Once again, it’s been a rough week for me trying to keep up. We’ll have a great big Crawfish Boil today to recap some of what’s been going on this week.
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...
Lance McCullers Jr. discusses his final outing of Grapefruit League play. pic.twitter.com/c3WMGb7tu7— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 21, 2018
Josh Reddick encouraged by getting three hits off lefties. pic.twitter.com/wWzrIRMwz3— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 21, 2018
New story: With rotation full, McHugh adjusts to 'pen role— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 21, 2018
Astros manager AJ Hinch on McCullers and Reddick pic.twitter.com/voKwEOm60N— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 21, 2018
Hinch said James Hoyt (oblique) won't travel with the club to Houston, which means Tony Sipp has made the club.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
Hinch said Tony Kemp has made a late push to make club— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
AJ Hinch on final roster moves pic.twitter.com/HJ58m5QwqK— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
AJ Hinch on J.D. Davis' defense pic.twitter.com/G231zHQHuW— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
Hinch on Sipp: "We’re expected to open the season with Tony."— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
Hinch: "I don't look at a stat sheet in Spring Training. I don't know what these guys are hitting. It's more of the quality of at-bats and the type of impact we think they can make when the bell rings."— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
Fisher delivers a two-out, two-run double with the bases loaded. He roped a 3-2 pitch into right field. Kemp, who drew his second walk of the game, was stopped third.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
Another triple for Reddkc.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
Tough day for Charlie Morton, who's out after 83 pitches. He's allowed 11 hits and eight runs (so far) in 3 1/3 innings.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
At this hour, in one week, the Astros and Rangers will be taking the field in Arlington for the season opener.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
Charlie Morton got his pitch count up, "but everything else was just awful." pic.twitter.com/Mw0u0vQlo2— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 22, 2018
As President Trump congratulated the World Series champion Houston Astros at a White House ceremony last week, he also heaped praise on himself and congressional Republicans for passing a sweeping tax cut last year. He hailed Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, the House’s chief tax writer and an Astros superfan, as “the king of those tax cuts.”
What he did not mention is that the new tax law Mr. Brady helped draft, and which Mr. Trump signed, levies a large new tax on the Astros, and similar franchises across professional sports. (New York Times piece, a must-read)
Athletic piece (paywall, subscription required and recommended) by the incomparable Eno Sarris.
Astros skipper proving to be king of savvy, new-age managers
The last piece of the Core Four has established himself as one of baseball’s brightest young players.
From Ted Berg of For The Win: “It’s really, really, really hard imagining the Astros as a disappointment in 2018. They’re returning almost the entirety of a 2017 offense that ranks with the 1927 Yankees among the best of all time in the sport.”
Another from the Athletic.
Yep, the Astros (not the Yankees) are projected to once again be the offensive class of the Major Leagues in 2018.
Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the upcoming season. Some compete for jobs in big league camp, while others vie for spots on Minor League affiliates. Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline will visit all 30 camps this spring, and here he checks in on the Astros.
It is one thing to be the best in the business on the field, which they proved to be last season in winning the franchise’s first World Series, but it seems the Astros are intent on being the best at everything.
Speaking of the Astros as Houston’s model franchise, here’s a community research piece from FanGraphs looking at Altuve’s potential surplus value going forward in his extension.
More ooey Jake Kaplan/The Athletic goodness about the Astros.
I’ve already got my tickets - hope you do too, because registration is officially closed.
Eno Sarris takes a hard look at JD Davis’ adjustments.
Enough said about this garbage, but here’s the link if you want to read about this head-scratcher again for some reason.
A few months after helping the Astros bring home their first World Series win, outfielder George Springer tied the knot with fiancee Charlise Castro in a beautiful ceremony at The Resort at Pelican Hill in California.
Since the wedding, Castro has only shared a handful of photos showing the decorations, the cakes and the back of her dress.
Around The League
You read that right. A truly gross, embarrassing, horrible thing that MLB has been lobbying for for years is apparently coming to pass.
Yet another paywall piece from The Athletic - subscription required and heavily suggested.
Alex Cobb signed with the Orioles, if you missed it.
Another from The Athletic - it’s been a good week there.
Justin Turner was injured on a HBP, but won’t miss too much time and won’t need surgery. The Dodgers will calmly replace from within until he’s healthy, and will maybe see a 1 or 2-win dip in production without him. Still, it’s a noteworthy injury and he deserves our well wishes in his recovery.
Fun piece from FanGraphs, check it out.
More from the Athletic. I’m telling y’all, the subscription is killer value.
A look from FanGraphs at Congress’ attempt to pass a bill that includes a section called “Save America’s Pastime Act”.
How a line drive nearly ended the life of Indians pitcher Evan Marshall and changed him for the better (A feature piece at the Athletic)
Video link within - a weird, fun play that happened.
Another glorious piece from The Hardball Times.
Sheryl Ring is a lawyer who writes for FanGraphs - and she hasn’t been well-received here by a certain subsect of the readership. Which is perfectly fine - but still, she writes from a major website and with a lawyer’s perspective on baseball issues, especially with regards to labor laws, and so we’re going to keep featuring her pieces when they’re worth talking about, and this one is. Hope y’all enjoy, and look forward to seeing you in the comments section.
Meg Rowley addresses the self-same negative reaction to Sheryl Ring’s previous post that I mentioned directly above this. Seems a good thing for any baseball fan community to keep in mind - communities like our tight-knit little TCB family here, for example.