The short, strange trip of Astros’ reliever Ken Giles


Two months short of his 28th birthday, ex-closer and possibly future ex-Astro Ken Giles is at a critical crossroad of a short up and down career. In the last year, he has gone from the closer for the World Champion Houston Astros to being sent to AAA after another pitching meltdown and personal meltdown last Tuesday night. How did he get here?

In 2009, he was drafted out of his New Mexico high school in the 44th round by the Florida Marlins. Instead, he went to junior college at Yavapai College in Arizona, best known for former alum and former Astro Curt Schilling. He was then drafted by the Phillies in 2011 and unsurprisingly, took a very up and down route to the majors over the next 4 seasons.

Over the next 3 seasons he had varying amounts of success with high strikeout totals, but control problems, spending all of 2013 at high A ball with a 6.31 ERA, while striking out almost 12 batters per 9 innings and walking almost seven. 2014 was the most critical season in his career as he blew through AA ball (1.20 ERA and 7 saves), AAA ball (2.63 ERA and 5 saves) and then leapfrogged into 44 games with the Phillies. He pitched brilliantly with a 1.18 ERA in 45.2 IP, while only allowing 1 HR, with 64 Ks and 11 walks.

100 Miles Giles continued to pitch well in 2015 and worked his way into being the closer; for the season he was 6-3 with 15 saves. His ERA was a very good 1.80 and he gave up only 2 HRs in 70 IP. His K rate dropped a little bit and his walk rate went up a little, but he looked like a very solid 25 y.o. controllable reliever when the Astros went after him in a five for 2 trade before the 2016 season, coming to the Astros with young SS Jonathan Arauz for former 1-1 draftee P Mark Appel, P Vincent Velasquez, P Brett Oberholtzer, P Tom Eshelman and P Harold Arauz.

Of course, the Astros had to ignore this little incident that seemed to be a bit of Shakespearian foreboding…

After he came to the Astros, it was expected he would be the closer immediately, but he began the season as mostly a 7th or 8th inning man. His first month stunk as in 11 appearances he had a 9.00 ERA, 2 losses and one blow save and 4 HRs allowed. His performance improved over the next 3 months and he was made the closer in August, finishing the season with 15 saves. He had brought his ERA down to 3.47, before he blew up allowing 6 runs in 1/3 IP in a blown save in late September. He finished the season with a meh 4.41 ERA and 15 of 20 save chances converted.

In the 2017 regular season, he stepped up and became the closer the team was expecting when they traded for him. He had two blips on the radar – 3 games in succession in early April and 3 games in succession in early June where he gave up 8 of the 16 runs he would allow for the season, but overall he was excellent in converting 34 of 38 saves with a 2.30 ERA.

Then during the 2017 post season, the wheels started to come off. He pitched in 7 post season games and gave up runs in 6 of them. He had two saves where he gave up a run (both in more than his normal 1 inning pitched), blew a critical save in game four against the Yankees, blew a 2 run lead in the 10th inning of the monumental game 2 against the Dodgers and lost game 4 against the Dodgers as he gave up 3 runs with 0 outs in a 1-1 game. He spent the last 3 games of the WS nailed to the bench.

Note: He was not the only Astros’ reliever who stunk it up in the post season as Chris Devenski, Will Harris, and Joe Musgrove all had struggles.

2018 started much better than the previous two seasons as he appeared in 11 games in April, saved the only three save opportunities he had (the Astros were winning by big margins), giving up 0 HRs and 0 walks. Then on May Day, he came into a 0-0 game against the Yanks and gave up four runs in 0.1 IP and as he walked into the dugout he was seething and punched himself hard in the face. This was not a good thing. He seemed to right the ship a bit converting saves in six straight games appeared but still had off and on struggles, especially in non-save situations. As May melted into June he was no longer the only go to guy on saves as Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock and most significantly Hector Rondon picked up the save opportunities.

Tuesday night Giles came into a game with a 4-0 lead against the A’s. He gave up 3 hits to the first 3 batters as both his catcher and his pitching coach came out to try and settle him down and to give Rondon a chance to warm-up. A.J. Hinch took him out with a 4-1 lead and two men on base. Considering you normally expect closers to hold one run leads, taking him out at this point was the ultimate “no confidence” vote. Lip readers tweeted that Giles told Hinch what he could do with his firetruck (well that is the family friendly version) and before the Wednesday night game, Giles was headed to AAA Fresno and young Cionel Perez was coming back for the career debut he missed on his last call-up.

