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Friday's Three Astros Things

Talking about scouting staffs, the Triple-A gap and Truck Day...

Some things to talk about while Brad Mills named a bull after Altuve...

1) Geivett not with Astros

Got some clarification from the team the other day. Back in November, it was reported that Bill Geivett was set to join the Astros as a national cross checker. He would be taking David Post's spot, after Post left to join the San Diego Padres front office.

At the time, Drellich reported that sources said Geivett would come on board, but the Astros never made an official announcement. That's because Geivett never got hired. The Astros still haven't officially named a crosschecker to replace Post.

Charlie Gonzalez, the longtime Cardinals scout, has joined the Astros scouting staff, but his role hasn't been defined yet, I confirmed.

It's a little thing, but interesting nonetheless. I'm sure the scouting staff will be finalized soon, as the team prepares to get on the road and scout up high schools and colleges, who also start play in the next couple of weeks.

2) The gap between Triple-A and the majors

Alex Speier recently joined the Boston Globe to cover the Red Sox. He's a talented baseball writer who writes interesting things. His latest series covers prospects and has interest for baseball as a whole, not just Red Sox fans.

In this second installment, he looks at the growing gap between performance in Triple-A and the majors. He hits on many reasons, including the expectation gap that exists which didn't a decade ago for top prospects. But, here's an intriguing point.

Lovullo recalled one rookie returning to the dugout and shaking his head after striking out against a right-on-right, frontdoor cut fastball that clipped the inner edge of the plate.

"He came back to the dugout and said, ‘Wow, I've never really seen a pitch like that in the minor leagues,'" Lovullo said. "They are attacking guys a little differently at this level. You can't quite get that experience unless you're here to face that front-door cutter."

Advance scouting reports are better. Defenses adjust for tendencies. Pitchers throw ungodly breaking balls. You hit white balls for batting practice and you never have to carry your own bag.

Think about that with Jon Singleton. Here's a guy that's taken time to adjust to every level he's played at. Here's a guy who got called up midseason last year, at a tender age. Here's a guy who struggled mightily in the pros.

Will he bounce back this year? We can't say. That performance gap still exists.

What we can do is adjust our own expectations. Next time a prospect is mashing at Triple-A, let's avoid calling a mup. It's not just the Astros that have these issues. It's everywhere in baseball.

Speier hits more than just those points in his piece. He also includes graphs on the performance gap between the levels. It's really worth your time.

3) Truck Day!

Spring training is getting oh, so close. You can practically smell the leather of those gloves and the pine tar on the bats.

Truck Day is here.

Some helpful stats on the equipment going on the trucks from the crack Astros PR staff.

Baseballs: 700 dozen (8,400 total)
Jerseys: 250
Batting helmets: 150
Astros caps: 300
Pairs of baseball pants: 1,000
Belts: 150
Cartons of bubble gum: 300 (114,000 total pieces of gum at 380 pieces per carton, which is enough to cover the length of the basepaths on a baseball field over 26 times)
Cases of sunflower seeds: 200 (over 4.5 million individual seeds in close to 5,000 total bags)
Pounds of rosin: 30
Pounds of laundry detergent: 2,000 (enough detergent to do over 500 loads of laundry)
Treadmills/elliptical machines: 4
Various weightroom equipment: Adjustable dumbbells, stationary bikes, hurdles, nutritional supplements