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Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Six

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Astros Crawfish Boil: January 16, 2024

Another seven players in Chapter 73 of Everystros.

Mauricio Dubon
| Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Houston Astros News

The Houston Astros have signed 9 new players (East Africa News Post)

Dusty Baker, Legendary Former Astros, Giants Manager, Joins SF Front Office (B/R)

AL West News

A’s — Sacramento Among Potential Home Venues For A’s In 2025 (MLBTR)

M’s — Mariners sign highly rated international prospect Dawel Joseph (The Wenatchee World)

Halos — MLB Veteran Ron Washington Transforms Los Angeles Angels (BNN Breaking)

Mall Cops — Texas Rangers risk angering Adolis Garcia with arbitration offer. Is there still time to fix it? (KARE 11)

MLB News

Dusty to reunite with Giants as special assistant in front office

Lynn, Contreras form a spitfire battery

Padres sign No. 1 international prospect for second year in a row

Another one! Vladi Guerrero signs with Mets

Everystros LXXIII

175. Mark Bailey (Bagwell score 25.73) is a six-foot-five switch-hitting catcher from Springfield, MO. Born on November 4, 1961, he was a sixth-round pick of the Astros in 1982 out of Missouri State University.

Bailey got to the major leagues with Houston in 1984, and hit .212/.318/.343 in 108 games as a rookie. He caught 902 13 innings and fielded at .983, throwing out 39-of-150 basestealers, an 84 CS+. He hit 16 doubles, one triple, and nine home runs, with 53 walks, 71 strikeouts, 38 runs, and 34 RBI with 18 multiple-hit games. On July 17, he waited until two outs in the bottom of the ninth to collect his first hit of the day, a come-from-behind walk-off two-run homer for a 3-2 win against the New York Mets. On August 15, facing the Chicago Cubs, Bailey drew a walk in the second, hit an RBI-single and scored a game-tying run in the fourth, added a sixth-inning single and completed his day with a base-loaded two-run double in a 6-2 win over Dennis Eckersley.

In 1985, Bailey appeared in a career-high 114 games, starting 96 times at catcher (883 23 innings, .979, 33-of-106 runners thrown out, 103 CS+). At bat, he slashed .265/.389/.398 with 14 doubles and 10 homers, with 67 walks, 70 strikeouts, 47 runs, 45 RBI, and 22 multi-hit games. On May 29, Bailey drew a pair of walks, hit a fifth-inning single, and added a seventh-inning game-tying RBI-single, later scoring on a Jim Pankovits grand slam in an 8-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. On August 16, he led off the fifth with a home run against the Reds, then doubled to lead off the ninth, representing the eventual game-winning walk-off run in a 5-4 win against Cincinnati.

Bailey appeared in 57 games through the first half of the 1986 season at catcher, starting 45 games (404 23 innings, .989, 26-of-79 gunned down, 103 CS+). As a hitter, he slashed .176/.302/.288 with five doubles and four homers, with 28 walks, 45 strikeouts, nine runs, and 15 RBI. Limited to only 35 games in 1987, he was 13-for-64 with three RBI. He appeared in eight games in 1988, but only collected three hits in 28 plate appearances. On July 23, 1988, Bailey was traded to the Montreal Expos for Casey Candaele.

Bailey later made major league appearances with the San Francisco Giants in 1990 and 1992 (18 games, .152/.222/.273, one homer, four RBI). After his playing career, Bailey returned to the Astros in the coaching staff, serving in a variety of roles between 1998 and 2021 everywhere from Low-A through the major league level.

174. Jerry Reuss (Bagwell score 13.35) is a six-foot-five left-handed pitcher from St. Louis, MO. born on June 19, 1949, he was initially a second-round choice of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1967 out of Ritenour High School. After three seasons with the Cardinals (22-22, 4.43, 345 13 IP, 208 K), St. Louis traded him to the Astros for Lance Clemons and Scipio Spinks.

Reuss began the 1972 season as Houston’s number five rotational starter. making 30 starts and appearing another three times in relief through the year. He was 9-13 with one save and a 4.17 ERA. He issued 83 walks and struck out 174 in 192 innings, with a 1.354 WHIP and a .246/.330/.359 opposing slashline. As a hitter, he was seven-for-66 with two doubles and an RBI.

On May 21, Reuss pitched the full nine against the Los Angeles Dodgers, holding them to five hits and striking out seven in a 2-1 Houston victory. On June 12, he again went the distance, striking out seven and keeping Montreal to six hits in a 3-1 win. On June 18, he had his best showing of the season, pitching a one-hitter and striking out nine in a 10-0 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies.

In 1973, Reuss led the National League with 40 starts and with 117 walks. He was 16-13 with a 3.74 ERA, 177 strikeouts in 279 13 innings, a 1.389 WHIP, and a .256/.330/.361 opposing line. He went 13-for-95 with three doubles and eight RBI as a hitter, with nine sacrifice hits.

On April 9, Reuss kept the Dodgers to one unearned run and struck out eight, pitching a five-hit 4-1 victory over Los Angeles. On April 18, he again went the distance against the Dodgers, striking out seven and pitching a four-hit, 7-2 victory. On May 1, he pitched a shutout, striking out nine in a seven-hit 3-0 win against the Philadelphia Phillies.

After the 1973 season, the Astros traded Reuss to the Pirates for Milt May. Reuss was far from done. After his time with the Bucs (61-46, 3.52, 997 13 IP, 502 K, 1975 All-Star), he went on to pitch with the Dodgers (86-69, 3.11, 1,407 23 IP, 685 K, 1980 All-Star), the Cincinnati Reds (0-5, 7.79, 34 23 IP, 10 K), the California Angels (4-5, 5.25, 82 13 IP, 37 K), the Chicago White Sox (21-14, 4.04, 289 23 IP, 100 K), the Milwaukee Brewers (1-4, 5.35, 33 23 IP, 13 K), and a second hitch with the Pirates (0-0, 3.52, 7 23 IP, one K).

After retirement, Reuss went into broadcasting for the Angels from 1996 through 1998, serving as a pitching coach with the Montreal Expos at the Double-A level in 2000, then in the same role for the Cubs from 2001 through 2003 at their Triple-A level and again in 2004 with the Mets at their Double-A level. IN 2006, he broadcast for both the Angels and the Dodgers, and did so through 2008. He later broadcast for the Las Vegas 51s in 2009 and 2010.

173. Mauricio Dubón (Bagwell score 41.68) is a six-foot right-handed middle-fielder (CF, SS, 2B) from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Born on July 19, 1994, he was a 26th-round choice of the Boston Red Sox in 2013 out of Capital Christian HS in Sacramento, CA.

By the time he got to the major leagues, Dubón was part of the Milwaukee Brewers organization but only appeared in a pair of games in 2019, going 0-for-2. After a trade brought him to the San Francisco Giants, Dubón played for parts of three seasons in the shadow of the Golden Gate (177 games, .259/.302/.396, 15 home runs, 58 RBI). On May 14, 2022, the Giants sent him to the Astros for Michael Papierski.

After the trade, Dubón appeared in 83 games for Houston, starting 29 times in centerfield (272 innings, .986), 12 times at shortstop (118 13 innings, .968), four times at second base (59 innings, .962), five times in left field (47 innings, .917), and once in right field (12 innings, 1.000). At the plate, he hit .208/.254/.294, going 41-for-197 with eight doubles, three triples, and 16 home runs, with 12 walks, 26 strikeouts, 21 runs scored, 16 RBI, and six multiple-hit games. On August 16, he hit two singles and a double in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. As Houston marched through the postseason on their way to the World Series Championship, Dubón appeared in six games, but did not make a plate appearance.

