Houston Astros: Talking Stros with Tyler White (Podcast)

Sep 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Tyler White (13) hits a home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Houston Astros won 4 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Tyler White (13) hits a home run against the Los Angeles Angels in the seventh inning at Minute Maid Park. Houston Astros won 4 to 1. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

The best Houston Astros interview that most of you didn’t hear, the Tyler White interview.

In one of the better lineups, we had this offseason on Talking Stros, the show did not disappoint. We were joined by Tyler White and Jake Marisnick to talk Houston Astros offseason moves and expectations for 2017. Everything went great, till I realized that it wasn’t recording until the Marisnick interview. Unfortunately, the White interview didn’t record, my apologies. Those of you who listened live got a treat.

Getting excited about the 2017 Houston Astros!

White was excited about joining Talking Stros because of the great experiences he has had in the past. You can tell by his passion that he was ready for 2017 to begin. White stated that he was starting to get antsy about baseball because this was the first time he didn’t play Winter Ball. It’s been a while since he has played competitively, so he’s ready to begin the season.

White said that he got to talk to Brian McCann at Fanfest and got to see how good he sees that this team could be. He also had the honor of giving my Talking Stros co-host Brandon (@Bballlawyer) batting lessons at the batting cages. They laughed about it, and we moved on to some hard questions at the beginning.

Reflecting on what was 2016.

White was asked about what happened after his hot streak in April? His response was that was his first time that he had struggled in his life for an extended time. White didn’t know how to get out of what he referred to as a slump. When he went back down, he made it his mission to get back. White worked on his approach at the plate and trying to regain who he was. He said he was having a trouble of making the adjustments needed under the microscope in the big leagues.

White was able to lose some weight, which he said he did so by eating better and working out. He rediscovered his swing that he lost and felt more confident when he came back up in September. At that time, he knew his role, which was to come off the bench when needed. When Hinch would say, “White, you’re up,” he would get this rush of anticipation.

On a side note, Hinch did seem to have confidence in White at the end of the season. His slimmer body and approach led to more gap power, but the home run power should return. White said that it was good that he had that success to get him more excited about 2017. When asked about backing off breaking balls during his struggles, White responded that he was told about it.

Returning to what Tyler White does best, hit.

MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays
MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays /

While it wasn’t his primary focus in his return to the minors, he thought it was more about him looking for a particular pitch. Some baseball people had talked to him about it, but he wasn’t aware that he would do it. When he returned in September, he was able to see the strike zone better. He also talked about how other players would have fun playing baseball. Jake Marisnick and George Springer were two players he mentioned.

He started enjoying playing baseball instead of being too tense. White also said that he is trying to learn multiple positions to increase his value to the Houston Astros. White took groundballs routinely all around the diamond and played in the outfield in the minors. We all remember when he played shortstop last year. When asked about his role, he said everyone wants to be the starter. He was happy once he adjusted to his role off the bench, he just wants to be part of the team.

When I was a major leaguer, I gave up a homer to Chris Davis.

We talked about his appearance on the mound versus the Orioles in that blowout game. White said that they approached him and asked if he knew how to pitch. He said that he hasn’t actually pitched since high school, but knew his arm was accurate and would throw strikes. White was proud that he got three of four outs, but he knows he gave up a 700 foot home run to Chris Davis. That was a little exaggerated, but he was facing one of the most powerful teams in the league.

A tough chance to crack the opening day roster.

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When asked about the players that the Houston Astros have added this offseason, he was honest. White said that he knows that Astros added some good players, so it will be much tougher to win a job this spring. He will go into camp and try to earn a job with his play, that’s all he can do. The excitement of this challenge is what White is the most looking forward to.

No one, besides Talking Stros, saw White being the starting first baseman last year for the Houston Astros. He won that job with how he performed in spring training. Nothing is saying that he won’t do the same this year. He’s been playing baseball year-round for a few years, maybe taking the offseason off will be good for White.

Next: Could Bregman be the best player on team besides Altuve?

While it will be hard to crack the opening day roster this year, White will help the Astros at some point this year. The Astros still value what he can offer, and Hinch said on Talking Stros that he would ride the hot hand. White could still end up with a valuable role in the future of the team. He’s ready for baseball. Thanks Tyler for joining Talking Stros, hope to hear back from you soon.