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Astros Crawfish Boil: Saturday, January 14, 2023

A weekend Boil!

World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Six
Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez share a moment.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Here’s your weekend Boil!

Of course, the biggest news of the day is how many Houston Astros players avoided arbitration in the 11th hour with the organization. At the time I’m preparing this Boil (10PM last night), six of the eight have come to terms.

Mauricio Dubón ($1.4M)
Phil Maton ($2.55M)
Ryne Stanek ($3.6M)
Blake Taylor ($830K)
José Urquidy ($3.025M)
Framber Valdez ($6.8M)

The two left, Cristian Javier and Kyle Tucker, have until the arbitration hearing sometime in early February to finalize a deal.

I read in yesterday’s Boil comments that you wouldn’t mind a caption with the cover photo I include with each Boil. First, I should let you know that I select which Astros player I put on the front page by lot, weighted by playing time (either PA or BF depending on position). Neither right nor wrong, it’s merely a method by which I assign meaning during the dreary long days of post-Christmas, pre-ST January.

Houston Astros News

Tracking the Houston Astros’ Wild Day of Avoiding Arbitration With Number of Stars (

More disrespect lobbed at the Astros (
They may not win any media championships, but the Astros sure are good at winning the ones that actually matter. - Alec Brown

Fans react to Astros’ Jose Altuve sending Yankees home with a walk-off HR during 2019 MLB playoffs - “Rent free in my own mind” (

Astros Caravan in Corpus Christi January 17 (

Chas McCormick is regarded by MLB.COM as the 10th best CF in the major leagues:

MLB News

Ex-Astros Pitcher, Former All-Star Could Be Solid Option To Bolster Red Sox Bullpen (

New York Mets Miss Out on Andrew McCutchen; Where do They go From Here? (

When 2023 HOF candidate Jeff Kent was criticized for making African-American players feel unwelcome (

Oops! All Astros: Tyler Brown

Tyler Brown is a six-foot-four, 242 lb. right-handed pitcher from Mansfield, OH. Born on October 2, 1998, he was Houston’s third round pick in 2020. with the 101st pick off the board out of Vanderbilt. Eighteen players taken 101st overall have made the majors, led by Jonathan Lucroy (17.7 WAR). Vandy alum have advanced to the bigs 36 times, led by David Price (40.1 WAR). Brown agreed to a deal that included a $577,000 signing bonus.

Like everyone else in 2020, Brown was relegated to the longest extended Spring Training that we’d ever seen and wouldn't make his debut until 2021. That season, between the High-A Asheville Tourists and the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, he was 4-8 with a 6.95 ERA over 23 appearances, including 15 starts. Collecting 108 strikeouts in 90 23 innings indicated that his swing-and-miss stuff was in good order, but 56 walks and a 1.688 WHIP showed that he probably needed another year or two in the minors before getting to the bigs.

Brown opened the 2022 season back with the Hooks, ranked by Baseball America as Houston’s number 30 prospect. From the season opener through the end of May, Brown clearly didn’t have any good stuff in the tank. He struck out 32 in 30 innings, but allowed opponents to slash .344/.415/.618 in 152 plate appearances. He had a 2.067 WHIP and a 9.90 ERA before going on the “development” list near the end of May.

Two months and two rookie-ball starts later Brown reemerged with the Hooks. On July 23, he struck out five and gave up two hits and a walk for no runs over three innings in a 7-4 loss to the San Antonio Missions. After another couple of questionable outings, he seemed to put it all together near the end of the season. Over his last five appearances, covering 21 13 innings, he struck out 23 and gave up three runs on eight hits and five walks — a 0.609 WHIP and a .113/.171/.211 opposing slashline.

Maybe Brown just clicked all of a sudden. Stranger things have happened, after all. Despite that, I’d expect to see him begin the 2023 season with the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys.