Can Jeff Luhnow lead the Astros to the next level?


Back in the 1980s I was forced by the Houston economy to uproot my family and take them to Arkansas for seven years. It was a lovely place with great people, who had one really touchy spot to be aware of during conversations…..Arkansas Razorback sports.  One day I opined that the Razorback basketball team would never win the national championship with Eddie Sutton as coach. I was immediately and viciously attacked even though I had very logical reasons for feeling this way. Eddie was a very good basketball coach, who had very talented and good teams, but he always seemed to be trying to rein the kids in at crucial times and they ended up playing too many 62-59 games in the NCAAs and would inevitably lose one of them. It was left up to Nolan Richardson to finally take the Hogs to the Championship.

You see this often in sports. Look at someone like Dusty Baker. He’s had four stops as a manager (Giants, Cubs, Reds and Nats) and has a .540 winning record overall. Each team has had some very good years under him and eight total playoff appearances. But his teams always seem to fall short.

Heck, look at Oakland’s GM/Executive President Billy Beane. He is the only GM in the history of sports to be the focal point of a major movie and be played by Brad Pitt to boot. But for all his innovation and his team’s eight playoff appearances under his watch, they have never won the big one. Of course, that may have as much to do with an old facility and cheap ownership, but it is also true that he has made his team better at times without making his team best.

And this brings us around to the Astros GM Jeff Luhnow. It was one thing when it was some of the fans and media question his ability to clinch the deal with the best Astros baseball team since 1998 (or ever) by failing to bolster the pitching staff at the trade deadline. But now with the public proclamations of disappointment from both Dallas Keuchel and Josh Reddick, it is obvious that the players and perhaps even the manager A.J. Hinch are not happy with the head nerd of the front office and whether he has their back vs. cherishing the menagerie of prospects he has collected over time.

Luhnow’s time has been a Dickensian best of times, worst of times and people’s judgment of his work is just as wide spread.

  • “He’s done a great job of bringing the team back from the depths of Hell.”
  • “He helped shove them to the depths of Hell with his General Sherman scorched earth policy.”
  • “His Carlos Correa/Lance McCullers Jr. draft and signing exacta was brilliant.”
  • “His Mark Appel and Brady Aiken draft picks may have been two of the worst overall number one picks of the last 20 years.”
  • “But Aiken turned into Alex Bregman…..”
  • “But Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez turned into Francisco Liriano, who feels like he has put up a -3.0 WAR in three appearances.”
  • “He brilliantly added Collin McHugh, Will Harris, and Marwin Gonzalez for practically nothing.”
  • ” His trades for Scott Kazmir and Carlos Gomez were fails.”
  • “But he also went out and got veteran leadership in Reddick, Brian McCann, and Carlos Beltran.”
  • “He shielded too many prospects at the trade deadline and did not shore up a team at a time their competitors were all getting better.”
  • “The story has not played out. We do not know how Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., Will Harris, George Springer and Carlos Correa will be playing when the playoffs come around.”

So, riddle me this my good friends of the blog.

Can the Astros win the World Series with Jeff Luhnow as the GM? No other question matters.

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126 comments on “Can Jeff Luhnow lead the Astros to the next level?

  1. Clippard has great reverse splits. He’s very tough on LHs. Of course, we thought the same of Liriano and, so far, it hasn’t come to fruition. Either way, it was at a very low cost and we could use another decent arm in the bullpen. I like the trade.

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    • It’s a solid pickup. If not overused I suspect he gives us a lot of stability. I liked him in WAS and think he’ll do well for HOU.

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    • It is something to watch. But I note that despite spending most of his time in home run friendly Yankee stadium, with its ridiculously short 318 foot left field fence and 314 foot right field fence, he has only given up 1.7 HR/9 on the year.

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  2. This is a good representation of the Fresno pitching staff.
    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2017_08_13_freaaa_albaaa_1&t=g_box&sid=milb
    The highlight of that game for Fresno was Preston Tucker getting thrown out attempting to steal, but being safe because of an error. How a guy is safe when he is caught stealing I don’t quite know.
    Of course, a speed demon like Preston stealing second while down 5-0 is the normal play.
    Albawhatever punished Fresno for daring to score a run in the 8th by scoring nine runs in their half inning. That’ll show those Tacos who’s boss.

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  3. Gallery Furniture’s Mattress Mac has set up a “sale” where people who spend a certain amount on new beds will get it all free if….. the Astros win it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cionel Perez is scheduled to make his AA debut tonight against the Tulsa Drillers, who are 30-20 – for the 2nd best record in the Texas League!]

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  5. Thus spake yawn nightingale, whose strain so sweetly flows:

    “Look, over hither and over yawn! Look down from yawn blue Heaven! Who stands on yawn brown hill? Is it a round yawn virgin, mother and child? No, it is just poor yawn Clippard, badly battered after being belligerently belittled by boisterous bogger Bo!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Lineup tonight (in the NL park w/no DH)

    CF Springer
    2B Altuve
    RF Reddick
    1B Gurriel
    3B Bregman
    SS Gonzalez
    LF Fisher
    C Centeno
    P McHugh

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  7. Watch the arlington little league pick up Jankowski. Man, they pick up nearly every teams cast offs. It’s almost comical really.
    I hope our guys can do something tonight against Greinke tonight, but I’m not expecting much, he’s too dang good! Some pretty good news on Correa, said he swung the bat around 25 times, with no soreness.

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    • My opinion is that a good game by Greinke will just be a “loss.” A loss tonight against Banda who was 7-6 with a 5.13 ERA in 19 starts at Triple-A Reno before being recalled by the D-backs. That would be a “something else.”

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  8. MLB Trade Rumors says Astros still talking about Verlander. Don’t know if it is true, but he earns $173,000 a game. Each game that goes by, he gets a little cheaper for the Astros and more expensive for the Tigers. But possibly $78 Million left to pay after what is left of this year is a tall mountain. plus any prospects the Tigers want to receive.

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