The Houston Astros are 4-2 after just over a week of Spring Training inter-team contests, not including a pair of ties against the undefeated Boston Red Sox. It’s true. Boston is well on their way to the Grapefruit League Championship.
Houston Astros News
Behind the 2017 Astros cheating scandal — the biggest mess in sports (nypost.com)
The comment section is especially wholesome on this one.
The Astros’ Dusty Baker — 73 years young — is still at it, and he’s one Hall of a manager (chicago.suntimes.com)
Astros general manager Dana Brown is the antithesis of his predecessors (houstonchronicle.com)
Astros’ spring training: What’s the point? (chipalatta.com)
Non-Houston Astros AL West News
Elephant Rumblings: Lawrence Butler turning heads with spring performance (athleticsnation.com)
1 specific individual goal Taylor Ward should have in 2023 (halohangout.com)
Mariners Notebook: Gonzales and Murphy show adjustments, White’s status (sports.mynorthwest.com)
Rangers sign Smith, DFA Mathias (lonestarball.com)
Non-NL West MLB News
The Weakest Positions on National League Contenders (blogs.fangraphs.com)
The Weakest Positions on American League Contenders (blogs.fangraphs.com)
Houston Astros Birthdays
L.J. Hoes (33) played in 109 games for the Houston Astros between 2013 and 2015. A six-foot, 200 lb. right-handed outfielder from Washington, DC, Hoes hit .240/.292/.332 with four homers and 22 RBI in 109 games.
Brian Hunter (52) is a six-foot-four, 180 lb. centerfielder from Portland, OR. A second-round pick of the Astros in 1989, Hunter played five seasons (1994-1996, 2002-2003) with the Astros and finished seventh in the 1995 National League Rookie of the Year voting. In 370 games, he hit .278/.314/.377 with 10 homers and 96 RBI. He also stole 66 bases in 83 attempts.
The 2023 season will be accented by a larger-than-average number of players without big-league experience near the top of the league’s batting average/on-base percentage leaderboards. I’m convinced of this after watching a week of Spring Training, so take it with a grain of salt.
Hitters with multiple years of experience with the pitch clock have left them with a leg up on those who have just a week. Many assume that the pitch timer penalizes the pitchers. This is due to the fact pitchers lose an average of .02 MPH for every second less between pitches. Of course, that’s a minuscule handicap compared to the sub-30-second period of recursion between facing a major-league fastball and facing a major-league off-speed pitch.
The folks who have been in the minors for the past few years have some idea of how to deal with this, but players who have been in the majors for, let’s say three-plus seasons are going to suffer, at least for a few months on balance. It’s a distinct possibility that we’ll see more rookie position players at the All-Star Game than any season in recent memory, at least until the veterans figure it out.
Of course, some veterans will get it right away, but there will be more than a few who do not. That’s just my $.02. What do you think?
An AI generated list of the 30 MLB team’s 2023 mottos