Tag: Drayton McLane

Set for Power Needed? Is It Time? Houston Astros’s Future…

For years and years, and it seems like decades that we’ve been playing a 6 inning game in a 9 inning battle (take out SS, C, & Pitcher –all batting below .230). First all, for those following the Astros, in between Miguel Tejada and Ricky Guiterrez, we’ve had a disaster at SS. Do you want a 300 +20hr guy at SS? No need to answer that. We’re all tired of a slick fielding SS that can’t hit; you can pick them up on any waiver wire or minor league systems, including your own. Manzella, trial is still out on him, looks like he maybe a grade above of Everette in batting or maybe not. I’m not taking my chances. I will take Sanchez’s batting average any day. As long as the guy can hit 270+ avg & plays good defense, I’m good. Wait..wait..’that SS defense can save you runs!’ True, Tim Bogar.Would you take a number 7 / 8 slot hitter with great defense or a 2 slot hitter with average and good defense? Especially for a team have been notoriously known to not provide runs for their pitchers. Should we flip a coin?..It’s a two-way street for production, to help out your team in every aspect of the game as much as you can.

Same lack of offensive production with the catcher situation. Humberto Quintero, who has proven to be an active defensive catcher that brings his value up..but don’t stick and settle for a Brad Ausmus clone. Don’t give the ‘he’s good at calling games!?!’ Really? We’re in the majors and we want someone that will put up batting average; not asking for G. Soto (Cubs) power. As if we haven’t notice in this era, it’s a plus to have a 8 position players that can get on base. Just get on base with a 270’s avg or so. J. Castro….sure strikes-out a lot! He’s on trial for potential, we are all waiting for him just to hit for average. Castro potentially can bring us to another lever if he can hit. Can’t ask too much of him right now, but we want to from a 1st rounder. Who wouldn’t right?


Who’s dogging J.Mike? Age is an easy excuse for not understanding. So what’s he’s having not so great 2nd half, tons of star players have that dilemma year in and year out. But Age..age..give me a break. He can hit with power with some clutch and not be in the 220s, be grateful for a pinch hitter.

Bourn is a true defensive miracle that we really really like…need…like him to hit at least 270-280. I’m going to start counting how many super fast center fielders that we’ve had that can steal bases at will and track down fly balls like a hawk, but can seem to get on base for the life of them. Start with Gerald Young, if you like.

Biggest upgrade problem goes to Espn’s LVP, Carlos Lee. The Manny Ramirez jog to 1st, right? Is he truely a Least Value Player? Hands down for the first half, but not the second half. He’s got clutch, more than I can say about Berkman (super streaky & liability with southpaws). Put him at first and get an OF or get a 1B? Will Lee go cloak and dagger next season with the 1st half again & carry that to the 2nd half too? Will B.Wallace develop soon? There you have it, offensive upgrade tweeking indeed needed.

Remember Pence and L.Scott was tearing up the league in their first full extensive season? Then they came down because they’re not the Tony Gwyn batting average type of player. Chris Johnson is having that type of season. Finally, a 3B that can start and can hit for power with some average. Sophomore stinkers coming up? I just don’t know, but I’m enjoying his production right now. Can he hit 280 or 290 with +20 hrs and maybe sneak up in +100 RBIs? Depends on adjustments of the league and him improving.


Even without the Great O (he deserves where’s he’s going to this year, Amen), This is the best I’ve felt of the pitching staff coming somewhere near the consistency of the ’05 season (Roger, Andy, Roy & scraps).

Paulino looks promising breaking out of the 5 inning barrier of last year where he complete implodes. At least TBD right now after injury. Norris finally putting his zips into keeping the game to winnable situations. We all know he can strikeout the side. Paulino and Norris can easily put up back to back 10k days. Myer’s..getting in age right??? He’s been a miracle man striking out lots and lots of folks; finally living up to the potential? Up in age right? Who cares! Keep it up Myers, I was wrong about you at the beginning. Wandy‘s got the second half magic…wait we have potentially 4 guys that can maybe average a strikeout an inning? Impressive! Wait, did we forget JA Happ, he’s no Roy, but we’re expecting him to be, can he be?…I don’t know, but he looks good enough to be excited over.

