The Houston Astros promoted Mark Appel to Double-A Corpus Christi over the weekend. Appel, who has been struggling this season, wanted to throw a bullpen in front of Astros pitching coach Brent Strom.
The 2013 1st overall pick showed up at Minute Maid Park on Sunday morning to throw in front of Strom.
Astros players? They were peeved.
Mark Appel was brought into the clubhouse early, leaving long before most of the players arrived. A few saw him, though.
“It’s (expletive) unbelievable,” an Astros player just said out of the blue about Mark Appel being allowed throw a bullpen.
Let’s just put it this way, folks, the fact that Appel was brought here has upset more than a few players.
— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) July 27, 2014
Another player just approached me to complain about Appel’s promotion and bullpen session. Multiple expletives were dropped. Not good.
— Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) July 27, 2014
(Check out the rest of Jose de Jesus Ortiz’s timeline for more)
Anonymous Astros players. Aren’t they technically anonymous if no one has ever heard of them anyway?
To the letter….
I’d love for you guys to be winning baseball team. I bleed Astros
brick red orange. There will not be a happier day in my life than the day you win that 2017 World Series. But guess what? Many of you won’t be on this team when it happens. Why? Because you likely didn’t earn that right to be on the roster.
You see, you guys have a lot to worry about. Like the fact coming into this game you had scored just 5 runs in your last 3 games prior to Sunday’s 4-2 defeat. Like the fact you were about to be swept by the (50-53 at the time) Miami Marlins. Like the fact that only two players on your team have an average over .275 and one of them is Gregorio Petit (1 hit in 2 at-bats).
But no..that’s not what you guys were worrying about. You stink. Astros fans know it. Heck, you probably know it too.
“Let’s talk about Mark Appel who also stinks this season. You know, the guy that was called up from Single-A to Double-A and then had the nerve to come throw around a baseball for an hour at Minute Maid Park. Yea, let’s vent about that!”
And that’s exactly what you did.
Does Appel, based on his numbers, deserve to be called up? No. His 9.74 ERA is terrible. However, your front office made the RIGHT move in promoting Appel. Lancaster is arguably the hardest park in ALL of baseball for pitchers. He has struggled. His teammates, like Josh Hader, have dominated to a tune of a 2.46 ERA in 95 innings. Was he more deserving? No doubt. But that’s life.
You see, Appel does get special treatment. He signed for $6.35 million as the #1 overall pick in 2013. He gets promoted when he sucks. That’s what happens when he was that good in high school and college. When he has the potential to anchor a pitching staff for the next 10 years. He gets preferred treatment. Calling him up after an encouraging start was the correct move by GM Jeff Luhnow.
But you guys were having none of it. “A guy with an ERA just under 10 gets to throw in OUR bullpen? Appel has sucked all season, why is he spending time with our pitching coach?” Those are some of the thoughts that likely went through your heads. I probably also missed a few expletives.
Yes, anonymous players. He does get the treatment. He gets to throw in your bullpen. Grow up.
You know why Appel is throwing with your pitching coach? Because he was the first overall pick, and his future means a lot more to this organization than many of you other players. Your GM wanted to see up close how Appel is pitching and they brought him over for a quick visit.
It must be tough to see a Double-A player in your bullpen, huh? You’re probably going to tell me about the unwritten rules of baseball. About how every one of you players has earned the right to play in an MLB stadium.
There are two points to be made here. First, he’s not playing in Minute Maid Park tonight. He simply came for a quick session with a bullpen coach on his way to Corpus Christi.
Second, EARN YOUR RIGHT?!? You’re going to tell me that you and the other 24 men on this current roster have earned your right to be playing here. You kidding me? Have you seen some of your numbers?
Quit acting like you guys are 20 games above .500 and heading towards the playoffs. Like you’re all All-Stars. And if you were? You probably wouldn’t care one bit about a minor leaguer throwing a bullpen session. Instead, you’re 20 games under .500, and whining about some MINOR LEAGUE pitcher getting a glimpse of Minute Maid. Newsflash! He was there the day he signed, and he’ll be there again in a year or two. Hopefully he’ll take your roster spot!
So Mr. anonymous Astros player(s), why don’t you and the rest of your frustrated teammates go ahead and earn back that right to play at Minute Maid Park again? It’d make life a lot more fun for EVERYONE involved including your bosses.
The way I see it, only a few of you would have jobs if you were playing for other teams. Instead, you were given an opportunity for regular at-bats and innings pitched to help make you a better baseball player. To improve your resume. To be making real money that millions of people in this country would beg to make.
All you anonymous players upset that your boss isn’t treating you so nicely should send him a fruit basket as soon as possible. You would have been released a long time ago or traveling by bus to your Minor League games if it were not for this organization and Jeff Luhnow.
You all were given opportunities that no other organization in baseball would give you. But yea, go ahead and whine about a Minor League baseball player playing some catch for an hour. That’ll make your numbers look that much better when you check ‘em out later.
An Astros fan
P.S. Don’t check out your numbers. They suck.