A lot of discussion in this off-season has revolved around how to utilize the Astros’ new offensive toys and specifically about constructing a lineup. Surfing around the ‘net, I found an interesting write-up on stat-driven model, but does not require an advance math degree to understand.
There are plenty of other articles on this subject, but let’s see where following this particular line of thinking leads us.
Leadoff. This hitter will come up to the plate more times than any other hitter, so hitting and getting on base is much more critical than pure speed. Power is not as important as other factors as he will have less folks on base than other key spots. He should be one of the top 3 hitters on the team with more OBP than power.
Astro who best fits this. Jose Altuve
Two hole. Instead of a bunt him up, move him over type hitter, this needs to be one of the top 3 hitters on the club, where OBP is more important than power. He will be up in more critical ABs than the number 3 hitter.
Astro who best fits this. Carlos Correa
Third Spot. Instead of putting your very best hitter in this spot – the theory says this spot should be filled after 1,2,4 and 5. He does not see as many base runners when he comes up as the 4 and 5 spot and often is up with two outs and nobody on.
Astro who best fits this. Alex Bregman
Cleanup. This is one of the most critical spots, the guy who comes up with the most opportunities to drive in runs and should be one of the top 3 hitters and the one with the most power.
Astro who best fits this. Carlos Beltran
#5 Guy. He should be the fourth best hitter and the one who can drive in runs and take walks and who does not live and die with the home run.
Astro who best fits this. George Springer
6 thru 9. These should be the next 4 hitters in descending order.
Astro who best fits….
- #6. Josh Reddick
- #7. Yulieski Gurriel
- #8. Brian McCann
- #9. Nori Aoki
Obviously, everything from injuries, to matchups, to manager hunches and performance (or lack of) will effect the way the lineup is constructed this season, so this is just a fun and futile exercise.
A few questions then for you dear readers:
- Do you agree with the thought process behind this article?
- Do you think the folks shown match that thought process?
- How would you construct the lineup and why?
Dan, I realize this is not your “thinking or premise.” But with Altuve and Correa OBP of .396 & .361, the percent of Bregman batting with no one on base would only be caused by a home run in front of him. Flip #2 & #3 and I can live with the rest.
Well it is always interesting to look at these “ideas” from others and wonder about the premise. For instance they say that the #3 spot is not as important as 4 and 5 because the latter two come up with more people on base. However, if you put the 5th best batter in the 3 spot (many teams put their best batter in the 3 spot) it seems to me that the 4 and 5 batters will not come up with as many guys on base.
So, no I have no problem with you wanting to go another way and I sure can see flipping those guys.
I also wonder about the lefty – righty balance. Do you move Aoki into a 2 spot of Reddick up there to break up the 3 right handers at the top?
If I remember correctly, Leo the Lip moved Adolfo Phillips down to #8 and called him his “second lead off hitter” so pitcher could bunt him over. There have been some non conventional line ups through time.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Whoa! An Adolfo Phillips reference! Laser beam to home outta left field!
Correa proved adept with runners on last year, so I would also put Bregman 2 and Correa 3. Plus, having a serious stick behind CC will be huge.
Am I the only one who finds it odd that Gattis is being left out of pretty much any mock line ups? The guys was a monster last year when he was healthy and McCann was just average and the year before their stats were pretty similar, granted McCann was a bit better. Am I missing something?
McCann isn’t a bad defensive catcher. He has worked on his throwing over the years and the general belief is that he handles pitchers well. I think most people are going off the assumption that if Jason Castro was the starter last year due to his defensive abilities that the Astros acquired McCann and are paying him double what they’re paying Gattis to also be the primary guy in the platoon.
It’s mainly the platoon thing, I think. McCann figures to see more righties and Gattis more lefties, which gives the overall AB advantage to McCann. But I’d like to see Gattis some at DH and maybe some at 1B.
I want a high OBP guy at #1 and #3 for two reasons. A leadoff walk scores about 38% of the time. Having guys who can swing the bat and lay off pitches to take free passes forces the pitchers to either throw strikes or throw a higher pitch count early. If the #3 hitter will come up with no one on base and two outs frequently then I want someone who is going to extend the inning. I’d really like George Springer at #3 if he can keep his BA and OBP high enough. The simple reason is that he’s able to score from first on more hits than anyone else on the team. Also, if Altuve is going to flirt with .400 OBP again then it would seem wise to maximize his at bats (leadoff).
