The season is still pretty young but we've seen a lot of movement on the minor league rosters. Carlos Correa promoted to AAA. Lance McCullers from AA to AAA and now the majors. Joe Musgrove from QC to Lancaster.These aren't fill the rosters promotions either. These are the "you've earned your ticket to the next level" type of promotions. This is definitely more aggressive than years past. Is this a good thing? Why has it changed this year? Or has it not really changed?
The 40 man roster has to be the issue that is causing this subtle shift in mentality. This is only going to become more and more of a problem. The Astros are going to turn into a Rule 5 Draft gold mine, if they haven't already (ahem... DDJ). I always go back to Jeff Luhnow saying the word "mastery" in reference to determining when a player should be promoted. I would say that Correa, McCullers, and Musgrove have all shown "mastery," even if its in a short stint.
Seth beat me too it, but yeah, remembering Luhnow's "mastery" term or requirement. In other words, dominance. But considering that term, I reach a different conclusion.
The three guys this year, Correa, McCullers and Musgrove, haven't just been good at their starting levels, they've destroyedtheir starting levels, so they get moved up. Think about other guys; Derek Fisher, J.D. Davis, A.J. Reed, Jacob Nottingham...they've all been good or even very good, but you wouldn't say any of them have dominated their league, not like Correa or Musgrove, so they're still where they started.
Bryan Radziewski is another guy who's been promoted early this year, and if you look at him, again, he wasn't just good, he was excellent in QC. Conrad Gregor didn't move up to AA last year until he hit .367/.449/.678 for Lancaster. Tony Kemp hit .336 for Lancaster for about half the season before they promoted him (and given the environment, .336 is very good, not dominant). Brett Phillips' .883 OPS in QC was very good, but again not dominant, so they didn't promote him until late, when he had kept the production up for over 100 games.
Given all that, I'm not sure they've done things much differently, and that's ignoring the fact that Correa is a freak and shouldbe treated differently; what might be aggressive for some prospects might be right in-line with how he should be handled, because he is that special. He was playing A-Advanced ball when he was 19-years-old; that would have been very aggressive if he were just any prospect. Yet Ruiz also played with him at the same age, so weren't they aggressive there? Nolan Fontana skipped short-season ball entirely, remember that? That could be seen as aggressive.
So no, I can't say they've been that much more aggressive. The only real shocker is McCullers to the Majors, but even that's likely a very temporary thing until Oberholtzer is back, and one move does not a trend make.
You could throw Brian Holmes into that category for what he did in Lancaster and was recently promoted to Corpus.So, would you say that Chris Cotton has not been dominant? Given the environment and his numbers, I would say he has.The counter argument to the Rule Five aspect is that only Holmes and Musgrove are eligible for the draft next year. Radziewski, McCullers, and Correa are not.
I'm waiting for the day on Cotton. I guess you could argue that relievers have smaller sample sizes and so are inherently more volitile, but he's been unquestionably dominant and is semi-old for that league, so it should be soon.I'm sure Rule 5 eligibility plays into it too, though, as you say. I expect to see Luis Cruz in at least the MLB bullpen at some point because of that.
Good call on Cotton since he was called up yesterday.