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Divisional Round - Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros - Game One

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Astros Crawfish Boil: January 2, 2024

Happy New Year!

Joe Musgrove
| Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Happy New Year, and welcome back to the Boil!

Let's get into it.

Houston Astros News

The Cubs Have Their New Farm Director: Jason Kanzler Hired from Astros (Bleacher Nation)

2023 MLB offseason grades: Dodgers, Yankees earn ‘A’ at winter midpoint, Mets, Padres, Astros close to failing (CBS Sports)

Former SF Giants manager Dusty Baker discussing a potential return to the organization (Around the Foghorn)

AL West News

A’s — Elephant Rumblings: Oakland’s potential breakout candidate for 2024 (A’s Nation)

M’s — Knights, Kraken dress to impress at Mariners’ home field

Halos — Starting pitcher Zach Plesac agrees to major-league deal with Angels (LA Times)

Mall Cops — Former Philadelphia Phillies backstop catches on with World Series champs (That Balls Outta Here)

MLB News

Cubs Hire Jason Kanzler As Director Of Player Development; Promote Ryan Otero To Pitching Director (MLBTR)

Sources: Rays’ Wander Franco arrested for shirking investigators (ESPN)

8 New Year’s resolutions for baseball this year

5 reasons Utley belongs in the Hall of Fame

Houston Astros Birthdays

LHP Greg Swindell (59)

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (23)

Everystros LXI

To be clear, the “Bagwell score” is a bWAR-rate-based statistic that is replacement level at zero whereas Bagwell = 100.

264. Mike Fiers (Bagwell score 2.87) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Hollywood, FL. Born on June 15, 1985, he was a 22nd-round choice of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009 out of Nova Southeastern University.

Fiers debuted in 2011 with the Brewers and played parts of five seasons with Milwaukee (21-28, 3.66, 341 23 IP, 349 K). On July 30, 2015, the Brewers sent Fiers to the Astros with Carlos Gómez and cash for Josh Hader, Adrian Houser, Domingo Santana, and Brett Phillips.

After the trade, Fiers appeared in 10 games for Houston through the rest of the season, starting nine of them including six Quality Starts. On August 21 he had the best of those, when he kept the Dodgers scoreless on three walks and struck out 10 in a 134-pitch no-hitter. It was the first time in Fiers’ career to that point in which he pitched in the ninth inning.

Fiers struck out 59 and walked only 21 for Houston to close out the season, pitching 62 13 innings and going 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.059 WHIP. The 2015 season was also the first one in which Houston returned to the playoffs since the oughts, Fiers pitched a total of one inning, allowing one run in the ALDS.

In 2016, Fiers pitched a full complement of rotation starts for Hosuton, going 11-8 with a 4.48 ERA and a 1.358 WHIP, He walked 42 and struck out 134 in 168 23 innings. On July 4, Fiers struck out four over six shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks in a 5-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox. On September 17, he pitched another six shutout frames against the Seattle Mariners, walking one and allowing three hits in a 2-1 win.

In 2017, Fiers authored the worst FIP from amongst Houston’s 12 qualifying pitchers, with a 5.43. He was 8-10 over 28 starts, with 62 walks and 146 strikeouts in 153 13 innings. On June 10, he allowed only an unearned run on two hits and two walks, striking out eight in a 3-1 win against the Los Angeles Angels. On August 23, he struck out six in seven innings, giving up one run on four hits and a walk in a 6-1 victory against the Washington Nationals.

On December 8, 2017, Fiers signed with the Detroit Tigers (7-6, 3.48, 119 IP, 87 K), later pitching four seasons with the Oakland Athletics (26-11, 4.12, 306 IP, 220 K).

Fiers was the whistleblower that shed light on Houston’s questionable tactics in 2017, an action which has resulted in death threats against the pitcher.

263. Glenn Wilson (Bagwell score 9.29) is a six-foot-one right-handed rightfielder from Baytown, TX. Born on December 22, 1958, he was a first-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in the 1980 draft out of Sam Houston State University.

Wilson made his major league debut with the Tigers in 1982, and played in parts of two seasons with the team (228 games, .278/.312/.427, 23 home runs, 99 RBI). He then went on to appear with the Philadelphia Phillies (602 games, .265/.307/.401, 49 home runs, 271 RBI, 1985 All-Star), the Seattle Mariners (78 games, .250/.286/.324, three home runs, 17 RBI) and two tours with the Pittsburgh Pirates (147 games, .274/.323/.421, 11 home runs, 64 RBI).

On August 18, 1989, the Pirates traded Wilson to the Astros for Billy Hatcher. Wilson played in 28 of Houston’s final 40 games of the season, going 22-for-102 with six doubles and two home runs. He drew five walks, scored eight times, and drove in 15. Six times Wilson had multi-hit games as part of the team, including on September 5, when he hit a seventh-inning single and added an eighth-inning, go-ahead RBI-single, in a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He started 25 games in right field, with a .966 fielding percentage in 220 innings.

