No News Is Good News and the Astros Have Had News


The 2019 baseball season is a bit different than the previous seasons in that there has been only one trade deadline on July 31 and no separate waiver trade deadline at the end of August.

As a result, after having the spotlight of baseball on them at the trade deadline with the pick-ups of pitchers Zack Greinke, Aaron Sanchez, and Joe Biagini and catcher Martin Maldonado, the Astros were hoping for a quiet news month prior to the September 1st minor league call-ups.

Well so much for the team’s hopes for a quiet August. On the plus side, they have continued a trend of playing more than .600 ball with a 13-7 record three weeks into the month of August. On the negative side, they have had some pretty big stories hit the headlines that may not bode well for the run to and through the playoffs.

Ryan Pressly With Knee Surgery

The Astros bullpen was brilliant out of the box this season and was led by first time All Star Pressly. Except for some hiccups leading into an earlier stay on the IL, he has been one of the toughest nuts out of any bullpen in baseball. If he comes back in 4 weeks – he will have a week or two to get ready for the playoffs. If he comes back in 6 weeks the team may be in (or out) of the playoffs. This is the toughest loss as the bullpen has been shaky at best lately.

Correa’s Back Problems Are Back

After missing almost 2 months with a massage injury, Correa is back on the IL with back discomfort, which is what he was suffering from last season when he spent time on the IL and his performance went south. The Astros can ill afford having their star short stop stumble through another playoff crash.

Aaron Sanchez With Shoulder Discomfort

After a spectacular 6 innings leading to a combined no-hitter in his Astros debut, Sanchez struggled in his next appearances culminating in leaving his last start with a shoulder problem that left him with diminished velocity and placed him on the IL. This has led the Astros back to filling their 5th spot in the rotation with a TBD.

Aledmys Diaz With Mystery Problem

The team announced he was feeling dizzy, sent him off to be evaluated and placed him on the IL. Along with Correa’s stint on the IL this has left the team with a very short list of infielders and caused them to call up Jack Mayfield, who was then replaced by Abraham Toro. They also called up OF/SS Myles Straw.

Gerrit Cole Misses a Start

This looks like a non-story now that Cole has come back and dominated on Thursday night, but it caused a bunch of dominoes to fall for at least one roll through the rotation. Luckily he only missed the one start, but it showed how fragile the team’s pitching could be.

Maybe the Derek Fisher Trade Was Not So One Sided

There were many of us (I am one of us) who wondered how the Astros got a starter, a reliever and a prospect for an outfielder with no MLB future in Houston. Sanchez’s injury and Biagini getting bombed has led us to backing off that question for the moment, though Fisher has shown a little power and little else since he joined the Blue Jays.

The Detroit Free Press Apparently Is Not Free to Report

One hopes that the mini-controversy involving Justin Verlander and the blocking of Detroit Free Press’ Anthony Fenech from a post-game interview blows over. But it just seemed so out of character for JV that it makes one wonder. A bigger problem would be if the Astros can’t figure out how to better support their ace with run support, so he might not be so touchy.

Anyways, in a period that was expected to be quiet, the Astros were making a lot more noise (and negative at that) than they or their fans were expecting. Here’s hoping for a better September and October for the team.

70 comments on “No News Is Good News and the Astros Have Had News

  1. Verlander said that he tried to get the Detroit paper to send in anyone but Fenech for the entire day but they would not return his calls and he went to his team for help with his problem.
    I am allowed to express my opinion. There is something between this guy and JV, and JV tried to handle it internally but this other guy went public to embarrass JV in the news all over the country. JV said the guy was not an ethical person and it turns out that this guy would make a big stink in order to try and get back at JV and use the “freedom of the press” as his means to get back at JV.
    I don’t know what their problem is but if it was important enough for JV to take a stand to maintain his personal privacy of not wanting to be around someone who he has a problem with, I’m going to side with his right to privacy. Verlander did not go into this guy’s workplace and confront him. The journalist is the guy who created the situation and Verlander was having none of it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I personally believe that freedom of the press means they are allowed to write what they want and it does not mean that someone has to be put in an uncomfortable or untenable situation for the reporter.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I give Verlander a pass on this one because there is, to my knowledge anyway, no indication of a past history of any similar incident with him. The impression I’ve always had is that he was and remains a well liked figure in Detroit.

      The Guduan incident is offensive. Should he have been released? Don’t know the details of the alleged incident. But I wonder. Is there any local sportswriter following the club that is also aware of this alleged incident and has decided not to report it? I noted last week that we really don’t have many sports journalists actually reporting on anything more than what happens on the baseball field. Really, we don’t need that information. Most of us see it as it happens. I’d much rather have a Richard Justice around to ask questions.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to try and be as optimistic as I can be in the few weeks about our beloved team. I was not surprised to see Correa go back on the IL with his back. He was told to get it “fixed” over the winter, but instead he said he “rested it” and he felt that fixed it. It didn’t. I expect to see the same problem next year.
    What I can’t figure out is Diaz. He’s spent more time on IL than he has playing.
    Trades are kinda like a crap shoot, there is never a promise that you get a guy who automatically makes you better…Verlander and Greinke are the exceptions.
    Stroman is hurt, and Chris Archer is hurt…..makes getting a healthy Greinke like winning the lottery! The biggest blow HAS to be Pressley. Man….if there was ever a bad time to lose that guy it’s now. Will Harris is gonna HAVE to step up and fill that spot. Why does that make me nervous.
    OP….I read what happened to you yesterday a few minutes ago. I’ve never been in that situation before, but I can only imagine how scared you were. I can’t tell you how often that stuff happens here in Houston, usually either a cell phone or alcohol is involved. Those folks were not as lucky as you. Your Christian friendship has meant so very much to me. You and the rest of our friends on this blog helped me through the UGLY dark days sitting in the chemo room surrounded by 75 other people who were all in a fight for our lives against cancer.
    God has many things for you and I to do before He calls our name. Becky

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have to agree Becky that Pressly is the most worrisome. We don’t have to have 5 starters in the playoffs but we sure need every good reliever arm on deck

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    • From what I’ve read, the latest Correa MRI shows no damage to the back. The main symptom is that he feels stiff. There is no way Luhnow, Hinch, or any of the clubs medical experts will contradict anything Correa is saying right now. Because if Luhnow decides Carlos is not a guy he wants in this organization, he sure as heck is not going to say anything that might lesson his value.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Regarding Correa, All the other guys on the IL are in the dugout every day, here in a Houston and on the road. Even Lance McCullers.
    Why does Correa get to “ rest At home? “
    Just wondering.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know Sandy it makes me think of something from my family.
      My brother has had a very happy second marriage for many years. When we look back at his first marriage we remember that at one point towards the end of it we were having a family gathering and his soon to be ex-wife was just standing to the side not engaged – just observing what was going on.
      Not saying that Correa is… oh heck yes I am saying that CC seems a bit disengaged

      Liked by 1 person

      • There may be more to the whole Correa thing than meets the eye. Something smells a little fishy and it’s not the Ahi tuna steaks you just threw on the grill.

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  4. Ha, we eked out another win. I’d like to see any relief pitcher come in and not immediately give up runs. Good to see a good hit night tm wise. Saw more 2 hit frames for most than 1 hit. That was good also. Keep it up fellows.

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  5. A win is a win….thank you guys for doing just enough to eek out a win.
    Gotta hand it to Toro, that kid FLYS down the line! Man, it’s painful to see Greinke try to talk to the media. We gained 1/2 game on the A’s…lead is 7 1/2.

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  6. Some Astros thoughts:
    * With Brady Rodgers being released, RR needed another starter and that is the guy who has been CC’s best pitcher this season, Christian Javier.
    * The guy I figured would be the Astros best help this fall because he doesn’t walk batters and strikes out a bunch, Tyler Ivey, is back on the 7-day IL.
    * After going 1 for 22 in his time with the Dodgers, Tyler White is on the IL with a trapezius muscle strain. It may end his season.
    * If you missed it, Abraham Toro beat out an infield grounder for his first MLB hit last night, with what was described by the Astros announcers as a near-elite run to first base. I saw him run it out and could hardly believe my eyes. The fielder was in a position where he could not put a lot on the throw, but over 29 feet per second to 1B is terrific. My questions are: How the heck can MLB give him a 40 grade(below average) on speed, if he can run like that? And are they right about his 60 grade(above average) arm? If he can run like that and has an arm, can he play the outfield?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. More Astros stuff:
    * Chandler Rome just comes right out and says it in the Chronicle. Quote:
    “But to assume that Tucker will come up and immediately usurp Reddick is silly. Tucker was not good during his brief major league exposure last season. Questions about his mentality and approach to pregame preparation were apparent. Those still exist.”
    * It wasn’t just the white uniform that made Yuli appear different. No facial hair.
    * Osuna said Gerritt Cole had aprroached him early yesterday about something he had spotted with Osuna’s four seam fastball and suggested something that worked last night.
    * There is talk that Aledmys Diaz could return as early as Tuesday.
    * Reading about Max Scherzer’s potential return when he isn’t sure about his condition worries me. It’s just me, but I don’t want to hear talk of a return for this guy unless he is 100% sure he is healthy. He is so great. Don’t take a chance!
    * Cole Calhoun almost pulled it off by himself last night.

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    • Questions about his mentality and approach…….I’ve always wondered about what appears to be a lack of passion out on the baseball field from him. Everyone is different, but Tucker seems to lack a dynamic that the best players always seem to have.

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      • Tucker doesn’t have to be the very best players – he just has to be better than one of the worst hitters they have – Josh Reddick. He wasn’t in his first few at bats last season but neither were Bregman or Springer in their first few at bats of their careers
        It would be good to know if Tucker is any good before you send Reddick packing in the off season

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I have no idea of the length of time it takes for a prodigy to make it to the Show. Apparently it’s harder for a kid to make it up when he’s blocked on a stacked tm like the Astros. 2019 there are some very exceptional hitting youngsters out there who’ve YA’d themselves on their respective team rosters. I hope this kid Tucker is one of those.
    Oh, on A-Breg (40). You know what I mean.

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  9. Put me down again for the electronic strike zone. That 3rd strike to Yordan was a complete ball width outside. How can a major leaguer ever take a pitch when you can get called out of something that is not even close.

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  10. There is a part of me leaning in that direction. The selective strike zone of umps can really get under my skin, like that ridiculous call on YA tonight. Does the machine call any-all pitches on the edges. When I see a pitch touch any part of the box my thinking is its a strike. A machine might do that where the umps won’t.

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    • On the television, when the ball is in the strike zone, the box will flash red. I suppose it depends on how much of the ball is in the strike zone.

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  11. Our guys get a few runs in like 2 innings and then sleep walk thru the rest of the game. What the heck is that?? Good thing they won by just 1 run last night and 3 runs tonight…..I’m amazed that our pitchers have kept Uncle Albert and Trout out of the Crawford boxes!

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  12. The play in the 8th inning is one for the ages. Yuli whiffs on a ball down the line and Altuve is playing rover in the shift out in RF. Altuve picks the ball up and fires to first where Yuli is sulking about missing it. Someone yells at Yuli and he looks up at the last second and sticks out his glove by some miracle and catches it and stomps on the bag. They beat the runner by half a step. If the Astros are not in the shift that is probably a triple banging around in the corner.
    Just when you think you’ve seen everything.
    Anyway, the Astros are just coasting and getting away with a lot, I did not expect them to win tonight, but the two home runs followed by five innings of going down a mountain with no steering wheel and looking at the scenery was enough tonight again.
    Framber tomorrow.

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  13. Hey OP, for tms to looking to win it all, it usually entails the baseball gods sprinkling pixie dust on their collective $%^#, esp when things get ugly. Was last night another example of that kind of luck? Injuries, having to use callups for nearly half the season and still doing so, some very ugly stats (GIDP, hitting with RISP, bad base-running, hitters slumping, ect) and we’re still winning, including still in position to grab home field. Hopefully all that helps translate into another WS title. Man, if we could be so fortunate

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    • I agree with you. You look at our lineup(less all the players who absolutely must be rested from their three hour ball game the day before an off day) and you wonder how they don’t rack up a bunch of runs every day. They are the highest ranked offense in baseball with the highest wRC+ and the highest WAR, but are fifth in runs scored.
      We are fortunate to be in the position we are in and still have the potential to be awesome in these next five weeks.

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  14. Pls guys quit giving away outs darnit!
    The bottom of this lineup the past 2 series, has thus far gone a collective 10-77 (.128 BA with 47 LOB). They have 5 walks but don’t know how that translates into the BA. This is gawd awful ugly but that’s why they at the back end I suppose. CR saved face some with a 4-4 a few nites ago or this would be much worse.

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  15. Framber is staying up, he will pitch again on the 31st. The only ball that went in the outfield was the homerun he gave up. In 3 games, not ONE pitcher was tagged for a homerun from Uncle Albert or Trout! I was sooo glad to see Reddick get a couple of big hits today!
    I kinda feel sorry for the Angels…..they have had a tough time this year.
    Their pitchers went south, they lost a very good pitcher forever….their star 2nd baseman to a broken leg, and to top it off their catcher. Tough for any club.

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  16. Wonder how the A’s feel tonight? After playing a lot of good ball against teams like the Astros and Yankees, they’re 9.5 games out all over again. They get KC next, we get TB, but still, they can’t be very happy. And we’re right back in the hunt for home field advantage again. It sure is a roller coaster ride. I’ll admit that I’m looking forward to getting Correa back for the stretch run and post season, but at the same time, I’m pretty sure this organization will win 100 again next year, with or without Carlos.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Diaz is playing in Round Rock tonight, and SHOULD be back here on Tuesday.
    I know Yuli will be glad to have a little time off now that he’s back! Josh James will be back as well! I’m not sure how well James did in his rehab games, I think he got hammered this week, but I guess we will find out this next week. Even though I can’t see the game….I’m secretly rooting for my favorite pitcher of all time, Charlie Morton. Don’t beat me up, the guy has my heart❤
    Oh my goodness it feels good to be 9 1/2 games in front of the A’s!!

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    • Speaking of rehab games, Baggie made an interesting comment about major league pitchers rehabbing in the minors. He said that in the minors the guys swing at everything. So a pitcher that sets batters up for a particular pitch can’t do it because of the batters just swinging away.

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  18. We are all aware of this but just for review. The Astros have played 131 games to date. Correa has played in 72 games. He has played in 1 more game than Tyler White. In the previous two seasons of 162 games, he played in 109 and 110 games. He is a great talent but needs to be on the field.

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  19. -Was it me or did Trout look a little out of sorts this weekend?
    -I think Toro had a good debut weekend.
    -Cionel perez pitch well and won a game in High A Fayetteville yesterday. They are rehabbing him slowly and moving him up as he stays healthy.
    -Gotta figure out a way to beat Charlie Morton and win the series against the Rays.
    – I expect a big crowd due to the Verlander/Morton matchup, Dollar Dog Day and T-Shirt Tuesday. Really big crowds this past weekend.
    -Christian Javier had a really good AAA debut Sunday.

    Like

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