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2023 Season Astros General Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Snake Diggit, Apr 10, 2023.

  1. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    It depends if the team wants to keep their philosophy of prioritizing pitchers with top of the scale arm talent in the playoffs.

    Framber, Javier, and Brown fit the bill. If one of them get hurt, or fatigued and ineffective from workload they are in serious trouble.

    If McCullers returns he can be 4 but his walks are always concerning. If healthy though, they will likely go with him as #4.

    The top 4 in the bullpen is basically in the same spot as last year, but Maton replacing Montero. Guys 5-8 aren't impressive but weren't last year either. Maybe Mushinski and/or France can deepen the bullpen.

    Overall I just see much less depth and margin for error from last year ( pitching only - don't get me started on the offense)

    A BoR type would help keep the entire staff fresh hopefully preventing a 2021 debacle.

    A ToR type would provide insurance and possibly move Lance to the bullpen for the playoffs and lengthen the overall playoff staff.

    I think either helps this team it's just 2 different philosophies.
     
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  2. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    It depends if the team wants to keep their philosophy of prioritizing pitchers with top of the scale arm talent in the playoffs.

    Framber, Javier, and Brown fit the bill. If one of them get hurt, or fatigued and ineffective from workload they are in serious trouble.

    If McCullers returns he can be 4 but his walks are always concerning. If healthy though, they will likely go with him as #4.

    The top 4 in the bullpen is basically in the same spot as last year, but Maton replacing Montero. Guys 5-8 aren't impressive but weren't last year either. Maybe Mushinski and/or France can deepen the bullpen.

    Overall I just see much less depth and margin for error from last year ( pitching only - don't get me started on the offense)

    A BoR type would help keep the entire staff fresh hopefully preventing a 2021 debacle.

    A ToR type would provide insurance and possibly move Lance to the bullpen for the playoffs and deepen the overall playoff staff.

    I think either helps this team it's just 2 different philosophies.
     
  3. BlindHog

    BlindHog Member

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    I am not so sure those guys get it done. Meyers or McCormick is redundant and neither are long term parts for the Astros. One of them paired with some combination of second tier prospects should easily get at least a couple of years of a mid rotation starter. I am not counting on ever seeing McCullers starting another game. He could come back and be great till the end of his contract but there is an equal chance that he could never pitch again, or anything in between. There is also a pretty fair chance that one our three remaining play off starters has some kind of injury between now and the play offs. Enough of a chance that some insurance is in order.
     
  4. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    The Astros 4th OF is likely going to get 400+ pa per season. Assuming Gilbert/Tucker/Meyers is the everyday lineup and Alvarez is the DH, which 2 OF prospects not named Gilbert do you think is likely to come up and be able to replace Tucker and McCormick who will be better than McCormick?
     
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  5. BlindHog

    BlindHog Member

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    I do not assume Gilbert/Tucker/Meyers is the everyday lineup. Once Gilbert comes up I would assume Alvarez Gilbert Tucker to be the every day line up. leaving Meyers or McCormick as the 4th outfielder. An injury to any of the starting three moves up the 4th outfielder who is replaced by Dubon. Alvarez plays primarily in left field till a player who is an improvement there comes up, either in September or next Spring.
     
  6. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    That doesn’t make any sense. You want to trade McCormick so that Alvarez has to play the field everyday, and ??????? is the everyday DH?

    I’m fine with Dubon as the 4th OF, but then you’d need a capable utility infielder.

    McCormick (or Meyers) would have to bring back an awful big haul to justify that risk.
     
  7. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    I don't see any of the outfielders getting traded unless both Gilbert and Dirden pan out this season and neither will be brought up long enough to determine it before the trade deadline. From an offensive standpoint, we need Abreu and Bregman to get their act together because I doubt we make any moves to address it if they don't. I guess the best case scenario if Abreu doesn't get his act together is either Brantley or Diaz playing first base in the post season. Can Dirden play first? He has the size.
     
  8. BlindHog

    BlindHog Member

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    If Alvarez is the best LF we have I see no reason not to play him there. I do not mind not having an every Day DH. I think it is kind of an advantage to fill that position situationally. Kessinger would be my choice for the infield utility player. and I would feel a lot better with a middle of the rotation starter on the roster to get us through an injury to another pitcher if that happens.
     
  9. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    I nominate you for some combination of manager and general manager if you could make this happen. that would be like the answer to prayers. I'd probably go Pena, Diaz, Abreu, Meyers at the bottom 4 of the lineup but that's a very minor nit pick and I'd be just fine with what you have there too.

