Today is a bit of a mind dump of some things that pop up watching the Astros.
- Hearing that Jose Altuve tied Craig Biggio for the most All Star appearances in club history (7) and having Yuli Gurriel miss out on the team took me back a bit. First base has always been a problematic spot to get Astros into the ASG. Of course, Yuli is not Jeff Bagwell but look back at Bagwell, where the Hall of Famer only made the ASG four times. He did not make it in his Rookie of the Year season (no surprise), but he also did not make it six times when he received top 20 MVP votes. This included not making it in 1998 (124 runs, 34 HRs, 111 RBIs, .304 BA, .981 OPS), 2000 (152 runs!!, 47 HRs, 132 RBIs, .310 BA, 1.039 OPS) and 2001 (126 runs, 39 HRs, 130 RBIs, .288 BA, .966 OPS). That is just insane.
- Yordan Alvarez is truly an amazing young hitter. He has basically played a full season now – 160 games in his career – and his numbers to date would have made a Bagwell in his prime proud. For his career he is slashing .308 BA/ .394 OBP/ 1.003 OPS and has 113 runs / 44 HRs/ 138 RBIs. While being excellent against RHPs (.311 BA/.405 OBP/ 1.032 OPS), he has been outstanding against lefties (.304/.378/.956). His only weakness to date is his 172 Ks. Nothing will stop him if he ever improves on that (and starts getting better respect from the umps). Very little is stopping him now.
- The six runs (five earned) that the A’s scored off of Framber Valdez Tuesday were shocking to the fans, even with the eventual huge comeback and win by the team. The shock was because the starters have been so dependable. How dependable? Framber, in 8 starts, has allowed 3 or fewer runs in seven of them. Jake Odorizzi has given up 3 or less in his last 7 starts – he gave up 4 and 5 runs in his first two starts in April. Lance McCullers Jr. has allowed 3 runs or less in 12 of his 13 starts. He gave up 6 runs in one start in April. Jose Urquidy has given up 4 or fewer runs in 13 of his 14 starts. Luis Garcia has given up 3 or fewer earned runs in 14 of his 15 starts and four in the other start. Zack Greinke has given up 4 or fewer runs in 17 of his 18 starts and 6 runs in one start back in April. That is pretty darned good.
- So will Yuli make the All Star Game now that Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve are skipping the ASG? I’m sure those guys would love to see Gurriel get one of their spots.
- Abraham Toro has been a decent sub, but what would this offense look like with the 2019 version of Alex Bregman? The offense is so deep already, but wouldn’t that be scarier? This writer is concerned that Alex will not be Alex as long as he continues to have these leg issues.
- So, when Urquidy comes back, do the Astros stick with their 6 man rotation? Do they move Garcia to the bullpen, so he does not strain his young arm with an uber increase in innings? Do they have someone else “rest” on the IL and rotate it through the rotation?
Oh, well, back to work, as they say. What are you thinking about today?