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Astros baseball: we've got uniforms and everything.

Updated: 2017-06-24T20:35:54-05:00


Game No. 76 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners



McCullers returns!

Houston Astros (50-25) vs. Seattle Mariners (39-37), June 24, 2017, 9:10 p.m. CT

Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Online: MLB.TV
Mariners SBNation Blog: Lookout Landing

Pitching Matchup

RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1, 2.58 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) vs. RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-1, 3.43 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)


The Houston Astros got one of their biggest weapons back on the mound a day after the Seattle Mariners got back their ace. Lance McCullers is hoping to replicate the output by Felix Hernandez that helped take game one for the M’s.

McCullers returns to the rotation on Saturday after being placed on the 10-Day disabled list with lower back discomfort on June 12. McCullers was the AL Pitcher of the Month in May before the injury with a 4-0 record with a 0.99 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP.

McCullers faces the Mariners for the second time in 2017, he allowed one earned run on five hits over six innings on April 4.

No current Mariners hitter has a home run off McCullers. Robinson Cano is batting .438 (7x16) in his career against McCullers with a double and one RBI. Nelson Cruz is 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts and Kyle Seager is 4-for-14 with a double.

Sam Gaviglio is in his rookie season with the Mariners. The Oregon state product makes his eight career start. He is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in his previous seven starts.

He makes his first major league start against the Astros, allowing eight earned runs over his last 21 1/3 innings.

He doesn't hit 90 MPH with his fastball, but it works well against his curveball. Fangraphs notes his curveball has a 2.9 pitch value in his rookie season.

Astros option Musgrove, reinstate McCullers; call up Jankowski for Peacock



Houston demotes Joe Musgrove, call up Jordan Jankowski with Brad Peacock on the paternity list.

The Houston Astros had four of their key starting pitchers on the disabled list entering Saturday. General Manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch had to decide who would have to be sent down to make room for one of the returning starters.

Lance McCullers Jr. returns to the rotation on Saturday after being placed on the 10-Day disabled list with lower back discomfort on June 12.

The man that drew the short straw was RHP Joe Musgrove. Musgrove Musgrove struggled after returning his own DL stint with a 0-3 record and 10.29 ERA in three starts (14 IP).

In an additional move, Brad Peacock was played on the paternity list — Peacock’s wife had their son, Colton on Saturday. The paternity list allows three days away from the team. To take Peacock’s spot, the Astros have recalled RHP Jordan Jankowski.

Jankowski is in his third stent with the Astros, he was 1-0 with a 16.20 ERA in two games previously.

