Astros ALDS roster: Some tough decisions


The marathon of a baseball season is over with the Astros setting a team record with 107 wins, which also happens to be more than any other team in the MLB. The marathon began 6 months ago last Saturday and now begins with a series (hopefully) of three mad dashes to the World Series trophy.

If the Astros are lucky enough to win the first two series, they will set their playoff roster three times. The first roster will be utilized for the best 3 out of 5 game AL Divisional Series which begins this Friday at Minute Maid Park. The Astros will lock themselves into a 25-man roster made up of active players on their 40 man roster. This would seem to be a fairly straight forward process, but is complicated by the following.

  • The teams will travel after the second game and after the fourth game, which means that the teams do not need to use more than four starters during the series. Additionally, it means that there is less chance of wearing out the bullpens, since they will not be asked to pitch on three consecutive days, so theoretically there could be smaller bullpens in use.
  • The Astros are currently up in the air (publicly) about who their fourth starter is. Will it be veteran Wade Miley, who was brilliant in last year’s playoffs for the Brewers, posting a 1.23 ERA in four starts and was terrific through the Astros first five months of this season (13-4 / 3.06 ERA)? Miley has collapsed since that time. Or will they go with youngster Jose Urquidy, who was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in September, including two fine starts? There is a good chance that if Miley is named the fourth starter that Urquidy will still be on the 25-man roster in the bullpen, but if Urquidy is named the fourth starter there is a better chance that Miley will be a spectator.
  • Will Carlos Correa be healthy enough to be put on the 25-man roster? This is a mystery at the moment. He sounds confident he will be ready, while Jeff Luhnow sounds like he is from Missouri. Will CC show enough in the next few days to earn that critical spot? If not it is likely going to help someone like Abraham Toro to make it onto the 25-man roster.
  • Does it make a difference whether the Astros play the Oakland A’s or the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS? The A’s score about a 1/2 run more per game than the Rays, while the Rays pitching is about 0.2 runs better per game. Would this cause them to put on an extra pitcher or positional player depending on the matchup? Who knows what stats are rattling around the nerd’s computers? Is there someone who is poison to or poisoned by either of those teams? We shall see.

The best way to look at this is to state which players are locks to be on the 25-man. The assumption here is that Correa will be on this list.

Locks

  1. Robinson Chirinos
  2. Yuli Gurriel
  3. Jose Altuve
  4. Carlos Correa
  5. Alex Bregman
  6. Josh Reddick
  7. George Springer
  8. Michael Brantley
  9. Yordan Alvarez
  10. Martin Maldonado
  11. Aledmys Diaz
  12. Justin Verlander
  13. Gerrit Cole
  14. Zack Greinke
  15.  Roberto Osuna
  16. Ryan Pressly
  17. Will Harris
  18. Joe Smith
  19. Brad Peacock (if he is truly healthy)
  20. Hector Rondon

The balance of the other five spots come down to this. There will be one more starter. There will be one or two more relievers. And there will be two or three positional subs with one being a fourth OF, one being an IF (or swing man) and one other if needed could be either an OF or IF.

What Dan thinks at this time for the other 5 spots

  1. Jose Urquidy – fourth starter
  2. Josh James
  3. Kyle Tucker
  4. Myles Straw
  5. Jake Marisnick

This means that – Wade Miley, Bryan Abreu, Chris Devenski, Joe Biagini, Framber Valdez (and of course Collin McHugh) do not make it from the pitching side. Abraham Toro, Garrett Stubbs and Jack Mayfield miss out for the position players.

If the Astros go with one more pitcher, I think it is Abreu and frankly would not be shocked if he made it on the 25 man any ways. Tucker has hit well in his second time up with the club and has done a good job fielding, too. Straw is this team’s faster version of Derek Fisher but with the ability to play the infield and the outfield. And they believe that Jake brings them a lot of value as a late inning defensive sub and pinch runner.

I know there may be some questions about Rondon, but remember he pitched pretty darned well in his 62 appearances this season, especially if you throw away the ill-fated 6 run appearance as a “starter”. Do that and his 3.71 ERA drops to 2.82 on the season.

But this is what I think. Let me know how you see this turning out and how dumb you think my list is.

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74 comments on “Astros ALDS roster: Some tough decisions

  1. Dan, yours is a tough project for Monday. I’m going to try and stall for a couple of days.

    1OP, I just watched the video of Ausmus’ post game. It was brief and brusque. I think he’s gone. I’m not sure what he handled well this year. Too bad none of the scribes asked him if he thought he’d be returning in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not so sure about Rondon. His performances as of lately give reason to be concerned. I’d like to see Abreu get a shot. When a reliever can’t throw strikes, a run scoring threat of the inning is imminent.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The problem with Miley is twofold. Not only is he getting hit hard, but he is walking guys in almost every inning. I believe the second problem is a direct result of the first.
    Abreu has some problems with walks, but he has stuff that can make up for it.
    In the first two series, I don’t see a lot of substitutes for the lineup we throw out there every day, especially if Correa is ok. I leave Tucker off and put Abreu in as an extra reliever. I see Marisnick coming in late for defense if we have the lead.

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  4. I don’t think Straw will get the nod since Jake is already that guy. Straw is still to raw playing the infield.

    Assuming Correa is on the roster, if there is really concern about his back, (rather than his head) then Honest Abe might have a job too.

    I can’t think of any role Miley can play at this point.

    This is my Monday roster, subject to change for the five game series.

    Chirinos
    Maldonaldo
    Yuli
    Diaz
    Toro
    Altuve
    Bregman
    Correa
    Alvarez
    Springer
    Brantley
    Jake
    Reddick

    That’s 13 guys, meaning they go with 12 pitchers. If they take 11, then Tucker gets a job.

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  5. One other reason why the Astros could go with an extra reliever is this guy:
    2019- .280/.308/.580/.888 with 3 HRs, 1 triple, 4 doubles, 4 sacrifice bunts and .9 WAR in 56 plate appearances. He is like an extra bat on the bench.
    Zack Greinke.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There were 1843 more runs scored in MLB in 2019 than in 2018.
    So, unless each of the 600 or so extra home runs were all 3-run shots, it was just a lot harder for pitchers to get batters out this season.
    It would be interesting to see the final figures of average exit velocity for MLB this year vs last year. If it’s what I think it is, it’s suddenly like playing every game in Colorado.

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    • If I recollect what I read correctly, MLB homers were up 11% this year. Attendance was down a million plus combined, Astro attendance was down almost 150K. Now how do you figure that?

      As a side note, MLB revenues are up 70% from a decade ago. It’s less and less about attendance, but MLB can’t let all of us old guys die off and not find a new generation of replacement fans.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just don’t get a warm and fuzzy when I see Peacock and Smith walk to the mound. I would keep Tucker for another Lefty stick over Straw. go with James , Abreu, and Urquidy. Toro next year.

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    • Peacock has me more worried than Smith. Yes, Smith (like Peacock) gave up 2 runs yesterday, but before that Smith had not given up a run since Aug. 24th – 10 appearances.

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  8. If Correa is healthy enough to take batting practice he’ll be on the roster. That probably means Straw stays over Tucker. We all know Jake has incriminating pictures on someone in the front office so he’ll get a spot as well. As for the pitchers, I’d leave Miley off in this round. If we draw Oakland, the majority of their dangerous guys are RHH, I believe. Tampa seems a bit more balanced. I’d like to bring Miley to have that extra LHP for a short stint rather than a start, but fully believe giving him an extra week of rest could make him a viable option for round 2. That means Urquidy needs to step up if given a start. It’s perhaps the biggest concern I have – if you make it to game 4 then you’re either up 2-1 with a chance to close them out or your backs are against the wall needing a win to stay alive. Ideally the Astros could take care of business and not put us in such a position.

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  9. Well, Little Ranger is headed to the sale barn.
    Such is the fate of young bulls.
    We did our job, and treated him like a king.
    I’ll miss the little booger.

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  10. SP: JV, Cole, Greinke, Urquidy
    RP: Osuna, Pressly, Harris, James, Smith, Abreu, Devo
    IF: Yuil, Tuve, Correa, Bregs
    OF: Brantley, Springer, Reddick
    Bench: Alvarez, Tucker, Straw, Jake, Diaz
    Catch: Maldy, Chiri (25)

    This is my guess.

