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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Jose Altuve continues torrid July in Astros win over Phillies - Houston Chronicle

Jose Altuve has made a giant dent in Aaron Judge’s American League MVP candidacy, which at the end of the season’s first half looked close to a slam dunk.

With a second consecutive four-hit performance in the Astros’ 13-4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, Altuve improved his AL-best batting average to .365. He’s batting an astounding .507 in July with six games left in the month. During a career-high 16-game hitting streak, he’s batting .528.

Altuve’s 1.005 OPS ranks second in the AL behind only the New York Yankees’ Judge (1.083), who has cooled off early in the second half. Through the Astros’ first 99 games, their star second baseman is on pace to better his production from last season, when he placed third in MVP voting behind Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 25, 2017 at 08:52 AM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jose altuve

Friday, July 21, 2017

Baseball’s Best Teams Are Too Damn Good

As we approach the July 31 trade deadline, this is more than just an academic curiosity. A team’s willingness to pony up prospects for a better shot at the World Series is directly tied to how much good it thinks a trade will do. In a wide-open season, even teams outside the top tier of contenders could be convinced to roll the dice on an upgrade — particularly with the expanded wild-card format. But the stronger the top teams are, the less incentive teams on the periphery have to make a championship push. According to Elo, we haven’t seen a stronger crop of elite teams in the expansion era than this season’s top six.1

As recently as a few years ago, you could have lamented the lack of dominant teams at the top of the major leagues. At this same time in 2015, for instance, the leading Elo teams were among the weakest at their slots in the expansion era. But baseball’s era of parity seems to be officially over, with the game moving back toward imbalance. While a top-heavy MLB might never look like its basketball equivalent,2 it’s still going to be tougher than usual for aspiring contenders to break through — a fact you can bet every GM is keenly aware of in the lead-up to the deadline.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2017 at 05:40 PM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dodgers, fivethirtyeight, parity

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Carlos Correa to undergo surgery for torn thumb ligament, expected to miss six to eight weeks

The Astros announced on Tuesday that shortstop Carlos Correa has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a torn ligament in his left thumb. He’s expected to miss six to eight weeks. Ken Rosenthal reports that Correa will undergo surgery and notes that Mike Trout missed seven and a half weeks after undergoing the same procedure.

Correa, 22, suffered the injury during Monday’s game against the Mariners, specifically in the fourth inning on a swing. He suffered a thumb injury initially at the beginning of July, so his swing on Monday likely reaggravated it.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 18, 2017 at 04:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa

Likely destinations for all the top stars on the block

The Brewers may be the most aggressive team pursuing Gray, who pitched three years for Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson at Vanderbilt. The Brewers, whose rebuild has suddenly been accelerated by their first-place status in the NL Central, not only have the prospects, but also a fiery owner wanting to land him….

The Astros, 62-30, actually may be the team that most needs Gray. Sure, they’ll cruise to the AL West title with or without him, but with the way the Astros have dominated this year, anything short of a World Series berth will be a disappointment.

The Astros would prefer to land Detroit Tigers All-Star Michael Fulmer, and likely would include No. 1 prospect Francis Martes for him, but they inquired, just like the Cubs, and came up empty. If Fulmer is traded, the Tigers say, it won’t be until this winter when everyone can make a bid.

The Astros realize that Gray is the ideal front-line starter in this market to make a run for their first World Series title in franchise history, giving them a dynamic rotation with All-Stars Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr.

Prediction: Gray goes to the Astros for starter Joe Musgrove, prized pitching prospect Forrest Whitley and outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Astros player hops into DMs to lambast fan who tweeted about trading him | WFAA.com

It looks like the Astros front office might want to explain to Bregman why this wasn’t a good decision.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 11, 2017 at 12:02 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, astros

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Astros’ David Paulino suspended 80 games for PED violation

David Paulino, who represented rotation depth for the Astros and is also regarded as one of their best prospects, was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball on Saturday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
Paulino will not appeal his suspension, which spells the end of his season. The 23-year-old Dominican righthander won’t be eligible to be included on a postseason roster. He tested positive for Boldenone, a substance in violation of MLB’s drug prevention and treatment program. The ban was effective Saturday.
Paulino had a 6.52 ERA in six starts with the Astros, whose rotation has been decimated by injuries. They will need a new starter for Wednesday’s game in Atlanta. It’s likely to be Joe Musgrove, who was optioned to Class AAA last weekend after his ERA inflated to 6.01.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 01, 2017 at 09:41 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, david paulino, peds

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Josh Reddick Remains the King of the Unclutch

Josh Reddick is having a career year at the plate, but he continues to struggle in high-leverage situations. It’s part of a near-decade-long trend that both lacks a clear explanation and calls into question what the Astros outfielder’s true value is.

PreservedFish Posted: June 29, 2017 at 11:55 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, clutch hitting, josh reddick

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Astros’ Carlos Correa is driven to become the best player in the game | FOX Sports

Proving you don’t have to go short on talent when you sign under slot.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2017 at 07:14 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Astros’ homers help extend win streak to 11 | MLB.com

11!

Jim Furtado Posted: June 06, 2017 at 06:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Astronomical – Joe Blogs – Medium

The Poz on the Astros, Kyle Schwarber, and Mr. Met.

A few years ago, when Theo Epstein was first talking about how to make the Cubs winners, he kept going back to a singular philosophy: You need to control the strike zone both on offense and on defense. He thought of the strike zone the way football coaches think about the line of scrimmage.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 01, 2017 at 12:07 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, kyle schwarber

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Red-hot Astros remain aggressive in their search for more pitching

The Astros remain interested in adding a starting pitcher and also are likely to pursue a left-handed reliever before the July 31 nonwaiver deadline, major-league sources say.

No trade is expected soon – trade discussions generally do not accelerate until after the amateur draft in June and sellers likely will maintain high asking prices until late July.

But the Astros, who began the season with the game’s third-best farm system, according to Baseball America, are in position to pursue virtually any player who becomes available.

The Pirates, currently in last place in the NL Central at 16-23, have two pitchers who intrigue the Astros, sources say – right-hander Gerrit Cole, who is under control through 2019, and left-handed closer Tony Watson, who is a free agent at the end of the season.

It is not yet clear if the Pirates will be sellers, or if they would be willing to move Cole. But with center fielder Andrew McCutchen batting only .206 with a .670 OPS, a trade of Cole might be the Pirates’ best chance of landing significant value in a season that looks increasingly lost.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 17, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, gerrit cole, pirates, tony watson, trade rumors

Monday, May 08, 2017

In-Market Streaming Of Mariners, Astros, Pirates, And Rockies Games Arrives Via ROOT Sports

Fans of the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Colorado Rockies can now watching games in-market as the AT-&T Sports Network-owned ROOT SPORTS family of regoinal sports networks announced today that digital streaming is now available. The deal that was announced in March, along with NESN airing Red Sox games, hit a technical snag with authentication services had the networks targeting May as the roll-out, and today, that came to fruition.

The deal between ROOT Sports and MLB Advanced Media will come with no additional cost to authenticated pay TV subscribers of ROOT SPORTS distribution partners.

All games on the networks will be made available to distributors’ authenticated customers and MLBAM will authenticate ROOT SPORTS viewers on MLB.com, team websites and MLB At Bat, as ROOT SPORTS continues to develop a platform of their own to deliver the games to viewers.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 04:39 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mariners, pirates, rockies, root sports, streaming

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Bregman apologizes for Tweet about Rangers

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman apologized Monday night for sending out a tweet prior to the start the Lone Star Series that served as bulletin-board material in the Rangers clubhouse before Monday’s game, which the Astros won, 6-2.

The tweet said “opperation (sic) BTSOOTR”

“I made a rookie mistake,” said Bregman, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored. “I shouldn’t have tweeted that out. It was more of just trying to fire up our team. I shouldn’t have put it on social media at all. They have a great team over there. I didn’t mean to offend anybody over there.

“As you can see, it’s a fun game any time you play them. They had our number last year. This year is a new year. Just a rookie mistake. I didn’t mean to offend anybody over there. It was more of just trying to motivate our team. Poorly-worded, obviously. I misspelled a word—another rookie mistake there.”

The Rangers noticed.

“Somebody get the guy a dictionary,” pitcher Keone Kela said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 02, 2017 at 11:17 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: alex bregman, astros, bulletin board, rangers, social media

Monday, April 17, 2017

What Might A Carlos Correa Extension Look Like?

With that in mind, let’s see if there are other, less obvious, precedents that might help shape an offer that could make Correa think twice.

Buster Posey, 2.161 years of service time (Super Two): eight years, $159MM plus team option
Mike Trout, 2.070: six years, $144.5MM

It seems reasonable to imagine that a Correa extension of a typical length of, say, seven years should fall somewhere in the wide gulf between the Simmons deal and the Trout deal. It’s hard to imagine Correa approaching Posey/Trout territory on any deal of reasonable length — he doesn’t have the service time they did at the time of their extensions, and the Astros are already set to pay Correa near the league minimum salary for each of the next two seasons. He also frankly doesn’t yet have the track record Posey and Trout had at the times of their deals. Posey had won the NL MVP award the year prior to his extension, and Trout finished second in AL MVP balloting in each of the two seasons preceding his.

Another possibility might be for the Astros to sign Correa to a way-outside-the-box extension, offering him a guarantee of ten years or more, a bit like the Marlins did for Giancarlo Stanton or the Reds did for Joey Votto.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 17, 2017 at 05:40 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Astros’ Carlos Correa clarifies stance on potential contract extension - Houston Chronicle

Shortstop Carlos Correa said on Friday he wouldn’t shut the door on a potential early multiyear contract extension with the Astros “if the price is right.”
Correa isn’t eligible to become a free agent until after the 2021 season, but his contract status became a topic of conversation this week after a comment made by his agent, Greg Genske. In a story published Thursday, FanRag Sports Network quoted Genske as saying “Carlos is never going to do an (early) multiyear contract.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 16, 2017 at 07:39 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa

Saturday, April 08, 2017

ESPN: Astros shut down RHP Collin McHugh (elbow) for 6 weeks

Houston Astros right-hander Collin McHugh will not throw for the next six weeks after being diagnosed with a posterior impingement in his right elbow, general manager Jeff Luhnow announced Saturday.

LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 08, 2017 at 03:11 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mchugh, ow

Monday, March 27, 2017


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

White Sox patiently dangling Jose Quintana

Over the last few days, the buzz around camps in Florida and Arizona converged on the same player: Jose Quintana. Scouts ran their information up the chain – Chicago White Sox scouts are everywhere – and the game of telephone ended with general managers across the game wondering: Are they finally going to deal Quintana?

The answer, major league sources familiar with the talks told Yahoo Sports, is the same it’s been since the White Sox committed to rebuild and started the dismantling of their core: Yes … but only for the right price. And even as the White Sox have dispatched more scouts than usual to those back fields, sources said, no deal has materialized.

This is not to say one couldn’t come together within weeks, days, even hours. Multiple teams, including the Atlanta Braves, have shown continued interest, according to sources. Others known to have been involved at points this spring are the Houston Astros and Pittsburgh Pirates. Stewarded by general manager Rick Hahn, who has gotten industry-wide plaudits for his hauls in the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton trades, the White Sox find themselves capable of asking for the moon due to a number of reasons.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 22, 2017 at 02:28 PM | 59 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves, jose quintana, trade rumors, white sox

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bob Bruce, Astros’ starting pitcher in first Astrodome official game, dies

Bob Bruce, the man who was the starting pitcher in the last game at Houston’s Colt Stadium and the first official official game at the Astrodome, died Wednesday at the age of 83.

RIP.

QLE Posted: March 16, 2017 at 06:51 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astrodome, astros, bob bruce, colt .45's, obituaries

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Sunday, February 26, 2017


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

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