Multi-Verse? Multi-Choice? Whatever

As I morph older and older, I find that I am turning into my parents. Good people living in a world that is not catering to them. Sometimes it is the gazillion ways people choose to be “social” these days, though I assume that anyplace that tosses you because they don’t like your opinion is not that social.

Other times it is the way that folks choose to be entertained. My wife, son and I watch most things that we have DVR’d on cable or selected from a vast collection of DVDs. I know, I know, I can subscribe here and there and have someone else store what I want. Of course, then I am at their mercy of what they actually let me access at the time I want to access it. And the way the world is going, they might choose to toss me off their “service” for not being aligned with their agendas. No, if I want to watch 12 Angry Men tonight, I can watch it tonight (if I can find it in my vast collection of DVDs, but that is another problem for another post).

And then there is this deal with the new movies being created for entertainment. It seems that for every movie made with an adult theme and real human interaction, there are a hundred made about this or that superhero, any possible combination of those superheroes, and, of course, an infinite number of sequels or prequels to milk as many as possible from the same basic ideas and CGI. There is something called multi-verse involved, but I neither have tried to understand that term nor have the inkling to understand it.

So, today the focus of this post will be a Multi, I understand. Multi-choice. Please enjoy and chime in….

  1. What happens when the next starting pitcher (likely Jake Odorizzi) returns?
    1. The Astros go back to the six-man rotation they were featuring when he left
    1. They go to a five-man rotation and move Jose Urquidy to the long-man role in the bullpen
    1. They go to a five-man rotation and send Urquidy down to work on his “stuff.”
    1. They go to a six-man rotation – move Urquidy to the long man role and bring up Hunter Brown (3-3, 2.39 ERA, 12.7 K/9 IP) to be the sixth man
  2. If Jake Meyers (just 4 games into rehab at Sugar Land) gets rolling in AAA and gets called up, what do the Astros do:
    1. Have him take Chas McCormick’s typically starting role and move Chas into Jose Siri’s fourth OF role. Send Siri down
    1. Leave Chas as is and have Jake take Siri’s 4th OF spot. Send Siri down
    1. Keep Siri (God no) and send Chas down
    1. Package one of the three in a trade for help
  3. What happens when the “other” starting pitcher returns (likely Lance McCullers)?
    1. Move Cristian Javier back to the long-man spot in the bullpen
    1. Move Jake Odorizzi back to the long-man spot in the bullpen
    1. Give Justin Verlander a two-week vacation with a hang nail or something
    1. Trade from your excess for a catcher who can chew gum and walk at the same time. Sorry, I meant field and hit
  4. Who are the Astros most likely All Stars this season?
    1. Yordan Alvarez and Justin Verlander
    1. Alvarez, Verlander and Kyle Tucker
    1. Alvarez, Verlander and Framber Valdez
    1. Alvarez, Verlander, Tucker and Valdez
    1. Those four plus Rafael Montero
    1. Other?
  5. If Enmanuel Valdez does turn out to be the real deal – batting .356 over two minor league levels this season, what do the Astros do with him?

Warning Will Robinson – the .356 is almost exactly .100 pts higher than Valdez’s minor league career average.

  1. Teach him another position, like left field, so he can step into Michael Brantley’s boots next season.
    1. Groom him to take the place of Aledmys Diaz as the next Swiss Army Knife on the team
    1. Groom him to take Yuli Gurriel’s spot over at 1st base as Yuli’s hitting declines
    1. Have him ready if Bregman or Altuve need replacing (aw c’mon – just trying to fill out 4 choices)
  2. What is more likely this season….
    1. Verlander wins the AL Cy Young
    1. Alvarez wins the AL MVP
    1. Jeremy Pena wins the AL Rookie of the Year
    1. Some combination of those
    1. None

       Note I did not include Dusty for Manager of the Year, but you can….

  • If the Astros make a splash in the trade market between now and the deadline, what will it be?
    • They pick up a real-life two-way catcher
    • They pick up a solid outfielder
    • They pick up a left-handed reliever
    • Some combination of those
    • No big trade
  • Who is most likely to bounce back from a poor start to the season?
    • Yuli Gurriel
    • Jose Urquidy

So, the next step is up to you. This post is about our heroes and Multi-choice, not superheroes and Multi-Verse, but please give it a try.

101 comments on “Multi-Verse? Multi-Choice? Whatever

  1. We’ll here goes nothing:
    1-d I’d like to see Hunter Brown but the club wii probably go with 1-a.
    2-d Trade Siri for whatever we need but I suspect the club will do 2-a which is Jake at CF, Chaz as #4 and Siri back down.
    3-d package on of the guys (urquidy) in a trade for a catcher. Of course Castro would get released but the club will probably go with 3-a.
    4-e I’d like to seeJV, Framber, and Yordan but considering we’re the hated, cheating Astros we may only see 1 which would be JV.
    5-a/c as either is fine with me
    6-d A combination of JV for CY, Yordan for MVP, and Pena for ROY
    7. A LH reliever is the most likely but I’d take an OF and a catcher in a heartbeat
    8. The obvious choice is Yuli/Bregman bouncing back but I’ll take one or both.

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  2. When Odo comes back, the question will be which pitcher will he be? As we all remember, he was a disaster at the beginning of the year. Then he got his confidence and strung together some excellent starts. I suspect it will take him a few ugly starts to get back to anywhere close to where he was when he got hurt. So all that I see happening when he gets back are 1. Sending Bielak down, and 2. We will get blown out in his first three or four starts and have to decide if he is ever going to be a consistent starter for us. He is NOT a reliever, though – his first inning is usually his worst – so if Urquidy can just halfway find the strike zone again, see Odo’s best value to us as a trade candidate.

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  3. Jake won’t be ready to go 5 or 6 innings when he gets back. Maybe Urquidy will be assigned the long role when Odorizzi starts initially. But Urquidy has got to be on thin ice by now. Since the playoffs last year, we don’t know which Jose we are going to get from start to start.

    Why does it seem like Jake is our starting centerfielder? The only comparison I have on him and Chas is from 2021 and limited. It’s pretty much a toss up. I hope they send Siri down and give both Chas and Jake equal work, at least initially. I really wish Chas had gotten at least a month to play everyday.

    Don’t trade any pitching, unless it has to happen and then Odorizzi first. I think Urquidy can be fixed. Is he tipping pitches? Lance will also take quite awhile to become a starter that can give us 5 or 6 innings. We’ll need a couple of long guys in the pen. Urquidy could go down. Heck, he might be down before Lance gets back. I don’t see Odorizzi handling the long role as well as Javier has.

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  4. I never have gotten all that excited about All Stars. But certainly Yordan deserves the nod. Verlander will get invited, but won’t pitch. We only get three days off at the break and then play a day night- twin bill against the Yankees. We need a fully rested staff on July 21.

    Way too early to know what will happen with Emanuel, but as I said this morning, he should be playing leftfield everyday with the Cowboys.

    I’m excited to say Pena, Rookie of the Year. If Judge stays healthy, he’s already got MVP because he’s in New York.

    We definitely need the lefty reliever. And we almost definitely need a catcher that can play the full game of baseball. I hope the Phillies and Cubs keep losing.

    I don’t think Bregman will ever again be 40 or even a 30 homer guy, but I think he can still put together a very solid year. I’m hoping he can raise the OPS to .800. I’ll live with that.

    Dan, I apologize for not following directions.

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  5. No fun watching the Astros play right now. 11 hits and 5 walks. All kinds of opportunities. It’s got to be tough starting a game knowing you’ve got to throw a shutout or at least keep it close. Much easier when you’ve got a couple of runs to work with. Thank goodness Verlander was up to the task on Tuesday night. The Fish are a better club than their record indicates.

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    • Miami has won 4 in a row and 7 of their last 10. By my count we left 4 guys at third with one out and that does not count the bases loaded 2 out with Bergman up and a 3-0 count. He takes one right down Main Street and then swings at two pitcher’s pitches popping up to right field.

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      • He’s sending a lot of pop ups out to right field these days. This is an historic slump for Bregman. So I still have a certain level of faith he’ll find his way back.

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      • They were talking about Bregman having a 16 game on base streak but it’s like one hit or one walk most games. He’s had like one homer in his last 27 games. He hits the ball sharply once or twice a game but it’s liners or hard grounders – the home run power seems to be missing. I keep thinking he is still having leg issues. But I’m not a doctor and I didn’t play one on TV.

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  6. Am I being a Pollyanna for thinking the Astros offense is so close to busting out? It feels like they need a few big hits to relax and break out.
    Or is this who they are?

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    • I don’t see the solid contact they made in years past. If a guy lines out three times on hard hit balls, I expect his luck to change. All the pop-ups? Yeah, 1 a month will drop in behind second base but the rest are easy plays for the defense.

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    • Dan, I don’t recollect all those hard hit balls, but his BABip is .228, so that should be a sign of encouragement, right? And Yuli has a .244. But just watching these two guys it’s clear that they are not close to what we know of them in the past. I thought both guys would have busted out by now. But we’ve got a big lead and they will still have plenty of time to figure things out. And really, even if they don’t figure things out, there is not much we can do. Maybe more Diaz, but if the offense is really going to get going, Bregman and Yuli have to hit.

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  7. One more thing. I’m sure the Angels are not done. They’d love to come back and threaten the Astros. Heck, the Phillies dumped Girardi and have won 8 in a row. So we’ve got to keep winning. The Astros can’t afford to go back into the same kind of funk we spent April in.

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  8. Man – bases loaded with no out in the 7th – Brantley strikes out – Bregman lines back to the pitcher for a double play.
    Ugly 5-1 loss

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  9. 1. 6 Man – Same ol same ol. 2. Siri down. 3. Javier to the bullpen (Not what I would do) 4. Yordan and JV ONLY. 5. Let him go to season end to determine if anything needs to be done. 6. Pena ROY.

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  10. Enough sleepwalking. Loose the dogs of war, guys! Catch an edge. Swing the bats with authority. Give JV some run support to work with – and the fans in the stands a reason to cheer instead of just get drunk while longing for the ‘good old days’ when we actually had an offense!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That would have been a tough game to give away yesterday and the team gave it a good shot. Pena just air mailed an unhurried throw to start the inning and Altuve made an error on a tougher, but makeable play (after having two brilliant plays not long before it). Verlander lost his concentration after being terrific through 6, with a hit and a walk, he shooed away the pitching coach and then gave up a 3 run homer to former Astro farm hand Bryan De La Cruz.
    Weird that Pena and Altuve had the errors because they had the most critical hits in the game – Pena’s early homer and Altuve’s late dinger that helped the Astros establish two big leads.
    On another note, I am sick of the silly mind mistakes on the base paths. It is embarrassing and it is not helping the offense as they seem to always cut short a rally. Two more cut down on the bases yesterday on two unforced errors. Yuck

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    • A sloppy, uninspired 2-4 homestand. But as 1OP points out, we’re up by 8.5. I just don’t want crappy baseball to continue, letting the lead evaporate. On a positive note, maybe we saw a a bit of an awakening by Bregman and Yuli has at least been more patient at the plate. We’re stuck with Bregman and Yuli is not going anywhere in 2022. We need them to produce at some point.

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  12. Astros up 3-0 as they are doing a whole lot better with runners in scoring position.
    And Dave B, Dubon knocks in one, steals second and scored the third run.

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    • Dan, Chas has a .780 OPS over the past month. Only three Astros have a better figure over the same timeframe. We know who those guys are. Dubon (.476) and Siri (.435) are not close. We’ve got a struggling offense with a better hitter sitting on the bench.

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  13. Javier struggles through a half inning after the Rangers loaded the bases with no out – but only gives up one run. Then his buddies get out on 4 pitches so he has to go right back out.

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    • In the past month, Chas has a .780 OPS. Only three other Astros have produced a higher number during the same timeframe. We know who they are. Siri and Dubon are not close. Did we get a hit after the 4th inning tonight?

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      • I know how I ended up with two similar posts. The one from last night got sent to the approval/moderator department. I figured it was gone. Anyway, sorry to clog the blog. Read either one or the other or ignore both!

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    • Zanuda, that was a tough 8th inning. Bouncing balls found holes. Altuve fumbled a double play ball that allowed an insurance run to score. We didn’t have a hit after the 4th inning. We should have put the game away early. Our pitching was good enough to win.

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    • We ended up losing that game?! Ugh. Regardless what the bullpen did it would be worth reminding the offense they can keep hitting.

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  14. The pitching staff is good, but there is not a pitching staff on earth that is good enough to carry this horrendous offense. Poor Yordan and Pena – they alone seem to actually be trying. Every other position player appears to be suffering from long COVID.

