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Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Six

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Astros Crawfish Boil: January 18, 2024

Your Thursday Boil, with Everystros 75.

Hector Neris
| Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

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Houston Astros News

Gavin Dickey embracing role as Astros assistant GM

Top 10 Second Basemen: #2 | 01/18/2024 | Houston Astros

Yankees reportedly have heavy interest in this ex-Astros champion (YB)

Details from wedding of Astros’ Kyle Tucker and wife Samantha at Florida golf club (Houston Chronicle)

Kendall Graveman’s surgery further depletes Astros bullpen. How will they respond? (The Athletic)

AL West News

A’s — Deadline passes for A’s stadium renderings, financing plans for Las Vegas move as funding remains in question (CBS Sports)

M’s — Seattle Mariners Notebook: Local product Voth signs for swing role (Seattle Sports)

Halos — Los Angeles Angels Called “Least Improved Team”, Arte Moreno FINALLY Blamed? Bally Sports Troubles (KGW)

Mall Cops — Why Bally Sports’ failings could cost Texas Rangers their chance to sign Jordan Montgomery (KTVB)

MLB News

2024 Spring Training first workout dates announced

— Houston reports on February 14 and has their first full workout on February 19.

Attention all pitchers: Acuña teeing off left-handed

Majors-ready aces headline top LHP prospects list

José Ramírez Is a Marvel (FG)

Charlie Culberson Takes the Mound (FG)

Houston Astros Birthdays

LHP Wandy Rodríguez (45)

OF Luis Quesada (19)

Everystros LXXV

162. Jarred Cosart (Bagwell score 45.28) is a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher from League City, TX. Born on May 25, 1990, he was a 38th-round choice of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 out of Clear Creek High School. He was taken one pick before fellow future major leaguer Tyler Pill. The two were the only ones from that round to make it. Taken with the 1,156th overall pick, he was the fourth of seven to make the bigs after being selected at that spot, but he is by far the most prolific (4.2 bWAR vs. negative-4.0 bWAR for the other six put together).

On July 29, 2011, Cosart, Jon Singleton, Josh Zeid, and PTBNL Domingo Santana were sent to Houston for Hunter Pence and cash. In 2013, he reached the majors for the first time with Houston.

Cosart started 10 games in his first look at the major league levels. He was 1-1 with a rock-solid 1.95 ERA and a less solid 4.35 FIP. He walked more (35) than he struck out (33) with a 1.350 WHIP, a .220/.329/.301 opposing slashline. In his debut, on July 12, he pitched eight innings of shutout ball, allowing only two hits in a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. He had seven Quality Starts in his 10 overall. As a hitter, he was four-for-21 with three sacrifice hits, seven strikeouts, and one run scored. As a fielder, he was perfect in 14 chances.

The 2014 season would start for Cosart locked in as Houston’s number two starter. In his first game, he pitched five shutout four-hit innings and struck out three in a 3-1 win over the New York Yankees. On June 20, he pitched eight shutout six-hit innings in a 3-1 win against the Rays.

Cosart’s first 20 games of the season would yield a 9-7 record for Cosart, with a 4.41 ERA, a 1.461 WHIP, and a .267/.343/.366 opposing line. He walked 51 and struck out 75 in 116 13 innings of work. Despite getting traded away at the deadline, he finished third on the team with his nine victories. He was 0-for-3 as a hitter, due to Houston moving to the American League, and was perfect in 33 fielding chances.

On July 31, 2014, the Astros traded Cosart, Austin Wates and Enrique hernández to the Miami Marlins for Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes, Colin Moran, and a draft pick (eventually Daz Cameron). Cosart pitched parts of three seasons for the Marlins (6-10, 3.82, 153 13 IP, 98 K) and parts of two with the San Diego Padres (0-5, 5.58, 61 13 IP, 42 K).

161. Derrick May (Bagwell score 65.45) is a six-foot-four righty-throwing lefty-batting leftfiedler from Rochester, NY. Born on July 14, 1968, he was a first-round choice of the Chicago Cubs in 1986 out of Newark High School. He was one-of-19 to reach the bigs, led by Kevin Brown’s 67.8 bWAR.

