Thursday Morning Hot Links

I took a day off - not from work, but from this and from Social Media and hooboy was that fun! Couldn't figure out why I was in such a good mood. We should all try it sometime! So, let's catch up a little bit...

Without giving any specifics, the 30-year old Altuve said he put in a lot of work in the offseason to better himself both physically and mentally. Brantley picked up on it right away during a long talk with Altuve on the first day of camp.

Altuve, 1243 games (5,458 PAs) from 2010-2019: .315/.364/.463, 8.76 PAs/K.
Altuve, 48 games (210 PAs) in 2020: .219/.286/.344, 5.38 PAs/K. 

Yeah, I'm not putting much stock in Altuve's 2020 after the 2019 offseason, starting Spring Training, stopping Spring Training, and the season beginning in late July.

Chandler Rome: Altuve is pursuing a season of redemption. Gurriel:
Usually the first couple days are a little more relaxed, but right from the first time I saw (Altuve), he's looked super, super focused. There's a different look about him.

*Alex Bregman hasn't been working out with all The Dudes because he has a tweaked hamstring. Dusty:
It's something that was here last year, and then he tweaked it while he was working out this winter. You know how hard the guy works. We may have to monitor his work for his own sake, because this guy works. His hamstring is sore. Again. We've just got to take care of him.

Bregman tweeted at McTaggart that, if the season started today he'd be "good to go."


-James Click said the plan all along was to wait until Correa came to Spring Training before opening dialogue (oh, I'm an "opening dialogue" guy now. I'm also a "circle-back" guy, occasionally. From time to time I "reach out.") on a possible contract extension. Click:
It's a high priority. We're going to get to it. But we want to make sure that we put in the work before we really dig in, but we have talked about what is most important to him and that will give us some direction on how we can try to line this up.

My concern is that Click is going to try to Tampa this thing right up:
With a guy as talented as he is, it would be prudent for us to try to line that up, but it takes both sides.

Also:
-Stephen Souza has a real chance to make the Astros' Opening Day Roster.

*Yuli Gurriel attributed his sluggish "2nd-half" and postseason to the mental strain of free agency, and his weight (even though he signed his extension in early September). But he's in better shape now!

*Forrest Whitley and Korey Lee are actually in camp after clearing COVID protocols.

*Yordan Alvarez landed at #14 on MLB.com's 25 Best Players under 25, which is about 13 spots too low, in my opinion.

*Is Framber Valdez the Astros' next ace? Thomas Harrigan notes that his curveball, groundball rate, and improved control point to yes.

*Brian T. Smith: Giving Correa (or anyone) a Tatis-esque contract doesn't guarantee anything.

*Dusty Baker has 1892 career managerial wins. Five more wins puts him in sole possession of 14th place all-time, eight more wins makes him the 14th manager to reach 1900 wins.

*Former Astros Great Marwin Gonzalez's deal with Former Astros Great Alex Cora's Red Sox is official.

*SI's Tom Verducci: Should the MLB Postseason feature a Selection Show?

*Wired: Hackers tied to Russia's GRU targeted the US electrical grid for years.

*Rolling Stone: How to help music industry workers.

*Prosecutors dropped the DUI charges against Bruce Springsteen, as he was just drinkin' in the park (I immediately am given a BBWAA card).

*The South Dakota Attorney General is, uh, well, he's in some trouble.

*A Musical Selection:

Thursday Morning Hot Links