Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thursday Lunchtime Hot Links

Soooooo sllooooow. Baseball is actually a dream and we'll all wake up and have to pee at 3am, knowing it will never be played again.

*Here's an unpaywalled interview transcript between Chandler Rome and Jim Crane, in which he addresses bringing back Keuchel/Marwin, extending Verlander/Cole, etc.

*Hinch named the starting rotation for the first slate of Spring Training games.
Saturday: Framber Valdez
Sunday: Rogelio Armenteros
Monday: Justin Verlander
Tuesday: Gerrit Cole
Wednesday: Wade Miley/Collin McHugh
Thursday: Brad Peacock

*Catching prospect Jamie Ritchie noted that Forrest Whitley looks "ready to go."

*Jake Kaplan has a great story about Abraham Toro, the Astros' French-Canadian-Venezuelan prospect. Forrest Whitley, on Toro:
He is like the most underrated prospect in our system. There are a few guys who don't get as much attention as they deserve and I feel like he's the main one.

*In The Athletic: No baseball departments have been hit harder by analytics than scouting.

*How Tim Donaghy fixed NBA games.

*Urban Organics wants to fix food.

*A Musical Selection. I may be the only dude in America who still listens to the Dandy Warhols regularly:


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

Welcome to the Wednesday Morning Hot Links, or today we can call it, the Houston Chronicle Sports section.

2 days until Spring Training baseball and I got the #1 pick in my fantasy draft. Big day for Flick already.

Cavan Biggio's dad decided to hang out at camp today and talked about stuff.

Alex Bregman is continuing to progress from his surgery he had over the offseason.

The Astros won the popularity contest of "best uniforms in baseball".

I don't have a Daddy's Home joke at the ready, but there is definitely one here somewhere.

Chandler Rome talks Garrett Stubbs.

The first televised Spring Training game begins Sunday. 9 other games will be televised.

Bregman and Jake crashed Yuli's photoshoot and we found out the age old question to what happens to Yuli's new hairdo when a hat is pressed on it: it bounces back with authority.

On This Day in Baseball History

In 1963, Willie Mays signed the largest contract at the time in MLB history at $105,000.

In 1992, Mr. Montgomery Burns hired 9 professional MLB players to beat Shelbyville in the big softball game.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

Good morning. The 2018 Astros were 21-15 after 36 games, with a combined team 2.68 ERA.

*Josh Reddick said he focused too much on pulling the ball on the inner-half of the plate last year. In that link, McTaggart talks about the adjustments Ronnie Dawson is making, as well.

*SP5 is's Spring Training Battle to watch for the Astros.

*There's a pathway for both Marisnick and the out-of-options Tony Kemp to make the Opening Day roster. Jake Kaplan breaks it down. Marisnick does have an option left, but will hit five years of service time 40 days into the season, upon which he can decline the minor-league assignment.

*The Astros are chilling out with the "Ted" stuff on Kyle Tucker.

*Cy Sneed spent his offseason hunting bears and substitute teaching in Alaska.

*2017 26th Round pick Josh Rojas is ready to be the Astros' next super-utility player. While Rojas hit .311/.410/.511 for High-A Buies Creek in 2018 in his Age 24 season, he hit .251/.338/.385 in 451 PAs after getting bumped up to Corpus, playing 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, LF, and RF.

*Rob Manfred could have been sympathetic to the MLBPA. Instead he decided to piss them off.

*Check this story in The Athletic from FOAC Levi Weaver in which he embedded with a sports agency as they prepared for arbitration.

*Meet David Rice Atchison, President of the United States for one day in 1849.

*Here's something to which I can attest: Exercise may help to fend off depression.

*A Musical Selection:

Monday, February 18, 2019

Monday Morning Hot Links

5 more days until Spring Training baseball.

Verlander and Cole faced carbon-based life forms in camp today.

A.J. Hinch says Brantley will play left and right field, and will likely not see much time at first base.

Along those line, Hinch also confirmed Yuli will play some third base this year along with first base.

The young Astros are getting the big league treatment by the pros already, and it's intimidating.

Jeff Luhnow and Mike Elias were reunited at the Spring Training Media Day. In fact, they had booths right next to each other. Elias mentioned during the Q&A:

"I thought I might have the awkward experience of having to answer questions within earshot of Jeff, like having one of my parents listening to me talk or something, but him being tardy saved me from that."

Carlos Correa is a yoga man now.

Cy Sneed is a lumberjack man now.

The Australians are growing people-sized food because of course they are.

On This Day in Baseball History

In 1944, Joe Nuxhall becomes the youngest MLB player to ever pitch in a game. He was 15.

In 1998, legendary Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray passed away at the age of 83.

In 2009, the final remains of Shea Stadium were destroyed, officially marking the end of the historic park.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday Morning Hot Links

Good morning. This is the last Sunday without baseball in some form until October. God bless us, everyone.

*2018 Teams with 5.0+ fWAR position players:
2: Boston
2: Anaheim
2: Cleveland
2: Milwaukee
2: Colorado
1: Houston, Oakland, Washington, Atlanta, Kansas City, Arizona, Chicago Cubs.

Could the Astros have three 5.0+ fWAR position players?

*Alex Bregman is progressing from elbow surgery, having already taken care of hitting and fielding, he's now throwing the ball 90+ feet.

Elsewhere in that link, the coaching staff is doing team-building exercises and ropes courses and various icebreakers.

*Carlos Correa is feeling healthy for the first time in a while. Correa:
I learned so many things from my injury last year, and this year my main focus is I already showed up ready in Spring Training...I feel like I overdid it in Spring Training, so this year I'm going to be smarter about smart and not just hard all the time.

*Brian T. Smith: Michael Brantley deepens an already deep lineup.

*Detroit Free-Press: Here's how Justin Verlander plans to pitch until he's 45. Verlander:
You can start making adjustments now to prepare. The steps I've gone through the last four, five years to transform my body and get back to being healthy, (those) are going to allow me to, knock on wood, stay healthy and thrive late in my 30s, early 40s. 

Peep this quote from Luhnow:
Our payroll has been going up, it's going to continue to go up. There's room in there to have several well-compensated players. 


*Joe Smith and Allie LaForce share their story of fertility and Huntington's Disease.

*Marc Topkin has a host of stories about what a great person Former Astros Great and All-Time Astros Legend Charlie Morton is.

*Former Astros Great Cameron Maybin is now a Giant. Literally.

*A Musical Selection: