Opening Day is 10 days away.
*A.J. Hinch set the starting rotation to open the season yesterday. It'll go like this:
SP1: Justin Verlander
SP2: Dallas Keuchel
SP3: Lance McCullers, Jr.
SP4: Gerrit Cole
SP5: Charlie Morton
The guy who won two Game 7s last postseason is this year's fifth starter. Deep. Hinch:
I think we could go any order and have an argument. Really from the beginning of the rotation, that's a tribute to the pitching staff that (Luhnow) built to give us a deep rotation.
This is the order, in part, because Hinch is giving the home opener start to Charlie Morton. Hinch:
I think that's something special that he's earned.
*The Astros sent five players to minor-league camp yesterday: Kyle Tucker, Garrett Stubbs, Jack Mayfield, Jon Kemmer, and Francis Martes. Hinch, on Martes:
We want him to start, which is the main reason we wanted to send him out. His development has come fast, he got up to the big leagues very quickly and got pushed to the bullpen very quickly because of need. We want to make sure that he's continuing to develop as a starter.
*Jake Kaplan has a good piece in The Athletic about Tucker, and how we'll see him again soon.
*Jose Altuve is getting a signing bonus: $1m on approval, $10m in 2018, $10m in 2019.
*Cody Bellinger, famous for prematurely shushing the Minute Maid Park crowd in Game 5 and also for hitting .143 with 17K in 28ABs in the World Series, hasn't watched the World Series replays:
I already knew. I knew what was coming and I still didn't...hit.
*The new federal spending bill could include an exemption of minor-leaguers from federal labor laws...which would result in continuing to play baseball for billionaires for less than a living wage.
One of the nicer plays you will ever see by a catcher. 👏 pic.twitter.com/eHQRcYQus2— MLB (@MLB) March 18, 2018