1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

[Official] Astros Offseason Thread

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Castor27, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. pw1993

    pw1993 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    18
    I was perusing the outfielder defensive stats at Baseball Savant and was surprised to see that George Springer isn't ranked higher. To my eye, George has been a pretty darn good fielder, certainly above average. Ranked by Outs Above Average (OAA), the 2017 Astros outfielders had the following scores:

    Marisnick +5
    Reddick +4
    Maybin +2
    Fisher +2
    Marwin +1
    Springer -1

    The Astros have done a good job of avoiding having to use any "awful" outfielders. The Dodgers, for example, had 2 OFers with strongly negative scores (Pederson and Granderson). It would be nice to see at least one Astros OF in the top 15 in terms of OAA, but it's hard to envision that happening in 2018. Jake, for example, came in at #24 in terms of OAA.

    Fisher has the raw speed to be a high OAA player; his main problem last season seemed to be taking poor routes but that is something that he is likely to improve at as he gets more practice fielding balls at MMP.

    I'm not sure where Alvarez, K Tucker, or Celestino are likely to rank in terms of OAA when/if they make it to the bigs.

    This is nowhere near an emergency for the team but, as with base stealing, it's an area that stands to be improved in 2018. The ability to make one or two outstanding/unlikely outfield catches in a postseason game can sometimes be the key to winning a tight series.

    https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/catch_probability_leaderboard?type=player&min=50&year=2017
     
  2. bobrek

    bobrek Get Off My Lawn
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 1999
    Messages:
    21,624
    Likes Received:
    3,125
    Any rating that has Fisher and Marwin ahead of Springer can be disregarded.
     
  3. pw1993

    pw1993 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2018
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    18
    For the 2016 season, George had an OAA of +2 and Jake was near the top of the MLB OF list at +13. Colby and Teo both had a neutral score of zero.
     
  4. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Messages:
    12,797
    Likes Received:
    1,306
    One has to take sample size into account and what the metric is actually saying. JD Davis has a lower career ERA than Verlander.

    I'm guessing Marwin's OAA is completely luck based on a couple of hard liners driving up this metric. Fisher on the other hand, despite not having an arm, covered a lot ground despite poor routes and bad body language. This stat only measures whether a player was able to move from his starting location to the place the ball is hit while the ball is in the air and make the catch minus what the average outfielder would do on plays a similar distance away at a similar hang time. Not sure if Fisher can repeat beating Springer in this stat next season as we are talking about 3 plays difference. It should not be surprising that Fisher covered more ground, though in a much smaller sample size, than Springer last year based on eye balls.

    Springer doesn't have poor range, but he just can't match guys with top end speed on balls that spend some time in the air.
     
  5. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    18,589
    Likes Received:
    1,351
    This describes Fisher for his entire pro career. Fixing his routes may be a 50/50 proposition at this point.
     
  6. texans1095

    texans1095 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    288
    Jake Kaplan (now with The Athletic) sat down with Hinch for a Q&A session. Mostly talking about Spring Training and the upcoming season. It's behind a paywall but I recently subscribed to their site so I figured I'd post it here for y'all. (FYI it's pretty lengthy)

    Jake Kaplan: Amid a busy offseason of the post-World Series banquet circuit and awards circuit, personally, when did you mentally flip the switch to 2018?

    A.J. Hinch: Probably FanFest (on Jan. 13). It was the first time that we had the majority of our players back together. You start talking a little bit more about next year. We had made some additions in the bullpen. The (Gerrit) Cole conversations were going on at that time. It was time to kind of talk more about what was ahead and the season ahead and not as much reflection. I think the stories from the World Series will last forever, and we'll probably have to talk about them forever. But FanFest sort of signaled the time to talk about and look forward to '18.

    JK: Spring training is here now. What are the biggest questions you want to answer during the six weeks you're in Florida?

    Hinch: From a team standpoint, it's just making sure we have the right mindset moving forward. A lot of this team has experienced things they've never done before: a shorter offseason, the circuit that involves the dinners and the banquets and the awards. So, I think getting ourselves back to square one with starting the season fresh and new and having the right mindset is the first thing. The second thing is figuring out how to fit all of the pieces together, whether that's the bullpen, which has been improved, and the roles that come with that or the matchups that come with that, all the way to the one or two spots on our position player group that are still pretty competitive. That's also very important. 'Where does Marwin Gonzalez get his at-bats?' is something I think about going into every spring. How that impacts Jake Marisnick or Derek Fisher or Tony Kemp or any other name we don't know is what spring's about.

    JK: You enter spring training with excess starters after the acquisition of Cole last month. On paper, if everyone is healthy, the outside assumption is Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock are in your bullpen at least to start the season. How do you see the rotation crunch shaking out and what do you tell guys like McHugh and Peacock?

    Hinch: The good part of that is if we are all healthy, we have excess. I think that's a luxury that every team would sign up for today. The reality is this team is built to have depth and it's built to have the excess that's needed to get through the whole season. How the season starts is always a topic of conversation this time of year. I'm also very aware that we use nine, 10, 11, sometimes 12 starting pitchers throughout the year. I don't know when they'll be needed. I just know they will be needed. If you can guarantee me that these guys are all going to be healthy and a couple of guys have to go to the bullpen, then those are conversations I'll have to have toward the middle to latter part of camp. And if that includes McHugh or Peacock or 'Where does Francis Martes fit in? Where does David Paulino come back from?' (then) those are good problems to have. But the conversations are later.

    JK: Now regarding the front end of your rotation: How and when will you decide whether Justin Verlander or Dallas Keuchel is your opening day starter?

    Hinch: I need to get in a room with them either individually or together at the beginning of spring training. I understand it's a topic of conversation, and until I address it directly it's going to continue to be asked and people are going to continue to be curious. And probably Dallas and Justin will both be curious. But like we handle most things internally, I'll deal with it directly with those two. I mean, look, we've got three guys that pitched opening day last season and arguably two others in Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers that have the stuff to pitch opening day. Collin McHugh has pitched in the top third of a rotation before. Brad Peacock was arguably our best starting pitcher [last year]. So, I don't know that it really matters the order that you start other than fans care about it, players care about it, there's a distinction that comes with being the opening day starter. But as we saw last season in the playoffs Justin started the first game in a series, Dallas started the first game in the other two series, and we were all one big happy family.

    JK: You played into November last year, and although Verlander is your only starter who logged more than 200 innings, several of your position players played full seasons plus the 18 playoff games. Is there anything you plan to do differently in spring training to try to protect against the effects of a so-called World Series hangover?

    Hinch: I think the World Series hangover is just as much mental as physical. There is a physical grind that comes with playing into November. There are a number of players that had a high volume of at-bats. But mentally, I think, is the hardest thing for these players to adjust to. We have to prepare to play a full season and that comes with a certain structure that we (implement) in spring training. Will I ramp up (Jose) Altuve or (Carlos) Correa or (George) Springer or (Alex) Bregman a little slower? Maybe. Maybe I do every other day for the first week as opposed to having them play back-to-back early. But in my experience players report to spring training ready to play. We test their patience if we lay off the gas pedal too much. But I'll be very aware of how to get these guys prepared to play the season.

    JK: There will be a lot of attention on Derek Fisher this spring, as he plays really the only of your starting nine positions that seems unsettled. What specifically will you be looking to see from Fisher in spring and how much will his performance early in the season dictate how you use Marwin Gonzalez?

    Hinch: I think Fisher's development is going to be key and that development has to exist at the major league level. There will be a competition for him to make our team from the beginning of spring. He's going to be put in a position to ultimately win one of our position player spots. But we're looking for some adjustments. “What did he learn last season? How can he adjust his swing? What has his growth been in understanding playing at the major league level?” All things that he's capable of doing. He has a skill set to be really good at the major league level. We saw that in spurts last season. And I think him coming to camp with his best opportunity to make an opening day roster, it will be fun to watch him compete under that stress and compete under that spotlight. And he can handle it.

    JK: In your perfect world, how would you like to use Gonzalez?

