The Astros’ three main signings on the mound all have one thing in common. They are some of the best in the game at inducing a ground ball. If pitchers can force a hitter into hitting a grounder, it is important to have a strong infield defense behind the pitcher. The Astros have helped themselves with certain defensive shifts at times, though don’t ask Lucas Harrell about it. If the infield defense improves, expect the Astros win total to rise as well. Check out the rest of the links for more!
- Evan Drellich (Houston Chronicle) on the Astros having to work on fielding ground balls with the new arrivals.
Grounders are a lot more helpful when there’s a defender to pick them up.
Three free-agent pitchers the Astros acquired this winter – starter Scott Feldman and relievers Matt Albers and Chad Qualls – all have a propensity for inducing ground balls. Albers and Qualls – both of whom broke into the majors with the Astros – were both especially adept at producing grounders last season.
- Tyler Stafford (Climbing Tal’s Hill) takes a look at potential Astros target Tony Sipp.
- Greg Thurston (Climbing Tal’s Hill) on former Astros top prospect Troy Patton.
- Astrost tweet of the day…
*patiently waiting for spring training* #astros
— John Alexander⚾ (@big_john819) December 22, 2013
- Jason Friedman (Rockets.com) on Dwight Howard’s big performance against the Pistons.
After Dwight Howard torched Andre Drummond one final time Saturday night, Chandler Parsons leaped onto his teammate’s broad, bulbous shoulders to celebrate. The ensuing picture said it all. Howard had carried the Rockets all night – now the proof was there for all to see.
- Dan Favale (Bleacher Report) on what the Rockets need to get out of Jeremy Lin.
- Michael Ma (Space City Scoop) on trade talks between the Rockets and Nets.
- Rockets tweet of the day…
Watching the #Rockets game from last night. Dwight once again showing promise in the post, and racks up the rebounds like it’s nothing.
— Hiren Joshi (@htown747) December 22, 2013
- Tania Ganguli (ESPN) on likely Schaub’s final home game in Houston.
The Matt Schaub era has likely ended in Houston. What’s likely the last pass he’ll throw as the home starting quarterback at Reliant Stadium was a deep ball that resulted in an interception.
“It has definitely crossed my mind,” Schaub said. “I didn’t want to think too far ahead, but you know, I’ve played this game long enough. I know how things work, so you know it definitely crossed my mind.”
- Darren Heitner (Forbes) on the new MegaWatt comics.
- Jerome Solomon (Houston Chronicle) with five things we learned from the latest Texans loss.
- Texans tweet of the day..
Seahawks CB Richard Sherman with his 7th INT of the 2013 season. The Houston Texans have six.
— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) December 22, 2013