10 random questions for Astros’ fans


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…..

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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?
  7. 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).
  8. 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)
  9. 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?
  10. 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?
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27 comments on “10 random questions for Astros’ fans

  1. 1. No JV: Maybe, barely maybe just in, probably not and no win of the WS. 2. Yes, if you mean AAAA players for A ball players. 3. I think they have tried and will try harder immediately. 4. Combination of all the veterans, and dumping some from previous seasons.. 5. His only shot now is for a year when all other AL teams finish near .500 and he wins 120 games. 6. Some will improve, so will drop in performance. Its called “baseball.” 7. It was estimated around $89 million (2016) and $125 million (2017) to start the year. It will need to jump about the same to around $160 Million. Also, each players share of the WS was posted to be $438K each. The Cubs (2016) $368K. 19% increase. We can be assured that the Astros owner received a lot of money. 8. WAR for Trout was 10.55 one year. Altuve 8.3 last year. So between 9-10 is possible. 9. NO. I agree with Altuve. When ST starts, he has -0- hits and the team has -0- wins. 10. I would say 40% Yes, and 60 % no in next 2 years. The Giants are the only team to win 2 in 3 years since 2000. The Yankees won 3 in a row ending in 2000.

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    • While I agree with you that they wouldn’t have won the World Series without JV they easily get in the playoffs with or without him. I think they beat Boston without JV, but they would’ve lost to the Yankees.

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      • See Tim, there you go again. You could have stopped with “I agree ” but you have to throw sand in my face. Now you will retort about me being old or something. Well just because I went to SFA when there were 48 states (Yes, Arizona had already been admitted) and you came a couple or three decades later is no reason to give me grief AGAIN. 😀

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  2. I wanted to follow up on the Rule 5 moves made yesterday.
    – The Ramon Laureano trade made sense to me. Laureano had a big season at Lancaster where big seasons are expected and then came back to sea level at Corpus. They certainly could use a guy like Bailey to groom as a reliever. Does Oakland have to put Laureano on the 40 man or risk losing him to the Rule 5?
    -With the bonus they gave him and his quick rise Cionel Perez was a slam dunk to get added to the 40 man.
    – The decision between putting Dean Deetz or Jason Martin on the 40 man probably just came down to the probability of one or the other being seen as mlb ready. Martin has been solid and on the rise but not spectacular. Deetz was great at AA (not good at AAA) but perhaps the organization thought he was likely to get poached based on that AA performance. And they may just value pitchers more – even if it is as a future trade chip…

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  3. 1. We’ll never know, but I’m going to say No.
    2. No. it’s time to draft better. The youth on this team affords that luxury.
    3. I suspect they have no idea what to do with DK.
    4. Jeff Luhnow. The big difference was the drop in K’s. Putting Reddick, McCann, and Beltran into the lineup helped considerably. Did you realize Reddick tied a franchise record with 12 sacrifice flies? How many comments did we make in 2016 about guys striking out with a man on third and less than 2 outs? Also, Yuri Gurriel was fantastic. He slumped in May, but was extremely consistent in every other month.
    5. If the Astros win more than 101 in 2018 he’ll be in the conversation. He should now be getting the same sort of respect from the national media that guys like Maddon and Francona received over the years.
    6. Yes and no. We know their weaknesses. If the playoffs were played with real baseballs I suspect Giles would have been much better. Take away the slider from him and Devenski and you see what happens. Peacock was fortunate that his fastball was moving so much AND staying in the zone…some of the other guys really struggled. Reddick is probably overpaid – I said that before the season – but he was instrumental in this team winning so many games. I’m sure he gets a few hits next postseason that loosen him up a bit.
    7. I would think $175-185 million is the right target.
    8. I’m on the fence. When he came up in 2015, his ability to take pitches the other way and not over swing really impressed me. In 2016 he did a lot of the latter and not enough of the former. In 2017 we saw him able to turn on legit fastballs for the first time. As long as he doesn’t decide he wants to be the home run king I think we see a guy who makes a run at Altuve for team lead in batting average and sits around .400 OBP. That’s pretty amazing.
    9. No. If Houston approaches 100 wins they’ll take the division easily, but if they fall back to the 88-92 range they could be challenged by any of the others depending on how a few dominoes fall.
    10. It’s kind of like a prospective double play: you make sure you get the first. Now, the Astros are in a great position to try for another. I wouldn’t count out the Cubs, Dodgers, or Red Sox just yet. It’s scary how close we were to elimination from the Yankees last month. Even the Nationals have enough talent to do it. Let’s enjoy the ride and hope the team can stay healthy enough to have another shot.