LikeLiked by 1 person
This baseball gurus and websites do a ton of research and number crunching so I’m assuming they are a bit baseball smarter than myself, however here is mine.
Right or lefty flip catchers DH and Reddick
Springer – he seems to press a lot I think 5 would allow him to relax and react
Overall I like this – would separate McCann and Reddick- so they couldn’t bring a LOOGY in to face them both. Not as worried about Aoki.
Good point then Margo Pinch hits (-:
This is going to be an exciting year for us, but forecasting which are our best hitters after Altuve’ might make us feel a bit foolish after the seasons over. We’ve truly got some good young talent and the full bloom is only emerging with Correa and Bregman. How soon the bloom comes around will be fun for us as Astro fans to watch. When it does, I expect Bregman to yearly have the second highest batting average behind Altuve, but with more walks. Correa will have the most power with the third highest average. I think Springer will improve, but never see a .300 average.
LikeLiked by 1 person
This would be my lineup vs. RHs
This would be my lineup vs. LHs
The RH lineup is to split up the RH/LH bats, but also make sure we have a high contact guy batting 2nd. The LH lineup is open to fluctuation depending on who Hinch wants to give a start to that day in the OF. I can see guys like MarGo, JFSF and Aoki all splitting duties and, of course, Reddick getting some rest. I don’t believe Reddick will be a straight platoon guy and sit against all LHs. You don’t give someone a 4/$52M contract with the intention of platooning him. Also, there will be times I will start Beltran in LF against RHs and Gattis at DH. Gattis, in my opinion, is strictly DH or C.
Noted that a lot of people feel Bregman should be somewhere in the 1-4. I hope he blooms into a superstar, but I am tempered in expectations of 2017. Even in the minors, while he was tearing up minor league pitching, his BABIP has been blipping up and down. He posted a .317 last year in the majors and still hit only .264. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit .260-.270 this year, above major league average but with a lower walk rate probably a guy that is better suited for the 6-7 hole. He will have some power though.
As time goes I expect some of that patience to develop, and as pitchers learn him they will stay away from fat zones increasing his walk rate anyway – but for now, let him get his feet wet first.
He’s streaky and gets a lot of hits from weak contact (jam shots / off end of bat) falling in front of the outfielders. At this point I think you can hope he either figures out how to square it up more consistently or is the rare player (like Hunter Pence) that consistently gets those lucky hits.
I know he will probably have slumps and have to adjust, but last season 45% of Bregman’s hits were XBH. For perspective – Altuve had 33%, Correa had 37% and Springer had 38%. That does not strike me as a guy who gets more than the normal bloops and dinks. He strikes me as somebody who gets the bat on the ball pretty solidly.
I guess we will see.
Looking at his spray charts it’s possible my recollection is wrong:
It’s would be clearer if we had batted velocity overlaid with the two charts as well. Regardless, collecting all those extra base hits during his hot streak has me optimistic he’s a keeper.
I feel like Bregman is going to be an above average MLB Player, not a great glove but good, hit .275 to .285, 20Hrs, 85 RBI’s , steal 30 bags score 80 or more runs.
DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY INSIGHT ON HOW TO GET OPENING DAY TICKETS? I HAVE BEEN CHECKING THEIR WEBSITE EVERYDAY BUT IT KEEPS SAYING NOT AVAILABLE. I’M TRYING TO PURCHASE A COUPLE SO I CAN MAKE THE TRIP DOWN TO HOUSTON AND TAKE MY DAD TO THE GAME
Just called the Astros at 1-877-927-8767. They said single game tickets go on sale on March 3rd. The only tickets you can buy for opening night right now are Season tickets or one of their multi-game packages. Of course, they could be gone or down to very little by March 3rd, because it will no doubt be a sell out. Wish I had better news. Usually there are more tickets available for the “other” games in the opening series.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks Dan, I really appreciate that.
Are you willing to pay more that face value? I got mine on Stubhub and you can definitely find tickets for opening day on the open market, but you will pay more than face value.
