Some things to talk about while John Lopez brings the noise against cable providers...
1) All these injuries
Okay, so another injury to a recently-acquired pitcher hit this weekend. John Ely joined Alex White, Josh Fields and Travis Blackley as recent victims of the TINSTAAPP philosophy, but some have wondered whether it's part of a broader trend or flaw in Houston's pitching evaluation.
All things are possible, and there could be a flaw here. We explored the Alex White injury in depth last week, and concluded that the team probably knew he was somewhat of an injury risk without expecting him to go down so soon.
These other two may be no different, but to think there's causality between four injuries in a short space of time and a fundamental flaw in pitcher evaluations ignores the rest of the data.
See, Houston acquired a TON of pitchers last year in June and July. Name after name rolled in with the deals for Carlos Lee, the Blue Jays, Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. In total, that's nine pitchers added to the mix by Luhnow last summer alone. Counting minor league draftees, that number is a lot higher.
So far, none of them has gone down with a major injury, right? Am I missing names on that list? Have I forgotten an injury to someone big?
Add in the veteran pitchers Houston added like Phillip Humber and Erik Bedard actually holding up so far plus Brad Peacock coming over healthy in a trade and this trend seems to be more about bad luck than about a flaw in Houston's evaluations.
There's a simple reason why these three guys might be linked. It's because they were all "major-league ready." Pitchers of a certain age (around 25) with little major league service time seem to go under the knife at a higher rate than prospects in their first few years in the majors.
By acquiring Ely, White, Fields and Blackley, Houston took a risk with older players who may be closer to the arm injuries in every pitcher's future. As Brooks said this weekend, every pitcher has some fraying on the elbow. It's just a matter of when it'll cause a problem. So far, that risk has broken badly for Houston in these three cases, but none of these guys lose all their value. There's a strong chance they all come back and provide quality innings for Houston in the future.
2) MLB Full Count
As you may have seen, Dave Raymond was kind enough to come on our podcast Sunday night. If you missed it, look for some great content from him to drop Tuesday morning in our usual podcast post. It's definitely worth a listen, as the experienced radio guy shows us here at TCB how amateurish we can be...
But, seriously, Raymond's new place of work is a cool concept that I hadn't heard about. When Tim was telling me about it Sunday night, I thought he was talking about the show on MLB Network that give live look-ins to games, which isn't useful to me at work, since we don't get MLB Network on our small, 1980's TV.
That's why this Yahoo! Full Count service is so cool. Apparently, you can follow along, with live look-ins on games across the league, via your mobile device or online. So, as long as you have an internet connection or cell phone signal, you might be able to pick up the meaty parts of the Astros games.
Since the CSN Houston stuff is still not resolved, that's a valuable addition to our legal means for watching games and highlights, no?
3) Fan outing May 4th
Terri and Jayne, Astros bloggers extraordinairre, are organizing a night out at the ballpark on May 4. You can find all the details here over at Tales from the Juice Box, but here's the pertinent stuff:
Saturday, May 4th at 6:10pm
Astros vs. Detroit Tigers
Section 134, rows 18 and above
To hang with us, use THIS LINK to buy tickets and enter the promo code “WTHB” to get a couple of bucks knocked off your ticket. Make sure you sit in Section 134 in rows 18 or above (my ticket says 19, but since when do I sit in my assigned seat???).
Go, hang out, have fun. I'm sure some of us from the TCB staff will be there and it'll be a nice way to meet other crazy fans, won't it? There are so few of us left, after all.