Astros 2021: The holes in their game

After an encouraging start to their road trip where the Astros knocked off the division-leading Oakland A’s in 2-out-of-3 games and took over first place in the AL West, the team limps home with its tail between its legs after a sweep by the lowly Texas Rangers.

The Rangers, who are not as lowly as they were before they played the Astros, took all three games of the series with late rallies, including two in extra innings. The Astros slid from a 1/2 game up in the division to 1-1/2 games behind the A’s as they prepare for a tough nine-game home stand against the Dodgers (29-18), Padres (30-17) and Red Sox (29-19). Those three teams just happen to have the three best records in major league baseball as we start this week.

Today we will take a quick look at some holes in the Astros’ game(s) as we chug towards the end of the 2nd month of the season.

The Power Outage. While it has not affected their ability to score runs, the lack of power from the Astros has forced them to string a lot more hits, walks, etc., to put together crooked number rallies. The Astros are tied for 10th in the AL in home runs with 52. More disturbing has been the lack of power lately from some of their better hitters. Michael Brantley has 1 home run in his last 34 games, Alex Bregman has 1 HR in his last 20 games, Carlos Correa has 1 HR in his last 14 games, and Yordan Alvarez has 1 HR in his last 13 games. It’s taking a lot of effort to score multiple runs lately.

In the past, the Astros sometimes seemed to be waiting for a 3 run homer to kick start their offense, but that is not happening this year for good or bad.

Note – Fallacy. Despite how it feels, the Astros are not a bad club with runners in scoring position. They have the fourth-best BA (.263) with runners in scoring position in the AL and have scored the most runs (192). With RISP and two outs, they have the 4th best BA (.247), and they have scored the 3rd most runs (71).

Shallow Bullpen. Right now about the only time fans don’t wince when there is a call to the bullpen is when they call on Ryan Pressly (even though he gave up the winning run with the 2nd base extra-inning head start on Sunday), Kent Emanuel, and frankly Brooks Raley. After being terrible for the early part of the year, Raley has given up only one run in his last seven outings, and that one scored when neither Brantley nor Myles Straw could catch a popup both could have caught. Ryne Stanek, Bryan Abreu, Andre Scrubb, and Enoli Paredes (10 walks in 3.1 innings!!!) have all had control problems that have led to too many freebie runners that have become cheap runs. Brandon Bielak has been decent, and Joe Smith has been better lately. But still, this is not the bullpen of a couple seasons ago with Roberto Osuna, Will Harris, Pressly, Hector Rondon and Smith. Now maybe the return of Jake Odorizzi and Framber Valdez will allow Luis Garcia and/or a Cristian Javier to give a boost to the pen. Right now, it is tough when the bullpen is needed heavily for a few games in a row, which brings us to…..

Who Is Going to Show Up – Starters. Cristian Javier has been all over the place on innings, going 5, 5.1, 7,6 and then 4.2 innings in his last five starts. Zack Greinke went 4 innings in 3 straight starts and then pitched 7 and 8 innings the last couple of times out. Lance McCullers went from 6 to 8 innings every game to barely getting through 5 innings (105 pitches) in his last start. Jose Urquidy had been pretty consistent at getting fairly deep into the games, and then, of course, he got injured in a 3.2 inning appearance.  The fifth spot has been normally someone like Luis Garcia, who has done well but has not been expected to go deep. The bottom line is that the Astros never know how many innings they will need out of their spotty bullpen because they are not always sure how deep their starters will go. Will this change when Framber Valdez and Jake Odorizzi return? That may be a yes, and a no, as Valdez generally goes deeper in games than Jake O.

“That” Spot. Everyone, but apparently GM James Click, knew the Astros would not get a good season in center out of Myles Straw after George Springer left. Straw has been about what the fans expected at the plate, lots of speed, no power and not enough hits. He has been pretty bad in the field, posting negative numbers in most fielding stats. Now it is true that Straw has done more this season than the injured Springer has, but it feels like Straw’s spot may be one that gets filled more and more by Chas McCormick or someone from down on the farm (Jose Siri?).

A Hole in the Dugout? Managers can and are second-guessed a lot. Anybody who makes a zillion decisions a game is bound to be wrong a bunch, and when you have a bullpen that is half-filled with gas cans, you will make wrong decisions quite a bit. But some basics just need to be covered. Why does Jason Castro, who pounds rightys have as many ABs against the righties and does against the lefties he doesn’t? Why did he start Tyler Ivey Friday night when he could have started McCullers with his normal rest? Why does he not use some of his multi-inning type relievers (like Bielak or Emanuel) for multiple innings when his starter is going so few innings? Why are the Astros pulling so many boners on the bases and in the field and not seemingly getting coached out of it? Well, I’m sure my loyal readers have other holes they would like to discuss here. But the Astros better do a better job in the next 9 games, or they could roll downhill in a hurry.


67 comments on “Astros 2021: The holes in their game

    • I was reading the comments on this. It’s pretty pathetic. Kind of like the political climate in our country right now (and no I’m not throwing that out for discussion). Same with golf whether it’s Patrick Reed’s cheating or Brooks Koepka complaining about the unruly crowd. In today’s age of Technology it gives people something to talk and complain about as opposed to just enjoying the sporting events as we used to do. Oh do I yearn for the “good old days”.
      As for the Astros, they better plug those leaks before they sink faster than a rowboat with bucket size holes in an alligator infested swamp.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. MLB, singled out our Astros while knowing full well that just about all of the teams were cheating as well. They certainly want to protect the good guy image of the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It is purely the financial end that is getting protected with the big market media teams. I was texting back and forth with my kids about this….
      MLB: We like to follow the NCAA format. The more Ohio State and Alabama cheat, the more we have to punish Western Kentucky and Arkansas-Pine Bluff….

      Liked by 2 people

    • The difference is that MLB had a confession from Mike Fiers implicating Houston. Until forced to release evidence against any of the other clubs they clearly have no plans to do so. This likely means some of their evidence isn’t strong enough to stand up without player confessions as we all saw what happened with Boston. Going back to the article, however, it’s speaking mostly to the 2018 playoffs. You’ll recall the Astros players were 100% certain that the Dodgers hitters had all their signs and were receiving information about what was coming during the 2017 World Series. In the 2018 playoffs, the Brewers were certain the Dodgers and Rockies were both stealing their signs illegally and made complaints…which went no where. In 2019, the Brewers amped up their sign stealing during games but all anecdotal evidence I’ve heard points to old fashioned methods rather than using zoomed in cameras. The reason Houston needed to get punished is that we were quickly entering into an escalating arms race of who can cheat better. As a fan, knowing that other teams we faced in the playoffs over the last half decade were doing the same things and got off without so much as a warning and even had the audacity to cry and complain to the public about our team is stomach turning though.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Framber’s return will be huge for us and allow a present starter to go to the bullpen. In my opinion, I would bring up Siri now for better or worse. (How can it be worse than what is in CF now? Perhaps bring Leon to AAA?

    Liked by 1 person

      • I was not there, but it is interesting to compare watching a game today and listening to game back when. ” Al Gionfriddo jumped high in the air and took a home run away from Joe DiMaggio in the 1947 World Series.” 5 years later I went to Beaumont and saw the Fort Worth Cats. As a very small child, I was told that he was the guy that took away the Home Run from Joe DiMaggio. See for yourself.

        Now re-watch the video starting at 1:00 minute. You can see he was about 3 steps from the fence and does not jump at all.


  3. I’m not really worried about the power outage. But MLB is adjusting to the Astros. Alvarez is the clearest example. He’s frustrated. He’s lost his best asset. His patience. 5 walks and 43 K’s? He needs to take what is given to him even if it means leading the club in walks. Other guys will hit with him on base.

    I doubt Baker had much to do with bringing Ivey in for the opener on Friday. And unless he is not listening to Strom, I mostly blame the pen for the pen sucking. But I sure would have given Pressly the 10th on Friday after throwing only 10 pitches in the 9th. That saving him for another game mentality by Baker helped us get swept. You’ve got to try to win that opener with your best guy out there.

    I think our 13 best and least worst pitchers are as follows in no particular order.


    I’d like to see them all working at the same time. Even so, a couple of these guys won’t make it through the season. A couple more will get hurt. We’ll need help from below. GoStros1, which kid(s) that throws heat and strikes is going have an impact this summer ?

    If we go 5 and 4 on this homestand, I’ll be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bermudez would surprise everyone if he ever plays MLB. I’ve had nice things to say over the yrs but he hadn’t struck me as one of the main ones to watch in CC til now. I did a top 30 draft in 2019, and was real impressed by some film on him, placed him #23 and a few guys talked me out of it before final draft. Anything could happen, I suppose.

