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2024 roster

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by IdStrosfan, Jun 18, 2023.

  1. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Pitching depth? Were you not here this year? They went into this season with even more presumed depth than what they have now, and that basically went away (and became a need) within the first 6 weeks of the season.

    As always, the team’s trajectory and window will dictate all moves… as it did with the Cardinals who were able to extend a lot of guys throughout their championship runs (Yanier, Wainwright, first Pujols extension…). The Astros (nor any team) is going to be able to extend guys for huge discounts… unless they do it very very early in the process (sorta like the Braves did).

    While they weren’t able to do that prior, they did have more financial flexibility to make JV-like trades, extend Yordan, extend Javier, etc.
     
  2. Hemingway

    Hemingway Member

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    I would normally agree, but in the past they have been able to rely on the their minor leagues. It is a tough ask to replace your 2 best OF prospects after the bogus MLB sanctions and still be able to just ask for “next man up”. Brown may also have a different take if he has a say.
     
  3. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Drew Gilbert was a mid-first round pick just last year. That doesn’t sound like it’s “that” hard to replace that type of prospect. Perhaps they’ve already done-so with this year’s draft.

    Also, he wasn’t going to be Tucker’s replacement after 2026… if he wasn’t starting by next year, something was already wrong, hence why he was expendable now.
     
  4. Amadeus Rooster

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    If all those pitchers are healthy then if we don't trade em then do we just place em in triple A and call em up in a pinch?
    We could unload 1 or 2 of em if you ask me. And bring a a kings ransom.
     
  5. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    They won’t all be healthy. And having a 6 man rotation worked out pretty well for these guys in 2022.

    They already have two guys who can’t pitch a full seasons worth of innings (LMJ, Javier), and a third guy who won’t be back till later regardless (Garcia). Urquiddy has had a lengthy IL stint every year he’s been in the big leagues. JV is 42 years old and shouldn’t sniff 200 innings even if healthy. Hunter Brown should take a leap… but there are still plenty of question marks there. JP France will also be utilized heavily to spell any of the above guys who won’t be pitching every 4th day.

    Framber still remains their only true “horse” that has somehow found the ability to stay healthy and stay effective for entire seasons. 200 inning pitchers don’t grow on trees (let alone guys who are lefties and built like a tank).
     
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  6. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    That's all well and good but a team can't have more than 7-8 SP at any time and keep them stretched out and that's extreme.

    This year was terrible for the Astros and SP health which means 3 guys basically lost the season.

    It's not likely for that to happen again next year, but let's say that JV, Framber, and Javier all miss essentially the entire season. (We would freak!!)

    That would make the rotation some combination of (though I would be shocked if a legitimate 1-3 starter isn't brought in)
    McCullers
    Brown
    France
    Urquidy
    Arrighetti
    Blanco
    Dubin
    Bielak
    Whitley

    Let's say Lance and Hunter are a tier above the rest based on sheer ceiling.

    So that leaves 7 starters for 3-4 rotation spots and all would be very similar in expected performance if given 20-25 starts.

    Then Garcia comes back at the all star break and adds another slightly higher ceiling arm.

    Even in this extreme example the team has 2 starters who do not fit on the roster.

    Why not trade 2 of the bottom rotation guys in a package to a team who has a young left handed outfielder/1B or high ceiling relief pitcher?
     
  7. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    The Astros only have one starting pitcher who is expected to pitch 200 innings with above average effectiveness next year (Framber).

    They need all the pitching they can have… unless you’re trading younger starters for established starters, they’re going to need every pitcher they have.

    Or they could always trade more prospects at the deadline (or off-season) for proven starters… they’ve done this throughout this golden era, so it’s probable they’ll continue to do this if need be. (JV, Cole, Greinke, JV).
     
  8. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    I agree with your assessment of what the Astros have. My point is that the team can still only have so many starters and since there are holes, use the excess to fill them.

    There is no scenario where more than 3 of Urquidy, France, Blanco, Dubin, Bielak, Arrighetti, and Whitley are on the roster at the same time. And if Verlander, McCullers, Framber, Javier, and Brown are all healthy there is not room for more than 2 and possibly 1. And Garcia should be back in July.

