Astros AM: Gurriel Makes Debut, Moreland a Target?

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Aug 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Yulieski Gurriel (0) waits on deck in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 21, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Yulieski Gurriel (0) waits on deck in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /
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Yulieski Gurriel Makes Hus Debut but Leaves Early With a Tight Hammy.

Welcome to the day after Yulieski Gurriel‘s MLB debut. This day will be the day that we will remember with the five-hour rain delay, the Astros winning, and Gurriel’s first game. We will also remember that Gurriel was pinch-hit for by Tony Kemp. We were unaware of what was wrong with him, until later when Brian McTaggart Tweeted that he left with right hamstring tightness.

Gurriel said after the game that he thought it wasn’t serious. But Hinch said that he would get tomorrow off anyway according to McTaggart. The Astros have won three games in the row and have pulled within 3.5 games of the Orioles in the Wild Card. They need Gurriel healthy and hitting should they even have a remote chance of making the playoffs.

With him in the lineup, this could potentially make the offense stronger. With the recent success of Alex Bregman (7-19, six RBIs), A.J. Reed (4-13, four walks and four RBIs), and Teoscar Hernandez (4-10 with three RBIs), the offense is rolling. These players have teamed up with the core players of George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa. These players should all be part of the 2017 season and beyond.

The Return of the Beard?

Dallas Keuchel pitched eight strong innings yesterday, allowing two runs while striking out seven. This performance was vintage 2015 Keuchel, but he has struggled more often than not this year. He has lowered his ERA down to 4.64, but he has already allowed more homers this year. Last year he had 18, last night’s homer was his 19th of the season.

Keuchel kept his pitch count down yesterday, which allowed himself to go deep into the game. With the AL West possibly out of reach, the Stros need a one game caliber starting pitcher. Will Keuchel be the pitcher to start the Wild Card game? Possibly, but a healthy Lance McCullers would be the better option. 

More from Climbing Tal's Hill

The Astros After Mitch Moreland?

On the surface, Houston adding a player like Morland would probably be a good idea. This was a rumor that Nick Cafardo floated out there late last night. Here is the quote from his post, “The Astros have been very interested in the lefthanded-hitting Moreland, 30, but with Prince Fielder having to retire because of neck problems it would seem difficult for the Rangers to part with Moreland.”

Forget the fact that the Rangers need a first baseman, why would they trade Moreland to their division rivals? I can see the Astros wanting to get Moreland, who is hitting .251 with 21 homers and 50 RBIs. The Rangers are not like the Astros. They will not give a player who could come back and haunt them to a rival. Is it possible? Yes, but not likely.

Next: Astros Call up Yulieski Gurriel, trying for one last run?

The Stros will face the Pirates and Rays for the next six games. On last night’s Talking Stros, we said that the Astros needed to go 4-2 this week. Gerrit Cole could be the biggest challenge for the Astros in the Pirates series, especially with Collin McHugh the starter. The Astros need to focus on winning series and getting the young kids experiences.

***Stats from Fangraphs***

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