Springer, Altuve and Correa: Possibly the 3 best everyday teammates


There is a point during the Mel Brooks classic, “Spaceballs”, where the bad guys space ship led by Colonel Sandurz and Dark Helmet are getting ready to chase down Lone Starr, Barf and Princess Vespa. At first they are going to ramp up to light speed, but it is then decided that this is not fast enough and instead they crank it up to ludicrous speed….. And then they have to stop which sends them crashing around the cabin.

How does this relate to the 2017 Houston Astros? Well they had been rattling along at a strong pace fueled mostly by a balanced lineup that seemed impervious to a real team slump. And this had produced great results as they were the best team in their division, their league and all of baseball at 31-16. But then they decided to step it up to ludicrous speed and rolled through a 10 game winning streak that pushed them to 41-16. Lately, a combination of starting pitching injury, relief pitching weariness and a return to earth by the hitters has sent them crashing down to a still “best in baseball” 44-22 record.

But this is not about the recent negatives surrounding the team. This is about the three Astros who are leading the All Star voting at their positions – CF George Springer, 2B Jose Altuve and SS Carlos Correa. Yes, it can be argued  that they are not clearly the three best everyday teammates in baseball. The Yankees with some combination of wunderkind Aaron Judge, Matt Holiday, Aaron Hicks and Starlin Castro could make the same claim. But it should be noted that the Astros three-some do cover both middle infield positions and CF, which gets a slight nod over CF, RF and DH or 2B.

Without doing extensive research, (please, be our guest) there is a good chance this is the first time the Astros have led the All-Star voting at three positions with the ASG looming next month. And in different ways all three players are deserving. (All stats are entering Wednesday night’s game).

Springer. George has an infectious all-star attitude and numbers to back it up , especially being top 10 with 48 runs scored, 18 HRs and 41 RBIs. His slash line of .275 BA / .347 OBP / .884 OPS is solid as a rock too.

Correa. Young Carlos after a poor April has been climbing the hill towards the top producers. His book end 41 runs scored and 41 RBIs are both top 10 in the AL and his slash line of .293 / .366 / .879 is on the edge of great.

Altuve. Jose has spoiled us so much that some may think of this as a “down” season. He probably won’t put up 25 HRs again, but with this lineup he does not need to do that. That .312 / .381 / .877 line will fly anywhere and paired with 40 runs scored, 11 SBs and 15 doubles (which have become 17 doubles by the 5th inning tonight) he is a premier producer at second base.

The Astros have a lot more balance to the lineup these days, but these three pistons are the key to this motor. They give the Astros one of the most imposing and consistent top of the lineups in baseball.

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178 comments on “Springer, Altuve and Correa: Possibly the 3 best everyday teammates

  1. Really good game tonight. Tough loss but the Astros pitchers are going to have to learn that they cant miss high to good hitters and get away with it. Almost every big hit by the Red Sox was a mistake up in the zone by Astros pitchers. And most of the time it came with 2 strikes on the batter.
    Dont know why Altuve was sliding so upright on the play at the plate. A low headfirst slide gives the catcher nothing to swipe at.
    Game was probably lost in the first five innings when the Astros couldn’t hit with runners on against a pitcher who was really struggling.

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    • Seems to be the story as of late. How many left on base 12?. For all the things they were doing right during the winning streak, they are doing wrong during the losing streak. Maybe trying to hard.

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    • I think Altuve got caught with his pants down a bit. He’s not used to getting throw out at the plate on a near perfect throw. Jose does not go head first often, but that would have been the way to go.

      Overall, our guys played a pretty young game last night against a good, smart team.

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    • Ignore the slide – it was a terrible job of rounding third base by Altuve. Instead of hitting the side edge like a springboard he hits the top of the bag and rounds fairly wide into the grass. You can see he got a pretty good read once the ball passed over his head. Also, Gurriel was pretty lackadaisical. In the replay you can see him pointing down with his left hand, but not emphatically.

      Give Benintendi lots of credit – he got in great fielding position and made a great throw. Tim, what are the odds in Vegas for winning the gold glove? I think he beats out Gordon for it this year. Ideally, Houston won’t make that mistake again, but past seasons have told me they collectively don’t know how to run the bases and will continue to cost themselves runs like this.

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      • I did not see it that way Devin. Even the knuckleheads at ESPN remarked that Altuve had made a good turn. Excellent throw got him. Excellent slide might have saved him. Just one of many “moments of truth” in last nights game that helped give the Sox a one run win.

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  2. Musgrove does not throw a high enough ratio of quality pitches. His role is purely “innings eater” through a long summer. We need another TOR hurler!!

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    • While I do not see a workable, beneficial TOR trade as being something anybody can work out for us any time soon, there is no question that Joe Musgrove is not performing at the level we need him to as a starter. Of all the guys who have started multiple games for us, he has the highest ERA [5.09] (Paulino is 5.03), the highest WHIP [1.41] (Paulino is 1.37), the lowest K/9 at 7.35, and the highest Batting Average against at .288. With some of our other starters set to come back soon, however, Joe is not going to be a problem long. He is either going to either have to improve his performance substantially, go to a long-relief role, or go back to Fresno to get back on top of his game.

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  3. After an extremely tough stretch – facing playoff caliber team after playoff caliber team with an injury-depleted line-up and rotation, the next ten games provide an excellent opportunity for us to get back on track, if we just step up to the challenge. Over the next 11 days, we will play seven games against the struggling A’s [31-38], who are 23rd in the MLB in runs scored vs. our 3rd, and three games against the always tough but troubled Mariners [34-37], whose pitching staff is 23rd in the MLB in ERA vs. our 3rd.

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    • I am not by any means suggesting that the A’s or the Mariners are going to roll over and play dead for us. They will not. We have a target on our back the size of an 11-game division lead. They will come after us hard. What I am suggesting is that if we are a championship quality team, as we thought, this is where we need to stand up and prove it.

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  4. Some thoughts about last night:
    -What was I expecting before the game? It was Musgrove vs Price.
    -James Hoyt’s ridiculous pitch to Jackie Bradley was the key pitch of the game. The two runs that scored were Musgrove’s but that was on Hoyt.
    -BUT, You don’t have a LOOGY you can trust to bring in against a lefty like Bradley at the most critical moment of the game. Who’s that on? The two bombs the Astros got in the later innings gives your team the lead and you don’t have to face Kimbrel and the Sox have to beat Giles to get the win. Sipp never got in the game, but he hurt the Astros last night by not being a guy they can go to. Huge!
    – Astros get 14 hits and six BBs and lose.
    -In case you weren’t aware, the Astros have had a number of minor league starting pitchers leave the game after five or six innings of no-hit baseball because of the tandem system this season.
    -Last night, the best starting pitcher the Corpus Christi Hooks have, Aurelio Armenteros, came into the game in relief of one of the worst starting pitchers the Hooks have, Brock Dykxhoorn. The Hooks were behind and it stayed that way as Armenteros pitched 4 perfect innings. That’s called “training your starting pitchers to throw half a game”. Because when they get to the majors they will be able to throw 7 or 8 innings against major league hitters, right?

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    • Another thought for you – Astros probably still do not have a guy on the roster that can steal a base at will. This may be overrated in today’s game. Still, I would have liked to see Aoki let the first pitch from Kimbrel go. Instead, he fouled it off and the Red Sox had confirmation Fisher had intentions to run.

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    • OP I don’t understand the philosophy of tandem pitching as it pertains to preparing young pitchers to prepare for the Show. In the bigs they go 4-6 innings, get pulled and the bp has to come in. The Stros 3-5 pitchers go 4-6 (exception Fiers lately) innings then come the bp to bail them out. BP already taxed, what kind of shape will they be in come playoff time. This had been going on most of the season, which won’t bode well for the bp, esp when the playoffs begin

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  5. OP1…I’ll put it in these words. This tandem pitching scenario sucks big time! You are 100% right since almost all of the guys we’re using are good for about 4 or maybe 5 innings, then Kaplooey! I for the life of me don’t understand it. What happen to the days when your TOR pitchers pitch 300 innings? Yes I know its’ changed but now we’re talking 200 innings is getting to be the exception with most pitchers doing 170 -190. Beats me what has happened.

