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Astros Crawfish Boil: March 6, 2018

Houston Astros news and notes from around the league for March 6, 2018.

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MLB: Houston Astros-Media Day
The man, the myth, the legend, the...Opening Day starter?
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to another edition of the Crawfish Boil!

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Astros News

Justin Verlander, not Dallas Keuchel, to start Opening Day for Astros

Given his choice of a franchise stalwart who suffered through the worst of times, or a recent import who pushed the Houston Astros over the top to a championship, manager A.J. Hinch opted for the latter when choosing his opening-day starter.

As Astros’ Hector Rondon slows down, doubts grow

The Chron, ever-sensational, lays a headline out that sounds an awful lot like “having kittens” with almost a month of spring training left.

Painting captures the Astros’ World Series celebration

The Houston Astros went from losing 111 games in 2013 to becoming World Series champions last year, capturing the first title in the franchise’s history.

The moment the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the World Series has been captured by Major League Baseball-sanctioned artist Opie Otterstad in a painting that is part of a collection of pieces commemorating the championship.

Astros Place Anthony Gose On Outright Waivers

The Astros have placed lefty Anthony Gose on outright waivers, per Jake Kaplan of The Athletic (Twitter link). That will ultimately open a 40-man spot, though it’s not clear whether the organization has immediate plans for utilizing it.

Around The League

Baseball’s Connection to M*A*S*H

You are damned right I am linking an article about baseball’s current through the best TV show of all time first in this section. Ichiro can wait.

Source: Mariners agree to deal with Ichiro

Future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki is back with the Mariners - and, more importantly, in the Major Leagues - where he belongs.

Saxon: DeJong’s extension is a reasonable gamble for the Cardinals

Paul DeJong was a utility player in college (Illinois State) and played mostly third base in the minor leagues, but when the Cardinals elected to demote Díaz in the middle of his offensive tailspin, DeJong came up and played surprisingly adequate shortstop. Now, the Cardinals have rewarded him with a contract extension. (Paywall article from The Athletic, subscription recommended strongly)

No nonsense, no frills Tim Lincecum appears motivated for an MLB renaissance

Lincecum is motivated for a comeback, but what is driving him?

So You Want to Have a Good Bullpen

Jeff Sullivan, good as always, writing about bullpens at FanGraphs.

Latest On Indians’ Rotation Plans

The Indians entered the offseason with enviable depth in their pitching staff, particularly among rotation hopefuls. While that led some to wonder whether trades might be considered, to this point the Cleveland organization has not shipped away pitching.

The Lack Of A Market For Neil Walker Doesn’t Make Sense

At this point, there’s little point in expounding upon what an odd offseason it’s been for Major League free agents.

Will King Felix Reach Cooperstown?

Pretty straightforward title.

At Tigers’ tryout camp, players chase dream

From ex-big leaguers to bucket-list participants, all grateful for chance.

With a new grip on his curve, even Kyle Hendricks can’t contain his excitement

Excitement isn’t really the first word that comes to mind when talking about Kyle Hendricks. There’s no bluster with him. If he tells you he’s excited, then there’s a good reason for that. And right now, Kyle Hendricks is definitely excited. (Paywall article from The Athletic, subscription recommended strongly)

Ranking the fastest teams in MLB

Statcast’s Sprint Speed metric allows us to rank projected lineups

Young Phillies taking active role in union; MLBPA meets with players amid scrutiny surrounding baseball’s free agent market

The business side of baseball has always intrigued Phillies right-hander Mark Leiter Jr.

It goes beyond growing up in a baseball family, learning from his former big-league pitching father Mark and uncle Al. He loves the sport and believes it’s important to be invested in its future and his career. (Paywall article from The Athletic, subscription recommended strongly)

How GMs Talk Amongst Themselves

A pretty interesting piece.

Nationals send 2017 first-round pick home for violating team rules

Seth Romero was kicked off his collegiate team at U of H last year, too. Guy can’t seem to get it together.