Astros use private online database called “Ground Control”

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Evan Drellich has an in-depth feature in the Houston Chronicle about the Astros’ built-from-scratch private online database, which is now being used by the entire baseball operations department to improve scouting, communicating, and decision-making.

It’s called “Ground Control,” a play on the Astros’ name. The Indians have a similar database called “DiamondView,” the Red Sox call theirs “Carmine,” and the for the Cardinals it’s labeled “Red Bird Dog.”

The Astros feel like their database might be the best-looking and most functional. More from Drellich:

Ground Control has an extraordinarily clean interface. There’s nothing intimidating about it for any experienced computer user.

Video of players can be downloaded on the spot, and most anything the baseball operations folks do goes through it – from looking up the history of a player in a foreign country to preparing scouting reports of the Yankees for this season’s opening day.

Projections and the like are updated after every game for which reliable statistics are available, including winter league games in other countries.

“Ground Control” was built by Astros senior technical architect Ryan Hallahan. Read the article here.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.