Astros’ 2023: Would you rather?

Today we feature another version of “Would You Rather”, where you get two tough choices for the upcoming 2023 Astros’ season.

Would you rather…

1.…Have Lance McCullers Jr. start at least 30 games or have Yordan Alvarez start at least 145 games?

2.…Have Alex Bregman play poorly in 2023 and sign an extension or have him play 2018/2019 great and never have a shot of having him sign an extension?

3.…Have the Astros’ lead the AL in ERA or lead the league in runs scored during the regular season? Does your answer change for the playoffs?

4.…Have the Astros win it all, but have more than three-quarters of their games not on cable due to the financial failure of the regional sports network, or have them fall in the playoffs, but have the whole season available on local cable?

5.…Have Forrest Whitley or J.P. France fill the 2022 Hunter Brown role in 2023?

6.…Have the Astros sponsor a special Pinata whacking contest featuring former Commissioner Bud Selig or current Commissioner Rob Manfred?

7.…Have Bryan Abreu lead the team in saves or Hunter Brown lead the team in wins?

8.…Have the Astros beat Justin Verlander (and the Mets) or Gerrit Cole (and the Yankees) in a regular season matchup?  

9.…Have Yordan Alvarez or Kyle Tucker be the Astros best offensive player in 2023?

10.…Have Framber Valdez or Cristian Javier be the best Astros starting pitcher in 2023?   

Your turn …..


36 comments on “Astros’ 2023: Would you rather?

  1. 1. Alvarez
    2. Bregman great in 2023. A bird in the hand…
    3. ERA. Offenses are often times feast or famine…especially against great pitching in the postseason. I’d rather have a staff we expect to keep the other team off the board and give us a chance to win all games.
    4. Win it all. But I’m not local anymore…so I probably don’t count here.
    5. Either one is fine with me
    6. Por que no los dos?
    7. I’m going with Brown. If Abreu leads the team in saves that means either injuries or ineffectiveness elsewhere in the bullpen. Seeing such a strength from 2022 not perform could indicate a rough season.
    8. Por que no los dos?
    9. Alvarez. The only way Tucker beats him is if Alvarez is hurt.
    10. Framber. I think if Javier is our best starter that means Framber regressed. If it’s a small regression we should be fine. If it’s a big one we might be missing Verlander.


  2. 1. LMJ. Offense can win any game. Pitching wins titles.

    2. Always wishing for great years. Go earn yours. If someone else wants to pay 10/300 and we don’t, eventually we will fall behind.

    3. ERA. See 1.


  3. 4. Why you wish this voodoo on Jobu?

    5. France. Whitley doesn’t look like he has command in or out of the zone. Can’t throw strikes and can’t fool anyone. France doesn’t exactly pepper the zone but he also doesn’t get crushed when he comes in.

    6. Selig. We should be in the NL. Well, until the universal DH come along. Now I guess it doesn’t matter.


  4. 7. Abreu is a little down the pecking order. For him to lead the team in saves we are probably down Pressley, Montero and Neris. That would be bad news. Brown is in the rotation. Him leading the team in wins means he surpasses all of them and that would be a good thing however unlikely.


  5. 8. Cole. Just the way he left. Bad taste. Verlander – a little bit of a me gene, but he seemed genuine in his like of the city, the fans, and the franchise. With Cole, the salaries seem to be a choice, with Verlander, who in their right mind says no to 120M for 3 years.


  6. 1. Heck, if Lance starts 30 games, he’ll be gassed for the post season. I think a happy situation would be 20 starts max for him in 2023. If Yordan goes 145, I think that means his hand thing is not such a big deal. And we know he’ll hit if he’s playing.

    2. I think Bregman is 50/50 at best to stay with this club long term. By all means, give me a great 2023 season for now.

    3. Give me great pitching in the post season. That’s more important than anything.

    4. There will always be a way to watch games, even if technically illegal. All the drama that continually plays out in the baseball broadcasting business is a crime in of itself.


