A Trusty, But Too Limited Report on Correa

Drs. Don Matlosz and Bill McCurdy at a 2011 reunion trip to UH. The two friends did their undergrad work at UH and their doctoral work at UT in the Texas Medical Center.

Drs. Don Matlosz and Bill McCurdy at a 2011 reunion trip to UH. The two friends did their undergrad work at UH and their doctoral work at UT in the Texas Medical Center.

Before he turned professional in the mental health field and secured his long-term position as a tenured professor at Fresno State in California, my old friend Don Matlosz was a pretty darn good lefty school boy pitcher in New Jersey. The man knows his baseball and he has been an avid fan of the AAA Fresno Grizzlies club that now takes care of the Houston Astros farm club needs after years of service to the San Francisco Giants for as long as I can remember. Aware of the local Houston pull to bring up the young shortstop “phenom”, Carlos Correa, early to the big club, my wizened collegial buddy offered a few words of sense-making caution through a comment he made here today:

It doesn’t cost anything to listen to people with no personal agenda who know their baseball maturity and game mechanical details. – And it could be costly to both the Astros and Carlos Correa, if his call-up timing is mishandled. Here’s what Dr. Matlosz thinks – and his observations also cover another Astros farm hand and two of our current veteran MLB roster players:

“Your roving scout from Fresno went to his first Houston Astro AAA game on 05-23-15. I have been in mourning since the SF Giants left after 17 years of great baseball in Fresno. Singleton has shortened his stroke and therefore does not strike out as much. I think he is ready to return to the bigs. Dump Carter – too many k’s. – Correa struck out twice and had an infield single (in the game Matlosz watched). He looked over matched and had difficulties with off speed pitches. Lowrie is the answer when he returns from his injury. Keep Correa here.” – Dr. Don Matlosz, 5/25/2015.

My own thoughts, in spite of my longtime caring and respect for Don Matlosz, are simply to give the young man Correa a better look over quite a few games before we come to the conclusion that he will long remain “over matched” by AAA pitching this year. Maybe he will, but probably he won’t. As for Singleton, yes, bring him up, but hold off dumping Carter until we see how that change works out. I’d sooner drop Villar to make room for Singleton. Carter’s like a time-bomb, just waiting to happen. Let’s not give up on him now, simply because most of the early season fuses have failed to invite his explosiveness. If the Astros do ultimately decide to release Carter, we fans also are going to have to find a way to commit those vivid mental pictures of how far the fall goes when he does crunch it to the lost memory bank sector of our brains.

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2 Responses to “A Trusty, But Too Limited Report on Correa”

  1. gregclucas Says:

    Baseball management almost always waits much longer than fans want them to in making changes. One reason is the nature of the game itself. It is based on what a player has done in the past on the MLB level. Carter has had some success. So has Rasmus and so has Gattis. Carter has major holes in his game, but he HAS had success. Thirty seven home runs in 2014 cannot be ignored.

    The same can not be said about young players. No one is sure until they are around for awhile. At the same time those MLB veteran players under contract are valuable either on their current club or hopefully for someone else. Teams don’t like to undervalue them (bench them)- especially if they are committed to paying them- until they can make a suitable deal. Youngsters don’t have any of that contractural baggage. Teams can keep them “developing” for some time while they figure out whether or not to do something with that veteran playing in front of them.

    The Singleton thing is quite unusual in that the Astros gave him a big dollar multi year contract before he had proven a thing in the major leagues. That will like speed his acceleration to Houston.

    Of course a team is also usually reluctant to make many moves except for injury while a team is playing well and winning games. Even the low batting averages and high strikeout totals of some players are down-played as long as the team keeps winning despite them. But once the club goes into a slump–those are the players most vulnerable to moving on or even being released if there is no suitable trade partners. Veterans who are not hitting and raising suspicions their best days may be behind them are especially vulnerable.

    The Astros haven’t had a long dry-spell yet this season. It would be nice if they never did, but that is unlikely. Its the nature of baseball. When it happens there could be some changes made. LF, CF, and 1B might be involved in some shuffling. Preston Tucker could take over in LF with Rasmus and Marisnick sharing CF for example…or Rasmus could be released or traded. However, let us not get ahead of ourselves. The Astros have the outstanding record they have now thanks to contributions from all the vets and youngsters. No one wants to break up a winning combination prematurely.

    Astro fans may (should) wait on Correa. They have been getting solid play from Gonzalez and Villar and don’t have an urgent need to make a change at SS with their opening day starter due back in the second half of the season.

    This is a good “mixed-team” of vets and younger players. Even if some of the names change it needs to stay that way.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Great assessment of the situation, Greg. Thanks for developing this entire subject that surrounds Correa into a whole thought to the dynamic factors that (should) influence a club’s decision to bring up a rookie – or let go of a flawed veteran. As you point out so well on several fronts, they are not the same, at all.

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