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Tim Purpora is Charlie Casserly

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

  1. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    so what did i say that wasn't true? that it was desperate? OK. but the problem remains that they valued scott and lane over taveras. they actually thought one and/or both would block pence, no? and that was the thinking behind moving him to CF, yes...?

    the astros had a #2 starter that wouldn't have cost them any prospects. he's now pitching for the yankees.

    and yes, it was the going rate and that rate was, imo, too high. jason jennings is a nice pitcher, but he's not worth hirsh and a burke or taveras.

    i don't think it was a good trade; i think they gave up too much for a guy of jennings' caliber (especially a soon to be free agent jason jennings). but i certainly understand the reasons behind the trade.

    my problem with the deal is that it exposed how horrible they've become at evaluating talent - they greatly undervalued taveras and gave him away, and overvalued scott and lane, two, at best, marginal ML prospects (well, lane was 2 years ago).

    they should have envisioned a OF with taveras and pence.
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    First of all, stop touting how Taveras skipped AAA... because it creates the premise that he was READY for the big leagues, when in reality he wasn't. He should have never skipped AAA, but was lucky enough to be on a team with zero options at CF after Beltran left, and this much was exposed when he LOST HIS JOB IN THE PLAYOFFS that very year (where Burke's bat was very very hot).

    On most other teams with viable major league talent/farm systems, Taveras doesn't get to the majors as fast as he does, and he's likely still a defensive replacement/pinch runner/8th hitter first before he becomes an everyday leadoff hitter.

    I'll get to Scott's credentials in the next paragraph.

    Once again... these arguments look very conveinent given the shape of the team, and Luke Scott's current slump/injury. BTW, what were Luke Scott's minor league numbers? Why doesn't he fall into the countless list of MLB late bloomers (the LoDucas, Nevins, Carl Everett's) given his tremendous year at AAA, and his even more tremendous 215 AB's in the majors (which as you would say, isn't a small sample size).

    Just like Tim may have been wrong/right in not having a plan B in 2005 and making Willy an everyday player before he should have been... he's likely wrong/right in having faith that Scott can be somewhat close to serviceable, given his minor league and then major league performances.

    The bottom line is that the overwhelming need of this team (considered by mostly everybody) was MORE PITCHING, given the departures of Clemens/Pettite. Sure, a balkly elbow was more expected from Pettite than Jennings... but even in his injured state, he's performed as expected (sub 4 ERA) and will hopefully continue that.

    And when Willy comes back to earth, and Hirsh's ERA continues to rise with the altitude, I'm not going to preach about what should/shouldn't have been done. The team needs Berkman to play like he should, they need Scott to not absolutely suck (he doesn't have to be superman as he was last year), and they need Ensberg/Lamb to be serviceable. Willy T (nor his "value") wouldn't have masked ANY of those defeciencies.
     
  3. Major

    Major Member

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    The problem is that the team *could* have had:

    Pettitte, Willy, Hirsh, Scott, Pence (and Buchholz)

    Instead, they have:

    Jennings, Scott, Pence

    Just from a perspective of available assets, this has turned out badly, even if Jennings pitches well, and especially if Jennings doesn't re-sign with us. If he doesn't or he sucks, then next year, we'll have:

    Scott, Pence

    Add to the fact that we're now learning that Jennings had arm pain during the 2nd half of last year, and this all looks pretty bad.
     
  4. Major

    Major Member

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    That's the point though - he *wasn't* ready when he ended up with us in 2005. Which is why he's expected to improve with playing time. He was/is relatively young and inexperienced so you'd think that he hasn't reached his ceiling.
     
  5. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Once again... there was ONE team that even remotely inquired about Taveras, and that was the Marlins.

    We already know this team needed an upgrade to him as early as last year. Now, you're creating a market for him... and OVER-valuing him... big time, and trying to slight the Astros for being piss-poor in evaluating talent as well.

    First of all, you say they should have kept Pettite... you're telling me he's worth 2 years $32 million (which is the NY offer), and you're telling me Jennings is not worth Taveras+Hirsh? Whatever.

    Second of all, you still have to watch Taveras' season/career play out. He's still not drawing walks. He's still striking out. He's still getting on base more via the bloop/bunt single than the hard-hit variety. And, he's getting the benefit of being in platoons with Finley and a farm-hand against the harder throwing righties of the league.
     
  6. msn

    msn Member

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    (beware: wild-assed speculation)

    Perhaps Colorado wouldn't take Burke? Perhaps the Rockies asked specifically for Willy?
     
  7. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    If you call having one hot August 2006 "improving with playing time", then so be-it.

    I still see the same tendencies that most every other team saw in him... speedy player, doesn't work the count, doesn't have even the occasional XBH pop.

    Sure, he may find his way into a nice Juan Pierre-type player when he turns 27-28... I'm not going to fault the Astros for not waiting till then.
     
  8. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Doesn't look all that good from a pitching perspective... which is why they had a choice to make a trade giving up what they felt were expendable parts, or give up 2 years $32 million for a pitcher with more potential elbow problems than Jennings.

    I felt they'd known more about how long it would take for Hirsh to be an adequate MLB starter than they were letting on... why else did it take so freaking long for them to promote a guy who was dominating AAA, not giving up the long-ball at all?

    He comes to the big leagues and gives up the long-ball at more than a Lima-like rate. He's starting to hit some bumps this year after a great start... and he's still giving up the long ball more than a sinker-baller should.

    The Astros are trying to do everything possible to win now with Oswalt and Berkman in their primes... its not a bad strategy. Sure, they need to upgrade some other parts that are long overdue for upgrading (2B, SS, C) to fully do that... but starting pitching was a huge area for concern.
     
  9. Major

    Major Member

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    ... That we know of. Plus, the Rockies of course.

    This is a bit misleading. We're talking one year of Hirsh & Jennings. And we made the one year offer for Pettitte. When it didn't get accepted, we didn't spend that money elsewhere. So the money was just wasted this year. So all we're talking about is $12MM next year. If Jennings is as good as people hope, he'll command at least that much next year - and we may not sign him. So you're talking about taking on the extra year on Pettitte's contract and having Pettitte next year along with Hirsh & Taveras for the next 4 years OR having a chance at Jennings in the offseason (which we would have had even without the trade since he's a free agent) and not having Hirsh & Taveras.

    That's why the price was so high. You traded two assets that you had control of for many years for one year of Jennings, while you had another option that was possibly expensive, but you didn't use his money for anything else anyway and you'll have to commit more than that next year if you plan to keep Jennings. Sure, we may re-sign him. And we may even increase our chances by having him this year. But assuming he's like 99% of the other free agents out there, he's going to go to whoever pays him the most. Which means we could likely have him for the same price next year not having given up anything.
     
  10. Buck Turgidson

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    They chose Burke over Taveras for CF this year, with the expectation that Scott would play RF & Pence would be the starting CF & Burke the starting 2B in '08.

    The Rockies were interested (and still are) in Burke.

    It hasn't worked out like they planned. Oh well. Now it's up to them to fix it. Crying over spilled milk & all that doesn't really interest me.
     
  11. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    First of all, I wanted them to keep Pettite no matter what... but when he started talking about retirement to us, only to have him sign a 2 year deal with the Yankees, the writing on the wall is pretty clear. It wasn't just about the money... Andy loves the spotlight just as much as Roger, and NY is more his baseball home than Houston ever would be.

    IMO, its still not them choosing Jennings over Pettite. Pettite made his decision... they had to have a backup plan. They still needed pitching. They weren't as high on Hirsh as his numbers should have made them be.

    So if Jennings performs to what he's worth, why wouldn't the Astros offer him Pettite-money? Going into this season, he's younger, has been far more durable, and he's apparently coming off this year where he successfully improved on his numbers by leaving Colorado. He's also a free agent during a huge inflation of MLB spending... to which the Astros have shown they have no problem being a part of, given the contract they gave Lee.

    Addiitonally, Garland was their first choice... a better choice... but the same trade wasn't enough to get him.
     
  12. Major

    Major Member

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    I dunno. Pettitte + Hirsh looks better to me than Jennings + random AAA pitcher. Sampson certainly has worked out well so far, but he was below Wandy on the food chain, so that tells you what expectations were for him. As far as elbow issues, Pettitte had a dominant second half of 2006, while Jennings wasn't throwing bullpen sessions due to arm pain - something the Astros like should have known. That part is still a bit unclear, but it seems like if a pitcher is having pain and isn't throwing bullpen sessions, that would be something that research would uncover.

    Wait - what? He spent 1 year at A ball, 1 at AA, and half a year at AAA before jumping to the majors. He was promoted pretty quickly.
     
  13. Achilleus

    Achilleus Member

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    How many homeruns is Carlos Lee on pace to hit? :confused:
     
  14. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Still not as quickly as this organization has promoted quality pitchers in the past... definitely not as quickly as Oswalt, Redding, or Carlos Hernandez (and now Albers). Why have Wandy pitch as much as he did last year, instead of having Hirsh dominating AAA every 4th day (and he was there for more than half the year... didn't come up here till August). Because he's a 6'9 FINESSE pitcher, who's lack of HR's allowed in AAA was apparently fools gold. He gives up the long-ball, he needs pin-point control to be successful... his numbers made him look a lot better than he may actually turn out to be.

    And once again... you're simplifying the whole Pettite scenario. The guy was talking RETIREMENT with us. The guy was constantly complaining about his elbow throughout the last two years. You can't forecast them being mandated to offer him a 2 year deal. We do that, and he gets hurt, and you not only have worse criticisms being thrown around here, but now you have no payroll flexibility to actually improve the team.
     
  15. Buck Turgidson

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    Major, you're also assuming that Pettitte was seriously entertaining the idea of returning to Houston. From things said in the clubhouse, even well before his decision, especially by Berkman (his best friend on the team), he was pretty much dead-set on going back to NY. If it came down to money...well, they're the Yankees.
     
  16. Buck Turgidson

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    Or the White Sox decided not to trade him.
     
  17. Major

    Major Member

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    I don't see why this is the case. Pettitte has been a free agent twice in his career, and was clearly very uncomfortable both times. If I were him, I'd want a two year deal too. Why? Simple - I don't want to go through it all over again next year. It would probably be more important with NY because it involves moving there and all, but regardless I'd still want the longer-term deal. And it's not like he didn't give the Astros a chance to match. He allowed them to match AND at a lower price. The Astros have admitted as much.


    Oh I don't doubt that the Astros can/would offer $12MM a year. But what if, say, the Yankees offer $15 or $17MM a year. Given their pitching issues, that's not a stretch. That's the huge risk you take with getting a pitcher in the last year of a deal, and why they generally come cheaper than what we paid.

    Certainly true. My biggest issue is that what made the Astros successful during the Hunsicker years is never mortgaging the future for the present. He made smart trades targetted towards a single year - Randy Johnson, Carlos Beltran - but you never got the sense that he was trading important cogs in the short-term for a hope and a prayer. I get the sense that Purpura panicked in making this trade because he lost out on other options (Pettitte, Garland). Same sense for me as Carlos Lee - great signing for this year, but a panic move that may haunt us in a few years.
     
  18. Major

    Major Member

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    Hirsh was called up more quickly than Oswalt. He was called up in his 3rd full year in the minors. Oswalt was called up in his 5th year.

    That said, no one said he's a prospect the quality of Oswalt or Hernandez (cy-young caliber players). Most pitching prospects take a year or two to get comfortable in the majors. If the standard of success is Oswalt, then we may never get another useful prospect out of the minors before we give up on them.
     
  19. Major

    Major Member

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    From what was said by both sides after the Yankees deal, both sides had talked, Pettitte had given the Astros a chance to match the two year deal (at a lower price), and the Astros balked so he took the Yankees deal.
     
  20. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    hold up - he didn't lose his starting job. taveras started 4 of the 6 NLCS games, including game 6, and all 4 WS games. he hit .345 in the NLCS and WS in 29 ABs.

    and look, teams don't randomly jump guys from double A to the major leagues; especially THIS team. but he posted a .400+ OB% in his one and only season at round rock. yes, beltran leaving left a void and thus an opportunity, but it wasn't like they picked the nearest scrub to replace him. taveras earned the spot.

    i was OK giving luke scott every opportunity to prove 2006 was no fluke.

    but when trying to make an astute evaluation of something you can't possibly predict (the future), which player's second half was likely flukier?

    the problem with this, nick, is that purpura had a certifiably better prospect behind scott: hunter pence. but he determined pence would be buried behind not just scott, but lane, so they shifted him to CF. that was the WRONG route to take.

    if wily t was here and getting on base at a .350-.360 clip, it would certainly mask one of our deficiencies. and our outfield defense would also be SIGNIFICANTLY better with taveras and pence.
     

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