Today, Dan P takes a few questions from Dan P.
Should Ryan Pressly ever be used for more than a one inning save? OK, ever and never are maybe too encompassing terms, but consider this. In 2021, six times he has pitched more than one inning. In those six appearances, he has given up 7 runs (5 earned) in 8.2 IP and only went scoreless once. On the other hand, in his other 32 appearances (30 one inning spots, one 0.1 inning and one 0.0 inning), he has given up ZERO runs.
So hopefully, Dusty got the message and relies on Pressly for one great inning at a time.
Do the Astros have an ace and do they need one? The idea of an Astros ace has been kind of a liquid situation this year. At times, the highest paid (actually playing) player on the team, Zack Greinke, has stepped up like the ace and took the team deep into games and gave the bullpen a rest. But of the seven guys who have started most of the games this year, his ERA is the second-worst. Lance McCullers had run off a bunch of very good starts in a row and then had another semi-meltdown on Wednesday night. Framber Valdez came off the IL and demonstrated the ace stuff he had shown in 2020, especially in the playoffs. But he seemed to lose a little grip on his control after the league started policing the stick ‘em stuff. Luis Garcia has been really good, and Jose Urquidy has been mostly good and now injured, but you don’t want to put that kind of pressure on such youngsters. Jake Odorizzi has been better than how he started off but is still capable of a stinker here and there. So, the first answer is they don’t really have an ace.
Do they need one? A lot of teams would love to have seven starters (including Cristian Javier) where six have very good ERA’s between 2.86 and 3.58, with the seventh having a very acceptable 4.05 ERA. They got within one late rally of the World Series with basically the same starters, less Jake, in 2020. Yes, it is nice to have a Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole or even Max Scherzer to match up against the other team’s top guy. But,of course I have as many World Series wins as JV does and GC is still waiting for that 7th game bullpen call out.
Can it be ten years? It was mid-summer 2011. The Astros were well on their way to the first of three 105+ loss seasons. The major league team was awful. The farm teams were not much better and the Astros reached past AAA to AA to bring up three minor leaguers who might give them more than they were getting from some really bad veterans. J.D. Martinez had been tearing up AA and was below average with the Astros until they gave up on him….and he went nuts for the Red Sox. Jimmy Paredes was doing OK and went on to a career as a light-hitting utility man in the majors, in Japan, in Korea, in the Dominican, in Mexico and with the Independent league. But the man who was tearing things up even more than Martinez was a tiny mite named Jose Altuve, who in 87 games between A+ and AA ball was slashing .389 BA/ .426 OBP/ 1.017 OPS with 10 homers, 59 RBIs and 24 SBs. It took him a few years to really establish himself, but he has been outstanding for this team. Comparing him today vs. Hall of Famer Craig Biggio through a similar amount of games between 1988 and 1997…..
A couple things to remember. One, this includes a number of years with Biggio behind the plate, which had to knock down his production a bit. Two, all of this section of Bidge’s career was spent in the Astrodome, which definitely knocked down his power production a bit. But, Jose is producing as good or better than a Hall of Famer through this much of his career. And, yes, it has been 10 seasons.
Do you have any questions for Dan P?