Greg Rajan's biggest off-season question is whether or not Hooks manager Luis Pujols will be retained, after his two-year contract ended Monday.
“Over the next week, I’m going to sit down with (general manager Ed Wade) and (president of baseball operations) Tal Smith and talk about staff for the next year. I think Luis has made an impact on the guys there in terms of teaching them how to play the game the right way. That’s one thing we stress as a staff and Luis has told the players there that you have to play the game the right way. From a win-loss perspective, it’s not what we’ve been hoping for, but I think it’ll get better in time.”
“I don’t have any problems managing at the Double-A level,” Pujols said. “If it’s my call, I’d like to stay here because it’s a little bit more teaching (involved). But it’s not my call — it’s the Astros’ call. But I don’t mind (returning). We also had maybe three or four players who went to Triple-A and performed well. And we have four or five players here who will be in Triple-A next year...
...I said at the beginning that this (team) was different from last year’s. They approached the game more like baseball players instead of (saying), ‘I’m a prospect or I’m playing because he has to play me.’ This group, they behaved well and I think they played well. We don’t have as many prospect types as we had last year, those names. But we developed a little bit more this year than last year. We had guys moving up who, earlier in the season, you thought they were going to stay here the whole year. If you look at the won-loss record, we still had a better year than last year. We moved a lot of players up and down just to help the Triple-A club. I’m very satisfied with the job we did here with this group of guys.”
It will be a pretty strange turn of events to punish a manager for not winning with a group of players who weren't exactly Buster Poseys and Gordon Beckhams. Rajan noted that it was Pujols who pushed to add Drew Locke to the Hooks, and we all know how that turned out...