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2021 Houston Astros Thread


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6 minutes ago, Sbbruin said:

Just got invited to Dodgers/Astros on Tuesday night.  Great seats.  Should be a pretty interesting environment.  Not a game I would suggest bringing your kids to.  

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wear a dodgers cap for sure 

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3 minutes ago, henrygandorf said:

i was at game 6 in 2017 and my wife did not feel safe in the section we were in.  can't imagine what next week will be like.

He’ll be wearing a Dodger’s jersey so he’ll be alright. 

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1 minute ago, HtownHorn said:

Yeah, I don't think pitching him in Seattle this year is a good idea. He might legitimately resign with them after the season.

He might start crying on the mound. He needs to get over it. It's a business.

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10 minutes ago, Rockethorn1978 said:

Is he in the bullpen crying looking at old pics of him in a Mariners uniform? 

Trading Seattle summer for Houston summer is a bummer.

Though you'd think being closer to potential WS ring would mitigate that.

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Plus the fact that he’s a UFA next year should be enough incentive to ball out. We don’t know this guy or his demeanor  so this might be just the way he comports himself. At least he’s not telling a steady stream of terrible jokes. 

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10 minutes ago, tx 3 putt said:

Let’s see what the trade deadline brings. We still have assets to move and a ton dead weight 

With the trades so far, unless it’s Kimbrel, I don’t think they’ll make any significant moves. We are only a couple of million below the luxury tax limit. I don’t see them surpassing it incrementally and eating the penalties. 

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3 minutes ago, TonyTexas said:

With the trades so far, unless it’s Kimbrel, I don’t think they’ll make any significant moves. We are only a couple of million below the luxury tax limit. I don’t see them surpassing it incrementally and eating the penalties. 

 

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Plus the fact that he’s a UFA next year should be enough incentive to ball out. We don’t know this guy or his demeanor  so this might be just the way he comports himself. At least he’s not telling a steady stream of terrible jokes. 

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Or punching himself
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1 hour ago, TonyTexas said:

Plus the fact that he’s a UFA next year should be enough incentive to ball out. We don’t know this guy or his demeanor  so this might be just the way he comports himself. At least he’s not telling a steady stream of terrible jokes. 

Oh Chuckles, we hardly knew ye

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https://theathletic.com/2737418/2021/07/28/the-astros-revamped-their-bullpen-with-kendall-graveman-and-yimi-garcia-will-they-be-enoug

Spoiler

The Astros revamped their bullpen with Kendall Graveman and Yimi García. Will they be enough?

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: Yimi Garcia #93 of the Miami Marlins pitches against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
By Jake Kaplan 20m agosave-icon@2x.png

SEATTLE — The Astros got ahead of Friday’s 3 p.m. CT trade deadline by landing a high-leverage reliever in Kendall Graveman from the Mariners on Tuesday and adding depth through the trade for Yimi García of the Marlins on Wednesday. Now the question is are they done improving what had been the glaring weakness of their roster?

Ryan Pressly and Graveman make for a strong 1-2 punch, and Cristian Javier, García and Ryne Stanek represent good third, fourth and fifth options. Each offers something a little different; Pressly has the power slider and curveball, Graveman the turbo sinker, Javier the invisiball-style fastball, García an 89-92 mph cutter he could stand to throw more, and Stanek the upper 90s fastball and the splitter.

If the postseason began today, Bryan Abreu and Blake Taylor would be good sixth and seventh relievers. Pedro Báez is pitching on a minor-league rehab assignment, but that it’s taken him four months to come back from his bout of shoulder inflammation and he’s been throwing only 88-91 mph with his fastball lately suggests he can’t be counted on. Josh James, another rehabber, still faces the same command questions he has his entire career.

Building a deeper postseason bullpen with more power arms was the clear motivation for Astros general manager James Click, who came from a Rays team known for its seemingly never-ending supply of effective relievers. Strength in numbers will help the Astros protect themselves against injuries and regression between now and October. Even if they don’t make any more moves, this week’s additions should push the likes of Brooks Raley, Brandon Bielak, Rafael Montero, Andre Scrubb, Enoli Paredes and James into regular-season depth roles, some as the seventh or eighth man in the major-league bullpen and some in Triple A.

“Once we get to 3 o’clock on Friday, that’s the team that we have for the next 59 games,” Click said on Wednesday. “The inability to acquire guys through (August) trade waivers or something like that as you might’ve been able to do in the past prioritizes depth. I want to make sure that when we get to Friday afternoon that we have a roster that is going to be able to sustain itself through the inevitable bumps and bruises that we are going to see over those 59 games.”

Bringing in Graveman and García can also help the Astros manage Pressly’s workload ahead of the postseason. Monday night’s collapse against the Mariners, when Pressly was unavailable and Raley was thrust into high-leverage work, showed just how important it is to have back-up options.

And come the postseason, Astros manager Dusty Baker and pitching coach Brent Strom will now have better relievers at their disposal to mix and match based on the situation. If Pressly is needed before the ninth inning to escape a jam — because of his ability to generate swings and misses against both righties and lefties, he’s arguably more valuable in a fireman role than he is being saved for the ninth inning — Graveman can close.

“I don’t think roles really matter in the postseason,” Pressly said. “You’re just trying to get outs. You’re just trying to get 27 outs before the other team does. With the bullpen that we have, it’s going to help us out a lot. We can be flexible in where we throw guys and what we do.”

