Saturday, March 24, 2018

Saturday Morning Hot Links

I'm starting a movement to get the Astros to let me sing the National Anthem before a game. Help me out.


The Astros tied the Twins on one side, 2-2, after Minnesota scored both runs in the bottom of the 9th, and the Astros got so mad they took their ball and went home.

-Rogelio Armenteros: 3IP, 0H/0ER, 4K:1BB
-Reymin Guduan: 2IP, 0H/0ER, 4K:0BB
-Joe Smith: 1IP, 0H/0ER, 1K:0BB
-Trent Thornton: 3IP, 2H/2ER, 4K:1BB

-J.D. Davis was 2x3 with two solo home runs
-Derek Fisher was 3x4

On the other side, the Astros beat the Nationals 3-1. Josh Reddick was 2x3 with a walk. Correa was 1x3 with a walk, RBI, and two runs scored. Gerrit Cole threw 3.1IP, 5H/1ER, 6K:2BB. Tony Sipp struck out the side, allowing one walk.

*Today's Astros/Red Sox game (opposing starter: Astros Whuppin Boy Chris Sale) will be on MLB Network at 12pm Central.

*Brian McTaggart writes that Jose Altuve and Justin Verlander are superstars on a stacked team. Verlander:
We won the World Series last year and we got better this year. That's a pretty good recipe for success. I'm excited to be here for a whole season.

*The AP's Kristie Rieken has a good article on how the 2018 Astros stack up. Cool Uncle JV is ready to settle in and help out:
The last few years I've done a much better job of taking off [my blinders] and seeing what other guys are doing, watching their routines and seeing any way that maybe I could help guys out. So that's a lot of fun for me especially in a new organization with tons of new guys, tons of young guys. I feel like I have a lot of wisdom and I've experienced a lot in this any way I can help them that's what I'm trying to do.

*Mr. Kate Upton wants a call from Cooperstown.

*Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto told Mike DiGiovanna, regarding a potential World Series Hangover (Ed. Note: There. Is. No. Such. Thing. As. A. World. Series. Hangover.):
The second time around, once you've achieved it, I don't know, maybe you're not as driven? I can't think of another reason. My guess, having played the Astros as much as we do, is that I don't think lack of drive is a problem for them.

You need to read this article. DiGiovanna - based in Arizona for Cactus League play - talked to a number of division rivals about the 2018 Astros. Good work, Mike.

*The day after the Astros won the World Series, Jeff Luhnow texted the team: "Get your rest."

*Congrats to Max Stassi, who made the 2018 Opening Day roster. That means the Astros will have three catchers, though Evan Gattis is going to mainly be the DH. Hinch:
He was very consistent behind the plate. I liked how our pitchers developed a rapport with him very quickly and a number of guys commented on how comfortable they were throwing to him. 

For whatever questions there are about Stassi, the Astros have such a deep lineup that Stassi's value is going to lie in being a defensive asset, able to give Brian McCann breaks with no drop-off defensively. The pitchers being comfortable throwing to Stassi, and him being able to throw runners out, is as valuable as a good bat in the lineup. Stassi has pop, and isn't an offensive black hole:

Stassi, Fresno, 2016: 69 games - .230/.294/.374, 65K:20BB
Stassi, Fresno, 2017: 73 games - .266/.383/.500, 67K:38BB

Of course, Stassi is out of options, and likely wouldn't pass through waivers, so he's getting Peacock'd. Let's just hope it works out half as well as Brad Peacock did in 2017.

*Yuli Gurriel took live BP yesterday.

*David Barron says Astros ticket prices are among the biggest jumps in baseball.

*Carlos Correa and George Springer talked about playing in Corpus.

*J.D. Martinez told MassLive about how he turned himself into a prospect after being the 6th OF for the 2009 Greeneville Astros. His memories check out.

*The other day, Hinch put Alex Bregman in left field and slid Correa over to 3B. New Phillies manager Gabe Kapler - the MLB manager most likely to do loud sex to your mom - is planning on taking outfield shifting to another level.

*ESPN's Sam Miller has an excellent column on what losing means, and how that meaning has changed in baseball throughout the years.

*The Ft Worth Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson's #1 storyline of 2018 is whether the Astros can repeat.

*Jon Singleton's career is basically over for smoking weed. Boston's Steven Wright was charged with domestic assault and prevented his wife from calling 911 and got a 15-game suspension.