I am tired of Dusty doing the same thing and hoping for better results. This insanity has to end.
There are multiple article on LarryTheGM,com that explain why Castro should be playing more. At this point, if I were the actual GM of the Astros, Dusty would have lost the opportunity to return next year. I am going to summarize the main points. I am not going to use tables. I am going to try to make this as simple and clear as possible.
Reasons People Give for Playing Maldonado
He neutralizes the running game- the Boston Red Sox stole stole 40 bases this year. Yes, that is one every FOUR GAMES. This was 29th in the league. They don't have a running game to neutralize.
The Pitchers love him- I wrote about this in the ALDS. I don't CARE if they love throwing to Maldonado.
There are THREE Astros pitchers that have a lower OPS throwing to Maldonado than they do Castro- THREE!! Those are Odorizzi (who is not pitching in Game 4), McCullers (who is not on the ALCS roster), and Taylor.
Greinke has an OPS of 0.746 throwing to Maldonado and 0.521 throwing to Castro. Which do you want? Before you argue the limited PA of Greinke throwing to Castro- YES. That is why it was idiotic to not have him throw to Castro more all season. He SUCKED throwing to Maldy- try something else.
Javier- the one who if things go right should pitch the longest tonight. OPS 0.707 to Maldy and 0.581 to Castro.
NINE of the Astros ALCS pitchers were ~0.1 OPS or more better to Castro than Maldy- NINE.
They may love to throw to Maldy more, but they do better throwing to Castro.
What other excuses do you have for starting Maldonado?
They are trumped by two facts
The starting pitcher tonight is RHP Pivetta
OPS vs. RHP
Change the Lineup card Dusty- Start Castro.
Per the baseballmusings.com model
Same lineup with RHP
Maldonado 5.489 runs/game
Castro 5.956 runs/game
Starting Castro in place of Maldonado is worth almost half a run tonight. That is MASSIVE.