Jul 15, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; American League infielder Jose Altuve (27) of the Houston Astros drives in a run with a sacrifice fly in the 5th inning during the 2014 MLB All Star Game at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
July kicked off with a bang when the Astros called up another top prospect, Domingo Santana. He started in LF for a few games, and didn’t record a single hit in 13 AB’s while striking out 11 times. He was sent back down to AAA on July 6th. Enrique Hernandez though, did very with the team as he was also called up on the same day as Santana, and became an instant fan-favorite. Jonathan Villar, who had been the starting SS, struggled all season long and was demoted on July 1st to help make room for these two players. Jerome Williams, who also struggled all season long, was finally released on July 8th, much to fans approval.
A week later, Jose Altuve was the only Astro representative in the MLB All-Star game on July 15th, and he had a sacrifice fly that helped the AL win the game over the NL. Dallas Keuchel was available for the final vote, but did not win. Keuchel’s season had been overlooked by many up to this point, but just by being on the final ballot, it made some people pay attention.
After the All-Star break, the focus had turned to Brady Aiken and Jason Nix. The Astros needed to sign them by the deadline on July 18th, but there was some inflammation in Aiken’s elbow, which made the Astros pull back their offer and provide a new one for less money. The Astros had also come to a verbal agreement to a certain amount of money for Nix, but it was all dependent on the signing of Aiken. On July 18th, the Astros failed to sign both players, making the Astros lose their first overall pick in the draft. To make matters worse, George Springer played his last game of the season on July 19th against the White Sox, as he had a left quad strain that sidelined him through the end of the season. The loss of Springer hurt the Astros lineup quite a bit as they finished the month 8-17.
On the final day of the trade deadline, the Astros traded Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Wates to the Marlins for Jake Marisnick, Colin Moran, and 2 more players TBD. Astros fans were sad to see Cosart and Hernandez go, but it landed top prospects Marisnick and Moran who are expected to be a bigger part of the Astros future.