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The Piña Predicament

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Tuckmose, Jun 23, 2022.

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What to do with Yuli?

  1. Let it ride, man's a Batting Champ, he'll figure it out

    17 vote(s)
    41.5%
  2. Free JJ, DFA Yuli if needed

    5 vote(s)
    12.2%
  3. Wait until the deadline and make a move then

    19 vote(s)
    46.3%
  1. Tuckmose

    Tuckmose Member

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    We're over a third of the way though the season, and Gurriel thus far posts -0.3 WAR with an abysmal 81 OPS+, passable for a defensive-oriented C, SS, or CF, but unacceptable at 1B. Unlike Bregman, where his problem is making bad contact but still has outstanding discipline, Yuli currently possesses career highs in K% with his BB% cut in half from last year.

    Unlike last year, we're so far positioned to finish nearly 20 games behind the #1 team in the AL, the Yankees. While I doubt they finish with 120 wins on the year thanks to a brutal august and September schedule for them, going in a series against them with one offensive anchor (Maldy) is bad enough, but marching into the ALCS with two sub-300 OBP hitters is a death sentence. I do not look forward to Yordan and Tucker getting the Bonds treatment with two outs just for Yuli to flail.

    Unsurprisingly, much talk is directed here on what first baseman we can add at the trade deadline, with good reason too. Yet I'm taken back at the willingness to trade futures without seeing what replacements we have in house.

    Yet, J.J. Matijevic has a whopping eleven at bats. I get that 26 year olds in AAA rarely turn into decent big leaguers, but the man had a 1.000+ OPS in Sugar Land, there's nothing more for him to prove down there. With Gurriel falling off a cliff and Diaz starting to bang in the door at 1B for 2023, its time to see if JJ has any future on this team or in the majors as a trade piece.

    Will Click be forced to make a move to get Dusty to budge, just like he did with Myles Straw last year?
     
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  2. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Gurriel is an excellent clubhouse presence and has been an extremely underrated Astro. And there’s always the chance he is able to bounce back. But at his age this is most likely a sign of irreversible age related decline. So it’s tricky because replacing him might upset the team culture, but doing nothing could damage the teams odds of winning the World Series. Matijevic looks like he could be a very good MLB hitter, but he would need to play everyday to show it. Playing Matijevic would eliminate any chance of Gurriel breaking out of his “slump”. The trade market costs valuable prospects and/or money.

    My assumption is that the front office has enough data to tell them whether or not they can expect Yuli to bounce back, whether or not Matijevic is the real deal, and what impact/value the various trade options would have. I trust them to make the right call.

    If I were the GM I would acquire a bat of some kind. Willson Contreras would be a potential target who is a good enough hitter to replace Yuli on days Maldy’s defense is needed on the field. And Yuli still has value as a veteran bench bat who doesn’t strike out that often and can handle 4 positions (1B, 3B, 2B, LF).
     
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  3. RunninRaven

    RunninRaven Contributing Member
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    I am not in favor of making a move to get Matijevic more time, but I do feel like they need to put in a few more spot starts and give Yuli some more days off. I'm still not 100% convinced that Yuli won't bounce back. His BB% being down from last year doesn't surprise me. If you look at this career it is pretty clear that last year was the aberration, not this year (with regard to walks). The K% is concerning since he is so free swinging. If he has dramatically lost his ability to make contact then that's probably it for him as a major leaguer.

    I guess my vote would be a bit of a combo of option 2 and 3 in the poll. I want more JJ starts, but not at the expense of dealing or DFAing Yuli. If a trade is made, wait to the deadline and give Gurriel the maximum amount of time to turn it around.
     
  4. Htown Legend

    Htown Legend Member

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    What Yuli was able to do, coming over from Cuba in his 30’s, and be a huge piece on one of the best teams in baseball has been amazing. Winning a batting title and had one of the most important homers in Astros history(game 5 off Kershaw).

    Piña will always live in Astros lore.

    That being said, barring an amazing turnaround, Click should absolutely be in the 1B market. Bregman looks like he’s starting to figure things out- which is really putting the microscope on Yuli’s struggles.
     
  5. BlindHog

    BlindHog Member

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    I remember thinking Yuli was about done a couple of years ago. The next year he won the batting title. I will reserve judgement for now.
     
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  6. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    As long as he continues to pick em, and the Stros maintain at least the 2nd best division winner record, give him time to figure it out (but continue to drop him in the order as needed).

    He's going to eventually play the Josh Reddick role... player who's obviously done, but plays just enough defense and has just enough experience and clubhouse influence to still maintain an everyday role.
     
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  7. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

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    Even at his worst Reddick wasn't giving as little as Yuli is right now, and we had no other dead spots. I agree there's no need to address it right now given our cushion, but unless there is a significant development he or Maldy will need to be addressed.

    I think Matijevic needs to be given some regular PA. Give Yuli and Brantley some days off to at least give the kid a chance to be an in house solution. If the Astros don't think he's gonna hit, what the f**k are we even doing with him because he sure isn't here for his glove.

    Yuli will not be DFA'ed under any scenario unless he requests it. He doesn't need to start, but he has assuredly earned the right to stick with the team.
     
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  8. Trader_Jorge

    Trader_Jorge King of the D&D, The Legend, #1 Ranking

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    We must look forward and continue to improve as a team. There are no sacred cows. We cannot be afraid to make changes for the betterment of the team. We were close to winning a world series last season. We need to make the moves to get over the hump and win Championship #2.
     
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  9. SuraGotMadHops

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    It's pretty incredible the way the Astros are still slaying when you consider for the majority of the season they have not gotten great production out of the 1b, 3b, CF, and C position, that's winning ball games with only 5 good batters. Bregman seems to be figuring it out, and that will make a big difference down the stretch if he can continue to find his groove.

    I think Yuli has one more hot streak in him, but this confirms that after this season the Astros will move on from him, unlike Uncle Mike who is still producing well at his age, and at the end of his deal. I wouldn't be surprised if we make a run a retaining Mike on another short term deal.

    I am ok with looking for another 1B bat at the deadline. I wouldn't trade or DFA Yuli, but reduce his starts and put him in a backup 1B/3B/DH role. That might mean demoting Dubon or trading Diaz. In the meantime, since he's already on the big league club give JJ more starts and see what he can do.

    To me, CF is just as dire of a need. I want to see what Meyers can do before the deadline.

    Maldy isn't going anywhere and he will be the starter every game come playoff time. Castro though is done. We will need somebody to play backup during the regular season when Maldy gets his rest days.
     
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  10. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    I think Yuli is a valuable presence and should not be DFA'd or traded away regardless.

    That said, a comeback can't be counted on at his age.

    This team gets very little offensively at catcher and that won't change. Pena has been a great story but expecting above average run production from him the rest of the season is unfair and unwise. Regardless of who is in CF 10-15% above league average should be the best to expect.

    All this significantly reduces the rope the team has to give Yuli.

    If an upgrade is not made from outside the organization then I like J.J. but I like Taylor Jones more.

    I would trade Diaz if possible and move Yuli to that spot on the bench.

    Jones has more experience and a higher floor than J.J. which is more important than ceiling in this particular case.

    It would leave the bench RH heavy but not any more than it is now.
     
  11. Mattician

    Mattician Member

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    I don't want to see Gurriel in another uniform.
     
  12. Nook

    Nook Member

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    There is a real chance the Yuli makes adjustments and starts hitting, but at his age and with him so reliant on raw bat speed, it is also very possible he just doesn't have it anymore. The wrist surgery sapped his power, and now at 37 he doesn't appear to be getting around on balls like he was before and he has never had great disclipline.

    The second thing to consider is how easy it is to fill the holes the Astros have and it appears that catcher and CF are harder to remedy than first base.

    The third consideration is who is likely available and what the prospect cost will be.

    Josh Bell is very likely to be available and his hitting profile and patience fits what the Astros need. He is a free agent so his cost should be reasonable. There is also Trey Mancini who will likely be a free agent as well. He isn't as good a hitter as Bell but he is a better fielder and can also play the outfield. He is a good enough bat to extend the line up to 7 deep.

    If I were the Astros I would target those two players heavily.

    Gurriel can likely still get some starts and pinch hitting chances to see if he can turn it around.

    Bell and Mancini also will be well liked in the locker room, which should ease concerns over Gurriel and chemistry.

    Altuve
    Brantley
    Bregman
    Alvarez
    Tucker
    Bell
    Pena
    McCormick/Meyers
    Maldonado

    I personally would have Bregman OR Brantley and have Bell third in the line up with Brantley or Bregman in the 5 hole but I don't think Dusty will mix it up.
     
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  13. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    Dusty didn't move Bregman out of thev3 hole despite being anemic for 6-8 weeks. No chance he moves him now.

    Bell or Mancini hit 6th to give Tucker some protection.
     
  14. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Ill live with that....

    I would rather have Bell though as I think he is a cut above Mancini with the bat.... if Bell can get protection around him in the Astros line up he could push for an OPS of .900.... which is nasty.
     
  15. King1

    King1 Contributing Member

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    Asking Dusty not to be an idiot is impossible so we'll have to deal with it
     
  16. SKYGODZ187

    SKYGODZ187 Member

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    A good combo Trade would be Josh Bell, Victor Robles and Tanner Rainey
     
  17. STR8Thugg

    STR8Thugg STR8Thugg Member
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    His bat has been weak af so far, but I think people truly underrate how good he is defensively.
     
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  18. STR8Thugg

    STR8Thugg STR8Thugg Member
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    Both Bell and Mancini are terrible defensively.
     
  19. STR8Thugg

    STR8Thugg STR8Thugg Member
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    The reality is that most of the league simply isn't hitting like last year. It's mostly been the baseball. While some spots in the lineup are absolute black holes, and Jason Castro is a white hole in an entirely different league of his own, the team OPS is pretty respectable.

    Regardless, it's still impressive that they have been able to continue to win in different ways. I do miss the good ole offensive attack from the past 5-6 years that we've grown so accustomed to though.
     
  20. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Bell has improved a lot defensively this year, but historically he is bad.

    Mancini is okay defensively at 1st.
     
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