The Houston Astros have another 89 days before pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.
A Few Random Thoughts
There’s still a lot to happen between now and Spring Training. Eighty-nine days is three months away...a literal season as defined by the calendar. The Winter Meetings, the rule 5 draft, and Hot Stove season are what we have. It doesn’t quite have the same feel as an actual baseball game, but there’s still competition of a sort involved. In the meantime, they’re finished playing out the Arizona Fall League, and the World Baseball Classic doesn’t start up until March 8.
Since Anthony Rizzo has been spoken for, do you think the Astros may make a play for Silver Slugger winner Josh Bell? José Abreu? Stick with La Piña?
I don’t mean to presume, but you may be wondering why I always use sentences like “he collected 12 homers and 43 RBI,” as opposed to “he collected 12 homers and 43 RBIs.” Well, RBI is correct, it’s “runs batted in.” RBIs would be “runs batted ins,” which doesn’t make grammatical sense. Nobody has said anything, but if I just stumbled on CFB one day and saw that in the Boil, I’d have questions. That being said, whenever I hear a broadcaster use the term, “RBIs,” I die a little inside.
Houston Astros News
Deadspin’s take on the James Click dismissal. You know all of this already. Only go here if you’re interested in a different point of view.
In no surprise to anyone, Justin Verlander won his third American League Cy Young Award. He won by a unanimous vote, along with National League Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara.
TMZ reported that rapper Trae The Truth and jeweler Iceman Nick got together to award the Astros custom diamond pendants for winning the World Series.
Houston signed LHP Austin Davis to a minor league contract.
Jim Crane is still trying to make the team better.
Published by Deadspin two weeks ago and somehow I missed it. It’s a video suggesting another cheating scandal. I was watching that game, and I saw them checking Valdez after every inning. The thing is that I thought they checked every pitcher after every half-inning. I know they do that everywhere, even at the minor-league level. Someone is always trying to start shit, and I’m a little sick of it. Honestly, the Astros are super good, and have been for a number of years now. Maybe other teams fans are sick of it, but that’s their problem, not ours. They titled their little slander attempt, “AGAIN?” Seriously, shut tf up.
Other MLB News
The Toronto Blue Jays have shown interest in Brandon Nimmo, and other Hot Stove developments as reported by CBS.
MLB.COM has published a list of five pitchers they think are “due” for a Cy Young Award. Who they should have added to the list in my opinion: Christian Javier & Framber Valdez.
Here’s the full list of 20 Spring Training games involving a WBC team versus a MLB team.
OF Teoscar Hernández was traded from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Seattle Mariners for a pair of minor league pitchers.
JV is seeking something in the neighborhood Max Scherzer’s deal, somewhere in the neighborhood of three years and $130 million.
The two New York teams are being investigated for improper communication? You mean collusion? Another word for cheating? Not the Bronx Bombers! They’re so pure!
Oops! All Astros: Joe Perez
Joe Perez is a six-foot-two, 198 lb. right-handed third baseman from Pembroke Pines, FL. Born on August 12, 1999, he was Houston’s second-round pick in 2017 out of Archbishop McCarthy HS in Southwest Ranches, FL with the 53rd overall selection. Twenty-six players have made it to the majors, including Perez. The most prolific were Gary Carter (70.2 WAR), and Andy Messersmith (40.2 WAR). Perez signed to a contract including a $1.6 million signing bonus.
Perez batted .291/.354/.495 between three levels of Houston’s system in 2021, spending time with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers in Low-A (12 games), the Asheville Tourists at High-A (25 games), and the Corpus Christi Hooks at Double-A (69 games). He totaled 18 homers and 61 RBI, but struck out 114 times in 475 plate appearances.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Perez was called up to the major leagues with Houston early in the season, on April 8 for their second game. In the bottom of the eighth, Perez was called into the game to pinch hit for Alex Bregman, then struck out on five pitches against Jaime Barría. Perez stayed in the game for two defensive innings at third base, making one assist. So far, that was the final time he played in a major league game.
Perez, who is currently Houston’s number nine prospect according to MLB.COM’s Pipeline, was initially scouted as a pitcher who could touch 98 with his fastball. After shoulder soreness, he needed Tommy John surgery, and when he resumed play it was in the field at third base. His arm still grades as 65, the top score of his five tools. He also has above-average raw power, at 55, but it’s expected he’ll eventually shift to first base due to his limited range.
Perez created optimism that he’ll be able to tap into his raw power by maturing as a hitter last season. He did a better job of controlling the strike zone and using the entire field, though he still can get more consistent in both regards. His swing can get long and uphill, so he’ll always be a power-over-hit guy. - MLB Pipeline
Perez was moved back down to the Hooks after his sole appearance (thus far), and spent the rest of the month at Double-A. He went 10-for-51 from the plate with 17 strikeouts, then had to visit the injured list due to an unpublicized ailment.
After 11 rehabilitative appearances at the Rookie level, Perez rejoined the Hooks on July 12 and hit three singles in his return, an 8-3 victory against the NorthWest Arkansas Naturals.
In his post-IL time with the Hooks, he strung out a much better .282/.348/.427 slashline, with five jacks and 24 RBI. He also struck out 53 times in 227 plate appearances, drawing 20 walks. On August 30, he collected four hits, with two doubles and a solo home run in an 11-4 win against the San Antonio Missions.
Perez joined the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys for their final eight games of the season, and tore the hide off the ball. He went 14-for-29 with six walks and six strikeouts and a .483/.571/.621 slashline. True, it was a small sample size, but enough for an Astros fan to sit up and take notice. Perez could be in the mix for the Astros going forward, but with his .911 fielding percentage at the hot corner, he’s not going to supplant Bregman. Thanks for reading.