The Devo-lution of the Astros’ bullpen

This is not to blame the crash and burn of the bullpen on one man, Chris Devenski, because the failure lately has been a team effort similar to the team’s offensive production. But just in the wrong direction. Devo was the poster boy for how good the bullpen was and now he is a focal point for how much they are struggling. So let’s take a quick look at Devenski and at other members of the bullpen.

Devenski. His overall numbers for the season are good to very good  (2.82 ERA, 0.841 WHIP, 11.7 K/9 IP in 44 games and 60 IP). But a few numbers highlight his recent struggles. In his last 10 appearances he has a given up four HRs and has a 7.00 ERA. In his first 34 appearances he had given up four HRs and had a 2.09 ERA. In his first 37 games he only allowed 4 of 22 inherited runners to score. In his last seven games he has allowed 5 of 10 IRs to score. In his first 12 games he was striking out 16.4 batters per 9 IP. In his last 32 games he is striking out just under 9 per 9 IP. Is it overwork? Well not lately – he has only gone 2 IP twice in his last 12 appearances and has pitched less than 1 IP four times in those 12 games.

Michael FelizIt is hard to remember that through June 5, Feliz had been one of the better members of the bullpen with a sterling 2.10 ERA in 23 appearances and allowing 6 of 17 inherited runners to score. Since then he has a 9.00 ERA in 19 appearances and has allowed 7 of 9 inherited runners to score. His ERA has soared to 5.04 and his WHIP has bloated to 1.478. He is on the DL with throwing shoulder soreness which might be a good explanation of what has happened to the young man.

Will Harris and Brad PeacockIn his 2+ seasons with the Astros, Harris has been all you could ask out of a reliever who was asked to man the seventh, eighth and occasionally the ninth inning. His numbers are sterling with the Astros (2.23 ERA, 0.967 WHIP, 4.19 Ks/walks in 168 appearances). So his absence as he fights shoulder soreness opens a big hole in the late inning pecking order of the Astros’ bullpen. Similarly, Peacock’s very successful role as substitute starter has opened another gash in the bullpen that is not being filled successfully at this time.

Tony SippThe good news is that Tony has taken that really bad 1.603 WHIP of 2016 and reduced it to a decent 1.313 in 2017. Unfortunately, the bad news is his bad 4.95 ERA has risen to a brutal 6.47 ERA this season. Left handed batters have a poor .226 BA against him, but a very good .810 OPS. Now the Astros went out and traded Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez for Sipp’s rental replacement Francisco Liriano and in his first appearance he gets out a RH batter (good) and then gives up a hit and a walk to two left-handed batters (bad) on the way to losing a precious lead to the Rays.

James Hoyt/Francis Martes/Reymin Guduan/Dayan DiazWith the absence of Harris and Peacock – folks like Hoyt, Martes, Guduan and Diaz have had to make 63 appearances out of the bullpen. This has resulted in some ups and more downs over the last quarter of the season. Folks are getting experience, but games are being lost too.

The bullpen as a whole. With the exception of Ken Giles who has been strong lately, the Astros’ bullpen has been a shambles and has fallen from an early season perch in the top 3 in the AL to where they have the 12th best ERA at 4.44 and as they say, with a bullet…..downward.

What can be done?

A few thoughts:

  • Looking down….. maybe bring up Jumbo Diaz, Brendan McCurry or Kevin Comer or bring back James Hoyt?
  • Looking outward ….. see if there is a good reliever that can pass through revocable waivers and who can be had for the rest of the season?
  • Looking forward….the team really needs Will Harris back and probably need to send Brad Peacock back to the bullpen when and if Lance McCullers returns to the rotation.

What do you think?

123 comments on “The Devo-lution of the Astros’ bullpen

  1. Once the Astros got a big lead last night, he started pouring pitches down the middle to avoid walks. He got hit hard but I thought he did it because of the lead.

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  2. Dare I say that pretty much all season long the bp has been trotted out on the bump to rescue the rotation from the 5th inning on for various reasons. No wonder then their stellar numbers has slowly dwindled. The sp rarely goes long and as the innings for the bp continue to climb they become less effective

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    • By the way Old School, I think I recollect your name from back down the road a few years on one of these forums. But to actually answer your question, indeed, I agree, the pen is rather beaten up today. The five guys in a regular season rotation have to be effective. II’d say that our pen is not terrible, but they they are going the wrong direction today, because our rotation remains unstable. So much easier to have a good pen when the rotation is solid.

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  3. A good note the BP didn’t give up a run last night. If we could get into a routine a heathy rotation going 6 or 7. Then when Harris gets back. 7th inning Peacock, 8th Harris 9th Giles sprinkle in Gregerson and Lariano.

    I think that would be a great goal heading into September, a consistent set Pitching plan every night

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  4. Was at the game last night and was a bit concerned with how many hard hit balls Peacock gave up, especially the homers but with a big lead like OP1 said he was at least avoiding walks. I’m cautiously optimistic with the performance of Musgrove and hope Hoyt is fixed. He did well in Fresno. Guduan makes me real nervous with his lack of command but he ought to be able to eat up some low leverage innings. Liriano is an unknown right now. I liked his stuff but questioned his pitch selection and approach to the lefties he faced. Not a particularly auspicious beginning. Gregerson needs to step up and be consistent. Martes is like Forest Gump’s box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. Harris returning and being effective would smooth out a lot of things. Devo seems to have lost some of his command and throws too many high changeups and low fastballs instead of the other way around. I’m hoping he didn’t get caught up in the “Circle of Death” hype and think he can just throw the change anywhere and get away with it.

    I still think things will normalize as the starters improve. McHugh looks real, Morton is getting reliable and Keuchel is improving. Fiers needs to get back to keeping the ball in the park. I think Peacock will be fine. Right now LMJ’s return will be gravy but only if he is first half LMJ and not post ASB LMJ. His body language when he is going poorly alarms me and belies a weak mental approach that doesn’t seem to respond to McCann or Strom. OTOH, when you have an offense lacking three All Star starters and still put up 16 runs you have to be pleased with that side of the ball. Congrats to Tyler White for a great game and to J D Davis on getting called up for his MLB debut.

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  5. The StroPoll on last night’s game asked what team is the biggest threat to the Astros in the A.L. playoffs. The resounding answer was the Indians, which seems to imply that either the fans complaining about the lack of Astros moves at the deadline didn’t vote or they agree that trades at the deadline do very little to improve your chances of winning in the playoffs. If there was one contender that did as little as the Astros at the trade deadline it was the Indians.

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    • The results of the poll weren’t resounding, as the Indians had 38% and the Yankees had 37%. Still, you use the poll to take a shot at people who think differently than you.

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      • Yeah, 39% to 36% is resounding. As far as the other blog is concerned, you chimed in when Dave asked me a question and I answered him and you didn’t like my answer, so you trolled me twice in that blog and I didn’t get into it with you.
        You are a jerk who talks down to people on this blog and other blogs because you think you are better. I get upset half the time at Luhnow when he fails to do his job at deadline time because this is three years in a row he has done a lousy job at the deadline.
        I praised him when he did something good during the offseason.
        So, yes, I change my tune about Luhnow.
        But, you are a jerk all of the time.

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      • That’s classy, OP. You just don’t have the gumption to go toe to toe with me and get very angry when you get called out. That’s also been your M.O., which is to attack and call names instead of debating the topic. I feel bad for you, but I’ll still happily engage you instead of call you names. However, I doubt you’re up for it.

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  6. Dan, will read later as have had demanding yesterday and this morning. So glad fans gave Aoki standing O. He was hurting from being traded. Billy, possibly some reaction to previous severe stresses, but I’m no doc. Will be thinking of you.

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  7. I probably should have mentioned that Gregerson’s inconsistency along with Harris’ injury have thrown a big question mark wrench into the setup innings. If Gregerson was dependable and Harris was back I would not be considering Peacock for the bullpen.

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  8. As Dr Bill mentioned JD Davis is taking the place of AJ Reed who put up a bagel in his callup.
    Also Gattis may be going on the concussion DL after getting hit by a backswing. I’d guess Centeno would come back up?

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  9. Tim, still making your point. Trust me, we get it. No need to imply on behalf of Astro fans their reason for voting any particular way in the StroPoll. The Indians lost a World Series in the tenth inning of game 7. They are a good club.

    Armenteros might get a shot. He’s a crafty guy with five pitches. Could flummox bats, at least for awhile.

    I’m hoping, with a restful September, the post season pen will jell again.

    Was thinking last night about how many folks on other forums were hoping for a Bregman trade even just a month or two ago..

    In Altuve’s first full season, he was pretty good and improving.

    .290 .340 .399 .740 101
    .272 .351 .469 .821 127

    Bregman is having a better than pretty good year and improving before our eyes.

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    • Dave, I think you have mentioned Rogelio several times, and, still, I hadn’t noticed that he had made five appearances at Fresno and is 5-0 in those 5. I missed it!
      But things are nuts around here at the farm and I am so tired.

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      • Hang in OP.

        He gets strike outs and does not give up a lot of hits. And obviously he keeps his team in the game.

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    • I’ll toot my horn on this – when folks were talking about trading Bregman a month or so ago – I pulled up his numbers vs. Altuve’s after the same amount of MLB at bats and showed how they were very similar.
      Of course I’m also the guy a few seasons ago who was entertaining the thought that maybe Altuve was topped out and a trade might be in order.

      The only reason the Indians slightly won that poll is simply because they spanked the Astros this year. If they took the same poll last season the Rangers would have been the winner.

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      • it may also be because the Indians are the defending A.L. champions. Needless to say more felt they were a bigger threat than the big winners at the deadline, the N.Y. Yankees, who, ironically, are 0-4 in August.

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      • Dan, I think we are seeing the beginnings of an excellent hitter, still in his infancy. he’ll be a .900 OPS guy not too far down the road.

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      • Of course. Anyone that disagrees with the majority on here is not well received. It goes without saying (you may now reply “You’re right, it does go without saying”) 🙂

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  10. To Diane: I posted on yesterday’s or last weeks post by mistake. Totally agree that the ovation for Aoki along with him being the last batter of the game, showed a class act by Astros Fans. To DanP: We can all agree that those that thought Bregman was a bust and Gurriel was a complete waste of money can now change their minds. To the post: It appears to me that Devo and Gregerson both need to return to throwing each pitch down the same tunnel. That is where they are most effective. Some will guess right, but some will guess wrong. Right now, they are throwing too many pitches high in the zone. When they throw each pitch waist down, then the difference action makes them more effective. Those others with rocket arms need to learn control.

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    • Good thoughts. I also agree with Dr. Bill up above. When Devo keeps the change down and the fastball up he is most effective. Location is more important than pitch selection. Movement is more important than velocity. When he was so good early, the ball was darting all over the place, but ending up exactly where he wanted it.

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    • I read that, or something similar awhile back. I think what most people boil it down to is what would you want in a one game, winner take all situation?

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      • I am sure that has much to do with it. The best scenario is to have a very balanced team, offensively, defensively and on the pitching side. The Braves of the 90s had 3 TOR starters and only won 1 WS. I just thought it was interesting to point out that this belief is not necessarily true.

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    • Good piece. Ironic though that the Astros avoided the trade deadline trap only because our GM didn’t get his deals done. It certainly was not by design.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s the mark of a very smart GM, which is to know the price you’re willing to pay and don’t overpay in fear of repercussions from the media and fans.

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  11. It is official – Gattis to the 7 day DL and Centeno called up.
    Tim – I don’t think there is a consensus on the blog about the trade deadline. Some are hacked off we did nothing, some are glad we did not overpay and some think it might work out but are afraid it won’t.
    I will say this – if the Astros do not have better health heading into the playoffs it could be problematic. The one plus is that there is more rest in the playoffs and so things may work out.

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    • Dan this is not a criticism of what the Stros did or did not do at the deadline, that is water under the bridge now. But did anyone notice what the Yanks gave up for Gray; 3 top 100’s, two lame ducks (knee, TJ, both out until 2108) & the 3rd has performance/attitude issues, a SS currently replaced by G. Torres. According to bleacherreport farm rankings, the Yanks have 7 Tier 1 prospects, none of the top 3 used in the trade.
      Likewise the Dodgers have 4 Tier 1’s now. The cream of their crop remains though. How in the world did we miss?
      The Cubs traded Jimenez/Cease + 2 throwins for Quintana. Reports say the Astros offered Martes/Tucker/Paulino or Musgrove for Quintana over the winter. Was that not a good offering by the Astros then or do the winter/summer deadlines differ that drastically?
      According to more reports, one of the Astro trades that died would have been a blockbuster. The O’s, notorious med report divers complained of 2-3 Astro prospect medicals. One complaint against the stros was they were tight/stingy lol, with 6-7 untouchables. My point here is apparently it wasn’t for lack of effort on the Astros part, I’m just wondering if JL is still learning how to navigate utilizing his prospect currency to get what he thinks the tm needs. Perhaps I may b terribly wrong, but it does not seem to me the Cubs, Yanks & Dodgers gave up a boatload, unlike the Sale trade to get what they wanted.
      Again, this is not a slap at the FO trading acumen, but rather one trying to obtain some insight from those of you whom are very well informed

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  12. I’m in the ” think it may work out but afraid it won’t ” category. Simply because I don’t think our pitchers can stay healthy enough to keep from wrecking the pen.
    I don’t believe Luhnow is shrewd enough in the trading war……yet.
    Don’t get all upset Tim. I’m still behind him but I don’t believe he’s as accomplished as some of the other GM. He’s still learning that side of the job. .

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a perfect response, Sandy. I am not upset with you at all. You have your concerns and express your reasons why. Despite my strong faith in Luhnow I recognize his faults, but I don’t think the deadline situation was his fault, However, I do find it ironic that those upset with him for not making a deadline trade are the same people who question his ability to make a good trade. I would think they would be relieved he didn’t make any more trades, but that’s just me.

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  13. If we win it all, or just get to the WS we’ll say JL was right. If not, we’ll criticize him for doing nothing. It’s a 50/50 proposition.Wasn’t it Ben Franklin who said, “you can make good trades some of the time, and bad trades some of the time, but making no trades all of the time can be good but could be bad some of the time.” Or was that Yogi Berra. LOL

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      • See the previous blog on his demeaning of those that supported Luhnow’s decision to over pay at the deadline. However, did I get on anyone who disagreed with me? I just mentioned a poll that seemed to be in contradiction with how Luhnow handled the deadline.

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      • “Small group of adoring groupies” was the way he decided to describe Luhnow fans. I then decided to point out how he flip flops on this team and front office based on how the team is doing. Everything was fine until he decided he didn’t like my comment about the poll supporting Luhnow’s small group of adoring groupies. He then had enough and derided name calling was the best method to handle his anger. It’s not the first time this has happened.

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    • Yeah, probably so, but it ended up being second and third with nobody out. I’d have help him. Heck, this club always gets a guy home from third with 3 outs to work with. Not tonight. The Fresno guys looked like Fresno guys in that frame. Also, McCann is due for his 10 day DL stiint, but Gattis screwed that up with his headache.

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    • Everyone will have a slump. In some respects it’s positive because it’s impossible to keep the intensity level up for 162 games. They will get healthy, still have a good lead and rebuild momentum.

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      • I also think the opposite will happen to the Dodgers. There is no way they can continue on the ridiculous pace they are on so, hopefully, they will face their regression around playoff time. Hey, a man can dream, can’t he?

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  14. I REALLY don’t like losing, and hopefully when we get Springer back in the lineup and Correa gets healed we will see the same club we saw in June/July.
    I’ve never been shy at saying I don’t care for our GM. But that’s ok! I can say I don’t like cooked carrots (I don’t!!)….and that’s ok! Has he made moves that have improved this team… YES! Over the winter he DID make some very smart moves, Reddick and McCann have really improved this team…..Beltran’s, presence in the club house has been awesome! It was not Luhnow’s fault the O’s, owner wouldn’t approve the Zack Britton trade. HOWEVER….if this team misses out and can’t make it through the playoffs because of bullpen meltdowns, and McCullers can’t figure it out…..I won’t be pleased with him, and THAT’S OK! Just because some of us are not big fans of the man, doesn’t make us “wrong”. One day Luhnow will move on, and the Astros will get another GM, but right now he’s here, and it’s my right to say I don’t like the guy.
    Reading between the lines yet?
    P.S. Did I mention I REALLY don’t like losing?
    I really, really wanted Sonny Grey here😠!!

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    • I really like this response. There was no silly name calling, but just giving your reasons why you don’t like Luhnow. I like the guy and consider him one of the best GMs in the game, but he has his faults just like 29 other GMs.

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  15. Becky, try those carrots with orange butter and fresh tarragon you’ll love them. If our GM helps us win the series, you’ll feel the same way about him.

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  16. Any body else worried about Springer like I am? I’m beginning to think he’s hurt worse than Hinch is letting on. These guys are leaving on an important road trip to some pretty big ball parks, i.e. the arlington little league’s park, and they are gonna need those legs of his. PLUS…. Hinch says there’s no information on McCullers to share. Harris is going to throw off the mound soon, so at least that’s comforting.
    I’m not all the way to the edge of the cliff yet, but I’m heading that way!

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  17. Tim have to say you are right about Luhnow not being able to make good trades at the deadline as we have a good chance of Liriano losing the second game of the series and Aoki winning the third game of the series.
    Don’t let that guy trade anybody during the season.

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    • I loved it – the first two guys to hug Centeno were not even playing – the Mac brothers McHugh and McCann!
      Julie Morales got completely soaked twice trying to interview Centeno.

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  18. Josh Reddick got his money’s worth this afternoon!! Who knows…..when these guys saw one of their favorite guys get thrown out, it might have just made them angry enough to spark that 9th inning!! I love Reddick…..I embrace his weird!!

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  19. My boys and I were at the game today. That was a lot of fun! My youngest son, 11, wanted to leave after the 8th inning, but my oldest vetoed him. After Bregman’s triple he turned to him and said “that’s why we don’t leave early”.

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  20. This game reminded me of one I took my boys to back in 2002. They were playing the D’Backs and Jimy Williams was thrown out for (rightfully) protesting an out call at first in the ninth inning. The Astros and the fans got fired up and Gregg Zaun (of all people) hit a pinch hit 2 out walk off grand slam about a foot beyond the outfielder’s glove. So much fun and the ejection seemed to fire everyone up.
    When they were interviewing Bregman after the game, he talked about how Altuve started it off and everyone believed it could happen and then Reddick fired them up. Great game to give them a good send off for the road trip.

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  21. Wasn’t a minor stroke.. Was in early stages of massive stroke. Official diagnosis is aborted stroke. The medication they gave me in ambulance halted stroke and reversed damage. If this had happened while I was asleep or behind the wheel we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. But I’m going to be ok. Have to be on blood thinners now , but thank God I’m home!

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    • Bob Nightengale tweeted recently a trade is unlikely and Tigers expected to keep Verlander through the end of this season. The 2 teams reached an impasse.

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  22. I could care less how much of Verlander’s salary the club might pick up. Of course my real concern would be what talent we’d be giving up. At this point, with Luhnow allegedly holding the line on foolish deadline deals a Verlander aquisition now might be considered a panic move by some.

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    • That was one of the speculations Dave, of some perceiving it as a panic move. If the Stros take on his salary, would not the prospect return be minimal?

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      • In a perfect world you would think so, but this is not a perfect world. Look what we had to give away just to coax away from the Blue Jays the washed-up remains of what once was a real pitcher named Francisco Liriano! The Tigers, like the Blue Jays, are not going to play the ‘Oh, so you want a pitcher!’ game by rules consistent with either fair play or actual value. They can see that we are reeling right now [for a once highly-touted WS contender, at least], and they will want to exploit us as much as possible, or there will be no deal. Before they turn loose of what is left of Mr. Verlander – which is a whole lot more than what is left of Mr. Loriano – they will demand a boatload of prospects – and some highly ranked ones – from us, PLUS a salary dump. Any deal they offer will have nothing to do with what Verlander is actually worth at this state of his career; it has everything to do with this being the only game in town, and what our F.O. is willing to give up to be thought of by the media and the Houston fan base as still being a player in this year’s WS sweepstakes.

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      • OldSchool, Mr. Bill summed it up pretty well I think. For this deal to happen, the Tigers would end up essentially paying for our good prospects. They’d probably rather eat a larger portion of Verlander’s salary to get more talent. But either way, we’re sure not in the drivers seat.

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    • I am fairly certain Jim Crane cares how much salary the club might pick up in any potential Verlander deal. Part of the reason they traded Aoki, other than opening up a spot for Fisher, was to help offset some of Liriano’s higher salary. Thus, it is evident to me that the Astros budget, according to Crane, will not sustain a $28M/year starting pitcher that, while still decent, is in the twilight of his career. I would like to have Verlander on this team, but I surely don’t want the Astros to absorb his entire salary for the next 2 years and give up good prospects. Keep in mind that any prospect we trade in August will not be on the 40-man roster as he would have to clear waivers, which is highly unlikely. Thus, this removes Fisher, White, Reed and J.D. Davis from any potential Verlander trade.

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  23. Why does Verlander rate concern as a panic move when we already did Liriano? I’m thinking we should have held the line on that and kept Aoki. Especially after the sad comments he made about being part of the team and trying since spring training to help them go as far as possible. I don’t know him, of course, but I miss the little guy already. Too late now. No tears in baseball.

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    • Diane, I think the term ‘panic’ is a misnomer. The issue is not really ‘panic’ – it is just maximizing investment opportunity. The F.O. has worked hard to convince the sportswriters and through the sportswriters the fan base [especially those who buy tickets and merchandise], that this is the Astros’ year. That means there have been a lot more rear ends in the seats, a lot more sneakers and high heels in line at the concession stands, and a lot more team logo merchandise dollars flowing into the coffers. The issue now is not panic; it is panic control. The F.O. knows there is no one out there available who can really help the team over the massive ‘hump’ that injuries have created. But it wants the consuming fan base to think a savior is coming – or at least being sought. If Verlander were to be acquired, the odds of that actually helping us reach the WS this year are less than minimal – but the F.O. knows that any big name acquisition at this point will cause the sportswriters to start buzzing and hyping the team again, and thereby keep the ticket and merchandising public dreaming big, unrealistic dreams of a WS championship for a little longer – making them even more willing to spend the big bucks.

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  24. Diane, any Verlander deal would be much more significant than Aoki and Teoscar for Liriano. But I really thought we’d see Aoki and his experience remain with the club for the season. Obviously I was wrong. Maybe that was a panic deal by Luhnow. Fisher got off to a good start, runs well and is solid in left. But if he does not hit over the next 7 weeks, there will be some grumbling. Some of us will miss Aoki. And Teoscar seemed like a pretty good prospect in his own right. So for now, how knows?

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  25. Spotlight on Dallas Keuchel:

    He has pitched two games since returning from the DL. Neither of those games was against a division leader.

    Game 1 [@ Detroit – no decision]: 3 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 1 HR, 3 BB, 3 K, 6 ground ball outs and 6 fly ball outs [that’s a 9.00 ERA, a 3.00 WHIP, and a 1.0 GO/AO ratio if you are counting.

    Game 2 [@ MMP, vs. Tampa Bay]: 5 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2K, and 12 ground ball outs to 8 fly ball outs [that’s a 5.40 ERA, 1.80 WHIP, and a 1.50 GO/AO ratio if you are counting].

    Combining the two outings, DK has averaged 4 innings per start, and given up 6 earned runs, 10 hits, 2 HRs, and 5 BBs in eight total innings. That’s a 6.75 ERA and a 1.875 WHIP.

    DK REALLY, REALLY needs to right the ship against the 41-68, cellar-dwelling White Sox. Another bad start – and especially if our ‘ace’ gets himself out-dueled by White Sox starter Derek Holland, who is boasting a 5.27 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP – would be pretty demoralizing.

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  26. Mr. Bill and daveb7, you’re just confirming my worst fears. And that thing about playing to the fan base through various media just makes me sad. I know this really isn’t about baseball in many ways, maybe most ways. I just try to look the “other way” and enjoy whatever remains. I don’t like trades because they remind me too much of divorce. I hate divorce.

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    • Diane, the game itself – that which is played on the field between the white lines – is still the best game ever invented. If we just focus on that, we will have some good days and some bad days, but it will never be about fear, and it will never be about money.

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  27. Focus on Lance McCullers, Jr.:

    Of course, Lance is presently on the DL, and probably will be for awhile. But in his last 4 starts before returning to the DL stint, he was not good at all.

    Start #1 [@ Toronto]: 4.1 IP, 100 pitches [61 stks], 6R, 5 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 3 Ks.

    Start #2 [@ MMP v. Sea.]: 95 pitches [57 stks], 4.2 IP, 5 R, 4 ER 6 H, 3 BBs, 5 Ks.

    Start #3 [@ Orioles]: 89 pitches [54 stks], 4.2 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 9 H, 2 BBs, 3 Ks.

    Start #4 [@ Detroit]: 95 pitches [61 stks], 5.0 IP, 5 R, 5 ER, 8 H, 4 BBs, 4 Ks.

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  28. This is totally a guess, but I think our GM is looking into every possible scenario that might help save our season. But my guess is that Keuchel is not fully healthy. My guess is that McCullers will not be fully healthy. I’m concerned about Harris and I’m convinced Peacock is far more valuable in the pen. We have some holes. Sure we can go on a run again, but I’m not as optimistic as I once was. That’s the greatest thing about winning the Word Series. You’ve got to get through mid February all the way to November. So much transpires throughout that long season. Last team standing!

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  29. What do you guys think about the long term prognosis on DK & LMJ health wise, esp if the inj bug continues next yr forward? How also might the inj issue affect DK at arb time? I do not see the tm spending $150 mil or more this winter for an Arrieta, Tanaka, ect or even in 2018. I could be wrong. But this explosive offense is primed this yr and the next at least and needs at least one big arm in the rotation, bp while the young guns learn the nuances of the gm. Any ideas?

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  30. Luhnow has been driving a car that’s filled up with gas…..and now his gas gauge is reading low. He still has a pretty terrific lineup of position players, but the roration, and bullpen are leaking oil everytime he leaves the drive way. The rotation as it sits right now is a BIG RED alert, and so is the bullpen. I gotta agree with you daveb, nothing that we’ve seen out of Keuchel or McCullers since the beginning of June leads me to think either one is healthy. Luhnow is now in a panic looking under the hood of that car trying to figure out how to stop the leaking. I do believe he is STILL trying to get another healthy pitcher, because if Dallas and Lance can’t hold up, we are screwed. Martes is going to have to come back to the roation, and MAYBE bringing Liriano back in the rotation as well. So since I’m a gamber, I would bet money Luhnow gets another pitcher before Aug 31. The gas tank is reading very low on gas, he needs to pump in some high test gas, to get out of the garage.
    I despise losing, and so do the rest of you…….but losing because you didn’t pay to get another pitcher, because you didn’t want to pay the asking price was INFURIATING.
    We have the “money”, and more than ANYTHING I want to see our guys in the World Series this year. Now DO IT! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

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    • While I understand your angst I will only add that if Dallas and Lance can’t hold up then there is no reason to trade for another pitcher because we aren’t winning the WS this year without Dallas and Lance. There would be no reason to trade away some of the future on a lost cause.

      I still don’t believe the Verlander talks are finished. I think it’s just gamesmanship by both GMs. Luhnow, despite the bad publicity from the trade deadline, is sitting in a good position with a team 15 games ahead of the 2nd place team and virtually guaranteed to be in the playoffs as a division winner. He doesn’t need to make a trade today or even in the next week. Avila is well aware of the bad press Luhnow has been receiving and has no need, at this point, to trade Verlander at the current asking price. I also think Avila is aware that he will never get the prospects he wants for Verlander unless he is willing to take on more of his salary. If a team really wanted Verlander and his remaining salary they would’ve claimed him on waivers. This tells Avila that, at his current salary, every GM thinks Verlander brings negative value to his team. I am not saying a trade for Verlander will happen, in fact I don’t think it will, but I bet there will be more talks as the month progresses.

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      • Tim, I would say that if those guys can’t hold up there is no reason to trade for a rental. Getting Verlander, Gray, Quintana, or Sale would have been more comparable to what KC did when they acquired Shields and Davis from Tampa. Maybe you don’t win the WS in 2017 – only one team will – but any of those guys slot in as difference makers in 2018 as well. The caveat is, of course, that it will hurt to acquire them in terms of how many prospects you send.

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  31. Our local television station said that they had an interview with Luhnow, and he said it is a “possibility” that he would get another starting pitcher…..but not a probability.
    Just what we wanted to hear.

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