Wilson appeared in 118 games for the Astros in 1989, starting 59 times in right field (680 13 innings, .976), 11 times in left field (143 13 innings, .971), and zero at first base (two innings, 1.000). He went 90-for-368 with 14 doubles and 10 home runs. He drew 26 walks and struck out 64 times, scoring 42 runs and driving in 55.

Wilson had 20 multi-hit games through his second season with the Astros. On June 8, he came in to pinch hit with two outs and two on in the bottom of the 10th, and hit a home run to walk off the Cincinnati Reds, 3-1 for a single-PA .810 WPA. Mike Scott earned the win, by the way, pitching a 10-inning complete game three-hitter with 15 strikeouts. On November 5, 1990, Wilson was granted free agency. He only made it back to the majors in 1993 with the Pirates for 10 games, going two-for-14.

In pop culture, according to Richard Linklater, one of the characters in “Everybody Wants Some!!” is based on Wilson. Someone claiming to be Wilson in the comment section of the video linked above refutes Linklater’s assertion:

I never played ping pong with Linklater and I did not ever remember him. I admit I was cocky but to me it was confidence. To make it in the big leagues. You better believe in yourself. I have not stayed in touch with any of my college teammates except when they would call and want tickets. I never turned any of them down. I was not invited to the making of this movie which was obviously not a very good movie. — Wilson, maybe

262. Jimmy Jones (Bagwell score 4.66) is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from Dallas, TX. Born on April 20, 1964, he was a first-round choice of the San Diego Padres in 1982 out of Thomas Jefferson High School, with the third-overall selection.

Jones reached the majors with the Friars in 1986, and played in parts of three seasons with them (20-21, 4.04, 342 23 IP, 148 K), followed by two seasons with the New York Yankees (3-3, 5.79, 98 IP, 50 K). Granted free agency by the Bombers on October 4, 1990, Jones found a home with the Astros through the same means on March 19, 1991.

After joining the Astros, Jones started the season in their rotation, starting the sixth game of the year and appearing at regular intervals following until mid-August. On April 28, he struck out three over seven shutout five-hit innings, walking a pair in an eventual 2-0 win against the Atlanta Braves. On May 25, he held the Padres to one run on five hits and a walk, striking out four over eight frames in an eventual 4-2 loss to San Diego. In July 6, Jones went the distance with a three-hitter, striking out six and walking zero in a 3- win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Overall, Jones went 6-8 with a 4.39 ERA over 135 13 innings pitched. He had a 1.433 WHIP and surrendered 73 runs (66 earned) on 143 hits and 51 walks while striking out 88. Opponents were able to carve out a .270/.336/.374 slashline when facing him.

Jones joined Houston’s rotation again in mid-May, 1992. On June 20, he pitched eight innings of six-hit ball, striking out five and walking zero in a 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On October 3, he relieved Rob Murphy with a runner on third and Mike Piazza at the plate with two outs, and induced a 5-3 groundout. He then pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three in a 3-2 walkoff win against Los Angeles.

Jones totaled 139 13 innings for Houston in his second and final season with the Astros, and won a career-high games, going 10-6 with a 4.07 ERA. He gave up 64 runs (63 earned), on 135 hits and 39 walks, collecting 69 strikeouts. He closed the campaign with a career-best 1.249 WHIP, not counting his 18-inning season in 1986. His opponents managed a .258/.313/.403 slashline when facing Jones. On December 19, 1992, Houston granted Jones his free agency.

Jones went on to play with the Montreal Expos in 1993 (4-1, 6.35, 39 23 IP, 21 K). At last check, Jones is the assistant pitching coach with the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Triple-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres.

261. James Mouton (Bagwell score 4.83) is a five-foot-nine right-handed outfielder from Denver, CO. Born on December 29, 1993, he was a 42nd-round choice of the New York Yankees out of high school in 1987. After choosing instead to pursue higher education, Mouton was an eighth-round pick in 1990 by the Minnesota Twins, then a seventh-round selection of the Astros in 1991, both out of Saint Mary’s College of California.

Mouton reached the majors for the first time with the Astros in 1994, appearing in 99 games for Houston with 54 starts in right field (519 innings, 1.000), 17 in center (149 innings, .919), and one in left field (six innings, 1.000). On June 11, Mouton finished the day with a single-game WPA of over one. In the third inning, he hit a one-out single, stole second and third base, then scored on an error to cut a three-run lead to two runs. In the eighth, he walked and stole another base, but the big one was in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and the bases loaded, down by two runs, Mouton hit, in essence, a three-run walkoff two-RBI single. He drove in Sid Bream and Andujar Cedeno to tie the score, and Luis Gonzalez crossed the plate on a throwing error to finish off the Atlanta Braves, 7-6.

Overall, Mouton was 76-for-310 in his first major league season, with 11 doubles and two home runs. He drew 27 walks, struck out 69 times, scored 43 times, and knocked in 16, stealing 24 bases in 29 attempts, finishing the season with a .245/.315/.300 slashline.

In 1995, Mouton played in a total of 104 games for Houston, starting 33 times in left field (270 innings), 18 times in right field (202 23 innings), and 17 times in center field (166 innings), all without an error. At the plate, he was 78-for-298 with 18 doubles, two triples, and four homers. He drew 25 walks, struck out 59 times, scored 42 runs, and knocked in 27 with 25 stolen bases in 33 attempts. He finished at .262/.326/.376.

On May 27, Mouton walked off the Braves with a 10th-inning solo bomb off Mike Stanton for a 3-2 win over Atlanta. On August 13, he accounted for all of Houston’s offense, with a first-inning RBI-double, later scoring, a second-inning two-run single, and a seventh-inning RBI-single in a 5-3 win against the New York Mets. On September 28, Mouton hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning against the Cubs, then added a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 10th inning in a game the Astros somehow managed to lose, 12-11 to Chicago. Yes, it was in Wrigley Field.

Mouton played in a career-high 122 games in 1996 for the Astros, slashing .263/.343/.350. He was 79-for-300 with 15 doubles, one triple and three home runs. At the plate, he drew 38 walks against 55 strikeouts, crossing it 40 times and driving another 34 in, with 21 stolen bases in 30 attempts. On defense, he started 51 games in left field (498 innings, .963), 18 games in center field (183 23 innings, .982), and four games in right (31 13 innings, 1.000). On August 19 he hit three singles, drew a walk and added a double in a 13-inning 2-1 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1997, Mouton slashed .211/.287/.322 in 86 games, going 38-for-180 at the plate. He hit nine doubles, one triple and three round-trippers, drawing 18 walks, striking out 30 times, scoring 24 runs and driving in 23, with nine stolen bases in 16 attempts. On May 3, he reached base six times, with three walks, two singles and a double in a 9-8, 13-inning loss to the Florida Marlins.

On January 14, 1998, the Astros traded Mouton to the San Diego Padres for Sean Bergman. Mouton went on to play one season with San Diego (55 games, .190/.268/.254, seven RBI), one with the Montreal Expos (95 games, .262/.364/.369, two home runs, 13 RBI), and two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers (162 games, .239/.348/.337, four home runs, 27 RBI).

260. Scott Servais (Bagwell score 6.19) is a six-foot-two right-handed catcher from La Crosse, WI. Born on June 4, 1967, he was a second-round choice of the New York Mets in the 1985 draft out of high school. He did not sign, and three years later Houston chose him in the third round out of Creighton University.

Servais reached the bigs for the first time with the Astros in 1991, appearing in 16 games and going six-for-37 at the plate, with three doubles and six RBI. He also gunned down four-of-nine prospective basestealers in 94 innings behind the plate, a 44 percent CS that translates to a 133 CS+.

In 1992, Servais played in 77 games for Houston and hit .239/.294/.283 with 15 RBI. He caught 524 innings behind the dish, with a .995 fielding percentage and 15-of-63 runners gunned down — (CS% of 24, CS+ of 75). On May 26, he hit two doubles and a single with a pair of RBI in a 9-4 victory over the Montreal Expos.

In 1993, Servais opened the season with a four-game hitting streak, going six-for-12 with three RBI. On June 11, he hit a single and scored in the second, singled in the sixth, and hit a game-tying solo-home run in the eighth inning of an eventual 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Overall, he slashed .244/.313/.415 with 11 jacks and 32 RBI. Defensively, he caught 653 23 innings, fielding at .996 and again gunning down 24 percent of runners, which was 77 CS+ that year.

In 1994, Servais caught 626 23 innings for Houston with another .996 fielding percentage, with a CS% that dropped to 21 (66 CS+). In 78 games, he hit .195/.235/.371 with nine homers and 41 RBI. Through the first 25 games of the 1995 season, Servais hit .225/.300/.371 with one homer and 12 RBI. On June 28, the Astros traded Servais with Luis Gonzalez to the Cubs for Rick Wilkins.

Servais played four years with the Cubs (416 games, .256/.319/.389, 36 home runs, 179 RBI, then played two tours with the San Francisco Giants (76 games, .272/.330/.393, five home runs, 21 RBI) and 33 games with the Colorado Rockies (.218/.273/.287, one home run, 13 RBI). On March 28, 2001, Servais rejoined the Astros through free agency.

Servais played in 11 games for the Astros in 2001, going six-for-16 with two walks. Servais has managed the Seattle Mariners for the past eight seasons.

259. Tyler White (Bagwell score 6.83) is a five-foot-11 right-handed first baseman from Mooresboro, NC. Born on October 29, 1990, White was a 33rd-round pick of the Astros in 2013 out of Western Carolina University.

White reached the major leagues in 2016 with the Astros, and was 54-for-249 in 85 games. He hit 16 doubles and eight home runs, drawing 23 walks, striking out 65 times, scoring 24 runs and driving in 28. On May 17, he hit solo home runs and a double, in a 6-5 win against the Chicago White Sox. Defensively, he fielded at .991 in 50 starts at first base over 452 13 innings.

In 2017, White was 17-for-61 with six doubles and three home runs for 10 RBI in 22 games. He fielded at .974 in 121 innings at first base. On August 4, White hit a single, a double, and two home runs with five RBI in a 16-7 win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 2018 campaign would see White appear in 66 games for the Astros, starting 42 times at first base (313 13 innings, 1.000). He hit .276/.354/.533 with a career-high 12 home runs and 42 RBI. On August 7, he hit a sixth-inning triple, then added an eighth-inning two-run shot to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in a victory by the same score over the San Francisco Giants. On August 15, he hit two homers with four RBI in a 12-1 win against the Colorado Rockies. In the postseason, he went three-for-six in the ALDS versus the Cleveland Indians before going 0-for-7 in the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox.

In 2019, White appeared in 71 games and hit .225/.320/.330 with three home runs and 21 RBI. He played 374 23 innings at first base with a 1.000 fielding percentage. On July 25, 2019, the Astros traded White to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Andre Scrubb.

White played 12 games for the Dodgers, going one-for-22. He later played in the minors for the Blue Jays, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Minnesota Twins, and the New York Mets, retiring from playing on July 21, 2023.

258. Ron Davis (Bagwell score 7.64) was a six-foot right-handed outfielder from Roanoke Rapids, NC. Born on October 21, 1941, he made his first major league appearances with the 1962 Houston Colt .45s. In six games he was three-for-14 with one stolen base. Davis played 34 innings in centerfield with a 1.000 fielding percentage.

Davis remained gainfully employed by the Astros through the next four seasons, but didn’t rejoin the Astros at the major league level until 1966. In that season, his actual rookie campaign, he was 48-for-194 with 10 doubles, one triple, and two home runs. He drew 13 walks with 26 strikeouts, scoring 21 runs with 19 RBI in 48 games. He played 415 innings in center with two errors for a .981 fielding percentage. On September 16, he was four-for-four with a double and an RBI in a 6-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. On September 28, in a doubleheader night-cap, he hit a go-ahead ninth-inning RBI-double in a 4-3 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

In 1967, Davis appeared in a career-high 94 games for Houston, and started 70 games in the outfield, racking up a .976 fielding percentage in 626 13 innings. He hit .256/.303/.404 with seven home runs and 38 RBI. On September 20, Davis came into the bottom of the ninth with two outs, the bases loaded and trailing by a run, and hit a walkoff two-run single off Woodie Fryman for a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Davis appeared in 52 games for the Astros through the first part of the 1968 season. He hit .212/.268/.281 with one home run and 12 RBI. He made four errors in 477 13 innings of outfield work for a .971 fielding percentage. On June 15, 1968, Davis was traded by Houston to the St. Louis Cardinals for Hal Gilson and Dick Simpson.

Davis appeared in 33 games for the Cards (.177/.221/.278, five RBI), and later played with the Pirates (62 games, .234/.310/.281, four RBI).

257. Joe Musgrove (Bagwell score 8.15) is a six-foot-five right-handed pitcher from El Cajon, CA. Born on December 4, 1992, Musgrove was a first-round choice of the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, 46th overall out of Grossmont High School. On July 20, 2012, the Jays traded him to the Astros in a 10-player deal.

Musgrove joined Houston’s rotation for the first time in early-August, 2016, and made 10 starts through the remainder of the campaign. On September 25, he struck out four over seven innings, holding the Angels to one run on seven hits and zero walks in a 4-1 win over Los Angeles.

Musgrove was 4-4 with a 4.06 through that first bit of his big-league career, with 16 walks and 55 strikeouts in 62 innings, with a 1.210 WHIP and a .250/.305/.453 opposing line.

Musgrove was 7-8 with a 4.77 ERA in 2017 for Houston, with 28 walks and 98 strikeouts in 109 13 innings. He started 15 times and appeared an additional 23 times out of the pen through the campaign. On May 26, he struck out six over seven shutout innings, allowing four hits in a 2-0 win against the Baltimore Orioles.

On January 13, 2018, the Astros traded Musgrove and some other guys to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Gerrit Cole. Musgrove has since played with the Pirates (18-26, 4.23, 325 13 IP, 312 K), and the San Diego Padres (31-19, 3.05, 459 23 IP, 484 K, 2022 All-Star).

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