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Friday, July 31, 2015

Astros Acquire Acceptably Healthy Carlos Gomez | FanGraphs Baseball

Fangraph’s Jeff Sullivan’s take on the Astros deal.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 31, 2015 at 09:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, brewers, trades

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jon Heyman on Twitter: “carlos gomez and mike fiers go to houston”

His hip is good in Houston.

I will update as more info becomes available.

Updated: 7:55 PM

Updated: 7:50 PM

 

Jim Furtado Posted: July 30, 2015 at 07:35 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, brewers, trade rumors, trades

Friday, July 24, 2015

Acquiring Kazmir gives players a lift on and off field - Houston Chronicle

“I feel an obligation to support them in a situation where I can do something to help them win,” Luhnow said. “They care as much as anybody, because they’re on the team.

“I think when you don’t make a move, even though sometimes that’s the right thing to do, people can misinterpret it as they’re not being supported. Now I would never make a move … just to make them feel supported, but it’s the right move to make, and it’s in our domain to make it.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 24, 2015 at 06:59 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, trades

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Astros acquire Scott Kazmir from Oakland for two prospects

And so we begin…

The Astros made a trade Thursday, acquiring left-hander Scott Kazmir from the A’s for two minor leaguers, right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham…

The 31-year-old Kazmir, a 2002 Cy Falls graduate, will join the club in Kansas City on Friday. He is 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA this season 18 starts for the A’s this season. Among American League pitchers, Kazmir ranks fourth in opponent batting average (.213) and fifth in ERA. On the season, Kazmir has allowed just three earned runs or fewer in 17 of his 18 starts.

Mengden and Nottingham had been playing for Class A Advanced Lancaster after each began the 2015 season at Class A Quad Cities. Mengden was originally a fourth-round selection in the 2014 draft, while Nottingham was originally taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 23, 2015 at 01:52 PM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, athletics, scott kazmir, trades

Top 10 Fantasy Prospects: Conforto Coming? - BaseballAmerica.com

1. Michael Conforto, of, Mets

Update: Conforto raked at high Class A St. Lucie and has been even better since a promotion to Double-A Binghamton, slashing .317/.401/.518 in 43 games.

Prognosis: Drafted No. 10 overall just a year ago out of Oregon State, Conforto is forcing the Mets’ hand into considering a callup quicker than they would like. An inept offense and an injury to Michael Cuddyer have Conforto on the precipice of a major league stint and scouts believe his lefthanded bat and power to all fields will play.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 23, 2015 at 11:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, dodgers, mets, prospects, rangers, yankees

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jeff Bagwell makes a great grab at the ballgame

Lars6788 Posted: July 22, 2015 at 11:23 PM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, great grab, hall of fame

Astros talk Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross as well as Cole Hamels - Ultimate Astros

Multiple sources said the Phillies are willing to eat money in a Hamels deal depending on the package received, while one noted the asking price in terms of prospects was high, both in quantity and quality of players.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 22, 2015 at 07:10 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, phillies, trade rumors

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Padres, Astros have held preliminary trade discussions on starting pitchers | SanDiegoUnionTribune.com

Sources told the Union-Tribune that the Padres and the Astros have held preliminary talks on starting pitchers, with right-handers Tyson Ross and Andrew Cashner believed to be among those mentioned. There are no indications of anything imminent, and one source said the two sides had not spoken on the subject since early this month.

Reds ace Johnny Cueto is the top trade target for the Astros, the Houston Chronicle reported late last month, not least because his impending free agency could make the cost more palatable. Sources confirmed Cueto remains high on Houston’s wish list.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2015 at 07:06 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, padres, trade rumors

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

From fringe prospect to All-Star starter: Dallas Keuchel - Minor League Ball

John Sickels’ take.

If you look at Keuchel’s career going back to college there is a clear pattern: when he reaches a new level, he often struggles initially but makes some adjustments and ends up performing very well in the end. It happened in college; it happened when he reached Double-A; it happened when he reached Triple-A, and it happened in the majors.

Keuchel’s adaptability and intelligence maximize his physical tools, a key advantage in the Darwinian environment of professional baseball.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 15, 2015 at 12:22 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dallas keuchel, prospects

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Dallas Keuchel: ‘Sabermetric people have helped me out a lot’ - CBSSports.com

All you sabermetric people are some of the best people.

“I think the sabermetric people have helped me out a lot, just based on my exit velocity and all of those stats. Because everybody in their dog keeps asking me in how I’m leading me in weak contact (and) ground-ball ratio and all of that stuff. With all of that talk, it helps me out as well just to know that other people appreciate the work that ‘non-strikeout’ pitchers are doing in the league. I think Zack [Greinke] would say the same thing.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 14, 2015 at 06:52 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, dallas keuchel

Monday, July 06, 2015

Nationals, Astros WPB Spring Training Site Approved

Monday morning, Scott made the change officially official with a bill-signing ceremony held with Nationals and Astros representatives on hand, an acknowledgement of the return of Spring Training baseball to West Palm Beach for the first time since the Braves and Expos left decades ago. That the Astros and Nationals will move to Palm Beach County — if all stays on schedule — means there will be five teams within a 30-minute drive of one another on the east coast of Florida, a good sign for the health of the Grapefruit League, which requires more travel than the Cactus League in Arizona


Saturday, July 04, 2015

Charges pending in alleged St. Louis Cardinals computer intrusion of Houston Astros - CNNPolitics.com

Correa’s attorney, Nicholas Williams, said: “Mr. Correa denies any illegal conduct. The relevant inquiry should be what information did former St. Louis Cardinals employees steal from the St. Louis Cardinals organization prior to joining the Houston Astros, and who in the Houston Astros organization authorized, consented to, or benefited from that roguish behavior.”

The probe by investigators at the FBI’s Houston office is complete, according to officials briefed on the matter, but is awaiting action by the Houston U.S. attorney’s office. A U.S. attorney spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment.

A spokeswoman for the Houston U.S. attorney’s office said “no charges have been filed and we obviously cannot provide any information that is not contained in our public court record nor confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of an investigation.”

FBI spokeswoman Shauna Dunlap said the agency “aggressively investigates all potential threats to public and private sector systems.”

“Once our investigations are complete, we pursue all appropriate avenues to hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace,” she said.

The intrusion isn’t considered computer hacking. Instead, investigators believe Cardinals employees used an old password belonging to a former employee who went to work for the Astros in order to gain access to the Astros database.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2015 at 08:48 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Cardinals fire Scouting Director for hacking Astros

Correa has admitted hacking into a Houston Astros database but said it was only to verify whether the Astros had stolen proprietary data, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation.

Correa did not leak any Astros data, and is not responsible for additional hacks that the FBI has alleged occurred or leaking any data, said the source.

Dan The Mediocre Posted: July 02, 2015 at 05:36 PM | 70 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, hacking, scouting

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

In Venezuela, the difficult search for the next José Altuve

In 1998, around 20 Venezuelans were playing in the MLB. In 2014, they numbered almost 100.

In those 16 years, Santana and Félix Hernández won three Cy Young Awards between them; Cabrera won the Triple Crown and was twice named MVP; Ordóñez, Altuve, Cabrera and Carlos González won six batting titles; García, Santana, Hernández and Aníbal Sánchez had the lowest ERA during seven different seasons; and Francisco Rodríguez smashed Bobby Thigpen’s saves record.

Ordóñez, Altuve, Valbuena and many others would never have even signed if it weren’t for the academies.

But the boom of the schools has dwindled in the past 15 years. Less than a quarter of the original teams still have a presence in the country. The Venezuelan Summer League is down to just four teams: the Phillies, Tigers, Cubs and Rays. A fifth team, the Twins, still has an academy but doesn’t participate in the league.

“We are left vulnerable to what’s happening in Venezuela, like everyone else,” said a member of one of those teams who asked to remain anonymous. “We are also affected by insecurity and scarcity.”

The land of Luis Aparicio suffers from the highest inflation rate in the world, at about 100 percent, according to independent economists (the Central Bank of Venezuela hasn’t delivered its monthly figures since the end of 2014). The crime rate, especially murders in low-income areas, is among the highest on the planet.

 


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

As trade season approaches, Astros have hole in rotation - Houston Chronicle

McCullers high point is 104.2 innings heading into this season.

Collin McHugh and the rehabbing Scott Feldman remain quality rotation pieces, but there’s a need beyond them that young pitchers Lance McCullers and Vince Velasquez probably can’t fill because of developmental innings limits.

“(I’m hopeful for a trade based on) what we’re doing right now and the position that we’re in,” Keuchel said before Saturday’s 9-6 loss to the Yankees. “Fully intend for the front office to make a move. And that’s not like something that’s a given; it’s just that, I know that they want to win and it’s a shared interest between the players and the front office.

