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Monday's Three Astros Things

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Talking about George Springer, regional sports networks and Matty D...

Some things to talk about while we discuss Brett Oberholtzer's grip...

1) George Springer sticking in OKC

Oh, hey Jeff Luhnow. Way to break my heart. I thought maybe, just maybe, your birthday present to me this year would be a Springer call-up. But, no. You're going to cruelly keep the man down. (See what I did there?)

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow for the first time Friday said the outfielder George Springer would stay at Triple-A Oklahoma City for the rest of its season, which could include a trip to the playoffs. Whether Springer gets called to Houston afterwards remains to be seen, but don't expect him in an Astros uniform anytime soon.

Oklahoma City finishes its regular season Sept. 2, but appears headed for the playoffs.

I mean, there are reasons for keeping Springer down, right? Ummm. I know they exist. They're out there.



He's just messing with me now.

My only hope now is that Springer's delay is part of the Myers Plan. That way, when Springer comes up, he'll be the mashing, stealing star of the outfield, instead of being a rookie struggling and striking out left and right.

2) RSN market evolving

We talked about this a little on the podcast, but the negotiations to get CSN Houston on your TV aren't going anywhere. I mean, I'm sure all sides are working to get a deal done and all that, but the market is in a weird spot.

Consider that Fox Sports 1, the newest national sports network to launch, asked for 80 cents a subscriber and got 23 cents. So, how will Houston fare asking for $3.40 per subscriber?

Why would DirecTV pick up Fox Sports 1 and not CSN Houston? Well, there's the money first and foremost. Fox Sports 1 isn't asking for as much.

But, that's slightly misleading. It's not all about per subscriber fees. Fox Sports 1 can ask for a smaller number because they're going to be carried nation-wide. They have a much bigger subscriber base to claim that number from than CSN Houston will.

Oh, and Fox Sports 1 is also available on four of the five DirecTV packages without springing for the sports tier.

3) Thinking more about Matty D

Over at Beyond the Box Score, Bryan Grosnick thinks about Matt Dominguez. His conclusion is not good for Matty D fans, as he basically says what I did earlier this season, that Dominguez' offensive problems can't be overwritten by his stellar defense.

Grosnick doesn't stop there, though. He also talks about where the level of offensive ineptitude is acceptable for the best defensive player at a particular position:

If you have a player who's, let's say, the best in baseball at defense at his position (for the record, with Manny Machado and Evan Longoria in the league, I'm not sure Dominguez is), what level of offensive performance would you consider acceptable to keep him in the lineup every day? Would he need to get on base at least at a .300 clip? Hit 20 homers a season?

And how is it different than what you would expect from players at a different position? Is it okay for the best defensive third baseman in the game to hit 25% worse than league average -- and the best defensive shortstop to hit 35% worse than league average? And what about catchers?

Dominguez is hitting home runs. He his playing great defensively. And he's young. Those are three great points in his favor. But, he's got a weighted Runs Created-plus (wRC+) of 74, meaning he's been about 26 percent worse than the rest of the major leagues as a hitter this year.

Houston will probably be asking variations of the questions above for another year, as Dominguez continues to play at third base. But, eventually, he'll be pushed by someone. Eventually, Houston's very smart front office will develop an answer.