The Houston Astros are 9-8 so far this spring, after a 4-3 victory over the Mets on Tuesday put them over .500, and keeping them a game and a half back of the best record in the Grapefruit League. That honor goes to the New York Yankees (13-9) with four teams in between them and the Bronx Bombers, including the Mets. Without further ado, let’s catch up on some stories that other sites have written about our favorite team, the Houston Astros.
Yesterday the Frseno Grizzlies, the Astros’ Triple-A affiliate, announced that they would be having a very special giveaway in August. To commemorate a Sports Illustrated piece proclaiming the Astros as the 2017 World Series champions that run last summer, the Grizzlies were going to give away 2017 World Series rings, which sounded completely awesome. Bleacher Report writes that the Grizzlies have now scrapped the promotion, and will go with something more “Fresno-centric” for their Back to the Future evening.
The Grizzlies twitter account also said that the replacement giveaway will be “more worthwhile.” Looks like we’re all getting hover boards!
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN wrote a piece on Monday detailing George Springer, and how he fits in well batting second in the Astros’ lineup. Crasnick compares manager A.J. Hinch‘s lineup to those of Mike Scioscia‘s in Anaheim, with both managers grouping players together that complement each other’s skill sets. When talking of the combo of Springer and Jose Altuve in the top two spots in the order, Crasnick says, “Altuve also stole 56 bases — a big, fat number that positions Springer to see plenty of fastballs.”
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A steady diet of fastballs for Springer should produce some early leads for the Houston Astros.
Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle also wrote about Altuve and Springer, but in a different light. Both players have speed, but as Hinch points out, “I think it’s a fine line” in reference to how to best utilize that speed with the power-heavy lineup that has been constructed, as well as a history of leg ailments for both players. These two have the ability to swipe a ton of bags for the Houston Astros in 2015, but timing will be key. As Altuve says in the article, it will depend on the situation.
The more I read about Hinch’s approach to managing, the more I feel that the Astros hired the right guy. He has put a lot of thought into the team’s approach for the coming season, and I’m buying what he’s selling.
As always, if you’ve missed any recent articles on Climbing Tal’s Hill, we have some good ones for you:
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