Would the San Houstiego AstroPads Make the Playoffs?

Posted on 04 July 2012 by Dennis Lawson

AstroPads

Consider this hypothetical situation carefully, because it merits serious discussion.  If Major League Baseball had somehow combined the Houston Astros and the San Diego Padres prior to the 2012 season, would that Frankenstein’s monstrosity of a team make the playoffs?.  To a degree, you can ignore the 2 teams current records of 32-47 and 30-50, respectively.  Need more information about how this would work?  Fine.

  • The AstroPads would play 40 home games at Minute Maid in Houston and 40 home games at Petco in San Diego.  The 81st home game would be played at a neutral site just for fun (like Vegas).
  • The team would be limited to a 25 man active roster and a 40 man roster just like every other team.  The difference is that players not on the 40 man roster could be traded.
  • Jeff Luhnow would be the super-GM of the team.
  • Bud Black would manage half of the games.
  • Brad Mills would manage the other half of the games.
  • The team’s jersey’s would be designed based on the old school Astros jerseys using a the most hideous color combination to be found amount the 2 teams’ color palettes from the 80′s.
  • If either team has already made a trade, then just assume that the super-team would make the same trade, because we cannot fully disrupt the space-time continuum (or something like that).
  • The team plays in the NL Central division.

If you just look at the position players, this team looks better than one might think.  The Astros could throw the following into the starting mix.  (Players in bold would be starters on the super-team.)

  • C – Jason Castro – .248/.328/.376/.703 with 2 HR and 16 RBI, 0.7 WAR
  • 1B – Carlos Lee – .285/.336/.407/.742 with 5 HR and 29 RBI, -0.1 WAR
  • 2B – Jose Altuve – .308/.350/.450/.799 with 5 HR and 23 RBI, 1.6 WAR
  • SS – Jed Lowrie – .257/.342/.479/.821 with 14 HR and 33 RBI, 2.3 WAR
  • 3B – Chris Johnson – .280/.324/.414/.738 with 6 HR and 34 RBI, 0.5 WAR
  • LF – J.D. Martinez – .235/.319/.396/.716 with 10 HR and 46 RBI, -0.1 WAR
  • CF – Jordan Schafer – .237/.318/.323/.641 with 3 HR and 18 RBI, 0.0 WAR
  • RF – Brian Bogusevic – .219/.297/.348/.645 with 6 HR and 20 RBI, 0.7 WAR
  • OF – Justin Maxwell – .231/.324/.471/.795 with 8 HR and 24 RBI, 0.9 WAR
  • 1B/3B – Brett Wallace – .333/.429/.583/1.012 with 2 HR and 4 RBI, 0.3 WAR

Consider what the Padres would bring to the table to complement the starting lineup:

  • 1B – Yonder Alonso – .257/.336/.343/.679 with 2 HR and 18 RBI, -0.5 WAR
  • 3B – Chase Headley – .272/.371/.418/.789 with 8 HR and 38 RBI, 2.3 WAR
  • LF – Jesus Guzman – .235/.298/.352/.650 with 2 HR and 26 RBI, 0.0 WAR
  • CF – Cameron Maybin – .202/.281/.289/.570 with 3 HR and 23 RBI, -0.1 WAR
  • RF – Will Venable – .259/.324/.434/.758 with 6 HR and 21 RBI, 0.2 WAR
  • RF – Chris Denorfia – .292/.354/.427/.781 with 2 HR and 12 RBI, 1.4 WAR
  • LF – Carlos Quentin – .311/.441/.622/1.064 with 7 HR and 16 RBI, 1.4 WAR

Now, keep in mind that the Astros have won 32 games despite a group of hitters worth about 5.6 WAR this season.  The Padres have won 30 games using a bunch of hitters worth 5.1 WAR.  The starting 8 position players in bold above account for 10.9 WAR just by themselves.  For reference, the Reds are leading the NL Central division with a group of hitters worth 8.5 WAR overall.

Now we move on to the potential pitching staff members.

  • Clayton Richard – 3.77 ERA, 105.0 IP, 63 SO, 96 ERA+, 1.219 WHIP
  • Edinson Volguez – 3.68 ERA, 100.1 IP, 88 SO, 98 ERA+, 1.395 WHIP
  • Cory Luebke – 2.61 ERA, 31.0 IP, 23 SO, 140 ERA+, 1.161 WHIP
  • Wandy Rodriguez – 3.54 ERA, 109.1 IP, 70 SO, 112 ERA+, 1.235 WHIP
  • Lucas Harrell – 4.33 ERA, 97.2 IP, 56 SO, 92 ERA+, 1.331 WHIP
  • Wilton Lopez – 2.51 ERA, 32.1 IP, 26 SO, 160 ERA+, 0.959 WHIP
  • Brandon Lyon – 2.73 ERA, 29.2 IP, 30 SO, 147 ERA+, 1.281 WHIP
  • Huston Street – 1.29 ERA, 21.0 IP, 28 SO, 286 ERA+, 0.667 WHIP
  • Luke Gregerson – 3.57 ERA, 35.1 IP, 37 SO, 102 ERA+, 1.274 WHIP
  • Andrew Cashner – 3.63 ERA, 34.2 IP, 43 SO, 100 ERA+, 1.327 WHIP

That leaves a few spots open on the staff, but you get the picture.  With only 1 starter working with an ERA above 4.00, this team would have a legitimate shot at being a top 5 staff in the NL.  Combine that with a solid starting lineup, and I really think the AstroPads could win 85-90 games.  Would that be enough to get the team to the playoffs?  Maybe in the NL Central…

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