In 24 hours MLB Networks 30 Clubs in 30 Days airs their Houston Astros episode tomorrow night Wednesday March 28, 2012, at 7 p.m. CT.
Among the topics covered will be Jeff Luhnow's direction for the team, Brad Mills' thoughts on the competition in Spring training, Brett Myers move to the bullpen and more. Bud Norris, Carlos Lee, Jose Altuve and Jason Castro are all interviewed in the episode.
MLB Network analysts John Hart and Dan Plesac give there thoughts on Bud Norris, the Astros bullpen and Jed Lowrie.
To wet your appetite here are some quotes from the episode:
Jeff Luhnow on trying to turn Houston around:
"We’re in a great market for baseball and I think if we can generate some excitement, some enthusiasm and show some meaningful progress, we’re gonna get our fans back, and that’ll help drive revenue…I think we have to attack on all fronts. There’s no silver bullet here. We have to be good at drafting. We have to be good at development. We have to be good at making decisions at the big league level in terms of which players to play and we have to change the mindset. It’s tough when you go through a season and lose a lot of games like the Astros did last year… Our goal is to really make sure we field a team that is competitive every series, every game and that we start to change the mindset and that our players, our staff and our fans start to believe that there’s something positive happening."
Brad Mills on the competition among the team in Spring Training:
"When we started, we wanted to have a lot of competition and for these guys to battle for positions. They’ve carried that in through Spring Training so far, and now we’re getting down to the last few days of camp. They’ve played that out through camp. We’ve had some players emerge to be pretty good players and that whole battling type of atmosphere has really kind of gone into the games as well, which is nice."
Brett Myers on his mentality as a reliever:
"As a reliever, everything’s gotta be to the wall. I think that’s sort of my mentality. That’s the way, when I was a younger starter, I just let everything go. As I matured and got older, I just kind of backed off a little bit and was more or less worried about hitting spots and making the ball move a little bit more. As a reliever, I just want to come in, try to throw as hard as I can and get people out."
John Hart and Dan Plesac quotes are after the jump.
John Hart on trading away star players:
"It’s painful when you get rid of established stars. You gotta realize, [Michael] Bourn and [Hunter] Pence went this [past] year on the heels of [Roy] Oswalt and [Lance] Berkman, who were a big part of the success the Astros have enjoyed…I think the real painful trade was Hunter Pence. This was their own guy. He was drafted. This is the one, as a GM, you look at and you go, ‘Boy, great makeup. Wonderful player, face of the franchise-sort of a guy, a guy you would like to build around.’ But, when you look at where the Astros were and where they were going, Hunter Pence probably was not going to stay and be a part of it."
Dan Plesac on Bud Norris:
"I think this might be the year that Bud Norris really breaks out…His changeup is getting more consistent. I think if you’re a fan of the Astros, Bud Norris might be the brightest light of hope down the road."
John Hart on the importance of the Astros’ bullpen:
"I think when you look at this bullpen in totality that a lot of these guys have some command issues. They’re not established, so it’s going to be interesting to see. I think a lot of the success of this club is gonna hinge on how those guys in the middle [perform], who they go to, who emerges and who establishes themselves out of this group in the bullpen."
John Hart on Jed Lowrie:
"This is a guy that did a good job with Boston when he was healthy. The problem with Lowrie has been his inability to be on the field. He’s had a lot of injuries…I think hitting in the two hole and getting a chance to be an everyday guy, and if he stays healthy, we’re gonna get a chance to see what in fact Jed Lowrie is."