Dusty Baker is pretty smart

While most of the Astros’ fandom is concerned about the outfield situation with George Springer, Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick all joining the free agent market, Manager Dusty Baker showed the kind of wisdom you expect from someone who has been around the majors for about 50 years as a player, coach and manager.

Dusty Baker on Astros’ pitching search | Houston Astros (mlb.com)

He is concerned most about pitching heading into his second season as the Astros manager and who could blame him. Sure, he is also concerned about the potential holes in the outfield, but he knows you can never have enough pitching. His one season with the Astros proved that…

  • The Astros lost co-ace Gerrit Cole, Will Harris, Hector Rondon and Collin McHugh to free agency before the 2020 season ever began
  • Justin Verlander. the 2019 Cy Young stud pitched 6 innings for the 2020 Astros before being shut down and eventually lining up to miss the 2021 season due to Tommy John surgery
  • Roberto Osuna. The Astros closer only pitched in 4 games due to injury
  • Brad Peacock. The swingman deluxe only pitched in 3 games due to injury
  • Josh James as supposed to be in the rotation, started two games, was moved to the bullpen, pitched poorly, spent a few weeks on the injured list and pitched a bit better down the stretch
  • Joe Smith. key leverage guy out of the bullpen opted out of pitching in 2020 due to family concerns and COVID
  • Jose Urquidy. was likely going to pitch out of the third or fourth spot in the rotation missed the first month and a half of a short season likely due to COVID.
  • Austin Pruitt. was signed to compete for the 5th spot in the rotation or be a swingman out of the bullpen never threw a pitch for the big team due to injury

And of course, Dusty now faces 2021 with Osuna, Peacock and Chris Devenski all likely gone as free agents (if the first two are healthy enough to pitch at all) and Verlander missing the season on the mend.

Sure, the Astros had strong contributions from unexpected places in 2020. Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier were the best two starters they had. Brandon Bielak (half time) and Luis Garcia made some solid starts, too. Brooks Raley, Blake Taylor, Enoli Paredes, and Andre Scrubb came out of nowhere (well Raley came from Cincinnati, which I think is near nowhere) to make notable contributions out of the bullpen.

Baker has been around long enough to know a few things. One is that even when you have five solid starters on paper (Zack Greinke, Lance McCullers Jr., Valdez, Javier, and Urquidy), that you will need more options for the rotation in a 162 game season. He realizes that there is no guarantee that the relievers, who filled in well for small (20 or so innings) samples, will not regress, will not be figured out and will not break down.

So rightfully, he would like to see some veteran help for both the rotation and the bullpen. He really is not saying that he doesn’t trust Ryan Pressly to be his shutdown closer, but I am sure he would be quite happy if he could wave in Pressly in the 8th inning and Liam Hendriks in the 9th.

Dusty Baker is pretty smart. He knows that pitching depth butters his bread.


62 comments on “Dusty Baker is pretty smart

  1. I’d really like to see someone else close besides Pressley. When he was on it was great to watch. However, we were more than likely sitting on pins and needles every time he was handed the ball in those closing situations and there were even a few that weren’t. His stats bear this out as he has converted only 43% over his career. Last year was a little bit better at 75% but he’s not the guy I want to give the ball to in the 9th with a one run lead or tied. He’s 18 for 41 over his career.


  2. I’m pretty sure that the Astros are going to add a pitcher to add to the starting mix and a pitcher to add to the bullpen. I’m pretty sure they are going to have 3 or 4 more outfielders come spring training time plus another catcher.
    Wisdom has little to do with it. We are talking necessity here.


    • You’re right, had to go back and look at Callis.
      I think I had Nathan in top 30 briefly in 2018 when I didn’t think Ross Adolph or J Schroeder belonged, but admittedly Perry didn’t have a good year. Another one I think is in same boat this season is Joe Perez. They both need to shine through, and live up to their billing! Thanks for the heads-up.

      I’d still put CJ Stubbs ahead of him, but I don’t think Santana, Dawson or Matijevic belong as high on this list anyway. JJ had some drug problems, but that’s a kid who has really fallen off his collegiate reputation of a can’t miss bat.. it was interesting listening to Cody Deason talk about him at Arizona, and the coach that came over — forgotten who that was?

      This was a Jan 21, 2020 comment:
      Catcher Ranks
      1. Korey Lee ETA, 2022
      2. Garrett Stubbs Current 40-man
      3. Nathan Perry ETA 2022-23
      4. Colton Shaver ETA 2021-22 (defensive liability presently)
      5. CJ Stubbs 2022 (fringe for now)
      6/7/8. Lo Quintana/Juan Paulino/Oscar Campos R5 (fringe)

      [Think I’d slot Papierski in #3 right now, however.]

