Stay the course, reset the course, or scuttle the ship?

After two months of playing some of the best baseball in the majors, the Astros have hit the inevitable bump in the road. The team has sprinkled more consistent losing in with less consistent offense and pitching and thrown in Luis Valbuena heading to the DL into the mix. Their call ups have taken turns not hitting, they have wasted some very good Dallas Keuchel starts and Doug Fister, Mike Fiers and Colin McHugh have mixed good starts with what Mr Bill aptly called stinkers.

What to do? With the trade deadline racing  head-on towards them the Front Office has multiple paths to take.

Stay the Course

Many folks say – don’t do anything (at least outside the organization). Bring up your Cuban if he ever gets his papers, bring up pitching help from the minors and hope that improves the team or at least does not hurt the future. Also, hope that the pitchers brought up perform better than Tyler White, A.J. Reed and Alex Bregman to date.

Reset the Course

Trade off some of that minor league talent including pitching for Chris Archer or Chris Sale or Andrew Miller or Jay Bruce or …

Hope that this move turns out better than picking up Scott Kazmir or Carlos Gomez did. Pray that this sparks a big finale to a bit above average season. Keep repeating a mantra in your head that no one we trade has proven anything …. yet.

Scuttle the Ship

OK, no one is going to purposely choose this course. But the results of continuing to trade youngsters for veterans who fail could bring this team back to the same sandbar it hit in the late 2000’s. A team that is so-so at the major league level and a disaster down below.

So, not that the Front Office cares about your opinion, but what is it? What direction should they take and why?

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160 comments on “Stay the course, reset the course, or scuttle the ship?

  1. Stay the course, and any changes should come from within the system (bring up one of the AAA pitchers). Gomez should go away.

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  2. I have *N O* idea why this organization doesn’t promote within. The ONLY pitcher who has been promoted to the Astros in YEARS….is Keuchel. Think about that for a minute. Are they THAT BAD that they only use them for trade bait? I have never been able to wrap my brain around that…..all I know is something must be terribly wrong with our minor league pitching coaches for us to not bring up ANYONE.
    Devinski and Feliz don’t count, as they are in the bullpen, and even at that, Devenski only got a handful of games before he was planted in the pen.

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  3. Kevin….he started in GCL today in Kissimmee.
    As for Musgrove, there are some thinking he would be taking Mr. Fisters, place when Mr. Fister ges on paternity leave, but I have my doubts about that.

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  4. Sure, try to make the team better, but not at the expense of 2017. No two month rentals. But if we can find an outfielder or a starter or a lefty reliever now that will be with us next year, by all means.

    You know, when Altuve trips going back on a routine pop up, you have to wonder if the mojo has passed. We really need a couple of guys to step up right now, guys like Bregman or White.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That one is tough to take………I would have put Marwin in to play the last inning, I don’t give a crap if your hand hurts or not. Not a well played game. Period. This game might just be the turning point…..

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  6. By the way…..my comment above did NOT include Mike Fires, that was the best game he’s pitched since he threw that no hitter. He was awesome tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Moreland with the walk off HR puts us 5 games back. Today was not a good day, but I’m keeping the faith. The front office will make the right move to make us better this year and going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d rather lose a July game than try something like this in Sept/October. People are criticizing Harris, but Castro should have been on the bag and let his 2B make that play. Marwin made plenty of similar mistakes last year. Even the easiest position on the field has a learning curve.

      Still, they fought back and had a chance to win. They’ll get back in a groove.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Harris was late. He said it himself. Castro has played first base twice since Stanford. Castro is not the guy to point a finger at in this situation.

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  8. All those defensive changes last night would not have happened if Hinch had not felt it necessary for Gattis to hit for Marisnick, I’m not necessarily faulting Hinch either. While it might seem that Jake is in the middle of a real hot streak, he’s still only got 9 RBI’s on the season, and just two in the month of July. Jake also has a .419 BABIP for the month, including 9 strike outs and no walks. It’s only a matter of days until Jake corrects back to his norm.

    Point is, if we have to pull an outfielder for a pinch hitter and at the same time compromise our defense at three different positions, we’ve got to find an outfielder who is a better hitter.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. They may get treated like crap by their own major league club as individuals, but, as a team, there is no telling what a win like the one Fresno had last night can do for them as a team. On the road in Reno, against a team who is just in front of them in the standings, they roared from behind in the last two innings to score 9 runs and Jandel Gustave nailed it down.
    You really have to take a look at the game log to see how these guys jumped all over some veteran relievers to get a huge win for a team that wants to win so bad they can taste it.

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  10. I guess I have been so preoccupied that I didn’t even know Stephen Wrenn had been promoted from Tri City to Quad Cities. He was 2 for 4 in the leadoff spot last night.

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  11. Commenting on Tim’s question above without butting in, I would Bring Hoyt up and send Feliz down to take Shirley’s spot in the Fresno rotation. I would make Gustave the closer in Fresno and put Jankowski back in the BP where he belongs.
    Add Hoyt to the Astros bullpen and keep Devo and Feldman as the longer relief guys.
    Feliz has been a starter his whole career and only has 50 or so innings this season. Stretch him out some and let him get some rhythm on the mound at AAA. For goodness sakes, the guy is only 23 and still has only 8 AAA innings.
    I don’t care who they DFA to get Hoyt up. There are plenty of candidates for DFA, who are at AAA and are proving that they are not going to add anything to the Astros in the future. Pick one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Feliz he needs to be given a job description and regular training to go along with it. He could go to Fresno and come back ready to help the rotation in a month.

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    • That is probably the best idea I have heard on how to get Hoyt here. Is Fontana still on the 40-man roster? If so, he looks like an ideal DFA candidate. I know Chapman does as well, but the Astros have such a dearth of LH pitching that I think they will hold onto Chapman as long as possible.

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  12. I like the idea of Bregman batting 2nd today. I haven’t really seen him pressing and swinging at pitches out of the zone and he isn’t striking out at an alarming rate. With Springer in front of him and Altuve and Correa behind him I think this is a good move in the lineup construction.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This game is over……..I said yesterday, when we look back on last night’s game it was probably going to be a turning point. They are as advertised.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rather than looking at a trade, we need to be righting the ship as be are listing badly. Not a lot of good things happening since the AS break. I don’t think a trade is going to help us much unless it’s getting rid of Gomez. I have yet to figure out why guys are tearing the cover off the ball in AA and AAA but can’t seem to hit a lick at the ML level. Should have won last night and believe it demoralized all as we can see today. Maybe a winning streak will get started.

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  15. I would stay the course this year and bring up some top prospects in September, in hopes that they can provide the needed spark for a strong finish and possibly a playoff spot. I do not think that the Astros are just one player away from being a legitimate/ consistent contender. We are seeing now that the team lacks the depth to deal with injuries. We are also seeing how much we live on the edge with our soft toss, junk ball pitching staff. The difference in 1-2 ticks on the fastball was glaringly evident yesterday with Fiers. It is also evident in watching LMJ. Trying to live with a mid-to- high 80’s fastball allows players to stay back and wait on the off speed stuff without giving up the ability to attack the fastball. There is just no room for error.

    In my opinion:
    – We need to add 2 starting arms; at least one of which brings a power arm. I think that between Musgrave, Rodgers, Marte, Devinski and Feliz we may have one or possibly both in- house.
    – We need a legitimate closer with a big arm and a true out pitch. I believe we have that in- house with Giles and we have Hoyt as a fall- back option.
    – We need a legitimate lefty specialist in the bullpen. I do not see this currently in our organization.
    – We need at least one (probably two) legitimate hitter(s) that can hit for average in the bottom half of the lineup. We currently have too many holes in the order and too many sure outs to consistently score runs. One of these needs to be able to play CF. Maybe one of the Fisher/ Hernandez/ Kemp trio could fill this spot? I also really like Wrenn and think he will fly through the system.

    I would look to trade in the offseason when the prices are usually a little better and 2016 draftees can be included (unless something really interesting comes up such as Archer/ Sale/ Lucroy/ Quintana and the asking price is reasonable). I have no problem trading any and all talent that is blocked by Correa, Altuve, Bregman, Reed, Springer and possibly Gurriel, if it netted us an asset that was controllable for 2-3 years. Many of our minor league prospects are in the 23-25 yr old range and I have no issue dealing them if they are blocked for 1-2 years at the ML level.

    Just my 2 cents.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I’m a life long Detroit fan but even I hated to see the Astros outplayed like this on the road. Would love to see them catch the Rangers. The video of Miggy giving Bregman a hug after his first hit was pure class.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. If by next Sunday, they can’t take 2 out of 3 from the Blue Jays, and 2 out of 3 from the rangers…….they will be done. We’ll see how the week ends up, but if they lose the series with the Jays and get swept by the other texas team, they will fall too far back to try and crawl back in contention. We know Marwin and Valbuena are pretty much third string players, but look how much their absence has been missed. Leaving such a short bench was flat out stupid.

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    • I honestly don’t see enough pitching to shut them down, nor enough bats to outscore them. If the bottom of the order can’t produce we are not going to see many rallies or big innings offensively. Fister looks tired. I never thought it was possible but he has actually dropped velocity in his last few starts. All of our pitchers (LMJ excluded) are leaving too much over the middle of the plate.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Why are we playing with such a short bench? Surely we could DL Gomez. And if Marwin is having to see a hand specialist, it’s hard to believe that won’t involve a DL. The main reason for yesterday’s loss was the poor defensive alignment cause by having short bench and pinch hitting for Jake. Is Tony Kemp hurt or something?

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    • No idea why……but it came back to bite them last night and today. Castro should have never been in the game at 1st base last night. PERIOD.
      I just wish they would hand Gomez his release, and call it a day with that guy.

