Bud Selig apparently has decided that if a team is gonna wear a retro uni, the uni should be the uni that was, you know, like actually worn. I guess that showing a smoking Colt 45 would be bad because it could give The Children the idea that guns shoot, something their innocent little minds wouldn’t nevah have guessed, seeing as how all the cop/CSI shows are all about cops shooting Bad Guys and Victims showing up all bloody and dead.
When the only talk about the team is Buddy Boy’s horror over showing the gun on the uni, you know there ain’t real too much to talk about.
After 7 games now, the Astros are 4-3, a better record that you might imagine, given the team.
As usual, you can’t assume real too much about how players are doing after only 1 week of ST, when lots of PA are against second and third rate relievers, but so far Joe Thurston, 32 year old minor league lifer, has appeared in the most games (is 1 fer 8 with no walks and no errors), which tells me that the Organization is concerned about who will be the backup middle infielder besides Matt Downs, who, I’m guessing, will be used primarily as a pinch hitter – so far, he’s 4 fer 9 with a double and a triple. Marwin Gonzalez, the 6 year minor league FA, is 1 fer 9 with a walk, 2 runs and no errors. Diorys Hernandez, one of the Rule V guys, is 1 fer 7 with no walks, 1 run and no errors. Delino Deshields has a couple ABs, but we all know he barely made it through A ball last year, had lots of errors, and is certainly going back to the minors. Angel Sanchez has been injured and hasn’t played yet.
Of course yall surprised that Chris Johnson has had so many ABs already when we all know that the Organization wants Jimmy Paredes – seeing as how all the team writeups by the media talk about Paredes and none of include CJ. So far, he’s 3 fer 11 with a double and a homer. Paredes also started the year with some sort of strain/sprain, so has only appeared in 2 games. A minor league FA guy named Scott Moore, the Tiger’s first rounder in 02, is also trying out for the 3B spot. He’s yet another one of those really good AAA hitters – a .819 OPS over 1323 AB. He hasn’t done well in the minors – then again, he couldn’t compete against Aramis Ramirez on the Cubs, and after he was traed to Baltimore in 07, was up against Melvin Mora, then Miggy Tejada. He’s had a total of 184 AB with a .640 OPS over the past 4 years, no PA in the majors last year. He’s had some ABs while playing first, not many. Of course, the Organization is having CJ play first and Brett Wallace, who is not hitting, playing 3rd. Brett wasn’t exactly nimble at first and I can’t imagine how bad he’d look at 3rd.
So far, Jed Lowrie, who (barring injuries) is going to be the SS, is 3 fer 10 with THREE walks – no errors. Jonathan Villar, who can’t hit minor league pitching and makes 30+ errors/year and is being touted as the SS of the future (because he was part of the Roy-o trade and the Organization needs those trades to look good) is ofer 2. The players available for backup middle infielder don’t look real too good, do they? they don’t have a Blum type of guy who can play all 4 positions, and yes I know that Blum at SS was horrid.
As for the OF, Bourgeois, who, last I heard, they were trying to trade, is 3 fer 12 with a stolen base. Bogusevic who, last I heard, the Organization was trying to trade, is 1 fer 9 with 2 walks and 3 SB – he’s a REALLY good baserunner. Mary Jane Schafer is 5 fer 12 with 2 doubles, no walks and no SB. Jack Cust is 0fer 7 with 2 walks. Fernando Martinez (the guy from the Mets waiver wire) is 3 fer 11 with a double and a homer, 1 walk and no SB – he’s not gonna be stealing bases because of all the trouble he’s had with his knees. JB Shuck, who, for some reason I really like, is 4 fer 9 with 2 walks. He can’t hit for power, but he CAN hit and he can play all 3 OF positions well. Bra Snyder, the 30 year old minor league FA, ex-Cub, is 2 fer 9 with a homer and a walk. Brad is yet another guy who slams AAA pitching to a .836 OPS ofer 600+ games and only a couple of ML ABs the past few years – he’s one of those guys who had the bad luck to get hurt at age 24, have a bad year that year and never really get a chance although he’s creamed the ball at AAA for 3 years and now he’s 30. How many times have we seen THAT?
I’m reasonably sure that the Organization wants JD in left. I have, by the way, heard from a couple of people this year that JD looks like the Real Thing, so maybe we’ll have an Original Astro on this team after all. I am also pretty sure they want Mary Jane Schafer to start at CF and their pickup Fernando Martinez in right. If they insist on Jack Cust (PLEEEEEZE NOOOOOOO) as OF #4, then the only question is who, of Bourgoies, Bogu, Shuck or Snyder is going to get the last spot. Now you know why they’re trying to trade Bogu and Bourgeois, neither of whom belong in the minors. Jake Goebbert, who the Organization likes and was an actual Astros draft pick, is gonna go back to AAA no matter HOW he does.
Catchers? Well, Jason Castro is 4 fer 10 with a double and a walk. Chris Snyder is 4 fer 7 with 2 homers and a walk. Quintero has been hurt and hasn’t played. I have a feeling he isn’t in the Astros plans for this year, seeing as how Brett Myers is gonna be closing and can’t demand his personal catcher. Corporan, who is probably gonna be the AAA guy, is 1 fer 6. Chris Wallace, Rene Garcia and Mike Kvasnicka are here to catch bullpens, really.
Pitching, you ask?
So far, they seem to have a starting rotation of Happ, Livan, Wandy, Bud and Lyles. So much for putting Myers in the bullpen for the Young Guys. Livan ain’t my definition of young. Anyway, they are limited to a maximum of 3 innings/60 pitches right now. Livan and Happ have started 2 games – Livan looked good in one, bad in the other. Happ looked like May Happ in one and September Happ in the other – 4 walks in 4.2 IP, which is him. Lyles gave up 4 hits, 1 walk and 2 runs over his 2 innings. Wandy threw 3 scoreless with 1 single. Bud threw 3 scoreless with 1 walk.
Kyle Weiland, the AAA picher from the Melancon trade, has thrown 4 scoreless over 2 games – 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 K. He hasn’t actually started any games, but if neither Lyles nor Happ can manage to pitch decently, he has a chance to start.
Zach Duke, another long shot to start, pitched 3 innings in one game, giving up 3 hits, a walk, no K and 1 run. Henry Sosa, the other long shot to start, has looked terrible – 4 innings over 2 games: 11 hits, 1 walk, 5 ER.
Guys who have pitched 1 or fewer innings: Clemens, DeLeon, Pendleton and Lyon have a zero ERA; Abreu (one homer) and Valdez have given up 1 run (1 hit, no walks, no homer); Leon pitched to 1 batter, gave up a homer and was pulled; Rhiner Cruz, our Rule V pick this year, gave up 2 walks, 2 hits, 4 runs without getting an out (there WAS an error, too).
Xavier Cedeno and Del Rosario have pitched 1.1 innings over 2 games eachj and given up 1 run each.
Henry Villar (1 hit) and Fernando Abad have pitched 2 innings over 2 games, no hits or runs.
Fernando Rodriguez has pitched 2 innings over 2 games, given up 2 hits, 1 walk and 2 runs.
Wesley Wright and Wilton Lopez have each pitched 3 scoreless innings over 3 games, 1 hit each, no walks.
Brett Myers has thrown 3 innings over 3 games – 7 hits, 2 walks, 2 K 5 ER.
Aneury Rodriguez is the other pitcher with bad numbers: 3.2 innings over 2 games – one scoreless inning plus yesterday’s debacle of 5 hits, 2 walks, 2 homers, 5 ER.
But it’s early and youneverknow.
Game vs the Blue Jays today – they smushed us yesterday 11-2 with JB Shuck and Jose Altuve driving in the only runs.