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Articles Tagged Houston Astros 

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05-27

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6

What You Need to Know: Would You Believe It, A New Strikeout Record
by
Daniel Rathman

05-18

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8

Transaction Analysis: Fredi, Blame, Fired
by
Aaron Gleeman, Wilson Karaman and Matthew Trueblood

05-12

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1

Rubbing Mud: The Non-Pitcher Guide To Improving Your Pitching This Winter
by
Matthew Trueblood

05-12

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6

What You Need to Know: Max Scherzer Is Our Greatest Active Historic-Start Pitcher
by
Demetrius Bell

05-04

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4

Rubbing Mud: The Astros As Sellers
by
Matthew Trueblood

05-04

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0

Tools of Ignorance: The Somewhat Dubious Outlook For the Next Generation of Rebuilds
by
Jeff Quinton

05-03

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0

What You Need to Know: Nomar Mazara Makes Five Of Us Look Smart
by
Daniel Rathman

04-27

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7

Baseball Therapy: Can Teams Come Back From a Comeback?
by
Russell A. Carleton

04-15

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4

Outta Left Field: Finding the Next Superstar On My HACKING MASS Roster
by
Dustin Palmateer

04-14

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3

Tools of the Trade
by
Jeff Long

04-13

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6

Outta Left Field: Three Ways of Thinking About Ken Giles, Non-Closer
by
Dustin Palmateer

04-07

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1

What You Need to Know: Need Cano Basehits!
by
Demetrius Bell

04-07

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0

Prospectus Q&A: Astros Pitching Coach Brent Strom
by
Evan Drellich

04-06

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4

What You Need to Know: Noah Syndergaard and the 95 mph Slider
by
Emma Baccellieri

03-31

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1

Rumor Roundup: Tim Lincecum, Still Exists
by
Demetrius Bell

03-30

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2

Transaction Analysis: Deep Cuts For The SuperFans
by
Bryan Grosnick

03-22

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4

Baseball Therapy: Are You Cultured?
by
Russell A. Carleton

03-16

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12

Rubbing Mud: Bring Back the Belanger!
by
Matthew Trueblood

03-11

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5

Winter Is Leaving
by
Meg Rowley

01-19

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0

Rumor Roundup: Diamondbacks Will Make Pollock Prove It
by
Daniel Rathman

01-19

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2

Baseball Therapy: Let's Figure Out What a Scouting Department's Entire Product is Worth
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-05

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2

Rubbing Mud: Kyle Gibson's Encouraging Comp, and Kyle Gibson's Really Encouraging Comp
by
Matthew Trueblood

12-29

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1

Best of BP 2015: Forty Minutes In Houston: ALDS Game 4
by
Sam Miller

12-16

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17

Baseball Therapy: Have We Been Underpricing Relievers?
by
Russell A. Carleton

12-04

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3

Ducks on the Pond: The Houston Astros and the Outfield Creep
by
Chris Mosch

11-19

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6

Baseball Therapy: What Should the QO Number Be?
by
Russell A. Carleton

11-13

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14

Transaction Analysis: Colby Qualifies
by
Matthew Trueblood

10-20

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5

Baseball Therapy: Say You'll Remember Me
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-13

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6

Playoff Prospectus: Forty Minutes In Houston: ALDS Game 4
by
Sam Miller

10-13

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1

BP Unfiltered: Why Didn't The Royals Steal Home?
by
Dustin Palmateer

10-12

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2

Playoff Prospectus: The Story of Two Pitchers Left In: ALDS Game 3
by
Matthew Trueblood

10-10

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5

Playoff Prospectus: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Into Science: ALDS Game 2
by
Sam Miller

10-09

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12

Playoff Prospectus: The Royals' Unforced Error: ALDS Game 1
by
Matthew Trueblood

10-08

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6

Playoff Prospectus: ALDS Preview: Astros vs. Royals
by
Sam Miller

10-07

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9

Playoff Prospectus: WC Recap: A Game of Hinch's
by
R.J. Anderson

10-06

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0

Raising Aces: Dallas Keuchel vs. Masahiro Tanaka
by
Doug Thorburn

10-06

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9

Baseball Therapy: My Bad Baseball Predictions
by
Russell A. Carleton

10-05

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6

What You Need to Know: Fin
by
Ian Frazer and Daniel Rathman

10-05

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3

Transaction Analysis: How The Wild Card Winners Were Built
by
BP Staff

10-02

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0

What You Need to Know: Wild!
by
Chris Mosch

06-12

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5

Daisy Cutter: Building an Ace From the Ground Up
by
Sahadev Sharma

05-21

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0

Transaction Analysis: All's Well That Ends Wel
by
R.J. Anderson and Christopher Crawford

05-18

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5

The Call-Up: Lance McCullers
by
Christopher Crawford and J.P. Breen

05-08

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2

What You Need to Know: Smoked!
by
Daniel Rathman

05-06

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6

Beating the Shift
by
Chris Mosch

05-04

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5

What You Need to Know: Jake!
by
Ian Frazer

04-27

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4

What You Need to Know: Nuts To Strasburg!
by
Ian Frazer

04-07

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4

What You Need to Know: Baseball Happened, Will Continue To Happen
by
Daniel Rathman

04-01

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4

Some Projection Left: The Moran Mystery
by
Christopher Crawford

03-27

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4

Prospectus Feature: How the Astros do Spring Training
by
Howard Megdal

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The Astros strike out a slew to set one record, Fernandez whiffs a bunch to tie a franchise mark, and Jackie Bradley is back to being a regular guy.

The Thursday Takeaway
With the power-packed but whiff-happy Astros and Orioles squaring off this week, strikeouts were sure to be a-plenty at Minute Maid. Suffice it to say that the Astros’ arms held up their end of the bargain.

After Houston struck out 19 Baltimore batters in the opener and 18 more in the middle match, Lance McCullers took it upon himself to bring his team into record territory. The right-hander was effectively wild Thursday,


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Atlana has odd timing in firing Fredi Gonzalez, Francisco Cervelli shows how much he loves Pittsburgh, and Tony Kemp arrives in Houston.

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So Strasburg is off the market. A couple of the best framers in baseball aren't, and they're not looking for seven years, either.

So, you can’t have Stephen Strasburg.

That’s the reality to which many big-league GMs woke up Tuesday morning, now that Strasburg appears to have agreed to a seven-year deal worth $175 million (or more) with the Nationals. For those among that group who hadn’t gotten their free-agent pitching spending out of the way by now, this is very bad news. Billy Eppler, Brian Cashman, Dan Duquette, Dayton Moore, Neal Huntington, A.J. Preller, and Jerry Dipoto all would have liked the chance to bid on Strasburg this winter, even if most of them run teams unable to realistically meet the asking price he would have been able to set on the open market. Now, they face the unpleasant prospect of improving their pitching staffs for 2017 without having a single ace to chase. It’s perfectly possible that Rich Hill will get the biggest free-agent deal handed out to any starting pitcher in the coming winter.

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20 Ks, y'all, 20 Ks. Also: Good for the Astros, Good for the Giants, Good for the Mariners.

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Is it back to 'Wait until 2017' in Houston?

“From the beginning,” Ted Cruz said, “I’ve said that I would continue on, as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I’m sorry to say, it appears, that that path has been foreclosed.” He said it slower than you just read it. (Nope, even slower. Try again.) What he was saying, though, was that he no longer had any hope of winning the Republican nomination for President, and so, he was finally giving up. To be sure, Cruz hung in there as long as he could. If his opponent were anyone other than Donald Trump, or if Cruz were anyone other than himself, the pendulum would have swung in one direction or the other long ago, and things would have been decided. As it was, the nomination fight dragged into the spring, allowing Cruz’s capitulation to act as a backdrop (perhaps) for the dying of another Texas dream.

The Astros won Tuesday night. That’s the good news. The bad news, beyond the fact that the win came over the lowly (and even lowlier than we thought, maybe) Twins, is that that win pulled them up to 9-18. The only team in the Wild Card era to make the playoffs after such a start was the remarkable Oakland unit from 2001. That team was streaky: They surged from that 9-18 mark to reach .500 at 22-22, and then treaded water until the halfway point, before finishing a ridiculous 63-18 over the second half of their schedule and racking up 102 wins for the season. Those A’s aren’t really a model you want to count on reproducing, especially given that the league of which they were a part, the league they eventually routed past, was a more polarized, weaker one than the Astros have before them. History says it’s probably too late already, for Houston.

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Is the #process going to suffer the same fate as every other broadly embraced tactic?

The all-out, sell-it-if-it-ain’t-nailed-down, multi-year rebuild is totally in vogue. It seems to be working too. The Royals—whose rebuild appeared to have flopped by 2013—are coming off a World Series Championship and consecutive World Series appearances. The team the Royals defeated in last year’s World Series was none other than the fresh-out-of-a-rebuild (or at least just-not-spending-money) Mets. The Cubs, who lost to the Mets in the 2015 NLCS and who entered the 2016 season with the highest odds (per the odds makers) to win the World Series, appear to be perennial contenders after completely overhauling their roster upon the arrival of team president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer in 2011. The Astros' drastic rebuild was well documented during their playoff run last year, as is that of the Braves. The Phillies’ rebuild even appears to be going better than planned.

You all, of course, already knew all this, but the point, as maybe unnecessary as it is, is made. It seems that all teams have to do is be diligent about providing a terrible major-league product for several years in order to enjoy success for many years thereafter. For those who have been paying attention, and especially for those who have frustratingly watched their teams stagnate in mediocrity (or worse) for years, the full-rebuild (as we will refer to it here) can appear to not only be a savior, but also optimal strategy.

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Adam Wainwright is a exit-velo monster at the dish, Dallas Keuchel loses a streak, and Lorenzo Cain has a tough night.

The Monday Takeaway
For those who sought to go out on a limb with their World Series picks this spring, the Rangers represented an alluring dark horse. They were so alluring, in fact, that, at least in this neck of the woods, the horse in question wasn’t dark at all. Five BP’ers, including yours truly, pegged Texas to go all the way in 2016, giving Jeff Banister’s club more backing than any other except the Cubs.

The Rangers had plenty going for them as a tempting pennant pick. They’d have a full season of Cole Hamels. They sported a breakout candidate in Rougned Odor. They’d added a cheap, high-upside bat in Ian Desmond near the end of the offseason. And, beyond all that, the injury-ravaged 2015 outfit had managed to win 88 games and the American League West. But, while I can’t speak for my colleagues, the determining factor behind my preseason vote was the potential for internal reinforcements to greatly bolster the roster midyear.


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Testing the belief that ninth-inning losses hurt more.

There’s nothing more thrilling in baseball than a ninth-inning comeback. Unless, of course, it’s your team being victimized by the comeback. Then, there’s nothing worse. To have fought for eight innings and held the lead, only to have the game snatched away in the ninth. It might leave the other team breathless, but it will leave you with a nasty scar.

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The accidental prophet who discovered the greatness of Dallas Keuchel and Dee Gordon tries to anticipate baseball's next breakout.

You have until noon Pacific today to sign up for HACKING MASS 2016. Do it now, or that Chuckie Carr Starting Lineup figure will end up in somebody else’s wall safe. In the meantime, Dustin Palmateer tries to use his HACKING MASS woes for good.

HACKING MASS, as you surely know, is fantasy baseball flipped on its head. The goal, unlike conventional fantasy, is to pick the worst players in the league and the catch is that the players can’t just be bad—they have to be both bad and in the major leagues, accumulating playing time. The rules make assembling a winning roster a balancing act between finding glove-first guys, aging veterans with big contracts, and long-leashed youngsters on bad teams.

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April 14, 2016 6:00 am

Tools of the Trade

3

Jeff Long

How a cycling equipment company splashed color onto every baseball broadcast.

You may have noticed a trend of major-league players using brightly colored bat grips in recent seasons. Bats that were once adorned only by pine tar buildup and cleat marks were now wrapped with a rubber-like material that was only seen on metal or composite bats to that point. What was once reserved for Little League had made its way to the highest level of the sport.

Behind this transformation in brightly colored grip tapes was a company who first made hay in the cycling industry. Their vision and, frankly, good fortune, have made images like the one below commonplace across the majors. Lizard Skins, a company who saw an opportunity to improve the feel players have with their bats, is now a big player in the baseball world.

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There's the obvious, the non-obvious, and the ominous.

When the Astros acquired Ken Giles back in December, it felt like a logical next step for a team on the rise. Houston’s built a powerhouse around good drafting and developing—young stars Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Dallas Keuchel might even be better than advertised—and getting Giles from Philadelphia represented a win-now approach for an organization shedding the habits of its slow-burn rebuild.

The expectation was that Giles would take over the closer role from the soon-to-be 32-year-old Luke Gregerson, demoting the former ‘Stros closer back to a familiar setup role while making the bullpen that much stronger. That expectation was curiously not met when the Astros announced earlier this month that Gregerson would remain the closer, with Giles being used in “a more versatile role that can help [the Astros] win the most games.” What are the Astros thinking?

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Three middle infielders are hitting all the home runs.

The Wednesday Takeaway

In 1941, Boston Red Sox second baseman Bobby Doerr started off the season by hitting a homer in each of Boston’s first three games. For 75 years, that was the benchmark for hot-hitting second basemen, until Robinson Cano decided that it was time to meet that benchmark. Cano slugged two homers on Wednesday afternoon against the Rangers—one in the first inning, and another in the top of the ninth inning to cap a five-run comeback that powered the Seattle Mariners to a 9-5 victory over Texas.

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