More about that Astros’ lineup

Astro fans had to be feeling lifted up after seeing both Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker successfully return to the lineup on Wednesday. Bregman out for two months with soft tissue issues had two hits, including a run-scoring double off the wall and scored the walk-off winning run in the 10th. Tucker who came off of the COVID list had a couple hits, moving Bregman to third base and no out in the 10th on the second one.

Aledmys Diaz, Chas McCormick, Taylor Jones and Jake Meyers have all contributed in the absence of Bregman, Tucker and earlier, Michael Brantley and Yuli Gurriel. But the depth of their lineup and bench has received a huge boost now that folks like Robel Garcia and Jacob Wilson are not being called on to contribute. How deep are they?

The average American Leaguer slashes at a .244 BA/ .315 OBP/.727 OPS rate. Outside of the two catchers, Jason Castro and Martin Maldonado, every other main player is well above average.

The players we should see down the stretch and the playoffs the most are….

Name BA OBP OPS Runs HRs RBIs
Yuli Gurriel .316 .384 .862 65 13 69
Michael Brantley .316 .372 .827 65 8 43
Yordan Alvarez .284 .346 .879 75 26 86
Kyle Tucker .274 .335 .852 58 22 71
Carlos Correa .276 .373 .850 84 19 68
Jose Altuve .274 .346 .825 89 25 67
Alex Bregman .278 .360 .791 38 7 35
Aledmys Diaz .303 .350 .851 25 7 38
Jake Meyers .316 .344 .871 9 3 12
Chas McCormick .260 .319 .784 39 11 42

The only one out right now is Chas McCormick with a hurt hand. When he gets back, he will give the Astros a darned good 4th outfield as it is expected that Meyers unless he collapses will cover centerfield.

This is an impressive set of ten offensive players. The only ones that are really threatening to win a particular title are Gurriel and Brantley battling for the batting title. But all of these guys are above average to excellent in every category. When they are all in the lineup there is really no one you can pitch around, except whoever hits in front of the catcher spot. But now in a late-game situation, Dusty Baker can send up a good hitter in the spot of Martin Maldonado or Jason Castro. He did it the other night and Brantley who was “resting” tied up the game on the way to a win.

Will they still struggle occasionally? Sure. But they will also give a lot of pitchers plenty to worry about down the stretch of 2021.

65 comments on “More about that Astros’ lineup

  1. I have a new appreciation of pitch counts. Otto has good stuff. Did the Yankees really need Gallo that bad? Is this Astro group the one that does not mind coming from four runs down late? We’ve won two in a row that we’d have lost last week. Anytime we get a win off an Odorizzi start, it’s a happy thing. But there is no room on a post season roster for a mediocre 5th starter. See Mike Fiers. It looks like Jake Meyers has pulled off an excellent Wally Pipp on my pal Chas. Chas never got his chance to own the job. You know since the Myles trade, he’s hit .313/.357/.438/.795. Having such a solid bench is a luxury we have not had in the past. Both are much better hitters than a Marwin Gonzalez for instance. Down the road a bit to 2023, I can envision an outfield of Tucker-Meyers-McCormick. Might be hard to let Brantley go though.

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    • My second reply is to Meyers – McCormick – Tucker in the outfield in 2023. Brantley will be 36. He is already slowing down going to first or from first to third, etc. in two years I don’t see him winning a spot provided the three above at 26-27-28 years of age continue to improve.

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  2. Seattle lost. Salvador Perez hit another grand slam to wipe out a 4 run deficit and the KC won in extra innings, which had been Seattle’s forte all year.
    Oakland got stomped by NYY and trail us by 6.5 games. Seattle is 7.5 behind.
    Astros clinched Silver Boot last night.
    Texas Ranger Fans on Lone Star Ball clamoring for Texas to keep losing to get higher draft picks, apparently forgot to remind Glenn Otto about that.

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  3. – That Otto kid looked like the real deal – to me his control was impressive – 0 walks in 5 innings in his first major league start.
    – That Meyers kid continues to look like the real deal. Down 4 runs in a late inning, bases loaded and no one out – you couldn’t blame a kid for trying to turn on one and ground into a double play. But he continued to put good swings on the ball and hit it the other way for a huge 2 run double to kickstart the comeback.
    – There may be occasional things I won’t miss about Correa, but I will miss his greatness in the field.
    – Salvador Perez is a heckuva player – glad he helped us rather than hurt us for once
    – Astros need to just keep winning and run off and hide

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  4. Lineup tonight
    Altuve 2B
    Brantley DH
    Gurriel 1B
    Alvarez LF
    Correa SS
    Bregman 3B
    Tucker RF
    Meyers CF
    Maldonado C

    With Diaz on the bench….Framber on the mound….

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  5. Let’s see here….
    Second inning – Alvarez homers, Bregman walks, Tucker singles, Meyers has a productive out as he grounds out to the right side moving the other two over. Maldy singles them both in.
    Third inning – Correa homers
    Sixth inning – Tucker hits a double, Altuve knocks him in
    So seven of the guys are involved in the scoring – the only two not involved are the two battling for the batting title – Brantley and Gurriel
    Loved Framber with 85 pitches in 7 innings. Loved only one walk and the 2 runs by him. Very solid outing.
    Wish we could have put up a couple more runs and rested Graveman and Pressly, but that’s the way it goes.
    Even though the A’s won – glad the M’s lost who have been more worrisome lately.
    If the Astros go 17-16 down the stretch – The A’s would have to go 23-9 to tie us. Seattle would have to go 25-7 to tie us. So it is up to the Astros to bury these jokers and put this away early.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Astros prospect, Jeremy Pena, who had missed the entire minor league season, played SS and batted third for Sugarland in their win in El Paso Saturday night.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Another Sugar Land update from “The Eye Test.” Siri is 26 now. But he is comparable to Straw, ChasMc, and Meyers in the minors. Not necessarily better than. So he should be adequate as a 4th Outfielder in 2023. Batting .322 with 2 errors and a range factor of 2+ plus 24 SBs.

    The best hitting infielder is C J Hinojosa .311 but this year so far he has 8 errors and mostly at 3rd. He is playing mostly 2B at Sugar Land currently.

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  8. One of two things HAS to happen:
    1. DFA Abreu
    2. Send him back to the minors.
    That’s it….he doesn’t belong on this team.
    Reddick got released today…just for grins think the Astros sign him to a minor league deal!! MAN…you talk about *BOOS*!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Per the El Paso radar gun, his fastball was 91-92 mph. They seemed to get most of their hard contact on it. A bunch of his pitches were 75-76 mph and another bunch in the 80’s. Urquidy looked very impressive in the game with lots of ground outs.

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  9. Grienke has 2, o and 1 K over his last three starts against unremarkable opponents. If there is a 37 year old guy that can invent a strike out pitch over the winter, it’s Zack. But right now, too much contact. He also leads the league in innings. Does he need a vacation when Urquidy gets back?

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  10. NEWS:
    Brandon Bielak has been recalled
    Abreu was sent back to Sugarland (maybe FOREVER I hope)
    Chas is in the game for Sugarland tonight! very good nres!
    Jacob Wilson has a concussion from getting hit in the head last week😢
    Robel Garcia is on the Taxi squad
    Red Sox aquire Brad Peacock from Colorado for cash consideration
    Lineups are not out yet for tonight’s game
    YOU’RE WELCOME!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Alvarez, Tucker and Myers, the new generation, gets the job done again.
    I hope Brantley’s wheels make it into the post season. He’ll be getting more rest sargeh.
    Six starts in August for Garcia, our young veteran from A+ ball.
    Carlos seems to think Marwin is going to help our club down the stretch. Who do we take off the 28 man roster to make room? Right now the only guy I can think of is Raley. He’s got a .971 OPS with RISP. A .941 with men on. 2 outs, RISP? 1.032. It’s nice he can get a lefty out, but he still has to pitch to righties. He’s a time bomb. I don’t know where to find his inherited runner stats. Maybe I’m better off not knowing.
    Boy, those Rays are tough. Yankees won 12 in a row and find themselves still 7 games out. Should be a fun battle between them and the Sox.

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    • Nice to wake up to an Astros win without sitting through the agony of seeing a lead blown.
      According to baseball-reference on his Game Logs for 2021 – Raley has allowed 43% of inherited runners to score. Not a good number.

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      • Thanks Dan, as the team tweaks the roster and considers all viable arms that might make a post season roster, is there any argument on behalf of Raley? I don’t see one.

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      • Frankly I don’t see much argument for Raley and I don’t see much argument for Marwin. In 242 ABs this season with Boston – Marwin slashed . 202 BA/ .281 OBP/ .567 OPS with 2 HRs and 20 RBIs.
        I know Marwin is very experienced and can play good defense all over the place, but unless Diaz goes down, I don’t know who I would take off the playoff roster to add him in. Remember when they add 2 folks for the September 28 man roster it will likely be Chas McCormick and Jose Urquidy. You could bring on Marwin in place of Raley in September, but once the playoffs roll around – I think you leave him off the playoff roster unless some one gets hurt.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. The Astros signed Marwin to a minor league deal. So far, that is what is. He is going to start at 3B and bat 2nd in the batting order today for the FCL Astros.
    I believe they will look at him at various positions for a the first week and then move him up, probably to the Skeeters when they come back to Round Rock later this week or home against Albuquerque next week.
    They have Jacob Wilson and Robel Garcia in AAA right now and both of them are on the 40-man roster. If they want to add Marwin to the roster, one of those guys will probably be DFA’d.

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      • This is the last sentence from the MLBTR article about Marwin’s signing by the Astros:
        for the month of September and for the playoffs. The mere fact that he’s in the Astros’ organization prior to Sept. 1 makes him eligible for the postseason roster — even if he’s not selected to the Majors until sometime next month.

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      • According to MLB’s site, a player must be added to the 40-man roster or 60-day injured list as of 11:59 p.m. ET on Aug. 31″ to be eligible for the postseason. However, there is an addendum, that “A player who doesn’t meet said criteria for postseason eligibility can still be added to a team’s roster in the postseason via petition to the Commissioner’s Office if the player was in the organization on Aug. 31 and is replacing someone who is on the injured list and has served the minimum amount of time required for activation.” So unless there is a super-secret rule overriding that then we’d be placing our faith in Manfred approving the addition of Marwin as an injury replacement….if that’s necessary.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I am not the guy to argue.
        But, I went to MLB’s website also and saw the rule you are quoting and that is the rule.
        However, since last year, MLB has changed this rule for 2020 and then again for 2021 to account for Covid 19 and the constant placement of players on the Covid protocol IL and then off of it. Apparently Manfred has temporarily allowed players added to the organization before Aug 31st to be allowed to be added to the playoff roster.
        Think about it! There is no way the Astros would sign Marwin to a minor league deal for 1 month or 1 week, if they couldn’t add him to the roster for the playoffs.
        I have to trust that MLBTR is right about this.

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      • With a smile, I would like to point out to both of you that you are using the term “Manfred” in your posts. That means it can change on a whim, up or down, or maybe sideways.

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      • Sure – I’m not trying to argue. I’m more trying to point out that the rules seem clear as mud. MLB apparently doesn’t make enough money to publish better content. Hopefully we don’t need Marwin added to the playoff roster as there should be a few, better options.

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  13. The ghost of Jim Morrison visited me last night. He said:

    “The time for Straw and Chaz is through;
    No time to look or lateral hires;
    We’ve got a guy in Orange and Blue;
    who gives us all that we require –
    – Come on Dusty, play Jake Meyers;
    – Come on Dusty, play Jake Meyers;
    – He’ll still be here when Mike retires!

    Liked by 1 person

    • All I can think of Mr. Bill is
      C’mon Jose punch Mike Fiers
      C’mon Carlos punch Mike Fiers
      Try to set Yordan on Fiers…….

      I’m normally not a violent person

      Liked by 1 person

      • These are ‘unprecedented times’ – and we are all in this together. Well, except Mike Fiers. He’s on his own. Hey Mike, before you leave … how would you like a nice Hawaiian _________ [hint – it rhymes with lunch].

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I like Marwin but you tell me that we have no other options available? I mean he’s hitting .202 with a .567 OPS. I’m perplexed beyond everything about this. What’s the end game and who came up with this idea?
    In other wonderful news the Dodgers are now the most hated team in Baseball with the Yankees next and then the Astros. Of course they don’t get booed like we do but what do you expect from classless fans.

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  15. I DID stay up and listened to the game last night, and so did my 12 yr old grandson. ..who is quarantined because two of his brothers have covid.
    That last inning with Presley was a tightrope to say the LEAST!
    Dusty playing FAVORITES AGAIN tonight…sitting Brantley AGAIN .
    Maybe Michael Brantley is getting to “old” to play everyday, and if THAT’S the case he might not get to play at ALL next year if Baker is still the manager. Managers don’t get to play “favorites” he needs to play his BEST players when you’re on the last 3 weeks of the regular season. *PERIOD*
    This man infuriates me.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Great…Greinke and Taylor Jones just went on the covid injured list.
    Josh James and Robel Garcia have been recalled. With Greinke going to be away for a while, that timing couldn’t be better because Urquidy is already in Seattle with the team. It’s not clear whether either Greinke or Jones actually has covid.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. That was a good game to sleep through last night. The line up did too. Sure have been a whole lot of Grand Slams this year. I always thought Honest Abe looked like a good hitter, but he was not able to show it in his limited AB’s in Houston. Apparently he needed to play daily. 102 pitches from Lance in his five innings. That’s probably okay in the post season, but suddenly we have a shortage of arms for innings again.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This is definitely not a season of dominance. While we have far better talent than the other teams in our division, the other teams more than make up for the talent differential with better preparation, better attitude, better coaching, better line-up management, and better execution of strategy. Other teams do not beat us, they exploit our laziness and let us beat ourselves. While they buy whole-heartedly into and adhere faithfully to their game plan for nine innings; we show up at ‘Play Ball’, then thrash about looking for ways to pad stats to use in our next arbitration or free agent contract negotiation. This team could win the division – or it could miss the playoffs. Either way, it will be anything but watch.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I watched the 1st 5 innings off and on and it sure looks like it takes Lance about 20 pitches to find his groove. That’s when he seems to be vulnerable. Averaging 20 pitches an inning just is too many. This is the difference between him being a TOR and MOR pitcher. In other news the offense didn’t show up again last night. Just a couple of runs might have made a difference because of the psychology involved of being down a couple of runs in the late innings. Of course good teams aren’t bothered by such nonsense.

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  20. In my mind I am not disappointed in this team.
    – They’ve overcome losing a Cy Young type pitcher in Justin Verlander to injury. for the whole season
    – They’ve overcome not having their best pitcher from 2020, Framber Valdez for the first two months of the season
    – They’ve overcome not having a solid starter, Jose Urquidy for about 2-1/2 months with two IL stops
    – They’ve overcome not having both a former MVP candidate, Alex Bregman and his best sub Aledmys Diaz for half the season
    – They’ve overcome having COVID hit them a number of times including losing 5 guys at once early in the season

    They are on a line to win 96 games and win their division. They do struggle at times, what team doesn’t? They don’t win them all, but they do win quite a few more than they lose.

    Now as far as giving too many days off to guys….that seems a little excessive – especially now that Diaz is slumping. That’s my complaint for the day.

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    • For better or worse, our Astros, assuming they get there, will be a well rested group in the post season. That’s a good thing. Brantley was running poorly on Monday night. His wheels at 34 look much older than Yuli’s at 37. We need Brantley to be in good shape come October. I really do not have a problem with certain guys getting more rest than others.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I hear all the optimism.
    But, in my opinion, last night’ game could not have ended any more poorly than it did, considering the trade and the way the Astros demolished Kikuchi a couple of weeks ago. The humiliation is well-earned.

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    • 1OP, when we don’t show up and play a baseball game, it really does not offend me nearly as much anymore. I’ve weened myself away being disgusted with the Astros. If they win, I’m as happy as anyone. If they lose, I still sleep well. I suppose I remain somewhat optimistic, but I also carry a good measure of apathy.

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  22. I was so excited for Mr. Bill when I saw the Astros signed Sam Butera and the Witnesses. Then I realized it was Drew Butera and I became sad.
    Who can forget “You’re Nobody Until Somebody … moves in with you.”

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Here’s what Seattle is doing OUR guys are not…making our pitchers WORK!
    They are fowling, off pitches at the rate of 7-9 pitches, in the meantime our guys are seeing 2-3 pitches and popping up. THAT’S why there is no score right now.

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