Figga who? Figga what? Figueroa, a pleasant upgrade from the inconsistent Moehler. Good to know that we’re not a rehab center for a needle in a haystack for next year’s ‘what might he do next year with his pitching?’ Bullpen may need more work…hmmm. Who knows how these rookies are going to do or how long they are going to last next year..looks a little over worked to me. Lindstrom and Lyons are doing an exceptional job in the close out department. No, Valverde or Wagner, yet if we do get a superstar closer, our bullpen will look lock-down ready. Can we get that superstar closer to show up or drop in? Or should we concentrate on the Lee/contract/true prototype Josh Hamilton / Joey Votto / Pujols type of a cleanup hitter addition or replacement? Overall, we have great potential at pitching front end and back end.


Hunter’s lodge. Pence is really coming to his own in becoming a clutch hitter, but to ask him to be SF’s Will Clark & Keith Mitchell and/or Matt Williams that brings chills down a starting pitcher? Nope. Can he be? We like to and want him to…as of right now? No way. We can’t ask that of him or expect him to be. As of right now, he looks like an ideal guy that can be a great asset to lineup with true & consistent 4 and 5 hitters. This again leads to the Lee 1B experiment.

Question is, if somehow you get rid of Lee’s contract, who can hands down replace that power and clutch? Can we add some else with him? Can a realistic deal be done to replace him and his contract? If so, are we ready for a two or three year of searching, testing, and finding that elusive elite clean up hitter? Can it be Wallace? C. Johnson? Pence?

Can we survive off of the 2nd half power surge of Pence, Lee, and Johnson? Maybe, but don’t rely on power alone to win games.

2011 looks like we’re able to compete. To put on paper as a postseason threat to win? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. That remains to be seen with trades and development of maybe players.

Remember, going into last year and this year, we had the seventh highest payroll with $107 mil and ++$90 mil or so. Now, we’re looking at $70 mil payroll including the eating up Berkman’s and Oswalt’s contract. If we play it cheap, then we wait til after the 2012 season assuming their contract does get picked up by their current team. Or should we get up into the $100 mil to get that TRUE Elite Superstar? Whatever you do, don’t trade half of our farm system again for picking up declining stars such as Lee &Tejada or junk quick fixes as Matzsui & Feliz. Let’s not make that same mistake, please don’t. We’re not in the mood to hear..’making the team more competitive’, Cecil Cooper. We want the later, TRUE Elite Superstar now..but is Drayton going to sit & play with… ‘A bunch of these guys are eligible for arbitration and new contracts’. Isn’t that what the GM is for? Wheel and deal this time again…Mr-I-Have-My-Own-Award, GM (google Ed Wade Award).

Simple formula, not solution to winning it all, yet effective.

Elite Superstar Hitter = Higher Percentage of Clutch Game Deciding Hits = Higher Fan Expectation & Interest = Higher Ticket Sales + Higher Jersey/Product Sales = Higher Revenue.

Was that so hard to figure out? We’re in a position to financially make that commitment with our strong push..it won’t guarantee a World Series, but give a boost in the attendance bubble where Drayton has been hurting all season long. AKA, it shows the owner is really listening to the fans’ demand for excellence, oh…we’re also speaking for whole team too. We know what happens when non superstar speak up.

Will Ed push that confidence into Drayton and can he pull it off? It’s not just a team effort, it’s an organization effort.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Sorry, Houston Astros Fans: Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman Must Go

As I write this, the Houston Astros are enduring yet another typical night.

Wandy Rodriguez, who’s on-again, off-again pitching deserves its own theme song (Jerry Reid’s When You’re Hot, You’re Hot, and When You’re Not, You’re Not ) left tonight’s game against the Cincinnati Reds after getting shelled for eight runs and eight hits over three-and-a-third innings.

We like to think he mistakenly thought he was pitching batting practice.

The ‘Stros, as usual, have shown that hitting the ball into play and getting to first base before the ball does remains a foreign concept to them. One has to wonder if Sean Berry is unaware that Kaz Matsui is no longer with the team and is giving hitting instructions in Japanese.

If the Astros lose tonight’s game, they’ll be at 16-32 and a frigid 16 games below .500. Houston has the worst record in the National League and would have the worst record in baseball if not for the Baltimore Orioles.

Right now, it would probably be easier to get Houston schoolchildren to eat a meal of creamed cauliflower and fried liver* than to get them to watch the Astros play.

I worry that in a few years if things continue, Brad Mills will be fired. It would be a shame, since I honestly believe he’d be a fine manager IF he had decent players to work with.

I know that Jack McKeon brought the Florida Marlins back from the dead one year. Asking Mills to win with this team is tantamount to asking KISS bassist Gene Simmons to marry longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed and bid adieu to adding more female conquests to his infamous Polaroid collection.

If Mills did that with this team (the winning part, not the sleeping with every woman in the solar system), forget a World Series parade in downtown Houston: He should be admitted simultaneously into both the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Smithsonian.

I can just see the Smithsonian exhibit:

Brad Mills, the rookie manager of the Houston Astros who’d never managed a major league team before, took a team that sucked so bad it could suck a proverbial golfball through a proverbial garden hose and radically turned the Astros around. After starting the season 16-32 and losing an exhibition game against the Little League World Series champion 84-0, the Astros went 114-0 en route to their first World Series championship. Fans named their sons Brad, daughters Brad-ette, and Mills ended up doing a commercial where he said, “Forget Disney World! I want Six Flags to re-open Astroworld!!!”*

Fat chance.

I’m afraid Houston needs to start rebuilding.

My suggestion: Trade Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman.

Oswalt, who will turn 33 in August, currently has an impressive career win-loss record of 139-74 and a 3.21 ERA. This season, he is 3-6 with a 2.35 ERA. He conjures up memories of Nolan Ryan, who had a National League-leading 2.79 ERA and 270 strikeouts in 1987 en route to a sickening 8-17 record.

(As a side note, many whine about how Ryan shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame because he was only a .500 career pitcher [324 wins versus 292 losses]. But what they don’t tell you is that Ryan spent much of his career on mediocre teams).

In short, Roy O is wasting his talent in Houston with this team. As he’s hinted already, he’d like to go somewhere where he can win a championship. 

Is it possible Houston will miraculously rebound the next year and be a contender?

My feeling is it would be better to trade Oswalt and insist on getting some quality prospects and even a major-leaguer or two. Pitching and hitting. Any team that wants Oswalt will have to cough up some good players in return.

What if they don’t? Then Houston better play hard ball or else: Oswalt’s contract expires in 2011.

It’ll stink if Oswalt goes. Chances are, he’ll pull a Nolan Ryan, and have so much fun at his new home that if he makes baseball’s Hall of Fame, he’ll request to wear that team’s cap.

Berkman is 34 and has struggled the past few years. He hit .274 last year and again got off to a slow start this year as he’s at .235. Lifetime, he’s at .298 with 318 home runs and 1,056 RBI. Surely, Houston could get some solid prospects in return for Berkman.

The Big Puma is in the final year of his six-year deal with the club holding a $15 million option for 2011.

Let me get this straight: I don’t really want to see Oswalt or Berkman leave Houston.

I’d love to see them end their careers in Astros uniforms. I have fond memories of Berkman in 2005 hitting everything in sight, and Oswalt calmly shutting the St. Louis Cardinals down in Game Six after the Albert Pujols/Brad Lidge Game Five heartache.

But I also know that Oswalt may choose to leave for another team once his contract expires, and that Berkman has suggested he’d waive his no-trade clause.

I hate seeing both waste their time playing on a team that’ll go nowhere, and I’d hate to see Roy O and Mr. Eligibility Major leave Houston with the Astros receiving absolutely nothing in return.


Richard Zowie blogs about the joy and (mostly) the pain of being an Astros fan at Bleacher Report. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com .

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Roy Oswalt Set To Blast Off, but He’ll Land Right Back in Houston


Standing at a measly 15-27, which is good for last place in the National League, the lowly Houston Astros’ season has gone from bad, to potentially worse.

On Friday, Houston’s star pitcher, Roy Oswalt, who has looked very impressive so far this season in amassing a 2.66 ERA and starting his 2010 pitching campaign with nine consecutive quality starts, requested a trade from the Astros, hoping to play for a contender to conclude the season.

You know what? He deserves that chance.

While his aforementioned stats are certainly impressive, he only has a 2-6 record to show for it, a product of pitching for one of the worst offenses in all of baseball, an offense that ranks dead last in batting average (.228), slugging percentage (.320), runs scored (124), and home runs (21), among other categories as well.

In short, the Astros offense couldn’t hit a beach ball.

After reaching the World Series in 2005, Houston has gradually made the decline from legitimate MLB team, to something that can be more closely compared to a AA or AAA ball club. The team isn’t going anywhere this season, and with the management team currently running the show in Houston, things aren’t likely to get better any time soon.

While he may deserve a trade to New York, LA, Tampa Bay, or some other team with a chance of competing in the playoffs over the next couple seasons, Oswalt will, in a likelihood, be stuck pitching for a bad team going nowhere fast for the remainder of his contract.

Unfortunately for Oswalt, his contract is so unattractive at the moment that it will probably render all of his positive qualities meaningless when it comes time to discuss a trade.

For the most part, Oswalt is a very attractive pitcher. He’s 32, which means that, although he is a veteran, he still has several good years left in his arm, and he’s still pitching remarkably well.

In 2006, after Oswalt was rumored to be headed out of town in a trade, the star pitcher secured a six-year, $73 million contract from Houston.

The behemoth of a contract calls for Oswalt to be paid $15 million in 2010 and then bumps his salary to $16 million next season, numbers that few teams can afford at the moment.

Contenders such as the Tampa Bay Rays could probably use him, but they won’t go for a contract that large, and teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox (two teams that always seem to be in the running for whoever wants to be traded) could probably afford him, but neither team really has any need for another starting pitcher and could use that money much more effectively somewhere else.

It’s an unfortunate situation for Oswalt, as pretty much all the teams that want him can’t afford him, and most of the teams that could afford him either don’t have a place for him or just don’t want him at this moment.

While his contract is certainly a major deterrent for most of the teams out there, if Houston had a competent front office there would probably be a solution out there, one that would see Oswalt playing for a contender by the trade deadline.

They key word in that sentence was “if.”

Any hope that Oswalt has of jumping ship is almost certainly going to be crushed by the incompetence of the Astros front office, which, between owner Drayton McLane and general manager Ed Wade, has successfully taken a 2005 title contender, run it into the ground, and watched it burst into flames.

For starters, it doesn’t sound like the team wants to accommodate Oswalt at all, preferring to keep him around just in case the team can maybe turn things around over the next couple seasons and compete for a playoff spot, something that Wade seemed to make clear when asked about Oswalt’s request:

“Roy’s contract has a no-trade clause, not a trade-me clause. There is no rule that allows a player in his contract status to demand a trade. So demand, request, hold your breath until you turn blue, it’s all the same. It’s acknowledged and noted.”

In all likelihood, for another team to pry Oswalt away from the Astros, it will need to offer up a bevy of prospects and maybe one or two other major league players in order to get him out of Houston.

Not because he is worth all of that, but because the owner who seems to have an affection for Oswalt thinks he is.

A 32-year-old pitcher who probably has three more solid seasons in him is not worth mortgaging a team’s future for. For teams with the quality pitching prospects that Houston will desire, why cough up five to 10 potentially good years from multiple young players for two to four good ones from an aging star?

It doesn’t make sense, which is why it will never happen.

Had Houston really wanted to trade Oswalt, they should’ve done it two or three years ago, when he had more than just a handful of quality seasons left.

But they didn’t, and now both the Astros and Oswalt are stuck in a situation that they don’t really want to be in.

For Oswalt, he’s essentially doomed to pitch in Houston for the remainder of his contract, just wasting away.

As for Houston, this team needs a total rebuilding, starting by gutting the current roster by trading any assets it has for as many quality prospects as it can. There is little potential on this major league roster, one filled with aging and underperforming, overpaid players, and it’s not going to get much better if the team remains stagnant.

Both scenarios are highly unlikely to be remedied within the next couple of seasons, which is a shame because the fans in Houston and Roy Oswalt both deserve better than what they’re getting at the moment.

So while Oswalt is ready to blast off and shoot for the stars, he’s probably just going to touch down right back in Houston with the same old 15-27 ball club.

In fact, he probably won’t even get off the ground.

For more sports commentary, be sure to check out Water Cooler Sports!

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Next Five Guys the Houston Astros Will Get Rid of

Kaz Matsui’s time with the Houston Astros is officially in the books. We are left to wonder his options. Perhaps he will join fellow Japanese export Ichiro Suzuki in Seattle, or maybe he’ll head back to Japan and play for the Yomiyuri Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Yakult Swallows or the Nagasaki Yakuza.

With that, we are left to wonder who will be next to be issued their walking papers with the Astros…

Begin Slideshow

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress