My old friend Austin, who has commented on my blog for years, is back in journalism school at UT and is writing a blog, which will be part of Rob Neyer’s blog links.
And speaking of Austin and Houston, Ed Maysonet got sent down. And Matt Kata didn’t. Gee, what a surprise. I wish some reporter would come right out and ask Ed Wade why he thinks Kata is better than Maysonet.
Also, Chris Shelton got sent down, which makes me think that there is a very VERY good probability that Lance Berkman will not start the season on the DL and even if he misses the Opening Day series with the Giants, he won’t miss more than a few games. The Astros don’t want to have to pay Shelton any Major League pay, if they can help it. So Blum will most likely start at first, and if not him, then some great player like Kata.
J.R. Towles made the ML roster and Castro, as I thought, was sent down. Much better to keep him down for a few weeks, screw him out of a year of FA. Besides, he has got to show he can hit even AAA pitching, as he wasn’t all that against AA. Towles is going to have to come out showing something good, and he’s gonna start the year facing Lincecum and Cain, no easy task. And if he looks good, then at least he can hope to be traded to a team that wants him.
Looks as if the rotation is gonna be the 5 we thought – Oswalt, Wandy, Wifebeater, Norris (who FINALLY had a decent game - NO walks, 6 hits, 7 K, 2 R/5 IP today) and Paulino. Lindstrom is going to close, unless he fails and Lyon takes the job. However, we DO know that Lyon has been an excellent 8th innin guy, like La Troy was for us, so maybe this will work out.
Oh yeah. Remember Benny Zobrist? Yeah, the almost MVP for the Rays who was traded a couple years back for 2 worthless months of Aubrey Huff. Well, a RH pitcher named Mitch Talbot was traded with him, and this year, Mitch, age 26, who was traded again in December for Kelly Shoppach, is starting for the Indians – beat out Aaron Laffey, a much more highly touted guy, for the rotation. If he turns out to be a good starter, well, whoever told poor ol Timmy Poo-pura to do that crappy trade (go and get Huff) should have a thorough butt kicking.
Am hoping to take Lil Miss (my niece) to the Friday game vs the Jays – should be pretty easy to pick up some cheap tix from scalpers and will take the kids to fan fest/”Opening Day” on Saturday. Then my Mama and I will do our annual pilgrimage on Monday. She always gets, uh, “sick” with, uh, baseball fever. Yeah, we know the team won’t be good. But the ballpark always looks like a cathedran and that green green grass always holds its lure for us. A thrill that never grows old, even though we do…