You ever do something almost every single day (I use "almost" because: thanks, Flick) for over ten years, wake up and then just...forget to do it? Maybe it's the pace of the offseason, but that's what happened on Tuesday with the Hot Links. Now, keep in mind that I'm now exactly 30 days away from this little half-marathon for which I've been training pretty hard for three months. I was more focused on getting to the gym when they opened. Anyhow, the Skip Days shouldn't be a recurring theme. Sorry.
*If you're into Spring Training box scores, here's the one from the 14-8 loss to the Nationals yesterday.
-Collin McHugh: 1IP, 2H/1ER, 0K:0BB
-Chris Devenski: 0.1IP, 3H/4ER, 0K:1BB
-Kyle Tucker: 1x3, 2B, RBI
-The Astros got five doubles on the day.
None of this really matters, until it does.
*Big news of the day was that the SP5 field narrowed slightly as word came out that Josh Big Flames James has a strained quad and is pretty much out of the running. That's good news for Brad F. Peacock, and Framber Valdez. Hinch:
What was already a slow spring for him will now turn a little bit slower. He'll now not pitch for a little bit.
Hinch was clear that the door does not open a little wider for Forrest Whitley, Corbin Martin, or J.B. Bukauskas. Here's Jake Kaplan on what it means for the rotation.
*Alex Bregman is expected to play Saturday, about seven weeks removed from elbow cleaning surgery. Also in that link, Hinch is expected to carry 13 position players and 12 pitchers to open the season. Chandler Rome notes that four early off-days - and that Tony Kemp and Tyler White are out of options - factor into the decision.
*Jenny Dial Creech: The little things add up to a big payoff in 2019 for A.J. Hinch.
*Texas Monthly's Dan Solomon says the Astros are the - gamblin'-wise - best bet in baseball. The Westgate SuperBook has the Yankees and Astros both at 6:1 odds to win the 2019 World Series.
*A newly-healthy Nick Tanielu (14th Round, 2014) is showing off his versatility for the Astros.
*Get your Nolan Ryan-in-Express-Gear (the team, not the skinny dude fashion shop) bobblehead on May 11 against Oklahoma City. Really missed an opportunity to have that promo against Nashville, the Rangers' PCL affiliate, the following Saturday.
*Well this is unfortunate: Jim Crane's ex-wife got extremely agitated at the sight of an interracial couple's family pictures.
*Meet the new MLBPA Chief Negotiator as he prepares for war.
*SI: Why Manny Machado chose the Padres over the White Sox.
*The Mets' Brandon Nimmo couldn't cook chicken correctly, and now he's sick.
*Nevada's Route 50: The Loneliest Road in America.
*What it feels like to win a lifetime supply of something.
*A Musical Selection: