Astros AM: Will the Astros Carry This Offense into Toronto?
By Eric Huysman
Notes From August 11th, 2016
In case you were wondering, Gurriel did not play in last night’s Hooks game. They are giving him the veteran Spring Training treatment, for now, giving him every other day off. This can also squash any speculation that he will be traveling to Toronto to join the Astros. On Tuesday, he said at a press conference that he was 70% ready. They will give him through the weekend to work on his timing.
Had the team struggled offensively versus the Twins, there could have been some pressure from fans to call Gurriel up. Luhnow has already said that he will not call up Gurriel because the Astros are struggling, instead, will call him up when he appears ready. The Astros have been targeting the St. Louis Cardinals two-game series as an ETA but things can change. Stros fans would probably rather Gurriel make his debut in Houston.
Gurriel has one hit in two games with the Hooks. The front office will not focus on the results but instead, will focus on his timing and how ready he looks.
Ken Giles is not traveling to Toronto
Just when you thought that there weren’t any more baby daddy’s on the team, we learn that new Astros closer Ken Giles will be going on paternity leave for the next three games. During the Astros recent struggles, it seems like they have had several injuries and players going on paternity leave. Congrats to the soon-to-be father Giles, we will see you back in Houston.
While we don’t know exactly know the corresponding move, we could assume that Luke Gregerson will be returning from the DL following a successful bullpen. Following the second game of the doubleheader, they sent Kevin Chapman back down to Triple-A. He was added because of a recent doubleheader rule where you can add a 26th player for a game. This move is why I think it will be Gregerson because they would have kept Chapman otherwise.
Speaking of Chapman, he and Jandel Gustave both made their 2016 debut with the Astros. They both allowed a run or two, but that was fun to see Gustave throw 99 mph. While Giles is away, I see Gregerson or Harris getting the saves. Giles pitched a scoreless ninth in game two yesterday.
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The Rookies Are Starting to Hit
The Astros currently have nine rookies on the team, but they looked like the veteran team for the majority of the series versus the Twins. Four of these rookies are hitters, and they are slowly starting to hit better.
Alex Bregman – 4 for 16/ 2 runs/ 2 RBI/ 3 walks/ 2 doubles.
A.J. Reed – 2 for 8/ 2 runs/ 1 walk
Tyler White – 3 for 10/ 1 run/ 1 double
Tony Kemp – 3 for 14/ 3 runs/ 1 steal
With Gurriel’s impending arrival next week, the next few days will be an audition for who stays up. I think Bregman and Kemp will stay, especially with the DFA of Gomez in the case of Kemp. They may keep Reed up as a left-handed hitter, but Preston Tucker or White could be options as well.
Next: Astros recall Jandel Gustave
Let’s hope that Crush City carries this hitting confidence into Toronto. We know how the Blue Jays limited out offense last week. The offense was in a rut at the time, but they should be able to score more runs than they did last time. Jose Bautista just went on the DL. He was the one who hurt the Astros the most, last week.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***