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Astros: Why Yuli was Yuli Again

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

Why Yuli looked like 2021 Yuli in ALDS Game 1 for the Astros

One thing I said about Bregman earlier this year when his performance was lagging was you did not have to drag Bregman because he was already beating himself up and would not stop until he figured out what was wrong.

I am not comparing myself to the incredible talent that Bregman has BUT, despite what the toxic side of Astros Twitter thinks, you do not have come after me when I get something wrong. I am already working on the why and will not stop until I figure it out.

Last night, Yuli Gurriel looked more like 2021 Yuli than ANYTHING we have seen this year. It is one game and one should not read too much into a single baseball game performance, BUT something was different. Yuli was different. WHY?

I included in at least one article one of my big issues with Dusty was how Yuli was playing over 88% (since 7/1) of the games while younger players were being given more rest. This is the key to last night. The Astros had six days off and while that may have been too long for some it was EXACTLY what Yuli has been needing.

Ok that is an opinion and I want to be clear about that. You know how things are here. We try not to have opinions without data. Here is the data.

I went through Gurriel's game log and included the days of rest for each game. I then calculated Yuli's performance based on days of rest. The data below shows three lines

- 2022 Season stats (OBP, Slug, OPS)

- Back to back days stats

- Greater than one day of rest stats

I decided to only resent the data this way to keep the sample size from getting too small.

In 2022, Yuli Gurriel was a different player when he had at least one off day (more than one day of rest.)

The difference is DRAMATIC and do you know what that ">1" stat line looks like?

That's right Yuli with a day or more off is almost EXACTLY 2021 Yuli. Now an off day does not guarantee we get game 1 Yuli, but it appears to dramatically increase the odds we will.

The good news is there is an off day before ALDS game 2 and ALDS game 3. Here is a reminder of the POTENTIAL postseason schedule.

Perhaps this data suggests Yuli takes game 4 off or the lack of cumulative rest days may be have been the issue.

In short, for perhaps the first time since June, I have a reason to believe that Yuli MAY be a great version of Yuli IF his off time is managed properly.

Now I bet that shocks most of you LarryTheGM readers.

Let's all hope this is the good news we have been hoping for.

Now with my subscriber base I expect you all to challenge me. Is this just a one year statistical anomaly Larry should be the question you ask. I am glad you did. :)

Here is what Yuli's ENTIRE MLB career looks like with the same filter.

The answer is yes- the same trend is there but it is not as dramatic over the 2016-2021 period as it is in 2022.

Here is what the data looks like without 2022 in the sample size.

This data looks more like what I would expect most players data to look like. TO me this would indicate Yuli's need for days off is more recent and this is not shocking that a 38 year old would hit this kind of wall.

You really should check out all of the ALDS coverage at LarryTheGM including the ALDS Guide.

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