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2/4/13: The Astros Have No Shortstop Now That Lowrie Got The Ol Heave-Ho

Jed Lowrie is gone. Not surprised – his almost 2 million dollar salary was a HUGE drag on the team. We are now down to one actual major league player, Jose Altuve.

Not surprised he’s gone – traded with Froddy (Fernando Rodriguez) to Oakland for Chris Carter (now labeled as a first baseman), minor league catcher Max Stasso and RHP Brad Peacock.

I wouldn’t be surprised if trader Billy flips him for someone else because they JUST signed a Japanese import, Hiro, Nakajima (think Kaz Matsui – on the other hand, no, don’t) to play short – that is, unless they are gonna move him to second, get rid of Jemile Weeks and Scott Sizemore, and play Crystal Lowrie at short.


Chris Carter, RN, age 26 – the name sounded vaguely familiar, but I had thought the one I remembered was an OF, and indeed he was. He was one of those highly pimped guys that Billy Beane was supposed to have cleverly snatched from some GM – then I disremember hearing about him ever again. He was drafted in the 16th round in the 05 draft by the White Sox, who traded him in 07 to the DBax for Carlos Quentin (another guy who sank beneath the waves) and then was traded with a bunch of guys to Oakland for Danny Haren, who had gotten too expensive.

He came up in 2010 as a LF for 28 games, had a 59 OPS+ and went back to the minors. Apparently, his fielding was bad enough at age 23 to move him to 1B, and in 15 games in 2011, he had a negative OPS+ of 12. Really. Last year, in 67 games over 260 PA, he hit .236/.350/.514 for a 137 OPS+

He has spent most of the past 3 years at AAA, where has has posted an .880 OPS over 1277 PA. Like, you know, big deal.

Brad Peacock, age 25, RHP, was drafted in the 41st round of the 06 draft, but didn’t sign until May of 07. Really. He got traded after the 2011 season (12 IP in the majors) to Oakland in the AJ Cole deal. He spent all last year at AAA, posting a sparkling 6.01 ERA over 136 IP – 25 GS and 3 in relief, with 4.3 BB/9, 9.2 K/9 and 1.1 HR/9 and 9.8 H/9.

He threw 9 games over 45 innings the previous year at AAA – you notice this is not even 6 IP/GS, but had a lower ERA/WHIP because his hits/9 was 6.8 instead of 9.7 – the BB, HR and K numbers were the same.

Why this guy is considered some kind of prospect I have no idea – I guess he must throw hard and we all know that speed kills. He’s not in the top 100 prospects.

The last guy is Max Stassi, a (almost) 22 year old catcher who was the Atletic’s 4th rounder in 09. He’s built like Humberto Quintero, and Max posted .268/.331/.468 at high A Cali League. He’s not on any As top 10 list I can find.

So it looks like a salary dump to me, seeing as how our shortstops are now – and I am not kidding – Tyler Greene and Marwin Gonzalez. And all yall thought the days of Adam Everett were terrible? REALLY?



46 Responses to “2/4/13: The Astros Have No Shortstop Now That Lowrie Got The Ol Heave-Ho”

  1. Bruce says:

    Peacock was good at Syracuse, but we just lost 15 HRs and alot of doubles. First payroll in the teens in how long?

  2. Lisa Gray says:

    peacock had only 48 innings there – and barely 5 IP/game. and an ERA of SIX?????

    and the minor league system is rated middle of the pack, and there are no really TOP prospects. i hear tell that for whatever reason, kevin goldstein is still in LUUUVVVV with carter, so it looks like brett wallace is finished

  3. Bruce says:

    Previous year was much better there. Don’t remember the stats, but came up to the Nats late season.

  4. Bruce says:

    OK, 2011 was 15-3 with 2.39 ERA and 177 K’s in AA and AAA combined.

  5. Ralph says:

    Just flip Altuve now and put him out of his misery. This is getting ridiculous. I get the whole prospect thing but you’re also not breaking the bank by having low level MAJOR LEAGUE players that you can at least field a team with. At least AT&T doesn’t have Comcast sports so I won’t be tempted to watch.

  6. Lisa Gray says:


    almost all of those innings were at AA – his AAA time has not been good.


    unless i misunderstood, unless you specifically subscribe to comcast, you can’t get the astros on dish or direct tv in the astros “home” area and less than half of all tvs have comcast. and i don’t think it’s in the standard cable package, neither, anywhere but houston.

    way to make sure you have plenty of fans.
    forgot – who needs fans?

  7. Bruce says:

    I feel bad for the people who work at the park.

    As for Comcast, already have it for the Rockets. They probably won’t win in the play-offs either, but they are trying!!

  8. Bruce says:

    Bud’s next. Can we get the payroll to single digits?

  9. Lisa Gray says:

    payroll can’t be in single digits – got to have 25 man roster at 500K each. and of course they are paying wandy 5.5 mill not to pitch.

    what really makes me mad is all the people who are defending this trade

  10. Eric says:

    So…12 million is the *absolute* bottom possible MLB payroll ?

    That’s mind boggling considering that that Yankees routinely have in excess of a 100 million payroll. (heck they usually flirt with the 200 mil mark !)

    Crane ain’t Daddy Warbucks, nosiree. He’s got a ton of debt to pay off, that scummy war profiteer…

    There’s no doubt that Bud the Dud missed his “due diligence” on this one…but he most certainly skated over that “due diligence” so he could get the Astros into the AL so’s they have a balanced schedule. That weasel.(with apologies to the real thing for comparing them to Selig)

  11. Eric says:

    Actually 12.5 million. I could just round down ya know…

  12. Lisa Gray says:

    media covers baseball more assiduously in portland maine better than they do here. the newspaper has some new guy from nowheres who obviously does not know baseball and another unpaid guy who is a blogger who never (anymore) says anything that the team does not want him saying.

    it wasn’t always like this, and we used to have TWO beat guys in the paper. but they got rid of jose de jesus ortiz when he published the FACT that jose valverde had quietly changed his birthday to his real birthday, he got removed from baseball. then brian mctaggart, um, left to go to when alyson footer was offered a job as the astros gossip columnist – paid by the astros. so there went 3 reporters right there.

    richard justice wrote a column, and for a while talked baseball on the radio, but the plug got pulled on his baseball show and he spent his last year looking for a job at MLB – he finally DID write about what a piece of garbage crane is, but it was too little too late.

    i’m a nobody, the other 2 astros bloggers have no serious audience, and there you go.

    the team gets away with this shtt because the mainstream media absolutely NEVER cared about the astros, even when we were great – and don’t ask me why the mainstream media completely ignores the 4th largest city in this country, but they do.

    trouble is with this low payroll crap they are pulling – they aren’t even getting any shtt from the stat geek community who, for some reason, have this religion about how wonderful it is to get rid of every single actual major league player and “build up the farm” so you have this powerful stacked farm system – goody goody gumdrops – then they love it when a plan comes together – see billy beane 2012 – which it usually doesn’t. the fact that years go by without any decent players on the ML team is no problem because all the fans will come pouring back when the team wins, just like they did with oakland.

    oh wait

    got news for people – the astros did NOT have huge crowds and massive fanship (i was there, remember?) – a GOOD day at the Box 2001 – 2003 was MAYBE 3/4 full – until roger clemens signed up. i know. i was THERE. i would not have believed it if i hadn’t seen it myself. we (yes, WE – because i was a fan back then) got more than 15 seconds in even the local news.

    all these supposed “fans” are not coming back. and yes there will certainly be the expected crowds for the popular DH teams when all the fans of those teams show up. big deal.

    it’s not that i think jed lowrie is this really GREAT player who got traded away for crap. it’s that i think that jed lowrie was one of the very few players on the team who (if not hurt) is an actual above average, or AT LEAST AVERAGE full time major league shortstop.

