So much for all the trade talk hoopla. Well, at least for the Astros. Maybe no news is good news though.
Instead, it’s one of the quietest trade deadlines in recent memory as Scott Feldman was sent packing across tonight’s field to the Blue Jays.
The Astros’ big additions for the stretch drive will come from within.
Alex Bregman, Joe Musgrove, Yulieski Gurriel, Preston Tucker and Tyler White will be the names A.J. Hinch must count on. Carlos Gomez and Colby Rasmus will need to add their stretch run, contract-year kick too if the Astros plan to catch the new Texas Rangers and make the playoffs.
With the recent trades — some of which actually haven’t worked out for either team — it’s no surprise that Jeff Luhnow may have been a tad skiddish to pull the trigger. Seems he gets fleeced in trades, at least on paper. That said, some players traded by the Astros haven’t flourished either, so Luhnow may end up looking good on a few down the road.
Still, reading the tea leaves, it’s fair to conclude the Astros are keeping their powder dry, waiting instead for this winter and the 2017 deadline. On paper, this team isn’t that shabby. But with so many under-performing players, it’s easy to second guess management, from the field guys to the front office guys.
Is there something in the water? Is it the humidity? Are there more full moons in Houston than other parts of the league?
To be sure, the contract guys — Gomez and Rasmus — need to go on a tear! Someone must step up at first base so Marwin Gonzalez can slide back into his more traditional role. If Jon Lester can squeeze bunt, should Houston give Dallas Keuchel a shot at first base?
Vincent Velasquez would look good in an Astros’ uniform about now, no?
Hitters can get hot for a second half or last third of the season. It’s a little different for pitchers, which is one reason Houston should have sought a strong rotation guy. Was the price to high? Perhaps, but Dallas Keuchel and the rotation is pretty much what ya got for ’16. In other words, don’t expect much different from him, Mike Fiers, Collin McHugh and Doug Fister.
Mark the date though. August 1. Texas is 18 games over .500 and added serious personnel at the deadline. Houston is 6 games behind the Rangers, just six games over .500 and just 2 1/2 games back in the Wild Card chase. While sleeping through the deadline.
Quick deadline questions:
- Houston is 55-49, 104 games into the season, with 58 games remaining. Astros would need to finish 35-23 to win 90. Do they? If not, how many wins do you predict?
- Who’s your pick for surprise contributor (on the good side) for August/September?
- Was Luhnow asleep at the wheel during the trade deadline process?
- Speaking of Luhnow, has he done a poor enough job that Jim Crane would consider making a change this winter?