Around this time yesterday I asked if the Astros new look bullpen is actually better than last year’s. Events of the last 24 hours have prompted me to ask another burning question. Is winning games the number one priority of manager Bo Porter?
After another shaky outing by lefty Kevin Chapman in Friday’s game, I wondered if maybe a trip to AAA might be in order for the 26-year old reliever. But Bo Porter had other ideas. The Astros second-year skipper gave Chapman a vote of confidence by bringing him in to protect a 1-run lead in the ninth inning of last night’s game. Unfortunately, Chapman was unable to protect the lead.
Thanks to some slick defense and clutch hitting in the tenth inning, Chapman ended up backing into a win. But I still have to question Porter’s decision to bring in (arguably) his worst reliever in a save situation. Was Porter more focused on Chapman’s development as a player or winning a close game against our in-state rivals?
Although a big league manager is burdened with lots of challenges, I believe winning games should still be priority number one — especially when those games are against a bitter in-state rival that has repeatedly embarrassed your club while stealing away members of your rapidly dwindling fan base.
If we’re going to continue trying to develop players at the big league level, let’s do it against the Twins, or Blue Jays — not against the Rangers. Truthfully though, I think most of the few Astros fans that remain have grown weary of the practice all together. I think we’ve already seen enough to know that Chapman isn’t ready to step in as the team’s closer — and we can’t even see the games on TV!
We are all tired of seeing the team lose games that should have been won. Porter got away with one last night, but that rarely happens. This team isn’t good enough to overcome poor decisions by the manager. We need Porter focusing on winning. Get the player development done in the minors. If we can do it with George Springer, why can’t we do it with everyone else?