Astros starting line-up and areas of greatest needs

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by MojoMan, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. MojoMan

    MojoMan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,791
    Likes Received:
    203
    The Astros have continued to upgrade their roster from their farm system, despite an unexpectedly strong start to the season. This is clearly a work in progress, with more players expected to advance as time goes on.

    So, the Astros current two areas of greatest need are a third baseman and another starting pitcher.

    Luis Valbuena does not appear to be the long-term answer at third base. The only player on the roster who looks like he might be able to fill that spot is Jed Lowrie, who is currently injured. Meanwhile, there does not appear to be a player in the minors at third base that looks likely to be ready within the next year or so.

    At starting pitcher, the Astros have recently promoted Lance McCullers and Vincent Velasquez. We all hope they do well, but both are young and there is no guarantee that they will continue at their current level. Meanwhile, Mark Appel is not ready and the Astros still could use one more really good starting pitcher to help get them ready to compete at the next level, which would be the playoffs. There has been talk of a trade for a 1-3 starting pitcher, and that appears to be the most likely answer to this question, which is currently the number one need of this Astros team.

    For reference, as of June 17, 2015, here is a link to a depth chart, along with the starting line-up below for the Houston Astros:

    Starting Lineup
    DH Evan Gattis
    C Jason Castro (Hank Conger filling in)
    1B Chris Carter
    2B Jose Altuve
    3B Luis Valbuena
    SS Carlos Correa
    LF Preston Tucker (Domingo Santana filling in)
    CF Jake Marisnick
    RF George Springer

    Starting Rotation
    1. D. Keuchel
    2. C. McHugh
    3. B. Oberholtzer
    4. L. McCullers
    5. V. Velasquez

    Bullpen
    L. Gregerson (CL)
    C. Qualls
    P. Neshek
    T. Sipp
    W. Harris
    R. Hernandez
    J. Fields
    J. Thatcher
     
  2. crose

    crose Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,496
    Likes Received:
    128
    So you think we need to trade for a 3rd baseman and a SP?

    Gee, if only there were a thread for the random speculation of such ideas?
     
  3. MojoMan

    MojoMan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,791
    Likes Received:
    203
    Bite me, troll.

    I think the Astros need to trade for a starting pitcher and probably move Jed Lowrie over to start at third base when he comes back, maybe next month.

    However, I would like to see players continuing to advance out of the minors at every position, and considering what a renaissance the Astros farm system has had over the last five years, it is a little discouraging not to see a bit more high level depth at AA and AAA at these two positions.
     
  4. crose

    crose Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2005
    Messages:
    1,496
    Likes Received:
    128
    Hahahahaha!

    Thanks for posting that depth chart, as well! I thought Harrell was starting today, and was almost sad.

    Also, what a great time to write off Valbuena!
     
    #4 crose, Jun 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2015
  5. MrBear1

    MrBear1 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    28
    Where is Rasmus??? He has the 2nd or 3rd best OPS on the team right now, I wouldn't leave him out.
     
  6. MojoMan

    MojoMan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    2,791
    Likes Received:
    203
    This is a good point. The Astros seem to be kind of loaded in the outfield spots, with players like Rasmus and either Tucker or Santana sitting on the bench. meanwhile, the Astros cannot seem to rustle up a similar quality third baseman from anywhere in their system.

    However, Jed Lowrie could possibly meet that threshold if the Astros move him to third base when he returns, as he was playing pretty well at short stop before he went out, and he does have experience playing third base.
     
  7. tmacfor35

    tmacfor35 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    13,072
    Likes Received:
    1,080
    I think Domingo, Mars, or Rasmus are on the block.

    Can't see them trading Tucker after drafting his brother.

    I really want to see Domingo stay with the club though. His numbers this year in AAA suggest his stint with the Astros this time around might be a WHOLE lot better.
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 1999
    Messages:
    35,797
    Likes Received:
    922
    That also gives him viable trade value (moreso than Rasmus, Singleton).
     
  9. Scolalist

    Scolalist Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Messages:
    3,590
    Likes Received:
    57
    3B really isn't a great need. Valbuena hits HR's & plays a good glove. His average will rise.

    We need a top tier starting pitcher around Keuchel, Feldman, McHugh & McCullers. And from there id say an elite closer around a very above average pen (Gregerson, Neshek, Qualls, Sipp, Thatcher, Obie)

    There's not much that I'd toy with that's in the starting lineup. The bench could be upgraded, but it's still not bad. I'd say give this new coaching staff and young talent time to develop on this level.

    Pitching is what I'd look for with a reasonable return
     
  10. raining threes

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    909
    Likes Received:
    166
    An ace

    Catcher

    Lowrie getting healthy, I wonder if Lowrie can play some LF and take on a Zobrist role? I think he's athletic enough to do well in this role.
     
  11. MrBear1

    MrBear1 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    678
    Likes Received:
    28
    I think we are fine at catcher, Castro has been great defensively and his offense while not great hasn't been terrible.
     
  12. tmacfor35

    tmacfor35 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Messages:
    13,072
    Likes Received:
    1,080
    We have two.

    Need to find that third pitcher.

    I am convinced McCullers is the real deal. Stuff is nasty.

    Lowrie will platoon.

    Catcher-we are good there.
     
  13. HeyDude

    HeyDude Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2001
    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    42
    Starting pitcher is much easier to decide since we have slots that could be taken by a stud Ace.

    On the lineup, since we're so deep, I think the Stros will just see who becomes available and then make a critical decision. If a stud 3rd Baseman becomes available, do they trade for him knowing Lowrie is coming back and Val is due for a 35 HR season? Do we trade for a LF with Rasmus / Tucker? Do we trade for a 1B with Carter / Singleton there? Much tougher, but if the batter is good enough, I think it's doable. Not like we have a lot of high $$ committed any one position player long term.
     
  14. Buck Turgidson

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2002
    Messages:
    23,691
    Likes Received:
    2,697
    It's interesting that people just assume Lowrie will come back and be the same guy he was early in the season. Hand/wrist injuries are notoriously difficult to get over, it could be next season before he's truly back to normal. He hasn't even picked up a bat yet, so he's still a long way away.

    I am definitely curious to see how he looks at 3B though, since we are all just assuming he can be decent there.
     
  15. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2001
    Messages:
    24,520
    Likes Received:
    821
    Starting pitcher is obviously the most glaring need. We really could use one more top of the rotation guy with McHugh struggling and McCullers being a rookie and likely on an innings limit.

    As far as the lineup, I think we could upgrade 1B or 3B. Valbuena & Carter are very inconsistent. No spot in the lineup is a glaring problem though.
     
  16. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    32,411
    Likes Received:
    1,202
    There's also a lot of question what his "normal" is. We know he is not the 1.000 OPS guy that he was for a few weeks to start the year. Last season, he had a 0.675 OPS - he's probably better than that. But he has a lot of variance to his game and his seasons.
     
  17. rocketpower2

    rocketpower2 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    9,736
    Likes Received:
    473
    Wish we would have made the move for Donaldson in the offseason instead of Gattis.
     
  18. panamamyers

    panamamyers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2000
    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    62
    Valbuena has a .164 BABIP at the moment. No way that can stay that low. If he even gets that to .200, he will bring his average up to about .225 and his OPS would probably be pushing .800.
    Who are you going to get that is going to be decidedly better than him?
    I think a starting pitcher is really the only spot that you can get someone that is going to be substantially better than what you have.
     
  19. Buck Turgidson

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2002
    Messages:
    23,691
    Likes Received:
    2,697
    Yeah, I was all for that. I'm sure they talked with Oakland, takes 2 to tango though.
     
  20. Buck Turgidson

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2002
    Messages:
    23,691
    Likes Received:
    2,697
    He's had so many injuries that it really is hard to predict. I have no idea how you could determine what a healthy Lowrie's level of production is.
     
Loading...

Share This Page