Podcast: Astros Check-In

Podcast: Astros Check-In
Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle joins D.J. Short to talk Houston Astros in the Rotoworld Baseball Podcast.
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Nationals placed 1B Jose Marmolejos on the 60-day disabled list with a left forearm strain.

The move clears a spot on the 40-man roster for the Matt Wieters signing. It's unclear at this point how Marmolejos suffered the injury or how long he'll be sidelined. The first base prospect was added to the 40-man roster over the winter.
Feb 24 - 9:13 AM

Nationals signed C Matt Wieters to a two-year, $21 million contract.

The deal was first reported on Tuesday and has now become official. Wieters' contract includes an opt-out after the first year, and $5 million of the salary is deferred. He'll assume everyday catching duties for the Nationals, which will put Derek Norris on the trade market.
Feb 24 - 9:09 AM

Max Scherzer (finger) will throw only his secondary stuff in a bullpen session Saturday.

Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger, which is still recovering from a stress fracture that he suffered last August. The right-hander hasn't committed to being ready for Opening Day, so this is a situation that obviously should be watched closely over the next month.
Feb 24 - 9:06 AM

Nick Castellanos was scratched from Friday's Grapefruit League lineup due to illness.

Castellanos was sent home to recover. He should be fine in a day or two.
Feb 24 - 8:50 AM

Carlos Villanueva has signed a $1.5 million contract with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization.

Villanueva was unable to net a contract that he liked with a major league club after posting a 5.96 ERA for the Padres last season. The 33-year-old will be teammates with Alexi Ogando and Wilin Rosario with Hanwha.
Feb 24 - 8:37 AM

Jake Barrett lost 30 pounds over the offseason.

"I was at my all-time high at the end of the season, about 265 (pounds)," Barrett said. "And I talked to our strength coach and he said he wanted me down to 235-ish. I was able to get down all the way to there. It was a lot of working out, a lot of running, a healthy diet." Barrett is coming off a nice rookie season that saw him post a 3.49 ERA and 56/28 K/BB ratio over 59 1/3 innings. He also saved games and is probably the favorite for the closer job if Fernando Rodney fails, which is certainly a possibility.
Feb 24 - 8:30 AM

Tyler Collins won't be able to play the field for a couple weeks after suffering a strained left lat.

Collins is still able to hit and run, but he can't throw and thus is unable to play defense. It's obviously not ideal as the 26-year-old competes for the Tigers' center field job, although he should still have time to make a nice impression. Collins entered camp as the likely favorite to start in center against right-handers.
Feb 24 - 8:17 AM

Christian Bethancourt has been alternating two days catching and one day pitching at spring training.

Because mastering one position wasn't enough for Bethancourt, he'll see work behind the plate, in the outfield and on the mound this season. It sounds gimmicky but Bethancourt's pitching prowess is no joke. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and he's also been developing a changeup. Bethancourt won't put up huge numbers but his versatility makes him one of the most fascinating players in baseball.
Feb 23 - 11:45 PM
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