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Tuesday's Three Astros Things

Talking about strikeouts, Pat Neshek's foot and Yu Darvish's elbow...

Some things to talk about while

1) Damn the strikeouts, full speed ahead

Jayson Stark stopped by Astros spring training on Monday and penned this article on the team's whiff-idemic. The main point of his article, which talks about all the strikeout-prone players Houston added to a roster that's already chock-full of them, can be found in this quote from assistant GM David Stearns.

"If the balance works out effectively and we're scoring enough runs," said assistant general manager David Stearns, "the strikeouts aren't going to concern us. Clearly, if they're strikeouts without power, we're not going to score as many runs as we would like. But our expectation is, we're going to hit a lot of home runs and we're going to score plenty of runs. If we do that, then we'll take the strikeouts that come with it."

He's absolutely right. Score runs and hit for power? Strikeouts are okay. Don't make contact and don't much when you do? That's a recipe for disaster.

Think about it this way. The players who hit free agency or the trade market are, with very few exceptions, imperfect. Houston has targeted players in the past two years who's flaw is striking out, while also bringing other things to the table.

It's a strategy that has some risk to it, but as Stark shows with this next quote from Evan Gattis, it's worked before.

"We'll see, you know?" he laughed Monday. "Stay tuned. We'll find out. But I think we'll score a lot of runs. And if you do, you win a lot. Who cares about the strikeouts if you win the World Series?"

El Oso Blanco, ladies and gentlemen. You can buy your jersey at the team store located behind home plate.

2) My only regret is I have but one foot to give...

Wait, what is going on with Pat Neshek's foot, Brian McTaggart?

My brief search for any other mention of Neshek hurting his foot came up negative. And, yet, we've confirmed from Evan Drellich that Neshek went for an MRI and an x-ray on his foot.

It's a minor deal. Neshek pitched over the weekend and was fine, but apparently not? Drellich and Tags are on it, confirming that it's not quite a stress fracture, but could be the start of one.

I don't care for this look, Spring Training. it's not good on you.


3) The enemy of mine enemy is injuries

Not a great time to be a Texas Rangers fan. Our erstwhile contenders to the north look to be losing ace Yu Darvish, possibly to Tommy John surgery.

Yu Darvish missed the last 46 games of the 2014 season thanks to elbow inflammation. The Rangers were a dumpster fire of a team at that point in the season -- Darvish was one of the last healthy regulars by August -- so resting their ace while he had elbow problems made all the sense in the world. A fall and winter of rest doesn't seem to have helped, however, as Darvish underwent an MRI after his first spring training appearance, revealing to the world that he has a sprained UCL. Tommy John surgery is likely in his future, as is missing all of 2015.

The 2014 version of the Texas Rangers was one of the most snake-bitten teams in recent MLB history. They lost an overwhelming number of games because key players were lost for the year. The only lucky part of 2014 for the Rangers was that they were not actually bitten by any snakes.

GM Jon Daniels took a pretty thoughtful approach to building his team this winter. He pretty much admitted that he wasn't leaning one way or the other right away, that he'd see ho they played before deciding whether they were buyers or sellers.

Well, with this injury, I'm betting Daniels will lean toward "sell." It also means the projections showing the Rangers finishing ahead of the Astros are probably premature.