Good morning! The Astros made Max Scherzer throw 37 pitches in the first inning, but lost. Dallas Keuchel gets the start today and minor league camp has its first full workout of the Spring. On to the links:
*The Astros took an inning off of Max Scherzer's outing yesterday (MLB.com)
*The Astros defense loves Doug Fister's fast pace on the mound (Astros.com).
You always get a lift when the pitcher works that quick. He keeps you in the game. It seems like he's going to get the inning over in 30 seconds...That's my first time playing behind him, and I really like it.
*Ken Giles feels out of sync, but ain't worried 'bout it (Chron).
*Jim Crane didn't give any details of Hinch's contract other than to say he "will be here a while" (Astros.com). "I love it here," said Hinch, "and I love how I've been treated." (Chron)
*Jason Castro broke down his swing this offseason (AP).
*It's been one month since Gattis' hernia surgery, and he's already hitting in the cage (Astros.com).
*Can A.J. Reed continue his dominance in the Majors? (Baseball Essential).
*The Nolan Ryan Museum is re-opening at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco (Chron).
*Former Astro minor-leaguer Nick Tropeano, who was traded for Hank Conger, is "Long Island tough." And, according to his Cape Cod League coach, Tropeano "has such beautiful, long fingers. I can see them now." I swear he said that. (LA Times).
*Red Sox prospect Michael Kopech's last six months: failed drug test, broke hand in altercation with roommate (ESPN).
*Projected 2016 strength of schedules (FanGraphs).
*Baseball players talking politics shouldn't matter to you (Hardball Talk).
*Are velocity programs to blame for the rise in pitching injuries? (Mike Reinold)
*The good people of Hannibal, Missouri don't know Hall of Famer Jake Beckley's career batting average, and they don't like it. (USA Today)
*A flying baseball bat, a dad's instinct, and a photograph (NY Times).
*A Boston Marathon bombing survivor was killed in a car wreck in Dubai (WEEI)
*George Martin, Beatles producer, died last night (Variety).