*Francis Martes - Frankie Tuesday - was suspended for the entire 2020 season after testing positive a second time for Boldenone. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, Martes was suspended for 80 games after testing positive at the beginning of the 2019 season. It wasn't a factor, since he was recovering from TJ surgery, but now it's put his entire career on hold.
Martes, 24, was once Baseball America's #15 overall prospect prior to the 2017 season. This closes the book on the July 31, 2014 trade with Miami. The Marlins received Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Wates - the Astros got Jake Marisnick (traded to the Mets), Colin Moran (traded to Pittsburgh for Gerrit Cole), Martes, and a 2015 Comp Balance A pick which they used to draft Daz Cameron (traded to Detroit for Justin Verlander).
Since Martes was on the 40-Man Roster, the Astros now have an open spot.
*George Springer said it's "way too early" to decide on a contract extension with the Astros. Springer:
The fans have been great to me my whole career in Houston. The city has been great to me. I've grown up as an adult here, I guess. I've been in this organization since I was 21 years old. This organization has been very special to me, but time will tell.
In other words, "Let's talk money."
Counting his $2.52m signing bonus, Springer has made $52,455,300 from the Astros organization in his career, $45m of that from 2018-20. He'll be 31 in September.
*The Astros signed 34-year old reliever Jared Hughes to a minor-league deal with an invite to MLB Spring Training. Hughes:
I'm a Texan (Ed. Note: Dallas). I live in the state of Texas with my wife and children. I love the state of Texas and the people in it, and the opportunity to come and play for the Houston Astros is something I just couldn't miss. It's a dream come true.
Hughes has a career 2.88 ERA (4.11 FIP), 1.22 WHIP in nine MLB seasons, all in the National League.
In that above link, we find from McTaggart that:
-Correa changed his workouts and diet in order to stay healthy for an entire season.
-Bregman is 20 pounds lighter compared to last season, and thinks that the extra weight resulted in his slow start in 2019.
-Reddick's shoulder is on the mend. In 114 games from May 2 to the end of the season, Reddick hit .259/.301/.395.
*The Astros had their first full-squad workout (without Zack Greinke). Altuve:
I like to talk about the team, team results. I'm here taking full responsibility for the team. I appreciate what Carlos did. Believe me, that tells you what kind of person and what kind of teammate he is. I tell him 100 times what I feel about what he did.
Reddick, on why he didn't use the Trash Can Scheme:
This game is hard enough as it is to focus on outside stuff like that. I'm not trying to make it about me...We've got to live with it as a team and get through it as a team. I'm not trying to individualize myself among these guys. We all could have stepped up and done something about it.
Harold Reynolds breaks down Altuve's walk-off homerun against Chapman in Game 6 of the 2019 ALCS pic.twitter.com/zVy0GJCA3k— keo (@KEOspeedwagon) February 17, 2020
*Jake Kaplan on how Spring Training is different with Dusty Baker as opposed to A.J. Hinch. Kaplan:
For the most part, it's been plug-and-play with Baker replacing Hinch and James Click replacing Jeff Luhnow as general manager, and with most of the same coaches and data- and technology-savvy staffers as Spring Trainings past.
*Yuli Gurriel made Anthony Castrovince's list as MLB's Most-Underrated 1B.
*Game 4 Hero Jose Urquidy ranked 62nd on the ZiPS Top 100 Prospects list. Bryan Abreu was 72nd. Forrest Whitley was 84th and Brett Conine was 89th.
*Chandler Rome: The Astros know they have each other, and that's pretty much it. Reddick:
I think as a team we've done pretty much everything we can do. We keep asking for our peers' forgiveness, and hopefully, they can come around to us one day and understand that we are truly remorseful and sorry for what we've done.
*Mike Trout became the latest player to offer his wisdom to the Astros' situation:
It's sad for baseball. It's tough. They cheated. I don't agree with the punishments, the players not getting anything....A lot of people lost jobs. It was tough. Me going up to the plate knowing what was coming? It would be fun up there. A lot of guys lost respect for some of the guys...I lost respect for some guys. A lot of stuff that comes out, you have to see if it's true or not. I'll talk to them and see them in the season. All this stuff coming out, it's tough to see.
A player suggested a very unusual punishment for #Astros so I thought I’d share. Every single team refuses to take the field at Minute Maid Park. Visitors forfeit every game there. Astros go 81-0 at home, but affects their revenue (no fans with no games played!) Quite an idea!— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) February 17, 2020
*Four current Astros pitchers (Osuna, Pressly, Verlander, Pruitt) faced the 2017 Astros at Minute Maid Park. Did they suspect anything?
*Humble resident Adam Wallach has sued the Astros for $1m for cheating, and also to not raise season ticket prices.
*Gleyber Torres still thinks the Astros cheated in 2019. Here's an idea: go up to the clean-shaven fella who smells like $300 million and ask him.
*Jose Altuve and the presumption of guilt.
*Bookmaker William Hill set the over/under on the number of times the Astros get HBPd at 83.5. Houston batters were hit 66 times in 2019, which was 16th. The Mets led MLB in 2019 with 95 HBPs, followed by the Reds at 89, the A's at 87, and the Cubs at 83.
*Joel Sherman thinks Rob Manfred should go back and punish the Astros players for the Sign-Stealing Scheme, after all. I'm no lawyer, but going back on a promise of immunity sounds like it wouldn't backfire at all. The punishment(s) he recommends: A three-year ban on All-Star Game appearances, no postseason money shares ever again, Astros bat first in home games in 2020 and 2021, no home playoff games for the next three seasons, no hosting the ASG for 15 years, no international signings for 2021 and 2022, Jim Crane suspended for two seasons.
*The Dodgers outrighted Tyler White to the minors after he cleared waivers following a recent DFA.
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