May touched down in the majors with the Cubs in 1990, and played in parts of five seasons for them (384 games, .282/.325/.404, 28 home runs, 187 RBI) followed by the tail-end of 1995 with the Milwaukee Brewers (32 games, .248/.286/.319, one home run, nine RBI). On June 21, the Crew traded May to Houston for PTBNL Tom Nevers.

Post-trade, May played in 78 games for the Astros, starting 36 times in left field (313 23 innings, .970), 10 times in right field (83 innings, no errors), and once at first base (2 13 innings, no chances). he was 62-for-206 at the plate, slashing .301/.358/.500 with 15 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, and five stolen bases without getting caught. He drew 19 walks and struck out 24 times, scoring 24 runs and driving in 33, totaling 15 multiple-hit games.

On September 5, he hit a seventh-inning pinch-hit grand slam and added an eighth-inning RBI-single in a 10-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. On October 1, May collected multiple hits for the fourth game in a row, hitting a fourth-inning leadoff home run to pull the Astros within five runs of the Cubs. In the fifth, he hit a triple and scored a game-tying run, then added a sixth-inning single and another single in the eighth as the Astros topped the Cubs, 8-7.

May remained with Houston for the 1996 campaign, appearing in 109 games including 65 starts in left field (524 innings, .970) and one in right (11 23 innings, no errors). He was 65-for-259 with a .251/.330/.378 slashline, with 12 doubles, three triples, five home runs, and two stolen bases in four attempts. He drew 30 walks with 33 strikeouts, scored 24 runs, drove in 33, and collected multiple hits in 10 games.

On May 17, May hit a two-run eighth-inning pinch-hit go-ahead home run against the Pirates, in a 4-2 win against Pittsburgh. On June 8, he hit a three-run go-ahead fourth-inning triple and added a seventh-inning RBI-double in a 7-3 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. On July 14, in the first game of a twin-bill against the New York Mets, he hit a pair of home runs for three RBI in a 7-5, 11-inning Houston victory. On December 20, May was granted free agency.

May went on for three more major league seasons, with one each for the Phillies (83 games, .228/.266/.295, one home run, 13 RBI), the Montreal Expos (85 games, .239/.281/.367, five home runs, 15 RBI) and the Baltimore Orioles (26 games, .265/.315/.510, four home runs, 12 RBI).

160. Scott Feldman (Bagwell score 23.81) is a six-foot-six right-handed pitcher from Kailua, HI. Born on February 7, 1983, he was a 41st-round choice of the Astros in 2002 out of the College of San Mateo. He declined, and a year later the Texas Rangers chose him in the 30th round with the 886th overall selection. He was one-of-five taken in the round to eventually make the majors, led by Adam Ottavino (14.9 bWAR), and the third-of-four taken 886th to reach, led by Feldman (7.9 bWAR).

Feldman reached the majors in 2005 with the Rangers, and played eight seasons with the team (39-44, 4.81, 727 23 IP, 433 K). He followed with part of a season with the Chicago Cubs (7-6, 3.46, 91 IP, 67 K) and a full season with the Baltimore Orioles (5-6, 4.27, 90 23 IP, 65 K). On December 6, 2013, he signed with the Astros through free agency.

In 2014, Feldman was the Astros’ Opening Day starter, and he made 29 rotational starts in total, going 8-12 with a 3.74 ERA. He walked 50 and struck out 107 in 180 13 innings. He had a 1.303 WHIP and an opposing line of .266/.322/.403, with 20 Quality Starts. On April 11 he struck out three and pitched seven two-hit innings in an eventual 1-0 loss to the Texas Rangers. On August 30, he pitched a three-hitter against Texas, striking out five in a 2-0 win. On September 18, he held the Indians to one run on four hits and a walk over eight innings, but Houston lost anyway, 2-1 to Cleveland.

In 2015, Feldman was 5-5 with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.311 WHIP as Houston’s number two starter. He walked 27 and struck out 61 in 108 13 innings, with a .275/.316/.423 opposing line and 12 Quality Starts. On August 12, he pitched six shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out four in a 2-0 win over the San Francisco Giants. On August 24, he struck out six and blanked the Yankees on six hits over eight innings, in an eventual 1-0 setback to New York.

Feldman began the 2016 campaign as Houston’s number-four starter for four turns in the rotation, then worked out of the bullpen for the rest of his time with the Astros. On April 30, he struck out three over three perfect innings in a 2-0 loss to the Oakland Athletics. He appeared in 26 games overall, going 5-3 with a 2.90 ERA, a 1.242 WHIP, and a .265/.307/.442 opposing line. He pitched with a 0.91 aLI and stranded all six of his inherited runners. On August 1, Houston traded Feldman to the Toronto Blue Jays for Lupe Chavez.

After finishing the season with the Jays (2-1, 8.40, 15 IP, 14 K), Feldman played in 2017 for the Cincinnati Reds (7-7, 4.77, 111 13 IP, 93 K).

159. Ryne Stanek (Bagwell score 48.71) is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from St. Louis, MO. Born on July 26, 1991, he was a third-round choice of the Seattle Mariners in 2010 out of Blue Valley High School. He didn’t sign, and in 2013 was chosen in the first round by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 29th overall choice out of the University of Arkansas. Thirty-two of the 39 players chosen in the round made the majors, led by Aaron Judge (41.5 bWAR). Players taken 29th overall have produced 33 major leaguers, led by George Brett (88.6 bWAR).

Stanek, who goes by Stanny but should go by Skynyrd, first reached the bigs with the Rays in 2017 and played in parts of three seasons with them (2-5, 3.55, 142 IP, 171 K). He followed with parts of two seasons for the Miami Marlins (0-2, 6.03, 31 13 IP, 39 K). Stanek was granted free agency on December 2, 2020.

On January 7, 2021, Stanek signed with Houston through free agency. He led the Astros with 72 pitching appearances in 2021, going 3-5 with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.215 WHIP. He kept opponents to a .186/.303/.312 slashline, walking 37 and striking out 83 in 68 13 innings. He pitched in high-leverage situations, with a 1.82 aLI, and stranded 13-of-16 inherited baserunners.

On July 3, Stanek struck out two over a perfect seventh inning in a 3-2 win against the Cleveland Indians. On August 30, he struck out the side in a perfect eighth inning in a 4-3 win against the Seattle Mariners. On September 7, he pitched a perfect 10th inning for a win, in a 5-4 victory over the Mariners. He pitched another 13 times through the postseason, striking out 11 in 11 innings, allowing five hits and two walks. He was 2-0 with two holds overall.

In 2022, Stanek pitched in 59 games for Houston, going 2-1 with a 1.15 ERA, a 1.226 WHIP, and a .189/.299/.257 opposing line. He walked 31 and struck out 62 in 54 23 innings, pitching with a 1.39 aLI and stranding 13-of-22 inherited runners.

Stanek had a remarkably consistent season, with only nine of his games resulting in a negative WPA. On July 27, he struck out the side in a perfect eighth in a 4-2 loss to the A’s. On September 6, he again struck out the side in the eighth inning of a loss, a 4-3 setback against the Texas Rangers. On October 22, in his second of four postseason appearances, he struck out the side in a perfect seventh inning of a Game Three, 5-0 win over the New York Yankees.

Stanek maintained his solid performance into 2023, going 3-1 with a 4.09 ERA, a 1.243 WHIP and a .221/.301/.390 opposing line. He walked 21 and struck out 51 in 50 23 innings, pitching in much lower-leveraged situations (aLI 0.75). He stranded 14-of-18 inherited runners. In four postseason games, he was 1-0 in four innings, but allowed three runs and only struck one batter out. He was Houston’s final pitcher of the 2023 campaign, when he pitched the final inning of the 11-4 Game Seven loss to the Rangers. I wasn’t watching, because of the first eight innings.

On November 2, 2023, Stanek left via free agency. He’s free to sign with any team — including the Astros — for the 2024 season.

158. Héctor Neris (Bagwell score 66.07) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Villa Altagracia, DR. Born on June 14, 1989, he made his major league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014, and pitched eight seasons in the City of Brotherly Love (21-29, 3.42, 407 23 IP, 520 K). On December 1, 2021, he signed with the Astros for two-years and $17 million.

In 2022, Neris ranked second on an already pretty good staff with a 2.35 FIP. He was 6-4 with three saves, a 3.72 ERA, and a 1.010 WHIP. He struck out 79 while walking only 17 in 65 13 innings, keeping opponents to a .205/.275/.305 line. Neris pitched at a nearly identical WPA as Stanek, at 1.37, stranding six-of-seven inherited runners.

On May 19, Stanek struck out the side in a perfect eighth in a 5-1 win against the Texas Rangers. On May 31, he struck out a pair of A’s in a 3-1 win over Oakland. On July 31, he pitched a perfect 10th for a win over the Seattle Mariners, striking out a pair for a 3-2 victory. On September 3, he collected one strikeout in a perfect 10th inning in an eventual 2-1, 12-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels, completing a “perfect” AL West tour.

In 2023, Neris walked 31 and struck out 77 in 68 13 innings for Houston, going 6-3 with a 1.71 ERA, a 1.054 WHIP, and a .174/.277/.292 opposing slashline. He pitched at aLI 1.52, and stranded 16-of-23 inherited baserunners. On September 30, with the season possibly on the line, Neris inherited the bases loaded with one out and a 1-0 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the seventh inning. He got Ketel Marte to strike out and Tommy Pham to ground out to third to get out of Kendall Graveman’s mess. He followed in the eighth by issuing a walk, but erased him on an inning-ending double play, 6-4-3.

Neris is bound for greener pastures now, at least that’s what he hopes for. He’s looking for something in the vein of three years and $50 million, and I’m not sure he’ll get it. He may never be known as a generational talent, but nobody got more fired up than he did when things were going well.

157. José Valverde (Bagwell score 67.71) is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from San Pedro de Macoris, DR. Born on March 24, 1978, he first reached the major leagues with the 2003 Arizona Diamondbacks, and played with them for five seasons (9-14, 98 saves, 3.29, 260 IP, 331 K, MLB-leading 47 saves and All-Star selection in 2007). On December 14, 2007, the Diamondbacks traded Valverde to Houston for Chris Burke, J.C. Gutiérrez and Chad Qualls.

Valverde led the National League in 2008 while pitching for Houston with 44 saves. He was 6-3 with a 3.38 ERA, with 23 walks and 83 strikeouts in 72 innings of work. He had a 1.181 WHIP, a .225/.287/.399 opposing line, and even received some down-ballot NL MVP consideration. He pitched at a 1.54 aLI and stranded 10-of-16 inherited baserunners.

Despite five occasions during the season when Valverde had a WPA of negative-.300 or worse, and only three times above .200 on the positive side of the watermark, Valverde somehow racked up 1.138 of WPA during his first campaign with the Astros. In only 10 games did he finish with a negative WPA.

In 2009, Valverde was 4-2 with a 2.33 ERA. He walked 21 and struck out 56 in 54 innings, with a 1.130 WHIP and a .207/.289/.337 opposing line, pitching at 1.63 aLI and saving 25 games in total, stranding all 11 of his inherited runners. On August 27, he struck out two over two scoreless innings, pitching the final two frames of a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

On November 9, 2009, Valverde was granted free agency. After his time with the Astros, he pitched four seasons with the Detroit Tigers (7-13, 119 saves, 3.22 ERA, 223 23 IP, 199 K, 2010 and 2011 All-Star selections, 2011 MLB-leading 49 saves) and one for the New York Mets (1-1, two saves, 5.66, 20 23 IP, 23 K).

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Astros Crawfish Boil

Everystros CXII