MMQB: It’s Springer’s World, we’re just living in it

The danger of beginning to write a post on Friday for a Monday delivery is that the world can turn over in 3 days in the majors. Like George Springer going 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts on Friday night. But even if George goes hitless (he avoided this with 2 hits on Sunday) for the weekend it does not diminish the type of May he has had and the impact he has had on this team.

Let’s face it – George Springer has:

  1. Brought hope to the hopeless
  2. Made ESPN and local sports highlights relevant for Astros’ fans
  3. Made his every at bat “must-see” TV in a cable deal-less world where it is really “might-be-able-to-see”
  4. Brought (as Becky pointed out) to the dugout and the team “Springer Time” fun like the late Jose Lima brought back in the late 90’s
  5. Made Bo Porter look like a genius (or at least less dumb) for moving him into the 2nd spot behind Jose Altuve
  6. Cured cancer, hair loss and bad breath
  7. Done at least 5 of the 6 items above in about 40 games time

Springer’s Impact

There has been much discussion lately about how Chris Carter‘s 8 HRs and 21 RBIs feel totally non-impactful (Don’t wince at that made up word Chip). I think there are two places that hitting has the biggest impact.

  • In late and close situations and second or
  • In scoring first and taking the pressure off the whole team especially the pitching.

Let’s take a quick look at Springer’s impact in some of the wins in this fun month of May

May 2 – Springer was 0 for 5 and continuing his poor hitting from April, when he came up in the 11th and won the game 5-4 with a walk off infield single against the Mariners.

May 8 –  He was 1 for 3 with a walk and a solo HR in a 6-2 win against Detroit. His dinger brought them back to within one run in the 5th and after his walk he scored the 5th run in the 9th inning.

May 14 – In a 5-4 win over the Rangers he was  only 1 for 5, but his 2 run homer in the 7th tied the game at 4-4 and helped fire up the team and the home crowd.

May 17 – Astros beat the W’Sox 6-5 and Springer was 2 for 4 including a triple and a walk with 2 runs scored and an RBI. He knocked in the Astros first run and scored the 2nd in the first inning and then he scored the 6th  and eventual winning run in the 7th inning.

May 19 Springer was 1 for 3 with a walk in a 5-2 win over the Angels and scored the 1st run for the Astros in the 1st inning.

May 24 – The Astros beat the Mariners 9-4 – as Springer went 2 for 5 with 5 RBIs. He hit a 2 run dinger to start the scoring in the 1st and another in the 5th to extend a 4-2 lead to 6-2.

May 25 – In a 4-1 win over the Mariners – George was only 1 for 4 but that one – a 2 Run homer flipped a 1-0 deficit to a 2-1 lead in the 6th and provided the winning run.

May 26 – Springer went bat-chip crazy in a 9-2 win over the Royals as he went 4 for 4 with a walk, 5 Runs scored and 3 RBIs. He scored or drove in 5 of the first 6 runs and ended up with a homer and 2 doubles off the wall at KC.

May 28 – The Astros won 9-3 to sweep the Royals – Springer started them off with a 2 run homer in the 1st and ended up 1 for 3 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored.

May 29 – Springer had a huge 2 run homer in the 7th to take the lead in a 3-1 victory over the Orioles.

More George

  • Springer was the first rookie to hit 7 HR in 7 games since 7 time all star Rudy York in 1937. Even Chip, Dan and Brian did not witness those dingers.
  • George Springer is the third UConn Huskie to play for the Astros. Both reliever Jeff Fulchino and catcher Brian Esposito came from that program.
  • Springer was drafted 11th in the first round back in 2011. Four players drafted ahead of him that round have played in the majors with Gerrit Cole of the Pirates and local boy Anthony Rendon of the Nats being the most successful to date.
  • Springer has 10 HR and 25 RBIs in May. In his Rookie of the Year performance in 1991 – Jeff Bagwell had 3 homers in his most productive months (May, July and Sept) and 20 RBIs in August.
  • On most lists, Springer would be running third in the ROY running so far – the injured Jose Abreu (15 HR and 42 RBI) and the 7-1 Masahiro Tanaka with a low- 2 ERA would be considered ahead of King George.


  • When the end of the season rolls around – what do you think his home run and RBI totals will be?
  • What % chance would you give him to win the Rookie of the Year award?
  • What position do you think he will be playing at the end of the season?
  • What position in the lineup do you think he will be filling at the end of the season?
  • Was settling on Altuve / Springer / Fowler into the 1st, 2nd and 3rd spot in the order the move that saved Bo Porter’s job this season?



76 comments on “MMQB: It’s Springer’s World, we’re just living in it

  1. Ideally, I would like to see the first 3 in the lineup be Fowler, Altuve and Springer, in that order. Altuve is the ideal #2 hitter with his high contact rate and Fowler is perfect at top with his high OBP, but I get that Porter does not want to mess with what is working.

    I think Springer has a decent shot at ROY. I would put the % at about 30.


    • I basically agree with your proposed top of the lineup – but again the current configuration was the alignment when Springer’s light came on so they are not going to fiddle with it until it does not work anymore.

      Tanaka being on a NY team will trump Springer if he continues to pitch well – but it is a long time to October.


    • Ditto on this lineup. If he is in the third spot and IF Singleton gets here soon I think a 100 RBI season is very doable. I think his biggest competition for ROY will ultimately be Tanaka who I can see maintaining this level of performance through the season. Springer has many more tools than Abreu and while he may not have Abreu’s slugging numbers he will certainly be respectable and I’m looking for him to start stealing some bases soon as well. Bear in mind also that Tanaka and Abreu did not come to the big leagues through the normal channels so some ROY voters might consider Springer a more traditional candidate.


      • Interesting comment on how the voters look at these different types of rookies – the ones who due to circumstances – like defecting from Cuba at 27 (Abreu) or a 7 year veteran of the Japanese major leagues (Tanaka) vs a traditional rookie like Springer. I think Ichiro was the last non-traditional rookie to win the ROY.


  2. George Reeves Springer is faster than a speeding Bullet/Wizard.
    More powerful than Robin Ventura approaching the mound.
    Able to leap tall Altuves in a single bound.
    He is, simply, the most interesting player in the world.
    His most famous quote is ” I don’t always homer, but when I do, It’s Dos Homers.
    Do not stand between Springer and the phone booth when it is crisis time.
    George Springer is the entertainment at next year’s Superbowl halftime.
    George Springer is the headliner at Go Tejano Day at the Rodeo.
    The Astros will take George Springer’s firstborn with this Thurdsay’s 1.1
    George Springer will replace Jay Leno.
    George Springer ate all of his vegetables.
    George Springer will win Dancing With The Stars when he retires.
    George Springer has, not one, but two moons in his Orbit.
    George Springer will not date Tony Romo or Kim K.
    George Springer will keep Ingrid Bergman at the airport.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If he averages just five homers a month for the rest of the season, he’ll hit 30 total. I think that’s doable. I don’t think he gets 100 RBIs, but that’s more a product of the team he’s on. So 90-95 sounds more like it.

    He’ll finish the season where he started, in right field.

    I think Tanaka has to start piling up the loses if Springer has a chance at ROY, but he’ll end up the better candidate among every day players because his suite of tools vs. one-dimensional Abreu.

    All that said, May was a special month, and I don’t think he’ll be repeating it this season. The good news is, he won’t repeat April either.


    • Kind of ironic since Siminuc has a batting line of .263/ .333 / .347 / .681 whereas Sclafani has a very similar line of .285 / .333 / .361 / .694.
      The numbers that matter are 28 and 24 – their respective ages – and the fact that Sclafani after a terrible start is on an upward arc.


      • Bit of a surprise with Sclafani. I’ve always liked him, but that .694 OPS does not impress. Maybe he’ll get a chance to play more. And maybe they’re making room in CC for that kid in California.


      • I don’t have the numbers dave – but I know that Sclafani was just awful early – so maybe he has a .800+ OPS in May.


    • Daveb, you notice I said Scafani moved to OKC. I don’t see this as a promotion. I think he needs to be there because there is going to be some moves up and down the line in the minors and he can play a number of positions filling in for people. He can play anywhere in the IF and I bet he could play COF in a pinch, and there may be some pinches coming up.. Ruben Sosa was in AAA late last year and is in High a right now. The Astros have a few guys they can plug in while the prospects get repositioned and the draftees hit the minors. Simunic used to be one of those guys, do you see what I’m sayin’ heah?


      • Interesting writeup old pro – you could well be nailing what the intent is – just using Sclafani to stop gap where they need it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • oldpro, Sclafani has been playing some left lately, along with DH, 4, 5 and a bit of 6. He might well be making room for Correa to go to CC. I hope so. If a guy is not a top prospect in the system at this point, you will get moved out of the way, especially with so many guys with talent in the system. I fully understand where you are coming from.


