Astros committed to baserunning strategy

Hinch urges patience despite marginal results so far

April 26th, 2019

HOUSTON -- Astros manager AJ Hinch said Friday that the club remains committed to the aggressive baserunning philosophy it began stressing in spring despite some mixed results in the first month of the season.

The Astros are averaging 4.84 runs per game, which is above MLB average, but they ranked second-to-last in the American League in percentage of baserunners that scored (27 percent) and last in stolen base percentage (55 percent).

In terms of outs made on the bases -- not including pickoffs, caught stealing or force plays -- the Astros had made only seven outs, which was fewer than only three other teams, entering Friday. That’s not bad. Astros baserunners had been picked off only twice entering Friday.

“Results have been just OK,” Hinch said. “We’ve made a lot of outs on the bases. I think the mindset to be aggressive has been really good. I’m happy with that. We can flip that with a couple of good results that would make everybody feel a little bit better about it.”

The Astros were a bit snake-bitten in Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Indians when Michael Brantley was thrown out on a ball in the dirt that bounced chest high for the catcher, making for an easy throw. Jose Altuve was caught stealing second on a high fastball that essentially acted like a pitch out.

“Immediately when the results are not in your favor, people think the process is wrong or it’s easy to get less aggressive,” Hinch said. “I’m happy with our mindset. We have to be able to push it a little bit and risk a few outs in order to get the results that we want, the pressure that we want on the other team.”

Baseball ops to draft from Spring Training facility

For the second year in a row, the Astros will hold their operations for the MLB Draft (June 3-5) at the team’s Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach, Fla., president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow said Friday.

The Astros moved their Draft operations to Florida last year to provide those making the decisions a better focus away from Minute Maid Park.

“Our facility there is really set up well,” Luhnow said. “We do it in the Major League clubhouse and we have a lot of room and all those video monitors. It’s distraction-free, and we really feel it’s a good spot for our scouts to travel there and us just focus on the task at hand, which is picking the best players for the Draft.”

Later in the month, the Astros will hold a workout in Florida for Draft-eligible players, as well as having one at Minute Maid Park, as they’ve done in years past. There will be a couple of other workouts at spots around the country as well.

"The workouts are a key part of our evaluation process,” Luhnow said.