Wednesday's Three Astros Things

HOUSTON,TX - MAY 01: J.D. Martinez #14, Brian Bogusevic #19 and Justin Maxwell #22 of the Houston Astros celebrate after the final out as the Houston Astros defeat the New York Mets 6-3 on May 1, 2012 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)


1) Pick 6 going strong - Thanks to all of you who played the new Pick 6 game yesterday here on SB Nation. Congratulations, too, to hayzer13 for finishing with 55 points to lead all TCB entrants yesterday.

The interesting thing about this game is obviously the daily flexibility, but that also presents some good options for Astros like Jose Altuve. While Escorpion is on this ridiculous hot streak to begin the season, he's still only worth $0.50 to put in your lineup, providing excellent value each day.

That won't always be the case, I'm sure, but for now? Altuve should be a staple of your lineups.

In other news, yours truly came out on top of the three TCB writers to enter things. I'll give Brooks a pass, since he had a bazillion finals this week, but Tim? You've got to pick your game up, sir...

2) Weiland's injury turns more serious - Bad news for Kyle Weiland, as he had to have surgery yesterday to clean out a possible infection in his shoulder. It's not immediately clear how long he'll be out for, but it isn't good.

Zachary Levine is reporting that the recovery time for this latest procedure is open-ended, meaning that Weiland will not be back by May 8, when his spot in the rotation comes up again. That means someone will need to be called up to take that turn, but who will it be?

Rule out Jordan Lyles, because he has to spend 10 days in the minors before coming back up. Does that mean Paul Clemens may get a look? I wonder if they go that route, if Clemens will just stick in the rotation. Of course, he'd have to have good success, but it's not like Weiland has made himself irreplacable this season.

What's more, it means Houston will have its seventh pitcher start a game at that point. That's significant only because they had just nine pitchers make starts last season. Seems they won't be so lucky with rotational injuries this time around.

3) Identity fraud gets more complicated - Any time you put very large financial considerations in front of people living in very difficult situations, you're asking for trouble.

The Latin American international signees can realize very large signing bonuses for playing baseball, but sometimes to do that, they have to juke the system. First, it was steroids and now it's identity fraud. That's why baseball started DNA testing to identify fraud.

Now, it seems that to combat DNA testing, whole families are swapping places, so that the player can beat the testing by having his own mother be matched up. Ben Badler over at Baseball America does a fantastic job of breaking down this trend.

What's the solution here? An international draft? I'm not sure that will solve things, because younger players will always be more favored in the draft. Do you limit international signing bonuses? Well, it sounds like baseball is already kind of doing that in this new CBA.

I don't know. But, I also don't envy the jobs of teams trying to track down the truth in the international market right now.

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