    THEY now do not HAVE an even average major league SS or one at any other upper level of the majors. tyler greene and marwin gonzalez are, at BEST, backups. And they wouldn’t be even that on any other team.

    and chris carter playing left field – oh JEEZUS – i am gonna fondly remember the days of gold glover Clank Lee – because amid his 200 Ks are gonna be 40 homers like adam dunn. right. because if there is one thing the As do not need is a 40 homer guy at DH.

    this peacock guy is supposed to be a top of the rotation guy??? what rotation? he wasn’t even a top of the rotation guy at triple A.

    this was all done IN REALITY to reduce the payroll by 2 million. PERIOD. crane keeps saying about how when the time is right, he is gonna spend money. uh hunh. so he’s putting all these profits in a savings account? i don’t THINK so. and he is not gonna be ABLE to spend money on the team because the truth is that unlike detroit, any top free agent is NOT going to sign with houston (no jayson werth) because the ONLY top free agent who EVER signed with houston since, say, nolan ryan, is andy pettitte. and he was from here.

    and the farm system STILL is not stacked no matter how you define stacked. all the great work that ed wade supposedly did after coming in has not worked. i am supposed to believe that suddenly the low A ball club/A ball club is great meaning that the astros will be the new yankees in 2016 or something. oh – not the yankees – the rays.


    and the attendance will be about the same with the tv coverage even less because only about 40% of households/hotels in the blackout area carry the comcast channel. there is not going to be this huge wave of fans screaming to increase their cable bill to see the astros/rockets play. so the amount of people actually watching astros games (don’t ask me why they would) is gonna drop even further.

    this is much MUCH worse than mccourt in LA – the difference is that nobody cares.

  13. Bruce says:

    I was HERE (off and on)….(am I getting too negative? )

    1983 New York Mets 68 94 .420 6th of 6
    1982 New York Mets 65 97 .401 6th of 6
    1981 New York Mets 41 62 .398 5th of 6
    1980 New York Mets 67 95 .414 5th of 6
    1979 New York Mets 63 99 .389 6th of 6
    1978 New York Mets 66 96 .407 6th of 6
    1977 New York Mets 64 98 . 395 6th of 6

  14. Lisa Gray says:


    well, i don’t know if the seaver trade was the worst in history to anyone BUT the mets fans. but they certainly have a point that it was the worst trade in METS history. and m donald grant wanting tom seaver off the team because seaver (HORRORS!!!) was permitted to go to the same country club, is beyond hubris. reminds me a LOT of drayton getting rid of gerry hunsicker.

    you notice that the mets those year didn’t lose 100 games a year. the astros have and will for the forseeable future.

    if i hear one more person explain to me how the low payroll is good because the astros needed to rebuild – without explaining what is going to happen with all the $$$ not being spent on payroll, i am gonna just LOSE it

  15. Bruce says:

    Gosh, I hope they don’t “Jason Bay” the guy!!!

    From Rotoworld:

    According to Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio, it is likely that the Mets’ 11th overall pick will be protected if they sign outfielder Michael Bourn.
    The Mets first have to convince Major League Baseball and the MLBPA to tweak the new draft pick compensation rules, but the word is that that could very well wind up being a successful pursuit. The Mets front office is reportedly willing to offer the speedy center fielder a four-year free agent contract worth close to $15 million annually. Bourn hasn’t drawn much interest from other teams because signing him will cost any organization outside of the Top 10 its 2013 first-round draft pick.

    Related: Mets
    Source: Jim Bowden on Twitter

  16. Lisa Gray says:

    i have a VERY hard time believing that because the new CBA was set up to prevent JUST that. jim bowden hasn’t been the most reliable source

  17. Bruce says:

    There may be something cathartic about following the Marlins this year.

  18. Eric says:

    Miggy Tejada is still around ? Amazing.


  19. Lisa Gray says:

    well the astros won’t have to worry about becoming the next pirates or royals bcause the payroll ain’t going that high

    crane claims he’s losing money. yeah. and i’ve got grady sizemore calling me for a date while i’ve got matt kemp on hold

  20. Eric says:

    “Wallace looks ready for monster season” was the headline I caught on page four of the Austin American Statesman sports pages.

    So piqued, I looked it over. Seems that it’s our dear Brett Wallace who’s the subject of the article. He apparently has changed his batting stance.

    It’s fairly oozing with confidence and optimism. Wow.

    Of course the main focus of today’s sports pages was on those lame Rangers which I set out for the dog to puddle on.

  21. Bruce says:

    Cleveland rocks.

  22. Eric says:

    You know, ESPN ran a month by month analysis of Bourn’s batting average..he was steadily sinking from the first month to batting around .215 in September.

    But maybe Cleveland will do for him what it did for James Lofton. Again, another CF stolen from the Astros. *SIGH*

  23. Lisa Gray says:

    you mean kenny lofton, who should SHOULD have gotten serious Hall consideration and didn’t. stros got rid of kenny for being uppity. seriously. bad makeup. it’s not like they didn’t think he was any good and he was a throwin for eddie eff taubensee – i remember.

    bourn was dumped ONLY because of $$$

    michael pretty much almost always got tired at the end of the year after playing pretty much every day. amazing that he got a last minute contract – boras is amazing. wonder what last second miracle he is gonna pull for lohse

  24. Eric says:

    Yeah Kenny Lofton. Got him mixed up with a certain NFL wide receiver.

    I’m getting old can’t you tell ?

    Boras would be my agent if I was a MLB ball player. That man is a genius for squeezing blood out of rocks when it comes to fat contracts.

    He was A-Fraud’s agent when he pulled down that 252 million albatross of a contract around the neck of a contract with the Texas Rangers wasn’t he ?

  25. Bruce says:

    Lofton was like the Energizer Bunny. Just kept producing every year.

    I’m starting to have nightmares about the Astros.

    A = B = C = D

    A = all money goes into rookies who won’t mature for 5 years.

    B = replacement level players or worse in majors until then. No money for majors.

    C = fans refuse to pay Yankee or Red Sox ticket prices to see the team. Not that we don’t like them or aren’t cheering for them, we refuse to lay down $100 to watch.

    D = In five years, when the team is finally ready, team is moved to Nashville because of lack of “fan support”. Minute Maid becomes the new empty Astrodome.

  26. Bruce says:

    Not “rookies”, I mean draftees.

  27. Bruce says:

    And meanwhile, the team gets to play 160 away games per year and the only large crowds are there to cheer against them (ie Rangers nights). I will spot them two home games with Faith and Family nights.

  28. Bruce says:

    Thanks for humoring me with a 15 post excursion through the denial, anger, bargaining, depression and….ACCEPTANCE!

  29. Eric says:

    This man speaks the truth about Dallas-Fort Worth not being a “baseball town”. Yep, that’s Josh Hamilton formerly of the Texas Rangers.

    The only problem was that he left out the rest of the state..and had he included all of Texas, he’d still be right. I’d definitely include Houston as a “not a baseball town” too.

  30. Bruce says:

    Break-out candidate?

    “8. Chris Carter
    While I’m sad he’ll no longer play half his games five minutes from my house, I’m thrilled that Chris Carter, a personal white whale of mine, will (likely) be a full-time starter for the first time in his career. I’ve long been a fan of his prodigious power—I once saw him hit a home run that cleared the pavilion in center field at Stockton’s Banner Island Ballpark, possibly the most ridiculous batted ball I’ve ever seen during game action.

    Carter slugged .514 over the course of 260 PA last year, his age-25 season. In 2013, he should see regular playing time with Houston and will have the Crawford Boxes in his sights for half his plate appearances. If he can build on the adjustments he made last year with Oakland, then 30 bombs and a respectable on-base average are very real possibilities. Carter is a potential bright spot in what promises to be a fairly dim Astros season. —Ian Miller”

  31. Bruce says:

    Rockets use “Flash Seats” system so you can bid on tickets. Have used them a lot this year. Maybe Astro’s will start using a bidding system, to fill the seats at reasonable prices.

  32. Bruce says:

    Maybe fill SOME seats…sorry, didn’t mean to get carried away with the idea.

  33. Bruce says:

    Kansas City, Cleveland and Toronto got better this year. KC at a cost trading Wil Myers for Shields. But good luck to them!

  34. Peabo says:

    Seriously Bruce, at a certain point you need to just go start your own blog.

  35. Bruce says:

    Peabo, I figure if LG has had enough, she will write us another column! Meanwhile there is lots of entertaining stuff out there, and this thread seems like a cozy place to share it!

  36. Lisa Gray says:

    i’ll start writing again. took off a week(end) for me n husband to have our anniversary celebration, then EVERYONE got that stomach flu and either i was barfing or helping out someone else who was and then i saw the team roster and the barfing started all over again….