Let’s get right to the action, starting off by continuing our shiny new “Tag’s Tweets” mini segment, shall we? Go follow Brian McTaggart on Twitter, if you don’t already, by clicking this blue button:
Yuli Gurriel's Instagram pic.twitter.com/YaqOUr6vl4— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
Yuli Gurriel having surgery to remove he hook of hamate bone in his left hand. Timetable unknown.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
Astros manager A.J. Hinch on Gurriel injury pic.twitter.com/gsJj9jMV66— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell is here pic.twitter.com/xxkfuoyjn1— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow says Yuli Gurriel is out of surgery. The recovery is 5 to 6 weeks, so he will start the year on the DL. pic.twitter.com/Etffl5abt1— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
McCann and Giles finish bullpen pic.twitter.com/oEzxgipuKP— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
I asked Jeff Bagwell today if he got sized for a World Series ring: "I don't remember me hitting or pitching at all last year."— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
McCullers threw 27 pitches today in two innings. Allowed two hits and struck out two.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
Joe Smith now pitching.
McCullers on his outing pic.twitter.com/lm0x8yT5kc— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) February 28, 2018
Righty used only fastballs, changeups in 2 scoreless innings...and his movement on both pitches were markedly improved over previous years. His offerings look almost impossibly good so far this year.
Astros first baseman will begin regular season on disabled list; opportunity comes knocking for one of AJ Reed, Tyler White, or J.D. Davis.
This is a paywall article from the Athletic, but again, the site is becoming pretty close to a must-subscribe...even accounting for the presence of writers like Bowden and Rosenthal and Gammons. Jake Kaplan and Tyler Stafford are killing it over there.
After winning American League MVP last season with another great performance in a stellar young career, many wonder what Jose Altuve will do for an encore.
The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers will try to return to the World Series in 2018, and they headline the list of MLB season win totals at the sportsbooks.
Big boys, show ponies, grinders - or any other nickname that sets them apart from nearly all other human beings - Justin Verlander and Noah Syndergaard are of a rare breed of starting pitchers who go deep into games with closer-level velocity.
When manager Alex Cora made up the travel squad, it included Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rafael Devers, Rick Porcello, Hanley Ramirez, and Christian Vazquez.
Cora isn’t being subtle. He wants the Red Sox to remember who eliminated them from the playoffs last season. The Astros knocked the Sox out of the Division Series in four games. Houston then went on to win the World Series with Cora as their bench coach.
Around The League
From Eno Sarris: “Other than at catcher, not a single infielder atop the Padres’ current depth chart was in the same position on opening day last season. That’s good news, because no team in baseball last year was as bad, defensively, on the infield.” (Paywall: The Athletic. Come on, just subscribe.)
The Royals have officially struck a deal with free agent first baseman Lucas Duda.
Every team in baseball, ranked based on all their players 25 and younger. This is something of an experiment, but I’m still satisfied with the results. An experiment by Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs.
The Athletic - Philadelphia posits a primer on SABR stats. Paywall article.
Jay Jaffe takes a look at a potential Clayton Kershaw contract in his latest piece over at his new home, FanGraphs.
Right-hander agreed to contract with Rangers on Tuesday.
Sheryl Ring at FanGraphs takes a look at the MLBPA’s grievance.
The latest on Jake Arrieta rumors, from MLB.com.
Another great piece from Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs.