Again here is some discussion fodder from mlb.com…..
In a quick summary, this is how this article ranked the top 10 lineups heading into 2020.
- LA Dodgers
- Minnesota Twins
- Houston Astros
- New York Yankees
- Oakland A’s
- NY Mets
- Chicago White Sox
- Chicago Cubs
- Boston Red Sox
- LA Angels
- It is hard to argue against the Dodgers being on top of this list as they were a top 5 offensive team last season and have added Mookie Betts, who won the AL MVP in 2018 and was in the top 10 in 2019. Along with this addition, Betts would be expected to be playing his best as he hits the Free Agent market after 2020.
- Minnesota set a major league record for home runs in 2019 and so to plug that “weakness” they added Josh Donaldson, who hit 37 HRs last season. Of course, home runs are not the be all end all…..
- The Yankees have to be considered a sleeping giant here. They were third in the majors in OPS in 2019 despite Giancarlo Stanton having only 59 ABs and Aaron Judge having only 378 ABs. Supposedly, these two gigantors, who have been battling injuries will be ready to go with this delayed start to the season, along with Aaron Hicks, who had also been injured. Of course, the question is….how long will they stay on the field.
- The A’s are a young dangerous club, which the Astro saw a number of times over the course of last season. Now whether that is sustainable or whether they will do like many young teams and regress a bit after a big year is to be seen.
- It feels wrong that the Red Sox, who were the best hitting team in the majors in 2018 (thank you Alex Cora) has sunk down to #9. Of course, Betts is gone and so is Alex (can banger) Cora, so I guess they are expecting a down season.
- I would not have picked off the top of my head, either the Mets or the White Sox for this list. But the Chisox have added Edwin Encarnacion to veteran banger Jose Abreu and a trio of exciting youngsters in Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez. And the Mets are building around insane young slugger Pete Alonso, along with Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil and J.D. Davis (who?).
So where does this leave the Astros? Well interestingly, the Astros led the majors in 2019 in weighted runs created (WRC+), which the author thinks is so important that it is the only stat he quotes by name in this article. But he does not put them in the first or second spot in this ranking. Now whether that is because he believes the Dodgers and Twins have improved that much or if he just can’t give the “cheaters” their due….it is unclear. But here are some reasons that the team’s offense could be better in 2020 (in a much smaller 60 game sample).
- More Carlos Correa. He played in 1/2 the games in 2019 and if he could sustain his performance level for, say 55 games that would be a boost.
- More George Springer. He missed a quarter of the season in 2019, but when he did play he was the best he has been in his career.
- More of the good Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel. Yuli’s slash before the All Star Game was .277 BA/ .314 OBP/ .796 OPS and post – ASG was .326 BA/.382 OBP/ 1.005 OPS. Jose’s slash before the ASG was .262 BA/ .328 OBP/ .781 OPS and after ASG was .325 BA/ .372 OBP/ .995 OPS. So, if those two can continue their second-half success.
- More Kyle Tucker and less Josh Reddick. Tucker and Reddick had similar BAs and OBPs, but Tucker showed a lot more power and speed in his second bite of the apple.
- More Yordan Alvarez. This may be a bit problematic depending on when Alvarez is allowed to join the team and how his knee is doing, but remember a lot of the DH ABs before he was called up last season were sucked up by Tyler White. So….there is definitely room for improvement.
- More Myles Straw and no Jake Marisnick. Straw and his .378 OBP is just a taaaaaaad better than JFSF’s .289 OBP. So the 4th OF spot could be a nice spot for a spark to this lineup.
- Alex Bregman hitting his prime. Entering his fifth season with the Astros – Bregman is only 26 years old. He has yet to start a season on fire but has put up great numbers the last two seasons despite that. It feels like he will hit the ground running for the first time to date.
So, these are just some of the reasons the Astros may be a bit of an offensive juggernaut this season and could be the best offense in the majors this year. What do you think?
Astros’ intra squad baseball at 5:45 on Facebook and Twitter!!!
Beat me to it, Sarge!
Have you seen a lineup, my friend?
No sir, I have not.
I saw there was going to be one, when I was reading this morning, and had been hunting Facebook all day for the info.
The Astros should be #1 on this list. As you so eloquently stated, the writer cannot give the “cheaters” their due.
Thanks for the info sargeh
GoStros you were asking about the Sprinsteen article – it was by Joe Posnanski
And I hope you can still find a way to tune into FB. Crazy you’d have to have an account to see it. It may be on twitter too though (no idea).
Don’t shoot messenger, but this is very disconcerting on MLB!
“Alvarez was hampered by a sore left knee last season and into the spring, and general manager James Click said last week that Alvarez was still having an issue while working out in Florida during the break.”
I sure hope he can have a Tony Oliva-type career before he experiences chronic issues. This will definitely relegate him to bat only in the short run. Imagine him exiting every 7th inning once on base for Straw? That sort of thing…
Well, that is disconcerting! He should undergo corrective surgery this upcoming offseason for certain!
