Not exactly a surprise – 1 year, 2 million.
Ed Wade told the media that he wanted to re-sign Ausmus, and Ausmus called himself a true Astro (ahem) who wanted to play one more year. Of course this time, it will be as a backup to (most likely) Justin Towles.
Popular sentiment says he will catch Roy Oswalt, but I personally hope he continues to catch Wandy Rodriguez, who really made progress this year with Brad catching him. Wandy NEEDS a veteran guy who can get the borderline calls AND keep him focused.
Anyway, Brad can’t really hit worth a darn after a few months (he always hits great in ST and April) so hopefully, catching once every 5 days will keep him from getting too tired. He is incredibly intelligent and knowledgeable about pitchers and hitters and hopefully, can teach both Towles and young pitchers.
I know that a lot of fans will be all Up Set, but let’s be honest here – we do not have any Biggio 1988 waiting to take over and besides, backup catchers, by definition, can’t hit. It’s not as if we would Go All The Way if only we had a catcher who could hit. The truth is that the Astros have one of the 5 worst farm systems by any definition and we don’t have winning ML roster and we really don’t have chips to trade for anyone good.
So let’s just relax and let Brad teach Towles this year.
Oh yeah – I HOPE it isn’t Quintero, and Gimenez wasn’t anything to write home about – .273/.331/.389/.720 at AAA 2006 – before his shoulder surgery. I doubt Santangelo – .243/.317/.379/.696 in 206 AB at AA – is exactly ready and neither is Max Sapp, age almost 20 – .241/.330/.333/.663 at A Lexington. Yall remember, by the way, that Max was the Astros’ first pick in the 06 draft.
Looks as if the Astros need to hire some hitting coaches as well as replace the scouting director.