Houston Astros AM: Team is Acting Like an Insurance Agency
by Thomas O'Banion
The Houston Astros have taken a lot of flak in recent years, especially in the way they’ve rebuilt their team. Last season, the club earned criticism due to the way it offered contracts to young players. As Zachary Levine writes in this piece for Baseball Prospectus, he sees the front office as acting like an insurance company. Insurance companies do business with thousands of people but only a handful of those people wind up costing the company money. Using Jon Singleton‘s contract as an example, Levine discusses how Houston took a risk on the young slugger and there’s a chance it may not work. However, the team will to continue taking similar risks because in the long run, the team has talent depth which means that one contract that doesn’t work out won’t negate the ones that do.
You win some, you lose some. Hopefully there’s more winning, on the field and with player contracts, in our immediate future.
You probably know by now that Dallas Keuchel will start for the Astros on Opening Day. But the 2009 seventh round draft pick had to improve a lot over his first couple of seasons, including using his slider more often in 2014, to become the staff ace. Writing for Fansided’s Call to the Pen, Jordan Wevers believes that Keuchel using the pitch more often helped the former Arkansas Razorback improve his stamina and efficiency. Also of note, “[Keuchel] was the the third pitcher [Houston] selected in the draft. Not only did the club get a guy who reached the big leagues before any of the seven players selected ahead of him, the Astros gained an ace who will go the distance for them.”
The beard had to have something to do with it, right?
Back during the Winter Meetings in December, the Astros designated a few players for the Rule 5 draft, the most notable being Delino DeShields Jr. DDJ may not be the one that got away, though. The player Houston may regret letting go is a left-handed pitcher named David Rollins who is trying to earn a spot in the Mariners bullpen. As Ryan Divish writes for The Seattle Times, Rollins is making a strong case for a spot on Seattle’s opening day roster.
So the Astros may be seeing Rollins again soon, just not in a Houston uniform.
"Baseball statistics are like a girl in a bikini. They show a lot, but not everything." ...~Toby Harrah, 1983