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Astros Series Preview: Q&A with Timothy DeBlock of The Crawfish Boxes

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Yesterday, Tim DeBlock and I figuratively sat down and exchanged questions about the Astros and A's. We talked Trogdor, Peacock, Crisp, team ownership, 2011 draft, and Jose Altuve. Enjoy!

Trogdor is burninating just fine in Houston
Trogdor is burninating just fine in Houston
Duane Burleson

Former A's update: After watching Chris Carter and Brad Peacock for almost two months now, what are your impressions? I know many in the A's community were surprised that Peacock was demoted given his stuff compared to other guys in the Houston rotation.

I love Trogdor. He's pretty much come as advertised high strikeout, high walk guy with some serious power and bad defense. We're hoping that his strikeout rate comes down quite a bit from the near 40% level it's currently at and we're finding out that he's a streaky hitter. There's hope that he'll be a big part of this team going forward probably as the team's designated hitter.

Brad Peacock flat out was ineffective. He struggled with his control and command. The entire pitching staff was struggling at the time of Peacock's demotion so he wasn't going to be afforded the opportunity to work it out at the major league level. He seems to have worked something out at AAA; unfortunately for him, the rotation has pitched much better recently so he'll have to wait until ineffectiveness or injury knocks someone out of the rotation. And even then he may be called up to pitch out of the bullpen before being given another shot at the rotation.

Do you think Jose Altuve will be traded before the deadline? He's the most talented and valuable player on the roster, and will likely be close to free agency by the time the Astros are competitive again.

No, Jose Altuve will not be traded at the deadline. Any sort of trade scenario's involving Altuve should begin with your favorite prospect because you're going to have to overpay to get him away from the Astros. He just turned 23, he doesn't become a free agent until 2018 and he's already improved on his numbers from last year, primarily in the defensive category where he's making highlight plays on a regular basis. Throw in the fact that he's a fan favorite and it's going to be expensive for a team to acquire him. Altuve recently changed his agent from Scott Boras to Ocatagon and the Astros have expressed an interest in possibly signing Altuve to an extension so something may already be in the works.

Is it possible Altuve gets traded? Sure, I just don't think it happens.

At the time, I recall hoping that George Springer would fall to the A's in the 2011 draft. That was obviously silly. How is he progressing so far?

Springer is on pace to make his debut next year. His fielding came as advertised as well as his raw bat. He's showing a lot of power but he's also showing a high strikeout rate. The writers of TCB actually just had a discussion concerning Springer's high strikeout rate and whether or not that means doom for him at the major league level. Overall, the prospects who had a similar strikeout rate to Springer did not fare so well at the major league level -- you guys remember Brandon Wood. The glimmer of hope is that strikeout rates are on the rise so he may slide right into an era where strikeout rates don't matter as much as long as walking and hitting with power. We're all still very high on him but there are some concerns regarding his development.

What's the deal with Astros owner Jim Crane? The A's owner, Lew Wolff, gets a lot of guff - some deserved, some undeserved -- but he normally stays out of sight. Crane, however, seems to invite criticism with things like canceling charity events.

I've had a real gut check with the way the business side of the Astros has been running things for the past 10 months. The business side has taken a hard bottom-line approach with everything from the food they serve at the ball park (snow cone anyone?) to the personnel they've hired to run the business side. They've let a lot of good people go and this has led to self-induced PR nightmares like raising Joe Niekro from the dead to attend a luncheon to taking foul balls from kids at a college tournament it's just been one Astros business blunder right after another.

Not all of it is Crane's fault, part of that blame goes to the recently resigned George Postolos who was described by Larry Dierker (who cut ties in April but has since come back to the organization after Postolos' resignation) as, "cold, calculating and humorless." Crane has had his moments, like telling fans, "It doesn't bother me that people want us to spend more money, but it's not their money. This is a private company, even though it's got a public flair to it. If they want to write a check for 10 million bucks, they can give me a call." Throw in the charity event, which was canceled two months prior to it going viral, and Crane and his crew just haven't handled anything very well from a PR perspective. A lot of that goes along with bottom-line approach and hiring people without much of a baseball background. The team has been atrocious and that doesn't help a business side that has been just as bad.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the Astros' brand new Regional Sports Network is only being viewed in about 40% of Houston households and Crane has recently taken point in those negotiations. (insert unoriginal joke about team being unwatchable anyways)

Timothy DeBlock is the Managing Editor for The Crawfish Boxes, the SBN Astros blog. He makes cool GIFs, among other things. TCB is actually a very underrated blog, and you should check them out, especially for the draft coverage they have going now.