The latest news around the Astros and baseball on February 21st, including some comments from club owner Jim Crane about the possibility of a contract extension for both Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.
Contract extension chatter
While the Astros prepare for their first Spring Training game action this weekend, Astros owner Jim Crane went into a detail on a variety of subjects, link from Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. One item of interest was Crane’s comments about possibly offering a contract extension to Verlander and Cole, both of whom are scheduled to be free-agents next offseason.
Pay attention to Abraham Toro in 2019
Jake Kaplan of The Athletic recently wrote an insightful article about little-known Astros prospect, Abraham Toro. Did you know Toro is French-Canadian-Venezuelan? I didn’t, but I am glad that I know now. I recommend reading it, and finding out more about a prospect who could force his way into Houston’s long-term plans. After all, players are people, too.
Starters named for upcoming Grapefruit League games
Forrest Whitley is picking up steam
In another piece from Rome, Astros’ top prospect Forrest Whitley is catching attention early in camp. Included in the piece is a breakdown of Whitley’s performance against actual major league hitters (George Springer, Tony Kemp, Jake Marisnick, Josh Reddick, and Michael Brantley). It’ll be interesting to see how Whitley progresses through Spring Training, although it is unlikely he will start the season with major league club. But if the young right-hander can carry this positive momentum into the upcoming season, we may see Whitley in the majors sometime this summer.
Astros Stat of the Day
Remember the last time that an Astros’ starter had exactly 35 starts? It was Andy Pettitte back in 2006 when he threw a total 214 1/3 innings with a 4.20 ERA and 4.13 FIP. Incidentally, Roy Oswalt started 35 games in both the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Only 35 days ’til the Astros start their season in Tampa against the Rays on March 28th.