Monday, August 1, 2016

Monday Morning Hot Links & Rumor Roundup

*Well it must have been a short flight back to Houston yesterday seeing as how the Astros didn't actually show up to Detroit. Dallas Keuchel was knocked around - the Astros' collective inability to retire the .200-hitting James McCann reigned - and the Astros got beat 11-0. It was the largest margin of defeat this season.

*The Rangers swept the Royals, the Red Sox beat the Angels, the Indians beat the A's. The Cubs beat the Mariners on a walk-off safety squeeze bunt. 

*The Astros are now 6.0 GB for the first time since the All-Star Break. 

*Astros record, by month:
April: 7-17
May: 17-12
June: 18-8
July: 13-12

*After the Astros lost 3.5 games in four days:
FanGraphs has the Astros down to 25.3% (Rangers at 67.4%) to win the division, and 43.4% to make the playoffs. Last Monday morning the Astros were at 53.1% to win the division, and 70.8% to make the playoffs.
FiveThirtyEight has the Astros at 17% to win the division and 38% to make the playoffs.

If two months from now they have failed to overtake the Texas Rangers in the AL West and faltered in the Wild Card race, the final week of July could be looked upon as when their season went south.

*Hinch was pragmatic about the absolute steamrolling the Astros took this weekend:
We've been through this before where we've had a little bit of a lull. We're beat up a little bit, but big deal. We're going to have to deal with it and get home and start against two really good teams this next homestead. We will chalk it up as not our time this weekend. 

*With Gomez and Marwin out, maybe the Astros need more than one healthy position player on the bench.

*Altuve and Springer both got hit by pitches, so Feldman drilled Cameron Maybin, who stole 2nd despite the Tigers being up 8-0. Then Miggy put one in the seats to complete the insult on injury. Maybin:
I believe in playing the game the right way, so I took second to let them know that I knew what was going (on).

I didn't need to say anything to Feldman - that was just baseball. That's how you play the game.

Maybin, on Cabrera:
He just let me know, 'I got your back.' He felt like he wasn't going to stand for it. I'm lucky enough to play beside a guy that I was traded for a long time ago. That really did something for me. 

*Alex Bregman snapped the 0x18 to collect his first career hit. Hinch:
Obviously his at-bats have been good, he's put some balls in play pretty hard, so to get the first one - he's allowed to smile on it even though it's in a bad game. Hoping he collects a deep breath and puts together a little streak here. 

*Joe Musgrove is on his way to Houston, and could start tonight against the Blue Jays. But it all depends on whether Fister's wife goes into labor today. Hinch:
We're still in a holding pattern. This may be a photo finish for the game tomorrow. Until my phone lights up with a text or a call (from Fister), it's sort of status quo.

*Fresno has ramped up their shifting to help players acclimate to Houston. 

*Check out this profile of Hooks catcher Bert Pena. Pena has thrown out 56.5% of baserunners this season. 

*The Corpus paper has a good profile on Bregman's rise through the Astros system.

Trade Deadline Links

*Buster Olney: The Astros are among a number of teams (Rangers included) interested in Carlos Beltran. Bob Nightengale confirms.

*Jon Paul Morosi: The Astros could use Beltran's bat and veteran presence.

*Olney: Expect smaller deals for relievers today. And he says to expect the Astros to do something.

*The Astros and Rangers have some interest in the Royals' Kendrys Morales. McTaggart says they're seeking more pitching.

*Ken Rosenthal: Plan on the Rangers getting Jonathan Lucroy today.

*The Rangers, Dodgers, and Red Sox are trying to pull of a deal for Chris Sale, whose White Sox want five top players for the pitcher.

*The Astros were not among the teams listed by Marc Topkin as having scouts at Tampa this weekend.