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Monday, February.11, 2013
By Nicholas Rossoletti (MLB Reports Trade Correspondent): Follow @NRoss56
In 2005, the Houston Astros completed a run to the World Series. It was the culmination of the Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell teams in Houston. That team had players on it named Clemens, Pettitte, Oswalt,Bagwell and Biggio. This Houston team is a far way from that National League Champion. Houston has failed at epic levels the last two seasons. The state of the current union of this team is summed up in one word: bad. With that said, there is a ray of hope in these dark days.
When I first learned of this assignment, I planned on doing a portion of a piece on the Astros most expensive and possibly most prominent offensive piece, Jed Lowrie. Houston, in an effort to aggressively proceed with rebuilding its roster, traded Lowrie for several pieces. The trade itself has been covered by this site and our Astros’ corespondent already so I’m going to focus on piece of it. Chris Carter, the First Baseman/Outfielder, acquired by the Astros. Carter has shown consistent power at the Minor League levels as he consistently posted well above league average ISO numbers. His brief stint in the Majors with the A’s prior to the 2012 season did not see those numbers translate. Finally in 2012, we got a look at what we hope is the real Chris Carter.
Carter posted 16 Home Runs in less than 300 Plate Appearances while posting a spectacular ISO. Carter is not the type of player who will hit for average as his Strike-Out rates are consistently well above league average, but he does so an excellent propensity for taking walks. Carter is an Adam Dunn - type player. Big power, good On Base Percentage, but a high Strike Out rate with a low Batting Average. Overall, I think he will make a fine number four hitter, but the pieces around him need to fit. The other issue is where does Carter play. He is traditionally a First Baseman, but Houston is currently playing 26-Year Old Brett Wallace at first in an effort to determine his value. More important than Wallace though is one of Houston’s top prospects, First Baseman Jonathan Singleton.
Bagwell and Biggio Mix of Highlights: Who will be the next tandem of Astros greats?:
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Thursday, December.27, 2012
Nicholas Rossoletti (Baseball Writer): Follow @NRoss56
The 2013 Houston Astros payroll is one of the stranger payrolls to look at given the current state of baseball where player’s salaries seem to be ever-increasing. Before Dec.18, the Astros were paying exactly one player above One Million Dollars annually. That player was shortstop, Jed Lowrie. Then, the team added 1B/DH Carlos Pena to its roster on a one year deal for approximately $2.9 Million according to reports and reliever, Jose Veras on a 1 Year/$1.85 Million dollar deal. Thats it. Three players earning more than a Million Dollars on a professional baseball franchise approximately sixty (60) days until pitchers and catchers report. (Please note that the Astros are rumored to be interested in signing Third Baseman Jose Lopez who may be added to this list). These are your 2013 Houston Astros, who are a far cry from the Astros of the mid-2000′s who signed Andy Pettite, Roger Clemens, traded for Carlos Beltran and made a run at a World Series. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday July.4, 2012
Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer and @chuckbooth3024 on twitter)-We are going to bring you monthly power rankings every month of the season. There will be a few notes written for each team. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts. The Texas Rangers are the top ranked team yet once again, although teams are certainly gaining on the them in the last month. If this report was being done last week I might have put the New York Yankees in 1st and Texas in 2nd. A 7 game winning streak help preserve another month for Texas on the leader-board. There were superior months by Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista, Joey Votto , Jason Heyward and a new phenomenon was born with Jose Altuve. It was a great month for the MLB. With 20 teams within 5.5 games or less for the playoff races, we are sure to see some serious movements in the Power Rankings in the 2nd half of the season.
Standings taken before play Tuesday July.03/2012
July Power Rankings-Last Month Rank in Parenthesis
1. Texas-50-30 (1) The Rangers rode a 7 game winning streak to end up 18-8 for the last month. David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus all hit over .300 in the last 30 days. The Rangers were able to weather a slow spurt from Josh Hamilton, in which he hit .222 with only 4 HRs for the month. Matt Harrison has asserted himself as an ace on the staff with a 5-0 month with a 1.29 ERA, while leading the American League with 11 wins on the year. The Rangers have 6 players going to the ALL-Star Game including 3 starters. Yu Darvish can make a 7th if he is voted into the final roster spot with his rookie campaign of 10-5 so far.
2. NY Yankees 48-31(5) The Yankees have ridden good pitching and a hot bat from Robinson Cano to a 19-7 record over the last month, with a 5 games lead over their competition in the AL East. Cano hit .370 with 12 HRs and 24 RBI in the last month. Derek Jeter is hitting .298 overall but saw his average go from .389 in April, to .283 in May to .232 in June. He still tops a list of 4 Yankees heading to the ALL-Star Game including 23 HR homer man Curtis Granderson. Phil Hughes went 5-1 in the month with a 2.59 ERA and Ivan Nova won his 3 decisions with a miniscule 1.32 ERA. Rafael Soriano has converted 18 out of 19 save opportunities since taking over as team closer.
3. San Francisco 45-30 (9) The Giants went 16-11 in the month and saw a perfect game from Matt Cain, with a few other 1 hitters. The team shutout the Dodgers 3 games in a row in a series last week. The Giants have Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Melky Cabrera starting in KC next week. The Melkman continues to show that last year was no fluke with his .352 Average and he is leading the Major Leagues with 111 base hits. The Giants pitching staff has coped with the loss of Brian Wilson and the ineffectiveness of starter Tim Lincecum, by the rest of the staff having career years.
4. LA Angels 45-35 (12) The Angels have been really steady since the end of May. They just finished going 17-8 in the last 25 days on the backs of ALL-Stars Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and resurgent Albert Pujols. Trout might be the most exciting player on the planet these days and is a lock for AL Rookie of the Year if he keeps this up. Trout hit .367 over the last month and has taken over the AL batting lead with a .342 AVG. Trumbo hit 10 HRs and drove in 28 RBI for the month and Pujols hit .337. to raise his average 40 points. C.J Wilson was good enough in June to be named as CC Sabathia‘s replacement at the ALL-Star game.
5. Washington 45-32(9) Mike Morse has returned to the lineup with a vengeance during the last week with a .484 average. Super Sub Tyler Moore has also hit .415 in the last 14 games with 4 HRs and 12 RBI. Ian Desmond had 16 Extra base hits for the month to go along with 20 RBI, while he made the ALL-Star game as a reserve. Ryan Zimmerman awoke from a season long slump to plate 17 RBI. Adam LaRoche still contributed 7 HRs and 15 RBI despite a paltry .191 average in June. Stephen Strasburg is 9-3 on the year with a 2.81 ERA and a league leading 122 SO. Gio Gonzalez is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA. Both Gonzalez and Strasburg made the ALL-Star squad. Read the rest of this entry