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Astros Crawfish Boil: March 9th, 2019

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Start your weekend with some of the best Astros links around

MLB: Spring Training-St. Louis Cardinals at Houston Astros Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Astros News

Justin Verlander will get the nod for Opening Day this year (Astros.com)
Cole took the news in stride and is ready to face his former teammate Charlie Morton on Day Two (Houston Chronicle)
Yesterday’s game featured some rather impressive pitching by Forrest Whitley (Astros.com)
And here’s Hinch after the game talking about that as well as Harris and Cole (Twitter)
Today’s game will feature a return to the lineup for Altuve and Bregman (Houston Chronicle)
Josh James is also taking steps to return as he recovers from a strained quad (Houston Chronicle)
What is there to make of the recent interest the Astros have shown in bringing back Keuchel? (Texas Sports Nation)
Maybe they should set their sights on Craig Kimbrel instead (The Sports Daily)
After 2 weeks of Spring Training, here are five players who have been rather impressive (House of Houston)
Apparently Martin Maldanado turned down a two-year offer from the Astros at the beginning of the offseason (Twitter.com)
Here’s the story of how Garrett Stubbs befriended baseball legend Johnny Bench (The Athletic, $$$)

Around the League

Here’s a rundown of all the experimental rules changes on tap for the Atlantic League (MLB Trade Rumors)
But how soon could we see some of these changes make their way to MLB? (ESPN)
2018 AL Cy Young winner Blake Snell will make $573,700 this season, but please tell me more about how free agency is broken (MLB Trade Rumors)
There are some who think that fans shouldn’t be involved in the All Star voting (Forbes)
Here are five of the more underrated relievers out there (MLB.com)
At one point we were all this kid just trying to catch a ball (CUT4)