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Wednesday's Three Astros Things

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Talking about Carlos Correa, a new pitching metric and worst free agents...

Some things to talk about while the president of the BBWAA is causing soccer controversies in the middle of the baseball season...

1) Calling up Correa

In the wake of Jed Lowrie's injury, talk turned naturally to phenom shortstop Carlos Correa getting called up. Since the author predicted this would happen on the season preview podcast, he's pretty on board with the notion.

The concept kicked off some great debate among TCB's staff. Most of the practical group is right; Correa isn't ready and probably should stay down for a while. Heck, he likely needs to see Triple-A for a bit before getting the call.

Jeff Luhnow said as much to Evan Drellich, in a long and insightful interview that's worth your time.

I agree with all of this. Correa isn't ready right now. He's got 70 plate appearances this year. That's nothing. It certainly hasn't shown whether he can make adjustments against better, older pitching.

The one thing that could get Correa called up sooner can't be quantified. A regular developmental path is warranted 99 percent of the time. But every now and then, a player blows that up.

This may only be an issue because Correa was hurt last year. If he had stayed healthy, he'd have gotten the time at Double-A to be ready to start this year much sooner in the majors.

As it is, he needs more seasoning, but not as much as you might think. Given his intangibles and his play, Correa will make the majors sooner than people expect. It won't be next week, but I'm betting it will be this summer. Maybe after the Super 2 "deadline" passes.

That goes against conventional wisdom on prospect development. It may be the prevailing view, but it's far from a sure thing. Luhnow isn't an idiot for sticking with a guy on the 40-man roster already (Villar) over Correa.

2) BPro's new metric

Do you have some time to kill this afternoon? Check out Baseball Prospectus' new pitching metric, which attempts to fix some of the common problems people have with others.

Today, we are transitioning to a new metric for evaluating the pitcher's responsibility for runs that crossed the plate. We call it Deserved Run Average, or DRA. Leveraging recent applications of "mixed models" to baseball statistics, DRA controls for the context in which each event of a game occurred, thereby allowing a more accurate prediction of pitcher responsibility, particularly in smaller samples. DRA goes well beyond strikeouts, walks, hit batsman, and home runs, and considers all available batting events. DRA does not explain everything by any means, but its estimates appear to be more accurate and reliable than the alternatives. As such, DRA allows us to declare how many runs a pitcher truly deserved to give up, and to say so with more confidence than ever before.

Last year, Collin McHugh led all Astros starters in DRA. Tony Sipp led the staff last year. This season, Dallas Keuchel is fifth in the majors in it while McHugh is a top 25 guy.

3) Top five worst free agents

Jayson Stark takes on the five worst free agent contracts ever over at ESPN. A former Astro pops up on the list, but what's kinda funny is how many Rnagers are on it. Tom Hicks was a disaster.

But the Hamilton deal gets massive extra credit for its messy ending alone. His team didn't just eat more than $60 million to make him go away. The Angels were so desperate to get him off the premises that they were willing to "trade" him for pretty much nothing -- to a team in their own division. Amid a bizarre backdrop of embarrassment, frustration and (let's face it) anger. So, in the end, they paid him over 100 million bucks for, well, what exactly?

No Carlos Lee, which was a little disappointing. But, I guess his first couple decent seasons meant the contract wasn't a complete waste of space.

Still, it brings up a good question. Who is your worst Astros free agent acquisition of all time?