I’ll start by admitting that what i’m about to type will be written in the heat of the moment and probably an overreaction. So with that out of the way, the ‘Stros really need to change things up and right away. The pesky team we saw early in the season may be running out of gas and it’s beginning to show badly. The bullpen that was once strong, even got nicknamed, is a mess outside of Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon while the starting rotation has three guys whose ERA is at or close to 5. The offense had its moments earlier in the year but is struggling badly, especially with strikeouts. The issue, in part, is the youth on this club but that shouldn’t be an excuse to have your brains beat in nightly. The time for change has come but the amount of which is still to be determined.
When change is needed in baseball the first person that gets a big spotlight glared at him is the manager. Brad Mills is in trouble, let’s be honest with ourselves, he isn’t the most popular guy around and isn’t a Jeff Luhnow hire. He hasn’t managed brilliantly and overachieved with this club. They’ve been competitive but even that polish has begun to rub off. Will replacing Mills suddenly turn the Astros fortunes? Probably not, but it would bring a new voice into place. The mental errors have been mounting and the losses will certainly take their toll on the young club. There were question marks already in place regarding Mills so this wouldn’t be shocking and begin to the set a new future in motion.
The bullpen has been incredibly bad for a good while now. To be honest, the whole staff has been pathetic and changes must happen. Fernando Rodriguez, Fernando Abad and David Carpenter have been a collective joke but with Wilton Lopez injured, there aren’t many options. At this point, anyone would be welcomed even if it isn’t a prospect to help out. The rotation isn’t much better, outside of Wandy, it has been a big mess. Every starter minus Wandy has an ERA around 4.80 and Bud Norris is now injured. Again, not a ton of options exist but a few are out there. Dallas Keuchel, who pitched well Sunday, is one who makes a lot of sense. You figure Wandy is solid and Norris will get his act together, adding Keuchel to Lyles would be a step in the right direction.
The offense has been so hit or miss, mostly miss lately. Outside of Jose Altuve, Jed Lowrie and Carlos Lee, the rest of the lineup should be put on notice. Jordan Schafer is dangerously close to an OBP of under .300, a move to the 8th spot in the lineup should happen soon. Chris Johnson‘s regression has begun and has left him as a liability again. Options, again, are limited but more Justin Maxwell and possibly the return of Jimmy Paredes should be considered. Once trades begin to happen, more options should open up but until then, something needs to happen.
So the Astros have regressed to what we thought they’d be but that still isn’t a reason to sit still and let it happen. I don’t think the front office is going to do that either. The product on the field isn’t good and changes have to be coming even if what we see isn’t wholesale changes. Brad Mills is the obvious choice and would certainly shake up the club but moving certain players around could also make a statement this team certainly needs.