Updated: Jan 13
Start you weekend off or happy hour early with Larry as we review the Astros week
WELCOME TO ASTROS LATE LUNCH WITH LARRY (aka "A Triple L")
Review Astros News
Projections- Everyone is throwing out their projections. Of course, we have already done that and will refresh before the season starts. Here is the difference here. Many of the projection are simply opinions loosely based on some data. We have shown why we think what we do and will do more so in the Graded Depth Chart series we are about to dive into.
Chandler Rome and Brian McTaggart are reporting today the Astros have settled with several players on Arbitration deals
Are people just now realizing this team offered arbitration to Taylor, Dubon and Maton? This happened in November.
Today, is just settlement day when both sides exchange numbers. If teams don't agree today, a hearing will be scheduled.
Some teams follow a rigid "file and trial" approach which means that if the team cannot reach an agreement by this date every year, then they will hold the arbitration hearing and advocate their case.
In recent history the Astros settled with Correa on 2/6/21 AFTER this date.
Astros and reliever Ryne Stanek agreed to a $3.6 million salary, avoiding arbitration.
Mauricio Dubón and Astros agree to $1.4 million deal.
Astros and reliever Phil Maton agree at $2.55 million avoiding arbitration.
Astros and José Urquidy reach a deal for $3.025 million to avoid arbitration.
Astros and reliever Blake Taylor settled at an $830,000 salary, avoiding arbitration
The Astros and Framber Valdez have agreed to a one-year, $6.8 million deal- per Jose de Jesus Ortiz
Tucker and Javier
This COULD be a good thing. The delay MIGHT indicate they are working on multiple year packages with both Javier and Tucker. Listen to me now and hear me later.
Chandler described it well here on his Twitter
About today: it's the arbitration salary exchange deadline. Taylor is one of the Astros' eight arbitration-eligible players along with Stanek, Maton, Valdez, Tucker, Dubón, Urquidy and Javier. All are on the team next year, no matter what. Today just determines their salaries.
Review LGM Article Key Points
This week I have been deep in the LGM Lab. I have one Article I will discuss today and pin this in that article and then there something else I will preview today that is VERY CLOSE to start the writing step- i.e. the research and tables are ALMOST done.
Really surprised folks haven't latched on to this.
Perhaps the methodology description is too much.
Let's focus on the conclusions.
Position Players Depth Chart
As described, these are based on PROJECTED OPS stats. I have also been working on a methodology based on projected wRC+. I think the conclusions will be very similar. The wRC+method is better for comparing across years (more on that later.)
Some things I bet surprise you.
Pena- hit 0.715 OPS in 2022 and is projected to hit 0.710 OPS in 2023- sounds fair
McCormick- is a career 0.751 OPS hitter and is projected to hit 0.688 OPS in 2023- I don't know either.
Dubon- You are likely to be equally surprised to see Dubon's projected OPS grades. The algorithms are projecting him to perform more like he did in 2019 and 2020 and not like he did for the Astros in 2022. Let's hope they are correct.
Hensley giving B level utility performance at 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, and maybe ho could in LF- this is the Astros Utility plan
Diaz projected ahead of Lee and at 1B. The position flexibility and superior bat are key.
Pitching Depth Chart
As discussed, this chart is based on PROJECTED FIP. When comparing across years I used a FIP- model.
I think this data makes more sense when you actually see the 2022 Astros table and the historical pitching scoring.
Some things I bet surprise you.
Javier- we believe he is ready for stardom. I am with you on that. The projection algorithms don't compute it yet.
Montero- Yes, I agree with the algorithms that Montero will not be as dominant as he was in 2022.
This pitching staff will miss having an ace like Verlander.
Brown- Get ready. The 2023 season may be the year of the Brown.
What else surprises you?
Discuss Rumors and Ideas
Yuli Rumors- does it seem weird that it is so quiet? Will he just retire?
Correa- what a rough week. The Correa hate just BAFFLES me. Well deal COULD be 10 years ($270M) IF he stays healthy.
Astros vs. ____- Position by Position- I asked you all about this last week but THIS is where the graded depth charts are going. We will do depth chart comparisons from now until opening day. Working on style and format.
In the lab RIGHT NOW
Dynasty Talk- What was the greatest Astros team EVER?
We are going to deep drill the 2017-2022 rosters and compare.
This will be similar to the Grade Depth Chart methodology but based on wRC+ and FIP- to compare across the years.
Teaser- I am a little surprised with my first pass answer- WORKING
Q&A (YouTube only)