There are valuable contributions that could never be quantified, like that first time in Indians spring training last year that Cleveland’s young players saw how much pride Mike Napoli took in advancing 90 feet on a pitch in the dirt. It was a moment, some of them said at the end of their season, when the team started to take a much different approach on the bases.
There was unquantifiable value in the time that Napoli took to play cribbage with young infielder Jose Ramirez every day. Or the work that catcher Chris Gimenez did with Trevor Bauer, guiding him to improve his focus on some necessary changes. Or the fact that within an hour after Starlin Castro was traded to the Yankees, Carlos Beltran reached out to him with a text message and offered whatever help for Castro was needed.
Based on the composition of the Astros’ clubhouse, it was apparent that Houston -- an organization that has succeeded recently due to its application of metrics -- didn’t see the value in those intangibles as much as other teams did. But some players who wore the Astros uniform recently came out of that experience echoing the same words: They need some veterans in there. Those players could really use some guidance.