The Astros introduce Reid Ryan as their new president


Hail to the chief:

Reid Ryan’s tenure as president of the Astros began Friday, when Houston announced that the son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan would take over the role vacated by George Postolos … Ryan, previously the president and CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, had been running the Triple-A Round Rock Express (Rangers) and Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, both of which are owned by Nolan Ryan and Houston businessman Don Sanders, though the Astros also announced on Friday that they’ve reached an agreement to purchase the Corpus Christi club from Ryan-Sanders.

I think that last bit about the Astros buying one of Ryan’s minor league teams is most interesting. Makes one wonder if, once its affiliation with the Rangers has expired, the Astros will go back to being an Astros affiliate, as it was between 2005-10.  Given the recent trend of big clubs moving their farm teams closer to home, this could be part of a larger effort of the Astros to try to grow the brand farther north. Meanwhile, the Rangers have done stuff like hold exhibition games in San Antonio.

So clearly we’re in for a Texas civil war soon.

Madison Bumgarner diagnosed with fractured left hand

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Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner sustained a displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal of his left hand on Friday. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, a procedure that could require a four- to six-week recovery period before he’s cleared to throw again. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Bumgarner’s total recovery time is expected to take 6-8 weeks. In a best-case scenario, the lefty said he should be able to pitch again before the All-Star break, but given the amount of time and care it’ll take for him to shoulder a full workload, it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to do so.

Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.

The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. Without him, the Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.

This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”