CHIPALATTA

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2016 season has been The Perfect Storm for Astros


If 2015 was a snapshot of things to come and 2017 is the Year of the World Series, what in the heck is 2016?

I’ll tell ya! It’s The Perfect Storm!

Could — or even should — Jeff Luhnow and/or A.J. Hinch have seen this coming? I mean, if they’re rocket scientists and magicians with a splash of soothsayer, palm reader and Kreskin. Heck, maybe even part Carnac (that will send some of you to Google rather quickly)!

The Perfect Storm?

Perhaps. The perfect storm is a meteorological term, but it’s also transferable to other situations and circumstances.  A la the 2016 Houston Astros. Here’s the definition:

“…a particularly bad or critical state of affairs, arising from a number of negative and unpredictable factors…”

Does that define the Astros in 2016? Sure it does. About the only things that are living up — or down — to expectations this season is that Jose Altuve (and maybe George Springer) continues to play at an MVP level and ticket prices continue to rise.

Here’s a short list of things that have contributed to the 2016 Perfect Storm Season.

  • Dallas Keuchel. Who among us doesn’t believe the team would be in contention if Keuchel was even a shell of his 2015 self?
  • The Carlos Gomez Debacle. Again, who among us could have predicted this disaster. And, who among us foresaw that Josh Hader and Brett Phillips would struggle in Milwaukee’s minor league system thus far?
  • Ken Giles. Yes, virtually everyone among us believe the Astros gave up too much for Giles. Still, who among us would have figured Giles would struggle like he has? But…who among us wouldn’t give a nickel to have Vincent Velasquez in the rotation right now?
  • Injuries. Well, every team has injuries, but Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Valbuena, Max Stassi and a few others have forced the Astros’ hand where they had nothing to give.
  • Hitting. Who among us would have thought that the Astros would have been in the bottom third of all these categories: batting average, OPS, OBP, slugging percentage, runs, hits? All the while still leading the league in strikeouts? Of course, no one among us ever predicted OBP, hitting and running, high average of RISP were ever a strong suit for this team.
  • Be honest now. Who among us knew, predicted or would otherwise have thought that none of Tyler White, A.J. Reed, Colin Moran, Preston Tucker or Tony Kemp would succeed?  Where would the Astros be now if only one of them had become a regular contributor? Obviously, the jury is still out on Alex Bregman, but he’s the most likely to succeed at some point in 2016. The others have had more incubation time and should have been ready for some level of prime time.
  • Colby Rasmus is earning, umm, making $15.8 million on his qualifying offer this season and he just has been diagnosed with vertigo.  Wait, there are fans among us — many — who are experiencing vertigo symptoms watching the 2016 Astros!

Yes, those are only a few of the elements involved in the Astros’ 2016 Perfect Storm season. You can add your own, but these are the things that general managers and managers are fired over, players are released over, youngsters are rushed over and trades are made for.

Now, before you shout me down — and some of those among us may have started typing before getting this far — this is not intended to absolve management at any level. Yes, there are some horrible trades, though many of the players traded away aren’t performing with their new teams either. The GM is always responsible. He gets the blame when the team fails and rarely gets the credit with the team wins.

But there are many factors in the Astros’ failures of 2016 and time is running out to right the ship.

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About Chip Bailey

Chip Bailey lives in beautiful Colorado Springs, CO, and wakes up each morning to the tallest spot in the region, Pikes Peak. He is an author and former sports editor and sportswriter who has followed the Astros for more than 50 years. A native of another picturesque city, Natchitoches, La., Chip enjoys watching baseball at most any level, especially pro and college. Several years ago, he worked as an associate of Pastor John Bosman, who enjoyed giving nick names to his staff. Pastor Bosman came up with Chipalatta, and it has stuck.

204 comments on “2016 season has been The Perfect Storm for Astros

  1. Kevin
    August 12, 2016

    I wanted to say TY to everyone who posts on here. Life is a little hectic right now and you all provide so much information and insight to out team. Thanks for all the hard work and research you all do. Much appreciated. Becky get better, Op and Bill keep bringing the hard truth, and Tim keep up the faith we may differ on Uncle Jeff, but you are an awesome homer!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Becky⚾
      August 12, 2016

      Kevin….thank you! I am feeling a little better, it was sweet of you to give me a shout out! Hope all is good with you in the Rocky Mountain state!!

      Like

    • Tim
      August 12, 2016

      LOL!

      That made me laugh. No doubt I am a homer and I appreciate the humor for this homer.

      Liked by 1 person

    • daveb7
      August 13, 2016

      Kevin, you’re a good soul. I really hope your hectic life right now is only that.

      Like

  2. Becky⚾
    August 12, 2016

    Hernandez just got called up!! Another option for the outfield!! Glad to see Luhnow giving these kids a break to see how they play under pressure!!

    Like

    • Tim
      August 12, 2016

      Well, that probably just killed Fresno’s chance of making the playoffs.

      Yes, this is in jest. I’m not worried about Fresno missing the playoffs if it can help the team in Houston make the playoffs.

      Like

  3. 1oldpro
    August 12, 2016

    I had just gotten through reading a quote from Hinch explaining that the Astros were going to be doing some changes in the roster in the next 8-10 days and I was wondering why he would say that.
    Now I know.
    Teoscar is not on the 40-man because he had such a bad year last year that the Astros were not afraid to leave him unprotected in the Rule 5. They have to protect him now and this is how they will choose to do it. Somebody is going to have to come off of the 40-man to make room. This is exciting.
    Rasmus to the 60-day DL?
    Chapman to the scrap pile?
    Somebody traded?
    The Astros are getting younger(except for Yuli).

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      August 12, 2016

      Isn’t it exciting!!! Gotta see if they can play under pressure….and so far they are showing us they CAN!!

      Like

    • Kevin
      August 12, 2016

      Wahoo Tman!!!

      Like

  4. daveb7
    August 12, 2016

    Ok. As OP suggested last week, I hope we’re not rushing the kid. So where does he play? I sure hope he does not go out to center, keeping Springer in right. Springer should be the captain of the outfield at this point, back where he belongs, providing strength up the middle. I hope last nights start in the 8 position was a hint of things to come for George. Has anyone out there ever heard a negative peep from Springer since being moved out of position on arrival in Houston?

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      August 12, 2016

      NOPE!!! Not a peep! That’s why I am sure he will get offered a nice contract next year. About TIME Crane opens up his wallet to lock up his core players.

      Like

      • daveb7
        August 12, 2016

        My real concern is that he’ll decline an offer. Had he come up with NY or the Sox, he’d have been a repeat All Star centerfielder by now, as a back up to Trout.

        Like

      • Becky⚾
        August 12, 2016

        He will if they try to low ball him. NOTHING pi$$es me off more than offering a low ball contract to a REALLY great player……NOTHING. That’s why I’m GLAD Altuve got Scott Boris for an agent this year! Just wait until we lose him and Correa when it’s time to offer REAL money to them. When we played the Yankees I bet they snuck in the visitors club house and measured Correa’s….uniform!! They are liking their chops until Correa hits free agency!!

        Like

  5. 1oldpro
    August 12, 2016

    OK, I know I was dreaming at 1am this morning when I commented about Springer in CF. He looked so great out there. How good did he look? Baseball Reference says that if he played 135 games at CF the way he played last night he would accumulate 135 defensive runs saved above the average player in that time.
    So far this season Mike Trout has 1 defensive run saved over average in 109 games in CF
    In 109 games this season in CF, Kevin Pillar has 17 runs saved over average.
    Springer is not Jesus, and he is not Superman. But he is a center fielder. What if he were to raise his offensive stats a bunch playing CF, because he is happier there?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Becky⚾
    August 12, 2016

    With Hernandez being added to the 40 man, I expect Chapman to get DFA’d. Even bad lefty relievers are getting jobs, so I doubt he will be in MLB limbo for long.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 12, 2016

      Well, Becky, from what I understand, the Astros only had 38 or 39 spots filled on their 40-man, so nobody has to be DFA’d at this moment. Thanks to TCB for that info.

      Like

  7. Devin
    August 12, 2016

    What is our roster, rookie count at now?
    Teoscar
    Bregman
    Reed
    Kemp
    Devenski
    Gustave
    Feliz?
    White
    Who did I miss?

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 12, 2016

      Musgrove and then Gurriel next week

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 12, 2016

      And Hoyt.

      Like

  8. rj
    August 12, 2016

    how many of our top 30 prospects are from the recent international signings? seems like we made a pretty good haul.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 12, 2016

      Sierra-#22
      Nova-#21
      More will be added as the Astros move people up. It’s hard to add 16-17 year olds to the Top 30 of baseball’s #3 ranked farm system.
      Both of the guys we got for Feldman and Fields are now in the top 30 and Reymin Guduan is back in there with Kemp losing his prospect status.

      Like

      • rj
        August 12, 2016

        thanks op. i suspect when the 16-17 yr olds are 19-20 there will be a few more on that list. i think going for it like they did this year was a slick move as well.

        Like

  9. 1oldpro
    August 12, 2016

    Gregerson Activated, Giles to Paternity list, Chapman optioned to Fresno.

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      August 12, 2016

      Giles ad wife are having a boy and his name is Brody!! I wonder if he’ll grow up and ski in the Olympics??!!!

      Like

  10. Becky⚾
    August 12, 2016

    They placed Tucker on the( eh hem) 15 day DL with a “sprained left shoulder, so they can keep him up!! Does Luhnow think any of us are THAT stupid!! LOL!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Billy Castillo
      August 12, 2016

      Maybe he ‘sprained’ it whilst swinging and missing…

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 12, 2016

      The question is: Did I think Luhnow was that smart? That’s a pretty slick move if you ask me.

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        August 12, 2016

        You’re right OP!!!

        Like

  11. Becky⚾
    August 12, 2016

    Teoscar Hernandez in center, Marwin in left, Springer in right. Jake “tweeked” something in the first game yesterday….there’s your answer from yesterday Daveb.
    We now have 10 rookies on the roster! Cool……let’s see how you do boys!
    Oh yeah…..Gattis is your DH tonight.

    Like

    • Tim
      August 12, 2016

      They are facing a LHP and White is starting at 1B so I will reluctantly give a pass for Gattis at DH.

      Like

  12. Becky⚾
    August 12, 2016

    Rasmus had surgery on Wednesday to remove the cyst in his ear, they HOPE to get hi back sometime in September. I’m sure he’s glad to have that behind him.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      August 12, 2016

      Maybe that surgery would work for Singleton.

      Like

      • Becky⚾
        August 12, 2016

        LOL!!!

        Like

      • Billy Castillo
        August 12, 2016

        There’s nothing between his ears, though…

        Like

      • vewill1
        August 12, 2016

        OP, it may not be surgery that Singleton needs. Remember when Lincecum was busted for partaking of the herb? Right after that he fell of a cliff (I still have my “Let Timmy Smoke” T- shirt I picked while in SF. Well, remember when Singleton was a top prospect and got busted for being addicted to the herb? He fell right off the same cliff. I say bring Singleton up, put on some Bob Marley in Club Astros, throw him a big fat one to smoke and see how his game is the next day 🙂

        Like

      • Billy Castillo
        August 12, 2016

        Gotta say this real quick…I’m in favor of rescheduling (and actually in favor of making it legal outright). No personal issue with Singleton, although I do think he lacks the drive to be a successful MLB player.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        August 12, 2016

        Vewill, Singleton is done. He wants out of the Astros’ organization, but loves the money too much and doesn’t have to try hard to earn it. I doubt he plays for the Astros again.

        Like

    • vewill1
      August 12, 2016

      I wonder how much that ear issue really affected him?? Could be none…..could be huge. And Billy, that comment on Singleton is just brutal. Remind me to stay on your good side!

      Like

  13. Becky⚾
    August 12, 2016

    The Cards and the Mets are talking a trade with us for Gomez. Whoever takes him will have to pay him a little over $2 million. Holiday got hit in the thumb later night, and it’s broken, so they need someone to fill his spot. The Mets are a head scratchers…..why would you want someone who you passed on last year?
    Take him please! I actually liked the guy…..just not as a player!

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      August 12, 2016

      I hope we do it for his sake.

      Like

    • vewill1
      August 12, 2016

      If we could get any type of young prospect I would suggest that we eat his remaining salary and take the prospect. Gotta admit that Jeff has a pretty good track record on young, unheralded prospects in trades.

      Like

  14. vewill1
    August 12, 2016

    What an exciting day for the Astros! Going back to a prior post, I too would like to see Springer as the everyday CF’er. Problem is that neither Teoscar nor Kemp have the wing to play RF and Marisnick’s arm is marginal as an everyday RF’er. With Gurriell expected up next week what move do they make with their OF? I would like to see Bregman stay at 3rd, where he has been excellent. Do you play Gurriell at 3rd, LF or just DH? I personally would like to see Gurriell DH (but then what do you do with Reed? or White? – do you platoon them at 1st?) and Kemp/Springer/Hernandez in the OF, with Jake as a 4th and insurance if Teoscar stumbles. Deciding where these guys will play sure is a nice problem to have for a change!

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      August 12, 2016

      I’ll be good with a reed/white platoon at first

      Like

      • vewill1
        August 12, 2016

        Billy, I have been following your posts and gotta say you can be a nasty fella. I do however respect your overtly positive love for Tucker and Singleton:)

        Like

      • Billy Castillo
        August 12, 2016

        I really don’t try to be…some of what I say I do say in jest.

        That said, I do think Tucker is nothing more than an AAAA player, and Singleton, well…his issues are self-caused.

        Like

      • vewill1
        August 12, 2016

        I was jesting too. You are spot on!

        Like

  15. Mark
    August 12, 2016

    This stretch since the ASG has been deflating. If we were ever prepared to/going to part with Gomez, I dont understand the timing? And to find StL as potential trade partners? Of what value if now could he not have brought at any other time? We should have been sellers on him all along. They say GoGone hit bombs in batting practice – surely we saw enough under the hood to have traded him away before now!

    Anyone notice Dan Straily at $515,000 has pitched as well (134 IP, 6.6 H/9, 112 ERA+, 1.11 WHIP), or better than any of our starters! I can name several others in fact, like Fields, Feldman and Peacock, who Straily could have replaced. We do have Brent Strom, who in theory could have worked out his Springtime kinks. And now that this season is waning, the big question is: “what could have been?”

    Couldn’t we have just added a mid-level reliever or found the answer in-house? We have a cache’ of guys with electric stuff we could have truly played “hot hand” with. Maybe we were all ready to cast off the guys we did, for Giles. But that move is looking more like a few years from now pay off – one way, or another.

    I might have said it was a close call up to a few weeks ago, but we should have sold out on Lucroy and let Gattis go. The reasoning is similar to Reddick in LA, that even though he’s taking his early lumps, the team is still winning and hitting around him while he figures it out.

    If we didnt know before the season what to expect of Reed, Tucker, White and Bregman – which have collectively vastly underperformed expectations – then we should have gone with a known quantity in Lucroy’s bat. In turn, Gattis is having an abysmal 26% K rate, and he’s had crucial passed balls you wont see in a seasoned backstop!

    Im not one to blame the architect as much as the players because at the moment of truth, its all on them to perform. The list of rookies who have contributed significantly offensively on this team is disappointing, especially considering the hype. Meanwhile, a workman-like Straily just quietly eats innings up.

    If we see consistency in Kemp (speed and agility in the OF are evident), and Teo holds his own, then its going to look mighty foolish to have held onto Gomez. What we have learned and what we knew all along, zero OBP from the bottom half of the order will kill any momentum, almost as badly as blown saves.

    This season with a little more momentum from the support cast may have been enough to kick-start Correa or Springer, embolden a SP. Lucroy at DH all along would have solved many ‘a problem. I think it speaks volumes about budgetary issues at the catching position, and the attachment/commitment we’ve made with Castro, where we just didnt think outside the box enough.. it will be fitting if Lucroy in retrospect made the actual difference in our possible post-season bid already in the Rangers series. It certainly felt like a death knell!

    Like

    • vewill1
      August 12, 2016

      No since in holding on to Strailey. His stuff translates to BOR at best. The Giles move was a good one, but possibly not in light of what we gave. You are right, it will take years to know. Lucroy would have been a fine addition, and if we had not already gave up so much of the farm for Gomez, Kazmir and Giles I would have supported it. As it is, I assume that the prospects we were willing to deal wouldn’t get the deal done. I personally think standing pat was the right move. We were not just a Lucroy away. I’m not sure I would say that Reed, White and Bregman have under- perfromed expectations (I would argue that Bregman’s defense and arm at third have exceeded even the most optimistic expectations). They have performed as you would expect a prospect….. you never know. All have seemed to show signs of life lately and are actually doing pretty well. Prospects are just as the name suggests. They do what they do and move along at the rate they move along. I think all three will be fine baseball players and long- term contributors.

      I agree that we should have tried to move Gomez earlier. Maybe they dis and no one bit.

      Like

  16. Tim
    August 12, 2016

    Right after I praise White he has 2 horrible ABs. Well, maybe if I call him out he’ll look better later in the game.

    Like

  17. Billy Castillo
    August 12, 2016

    Hernandez paying off already!

    Like

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This entry was posted on August 10, 2016 by in Astros.
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