KEEPING IT RAHEEL

Raheel Ramzanali: 7 (maybe 6) answers from the Twitter mailbag

Raheel Ramzanali: 7 (maybe 6) answers from the Twitter mailbag
It is time to play ask Raheel... Courtesy photo

I am a man of the people and every once in a while I like to open up the Twitter Mailbag to see how I can give back by answering some questions from my most passionate fans. So, without further ado, here is the Twitter Mailbag:

  1. Okay I lied, first I have to post the best quote I’ve ever seen explaining a person that I couldn’t describe before when trying to explain why I do or don’t like him. This comes from CBSSports and their annual dry snitching Coaches questionnaire. One coach perfectly summed up Lane Kiffin: "I'm probably a little jealous [of Lane Kiffin]. If you're born on third base, that's great, but don't think you hit a triple."

  2. Can we move Steve (Francis) to the 2? -@Migunderscore | The funny thing is that in today’s NBA where point guards are allowed to be prolific scorer, Steve would have fit right in. Now he would have had to improve his shot a bit, but man, Steve in today’s NBA with more possessions and celebrating of scoring would have killed it.

  3. How do you like your eggs?   Are you a fan of player only trips to Bahamas? -@ChrisMartin21 |  I love this Bahamas trip for the Houston Rockets players. As I grow older, the one thing I miss about my teenage years is hanging out with my friends at basketball tournaments. Some of my favorite memories are from being in a city with my friends and battling it out on the court AND sharing tons of laughs off it. Team chemistry and bonding is something that is sometimes overlooked in pro sports, but a group of guys that are close can do some amazing things. I like my eggs sunny side up with a side of hashbrowns. Also, please stop putting eggs on every damn thing. Eggs don’t belong on a burger.

  4. What 90’s RomCom would still be enjoyed by millennials today and why? Also, do you spread jelly before PB or PB before Jelly? -@JustinVanSant  | A double banger of questions! The right answer is 10 Things I Hate About You. Want a lifehack? Spread your PB and jelly in any order, but instead of eating it, give it a quick fry on a pan and melt the PB plus add a nice toast to the bread. MAGIC!

  5. Which Texas school has the best record after this college football season? -@ChaseHernandez | Easy, the Longhorns. Hook em.

  6. Which Houston athlete has the best hair? -@BSmith713rd | My top three are: Gerald Green, Clowney, and the winner is the Piña himself, Yuli Gurriel.

  7. Why is baseball so boring? -@Fro_Not_Banned | I don’t think baseball is boring, but it isn’t the most exciting of all the sports I watch. I will say, when your team is making a run and is in the World Series, the drama is second to none. There is something beautiful about baseball players making huge plays with limited opportunities. Look, football and basketball players have so many chances to impact the game. A position player will get 3-4 at-bats and maybe less than 10 to 5 chances to make an impact on defense. That is wild.

 

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Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

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