Memorial Day and other memories

Dan P’s on the road today with his wife and youngest son in Fredericksburg. A bit of irony being here at the start of the Memorial Day weekend as Fredericksburg is the home to the very fine Nimitz Museum of the War in the Pacific. Admiral Nimitz was from here and was Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet during WWII.

This museum and what it documents means a lot to me as my great uncle Leroy Klug died as the rear gunner/navigator in an Avenger torpedo bomber in the Pacific. A friend saw the plane go down and neither Leroy nor his pilot was ever found. Back in Milwaukee, my grandmother, Evelyn saw her brother’s picture fall off the wall the day he died. My middle name is Lee, named after Leroy and I carry it proudly.

It is hard to fathom a 20-year-old dying and sacrificing 50 or 60 years of life, marriage, children, grandchildren and career so that someone like me can have a quiet safe breakfast at the Sunset Grill on a late May morning in the Texas Hill Country.

A quick internet search says more than 500 major leaguers served in WWII, including superstars, stars, grunts and men who only had a cup of coffee in the majors. Two of the latter, Harry O’Neill and Elmer Gedeon died in that conflict. Whether they would ever have gotten a second cup of coffee or a full career the world will never know.

Gedeon had survived a training plane crash where he suffered terrible injuries saving a crew member’s life. He lost his life in a bomber raid on the V-1 rocket sites in France. O’Neill was killed by a bullet out of nowhere as he was standing in a crater on Iwo Jima.

The word hero is thrown around in sports, but these were true sports heroes.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and take a few moments to honor those who gave the ultimate gift to their nation.

Advertisements

Ranking the 2019 Astros 1-25

Staring at the great starts of so many Astros this season, ranking them would seem to be a daunting task. Well, we love to be daunted here, so this is an attempt to rank the 2019 Houston Astros through the first month and a half of the season.

  1. George Springer. He has been the best player in the AL and in the top five in all of baseball through the first 6 weeks or so of the season, which makes his sore back (shades of Carlos Correa) problematic. Leading the league in runs scored (41), HRs (17), RBIs (42), XBHs (27) and SLG (.654) and close to the top in others, he has been the core of a hot offense for the Astros.
  2. Michael Brantley. See this – https://chipalatta.com/2019/05/17/looking-at-player-x-the-best-positional-free-agent-signed-for-2019/
  3. Justin Verlander. Among starters in the AL, he is 2nd in wins (7), ERA (2.38), and IP (64.1), first in WHIP (0.793) and hits allowed per 9 IP (4.9) – he has been worth every penny and then some that the organization has paid him to date.
  4. Alex Bregman. After his annual slow start to the season, he has been on a power splurge in May with 9 HRs in the first 3 weeks. He is in the top 10 in HRs (14), RBIs (34) and OPS (.956) in the AL and is just warming up.
  5. Carlos Correa. Correa is completely back from his back injury both in the field where he has been terrific and at the bat. He is first in HRs (11), and second in RBIs (31) and OPS (.926) among AL SSs this season.
  6. Ryan Pressly. What is there to say about the man who holds the major league record of 40 straight appearances (and counting) without giving up a run? This season, he has pitched 19 times for 21 total innings and has that 0.00 ERA and 0.429 WHIP. Walks? Zero. HBPs? Zero. He did allow two inherited runners to score back in April, but otherwise, he has been lockdown brilliant this season.
  7. Roberto Osuna. Basically, the only difference between Osuna and Pressly is that Osuna gave up a run back on April 5, but has not let any inherited runners score on the season.   He is on a run of 24 straight save conversions, 12 of them in 2019. He has a 0.42 ERA, a 0.422 WHIP in 21 appearances and 21.1 IP and has only given up 7 hits and 2 walks on the season. Pressly and Osuna give the Astros a tough-as-nails back end to the bullpen.
  8. Wade Miley. With the Astros losing Dallas Keuchel, Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. from last year’s rotation, they needed the signing of Miley to work out for them and it has. He has been rock solid with a 4-2 record, 3.51 ERA and 1.172 WHIP. He’s given up 4 runs only once in 10 starts and gives the team a chance every time out. Plus he is a joy to watch as he pitches like he’s late for a party.
  9. Gerrit Cole. It is insane to think that a pitcher as good as Cole is the 9th best player on this team. His 4-4 record, 3.56 ERA and 1.038 WHIP are good, but not near what he did in 2018. To be fair, if you drop one outing (4.2 IP / 8 ER) from his record, he suddenly has an excellent 2.55 ERA and .906 WHIP. And he does lead all starters in the majors with 13.8 K/ 9 IP. He will likely move up this list a lot during the rest of the season.
  10. Robinson Chirinos. With Brian McCann, Martin Maldonado and even Evan Gattis gone, the catching position was a dark hole that Chirinos has grabbed for his own. He has a solid .252 BA / .381 OBP / .885 OPS and has handled his new staff well.
  11. Josh Reddick. Josh would be higher if he had been knocking in more runs. He has been solid to spectacular in the field and his .331 / .384 / .850 slash is part of a big comeback year for him.
  12. Jake Marisnick. This high? Well, he will sink a bit along the way (his .398 BABIP is unsustainable). But he has been clutch both at the bat and the field and if he can keep that .292 BA from falling below – say .250, he will continue to get quite a bit of playing time.
  13. Will Harris. He’s been pitching in the shadows of Osuna and Pressly, but pitching very well after a so-so 2018. Harris has a 1.08 ERA and even more important he has not allowed any of the 6 runners he has inherited to score. He is an important bridge to the last two innings.
  14. Jose Altuve. 14th best? Really, Dan P? Well he certainly has had a rough start to the season compared to most of his seasons. Outside of a nutty 5 games where he launched 6 HRs, he has been one of the weaker offensive players on the team. Hopefully, this means he will come off the IL and trend back to his norm.
  15. Brad Peacock. He’s had two bad starts and six that were good or very good. He has been a little less consistent than the starters ahead of him, but a 5-2 record with a 3.59 ERA is solid from a guy who was pulled out of the bullpen to start this season.
  16. Hector Rondon. He has not pitched in as many high leverage spots as the guys ahead of him in the bullpen, but Rondon has responded well with a 2.30 ERA and allowing only 2 of the 7 runners he inherited to score.
  17. Collin McHugh. This sounds like a broken record, but most of McHugh’s starts were good. He had two horrendous starts out of his last four that got him dropped from the rotation. He has been a good soldier and gone to the bullpen and did well in a couple tries so far.
  18. Yuli Gurriel. In 2018, Yuli’s overall numbers were meh for a corner infielder, but because he was insane with RISP (.403 BA/1.052 OPS) and insaner with 2 outs RISP (.417 BA/ 1.179 OPS) all was forgiven. This season he has been ineffective most of the time and worse with RISP (.205/.622) and 2 outs RISP (.211/.654). Maybe this is the eventual spot for Yordan Alvarez.
  19. Aledmys Diaz. After a horrendous start, he has gotten better as he has had more consistent ABs and is currently hitting .266 BA / .826 OPS. His 21 RBIs in only 79 ABs is pretty impressive.
  20. Josh James. There is a good chance James was not ready for the season after being injured in training camp and he stumbled along in April, ballooning to a 7.90 ERA. Since then he has had 6 scoreless appearances – 10 innings, 13 Ks, 3 hits and got the win in Boston after a solid 3 inning outing there. His ERA has been on the decline and sits at 4.56 now.
  21. Chris Devenski. After a poor 2018, Devo has been relegated to lower leverage spots in 2019. He has been highly inconsistent with a couple good outings followed by a stinker. Previously, pretty tough against lefties, they are raking him for .324 BA / .900 OPS in 2019.
  22. Tony Kemp. After a tough April (except for a walk-off HR against Cleveland) Tony has been slowly picking up the stats in May. Will he be the odd man out when Jose Altuve returns?
  23. Tyler White. Probably the biggest disappointment for the season as the solid turn he took at DH in 2018 has turned into a wimpy turn where he hit his first homer in his 29th game and had no RBIs in his first 17 games.
  24.  Framber Valdez. Framber has some talent and some movement on his pitches, but walking 9 in 18 innings means it is hard for the team to trust him in the higher leverage spots.
  25. Max Stassi. He is throwing out 29% of runners and seems to call decent games and all, but his bat is just stinking it up. His .160 BA/ .222 OBP/ .442 OPS is only one step above a pitcher. Yes, he is the backup catcher, but he needs to step it up a bit or the team will be making the next mid-season Martin Maldonado pickup.

So…

  • How would you rank the 25?
  • Who do you think will make the biggest climb by the end of the season?
  • Who will have the biggest drop-off by the end of the season?
  • Who won’t be on the list by the end of the season?
  • Who will be added? (Note Corbin Martin was not included after only two starts)

Looking at Player X the best positional free agent signed for 2019

Coming out of an off-season where some free agent contracts had lots of zeroes in them and we are talking TONS of them, lets take a look at the positional player who has been the best (So Far) for his new team. For the moment we will call him Player X and we will look at his numbers against a bunch of the other top free agents signed this season. (All stats through Tuesday 5-14-19).

Player X – 55 hits (tied for 1st in his league), .335 BA (1st), .379 OBP (16th),.964 OPS (7th), 26 runs (Tied for 15th), 10 HRs (Tied for 13th) 31 RBIs (9th). Signed for 2 years/ $32 million

Bryce Harper – .219 BA / .370 OBP (17th)/ .802 OPS / 32 hits / 25 runs / 7 HRs / 25 RBIs – only his .370 OBP is in the top 20 in the NL. Signed for 13 yrs/ $330 MM

Manny Machado – .265 BA / .335 OBP/ .806 OPS / 41 hits / 23 runs / 9 HRs (19th) / 23 RBIs – only his 9 HRs is in the top 20 in the NL. Signed for 10 yrs / $300 MM

Yasmani Grandal – .265 BA / .353 OBP / .807 OPS / 35 hits / 21 runs / 7 HRs / 19 RBIs – none in the top 20 in his league (but solid numbers for a catcher). Signed for 1 yr / $18.25 MM

A.J. Pollock –  .223 BA / .287 OBP /  .617 OPS / 23 hits / 15 runs / 2 HR / 14 RBIs – Nothing in the top 20 in his league and on the IL. Signed for 4 yrs / $55 MM

Andrew McCutchen – .232 BA / .363 OBP / .751 OPS / 36 hits / 28 runs (14th) / 5 HR / 14 RBIs – Only runs scored is in the top 20 in the NL – Signed for 3 yrs / $50 MM

Josh Donaldson – .254 BA / .379 OBP (15th) / .849 OPS / 34 hits / 22 runs / 6 HRs / 19 RBIs – Only his OBP is in the top 20 in the NL – Signed for 1 yr / $23 MM

Wilson Ramos – .231 BA / .299 OBP / .604 OPS / 28 hits / 15 runs / 2 HRs / 23 RBIs – None in the Top 20 in the NL – Signed for 2 yrs / $19 MM

Marwin Gonzalez – .232 BA / .314 OBP / .666 OPS / 29 hits / 14 runs / 4 HRs / 13 RBIs – None in the top 20 in his league –  Signed for 2 yrs / $21 MM

Nelson Cruz – .270 BA / .354 OBP / .862 OPS / 34 hits / 19 runs / 7 HRs / 22 RBIs – None in the top 20 in his league – Currently sitting out a few games with a wrist injury – Signed for 1 yr / $14.3 MM

Jed Lowrie – .Has not played yet with a knee injury – Expected back in June – Signed for 3 yrs / $30 MM

Daniel Murphy – .200 BA / .269 OBP / .652 OPS / 12 hits / 10 runs / 2 HRs / 13 RBIs – None in the top 20 in his league – Missed time with a broken finger – Signed for 2 yrs / $24 MM

Brian Dozier – .192 BA / . 295 OBP / .618 OPS / 25 hits / 12 runs / 5 HRs / 7 RBIs – None in the top 20 in his league – Signed for 1 yr / $9 MM

D.J. LeMahieu – .333 BA (2nd in AL) / .384 OBP (13th) / . 836 OPS / 45 hits (16th) / 22 runs / 2 HRs / 21 RBIs – Top 20 in BA, OBP and hits in AL – Signed for 2 yrs / $21 MM

Mike Moustakas – .248 BA / .315 OBP / .825 OPS / 38 hits / 22 runs / 10 HR (13th) / 27 RBIs (18th) – Top 20 in HRs and RBIs in NL – Signed for 1 yr / $10 MM

Nick Markakis – .293 BA (18th) / .388 OBP (13th) / .841 OPS / 44 hits / 26 runs (18th) / 4 HRs / 23 RBIs – Top 20 in BA, OBP and runs in the NL – Signed for 1 yr / $6 MM

Adam Jones – .276 BA / .341 OBP / .850 OPS / 45 hits (18th) / 21runs / 9 HRs (19th) / 25 RBIs – Top 20 in hits and HRs in the NL – Signed for 1 yr / $3 MM

While most of these players have been solid or at least decent, while someone like LeMahieu has been very good in an injury ravaged Yankees’ lineup, and while guys like Markakis and Jones have been real bargains, the new positional free agent, who has really shown in every category is Player X. And Player X is ……the Astros’ Michael Brantley. Player X is probably a good nickname for a guy who has been good to very good throughout his career, but usually overshadowed by teammates.

He has been a critical cog in an Astros’ lineup that is returning to the beast days of 2017. He is making the players ahead and behind him better hitters and gives the team the middle of the order left handed bat they have been lacking. The Astros have 3 of the top 9 BAs in the AL (Brantley, Josh Reddick and George Springer) and 4 of the top 10 in OPS (Brantley, Springer, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa).

YIE (Yes, It’s Early) but a big chunk of the Astros MLB best 29-15 record is resting on an offensive explosion led by their new left fielder. Brantley will no doubt cool off along the way, but don’t be surprised if he surpasses his career best 20 HRs and 97 RBIs in the middle of this lineup. Especially if Jose Altuve comes back healthy and comes back as the 2017 MVP Jose Altuve.

Player X may not be an under the radar star after this season.

 

 

 

Is This “THE” Year for George Springer?

It seems weird to look at a player as accomplished as George Springer and wonder when or if he would ever get it all together.

He has been a good player ever since the Astros finally let him on the roster back in 2014, but…. he has never been the all-year, great player they thought he could be.

His best stats in any year to date? .283 BA (2017), .367 OBP (2015 & 2017), .889 OPS (2017), 34 HR (2017) and 85 RBIs (2017). These are all good numbers. In fact, the HR and RBI numbers are very strong for a guy who has led off almost exclusively the last few seasons. But they are not great numbers, the kind of numbers everyone was hoping they would see out of Springer.

The fans were hoping for a lot out of Springer ever since he was a first-round draft pick out of the University of Connecticut. While the fans were gagging through a totally putrid 51-111 season with the big club in 2013, they wondered when oh when they would get to see the kid who was tearing things up at AA and AAA (.303 BA/.411 OBP/ 1.010 OPS/ 37 HRs/ 108 RBIs/ 45 SBs). The answer was a couple weeks into the next season as the Astros held his career clock hostage.

As a rookie he showed the inconsistency that would plague him throughout his career as he stunk things up in April (.182 BA/.480 OPS) and July (.160 BA/.680 OPS), while compiling a May to remember (.294 BA/1.032 OPS/ 22 runs/ 10 HRs/ 25 RBIs) where he seemed to be in the middle of every big play and win the team produced in a 92 loss year. But heck he was a rookie, rookies are inconsistent. Of course, he also got hurt in the middle of July and missed the rest of the season.

In 2015 he repeated the pattern, was below average through May, went ballistic in June, got hurt, missed July and August and came back with a strong September. 2016 was a pretty consistent year for Springer as he never batted above .300 in any month, but also never batted below .200 and he stayed healthy for the whole season.

George played in 140 games in both 2017 and 2018 with very different results. 2017 was his very best season as can be seen up above and he finished 13th in the MVP race. And along the same lines of inconsistency, during the 2017 playoffs, Springer played so bad that fans were wanting him dropped lower or out of the lineup and then….he went nuts in the World Series and took home the MVP.

In 2018 along with missing time he tried to play through an injured thumb and his stats were down across the board – .283 down to .264 BA/ .367 to .346 OBP / .889 to .780 OPS / 37 to 22 HRs / 85 to 71 RBIs.

Coming into 2019, people were overlooking Springer a little bit. Jose Altuve was a full season MVP in 2017. Alex Bregman was the overwhelming team MVP in 2018. Carlos Correa was the super talented SS, who hopefully would return to dominance with a healed back. George Springer was a good and sometimes very good ball player, who struggled to be excellent for more than spurts. He was also the heart of the club, but also  the guy who the fans thought might never be an MVP for more than a playoff series.

So, here we are 6 weeks into the baseball series and where is George Springer? Springer is the leadoff hitter for what is becoming the most lethal lineup in baseball and showing the stats that everyone thought he might flash when he was brought up.

Through Sunday’s games, George was leading the AL with 35 runs scored, 51 hits, 15 HRs, 37 RBIs, 105 total bases, .660 SLG and 1.060 OPS. He’s a mere 7th in batting at .321 BA and 5th in OBP at .400. He has 5 HRs leading off the game and has been great at both starting rallies and cleaning up an end of the lineup that always seems to be on base for him.

Is he going to score 138 runs, hit 59 HRs and knock in 146 runs (which was his pace as of Sunday) for the season? Probably not. But this might be the season George scores 120, hits 40+ HRs and knocks in 125 runs. And that might make Springer more than the World Series MVP.

Ranking those off-season Astros’ additions

Astro fans entered the 2019 season with the thought that the best additions to the club would be the return of a healthy Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve. While Correa seems back to his 2017 self (.297 BA/ .355 OBP/ .941 OPS with 9 HRs and 21 RBIs), Altuve is in the depths of a slump that except for one short 6 HR in 5 RBI binge has been bad.

So, let’s look at and rank those “other” off-season additions:

  1. Michael Brantley – This is a small nod over #2 on this list, but Brantley has been tremendous in many ways, not the least his .346/.380/.988 slash with 9 HRs and 27 RBIs. He has solidified the cleanup spot, given the Astros a much needed left-handed bat in the first five and been the ultimate professional hitter, going the other way or cranking it into the right field seats depending on the pitch. Opposing pitchers know that the BRRR brothers (Alex Bregman and Brantley) will give them a battle on every at bat.
  2. Wade Miley – Miley’s numbers have not been as spectacular as Brantley’s, but his performance with a 2-2 record, 3.20 ERA, 1.169 WHIP where his “worst” start is a 4 IP / 3 ER effort has been a solid win for the front office. This is a team that had to replace three of their 5 starters in the rotation. Of the three newbies (Miley, Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock), Miley has been the best and most consistent. Considering he is only costing the team $4.5 million this year, he has been a clear bargain to date.
  3. Robinson Chirinos – He may have been downgraded in our minds coming from the much hated Rangers, but he has been everything the team and fans could want in their new catcher. He is hitting a very good .272 BA/ .384 OBP/ .902 OPS. He is on an equivalent 162 game pace of 90 runs scored, 24 HRs, 90 RBIs. Sure he is only throwing out 20% of runners, but he seems to be doing a good job with his new pitching staff. And a big reason that George Springer has a bunch of RBIs from the leadoff spot is the fact that the lineup gets flipped with Chirinos getting on base along with his buddies at the bottom of the order.
  4. Aledmys Diaz – Folks may be disappointed in Diaz and say that he is not as good as Marwin Gonzalez offensively or defensively, who he is replacing. Just remember that in truth that Brantley is mostly replacing MarGo, who played more than half his games last season in left field. Diaz has been under-producing at the plate vs. his career numbers, but has come up with some key hits and home runs and has willingly jumped in at some positions (e.g. 1B and OF) where he has little or no experience. Diaz is 4th among these new arrivals, but he has been decent and at times clutch for the team.

So, how do you rank these four newcomers and how do you feel about the job the front office did in picking them up?

Verlander, Springer lead ChipalattAwards for Mapril 2019

The first ChipalattAwards for 2019 cover the four games played at Tampa in March, plus the 26 games played in April. Thus the Mapril awards. The Astros fell into a 4 1/2 game hole in the division after the first week but ended the month at 18-12 and one game ahead of the Mariners for the AL West lead and two games behind the Rays for the best record in the AL.

There were a number of solid choices for the awards this month, so let’s go ahead and make our reveal.

Starting Pitcher of the Month. Justin Verlander. The Astros ace mostly pitched like one in compiling a 4-1 record, where his only loss was a tough-luck 1-0 defeat at Minnesota. He led the starters in ERA (2.45), IP (44) and WHIP (0.864) while putting up a solid 10.8 Ks/ 9 IP.

Runner-up. Wade Miley. The new addition to the starting rotation was very good with a 3.24 ERA on the month. His record was only 1-2, but the team was 4-2 in his starts through April as they scored only 2 runs total in his two losses (3-1 and 2-1) and they scored late in his three no-decisions. So far he looks like a left-handed bargain at $4.5 million for 2019.

Everyday Player of the Month. George Springer. His .274 BA was not eyepopping, but his .927 OPS was top notch and he did what he was supposed to do as a run producer. Through April he scored 21 runs, had 7 doubles and 9 HRs and a team-leading 24 RBIs. He was helped by an end of the lineup that was getting on base, but he was taking advantage of those situations and was in the middle of many of the team’s rallies.

Runner-up. Michael Brantley. Brantley was as good as advertised after joining the Astros from the Indians, posting a sparkling slash (.331 BA/.380 OBP/.897 OPS) out of the cleanup spot. He scored 16 runs, had 7 doubles, 5 HRs and 18 RBIs and who knows how that would look if Jose Altuve was having a normal start in front of him. Brantley continued his big-time hitting in May, especially a nutty weekend in Monterrey.

Relief Pitcher of the Month.  Ryan Pressly. In 11 appearances, he has 1 win, 2 saves and has an ERA of 0.00 in 12.1 IPs. He has not walked anyone this season and had a microscopic WHIP of 0.405. He has continued his dominance in May and now between 2018 and 2019 holds the longest scoreless streak (33 IP and counting) in team history, unseating the great Roy Oswalt. Even the pointy head spin counters in the front office could not have foreseen his dominance since his trade at the deadline last season.

Runner-up. Roberto Osuna. If someone wanted to give this award to Osuna (2-0 and 7 of 7 in save opportunities) instead of Pressly they would have a good argument. Osuna does have one run against him this month (0.73 ERA), but he was better at preventing inherited runners from scoring (stranded the two runners he did inherit, while Pressly allowed 2 of 3 inherited runners to score). Like Pressly he has not allowed a walk on the month and ended April with an even better WHIP of 0.243. Other teams trailing late against the Astros are falling into a black hole of hopelessness……

Biggest Surprise (Positive). Wade Miley.  See discussion above, but he came in as a probable #4 or 5 in the rotation and has performed as a solid #2 or 3.

Runner-up. Josh Reddick. Reddick was one of the bigger disappointments in 2018 as he experienced an approx. 70 pt drop in batting average and a 130 pt drop in OPS. He has been one of the team’s top hitters in 2019 with a .352 BA / .404 OBP/ .888 OPS slash through April.

Biggest Surprise (Negative). Max Stassi. Yes, he is only the backup catcher, but he is getting into about a 1/3 of the games and he has stunk at the plate (.103 BA/ .133 OBP/ .340 OPS slash) through April. He had a couple hits in Monterrey (who didn’t) but this has to be a spot where the front office may be thinking about an upgrade.

Runner-up. Josh James. Probably too much was expected of the young man after his strong end to 2018 and after missing a big chunk of spring training. In a bullpen that has been as stingy as Ebenezer Scrooge (before his “bad dream” night), James has been as generous as Ebenezer Scrooge (after meeting the past, present and future ghosts). Through April, he had an ugly 7.36 ERA and the last seat in the bullpen. He seemed to have stopped the bleeding with two scoreless outings in his latest appearances, and with his arm talent, the hope is that he will return to the dominance he showed last season.

The surprising stat award. Tyler White with 0 RBIs through April. This despite the fact 14 games in he had a solid .297 / .435 / .786 slash. This is a guy who is hitting .286 BA / .385 OBP .718 OPS with men on base. Oh…..with runners in scoring position, he is hitting .154 BA / .294 OBP/ .448 OPS. Maybe we found the problem.

The looking over his shoulder award. Tony Kemp. Even with his dramatic walk-off HR Tony is slashing a puny .186 BA/ .265 OBP/ .591 OPS. There is some shmo named Yordan Alvarez slashing .402/ .496/ 1.372 at AAA. Yes, Jeff Luhnow referenced Kyle Tucker when he said that folks should not expect AAA studs to hit the ground running in the majors, but at some point if someone/anyone gets an infected hangnail, maternity leave or whatever, there will be an opportunity for this kid (not currently on the 40 man – but there is room).  And he is the kind of talent who might take advantage of the chance that Tucker failed to grab last season.

Bottom line, do you agree with these awards?

Want to propose awards of your own?

Did home run madness screw up Jose Altuve?

No one could blame Houston Astros’ fans if they felt a little off balance Tuesday. After Monday night’s 0-for-4, Jose Altuve is hitting .248 on the season. If that seems a bit unusual, it is. Working backwards from 2018 back to 2011, Jose’s BA after 29 games played has been .351, .297, .330, .336, .289, .322, .348, .322. The sun comes up and Jose Altuve hits and hits for a high average.

Continue reading