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Astros Crawfish Boil: February 2, 2024

Welcome to the Friday Crawfish Boil!

Pete Harnisch
| Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

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Houston Astros News

Former Astros side-armer announces retirement after 15-year career (CTH)

With new pieces in place, Astros rookie skipper must address these intriguing decisions ahead of season (SportsMap)

AL West News

A’s — Caught in between: A’s Mark Kotsay navigates baseball’s toughest managerial job (The Athletic)

M’s — MLB Rumors: Mets Keeping Tabs On former All-Star, Kepler to M’s? (Last Word on Sports)

Blarts —Rangers’ truck heads to camp

Halos — Mike Trout Will Look To Regain A Historic Lead In 2024 (The Cold Wire)

MLB News

Orioles land Burnes in blockbuster with Brewers

MLB Network’s Top 10 Players Right Now at every position

This is 40 for ‘Uncle Charlie’

Houston Astros Birthdays


RHP Brad Peacock (36)

M-IF Ronny Cedeño (41)

SS Adam Everett (47)

RHP Jared Fernández (52)

M-IF Buddy Biancalana (64)

C Ryan Wrobleski (24)


LHP Rich Scheid (59)

SS Chad Stevens (25)


RHP Doug Fister (40)

C/1B Chris Coste (51)

OF Al Javier (70)

SS Alberto Hernandez (20)

1B Chris Gittens (30)

Everystros LXXXIX

85. Dave Roberts (Bagwell score 23.12) is a six-foot-three left-handed pitcher from Gallipolis, OH. Born on September 11, 1944, Roberts reached the majors for the first time with the 1969 San Diego Padres (22-34. two saves, 2.99 ERA, 500 IP, 256 K). On December 3, 1971, the Padres traded Roberts to the Astros for Bill Greif, Mark Schaeffer and Derrel Thomas.

Roberts played four seasons for the Astros, starting in 121 of his 140 pitching appearances. He walked 257 and struck out 403 in 843 23 innings, He had a 1.358 WHIP and held opponents to a .272/.325/.380 slashline. In 1972, he somehow went 12-7 despite accumulating nearly 3 WPA below zero. On June 27, he struck out seven and pitched a six-hitter, walking zero in a 6-0 win over the Padres.

In 1973, Roberts collected five shutouts, including on June 4, when he struck out six and walked zero, pitching a six-hitter in a 7-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. He ranked 10th in the National League with a 2.85 ERA and sixth with 5.1 bWAR for pitchers.

On August 24, 1974, Roberts pitched a one-hitter, striking out four and walking zero in a 1-0 gem against the Phillies. As a hitter, he slashed .181/.192/.271 with nine doubles, four triples, three home runs, and 28 RBI.

On December 6, 1975 the Astros traded Roberts with Jim Crawford and Milt May to the Detroit Tigers for Terry Humphrey, Mark Lemongello, Leon Roberts, and Gene Pentz. Roberts played two seasons with Detroit (20-27, 4.39 ERA, 381 13 IP, 125 K), followed by two with the Chicago Cubs (7-9, two saves, 195 13 IP, 77 K), part of 1979 with the San Francisco Giants (0-2, three saves, 2.57 ERA, 42 IP, 23 K), the other half of 1979 and the first half of 1980 with the Pittsburgh Pirates (5-3, one save, 3.29 ERA, 41 IP, 16 K), the last part of 1980 with the Seattle Mariners (2-3, three saves, 4.37 ERA, 80 13 IP, 47 K), and 1981 with the New York Mets (0-3, 9.39 ERA, 15 13 IP, 10 K).

84. Larry Andersen (Bagwell score 53.01) is a six-foot-three right-handed pitcher from Portland, OR. Born on May 6, 1953, he was a seventh-round choice of the Cleveland Indians in 1971 out of Interlake High School. Andersen ranks second out of the nine to reach the majors out of the round (13.9 bWAR), to Warren Cromartie (16.3 bWAR). He’s also the second of 17 to reach the bigs after being chosen 157th overall, a group led by Tom Gordon’s 35.0 bWAR.

Andersen reached the majors for the first time with Cleveland in 1975 (0-1, 5.40 ERA, 36 23 IP, 19 K), and later appeared with the Seattle Mariners (3-3, six saves, 4.46 ERA, 147 13 IP, 72 K) and the Philadelphia Phillies (7-10, seven saves, 3.13 ERA, 190 IP, 118 K). On May 16, 1986, he signed with the Astros through free agency.

In five seasons with Houston, Andersen went 22-16 with 20 saves and a 2.57 ERA in 268 relief appearances. He issued 132 walks and struck out 346 batters in 410 13 innings, with a 1.211 WHIP and a .243/.300/.320 opposing slashline. On August 30, 1990, Andersen made his greatest contribution to Houston Astros baseball when they traded him to the Boston Red Sox for Jeff Bagwell.

Andersen finished up the 1990 season with the Red Sox (0-0, one save, 1.23 ERA, 22 IP, 25 K), then played two seasons with the San Diego Padres (4-5, 15 saves, 2.74 ERA, 82 IP, 75 K), and two seasons with the Phillies (4-4, 3.43 ERA, 94 13 IP, 94 K).

83. Alan Ashby (Bagwelll score 27.98) is a six-foot-two right-handed catcher from Long Beach, CA. Born on July 8, 1951, he was a third-round pick in 1969 by the Cleveland Indians out of San Pedro High School.

Ashby reached the majors with the tribe in 1973, and played his first four seasons in Cleveland (200 games, .227/.304/.320, 10 home runs, 67 RBI) and two with the Toronto Blue Jays (205 games, .230/.314/.336, 11 home runs, 58 RBI). On November 27, 1978 the Jays sent Ashby to the Astros for Joe Cannon, Mark Lemongello, and Pete Hernández.

Ashby played his final 11 major league seasons with Houston. In 965 games for the Astros, he hit .252/.324/.374 with 69 home runs and 338 RBI. He was 736-for-2926 with 136 doubles, eight triples, and three stolen bases in six attempts. He drew 323 walks and struck out 435 times, scoring 282 runs.

On June 4, 1980, Ashby hit a fourth-inning single and a ninth-inning game-tying RBI-single, in a 4-3 victory against the San Diego Padres. On May 5, 1981, he hit a pinch-hit two-run go-ahead home run to defeat the Chicago Cubs, 4-3. On May 22, 1985, Ashby hit a game-tying ninth-inning RBI-sacrifice fly against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a go-ahead two-run double in the 10th inning for a 5-3 victory. On July 12, he doubled in the third, singled in the fifth, hit a game-tying solo home run in the ninth, in a 3-2 10-inning win over the New York Mets. On May 24, 1988, Ashby hit a single and two home runs with three RBI in a 5-4 loss to the Pirates.

After his playing career, Ashby served as Houston’s broadcaster for eight seasons, from 1998 through 2005, then served in the same role for four seasons with the Blue Jays.

82. Pete Harnisch (Bagwell score 28.64) is a six-foot-one right-handed pitcher from Commack, NY. Born on September 23, 1966, he was a first-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 1987 out of Fordham University. Of the 25 players to make the majors out of the round, Harnisch ranks seventh with 17.9 career bWAR. The group is led by Ken Griffey Jr. (83.8 bWAR) and Craig Biggio (65.4 bWAR). Thirty-two players have reached the bigs after being chosen 27th overall, a group led by Vida Blue (45.1 bWAR).

Harnisch played three seasons with Baltimore (16-22, 4.49 ERA, 305 IP, 202 K). On January 10, 1991, the Orioles sent him with Steve Finley and Curt Schilling to the Astros for Glenn Davis. He made the National League All-Star Team in his first season with the Astros, the only time he played in the midseason classic. Over his four seasons with the team, he was 45-33 with a 3.41 ERA. He issued 265 walks and struck out 583 over 736 innings.

Harnisch started in each of his 117 appearances with Houston, and racked up a 1.205 WHIP and a .227/.297/.355 opposing slashline. On June 9, 1991, he struck out 11 and pitched a three-hitter to defeat the New York Mets, 1-0. On October 4, 1992, he struck out a dozen and walked zero, allowing five hits in eight innings. On July 29, 1993, he struck out nine and pitched a four-hitter to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 2-0.

As a hitter, Harnisch slashed .130/.162/.177 with 24 sacrifice hits and 14 RBI. On December 23, 1994, Houston granted Harnisch free agency. He played two-plus seasons with the New York Mets (10-21, 4.33 ERA, 330 13 IP, 208 K), part of 1997 with the Milwaukee Brewers (1-1, 5.14 ERA, 14 IP, 10 K), and four seasons with the Cincinnati Reds (39-26, 3.89 ERA, 573 23 IP, 365 K).

81. Bill Spiers (Bagwell score 51.19) is a six-foot-two lefty-hitting infielder from Orangeburg, SC. Born on June 5, 1966, he was drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Clemson University — the same round as Harnisch. Spiers is one-of-33 to make the majors after getting chosen with the 13th overall choice, a group led by Manny Ramirez (69.3 bWAR).

Spiers played his first six seasons with Milwaukee (557 games, .256/.306/.338, 21 home runs, 199 RBI), then played 1995 with the New York Mets (63 games, .208/.314/.264, 11 RBI). On January 10, 1996, he signed with the Astros through free agency.

Spiers played six seasons with Houston, playing in 632 games and slashing .288/.375/.408, going 474-for-1644 with 99 doubles, 17 triples, 21 home runs, and 45 stolen bases in 61 attempts. He drew 223 walks and struck out 221 times, scoring 241 runs and driving in 199.

On July 15, 1997, Spiers hit a pinch-three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, turning a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead in an eventual win by the same score over the Chicago Cubs. On October 1, 1998, in Game Two of the NLDS against the San Diego Padres, Spiers hit a first-inning double, doubled and scored in the third, and a ninth-inning walk-off RBI-single for a 5-4 victory.

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