Friday, September 4, 2020

Friday Morning Hot Links

*The Astros beat the Rangers 8-4 behind three RBIs each from Aledmys Diaz and Michael Brantley. They're now two games behind the A's for first place in the AL West. Lance Lynn, who has been very good over the past two seasons, got roughed up, while Zack Greinke struck out nine over six strong innings.

*The big story, though, is Jose Altuve leaving with a knee injury. Here's a video of the indecent. All we know at the moment is it is being classified as "right knee discomfort." That is the same knee he had surgery on in 2018.

*From the Chronicle:

"Manager Dusty Baker said Altuve snagged the spikes on his right foot while sliding into third base in the first inning. He was lifted after two innings with what was described as right knee discomfort and underwent an MRI exam, the results of which were not immediately available."

*The Astros and Angels begin a four-game series tonight in Los Angeles of Anahiem of Broken Dreams. Houston's rotation will be McCullers on Friday, a pair of TBDs for the doubleheader on Saturday, and Valdez on Sunday.

*Speaking of Lance McCullers, a Very Handsome Young Boy wrote about him and his new cutter for Baseball Prospectus today. 

- You gotta pay the big bucks to get the whole thing, but the crux is that left-handed hitters have been absolutely teeing off on his curveball because his normal two-seam fastball catches too much of the plate. The cutter, which he threw six times against the A's in his last start, allows him to still have a fastball he can throw in the zone, which makes batters swing at his curveball out of the zone. 

*Houston appears to be very close to getting reinforcements. 

- Alex Bregman feels "100 percent" and could return to the lineup this weekend.

- Jose Urquidy is tentatively scheduled to start one of Saturday's doubleheaders.

- Chris Devenski and Brad Peacock are also close. All four players traveled with the Astros and hope to be activated soon.

*Activating those four players does create a roster crunch. David Barron looked into his crystal ball to see what might happen.