune of 9 HRs and 39 RBIs and a slash line of .338/.424/.528/.952.
    If he has any kind of a second half like he did last season, he will be really in line to help the Astros next season.
    How goofy is Moran this year? He has a decent sample of 94 ABs as a left handed batter against lefty pitchers this season and is hitting .356 against them. Apparently he slaps line drives to the opposite field against LHP in the minors, so when he came up to Houston he got a steady dose of pitches in on his hands. He will needs to adjust to major league pitching, but at 23 years of age he has time to do that.

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    • I like Colin. But I am not sure where he is going to fit on this team – even after Valbuena is gone. As a third baseman, do you start him over Bregman? As a left-handed hitting DH, does he get the nod over PTuck?

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      • In my opinion, he does because of the fact that he has value as a third baseman and a first baseman on the 25-man roster. I like Preston, but he has little value position-wise, but he has more power than Moran.
        I think Moran will hit for a higher BA than Preston and that is the deciding factor between the two for me.
        The Astros have talked a lot lately about stretching the lineup and I think that means they want that lineup to have contact ability and OBP all the way down the line.
        Theoretically, and this is based solely on Moran finishing the season with a BA of .300 and an OBP of .350 at AAA this year, the Astros could stretch that lineup with one like this next year:
        Springer RF
        Moran DH
        Altuve 2B
        Correa SS
        Reed 1B
        Bregman 3B
        Somebody who can hit CF
        Gattis/ Heineman C
        Kemp LF

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      • Not everyone has to be a starter. Valbuena is expensive and a target for replacement. Marwin sure to be back either. Bregman has to become passable on defense, but could conceivably play 2B/SS/3B for Houston. Moran, at 6′ 4″, gives a better option as backup 1B if he is not playing 3B. Both players could likely cover LF with a lot of work.

        The issue is we can’t platoon everywhere. 13 pitchers, 2 catchers, 5 IF, and 5 OF take you to 25. That likely means for 2017 you have Moran, White, and Bregman fighting for two spots if Altuve, Correa, and Marwin are retained.

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  24. I’m still wondering what the plan is for Bregman. Will he be the Astros third baseman or perhaps DH. Surely not SS. Or will he possibly be in another uniform next year?

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  25. Here are the current slash lines for the ‘better’ of our AAA guys [limited to guys hitting .250 or over]:

    Bregman – .476/.522/1.665 [insane numbers in small sample]
    T. Hernandez – .333/.364/1.221 [insane numbers in small sample]
    Kemp – .305/.413/.817
    PTuck – .288/.345/.858
    Moran – .280/.340/.736
    Kemmer – .262/.345/.854
    Heineman – .250/.364/.724

    I say don’t consider trading any of the top 3 – or the catcher, Heineman – and only one of the next three. And if any of these guys are traded – or Tyler White – the return had better be mighty good. We know these guys have talent that will play in this organization. We don’t want another Gomez!

    Liked by 1 person

    • No disrespect, Mr. Bill, but you’re not going to get much if you’re only trading one of PTuck, Moran, Kemmer or T. White. You might get a BOR or a LH reliever like the other alphabet (Marc Rzepczynski…yes, I googled his name). I understand liking prospects, but you’re going to have to give up something to get something of value. I would definitely trade Kemp since he is blocked with the Astros, but even a package of Kemp and Moran probably won’t get you what you would expect in return.

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      • No disrespect taken, Tim. Everyone knows we are pretty much polar opposites anyway. My question is – for what [position wise] do you see the Astros trading? In other words, where do you think JL can improve the current and/or 2017 team through trades?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tim, I think the point is that those guys are our organizational depth which can play at the MLB level in some capacity. You can’t get what we need moving any of them for a piece straight up, but you can dip into the lower levels for the offer.

        Also, if it is me, I am trying to send Duffy and Singleton in any deal proposed to try to get something in return and free 40 man spots.

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      • I really want the Astros to try and get Steve Pearce. This team needs a bat that can hit LHs and play a corner IF spot. Pearce is a free agent at the end of the year so he shouldn’t cost much. He’s currently on the DL, but it doesn’t appear to be anything serious. A mid-level prospect will probably get him, but I don’t think Duffy and/orvSungleton will be enough.

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  26. I see this for the near future:

    RF – Hernandez [eventually challenged by Laureano, then by KTuck]
    CF – Springer
    LF – Kemp

    1B – Reed
    2B – Altuve
    SS – Correa
    3B – Bregman

    Inf sub – Marwin [eventually challenged by Tanielu]

    DH – PTuck [sub in LF] and T. White [sub at 1B vs. Lefties]

    C- Castro and Gattis [one of whom is pushed first by Heineman, then by Stubbs]

    That means the following are expendable in trade this year:
    1. Valbuena [gives way to Bregman]
    2. Rasmus [gives way to Hernandez];
    3. Marisnick [gives way to Kemp];
    4. Feldman [expendable due to presence of Devenski]
    5. Fister [can be replaced by Feliz]
    6. Neshek [can be replaced by Hoyt and/or McCurry]
    7. Worth [presently serves no discernible purpose on our roster anyway]

    From Fresno, the following are theoretically expendable in trade this year:
    1. Fontana [needs to go to clear a spot on the 40-man];
    2. Kemmer;
    3. Singleton [needs to go to clear a spot on the 40-man];
    4. Duffy [needs to go to clear a spot on the 40-man];
    5. Garcia
    6. Aplin
    7. Chapman* [needs to go to clear a spot on the 40-man]
    8. Fields* [needs to go to clear a spot on the 40-man]
    9. Peacock [needs to go to clear a spot on the 40-man]

    And since all I think we should be looking for in trade would be a LH reliever, and some AA and/or AAA outfield, catching, and pitching prospects, I am not worried about how much star power the above ‘expendables’ might or might not attract.

    Like

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