Saturday, July 7, 2018

Saturday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros made sure that their 2nd game in the series against the White Sox was far less drama-filled, and I think we can all respect a drama-free Friday night. Houston is 59-31. The Astros have played 65.5 55.6% of the regular season.

*Lance McCullers enjoyed a career night: 7IP, 3H/1ER, 12K:0BB, and had a no-hitter in the 6th.

The strikeouts are a career-high. It's his 3rd 10+ K game of the season, and 11th of his career. It's the 2nd start this season in which McCullers did not walk a single batter. It's his 3rd career start with double-digit strikeouts and no walks (April 9, 2017 / June 3, 2015).

Hinch, on McCullers:
I was just so happy with his progress. He's got so many options now against any hitter....I love the growth that's happening for him as a Major League starting pitcher. He knows what he's going through and how he's taking steps forward. It was cool to have a moment with him.

*The Astros have 18 starts of double-digit strikeouts this season, tying the 1986 team. They're two 10+ K starts away from 1987's total, and six away from the franchise record 1969 team.

*Evan Gattis was 3x4 with a double, home run, and 4RBI. On May 6 Gattis was "hitting" .186/.263/.279. Since then he's hitting .286/.333/.629 with 17HR, 53 RBI.

*Jose Altuve went 3x4 with a walk, getting on base four times for the 7th time in 2018. He has 119 hits on the season. Just for reference, Jake Marisnick and Tony Kemp have combined for 60 hits.'s Mark Simon writes about Altuve's quest for five straight 200+ hit seasons.

*The Astros dedicated the win to 10-year old Cameron Gooch. Hinch:
We don't often get to dedicate wins, but to have Gatty and I carry him out to throw the first pitch, we would like to dedicate this win to him. Gatty hit a home run for him, and Gatty and I both wore this wristband that he gave to us. That means a lot to us. 


*Our Boy Tyler Stafford wrote about the improbability of Collin McHugh's 2018 season.

*Here's an update from Christian Boutwell on Whitley's oblique strain and McCann's knee surgery.

*Mark Berman reports that the Astros want to extend their lease at Minute Maid Park, valid through 2030, through 2050. I'll be 70 years old. /makes drink

*"Big news" I guess of yesterday is that James Hoyt has been traded to Cleveland. Hoyt had a career 4.40 ERA/3.84 FIP in 71.2IP for Houston. He got his most extended look in 2017, when he threw 49.1IP, allowing 51H/24ER, 66K:14BB - a 4.38 ERA / 1.32 WHIP. Hoyt had a stretch in August-September when he allowed 9H/1ER, 9K:5BB in 12IP. Ultimately, there was no place for him in Houston. I don't want anyone to get sent down or traded in the bullpen as it is. Trading Hoyt puts the Astros' 40-Man Roster at 38 Men.

The player coming back from Cleveland is RHP reliever Tommy DeJuneas, which is French for "Of the Juneas." DeJuneas was drafted in the 26th Round of the 2017 draft out of NC State. In the Midwest League for Lake County, DeJuneas has thrown 29.1IP, 27H/11ER, with 39K:8BB in 2018. He'll report to Buies Creek.

*The Astros also traded 27-year old outfielder Jon Kemmer to the Twins for cash considerations. Kemmer, drafted in the 21st Round of the 2013 draft, is a career .281/.360/.497 hitter in the Astros' organization.

*Forrest Whitley and Yordan Alvarez were selected to play in the Futures Game. Kyle Tucker was not. Nothing against Whitley and Alvarez (I love them like they're my Very Good Baseball Sons) but this is...weird. Or not! Fresno Communications Guy Paul Braverman notes that Tucker played in the Futures Game in 2017.

Speaking of Yordan Alvarez, Yordan Alvarez has been promoted to Fresno, and went 0x4 with 2K in his Triple-A debut, a Fresno win in which Derek Fisher went 2x4 with 4RBI and Rogelio Armenteros went 6IP, 3H/1ER, 7K:1BB.

Never forget that the Astros traded Josh Fields - the legend who gave up two home runs in the 10th inning of World Series Game 2 - to Los Angeles for Yordan Alvarez.

*Jim Callis writes that, if Kyle Tucker was promoted to Houston at the Break, he could hit .275 with double-digit home runs and steals.

*The Athletic's Jake Kaplan: With Kyle Tucker, Derek Fisher, Myles Straw, and now Yordan Alvarez in the outfield, the outside-the-box idea Fresno is using to alleviate their outfielder glut. Luhnow:
These days positions are a little different, too. The shortstop isn't always standing where he used to stand. He's standing in the outfield a lot, and he's making different throws. A versatile athlete in today's baseball world should be able to play almost every position out there...

*Whitley, who left Thursday night's start after 17 pitches, has a strained left oblique and will see team doctors in Houston.

*A.J. Reed has been selected to participate in the Triple-A Home Run Derby on Monday.

*Abraham Toro has been promoted from Buies Creek to Corpus. Toro was hitting .257/.361/.473 for Buies Creek, with 20 doubles and 14 home runs, 62K:45BB in 349 PAs.

*Corpus got an 8-run 5th inning to beat Arkansas. Toro went 1x5 with a 3-run home run.

*Danny Knobler: AL superpowers are leaving the rest of MLB in the dust.

*In his last 365 days, Sonny Gray has thrown 168.1IP, 164H/84ER, 156K:70BB - a 4.49 ERA / 1.39 WHIP.

*Seattle signed GM Jerry Dipoto to a "multi-year extension." In the time it took to type this out, Dipoto traded his Arizona League team to the Lakers for a Lebron jersey.

*SI's Emma Baccillieri: Why do the Nationals suck so hard?

*The Braves failed to sign their #8 overall pick from the 2018 draft, noting "medical concerns." They offered him just enough of the slot value to receive an additional Top-10 pick in the 2019 draft. Oh, both Arizona and the 2017 World Series Silver Medalists failed to sign their 1st Round picks, as well. I'm sure there will be a literal Cram of articles (a grouping of articles is hereby known as a "Cram") on how the Braves, Diamondbacks, and Dodgers are hurting the fabric of the game.

*Good job good effort, Baylor.