Good-bye Roy Oswalt, Thanks For The memories And Hope You Like Philly

I’ve seen it coming since The Year Of The Biggio, when it became obvious that Drayton was running the club and that he had absolutely NO idea how to GM a club, just how to promote it. I’ve watched the general atmosphere deteriorate as Roy and Lance realized that they were not going to have any chance of returning to the postseason. They (barely) tolerated the ineptitude of Cooper and the rest of the coaches, but even though Mills and Arnesberg were hired this year, Roy and Lance saw the writing on the wall – Drayton wasn’t about to hire good baseball people and let them rebuild the franchise, so they said – I’ve had it.

I don’t blame em one bit.

It’s gonna be weird watching Roy pitch for some other team. I first watched him in the 2000 Olympics – my Mama called me, told me to get out of bed and turn on the games because I wasn’t gonna believe my eyes. Everyone was going on and on about Ben Sheets, but Roy was better, had better stuff – like Paulino, with superb control. I could hardly believe he was an ASTRO.

And for 10 years running, he’s been our ace. And now he’s gone.

Here’s the deal: Oswalt plus 11 mill (of his remaining 5 mill + 16 mill + 3 mill buyout) to the Phillies for 27 year old lefty ML pitcher J.A. Happ (not a FA until 2014), A ball infielder Jonathan Villar, and A ball OF Anthony Gose (who was immediately traded to Toronto for failed 1B AAA prospect Brett Wallace, a 3B turned 1B – yes you have heard that name before, more on him later.)

I find it VERY hard to believe that Wade couldn’t get a better deal – especially for 11 million dollars.

I know the fans are ecstatic about Happ, because of his gaudy win/loss record and his low ERA.

Let’s take a look: Happ was drafted by Ed Wade in the 3rd round of the 04 draft, threw 4 innings in 07, then 31.2 inningsof 120+ ERA ball in 08, 166 innings of 145 ERA+ ball in 09, and spent a great deal of this year on the DL, but threw 3 starts over 15.1 innings, giving up 3 ER/4R. ML numbers: 31 starts, 16 relief appearances over 217 IP: 8.2 H/9, 1.1 HR/9; 6.6 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 – 3.11 ERA, 1.295 WHIP. Bad number, though, is his career xFIP of 6.33 – this is an adjusted ERA kind of number, standing for fielding independent pitching, adjusted for league and parks, and, like ERA, the smaller, the better. It indicates that Happ has (supposedly) been extraordinarily lucky in having balls in play head to fielders and having them successfully turn them into outs.

I can tell you that his minor league rehab numbers this year are pretty bad.

Well, he IS cheap, but he is no ace, in spite of his low ERA.

Jonathan Villar is a 19 year old SS currently in A ball – Sally league. This year, he’s had 420 PA, 18 2B, 4 3B and 2 HR; 38 SB, 13 CS (like a 62% success rate = lousy); 26 BB, 103 K: .272/.332/.358/.690 – oh yeah, and as a fielder, has 42 (no, that is not a misprint) errors/483 chances (and the same error percent at 2B in previous years) – lifetime minor league OPS of .698 over 830 PA. This, my friends, is the definition of suckage. What the heck is Wade doing picking this guy?

And Brett Wallace? Of course you know his name. He was a first rounder of the Cards in 08 and was traded to the A’s last year at the deadline for Matt Holliday. He ended up being traded to the Jays in the complicated Roy Halliday trade in the offseason, and now he’s with us. He started his career as a third baseman, but his glove makes Chris Johnson look like Scott Rolen, so he’s been playing 1B, and I hear tell from people who have watched him, that he’s basically the first base equivalent of Clank Lee in LF. He has nice numbers in the PCL and for the past 2 years, has been at AAA with 866 PA (at hitters parks Las Vegas and Sacramento) and 45 2B, 33 HR, 21 GIDP, 56 BB, 165 K: .300/.357/.498/.855 – this translates to a major league equivalent of approximately .240/.289/.391/.698 (hitters parks, you know…)

For a guy who is supposedly a TOP prospect, he sure has been traded an awful lot. You have to ask why the Jays wanted to trade him for a lousy hitting, crappy basestealing A ball outfielder.

From Brian Cartwright:

A couple reasons why Wallace has been a huge disappointment

 He raked in college, posting .400 BA’s in each of 2007 & 2008, with power and walks. He continued hitting well in the pros in ’08, over .300 at every stop in the minors, 14 HR in 80 games.
After 32 games of 2009 he was promoted to Triple-A, where the unadjusted numbers look good
2009 Memphis    293/346/423
2009 Sacramento 302/365/506
2010 Las Vegas  298/359/511
But what these three have in common are the all in the hit happy PCL.
Looking now at Oliver’s MLEs
           BA  OB  SA wOBA Fld
2007 Coll 310/382/481  376
2008   AA 283/370/447  361  -2
2009  AAA 254/319/370  308 -14
2010  AAA 231/284/372  289  -6
The 376 & 361 wOBA’s in 2007-2008 are great for a 3b (putting him around 6th or 7th best in MLB), similar to Ryan Zimmerman. Then two things happened – he was moved to 1b because of bad defense at 3b, and his hitting tanked when seen i translation. He went from 60 or 70 BB in 600 or so PA to about 40, and the isolated power went from .170 range (above average but not great) to .120-.130, which is below MLB average.
Over the past two years, he has produced at a level below replacement for MLB firstbaseman.


I guess Drayton and Fast Eddie are thinking of having him replace Berkman, instead of promoting Koby Clemens.

Looks as if Drayton gets to pocket 12 mill over the next 2 years and we get to wonder why J.A. Happ can’t keep his H/9 at such a low level.

To put it mildly, I’m not exactly very HAPPy with this here trade.

I’m just surprised that Wade didn’t manage to get a middle reliever out of the deal. And I have this very VERy bad feeling that they are not going to trade the Wifebeater and are going to give him a huge multi year deal, which they are going to regret very quickly. And they are not going to trade Pence, who is rapidly going to become expensive and not a better ballplayer, or Wandy, or anyone else who has any trade value. I wouldn’t be surprised if Berkman is the only other player traded before the deadline.

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20 Responses to “Good-bye Roy Oswalt, Thanks For The memories And Hope You Like Philly”

  1. Daniel says:

    Roy Oswalt was the man who got me to love baseball and the Astros. He is the man that gave me the greatest moment in my Astros’ fan history, when he made Albert Pujols’ swing and miss and fall to his knees in that epic performance in Game 6 of the 2005 NLCS. He’s the man who’s great performance after the Pujols home run carries us to the World Series. I’ll always cherish the memories Roy gave me.

    I’m not surprised at all that Ed Wade seemed to get very little for the best trading chip we had. I’ve really given up on this ownership being able to turn this ship around. I’m not going to say that I am a Philly fan now, because I am not, but my connection to the Astros was more through a player (Roy-O) than the team itself. I actually live in close proximity to Philly, but even then, Houston will always be my baseball love, but they are my ex-wife now. At this point I don’t know what I’m saying, the usual claim of a spurned lover.

    I’ve always dreamed of putting the two Roys on the same team. Other than one being a giant behemoth, and the other being a lithe bulldog, they are quite similar. Quite a 1-2 punch come September/October and possibly November.

    Good Luck Roy, we’ll miss you but never forget all you gave us.

  2. sceptor says:

    I will bet that Pence does become A much better ball player.

  3. Elmer W. says:

    Happ is a solid pitcher but a no. 3 at best; Villar… well I hope he’ll turn into Derek Jeter overnight LOL; Wallace is a way better hitter than Coby, sorry to say this, but Coby will have a hard time connecting the ball once he gets called up, not to mention hitting lots of HRs against ML pitching with those strike out numbers in AA ball. It’s not about power but hitting skill: if you spent that many years in the minors and still hits .260 at AA, how would your BA look like at the ML level? Wallace is the better choice to replace Berkman, but of course he’s not in the same league as Berkman, especially in the defensive category. This trade was overall a real bad one if we consider, as Lisa said, how much money the organisation had to pay to get this done.

    Pence is not only a hard worker, he’s also a real smart person who reads a lot and puts the concept and tactics of “The Art of War” involved into baseball game, that’s why I like this guy a lot and have faith in him if he remains injury-free. He also has become a better base-stealer and a better hitter. I believe it’s the right decision to keep Pence, a still young all-round player who still is developping and shows great workmanship.

    I’ll remain an Astro fan who also keeps rooting for the Wizard, a guy who never was afraid of speaking loud what he thinks by chasing his dream. I wish him the best and hope the double Roy-team philadelphia gets another WS title this year.

    Thank you Oswalt for the great memory!

  4. Elmer W. says:

    sorry I mean Koby not Coby LOL

  5. Lisa Gray says:


    beautifully said.

    i lost hope about the same time roy and lance did

    i hope you are right because i WANT to be wrong (for once)

    the way i understand it, the BA translations/power translations to the majors are very dependent on league and park. as you can see, Koby kept his power numbers from lancaster (the best hitters park in baseball) to AA – you can see how everyone else’s numbers plummeted. but you are right about the Ks – he’s a guy who looks for something to drive and swings very hard

  6. Steve says:

    Maybe Roger is regretting naming him Koby, now that Ks are not what Koby wants to see associated with him.

    I really wanted Singleton as part of the deal; this is just a salary dump. What Drayton basically did is get out of half of his payment obligation by downgrading the team from Roy to Happ. So he saves $12M, which I’m sure makes him happy. It doesn’t matter to us because Roy wasn’t going to lead us to a championship this year or next. It’s too bad we couldn’t get more, but whatever.

    My big disappointment is not trading Myers for one or two solid prospects. That might have given us at least one MLB player under control (and cheap) for many years.

  7. Lisa Gray says:

    fast eddie is in LUUUUVVVVV with the ol WB – all my sources are telling me that he won’t discuss him in trade deals

    and i was also disappointed about singleton

    i have SERIOUS doubts about brett wallace being this all star

    and year this was a salary dump – justice sez someone is comparing happ to cliff lee.
    no, really. i’ll see how he looks tonite

  8. Elmer W. says:

    Exactly Steve. Myers is not for real if we look at his career numbers, his stuff also has never convinced me to believe that he’ll be able to take Oswalt’s place to become the next Astros’ Ace. I was glad to see him pitching that well this season, just for the reason that he can be sold high. But he being untouchable is unfortunately quite predictable since he’s Wade’s man, we all knew that already…

    Toronto sent Halladay and $6 million to the Phillies for 3 prospects, that was crazy enough. Now the ‘Stros traded Roy by giving the Phillies $1100 million??? It sounds like we’re doing the Phillies a favour.

  9. Becky says:

    Drayton McLane traded Roy, for the sake of trading Roy. We got N O T H I N G!
    I’m NOT impressed with J.A. Happ. He can be as unreliable as Wandy…so that
    sucks pond water. Wallace??? Yeah he can hit…….but his defence is HORRIBLE! Don’t know about the other kid, but let’s just say Drayton McLane
    swallowed a “live snake” in dumping Roy’s contract. Ed Wade should be run
    outta this town, on the first thing going. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

  10. Lisa Gray says:

    we DID do the phillies and drayton’s wallet a HUGE favor

    i’ll fall OVAH if happ keeps that low ERA for even one more year – and i seriously doubt that either wallace or villar is going to be worth anything as a ML player

    the problem with wallace’s hitting is that he has done in in infamous hitters parks for 2 years
    i’m a suspiscious grrrl
    so when a team gets rid of a supposedly top 10 prospect for a seriously crappy A-ball guy, i’d like to know why…

  11. Elmer W. says:

    Lisa, the problem with Happ is his fragile elbow. Considering how long he needed to recover from the injury this season, I’ll be content with him staying healthy by having an ERA under 4.20. Some fans voiced their concerns about Happ probably being the next Jennings, I truely hope that’s not going to happen.

  12. Steve says:

    He’s $5M/yr less expensive than Jennings.

  13. Christian says:

    Happ is a no.3/4 starter, but he’s cheap and should eat innings, so picking him up is solid.

    If you’re just looking at the stats on Villar, you’re missing the bigger picture. Errors mean little to nothing in the lower minors, and basestealers are encouraged to be aggressive so they can learn what works and what doesn’t. He’s raw and a long term project, but he has fantastic tools. He could develop into an Elvis Andrus type in the next few years.

    Brett Wallace won’t be a star, but he should be a solid starting first baseman, which the Astros need since Berkman is pretty much done for, probably about to be traded, and won’t be here next year either way.

  14. Lisa Gray says:


    i would like to get more for roy oswalt than a guy who “eats innings” and happ is a guy who spent most of this year on the DL with elbow problems

    as for villar,
    elvis andrus?
    at age 19, villar is in the sally league with a .690 OPS
    at age 19, andrus was at AA with a .715 OPS

    and now andrus hits like adam everett with less power (yes i know he’s younger)

    i know that for some reason, the jays really REALLY think that gose is going to turn into rickey henderson (no i am NOT kidding – don’t ask me where they think gose is gonna get that kind of power – which the rickey had when he was gose’s age) but they have no 1B worth a darn and getting rid of brett wallace tells me that they didn’t think real too much of him. and they are the THIRD organization who hasn’t thought too much of him

    i looked at him over a few ABs as a vegas AAA guy
    – he isn’t obese YET, but he’s built like clank lee minus the gut
    he is not 205 any more than clank is

    i have no idea why you think he’s gonna be a solid major league 1B – his AAA power numbers aren’t translating to the majors


  15. Christian says:

    Numbers aren’t everything, Lisa, especially in the lower minors.

  16. Lisa Gray says:

    they may not be everything, but they aren’t nothing either.

  17. Christian says:

    I would agree with that, but at the same time, I do think you have to look at tools and scouting reports at least as much, if not moreso. And the younger the prospect, the more important it becomes.

  18. F. Allain says:

    I do wish you could fix it so that sentences do not end in void. Most of the comments can not b e read.

  19. Lisa Gray says:


    i don’t know what end in void means.

    all the sentences i see are easily readable and not run together. perhaps it is your browser?

  20. Lisa Gray says:


    i am not sure how to evaluate tools, and i know only too well that who a player LOOKS like has little to nothing to do with how he plays, but yet the reports are filled with “looks like player X” – running FAST is not the same as having excellent baseruning or fielding skills.

    at least with the bat, what i want to know about is strike zone judgement and i have no way of finding out what is swung at and hit/missed.

    when i see a hitter with very few walks, i know i have either an impatient hitter or coaches/managers who want to see “aggressive”

    and at this point, considering the crappy development of players in this Organization at any level, i have very little faith in either astros scouts or their coaches/player development people