    You can’t win it all with this kind of philosophy. IMHO.

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    • I can tell you what happened. Huge increases in player salaries and with so much riding on certain pitchers they are going to be ‘babied’ to protect their longevity in the game.

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  6. The Matchups for the upcoming 4-game A’s series:

    1. Peacock v. Daniel Gossett [righty; 2nd ML start; 16.20 ERA, 2.10 WHIP, 2.7 K/9]
    2. Martes v. Sonny Gray [righty; 2-2; 4.44 ERA, a 1.348 WHIP, and a 9.1 K/9];
    3. Fiers v. Manaea [lefty; 6-3; 4.01 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP & 9.8 K/9]; and
    4. Paulino v. Hahn [righty; 3-4; 3.56 ERA and a 1.325 WHIP and 7.24 K/9].

    The offense needs to hit on all cylinders.

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  7. 46th wedding anniversary today. Not sure what’s going on, but there has been a lot of quiet phone calls and Mrs1OP says we’re fixin to go somewhere and put on some shorts and a cap.
    I guess when the 46th is as fun as the first, things must be going ok. I guess I’ll check in with y’all later.

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  8. McCullers should, if all goes well, be back in the rotation for the week-end series in Seattle. Morton could, if all continues to go well, get a rehab start at Fresno as early as Thursday. Keuchel is scheduled to start throwing today. There is rotation help on the way!

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  9. Congratulations to 23 y/o Cuban righty Yoanys Quiala, who has been promoted from our High A affiliate in Buies Creek to the Corpus Christi Hooks. For the BC Astros, Yoanys was 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP. He struck out 59 in 58 innings, while walking only 13 and giving up only 3 HRs. Opponents were hitting only .190 against him. Yoanys will start for the Hooks tonight against the 1st place San Antonio Missions.

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  10. OP……when we get to our age every Anniversary is a plus, and a picnic on the lake is more romantic than going out to eat at some fancy restaurant!! Give your bride our good wishes! 💑

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  11. I’m commenting before I see the result of bringing in Harris to face Alonso. If you can’t use Sipp to get out one LH batter, why is he even on the team? Now I’ll go see what happens.

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  12. Peacock was getting swings and misses on four different pitches tonight. Less pitches per inning with less Ks and fewer BBs.
    How about a homer from all three starting outfielders.
    Devenski’s change up was darting all over the place tonight and he froze one batter with a fastball.
    Giles threw strikes and didn’t have to throw many pitches.
    Astros lead in the AL West back up to 12 games.
    Marwin’s wrist still hurting.
    The Astros hit a lot of line drives to the outfield that were caught tonight.
    Colin Moran hit his 15th HR tonight and had 5 more RBIs to give him 52 for the year.
    Quiala won his game for CC with a fine debut and young Tucker and young Martin hit HRs.

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  13. Fisher was optioned back to Fresno after the game. If Luhnow really wants to win it this year, then put the best 9 on the field. I’m not trying to be mean, but I’d rather see Fisher in left everynight than Aoki. He’s just a better player. My opinion only.
    How ’bout that Brad Peacock!! Op….you were soo right the guy looks like he’s turned into a real pitcher!

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  14. I just got home fro seeing my dad and him turning 87, blessed he is still healthy.

    * Congrats OP
    * Thank Bill as always for the farm report.
    * Uncle Jeff its time to take one for the team in pride, see you Aoki and Sipp, its only money and you are now getting 40,000 back in the park
    Fisher, Spring and Spider man , what an OF, JFSM giving everyone days off etc
    * Marwin can still spot Bregman, and The Mullet, occasionally tuve and CC, Or even probably are weakest link Beltran at DH or that’s Fisher…

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