Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

Well I didn't feel like doing the Hot Links on Monday night. However, Monday we found out that Justin Verlander has a mild lat strain and will likely die miss possibly a significant amount of time. Verlander:
I would say it would take a miracle to be back by Opening Day. But I don't want to leave miracles off the table. 

Verlander clarified within earshot of Chandler Rome, who has, you know, access:
You can turn something that's not a significant injury into something that is significant - you're talking about missing months. This is one of those things you don't want to go full-throttle. You need to listen yourself, listen to your body and be truthful with yourself.

This is bad news. Nothing good about it at all. Unless! your name is Austin Pruitt, Framber Valdez, Josh James or...wait for it...Bryan Abreu! Dusty:
Abreu, I'm not going to discount him. This is a kid that I foresee being a big-time starter at the big-league level for a number of years.

If you ask me, yes (Abreu could be in the bullpen). I want the 13 best pitchers I can find. We'll figure out how to (adjust) it, but I want the 13 best pitchers I can find.

Abreu was only asked to get four outs on Tuesday, so that's a good indication as to how this is going to go for the first part of 2020.

You know who would have been a good fit as a possible rotation candidate? Forrest Whitley. Alas, he's taking a gap year and backpacking in Europe. Au revior, Shoshanna!

*Yordan Alvarez's return to the field was pushed back, yet again, due to knee soreness, and he had an MRI. Dusty:
It's not a setback. It just didn't progress. To have a setback, you have to progress. He's just not progressing as quickly as we wanted to.

Both Yordan and GM James Click insist there's no official worry for Opening Day, but Yordan only has 12 PAs this Spring, and Opening Day is in less than two weeks.

*Zack Greinke feels great! Make sure to click on this Chandler Rome article to read about how Greinke's encouraging Spring Training is the best he's felt at this point than in his previous Springs. Chandler Rome has, you know, access.

*Be sure you read Chandler Rome, who has, you know, access, on Jose Altuve's quiet March. Altuve:
Actually, I feel really good. I've been hitting balls hard every single game - some hits, some not - but you're looking for some momentum. I like feeling the way I am right now.

*Jake Kaplan wrote about the evolution of Lance McCullers' pitch mix. Kaplan:
As he comes back from Tommy John surgery, McCullers appears to be working with as complete a repertoire as he's had in his career. The 26-year old right-hander is back to throwing a four-seam fastball in addition to the two-seamer he's leaned on since the middle of 2016, the changeup he significantly improved in 2018 and, of course, his power curve.

Prediction: LMJ gets some Cy Young votes in 2020.

*Check Kaplan's Opening Day Roster Prediction 4.0, allowing for the Verlander Shuffle.

*ESPN ranked MLB's best players from 1-100. Astros on the list (click the link for short write-ups on each):

12. Alex Bregman
14. Justin Verlander
29. Jose Altuve
37. George Springer
49. Carlos Correa
59. Zack Greinke
62. Yordan Alvarez
93. Michael Brantley

Altuve at #29 is a joke. With eight players, the Astros have the most players in the Top 100, one more than the Yankees and Dodgers.

*ESPN also posted Over/Unders on season wins and the line on winning the division and the Pennant.
Houston: 94.5 wins
Win Division: -240
Win Pennant: +325

*Doug Glanville: I played clean in the Steroid Era. PEDs hurt worse than stealing signs.

*Click this link to read about the steps MLB is considering to combat sign-stealing. It's legit crazy, and I'm here for it.

*How MLB has previously managed infectious diseases.

*Crazy story from Boob Nightengale on Arizona pitching coach Matt Herges on being a replacement player and then getting named in the Mitchell Report.

*Four days in a New Rochelle hospital.

*How Coronavirus took down SXSW.

*Why this oil crash is different.

*A Musical Selection: