The Houston Astros are in a dead heat with the Seattle Mariners in the AL West and it seems that they’re a player away to add to continue their quest to defend their World Series title. The team needs to make a key add and this is why the’ll be buyers at the trade deadline. Why? Let’s look.
The Houston Astros have been up-and-down as of late but after facing the Arlington Rangers for a four-game sweep that they completed, the team is now on a five-game win streak when one includes the 7-5 win over the Seattle Mariners this past Wednesday.
But you almost want to treat this win streak as fool’s gold — in the past two games, the Houston Astros pitching have allowed 38 base runners which included 20 Saturday night and 18 yesterday afternoon. But despite all of that, the team conjured up enough offense to win both of those games.
Looking for some great Houston Astros debate? Robert Land and R.G. Seal have it covered with Houston Sports Talk, a favorite podcast of mine with the latest episode:
You’d think that the 6-0 spot that the Houston Astros put up over the Rangers yesterday would be enough to win but they had to grind it out because of struggles from two of our starters. Charlie Morton was walking guys Saturday night like it was something going out of style and Dallas Keuchel was gifting runs as if it were Christmas yesterday.
Ultimately, I think those guys are going to be fine but I’m more worried about how this bullpen is going to hold up over the course of his season. They’re still have the best ERA in the American League at 2.97 and 4th best in the majors behind the Chicago Cubs (2.79), Arizona Diamondbacks (2.57) and the Milwaukee Brewers (2.53).
Injuries are always a concern but the team still does have a great crop on the farm to boot. Joe
More from House of Houston
- Are you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?
- Houston Texans: 4 reasons Romeo Crennel is right coach right now
- Astros-Twins Wild Card Series: 5 things to know as MLB postseason begins
- Houston Texans: The Most Underrated Sports Drought Ever
- Houston Texans: J.J. Watt’s early case for NFL Hall of Fame
Smith was recently placed on the DL because of issues with his throwing elbow and Reymin Guduan (3-1, 3.10 ERA, 43 K’s and a 1.21 WHIP through 29 innings pitched with the Fresno Grizzlies) to hold his spot down while he heals.
Although I think Guduan will be a solid replacement, we all know of his troubles at throwing strikes in the majors. Let’s hope he’s combated that issue or else it will be a long day for the bullpen.
But you know what? I think this team needs more — I just don’t think Ken Giles is the right guy to close for this team. He still has great value but I’d bump him to be more of a stretch guy in the rotation where he’s not pitching in a what usually is a high-pressure situation. He has a 4.98 ERA while allowing 12 earned runs, tossing 21 strikeouts with a 1.25 WHIP and 10 saves through 21.2 innings pitched.
Although this isn’t the best stat to compare, it’s important to note that his K/9 is down to 8.7 and for a relief pitcher, it should be higher than that considering that they’re not pitching as many innings. His K/9 was 11.9 in 2017 and 14.0 in 2016, certainly indicating that his rate of strikeouts has been curtailed.
I don’t think Ken needs to be traded or released but his responsibility of duties should be shifted to the aforementioned.
Who should we trade? There are a plethora of prospects out on the farm that this team can trade. Lest we not forget that even Derek Fisher and Tony Kemp should be considered as well. Fisher is hitting .368 — up from .176 in the majors — since being demoted to Triple-A and Kemp has struck out only seven times with eight walks through 64 at-bats which is mighty impressive. Each would be components of a valuable trade package.
Bar none — despite the notion that the Houston Astros don’t need a closer — this team certainly will need one as we get into the dog days of this season. It’s the most glaring weakness that this team has and it must be addressed.
This is certainly why the Astros will be buyers at the trade deadline and you MARK MY WORDS, Jeff Luhnow will be making a deal to make this happen.
Who will it be — we’re about to see.