      Another two to watch for are Nerio Rodriguez, and Gerry Castillo.

      One of the interesting things in looking at FG/Roster Resource, the Astros have Angel Macuare org rank at #12! Even Manny Ramirez is #25. Awesome affirmations for these two pitchers.


  3. Baker did a great job with the bountiful crop & having a pulse on the bullpen, large part putting total trust in Strom to handle it. One of the things I was impressed with early on, he openly said he didn’t know much about the cards he was dealt. He seemed to find out real quick about the rookies we’ve been touting.

    Strom is BIG on giving credit to the polished product he’s spoonfed. So media is want to ask Baker all the time if he’s embracing the analytics, as if he’s acclimating. Really he draws on a ton of just Gut Experience, feeling the momentum and tides change, and having an idea of the game changers in the stable. Thing that’s changed in his lifetime, the radars and clocks will show what the eye will miss, and teams know when the negative begins immediately to make a move.

    Players executing always make, or break the Manager.

    This last year the teams that had their way with us in reg season, often, really showed me something — A’s and Angels turned a corner on us. SEA with Kyle Lewis. Padres were a FORCE when we faced them. Rays are just too smart, even after losing their entire, innovative FO.

    The Astros have been incalculably hamstrung by not only this parity scheme that makes middle market teams lose ground since we cannot keep spending, but we lose the ability to draft Correa Bregs and Springer by winning championships. What the Astros have done and is very little appreciated — that is, parlay a farm that is world class under Luhnow and Ocampo into the most elite to don the Uni. Cole JV Pressly Osuna Greinke McCann Alvarez all gotten by internal prospect trade pieces. Josh Fields was a Rule 5 pick from BOS!

    Just think of the ex-Astros strewn about the league. That is what James Click and Dusty Baker waltzed right in to. Guys like Charlie Cook, Pete Putila, Bill Murphy and Omar Lopez. You can see their fingerprint on the present unit.

    Dusty is awesome though. I admit my first reaction, thinking how far opposite JL we’ve gone was off base. Dusty has had a nice blend of current info and weaving into it a tough grit, letting his staff do their thing. Say what you want about Cintron picking a fight, or letting your catcher and shortstop run the field. Garneau went to the wall for our guys, Dusty was a big part of embuing that confidence to play the game hard.

    This has run too long, but can’t forget to add that he keeps young & alive by staying current with his son’s music/ sports in college. When asked early in season about Reddick Tucker battle that was ahead; Tucker was tearing up Spring Training, he said, “I’m going to give more credit to Josh for doing that later in the season.” Not killing his spirit, Dusty reminded Tucker of when Baker himself was a rookie and had to wait a year in AAA. He said, “I get it, so don’t worry. You hit, you play!” He also told Framber a Fernando Vallenzuela story, and helped that young man show the confidence on the hill that was a career changing year.

    Isn’t it intersting he’s now speaking from a position of *his choice* about managing beyond 2021, when most thought he’d be a filler?! It’s going to be awful odd seeing Hinch in DET, but life goes on ~gotta roll with the punches. Dusty is smooth like that, California vibe almost like he’s always on “Island Time,” dave. I suppose that’s what life becomes waiting on the grapes to grow…in order to sip the pleasures of the harvest.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. * As of this morning Spotrac shows there are only 72 open spots on major league rosters and Roster Resource shows about 275 remaining mlb free agents. There are going to be lots of minor league contracts given out before ST.
    * There are going to be lots of 7-day IL players in the minors this year, I’m thinking.
    *With every team in MLB having a Dominican Summer League team, I’m wondering how long it will take for MLB to work out some kind of “floating visa” agreement with the DR to allow major league teams to send minor league players from here to there and back on a temporary basis. It will have to be after the pandemic is over and each team will have to pour more resources into their facilities. Why doesn’t MLB have a minor league in Puerto Rico, where there are few such restrictions?


  5. I will admit this, I did not pay enough attention to how CJ Stubbs kicked ass after his promotion from rookie league to Quad Cities at the end of 2019, and GoStos1 did.
    Really anxious to see what he looks like after 2020 with all the chances he has had to work on his game.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We have talked a lot in the past about a Core Four, four players who you build the team around for years to come.
    We have Bregman and Altuve under contract four 4 years each. We have Tucker and Alvarez under team control for 5 years as well as Javier, Valdez and Urquidy under team control for 5 years and Whitley for as much as 6 years. We have a core.
    One of the interesting things about Sugarland as a AAA team is that their fans might just get to see Whitley and Verlander pitch for that team in the same year, though hopefully not at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • How about a dream scenario where Whitley pitches in front of a standing room only crowd in MMP in September and Verlander pitches in front of a standing room only crowd in Sugarland in a rehab start on the same night?


      • Dream a little dream! A passing of the baton, eh?

        I read something that got me to thinking about acquiring Wainwright yesterday, saying he would help the young pitchers. Not sure why his name keeps nagging at me, whereas JV never really took a shine to Whitley. What would it hurt to get a Garrett Richards, or a wily Miley vet type?


    • They will get to see Solis Ivey Torres Conine Solomon Abreu Bielak (perhaps, Blake Taylor) as other headliners. I’m guessing Cionel Perez gets his chance at Taylor’s role since he’s out of options, at least for a few months.

      There are a few more guys that I’ll have my eye on in SL, who have something to prove this year.

      1. Colin McKee was lights-out in AA, but hit a wall in AAA in small sample. I got to see him last Spring, and he’s made some efficiency changes.
      2. Luis H. Garcia should start in AAA, imo, but it really depends on what Astros want to do coaching wise with him — does he even need MiLB reps anymore?
      3. A couple of guys tore it up 2019, Mushinski and Donato. Interesting to see if they ever make it.
      4. Here’s one: if Blair Henley makes it to AAA this year, lookout! He has some of the best spin rates on the farm — what a coup in 7th round from UT! At the time of his drafting in 2019, David Pierce had seven of his starting pitchers selected.
      5. Lest we forget a position player, watch for De la Cruz in the OF, and Jeremy Pena our future SS. Someone said Pena got plunked a few days ago, left the game, but came back next day and hit a triple to start. Slashing with 3 HR .282/ .337/.435 37 total bases in 21 games. 3 SB, zero CS..

      Now all they need to do is setup a decent TV contract, so fans can see who’s next in HOU.

      Liked by 2 people

      • You know, the way this AAA thing has worked out, I’m thinking the Astros Rangers and Dodgers AAA teams may now be divisional rivals from here on out. There are going to be new and improved rivalries all over minor league ball because of the concentration of teams in closer areas. Did you notice if New Orleans is still a AAA franchise?


      • Methinks, Callis/MLB need to adjust Pena’s Power grade from 40 to 45 very soon. He’s going to be at least solid, average — not below average!


      • hal a loo ya and amen on needing a new tv contract gs1. not only for more fans to get to see the team, but a better revenue stream from it.


      • OP, regarding New Orleans, at the end of the 2019 season, the team relocated to Wichita, Kansas where they became known as the Wichita Wind Surge. The city of New Orleans hopes to bring in a Double-A Southern League team to carry on the Baby Cakes identity.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I know it’s terrible trying to get good coverage in the Hill Country, rj. And now the Rangers will be back, unfortunately dominating the airwaves. I’ll try to send you streaming ideas though because you’d be surprised. We might even get to see the new Ashville team since more money is going into upgrading the facilities. I have to watch alt sites to catch those games, but it’s really worth it for a couple of bucks a month.

      I would “like” more if I could, gang, btw.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry, feeding my mother-in-law, Op ha!

    Yes, we had a little rivalry with Frisco, and man those Padres and Royals outfits have some athletes. And Tulsa’s Dodgers.

    I’m reading Baby Cakes moved to Kansas to join Southern League. No word on NO faciliuty? Marlins are stocked well. Wish we could’ve gotten our mits on Alcantera, or local Caleb Smith.

    Reid Ryan, that situation is very telling that Crane just pushed Nolan out without really telling him. I suppose it just shows how independent these ballparks are to the Owners (making their money on concessions Nolan Ryan beef and box office), where MLB is trying to get it all under umbrella helping with promotion of brand and profit from talent under contract.

    Insteresting times we’re living in, how Luhnow Stearns foresaw this Zoom world of scouting and conducting business. With algorythms and quantum computing already telling them what the outcomes will be. Finding value in Chas McCormick, Taylor Jones and Josh James’ of the world.

