Random questions in a random Astros’ off-season
Sometimes the mind wanders, especially the sporting mind in the middle of the 2016-2017 hot stove league. So, here are some random questions to chew on for the next few days.
- Did Brent Strom get really stupid in one season? The pitching probably over-performed in 2015. Was that mostly due to Strom? Did the “modification” to the strike zone by major league baseball hurt his pitchers more than others. Did other teams figure out that they just had to wait for 89 mph fastballs up in the zone? It says here that the pitchers will be better this year – even if it is mostly the same pitchers as last season.
- Is there any need to continue the Astros’ minor league “tandem” pitching methods? The tandem method which rotates pitchers between starting and finishing games and pretty much limits them to 4 or 5 innings at a time made more sense when they had so many holes up at the major league team and needed to give many different pitchers a chance at starting. Does it make sense anymore and how much has it hurt the development of pitchers to go 6+ innings in the majors?
- What would have happened if Chris Devenski had been taken in the 2015 Rule 5 draft? He was eligible but all the other teams in the majors by-passed picking him up. This would have been a painful loss equivalent to the wonderful gain of picking up Collin McHugh for nothing.
- Did the front office sign Yulieski Gurriel because they wanted him badly or because they thought he was OK and that he would bring along his hot-shot brother?
- What criteria do the Astros use to judge their major league coaches? Especially their hitting coach……Dave Hudgens…… Are we fans right when we blame the coaches for not changing the habits of people who have been hitting a certain way for years?
- The Astros jumped from 70-92 in 2014 to 86-76 in 2015 and then fell off slightly to a “disappointing ” 84-78 last season. Would we have been as disappointed if they had improved to 80-82 in 2015 and then bumped up some more in 2016, especially considering how many critical injuries they suffered in 2016?
- The team can still improve before spring training and it should do that. But don’t you think they should hold some cash back in case they need to make a mid-season move?
So, what are your random answers to these random questions?