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Wednesday Wonderings: What if they told you…


Pondering the Astros’ numbers for the month of July so far makes one wonder a bit.

What if they told you that in July:

  • Staff ace and All-Star Dallas Keuchel would not pitch an inning
  • All-Star and #2 starter Lance McCullers Jr. would make three starts with a very un-All-Star 9.88 ERA and 2.268 WHIP
  • #3 starter Collin McHugh would make his first start for the season and post a 7.71 ERA after 4-2/3 IP
  • 2017 All-Star Chris Deveski would allow four HRs in 10 IP and put up a 6.30 ERA
  • 2016 All-Star and solid set-up man Will Harris would have a 20.25 ERA in 1.1 IP before falling onto the DL
  • That new #3 starter Charlie Morton would have a very pedestrian 4.58 ERA in only three starts after starting the month on the DL
  • That 11 of 18 starts would be made by BOR or worse starters Mike Fiers, Joe Musgrove, Brad Peacock and Francis Martes
  • That the Astros bullpen, which had been ranked at the top of the AL would slip to 9th with a 4.14 ERA

And what if after you were told all that, you were told the Astros were 12-6 for the month (a 108 win pace)?

You would be scratching your head pondering how the heck this team did this. The answers are fairly straight forward while being a little unexpected:

  • Number one is that while the pitching staff gave up a rather un-Astro-like 4.5 runs/game through 18 games in July, the unworldly hitters were putting up 8.72 runs/game
  • Numbers 2 and 2A are Peacock and Fiers. In four starts each, Peacock has posted a 2.05 ERA, while Mr. Fiers has pitched to an equally shiny 2.25 ERA
  • Quietly Martes has shown the coaches and front office why he has been their number one prospect for most of this season.  He appeared in six games, including one start in July with a 2.51 ERA, 0.767 WHIP, 11.9 K/9 IP and 1.88 BB/9 IP
  • Due to the many routs this month, Ken Giles is the most underused closer around, but in four appearances his 2.70 ERA and 0.600 WHIP have been solid

In the end, the Astros have survived a month where Dayan Diaz, Reymin Guduan, Ashuer Tolliver, James Hoyt and Tony Sipp pitched more innings together than Keuchel, McCullers and McHugh. Now that is maybe the most amazing stat of all.

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About Dan P

Dan Peschong is a full time engineer and a long time Astros lover from the days of Joe Morgan to the days of Jose Altuve.

114 comments on “Wednesday Wonderings: What if they told you…

  1. Dan P
    July 26, 2017

    Maybe there is something behind me screwing up Ashur Tolliver’s name as he is released over night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • astrocolt45
      July 26, 2017

      Once again, this proves that when DanP screws up a name, that person is about to be cut.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dan P
      July 26, 2017

      I just can’t get rid of that left Tiny Sopp….

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Tim
    July 26, 2017

    I just want to add that I don’t like using ERA as a barometer for the effectiveness of a bullpen. This is not to take anything away from what you said, but one bad outing by the bullpen, or even on reliever, can skew the ERA in a bad way. The Astros bullpen is still 3rd in fWAR for the season at 4.8. For me, this is a more accurate depiction of what they have done and probably a better predictor of what can be expected going forward.

    Also, I am not including Tucker, Whitley or Martes in a trade for Sonny Gray. I would include Fisher (I am still higher on Tucker than I am Fisher) along with other mid to low level prospects, but Sonny Gray, to me is more of a solid #3 and not worth the haul Oakland may get for him. Health is an issue with every team, but when healthy I would match this Astros roster up against any team in baseball, including the Dodgers and feel good about our chances. Obviously, anything can happen in a playoff series, but I still feel the Astros are the best team in baseball.

    Like

    • Tim
      July 26, 2017

      http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=t482&player_id=663656#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL

      Here are Kyle Tucker’s stats. Let’s also remember he is only 20 years old and already dominating in AA. This kid is a very special player and should not be traded unless it is for a legitimate TOR ace. We will rue the day we trade Kyle Tucker.

      Like

      • Devin
        July 26, 2017

        The power numbers are what really impress me about Tucker…because he really has not started to put on muscle yet. I remember a lot of Ted Williams hype when he was drafted, but one aspect of that shouldn’t be discounted – he is really strong from elbow to fingertip. He has a fantastic approach and hits to all fields. I said it a few times – if someone wants to acquire Tucker then we should be the ones receiving the package.

        Like

      • Diane
        July 27, 2017

        Devin, really interesting comment about Ted Williams. Thanks.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 27, 2017

        Devin,

        You remember much of the hype when Ted Williams was drafted? How old are you, exactly? 🙂

        Like

    • Dan P
      July 26, 2017

      I agree that ERA is not a perfect tool – just a little representative of a drop. Here’s some other things relative to the bullpen in July.
      – They have appeared in 19 games through last night and last night was the 6th time the bullpen did not give up a run.
      – 7 times they have given up one run, 2 times three runs, 3 times four runs and 1 time six runs
      – Because of the starting rotation situation, the bullpen was used a lot this month – seven times they were used for 4 innings or more
      – Because quite a few of the games were blow outs for the Astros – they were often using not the optimum reliever to soak up innings and sometimes they would allow somebody like Sipp to give up 3 runs because it was not crucial with a 16-2 lead
      – They need Harris back and they definitely need another arm out there – hopefully one that throws from the “other” side.

      Liked by 1 person

    • sargeh
      July 26, 2017

      Tim, I agree with your statement but, I ask, who would you put into left field next season when Aoki’s contract is not renewed? For that reason alone, I would not move Fisher.

      Like

      • Tim
        July 26, 2017

        I guess I should clarify. I would rather trade Fisher before Tucker. I would like to keep Fisher, but if he is needed to acquire some pitching then I could live with losing him (he would be the 4th guy I would want to keep behind Tucker, Whitley and Martes).

        Regarding next year Teoscar is an option, assuming he is not traded, and they will still have Marisnick and Marwin as options. They could always go out and sign a free agent for one year as a stop gap for Tucker. Kemmer may be ready as well next year. There are options if Fisher is traded.

        Liked by 1 person

    • daveb7
      July 26, 2017

      Astro1fan. We are aware.

      Like

  3. Mr. Bill
    July 26, 2017

    The shut-out last night was sure nice. That is one thing we haven’t had a lot of this year.

    Like

  4. Mr. Bill
    July 26, 2017

    I wonder what it would take to wrest Nola away from Philly?

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 26, 2017

      I read last night that he is their “untouchable”.

      Like

    • Larry Leach
      July 26, 2017

      We had our shot in the MLB college draft, but Luhnow picked Appel. Nola went 7th to Philly. Being an LSU fan as well as pulling for the Stros, My feelings are still hurt.
      Nola is going to be a star.

      Like

      • Devin
        July 26, 2017

        Nola actually was drafted in 2014. That meant we decided to pick Brady Aiken instead of Nola…but if you want to carry it through we passed on Nola to draft Bregman in 2015 instead. There’s your LSU guy!

        Like

      • Larry Leach
        July 26, 2017

        Thanks Devin for your correct memory Devin. I still wish we had Nola.

        Like

  5. Dan P
    July 26, 2017

    So with them releasing Tolliver – what does that signal? Are they going to add a J.D. Davis to the 40 man in case Bregman has to miss time?

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 26, 2017

      Dan, I don’t think so. It’s the trade deadline coming up. I think they were making room on the 40 man roster for someone from outside.

      Like

  6. Dan P
    July 26, 2017

    So Sonny Gray – 6 innings and 4 unearned runs in the 2nd. Before I feel too bad for him – he committed the error himself and threw in a wild pitch and gave up a number of big hits in the inning.
    Hmmmm – seemed like when we brought in Kazmir he had a little problem with fielding himself….

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Zanuda
    July 26, 2017

    Just don’t feel comfortable giving away a lot at this time. Outside the the LMJ regression, Fiers and Peacock have been super. They would be a genuine #3 and or #2 on some teams. I would much rather have another LH reliever. They shouldn’t be as expensive.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dan P
    July 26, 2017

    Lookie who is number one in the Bleacher Report player rankings…..
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2722870-mlb-midseason-position-power-rankings-brs-top-100-players?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial

    No it is not Aaron Judge or Bryce Harper. And the Astros have #9 and 13 also

    Liked by 1 person

    • astrocolt45
      July 26, 2017

      Right now Altuve is in a prolonged slump. He only went 1 for 4 yesterday and he has not have a multi hit game in 2 days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan P
        July 26, 2017

        The way he was hitting, a walk was a wasted at bat….

        Like

  9. Devin
    July 26, 2017

    Lightning may strike me down, but there are no pitchers available throwing better than Peacock or Fiers. Ten years ago I’d be banging the drum to get that true ace, but the game has changed. With off days in October, if you can get five innings out of your starter and then go to the bullpen you can be very successful. Add in our expectation that Keuchel (if he can be healthy) will be our Bumgarner and I don’t feel bad about our rotation’s chances.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kevin
    July 26, 2017

    Something just keep gnawing at my gut, that so much hope is on a guy who has been hurt the last 2 months and could get hurt again in 2 weeks and LMJ is not looking good right now. if our current staff is healthy and LMJ get his mechanics back then October looks great, but with this magical year, I’m still working the phones for that deal that make us all go SWEET

    Like

  11. Larry Leach
    July 26, 2017

    I guess everything is a gamble when it comes to baseball and trades. I would prefer gambling on the starters we already have and keep our top prospects. I would like a relief addition though. I would hate to go in the playoffs with Sipp being our only left-handed reliever.

    Like

    • Devin
      July 26, 2017

      Larry, I agree with you. I think my problem is I’m interpreting the recent winter deals and trades to mean that all GMs think they’re going to get a team’s top prospect in exchange for an Adam Eaton or Todd Frazier type player let alone a Chris Sale. In reality, many of these teams have garbage prospects and could greatly improve their system by taking a package of players outside our top 5 or even top 10. But if you need further convincing, how would the Dodgers look if they’d caved and given up Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, or Jose Urias in trades the last few years? They would look a lot like San Francisco is the answer.

      Like

  12. 1oldpro
    July 26, 2017

    Dan, in a season where superlatives are the norm for describing the Astros, your last paragraph about innings by pitchers was truly amazing.
    Also, you go ahead and use ERA all you want to and I won’t hold it against you.You took the time to write the post and fed my addiction for AstrosWorld and it’s all okay with me.
    When a pitcher like Devenski has a month like he has had lately, his burgeoning ERA just brings it into perspective. Earlier he was fooling everyone with his change up and lately, he hasn’t. Batters have seen him and they have adjusted. He needs to do the same thing, adjust. He won’t get by on his COD. He still needs to keep his changeup down, throw his fastball in the spots where batter’s heat charts show they are not hitting and mix in his curve to keep them guessing. That’s what got him the low ERA in the first place.

    Like

    • Dan P
      July 26, 2017

      Baseball is so tough oldpro – individuals are out there and scouted under a microscope and with microcomputers…. They have to adjust or die.
      It may just be in my head, but I feel like Devo is leaving the ball up a bit more, but what is striking to me is that I don’t feel he is getting as much late movement, especially diving to the side that he had earlier in the year.
      But he has good stuff, so if he can adjust some it will work out.

      Like

    • Dan P
      July 26, 2017

      And op I do love coming up with those goofy little stats like the comparative innings. Sometimes I am just staring at the numbers and something like that occurs to me to check and when I figure it out I can’t wait to share it.

      Like

      • Diane
        July 26, 2017

        Dan, I’m much in awe of your being able to convert “take me out to the ballgame” to numbers. Best I could do I is that it equals 22.

        Like

  13. Dan P
    July 26, 2017

    The lineup tonight….

    2B Altuve
    CF Fisher
    RF Reddick
    3B Gurriel
    SS Gonzalez
    LF Beltran
    C McCann
    1B White
    P Fiers

    Wondering if Springer and/or Bregman are available off the bench tonight.

    Like

  14. Tim
    July 26, 2017

    It should be noted that both Harris and Devo are better against LHs than Justin Wilson (BAA and OPS) and Brad Hand (OPS). If the price is fair I would like to add either of them, but I am not big on the lefty/lefty matchup is a necessity. If Harris is more capable of getting a LH out than Justin Wilson then go with Harris. With this being said I agree with many on here that if we are going to make a trade I would rather it be a bullpen piece over a starting pitcher.

    Like

  15. Becky⚾
    July 26, 2017

    Padres are leaning towards not trading Hand, but I’m pretty sure if the got a deal they couldn’t pass up they would do it. I listened to Luhnow on the 790 pod cast, and of course he wouldn’t commit to anything, but the guy he was talking to was lobbying hard for Verlander. Two words caught my attention, (1.surprised, and (2.excited. I have no idea if that was to throw the listener off, but intriguing non the less. If Luhnow were to pull off a trade like that…..it would breath SO much excitement to this club and fan base! I guess we’ll have to wait until 3:30 Monday afternoon to find out.

    Like

    • Tim
      July 26, 2017

      It would probably deflate me once I saw the players we traded away to get him and that we may be on the hook for $56M over the next 2 years.

      Like

      • Diane
        July 26, 2017

        I am in agreement — along with Zanuda, Larry, Devin and whoever else feels that way. I posted it a few days ago.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Becky⚾
    July 26, 2017

    Keuchel will start the series with the Tigers Friday.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. daveb7
    July 26, 2017

    Good conversation here. Tim, I mostly agree with the over use of the ERA stat as it applies to relief pitchers. That said, it’s one of several stats that still remain relevant, even for a guy in the pen, especially when the sample is a substantial one and balanced with other figures.

    Looking at your post of Tuckers stats today, I think I’ve changed my mind a bit. I could live with losing Derek Fisher rather than Tucker, because Tucker might well be ready to be a starter with the Astros in 2018. He’s come along that quickly.

    Tim, but I think if Sonny Gray is a solid # 3 starter as you state, that makes our guy Lance a 4. Outside of an injury plagued 2016 when Gray gutted out 22 starts and was pretty bad all year, he’s an ace lifetime on many teams. Look at the stats. He can go 200 innings. How many guys do we have with that pedigree? He was number three in Cy Young voting in 2015. And he had some pretty good competition that year too.

    Fiers has had the best stretch of his career with us to date in 2017. He’s been remarkable. But tonight, he’s in the 4th inning and has thrown 104 pitches. We can’t assume he’s a 3, 4 or even a 5 starter long term. Even in October of 2017. Same thing with Morton or Peacock. Short samples. But I love Peacock in the pen. I do think McCullers will come around, as long as he’s healthy. And in the back of all of our minds, are we not at least a bit concerned about the health of Keuchel and McHugh?

    I know the Yankees and Dodgers and Cubs will get better over the next few days. That is what they do. We should too. We’ve got more minor league talent than any of those organizations, especially in the outfield. Let’s use some of it to help win a World Series.

    Like

    • Kevin
      July 26, 2017

      Good stuff David agree 100%, Peacock and fiers have done a hell of job filling in , but being decent in the regular season vs playoff pressure night an day . We need to make deal, I’m a telling you.

      Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 26, 2017

      You KNOW I agree with you….

      Like

      • Kevin
        July 26, 2017

        See Becky Knows , who are we to doubt Becky (-:

        Like

  18. Billy Castillo
    July 26, 2017

    Feliz seems to have Hoyt syndrome lately

    Like

  19. sandy
    July 26, 2017

    I’m on the fence. Our rotation can beat any team out there BUT the inconsistency is just down right scary. Which Fiers is going to show up in the playoffs, wIll Keuchel remain healthy, can LMJ get back on track? Just too many variables for me to feel any confidence.
    My gut tells me Verlander will become an Astro this weekend.
    But the sticker price is going to hurt for a long, long time.
    I just don’t see Luhnow trading top prospects within the division.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Diane
      July 27, 2017

      Hi Sandy. As far as I can tell, you and I have taken a (grief?) vacation. Welcome back, and don’t give up your spot. I always read what you have to say, I know you care very much, and I appreciate that you are so willing to appreciate others’ comments.

      Like

      • sandy
        July 27, 2017

        Thanks Diane.
        I’ve been on the DL for a week with a partial ligament tear behind my knee.
        Hurts like hell when I bend my knee.
        Still read what y’all have to say and actually agree with everyone. I want a trade but then I don’t want one.
        Never give up on my Stros. Never.

        Like

      • Diane
        July 27, 2017

        Well, Sandy, I guess you wanted to be part of the core, along with Keuchel, Correa and Springer. You must be the truest-bluest fan of all 🙂

        Like

    • videoidgetcom
      July 27, 2017

      The rotation can beat any team out there….. except the Tribe.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Becky⚾
    July 26, 2017

    My opinion only……but if this is “THE” year for the Astros, I see no reason not to go all in. The reason you hang on to top prospects is to feed your big club when the need arises, and or to trade for a guy who can get you over the finish line. This is our year……Mike Fires isn’t the answer.

    Like

    • sandy
      July 26, 2017

      Totally agree Becky

      Like

    • Tim
      July 26, 2017

      I would just like to get your opinion so I can see where you are coming from. Who do you want the Astros to pursue and what are you willing to trade to acquire him/them? I understand you want to go for it, but just 2 years ago you were very upset with the Gomez/Fiers trade because, if I recall correctly, you really liked Maverick and Hader. Fiers numbers in 2014 are better than both Sonny Gray’s and Verlander’s this year. Also, Tucker and Fisher are much higher rated prospects than Maverick and Whitley has much more upside than Hader. So, I am a little confused why you were so upset with losing lesser prospects in 2015, but now you are so willing to get rid of them? I am not chastising you, but just trying to understand your thought process from then and now. We did more in the off-season with adding Beltran, Aoki, Morton, Reddick and McCann. We did our major acquisitions in November/December and it cost us only a few low level prospects to get McCann. The Astros team is definitely good enough to win the WS as it is. Yes, we can add to it, but does it really improve our chances enough to justify the talent required to get a Sonny Gray or Justin Verlander? What if we make the trades, lose Tucker and Whitley, among others, and don’t win the WS? We have now lost some major pieces that would keep us competitive for several years. Luhnow has done a fantastic job building up this organization and farm system. There are players he’s willing to trade and players he knows he must keep. I trust that if he doesn’t want to trade Tucker or Whitley there is a very good reason for it.

      Also, we have to realize it’s not likely we are going to keep Altuve or Keuchel when they come free agents in 2019 and 2018, respectively. The Astros need to keep a strong farm system in place to replace the players we are eventually going to lose. I am not suggesting hoarding our prospects, but guys like Tucker, Whitley and Martes will probably be legitimate major league players. We have to be careful with this ‘let’s go for it’ thought process or we may be looking at 2010 down the road.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Becky⚾
        July 26, 2017

        I understand…..but we were no where CLOSE to being this good in 2015. I don’t want to look back on 2017, and think woulda….shoulda….coulda. I’m not going to argue the point with you, I feel like crap and I don’t have the energy. Ok?

        Liked by 2 people

      • daveb7
        July 27, 2017

        Tim, thank you for not chastising me. I’m relieved. Let’s see what happens over the weekend. There will be plenty to talk about once the dust settles. Obviosly, I’m hoping we don’t remain on the sidelines.

        Like

      • sandy
        July 27, 2017

        I was also disappointed in the Gonzalez/Fiers trade. So were a lot of others and we were right to feel that way at the time. Besides, Back then, we were spending more time looking at the minors because the MLB team was just painful to watch prior to 15.
        There’s no way to see how a prospect will evolve. Do we have a guarantee that any of these guys will be stars. There’s always the possibility of failure at this level or injuries could derail their career.
        We have an excellent chance to go all the way ….. so I say do whatever it takes to get it done this year.
        I’ve got 40+ years invested in this team. Others have even more. I want to see that parade NOW!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Tim
        July 27, 2017

        Sandy,

        Why do you feel you had a right to be disappointed in the Gomez/Fiers trade in 2015, but are fine with trading away better prospects in 2017? At the time of the 2015 trade the Astros were leading the division and they came very close to knocking out the World Champions in the playoffs that year. I am just trying to get a handle on the thought process then and now. We will be losing much better prospects than we lost in 2015.

        Like

      • sandy
        July 27, 2017

        Thanks Diane.
        I’ve been on the DL for a week with a partial ligament tear behind my knee.
        Hurts like hell when I bend my knee.
        Still read what y’all have to say and actually agree with everyone. I want a trade but then I don’t want one.
        Never give up on my Stros. Never.

