Astros choose Scott Feldman as Opening Day starter

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Houston has named Scott Feldman as its Opening Day starter after signing the veteran right-hander to a three-year, $30 million contract as a free agent this offseason.

Feldman is 31 years old with a 4.62 career ERA and it would be easy to make some jokes about him being the Astros’ choice, but whatever. They’re really bad now and in the relatively near future they’ll probably cease being really bad and, within a few years, there’s a pretty reasonable chance that they’ll be very good.

And in the meantime they have a guy like Feldman around to eat some innings and, for this season at least, take the mound in Game 1. Last season he threw 182 innings with a 3.86 ERA in 30 starts for the Cubs and Orioles, and now Feldman is returning to Texas after playing the first eight seasons of his career for the Rangers.

Announcement: HardballTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Opening Day’s games (March 31). It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 1:05pm ET on Opening Day. Here’s the FanDuel link.

Danny Farquhar taken to hospital after fainting in dugout

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White Sox reliever Danny Farquhar passed out in the dugout after completing his outing against the Astros on Friday evening. The cause of the incident has yet to be determined, but Farquhar was supervised by the club’s medical personnel and EMTs and regained consciousness before being taken to Rush University Medical Center for further treatment and testing. A diagnosis has not been announced by the team.

Farquhar pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief during Friday’s 10-0 loss to Houston. He was brought in to relieve James Shields in the top of the sixth inning and was immediately bested by George Springer, who belted a ground-rule double down the right field line and scored Brian McCann and Derek Fisher for the Astros’ sixth and seventh runs of the night. He recovered to strike out Jose Altuve, but was again punished with a two-run homer from Carlos Correa (his first of two), and induced a fly out to end the inning.

The 31-year-old righty pitched just 7 1/3 innings with the club prior to Friday’s performance, issuing four hits, three runs, two homers and eight strikeouts in seven appearances.