      Ran across these notes on draft day, after Elias said Astros target players that can help them, not necessarily RHP/LHP, said to get a good lefty you have to “go up and pay premium.”…

      The Astros selected their first left-handed pitcher, Jonathan Bermudez, in the 23rd round with the 702nd overall pick. A Southeastern University product out of Lakeland, Fla., Bermudez was named the NAIA’s Pitcher of Year — going 15-2 with a 1.95 ERA and 153 strikeouts, setting school records in wins and strikeouts.

      23rd round, I can’t recall anyone making good that late besides Josh James. Of course there was James’ roommate who the Rays took from us in Rule 5, who shut us down in the ALCS. He was a 23rd rounder in 2014. Ryan Thompson.

      I guess the more intriguing lefties are; Scheetz, Peck, JP Lopez. Kit Scheetz Relief being the closest to a “surprise” callup.

      Blake Taylor had a good first outing in rehab of his ankle. I think we can all agree he was supposed to be more dominant this yr? He should be back after a few more games.

      If you’re asking for Who to Watch for, you probably won’t like the answer for immediate help. I thought Ivey deserved the opportunity, even going back to 2019, but I never had him as high as most. He was always like Bielak in a mid-rotation hopeful that may take a few yrs as a Bridge Starter first. Both lack true wipeout pitches just yet.

      On relief, the problem is the 40-man roster. The guys who are the hottest aren’t on it; Torres Conine Garza Blanco, or injured; Solis, Whitley. That leaves Shawn Dubin who “lights up the Rapsodo”, Nivaldo with the best curveball in the system, Pete Solomon who strikes me as similar to Ivey at this point, and nobody is getting back to me on Austin Hansen leaving the game wincing.

      I notice Gibson is out at Rangers to miss 2 starts, if you look at MIA their best prospect Sixto sounds exactly like what’s happened to Baez, first a positive test then shoulder inflammation. The bottom line as predicted, it’s going to take 25-30 pitchers to complete a season and some are going to be much worse than others. As we saw playing the Rangers who had a GREAT approach, it really depends the comps your playing too, and not just individual stats. I rather thought Ivey would have a better time of it, but keep in mind TEX beat LMJ and Greinke first, and Ivey’s starts we were in it til the bitter end.

      The offense has to step up to support pitching, though!

      Max Muncy had been in a deep slump, but fueling LAD latest win streak. The fundamentals are just too good for Yordan to continue his slide. Perhaps the Yankees and Astros BOTH had the look-aheads on TEX? All the motivation should be back tonight!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. In rehab news…..
    Framber Valdez on Sunday threw 4 innings of scoreless ball – 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 Ks for Sugar Land
    Blake Taylor – same game – 1 inning of scoreless ball – 1 hit, 0 walks, 0 Ks
    Jake Odorizzi on Monday threw 4.2 IP of scoreless ball – 5 hits, 0 walks and 7 Ks for the Skeeters


    • Mark Berman has been doing really well lately covering our guys.

      Blake’s assessment of things:


  5. Yeah – I am not sure how I feel about my thought about the power shortage. They are scoring the most runs per game in the majors. It just seems like sometimes when they’ve scored a run to go ahead in a close game – that a nice 3 run dinger by Bregman to pull away is what is missing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I imagine Dusty and Click aren’t overly concerned given we have the best run differential in the AL, but I’d be concerned with our late game performances. Clearly we don’t want the team to obsess over losses, but the Rangers’ series featured winnable games that we let slip away or gave away. I hope as we get into the second half of the season and most importantly the last quarter Dusty puts an emphasis on doing the little things to win those games. The turn it on when you get to October thing almost worked last year, but I’d rather just do it the old fashioned way and win with good, consistent play throughout the year.


