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Astros 2022 Season General Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Snake Diggit, Apr 9, 2022.

  1. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    I suspect that is correct. I wasn't suggesting otherwise. I was asking if people believe there is a bridge too far for him as a hitter to lose his spot in the lineup, and if so what that would look like.
    My guess would be if they wanted to promote Lee he would be kept around as a third catcher in case Lee **** the bed and the pitchers had a mutiny (as you should do with any rookie catcher- never put full trust in them). If they addressed the position in the trade deadline that makes it unnecessary to spend a roster spot on him.
    Idle musings while waiting for him to get his first hit of the season and see if he can avoid another 43 point dip in his batting average that would take him down to checks notes .129 as a hitter.
     
  2. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    I know Astros strongly favor his handling of pitchers, but I gotta expect that the Astros strongly consider doing something if Maldy is an even worse hitter ( i.e., worse at helping team score runs and not necessarily BA) than last year. Though if they go to the minors, I expect Pappy gets the first crack to play with Castro if Maldy is moved.
     
  3. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    I mean I can't imagine a world where he hits 139 and isn't significantly worse at scoring runs. I get BA is a garbage stat most of the time, but at those extremes it tells the story pretty damn well.
     
  4. Rockets34Legend

    Rockets34Legend Contributing Member

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  5. Redfish81

    Redfish81 Member

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    The Mariners vs White Sox game is hiliarious. The wind is HOWLING and several popups have been disasters the last inning...
     
  6. IdStrosfan

    IdStrosfan Member

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    I see 0% possibility that the Astros trade for a catcher.

    I see 0% possibility that a healthy Maldonado does not get the bulk of the starts throughout the year and playoffs if the team makes it.

    If the team is in the bottom half of the league in run production 6-8 weeks from now then maybe Castro starts getting more starts.

    Until then the team considers the catching position an extension of the pitching staff and the lineup has 8 hitting spots.
     
  7. Smokey

    Smokey Contributing Member

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    I didn’t realize this is the 60th season. Is there a shirt? I don’t want a hat or jersey.
     
  8. J.R.

    J.R. Contributing Member

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    https://theathletic.com/3250567/202...her-thoughts-on-the-first-week-of-the-season/

    In baseball, April is the month for overreactions. The games matter exactly the same as they do in May, June, July, August and September, but the conclusions drawn from them come with more caveats. Small samples can be and often are misleading.

    At the same time, everything we already knew about the 2022 iteration of the Astros combined with what we’ve seen through the first six games (in which the Astros are 4-2) raises a couple of early questions. Will pitching, not hitting, be the strength of this team? And if so, would that be much of a surprise?

    Last season, the Astros’ offense ranked second in MLB in OPS (.783). Their pitching staff was seventh in ERA (3.78). This offseason, they lost shortstop Carlos Correa to free agency and replaced him with a rookie in Jeremy Peña while leaving the rest of their lineup intact. On the pitching side, they replaced starter Zack Greinke and relievers Kendall Graveman (partial-season rental), Yimi Garcia (partial-season rental) and Brooks Raley with starter Justin Verlander and reliever Héctor Neris plus are planning to get full-season contributions from 2021 trade deadline reliever acquisitions Phil Maton and Rafael Montero.

    Going into Friday night’s series opener in Seattle, the Astros have been slightly below average offensively (98 OPS+). They’ve scored more than four runs just once, and it was the April 8 game in Anaheim in which they scored 13, including eight in the seventh inning. Their pitching staff has been excellent, having recorded a 1.69 ERA in its 53 1/3 innings.

    Entering spring training, it was expected the rotation would be a team strength. Even as Lance McCullers Jr. works his way back from October’s flexor tendon injury, Verlander, Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, José Urquidy and Jake Odorizzi could be a top-five rotation. Cristian Javier’s value isn’t being maximized for as long as he’s in the bullpen, but the Astros will need him to start games at some point. They also have in reserve Triple-A starters Peter Solomon and Hunter Brown, both of whom could be called on to fill rotation turns later in the year.