That is true – either way I would call 1-877-9ASTROS (927-8767) and see what options there are inside – maybe they would even tell you how many tickets are left for opening night.
#1: Jose Altuve. I want the bat in Jose Altuve’s hands as much as possible. I want him leading off just about every game for us, and I want him being the guy who steps in the batters box when Aoki turns the line-up over.
#2: Alex Bregman or Yulieski Gurriel – whichever has the higher OBP. I want a high OBP, good rally-extender on to follow Jose.
#3: Carlos Correa. I want a clutch hitter with both power and speed, and an insanely high BARISP, that has the talent to drive in over 120 runs. Carlos should be that guy. If he’s not, we need to know.
#4: Carlos Beltran [DH]. I want the clean-up hitter to be a high BARISP, high power guy who can clear the bases for us.
#5: George Springer. I want a guy following Carlos Beltran that is enough of a threat that Beltran sees some decent pitches. If George doesn’t break out as a 30 HR, 100 RBI guy this year, I don’t think he ever will.
#6: Platoon: Josh Reddick vs. righties and either M. Gonzales, T. Hernandez, or T. White [if either of the latter make the team out of ST] vs. lefties. If it’s White, Beltran goes to the OF, White DH’s].
#7: Yulieski Gurriel or Alex Bregman – whichever has the lower OPB of the two [see #2, above].
#8: Platoon: Brian McCann vs. righties and Evan Gattis vs. lefties. No way I ever slot either of these guys above 8 unless their BA is above .250, their OBP is above .325, and their K rate per AB is less than 20%. And no way I would EVER let my reserve catcher be my DH – because that almost always comes back to bite you through injury, ejection, or extra-innings, causing you to be deprived of a DH at the most critical time in a game.
#9: Nori Aoki [or M. Gonzales, or T. Hernandez or T. Kemp if Aoki is unavailable for any reason. I want my #9 guy to be the guy I would have at lead-off if my lead-off guy wasn’t who he was. Based upon history, Aoki should be that guy.
OD lineup is likely to be different from May 1st in that we’re waiting to find out how many pitchers (if 12 then likely Reed and/or White), and also McQ and Fiers whether they give way to Musgrove (someone else, or traded). The flex of starter/long relief adds potentially another position player. And also keep in mind Peacock is out of options, while Marisnick has a year. Catcher is the position we can ill afford injury, as I advocate Gattis more so in the lineup!
Keuchel Vs King Felix
Altuve 2B (.542)
Correa SS (.500)
Springer CF (.286)
Reddick has an impressive resume against pitchers like Scherzer, Jimenez and Carrasco, but in 55 AB’s Reddick is hitting .164 v Hernandez. Likewise, McCann is hitting .153.
McCullers v Iwakuma
Marwin 1B (.440)
I foresee Hinch using his usual logic that you move up the order the hotter and fleet of foot that one is…
Against RH starting pitchers:
1. Altuve 2B- talked about it for weeks
2. Reddick RF- amazing against RH pitching and covers up Altuve from the LH batter’s box making it easier for Altuve to steal second.
3. Correa SS- This is the year I could see him as a .300 hitter with 40 HRs.
4. Beltran DH- switch hitter with power from both sides. Career low K rate and a lifetime .281 hitter who only has to worry about his offense and is a LH batter who the opposition can’t bring in a LH pitcher to face without consequences. Can’t pitch around him because of this guy:
5. Springer CF- could finally become that high BA guy he was in the minors with great power. Strikes out like a power hitter, though, so I like him here rather than leading off.
6. Bregman 3B- A potential leadoff guy with some power and hits to all fields.
7. McCann C- Power fronm the left side to drive in Springer and Bregman.
8. Gurriel 1B- biggest surprise in the lineup who will drive in runs in this spot.
9. Aoki- low strikeouts, high OBP guy who moves Gurriel along and keeps the inning alive for Altuve, who pitchers dread to see coming up next.
Against LH starting pitchers:
1. Altuve 2B- Scorches lefties!
2. Bregman 3B- No let up here!
3. Correa SS- pour on the power.
4. Beltran DH- Left fielder needs to stand against the wall because Carlos loves the Crawford boxes.
5. Springer CF- Can’t a pitcher get a break?
6. Gattis C- Damn! And McCann is there to pinch hit in the late innings if needed against a RH reliever.
7. Hernandez RF- hit LH pitchers very well in his first stint in the majors and Reddick is on the bench to bring in against RH relievers after a pitching change and play defense in the late innings.
8. White 1B- eats LH pitchers at all meals. Gives Gurriel some rest.
9. Aoki LF- hits the same against lefties over his career. Marwin’s there to play left to hit RH against lefties to give Aoki a break sometimes., and Aoki is a great PHer if you want to use hime late in the game.
OP makes my life easier. His line up solutions are sensible and astute. Besides determining what kind of beer to order, we could probably sit next to each other at the ball game with out a whole lot to say.
LikeLiked by 3 people
Who are you kidding? We’d be best friends in the first hour, each trying to get a word in edgewise.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Springer was 45 of 51 SB in the minors.. but went 9 of 18 for Stros. I think he turns that around, but the pressure applied lets Altuve see more FB’s. If Springer isnt the focal point of moving him over. If he were sandwiched, and protected as your next 40/30 guy.
Larry mentioned .300. I went back and looked at ages and stats of Beltran and Springer. First of all, at this stage of their career, going into age 27, Carlos had seen 2500 AB’s and George 800.
But look at that year, 28, he went to the Mets – I’d rather have George. While he strikes out about 8% more than Beltran, everyone I’ve read says George Springer is a professional hitter (I’ve seen him layoff pitches in a split second), with more power who’se bound to stay in the 20-25%K. I really think he’s a learner and may have a parallel type career.
There’s no reason to think the night he came back to greet Mr Volquez with a triple and Grand Slam that he cant harness that determination moreso throughout a season.
🐺 reports that night was the worst in pitching history (hardly!). Of the 12-runs we scored nobody had more than a single … except George, who had a little payback!
Here’s Lil George with a broken arm, so he worked on one-armed swings
Hinch seems to get that payback spirit out of his guys, and we definitely have Revenge in the works for TEX.
Hinch said he’s been wanting to giveet Cora for several years – the role he hopes will be eyes/ears, shoulder to cry on about playing time, settling any gripes in-house keeping things smooth. I think he’ll be a great fit, and needed on a loaded team with very little room for error.
I can see from the photo they put Gattis’ locker next to Stubbs, and McCann next to Stassi. That will allow both guys to see how a vet goes about his preparation/business.
Even found a spot on the roster for my nephew.
It’s Valentines Day. I sent you a “Tyler” Rose.
Did not know Earl Campbell’s father was a commercial rose grower. About his honeymoon, earl said, “I can’t afford one right now. I’ve got to wait until Stabler puts us in the Super Bowl so I can pick up some cash.”
Granted, the college guys don’t see as good hitting, but I don’t see how we could pass on Alex Lange of LSU if available at #15..
The Astro with the most to prove this year?
Is it Gurriel (Cuba to Stateside), Reed (PCL POY etc), White (AL Player of the Week)
Is it Hoyt (paid his dues), Musgrove (should be in SR), Feliz (is he an anomaly if used sparingly, like a Marwin?)
McQ (and arbitration fallout), Keuchel/LMJ (believably healthy)? Or maybe a prospect no one is talking much about like Gustave (Hinch “high on”, 100 mph), or Guduan (100 mph control)? Sipp? Singleton?
Of the lineup, there’s merit to consistency & many different looks, but it’s important to remember that while it may only be the difference of a run, or two, they used to say Bobby Cox was good for 8-10 runs alone by his decision-making. Hinch has a foray of options that weren’t just traded off before we can see how they’re being developed. It’s a sign you realize the time value expense of training the Astro Way. Whomever the “sleeper” is this year, like a Rodgers or Laureano, they’ll be the one later spoken of as “determined”, and the one coach gave ’em a shot.. or will Fiers and Aoki silence all comers?
Collin McHugh won his case
Yes, I just saw that on ESPN.
Good for him. He deserves it
I agree and frankly I don’t know how the team thought they were ever going to win this, based not only on how much good pitching is valued, but even when you look at what they were willing to pay for some pitching that is not as good as McHugh. I hope he uses this as a spur on for good and not as a rock in his shoe.