  4. lets not fix it if it aint broke, but eventually i agree that fowler, altuve, springer is the better alignment. i hope at the end of the year springer is in center because santana is in right and fowler is moved to left.


    • rj – I think that is the philosophy they are following.
      It sure would be sweet to have Fowler, Springer and Santana in the OF by the end of the year.


  5. I’m content with Altuve – Springer – Fowler. Because Altuve is going to worry defenses with SB attempts, Springer will hopefully get more fastballs or sliders to hit from a distracted pitcher. Nothing goes further in MLB than a hanging slider. On the flip side, I think Springer has more speed and will benefit from Fowler’s batting eye. Altuve puts the ball in place too quickly for any SB attempts.

    I think Tanaka has ROY sealed unless he hits an injury. The only hope for Springer is to duplicate May a couple times or get the Astros to market his bid as a ‘real’ rookie.

    Last tangent – last night the ticker had a NEWS item for HOU, but I missed it. I saw Singleton hadn’t played and have been following the Tucker speculation and thought perhaps bopert’s favorite first baseman had been replaced, but apparently it was just the Astros sending Obie down so we can get more Paul Clemens in our lives. Sorry to Paul, but that really let the wind out of my sails.


    • I imagine Oberholtzer was a bit disappointed – comes back up and gets 2 wins and gives up 3 ER in 13 IP.
      Tough call and it will only get tougher – maybe they will bring tandem pitching to the majors (this was just a joke).


  6. *B I G* rumor…………Singelton is being brought up for tomorrow’s game against the Angels!!!!!!!!!
    1oldpro…….be still MY pounding heart TOO!!


  7. Thank goodness. One less rookie we have to break in next year. I love him getting 2014 to get used to the majors. Ok. we have a 1B, who’s next?


    • I sure would like a 3rd and maybe 4th OF from Santana and Wates.
      Don’t think that is happening soon but I’d like to see it happen.


      • Dan, I give Grossman until the break, and if Wates is still doing what he’s doing now, then we see him after the All Star game. But if something Luhnowish happens and Fowler gets moved, then we see Santana too. I’d give him more time though.


      • Do you think it makes any difference that Santana is on the 40 man and Wates is not – or do you think they will give the younger Santana more time?


  8. Now we can call Springer and Singelton “the killer S’s” we need another s to go with them……..oh I know…..SANTANA!!!!!!!!


    • If you add an S to the front of Hoes you get Shoes! Of course, you also get a guy who hasn’t been hitting.
      My vote goes to Austin Swates.
      Dear Jon: Please loan me a few bucks.
      If we keep Krauss, Carter, Singleton and Guzman we could have two tandems at 1B so they don’t get tired by September and aren’t playing so many innings.


  9. So, until he gets his feet under him, where do you slot the newest young assassin [a for Altuve, S for Springer, S for Singleton] into the batting order. Do you immediately slot him in at clean-up? Or do you give him some time to get his bearings by breaking him in at #5, #6, or #7? Also, is it confirmed that Krauss is the odd man out?


    • im with you becky. looks like this team is taking shape. lots more work to go but looking like it will start getting alot more fun. hows your grandson doing?


      • Doing well THANK YOU! He’s allergic to the metal bar they put under his rib cage
        and they will do other blood tests, but all in all he’s back! We only give him Motrin for pain now. Tyank you so much for your prayers and concern, rj !!!


  10. Singleton has has trouble getting hits to fall the last three weeks or so, but his eye has still gotten him on base via the walk. Plus, during this time his BABiP has been down, so it’s more bad luck than anything else.

    I’d bet he has a few weeks of growing pains in June then starts really hitting. Honestly, if he hits .260, knocks 20 HRs and drives in 65 or better, we’ve upgraded over Guzman/Krauss.


  11. On the nickname thing, can we avoid the temptation to force a play on B’s or bees? To me, Springer reminds me more of Benny ‘the jet’ Rodriguez more than any of our infielders whose names began with the letter B.


  12. I want to thank Jim Crane for giving me 4 free tickets to tomorrow’s game (Singleton’s first) and all I had to do was go online and demand CSNH be carried on Directv. I will be in section 106 cheering on the newest Astro and all on Jim’s dime (except for parking and the cold ones I will be knocking down).


  13. I think everyone who did that got the option for free tickets, but not all for the same game. I saw on Twitter that some got free tickets to Thursday’s game. I am guessing some got tickets to Wednesday’s game as well.


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