    Though I’d personally sub Framber for Devenski because of his curveball, short leash and 62% GB rate; I would use *Urquidy in long relief, and especially vs LHB out of the bullpen in a short series.*

    Rondon, Peacock, Miley and either Valdez or Devenski get cut for the ALDS.

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  11. I also published my end of season Top 40 prospects, if you’d like to see. Certainly welcome any comments.

    1. Forrest Whitley, 2. Tyler Ivey, 3. Freudis Nova, 4. Cristian Javier, 5. Jeremy Pena, 6. Brandon Bielak, 7. Korey Lee, 8. Brett Conine, 9. Luis Garcia, 10. Jordan Brewer,

    11. Enoli Paredes,12. Jojanse Torres,13. Grae Kessinger, 14. Jairo Lopez, 15. *Peter Solomon, 16. Dauri Lorenzo, 17. Hunter Brown, 18. Colin Barber, 19. Ronnie Dawson, 20. Humberto Castellanos,

    21. Shawn Dubin, 22. Jose Alberto Rivera, 23. Nivaldo Rodriguez, 24. Jonathan Arauz, 25. Austin Hansen, 26. Yohan Ramirez, 27. JJ Matijevic, 28. Valente Bellozo, 29. Willie Collado, 30. Parker Mushinski,

    31. CJ Stubbs, 32. Peyton Battenfield, 33. Taylor Jones, 34. Brett Daniels, 35. Nathan Perry, 36. Joe Perez, 37. Luis Santana, 38. Brandon Bailey, 39. Nick Tanielu, 40. Chas McCormick.

    It’s probably a few months ahead of MLB (Callis), he’s slow. For example, Schroeder, Adolph, nor Santana belong on the current list.
    http://m.mlb.com/prospects/2019/?list=hou

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  12. For a team that started with three players out of options; White, Stassi and Kemp, we sure found a way to play a bunch of prospects!

    The 2018-2019 Astros no longer considered prospects who graduated this season; James, Valdez, (Martin), Straw, Urquidy, Mayfield, Armenteros, Sneed, Perez, Alvarez, Stubbs, Tucker, Toro, [Abreu], Guduan, Rodgers (16)

    Would you have ever guessed we’d promote that many before the season? Keep that in mind as you look at the prospect list above. I can imagine over a dozen (if not traded), who should be called up by Sept – Whitley, Ivey, Javier, Bielak, Ramirez, Paredes, Stubbs, Jones, Bailey, Tanielu, McCormick, Garza, Deetz.

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    • I agree that you would have thought coming into this season that you would not have that many guys premiering, but injuries brought most of that on – especially with them trying to fill the 5th spot in the rotation with McHugh down. Of course Alvarez earned his call-up.

      On your 25 man, I think Devo is an interesting choice. He pitched a lot this year and not too well, but had a really good September. Did they finally figure out something with him?

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      • As mentioned, I like Framber better as the lefty option (thinking neither Devo, nor Valdez will be used more than an inning+ in a 5-gm series, anyway.)

        But Devenski is such a huge Hinch fave, who accepts any assignment, anytime.

        Smith is another one, Dan, who earned his way back in September. And Rondon *was* coming on, but like Peacock has faltered down the stretch. Relief decision are all-too recency biased, most often., a la, Bryan Abreu.

        Any names intrigue you on the prospect list?

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      • I’d also question the validity of many of those injuries.

        Case in point: Stassi hurts his knee running through 1B bag. Immediately the call goes to RR, Stubbs is pulled and headed to HOU.

        IT JUST SO HAPPENS on Garrett’s birthday, and works out beautifully with their family plans to finish the playoffs for USC, and bring his little brother along, so we can wine/dine before the upcoming draft. (CJ Stubbs was a steal, btw!)

        Collin McHugh, don’t get me started on how often they have let him rest, while calling it an injury. Even Correa stayed in AAA, and commented it was a “sacrifice,” so the other players could play (but in effect, gain some trade value, ie., White & Kemp).

        Of all folks, you should know, Dan. It’s not always what they say, but what they really mean.. many of those forced their way on, despite the constant pressure to keep minor leaguers down. You are probably going to see at least 10 new faces next year, too. Would you recognize Chad Donato, Brandon Bailey, or Yohan Ramirez?

        Liked by 1 person

  13. First Miley has to be off the Playoff roster. But if you look at his career stats, his career is going down. Baltimore paid him $500K to go away. The Astros only paid him $4.5 Million this year. Not high end pay for a starting pitcher. It worked out well, but he is gassed. Also, his career is over 3 walks per nine. His last big innings year, he led the league in walks. It was a gamble that paid off, but we have “house money” on him and no reason to waste it.

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  14. I noticed that Tucker is now off of the prospect list and has been replaced by Shawn Dubin who enters the Top 30 at the #23 spot.

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    • I beat him to it. As with all the others. As you know, there are other agencies who rank (FG, BA), and there’s quite a discrepancy among those who follow our system, and those who leave million dollar prospects on the list, even though they don’t belong. It’s so bad out there that Fangraphs still maintained Alvarez as our #6 prospect when called-up. That’s a joke, right?

      Abreu Toro Armenteros Stubbs continue to be on (MLB) Jim Callis’ list, all sort of muddy the water for off season ranks. Those will be graduated in short order next season, or traded.

      If you keep watching Schroeder, and Adolph should be gone soon. But not yet… bet ya it takes him way too long.

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  15. 45, there is no game situation that I can think of for Miley. And Framber, he does throw ground balls when he is not walking guys and he is a lefty, but really has not gotten anyone out since April. Devenski? Dan, yeah, he had a good September. But I remain on the fence with him. I don’t want to use him in a high leverage situation, and that’s pretty much all we’ll have. And Peacock is another question mark for me. Is he really healthy? Right now, Abreu is throwing the pitch Peacock used to give us. I’m still awaiting enlightenment before I post my guesses at which guys will make up the pitching staff.

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  16. I think Correa at SS is ideal for the ALDS playoffs.
    If he is not ready, I have to go with what the Astros have done in the last few weeks and that is moving Bregman to SS and playing Diaz or Toro at 3B.
    We have not seen Straw play much SS lately and I think that will hold true in the postseason.
    I’ll be honest with you. I can’t figure out who of Toro, Straw or Tucker make the playoff roster. I do know that we won’t see a ton of pinch hitting for us in the first series if Correa is healthy because our lineup is so good. That scenario leads me to believe that Straw becomes a guy off the bench as a pinch runner late in the game.
    Toro is a switch hitter and that is a plus, but lately he is a switch hitter who isn’t hitting.
    I’ll just wait and see who the geniuses who got us 107 wins decide to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I’m going to compliment MLB on their start times for the first two Astros’ games. Game 1 starts at 1:05 Friday, eliminating the horrible shadows and sun that come through the MMP glass windows in the early evening.
    Game 2 is the Saturday prime time game at 8:05 pm, thus alternating us and the other teams in prime time.

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    • 1OP,

      I’ve made sure I’m not working Sunday morning because that 9:07 ET start on Saturday night will be a late finish out here regardless. But I do think Cole can help keep it from becoming the four hour affair we see in so many post season games..

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  18. dan, i think your list is right on. the only difference may be straw out if they decide on another pitcher. as you noted above there are two days off (not to mention several days off before the series starts) so another pitcher should not be necessary. i think tucker gets the last spot over straw if they go with the additional arm.

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  19. I think 12 pitchers in the 5 game series might be a bit superfluous, but as I watched Hinch quick stepping out of the dugout so many times late in game 162 in order to protect Cole’s 2oth win, I was reminded that he does not have a luxury of arms in the pen that he can really count on this time around. So we could be seeing more one batter appearances.

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  20. Grayson – I finally got a chance to look over your Top 40 prospects list. I appreciate the effort because frankly I just don’t have the time to spend on the prospects. I liked what you have there in comparison to – say – the pipeline Top 30 – you cover a lot more players, because a) you have 40 and b) you don’t include guys we have gotten to see like Urquidy and Armenteros and Stubbs, etc.
    I did have a few comments / questions….
    – The relative lack of highly regarded catchers (Pipeline only has Garrett Stubbs – you only have his brother CJ and Nathan Perry) in the organization is problematic. I guess if CJ is the real thing that will help, but even he is playing as much or more at other positions than catcher.
    – Pipeline does not even rank reliever Brett Conine out of the 2018 class and you have him up at 8. He has been pretty darned good so far.
    – I could not find that SS Dauri Lorenzo has played – looked like a signing in July – what can you tell us about him?
    – A lot of the folks you rated have really good numbers the last year or so – somebody like Parker Mushinski (sounds like a Yuppie plumber) has not pitched well this year. What do you like about him?
    – If I’m counting right Nick Tanielu and Brandon Bailey (who we got for Ramon Laureano) are both going to be Rule 5 eligible – would you put either of them on the 40 man?
    – Joe Perez as I remember was drafted even though he was about to have serious surgery. He struggled this year – do you have him rated based on his high draft spot or do you think he will come around
    – Anybody on your list who you think is going to be a sleeper and sneak up on us next year?

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    • Awesome, love it!
      I’ve mad a few changes, too, so let me include the 60 and the re-vamped version. First your questions.

      1. Stubbs Stubbs Perry and of course we drafted a catcher #1, Korey Lee. I think we’ll re-sign Maldy, or Chirinos, and G Stubbs can back0up next year. the others will come to roost 2021-2022. If you notice, they all play all over the diamond, too. Nathan Perry at 1B quite a bit, etc.

      2. Brett Conine has some really nice peripherals, but #8 I decided was a bit aggressive. He should start in Corpus with Luis Garcia, which will be a force.

      3. Dauri Lorenzo we spent $1.8M, potential 5-tool player, age 16, athletic switch-hitting shortstop with quick hands and impressive bat speed. Will he be Jeremy Pena, or Ariel Ovando? I don’t like ranking them this early so highly, but I’m giving it a chance.
      https://www.mlb.com/video/top-int-l-prospects-lorenzo-ss

      4. Mushinski had an overall rating of 97 in the FaBIO (@reillocity). He graded 99 vs same handed batters, and 92 vs opposite. Not many southpaws in the system.. https://www.crawfishboxes.com/2019/7/13/20692746/2019-mid-season-fabio-percentile-ratings-of-astros-full-season-milb

      5. Great question. We drafted Tanielu, btw. From Wash St. I have a stories about him. Yes, I would put Nick and Brandon on the 40-man. It’s going to take some juggling, though. We will have to decide on guys like Biagini, Sanchez, then new guys like Ivey, and Paredes (who is Rule V eligible with Donato). Tough choices. recall Tanielu had an awesome Spring training this year.

      6. I have it on authority Joe Perez has a very high ceiling. Let’s see him get through a full year *after TJ recovery. I’ve moved him up even more actually.

      7. YES! Have many sleepers.
      Valente Bellozo and Jairo Lopez are very young, and next year could be a good test to see if they make it to AA. Dubin, Hansen and Rule V Ramirez all have big strikeout potential. I really love that Chas McCormick did well this year. Shaver Adams and Matijevic are big hitters, but poor fielders. Jeremy Molero had by far the most K’s in Dominican League — watch for him in coming years.

      The guy I’m most excited about is Tyler Ivey. I hope we take it slow with him, though.

      Lastly, I should say I never liked the JD Davis trade, and I hate it even more now. I’m not very high on the Mets centerpiece of that deal, Luis Santana yet. Maybe another World Series will help me forget!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. All I can think of right now is worry about tomorrow’S game between the A’s, and Rays. I just really don’t want to play the A’s. We’ve seen soo much of the A’s, and that’s the one team that makes me nervous. JEEZE…..who scares you folks the most? 😨

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    • Becky, the team that scares me the most is our own Astros. We never seem to know which Astro team will show up – the nuclear-powered steamroller they have the potential to be – or the big, over-inflated hot air balloon that usually shows up when we play either the As or the Rays.

