Pitchers & Catchers report on Wednesday so, if you were participating in the Astros County Fitness Challenge, Stage 1 ends Wednesday. Be sure to send me a message with an update to be eligible to receive the prize.
*Hopefully everyone will shut up about payroll for a bit as the Astros are projected to be north of $120m in 2017. Luhnow:
We're probably going to have roughly a league-average payroll this year for the first time in a while, and I think that's going to continue to increase. And that helps. You need to fuel the fire, and we've got plenty of resources right now.
*Tyler White is excited about another opportunity with the Astros:
It was a hit to my pride when I got sent back down. But I wasn't ready mentally to deal with the struggles I faced in the Major Leagues. Physically, I was there but mentally it's such a different challenge.
*Max "Snakebit" Stassi is ready for another crack at Spring Training after basically a lost 2016 season:
It was an up-and-down year last year. In Triple-A, I didn't get off to the start I wanted to, and I felt like it was just kind of an uphill battle. With my hand, getting the strength back in that, it took a while...I learned a lot about myself, though, and I feel like defensively I got a lot better, too. Some tweaks I made in my stance. I look at it as a positive, though. You know what you did wrong, you know what you did well, and you know what you need to continue to work on to become a successful major league player.
If Stassi does not make the Opening Day roster, he will have to pass through waivers to return to the organization.
*Maybe you've seen the PECOTA projections for 2017. Keep in mind it's a "projection" and not necessarily a "prediction," but it sure would be nice for this to be the year the two sort of line up.
*Ken Rosenthal says the biggest question for the Astros is whether they'll add a top-flight starting pitcher.
*You wanna buy Lou Gehrig's Westchester County house?