Every now and then, we'll try to ape Andrew Sharp and write the worst Astros column on earth. Today, let's discuss Jeff Luhnow and the roster he's built.
Just like that, another experiment by baseball's grand, mad scientist goes kaput.
At this point, Jeff Luhnow has a worse track record than Pinky or The Brain.
Who in the world thought coming into the season with Josh Fields as the closer was a good idea? Do they want Bo Porter to fail?
That's the problem with this front office. They're so caught up in formulas and being on the cutting edge, they're "shifting" themselves into neutral.
Three seasons after Luhnow took over as GM of the Astros, are they any better off? Are they winning more games? Are they more competitive than they were?
Seems like a GM's job should be to win, not to constantly lose in the most embarrassing way possible. Did the Astros hire Luhnow to create memes like Damn It, Astros? If so, he's doing a bang-up job.
When Luhnow took over, word leaked that he had a fancy plan to rebuild the Astros. He had everything mapped out. He hired the best and the brightest. Not from baseball, mind you. From everywhere else. Apparently, working in baseball doesn't teach you how to win baseball games.
Turns out, working outside of baseball doesn't teach you how, either.
Jeff Luhnow has brought in players from all sorts of trades. Which ones are big league regulars now? Oh, that's right. Kris Karter. Matt "Gold Glove" Dominguez. Robbie "Minor Leagues" Grossman. Dexter "Tummy Ache" Fowler.
Which ones of his free agents signings worked out? Rick Ankiel spilled some popcorn that one time. Carlos Pena took up space. All his relievers are hurt or are guys named Chad. Does this man even know how to find talent?
Right. He's a scout. He's supposed to develop young players. He's also had two drafts. How many of his guys are on a big league roster now? Can you name one? Not even Brett Wallace, who was a Luhnow draftee, could make this team.
Yet, the Astros are sitting on a gold mine. They've got one of the finest baseball minds in Texas in the building, waiting to be used.
Nolan Ryan is Texas baseball.
Did Nolan need years and years to "develop" players? No, he just won games. Sure, the Rangers had the fruits of the Teixeira trade and a thriving international development system. But, it was Nolan who molded that clay into a winner.
Do you think Nolan would be letting his pitchers nibble at the plate? Do you think Nolan will be worried about "pitch framing?" No. He's just worried about framing the picture of his 5,000th strikeout.
How many more seasons of losing must the Astros deal with? How many more times can they say, "Better luck next year?" Fans are already staying away. Do you think Jeff Luhnow will be able to entice them back?
Three years is long enough. The Astros need to see results.
Nolan Ryan is all about results. He wouldn't allow Josh Fields to be a closer. He wouldn't allow 5-foot-nothing Jose Altuve to bat cleanup. He wouldn't allow the Astros to embarrass baseball with a pitiful payroll for the past two years.
He'd get players. He'd get the job done. What is taking Jim Crane so long? He's got the guy to fix the problem right under his nose. Why can't he use him?
Right. He trusts the "Plan."
It seems there is one stat that Jeff Luhnow left out of his "plan."
It's called a "win."