    Think of it this year we lost:
    Sanabria, Mayfield, Bailey, Robinson, Rivera, Sneed and Armenteros to other teams simply because we didn’t have room. We had to let go Devo Peacock Biagini Hughes, before that Rondon Clippard Harris McHugh. Astros have cycled through a ton of pitchers; Paulino, Guduan, Traded off and got something for Albert Abreu, Thornton, Bukauskas and Martin,

    Even Martes had to take steroids to lay low to try and get in, a la, Robinson Cano or Dean Deetz to see what the climate looks like beyond 2021. Not saying those pitchers will make it back, but they had to try one last shot by getting a boost to see if it makes a difference. Why not, they’re always blocked somewhat anyway, and it’s team friendly in all cases. Former Astro Quiala did the same thing after we let him go, in his attempt to make it back. I believe he’s pitching again in Dominican this Winter.

    Another off subject comment: wonder what will happen to Roberto Osuna? What market will be able to withstand the bad PR associated with his name, that HOU could never overcome.


  8. I think Dusty is smart enough to know that pitching wins games and he will trust his starters to go as deep into games as they can without worrying too much about pitch counts. I think his reputation for ruining arms (Mark Prior, Kerry Wood) is undeserved. All teams have pitchers that get injured.

    Dusty was unlucky to have so many pitchers injured last season and I think our rookie pitchers were not used to the pressure of late and close situations, resulting in our losing records in one-run and extra-inning games. We will improve this year by having more experience.

    Dusty is smart enough to use analytics as a tool, but has so much experience with all kinds of situations that he trusts his gut more than analytics.

    Dusty was smart enough to know at the end of last season we were going to make the playoffs and worked on more important things to get ready for the playoffs than trying to have a winning regular season record.


    • I frankly blame the offense as much as the young pitching for late and close losses. Especially our inability to bring in that guy at 2nd and no out for losing a lot of those extra inning games. No small ball or clutch hitting.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Astronut, the last sentence is profoundly true.

      I will always wonder if making Cole and JV pitch a full schedule through September 2019, when they both/either had Cy Young wrapped up was a bad idea? Seems to me they could’ve gone on a friendlier rest schedule to be fresher for the playoffs. Who if anyone can be certain, though?

      Oh, well, pitching coaches have debated this for years — more work vs less work. Pick your battles wisely, in order to win the war..


  9. So far, 45 MLB free agents have signed contracts. 20 of those contracts are minor league contracts and 25 are major league contracts. Two of the 25 major league contracts were Qualifying Offer contracts. So only 23 of the 45 deals are actually negotiated major league deals.
    About 280 more MLB free agents to go. And only 70 spots on major league rosters left, as of this morning.


  10. I would like the Astros to sign a solid free agent pitcher who could be called on to close when needed throughout the season in addition to the other pitchers who will close over a season. Having multiple guys you trust is good.
    We have Pressly and Paredes already and another would be good.
    I am not talking about paying somebody $13million a year to do this. Do what the Rays do. Find a guy who is a good pitcher and use him when you need him and not every time you need a closer.
    Hopefully later in the year Josh James will be healthy and he could be in the mix, too.


    • I like that idea. It’s funny that sometimes those three outs are the hardest to get in baseball. A new approach sure wouldn’t hurt. At least so it seems.


    • Based on last season, I’m not sure I trust Josh James to get through any inning unscathed much less the 9th. I hope he has a Framber moment and figures things out, because he has the arm talent.
      The key in closing it seems is not necessarily having good pitchers. It is having pitchers who don’t cave to the pressure of those last three outs. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I don’t think it is Pressly.


      • Such an optimist!
        James was hurting last summer. Just about the entire season his arm was hurting and his velocity was down. Then he hurt what? his hip?


      • I’m just worried about James’ regression OP and yes it may all be injury related, but he has stepped down each season 2018 – 2019 – 2020

        2.35 ERA – 4.70 ERA – 7.27 ERA
        0.957 WHIP – 1.321 WHIP – 1.846 WHIP
        5.9 Hits/9 IP – 6.8 Hits/9 IP – 7.8 Hits / 9 IP
        1.2 HRs/9 IP – 1.5 HRs/9 IP – 2.1 Hits/9 IP
        2.7 Walks/9 IP – 5.1 Walks/9 IP – 8.8 Walks/9 IP

        Hopefully he will come in healthy in body and healthy in head and do a Framber on us.

        And the year 2020 has beaten all the optimist DNA out of me I fear

        Liked by 1 person

      • Things could be worse, Dan. You could be stranded on a Caribbean Island with rum and coconuts and beautiful people and lots of monkeys and goats.
        I’m sitting here blogging and waiting for Publisher’s Clearinghouse to show up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I guess that is a good question these days, OP. Does Publisher’s Clearing house even show up anymore? I guess those checks they hand out are so big, you could stand on one end of them and the giver on the other end and still keep 6 feets distance, but then you would have to sanitize the check….


      • Well, monkeys create the stinkiest dookie on the planet and have absolutely no regard as to where they leave it. So it’s not all a bed of roses down here. But I am heading over to the big island of St. Kitts on Plug Eyes boat in a bit to see good friends and perhaps have a rum or two 1OP. So it’s not all bad either. But I also have to endure hours of cricket discussion along with an obligatory dose of American politics. Oh how humbling.


  11. In reference to what GoStros1 was talking about above, The University of Texas has two more pitchers on the top 50 MLB draft prospects list this year.


  12. Under Luhnow the Astros have not been bringing in a boatload of marginal major leaguers on minor league deals. With potentially so many free agents hanging out there (as OP writes – a lot more free agents than open spaces on rosters) will this change? Will they bring in some OFs and pitchers for instance who have to make good to get a major league deal?


    • The answer is probably.

      Let’s take an example of when SFG selected OF, Drew Ferguson in 2019. They ended up returning him because they filled that spot with Kevin Pillar. This year Mets took Drew Ferguson, and Astros could conceievably take Pillar in this role.

      But why? We have Chas McCormick who’s worked his butt off, and we have De la Cruz who has surpassed 6 guys who were aead of him. Sure, we may be able to find a $1-3m guy, but will it be better than allowing our young guys the experience?

      This is why I was in favor of Hunter Renfroe, now he’s gone. Not really a fan of Jake Marisnick, as that ship has sailed 30%+ K rate no thanks. Our prospects can do that for a fraction of the cost. I’d much rather put that money in pitching because I’ve watched enough minor leaguers to say there’s simply not that big of a drop off. Drew Ferguson is a prime example of a guy we never intended to keep, but still he lands on his feet. The same would happen if we cut McCormick.

      Never say never though, I’m open to possibilities. For me, as long as Alvarez is healthy, he covers a multitude of sins of a few “holes” in the lineup. This offense can withstand it. Frankly, Diaz Straw Tucker and one other is fine by me to rock ‘n roll. If Jones comes in hitting like his potential, he’s another who can play LF..


  13. So, I’ll just offer this up to be chewed on. If the Astros could pull off a coup and sign the #1 MLB International free agent, 23 year old outfielder Yoelqui Cespedes, I would definitely try to find a way to offer his half brother Yoenis Cespedes a minor league deal with an invite to ST.
    Last I heard, these two were training together on Yoenis’s farm in the Bahamas getting ready for next season. If the elder Cespedes is completely healed of his foot injuries he, could be a part time outfielder/RH alternative DH, a big bat off the bench and add a stroke of jazz to the Astros. The big get would be Yoelqui, but the combo is appealing to me, even if one of them starts off in Sugarland.
    This all fits in with the Gurriel extension, which came at the very end of Yuli’s worst month ever in his career. Why would the Astros do that if Yuli didn’t mean more to the team than just his game?
    Signing these two this way does not take up any roster spots until they make the club out of ST.


      • The deal would have to be respectfully worthwhile to Yoenis, if he makes it onto the team at the end of ST. A decent salary and some incentives.
        But, I think it could be done to where this deal could be a good deal for the players and the Astros and would give the Astros an outfielder for the present and one for the long run, too.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I’d thought Cespedes out of our range when considering before, but had never heard of his brother. We’ve had a terrible time getting our Int’l players to stick in years from Ovando, Meir to the Sierra’s. A bit of a crapshoot for sure. This idea was clever!

        [Currently asking: will SS switch-hitting $1.8m Dauri Lorenzo be lost in the Nova Pena Kessinger (Santana) window?]

        Another guy who will be old and only get a minor league deal someone suggested catcher Sandy Leon. He seems perfect for Sugar Land.

        On Yuli, as Op alludes to it, Click and Baker talk about how important Yuli is in clubhouse. He was the one I’d thought could help with Puig but I guess that’s out.

        Awhile back I went on a deep dive, when I was seething mad the Astros were going to Super Two Alvarez, Tyler White looked lost in Spring Training and nobody believed me that Yordan was the best prospect we had — better than Tucker and Whitley (debatable). I went looking up all the players Yordan played with in Cuba as a 16-18 year old iirc. It amazed me that 35-40 yr old guys were hitting over .300 routinely. They have a huge amount of talent over there, and one would think if we go with Pedro Leon, he would be another to attract younger players.

        I follow Baseball America on twitter, and see all the recent top international names hitting and videos, but never pay much attention unless they’re Astros. The way I understand it is there’s a written rule once a Leon says he’s committed, other teams are supposed to lay off?

        Liked by 1 person

  14. GoStros1, I think the reason you couldn’t find backers on Alvarez was his lack of tools. Please don’t laugh. Average arm, below average speed and defense.
    Even the guys who were believers in his bat still did not know what he would be like in MLB. He turned out good enough at the plate to cancel out any negatives and that does not happen very much at all. Even so, we lost a whole season of his contributions to injury. Alvarez could have really helped us in 2020 playoffs, especially with Bregman and Yuli struggling so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, he won’t give us much dWAR and that’s why he wouldn’t grade out as highly. It was an emotional response for the same reasons that I thought Alvarez could help us sooner. As many pitchers as we went through, too I can see where they just wanted to wait. It actually turned out because Luhnow could get more for Davis than White before the season, but then somehow White garnered us Scrubb in the end, and Alvarez under team control another year.

      I do hope some day Yordan could be passable in the OF. To be fair, I wasn’t the only one. Someone said BA reported at one time he was one of our best athletes. I’d never go that far. Some still hope for him to take an Olerud approach for 1B later. Not sure about that one either. I actually thought Tucker handled 1B pretty good last Spring.


  15. Check out Andre Scrubb qualified with a 22 inch vertical drop.

    If you will allow me to attach this?


  16. Concerning starting pitchers, if we look at the last full year, 2019, and eliminate those that started only 1 game, the Astros used 11 starters. They used 24 total pitchers if you scratch Tyler White and Max Stassi. So it takes the entire Active Roster to field a competitive team.


    • Dusty Baker is not as “smart” as David Dahl (or his agent) or perhaps the Rangers are really “dumb.” Anyone that posts a .183/.222/.247 hitting without a single home run in 99 plate appearances in 2020 yet gets a $3 Million contract is really “smart” apparently.

      Liked by 2 people

    • My choice Paxton as an AL Pitcher with some experience in our division too — last year being an outlier. Except Framber is really coming into his own. I’ve always liked Odorizzi. Both these guys are over-priced vs the market, though, coming off poor seasons.

      “Can we get a discount?!”

      If I had my eyes on & saw their dynamic side coming; Forrest Solomon Bielak Abreu Garcia Javier and Ivey, and assuming Conine Torres Dubin can also get a shot later in the year, I’m just not sure about the importance of adding a FA. Garrett Richards would be perfect! If Astros stand pat, it should be a boost of confidence in-house, that we’re paying the guys who’ve labored for us (at least til deadline), before we start throwing money at it otherwise.

      I can imagine it’s Starter first, then OF, then reliever. I think Click confirmed that possibility, but ya just never know who will court us too.


      • I like the Garrett Richards idea. Strom has better luck working with RH pitchers.
        Richards has high spin rates.
        A lot of the teams we face many times are RH heavy, such as NYY, Angels, A’s and even the Mariners. I like how he matches up against RH batters.


    • This was the paragraph that caught my eye. I had not seen it stated this way before.

      “Still, each of those teams (Houston is one of them as I read this) will have the compensation rate of a luxury tax-paying club if it signs a free agent who turned down a qualifying offer from another team: Each would forfeit its second- and fifth-highest picks in the 2021 amateur draft and lose $1 million of international amateur signing bonus pool allotment.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • For Houston that be their 3rd round pick and their 6th round pick. It could also cost them a premium international free agent. That is a pretty heavy cost and must be why they won’t consider it.


  17. Here is another interesting situation.


    Players have a short window to earn millions – if you consider 3- 10 years short. They have to go through the Arb years before making big amounts. When you knock out 1 or 2 years of that, you will have a problem with the players. The owners over the next 5-10-15 or so years can possibly get their money back. Can the owners REQUIRE the players to get a vaccine or ban them from ST?

    And from what I have read, if you get vaccinated today, you have to wait 3-4 weeks for a second shot, and then wait another 3-4 weeks for it to be totally effective (90-95%). And the vaccine is not currently available to a everyone that may want to take it.


  18. I apologize folks – finally finished a new post that should be up pretty soon

    Thanks for continuing the conversation OP

    All I can think is that Verlander’s salary gets offset by insurance, Pujols salary is paying for what he used to be, but they still have to carry him and pay him.


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