Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

AL West Recap: The Astros won, and of course so did the Angels (because they never lose), as did the Rangers and Mariners. Oakland lost. This means FanGraphs gives the Astros a 28.0% chance of winning the division and a 65.6% chance of making the postseason.

*So the Astros beat the Red Sox, 8-3, giving Vince Velasquez his first major-league win in seven attempts. Hinch:
He's done his job a couple different times and not gotten anything to show for it, so it was nice to reward him with a win.

*But the big news of the night is that the Astros are apparently "serious" about trading for Cole Hamels.  Evan Drellich's "baseball source" said the Phillies are taking the Astros' advances seriously (try this link if that one asks for a subscription), putting Houston in the top three or four teams in the running. The Astros have also had at least preliminary conversations with the Padres about Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross. Luhnow:

With the 25 men on the roster and the guys in the minor-leagues that have been up and down, can this team make it to the playoffs?...The chances are reasonably good that can happen. Could we help the team by adding a piece or two? I think there's a chance that could happen as well. It's all going to come down to what the cost is of acquiring those pieces. And when I say cost, I'm not so much talking about dollars and cents - I'm talking about the talent we're going to have to give up on the farm...There'll be a lot of second-guessing no matter what we do.

You got that right, brother.

There is no indication of any contact between the Phillies and Hamels about the Astros, who would need Hamels to agree to a trade to Houston, Drellich says. 

*Yes, Jeff Luhnow knows that David Price's dog is named "Astro."

One thing to note, as well, is that the Astros designated Joe Thatcher for assignment yesterday for Vince Velasquez, which they didn't necessarily have to do (from a purely roster construction standpoint), they could have just optioned a player on the 25-Man roster to the minors. By DFA'ing Thatcher, they cleared room on both the 25-Man and the 40-Man roster. The 40-Man stands at 38, with Peacock and Lowrie on the 60-Day DL. 

*Speaking of Lowrie, he's set to make some rehab appearances in Corpus, possibly up to a week, during which he'll play 3B, SS, and possibly 1B. I bet you can guess why. 

*George Springer won the Astros' Heart and Hustle award.

*Randy Johnson said playing in Houston, performance-wise, was the best two months of his career. If you have half an hour to kill and you'd like to revisit how the Astros got Randy Johnson, you might be interested in this

*On August 6, the Fresno Grizzlies will be known - for a game - as the Fresno Tacos