Why we should / should not be concerned about the Astros

I’ve probably shared this story with my friends here, but it is a good one and gets to the core of things. When my dear wife was a bit of a rebellious teen ager she would get into “discussions” with her dad. She would tell him, “Don’t worry about me.” And he would say “I’m not worried….I’m concerned.”

That goes for all of us Astro fans out in the web-dom. At this point in the season (to be honest this is true for the whole season), we are concerned about our favorite team. But should we be?

Here are reasons why we should / should not be concerned about the Astros.

Concerned – The Astros have been stumbling lately.

Since about a month ago (July 15) they lost 5 games to the A’s including a sweep in Oakland, lost a series to the Red Sox at home, split a series with the Guardinians and gave away the first two games of the current White Sox series.

Not Concerned – The Astros overall are playing fine.

In the same time period, the Astros have been doing well. On July 15, they were 10 games up on the Mariners in the AL West and are 11 games up today. They were 3.5 games behind the Yankees for the best record in the AL, and now they are 2.5 games up on them. In that time period they won 6 of 7 against the M’s and swept a couple games from the Yankees. And after hearing a lot of crap about losing those games to the A’s they bore down and swept Oakland last week.

Concerned – The Astros’ offense is a bit shaky

In the same time period, they lost 12 games and averaged an anemic 2.6 runs/game in those losses. They have a real tendency to score early in games and have the offense go underground for the duration of the games. The Astros are 30th and last in the majors in scoring runs in the 7th inning and later.

Not Concerned – The Astros’ offense is overall solid

Most teams tend to score way below average when they lose, including the Astros in previous years. Along with not scoring well late in the games, they are 2nd in the majors in scoring between the 1st and the 6th innings. After ending April scoring 3.8 runs/ game (9th in the AL) they have steadily improved to where they are scoring 4.48 runs/game on the season – tied for 4th in the AL and about to pass the Twins for third.

Concerned – The Astros are expecting too much out of their starting pitchers

The team unloaded Jake Odorizzi before the deadline before Lance McCullers Jr. pitched at the major league level after recovering from his arm injury. Sure, Lance looked real good in his first game back, but we relied on him in 2021 and ended up without him in the middle of the playoffs. Are we setting ourselves up for more disappointment.

Not Concerned – The Astros are not where they were last year

Even with Odorizzi gone, the Astros have 6 pitchers that have been between good and great this season as starters. Last season McCullers was their top pitcher along with Framber Valdez and they had Jose Urquidy and Luis Garcia in behind them and Odorizzi in reserve. This season McCullers would be at best the third best starter. They are deep, much deeper than last season and with their younger pitchers much more experienced in a much better situation than in 2021.

Concerned – The bullpen has good arms, but….

Will they be overworked and out of gas when the playoffs arrive? Guys like Rafael Montero have been pitching way over their career stats. They seem to choke a bit when things get tight. It felt like they needed another big arm at the deadline, and that arm wasn’t Will Smith.

Not Concerned – The bullpen will be bolstered

Even though it sometimes drives us crazy, Dusty works hard to ensure he spreads those bullpen innings around. We may wince when we see Phil Maton in a late-inning situation or Bryan Abreu finishing off a game, but he is trying to make sure he gets the guys adequate rest. On top of that, the bullpen will get a boost in the playoffs, where the team usually uses a four-man rotation. One or two of Luis Garcia, Jose Urquidy, and Cristian Javier will be in that bullpen, ready to give the team multiple innings of relief as needed.

Concerned – But getting back to that offense….

With Michael Brantley gone and perhaps Aledmys Diaz out for a while, the offense seems a bit light, especially in center and left field. Yuli Gurriel does not belong in that second spot, and the lineup always feels like it has a hole or two in it.

Not Concerned – The offense is OK

Trey Mancini is not quite the .300 hitter that Brantley was, but he is a solid hitter and certainly has a lot more power than Uncle Mike. He should benefit from a home field that favors a right-handed power hitter much more than his field in Baltimore. Christian Vazquez gives them a boost at backup catcher, and Martin Maldonado has been one of the Astros’ hotter hitters the last month. Chas McCormick has been doing better as he has seen more pitching lately. And that doesn’t even mention Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and Kyle Tucker, who I contend are all in the top 20 hitters in the AL right now.

Concerned – The team wins despite Dusty Baker

Everybody on this blog could win 100 games with this team’s talent. The team has to overcome all of Dusty’s dumb lineups and weird decisions on off days for his players.

Not Concerned – C’mon Man

This writer will lean towards the guy who has won the 9th most wins in major league history and who has taken five different teams to the playoffs in his career. Yes, no World Series titles so far, but none for Jeff Bagwell or Craig Biggio either.

So…..are you concerned or not about this team? And what concerns you?

87 comments on “Why we should / should not be concerned about the Astros

  1. I have stopped commenting mostly about individual games because I am too pessimistic after losses and too optimistic after wins.
    I am trying to look at the bigger picture and not get skewed one way or another and end up being the two faces of 1op.
    I think the Astros will have two starters in their bullpen come playoff time, alleviating some of the bullpen worry.
    I am optimistic that Vasquez and Mancini will eventually convince management to play them more regularly, and today might have helped that case.
    Being a father seems to have helped Bregman find his swing and he got robbed in his first AB today.
    Bryan Abreu is building a career with every appearance. His confidence is growing. Shell-shocked or not, the White Sox were not a match for him today.

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  2. I’ve allowed my day to become impacted when the lineup gets posted. And that’s really ridiculous. I can take a walk on the beach with my two good legs anytime I want to. Dusty Baker should not have the ability to annoy me.

    It’s about fairness and professionalism. We are not putting our best team on the field most days. Sure we need to keep everyone fresh, but our superior catcher remains a bit player. Our new righty hitter needs to be in the line up. Gosh the ball jumps off his bat. I read somewhere yesterday that Chas’ offensive stats are 13% above league average. A .750 OPS hitting 9th? And don’t tell me he can’t play centerfield. On the flipside, there are several viable options to hit second in the lineup. God bless Yuli, we all love the man, but he stalls too many rally’s. He needs to move back down and he needs to play less.

    At the end of the day though, we could pick the line up out of a hat and win most nights with Maldy leading off. We have starting pitching depth that no other club can match. With good health, we can and should go deep into the post season. And then we can have a retirement party.

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  3. I love looking at stats. Real stats, not projected stats.
    The Astros strike out less than most teams. Second best K rate in MLB at 19.5%. The Braves strike out more than most teams. Third worst K rate in MLB at 24.6%.
    The Astros are one of the best fielding teams in MLB and the Braves are not, at least, statistically.
    Atlanta is very good at home and the Astros are very good on the road.
    The Astros are very good against teams with above .500 records and the Braves are only average against above .500 teams.
    Both teams have top of the line pitching staffs.
    Atlanta has averaged almost 39,000 fans this season. Expect a playoff atmosphere this weekend.

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    • The Braves have the ace card in the hole though – the unsinkable Astro Killer [once one of our favorite fellows] Charlie Morton.

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  4. I’d feel better about our recent bullpen woes if we scored 21 runs each game. As I remember the first three games of the ChiSox series, however, we averaged 2.66 – and had two bullpen losses.

    I hate to throw Stones, but:
    Our offense is like Ruby Tuesday … she comes and then she goes.
    Our bullpen is like Angie … where will it lead us from here?
    Our manager is like the guy in Tumblin’ Dice … the lone crap shooter playin’ the field ev’ry night.

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  5. This road trip we are on reminds me of the NY road trip. We go to Yankee Stadium and get a split against a hot team and then go to play a good NL East team, the Mets.
    This week we headed out to play a hot White Sox team and got a split in the 4-game series and then head to the home of a good NL East team again.

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  6. In general I am not overly concerned about too much. I know the talent is here and the mindset that they are going to win two games for every one they lose.
    I know that in the end, the playoffs are a different bird. You can be derailed by a key injury like the one to McCullers. You can have someone go on a Puhl-esque run in the playoffs like George Springer or Carlos Beltran (young Beltran) did. You can have a guy come out of nowhere like Will Smith did last year. You can have guys shrivel up and collapse (any number of Astro relievers over the years).

    I know that when the playoffs come the margin of error is tiny. A few plays here and there could have knocked the Astros out of each round of the 2017 playoffs. The Red Sox series in 2018 could have easily gone the other way with a few plays changed or an umpires bad call reversed.

    All you can hope is to have a fairly healthy team and enough players playing up to their abilities when the playoffs come along.

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    • I guess the other big thing is matchups. The 2019 and 2021 WS losses were to teams on rolls. The Atlanta team was lucky to win a weaker division with only 88 wins. The Nats were a good wild card team with 93 wins. The Braves whacked 3 teams that on paper were better than them. The Nats rallied in the 8th inning of the WC game against Josh Hader and the Brewers and flipped a 3-1 loss into a 4-3 win and rode their great, but not deep starting pitching to a World Series win.

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  7. Atlanta has been having quite a busy few days. The first 6 articles are since Tuesday and include a transaction with daveb’s nephew Tyler White.

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  8. The lineup today…..

    Altuve 2B
    Gurriel 1B
    Alvarez LF
    Bregman 3B
    Tucker RF
    Mancini DH
    Pena 2B
    McCormick CF
    Maldonado C

    …..Is similar to yesterday except Chas moves up one spot and Maldy takes Vazquez’s spot, who apparently needs to get more than 4 hits, 3 runs scored and two RBIs to earn a second start in a row.

    Lance gets his second start against Atlanta co-ace (with Max Fried) Kyle Wright, who is 14-5 with a 3.14 ERA. I hope we saved a few hits and runs after yesterdays insanity.

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  9. Hey you guys…I’m still here and I’m still reading!
    I’ve had a busy summer one of my brainiac grandson’s graduated Magna Cum Laud from high school and has been moved into his dorm at Tge College of Mines in Colorado! Our oldest granddaughter got married in Iowa. Thankfully we bought a new car with heated seats so the two day drive to Iowa was not as hard as I thought it would be. I’m enjoying a couple of months that I’ve not been poked or scanned. I have been diagnosed with a disorder called….
    “I hate to lose dam it”! It raises its ugly head when my Astros decide to sleep walk instead of trying to win! Maybe some of you have the same disorder I do! Just thought I’d check in with you…Sarge let me know you were asking about me!

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  10. MLB TV watching tonight. Caught part of the Orioles vs. Red Sox. Jordan Lyles starting for the O’s. You have to take your hat off to the guy. He is now soon to be 32. His lifetime WAR is Negative 1.5 and has earned $34 Million. Not bad work if you can get it.

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  11. Nothing good ever happens after putting 3 touchdowns on the board. And our guys sure did not do much of anything last night. It’s always scary to lose a guy the way we lost Alvarez. Sounds like he’s okay. We’ll probably lose Dubon though. He got back on that ball fine, but then jumped and turned. He did not have to leave his feet. Too many guys playing centerfield!

    On a positive note, Lance threw 91 pitches and really only 1 very bad one. I’m encouraged.

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  12. Has anyone else watched any of the MILB games using the automated strike zone? I watched a couple innings of Las Vegas vs Sacramento. On close pitches, there is a half count before umpire makes the call. Otherwise it looks like a simple solution to a complicated problem.

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    • We’ve had a couple umpires doing that half count wait on some of their calls lately. Usually it is calling a strike that isn’t a strike and the half count allows our guy to start heading towards first, so he can be madder than normal.

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      • I read several articles about the Pacific Coast League. One said Terry Francona has threatened it they use it in MLB, that he will run out and carry his computer to argue the balls and strikes.

        The other was saying now on several occasions the home plate umpire turned to the crowd and said “Don’t yell at me, I am not calling balls and strikes.”

        One article said that the camera and computer will adjust for the strike zone for each batter. So Altuve’s will shrink about 3 inches and Aaron Judge’s will be about 3 inches larger.

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  13. I just spent about 15 minutes on fangraphs doing a deep dive on pitching in the Pacific Coast League, which has 10 teams and a large percentage of their games at well-above-average altitudes.
    The best pitcher in the PCL is Hunter Brown and it isn’t even close.
    He has less innings than many qualified pitchers because of the tandem system, and leads the league in ERA, FIP, xFIP, K’s, K-percentage. Out of 12 qualified pitchers he is only 7th in BB.
    Because of the tandem, only 13 of his appearances are starts, which means he has come into a game in relief 8 times
    Though his stats as a starter are excellent, his stats coming into a game as the back end of a tandem are even better. As a reliever, his slash line against is a remarkable .164/.236/.219/.455, in a league where the average ERA of a pitcher is above 5.00.

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  14. Lineup without Yordan

    Altuve 2B
    Gurriel 1B
    Tucker RF
    Bregman 3B
    Mancini DH
    Vazquez C
    Peña 2B
    McCormick LF
    Meyers CF

    Not sure of the last time we had a catcher batting 6th or better in the lineup
    I’m thinking Castro in 2014

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  15. Javier deserved a better fate. He’s given up 4 runs in August, absorbed 2 losses, earned 1 win and taken a no decision.
    Abreu got an early, important inning.
    Altuve and Mancini sure looked terrible last night.
    But thanks to the bottom of the order, we had the game all lined up and our pen just could not close the deal.
    Neris, Stanek, Montero; are these guys just having a brief slump at the same time, or have they already given us their best innings?

    I don’t like the fact that we are not winning games against this Atlanta team. They’re going to feel like they own us.

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  16. The lineup

    Dubon 2B
    Gurriel 1B
    Alvarez DH
    Bregman 3B
    Tucker RF
    Peña 2B
    McCormick LF
    Meyers CF
    Maldonado C

    Now why Dubon has to bat leadoff just because he’s subbing for Altuve…

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    • This is minor but it does mean something to me and other fans. Dusty is keeping Altuve on the bench a lot. 75% of the season is over and Jose is sitting at 110 hits. If he stays on this projection, he will finish with less than 150 this year. On that track, we are talking about 41st year similar to Biggio, if he ever makes its. He is 1,113 hits short right now. (Not to mention sitting a .278 hitter and playing a .209)

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      • My knee jerk reaction is that you’re right, but Altuve has played in every game so far in August. He came off the bench twice (8/7 and 8/15), but otherwise has started every game at 2B. I would have liked to see him get some games at DH, but if Mancini can’t play in the field it really limits Baker’s hand as Alvarez is seeing a lot of time in LF when he shouldn’t be out there. Based on July, it would have made sense to keep Yuli in the lineup, but he’s been bad in August (.254/.282/.313). Between him and Dubon (.192/.241/.269) the lineups are always questionable. I joked about putting Maldonado in LF to keep his bat in the lineup, but his August looks downright impressive (.257/.308/.457) compared to a few guys.

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  17. The Atlanta guys have won 11 of their last 12. It’s pretty apparent they want a sweep today. They are not resting. The lowest OPS from 1 thru 7 in their line up is .765.

    I wonder if most teams have “scheduled” days off for their starters, or if they make those decisions closer to putting the lineup together based on how things are going for the team?

    Maybe it was worth a try moving Yuli up in front of Yordan. Unfortunately, his .595 OPS in August is worse than it’s been all year. With fewer guys on base in front of him, Yordan is not as dangerous. But what really surprised me checking stats a few minutes ago is that Yuli has hit .294/.348/.514/.861 batting 6th in 30 games this season. And then I noticed that Yuli moved to the 2nd slot on July 27. Yordan peaked on July 29 and has been slumping since. It’s possible that both guys are being done a disservice with the present line up.

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    • Time to change the line up but I doubt it. Bull pen makes me nervous these days but held on today. Just glad the Braves broom got lost.

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  18. Well the Astros scored late and barely held on for the win today. Urquidy gave up the 2 run homer early and then really did an excellent job the rest of the day.

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  19. Having our bullpen suddenly leak like a sieve [partially to be blamed on high BABIP, but ultimately related to control and command], and having our offense revert right to norm immediately after the 21-run anomaly, we are indeed lucky to end this road trip 3-4. We were not the better team on the field in either Chicago or Atlanta. We just need to escape August with our lives- and get get a fresh batch of both long-and-short relievers [H. Brown along with Ronel Blanco? Peter Solomon?] to give our guys a chance to get their mojo back.

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  20. I think this stretch since the All Star break with 32 games in 32 days (including the Yankees doubleheader) – only one day off in that time is especially stressful on the bullpen. And with a 6 man rotation, that puts even more stress on the bullpen. We have a much more favorable schedule the next three weeks including 4 days off including today. I would like to see a Hunter Brown here and a Phil Maton not here. We may have to wait for the small roster expansion in another week and a half.
    Let’s just be thankful that Yordan was back Sunday.

