Letter from the Interim Managing Editor: Sorry again about the lack of content last week, folks. Was a difficult week for me to keep updated, what with being camping Thursday through Sunday. Of course, huge news (Altuve’s extension, covered aptly by Clack here) breaks while I’m on a rare vacation. I’m home now, however, and ready to return to work. Thanks for hanging in there. Tell your friends: We’re back. - Marbach
Not much in the way of tweets these last few days from Brian McTaggart - at least, not Astros baseball-related ones - but we’ll do our best. First, as always, go follow him on twitter!
Here’s what we DO have in the way of Astros tweets from Tags, with one or two thrown in from his able substitute, Oliver Macklin...
Altuve extension would be the largest contract in club history, surpassing $100-million, 6-year deal of Carlos Lee— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 16, 2018
From yesterday -- The #Astros have been planning for Tony Sipp to take the final bullpen spot, but he's struggled this spring. Manager A.J. Hinch could opt to carry eight right-handed relievers for Opening Day: https://t.co/WEPDGfk5V7— Oliver Macklin (@basebollie) March 18, 2018
Morton on his two hit batters: "I don't like to hit guys, especially in Spring Training." Said he yanked a cutter to #Marlins leadoff hitter Braxton Lee on the first pitch of the game, then a 4-seamer tailed and got away from him on the first pitch to Chad Wallach #Astros— Oliver Macklin (@basebollie) March 17, 2018
Jose Altuve Extension
Since it’s such a major story, it gets its own section of the Crawfish Boil, even though Clack covered it here on the site already.
2017 AL MVP coming off career year that included first MVP, World Series title
Richard Justice is in typically-pristine form here.
Here’s the USA Today’s report on Altuve’s extension
And the coverage from Sports Illustrated...
Jake Kaplan covers the story for The Athletic (subscription required and highly recommended)
Travis Sawchik of FanGraphs got this, the first of two articles about Altuve’s extension.
Craig Edwards, also of FanGraphs, posts the second look at the extension.
The Sporting News covers it at this link...
By locking in Jose Altuve, he gets fortune he deserves, Astros finagle a bargain and fans can enjoy a class act (by Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle)
The deal will guarantee the AL MVP a reported $151 million, per Dayn Perry at CBS Sports
Bleacher Report on Altuve’s deal.
Last, where they belong, here’s the coverage from Disney’s four letter sports infotainment site on the deal.
This is a really cool piece from the New York Times that looks at how Charlie Morton and Brian McCann have known each other since they were teenagers in travel ball.
No. 2 prospect reassigned along with Mayfield, Kemmer, Stubbs; Francis Martes was optioned as well but will still start on Saturday for the Astros, and many of these players (if not all) will travel to Houston with the team to play in the exhibition series against the Brewers at Minute Maid Park.
James Yasko (AstrosCounty, to denizens of AstrosTwitter) returns with his second piece at The Athletic. He’s a really great writer and a touchstone member of the Astros social media sphere, so if nothing else, please go read his piece and click to subscribe at The Athletic because it’s really good sports coverage. This piece looks at David Paulino, specifically.
Here’s a piece from Jake Kaplan of The Athletic that looks at Kyle Tucker being optioned to the minor leagues. (Subscription required and highly recommended)
Verlander atop list; Linares at Spring Training; Gurriel progressing in rehab
If you haven’t seen the video of one of the better defensive plays made by an Astros catcher in recent memory, go check it out in this piece.
Charlie Morton will start Houston’s home opener against the Orioles on April 2, manager A.J. Hinch revealed Sunday.
A.J. Hinch said that as is the case with almost anyone involved in college baseball, he knew former University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido, who passed away on Thursday.
The ring will be presented during a ceremony on April 3 at Minute Maid Park. It will be the first time players and coaches will see the ring.
Another Kaplan piece from the Athletic (Sub required and highly recommended)
Around The League
Jay Jaffe talks about one of the pioneers of baseball in its modern iteration.
Shohei Ohtani has not thrown 200 in-game pitches on American soil. He has not pitched into the fourth inning, on the back fields or in a main stadium. He has not done anything, really. (The Athletic - Sub required and recommended)
A closer look at the teams in the Cactus League and Grapefruit League
Another piece from The Athletic (subscription required and highly recommended)
Moura, of the Athletic, takes a look at Kershaw. Highly recommend a sub to the Athletic, if you haven’t cottoned on to that yet.
Sheryl Ring returns with another piece for FanGraphs.
A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt was the last of the nine players cut Sunday morning to leave the clubhouse. He had been optioned to minor league camp and will start the year in Triple-A Nashville. (More from The Athletic, sub required and recommended)