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TCB Astros Baseball Podcasts: Mark Appel's Debut, Lucas Harrell's Demotion and International Free Agents

In the Astros Baseball podcast we discuss Dwight Howard and how he affects Astros fans, Mark Appel debut, Lucas Harrel's demotion, free agency and a championship. In the AMP we discuss International free agents Astros have signed, Mark Appel's Tri-City debut and minor league catcher improvements.

Ryan Dunsmore

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TCB Podcast ready to invade your thoughts and tickle your ear drums with Houston Astros baseball talk.

Note: Check your podcast subscription one of the podcast may need to be manually download. iTunes has a tendency to only download one podcast when multiple podcasts are released at the same time.

I've also decided to make a slight adjustment to the regular podcast. I am changing the name to the TCB Astros Baseball Podcast or AB for short. Honestly, this was done because I wanted to show better in podcast directory search results but it also helps with organization in podcast episode names. The major league podcast will show up as TCBP AB and the minor league podcast will show up as TCB AMP.


TCBP AB 89: Need More Flair

In this episode David Coleman, Sean Feist and myself discuss:

  • Dwight Howard signs with the Houston Rockets and how that affects Astros fans
  • Mark Appel makes his debut and how long until we see him in Houston
  • Lucas Harrell's demotion to the bullpen and who could replace him in the rotation
  • Who the Astros could possibly target in free agency: Lance Berkman, Hunter Pence and Brian McCann
  • When the Astros will win a championship

Dwight Howards Signs With Houston

The signing of Howard may benefit any Rockets AND Astros fan who is currently blacked out from CSN Houston. Howard will certainly give the RSN more leverage in negotiations but don't expect anything until the start of NBA season, which is in October. Even then I have my doubts a deal will be done by the start of basketball season. If you're an Astros fan that lives in the five states surrounding Texas you may be SOL as the Houston Rockets TV area doesn't reach as far as MLB's.

Mark Appel Makes His Pro-Debut

How soon could he be in Houston? 2014 was our guess, which begs the question. Could he beat Folty to the big leagues? I think he could but the other guys thought Folty had too great of a lead for Appel to overcome. Either way expect them to be in the Houston rotation at some point in 2014.

Lucas Harrell's Demotion

Harrell has been a guy when things go bad they go really bad. In 10 of his 19 starts he's allowed two runs or less but in six of his 19 starts he's given up five or more runs, which ultimately led to his demotion. I think who replaces Harrell will be up to Harrell. If he pitches well in the bullpen and gets things together mentally he can reclaim his spot after the All-Star break. Otherwise expect a guy like Brad Peacock or Brett Oberholtzer to get an opportunity.

Will The Astros Enter The Free Agency Fray This Offseason.

We talk about some names the Astros could go after in free agency this offseason. Lance Berkman, Hunter Pence and Brian McCann are three names that could fill spots for the Astros. I have my doubts about McCann because I think he gets a similar type of deal to Mike Napoli who signed a three year deal before his medical issues forced him into a one year deal. I like the possibility of a Hunter Pencer return to the outfield because he's probably the fourth or fifth best outfielder on the market and would bring some much needed positive PR to the Astros.

When Will The Astros Be Champions

Before the Texas Rangers.



TCB AMP 7: That 16 Year Old Is Making More Money Than You

In this episode Brooks Parker, myself and special guest Steve Duer of Appy Astros discuss:

  • International free agents the Astros have signed
  • Mark Appel's debut with the Tri-City ValleyCats
  • The improvement in Astros minor league catchers throwing out runners
International Free Agent Signings

It's hard for me to get excited about prospects that won't even start playing in the Astros system until 2014 and even then there's a high risk that we never hear from them again. Sure there are names to be had in the international free agent market but if a team does it's homework it doesn't have to spend gobs of money to get productive players. I think there's a balance to be had and I think the Astros front office is good enough to find that balance. The signing period doesn't end until June next year so there is plenty of time for the Astros to use their money or trade it for more sure prospects.

Mark Appel Makes His Debut With Tri-City

See above.

Improvement in Astros Minor League Catchers Throw Out Runners

Of course the minute I hit stop on the live broadcast Mike Fast stops by to give us his insight into the Astros minor league catchers improvement:

Mark Bailey is our catching instructor and doing lots of good things with the catchers in our system. Not surprisingly that is a focus of our minor league development. -Mike Fast

In response reillocity's idea that pitchers are being instructed to help their catchers nab runners this is what Mike had to say:

Yes, we're doing that too. This guy doesn’t only work with the position players. -Mike Fast


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Next Scheduled Podcast Recordings: July 14, 2013


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