Astros’ fans multiple choice

Today it just feels like time for you to step up and make your voices heard. (OK, OK, you always get to make your voices heard, but it just felt like the right thing to say).

Here you go with a little multiple-choice quiz:

1) Which of the following could have the biggest positive effect on the Astros’ offense in 2023?

  1. The replacement of Yuli Gurriel by Jose Abreu at first base
  2. A full, healthy season out of LF/DH Michael Brantley
  3. Improvement and additional at bats for CF Chas McCormick
  4. Addition by subtraction with no at bats for Jason Castro

2) A team often needs 8 to 10 starting pitchers throughout the season. Behind the likely top 6 of Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., Jose Urquidy, Luis Garcia, and Hunter Brown, who is your choice for the next man up?

  1. Bryan Abreu
  2. Seth Martinez
  3. Shawn Dubin
  4. Forrest Whitley
  5. Fill in the blank

3) Dusty Baker appears to be here as long as he wants to be here. When do you think he will leave?

  1. After his next World Championship
  2. After the Astros fail to make the playoffs
  3. The end of the season after he turns 75 (June 15, 2024)
  4. Your best guess

4) You get in a time machine to Spring 2026. Of the following, who is most likely to still be an Astro?

  1. Framber Valdez
  2. Cristian Javier
  3. Kyle Tucker
  4. Jose Altuve
  5. Alex Bregman

5) Who are you most afraid will regress in 2023?

  1. Framber Valdez
  2. Yordan Alvarez
  3. Kyle Tucker
  4. Cristian Javier
  5. Rafael Montero
  6. Your choice

6) The 2023 trade deadline is approaching. What do you think the Astros will be looking for?

  1. A veteran catcher
  2. A Relief pitcher
  3. A Starting pitcher
  4. An outfielder
  5. Something else or some combination of above

7) Who is the most critical pitcher in 2023?

  1. Framber Valdez
  2. Cristian Javier
  3. Ryan Pressly
  4. Jose Urquidy
  5. Luis Garcia
  6. Hunter Brown
  7. Someone else

8) Who is the most critical position player in 2023?

  1. Yordan Alvarez
  2. Kyle Tucker
  3. Jose Altuve
  4. Alex Bregman
  5. Martin Maldonado
  6. Jose Abreu
  7. Jeremy Pena
  8. Someone else

9) It is a critical 8th inning for the team. Who do you call out of the pen?

  1. Hector Neris
  2. Rafael Montero
  3. Ryan Stanek
  4. Bryan Abreu

10) Who are you hoping will show the most improvement in 2023?

  1. Jeremy Pena
  2. Chas McCormick
  3. Jose Urquidy
  4. Luis Garcia
  5. Hunter Brown
  6. Someone else

Your turn – what do you think?


39 comments on “Astros’ fans multiple choice

  1. What a bunch of good, tough questions.

    1. Yuli had a negative WAR. Abreu will make a big positive difference.

    2. Seth Martinez will likely already be stretched out to go 3 innings. I’d say him, but I almost said Abreu.

    3. I think Dusty will go home if he wins it again this year. It might not be his decision.


  2. As an unrelated side note, WordPress does not seem to sync well with Apple products. I use mostly a Mac now and my iPhone. Lately, if I take too long to post, it does not post. It disappears. I feel like I’m on a clock. Today WordPress wants different information to log in. There might be something I can do to fix the sign in process, but I’m not tech smart enough.


  3. #1. Jose Abreu- if he is the same hitter as he was in 2022, or close to it, he will make a huge difference in the Astros lineup, and especially for the two guys hitting on either side of him in the lineup.
    #2. JP France- He was real good as a starter in Sugarland last season and will be in the rotation there to start the year and is already on the 40-man roster.
    3. I think Dusty Baker will leave when he and the team agree it is time to leave or when his health starts to deteriorate, whichever comes first.


  4. 4. Framber signed his extension without any fuss. I think that’s a good sign, but I can’t see Altuve leaving town even with Boras pushing the numbers.

    5. Montero would be the one guy in that group I could see going backwards. Pena works too hard. Chas has been consistent over two years. The rest of the offense is too reliable. I guess Stanek is a possibility because he was used very carefully in the post season. What about a new pitch from him?

    6. If the right opportunity came along, the Astros might go for any of the four options noted. I still think Dusty wants a lefty, but if our righties get lefties out, is it really necessary? I’m hoping we don’t pick up a catcher.


  5. 7. Toughest question yet. They are all important. Don’t want to lose Pressly, but I think Abreu and Montero can pick up the slack. Sure don’t want to have Framber or Javier disappear, but maybe Brown picks up the slack with 125 quality innings. We do have more pitching depth than most every team. Critical is a tough word. It becomes critical when multiple guys are lost at the same time.

    8. I think Chas is pretty darn critical in the outfield. If he performs, we don’t have to rely on questions marks. At the same time, we need Pena to continue to grow. Not regressing is pretty much critical.


  6. 9. I guess I’d take Abreu based on what I’ve seen from him over the second half of 2022. But depending on the situation, I’m comfortable with all four.

    10. Most improvement? Garcia and Urquidy. I know, I cheated. But I’d like to see both guys prove they can be #3 quality starters on this club.

    Thanks Dan. Great effort.


    • Thanks daveb – nice effort on your end too

      I truly enjoy these types of posts because it takes a fair amount of imagination to write them and it challenges the readers to stretch a bit in response.


  7. Well, firstly, I will no longer be the Astros fan from the UK. New job starting soon ….. in H-town!

    Secondly, had a fab day at the fan fest today as am over visiting.

    Thirdly very much enjoying some Karbach beer

    Er ok onto the real questions:

    1. Castro no doubt.
    2. We have to hope for Forrest
    3. Dusty leaves in 2030. After we win a fifth WS.
    4. I can cheat here as Jose said today he will remain an Astro always and will retire to Houston. Although Bregs said the same.
    5. Yikes am very afraid if Yordaddy regresses
    6. We will be so good that we’re not looking for anyone
    7. Javier of course. He will fill the JV starts.
    8. Machete of course. If he goes down we are in trouble. Still not sure why they didn’t bring back Vazquez.
    9. Montero. Or Abreu. Both rock solid.
    10. Most improvement from Chas please.

    Take care and be safe


    Liked by 1 person

  8. 4. I think Bregman has the best chance of still being here in 2026, followed by Jose Altuve.
    5. I am most afraid of Framber regressing because of Verlander leaving, thus putting a perceived load on his big shoulders.
    6. The deadline is coming and the Astros want another reliever who isn’t just a rental.


    • Dan, I thought Dave was out on Nevis or some island. But here he says, “Welcome.” So it sounded to me like he’s back here. Sorry, I know I haven’t been a regular for a long time.


  9. 7. I think Christian Javier is the most critical pitcher because he moves up in the pecking order and his 11 wins in 2022 needs to be raised to at least 16 wins with the added punch in Houston’s lineup. Did we talk about the fact that Urquidy only made one appearance in the entire playoffs?
    8. Who is the most critical position player? I’m going with Altuve because: a) he has stepped out of the box after every pitch for his entire career and I wonder about his rhythm with the new rule. b) The left side of the infield will be more open without the radical shift. Will he be able to get 200 hits again like he did before they started to shift him a few years back? c) How will the new no-shift rule affect him defensively? How will his range be?
    9. Who do you call on for that critical 8th inning? Whoever of the four choices is the most rested after the previous few days of work. If they all are rested, I like Neris. He pitched the eighth inning of the clincher.
    10. I’m hoping for the most improvement from Jeremy Pena. His playoff launch showed he could add a superstar to an already dynamic team. Him becoming an MVP type player at the plate and in the field would make this team a dynasty.


    • Good questions. Urquidy was excellent in June, July and August. He got off to a bad start and finished poorly. Was he gassed? He still ended up with a pretty good WHIP of 1.168. I think he’s got it in him to be an excellent pitcher. And what will his new pitch bring? The range question on the right side of our infield is another good one. Neither guy covers a whole lot of ground. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Pena responds this year. He does not have to get better all at once. I’m hoping for a better BB/K ratio. That’s a good starting place.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My thoughts:
    1. Abreu should make a big difference.
    2. Figure Seth Martinez but would love to see Whitley.
    3. Anybody’s guess here but hoping 2023 is last.
    4. I would hope Altuve and Bregman might be a given but I’ll go with Framber.
    5. Montero but I hope not.
    6. Probably be looking for a catcher but maybe one of our new up and coming catchers will fill the order.
    7. I’d think Javier as I’m expecting him to become a big time pitcher.
    8. Tucker since we’d have a tough time replacing him if he goes down.
    9. Abreu since his stuff is electric but any of those guys can do the job.
    10. Hoping Chaz will become the player we all want him to be in CF. Pena is a close second.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 1. Abreu. Don’t discount Brantley with the new shift rules.
    2. France will probably be option 7. Could just see who is the hottest after that.
    4. CJ has the smallest track record and isn’t likely to take off and win 20 games, so that would keep his price down. I do think most of this core will stay together though.
    5. Framber – ground ball pitcher with these new rules; Montero because he has never done this before.
    6. Catcher seems mostly likely, but it might just come down to injury or a reliable backup IF option.
    7. Garcia – JV won 80% of his decisions, the team won 70% of his starts. Even if Framber repeats you have to get that somewhere if you are going to repeat. It could come from a combination – if LMJ is healthy. Outside of Framber this team is full of 5.1 inning pitchers though, maybe those wins will come from the BP. I say Garcia, because of all the starters he is the one on the cusp of both command, velocity and stuff that can improve that 5.1 IP/start- and its hard to improve on 15-8 but he can do it.
    8. It has to be Pena. I’m not a Pena homer like others but geez there is zero behind the kid. Even if he allows that K rate and K/BB ratio start to drag on his numbers he has to play everyday.
    9. Abreu. Montero was great in the playoffs too. But call on the guy that is going to sit at 99-100 and dot corners.
    10. I hope they all do. Pena is the most important. When you look at his numbers versus velocity he is consistent. That tells me the clock is fast enough. If he can stay off the outside pitches he has star written on him. I say most important because if he flops, or gets injured, we have got noone to go out there and play that can both hit and field.


    • We got 14 6+ inning starts from Garcia, 16 from Urquidy. They are both right around 5.6 innings per start. I think 6 is reachable, especially if they go to a 6 man rotation when the schedule tightens up.


      • With you Dave. I don’t know that Urquidy has the “stuff” for improvement, we may just be getting what we see already, which is great for the 5th spot.

        I am high on Garcia’s potential because he has innings where he just goes out there and gets after it. He sits at 97. He hits his spots. It wasn’t just the playoff game in Seattle where he walked out there on water for 5 innings. He does that all the time. He also goes out there and gives it up with a bad pitch or bad sequence, like he did in his other playoff appearance, or the WS last year. Every pitch he threw to Soler was one I expected Soler to hit a mile, and he did. But the talent is there. You can’t coach 97, either you can throw it or you can’t. You can coach the rest.

        I do agree with you though that both of them can get to the 6 IP per start mark. Just with Garcia if he does it, he could start getting Cy Young talk. Urquidy is just so hittable, he just keeps himself in games because he ain’t there for free passes, he will make you earn it. You are going to have to hit his pitch. You just might though.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Urquidy frustrates me sometimes. But at this point he’s thrown 342 ML innings with a 1.091 WHIP. Is there a better 5th guy in a rotation anywhere? Maybe that new pitch he’s working on will be the strike out he lacks.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. All of a sudden Arte Moreno has decided he’s not selling the Angels.
    Not getting a high enough offer?
    Has come to some kind of agreement with Ohtani long term?
    Whatcha think?


    • In Ausmus’ last year managing the Tigers, he issued 42 intentional walks, leading the league. Until Dusty Baker came to Houston, he was also a big proponent of the free pass. As we know, the Astro’s moved away from that aspect of the game, in fact issuing no intentional walks in 2019. It was a Luhnow thing.

      Would we go backwards with an Ausmus/Baker marriage?

      Liked by 1 person

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