The title of this effort should be “Dan and Chip are Busy and So It is Time for a Throw Down Post”. So, here are just some random questions bouncing around Dan’s mind…..
- Would the Astros have won (or even gotten to the World Series) without Justin Verlander? This team had tremendous heart, but they really, really needed Verlander’s steadying hand to get through the crazy maze of the playoffs. Or did they?
- In the last three seasons the Astros minors have sent the following Top 10 prospects to the Astros for extended stays (Alex Bregman, Francis Martes, Derek Fisher, Carlos Correa, and Joe Musgrove) or to other teams in trades (Daz Cameron, Teoscar Heranandez, Franklin Perez, Mark Appel, Mike Foltynewicz, Vince Velasquez, Brett Phillips, Rio Ruiz and Josh Hader). Is it time to try and trade for some youth to replenish that minor league pool?
- When will this front office start working on tying up some of their gems long term? It would seem to be the off-season when they would give a shot at signing somebody up longer term – even if it is just to find out how much a Dallas Keuchel or Jose Altuve thinks he is worth.
- Who had the most to do with the vast improvement in hitting stats last season? Was it Jeff Luhnow in bringing in some solid veterans? Dave Hudgens with his hitting instruction? Carlos Beltran as a playing “coach”? Alex Cora figuring out how the league’s pitchers were tipping their pitches?
- What will it take for A.J. Hinch to win AL Manager of the Year? He missed out in 2015 when his very young team over-achieved and backed into the playoffs. Then he missed out this season when his team won 101 games during the regular season despite losing their rotation for chunks of the season along with Carlos Correa and George Springer. Going forward everyone will assume he can just write out any old lineup card and collect WS trophies.
- Can we really judge some of the players based on their first appearance in the playoffs and World Series? Will players like Ken Giles, Josh Reddick, Chris Devenski, etc. play better with this experience under their belts or will they have permanent deer in the headlight disease?
- What is the budget number for the 2018 Astros? Jim Crane said that the Astros were one of 4 or 5 teams that could fit Giancarlo Stanton into their budget, even though he might not fit what they were trying to do. That would point to a healthy increase in budget for 2018 (possibly).
- What would a full healthy season of Carlos Correa look like? He put up 6.2 WAR in only 109 games in 2017. If you project his 422 ABs out to a normal 600 AB season, you would be looking at approximately 115 runs/35 HRs/ 115 RBIs. Oh and he just turned 23 years old, so he might not have peaked out yet…..(Using my tongue in cheek font)
- Is the battle for the AL West over before it begins? Do any of the other four teams have any shot at catching the Astros in 2018?
- Now that the Astros have done the impossible and broken a 56-season drought, will they win it again in the next year or two?