Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

The Astros beat the Mariners 8-5 thanks to Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. Houston is 3-1.

Josh James threw 3IP, 3H/3ER, 5K:5BB, HBP, WP. 39 of his 75 pitches were thrown for strikes. Brandon Bielak came in and threw 3.1IP, 4H/2R (1ER), 4K:0BB in his MLB debut in relief, getting his first MLB win. Dusty, on Bielak:
It was a great debut for him. He saved our tail. He came in today and threw a lot of strikes, competed, attacked, executed.

*Alex Bregman hit his 100th career home run in his 521st career game, one pitch after Jose Altuve hit his 300th career double. He's the 18th Astro to hit 100 home runs.

Altuve's 300th double came in his 1247th game. Craig Biggio - who is 5th all-time in MLB in doubles - hit his 300th double in his 1432nd game.

*For just the 3rd time in his career, George Springer was 0x5 with 3K:0BB. He's 1x16 to start the season.

*Michael Brantley was 2x3 with a double and is hitting .467/.529/.800 so far.

*Dustin Garneau hit his first career triple. Astros catchers hit .429/.467/.521 in four games against the Mariners.

*McTaggart has some takeaways after the first series of the season, including the state of the pitching staff in which we find that Ryan Pressly and Chris Devenski are both dealing with elbow soreness. That's, uh, that's not ideal. The only healthy relievers with more than a year of service time are Roberto Osuna and Joe Biagini. Dusty thinks the quick ramp-up to the season is to blame. Austin Pruitt has been shut down.

*Taylor Jones, who made his MLB debut on Sunday, was optioned to Satellite Camp on Monday. With Verlander on the IL, the Astros brought up Brandon Bielak and Nivaldo Rodriguez. The 40 Man Roster is now full. More arms to work with, though eight of them are rookies. Framber will start today's game against the Dodgers and Wednesday's start - which was to be Verlander's - just might be a bullpen game.

*Now that there's been a day of separation between the Verlander News and some time to let it sink in...Dusty, on Verlander:
He's in a good frame of mind...I've always called him a medical marvel. This guy works and he believes that he's close to Superman and he really is and I'm just hoping he's Superman this time, too, but without hurting himself.

SI's Emma Baccellieri: Where do the Astros go without Justin Verlander? FanGraphs: Verlander's impact on the already-thin rotation.

*George Springer had his first Zoom press conference on Monday, and was asked about his upcoming free agency. He didn't really say anything, which is pretty much exactly what you would expect him to say, given that he's trying to secure what is likely his only/last big contract. Also, Springer has made over $31m plus whatever the pro-rated pay is for 2020, so it's not like he's trying to set himself up...this is more like setting your 3rd and 4th generations up. Still, George Springer should get paid all the money. I just don't know that the Astros will do it.

So let's look at the years that Astros will hit free agency:

After 2020: George Springer, Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick, Brad Peacock
After 2021: Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Roberto Osuna, Joe Smith, Martin Maldonado, Chris Devenski

*David Barron: The Dodgers are way more worried about COVID than 2017 as they come to Houston.

*Astros.com: Inside the UH facility hosting the Astros' taxi squad.

*FanGraphs' David Laurilia had a conversation with Astros prospect Tyler Ivey.

*Todd Kalas will return to the booth tonight after testing positive for COVID.

*11 Miami Marlins and two coaches tested positive for COVID. Their game against the Phillies last night was postponed. The Phillies' entire visiting clubhouse staff are under quarantine. Infectious disease specialists can't believe the Marlins and Phillies played on Sunday. The Marlins won't play today, either, as they wait on a new batch of tests to either go to Baltimore or cancel that game, as well. "This is way more than a wake-up call" - where MLB goes from here. MLB's worst nightmare is here (and, surprise! they could have planned for it).

*Former Astros Great Mike Foltynewicz will be designated for assignment by the Braves.

*Last Chance U: Laney is now on Netflix.

*Defector, you say?

*A Musical Selection: