Of Two Minds: Building the Astros pitching vs. everydays


Baseball organizations normally have some kind of philosophy they follow in building their teams. Some lean heavily on internal development. Some lean heavily on trades. Some lean heavily on going the free agent route to bring in key pieces.

Especially when it comes to the key pieces’ part, the Astros’ organization seems to be of two minds. The pitching? Key pieces are almost all from external sources. The offense, especially the critical core? Mostly from internal sources. But is it that simple? Let’s take a quick look at this year’s team and discuss…

Every Days.

Internal. The following players have not known any other organization (and its quite impressive) – Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Yuli Gurriel, Tyler White, Tony Kemp, Derek Fisher, Myles Straw, Garrett Stubbs and Jack Mayfield. Gurriel probably belongs in a different category as he was a fairly complete player when he signed out of Cuba at 32 y.o. Alvarez signed out of Cuba with the Dodgers but never played a game in their organization.

Outside. Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick and Robinson Chirinos (by free agency), Jake Marisnick and Max Stassi (by trade). It should be noted that Stassi never played in the majors with his former team (A’s) and Marisnick only 54 games (Marlins).

Pitchers.

Internal. Framber Valdez, Josh James, Corbin Martin, Cionel Perez, Reymin Guduan, Rogelio Armenteros, Brady Rodgers

Outside. Justin Verlander, Gerritt Cole, Brad Peacock, Ryan Pressly, Roberto Osuna, Chris Devenski (by trade), Wade Miley, Hector Rondon, Joe Smith (by free agency), Collin McHugh and Will Harris (signed off waivers)

Discussion. Overall, the everyday players are very much the result of organizational development. It helps when you have a first overall pick like Correa, a second overall like Bregman and a mid-first rounder like Springer (by the previous regime). But they have also used their international strength to trade for Alvarez and to sign Gurriel right out of Cuba and again inherited Jose Altuve.

The pitching looks like an argument for the Astros inability to develop their young pitching as the “Internal” guys have barely managed a blip on the radar, while all the external guys have carried the weight. But it should be remembered that McHugh and Harris were dropped by their previous organizations, but became critical components over the last few seasons here. Devo was a player to be named later. Peacock spent a good bit of time developing into a valuable tool after coming here from the A’s. Verlander, Cole and Pressly all pitched better here than the season before they came here. Miley has turned into a second or third starter for the Astros.  Maybe these guys are not “Internal” guys, but the organization has gone and gotten guys that had high spin rates or who they thought they could tweak on pitch selection and “develop” into better pitchers.

Bottom line the Astros still have something to prove on developing their own pitching, but they have proven a lot in grabbing and developing other people’s pitching.

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128 comments on “Of Two Minds: Building the Astros pitching vs. everydays

  1. Will June ever end? We have made a bad team look good [Reds], a decent team look great [Pirates], and a good team [Yankees] look invincible. Oh, and if we keep up this trend we will make the Texas Rangers look like division leaders.

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  2. Which of these teams is the high powered division leader again? Jeez Louise I hate games that seem to be over before they begin.

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  3. I forgot we had an early gm. Tuned to it and was miffed to see us losing 6-0 in the 4th. Now when I saw the Pirates batting order yesterday I was impressed with all those high avg from top to bottom. But I know their pitching sucks. Joe Musgrove, ‘REALLY’! We’re being stifled by JOE #*$&# MUSGROVE? Can we really afford to wait until the trade deadline to make a move?
    The position guys are gonna have to suck it up by lighting up these backend pitchers especially. Where’s the PRIDE?
    I know our pitching is in a quagmire currently but those bats don’t have to be so damned limp, like their heads hanging down.
    Sorry to be so hard on our guys but they’re better than this. Feels like they are defeated coming out the gate lately

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    • Oops, might have put this on the wrong post with a new one up. And Brantley, one of my favs gets thrown out trying to stretch a single into a dbl. another baserunning blunder

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