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Astros Crawfish Boil: November 13, 2022

Morning links, and Jeremy Molero stars on “Oops!”

World Series - Houston Astros v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Five Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Astros locked in Rafael Montero for three years in their first player move of the offseason.

The deal, which will pay Montero $34.5 million, has some people asking questions. There’s argument as to whether Montero is truly an elite reliever or just the recipient of “puck luck,” as they say in hockey. He’s had good seasons and bad, it’s true, but he’s been primarily good since joining the Astros from Seattle late last season. A lot of his bad showing was as a starter, which is no longer a plan, at least not that anyone has alluded to. After making $2.725 million in 2022, Montero will now take home $11.5 million annually.

Yesterday’s poll asked what you thought of Pete Rose’s lifetime ban, and 77 percent of you thought that he’d been on the outside looking in for long enough. From Bart Giamatti through Fay Vincent to Bud Selig and now with Robert Manfred, no MLB Commissioner has seemed receptive to Rose’s plea. I don’t think Manfred is going to change now.

It was brought up in the comments that although Rose was betting on games, he was betting on his team to win. The thing is, when he agreed to the lifetime ban, the investigation stopped before they found out if Rose actually bet against himself. We may never know, but if true, it would certainly color my impression of Rose’s HOF-worthiness.

Other Astros News

Jeremy Peña set to take a shift at Raising Canes. It will be on Monday starting around noon for two hours at the Gulf Freeway location.

Carlos Correa’s past ties to the Astros are hurting his marketability with other prospective teams.

Andrew Ball, Bill Firkus, and Carlos Cook are co-GM-ing the Astros for the time being. It’s unclear as to whether one of them stand to earn an inside track to the permanent GM position or if they’re just steering the ship in a storm.

Liza Valverde beat cancer, then went straight to stand in line to meet Jose Altuve. She waited 36 hours before getting to see him. They both got a little emotional. This is what those outside Houston will never understand what we have in Altuve. Of course he’s an offensive spark plug and a defensive wiz, but he’s also a goodwill ambassador, an inspiration for short guys everywhere, and just generally a really good dude. Altuve has two years left on his deal, after which he’ll be 35-years-old. In my opinion, he’ll be a bargain at any price. Yes, it’s a business, and money is everything, but I have to believe that whoever the GM is when it comes time to renegotiate should give Altuve a lifetime deal.

Non-Houston MLB News

Non-closer relief pitcher wages are unprecedented, and it’s probably not going to slow down now. Edwin Díaz’ signing shifted the paradigm slightly, then Robert Suarez and Montero kicked the door off the frame. In related news, it turns out that Diaz’ contract will actually pay him (through deferment) through calendar year 2042. predicts these five teams to make the jump to postseason play in 2023.

The New York Mets are moving their right-field fence in by eight feet.

After finding success (to put it mildly) with Shohei Ohtani, the Angels continue to focus their search in the Far East.

Of the eight players up for the Hall of Fame by way of the Contemporary Committee, Fred McGriff looks to have the inside track.

Oops! All Astros: Jeremy Molero

Jeremy Molero is a six-foot-two, 170 lb. right-handed pitcher from Valencia, VZ. Born on November 8, 1999, he signed with the Astros through free agency on August 23, 2017.

Since joining the organization, Molero has been at the rookie level. He spent 2017 and 2018 in the DSL, where he was 4-4 with a 2.30 ERA, a 1.356 WHIP, and 97 strikeouts in 62 23 innings. After taking 2020 off, along with almost everyone else, Molero joined the FCL Astros in 2021. He went 2-2 with a 6.20 ERA in his first look stateside, including 30 strikeouts and 17 walks in 20 13 innings.

In 2022, Molero was assigned to the FCL Astros Orange. On June 21, he struck out four in 1 13 scoreless innings, allowing only a hit in a 4-2 loss to the FCL Mets. On July 9, he whiffed five over three scoreless innings, allowing only a hit and a walk. On August 8, in a 4-1 win against the FCL Cardinals, he struck out eight over five no-hit innings, walking four.

Maybe you’ve heard of Molero, but you probably haven’t. His opposing slashline is a weird-looking .146/.314/.200. Nobody can hit him, but he also walks a lot of batters. This season, he struck out 46 for a 13.1 K/9, walking 18 for a career-best 5.1 BB/9. He also finished with a career-best 1.074 WHIP. I think he’s seen enough of the rookie level, and deserves a shot with the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers to begin the 2023 campaign.