LikeLiked by 1 person
By May 15 of last season McHugh had given up 10 hits in four of his outings with a 5.58 ERA. Maybe the Astros are sending a message that that kind of start is not going to cut it this year? Although, I thought he’d win.
I seriously hope the Astros are not sending a message and just chose to be foolish. I look at this stats, LMJ being injured and unable to pitch, Keuchel not being ready / healthy on opening day, and terrible start to the 2016 season as evidence the coaches and FO did a terrible job preparing them to play games that count. If they didn’t learn their lesson and dig too big a hole then instead of talking about a race for the pennant we’ll be talking in September about scenarios where we could perhaps win another wild card.
Guess I didn’t realize arbitration considers McHugh’s body of work, not just 2016.
Day 1 of Spring Training: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/02/alex-reyes-set-for-mri-after-experiencing-elbow-discomfort.html
Lol! Can’t help but think there’s a black cloud over Saint Louey!
I wasn’t even thinking about that.
What I was thinking about was a stud young pitcher might be lost for the entire season on day 1 of training camp, and about how having Keuchel, LMJ, McHugh, Morton, Fiers, Musgrove, Devenski, Rogers, Feliz, Peacock, Rodgers and Martes all on the 40-man roster or at least close enough to being there feels very good.
Unexpected things can happen very quickly in baseball.
That first Rogers is Roy.
Right. The one we traded for Trigger.
Well all St. Louis has to do is groom their 2017 2nd round or 3rd round draft choices for that spot. Oh wait…..
LikeLiked by 2 people
Alex Reyes is now said to be seeking a second opinion, which is never a good sign. Word is it is a partial UCL tear, which would require TJ surgery.
Don’t forget Paulino, F Perez, Sneed and “breakout” Armenteros, who aren’t out of the picture this season.
Barring an injury to a front-line player on our new, improved team, none of the following are seriously expected to make the club out of ST:
1. Which of the above have the best shot – and the least shot – of starting the year with the big league team?
2. What would have to happen in ST – other than injury or a trade – to get any of the above on the 25-man to start the season?
Reed / Rodgers / Gustave are my front runners (because they’re “hopefuls”) with Teoscar / Martes / Paulino as tough choices (for FO) Laureano / White / Guduan honorable mentions (as needed next-in-line call ups).
I watched Moneyball again last night. Funny seeing the GM throw up magnets with names, like Yay or Nay, court of public opinion, your fate in the hands of a bunch of statistics and piles of names.. until they jump out at you in the Spring!
I think Tyler White has a good shot. He is reporting at under 200 lbs, can play 1B or third. I think they like his bat. He can be a third catcher in an emergency situation. I think Stubbs has the least shot because of his youth, lack of seasoning, not on the 40-man, Stassi with no options left, and the two guys we already have as our catchers.
LikeLiked by 1 person
My thoughts exactly!
Bregman likens himself to a warrior!
Some wise words gleaned, in talking about fighter McGregor
“He’s awesome,” Bregman said. “Same kind of things. He says it’s an obsession. There’s NO TALENT. It’s an obsession. You can be anybody you want to be as long as you’re OBSESSED.”
Displaying more of that off the field polish, Bregman adds,
“I’m here trying to win a job every single day,” he said. “That’s the mindset I’m taking, just trying to win a job and come out and compete and get ready for the season.”
Sounds like Bregman is ready to earn his Masters Degree from the Craig Biggio School of Baseball Cliches.
Welcome back baseball.
How will the FO / coaches prepare this team for opening day? The whole season rests on the answer to this question.
LikeLiked by 2 people
Fortunately, Sandy, the Astros have Carlos Beltran, Nori Aoki, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick to help prepare this team. The additions to the team are not just an advantage physically, but mentally as well. They are probably just as important or more important than the coaches.
As a matter of fact, the more imput our young players get from these older players, the better it is because in Hinch and his coaches just mouth a lot of chatter and not enough help. I thought Hinch might just keep his mouth shut more this spring, but he sounds like an old engine the way he clatters to the media with his rattletrap mouth.
Hinch is a tinkerer. He never puts out a polished product because he’s never finished messing with it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I am hoping that the club management has expressed, to Beltran, an offer to continue with the club as a coach in the future. The open “letter” that he penned earlier shows that he comprehends the “Astro Way” as Biggio and Bagwell taught him and he, in turn, can impart this mindset unto the current group of Astros now and in the far future as a coach.
I like the story that Gov posted about Bergman. That young man “gets” it and I feel that if he continues this path, he also will be able to comprehend the Astro Way and can spread the ideal to the others by example.
Not too worried about the offense but the pitching last April & May was atrocious.
The only newspaper in the city (spit) is reporting that Roy Oswalt will be a guest instructor this year in spring training. I would like to see Mike Scott come in and teach his splitter to a couple of the youngsters.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Using this chart of Astros’ WAR projections, http://www.fangraphs.com/depthcharts.aspx?position=ALL&teamid=21
Here are the ways that they can maximize their lineup:
Every place Marisnick is in the lineup is negative offensive WAR. Notice how in the CF position, Marisnick’s accumulated negative oWAR totally negates Springer’s plus oWAR at the CF position. Don’t play Marisnick! He is so bad at the plate he wipes out his defense and another player’s offense.
Play Springer in CF! He has played 35 games in the majors in CF and has not committed an error and has way higher than league average range. That comes straight from his Baseball Reference defensive stat page.
Don’t play Carlos Beltran in the field. His negative defense takes away from his offense. He will deliver between 2 and 3 WAR from the DH spot and wont cost the team any wins defensively there.
Don’t move Reddick around. Let him play RF against every RH pitcher and play Teoscar Hernandez against LH pitchers. Be smart in the late innings of close games and let Reddick go into the game against a RH reliever and play late inning defense in RF.
Leave Aoki alone. He has proven OBP skills and has a lifetime BA above .280 and is not a HOLE in the lineup. The moment you substitute Marisnick for Aoki you give the other team a black hole in the lineup to shoot for and you are going to consistently have guys left on base with Marisnick at the plate. Other teams will pitch around the #8 guy to get to Marisnick. Use the #9 position in the lineup to turn it over to Altuve in the #1 spot. Keep the offensive pressure on all the time. Don’t let up and don’t give in offensively.
In short, the GM went out and got you a great lineup. Don’t mess with it! Look at the strengths and use them to the team’s advantage every game. Look at the weaknesses and eliminate them.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I have a hard time reading Jake’s defensive stats compared to Beltran. Their Total Zone looks about even on paper (which we know isn’t true), and on league average; Jake’s ranging from -133 to +64! I just think if we don’t play Beltran as often, he’ll be like Gattis last season. But come to think of it, I simply want the hottest hitter manning DH. Playing Beltran only creates less opportunity for Aoki Gurriel and especially Marwin.
I have to believe the Astros feel like they brought Beltran here to be the DH. I don’t foresee him in the field unless they have too, but he did log 500+ innings in RF last year – and we know Reddicks history. I could actually see Reddick’s off days filled by Beltran but I wouldn’t ever expect back to backs in the field. Not even sure I want him there – I would prefer that he is fresh, not chasing down fly balls, and hitting just as strong in September as June, afterall he isn’t 25.
I think the charge on Marisnick, if he is even on the opening day roster, figure out how to get 500+ innings from him in the field, if not 600+, and limit that to only 200-250 plate appearances. Start him some, but pinch hit for him in high leverage at bats. Use him as a defensive sub and pinch runner. Get his strengths to help you as much as you can and limit the opportunities for his weaknesses to hurt you. Personally, if I know Hernandez is a bit better of a hitter – but I haven’t been convinced that he is much better as a hitter – and he can play all 3, Marisnick starts at AAA. With only 4 position players on the bench at the start of every game a guy like Marisnick limits you as much as he helps you.
It’s why I agree with OP that I think White will get that 25th spot. They know he can hit, they know he can play 2 positions passably in a pinch, they know he can go out there and catch a few innings if he has too – I mean can’t it be an issue if you put Gattis at DH, which he can’t be moved out of, and McCann at C, and in the 3rd inning McCann catches a foul tip on foot and has to come out? The guy provides you emergency back up services.
To me, that 24th and 25th spot should come down to that trio, and two of three should be here. White has on his side that he plays the different positions.
This would be a heck of a lot easier if Marisnick could just be a .250 hitter, even if he didn’t walk a lot.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thanks RJ – that made me feel really good about McHugh and the organization both. I loved how he said that they didn’t say anything about him that he didn’t say to himself a hundred times.
If McHugh is happy and the Astros are happy, then I’m happy. Arbitration worked!
Great article just got even more respect for the man he is.
LikeLiked by 1 person
LMJ, on trying a new pitching motion to alleviate his arm troubles: http://www.chron.com/sports/astros/article/Astros-Lance-McCullers-getting-comfortable-with-10935222.php
A few comments on all the above: (1) All of ST I would have JFSF stand behind Bregman and replicate his swing. His short compact swing would improve Jake by 20+ points. He doesn’t have Hammerin’ Hanks hands. Jake needs to be still. (2) McHugh was hit very hard in several games I watched last year. So much that it appeared the hitters either guessed right or the pitches were tipped. If you have more than 1 good pitch, they can’t guess correctly 80+% of the time. (3) A pretty good outfielder or 2 do not make the team. (4) Gattis was brought in to either catch or DH. This winter the club signed a DH and a catcher. His playing time has to be diminished. (5) First Astros team in a long time that if one hitter is injured, there are capable replacements. (6) Still need one more solid starter or a miracle from Strom. Finally, got my email from MLB saying they would be renewing my subscription. So I just need to lie and tell them I live in Hong Kong and watch the games. It is Show Time.
Gattis starts the Spring with a sore shoulder. Hmmmn. Do you know what you call a catcher who starts the year with a sore shoulder? You call him a DH. Hello, Max Stassi. All eyes on you!
Save a spot for this guy, I’m tellin’ ya!
If you go to Fangraphs frequently you will notice they love the Astros. Every article I have read there that pertains to the Astros has been positive. It makes some sense since Fangraphs is a baseball analytical website and the Astros may be the heaviest user of analytics in baseball.
No doubt, Tim!
Check out the incredible commitment from Jon Kemmer’s fiance’.
Thanks Gov – a nice piece that gives a real taste of the sacrifices and love involved for those who walk through life with these players.
Gov…..all I can say is “aww❤” I’m such a sap for love stories! I wish both of them the best….and hopefully the “best” will be Kemmer playing for the Astros someday!
Saw where Roy Oswalt is coming to spring training to assist with the pitchers! I’m sure he can be a wealth of knowledge for some of the young kids. I read between the lines a little, and I think he would be open for a coaching job! The pictures of the new ball park look AMAZING! A trip to see my boys play there is still on my bucket list. It’s been a rough week and a half, but I’m hopeful that I will start feeling better soon. Becky⚾
LikeLiked by 1 person
Becky, you deserve a good trip to Florida next spring. When you get there, make sure you tell them all that the folks from Chipalatta say hey!
What a great story. Makes you realize how hard it is to make it to the majors. And followed by a great post from Becky. Glad you are recovering. Maybe we all can make it to ST next year.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Position players report today!
There appears to be at least two players who are noticeably bigger and stronger this spring, and that’s Giles and Moran. Saw a picture of Moran and his upper body looked very different. I wonder if somebody lit a fire under his butt.
I still think that if Moran flipped his switch into overdrive he could be a major league quality player for the Astros for a long time. I don’t mind saying that Moran might be the most important player in Jeff Luhnow’s career. Moran turning into a legit major league player would be the development that Luhnow needs to legitimize his reputation as a top GM. Having just turned 24 in October, Moran is just still very young.
Nice to see Keuchel throwing his bullpen session this morning, one day after having the flu.
Nice to see Gattis in full catchers’s gear this morning, one day after getting a shot for inflammation in his shoulder.
Nice to see Preston Tucker throwing this morning, right next to Carlos Beltran. Preston has been cleared for all baseball duties but is taking it easy for now on his swings after major shoulder surgery.
Saw a picture of Strom showing a pitcher how to grip a certain pitch, but he was hiding the player he was showing the grip to.
Excited. Bring on those Mariners. Seattle needs a good whooping to start their season.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Far be it from me to complain……oh heck far be it from me not to complain, but why did Carlos Correa have his wisdom teeth out on Thursday with training camp opening on Friday?
They started hurting a week ago and I think they had to give antibiotics to make sure there was no infection before they cut them out.
Ok – complaint withdrawn
A wisdom unrevealed to we mere mortals?