Q is for Quintana; Q is for Question

Let’s look at a few reasons why the Astros might be interested in obtaining Jose Quintana from the White Sox.

2016 Stats (except for the last entry)

Jose Quintana 13-12 208 3.20 1.163 7.8 5.2
Dallas Keuchel 9-12 168 4.55 1.268 7.7 0.5
Lance McCullers Jr 6-5 81 3.22 1.543 11.8 1.6
Collin McHugh 13-10 184.2 4.34 1.408 8.6 1.2
Charlie Morton 1-1 17.1 4.15 1.327 9.9 0.3
Joseph Musgrove 4-4 62 4.06 1.210 8.0 0.6
Mike Fiers 11-8 168.2 4.48 1.358 7.2 0.3
Chris Devenski 4-4 108.1 2.16 0.914 8.6 2.8
Brad Peacock 0-1 31.2 3.69 1.105 8.0 0.2
Jose Quintana       (4 yr average) 10-10 203.2 3.35 1.223 7.7 4.5

Whether you look at what Jose Quintana did last year of whether you look at what he has done over the last four years, he would seemingly bring value to the Astros as a consistently good pitcher. But there are questions / minuses with him along with obvious pluses.

Pros for pursuing Quintana

  • He will only be 28 when the season begins
  • They would only be committed to $15.9 million for two seasons (with a $1 million buy-out)
  • If they liked him they could commit one year at a time for two more seasons at $10.5 and $11.5 million
  • If he repeated his last season or just any one of his last 4 seasons he would be the number 1 or number 2 pitcher in the rotation
  • With the lineup the Astros will put on the field, this might be the season to go for it

Cons for not pursuing Quintana

  • He wins only about 1/2 the time. That might be due to hitting support or bullpen support, but still that is how often he has won
  • He would cost a load of prospects
  • It is possible that if Keuchel and McCullers are well and bringing it that Q won’t be needed as badly as the numbers above might make you think
  • It is possible the Astros could wait until midseason and there might be more choices to pick up or they might have a different need at that time.

So, where do you stand on this issue. Shall they stay or shall they go?


106 comments on “Q is for Quintana; Q is for Question

  1. The fact that we are even willing to talk about giving up guys like Martes, Paulino, Tucker and Musgrove for a guy whose numbers make him neither a 1st game or 2nd game playoff starter for any team with even decent competitive pitching tells me three things:

    1. There is nobody out there on the trade market who will help us in the ways we really need help, which is to throw an ERA under 3.00, a WHIP under 1.1, and an ability to win tough games by sheer toughness;
    2. If two of Keuchel, McCullers, and Musgrove don’t perform better than Quintana’s 2016 numbers, we are sunk in mediocrity – and staying home in October for a long time – with or without him on our team
    3. this FO has no credibility with potential trade partners whatever.


      • Ok instead of WAR we will use your stat – ERA. Here is the list of AL pitchers with qualifying innings to post an ERA under 3.00 last year.
        – crickets –

        I lean away from going after Q at this time but he did pitch very well last year in a league where 3.20 ERA was a very good number last year.


  2. The Astros are close to the Red Sox and Cleveland. They need another good pitcher to bring them up to the top level. Quintana gives them another good pitcher that they will need to match up against other teams with good pitchers.
    If they make it to the World Series they will need to match up against a staff like the Cubs.
    I say go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If DK, LMJ, and Morton are healthy – Astros don’t need him. If they aren’t, Q can’t get them there. So he is not only a SP but an insurance policy covering one injury.

    Kershaw and Mad Bum didn’t get to WS. It takes 3 or more good starters or a loaded pen.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m all for acquiring Quintana at a reasonable price. I don’t want to give up our top three prospects (and possibly more) for him before the season starts. I’m always the cynic, but I’m expecting major regression over the next few years. I’m also concerned that he added a tick of velocity last season…like Keuchel did before his 2015 Cy Young season. If he’s still looking fantastic in early June then let’s bang the drum again…but the White Sox don’t have to trade him now and that leverage lowers his value, in my opinion.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Besides, how many players have the Astros ever had whose last name began with a Q? I remember Qualls and Quintero – any others?