    If the pitching staff was something like:
    Framber/Javier/Brown/LMJ/Garcia/Urquidy/French/Whitley/Presley/Abreu/Nerris/Montero/Martinez wtih Garcia being healthy and full speed ahead by the all star break I wouldn't bet against 108 wins with a team like that. It should be 30% better than average pitching and 20% better than average hitting and teams like that tend to win LOTS of games.
     
  10. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Dirden has not seen time at 1B to date. But that doesn’t really matter because based on his performance in AAA he is not a viable MLB player. Houston has 4 prospects currently playing at levels that would have them projecting to be everyday MLB position players: Drew Gilbert, Joey Loperfido, Colin Barber, and Ryan Clifford. There’s a case to be made that Jacob Melton, Zach Dezenzo, and Will Wagner should also be on that list but for now they are too on the fringes. Gilbert is already being factored in for all these discussions. Barber is oft-injured and probably 14 months away from being ready for the big leagues; he is also best suited for LF. Clifford will not be ready for the majors before 2025. That leaves Loperfido, who can play the OF plus 1B and 2B. If Houston is looking for a player who opens the door to trading McCormick or Meyers, or gives them the option to bench Abreu, Loperfido is their best shot. And he is playing at a level in AA that for a more pedigreed prospect might justify skipping AAA. His projections paint him to be below average if he were called up now, but I don’t buy that, as I think his power is still being underrated. I think if he were called up now, a .240/.320/.420 line would be a reasonable expectation, and that would make him a slightly above average hitter. Probably not worth the risk, at least until they know what the deal is with Brantley or until Loperfido has enough dominant AA pa to make his projection a lot higher and narrower.

    There are still too many unknowns to know what the right moves are for this roster. Will Abreu start to produce? Can Brantley play? Will Meyers and Dubon continue to be productive? Will Diaz get to play more and produce? And that’s just on the hitting side. Dana Brown is very likely gonna take this roster as-is right down to the deadline. It’s going to be an exciting trade season though because I don’t see Brown as the type to sit still.
     
    #1310 Snake Diggit, May 24, 2023
    Last edited: May 24, 2023
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  11. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    To piggyback on my last comment, here is what we actually know about the position player roster:

    Maldonado: we know he is a crummy hitter who is lauded for his defense and game management; he’s a fantastic backup C but if he’s your starter the rest of your lineup needs to be stacked if you want a ring.

    Altuve: he will be an excellent hitter.

    Pena: at this point he’s a league average hitter with above average SS defense. Not someone who is going to carry the team but not someone you try to upgrade over given the cost of doing that. Probably best suited for the bottom third of a contending lineup.

    Bregman: Im labeling him as a known quantity even tho there is a pretty wide range of outcomes. But worst case he’s an above average 3B with best case being an MVP caliber player. Regardless, he’s not a player you make any attempt to replace.

    Tucker: similar to Bregman, he’s either a stud or just a really good player, but either way you don’t try to replace him.

    McCormick: an above average hitter who can play all 3 OF spots. He’s the perfect 4th OF on a championship team and it’s not crippling if he’s an everyday guy especially if he’s hitting in the bottom third of the lineup.

    Alvarez: one of the best hitters to ever live who is right in his prime.

    You can probably also list Dubon as a known quantity, at least in terms of his role: he’s a solid bench player who now has some evidence he can answer the bell as a full time player, but he is still probably best as a teams 10th best hitter. But those other 4 guys (Abreu, Brantley, Meyers, and Diaz) are still pretty big unknowns, and making the right guesses as to how they will produce will determine what (if any) this teams offensive needs are.
     
    #1311 Snake Diggit, May 24, 2023
    Last edited: May 24, 2023
  12. Redfish81

    Redfish81 Member

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    Even with 20/20 hindsight it was likely going to be bad no matter who the Astros brought in this offseason. Pretty much all the 1st baseman linked to the Astros have not been very good. I'm not including Rizzo because he had the qualifying offer and I don't believe the Astros really could have gotten him away from the Yankees. Yuli and Josh Bell have not been good this year.

    Just looking at performances/value so far the best moves the Astros could have made were 2 of Bellinger, Kiermaier, and Gallo. Benintendi has not been worth his contract. Contreras is a dumpster fire in St Louis. Vazquez and Barnhart have been awful. Zunino has not been good. Conforto has been meh but an OPS at .769 for 18 million with a player option is not great value.... still way better than what the Astros have gotten from Brantley so far

    Odds are it didn't matter who was GM. If the Astros signed a 1st baseman and a LF/DH they were most likely going to be disappointed with the results.
     
  13. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    Contreras is on pace for 3 war and the cardinals have been 12-3 in their last 15 games since their pitcher mutiny was curtailed and they were essentially told to shut up and pitch to Contreras. I expect that will be fully fine and the Cards will be back in contention and Contreras will be a decent part of why. Remember- the Cubs won a WS with him playing a prominent role catching 1/2 the games and having 2 WAR as a rookie.
    Conforto would have the 3rd highest OPS on our team, and we could substitute an above average hitter that could probably hit 2nd or 5th pretty capably for Julks. Now, with guys coming back he could DH for us. That extending the lineup by a hitter would be well worth the 18M, especially if you consider the fact that you lit 12M on fire giving it to Uncle Mike so far. Just doing nothing on Montero would have been such a blessing. I howled and pissed people off for about a week after that signing was made and said it was dumb and went against everything the Astros ever had been and were. I assume a competent GM would have had nothing to do with the Montero or Brantley signing. They were dumb then and look even dumber now.
    The Abreu thing was almost unknowable. That would take some crystal ball level **** to get dodge that bullet. So- you've essentially cost yourself 24M worth of payroll with the 2 dumb signings and then made 1B the worst position possible at 18M with the other- which I will not second guess or lay down blame. We have 25M sitting unused, so presumably if that money wasn't spent on those guys it might have just gone back into ownerships pocket- or laid around waiting on the trade deadline to get used. Not the end of the world either way, and Montero can eat innings in losses which has a value- while Maton has pretty much replaced him and still gives us an absurdly good 4 man back end of the bullpen- which is plenty enough for post season.
     
  14. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Abreu couldn't be known, everybody was wrong about that contract (so far). It is looking more and more likely that it will end up as the worst free agent signing the Astros have made in over 10 years. It is not a good thing but at <$20M/yr it should not be of long term consequence. The main thing it is doing right now is handcuffing the FO since it is too early to cut bait but too late to count on him to rebound. It will likely be like that for another year.

    Montero's underlying numbers are not nearly as bad as his ERA; he is sporting an unsustainable .439 BABIP and his k/bb and velo numbers are better than his career marks and his k and velo are line with last season, so I wouldn't write off that deal as bad just yet. It probably won't go down as a bargain but there is ample time for it to pan out. And any contract less than 8 figures is pretty meaningless in the grand scheme; it's 4% of the payroll.

    Brantley is only a bad deal if they somehow knew he was hurt or didn't do their homework on the injury; his deal is also still more than salvagable, and $12M is not a risky venture regardless. You can whine about the combination of Montero and Brantley of $20M this season but even that would not have mattered one iota beyond this season, and given that the Astros still have payroll capacity, it's pretty clear those signings didn't prevent any other moves other than the reduced roster spot.
     
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  15. Redfish81

    Redfish81 Member

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    I'm not sure how you get Contreras being on pace for 3 WAR. Fangraphs has him at .6 WAR and baseball reference has him at .7 WAR. Cardinals have played 50 games so far. It would be 1.9 WAR for fangraphs and 2.2 WAR for baseball reference over the whole season.
     
  16. tehG l i d e

    tehG l i d e Member

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    I went down a Baseball Reference wormhole looking up random players stats instead of working today and didn't realize how awful Michael Harris has been for the Braves. He is batting .163 with OPS of .486. I’m sure he’ll figure it out but he was one of Dana Brown’s success stories last season as the NL Rookie of the Year and the Braves ended up giving him an 8 year extension.

    Correa, Trea Turner, Machado..a lot of big names are off to dreadful starts. Gives me a tinge of hope for Abreu.
     
  17. raining threes

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    Urquidy looked pretty good in his start in the WS against the Nats.
     
  18. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    It’s 24M this year but yeah- that was my point in saying with 25M unspent it just doesn’t matter and Montero still has value.
     
  19. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    It’s 24M this year but yeah- that was my point in saying with 25M unspent it just doesn’t matter and Montero still has value.
    I was multiplying by 4. Damn this season is flying by.
     
  20. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    Aces get cracked all the time and RS do’s pull Brandon Backe type ****. Such is the nature of playoff baseball and small sample sizes.
     
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