Top Astros News
Astros' Carlos Correa: Practices yoga
Correa said he's participating in yoga three times a week to get more limber, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Correa was limited to 110 games in 2018 after spending six weeks on the injured list with a sore back. To combat continued back discomfort, the shortstop worked on back-strengthening exercises during the offseason, including yoga. He looked good during his first batting-practice session Saturday, squaring up several balls on the back fields at training camp. "I don't think last year I hit a baseball like that after I got hurt," Correa said. "It feels good to be back and be healthy." Coming off an All-Star campaign in 2017, Correa batted .239/.323/.405, which was heavily influenced by his .517 OPS in 133 at-bats following his return from the injury. "Last season is behind me, but I learned a lot from it," Correa said. "I learned so many things from my injury last year, and this year my main focus is I already showed up ready in spring training. I'm not going to overdo it and I'm going to go out there and do what's necessary so I perform on Opening Day and play in 160 games."... See More ... See Less
Astros' Max Stassi: Looking to sustain offense
Stassi believes he found the root cause of his offensive fade over the second half of 2018, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Stassi was a surprise contributor in 2018, when he opened with nine extra-base hits over his first 74 plate appearances on his way to a .787 OPS in the first half. Opposing pitchers adjusted and Stassi faded to a .485 OPS after the All-Star break, forcing the Astros to add Martin Maldonado and move Stassi to third on the depth chart. The 27-year-old catcher was on plane during the early part of the season before the fade. The problem, according to Stassi, is that he'd "come out" of his legs in his batting stance and, therefore, was unable to cover all parts of the strike zone. He returns in 2019 as the primary backup to Robinson Chirinos and must discover a way to sustain offense for the full season.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Aledmys Diaz: Will be tested in outfield
The Astros plan to test Diaz in both left and right field during spring training, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports.
Diaz was traded to Houston from Toronto in November and is seen as a potential option to replace super-utility player Marwin Gonzalez, though his outfield play remains a bit of a question mark. The Astros' infield jobs at second base, third base and shortstop are all locked down, likely leaving Diaz few opportunities at his most experienced positions. The 28-year-old could see some at-bats at designated hitter and first base as well, while any increased versatility would be a benefit given the Astros' mostly solidified lineup.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Alex Bregman: Expanding baseball activities
Bregman (elbow) hit, threw and fielded groundballs Thursday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
The star infielder continues to progress well following arthroscopic elbow surgery in January. Bregman has yet to throw to first base after fielding the groundballs, but he did comment that he is throwing harder and farther than he expected to be doing at this point. As long as he doesn't encounter any setbacks, he figures to be fully ready by Opening Day.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Francis Martes: Continues throwing program
Martes (elbow) progressed to throwing from 90 feet on flat ground Wednesday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery back in August of 2018, and it seems like everything in his recovery process is going as planned. As things stand now, Martes is hopeful that he'll be able to get back to game action in August or September of 2019.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Gerrit Cole: Emerges victorious in arbitration
Cole will make $13.5 million in 2019 after winning his arbitration case against the Astros on Wednesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Cole was excellent for Houston last season, posting a 2.88 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and a 276:64 K:BB in 200.1 innings. As a result, the right-hander will get his way in arbitration, earning more than the $11.425 million figure the Astros proposed. With the contract situation out of the way, Cole can focus his efforts on preparing for the 2019 season as one of the Astros' top starters.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Brad Peacock: Adds changeup to repertoire
Peacock is working to incorporate a changeup to his pitch mix, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Peacock used a changeup previously -- albeit sparsely. He has almost exclusively used a sinker and a slider as a reliever in recent seasons. Now that the Astros are thinking of using him as a starter once again, the right-hander is working to incorporate other pitch offerings, including a changeup, in order to improve his chances of sticking as a starter. The changeup could also be a nice weapon in relief, if he ends up back in the bullpen.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Michael Brantley: Complements order
The Astros view Brantley as an ideal complement to their lineup, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
The Astros have a right-handed-heavy lineup that includes Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, George Springer and Yuli Gurriel. As a team, Houston ranked a mediocre 14th with a .733 OPS against right-handers, so adding the left-handed-hitting Brantley into the mix makes perfect sense. "I think he brings a complement to the team we have and adds to a lineup that's going to be one of the best and deepest lineups in baseball next year," Astros president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow said. Brantley authored an .889 OPS against right-handers last year, ranking 25th among players with at least 300 at-bats against righties. The 31-year-old outfielder figures to slot in at fifth in the order, between Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel, where RBI opportunities should be aplenty.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Justin Verlander: Enters final year
Verlander and the Astros are open to discussing a contract extension, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Verlander is entering the final year of his contract -- he made voiding a 2020 club option a condition of accepting a trade to Houston in August 2017 -- and the soon-to-be 36-year-old remains one of the best starters in the game. "We love Justin Verlander, and we traded for him for a reason, and he clearly has not declined at all. He continues to be one of the elite pitchers in the game," general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "Of course we would have interest in keeping him around here as long as we possibly can." The right-hander finished second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2018, after going 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA, an MLB-best 0.90 WHIP and an AL-leading 290 strikeouts.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Tony Kemp: Out of options
Kemp enters the season with no minor-league options, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Kemp. who started each of the last three seasons in the minors, will be competing in a crowded outfield during spring training. In addition to Kemp, Jake Marisnick, Derek Fisher, Myles Straw and top position prospect Kyle Tucker are in the mix for two backup outfield spots. If the Astros attempt to designate Kemp for assignment in spring training, he'll most certainly be claimed by another team. He was valuable in 2018, having played all three outfield spots while seeing time at second base in 97 games. With super-utility player Marwin Gonzalez no longer around, Kemp's defensive versatility may give him an advantage in making a push for the initial 25-man roster.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Alex Bregman: Resumes hitting
Bregman (elbow) resumed hitting Wednesday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Bregman underwent arthroscopic surgery in mid-January to remove loose bodies from his right elbow. He was expected to be limited to start spring training, which still appears likely, given that players are due to report in less than two weeks. Barring setbacks, he should be ready to go by Opening Day.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Carlos Correa: Wins arbitration case
Correa won his arbitration case Tuesday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Correa will make $5 million this upcoming season, a fair amount more than the $4.25 offer submitted by the Astros. The figure is still considerably less than what would have been expected at this time last year, as back and oblique issues limited him to just 110 games while he struggled to a pedestrian .239/.323/.405 line. A healthy campaign could see a significant jump in his numbers and earn him a big raise.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Chris Devenski: Settles arbitration case
Devenski's arbitration case was settled with the Astros, and he's slated to make $1.525 million in 2019, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Devenski asked for $1.65 million, and Houston was willing to give him $1.4 million, so the case was settled at $1.525 million. The contract includes a club option for the 2020 season and includes the option of a base increase in 2020 dependent upon how many games in which he appears this year. After posting a solid 2.68 ERA through 80.2 frames in 2017, Devenski took a step back in 2018, accruing a 4.18 ERA with 51 punchouts over 47.1 innings.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Wade Miley: Accentuates cutter
Miley is expected to claim the fourth spot in Houston's starting rotation, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Miley's careening career may have been salvaged in 2018, when he threw his cutter more than any other pitch. His pitch mix helped fuel a career-best 2.57 ERA over 80.2 innings with the Brewers. While it's prudent for fantasy owners to be circumspect of the left-hander's sudden break from empirical evidence, his success in 2018 appears to be more than just a fluke occurrence. Opponents will make adjustments, so we're hesitant to conclude Miley will replicate last season's production, but he may be useful pitching in front of a high-octane Astros offense, which finished sixth in runs scored last year.... See More ... See Less
Astros' Wade Miley: Links up with Astros
Miley signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Astros on Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Miley is coming off a surprise 2018 campaign that saw him post a 2.57 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 16 starts (80.2 innings) with the Brewers. The veteran southpaw figures to slide into the back end of Houston's starting rotation. The ERA estimators -- 3.59 FIP, 4.30 xFIP -- suggest it would be unwise to expect a repeat campaign from Miley in 2019.... See More ... See Less