Welcome to the end-of-week Crawfish Boil!
Houston Astros News
Here’s how the Astros can reap the benefits from latest pitching shakeup (Houston.sportsmap.com)
Angels manager Nevin ejected in 6th against Astros after yelling at home plate umpire (houstonchronicle.com)
MLB.com Writer Brian McTaggart Breaks Down Astros Roster Moves (sportstalk790.iheart.com)
AL West News
Jerry Dipoto previews Seattle Mariners’ 2023 trade deadline path (sports.mynorthwest.com)
How Many Seattle Mariners Are Going to Make the 2023 All-Star Roster? (lookoutlanding.com)
Lefko: Seattle Mariners are looking at a season-defining stretch (sports.mynorthwest.com)
Should Jacob deGrom become a $37 million closer for the Texas Rangers? (nolanwritin.com)
How MLB vs. Diamond Sports hearing affects Rangers, Bally Sports TV (dallasnews.com)
Elephant Rumblings: Vegas stadium bill polling poorly (athleticsnation.com)
Athletics in Oakland saga: What went wrong? (kron4.com)
The 2023 Oakland Athletics are the worst team in history (deadspin.com)
Houston Astros Birthdays
Bob Lillis (93) was a four-year MLB veteran of the Dodgers and Cardinals when the Colt .45s started operations in 1962. An inaugural member of the team, Lillie played in 614 games for them over six seasons as a middle infielder. He hit .232/.267/.272 with two home runs and 102 RBI. Although he posted a negative career WAR, he did have his moments of glory. On of the best was on September 8, 1962, in the second game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets. Leading off, Lillie went four-for-six with an RBI, and scored the winning run in walkoff fashion on a Roger Craig wild pitch for a 6-5 victory.
Due to a pair of trades, three-time All Star first baseman Jim Gentile (89) joined the Astros for the second half of 1965 and the first half of 1966. In 130 games for Houston, Gentile hit .243/.353/.412 with 14 jacks and 49 RBI.
José Tolentino (62) played first base and left field for the 1991 Astros. In 44 games, he hit .259/.305/.389 with a lone home run and six RBI.
Carl Everett (52) was Houston’s starting center fielder in 1998 and 1999. In 256 games he managed an impressive .310/.378/.526 slashline, with 40 homers, 41 stolen bases, and 184 RBI. That slashline was his best performance with any of his eventual eight major league clubs. He did enough with Houston that he actually finished 1999 with a few votes for the NL’s MVP. Everett did twice make the All Star team after leaving, in 2000 with the Boston Red Sox and in 2003 for the Texas Rangers.
RHP Lucas Harrell (38) pitched four seasons for the Astros, from 2011 through 2014. He was 17-33 (including an AL-”leading” 17 losses in 2013) with a 4.81 ERA. Harrell posted a 1.535 WHIP and had a 4.49 FIP. Harrell is not often mentioned in the pantheon of great Houston pitchers, but there’s something to be said for eating up innings during the absolute zenith of Houston baseball.
Five-time All Star and four-time Gold Glove catcher Tony Peña (66) played for six teams over his 18-season MLB career, including the Astros to close out the 1997 season. He appeared in nine games for Houston, going four-for-19 with three doubles and two RBI.
Scott Servais (56) played catcher for the Astros from 1991 through 1995 then again in 2001 to end his playing career. In 295 games he hit .225/.284/.357 with 21 long-balls and 106 RBI. Since 2016, he’s managed the Seattle Mariners to a .512 winning percentage but zero playoff victories.
Rick Wilkins (56) backstopped for the Astros in 1995 and 1996. In 99 appearances, he hit .218/.339/.333 with seven moonshots and 28 RBI.
Darin Erstad (49) closed out his 14-season MLB career with the Houston Astros for two seasons starting in 2008. In 247 games mostly as a left fielder, he hit .252/.297/.353 with six jacks and 42 RBI.
Kent Emanuel (31) pitched in 10 games for the 2021 Astros, striking out 13 in 17 2⁄3 innings while holding the opposition to a 0.906 WHIP. Why the extra-short career then? He also gave up four home runs during the same span. Still, I think we could have seen more of the guy. He’s currently pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their minor league system.