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  15. I feel like I’ve beat this drum before, but Urquidy has hittable stuff. Everything is flat, I don’t know because I haven’t looked but I would bet he has the among the lowest spin rates on the team. He has always lived and died by the location sword which he can do because he has plus level velocity.

    I think he will always be a string some good ones and lay some eggs kinda starter. He fits well in a 4 or 5 spot in a rotation when you have to fill it. I am fine with him staying in the rotation and taking the good with the bad – but there are certainly options. I am just as concerned about Garcia as I am Urquidy as well for many of the same reasons – Garcia has more movement but is less consistent in location – but you can get the same results.

    The rotation looks different in September going into the playoffs. If the Astros are lucky and everyone is healthy, Verlander, McCullers, Valdez, and Garcia will probably be the go too – but certainly Javier might deserve that spot over Garcia. I certainly trust Javier more pitch to pitch than I do Garcia, especially in a playoff game.

    This is why I advocated for Rodon so much. He has been up and down this year so far, going 5-4 but he has a 3.18 ERA and more importantly, 83 K’s in 65 innings.

    The Astros have this crop of 8 potential starters but only 2 of them are guys that you know have the stuff to go out and give you 5-6 innings in a playoff game and give you a real shot at winning it. We have 6 starters that are guys other franchises would love to have as well – and we need to get us there – but lets be honest, you don’t know if Framber is going to pitch 7 innings with 1 run or 2 innings with 5 runs in a playoff game – because he isn’t a power arm, and power arms always succeed more often in the playoffs. Just ask the Braves, 14 trips to the playoffs with Maddux, Smoltz, Glavine, 1 WS win. They had one “playoff” pitcher. This team REALLY needs McCullers and Verlander at the top of the rotation in the playoffs. In hindsight the Astros should have given Charlie Morton whatever he wanted to stay.

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  16. I think we are seeing the results of a couple below average drafts and then two years of draft penalty of zero. Going back to 2015, Daz, Whitley, JJ, Beer, Corey Lee and two nothings. Yes, those were later picks compared to those 100 loss years, but other teams managed to click on a few. (Nope, no pun)

    Let’s no even talk about Brady Aiken or Mark Appel,

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    • We should talk about Mark Appel. He’s made a comeback and thus far has a 1.93 ERA in 15 relief appearances for Lehigh Valley. Regarding the recent drafts, I do agree though – it’s looking more like those lean years before Drayton sold the team than the boom years when Luhnow was picking at the top. Scattered in are a few picks like Hunter Brown in 2019 and Pena in 2018, but lots of their big bonus payouts when to guys who will only make it to a game in Sugarland if they buy their own ticket and sit in the stands.

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  17. The upside of this team losing to sub-.500 teams is knowing that Jim Crane is not going to put up with this crap forever.
    When the Yankees and Mets are finished dismembering this stupid team and the lead has vanished, maybe we will see the changes in management that should have happened in the offseason.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Just for reference only. Craig Biggio got his 2,000 hit on May 4, 2001. That was the start of his age 35 year. Jose Altuve, if he stays healthy, should get his 2,000 hit by next year, his age 33 year.

    Plus Biggio was hit by pitch 285 times which is tops for anyone in the last 100 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. In the AL West here is how the offenses stack up at this point in the season:

    Runs/game: LAA (4.38), Texas (4.37), Hou. (4.11), M’s (4.06), A’s (3.32)

    Team BA: LAA (.244), Hou. (.238), M’s (.237), Tex (.236), A’s (.212)

    Team OBP: M’s (.321), Hou. (.316), LAA (.314), Tex (.295), A’s (277)

    Team OPS: Hou (.725), LAA (.724), M’s (.706), Tex (.684) A’s (.649)

    HRS: LAA (78), Hou.(77), Tex. (76), M’s (65), and As (44)

    In other words, from an offense standpoint only the Angels, Rangers, Astros, and Ms are pretty much in a dead heat – and the A’s are … well, let’s just say ‘in a class by themselves’.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Some thoughts –
    – I know it is about 100 F around here, but it is way too early for the Astros to play like it is the dog days of summer
    – Yesterday was seeing eye hit city for the Rangers. At one point late in the game, Geoff Blum said that the Astro had hit the 13 hardest hit balls in the game (and the top three were all by Yordan) – the Rangers hardest hit was #14. The Rangers 3 run rally in the 8th was bloops and soft grounders hit in the exact wrong spot and stolen bases – plus Altuve’s bobble
    – I’ve lost track how many runners the Astros lost last night – I remember Brantley getting thrown out (where if he just stayed on the base he was in).
    – Javier pitched well enough to win it last night – not enough support
    – The Astros knocked in three runs in the first two innings in those situations they failed against the M’s – runners in scoring position – but then went back to failing in those same situations the rest of the game
    – I’m not sure I’ve seen a ball hit as high as Yordan’s that had a chance to go out in right center field – it was like waiting for a local bus for that one to come down
    – Dave B – I have a hard time seeing Crane firing Dusty during the season – especially when they are solidly in first place. Of course if they play a couple more months like this and fall in the standings…. Still it would be like firing Santa Claus almost.

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    • Dan, No way Dusty is getting sent home unless the club falls apart post the All Star break. But I sure am frustrated that Chas is sharing his job with two inferior guys now rather than just one. In this regard, I figure Dusty just does not like him, or is intent on keeping everyone fresh, even as the offense continues to suck. And I do think that just maybe, Click and Dusty are not working well together.

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  21. The Astros’ hitting coaches have quite the chore ahead. Considering that the club has Cintron and Snitker as the hitting coaches since 2019, and the club hit at historical levels during ’19 – ’21, what has changed for this current season? Has Yuli and Bregman decided to ignore the coaches input? It seems to me that this is the issue.

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  22. An Urquidy start these days is like a white flag being waved before the game even begins. No way our pitiful excuse for an offense can score enough runs to equal what he will give away to a solid hitting, high-scoring team like Texas.Of course, I get the same hopeless feeling every time I see that Dusty has penciled Jose Siri (.193/.264/.580) or Mauricio Dubon (.188/.229/.479) into the starting line-up. McCormick is no George Springer, but he’s head and shoulders above Siri and Dubon.

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  23. The Neris suspension was reduced from 4 to 3 games. He started with last night’s game and will miss tonight and Friday’s games – returning on Saturday. Good that we have Thursday off for the pen.

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  24. Boy, we sure made Dunning look good last night. Of course we’re doing that a lot lately. And now Alvarez is getting pitched around. The Rangers are an improved club. I admit that I was not watching in the eighth, when Seager, a pretty smart baseball player, made his bone headed decision. That boo-boo created a 2 game swing. Just prior the Rangers were no doubt already thinking about completing a sweep this afternoon and a place in the standings just 5.5 games off the pace. I think 9.5 would be more appropriate.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Good morning astrocolt45, thanks for asking. We are unaware of any significant threat locally. We’re not real high on the CDC down here. Local authorities report 53 active cases right now between the two islands with no hospitalizations. I think the Astros left more than 53 guys on base last week. So feel safe and secure to hop a plane. Rum punch on the beach. I’ve got first round!

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  26. Let’s see – at 1:10 the Astros meet the Rangers in the “rubber” game of the series behind Luis Garcia. Righty Tyson Miller is in his second start in the majors and 4th game overall. He pitched 3 games with the Cubs previously and had 2.1 innings in a non-start for the Rangers this year where he gave up one unearned run. This season at AAA he had a 2-3 record with a 5.02 ERA in 12 games (4 starts). He had struck out a fair amount of hitters 11.9 per 9 innings at Round Rock this year but gave up a high 10.5 hits per 9 innings. How long will he last and will the Astros take advantage of him or struggle as they often do against a new guy?

    Lineup today
    Altuve 2B
    Brantley DH
    Bregman 3B
    Alvarez LF
    Tucker RF
    Yuli 1B
    Aledmys – SS
    Siri – CF
    Maldy – C

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  27. Astros with a 3-0 first inning lead after Yordan 2 run double and Tucker ground out RBI – still batting with Alvarez at 3rd and 2 out

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    • Astros up 6-0 with 2 out in 1st after Siri singles and Maldy doubles. Rangers have to pull pitcher in first. Good news if Luis can pitch a solid game for us because the Rangers have to play tomorrow and we get a day off and their bullpen may be tired.

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    • The question I have is whether, with this big early lead, our guys will go back into rope-a-dope mode and let Joe Frazier claw his way back in the fight.

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  28. Maldy does jack one in response – so that is good

    How about:
    Show your not clueless when you are playing by Euless
    Make sure those pitches are curving when you try to win in Irving
    Holy Toledo its crazy near Alido

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