A quick look at what we’ve learned so far."

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A quick look at what we’ve learned so far."

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WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Houston Astros NewsGame ThreadsHouston Astros Minor LeaguesAstros Game DayPodcastsSpring Training Week One in ReviewNew [url=http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-jayson-werth-jersey]http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-adams-jersey[/url] ,38commentsA quick look at what we’ve learned so far.CSTShareTweetShareShareSpring Training Week One in ReviewJasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsYes, it’s only Spring Training. I’m not even going to look up what the Astros Spring Training record is this week. It doesn’t matter. And most of the statistics don’t matter either, but could be of interest for some of the marginal players, the ones fighting for some kind of spot.There are other stories. Who has impressed? Do the 2019 newbies who replaced the golden oldies look like they can fill the old shoes?Who’s winning the competition for the spots? Is anyone we think the Astros should be able to count on look like they’re struggling? For some, this Spring Training’s performance could even impact career trajectories.HittingWho has Impressed:Some veterans who had down seasons last year are off to hot starts: Yuli Gurriel, Josh Reddick, with 1.311 OPS and 1.117 OPS respectively. We can hope from very early returns that perhaps Gurriel is recovered from last season’s hamate injury, and that Reddick has his 2017 stroke back. Here’s to hope. It’s what springs eternal.Some rookies are making a splash. Yordan Alvarez, Ronnie Dawson, Abraham Toro, and Nick Tanielu, hitting 1.125, .923 .908, 1.257 OPS respectively. Myles Straw is hitting .389 BA, making superman catches in the outfield, and has two stolen bases.The new catcher, Robinson Chirinos, is making a good first impression, starting Spring Training with a .916 OPS. But perhaps the best news of all Spring Training is not something we measure by numbers, but something we can judge with the old eyeball test.Carlos Correa is swingin man. He’s pulling the ball to left with authority and power, something the injured 2018 Correa could seldom do. If he keeps swinging like he has been the hits will come, the doubles will come, the long homers will come. Jose Altuve says the race for MVP is between Correa and Alex Bregman. Yea baby.It’s hard to believe that Correa is still only 24 years old. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are witnessing three Hall of Famers playing in the same infield.Have to include the Ted watch. Kyle Tucker is hitting .333, but the power show he put on last Spring Training is so far missing. His slugging percentage is .400.Who has not impressed:AJ Reed, soon to be 26, needs a better Spring than he has had so far. He has had one hit, a homer, in 14 AB’s, to go with 7 K’s. Par for the course in every one of Reed’s stints in the Big Leagues. Looking like the word AAAA has AJ Reed’s picture next to it in the dictionary. How long does he stay on the 40 man?Many are concerned about Aledmys Diaz’ 1 for 13 to start the pre-season. He is a proven veteran and his life did not begin with the Astros.PitchingWho has impressed:To start with [url=http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-bryce-harper-jersey]Bryce Harper Jersey[/url] , the two essential elements, Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander look fine. It’s easy to take that for granted, but if they didn’t look fine, you’d sure hear about that.Brad Peacock has staked an early claim on the fifth starter spot, pitching two perfect innings with two strike outs and looking sharp doing it. Wade Miley walked only one with no hits in his two innings pitched thus far. So far, so good.Among veteran relievers Roberto Osuna looked mid-season in two scoreless innings and on Sunday Ryan Pressly made his first appearance, baffling the three batters he faced, striking out the side.A lot of rookie pitchers have shown thus far that there will be depth in the Minors behind the 12 Big Leaguers. Brandon Bailey and Kit Scheetz have each pitched two perfect innings. Akeem Bostick has thrown 4 scoreless innings, with four hits and no walks. Peter Solomon has thrown three scoreless, hitless innings, but surrendered three walks.Top 100 prospect JB Bukauskas has shone as well, throwing four scoreless, allowing only a hit and a walk.Another one to watch is Brandon Bielak, who allowed one run in four innings, but no hits and five strikeouts. His four walks during these innings is out of character, as he surrendered 3 per 9 innings last year in AA.Time for the Forrest Whitley watch. He proved he was human on Saturday, surrendering a grand slam, although only one of the five runs he surrendered was earned.Still, in five innings total he has allowed only three hits and a walk, and has struck out five.Who has not impressed:Are we nearing the end of the line for Brady Rodgers? Is he the AJ Reed of the pitching staff? It’s early of course, but in five innings he has surrendered eight hits and four runs. For some reason, we haven’t seen Cionel Perez or Will Harris yet. Inquiring minds want to know.We did see one inning of ostensible third starter Collin McHugh, who left with back discomfort. His start on Monday has been pushed back. Given the Astros record for understating the seriousness of injuries, I am just a little bit discomfortable with this situation.Of course Josh James is sidelined for now with a quad injury.Framber Valdez, who had a 2.19 ERA in 37 innings last year, but a 4.65 FIP, has finally achieved his peripherals this Spring Training. He couldn’t pitch around his walks in his second appearance, and in 3.1 innings has a 5.40 ERA, a 2.10 WHIP with three walks and no K’s. He does not seem to have solved his problem with control, and if he doesn’t solve it soon [url=http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-stephen-strasburg-jersey]Stephen Strasburg Jersey[/url] , he may find his way back to the Minors to fix it.Given the way he ended last season, there should be legitimate concern that Chris Devenski has not found the answer this season to the problems that plagued him last season. He has only shown up once this Spring, and he gave up three hits, a walk and four runs, getting only one out. That was the kind of performance we saw too often last August that got Devo sent to the Minors. Let’s hope he finds his touch soon.The obligatory, It’s just the first week of Spring Training, small samples of an unrealistic situation. Of course we can’t make big assumptions from these performances, but they must mean something, otherwise why would anyone care even a little bit.Opening Day is March 28.Go Stros There’s a lot of bad publicity out today, and somewhat deserved (RIP MinorLeagueBall.com - I fully intend to push whatever his new site is once it’s up), but I wanted to take a moment and recognize..."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Houston Astros NewsGame ThreadsHouston Astros Minor LeaguesAstros Game DayPodcastsWhy TheCrawfishBoxes is “Home” for meNew,46commentsByBrian Cohn (HH)Nov 30, 2018,7:38pm CSTShareTweetShareShareWhy TheCrawfishBoxes is “Home” for meThere’s a lot of bad publicity out today, and somewhat deserved (RIP MinorLeagueBall.com - I fully intend to push whatever his new site is once it’s up), but I wanted to take a moment and recognize why I love this site, and the community that’s here. You can skip the My Path to Here part- as it’s more backstory of how I got to here and why I appreciate it so much.My Path to Here I can count the number of friends I have who are really into baseball on one hand (sorry I’m not a football guy), so I eventually searched for a place to discuss my passion with. For me, it started with the Astros.com message board. I found a place where people loved the Astros, and it was like a giant dysfunctional family. There was a mix of everything, from trolls to extremely knowledgeable people. It was a unique community with great people, from a “mother hen” who posted recipes, a grumpy old man, a guy who basically just corrected spelling and grammar (thank god he doesn’t read my articles), a class clown, hell there was even an Australian girl and a Marine who got married after meeting in that forum, and his mom. It’s more than a decade later and I still remember all of theirs and other screen names. At the time, I was a hardcore baseball fan, with basic knowledge, following primarily stats like RBI’s [url=http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-gio-gonzalez-jersey]http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-matt-adams-jersey[/url] , BA and HR, and barely looking past those stats in my evaluation of a hitter. I look back now at how I thought I knew a lot about baseball. I remember watching Roger Clemens in 2005, and coming to the realization that I hated the win stat. For those who don’t remember, he pitched to an ERA of 1.83 that year, and despite pitching the best season of his illustrious career, he ended up 13-8 and losing the Cy Young (winning 7 others with worse seasons). So I took a step back and starting using Quality Start as my “measure” since it takes the offensive contribution out of the equation. Man I was smart lol. (BTW, does anyone even use this stat anymore I couldn’t even find it)One day, a poster named Marshall, had a long argument about Adam Everett. At the time, I didn’t really value defense, and Everett was not even making sports center type plays at that. To me he was a good defender but terrible overall. But as I read into it, it peaked my interest and made me explore other stats further. When the Astros started tanking is when it all changed. Partially because the community on the Astros message board dwindled as fans left in hordes, leaving more of a “core” group behind. This was when I started following the Minor Leagues, and a poster - named Ashitaka, ran a thread about the minor leagues (and thus I fell in love with “NiTro”). Some of you know him as Brian Stevenson as he came over here as an excellent writer later on. (another person who taught me a lot) This is when I found a love for SBNation sites - as I found Minorleagueball.com, which I still credit for my love of prospects and eventually leading me to find TCB.When I first found TCB, it was intimidating. I lurked here, often citing the data here back on the Astros message boards. It took me a few years before I started posting here, working up the “courage” (ok I’m kinda ashamed to admit this lol), I mean even the slogan is “The Thinking fan’s Astros web site” .This was my first excellent post on this site. No one bashed how idiotic I was. Was my idea on “gaming” the system to get Cavan Biggio as a prospect cheapI love the community here, there was no reason for me ever to be nervous. Sure there were tons of people who knew more about baseball than me, but it was an open and accepting community. And although it wasn’t as “social” in some senses, it felt like it challenged me every single day as I learned something new. There were a myriad of insanely talented writers and commenters here, and I’ll admit, I had no idea what 90% of the stats were and was searching what the random group of letters that were just posted even meant.My first analysis - I stick by it - even with somewhat cherry picked statsLast off-season, suddenly everything was up in the air. The leadership and writers were (rightfully) abandoning ship. And while I don’t blame them in any way, I was worried as a site I checked five times a day, suddenly turned on it’s head.There was a time of upheaval, but I give Bilbos an insane amount of credit for steadying the ship. At the time, content was sparse [url=http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-anthony-rendon-jersey]Anthony Rendon Jersey[/url] , and some of the writing was hit or miss. I remember posting a long winded debate, and Bilbos telling me I should write an article. I stopped and was like - WHAT? Is he crazy? Who am I to try to do that?And so I did, my first fanpost - Exploring the “necessity” and impact of a JT Realmuto Trade. It was a great experience, getting 25 comments, though most of them were WMT telling me I was an idiot (politely) and educating me (I continue to learn from him and others daily). A learning experience none the less. I did a few fanposts, and basically in every one, there were encouraging words - especially from Bilbos. Then I hit the “big time” my article “Giancarlo Who - We Have KEMP?!”, which Bilbos brought to the front page. There were 77 comments on that article, and again I was addicted. I want all of my articles to be about starting a discussion, I’m not here to dictate or educate this amazing group of people - I look to do research and start the conversation and debate in this great community. What was even better - was people seemed to enjoy my work, and give me additional information and where I could find data - HELLO BASEBALL SAVANT! I actually submitted a list of the communities encouraging comments when I reached out to Issa about becoming a writer for the site. I didn’t hear back, but Bilbos convinced me to keep going and eventually brought me on as a writer.So why is it so great? We lived through this.Honestly, it’s the community and comments here. The day I took this “job”, I felt like I was stepping into huge shoes. The writers who built this community are legends and I hope that I don’t let them down. Some people hate advanced stats because they “ruin” the sport, and there’s a place for all of us. But I love that people are continually looking at improving the statistics in this game. Identifying what was attributed to the ballpark, luck, etc vs the actual player. Truly building predictive stats and working to eliminate the “noise”. This has always been the case - for example - people discounting offensive performance at Coors Field - it’s just a more refined version.I wonder sometimes if I should build a guide of “advanced statistics” in common language that can guide new posters (not that I’m an expert nor qualified - but maybe I can translate it well). I just want to thank this community, for sticking together. It makes it enjoyable. I love coming to this site and having discussions. I love when people disagree with my article. I love when the discussion teaches me something. Why Post this?Even McHugh wonders why I’m posting thisWell I laughed at a posters ignorance, and posted a comment I regretted. It wasn’t bad, they weren’t upset, and it actually turned into a good conversation, but I realized, we have a lot of new posters on here (and hopefully many more to come), and others who lurk and haven’t posted. I want all of them to feel welcome. I want people to know that Bilbos is one of the most encouraging people I’ve met. If you want to try to write, he’ll never discourage you - even if you are as dumb as me! If you’re lurking and haven’t posted - join the conversation - I promise you’ll enjoy it!Thank you guys. Thank you for contributing constantly. Thank you for challenging me - for the excellent discussions. In my humble opinion, there is no better Astros website in the world.