Astros fans, how are you feeling?


The baseball season is a marathon and the team is currently right around the 13-mile watering station. We’ve learned a lot about our team and the coaching staff and front office along the way. The team came out of the gate slow, then went on a tear, then continued to play well through injuries and then seemingly had the injuries catch up with them.

The good news is that after losing a chunk of players along the way they are still 20 games over .500 and 5.5 games in front of the Texas Rangers in the AL West. The bad news is that lately some problem areas have been exposed, especially the starting staff where the replacement of Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr.is showing some wear at the seams. Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole have pitched well except for a propensity of giving up the deep ball in the year of the home run. Wade Miley has pitched solidly but is headed into a quantity of innings that he has not seen in quite a while in his career. Brad Peacock was struggling lately (apparently throwing through some arm troubles) and is on the IL and the fifth spot has been a revolving door of question marks.

The bullpen has done well over all, but struggled a bit lately perhaps from overuse – the return of Collin McHugh may be a nice boost to that area. Ryan Pressly and Roberto Osuna have shown they are human, Hector Rondon, Josh James and Chris Devenski have been inconsistent and Will Harris has been strong with a few stumbles along the way.

The hitting should be better than it is even with Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz on the IL. Jose Altuve has not been the 200 hit machine this year at all. Alex Bregman has been great with no one on, poor with guys on base. George Springer is not quite back to his pre-injury self, Michael Brantley has been mostly steady Eddie, and remarkable rookie Yordan Alvarez has missed some time with a sore knee. Josh Reddick and Robinson Chirinos have been better than expected and Yulu Gurriel seems to be coming on with his two walk-offs in a row.

So taking your pulse with your team struggling to win lately…. Are you:

  • Happy that they may have soldiered through a tough injury stretch with still a decent lead in the division?
  • Unhappy because you see systemic issues in the rotation and bullpen that may drag them down?
  • Happy because you know this front office has shown the gumption and ability to address problems in the middle of the season?
  • Unhappy because they have not addressed them yet?
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70 comments on “Astros fans, how are you feeling?

  1. Dan, too many question marks to know where we stand right now. I’m going to ignore the offense and defense right now, because I think we’re as good as anyone, assuming good health. I think the line up will jell.

    Pitching. Does any club have enough? Maybe the Dodgers, but they still have questions marks in the pen. With so many teams in need, where does Luhnow find at least one guy, ideally two, to make quality starts? There is a whole lot of competition out there for the few really good arms potentially available. It’s a true sellers market. That is my elephant in the room. A shaky rotation ultimately screws up the pen.

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  2. I will say there is one player who is an exclamation mark, not a question mark and that is Yordan Alvarez. While “veterans” like White and Stassi do nothing aginst a struggling pitcher – the rookie puts two beautiful measured swings for basehits against a fellow left hander and accounts for all three of our runs.

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    • Well Yordan is human as he hits another line drive to the outfield that is caught. Let’s see if Tyler White who somehow was put in the 5th spot in the lineup to kill any rallies – can do anything with the bases empty.

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      • Do you guys remember those Mercedes commercials where they have their cars slam into walls at various speeds and the dummies go flying everywhere? That’s how our rallies stop when White strolls into the batter’s box.
        He reminds me of Jason Castro strolling to the plate in 2015 and 2016 to kill rallies over and over again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • One must wonder if Tubby has compromising polaroids of Luhnow in his desk drawer given the shape/weight he brought to Spring Training and how he’s continued to hold a job this far into the season.

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  3. Cole has been tough since that early homer. Reddick with another rally ending beautiful catch – this time coming in on the ball. How many runs does this outfield save us – especially Reddick, Springer and Marisnick (though Brantley has had a couple nice plays the last week)?

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  4. Pitching, pitching, pitching. At least one SP & 1 RP. Besides the Dodgers & Bronx Bombers, this lineup, while respected is not feared. Now that most of the core position pieces, except Correa & Diaz, are back, how will Hinch navigate this lineup? Chasing launch angle (Vewill1, I agree) appears to have shaken the middle of this lineup to the core. IMHO I think two of our best hitters have a vested interest in hitting HRs. Bregman was Mr. Clutch & carried this tm on his considerable shoulders last season. Altuve was a hitting machine before the injury. I’m hoping they refocus & return to being our daily hero’s.

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  5. Luhnow noted today that Corbin Martin will not be pitching anytime soon and will be getting a second opinion this week.

    Really a much needed, solid 7 innings from Cole.

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  6. Altuve has looked much better today – went the other way the first time up – nice solid single this time up – hit it hard the other time up also.

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  7. It appears there is a desperate need for pitching across MLB. Besides Stroman and Boyd, are there any other real gems, SP or RP available for this tm to pursue?
    Curious, why is Tubby shooting blanks from the #5 spot today?

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  8. Woo ******* hoo!!!! Max knocks the hell out of the ball, and thankfully his not bad for a catcher speed just proved an asset, and Jake with a clutch hit

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  9. After Straw hits one on the screws into a line out – Jake goes the other way for a 2 run single against the drawn in infield. Nice add-on late …

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  10. Altuve may be coming around! Jake’s speed got him home. Man if Myles’s hard hit line drive hadn’t been caught we may be 7-1 instead of 6-1 lol

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  11. A very sweet sweep. Good to see us take care of a division rival. Time for the fellows to get on a roll now, carry that momentum into the AS break.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hinch has three more months to weave Josh James into his roll as a back end of the bullpen reliever. After his injury in the beginning of the year, James has slowly progressed to the point he is dependable.
    Now comes that next big step: to be dependable late and close and then to be dependable late and close in the playoffs. He’s almost there. All he needs is to realize how good he really is.

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  13. The answer to your question: I admit I was really starting to panic, because these guys let the Pirates walk all over them. The first game with the M’s, and last night’s walk off “woke” them up. Just the THOUGHT the rangers were going to pass us made this old gal very ticked off. I’m not kidding, that’s how much I dislike that organization.
    The TOR is pretty slim……..and no, we are not getting Scherzer. But Luhnow HAS to do something. Gotta have a good lefty out in the bullpen.
    I’m more excited for Diaz to get back than Correa. Carlos is on my list, and it’s gonna take a while before he gets off.
    Here’s the list of Astros going to the All Star game:
    Springer
    Brantley
    Bregman
    Verlander
    Cole
    Presley
    More than any other team!

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  14. Becky, Smith was put on the 60 day il retro active to make some room. He has already has spent more than 60 days on it, so he can come back any time they want.
    Tucker hit a grand slam in the 1st inning for RR.

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  15. On MILB Tv tonight at 6 PM, the Delmarva Shorebirds are playing. Scheduled to start is Grayson Rodriguez (19 year old). This is Low A. He was selected to play next Sunday in the Futures Game. He was the #1 pick of the Orioles.

    Delmarva is Delaware, Maryland, Virginia (Salisbury, MD).

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  16. With our 3 game sweep of the Mariners as Billy Crystal used to say, “I feel marvelous”! YA to the rescue. Hopefully the guys got their MOJO back.

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  17. The Indians are 8 games out and right in the hunt for a Wild Card slot. I was hoping they’d fall apart. At this point, I sure don’t see them moving Bauer or Hand or anyone else significant. They’re alive!

    Gerrit Cole stepped up and acted as our ace in June.

    I’m sure look forward to seeing what Luhnow comes up with before August 1. But I keep reminding myself that he will not overpay. The trade deadline is far more interesting to me than the All Star game.

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  18. -One has to wonder how long Corbin Martin was having pain in his elbow. Is that why he suddenly lost command?
    -I wish Alvarez could play the field in Colorado. That is a real bummer.
    -Ranger The Calf has a new nickname. It’s Ranger Danger, because he has figured out how to climb stairs and hasn’t figured out how to descend stairs.
    – Urquidy is fine with me, but, that means somebody has to come off the 40-man roster, because it’s full. It would also mean that somebody would have to come off the 40-man roster when Joe Smith returns. I think they put Corbin Martin on the 60-Day DL to make room for Urquidy.

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  19. Sunday, Marco Gonzalez tried everything he had on Yordan Alvarez. He started high in the zone with 3 different pitches and Yordan hit the third one. In the second at bat he threw his fourth pitch, a changeup and Yordan hit that. In the third at bat he went low with three different pitches and Yordan nailed the third one but it was right at someone.
    The Mariners finally figured out what to do with Yordan in his fourth at bat. Intentionally walk him and face Tyler White.

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      • Well it was pretty scary for the M’s with White protecting Alvarez. After White struck out three straight times they finally figured out White might not be protection. (I assume that the Mariners have fired all their look ahead scouts and erased all videos of White batting this season)

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  20. TCB reminds me that if the Astros put Martin on 60-day IL for possible TJ surgery, he might accrue almost two years major league time on the IL. They can’t afford to do that. So, they have to figure out something

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      • Probably, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I would expect Straw, Sneed, or Guduan before White. I honestly think they will have White as a throw-in on a trade. But if it doesn’t happen then it sure will when Diaz or Correra return.

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      • I’d be pleased to see Tyler go at this point, but does that mean Reddick becomes Yuli’s back up at first? I’m not sure if it’s that simple.

        Matt Boyd mentioned again today as a possible for the Astros. What interested me is that Fan Graphs rates Tucker a non elite, above average prospect.

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      • Zanuda, those guys you listed will not be cut from the 40- man roster. Someone on the 40 man has to be cut. When they are cut they have to clear waivers. I agree that the guys you mentioned may be optioned to make room on the active roster.

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      • DaveB, Yet Tucker is listed on LMB Pipeline as the 10th best prospect in all of baseball on their latest update. He is sandwiched just behind Whitely and just ahead of Alvarez.

        Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 60 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 60

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      • You know vewill1, I know we can look around and find all all kinds of varying opinions on prospects, Tucker being just one example. My take on the guy has zero statistical support. So many of you guys can run rings around me with advanced stats and all kinds of metrics that I’ll never get into at this point. And I am confident all this information has real merit. I just have not seen a real special dynamic out of the guy when I’ve watched him go about his business on the ball field. Of course I touted Nephew for a long time. I hope I’m as wrong about Tucker too.!

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Happy to see Jose U coming, even if it means adjusting the 40 man. Hopefully the guy will be that one real bright stop we’ve been looking for. I love the BB/K ratio. Be interesting to see if he can keep the ball in the park.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Adding Jose to the 40 man roster at this juncture, strongly suggests that there is already some type of move in place to make the room. Most likelt someone like Reed for a box of kolaches and a $100 bucks international pool money.

    The more I think about it, the more I convince myself that White will be around until Diaz returns. We simply have no depth behind Yuli to cover the position until that time. Unless we were planning to cut White and bring up Reed to see what he can do before trying to dump him.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Who is the “real” Matt Boyd? Is it the one with the 5.4 ERA and 1.4 WHIP over his first 460 IP (age 24-27) or is the age 28 Boyd with a 3.52 ERA and 1.092 WHIP over 101 IP?

    The fact that he has a 6.00 ERA and 1.333 WHIP over his last 4 starts (5.90 ERA over last 5) is making me worry that he is the former.

    I’m not sure if I would part with premium talent unless I was sure. I also don’t think the Tigers would trade a young guy that is controllable through the end of 2022 season if they were convinced that he was TOR talent. I think they see the chance to sell very high on a guy without the track record to back it up.

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  24. Any chance they would take Dean Deetz off the 40 man? What is going on with him – 15 walks and 14 runs allowed in 13+ innings?
    Any chance they think the window has closed on Brady Rodgers who turns 29 in a few months?

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    • Interesting points Dan. At his very best, and before his injury, Rodgers was not MLB level talent. Now at 29 I don’t see him ever being more than organizational depth at AAA. Not sure what is going on with Deetz, but I still think he has good stuff and at 25 is worth another year or so to see what he can do.

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  25. daveb
    I know that most folks have not seen much if anything out of Kyle Tucker – especially with his 2018 non-performance.
    My only reason to have some positive vibes is what he did in the 2018 Spring Training (and yes I know it was only exhibition) where he really looked good and this was based on seeing videos of his swings against at least some guys who were or are major leaguers. I will give him a pass on 2018 for the same reason I gave a pass to Springer and Bregman with how they hit early on in a similar amount of ABs as Tucker (but at an older age).
    Hey, he could be nothing special, but I am willing to wait and see.

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    • Dan, what I saw from Bregman and Springer on the diamond is what I’ve not seen from Tucker. Those two guys, as much as they struggled, still had a certain presence on the field.

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  26. Like I said earlier, I could care less about the All Star game. I just want to see what kind of talent Luhnow can squeeze out of the league and what it will take to get it done.

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  27. Unbelievable tragedy – Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs dead at 27 – he was with the club visiting Arlington. No details on what happened.

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  28. In defense of Tucker:

    In 2017 he played 150 innings in RF with 0 errors (AA), in 2018 he played 452 innings in RF w/ 0 errors (AAA), in 2019 has played 375 innings in RF w/ 0 errors (AAA).

    OPS for same seasons has been .837, .989, .954.

    Over the 3 years in AA and AAA he also has 52 SB with only 10 CS.

    He is still a very young prospect at only 22. If he can improve plate discipline he has the chance to be comparable to Alvarez with the bat (not quite on the same level), far better with the glove and better on the bases.

    Only time will tell if the talent translates to MLB level, but I see no warning flags that it won’t. To me that makes Tucker a pretty special prospect.

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  29. As one might expect from the Rockies, Mr. Urquidy will face a pretty impressive line-up – in a hitter’s park:

    1. Charlie Blackmon (All-Star) – .337/.383/1.036, w/ 20 HR and 56 RBI
    2. David Dahl (All-Star) – .317/.362/.914, with 12 HR and 51 RBI
    3. Nolan Arenado (All-Star) – .320/.384/.965, with 20 HR and 65 RBI
    4. Daniel Murphy – .282/.330/.781, w/ 6 HR and 42 RBI;
    5. Ian Desmond – .276/.333/.846, w/11 HR and 42 RBI;
    6. Ryan McMahon – .248/.327/.719, w/ 7 HR and 35 RBI;
    7. back-up SS [Trevor Story on DL – right thumb sprain]
    8. Ianetta or Wolters [c]
    9. Pitcher

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  30. I wouldn’t mind taking a flier on signing Shelby Miller to a minor league deal. He still has good velocity, he just can’t seem to miss bats. He’s not far removed from being very good. Maybe they could sprinkle him with some of that magic pixie dust they used on a few others. I wouldn’t expect too much but it wouldn’t cost anything.

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