  7. 9. It’s not a fair comparison. Alvarez is a MVP candidate. He had an OPS over 1k last year. he has a career .973. His trajectory is up – drew more walks and struck out less last year in fewer games than 2021. Tucker has a good .837 career OPS, he is impact, but he ain’t Yordan, who is in conversations with Judge, Ohtani, Soto, etc.

    Now I am not taking anything from Tucker. KT has a classic swing, Teddy baseball look. I love the no batting gloves, but he would probably be a better hitter with them (grip is a big part of it). He will be even more special when he puts on 5-7 more pounds and puts that loopy swing to work when the bat head gets in the zone faster with more authority. He is the best baserunner on the team. He is the best defensive outfielder on the team. Offensively he was down last year, but the shift rules may help him (according to some sites he led the league in lost hits last year to the shift). I love KT. But he isn’t the worlds most dangerous man in a batters box (sorry Ken Shamrock for stealing your moniker). Ask Alvarado who he would rather pitch too.


  8. 5. I’m not thrilled about either guy, but I think France is less of a reach right now.

    6. Selig was kind of a dope. Manfred is a dangerous scoundrel.

    7. I love Abreu, but as noted above, if he leads the club in saves, our pen will have been through some real injury issues.

    8. Cole is a Yankee.

    9. I hope they have a great battle!

    10. I hope they have a great battle!


  9. 10. More crazy thoughts. Framber throws strikes. How the shift affects him as a heavy groundball pitcher we will see. I would love to see Javier become another “ace” but I don’t know if you can be an ace if you rarely see the 7th, and never the 8th. His stuff is amazing. Has to be if you are going to lead the world in BAA. Thats a reverse batting title. Extremely good. A lot like Alvarez, our worlds most dangerous man in a batters box, but reversed.

    That said, he is throwing a no hitter and has to come out after 6 no hit innings because he is at 100 pitches.

    I’ve played the “how do you get him to throw fewer pitches earlier” scenario in my head. I don’t think it changes. First, he has electric stuff. That makes hitters want to let stuff go by and work counts hoping to get one they can handle. Second, hitters are far more patient now then 15 years ago, they are willing to take a strikeout if they don’t get the pitch they want. Third, he just doesn’t go in the zone early enough all the time.

    Framber just seems better at making his pitch look like to the hitter its the one he wants without it actually being the one he wants. He gets all those early count ground ball outs, and next thing you know he is just cruising going into the 8th inning at 85 pitches. If the shift doesn’t get him, he can win a Cy.

    Here is some juice from the steak – Framber faced 827 hitters last year. 94 managed a 3-2 count on him (11.4%). CJ faced 585 hitters, with 125 managing to get him to 3-2 (21.4%). Thats why while I think CJ is the guy most likely to get any single hitter out in any given situation, Framber is the guy that has better seasons.


    • Steven, I know this is a concern for you, but Javier was allowed to go over 100 pitches just twice last regular season, both with good results. I’m guessing he’ll be fully stretched out in 2023 and we’ll see him pitch the 7th and go over 100 pitches more frequently. If you look at his performance in the 4th, 5th, 6th innings, there is no discernible difference in his effectiveness. And I love his 0.32 ERA in September/October. He gave up 1 earned in his last 5 starts before totally shutting the Yankees and Phillies down when it really counted. He had plenty left in the tank.


  10. The Astros new 2023 Top 30 Prospect list is out and here it is:
    The thing that struck me right off the bat is that 2 notable acquisitions of James Click are knocked off the list, Jayden Murray and Alex Santos. I checked twice to be sure. Santos was Click’s very first draft pick.


  11. My granddaughter, who spent all week showing her lambs, won her district speech competition on Saturday. Word has it she will move on to another competition from there.
    After the week at the county livestock show, when did she have time to practice her speech?
    By the way, next week she takes her lamb to the state competition.
    I’m glad her basketball and cheerleading are done with for the season.


  12. 1. I would rather have Yordan Alvarez play 145 games.
    2. Alex Bregman playing 2019 level is more important to me than his extension.
    3. I would rather the Astros lead the league in runs scored than in ERA.
    4. I would rather have the Astros win it all, because this is about the Astros and not about me.
    5. I would rather have JP France fill Brown’s 2022 role than Whitley. I would rather see Whitley try to fill Enoli Paredes’s 2022 role, because he might be capable of that.
    6. I would rather have the Pinata be Mike Fiers or Evan Drellich.


  13. 7.I would rather have Hunter Brown lead the team in wins because Abreu is not our Closer.
    8. Good question! I would rathe beat Cole and the Yankes because I am not a Cole fan and I am a Verlander fan. Plus, beating the Yankees is more important in the AL.
    9. I would rather have Yordan be the best offensive player this year because he has the higher ceiling.
    10. I would want Framber to be the best, because the national media is raving about Javier and I think Framber is slighted there. This question was the hardest for me to answer. I want them both to be great.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 1. Give me Yordan playing 145 games. LMJ is just too fragile and I want the player who gives the most playing time.
    2. Play great in 2023 and let a youngster take his place later.
    3. Score those runs! Leading the ERA race doesn’t really mean much especially in the playoffs. I refer to the 1998 NL playoffs between the Astros and the Padres. We had great pitching but still lost.
    4. Astros win it all! I usually follow them on anyways.
    5. Forrest needs to step up.
    6. Whack a Bud!
    7. Brown wins.
    8. Beat Cole because the Yankees are in the AL and we can distance ourselves from them that way.
    9. Yordan.
    10. Framber.


  15. Yesterday’s game was not fun to watch, especially the second inning. Not sure if Hunter Brown is ready for that 6th spot (now 5th) as he seems to have control issues. Three back to back walks doesn’t bode well. Then Buttrey comes in and not only allows all three of Brown’s runners to score but adds another three to the tally. After that the damage was pretty much done. The bats were mostly silent and the game was for the most part over.
    I still like Seth Martinez as do others who are on Sportsmap Hou. Don’t know about Whitley at this point but would love for him to do well.

    As for my answers:
    1. Yordan
    2. Need a 2018/19 AB
    3. ERA
    4. I’m on but can’t get Washinton, Baltimore, or Atlanta due to blackout. That sucks!
    5. France because he has a mustache (so do I)
    6. This Bud’s for us
    7. What can “Brown” do for you
    8. Cole but JV a close second
    9. Tucker since I think YA will do well so it’s all the more better
    10. Framber with CJ close behind. A pretty good tandum.


    • I do really like this feature on the crawfishboxes – one spot to click on Astro related “stuff”, Al West stuff, baseball stuff, etc.


  16. I did want to take a minute to honor Gary Rossington – the last remaining original member of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the man behind one of the greatest guitar solos (Free Bird) in the history of Rock and Roll. He died yesterday or the day before, but was preceded by everybody else from the original lineup. Beyond the deaths in the plane crash – they have had a litany of early deaths – 72 years old is really too young to be the one who lived the longest.

    Liked by 2 people

    • And this afternoon I am listening to the updated release of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s live album – One More From The Road. One of the finer live albums out there and showing why LS was one of the more popular road bands in the world prior to their plane crash.


    • Good morning! These spring training ties remind me that I’d prefer to have such an outcome in the regular season rather than playing extra innings under the present put a guy on second base rule.


      • Interesting comment.🤔
        I think that deserves some more attention. Glad to see the Stros come back in the 9th.


    • I’ll be pleasantly surprised if either Yordan or Brantley are in the line up on Opening Day. That might give a guy like Dirden a couple of weeks with the big club before reporting to Sugarland, but then a guy like Madris would have to be dropped from the 40 man to make room. Who put Madris on the 40 man in the first place?


    • Comparing Alvarez to Tucker is apples to oranges. No doubt, Alvarez has been about the best hitter in the game. But Tucker is a far more accomplished baseball player overall and odds are he’ll be the healthier of the two going forward. We’re finding out that none of the extensions we’ve been hoping for will be easy. Can we lose all these guys, maybe with the exception of Altuve and remain relevant into the end of the decade?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s