Back in March we lambasted the Washington Post’s Cameron Smith for suggesting that Pudge Rodriguez represented a huge step forward for the Astros. (Frankly, I’m still a little shocked he wrote that post. Maybe he lost a bet?)

Today, I’m here to gloat.

Because Pudge did not make the Astros a contender, as Smith suggested he would. Houston is two games under .500, and seven games back in both the NL Central and NL Wild Card.

How can this be?

Quite simply, Houston was never as good as their 2008 record indicated. When you’re 11 games over .500 but you surrender 31 more runs than you score, there is a certain amount of luck involved.

Pudge hasn’t been a total disaster, as he’s been worth .6 wins above replacement. But he hasn’t been nearly good enough to keep the ‘Stros in contention, and that was incredibly easy to predict.

Moreover, you have to wonder if J.R. Towles would have been a better choice at catcher, seeing as how Pudge is currently sporting a .277 OBP and Towles has a .400 OBP in triple-A.

Of course, there’s no way to know of Towles’ minor league success would have translated to the big leagues. He certainly didn’t have any luck hitting major league pitching in 2008. But it’s clear the cash-strapped Astros would have been better off rolling the dice with Towles and spending $1.5 million on a bullpen arm or utility player instead of on Pudge.

One Response to “Pudge was never the answer”

  1. Great point and you totally have to gloat. It’s similar to the Brewers sending J.J. Hardy to the minors and calling up Alcides Escobar. While the Astros don’t have an option to send Pudge down, I think they’d be a better team with Towles and it’s worth the risk of just releasing Pudge.

Leave a Reply

    Recent Comments

    • planet hobbywood: This is very interesting.
    • Bren: He is a awesome player and a good man.. sweet.. polite.. friendly.. down to earth.. he never acted as though he...
    • HADAJUN( Japanese): Okajima a Japanese hero?
    • Rickt: I am the biggest Cal Jr fan around but one of my good friends played minor league baseball in the Orioles...
    • HADAJUN: I wish for play in Japan. The death is regrettable.


    Subscribe via email

    Enter your email address:


Featured posts

December 5, 2011

Will anybody get elected to the Hall of Fame this year?

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you would like to see enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame. The verdict? If it were up to UmpBump readers, nobody would make it in. The leading vote getter (so far) is Jeff Bagwell, who has 60% support. Of course, in the real voting, players need […]

January 5, 2011

Annual UmpBump Hall of Fame Balloting: 2011 Edition

In what has become an annual tradition, we here at UmpBump cast our ballots for the Hall of Fame on the eve of the announcements of the voting for the real Hall of Fame. Voters can vote for anyone ever who has been retired from baseball for at least five years and is not already […]

October 19, 2010

Crowdsourcing the Greats: The Top 10 Managers of All Time

Now that we’ve looked at every position on the diamond, as well as relief pitchers, we are nearing the end of our “Crowdsourcing the Greats” series. But before we finish, let’s turn one more time to the internet hoi polloi for answers on who the greatest baseball manager of all time was. As usual, we […]