Astros Prospect Report: June 23rd, 2017


See how the minor league teams and prospects performed last night! AAA: Fresno Grizzlies (36-38) won 7-6 (BOX SCORE) Note: Kemp is hitting .435 with 2 HR, 9 RBI over his last 10 games Tony Kemp, DH: 2-for-4, 3 R, BB, SB Tyler White, 2B: 2-for-3, R, BB Preston Tucker, LF: 2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB Derek Fisher, CF: 0-for-3, R, RBI, BB Colin Moran, 3B: 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB Teoscar Hernandez, RF: 1-for-5, RBI Reid Brignac, SS: 1-for-4, R Mike Hauschild, RHP: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K Brian Holmes, LHP: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K Kevin Comer, RHP: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K Tyson Perez, RHP: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (WIN) AA: Corpus Christi Hooks (36-38) lost 3-2 (BOX SCORE) Note: Armenteros has 19 BB/74 K in 65.1 innings this season Drew Ferguson, LF: 2-for-4, 2B Kyle Tucker, CF: 0-for-3, RBI, 2 BB J.D. Davis, 3B: 2-for-5, RBI Jon Singleton, 1B: 1-for-2, 2 BB Ramon Laureano, RF: 0-for-3, 2 BB Jack Mayfield, 2B: 1-for-4, R, 2B Antonio Nunez, SS: 1-for-3, R, BB Rogelio Armenteros, RHP: 5.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Sean Stutzman, LHP: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K Ryan Thompson, RHP: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K A+: Buies Creek Astros (38-34) won 3-0 (BOX SCORE) Note: Hernandez since April 29th - 17.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 6 BB, 25 K Ryne Birk, 2B: 2-for-4, R, 2B Jake Rogers, C: 2-for-3, RBI, BB Yordan Alvarez, DH: 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI Spencer Johnson, LF: 2-for-4, R, 2B Stephen Wrenn, RF: 1-for-3, BB Brett Adcock, LHP: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (WIN) Justin Ferrell, RHP: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K Nick Hernandez, RHP: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (SAVE) A: Quad Cities River Bandits (38-32) won 7-6 (BOX SCORE) Note: Robinson is hitting .351 over his last 10 games Chuckie Robinson, DH: 2-for-4, R, SB Troy Sieber, DH: 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI Ronnie Dawson, LF: 1-for-3, 2 R Daz Cameron, CF: 1-for-2, R, HR, 2 RBI Bryan De La Cruz, RF: 2-for-4, 2 RBI Wander Franco, 3B: 1-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI Yohan Ramirez, RHP: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Carlos Sanabria, RHP: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 2 K Salvador Montano, LHP: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K Erasmo Pinales, RHP: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K A-: Tri-City ValleyCats (2-2) lost 7-2 (BOX SCORE) Miguelangel Sierra, SS: 1-for-4, 2B Abraham Toro-Hernandez, C: 1-for-2, 2 BB Connor MacDonald, DH: 1-for-4, RBI Jake Adams, 1B: 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI Andy Pineda, CF: 1-for-3, R, 2 SB Cristian Javier, RHP: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K Ben Smith, LHP: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K Nathan Thompson, LHP: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K Reggie Johnson, RHP: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K Rookie: Greeneville Astros (1-1) lost 9-5 (BOX SCORE) Wilson Amador, CF: 1-for-5, SB Enmanuel Valdez, 2B: 0-for-3, BB Vicente Mota, 1B: 1-for-3, 2B, BB Brody Westmoreland, 3B: 2-for-4 Ruben Castro, DH: 1-for-2, 2 R, 2B, BB Carlos Machado, LF: 2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB Juan Pineda, SS: 1-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI Bryan Abreu, RHP: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K Jheyson Carabello, RHP: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Ian Hardman, RHP: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K Dariel Aquino, RHP: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K Today’s starters according to FRE: Game 1 - Casey Coleman (6.27 ERA); Game 2 - Dean Deetz (20.25 ERA) CC: Brock Dykxhoorn (5.47 ERA) BC: Franklin Perez (2.25 ERA) QC: Carson LaRue (2.64 ERA) TC: Cesar Rosado (-.-- ERA) GV: Gerardo Bojorquez (-.-- ERA) [...]

Mariners 13, Astros 3: Musgrove can’t find magic against M’s



The Astros haven’t been blown out too often...

Entering the opening game of the three-game series against the Mariners, the Houston Astros had lost just five games this season by five or more runs. The Mariners offense and Joe Musgrove made sure to push that total to six games after Friday, Seattle winning 13-3.

Musgrove continued to have struggled on the mound against the Mariners, entering his start with two straight losses under their belt.

The M's roughed up Musgrove for nine runs on 12 hits over 3 2/3 innings. He gave up four extra-base hits including three home runs.

The only pitching highlight came from Reymin Guduan, who pitched two clean innings.

Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman each had a home run off Felix Hernandez. King Hernandez allowed three runs on eight hits over six innings in his first start in the major in over a month.

Josh Reddick had a nice sliding catch in the second inning. There weren’t many positives to take away from Friday’s game. Moving on.

Game No. 75 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Seattle Mariners



The King in the Northwest returns.

Houston Astros (50-24) vs. Seattle Mariners (38-37), June 23, 2017, 9:10 p.m. CT

Radio: KBME 790 AM, La Nueva 94.1 FM
Online: MLB.TV
Mariners SBNation Blog: Lookout Landing

Pitching Matchup

RHP Joe Musgrove (4-6, 5.09 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (2-2, 4.73 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)


The Houston Astros were the first team to 30 and 40 wins, and now 50 wins after completing a 4-game sweep against the Oakland Athletics.

The Astros (50-24) continue their seven-game road trip on the West Coast with three games in Seattle against the Mariners.

RHP Joe Musgrove (4-6, 5.09 ERA) will get the start on Friday for Houston. He enters the game on a two-game losing streak, but he had a better start against the Boston Red Sox in his most recent outing.

Musgrove held one of baseball’s best offenses scoreless for four innings but couldn’t solve Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts hit two homers off Musgrove.

Friday will mark the second start in Seattle for Musgrove. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings on April 11. The Astros won 7-5.

Musgrove is 1-0 with a 4.35 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners. Mitch Haniger is 3-for-4 in his career against Musgrove with a double, a home run, and two walks. Kyle Seager is 2-for-5. Robinson Cano is 2-for-6. Nelson Cruz is 1-for-5 with two strikeouts. Danny Valencia is 1-for-8 with three strikeouts

The Astros are 5-2 against the Mariners this season.

King in the Northwest returns

The Mariners activated staff ace Felix Hernandez after placing on the 10-day disabled list on April 26 with bursitis in his right shoulder. He made three rehab starts with Triple-A Tacoma before rejoining the Mariners.

King Felix gets a tough assignment in his return against the Astros. Hernandez is 0-4 with an 11.15 ERA his last four starts against the Astros dating back to 2015. Hernandez picked his first loss of the 2017 season on Opening Day -- allowing two runs over five innings on April 3.

Jose Altuve is batting .500 (13x26) with four doubles and two RBIs against Hernandez. Carlos Beltran is batting .438 (7x16) with two RBIs. George Springer is 5-for-16 with a home run and four RBIs.

Astros-Mariners Series Snapshot: June 23-25, 2017



King Felix returns to face the Astros.

Houston Astros (50-24) vs. Seattle Mariners (38-37), June 23-25, 2017


RHP Joe Musgrove (4-6, 5.09 ERA, 1.41 WHIP) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (2-2, 4.73 ERA, 1.58 WHIP)

Time: 9:10 p.m. CT
Online: MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790, La Nueva 94.1 FM (En Español)


RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1, 2.58 ERA, 1.06 WHIP) vs. RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-1, 3.43 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)

Time: 9:10 p.m. CT
TV: ROOT SPORTS Southwest, MLB Network (Out of Network Only)
Online: MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790, La Nueva 94.1 FM (En Español)


RHP Brad Peacock (4-1, 2.82 ERA, 1.19 WHIP) vs. LHP Ariel Miranda (6-3, 4.04 ERA, 1.22 WHIP)

Time: 3:10 p.m. CT
Online: MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790, La Nueva 94.1 FM (En Español)

Series Snapshot

Split records: Astros — 27-8 on the road; Mariners — 24-13 at home

Run differential: Astros — +120.0 (2nd best in MLB); Mariners — -2.0 (15th)

Runs scored per game: Astros — 5.51 (3rd); Mariners — 4.87 (9th)

OPS+: Astros — 126 (1st); Mariners — 102 (6th)

wRC+: Astros — 120 (1st); Mariners — 103 (6th)

Earned Runs allowed per game: Astros — 3.70 (3rd); Mariners — 4.64 (21st)

ERA+: Astros — 109 (7th); Mariners — 92 (21st)

Last 10 games: Astros — 6-4; Mariners — 6-4

2016 head-to-head record: 11-8, Astros

2017 head-to-head: 5-2, Astros

What is Wrong With Ramon Laureano?



After a monstrous offensive campaign in 2016 made him a consensus Top-100 prospect leaguewide, Laureano is now sporting a 52 wRC+ with Double-A Corpus. What happened?

It should be pointed out initially that Laureano’s 2016 campaign, good as it was, was in fact influenced by some rather outstanding luck, and the best hitting environment in the minor leagues, the infamous Hangar in Lancaster. The outfield prospect’s BABIP, the foremost “luck stat,” was stratospheric at both Lancaster and Corpus Christi, topping .400 at each stop. I can’t remember any Astros prospect managing to sustain a BABIP near that level across a full season since Jose Altuve was still in the minors, and Laureano, though a very talented hitter, is not Jose Altuve. Regression in his return to Corpus Christi was to be expected, but the outfielder is hitting just .195/.270/.278 through the first half. What could cause such a precipitous drop-off for a player whom pitchers had no answer for in 2016?

Looking at the data on Laureano in 2017, one number immediately jumps off the page. While his fly ball rate has remained stable at 32.0% (32.2% last year), his infield fly ball percentage (infield flies/total flies) has jumped 23.7% to an astronomical 37.5%. A correlation between nagging injuries and an increased IFFB% can be observed at the major league level with players like Jason Heyward and Ian Kinsler, among others, so there is a possibility that Laureano is dealing with minor medical issues that are affecting him at the plate.

The fact that Laureano is known as a hustler, having notched 10 outfield assists and 16 stolen bases in 20 attempts in 2017, could give more credence to the injury theory. A player with his competitive edge is rarely keen on sitting on the bench and will have a willingness to play through pain. He has been able to put some good swings on the ball this year, but his line drive rate has dipped significantly, which combined with his unbelievable 21 popouts (8 in foul play) already, has driven his >.400 BABIP down to a paltry .247 this season.

Laureano’s offensive approach has always relied heavily on his plus bat speed, which he uses to barrel balls to all fields. You typically won’t see a healthy young hitter lose juice in his bat in his age 22 season unless he’s picked up a mechanical flaw (which I cannot detect in Laureano’s case) or he doesn’t meet the “healthy” criteria. In seasons past he has shown some significant opposite field power, with four homers and seven triples to right field in 2016. That right field punch has all but disappeared this year, and the 22-year old has struggled to get the ball out of the infield, period. Corpus has moved him up and down the order in attempts to get him going with no success, and though the athletic outfielder has been able to help the team on the basepaths and with his arm, some time on the shelf may be the best option.

We are past the point of small sample sizes in 2017 and serious concern about Laureano is warranted, but I think there is more than meets the eye here. Rest, rather than a demotion, is likely the best course, as there is some circumstantial evidence that the outfielder is playing through pain. Laureano continues to display good tools, and though he may be facing a lost season this year I don’t think this is the beginning of the end for his prospect status. Laureano received a day off on Thursday, and with the Texas League all-star break beginning Monday, it might be wise to hold the struggling outfielder out of action until second-half play commences in the hopes of rejuvenating his power stroke.

Houston Astros News: June 23, 2017


Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Friday, June 23, 2017. Astros News Astros use 8-run inning to complete sweep of Athletics After scoring twice in the first inning, they broke out for eight runs in the second inning en route to a 12-9 win and a four-game sweep of the A's. Jesse Hahn’s ghastly start sets up A’s 10th straight home loss to Astros Stephen Vogt could be thankful for two things in the wake of being designated for assignment on Thursday. He didn’t have to catch a totally out-of-sync Jesse Hahn, and he didn’t have to suffer through yet another A’s defeat at the hands of the Houston Astros. Astros' Charlie Morton pitches 2 innings in first rehab start Charlie Morton logged two innings and threw 36 pitches for Class AAA Fresno on Thursday night in the first start of his minor league rehab assignment. 50 is the new, Lordy! Astros pile up wins The Astros won their 50th game of the season on Thrusday afternoon, holding off an A’s rally for a 12-9 victory to compete a four-game sweep at Oakland Coliseum. Historic pace not fazing red-hot Astros With Thursday’s 12-9 win over the A’s at the Coliseum, the Astros secured a four-game sweep and became the first Major League team to reach in the 50-win benchmark in 2017. How Many Houston Astros Will Go to the MLB All-Star Game? Four years doesn't seem all that long ago, until you think of where Houston was as a sports city this time back in 2013 — Matt Schaub was the Texans quarterback, the Rockets were preparing to fly virtually the whole organization to Los Angeles to woo Dwight Howard in free agency, and the Astros were in the middle of a 51-111 season. Around the League Freddie Freeman might convert to third base, and the odds would be against him The headline I wanted was “Freddie Freeman might convert to third base, where he would flop,” but that seems rude. MLB’s 5 Most Fun Player Debates Mike Trout vs. Bryce Harper was a thing for a while there, until Trout made his case convincingly (and historically) clear. Harper vs. Manny Machado was looking pretty good, but, in 2017, with Harper putting up early MVP credentials and Machado starting slowly, it really hasn't been a topic worth debating. Baseball’s Mediocre Teams Are Disappearing Today’s MLB is full of tankers and contenders. In the age of the super reliver, Craig Kembrel may be the best After a few years of decline, he might be the best reliever in baseball once again. Boston’s closer is better than ever. [...]