I'm flying to Athens for my Greek Week of the trip. Hopefully less snow than Vienna...
Roy Oswalt pitched great again yesterday as the Astros won 1-0, but the most encouraging sign was probably the bullpen, as Mike Gallo, Dan Miceli, Taylor Bucholz, and Ricky Stone all threw scoreless innings. Sweet.
There has been a big argument over at AstrosDaily about Craig Biggio. Some argue that his defense is terrible; some say it is average. Some say his offense is unacceptable; some say it is average. The truth?
Craig Biggio's defense last year, from several advanced metrics:
So I don't think you can argue Biggio is league average defensively. He is below average, does not have a good arm, and has little speed.
Craig Biggio's offense
None of those are particularly good for a center fielder, although they aren't terrible. But they are not likely to get better; Biggio is simply too old to expect an improvement.
In short, Biggio is significantly below average defensively and slightly below average defensively.
Sorry, but it's true. Jason Lane in 2005!
Oh, and there is more good stuff over at the Cub Reporter about how the Cubs offense should be better than the Astros this year, which is simply wrong.
Several of their observations include the fact that Lee will hit 40 HR's, Alou 30, Ramirez 35, Sosa 50, and Patterson 25.
They don't mention the OBPs of those players from last year:
Lee .379, Sosa .358, Alou .357, Patterson .329, Ramirez .314
Compared with the 5 best Astros hitters OBPs:
Berkman .412, Hidalgo .385, Ensberg .377, Bagwell .373, Kent .351
That is a huge difference. The Astros offense should continue to be better than the Cubs.