    Hinch: I think Marwin is one of the most valued players on our team because of all that he can do. Every year it seems like I have a conversation with him and we wonder, 'Where does he fit?' One year it was filling in for an injury up the middle, and one year it was predominantly first base and over the last couple seasons we introduced left field to him and now he played every game in the World Series in left field. Moving him around the field is still the best way for him because it allows some rest for Jose or Carlos up the middle. It allows for Yuli (Gurriel) to get some breaks at first. It allows for any of our outfielders to play. The super utility that plays mostly every day is one of his best attributes and the best way to use him. And sometimes the best-laid plan doesn't play out. If the need opens up in one position then I'm comfortable with him playing any number of positions.
     
  7. texans1095

    texans1095 Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2013
    Messages:
    442
    Likes Received:
    288
    Here is the rest of Kaplan's Q&A with Hinch. The whole thing was longer than the maximum of 10,000 characters per post.

    JK: The way your roster is constructed, Evan Gattis looks in line to absorb more of the designated hitter at-bats than he did last season. What does that mean for his catching duties and do you expect to carry three catchers because of that?

    Hinch: Well, I think Gattis, it's important for him to keep his catching and be part of the rotation behind the plate. How much of that depends on the health of the rest of the catching and Gattis' performance. But the DH spot's going to be a little bit more open this year than it was going into last season. Gattis will certainly factor in, as will some of the other position players. But we're still going to want Gattis to catch. How much is to be determined and a lot of that might depend on whether or not we carry a third catcher like Max Stassi or (Tim) Federowicz or the guys that are vying to fill in. One of the untold stories from last season is we used four catchers and all four of them helped us win. Some of that was due to health. Some of it was due to the catchers that came up from the minor leagues doing their job when they were asked. So, we've got to keep Gattis healthy, but that will still include some catching.



    JK: I can already sense your excitement to field questions about the closer's role for a third straight spring. You have never been too keen on assigned bullpen roles, but as things stand entering spring who do you expect to pitch the ninth inning in save situations?

    Hinch: I think Ken Giles is a really good closer for us. He's earned the right to come into spring training (as the closer) and if the game ended today I would expect Ken Giles to get the save. He obviously needs to get better in some areas. There are some things that we feel like he can do to take another step forward in his career. But I have a longer memory than simply the postseason or simply the World Series. Ken Giles' stuff, his demeanor, his ability to miss bats, his velocity are all things that (indicate) that he can be a really good closer. The beauty of the way this bullpen is built is we have other guys that can fill in on days where he's not at his best or can compete with him if the matchup makes it that way.

    JK: Whether you carry a lefthanded reliever figures to be another prominent spring training storyline. What's your message to Tony Sipp this spring as he enters the final year of his three-year deal.

    Hinch: I think Tony knows exactly what's in front of him, and the message to him is just come in and make our team and earn his innings. Not too long ago Tony Sipp pitched in a wild card game in a leverage role in the latter third of a game. He has some unique traits that we like. He has the ability to be a really good reliever at the major league level. But he knows he has to come in this spring and he sees the additions that were made. He can count the relievers and the potential shift of a starter or two into the bullpen. But we haven't given up on him.

    JK: You have four new coaches on your staff this season, most prominently Joe Espada, who replaced Alex Cora as your bench coach. How do the new additions and having a new bench coach specifically change spring training?

    Hinch: It's a good question. I don't know that it changes a lot other than we have a chemistry that's built among the coaches that we have to develop. None of these guys are strangers. Espada came from outside the organization, but (first base coach Alex) Cintron was around us all season and did a lot of things behind the scenes. (Jeff) Albert and (Doug) White both have a ton of familiarity with our coaching staff, with our players, with our front office, and so I see that as a strength. I'm excited to see those guys adjust at the major league level and learn the major league level and bring the impact that they've had in the minor leagues to the big league team. But that chemistry that's built will happen organically when you spend 15, 16 hours a day in spring training together trying to maximize what we get out of players.
     
  8. eric.81

    eric.81 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Messages:
    2,386
    Likes Received:
    729
    @texans1095 Thanks for that. Good read. I found it interesting that he was pretty firm on wanting Gattis to catch still. I was sort of under the impression from our interest in Realmuto and Lucroy that Gattis would be relegated to DH-only duties...

    I guess that truly depends on if Realmuto or Lucroy become Houston Astros. Their interest in another catcher had me thinking that if they didn't add someone there from outside the organization, we'd see Stassi as the primary backup and Gattis catching only if injury necessitated.

    Interesting...
     
    texans1095 likes this.
  9. Madmanmetz

    Madmanmetz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    200
    Thanks for sharing.

    Funny to think as great as this team is built, their most experienced lefty out of the pen is still Tony Sipp. Let's hope he earns that money this season.
     
    texans1095 likes this.
  10. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    9,821
    Likes Received:
    4,045
    This has been a long time coming. Owners aren't playing his BS game anymore.

     
    MadMax likes this.
  11. DOYG86

    DOYG86 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2018
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    8
    Let's get our world series run STARTED AGAIN! :D
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 1999
    Messages:
    37,439
    Likes Received:
    1,868
    eh, a little biased on that stat though.

    Boras does represent the higher profile clients who are typically looking for the higher percentile salary... I don't think this is MLB taking a stand against Boars and his BS. Its taking a stand on the client that he typically represents (post-arb free agent looking for their first big payday).

    I'd like to see the average FA salary signed by those 18 he didn't represent.... or compare the 7 unsigned Boras players with the 5 unsigned "other" players and see if there are any similarities between the 2.
     
  13. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    9,821
    Likes Received:
    4,045
    They aren't taking a stand against Boras, he's simply being stubborn and asking too much. In the past he would just say this is the asking arice and not come off of it, and often it worked, Now MLB teams are standing their ground.

    The Rockies made the same offer to Greg Holland that they made to Wade Davis, and he turned it down.

    The Cubs apparently made a similar offer to Arrietta that they made to Darvish, and he turned it down.

    Carlos Gonzlalez supposedly turned down a big extension last spring.

    He's asking too much, and all of the potential destinations for his clients are drying up while he screams and moans about it.
     
  14. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,545
    Likes Received:
    1,371
    Why do you care that an agent, who is hired to maximize a player's value, is maximizing players' values?... I mean, that is literally his only job and he does it pretty well.
     
  15. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 1999
    Messages:
    65,555
    Likes Received:
    3,491
    I'm disappointed you corrected your typo before I could make a stupid comment about bug extensions.
     
    kaleidosky likes this.
  16. sealclubber1016

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    9,821
    Likes Received:
    4,045
    I don't harbor any personal animosity towards Boras, or players getting their money from billionaires, although I can see how it would come off that way.

    The general system of how the MLB pays it's players has always pissed me off. They have taken, and taken, and taken from young players, and antagonized them whenever they stepped out of line by taking early security like Singleton. This whole system was deemed OK, just so the cream of the crop like an A-Rod or Cano would get theirs. The system is patently unfair to 80% of current MLB players, and Boras having his guys hold out "for the pot of gold" has allowed this system to survive.

    He has actually been too good at his job, and now that owners are realizing this and his strategy isn't working, the system inequities are coming to light and a strike feels unavoidable.
     
  17. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2000
    Messages:
    11,545
    Likes Received:
    1,371
    See, I agree - which means you could argue Boras is helping to right a wrong, extracting the millions and millions of dollars his clients have stolen from them when they're in their prime.
     
  18. Major

    Major Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    33,406
    Likes Received:
    1,933
    I think you could argue he's not doing his job very well this offseason. People don't like him because instead of taking responsibility for it, he blames everyone else for his failures.
     
  19. juicystream

    juicystream Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2001
    Messages:
    25,599
    Likes Received:
    1,411
    I feel bad for the players. Not because they aren't getting enough (personally I see this as a market correction and good for long-term health of MLB), but because this particular group is the one that is suffering.

    I also think there is a very good chance we see an end to what will have been 25+ years of labor peace.
     
  20. Madmanmetz

    Madmanmetz Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Messages:
    653
    Likes Received:
    200
    It's a supply/demand world. None of these guys are young super stars so therefore teams are not lining up to drive up the price. 6yr 25mil per year contracts are not available for them, they'll get their money it's just a waiting game and not as much as Boras fed them.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now