Richard Justice has a new column up in which he discusses how we have to judge Ed Wade, because he must be judged.
Wade's three drafts appear to have begun the restocking of the minor leagues with quality players, thus providing a road map back to respectability. So this summer if the Hometown Nine hits a speed bump or two, remind yourself that everything Wade is doing is necessary.
Meanwhile, Tal Smith seems to be a touch misguided when referring to J.D. Martinez:
"The fact that he's in Double-A is not a reflection of his development. It's that our system is better. We're to the point that we can go get prospects when they're ready."
Okay, I'll bite. Because it seems to me that the fact that Martinez rocketed to Double-A within a year of his being drafted is both a reflection of his development and a reflection of the system. The system is better because Martinez is in it. And, if Martinez can make his way to Corpus that quickly, then the system had a hole. Wade should get credit for this turn of events, but as Justice mentioned, it's a work in progress. The Astros top prospect will spend a decent amount of time in the minors this season, if not until September. The system wasn't very good, and for Tal Smith to put the credit for J.D. Martinez on The System rather than to say, "He's a hell of a player, and we're lucky to have him" is exactly what got the Astros to the point they're in - the arrogance of prematurely declaring, "Mission Accomplished! We were right this whole time!" Because they weren't.
Will Ed Wade be around to see a rotation with Lyles, Seaton, Keuchel, Foltynewicz, and Bushue? I don't know. Whoever becomes the new owner will be the guy who didn't hire Ed Wade. Or Tal Smith, for that matter, and Tal has been around for more famine years than feast years. But like everything the Astros are depending on, time will tell.