How Do the Astros Spend the Rest of 2012?

“You know what, Ernie? Let,s play two, just for fun!- It’s beginning to look like we don’t have to worry too much anymore about finishing dead last in 2012.”

As the Cubs and everybody else is noting, it appears that the worst teams on paper in the National League has now stepped forward (or stepped backward far enough to have been clearly identified in 2012 and it “ain’t” the boys from the north side of Chicago – even if those of us in Houston wouldn’t trade rosters or general managers with the Cubs for anything.

The question is not – how do the Astros keep from finishing last. but how do they make the best use of the 72 unplayed games they have left on their schedules for 2012? And maybe they are already doing it, but here’s what I see:

(1) Treat the rest of 2012 as the longest pre-spring training period for 2013 that they could give themselves. Short of auditioning players on an everyday basis for the new DH position we shall acquire with the Astros move to the American League next season, every other young player in the system should be auditioning for one of the 25 top roster spots.

(2) Move those veterans via trade, or “amnesty,” by the July 31 trading deadline. Get what they can for Wandy, Brett, and the other older guys and, by all means, bring up Wallace to see if he’s making the transition as a credible big league hitter he seems on the brink of becoming.

(3.) Give Maxwell the rest of the year to show the best side of his hitting. This guy is athletic with the kind of raw power that could turn him into a key offensive figure if can also cut down on his strikeouts. Maybe Mighty Max is our DH prospect?

(4) Find the “five guys, burgers and fries” who are young enough and effective enough to fly as the club’s starting 2013 rotation now. Even if the club changes some of the ingredients in the actual 2013 ST period, at least, go to camp with a list in mind that doesn’t include any of the guys who don’t figure in the team’s future.

(5) Work on why Altuve’s bat is slipping, After batting over .300 most of the year, he’s now fallen to .294 and looking like a guy who may even sink to .275-.280 by season’s end.

(6) Be on the lookout for a young arm with closer potential.

(7) Be patient with Brad Mills. Aside from some problems I have with his management of pitchers, he seems to handle the young guys really well and that’s going to be important. If the Astros need to evaluate Mills further, as I’m almost sure they will, let them evaluate the general opinion that he is a good manager of young players. That needs to be true – and not merely an out-of-earshot impression.

(8) That’s ti. The general question is: What are the best specific ways the Astros could use the rest of their 2012 schedule? – Pleas check in with a comment below.

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5 Responses to “How Do the Astros Spend the Rest of 2012?”

  1. Jo Hale Says:

    Bill, I agree. BUILD BUILD BUILD You did a GREAT job as interium manager for the Babies, maybe you could sign on with Mills as a mentor. Stros may be last place team but they are OUR LAST PLACE TEAM – Houston fans need to understand it is Baseball – and we will get better – and in my opinion, we should still support OUR team.

  2. Jo Hale Says:

    -need spell check in the reply box… jo

  3. Patrick Lopez Says:

    I agree with Jo , we need spell chech in reply box,,,,and
    Go stros,,,,,,

  4. Bob Hulsey Says:

    There’s no urgency to trade Wandy because he is under contract for next year and serves a useful purpose as the anchor of the rotation until a good offer comes around. Myers and Lyon will be free agents after the season so we can take less for them. I also think now is the time we should be looking to move Wesley Wright with all the lefty arms in the high minors who can take his place. If we can find a good offer for Happ, that’s another arm I could see them replacing.

    I’m not as high on Maxwell as some people but he is a versatile OF option for now. I’d like to see Fernando Martinez get a second look. How much time do we give to older prospects like Bixler, Moore, Downs and Maxwell versus younger guys like Wallace, Paredes, Dominguez and F-Mart?

  5. mike Says:

    Sadly, I keep replaying the words of a national baseball writer (or maybe scout) who said back in late April/early May that Altuve looks to be a .280 career hitter and not the .340 guy he was then. I’ve been a fan of his since last year’s call up. And I must say I prefer .340. haha.

    And I totally am on the Maxwell bandwagon this year, too. Love the athleticism.

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