In 17 days, the Houston Astros will begin their title defense in earnest, and the other 29 teams will be gunning for them all year long.
It’s unclear if, like the Yankees, they all “want Houston,” but they’re all going to have their shot. For the first time in baseball history, every team will play every other team. Further, these aren’t single-game affairs, meaning that the Astros will face everyone a minimum of three times each.
Houston Astros News
Neris Nearly Hits Astros Teammate Altuve in Face With Pitch During WBC (si.com)
Astros’ Justin Dirden: Making roster push
Hunter Brown K’s three (mlb.com)
Justin Verlander a reminder of what Astros are missing: depth in rotation ($houstonchronicle.com$)
Garcia sets Classic record in dominant relief vs. D.R. (mlb.com)
Yuli Gurriel pens down touching farewell message after departure from Houston Astros (sportskeeda.com)
Astros 5, Marlins 1 (mlb.com)
Gurriel didn’t appear in Houston’s matchup against Miami, but Yainer Diaz and Korey Lee continue to give team management something to think about by destroying the baseball. David Hensley also collected a pair of hits in the win.
Non-Houston Astros AL West News
About Last Night: Jarred Kelenic is taking his time (lookoutlanding.com)
Mariners beat Rockies 4-2 as broadcast team makes history (lookoutlanding.com)
Evan Carter impressed Rangers in camp, but winning comes first now ($dallasmorningnews.com$)
Texas Rangers Opening Day Roster Projection: Injuries to Taveras, Odorizzi Loom (mlb.com)
JJ Bleday, Lawrence Butler among A’s latest roster cuts (athleticsnation.com)
Ken Waldichuk’s Spring Struggles Continue (si.com)
Angels owner Arte Moreno details why he isn’t selling the team (ocregister.com)
‘This is just me healthy’: Canning vying for spot (mlb.com)
Non AL West MLB News
MLB world mourns passing of history-making player (msn.com)
Volpe ‘getting the attention’ of Yanks’ core guys (mlb.com)
May close to ‘pre-surgery’ self; Outman in OF mix (mlb.com)
Alvarez shows off wheels for Crew ... in more ways than one (mlb.com)
Tier Rankings for All 30 MLB Teams Entering 2023 Season (bleacherreport.com)
Non MLB Baseball News
The wild 5-team tiebreaker, explained (mlb.com)
Canada tops Great Britain as teams set Classic record for runs (mlb.com)
Israel rallies late to stun Nicaragua (mlb.com)
Houston Astros Birthdays
Bobby Abreu (49) played 18 major league seasons, including his first two with the Astros in 1996 and 1997. In 74 games as an outfielder, he hit .248/.325/.362.
Pedro Báez (35) pitched seven games for Houston between 2021 and 2022, striking out seven in 6 2⁄3 innings. He’s currently a free agent.
Second baseman/outfielder Chris Burke (43) appeared in 359 games for Houston from 2004 through 2007. He hit .249/.319/.377 with 20 homers and 31 stolen bases.
Eventual 15-year veteran César Gerónimo (75) made his debut with the 1969 Astros. He played in 169 games over three seasons with Houston. He slashed .228/.272/.307 and fielded at .957 while in the outfield.
Outfielder Larry Ray (65) went one-for-six with an RBI in a cup of coffee with the 1982 Astros.
Two-time All Star and five-time Gold Glover Steve Finley (58) played a total of 19 major league seasons, including four seasons with the Astros from 1991 through 1994. He hit .281/.331/.406 with 32 homers and 186 RBI. He also stole 110 bases in 150 attempts while with the team as their primary centerfielder.
Right-handed pitcher Bob Watkins (75) pitched in five games for the 1969 Houston Astros, walking 13 and striking out 11 in 15 2⁄3 innings of relief work.
Tom Funk (61), a LHP, pitched in eight games for the 1986 Astros, pitching 8 1⁄3 innings and putting up a 1.920 WHIP.