Life and work are getting a bit crazy right now so this will be a quick hitter of a post today. Let’s look at a couple topics…..
1) Does the Front office owe the fans anything?
The Astros Front Office brought the fans the first Championship in the long, futile 56-year history of the club. They did things their way, going against many baseball standards along the way. They have been a secretive bunch when it comes to injuries. The fans get dribs and drabs of information when players are out and get the occasional surprise like Carlos Correa being out a long time with his back injury when it sounded like he might only miss the minimum 10 games.
The Front Office which applied its zero-tolerance policy for domestic abuse to prospect Danry Vasquez back in 2015, sidestepped it in trading for accused abuser Roberto Osuna at the trade deadline. Was this because there was a video of Vasquez’s abuse or because Osuna is a young controllable (contract-wise) big-time talent? Osuna appeared for the first time in Monday night’s game and earned the win with his scoreless 8th inning and is still not clear of legal hurdles on the Canadian domestic abuse charges.
Does the Front Office owe the fans anything when it comes to information on the players? Does it owe the fans not to pick up players with a past, or in Osuna’s case an on-going present?
2) Who joins the Astros 5 man rotation (as needed) down the stretch?
The Astros don’t have to make a quick decision on the fifth starter to replace Lance McCullers Jr. who has been diagnosed with a forearm muscle strain. With off days in the schedule, they can wait until August 21 for that decision.
What do their options look like:
- Collin McHugh. The 31-year-old who has a 48-28 record as an Astros starter heading into this season is an obvious choice. But…. he would likely only be able to go 4 innings or so as he built himself up (unless the Astros can start building him up with some longer relief stints) and he has been lights out as a reliever this year – 5-1 with a sparkling 1.01 ERA and 0.731 WHIP.
- Brad Peacock. He made this move in 2017, going from a reliever to a starter due to rotation injuries and was terrific with a 10-2 record and a 3.22 ERA in 21 starts. There are similar concerns with him moving to the rotation for short duration starts and upsetting a good bullpen.
- Cionel Perez. The lefty has been okay in a relief role for the Astros, though his control is a concern. He has been a starter at AA Corpus but has nor started a game at AAA or in the majors this year.
- Josh James. The 25-year-old has stood out at AAA Fresno in 18 starts with a 3.38 ERA and an eye-popping 13.5 Ks/9 IPs.
- Other minor league starters – Cy Sneed (3.59 ERA), Brock Dykxxhoorn (3.66 ERA), Rogelio Armenteros (3.66 ERA) and Trent Thornton (3.82 ERA) all have pitched very well for the Grizzlies this season and could earn a shot at a call-up.
Who would you pick or would you try to pull off a last minute waiver trade?