Hope is it’s not degenerative, and Astros haven’t said much.
They (Sparks) leaked in off season he was in a lot of pain we didn’t know about in ’19. Probably to do with *some* of his slumping.
Javier on the Hill!
Got Reddick on 1 pitch roller to 1B
And K’d Bregman.
Really hi on Cristian Javier! Like more than most
WOW! he just elevated a fastball and totally whiffed Gurriel.
Still no score.
Framber enduced two fly balls to Springer and Altuve — fairly deep but routine.
Then gets Brantley to ground up the middle, where Jack Mayfield had him positioned perfectly.
0-0 clean innings.
Springer just threw a ball into the plate from Center and he walks off shaking his throwing elbow…
George is ok. He is back in and just made a throw.
Watching the twitter broadcast without any sound is kind of strange. But apparently, there is crowd noise being supplied by MMP:
Also, Josh James did not report yet because his daughter was born.
Valdez gave up a hit, then a ball hit back to him and he throws the ball away at second. Then gives up a run.
Devenski in. He looks THIN!!!
Typical Framber inning, where you get to see it all.
Including no runs.
Stubbs had a nice hit oppo field.
Framber threw a great changeup to Correa got him swinging, then served up a beach ball for a routine single into CF (some highlights so far).
Shaver and McCormich both K’d, but got some action.
Devo is channeling his old skateboarder days.
Letting his hair fly!
Faces Bregs to begin the 3rd, fly ball to RF
Gurrile GO to Capt Correa
Wow great effort by McCormick diving on a fading shot by Maldy. Inches out of his grasp. Tucker up to try and drive him home 1-1 so far
Bielak took the 3rd and only gave up a hit to my guy, Dustin Garneau.
Still 1-1 Devo takes another inning, facing the pride of Jim Stevenson, Undrafted Jack Mayfield
Thanks guys for keeping us up to date on this “game”
Springer goes DEEP against Bielak.
Bags 2 – Bidge 1
Bregs with a two run jack!
Nick Tanielu with a bomb! 4 – 2 Biggio
Looks like it is done. 8 1/2 innings and the visitors, Biggio, beat the home team, Bagwell, by the score of 5 – 2.
Lots of positive signs, lots of guys most general fans don’t see much of.. couple I want to shout out.
Jake Meyers CF ripped a double down the 3rd base line. I really like this kid, got a great glove!
Brandon Bailey gave up the shot to Tanielu, but he looked very good. Surprised the O’s are loaded enough to return him.
Blake Taylor settled down after looking nervous.
Michael Papierski is a guy that was lost in catcher shuffle. In the offseason, it’s reported he worked on hitting with LSU/bregs hitting coach. They say Papierski is absolutely ready defensively.
Abreu showed why he’s so close but still missing fastball command to secure a rotation spot.
Framber was usual self. Great pitch followed by a bone head play. it does look like he’s refined that changeup, though. That’s going to be a weapon.
Straw looked real good, and so did Tucker again! Those two are going to push the starters.
Stubbs looks the part and I’ll say again — Garneau, very poised.
The Yordan news is still heavy though. Losing him in 2020 obviously would be a game changer. Pure speculation — If he were to have surgery today, he still might not be ready OD 2021. Very concerned!
We also placed Dubin and two others on IL today
I’m worried about AC45, hope he’s ok.
I’ve reached out to AC45 – will let y’all know when/if I hear from him
New daddy Josh James is back and is supposed to have been built up to 75-80 pitch level
You have to wonder if the teams are using the COVID situation to not report on injuries. Legally they cannot report on illnesses without the players’ permission – but they have always reported that so and so is on the injured list with a strained lat or whatever……
Maybe all these guys are ill – or maybe not but we don’t know.
If Alvarez can’t go, you move Brantley to DH and Tucker to LF and go with that lineup. Still one of the best in baseball.
It seems like everyone but Astros fans want to talk about the Astros lineup like they are all going to lay down.
And I’m not one of those. We still have a great lineup without Yordan. Lots of guys are waiting to get their swings in; Toro, Diaz, Stubbs, Tucker could all take some ab’s.
Brantley would be an awesome DH.
Secretly, would that drive his price down to say, 12M a year? If so, I’d be willing to talk about 2 years.
Otherwise, it’s time to cut the kids loose and let ’em play!
The boys are on Facebook once again!
Yep, JV and LMJ again.
No score in Lance’s frame.
Not to rub it in, if you’re not watching but this is fun stuff!
Correa just made an incredible diving play and threw out Gurriel.
JV is dealing again. What a great match up, Tucker got to face him. Watch strike one inside. Swung decently at high and outside cheese at 97. Then, JV didn’t back down, threw another 4-seam and Tucker hit it hard but fly-out to shallow Brantley.
My guy Garneau comes up and crushes a ball to deep center, and Chas McCormick ran it down. He also tweaked something (think he might be out a few days?)
Correa starts off next inning gets down 2 strikes to McCullers, then drills a hit passed Mayfield who doesn’t quite have the same reach for a base hit.
Jake Meyers out in CF, Mady hits a lazy one out there, Correa still on, 2 outs. keep in mind on Meyers, he was a HS pitcher too. Big arm.
Big Taylor Jones up! Ropes first pitch into shallow LF.
Nick T up, lays off a really good late action slider 1ft off plate. Next pitch is a laser cutter or slider that’s 5 mph faster and Tanielu gives nice chase. 1-1 delivered right at Nick’s hip, forces him off plate. The two exchange a look, and Nick says something to Garneau, they laugh. 2-1 is another laser and Nick is on it — fortunately Astros had Mayfield perfectly to put Jones out at 2B.
JV starts next inning with 1-2-3 K of Mayfield, cut him to shreds. The 2nd pitch was a curve started at Jack’s shoulder, froze him and floated in center cut.
Proceeds to do the same to Ronnie Dawson.
Thanks guys – I found that I can watch this even though I don’t have a Facebook account – I googled Astros Facebook – went to that page and there was the game playing in the middle of the screen. Nice though I do enjoy your written commentary
Whitley getting ready to pitch
How ’bout that, Dan?
Got Bregman to watch 2 strikes, then popped him up.
Whitley doesn’t quite have the poise, but you can see the octane and know the arsenal is full.
I liked the placement on some of those pitches to Meyers and Bregman – low/outside corner – nicely placed.
I thought you might be able to, good.
Woo Hoo! Whitley
If someone wants to watch this – it is at
The nice thing is if you move your mouse across the video you can see a bar below it and drag it backwards and watch earlier stuff.
Biagini is a trade candidate.
For some reason, Astros really think he has something they can unleash.
I don’t see it. I’d rather Armenteros & Sneed take his spot, but they are still starters.
I should clarify that I’m guessing these guys are signed who made the 60-man.
Otherwise, we could walk away from his $1.5M we owe Biagini.
I’m not real sure how how those who are on 60-man are paid if they never play?
Or if guys like Conine or Garcia if they lose that year of control?
Yep, Biagini is a gas can.
In answer to GoStros – AC45 checked in with me – said everything is fine – needed a bit of a hiatus from commenting, but says he shall be back like the Terminator when the season starts…..
I’d prefer if AC comes back like Terminator 2.
A good guy.
Just want to leave with a thought before bedtime.
A catcher today when Whitley was pitching put down the “5” sign. Yes, he has that kind of arsenal, including three different moving fastballs.
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From Mark Berman on Twitter:
Brad Peacock: Right shoulder inflammation
Ryan Pressly: Right index finger blister
Austin Pruitt: Right elbow inflammation. All three day-to-day
Joe Smith has decided to opt out this season…..though the article incorrectly says Josh James has not reported yet
This isn’t correct either, Dan. Bowden has put the brakes on that report.
Joe Smith and fam are still discussing it. Probably to do with his Huntington’s, and quite honestly — he earned that payday, and likely wants to cash it in. My money is on his return.
So, I have some of the sweetest music to share with the group.
This. Is Pedro Leon!
And here is the revised story reflecting that Smith is not a done deal
That Pedro Leon kid looks like a full grown Yordan Alvarez “Man”. Below the story you sent – the first comment was “Imagine how he would hit the ball if he knew what was coming”.
Yes, he’s a beautiful sight!
I’m already salivating, bristling, trying to fit him into the 2021 roster and gameplan.
Currently putting together the new Astros Top 50, which will include the latest draftees.
If I had to guess … when Leon arrives in January, he’ll be in the Top 7. By then, we will have graduated Urq, Toro, Abreu, Whitley, Stubbs, Armenteros, Blake Taylor, and a few others.
As for thse silly comments — the longer fans (and Front Offices) play the victim card, the longer the prize eludes them for not carving out their own destiny. As the visionaries have said, “when the enemy is messing up, don’t get in their way.” Something like that.
Hmmm…60-game season. Possibly a .400 hitter? Hardly legit, but at least we can say it happened in our lifetime.
I’m thinking that most teams are going to need that 60-man squad before the season concludes.
I’m not too phased by av crowd-less regular season, but a crowd-less playoffs and WS are gonna be weird!
Astros have announced another intrasquad game for Thursday.
Dan and I can try our newfound access source to seek out and partake in the presentation of this stimulating activity on the morrow.
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I will be checking in – any idea on what time it will be up sarge?
Meanwhile, I have a new post coming soon….
I do not have the times yet. The announcement was in Brian McTaggart’s piece, yesterday, on the MLB website. The piece was about JV and McCullers seeing benefits in the intrasquad scrimmage. Taggart wrote, ” The Astros had planned to place a runner at second base to start an inning during Tuesday’s intrasquad game but had to cut it short because of lack of pitching. Tied games this year will begin with a runner at second base in the 10th inning. Baker said the team will attempt to practice that situation in the next scheduled intrasquad game on Thursday.”