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Astros Crawfish Boil: August 7, 2015

All of the news you're looking for - and some gems you didn't know you wanted - for your Houston Astros...and around the Major Leagues.

Carlos Gomez makes a wonderful basket catch against the A's on 8/6/2015
Carlos Gomez makes a wonderful basket catch against the A's on 8/6/2015
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Astros News

Is Carlos Correa Already Baseball’s Best Shortstop?
FanGraphs takes a wonderful look at Carlos Correa through the eyes of analytics.

Rookie trio combines for Tri-City no-hitter
Class A Short Season Tri-City leaned on a trio of first-year players to complete a team no-hitter against Aberdeen on Thursday night. The ValleyCats won, 5-0, thanks to the work of three of Houston's 2015 Draft picks: Kevin McCanna (13th round, Rice), Ralph Garza (29th round, Oklahoma) and Zac Person (ninth round, LSU). McCanna started the game and allowed the team's only blemish -- a walk -- in four innings of near-perfect work that included five strikeouts.

Astros to use rookie hurlers down the stretch
OAKLAND -- The Astros are still counting on using rookie pitchers Lance McCullers and Vincent Velasquez down the stretch, though it appears Velasquez would likely be tabbed in a relief role while McCullers will rejoin the rotation at some point. Both are at Double-A Corpus Christi. It's been well documented how the Astros are being careful with both of the youngsters, sending them to the Minor Leagues to limit their innings. McCullers has been working with pitching coach Doug Brocail at Double-A Corpus Christi, and Velasquez on Wednesday threw in relief for the Hooks.

Astros Designate, Option Dan Straily
In a move which makes a lot of sense upon examination - despite being surprising on the surface for many fans - the Astros officially designated Dan Straily for assignment before optioning him to AAA Fresno.

A look at the Astros’ woes in past 12 road series
The Houston Chronicle examines the Astros' struggles on the road.

News From Around the MLB

Quick Hits: QO, Yankees, Athletics, Cubs
The qualifying offer continues to be an interesting topic of conversation and study around the game. It’s clear that it impacts free agent situations, but precisely how and how much remains somewhat difficult to nail down in practice.

The Limitations Of The 2015 StatCast Data
"...StatCast is a great thing, and we are only scratching the surface of what it can eventually become. The sample generated for this article yielded some benchmarks which will serve as the foundation for some analysis you will see here in the coming weeks. Still, when one is faced with a data set, one must put it into some sort of context, while acknowledging its limitations."

MLBAM and the Future of MLB’s Revenues | FanGraphs Baseball
With the announcement of its partnership with the National Hockey League, and rumors that a potential spinoff of it’s streaming technology arm might be worth $5 billion, Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) has moved past being the The Biggest Media Company You’ve Never Heard Of.

Lucchino’s Departure From Boston Creates Disastertunity
Examining the regime change for the Boston Red Sox.

And for his next trick, Zack Greinke is hitting home runs and flipping bats
Zack Greinke with the home run and an epic bat flip.

Kyle Schwarber homers, Cubs ahead of Giants
CHICAGO -- It sounded and felt like playoff baseball at Wrigley Field on Thursday night, which can only help the young Cubs who are trying to open some space between themselves and the Giants in the Wild Card race. Rookie Kyle Schwarber smacked a three-run homer to lead the Cubs to a 5-4 victory over the Giants, as Chicago moved a half-game ahead of San Francisco in the Wild Card race.

Softball player somehow hits HR on behind-the-back swing, makes you question everything
If you haven't seen this yet, watch it. It's absurd.

5 of the best midseason callups of the last 10 years.
Promoting a prospect in the middle of a successful season is a massive decision, but, as evidenced by the recent past, it can pay off in a big way. Here's a look at five midseason callups over the past decade who had a major influence on that season.

Stephen Strasburg will start on Saturday
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have decided that Stephen Strasburg will start against the Rockies on Saturday, according to manager Matt Williams. Strasburg has been on disabled list for a little more than a month because of a left oblique strain. The Nationals made the decision after Strasburg performed some towel drills in the bullpen on Thursday. With Strasburg back in the rotation, the team decided that right-hander Doug Fister will be the long man out of the bullpen and Joe Ross will remain in the rotation.

Blue Jays sweep Twins in 5th straight win
TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion went deep for the second straight night and Ben Revere had a breakout game at the plate to help the Blue Jays complete a four-game sweep of the Twins in a 9-3 victory at Rogers Centre on Thursday night. The Blue Jays jumped ahead to an early 1-0 lead in the first and continued to pile on as they drove Twins starter Kyle Gibson from the game in a four-run fifth to register their eighth win in their last nine games.