Work, work, work! The Astros’ front office Is just getting started


We’ve all been there in our lives. Some big deadline or event hovers over us (project completion, wedding, vacation, etc.) and once we get past that we naturally relax a bit and slowly get back into our normal gear. But does that apply to a major league team facing and racing past the trade deadline?

Let’s look at the major accomplishments for the Astros’ front office last week:

  • Trade Tyler White, who you have to release anyway for a couple low level prospects
  • Trade Tony Kemp, who you have to release anyway for a backup catcher you desperately need, who also knows most of your pitching staff, Martin Maldonado
  • Trade Derek Fisher, who has no chance of leap frogging the outfielders in front of him in the organization for starting pitcher Aaron Sanchez, reliever Joe Biagini and an outfield prospect, Cal Stevenson
  • And trade four prospects who are all good, but mostly blocked in the organization for the best pitcher to change teams at the trade deadline, Zack Greinke

So, now they can sit back and coast to the playoffs – NOT!

Like the Seven Dwarfs who work, work, work – the front office in conjunction with Manager AJ Hinch and his coaches have a ton of work to do. Let’s look at this list….

  • How to handle the returns of Ryan Pressly, Brad Peacock and Josh James to the 25 man active roster? One way to do this that will not result in the team releasing anyone would be ….Pressly comes back soon and Garrett Stubbs gets optioned to AAA. Peacock comes back soon and Chris Devenski who still has options is sent down to AAA until the Sept 1 roster expansion. Josh James does not come back until after the roster expansion.
  • How to update the line of succession with the roster changes? They will have a different Plan B, C and D with the new folks involved and with some of the old folks gone. Who comes up when player X gets hurt?
  • How to coach up the new folks on the roster from the recent trades? They already have changed the pitch mix on Sanchez. Do they try some Ryan Pressly fairy dust on Biagini? And what do you do with soft tossing ace, Greinke? Do you lessen the number of shifts played behind him? Do you try and change the pitch mix of someone who has been a top line pitcher for a number of years including this one?
  • Who to call up September 1st? Starting next season, this will be a tough call as the roster will be 26 instead of 25 before September, but only expand to 28 after the first of September. This season it is under the old rules where anyone on the 40 man can be in the dugout. The Astros will bring some up but the guess is that this number will be about six to eight. This could include Myles Straw, Kyle Tucker, Garrett Stubbs (if he is sent down), Chris Devenski (if he is sent down), Cy Sneed, Jose Urquidy, Rogelio Armenteros and maybe Framber Valdez. Someone like Bryan Abreu or Cionel Perez might get a shot. This may depend more on who Hinch thinks he can really use.
  • How hard does the team push it for home field advantage? The Astros have been playing excellent ball and still are only 1/2 game up on the Yanks in the AL and a game behind the Dodgers for the overall best record. Who do they rest? Do they give a couple of their older starters (Justin Verlander, Greinke) a 10 day vacation on the IL?
  • How do they line up the rotation for the playoffs? Do they go with their two hammers Gerrit Cole and Verlander in the first two slots or do they get cute and put Wade Miley or Greinke between them to change the hitters viewpoint game to game? What do they do if Sanchez completely outperforms Greinke down the stretch?
  • How soon (it might have started already) do they start scouting possible foes in the playoffs? When do they break down the film and put together the videos that show that player X is susceptible to inside breaking balls on 2 strike counts or whatever? When do they start “Beltranning” the opposition? Looking for the tips and tells on a pitcher that a fastball is coming?
  • How do they fashion their playoff roster for an ALDS or ALCS matchup with the potentials? How many relievers and who do they keep on the playoff roster? Does a Myles Straw turn into the 2017 version of Derek Fisher and find a specialty pinch running, late defense spot? How do they tweak the roster between series if they are that fortunate?
  • And if they make the World Series, what do they do with Yordan Alvarez on the road? It is hard to picture them not finding more than a pinch-hit at bat for him, but they also don’t want to have him giving up runs either with his bum knee in the field.

Basically, the coaches, manager and front office have a ton of work in front of them, but wouldn’t want it any other way.

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113 comments on “Work, work, work! The Astros’ front office Is just getting started

    • My frustration is Sisco had already been hit by Verlander. He is a .217 hitter. You have 4 1/2 to one chances of getting him out. If he makes an out. Ruiz never bats. It is just one game but the Orioles gave the game to the Astros and we refused to accept it.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Well the nail biter ended up the other way as former Astro farm hand Rio Ruiz hits a walk off HR with 2 outs 2 strikes in the 9th. A possible revenge hit by pitch (for Bregman getting hit up high) helped the O’s get the tying run on base

    Liked by 1 person

      • Boy, this one has really got me pissed off. Osuna showed nothing today. He had a batch of mediocre hitters making far too much contact off him. And after giving them a runner he absolutely grooved Ruiz with a total crap pitch. Closers have to miss bats and Osuna’s inability to do that can’t be ignored much longer.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I would like to see Jake get more playing time over Josh. Josh is a good fielder, but Jake is an elite fielder. I think that right now he is also a more productive hitter.

    In 389 AB Josh has 10 HR, 37 RBI, 4 SB and a .705 OPS.
    In 221 AB Jake has 9 HR, 28 RBI, 9 SB and a .771 OPS.

    Consider this:

    Tyler White’s OPS .650
    Josh Reddick’s OPS .705

    On May 25 Reddick was hitting .333/.386/.455 for an .840 OPS.
    Since (232 PAs), Reddick is “hitting” .223/.255/.353, a .609 OPS.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. From what I could tell, that whole game – and the whole team – failed from moment one. Even the consummate pro, Justin Verlander, was sloppy [5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 hits, 1 BB, 1 HBP]. That means his WHIP for this game was over 2.0.

    Overall, our pitchers gave a really bad team 16 hits [Verlander’s 9, plus Devenski’s 3, plus 2 apiece by Biagini and Osuna]. Biagini was all over the place. Osuna was worse only in regard to the HBP and the HR. Meanwhile, our offense managed 17 baserunners [11 hits, 4 BBs, 2 HBP], but managed only 7 runs against what amounts to a AA team.

    Hopefully, the BBD [bad baseball disease] we caught from the Orioles, will only last 24-hours, and be out of our system!

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  4. Interesting scoring on Brantley’s ?Triple? The left fielder picked up what was an apparent double. He threw the ball back behind him. Then picked up the ball for a relay to Villar. Villar drops the ball and Brantley scores. They score it a triple off a ball down the right field line and give Santander an error allowing Brantley to go home.

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  5. Having watched it….
    1) The right fielder was an insane distance from the corner for a left handed batter – he had a long, long way to go
    2) The ball hung up about as far back in the corner as possible
    There was a good chance Brantley was going to get the triple on this one even if played correctly

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  6. First….DON’T shoot me, but secretly I was glad Baltimore won yesterday.
    I know every game counts, and our guys SHOULD have won that game, but after the humiliation the O’s had on Saturday night….I was glad they won. Like I’ve said before a win for the O’s yesterday meant the WORLD to them. Their starting pitcher was birthed in our minor league system, as well as the kid who hit the walk off. Let them savor a sweet win over the best team in MLB.
    Every game counts, not just for the Astros but for Baltimore as well. Becky

    Like

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