Tag: Jonathan Villar

carlos correa getty

Astros fans are speculating about a Carlos Correa callup


File this under “interesting” and for now cross-file it under “mere speculation, likely baseless and a tad overly-optimisic” but the deep underworld of the Houston Astros Internet Fandom has been speculating about a possible Carlos Correa callup today.

The basis? Well, here’s how that deep underworld is putting it:

Villar made more mental mistakes and bad defensive plays today and Correa left today’s game without sustaining an injury (strange) and Villar was pissed off leaving the clubhouse and didn’t answer reporters questions. Connection? I sure hope so! I guess we must wait and see.

It’s not just one guy — many have been, some asking me what I think — so even if it’s just chatter, let’s talk about it some.

My view is that this is fueled by some serious prospect fantasizing, which Correa understandably inspires, combined with some serious Jonathan Villar fatigue. Villar made some gaffes yesterday, including trying to get an inside-the-park homer when he had a clear triple, getting tossed out at home and he made a throwing error which cost the Astros a run. The Astros weren’t winning that game anyway, but it was discouraging to a fan base which has grown weary with Villar’s baserunning and defensive gaffes this year.

As for Correa’s early exit in his Triple-A game? There are any number of reasons why that could happen. His team was down 4-0 when he was removed. Maybe he’s just getting some rest.

The biggest reason why I am dubious about a Correa callup is that it’s really close to his Super Two cutoff time. It could be June 1, but Super Two is a floating date dependent upon the timing of other callups (i.e. players who rank in the top 22% of all 2-year players in terms of service time become arbitration eligible). Often an educated guess puts the Super Two date around June 1. But even if it does, the Astros would be wise to wait several days after that to call him up thereby ensuring that they get three full years of pre-arb salaries from the kid. It’s also worth noting that the Astros have a four-game lead right now. Obviously every game counts, but things aren’t desperate for them.

Finally, and least importantly, if you’re of the “let’s boost the gate” school of prospect callups, some more advanced notice could be useful for the Houston business and promotions people. The Astros have a four game series against the O’s at home right now, but it’s hard for people to change plans and go to a game at the last minute mid-week. They’re back home following a road trip on June 12, a weekend series. Why not target a callup for then — if they want to call him up — thereby helping the Super Two calculus AND selling some tickets, getting some shirts printed up, etc.?

Of course the best way to find this kind of thing out is to talk to people with the Astros. I don’t usually do this kind of reporting, but I shot an email to a couple of people asking for the record. If I were them I wouldn’t tell me, so don’t hold your breath on me getting a scoop here. The more likely people are reporters who cover the Astros every day, and none of them are reporting this yet. For me that leaves this squarely in that land of fan wishing and hoping.

But wishing and hoping can be a fun way to kill time until game time. Especially when it involves a prospect as cool and exciting as Carlos Correa, who we all want to see sooner rather than later.

The Astros turned a 5-4-3 triple play against the Tigers

Houston Astros

The Astros found themselves in a bit of a jam in the bottom of the fifth inning against the Tigers on Saturday afternoon. Rookie starter Lance McCullers allowed a leadoff double to James McCann followed by an infield single by Jose Iglesias. McCann then came around to score when second baseman Jose Altuve made a throwing error on an Anthony Gose ground ball. That gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead with runners on first and second base with no outs.

Ian Kinsler got ahead in the count 2-1 against McCullers, but rolled over on a slider, sending a ground ball to third baseman Jonathan Villar. Villar stepped on the bag, whipped a throw to Altuve, who sent the ball down to first baseman Chris Carter to compete the 5-4-3 triple play.

Jed Lowrie will be out through the All-Star break with a torn ligament in his right thumb

jed lowrie getty

The diagnosis was announced Tuesday on the Astros’ official Twitter account …

Lowrie suffered the injury while sliding into home plate in the eighth inning of Monday’s 9-4 win over the Padres and flew to Houston for an MRI on Tuesday. That exam revealed the ligament tear, which will require surgery to repair and is expected to keep the 31-year-old shortstop on the shelf through the All-Star break. Lowrie went 2-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored on Monday night and was sporting a .300/.432/.567 slash line through 74 plate appearances this season. It’s obviously a tough blow for the Astros, who entered play Tuesday with a 12-7 record.

Astros “have been pursuing” free agent Jed Lowrie

jed lowrie getty

Two offseasons ago the Astros traded Jed Lowrie to the A’s for Chris Carter, Brad Peacock, and Max Stassi, and now they’re apparently interested in re-signing him as a free agent.

Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that “multiple sources say the Astros have been pursuing” Lowrie, who was not given a qualifying offer by the A’s and has no draft pick compensation attached to his free agency.

Lowrie had a breakout season with the A’s in 2013, but his OPS dropped more than 100 points this year and the 30-year-old’s defense at shortstop also came into question. However, it wouldn’t be hard for him to provide an upgrade over Marwin Gonzalez and Jonathan Villar at shortstop in Houston and he’d keep the position warm for stud prospect Carlos Correa’s eventual arrival.

Lowrie played just one season for the Astros after they acquired him from the Red Sox, hitting .244 with 16 homers and a .769 OPS in 97 games in 2012.

Astros make sweeping roster changes, including calling up prospect Domingo Santana

Domingo Santana Astros

One day after making headlines for all the wrong reasons the Astros are adding a bunch of young talent to their roster, calling up prospects Domingo Santana, Enrique Hernandez, and Kevin Chapman. They also placed center fielder Dexter Fowler on the disabled list with an intercostal strain, demoted shortstop Jonathan Villar to Triple-A, and designated right-hander Jerome Williams for assignment.

That’s a whole bunch of changes, so let’s break it all down …

Santana is the big draw, as the 21-year-old outfielder hit .304 with 13 homers and an .885 OPS in 84 games at Triple-A after putting up similarly strong numbers at Double-A last season. He now joins Jon Singleton, Jarred Cosart, and Josh Zeid on the Astros’ roster after all four players were acquired from the Phillies as prospects in the Hunter Pence trade in 2011. That is starting to look like one of the more lopsided deals in recent history.

Hernandez was the Astros’ sixth-round draft pick in 2009 and didn’t look like much of a prospect before this season, but the 22-year-old infielder/outfielder has had a breakout campaign by hitting .336 in 77 games between Double-A and Triple-A.

Chapman was very effective in his 25-game debut with the Astros last year, but was demoted back to the minors after struggling to begin this season and the 26-year-old left-hander returns after posting a 0.94 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 29 innings at Triple-A. His control has always been shaky, but Chapman has bat-missing raw stuff out of the bullpen.

Fowler was acquired from the Rockies this offseason and proved to be a fantastic addition atop the lineup before the injury, posting a .377 on-base percentage despite no longer calling Coors Field home. Villar has a ton of speed and remains in the Astros’ long-term plans at age 23, but he’s hit just .221 with a .618 OPS and ugly 139/39 K/BB ratio through 129 games as a big leaguer.