Tag:Miguel Tejada
Posted on: February 1, 2010 6:47 pm

Pre Spring Training Notebook: Part 1

The Astros report--pitchers and catchers at least--to Kissimmee in eighteen days. This, along with some uninstigated optimism has my heart pounding for baseball season. My beloved Syracuse Orange[men] are up to #3 in the AP, they have only one loss, I have tickets to the 'Nova game and yet I cannot hold back my anticipation for spring training. That's right, not the actual baseball season, but SPRING TRAINING. Any of you baseball nuts, like me, will understand where I'm coming from. At the start of every season their is every reason to believe your team has a shot--I apologize for fans of: the Nationals, the Pirates, the Royals and the Blue Jays, for whom this is not true. I fully believe, despite a myriad of doubt coming from fans, experts and most everyone--other than the usually off-his-rocker Richard Justice (of the Houston Chronicle)--that the Astros will buck the consenus and prove to be a better than expected team. Essentially, my fellow Astros fans, there is reason to watch and follow along for the next seven+ months. It also occurs to me that I am still, undeservably so, in possession of the "writer's badge" for Astros coverage. So, I might as well begin chronicling the Astros' 2010 season, beginning on February 1st--one day before the LOST premiere.

I will begin with my "Pre Spring Training Notebook." This will be a quick sum up of the offseason and the names we can expect to see come actual Spring Training--which is again, EIGHTEEN days away. This will be done in four parts: The Subtractions, The Additions, The Prospects, The Holdovers. Today I bring you...

The Subtractions

Miguel Tejada SS - Perhaps the biggest loss for the Astros--certainly at the plate and in the clubhouse, at least--Tejada was not even offered a contract. We could debate whether Ed Wade should have made an attempt to sign Tejada back at a discounted price, but I think any conversation would be pointless. The fact remains, he was not resigned--an added bonus, he did not sign with Cardinals. The question I pose to you, the one I think matters, is: How much offense did we lose when we failed to even attempt to resign him. I would argue not much. In two seasons with the 'Stros Tejada averaged a .326 OBP and .435 SLG%. In comparison: Marlon Byrd OF (formerly of the Rangers) recorded a .329 OBP and .479 SLG% last year, Mark Teahen 3B (formerly of the Royals) recorded a .325 OBP and .408 SLG%, Cody Ross OF (Marlins) hit a .321 OBP and .469 SLG% and Melky Cabrera OF (formerly of the Yankees) hit for a .336 OBP and .416 SLG%. My point? Tejada put up solid numbers, NOT EXCEPTIONAL ONES. Not the kind of numbers you expect from one of your team's top offensive contributers. His numbers were merely good enough for average role players. Every team, of course, needs these players. However, they should be replaceable. Add to this fact his poor defensive ability--especially since he's being replaced by a good defensive reputation, Tommy Manzella--and we [the Astros illustrious fan base] don't have too much to worry about. How's that for optimism?

Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins RP - I've decided to pair these two for two reasons 1. To save myself some time (I always get excited to start writing, then twenty minutes later, yawn...) 2. These two served the same role in 2009, co-closer. Both Valverde and Hawkins are big loses. My ideal plan heading into the offseason would have been to offer both arbitration. Allow Valverde to sign elsewhere and collect the draft picks and either keep Hawkins via arb. or collect a draft pick for him as well. Half of that came to fruition. However, seeing Hawkins sign with the Brewers hurt--not only because they are a division rival too. If the Astros are going to spend 15 million on Brandon Lyon, why couldn't they have spent half that on resigning Hawkins, who proved that he could be a more than effective closer in 2009. In my opinion, letting Hawkins walk was the biggest mistake of the offseason, however, he is old and his track record isn't great, so I could be wrong here. Ultimately thhough, the production of this pair will be very difficult to make up this season--eighth and ninth innings=DANGER!

Darin Erstad 1B/OF - I know, I know, we shouldn't even have to mention him. However, is there a better guy in sports? It's sad to see the former Nebraska punter go. He was a good bench player in 2008--even if regulated to morale booster last season--and that production off the bench will have to come from somewhere. I do not like Houston's bench as it stands. His departure will open the door for Cory Sullivan or one of the prospects to become Houston's fifth outfielder.

Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz - Can you say addition by subtraction?

At first glance you may say that Houston lost too much between the trio of Tejada, Valverde and Hawkins. I will admit, all of those loses hurt, although some more than others. However, with their departures, the composition of this team will change. The team is getting younger, the team is getting better on defense. It will ultimately be tough to say which team ('09 or '10) seems better. However, I would make a case for the 2010 team's new look. Especially when you take into consideration all of the addition by subtraction--and I'm not talking about Hampton and Moehler...

Cecil Cooper - COME ON, it wouldn't be an Astros offseason post if I didn't mention the cancer that was Cecil Cooper (I am sure "Coop" is a lovely man if I ever had the pleasure to meet him). The players hated him and he was a terrible tactitian. His departure can only mean good things for the Astros in 2010, right?

Discuss these former 'Stros or anything else in the comments section.

Due Up: Additions

Posted on: July 19, 2009 2:56 pm

Astros Players Performance Grades, Midseason 2009

Stats, via Mlb.com , are as of July, 15th 2009.  All grades were assigned prior to the All-Star game. 


Ivan Rodriguez - C

At the start of the season, I think I could have predicted a line like this from Pudge - .245/.278/.397.  Perhaps the batting average and on-base percentages are a tad low, but he's still providing better offensively production (sadly) than the Astros have been used to in recent years.  Pudge has also belted seven homeruns along with scoring twenty-six runs and thirty RBIs.  Rodriguez has also been Pudge behind the plate, and that always helps. 

Humberto Quintero - D-

Only seventy-seven at-bats for Quintero, but he hasn't made the most of them, he's hitting .247/.266/.312 this season.  One thing I have learned about 'Q' is that he will not be an everday player, something we wondered about prior to the season. 

J.R. Towles did not qualify, having less than 50 at-bats. 


Miguel Tejada - A

Tejada has been amazing, maybe the defensive is in decline, but I haven't seen anything this year that makes me think his defense is detrimental to the team.  Tejada leads the team in batting average at .329.  He also hit a slugging % of .473 with seven homeruns and thirty-seven extra-base-hits.  Tejada struck out only twenty-six times the first half but, also only walked ten times, leading to a mediocre .357 OBP.  Miggy was tied for second on the team with forty-nine RBIs and third on the team in runs scored with forty-eight. 

Lance Berkman - A-

Due to a horrid April many believe Berkman has had a poor first half, however, he leads the team in homeruns, OBP, SLG%, walks, and RBIs (anymore I'm missing?  probably) with eighteen, a .403 OBP, a .526 SLG%, sixty-six and fifty-five respectively.  Berkman's average was only .271, but who cares with an OBP over .400, right?  He's also silently stolen six bases in eight tries and was second on the team with fort-nine runs scored. 

Jeff Keppinger - B-

Keppinger, the right-handed platoon at third base, has really grown on me.  When first acquired, I didn't feel Keppinger would provide anything more than Drew Sutton (who was sent to Cincinnati in the deal).  However, through the first half, Keppinger has been holding up his side of the plate.  Batting .273 with a .353 OBP and .416 SLG%, in one hundred and sixty-one at-bats (thirty-eight less at-bats than Blum).  Keppinger is also one of two Astros batters with a BB/K ratio over one (Berkman being the other), he has walked nineteen times and struck out sixteen times.  Also, in less at-hats, Keppinger has driven in one more run than Blum. 

Question of the day:  Would you prefer the power upgrade of Chris Johnson taking over the right side of the platoon, or keep Keppinger's on-base skills? 

Geoff Blum - C+

Blum has hit .281 with a .350 OBP and .362 SLG%.  He struck out twenty-seven times and walked nineteen times, scoring twenty-seven runs.  All-in-all nothing stands out about Blum, but he has been servicable and the two of them (Blum and Keppinger) manning third hasn't kept the Astros from competing. 

Kazuo Matsui - D

Matsui 1. couldn't stay healthy 2. Was not the most effective second basemen, even when he returned.  Matsui hit .252 with a .313 OBP and .338 SLG%.  He struck out forty-three times and walked only nineteen times.  He has stolen nine bases and has provided some timely hits, so I won't give him an F, but a D is more than deserved, unfortunately. 

Edwin Maysonet - B

I don't know why the front office doesn't seem to like Maysonet.  He fields well and provided some good offensive production during his stint in the majors.  In fifty-four at-bats he hit .315 with a .356 OBP and .407 SLG%.  Personally, I would like to see Maysonet be brought back up with a chance to stick, but with Matsui making five million for the next two years that, it isn't likely to happen. 

Matt Kata didn't qualify.

Due up:  The remaining 'Player Performance Grades' as well as a look into the Elias Rankings, the off-season and 2010.  I'm looking forward to reading your answers to the 'question of the day'. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com