Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

*Lots of things did and did not happen yesterday. Let's take a breath and run them down before we get into the links, yes?
-The Astros did not acquire Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish, Justin Wilson, or Zach Britton.
-The Astros did trade Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez to Toronto.
-The Astros did bring in Francisco Liriano for bullpen help.
-The Astros made Derek Fisher their everyday LF.
-The Astros beat the Rays.

There are going to be plenty of columns and hand-wringing over what the Astros did not do at the Trade Deadline. Do the Astros have enough pitching to get through Boston, Cleveland, or New York? Theoretically yes. Do the playoffs start today, with Lance McCullers, George Springer, and Carlos Correa on the DL? No they do not. But the Astros are now 69-36. And are winning games despite Michael Feliz, Tony Sipp, and Francis Martes. There are two full months of baseball left before the playoffs start for everyone to get right and get healthy. And the Astros still have Kyle Tucker, Forrest Whitley, Franklin Perez, etc. I don't know that I would call yesterday's (non-) happenings "disappointing" as I would call them "anti-climactic." But the climax can still come in late October. Or it might not. I still maintain that the Astros "went for it" this past off-season, and not so much yesterday.

*Looking at Francisco Liriano's dashboard page, it's not an impressive move. 5.88 ERA/1.62 WHIP? 43 walks in 82.2IP? The hell? But lefties are hitting .230/.254/.361 against him. Consider the following relievers' stats against lefties:
Michael Feliz: .275/.329/.551
Tony Sipp: .226/.294/.516
Luke Gregerson: .234/.300/.500

Liriano has not appeared in relief for the Blue Jays this season, but he provides another arm in the bullpen that can throw anywhere from two to four innings if needed. Is it a flashy move? Not even a little bit. Is it useful? Could be.

We tried to get a lot done today. We were working on several different things. Acquiring a pitcher like Liriano was a priority for us. Not only has he been a starter, he's been a reliever, he's got postseason experience. We really think he can help this club out in an area of great need.

*More Luhnow:
I'd be lying if I didn't say I was disappointed in not getting some of the moves done that we were working on. We had some that were close to and almost over the finish line, and at times I would've put them at 90 percent-plus that we were going to get them done. But there are a lot of dynamics that happen with these deals, and for reasons I can't really talk about, they didn't happen.

We do not know what the Astros had on the table for [insert whoever you wanted], and the other side rejected, or backed out. You can't hit Force Trade and bring Mike Trout and 1998 Randy Johnson to the 2017 Astros. What if it came out that the Astros had offered [ridiculous package of prospects] for Zach Britton, and the Orioles said no? Because that's apparently what happened. Will your perspective change? [I would say that Peter Angelos could die in a fire, but he couldn't. Because Peter Angelos cannot die. He re-upped his deal with the devil to stay alive for another 500 years.]

*Nori Aoki is surprised and disappointed with the trade to Toronto.

*Ken Rosenthal wrote that yesterday was a "lost opportunity" for the Astros.

*David Schoenfield: The Astros were losers at the Trade Deadline.
It has been a great regular season for the Astros, but the failure to land more pitching help is discouraging.

*Brian T. Smith writes that Luhnow whiffed for the second straight Trade Deadline:
[The Astros] have the next two months - and who knows how longer - to back up the GM who didn't help them at the deadline. Again.

The schedule doesn't change. Our job is to play our ass off. I can't say that enough. It's not to play fantasy GM or fantasy owner or fantasy anything. Our job is to play tonight's game, and we've been really good at that for the entire season. 

*The Masked Marvel checks in with some good thoughts on the Trade Deadline.

*Wait stop. We can all go home now. Bob Nightengale said the Dodgers "all but ensured" a World Series title. Thanks for reading Astros County. Now we become a needlepoint blog.

*Updated World Series odds, August 1:
FanGraphs: 15.2% (Indians: 16.8%; Dodgers: 18.4%)
FiveThirtyEight: 22% (Dodgers: 23%)
Baseball Prospectus: 18.1% (Dodgers: 23.9%)

*The Astros are 69-36 with a 16-game lead on the Mariners, who beat the Rangers last night. There are 57 games left. The Game # in which the Astros won their very nice 69th game:
2017: 105
2016: 131
2015: 125
2014: 156
2013: Uhhh
2012: Uhhh
2011: Uhhh
1998: 115

Yeah so this team won it's 69th (nice) game ten games quicker than the team with the best record in franchise history.

*Jake Marisnick hit two home runs in a game for the 2nd time this season. 7-8-9 in the lineup (Bregman-White-Marisnick) combined to go 6x11 with 9RBI, 1K:2BB. Hinch:
It's nice to have that kind of production in the bottom. It really makes things interesting when you roll to the top again. No matter who we put at the top, they've benefited from some guys at the bottom doing a good part.

*Michael Feliz pitched to one batter, gave up a home run, and was removed from the game with "shoulder discomfort." Hinch said Feliz felt "a pinch in his shoulder."

*Feliz-Martes-Sipp last night: 1.2IP, 5H/5ER, 3K:2BB. 28 of 50 pitches thrown for strikes.

*Lance McCullers was placed on the DL with back discomfort. McCullers:
At some point enough is enough. Collin and Dallas are back now, so talking with everyone, we just felt it was the right time to address it again. We hopefully have a better plan of action going forward now to get ready because our main goal and our focus is to win the World Series and I need to be 100%.

*A.J. Reed will play 1B, which will send Gurriel to 3B occasionally.

*Jose Altuve hit .485 in July, the highest batting average in a month since Larry Wayne Jones hit .500 in July 2006. His 48 hits in July were one shy of tying the Astros' record in a calendar month set by Berkman, Hidalgo, and Rusty Staub.

*Colin Moran had surgery yesterday.

*Tri-City won a 1-0 game in ten innings in which their pitchers held Vermont to one hit. Would've sucked to lose that game.

*A Syrian refugee threw out the first pitch at last night's game. Read this incredible story.

*FiveThirtyEight: Baseball's rich just got richer

*Jurickson Profar got benched in Round Rock because he wanted to be traded.

*Be sure to read this 2004 Jayson Stark piece on how trades work in August.

*You might want to sit down for this one, because it's really going to blow your mind. Ready? Pete Rose is a piece of crap.