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Monday, February 20, 2017

Astros hope Yuli Gurriel can bring stability to first base - Houston Chronicle

“He can really time things up,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s got a timing mechanism that’s unique the way he wraps his bat. But he finds a way to time things up perfectly.

“His bat-to-ball skills are really good. He gets very, very aggressive with his approach, which I think is something (where) he’s going to learn that the league doesn’t challenge you as much as it tries to disrupt your timing. So it will be interesting for him.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 09:54 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, yulieski gurriel

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Mike Elias on Drafting and Developing Astros Pitchers | FanGraphs Baseball

On incorporating spin rate into assessments: “We have ways of looking at it, and our scouts know how to interpret that information, as well. It’s another tool for our scouts and our decision makers. It’s almost an extension of the introduction of the radar gun. Some 40 years ago, it may have seemed unnatural to take that information when it seemed like your eyes weren’t lacking in the ability to assess the quality of a fastball. Now we take it for granted that we’re using that information. We’re heading down that road with some of the more advanced radar technology, and some of the aspects of pitch quality that it can convey to us.

“It’s something our scouting and front-office personnel have become fluent in. I don’t think anyone has it totally figured out, and there are probably different interpretations team to team, but it will continue to be a big part of the game.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 04, 2017 at 09:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, player development

Friday, February 03, 2017

Astros plan to use Cardinal bounty to add starting pitcher

“We’re hoping that something will break,” Crane said. “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that ... getting two picks from the Cardinals gives us more depth in the system. We’re still looking into it.

“The thing about pitching is that it keeps games under control. And you got to have someone who can slam that door.”

If the Astros land one more front-line starter, there’s nothing that should stand in their way of being perennial playoff contenders, culminating a renovation that’s included tearing out Tal’s Hill in Minute Maid Park to re-thinking processes throughout scouting and player development.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 03, 2017 at 07:49 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ortiz: No winners, only losers in hacking scandal | Jesus Ortiz | stltoday.com

The longer he sits in prison, I wonder whether he will name names or just disappear into the ether.

Correa testified that he told colleagues he had seen the Cardinals’ information in the Astros’ database, but somehow we are expected to believe nobody with authority asked him how he saw it.

He never gave up any names, though, so you’ll have to take the Cardinals’ word that this was merely a case of one rogue employee. The rest of the baseball world views it differently. That’s the burden the Cardinals’ reputation must now carry.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 05:04 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

In statement, Correa alleges Astros benefited from ‘unauthorized access’ | Derrick Goold

What a mess.

The statement, released Tuesday morning by his family on Correa’s Twitter address, offers Correa’s view of what he labeled “intellectual property theft.” He describes how he “through unlawful methods” sought to learn whether the Houston Astros had utilized data and approaches that were proprietary to the Cardinals. The U.S. district court judge in the case had likened Correa’s motives to breaking into a neighbor’s house “to find out if they were stealing your stuff.” The court declined Correa’s motions to prove what he describes in his statement.

“I accept responsibility for my wrongful actions and am paying my debt to society,” the statement reads, as it was released Tuesday morning on Correa’s Twitter address. “The Cardinals organization must now pay a heavy price as well.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 31, 2017 at 05:01 PM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cardinals deserved far worse punishment from MLB after hacking Astros | FOX Sports

Ken Rosenthal thinks the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

Neither does Jeff Sullivan.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2017 at 07:08 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

MLB hammers Cardinals — first two draft picks, $2 million go to Astros | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

The penalty is in.

In a decision issued Tuesday afternoon by commissioner Rob Manfred, the Cardinals have been fined $2 million in damages — possibly the largest ever for one team — and their first two picks in the coming draft have been taken away as a result of an illegal hack into Houston’s database. The two picks, Nos. 56 and 75, will go to the Astros, as will the slot money assigned to those picks. The $2-million fine will also be paid to the Cardinals’ former division rivals.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2017 at 02:13 PM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

Sunday, January 29, 2017

As MLB ruling nears, new details of Cardinals’ hacking of Astros account

According to the documents, portions of which remained redacted, Correa intruded into the Astros’ “Ground Control” database 48 times and accessed the accounts of five Astros employees. For 21/2 years, beginning in January 2012, Correa had unfettered access to the e-mail account of Sig Mejdal, the Astros’ director of decision sciences and a former Cardinals employee. Correa worked in St. Louis as an analyst under Mejdal, who came to Houston after the 2011 season with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, also a former Cardinals executive.

“(Correa) knew what projects the Astros’ analytics department was researching, what concepts were promising and what ideas to avoid,” said one of the documents, signed by Michael Chu, the assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case against Correa. “He had access to everything that Sig Mejdal ... read and wrote.”

Correa also attempted to gain access to the accounts of Bo Porter, the Astros’ manager in 2013-14, and pitching coach Brent Strom, and he used passwords belonging to Luhnow, Astros analyst Colin Wyers, and three Astros minor league players to gain access to the Astros system, the documents show.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 29, 2017 at 12:50 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, hacking

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ballot 2: Roger Clemens | Joe Posnanski

Roger Clemens and missed opportunity in the draft.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 29, 2016 at 05:52 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, hall of fame, red sox, roger clemens, yankees

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Astros discuss deal for Jose Quintana, but White Sox want a haul - Houston Chronicle

Chris Sale produced 21.7 WAR in the last four seasons. Jose Quintana produced 18.1 WAR over the same timeframe. Last year, Quintana slightly beat him (5.2-4.9). Considering that Quintana has an extra year of control and, although Sale might have a better rep, the actual production earned over their remaining contracts might not be very different.

Quintana is set to make a modest $7 million in 2017 and $8.85 million in 2018 and has team options of $10.5 million and $11.5 million for 2019 and 2020.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 05:47 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jose quintana, trade rumors, white sox

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Carlos Beltran agrees to one-year, $16M deal with Astros

Free agent Carlos Beltran has agreed to a one-year deal worth $16 million with the Houston Astros, a source told ESPN’s Buster Olney.

The deal also includes a full no-trade clause, according to the source.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 03, 2016 at 01:44 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos beltran

Friday, November 25, 2016

Astros could be next season’s Cubs — and are spending like it | New York Post

“When you have a core you have identified, you want to give them a chance because nothing is guaranteed in this sport, including winning,” Houston manger A.J. Hinch said by phone.
...
The Cubs’ decision making has been better, most notably with Houston taking Mark Appel with the first pick in the 2013 draft and Chicago following with Bryant (imagine an infield with Bryant, Correa and Altuve) and in 2014 when the Astros took Brady Aiken with the first overall pick (he did not sign) and the Cubs took Schwarber fourth.

Both clubs were wild cards in 2015, but the Astros gave up a lot of their minor league depth to make not very successful trades for Carlos Gomez and Scott Kazmir that July, and then Ken Giles last offseason.

Still, that talented core remains. Bregman and Correa are 22, Altuve and Springer are 27. They are still cubs. Now, can they be Cubs?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 25, 2016 at 08:04 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Astros could be in market for another bat | MLB.com

“A lot of assumptions about health for next year, but if we’re healthy, we certainly have a solid, very good pitching staff that can get us where we need to go,” Luhnow said. “Adding Morton gave us some additional depth. We’re certainly in the market for another top-tier pitcher if it presents itself, but those are difficult trades to make. We’re looking, but nothing is imminent right now.”

Luhnow said signing Morton and trading for McCann were critical early moves because the Astros wanted more rotation depth and needed an upgrade at catcher. The club is still looking for offense at first base, designated hitter and the outfield, which Reddick will provide. Houston is believed to be interested in bringing back Carlos Beltran, who could provide leadership and a feared bat at DH.

“Whether it’s one more guy, two more guys, we’re certainly talking to a lot of different players and hoping we can improve our offense, the length of our lineup,” Luhnow said. “That’s been the focus for the last couple of weeks.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 23, 2016 at 08:53 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Houston Astros Place INF Jon Singleton On Waivers

So, it appears Jon Singleton didn’t screw himself when he signed that long-term deal. Where does he end up?

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2016 at 03:27 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jon singleton

Astros’ deal with Josh Reddick makes Nori Aoki a non-tender candidate - Houston Chronicle

If the Astros are ramping up, $6.8 million isn’t a lot to pay for Aoki as a depth option.

Thursday’s four-year, $52 million agreement with free agent corner outfielder Josh Reddick makes it less of a certainty the team tenders Aoki a contract in arbitration before the Dec. 2 deadline. The 34-year-old from Japan stands to make about $6.8 million through the arbitration process, according to MLB Trade Rumors’ projection, a lot for a player who now most likely projects as a fourth outfielder.

Whether the Astros tender Aoki a contract depends on how they view him fitting in their new-look outfield mix. If they plan for Reddick to play right field and George Springer to play center, they could platoon the right-handed Jake Marisnick and left-handed Aoki in left field. But if they project the left-handed hitting Reddick as their everyday left fielder, Aoki’s skillset becomes mostly redundant.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2016 at 08:35 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, josh reddick, nori aoki

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Astros acquire Brian McCann from Yankees | MLB.com

Brian McCann seemed like a perfect fit for the Astros, a left-handed-hitting catcher who could still provide some offensive punch while giving them some veteran leadership. The Astros pulled off a deal on Thursday to acquire McCann, sending Minor League pitchers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman to the Yankees.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2016 at 07:09 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, brian mccann, trade, yankees

Astros sign free-agent Josh Reddick | MLB.com

The Astros on Thursday reached an agreement on a four-year, $52-million deal with free agent outfielder Josh Reddick, a source confirmed for MLB.com, on the same day the club announced the acquisition of veteran catcher Brian McCann in a trade with the Yankees.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 17, 2016 at 07:09 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, free agents

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Astros sign Charlie Morton | MLB.com

I’ve always liked Morton but he’s had some trouble staying on the field. $14 million clearly isn’t what it used to be.

The Astros agreed to terms on a two-year contract with free-agent right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton on Wednesday.

The deal is for $14 million, with incentives of $625,000 each for 15, 20, 25 and 30 starts in each season, according to a source. The club has not confirmed the financial aspects of the agreement.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 16, 2016 at 10:53 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, charlie morton

Notes: The Nationals are in the mix for Chris Sale | FOX Sports

Imagine a rotation that included Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg ... and Chris Sale.

The Nationals can.

Add the Nats to the list of teams pursuing Sale, a list that likely includes the majority of teams in baseball.

Major-league sources confirmed the Nationals’ interest in Sale on Tuesday. The likelihood of a deal with the White Sox, however, is unknown.

The Nats’ edge is that they have A) a farm system that can satisfy the White Sox and B) a general manager, Mike Rizzo, who relishes making bold moves.


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Astros minor-leaguer apologizes for tweet criticizing Jessica Mendoza

What Marlow said was stupid. I don’t agree, however, with the idea that any non-specific criticism should be automatically painted as misogynistic. The writer’s decision to paint her detractors with a broad brush as a response undercuts his argument.

But Marlow’s criticism follows the same tired trend we always see with Mendoza. It’s never specific, and it’s more about the fact that she’s a woman than anything else. It’s never anything like, “I wish her hitting breakdowns were more ____,” or “she could really benefit from a partner who ____.” It’s mostly just general, “I don’t like her” complaints that hint at misogyny. In this case, there’s no hinting.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 06, 2016 at 08:41 AM | 65 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, broadcasting

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


Monday, September 26, 2016

Evan Gattis fixed his ground ball problem - Beyond the Box Score

Early in the season it looked like Evan Gattis might have been finished as a productive hitter. A player who is limited to DH and doesn’t hit the ball in the air enough to maximize his power is simply not an appealing roster option for most teams. Thankfully for both Gattis and the Astros the early season struggles seem to be merely a blip on the radar. As it turns out, a move back behind the plate and an increase in launch angle was all that was needed to re-energize his career.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 26, 2016 at 12:07 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, evan gattis, statcast

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Astros’ Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman exit series finale against Rangers - Houston Chronicle

The Astros aren’t dead yet but they are hurt and limping toward the end.

Altuve left with right oblique discomfort. The American League’s leading hitter flied out in the third inning, with replays showing him grimacing after a swing during the plate appearance.
Bregman departed after pulling up in the sixth inning while running to third base. He walked gingerly to the Astros dugout before heading straight to the clubhouse.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 15, 2016 at 06:04 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


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