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Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven

Astros Crawfish Boil: January 19, 2024

Welcome to the Friday Boil, including the 76th chapter of Everystros.

Bryan Abreu
| Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Houston Astros News

From scout to assistant GM: Dickey’s ascension through Astros’ ranks

Astros reportedly pushing to sign Hader (if only...)

‘I came at the right time’: Julia Morales shares seeing Astros rise to prominence in MLB (Caller Times)

Astros Caravan Jam Tomorrow at Constellation Field (OurSports Central)

Martin Maldonado’s contract was for beyond what the Astros could afford (Fansided) I don’t think Houston would have signed him for a minimum...what are they doing at Fansided?

Why Astros should approach potential Houston homecomings with an abundance of caution (SportsMap

AL West News

A’s — Source: Oakland A’s tour Sutter Health Park as option for games (ABC10)

M’s — Ex-Mariners All-Star eyeing MLB comeback at 46 years old (Fernando Rodney? Yeah, you can have him, Seattle)

Halos — “I am not a complete player yet” (SportsKeeda, about Shohei Ohtani)

Mall Cops — Grant Wolfram invited to Major League spring training by Texas Rangers (The Holland Sentinel)

MLB News

‘Something in the water’: What makes Australian baseball so special?

These pitches could be all the rage next season (Splitters & Sinkers)

Top-ranked first baseman no surprise, but No. 2 is (No surprise here. No Jose Abréu)

FA slugger ‘likely’ to choose between these 2 teams (Duvall to LAA or BOS)

Houston Astros Birthdays

Today

IF/OF Phil Nevin (53)

RHP Jeff Juden (53)

OF Orlando Palmiero (55)

RHP Anthony Young (1966-2017)

LHP Ramón de los Santos (1949-2015)

RHP Tyler Guilfoil (24)

Saturday

RHP Matt Albers (41)

Sunday

RHP Jeff McCurry (54)

José Uribe (1959-2006)

RHP Dave Smith (1955-2008)

Everystros LXXVI

156. Casey Candaele (Bagwell score 27.58) is a five-foot-nine infielder/outfielder from Lompoc, CA. Born on January 12, 1961, he was undrafted out of the University of Arizona. He got his first slice of major league experience in 1986 with the Montreal Expos, and played with them through the first part of 1988 (204 games, .248/.304/.318, one home run, 33 RBI)

On July 23, 1988, the Expos traded Candaele to the Astros for Mark Bailey. In 21 games through the rest of the season he slashed .161/.188/.258 with one RBI. He was five-for-31 with one walk and two runs. Despite his limited time with the team, he did manage to play at three positions (CF, RF, 3B) without an error in 7 23 combined innings.

After missing 1989 entirely while in the minors, Candaele had his proper Astros introduction with a full season in 1990. He appeared in 130 games, starting 35 times at second (316 13 innings, .989) 10 times in left (131 innings, no errors), five times in center (58 innings, no errors), twice at shortstop (33 13 innings, .944), once in right (36 23 innings, no errors), and no times at third base (three innings, no errors).

As a hitter, Candaele posted career-best figures across his slash, with a .286/.364/.497 line. He was 75-for-262 with eight doubles, six triples, three home runs, and seven steals in 12 attempts. He drew 31 walks, struck out 42 times, scored 30 runs, drove 22 in, and totaled 15 multiple-hit games.

On August 14, Candaele hit a two-run fourth-inning go-ahead single in a game the Astros eventually lost to the Chicago Cubs, 5-2. On September 3, he collected four singles and two RBI in a 7-3 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On September 28, he was called on to pinch hit with two runners on base, one out, and trailing 1-0 in the 10th inning, and drove both Mark Davidson and Eric Yelding home with a walk-off triple for a 2-1 triumph over the Atlanta Braves.

In 1991, Candaele slashed .262/.319/.362 in a career-high 151 games, going 121-for-461 with 20 doubles, seven triples, four home runs, and nine stolen bases in 12 attempts. He drew 40 walks and struck out 49 times, scoring 44 runs and driving in 50 with 34 multiple-hit games. Defensively, he started 95 times at second base (868 innings, .982), 14 games in left field (112 innings, no errors), five times at third base (64 innings, .958), twice in center field (25 13 innings, no errors) and twice in right field (15 innings, no errors).

On April 28, Candaele hit a fifth-inning triple, only to get stranded. He added a two-run seventh-inning double to provide all of Houston’s offense in a 2-0 win over Atlanta. On June 6, he singled in the second, hit an RBI-single and scored the game-tying run in the sixth, and finished up with a game-tying RBI-single in the eighth inning of an eventual 9-8 walkoff victory in a real barnburner against the Expos. On

July 4, Candaele hit a sixth-inning RBI-single, an eighth-inning two-run homer, and an eighth-inning RBI-groundout for a season-high four batted in as Houston topped the San Francisco Giants, 14-6. On September 29, Candaele came into a game as a defensive replacement against the Braves with Houston trailing 5-1 in the eighth, then hit a two-run single in the bottom of a four-run eighth inning. He drew an 11th-inning walk and hit a two-out single in the bottom of the 13th, and reached third on a Kenny Lofton single and a wild pitch, but died right there on the vine when Andujar Cedeno popped out to shortstop.

Candaele slashed a .213/.269/.266 line in 1992, going 68-for-320 in 135 games. Defensively, he started 41 games at shortstop (391 13 innings, .968), 24 games at third base (218 13 innings, .950), five games in left field (71 innings, no errors), four games at second base (38 23 innings, no errors) and two innings each at center field and at right field without an error.

At the plate, Candaele didn’t produce the results that we had come to expect from him, totaling 12 doubles, one triple, one home run, and seven stolen bases in eight attempts. He drew 24 walks and collected 36 strikeouts, scoring 19 runs, driving in 18, and collecting 17 multiple-hit games.

On July 16, Candaele doubled in the third, walked and stole a base in the fifth, and hit a one-out ninth-inning single to put two runners on base with the Braves leading, 4-2. The game ended with the same score after Luis Gonzalez couldn’t connect. On July 25, he doubled in the second, singled and stole a base in the seventh, hit an RBI game-tying double in the ninth, then drew a leadoff walk and scored the walkoff game-winner in the 11th on a Steve Finley single.

The 1993 campaign would see Candaele limited to 75 major league appearances, with a .240/.298/.331 line. He was 29-for-121 with eight doubles, a home run, and two stolen bases in five attempts. He drew 10 walks against 14 strikeouts, and scored 18 runs with seven RBI and four multiple-hit games. The best of those was on August 12, when he hit a pair of doubles for three RBI in a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres.

Candaele’s last season with Houston also featured him again appearing at six different positions. He started seven games at second (80 innings, no errors), five games in center (54 23 innings, no errors), three games at short (49 innings, .933), one game in left (11 23 innings, .667), six innings at third (no errors), and 3 23 innings in right (no errors).

Candaele was granted free agency following the 1993 season, and soon after signed with the Cincinnati Reds, although he did not make it back to the majors with them. He eventually made it back with the Cleveland Indians in 1996 and 1997 (38 games, .271/.292/.357, one home run, eight RBI).

In 2016, Candaele reemerged as the first base coach for the Seattle Mariners for two seasons. He followed by managing the Dunedin Blue Jays at High-A for Toronto in 2018 and the Vancouver Canadians at Low-A in 2019. For the past two seasons, he’s managed the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.

155. Brett Oberholtzer (Bagwell score 33.57) is a six-foot-one left-handed pitcher from Christiana, DE. Born on July 1, 1989, he was a 47th-round choice of the Seattle Mariners in 2007 out of William Penn High School. After not signing, he was drafted the next season by the Atlanta Braves in the eighth round out of Seminole State College of Florida. Nine players from the round eventually made the bigs, led by Andy Dirks (3.7 bWAR). He was the fifth of eight players to make the majors after being chosen with the 250th overall choice, a fraternity led by Hall of Famer Andre Dawson (64.8 bWAR).

