Thursday, May 30, 2019

Thursday Morning Hot Links

We'll get to all the [waves hands wildly above my head] other stuff in a minute. The Astros lost 2-1 to Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs, thanks to two home runs. The Cubs, who lost the series, hit ten home runs against the Astros in three games. Houston is 37-20, 22-8 at home. Today is the first off-day since May 16, and only the third off-day in May. Their next one is June 10. The Astros are 6-5 since posting their 2nd 10-game winning streak of the season.

It doesn't feel good to talk about it after a loss, but we won another series. We beat some good teams, and we continue to play pretty good baseball. They've been struggling with some adversity. Our guys are staying upbeat, they're staying positive, we're playing with energy. I'll never complain about a series win, I don't care what order you go in.

*Wade Miley pitched well! 7IP, 6H/2ER, 9K:1BB. Two pitches to Schwarber and Bryant were the difference. Miley's nine strikeouts are a season-high, and he also extended his career-high of games allowing a home run to nine.

*The Astros' offense got four hits for the 8th time this season, and for the 4th time in the last week. Michael Brantley had two of those hits (Bregman and White had the other two). For the 12th time this season the Astros did not hit a home run. They're 2-10 in those games.

*Cherry-picking a little here, but Derek Fisher and Tyler White combined to go 1x8 with 6K:0BB.

*Robinson Chirinos, April: .258/.351/.500.
  Robinson Chirinos, May: .207/.382/.414.

*McTaggart notes that, if Bregman can homer at Oakland tomorrow night, he'll tie the franchise record for home runs in a calendar month, with 13, set by Jeff Bagwell in 1994.

*A girl was hit somewhere in the head by an Albert Almora foul ball. Prior to the 2017 season the Astros extended the netting from dugout to dugout, so good for them. There's no reason not to have netting from foul pole to foul pole. And the people who are all, [stamps feet] "But I don't WANNA watch a game through a net!" are exactly the same kind of people who will lead me to celebrate at 12pm today a successful fifth year of not getting shot at school.

Chandler Rome has an eyewitness account of what happened, and it's hard to read.

Sources told ESPN's Jesse Rogers that the little girl's outlook was "positive." Almora, a Good Person:
Right now, I'm just praying and I'm speechless. I'm at a loss of words. Being a father, two boys...but God willing, I'll be able to have a relationship with this little girl for the rest of my life. But just prayers right now, and that's all I really can control.

[Cracks Knuckles] whispers "God this is awful."

*Okay. Carlos Correa's "scheduled day off" turned into "he cracked his rib getting a massage at home." He is on the IL for what will probably be six weeks. Everything is bad, not good, and very stupid. Because Luhnow said that getting outside treatment was not a violation of team policy, it's clear that the masseuse in question was not the Astros' team masseuse. Stop yelling at Daniella. Jerome Solomon puts Correa's injury in context of other crazy baseball injuries.

*Let's recap the IL right now:

Carlos Correa: 1.8 fWAR
George Springer: 2.7 fWAR
Jose Altuve: 0.7 fWAR
Aledmys Diaz: 0.5 fWAR
Collin McHugh: 0.2 fWAR

That's 5.7 fWAR from the offense currently on the IL. The offense has put up 14.2 fWAR, so 40.1% of the offense's fWAR is injured, with no serious chance of coming back in the next couple of weeks, save for Diaz. Also, that 5.7 fWAR on the IL is more than the fWAR of 13 MLB teams.

That said, it's not the worst stretch of the schedule to lose your Three Legitimate MVP Candidates (drinks bottle of Jack Daniels with a straw). Tweeted this out yesterday, but it's 39 days until the All-Star Break. Houston's opponents until then: @Oakland, @Seattle, vs Baltimore, vs Milwaukee, vs Toronto, @Cincinnati, @New York Yankees, vs Pittsburgh, vs Seattle, @Colorado, vs Anaheim.

While nothing about this entire situation is ideal - losing three of your best players isn't ideal in any way - the schedule gives you some flexibility to make sure. And their seasons just got shorter by 4-6 weeks, which is fine if you're planning on playing through the end of October. And it gives Bregs a chance to win an MVP. Also, good call to have Myles Straw play 25 games at SS (to 23 games in CF), as he got called up to replace Correa. Here's Jake Kaplan on how the Astros can ride out the wave of injuries.

Luhnow did not rule out a trade to replace some of the firepower. For now, Luhnow:
We're going to have some combination of the Houston Astros and Round Rock Express playing in the month of June. We're going to mix and match, and I'm going to leave it up to A.J. and Espada to evaluate Straw and see if they feel he can help in the infield. We knew he's a great defensive center-fielder and outfielder and a right-handed bat, which fits well.

A.J. Hinch:
The sky is not falling.

*May 12: Altuve placed on IL
May 21: McHugh placed on IL
May 25: Springer placed on IL
May 26: Stassi placed on IL
May 27: Diaz placed on IL
May 29: Correa placed on IL
May 29: Forrest Whitley placed on Minor League IL

Oh yeah, as if everything about the last 24 hours hasn't been rough enough, Forrest Whitley was sent to the IL with "right shoulder fatigue." He's headed to the Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach to begin a rehab regimen. Luhnow:
Any time a young player, especially a pitcher, reports any sort of soreness or fatigue, we err on the side of caution, especially with him. That, combined with the fact that he wasn't having any success in Triple-A, made it a good time for us to send him to Palm Beach...This will be a good opportunity to take stock of where everything is and work with our pitching coaches and not 

*Springer and Diaz ran on the field prior to Wednesday's game. Altuve is another 10-14 days away from yet another minor-league rehab assignment.

*Tomorrow night's game starts a stretch of five 9pm starts in six days.

*All You Need Is An Opportunity: The Jack Mayfield Story.

*Round Rock had the lead at Nashville in the 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th, and 13th...and won 13-12 in 13 innings. They had 22 hits. Josh Rojas, making his Triple-A debut, had a single/double/triple/walk. Yordan Alvarez was 3x6 with a walk and an HBP from Tim Dillard. Kyle Tucker was 1x7. Reminder that Nashville is the Rangers' affiliate.

*Luhnow mentioned Jose Urquidy as a possible September call-up. Urquidy was Corpus' Opening Day starter, now with Round Rock, and has 67 strikeouts in 47.1IP (27K:1BB in 14.1IP for TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK).

*Josh Rojas - owner of a .967 OPS at Corpus - got promoted to Round Rock.

*The MLB Draft is next week! Who knew?! I'm old enough to remember when Draft Day was like Christmas Day, and we all just had to kind of pay attention to the Major League team out of respect. FanGraphs' current Mock Draft 3.0 has the Astros taking Clemson SS Logan Davidson with the 1-32nd Pick. After taking Seth Beer last year, Luhnow loves him some Clempsun. With the 2-68 Pick, FanGraphs has the Astros taking Arkansas RHP Isaiah Campbell.

*Cool stories from Ken Rosenthal on Bregman's quest for greatness as well as Alex Cora giving Brent Strom the pitching chart from G7 of the 2017 World Series which, if you didn't remember, the Astros won.

*FanGraphs: Current Toronto Great Ken Giles is back, but what has changed?

*The secret oral history of Bennington: the 1980s' most decadent college.

*A Musical Selection: