Sunday, November 11, 2018

Sunday Morning Hot Links

I'd like to take a moment to offer my heartfelt appreciation for all of the Veterans who have served this country. Thank you for your sacrifice, whether that sacrifice was their life, whether that sacrifice was a 100% healthy body and mind, or whether that sacrifice was time away from your families. I appreciate you. 

*In a story developing just this morning, Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros are one of a number of teams in on Mariners pitcher/Astros-killer James Paxton. Paxton, who threw 160.1IP of 3.8 fWAR baseball in 2018 (for comparison: Charlie Morton threw 167IP with 3.1 fWAR), has enjoyed four straight seasons with a sub-4.00 ERA, and three straight seasons with a sub-3.50 FIP and xFIP. Of course he's been deadly against the Astros. In 12 career appearances, he has held the Astros to a .605 OPS with a 2.89 ERA/1.12 WHIP.

*Someone has been talking to Ken Rosenthal. In the last 24 hours he has the Paxton news, as well as a blockbuster report that, on July 30, the Astros had a deal in place to acquire Bryce Harper for J.B. Bukauskas, Garrett Stubbs, and another pitcher, but the Nationals' ownership turned it down.

After that deal was rejected, the Astros were working on a Frances Martes-to-Chicago-for-Avisail Garcia trade, but the Astros rejected it out of concern over Garcia's knee. Then (or, "instead") they tried to trade for someone in St. Louis, presumably Tommy Pham.

I don't know why the Harper news came out when it did, or who leaked it. Is the source someone within the Astros organization, letting the world know how hard they tried to win consecutive World Series (which wouldn't exactly be breaking news)? Is it someone in Washington trying to save a little face in what was, expectation-wise, an absolutely miserable season? The Astros usually aren't the ones doing the talking, but Rosenthal has been all over the Astros lately.

*Jake Kaplan has a Q&A in The Athletic with Lance McCullers, and his decision to pitch through a torn UCL. McCullers:
I expect to crush the rehab. And I expect to finally be able to take the ball 30-plus times. That's the only thing I really haven't accomplished as an Astro. I've been an All-Star. I've set some club records as an individual pitcher. I won a World Series with this team. I've pitched well in the postseason. The only thing I haven't been able to do is run out there every time and just be able to take the ball and be considered a horse. That's, like, the one thing that I'm still really striving for and I'm trying to accomplish. Personally, that's still something that in my last two seasons here under team control through (the arbitration process) I really want to be able to accomplish. 

*Josh Reddick would like the Astros to look into Jonathan Lucroy. He also said at a Shriners event yesterday at MMP that the Astros weren't interested in seeing the Dodgers win the World Series, and that the Red Sox had a 2017 Astros feel about them.

*Carlos Correa news: Had surgery to repair a deviated septum and does not think he needs back surgery.

*MLBTR takes a look at the Astros from a financial standpoint.

*The Cespedes Family BBQ guys look at the Astros' motivation, and need, for Patrick Corbin.

*Abraham Toro hit a 2-run home run in a Scottdale win yesterday, and his OPS is up to .952.

*Justin Verlander and Kate Upton had their baby, if that's something that matters to you.

*Some non-baseball reading for your Sunday morning:

-Lapham's Quarterly: Making an Ancient Roman Murderer
-New Yorker: Mystery of the Havana Syndrome
-New York Times: The Lounge Pianist Who Invented Samba Funk

I am on my second reading of Adam Sternbergh's "The Blinds" and highly recommend it.

*A musical selection: