Showing posts with label Jose Alberto Rivera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jose Alberto Rivera. Show all posts

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Friday Morning Hot Links

So the Winter Zoom Meetings came to an end on Thursday. The Astros lost Jose Alberto Rivera to the Angels in the Rule 5 Draft, as well as outfielder Drew Ferguson to the Mets and catcher Chuckie Robinson to the Reds in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 Draft.

Rivera will be 24 in 2021 and is coming off a 2019 season in which he threw 75.2IP, 61H/32ER, 95K:36BB, but is most notable for throwing 102mph. He has to stick on the Angels' active roster for the whole season or be returned to the Astros. Prior to 2020, I would not have thought it possible to make it on an MLB roster for the entire season after having never been above Low-A. But who knows. The Angels paid $100,000 for Rivera, and if he gets DFA'd or sent to the minors, the Astros have the opportunity to get him back for $50,000. James Click said the Rule 5 rules mean that there's a good chance they get him back, and they needed the 40-Man Roster flexibility:

If we've added Rivera, we'd obviously be down to one [roster spot], and we've got quite a few holes on the roster to be filled. So we anticipate additional roster changes over the course of the season and had to balance the need for those roster spots over the next couple months with the ability to protect a player like that. 

Ferguson was the Astros' 19th Round pick in the 2015 Draft and hit .281/.395/.440 at Round Rock in 2019. Chuckie Robinson was the Astros' 24th Round pick in the 2016 Draft and hit .217/.276/.324 at Corpus in 2019.

The Astros also picked up pitcher Joe Record in the Minor-League Phase of the draft, and pitcher Seth Martinez. Record was the Twins' 27th Round pick in 2017. He threw 55IP in 2019 - his professional debut - between Low-A and High-A, posting a 5.07 ERA/1.27 WHIP, with 68K:16BB. 

Martinez, 26, was Oakland's 17th Round pick in 2016. In 2019 Martinez threw 71.2IP, 50H/20ER, 74K:18BB, 2.51 ERA/0.95 WHIP.

*James Click told Chandler Rome that the word for this offseason is "Patience."

If immediately we have not addressed some of the areas that we have identified as needs, that doesn't mean we're not looking to do that later in the offseason. We're going to have that patience and make sure that we wait until we get to Spring Training - or maybe even a little bit into Spring Training based on previous winters - to assess this roster and how this offseason has gone.

He also said the Astros are still engaged in talks with representatives for both George Springer and Michael Brantley. Click here for McTaggart's un-paywalled version of the Click conversation.

*The Athletic's Eno Sarris predicts that the Astros sign catcher J.T. Realmuto to a 4yr/$85m deal this offseason.


Adding Realmuto to an infield that includes Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve could be a masterstroke, particularly if a lack of competing offers suppresses Realmuto's contract requirements.

He also predicts Springer to the Mets for 5yrs/$110m. 

*If you look at FanGraphs' Depth Charts for 2021, you see the Astros are projected for a .545 win% - 88-74 - or the 3rd-best record in MLB (and the top team in the AL). I don't know how FanGraphs is doing this, but I'm not going to question it. 

*Yahoo's Tim Brown wonders whether the 2021 season will start "on time."

*Great news: Gary Pettis and his world-famous windmill will return in 2021, following his bout with Multiple Myeloma.

*SI: The Hall of Fame must act with more urgency, before it's too late (RIP Dick Allen).

*I acknowledge that the Houston Texans exist and hooboy this SI article on chaplain-turned-GM(?) East Jackerby. 

*I am adding "This is Branchburg" to my very skimpy podcast queue.

*The incredibly-true story of Renting A Friend in Tokyo.

*An Italian man had an argument with his wife and then walked 280 miles to "clear his head."

*"Xmas or Bust:" The Untold Story of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

*Leeds United v West Ham at 2pm Central Friday.

*A pre-Musical Selection: I'm obsessed with Kent Nishimura's YouTube channel:

*The Musical Selection for today, which came from a movie my kid watch a few weeks ago, and hasn't been out of my head since. So you can have this happen to you:

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Thursday Morning Hot Links

This offseason is uneventful so far. And, having lived through last off-season, I'm perfectly fine with that. AstroLine is back on Thursday night from 6-7pm, featuring Robert Ford/Steve Sparks interviewing GM Jiminy Clicket. 

*Josh Reddick said goodbye to Houston. Goodbye, Josh Reddick, fare thee well. 

*The Astros have asked for unconditional release waivers for Cy Sneed, clearing the way for his move to Japan. The 40-Man Roster stands at 38 Men.

*Peter Solomon, the Astros' 4th Round pick in the 2017 Draft, has recovered from Tommy John Surgery and is ready to go for 2021 Spring Training. Solomon, who has thrown 109.1IP for the Astros in the minors and struck 128 batters (with 36 walks), will be in his Age 24 season in 2021. 

*This is about a week old but Jose Alberto Rivera is the Astros' most-intriguing prospect available via the Rule 5 Draft.

*FanGraphs' Jay Jaffe breaks down Former Astros Great Billy Wagner's HOF chances via JAWS. Jaffe:

Undersized and from both a broken home and an impoverished rural background, he channeled his frustrations into throwing incredibly hard - with his left hand, despite being a natural righty, for he broke his right arm twice as a child.

Billy Wagner is absolutely a Hall of Famer. I skipped my own wedding shower (at my wife's church, to be fair) to watch Wagner record his 200th save, against the Rays, a 2-1 win that went Redding to Dotel to Wagner. 

*The White Sox non-tendered Carlos Rodon, and I'll give you $20 if you had seen that coming in 2015. Reminder that Rodon, the 3rd overall pick in the 2014 Draft, two picks after the Astros took Brady Aiken. 

*In case you missed it, on Monday morning I posted a delightful 37-minute interview with Astros fan/Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Washington Post David Fahrenthold.

*On the 78th anniversary of the event, I wrote about the 1942 Boston College/Holy Cross game and the second-deadliest fire in American history.

*NY Times: This Japanese shop is 1,020 years old and knows a thing or two about surviving a crisis.

*Here are your nominees for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

*A Musical Selection (A Cover, even!)

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Saturday Morning Hot Links

Another day another Astros win over the Mariners, though this one was a bit of a struggle. Oh well, they all count the same. Houston is 92-50. There are 20 regular season games left. The Astros are 14-1 against Seattle, and 25-2 at home against the AL West.

Scoreboard Watching:
Oakland, New York, and Los Angeles lost.

Houston (92-50): -
New York (92-50): -
Los Angeles (92-51): -0.5

*Updating the Home Franchise Record leaderboard:

1998: 55-26
1980: 55-26
2019: 53-17
2015: 53-28
2005: 53-28

We've played well in our division and we've played very well against this team across the way. A lot of September baseball is returning to the division play. When you play well against them that's a good time to play well. 

This quote is absolutely hysterical.

*Framber: 4IP, 2H/3ER, 6K:6BB. He walked 5+ batters for the second consecutive start. That happened to McCullers in 2018 on either side of the All-Star Break, but before that it happened to Erik Bedard in July 2013. The Astros' franchise record of consecutive starts with 5+ BB is four, by Darryl Kile (1994) and J.R. Richard (1975). Hinch:
I saw a guy who battled his way through his outing. He just had a hard time throwing strikes when he wanted to. When he's spraying the ball all over the place, he's a little hard to hit. He's hard to catch. He's hard to do a lot with.

Bullpen: 5IP, 2H/1ER, 5K:1BB.

*Alex Bregman was 2x4 with a walk. Oh yeah, he stole home while Aledmys Diaz was caught in a rundown. Bregman:
We talked about some things we can try and exploit before the series. We thought we had an opportunity to do it there. Diaz and I made eye contact. He took off, and I was able to get a big lead.

*Josh Reddick homered in back-to-back games for the first time since May 31/June 1.

*Yordan hit a ground ball damn near 118mph.

*The Astros stole three bases for the 3rd time in 2019.

*Yuli Gurriel exited last night's game in the 5th Inning with the dreaded "hamstring discomfort." He's probably out for the weekend.

*Ryan Pressly made "10 or 15 throws" off the mound on Friday and his prognosis is "better than good, it's been excellent."

*Impending runway model Carlos Correa did baserunning drills on the field prior to Friday's game. Hinch:
I saw him - the cliche everyone hates - free and easy, and lighthearted and happy. To me, that means he's getting back in shape as opposed to trying to overcome a little bit of soreness or adversity. I think that's a step in the right direction. 

In that link, we get a Hinch quote on Kyle Tucker:
Given how long the year was for him - successful in the Minors, but no opportunity here - he's trying to make a push for more playing time and maybe a little more prominent role. Step up and deliver a couple of times and get to high-five some guys and celebrate with 'em, that makes you part of the culture and part of the winning.

*Jake Kaplan notes that Aaron Sanchez's shoulder injury may be so bad that, depending on the result of his surgery next week, the Astros may not even tender him a contract for 2020:
Much of the calculus depends on the nature of the surgery and the post-operation prognosis for Sanchez, neither of which the Astros have disclosed. General Manager Jeff Luhnow said on Thursday that the team will have more information about Sanchez's rehab after the procedure is complete. 

Should Sanchez not get tendered, or miss a significant portion of the 2020 season, that would leave the 2020 Astros rotation - as of now - as Verlander, Greinke, McCullers, and two fat question marks. The actual question marks have a spin rate that can be improved through pitch sequencing and the Astros' trademarked fairy dust.

At this point I'd like to mention that J.B. Bukauskas started two games for Arizona's Double-A Jackson after getting traded in the Greinke deal, and threw 7IP, 10H/6ER, 11K:5BB.

*Pitcher A: 193IP, 114H/55ER, 257K:35BB, 2.56 ERA / 0.77 WHIP. 177 ERA+
Pitcher B: 176.1IP, 125H/55ER, 266K:43BB, 2.81 ERA / 0.95 WHIP. 161 ERA+

Verlander is Pitcher A, Cole is Pitcher B, and Matt Kelly writes that they just might be the most dominant pitching duo ever. Kelly:
The duo is on the verge of doing something we haven't seen since baseball began expanding in 1961, finishing 1-2 in their league in ERA, WHIP, and Ks. 

*Jim Ralph Bowden says the Astros absolutely must extend George Springer. Bowden:
At 29, [Springer] is having his best season with an impressive 150 OPS+ and 5.3 WAR to go along with 30 home runs and a career-high .389 on-base percentage. The three-time All-Star also has not only been a leader but hasn't let success change him, as he continues to set time aside for the fans, charities, and the media. His positive energy and passion for winning never subside. His two-year, $24 million deal expires at the end of the season and although he is arbitration-eligible, there's no reason not to extend him now.

*Round Rock had a chance to clinch their first round series, but lost 3-2 to Iowa in Game 3. Rogelio Armenteros threw 5.2IP, 5H/3ER, 9K:2BB. The Express were 1x7 w/RISP. Game 4 is tonight.

*Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in the Carolinas, Games 3&4 of the Carolina League Southern Division playoffs will be a double-header today, starting at 3pm Central. If necessary, a deciding Game 5 will be on Saturday.

*And just like that, Quad Cities' season is over with a 4-2 loss to Cedar Rapids. Jose Alberto Rivera threw 5IP, 4H/1ER, 13K:1BB in relief. Quad Cities went 79-57 in 2019.

*Anthony Castrovince brings us the possibility of Absolute Playoff Chaos which we should all, in fact, be rooting for:

-IF the A's, Rays, and Indians are tied for the two Wild Card spots...
THEN the A's get to choose if they want to play the Rays and Indians at home in two sudden-death games...
AND the Rays get to choose second...
WHICH MEANS the Indians could have to play two sudden-death road games to advance to the ALDS.

The Rays are 84-59, the A's are 82-59, and Cleveland is 82-60.

*Here's a really cool story on Padres' pitcher Luis Patino and the wild ride from Colombia to San Diego.

*RIP Chris Duncan. I never liked it when you were up to bat against the Astros. He had a .969 OPS at Minute Maid Park.

*SI: An untold side of the Black Cat Jinx - 50 years later.

*I will literally never understand how the 2018 Astros lost to the Red Sox in five games in the ALCS (I mean, of course Altuve and Correa were hurt, but still). I hope you choke on a bowl of chowdah, Sully from Braintree, you piece of crap.

*Meet Switzerland's breakaway cheesemakers.

*A Musical Selection:

Monday, June 17, 2019

Monday Morning Hot Links

Thoughts & Prayers for Flick. I'm taking over for the next few days while he recovers. The Astros, well, like Flick, at least no one died. Houston lost the third game of the Blue Jays series 12-0. It's the third time this season have allowed 12 runs in a game. They're obviously 0-3 in those games. Since the Astros dropped three of four at Minnesota from April 29-May 2, the Astros have won (or at least split) 13 straight series. Houston has won or split all 12 series at Minute Maid Park this season. The Astros are 48-24.

*Houston went 5-3 on this eight-game homestand. Houston outscored their opponents 44-37 in those eight games, even with today's beatdown.

*Former Astros Great Trent Thornton handled the Astros lineup: 6.2IP, 6H/0ER, 7K:3BB. It's the third time Thornton has had an outing with zero runs allowed. Thornton:
I knew I was going to be pretty amped up for this game, but I just kind of wanted to slow things down and execute each pitch. For the most part, I was able to do that. And the bats just exploded, so it was a great team win.

More Thornton:
I'm close with a lot of the guys over there. It was just going to be a fun game to pitch, with a little chip on my shoulder. I was glad I ended up pitching.

Pretty Cool of Trent Thornton to get JACKED UP for a game against the team who traded him to another team so he could actually have a chance at a decent career, rather than get log-jammed in the Astros' system. So I admire his tenacity, but it's not like the Astros screwed him over. Give me a break. Woody from Toy Story lookin ass boiiiiiiii.

*The Astros were 0x7 w/RISP. They GIDPd three times for the 6th time this season.

*The bottom three in the lineup (Kemp-Mayfield-Straw) went for a combined 2x12 and 0x3 w/RISP. Jack Mayfield had one of those hits - the first single of his MLB career (he had four doubles and a home run coming in). Tyler White was 0x2 w/RISP yesterday, and he's now 5x30 (.167) with one double with runners in scoring position in 2019.

*Josh Reddick enjoyed his 23rd 2+ hit game of the season. He had 25 multi-hit games in all of 2018.

*Michael Brantley was 1x2 with a walk. In June he's 10x46 (.188). Brantley's last home run was May 11.

*For the third time this season Astros pitchers allowed five home runs, tied for the season-high. They're 1-2 in those games.

*Brad Peacock allowed 4ER in back-to-back starts for the first time since August 24/30, 2013. Hinch:
He had a tough time getting into the game and then the one slider to Gurriel that ended his outing. All in all, I think he was doing fine to control the game with what he could. A couple homers and a couple mistakes - not a horrible game for him - but not a day that feels good for anybody.

There was one pitch I'd like to have back to Gurriel. Out of the hand, I kind of knew something bad was going to happen. It didn't feel good. I'm in a little funk right now, but I'll find a way to get out of it.

*Cionel Perez threw 68 pitches over 3IP in relief and it was clear that he was out there just to eat innings and let Hinch not use Harris/Pressly/Osuna: 3IP, 7H/7ER, 1K:1BB, 2HR.

*Tyler White made his 3rd appearance in relief. The Astros are 0-3 when he pitches.

*Jose Altuve could return to the lineup on Tuesday in Cincinnati. George Springer will run the bases today and could go on a rehab assignment this week. Carlos Correa's dumbass rib is still broke as hell.

Altuve was 1x4 with a walk last night in a 6-3 Round Rock win. Max Stassi was 2x4 with 3RBI including a 2-run home run. Yesterday I said that Corbin Martin had given up 7ER in 1IP when actually Hunter Martin did. Corbin Martin started for Round Rock last night and went 5IP, 6H/2ER, 8K:3BB.

*McTaggart took a look at how the injury replacements have fared in their absence.

*Ryan Pressly's father passed away a few months after Pressly made his MLB debut. He signed his extension on what would have been his 66th birthday.

*Corpus got swept by Springfield. Bryan De La Cruz was a homer shy of the cycle. In five games since getting promoted from Fayetteville, De La Cruz is 6x12 with two doubles and two triples, 4K:3BB.

*Fayetteville landed seven players on the Carolina League All-Star Team roster. They were up 4-3 going into the 8th inning yesterday before Potomac put up a 9-spot in the 8th and won 15-4.

*Quad Cities got two in the bottom of the 7th and beat Wisconsin 3-2. They are 43-23. Jose Alberto Rivera threw the final 3IP, allowing 2H/0ER, with 8K:2BB.

*2019 1st Round pick Korey Lee joined Tri-City prior to yesterday's game, which was postponed due to rain.

*Combined, the Astros' minor-league system is 148-126, an organizational .540 win%.

*The bonuses for all but one of the top 10 picks are Known, so the 2019 Draft page is updated.

*According to Mark Feinsand's sources, the Astros (and Rays)were "extremely involved" in the Edwin Encarnacion trade talks, but the Yankees picked up the most salary. Fake-Ass Mariners stay Fake. How the Yankees' trade for Edwin Encarnacion affects the AL Playoff Race. The Mariners do not have any money committed to their roster in 2022. The Rebuild has hit Seattle, and Jerry Dipoto is exactly the guy I want to rebuild them.

*Forbes' Barry Bloom on using MLB balls in Triple-A.

*Power is being restored to millions in Argentina and Uruguay after they were knocked off the grid.

*The Guardian: The Mindfulness Conspiracy.

*How to disappear.

*Esquire: My father, the spy.

*A Musical Selection: