You are a very smart, thoughtful, and at times cynical and feisty audience. Today we will ask you to answer ten intelligent and thoughtful Astros’ questions created by your wise and kind host.
- If you had a choice between the Astros failing in the first round and letting Dusty Baker go or another run to but not winning the World Series and having him return – which would you choose and why?
- As good friend of the blog, Mr. Bill asked, when Lance McCullers returns to the roster, who goes down? Seth Martinez? Bryan Abreu (not sure if he has options)? An everyday player like Mauricio Dubon?
- Let’s say McCullers returns to a six-man rotation and is good – ERA below 3.5 and going decently deep into games; which two of the other five starters is dropped from the starting rotation for the playoffs? Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, Jose Urquidy or Justin Verlander? OK – just checking who is awake as Verlander and Framber Valdez are the two sure things.
- Heading into September, the rosters expand from 26 to 28 players. Which two prospects are likely to be brought up for the Astros? Possibilities include P Hunter Brown, P Peter Solomon, P Brandon Bielak, C Korey Lee, INF Taylor Jones, and INF J.J. Matijevic. Note that Brown is the only one not on the current 40-man, but he is unsure whether he can be called up without being put on it.
- Let’s say Michael Brantley’s shoulder miraculously heals, and he returns to taking regular ABs in the lineup. Who should he take the most ABs from (directly or indirectly)? Aledmys Diaz? Yordan Alvarez? Chas McCormick? Jake Meyers?
- It is a tight playoff game in the seventh or eighth inning, and the opponent loads the bases with nobody out. Who do you bring in? Ryan Pressly? Ryne Stanek? Hector Neris? Rafael Montero?
- The Yanks and Astros would have byes to the second round if the playoffs started today. The Guardindians or Twins would be central champs (they are tied but trailing the Wild Card) and Blue Jays, Rays and Mariners would be Wild Card teams. This could change as the loser in the central is only 1 game out of the Wild Card, and the White Sox and Orioles are close behind. But of the teams playing in the Wild Card round – who would you fear as a matchup for the Astros, and is there any team you would yell out – c’mon down?
- Similar to 2019, it is late in the season, and Verlander has a no-hitter through seven innings, but he is already at 100+ pitches (let’s say 105). Would you send him out to finish the game, or would you pull him, or would you see how the eighth goes and decide on the ninth? If you pull him, who would you have tell him that news, and where would you be standing?
- It’s the World Series and the bottom of the ninth of a tied home game at Minute Maid. There is a runner at third base with one out. Which Astro do you want to be at bat to walk it off? Would your choice change if there were two outs? Would it change if it was one out, but the Astros were down a run?
- Of the three pickups at the trade deadline, Trey Mancini, Christian Vazquez, and Will Smith, which one will bring the team the most value down the stretch and through the playoffs?
There you go,….plenty to chew on there.