Astros-Rangers series officially moved to Florida


Major League Baseball just announced that the Astros’ home series vs. the Texas Rangers has been relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida due to the widespread devastation in Houston from Hurricane Harvey. The Astros will be considered the home team and will bat last. The games will have first pitch slated for 7:10 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday and 1:10 p.m. (ET) on Thursday.

Ken Rosenthal reports that the reason the series was not relocated to Arlington, Texas, where both teams are currently located due to flight diversions, is because it would create logistical problems. Specifically, swapping the series with the one scheduled for Texas in late September would result in the Rangers playing four straight series on the road.

No determination has been made regarding the Astros’ scheduled weekend series in Houston vs. the New York Mets. It could be in Florida again or moved to Citi Field in New York. It’s possible that Houston could be ready for the game by this weekend, but baseball officials are doubtful.

11:27 AM: As we mentioned last night, the Astros are scheduled to begin a homestand in Houston on Tuesday evening. Given the historic flooding brought on by Hurricane/Tropical storm Harvey, however, it seems highly unlikely that baseball will be feasible in Houston for several days at least. Sports are obviously of little importance compared to the humanitarian efforts, but a decision does have to be made about it all.

Ken Rosenthal is hearing that at least one possibility involves moving the Rangers-Astros series set for this week to be moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, as the Rays are on the road. Then, this weekend’s series against the Mets, also scheduled for Houston, could be moved to Citi Field in New York.

That’s obviously not ideal, as it would keep the Astros on the road for what would, in effect, be a 19-game road trip, as their next regularly-scheduled homestand after this week and this weekend is not scheduled to begin until Friday, September 15. One wonders if it wouldn’t be possible for the Astros to simply move their series against the Rangers to the Rangers’ home park in Arlington — both clubs are currently in Dallas awaiting word on were to go — and then swap out the Rangers-Astros series scheduled for Arlington in late September to Houston, which will be in better shape by then. That would give the Astros and Major League Baseball another few days to figure out about this coming weekend as well.

Obviously, of course, there are a lot of logistical issues that go into any of these decisions, but hopefully there will be some clarity as soon as possible.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

Getty Images
1 Comment

Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.