It's Spring Break. Spring Break started today with my daughter being so excited about Spring Break at 7:15am that she couldn't sleep. This life, it's not terribly Fair.
*The Astros lost to the Cardinals 6-3, but Forrest Whitley struck out six batters in 3IP, including two by Paul Goldschmidt. Gerrit Cole threw 3IP, 1H/0ER, 3K:0BB. Alex De Goti had two of the Astros' five hits. Altuve and Bregman are expected to be in the lineup for today's game. Collin McHugh will get the start.
*Justin Verlander is your Opening Day Starter - his 11th Opening Day Starter nod and his second consecutive one for the Astros. Gerrit Cole is excited to face Charles F. Morton in Game 2 of the 2019 season. Opening Day is 19 days away.
It will be Jose Altuve's 8th straight Opening Day start at 2B, which ties him with Joe Morgan and Bill Doran for 2nd in franchise history.
*Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Astros have made offers to Dallas Keuchel in the 1-2 year range but, obviously, those offers are not yet acceptable. Buster Olney says the two sides "aren't close."
We know that the market for free agents has shifted. We also know the Phillies would prefer a short-term deal for Keuchel. These are things we know. Regardless of the motive of Management, that's how it is. If Keuchel is holding out for a 4-5 year deal, I'm not sure where it comes from, if the only teams talking to reporters are offering 1-2 years.
Related, Sean Pendergast and Rich Lord discuss if Scott Boras is committing malpractice with Keuchel. ALSO RELATED: Buster Olney says the Astros offered Martin Maldonado 2yr/$12m deal at the beginning of the offseason, but he/Boras rejected it and Maldonado is still a free agent. Maldonado has since switched agents.
*Cool story from Jake Kaplan on how Garrett Stubbs and Johnny Bench became BFFs.
*Astros veterans are taking J.B. Bukauskas under their collective wings.
*There were another round of cuts this morning, showing that, once again, the second cut is as deep as the first: Bryan Abreu, Akeem Bostick, Garrett Stubbs, Chuckie Robinson, Taylor Jones, Josh Rojas, and Ronnie Dawson.
*How soon could robot umps and 62'6" mound distances hit MLB?
*Runners around the world helped this lady run 100 marathons in 100 days for water conservation.
*A Musical Selection:
(You can follow the Hot Links Music playlist on Spotify.)