10 Astros’ questions for you to ponder

Your loyal servant will be tied up for a few days, so today’s post is going to be one where we solicit our loyal readers’ assistance in fleshing things out. We do that by asking you the questions today.

  1. On the drive in this morning, there was a discussion brought up on the 610 AM Sports Talk that was a bit trollish in nature. The basic thrust was….How is Jeff Bagwell’s relationship with Jim Crane similar to the Svengali relationship of Jack Easterby (who has been fired) with the McNairs and the Texans? Obviously, Bagwell has a heck of a better resume than Jack E, and he has had the owner’s ear for at least the last season that ended in the Astros Championship. But the question to you is do you have any concerns about Bags’ influence on a front office that lacks a GM right now?
  2. If you were given a choice between bringing Justin Verlander back or bringing in Willson Contreras and Andrew Benintendi, which way would you go?
  3. Along the same lines, after 2022, where the team was very lucky with injuries, do they have enough pitching if they go to Spring Training with 6 possible starters – Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia, Jose Urquidy, and Hunter Brown?
  4. Who do you think will be affected the most negatively by the new pitch clock? Astros Pitchers or Astros Hitters? Pitchers like Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia would seem to need to hurry it up, along with hitters like Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker.
  5. It’s generally accepted that the new non-shift rules coming in 2023 will favor the hitters. Will this change your enjoyment of watching baseball games? Are you old school or new school?
  6. Where does Jose Abreu fit into this lineup? Do you slide him into the fifth spot and move Tucker back to the sixth spot? Do you move Pena farther back in the lineup and move everybody else up or replace Pena with Abreu in the two spot?
  7. It is Jim Crane’s money, and he is waist-deep in the decision process, so do you really care if he paid more for Rafael Montero and Jose Abreu than the experts think they should have gotten?
  8. What are the three keys to the Astros repeating in 2023?
  9. What are the three things that could trip them up in 2023?
  10. Of all the prospects on the cusp in the high minors, who do you think has the best chance to break into what looks like a pre-set 26-man roster?

Your turn to dazzle us with your thoughts…..


65 comments on “10 Astros’ questions for you to ponder

  1. 1. I’m more fearful of an owner making moves because he has the power and no one tells him he shouldn’t.
    2. Verlander in a heartbeat over both of those guys.
    3. Yes, but it would be unrealistic to expect all those guys to be healthy on opening day and make it through the season. We’ll need more arms at some point.
    4. Pitchers will be impacted by the pitch clock. The ones who can’t get on the same page as their catcher are going to suffer.
    5. I’m skeptical the non-shift changes much. We’ll see more hard singles, but we’ll also see pitchers working away and getting more roll-over groundouts.
    6. This is a tough one. I’d drop Pena to the bottom of the order and make it something like Altuve-Bregman-Alvarez-Abreu-Tucker-Chaz-OF/DH to be named later-Pena-Maldonado.
    7. He really didn’t overpay much on the annual basis, but may regret the number of years.
    8. Reliable starting pitching, better offensive production, health.
    9. Injuries, not winning the close games, Manfred finding some way to avenge them not losing in the WS
    10. Who still qualifies as a prospect? Until we bring in a catcher you’d have to give Yainer Diaz or Korey Lee strongest odds to make the 26. Hensley sure earned a good look this spring. Who will be the utility infielder?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 1. Crane has plenty of other people around him besides Bagwell. And Crane had to recognize the importance of analytics during the time Luhnow worked directly for him. I’m sure he’s not going to change the way the organization runs based on the opinions of one dinosaur advisor.
    2. I’d move on from Verlander, but I’d still rather a centerfielder than a corner guy such as Benintendi.
    3. We’ll certainly need more pitching along the way. But we’re already in a better position than most clubs. I want to see us have a couple of guys in Sugarland ready to give us 5 or 6 innings at any point.
    4. I think the pitch clock is going to screw up some guys at least initially. MLB is asking baseball players to change the way they’ve played the game all their lives. Altuve concerns me as much as anyone. And it is time for Garcia to drop the dance.
    5. The shifts have never been a problem for me. I think a lot of guys will post better offensive stats with the new rules. But I don’t think the rules should have been changed. The players on the field should evolve the game, not new rules. If someone wants to hit more they should learn how to go the other way or drop a bunt down. A guy like Framber will likely see quite a few more of his ground balls get through the infield.
    6. I can’t provide my line up at this point. Crane is going to sign a couple more guys. Then I’ll think I know!
    7. Crane signed two guys he wanted. It was pretty clear that Abreu was going to get three years. It was a good signing. Montero, that one surprised me, but if he gives us three healthy, quality years going forward, then it will end up being an excellent move on Cranes part.
    8. Healthy rotation. Healthy pen. Healthy line up.
    9. Same answer as 8 in reverse.
    10. Y. Diaz.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. I don’t have concerns about Bagwell’s input because I know where his heart is, where he has come from and that Crane has an advisory team which consists of Bagwell, Reggie Jackson and two assistant GMs to give him all sides of the cube.
    You all know that we never knew what Click was doing, right? We talked often about how we got nothing from him. Now we know that whatever he was doing wasn’t exactly in line with the way the owner of the Astros wanted it to be done.
    Crane got burned by Click’s predecessor and he is going to have his team run the way he wants it done. He owns the majority of the team, he carries the burdens and he sure has the right to have the final say on the direction of the team. Talking heads don’t know any more than we do, but we know that Crane is giving us hints and that’s more than we ever got from Click.
    I sure can’t argue with the results. My team is the World Champion.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. On the field guy, not an off the field guy, if Bagwell has input that’s great, he knows baseball. I don’t really pay attention to the news around baseball, only the news about baseball.

    Verlander. Pitching wins more than hitting. We won 106 games with a lot of below average hitters. The Yankees won 99 with a bunch of above average hitters, that got owned by our pitchers in the playoffs.

    Do they have enough? Even without Verlander they have more than anyone not called a Dodger- and with Buehler out next year, maybe we are better on the mound than even them. All they have done is tightened up the margins, but if they stay healthy they are still the best staff in the AL.

    Pitchers. Tucker will be the hitter that can’t just step out and do his dirt to hands things between pitches but who knows really.

    Well I’m libertarian, I don’t like rules. I think if people creatively figure out how to win games within a set of rules, you don’t change the rules. Sometimes you just have too though. Maybe the pitch clock works to speed up the game; the propensity for hitters to be willing to strikeout and pitchers willing to take up counts and not give in is just killing the pace of the game. Maybe losing the shift will improve the game. It will help Tucker and Alvarez for sure (and Brantley, maybe most of all, if he is back). Could hurt Framber as some of those grounders could find holes.

    Lets see what else happens. As it stands now, I think maybe batting Bregman 2nd and putting Abreu 4th, and moving Pena down could be the answer, but Pena hits much better when he is surrounded by guys in front of him and below him that may have a pitcher thinking he needs to be in the zone more on him. When a pitcher is free to stay on the margins more on Pena he struggles more; he is more likely to expand than anyone else. It may end up that Abreu is 6th; we know Dusty likes L/R/L/R when he can. A lefty hitter that can bat 2nd like Brantley or Benintendi can force that issue and drop Pena anyway.

    I think he paid Montero what he had too so that it wasn’t competitive in the bidding. No one likes giving free money, that is particularly true of wealthy people – so there was a reason he did it. I assume Montero had multiple shorter but good AAV offers that forced Crane’s hand.

    Key 1 is health. McCullers has to live up to that contract and that 15 million this year. He has to make 25 starts. Otherwise it forces Brown in, and we are better if Brown forces his way in and not forced in. If we get 2 injuries from that staff, we could have 10+ starts from Whitley or France. Key 2 is finding where those games that Aledmys played, and the around 35-40 games that Chas doesn’t play in CF. Maybe those are Hensley and Meyers, but Hensley won’t play alot of SS. My guess is Frenchy is on the roster for the defense. Key 3 – the bullpen doing well in the roles they are locked in. If injuries force guys that start off as non leverage into more leverage spots, it could be more inconsistent as last year.

    Three things that could trip them up – an injury to Chas because it puts a far below average player in CF whether its Meyers or Dubon or Leon- 2 injuries at the same time to the rotation – and a 36 year old catcher forcing Lee or Diaz into playing time before they force themselves into playing time, disrupting the pitching staff most of all. I wouldn’t be hurt at all (like Chas probably wil be) if the signing is actually a CFer and Brantley comes back, and Chas is the 4th OFer, a role he is probably better suited for.

    Diaz appears the most ready offensively. Hensley is the guy that has the opportunity right now, I believe Dusty likes Hensley enough that he is going to find at bats for him. This infield has 4 guys that will play 150 games+ if they are healthy so Perez and Matijevic just won’t get opportunities. Mati will probably be off the roster before all is said and done. Korey Lee could end up starting a lot of games though if another catcher isn’t brought in (I’m still hoping like OP is that Narvaez is a guy that we bring in, but yes Dave, there is concerns if he isn’t getting enough ABs).

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no problem with Chas being the 4th outfielder if Crane finds a centerfielder he wants. Chas might also keep most of the leftfield job if it is determined to move away from Brantley. I’m fine with that too.

      Until we know what gets done with the catcher position, it’s hard to guess what the roster might look like. Will there be room and enough work for either Lee or Y. Diaz? Are we resigned to having Frenchy back? I’m not. And we can’t rule out A. Diaz yet.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. 2. I’d take Verlander over Contreras and Benintendi because I don’t really want Contreras and Benintendi.
    3. I’d love it if they came up with another pitcher to guard against injury, but not a $40 million pitcher.
    4. I think the ones who would most negatively be affected by a pitch clock would be the pitchers who have to face the Astros.
    5. I’m old school. I would much rather have had batters make teams stop shifting, but they refused to do it. So I will sit back and watch the Astros surgically dissect other team’s defenses.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think we need Contreras. And I’m not all that excited about Verlander getting three years and 40 something a year. For me it’s all about his post season performance. As far as Benintendi goes, he’d be somewhat of a compromise to me. I still want the centerfielder.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Verlander had 28 starts and posted an 18-4 record in 2022. That puts him at 244 wins for his career. I feel as though he has made it clear he’s chasing Scherzer’s contract, but you have to think he’s also chasing 300 wins. Gettting 56 more is going to be difficult. I wonder what factors he is considering. Does he think playing the Angels and Mariners are going to be worse for that goal than SD, Coors Field, and whatever the ballpark in Phoenix is? What about having to play against most of the AL East or NL East? No Central division teams have been floated as candidates to land him (did I miss Detroit somehow?). What about Houston’s chances to get him there?

      My prediction is he’s going to sign a huge deal that’s similar to Correa’s last year.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. 6. I think sliding Abreu into the #6 slot is natural. Tucker was the season’s RBI leader for the Astros and I think you leave him following Bregman. Abreu provides protection batting behind Tucker and Abreu gets lots of RBI chances in the sixth spot.
    Hopefully, another good hitter is in the #7 slot to protect Abreu in the lineup.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 7. I think the rest of the Astros bullpen effectively hid what Montero accomplished this season. He was elite against LH batters and showed closer-like stuff and had 14 saves. I’m not convinced the Astros overpaid for his next three years. I think they really like him in their bullpen and in their clubhouse.
    As for Abreu, here is the Astros story at 1B in 2022. They were dead last in 1B production in the AL: https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=1b&stats=bat&lg=al&qual=0&type=8&season=2022&month=0&season1=2022&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=2022-01-01&enddate=2022-12-31
    Abreu had the highest accumulated WAR of any first baseman in the AL. They went out and got one of the best first basemen in baseball and paid him what they needed to pay him to fix 1B.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 8. 3 keys to a repeat:
    1. Effectively transfer Hunter Brown’s 126 innings of 2022 into 135 effective major league innings in 2023.
    2. Cristian Javier turns into the starter for the year that we saw large glimpses of in 2022.
    3. The Astros offense returns to its 2021 level.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 9. Things that could trip the Astros up:
    Injuries to the infield.
    Injuries to the Rotation
    WS hangover
    10. Prospect on the cusp of breaking into the lineup:
    1. Yainer Diaz
    2. Will Wagner as backup infielder.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 1. Hopefully, Bagwell is there to judge character and to recruit.

    2. Incomplete question. If I have to take JV for 3 years/$140m, I’ll pass. I think it would be a really dumb move, so Angels maybe?

    3. We have enjoyed unprecedented health team wide in the last few years. It’ll catch up eventually. Whoever keeps churning out these great pitchers deserves most of the credit for this last WS win.

    4. First question: Now that we have PitchCom, why don’t we put the device on the pitcher and let him tell the catcher what pitch he’s about to throw. No more shaking off. If you have a rookie out on the mound, you’re fine to switch it back, but when it’s someone like Framber, let him call the pitch.

    5. Second question: Teams are shifting to combat one-dimensional hitters like Joey Gallo. Banning the shift will cause more of those hitters to prosper in the league. Why did we make this rule change? Who wants more .190 hitters?

    6. This is an embarrassment of riches. Let the analytics guys set the batting order.

    7. No

    8. Health, Health, Health.

    9. Health, Health, Health.

    10. If my answers to 8 and 9 don’t work out, there will be lots of opportunities.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bryan Reynolds wants a trade. If the Pirates decide not to keep an unhappy centerfielder around, they’ll certainly want an established starting pitcher, but what else would we have to give to get the guy? From what little we know, the Astros have always been keen on the guy.


      • Mr Bill: The more veteran players you acquire in trades or free agency, the less prospects you need to fill holes.
        If you acquire players who have three or more years of control you don’t need top prospects who are ready soon.
        If you trade Gilbert and still have Melton and Barber you are OK and vice versa. If you trade Leon and still have Dirden, you are ok and vice versa. If you trade Whitley and still have Hunter Brown, you are OK, but not vice versa. I think Brown is the untouchable, with the pending rising cost of the Astros rotation in the next few years.
        If you trade one catching prospect, you have more down there, especially if you sign a major league free agent catcher that eliminates needing multiple catching prospects.
        I think the Astros could trade four of their top 10 prospects to install Reynolds in CF for three years.


  12. To be honest, I have never seen Reynolds play. The fact that he is a switch-hitter and has had moderately good offensive stats is intriguing. But Drew Gilbert reminds me of a kid named George Springer – and we don’t see many of that quality of players, with that much potential to infuse our team with positive energy as well as extreme talent – in our system anymore.


    • For me the question is whether we are waving the white flag after 2024. Go all in now with marginal upgrades? Is Reynolds going to be that big an upgrade over Chas? We haven’t seen him in the post-season and have seen plenty of guys fail in the pressure of a pennant race. Plus, I don’t usually like Vanderbilt players. I’m intrigued with Gilbert. He has a better approach than many and the bat speed to make it.


  13. Joe Smith and Abraham Toro were traded for Kendall Graveman and Rafael Montero.
    Joe Smith isn’t in Seattle anymore and Toro was traded yesterday.
    Graveman is long gone but Montero now has a good new contract in Houston. Funny how trades end up in surprises.


  14. There are reports tonight out of NY that the Mets and JV have reached and agreement for 2/87.8m plus a one year vested option. But the report also says JV is giving Crane a chance to match it, because of their friendship and mutual respect for each other.
    If this is true it fits my idea that JV was going to sign for big bucks with a contending team who trains in Florida. Being close to his Florida home is a big deal to Verlander for winter and spring training.


  15. I’m going to miss Verlander. He was so good this season and, though he had some playoff drama, he still had two playoff wins for us this year, too.
    His leaving makes the Astros efforts to improve their offense all the more important. They need to improve in that area while coming up with good pitching. It is going to be interesting to see who they add to this team.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2022/12/catching-notes-murphy-astros-contreras-cardinals.html#comments
    If they really want to fill that hole in the lineup and would be willing to trade a load of prospects, it isn’t going to be for a backup catcher. It is going to be for a primary catcher. Nobody in their right mind is going to make a big trade sending top prospects for a guy who would sit on the bench while you stick a 35 year old catcher who hits .180 in your lineup.
    If they want to play Maldonado at catcher, they might as well stick Korey Lee on the bench and save a bunch of prospects and money instead of trading for Murphy or signing Contreras.


      • Listening to Dusty yesterday on MLB Network I would assume he knows they need to upgrade. I was as frustrated as a fan as anyone else about getting Vazquez then not playing him – but his comments about it yesterday made sense. When he was asked about Contreras it makes me think even more the rift was more Baker/Click than Crane/Click….

        Basically – he said he didn’t feel with 2 months left in the season it was time for a new catcher to come in and learn this pitching staff or change leagues. He sounded very supportive of efforts to get Contreras now that he has an offseason, ST, and an entire year before the postseason to work with the pitchers.

        If anyone were asking me (I can’t seem to get Crane to return my calls) I would stay away from Contreras. This just feels like one of those contracts that in 3 years we will be wondering how to get out from under of. He is entering his age 31 season – not the best time for catchers. He is probably a little overstated as a hitter – he hasn’t even hit .250 in 3 years. Yes, he hits a few homers, but so does Maldy.

        I know everyone is frustrated by the number of 0fers you get from Maldy. I am too. But jumping into a bad contract will not make us feel better in 2025 (granted he should be good NEXT year). This is why I have been higher on Narvaez – he will be cheaper and for less time. Any contract for a catcher has a chance to be a bad one, but a bad one that is 2 years is better than one that is 5 years.

        Maldy is on this roster next year, whether its the starter or the back up. I don’t expect the Astros to come out and say “we need an upgrade.” They would be putting Maldy out to pasture, and that’s not a way to operate. I’ve been surprised that they haven’t been quieter about it tbh, you can upgrade the position without throwing your catcher under the bus or upsetting an entire team of players that apparently like Maldy.


  17. I can’t say Verlander leaving makes me happy but really, 86 million for 2 years? The Mets are going to open with one 43 million dollar pitcher and follow him with another 43 million dollar pitcher. One is 40, the other is 38. How did they let it get like this? The franchise that once sported the envy in the league in 5 under 25 year old starters that were slinging rocks now has to give two ancient dudes with spotty injury histories 86 million dollars and hope for the best. As much as I wanted him back, I am glad he is not hamstringing the rest of our winter with a fragile 43 million dollar arm.

    Contreras would be an upgrade, but has bad contract potential. Overrated as a hitter. Benintendi should at least hit .275, but where did the power go? It could have been just one of those years. I would be fine steering clear of either of these fellows. I have not even heard a rumor of the Astros meeting with Nimmo or any interest, but things have come out of no where with this franchise before. Nimmo is going to get 6/120 from what I am hearing, and that sounds like it has a better than 50/50 shot at being a bad contract 3 years from now when he isn’t on the field enough.

    They probably have to do something. The answer can’t be McCormick in LF, Meyer in CF and Dubon as the 4th OFer. Well, it can be, but we won’t like it. That’s the depth chart right now.

    Outside of Benintendi the best left looks like Haniger. That is somewhat of a drop off – has power, but spends a lot of time on the DL, and when he plays he Ks at a high clip. If he is batting 7th the Ks probably aren’t as harmful if he can hit 25-30 HR. Haniger will be 32 on opening day, and is on the market for the first time, so I assume his agent is trying to cash in. After that, you are looking at Wil Myers and Profar. Profar is interesting – he can’t hit the way the Rangers thought he would as a young 5 star prospect, but he is an athlete, and his flexibility to play lots of positions has to at least make you look up his baseball reference page.


    • I’ll add – remember I am the crazy one right – I’m not signing any of em. I’m putting a combination of Yanier Diaz and Michael Brantley in LF next year, only if a Brantley deal is team friendly. We trusted Pena (really because there were no other options) and it worked out. Diaz is a better hitter. If we watched Carlos Lee tumble around LF for 5 years, we can watch Diaz do it. And Diaz adds the benefit of being an emergency catcher that allows you DH someone like Contreras or Narvaez or where ever they decide to go at C. And Dubon (ugh) stands ready to get out there every 8th inning as a defensive replacement.

      Diaz has something like 9 innings in the OF in his professional life. First base is occupied for the next 3 years. The Astros seem intent on adding a C, so he is blocked everywhere. His stick is ready NOW. Another season in the minors isn’t helping him, I don’t want the turkey over cooked. I think the Astros should find a way to get him 400 PAs next year, and moving around at DH, LF, 3rd catcher type that can even spell Abreu at 1B (which is tough, he doesn’t miss much time historically). If managed right, a trifecta of Brantley/Yordan/Diaz in LF and DH could work wonders, especially since one of them is a righty bat and Brantley is only going to be another year older against lefties. The thing that would be challenging would be the daily batting order since presumably Brantley is batting 2nd when he is in there and Diaz down at 7th when he is in there putting a flip flop on Pena’s foot.


      • Gosh, I think that’s a bad idea Steven! I don’t want the defending champs to have the worst leftfield defense in MLB.

        I’m good with your original suggestion of Narvaez for two years max. If Diaz becomes a capable catcher or Lee shows a consistent hit tool, then Narvaez can always get traded back out. Someone always needs a catcher.

        But my prize is still a centerfielder. And Nimmo remains the guy I’d prefer. We signed Brantley for 16 million in his 32nd year to play a mediocre leftfield. We’d be paying Nimmo around 20 million in his 30th year to play a solid centerfield. Of course, as you noted, it does sound like he’s going to get six years now. And the injury risk with the guy is documented. But he might well give us what we need in center for 3 years and then a couple more good years in left. And he sure would fit so well into our lineup. Benintendi is a consolation prize because he has no business in center. I’d rather have Bellinger.


      • One of the things that maybe is being ignored is the stated use of Yordan Alvarez as the left fielder. Baker said Monday that they would like to use him “65 to 70 % of the time” in LF.
        That sounds to me that they want him to be their regular left fielder.
        If you take that as the truth, then the real opening is at DH, which is Yainer Diaz’s optimum position.
        People might want to ignore what the Astros are saying about Alvarez, but he was in LF a lot of the time during the playoffs. It might pay to look at Alvarez as the primary LFer, Diaz as the primary DH and the additions to what they currently have would be a better hitting catcher or a better hitting CFer or both, which would make the Astros one of the better hitting clubs in history.
        This is not me talking. I am just repeating what I have read, and what I’ve read is the Astros being interested in Murphy or Contreras.
        What I’ve read is about the Astros checking in on Bellinger and Nimmo and Conforto and Benintendi. All of those players could be used in CF if they want Yordan in LF the majority of the time.
        What I get out of this is that the Astros want to score a lot more by having good hitters from 1-9 in the lineup to make up for any loss of effectiveness in the starting rotation due to Verlander’s exit.
        Lost in the discussion is the innings that Verlander threw and some of that should be taken up by LMJ, who only threw 42 innings in the regular season.


      • 1OP, if the Astros really want Yordan out in left 65% of the time, putting Benintendi in center would give us a pretty bad defensive outfield with the exception of Tuckers territory. The Sox gave up on Benintendi in center when he was 24. He played 12 games out there for the Sox that year. He does not get around enough.

        If the Astros truly are intent on Yordan being pretty much a fulltime outfielder, then they should go get a centerfielder or simply do what they did last year using guys we already have in house. And if we take that path, I sure would be surprised.


      • From what I have heard, they have meetings with Benintendi and Contreras, the rest are just check in with agents. I don’t think Bellinger or Narvaez or Nimmo are currently on the radar. Narvaez may be waiting on Contreras and Vazquez to sign to become the next fish and up his price. That is at least what I would do.

        I also agree Nimmo would be a big add behind Abreu. He probably fits the 2 spot in the order better than Pena, Benintendi, Brantley or anyone else. 6/120 seems a little rich. We still have Framber and Tucker contracts to deal with long term.

        Yordan looks like a triple something-or-another ligament I have never heard of injury/surgery waiting to happen. Maybe not though. I agree, it doesn’t look like Dusty is scared to pencil him in LF 4 days a week.


    • I’m happier that Verlander has gone to NY rather than a team like Seattle. Everyone wants to spend money or make a big move. I think the way the Astros improve offensively is asking Pena and Maldonado to raise their OBP slightly. Expect Tucker and Abreu to give better performance out of their positions next year. Also, it would be nice to see what we’ve got from Hensley, Korey Lee, Yainer Diaz, and Joe Perez. If Meyers and McCormick aren’t cutting it in the outfield you can pursue someone in June/July and hope they have better results than we got out of Mancini. Last I heard Brantley wouldn’t be ready until during Spring Training.


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