Author Archives: Lee White

The Astros Are Having A Decent Winter

The Astros had a collection of players that only equaled a little over the league minimum for the entire roster.  This year, the club has filled some holes, and will spend more on 3 Free Agent acquisition's, than what the team payroll was in 2013.  The club picks #1 in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft yet again, so saving money for future years is a smart practice.

The Astros had a collection of players that only equaled a little over the league minimum for the entire roster. This year, the club has filled some holes, and will spend more on 3 Free Agent acquisition’s, than what the team payroll was in 2013. The club picks #1 in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft yet again, so saving money for future years is a smart practice.  Houston is easily the lowest payroll team in the AL West, with the Angels hovering around the Luxury Tax Threshold, the Rangers spending in the $140 MIL range, the Mariners pole vaulting up the team salaries chart – by signing Cano, while still employing “King” Felix Hernandez.  The Athletics are even nearing the $70 MIL mark, still about $25 – $30 MIL more than the Astros projected budget.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

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The Houston Astros came into the offseason with bolstering the bullpen in mind. They have done just that, but still have work to do. Early during the offseason, the Astros signed Peter Moylan to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

Just before the Winter Meetings, they added Chad Qualls, who will make a nice addition to the back end of the bullpen.

During the Winter Meetings, they traded their first round pick in the Rule 5 draft for Anthony Bass from the San Diego Padres, who could pitch out of the pen or the rotation.

Monday the 16th, the Astros signed Matt Albers. If you’re keeping tabs, that’s the second reliever from the 2007 the Astros have signed this offseason.

Matt Albers Ejected

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The Winter Meetings Feel So Much Different For The Astros In 2013 Compared To 2012

Ankiel hit 5 HRs in his first 40 AB with the Astros to start last year - including a huge Opening Day long bomb, but he could not buy a hit after that.  The Astros released him soon after that.  Ankiel was one of the acquisitions from last winter, so we can at least see the club is going after more astute players.

2012 Winter signing Rick Ankiel hit 5 HRs in his first 40 AB with the Astros to start last year – including a huge Opening Day long bomb, but he could not buy a hit after that. The Astros released him soon after that. Ankiel was one of the acquisitions from last winter, so we can at least see the club is going after more astute players.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

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The Houston Astros haven’t been all that busy the past few years in the offseason. They’ve signed older veterans to get them through the year.

Last year’s offseason acquisitions included Jose Veras, Carlos Pena, and Rick Ankiel. However, this year, they’re actually spending real money.

They’ve traded for Dexter Fowler, and they’ve signed Scott Feldman to a three year, 30 million dollar contract.

They also brought in a former Astro Chad Qualls at two years 6 million dollars with an option for a third year at 3.5 million dollars.

Those acquisitions could just be the tip of the iceberg for the Astros as the head into the Winter Meetings.

Chad Qualls Fist Pump – Followed By A Tumble

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The Houston Astros Bolster The 2014 Squad With A Couple Of Moves This Week

Truth be told, when the Houston Astros first signed Scott Feldman, I was skeptical. Still am a little bit. The more I think of it, the more I like the signing. When news of it first broke on twitter, there was a bit of a mixed reaction. If fact, mine was something like “NOOOOOO!!” I wasn’t a fan of the money, nor was I too thrilled about the years on the contract. The Yankees, Orioles, Twins, and Astros were all interested in the former Oriole. However, it was the Astros who locked him up for 3 years, 30 million dollars.

Truth be told, when the Houston Astros first signed Scott Feldman, I was skeptical. Still am a little bit. The more I think of it, the more I like the signing. When news of it first broke on twitter, there was a bit of a mixed reaction. If fact, mine was something like “NOOOOOO!!” I wasn’t a fan of the money, nor was I too thrilled about the years on the contract. The Yankees, Orioles, Twins, and Astros were all interested in the former Oriole. However, it was the Astros who locked him up for 3 years, 30 million dollars.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

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Feldman isn’t a high profile signing, but he certainly makes the Astros better today than they were yesterday. He isn’t going to change this franchise, but he certainly adds some wins to the Astros this year.

Last year with the Chicago Cubs and the Baltimore Orioles, Feldman went 12-12 with a 3.86 ERA. According to Steamer, a FanGraphs projector, projects that Feldman will go 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA.

Scott Feldman Start

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Jose Veras Is The Best Closer Option Still In Houston Despite Friday

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Sunday May.26,  2013

Jose Veras has thrown okay for the Astros - despite blowing 3 Save Opportunities in 11 Chances this season.  Friday's Blown Save has put a wrench on a nice May he was authoring from the Bullpen.  Over his past 14 outings, veras has pitched 14.2 innings and allowed two runs while recording eight saves. Opponents are only 4 for 44 (.091) against Veras in those outings.

Jose Veras has thrown okay for the Astros – despite blowing 3 Save Opportunities in 11 Chances this season. Friday’s Blown Save has put a wrench on a nice May he was authoring from the Bullpen prior to the game.  Over his previous 14 outings tot he 6 – 5 loss, Veras has pitched 14.2 innings and allowed two runs while recording eight saves. Opponents are only 4 for 44 (.091) against Veras in those outings.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent via www.strosbros.mlblogs.com)

The Houston Astros have been a very tough team to watch. They’ve had good moments, but for the most part, they’ve been terrible. There is bad defense, and terrible pitching.

But as of late, the pitching seems to be turning a corner, whether it is the starters or the closer, those two things are getting better. However, they still need to work on a few pieces in the bullpen, and they need to teach Jimmy Paredes not to run everyone over.

One key piece in a bad bullpen is the closer, and after two early blown saves, the closer, Jose Veras, had really settled into his role (prior to Friday nights Blown Save Loss), and is beginning to become a lock down closer.

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Fernando Martinez Joins The Redhawks: Reid Ryan Joins The Houston Astros As President

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Saturday May 18, 2013

Fernando Martinez clubbed a 2 Run HR in 1st game back with the Houston Astros this year.  Unfortunately, he took a monster dive in Averages right after his ensuing opener.  The 24 Year Old Man from the Dominican Republic, hit for a 3 Slash Line of .181/.229/.501 - after posting a .237/.300/.766 during his 2012 campaign with the big club - spanning 118 AB (6 HRs and 14 RBI).  Martinez went unclaimed and will report to

Fernando Martinez clubbed a 2 Run HR in 1st game back with the Houston Astros this year. Unfortunately, he took a monster dive in Averages right after his ensuing opener. The 24 Year Old Man from the Dominican Republic, hit for a 3 Slash Line of .181/.229/.501 – after posting a .237/.300/.766 during his 2012 campaign with the big club – spanning 118 AB (6 HRs and 14 RBI). Martinez went unclaimed this week, after being placed on waivers – and will report to Oklahoma.

By Brian Hamilton (Astros Correspondent visit the StrosBros Website here):

Week That Was For The Stros:

Fernando Martinez, whom the Astros acquired off waivers from the New York Mets in January 2012, will be joining the AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks.

He was designated for assignment by the Astros last week. Martinez did not have any options remaining, meaning that he would have to clear waivers and be placed on an MLB teams active roster in order for the Astros to lose him.

He went unclaimed and has been assigned to AAA.

Fernando Martinez 2 Run HR April.23

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Stros Bros Podcast – Talking About Postolos Out As CEO + President

This was from a few days ago before the club announced the hiring of new President Reid Ryan.  Look for a new article tomorrow.  Until then, listen it

This was from a few days ago before the club announced the hiring of new President Reid Ryan. Look for a new article tomorrow. Until then, listen to the PODCAST.

Richard and Lee are joined by Jared Webb of Farmstros, discussing prospects, the draft, and the exit of Astros CEO/President George Postolos .  click the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY  for more details or scroll down. Read the rest of this entry

The Houston Astros Should Not Trade The Popular Jose Altuve…Yet Or Maybe Ever…

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Friday May.03,  2013

Jose Altuve was named an ALL-Star Reserve at 2B in 2012 with his .309 AVG in the 1st half and after appearing in the 2011 Futures Game.  He hit .290 with 33 SB and 80 Runs in his 1st full season.  He is under club control until 2018.  Will he last in an Astros uniform until then?

Jose Altuve was named an ALL-Star Reserve at 2B in 2012 with his .309 AVG in the 1st half and after appearing in the 2011 Futures Game. He hit .290 with 33 SB and 80 Runs in his 1st full season. He is under club control until 2018. Will he last in an Astros uniform until then?

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent)  

Ever since last season, mentions of the Houston Astros trading their All Star Second Baseman have been cropping up, and for good reason. Whether you agree with me or not, Jose Altuve is an All Star, and not just because he is on the Astros.

Last season at the All Star game, Altuve was voted as the best Second Baseman in baseball by his peers (Major League players and Managers). He is a great ball player. He hits for a high Batting Average, Steals Bgs and has a some pop in his bat for his size. He also plays pretty good defense.

Jose Altuve (1 Altuve) faces Jon Rauch (1.29 Altuves):

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Is Jeff Luhnow Preparing To Make Trades?

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Tuesday April.09,  2013

General Manager Jeff Luhnow has stockpiled a lot of talent in the Minor Leagues in the last few months - and is looking to acquire a helluva lot more.  With the club having lost 6 games in a row since the opener, this couild get ugly real quick - with every meaningful player being traded away.  This is Jim Crane's mandate.  The Astros full game plan is to be as bad as they can be in the next few years - in order to Draft as high as they can

General Manager Jeff Luhnow has stockpiled a lot of talent in the Minor Leagues in the last few months – and is looking to acquire a helluva lot more. With the club having lost 6 games in a row since the opener, this could get ugly real quick – with every meaningful player being traded away. This is Jim Crane’s mandate. The Astros full game plan is to be as bad as they can be in the next few years – in order to Draft as high as possible.  We have had great chats at the strosbros.mlblogs.com Podcasts, plus Sully’s Daily Baseball Podcasts here at the Reports has also covered the topic.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent)  

Is Jeff Luhnow back at it with his magical trades? Is Paul Clemens coming up to the Major League level? No one knows anything at this point. Okay, before we at the ‘Stros Bros begin any speculation, lets give a little back story.

Other than the Opening Night victory, plus last nights 3 – 0 loss to the Mariners, in which they had 2 perfect Innings, the Houston Astros have been atrocious. Especially the bullpen.

Okay, on Sunday the bullpen was also alright, having given  up 1 run in 4.2 Innings, but even the sun shines on a dog’s hind end every now and again. But, of course the Astros bullpen is bad. That was a given headed into the season, but with this bad bullpen, it seems as if some moves are on the horizon.

WEBN Interview with Luhnow:

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Why The Houston Astros Can beat The Texas Rangers On Opening Night

From Chuck Booth:  Lee White sent this to me on late Saturday Night – no joke.  I am still on vacation and watching the Dodgers Season Opener today (Cain vs Kershaw), but attest to this.

The Houston Astros will take the diamond at 7:10 local time to square off against the Texas Rangers. Everyone is looking past the Astros, and for good reason. The Astros have lost 213 games over the past two season, but are looking for a change of fortune in 2013. It won’t be easy for ex cellar dweller of the NL Central. The Astros are now in a tougher division, but can still improve on the field of play. But forget all that. It is Opening Night!

Baseball is back, and the games finally mean something again. Everyone has a fresh clean slate, and are looking to improve on their past seasons. Forget what teams did what last year, that doesn’t matter anymore.

When the Astros play the Rangers tonight, I fully believe the Astros may be able to surprise some people. They have arguably the best pitcher (at home) that you can have taking the mound in Bud Norris.

Last season Norris was terrible, unless he was pitching at home. My ‘Stros Bro and I, Richard Perez, had a bit of a debate about Bud pitching Opening Night instead of Lucas Harrell, and there is no way around what Norris can do at home. Last season at home, he went 4-1 with a 1.71 ERA.

He came extremely close to setting a franchise record for ERA at home last year. How can you not pitch him for Opening Night? Especially since, you know, it is at Minute Maid Park. I predict that manger Bo Porter may stretch Norris out a bit in his first start and let him go seven innings. If he can make it that far, he’ll go seven innings and give up one run and help propel the Astros to victory.

Another reason I think the Astros can beat the Rangers on Opening Night is because they’re facing Matt Harrison. Harrison was a pretty good pitcher for the Rangers last season, I’m not trying to belittle what he can do.

But, he has never pitched well against the Astros. In fact, in four outings, two starts, he is 0-1 with a 5.04 ERA against the boys from Houston. Harrison isn’t exactly a veteran either. So he has been facing the rebuilding Houston Astros, especially as a starter.

One more reason why I think the Astros can win. Here it is: Offense. The Astros haven’t had it the past few years, but with the addition of Chris Carter, and a little from Carlos Pena, they will get some offense. Yes, they will also strike out a ton, but tomorrow night against the Rangers, I believe we may see a few long balls from the Astros.

Houston will have the little hit machine, Jose Altuve, leading off with Brett Wallace following, and then probably Chris Carter in the three hole. Carter will probably be the Astros biggest bat in the lineup, so Brett Wallace will see his fare share of pitches. Especially if Altuve is on base. The Rangers will try to make Brett Wallace earn his way on base, and Wallace can run into a baseball. He is no slouch.

I’m not predicting a blowout, but I may be one of the few people who actually believe the Astros can win tonight against the Rangers. They will need to put it all together though. Pitching will be the main key as Bud Norris will need to shut the Rangers potent lineup down if the Astros want to have a chance to shock the baseball world on Opening Night.

Lee White

Can Nate Freiman Make The Houston Astros?

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Wednesday, February.27,  2013

Freiman has a 3 Slash Line of .294/.364/.847 in the Minor Leagues - with 71 HRs and 368 RBI in just 1876 AB for the Padres organization.

Freiman has a 3 Slash Line of .294/.364/.847 in the Minor Leagues – with 71 HRs and 368 RBI in just 1876 AB for the Padres organization.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

Nate Freiman was taken by the Houston Astros in the Rule V Draft. Freiman, a career .294 hitter in Minors, has never seen Major League playing time. He has that chance now. Freiman has shown the ability to hit, and hit with power. 2012 marked his second straight season driving in 100 runs or more. The only mark on Freiman that I have found is he doesn’t really have a position to play in the field. Good thing the Astros will have a DH this season!

It is simply crazy that the Padres had not protected this 6 Foot 7 Giant.  It may be a loss that will be felt for years if the man from Massachutsses pans out for Houston.

Nate Freiman walkoff HR for the San Antonio Missions:

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The Astros Miss Out On Reid Brignac

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Saturday, February.16,  2013

Brignac is known as more of a defensive specialist than anything.  He has a Career 3 Slash Line of .227/.268/.586.  He has to be extremely elated to be heading to hitter - friendly Coors Field.  He is Arbitration Eligible in 2014.

Brignac is known as more of a defensive specialist than anything. He has a Career 3 Slash Line of .227/.268/.586. The Shortstop/Second Baseman has to be extremely elated to be heading to hitter – friendly Coors Field. He is Arbitration Eligible in 2014.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

Since the Astros traded Jed Lowrie about a week ago, the Houston Astros have been looking at acquiring another shortstop. Reid Brignac, Rays shortstop, was on the Astros radar.

The Colorado Rockies acquired Infielder Reid Brignac from the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday in exchange for a player to be named later and cash considerations. Brignac bounced around between Triple-A and the Rays last season. He hit .095 in 16 games for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. The 27-year-old Brignac was a Second-Round Pick by the Rays in the Amateur Draft of 2004.

Reid Brignac Highlights:  Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance is advised:

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Roger Clemens: Close To Returning To Houston

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Friday, January.11,  2013

Roger Clemens won 7 Cy Young Awards with his Career Record of 354-188 (.658). A lot of MLB people thought that the Astros would bring Clemens in to spark attendance at Minute Maid Park this season.

Roger Clemens won 7 Cy Young Awards with his Career Record of 354-188 (.658). A lot of MLB people thought that the Astros would bring Clemens in to spark attendance at Minute Maid Park this season.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent) 

The Houston Astros have made many changes this off season. From uniform changes all the way to the broadcast booth. The Astros are close to yet another change. Many thought Roger Clemens would return to Houston as a pitcher. That didn’t happen. It doesn’t look like it will happen either. However, the Houston Astros are close to a deal with Clemens to return as a Minor League Pitcher’s mentor.

Roger Clemens Pitching with the Sugar Land Skeeters Aug.25/2012

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