Time to throw in the Astros’ towel?

While the Astros have been 2-8 in their last 10 games, the Rangers have been 7-3 and expanding their 2 1/2 game division lead to a 7 1/2 game lead over the local team (seven games over the Mariners). At the end of the night, they will be either four games behind the Tigers or 4.5 games behind the Red Sox for the second wild card spot.

There is a feeling that this latest free fall has doomed the team. The offense is sputtering on only a couple cylinders. The bullpen looks worn around the edges and seems to be giving up runs every time out, led by Tony Sipp, Will Harris and Ken Giles. Chris Devenski who had been fairly untouchable lost Sunday after being used a couple days in a row.  There are injuries and illnesses and players missing like Luis Valbuena, Colby Rasmus, Luke Gregerson and Carlos Gomez.

A lot of fans are throwing in the towel. But wouldn’t the fans lose it, if they thought the team was throwing in the towel?

There are a lot of negatives to be said about the Astro’s recent failures. But giving up is not one of them. Sunday they overcame a three-run lead in the eighth and ninth innings by scratching back and never giving up in a game where their offense was again lacking. There are many times this season when they could have folded, but they have not folded.

They are 57-54 with 51 games to go in the season. During the 51 games starting on May 24 the team was 35-16. Yeah, they aren’t likely to repeat that streak and end up 92-70 on the season, but it is not impossible.

So the questions for you dear readers today are:

  • Have you given up and thrown in the towel on this team?
  • Do you want this team to throw in the towel?
  • Does throwing in the towel mean playing all the youngsters and sitting the under performing vets?
  • Do you think this team can get it back together and start hitting in support of a starting pitching staff that deserves better?
  • Are you thinking about 2017 or still holding out for 2016?
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327 comments on “Time to throw in the Astros’ towel?

  1. Yes, I’ve thrown in the towel. I can’t pretend there’s any hope for the post season and if, by some miracle, they did get there, they would not make it through the first round. This team is not as good as the 2015 team.

    No they shouldn’t give up and I don’t think they will but it’s time to see what these kids are made of. The veterans are not going to improve at this point.

    Nope. They are done.

    Am I thinking about next year? Sure. But I don’t believe we will see much improvement. I know I sound like a broken record but until some changes are made in management and coaching we’ll see the same inconsistencies in next years team.
    With this franchise it’s all about the dollar. These players have been jerked around by management since day one and if they dare to say anything they get traded or cut . The kids are brought up and sent down like yo-yos. While the likes of guys like Gomez play ever day.
    I could go on and on but what’s the point.

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  2. Since I feel so bad, I’ll wait until tomorrow to answer your questions. I will tell you that Luhnow finally said why he couldn’t make a trade at the deadline. Every team he talked to wanted Bregman and Musgrove….then Francis Marte. We have to give Luhnow a pt on the back for not giving up these young stars for an overweight out of shape Beltran. So thank you Jeff for not panicking and giving away the farm.

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  3. UNCLE JEFF LET THE KIDS PLAY!!!
    Don’t make any August trades to deplete what we’ve got on the upper end of our farm system. Yes I’m looking forward to next year. We shouldn’t have the dead weight Gomez and Rasmus. Let’s see how Bregman, whose gotten a little hotter, plays for the rest of the season. Are AJ Reed and Tyler White long term answers? Is Tony Kemp someone to hold on to? Let Hoyt and Musgrove pitch. Shut down McCullers. We’ve got to figure out who is for real and there’s no time like the present. Can Keuchel get back to his 2015 form? I know there are more questions to ask. I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts. Thanks Chipalatta family!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kemp LF
    Bregman 3B
    Altuve 2B
    Correa SS
    Springer RF
    White/Valbuena 1B
    Gurriel DH
    Gattis/ Castro C
    Marisnick CF
    Put Gomez, Gonzalez, Tucker on the bench and option Reed until September.
    September callups: Reed, Moran, Rodgers, Teoscar, Gustave, Peacock. Shut down Gregerson and LMJ
    Starters: Keuchel, McHugh, Musgrove, Fister, Fiers until September and give spot starts to guys coming up.
    This isn’t throwing in the towel. It’s playing the players of the future. They are better than the older guys.

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      • Saw that! Go to the Hooks homepage and see what Marte did today! AND Mike Hauschild for the Grizzlies! Old Pro……we have an AWESOME farm system!

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      • Yes, Becky, our farms system is still very strong. However, Mr. Bill was right about one thing in that the majority of our depth is on the pitching side. Of course, considering our positional players on the Astros are all relatively young (Correa, Altuve, Reed, Bregman, Springer, Marisnick) and pitching is the name of the game I would rather have the depth be at pitching than hitting. It is easier to acquire hitters than solid pitching. We are well-positioned for the future because of the depth in our pitching.

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    • 1oldpro, I’m good with that lineup, but I’d much rather see Valbuena out of the picture now rather than this winter. But maybe that’s not out of the question. He has not yet been able to start rehabiliting yet. Unfortunately, it also means that he’s in no shape to be moved to a contender today or tomorrow. I’d also give Gomez his outright release and bring up Hernandez now. Why not? I’m not throwing in the towel, I’m just recognizing the fact that some guys are past the point of helping win games. I also think that Gurriel will prove to be a pretty good defender. I don’t think he’s destined to be a full time DH. If Jake gets to play out the season, we really need to make a determination on him too. We can’t win with a center fielder who’s got a .600 OPS.

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      • Dave, I am leaving Teoscar out because I want him to finish the year in AAA and make sure he is, at least, a good AAA player before we bring him up. Teoscar is only 23 and I am not sure he is ready for the majors. I think he will be, especially if they let him play winter ball in Arizona, where he would face top pitchers every day.
        I would prefer him not be exposed to our current hitting instructors and our “swing for the fences” mentality, because his success this year has been from cutting down his swing and making contact. Those are words that he has spoken, not mine.
        I don’t want to give up on Marisnick because he is young, he is inexpensive and his hitting has improved as the team has gotten worse at the plate. That just tells me he could still get it at the plate and I want to keep him around as long as there is a chance of him turning into a major league hitter.
        I am all for bringing in Heineman to catch next season with Gattis, as I have watched his BA rise slowly and surely at Fresno this year, despite only playing half the time. He plays real good defense!
        Next Season I want to see us start out the season with Keuchel, McHugh, LMJ Musgrove and Feliz/ Rodgers in the rotation. The more power we have on the mound, the less we will have to bounce curves up there to try and fool batters, rather than mowing them down. That makes it easier for the catchers to catch. Right now he have too many pitchers who depend on curves in the dirt.
        At this point, I am leaning toward thinking that Paulino’s infraction may be connected with his injury. In other words, he might have done something outside of baseball that got him hurt. Paulino is going to be a good pitcher. I wiould love to have him and Martes in AAA next season.
        Once Bregman and Reed lose their prospect status Whitley will become the Astros’ #3 prospect. He’s already #5.

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  5. As I posted in the last thread…it is time to throw in the towel. Today was the last straw. It is frustrating, because we should have (and could have…) done better. We could have gotten better. Lucroy should have been our catcher. Well, it’s done…too late. So, we need to be smart about this. If a player isn’t going to be here next year, quit playing them. Place Castro on waivers and see if somebody claims him, then try to work out a trade. Same with Gattis…see if anybody wants him. Hell, do it for Gomez and Rasmus too. Take whatever we can get. Play Heineman and Stasso at C the rest of the way just to see what we have (and the latter has hit MLB pitching much better than AAA pitching for some reason). In the offseason, see if we can find a taker for Singleton. Again, take what we can get..addition by subtraction.

    Kemp and White need to play the rest of the way. As mentioned many times, Tucker is what he is. Reed’s swing is too slow and too long, and I don’t think he’ll be what some expect him to be. Somebody here compared him to Chris Carter…I think it’s more like Chris Johnson. Leave Bregman here to play every day. He’s coming around…he’s gonna be a good one. I have my doubts about Moran; poor kid looked overmatched while here, but more importantly, looked scared to death.

    Now’s a good time to cut Gomez…bring up Teoscar Hernandez and let’s see what we got there.

    In the offseason….IMPROVE THE DAMN TEAM. We made the playoffs last year, and almost knocked out the eventual world champion Royals. This year, we should’ve made it, but sacrificed this year in order not to jeopardize out future. So, make it worth it in the offseason. *Please*

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    • Stassi has hit in 49 major league plate appearances because its 49 PAs. He has a .467 babip. He has struck out 30% of the time in that short sample as well. We have seen what Stassi is, and that is not even a passable hitter. The minor leagues are a good indicator of what a person becomes in the bigs. If anything it usually goes the other way, where they don’t hit major league pitching as well as minor league pitching like Singleton – well before this year. Heineman is a guy I would love to get a look at. His K rate has slowly risen with the level and he isn’t a real young guy for a prospect, and I have no idea of his defense, but offensively he looks like he could at least .250 next year and I don’t know the last time we had a catcher hit over .250 in a season.

      I think Singleton stays until he is out of options. With Reed and White both looking like they will be here next year and not in the minors he isn’t really blocking anyone, and you are paying the salary regardless. Hey, if you find a taker that will pay the salary more power to you, but the way he has hit this year I think most franchises aren’t into throwing away 4+ million dollars. You are better off seeing if in June of next year he can’t be at least hitting .250 at AAA with some power to make a team with an injury at 1B and in some form of desperation take him on. If you release him, you pay the salary regardless. Might as well sit on him until he is out of options.

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  6. I write the blog posts, but don’t necessarily include my opinion as much as description of the situation and questions.

    Here is where I am at with this situation.

    – I think the Astros will never catch the Rangers for the division lead this season. They play 6 more times, but they have not shown the ability to even split those 6 games much less win more than they lose. They are 2-11 against the Rangers after being 6-13 last season. They are psyched out. They are 0-6 in one run games against them and that does not include losing yesterday in extra innings by two runs.
    – The wild card is a possibility, but it is tough as there are 3 teams ahead of them for the 2nd wild card and someone is bound to get red hot.
    – It is rare when a team goes on a run like the Astros did to get out of the hole that April and May dug and then to have another big run in them. I’m not expecting it – I think the first run took too much out of them.
    – I feel like that playing more youngsters is not necessarily throwing in the towel. I mean as absolutely putrid as Rasmus, Gomez, Gattis and Castro have been – what do you have to lose throwing Kemp and others out there.
    – I think they should bring Gurriel up soon. If he is the stud they paid for, and he has his batting eye back, there is really no reason to slowly creep him up the minors.
    I think that having Marisnick and Kemp out there is not such a bad thing. Marisnick has gotten more ABs lately and frankly he has been hitting better than Gomez or Rasmus. And watching the games you see he is getting to balls that were falling in the gaps or going over Gomez’s head before.
    – I was excited by what Joe Musgrove brought in his first two appearances. Obviously, he will have to adjust as the league adjusts to him, but frankly his control (14 Ks and 1 walk so far) is special. Keep rolling him out there.
    – I would be looking at shutting LMJ down. We need him for the long haul and we don’t need him to turn elbow problems into surgery problems (if it can be avoided).
    – Don’t screw up Devenski. He probably should not be used two games in a row.
    – Start looking for a new/better hitting coach right now. There is a reason that the pitchers come up and are successful and the hitters come up and struggle and I have to feel like someone is not doing their job as a hitter whisperer.

    – And I have to ask – if Rasmus has had ear problems for quite a long time – why is he suddenly being sat down for a cyst in the ear. Who was looking at him – Dr. Nick from the Simpsons?

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  7. Sports Illustrated said we are the champions 2017. Deplored it when I saw it and now it seems less a possibility than ever. I don’t know the farm system like you guys do, but I agree. Bring up the names mentioned and, shoot, bring up someone not mentioned. Look what happened when we brought up Correa last year. Got nothing to lose, right?

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    • Correa is a special talent. I wouldn’t expect Reed, Hernandez, Heineman, Kemp, etc. to perform that well. What I don’t want to do is see Reed and White forced into a 1B/DH merry-go-round where they are playing just 2 times a week. I got it that fans are sick of Gattis and Gomez and Rasmus and Castro – jeez how many ands do I need – but they aren’t going anywhere this season, and if they aren’t on the DL they are going to play some, taking at bats from the young players.

      Don’t call them up unless there is a plan – yes that P word again – to continue their development.

      Preston Tucker has hit at every level in every year of his life, including being at least passable his first year here. This year every time he gets a chance here its a few AB’s then 3 days without seeing him before he is shuttled back to AAA. I have no idea if the guy can actually hit major league pitching, but won’t find out that way. We will never know if Reed can hit major league pitching if we get scared at every unsuccessful 40 plate appearance string. If we are going to call them up, do it deliberately with a plan. If a guy is called up for 15 days while another guy is on the DL, tell him that from the start, tell him the contribution you need from him, that he will only be doing this or that, then get him back down to AAA.

      I’m over Hinch.

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  8. Well I wont be to redundant, you all have covered it pretty well. I just want to see them play hard and to keep looking/playing at Tucker, Reed, Gomez and Rasmus to me it’s just insane. I would have some respect for Uncle Jeff, if in his own prideful way he would just move on from his mistakes, we all make them and jettison the junk.

    Op’s line up looks good and if their is any question on LMJ shut him don. yep.
    LMJ, DK, Musgrove and then whoever next year at 4+5, could be good.

    The big fix has to be on the starting 9

    We have Bregman Altuve, Correa and Springer, then it goes down hill fast, we are going to need to go outside for a couple solid people. Do we resign VB for 2 years at 1st?

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    • No, VB is too streaky, too much all or nothing. I don’t think Reed is the guy either. JL needs to find a good solid guy for first who can hit for power and average. Could White be a possibility? I’d like to see him at first for the remainder of the year.

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    • I wouldn’t take VB back at the money this season will get him since he has never been very good before. This is the first season he has hit .250 since 2009.

      If I can get him back reasonably, say 6-7 mil, I’ll do it. I don’t see that happening. I see 10 mil for 3 years being his agents starting point. There is a lot to like, his walk rate, his above average defense, his power, so someone like the Mets that can use the depth at both corners and can afford to have that contract “miss” if he hits .220 will probably sign him for something out of our range.

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  9. Folks, I beg you to give A.J. Reed more time to work things out. The guy has only about 2 seasons of minor league ball under his belt. He has 58 total major league ABs at this point split up between two short stays at the majors.
    I am not saying he will become something special, but you cannot abandon people who don’t immediately hit well at the mlb level. Go back and look at how George Springer looked after 58 mlb ABs…..Similarly crappy with no HRs to show for it.

    Have some patience.

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    • That is so epic Dan , Ok I think his swing is to long and slow, can that be fixed HMM. However I will give him 2017 to prove me wrong. I declare a 1 year judgement amnesty to AJ Reed. Whoops Toes were crossed.

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    • Dan, I’m looking at his swing. Maybe a better coach could get him back on track but he’s going to have to work on that swing plus his bat speed.
      He is a perfect example of why we need to see these guys every day for the rest of the season. Can’t tell what you have if they don’t play.

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    • Hey he could be Singleton Jr. – I don’t know – but I know the guy has hit at every level and that in the minors sometimes he started slowly at a level. Heck he may have bat speed problems because he is thinking too much. Maybe his coach is whispering the wrong crap in his ear and he is thinking instead of letting it fly.

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      • Is there any statistical data that supports “Reed has a slow bat”? I keep hearing that here, but I have not seen it posted anywhere. They measure bat speed and I was wondering if someone saw this somewhere (Reed having slow bat speed).

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      • Sometimes stats should be thrown in the trash that’s the problem I have with this FO and its saber whatever. Baseball is still driven by the good old eye test. Like Epstien and Madden. When I watch Reedm maybe hi is pressing, but big loopy swing is what I see, no stats.

        ‘I think the real competitive advantage now is in player development—understanding that your young players are human beings,’’ says Epstein, whose sky-blue shirt and sky-blue cap made this reporter mistake the now-41-year-old at first for a beer salesman. ‘‘Understanding them physically, fundamentally, and mentally — investing in them as people — and helping them progress. And there’s no stat for that.’’

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      • Kevin,

        While I don’t want to discount the ‘good old eye test’ baseball has never been driven by this. Statistical data has always been the biggest factor in baseball. It’s just that the statistical analysis has gotten more advanced in the past 10-15 years. Prior to this it was primarily the most common statistics that were used (batting average, HRs, RBIs, ERA, Wins, etc.). Now you have WAR, wRC+, OPS and OPS+, and on and on. Personally, I need more evidence than the eye test to say Reed has a slow bat, but that’s just me.

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      • Once again i’st not an all or nothing philosophy I’m advocating . I think there is a balance . I think our FO is to numbers not people eye test driven. This is a question, look at the last 15 Worl Champs and how many are heavy on Saber metrics?

        I was keeping stats when I was 12 years old , I get that in all sports,

        Ill say if for the 100 th time, we need more baseball people in the FO to balance the computer crunchers. If we don’t my $500 bet is looking pretty good and that was to onle get to a NLCS under Lunny boy

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      • To be fair can anyone name 5 people that work in the front office? I don’t know that they are a sabermetrically driven franchise, at least moreso than other franchises, other then seeing it said here and in a few other places. I wouldn’t discount or dismiss their scouting department, they saw something in Correa no one else did as they got harpooned by the national media for making him a 1-1. Bregman was a consensus first round pick but I think most experts had him going somewhere around 10th. I’m not convinced that the entire front office walks around with pencils in their ears and slide rules in their pockets (no offense Dan, I know your “front office” does).

        I’m in the unfortunate position of not being able to watch the Astros daily since they don’t come on in Alaska. I can’t judge Reed’s bat speed or if he also has a loopy swing. When CJ was in Houston I did live there. I watched him daily. I wrote an entire articles worth of information on his loopy swing. The difference I see in the two is that Reed has always drawn walks at every level, and you can’t do that if you have a overly loopy swing. CJ’s swing generates more drive, which is why he tends to have good BABIP’s, but it leads to more K’s and less walks because he sacrifices a tenth of a second in pitching recognition time to put the bat head at max arm length earlier in his swing than others.

        You have to give AJ Reed time. He isn’t going to do anything if he is put under the pressure of “develop now with the few plate appearances we give you or else.” Singleton and Carter hurt us. They both looked like potential stars in the minors at times. Neither one turned into that, and we watched them languish for maybe too long. Our patience is now thin with big dudes with high K rates no matter how short the sample. Put he and White in the lineup everyday and lets see them.

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      • Once again, I never said it was an all or nothing. You said, and I quote, “baseball is still driven by the good old eye test” and I responded, while I didn’t want to discount the eye test…, meaning that I understand it has value, but baseball has never been driven by the ‘good old eye test’, but it does have its place in the game.

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    • Yes, I also give Reed more time at first, ideally, the rest of the season. Make White the DH everyday, as in at least 5 or 6 days a week. And if we end up needing a first baseman next year, then Gurriel is my early pick for that job.

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    • I agree, my goodness! I guess fans have the right to be as streaky as their team! But let’s have some patience; I mean we survived 3 seasons of 100+ losses. No one expected us to make the playoffs last year.

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  10. If I had an off season wish, It would be that someone could spend all winter getting JFSF to be able to hit .250.I love that kid and man can he play CF

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    • Jake doesn’t have the pitch recognition skills to be a consistent major league hitter. He has a role, but 2 homeruns in 184 plate appearances isn’t going to get it done unless you hit .300+. I know he has had more power in the past, but I think he maybe sacrificing some of it to try and be a better hitter.

      Just look at his swing rates. He is swinging at less pitches out of the zone than previous years – but still above major league average. He still goes after too many “pitchers pitches” and has still been swinging at too many pitches both in and out of the zone.

      Great attitude. Check. Great defender. Check. Arm. Check. Good baserunning instincts. Check. Great speed. Check.

      He is great to have. He can hit in stretches. He can pinch run. He can be used as a defensive sub. He can be sent out to lay down a critical bunt. He can even be used as a pinch hitter situationally. He is exposed at 500 plate appearances and will kill your lineup.

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  11. JFSF has teased us before with hot streaks. Right now he is hitting over .300 since the end of June.

    One thing I find interesting is that in those approximate 6 weeks – he has not walked. In June he walked 6 times (quite a lot considering his poor hitting and his few ABs). Since then he has not been watching pitches, he has been hitting them.

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    • Yes, zero walks, 13 K’s in July and August. A .400 BABIP in July. .353 so far in August. That’s why I want him to play everyday for the rest of the season.

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  12. I am not sure of any official definition of ‘throwing in the towel’. To me throwing in the towel is more than losing confidence that there will be a 2016 miracle that includes a run to the playoffs. To me throwing in the towel means ‘blowing it up’ completely, like we did a few years ago, and trading away the marketable high-performing guys of the last couple of years [Altuve, Correa, Springer, Keuchel, McCullers, McHugh, Harris, and maybe Giles] in exchange for a boatload of prospects. I am not anywhere close to being on board with that.

    What I AM 100% ready to do is start phasing out our ties with guys who have proven to be either extremely streaky and inconsistent or total wash-outs. I have given up on, and would immediately start to phase out, four players: Gomez, Rasmus, Gattis, and Sipp. I don’t want any of those guys on the 2017 team. There are a few other guys that are not likely to help us in 2017 that I think we now need to start aggressively trying to move. This includes Neshek, Gregerson, Fiers, Fister, Singleton, PTuck, Moran, and Valbuena. I would let it be known I would listen to ‘Godfather-quality offers’ – but Godfather-quality offers only – on Springer and McHugh. The rest of the nucleus I would keep – and replace in-house and/or with the best of the players we got back via trade. I would make NO DEAL that would involve moving any of our top 25 prospects except Moran and Davis, who just have nowhere to play for us for the foreseeable future.

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      • I agree, Sandy. For me, a ‘Godfather Quality offer’ for George and McHugh would be hard to imagine ever happening. But of the big 3 offensively [Altuve, Correa, and Springer], and of the big four SPs [McCullers, Musgrove, Keuchel, and McHugh], the offensive player I would part with for the right return is Springer, and the pitcher I would part with for the right return is McHugh. No pressure. No real need to deal – but if. . . .

        Let me explain what I mean. Just for the sake of what if the White Sox offered Chris Sale and either Adam Eaton or Jose Abreu for Springer, McHugh, and Moran? Or what if the Braves offered Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman for Springer, McHugh, J.D. Davis and Stephen Wrenn? Altuve and Correa are ‘hands off’; as are McCullers and Musgrove and probably Keuchel. But Springer and McHugh? For that return, I’d have to consider it.

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    • I think Springer is on my short list of the top four keepers. An argument could be made that Fister has been our most reliable starter in 2016. He might well bring something of value to us in the next couple of weeks, but I’d fine with him starting 2017 in our rotation, in the unlikely event another one year deal can be reached with him.

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      • For week I’m like Spring is Untouchable, then for 2 weeks he is 2-26. He is an enigma to me, he is so streaky, great kid great outfielder, just not sure he is a star, not a super star, a star.

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      • I expect that Fister is looking for 10 mil for 3 years (at least) on his next deal. While I appreciate the pitcher that he is, I hope we pass on that.

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      • Steven,

        I’m assuming you mean $10M/year for 3 years. If so, then I absolutely agree with you in passing on Fister. His raw numbers look good, but his peripherals suggest he is due for a regression the rest of this season. Basically, he has been statistically lucky this year. His FIP is 4.49 and his xFIP is 4.76. Keuchel has a 3.88 FIP and a 3.55 xFIP. Keuchel has actually been the better pitcher than Fister. I think it’s time to part ways with Fister the end of this year and, if the season falls off the rails between now and August 31st then see if you can jettison him off to a team desperate for starting pitching and in the playoff race.

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      • Stats are great in that we can almost always find legitimate numbers to support our case. Fister is 10-7. When he starts, the team is 14-8. Keuchel is 7-11. When he starts, the team is 10-13. I’ll take 14-8.

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      • That’s a very un Tim like statement. Luck of the draw? Fister has done a good job at keeping his team in games all year. Fact is, that old fashioned ERA stat is applicable here. His 3.47 is more than a run better than Keuchels. That helps your team end up 14 and 8 when you’re starting.

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    • I vehemently disagree with you on trading Gregerson and Moran. Gregerson is a good late-inning reliever with a team friendly contract. He is injured and will not have near the value as he would pitching at next season’s deadline. He gives you another half season of seasoning for Gustave and then might bring a good return in prospects next July. Moran is 23 years old and there is no way he is blocking anyone and we need good left handed bats. I repeat: Colin Moran is the same age as Teoscar and is blocking no one. You trade him now and you do not get enough, but if he breaks out next year in AAA or in Houston, you have a gem to trade. He is on the 40-man so you don’t have to ad him to it.
      If somebody offers you a good major league outfielder for Moran, take it. But don’t try moving him before his time.

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      • I like your thinking on Gregerson. My thinking was based solely on his age and the dollar amount of his contract vs. what we would pay a guy from our own system. But one thing is for sure, guys with a WHiP of 0.89 [0.95 last year] like Gregerson do not grow on trees.

        As far as Moran, I have seen his extreme streakiness, and have come to view him sort of like Colby Rasmus’ slower, less powerful, and less versatile little brother. For that reason, I personally prefer Nick Tanielu’s stronger bat and more aggressive approach to the game.

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      • You’re dead on regarding Moran as he has very little, if any, trade value right now. It makes no sense to trade him when his trade value is at its lowest. Keep him and see if he really picks up the hitting next year in AAA and, hopefully, another team will have some interest in him.

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      • Of all the Astros prospects, they have less invested in Moran than anyone. They got him in a trade that was a gold medal, the Marlins paid his millions of dollars of bonus. He has had 25 plate appearances in the majors? He has two stints in AA which both ended up in him hitting over .300 and he is hitting .265 in AAA at the age of 23, but has well over 50 rbi’s in 300 PAs.
        This guy deserves a chance to be what he was projected to be: a hitter. he was the #6 pick in Appel’s draft and Appel has never thrown a pitch in the majors. Give him a chance to hit .300 in AAA, something Singleton never even got close to. Then see what we have.

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  13. Springer is a serviceable outfielder that would play on most teams. His weakness is obviously his bat. His fielding is above average. It always seemed that his swing was too big and uncontrolled to be a real standout. Maybe it’s his eyes or how he was coached since being brought up….who knows.
    If he were put on the block, who would we seek ? What we need are OFers. The pitching is generally good enough to win and will be for next year assuming LMJ does not need surgery. So what are we looking for if we give up a serviceable OFer ??
    I am in agreement with most of you in that it is time to cut ties with some and let the young ones play. And I agree that it is wayyyyy premature on making a declaration on the likes of Reed, White, Kemp and the other new guys.

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    • TNT, I think that qualifies as a bit of an understatement. Springer is about as serviceable a right fielder as exists in the game today, give or take two or three other guys. He is third in range factor and second in assists. He’s made one error on the season. This from a guy who spent his whole life playing center before being moved over for the revolving door that has become center on our team over the past few years. He’s certainly not a weak link on this club. We’ve got plenty of real issues.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Since May 2nd Brady Rogers is 11-1….so *IF* McCullers needs season ending surgery we have options. Musgrove is sticking, and I wouldn’t be opposed to going with S 6 man rotation the rest of August, maybe into Sept.
    No I’m not throwing in the towel, because I don’t think these guys are.
    I’d put everyone you can on waivers….who knows we could make out like bandits on a couple of guys. Castro would be gone in a New York minute.
    Yeah……play the kids! They are our 2017 future. Gotta remember Reed was drafted in 2014, and his body and bat speed is NOTHING like Bregmans.
    Tony Kemp sit yourself down in left field!! It’s YOURS!
    I have to agree with Billy, Preston Tucker is probably just a AAA player, so keeping him in Fresno doesn’t hurt anything.
    Derrick Fisher was promoted to Fresno yesterday.
    If I hear somebody say trade Springer one more time, I’m going to go all a$$ and elbows on ’em. This guy IS the Astros!
    Marisnick needs to play E dry single game in center. PERIOD.
    I have no idea how many runs that kid has saved just in the last WEEK! And….that ARM OMG!!!
    These are the guys I don’t wanna see in the lineup from today to the end of the season.
    Gomez
    Rasmus (probably looking at season ending surgery anyway)
    Tucker
    Can’t put Castro on this list, because Gattis can’t catch everyday.
    Nothing like the Olympics to fill up a day, when I can’t go anywhere!! How ’bout those swimmers!!

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  15. I hate auto correct. Marisnick needs to play center every single day. Gomez has played his last game for the Astros as far as I’m concerned. He can’t hit, and he dang sure can’t field anymore.
    Sorry Tim, it’s the truth. It just is.

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  16. If the line-up card for tonight’s game is any indication, the F.O. still think playing Gomez is a good idea. And they actually like Gattis in the 5 hole and Marwin Gonzalez in the 6-hole. He is our centerfielder. Write it in the sky: FO to fans: Eat garbage, idiots!!!!

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  17. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR…AT what point do you play a guy like Gomez, just because you owe him money? If he’s costing you games (not even smelling a hit) why keep him on your 25? I guess the powers that be think at some point in the next 60 days the guy will actually get *a* hit. Good luck at Target field tonight fellas, that’s a BIG outfield to troll. I don’t get “it”.

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    • I think your ‘BIG outfield’ comment might answer why Gomez is playing. The only other viable OFer, since Altuve is getting the day off and Marwin is starting in his place and Kemp is DH, is Tucker. They probably want a strong defensive OF and Marisnick is starting in LF. I don’t like it as I don’t see why they didn’t put Altuve at DH and let Kemp or Marwin play LF with JFSF in CF. I have given up on Gomez myself and I have probably been the most patient with him than anyone, and this includes those on other blogs as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tim, you might be right there. And I’m inclined to agree with you on Reed. But it’s still a crapshoot. Singleton and Wallace come to mind. When we get a guy over there who can play the bag ( Reed provides that) and also proves to be a major league hitter, then we’ll be set at first. But until that time, we are certainly not set.

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      • No he’s not. That is laughable. Who do you think put this team together? Who got Gomez, got Rasmus and then got outmaneuvered by Rasmus. This is a team that was supposed to compete for the World Series this year and isn’t even going to make the playoffs.If he is a top 10 GM, what are all those other GM’s doing so wrong that are whoopin’ his little boys?
        Your defense of Luhnow is just not even funny anymore. It’s embarrassing. When you said the other day that the Astos’ success speaks for itself I laughed at you and agreed. It is so true. There is no success and it speaks for itself.
        You were wrong about Gomez and Luhnow and the Astros.
        The Astros are the worst hitting team in the AL and that’s Luhnow’s team. By no measure is he one of the top GMs.
        I like some of the things Luhnow has done. But you overrate him by a mile. The proof is on the field. They just got spanked by the worst team in the league. and when it came down to the nitty gritty, his team folded, just like they did down the stretch last year and just like they did against the Royals.

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      • You’re frustrated because your favorite team is struggling and I get it, but it’s simply frustration on your part. Gomez has not worked out, but the majority of moves he has made to rebuild this organization are still in place. He is one of the top 10 GMs in baseball. Only 3 GMs have won a WS since Luhnow became the GM of the Astros. OP, this has been your M.O. since you have been on here. When the team is going well you’re praising everyone, but when the team is struggling you’re blaming everyone. That’s just the sign of a frustrated fan and I get it, but it doesn’t detract from the growth and success this organization has had.

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      • Tim, you/ve got low expectations. This club has regressed significantly from 2015. Is that not clear to you? Is that part of the plan? And at this point anyway, there are a whole lot of question marks when looking towards 2017.

        I’ll keep it simple. At this point, we are set at short, second and right field. That’s it. How many years has Luhnow been at it?

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      • Dave,

        There is still plenty of time for them to finish 10+ games over .500. However, many teams regress from the previous season. The Rays, DBacks, Dodgers, Cardinals, Mets, Royals, Twins, Angels, Pirates and Yankees are all probably going to regress from 2015. Thus, based upon the synopsis here they all have terrible GM’s. It’s a ridiculous argument and one without validity. The team is experiencing injury woes that have contributed to the recent struggles and I think more of the blame is on Hinch, but I don’t know the conversations going on between Luhnow and Hinch, but starting Gomez and Gattis last night when you’re giving Altuve the night off made no sense whatsoever. A one season regression doesn’t mean it is the GM’s fault. The season isn’t over, but this will be the first year the team has regressed since 2013 if they don’t finish with 86+ wins. The farm system is still rich with talent and the major league team has plenty of talent. It is young, undeveloped talent, but it is still talent. Once players like Bregman and Reed mature along with the young pitching this team will be contenders in 2017.

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      • Also, we are set in the rotation, bullpen, 1B, 3B and DH. With any young team you have to allow the players to adjust to major league hitting, but Bregman, Reed and Gurriel will be fine as they’ve proven it throughout their minor league/International careers. There’s not guarantees, of course, but as we have seen with Gomez, there are no guarantees with veterans as well. You have to be patient and allow the team to mature and grow together. It will happen, but fans, by nature, are very impatient.

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      • Tim, we haven’t had a serviceable DH since we joined the American League. I’m hopeful that we can fill that role with a Gurriel or a White, but so far, we still have a big question mark there. And I think Bregman will put things together too, but Third base also remains a question mark. The rotation is set for 2017? Look what happened to our rotation in 2016. The pen? We can’t even find a lefty. Harris would be great if ours was a 90 game season. Who is our closer in 2017? Tim, we’ve still got more questions than answers. And we should be past that point by now.

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  18. Gomez just costs McHugh 2 runs. How much longer are we going to have to jump and SCREAM about this loser!!! Two errors in the same damn inning by Gomez.
    GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRŔRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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  19. So far Mr. Gomez has struck out, hit into a DP, and been responsible for giving up 3 runs defensively. Another day at the office.

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  20. Stassi has hit in 7 out of his last 8 games, Heineman has hit safely in 10 out of his last 11. Can we just cut bait with Castro and use Stassi and Heineman the rest of the way? We can DFA Gomez to make room on the 40…pretty please?

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  21. The last time Gomez had a game like this…..they put him on the DL the next day.
    Stay tuned to see what happens on this road trip. Any bets???

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  22. The team JL put together in 2015 was 6 outs away from the ALCS. The org doubled down on a repeat in 2016 (both the lineup & pitching w/some additions), seemingly discounting any regression, and it’s costing them big time now.
    While the glimmer of playoff hopes makes it difficult to go all in on a youth movement, I think it is time for this tm to redefine itself, identify its core players (both majors/minors) & run, run, run with them on the field.
    ‘You can’t know what you have until you play what you have’
    And pls, by all means feel free to sit, trade, jettison those marginal, FA pickups who do not contribute to this tm, taking away opportunities for those who possibly could.
    If throwing in the towel means playing the youth while sitting underperforming vets, then I’m all for it at this juncture.

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    • Good point. It goes to show that if you can get to the playoffs anything can happen. However, the 2015 team with its 2015 record would not make the playoffs in 2016 or in most any other season. In the 2015 playoffs we basically road a monster run from Carter and Rasmus, a career year from Keuchel and LMJ. We were actually a booted double play by Correa away from the ALCS. Both the 2015 and 2016 teams are very close to .500 teams.

      I agree with everything you said. Let the kids run and jettison the dead weight. Start now getting a jump on 2017. I also think this approach improves the chances og going on a run and getting back into the race.

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  23. To reignite the Lunhow discussion I offer the following:
    Lunhow is an enigma. He seems to have a great knack for identifying very young players with potential and getting them rolled into trade packages. He also seems to have a good feel fro the draft and for minor league player development. However, at the big league level he seems to have trouble establishing player worth/ value. We have not really seen a move (external) that has significantly strengthened this team during his tenure. I would argue that the improvement from ’14 – ’15 was more influenced by internal forces (Keuchel, CC, LMJ, Altuve, etc) than by external (I will agree the McHugh was a part – kudos to Jeff). This team is not as good as the ’15 version and that is troubling. This is not due to regression, this is due to inferior talent and or talent in decline (Mr. Gomez). I have not seen a bold move for an “A List” player via trade or free agency. John Daniels is making Jeff look pretty weak.

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    • Jon Daniels is one of the best GM’s in the game, but 4 years ago Rangers fans wanted him run out of town when they collapsed down the stretch in 2012 and then folded down the stretch in 2013. Even the great Jon Daniels has yet to win a World Series title and he’s been at it much longer than Luhnow. Daniels went through some growing pains and made some bad trades (does anyone remember the Ryan Dempster trade? The Fielder trade isn’t looking good either). Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Astros are on the right track, but patience is necessary, which is not a common trait among fans.

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      • Let’s look at the Rangers. Back-to-back WS appearances and now back- to- back playoff appearances. Between the two was a near complete rebuild. They have held together despite a pitching staff (and team for that matter) that has been decimated by injuries and despite some trades that didn’t work out. All the while building one of the best farm systems in the game and effectively dealing prospects for players at a rate that keeps the team improving and in contention.

        I am not saying that every trade is going to be a blockbuster and I also understand that many of them won’t work out in the end. I really don’t care. What I do care about is seeing this team get better. Right now we just don’t have a very good lineup and we have virtually no depth. Lunhow can take the accolades when we succeed, however he must also take the hit when we fail. This is the team that he constructed.

        This is not about emotional fan response. This is about facts. The facts are that this team, as constructed is not good enough to compete for post season accolades. Trying to wash away the facts by saying “that’s just how fans are” is disingenuous and just another way of hiding your head in the sand.

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      • Jon Daniels never inherited a situation like Luhnow did in 2012. He had a decent farm system and some decent talent at the major league level and he couldn’t get his team to the playoffs in 4 seasons. Putting your head in the sand and being disenguous is ignoring the unbelievable task of rebuilding an organization in less than 5 years when it would have taken a less qualified GM a decade or more to rebuild the mess he inherited. This Astros team is good and will be very good next year.

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      • I think the fans have been and are being pretty patient. I’m not saying Lunhow is a failure, I’m saying that the team he is putting on the field at the moment is not succeeding, nor is he showing the requisite flexibility to alter things on the fly. It’s called acknowledgement. I acknowledge that Lunhow’s moves are not paying off. Despite all other things, the major moves that he made have not worked out and the key pieces are not contributing. Who knows how this will eventually work out but its not wrong or bad for fans to maintain expectations of at least competitive consistency. I’m not a rash, fickle fan but I am also not an apologist for anyone.

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  24. Dang vewill1 u nailed it TY and kudos to Op and Dave, Uncle Jeff should get 1 more year to right this mess he has created. I’m talking the Astros not potential prospects. I think UJ might have gotten the Captains chair to soon.

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    • I don’t know about Lunhow or Hinch. They may end up being super stars or goats. However, the person (whichever one it is) that is making the decision to trot Gomez out game after game lacks the decision making skills to succeed and should be fired.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I envision that it is the GM that determines who plays and who does not. The field mgr is supposed to make lineups, but my bet is JL is calling the shots running Rasmus, Gomez and Gattis out there. JL has to know this team is worse than last year. He can read statistics. I cannot help but wonder about the basis for his reasoning. It sure as hell is not to win games. Is he trying to create value for guys that are not under contract next year by letting them right their ship ?? ? Why ?
    Is JL reluctant to play the young ones for fear that they will fail and the fans will not support them so they can’t raise ticket prices ?
    My point is that there is obviously more here than meets the eyes of the fans. I really don’t care what it is, this team is not a contender. Period. This team has not been a solid contender and has not put more than 3 hitters on the field with a BA of more than .250 since 2005 .
    You bet that I am a fan. But to condescendingly suggest that I am not patient is ridiculous. I have paid for the many games every year…in advance ! There is no stupid rule that says it should take X number of years to rebuild a team. Either you know how to do a job..or you don’t.
    It’s time to put people in the Astros organization that know how to do their job, and do it well. Few companies would have been as patient as I have with mediocrity.
    Wish I did not dislike the Rangers so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. This Astros team is good.
    There are 14 major league teams today that are gooder than them and 15 major league teams that are badder than them.
    Apparently, baseball is now like the rest of the world.
    Average is the new good.
    Compared to being the worst team in baseball for three years straight, not being the worst team in baseball is being good.
    The Astros have played more home games than anyone in baseball and the Rangers are tied with the Indians for having played the least home games. The Astros are probably not going to get gooder with all those road games.
    But, they are going to be good next year, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OP…….you just made me laugh outloud! Thanks I needed that this morning!!
      Today is a new day…..let’s go get a win so we can keep getting gooder!!!

      Like

    • McCann is not a significant upgrade over what they have now. Castro is actually a pretty good catcher. Even with his paltry batting stats he is still better than league average. Let’s face it, the best talent avoid the position like the plague. There is a real shortage of decent, much less good catching in the league. We could live with Castro and his bat if he were the only bad bat in the lineup.

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  27. We’re only 4 games behind the second WC at this point. There’s no way they throw in the towel. I agree with everyone posting that they have flaws. They haven’t hit a HR in 7 games, however, which is what they live and die by. It’s kind of sad to see the team Luhnow built play this way AFTER he passed on Kris Bryant. Sorry, am I beating a dead horse? daveb’s assessment of the plan or lack thereof is correct.

    Liked by 1 person

      • The jury is still out on that, but I think the circumstances were different. In 2012 Luhnow picked the guy who would sign for a low enough amount that he could pick a difficult signee next. In 2013 the experts seemed split between Appel and Gray with Bryant getting some healthy support. His power (and K) profile is what Luhnow has put on the field at the MLB level.

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      • The jury is still out on all draft picks within the past 4 years, including Bryant. The point is that Correa was as much as a hit over Buxton as Appel as a miss over Bryant, so far. Sure, Buxton could finally figure it out, but so could Appel. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss. Such is the life of an MLB GM.

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  28. During June and July the naysayers were quiet, but as usual, they use the next rough stretch to come out of the woodworking and use this rough stretch as the basis for an average team. I wasn’t aware the season ended on August. It looks like the MLBPA got their desire for a shorter season granted.

    Furthermore, if batting average was the basis for determining whether a team was good then the Astros should be in dead last in the AL and should’ve been near the bottom last year. Let’s just ignore strong pitching and defense, which is the 2 factors of most champions. This team is much gooder than they’ve played the last 2 weeks, but not as good as they played in June and July. Have patience and you’ll be rewarded. Of course, we can always go get Ed Wade and Tim Purpura. Those were fun times.

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  29. There isn’t any way to judge a GM other than his record. JL proposed a plan that would bring the Astros back in contention ( I’m not sure, but I believe the plan was for 5 years ). Well, here we are five years later with one playoff team that barely crawled into the post season and promptly regressed back to mediocrity. A team that only made the playoffs because a few guys had above average years.

    What has this GM done to make me believe in him? Drafted high and acquired some good players? Picked up a few waiver wire pieces that are sometimes good and sometimes bad? Made quite a few horrible trades and no really good trades?
    Hired a manager with a bad record and a coaching staff that couldn’t handle a little league team? Treats his players like avatars on a video game?

    We need a GM with real baseball knowledge.

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  30. After looking at McCann’s numbers I think I would trade Jon Singleton for him straight up. If the Yankees want an above average center fielder thrown in who is coming off a gooder second half, I grudgingly surrender Gomez.
    The Yankees get a young power-hitting first baseman on a very team friendly contract who can take Martex’s place at 1B and a elite fielding CF who could also replace A-Rod at the DH spot.
    The Astros take on a big contract and get a left-handed hitting catcher who earns his salary half the time with his bat and that eases the pain of letting our catcher walk after not earning his pay at all.
    The downside of entering the negotiations for McCann is the negative publicity the club will get when McCann says “hell no” to a trade to the Astros. Not everyone wants to go to a team with one of the top GM’s. They kinda prefer to go to a team who wins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim has Uncle Jeff loaned you a ton of Money? I know you want your Astros to be World Champs, I know you’re a smart guy. What is your blind allegiance to UJ? Are you getting paid to defend him on these blogs ,it makes no sense . He has improved the worst team in baseball to be average in 5 years with a ton of good drafts and crappy trades. A lot of us are getting older here and 2017 is not looking close to be what we all that 2017 would look like.

      What is so wrong with thinking maybe the team needs a new leader/new direction, Uncle Jeff will be fine somewhere else? Maybe he is just not the guy, wont be the first or last. You always revert to Wade and Ol Timmy P. I think we all need to aim Higher than that.

      Like

      • First, I will respond to Sandy’s comment that he has been some horrible trades, but no really good trades. What about Joe Musgrove, Chris Devenski, Frances Martes, David Paulino, James Hoyt and Jake Marisnick? I am expecting your response to be that none of those players have proven themselves so we can’t call the trades really good. Ok, then how can we call the trades you don’t like horrible? Gomez hasn’t performed, but Mike Fiers has given the Astros a higher combined WAR than the players we traded away. The Conger trade was a loss, but he gave the Astros a 0.5 WAR so he wasn’t a negative player. There really haven’t been any horrible trades if you are basing it upon production at the major league level.

        Next, you indicate he hasn’t fulfilled the 5-year plan. Did he promise a World Series in 5 years? No one can make that promise as only 3 GM’s have won a World Series since Luhnow was hired. However, he did rebuild the franchise back to being a contending team in less than 5 years (when you take the eventual world champions to w/in 6 outs of elimination it’s hard to argue the team was not a contender). The plan, in my opinion, was to rebuild the franchise to being a legitimate contender in 5 years and he did this as they were contenders last year. Regardless of the comments about him having no success he clearly has had success both in rebuilding the farm system and putting a competitive team at the major league level. The situation was so dire in 2012 that most fans expected the Astros to be a losing franchise for, at the very least, the next 5 years. It was a daunting task with what he inherited in trying to rebuild it and he did this in much faster time than most expected and very few others could have.

        This is why I am a Luhnow fan. He isn’t the best GM in the game, but he is a good GM that has done more than what was expected of him. The Astros could be in a much worse situation, and probably would, if they hired someone else. I don’t even remember who the other candidates were for the job, but I strongly believe Crane made the right hire.

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      • ‘What about Joe Musgrove, Chris Devenski, Frances Martes, David Paulino, James Hoyt and Jake Marisnick?’

        Good point….especially Devenski for Brett Myers, and the Cosart trade.

        Like

    • The reason I was floating this idea, is the Yankees are gonna put him on waivers, and if Luhnow let’s Castro walk next year, McCann would be the veteran for our young catchers…ie: Stassi and Heineman.. (spelling)?
      Think Luhnow will bring Castro back? I’m not sure.
      Singelton straight up for McCann???!!! LAWD..YES!!

      Like

      • The Yankees already put him on waivers and nobody bit. Now they are free to trade him.
        Nobody claimed him because all 30 GMs agree that he is not worth his salary. If he were, the Yankees would keep him and 29 other teams would have claimed him.

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      • I would resign Castro in a heartbeat if he would take 3/$27 – $30. Castro is not a bad catcher and is regarded league- wide as being well above average. We could live with his bat if he were the only .200 hitter in the lineup. I believe that he will get FA offers that are much higher than the Astros are willing to go. I would not touch McCann. At this point he would not be an upgrade and would cost a LOT more. For the Yanks to eat contract they will want top prospects. No go for me.

        Like

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