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Astros Crawfish Boil: December 19, 2023

Welcome to the Tuesday Boil!

Clint Barmes
| Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Good morning, Astros nation.

What’s going to happen today? Any news on the hot stove? I can’t find any good rumors. Good thing we’ve got the Everystros countdown (Chapter 51 today, below).

Houston Astros News

Four Reasons Why the Astros Don’t Need to Spend Loads of Money This Offseason (Houston Press)

The report indicated that the Houston Astros recorded a loss of 73 million (Cleveland American)

Astros’ Top 5 OF assists of 2023

We asked AI to predict Jose Altuve’s next contract (SportsKeeda) * this guy at Sportskeeda found himself a gimmick and he isn’t letting go. Still, it’s not a bad gimmick.

Report: Astros do not plan to move All-Star pitcher (Yardbarker)

AL West News

A’s — Oakland A’s news: Opening Day boycott taking shape (Athletics Nation)

Mall Cops — Texas Rangers ace Max Scherzer to miss 1st half of 2024 after undergoing surgery for herniated disk (KREM 2)

M’s — Matt Calkins: Mariners fans deserve ownership’s investment in their team, not financial uncertainty (The Wenatchee World)

Halos — Angels GM on why team didn’t trade Shohei Ohtani at deadline (The Comeback)

MLB News

Hoskins could be a sneaky good pickup in free agency. Here’s why

Comerica Park video board to be bigger, sharper, louder

Pirates reach deal with veteran lefty Pérez

2024 Draft: Early look at best power, speed, fastball, more

Glasnow now ‘somewhere I’ve wanted to be my entire life’

Houston Astros Birthdays

RHP Joe Slusarski (57)

OF Walt Williams (1943-2016)

C Brayan Sanchez (19)

Everystros LI

Facts were gathered from baseball-reference.com, thebaseballcube.com, mlb.com, wikipedia.org, and baseball-almanac.com to put together this article. Today’s chapter, the 51st, features nine players who totaled between 101 and 500 PA/BF with the Astros, and between 0.0053 and 0.0079 bWAR per BF/PA.

351. Davey Lopes (Bagwell score 62.86) is a five-foot-nine second baseman and outfielder from East Providence, RI. Born on May 3, 1945, he was an eighth-round choice of the San Francisco Giants in 1967 out of Washburn University. The following year, the Los Angeles Dodgers took him in the second round.

Lopes made the All-Star Team four times over his 10 seasons with the Dodgers (1207 games, .262/.349/.380, 99 home runs, 384 RBI, 418 SB). He led the majors with 77 stolen bases in 1975 and the National League with 63 in 1976. He later played with the Oakland Athletics (347 games, .260/.328/.405, 37 home runs, 145 RBI, 62 stolen bases) and the Chicago Cubs (174 games, .287/.398/.454, 17 home runs, 66 RBI, 67 stolen bases).

On July 21, 1986, the Cubs traded Lopes to the Astros for Frank DiPino. In the 37 games that Lopes appeared in through the remainder of the season, Lopes started 22 times and collected multiple hits five times. On July 23, he drove in one run with a first-inning groundout, hit a seventh-inning triple, then drove home Dickey Thon with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning to defeat the Montreal Expos, 4-3.

Lopes hit .235/.315/.306 with two doubles, one triple, and one home run. He drew 12 walks against only nine strikeouts, scoring 11 runs and driving in 13. He also stole eight bases in 10 attempts. As a defender, he was perfect in 72 innings in centerfield (30 putouts, two assists), 76 innings in left (12 putouts, one assist), 36 innings at third (one putout, eight assists), and 11 at first (three putouts).

Lopes played in 47 games for Houston in 1987, his last in the majors, and started in only five of them. He went 10-for-43 with two doubles and a home run, drawing 13 walks and striking out eight times, scoring four times, and driving in six. He slashed out a .233/.411/.349 line. On August 13, he hit a pinch-RBI-single in the ninth to tie the Giants in an eventual 7-6 loss to San Francisco. He made one error in 38 23 innings in left field.

Here’s Nolan Ryan, striking Lopes out.

Starting in 2000, Lopes managed the Milwaukee Brewers for three seasons, winning .425 of his games. SABR Bio

350. Jack Hiatt (Bagwell score 67.73) is a six-foot-two right-handed catcher and first baseman from Bakersfield, CA. Born on July 27, 1942, he reached the major leagues for the first time with the 1964 Los Angeles Angels (nine games, six-for-16, two RBI), later playing with the San Francisco Giants (290 games, .239/.365/.366, 18 home runs, 102 RBI), the Montreal Expos (17 games, .326/.491/.372, seven RBI), and the Chicago Cubs (66 games, .242/.352/.354.

On December 1, 1970, the Cubs sold Hiatt’s contract to Houston. He would appear in 69 games for the 1971 Astros, starting 57 times and finishing with multiple hits six times. On April 8, he went two-for-two with two runs, two doubles and two RBI in a 7-3 win against the Chicago Cubs. On June 26, he hit a second-inning RBI-single to get Houston on the board, then singled again in the seventh in an eventual 3-1 loss to the Giants.

Hiatt slashed .276/.401/.351, with one homer and 16 RBI. He also played exactly 500 innings in the field — 499 13 at catcher and 23 of an inning at first base. At the backstop, Hiatt fielded at .991 and threw out 30 percent of opposing basestealers (86 CS+).

In 1972, Hiatt went five-for-25 with three doubles in 10 games for the Astros, with five walks and five strikeouts. On July 29, 1972, the Astros sold his contract to the California Angels (22 games, .289/.360/.400, one home run, five RBI). He went into management after his playing career, eventually serving as San Francisco’s director of player development until his retirement in 2007.

349. Pedro Astacio (Bagwell score 73.78) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Hato Mayor del Ray, DR. Born on November 28, 1968, he got to the majors for the first time with the 1992 Los Angeles Dodgers, eventually playing six seasons with the club (48-47, 3.68, 886 23 IP, 598 K) and five with the Colorado Rockies (53-48, 5.43, 827 13 IP, 749 K). On July 31, 2001, Astacio was traded to the Astros for Scott Elarton.

Astacio started four games for the Astros, and pitched four Quality Starts. He lasted at least seven innings in each. Opponents slashed .280/.322/.393, and Astacio struck out 19 while walking only four in 28 23 innings. On August 21, he struck out six over seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits in a 8-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. Astacio went 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA.

Astacio later played for the New York Mets (15-13, 5.20, 228 13 IP, 172 K), the Boston Red Sox (0-0, 10.38, 8 23 IP, six K), the Texas Rangers (2-8, 6.04, 67 IP, 45 K), the San Diego Padres (4-2, 3.17, 59 23 IP, 33 K), and the Washington Nationals (5-5, 5.98, 90 13 IP, 42 K).

348. Don Lee (Bagwell score 75.12) is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Globe, AZ. Born on February 26, 1934, Lee reached the bigs for the first time in 1957 with the Detroit Tigers (1-3, 4.87, 40 23 IP, 19 K), then joined the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins (14-16, 3.63, 332 IP, 181 K), and the Los Angeles Angels (21-24, 3.35, 410 23 IP, 248 K).

On June 1, 1965, the Angels traded Lee to the Astros for Al Spangler. Through the rest of that season, Lee pitched in seven games for the Astros, totaling eight innings. He held opponents to a .267/.353/.333 slashline with an aLI of 0.80. On June 11, Lee struck out a pair over a perfect inning of relief in a 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. Lee struck out three and walked three, with a 1.375 WHIP in a SSS.

In 1966, Lee pitched 18 innings out of the bullpen for Houston in nine appearances with an aLI of 1.01. On May 14, he earned a victory by striking out two and allowing only one hit in three scoreless innings of relief in a 6-5, 11-inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Lee was 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA for the Astros, with nine strikeouts and four walks. On June 21, the Cubs purchased his contract. After finishing the season with Chicago (2-1, 7.11, 19 IP, seven K), Lee’s major league playing career was complete.

347. Tom Martin (Bagwell score 79.02) is a six-foot-one left-handed pitcher from Charleston, SC. Born on May 21, 1970, Martin was a sixth-round choice of the Baltimore Orioles in 1988 out of Bay High School. He also served in the minors for the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves before signing with the Astros through free agency in 1995.

Martin debuted in the majors in 1997, and pitched with a 1.20 aLI through his 55 games. On July 14, Martin entered in the bottom of the ninth with the Astros tied 7-7 with the Chicago Cubs, and pitched three perfect innings to notch a season-high .426 WPA. The Astros eventually won, 9-7 in 15 innings. In total, he pitched 56 innings over 55 outings, walking 23 and striking out 36 with a 1.339 WHP, a 2.09 ERA, and a 5-3 win-loss record with two saves.

On November 18, 1997, Martin was taken in the expansion draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Over the following 10 seasons, he played with the Cleveland Indians (2-2, 7.06, 57 13 IP, 38 K), the New York Mets (1-0, 10.06, 17 IP, 12 K), the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (0-0, 16.20, 1 23 IP, one K), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1-3, 3.74, 79 13 IP, 69 K), the Atlanta Braves (0-1, 5.59, 19 13 IP, 12 K), and the Colorado Rockies (2-0, 5.02, 86 IP, 56 K).

346. Chris James (Bagwell score 79.76) is a six-foot-one right-handed outfielder/third baseman from Rusk, TX. Born on October 4, 1962, he was signed through free agency out of Blinn College by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981.

In 1986, James reached the major leagues with the Phillies (326 games, .254/.294/.413, 39 home runs, 144 RBI), later also playing with the San Diego Padres (87 games, .264/.314/.429, 11 home runs, 46 RBI), the Cleveland Indians (255 games, .272/.311/.387, 17 home runs, 111 RBI)and the San Francisco Giants (111 games, .242/.285/.375, five home runs, 32 RBI).

On January 8, 1993, the Astros signed James through free agency. He played in 65 of Houston’s first 143 games, starting 32 of them and finishing with more than one hit in seven. On August 18, James hit a two-out pinch-hit go-ahead RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth in a 2-1 win against the Florida Marlins.

James hit .256/.333/.488 with 10 doubles, one triple, and six home runs during his stay with the Astros. He drew 15 walks and struck out 34 times, scoring 19 runs and driving in another 19. As a defender, he played 124 23 innings in right field (.970) and 117 in left (.949).

On September 17, 1993, the Astros traded James to the Texas Rangers for Dave Gandolph. After his time with Arlington (60 games, .274/.370/.561, 10 home runs, 26 RBI), James played with the Kansas City Royals (26 games, .310/.373/.466, two home runs, seven RBI) and the Boston Red Sox (16 games, .167/.200/.208, one RBI).

345. Clint Barnes (Bagwell score 81.08) is a six-foot-one right-handed middle infielder from Vincennes, IN. Born on March 6, 1979, he was a 10th-round pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2000 out of Indiana State University. Barmes played the first eight seasons of his major league career with the Rockies, beginning in 2003 (.254/.300/.404, 61 home runs, 285 RBI).

On November 18, 2010, Barnes was traded by Colorado to Houston for Felipe Paulino. Barmes went on to start in 120 of his 123 appearances, and finishing with multiple hits 29 times. On June 27, he hit a two-run homer in the second inning to open the scoring, then doubled in the ninth inning of a 4-2 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. On July 19, he hit a two-run homer in the second inning, then added a two-run single in the fourth in a 7-6 win against the Washington Nationals. Here’s Barmes Astros-era PSA.

Barmes slashed .244/.312/.386 with 12 homers and 39 RBI, but then most of his value was tied to his defense. He collected a NL-high 2.5 dWAR at shortstop playing 1058 13 innings, fielding at .978. His total bWAR, a relatively modest 3.4, ranked third on the 56-win ballclub.

Once Barmes hit free agency, he joined the Pittsburgh Pirates for the next three seasons (300 games, .224/.271/.314, 13 home runs, 75 RBI), then joined the San Diego Padres in 2015 (98 games, .232/.281/.353, three home runs, 16 RBI). SABR Bio

344. Bill Heath (Bagwell score 87.73) is a five-foot-eight left-handed hitting and righty-throwing catcher from Yuba City, CA. Born on March 10, 1939, Heath earned his first major league paycheck with an 0-for-1 game for the Chicago White Sox, in the final game of the 1965 season. After the season, the Pale Hose traded Heath with Dave Nicholson to Houston for Raymond Cordeiro.

In 1966, Heath joined the club and appeared at least a bit in each month of the season, totaling 55 games. He started in 28 and finished with more than one hit in seven. On September 17, he collected two RBI on a four-hit night, with three singles and a double in an 11-2 win against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Heath slashed out a .301/.353/.350 line over the season, with six doubles. He struck out 11 times but drew nine walks, scoring 12 runs and driving in another eight. He was successful in his lone attempt to steal a base (against Joe Torre’s arm). At the backstop, he played 252 innings and fielded at .995, (a 260 FP+).

Heath played nine games for Houston in April, 1967, going one-for-11 with four walks. On May 8, the Detroit Tigers purchased his contract.

After his time with the Tigers (20 games, four-for-32, four RBI), Heath later reached the majors with the Chicago Cubs in 1969 (27 games, five-for-32). Heath’s final major league appearance was a Ken Holtzman no-hitter. SABR Bio

343. Tony Walker (Bagwell score 93.50) is a six-foot-two right-handed centerfielder from San Diego, CA. Born on July 1, 1959, Walker began his professional baseball career in 1981 with the Cincinnati Reds, in their minor league system. After joining the Astros organization on 1983, he worked his way up to the majors, getting his first look in 1986.

Walker totaled 101 plate appearances through his big-league career, all in 1986. Specializing as a pinch-hitter, he only started 18 games out of his 84 played. Going by WPA, his best game was on July 12, when he collected a career-best three hits, including a two-run homer and an RBI-single in a 4-3 win against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Despite his tag of “pinch-hitter,” Walker performed best when starting, registering a .761 OPS in his starts and a measly .459 in games that he entered later. Defensively, he made 74 putouts and one error in 239 innings in centerfield for Houston, prorated to a 1.9 dWAR over a full season.


Thanks for sticking with it as we work our way into the final bracket, starting with three of them tomorrow after we review the six very-best-performing players with fewer than 501 plate transactions.

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