Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Reinforcing the Astros: August 6

Alright, so the awesome has happened!!  The Astros have all of their up-the-middle starters in the DL at the same time.  Carlos Correa seems to be a couple of days away (read: back in late Sept), José Altuve and Brian McCann are both "making encouraging progress" (read: the black pox-like spots have disappeared or something) and George Springer is expected not to need surgery (read: his thumb is so mangled, surgery would not assist).

But even if / when all those guys are back and everyone else is super-healthy,  the Astros could still need another bat for either LF or DH, or possibly both.  In addition to that, there seem to be bullpen spots available as well, and Lance McCullers will be missing 6-or-so weeks to heal his forearm strain so the Astros may elect to leave Bradley J and Collin McHugh in the 'pen, and start someone different.

Derek Fisher is back with the big-league club in George Springers' place.  He gets another look despite his poor early season showing (.176/.222/.419), which is probably fair.  At the time of his promotion, he was hitting .259/.384/.477 at Fresno, with 37 walks and 67 strikeouts in 232 plate appearances.  Let's see if that plate discipline and occasional power translates to the major leagues.

Right, let's see who else is making a bid for some big league playing time...

Corpus was off today, so only Fresno (65-49) played.  They beat down Memphis (71-43) by a score of 12-3.  So there were lots of offensive contributors (in no particular order):

  • OF Myles Straw went 2-5 with a double and three strikeouts
  • OF Kyle Tucker went 2-5 with a 2R HR, a K, and a stolen base
  • INF Jack Mayfield went 2-2 with a walk, and a grand slam.
  • 1B / DH AJ Reed went 2-5 with a 3R HR
  • DH Yordan Alvarez went 1-5 with a 3R HR
  • C Garrett Stubbs went 0-3 with a BB
None of these guys have been consistently hot over the last week or two.  All have shown signs of life.  Yordan Alvarez hit 3HR in his last 7 games, but still has a .179 average in AAA.  AJ Reed has hit one HR in his last 10 games.  Kyle Tucker is 7 for his last 19 with 1 walk, 5 strikeouts and 1 HR.  No one seems to be making much of a case at this point.

In terms of the Grizzly pitching staff, Kent Emanuel got the start and managed 5 innings of 1 hit, 1 walk, 5 strikeout ball.  The other three pitchers allowed 1R/ER each: Riley Ferrell in 1IP allowed 2H and 2 walks while striking out three, and Buddy Boshers* and Ralph Garza both threw one inning, striking out 1 apiece.  Both also allowed one double each.

*Buddy Boshers was brought into camp at the beginning of the year as a LHP swing-man-type.  His last 10 games in AAA are not good (12IP, 5.25 ERA, 12K, 4BB, 11H), so the AA pitchers guys covered yesterday may be ahead of him in the queue.  

Tomorrow: Cy Snead (9-6, 3.59) gets the start for Fresno.  Ryan Hartman (9-3, 2.87) gets the start for Corpus.  The plan is for Carlos Correa to play back-to-back games in the field, then head to Houston if he recovers ok.