Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros completed yet another successful road trip (won six out of seven) after beating Seattle 8-2 yesterday. Francis Martes was pulled after two innings thanks to the stress of throwing 30+ pitches in each of them. George Springer, Yuli Gurriel, and Evan Gattis each hit home runs.

So the bullpen was forced to throw 7IP to get to the end of the game and a merciful off-day today. Over the past 30 days the Astros' bullpen ranks 5th in the Majors with 105.2IP thrown. Their 4.85 ERA is belied by a 3.43 FIP and a 3.25 xFIP. Will Harris:
I think we kind of had an idea with having an off-day tomorrow, we knew it was kind of all-hands-on-deck. If one guy struggles, the leash may be shorter than normal. Obviously, with Martes, it happens to everybody. 

*Hinch, on Martes:
I thought he was off from the beginning. You could tell by his mannerisms he was very disappointed in himself. He was carrying a big burden of trying to be perfect.


*The Astros have decided to be overly-cautious with Dallas Keuchel's neck injury, and he's likely out until the All-Star Break, which is another three weeks or so (the Astros open a series with the Twins on Friday, July 14). Hinch:
He's continuing to progress. We're going a little bit slower than maybe we could or he could, just being conservative. We've worked so hard to get him to continue to progress with no setbacks. We want to just keep methodically putting a few more challenges in front of him and making him feel a little bit better.

Would you rather Dallas Keuchel start the All-Star Game, or Game 1 of the World Series? 

*At 52-25 and with a 13-game lead, here are the Off-Day Playoff Odds:
FanGraphs: 99.6% to win the division, 99.9% to make the postseason.
Baseball Prospectus: 99.1% to win the division, 100.0% to make the postseason.
FiveThirtyEight: 96% to win the division, >99% to make the postseason.

*Lance McCullers is making a case for an All-Star nod.

*Richard Justice says it's not too early to start thinking about an Astros/Dodgers World Series. 

*Collin McHugh could head out for a rehab start this week.

*Jordan Jankowski didn't pitch yesterday, and was sent back to Fresno.

*J.D. Davis hit his league-leading 18th home run yesterday for Corpus.

*Down at Tri-City, pitcher Diogenes Almengo threw 2.2IP of no-hit baseball. But walked eight batters