1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Tim Purpora is Charlie Casserly

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Jrazz, May 26, 2007.

  1. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Likes Received:
    4,880
    it's weird how quickly they seemed to sour on willy t. hindsight, and all - who knew which second half last year was legit. but he's younger than scott or lane (even burke, for that matter), and plays better defense than all of them - were they to all flame-out, at least taveras offered a late-inning glove or some speed.

    i haven't given up on scott yet (or burke), but lane's been a lost cause for years now, and at his best, burke was going to be last year's wily t. minus the glove with some added power...

    i think one could have made a pretty persausive case that wily t. had more value than the other guys and should have been kept. OR, at the very least, should have been enough (with a couple of buchholz's thrown in) to land a final-year guy like jennings.

    then and especially now, it seems purpura gave up WAY too much for jennings.
     
  2. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    42,794
    Likes Received:
    3,005

    that's what always bothered me about the willy t. situation. I understand people writing him off for ever having some pop in his bat, but the guy was improving defensively and he did get hits. and it isn't just people on this board, charlie palilo in particular seemed to have it out for the guy and made a couple of references to his bad start this season. I always felt it was something there to work with.
     
  3. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    41,438
    Likes Received:
    15,876
    The interesting thing is that it wasn't even surprising. Before last season, we talked about how Willy T was going to get worse before he got better because as he made better contact with the ball, he was going to get less of those infield hits that he made a living on in 2005. And that's exactly what happened. He skipped AAA and is relatively young - he wasn't very good last year, but that was to be expected. And he's continuing to improve now - we'll see where he ends up, but like you said, he was a useful commodity, I thought.

    And his defense definitely improved a whole lot over those two years. Pure speed is something that can't be taught, and he got a lot better reading fly balls and such.
     
  4. WhoMikeJames

    WhoMikeJames Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    12,691
    Likes Received:
    306
    Did anybody forget we went to the World Series 2 years ago...

    But yeah ****ty offseason.
     
  5. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Likes Received:
    4,880
    even more interesting: wily t. posted a .740 OPS last year after the ASB. this year, he's posted a .718. so over the past 95-100 games, he's had, roughly, a .725-ish OPS. which is decent for a lead-off guy, especially if the OB% is .350+, and, as posted earlier, it's actually been .365+.

    and yet, they carelessly threw him into a deal with a top pitching prospect while protecting last year and then brining back this year jason ****ing lane, who's .550 OPS is on pace for 200+ ABs this year. unreal.

    those are the kind of moves that doom general managers. even if the astros turn it around, mcclane needs to take a hard look at purpura; this is a poorly constructed team and he put too much faith in his own guys.
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 1999
    Messages:
    48,287
    Likes Received:
    14,510
    I've made it no secret that I felt this lineup could not afford to carry Willy T's bat everyday (let alone at the leadoff spot). Of course, at the time, I'm talking about a lineup featuring an MVP calibur Berkman, and an above average hitter in Luke Scott.

    If those two aren't going to hit for the rest of the season, while Willy T continues this pace... then by all means throw everybody in management under the bus.

    What's suprising is that Willy is doing most of his damage on the road, and not taking advantage of Coors' spacious outfield (that yields tons of bloop singles, and allows plenty of doubles and triples as well).

    Also, keep in mind that Willy's post ASB was largely influenced by his torrid August (the hitting streak).... sandwiched between two mediocre months. If that proves anything (correlating with his horrid start, and now hot streak) its that Willy is a streaky hitter, and he very well may just live up to his career averages when this season is done (not necessarily a player improving because he's "getting it.")
     
  7. Mr. Clutch

    Mr. Clutch Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    46,550
    Likes Received:
    6,131
    In the Chronicle today Jennings said he has been having elbow pain since last June and was not throwing bullpen sessions in the 2nd half of last year. And he is not sure if surgery will be required to fix it.

    Did Purpora know about this?
     
  8. SamCassell

    SamCassell Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    8,860
    Likes Received:
    1,297
    I'm all for piling on, believe me. But our current OF is Lee in left, Pence in center, Berkman in right. That's really an awesome OF situation to be in. OF isn't the problem with this team at the moment, it's the terrible IF and mediocre rotation. Where would Willy start? Lamb is a better hitter than Willy and can only reliably play 1B, which means Berk would be playing OF and Pence would be in CF even if Willy T was on the roster.
     
  9. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2002
    Messages:
    42,794
    Likes Received:
    3,005

    Well if Jennings doesn't pan out, you gave up a commodity for nothing, the point ric made alot better than I just did. just because willy doesn't fit, doesn't mean he isn't valuable.
     
  10. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Likes Received:
    4,880
    it is, yes - but that wasn't supposed to be our OF; the outfield was supposed to be lee, burke, scott/lane. THAT was the OF purpura invested in. and in doing so, he dealt away - no, gave away a very tradeable commodity (wily t.) and damaged the value of another decent commodity (burke) who probably never should have been in CF to begin with. when they signed biggio to his 2-year extension with the idea of letting him go for 3k, they should have dealt burke 10 minutes later. now, they'd be lucky to get a low-level prospect for him and he's STILL stuck behind biggio, who may not get to 3k until july.

    would i have picked taveras over burke before the season? no. we all (well, most of us) assumed burke would make up for any defensive shortcomings with more pop at the plate. and i would have dealt taveras under that assumption; but he wouldn't have been a throw-in! if you're giving up the organization's TOP PITCHING PROSPECT, there is NO NEED to toss in a 24-year old CF with blazing speed and terrific defensive credentials for jason ****ing jennings.

    hindsight is always helpful, but i think it's fair to rip purpura for his offseason. he gave away taveras, gave up on hirsch way too early, essentially dealt pettitte and clemens for jennings and williams, and brought back ensberg and lane with hopes they'd play significant roles when a lot of us knew LAST YEAR that they sucked. and to top it off, looks like he missed on scott and burke, too.

    so the major league team is poorly constructed; the upper levels of the farm system are barren, and they have few pieces to trade, short of oswalt, lee and berkman.

    i mean, it's a disaster. and i know that's being said in the midst of an 8-game losing streak, but even if they turn it around, as previously stated, i think purpura is fair game.
     
  11. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Likes Received:
    4,880
    it has nothing to do with berkman and scott; it rests with biggio, ausmus and everett getting 400+ ABs - THAT line-up can't carry taveras, you're right.

    i realize biggio was untouchable; but they made no effort to upgrade the situation at catcher or, really, for that matter, SS. loretta's played 30 games at short since 2001. so with biggio, ausmus and everett and their .615-ish OPS in the line-up every day, yes, it makes it hard to bring back taveras, even though he plays a diffcult defensive position exceedingly well and, more importantly, is only 24 with no triple A experience.

    it's in the same ballpark (well, ok - the parking lot of the same ballpark) as them protecting bell and letting abreu go in the expansion draft in 1999.
     
  12. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 1999
    Messages:
    124,314
    Likes Received:
    33,199
    I completely disagree with you here, I watched him MASH all kinds of stuff at RR, and yes, I know it is the big leagues etc...

    But, Luke goes through a slump every year then gets extremely hot....but the hot streak always is prolonged....

    Garner needs to stick him in the lineup....his bat will get going....no doubt in my mind.

    DD
     
  13. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 1999
    Messages:
    48,287
    Likes Received:
    14,510
    You honestly think this team would be this bad if Berkman was hitting like he should, and they had a consistent performer (or somebody close to last year's Luke Scott) in RF?

    I still think you should watch the season play out for Willy T... and for that sake, Hirsh. The organization had always taken a polarized stance on our so-called "best pitching prosepct"... even as he was dominating AAA, you could see all of management very hesitant to bring him up. Turns out, their suspicions were valid when he bombed siginificantly when he first came up. Now, granted, nobody should have expected Hirsh to be lights out in his first MLB experience... but then again, should they have expected him to give up HR's at a Lima-like pace (after giving up virtually none in AAA), and having non-plus stuff for a 6'9 power-looking pitcher (and again, they all knew he was more finesse... based more on location/movement).

    Thus, they made the decision that they needed somebody better... and they also came to the same conclusion as you did that this lineup couldn't afford to carry Taveras. They did feel (as we all felt) they had an upgraded the outfield with Scott being improved, Burke, Lee, and converted Pence to a CF in case Burke flamed out.... and they wouldn't miss Willy. Not having Berkman, and having Scott revert back to his early 2005 form are making that decision look much worse.

    But once again... let the season play out. The August 2006/May 2007 Willy T looks like is an everyday leadoff hitter... whereas the 2005, every month of 2006 except August, as well as April 2007 Willy T does not.
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 1999
    Messages:
    48,287
    Likes Received:
    14,510
    How much of an MLB sample size have you used to disagree with me? He struggled in 2005, was hot at the end of 2006, and now is struggling again.

    And I used to watch Jason Lane MASH all kinds of stuff at RR... and yes, it is the big leagues... and yes, Luke Scott isn't getting any younger.

    He's still going to get AB's when he's healthy... against the guys he should be hitting (right-handers). Yes, Lane is dead-weight now... but do you honestly expect Scott to hit better against lefties than he does righties?

    He needs to simply start hitting... that is all... they have no other options.
     
    #74 Nick, May 29, 2007
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
  15. NIKEstrad

    NIKEstrad Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2000
    Messages:
    10,077
    Likes Received:
    3,822
    It was Dotel and John Buck for Beltran.

    John Buck is now hitting .277 with a .373 OBP and a .563 SLG to go with 8 HR. Considering how much we've invested in Ralphie Henriquez and Max Sapp in the past couple drafts, not having an MLB ready catcher to call up has hurt us -- regardless of your opinion of the current Ausmus.
     
  16. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Likes Received:
    4,880
    well, sure. not many teams would struggle with 4 guys in their everyday line-up posting .900+ OPSs, just as not many teams are going to win with 4-5 everyday players in the line-up posting .700, or lower, OPSs.

    but you don't give both of those guys away for jason jennings. it made no sense. one should have been enough; if not, you move on. THAT'S my problem with the deal. a 25-year old with speed and defense who skipped triple A and held his own during a pennant race has more value (imo) than being a throw-in to acquire a nice, but by no means great ML starting pitcher.

    IOW, i think they undervalued taveras and have overvalued the guys they kept in his place. that is the essence of purpura's job; making proper player evaluations. and he is proving to be horrible at it.

     
  17. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Likes Received:
    4,880
    nick, sorry - one more point i wanted to make:
    pence was, coming up, a RFer; he was converted to CF out of desperation. purpura's mistake was valuing scott and/or lane over pence. the 3 of them are, in theory, redundant - THAT'S where he had the logjam. but for some reason, that made taveras expendable, even though taveras was far and away the best defender of the group and played a vastly different game than anyone else among the five.

    i understand them wanting to find a place for burke (though, in hindsight, they should have dealt him the minute they signed biggio to his 2-year deal), and would have been OK with them jettisoning taveras if they had gotten something of value. short of that, they would have been better off letting burke and taveras compete in CF and pence/lane/scott battle it out in right.
     
  18. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 1999
    Messages:
    48,287
    Likes Received:
    14,510
    Did you see what Luke Scott did in close to 215 AB's last year? Sure, they shouldn't have expected that over the course of an entire season, but his improvement is very similiar (and more striking) to the increased production of Taveras you keep pointing to after the ASB last year (which was still a product of a ultra-hot August, with a mediocre July right before that, and a slumping September right after that).

    Taveras and Pence were not conisdered a more valuable commodity than Scott going into THIS season.

    I may be valuing Willy too low... and I feel you may be valuing him too high (given that he's had a good month). He still has a knack of getting the bunt single/bloop single... and he still has a knack of getting far more of those than the walk/solid-single/XBH combined. He also will continue to strikeout with "authority". His defense was improved... but it wasn't like he was a gold glove candidate out there. Pence (who wasn't a CF as of last year) has made the transition just fine.

    But he does fit in on their lineup much more than he does on ours... and considering his value wasn't all that great after last season (where teams recognized his hot August over anything else... only the Marlins were making a significant push for him), he may not have ended up being a center-piece of ANY deal.

    Colorado does do a fine job of having him platoon with left-handers at the plate... perhaps keeping him in there only against lefties or righties with non-plus stuff will serve his overall numbers better. I honestly wish the Astros would have done more of that, rather than simply putting him out there and letting him sink (more often) or swim.
     
    #78 Nick, May 30, 2007
    Last edited: May 30, 2007
  19. Buck Turgidson

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2002
    Messages:
    86,497
    Likes Received:
    85,100
    This is not true. The plan all offseason was to get Pence time in CF, and let him be the eventual replacement for Willy. He started working on it in the AFL.

    Hirsh & Burke/Taveras + throw-in (Buchholz) was the going rate for #2 starters that were available to the Astros this offseason. They chose to keep Burke over Willy. Looks bad now, didn't look so bad at the time. Personally, sure I would have loved to keep Willy over Burke. Let's see how Jennings pitches before we judge the trade. If he's healthy & pitches like he can & signs here as expected, the trade doesn't look nearly as bad as you're making it out. Way too early for a postmortem.
     
  20. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    14,201
    Likes Received:
    4,880
    of course i did; but scott's 3.5 years older than wily taveras with college baseball experience and 1100+ ABs between AA and AAA while taveras has all of 409 in double A and no college baseball experience.

    so which small sample size was likely to be flukier? the 28-year old former college baseball player who took 6 years to get to the majors or the 24-year old who made his ML debut at 22 and skipped triple A altogether?

    yeah i know, and that was the problem. you had two 24-year olds with sparkling minor league credentials at your disposal, and the team went with a marginal ML prospect who would turn 29 this year. and also jason lane, the luke scott of 2 years ago.

    those decisions are the type that come back to burn GMs.
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now