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Astros Crawfish Boil: February 21, 2018

Houston Astros news and notes from around the league for Monday, February 21, 2018.

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Chicago Cubs v Houston Astros
AJ Reed was indeed rankled by being passed over for a September call up that he deserved in 2017, but looks forward to earning a spot in 2018 after an air-clearing meeting with manager AJ Hinch.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Let’s start off by continuing our shiny new “Tag’s Tweets” mini segment, shall we? Go follow Tags on Twitter, if you don’t already, by clicking this blue button:

Tag’s Tweets

Astros News

Astros first baseman A.J. Reed continues to impress manager A.J. Hinch

A.J. Reed continues to make strides, prompting manager AJ Hinch to remark that he believes that Reed is “growing up” during comments indicating that Reed will have a shot to make the Major League team this year.

Astros starter takes MLB anger out on ‘s—ty’ ESPN show

As this site mentioned here, Lance McCullers took to the Twittersphere to vent his frustration with both ESPN and Major League Baseball yesterday.

Houston Astros Place Eight Players In MLB Top 100 Now

A recap of the “MLB Top 100 Now” program that features eight different Astros players.

How can Astros get better? A full season of Lance McCullers

A Chronicle piece about Lance McCullers and the prospect of him throwing a full season.

World Series 2018 odds: Dodgers, Yankees, Astros headline the early betting favorites

In an article that should surprise no one, the Astros are one of the teams leading the pack in World Series odds for 2018.

Astros pitcher Lance McCullers rips new pace of play rules

Another piece, this one from USA Today, about Lance McCullers’ pace of play twitter rant.

Around The League

The Sabermetric Movement’s Forgotten Foremother

Ben Lindbergh - arguably the best baseball writer active right now - hits hard in this truly awesome piece about an underappreciated female pioneer in the world of SABR research and baseball analytics.

All clubs to don Douglas caps for ST openers

Every Major League team will wear Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hats in a show of support for the Parkland, Florida community that is still reeling after a school shooting there killed seventeen on Valentine’s Day.

Baseball Therapy: Replacing the Replacement Player

Russell Carleton takes a big bite out of the notions surrounding Replacement Level Players in this interesting (paywalled) piece.

MLB trade news: Yankees acquire Brandon Drury in 3-team deal with D-backs, Rays

The big news of the day on the transaction front revolved around a three team deal that saw the Rays tear down even further while strengthening the Yankees and Diamondbacks at the Major League level.

D-backs Continue Outfield Makeover in Deal with Rays, Yankees

Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs breaks down the three team trade.

Scouting Anthony Banda, Nick Solak, and Taylor Widener

FanGraphs Prospect Guru Eric Longenhagen takes a stab at scounting/projecting the Tampa return in the Steven Souza, Jr. trade.

Rays Unlikely To Further Tear Down Roster

Steve Adams from MLBTradeRumors collates some sources and weighs in on the tear-down in Tampa.

The Rays Just Trimmed Payroll Without Getting Worse

Jeff Sullivan enters the fray at FanGraphs with a slightly different (and, as always with his pieces, extremely worthy read) take on the new Tampa Bay Rays approach.

The Physics of the Rarified Air of Spring Training

A really interesting (if a bit granular) at the atmospheric affect of the environments in Arizona and Florida on Spring Training stats. Heady stuff, if one needs bathroom or lunch break reading material.

Short Relief: The Path of the Ball in Mid-Flight

Three short but brilliant examples of truly pristine writing about baseball and tangentially-related issues from three of the best in the business - James Fegan, Kate Preusser, and Patrick Dubuque.

MLB Isn’t Really Addressing Its Pace Problem

Quite solid reading in this piece, another one from Sawchik.

MLB free agency rumors: Jake Arrieta to Phillies?

There are apparently teams who want Jake Arrieta after all.