Free Blog Weekend: AL West, Altuve, Ohtani and other notes

Today we bring back an oldie but goodie, the Free Blog Weekend. Chip’s intent here was to throw down a few ideas and allow faithful readers to go off in any direction they felt like as long it was baseball related and respectful of others. So here are some threads to follow or ignore….

The AL West to this point is the best division in the AL. The division has 4 of the 5 teams above .500 and playing solid ball to this point. The sad sack Rangers are the exception. Please, don’t weep too long or too hard.

It would behoove the Astros to discourage the A’s this weekend. The A’s come in playing very good ball, winning 8 of their last 10 and have Sean Manaea coming off of a no-hitter leading off for Oakland in this 3 game series.

Will Jose Altuve now go on a streak? He seemed to be placing a lot of pressure on himself to hit that first home run of the season and perhaps he will not relax and hit them long and hard naturally.

Are Derek Fisher and/or Jake Marisnick about to come out of their respective slumps. Their hitting was so bad that getting a hit here and there seems like an awakening. Slumps at the very beginning of the season look worse than a bad four weeks in the middle of the season. Unless these are not just slumps.

How about that Ohtani. The Astro fans saw him pitch in person, where he has talent, but also an average 4.43 ERA after four starts. We did not see him bat, but he has put up strong numbers in limited ABs to date (3 HRs and 11 RBIs in 42 ABs), since he does not DH the day before or after he starts. Maybe he is not the new Babe Ruth, but he has brought some energy and interest to an Angel club that is off to a strong start.

The games are going so much faster after the new rule changes….Right?. The biggest non-event so far is the rule about limiting mound visits. Have not seen where it mattered at all so far.

Now it is your turn to grab one of these thoughts and run or throw out your own.


How does this Astros’ rotation stack up?

Again – YIE (Yes It’s Early), but…..this Astros’ starting rotation is already being heralded as an all time great staff. For the purposes of this blog post the task will be narrowed to comparing these five against great Astro rotations of the past. Yes, they might be compared against all-time baseball rotations like the 1954 Cleveland Indians, the 1960’s Dodgers or the 1970’s Orioles, but the research budget has been slashed during the recent economic downturn, plus the staff here does not want to attempt that task only to be told that the greatest staff belonged to the Cleveland Spiders of 1887.

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Why it’s way too early to worry, but concern is okay

As your faithful servant is writing this, the Astros are up 1-0 in a West Coast game that will end when I am fast asleep. I have no idea if the Astros will be 12-7 heading into Thursday or 11-8 and frankly I don’t really care. I don’t really care if they are 1-1/2, 2-1/2 or 3-1/2 games behind the Angels tomorrow. Well, sure I would rather they narrow the lead to 1-1/2 games against LAA, but for the point of this post it does not matter.

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Random questions at the beginning of the 2018 marathon

YIE (Yes It’s Early) but the Astros reaction to the 2017 World Series championship is about as far from a hangover as possible. A solid 6-1 record has been achieved with top of the heap offense and starting pitching. Not all of the Astros are hitting or pitching at the top but there are so many weapons within A.J. Hinch’s reach that the Astros have been winning as though there has been no off-season.

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