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Los Angeles Angels v Houston Astros

Astros Crawfish Boil: December 6, 2023

Your midweek Boil, along with Everystros XL.

Enoli Paredes (right) and Korey Lee.
| Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

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Welcome to your midweek Boil.

Houston Astros News

Astros want Meyers to stick in center field

Jake Meyers to man center field as Astros’ outfield picture clears up (The Athletic)

Astros’ Winter Meeting plans | 12/05/2023 | Houston Astros

Astros pitchers Lance McCullers Jr., Luis Garcia playing catch again (Houston Chronicle)

AL West News

Oakland Athletics — Forst admits A’s 2024 MLB draft lottery result ‘stinks’ (Yahoo Sports)

Seattle Mariners — Mariners ‘did what we needed to do’ by shedding payroll, Jerry Dipoto says (The Seattle Times)

Los Angeles Angels — Dodgers’ Dave Roberts might have made big mistake in Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes (Fox News)

Texas Rangers — Why Texas Rangers should consider signing Jonah Heim, Adolis Garcia to long-term contract extensions (KCEN-TV)

MLB News

Trade! Yankees, Red Sox spark meetings

Yanks in pursuit of ‘really special’ Yamamoto

‘Strong possibility’ Holliday makes O’s Opening Day roster

White Sox agree to deal with RHP Fedde, the ‘23 KBO MVP (source)

Full 2024 Draft order set

Guardians win Draft Lottery, securing next year’s top pick

Houston Astros Birthdays

1B Taylor Jones (30)

C Kevin Cash (46)

LHP Jay Dahl (1945-1965)

Everystros XL

462. Scott Linebrink is a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher from Austin, TX. Born on August 4, 1976, he was a second-round selection of the San Francisco Giants in 1997 out of Texas State University.

Linebrink made his debut in the majors with the Giants in 2000 (0-0, 11.57, 2 13 IP). On July 30 of that season, San Francisco traded him to the Astros for Doug Henry.

On September 22, he pitched three shutout innings against the Cincinnati Reds in an eventual 12-5 win. In 9 23 innings over eight September appearances, he struck out six and walked six with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.759 WHIP.

In 2001, Linebrink appeared in nine games for Houston, pitching 10 13 innings. He struck out nine and walked six. He pitched to a 2.61 ERA and a 1.161 WHIP. On September 29, he pitched two scoreless, hitless and walkless innings, striking out three while hitting two batters in an eventual 6-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Linebrink pitched 24 13 innings in 22 games for Houston in 2002, striking out 24 versus 13 walks. In only two of his appearances was he utilized in an aLI above 1.00, as his overall aLI was 0.27. On May 3, he struck out two over two innings in an 11-3 loss to the New York Mets.

In 2003, Linebrink was 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA, pitching to a 1.642 WHIP over 31 23 innings. On April 18, he struck out a pair in one relief inning, in an 11-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

461. Milt Thompson is a five-foot-11 lefty-hitting and righty-throwing outfielder from Washington, DC. Born on January 5, 1959, he was a second-round choice of the Atlanta Braves in 1979. After reaching the majors with Atlanta in 1984, he played parts of two seasons for the Braves (98 games, .302/.351/.367, two homers, 10 RBI), later playing for the Philadelphia Phillies (584 games, .279/.343/.372, 22 home runs, 173 RBI), and the St. Louis Cardinals (514 games, .274/.334/.387, 20 home runs, 149 RBI).

On July 31, 1994, the Phillies traded Thompson to the Astros for Tom Edens. In nine games for Houston through the remainder of the season, going six-for-21 with a homer and three RBI.

In 1995, Thompson enjoyed a full season with the Astros, appearing in 92 games. On June 30, he entered in the fifth inning of a nine-inning game, with the Astros trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-1, then hit three doubles with four RBI. One person can’t do everything, Houston eventually came up short, in a 12-9 loss. On October 1, he hit a fourth-inning pinch-three-run-homer to put Houston in front, in an eventual 8-7 win against the Chicago Cubs.

Thompson hit .220/.297/.333 in his only full campaign with the Astros. Granted free agency following the season, he went on to play with the Los Angeles Dodgers (48 games, .118/.211/.137, one RBI) and the Colorado Rockies (one-for-15, two RBI).

460. Bert Roberge is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Lewiston, ME. Born on October 3, 1954, he was a 17th-round pick of Houston in 1976. He reached the majors with the Astros three seasons later, and put up an impressive 1.156 WHIP in 32 innings, although he did walk more (17) than he struck out (13). On August 1, he had his best appearance of the season, walking a batter and pitching 2 23 of perfect baseball otherwise in his fourth save of the season, a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants. He finished the season with a 3-0 record and a 1.69 ERA, along with those four saves.

In 1980, Roberge pitched in 14 games, going 2-0 with a 5.92 ERA in 24 13 IP, with a 1.397 WHIP and a 4.56 FIP. In his first appearance of the season, on July 19, he limited the Expos to one run on one hit over 5 23 innings in a relief appearance, in an eventual 5-2 loss to Montreal. On August 23, he pitched three hitless innings, allowing only a walk in pitching the ninth through 11th innings against the Chicago Cubs, in a 1-0, 17-inning Houston victory.

Roberge returned to the bigs with the Astros in 1982, going 1-2 with three saves and a 4.21 ERA over 25 23 innings. He struck out 18 and walked only six, for a 2.02 FIP and a 1.364 WHIP. On June 25, he struck out four over three scoreless innings for a nine-out save, in a 7-5 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Houston granted his free agency after a 1983 season spent in the minors.

Roberge later played with the Chicago White Sox (3-3, 3.76, 40 23 IP, 25 K) and the Expos (3-7, 4.28, 96 23 IP, 54 K).

459. Bruce Bochy is the manager of the defending World Series Champions. Before that, he managed the San Francisco Giants, and before that with the San Diego Padres. He’s coached to a .499 winning percentage over 26 seasons in total. Before that, he was a catcher.

Bochy is a six-foot-three catcher from Landes de Bussac, France. Born on April 16, 1955, he was an eighth-round choice of the Chicago White Sox in January, 1975 out of Eastern Florida State College. After going unsigned, he was Houston’s first-round pick later that year in the June draft.

It was with Houston for whom Bochy first reached the major leagues, in 1978. In 54 games he hit .266/.311/.377, going 41-for-154 with eight doubles and three homers. He drew 11 walks, scored eight times, and drove in 15, striking out 35 times. On July 30, he hit a game-tying RBI-double in the bottom of the ninth, eventually representing the walk-off game-winner (via pinch-runner Wilbur Howard) in a 4-3 win over the New York Mets.

Bochy played in 56 games, going 28-for-129 with four doubles and a home run, drawing 13 walks, scoring 11 runs, and driving six in, with 25 strikeouts. On September 21, he came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 13th, and drove home Craig Reynolds with the walkoff game-winner in a 3-2 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

Bochy appeared in 22 games for Houston in 1980, going four-for-22 in his swan song for the Astros. He was 39-for-126 in throwing out baserunners in three seasons for Houston for a 98 CS+. On February 11, 1981, they traded him to the New York Mets for PTBNLs Stan Hough and Randy Rogers.

Bochy made it back to the majors with the New York Mets for a bit in 1982 (17 games, .306/.358/.510, two homers, eight RBI), finishing his career with five seasons for the San Diego Padres (209 games, .232/.284/.420, 20 homers, 64 RBI).

458. Enoli Paredes is a five-foot-11, right-hand pitcher from El Limon, DR. Born on September 28, 1995, he made his major league debut with Houston in 2020. To date, it represents the bulk of his major league service time. He appeared in 22 games for the Astros, all in relief.

On August 7, Paredes entered in the 10th inning of a 1-1 tie with the Oakland Athletics, and struck out five over two shutout innings, earning a season-high .624 WPA. The Athletics eventually won, 3-2 in 13 innings. The Astros used Paredes in high-leverage, with an aLI of 1.96. Paredes struck out 20 in 20 23 innings over the season, going 3-3 with a 3.05 ERA. He gave up nine runs (seven earned), on 18 hits and 11 walks for a 1.403 WHIP.

Paredes pitched in 12 games for the 2021 Astros, and walked 17 batters in 8 23 innings. He did strike out 15, but his 2.769 WHIP was more than a little off-putting. He had a 6.23 ERA, allowing 10 runs (six earned) on seven hits. On May 31, he struck out the side in a perfect seventh, in an 11-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.

Paredes appeared in three games for Houston in 2022, but folllowed that with an entire 2023 campaign at Triple-A with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. He recently signed a deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, and is currently rostered at their Triple-A level with the Nashville Sounds.

457. Russ Kemmerer was a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Pittsburgh, PA. Born on November 1, 1930, he reached the majors for the first time with the Boston Red Sox in 1954. After three seasons with the Red Sox (6-4, 4.47, 96 23 IP, 51 K), he appeared with the Washington Senators (21-45, 4.76, 620 IP, 291 K) and the Chicago White Sox (11-7, 3.63, 245 13 IP, 128 K). On June 25, 1962, during Houston’s first ever major league season, the Pale Hose traded him to the Colt .45s for Dean Stone (420).

Kemmerer appeared in 36 games through the rest of the season with the Colts. On September 20, he pitched in both halves of a double header, allowing three hits and a walk but no runs over 5 23 innings, earning his third save, then his seventh win on the same day.

Kemmerer went 5-3 and struck out 23 batters in 68 innings for the 1962 Colts. He had a 4.10 ERA and a 1.279 WHIP, thanks to only allowing 15 walks. In 1963, he pitched another 36 23 innings for Houston. Although he had a 5.65 ERA, his FIP was only half of that, at 2.83 with a 1.527 WHIP. On May 7, he pitched two perfect innings, striking out a pair for his only save of the year in a 3-2 win against the Cincinnati Reds. He remained in Houston’s system in 1964, going 8-6 as a reliever for the Oklahoma City 89ers.

456. Josh James is a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher from Hollywood, FL. Born on March 8, 1993, he was taken in the 34th round of the 2014 draft by the Astros out of Western Oklahoma State College.

James reached the majors with the Astros in 2018, and started in three of his six appearances. On September 18, he struck out seven in 5 13 shutout innings in his first career victory, a 7-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. In five of those appearances, he posted a positive WPA, finishing the season with an impressive mark of 0.555.

In 23 innings James struck out 29 for an 11.3 K/9, and had a 0.957 WHIP with a 2.35 ERA and a 2-0 record. The 2019 season would see him appear in a career-high 49 games. Although his WHIP ballooned to 1.321, he also struck out 100 in 61 13 innings for a ridiculous 14.7 K/9. On June 6, he walked three and struck out four over two hitless innings, in an 8-7, 14-inning win against the Seattle Mariners. On July 13, he struck out four over two near-perfect innings for his fourth win of the season (against zero losses) in a 7-6 win against the Texas Rangers.

James ended up pitching a total of 106 23 innings at the major league level for the Astros, going 8-1 with a 4.64 ERA and 158 strikeouts for an imposing 13.3 K/9. Injury curtailed his baseball activity, keeping him from the majors completely in 2022, and Houston granted his free agency following the season. He remains available through free agency.

455. Travis Blackley is a six-foot-three left-handed pitcher from Melbourne, Australia. Born on November 4, 1982, he had his first major-league exposure when he reached baseball’s showcase level with the Seattle Mariners (1-3, 10.04, 26 IP, 16 K), later playing with the San Francisco Giants (0-0, 7.90, 13 23 IP, seven K) and the Oakland Athletics (6-4, 3.86, 102 23 IP, 69 K).

On April 13, 2013, the A’s traded Blackley to the Astros for Jake Goebbert. On May 27, he pitched the 10th and 11th innings against the Rockies, holding Colorado scoreless and striking out a pair in a 3-2 victory. Over the season, he was 1-1 with a 4.89 ERA. He gave up 19 runs, all earned, on 39 hits and 20 walks, striking out 29 in 35 innings. His performance yielded a 1.429 WHIP and an 83 ERA+.

On August 13, the Astros traded Blackley to the Texas Rangers, nearly completing his tour of the AL West. He finished out the season with Texas (1-1, 4.70, 15 13 IP, 11 K).

454. John Weekly was a six-foot right-handed outfielder from Waterproof, LA. Born on June 14, 1937, he was part of the very first version of the Houston National League ballclub, although he didn’t appear in their first game. He did play in 13 of their first 30 contests in 1962. He was five-for-26 with a double and two solo home runs.

In 1963, Weekly went 18-for-80 in 34 games for Houston, with three doubles and three homers for 14 RBI. On September 18, he came a triple short of the cycle, collecting four RBI in an 8-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds. In 1964 he was two-for-15 in six appearances.

Defensively, Weekly was perfect in 255 13 innings in the outfield through his three season major league career. On June 15, 1964, the Colts traded him along with cash to the Baltimore Orioles for Joe Gaines. Returned to the Colts three weeks later, he never again reached the major leagues.

453. José Sosa is a five-foot-11 right-handed pitcher from Santo Domingo, DR. Born on December 28, 1952, he reached the majors with the Astros in 1975. On July 30, Sosa earned his first career save in an 8-4 win over the San Diego Padres. He struck out two over 1 23 scoreless innings, giving up only one single. On September 17, he struck out the side in a perfect inning, although Houston lost to the Cincinnati Reds, 10-1.

Sosa was 1-3 with a 4.02 ERA through his first season, and pitched 47 innings. He drew 23 walks and struck out 31 with a 1.574 WHIP. He made another nine appearances with Houston in 1976, putting up a 6.94 ERA and a 1.886 WHIP in 11 23 innings. He remained in Houston’s system until 1978, but did not return to the major league level.

452. Andy Stankiewicz is a five-foot-nine middle-infielder from Inglewood, CA. Born on August 10, 1964, he was a 26th-round selection in 1982 by the Kansas City Royals out of high school. After going unsigned, he was the 18th-round choice of the Detroit Tigers out of Pepperdine in 1985. He remained in college for his senior season, and was later a 12th-round pick of the New York Yankees in 1986.

Stanky reached the majors with the Yankees in 1992, and played in parts of two seasons with the Bombers (132 games, .262/.333/.330/, two home runs, 25 RBI). On November 27, 1993, they sent him with Domingo Jean to the Astros for Xavier Hernandez.

Stankiewicz hit .259/.403/.370 in 37 games for Houston, going 14-for-54 in 1994. On April 25, he hit a three-run homer for his only long-ball of the season, in a 7-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. As a defender, he played 135 23 innings between second, third, and shortstop without an error in 57 chances.

In 1995, Stankiewicz slashed .115/.281/.135 with seven RBI in 43 games, with most of his value being produced (by process of elimination) defensively. In 109 13 innings at shortstop he had a .985 mark, along with 27 perfect innings between the other two positions. Houston granted his free agency on October 16.

Stankiewicz later played with the Montreal Expos (140 games, .250/.296/.353, one home run, 14 RBI) and the Arizona Diamondbacks (77 games, .207/.252/.241, eight RBI).

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Astros Crawfish Boil

Everystros CXII