Every front office has a myriad of decisions to make during and after the season and the 2018 Astros are no exception. Here is a look at a set of decisions that this team may face in the upcoming months.
- Derek Fisher return from “gastrointestinal discomfort” DL stint. Fisher is on track to come off the DL in early June. Does Fisher return to the big club? Does he get sent to the minors? If he returns to the big club – who goes down? Tony Kemp? Jake Marisnick? J.D. Davis?
- Josh Reddick return from the infected leg DL stint. Right now they are acting like it will be longer than the minimum 10-day stay. But let’s say he is back by 2nd or 3rd week of June. Who goes down? Kemp or Marisnick if one of them is still up? Fisher if he is up? Davis? A relief pitcher? For awhile it looked like the Astros had a surplus of relievers until the last few days of over-use. This is probably not likely now.
- Brian McCann return from the sore knee DL stint. There is no real decision on what they will do when he returns as Max Stassi is going nowhere and Tim Fedorowicz will obviously go down upon McCann’s return. The real decision is how long to keep him out. If you are waiting for a 34-year-old catcher to have no soreness in his knees, you may be waiting until about 5 years after he retires. But they may give him 3 or 4 weeks of rest.
- With the recent overuse of the bullpen. might the team dip into the minors and bring someone up to help them through the tight times? If they do – how do they handle that – does someone go on the DL or do they send down a position player for a short respite?
- The Astros have to decide how to handle the draft this year, which starts less than a week away on June 4. This time they have only a late first round (#28 pick) and no supplemental picks. Will they grab the best player available? Will they lean towards college or high school in the early rounds (overall they always take more college players)? Any position needs glaring at them?
Do the Astros…
- Consider trading for a steadier DH between now and the deadline? I know that Evan Gattis has warmed up a lot, but can they afford to rely on a guy, who when he goes cold, is icier than Bud Selig’s feelings toward Houston (and vice versa)?
- Consider trading for a veteran outfielder to stick in left field? Do they give the job full time to one of their youngsters, like Kemp? Do they bring up the Holy Grail of prospects, 21-year-old Kyle Tucker
- Look at picking up a longer-term catcher than McCann, who if he does not take a big cut and reduced role will likely be elsewhere in 2019?
- Chase a big-time arm for the closer’s role even if it is a rental? Do they stay pat? Do they pick up an arm, but not necessarily a closer? Who goes out if one comes in?
- Look to bolster that underperforming starting rotation? (I can’t find the sarcasm font) But do they look at the situation with possibly losing Dallas Keuchel at the end of the year and trade him for prospects rather than give him a qualifying offer at the end of the season?
- Consider sending Marwin Gonzalez out on a rental prior to free agency if he does not improve his hitting between now and the trade deadline? Do they consider 2017 a one season anomaly?
- After the season – who do they work the hardest to sign and who do they wave bye-bye to…
- Who do they work to extend?
What would you decide if you were in charge?
What else would you be considering?
Why do the Astros pay the M and GM the big bucks, and are they looking at extending Jeff Luhnow and/or A.J. Hinch? Or did they do that already and it flew under the radar?