Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 40

Thread: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

  
  1. #16
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    Here comes spring training! It is less than 3 weeks away as pitchers and catchers in the so-called grapefruit league in Florida are scheduled to report on February 14th and the first workouts with pitchers and catchers is slated for the 15th. The Super Bowl is next Sunday the 5th of February which means within 10 days of the official end of the 2016 NFL season we get baseball. I wish I had James Earl Jones voice to say that last sentence because it deserves a voice to convey the drama of the impending season. The short soliloquy he gives in "Field of Dreams" to give hope to Kevin Costner's character, Ray Kinsella, is classic and Jones deep baritone voice is perfect. I can't resist, here's a link to that speech and when you hit 'play' just close your eyes and let your imagination take you where Jones voice is leading. Perfect.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SB16il97yw

    I don't know why people get so sentimental about baseball. Maybe it's movies like Field of Dreams and For The Love of the Game. Maybe it really does take us back to childhood memories of pickup games with our buddies, choosing up side and playing for hours and having a blast. Kids nowadays don't do that so much. The kids that wanted to do that and took the lead to organize schoolmates for these games are now playing on select teams and touring the countryside playing tournaments. Without the leadership of those boys the rest of the kids who might be enticed into playing pickup games are too busy playing video games. I think the select teams are all well and good but isn't there something lost when kids get together and govern themselves, picking team captains, tossing up a bat and catching it and alternating captains hand over hand to the knob of the bat to see who picks first? Then, when teams are selected do the bat toss again to see who gets to bat first? Then, they play the game. They decide on rules to meet the needs of the game to make it fair and they settle their own arguments. Nobody stays mad long because you forget about it when you get back to the game. You learn to deal with people there on those vacant lots or abandoned fields. You learn to grow up in profound ways that isn't taught by coaches of select teams. It's all business. Yeah, you get to play baseball but it's not the same. When I was a kid and I played baseball I loved it. I loved practicing and I loved the games but I also loved calling my friends and having them meet at the school yard and play ball. It's a big loss for kids in my opinion that seems like it will never come back. The pickup games you still see are basketball games and it's good to see that culture isn't totally lost. Baseball is coming and that is a good thing and I can hardly wait.

    The Astros have 5 players on the MLB top 100 prospects list and here's the article from Astros.com listing these players. The amount of top 100 prospects is down from previous years because a bunch of them are now on the 25 man roster. You have George Springer, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Colin Moran, Chris Devenski, David Paulino and Joe Musgrove to name a few. The Astros had MLB's best farm system for two years running and many of those players are now with the big club and some were moved for veteran players like Ken Giles, Jake Marisnick and others over the years. What that means is the future is now for Houston. The acquisition of Josh Reddick, Brian McCann and Nori Aoki as well as the acquisition of Cuban star Yulieski Gurriel last September upgrades the Astros offense, and defense, tremendously. If Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers come back healthy and, in McCuller's case, stay healthy the Astros should have a very nice pitching staff. It could be that Houston is still sending out feelers to find another above average starter and a couple of the prospects listed in the linked article could be on the table if the right guy comes along.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...prospect-list/

    Astros owner Jim Crane is being inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame this weekend. What many people probably don't know about Crane is that he was a darn good baseball player in college at D-II school Central Missouri. He was part of a team that made it to the D-II College World Series. Crane played at Central Missouri from 1973-76, going 21-8 with a 2.42 ERA. He ranks first in career complete games (23), shutouts (seven) and third in career strikeouts (215). He still holds the program's single-game strikeout record (18), and in 1997, he was inducted into the Central Missouri Athletic Hall of Fame. The induction ceremonies are today with Crane and other Missouri standout athletes like St Louis Cardinals Vince Young, Kansas City Chiefs Bill Kenney, Kansas City outfielder Amos Otis and the Central Missouri baseball program. Way to go, Jim!

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...ri-sports-hof/

  2. #17
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    The St Louis Cardinals were caught hacking the Astros web business, caught red handed and red faced from the embarrassment of being caught. MLB handed down the punishment of a pretty heinous cybercrime and many feel the Cardinals got off light. You can judge for yourself whether the MLB folks cut them too much slack. Here are the penalties, 1) the Cardinals were fined $2MM which is more than the estimated loss calculated by the government in their investigation and 2) the real damning penalty was that the Astros were awarded the Cardinalsí top two draft picks in this yearís draft. Itís just Houstonís lousy luck that St Louis doesnít have a first round pick this year The Astros will get the Cardinals 2nd round pick (#56) and their Competitive Balance B pick which comes between the 2nd and 3rd rounds (#75). This will give Houston 5 picks in the top 100 picks in the draft. This could go a long way toward the Astros restocking their minor league system. The draft choices taken from St Louis is the most severe penalty of its kind ever handed down by the MLB league office. In the link below is the entire article from Astros.com and embedded in the article is a link to the entire judgement handed down by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

    Lance McCullers did some prep work for his post MLB career by becoming a reporter at the opening of the Super Bowl festivities and it was all recorded on snap chat. He even got a scowl from media nemesis Bill Belichick so he must have done something right!

    http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/01/30/214774674

    The Astros are going to get some quality help when they head to West Palm Beach (believe it or not WPB is more of a pain in the ass to type than Kissimmee!) in two weeks. Former Astros player and manager Phil Garner will be heading down to Florida to help out a Astros training camp.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...stros-at-camp/

    The Astros website is making a suggestion to baseball fans by scheduling a baseball spring training tour of the Florida MLB team venues. Spring training begins in 16 days and pitchers and catchers report in just 15 days. Florida is terrific this time of year and if you are a baseball fan Grapefruit League parks are a real option for a mid-winter vacation and itís cheaper than snow skiing.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...of-a-lifetime/

  3. #18
    1-STAR POSTER spoonbill's Avatar









    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    139
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    1000

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    Quote Originally Posted by eagle eye View Post
    The St Louis Cardinals were caught hacking the Astros web business, caught red handed and red faced from the embarrassment of being caught. MLB handed down the punishment of a pretty heinous cybercrime and many feel the Cardinals got off light. You can judge for yourself whether the MLB folks cut them too much slack. Here are the penalties, 1) the Cardinals were fined $2MM which is more than the estimated loss calculated by the government in their investigation and 2) the real damning penalty was that the Astros were awarded the Cardinalsí top two draft picks in this yearís draft. Itís just Houstonís lousy luck that St Louis doesnít have a first round pick this year The Astros will get the Cardinals 2nd round pick (#56) and their Competitive Balance B pick which comes between the 2nd and 3rd rounds (#75). This will give Houston 5 picks in the top 100 picks in the draft. This could go a long way toward the Astros restocking their minor league system. The draft choices taken from St Louis is the most severe penalty of its kind ever handed down by the MLB league office. In the link below is the entire article from Astros.com and embedded in the article is a link to the entire judgement handed down by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

    Lance McCullers did some prep work for his post MLB career by becoming a reporter at the opening of the Super Bowl festivities and it was all recorded on snap chat. He even got a scowl from media nemesis Bill Belichick so he must have done something right!

    http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/01/30/214774674

    The Astros are going to get some quality help when they head to West Palm Beach (believe it or not WPB is more of a pain in the ass to type than Kissimmee!) in two weeks. Former Astros player and manager Phil Garner will be heading down to Florida to help out a Astros training camp.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...stros-at-camp/

    The Astros website is making a suggestion to baseball fans by scheduling a baseball spring training tour of the Florida MLB team venues. Spring training begins in 16 days and pitchers and catchers report in just 15 days. Florida is terrific this time of year and if you are a baseball fan Grapefruit League parks are a real option for a mid-winter vacation and itís cheaper than snow skiing.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...of-a-lifetime/
    I think the "lousy luck" thing is where most feel they got off easy. They knew something like this was coming. Most people think that's why they had no problem giving up their 1st round pick to get Dexter Fowler before the penalties came down. The Astros should have gotten their 1st and 2nd. The difference in the slot money allowed for signing is a lot between a 1st and that comp pick. At least they got something. I believe the 2 mil pretty much covers the slot money for the 2 picks they did get.
    Likes eagle eye liked this post
     

  4. #19
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    It's kind of old news Spoonbill but I agree that the Cardinals did some flim-flamming to get rid of their 1st round pick because goodness knows Dexter Fowler isn't worth a 1st round pick. I know that if we can see that the MLB commissioner can see it and if I was in his shoes I wouldn't let the Cards slide that easy. After all, they did hack the Astros data base which is absolutely no fair. If I'm Rob Manfred I take the first two picks in the 2017 draft and their first round pick in 2018 and forbid the Cardinals to deal the pick in the meantime. That, and the 2 mil fine and you could consider the Cardinals organization duly spanked. Either that or on top of the penalties already levied take the Cardinals top two prospects and give them to Houston. Either way it sends a clear message that you will pay dearly for cyber crime. Or how about this, do what the NCAA does and ban the Cardinals from post season play for 2 years. Yeah, I kinda like that one.

    Do you realize that it is only 3 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to their new spring training facility in Boca Raton?! 4 days until the first workouts and by Friday the whole team will be in full swing into spring training??!! The real question marks will be whether Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers are healthy and more importantly can stay that way. They are the key to the Astros success in their starting rotation. Keuchel is the only lefty in that rotation so he is the key ingredient. You really wish the Astros were a little more diverse sort of like what I consider the best starting rotation ever the 1995 Atlanta Braves rotation with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Steve Avery and Kent Mercker. Glavine, Avery and Mercker were lefties while Maddux and Smoltz were righties.
    To compare these staffs is difficult but I'll give it try. Keuchel is the ace of the Astros staff when healthy and he comes from the left side like Glavine and he pitches a lot like Glavine. If Keuchel can last as long as Glavine nobody around Houston will complain one bit. Keuchel and Glavine are nibblers. They make their bones on the black and at the knees. They have similar low to mid nineties fastballs with excellent off speed pitches. One of Glavine's out pitches was the circle change while Keuchel leans on his sinker and a slider as his out pitches.
    Collin McHugh is more like Greg Maddux in that neither would overpower you with their fastball. Instead they relied on location and deception to get batters out. Greg Maddux was the only pitcher better than Tom Glavine in the 90's and both are in the Hall of Fame because of their stellar careers. You would hope that Keuchel and McHugh can be the new millennium dynamic duo. Two years ago Keuchel won his first Cy Young notching a 20-8 record, the most wins in baseball in 2015. McHugh was right behind him with 19 wins and the Astros prospects looked good heading into the 2016 season but Keuchel hurt himself early in the campaign, possibly in his first start at Yankee stadium on a very cold day. I can't prove it but Keuchel was never the same pitcher after that game as he stumbled to a 9-12 record and while he never went on the DL he never pitched another inning after mid August. McHugh without Keuchel leading the way also struggled in 2016. He did pitch well enough to earn double digit wins leading the Astros with a 13-10 record. If both Keuchel and McHugh can bounce back that will be a very good thing for the Astros.
    Lance McCullers is a really good pitcher. He can throw with power with a + fastball and he has good offspeed stuff as well. He was first brought up in 2015 and he pitched a limited amount of innings and his allotted innings were used up by the first of September when Houston sat him down for the rest of the season. He also suffered some elbow issues which made sitting him the smart move. McCullers came back in 2016 stumbling out of the gate. He missed a lot of the first part of the season with a sort elbow that was very slow to heal. Once he did come back he showed why the Astros were so high on him but he began having elbow issues again in the summer and by the end of July he was done for the season. I have thought McCullers should have just gone ahead and got the Tommy John surgery he seems headed for but I understand why he hasn't. Tommy John surgery will cost a pitched a year and a half in rehab, possibly two years before he's fully healthy so I get the he and the Astros would like to avoid TJ surgery if they can. When he's on he reminds me of John Smoltz. Both are power pitchers with good off speed stuff. Smoltz eventually moved into the bullpen where he had a great career as a closer and all told his career landed him in the Hall of Fame with his friends Maddux and Glavine.
    So, you see what I've done is blow up expectations for the top 3 guys in the Astros rotation by comparing them to 3 Hall of Famers. Not really very fair of me was it especially since Keuchel and McCullers need to prove they can stay healthy?
    Want a dark horse to make the rotation? How about Chris Devenski? The guy just was awesome as the Astros long reliever. He finished with a 4-4 record with included 5 starts and he had the best ERA on the team with a 2.16 in 108.1 innings pitched in 2016. I say Devenski is a dark horse because the Astros have 5 guys who will battle for 2 or 3 spots depending on the health of McCullers or Keuchel. There is Mike Fiers, newcomer Charlie Morton, Joe Musgrove, David Paulino and Brad Peacock who will all be competing for a spot in the Astros rotation. And no, I'm not forgetting about Michael Feliz either. The Astros have an embarrassment of riches at pitcher the only question is who will stand up and take advantage of the opportunity? The process begins on Wednesday.....or should I say WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. #20
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    Today pitchers and catchers report for spring training! Tomorrow 2017 baseball officially begins!! On top of that the Astros will not be in Kissimmee where their spring training facilities were for so many years. They will move into their new spring training home in West Palm Beach today. The Astros will share the site with the Washington Nationals in a move to a modern 21st century facility that you will see isnít quite completely ready in the article linked below. With football over with for all intents and purposes, unless youíre a draft geek, there is definitely a void to be filled.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...elcome-astros/

    The first spring training game will be Saturday February 25th against the Detroit Tigers at their facility but in the meantime we will see articles about how the team looks as they gear up for the upcoming season. Of course the biggest news will be how Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers look as they are both coming off an injury plagued season in 2016. Their health could be the key to the success or failure of 2017 season. Houston has also upgraded their offensive capabilities by letting go some guys who did good things for Houston but ultimately they did not generate enough offense. Gone are Luis Valbuena, Jason Castro and Colby Rasmus and replacing them are Josh Reddick, Brian McCann and Nori Aoki signaling a definite upgrade on the Astros position player roster. The Astros also have a new starting pitcher candidate in Charlie Morton who was signed in the offseason and gone is reliever Pat Neshak. The Astros are hoping that Keuchel and McCullers are really healthy so the top 3 starters would be Keuchel, McCullers and Collin McHugh leaving Morton, Chris Devenski, Mike Fiers, Brad Peacock, Michael Feliz, Joe Musgrove and David Paulino to battle it out for the other 2 spots in the starting rotation. As good as Devenski was in long relief last year he may be battling his own success as a reliever as well as the other pitchers for a spot as a starter. I think, barring injury, Mike Fiers is going to earn a spot. As an end of the rotation guy Fiers is a really good option and itís hard to sit the only guy in Minute Maid Park history to throw a no-hitter for the Astros which Fiers did in 2015. In 2016 Fiers was serviceable with an 11-8 record with a 4.48 ERA in 31 appearances with 30 starts. He ate up some innings, 168.2, with 134 Kís posting a WHIP of 1.36. The only way Fiers isnít in the starting rotation, IMO, is if he just sucks this spring or a couple of the other contenders are just lights out. Joe Musgrove and Michael Feliz are definite contenders for the starting rotation. Houston has a bit of an embarrassment of riches in young pitchers and it will be hard to find spots for all of them.

    Bob Watson was one of the first great Astros players. In the article linked below we find out that Watson had more to contend with than the fastballs by Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson. The 1960ís was a time of racial turmoil and social upheaval and prejudice was still a real issue. Watson was also baseballís first black GM and it was with Houston. The linked article below is a really nice look back at Watsonís career.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...astros-career/

  6. #21
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    You want to help when you go into a job. Your own personal pride drives you enough that you want to do your part. We go to work when we feel lousy and ought to be in bed because there is that something inside of us that wonít give in to aches and pains or fever and chills or inflamed rotator cuffs. We want to gut these things out because you just want to be there for your co-workers or out of loyalty to your employer or because you are just bat-crap crazy. Thatís apparently what was wrong with Dallas Keuchel last season. In the article linked below from Astros.com Keuchel talks about how he tried to pitch through shoulder pain with less than stellar results like a 9-12 W/L record and 4.55 ERA in 26 starts in 2016. Everyone who talked about Keuchel in games he pitched last year speculated that perhaps his mechanics were off or some other reason why you wasnít getting the results he enjoyed in 2015. Little did anyone know he went into the season with a pain in his throwing shoulder. Even though he gutted out a complete game win on opening day in New York against the Yankees that freezing cold weather on that day probably didnít do him any good and he was never the same the rest of the season. In the article Keuchel says he feels like a new man and that is certainly great news.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...n-all-of-2016/

    So, spring training has begun. Just prior to the start of the spring activities Collin McHugh became the last of the seven arbitration eligible players to get his 2017 contract settled. The arbitration board ruled in favor of McHugh who will now make $3.85MM this season which is what he was asking for instead of the $3.35MM the Astros were offering. Thereís nothing like a cool half mil to brighten up your outlook for spring training! McHugh deserved the extra money. He has been the Astros best pitcher over the last two seasons, Dallas Keuchelís Cy Young 2015 season notwithstanding. Over the last two campaigns McHugh has gone 32-19 and he led the Astros in wins last season with 13 after notching 19 in 2015 2nd only to the 20 wins Keuchel had to lead the majors in wins and earn his first Cy Young award. McHugh struggled with his command some last season and that needs to improve but to have your 2nd or 3rd man in your starting rotation projecting double digit wins thatís pretty important for any team. With the addition of guys like Josh Reddick, Brian McCann and Nori Aoki it looks like McHugh and the rest of the Astros staff should get more run support which should translate into more wins for the starting pitchers.

    This spring the Astros will be joined by two former members of the organization. Starting pitcher Roy Oswalt and 3rd baseman and later Astros manager Phil Garner will be in West Palm Beach as guest instructors. Oswalt was the ace of the Astros staff for 10 years during the period of the greatest success by the team culminating in 2005 when the Astros made their first, and so far only, World Series appearance. Phil Garner was known as ďScrap IronĒ because he was such a tough player. He later managed the Astros from 2004 to 2007 which included that trip to the World Series. It will be good have both of these guys imparting their experience and expertise to this young Astros team.

    Dallas Keuchel may not be worrying about his left shoulder so far but Evan Gattis is already feeling inflammation in his right (throwing) shoulder. He was held out of bullpen work yesterday as he got an anti-inflammatory shot in the shoulder to, as he put it, nip this thing in the bud before it gets to be a problem. He was limited to hitting off a tee yesterday and likely will be only allowed to hit the next couple of days to give the shot a chance to do its thing and give the shoulder a chance to calm down. Gattis said that, ďÖitís no big deal.Ē, when he talked to reporters yesterday.

    A final thought for today, I was thinking about Collin McHugh and as I mentioned earlier how good heís been the past two seasons for the Astros it occurred to me that while McHugh has won a lot of games for Houston it hasnít really been about him being dominant against opponents in notching those wins. Having an ERA over 4 can attest to the fact that he hasnít been a ďdominantĒ pitcher by any means. What McHugh is however is gritty with an almost bulldog-like tenacity that keeps him battling even though he may not have his best stuff. Dallas Keuchel is the same type of pitcher, mentally tough, determined with a never-say-die attitude. The difference between them is that Keuchelís demeanor on the mound is more intimidating than McHughís. With his fiery attitude and that mountain man beard there is definitely an intimidation factor to Keuchel. McHugh, on the other hand looks like somebodyís 15 year old kid brother. Randy Johnson was scary. Nolan Ryan was scary. Collin McHugh is like a teddy bear but heís a teddy bear that gets the job done. I suppose that is why McHugh reminds me of Orel Hershiser who had his best seasons in the 1980ís with the LA Dodgers. Hershiser wasnít intimidating but he got the job done. Because of his tenacity and grit Hershiserís nickname was Bulldog. We can only hope that McHugh has the career similar to Hershiser and we hope he has a year like Hershiser did in 1988 when he led the majors in wins, won the Cy Young, won a Gold Glove award, set an MLB record for 59 consecutive scoreless innings, won the World Series and was named MVP of the NL League Championship Series and MVP of the World Series. A pitcher just canít do more than that and it would be awesome if Houston got a season like that from McHugh.

  7. #22
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    It's getting to the point that it's not spring training unless Astros prospect LJ Hoes gets suspended for failing a drug test. That's not fair to the Astros or Hoes because he hasn't been with the team for 2 years. Last year he spent with Baltimore but this week it was announced he will be suspended for 50 games. That suspension won't start until a team signs him to a contract and it might be hard for a team to sign a player they won't have available for nearly two months. At 27 years of age Hoes may be seeing his MLB career in the rearview mirror.

    I like Jake Marisnick. He is a whale of a defensive player with a surprisingly strong arm. He is so good in the field he is considered the Astros best defensive outfielder. Pretty sweet compliment considering he is in the same company with Josh Reddick and George Springer. The problem with Jake has been his bat. Last year he hit .209 with 5 HR's and 21 RBI's. Pretty weak numbers there. He does have above average speed which could turn into more than his 10 steals (in 15 attempts) if he can just get on base more. He is always brought in to pinch run in critical situations which is a testament to that speed. In the link below the article from Astros.com talks about Jake's offseason concentration on improving his hitting.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...prove-offense/

    The Astros signed former Cuban National Team star Yulieski Gurriel last summer. Gurriel was a 3rd baseman but with the emergence of former 1st round pick Alex Bregman at 3rd base last year the Astros needed to find a spot for Gurriel. The only real open position was 1st base so this spring the Astros and Gurriel are working to make the transition to a new position.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...to-first-base/

    The injury front has Evan Gattis saying his sore shoulder is doing much better. He spent a few days just doing some hitting but not participating in catchers drills.
    Lance McCullers depends on his curve ball and this past week in a discussion with his orthopedic surgeon he was told that, because of the way he holds the ball and his arm action in throwing the pitch, he puts minimal stress on his elbow. McCullers was up and down from the DL last season because of elbow soreness. This spring he has been working on slight changes in his mechanics to help alleviate the shoulder and elbow problems that have plagued him early in his career. McCullers says his goal is to make 34-35 starts during the season a help the Astros with a potential deep run in the playoffs. Let's hope he is able to fulfill those goals.
    Carlos Correa had his wisdom teeth pulled last Thursday which is questionable timing considering position players were to report for spring training the same day and begin practicing the next day, Friday. The dentist told him to take it easy for 4 or 5 days before beginning his work with the team which means he should be on the field tomorrow or Wednesday. You wonder why he didn't get it done a week earlier but such is life.

    Michael Feliz is looking like a guy Houston will use in long relief out of the bullpen. So far this spring he has been elevating his fastball and pitching with confidence.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...ikeout-totals/

    The Astros first spring training game is this Saturday against Detroit.

  8. #23
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    The Astros begin spring training games on Saturady and it will be the first time we get to see the revamped lineup. Well, a little glimpse maybe. The first and foremost thing we will see as ST begins is some of the young prospects that were invited to ST with a lot of familiar faces in the crowd like Tyler White, AJ Reed and Colin Moran not to mention a big dose of Max Stassi. Another thing that will complicate the ST game lineups is the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Houston has 8 players who will participate for various countries and they will begin leaving to join their countryís roster as early as next week. Linked below is an article from Astros.com about the challenges for AJ Hinch and opportunities that will present themselves to a bunch of Astros prospects. The WBBC lasts from March 6 until March 16.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...-2017-classic/

    The first 5 games of ST will not feature any appearances by the top 3 guys in the Astros starting pitching rotation. All three, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers and Collin McHugh are on their own pitching program and will not pitch in a live ST Game for the first week or so. Below is an article from Astros.com in which AJ Hinch outlines his starting pitchers for the first 5 games of ST.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...an-for-astros/

    Brad Peacock will get the ball to start ST against Detroit Saturday afternoon. Peacock gets an added bonus this spring because he will be playing just a few short miles from his home in Wellington Fla.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...ing-near-home/

  9. #24
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    Baseball began for the Astros on Saturday as they faced the Detroit Tigers at their Lakeland Fla home field, Joker Marchant Stadium. The Astros looked good in spots but P Edison Frias probably wishes he had slept in as he gave up 3 hits after a leadoff walk, all in a row, all back-to-back-to-back homers by Andrew Romine, Ian Kinsler and Victor Martinez and he was then ejected for hitting the next batter, Miguel Cabrera, in the arm with an errant curve ball. In all Frias pitched to 5 batters giving up a walk, 3 home runs with a hit batsman before he was tossed. Cabrera wasnít mad at Frias because he probably realized that the kid just couldnít locate his pitches and Frias said as much after the game. Brad Peacock started the game and he went 2 scoreless innings before giving way to Frias in the 3rd. Peacockís outing was encouraging for a guy who hopes to crack the starting rotation. It wasnít a great day for Astros pitching as prospects Cy Snead (2 runs in 2 innings of work) and CJ Riefenhauser (1 run in 1 inning of work) allowed runs in the 5-7 innings that extended the Tigers lead after that 4 run 3rd. The real disappointment came from Kevin Chapman who is also vying for that final spot in the Astros rotation. In 2/3 of an inning he gave up 4 hits 4 runs, 2 earned, and he had a walk, a K and he gave up a home run. The Astros offense scored 2 runs in the 4th and 2 more in the 8th but that was it and the 4 runs they scored wasnít enough to overcome a bad pitching day by most of the Astros staff that pitched on Saturday. The final score was 11-4 but that doesnít matter so much, itís spring training and 7 of the runs allowed were by guys who will be in minor league camp by mid-March anyway.

    On Sunday the Astros pitching fared much, much better against the Atlanta Braves. Houston won the game on the strength of a Max Stassi 2 run home run in the eighth inning making the final score 3-2. The Braves opened the scoring in the 1st on a Freddie Freeman RBI single to give the Tribe a 1-0 early advantage. Evan Gattis singled in Nori Aoki in the 3rd to tie the game and no other runs were scored in the game until Stassiís HR in the 8th gave Houston a 3-1 lead. Astros prospect Keegan Yuhl came on in the 9th for Houston and he was able to close out the game but not without giving up a 2 out RBI single to the Braves Christian Walker to close the gap to 3-2. Thatís as far as the Braves got as Yuhl retired Travis Demeritte on a fly ball to left to end the game. Astros starter Brady Rogers had a decent outing as he is also is in the hunt for the final Astros starting spot as he allowed 2 hits and a run in his 2 innings of work. In between Rodgers and Yuhl the Astros sent Luke Gregerson, Jordan Jankowski, Ashur Tolliver, Aaron West, Reymin Guduan and Tyson Perez to the mound and none of those 6 pitchers allowed a run in the 6 total innings they pitched. The only real bitch you could have is how ineffective the Houston hitters were with runners in scoring position. They went 1-13 in those situations and you would hope to see better than that. Thatís okay though because itís spring training and most of the hitters in the lineup yesterday, on the weekend for that matter, were guys who wonít be on the field or the roster come April.

    Saturday was a perfect day. Temps were in the 60ís most of the day, the sun was out and there was no wind to speak of. I had an errand to run in the morning and the first song I heard when I got in my truck was ďCenter FieldĒ by John Fogerty. The Astros preseason games began after lunch and Lamar was already playing. Apparently the guys from Fairfield University were more inspired by the day than our Cards as they beat the then 6-1 LU team 6-2 in a game that started at 10:30 am. I didnít know one thing about Fairfield U until I looked them up and it turns out they are in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and, yes, they are a D-I school. The Cards and Stags played 4 games beginning on Friday. Fairfield took the opener 7-6 handing Lamar their first loss of the season but Lamar bounced back on Saturday winning both games of a double header 19-9 and 5-1 before losing Sunday morning to Fairfield 6-2 giving the Cards their 2nd loss on the season. This was Fairfieldís open weekend of their baseball season. It suppose they are getting the late start because they are from Connecticut and itís still probably colder than a well diggerís backside up there (itís 32o at 8 am this morning). Youíd have to say itís a great beginning for them to split a series on the road while itís disappointing for Lamar to lose itís first two games of the season. Either way all I can hear in my head is, ďÖ.put me in coach Iím ready to play, today. Put me in coach Iím ready to play today. Look at me, I can be centerfieldÖ.Ē

  10. #25
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    The Astros have been up and down so far this week. On Monday, the first day the regular position starters all played together, except Carlos Correa who made his spring debut on Sunday, rallied for 4 runs in the top of the ninth to erase a 2-1 Mets lead and turn it into what became a 5-2 Astros win. 6 Astros pitchers combined for the victory with the 5 man to pitch Keegan Yuhl getting the win with a scoreless 8th and Framber Valdez got the save. Joe Musgrove got the start giving up just one run in 2 innings of work while the 4th pitcher in the Astros lineup allowed a run in his one inning of work. Both men gave up their run via a solo home run. The Metsí Asdrubal Cabrera hit his in the 1st to lead off the game and Wilmer Flores hit his with 2 out in the 7th. Houston got their first run on an RBI single in the 3rd and they scored their 4 runs in 9th on an RBI single by AJ Reed, a bases loaded walk to Anibal Sierra and a 2-run RBI by Tony Kemp. If the Astros had run the bases better they might have scored 10 runs in the inning instead of 4.
    On Tuesday Houston played their 4th straight road game but fortunately they were in their home park in West Palm Beach. The Astros share the facility with the Washington Nationals and they hosted the game yesterday against Houston. The Nats beat Houston 4-3 in what was a decently pitched ball game by both sides. Houston actually had a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the 8th but Edison Frias gave up 2 hits and a run in the 8th while Ashur Tolliver gave up a walk off 2 out home run to the Nats Michael Taylor. Houstonís offense came on a Carlos Beltran 2-run HR with Carlos Correa on base. The Beltran dinger was the first to be hit in the Astros/Nats new ball park. The Astros 3rd run came off an RBI fielderís choice double play with the bases loaded. Carlos Correa grounded to Wilmer Difoe at short to begin a Difoe to Murphy to Snyder DP with the bases loaded that scored Tony Kemp from 3rd. Houston used a whopping 9 pitchers yesterday beginning with Mike Fiers and ending with Ashur Toliver. Beside Frias and Tolliver allowing runs Ken Giles, who came on in the 4th, allowed 3 hits, including a solo HR to the Natís catcher Derek Norris, in just one inning of work. Everyone else all pitched scoreless innings. Mike Fiers was the only one to go more than one inning,he pitched two just as the other starters have done so far this spring. In the first he gave up back-to-back doubles to Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper who drove in the only run Fiers allowed. In the second Fiers gave up two more hits, both singles and both with 2 outs, before his day was done and a fly out by Trea Turner.
    Today the Astros play their second game in the their new home park and this time they are the home team. They host the Marlins who are giving the home team a lousy welcome to the park. They currently lead Houston 5-1 in the top of the 4th inning. Chris Devenski started the game and he was supposed to go two innings but he struggled badly allowing 4 runs on just 2 hits with 2 walks and a K. Three of the runs Miami scored came on a 3-run homer by SS Miguel Rojas, the Marlins #9 hitter, with one out in the 2nd. That was all AJ Hinch could take of Devenski who had a very disappointing 1st outing of the spring. Taking Devenskiís place was Trent Thornton who went the final 2/3 of the 2nd inning and Francisco Martes who, in 2 innings of work, allowed 2 hits and 1 run. Houston got itís only run of the game so far from an RBI single by Yuli Gurreil that plated Josh Reddick. The Astros are coming up in the bottom of the 4th with Evan Gattis, Max Stassi and Gurriel the first 3 batters of the inning.

  11. #26
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    The Astros went from bad to worse yesterday. As of my post yesterday afternoon the Astros were losing to the Marlins 5-1 in the 4th inning. The final score yesterday was 9-5 but I think the score was not as indicative of the beating the Marlins put on the Astros. Astros pitching generally struggled from top to bottom as 8 pitchers were used yesterday and 6 gave up at least one run. The tone was set as 2016 ace long reliever Chris Devenski gave up 4 runs on 2 hits and 2 BBís in 1.1 innings of work. The big blow was the 3 run blast my Marlins 9 hitter Miguel Rojas. Francis Martes gave up 2 hits and run when he came on in the 3rd inning in relief of Trent Thornton who closed out the 2nd inning in relief of Devenski. Thornton did not allow a hit or a run in his 2/3 of an inning of work. Martes pitched 1.2 innings before giving way to Kevin Chapman in the 5th. Before Chapman could get the final out of the 5th inning he allowed a solo HR to the Marlins Christian Yelich. Chapman did get through the 6th without any further damage. Reymin Guduan came on in the sixth and he allowed a run in 2/3 of an inning. This time it was CF Isaac Galloway who did the honors. Aaron West got the final out of the sixth in relief of Guduan but he gave up a run of his own on a home run by CF Isaac Galloway in the seventh. Jordan Jankowski pitched the 8th for the Astros and he gave up 2 hits and the final Marlins run with 2 Kís. The real bright spot on the day was Tyson Perezí gem of a 9th inning as he struck out the side to end the notion that Houston couldnít get 3 men out in an inning without allowing a run.
    Houstonís offense didnít fare as well against the Marlins pitchers. The Mís used 6 pitchers including former Kansas City Royal pitcher Edinson Volquez. The combined to allow 7 hits and 5 runs with 5 BBís and 3 Kís.
    The Astros offense has definitely not been clicking so far this spring. Yesterdayís 5 runs tied the high water mark in runs scored so far this season and Houston is 1-1 in those games. None of the Astros starting lineup on the day either scored a run or drove in a run except Yuri Gurriel who got the Astros first run on a fielderí choice bases loaded ground ball to short scoring the man on third base. The other 4 RBIís were recorded by subs. Trailing 8-1 going into the bottom of the seventh inning Houston rallied for 3 runs on an RBI single by Jack Mayfield that was deflected into center field by pitcher Scott Copeland scoring Andrew Alpin who was pinch running for Alejandro Garcia who has singled. Alpin advanced to 2B on a walk to JD Davis. Besides scoring Alpin JD Davis was able to advance to 3rd and Mayfield went to 2B on the same play. That allowed Davis to score on the groundout to 2B by the next hitter, Derek Fisher, for the inningís second run. The final run in the inning came on an RBI single by Reid Brignac followed by Teoscar Hernandez who popped out to 2B to end the inning for Houston. The final Astros score came on a leadoff HR in the eighth by AJ Reed. The Marlins got the final six outs in a row after that to end the game.
    Houston will be the home team today as they host their roommates, the Washington Nationals, at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches today at 12:05 pm. Brad Peacock will make his second start of the spring while the Nats send Kyle McGowan to the hill.

    One final note, the good thing about these spring training games in sometimes there is room for fans to sit on the grass outside the outfield fence. That also affords the opportunity to pursue home run balls for souvenirs. Sometimes that can be a dangerous thing. Case in point; a fan named Alex was chasing a home run by the Marlins Isaac Galloway when the following mishap occurred documented in the link below from Astros.com.

    http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/03/01/...t-the-hill-won

  12. #27
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    Iím not going to go too deep in analysis any more. It isnít a big deal right now as pitchers are trying to find their groove and batters are trying to find theirs too. Yesterday Brad Peacock made his second start of the spring and he went 3 innings as he, and the rest of the pitchers, will start to be stretched out leading toward opening day. BTW, opening day is less than a month away. Back to Peacock, he sucked yesterday allowing 5 runs on 5 hits, including two HRís, with 3 BBís and 2 Kís. Cy Sneed came on with 2 out in the fourth and he pitched 1.1 innings and his stat line was unfortunately similar to Peacockís. Sneed also allowed 5 runs on 5 hits with 2 BBís and no Kís. 3 pitchers worked the last four innings after Sneedís work through the 5th inning and they allowed 3 more runs but it wasnít a big deal because between Peacock and Sneed stinking up the field and putting the Astros in a 10 run hole by the 5th inning allowing 3 HRís that accounted for 5 of the ten runs the Washington Nationals scored on the day. George Springer and Alex Bregman had nice days yesterday with Springer going 3 for 3 with no BBís or Kís and Bregman went 2 for 3 on the day. Unfortunately for the Astros the one time he didnít get a hit he grounded into an inning killing double play. The only RBI on the Astros side was an oh-by-the-way solo HR to lead off the 9th inning by Tyler White. Itís not like Houston didnít have chances to score more runs, they were 1-11 with RISP, itís just they couldnít get a clutch hit to save their lives. Itís no big deal but youíd like to see Houstonís bats start doing something pretty soon before this trend becomes a real threat to carry over into the regular season. Itís hard to keep spring training in perspective when the thing good teams have is good pitching and timely hitting and so far this spring Houston has been in short supply of both. Needless to say Houston lost to the Nats 13-1 and now you know my frustration.

    Today Houston will take on the Mets at the Mets home at First Data Field in Port St Lucie. The Mets will send RHP Noah Syndergaard (14-9 in 2016) and he will face Houstonís newest pitcher Charlie Morton (1-1 w/ 4.15 ERA in 2016 in 4 starts with Philadelphia) will be making his first start of the spring. Last season Morton missed all but the first month of the season because of a torn hamstring. He tore it running to first base after hitting the ball in a game against Milwaukee on April 23rd and he was placed on injured reserve on April 27th. The good thing is it has been almost 11 months since his injury so he should be healthy and the other good thing is heís in the American League so he wonít have to legging out any ground balls for the Astros.
    In Pittsburgh, where he spent most of his time in the bigs, he became known as ďGround ChuckĒ because of his propensity to induce ground balls from opposing hitters. The scouting report is Morton features 4 pitches; a mid-nineties 4 seam fastball, a low nineties sinker, a curveball that comes in around 78-80 mph and a splitter that comes in at 84-88 mph. The sinker is Mortonís featured pitch and because of the fact he is a ground ball pitcher he has been compared to 2 time Cy Young winner Roy Halladay. His career stats are 46-71 with a 4.54 ERA with a WHIP of 1.44. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2002 in the 3rd round and he made his MLB debut in June of 2008 as he climbed the ladder in the Braves organization. He was traded to Pittsburgh after the 2008 season and he pitched 7 years in Pittsburgh, mostly on bad teams, and he was traded to Philly after the 2015 season. 2016 was basically a lost season for him because of the hamstring injury. He came to Houston this offseason as free agent signing a 2 year deal for $14 MM.
    An interesting fact is Mortonís family owns the national franchise Mortonís Steakhouse so you know when his playing days are over he will have a nice career to fall back on.
    The pictures Iíve seen of Morton on the Astros website I think he looks like late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon.

  13. #28
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    The Astros are 2-6-2 so far this spring with and with two ties in their last two games you can at least say they didnít lose. Small comfort for fans like me who expected a lot more from the team given the upgrades Houston made this offseason. The thing that is often the hardest to maintain is perspective and, of course, the main point of perspective in the spring it that the games donít count and most of the players who are seeing action will never make the final 25 man roster, they will be toiling away in the minors long before opening day in April. With 8 Astros going to participate in the World Baseball Classic a lot of these players will get extended looks this spring and that is a good thing because big league experience, even in the spring, is invaluable to the progression of up and coming prospects.
    What is disheartening so far is the Astros lack of runs scored. The pitching staff has been allowing runs in droves but the offense has yet to explode. On Sunday the Astros did score the most runs theyíve scored in a game this spring, 7, when they played the Marlins. The downside of that is the Astros gave up 7 runs in a kiss-your-sister tie ball game. The real damage by Miami was done in the 6th when Tyson Perez gave up a 3-run homer to Adeiny Echavarria. To make matters look even worse Echavarria was the 9th hitter in the Marlins lineup. Mike Fiers started his second grapefruit league game going and he wasnít all that sharp allowing 2 runs, one earned, on 3 hits with 2 BBís and 2 Kís in 2.1 innings.
    Yesterday Chris Devenski made his second start of the spring going 3 innings allowing 3 runs, all earned, on 4 hits with no BBís and 4 Kís. The big ding on Devenskiís stat line was the 3 run home run he allowed to Bostonís cleanup hitter Sam Travis in the 3rd. Travisí HR erased a 2-0 Houston lead and paved the way to the Astros second tie game in a row. The final score was Boston 5 and Houston 5 and the best thing you can take away from the game is that Houston scored 12 runs in its last two games which is a hopeful sign their offense may finally be coming to life.

    Three years ago the Astros traded one of their bright pitching prospects to Miami for prospects. Miami, Florida at the time, needed pitching and Houston was rebuilding their farm system. Houston traded RHP Jarred Cosart, SS Enrique Hernandez and Austin Wates and they got Jake Marisnick, Collin Moran and Francis Martes. At the time of the trade in July of 2014 the Astros were in the middle of their first non-100 loss season in 4 years. Jose Altuve made his MLB debut that season and Houstonís arrow was definitely pointed up. At the time, I was upset at the trade because I liked Cosart, I certainly liked him better than Brad Peacock who was doing nothing to impress at the time. Since the trade both Cosart and Peacock have struggled through various injuries that has hampered their potential. Right now Peacock is the healthiest heís been as an Astros but heís still not lighting the world on fire as heís in the middle of a big competition with 4 other pitchers for the final spot in the Astros rotation. Cosart is coming off elbow surgery where a 5 cm bone spur was removed from his throwing arm elbow. He looked pretty good in his first work of the spring on March 4 going one scoreless inning with 2 Kís. OBTW, heís now a San Diego Padre having been traded last July in a 7 player deal. If you look at the loss of Cosart vs keeping Peacock you have to call that deal a push for the Astros. If you consider what Houston got from Miami for Cosart you would have call a deal that gets you a top notch defensive player in Marisnick even though you wish he could hit better. Also, you get a guy in Moran who was the 6th pick in the 2013 draft by the Marlins and is coming up through the ranks. So far this spring Moran is playing 3B and hitting .273. The third player in the trade is RHP Francis Martes who is also coming up through the ranks to the point where he is one of the pitchers trying to earn that last spot in the Astros starting rotation. Martes was signed as an international prospect by the Marlins in 2012 and he has steadily risen through the Astros organization. The last season and a half Martes has pitched at Corpus Christi, the Astros AA affiliate. Even though he was signed in 2012 Martes is still a very young man, he just turned 21 last November, so he still has a very high ceiling. Given all that the Astros got in the Cosart deal to Miami, youíd have to say the trade was a huge win for the Astros and a big loss for the Marlins but with the caveat that Cosart is still only 26 and the book isnít closed on him just yet.
    I will be interested to see how the deal that sent the Astros #1 overall pick in 2013 Mark Appel to Philadelphia for Ken Giles looks a couple more years down the road. I know Giles had a rough 2016 but at least he pitched. Appel missed the entire season with shoulder and elbow problems. In June of í16 he had surgery on the elbow to remove a bone spur. Appel is in spring training with Philly now and so far heís 0-1 in 4.2 innings of work with an ERA of 5.79 with 2 Kís and a WHIP of 1.07. Appel is just 25 and itís way too early to judge this trade.

  14. #29
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    The Astros broke out of their lack of offense malaise in a big way yesterday whipping the NY Mets by a score of 12-2. It was free agent signee Charlie (Jimmy Fallon) Morton on the hill yesterday tossing 3 scoreless with 4 Kís and 1 BB looking pretty doggone sharp according to reports. Morton said post game that he was disappointed he couldnít finish off more hitters but he was generally pleased with his outing. The 12 runs was the most scored by Houston so far this spring and the run outburst came after the first day off of spring training. Evan Gattis, Yuli Gurriel and Brian McCann led a 15 hit attack on Mets pitching. The good thing about yesterday was that Houston didnít depend on the long ball to create runs. In fact, Houston had just two HRís yesterday, one by Teoscar Hernandez in the 7th and the other by AJ Reed in the 8th. Hernandez HR was a solo shot while Reedís was a two run HR. They also didnít factor in the final outcome so much as adding insult to injury. The Astros already had a 7-2 lead going into the 7th on 2 RBIís by Gurriel in the first and a string of RBIís in a big 5 run 4th begun by a bases loaded walk to JD Davis followed by a wild pitch with bases still loaded scoring Evan Gattis. Next was a 2 run RBI single by Jake Marisnick with a sac fly by George Springer to close out the scoring in the 4th. The fact that Houston tacked on 5 insurance runs in the 7th and 8th innings combined was nice to see. It looks like Charlie Morton is going to be a nice addition to the Astros rotation and the fact that he is a ground ball pitcher is perfect for Minute Maid Park. When his pitches are working you could look for him to go deep into ball games with a relatively low pitch count. More on Morton in the link below.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...high-velocity/

    Lance McCullers is scheduled to make his first spring start today when the Astros travel to Jupiter Florida to face the St Louis Cardinals. McCullers missed significant time last season with elbow issues and he, as well as fellow starters Dallas Keuchel and Colin McHugh, has been brought along slowly this spring. All three of the Astros top starting pitchers are coming of injuries that slowed their progress in spring training. The Astros have done the right thing protecting these guys and much as possible and McCullers is the first one of them to make his first start of the spring. Keuchel is slated to start Sunday while the timetable for McHugh is more up in the air. Mike Fiers and Charlie Morton have been good and really good respectively so far this spring which bodes well for Houstonís rotation as long the big three can stay healthy.

    I posted a little while back that Jake Marisnick had worked a lot at improving his hitting. Itís looking like all that work is paying off. So far this spring Big Jake is hitting .273 with 6 hits including 1 HR, 4 RBIís and 3 runs scored in his 22 ABís. He also has 3 stolen bases taking advantage of Marisnickís speed on the base paths. Itís a far cry better than the guy who only hit .209 in 2016 and owns a career .225 BA. The one thing that has held Marisnick back from being a real star has been his hitting. If he had a real batting epiphany this offseason it bodes very well for him and the Astros.

  15. #30
    HALL OF FAMER eagle eye's Avatar









    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    3,773
    Post Thanks / Like
    vCash
    950

    Re: 2016-7 Houston Astros Off Season

    The Astros played the Cardinals yesterday in Jupiter Florida and they won by a score of 3-0. That is a good thing but itís spring training and wins and losses donít really matter much. I wonít lie, I like it much better when they win. The significant thing about the game was it was the first time this spring for Lance McCullers to pitch. In fact, he hasnít pitched since August 2nd of last year. The result was 2 scoreless innings of work and McCullers saying he felt really good on the mound. McCullers outing was particularly strong as he got the Birds out 3-up 3-down in both innings he pitched. For an in depth look at McCullersí first spring appearance here a link from Astos.com.

    http://m.astros.mlb.com/news/article...r-first-start/

    Joe Musgrove is starting for the Astros this afternoon on the road against the Mets with the most significant item about the game is the Mets will have former UF and NFL QB Tim Tebow in the game. Itís the bottom of the 3rd with the Mets batting. Tebow had is first AB of the game to lead off the inning and grounded out to first baseman A J Reed. Earlier in the inning he made a nice catch on a Jake Marisnick fly ball to right field followed by a nice throw to keep the Astros runner on 2nd base Derek Fisher from advancing to 3rd. Inning over and no runs scored by NY keeps the score 1-0. Houston scored on a solo HR to lead off the 3rd by Astros prospect Reid Brignac.

    A young man had a dream come true experience by getting to throw to Astros bullpen catcher Javier Bracamonte a few pitches. Young man may be a stretch, he was about an 11 year old boy who got the thrill of a lifetime. Cool. Check out this article with video of the kidís experience at the Astros-Cardinals game yesterday.

    http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/03/09/...om-the-bullpen

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •