Turns out, this Astros ace is an even bigger piece of the 2023 puzzle

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After Framber Valdez broke the franchise record for consecutive quality starts in a season this week, we discuss whether Framber is capable of being the Astros ace next season if the team is unable to re-sign Justin Verlander.

Plus, we examine if the Astros should sign Framber to a long-term deal, which hasn't been the Astros MO, especially with pitchers.

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New Astros skipper hints at exciting philosophical shakeup for new-look lineup

The Houston Astros only have a few games under their belt in spring training, but that hasn't kept new manager Joe Espada from already putting his stamp on the ball club.

Right out of the gate, Espada named Josh Hader his closer for the 2024 season, and said he would like to see the team more aggressive on the bases this season.

He also has a different approach for Jeremy Pena, who struggled last season after an incredible rookie campaign in which he won both ALCS and World Series MVP.

Espada is departing from Dusty Baker's management style and said he wants Pena to know where he's going to hit in the lineup every day he comes to the ballpark.

He also turned some heads recently when he said he plans on batting Yordan Alvarez second in the lineup. Which likely means Jose Altuve will leadoff, with Yordan, Alex Bregman, and Kyle Tucker finishing out the top four respectively.

Be sure to watch the video above as we react to the Astros new lineup, discuss what the rest of the order will look like, weigh the pros and cons of moving up Alvarez, and much more.

Catch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) with Charlie Pallilo, Brandon Strange and Josh Jordan every Monday on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel. We'll continue to drop new videos throughout the week.

Subscribe to the channel so you don't miss our latest Astros content.


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