  6. Now . . . on the other hand. I know HIPPA prevents us ever knowing anything DK doesn’t want us to know, but out of curiosity, has anyone reading this blog heard what, if anything, his mysterious ailment was – well, other than the ubiquitous ‘shoulder soreness’ or its cousin ‘shoulder inflammation’? Hey, every single time I pitched I had ‘shoulder soreness’ and ‘shoulder inflammation’. Every pitcher I ever coached had some degree of ‘shoulder soreness’ and ‘shoulder inflammation’ after pitching – especially if they threw over 65 or 70 pitches. ‘Shoulder soreness’ and ‘shoulder inflammation’ are just a normal part of a pitcher’s life. So my question is, what exactly was it about this ‘injury’ that DK – or a doctor – thinks made him stink? In other words, what is it that is supposed to make us think DK is going to be any better this year than he was last year – unless MLB and its umpiring crews decide to change the strike zone back to where it was in 2014 and 2015?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stats please somebody. There are old stats and new stats. Some like the old and some like the new. But how does Quintana stack up against the Astros’ best starters in all stats? In 2016:
    Qintana had the 38th best BAA in baseball at .245. Keuchel was the best Astros starter in BAA at .258 or 48th best.
    Quintana was the 21st best in baseball in WHIP at 1.16. The Astros best was Dallas Keuchel at #43. His WHIP was 1.29.
    How about that old Fashioned ERA? Quintana was 17th in baseball at 3.20. The Astros best was Collin McQ at #48 with a 4.32 ERA.
    But how about that new-fangled ERA-? Quintana was 17th in baseball with a 75. The Astros best at ERA- was Collin McHugh at #55 with a 105.
    Do you prefer WAR? wins above a replacement pitcher? Q was 10th at 4.8 WAR. McQ was our best at 3.0. That comes in 39th best.
    How about xFIP? Quintana lags there at #36 with a 4.03. McQ comes in close behind him at #39 with a 4.09. But, to show you how much I value xFIP, I will point out that Mike Fiers was 40th in all of baseball with a 4.12! Yeah, that Mike Fiers.
    There is all kinds of stats out there, but Quintana was better at all of them than the best Astros qualifying starting pitcher last year. Do you want to go back 3 years? I’m telling you, you don’t.
    There are 30 aces of their staffs out there right now. If you add Quintana to the Astros’ staff, his stats would make him the Astros’ ace. But, out of respect to the Astros’ pitchers, I placed him behind Keuchel and LMJ in the rotation in our previous blog, so as to blend in with my pals here at Chipalatta. But to downplay Quintana’s stuff and his resume’, in order to justify not making a trade because one doesn’t want to trade the future is just not fair. This guy has major league stats to back up his position as one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. And people can’t talk about LMJ being better than Quintana, if only LMJ could stay on the mound, because that is ignoring the fact that Quintana has all these stats to back him up without being hurt and pitching over 200 innings 4 years in a row.
    Jose Quintana would be a 5/150 player today if he was on the free agent market and would have a first round pick on him to boot. But the Astros could get him for 4/36 and the added cost of a 22 year old pitching prospect, a 20 year old outfield prospect and either Musgrove or Paulino.
    Two years from now the Astros will lose Keuchel to free agency. But if they trade for Quintana they will still have him for two more years at $10 million a year less than Keuchel will get in free agency.
    Over the next four years, Quintana will be age 28-31, the most productive years for a bonefied top flight proven major league pitcher.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m with you. Let’s just not make it Musgrove. I got it that Martes is 29th right now amongst prospects, but plenty of 20 year olds have been that high that didn’t make it. This guy is already there, proving it year after year. Pay the piper. Martes, Reed, Paulino and K Tucker are all players that may be good one day, maybe not. Reed may be a basher, or he may be Singleton’s brother from another mother. Paulino and Martes may win Cy Youngs, or they may never find the strike zone. Tucker may develop some power and steal a million a bases a year, or he may be another slap and judy come and go hitter.

      Musgrove gave you a preview. He looks like a workhorse. His form is great. He stays in the zone, and he strikes out more than just average major league hitters. I don’t know that he is destined for superstardom, but he could be the best Astros starter as soon as THIS year. If you can save Paulino by throwing in Fiers and paying half his salary or something, do it, but I doubt the Sox have any interest in Fiers. I wouldn’t want to trade McHugh, he is the perfect 5 guy – innings eater type that pitches pretty cheaply, makes his starts, and wins more than he loses.

      I have questions about Quintana. He looks good with his average inning per start. How many times did he not make it to the 5th last year? Twice. That is amazing. This guy is almost a lock for 5 innings EVERY time out. Fiers had 8 of those last year, with 4 of them not even making it to the 4th, one time knocked out in the second. He shows up every day, he is prepared, and obviously puts his work in before starts.

      He also doesn’t get as deep into games as often as other pitchers, like DK did in 2015. He won 20 games because he constantly was seeing the 7th and 8th and giving games to the back end of BP, not the middle. I suspect that Quintana left a lot of games after 6 with a chance to win and some middle reliever lost it, which is why he constantly pitches at or around .500.

      Still, if he is acquired, he is instantly the best pitcher on the staff. Your case is made.

      Liked by 1 person

    • OP, not sure how you searched for the stats but 38th best is hard to bring excitement. But if the search was for pitchers with 100+ innings, and he was in top 15-20, then that is something. A pitcher at 200 innings to me, is far more valuable even if his ranking is lower. And let’s pray that DK and LMJ do not have Fiers, Fister, etc like stats in 2017. And to get past the Indians and Rangers it will take 3 or more starters that are better than 4s or 5s.


    • I love the work you put in here. However, I agree with Steven that Musgrove being included needs to SIGNIFICANTLY lower the asking price for Quintana. Look, we had injury history on Musgrove that Quintana never did and don’t have the mileage from the majors with which to forecast…but we also don’t have that mileage on the arm, have a bigger frame, and have a guy who is four years younger and much cheaper NOW.

      I know, it’s dangerous and often downright silly to use such a small sample to project, but Musgrove’s 2016 numbers:
      4-4, 4.06 ERA, 1.210 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 4.18 FIP
      10 of those 11 games were starts. The other was his first major league appearance where he entered in the 5th inning and recorded the final 13 outs, giving up 1 hit and 1 BB to the Blue Jays without surrendering a run in a 2-1 loss. He had three rough outings against BAL, PIT, and TEX that brought his old fashioned stats way up and didn’t make it into the 5th inning in two of those starts (giving up 5 runs in both).

      So, yeah, Quintana was a better pitcher in 2016 and has a track record. The real question is how much better in 2016 would Houston have been had they replaced Musgrove’s 10 starts with Quintana? 7 of 10 starts he allowed 3 or fewer runs. That’s pretty close to what you expect from Quintana on his good days. So how many additional wins do you think Quintana presents in 2017 over Musgrove? My largest reservation is how many innings the Astros would allow him to throw.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow now that is a plethora of good information. It seems we are between a rock an hard place with our hope for good health and a decent rotation. I have been in the camp that 2015 was a once in a life time for DK . So OP if Q is a good option for the next few years and you are the GM, who you trading fro him?


      • Kevin, I think they would take it. They are going to need a 1B because they are going to trade Abreu, and they do not have a first baseman in their entire top 30 prospects. To me, Reed is expendable because of White, Moran, Davis, Jordan Alvarez and Gurriel. Rodgers is our #21 prospect, so they are getting a haul.
        As far as our OF prospects, I don’t care right now because I know I have Springer and Reddick for four more years of control, Aoki for this year and next, if we wish that, and I have Fisher, Laureano, Martin, Teoscar and Cameron to develop, among others.


      • Old Pro, I would be just fine with that as the deal. But I have never once heard Rodgers’ name mentioned in any proposal coming from the Sox.


      • Bill, I added Rodgers into the deal as extra compensation for substituting Reed for Musgrove. To sweeten the pot, so to speak.
        I think this is a fair trade. They get most of what they asked for and got a bonus for agreeing to what they didn’t ask for. The Astros get what they want and the White Sox get four prospects who cost them little money for a number of seasons. After all, they are dumping salaries and players, just like we did years ago.
        They had good players on that team but had terrible chemistry and bad managing. I don’t know why they want to get rid of all these good players, instead of hiring a good manager who might have straightened out that clubhouse. What I do know is that the Red Sox and the Nationals are very happy and I hope the Astros can also benefit from Chicago’s decision.


      • To me the key is we don’t give up Bregman, we don’t give up Musgrove or Devenski, and we don’t give up BOTH Paulino and Martes. Giving up Reed for Q is a worthwhile gambit. Rodgers is good but more expendable than Paulino. So . . . if you can get the Sox to agree, let’s get this done!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You all know about opinions, this is just mine.

    No way, no how do I trade workhorses Frankie Tuesday Martes, Noodles Laureano, or Joe Karate Musgrove. We’re keeping Whitley and Hector Perez.

    Only IF White Sox throw in Abreu (and Quintana), I’d give them Bregman, Paulino, Reed, Tucker and Fisher. That’s fair, expensive but covers us for 3 yrs at #2 and 1B. Looking at this kind of beastly lineup

    Altuve 2B
    Reddick RF
    Correa SS
    Abreu 1B
    Springer CF
    Beltran DH
    Gattis C
    Gurriel 3B
    Aoki RF

    (McCann Marwin Laureano bench players, 13 pitchers)

    For 2018 keep rotation intact
    F Perez

    For the doomsdayer’s scenario who think DK, McQue and Fiers will decline (I don’t),.. then trade them by 1/18. Retain Feliz, Devo, (possibly) Morton. Call up H Perez, Ferrell as longmen, or to replace Gregerson.

    Draft a slugger at #15, and start trading pieces that don’t fit here. Davis, Tanielu, Moran, Jake, a few catchers…

    If all this sounds like wishful thinking, then pray for a return of 2015 Tony Sipp while we’re at it!

    Q had 21 of his 32 starts go deep giving up 2 or less. He dominated us. The White Sox with the additions they’ve already made for Eaton/Sale are stacked. Do we really need to load them up?

    Instead, I have a ton of confidence in the current roster As Is. Those who say we need pitching are really fueling some deeper cuts, and don’t realize the other teams’ strategy is to weaken our very bright future.

    Every member on our 40 has earned it, with the exception of Cionel Perez. Plenty of talent learning the Astro way; developing strike zone control, staying aggressive, winning at lower levels, focusing on things we can control etc.

    Let’s give the fellas a chance to prove it before we start roasting chestnuts? We just invited Paulino Tucker Martes to camp, so they probably still figure into OUR future.

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned Colby Lewis on a one-year $7M flyer?!


    • Isn’t it crazy that we have Franklin Perez, Cionel Perez and Hector Perez all in our system? All three of them have good chances to become major league pitchers. The Astros are loaded with young prospects.


  10. Last year on this blog I bet Marwin would have more AB’s than Preston Tucker mainly bc of his versatility. It wasn’t even close, but neither player reached ceiling.

    Let’s say our current frontline minus Fiers (although I like his competitiveness), pitches admirably through May.

    For one moment we say we’re going to war with this rotation

    Joe &

    Choose between
    The Dragon
    (Colby Lewis)

    Trade Fiers for prospect pitchers, OF, best available.

    This year I will be willing to bet this.

    The Astros will get better to supplementally better numbers if they give 200 IP to Feliz Musgrove and Devenski. Combine their production who are all cheaper and under control – and you will be “in the park” of Quintana. And that’s not even mentioning Paulino, or a Martes callup.

    And point of fact, our best pitcher as of last Winter had the same WAR as Quintana. Straily.

    Sometimes you have to wait-and-see what amounts to good conditioning, proper technique and development.

    Whyyyy? Why does Hahn like us more? Bc we have the gooooods!

    Let’s keep Bregman and Martes and Musgrove and end the discussion? Let’s see Reed straighten out the CF fence swing, or maybe dream the dream again and watch Tyler White hit 500 in ST! It is Winter perhaps a little pruning to save the whole plant? It’s a big decision.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dan P, I hope this is the kind of discussion you were looking for. I took your stats and then dug a lot deeper to find some more that backed up my opinion.
    This isn’t easy for me because I love our prospects. But the idea of going into ST with Keuchel, LMJ, Quintana, McHugh, Morton, Devenski, Musgrove Giles, Harris, Gregerson, Hoyt and Sipp as our pitching staff puts the Astros right up there with the best staffs in baseball. Add our lineup, defense, the best catching duo and the best super utility guy in baseball to that and we are a heckuva team.


    • Yes, op this is what I was looking for in the way of discussion. Quintana is not great but very very solid and better than anybody not named Devenski we sent to the mound last season.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Tampa Bay has signed Colby Rasmus to a one year deal for $5 million plus incentives that could push it as high as $7 million. Good luck, Colby, unless you are playing against the Astros.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Gov, the article you found started a real flow in my head. Attitude and fun and the desire to win and to get to the practice field and to the ballpark every day can be like a wildfire that spreads and every player catches the fever.
      Suddenly I’m on the internet and this article just appears in front of me: http://www.nba.com/article/2017/01/09/morning-tip-houston-rockets-james-harden-thriving-barrage-3-pointers.
      Maybe the Astros have the gasoline and Beltran provides the spark.
      I need to go cut firewood. There may be an ice storm coming to my area this weekend and I hear my son out there with a chainsaw. See y’all later.


      • Op, I might actually see you later, as I’m headed to Durant tonight ha!

        So much for my golf plans – it was supposed to be warm😕

        As it is, the World Series of Poker calls.

        Can’t wait for this long offseason to start materializing. The fire is still lit here!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Two things:
      1. The little bit in the article about Biggio is enough justification for me to say that each and every ‘writer’ who left him off the HOF ballot those first couple years should be ashamed of themselves and possibly stripped of voting privileges.
      2. I was really disappointed we couldn’t convince Beltran to resign in 2004. Regardless of whether it was Drayton’s fault, his agent, or Beltran’s it hurt when he went to one of those NY teams. I’m glad he was sensible enough to come back to play for Houston…even if it did take this long.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Devin, his rough 2016 stats would be far and away superior to any numbers our DH position has ever posted. I’d take a repeat of last year without hesitation.

    151 games, 29 homers, 93 RBI’s, an .850 OPS? That will be enough.


  14. Everyone please stop what are you doing and go read that wonderful article by Carlos Beltran that Gov links to up above. He has me so psyched I cannot wait to see what he does and how he will assist the youngsters this year.
    No more boos for this man ever again.

    Liked by 1 person

      • With apologies to Usher:

        CB is that one player-dude
        for whom we raise our voice.
        He broke our heart in 2004
        when he made another choice.
        Instead of being our new star
        He drove away in a shiny car;
        So CB, ooh . . . you’ll always hear my boo
        [cue the rap beat]
        I don’t know ’bout Dan but I know about ‘the Bill’
        and boo-ing is the only way to keep it all ‘chill’
        So when we see Bel-tran well, you all know the drill
        put your hands around your mouth and let the double ‘o’s spill!


  15. Thanks, Governor. Wish I could have been invisible and seated at Del Frisco’s with them. Boy, do I ever want to believe this comes from the heart, although I suspect it was written by another “invisible.” Nevertheless, even though Beltran broke my heart once already, I’ll come to the plate once again. ♥


    • I hated his leaving too, but it’s just business and not sure I would’ve wanted to play for the Grocer though, either. I recall the Minaya connection helped, as I wonder out loud if Cora and Correa changes the atmosphere a little from tractor pulls (Oswalt), or Mr Personality (Clemens) to a place that needs his leadership (Altuve & Co.)?

      The thing to remember is he was hired as a rental only, and not until that unprecedented post season did we ever think we could afford him. We couldn’t. And neither did we have a farm anymore, so the strategy of buying up a championship was flawed from the start. Not CB’s fault our team was unprepared for sustained winning…


  16. I hope Becky’s okay today.
    If anyone needs to play hard for her this season, it’s Carlos Beltran, Houston Astro 2017!

    Funny how we’re all holding our breath for this supposed trade. It takes our eyes off the prizes in-house, but asks what more can we do?

    I’ve read the thread in Crawfish on Dec.16ff, where it gets very personal re: Quintana trade, hyper numbers related to player value, and so on.

    Just wanted to reiterate that Kevin Goldstein said the same thing during their scouting meetings – it gets heated! And to think these decisions can literally feed or starve a family (in a sense), and at the same time in hopes, bring a championship to the city.

    That’s what made Biggio so great to me, Devin – how he always deferred compliments to other teammates or coaches and to the city of Houston. He was the epitome of how it’s supposed to look. He got himself thrown out of a game, anyone remember that?