    No matter how you slice it there is more starting pitching than the team needs in Houston unless there are even more injuries than this year - and if those are the guys filling in for the top 5 guys the team woukd likely want to trade for an upgrade anyway.

    Any team can find a place for 6 top of the rotation starters. Competitive teams can't keep 6 bottom of the rotation starters, but frequently need 3-4.

    Use the other 2-3 to fill the holes.
     
  9. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Everybody here loves to fill holes with presumed excess… my premise is they don’t really have proven excess. Even the guys expected to be healthy next year (LMJ, Javier, JV) SHOULD NOT pitch the whole season. Urquidy definitely won’t. Framber should… but lots of miles piling up on that arm and you never know.

    They figured it out in 2022 with relative health and they’ll figure it out next year. They’re not trading club controlled young starting pitching. Its never really worked for other franchises either…. Whereas there’s never been a successful franchise that complained that they had “too much pitching.”

    Brown had to pitch as much as he did this year out of necessity… Javier did as well. They’re not going to force that on anybody next year (let alone two guys coming off major elbow surgery).
     
  10. MAstroS

    MAstroS Member

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    Let's start with the idea that we have 13 pitchers:

    Valdez
    Verlander
    Javier
    Brown
    France
    Urquidy
    Arrighetti
    Blanco
    Dubin
    Bielak
    McCullers
    Garcia
    Whitley

    Garcia is NOT coming back next year until very late in the season, if then. He had surgery on May 19th. The recovery for TJ is anywhere from 14-21 months with the average at 18.5 months.
    https://www.sportingnews.com/us/mlb...ry-recovery-time-ucl/lrzi67ffmw29bckozhakt6le

    14 months puts it at July 19 and 18 puts it at Nov 19. At best, he can get into some minor league action and maybe come up in September when the rosters expand.

    Counting on anything from Whitley is pure fools gold. He hasn't shown anything in the minors let alone the majors. He has been so bad in the minors he hasnt even been considered for the majors, except to maybe keep a better eye him so that he adheres to the coaching orders- but not on talent.

    Counting on LMJ is also not worth considering. We did that this year and see where it got us. They have been so tight lipped on his injury there is no telling what to expect from him. He could be ready by ST or be out the entire year. It is anyone's guess at this point but not worth counting on. If he comes back you have to treat that as a bonus.

    That gets us to 10 realistic pitchers.

    Blanco, Dubin, and Bielak are fringe starters, with Bielak the best at probably staying as a starter. I think Blanco in their opinion is now a long reliever, he was struggling to get through 5 innings in the minors at the end of the year. I think they probably have the same opinion on Dubin but not sure.

    That now leaves 7 actual starters. I don't think Arrighetti was ready this year and needs more time in AAA anyway. He could have a great ST though and prove me wrong. He still has options left and I think they would put him back in AAA regardless of ST.

    That gets us to 6. All 6 of the remaining pitchers, except Valdez, need to be in a 6 man rotation for the majority of the season.
    1. Valdez should not have a problem going 7 every night, and with an extra day should be good.
    2. Verlander may want to go every 5th day and pitch 7 innings, but that isn't him anymore. He would benefit from the extra day and probably maxes out at 5-6 innings per night.
    3. Javier as this season showed shouldn't be forced to get his innings count up. Extra day off and topping off at 5-6 innings.
    4 and 5. Brown and France need to be stretched out but should have gotten less innings this year, so keeping them at this year's totals with a slight increase is probably for the best. 5 innings, maybe 6 (especially for France who seemed to go longer than everyone but Framber this year).
    6. Urquidy hasn't stayed healthy for a full season yet, so expecting him to do it now probably not a great idea. Giving him the extra day and limiting him to 5 innings is probably for the best.

    6 man rotation from above.
    Arrighetti and Dubin in AAA
    Bielak and Balnco in the Houston pen (2-3 innings per night, twice per week each)
    Garcia: 60 day
    LMJ: ?
    Whitley: Probably off the roster.
     
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  11. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    So you are starting with 13 starters and finding fault with 7 of them so there are really only 6?

    I want this team to keep a 6 man rotation. That requires more depth, but based on who is on this roster will be best for all involved.

    Therefore, I would like to see 7 starters on the roster, with one of them in a long relief/tandem role scheduled a couple of times per week based on starter innings and/or bullpen use/overuse.

    Ideally those would be: JV, Framber, McCullers, Javier, Brown, France, and Urquidy. All of them should be healthy going in to spring training. (We can debate Lance and I have not heard any updates but I am expecting 2021 regular season Lance but have left options in case)

    That leaves Bielak, Blanco, Dubin, Arrighetti, and Whitley (who hopefully will have an additional option or else needs to win one if the 7 spots in ST or will be in another org) sitting in AAA.

    To me France, Urquidy, Bielak, Blanco, Dubin, Arrighetti, and Whitley (if healthy) are all close enough in value or expected performance that the team is not impacted greatly by swapping them around. The team is fine if any of them are bottom of rotation, bullpen, or in AAA. The team is in trouble if they are among the top 3-4 starters.

    Furthermore, any of those guys are likely very easy to replace if needed. Maybe it's a young prospect like Colton Gordon or a minor league veteran like Joe Record who becomes this year's J.P. France.

    So, my point is that some of those guys, at least 2-3, are expendable and should have enough value to be a solid part of a package for a bench bat or bullpen arm. It's not like this team needs a star or top of rotation starter.
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    They need arms that can throw a bunch of innings effectively. They have only one of those right now (Framber), then a 42 year old load-managed one (JV), then a super load-managed one (Javier), then a bunch of guys either coming off major surgery or chronic injury risks.
     
  13. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    5 starters who can pitch 200 innings would be great but that's not what this team has, or has any hope of getting.

    They have several starters who can be all star, top 1-3 starters if limited to 150-170 innings and given regular rest. JV, Javier, McCullers, and even Framber can thrive and are more likely to stay healthy with 5-6 days rest than with 4-5 throughout the season. Brown and France can make the next step with less pressure or innings expectation than 2023. Urquidy will have less stress on his shoulder.

    And there are plenty of AAAA guys to full in if there is an injury or 2. But losing 3 starters for all or most of the year should be catastrophic, just like this year. (This team was very impressive in how it overcame that regardless of tonights outcome)
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    LMJ has thrown that much only once in his career, and that wasn't coming off major elbow surgery. Javier is a half-season pitcher. Sure, JV could still be that guy... or he could be the guy that all 42 year olds eventually are and will need to be limited.

    I'm telling you the facts. You're presuming a lot of best-case or other-worldly scenarios that just doesn't happen. They can piece together a 6 man rotation next year... but they need every single option, with redunancies available to get there.

    Or they go out and get a proven starter that on paper can pitch the whole year. That will give them 2 guys.
     
  15. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    Ok. I like the idea of another TOR guy on this team. I just don't see how.

    Do they sign a guy like Nola? Or another FA?

    Do they trade for one? If so who do they have with enough trade value? Anyone who can bring that kind of a return back would create another hole on this team (Tucker, Diaz, Framber?)

    Give me your ideas.
     
  16. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    They don't need a TOR guy... just a guy who can throw your ~140-150 innings without a fear that his arm will fall off. The plan is always the same... get to the post-season with as many healthy arms as possible and pick the best 3-4 to start games. That guy may not even be in contention (see Fiers 2017).

    This year worked out in a really round-about fashion that involved them barely winning the division and having to trade two top hitting prospects for pitching... but come playoff time, they have 4 legit starters.

    They can get said guy via free agency, or trading lower level prospects to a rebuilding team. Cease would be the ultimate buy low (or sell low, from the white sox standpoint), but their new regime will probably want something they can be optimistic about.
     
  17. raining threes

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    I dont know if an ace will be available this offseason, but if one becomes available then I'm looking to trade some of the surplus pitching and maybe a guy like Baez to get a true ace. I'm not signing Framber to a big contract. Great stuff but he's mentally weak. I realize this is a gamble, but I would spend this money on bringing back Tucker and Bregs.
     
  18. raining threes

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    You wouldn't want a guy like Lopez from the Twins? Young guy, mentally tough, great stuff.
     
  19. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    I hear you.

    Pitchers are always the next pitch away from being out for 18 months but it feels like 90% of the Astros starts are even more so.
     
  20. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    The mentally tough thing is getting overblown. Framber mentally weak enough to throw 200 IP the last two years with a mid 3 ERA and has no hitters and WS clinching games.
     
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