The TCB Daily Boil: The 2014 Anagram Astros

USA TODAY Sports

Edward S. Garza appeals to syntax to rethink Houston's roster.

After the Astros hosted Oakland last week, I decided to roam the Net for A's blogs besides Athletics Nation, figuring I'd get a grasp of the team's fanbase. In the end, I was particularly impressed by Ken Arneson's blog, which I believe lacks a formal title.

Per his "About" page, Arneson is a "Swedish-American baseball geek web programmer, married with three daughters, living in Alameda, CA." As one would expect from an A's blogger, he pairs his fandom with sabermetric analysis, drawing upon models such as Pitch f/x and concepts such as regression. Additionally, though, he enjoys writing witty poems about members of Oakland's roster (see, for example, his verse narrative on Eric Sogard). He also likes turning players' names into anagrams.

Arneson displays his skill for anagrams in the article I want to share today: "Projected 2014 Oakland Athletics Anagram Roster." In it he analyzes the players that A's general manager Baby Neille has assembled for this season. Though the piece was published back in December, Arneson looks at how new Athletics such as outfielder Great Crying may contribute to the squad. He also waves goodbye to free agents such as closer No Fat Burglar.

I liked reading Arneson's article so much that I decided to look at the anagram roster that Houston is fielding. Fortunately, there's plenty to behold. As of today, here are the 2014 Anagram Astros.

The Active Anagram Roster (25-Man)

During the offseason, general manager Fowl H. Fujen spun some trades and made some waiver claims. Most notably, he acquired Dr. Exeter Fowl from Colorado. Additionally, he made a subtle move for Zeus J. Magnus, surrendering only a backup shortstop in the process. Those trades, along with the promotion of top prospect Sir Gene G. Groper, show a new commitment to the major-league roster. Hopefully, manager Porr Beto can get value from the following names.

Position Players

Number

Name

4

Sir Gene G. Groper

6

Nathan O'Villa, Jr.

8

Alexy Pele, Sr.

9

Marlowe Z. Zingna

14

Zeus J. Magnus

15

Jonas C. Astro

18

Mr. R.C. Kraass

21

Dr. Exeter Fowl

22

Corporal Cano, Sr.

23

Ric Chartres

27

Salve Tujo

28

H.L. Jose

30

Mt. Dingo Zetamue

One should refer to these position players as a unit, since there's a fine line between this team's starters and its bench players. For example, H.L. Jose and Alexy Pele, Sr. have shared a platoon for most of the season. The same goes for Zeus J. Magnus and Mr. R.C. Kraass.

Categorization aside, though, these guys need to hit soon. For instance, O'Villa, Chartres, and Zetamue have so far averaged a paltry .286 OBP. Further, Pele and Jose have each been sub-replacement-level. Salve Tujo and Jonas C. Astro have hit well, but they can do only so much. Fans should hope that E. Boobs Ingram, Jr. (#19, currently off the active roster) can figure things out in AAA and help the major-league squad again.

Starting Rotation

Number

Name

31

Hull McChingo

39

Lt. To Beer Brothers

41

Pace Bedrock

48

Jars de Corart

60

Hella Seal Duck

This bunch is young and generally improving. Hella Seal Duck might be the staff's ace right now, at least with Manel St. Coftt on the disabled list. On the other hand, Hull McChingo has dazzled over his first two starts with the team, allowing just one earned run over 15.1 innings while striking out 19 batters.

The looming question, then, is which starter gets bumped once St. Coftt returns. My guess is Pace Bedrock, though Lt. To Beer Brothers has struggled also. What will Porr Beto do?

Relief pitchers

Number

Name

35

Soshi J. Feld

36

Willie Rome Jams

44

Raves Dallu

45

A Nasty Shnob

50

Da Shaq Cull

56

MC Paul Lesen

68

Joe C. Nerosis

Ah, the bane of the Anagram Astros' existence. Blown holds, blown saves, you name it. As un-sabermetric as it sounds, perhaps this bullpen is troubled by its lack of defined roles. Who is this team's closer? Is it Soshi J. Feld, owner of a 9.58 ERA (over just eight innings, grant you)? Or is it free agent signee Da Shaq Cull, whose .542 BABIP is bound to even out? Whatever the case, this group desperately needs Ma Tears B.L.T. to return from the disabled list, and, for that matter, the goateed Siren Cajes. Astros fans should see someone besides A Nasty Shnob try to hold one-run leads.

---

(All stats are courtesy of fangraphs.com and are current as of April 30th.)

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