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    • The Astros handled the post All Star break much better than the Yankees did. I think any Astro fan, including me, should be happy with the position we are in today.

      You know Dan, I think we’ll have the correct balance of rested pitching for the post season, especially when we borrow a couple of starters from the pen.

      The one solution we likely won’t have is a replacement for the guy with the .370 OBP we had hitting second.

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    • Maybe I’m looking for the silver lining, but I’m just glad they realized the extent of Gilbert’s injury. We’ve had enough players lose massive amounts of their developmental time to injury…let’s get him healthy and ready for ’23. Besides, college baseball players already come into the season worn out…the rest will do him good.

      You didn’t comment on it, but the lead to that post talked about Joe Maddon and his unhappiness with the pressure the front office in Anaheim put on him. I’m surprised they were doing so as I thought the direction the organization had was simply to put Trout, Ohtani, and Rendon out there and (maybe) win games. I wonder how much gets dictated to Dusty? I assumed Luhnow was pulling the strings on Hinch quite frequently.

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      • The game keeps changing, like it or not. It’s not going to wait around for older fans like me nor is is going to stand still for guys like Maddon or Baker or La Russa or maybe even Boone. I’ve accepted that I’m not a very important demographic at this point. Maddon should accept his position too. But Devin, The Angels are not a very astute organization either. Trout and Rendon are not going to pay off and they won’t get what they think Ohtani is worth. I’m sure glad the Astros know better.

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  21. Regarding the September call-up opportunity. Here are my thoughts – subject, of course, to the F.O.’s plan regarding the 40 man roster going forward:

    1. We need at least one true outfielder call-up. So … Lewis Brinson [.290/.344/.886, 18 HR, 50 RBI]? Corey Julks [.262/.352/.842, 22 HR, 49 RBI]? Pedro Leon [.237/.370/.822, 14 HR, 53, RBI]?

    2. We need bullpen help. So… Hunter Brown [2.49 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 126 Ks, 43 BBS in 97.2 IP? Ronel Blanco [2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 57 Ks, 16 BBs in 34.1 IP?

    Who else?

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  22. Other things the F.O. needs to decide …

    1. Is JJ Matijevich in the club’s plans going forward [as Yuli’s replacement]?
    2. Are either Jake Meyers or Chaz McCormick in the club’s plans going forward?
    3. Is Frenchy Dubon’s above-average defense [because he has horrible numbers on offense] worth tying up even a 40-man, much less a 25/26-man, roster spot?
    4. Does Jeremy Pena need a week or two of rest and rehab before the playoffs – he really looks like he’s running on fumes?
    5. Is Maton tired, injured, or irretrievably broken?
    6. Is Seth Martinez hurt, does he have dead-arm, or is he just not as good as he looked during his long scoreless-inning run earlier in the year?
    7. Since we have no right-fielders on the club, what would we do if, Heaven forbid … no, I’m not going to say it.

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    • Mr. Bill, I will respond as best I can.

      1,2,3. I’m sure the FO already knows what their plans are, but they won’t be telling us.
      4. As long as the Astros keep a cushion on the Yankees, I think we’ll see some pretty restful line ups. To me that means Frenchy will get plenty of playing time and we’ll probably even see our tall drink of water David Hensley on the infield.
      5. I don’t think Maton gets re-signed and I don’t think he gets on a post season roster but I don’t know about the other stuff.
      6. Martinez had to go down because we have Maton.
      7. You’re correct, we don’t need to think about sending Chas out to right.

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    • These are just my general thoughts on your questions. In no way am I an expert.
      1. JJ’s chances in sticking with the Astros are better than Taylor Jones.
      2. Jake and Chaz are in the Astros plans, for now. Those plans could change by the end of March, 2023.
      3. I think Dubon’s job is safe until the offseason, especially if Diaz’s injury keeps him out for a long while.
      4. I have been waiting to say this for a while. Jeremy Pena is one of the highest effort guys I have ever seen on the baseball field. He puts 100% max effort into every play, every swing, and I am not sure he was ready for that considering his limited play in the minors. Off days are better for him than anyone on the team.
      If I were the Astros I would go after Carlos Correa to play SS and make Jeremy Pena my new Marwin for the next half decade. He has terrific talent.
      5. I think Maton is broken, but I don’t know if it is irretrievable.
      6. I have thought that Seth Martinez was good enough to get a steady stream of average or below average hitters out, but, not good enough to get a steady stream of good hitters out, as in a playoff scenario.
      7. What I like about our unnamed right fielder is that he is not a wall-crasher, a careless base stealer, or a guy who swings too hard. Those are three things that get outfielders hurt.

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    • 1. I think JJ is in limbo right now. If Mancini picks up his half of the option it lessons the likelihood that JJ remains in the plans. As oldpro mentions, I think Taylor Jones is also in limbo. Both have decent numbers at AAA, but they’re also getting old.
      2. I think Jake and Chaz are both in the plans going forward, but I don’t know that either can afford a bad spring / slow start next year. They’re benefiting from a weak OF free agent class and across the board decline in offense from OF in general. The problem with both is that they’re getting pitches to hit and not hitting them. Neither are talented enough to hit from behind in the count. I don’t know how optimistic I am that either will change that.
      3. I would have called Dubon’s defense below average at best. His ability to play a lot of positions is keeping him employed.
      4. Yes, I think he needs some rest. he also needs to stop chasing breaking pitches 8 inches off the plate.
      5. I haven’t seen Maton pitch recently. My opinion is that he’s a guy who is really hurt when the umpire is not calling the pitch away from RHH…which results in pitches over the middle of the plate that may or may not get hammered.
      6. No idea
      7. No idea. I mean, our 40 man has Chaz, Jake, and Tucker as the only outfielders. Dubon and Alvarez play out there some and supposedly Mancini can play LF. Unless Click promotes from AAA I think we’d assume Chaz goes to RF and our LF reminds us nightly of the years El Caballo roamed those grounds.

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  23. Chas gets lumped in with Jake too much. At least for now, he’s left Meyers way behind. From the opening day roster, with Brantley gone, Chas is fifth on the club in OBP and OPS. Season to season he’s made a significant improvement in K/BB ratio. On the year he’s hitting .300 with runners in scoring position. He’s well above league average as a hitter overall. Since the All Star break? .281/.366/.476/.841. We have two guys that have posted better stats. As Chas plays more, he’s hit more. We need the guy in the line up.

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  24. Britt Phillips weighs 185 and he is not hitting his weight. Orioles buy him from Tampa. Tyler White weighs 238 and is not hitting his weight. Braves buy him from Milwaukee. Not to degrade any player but we have to understand if a player can hit .230-.240, he is now an average hitter. If a pitcher gives up 3.5 – 4.0 walks per 9, he can now be a late inning reliever. Either the competition is so great across the board now, or “average” players can now have long careers.

    Right now 12 MB batters are hitting .300 or above. 20 years ago it was 35.

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    • If my nephew could have made that last step between AAA and MLB I would have gotten a lot of free tickets.

      No doubt astrocolt 45, it’s a tougher world out there for hitters. Although I’m not in agreement, the new shift rules on the way will produce more base hits. That will make more people happy, especially the hitters. But like seeing good hitters take a pitch the other way and I like seeing a nice bunt for a base hit. We’ll be losing most of that stuff.

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    • During the offseason they’ll replay some “classic” games from the past. A big difference that stands out is how many hits from 30-40 years ago didn’t come from well-struck balls. I’ll bet Pete Rose got 15% of his hits from little flares that went over the infielder’s heads. The emphasis is all about swing path, lift angle, and barreling up the ball these days. A lot of hitters…and based off probabilities it makes sense…would rather hit a ball on the nose directly at a fielder than hit one where the fielders aren’t. With pitchers throwing so much harder, one inning relievers being the norm, and bat technology “improving” to produce the thinnest handles possible this makes sense. I still maintain Bregman could be a .300 hitter if he was willing to sacrifice some power. Altuve is hitting .278 as his quest to hit more and more fly balls continues. Tucker could probably do it as well if he wanted.

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  25. Aaron Sanchez has been called up from AAA to start tonight for the Twins against the Astros.
    Byron Buxton came out of the game last night with a hip injury and is out for tonight and day-to-day pending his MRI results.

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  26. Brandon Nimmo remains my replacement for Michael Brantley to hit second in the lineup and play left or centerfield in 2023. His cost would be approachable. He’s an excellent lefthanded on base guy and a quality defender. He’ll be 30 next year. Caveat would be somewhat of an injury history. Would a Wyoming guy want to leave New York for Houston?

    Career:

    .266/.384/.438/.821 Nimmo
    .298/.356/.439/.794 Brantley

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  27. Over the last month Correa has caught up to and passed Jeremy Pena in WAR, according to Fangraphs. Correa is at 2.4 and Pena at 2.3.
    Of course, the Astros faced seven real good RH pitchers in a row in their last two road series.
    Pena has better defensive metrics and Correa has been better offensively.

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    • It’s funny how we all got giggly at his start – and laughed at the “projection” sites – and it’s now even funnier that he is going to end up a lot closer to his projections – his OBP will probably end up way south of .300, his BA right at the projection, and his power has become what they said it would be. Correa would be lapping him in a normal year, but he isn’t having a normal year – though like a lot of baseball players, his second half has been better than his 1st.

      It’s hard to look at defensive metrics for 98 games and get a feel. Pena feels like a major league shortstop when I watch him, but range factors and the such need really large samples.

      If I was going to pick one to play SS for me in a playoff series, hands down, Carlos.

      If I have to pay one of them 35 million and the other min wage, still think we are winning with Jeremy. But I would feel much more confident in a playoff series if I had CC batting 6th.

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  28. Remember when teams used to set their rotations with LHSP to face the Astros.
    The Twins and Orioles have all RHSP lined up to start against us this week.

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    • I hope the lay-off did not cool the bats of Bregman [.357/.439/1.125 with 5 HR and 17 RBI in August ], or Tucker [.354/400./1.000 with 3 HR and 17 RBI in August], or Altuve [.300/.388/.831 with 11 runs scored in August]. But it would be nice to have our cake and eat it too by getting better numbers from Alvarez, Gurriel, Pena, Mancini, and Meyers. In deference to DaveB I will not lump Chaz in with Meyers – though I can’t in good conscience lump his August numbers in with those of Bregman, Tucker, or Altuve either.

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      • Its an interesting question daveb – but if he continues to lead the league in wins, ERA and WHIP he has a strong case for it. Plus Dusty said they are moving back to a 5 man rotation at least for a bit – I think this is tied to them having a number of off days the next three weeks.
        Right now I think JV’s wanting another WS title more than a Cy Young. He was very zen about getting pulled from a no-hitter. He knows he shouldn’t be trying to push himself to 130+ pitches – they need him for the long run.

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  29. We Should be concerned about the Bull Pen. No reason for almost blowing the game but we did prevail. I was concerned about them putting in Maton but then Neris almost blows it for us. Hope they get it straightened out by playoff time. And another poor outing by Smith. Luckily no damage on his part. Yordan is just not being Yordan but Bregman is being very Bregman thank goodness.

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    • Yeah, too much breath holding with the pen right now. They should be getting a bit of relief next week when the rosters expand. I’m also hoping we start see Abreu at the beginning of the 7th or 8th innings. He’s been used lightly and has been effective.

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  30. When Bregman hit his two-run bomb (after Yordan’s 2nd GIDP of the night) I thought to myself ‘that is probably going to be the difference in this game’. The sieve is just so leaky lately.

    Regarding the bullpen:
    – Will Smith – won’t, can’t, shouldn’t.
    – Is Neris embarrassed?

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  31. Someone on here used to tell us that we had to wait 2-3 years to determine if a trade or was good or bad. Interesting looking at yesterday and today starting pitchers. JV for Franklin Perez (Rookie ball), Daz Cameron (.219) and Jake Rogers (Apparently out of baseball). Then Dylan Bundy (Angels) for Kyle Brnovich (TJ surgery), Kyle Bradish (Started 15 games with WHIP 1.653), Zach Peek (AA ball), Isaac Mattson (Indy Ball). And Angels let Bundy go and Twins picked him up. So I think we can all agree JV and the Astros are winners and everyone else ended with nothing to date.

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