Krauss, Presley and Carter ('Krapler' from here out) can, should and perhaps will be replaced sooner rather than later. Their replacements, IMO, should be Singleton, Wates and Stassi, respectively.
First, allow me to stipulate up front that the Crawfish Caution Crowd (CCC) make a solid, collective, quantified, common sense case against acting rashly in these desperate times. Every player on the above list has multiple reasons to be kept where he currently is. Those reasons are varied, dealing with everything from ceiling to contracts, from age to arbitration, and from BABIP to booze.
Let me further stipulate I'm aware I'm biased toward impatience. I've been watching this rebuild for years approvingly, like many in here, and am really antsy to begin seeing the positive effects. I was ecstatic when Springer was called up, despite that hole in the swing, despite knowing the club could have saved money by waiting, and despite understanding that he will in all likelihood not be a star right out of the gate. I am aware that Springer's case for callup is stronger than those of Singleton, Wates and Stassi. But that call up whetted my appetite. I want more, consequences be damned. So it's visceral. Bring them up now. I'm aware that Krapler's stats are a small sample size and that regression is all but guaranteed. There are multiple reasons to give every person in Krapler more time. But this too is visceral: Off with their heads I say!
There is a strong non-visceral case to be made for replacing Krapler and here it is.
- First, let's look at Krapler's line. Together, Krauss, Presley and Carter are truly terrible. Their combined BA/OBP/Slugging/OPS is .134/.214/.244/.458. Not surprisingly, they have the three worst offensive WARs on the club, for a combined -1.3, which at 1/9th of the season puts them on a collective pace for -11.7. They would, of course, not finish at -11.7 were they each to play a full season due to the small sample size, many variables at play, and the almost certain positive regression that each would presumably benefit from. But I'm not predicting here, I'm describing. There's really no getting around it. This is, to borrow in context from Spinal Tap, a real 'sh*t sandwich'.
- None of these guys figures to be part of the future, rebuilt Astros. Krauss is young enough to be here for the long haul but has never had that high of a ceiling and has shown only that he needs more time in the minors. In addition, Singleton is perfectly suited to replace him and has been penciled in at 1B going forward. It's only a matter of time before Krauss has to find another position. The OF is already crowded with relatively low-ceiling corner guys in need of PAs. Presley seems to have been acquired to be a solid, placeholder platoon corner OF until the cavalry arrives and is failing as such. Meanwhile, Wates is destroying AAA pitching and ready for a call-up. Yes, he would require a roster spot but Grossman, the primary alternative, has proven he needs a little more time in AAA. Releasing Presley opens up that roster spot. Stassi for Carter is a much tougher, complicated call. Carter performed solidly last year overall and as a DH, with excellent power and very good walk-drawing ability, he won't harm us in the field. Tossing aside that much power potential is problematic, admittedly, for reasons that have been outlined over and over again here by the legion of upstanding, intelligent citizens who make up the Crawfish Caution Crowd. But Stassi appears to be ready and this won't be his first run. Castro could be used even more as the DH. I know his value is at catcher but it's about fielding your best team. Plugging Castro's significant, positive offensive WAR in for Carter's potentially significantly negative value would, everything else equal, improve this team greatly.
Yes, there are many good reasons to be cautious with all of these players. But, no, let's not do that. Let's get on with
it. For sh*ts and giggles, I hereby predict that all three components of Krapler will be gone by May 15.