We've got an early game Wednesday, so let's just hit some of the more interesting stories floating around the internets:
FanGraphs is actually complimentary of bullpen additions Gustavo Chacin and Wilton Lopez (though the headline mistakenly calls Lopez a lefty). Some good analysis in there on why they've been successful and notes on luck in relievers.
Did you read Zachary Levine's feature on Kody Hinze Tuesday? Well, you should have. Go do it right now and then come back to finish the rest of this story. I'll wait...Did you notice the Lexington uniforms in the photo? They're tuxedos! How ridiculous is that! I have to know more about this. Were these special unis? Do they always have the "it's formal, but I want to party" look? Oh, the questions...
Another update from MLB Trade Rumors on the MLBPA's stance heading into the newest collective bargaining agreement. Of course, the MLBPA wants draft pick trading. Their future members have no leverage if they only can negotiate with one team. The owners put a stop to this after the Pete Incaviglia mess and will be hard pressed to change it now.
Clack talked about Garrett Atkins regression earlier in the week, but since he's willing to play in Triple-A, should the Astros try to sign him as insurance? They're pretty thin now at third base and would have to rely on someone like Matt Kata if they faced another injury to Chris Johnson. I'm not sure he'd be successful, but I'm big on contingency plans in all walks of life.
Another FanGraphs article mentions two Astros. Roy Oswalt is one of the best pitchers in baseball at getting to an 0-2 count. Brian Moehler is one of the worst. That was probably the least surprising fact I learned in quite a while, outside of the fact that the sky is blue.
I had some fun with this over at SB Nation Houston, but R.J. Anderson broke down all the things that have happened between Michael Bourn's last two home runs. It's pretty impressive. The thing that got me the most was the Pirates' lineup turnover. Ahh, the joys of being a slap hitter...
Speaking of our regional site, two things to remember. First, I have a new feature up on there. My latest trip to Corpus made me start thinking about all three Astros ballparks that I've seen this season and how they compare. The article, though, becomes less about a comparison and more about the experience of each park.
Second, and more importantly, they linked to this site on the Examiner which ranks all the Houston-based blogs. Our own Crawfish Boxes came in second this year, ahead of the Houston Chronicle's blog network and behind only ClutchFans. That's a testament to all you readers out there who push us to deliver the very best in Astros content every day.
Lastly, this is a nice article from the Beaumont Enterprise talking to high school coaches about their memories of the Astrodome. We talked about the same thing before, but it's nice to see others sharing the same sentiments. The 'Dome was a great place to watch games. I'm happy it's going to be repurposed instead of being torn down. Now, maybe I can take my son there and regale him with stories of Jeff Bagwell's moon shot home runs or Craig Biggio's dirty helmet.