While it looks like the Athletics dodged a bullet with Scott Kazmir’s triceps injury, they might not be so lucky with Jesse Hahn.
According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, Hahn returned to Oakland on Thursday to undergo an MRI on his right elbow. He hasn’t pitched since last Wednesday due to tightness and the A’s apparently didn’t like what they saw during a bullpen session yesterday. Chris Bassitt is now expected to be called up from Triple-A to pitch against the Indians on Sunday.
Acquired from the Padres in the Derek Norris deal over the winter, Hahn has a 3.35 ERA and 64/25 K/BB ratio in 96 2/3 innings over 16 starts this season. The 25-year-old previously had Tommy John surgery in 2010 while pitching at Virginia Tech, which caused him to fall to the sixth round with the Rays.
The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.
Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.
There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.
That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.
The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.
One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.
Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.