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Monday, October 01, 2012

MLB: Astros already making preparations for move to AL

But with three games remaining as an NL team, Astros players and officials are starting to consider exactly what needs to be done before Houston takes the field as an AL club on April 2 at Minute Maid Park.

“There are really compelling reasons to get excited about the future,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “New look next year, new division, new league, new staff. There’s a lot of reasons we’re excited.”

...The Astros want to work with Porter on the formation of the coaching staff, but that process won’t start until the Nationals finish their run in the postseason.

“We need to make sure that we surround Bo with a staff that has all the capabilities—whether that’s experience in the American League, infield experience, pitching experience etc.—to create the best staff in baseball to support the best young talent in baseball,” Luhnow said.

With a manager hired, the front office will now decide how it wants to address the fact that the Astros will need a designated hitter for most of their games next season. Luhnow could add a prolific hitter to the roster via free agency or plan on filling the position internally, or even some combination of the two.

“We’ll be looking at every opportunity to get a guy in the lineup that can help us produce runs,” Luhnow said. “It’s a high-scoring environment in the American League, and we’re facing not only teams with good lineups but good pitching, and we have to be in a position to compete more than we were this year. We hit more home runs this year than we did last year, and we have to hit a lot more home runs next year than we did this year.”

...Luhnow understands that fans will feel nostalgic about leaving the NL, but he also urges them to look forward to new rivalries and the chance to see more AL teams at Minute Maid Park.

Thanks to Los.

Repoz Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:46 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros

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   1. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:58 PM (#4250279)
Already?
   2. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:00 PM (#4250281)
Luhnow could add a prolific hitter to the roster via free agency or plan on filling the position internally, or even some combination of the two.


Is it just me or is the quality of DHs way down? Its almost like there was something allowing players to enjoy more productive careers in their twilight years that is no longer available.
   3. SG Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:01 PM (#4250283)
Best of all, Astros fans will no longer be subjected to the travesty of pitchers hitting 153 times a year.
   4. DKDC Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:02 PM (#4250284)
I don't think you can prepare for that, SG.

That's like trying to prepare for Double Christmas. Just let it happen and enjoy.
   5. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:04 PM (#4250286)
Already?

Well, yeah, you have to start these things in advance. Otherwise you might show up at the wrong stadium for your first road series.
   6. JRVJ Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4250288)
Houston is going to get CRUSHED next year. Even worse than this year.

The 2 wild cards in the AL may well come out of the AL West for a couple of years, by virtue of TX-LAA-OAK playing Houston early and often.
   7. Joey B.: posting for the kids of northeast Ohio Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:12 PM (#4250293)
Is it just me or is the quality of DHs way down? Its almost like there was something allowing players to enjoy more productive careers in their twilight years that is no longer available.

You know the heavy offense era is really over when Ryan Lavarnway with his OPS+ of 31 is occasionally being used a DH.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4250295)
Best of all, Astros fans will no longer be subjected to the travesty of pitchers hitting 153 times a year


How do their fans know the difference between that and when half of their other players batting?

   9. DKDC Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:48 PM (#4250321)
True, the surrender Sox lineup is a very useful gauge for major offensive trends in the game.

You know the heavy offense era is really over when Daniel Nava with his OPS+ of 99 is occasionally being used a LF.
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Mauro Gomez with his OPS+ of 95 is occasionally being used a 1B.
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Danny Valencia with his OPS+ of 18 is occasionally being used a 3B.
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Che-Hsuan Lin with his OPS+ of -40 is occasionally being used a CF.
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Jose Iglesias with his OPS+ of 16 is occasionally being used a SS.
   10. zachtoma Posted: October 01, 2012 at 05:58 PM (#4250329)
Yeah, the AL West is probably the best division in baseball this year - three excellent teams and a 4th that may not be as bad as their record.
   11. Willie Mayspedes Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:10 PM (#4250335)
Yeah, the AL West is probably the best division in baseball this year - three excellent teams and a 4th that may not be as bad as their record.
be the sixth best organization in baseball?
   12. Danny Posted: October 01, 2012 at 06:17 PM (#4250341)
Yeah, the AL West is probably the best division in baseball this year

Best record of any AL division for 10 of the past 13 years. It'll be nice to get a doormat, at least for awhile.
   13. Brian C Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:20 PM (#4250409)
“There are really compelling reasons to get excited about the future,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “New look next year, new division, new league, new staff. There’s a lot of reasons we’re excited.”

"Don't get any big ideas
They're not gonna happen
You paint yourself white
And fill up with noise
But there'll be something missing

Now that you've found it it's gone
Now that you feel it you don't
You've gone off the rails

So don't get any big ideas
They're not gonna happen"
   14. The Mighty Quintana Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:25 PM (#4250414)
Won't they need a DH, now? Time to re-acquire Carlos Lee!
   15. Juan Uribe Marching and Chowder Society Posted: October 01, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4250418)
Jordan Lyles.
   16. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4250511)
Weren't the Astros planning to retire BBC's number?
   17. Walt Davis Posted: October 01, 2012 at 10:55 PM (#4250598)
Its almost like there was something allowing players to enjoy more productive careers in their twilight years that is no longer available.

I assume this is a reference to noted roiders Edgar Martinez, Frank Thomas, Chili Davis, Paul Molitor and Harold Baines. From 1995 to 2003, there were only 43 player-seasons where a player had 100+ games at DH. 24 of those 43 were by those 5 guys. From 1995 to 2003, Palmeiro had one season with 100+ games at DH and Canseco two.

Of those 43 player-seasons, only 27 had an OPS+ of 120 or higher. 8 of those were by Edgar. Of those 43 seasons, only 18 were by players older than 35 -- Burks and an Eddie Murray season being the only one outside those 4.

So, fewer than 5 "full-time" DHs per season. 3 per season who hit well enough to justify being full-time DHs. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Jaha, Fullmer, Burks or a couple of other guys used in their 1-2 good DH seasons.

From 2004 to 2012, there have been 41 player-seasons of 100+ games at DH. 24 of those 41 had an OPS+ of 120 or better, a smidgen lower rate. Of those 41 seasons, 12 were from players 36 or older, a lower rate. Of those 41, 8 are by Ortiz and 5 are by Hafner. Otherwise you get the tail end of Edgar and Thome and 3 by Matsui. The roidiness of those involved is left as an exercise for the reader.

2012 is rather down in part because there are only 2 qualifying guys this year -- Delmon Young (ick) and Butler.

And just for our comparative kicks, from 85 to 93 (fewer teams), there were 57 full-time DH seasons -- still only about half the teams. Baines with 7 and Downing with 4 are the leaders. Only 21 of the 57 had an OPS+ of 120 or higher. 23 of 57 seasons were by guys 36 or older.

   18. base ball chick Posted: October 01, 2012 at 11:44 PM (#4250621)
JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4250511)

Weren't the Astros planning to retire BBC's number?


8675309

and whassup with all this "exciting" stuff - is that the new kewl word around baseball? everything is "excited/exciting" except the astros downgrade to the DH league, which is depressing, horrifying, soul chilling.

they are supposed to have this "ceremony" nov 5 where they are letting people into the Box for free (they need to get SOME bodies there) to show off the new unis and the new mascot now that they are dumping that stupid rabbit along with the train. They're also setting up lots of places where anyone who wanders in to the "exciting" ceremony can buy new jerseys. like whoopie like doo

you ask, am i gonna go?

whatever for?

now, if they had one of those booths where craney-poo sits in a dunking booth, hey, I'd be all for it. trouble is that one of my fastballs just might could miss and hit the miserable SOB where it hurts...
   19. Dan Evensen Posted: October 02, 2012 at 12:48 AM (#4250651)
now, if they had one of those booths where craney-poo sits in a dunking booth, hey, I'd be all for it. trouble is that one of my fastballs just might could miss and hit the miserable SOB where it hurts...

I would pay to see this.
   20. donlock Posted: October 02, 2012 at 10:43 AM (#4250898)
Well, the first step was to hire a NL 3b coach to be the manager since he is less familiar with the teams and players in the AL.

Luhnow could add a prolific hitter to the roster via free agency or plan on filling the position internally, or even some combination of the two.


The third option would be to trade some of the Astros' surplus talent for a player from another team. That about covers it. I am betting on option 2.
   21. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: October 02, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4250935)
Wait a sec: Wasn't the Astros incentive to switch leagues supposed to include an exapansion draft?
   22. base ball chick Posted: October 02, 2012 at 11:09 AM (#4250936)
19 - dan, i would pay to DO it

donlock,

apparently, crane, the owner is the one who picked bo porter, not luhnow and gang. so obviously, the idea is to lose as much as possible next year. also, porter is not getting to choose his coaching staff. just like the previous 2 managers.

there is no surplus talent on the astros. that is what is called an oxymoron - with most of it being the moron part
   23. BDC Posted: October 02, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4251020)
To complement Walt's points, here's a list of all the batting-title-qualifier seasons by position players age 39 and up between 1996 and 2005, inclusive (an arbitrary decade, but one that would seem in retrospect to be soaked in steroids):

OPSYear Age Lg   G  PA  Pos
Craig Biggio        104 2005  39 NL 155 651 
*4/D
Barry Bonds         263 2004  39 NL 147 617 
*7/D
Chili Davis         108 1999  39 AL 146 554   
*D
Steve Finley        109 2004  39 NL 162 706 
*8/D
Andres Galarraga    123 2000  39 NL 141 548 
*3/D
Rickey Henderson     78 2000  41 ML 123 519 
*7/D
Rickey Henderson     94 1998  39 AL 152 670  
*78
Rickey Henderson    128 1999  40 NL 121 526 
*7/D
Edgar Martinez       92 2004  41 AL 141 549 
*D/5
Edgar Martinez      141 2003  40 AL 145 603   
*D
Paul Molitor        104 1997  40 AL 135 597  
*D3
Paul Molitor        116 1996  39 AL 161 729  
*D3
Paul Molitor         86 1998  41 AL 126 559 
*D/3
Eddie Murray         87 1996  40 AL 152 637 
*D/3
Rafael Palmeiro     108 2004  39 AL 154 651  
*3D
Cal Ripken           70 2001  40 AL 128 516  
*5D 


And as Tex Ritter put it, that's all she wrote. One of the most unconsidered memes of the PEDs era is that there were hordes of ancient guys wandering around impervious to the effects of age.

   24. Karl from NY Posted: October 02, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4251620)
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Daniel Nava with his OPS+ of 99 is occasionally being used a LF.
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Mauro Gomez with his OPS+ of 95 is occasionally being used a 1B.
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Danny Valencia with his OPS+ of 18 is occasionally being used a 3B.
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Che-Hsuan Lin with his OPS+ of -40 is occasionally being used a CF.
You know the heavy offense era is really over when Jose Iglesias with his OPS+ of 16 is occasionally being used a SS.

That doesn't follow as an indication of era. OPS+ is relative to league average. A reduced league average does not decrease the scale of OPS+ numbers.

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