It is another dreary Saturday in Houston as it feels like we can’t string more than one sunny day in a row into our weather forecast. Perhaps the beginning of the baseball season, still about three weeks away will bring a cure to the weather blahs as well as the baseball blahs.
Here are a few questions to chew on today….
Would the Astros be better off with Dallas Keuchel or not in 2019?
The knee jerk answer is that you can never have too much good pitching and while he may not be great again, he certainly should be good.
Pros. Sliding DK into the rotation would allow the team to better solidify the bullpen by moving Brad Peacock (current likely 5th starter) back there. It would give the team a pitcher who put up more than 200 innings last season (200 is the new 300 for us oldsters) and who has been excellent in 2015 and 2017 and good in 2018. Don’t ask about the injured 2016 season.
Cons. The money used to sign Keuchel might handcuff the team for future moves during the season as it would have them approaching the luxury tax limit. It might discourage the good soldier Peacock or the good young potential starters like Josh James or Framber Valdez. Peacock or James or Valdez might pitch better than Keuchel…they have done that in small samples before. Oh, and if Keuchel signed today, he would be behind in getting ready for opening day.
What is going to happen to the bench type (AAAA type) players the Astros have around?
Is there any future here for an A.J. Reed? Derek Fisher? Has time passed them by?
Are Jake Marisnick and/or Tony Kemp just place holding until Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw climb the ladder?
The injuries the last few years have told us that depth is good and some of the trades the Astros have made tell us that depth is good when you are trying to chase a Justin Verlander or a Gerrit Cole. Of course position depth is not always as important as pitching depth.
Do the Astros need to prepare for Arm-ageddon in 2020?
After the 2019 season the Astros will have the following “Arms” heading to Free Agency – Verlander, Cole, Collin McHugh and Wade Miley. They have a lot of good, young arms in the system – but they are lacking experience. Do they give up some wins in 2019 to get some of the youngsters experience in 2020?
Well, a normal amount of injuries for the starting five will certainly give some of the youngsters experience in 2019. But what might the Astros’ rotation look like in 2020 any way?
They will certainly try to extend Verlander and/or Cole. Verlander feels like the more likely of the two to sign for 2 or 3 seasons and even at his advancing age, he sure feels like a larger reincarnation of Nolan Ryan. So let’s speculate here.
1) Justin Verlander
2) Lance McCullers Jr
3) Brad Peacock
4) Josh James
5) A free agent pickup or Framber Valdez or Francis Martes or Corbin Martin or J.B. Bukauskas or ??
What do you think?