Monday, February 22, 2016

Monday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros are more focused, more relaxed this Spring Training. And there are a variety of opinions as to why.

Five or six, seven years down the road from now, I hope to be a dynasty. And I think it's heading that way.
-Dallas Keuchel

*Jason Castro has been working on getting his bat in the strike zone earlier. He wants to stay in Houston and also found the arbitration process "awkward."

*Castro has a newfound respect for how hard Ken Giles throws.

*A.J. Hinch - who I just realized is six years older than me and now I'm in a depressive spiral - brings continuity to the 2016 Astros.

*Evan Gattis (hernia) isn't working out yet, but is involved in a lot of facets of camp. "We want his learning curve back into the baseball rhythm to be short. He'll do some tracking with the machine, he'll do some things with the cage that don't threaten his rehab, but I haven't given up on reintroducing catching to him once he gets healthy."
-A.J. Hinch

*Making the rotation is Mike Fiers' number one goal.

*The Astros are trying to shorten Lance McCullers' Spring Training.

*The Astros are interested in lefty reliever Randy Choate. Sipp and Kevin Chapman are the only lefty relievers on the 40-Man roster.

*Preston Tucker: First baseman?

*Tyler Heineman: Magician.

*Hardball Times: The fascinating enigma of the non-roster invitee

*Guy Fieri Felix Hernandez can't believe he hasn't been to the playoffs.

*Joel Sherman has some ideas to prevent "serial losers" like Jeff Luhnow and Theo Epstein from rebuilding their teams.

*A century of baseball memorabilia was found in a Vancouver attic.