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Astros Rumors: Does Luhnow have to trade Appel and Phillips?

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Is Appel untouchable?

Oct. 14, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Mark Appel plays for the Salt River Rafters during an Arizona Fall League game against the Surprise Saguaros at Salt River Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Rotation

Two of my Twitter friends the other day had a pretty extensive conversation on Mark Appel, and whether he should be traded straight up for Johnny Cueto. One of them said there is no way you are trading a first round pick for a two-month rental. The other guy said that you had to take the first round label away from Appel and look at his overall stats. He went on to say that the Reds would not do a straight up Appel for Cueto trade, so you can see how divided Astros fans are on trading Appel.

If you did trade Appel, do you have backups? Yes, they still have Vincent Velasquez, Josh Hader, Michael Feliz, Joe Musgrove, and Daniel Mengden. Besides Velasquez, no one really has the ace stuff that Appel does, even though late bloomer Musgrove is starting to change peoples minds. Appels’ stock has dropped in the past few years with his struggles, but he still shows flashes of brilliance like he did in the All-Star Futures Game.

Could the former first overall pick just need a change of scenery, but he could also become the next Astros Curt Schilling. The Astros though they could do without him and traded him, the rest is history. I didn’t realize that Schilling went through three organizations in the minors (Bos, Bal, and Hou).

On a side note, Appel is one of the prospects who I would like to interview but haven’t had a chance yet. Mark, if you are reading this, I would like to interview you.

Appel’s 2015 stats (Baseball-Reference): 16 games/ 6-2 record/ 4.58 ERA/ 29 walks/ 60 strikeouts in 78 2/3 innings.

Verdict:

I like everything about Appel and admire his faith, but maybe too much pressure was put on him, to be the guy for the Astros. I would not like to include him in a Cueto trade, but I don’t think it gets done otherwise. For Hamels or Ross, he might have to be included, but unless you are getting two players, I would not trade both Phillips and Appel.

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Next: Is Reed Untouchable?

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