Brett Oberholtzer hopes to get the Astros back in the win column today (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

Astros links & tweets: Sunday morning edition

The Astros have struggled offensively over the last three games, collecting only ten hits in 91 at-bats for a dismal .110 batting average. With that in mind, Bo Porter has shaken up the lineup a bit for today’s matinee in Cleveland. Chris Carter gets the day off and Dexter Fowler is at DH. Jake Marisnick, who  has accounted for four of those ten hits, gets the start in centerfield and Matt Dominguez is back at third base.

Here’s more of the latest Astros news, major and minor, from around the web. What the Heck, Bobby? interviews 1B prospect Conrad Gregor

I just pride myself on being able to catch every baseball and make the rest of the infield look good. My job as a first baseman is to just, when they throw the ball and have to make that hard play, being able to pick them up when the throw isn’t perfect. But, for the most part, with the great players in this organization, it kind of makes my job easy.

Bullpen catcher Javier Bracamonte discovers Peacock was tipping pitches

To prove his point, Bracamonte stood at the plate in the Yankee Stadium bullpen and had fellow bullpen catcher Carlos Munoz catch Peacock’s side session last Wednesday. Bracamonte then easily told Munoz what pitch was coming just by seeing Peacock’s grip or delivery.

Minor League Ball’s Dan Weigel takes a closer look at Mark Appel

Appel is still a work in progress with a fluctuating profile. The outlook on this player depends on the time during the season when he was seen, but it is encouraging to see Appel improve throughout the year. He will need to make some improvements to become the pitcher many thought he could be, but his improvements at Double-A show that he is not a lost cause.

Evan Drellich’s write-up on Daren Willman: AKA Baseball Savant

Seamheads might say Willman’s side projects are even more intriguing. On his own time, he has created a trio of websites, BaseballSavant.com, MLBfarm.com and NFLsavant.com, that could keep any hardcore sports fan entertained for hours.

 

 

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Tags: Brad Peacock Conrad Gregor Houston Astros Mark Appel

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