Some things to talk about while Cheo gets to announce the first pick...
1) Dierker is back
Reid Ryan has already scored a pretty big get, securing the return of one Larry Dierker to the Astros fold. Via a team release on Tuesday, Dierk will join the Astros as a special assistant to the president, with the job duties being, you know, whatever Ryan deems necessary.
I bet this means Dierker becomes a big goodwill ambassador to the club and helps turn around the public image that has gotten tarnished in the past six months.
This also seems a bit inevitable. It appeared that the impediment to Dierker coming back was solely on Postolos, as owner Jim Crane had reached out to Dierk multiple times and wanted to keep a good relationship there. When Ryan reached out to him as well on his first day on the job, this likely became a matter of time.
Still, it's nice to have Dierker back. I have fond memories of him being in the TV booth and then on the field as Astros skipper. Anyone else feeling more charitable towards the Astros after this announcement?
2) Is Manaea falling enough to get to 2-1?
Since it's time to talk about the draft more and more, let's discuss a situation with one of the top arms heading into this season. Indiana State left-hander Sean Manaea has struggled this season and has also been battling injuries. He was pushed from his usual Friday night start to Saturday, which is worrying plenty of people.
How far is this going to cause Manaea to drop? He was once a lock to be picked in the top 5, but now might just be a top 15-20 pick. If his injury scares enough teams, he might even fall into the supplemental first round, much like LSU's Anthony Ranaudo did a few years back.
One of the things our writers have been discussing lately is whether or not it makes sense for Houston to save money at the top of this draft by taking Jonathan Gray over Mark Appel when they can't be assured of a worthy talent being there later on.
Manaea is that worthy talent. So, my question is this: would you be okay with either Gray, Kris Bryant or Colin Moran at the top of the draft if it meant also adding Manaea at 2-1?
3) Astros Foundation helping Oklahoma
Nice news from a team that, yes, does actually give money to charity and not just kick old ladies. The Astros Foundation is raising money for relief of those affected in Oklahoma by the recent string of tornadoes.