Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Morning Hot Links

Sorry for oversleeping yesterday. Actually that's not true. Getting that extra 90 minutes of sleep probably kept me from getting sick. And then I got four hours of sleep last night. Expect the Saturday Morning Hot Links to get posted in time for Saturday 2nd Lunch.

*So by now you already know that the Astros signed sidearmer Joe Smith to a 2yr/$15m deal, who will be in his Age-34 and Age-35 seasons over the life of the contract. Smith:
(The Astros) have the best chance to win a World Series. You can tell they have a lot of fun. Why wouldn't you when you're winning 100 games? 

Smith posted a career-best 11.8 K/9 to go with a career-low 1.7 BB/9 in 2017. His 3.33 ERA between Toronto and Cleveland was belied by a 2.10 FIP and a 2.39 xFIP. He joins James Hoyt (12.04 K/9) and Ken Giles (11.92 K/9) to become the third Astros reliever in the Top 20 in K/9 from 2017. He'll make $7m in 2018 and $8m in 2019.

FanGraphs notes that Smith is a righty-killer and that his 1.56 FIP vs RHBs is better than everybody except Kenley Jansen (got 'em), Craig Kimbrel (got 'em), and Max Scherzer. Pretty good company. 

*In the Rule 5 draft yesterday, the Astros...

Gose was acquired by the Astros in the Roy Oswalt trade then flipped him to Toronto for Future Superstar Brett Wallace. I'm working on an "evolution of Anthony Gose" piece that should go up this evening on how he went from a "toolsy" outfielder to a lefty reliever who can throw 100mph and whose "stuff is legit." Friend of Lima Time Time Kevin Goldstein:
I don't think it's completely unconventional. World Series teams actually have taken Rule 5 guys in the past. I know it's a little strange, but I don't think it's crazy.

(Side link: Deadspin has a fun piece on how he's actually the only Joe Smith in MLB history).

-Added 27-year old lefty Chris Nunn from the Cubs in the Triple-A phase. Nunn has only thrown 22IP since 2015 and walked 10 batters in 17IP last season at Double-A. Goldstein:
Nunn...took almost a couple years off to pursue a master's degree and kind of decided to come back to pitching and all of a sudden was bumping 97, 98. He's a little bit on the older side, but a 6'5" lefty with that kind of power arm was just something that appealed to us.

-Lost 22-year old RHP Elieser Hernandez to the Marlins, who immediately sold him for a bag of Hot Cheetos to go in one of Jeter's gift baskets to the fans he's screwing (rumor). Hernandez threw 73.1IP, 61H/30ER, 88K:22BB between the GCL and High-A Buies Creek. 

*Brian McTaggart thinks the Astros could be done for the Winter. Luhnow:
We could sequence a trade or signing with another trade potentially and free up even more at-bats, but at this point I like the position we're in because we're going to be opportunistic. If there's a situation that presents itself, a player that makes us better on offense and we can make adjustments, we'll look at that for sure. 

*Hey don't forget you can help out yer ol pal Astros County if you buy these sweet Houston shirts from Breaking T. Give them to your friends and co-workers.

*Read the age-old heart-warming Christmas tale of the successful Wall Street guy who finally caught a break with the Astros. (It's actually a cool story, I'm just being a ninny).

*Buster Olney: MLB will investigate whether or not a team leaked the Shohei Ohtani UCL news to the media.

*It apparently sucks to work at ESPN.