1990 - Season Recap
(c) Bob Hulsey

Injuries and age dragged down the Astros, finishing with a 75-87 record in fourth place. It was an eleven-game drop from the previous year. They were clearly becoming a team in transition. Glenn Davis missed time with a rib injury while Mike Scott fell to 9-13. The regular who had the best average on the team, Bill Doran, was traded to Cincinnati where he celebrated a World's Championship.

It was a time for experimentation. Craig Biggio was moved to the outfield after management decided not to waste his speed behind the plate. Newcomer Franklin Stubbs was tried in left field but he moved to his natural first base position after Davis was hurt. Eric Yelding and Casey Candaele were tried all over the infield and outfield. Ken Oberkfell and Dave Rohde both saw time at three infield positions.

Yelding flourished with a .254 average and 64 steals. Stubbs was a pleasant surprise, banging 23 homers and driving in 71 runs, leading the club in both categories. Biggio and Ken Caminiti continued to grow into regular parts of the lineup.

Eric Anthony, a much-heralded slugger in the minors, hit just .192 in 84 games but he left an impression when he became the first and only Astro to reach the upper reserved seats in right field on May 17th. A star was painted on the seat where it landed. Four days later, he beat the Pirates on another long blast in the 11th inning. He would swat ten for the year.

Davis broke out of a long slump on May 26th with three homers and nine RBIs during a doubleheader sweep in Chicago. He would swat three more in San Francisco on June 1st but the Astros still lost.

On July 25th, Stubbs would become the 15th first baseman in the modern era to play an entire game without a putout. He also drove in six during a 10-1 rout of the Dodgers on September 26th. Five days earlier, rookie Mike Simms had a twin treat in Atlanta, capping off a triple play then smashing his first big league homer to win the game. Danny Darwin led the ballclub with just eleven wins in a dual role as starter and reliever but he tossed enough innings to get the league ERA crown with a 2.21 effort.

There were two late trades that would turn out to be the most important news of the year. At the trading deadline, the Astros sent reliever Larry Andersen to the Boston Red Sox for a minor league third baseman. The young player was stuck behind Wade Boggs at his position and, while he hated to leave the organization he cheered on as a boy, he welcomed the chance to finally play in the majors. The Astros were mighty happy they gave Jeff Bagwell that opportunity.

After the season, Houston traded slugger Glenn Davis to the Baltimore Orioles for a trio of young talents. The Astros were soundly criticized for "dumping" their star player but, in retrospect, the deal for pitchers Curt Schilling and Pete Harnisch along with outfielder Steve Finley might have become equated with the Brinks Robbery had the three stayed longer in Houston. Davis would never again regain his health and played sparingly in Baltimore. The three acquisitions would eventually be stars, though not in Houston. It's a good thing Bagwell found immediate success or someone might have dealt him away too.

5th place, NL West

C Craig Biggio 442.276
1B Glenn Davis 2264.251
2B Bill Doran 632.288
3B Ken Caminiti 451.242
SS Rafael Ramirez 237.261
LF Franklin Stubbs 2371.261
CF Eric Yelding 128.254
RF Glenn Wilson 1055.245
IF Casey Candaele 322.286
OF Eric Anthony 1029.192
OF Gerald Young 14.175
IF Ken Oberkfell 111.292
Key PitchersWLERA
SP Jim Deshaies 7123.78
SP Mike Scott 9133.81
SP Mark Portugal 11103.62
SP Bill Gullickson 10143.82
SP Danny Darwin 1142.21
CL Dave Smith 662.39
RP Juan Agosto 984.29
RP Larry Andersen 521.95
RP Jim Clancy 286.51

Darwin: ERA title with just 162 innings
(c) Houston Astros

Yelding: 64 steals falls one short of team record.
(c) Houston Astros

From The AstrosDaily Media Library

1990 All-Star Game - 6th inning - Dave Smith gets into a jam at Wrigley Field. (0:32, Fusselle, Buck - MLB video)

Trades and Transactions

Nov 13 1989 - granted free agency to Kevin Bass(OF). Bass signed with SF-N on Nov 16

Nov 13 1989 - granted free agency to Bob Forsch(P)

Nov 13 1989 - granted free agency to Greg Gross(OF)

Nov 13 1989 - granted free agency to Rick Rhoden(P)

Nov 13 1989 - granted free agency to Harry Spilman(IF)

Dec 4 1989 - Winter Major League Draft
- 1. drafted Xavier Hernandez(P) from Tor-A
- lost Chuck Jackson(IF) to SF-N

Dec 6 1989 - signed Ken Oberkfell(IF) from SF-N as free agent

Dec 6 1989 - signed Bill Gullickson(P) as free agent

Jan 10 1990 - signed Raul Chavez(C) as a non-drafted free agent

Jan 26 1990 - signed Terry Clark(P) from Cal-A as free agent

Feb 1 1990 - signed Brian Fisher(P) from Pit-N as free agent

Feb 13 1990 - signed Roberto Petagine(IF) as a non-drafted free agent

Mar 13 1990 traded Dave Silvestri(IF) and Daven Bond(P) to NY-A for Orlando Miller(IF). NY-A received Bond on Jun 11.

Apr 1 1990 - traded Terry Wells(P) to LA-N for Franklin Stubbs(OF)

Apr 3 1990 - released Roger Mason(P)

Apr 29 1990 - traded Charley Kerfeld(P) to Atl-N for Kevin Dean(OF) and Lee Johnson(P)

May 28 1990 - released Steve Lombardozzi(IF)

Jun 1990 - traded minor leaguer to Bos-A for Rich Gedman(C).

Jun 4 1990 - Summer Free Agent Draft
- 1. drafted Tom Nevers(IF) (#21 pick overall) (compensation for Kevin Bass)
- 1. drafted Brian Williams(P) (#31 pick overall) (compensation for Kevin Bass)
- 13. drafted Ray Montgomery(OF)
- 26. drafted Jim Dougherty(P)

Jun 8 1990 - received Rich Gedman(C) from Bos-A as part of a conditional deal

Jun 13 1990 - granted free agency to Louie Meadows(OF)

Jul 27 1990 - released Alex Trevino(C)

Aug 21 1990 - signed Bob Abreu(OF) as a free agent

Aug 28 1990 - released Brian Fisher(P)

Aug 30 1990 - traded Bill Doran(IF) to Cin-N for Terry McGriff(C), Butch Henry(P) and Keith Kaiser(P)

Aug 30 1990 - traded Larry Andersen(P) to Bos-A for Jeff Bagwell(IF)

Sep 10 1990 - traded Dan Schatzeder(P) to NY-N for Steve LaRose(P) and Nicky Davis(IF)

Oct 4 1990 - released Bill Gullickson(P)