    I’d definitely do the trade Op recommended too. I doubt they’d take it, but isn’t it telling that our Rule 5 is in line to take #5 spot of our arch rivals (Brocail saw something he could use), but Hauschild was never in any conversations about our rotation! We are hardly considering Paulino, Feliz, Peacock (or any other AAA pitcher) as a legit#5 in 2017. This is the kind of depth that exists.

    So a modified proposal might be

    Paulino, K Tucker, Reed, Rodgers and Fisher (who’s better than their Charlie Tilson)
    Quintana and say … well, there’s nobody I really see on their farm worth much beyond who they recently acquired. They really do need a haul.

    The Astros have approx. 15 C+ prospects alone. SS stacked on top of each other, meanwhile Freudys Nova turns 17 and draws Renteria/Hanley Ramirez comps. Catchers one after the other, who are destined to be farmhands.


    • The White Sox were 24-12 on May 13, 2016. Just a month later on June 13, they were 32-32. They ultimately finished 78-84. I don’t think they make a Quintana trade without improving at least 2 positions on their current roster and adding some blue chip prospects. If they wanted to move him for minor leaguers then he’d be in Pittsburgh or Houston already.


  17. Becky’S ok…..I had a PET scan this morning, and I’m going to rent myself out as a human flashlight! If you’ve never seen the process of getting a nuclear medicine injection it’s quite an unusual process!
    Back to baseball…..I have *never* booed any player, even if I despise him. Beltran did what he did because of the money, and the lure of playing in New York. Can’t blame him really, his wife had family up there, and face it…….New York is a lot sexier than Houston Texas. I read the article, and I agree with Diane it was elegantly written by someone else. BUT…..I’m glad he feels like he does, and who knows his presence on this team might just be that magic these guys need to get to October baseball!
    Mark it on your calendars boys and girls….pitchers and catchers report Feb 15th!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glow little glow worm, glimmer, glimmer…Shine like everything, shimmer, shimmer ♪
      Remember that, Becky? Keep on smilin’ till you get in the dark. Then do whatever you want. 😦


      • LOL!!! Diane!!! All I hope is that medicine didn’t show any bright white cancer markers. Gotta go see my oncologist on Thurs, and he will let me know the scan results. I’m nervous just thinking about what Luhnow is thinking about doing…..aren’t you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Becky, I think you know that was all in good faith. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that sometimes you must laugh to keep from crying. “I’ve always been crazy but it’s kept me from going insane.” .

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m guilty of being a real fence sitter on this Quintana acquisition discussion. I guess I really need to see who is part of an exchange before I can embrace or be upset by such a deal. Yesterday I was inclined to wait until the break before a big move is made to strengthen the rotation. One of the gripes mentioned here is that the guy won’t take us deep into games. That one I don’t accept. He’s going to provide 200 plus innings. And with our existing pen, chances are they’ll hold on to a lead if he gives us something to protect after six plus innings. And I think our line up will give him a lead on a regular basis. I don’t think he’d be a .500 pitcher on this club.

    Carlos Beltran is a very good writer! And I never did understand the jeers.

    Earth to Tim. I’ve missed hearing from you. If you’ve decided to take a break, let us know that you’re okay.


    • I think this is the deal that gets it done –

      Michael Feliz
      Kyle Tucker
      AJ Reed
      David Paulino

      I’ll be sick to my stomach for a whole day, too…


  19. Interesting comments by guys on MLB. What ever value Sox have on Q, it will go down in July and many teams won’t need him them. Similar to many comments here. And they commented on Brewers top prospects. Someone named Hader. 😥


  20. Interesting question though is if the Astros do pull the trade off without losing Musgrove – say its Paulino, Martes and Reed or Tucker (or both), who makes the rotation? Does that spell the definitive end of Fiers and his salary? Do they trade McHugh or do they look at the recent histories of McCullers, Keuchel and Morton and start Musgrove at AAA to keep some depth? Is Feliz and Devenski getting any real shot?

    I tend to agree with Gov that I would push out as much youth as I could into the rotation as fast as I could – we got a few guys with some live arms. Feliz, Devo, Martes, Paulino, Musgrove, we got guys that can bring it. The question is how much of the youth do you trust – remember McCullers isn’t a grizzled vet just yet either – is Keuchel the leader of the bunch? One thing that worries me is finding the trend setter. Clemens wasn’t just a workhorse hall of famer, his workout schedule was legendary – even before the supplements – who is our trend setter? Who is going to take the ball every 5th day, who is going to take bullpen serious in between starts, who is going to be the first in the weight room?

    Is Quintana that guy? He is no better than DK stuff wise, he has been the proverbial done more with less guy. He would instantly be the best pitcher on the staff with the 5th best arm. Is it because that in between stuff, the times he isn’t on the mound, really important to him? Will he be a guy that can communicate his form of success to a LMJ that helps him stay healthy or makes him even better?

    The good news is we aren’t celebrating signing Woody Williams. We got some pitchers. The coaching staff has some work though to turn those diamonds in the rough to shiny stuff.


    • I don’t understand your argument. The lowest velocity Quintana’s fastball ever averaged in his major league career was 90.4 mph in 2012. The highest Keuchel’s ever averaged was in 2014 and that was 89.7 mph.
      In Keuchel’s Cy young year his fastball averaged 89.6 mph and Quintana’s averaged 91.6. I don’t know how you figure Quintana would have the fifth best arm. I also looked up McHugh’s stats and he doesnt have near the fastball Quintana does.
      More than that, if you watched Q pitch you would see how his fastball explodes out of a smooth delivery. It’s one of those pitches that batters describe as “a pitch that is on you before you’re ready for it”. He was dazzling for 7 innings against the Astros last year, allowing two hits.
      His lifetime ERA is 3.41 and that is all in the AL where he never faces a pitcher. He’s a stud.


      • 5th best from the perspective that Feliz, Musgrove, McCullers and Paulino have better arms, and I assume Martes would be part of bringing him here. I did note that Quintana is a better PITCHER though than anyone the Astros have unless Keuchel is 2015 guy – and an argument can be made that if McCullers makes 30 starts he can be better (but he has too first). Quintana has great command of every pitch he throws, and that ability to hit a dime hanging on a string from 59.5 feet away is amazing, which is why he is a better PITCHER but not necessarily THROWER.


  21. I don’t consider a guy to have a better arm than the next guy based on how hard he throws. McCullers might have the most explosive arm in the organization based on how hard he can throw and the excellent movement he gets, but if he can’t stay healthy, it’s not a great arm.

    Steven, if you asked me today, I’d give up Martes, Paulino and both Reed and Tucker for Quintana. I don’t think that will get it done though.


  22. Two quick notes of interest…..Morgan Ensberg has been named manager of the Tri City Valley Cats!! And Evan Gattis is getting married this Saturday!!


  23. The Hall of Fame announcements are to be made at 6:00 pm. Eastern time next Wednesday, January 18. In the meantime, from the FO – – – – crickets – – – – -. Perhaps the silence from the Astros FO is strategically timed, so as not to distract attention from a possible Jeff Bagwell selection to the Hall?


    • With that history, if I am Jose Quintana, I really, really want to pitch for a team with a line-up like the 2017 Houston Astros. It’s all about run support.


    • The White Sox were pretty bad. Here’s a running tally on his ND and losses last year:
      April 5 – leaves after 5 with 3-2 lead, bullpen blows lead, ND
      April 17 – gives up run in 1st, ChiSox tie in top 3rd, gives up 2 in bottom of 3rd. Finals score 3-2 and Quintana takes loss
      May 14 – gives up 2 in second to NYY, ChiSox score one in 4th, takes loss in 2-1 game.
      May 20 – ChiSox score 1 in 2nd, Quintanta gives up 3 in 6th and 1 in 7th, takes loss in 4-1 game.
      May 25 – Indians score 2 in 2nd, 1 in 3rd, Quintana pulled after 6. ChiSox score one in 6th. Bullpen gives up one more, ChiSox get 2 back in 8th, takes loss in 4-3 final score
      May 30 – Loses shutout in 7th, loses game 1-0 to NYY
      June 5 – ChiSox get 1 in 1st, Tigers get 1 in 3rd, 4 in 5th…Quintana pulled before getting 3rd out. Final score ends up 5-2
      June 11 – Royals get him for 1 in 3rd, 5th, and 8th. Bullpen gives another in 9th, offense gets one back in 9th, final score 3-1 Royals. Quintana loss.
      June 17 – Indians get 1 in 1st, ChiSox get 1 back in 3rd, Quintana gets pulled in 8th after giving up go ahead run, loses 2-1
      June 28 – gives up four in 6IP to Twins, ChiSox get shutout
      July 24 – Tosses 6 scoreless, bullpen blows 4-0 lead, David Robertson leeches a win
      Aug 10 – Takes 1-0 lead into 8th before pulled, bullpen blows it, ND in extra inning loss
      Aug 29 – Loses 1-0 lead in 6th, ChiSox lose 2-1 in extra innings. ND
      Sept 1 – It’s a Fiersesque stinker of a game – gives up 5 in 2nd, 2 in 5th before being pulled. Loss to Twins.
      Sept 18 – Royals get 1 in 1st, 3 in 2nd, 2 in 4th and Quintana exits. Takes loss in 10-3 rout.
      Sept 29 – Rays get 1 in 2nd, 1 in 4th, and Quintana exits down 2-0 after 6. ChiSox get 1 back in bottom half, but bullpen gives up 3 in top of 7th and their offense can only get 2 back, ND in 5-3 loss to Chris Archer.

      There were just a couple of bad starts. If he pitched for Boston he’d have won the Cy Young. If he pitched for Houston, well, he probably would have been a .500 pitcher.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. For those that don’t know, Irma’S is one of the most famous Mexican restaurants in Houston. Named after “Mamma Ninfa’s”. EXCELLENT food!!!


  25. Two people got into a name calling tiff here. Families argue. Dan had enough of it and said to knock it off.
    Both persons knocked it off, which was good.
    But, only one person has remained and continues to blog. The other person has not returned. When he comes back, that’s fine. Until then, we blog, like we always do.. I don’t know where Beuller, err, Tim is. But I know a heckuva lot more about Jose Quintana than I did a few days ago!


  26. I missed the tiff. Where was I? When I worked downtown in the mid 80’s, I used to go to Irma’s before it was crowded. Then it got too crowded. Remember, it was Yogi Berra who said, “nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wel……I tried to plead my case about not continuing chemo, but I lost…..I will start round #3 of chemo next Tuesday. I may have to have surgery after my treatments are over, I will see the surgeon next Thurs afternoon for a consultation.
      NOW……I’m getting nervous with all the movement so far with the other clubs.
      Dang I hate giving up so many top pitching prospects, in a sideways trade for another starting pitcher😢😢. (((Sigh)))……

      Liked by 1 person

      • Please keep us posted. …you’re in my prayers.
        I myself havent been as active. ..moving next Friday to our new apartment and been busy


      • Becky, I’ve thought a lot about you over the last few days. You can’t win every round but I think you’ll make the knockout punch. Just keep glowing.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. i missed the argument as well> maybe Tim is just having trouble posting. i have off and on for the last couple of months. no rhyme or reason to it i can figure.


  28. OP, I know what you’re referring to, but let’s face it, that wasn’t the only tiff by any measure and they seemed to center around the same “contributor.” I have no idea why the absence. All I’ve noticed is a more peaceful blogscape.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. This ST we will get to see, in addition to the guys on the 40-man, outfielders Laureano, Fisher, Kemmer, and Alejandro Garcia, as well as catchers Heineman, Centena, and Stubbs. We will also get a look at righties Martes, Tyson Perez, Edison Frias, Cy Sneed, Jordan Jankowski and Aaron West, and lefties Brian Holmes and C.J. Riefenhauser. Infielders we can scope out will include J.D. Davis and some guy named Jon Singleton.


    • I’m excited to be able to see Tyson Perez, who had arm surgery and missed last season and Aaron west, who has toiled in the Astros’ system since being part of that extraordinary 2012 draft.
      Oh yeah, I forgot:
      Cionel Perez
      Hector Perez
      Franklin Perez and
      Tyson Perez. are all Astros pitching prospects! I left Tyson out the other day because I had forgotten about him.


  30. It is a statement on mlb finances that Dallas Keuchel could have that poor a season last season and get an almost 30% raise to avoid arbitration. (I know he was underpaid in 2014-2015 – but just saying his performance last year did not merit such an increase).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Remember last year where we speculated Jason Castro getting taken to arbitration over $250k meant the Astros were done with him? I’d say this means they like Dallas and expect him to bounce back.


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