KEEPING IT RAHEEL

Raheel Ramzanali: Some good follows on Twitter for Astros season

Raheel Ramzanali: Some good follows on Twitter for Astros season
Astros fans have some must followers. Elsa/Getty Images

Twitter makes everything better. I know we all have our issues with Twitter and the negative crap it brings out in people, but to me it’s all about who you follow and who you engage with on a daily basis that can make your daily experience a blast. This rule is incredibly important when it comes to sports Twitter. Fans are passionate and will be unreasonable when it comes to their teams so finding the follows is key. That’s why I want to highlight some cool accounts I follow for discussions, info and more when it comes to our Houston Astros. I apologize if I left any out.

  • @JuliaMorales - Julia is the best in the business when it comes to reporting and she takes no breaks on Twitter before, during, and after games. Her Twitter game is even more impressive because she’s doing it while working on the AT&T Sports Net broadcast. Now most Astros fans are already following her, but in case you’re not, you need to ASAP.

  • @BrianMcTaggart - If you like Tids and Bits then you’ll love Brian’s Tidbits. Brian has been covering the team since 2004 and is a tremendous beat writer for MLB.com. Again, I know most Astros fans follow him, but just wanted to be sure to include the great McTags.

  • @LinkCalhoun - Calhoun is the king of gifs. If there’s something gif worthy from a game then this man will have it up and giffing within a minute. Calhoun isn’t just an Astros follow so get ready for gifs from across the sports world.

  • @pmclellan - Patrick McLellan LOVES the Houston Astros. He loves them so much that he joined forces with @AstrosCounty to host the wildly popular fan podcast Lima Time Time. Pat is super active during the games and will also work in some daily observations to breakup your timeline from the nonstop Texans content during the offseason.  Oh, he’s also a Clements High School alum so shout out to the Rangers fam out here making a difference in the world.

  • @AstrosCounty - Shout out to the Thickie Don for putting out great Astros content for years and years. He’s the other half of the above mentioned Lime Time Time podcast and also runs AstrosCounty.com. The Don is also writing for The Athletic now so that’s super cool.

  • @AstrosFuture - You love a good prospect? You love a good Astros prospect?! Well, this account is for you then. Jimmy Price keeps you up on everything happening in the farm system and what players are doing with daily updates. Want more than just tweets? His website has very thorough breakdowns of all the guys at AstrosFuture.com.

  • @HouCounterPlot - The Archbishop provides the perfect blend of humor and content during the games and is an institution on #AstrosTwitter. Bonus: click on his link in the bio.

  • @AstrosOptimism2 - He was once @AstrosOptimism, but after he forgot his password and got locked out of his account, he became @AstrosOptimism2.  Okay, I’m not sure if that’s the case, but that’s what I’m hoping it is. My man optimism sat through the dark years like everyone on this list and came out for the better.  

  • @DrewShirleyShow - Houstonians might remember Drew from his days on TV here, but he’s now one of the most active members of #AstrosTwitter. His blend of insight and snark makes for a great follow during games and while you need to pass some time on Twitter.

  • @AstrosGuy - When he's not dominating with beer tweets, AstrosGuy is providing leadership to the #RootRootDrink movement during games. Follow him for good Astros content and the latest brews. 

  • @ChivesMcGee - The only reason you shouldn't follow Chives is because of his endless love for Seattle based rapper Macklemore, but his Astros enthusiasm makes up for it. Chives is also up on the latest news so he adds way more than just Astros talk. 

  • @WillMoriarity86 - There was a time when I would see Will every day in person - Now I see him every day on Twitter. Will responds to every tweet you send his way and isn’t shy about voicing his opinion so get ready to interact with him during games. I know I missed a bunch of other good follows, so please send me your suggestions on Twitter! @The_Raheel.

 

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Cristian Javier is in better shape this season. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.

Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).

Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.

But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.

In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.

Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.

The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.

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