For Becky: What does it mean to be “Gold”?


First, congratulations to Dallas Keuchel and Jose Altuve for winning Gold Gloves.

Keuchel has long been recognized for his glove, but Altuve used to be seen as a defensive liability. Frankly, for both, it shows what hard work will do. Could not be more proud, and I’m betting Becky is just beaming this morning.

The last time two Astros won Gold Gloves in the same year was 1994 when Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio won. The most decorated defensive year for the Astros was 1973 when Roger Metzger, Cesar Cedeno and Doug Rader won Gold Gloves.

Yep, so this is a pretty special year, and the Astros. And the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young haven’t even been awarded yet. And the Astros just missed three Gold Gloves this year because Salvador Perez topped finalist Jason Castro at catcher. (The Royals won three GGs, so …)

It’s no coincidence that good defensive play (Jake Marisnick, Carlos Correa, George Springer, Colby Rasmus, heck, even Chris Carter wasn’t horrible at first base) and winning go hand-in-hand. Here’s a look at just what having two Gold Glovers do for you.

In 2014, as a team, the Astros totaled -13 Defensive Runs Saved Above Average, which is the number of runs above or below average the player was worth based on the number of plays made. That means on a whole, the Astros defense gave away 13 runs. In 2014, Marisnick lead the team with 17 Rdrs, Keuchel had 10. Meanwhile Altuve had -7 (as did Scott Feldman) and Dexter Fowler oops-ed his way to -20 Rdrs. Yeah, Fowler was that bad in the outfield.

Compare that to 2015. The Astros posted a positive 37 Rdrs. That’s a 50 run improvement.

How you like that, Becky?

Keuchel and, again, Marisnick led the team with 13 Rdrs apiece. Altuve totaled 3 positive Rdrs, a 10-run swing.

… And that’s my post. Defense matters. Gold Gloves mean something (when not won by a member of the New York Yankees … Derek Jeter, please).

1. Do you think Keuchel and Altuve were deserving?

2. Upset Castro didn’t win, or did you expect that?

3. Springer had 6 Rdrs, but was projected for 8 if he’d played the whole season. How important is it we keep him healthy for a danged change?

4. Of the five main outfielders — Marisnick, Rasmus, Springer, Carlos Gomez and Preston Tucker — all but Tucker were on the plus side. Can this team live with his -5 (projected -9 if he’s full-time) based on his bat?

5. Mike Fiers and Collin McHugh both had 3 Rdrs. All the more reason to keep them in the rotation, I expect.

 

 

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102 comments on “For Becky: What does it mean to be “Gold”?

  1. If I remember correctly Carter started in LF in 2013, DH in 2014, and 1B in 2015.
    I have a place for him to start in 2016, but never mind about that.
    The Astros have three places in their lineup and on the field that need attention and they are LF, 3B and 1B.I think we have the players to fill two of those right now and we should look for a left fielder on the open market.

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  2. Brian……how in the heck did you know I wear a LOT of gold jewelry!! Gold gloves are a testament to how hard it is to get one! I predict there will be many, many more to come with these guys. Correa, Springer, Altuve, and A. J. Reed, Collin Moran, are some who will show all of us it was worth sticking with this club, through all the losses we ( and they) endured!! Guys like Qualls who had to face the media knowing he had just blown another save, and take it like a man….even though you knew he wanted to scream. It’s guys like Keuchel, who went out there every 5th day, just hoping Villar wasn’t going to commit another error, that cost Keuchel his game. Now when our pitchers go to the mound, they absolutely KNOW and trust they guys playing behind them are going to make the plays, and keep us in the game!!
    The Houston Astros are getting ready to show the world who they are, and that they are here to kick ass and take names!
    1. YES they were both deserving.
    2. I was not upset Castro didn’t get it, because Perez is just a better catcher, and has the offense Castro lacked.
    3.I hope like he!! someone has talked to George about how to approach those walls in the outfield! No more killing yourself for 5mos to save a fun!!!
    4.Tucker has unfortunately punched his ticket……..
    5.Yeah…..I think we’ll keep McHugh…. you’re kidding right??!!
    Thanks for the shout out Brian!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Before advanced metrics came into play, no pun intended, it was really difficult to measure the defensive capabilities of players other than assists and the ‘eye ball’ test. I have always been a proponent of having a stellar defensive team. Now, there is a tradeoff between the defense someone provides and the offense. The Astros are a prime example with Marisnick and Tucker. Personally, no matter how good someone is defensively, if they put up an OPS below .650 they probably shouldn’t be a regular starter. However, I will take a great defensive player that is an average to slightly above average offensive player over a very good offensive player who is a below average defensive player. The Royals are a prime example of a team that is built around defense and contact. In the long run that type of team is going to win more than a team built around 9 Preston Tuckers. I like Tucker, but only as a DH and a part-time OFer. He can’t be our everyday LFer, in my opinion.

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    • I think the Astros could live with Tucker in LF with Manny-esque numbers. But I just don’t see that in Tucker’s bat. I would suggest that the Astros get Matt Galante to work with Tucker for 1st base 🙂 .

      He has a below average arm and little range in the outfield. But to be honest, everyone has trouble with the Crawford Corner when they first play at MMP. He MIGHT (and might may be too hopeful) become a decent 1st baseman defensively being left handed. However, I did not see a great glove on him in the outfield either. If we can’t live with Gattis’ numbers as DH, nor Carter’s numbers at 1st, then Tucker needs to improve offensively also because if one uses OPS, you can throw a blanket over all three.

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      • I agree with this, but he would have to put up Manny type numbers, which, and I agree with you again, he isn’t that good of an offensive player, especially now that there is stiffer PED testing (this is a shot at Manny, not Preston). As I said, I like Tucker as an offensive player, but primarily at DH unless, as you mentioned they can get him to be an adequate defensive 1B.

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  4. Defense is critical – especially when you have a pitching staff that pitches more to contact than whiffing a batter an inning. Keuchel is a very good Greg Maddux-type fielder and that helps him a lot. I don’t concentrate enough on infielders to judge Altuve against the league, but he certainly was better this season and has a great rapport with Correa. I’m guessing that due to his size Altuve may not have the range of other 2Bs, but he can sure turn that DP in a hurry.
    I think the way Keuchel pitches (quickly, no nonsense) really helps the fielders behind him. They are not falling asleep waiting for the next pitch. I think the good fielding behind the pitchers helps them to pitch with more confidence. They know that there is a good chance that a batted ball will be gotten to.
    I also have to believe that the pitching staff on a whole has bought into the shifting aspect of the defense. Seeing it in action over a whole season, it is obvious that more balls that would have been hits (especially balls up the middle) are being fielded for outs these days. Yes, there are times when the shifts are being defeated, but so far we are not seeing a big “shift” by the hitters to hit ’em where they ain’t.

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  5. Jeter won five gold gloves. You can make a strong argument that someone like Omar Vizquel (11 gg) should have taken a few of those, but I’m in the minority on the blog that aren’t really upset by Jeter winning a few of those. The last one was 2010, and the criticism was that his range was too limited to deserve it. This was around the time mainstream fans were exposed to defensive metrics for the first time…and the masses declared that Chad Pennington was robbed. That would have been a travesty…Pennington is basically Villar with a weaker arm and less range.

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  6. 4. Yes, we can live with Tucker if he makes some adjustments. Look at Matt Holliday…terrible fielder, but has a lot of value due to his bat. Tucker should play a step deeper in LF and make sure his throw go through the cutoff rather than over or around. We saw Correa cut down a few runners at home without breaking a sweat…the third base coaches will be sending them at their peril.
    5. McHugh is calm and collected on the mound. He gets himself in a good fielding position after the delivery. I could see his numbers improving even more.

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    • Don’t forget that Tucker has been unable to hit ML lefthanded pitching in his short stint with the big club. If that does not change, there will be no room on the roster for a defensive liability that can’t run and only hit righties. Great kid, but that’s reality.

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      • He’s always improved his hitting in the second season at every level. Why would the team not give him the chance to do that at the hardest level there is?
        I guarantee you that Preston Tucker did not go into the offseason thinking “I can’t do this.” His nickname is Bamm-Bamm and he was born to have that club in his hand. He just turned 25 and there are tons of hits left in that bat. He’s gonna hit.

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      • Problem is OP, that if a guy like Tyler White was to show up and hit left and right, there might not be a place for Tucker on the roster, especially if we resign Rasmus or another lefty bat for left field.

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      • That may be the case, daveb. We have seen guys come through here that never became the sluggers we hoped…like Eric Anthony or Daryl Ward. his Fresno numbers give me confidence that Tucker improves in 2016. He hit lefties in college and lefties in the minors after all.

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      • Dave, having too many good players is the problem you want. I want to have White, Tucker and Reed all be successful. I want to have the problem of having to decide who stays and who gets traded to another team for a great relief pitcher or a AAA catcher who is ready to become a major league catcher but his team already has one.
        Pulling for all these prospect to turn out well has been a joy, but if you don’t have room for all of them, trade them to somebody who does need them and is willing to give you what you need in return. If my team wins the World Series I can still be happy for a JD Martinez or another Astros prospect who ended up with a successful career for another team. That is the ultimate in baseball for a fan. To see your team win the WS and to see your favorite players succeed and then be honored for it.

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      • If given the chance, I don’t see why Tucker will not hit lefties. He’s done it at every level, in fact just looking at 2012, 2013 and 2014, he hit lefties better than righties. Without a doubt OP, having too many good players is indeed a good problem. I’m just saying that Tucker might not get a real good opportunity. Looking at his stats, I noted for the first time a bit earlier that Tucker has had a few starts at first base during his minor league career. So he should not be altogether lost over there. But then again, maybe the experts saw enough. With guys like Reed and White looking for a job, and Gattis the apparent incumbent at DH, opportunities are limited, even for a 25 year old Tucker.

        That’s why I’m a bit chagrined every time I consider Gattis as our DH in 2016. I think we have better options. At least two or three.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. In the inning that cost the Astros the series against KC, they committed a critical error. Late in the last game of the world series, critical errors by the Mets opened up the floodgates for KC and outfield miscues cost the Mets dearly in the opening game of the series.
    Good defense is like the body core. If you are soft on the inside your body will fail you when it is crunch time. And you have to be strong everywhere because it’s the weak spot that will fail at the critical moment.
    You have to be able to throw out runners trying to steal.
    You have to be able to block pitches in the dirt.
    You need to have players in the outfield that outrun drives in the alleys and throw to the right bases and hit the cutoff man.
    You have to have good defense in the middle of your infield.
    Smart, quick thinking fielders on the mound is s huge bonus.
    You have to have guys with good range and dependable gloves on the corner infield because, when you shift, those guys are the only defense on their side of the infield. And that leads me to my next defensive comment.
    In the new age of defensive shifts, baseball has created a new infield position: the Thirdstop. The thirdstop is a 3B against RH pull hitters and a SS against LH pull hitters. If you are a team that is committed long term to shifting, you need to plan for that in your thinking about who is your future 3B and you had better not let your shortstops bully you into not playing third base if it is for the long term benefit of the organization. If your third baseman has to spend 30-35 percent of his time playing the shortstop position by himself, then he probably will become the most important fielder on the team for a shifting team.
    There is only one place in your lineup that a team can afford a poor fielder and that is DH. But if your DH can’t play anywhere on the field without hurting you, you need a new DH because sometime during the year you are going to need that player on the field and sometime during the year, not having any defense from a player is going to keep you from putting your best lineup out there.

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    • Wow OP……that might be the most awesome posts I’ve ever read from you. Someone needs to print this off, and send it to Luhnow! You hit every single spot that needed to be addressed! Luhnow has already said, they aren’t going to explore the move to 1st base for Tucker, and unfortunately like I said last night….it looks like he has punched his ticket. If you’re going to stay with this club, and you have no desire to change positions…..you’ve told your GM, that he either bends to accommodate you…..or trade you to a team that’s more flexible. I hope Mr. Bregman changes his mind, because I would really hate to lose this guy, since he was our #1 draft pick this year. Sometimes I go back to that game we lost to the Royals, and think what if…..but I have full faith that in any other situation, that play is made and we would have won that game. “See the ball, hit the ball, catch the ball”.

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  8. I wonder if Houston will ever allow George Springer to be the All-Star Center Fielder that everyone had always envisioned him to be. Such a waste!

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  9. Keuchel is hands down the best fielding pitcher in the major leagues. I think he was better in 2014 than last year, but only slightly better. And no one else is particularly close in my opinion.

    I always thought, despite what the new analytical metrics say, Altuve was a better fielder than he was given credit for. He obviously has improved through dedication and hard work the past couple of years, and others have noticed.

    Congratulations to both. Now we need for a ROY and Cy Young to come our way.

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    • Lester, shifting has allowed Altuve to shore up areas that he was capable of improving in: glovework, ball transfer, fielding balls to his right and making a throw, and above all, smothering balls hit right to him. After four years he has gotten to be the best at doing those things. He will never have the range of longer, taller second basemen. But the shift makes up for that. He won the Gold Glove because he got so much better doing the things he can do and the shift made his weaknesses not relevant. He has become a dream second baseman, in my opinion. The one asset that everyone overlooks is his throwing accuracy. He is so reliable making throws that it is stunning when he doesn’t.

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      • Again, you hit the nail on the head – the Astro’s shifting proclivity fits Altuve’s profile like a glove (pun intended). And both he and the team are better for it.

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  10. I wonder if the Astros have any inclination to let Tyler White play first base and Preston Tucker DH in 2016.
    They could probably afford any closer they wished to acquire if they didn’t have to pay Gattis his $3.4 million and Carter his $5+ million.
    Tyler White’s best position is 1B and Preston’s best position is DH.
    This makes way too much sense. I’d bet money, if I had any, that White would outhit Carter’s 2015 stats, even in White’s rookie year. And I’d bet money that Preston Tucker would improve in all categories over last year if he got the regular DH job.
    What better time to do this? You have solid players already in the lineup in Altuve, Springer, Correa, Castro, Gomez and Lowrie/Valbuena/Duffy.. Tucker isn’t a rookie, so it’s not like you have to break in a newbie with him. Putting White in his best defensive position with that bat gives Reed a chance to blow everybody away in AAA.
    If Tucker doesn’t produce at DH, you could always move White there and call Reed up. If White struggles at 1B you could send him to AAA and call up Reed.

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  11. How do we feel about Jeff Luhnow’s moves so far?
    He issued a QO to Colby Jack.
    Equally important, he did not issue one to Scott Kazmir.
    He reinstated the three pitchers from the DL to the 40-man but then released Deduno.
    He let Jio Mier and Ruben Alaniz walk.
    Any beefs with the moves thus far? Have I missed anything else important?

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    • There would have been no reason to offer a QO to Kazmir. He cannot bring Houston a draft choice because he was acquired via trade during the season.

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    • I was under the impression that a QO was for a two-fold purpose:
      1. The main reason, to get the guy to play for you for another year.
      2. The draft choice.

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    • It is my understanding they can’t offer Kazmir a QO since he was acquired mid-season. You can only give QO’s to someone who has been on your roster the entire season, I believe.

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      • Well, I’m glad he didn’t offer Kazmir a QO, then, because he would be dumber than me. I wonder how my team of experts here at the baseball north pole let me miss that. Now it’s time for 1OldPro Santa to get back to building his Championship Team. Let’s see, where did I lay that left fielder down. Oh, there he is. Just put him in Little Jeffie’s stocking. HOHOHO!

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  12. Wait until you get a look at what Walt Jockety wants for Chapman……….
    A.J. Reed
    Collin Moran
    Derrick Fisher
    J.D. Davis
    And that’s just the short list…..we haven’t even SEEN what pitchers they want.
    Pardon me, but ****** ARE THEY CRAZY******?????????

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  13. Right Nance, I like having him around but not for double salary. If the FO will cut ties with Carter and Gattis and fill their roles from within the system, I would feel much better.

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  14. So at this point I think we can see an outfield of (left to right) Rasmus, Gomez and Springer. That’s a pretty amazing outfield. Catcher is probably Castro. That’s just what we’ve got. His defense is good, and his bat … well, his defense is good.

    The infield is Altuve and Correa and Lord knows who else. Reed? White? Duffy? Moran? Is Valbuena coming back? Carter?

    I see too many Ks in that outfield. Especially from Rasmus and Springer. Gomez seems to K only about 1/5 of the time. Same for Gattis and Tucker, who have similar OPSs as well.

    If we can get infielders who don’t K too much, this can be a different team.

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    • I think Luhnow and the Astros were caught off guard by Rasmus accepting the QO. They have already stated they need to cut down on the Ks and improve OBP and Rasmus doesn’t really help in either of those areas. Carter will, in my opinion, definitely be gone, but is that enough. They probably will now have to find an upgrade at 3B. I don’t think a platoon of Valbuena and Lowrie will work, especially with Lowrie’s inability to play an entire season.

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      • I wish they would find an upgrade at DH, but I don’t see it happening. When your .199 hitting first baseman has a much higher OBP than your DH I think it’s time to find another DH.

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      • I disagree Tim. I think the Rasmus deal was a happy family deal. We’ve got a damn good outfield, maybe the best in the league defensively. Those three guys will track down more balls than any group in MLB. Yes, they will K. But they will also hit 75 to 100 homers and provide a combined .850 plus OPS.

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      • Dave,

        Where did you get that I don’t like Rasmus returning? I have no problem at all with him being back next year. I was just saying this reduces our chances of cutting down on the high K hitters as Rasmus is definitely one of those. I will take Rasmus over Carter, Valbuena and Gattis any day.

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      • No Dave, I said I THINK he was caught off guard as no player has ever accepted the QO,before and I THINK Luhnow expected Rasmus to follow suit. Now, the discussion is over, unless you care to respond again.

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  15. My friend Art is going to have to buy me a beer tomorrow night!! Cool! I had a sneaky suspicion he was gonna take that QO !! Now I was told somewhere in my past that just because a guy takes the offer, that doesn’t mean Luhnow can’t rework it to two years $10 mill. That’s probably going to happen, and frankly I’m glad he’s going to stay!! Preston Tuckers little brother is at least 2-3 years away, and so is Daz Cameron. Ok OP, let’s go out and get that flame thrower for a closer, and we might have solved most of our problems……Tyler White at 1st. Valbuena at 3rd and trade Marwin and keep Jed!!
    HO! HO! HO!!!!

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    • Here’s a thought what’s wrong with MarGo being the DH and the super sub. He’s got higher numbers in almost all categories except HR’s and triples. I believe he K’d more than Gattis on a % basis but it’s not a bad deal. We need a DH who is more than a one dimensional player.

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      • MarGo is a very nice, super utility guy, but he should not be our regular DH. Now, if they want to platoon him with PTuck I might consider it, but not as an everyday DH. He doesn’t hit RHs as well as LHs.

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  16. I say Rasmus just made a smart move. At 29 he’s going to get 15.8MM. If he has a good year he can do a two – three year contract next year for at least 12MM per year. If he has an average year he can still make at least 6 – 8MM for the next 2 years. I actually think Luhnow was hoping he’d turn it down but we’ve got him now for 2016. i like the guy but he isn’t worth that kind of money.

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    • If Rasmus shows up next season with that new setup and new swing and hits like he hit in the playoffs, he will definitely be worth the money. I really, really like the Colby I saw in the playoffs with the hands and bat level and the front foot flat on the ground. Pitchers do not want to see that Colby Rasmus, I can tell you.

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    • I’m happy! I’ve been talking about getting a LH LFer all week. I just did not think Rasmus would take the QO. I think Colby is the best fielding left fielder we have had in ten years or more and we needed to balance the outfield with a LH bat and the glove hand on the line in left.

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      • Good OP!! I was beginning to think I was the only one who was ok with him taking the QO. I agree with daveb…..we have quite possibly the BEST outfield in MLB!!!

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      • When a left hander has to dive toward the line in left he’s diving with his glove hand out, rather than across his body. When a left hander goes into the left center ally to field a ball he does not have to spin 360 degrees to make a throw back in to nail a runner trying to advance. It’s a real advantage.

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  17. For the record, I’m happy Rasmus took the QO. This post was all about defense. Rasmus, Gomez and Springer equals three potential Gold Glove outfielders at their position.

    Im not happy about his Ks or how much he’ll make, but for that outfield, I’ll take it.

    Lowrie is my 3B until he gets injured. So, sometime in May or June we get Duffy at third. Maybe Moran.

    My first baseman is either White or Reed to start the season. Singleton is in AAA just in case, and Carter is gone.

    Finally, I trade “wheels” Gattis for a loggy or someone’s good, low-A minor leaguers. Tucker gets his chance at DH. I also have him work on route running as a left fielder (I think better routes turn him into an adequate left fielder).

    Oh, and I trade Conger. Someone will want his bat. And I move up a AAA catcher approved by OP.

    That’s my position players.

    Look, this team scored runs. Imagine a year or Correa, no Carter, no Gattis (who wasn’t bad, but can be replaced by higher upside Tucker), and less — or none — of Villar. Oh, and (knock wood) a full season of Springer.

    This pretty good offense gets better.

    Now just sign a real closer, and we’re done.

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    • If Castro is the starting catcher, I want Stassi, a RH hitter as the backup, so that I can rest Castro against lefties. That gives Heineman another year to get ready catching every day in Fresno. But, if they plan on trading Conger, then they had better add Heineman to the 40-man roster by the 20th or somebody is going to draft him in the Rule 5.

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    • I agree, but does Luhnow? I think they will,try to sign a 1-year stop gap at 1B until they are comfortable Reed is ready to play everyday at the major league level. Someone like Justin Morneau might be a good fit. I would give the everyday DH job to Tucker and/or White, possibly as a platoon, but I would like to see White get some starts against RHs as well.

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  18. I am glad to have Rasmus back. Also, I hope this causes a salary crunch that forces the FO to cut some dead weight making a few million each and now is FORCED to bring up the kids. If JFSF is the 4th OFer, someone is going to either leave or go to Fresno. We can’t carry 4 DHers and 3 extra infielders. Somebody needs to start packing because their mail will not be delivered in Houston come April.

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    • Astrocolt45……it’s gonna be Tucker……….Luhnow has a man crush on Marisnick.
      I have no idea if Marisnick has any options left….but Tucker will ha E to go back to AAA to get more reps in left field…..he needs it.

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  19. Just for the record, I’m good with Rasmus staying. My concern is tying up that much money would hurt in acquiring help in our weakest positions. BUT, if they cut dead weight ( as AC45 mentioned ) then I’m thrilled.

    I like Tucker but I’ll stick with JFSF.

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  20. Anyone else think the trade market got off to a crazy start? It feels like the trades thus far have been far too expensive in terms of prospects surrendered. I hope this causes the market to fizzle out as teams run out of trading chips…but would just as well assume Houston not get involved unless the other party agrees to take on some dead weight too. In other words, stick to what we thought was the plan before Luhnow revealed that there wasn’t really a plan to stick to a plan.

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  21. How does the potential 2016 roster compare to the 2015 opening day roster?
    + Correa at SS looks so much better than Lowrie/Marwin/Villar.
    + Keuchel, McHugh, McCullers, McFeldman and McFiers looks a lot better than Keuchel, McHugh, Feldman, Fausto and Wojo did last opening day.
    + An outfield of Rasmus, Gomez, Springer, Marisnick and Tucker looks better to me than last year’s Gattis, Marisnick, Rasmus, Springer and Grossman did.
    + I never felt good with Deduno as the long man in the bullpen on opening day last season. I never got comfortable with Thatcher, but I am feeling uncomfortable without Sipp.
    +I feel more comfortable having a choice between Fields and Hoyt as a power bullpen arm than just Fields like we had last season.

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  22. i like rasmus, but 15.8 is too much money for him. i think the astros made the offer to get the comp pick as no-one had ever taken a QO before. they still had the ability to resign him to a contract as a FA (as did everyone else) had he rejected the offer.
    but its done, so time to quit arguing about it. i do like the defense we have in the OF, perhaps the best anywhere.

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  23. They were just talking about a potential trade for the Astros on MLB Network. This is not a rumor, but more of would the Astros make this trade, if offered. The trade would be Reed, VV, Valbuena and one of Feliz, Martes or Musgrove for Freddie Freeman. Would you like to see the Astros make this trade?

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      • Why, because I’m getting a surefire All-Star caliber first baseman for the best six years of his career at a reasonable salary.
        What am I giving up? One of the top 1b prospects in baseball. But my rebuild is over. Adding a sure thing for a maybe thing at a position of desparate need is a no brainer. Getting rid of Valbuena and his salary just sweetens the pot. About losing the pitching prospects, what am I going to do with Appel, VV, Feliz, Musgrove, Martes, Paulino, Bostick, Gustave, Guduan, Ferrell and all the rest of my pitching prospects. I can’t keep them all! There’s not enough room on my roster for them all. Heck, there probably won’t be room for them all three years from now. But if three prospects and a Valbuena get me the prime six years of a 26 year old All-Star first baseman, I’m all over that. That would give me the best outfield in the AL, an All-Star at 1B, 2B, SS and I have my choice of 3B, in Lowrie, Duffy, Moran and JD Davis, the best backup outfielder in baseball in Marisnick, and White and Tucker to DH.
        That trade is a home run.

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      • I agree with you, OP, and this exercise will tell us who is over-valuing our prospects. I think Freeman is better than Reed will ever be and let’s not forget his defense since this blog is about the value of defense. Freeman is as good as they come defensively at 1B.

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      • Reed could one day become the better hitter, but Freeman is very good around the bag and is going to give you a very solid OBP. And he fixes our most glaring weakness immediately! I would do the deal.

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    • I was going to say yes, but will instead say no to posit the same thing I feel about Jason Heyward: what if their primes came earlier than expected? Both are big guys. Both have unimpressive power for their size, but receive high valuations for their defense.

      I’d be OK rolling the dice that Reed is not better than Freeman – I think that is a likely scenario. I would want to have the fourth player thrown in be a rule V eligible arm (ie. not on 40 man yet) rather than Martes or Musgrove.

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      • They talked about Freeman’s average power on MLB Network Radio, but they made a very valid point that his swing, which is conducive to hitting to LF, is ideal for MMP and could see him hit between 25-30 HRs with the Astros. His power is, somewhat, suppressed at Turner Field. Freeman has a career .366 OBP and .832 OPS. It is possible Reed could get there, but I doubt he will ever be the defensive 1B Freeman is and this is a big reason why I would do this trade. Heck, I would substitute Appel for VV if it would get the deal done. Last year Freeman had a 6.1 UZR/150. He has a career FP of .994.

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  24. Remember Alex Presley’s batting stats playing CF vs playing anywhere else? Those who do, will note he hit a ton better playing in CF than any other OF position.
    Here’s another interesting stat. Last year was the first time Colby Rasmus ever was asked to play LF for any amount of time. How did he do? Here are his splits last year:
    LF-66 games played-.304BA/.358OBP/.641SLG/1.000OPS
    CF-41 games played-.202BA/.306OBP/.413SLG/.719OPS
    RF-40 Games played-.184BA/.253OBP/.294SLG/.547OPS
    Colby’s splits were higher against lefties than righties but he strikes out at the same rate against each.
    My suggestion is put him in LF and leave him there.

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  25. The thing about Rasmus returning is it’s unlikely that Tucker, Marisnick, Gonzalez and Lowrie all 4 are here. So who goes?

    I think the roster is going to have more turnover than we expect.

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  26. If this organization keeps Villar, and puts him in the lineup…….then they deserve to lose any game he’s in. Understand something…..he has been playing for *9* years and if he hasn’t figured it out yet, then shame on us. Go ahead and put him in the lineup………but I had better not hear *ONE* peep out of you when he costs his pitcher the game. I’m done discussing this guy.
    By the way, Matt Wieners took the qualified offer today. So Rasmus has company.

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    • I don’t think Villar needs to be talked about this way on this blog. There are players who I think we would be better off with being replaced but I don’t like talking about a player like he is some kind of a bad seed.

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      • I can understand a bit, as it is how I feel about Conger, but for me personally it’s only due to his play. Nothing personal.

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      • Agreed. He has his defensive deficiencies, but his numbers the 2nd half last season showed me something. I see a player who is starting to come around.

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  27. According to MLBTR, the Angels currently owe over $460 million in guaranteed money in player contracts as of today, including the money they owe(over $50mil) for Hamilton and Aybar, who are no longer with the team.

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