ChipalattAwards: June is busting out all over

If this was the month for the rest of the AL West division, the rest of the AL and the rest of baseball to make hay and cut into the Astros lead in the standings, the rest of baseball may be in trouble. Despite having four of their five starters on the DL during the month including the AL pitchers of the month for April and May, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr., the Astros put up a solid 16-11 record in June. That is the equivalent of a 96 win pace. For those keeping track, the Astros in their previous 55 seasons have only put up 96 or more wins three times. They have never put up 109 wins, which is their current pace.

So looking back at June – who gets the prestigious Chipalatta awards for this month?

Everyday Player of the Month – George Springer

Springer is putting up the season that everyone pictured when he went on his amazing run in May of his rookie year. This month took a lot to claim this award as so many players were stellar for the Astros. George’s numbers? 24 runs, 11 HRs, 21 RBIs, .333 BA, .412 OBP and monster 1.145 OPS. Here at Chipalatta we will trade those numbers for no stolen bases any time.

Runnerups – Carlos Correa (20 R, 7 HR, 19 RBI, .930 OPS), Josh Reddick (.389 BA/.410 OBP/1.035 OPS) and Jose Altuve (.354 BA/.431 OBP/1.007 OPS) – all might have won in another month.

Starting Pitcher of the Month – Mike Fiers

Is it more amazing that Fiers was a starting pitcher this month or that he was the starting pitcher of the month? He was not as killer dominating as Keuchel and McCullers had been the previous 2 months, but he gave the team a shot in the arm they needed badly.  With a 3-1 record, 2.32 ERA, 0.968 WHIP, .189 BA against, .517 OPS against, Fiers took back a starting rotation spot he almost gave away with a bad April and May.

Runnerup – Brad Peacock (3-1 record, 3.33 ERA and a 12.9 K/9 IP) – He did not pitch very deep into games, but he was asked to jump directly from the bullpen to the rotation and pitched about as good and long as could be expected.

Reliever of the Month – Chris Devenski

Beyond the fact that he had the coolest bobble head give-away of the season (Devo riding on a Game of Thrones dragon), he was back to being the best option out of the bullpen. He went 1-0, 1.04 ERA, .692 WHIP, .133 BA against, .464 OPS against, which are great numbers.

Runnerups – Will Harris (1.54 ERA, 11 Gm, .514 WHIP, 13.1 K/9 IP) and Luke Gregerson (1.54 ERA, 1.029 WHIP, .188 BA against, .559 OPS against) were just a step behind Devo for the month.

Best Rookie Cameo – Derek Fisher

Fisher’s numbers in a five game call-up belie the fact that he struggled a bit, but it was obvious that he belonged. He whacked a couple HRs and put up a .278 BA/.381 OBP/.992 OPS and left the fans thinking that he could be a nice boost to the lineup later in the season.

Stats That Don’t Match the Eyeball Test – Carlos Beltran

In a month where he struggled to a .200/.260/.660 line – Carlos scored 13 Runs, hit 4 HRs and had 15 RBIs. That is equivalent to 78 R, 24 HRs and 90 RBIs for a full seaason. Some of that is from being in the middle of a killer lineup, but it is far more productive than one would have thought from watching games for the month. Heck, Marwin Gonzalez only had 6 runs scored and 9 RBIs in June.

Runnerup – Never would have thought that Nori Aoki would be hitting .300 BA / .707 OPS for the month.

Biggest Disappointment for the Month (tie) – James Hoyt and Joe Musgrove

It may be unfair to throw Musgrove in here as he was working around an injury, but his 0-3 record, 10.29 ERA and 1.929 WHIP were eye opening in a bad way. Hoyt struggled with a 8.36 ERA, but his biggest problem was giving up 4 HRs including 2 grand salamis in 14 IP.

Biggest Disappointment for the Year – David Paulino

Paulino makes one wonder if PEDs can be transmitted from the user to the ones he is pitching to as he gave up 7 HRs in 25 innings pitched this year. He did give the Astros 2 wins in his 5 starts, but anytime a player is suspended for something he should not be doing, he lets down his teammates, his fans and himself.

Flash of the Future – Francis Martes

He wasn’t great, but he was decent and he is only 21 years old. Two of his three starts in the month were good though a little on the short side and with Paulino out of the picture he will certainly get some more starts in July until the cavalry arrives – Charlie Morton, Collin McHugh and Dallas Keuchel.


  • Do you agree with awards?
  • If not, who would you give them to?
  • Are there other awards you would hand out?

We at Chipalatta wish all of our dear readers and their families a great 4th of July.



144 comments on “ChipalattAwards: June is busting out all over

  1. Dan, really sorry to hear about the shingles. I’ve known at least 3 people down with that and it can be ferocious. However, since you had the vaccine, as I understand it, you should not get the worst version. I’ll be thinking about you.


  2. When Mike Elias intimates that Tucker and Whitley are pretty much untouchable, what message is he sending?
    a. These guys are not touchable
    b. Guys we said were not touchable before, may now be touchable.
    c. Hey, look at Whitley, he’s untouchable.
    d. Hey look at Perez, he’s real good, or
    e. Hey look at Whitley, not Perez.
    f. Have you noticed Derek Fisher, or, ignore Fisher(he’s untouchable)
    g. Since we won’t trade Tucker, ask us about Tucker.
    h. We didn’t want to trade Martes before, but don’t ask us about Whitley.
    i. What do you mean you want Tucker and Whitley? The Astros want their #1 pick signed before they trade one of their young pitching prospects, and they are probably going to(might have to) trade one of their “untouchables” if they want to get a starting pitcher to help them win the World Series this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My only question is still the same one I have been asking all along: ‘Where exactly is the pitcher who will help us win the world series this year?’

      I don’t mind trading prospects to win – but trading boatloads of potentially very good ones away for a guy who hasn’t been good enough to help his present team win just does not seem like a good ‘Let’s-Win-the-World-Series’ plan to me.

      There are a few superstar starters in the league who would be worth the kind of superstar haul other teams are wanting: Kershaw, Scherzer, and Sale, for instance. But not a single one of those guys are going anywhere. So are we really talking about giving away a superstar haul of our best prospects for a guy like:

      – Quintana – [4.45 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 5.8 avg. innings/start, for the ChiSox];
      – Cole [4.43 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 5.9 avg. innings/start, for the Pirates];
      – Gray [4.00 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 6.0 avg. innings/start, for the A’s]

      Guys with those numbers help you win the WS how exactly? Do we really expect any of those guys to put up better numbers for us – especially against play-off caliber teams? I would rather see us go after a proven lefty-reliever.


      • I keep hearing Bob Dylan singing: ‘The answer, my friend, is a-blowin’ in the wind; the answer is a-blowin’ in the wind!’ But everyone else seems to prefer to keep whistling ‘Somewhere Out There’. Maybe we should compromise on the Stones, and ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’.


      • I think there are three choices:
        1. Trade for someone who will help you win the world series
        2. Trade for someone that helps you reach the world series
        3. Do nothing and hope the magic bats we saw in Atlanta are hot when the weather cools down.

        I agree it’s questionable there is someone available as a starting pitcher who definitely slots into a top 3 spot in our rotation. We do know pitching injuries derailed our comeback run last year. Having another arm and sending Joe Musgrove / Martes to Fresno until September may pay off for #2. Also, with Martes’ arm, it may be having him available for post-season innings rather than shut down early answers #1. As for #3, I think Luhnow is itching to make a trade.


      • With apologies to Pete Townsend and ‘The Who’, c. 1968:

        I don’t care how much I pay (Too much, for average stuff)
        I wanna shiny new arm that’ll come out and play (Too much, for average stuff)
        I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it … (You can’t have it!)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Some thoughts:
    – Thanks Diane for the kind words – I definitely think I am doing better than others with Shingles and that is probably because of the vaccine.
    – I thought Elliot Ness and his boys were the only Untouchables
    – So much for the Astros not being able to sign Bukaukas because his agent is He Who Shall Not Be Named
    – The only chance the last two nights for the Braves was if the minor rain delays had become tropical storm deluges. Well the Astros offense was that…
    – It is something to watch this team and expect line drive after line drive. This team is so zoned in that they are all hitting it on the screws (except for Gattis’ Texas Leaguer).


  4. Our most likely opponents in the playoffs, should things continue to go well for us this year, appear to be: Cleveland, Boston, New York, Kansas City, and Tampa Bay. Any pitcher we acquire would need to be proven effective against these teams. So let’s look at the 3 main candidates:

    Quintana has a 4.91 ERA/1.364 WHIP against Cleveland, and a 23.63 ERA/3.750 WHIP against the Red Sox. He has pitched well against the Yanks, Royals, and Ray – but so have our guys.

    Cole hasn’t faced the Indians, Yankees, Royals, Rays, but he has a 9.00 ERA/1.60 WHIP vs. the Red Sox.

    How about Gray? Sonny has a 13.50 ERA/2.357 WHIP against the Indians, a 5.06 ERA/2.063 WHIP against the Yankees, a 4.50 ERA/1.000 WHIP vs. the Red Sox, and a 3.00 ERA/1.667 WHIP against the Rays. He hasn’t faced the Royals this year.

    Cole has

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still think Luhnow will make a big splash, with a guy that will be at worst the # 3 starter in the playoff rotation. I don’t think Quintana, Cole or Gray qualify at this point. Our GM knows that if he does not get the big arm, someone else will. He does not want to have this club win a 110 plus games in the regular season and then risk pulling a KC in the playoffs.


      • You’re right! Boston has Sale and Price, Porcello was their third guy and if he doesn’t wake up, they will get someone else.
        LA has Kershaw and Wood. If they don’t think Hill or Kasmir are good enough, they will get someone else.
        If the Yankees are in it, they will get one of the good ones.
        Each of those teams has a lockdown reliever and we have a sorta lockdown reliever.
        I didn’t mention the Cubs, but I should have. If they need a third guy for the playoffs, they are going after one and they have Wade Davis.
        The Royals are not done either. They could easily land someone like samarjawhatever and make a stand with a hot veteran club.
        The Indians already have the pitching and they’ve beaten us with it.
        The Astros need to let Luhnow find and get what he wants.


      • Okay, Dave – I’ll bite. Who is the truly elite arm – a/k/a ‘magic bus’ – that Luhnow is going to pull out of the hat at the last minute?


      • Bill, Tim will be delighted to know that I believe our GM to be smarter than me. But if I get a brain storm, I will share. I do not think last nights favorite, Trevor Cahill is the guy though.


  5. Most of you know by now I always find something to worry about.
    At this point I’m worrying about getting through the playoffs and to the WS.
    Can our offense hold up against the elite pitching we will definitely face in October?


    • Sandy, probably, but that’s why I don’t think Luhnow will take a chance on the offense having to carry the post season load. I believe he wants his pitching to be as elite as anyone else’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My prediction?…..*Chris Archer*! If this is indeed our year…..I expect Luhnow to pull out ALL the stops to make it our year. AND….short of giving up Correa, he will give the Rays ANYONE THE WANT. I’m not worried, I’m EXCITED!


    • Becky, at least you have the gumption to call it. Tampa Bay is one game behind in the AL Wild Card. They are the Astros of 2016 reborn because they are the home run/strikeout darlings of baseball. If they falter, somebody might pry Archer away from them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Becky, I’m torn on Archer….
      Pros – He is solid – one of the top inning eaters in the AL (4th in IP) and has a 7-5 record. His ERA is a bit high (3.95) but so was Randy Johnson’s when we traded for him.
      Cons – His numbers for the season (7-5, 3.95 ERA, 1.238 WHIP) look a lot like Mike Fiers (5-3, 3.80 ERA, 1.312 WHIP). In his last 5 starts he has pitched exactly 6 innings (no more and no less) in each start and his ERA was 4.80 for that 5 game stretch.
      Would he take off and pitch better with this juggernaut behind him? Probably. But I’m going to have more than Correa on my short of giving up list.

      I’m thinking that a rotation of Keuchel, LMJ, McHugh, Morton, and Fiers with Peacock, Musgrove and Martes available could do it. McHugh is the wild card – he has been a 2nd half warrior the last couple of seasons…however his body may not know we are in the 2nd half when he comes back.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wouldn’t worry about Archer. Unless the Rays completely collapse in the next 4 weeks, and they are good enough not to, Archer will not be traded unless we include Correa. We may be able to get Degrom or Stroman, but it will cost both KTuck and Martes along with probably Fisher and Whitley. I am intrigued by Stroman as he is controllable for 3.5 years and is just starting to hit his prime age years. If we could pry him away from Toronto I might be interested in giving up a big haul.

        My guess is we get Sonny Gray and Doolittle from Oakland without having to give up KTuck or Whitley. It will still hurt, but not as much as some of the other trade candidates. Hahn is just delusional on what he wants for Quintana.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Not that every WS is like 2016, but no starters went past 6 innings. Several went 4. It was about team pitching and managing the bullpen. It was not about starters pitching 9.


  8. I’m not gonna count on McHugh, so I’ll be pleasantly surprised if he comes back in 2015 shape! Tim….I’d be ok with Sonny Grey.


  9. Is McCullers hurt again?? This was a HORRIBLE start for him. Awful game….two errors, two passed balls…fugly game so far.


    • I’m not giving up near enough for what Detroit would want. First, Imwant nothing to do with his contract. Second, even if Detroit swallowed about $10M/year he’s showing signs of decline and he is far on the wrong side of 30. I don’t even know if I’d include Singleton and Sipp for him. 😀

      On the other hand I would love to pry Justin Wilson from the Tigers, but I think the cost will be too steep. Not only is he a lefty, but a legit back end of the bullpen arm.


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