A few links before the lunch break to help tide you over until game time:
- A hat tip has to go out out to FarmStros on this one. Kyle Greenwalt's hometown newspaper has an in depth interview with him on what it was like to transition from being in high school to being a professional baseball player, virtually overnight. It really is a fantastic read to get a human interest take on life in the minor leagues. Thanks, FarmStros. For those of you not following him @farmstros you're missing out some good haikus. He's got a 40-day streak going...but can he hit 56?
- Speaking of minor league action, Minor League Splits now has aggregated minor league recaps for every organization. I've got it bookmarked for the Astros, I imagine several of you will/have too.
- Doug Brocail threw a simulated game yesterday and Astros.com's piece has nothing but positives to say about it. Yesterday, though, Alyson Footer was describing how he was getting crushed by Jason Michaels and Edwin Maysonet over twitter. Her best guess is that he doesn't get activated until the rosters expand.
- Although no one really saw it coming, Michael Bourn is a star caliber player.
- Brian McTaggart checks in with Mike Hampton to see how he is reacting to his potentially career ending injury. It sounds like Hampton's effort to rehab instead of have surgery is a last ditch effort to be able to pitch once more and the retire on his terms. He really doesn't want to hang'em up yet, though:
- Brett Cecil won't live this one down for awhile, I imagine.
- A trio of BtB articles: Finally, someone at BtB is beginning to question how a team could consistently outperform their PythagRecord. A fan post about the anatomy of a ground ball with tons of pretty looking graphs and interesting insights. Finally, part one of their "Effort in Sports" series sets up what should be a pretty interesting bit of discussion.
"I'll take it one day at a time," he said. "Who knows? I still like to pitch. I don't really know how to do anything else than play baseball. It's my profession, and once it's gone it's gone. I don't know if I can find anything else than I'm smart enough to do."