With everything the Houston Astros’ front office has been dealing with lately, the last thing the team needs is a rift between the players and management. Manager Bo Porter will get a chance to prove his worth in the next few days with how he helps his players deal with their frustrations over the situation of Mark Appel being promoted. The team isn’t winning as is. Now, Porter will need to show he can keep his team focused on baseball and not politics. If he can do that, while showing the front office he can keep business out of the clubhouse, Porter may find himself in line for a contract extension with the team.
The Astros have not been playing well since the end of May. They have the second-worst record in all of baseball at 42-63, only half a game up on the Texas Rangers. With George Springer on the disabled list, the team doesn’t look to be winning at a higher pace anytime soon. This is where Porter needs to use his reputation as a player’s manager to keep his players focused on the field.
Enough is going wrong in Houston at the moment with stories popping up almost daily about the shortcomings of the front office. The Appel issue does not need to be added to the fire. There are many players on the team that probably won’t be there for the long haul and that works against Porter’s chances to lift the team’s moral. If he can show that he is capable of leading a young team that has had to deal with many obstacles, many formed by their own front office, there is no reason to think Porter cannot stick around in an Astros’ uniform for the time being.
Porter is only nine wins away from matching his total from last year. If he can wade through the mess the front office has put in front of his team, as well as finishing with a better record, Porter should get another year at managing the club based on that merit alone. He has yet to have a roster filled with significant major-league talent. You cannot blame the losses on a manager that has a lineup that consists of maybe three to four everyday MLB players.
Once the Astros decide to spend some real money on the roster after they start calling up more talent from their farm system, the front office can begin to actually judge Porter’s ability to manage a ball club. Anything less would be unfair and unjust to a major-league manager in his first gig. It would only strengthen the case for negative feedback for an Astros’ organization that has been viewed as looking out only for what’s in their best interest.