A three year pact for the Texans top corner

Grading the Texans move to bring back Bradley Roby

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

The Texans brought back one of their biggest signings from last year making sure Bradley Roby doesn't get away at a position of need.

Roby back and Texans needed him

Once it became clear nearly the entire league was interested in former Broncos cornerback Chris Harris it seemed convincing Bradley Roby to come back to Houston was a priority. There was talk about Roby not being thrilled with his time in Houston and potentially not wanting to come back. It looks like the fit was there though and Roby steps into a position of need and prominence for the Texans as cornerback number one.

The money makes sense

This is actually a really great deal for the Texans and maybe a little under market for Roby. Bill O'Brien and his crew should be commended. Roby gets slightly more than he made last year and he falls outside the top ten in average annual salary. He gets a deal worth less than Malcolm Butler's deal he signed with the Titans a couple of years ago and really just a few million more than a deal Prince Amukamara signed a couple of years ago.

I say all this to say I believe the Texans got a little bargain and Roby got security and familiarity. He did get hurt, and had some hiccups last year, but the open market could have had him cashing in big on the Texans or someone else. Good job to get this done shortly after the CBA got done.

Where does he play now? Inside or out?

Earlier I called Bradley Roby the Texans number one cornerback. I believe he will be the best they have this season. He will also be the most important corner as well. Especially based on where he plays.

Roby played inside and outside for the Texans in 2019. The following stats are from Pro Football focus.

31 percent of the time he played inside (249/799) with a coverage rating on average of 63.4. Now, that's just four games where he primarily played inside. 58 percent of the time he played outside (462/799) where he averaged a coverage rating of 58.9. While playing outside he almost always had single digit amounts of snaps inside. When primarily inside, he ventured more outside.

Roby is clearly a key member of the defense going forward. It doesn't matter if he is playing inside or outside. But, based on his success inside, the need for three corners, and the other cornerbacks on the team, I think there's a chance he will play plenty inside.

Lonnie Johnson and Gareon Conley primarily play outside. It would stand to reason a second round pick in his second year like Johnson and a player who cost a third round pick in a trade like Conley would be outside with Roby inside. Now, maybe Roby starts outside and goes inside on key downs. With Anthony Weaver at the helm of the defense now, it is a bit of a guessing game how he will use Roby.

Roby's Reasonable Deal Earns Texans an A

When you factor in the need at cornerback, the expected need in free agency by the rest of the league, and the solid contract the Texans really did a great job with this. Now it is up to Roby to make the most after he proved enough to the Texans on his prove-it deal last year.

Grade: A

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After grinding through back-to-back extra-inning games in the series with the Los Angeles Angels where they would ultimately come away with the victory, the Astros had a day off on Monday before getting back into action on Tuesday. They were in Arizona for the first of three games against the Diamondbacks. Here is a rundown of the series opener:

Final Score: Astros 8, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 6-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.42 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 7.04 ERA).

Houston takes an early lead against Bumgarner and then piles on

Houston wasted no time going after Madison Bumgarner, with George Springer going after the first pitch of the game for a groundout, then Jose Altuve launching a solo home run on the next pitch to get an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. They added to that lead in the second inning, with Carlos Correa leading it off with a solo home run of his own, making it 2-0. After two hit batters and a single, the Astros had the bases loaded for George Springer with one out, and he would deliver a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 3-0.

They would put runners on base in the next two innings, but would not score again until the fifth when a Bumgarner fielding error on a potential double-play would bring in a run and extend the inning. Houston would go on to load the bases, setting up Kyle Tucker for an RBI-single to make it 5-1 and end Bumgarner's night. Against Arizona's new reliever, Martin Maldonado worked a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-1, then Springer followed with a two-RBI double, blowing the game open at 8-1.

Javier gets first-career win in another impressive start

With a lead in hand when he went to the mound, Cristian Javier had another strong performance in his second-ever start. He allowed just one baserunner over the first three innings, a single in the second. After those three efficient innings, he would face some adversity in the bottom of the fourth. After allowing a double and one-out walk, he would give up his first run of the night on an RBI-single to make it a 3-1 game. Luckily, a great double play behind him would get him out of the jam and the inning.

Javier was able to settle back in after that rougher inning, getting quick, scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, earning him the win. His final line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR.

Yet another rookie pitching debut as Houston's bullpen finishes the win

Bryan Abreu was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the bottom of the seventh. He would not have an inning to remember, allowing a leadoff double followed later by two walks to load the bases. He then walked in a run, making it 8-2, and prompting another call to the bullpen. Enoli Paredes would enter and get the final out of the seventh inning.

Paredes ran into trouble of his own in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases after a walk and two singles, but with some help from Houston's defense would keep it a six-run lead heading to the ninth. In yet another Astros debut for a pitcher in 2020, Humberto Castellanos entered in the bottom of the ninth, and he recorded the final three outs to close out the victory for Houston.

Up Next: This series continues on Wednesday with the middle game of this three-game set at 8:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 5.40 ERA) will return to the mound in another start for the Astros, while Robbie Ray (0-2, 8.64 ERA) will look to turn things around in his early season with the Diamondbacks.

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