        Like

      • Devin
        July 27, 2017

        Tim, if I recall most of us felt the Gomez/Fiers trade was a panic move due to the Springer injury. The big problem is most fans don’t like Gomez and saw it as a reach due to his health derailing a trade the week before with the Mets AND lack of production prior to the trade.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sandy
        July 27, 2017

        Geez Tim, I can’t remember why I thought what I thought yesterday and you want to know why I thought what I thought two years ago.
        I guess maybe because we weren’t expecting to win when the season started in 15.
        We were still building and and ( in my opinion) weren’t quite there yet. Then there was the attachment to the kids coming up. For years the ML team was so bad and most of us couldn’t even watch anyway. So we focused on the minor leagues. The potential for a great team was growing right before our eyes.
        I didn’t see Gomez and Fiers as an upgrade. I know that’s the point you’re trying to make now but I feel things are a little more desperate this year. We always knew we would have to part with prospects at some point and I feel like this is the time.
        Also, Luhnow was still in learning mode. I believe he’s learned from his mistakes. I believe he will make a trade only if it makes us better. If nothing gets done I won’t be one of the ” tantrum crew ” because I feel he did what was best.
        But I still feel like we need a couple of pitchers to win it all.

        Like

      • Tim
        July 27, 2017

        That works for me, Sandy. Thank you.

        Like

    • Kevin
      July 26, 2017

      Here here we can still lose some prospects we have more and we still have CC altuve Springer Bregman all young and consolable for a few more years. we cant keep them all, only 25 in the dugout and some of them deserve to be big leaguers

      Like

  21. Zanuda
    July 26, 2017

    Just got home and see we didn’t fair too well this evening. Maybe I put a curse on Fiers by speaking of how well he has been pitching. Yet looking at the box score it looks like Feliz was the problem x 2. Six runs in two innings with two HR’s ain’t gonna cut it. Verlander wold be a super addition but can we stand the loss of our best prospects and his LARGE salary?

    Like

    • Becky⚾
      July 26, 2017

      Yes.

      Like

      • Zanuda
        July 26, 2017

        No doubt about where you stand Becky. Thanks. Hope you are doing well. Oh BTW you’d make a terrible politician with direct answers like that.

        Like

      • Kevin
        July 26, 2017

        YES

        Like

    • Tim
      July 27, 2017

      No!

      Like

  22. Becky⚾
    July 26, 2017

    Zanuda……I’m sitting in my recliner sick as a dog. The only thing that brings me much joy when I feel this bad…..is this amazing baseball team! I hope these guys can get over the hump even if Luhnow doesn’t make a trade. I guess I feel like if we’re this close to October baseball…….I’m selfish, I want to see the Astros in the last games of this season. See what I’m not saying? I don’t say the words because I don’t want to jinx them. Thanks for checking in on me…..but I’m gonna be ok.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Russell Johnson
    July 26, 2017
  24. 1oldpro
    July 26, 2017

    Darvish gave up 10 runs tonight and the Ranger’s bullpen gave up 12 more.
    22 runs by Miami.
    All five AL West teams lost, so the Astros remain 17 games ahead.
    Minnesota is starting to fade and the Cubs are getting hot.
    Neshek to the Rockies.

    Like

    • Billy Castillo
      July 27, 2017

      See, that’s the thing. .we win 2 out of 3, and the time we lose, the other teams in our division lose. If we keep that pace in the playoffs, we win the Series.

      DK’s start I think will kind of determine what we do somewhat. How’s that for definite? 🙂

      I think if we get bullpen help, we’ll go on another long win streak, and might as well break out the champagne.

      Like

  25. Tim
    July 27, 2017

    Just as an FYI…The expected price for Brad Hand is Forrest Whitley and Derek Fisher. Is this something we are comfortable doing? I will say it one more time, only because I am stubborn like that, the price to acquire pitching at the deadline is absolutely ridiculous. Teams know that the sellers out-number the buyers and will demand a heavy, heavy price to get pitching. I am hoping we stand pat and, if so, I expect fans across Twitter and Astros blogs to go crazy with anger, but it will probably be the right move considering what teams are asking for pitching (by the way, the price for Giles all of a sudden looks very reasonable).

    Like

    • Devin
      July 27, 2017

      Tim, I think we’re stuck in a no win situation. There aren’t a lot of pending free agents available who are attractive. No team should do a trade unless it strengthens them or their system. Obviously knuckleheads like AJ Preller screwed up in the past and are now, perhaps, trying to strike gold to swing the pendulum in the other direction. What we don’t really know is whether the guys being discussed in the blogosphere are actually available though. I’m not going to go into details about it here due to the family nature of Chip’s blog, but the Quintana trade’s details were originally broken by two internet commenters who have a fascination with a pop singer’s derriere. How much faith should we have in Heyman and Rosenthal when they’re getting scooped like that?

      Like

  26. daveb7
    July 27, 2017

    I don’t think there will be much anger. We won’t be able to even partially judge the outcome of any deal until late October. And if we do get a deal done, we’ll still be discussing it in five years, for better or worse..

    Tim, if indeed it would take Fisher and Whitley to get a pen arm in Hand, I’m realistic. We won’t be making a big splash. And I’m okay holding pat if that’s the reality of the market. Luhnow won’t be a sucker.

    Like

    • Tim
      July 27, 2017

      I agree. The vitriol will mostly be on Twitter (you should see some of the panic going on now that a trade hasn’t happened yet). There will be some frustration voiced here as well, I believe, but not as much as I will see on Twitter.

      Like

  27. Kevin
    July 27, 2017

    I think a deal can be had with out looking like we were nuts. I think Luhnow has made more good decision than bad, some great pick ups and drafts. We all fainted when we lost Tropeano,, VV, Folty, Maverick, Domingo, I’m glad they all have a chance to play in the bigs, and somehow we still managed to get to 67-34.

    Luhnow is not going to trade Tucker and Whitley for any bull pen arm Period! That is just an insane thought over reaction to a very credible debate here

    I think there still is a deal out there to be had , yes we will loose some prospects, but nothing that will be stupid for this team. I watched the interview last night in the 4th inning with Luhnow , he made some great points , and as much a I doubted him early on , I think he has a solid long term plan.

    If the deal doesn’t make good sense 2- 4 years down the road, in their plans, then they wont make it.

    I’m hoping the find a great piece for out pitching staff,

    Like

    • Kevin
      July 27, 2017

      I’m hoping they find a great piece for our pitching staff phones ugh

      Like

  28. Tim
    July 27, 2017

    One of the reasons I like to Twitter is that someone can point out something to you that is hidden in the numbers. Let’s just say I am intrigued by the possibility of adding Verlander if Detroit eats some more of the $ owed to him. It was pointed out that his ERA is inflated by 3 bad starts this year (2 against Cleveland and 1 against Houston, but he has also had 2 good starts against Cleveland). He is aging and his BB/9 are the highest it has ever been, but his BABIP is also higher than it’s been and he looks like someone who will have a good 2nd half. Also, his last 5 starts have been fairly good.

    Like

  29. astrocolt45
    July 27, 2017

    I had another alien experience as my iPhone post disappeared.

    I agree with Tim on trading prospects for Verlander (and may God not strike me blind).

    In 2005 we had Oswalt, Clemens, Pettitte, and Lidge. One pitcher or one player does not insure a World Series victory, not even one win. I hope JL errs on the side of caution. This is a solid team as constructed and MAY win or MAY lose in the playoffs. That will not change with one my arm. The chances are greater with a good addition, but there is no guarantee either way. If adding a pitcher and a catcher gets you to the WS, then Texas won last year and repeated again this year. CAUTION.

    Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 27, 2017

      As far as Verlander helping this year or not, I’m not just focused on this year. I was also thinking he gives us a better chance the next two years, which are the windows that I can see more clearly through. After that things get a little cloudy for me, as free agency starts to rear it’s nasty head at our core.

      Like

      • Kevin
        July 27, 2017

        I will take him for 2 years in a heart beat next year DK JV LMJ CM and ???

        Like

    • daveb7
      July 27, 2017

      45, in 2005, we had the pitching. Along with the 2017 version of an offense, I’d feel pretty good about our chances.

      But I do disagree with you to an extent. I think the addition of a starter likely makes the playoff rotation stronger and also makes the playoff pen better.

      But no doubt, no guarantees.

      Like

  30. 1oldpro
    July 27, 2017

    Most likely Will Harris will come back to the roster Friday. Did Michael Feliz save Joe Musgrove from being the one sent down?
    Pretty sure the Astros will make sure Springer is good to go, and if he is, Derek Fisher will go back down and Keuchel will take that spot.

    Like

  31. Tim
    July 27, 2017

    Jerry Crasnick tweeted the Astros are focused on Justin Wilson, even moreso than Zach Britton.

    Like

  32. Tim
    July 27, 2017

    I hope you don’t mind all my comments, but this is a great time of year for us baseball fans and I am always conjuring up new ideas. What if the Astros asked the Tigers to take Tony Sipp as part of a package for JV to help offset some of JV’s salary? If the Tigers took on the rest of this year and Tony Sipp it might be the impetus to getting a deal done depending on what else Detroit wants from our farm. I am just spitballing here, but any thoughts on this?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 1oldpro
      July 27, 2017

      I don’t mind. The Sipp idea is nice, but Detroit is trying to shed some salaries because they have a lot of future monies tied up. But if they thought they could trade Sipp in the offseason they might consider him in the Verlander deal. But I think Sipp is going to be Luhnow’s problem to figure out this winter. I hate to think there is nothing Luhnow can’t pull off after he found a home for Neshek last winter.
      Tim, while we’re talking Tigers, I’m thinking that they need to do singular deals as much as possible for Avila, Kinsler, Verlander and Wilson to gain maximum value. They might have to do a package at the last minute if they haven’t been able to move all of them. Do you agree? Also, I see Detroit moving on from Ausmus and regrouping under a new staff. What’s your thoughts.

      Like

      • Tim
        July 27, 2017

        Yes, I agree they would probably get maximum return on the players in singular deals, but they may be forced to do a package deal with JV, because of his contract, to up the return. The Astros would be an ideal candidate to do a package trade with JV and Justin Wilson. This is where having them take Sipp comes into play because they don’t have to send as much money to the Astros, but instead take a player and his contract. If the Tigers are going to rebuild, which they desparately need to do, then taking Sipp for the rest of this year and next isn’t going to hurt them too much. Sipp hasn’t been good, but I still think he has some value because he is left-handed and his FIP/xFIP are better than his ERA and his GB% is 52.4.

        I am not sure Ausmus’ contract status, but if it is up at the end of this year I think he and the Tigers will have a mutual parting of the ways. I don’t think Ausmus wants to there for the duration of the rebuild, which could take several years. They have bloated contracts that will not return much in prospects and a very barren farm system. Furthermore, I don’t think Avila is the GM that Luhnow is so the Tigers could be looking at 5+ years before they get back to respectability.

        Like

    • Devin
      July 27, 2017

      Tim, I’m glad you’re posting a lot, but would prefer it if you would post ideas which I agree with a little less. It’s more fun to argue over silly things. Regardless who Luhnow deals with I will be disappointed if there isn’t a 17-18 year old kid who the other team doesn’t really realize is on one of their rookie ball clubs, but Luhnow insists must be included as part of the package or there is no deal. I want them second guessing and wondering.

      Liked by 2 people

  33. Kevin
    July 27, 2017

    I am not Tim obviously but I’ll try my best. The Tigers need to shed every bit of cash and old players they can. I think I saw where the Minors are in bad shape also, get younger and bye bye Ausmus , nice experiment when you have some great players in their prime, Ausmus may be really smart, but no management experience period , risky.

    Blow it UP!

    Like

  34. Kevin
    July 27, 2017

    The Houston Astros would like to upgrade their pitching staff, but Jeff Luhnow says the club won’t overpay to do so ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline.

    “We’re not going to overpay dramatically, because we’re not in a situation where we have to,” Luhnow said. “We have a pretty good team, and if we can improve it without giving up too much of our future, we will.”

    what I posted earlier, get a pitching piece that makes sense..

    Like

  35. Billy Castillo
    July 27, 2017

    One thing I have to admit. ..Tim you were right about Luhnow! We’re in a position to win, never mind contend, for years. Been wanting to say that for a while now

    Liked by 1 person

  36. astrocolt45
    July 27, 2017

    Just don’t see any extra value in Verlander. (He may turn it on and he may not). His ERA (4,50) is only better than Feliz, Sipp, Hoyt, and Musgrove. His FIP (4.22) is only better than Sipp, Musgrove and Fiers.

    Just a note, when we got Kazmir his ERA was 2.38 and his ERA in Houston was 4.19 (JV is 4.50). Kazmir FIP in Oakland 3.16 went to 5.19 in Houston (JV 4.22) Kazmir was never the equal in his career to JV but he was 3 years younger when he joined the Astros.

    If one prefers WHIP JV is 1.163 which ranks below only Devo, DK, Giles, and Harris, For comparison only, Sipp is sitting at 1.174.

    Like

    • daveb7
      July 27, 2017

      I’m not very enthusiastic about Verlander either.

      Like

    • 1oldpro
      July 27, 2017

      When Sipp gives up his home runs, it’s only one baserunner per inning. He could give up nine home runs in nine innings pitched and still have a WHIP of 1.00.

      Like

      • astrocolt45
        July 27, 2017

        I was only attempting to explain why I don’t see Verlander as the missing piece. Before you comment, I felt the same way about Morton, who when healthy is a great addition. And again before you comment, I felt the same way about Conger.

        Not watching these players every day like the Astros, I can only see their stats. So to borrow from Dennis Miller, “Then again, I could be wrong.”

        Like

  37. Kevin
    July 27, 2017

    I would take Verlander for the this playoff run and 2018 in NY minute over Fiers and McHugh, and I’m not sure what LMJ we have ?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin
      July 27, 2017

      “Verlander is having a subpar season, with a 4.50 ERA and 96 ERA+ a year after finishing second in the AL Cy Young Award voting (which itself sparked an epic tweet from Kate Upton). But Verlander’s stuff is still remarkably sharp given the innings toll he’s taken on in his career. His average four-seam velocity this month (96 mph) is more than half a tick higher than it was last month, and he was touching 99 in his last start”

      From another sports blog.

      Like

  38. Dan P
    July 27, 2017

    I know a number of you are wondering where the adult supervision (Dan P) is….or maybe not.
    I’ve been off working on a piece for tomorrow morning for you to further chew on – though you usually ignore my premise….I really don’t mind. I love how the comment section takes on a life of its own and runs off on interesting and varied hiways.

    I really hope that the front office can improve the team, especially the bullpen which has been a little bit more exposed with the recent rotation problems. But I have to trust them, trust their judgment on players and value and results as it has been the front office’s decisions that got the team here and here is a great spot compared to the dog days of 2011-2013.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Diane
      July 27, 2017

      Yes, have been wondering about adult supervision. It’s getting rowdy but this time in a good way.

      Like

      • daveb7
        July 27, 2017

        I have very little adult supervision. It’s a double edged sword.

        Like

  39. 1oldpro
    July 27, 2017

    There is so much going on in baseball. We’re not ignoring you. We’re focused on the end game. Plus, there’s grand kids running around everywhere and they don’t know diddly about trade deadlines.
    How about the Adrian Beltre deal from last night?
    Minnesota announces a fire sale.
    So far, 33 major league teams have sent in their offers for Sonny Gray.
    The Cubs are going to trade for every pitcher on the market.
    The Yankees have enough prospects to trade for everybody.
    The rumors are shouted and the deals are silent.
    The closer we get, the crazier it’s gonna be.

    Like

  40. astrocolt45
    July 27, 2017

    Let’s remember the Cubs traded for Chapman last year and won the World Series. (And then lost him again)

    The Indians traded for Andrew Miller, Rangers got Carlos Beltran, Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress, Red Sox traded and got Drew Pomeranz, Fernando Abad, and Brad Ziegler, Toronto traded for Joaquin Benoit, Melvin Upton, Francisco Liriano, Scott Feldman and Mike Bolsinger, and the Orioles traded for Wade Miley and Steve Pearce. No cigar.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1oldpro
      July 27, 2017

      But the big guy that every team wanted but few could afford was Chapman. He went to the Cubs and they won it all.
      I want the Astros to be like the Cubs last year. And I sincerely believe that if they give up a few top prospects now, they would have a two or three year window to get their organization that ring.
      We all stand in different spots because we all have different windows. Is it selfish to want a title late in life before we pass?
      Real confidence in Luhnow’s abilities means confidence in him to go for it now and to be able to go for it five years from now, too, when my grandkids are old enough to love the Astros, too, because that’s what Grampa loved.
      If the Astros go to the world series, I will not be alone in watching them. My kids and grand kids will watch that with me, like my wife has watched every game with me for the first time ever this season.

      Like

      • Tim
        July 27, 2017

        I think Miller was the pitcher everyone wanted over Chapman. He offered more years of control and, frankly, is the better pitcher.

        There are 2 factions when it comes to trade deadline thoughts. Those, like you and Becky, that aren’t worried about the prospects traded as long as it helps the team this year and others, like myself and AC45, that say a trade is fine, but let’s not make a trade that hurts our competitive window beyond this season. Both ideas have their plusses and minuses, but it’s just more your appetite for what you want.

        Also, I will counter your Luhnow comment that if you have real confidence in his ability then you will trust that if he feels keeping Tucker and Whitley are a must then he knows better than us. We should trust that not including either of them in a trade for Sonny Gray or Justin Verlander is the right move.

        Like

      • daveb7
        July 27, 2017

        1OP, I don’t think the ticking clock has motivated me personally into my belief that it’s time to make a big play for a difference maker or two. But I’m also fully aware that it’s a real consideration for others. Luhnow has worked hard to make the system one of the best in the business. Some guys will help us win by being on the 25 man roster. Other guys might help us win by being sought after by other clubs. When it’s all said and done this weekend, if in fact the Astros are involved in trades, our system will absorb its losses and continue to grow major league talent. We’ll still be fine next year and in three years too. In five years? I don’t know. I think today we have the best chance to win a World Series in the history of the franchise. I want to be all in.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Becky⚾
        July 27, 2017

        For the very FIRST time in our marriage, my husband watches the Astros with me! Trust me I gave up on him years ago…..but now he tells me stats on a player! So will wonders ever cease….but I’ll take it!

        Liked by 3 people

  41. daveb7
    July 27, 2017

    But Tim, indeed, I reiterate my confidence in Luhnow. If something big does not happen within the organization this weekend, then I’ll enter the last sixty games on the way to the post season content that the correct decisions were made.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Becky⚾
    July 27, 2017

    The arlington little league has just gone on record saying they WILL trade darvish.
    And, gomez, and lucroy, and just about any body in their bullpen. I had to laugh outloud, thinking who in the world would WANT ANY of those guys, not including darvish. So I expect the Dodgers or the Nats will be swooping in to sign darvish.
    I gotta say, I’m getting much happiness watching the other club in Texas throw in the towel, I’m probably a little vindictive in my old age, and I’m not gonna apologize for it.
    No Tim…….I’m not jumping up and down saying trade ANYONE….OR EVERYONE in a trade. I’m not personally invested in any of them (I was last year with Bregman) but I also know we don’t know how well Keuchel, McHugh, or McCullers are going to pitch the next 6 weeks either. I understand nothing is a sure bet, but I sure would feel better about our chances with another Frontline pitcher added to this rotation. If Luhnow does nothing, I won’t go ballistic. I’m glad I’m not a GM, they don’t get paid enough for what they do! So if all we get is another lefty in the bullpen it will have to be ok. I’ll just pray real hard that the guys we have will be enough. I’m pretty testy because I’m not having a very good week. By the way Crane, and Luhnow will both be in Cooperstown for the Hall of Fame inductions….so if a trade is going down it will probably be someone else doing the deal. Becky⚾

    Liked by 1 person

  43. astrocolt45
    July 28, 2017

    Could I please get everyone to agree to the following: 1. In a couple days, please do not post, I KNEW that JL would make/not make a trade. I KNEW JL was too risky/cowardly when it comes to trades. 2. In October, please do not post I KNEW at the trade deadline that JL blew it/guaranteed the win in the World Series.

    This blog is expression of opinions. Some agree and some disagree. I get so tired of reading other places about the Astros where people don’t know anything until after it happens and then they KNEW…….

    Liked by 1 person

    • sandy
      July 28, 2017

      You have my word on that AC. I put my trust in Luhnow this year and I won’t go back on it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane
      July 28, 2017

      I KNEW you were going to post this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • astrocolt45
        July 28, 2017

        Just read your comment to my wife. She died laughing. Then added “I KNEW women are smarter than any man.”

        Like

      • Kevin
        July 28, 2017

        Not that right there was good Diane, love the humor, you bet me (-:

        Like

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