Welp, remember when we talked about the Astros possible victory total in 2014? I have doubts about it. Serious doubts.
For one thing, it seems the team still isn't happy with its first base mix. Despite having Chris Carter, Jesus Guzman, Japhet Amador and Jon Singleton in camp, the Astros are still calling around to teams looking for an upgrade. Here's Jayson Stark on the rumor:
#Pirates aren't only team looking for 1B. #Astros calling around on group that includes Mike Carp, Mayberry, Tyler Moore. All unlikely fits— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) March 18, 2014
What's funny about Carp is that the Astros could have claimed him last season for free. Well, that's not funny. That's a problem. After getting picked up by the Red Sox, Carp hit .296/.362/.523 in 86 games and 243 plate appearances with nine home runs and one steal.
John Mayberry, Jr. hit .227/.286/.391 in 134 games and 384 plate appearances last season with 11 home runs and five steals for the Phillies. In his 1,232 career plate appearances, the 30-year old has hit .245/.304/.430.
Meanwhile, Tyler Moore hit .222/.260/.347 last season for the Nationals, but also hit .263/.327/.513 in 2012. He only has 349 plate appearances in the majors, but has 14 home runs. In his minor league career, Moore has posted isolated power averaged above .200 in every season since 2010, with correspondingly high strikeout rates.
What does all this mean? That the Astros are getting slightly desperate. They spent the winter looking for upgrades at first, flirting with Jose Abreu, Corey Hart and the like, while only coming away with Jesus Guzman and a return engagement with Brett Wallace.
Meanwhile, Guzman hasn't performed great in spring training, Singleton has struggled and Amador showed up late and out of shape.
Add all of that up and it's not surprising that the Astros are searching for an upgrade at first base. It just doesn't seem like they'll find anyone, if these are the candidates they're considering. Which means it won't be long before Ike Davis and Justin Smoak get brought up again.