Star Performer of the Week (July 23 thru 29)
The Star Performer Award has been on hiatus for a while because I only like to give it out when the Astros win multiple games during the week. The team only managed to win once this week but I thought there were some guys who deserved a little recognition for their efforts. General Manager Jeff Luhnow earns honorable mention this week for restocking the farm system with a flurry of trade deadline deals. When it looked like he had already traded everyone away, Luhnow was able to turn a hot week by Chris Johnson into two somewhat legitimate prospects. When the trade deadline finally passes I’m hoping Luhnow can find time to fire Brad Mills.
Chris Johnson also had a nice week to finish as the runner-up. CJ hit .458 (11 for 24) with a pair of homers before being traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks prior to Sunday’s game. Johnson was only a single short of the cycle in Friday night’s game against Pittsburgh.
Lucas Harrell was the main man over the past seven days and is the winner of this week’s Star Performer Award. Harrell had an excellent outing Tuesday against Cincinnati and was in line for the win. Unfortunately, the bullpen faltered and Lucas took a no-decision. Harrell came back today with another strong outing, ending the team’s 12 game losing streak and becoming the first Astros starter to get a win since J.A. Happ turned the trick on July 16 in San Diego.
Harrell has been the team’s most effective pitcher over the last month and some would argue that he is the team’s best player. The rookie right-hander has posted a 1.99 ERA over his last seven starts with 46 strikeouts in 49 & 2/3 innings. Harrell’s record now stands at 8-7 but could be much better with a little more support from the offense and the bullpen. If Harrell was on a winning team he would probably be in the conversation for Rookie of the Year honors.
Kudos to all three of these gentleman for an outstanding week. Now let’s hope the ‘Stros can at least win a couple of games on the upcoming road trip.