Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

Day Three of the Winter Meetings is upon us, spreading like a virus that will claim at least one of us (I haven't slept a lot lately.)

*A.J. Hinch plans to use the DH similar to the way he did in 2016, and that Evan Gattis would spend a decent amount of time there:
I'll spread it out enough, but Evan Gattis is probably the beneficiary of the way the roster is right now. 

16 different players saw at least one game at DH in 2017, albeit with 13 players getting three or fewer starts (Beltran - 107; Gattis - 29; Springer - 7). In 2016, however, Gattis led the team in DH starts with 71 while five different 2016 Astros got 10+ starts in which they didn't need their glove, including two starts at DH from someone who called themselves "Danny Worth."

Evan Gattis' 2016 splits, by position:
As C (206 PAs): .295/.345/.647, 19 HR
As DH (285 PAs): .219/.248/.419, 13 HR

Kaplan also says within the above link that left field will get spread out a little bit, with surprise name Colin Moran as a possible fit for LF. Luhnow:
When you start trying to figure out the at-bats for Fisher and Marwin and Gattis and Stassi, et cetera, you'd have to really do a lot of moving around to figure out how to get Moran a large enough number of at-bats to really feel like he's getting a proper look.

*I'm going to have to break some people down this week, but Ken Giles is a good closer. A.J. Hinch said that anyone freaking out about Giles' October performance isn't seeing the whole picture:
He had a rough stretch on the national stage in front of a large audience, but it doesn't make him any less equipped to be an elite closer. I think his stuff is top notch across the board. I think it was frustrating for him in the World Series to not be delivering the outs that he delivered during the season, but emotionally, physically we expect him to be fine. I expect him to be elite again.

Brian McTaggart noted some of the relievers the Astros have taken a look at:
LHPs Jake McGee, Tony Watson, Fernando Abad (!), Jorge De La Rosa, Brian Duensing
RHPs Addison Reed, Joe Smith, Anthony Swarzak

Again, I'm going to revisit this later (maybe today! who knows?!) but yes, Ken Giles is a good closer.

*Jesse Sanchez tweets that the Astros have "some interest" in outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

*Need a reason to watch Spring Training games? Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley will see some time.

*On the heels of yesterday's SI article in which an anonymous Astro noted that Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches, Dave Roberts told the LA Times that he wasn't surprised:
We had conversations about that with Yu, trying to kind of pin it down. Obviously, we weren't successful. I think there's something to (tipping) but there's also a lot more, for me, to execution.

*A.J. Hinch brushed off the whole "controversy" with Alex Cora on the team bus thing.

*Daryl Wade, the director of the Houston Astros Youth Academy, has an incredible story.

*Mike Fiers is looking for a bounce-back year in Detroit:
For me, I started off OK. Had a really good June and July. Kind of fell off at the end. Everyone goes through tough times. Everyone's not 100 percent towards the end of the year...It's not an excuse or anything...Yeah, I had a bad late last four or five starts. But other than that I felt like I pitched very well.

On being left off the postseason roster:
Something that I wasn't too happy about, but at the same time I gotta support my guys. Winning a World Series is definitely a dream. 

*In a straight up kick to the nuts, the Angels' newest savior Shohei Ohtani has a damaged UCL. Jeff Passan reports that it's a Grade 1 strain, which doesn't automatically mean Tommy John surgery, but further damage could result in exactly that. The Angels say he's fine. This should end well.

*The Pirates are apparently willing to deal Gerrit Cole, if you're interested.

*Tyler White will be the guest on Astroline tomorrow at Plucker's. Someone go thank him for hooking my students up, please.