Wednesday's Three Astros Things

Bob Levey

Talking about Mickey Storey, the broadcasting booth and not trading Jed Lowrie...

Some things to talk about while we wait for Houston to make another free agent signing or trade...

1) Mickey Storey's bad luck

Why has Mickey Storey been a roster pinball for Houston this year? The right-hander posted a very fine season for Houston in 30 innings last season, with an FIP lower than his ERA of 3.86 and 34 strikeouts to just 10 walks.

What's more, those numbers aren't flukey. In his minor league career, Storey regularly posted K/9 rates at 9 or better while walking fewer than 3 per nine in every season but 2010 and 2011. He didn't give up a ton of homers and generally was an effective reliever.

So, why has he been expelled from the roster so many times this winter? Well, let's start with his age. Storey will be 27 next season, which is still young, but not really a prospect's age. What's more, he's a reliever. Unproven relievers just don't get many opportunities unless things break right.

All that said, if Storey sticks with Houston, I could definitely see him making this team out of spring training as part of a late-inning rotation as closer or setup man. Add him in with Cosart, Jose Veras and Hector Ambriz and Houston has a lot of strikeout potential.

2) Ashby interviewed with Astros

It came amid the craziness that was the last two days signing frenzy in Houston, but we got word via Brian McTaggart that Alan Ashby has interviewed with Houston about a broadcasting opportunity.

We still have no word on what position he might be interviewing for or whether he would be filling in for the play-by-play role on the radio or a color man on TV. But, the more I think about it, doesn't Ashby fit the profile of a big-ticket hire, a "recognizable name" that the team put forth when they let Brett and Dave go?

The question is whether they'd be willing to put Ashby in a play-by-play role. I think pairing him there with another former player, whether it be Ensberg, Dierker or someone like that, could be a very nice team-up for radio broadcasts next year.

Now, I promise, that's the last post for a while on the radio or TV stuff. Until we actually know something, that is.

3) For the last time, DON'T TRADE JED LOWRIE

I am annoyed by this.

It's not the first time I've been annoyed by it, but I try to contain it on here and not bring it up over and over again.

It's easy to get excited about the prospects he can bring back, because a shortstop who hits like Lowrie could bring back a bundle. It's easy to not care about the MLB team when they are terrible and prospects are all they have to hang hope on.

But, shortstops who can hit for power and play solid defense just don't grow on trees. They're MVP candidates. Sure, it was unfortunate that Lowrie was injured last season. But, I don't believe players are "injury-prone." There are some guys who just have bad luck, but none of Lowrie's injuries have been things that linger. He doesn't have a bad back, he doesn't have chronic knee troubles. He's just had a bad run.

That can all change in one season. Say his luck changes and he has 700 plate appearances this year. He will easily hit 30 home runs and be the best hitter on the team. With Lowrie under team control for two years, what exactly would it take to pick him up in a trade? Wil Myers? Shelby Miller and Oscar Taveras? None of that makes sense for the team trading for him, since Lowrie hasn't produced enough to justify a super high price tag.

Which means that Lowrie's more valuable to Houston than to other teams. That's the same situation they were in with Michael Bourn, but it's different with Lowrie, because he will be valued highly by other teams if he's healthy and hitting.

/end of rant

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