At around 2:00 PM CDT the lineups were posted. Three hours later Jeff Keppinger's name was being crossed off that lineup card, Angel Sanchez taking his place. The first of many or the first of few moves was made today as Keppinger was traded to the San Francisco Giants today for Minor League RHP's Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel.
Before we get into what the Astros received I want to cover what the Giants are getting Keppinger. Offensively he's only a slightly above average hitter, his baserunning is average and his defense is slightly below average. Though I will say he has the aptitude to make a nice play or two at second. He can also play short (pray he never does), third base and left field. His biggest asset is that he doesn't strikeout much and walks at a decent clip although that's been down this year. He's an average second baseman that should help improve the Giants offensively.
You can check out the McCovey Chronicles, SB Nation's Giants blog, reaction to the trade here.
Now onto the Astros new toys.
A former top 10 prospect in the Giants farm system, as far back as 2008, Sosa has dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness. His 5.51 ERA between AA and AAA leaves something to be desired and at the ripe old age of 25 his prospect status may be in question. There is a catch. In 40.1 innings at AA he made 6 starts in 8 games posting a 2.68 ERA. AAA is where he's struggled mostly this year with a 10.41 ERA in 23.1 innings out of the bullpen. He's had issues walking people, handing out 17 free passes in those 23.1 innings not a recipe for success. I suppose for a guy who has flashed potential from time to time there's hope but times running out.
Subber10's quick take:
Sosa hard fastball futures game participant on 07 issues with command and consistency of breaking ball. Probably better in pen.
The more interesting of the two is Stoffel who at 22 was pitching well for the Richmond Flying Squirrels (love that name) the Giants AA affiliate before this trade. JetHawk fans should be familiar with this pitcher as it appears he was the closer for the San Jose Giants (A+) in the CAL league last year. His 4.80 ERA is obviously nothing special but his 3.16 FIP indicates he's better than his traditional stats and come on it's the CAL league, notorious for being a hitters haven. If that isn't enough his 28.8 K% should further push that high ERA out of your mind. This year he's pitched to the tune of a 3.98 ERA and a 3.36 ERA his strikeouts are down a bit but still pretty good. He's a candidate for the closer position.
Subber10's quick thoughts:
Stoffel was arizonas best reliever his dirt two years and best reliever eligible for draft before 09 season. Then fastball became straight and hittable. Could eventually be back of the pen guy.
Knee Jerk Reaction
If this was the best offer made, then Ed Wade should of waited. The fact that their both relievers just makes it worst and they're not even that highly regarded. Maybe at one time they were, but now they're both projects. The Astros are lacking pitching prospects but this hardly fulfills that need. Both could make the big leagues and I think Stoffel is a candidate to be a closer, but if Ed Wade is trying to save his job trades like these aren't helping his case. He may not lose this trade but he certainly didn't win it.
There have been a lot of calls for the Astros to go into full sell mode, if these are the types of trades we can expect I'm hoping this is one of the few moves Wade makes.