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Revisiting the Houston Astros Impact of Offseason Moves

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Colby Rasmus

May 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA. Houston Astros left fielder Colby Rasmus (28) got a base hit against the Toronto Blue Jays in the bottom of the sixth inning at Minute Maid Park. Astros won 6 to 5. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Then:

Jeff Luhnow drafted Colby Rasmus when he was with the Cardinals. He had been in contact with Rasmus throughout the offseason but explained that he didn’t have the money or a position open to signing him. “Yeah I would love to have Colby and for him to have a big year for us.” By trading Dexter Fowler, he was able to sign Colby Rasmus. Luhnow, while he was playing the prediction game said, “I can get 25 maybe 30 home runs from Colby” in 2015.

Luhnow understands that Rasmus might just be here for 2015, “hopefully Rasmus will have a great season for the Astros to reestablish himself for his next contract.” Rasmus hit 18 home runs while batting 0.240 last year for the Blue Jays, so Luhnow does feel like he will not just, “add home runs but will also increase run production.”

Now:

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Rasmus has served his purpose this season, to be a stop gap until

Preston Tucker

or

Domingo Santana

are ready to produce. There is very little chance that Rasmus is on the team in 2016, but his slash line is .234/ .299/ .477/ .776. Like most of the Astros hitters, his on-base and batting average is low. However, the strength of this team is in their slugging percentages, so Rasmus’s six home runs have added to his cause. The Astros are leading the league in home runs. (Stats from Baseball-Reference)

Grade: 

I still don’t get this free agent signing, but he has been serviceable this year in the Astros lineup. The Astros have won and lost on the long ball this season, so I would give this acquisition a B grade. Rasmus gets this grade because he can serve as the fourth outfielder now that Preston Tucker appears to be here to stay.

 Summary

Overall, all the trades or signings have helped the Astros be where they are right now. The Astros may strike out a lot, 343 times so far together. They rank first in strikeouts, ahead of Tampa Bay, which have 303 strikeouts. With the Astros pitching so effectively, the Astros have found ways to get the big hit when needed to win the game. The Astros don’t always get a hit, but when they do it’s an extra base hit.

Jeff Luhnow has gone beyond Moneyball thinking and created the Luhnow way of winning with pitching and timely power. Can the Astros continue their winning ways all season, which is to be seen? This method is now the Astros way of winning, which looks superb on manager A.J. Hunch’s record. Overall I would give he Astros an A in offseason movement because they have had a quick rebound from last season.

Next: Astros Draft Target: Kyle Tucker?

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