After the latest Astros meltdown, a four-game sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners, a friend of the blog, Zanuda, wrote the following in response to a detailed comment by another friend of the blog, vewill1, “You’ve made some good points. Now the question is, what are the Astros going to do about it?”
The Astros hopefully are not in a full-fledged panic at this point. Because even if it were justified, full-fledged panic is not the best operating mode for anything, especially a baseball team.
The good news is the team still has a 2-1/2 game lead over the Oakland A’s and a 4 game lead over the Seattle Mariners. The bad news is that the lead has been shrinking faster than an ice cube on the sidewalk outside of Minute Maid Park in August.
The Astros made moves leading into the trade deadline. They were having catcher problems with poor play by Tim Federowicz, so they picked up veteran Martin Maldonado, who has done a better job as a catcher, but who has done the unthinkable and has been a worse hitter than Tim F. (.130 BA/ .192 OBP/ .410 OPS). They went and picked up two relievers, the Twins Ryan Pressley and the Blue Jays Roberto Osuna, the latter bringing along baggage and possible bad karma from a domestic violence charge. They have had a mixed bag of appearances, but their last ones contributed to two of the Astros losses to the M’s.
At this point, the Astros starting pitching has been good, but not as great as it was to start the season. It is wounded with the loss of Lance McCullers Jr., but that bird has yet come to roost with the many off days putting off the need for a substitute starter. The hitting was hit and miss before the multiple injuries (Brian McCann, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, George Springer and the rejuvenated Jake Marisnick) and has been mostly miss with them out. Correa’s return yielded its first plus with an opposite-field punch shot in the Astros three-run rally yesterday. The relievers have been good except when they have not. They were spotless on the recent road trip and spotty during the ongoing homestand. They are missing Chris Devenski currently.
So, back to the subject of this post. What can the Astros do and what would you do?
- Stand pat. They have two All-stars in Altuve and Springer, one year removed All-Stars in Devenski, a team leader in McCann and a big glove with an off and on bat in Marisnick set to return before the playoffs.
- Make a deal at the waiver deadline. It worked in 2017, but is there someone who would both pass waivers and would be better than what they have or potentially have out there to pursue? What position would be worth pursuing and worth the loss of prospects?
- Make a deal due to “insider trading”. The front office has not been very forthcoming on the injury front. If they know more than they are saying about the Jose Altuve injury, say, would that result in a move?
- Wait until the cavalry comes September 1? They can bring up more bodies on the first day of the next month, but is there anyone in that bunch (A.J. Reid, J.D. Davis, Garrett Stubbs, Drew Ferguson, Yordan Alvarez, Dean Deetz, Josh James, Brock Dykxhoorn, Rogelio Armenteros, etc.) who would a) Make a difference?….b) Get an opportunity to make a difference?
What will the Astros do? What would you do?