Going back just a few short years ago, the Astros front office was not too worried about a Plan B for their players, because in so many cases they did not have a Plan A. This season feels completely different from those days as the team has firm Plan A’s for almost every position and a lot of flexibility for Plan B’s. So, what does the team have in mind for Plan A at the main spots and what do they have as Plan B in case of injury and/or performance problems?
DH. Plan A. Carlos Beltran – Sure other folks will rotate into this spot as they give the 40 year old some rest or play him in the field once a week. But after having a black hole (black holes suck) at DH since moving to the AL, the team has a real DH this season.
Plan B. For a short term replacement this could be a spot filled nightly by a different starter. For a longer term this could be someone like Tyler White or A.J. Reed or Preston Tucker based on who is killing it at AAA. (I could not bring myself to type Jon Singleton).
1B. Plan A. Yulieski Gurriel – It would seem to be a stretch to make your Plan A someone who has 5 starts at the position, but the Astros paid big bucks to the Cuban and want to find him a spot in the lineup.
Plan B. For short term this would seem to be Marwin Gonzalez, though playing him in one spot for extended periods would seem to lessen his Swiss Army knife value. A longer term replacement would point at Reed or White with some trade-off with MarGo.
2B. Plan A. Jose Altuve – Period!
Plan B. Short term putting MarGo would work. Longer term ….Tony Kemp??
SS. Carlos Correa – Exclamation Point!
Plan B. Short term – MarGo. Long term move Bregman to SS, Gurriel to 3B and Reed or White plus MarGo at 1B
3B. Plan A. Alex Bregman
Plan B. Short term or long term – Gurriel with the usual suspects at 1B. Other choice might be Colin Moran or J.D. Davis up from the minors.
RF. Plan A. Josh Reddick
Plan B. Hope this would be Jake Marisnick, but the fear is this would be Springer moving over and JFSF taking over CF.
CF. Plan A. George Springer
Plan B. Jake Marisnick?? Not sure what else works here unless Reddick can move over.
LF. Plan A. Mostly Nori Aoki with some sprinkles of Carlos Beltran, and the 4th OF – likely JFSF.
Plan B. Short term – the 4th OF with spot starts from Beltran. Long term – Teoscar Hernandez or Derek Fisher or Tony Kemp or whoever is tearing it up down on the farm.
C. Plan A. Some mix of Evan Gattis and Brian McCann.
Plan B. Max Stassi, but depending on the length it might be trade time.
TOR. Plan A. Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr.
Plan B. Short term they would bring up whoever did not make the team (Joseph Musgrove?) or move in a swing man like Mike Fiers or Chris Devenski. Long term – that trade of prospects for a big arm might occur.
Other starters. Plan A. Collin McHugh, Charlie Morton and… Musgrove/Peacock/Fiers – the 5th rotation spot Plan A is not set yet.
Plan B. Short term and Long term would be next man up from the minors or swing man time.
Closer. Plan A. Ken Giles
Plan B. Luke Gregerson and /or Will Harris with James Hoyt as a possibility.
Set Up Men. Plan A – Gregerson and Harris
Plan B. Hoyt or Devenski or Michael Feliz
There you have it – the ultimate, inarguable, perfect Plan A and B at the critical positions for the Astros.
Now go ahead and argue and point out the imperfect.
Wahoo kids come through Reed and Kemp great at bats against LHP, score 4 in the top 9th 5-2
Mr Bill, on Twitter Brian McTaggert and Jake Kaplan post there but not sure if you wanted something more definititve.
Thanks, AC. What I am hoping for is someone who is at the games, or watching them [i.e not stuck working like me!] who could keep me and others in the same boat up to date on the game situations as the games are progressing.
I see that the MLB is supposed to rebroadcast the Astros game tonight. I think it’s at 7pm CT. Don’t know if it will bee blacked out but its worth a look I’ve got it set up to viseo just in case.
So far we don’t know much at all about either the team dynamics or the individual health and readiness of the critical components of the Astros team A.J. Hinch will be sending to the field in April, but we can console ourselves somewhat by being confident we should have a heck of a team in Fresno.
Eight players whose stats must consistently be in the top ten in the AL at their position for the Astros to win the division in 2017:
1. Dallas Keuchel;
2. Lance McCullers, Jr.
3. Jose Altuve
4. Carlos Correa
5. Carlos Beltran
6. Will Harris
7. George Springer
8. Kenny Giles
Seven players whose stats must be above league-average at their positions for the Astros to win the division in 2017:
1. Alex Bregman
2. Yulieski Gurriel
3. Josh Reddick
4. Evan Gattis
5. Nori Aoki
6. Tony Sipp
7. Collin McHugh
Six players whose stats must at least be close to league-average at their positions for the Astros to win the division in 2017:
1. Josh Reddick
2. Charlie Morton;
3. Joe Musgrove
4. Michael Feliz
5. Chris Devenski
6. Marwin Gonzales
Four players whose stats at least need to be better than their last year stats – or the stats of the one whose place they took – for the Astros to win the division in 2017:
1. Brian McCann [replaced Jason Castro]
2. Jake Marisnick [needs to make us forget Jake From State Farm]
3. Whoever replaces Pat Neshek [Hoyt? Gustave? Guduan?]
4. Mike Fiers
The positive vibes on our favorite team keeps coming in all directions.
Tom Gorzelanny, gave the kids a nice gift this afternoon. Gotta wonder how long he’s gonna hang around. BUT…..he’s a lefty, and sometimes any lefty is a keeper.
Gov……I couldn’t tell you right now who’s gonna break out and have the most wins out of our rotation, but my hope is that McCullers steps up and pitches like we know he capable of! Jaime Hildreth and I emailed one another often in the past 3-4 years and I was heart broken to hear of his death. I’m glad he passed away doing what he loved best…..being around his Astros.
I’m having surgery March 8th, couldn’t plead my case against it. They are going to open me up, and see if they can find what’s causing me so much pain. I’ve been reading your post, even though I haven’t commented, I’m still here. I don’t care if it IS spring training……I like to win!! Becky⚾
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Good to see you back. I’ll be thinking of you and praying on March 8th.
I was wondering how you were doing, Becky. We’re lifting you up to Our Lord every night.
Rosaries for you Becky.
You are a treasure and I am praying that you have a successful surgery and recovery.
Good luck and prayers for you Becky. Stay strong!
Today was the first day I ever mentioned Framber Valdez in this blog. And there he is making his first appearance for the Astros getting the spring training save. That last curve ball for called strike three was a dandy. I think he gets to the majors faster than some others because he is 23 and has four pitches he can command. That left arm is going to be a quick ticket to our bullpen
I liked Framber – that serious, immediate break. Every guy that faced him made contact, amazingly! It was like a Bantamweigt fight at the end.. punches landing from outta nowhere.
Ok, my highs and lows of the game.
First, foremost, how did Musgrove do? He got in a pickle, that’s why the early HR. Give credit to a badasshitter. All is forgiven next up.. The moment there was a “connection” was 2nd IN McCann called for FB, we got rising over Cespedes’ bat, Brian hit his glove like, “Now we’re cooking!”
Next pitch snapped off slider untouchable strike trey! Welcome to the *bottom of our rotation!
Tony Kemp is gonna make a name for himself, ultimately.
Gurriel. Ok, so far .. super slick glove, too plane-committed in his swing. He’s going to have to shorten up! We need opposite field swings to get us closer to his career BA’s? Reed … White. Still big questions.
I have to comment here. Tyler White. Buzz the tower once, and he doesn’t lean in again. Simple M. O. Better get it fixed!
Honorable mentions; Centero!, Singleton nice walk, …
I’m telling you right now Laureano is going to be special.
Becky, we relish your insight and depth in comments. Getting to meet you this year – it’s something I envisioned last season! March 8th is a day we delight you are here. We love you – all of us Very much!!
We [well. . . our Triple A guys and Altuve] outhit the Mets 8-4, and out-walked them 6 to 1. We outhit the Braves 11 to 7, and walked the same amount they did (4 x). We even got 8 hits and 3 walks in a lopsided loss to a team who started Justin Verlander and Miggy along with a slew of if its regulars against our Fresno kids. So far, this bunch of Astros and future Astros has shown that increased emphasis on OBP that we’ve all been talking about. Home runs and EBH’s – not so much, so far at least. And strikeouts [11 vs Tigers, 9 vs Mets and 9 vs Braves] are still too high.
So, Mark Appel’s arm was hurting all along and he never said anything to the Astros.
Is there some kind of secret society of pitchers who only admit to arm problems after their performance sucks?
How backwards is his thinking? I didn’t want to go on the the DL, because they paid me all that money. So I kept quiet and put up with the pain, pitched poorly, made all the other Astros’ pitching prospects angry when I got promoted and didn’t deserve it and finally got shipped out to another club and then hurt my shoulder hiding the elbow pain.
Remember those head-slapping V-8 commercials? “I coulda had a Chris Bryant!”
That’s why I think it would be apropos if Giles strikes out Bryant to win it all. In some measure to make up for the Appel debaucle.