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2023 Season Astros General Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Snake Diggit, Apr 10, 2023.

  1. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Done this the last few seasons. This thread can be for all talk that’s not related to the games/series and that doesn’t warrant its own thread.

    The Astros are off to a relatively bad start at 4-6. All 6 losses can be traced back to Bregman’s slump, Stanek’s meltdown on Friday, or Garcia’s rotten start on Saturday. Hensley, Maldonado, and Meyers haven’t played very well in the early going either.

    Per Dusty’s comment hopefully we will see yesterdays lineup as the primary lineup until Altuve/Brantley get back. I really think Diaz needs everyday play until Bregman gets on track or Altuve returns. Maldonado’s bat is just too much of a drag on the lineup with only 5-6 established hitters.

    All that said I’m still pretty optimistic about the season. Assuming Altuve comes back 100% and Bregman rights the ship this team should be good. Early returns from the rotation are very strong.
     
  2. Marshall Bryant

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    I've been waiting for this thread.

    I've been using "Things To Come" for comments that didn't fit the Series Threads.
     
  3. Marshall Bryant

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    I trace many of the problems to a combination of November Baseball and WBC participation.

    I note that the two 7 inning starts have come from pitchers who did not participate in the WBC. Those that did participate have had melt downs.
     
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  4. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Astros had a slow start last season, while the Angels were white hot.

    Somebody remind me how that ended?

    ;)
     
  5. STR8Thugg

    STR8Thugg STR8Thugg Member

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    I think things will start coming into form. The BP is better than they’ve shown. Garcia and Urquidy will find their level. Abreu will start hitting gappers. McCormick needs regular play, and I agree with OP that Diaz needs consistent ABs. However this is accomplished is not important, but he needs to see the plate in most games. Despite Dubon’s hot start, he needs less playing time. I firmly believe that David Hensley can consistently provide better ABs.

    Another random ob. I have been near the top of the list of Meyers critics, for as much as anything bc he’s looked skiddish to me defensively since the injury. But he made a nice play in center in the rough loss on Saturday, and I found myself thinking, alright, alright. I’m not saying he’s turned the corner or anything, and he shouldn’t be supplanting McCormick in the lineup consistently, but Meyers should get a chance to snap out of this, even if it is slow and steady with the opportunities. We really need to try and squeeze every ounce of ability out of our younger players.
     
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  6. SuraGotMadHops

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    McCormick has earned the right to not have to deal with platooning with Meyers anymore. Chas should be playing OF every day, and Julks and Meyers can take turns getting starts wherever they can. One of those two will be sent down when Brantley returns.

    Diaz needs more AB's but I am not sure where they will come from. Maldy is always going to be the primary Catcher, Diaz will get Brown starts but other than that, where does he get starts? Yordan is either playing LF or DH, Abreu is holding down 1B and doesn't take many off days. Really Diaz will probably only make 2 starts a week the way things are going, Brown starts at Catcher, and DH when Yordan needs to rest his hands.
     
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  7. Frank_Duhon

    Frank_Duhon Member

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    Why can't be be the primary DH if he's hitting? It seems the whole reason they kept Salazar was to allow Diaz to get more starts outside of catching.
     
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  8. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    Meyers should absolutely be our 4th OF when everything shakes out. He’s good enough defensively to play an above average CF and even if he’s not going to tap into what he showed in 2021 (briefly) that’s worth a roster spot especially with a couple shitty defenders in LF

    Diaz needs to be the starting catcher- immediately.

    Hensley should play over Dubon most days- his AB’s are higher quality.

    I’d be happy to see Abreu hit one out of the park- starting to het nervous about his lower decline (thought last year was an aberration)

    yesterdays lineup with Hensley instead of Dubon would have been best we could have done- if we can’t get that then I’m fine with trotting yesterdays lineup out 8 of the next 10 and seeing where we are at.

    This start really hi- lites every mistake we made last offseason. Which was frustrating because I (and many others) could see them happening real time, but at the end of the day I still bet the over at 97.5 wins and I still expect to cash that ticket. With Bregman slumping and Altuve down though it really portends what is going to be a rough time in 2024 if those guys move on (or if Bregman moves on and Altuve she’s out of being an all star) and shows why I was so anxious to upgrade Lf and Catcher for 5-7 years- it gets ugly if those 2 aren’t all stars.

    Forest Whitley looking good (I’m holding out for star) completely changes this organization (again) for the better and extends our outlook. If he’s a TOR hammer then you easily have enough money to re-sign Tucker to a 10/300 type deal this off-season (that’s 8/270 in his FA years- an imminent value) AND maybe go big game hunting at Catcher and LF. Too bad there are no catchers or Lf worth signing. Grrrrr. 2022 off-season I’m going to regret for a while.

    If he does become a TOR guy and LMJ comes back healthy you really should either trade LMJ to get out of the rest of his contract or Urquidy/Garcia for the best LF or Catcher you can find long term. Blue Jays still have a spare. Maybe the Braves do too- do we match up with either of them?

    I think Brown is going to be really good. I’d offer him 10/100M tomorrow and send him a list of all the guys whose arm fell off in their mid 20’s and tell him- we can take this risk on your career- can you? If you have problems you are screwed. If you don’t you can be a FA at 32 and still probably sign for another 250 or 300M. Don’t blow your chance at generational wealth by chasing an extra 100M. Lock in that first 100M first and be set for life in a place as good as any in the league at maximizing your talent.

    I hope I’m wrong on Brantley- initial returns are exactly what I feared. Are we confident he will even beat back Altuve?

    it’s beyond obvious Chas should be the everyday guy in CF. He’s a top 10 CF in MLB and we should just stop talking about trying to upgrade there and be thankful for what he is and move on to actually fixing Lf.

    Will be interesting to see if Crane sits on another 25 or 30M to the tax line again. That will be like 3 or 4 years in a row. He spent to the tax line in 2021 but JV’s contract was insured so… it was the functional equivalent of being way below the tax line. We excoriated Ferntits for refusing to maximize Hardens time here by going into the tax but people are happy to pay Crane on the back and call him a genius when he does the same thing. That’s valuing results over process imo which becomes a dangerous game.

    I like everything that’s come out of Dana Browns mouth so far. Let’s see if he backs any of it up. A very short 2 year extension on Javier isn’t exactly earth shaking in light of how much he talked. Also- let’s see a great draft and aggressive advancement of some of our talent in the minors.
     
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  9. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    Meyers should absolutely be our 4th OF when everything shakes out. He’s good enough defensively to play an above average CF and even if he’s not going to tap into what he showed in 2021 (briefly) that’s worth a roster spot especially with a couple shitty defenders in LF

    Diaz needs to be the starting catcher- immediately.

    Hensley should play over Dubon most days- his AB’s are higher quality.

    I’d be happy to see Abreu hit one out of the park- starting to get nervous about his power decline (thought last year was an aberration)

    yesterdays lineup with Hensley instead of Dubon would have been best we could have done- if we can’t get that then I’m fine with trotting yesterdays lineup out 8 of the next 10 and seeing where we are at.

    This start really hi- lites every mistake we made last offseason. Which was frustrating because I (and many others) could see them happening real time, but at the end of the day I still bet the over at 97.5 wins and I still expect to cash that ticket. With Bregman slumping and Altuve down though it really portends what is going to be a rough time in 2024 if those guys move on (or if Bregman moves on and Altuve ages out of being an all star) and shows why I was so anxious to upgrade Lf and Catcher for 5-7 years- it gets ugly if those 2 aren’t all stars.

    Forest Whitley looking good (I’m holding out for star) completely changes this organization (again) for the better and extends our outlook. If he’s a TOR hammer then you easily have enough money to re-sign Tucker to a 10/300 type deal this off-season (that’s 8/270 in his FA years- an imminent value) AND maybe go big game hunting at Catcher and LF. Too bad there are no catchers or Lf worth signing. Grrrrr. 2022 off-season I’m going to regret for a while.

    If he does become a TOR guy and LMJ comes back healthy you really should either trade LMJ to get out of the rest of his contract or Urquidy/Garcia for the best LF or Catcher you can find long term. Blue Jays still have a spare. Maybe the Braves do too- do we match up with either of them?

    I think Brown is going to be really good. I’d offer him 10/100M tomorrow and send him a list of all the guys whose arm fell off in their mid 20’s and tell him- we can take this risk on your career- can you? If you have problems you are screwed. If you don’t you can be a FA at 32 and still probably sign for another 250 or 300M. Don’t blow your chance at generational wealth by chasing an extra 100M. Lock in that first 100M first and be set for life in a place as good as any in the league at maximizing your talent.

    I hope I’m wrong on Brantley- initial returns are exactly what I feared. Are we confident he will even beat back Altuve?

    it’s beyond obvious Chas should be the everyday guy in CF. He’s a top 10 CF in MLB and we should just stop talking about trying to upgrade there and be thankful for what he is and move on to actually fixing Lf.

    Will be interesting to see if Crane sits on another 25 or 30M to the tax line again. That will be like 3 or 4 years in a row. He spent to the tax line in 2021 but JV’s contract was insured so… it was the functional equivalent of being way below the tax line. We excoriated Ferntits for refusing to maximize Hardens time here by going into the tax but people are happy to pay Crane on the back and call him a genius when he does the same thing. That’s valuing results over process imo which becomes a dangerous game.

    I like everything that’s come out of Dana Browns mouth so far. Let’s see if he backs any of it up. A very short 2 year extension on Javier isn’t exactly earth shaking in light of how much he talked. Also- let’s see a great draft and aggressive advancement of some of our talent in the minors.
     
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  10. sealclubber1016

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    Early observation on Dubon. They talked about him adding some mass in the offseason, his exit velocity his up to 90 MPH. Not a large enough sample to make too much of with only 22 BBE, but if he can maintain that combined with his ability to not K he may be a legit starting option in games that matter, particularly against lefties who he has already hit fairly well in his career, Dusty is gonna play him regardless. Theoretically against a LHP, Dubon at 2B, Altuve at DH and Brantley on the bench could be our best team combining offense and defense. Still a big if on him maintaining this.

    Diaz getting so few PA's in the early going is absurd, Maldy doesn't need to start 80% of the games. We also have no regular DH or 2B, there's no reason any of the young players should be getting so few PA. I praised Dubon, but his ceiling is still low, so he should be getting less looks than the actual prospects. I still want to see Hensley play regularly before Altuve gets back despite the slow start.
     
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  11. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    When the lineup stops striking out at a rate that hasn't been seen here since the 2014-2016 HR or K years, they'll be fine. Dubon actually does make contact and will get playing time simply based on that.

    Hensley and Myers have to make adjustments to warrant more playing time. Right now, they're looking like AAAA players.
     
  12. IBTL

    IBTL Member
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    Really hope Diaz gets more playing time. There's no (logical) reason like you said that Maldonado is playing so damn much.
     
  13. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Random Thoughts
    Dubon has been hitting well, but it is mostly at the bottom end (less incredibly weak contact, but only a sligfht improvement in hard hits balls). Not sure who is better as a 2B between him and Hensley as I expect Hensley to be the better batter and Dubon to be the better fielder.

    Offense is rough with Dubon, Maldy, and Meyers despite Dubon's hot streak. Being down two bats and playing defense first guys highlights the risk to the offense with playing a defense only catcher.

    I'm not enamored with Chas as leadoff, though probably not a big deal with current roster. I am really surprised that he went from not starting on opening day to leadoff hitter. I think he's probably a slightly above average hitter going forward. Pitchers have decided to through him a lot of sliders so far, and he's spitting at enough of them to hurt them. I'm all for Chas being the CF going forward until someone proves with backup PAs that they are better.

    I'm not sure Diaz's bat is MLB ready. He swings at out of the zone pitches too much, and his ability to make contact with these pitches has lead to a very low average EV while still getting a lot of hard hit balls.

    I'm less worried about Branltey than Altuve. Brantley could fall out of a boat in the middle of the ocean and still find a patch of dry grass to lace a seeing eye single. I worry that Altuve's power will be impacted on return.
     
    #13 Joe Joe, Apr 10, 2023
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2023
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  14. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    It's been 10 games.

    6% of the season.

    The Astros are not going to bench Maldy or Bregman based on such a small sample.

    If the record and performances continue through another 30 games or so (25% of the season) then I could see some changes at catcher.

    Then I could see Maldy's starts reduced down to 60-70%.

    Bregman can keep this slump up all year and still start 85% of the games at 3rd. They won't bench him short of injury and will likely only take away a handful of starts per month at the most.

    By then Brantley will likely be back as well.

    All I read day after day is "bench Maldy" but the team loves him and no matter how he performs, he will start 100+ games. We need to just accept it and stop crying to replace him.
     
  15. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    I am still a fan of Meyers, although I do wonder about his health, mostly related to his throwing arm and power at the plate. But he has had some good exit velos, so I think he should be playing over Julks and others at least until Brantley returns. Of course at this point McCormick has very much earned the right to be in the lineup everyday.

    I also think Dubon should be the everyday 2B over Hensley, mostly because I think with Altuve and Brantley out, this lineup needs more hitters who can avoid strikeouts. My primary lineup until Altuve/Brantley return would be:

    LF McCormick
    3B Bregman
    DH Alvarez
    1B Abreu
    RF Tucker
    SS Pena
    C Diaz
    CF Meyers
    2B Dubon

    On the pitching side, I would have Blanco on a pretty short leash, with Gage or Whitley ready to come up depending on if they need a lefty or a multi inning weapon. Blanco has looked overmatched his last 2 outings.
     
    #15 Snake Diggit, Apr 10, 2023
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2023
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  16. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I see no reason to discuss baseball if we are just going to accept that the way things are, will remain the way things are even if it is likely to continue. As I post, I think discussing baseball is fun and will continue to do so...even on Maldy.

    On Maldy needing 30 or more games of a sample...there were 30 or so games last season to meet your standards for sample size. Maldy has hit 0.195/0.266/0.310 in those games plus this season's games so far. I'm not sure there is a better catching option right now in the oprganization, but I think it was a bad call by the front office/Crane not to get another catcher this offseason.
     
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  17. STR8Thugg

    STR8Thugg STR8Thugg Member

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    Yeah, I'm fine with that
     
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  18. STR8Thugg

    STR8Thugg STR8Thugg Member

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    Strikeouts are bad, but making weak ass contact isn't all that much better. The upside with Hensley, and I guess, the "eye test", is why I prefer him. This is absolutely Dubon's peak. We all know he's going to settle in with a .650 ops given enough ABs. Hensley has a chance to far surpass that.

    Man, Blanco looked great early on, and then it's been awful. Definitely agree with the short leash.
     
  19. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Did I miss an outing? His 2nd to last outing was 2 swinging Ks and this weak grounder.

    https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sporty-videos?playId=36d01aab-5218-433e-ac1c-11212241bbbb

    In his last and third outing...he pitched horribly, but still pitched well enough that he should have gotten out of the inning without giving up runs if the umpire didn't suck it up.
     
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  20. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    I'm not saying Maldy needs 30 more games as a sample.

    I'm saying the Astros do. Or at least won't make any noticeable changes before that.

    They won the World Series with him last year all the while fans screaming and crying to bench him.
     

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