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.