Astros Notes: Luhnow, DeShields Jr., Altuve

Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow wrote the club's season ticket holders this afternoon to encourage them to stay on board as they look to build for future seasons.  Houston is dead last in the standings but Luhnow pointed to the club's commitment to building through the draft, international free agents, and the trade market as evidence of better things to come.  More on the Astros..

  • While the Astros weren't expecting to contend this year, new owner Jim Crane told the Associated Press that he wasn't expecting the team to be struggling this much.  "We made a lot of trades and once we made that decision — Jeff started moving some of the talent — we knew we might slide back a little bit, but we didn’t think it would be this bad," Crane said.
  • Prospect Delino DeShields Jr. is on a path to reach the majors in the near future, but Luhnow says that the club isn't yet concerned about what to do with him and All-Star Jose Altuve, writes Brian McTaggart of  "If we get to the point we have two guys up here and they're blocked, or one guy here and one guy [at Triple-A], maybe then you make an adjustment. That's how we're going to approach it," the GM explained.
  • The Astros' rebuilding project is a gift to the rest of the contending teams that are scheduled to face them in the coming weeks, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Of the seven teams in the hunt for the Wild Card (including the division-leading Reds), five have games remaining against Houston.