Sometimes if you wait long enough…

On occasion, at my work, I get behind on some assignment or another. Sometimes it is a problem, but sometimes if you wait long enough, the need goes away.

I had been unsuccessfully trying to attack the “next” blog post for several days. At first, it would be a review of Jake Odorizzi‘s situation and the Astros’ other options for that rotation. But much like Odorizzi himself, Dan P just did not seem to have too much fire in his belly for that particular subject. Then I started to pivot to a look at the Astros’ recent trend downward and a very bad, getting worse homestand. And yes, my juices were not really flowing to analyze that subject either.

But I procrastinated long enough, and thanks to young Jeremy Pena, I was saved from those two subjects, at least for the time being.

It is hard to tell if a walk-off victory like Sunday’s 8-7 win over the Blue Jays will help the team get on the road to recovery and, more importantly, a route to the top of the AL West, but it has to help the psyche of a team that had to be feeling snake bit.

Look at what Pena’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th helped the team overcome:

  • After winning the opener of this six-game homestand, the Astros had lost the next four behind an almost non-existent offense and pitching that deserved better.
  • This meant the Astros had lost 5 of their last 6 games and had fallen from the top of the AL West on a downward arc to challenge the bottom dwellers in Arlington.
  • In games one and two of the Blue Jay series, the Astros took one-run leads into the middle innings and ended up losing two one-run games because their offense decided to only score in one early inning.
  • The script looked like it was going to be repeated on Sunday. The Astros muddled through some big scoring chances early but only got two runs out of it. They then played a little yo-yo as their lead went from 2 to 1 to 3 to 2 to 3 to zero. The Jays then went ahead by a run like they did the first two games of the series, but the Astros showed some heart as they tied it in the bottom of the 7th.
  • The teams went into extra innings, and it looked bad for the Astros as Bryan Abreu gave up a one-out double to Yuli Gurriel‘s brother, Lourdes. That put the Jays ahead and runners on second and third with only one out. But Abreu got a pop up from Matt Chapman, and Blake Taylor got a fly out to end the 10th.
  • Even with a runner starting at 2nd base, the Astros chances did not look great as the Jays’ closer Jordan Romano had converted 31 straight save chances coming into the game. It looked worse as Kyle Tucker remained at second as Aledmys Diaz whiffed on three straight sliders. Pena was hitless in four at bats in the game but had scored a run earlier in the game after reaching on a fielder’s choice/error. He did a great job of laying off Romano’s first two pitches outside the zone. He did an even better job of squaring up a low 97 mph fastball and lining it 420 feet to centerfield for a feel-good walk-off to end the homestand.
  • Side note – with the oddness of the extra-inning rules, does this even count as a blown save? Oh, who cares.

This is the first of many Gatorade showers for our new shortstop. As a couple of our regular commenters (uncleknuckle and Mr. Bill) discussed, this may mean little or a lot. But we know this team really needed a lift, and you could not ask for a better lift than this as they head up the road to play the Rangers.

82 comments on “Sometimes if you wait long enough…

  1. I hate to be a Debbie Downer all the time, but as a team, they are not barreling up many pitches. Until that happens, this offense will struggle. Yes, Pena got one for the win, but if you go back and look at the entire homestand, many, many opportunities to win each game with a sac fly, or a bunt, and Dusty keeps looking for the 3 run home run when only 1 or 2 runs are needed. You can throw 3 or 4 “wins” into his locker that became losses.

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  2. Now that the memory of Jeremy Pena’s Correa/Springer-esque victory trot around the bases has become old news, let’s consider where our Astros are as we head into the vast unknown. Here is what we have learned so far:

    1. We are very, very fortunate to be 7-8;
    2. Our team somehow needs to score at least four runs in any game in which Justin Verlander does not pitch at least 7 innings; our team needs to score at least 10 runs to stay in any game in which Jake Odorizzi’s toe touches the rubber;
    3. Our starting pitching – except for Justin Verlander and Jake Odorizzi – is not just inconsistent, it is clinically schizophrenic. Verlander is an exception because he is consisently excellent; Odorizzi is an exception because he is consistently horrible;
    4. Niko Goodrum, Martin Maldonado, and Jose Siri – three historically high strikeout-happy hitters – cannot be in the line-up at the same time if we are to have a prayer of winning a game not pitched by Sandy Koufax or Randy Johnson [hint: last I heard, neither of those guys was on the 40-man];
    5. When Altuve, Alvarez, and Tucker all hit well below the Mendoza Line, it is really hard to do that; when neither Gurriel nor Diaz can even break .225, it is darn near impossible;
    6. Pedro Baez is a disaster waiting to happen;
    7. Ronel Blanco’s ST excellence was a cruel mirage;
    8. Korey Lee [hitting all of .219, with a .282 OBP for Sugarland] is probably not going to be much help to the big league club this year, even if he gets pressed into duty early;
    9. This team is in desperate need of a captain – no, not Carlos Correa – but SOMEBODY; otherwise, a lot of talent – not to mention a lot of Crane’s money – is going to go to waste in 2022;
    10. Might as well swing for the fences, because we don’t string together hits and walks well at all, and we have no small-ball/advance the runner game.

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    • Saw him toss Schwarber after incorrectly calling him out
      Angel Hernandez is the poster boy for needing electronic strike ball calling – just like he was the poster boy for the replay system as it’s shown

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    • I heard pitch number 2 there was conservatively six inches off the plate. It almost required Umpire Scorecards to need a new graphic.

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  3. I’m glad the Astros are costing me $0 in 2022. Had I paid for the MLB TV package I would need to watch it to justify the expense. Likewise, a trip to the stadium that costs $200+ and the team just goes out plays like we’ve seen would make me think twice about coming back for years. I went to a Yankees-Red Sox game around the turn of the century where both teams decided to rest their star SS. I feel like they owe me some money back. I imagine that’s what going to an NBA game is like these days. Then again, if the Astros wanted to pull out someone from the stands and let them hit for our catchers that might be a worthwhile gimmick.

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  4. It was pretty easy to see that Pena has outplayed Correa by a mile offensively so far.
    But Fangraphs says he has far outplayed Correa defensively, also.
    I noticed something else very interesting:
    Pena has been involved in turning 8 double plays on defense and has hit into 1 double play on offense in 14 games.
    Correa has been involved in turning 3 double plays on defense and has hit into 5 double plays on offense in 14 games.

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  5. The Mariners, who now lead our division [2.5 games ahead of us], are also starting a road trip. They will be in Tampa Bay for 3 games with the Rays (who are presently 9-7). They will then travel south to Miami for 3 games with the Marlins (presently 7-8). Then they come to the Juice Box for 3 against us. That could be a very significant series – or not. We have to get the offense rolling, or we’ll be so far behind at that point that it really won’t matter.

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    • Meanwhile, the Angels [in 2nd in the Division, 1 game behind Seattle and 1.5 ahead of us] don’t play anyone with a winning record during the same period, or for a while thereafter. This is their best shot at making a run.

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  6. All our minor league affiliates have horrible records and uninspiring rosters. But there are some good starts.

    At AAA Sugarland [record of 8-10], utility man David Hensley has an OBP over .400 and has 13 BBs vs. 16 Ks in 67 PAs. Meanwhile, Shawn Dubin has a 0.00 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP and 11 Ks in 5 innings, and Hunter Brown has a 1.98 ERA and 19 KS in 13.2 IP (unfortunately Hunter has also walked 8). Enoli Paredes has a 1.13 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and 12 Ks in 8 IP. Jonathan Bermuda and Peter Solomon haven’t been horrible (as has Forrest Whitley) either, so there’s that.

    At AA Corpus Christi, 3B Emmanuel Valdez is slashing .366/.447/1.081, with 2 HR, 5 DBLs, and 9 RBI in 11 games. Meanwhile RHP Jimmy Endersby has a 0.69 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and a .167 BAA in 13 IP.

    At High A Asheville [horrible 2-14 record], Zach Daniels, Colin Barber, and JC Correa have been disappointing, as has pretty much all the pitching, but catcher Nerio Rodriguez is slashing .333/.417/1.107 with 3 HR, 6 DBLs, and 9 RBI in 12 games, and 1B Will Wagner is slashing .313/.450/1.033 with 3 HR, 2 DBL, and 12 RBI in 14 games.

    At Low A Fayetteville [5-10 record], second baseman Joey Loperfido has been the only bright spot offensively. Loperfido is slashing .313/.365/.865 with 2 HR, 3 DBLs, and 6 RBI. Two pitchers, Ernest Jacquez (RHP) and Ryan Gusto (RHP), have pitched well. Jacquez has a 1.20 ERA and a 0.73 WHIP, along with 24 Ks, in 15 innings pitched. Gusto has a 3.21 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP, along with 31 Ks in 28 IP.

    That does not mean we have help coming in 2022. But we have people to watch.

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  7. I’m not really worried about the Astros at this point. Our World Series team of 2021 was also 7-8 after 15 games. We really did not play well last year until June. Tough stretch ahead though. It’s pretty simple. Our bats have to take some pressure off the pitching staff.

    Good question AstroNut. What if Odorizzi gets blown out again early tomorrow night? Are we forced to waste Javier again? Coming in last Wednesday for 3.2 innings took him out of the Jays series. We sure could have used him in one of those tight games on Friday or Saturday. One might argue that Odorizzi hurt us twice last week. Astronut, I don’t think we’ve got another long guy in the pen. If Odorizzi tanks again early, we’ll probably need to send someone down and bring someone up on Wednesday.

    I don’t know how we justify a total lack of offense from the catchers position. Hopefully Castro will wake up and be somewhat viable when he subs for Mendoza. This one is on our GM.

    Our minor league looks pretty weak right now too. But with all these games coming up, we’re going to need a couple of guys to distinguish themselves down there. We’ll need help.

    I used to be high on Dusty. Seems a bit more of a relic everyday though. I just don’t like some of his lineups.

    .

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  8. I don’t think anyone that is being unbiased in their opinion really thinks Pena will finish the year with better numbers than Correa.

    It’s also fair to say that Correa is going to receive a high amount of scrutiny – deservedly so – for his salary. I think we all agreed that he is not a 35 million a year player.

    Jeremy Pena is off to an OK start. He is hitting just .241, but his BABIP is only .256 while his LD rate and Hard Hit percentages are either at or just above league average so there is room for growth. Its a very small sample so I will tether my excitement, but he swings a better bat than I thought. He is pacing 130 Ks, with just 50 BBs, but again, short sample and as he develops as a hitter those numbers can start to squish closer together.

    Defensively I watched all but 2 games this year so far, he has looked good.

    He looks like a confident young man, and you need that if you are going to play SS. After the walk off he looked like a lost kid in the post game interview, he was 100% nervous. Getting that water cooler treatment seemed to have calmed the nerves some and she was finally able to get some answers from him, albeit obviously prepped answers.

    Overall, no, I don’t think he is better than Correa, I am not even sure he is in that ball park, but he isn’t making 35 million a year either. If we are the Yankees or Dodgers, yes I would rather have Correa, but for a higher end mid market team that isn’t looking at playing around the 250 mil a year area, Pena has definitely proven to be a bigger commodity than a 35 mil a year guy that will get a broken rib from his masseuse.

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    • You’re absolutely right that Pena finishing the year with better numbers than Correa shouldn’t happen – the talent gap is too large. However, if we’re being realistic, unless he hits a prolonged slump I’d expect Pena to have more 2B, SB, and runs scored from 2B than Correa. If he continues to show good pop he might finish with a similar or higher SLG. Ultimately, the OBP and BABIP from him are where I’m concerned in the comparison. Defensively, the only area I expect Pena to be deficient to Correa comes in preventing runners from taking extra bases. Over the course of the season that could be significant, but it won’t show up every game. Also, I’m only pointing that out because Correa has shown himself to be the best SS in the league if not the last twenty years in cutting down runners on relays. Normally I’d toss out that salary delta as a huge win for the Astros, but unless Click actually uses those dollars to shore up another position it’s no benefit. Paying it to players already on the roster is similarly not a benefit.

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  9. Lost internet connection when Rangers were up 3-2. Good thing since it only got uglier after that. I’m not sure what is the issue with this team but they are playing like a last place team which is what they will be if they lose tonight’s game. It’s time for a change, not making excuses. Framber pitches a good game and the pen gives it away like it’s Halloween with the Astros doling out the candy. Maybe some of the bats will come around but there is definitely something missing here. Time for Dusty to go. It reminds me of my time in the work world where you have a guy who’s been with the company for 40 years and brings little to the table but they are kept around because they’ve paid their dues and out of loyalty. In the meantime, the rest of the employees are looking at this person and wondering what the hell is going on as moral sinks to a new low. Maybe not the most accurate analogy but the best I’ve got right now. And I’ll blame Click on our catcher issue as we have the automatic out of Castro/Maldy at the plate. As one said we could probably get a guy out of the stands that could post a better average. .065 and .067???? That’s a crime in epic proportions.
    I feel that over the past few seasons we’ve trade away some potential talent for the quick fix and now that philosophy has come back to bite us big time. It looks like we’re regressing back to the days of those 100 loss seasons. Hope I’m wrong.

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  10. Our Astros are averaging 3.5 runs per game on the year. Jake O. has been averaging giving up 4 runs for every three innings he pitches. If you can do basic math, you can see this does not bode well.

    Solution: Under no circumstances let Jake pitch more than 1 inning – and pull him immediately if he gives up 2 runs or more in that inning.

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  11. Yesterday, Tucker failed to run out a pop fly to right and only made it to first. Tonight he failed to run out a ground out to first and nearly made another out when play came home.

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  12. The fake Jake Odorizzi showed up tonight and was brilliant. Montero with another good performance. Tucker and Alvarez led the offense.
    A nice win for the good guys on a day when the Yankees “letter” was released.

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  13. Yeah, can we bottle this version of Jake Odorizzi?
    I was so pleased to see Pena find the hole on the right side to drive in a two out run. That’s good hitting.
    This new/old Montero guy, is he real?
    Baez. There was no option for the guy here . Someone will give him a job.
    Chas and Siri are looking pretty feeble right now. Good thing our real hitters are hinting at waking up.
    Somehow I always feel like we’re living on the edge with Blake Taylor.
    Not sure why Seth Martinez was the guy brought in. He’s sure not stretched out.

    Dan, the letter is going to be much discussed. For how long did MLB protect the Yankees and other clubs from being exposed? How long was cheating ignored?
    Obviously as we all know, it was selective. And then MLB decided to make an example out of the Astros. Go after the Texas club. Yankees are exempt from prosecution. Dodgers are exempt. Sox are exempt. Today, more and more players continue to state that everyone cheated and cheating still goes on.

    Then we have this dueling baseball issue right now. Players all over MLB are insisting two different balls are being used. The Met’s have been plunked 18 times already. Is it bad pitching or an inability to control a fastball going 95? Whatever MLB might be trying to do, hitting statistics are down, games are still long, Angel Hernandez still has a job. Baseball has little credibility with fans right now and perhaps even less with the players themselves. It could be a long hot nasty summer in our ballparks..

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    • Dave – the swing that Pena offered wasn’t a good swing. I am happy about the result but he was badly fooled on a 2 strike pitch and took a lunge. He was off balance and badly fooled, he certainly didn’t hit it where they weren’t on purpose. Now that does show how strong the kid is, he basically got out on his front foot way too soon and had to extend the bat 3 inches out to put the barrel on it, and still put pepper on something that a lot of guys would have weekly dribbled to the pitcher. Not a good at bat at all but the weight room paid off.

      The Yankees are the worse ever. Complained and cried, and even their GM writes a book that basically says he thinks they are world champs in 2017 if the Astros don’t cheat, meanwhile they spending millions in attorney fees trying to keep a warning letter from becoming public that everyone already knows details their use of apple watches to steal signs. Just terrible.

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      • Steven, I saw a different at bat from Pena. I did not see a guy badly fooled. His feet were set, he waited and then made pretty good contact with a ball a bit off the plate and poked it out into right. With two strikes, sure he was in protection mode. I’m certainly not ready to anoint Pena at this point, but he got a guy in from third with two outs. We’ve got guys that don’t do that.

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  14. I only watched the first 4 innings last night but I don’t have the same take on Odorizzi. He gave up 3 warning trackers that I saw. Simiens shot was a homerun in something like 20 other parks. I feel like the sequence where he gave up the homerun to Garcia was a better representation of how he pitched. He was up 1-2 in the count, he throws a high fastball (as Garcia is susceptible to them), but he puts it in a place that even none of us would offer at. His next pitch, he grooves one. Dan, you misspelled brilliant – L-U-C-K-Y. He got lucky against a team actually scuffling worse than us offensively.

    I also wasn’t happy with the offense. Hearns is worse than Odorizzi. He was all over the place. The sequence in Yordan’s first AB was an example. He had thrown 2 great pitches on the edge of the zone, but he grooves one on the 2-2 count and Yordan just flicks it over the CFers head – which was actually a misplay and should have been caught. Tucker’s homerun was the same, it was a really bad pitch put on a tee. I am still not seeing them get around on some pitchers pitches yet.

    Happy for the win, but they have things they need to work on from both sides. As usual though, the defense was solid.

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  15. My confession is that Tuesday nights are choir practice so I only got to see the part of the game after Odorizzi left the game. I only had the Gameday tracker when he was in the game. Lucky would explain how he was able to have that much improvement start to start. At least he seemed to get the ball close enough to solicit swings in this game.
    Let’s face it with Pena – we would be so happy to have our catchers play top notch defense and decent offense.
    It is bothersome to look and see guys in every lineup with BAs below .100 between Goodrum, Maldy and Castro.
    I know Garcia broke the wrong way on Yordan’s laser shot double, but if he broke the right way he wasn’t catching that one. A better OF might have.
    At least Tucker is starting to hit the cripples – still having hard hit balls picked off but that one was way gone.

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    • Aye, it is good to see Tucker take advantage of mistakes. That is usually the thing that gets good hitters out of slumps, and he is one of the best hitters in baseball.

      Castro has had limited time and no chance for a rhythm. At this point Maldonado has become such an offensive blackhole that I would start upping Castros starts to 40%. Maldy always perplexes me because he isn’t ultra aggressive, his at bats always seem like they are good, he doesn’t chase bad anymore than anyone else, and he has power. How can the hitter that I see at bat to at bat be so bad statistically? NotVeryGoodrum should have never been signed to begin with. We would be a much better team if we had given those contracts to Duffy and Rodon. Carlos Rodon will end up the biggest free agent signing this offseason, and this was an offseason that included Scherzer. We would be so much better right now if Duffy was playing 2nd with Altuve out.

      I know I know, we can’t play could have and you can’t get everyone you want. When you see holes, and you know guys like Marte and Rodon can fill them, and you see a team that makes the right choice in letting Correa walk but then doesn’t use those open resources to fill those holes, its frustrating. When guys like Duffy and Moran sign somewhere super cheap and you know both of those guys can fit into what you are doing but instead you bring in a guy that hasn’t hit well in 3 years, its frustrating. Sometimes the Astros make it hard on my brain.

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    • Aye, it is good to see Tucker take advantage of mistakes. That is usually the thing that gets good hitters out of slumps, and he is one of the best hitters in baseball.

      Castro has had limited time and no chance for a rhythm. At this point Maldonado has become such an offensive blackhole that I would start upping Castros starts to 40%. Maldy always perplexes me because he isn’t ultra aggressive, his at bats always seem like they are good, he doesn’t chase bad anymore than anyone else, and he has power. How can the hitter that I see at bat to at bat be so bad statistically? NotVeryGoodrum should have never been signed to begin with. We would be a much better team if we had given those contracts to Duffy and Rodon. Carlos Rodon will end up the biggest free agent signing this offseason, and this was an offseason that included Scherzer. We would be so much better right now if Duffy was playing 2nd with Altuve out.

      I know I know, we can’t play could have and you can’t get everyone you want. When you see holes, and you know guys like Marte and Rodon can fill them, and you see a team that makes the right choice in letting Correa walk but then doesn’t use those open resources to fill those holes, its frustrating. When guys like Duffy and Moran sign somewhere super cheap and you know both of those guys can fit into what you are doing but instead you bring in a guy that hasn’t hit well in 3 years, its frustrating. Sometimes the Astros make it hard on my brain.

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      • Yeah – the thing is we don’t know who the team pursued and the reason they didn’t come.
        Duffy might have come if he was taking Diaz’s spot but he wouldn’t come to be the guy who gets solid playing time only when someone gets hurt.
        Rodon might not choose to come to a team that has potential starting pitchers Verlander, Valdez, Garcia, Urquidy, Odorizzi, Javier with McCullers returning mid- season

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  16. Tucker’s start has been interesting – just like last year he is starting off with an insustainably low BABIP of .175. Not hitting in luck as that number is around .300 as an average across the league
    He does seem to be coming around – he had 4 hits in his first 13 games and 7 in his last 4 games.
    His batting glove thing is so odd.
    He wore them and had 3 hits – so he wore them again and went hit less – then he didn’t wear them and had 3 hits one game and his homer last night in the next

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  17. The Astros won 3 of their first four. They’ve won 3 of their last 4. And then 3 more out of the 10 in the middle. So we’re pretty erratic so far. We sure do need to hit much more regularly. Good to see Javier get a win and throw 80 plus pitches.

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  18. If the early season is any indication, I’m going to end up watching about 80 Angels games this year. Mind you I don’t want to watch the Angels, but that’s who is being shown. Anyhow, I said to myself yesterday, wow, this lineup could actually be pretty scary. Then I looked at it again and said, ok, it’s got 4 scary guys in it with another who has a chance to be be good, then four guys who really shouldn’t be much of a concern. The problem is their pitchers are playing way about their heads and the hitters all are acting like they all belong. On the other hand, most of our hitters don’t look very competent or confident game to game and the pitching looks more concerning than when the season began. I haven’t said anything about the Mariners, but they have a habit of starting out hot and falling off before the summer gets going. Looking at the schedule, I feel like this Astros team is going to hover around .500 until July. What will decide their fate is whether those divisional opponents who are off to a hot start can build a big enough lead and hold on. Also, I’m convinced Click didn’t make any good moves this offseason because no one wanted to come here and there was too much uncertainty about the CBT thanks to the extended lockout that Crane wouldn’t let him write any big checks. Like Steven, I’ve always maintained the Astros made a huge mistake passing on Carlos Rodon – first in the draft because Luhnow was too cheap and then this last offseason.

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    • I’m sure everyone in San Francisco is happy right now, Carlos Rodon especially. But can he stay healthy for those 44 million dollars over two years? In his six 162 game seasons, he’s averaged 110 innings and has just 45 career wins.

      And I’m guessing the Astros were trying to hold on to some cash in hopes something got done with Correa.

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    • Heard Click getting interviewed yesterday – it sounds like Pressly is close, but that Click (who has had knee problems himself) is letting Pressly make the call on it. Really sounds like they want to be over-cautious on it.
      The funny part of the interview (on 790 AM) was when Sean Salisbury asked Click if he had read the Yankee letter. Click started to (tongue in cheek) say that he was entering a tunnel, getting lots of static, etc. He basically would not answer any question about it at all – whether he read the letter, what his thoughts on it were, whether he thought that the Astros were treated unfairly vs. how the Yankees were treated, etc. He just said he is concentrating on how his club is doing and leaving questions to the commissioner’s office. Salisbury even offered (tongue in cheek) to read the letter to Click.
      He moved on to other questions and Click’s reception returned.

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      • How disingenuous of Click. I feel, with that response, he is on the “Astros bad!” bandwagon, even though he works for them.

        The Mrs. and I, both, look for him and Baker to leave at the conclusion of the current season.

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    • Latest from Brian McTaggart….
      RHP Ryan Pressly (right knee inflammation)
      Expected return: TBA
      Pressly, who had fluid drained from his knee, faced hitters during a live batting practice session on the field prior to the April 24 game against the Blue Jays and looked good, according to manager Dusty Baker. But Baker said April 27 that Pressly might need another bullpen session or simulated game before being activated. “He’s not quite ready,” he said. — Brian McTaggart (Last updated: April 27)

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    • Montero has been a huge surprise. He came over with Gravemen from Seattle and was thought to be a throw-in just to make the money balance out. A lot of folks thought he would be let go.
      He had struggled a lot early in his career with the Mets swinging between the bullpen and starting – decent strikeout numbers but way too many walks.
      His best stretch was 22 games out of the bullpen with Texas in 2019. He was so-so in 2020 (like a lot of people) but terrible in 2021 until he was traded to the Astros where he got into 4 games at the end of the year.
      He has never shown what he has shown at the beginning of this year – 14 Ks, 1 walk in 8.1 innings. Sure he is likely to move off these insane numbers, but maybe he is a late bloomer who may be flourishing with a steady role with the Astros. Or maybe like with a lot of other pitchers – they have changed up his pitch selections and turned a sow’s ear into a silk purse.

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  19. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/o/odorro01.shtml

    Every so often, I think “Wonder how ??” is doing. Today it was check on Odor. If there is a poster child for No Long Term contracts, he is it. The Rangers paid him last year to play for the Yankees. They said, no thanks, even if free. He then signed with Baltimore and currently is helping them be one of the worst teams in baseball. It couldn’t happen to a nicer punk.

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  20. A reminder the Astros are in the first inning of a get out of town game and Verlander is pitching. He sure has some pop in that arm. Fun to watch a surgeon on the mound.

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  21. Man – Martin Perez against the Astros – 5 innings – 0 runs, 0 hits (and nothing much looking like one), 0 walks, 3 Ks and only 54 pitches. Verlander after 4 innings – 0 runs, 1 hit (that was off the very end of the bat), 0 walks, 5 Ks and 51 pitches.

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  22. Martin Perez can be tough at times, but that 3-30 overall line isn’t going to help the offenses woeful starting line for the year. It almost seems like the offense is sitting on their hands, maybe Altuve can spark this thing.

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  23. Every time I see Leon’s name I can’t help but watch the scene in Moneyball “What is the Problem?” Quotes like “he has a baseball body” or “when the ball comes off his bat it makes a pop you can hear it through out the whole park” or “Geronimo, the guys an athlete, big, fast, talented, good looks, good jaw, 5 tools guy, good looking ballplayer.” Then its “can he hit?” Then more scouts “he can drive the bat head through the ball, when he connects you can hear it” Billy – “yea, but can he hit. If he is a good hitter, why doesn’t he hit good?”

    I have no confidence in guys who strike out over 30% of the time in the minors. He has pop, he runs well, he looks like a ball player, but he can’t hit enough. When a guy that goes into a slump strikes out once or twice every game he goes into a monumental black hole of helping you lose. This was Reed and Singletons problem, a strikeout guy goes into a slump and the frustration grows for him (and with him from the coaching staff) and he stops making contact consistently enough to pull back out of that slump, and bam, a dunzo career.

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    • On the other hand, the kid is playing catch up. Sure he strikes out too much. But he’s only got 89 minor league games under his belt. Right now I like the early .819 OPS. Let’s see if he can get more selective and make more contact. It is AAA ball. He’s a young 24 as far as experience goes.

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      • I am not sure where he played the last few years if he played at all.

        In the CNS he posted a 16% K rate – fully acceptable. You have to wonder about the quality of CNS pitching though when you look at Yuli’s career numbers there – Yuli is a very good player and a very good hitter but in the CNS almost hit .400 one year and looks like the greatest ballplayer ever.

        I get it, a young 24. It’s an odd case. He could not be ready for every day major league duty until 26 or 27, ages you hate to hear from prospects because 95% of them end up out of the league. But he is at 24 not because of years of laboring through a minor league system, he is there because of his circumstances. Lourdes didn’t get to Toronto until 24 and he is on the brink of superstardom. So you never know.

        I just see the results so far, and I wonder if his development window is closing. I hope the Astros are thinking the same way and aren’t putting the eggs in the basket. I want us scouring the land. We have a hole in CF. We have payroll space. Bryan Reynolds is about to price himself out of town in Pittsburgh. What if Urquidy, Leon, either of McCormick or Siri, and Whitley are moved for Reynolds? Would you do that deal? Do you think Pittsburgh would?

        No one likes trading from depth. I particularly get scared of anything that keeps Odorizzi in the rotation. But you have to give something to get something, and moving Urquidy is something I would be willing to do IF the return is a CFer that immediately fills in the 7th spot, switch hits, has power, hits for average, and at least plays league average CF.

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  24. Astros beat The Blue Jays 11-7. Lot to like tonight.
    By the way, before we go out and trade a bunch of guys for a CFer, I want to get a good look at Jake Meyers, who was all offseason my first choice there, when he recovers.

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  25. Good to see the bats carry the club last night.
    Jose Urquidy has given up more hits than any guy in MLB and only provided 5.9 K’s per 9. He flat out got beat up last night, saved by his defense in the 5th for all 3 of his outs that inning. Is the league figuring him out?
    Plenty of good defense. We know Pena can play short. It’s a pretty good outfield with the three young guys out there.
    Too bad we had to use Stanek and Nevis after scoring 11.
    Is Maldy well?

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