“I just would assume we’ll probably get a pitcher based on the fact that we’re not going to run the young guns out for 200 innings. We’re going to need somebody to kind of help fill that void. Whether it’s Kazmir, Samardzija, Hamels, Cueto, whoever, we’re going to expect them to come in and help us out.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 30, 2015 at 06:44 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: astros

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Indians Sign Brady Aiken - MLB Trade Rumors

OK, so he lost about $2.5 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 23, 2015 at 06:38 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, brady aiken, indians

F.B.I. Struggles to Pinpoint the Fingers Behind a Hacking - The New York Times

More info about the hack.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 23, 2015 at 06:24 AM | 48 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Video: Correa’s leaping catch | MLB.com

Great catch!

Jim Furtado Posted: June 21, 2015 at 10:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, video

Friday, June 19, 2015

As Cardinals acknowledge ‘rogue element’ in hacking of Astros, a third breach is found - Ultimate Astros

What a mess.

The Chronicle on Thursday learned that the Cardinals had unauthorized access to Astros information as early as 2012, a year earlier than was previously known. Cards owner Bill DeWitt Jr., meanwhile, for the first time acknowledged that his organization had played a role in accessing proprietary information belonging to the Astros, blaming “roguish behavior.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2015 at 03:18 PM | 77 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

Exclusive: Astros’ Jeff Luhnow on Cardinals hacking scandal - MLB - SI.com

Among other comments.

One was the implication that the hackers had been able to gain access to the Astros’ database—which is called Ground Control and contains scouting and medical reports and statistical projections, among other data—because he had failed to change his old passwords. “That’s absolutely false,” said Luhnow, who worked as a technology executive before he began his career in baseball. “I absolutely know about password hygiene and best practices. I’m certainly aware of how important passwords are, as well as of the importance of keeping them updated. A lot of my job in baseball, as it was in high tech, is to make sure that intellectual property is protected. I take that seriously and hold myself and those who work for me to a very high standard.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2015 at 06:01 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, jeff luhnow

Let’s Watch Carlos Correa Do Something Amazing | FanGraphs Baseball

Some great info on Carlos Correa.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2015 at 05:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak committed to find out what happened

“Unequivocally,” Mozeliak said, “I knew nothing about this.”

He just wants answers.
Cardinals owner on investigation: ‘These are serious allegations’

“I don’t know the outcome of this or where it’s going to go,” he said, “but our hope is that when everything comes to light, people will realize that it wasn’t something that was organizationalwide. It shouldn’t be something that takes away from any of the success this organization has had.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 18, 2015 at 06:50 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Deadspin: The hottest possible take on the Cardinals hacking the Astros

This take is somewhat hotter than the core of the Sun.

There is, of course, only one course of action that baseball can take in the wake of this hilarious, impossibly joyful development: CONTRACT THE CARDINALS. That’s right. Destroy them. Raze their stadium. Arrest their players and fans. Intern them all in some kind of horrible Bud Light Mixx Tail tent (with a dress code), where they can wander around in a daze, whispering to each other, “They said it could never happen here, but it DID.”

That is what the Cardinals deserve for lording their superiority over the rest of baseball for decades now. No more Busch. No more best fans in baseball. No more computer hacks that let them get by superior teams in the playoffs and then pass it off as a feat of sheer guile. No more insincere clapping for the other team. No more Bernie Mickelsauce writing deliberately terrible columns in the hopes of getting them fisked. No more custom Darren Wilson jerseys. No more drunken Tony La Russa letting his cat drive.

This is the appropriate course of action for an organization and fanbase that have gone out of their way to brand themselves as special and different from the rest of us. Oh, you’re different, all right. Thanks to the feds, now we know: you’re worse than any of them, and you deserve to BURN. BURN IN A FIRE LARGE ENOUGH TO RIVAL YOUR CITY’S MANY OTHER TIRE FIRES.

Edit: Link fixed. Jim

The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: June 16, 2015 at 03:09 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, cardinals, hackgate, hot takes

NY Times: St. Louis Cardinals Investigated by F.B.I. for Hacking Astros

WASHINGTON — The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors are investigating front-office officials for the St. Louis Cardinals, one of the most successful teams in baseball over the past two decades, for hacking into the internal networks of a rival team to steal closely guarded information about player personnel.

Investigators have uncovered evidence that Cardinals officials broke into a network of the Houston Astros that housed special databases the team had built, according to law enforcement officials. Internal discussions about trades, proprietary statistics and scouting reports were compromised, the officials said.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Video: Correa’s first career homer | MLB.com

Some exciting young players have debuted this year.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 10, 2015 at 07:13 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, carlos correa

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