They never had a chance. It isn’t that they didn’t hit – Romero was 4 fer 11 and Ramirez was 5 fer 11 with a homer. It isn’t that they didn’t do well in the field. It is that Ed Wade had ALREADY decided that Cory Sullivan, hit or no hit (3 fer 21 with 5 K), is going to replace Grit Erstad as the 5th OF before Spring Training started. The only reason that Jason Bourgeois is still with the team is that they need some warm body for the split squad games – he’s 1 fer 13 so far. I’m not fooled here.
I had a bad feeling about it because all the prediction people were using his stats. One of the many reasons that even Vegas doubts that the Astros will improve upon their last year’s mark of 74-88. Especially because Vegas has figured out that Mills, unlike Phil Garner, will not have any say in the roster and it will be up to Ed Wade, whose judgment is, well, there is a reason he is evaluated as a GM as – well, at least he’s better than Dayton Moore. (I can’t say fer sher, but perhaps it was Ed Wade and NOT Cooper who insisted on playing the absolutely useless Jason Smith while sitting Edwin Maysonet last year…)
At this point, Towles is hitting like Barry Lamar, 11 fer 20, so sending him down will be tough. I can’t tell whether or not he will be put on the ML team while Golden Boy Castro spends enough time in the minors to miss the super 2 deadline and thus be cheated out of an extra year of free agency – the temptation must be overwhelming. The real question is – if Towles continues to hit really well in the regular season AND Castro tears it up at AAA, what to do. I would think that the right answer is to trade him for some middle reliever and keep Sammy Gervacio at AAA.
After 2 weeks and 14-29 AB (yes, I know – small sample size) let’s see how the regulars are doing:
Matsui: 6 fer 24 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 2 K: .250/.379/.420
Manzella: 8 fer 27 with 2 2B, 0 BB, 6 K: .296/.296/.370
Maysonet (yes, I know he has no chance) 8 fer 19, 2 2B, 0 BB, 3K: .400/.421/.500
Feliz: 11 fer 23 with 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K: .478/.500/.696
Pence: 12 fer 24 with 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 4 BB, 2 K: .500/.571/1.083
Bourn: 6 fer 29, 1 BB, 5 K, 3 SB: .207/.233/.207 (good thing he ain’t tryin to get a job, hunh?)
Clank: 6 fer 20 with 4 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 1 K: .300/.364/.650
Blum: 10 fer 23 with 3 2B, no BB, 1 K: .435/.435/.565
Keppinger: 4 fer 14 with 2 2B, 5 BB, 2 K: .286/.474/.429
Michaels: 7 fer 20 with 3 2B, 2 HR, 2 BB, 2K: .350/.375/.800
Sullivan: 3 fer 21 with 1 BB, 5 K: .143/.217/.143
Quintero: 6 fer 22 with 1 @B, 1 BB, 1 K: .273/.304/.218
WOW – it’s FUN to hit minor leaguers and unprepared major leaguers working on stuff, isn’t it?
As for pitchers, um, well, Roy O is cruising with 3 hits, 4 BB, 3 K over 6 IP (and he shut the Red Sox DOWN). Sammy Gervacio is looking awesome – 1 hit (HR) 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K in 6 IP over 5 games. Matt Lindstrom has given up 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K in 4.2 IP over 4 games and no runs. Casey Daigle has given up NO hits, 1 BB, 5 K over 4 IP in 3 games. Arias is hurt and everyone else is, uh, um, er, uh, working with his pitches, yeah, that’s the ticket. Wandy (working on his changeup) and Moehler (working on his control)and Wesley Wright (working, period) and Bud Norris (sigh) and other starting candidates are giving up homers, hits, walks left and Wright (hahahaha) and I bet right now that Fast Eddie is trying to trade Towles for some juicy Veteran Goodness in the middle relief department, seeing as how 4-9 IP is statistically significant.
Interesting that it takes pitchers so much longer to get ready for the season than hitters.
18 days left to Opening Day.