The ability to get swings and misses in the strike zone is what the Astros prioritized in their search for high-leverage relief help. It probably also doesn’t hurt that Graveman contrasts stylistically from the rest of the Astros’ core relievers because of his reliance on a sinker as opposed to a four-seam fastball. The latter fastball has been a staple of the Astros’ pitching staff during Strom’s tenure. It’s not as if they never have sinkerballers — the sinker is the fastball of choice for starters Lance McCullers Jr. and Framber Valdez — but they definitely have gravitated toward pitchers with riding four-seamers during this era of Astros baseball.

“Sinkerball guys, especially to right-handed hitters, is still a viable play. It’s not all four-seamers,” Strom said. “When you think about a two-seamer running in on a right-handed hitter, it’s actually gaining speed and so if the speed thing is what we’re talking about then it’s a plus for us. I think the additional slider has obviously made (Graveman) so powerful against right-handed hitters. We’ll make our necessary adjustments against lefties.”

Graveman, a former starter with the A’s, increased his slider usage as a reliever with the Mariners. Against right-handed hitters, he’s thrown it about 30 percent of the time this season. Against lefties, he has a changeup that he’ll throw about 22 percent of the time to supplement his sinker.

“Watching him as a starter with Oakland, his lack of a secondary pitch I think kind of hurt him. But he’s developed a much better slider and he’s fallen into a pretty good role here as a shorter guy,” Strom said. “It’s funny. In the (eighth) inning of the game we gave away (on Monday), Carlos (Correa) came by me and tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the mound and said, ‘That guy would look good with an H on his jersey.’ I’ve always liked him.”

García is a candidate for one of the Astros’ famous pitch usage makeovers. He comes with a four-pitch mix: a four-seam fastball that averages 96 mph, his power cutter (which the Astros might emphasize), a curveball he throws to both righties and lefties, and a changeup he uses occasionally against lefties. He’s also been better against righties than he is lefties, which is a trait now shared by many of the Astros’ core bullpen arms. Graveman, García, Javier, Stanek have each been better against righties than lefties this season. Pressly is great against righties and lefties while Abreu holds his own against both sides, as well. Taylor has been excellent against lefties but bad against righties this season. The oft-maligned Raley has been good against lefties, but he’s been a liability against righties. If the Astros do acquire another reliever, a left-hander who could supplant Raley would make a lot of sense.

“Getting righties out was something that we identified as the priority coming into this deadline,” Click said. “I think we had had a lot of success getting lefties out to this point, and we wanted to make sure that we supplemented ourselves on the right-handed side of things. I still think with Taylor and Raley from the left side, we have weapons to get lefties out. Beyond that, we have some right-handed relievers who have shown the ability to get guys from both sides out. I think we’re in a good spot, but that doesn’t mean that we’re done, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we’re not going to continue to look for ways to upgrade the bullpen and the rest of the roster.”

 

 
Edited by WBT
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Right now the Astros have 14 pitchers and 12 position players on the active roster with one of those position players being the option-eligible Robel Garcia. 

They still have to add Yimi Garcia to the active roster and they also have Pedro Baez and Josh James out on rehab assignments. I'm not sure of the timeline of their rehab assignments, but I'd guess it would be at least a week for Baez and maybe longer for Josh James? In light of those trades and the potential for more to come, do you think we can read anything into the Astros brain trust's expectations of both of those relievers this season? Can we reasonably expect one or both of them to be a contributor at this point? I don't see how James can get back on the active roster considering he's optionable and I'd bet Baez isn't. And who are either of them going to replace on the active roster when the team still hasn't made room yet for Yimi Garcia?

The obvious choices are Raley (no options left) or Bielak (optionable). What do y'all think?

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9 minutes ago, Gourmand said:

Right now the Astros have 14 pitchers and 12 position players on the active roster with one of those position players being the option-eligible Robel Garcia. 

They still have to add Yimi Garcia to the active roster and they also have Pedro Baez and Josh James out on rehab assignments. I'm not sure of the timeline of their rehab assignments, but I'd guess it would be at least a week for Baez and maybe longer for Josh James? In light of those trades and the potential for more to come, do you think we can read anything into the Astros brain trust's expectations of both of those relievers this season? Can we reasonably expect one or both of them to be a contributor at this point? I don't see how James can get back on the active roster considering he's optionable and I'd bet Baez isn't. And who are either of them going to replace on the active roster when the team still hasn't made room yet for Yimi Garcia?

The obvious choices are Raley (no options left) or Bielak (optionable). What do y'all think?

If Baez is truly sitting on high 80s to low 90s, there is no way he should be brought up to pitch.

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I don't see who James replaces and am fine with that.  Relievers who can't throw strikes are not helpful and while he throws hard, his fastball isn't that hard to hit. Missing half a season already isn't going to help him get better.

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1 minute ago, kevwun said:

I don't see who James replaces and am fine with that.  Relievers who can't throw strikes are not helpful and while he throws hard, his fastball isn't that hard to hit.

Agreed, plus as long as he can be stashed in AAA to work in his mechanics and consistency, I don't think he has a spot for the rest of the season barring injury to another reliever.

Also, assuming Bielak gets optioned to make room for Yimi Garcia, who would James or Baez replace on the active roster?

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