Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros enjoyed the first of two off-days this week an off-day yesterday (I don't know why I thought the Astros had Thursday off, as well.) And still, here are the number of games played by AL Teams:

49: Arlington
48: Houston
47: Boston, Toronto, Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, Anaheim, Oakland
46: Seattle
45: Tampa, Cleveland,
44: New York, Chicago
43: Minnesota

Did you check the Cleveland series recap from Jexas?

*So the big news that I missed because I overslept yesterday is Derek Fisher's transition to the DL with "GI discomfort." GI stands for "Gastrointestinal." It may be the first time the Astros put a player on the DL for crapping the bed. J.D. Davis was brought up from Fresno.

*Mike Petriello spends a decent amount of time making a case for the Astros' rotation being in the conversation as one of the best ever. Through 48 starts, the rotation has allowed just 83 runs. Note that the rotation's ERA of 2.25 is almost a quarter of a run lower than the 1968 Cardinals' modern-day best of 2.49. Also note that it is May 22. That said, no team this century has a lower ERA through 48 games than the Astros' rotation.

Dayn Perry at CBS Sports has a similar piece.

Here's Jake Kaplan with a deep dive into the numbers of the Astros' rotation. And here's another one wondering where J.D. Davis will actually play.

*Ken Giles is 8x8 in save situations in 2018, allowing a .167/.167/.167 line through 7IP with 4H/0ER, 8K:0BB. Also, Ken Giles: 36 batters faced, zero walks.

*Tonight Gerrit Cole will pitch to his wife's brother, Brandon Crawford. Crawford:
It's more fun for family, I think, than it is for us. It doesn't help that he's a really good pitcher - probably one of the best in baseball this year. That doesn't add to the fun of it for me.

*And so the Jon Singleton Era in Houston ends not with a bang, but with a whimper. Singleton - who had been outrighted off the 40-Man roster earlier this year, was summarily released by Houston today. The press release, in full:
The Astros have released minor league first baseman Jon Singleton, effective today. The club has no further comment on this. 

Singleton, of course, is serving a 100-game suspension for a third positive test for a drug of abuse (tweeds), of which there are still 54-ish games remaining. And it's the last year of his 5yr/$10m deal he signed back in 2014. (Side note: it does not feel like it's been five years since that deal).

Speaking of suspensions, Forrest Whitley's 50-game suspension ends at the beginning of next week.

*In McTaggart's Notebook, he actually dignified the "Shood We traid Kykull" question with a response. There is an interesting note about the Astros' future at catcher, and whether that involves Stassi in a full-time role. If you want to look to free agency to sign a catcher (because McCann likely isn't coming back for $15m), here's who is scheduled to be a free agent after this season:

Drew Butera, Robinson Chirinos, A.J. Ellis, Tyler Flowers, Yasmani Grandal, Nick Hundley, Jonathan Lucroy, Martin Maldonado, Jeff Mathis, Devin Mesoraco, Miguel Montero, Wilson Ramos, Rene Rivera, Kurt Suzuki, Matt Wieters.

At 30, Yasmani Grandal is the youngest player on this list. So this list gets a big ol' Ew.

*San Francisco hitting coach Alonzo Powell will get his World Series ring tonight.

*Fresno's Trent Thornton, who was hit on the elbow by a line drive, was moved to the 7-Day DL.

*Corpus' Randy Cesar and Cionel Perez were both named Texas League Players of the Week.

*There was a plane crash in Cuba over the weekend that has now killed 111. One family was from Houston. Yuli Gurriel is paying for the travel for their relatives.

*An Astros-oriented fundraiser at Tootsies raised over $360,000 for the Sunshine Kids and the LMJ Foundation.

*The Rangers are officially open for business. Come and get their finest old players for prospects. It's rebuilding, not tanking, right?

*Meet Cy-Creek's Jordan Hicks, baseball's most confounding pitcher.

*PFT Commenter has managed to skyrocket to fame while somehow maintaining his anonymity.

*I'm on a big JFK kick, so I recommend reading this July 2014 piece in The Baffler: Dallas Killers Club.