  6. Dan, I could not agree more with your assessment regarding the Hole in the Dugout. Player wise, I am surprised at Pressley and his lack of effort and recognition of where he is on the field. Examples, the last homestand where he failed to cover home or third during the A’s player’s dash around to score from first during that hit to left when Correa had to hold the ball and then the last game of the recent Rangers series when he didn’t move out of the way of the ball hit to Altuve and Altuve hit Pressley with the attempted throw to the plate… Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sarge I agree but it is not limited to Pressley. This is not a very smart team OR this is not a well coached team. Pick one or both. Most baseball decisions are made BEFORE the pitch. If it is hit to me, or hit to him, or it is a fly ball, etc. etc. If you react when the ball is hit, you are too late. Blummer made note last game that fielders are on their toes before the pitch. Keep throwing balls and your defense gets tired and goes to sleep on you. If a ball is hit in the infield, all three outfielders need to start coming in to see if they need to back up a play, or participate in a rundown. Bottom line, a ball in the infield and there is going to be NOTHING in the outfield short of an overthrow. As to the Yankees dash around the bases, Dusty said it was Yuli that forgot to cover home. Either he or Pressley or both needed to move as there was no play going to happen at first. You never have to tag anyone out on the pitcher’s mount I see bad coaching and I could be very wrong. Same thing is true when a pitcher is late to first. ANY BALL hit to the right side, you start running to first. Don’t wait to see who catches it or where it goes. It is automatic with pitchers that field their position well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In the last game, 4th inning I think. Lowe hits a single to right. Tucker fields it and throws to Altuve. Altuve throws to first to get Lowe going back to the bag. However Yuli is standing 10 feet off the bag, watching the play. He failed to go back to first so he could make a play, if it came his way. You can teach 10 year old kids to stand in the gaps before the pitch and then go to a bag. Any bag. That is where the put out will be made. (I am not picking on Yuli. I have seen outfielders throw behind runners. Cardinal baseball mistakes this year)

        Liked by 2 people

      • Tucker has made a couple boners lately – The one I remember right now was he hit a line drive to the 3rd baseman and stopped running because it should have been caught. Well, the guy bungled it and it bounced off him to the pitcher. Tucker barely beat the ball to first and he should have been safe by a mile. You don’t assume anything. Oh yeah – the other one was where he got picked off by like 5 feet at first.
        Bregman makes throwing errors by never putting impossible plays in his back pocket and holding the ball.
        Guys not covering bases, backing up bases, successfully bunting, etc. etc.
        Lots of mental booboos this year.
        I wonder if they spend so much time on feeding these guys statistical stuff that they don’t spend much time on the basics.
        I know back in the day, Bidge and Bags would have straightened everyone up in a kangaroo court, but I don’t know who would run that these days.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Seems apparent to me they don’t have time, or cannot get as much “facetime” with corona, or there’s so much video to be aware of, that other teams we’re playing too look hapless on defense.

        Never more obvious in the minors, considering the time off and players suddenly put together and expected to be a Unit. Lots and lots of mental and boneheaded defense. Pick your poison on ‘why,’ and how you should spend your time preparing most.

        I recall in 2019 when we called up Mayfield. Espada worked with him all afternoon, not even knowing if he’d be playing. As it turned out, Jack played SS and made the game saving, diving play. Thank goodness Joe had time for him that day, but how much of that still goes on, when you want to maximize time with best players?

        When asked who was supposed to cover home, I believe Dusty said shifting isn’t something he knows much about, so I can imagine it opens to some confusion if the bench coaches don’t handle it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Plesac is out at CLE for “aggressively taking off his shirt.”

      Michael Brantley is not in today’s Astros lineup against Clayton Kershaw. Dusty Baker says Brantley has “general leg soreness” after playing on the turf at Globe Life Field this weekend. Baker says Brantley should be back in the lineup tomorrow.

      So, that’s it. “Leg soreness” for playing on their turf… wow. Is this common for other players and Globe Life Turf?

      I’m left shaking my head looking at all these injuries in MLB.
      70 Tommy Johns already in 2021, not counting the minors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just to tag on to your comment that poor baseball decisions go through the system. Tonight, the second baseman for Corpus was playing in with a runner on 3rd. He gets a ground ball, the runner stops half way home. He does not make him return to the bag. Throws to first and the run scores. Even the announcers couldn’t figure out what the second baseman was doing.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Under “That Spot.” Jake Meyers is playing CF in Sugar Land. His career batting stats are not great. He is hitting very well this year. As to power, he only has 5 home runs where Myles Straw had 4 home runs in 5 years in the minors. Well, Jake has 5 THIS YEAR. MILB TV runs with only 2 cameras so you don’t get to see a lot. So not sure how he handles the outfield. But from what I have seen, he would be adequate. And Jose Siri has better hitting stats this year.


  8. I slept well. It would have been another painful one to watch. I actually feel sorry for Alvarez. He’s battling his first real ML slump. The base on balls affliction seems to have impacted everyone at this point.

    The Astros remain just one game out. Healthy pitchers are coming back soon. That’s got to help, right?


    • It is weird – I was a lot more upset with the losses to the Rangers than last night. Once Greinke gave up that dink two run single, I figured we were Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
      Well I was upset by the walks….
      4th inning – Greinke walks Betts then gives up a homer to Turner
      6th inning – after giving up a 2 out single, Greinke walks the bases loaded and gives up a single to center for two more runs
      7th inning the Dodgers score without the help of a walk, though a wild pitch by Joe Smith brings in the run
      8th inning – the piece de resistance – a single, HBP and walk load the bases and 3 walks bring in 3 runs
      9th inning – a walk, single, walk load the bases and a force out brings in the run
      I wonder how bad Bauer will make us look tonight?
      I hope Emanuel is OK but I fear another good arm going to the IL.
      Scrubb probably signed his ticket back to the minors last night. Four walks paired with four outs is not a good sign.


  9. Greinke’s fourth inning is the most confusing. He mowed down the Dodgers and was hitting all the corners and suddenly couldn’t find the plate. The team seemed to disappear right there and the rest of the night was sleep-walking.
    How’s that for a pun?

    Liked by 2 people

      • I’m not in favor of having a CF hitting .379. What challenge is there in having someone like that in the lineup? Having a CF hitting .220 with no power builds character throughout the team.
        (Brought to you by

        Liked by 2 people

    • Considering Leon was hitting sub-Maldonado to start the season – it is great to see him heating up. A lot for that kid to absorb and rust to knock off after not playing for a long time with his switch from Cuba and the COVID knockout of last season


  10. So, I must bring back a nice comment from Mr. Bill in the last post….

    Mr. Bill
    MAY 24, 2021 @ 11:22 AM
    The Astro’s Bullpen’s ‘Walk-Up’ Medley now also features:
    Walkin’ to New Orleans;
    Walkin’ the Dog;
    Walkin’ on Sunshine;
    Walk Like an Egyptian;
    Walking in Memphis;
    Walk like a Man;
    I Walk the Line[up]; and
    Walk Away.

    And some add-on from Dan P

    The Walk-er Brothers – The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore (When we go to the bullpen)
    – Walk This Way (or that way or every which way)
    – Walk on the Wild Side
    – Walk on By (first base and touch second, third and home)
    – You’ll Never Walk Alone (we will walk a lot of your teammates)


  11. I think Joe Smith’s time as a major league pitcher are over.
    Does anyone remember when the Astros used a tandem system in the minors, when nobody had to worry about pitching more than five innings and there was no room on a minor league roster for relievers? Now, we have major league pitchers who don’t go more than five innings and no reliable relievers.
    It’s almost like we trained them not to act like major league pitchers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My list yesterday did not include old Joe as one of our best/least worst pitchers. 29 baserunners in 14.1 innings. Three of them dingers, 3 of them HBP. And 2 wild pitches.

      Righties have a 1.169 OPS, a .422 BA, a .480 OBP and a .689 SLG against him. He’s a rally maker! I don’t care about sample size. 19 games is enough.

      I don’t think he worked on his game in 2020 when he sat. Harder to get it back at his age.

      But wasn’t our GM going to address the pen this week? Did he tell them he loved them in spite of all?


      • Click uses the English language the same as Luhnow. But he uses too many words that have a singular meaning. Jeff left you thinking “which way did he mean that?”

        Click did say “address” so maybe a couple minor leaugers got a letter or an email.


  12. Driving home from the second day I’ve spent at work in the last year – I heard the following:
    – Valdez and Odorizzi join the rotation this weekend
    – McCullers to the IL with a sore shoulder (they don’t expect long, but….)
    – Brantley won’t play until Friday at the soonest (methinks that the guy who has hit one homerun in 34 games may be worse off than has been let on)
    – Cristian Javier to the bullpen
    – I heard a partial about Ralph Garza coming up – maybe Emanuel going to the IL?) don’t know


    • I’m happy for Ralph, especially what he’s gone through losing his mother. They say what we saw in Spring was indication of his stuff really improving. Yet another Jim Stevenson special from OU.

      Here’s another example of a bad farm churning out players that nobody ever ranked. I wrote on twitter this morning, is there a chance they go vet Garza or Blanco before Conine and Torres? Sure enough, they went so far as to 60-day James effectively taking off 40-man, and giving it to Garza!

      Now that folks is bold. And a re-commitment to doubling down with the men working hard as prospects.


      • As I texted my sons – I would accept any help for the bullpen – someone who could get some people out as the bullpen has given up 13 walks and 17 hits in the last 15 innings if I heard right on the radio.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I saw a few of Garza’s games a couple years ago on TV. He looked serviceable. He has cut down on his walks and still able to strike out a few. I will give him a chance until he comes in and walks the bases full each time.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s starting to look like the big battle for the Astros in 2021 is going to be getting into the post season at all. And winning the west might be an easier path than via a wild card. Regardless, so far anyway, we are certainly not a lock.

    We have holes and not much financial flexibility to fill them. I don’t know who we might trade for what we really need. And I don’t know who might be willing to help us get better either. So it seems that multiple so far unidentified in house guys are going to have to play a role at some point.

    That could be a lot of fun. But one of these years we’re going to go home at the end of the regular season. We’ve gotten a bit spoiled.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Got lucky. What the Hell was Abreu doing in there? If we’d had lost I’d say fire Dusty. I’m not so sure he shouldn’t be gone anyway. I just have little confidence in his management. I just think there’s more to this than we know. On the other hand a win is a win.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Pressley was unavailable due to a sore neck and Alvarez was unavailable due to a sore wrist that he suffered at his last at bat on Tuesday night.


  14. Blummer was saying that Straw should bunt because the third baseman was playing way back and it would be an easy run for Yuli to score. Well Straw must have heard him as he laid down a perfect bunt but that was the second mistake Yuli made on the base pads tonight. The attempted stolen base was the other.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Nice to watch Garcia growing up before our eyes. That was a pretty big game to win. I sure hope Pressly is just taking a mini vacation for that sore neck and not getting ready to head off on the IL. I think Alvarez needed a mini vacation. Glad we have Javier taking a chair out there in the pen. I don’t dislike many people, but Bauer qualifies as one of them. Even watching the condensed game this morning, it’s pretty clear these two clubs don’t like each other.


  16. Kyle Tucker has climbed back to respectability in less than a month.

    In his last 28 days he’s hit .293, .396, .549, .945. I’m most impressed by the .396 OBP and the fact that he’s walked 14 times and struck out just 15. Yordan needs to get back to being the disciplined hitter we all know. He should look at what Tucker is doing.

    If we get all three of our lefties going at the same time, then we’ll be humming again at the plate.


  17. At the top of the blog we talk power outage and at the bottom of the blog we talk about beating the Dodgers with three home runs.
    The key to success is to sit down on the couch for some therapy. We handled the power outage by talking it out.
    The interesting thing about the Barefoot article in Baseball America is that the writer is Chandler Rome of the Chronicle. Interesting because I can never read his stuff because I refuse to pay for something on the worldwide web.
    With Putila doing Barefoot’s PR, I kind of take it with a grain of salt because Putila is Director of Propaganda for the Astros.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. For those following our “rehabs”, Urquidy pitched in Corpus last night. It was similar to a pitcher’s first outing in Spring Training. He was on a strict pitch count. So he was removed mid-inning. He was rusty and Double A batters could hit him. But he looked sound physically.


  19. I was reading McTaggart’s column on the pitching/bull pen situation. Yes it seems like Odorizzi, Valdez, and Urquidy are all scheduled to rejoin the team within the next 4 days. With LMJ out for who knows how long that will get us to 6 starters (Greinke, Garcia, Javier, Odorizzi, Valdez, Urquidy, and 7 if you count LMJ). I don’t think it should be a given that Garcia and/or Javier should necessarily be relegated to the bull pen. Unless Odorizzi regains his form maybe he should be the long relief guy. Maybe we should go to a six man rotation. BTW who is Ralph Garza? He’s on the 25 man roster but he has no stats. Has he even pitched?

    Then you have those on the 60day IL (Josh James, Austin Pruitt, and Pedro Baez). Where will they fit in? I’ve got 4 candidates for replacement/release or something (Scrubb, Paredes, Abreu, and Joe Smith). I assume that the first 3 can be sent back to the minors but Smith is getting $4MM and has pretty much stunk up the place with an ERA of 6.28, a WHIP of 1.81 and a batting average against him of .377.

    Any thoughts out there fellow commenters?


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