Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Morning Hot Links

*Happy Memorial Day to all of you and your families. For those of you to whom this applies: we appreciate your service, and your sacrifices.

*The big news of the day was the Astros placing Charlie Morton on the 1000-day DL with a lat strain. Jordan Jankowski has been recalled from Fresno and Mike Fiers will now rejoin the rotation and take Morton's spot. Morton:
I just didn't feel right. Went and got it checked out and it was a little more serious than we thought.

Morton won't throw anything for at least a week, and is looking at a long process before coming back to the rotation. A lat strain typically means a three-month layoff period.

*Jankowski only returned to Fresno on Saturday night, and yesterday went from Fresno to Minnesota.

The Astros are going to roll with a Keuchel/McCullers/Peacock/Musgrove/Fiers rotation. And there aren't many internal options to do anything about that. More on that later today.

*The Astros enjoyed a 6-run 2nd inning on their way to an 8-4 win over Baltimore, completing the sweep. The six runs in an inning tie a season-high, they also put up a 6-run 1st inning once this season, and it erased an early 3-0 Baltimore lead - one they would never regain. Hinch:
The explosive inning we had in the second is obviously the huge difference in the game. Obviously, it's huge to see, not just to pick up Lance, but just continue to play pretty exceptional baseball.

*2nd inning recap: Single, Walk, Strikeout (Wild Pitch), Double, Double, Groundout, Home Run, Triple, Single, Groundout.

*Erasing that early 3-0 deficit means the Astros have come from behind in 18 of their 35 wins. A quarter of the Astros' season losses came on this last 10-game homestand.

*Sitting at 19-7 in the month of May, the Astros surpassed the 2016 team's record for wins in a calendar month, and have a couple of chances to win 20 games in a month for the first time since August 2008 (21-9) - the Hurricane Ike season.

*George Springer hit seven homers in his first 14 games, then went 19 games without hitting one out of the park, then hit two against the Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball, then went ten more games without a homer, and now has homered in consecutive games for the second time this season. Springer raised his OPS from .744 to .786 in the series against the Orioles.

*Carlos Beltran's 2nd inning double - the 547th of his career - tied him with Manny Ramirez for 30th all-time.

*Christian Boutwell notes that Lance McCullers hasn't allowed more than 3ER in 26 consecutive home starts, the fourth-longest streak in MLB history.

*Good news for the Astros: even though the Twins played at home yesterday, their Sunday afternoon game went 15 innings, took 6:26, and used nine pitchers who needed to throw 289 pitches in a loss to Tampa Bay.

*Richard Justice: The Astros are putting together a special season. Keuchel:
I've never been to the World Series, but if I had any guess about a World Series team, we have a good shot.

*Brian T. Smith is thinking about October.

*Beyond the Box Score took a look at the pitching staff's ability to miss bats. Collectively, the Astros have the highest swinging-strike rate and the highest bullpen strikeout rate in recorded baseball history. This is an excellent article and you should read it immediately.

*Memorial Day Playoff Odds Check-In:
FanGraphs (97-65): 98.9%
FiveThirtyEight (100-62): 96%
Baseball Prospectus (97-65): 98.8%

*Curious news out of Corpus as outfielders Bobby Boyd and Mott Hyde were placed on the voluntarily retired list. Hyde - the Astros' 2014 26th Round pick - missed two months with a concussion last season. He hit .263/.343/.377 in 306 career minor-league games. Boyd - the Astros' 2014 8th Round pick - had only played in 26 games for Corpus this year, hitting .186/.253/.314. There are now only three outfielders on Corpus roster. Make way for Kyle Tucker?

*This Massachusetts 14-year old wanted an alternative to Tommy John Surgery, so he went to Alabama.