*Carlos Beltran basically wrote Astros Erotica on the Players' Tribune yesterday. Beltran:
Astros fans, I'm here to tell you: It's going to be a special year. Mark it down. I can already tell...after just one dinner uptown.
*Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers reported to Minute Maid yesterday, apparently with both arms intact and seemingly healed. Keuchel:
I've been telling some of the guys it kind of feels weird to actually feel good. First time in a long time that I feel 100 percent, and that's just exciting. And I know Lance feels the same way.
Also, within that link we find that the Astros have until the end of Friday to extend salary offers to their remaining arbitration-eligible players: Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers, George Springer, Jake Marisnick, Marwin Gonzalez, and Will Harris.
*Brian McTaggart writes that acquiring Jose Quintana "makes sense" - given that the Red Sox have David Price and Chris Sale while the Indians have Corey Kluber and will get Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar back. And we all know the Ramgers could throw a blown-out tire in a spot start and get 5IP out of it. McTaggart:
If the Astros reach the postseason, a rotation of Keuchel, Quintana, McCullers, and McHugh could match up against anyone considering the offense the club will have. The Astros are in win-now mode and know their window to contend is wide open.
*Hooks manager Rodney Linares will be back in Corpus for a 3rd straight year. Joel Chimelis, who had been Quad Cities' hitting coach for the past four years, is back in Corpus for the first time since 2012.
*Morgan Ensberg will be the manager at Tri-City - the first managerial stint in his career. Russ Steinhorn, who was at Tri-City, has been bumped up to Quad Cities.
*The Ballpark of the
*Here are your Astros Winter Caravan dates.
*My two heroes: Guy Fieri and Jeff Bagwell.
Speaking of Bagwell, with 190 known ballots, Bagwell is sitting at 91% with the BBWAA. He needed to pick up 12 votes to get to Cooperstown, and he has gained 16.
Nathaniel Rakich's projections have Bagwell at 86.3% when the final tally is announced.