The Astros’ Evan Gattis: “Who cares about the strikeouts if you win the World Series?”

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This is one of those quintessential spring training stories.

Jayson Stark catches up with the Astros, who have assembled an all-or-nothing sort of team. Already a pretty strikeout prone bunch with Chris Carter, Jon Singleton, George Springer and Jason Castro, Houston has added Evan Gattis, Colby Rasmus and Luis Valbuena to their lineup. That’s gonna be a lot of whiffs.

But, as Stark notes, it could also mean a lot of dingers. And, based on this Evan Gattis quote, a lot of optimism:

“We’ll see, you know?” he laughed Monday. “Stay tuned. We’ll find out. But I think we’ll score a lot of runs. And if you do, you win a lot. Who cares about the strikeouts if you win the World Series?”

I wouldn’t bet money on that, but Gattis is paid to think positively about his and his team’s abilities, so no harm done. Still, as a fan of a team that has been pretty all or nothing the past couple of seasons in the strikeout/home run department, it’ll be either really cool or really frustrating to watch the Astros this year.

Nick Pivetta to rejoin Phillies’ rotation

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Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.

Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.

Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.