Dubón started the 2023 season going 0-for-3 in a 3-2 loss to the White Sox, then followed with a 20-game-hitting streak (29-for-85, six doubles, one triple, four RBI). He had 32 multiple-hit games in total, dwarfing his career output to that point, and ranked among the league leaders in batting average for the first few months of the season. Overall, he slashed .278/.309/.411, going 130-for-467 with 26 doubles, three triples, 10 home runs, and seven stolen bases in nine attempts. He drew 19 walks and struck out 70 times, scoring 76 runs and driving in 46.

Despite his status as a “utility player,” Dubón ranked fourth on the team with 130 hits. On defense, he started 66 times at second base (616 23 innings, .978), 24 times in centerfield (210 23 innings, 1.000), six times in left field (61 innings, no errors), nine times at shortstop (78 innings, .971), and twice at first base (17 innings, no errors). He also played four innings in right field and two innings at third base without a fielding chance. For his efforts, he was awarded the second-ever utility position AL Gold Glove Award. On May 1, he singled, stole second, and scored in the first inning, hit a fifth-inning game-tying RBI-single, and capped it with a go-ahead RBI-double in the seventh, later coming around to score in a 7-3 win against the Giants.

Dubón remains on Houston’s 40-man roster, and is the only Astros’ player who is set to try out his luck in arbitration. If he repeats his 2023 performance in 2024, he would be on this list somewhere just south of 100th.

172. Román Mejías (Bagwell score 48.38) was a six-foot right-handed outfielder from Abreus, Cuba. Born on August 9, 1925, he had his first look at the majors in 1955 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and eventually pitched in parts of six seasons with the Bucs (308 games, .245/.286/.367, 17 home runs, 83 RBI). On October 10, 1961, the Houston Colt .45s selected him with the 11th pick in the expansion draft.

Mejías ranked with Houston’s leaders with a career-high 146 games, with a team-best 162 hits, 24 home runs, 76 RBI, a .286 average, and a .445 SLG. As Houston’s everyday right-fielder, he started 137 games at the nine-spot (1,214 innings, .945 fielding percentage). Forty-five times Mejías had multiple-hit games, including 11 with three or more.

On June 3, he hit three singles and a homer with two RBI in a 10-6 win over the Pirates. In July 20, he hit a third-inning single and a ninth-inning walk-off come-from-behind two-run single for a 4-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals. On September 22, he hit a sixth-inning RBI-single, then scored the game-tying run. In the ninth, he hit a two-run come-from-behind walk-off single for a 6-5 win against the San Francisco Giants.

On November 26, 1962, the Colts sent Mejías to the Boston Red Sox for Pete Runnels. He played two seasons for the Red Sox (173 games, .229/.267/.365, 13 home runs, 43 RBI). He passed away on February 22, 2023.

171. Geoff Blum (Bagwell score 16.40) is a six-foot-three switch-hitting infielder from Redwood City, CA. Born on April 26, 1973, he was a seventh-round choice of the Montreal Expos in 1994 out of the University of California at Berkeley. He reached the majors with them for the first time in 1999 and played three seasons (317 games, .254/.323/.409, 28 homers, 113 RBI). On March 12, 2002, the Expos traded Blum to Houston for Chris Truby.

Blum appeared in 130 games for the 2002 Astros, starting 91 games at third base (824 innings, .971) but also appearing in left field, right field, shorstop, first base, and second base. As a hitter, he slashed .283/.367/.440 for a career-high .807 OPS (minimum 162 PA). He collected 20 doubles, four triples, 10 homers, and two stolen bases in as many attempts. He drew 49 walks and struck out 70 times with 45 runs and 52 RBI, racking up multiple hits 23 times. On May 13, he hit three doubles with five RBI in a 17-3 Houston win against the Philadelphia Phillies. On July 30, he hit two singles, a triple, and a home run for five RBI in a 16-3 win over the New York Mets.

In 2003, Blum slashed .262/.295/.379 with 19 doubles and 10 homers. He drew 20 walks and struck out 50 times, with 51 runs and 52 RBI. He appeared in all four infield positions and both corner outfield positions, but mostly at third base (72 starts, 619 innings, .971) and second base (18 starts, 162 13 innings, .987). Twenty-nine times he collected multiple hits. On April 19, he hit a double and four singles in a 3-2, 14-inning loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

On December 14, 2003, the Astros sent Blum to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Brandon Backe (more on him very soon). After one season with the Rays (112 games, .215/.266/.348, eight home runs, 35 RBI), he joined the San Diego Padres (309 games, .249/.311/.369, 14 home runs, 89 RBI) and the Chicago White Sox (31 games, .200/.232/.274, one home run, three RBI). On November 20, 2007, Blum signed with the Astros through free agency.

In 2008, Blum hit .240/.287/.418 in 114 games, with 14 doubles, a triple, 14 RBI, and one stolen base in three attempts. He drew 21 walks and struck out 54 times, scoring 36 runs and collecting a career-high 53 RBI. He authored 19 multi-hit games through the season, including on July 27 when he collected four RBI on two home runs in an 11-6 win against the Brewers. On August 2, Blum hit a pinch-two-run-single to tie the game at 4 in the bottom of the ninth, in an eventual 5-4 Houston win over the New York Mets. Defensively, Blum was mainly a third baseman, starting 68 games at the hot corner (599 23 innings, .979).

Blum hit .247/.314/.367 in 120 games for the 2009 Houston club, with 14 doubles, one triple, and 10 home runs, drawing 33 walks, striking out 61 times, scoring 34 runs and driving in 49. As a defender, he started 94 times at third base (830 13 innings, .986). He had another 26 multi-hit games, including on May 13, when he hit two doubles for a total of five RBI in a 15-11 win over the Colorado Rockies. Yes it was in Coors Field. On July 10, he singled in the second, walked and scored in the fourth, doubled in the eighth, and finished everyone’s night with a walkoff RBI-single to conclude a 6-5 victory over the Washington Nationals.

In 2010, Blum hit .267/.321/.356 in 93 games, with 14 starts at shortstop (112 13 innings, .937), 12 starts at third base (108 23 innings, .976), 10 at first base (90 13 innings, .989), and six at second base (60 innings, no errors). He hit 10 doubles, one triple and a pair of homers with 22 RBI. He totaled 10 multi-hit games overall. On August 18, he singled in the second then hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the ninth, in an eventual 3-2 14-inning loss to the Mets.

Granted free agency on November 1, 2010, Blum continued his major league career for two more seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks (40 games, .195/.267/.312, two home runs, 11 RBI).

170. Jeffrey Leonard (Bagwell score 40.87) is a six-foot-two right-handed leftfielder from Philadelphia, PA. Born on September 22, 1955, he got to the bigs for the first time in 1977 with the Los Angeles Dodgers (11 games, .300/.364/.500). On September 11, 1979, the Dodgers sent him to the Astros as a PTBNL for Joe Ferguson.

Leonard, known alternately (but affectionately) as HacMan, One Flap Down, and Penitentiary Face (according to B/R), appeared in eight games for Houston in September 1978, going 10-for-26 with a .385/.407/.462 line and four RBI. He closed the season with a seven-game hitting streak.

On May 26, 1979, Leonard hit three singles and totaled five RBI in a 9-0 win over the San Diego Padres. Just one of 32 multiple-hit games, Leonard slashed a .290/.360/.350 line in 134 games for Houston that season, with 15 doubles, five triples, 23 stolen bases in 33 attempts, 46 walks, 68 strikeouts, 47 runs, and 47 RBI. He started 107 games in the outfield with 92 in right (828 innings, .949) and 15 in center (153 innings, 1.000).

In 1980, Leonard started 36 games in the outfield (392 13 innings, .979) and nine times at first base (64 innings, .987). As a hitter, he slashed out a .213/.274/.333 line with seven doubles, five triples, three homers, four stolen bases in five attempts, 19 walks, 46 K’s, 29 runs, 20 RBI, and nine two-hit games. On April 27, Leonard started out by twice getting thrown out on the basepaths, once as the victim of a pickoff, and once trying to steal, but in the end he was still the big hero. In the bottom of the 12th, he hit a come-from-behind walk-off two-run single to defeat the New York Mets, 4-3.

In 1981, Leonard appeared in seven games for the Astros, and went three-for-18. On April 21, they traded him with Dave Bergman to the San Francisco Giants for Mike Ivie. He played eight seasons with the Giants (789 games, .275/.317/.439, 99 home runs, 435 RBI, 1987 All-Star), one with the Milwaukee Brewers (94 games, .235/.270/.350, eight home runs, 44 RBI) and two with the Seattle Mariners (284 games, .253/.303/.391, 34 home runs, 168 RBI, 1989 All-Star). After retirement, he managed for two seasons in Oakland’s minor league system, and was last known to have managed the Reno Silver Sox in the Golden League in 2008.

169. Brandon Backe (Bagwell score 14.25) is a six-foot right-handed pitcher from Galveston, TX. Born on April 5, 1978, he was a 36th-round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1996 out of Ball High School. After a touch of college, he was chosen in the 18th round of the 1998 draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays out of Galveston. He made his debut for the Rays with 37 relief appearances in 2002 and 2003 (1-1, 5.77, 57 23 IP, 42 K). On December 14, 2003, the Rays sent Backe to the Astros for Geoff Blum (more on him above).

Backe worked mostly out of the bullpen for the 2004 Houston team, making nine starts and 24 relief appearances. He was 5-3 with a 4.30 ERA, 27 walks and 54 strikeouts in 67 innings, a 1.522 WHIP, and a .290/.358/.475 opposing line. As a reliever, he was used at 0.58 aLI and only allowed two of his 14 inherited runners to score. On August 21, he struck out four and walked three over seven four-hit shutout innings in an eventual 4-3 win over the Chicago Cubs. On August 31, he struck out three, and allowed three walks and three hits (but no runs) over six innings in an 8-0 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

In 2005, Backe pitched 26 times, all but one of them were starts. He walked 67 and struck out 97 in 149 13 innings, with a 10-8 record, a 4.76 ERA, a 1.460 WHIP, and a .263/.344/.432 opposing line. On May 15, Backe pitched a four-hitter, striking out six in a 9-0 victory against the San Francisco Giants. In seven postseason games between the two seasons, Backe was 1-0 with a 2.95 in 36 23 innings of work.

Backe was limited by TJS to 13 starts between 2006 and 2007, during which he was a collective 6-3 with a 3.77 ERA, a 1.381 WHIP, 29 walks vs 30 strikeouts in 71 23 innings, and a 119 ERA+.

In 2008, Backe had a full complement of 31 starts, but he wasn’t very good. He was 9-14 with a 6.05 ERA and a 1.674 WHIP, with 77 walks and 127 strikeouts in 166 23 innings. He also led the AL with 112 earned runs and the entire major leagues with 36 home runs allowed. Despite the poor showing for the most part, Backe did have some pretty good appearances. On July 13, he struck out five in seven shutout innings in an eventual 5-0 win against the Nationals.

In 2009, Backe got into five games for the Astros, including one start, but a 10.38 ERA and a 2.077 WHIP in 13 innings didn’t encourage a lot of confidence in the FO. That no doubt led to his eventual free agency on June 29. Backe didn’t sign elsewhere.

Astros Drop Split Squad Games, 3-0 to Cardinals and 3-1 to Mets

Spring Training Game 2 Thread. February 25th, 2024, 12: 05 CT. Cardinals @ Astros

Astros Crawfish Boil

Everystros CXII