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Luhnow, Astros sharpening after Christmas shopping list


Somehow the Astros’ off season just doesn’t seem to be complete. Something tells me Jeff Luhnow has some after-Christmas shopping left to do, though the bargains may not be as plentious as shopping at Macy’s and J.C. Penneys. He probably sharpened his pencil after Christmas dinner and crossed through some things, underlined other items and highlighted yet others.

Meanwhile, A.J. Hinch is likely drooling over the multiple lineups he could use next spring and he’s probably put together his own rough lineup cards while others were napping over the holidays. But Hinch shouldn’t get too comfortable yet.

There are a few meaningful free agents still available, and obviously quite a few teams are still shopping starting and relief pitching options.

Adding Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran, it’s obvious Luhnow returned to his original philosophy, trying to load up more with higher OBP, lower K/rate. On paper, the Astros’ depth chart is solid and there is actually depth this season. With such depth, however, and a need for bolstering the rotation, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that a trade — or perhaps a free agent signing — is coming soon.

So here are a few options:

Trade Evan Gattis.

Brian McCann is likely going to handle the bulk of catching duties, relegating Gattis to the DH role. However, as we all recognized last year, Gattis’ offensive numbers directly correlate to his position. As a catcher, Gattis’ line was .295/.345/.647 with a .992 OPS, but it was only .219/.298/.410 with a .709 OPS as DH. Yes, the Astros would miss his 32 HRs, but Gattis’ departure would open up a role for Preston Tucker, A.J. Reed or even Teoscar Hernandez or Colin Moran without severely damaging the overall lineup.

Of course, a Gattis trade for a starting pitcher would likely also include one of the prospects.

Sign Jason Hammel.

This free agent signing would come without penalty since the Cubs released him rather than take on his $12 million option. Always wondered why the Cubs paid the $2 million buyout rather than pick up the option. Odd, since Hammel has provided solid numbers in recent years, despite his age (he’ll be 34 on opening day). He would provide much the same results as Collin McHugh, though he would bring with him the veteran leadership, playoff-seasoned aspect lacking in the rotation and bullpen now. It would likely take at least two years, $30 million to add him, though that may be better option than what the Astros would have to “pay” in a trade for a Jose Quintana or a Chris Archer. And, while he isn’t necessarily a TOR of rotation starter, he would obviously bolster the rotation. The question is: Should the Astros simply bolster a rotation or go all out for that #1 stopper?

Give up top prospects for TOR pitcher.

This one has been one of the most discussed but is likely the most difficult for fans. Luhnow has traded many a prospect in recent years and, so far, he hasn’t been burned too badly. The jury is still voting on players Domingo Santana and Vince Velasquez, and Luhnow has demonstrated a low-restraint for trading his prospects for players he believes will help the Astros get over the top. But is Luhnow prepared — and how about you — to roll the dice and trade Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker, Daz Cameron or any of the aforementioned prospects to bring back that pitcher the Astros seem to need desperately? The bigger question may be: Do you trust Luhnow to roll those dice with those prospects?

Stand pat.

This seems like the least likely option.

With recent injury issues hanging over Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr., who wants to possibly leave the rotation with McHugh, Charlie Morton or Mike Fiers at the top? Sure Joe Musgrove and Martes himself are also standing in the wings, but who wants to thrust them into that role early in 2017? No, clearly the Astros need to make a move…or two. Gattis, McHugh, Fiers or a combination or any numbers of other players is likely coming. Prepare thyself for the parting of at least one player that may make you cringe for one reason or another.

  1. Name the one name player with whom you’d be okay parting with to get a Quintana-like pitcher.
  2. Name at least two significant prospects with whom you’d be okay parting with to get a Quintana-like pitcher.
  3. Jason Hammel anyone?
  4. What is one option that we have not yet considered that may be a viable scenario for Houston to pursue?
  5. What is the one thing that Luhnow must do before the season starts?
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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.

59 comments on “Luhnow, Astros sharpening after Christmas shopping list

  1. Kevin
    December 26, 2016

    Chip I have no Idea you were in the Springs. I’m over on the western slope, Montrose.

    Like

  2. Gov
    December 26, 2016

    I think something has to give too, Chip.

    As I just mentioned the CWS have denied interest in Fiers. The deal I would do for Quintana is Martes (centerpiece), Gattis and one of Fisher/Davis/Laureano/Daz. Even that is an absolute haul! Guys who are logjammed should be who we target to trade, essentially. Quintana is not the “be-all” as so many say, just like EE. Teams win as a unit.

    That said, there’s no way I’m trading Musgrove, or Feliz (unless they know something I don’t!). If we hold fast to what we have, possibly making smaller moves to replace the likes of Gattis, we may be alright. Fortunately we’ll have a good early test in the Nationals and ST to get a barometer.

    I can say that Gattis would hurt Hinch bc those two are tight. No way on Tucker, I can see more of a Paulino, or would’ve said McCurry (whose stock has plummeted), Armenteros is intriguing, or one of the SS Sierra/ Celestino? I think we overvalue Moran, while other teams devalue him – we apparently have a few guys that fit in that category bc the White Sox could probably could’ve suggested a different package, don’t ya think?

    I wouldn’t mind a Odorizzo trade, but the longer this draws out w/o a trade, the more I think the Astros have confidence in McHugh and Fiers to generate GB outs – simple as that. All of us are still willing to wait and see on Reed, Teoscar and White (possibly Laureano) of position players; and several pitchers to crack a rotation spot or playing time. Some of those guys like Hoyt and Devenski and even Peacock have earned their chance to make some noise first.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dan P
    December 26, 2016

    1.Name the one name player with whom you’d be okay parting with to get a Quintana-like pitcher. – I’m assuming you mean a major league level player. Fiers – who the W’Sox don’t want
    2.Name at least two significant prospects with whom you’d be okay parting with to get a Quintana-like pitcher. Daz Cameron and David Paulino
    3.Jason Hammel anyone? I would be good with it – he has been very solid the last 3 seasons with below 4 ERAs and solid WHIPs. I don’t know how fast his curveball spins and I don’t care.
    4.What is one option that we have not yet considered that may be a viable scenario for Houston to pursue? In your list under stand pat you did not include Mr. Devenski who could be a very good option for the rotation.
    5.What is the one thing that Luhnow must do before the season starts?
    Take deep breaths and think very hard before he starts tossing away top prospects.

    Like

  4. 1oldpro
    December 26, 2016

    Comments:
    -The Astros faced 53 LH starting pitchers last season. I think Gattis gets those starts at catcher. I think he gets some starts against finesse RH starters. He makes less money than Aoki, so why would they trade him? They need two catchers.
    -Fiers won’t be in a Quintana trade. They are dumping salary. The Astros keep Fiers until somebody’s #4 or #5 starter is injured in ST or until somebody calls about him.
    -I would be OK parting with Reed in a Quintana deal.
    -I would be OK with giving Martes, Moran or Cameron, and one of our young SS prospects for Quintana.
    -The one thing Luhnow must do is find a pitcher who is truly a #3 starter at the very least and add him to the rotation and trade Fiers to somebody who needs a #5. This pitcher can come from our stock or some other team’s stock, but we need to improve our rotation to where we don’t need Fiers as a #5.
    – Hammel did not pitch for the Cubs in the playoffs. Is he going to help the Astros win a World Series?
    – One option I would consider that nobody is talking about is Tyson Ross, hoping for a mid summer return.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      December 26, 2016

      OP, I understand the plusses of hanging onto Gattis, both as a defensive element and a platoon element. Aoki has always puzzled me since they signed him to a much reduced price tag than what he would likely have gotten in a hearing. As a result he cannot be traded until the summer, though he could be released in spring training, though that would be difficult since the Astros would have to prove he was beaten out by another player.

      * NOTE: The Astros may have escaped the “no trade” for Aoki by settling with him prior to the arbitration process. Since McHugh and Fiers haven’t completed the process yet, they are eligible to be traded prior to their hearings.

      Indeed, Hammel didn’t pitch in the 2016 playoffs, but he has tasted the playoffs with four different teams over the years, albeit in a limited fashion. I frankly don’t think the Astros need to spend big bucks on a MOR pitcher, but it may come down to what you can pick up in trade (and give up) and how confident you are in Keuchel and McCullers NOT getting hurt. Again, the Cubs’ release of Hammel is odd, especially since he’s seeking more than the $12 million it would have cost them to hang onto him. $12 million isn’t a ton of money to keep a pitcher who can likely give you 160+ IP, a sub 4 ERA and a decent WHIP.

      OP, I simply believe the Astros will move some $$$$ from the lineup and use those $$$ to upgrade/strengthen the rotation. The easiest way to do that is to trade Gattis. Or perhaps release Aoki in ST.

      Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 26, 2016

        Fiers is set to earn more than $4 million. If they acquire another pitcher, it’s Fier’s money I think they will try to save in a separate trade and pick up a young prospect.
        Aoki’s career slash line batting in the #9 position: .342/.392/.435/.817. How different would our lineup be with him even hitting close to .300 in front of leadoff hitter, Jose Altuve? Aoki is here to be the main left fielder, in my opinion.
        People talk about trading gattis, but I don’t think Luhnow wants to trade Gattis. I think he likes the two catchers we have.

        Like

      • 1oldpro
        December 26, 2016

        Also, I think they can trade arbitration guys anytime. It’s guys who accept qualifying offers who cannot be traded until after the following June.

        Like

  5. Devin
    December 26, 2016

    I haven’t heard a name pitcher being available in trade that really interests me. Who would I give up? Altuve, Correa, and Springer are the three I wouldn’t move. Anyone else is negotiable, but unlike most here, the top trade chip I have is Bregman. I wouldn’t move him in a deal for a #3 though…And I don’t think Quintana is good enough to pay half the asking price.

    Like

  6. Becky⚾
    December 26, 2016

    From what I hear, the White Sox weren’t impressed with the prospects that Lunow offered for Quintana. Move on.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Dan P
    December 27, 2016

    Had a few chuckles reading about Collin McHugh’s Christmas traditions – enjoy his unique sense of humor.
    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article/211508266/astros-collin-mchugh-discusses-holidays/

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Amazin' Billy C
      December 27, 2016

      That was a fun read! I needed to read something uplifting….a bit bummed after Carrie Fisher’s passing.

      Like

      • Dan P
        December 27, 2016

        Yeah I’m almost exactly two months older than Princess Leia – but I hope I have a bit more longevity.

        Like

  8. Mr. Bill
    December 27, 2016

    My personal ‘wish list’ – whether or not it comes through after-Christmas shopping by our GM:

    1. An ace [Keuchel? McCullers? Musgrove?] who in 2017:
    a. starts at least 30 games – including at least 4 in the playoffs, and 2 in the WS;
    b. finishes with an ERA under 3.00;
    c. maintains a WHIP under 1.125;
    d. finishes with an average innings/start of 6.75 or better;
    e. finishes with a K/9 ratio of over 8;
    f. finishes with a BB/9 ratio of under 2.25;
    g. finishes with an HR/9 ratio of under 1.00

    2. A lead-off hitter [if other than Jose Altuve or Nori Aoki] who hits at least .275, has an OBP of at least .360, has at least 30 doubles and 20 HR, scores at least 125 runs, and strikes out no more than 1.25 x the number of times he works a base on balls;

    3. a clean-up hitter who hits at least .295, has an OBP of at least .365, has at least 35 doubles and 30 HR, scores at least 100 runs, drives in at least 110 runs; and strikes out no more than 1.5 x the number of times he works a base on balls;

    4. a closer who finishes with an ERA under 2.85, a WHIP under 1.10, a K/9 ration of at least 13.5, a BB/9 ratio of under 2.00, an HR/9 ratio of under 1.00, and a save/save opportunity percentage of at least .885.

    5. A DH who hits at least .285, has an OBP of at least .335, has at least 25 doubles and 20 HR, scores at least 100 runs, and strikes out no more than 1.50 the number of times he works a base on balls;

    6. at least one base-stealer who steals at least 30 bases, and who gets thrown out or picked off no more than 5 times;

    7. A #5-7 trio that hits for an average of at least .265, has an average OBP of .325 or more apiece, hits an average of 20 home runs or more apiece, scores an average of 55 runs or more apiece, drives in an average of 60 runs or more apiece, and as a combined unit strike out no more than 1.75 times the number of times they work a base-on-balls;

    8. A starting rotation who in 2017, as a whole:
    a. maintains an ERA of under 4.25;
    b. maintains a WHIP of under 1.35;
    c. averages at least 6.0 innings per start;
    d. finishes with 12 or more wins apiece and a won/loss percentage of at least 65%.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 27, 2016

      Sounds like the Red Sox.

      Like

      • Mr. Bill
        December 27, 2016

        I hope it is the team that beats the Red Sox in the ALCS and goes to the WS.

        Like

  9. 1oldpro
    December 27, 2016

    Sometimes it helps to take a good look back in order to get excited about where you stand right now:
    * Last season Colby Rasmus had a .641 OPS. His career OPS is .744.
    * Last season Carlos Gomez had a .594 OPS for Houston. His career OPS is .727.
    * Last season Jason Castro had a .684 OPS. His career OPS is .699.
    * Last season Jake Marisnick had a .588 OPS. His career OPS is .607.
    Additional OPS last season:
    Worth- .431
    Stassi- .077
    Moran- .374
    Kratz- .203
    Tucker- .550
    Reed- .532
    Kemp- .621
    White- .664
    Teoscar- .724
    Marwin- .694
    Valbuena- .812
    Stop and look closely at those numbers! Altuve, Springer, Gattis, Correa, had no help whatsoever in the first half of the season (of course, Gattis mised a lot of the beginning of the season himself). Valbuena finally hit in May and June but disappeared in August and September.and Bregman and Gurriel showed up late in the year. That’s pretty much it. The players on the Astros bench were horrible, making the Astros lineup, basically, a four person lineup.
    Teoscar was the most reliable sub at the plate and he was a rookie callup.
    The Astros had to go out and get players because they would have just Bregman to add to the other four. Gurriel, Reddick, Aoki, McCann and Beltran are welcome additions, and the subtractions from the lineup are just as exciting.
    Evan Gattis missed qualifying for league leaders by one at bat. You need 500 ABs and he had 499. Of all catchers with 450 ABs he had the sixth highest WAR at 2.6. He had another .4 WAR at DH.
    Yeah, about last year’s starting rotation. I’ll need more alcohol to tackle that. But looking a the Astros’ hitters last season, how did they win 84 games?

    Like

    • Devin
      December 27, 2016

      The overworked bullpen was really good and allowed our offense a chance to overcome bad starting pitching.

      Like

    • Dan P
      December 27, 2016

      Yeah – that is just bad to look at – the only way they won was that the top 4 in the lineup dragged the rest of the lineup up the hill every day and had some help from Valbuena early and from Gattis, Bregman and Gurriel later and somehow ended up above .500.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. sandy
    December 27, 2016

    They also had some help by being in a weak division.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 27, 2016

      Not true. The AL East had the most wins with 423. The AL West and NL Central had the second most wins with 408.

      Like

      • sandy
        December 27, 2016

        Wow. Surprising.

        Like

  11. 1oldpro
    December 28, 2016

    So, here is what I read this morning. The Jays offered EE 4/80 and he turned it down and turned down their subsequent QO. Then he asked them for 5/100 and they declined and moved on.
    Then the Astros offered him 3/66 and he turned that down thinking he would get better offers. The Astros moved on with Beltran.
    Then nobody would offer EE what he wanted and that left Cleveland’s 3/60 and Oakland flew in at the last minute with a better offer, but EE didn’t want to go there, so he signs with Cleveland for less money.

    Like

  12. astrocolt45
    December 28, 2016

    As to your list, Chip. You only trade Gattis if the FO is sold on a DH (White, Reed, Teoscar, a combo, etc) and you have a backup or starting catcher. You sign Hammel if the FO thinks he is $8 +/- million better than McHugh or Fiers or ??? 1&2. I would give up more for Archer. Not interested in burning the farm for Quintana. 3. He is interesting. And you didn’t need 5 starters in WAS – so I don’t hold that against him. And he only costs money, and a decision to cut someone. 4 & 5. Hard for me to get excited past maybe a look see on Hammel.

    Like

  13. 1oldpro
    December 28, 2016

    Luhnow has said that he is going to be patient and let things settle down. He knows that the CWS asked for more than he thought Quintana was worth to the Astros. His unwillingness to make that trade tells me that he thinks highly of the guys that Chicago was asking for.
    This non-action by Luhnow tells me more about our three prospects than I have been able to discern on my own, given that I don’t have the ability to go to their games or send my own scouts out to give me a report.
    Basically, the White Sox want Martes, Tucker and Musgrove more than they want Quintana. So far, the Astros want Martes, Tucker and Musgrove more than they want Quintana. Since everybody wants Quintana and loves Quintana, the fact that our team and the White Sox love our three prospects more, maybe we need to look at those prospects as more valuable than we thought and just keep them and use them in our future and let the CWS deal with another team.
    As for us, I think we have three months to find another pitcher, so let’s hang around the party until the one we’re waiting for shows up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Devin
      December 29, 2016

      If everyone loved Quintana he’d be in a different uniform right now. A 1,2, and 3 from a well rated system should garner much more than a guy that’s just good enough not to win games. This off season gives me hope that Luhnow has matured and is closer to the GM that Tim thinks he is. He spent the most renewable resource available to bolster the team and has not yet overpaid in a trade. His offer to EE looks accurate, smart, and generous based on what others offer. I hope EE, his agent, and other FA paid attention, regret it, and will think twice about overvaluing themselves.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Diane
    December 29, 2016

    Carrie and Debbie. Debbie and Carrie. O Father, would you consider working that way for more of us?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Amazin' Billy C
      December 29, 2016

      😦

      Like

  15. 1oldpro
    December 29, 2016

    Devin’s comment above about Luhnow learning from mistakes, sent my mind racing(that is pretty much the only thing I have that races). I was thinking about some trades and the Fowler for Valbuena/ Straily trade came to mind. Straily could have made this trade better, but the Astros could not get anything out of him.
    How come? Apparently they couldn’t flip his On switch. But somebody did: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/pitching-not-throwing-with-dan-straily/.
    I realize that it is a small sample, but we a supposed to be a top-notch data driven organization. Either the Astros didn’t recognize the data or Straily didn’t bother using it until he got released and then started to pay attention. Maybe Straily didn’t have access to the data in Fresno that he had in Cincy. Who knows?
    Fowler’s one year with the Cubs didn’t hurt them but when he got the QO and turned it down, he couldn’t find another team willing to pay him and lose a draft pick, The Cubs jumped on him at the last second and he is now part of Cub History.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      December 29, 2016

      OP, I learned in coaching the hard way. Every kid (player) is different. It takes something different with every one to get them to “flip the switch”. That’s been a real problem in Houston too with several players — SEVERAL — who just don’t work here for some reason. Those same players had good stats before they got here and, in many cases, with another team when they left here. To be fair, every team has some similar experiences, but it just seems like Houston has more than its share.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. rj
    December 29, 2016

    this centeno signing made me think that if staasi does not make the team out of ST he is out of options and must clear waivers. i dont think he clears. with gattis and mccann i dont see him making the team. so centeno was a good cheap signing for depth, but i would prefer to keep stassi over him. so this either means a trade of gattis (or maybe stassi as part of a package) or the team just doesnt value stassi that much.

    Like

    • Chip Bailey
      December 29, 2016

      RJ, the Centeno signing is what makes me wonder if he’s part of the plan — or at least the backup — if some team comes along and is able to work out a deal on Gattis. Otherwise, as you point out, he will provide depth…but barring injury or trade, neither Centeno nor Stassi are likely to see time in Houston this year.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 29, 2016

      If Stassi doesn’t clear waivers, he goes to a team that can’t send him down either, because he is out of options. That means he has to stay on that team as a member of their 25 man roster. The only way Stassi stays on a major league 25-man roster is if he suddenly becomes a lot better player than he has ever shown himself to be.
      Stassi’s AAA slash line is .231/.290/.379/.669 in over 1,000 PAs. That line makes Singleton look better.
      He has only 58 major league PA’s but has been on the 40-man major league roster for four seasons.
      Stassi has had one great month in his career and that is it. For 30 games in Corpus Christi he hit like a superstar and that was three years ago.
      If the Astros get anything for him in a trade, that would be a miracle. Centen, signing a minor league contract gives them a catcher for Fresno who can be brought up in case of injury to one of our catchers. He also allows Houston to start Stubbs off in CC to make sure last season was not a fluke, if they wish to do so.

      Like

      • daveb7
        December 29, 2016

        I think McCann/Gattis give us about the best backstop combination in MLB, at least from an offensive standpoint. And chances are that one or both of them will miss some games during the season. I don’t want to see Gattis gone at this point. Maybe I’ll change my mind in six months. But for right now, those are my guys behind the plate. I don’t want an unproven or marginal guy. That includes Stassi.

        Like

  17. rj
    December 29, 2016

    1. i dont see any name player that i would give up (along with prospects) for quintana.
    2. i dont wanna give up top prospects either
    3. this is the way to go unless you get a true #1 or 2 with the above. no players just money
    4. i think we have discussed most all of them
    5. the only thing he MUST do is not screw up. we have a good team right now.

    Like

  18. 1oldpro
    December 29, 2016

    With only 31% of votes tallied, Jeff Bagwell’s percentages are getting higher. He has 10 of the 12 new votes he needed and he is looking like he will be in the HOF.
    https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=F2E5D8FC5199DFAF!7731&ithint=file,xlsx&app=Excel&authkey=!AE2Lu5P1f92OW8o

    Like

  19. astrocolt45
    December 29, 2016

    As to Baggie, I listened to a voter on MLB saying he could only vote on what he knew and not on what he did not know. So he voted for Bonds and Clemens. But didn’t vote for Bagwell. But he did vote for Manny Ramirez. Later the panel said, “He just contradicted himself.”. That sums up the current voting. It is not your record or stats, it is did you gain weight or is your name in a Conseco book.

    Like

  20. Becky⚾
    December 30, 2016

    So far the consensus is that the Astros leap frogged the other 29 teams by trading for McCann and signing Beltran. And I gotta believe if Quintana was all that, he would have already been traded. January is when Luhnow typically gets it in gear on adding to this roster……I just hope he uses some self control when he does it.
    I made out like a bandit this Christmas on Astros loot!! My family knows what I like!
    I can’t wait to see 2016 in my rear view mirror……Becky⚾

    Liked by 1 person

  21. daveb7
    December 30, 2016

    I think we’re going to have a heck of an offense. But I’d much rather have the Cubs rotation. And they don’t have any major weaknesses. Vegas still makes them and the Sox as pretty big favorites to win it all in 2017.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      December 30, 2016

      The Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox are stacked. The Indians might have the best rotation in baseball. The Astros are just behind those four teams.
      The key to the Astros is for their rotation to be much better than it was last season and for Hinch to stop talking about putting Springer in the leadoff spot. It is ridiculous to have the strikeout/ caught stealing leader leading off, especially when you have the OBP/stolen base leader right there at your disposal. His excuse for this messed up thinking is that Springer overswings if he isn’t in the leadoff spot. Hinch said that last week in an interview on Climbing Tal’s Hill. Springer’s overswinging is a coach’s problem and he needs to correct that BS, instead of penalizing the entire team by taking Altuve out of the leadoff spot where he definitely belongs, especially since Altuve learned to take bad pitches and became an OBP King.
      Last season Joe Maddon was not happy with Baez’s overswinging. But he did not remedy the situation by taking Dexter Fowler out of the leadoff spot and inserting Baez. Instead, he moved Baez down in the order and worked with him on cutting down his swing. It’s time Hinch learned that there are other duties besides making out a lineup. A manager has to be able to get his coaches to help his players get better by teaching them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Devin
        December 30, 2016

        Add on a good OBP from 9 hole and it makes even more sense to have Altuve leading off.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 1oldpro
        December 31, 2016

        It isn’t just the OBP, Devin. The 4 hitters that we no longer have in our lineup(Gomez, Rasmus, Valbuena and Castro) were four batters that could not hit the ball to the opposite field on a consistent basis. Consequently, those four batters faced three infielders on the pull side of the field every time up and on every pitch, cutting down on their ability to get a hit through the infield, when they didn’t strike out or hit the ball in the air.
        We will probably see a shift on McCann only, because the rest of the lineup are very adept at going the other way.

        Like

      • Devin
        December 31, 2016

        True. The approaches of these four hitters made me want to scream, nightly.

        Like

      • videoidgetcom
        January 7, 2017

        “The Cubs, Dodgers, Red Sox are stacked. The Indians might have the best rotation in baseball. The Astros are just behind those four teams.” <– totally agree with OldPro, except, IMO, the Tribe are the best team of the bunch.

        If the Astros want to win in 2017, they gotta pay to play and get a TOR hurler sometime before the trade deadline.

        Pitching and defense beats good hitting.

        That means Martes, Tucker, Cameron and Musgrove are all on the table.

        Here's an idea: go get Chris Archer! Pay to play! Then we can compete with the likes of the Tribe and Red Sox.

        Like

  22. daveb7
    December 31, 2016

    It’s been a tough year on this end. I’m optimistic and ready to turn the page. Best wishes to you all for good health and a peaceful New Year.

    Like

  23. 1oldpro
    December 31, 2016

    How slow are things in baseball? So slow that the top 5 stories of the week are actually pretend stories:http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/12/5-key-stories-122416-123016.html.
    How’s that for fake news!

    Like

  24. sandy
    December 31, 2016

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      December 31, 2016

      Backacha girlfriend!!

      Like

  25. Becky⚾
    December 31, 2016

    HAPPY NEW YEAR GIRLS AND BOYS!!! My hope for 2017 is to bring my health back and that this little team of ours over achieves and we get to see our fellas in that “Fall Classic”!! I have more hope for my country, and my love for my fellow Americans!! Not gonna make a resolution….I can’t stick to them anyway!!
    Here’s to you and yours♡♡♡

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Kevin
    January 1, 2017

    Happy NY you all . I’m probably on the outside here. I have a Son and Daughter in Law in the Navy, and I have never been more scared for this country than I am today. I have no political agenda here , but I know a con man, disgusting horrible human being when I see one., and it looks a like our incoming Twitter in Chief.

    Cheers to Becky’s health

    Like

    • Gov
      January 1, 2017

      [Kindly disregard my political “message”, as it’s only meant as encouragement to Kevin and his own.]

      This IS Jack Ryan of Tom Clancy’s fame. Get to know him (not someone’s opinion of him). Some of it with a grain of salt bc of the sensitive info – you figure that part out.

      Kevin, according to his intel sources (NSA, CIA, State Dept. Russian military, French etc), the country is moving away from the corruption epitomized by dirty wars. All well documented by now, I feel more secure in the reversal that’s taking place, whereas many of my relatives served in harms way in Special Forces etc., and truly experienced untenable war. Conventional wars today are being fought in cyber, and that is exactly how the truth was revealed which turned this election (Assange, Panama papers, depth of corruption at highest levels – not to mention going all the way back to Rose Law & Mena, AR), that there was no other choice. I wouldn’t have said this a few months ago, but the predictions this man has made, the projects he’s been commissioned for, tell he’s “in the know”. I would be worried less, my friend.

      https://m.youtube.com/user/stevepieczenik

      But back to some other serious contentions by Op, bc I was the first to mention Straily’s 4.3 WAR in the making. First, in a recent interview with Drew Ferguson, he mentioned how his hitting improved precisely bc of the fx tracking software prospects are encouraged to participate in, which includes workout goals that Astros monitor. Also, while we see the haul of players sent off in trades, many experienced negative numbers AFTER they left our organization Phillips, Ruiz, etc. and even if we only sold cull hounds, nobody would trade with us again! Wonder if the Tigers knew they unloaded a couple bad seeds in Danry Vasquez and Paulino’s eventual issues that surfaced? Trades can make you weary of the partner, but your real “partner” is the athlete who takes it upon himself to get better.

      I was sitting next to Granado in the 4- seat the other night, and he says, “the Astros don’t have the pitching.”

      If we got Verlander and we were made of money (it wasn’t an albatross), then all this is moot. But the fact is, we went out and got Morton just like we did Fister, when we had Feldman, Feliz, Musgrove, Devo, and Paulino and Peacock and Rodgers as possible 5’s. That’s absurd. Oh, and we cast off Straily after a few bad Spring Training outings.

      The pitching is here! If a guy isn’t 100%, then he needs to pass the baseball bc we have the pick-me-ups. Instead there’s a ton of pressure to make your contract, to draw incentives. I say we work smarter (give up the ball sooner if hurting the team), not harder (with bad mechanics). The coaching is here as witnessed by Franklin Perez’ extreme velo uptick, for example.

      I have Hope bc in a recent interview Hinch said he wants a few guys really mad at him on the bench. That tells me he can take the heat. I’m more in to “make America honest again…”. We have supreme depth, we just need to utilize good timing, hot hand.

      Like

    • Becky⚾
      January 2, 2017

      Thank you for the get better wishes, that’s my plan!
      Kevin…..our oldest son is a Navy Captain, and he is being deployed to Qatar in May.
      While he won’t be in an airplane, but behind a computer…..I’m still not comfortable with him going. He will be safe, and tells us not to worry 😢. While I was not trying to get political…..I respect your feelings. Becky⚾

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Zanuda
    January 2, 2017

    Happy New Year to all my Chipalatta friends. Looking forward to great things for our Astros this year..

    Like

  28. James Ignatius Zeankowski
    January 2, 2017

    http://houseofhouston.com/2016/12/05/houston-astros-trading-evan-gattis-terrible-idea/

    Gattis isn’t going anywhere, and people really need to get over that already! No other team has what the Astros need, and your not parting ways with the team leader in homers the past two seasons off a limb.

    Like

  29. Becky⚾
    January 2, 2017

    *43* days until pitchers and catchers report…..but whose counting!!

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on December 26, 2016 by in Astros.
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