Astros “stuff” to think about

Today is a brain dump about our favorite team….

  • The Astros have apparent needs at catcher, starting pitcher and in the bullpen. It could be argued that the greatest need is at catcher. While there are any number of arms who have started (Brad Peacock, Jose Urquidy, Rogelio Armenteros, Josh James, Francis Martes, Framber Valdez) or could start (Bryan Abreu, Cristina Javier, Cy Sneed, Cionel Perez, Forrest Whitley, Enoli Paredes) for the team available (and obviously they could also fill the bullpen), they currently have only two catchers on the 40 man – Garrett Stubbs and Dustin Garneau. Neither of those catchers have done squat (well they have squatted) in the majors with the bat, so you would think a veteran is a necessity.
  • What if Yordan Alvarez, George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa played 150 games in 2020 at their 2019 production rates? Here is what that would look like…..
    • Yordan Alvarez –  100 runs 45 doubles 47 HRs 134 RBIs
    • George Springer – 118 runs 25 doubles 48 HRs 118 RBIs
    • Jose Altuve –          108 runs  33 doubles 38 HRs 90 RBIs
    • Carlos Correa –      84  runs   32 doubles 42 HRs 118 RBIs

That is insane production from any lineup, much less one that also has Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley and Yuli Gurriel.

  • The item above is the best reason to look at cutting ties with Josh Reddick and some or all of his $13 MM salary. With that amount of production available for seven of the positional spots in the lineup, isn’t it time to give Reddick’s spot to Kyle Tucker, who is a month away from turning 23 y.o.? In 501 ABs last season, Reddick gave the team 1.2 WAR, while Tucker gave them 0.8 WAR in 67 ABs. The Astros may have to attach a prospect to get out from under that contract, but it would not necessarily have to be a high prospect.
  • If due to potential punishments the Astros have to part ways with A.J. Hinch or Jeff Luhnow, the loss or losses would affect them in different ways. Losing Hinch, the team’s day to day leader would probably have more affect on the 2020 team performance. Losing Luhnow, the planner/visionary for the team would have more affect down the line. Neither loss would be good for the team.
  • Assuming the Astros do not re-sign any of the free agents they let go (and for Gerrit Cole that is a moot point) here is the ranking of how much they will be missed:
    1. Gerrit Cole
    2. Wade Miley
    3. Will Harris
    4. Robinson Chirinos
    5. Joe Smith
    6. Hector Rondon
    7. Collin McHugh
    8. Martin Maldonado
    9. Aaron Sanchez

So, what are your thoughts on these thoughts?

 

54 comments on “Astros “stuff” to think about

  1. I have this friend, Larry, who normally posts on Battle Red Blog for the Texans, but has recently been commenting here as “OneTexFan”. He shared this very important post on BRB while I was in Florida and I wasn’t able to link to it, but would like to now and ask y’all to take a few moments to read it. If you want to comment here instead of there – that is fine – it will be appreciated.
    https://www.battleredblog.com/2019/12/5/20998086/suicide-is-never-the-answer

    Like

    • Larry, all I can say is that your Nephew is one gutsy guy, just for having the fortitude to reach out to you for help. Depression is so damn painful and most of us never share it. I’ll be praying for both of you.

      Like

      • We’ve talked since then. I’m his sounding board. He’s in much better shape right now. But I can tell that he’s not 100% right now. I do my best not to judge him and what he’s been going through. I keep telling him whenever times get tough for him that he should call me.

        But I keep thinking that I could do more.

        Like

  2. First of all, I’d be surprised if Chirinos is not back simply because Verlander throws to him. And it will likely be for two years, with more money in 2021 than in 2020. And then Harris, well he’s just about my most valuable other guy. Again, an escalating deal might keep him around, especially if we give him three years. But no doubt, both of these guys will get offered more money somewhere else. My concern remains that they decide it’s time to move on from the Houston baggage.

    I’m all in on Tucker at this point, even if my confidence level is not. So by all means, let’s get rid of as much of Reddicks salary as possible.

    I also remain concerned that clubs and players will avoid dealing with the Astros, at least until whatever sanctions come down. Let’s face it. we’ve gotten nothing done so far except for losing Cole.

    A starting pitcher? Not much unless Luhnow does a Correa deal. But I think a starter is only the third biggest need we have, and pretty far down the must have list. We have plenty of arms in the system. And we can always get a big arm in July again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeez, my most commented on post of the post season centering on regurgitation plans for Manfred got abandoned for some new foolishness about baseball related “stuff”. 1OP even noted that it was bringing us together! I got Rodney Dangerfielded again.

    Like

  4. The Astros had some really good strikeout-to-plate appearance ratios last year:

    1. Brantley – struck out in only 10.5 % of plate appearances
    2. Gurriel – struck out in only 10.8% of plate appearances
    3. Diaz – struck out in only 11.8% of plate appearances
    4. Reddick – struck out in only 12.2% of plate appearances
    5. Bregman – struck out in only 12.3% of plate appearances
    6. Altuve -struck out in only 15.1 % of plate appearances

    Higher in strikeout percentages were:
    1. Springer [20.69%]
    2. Correa [23.8%], and
    3. Alvarez [25.7% – and much, much worse in the playoffs].

    For a team that seemed to always be trying to hit home runs, at least we managed to put the ball in play a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Yankees, Athletics and Angels are absolutely loaded with RH batters. The signing of Joe Smith is a reflection of that fact coupled with the reality that we are in the AL and don’t see near as many pinch hitters as the NL does. Joe Smith gets RH batters out!
      How we do against those three teams will have a lot to do with how we end up in the regular season standings and the postseason, as well.
      Something told me that when Hinch gave a long and extended hug to Joe Smith as he finished his last inning of the year in game 7 of the WS. we would see Joe Smith again.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just looking at a picture of Luhnow is enough to get anyone depressed.
    It appears, at least so far that this club is *poisen* to anyone who Luhnow would like to sign. I don’t blame them, the taint on this organization will last for a looong time. I’m not over it not by a long shot.
    Dan I know how your friend feels…..I lost one of my brothers to suicide. When someone does that it sets an out of control fire in their family. My father was alive when my brother took his life, but I was so glad my mother was not living, she would never have gone on after that. When a person reaches out for help that is a VERY positive move. They are asking for a hand, and it appears your friend’S nephew is considering the horrible effects on his family. We had no idea Roger was even THINK ING about that….but we were very wrong. Trust me the family will never recover….NEVER. My sister who lives in Ft. Worth and myself are all that’s left of our family. We miss all of them so very much, and we will know the reason our brother took his life when our Lord makes it known when we leave this world. This is one of those things that I put in a box that I don’t open very often…….hurts too much.
    Dan I hope guys like Chirinos and Harris will come back to this team, but I wouldn’t blame them if they don’t Becky⚾

    Liked by 3 people

    • Becky, it is always tough on the family whenever anyone contemplates taking their own life. I can’t imagine the anguish of having experienced such a tragedy.

      I’ve been looking for support without reaching out to other family members since my Nephew asked me not to share his concerns with family. I respect his wishes. Although I don’t whole heartedly agree with them.

      Thank you for sharing and God Bless to you and your family.

      Like

      • I know you are trying to keep your nephew’S secret……but I disagree. Who is the most important person in his life?? THAT person needs to know….not that he or she will confront him about his state of mind, but that person can look for any indication that he’s not in a good place. Pray for the Lord to assist you in helping him through this tough road. If you will just tell us his first name we will call his name to the Lord for grace. You are carrying a heavy load, we will pray for ALL of you as you weather this storm🙏

        Liked by 1 person

      • You’re a very kind Soul, Becky.

        I’m not keeping any secret about my Nephew. He’s living with his girlfriend and her daughter in this time of trouble. This isn’t his first time going through this kind of trouble. He’s been having major difficulties in communicating his feelings with his mother, father, brother, and sister. He gets countless lectures and opinions about what they think he should do. He feels like he’s misunderstood.

        He has self medication issues using drugs and alcohol to deal with his debilitating chronic pain. It’s a rough road as well as a self destructive path. He understands this, but he feels like family has been letting him down.

        He’s not asking for complete secrecy. He’s seeking compassion and understanding without judgment. I commiserate with him and I stand by him in support.

        I’m very happy that you responded to me. I know that you have a caring heart. Thanks so much.

        Like

  6. The real reason Joe Smith is coming back has everything to do with he and his wife have been working with some great genetic doctors. Joe’s grandmother died of Huntington’S disease, and his mother is in a nursing home and has been since 2015. The doctors have been working to alter the embryos so they don’t pass that horrible disease on to their baby. This is the Mecca for genetic testing so I’m pretty sure that had a BIG reason they want to stay in Houston.
    I’m glad he is staying. Aren’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

      • Will wonders never cease….Wade Miley signed with the Reds on a 2yr $16 mill contract! I hope he does well…..he’s a nice guy. I felt so bad for him when his pitches went south on him. Merry Christmas Wade!

        Like

      • If our guy Miley got 2 for 16, I’ve got to figure it has been determined he was tipping pitches. For that kind of money he must be healthy. And he sure was effective until he was not. No gray area.

        Like

  7. joe smith for 2 years for 8 million is a good signing. and harris and chirinos may return as well. we will have a very good team again.
    i think the possible punishment is way overblown as commented on in here.
    thanks for hanging in there dan. better days are ahead. hope the mouse didnt empty your entire wallet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doing fine rj though it gets a bit more expensive every visit – but Disney is like our only vice
      I am only guessing like everyone else on punishment, but my gut feel is that this is not a slap on the wrist – pay a fine situation- especially if they find the front office / manager / coaches were in on it

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m making judgements about people I don’t know right now. I’ve never liked Luhnow because of his demeanor and the comments players whose release/trade hurt made about him. The fact he came from the Cardinals probably plays a big part in it too. I’ve never liked Manfred because, well, what has he done that’s been a positive for the game? I suppose not being Bud Selig is something in his favor, but this offseason is just continuing the trend he set in the past. Right now I’m wondering how much of this crusade against the Astros is an attempt to deflect the disastrous MILB negotiation attention away from his office. Seriously, someone even leaked a story that the contraction plans were Luhnow’s ideas! Now, it’s also possible that was an invention of the “journalist” who wrote about it as well.

    Ok, actual Astros stuff to think about? I hate that Reddick is getting shipped out of town by so many fans. I don’t think we win the WS in 2017 without him or McCann coming to town. It doesn’t matter to me what Crane is paying him – he’s a big boy and made that decision. If he ends up having to pay some luxury tax in 2020 that’s fine – they made a lot of money thanks to the postseason last year and we all heard about MLB’s record profits despite viewship plummeting. I do hate that Tucker, Brantley, and Reddick are all LHH.

    As I said the team is good enough to win the West again in 2020 without any changes. The big question is health. We probably missed the window for big moves, but June/July will present new opportunities if there is an area of real concern. Gurriel and Diaz are both good enough athletes that they can fill some holes out there if needed.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. To Becky, Kevin and all others in dumps, is it okay if I repeat myself? There’s a reason this is happening to the Astros, a reason I don’t know. Couple things I do know. Our Father can and does bring good things out of bad. Somehow, though it may take a while, He can turn this thing. Second point, the Lord disciplines those He loves. Supposing for whatever reason He is keeping a close eye on the ‘Stros? Please try not to roll eyes at me. I am not a preacher, just someone shot through with holes myself. This in-between time is possibly the hardest thing about this because everyone is assuming the worst. Can we hit the pause button and just let the Lord work and maybe say a prayer or several? A. Bregman was out doing good this morning. He is pressing on. Others will press on too. Reminding everyone we live in a fallen world. We try to pretend we’re not touched by the mire but we all are. We need a warrior attitude. Like it or not, we were born on a battlefield. You didn’t volunteer? Neither did I. Fact is, we are here. For me, faith in Jesus is the only thing that makes sense. The history of this Earth He claimed was true and the prophecies of His coming are the only thing that make sense. All other religions have man striving upward to reach God. Only Christ Jesus stooped down to meet hopeless man. Think of the Astros as His favorite child whom He is disciplining. But if that’s too hard, just have faith in Christ. We can do this.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Diane – going to Disneyworld ties into your words oddly…. One of my old timey favorite rides in Magic Kingdom is Carousel of Progress. The narrator / main character in this march through the decades with one American family is Jean Shepherd. Most folks would know him as the writer of the classic Christmas Story (you’ll shoot your eye out, kid) and he is the over voice narrator for that movie, too.
      I know this is a bit rambling, but Shepherd wrote one book whose title seems relevant here – “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash”
      So, I think while we trust in God, we are not so trustful in some of the folks he placed on this earth to run our team…..

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dan, to make sure I’m not misunderstood. I’m not claiming our owners/leaders are necessarily endorsed by the Lord, although in inscrutable ways they may be. However, when it comes to leaders of nations, Scripture clearly states in Daniel and in Romans God has placed leaders. That blows most of our minds, including mine. I’m just stating what it says. Again, I am not making any claims about baseball leadership; we are quickly getting into free will vs foreordination — and to be honest, that has never been resolved, even by the foremost and deepest-thinking, widest-ranging theologians. So I’ll sign off here. Only to say to all, do not give up. You just never know.

        Like

  10. At what aspect[s] of the game will the 2020 Astros excel – and at what aspect[s] of the game will they be less than hoped for?

    The logical answer, assuming no significant injuries or suspensions, seems to be that the Astros will have consistently high OBP and home run numbers, low strikeout numbers, and good to excellent starting pitching at the top of the order. We should also have good defense, except perhaps at the critical spot behind the dish. Weaknesses I would expect would be: 1. catcher defense and offense, 2. the two bottom of rotation starting pitchers, and 3. bullpen (which right now looks to be EXTREMELY weak).

    Of course, injuries and suspensions could mess with our strengths, and rookies or late trades/acquisitions who shine could help improve our weak areas.

    Bottom line: The 2020 team will have about .75 of the talent of the 2019 team. If we win the West again, this time it will be a bloody, all-out, season long war! More than one and done in the playoffs? Not unless we beef up significantly at the Trade Deadline.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your comment but I disagree with your .75 premise.
      The Astros are much better at DH over what they began 2019 with.
      If Altuve is healthy for the first three months of the year, we are way better than we were at 2B.
      We are better with Straw and Tucker than we were with Marisnick, because they can hit and field, and combine for one third of Jake’s salary.
      Every other position player is the same except catcher and Stassi was horrible so anybody would be an improvement over him. That leaves starting catcher to iron out and it’s mid-December.
      Last year we started the season with JV, Cole, Miley, McHugh and Peacock in the rotation. This year we have JV, Greinke, LMJ, Urquidy and Peacock. I would agree Greinke is not as good a #2 starter as Cole was, but I like LMJ a lot more than Miley, I like Uquidy better than McHugh because McHugh was much wilder last year.and Peacock equals Peacock.
      Rondon and Devenski sucked last year and we didn’t have Joe Smith until July. I think our bullpen this year will be better than last year’s.
      The Astros are a good team. Remember that if Texas and Anaheim improve they will play better against us and be harder for us to beat, but they will be even harder for an Oakland team to beat, because Oakland hasn’t added anyone.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Diane thank for putting this mess in perspective. I can do nothing to make it better….and it’s eating me alive that I have let it occupy my every thought. It is my only earthly passion, maybe the Lord is telling ALL of us to “be still and know I am your God”. I’m still so sad that someone decided to break the rules to cheat. You can imagine how tired my husband is about hearing me rehash all this stuff! Bless his heart he allows me to vent without fussing me about it.
    I can’t imagine how all of this has affected this team. They are really good guys and they love this organization, this town and their fans. I hope it gets done quickly so they can get on with the off season and be ready to go in February, as well as all of us. I know the Lord will bring us through this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky, I know it hurts bad and you are a true blue (and orange) fan, so you will take it hard. You are usually chirpy and bright, so you deserve some downtime if you need it. If they “investigate” like they should, they will find this goes beyond the ‘Stros. But I can do nothing about that. In my own life, with issues at hand and threatening, I only know the Lord is all I’ve got and that’s literal. He’s all I’ve got.

      Like

  12. First it is Winter. Second, each of us believe we are a better general manager that the previous poster and the also the one following So here is my take. We still need a major league catcher. (The Red Sox won it all with Sandy Leon their primary catcher batting .177 and a negative WAR). From what I have seen, Tucker is not close to Reddick in RF as of today. If Josh relearns how he hit to Left again, he will do fine. (First half 2019 – .289/.328/.433/.761) Not All Star but not embarrassing. If he doesn’t, he will have to be replaced. And the bullpen still needs some help.

    And finally you don’t need to break up a team that was a couple hits from winning it all. If they fall apart in the first part of 2020, then start selling off parts

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jojanse Torres was added MLB#26 this week, as I mentioned he should be four months ago.

    My theory is that the Astros make suggestions about these rankings, because Torres was effectively hidden from those who don’t know our system well during R5. Similarly, Ross Adolph and Jayson Schroeder don’t belong, but one is “validating” a bad trade (Davis), and the other cost $1.25MM. If he is dropped off the list, he might never have value again, which in my view he is a bust anyway.

    Others more deserving than these, on the cusp though yet to crack Top 30–
    Brett Conine, Jairo Lopez, Vallente Bellozo, CJ Stubbs, Nate Perry, Dauri Lorenzo, Austin Hansen, Colt Shaver, Parker Mushinski.

    Darkhorses next season–
    Peyton Battenfield, Ryan Gusto, Franny Cobos, Yeremi Caballos, Felipe Tejada, Alex McKenna, Jake Meyers, Willie Collado, Brett Daniels, Jeremy Molero, Humberto Castellanos, Carlos Sanabria.

    Guys who won’t be ranked, but may get a call up–
    Ralph Garza, Nick Hernandez, Collin McKey, Chas McCormick, Nick Tanielu.

    Like

    • Thanks for the farm update Gostros1 – it is fun to see which one of these names will make it through the mine field of the minors to the big club.

      Like

      • I’ve heard the same thing, Op.

        Two guys who we didn’t hear much from last year were Heitor Tokar, and Alfredi Jimenez. I expect them to be solid risers. Not much out there on Reimy Beltre, but he intrigues me. Manny Ramirez has an electric arm, but cannot harness it yet.

        I liked the 7th Round pick from UT, Blair Henley. And Garrett Gayle from Rice. Alex Palmer, 20th Round from SFA might be the latest pick to make it from ’19 draft.

        Still waiting word on Jairo Solis. You’d think with twitter video of McCullers re-hab and instant updates, we’d hear something about Solis?

        Like

    • There was debate Torres time in MIL made him R5 eligible — I guess he wasn’t, and that is why he was not taken.

      He is definitely one to watch by mid-season. Torres, Paredes and Dubin are all flame throwers.

      Cristian Javier, Tyler Ivey, Forrest Whitley and Brandon Bielak are ready, but with Martes, Armenteros Sneed Valdez Abreu Peacock Urquidy James vying for two rotation spots (and the likelihood a few will slip down into the bullpen), the Astros may not want to rush them.

      Like

  14. Devan Fink (https://twitter.com/DevanFink) from Fangraphs ranked Top rotations previously, and Astros were 7th.

    Here is his projected WAR for bullpens:

    1. Rays — 5.3
    2. Yankees — 5.2
    3. Padres — 4.9
    4. Astros — 4.6
    5. Brewers — 4.6
    6. Mets — 4.4
    7. Braves — 4.3
    8. Dodgers — 3.7
    9. Twins — 3.6
    10. Athletics — 3.6

    Like

    • I’m no WAR expert, so those numbers don’t mean much to me at this point, but if we end up in the 7th and 4th range from our pitching staff, we’re already loaded offensively and we’ve got a mostly excellent defense. Things could be worse.

      Like

  15. In 2020 [barring a suspension], what do I expect from:

    1. George Springer? [.275/.350/.825 with 28 HR and 78 RBI];
    2. Jose Altuve? [.320/.360/.810 with 24 HR and 65 RBI];
    3. Mike Brantley? [.310/.365/.780 with 20 HR and 82 RBI];
    4. Carlos Correa? [.265/.335/.815 with 25 HR and 70 RBI];
    5. Alex Bregman? [.280/.390/.895 with 35 HR and 98 RBI];
    6. Yordan Alvarez? [.265/.335/.795 with 23 HR and 65 RBI] (sophomore slump);
    7. Yuli Gurriel? [.290/.330/.800 with 24 HR and 70 RBI];
    8. Josh Reddick? [.255/.3o5/.705 with 10 HR and 35 RBI];
    9. Kyle Tucker [.274/.340/.875 with 18 HR and 50 RBI]
    10. Catcher Position [.225/.285/680 with 12 HR and 38 RBI].

    Like

    • Mr. Bill – I know you are a kind of half full kind of semi-pessimist, but you have predicted down seasons in HR and RBI for everyone but Correa (who played half a season) and Tucker who had less than 100 ABs.

      That seems a little unlikely doesn’t it?

      Like

      • The reason is a little cynical, Dan. If they have really been cheating, they will have to play it straight next year. I also think we’ll see better pitching in the division.

        Like

      • But mostly I am just trying to get some conversation about baseball started – and welcome all who disagree with those figures to post their own. If I am conservative enough, I know I’ll get some flack. Of course, it is no secret that I will be hoping those who insist the numbers will be better are right, and that I am wrong.

        Like

      • Thanks for something to chew on – Bill
        Dan’s thoughts – I only have a few minutes so I will do a simplistic preview of next season. (The one thing we don’t know is who will use this cheating scandal to take it out on the league and who will try so hard that they regress)

        Altuve – Jose will be up. He showed in the second half of the season that once he got his sea legs back that he was cranking and I expect him to play more than 124 games – let’s see – 35 HRs – 90 RBIs

        Springer – George will be playing for a contract (we assume). He hopefully will play more than 122 games. But I think he will be hard pressed to be on the pace he was last season – let’s say he is a push – 40 HR / 100 RBIs

        Brantley – That was a career type year for Michael – I think he will be good, but will regress a bit and maybe miss some time 17 HR / 75 RBI

        Bregman – He was so darned good last season (though not as good with RISP) it is hard to see him improve much (BUT HE’S ONLY 26!!). OK – up a tic to 45 HRs – 120 RBIs

        Correa – It is put up or shut up time for Carlos. I think this will be his most complete season – 35 HRs / 105 RBIs

        Gurriel – I love Yuli, but he will be 36 y.o. – I think a little regression and maybe some missed time – 22 HRs / 70 RBIs

        Reddick – Just my opinion 0 HR / 0 RBI for this team

        Alvarez – I think some regression may have been showing up at the end of the season and the playoffs or the young man was getting tired. I don’t think he will hit at the same rate as last season, but I think he will play in more than 87 mlb games – 35 HR / 95 RBIs

        Tucker – If he hit like he did last season over 450 ABs, he would have 27 HRs and 74 RBIs. We will pull back from that a bit and say the youngster will hit 20 HRs with 55 RBIs

        Unknown catcher tandem – I paged back the last 8 seasons and the worst production the Astros had from the catcher position was 17 HRs and 63 RBIs. So, I’ll toss out 15 HRs and 55 RBIs

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good news, if you just look at George Springer you’ll see that in 2019 his splits were:

        Home: .287 / .366 / .565 18HR 47 RBI .932 OPS
        Away: .297 / .398 / .614 21HR 49 RBI 1.012 OPS

        That’s just one player. How about MVP runner-up Alex Bregman:

        Home: .278 / .400 / .523 16HR 50RBI .923 OPS
        Away: .315 / .446 / .663 25HR 62RBI 1.109 OPS

        When you know what pitch is coming it increases your odds of success tremendously. If the Astros were using this advanced cheating system in anything other than an experimental nature we need to fire their IT staff. I’m not worried how they’ll perform next year.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL, Devin! I have been saying all along that if we were really cheating at home, we are absolutely the least effective cheaters the world has ever seen, and the league is doing us a tremendous favor – and the other teams in the league who play in our park a great disservice – in putting a stop to it.

        Like

      • I’d be very pleased to see an OPS of .875 from Tucker. If he keeps it there, we’ll end up with quite a few more RBI’s than 50 from him. And I suspect Bill, that we will indeed see some regression in a couple of areas, but we’ve still got other guys that will have big years.

        Like

  16. Important factors in the Astros’ success in 2020:

    1. Can Altuve, Springer, Correa, Bregman, Brantley, Verlander, Greinke and McCullers all stay healthy;
    2. Can Urquidy step into, and handle well, the 4th spot in the rotation [and perhaps ultimately 3rd, if McCullers falters or cannot stay healthy];
    3. Can one of the trio of Abreu, Martes, or Whitley [a]. break into the rotation as starter #5, and [b] keep an ERA under 3.50 and a WHIP under 1.25?
    4. Can Josh James, Brad Peacock, or Rogelio Armenteros pitch for us in the 7th 90% as well as Will Harris did last year?
    5. Does Tucker have what it takes to succeed at the MLB level?
    6. How much regression/sophomore slump will Yordan Alvarez suffer?
    7. How much does Yuli Gurriel still have in the tank?

    Like

    • Bill, I’ll keep it going.

      1. No, there will be some injuries. But we are a deep organization. It sure does depend on the degree of those injuries as to how we cope.
      2. I sure liked Urquidy on the mound in the World Series. I’m very comfortable with him in the rotation. But the club will not let him go more than 140 or so innings in the regular season, so other arms will have to play a role too. I think we’ll see quite a few guys start games in 2020.
      3. I don’t see Martes having an impact. Abreu might get a pen job early. I’m still dubious about Whitley. What if he got traded? What if he becomes the guy everyone thinks he can be?
      4. I’m not convinced Will Harris won’t be back.
      5. We’ll finally find out about Tucker!
      6. A sophomore slump from Yordan will still easily give us the best stats we’ve ever had from a DH.
      7. Yuli is a young old guy.

      Like

  17. You’d think with all the hype about Gerrit Cole signing with the Yankees and all of the associated fanfare You’d think a reincarnated Babe Ruth, Joe Dimagio, Lou Gehring and Mickey Mantle were going to play next year. Not that I wish bad for Cole but I hope the Yankees fall flat on their proverbial pinstripes. This also means if I want to watch a baseball game on the local networks it’ll be either the Yankees, Red Sox or Braves. Thank goodness for upcoming renewal of my MLB Astros subscription which means I get to watch about 152 games next season. To all of those other teams trying to win a World Series I hope that I can say in October, “close but no cigar”.

    Like

  18. I read an article on astros daily about Garrit Cole this afternoon. I don’t know who the guy S who wrote it, but he must be with the Chronicle, his name is Mike Mazzeo. In the article Cole was asked about the scandal surrounding our team, he said he never saw anything about chating. “I didn’t see anything illegal, and I haven’t been questioned by MLB because I really wasn’t involved and fortunate I’m kind of on the outside of it”. He had to shave his beard and cut his hair (Jake still has his beautiful locks)….just watching him get introduced to the media made me very teary-eyed, he will quickly find out if he stumbles all will NOT be forgiven. As we saw last year when New York *HAD* to have Sony Gray, and when he had a couple of not so great starts, they had him on the trading block by the end of June. Beware Garrit…….the Yankees organization and the Yankee fans, ain’t like the Houston Astros. No news is good news about adding a catcher I guess. This mess stings like hell. Becky⚾

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s