    But the bullpen might be better than anticipated, and it’s certainly superior to the bullpen the Astros had in the early stages of last season. As a righty who can get both righties and lefties out, Neris looks like what the Astros hoped to get out of Pedro Báez a year ago. Montero has offered a glimpse of why the front office viewed him as more than a throw-in in last summer’s Abraham Toro-Kendall Graveman trade with the Mariners. An ‘A’ bullpen of Ryan Pressly, Ryne Stanek, Neris, Maton and Montero feels solid, and that’s not including Javier. Pressly’s diminished velocity has really been the only concern so far among this position group.

    Now, the other half of this equation is the Astros’ offense. It has started slowly. Related: Jose Altuve, Kyle Tucker, Yuli Gurriel and Aledmys Díaz have each been slow out of the gate. Those particular hitters struggling offensively is highly unlikely to continue. The Astros are going to hit. The better question is to what extent? Will they have a top-eight offense? Top five? Top three? It wouldn’t exactly be surprising if they produced less without Correa in 2022 than they did with Correa in 2021. But in the event of a drop-off, perhaps it will be their pitching that makes up the difference.

    A few other thoughts after the first week of games:

    • An early playing-time pattern has emerged from Astros manager Dusty Baker’s center fielder timeshare. Chas McCormick has started all three games against right-handed pitchers (Shohei Ohtani, Noah Syndergaard and Merrill Kelly) and Jose Siri has gotten the starts against the three lefties (Reid Detmers, José Suarez and Madison Bumgarner). Both McCormick and Siri are right-handed batters who have traditionally hit lefties better than righties, so it seems like McCormick has drawn the short end of the stick in this arrangement. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the second half of last season, when Jake Meyers got many of the starts against lefties. The matchups are something to keep in mind when evaluating and comparing the respective performances of both McCormick and Siri as the center fielder discussion continues.

    • Altuve is clearly looking to run more this season, as he’s already stolen two bases in two attempts through five games played in which he hasn’t even gotten on base much. In 2021, he stole five bases in eight attempts all season. He didn’t swipe his second bag last year until June 5.

    • Javier is too good for the Astros not to find a place for him in their full-time rotation plans for 2023-25. The 25-year-old right-hander has a career 3.42 ERA in 160 1/3 innings, 60 1/3 of which have been as a reliever. Across his two relief appearances so far this season (both in Astros losses), he’s struck out eight of the 17 batters he’s faced while walking none and allowing only two hits (both singles) in his 4 2/3 scoreless innings.
     
  9. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Some good stuff in there. I agree with the assessment of the bullpen. A setup committee of Neris, Maton, Montero, and Stanek, a super-effective long option in Javier, an elite closer in Pressly, and 2 young fire ballers available in low leverage (out of Abreu, Blanco, and Taylor) is the makings of the best bullpen Houston’s had in this current window. I don’t think Baez will make it out of April (whether he’s released or put on the IL). I think Javier might be the best fit for an extension on the entire roster.

    On the offense, I don’t really like how varied the lineup has been, although I understand the idea behind frequent rest for their star players.
     
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  10. Pipedream

    Pipedream Contributing Member

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    4-2 is a better record than how they have played, so they are ahead of the game. This series with the Mariners is going to be a better barometer on where they are going and the Astros should be more focused. I'm betting we will see the regular lineup for all 3 games with improved offense.

    I'm concerned about Pressly though, he is the key to the whole bullpen. Any significant decline there and the team is vulnerable, given the new MLB-wide pitching paradigm of 3-5 innings for starters. Still think a stud starter isn't worth the top AAV over position players?
     
  11. the shark

    the shark Member

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    Are you concerned about Pressly's velocity being down and has progressively gotten worse over the past 2.5 seasons?
     
  12. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Not quite yet although I do think it bears watching. He was at 95-96 consistently his entire career until this season, and I think it’s too early to draw any conclusions about this seasons drop. But I guess the bottom line is that as long as he’s staying effective, it won’t matter. I have faith that the front office did their work regarding any potential issues prior to signing him to that extension.
     
  13. torque

    torque Contributing Member

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    Regarding velocity and rest days, I am giving both Pressly and Dusty a relative pass as I think both are very much interested in a slow ramp up considering the abbreviated offseason. If Pressly is still sitting 92 in two weeks time I will be concerned. If Dusty is still putting out wacky lineups with excessive rest days I will not be concerned, just resigned to season long frustration (and knowing it's likely in the best interest of the team. I just want to see the stars play every day damnit).
     
  14. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    It’s hard to imagine we see the regular lineup all three games what with the grind of some guys having played as many as 5 games in the last 11 or so days, but if we do dare to dream I’d really like to see them get some timing down if at all possible, and mix in some continuity to see if this is going to be a problem all season or if we are (which is by far the most likely case) dealing with SSS and the knock down effects of a very shortened spring training.
    We aren’t exactly the Lone Ranger in dealing with the short spring. It seems like it generally takes hitters longer to get on track than pitchers and often times the hitters still aren’t ready even a few weeks into the regular season (plus cold weather) so we might want to wait a bit in the parade for the pitchers and chill on the idea of an sos call for the hitters.
    Still, it does tie into my thoughts going into the year that age (Yuli, Brantley and catcher) plus attrition (Springer and Correa) will lessen the offense from a historically amazing rolling ball of butcher knives to merely “very good” while the pitching is being completely undersold by all prognosticators and prediction systems.
    Check back in on macro trends for the season June 1 and try to hold off until then on forming any strongly held opinions.
     
  15. the shark

    the shark Member

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    I'm not too concerned right now but if he's still hitting 92.5 come July that's a different story. Just don't know how effective he'll be against good hitting teams as a closer with that velocity. I guess we'll find out.
     
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  16. Redfish81

    Redfish81 Member

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    They will constantly have different lineups. That's why the Goodrum signing annoys me because he will play more than any of us want. Jose Iglesias is a much better player and was available for 2.9 million more than Goodrum.
     
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  17. torque

    torque Contributing Member

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    Two way street, Iglesias is playing every day in Colorado so far. He knew he wouldn't get quite that much playing time here. And it's Colorado. I'll give Goodrum a shot. So far, so bad, but I think he at least has some power potential.
     
  18. awc713

    awc713 Member

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    I have grown to hate Niko Goodrum. Nothing personal…I get why we signed him, but I’d much rather give his reps to our farm system (and not batting any of them third). I will give him time but man…just not what I want to see.
     
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  19. Wulaw Horn

    Wulaw Horn Member

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    Agreed. If you are going to go cheap (and I’m fine with that you literally cant spend everywhere) go MLB minimum cheap with someone young from the farm that hasn’t proven themselves to be shitty.
     
  20. jim1961

    jim1961 Member

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    With 6 games in the books, its not a forecast to say that most of the wins were won by the pitching staff.
    We need pitching to be good. But we all know that the pitching will fail us for some period(s) before the year is up. Its just a matter of how many and how long those periods are.

    If the offense is in a semi-coma like they are right now, that wont be good.
    So, what about the offense?
    A couple guys have been pleasant surprises. Siri, Chas, Bregman and Pena have all exceeded my expectations.

    Its no shocker that the catching crew is 0-16 to start things, but Diaz, Yuli, Altuve and Tucker are all off to very poor offensive starts and need to get going. If it can, and quickly while the pitching is lights out, then a long and rewarding win streak could occur.

    Always a sine wave of sorts with pitching and hitting. Sometime they line up and sometimes not. Overall though, I have full confidence the runs will come. Still EXTREMELY early.
     

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