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Astros baseball: we've got uniforms and everything.

Updated: 2016-10-25T06:00:05-05:00


Astros Crawfish Boil: October 25, 2016



Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Tuesday, October 25, 2016.

Astros News

Astros marked a nine-year stop for 'The Ryan Express' - Houston Chronicle
Two 8-7 pitchers. That's what California Angels general manager Buzzie Bavasi said he needed to replace Nolan Ryan, who led the American League in strikeouts for the fourth year in a row in 1979 but did so with a 16-14 record.

Baez, Lindor enter Series with Puerto Rican bond | Houston Astros |
CLEVELAND (AP) — About four months before the 2011 draft, over a hundred scouts descended upon the baseball complex at a private academy west of Orlando. They were there to

MLB News

Kyle Schwarber heading toward a surprising World Series return 7 months after tearing his ACL -
Kyle Schwarber was ruled out for the playoffs after tearing his ACL in April. Now he’s set to start Game 1 of the World Series less than seven months later.

How to decide if you're an Indians or Cubs fan for the World Series -
If you like championship droughts, you've come to the right sport. But the droughts are both so miserable and long, it's hard to nail down your rooting interests. We can help.

Mike Leach says there are too many Cubs fans and he hopes Cleveland wins -
Cleveland is his World Series choice.

The Cubs and Indians could both get key players back for the World Series -
Monday’s Say Hey, Baseball sees that Kyle Schwarber and Danny Salazar could return just in time to try to win a ring.

Astros winter baseball update: Arizona Fall League and more for Oct. 17-23


Catching up on all the Astros prospects taking part in off-season baseball Arizona Fall League October 17 - Glendale loses 5-4 to Peoria -> C Garrett Stubbs: 1-for-2, BB, R-> RF Ramon Laureano: 0-for-4 RP Jacob Dorris: 0.2 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K (blown save, loss) October 18 - Glendale loses 6-3 to Peoria -> CF Jason Martin: 1-for-2 (pinch-hitter, stayed in)-> DH Garrett Stubbs: 0-for-4 October 19 - Glendale loses 4-2 to Salt River -> RF Ramon Laureano: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, R SP Francis Martes: 3.0 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 4 H, 0 BB, 2 K October 20 - Glendale wins 3-2 over Mesa -> CF Ramon Laureano: 1-for-3, 2B, SB, R-> C Garrett Stubbs: 0-for-2, BB, R RP Rogelio Armenteros: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K (save) October 21 - Glendale loses 8-2 to Peoria -> C Garrett Stubbs: 2-for-3, 2B, R RP Jacob Dorris: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 3 K October 22 - Glendale loses 10-8 to Surprise -> CF Jason Martin: 1-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI, R-> RF Ramon Laureano: 0-for-4, BB, R-> 2B Nick Tanielu: 0-for-2 (pinch-hitter) Somehow it seems like the team the Astros send prospects to never wins, so we never get to see any of our guys in the final championship game on TV. Alas. It's not for lack of contributions by our guys, though. Martin and Laureano are one and two respectively in OPS on the Glendale roster (the only two guys with a 1.000+ OPS). Granted Martin only has three games played, being the taxi squad guy, but still. Stubbs looked a little better this week, and thanks to that and some walks, he owns a respectable .729 OPS while playing primarily catcher. And nice to see a bounce-back game for Martes, too. Dorris continues to get it done with his funky mechanics. Here he is, for those who didn't catch it on Twitter already: .@astros pitching prospect @JacobDorris38 throws during yesterday's @MLBazFallLeague game. @ClubhouseCorner @cchooks @ValleyCats — moose_tography (@moose_tography) October 22, 2016 South of the Border Australian Baseball League Opening Day is November 17 Dominican Winter League Max Stassi: 2 G, .400/.400/.400, 2 H, 1 KAndrew Aplin: 2 G, .167/.167/.167, 1 H Mike Hauschild: 1 G, 5.1 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 4 H, 1 BB, 5 KCesar Valdez: 1 G, 4.2 IP, 3 R (1 ER), 6 H, 0 BB, 4 KJordan Jankowski: 1 G, 1.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 KReymin Guduan: 1 G, 0.1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K Mexican Pacific League Leonardo Heras: 11 G, .211/.318/.447, 8 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 6 BB, 8 K Puerto Rican Baseball League Opening Day is October 27 Venezuelan League Miguelangel Sierra: 2 G, .375/.375/.500, 3 H, 1 2B, 3 K [...]

Astros Crawfish Boil: October 24, 2016



Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Friday, October 24, 2016.

Astros News

Verlander deal? Astros all-in? Why MLB hot stove could be trade-heavy | New York Post
There is a growing sense among executives that the trade market is going to be active this offseason

Houston Astros Free Agent Predictions :: Innings Eaters
I don’t think this year is one where the Houston Astros’ free agents get offered any qualifying offers.

MLB News

The Cubs are going to their first World Series in 71 years -
Sunday’s Say Hey, Baseball is enjoying all the Cubs-related celebration while being sad for the Dodgers, too.

The Cubs won the National League pennant because curses are dumb -
The Cubs are the best team, and they’re going to the World Series for a reason. The only surprising part about it is that we’re surprised.

Cubs lose Game 6 of NLCS in horrific fashion (prewrite do not publish) -
The Cubs blew a (number of runs) lead in Game 6, setting up a do-or-die Game 7 for the pennant.

2016 World Series schedule: Cubs vs. Indians -
The Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians will meet in the 2016 World Series, each looking to snap a decades-old championship drought. Game 1 is Tuesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Astros Offseason Mailbag: Submit Your Questions!



Consider this a call to arms, TCB'ers! We need your Astros-centric questions for our weekly Offseason Mailbag, "TCB Offseason Orbit". Submit yours today!

Happy Friday afternooon, everyone!

This offseason, we at TCB have decided to put into action what has erstwhile been an oft-discussed but not oft-attempted idea at a way to keep our illustrious readers engaged over the offseason: A Mailbag.

We'll be fielding your Astros-related questions in weekly-installment mailbags called "TCB Offseason Orbit" all offseason long.  Whether your question is big or small, complex or simple, please feel free to submit it.  We staffers will choose the best submissions to answer each week.

I'm going to be spearheading this effort, but look for contributions from any/all of our staff writers here.  Should you wish to direct a specific question to a specific writer, please just note as such and we will make sure it gets seen by them.

You can feel free to submit questions here in the comments (I will be checking them) or you may send to the new e-mail address that we've created explicitly for this purpose:

We look forward to hearing from you!

The Ground Control Podcast, Ep. 34 — 2016 Season comes to a close



TCB closes the Astros season.

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The Ground Control Podcast, Ep. 34

Hosts: Ryan Dunsmore, Subber10, and CRPerry13

Topic for Today's Show

  • Astros finish the season with Overall record of 84-78
  • What was the Astros downfall?
  • Spotlights on George Springer, Chris Devenski, and Jose Altuve
  • How do you improve the Astros next season? (AKA Chris wants a new catcher for next season)
  • Has your confidence level in Jeff Lunhow changed?

We'll attempt to answer any questions left in the comment section of this post on the podcast.

The podcast is now active on iTunes, blubrry, and stitcher.

The RSS feed for the podcast can be found HERE. I will add the RSS feed to any programs requested in the comment section of the podcast.

Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes. Send all feedback and feedbacks.

Please send questions to for the podcast, or leave any question for next week's podcast in the comment section.

Astros Crawfish Boil: October 21, 2016



Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Thursday, October 21, 2016.

Astros News

Houston Astros keep up momentum -- in MLB standings and Ultimate Standings
In ESPN The Magazine's annual ranking of 122 pro sports teams, the Houston Astros continued to climb after last season's playoff run. They now rank in the top half of MLB teams.

Houston Astros 2016 Season in Review
The Houston Astros didn't quite meet expectations in 2016 for a variety of reasons, but a lack of depth in the rotation was a big part of it.

MLB News

Here are the real villains of the Steve Bartman game -
The Cubs famously blew a 3-0 lead with five outs left in the 2003 NLCS. Say, whose fault was that anyway?

Clayton Kershaw stands between the Cubs and the World Series -
Friday’s Say Hey, Baseball recognizes that the Cubs are just one win away from their first World Series since 1945.

Cubs 8, Dodgers 4: One. Win. Away. - Bleed Cubbie Blue
The World Series beckons, if the Cubs can beat the Dodgers one more time.

Dodgers confidence starts with Clayton Kershaw - True Blue LA
Clayton Kershaw starts Game 6 of the NLCS on Saturday night at Wrigley Field, hoping to even the series for the Dodgers against the Cubs.

The Blue Jays were always going to have the most depressing postseason exit -
Don’t write the Blue Jays off for 2017, but lament that we probably won't see a team like this for a while.

A Final Word on the Astros, Rangers and Baseball Clutchiness


Okay, mostly on the Rangers This past season was a lot of things for Astros fans - the first word that comes to mind, without blame, is "frustrating". It was frustrating to watch the team muddle through the second half with a depleted lineup. Frustrating to watch the starting rotation implode while the offense scored runs, frustrating to watch the offense shut down while the starters dealt, and to cap it off, frustrating to watch the reliable, shut-down bullpen arms falter in must-win contests against Los Angeles and Seattle in the last week of the season. Most of all, it was frustrating to watch the team find every which way to lose to the Rangers. But while it was that and more, from a high-level MLB perspective, it was also fascinating. The Rangers fared extremely well against teams over .500, and played poorly against teams under .500. Their bullpen wasn't 2012 Orioles-esque, and #NeverEverQuit isn't enough to explain away 36-11 in one-run games. Explanations of the Rangers; success were discussed at length by really good ball writers everywhere: Google "Rangers Run Differential" and you'll find posts from Fangraphs, Five Thirty Eight, and even the Wall Street Journal. Pretty much every outlet supported the following claim: The Texas Rangers were a quality baseball team, but also needed a historic bit of luck to reach 95 wins. As the seasons of both AL West rivals have now reached a close, I will offer a final word (and Fangraphs data) that will hopefully put the entire idea of baseball "clutchiness" into a season-long perspective. The origin of the graph below comes from a 2014 Fangraphs article by Jeff Sullivan. In it, he plots each MLB team's Win percentage and BaseRuns win percentage as a differential (y-axis) against each team's Clutch score (x-axis). These are defined below: BaseRuns: Measure of a team's record based on underlying performances from raw stats (singles, doubles, home runs, etc.). The entire BaseRuns explanation in the link offers a more comprehensive look than that one-sentence definition. Clutch Score: Measures a team's hitting and pitching performances in high leverage situations. This is essentially a measure of timeliness and will also be referred to as "sequencing". I recreated this graph for 2016 - and here's why. The Astros and Rangers finished the season with the exact same BaseRuns record (82-80). So based on raw stats from both pitchers and hitters, they performed equally well across 162 games. So how does this discrepancy in actual record happen? "Ah yes", you say. "Clutch, again". Here's what the above graph tells us: Clutch score (or sequencing) can mean something for season results; in extreme cases, it can mean a lot. Teams that finished the season with significant clutch scores were able to either add more wins over what BaseRuns projected (again, expected record based on raw stats), or drop more games than expected from BaseRuns due to better sequencing than other teams. But does clutch really tell us anything about a team's talent? The answer is definitely no. Let's take our favorite out-performing team up I-45 (Texas) and Washington as a case study. Both teams won 95 games. The Nationals fell into the large cluster of teams near the middle in the matrix above - they registered a modestly negative clutch score around -3.0 and underperformed their BaseRuns record by three games. They were a quality, balanced team this year, but didn't receive an inordinate amount of "clutch" production on the offensive side. In fact, Washington recorded a .705 OPS and a wRC+ of just 84 in high leverage scenarios. The Rangers, on the other hand, registered an .828 OPS and a wRC+ of 115 in high leverage situations. Though many other statistics can be cited to explain good baseball fortune, that discrepancy could be one of many small factors that tilted Texas toward the upper right corner of the [...]

Astros Crawfish Boil: October 20, 2016



Your one-stop shop for Houston Astros and news from around the league for Wednesday, October 19, 2016.

Astros News

My Unabashed Love For the Houston Astros
Who needs the playoffs? After years (and years and years) of heartache, Houston has fallen for the Astros all over again.

Houston Astros Offseason To-Do List
The Houston Astros underachieved in 2016, but with some tweaks to their roster they could make a deep postseason run in 2017.

MLB News

The Indians are in the World Series -
They’re there because of their prospects, just not in the way they were expecting. Not even remotely.

The Cubs slugged their way back to home-field advantage in Game 4 -
Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball includes the Cubs tying up the NLCS and the Indians advancing to the World Series.

Cleveland Indians win ALCS Game 5, advance to first World Series since 1997 - Let's Go Tribe
This is the baseball.

The Indians celebrated their ALCS victory by roasting the Blue Jays and Drake -
They even made Photoshops!

Dodgers sticking with Kenta Maeda for NLCS Game 5 start - True Blue LA
Rather than use Clayton Kershaw on three days rest on Thursday, the Dodgers will stick with pitcher Kenta Maeda to start NLCS Game 5 against the Cubs.