James, who lives in Corpus and has season tickets to the Hooks, and I have been talking Astros and Astros prospects for 3 years now. He posted the following comment, which I have re-posted in its entirety.
I respect numbers, as all yall know, but I also respect eyewitness accounts from people who are watching the game live because they see things that camers and numbers don’t necessarily pick up, for example, pitches that appear to be in the strike zone getting called balls, great movement on pitches, no movement on pitches despite velocity, the appearance of swings, etc.
Here we go:
Just back from 4 days @ Kissimmee. Checking out the new Hooks and looking over the big boys.
Lisa, you are right about our gawd awful infield defense – bobbles and bad throws (Tejada nearly got Newhan killed on a routine DP toss us the line right into the runner), missed pop-ups (Wiggy and Loretta both missed pops to them in fair territory on the infield dirt – unreal), and we have no range up the middle It is downright ugly.
OK, this is in accord with what I have seen on TV and with what Anne Onnamuss and Sam Boddie told me – and they have also been watching games live. I said for years that Adam Everett was a valuable baseball player because he saved more runs with his glove than he gave up with his bat. It will be interesting to see what happens with the 3 statues.
Sampson had a mediocre night against the Nats because he was always pitching behind in the count. Cassel was impressive, getting strikes and easy outs, albeit against the Nats’ scrubs.
- I wonder if Sampson is still having arm trouble and not saying anything. I’d rather keep Cassel than Woody and I LUUUUVVV the Wood-man.
I really like Wright. He seems to be in a good mind set, has a really good arm, and throws strikes. Looks like his cutter works well against righties. He is the most non-threatening figure you’ll ever see – must weight about 170 lbs and looks like a high school kid. But he sure sends em back to the bench in a hurry.
- smile. As the old saying goes, it ain’t the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. I don’t guess Greg Maddux was much bigger when he was the same age.
Pence is still all adrenaline and really stings the ball hard. Good, good player. Didn’t see much outta Bourn at the plate – only hit was a swinging bunt – man, he’s fast.
- which will endear him to the fans fer SHER. I hope he keeps up the hitting/OBP in the bigs this year.
Sampson threw a bullpen session Saturday morning under the scutiny of pitching coach Dewey Robinson. Half way through the workout Woody shows up, locates himself about 12 ft directly to the 3rd base side of the mound, stands quietly and watches Sampson throw. Woody then grabs a bat and stand in the batter’s box to simulate a live hitter, even tho plywood cutouts were available to do the same task. Gamemanship or just good teamwork on Woody’s part?
- I’ve always heard that Woody is a stand-up guy in every way.
Berkman is not yet in a groove and is taking lots of extra BP before and after games and practices. Just isn’t comfortable yet. Too much elevation from the left side and pulling the ball more than he wants.
- interesting. He has told Alyson Footer that he’s comfortable. Maybe he was then…
Quintero sure gets lots of chances in practice and the games – still don’t see what management sees in a catcher who hits .225 – yeah, he’s got a strong arm, but so what?
- I have NOT been impressed with what I have seen of his arm in the bigs. But interestingly enough, readers who watched him in Round Rock told me he looked like a different guy there, not sure why… I am guessing that they keep him on the roster at least until the season starts just because he has no options and they don’t want to get nothing for him.
Towles is coming around and is a dead pull hitter – won’t take long for the oppostion to find out.
- sigh. Which may be why they are keeping Quintero, too…
Cruz Jr was impressive at the plate over the 4 games I saw. Stings the ball hard and often as a switch hitter. Never saw any tough chances in the field for him.
- good!!!! We need someone as a 4th OF who is actually GOOD. Unlike Erstad who has sucked for 7 years straight.
I guess coaches aren’t allowed to actually instruct the major league players, at least not in public. I would arrive at 9 am and go straight to the practice fields. Players would stream out from the locker rooms and begin stretching and drills and such, but I never heard any of the coaches offer any type of instruction, just kept the team on schedule with certain drills and locations. Yeah, they are big-leaguers, but man, get with the program, especially the defensive side of things.
- I read Larry Dierker’s book, “This Ain’t Brain Surgery” in which he talked about just that. Not sure what is the point of having coaches if they can’t coach. And if those guys say they don’t NEED any work on their defense, then we need a team shrink IMMEDIATELY. It might could be that ML players don’t want the coaches saying anything to them in front of the public, or that the players have to approach the coach. Which, me, being female, thinks is stupid and wasteful.
I do this trip once every three / four years. Its a blast and Iím still a die-hard Astro fan, even with the lack of pitching and fielding weíve assembled. At least the AA picture is interesting – maybe weíve got some undeveloped talent in the pipeline – hope so.
- I really appreciate the input. Thank you VERY much.
I’ve been scolded for my, uh, non-excited (ahem) feelings about the team’s chances this year, but I am NOT unenthusiastic about my team, but about their CHANCES…