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  4. Don’t believe they’d have won the WS w/o JV. But then again, we’ll never know will we. I’d say look at those guys in AAA and AAAA that will be blocked for the next couple of years and trade for young, new talent. I would hope we’ll start to see what it will take to wrap up our prize players and make deals when it makes good baseball sense. I’d rather not do what we did in the past by offering token 1 year deals. We want to look at guys that are up in the next 2 years. Don’t know if it was a single individual responsible for the big turnaround or a group effort but I’m more inclined to believe in a group effort. Maybe if we win another WS or 120 wins, the powers that be might think Hinch deserves a look but don’t count on it. Devo and Reddick have better odds at playing up to their potential. I think Giles may have contracted Brad Lidge Syndrome. I would think 160 – 170 unless we sign a Stantonesque type player. If he continues up the ladder CC should be a 30 HR, 100 RBI, 300 hitter on a consistent basis. Never count any of the other teams out on opening day. By the AS break we should have a pretty good idea who the challengers will be. And as to the Astros winning another WS or more, the odds are as good as they have ever been and we’re all hopeful of the possibility.

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  5. The Astros may have beat Boston without JV, but no way they would have beaten New York (or the Dodgers).

    The Astros do need to address all the guys stuck at AAA. I really feel sorry for Kemp, White and Moran. A couple years ago, these guys would be starting in Houston. Look at the 2015 playoff team and compare that lineup with the guys on the fringe of MLB now.

    As much as it pains me to say (type) this… the Astros need to sell high on Marwin Gonzalez and Brad Peacock. Both of these guys had uncharacteristic career years. I really thought they, along with Charlie Morton and yes…. Mike Fiers were the reason the Astros didn’t collapse over the summer.

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  6. 1. I think the Astros would have lost to Boston in the ALDS without Verlander, because I don’t think the Astros would have come out of their August slump without Verlander.

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  7. 2. I do not think it is time to try to replenish the youth pool. I think it is time to add to the team and try to win the 2018 World Series.

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    • I was reading that ac45 thinking – I hope our front office didn’t try to stretch the rules on international signings. I think this is where they would sign the guy they were targeting to an amount within the rules and then sign lesser players for more than they were worth they the same agent who would funnel excess $$$ to the greater player.

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  8. Dan P answers Dan P’s questions:
    1) I believe that the Astros would have beat the Red Sox in the playoffs without JV, but likely would have gone down against the Yanks without him. I agree with op that one of the most important things that JV did was give this team its mojo back in September.
    2) I would not be on a big youth replenishment kick, but if there was a shot to get rid of a redundant piece or some AAAA guys for some prospects I would be for it.
    3) They need to try and do right by Altuve this off-season. It is the right time and it sends the right signal to the others.
    4) I think all the parties I mentioned had a hand in the improvement. One boost was taking the ABs away from Castro, Gomez and Rsmus and bringing in better contact guys like Reddick and McCann and having a full season of Gurriel (only 62 Ks) all year. But there was inner improvement too – it has been noted how much MarGo improved (23 to 19% K rate), but Springer made a bigger leap (approx. 24 to 18% K rate).
    5) I think A.J.’s best shot is for the team to be the only big winner in the league. I would say if they overcame a bunch of injuries, but that did not help him in 2017.
    6) I think the point Devin made about the “different” playoff baseballs really effected Giles the most. We saw what it did to a lot of other top relievers for the Red Sox, Yanks and Dodgers. I think Reddick way over achieved last season vs. his career numbers and I am afraid he will be down this year, but maybe not in the playoffs.
    7) I have to think after spending about $150 million (all-in) in 2017 that they will be aiming at $180 million this season.
    8) I think Carlos Correa will be an MVP candidate in 2018.
    9) Nobody wins a crown before the season occurs. Look at what happened to Dallas K’s preparation for 2016 after winning the Cy Young in 2015. They need to come back with the same mindset.
    10) This team can win it all again – but we know that the margin in the playoffs is razor thin and tied to some luck.

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