6/3/13: The Season Is 1/3 Over And The Astros Are Clinging To 2nd Place

Marlins are giving em a run for the money – they just swept the Mets who just swept the Yankees. It’s baseball and youneverknow.

Haven’t heard from anyone yet about the draft – almost everyone I knew who had any connection to the Astros is long gone and the one person I do know I can’t ask. Very tough to say if they will pick Appel or someone else. These days, there isn’t a thing Scott Boras can do except tell his client to not sign, and they’ve closed all the loopholes with the indy leagues, so prospects don’t have any leverage unless they can threaten going to college or going to senior year. Appel already done the – won’t sign for 4 measly mill. Doubt the Stros are gonna pay him the entire slot, wouldn’t be surprised if they do what they did last year with Correa.

Speaking of draft, yall know that one the the Astros draft honchos is Kevin Goldstein, right? Well, back in the 09 draft, he screamed about how crazy the Braves were to draft Mike Minor, currently the staff ace, as their first rounder. He thought they should pounce on Alex White (now, like Brett Wallace, traded twice since being drafted, and on the DL after having TJ earlier this year) and Bobby Borchering, now out of baseball after having crapped out at AA. Interesting that the Astros traded for both of them as soon as Kev got here, hunh?

As for Chris Johnson – he’s doing great with the Braves this year – 147 PA, OPS+ 130, only 2 errors, 1.0 WAR, Runs Created (weighted/normalized to league etc) 137. Cost 2.3 mill.

Matt Dominguez – 208 PA, OPS+ 78, 5 errors, 0.1 WAR, wRC+ (the mathemtized kind) 76. Cost 0.5 mill.

oh

nevermind

Most awesomest stat of the month: in May, Cubs pitchers had more home runs than all the Dhs combined on the Royals. Actually, more than the ENTIRE Royals team.

The DH is teh EVULLLL.

Last night, the Jays walked the number 8 guy to pitch to the pitcher, who promptly hit A THREE RUN HOMER!!! It doesn’t get any better than that, except maybe Travis Wood hitting a grand slam to win the game or Clayton Kershaw hitting the homer that won him his shutout. 

Ah well.

Let’s check on the starters: I mean, the ones who are still here:

Bud Norris: 12 GS, 5 HR, 26 BB, 44 K over 69 IP. You notice that his K rat4e is significantly lower than it usually is – he’s been around 8 K/9, and he’s down to about 6. He’s had 10 games in which he’s given up 3 or fewer ER (only 8 with 3 or fewer runs) and 2 bad starts – one of 0.1 IP and 6 ER and one of 5 IP and 7 ER. He’s an Angels killer – must be the leftover Pujols effect – as one of my Cards friends says – now the Angels know how the Cards have felt for years.

Lucas Harrell: reminding me of Chris Sampson. Getting singled to death. Only Chris had the excuse of a lousy defense, after Adam Everett went down, Sampson’s ERA skyrocketed. 12 GS over 63.2 IP. 9 games over 5 IP – 2 with 4.1 IP and one with 1.2 IP (22 ER over those 3 alone – when you suck, you suck.) He only threw 6-7 innings in 4 games, and in those games he gave up 4 runs. Oakland killed him TWICE and Detroit once. One of my Athletics buds told me that the As are 103-61 over their last 162 games. Maybe Billy Beane’s magic has returned. Anyway, Lucas has given up 8 homers 37 walks and 35 K. He never was Mr Strikeout Person, but having your walks higher than your Ks is not good. And the walk thingy is not the umps (not like with AJ Burnett last night in which the HP ump absolutely refused to call ANYTHING inside over the plate a strike) fault. He has done better throwing to Corporan, and maybe Bo will let him pitch to the guy he is comfortable with.

I know we are all drooling over Jason Castro because of him hitting home runs, but he’s STILL a lousy receiver and has only thrown our 8 of 32 base stealers. Plus all the WP and passed balls. He doesn’t present a nice steady target behind the plate, neither. It’s so weird – I swear I remember him being really good at that when he first came up.

Erik Bedard: He threw 4 scoreless innings in relief his first appearance, then had a 4 inning scoreless start (was kept on a strict pitch count) then gave up 6 runs over 1/3 inning vs Oakland (something about that team) then had 4 straight lousy starts – 14.1 IP, 12 runs, then straightened himself out. Five straight starts of at least 5 IP, 29 IP, 27 H, 9 R/ER, 2 HR, 9 BB, 20 K. He got 4 ND – the bullpen lost 2 and won 2. He’s giving up fewer homers, fewer hits and fewer walks/9. Maybe he just needed some time to heal. 

Dallas Keuchel, put in the rotation after it was obvious that Jeff Peacock and Phil Humber had no business starting: he began the year as a reliever, 9 ER/13 R over 6 G. He has now started 5 games, has gone 6+ in each except for his appearance against (who else) Oakland, in which he game up 6 runs over 5.2 IP – hey, at least he lasted more than an inning, unlike some other guys we could name. 31.1 IP, 18 R/ER, 37 H, 4 HR, 9 BB, 20 K. Pretty good – at this point, he’s pitching better than Lucas Harrell, whoda think it? Same kind of pitcher – heavy sinkerball, getting groundballs works well unless sinker don’t sink or the balls have eyes – and it happens to GB pitchers.

Jordan Lyles, who pitched beyond lousy in Spring Training (unlike Peacock and Humber) which shows that you can’t always go by ST records. Was called up to start when suckage developed in Bedard/Peacock in the beginning of May. He has had 7 starts, only 1 bad start – 8 ER/4 IP vs the Rangers, has otherwise pitched at least 5 innings and given up 1 – 3 runs/start. Ignoring the Texas Start, that is 6 GS, 28 IP, 10 R/ER. This is amazing, considering the fact that he had pitched lousy in April at AAA, and considering that he wasn’t good at either the ML or AAA last year, neither. Nonetheless, over 32 IP, he has given up 4 HR, 12 BB, 23 K. Serious decrease in walk rate from last year. He’s only won 3 games, but should have won 3 more, except that the bullpen coughed up too many runs.

Phil Humber – had very good starts his first 3 appearances, lost because the offense gave him no runs, then he descended into suckage so massive that he couldn’t even help as a reliever and he was banished to AAA on May 11. Since then, he’s only thrown 7 innings over 4 games in relief and he has lousy stats.

Brad Peacock: who we traded Jed Lowrie for because someone on the Astros thinks that Peacock is an ace in waiting. He had 5 starts – lasted 4.1, 5, 4.1, 4.1, 3.1 innings – giving up 2,3,3,7 (vs Seattle??!!) and 5 runs. He had 2/3 inning as a reliever, giving up 3 runs, before he was sent to AAA, where he started 4 games, in which he didn’t exactly ROOL – 23 IP, 18 4 9 27 K and 12 ER. This adds up to a 4.98 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. He got called back up when Edgar Gonzalez (himself not exactly any good) went on the DL at the end of May and since then, has had 2 appearances – 2.1 innings scoreless and 1.1 innings of 2 run ball (2 run homer).

They are probably going to keep him up here as a long reliever, which is too bad, seeing as how there are several relievers at AAA who are doing better:
unfortuately, they are 1 inning guys -
- Jose Valdez, the closer: 22 IP over 24.2 G with 12 saves:  18 h, 1 hr, 3 bb, 10 K, 6 ER: 2.19 ERA/1.12 WHIP (has been in majors before – did OK last year over 12 IP: 12 H, 1 HR, 8 BB, 10 K, 3 ER. I’m sure they don’t think he strikes out enough guys.
- Josh Zeid: 22.4 IP over 22 G: 15 H, 1 HR, 17 BB!!!! 29 K: 2.59 ERA, 1.32 WHIP
- Jason Stoffel: 17.2 IP over 13 G: 7 H, no HR, 6 BB, 14 K: 1.53 ERA/ 0.74 WHIP (he was the closer last year at AA, not sure why on earth it has taken so long for him to get promoted

Kevin Chapman has a high K rate, but also a high BB rate 20 BB/23 IP – hit rate is low, but WHIP is 1.66 because of that walk rate.

Alex Sogard just got called up, so he needs a few more innings. Chuckie Fick and Rhiner Cruz are both sucking. Spring Training stats are not necessarily predictive, you know…

Jarred Cosart is the only starter who isn’t sucking, now that Wes Musick is back on the DL. 12 G, 58.2 IP (remember that at the beginning of the year they did that – we have 10 SP and some of em are gonna do split shifts – thingy) 3.07 ERA/1.34 WHIP – and the WHIP is because of a high walk rate. Only 35 hits but 34 BB. K rate is acceptable, but not outstanding. And he has Jonathan Villar for a SS, who has 12 errors ALREADY over 55 games (not to mention his 60 K over 214 AB, too. He does lead the team with walks, at 17 – Jeezus.

Just like last year, the good pitchers are at AA. You know they aren’t calling up anyone early.

 

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9 Responses to “6/3/13: The Season Is 1/3 Over And The Astros Are Clinging To 2nd Place”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Jordan Lyles might be a keeper. As you said, he’s had one bad start against Texas in his last several starts.

    No reason for the Astros to promote anyone from the minors..they’re already playing a Quad A team that’s slowly inching towards being a real MLB team thanks to their current winning streak which is also the longest active streak in the majors too. Who’d have think the Astros would be the ones holding that streak right now ?

    However it gets tougher starting tonight though with them playing an above average Baltimore team.

  2. Lisa Gray says:

    hi ann,

    we’ll have to see how jordan does against the better teams. i was impressed with lucas last night – he got no run support, like last year, but didn’t walk but one. which, for him THIS year, is really good.

    i really hope that when they call maxwell back up, they keep brandon barnes and dump jimmy paredes.

  3. Becky says:

    ARUUUUUUUUUGGGGGG JASON CASTRO IS MAKING ME A SINNER!!
    Glad you’re back with us, if just for a little while! I swear, I’m gonna punch Porter in the face, if he doesn’t send Paredes to OKC. Barnes is THE BEST outfielder on this team! Becky :) :) :) :)

  4. Eric says:

    Ann is me, Eric.

    I have no idea why it say Anonymous. I could have sworn I put my name in the Name bracket.

  5. Eric says:

    All I can say is holy (insert swear word) the Astros have won SIX STRAIGHT !

  6. Eric says:

    Er, I was wrong. Valiant effort by Harrell. that BP truly SUCKS..they almost gave away tonight’s 11-7 win too.

  7. Bruce says:

    Went to my first game Tuesday night. All the workers (who I feel terribly sorry for) said “Come back!”.

    Harrell deserved better run support. He looked a little glum last night with the six homers.

  8. Lisa Gray says:

    bruce

    i’ve seen the replays – the place is almost empty. they had entire sections of field seats totally empty. i bet they have all the concessions on the top level closed off.

    sigh

    i hate the stupid DH league and i hate crane for ruining this franchise.

    harrell really did a great job and so did bud. but you know they are gonna dump bud pretty soon – price tag is gonna go up and you know crane don’t wanna pay for it

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