Some things to talk about while an anonymous baseball executive should be very, very glad he stayed anonymous...
1) Dexter Fowler missed the Astros on TV
I'm just going to leave this here without comment. Just know Dexter Fowler may be my favorite player by the end of the season.
Fowler says he couldn't watch Astros games because no Comcast: "I don't know what's going on with this TV deal...we gotta fix something."— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) April 7, 2014
2) Pitch tunneling and Castro
There's an interesting article up over at Beyond the Box Score on All-Star catchers and their pitch framing. Jason Castro gets mention, but in a semi-negative way. Here's the money quote:
The question is this: is Castro a good framer, a bad framer, or a neutral framer? Truthfully, we probably don't know for sure yet. 2000 innings seems like a lot, but it's not the world. But in Ben Lindbergh's catcher framing piece from last year at Grantland, it sounds as if Castro doesn't have much of a reputation for framing -- either from a stats or a scouting perspective. Then again, the Astros may be developing Castro's skills as a framer, causing him to improve from 2012 to 2013.
See, even with that many innings, we just don't know. If I had to bet, I'd put a great deal of money on Mr. Fast making that difference. Castro seems to be embracing the efforts, if that article from this spring by Evan Drellich can be believed.
With Castro's offensive potential, if he can just be an average pitch framer, he'll have elite value to this team.
3) .500 after six
Great news, everyone! The Astros are not last. They're also treading water at .500 and it's not the second game of the season. Huzzah!
Unfortunately, not everyone shares my cock-eyed sense of optimism, as Houston's early success has done nothing to change the playoff odds of these Houston Astros. Over at FanGraphs, they have an article about all the swings of the first week on odds. Houston still sits at just 0.2 percent chance of making the post-season, despite their record getting projected to 67-95.
Over at Baseball Prospectus, Houston's news is even better. Their projected wins go up to 70-92 with a playoff percentage of 1.6. So, you know, book the tickets.
We'll keep tabs on this as the season goes along, but so far, so good for any of you who took Mattress Mack up on his free furniture offer.