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  22. One of my friends at work asked me that question – this is what I wrote him…..
    I think I would rather face the Rays. I feel like the A’s are too familiar with our pitching – faced them way too many times.
    Our old buddy Charlie Morton may help us this way – he will face the A’s in the play-in game on Wednesday – he is better than any of the A’s starters and then he would not be able to face us until Game 3.
    Both A’s and Rays are very good teams – there are quite a few times when they would have won divisions with those records.

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    • We sure have trouble in Tampa though. That batter’s eye.
      And since Rays do a lot of Opener Plus, it wouldn’t surprise me if Rays don’t push Charlie to throw a near CG. If they throttle him back on a pitch count (70), he might be ready by Game 2 of the ALDS.

      I’m more worried about A’s Puk, Luzardo, Manea and Diekman. They have all pitched very well against us.

      Still, the Astros are as good as the 1927 Yankees (wRC+, ERA-). I don’t think we should have any fears.

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  23. Thanks Dan! I forgot that Charlie was pitching tomorrow’s game! Anyone watching the N.L. wild card game tonight? I am…..I have my nickel on the Brewers! I have nightmares about facing Montas and Sean Menana!😨

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  24. Manaea vs. Morton – in Oakland, tomorrow evening. This should be interesting – will it be a hitter’s game ‘follow the juiced-up ball? Or will it be a pitcher’s game of ‘now you see it, now you don’t’?

    Looking at the schedule, this is a year when no ‘playing-over-their-heads’ Cinderella teams can be found in either league. Each of the teams that made the playoffs – with the possible exception of the Brewers – is solid enough to win it all. Our guys better be on top of our game, every game.

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  25. Sorry for all the copy, Dan.
    Here is the list after some helpful suggestions. I added Toro, and Abreu back because they won’t graduate even if making the playoffs. I suppose the same can be said of Rogelio, but I’m going to drop him for now.

    1. Forrest Whitley
    2. Tyler Ivey
    3. Freudis Nova
    4. Bryan Abreu
    5. Abe Toro
    6. Cristian Javier
    7. Jeremy Pena
    8. Brandon Bielak
    9. Korey Lee
    10. Jordan Brewer

    11. Luis Garcia, 12. Brett Conine, 13. Enoli Paredes, 14. Jojanse Torres, 15. Colin Barber, 16. Grae Kessinger, 17. Dauri Lorenzo, 18. Jose Alberto Rivera, 19. Jairo Lopez, 20. Shawn Dubin

    21. Ronnie Dawson, 22. Jon Arauz, 23. Austen Hansen, 24. Yohan Ramirez, 25. Nivaldo Rodriguez, 26.Chad Donato, 27. Valente Bellozo, 28. Parker Mushinski, 29. Taylor Jones, 30. Joe Perez

    31. CJ Stubbs, 32. Nathan Perry, 33. Brandon Bailey, 34. Luis Santana, 35. Brett Daniels, 36. Willie Collado, 37. Peyton Battenfield, 38. Humberto Castellanos, 39. Nick Tanielu, 40. Chas McCormick

    41. Jake Meyers, 42. Ryan Gusto, 43. Jeremy Molero, 44. Carlos Sanabria, 45. Felipe Tejada, 46. Jake Adams, 47. Dean Deetz, 48. Colin McKee, 49. Nick Hernandez, 50. Alex Palmer

    51. Bryan de la Cruz, 52. Yeremi Caballos, 53. Layne Henderson, 54. Franny Cobos, 55. Colt Shaver, 56. Chandler Taylor, 57. Drew Ferguson, 58. James Nix, 59. Manny Ramirez, 60. Garrett Gayle

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  26. And Peter Solomon. They were both former Top 15’s.
    I left out the last excerpt from my post.
    It said, “until further notice, I am waiting to hear the latest on Solis, and Martes.”

    Of the latter, as you know from Jayne, he had the visa issues, and was excluded from post season play. Or, frankly, he may have pitched for RR.

    Good observation, Op.

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    • Here, I’m not suggesting Martes be ranked. Just the connection to Solis who tore his UCL around Aug. 8, 2018, and Martes who had his surgery the same month. Martes has put together a pretty solid rehab. I haven’t even read of a bullpen Solis has thrown. Have you?

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      • Solis had TJ surgery as did Martes and LMJ and Solomon. Solis, LMJ and Martes will be pitching in the spring.
        You can’t count them out any more than you can count out Ivey who disappeared in the middle of the year, came back, and then disappeared again. At least we know what happened to the others. We don’t have a clue what happened to Ivey.

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      • I see the delay is the surgery didn’t happen for 6 months after the injury.

        https://therunnersports.com/astros-dip-into-international-pool-jairo-solis-venezuelan-fireballer/

        Yes, we know Solis *should* return this Spring, and since he’s been highly-touted, to the delight of the org, he might slot right back in. Then. I will put him back in. Until then, Dubin Torres Garcia Conine Paredes Lopez are proven. Or, how about 19-yr-old Valente Bellozo (#27), who was selected to start the 1st playoff game in Fay’ville,… upon promotion! Astros could have easily promoted Jose Alberto Rivera (#18), who pitched better than Bellozo in the outing just prior.

        Playoff Box Score
        http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2019_08_27_kccafx_qcsafx_1&t=g_box

        Previous Start
        http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2019_09_04_qcsafx_cedafx_1&t=g_box

        I do think McCullers is a cut above as an athlete, and will return on Opening Day, which will be quite a feat. Martes seems to be returning to form, and will be intriguing this Spring.

        How about our old friend, Jandel Gustave? Pitching really well in SF. Sometimes, we just don’t have the time/space. [Deep. Very deep ha!]

        ——–

        Ivey, I think we have a “pretty good idea”, but I know what ya mean. He had the foreign substance suspension, and more than a few missed starts. I’m sure we are simply taking our time. There’s no need to push when the likes of Abreu, Sneed, Armenteros, Urquidy (limit), Javier, Bielak can’t get in anyway.

        1. No need to pressurize the prospect, or the tenured contracted ML guys
        2. No need to start the clock, and sit the bench
        3. Astros impose different trajectories that are just as team-centered as for the individual’s ascent, ex. Alvarez, Tucker

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  27. You need to get the Oct 7th Sports Illustrated!! Great article on how Luhnow pulled off the Greinke trade! Nationals just went up 4-3 over the Brewers. Hader had the bases loaded, and the centerfielder let a ball go past him. Go Nats!

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    • Did the article say the DBacks had to have Rojas to do the deal in the end? That’s what Jeff said on the radio to Ford.

      Luhnow also said we were in on Stroman, but that fell through, or we wouldn’t have gone after Zack.

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      • Actually, the article noted they had talked about Greinke earlier, but dismissed the possibility for financial reasons. Crane reignited the conversation the day before the deadline, even offering to call his counterpart to figure out the money issue. At the end, a half hour before the deadline, Luhnow, after talking to his guys, finally agreed to give up Rojas. The deal was not getting done otherwise.

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      • Thanks.
        Curious the way you explained that–
        Was the Crane call reigniting things known to Jeff at the time?
        According to that interview I heard a few days after the fact, Jeff acted very surprised DBacks called.

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      • Grayson, I was able to read the article on SI.com. Check it out. It’s worth it. From SI, Luhnow and the rest of his guys had already written a Greinke deal off. Crane walked into Luhnow’s office on the 30th and said, “what about Greinke”? That’s what got the ball rolling again. Without Crane, the deal simply does not get done. He’s the guy I used to say bad things about a few years ago.

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      • I like his Robert Tomkins associaton in college, family values and shrewd business dealings. If attitude is a reflection of leadership, he brought all these outside-the-box, growth mind set thinkers along. The smart guys from St Louis, Strom and Dyer Miller. Medjal and Elias, and now the international & domestic scouting Oz Ocampo, Pete Putila, Kris Gross. A book to recommend on how Astros use advanced development to make better players for less money;

        MVP Machine. http://www.themvpmachine.com/

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  28. All I know so far is that I think we match up pretty well against the Nationals. Hader was a mess last night. For a team without a rotation, their deep pen can’t have a bad night. Especially their two inning closer.

    Liked by 1 person

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