The Astros are not really forced to do anything about Giles at this point. They owe him about $2 million for the balance of 2018. They could just choose to let him go in the off-season. But…. what do you think needs to occur?

  • Attempt to trade him for a bucket of balls to someone?
  • Attempt to add him into some package trade for more than a bucket of balls?
  • Let him stew riding buses in the minors and eating beanie weanies and see if he has an attitude adjustment?
  • Bring him back up at the September call-up?
  • Bury him like Jon Singleton and let him leave on his own when all is done?
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103 comments on “The short, strange trip of Astros’ reliever Ken Giles

  1. My vote, hope he pitches well in Fresno, hope he gets a chair at the burrito adult table, and we can package him and see you. Something about the dude , just not as a pitcher, has given me the Hibbie Jibbie’s

    Liked by 2 people

    • From a performance standpoint we saw meltdowns from Brad Lidge – many stemming from the Pujols playoff moonshot.
      Maybe I am doing revisionist history, but I never thought that Lidge was a danger to himself or others – whereas I’m with you Kevin on 100 miles Giles. Giles worries me.
      Just remember that Lidge had success a number of times after leaving here. It could happen again.

      Like

  2. Wash his mouth out with soap – rinse and repeat.

    Buy him a pacifier and a muzzle, and make sure he wears both each time he pitches.

    Get him a shock collar; turn the juice way, way up.

    Hire Barry Zito to train him to just chill out.

    Change his walk up music to Bob Marley’s ‘Three Little Birds’.

    Buy him a warthog named Pumba and a meerkat named Timon to hang out with him, eat bugs, and sing songs.

    If that fails – make him serve as Becky’s yard man for a month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think being Becky’s yard man would surely teach him a better work ethic – though it might not chill him out.
      If chill out is the thought process – then hanging out with Jon Singleton might work out best for him.

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  3. I wonder if Luhnow’s strategy of tanking for picks is going to come back to bite him with Giles. The national media is putting forth the idea that more teams than ever are intentionally not trying to win. I don’t think you can work a deal with a contender for Giles at this point…and probably wouldn’t want to help them anyhow. Those in the middle of the pack might not want him – would he really help them improve next season while they are paying him lots in arbitration? Those at the bottom should jump at the chance, but that whole arbitration thing makes it tough. If you’re trying to throw out an almost major league product on a low budget, do you really want one reliever making $6-8 million?

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  4. Hopefully the Astros will work with him and he will be open to do what it takes. He has talent and has had success and he’s still young: too many positives to be written off.

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  5. I sincerely hope he goes to Fresno, with the attitude that only HE is the master of his fate. Closers are a different cat, almost ALL of them live on the edge of a razor blade. What I want to see from Giles is a better teammate, and not blowing up on the mound, or in the dugout. He REALLY needs another pitch, because everyone we play knows he only has a slider, and a fast ball. Giles could go to Fresno, and learn NOTHING and if that is the case, it will be time to try and package him with a couple of low level guys for another bucket of balls.
    It wasn’t Charlie’S day today…..loaded the bases and no outs, score is 4-3.

    *I really AM pulling for Ken Giles.

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  6. Looks like a quick game today -two hours in and not quite through five innings. The A’s work the hell out of pitchers. Morton 104 pitches thru 4.1 IP. Just like the other day – as good as Verlander pitched – they still got rid of him after 6 IP.

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  7. Wish him well but I think he’s done as an Astro. Whether it happens during the season or after is not the question. This team/management does not want distractions. And yes Mr. Bill, one too many batters. We’ll need more runs against these guys. They are up and coming.

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  8. For what you may think it is worth – and it could be worth a lot the way this AL West race is shaping up – the A’s and Mariners play each other head-to-head 10 times in the 2nd half.

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  9. I don’t know how many times in this week alone that these guys gave up an out by trying to stretch out a single, only to get caught and put out. Grrrrrrrrrrr

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  10. This A’s team is making me a believer. They do not have half the talent level position by position we have on paper, but they hit like Rocky Balboa and their bullpen guys all pitch like Mariano Rivera.

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    • Devo needs to put on his hat and return to the bull pen. He ain’t been to sharp either. Why is it that everybody else’s BP can get the job done but ours can’t (or so it seems)?

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  11. Look, I have been an Astros fan all my life. But I will also be rooting for the Oakland Avengers the rest of the year. They are now officially my second favorite team. I am flat out in awe of their offensive approach and skill. Somebody in the Astros system, please take note. Watch films – whatever. These guys are the future -and if we want to compete with them from here on out, we better learn to get out of our ‘we swing for the fences because we are teh world champions’ attitude and get to work on a better plate approach.

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  12. I am surprisingly fine with this result. As a matter of fact, getting beat like a yard dog by the As [after recently suffering a similar fate at the hands of the Rays] could be the best thing that could have happened to this group. Thank goodness a couple of teams have exposed our team’s soft underbelly and multiple areas of weakness before the trade deadline. Maybe now Mr. Luhnow will realize he absolutely has to do something pretty dramatic.

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    • At this point what could we get that would help?
      We have a third baseman that can hit consistently and that’s pretty much it.
      We have three or four starters that can usually get through six innings and one reliever that can get through an inning or two.
      I still believe we need a better coaching staff.

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      • Sandy, I would do the following:
        1. Let Altuve lead off again; he’s better in that role;
        2. Let Kemp DH – at least against righties – and bat 2nd; against lefties, let White [or J.D. Davis, if White falters] DH, and just move the rest of the guys on my list up one; White/Davis would hit 8th or 9th;
        3. Move Bregman to 3rd.
        4. If Correa comes back after the break [I have my doubts], he goes back to clean up; if he doesn’t we need to trade for a 3B and let Bregman move to SS;
        5. Gurriel functions best in the 5-hole; if Correa comes back, that’s where he goes; if Correa can’t come back, Gurriel is the clean-up hitter.
        6. Since the FO is apparently interested in Wilson Ramos, pull the trigger. Trade Stassi and a prospect that the Rays want, and see if Ramos can hit 5-6 for us;
        7. Springer hits after Ramos – or 9th as the team’s 2nd lead-off guy – but not above 5th or 6th;
        8. Reddick is our rightfielder, and hits after Springer; against righties or lefties; his rare day off goes to Marwin;
        9. Trade Gattis if we can, or release him if we have to. He just can’t hit consistently. I wish he could, because he can carry the team when he’s hot. He’s just not hot enough.
        8. Send KTuck back down after the ASB. He’s had a taste of the big leagues. He should now understand what he needs to work on in AAA;
        7. Trade Giles and Armenteros, Marisnick and Martes, or LMJ or Keuchel for two solid bullpen pieces; probably have to give up either Smith, Rondon, or McHugh – and pay some salary – to [a] make the deal, and [b] make roster room;
        8. Give up on us trading for a shut-down closer – they are too expensive, and, like Lidge and Giles, they tend to be unpredictable and crazy unless you draft, raise train, and groom them yourself; let whoever is left of McHugh, Rondon, Devenski, and Peacock just do the best they can in the 9th inning;
        9. Marwin is not a starter the rest of the year. He is a sub – PERIOD.

        That about does it. And we will still have trouble with at least the As, the Ms, the Yanks, and the Indians.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. The problems/weaknesses of the 2018 Astros as exposed by the Rays and As:

    1. Our entire offensive approach – I call it the ‘Carlos Gomez Swing from the Heels Do or Die’ Club – limits us to at most one good inning in most games;
    2. If we get ahead we tend to get overconfident, lackadaisical, and start to coast – which we are simply not good enough to do against this year’s improved version of competition;
    3. Our DH is cold, cold, cold, cold, dead, scalding for one month, cold, cold, cold, cold, cold; 8 MM? He is Chris Carter revisited. Remember Chris’ one good month? Gattis has had his – and now is back to stinking it up.
    4. Our best hitter – who happens to be one of the best hitters in the game – just happens to freeze if he comes to the plate with men in scoring position. Dude needs to lead off.
    5. Correa, who wasn’t exactly killing it this year, succumbed to a bad back that may plague him the rest of the year, and has given way to Marwin Gonzales – a guy who appears to have forgotten how to play SS and who most definitely isn’t hitting;
    5. Our amazing group of starters lose steam quickly if you just adopt a patient, rope-a-dope approach, foul the best pitches off, take walks, swing only at fastballs, and try to hit only line drives.
    6. We have two clutch hitters, and only two: Bregman and Gurriel. Pitch around those two and the runs will not come in bunches.
    7. Our bullpen is reeling. Held together with only baler twine and bubble gum, it has finally come undone. Giles is the perfect example of our bullpen. Even guys who have had great stretches – McHugh, Devenski, and Peacock – are now getting smacked around BECAUSE THEY JUST CAN’T THROW STRIKES EARLY IN THE COUNT, SO THEY GET BEHIND, INTO HITTERS’ COUNTS.
    8. Tony Kemp is our playmaker -and he only plays every third or fourth day, bats last, and, unfortunately, is probably destined to play less with KTuck – struggling to adjust to the pace of this league -getting most of his at bats.

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  14. In August 2017, the Astros lost 5 in a row to the White Sox and Rangers. In September 3017, the Astros were trounced 4 in a row by the A’s. Won 1 game against the Angels (2-1) and got trounced again. Also, they lost 3 or more in a row 6 times. Let’s not panic just yet. Yep, been a bad streak and this team as composed will not do well in the playoffs, but it is not time to scuttle the entire team.

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  15. Giles. His 100 MPH rising fastball no longer moves at 98. His hard slider does not fall off the table as it once did. These physical issues are probably repairable though. He also was not having any fun on the mound, save situation or otherwise. Brad Lidge left Houston a beaten man, went back to work, recovered and got better than he ever was. But he also never lashed out in the worst of times. He was a stand up guy even when he failed. That might be the difference between him and Giles.

    I think he’ll get traded somewhere in the National League, sooner than later. He’s burned his bridges here. I just don’t see him coming back to the Astro clubhouse. We’ll get less for him than we would have before this most recent meltdown. So be it. I hope he grows from his experience and finds joy in baseball again. Chances are that he’ll pitch well again. Maybe he’ll be a great Little League coach one day. That would be okay too.

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  16. The Astros would not have sent Ken Giles to Fresno if they thought he was ok and doing a good job. That tells me that those who thought Ken Giles wasn’t doing a good job were correct.
    The Red Sox got better.
    The Yankees got better and both of those two are still shopping around.
    The Mariners got better and are playing better.
    The Athletics saw they had something at the end of last year and they are right. Their players got better.
    The Astros thought they were better when they got Cole, Rendon and Smith and they were right about their pitching but wrong about their hitting. One hitter has gotten better and six or seven are worse. They need to fix the things that are worse, hitting and late inning bullpen or they will not get far in the playoffs. The hitting was bad in April and it is still bad after a brief improvement against the Sister of St Mary.
    The Giles move tells me that Luhnow will do what he thinks needs doing to fix their problems.
    I’m not ready for Tucker to get sent down. He may not be ready for prime time but I still think he is worth a long look. His MLB experience totals 20 ABs but his 2018 wRC+ is still five points higher than Marisnick’s is and Jake has five years under his belt.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ironic that the cynic here is annoyed tonight, not at my baseball team, but at some of my cronies. The Astros have been remarkably consistent all year. At 18 and 12, May was their worst month. So far, July is their best month, at 7 and 3, for a .700 winning percentage. Yes, they have just lost 3 of 4 to the hottest team in MLB. They are also 9 and 4 against that solid young team on the season. Somehow I think we still have the second best record in MLB. We’ve been in first place for almost 100 days now. Evan Gattis has not hit a homer since Sunday. Get rid of him. Only 18 homers and 62 RBI’s to date? How can he have been given 8 million? Certainly move George Springer down. Had we done that in the playoffs, it’s likely that he would not have been WS MVP and even more likely that we’re not the World Series Champions today. Has Hinch left a pitcher in for one too many batters? Easy to say in hindsight. But I guarantee you that every pitcher left on the roster would do anything for him, take the ball in any situation. Let’s shake up the coaching staff at the break. Let’s give Tucker a confidence boost and send him back to Fresno at the end of the weekend. I could go on but I won’t.

    162 games take a half a year to play. There are plenty of peaks and valleys. Guys get hot and carry their team. Guys get cold and their team carries them. Guys get hurt or sent down or brought up and the dynamic of the
    dugout changes. Only the best of clubs maintain a real cohesiveness throughout a season. Our 25 may or may not be the last team standing when it’s all over, but this is a rare, special group of guys that we’ve been fortunate enough to watch. If it’s too frustrating though, then I suggest switching to a team like the Harlem Globetrotters.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Let’s talk about my favorite Astro George Springer. Below are his splits for the last 15 and 30 games.

    Duration AB R H HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG
    Last 15 Games 52 6 8 0 3 7 14 1 .154 .267 .154
    Last 30 Games 113 17 18 2 6 18 25 3 .159 .280 .221

    Basically, for the past 45 days GS has been JFSF with slightly inferior defense and substantially inferior base running skills. The big problem is that George is putting up these numbers from the leadoff spot and not the nine hole.

    In the last 2 months GS has seen his average drop almost 60 points. BABIP over the past 30 games is a dismal .153. This precipitous drop is less a factor of bad luck and more a factor of poor contact. It is clear to any casual observer that he is simply not barreling up on anything. Combined with his low BA/OBA is the fact that he is doing ZERO damage, as reflected in only 6 RBI in his last 30 games. Right now, he is a well below replacement level offensive player. This production at the top of the lineup is hurting the team.

    George is too talented of a player for this to continue. He will claw out of the funk and he will return to one of the most devastating hitters in baseball. Out of all the Astros players, George is the engine that pulls the train. When he is going well the team goes well. He has game changing ability that can’t be denied.

    I personally believe that the team needs to help him get back to the hitter that he is. I wouldn’t mind seeing him dropped in the order for a limited spell. Sandwiching him in the order after Bregman/ Altuve and before Gurriel/ Gattis should help him see much better pitches in a lower stress environment. Alternatively, he should be sent down to “work on some things” (which I am not in favor of). I’m just suggesting that something needs to change. This slump is now too long to not be a concern. Something needs to be done to get him back on track to lead us through the playoffs.

    Just think of how devastating this lineup could be right now with a “normal” GS back at the top of the order.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good points vewill1,

      It’s been a brutal stretch for George. This is a great example of the team carrying the player. He’ll pay it back. We have to look for small bright spots. He has made better contact. He’s seeing the ball better. He’s got 5 hits and 5 walks for a .370 OBP over the past week. Sure it’s a small sample, but we do have a substantial history on George. That low, low BABIP will correct up, regardless of the reasons for it.

      Like

  19. Yesterday, Diane was asking about the chats about stats and home runs. Basically, I think we can all agree that the game has changed. I for one, wish (and I know it will not happen) that we could get away from launch angle and home run swings on every pitch. This All or Nothing approach recently has been Nothing. To me, that is the biggest factor in the lack of production except when we get home runs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree AC, but apparently a great deal of other teams don’t have that mind set. So has the game really changed or just the Astros approach to the game?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Present MLB team offensive stats, Astros ranking.

      OPS 4th
      SLG 4th
      OBP 4th
      BA 3rd
      RBI 2nd
      HR 8th
      Runs 2nd
      BB 7th

      Are the guys really going for homers every trip up to the plate? We’ve still got the 3rd best batting average in the majors. We still are 7th best at taking walks. We got spoiled last year. And I think Luhnow recognized that the offense would not likely lead in virtually every category again this year. That’s why he built the best rotation in baseball. And he’ll still do a significant thing or two to make the pen better over the next few weeks. And I’ll go to my grave stating that this clubs best offense performance is still ahead of us this year. Hold me to that.

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  20. The M’S got some bad news tonight, Paxon’s left the game in the first inning with back spasms. Garrett Richards will have season ending Tommy John surgery.

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  21. I was looking at the standings this morning and it looks like there may be a horde of potential buyers as opposed to sellers as we approach the trade deadline. Competition for players could get fierce.
    AL potential buyers:
    NY, Boston, Cleveland, Houston, Seattle, Oakland, LAA?, TB?
    NL potential buyers:
    Philly, Atl, Washington, Milwaukee, San Fran, LA Dodgers, Colorado, Arizona
    Some maybe ferreted out by the trading deadline but it sure looks like a lot of competition for a few choice players.

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    • That was what I was looking at a week ago. You probably are close to correct and so IF we need a stick and a reliever, look at the balance of the teams and I see nothing that improves our team. This has to be the sorriest DH hitting ever (Hyperbole). And the only ones that I would consider are a couple rentals that might cost too much. We all said that NOW, Luhnow would earn his money attempting to stay near the top.

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      • Here’s a thought. How about Tony Kemp as the DH next year? His OPS is .825 while Gattis is .789; slugging, .432 vs .488; OBP, .392 vs .301; ave, .297 vs .242; K’s at 12% vs 25% and finally, 600K vs 9MM. He’s also somewhat more versatile and can play multiple positions. Don’t get me wrong, I like Gattis but this is about doing what’s best for the team.

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    • There are a lot of similarities between the two. Both have lead the league in various categories. In 2015, on his way to the Cy Young award, DK lead the league in wins (20), innings pitched (232), batters faced (911) and WHIP (1.017). Fiers on the other hand lead the league in wild pitches in 2016 (17) and in 2017 Fiers tied for most hit batters (13)

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  22. On the subject of this post…

    We need to quit making trades with the Phillies! Even though we gave up nothing of real value this time, once again we were sold a bill of goods. This nutjob is just the latest one. Can anyone here name the last time we traded with them and got an honest to God actual good player in return?

    Biggest question for him (besides if he punched himself when he got the news)would be would he be able to turn it around with another team, or does he have a future working with Jon Singleton knocking on people’s doors offering magazine subscriptions?

    I hope he does well at Fresno so we can get something for him

    Liked by 1 person

    • We should get a little taste tonight – because basically everybody else in the Fresno bullpen pitched their inning last night after starter Cy Sneed just couldn’t throw strikes, and had to be pulled after walking 6 in 2.2 innings.

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  23. I’m going to jump in the party and say I’m sooo happy for Charlie!!
    Hinch had a hand in this, and right now he can be my new HERO!!
    Even if he doesn’t get to pitch, it will be AWESOME just to be there!
    I want people to meet the guy who threw the last pitch in the World Series that gave the Astros the win!!! A lot of you think Verlander is my favorite Astros pitcher….but I gotta tell you Charlie is all mine!! Even though they aren’t playing for us anymore I can’t wait to see the look on Mike Fiers and Francisco’S faces when they get their World Series rings tonight!!
    Going into town to go eat with my husband’s brother and sister in law, and going to my favorite watering hole and watch the game tonight! GO ME!!

    Liked by 3 people

  24. We’ve won 5 of Keuchel’s last 6 starts. That’s pretty good when your 5th starter is on the mound. Better yet, he’s thrown very well in 4 of his last 5.

    If you get a moment, check out Bregman and Altuve in their first three seasons offensively.

    Liked by 1 person

      • His first two multi hit games in a month came against Oakland this week. He hit the ball hard a couple of times last night. Only one K in his last 5 games.
        There are real signs that he’s coming around. And he looks positive out there. Zanuda, I’m glad Hinch is at the helm and not you.

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      • I just think the team would be better served if he were elsewhere in the order. IMHO. Object of the 1st batter is to get on base. This has been going on for at least a month. Sometimes as Cheryl Crow would say, “A change is gonna do you good”.

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      • Hinch has a steady hand. His team, excluding a couple of guys from time to time, keep producing for him. They are in first by four games. Hinch can afford to wait out slumps because he knows he’s got other guys that will pick up the guys going through a tough stretch. And he knows his patience will be rewarded. And he sees Springer coming around. And Springer knows Hinch has his back.

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      • dave when did you become the voice of reason? that used to be tim, but since he left you have been calm, patient and long term in your comments as opposed to the knee jerk that seems prevalent for some others. i like it!

