2020 Astros: Would you rather…


Today we play that time-honored game of Would You Rather, where you the loyal readers of this blog get to choose your answer to either/or questions and explain your reasoning.

Would you rather…….

  1. Have the Yankees and Red Sox crash and burn during the regular season or have the Astros bury them in the playoffs?
  2. Have George Springer put up such a transcendent season that there is no way the Astros can re-sign him or have him put up a so-so or injury-riddled year that allows the team a shot at him in free agency?
  3. Have Austin Pruitt move into a Charlie Morton-lite 5th starter role for the short term or have Josh James step up as a more up and down long term solution in that same role?
  4. Have Dusty Baker brought back for 2021 or have A.J. Hinch return to the manager’s spot? (I know this is unfair without seeing them play under Baker, but what does your heart say?)
  5. Have the Astros score 10 runs in 1 inning against Mike Fiers or have the first 6 hitters bunt down the first baseline and run his a$$ over?
  6. Have Michael Brantley or Yuli Gurriel sign an extension?
  7. Have Alex Bregman or Jose Altuve or Carlos Correa or George Springer or Brantley or Gurriel or Yordan Alvarez or Justin Verlander or Zack Greinke be the team MVP in 2020?
  8. Have Yordan Alvarez hit 50 HRs or have Kyle Tucker produce 80 RBIs?
  9. Have Bryan Abreu grab a rotation spot or take over a high leverage spot in the bullpen?
  10. Have full houses booing the Astros on the road or quiet as a mouse Miami Marlin-like crowds?
  11. Have Bregman finally hit .300 or have Altuve finally get 100 RBIs?
  12. Have the Astros win the World Series over the Washington Nationals or over the Los Angeles Dodgers?
  13. Have your daughter bring home a boyfriend with Jeff Bagwell’s beard or Gurriel’s hair cut?
  14. Have Lance McCullers pitch an effective 130 innings in 2020 or have Roberto Osuna save 90% of his opportunities?
  15. Have Brandon Taubman, Jeff Luhnow or A.J. Hinch never work in MLB again?

Your turn to answer these or to come up with your own set of “would you rathers”…..

123 comments on “2020 Astros: Would you rather…

  1. 1. I would much rather see the Yankees and Red Sox crash and burn during the season. The season is much longer.
    2. I would much rather see George Springer have a transcendent season. It’s much better for the Astros and for him if that happens.
    3. I would like to see Josh James step up and take the job.
    4. Dusty Baker coming back would probably mean the Astros had a great year. That is what I would like.
    5. The way to get Fiers is to score 10 runs off of him in 1 inning. The other choice makes him a martyr.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1. I don’t care what happens during the regular season if the Astros get a chance to play and silence the Sox and Yanks in the post season.
    2. By all means, a career year by Springer.
    3. Pruitt. I still like James in the pen.
    4. I don’t think I want Hinch back. That would be going backwards.
    5. Don’t care how we beat Fiers.
    6. I think we’ll need more help in the outfield than we will at first.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. Playoffs. I would rather the world to see them go down on national TV.
    2. Fantastic season. So good they can’t resist signing him.
    3. Pruitt. I think.
    4. Hinch.
    5. 10 runs in the first three innings at MMP. Then be removed as the crowd boos loudly.
    6. Brantley.
    7. Altuve
    8. Both please.
    9. Rotation.
    10. Let the idiots boo and make fools of themselves.
    11. Bregman.
    12. Washington. We’ve already taken care of LA
    13. Yuli’s hair. I hate Jeff’s beard
    14. McCullers pitch as many effective innings as possible.
    15. Luhnow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 1. Astros bury them in playoffs
    2. Just sign George now and be done with it.
    3. James for the long term.
    4; AJ
    5.Take the high road with Fiers.
    6. Brantley
    7. Averez would mean we have a new core superstar.
    8.Tucker: I’m worried about this kid ever reaching his ceiling.
    9.Rotation spot
    10. Full house: let the idiot nurds boo while the Stros beat their team.
    11.Bregman .300 would mean huge other numbers for him. Just please don’t carry your bat to 1st base again. He embarrassed all LSU fans with that stunt.
    12. Dodgers
    13.Bagwell. My dog would think Gurriel was a rooster
    14. McCullers
    15.Taubman.
    13.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 7. I’ll take Greinke because I feel good about everyone else already, except maybe Correa. You never know when he’s going to take a vacation.
    8. Getting 80 RBI’s out of Tucker means we’ve got an answer in right field going forward. We know Alvarez will hit.
    9. Abreu? The only tough question so far. It all depends on where we need him most. But I think he makes the roster as a pen guy initially.
    10. Don’t care about the booing, as long as they don’t throw stuff. Our guys earned it.
    11. We don’t need .300 from Bregman or 100 from Altuve.
    12. No brainer.
    13. I think Yuli has fewer skeletons in his closet.
    14. 130 innings from Lance would be far more significant. Osuna will be steady, even as we complain.
    15. I have a bit of sympathy for Hinch, but they all could have taken a higher road. I don’t really care one way or the other. While it seems Taubman was a real ass, Luhnow let him be that ass and likely encouraged some of his actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I would be surprised if we extend Yuli, Brantley or Springer. It will seem strange without them, but those are big dollars that a GM like Click could work magic with (exhibit, Rays). A long season, lots of different scenarios can happen.

    Two that come to mind are Tucker not panning out so well in ’20, and Yordan’s knee (who was scratched today).

    Also, Billy and AC — Garneau hit a homer today, after Maldonado came out.

    Like

  7. Verlander gave up 3 runs in 2-2/3 innings and 53 pitches. I think we need to admit that it is all over and we should just forfeit the season. (I’m channeling the crazy fans and media who put too much emphasis on spring training results).

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The Cardinal announcers have said something that I agree with 100%. No more use of technology in the dugout once the game starts. They can look at the videos after the game. Play baseball once the game starts. It would go a long way to dealing with the technology issue.

    Liked by 2 people

      • And watch how quickly Aaron Judge objects to that. If you think a 37% K-rate is a lot, wait til he’s not allowed to watch video before a new pitcher comes in!

        In my view, if they took all the foreign substances away from pitchers, and they are making them step off the rubber for pickoffs (new rule), these are big hitter advantages. The league had better get rid of the video from sign stealing angle because that’s even harder on pitchers, then.

        The Astros gripe against the Yanks were they were filming Hinch in the dugout well, who then gave pitch signs to the catcher. All that needs to change, and yet technology is getting even more stealthy.

        How hard would it be to use binoculars to signal some fan behind the plate to yell, “Hit the Ball” for a fastball, or “let’s Go!” for a curve? History shows teams have used the scoreboard, the weathervane, towel hanging in the bullpen, fans wearing gloves making signals.. there’s no end to the possibilities now with buzzer band-aides, etc. It’s a mess.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. In case anybody cares, Kyle Tucker is still maintaining his impressive 0 for 2020 stat line. I’ll say one thing, he is a paragon of consistency.

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    • Should have traded him when he was an up and coming star. Because he hasn’t shown me anything. I don’t even like his swing. To me it’s ugly. I hope he proves me wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I have a very different take on Tucker. It is clear to me he is much better than Reddick, and that Luhnow really pulled the rug out from under him by telling him at Winter Meetings in Las Vegas on December 10, 2018, “come to Spring and win an OF spot.” Seven days later he signed Brantley to 2 years, and effectively blocked him.

      HOW would you feel if you knew you had done everything possible in AAA, but you had to go back for 2 more years? I can assure you it has a quantifiable mental effect.

      No, I’m not happy with the way ML pitchers are exploiting his pull swing, and until he shows he can foul off inside pitches to get “his pitch,” he will struggle. But every metric shows he’s a better hitter and solid fielder. The team apparently cannot trade Reddick without eating a significant portion of his salary (or giving up valuable prospect value), so our hands are tied.

      I believe Tucker and Straw will make OD, while Toro and Stubbs will not. Hopefully, Kyle starts putting together what he showed last September (and has shown in Round Rock). And he still has an option — this isn’t do or die yet.

      *Personally, it grates on my nerves that he keeps grabbing dirt after every pitch. I’d have him stand in there like Alvarez, and get rid of that silly routine.

      Like

      • Almost every interview I hear, players talk about “dealing with failure.” Astros have Dr Jesse Michel on hand, and many teams employ a Mind Coach now.

        The issue, dave, is that 3 years ago the Astros were way ahead of other teams in extreme shift. Now they have all learned what made that so effective.

        If you know a player pulls the ball over 50% of the time, you shift over and pitch him Inner Third of the plate. In this way, your defense is only as good as your pitcher’s ability to locate. As soon as batter has a pitch he can extnd, or slap the other way, he will take it.

        The strategy as you know, is to take away the hitter’s strength, and make him take the easy single, mitigating damage. All 30 teams have figured that out, and what we’re seeing is Astros having to take our own medicine, and play small ball.

        Since the baseball is more aerodynamic, and they have learned launch angle increases home runs, it’s hard to go back to small ball. With as many LOB as the Astros had, or failing with RISP, maybe baker is a good fit to “take what they are giving us.” Try telling that to Springer ha!

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      • I’d love to see the Astros play a bit of small ball on occasion. Going the other way and taking a base hit would get a few of those LOB’s home. And maybe it would help Tucker get untracked too. But we’ve shown no real commitment to that concept though. Only the Twins had more extra base hits and we easily had the highest team .OPS in MLB. I know Becky would fall out her chair if we started manufacturing runs.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. 1. Yankees and Red Sox crash and burn all year long – for the second year in a row in case of the Sox. Extended day-by-day sweetness is all that would be!
    2. A good year for George. We’ve been waiting for it for so long…
    3. Think I’ll go with JJ, but does it have to be either/or? Why not both?
    4. Dusty. The AJ train has departed Houston, headed for Azusa and Cucamonga, but he’ll be back somewhere eventually.
    5. 10 runs in one inning. The boys need to have their heads down and take care of business from day one.
    6. Probably prefer Brantley, but neither seems more likely.
    7. Altuve. He’s the face of the franchise. There’s evidence he didn’t cheat, but is getting treated as if he did, so let him have his Karma.
    8. Tucker and his 80-plus RBIs (and Yordan his 49 HRs)
    9. Abreu in starting rotation. I always prefer having starters that can do the job.
    10. Boo away. The boys need to learn to use it as motivation
    11. Altuve with 100. See item 7
    12. Can’t the Nationals and Dodgers crash and burn during the regular season too?
    13. Get thee to a nunnery!
    14. A good 130 IP from Lance.
    15. They made mistakes. If someone else wants to hire them for a baseball job, that’s their business. Who does it help for me to hate and be vindictive?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Abraham Toro needed a good spring to have any chance of making the club’s opening day roster. In case you haven’t been watching, he most definitely isn’t having one. But he still looks better than KTuck.

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    • Normally I would not worry a out someone in their lower 20’s knees – but……
      1) Alvarez is a large person (not fat – just big) and larger folks are already putting a strain on their knees
      2) He had knee problems last year, which is why he did not play much in the field. Now after the off-season he is again having knee problems. So, should he have had a “procedure” in the off-season? (it is a minor procedure when it happens to someone else – major surgery when it happens to me).

      I hope they figure this out and don’t let it turn into something chronic. If he needs a scope job get it over with and bring him back healthy.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. So today after Verlander was long gone from the game….
    Urquidy – 3 IP shutout ball – 2 hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks
    Whitley – 1 IP – 0 R, 0 hits, 1 BB and 2 Ks
    Garneau – 2 for 2 with a homer and 2 RBIs

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    • I was watching an old Ozzie Smith highlight the other day, and saw his dad help turn a double play. Vaguely remember seeing his dad play, yep. I think he played for 6 years.

      He doesn’t have Correa’s early power or arm strength, but he is one of the smoothest fielders you will find. I think he will be called up by Sept 2021, and if he stays on track, we can just play out Correa’s contract, and transition to Pena/Straw and possibly Diaz in 2022. In 2023, Freudis Nova, Grae Kessinger Dauri Lorenzo and Yohander Martinez should be ready too. That is Altuve’s final year, and one or two can move from SS to 2B. That’s the “plan” anyway.

      Like

  13. Still a few weeks away, but this is my best guess today.
    What’s yours?

    JV, Greinke, Urquidy, LMJ, James
    Osuna, Pressly, Smith, Peacock, Valdez, Pruitt, Abreu, Devo (13 max by rule)

    IF: Yuli, Tuve, Correa, Bregman
    OF: Brantley, Springer, Reddick
    C: Maldonado, Garneau
    DH/Bench: Alvarez, Diaz, Straw … one more.

    Is it Tucker, Stubbs or Toro?
    I’d think clearly from AAA tenured alone, it’s Tucker.

    The other contests for 2 bullpen spots are between; Jared Hughes, Joe Biagini, Devenski and Bryan Abreu. All three have options except Hughes. Hughes and Biagini would *probably* hard to say, pass through waivers if we DFA.

    A very, very hard decision for me would be to DFA Devo, but I would try to trade him to the NL first, where they haven’t seen his change up much. He’s such a strong person of character, great in the clubhouse & community, a person of integrity this team needs. However, he gave us 0.0 WAR and we’re paying him $2M. I would just shuttle him in RR throughout the season, but that’s a little pricey to be doing that (we did it for McHugh, though). If he’s “just as good” as the other two, maybe Devo is who we keep. On talent alone, no question Bryan Abreu deserves a roster spot.

    What Astros may do is keep giving Abreu Starter innings in RR. That would be the most conservative approach.

    One person suggests doing a McCullers/Pruitt piggyback, while Lance is getting stretched out. In that way, James could have his own clean starts, which the Astros have said publicly, James is being strongly considered as SP5. Overall, seems like a good problem to have.

    Peacock is resuming throwing, I’ve heard, but he’s another we could fold into RR until his neck/shoulder are 100%.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seems like a pretty darned good look at the potential 26 man roster. The pitching side I think might hold some surprises or the surprises may hold until sometime during the season.

      Like

      • Thanks, Dan.
        If I had my druthers, I’d have Javier in there before Devenski.
        I’d have a hard time deciding on Abreu, and Hughes.

        The only real knock on Bryan Abreu is his curveball breaks so hard (much like Framber Valdez), it’s difficult to land for strikes. While he has tremendous depth and the potential to play that slider off the curve, the change up isn’t there yet. The risk is wasting his innings in RR, while we do “experiments” to see if Hughes and Devo are going to workout; consistency becomes more critical with 3-batter minimum. Advantage Devo.

        Because of the salaries and options situation, the Astros similar to Clicks Rays, like to have an array of players with options, so they can shuttle without fudging on injuries. With the 15- day IL now, the league is trying to hamper these unwritten rules offenders.

        Final answer is Tucker, Hughes, Devo.
        1. It respects the veterans, which is good for clubhouse morale,
        2. Allows Abreu to refine his stuff and work up toward startery innings,
        3. and gives us a pitch to contact, ground baller look in the ‘pen.
        4. Home run hitter on the bench.

        Video for Becky on Abreu. Elite curveball.

        https://www.mlb.com/astros/video/top-prospects-abreu-hou?utm_source=mpog&utm_term=7673

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  14. 1. As long as they crash. “When” is not important to me.
    2. I can’t cheer against George. Go win the MVP.
    3. Move Charlie Morton into the James/Pruitt role.
    4. Bring back the Manager of the Year, and WS winner in 2020.
    5. Score 11 runs in the first inning.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Have the Astros bury them in the playoffs!

    Have George Springer put up such a transcendent season!

    Have Josh James step up as a more up and down long term solution!

    Have A.J. Hinch return to the manager’s spot.

    Have the Astros score 10 runs in 1 inning against Mike Fiers.

    Have Michael Brantley sign an extension.

    Have Jose Altuve be the team MVP in 2020. That will mean he is back!

    Have Yordan Alvarez hit 50 HRs!

    Have Bryan Abreu grab a rotation spot.

    Have full houses booing the Astros on the road.

    Have Altuve finally get 100 RBIs! That means more runs scored. Hitting .300 does not mean anything if you don’t drive runs in.

    Have the Astros win the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers! Shut those crybabies up!!

    Have my daughter bring home a boyfriend with Jeff Bagwell’s beard.

    Have Roberto Osuna save 90% of his opportunities! Saves means wins!! 130 innings could be 1/2 a season and could be up and down innings.

    Have Brandon Taubman never work in MLB again!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I despise the yankees….crash and burn jerks.
    I’m hoping Crane will try to keep him for his “core 4”
    I haven’t been able to see Pruitt, but give Josh a chance to prove himself.
    Dusty might come back, but it won’t be the same team. Same for Hinch.
    I hope our guys play clean again Fires…..completely ignore him.
    Yuli will probably retire….Brantley will be hard to replace.
    Bregman will probably win MVP
    Alveraz would be awesome with 50 homeruns!
    Again….I know nothing about Abreu.
    Booing will make anyone weary….I’ve NEVER booed anyone.
    Definitely take Altuve 100 RBI’s!
    Win the series over…*ANY TEAM*!
    I just want McCullers to pitch pain free no matter how any innings.
    I would really like to see Osuna traded….
    Brandon has been banned for life. I hope Hinch gets another chance, and I fully expect Luhnow to be back as a GM.
    Have you ever gone back to the house you grew up in, and wish you could go back in time and relive that time? After my mother passed away (I was 19yrs) my father married again the next year. I used to go sit on the curb across from our house and sob. That part of my life died with my mother……I could never go back there again.
    This is how I feel about this team now. They killed that 2017 World Series win for me. I’m trying I really am.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 6. Brantley because of age.
    7. Carlos. That would mean he was playing all year.
    8. KTuck because that would give us transition from Reddick leaving.
    9. Bullpen.
    10. My preference is Marlins crowd but that ain’t never gonna happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 11. Altuve with 100 RBIs if he is not leading off.
      12. Beat ‘dem Bums.
      13. It would have to be granddaughter (or great granddaughter) but I think Yuli. She would have found someone that is “unique” and apparently fun to be around.
      14. Osuna. You can’t win by giving up runs late in close games.
      15. JL. I still believe unless something else is added that he was the actual ringleader. Taubman is not going to work in MLB no matter what.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I yield the balance of my key strokes to my attorney, the honorable Phineas T. Blowhard. “I PT Blowhard have been retained by the right honorable BC and AC to defend their rights and character on this blog. Individuals and groups have taken unprecedented character assassinations against these two knowledgeable gentlemen. I have known BC since lunch. He can pound a cheeseburger, but that is not important. I have never met AC. He is the approximate age of all the gentlemen running for President of the United States. Apparently, he suffers from the same cognitive dysfunction of those other fine gentlemen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It has been noted that a suspect catcher hit a home run. In the defense of my clients, that only means that his next home run will come in July if he stays on schedule. Also, some disturbing posts about my clients have come from a person named DanP. The Internet says his complete name is DanP(lagiarism). So that speaks for itself. In closing my clients have asked that I share a kind word with ladies. None of them ever resort to name calling or hostility to fans for other Northeast teams. That is especially true of Becky. “

      The defense rests.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To the five and dime lawyer group heretofore mentioned:

        A quote from Willie Wonka Mays

        “I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained, et cetera, et cetera… Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum, et cetera, et cetera… Memo bis punitor Garneau delicatum!”

        Right there in a black and white, my friend.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sorry GoStros1, my like button is not liking right now or I would have given you one. Also, my legal counsel has responded. “Dear AC and BC: Your check for the retainer of $5000 bounced. Our firm will not longer be your representative until funds are in our hands. Respectfully, PT Blowhard, Esq.”

        Like

    • I am represented legally by that fine firm of Dewey, Cheatham and Howe and they would get back to you on this, but that would cost me money. Suffice it to say that I have never assassinated anyone’s character that had one, thought I of course have taken to sniping on occasion….

      Liked by 1 person

      • I represent the Accounting firm of U-Rip-Em Off, LLC. I have just been notified by the IRS that none of your firms have paid their taxes and that they will soon arrive at you place of business with armed agents who will put locks on the doors and take all of your possessions.
        And as to #13, I do not have a daughter but if I did I would hope she’d have enough sense not to bring either to the house or even go out for that matter. On the other hand, I did some pretty stupid things when I was younger so maybe not.

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  19. Since the questions are either-or, I’m required to choose:
    6. Brantley because he is younger and does not have a brother playing in Toronto that he wants to play with. I think they will both want to go play elsewhere.
    7. I would like Bregman to be team MVP. He’s young and signed for 4 more years.
    8. I would much rather have Alvarez hit 50 HRs. That would mean a ton of RBIs for him and makes Tucker’s numbers not as important, given the possible greatness of the rest of the lineup.
    9. I would like Abreu to grab a spot in the bullpen, because he could gain experience there and be a starter in a couple of years when JV and Zack move on.
    10. I would love to have full houses on the road. That way they will be hardened like tempered steel for the playoffs. I would love for the Astros to be the #1 draw on the road in the majors. They have always drawn poor crowds on the road for most of their history.

    Liked by 3 people

  20. A little Astros prospect report from mlb.com. Found it amusing that they say Solis is closer to 6′-5″ 230 lbs than the listed 6′-2″ 160 lbs. That is quite a big difference between skinny teen and muscly man.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Jon Mayo calls Astros farm, “watered-down”.
        James Click disagrees.

        Keith Law says it is #29 out of 30 teams.
        GS1 says Top 15 will be proven after AAA Whitley improves, Urquidy & Abreu accrue service time, these young pitchers listed below dominate, and Astros ink Cuban, Pedro Leon in June (and possibly, Oscar Colás).

        Here’s an example:
        Astros#6, Cristian Javier vs Top ranked Padres#6, Adrian Morejon
        One cost $10,000, still a healthy Starter; the other $11 million!, relegated to pen.
        Who do you think gets more publicity?

        The Astros develop much better, and draft to complement the team.
        Do ranking services account for that?

        A thorough look at Years 2022-2025
        McCullers re-signs 4/yrs, through Greinke and JV contracts.

        Top of Rotation Potential
        McCullers, Whitley, Abreu, Solis, Brown (5)

        Middle Rotation Expected
        Urquidy, James, Ivey, Garcia, Conine, Solomon (6)

        Backend Rotation
        Valdez, Bielak, Dubin, Henley, Sanabria, JP Lopez (6)

        *100 MPH Club*
        Paredes, Torres, JA Rivera, Hansen, Macaure, M. Ramirez (6)

        Bullpen Specialists
        Pruitt, Armenteros, Sneed, Nivaldo, Cionel, Taylor, McKee, Garza, Bellozo, J. Lopez, Gusto, Cobos, Collado, Scrubb, Daniels, Bermudez, Robaina, Adcock, Castellanos, Gayle, Freure, Jimenez, Molero, Caballos (24)

        (Notables not listed; Schroeder, Deason, Ruppenthal, Mushinski, Donato, France, McDonald, Ferrell, Pinales, Deetz, Blanco, N. Hernandez, Cabral, Billingsley, Conn, Palmer, Tokar, De Paula, Dickey, Pereira, Beltre, Melendez)

        By then, we will have drafted a few more pitchers, and/or traded for ML-ready. Either event, this farm system allows in-house help on the way; and prospect trade value galore.

        Like

  21. Sticking to baseball:
    11. I sincerely believe it will be more important to the team for Bregman to hit .300 than have Altuve get 100 RBIs. The Astros have a lot of RBI guys in their lineup. I want to see Altuve be the BA champ again.
    12. I would rather see the Astros beat the Dodgers in the WS.
    13. I would rather have Gurriel’s hairdo in my house. The guy had to spend his whole life in Castro’s Cuba. Who am I to judge his display of freedom? Bagwell’s beard is just bad.
    14. I would rather see Osuna get 90% of his saves because that scenario does not limit his number of total saves. The other scenario limits LMJ’s innings and I am not in favor of that. After 18 months of rehab I am ready to see McCullers free to pitch every fifth day. Limiting his innings has done no good in the past. His elbow is rebuilt. It is time to see if he can be a starter to whom you can hand the ball when his turn comes around.
    15. Mike Fiers.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. 1. bury them
    2. springer have the best season he has ever had
    3. josh james
    4. well i am on record saying baker is a place holder, but i dont think hinch will be back after only one year
    5. as long as they beat him each time they play i dont care how it happens
    6. brantley
    7. correa (to make daveb happy)
    8. Yordan!
    9. bullpen
    10. full crowds, bring em on
    11. bregman
    12. dodgers and hear em whine
    13. Yuli’s hair.
    14. osuna – that would mean 40 saves or more
    15. taubman. hinch and luhnow made bad mistakes. taubman revealed himself as an ass

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Zack Greinke is unbelievably efficient so far today (or the Marlins have no patience). He used 6 pitches to get out of the first inning facing 4 guys and giving up a hit. In the second inning he used 4 pitchers facing 4 guys and giving up a hit. He has thrown 10 pitches / 10 strikes through 2 innings.

    Like

  24. Red Sox ace Chris Sale is going for a second opinion on his aching elbow. Sale had platelet rich plasma back in August and no surgery in the off-season. Maybe it is the wrong impression, but it feels like those who get the platelet rich plasma end up having to have more done later.

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  25. When??? Will the media get it…..Zack Greinke absolutely HATES to talk to them!
    Remember when he had to talk to the large scrum of reporters when we were playing in the World Series….he said 47 words and got up and walked out!!
    My opinion only…but he shows me that he is borderline autistic. I feel for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He left baseball for a year in ’06, battling depression and social anxiety.

      Last year in the Yankees series, several fans were ejected for taunting him while warming up, calling him names and making remarks about his mother. Not his first rodeo, Greinke said he didn’t hear it.

      He seems to feed off Chandler Rome, and McTaggart, because they always ask about the pitch type he’s been working on. Recently, the slider.

      Like

  26. This continual sitting of YA brings up Tony Oliva in my mind. I sure hope he can get it worked out. Someplace I saw a report of “no structural damage.” I took that to mean there was nothing the doctors could find.

    Like

  27. Yordan played in 88 regular season games in 2017, 90 in 2018 and 143 in 2019. Then he appeared in 18 post season games. Of course he spent very little time on the field once with the Astros, he did a whole lot more base running in 2019 than at any time in his brief career. The knee issues are not new. We all have to hope it’s not a chronic thing.

    Like

    • Wouldn’t surprise me if he has some sort of early onset arthritis/myalgia. It’s becoming more common even in 20-somethings these days. As you eluded to, and according to Sparks, he dealt with knee issues before the foul ball last yr that sidelined him for over a week. It’s starting to make sense why he sat out of some AAA games, looking back.

      50 HR — imagine how good he could be without that pain?

      If it is some kind of chronic condition, he will have to make sure to have a clean diet forward. Recently, a retired player was asked what he’d have changed over his career. He said, “I would have had a personal chef.”

      Regarding Tony Oliva, I believe he was a Gold Glove and he also had surgery on his knee eight times (removing cartilage), caused by an inherent physical deformity.

      Like

  28. Looks like I was one day too early on the story, Devin!

    Yankees vent to players’ union over lack of in-game video in wake of Astros sign-stealing scandal.

    “Right now, the MLB proposal would just completely be like a blackout, there’d be no access to that so that’s a pretty extreme stance…because of one team that everyone else is punished.”

    https://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-zack-britton-in-game-live-video-union-astros-sign-stealing-scandal-20200305-5x67dyeijnalhhh5xaizkitgda-story.html

    My next prediction, the Astros will be blamed for the coronavirus ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Speaking of Greinke and social anxiety – I see this through the lens of my youngest son, who has Asperger’s, depression, and social anxiety.
    My son does well with people he is comfortable with – like his family – and struggles in a public setting. There are a lot of short answers from him, except… if you hit on a topic he has a lot of interest in addressing.
    Folks like this are going to be different. We see a lot of this in the engineering world – awkward, brilliant people. They are almost always well worth the effort of getting to know, but you can’t force it.
    I only hope for the best with Zack and hope he finds a comfort level with his teammates.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rome was pushing that narrative with Zach last week, asking him if he felt more comfortable around the team this season. His answer was, ‘guys are looser in the Spring.’ I recall thinking in yrs’ past how Springer was extra upbeat in Spring, but you could see a real difference in his game face once the season begins. Tells me Greinke after all, does have that wherewithal.

      Baseball blog, humor me for one moment? Segue to Bregman’s charity..
      On that note, Dan, the rise in autism spectrum in the last 20 years has been alarming! Many say we have a name for it, whereas before we didn’t, which really doesn’t explain it away for me. I believe in *majority* cases, it is more enviromental than solely genetic predisposition. One of my facebook follows is a woman in Bastrop named Christina Schmidt, who has devoted her life to the cause (having a daughter soldiering through it). She is 100% convinced vaccines were the direct reason, having watched after heavy dosing the deterioration of her child, and she posts case after case of testimony from parents who have reversed their initial beliefs too. It is quite compelling, and gets very little attention til it hits an actor (DeNiro), or Senator (Dan Burton, IN) with the same questions. One in 59 children is the current stat in the US.

      If you decide to share it, have you ever tried to “get to the bottom” of your son’s condition? Just curious. Based on your comments about your your son, btw, he seems quite gifted with insight. As is Greinke.

      My post wasn’t meant to be controversial. I rather enjoy Greinke’s (and Morton’s) uniqueness.

      Like

  30. And …..Collin McHugh signs with the Red Sox for one year – contract starts at $600 K but could go up to $3.6 MM depending on some fairly achievable bonuses based on days on the 26 man roster and innings pitched

    Like

    • McHugh is a guy I had a longstanding debate about. Literally, last season I argued with the editor that he should be a reliever first, and work up to Starter innings. I wrote last March, give him 5 starts and then re-evaluate. It was exactly 5 starts, and then he started experiencing the IL symptoms. I wrote the same thing in off season of 2017, that he went on the DL with “dead arm” to allow Peacock not to be DFA’d. Someone replied that wasn’t true because Astros would have just optioned Feliz (which was a good point).

      Still, McQ has been shuttling back and forth for 3 years! Rather convenient for a guy with no options … when he started struggling on the mound, if ya ask me. What do you want to bet BOS does the same thing, and why his contract is structured that way.

      dave mentioned his gardening, which I actually never knew about. After listening to all his podcasts, thought I knew everything about him. As involved as he is in player salaries (arbitration), I always thought he’d work in a Front Office, or as a Player Rep eventually. Very smart guy!

      Like

      • I’m following with great interest my friend’s son who was traded there in the Betts deal. Conner Wong (U of H grad) is in a much better situation, than in the Dodgers system. Far as I can see, he only has to beat out Juan Centeno now in AAA Pawtucket to get a call up.

        Like

  31. GoStros –
    This whole situation with autism and especially with the brilliant end of the spectrum is worth talking about. When it comes to getting to the bottom of it – the truth is that there could be varied explanations for why there has been an apparent explosion in our modern world:
    – I can tell you – looking back at my engineering fraternity – that there have always been undiagnosed Aspies walking around. But I guarantee you there has never been as many as there are now.
    – I believe there is a genetic component. When our son was diagnosed and we started attending support group meetings it was very striking that so many of the parents (one or both) had technical or high end educational backgrounds. Engineers. Chemists. Physicists. Researchers. Doctors. Etc. In fact you would often talk to these people and go – that parent of a kid with Asperger’s has it themselves.
    – My wife and I wonder about the vaccination component here. We have 4 sons and our youngest is the one who has this and he also – according to my wife – received a lot more vaccinations at a young age or more at the same time. It makes you wonder
    – We also wonder about the modern food chain. Is there stuff in our diets that breech into the brain? Many of the kids with this that we met had food sensitivities.
    In the end, I’m not sure there is one answer here. It is quite possible it has a genetic base – but it might lay dormant except for a triggering event like the vaccinations or perhaps years of eating certain foods.
    As far as getting to the bottom – my son has told me he does not want to be cured. He believes that the Asperger’s makes him who he is.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Excellent comment, thank you. Didn’t know how it would be taken, but it’s something we’ve felt very strongly about with our kids — opting out of vaccines and building natural immunity. Anecdotally, our kids would go an entire Summer with no issues, and first week back at school bringing back “a cold.” Come to find out, kids receiving vaccines “shed” for a week, while most directions inserts inside the shots now have heavy warnings (may cause autism, etc .); even being shielded from lawsuits, the gov’t creating a vaccine court to pay these billion dollar cases out. Privately, of course.

      I am not an epidemiologist, so I can only go by the myriad of doctors weighing in. I lean toward those who don’t have a financial interest.

      Definitely the food component, in terms of crossing the blood brain barrier, pesticides attaching to heavy metals (thimerosal) and causing innumerable gastro issues cropping up. I am happy to see you have an awareness of this narrative. It saddens me to see citizens hostile toward one another over these very personal family decisions. It’s not our fault! You go down to the store to buy an apple, assuming it’s just fine.

      I was the tin foil hat 8 years ago begging to label foods, go organic, all that. Now, it’s par for the course…and Whole Foods is a giant overnight.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dan, I admire your family for you strength in dealing with this. I have a son who was tested for autism and Asperger’s but they were inconclusive but he definitely exhibits the signs of Apergers. It’s had to understand him when he basically fails to engage in conversations, has no desire to interact with others, and is pretty much a loner in his life. He’s still living here with me when he told me he didn’t want to live with his mother anymore at 16. I too wander how this came about as he had allergies and some other early childhood issues. I often think about the food side of things too as with all the hormones that go into our food supply to grow bigger and faster chickens, cows, pigs, etc., if it does not have an adverse effect on the children eating it. The brain is a sensitive organ and it doesn’t take much to make it go haywire. I’ve always felt that we all have certain susseptabilities in our systems and it only takes a certain catalyst to set things in motion.
      The more I hear about Greinke, the more I respect him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Eloquent comments here and I do not disagree with specifics on either side. All I want to say is we’ve got diseases today we have to stay up nights thinking up names for. Something where a young child ages in front of your eyes in a matter of months? Yep, we’ve got it. A disease that takes your mind by dribs and drabs? Got that, and could add lists more. Even in my youth, “cancer” was so rare as to be whispered or unspoken. John Wayne acknowledged he had the “Big C” and that was considered bold. In my opinion, we are under attack, plain and simple, by an enemy with a capital “E.” I understand not everybody agrees with that and certainly not everyone wants to hear it. But for some people, it would help if they did. And for those like your son, seeing good come out of it, that is exactly how the Father promised He would work.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Well said, Diane.
        Funny, I was just reading about John Wayne the other day, too. It touched on that subject. Of course he drank like a fish and smoked 3 packs a day. And he never worked past noon on a movie set. He needed the rest of the day to drink.
        Makes ya wonder why we (the public) put these men on a pedastool, much like baseball players.

        Like

    • It’s an interesting topic, but I think we’re a couple generations away from being able to have a truly constructive investigation and conversation on it. I have one son on the spectrum. While I have my own suspicions, I will say that much like comparing hitters from different eras in baseball, you have to also compare the ages we live in. First, they won’t give you a diagnosis of Asperger’s anymore, but rather say you’re part of the ASD. To be on the spectrum you must test positive for 5 behavioral markers. There is no genetic test for autism at this time. Over the last two decades the criteria for diagnosis and different names that diagnosis could be given have grown and shrunk as the white coats seek to refine it. Second, the stimuli in the world around us have exploded like never before. I wish my kids could have the same experiences I had growing up…but there world has changed. For some people it’s for the better. For a number of others it’s for the worse. Regardless of your political affiliation, I hope everyone keeps this in mind when you head to the polls later this year. If your political candidates of choice or current representatives do not share you’re desired level of compassion, please voice your opinions to them. There are a lot of people who will need our help in the coming years.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. One thing that seems like a direct link is all these horrible peanut allergies. I’d never heard of them until about 10 years ago. I found out, that is what some vaccines were tested with. Peanuts!

    Like

    • But, of course, we did not score any runs anyway. Scoring runs is . . . well, it is just so – 2017-19! This is a new day – and not working so hard, running around the bases and all, is how we have decided to roll in 2020.

      Like

    • The great national tragedy is over – Tucker’s bat being held hostage at the Iranian embassy ….. I think I’m getting my decades confused here

      Like

  33. I think we have found our new adverstising theme for the 2020 season. No more ‘the Good Guys’. Not a whisper of ‘Take it Back’. Our theme this year appears to be: ‘No offense . . .’

    Like

  34. I know this might make some people mad – but this quote from a Cubs – Ranger game from former Astro pitcher/announcer Jim Deshaies is just so Jimmy D I had to laugh….
    “I was going to suggest the Astros, with all the booing, could wear earplugs. But if you do that, you can’t hear the trash can.”

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Following along with this subject I thought I would give you an update on my grandson Tanner. He’s in the 10 grade now!!! Time flies , especially since most of you have been walking beside me with his prognosis. Tanner has a large tumor on his hypothalamus, and he knows if it were to start growing again he WILL be going on chemo again. The doctors have been very frank with him about this…..he knows the challenges ahead of him, and for his mom and dad as well. He got his drivers license in December, and is a very responsible driver.
    He makes me nervous….but I’m a nervous ninny when ANY of my grandchildren are at the wheel of a car!
    Tanner had a brain tumor removed last summer, it was contained and was located in the back of his skull. He never took any medication for pain, only two Tylenol in the hospital.
    Now….I will tell you about Tanner’S problem that we have known for several years now. He will not let us hug him, or kiss his cheek because he has the same problem as Greinke has…Tanner is on the light side of a savant. He has been tested to death and he knows about this as well. He’s on the wrestling team in high school, and has been able to make friends. We are over the moon for him because he has had a very hard time making friends. He has been welcomed on this team and he is thriving! We have no idea where life will take him, but I know he will Excell at it.
    The tumor on his hypothalamus can NOT be removed surgically…the location would leave him unable to speak or function, that’s why the only option is chemotherapy.
    I can’t thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers for him…..the prayers have worked for him, and for me as well! So you see not every family is perfect, but every family who has a challenged child would not trade that child for a million dollars because that child is perfect!
    *Tucker hit a *HOMERUN! Good for you young man you need to hit *50* more!!

    Liked by 4 people

  36. I want to thank everyone who has shared about their “special” kids and grandkids. It shows just how pervasive this is. I did want to agree with Devin that they have changed the Asperger’s call out to on the ASD spectrum – I think for medical coverage reasons as much as anything. I still use Aspie because I think it more closely follows where my son is at.
    I hope you all pray for all the kids and the caretakers who are trying to help them find their ways. I do ask you to pray for my son Ryan. Along with the anxiety and the awkwardness he is battling a number of physical problems too.
    We have been chasing one of his problem for years, which is that he could not stand for any period of time without getting sick to his stomach. All sorts of doctors looked at him (based on their specialties) and found nothing conclusive. Finally, a geneticist looked at him and said that he had dysautonomia. Our autonomic system controls functions that happen automatically – such as adjusting your blood pressure when you stand. When Ryan stands his BP dives and his pulse rate goes up. We just had him have a tilt table test and they found that when he goes from supine to standing – his pulse rate goes up to 150 and stays there – like he’s running dashes – until he sits down. We now have new meds to try on him and hopefully it will help him function going forward and not spending his life looking for a bench to sit on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Dan and others, I really feel for you guys.
      As mentioned, I see so much of this on Christina’s FB page.

      On Devin’s comment, trying to be careful pushing any politics here (not appropriate, and all), but Christina has brought awareness for me of this doctor, who feels so strongly he’s running for Senate. His videos and crusade have been enlightening.

      V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, who helped to take mandatory vaccines off the NJ laws. https://www.facebook.com/va.shiva.ayyadurai/photos/p.2587229351333567/2587229351333567/?type=1&theater

      Again, I do apologize if this causes a rift. I am not advocating anything exclusively — I try to keep an open mind. And enjoy reading your comments on many subjects covered on Chipalatta.

      Like

      • Bingo.

        And according to my buddy who played in MIL with the pitcher who was at NYY (I posted before and have forgotten his name), the Yanks manager stopped scheduling him for home games. That city can turn in a New York Minute on you!

        Like

      • That’s the one.

        One other thing Matt Maysey told me about that MIL team was Robin Yount was everything you ever heard about him. Total class act.

        Like

  37. Good pitching day so far for the Astros through 8 innings

    Josh James – 3 IP / 0 runs / 1 hit/ 0 walks/ 2 Ks
    Framber Valdez – 2 IP / 0 runs / 1 hit / 0 walks / 2 Ks
    Bryan Abreu – 2 IP / 0 runs / 2 hits / 0 walks / 4 Ks
    Cy Sneed – 1 IP / 0 runs / 1 hit / 0 walks / 1 K

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bryan Abreu is an absolute stud!

      And I’m tellin’ ya, the day Hinch was fired (Baker hired), it was the best thing that could happen to Framber Valdez. I have no proof, but I just always felt like Framber was fighting an uphill battle with AJ. Never heard Hinch drop anyone in the grease more than with the young southpaw. When Mike Trout says he has the some of the best stuff he’s ever seen, one might want to listen.

      And Op called it 3 years ago!

      Liked by 2 people

  38. And Blake Taylor (picked up in the Marisnick trade) finishes off the shutout for the Astros with a shut out inning with no hits and one walk.

    I think it was Baker?? who told Framber he should do like Fernando Valenzuela used to do and step off the mound and get composed when he is having control problems.

    James, Valdez and Abreu all have big league arms and if they can get their brains and emotions in line with their talent that would bode well for 2020.

    Like

    • A great game for a lot of our youngsters today. I had to follow on radio/Gameday since it wasn’t on MLB.TV. Very promising for Tucker and the pitching staff. But I’m concerned about Jones and Stubbs today who went 1 for 3 and 1 for 2 but saw their batting average drop (not).

      Like

    • Great news for the Astros to have Cionel Perez, Framber Valdez, Blake Taylor as lefties in the system. My choice would have been to get Braves, Thomas Burrows, for free when they left him unprotected in R5, but alas, that is why Luhnow was GM, and not me.

      Really, I was just mad Brodie took advantage of us in the JD Davis trade, and assumed he did it again with Jake. But the other kid we acquired is actually decent, too. Kenedy Corona.

      Like

  39. Dan it was Dusty Baker who told Framber about Franando Valensuela when he was a young pitcher. Framber said that talk helped him a lot. Josh James and Framber are both making the case for the 5th guy in the rotation. Today it looked like BOTH were doing that very thing. I really hope Josh wins that coin toss. Becky⚾

    Like

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