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Josh Reddick: Astros ‘down in the dumps’ about team standing pat at trade deadline

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The Houston Astros stood pretty much pat at the trade deadline, adding Francisco Liriano but not much else. This despite the fact that key members of their rotation has spent a lot of time on the disabled list and the fact that other American League contenders made moves to improve themselves.

Of course, the Astros had a 16-game lead in their division at the deadline and, even with their current skid, they still possess a 13-game lead. They’re going to win their division and they stand just as good a chance to make noise in the playoffs as anyone. Meaning everyone, because the playoffs are inherently unpredictable and no single acquisition guarantees anyone October glory.

Still, there are many who believe that the Astros failing to land a starting pitcher such as Justin Verlander, Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish bodes ill for the team’s chances and these folks have spent the past two weeks feeling kind of deflated. They’re not just fans, either. Some of the disappointed folks are Houston Astros players.

Astros outfielder Josh Reddick was on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM yesterday and he had this to say about the front office’s lack of moves:

“I think deep down everybody in that clubhouse knew we were going to make some moves to make us a really great team to a team that put us over the edge, especially with all the moves you see moving around the league. It’s nothing against our guys, we are a great team, but any time you can make your team better you feel like should have the opportunity to do that and take full advantage. I think deep down, we all were, I don’t know if you want to say disappointed or upset, I guess we were just kind of down in the dumps because we feel like we had a pretty good shot at getting somebody to help this team get over that hump to where we needed to be.”

The Astros could still make a trade — Justin Verlander has cleared waivers and could be had, albeit for a hefty price in terms of prospects, salary obligations or both — but I find it odd that a player has the same viewpoint of fans who think a strong team MUST make a big deadline deal.

Especially Reddick, who himself was part of a big deadline deal a year ago, going from Oakland to the Dodgers along with Rich Hill. Hill battled blister issues and wouldn’t make a start for L.A. for three weeks after the deal. Reddick struggled down the stretch. That’s no knock on either of them. It’s just an example of how you can’t bank on anything when it comes to a deadline deal.

I think the Astros are going to be fine. I also think that they have the talent in place to be fine for many, many years. No sense in dealing a good bit of it away for two months worth of production and a far-from-certain chance of an enhanced playoff run.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

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After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.

According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.

Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.

Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.