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      • Actually Ray, I’m pretty well fed up. And by nature I am not a patient individual. It’s a weakness I’ve dealt with all my life. I just feel it more and more necessary to stick up for the World Champions, as I firmly believe the powers to be in the organization know a hell of a lot more than we do. Our TEAM, not all of our individuals, has played very good baseball all year. And we still have not seen the offense fully come together. It will happen. And Luhnow will not stand pat. He’ll make the team better than it is now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Let’s try this again. My concern is that Springer (in the last 27 games) has seen his average drop .40 pts. His batting average since 6/15 is .165 (that’s 13 for 101 with 23 walks), 1 dbl, 1hr, 15rbi’s, 31 K’s. My point is this is not a normal slump. Something is just not “normal” for him. I agree that sitting him down is not the answer but moving him down in the order might help. Remember, if what you’re doing isn’t working, you might want to try something else.
        BTW, I sent in my application for Manager and I got a “thanks, but no thanks letter” back.

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      • I’m glad to know they are not accepting applications. The thing is Zanuda, it is working. The team is in great shape overall. If the whole club was tanking and falling out of the race then a shake up would be warranted. Heck, look at our offensive rankings I posted yesterday. I didn’t make them up. We’re lucky. Our guys pick each other up. In Springers case, credit Gattis, Bregman and Kemp. Pretty soon we’ll be watching George pick someone else up. I’m thinking the Al Start break will be good for all of us.

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  25. Something I noticed in Keuchel’s last 5 – 6 starts and with Tony Sipp. Both have kind of re-invented themselves. DK is doing more “pitching” instead of throwing and Sipp is throwing the split finger fastball for strikes along with a pretty good slider. They both are keeping the hitters off balance and as a result, doing much better. Kudos to them and Brent Strom for making the adjustments.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Last season convinced me of two things about George Springer…
    1) He gives us a different type of weapon out of the leadoff spot
    2) It is worth while to wait out his slumps

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan, See my last post up a few notches. I don’t disagree with anything said, just that this is a hell of a long slump and maybe there are other possibilities to explore. The WS last year was a perfect example of perseverance and patience paying huge dividends.
      Notice I didn’t say, why are we paying this guy 12MM, he should be sent down to Fresno (ala Giles), or maybe trade him while we can get something for him (HUMOR).
      At least I got a few people riled up on the blog.

      Like

      • I think your suggestion is legit. It’s your opinion, you have a right to voice it and to defend your position.
        We all voice our opinions and all of us are right some of the time and wrong some of the time. There have been times in the last month that Springer has hurt us in the leadoff spot. Hinch is very conservative about some things and this is one of them. He is wrong some of the time, too.

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      • Believe me Zanuda I’ve been wrong before going all the way back to talking about trading Altuve when he was struggling (2012?)
        Hey y’all could be right – there are no absolutes here until it plays out

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  27. Just a reminder:

    As much talk as there is about us not being as good as last year, well, we’re on pace to win 105 games aka four more than last year.

    Like

  28. Last night Preston Wilson discussed GS after raving about Bregman.
    To paraphrase he is anxious for GS to get off, waiting for him to get off, what he brings to the #1 hole & being a catalyst for the tm, which is true on all points. Springer had an amazing run in the playoffs, accolades included, but that is old news now. What has he done lately? Dave and Zanuda I feel both your arguments & agree with both. I have been waiting 3 seasons now for GS to break out & be that high avg hitter I think he can be. I’ve even anointed him one of the greatest based purely on potential & am still waiting. He finished with a .283 avg last season but his career is .265 I believe on both. We are all waiting for him to *get off/get going*, his next hot streak. I, for one don’t want to wait for his next hot streak (actually I am), I’m waiting for him to hit the damn ball on a consistent basis & be the great hitter I truly believe he can be. I’m not very well versed in stats & knowledge like you guys so maybe there’s something I’m missing here judging talent.
    It grieves me to see him swing out his shoes trying to knock the cover off the ball, swinging at junk out the zone leading to a high SO rate, those long 0fer 20’s, 30’s, 5-70’s just ain’t right. He has the skill set to do better but not the mind set, ala Bregman. And don’t worry, AJ won’t move him nor can he afford to move him up & he is not moving men on base until his next streak. Every hitter goes through streaks, I get that. And no doubt there are worse leadoff hitters than GS currently & few put up the power #s he does. I’ve said this before & I’ll say it again, I just hope in season and out he really works on his plate approach to hit for an high avg like the good ones, I believe he’s good enough if he changes his approach.

    Liked by 1 person

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