Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Morning Hot Links

The Astros dropped to 3-7 with last night's latest loss to the Royals. It was a frustrating series, and Cockroach has your recap.

*I gif'd a recap of Doug Fister's start:
*I think what irritates me about the Royals is that they play how I want the Astros to play: They will punish your mistakes and they are completely relentless. They have a shutdown bullpen and solid starting pitching. They're a really good team and I'm jealous as hell. I'm ready for the Astros to get to where one or two silly mistakes don't blow a game.

*The controversy came in the 6th inning. Fister was rolling along before the 5-run 5th inning, assisted by Springer misplaying a sinking liner in right field. Springer's rationale/excuse? The new LED lights at Minute Maid Park. Springer:
Yeah, they're tough. It's bright. It's not easy to see the ball. It cost us a game today.

Then, complaining, Springer said: "[The lights] are not ideal but I'm not going to complain about it."

Hinch responded:
I don't know if because it's straight on in dead right field or if it's the trajectories of some of the balls off the bats against the righties or lefties or what the issue is. It could be just bad luck. Everybody's got to play under the same conditions.

*Following up on the Castro/Ausmus comparison piece from yesterday, we actually tried out some "journalism" and talked to a couple of American League scouts, who said that the consensus is that Jason Castro is regarded as an above-average catcher. So there you have it. There wasn't enough to make a separate post about it but it's a nugget worth mentioning, given the beating Castro took on this web site.

*A.J. Hinch thinks Carlos Gomez is "trying to do too much."

*A.J. Hinch believes in Ken Giles:
Obviously we don't like where he's at in terms of struggling from a numbers standpoint and giving up the long ball, but stuff out of his hand it really good, he's a confident guy...I trust him to turn it around and turn it around quickly.

*Chris Devenski's eight strikeouts in his first 5.1IP are a record for an Astros reliever in his first three appearances. Hinch loves it:
He doesn't show a lot of fear and I love how he attacks the hitters. His velocity is up a little bit in his first couple of outings out of the pen, which makes his stuff play up. His changeup is real - you get some really funny swings. 

*It's been a week since the Astros lost a game to the Brewers on a dumb call, so Jayson Stark breaks down the new Utley Slide rule.

*Former Astros farmhand Ronny Torreyes credits Jose Altuve for opening the door to undersized players, or minus-sized models, if you will.

*We all need to go to Fresno. Not only are they rebranding as the Fresno Tacos and wearing Three Amigos-styled unis, their ballpark menu is nuts. For instance, the Urban Legend: a pulled pork slider with Coke and Pop Rocks sauce. Or the Philly Cheesesteak Taco.

*Let's just get this over with and be happy for Vince Velasquez.

*This doesn't affect the Astros in the June Draft, but potential 1-1 pick Jason Groome was ruled ineligible for violating New Jersey's state transfer rule. His stats have been erased, including the 19-strikeout no-hitter he threw on Monday.

*Yu Darvish offered $1,000 for minor-leaguers to hit a homer off of him during his rehab session.

*Here's something to which we can all relate: Pablo Sandoval might need a babysitter to control his weight. (Story by old pal Evan Drellich)

*Why did the 1914 Boston Braves wear hats with swastikas on them?