Fan morale being extremely low in Houston coming off a 56-106 season is certainly understandable, but usually even terrible teams can sell a decent number of tickets for the first couple weeks of the season.
Unfortunately for the Astros that isn’t the case, as yesterday’s attendance was the lowest in the 12-year history of Minute Maid Park … by more than 4,000.
Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle writes that they drew 14,195 fans against the Rockies, which shattered the previous low of 18,594 and is just the third sub-20,000 attendance ever since the ballpark opened in 2000.
And the Astros actually won, taking the series versus Colorado.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.