Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

*Another exhibition against the Brewers, another grand slam - this time by Carlos Correa - as the Astros win 8-1. Charlie Morton threw 5.1IP, 1H/0ER, 8K:0BB. And that puts a wrap on Spring Training 2018. The Astros went 21-9-4, and the 67 points puts them 14 points behind Manchester City, though a late-season push could send them to the top. The Astros' next game is in the very mouth of hell: Arlington, at 2:40pm Central on Thursday for Game 1.

*Kyle Tucker went 0x3 with 2Ks and - solely because of that - he will start the season in the minors. Hinch:
He's not starting in the big leagues. That's pretty clear, but he's had a remarkable spring, and a very good impact and a good impression. His time is coming. It's not right now. No matter where he starts, the plan for him will remain the same.

In that link we find that:
-Gurriel is hopeful he can avoid the DL.
-Former 1B coach Rich Dauer is throwing out the first pitch in Monday's home opener.

*Despite Kyle Tucker's disaster yesterday, he is Astros County's 2018 J.R. Towles Memorial March Hitter of the Year. Tucker put up a .385/.406/.662 slash line, with five home runs and an MLB-leading 21 RBIs.

David Paulino is Astros County's Taylor Buchholz Memorial March Pitcher of the Year. Paulino threw 10.1IP, 2H/2R (0ER), with 10K:4BB, a 0.00 ERA / 0.58 WHIP this Spring.

*ESPN's Tim Keown has a wonderful interview with A.J. Hinch:
In 2010, the manager was a failed experiment. Now he's a World Series winner. What changed? Only the entire philosophy of MLB.

*The four-man outfield is not a gimmick. The Astros plan on using it against lefty pull hitters on the road.

*Here's a good piece from Chandler Rome on Collin McHugh and his quest to find a different routine in the bullpen.

*12 of ESPN's 29 writers picked the Astros to win the AL, eight of them picked Houston to repeat.

*The Astros saw a 115% jump in ticket sales from last year to this year - highest jump in MLB. Some guy:
Houston has grown into one of the top markets the last few years. They're one of our fastest-growing MLB teams in terms of sales four to five seasons. They have really built a following there...

Over the last four to five seasons? You mean ticket sales are up in 2018 compared to 2013? YOU. DON'T. SAY. Wonder what could have changed in the last four to five seasons.

*GUEST POST. Reader Jeff Richey took a look at the game-ending play in the July 17, 2017 game against the Mariners.

*Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. hit a two-out walk-off homer in Montreal and this is why baseball is the Best Sport.

*Eno Sarris has a fascinating look at three days in the life (and finances) of a minor-league baseball player. It's infuriating how MLB owners basically got Congress to go along with screwing these guys over so they didn't have to pay them a living wage. (Related: Students get a subscription to The Athletic for 50% off.)

*Clayton Kershaw at 30.

*The Mariners signed Jayson Werth.

*Oakland's top prospect needs Tommy John surgery.