Decisions, Decisions: Short, mid and long term quandaries for Astros

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.

Short Term

  • 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?

Mid Term

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?

Longer term

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?


114 comments on “Decisions, Decisions: Short, mid and long term quandaries for Astros

  1. Has anyone noticed that after a less-than-stellar start to the season Hector Rondon has settled in nicely. He has gotten his ERA down to 1.77, His WHIP down to 1.03, has struck out 23 and only walked 3 in 20.1 innings, is giving opponents only a BA of .231 and an OBP of .258.

    I expect we will be seeing a lot more of Mr. Rondon, and a little less of Mr. Devenski and Mr. Peacock, in the next couple of months, and I think that is a good thing. Both Devenski and Peacock are too important to overuse in June, July, and August.


    • Careful Kevin. You are getting dangerously close to the highly unpopular position known in this day and these parts as ‘ledging’. Here, try a tall glass of this beautifully layered orange and blue frozen Kool-Aid concoction I call the Luhnow Sunrise. The more you drink it, the better everything starts to look. Just a couple of glasses like this, and Jake will start to look more and more like Babe Ruth. No -I don’t mean dead.

      but seriously, I have resolved to the likelihood that Jake is not going anywhere – so I might as well just hold my nose tightly, close my eyes, and root for him.


  2. Gurriel is back in the line-up vs. the tough lefty Chris Sale. Marwin Gonzales will get that rest he’s been needing. Right-hand hitting JD Davis is in left-field in place of left hand hitting Tony Kemp. Stassi will be doing the catching.


  3. Mr. Bill….said the same thing as you did about Rondon, last night.
    He has more than two pitches, and so far….he’s cool as a cucumber when he has pitched high leverage innings.
    These two pitchers tonight are going to put on a show tonight, and my advice is play some small ball, because if you’re lucky enough to get on base against Sale you better make the most of it. Bunt…drag bunt…sacrifice fly, ANYTHING to get a run! AND IF ONE OF OUR GUYS GETS PICKED OFF…YOU ARE GOING TO OWE ME $500!!!!


  4. Nice 8th inning rally and loved how Gattis barely pulled one foul and then cold cocked the next one for a 2 run dinger!


  5. Really good game this evening and one thing that was really nice to see was 2017 Brad Peacock. That would go a long way toward stabilizing our pen.


  6. 12 hits and -0- by Altuve. Very unusual.

    Also, a bunch of people want to dump Gattis. If you check the stats, only Trumbo of the O’s is hitting .304. Most DH’s are hitting around Gattis numbers.


    • 45, I sure would not let him go without a fight. We all know he stunk up the place in April. But his May stats are in. He’s sustained his recovery for an entire month.

      .281, .342, .609, .952.

      Those are pretty darn good numbers. They will likely correct down a bit at some point, but the flip side is that his BABIP on the season is still just .265 overall and .167 at home! No way he continues to hit .159 at home. He is historically a better hitter at Minute Maid.

      I think we’ll get an .800 plus OPS out of him on the season. And if he gets 500 plate appearances, 25 plus homers is realistic. Without having to catch, his wheels should feeling pretty fresh come the dog days of summer.


    • And Jake had two HR’s in a game but when he got back to the big leagues, well you know the story. Maybe we just have a lot of AAAA players. Tony Kemp is the only player so far that is consistently carrying his own weight that has come up from the minors. I do wonder if TK is being shown consistently as trade bait. Kemp being a 2nd baseman, you know he won’t be replacing Altuve (no one else for that matter either), you might wonder what the plan is if any.


      • Tony Kemp may be being groomed to take Marwin’s place if he leaves in free agency.
        He’s not quite as flexible position-wise but maybe a poor man’s Marwin


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