Before reaching the major leagues, the Braves traded Oberholtzer with Juan Abreu, Paul Clemens, and Jordan Schafer to Houston for Michael Bourn in 2011. Oberholtzer reached the majors for the first time in 2013 while a member of Houston.

After three overwhelmingly “mid” relief appearances, Oberholtzer joined Houston’s rotation on July 31 and remained through the rest of the season. In his first start, he shut out Baltimore on three hits, striking out six and walking zero over seven innings in an eventual 11-0 victory over the Orioles. In his next start, on August 5 against the Red Sox, he held Boston scoreless over seven innings on four hits, walking two and striking out two en route to a 2-0 Houston victory. As good as his first two starts proved, he saved his best for September 1, when he pitched a four-hitter, striking out five against one walk in a 2-0 win against the Seattle Mariners.

In total, Oberholtzer was 4-5 with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.102 WHIP, He walked 13 and struck out 45 in 71 23 innings, holding his opponents to a .237/.273/.381 slashline. His stats are ever-more impressive when his relief appearances are filtered out. In his 10 starts, he let his opponents slash .225/.263/.347. He didn’t have a plate appearance all season, and took 10 chances without an error in the field.

If Oberholtzer had managed to stay as productive as he proved in his rookie season, he would have had a very successful career. As it stands, however, he racked up 2.1 of his career 2.6 bWAR in 2013.

In 2014, Oberholtzer started 24 games in Houston’s rotation, missing part of May and nearly all of June to work out some issues at Triple-A with the Oklahoma City Redhawks. For Houston, he was 5-13 with a 4.39 ERA, with 28 walks and 94 strikeouts in 143 23 innings. He put up a 1.378 WHIP and held opponents to a .295/.325/.426 line while registering 13 Quality Starts. He didn’t have a plate appearance and made one error in 23 chances for a .957 fielding percentage.

In 2015, Oberholtzer started more games in Triple-A (12) than he did with Houston (eight). He was 2-2 with a 4.46 ERA and a 1.591 WHIP, with 17 walks and 27 strikeouts in 38 13 innings. Opponents hit .293/.365/.447 overall, while he managed to pitch a Quality Start in only two of his games, both of his wins. The Best was on June 12, when he struck out five and held the Mariners to two walks, three hits, and no runs over eight innings in a 10-0 win against Seattle.

After the 2015 season was in the books, the Astros traded Oberholtzer with Harold Arauz, Mark Appel, Thomas Eshelman, and Vince Velasquez to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ken GIles and Jonathan Araúz. After part of the season with the Phillies (2-2, 4.83, one save, 50 13 innings, 38 K), Oberholtzer finished it with the Los Angeles Angels (1-1, 8.55, 20 innings, 16 K).

154. Bryan Abreu (Bagwell score 50.50) is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Santo Domingo, DR. Born on April 22, 1997, he broke into the bigs for the first time in 2019 for Houston, striking out 13 and walking three in 8 23 innings, and allowing only one run on four hits and three walks while pitching at 0.43 aLI. His 0.808 WHIP and opposing .138/.219/.172 slashline would prove to be unsustainable, but we can’t all be Josh Hader.

In 2020, Abreu only pitched in four games, walking seven in 3 13 innings. His real introduction came in 2021, when he pitched 36 innings and struck out the same, with half as many walks. He held his opponents to a 1.472 WHIP and a .254/.348/.406 line. When you omit his terrible final game of the year (seven ER in 23 innings against the Texas Rangers on August 29), he held opponents to a more-decent .229/.322/.357 line.

Abreu emerged as Houston’s eighth-inning specialist at some point during the 2022 season. On September 7, he struck out two in two perfect innings in a 4-3 win against the Rangers. Opponents hit just .207/.302/.267 off him, and he posted a 1.94 ERA and a 1.177 WHIP. In 60 13 innings, he walked 26 and struck out 88. Once he got to the postseason, he was nearly untouchable. He struck out 19 and walked four in 11 13 innings, giving up four hits but no runs. I think that’s really when the “legend of Abreu” started for us here at TCB.

As good as Abreu was in 2022, Baseball Reference has his 2023 nearly twice as good, in terms of raw bWAR. (2.5 to 1.3). Abreu walked 31 and struck out 100 in 72 innings, going 3-2 in 72 games with a 1.75 ERA, a 1.042 WHIP, and a .177/.274/.286 opposing slashline. Today, as far as Houston’s bullpen goes, Abreu might be the least disposable pitcher, including Ryan Pressly.

On April 19, Abreu came in to protect a 2-1 lead with no outs and the bases loaded against the Toronto Blue Jays. He induced a lineout off George Springer, struck out Bo Bichette, and induced a fly out to center field from Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Houston’s offense exploded for six runs in the bottom of the inning, and the Astros walked with an 8-1 victory, but we all knew that Abreu was the man.

Abreu is just now eligible for arbitration, and recently signed with Houston for one-year and $1.75 million. A steal by any measure. He will be free agency eligible in 2027.

153. Robin Roberts (Bagwell score 61.32) was a six-foot right-handed pitcher from Springfield, IL Born on September 30, 1926, he first reached the major leagues in 1948 with the Philadelphia Phillies, and eventually pitched 14 seasons for them (234-199, 3.46, 3,739 13 IP, 1,871 K, seven-time All-Star).

Notably, Roberts led the major leagues for five consecutive seasons in innings pitched, with an aggregate of 1,633 13 innings. In 1953, he struck out 5.1 batters per nine innings, but he pitched so many innings (346 23) that he led the majors with 198 strikeouts. He repeated that particular trick the following season as well, striking out 4.9 per nine and leading the majors with 185 K’s. I don’t think we’ll ever see that again. He followed that with four moderately successful seasons for the Baltimore Orioles (42-36, 3.09, 761 13 IP, 398 K).

On July 31, 1965, the Orioles released Roberts, and the Houston Astros signed him six days later. He turned out to be a steal despite his advanced age (38 at the time). He went 5-2 with a 1.89 ERA and a 0.934 WHIP, walking 10 and striking out 34 in 76 innings. Opponents hit just .216/.243/.287. In his first start, on August 9, he struck out six Phillies and threw a four-hitter in an 8-0 Houston win. In his second start, on August 16, he struck out seven and pitched another four hitter, defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-0.

Although pitching a shutout in every start is unsustainable, Roberts did pitch Quality Starts in nine of his 10 games for Houston to close out the season. As a hitter, he was passable, especially for a pitcher. He was five-for-21 with two doubles, a triple, three RBI, four walks and three sacrifice hits.

In 1966, Roberts spent the first half of the season with Houston, starting 12 games and appearing in relief once. On May 4, he struck out nine and pitched a seven-hitter, walking two in a win over the Chicago Cubs, 4-0. He pitched a Quality Start six times, going 3-5 with one save, 10 walks and 26 K’s in 63 23 innings, and a .309/.332/.457 opposing slashline with a 1.398 WHIP. Houston released Roberts on July 4, 1966. He finished the season with the Cubs (2-3, 6.14, 48 13 IP, 28 K).

In 1976, Roberts was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He then found employment as the head coach of the South Florida Golden Brahmans/Bulls from 1977 through 1985. He died of natural causes in 2010. SABR Bio

152. John Cangelosi (Bagwell score 65.92) is a five-foot-eight switch-hitting outfielder from Brooklyn, NY. Born on March 10, 1963, he was a fourth-round choice of the Chicago White Sox in January, 1982 out of Miami Dade College. One of three to make the majors out of the round, Cangelosi leads the other two by a wide margin with 6.1 bWAR. Taken 91st overall, he is one-of-two to reach the majors after being selected there (in January’s draft), along with Rich Dauer (14.4 bWAR).

Cangelosi reached the majors with Chicago in 1985 (142 games, .234/.349/.298, two home runs, 32 RBI), later playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates (349 games, .243/.377/.321, four home runs, 36 RBI), the Texas Rangers (73 games, .188/.330/.247, one home run, six RBI). and the New York Mets (62 games, .252/.371/.288, four RBI).

On March 23, 1995, Cangelosi signed with Houston through free agency. He appeared in 90 games for the Astros, with career highs in BA and OBP, slashing .318/.457/.393. He was 64-for-201 with five doubles, two triples, two homers, and 21 stolen bases in 26 attempts. He drew 48 walks and struck out 42 times, scoring 46 runs and driving in 18, with 15 multi-hit games, including four with three or more. He started 25 times in center (238 23 innings, .953), 12 times in left field (152 23 innings, .946), and once in right field (eight innings, no chances). He also pitched one inning, walking one but not allowing a hit or a run.

On June 25, Cangelosi collected a season-high three RBI, hitting one of his two homers in a 19-6 win against the Chicago Cubs. On July 16, he hit a pinch-two-run-single to take a 5-4 lead over the Giants, in an eventual 7-6, 14-inning loss to San Francisco.

On July 22, he collected a season-high four singles and scored three times, with one RBI in a 7-6 win against the Giants. On September 3, he hit a pinch-single in the eighth inning, later coming around to score on a game-tying two-run double by Dave Magadan. He drew walks in his later two plate appearances, in an eventual 8-7, 11-inning loss to the Florida Marlins.

In 1996, Cangelosi hit .263/.378/.347 in 108 games, going 69-for-262 with 11 doubles, four triples, a home run, and 17 stolen bases in 26 attempts. He drew 44 walks versus 41 strikeouts, with 49 runs, 16 RBI, and 17 multiple-hit games.

On May 24, Cangelosi hit a single and scored in the third, reached on a groundout and scored in the ninth, and wired a walk-off RBI-single to left field to score Ricky Gutierrez to defeat the Cubs, 8-7. On June 4, he reached via HBP, stole second and scored in the first, walked and scored in the third, hit a three-run home run to take a 7-5 lead in the fourth, drew a walk in the fifth, then scored a run in the ninth in a 16-8 win against the Colorado Rockies. No, it was not in Coors Field. The next day, he doubled and scored in the third against Colorado, then tripled and scored in the sixth and singled, stole a base, and scored in the eighth, in a 4-1 Houston victory.

On June 30, Cangelosi drew a walk and stole a base in the first, walked in the second, hit a two-run single, stole two bases and scored in the fourth, and hit an RBI-single in the fifth in a 9-3 victory over the New York Mets. On August 20, he doubled, stole a base and scored in the first, singled, stole a base and scored in the second, singled in the fourth, walked in the fifth, and singled in the eighth, in a 9-4 win over the Pirates.

Cangelosi’s time with Houston complete, he signed on with the Florida Marlins for the 1997 season, sticking around in 1998 as well (207 games, .248/.342/.309, two home runs, 22 RBI). He was one-for-six with the Rockies in 1999 to close out his major league career.

151. Joaquin Andujar (Bagwell score 9.80) was a six-foot right-handed pitcher from San Pedro de Macoris, DR. Born on December 21, 1952, he reached the majors for the first time in 1976 with the Astros, starting in 25 of his 28 appearances. He walked 75 and struck out 59 in 172 13 innings, going 9-10 with a 3.60 ERA, a 1.381 WHIP, and a .255/.332/.333 opposing slashline.

Andujar had 14 Quality Starts in his rookie season, with nine complete games. On June 1, he pitched a two-hitter, walking five and allowing one run in a 2-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. In his next start five days later, he pitched another two-hitter, walking one and striking out two in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Cubs.

On July 11, he pitched a nine-hitter, striking out five and walked three in a 1-0 win against the Montreal Expos. In his next start, he pitched a five-hitter, striking out five and walking two in a 1-0 win against the Mets. On July 28, he pitched a complete game 10-inning loss, a 2-1 setback against the San Diego Padres. He was eight-for-57 with a double, two sacrifice hits, and an RBI as a hitter.

In 1977, Andujar made the All-Star team for the first time, going 11-8 in 25 starts (and one relief appearance). He walked 64 and struck out 69 in 158 23 innings, with a 3.69 ERA, a 1.342 WHIP, and a .251/.325/.354 opposing slashline. He had 14 Quality Starts in total. On April 9, in his first start of the year, he struck out five and walked zero, pitching a three-hitter in a 2-0 win against the Atlanta Braves. On June 10, he pitched a two-hitter, allowing only an unearned run and striking out four in a 4-1 win against the Mets. At the plate, he was 10-for-53 with two doubles and two RBI, with four sacrifice hits.

In 1978, Andujar started 13 games and appeared in relief 22 times, totaling 110 23 innings. He walked 58 and struck out 55 with a 1.319 WHIP. He was 5-7 with a 3.42 ERA and one save, with a .225/.327/.306 opposing line. He pitched with a 1.11 aLI, showing he was a slightly higher-than-average leveraged relief pitcher, and he stranded eight-of-11 inherited runners.

On April 19, he gave up one run over eight innings on six hits and two walks, striking out five in a 2-1 win over the Padres. On April 29, he pitched a three-hitter, striking out five and walking four in a 3-1 win against Montreal. On May 6, he struck out six and pitched a four-hitter, allowing only an unearned run and walking zero in a 2-1 win over Atlanta. Eight of Andujar’s 13 starts were Quality Starts. He went three-for-23 as a hitter, with one double, four sacrifice hits, and three RBI.

The 1979 campaign would see Andujar get named to his second All-Star team. He played in 46 games, starting 23 times and making 23 trips out of the bullpen, going 12-12 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.320 WHIP. He walked 88 and struck out 77 in 194 innings, saving a career-high four games and limiting the opposition to a .233/.316/.317 line.

Andujar registered a WPA of over .300 on nine occasions through the 1979 season. He had eight complete games but no shutouts. Six times he had a GameScore of over 70. He pitched a four-hitter on August 14, striking out one batter and walking zero in a 2-1 win against the Expos. He was five-for-57 with a double, two home runs, seven RBI, and five sacrifice hits.

In 1980, Andujar was 3-8 with a 3.91 ERA, starting 14 of his 35 pitching appearances. He walked 43 batters and struck out 75 in 122 innings, saving two games and posting a 1.434 WHIP. Opponents hit .277/.335/.366 off him. On August 23, he pitched eight shutout innings, allowing six hits and two walks but striking out zero in a 1-0 win against the Cubs. Again, he refused to embarrass himself at the plate, going five-for-29 with a home run, three RBI, and five sacrifice hits.

The 1981 season would start for Andujar with the Astros. He started in three of his nine appearances, going 2-3 with a 4.94 ERA, and a 1.732 WHIP. He walked 12 and struck out 18 in 23 23 innings. On June 7, 1981, the Astros traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals for Tony Scott.

Andujar played five seasons with the Cardinals (68-53, 3.33, 1077 IP, 540 K, two All-Star selections, ML-leading 20 wins in 1984. NL-leading four shutouts and 261 13 IP in 1984). He then played two years with the Oakland Athletics (15-12, 4.46, 216 IP, 104 K). On January 8, 1988, Andujar signed to return to the Astros through free agency.

The 1988 campaign, Andujar’s last, would see him go 2-5 with a 4.00 ERA. He walked 21 and struck out 35 in 78 23 innings, with a 1.462 WHIP, starting in 10 of his 23 pitching appearances through the season. As a hitter, he was four-for-19 with a pair of doubles and one sacrifice hit.

After retirement, Andujar went into the trucking business in the Dominican Republic. He passed away in 2015 due to diabetes complications. SABR Bio

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