Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker can make history this season, but suffered a setback as his team will be without one of his top players for an unspecified amount of time.
Jose Altuve suffered a broken right thumb during the semifinal game of the World Baseball Classic.
“It’s a massive blow,” Astros general manager Dana Brown told mlb.com. “Right now, there’s no timeline because the doctor’s got to go in and get this deal done. It’s unfortunate that it is a fracture that was revealed by the MRI and he’s going to have to have surgery on it.”
Definitely not the news Baker and the Astros organization wanted to hear as he’ll look to lead his team to another World Series title this season.
Baker is looking to become just the second Black manager to win back-to-back World Series titles, joining Cito Gaston who won titles in 1992 and 1993 with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Altuve has been a key piece to the team’s success and with his absence, Baker will need to find a replacement for a player who can get it done at the plate and in the field.
It’s never easy for a team in any sport to win consecutive titles. And when your eight-time all-star and two-time World Series champ will miss the start of the season, that doesn’t make things any easier.
What will Dusty Baker’s team will look like without Jose Altuve?
Baker is going into his third season leading the Astros and is looking for his second title as a manager and third overall.
He will certainly have a decision to make as the season approaches regarding who will replace Altuve with at second base. According to a report from the Houston Chronicle, Mauricio Dubon and David Hensley will look to fill in for Altuve as he is away.
But you can believe that without Altuve, Baker is going to put his best team out there and will expect them to compete at a high level. There’s no question that Baker wants to win back-to-back titles and even though the Astros lost one of their top pitchers in Justin Verlander during the offseason, and now Altuve for some time, this team will still be a force to reckon. One of the best pitching staffs in baseball will help the Astros whether the storm.
Dusty’s boys will need to start off strong
The first few months of the season will be critical for Baker and his team. They are going to find out quickly how Altuve’s loss will impact the team chemistry.
In a perfect world, Baker would not have to worry about any injuries or personnel changes and do things the way he wants. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. All eyes will be on Baker and the Astros at the start of the season. The silver lining? Baker has over 2000 career victories and knows a thing or two about winning, and his record with the Astros (230-154) speaks for itself. He will get his team together and make sure they are clicking on all cylinders come March 30th.
According to an article from Forbes, the Phillies did not have an MLBbro on the Opening Day roster last season for the first time in 63 years. That will change this season with former Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker, and now Harrison joining the team. The last MLBbro to suit up for the Phillies as a full-time starter was outfielder Andrew McCutchen. Outfielder Roman Quinn played 79 games for the Phillies in 2022. And outfielder Darrick Hall ended up playing in 41 games this season for the Phillies. During that time, he batted .250, with nine home runs, and 16 RBI. He had an on-base percentage of .282, and a slugging percentage of .504.
Philadelphia will look to make another run back to the World Series – this time with a multi-talented Black utility player who can provide everything from hitting and baserunning to soul in the hole and a number of other positions. If the Phillies can make it back and Harrison is still on the team, he and Walker can become the first Phillies MLBbros to win a title since 2008.
Three MLBbros were on that team: Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, and Tom “Flash” Gordon. Gordon got hurt and was ruled out for the season, but still received a World Series ring.
This will be Harrison’s sixth MLB team that he’s played for during his career. The two-time All-Star is still searching for his first World Series title and will have a good opportunity to do so with the Phillies. He spent the 2022 season with the Chicago White Sox and had a solid season.
Josh Harrison Is A Versatile MLBbro Veteran
In 119 games, he hit .256 with 27 RBI and 50 runs scored. Harrison can provide value at the plate and in the field. He’s the type of player that can make an impact as a starter or a player coming off the bench. You better believe the Phillies will utilize Harrison the best way they can. The 35-year-old can still play at a high level and it’s no surprise that a team like the Phillies picked him up.
Harrison is best known for his defensive abilities at second base, but this brother can play numerous positions on the field. Last season, in addition to playing second, he played shortstop, third base, left field, and made a few relief appearances on the mound. So the Phillies will definitely find somewhere to put this Swiss Army knife. And if Harrison can put up productive numbers at the plate, it’ll be difficult to keep him out of the lineup.
Mookie Betts has now been in the league for nine seasons. It seems like it wasn’t too long ago when he was a rising star in Boston. Now, the 30-year-old continues to rack up accolades and is always the topic of conversation around the league. How can you not like a player like the five-tool talented Betts? He can do it all out there on the field.
Mookie Betts Trying To Get More Blacks On Baseball Field & In Front Office
Now that Betts has established himself as one of the game’s premiere talents, he also is one of the few MLBbros who publicly expresses his desire to address the racial disparity on every level of baseball. He wants to be an agent for promoting baseball to the Black communities and inspiring the next generation of MLBbros.
Mookie Betts Continues To Post Hall Of Fame Numbers
Betts had an impressive 2022 season. He finished with a .269 batting average, a career-high 35 home runs, 82 RBI, and 117 runs scored. He led the team in home runs and was tied for first in runs scored. Going into the postseason, the Dodgers were one of the favorites to win the title. This was Betts worst postseason as far as hitting. He finished hitting .143 in the four games he played. He’s sure to come back stronger in 2023.
Other than the disappointing postseason, this brother rebounded from an injury-ridden 2021 with a typical productive explosion. We got a chance to see that power he possesses at the leadoff spot. You can argue that he was one of the best leadoff hitters in the game this season. A true franchise player that is the cornerstone of any team he’s on.
Betts is an all-around athlete who can get it done at the plate and on the field. He was named to his sixth all-star team this season and also won his sixth Gold Glove Award. And let’s not forget how strong of an arm this man has too. He has an absolute rocket out there in right field. He can evern play second base.
Mookie Betts Has Rifle In Outfield, Can Play Infield
You better believe those players know better to run on Betts when a ball is hit out his way. He finished with eight assists in right field and made some unbelievable plays out there in right too. Next year will be season 10 for Betts and don’t expect our MLBbro to lose a single step out there on the field.
One thing he has to stay away from is injuries, and if he can do that, then he’ll continue to rack up the accolades and make all-star teams. Betts’ unique abilities are proven by certain statistical accomplishments. He has stolen 10 or more bases in his last eight seasons. He finished with 12 this season and was only caught twice.
Don’t be surprised if you see him steal another 10 plus bases, even at his age. When it’s all said and done, Betts will be a Hall of Famer and will go down as one of the most successful players in history. It’s really hard to not mention the multiple World Series winner when you discuss the top players in baseball. And it’s been like that for the past few years.
If you ask Betts, he will tell you two titles is not enough, so as long as he’s playing, he’s going to do his best to help put his team in a position to win games and win another World Series.
Dusty Baker and his team came into Wednesday’s World Series game reeling and looking to even the series up at 2-2. His team did that and more, making history with the second World Series no hitter ever. It was a combined effort with 25-year-old pitcher Cristian Javier going six innings and four other pitchers cleaning it up and closing it out in a 5-0 win in Game 4.
The Philadelphia Phillies destroyed the Houston Astros 7-0 in Game 3 and Baker made some questionable decisions during that game. The big one was leaving his starting pitcher, Lance McCullers Jr., in a little too long as he gave up all seven runs in 4.1 innings of work.
But Game 4 was a much different story as Javier, was dialed in the entire game and the offense showed up in a big way.
Baker did not have much to worry about this game as Javier and his teammates were untouchable up there on the mound. All he had to do was sit back and enjoy that performance by his team. Keep tabs on the game and make sure this was a 5-0 lead his team wouldn’t surrender like it did in Game 1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Javier struck out the side and didn’t even break a sweat out there. Baker decided to take Javier out right before the bottom of the seventh inning began. He finished with nine strikeouts and did not allow a hit. Houston was able to break the game open in the fifth inning. The Astros threatened with two men on and nobody out and the ALCS MVP, Jeremy Pena was up to bat against Aaron Nola.
Nola struck out Pena twice before his third at-bat and with the count at 0-1, Pena squared around to bunt, but fouled it off, and Dusty Baker immediately put his head down in what looked like a missed opportunity. But the first rookie in MLB history to win a Gold Glove delivered with his stick and roped a single to left field with the count at 2-2 to load the bases up.
After that Nola’s night was done as he finished with four strikeouts in four innings. The Phillies bullpen did not allow a run during the World Series, but when Jose Alvarado took the mound, he hit Yordan Alvarez on the first pitch and the Astros took a 1-0 lead. That was the Astros first run in 15 innings.
And then Alex Bregman, who has a history of having success in World Series games, came through again with a two-run double. Houston ended up putting up five runs in the top of the fifth, which was more than enough. It was all smiles for Baker and his team after a dominating performance. With the series tied, Baker will put the rock in the hands of Justin Verlander for Game 5. Verlander has never won a World Series game in his illustrious career. It’s definitely a legacy game for the two future first ballot Hall of Famers.
The San Diego Padres’ season came to an end on Sunday as the Philadelphia Phillies won 4-3 to punch its ticket to the World Series. San Diego only won one game during the series, but the team did not go down without a fight. And two of our MLBbros did their best to contribute to a World Series run. The franchise is definitely closing the gap on the Los Angeles Dodgers and next season’s NL West race should go down to the wire. The return of Fernando Tatis will figure prominently in what happens out West in 2023.
Josh Bell: Where Will His Roller Coaster Ride End Up?
Josh Bell had a productive NLCS and had some timely and key hits at the plate. But unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to help his team get over that hump. In the five games against the Phillies, Bell recorded a hit in four of them. The former Washington Nationals slugger finished the series going 6-for-17 with a home run and three RBI.
He had a big performance in Game 2 as he finished with a three-hit performance as the Padres got the only win of the series that game.
During the postseason, Bell finished with a .250 batting average with two home runs and five RBI. Bell’s future in San Diego is still cloudy as he will become a free agent this summer and return to the market after signing a one-year $10M deal with the Nats last offseason before being traded in the blockbuster Juan Soto deal. The Padres could retain him, but reports say they will probably look in another direction, which is a shame because he is a great fit out there. There will be more than a couple of teams searching for a first baseman with major pop and playoff experience.
Bell’s season was a tale of two cities. The 40-year-old played at an All-Star level with the Nationals, with a strong stat line of .311/.390/.504 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI. After he was traded to the Padres, though, Bell’s production plummeted to .192/.316/.271 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 53 games, but he did help the team get into the playoffs.
There are rumors that the Houston Astros would be a perfect fit for Bell who would thrive in that lineup as a younger replacement for 38-year-old declining free agent Yuli Gurriel.
On the other hand, Bell’s teammate, Trent Grisham started the postseason with a bang, but slowed down a bit as the postseason progressed.
In the series against Philadelphia, Grisham went hitless in all five games. Definitely not the performance his team and fans wanted to see. After starting the postseason with a four-game hitting streak, Grisham went a disastrous 0-for-18 with nine strikeouts in the LCS against the Phillies. He finished the postseason hitting .200 with three home runs and 15 strikeouts. His regular season performance was less than expected and the Padres will give this talented outfielder at least one more season to prove himself as an everyday player. The club does have him under control for three more seasons. The 2020 Gold Glove winner hit 17 homers but batted just .184 with 150Ks.
It would have been exciting to see both of these MLBbros compete in the World Series and potentially win their first title. But it was good to see them make it as far as they did, laying the groundwork for an even better 2023.