Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Wednesday Morning Hot Links

Oh so we're back to having to do these every day again, huh?

*The Astros have signed reliever Steve Cishek to a minor-league deal with an invitation to Spring Training, completing the Old Testament Bullpen Trifecta of Cishek (2021), Neshek (2015-16), and Abad (2010-12). Truly amazing. A blessing, really.

Cishek can make up to $2.25m in 2021 if he makes the club. Cishek will be 35 in June and has a career 2.78 ERA / 1.16 WHIP (2.52 ERA / 1.05 WHIP from 2016-2019). He ended 2021 with a 5.40 ERA / 1.50 WHIP which, sure, isn't great. But his first seven appearances of 2021 resulted in an 11.12 ERA / 2.29 WHIP, and a 3.14 ERA / 1.19 WHIP over his last 15 appearances. He and Joe Smith are going to both hit you with the side-arm.

Chandler Rome: Cishek will provide some competition for the Astros in Spring Training.

*Spring Training, by the way, for better or for worse, begins on February 18 with the first full-squad workout on February 22. 

*MLB.com: The Astros' biggest offseason upgrade just might be Yordan Alvarez.

*Baseball Prospectus released their first PECOTA standings projection of 2021, and it has the 93-69 Astros winning the AL West by six games, the 2nd-best projection in the AL.

*Minor-leaguers Anibal Sierra and Stephen Wrenn were released by the Astros on Tuesday. Sierra, 26, hit .210/.282/.293 between Round Rock and Corpus in 2019. Wrenn, the Astros' 6th Round pick in 2016, spent 2019 mostly in Corpus and hit .247/.336/.411.

*MLB and the MLBPA agreed to various health and safety protocols for 2021. 

*SI: Did MLB use juiced baseballs in 2020?

*ESPN: 2020's lost MLB giveaways could be a treasure trove for fans.

*Outside: My Path to Becoming Semi-Rad.

*On Beethoven, and the Gifts of Silence.

*This Unusual Japanese Train Station In the Middle of Nowhere Has No Entrance or Exit.

*I'm very excited to read this book, which came out on Tuesday.

*A Musical Selection: