Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Morning Hot Links

*Lance McCullers got knocked around in the 2nd and 3rd innings of his 4IP start last night, which the Astros won 8-6, but is just happy to start the season healthy. Josh Reddick hit a homer off a lefty.

*Jandel (pronounced Yahn-dle, as I found out last night) Gustave got the 25th spot on the roster and will be the 8th man out of the bullpen. All along Hinch said that last night's game wouldn't determine who made it and who went to Fresno, but the power of Gustave's pitches, and Hoyt's trouble getting the lefties he faced out (Anthony Rizzo hit a ball to Sealy), seemed to seal Hinch's decision.

*Catcher Garrett Stubbs ran 85 feet to catch the pop-up that ended last night's game, the longest distance run by a catcher for an out in the Statcast Era.

*The Astros will not be allowed to practice on Saturday, so it'll be over 72 hours from the end of today's 1:10pm exhibition against the Cubs to the Astros' opener on Monday night.

*The Crawfish Boxes has a fun post (which I can now delete from my drafts, as I was planning on doing the same some point) asking whether the 2017 Fresno Grizzlies could beat the 2013 Houston Astros.

*The Chronicle's Hunter Atkins has a good profile on Derek Fisher.

*Tyler Kepner: The Astros have never won a World Series game. That may change.

*The Astros signed 19-year old Costa Rican pitcher Bryan Solano yesterday, who was playing in Nicaragua's MLB development league.

*If you want something at which to get pissed off, here's Scott Miller's article in the Bleacher Report about Indians Great Brady Aiken, with plenty of shots fired at the Astros.

*Max Stassi's brother, 2011 33rd Round pick Brock Stassi, made the Phillies' Opening Day roster.

*How Dodgers GM Farhan Zardi's pursuit of happiness merged with the Dodgers' pursuit of a title.

*Jon Heyman says the Cardinals could be surprise candidates to trade for Jose Quintana.

*Jon Heyman also ranked the Astros 12th in his pre-season power rankings. Key quote:
Sports Illustrated predicted a World Series win in 2017, and they are almost never right. 

Solid logic, Jon.

*All seven of USA Today's baseball writers have the Astros making the postseason, not the ALCS.

*21 of 35 ESPN people have the Astros winning the AL West (eight picked the Ramgers, six picked the Mariners). Eight picked the Astros to win the AL Pennant. Five picked the Astros to win the World Series.