Notes From Yesterday
Yulieski Gurriel‘s Hooks Debut
Before Gurriel’s first game with the Hooks, he had a brief press conference with local media through an interpreter. He was asked several questions. He thinks that he is 70% ready, but he has not played competitively since February. He mentioned that the hitting is the hardest part of baseball, and he is working on his timing. He also mentioned that he has worked at third base and the outfield.
Gurriel also said that the pitching in Cuba is not in its peak talent level, so he has had to adjust to the speed of the pitching in the minors. He feels like the transition to a major league hitter is going good and the players and coaches he is working with have helped. Jose Altuve and Gomez have reached out to Gurriel to help guide him.
When asked about his brother Lourdes Gourriel possibly joining the Astros too, he didn’t answer directly but did say that it would be a dream come true to play with his brother in the MLB. They have played on the same team since Lourdes started playing professionally in Cuba. I heard on the radio today that their father was also a great baseball player as well, it runs in the blood.
His debut with the Hooks was not as exciting as his last game with the Jethawks. He batted third in the lineup and went 0-3 with a strikeout. While he played DH last night, look for him to play at third base or left field before being called up. Here are some photos from his debut.
Altuve Has Perfect Night
The Astros wanted to shut Altuve down for a whole day, even though it broke his consecutive game streak at 202. Hinch said on 790 this morning that players are beat up in August, and they thought it would be a good mental and physical break for Altuve. This was not punishment for being thrown out the day before for arguing a called third strike.
A little rest does the body good as Altuve returns to go 4-4 pacing the Astros offense to score seven runs. All the hits were singles, but it jacked his batting average to .361. The Astros success could mean a lot to Altuve as he is in the running for AL MVP. Should the Astros fall out of contention, so could his MVP votes, see Mike Trout last year.
According to Baseball Tonight, Altuve has the MLB-leading seventh four-hit game of the season. It is not surprising that he did this on the road because he is now batting .429 on the road in 2016. When the Astros offense needs a boost, Altuve is there to saved the day.
Tim Tebow Anyone?
Tebow refuses to change positions on the football field but is willing to change sports to chase his baseball dreams. Haven’t we already seen this movie where Michael Jordan and Tracy McGrady came back to try to play baseball? Gurriel said it yesterday; baseball is a hard sport to play. It may be insulting to baseball players who have played the game for their whole life and never get a chance to audition in front of MLB scouts.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
According to Aaron Torres, Tebow played baseball in high school before switching to football full-time. His junior year, he hit .494 with four homers and 30 RBIs. Torres also said that his high school coach Greg Mullins said that he thought that he was a great baseball player and could have played in the majors. Fast forward to 2016, and Tebow has not played competitively in baseball since his junior year of high school. He’s 29, which is typically the back half of a baseball players prime.
Should a team like the Astros sign Tebow, he would then take 2-3 years to become major league ready, if that is even possible. He would then be looking to make his MLB debut as a 32-year-old. Gurriel can do that because he has played baseball for a decade plus. Looking at Tebow’s swing path, it seems really long.
Reportedly Tebow is setting up a workout for all 30 teams, well 29 teams, the Cardinals can get it later from the Astros. No, I don’t see the Astros taking a chance on Tebow, that will seem like an act of desperation.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***