Another Day, Another Boil.
So it’s another day without baseball. Tomorrow starts December, the first month without any baseball at all since this past January. If you’re anything like me, you feel like it’s already been forever since you got to watch a live game. It’s only been three weeks. The Hot Stove has its moments, but nothing that rivals the excitement of scoring from first on a double.
Houston Astros News
Abreu already proving a good fit in Astros clubhouse (mlb.com)
José Abreu Signing Helps Astros Approach Evil Empire Status (si.com)
Astros’ culture a big lure for free-agent signee José Abreu (houstonchronicle.com)
Jeff Bagwell doesn’t want to be Astros GM (right now), but here’s his master class on baseball consulting (click2houston.com)
Houston Astros Hitting Coach Cintrón No Longer Managing in Winter League (si.com)
Report: Houston Astros Pitcher McCullers Named to MLBPA Executive Subcommittee (si.com)
Disney pays MLB $900 million for remainder of BAMTech, money to be dispersed among 30 teams (cbssports.com)
MLB Writer Considers Red Sox Pitcher One Of Best Rule 5 Picks In Last Decade (nesn.com)
Angels News: Longtime MLB Outfielder Sees Shohei Ohtani Racking up the Awards (si.com)
Angels Rumors: MLB Insider Thinks LA Could Make Huge Splash at Shortstop (si.com)
Could this club sign Senga to entice Judge? (mlb.com)
The unheralded FA relievers that could make a difference (mlb.com)
Oops! All Astros: Brandon Bielak
Brandon Bielak is a six-foot-two, 208 lb. right-handed pitcher from Edison, NJ. Born on April 2, 1996, he was an 11th-round pick of the Astros in the 2017 draft, 331st overall out of Notre Dame. Twenty percent of Fighting Irish draftees eventually make the majors (23-of-112). Bielak is the 13th player taken 331st to play in the major leagues, a group led by Jose Rosado (10.2 WAR).
Bielak made his way up through Houston’s minor league system and made his major league debut in 2020. In 40 major league games, including eight starts, over his first two seasons, he was 6-7 with a 5.38 ERA. He walked 38 and struck out 72 in 82 frames, totaling a 1.524 WHIP and holding opponents to a .274/.358/.461 slashline. He opened the 2022 season with the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys.
On May 10, in a 20-1 win against the Albuquerque Isotopes, Bielak started and struck out seven over six shutout one-hit innings. He played at Triple-A exclusively for the first two months of the season, holding batters to a .232/.331/.331 line and striking out 36 in 36 2⁄3 innings. He got the call to join the Astros on June 7.
Bielak pitched well in three appearances for the Astros, allowing one run on five hits, walking two, and striking out six over seven innings. After three games back down at Sugar Land, he joined the Astros as the number 27 man in a doubleheader, and allowed three runs in 3 1⁄3 innings as the Astros topped the New York Yankees 7-5 on July 21.
After the doubleheader, he was moved back down to the Cowboys, and put up a 3.58 ERA over 27 2⁄3 innings, striking out 25. He rejoined the Astros for a single contest on September 4, in a 9-1 win against the Anaheim Angels.
At the Triple-A level, Bielak struck out 86 in 88 2⁄3 innings, holding opponents to a 1.410 WHIP. With the Astros, he struck out 12 in 12 1⁄3 innings and kept the opposition to a 1.216 WHIP. The bad guys slashed .234/.333/.383 against him. He’s still under full control, and will remain so until 2027, but with the Astros pitching staff being the deepest in recorded history, it could be hard for him to crack the roster.