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  19. If none of the Musgrove/ Rodgers/ Marte/ Devinski/ Felix mix is an upgrade to our current staff then we are in real trouble. I see no reason not to let at least one of them get some starts. Can’t do any worse that what we have seen the past couple weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Musgrove flew to Houston this afternoon, I’m sure he will pitch tomorrow night in place of Mr. Fister. No baby yet…Fister is still with his family.

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  21. Stay the course, basically. But I wouldn’t mind trading off some guys with expiring contracts, unless they really think they are part of the future. Castro, Valbuena, Gomez, even Feldman or Rasmus. There’s some value in that bunch (save Gomez). And if they could bring an OF/DH guy that can hit .260 and a LOOGY or a backup catcher I think that might fill some holes.

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  22. Stay the course but trade all impending free agents for anything you can get because none are worth the price of a QO. I would be afraid they might accept. If you want to keep Valbuena or Castro next year, work out a contract with them.

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  23. Trade Castro. He has a lower BA than Gattis, even though his BABIP is 80 points higher than Gattis’s. He strikes out at an alarming 35% for the year. He is slower than Gattis, and is catching skills are diminishing while Gattis’s are not. He will be a free agent and will walk. Get something for him today and bring up a catcher.
    Gattis’s wRC+ is five points higher and he has more accumulated WAR, even though he has caught many less innings.
    Get something, anything for him today.
    The Astros overpaid for what they are getting from Neshek and will continue that if they exercise his option next year. He is not in the regular rotation like it was intended when we signed him because he wasn’t reliable enough. He’s the oldest player on the team. Try and trade him today for something and bring up Hoyt. It’s August and James Hoyt has been the best pitcher in all of the minor leagues for the entire year. That’s a bold statement but I have the numbers to back it up.

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  24. For OP: It is indeed the hardest job, physically and emotionally. I did it for my parents as they were in their departing years, and held a full-time job too, because we needed the money. Things were held together with spit and chewing gum at times, but we got through it without a day in a nursing home. I don’t credit myself. I credit them for being tough people who did not have easy lives to start with and, most of all, I credit God Almighty, simply because I know I don’t have it in me. He will get you through too. You have been in my prayers.

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    • She has to have the pain meds and is not herself when she is on them. I am working through this. I fell asleep praying last night, long after saying night prayers with her. She used to do this for a living, Now she is that patient that she used to vent about.
      I am very glad we are still in love because that is the only way this works.

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      • That’s why I gave you a shout out…….we all know how tough it is to care for someone we love after a major incident. This too shall pass. The pain med will slowly be weaned off, I know it’s tough….it WILL get better. Old Pro….you both are in our thoughts and prayers, this is a test, and I’m going to give you an A+. Becky⚾

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      • OP, the pain meds effect will dissipate; however, if you continue to have problems related to meds, talk to doctors and request changes. At one point, I had to take it on myself to alter dosage because I could see too much was being administered. Also, I noticed during one hospital stay the docs were not really talking to each other; each one would walk in and add something to the chart, then walk out. Make sure the whole picture is being considered. Few things are as humbling as being a caretaker, even for someone we love, and discovering things we didn’t know about ourselves. View it as a gift.

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      • Yes, the coordination between the nerve meds she was on before her surgery to alieve her pre-surgery pain is something I am addressing today. It is very likely that those are adding to her post-surgery meds and contributing to her lack of awareness. I am waiting on a call back to see if it is ok to start weaning her off of those so that I am not layering one on the other unnecessarily.
        Ironically, those nerve meds are the exact ones I use to help me cope with my post stroke pain that I have had for four years. They help me sleep and I only take them at night, and only since my wife’s doctor said they might help me and then I asked my doctor about them and he prescribed them for me. They help.

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      • OP, I know we can’t continue this in detail on this venue, but from my experience with my mom, it’s too much. I’m sure they’ll help you get it straightened out. Also, I was in a group this spring with a woman who had back surgery. There was extreme
        pain for a long time but she finally made it to one of our meetings wearing a brace. Also, as encouragement, another woman in that same group had had the same surgery couple years prior and is now pain free. There are some long days ahead — I don’t kid you about that. But focus on the PAIN FREE thing that is out there in the future. It will get better.

        Liked by 1 person

    • The oddest one I ever remember was the Rusty Staub trade (which should never have happened). We sent Staub to the Expos for Donn Clendenon and Jesus Alou. Clendenon had a bad history with the new Astros manager Harry (The Hat) Walker and refused to report. So the Expos substituted Skip Guinn, Jack Billingham and $100,000 for Clendenon and the trade went through. A dark day for the Astros.

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  25. Oakland just traded their best pitcher(of this season) and their best outfielder to the Dodgers. We still have six games left to play against the A’s. That move could help us get an extra win or two.

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    • Back in the “old days” when the A’s were in Kansas City, they acted like a farm team for the Yankees – sending really good players to the Yanks for mostly money. Is Oakland now the lackey for the Dodgers?

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  26. In other words get rid of Castro, Gomez, and the rest of the above listings.
    1OP – saying a prayer for you and your wife. Hoping for good things.

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