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Astros Crawfish Boil: March 5, 2018

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Houston Astros news and notes from around the league for March 5, 2018.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros
Hall of Famer Craig Biggio and Astros President Reid Ryan donned full Rodeo regalia and took the World Series Trophy out on the town this weekend.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

We’ll add one special Monday morning tweet from the Astros at the end of our normal Tag’s Tweets segment...hope you enjoy it!

Go follow Brian McTaggart on Twitter, if you don’t already, by clicking this blue button:

Tag’s Tweets

Here’s a bonus tweet, from Yulieski Gurriel, that Tags did at least retweet:

And just for kicks, here is a tweet from the Astros showing Craig Biggio and Reid Ryan, in full rodeo regalia, accompanying the World Series Trophy this weekend at NRG Stadium in Houston:

Astros News

Yuli Gurriel Doesn’t Dodge Questions—or Blame—as He Readies for Racist Taunt Ban

Following Houston’s historical World Series victory last fall, the Astros scattered across the United States as champions. Yuli Gurriel went home to Miami a villain.

Tucker impressing Astros, but won’t make club

Club’s top hitting prospect has 3 HRs this spring, still has work to do in Minors

Sidepiece Joe Smith goes well with Astros’ bullpen

Teammates testify to difficulty of hitting low-throwing righthander

Devo quickens delivery to hold more runners on

All-Star reliever allowed 12 stolen bases from the mound in 2017

Is there such a thing as a World Series Hangover? The numbers don’t lie

James Yasko (better known to Twitter denizens as Astros County) makes his debut at The Athletic by taking a look at World Series Hangovers, by the numbers, and how they might portend Houston’s fate this year. Paywall site, but (as always) I highly recommend you take the plunge and subscribe.

Changeup key as Martes develops as starter

The young righty looks to figure more prominently as a starter long-term, and the development of his change up is key.

Astros pitcher Justin Verlander boasts ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ tribute car Eleanor Ford Mustang

Eleanor, you lookin’ so fiiiiine.

Around The League

Mariners in awe of Gordon’s transition to CF

Speedster enjoying strong spring in outfield and at plate

Connecting Diaspora and Baseball Through Tim Lincecum

Lincecum, who is half-Filipino, was the first ethnically Filipino person to win a major big league award when he won the Cy Young in 2008 and, in so doing, captured the adoration of many new fans...including one Jen Mac Ramos, who writes of his importance to the Filipino community of baseball lovers worldwide in this piece.

Prospectus Feature: The Draft Value Calculator

Baseball Prospectus writers Anthony Rescan and Martin Alonso posit a really exciting, interesting piece that attempts to quantify the value of draft picks with a Calculator of sorts.

Twins, Byron Buxton Reportedly Interested In Extension

The Twins and center fielder Byron Buxton have mutual interest in a contract extension, according to Jim Bowden of The Athletic.

Saturday Sports: Baseball Season Approaches (NPR Audio)

NPR’s Scott Simon talks baseball with ESPN’s Howard Bryant about baseball, including spring training and the MLB’s attempt to appeal to younger audiences.

Buster Olney: What’s behind the decline and fall of the stolen base?

Olney takes a look at stolen bases.

For the Cardinals, a Rebuilding Year Is Never an Option

The perennial NL Central powerhouse franchise misses Oscar Taveras terribly, though.

Machado aiming to make ‘18 something special

O’s star looking to lead by example as he makes switch to shortstop

Shohei Ohtani Inspires Awe, and a Bit of Envy, Among His Teammates

Basically, the 23-year-old Japanese phenom looks as good as advertised on the mound for the Angels so far.

A young girl worried baseball was only for boys. Her father asked Twitter for help.

There wasn’t any discussion a year ago when Jason Klein, a dad in Mount Kisco, N.Y., signed up his daughter Ava for Little League baseball.

Nolan Arenado Doesn’t Expect Rockies Extension This Season

The prospect of an extension between the Rockies and star third baseman Nolan Arenado doesn’t seem likely in the near future, as Arenado tells MLB.com’s Thomas Harding.

Jeter opens up about new role on ‘Executive Access’

Miami’s CEO discusses the franchise’s future -- and his thoughts on analytics -- on new podcast