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 MLB.com.  "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.


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33 Comments on "Astros Notes: Luhnow, DeShields Jr., Altuve"


baseball52
3 years 18 days ago

Altuve? Nomnomnom

baseball1010
3 years 18 days ago

DeShields just got to high A, how does that equate to being in the majors in the near future?

Hal_Jordan77
3 years 18 days ago

I think near future in this case means about 2 years, which is why Luhnow said they’re not worrying about it right now.

baseball1010
3 years 18 days ago

So you think he’s talking about 2015?

vtadave
3 years 18 days ago

Sometime in 2014 I’d say, though it could be quicker if he dominates in Double-A next year.

Hal_Jordan77
3 years 18 days ago

That’s true. Altuve started 2011 in high A, and made it to the majors mid-season.

But 2014 is most likely.

ReHabit
3 years 18 days ago

Astro fans who know the game are excited by some of the moves Luhnow has made in a very short time, seeming to come out on top on most of those trades so far. Who thought he’d get anything of value for Carlos Lee? Their farm system was mismanaged and decimated for years and now we are looking at a top 15 system. Sure they are going to suck this year and probably next, but they were going to suck anyway. At least now there’s a plan, competence in ownership and gm, and undeniable talent coming up the pipe.

Gothapotamus
3 years 18 days ago

In all fairness, a lot of players near the top of the Astros’ system are Wade’s guys, and they’re actually pretty decent (Singleton, Cosart, Villar, Deshilds). Granted, Luhnow hasn’t even been there a year and he’s made some good moves to this point.

Like Wade’s tenure with the Phils, he seemed to “get it” in the later years and wasn’t around to see the fruits of the guys he drafted or acquired (Howard, Rollins, Utley, Chooch, Victorino, Hamels, Myers, Burrell). It seems like he’s probably a decent talent evaluator, but he can’t figure out the organizational dynamics to be a good GM.

sdsuphilip
3 years 18 days ago

With Deshields speed you would think a move to CF maybe made eventually

davengmusic
3 years 18 days ago

Barring a AAA meltdown, Robbie Grossman probably is the CF of the future. Then again, there isn’t a single OF on the Astros roster right now that’s an MLB starter (Bogusevic and Schafer aren’t even MLB calibur players at all), so you could always do some shifting around.

Jwick22
3 years 18 days ago

When the braves traded schafer to the astros I was hoping a change of scenery would do him good. he was suppose to be the braves long term answer at center so the talent is there or atleast was to be an everyday player. even after his 50 game ban he showed promise. Where its at now I have no clue

sdsuphilip
3 years 15 days ago

Also I have seen many reports suggest that Grossman doesn’t have the speed for center

sdsuphilip
3 years 17 days ago

I forgot about Grossman but you can never have too much OF defense, could play 1 in right and the other in center if both work out like expected.

notsureifsrs
3 years 18 days ago

if you’re not going to contend, being the worst team baseball is advantageous. luhnow has done a great job, but he hasn’t been trying to add wins to the 2012 club. that’s not a sound way to evaluate him

Tesseract
3 years 18 days ago

This is my one problem with baseball is that being at the bottom can be beneficial and teams can still make a profit. In european soccer there is a relegation system where the last team gets demoted to 2nd division and the best 2nd division team gets promoted. I know this wouldn’t work in baseball but MLB should implement something to make teams want to avoid (not try) finishing up dead last.

davengmusic
3 years 18 days ago

I think that even if the Astros hadn’t traded all their veterans, this team would have still finished last. They’re THAT bad.

Tesseract
3 years 18 days ago

I agree, they were terrible to begin with. But generally speaking MLB should find a way to make teams stay competitive all season long. I read somewhere that former Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga would only stay competitive until the all star break and then dump a lot of players to save some money and would turn it great profits. This is detrimental to the game in my opinion

Jwick22
3 years 18 days ago

Yeah im sure every preseason ranking had them being the worst team in baseball. I do hated for their fans but better days are on the way. even if they didnt make trades I dont think they would have finished better than the cubs. Bad thing is when the nationals had back to back first overall picks they got superstars. Thats just not in the cards for the astros but it still doesnt hurt to get top of the draft talent two years in a row

GoAstros00
3 years 18 days ago

Well they had start rebuilding eventually.

davengmusic
3 years 18 days ago

If Drayton McLane still owned this ballclub, we still wouldn’t be rebuilding. That guy would rather sell the club than rebuild. Thankfully, that’s just what he did.

Kevin Swords
3 years 18 days ago

Drafting and projecting talent is too hard in baseball to add any repercussions for finishing in last place.

AaronAngst
3 years 18 days ago

I agree – Move the Houston Astros to Triple A ball, and bring the Toldeo Mud Hens on board!

GoAstros00
3 years 18 days ago

No.

AaronAngst
3 years 18 days ago

But think about the great chance you’ll have to be winners in the International League! Isn’t winning what matters most? Besides, I hear the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area is real nice in the summer months.

jb226
3 years 18 days ago

I think you’re right in general, but I do worry somewhat about the timing in the Astros’ case. They’re already not that far geographically from the Rangers and they have an impending move into the AL — if they tick their fans off by being abysmal for a few years, are they just going to turn on the Rangers games instead? And if they do are they going to come back when the Astros turn it around?

That said, Crane’s comments are still puzzling. Did he not understand how far the Astros really were from being a good team? They traded pretty much any established player with value and he didn’t expect them to get a lot worse?

davengmusic
3 years 18 days ago

As far as alienating the fans, Houston’s a football town. I don’t imagine if the Texans become a bad team again, people will stay away from the games. This doesn’t ring true for the Rockets or the Astros. If either of these organizations build a winner (Rockets mid-90’s, Astros mid-00’s), they’ll show up, but Houstonians (in general) don’t have time for anything but the best product. It’s fairweather to be sure, but it is what it is.

davengmusic
3 years 18 days ago

If there’s anyone who can pull off another Larry Andersen-for-Jeff Bagwell trade, it’s Luhnow. Houston is headed in the right direction, for sure.

Kevin Swords
3 years 18 days ago

As Goold notes in his post, anything can happen in baseball–more so than any other sport. They are the worst team in the league, but I wouldn’t expect them to be this bad for the rest of the season (they won 3 games in July). The Astros are on the quickest path toward contention so you can’t fault them for any of their moves. If some team makes the post-season because they have a weaker schedule for the remainder of the season and happen to play the Astros 6 times, you can criticize the unbalanced schedule–not their rebuilding plan.

Expos '94 World Champs
3 years 18 days ago

1B – Singleton
2B – Altuve
SS – Lowrie
3B – Wallace

I like that IF of the future. They just need some pitching.

AaronAngst
3 years 18 days ago

But Wallace is a butcher in the field – Luckily with the move to the AL, he can DH it. Dominguez can play third until they find a better bat.

Casor_Greener
3 years 18 days ago

An often injured Lowrie to pair with an over-rated Wallace. What’s to like?

3 years 18 days ago

what would the Marlins have to give up to get Altuve and J.D Martinez. I see both of those guys as good fits for the fish. Young controllable players, that fit their win-now M.O as well as fill holes in their lineup

DempseyK
3 years 17 days ago

I am not an Astro fan, actually a Pirates fan, however, I do see some talent coming for Houston to look forward too. IMO, this is your team of the future as far as the rebuild goes. Obviously as more pieces are added, some players can be switched out and such. But I think there could be promise to this POTENTIAL lineup:

C—Jason Castro
1B–Jonathen Singleton
2B–Jose Altuve
SS–Jed Lowrie
3B–Matt Dominguez
LF–J.D. Martinez
RF–George Springer
CF–Robbie Grossman
DH–Brett Wallace

Possible Bench Options—Util Inf–Marwin Gonzalez; Util Inf–Jimmy Paredes; C–Carlos Corporan; OF–Jordan Schafer; OF–J.B. Shuck; 2B–Delino DeShields Jr; OF–Fernando Martinez; 1B/OF–Telvin Nash; 2B/SS–Jonathen Villar; OF–Domingo Santana; C–Carlos Perez; OF–Austin Wates

I do not forsee guys like Matt Downs, Brian Bogusevic, Chris Snyder, Ben Francisco, Steve Pearce, Tyler Greene, Scott Moore, or Justin Maxwell being in the long term plans for this team. (MAYBE Francisco, Snyder, and Pearce if some above players lag in development) But I do not expect these types of players to take away big league at bats from the “future” of the organization.

Not many Houston fans seem to be high on Matt Dominguez as the long term solution at 3B, I however, think he could be their guy. With power numbers down for corner infielders this year, if he can manage to produce 15-20 HR’s per year while exhibiting the ++ defense he did in the minors, then I wouldnt be looking to replace him at all.

Maybe a Pitching staff that looks like this in no particular order (**Guys that have the command and “stuff” to be a #3 starter or better**):

**Bud Norris**
**Dallas Keuchel**
**Rudy Owens**
Lucas Harrel
Xavier Cedeno
**Jordan Lyles**
**Jared Cosart**
Chuckie Fick
Wilton Lopez
Paul Clemens
Fernando Abad
**Mike Foltynewicz**
**Brett Oberholtzer**
Asher Wojciechowski
Rob Rasmussen
Kyle Weiland
Rhiner Cruz
Kevin Chapman
**Joe Musgrove**
**Colton Cain**

I think Astro fans will be able to see an average to slightly above average team for the 2014 Season. Perhaps contendeing for the AL West in 2016.

Enjoy Astro fans, I hope you found this to be a fun and interesting read, considering it is through the eyes of a third party.