Well, even if it wasn’t Valentine’s Day, it would be a great present. There’s been waaaay too much north type weather here in Houston this year. And yeah, I know I should be grateful I don’t live in Dallas. Or even Conroe.
But somehow, this has been like the dullest offseason EVAH. Hasn’t it? I mean, not just for Astros fans, but for baseball in general. Trouble is, I think, that between someone tweeting every time some player changes his socks and the fact that there really aren’t any STARS!!! these days, there just isn’t anything exciting. Well, I supposed that if I were a Cards fan, I’d be all excited over the Albert Pujols saga of how much longer is the ownership gonna drag out signing him and of course he’s gonna get 25 – 30 mill a year – he’s been underpaid forever and then the Cards fans get to scream at him in 7 or 8 years about how he can’t hit worth 30 mill no mo and he should be dumped on the Yankees.
But I digress.
Anyway, Pitchers and Catchers officially report, although plenty of guys have been working out already and more will go to Kissimmee early – except for Clank, of course.
So I’ll start with the Catchers – not much news there:
on the 40 man roster – Jason Castro, Humberto Quintero and J.R. Towles. I was very surprised Towles was even tendered a contract, but I suppose they have to have SOMEone who can actually like catch the ball in case either Castro or Q is hurt. Q is most positively going to be the backup catcher because there is one pitcher who wants him personally and that guy is beloved by Fast Eddie and will get what he wants. Castro is going to be the starting catcher no matter what. Towles had better pray he gets traded – there was a lot of interest in him last year in ST. Unfortunately for him, he spent the whole year injured, after being sent down to AA, so unless he tears the cover off theball, he probably won’t get much interest from other Organizations.
The only free projections are Dan Szymborski’s ZIPS – and they aren’t pretty – well, they never are, to be honest…
He’s projecting Castro to have an 83 OPS+ or a .679 OPS with a BA of ,246 and 8 HR; Towles projects for an 84 OPS+ because he hits for more power; Quintero for a 65 OPS+ in spite of a .240 BA – where on EARTH did he get a .240 BA from? I’ll never understand projections. Anyway, Brad Ausmus looks like Piazza next to these guys.
Carlos Corporan, age 27, who spent 7 years in the Brewers Organization, then last year at Reno for the Diamondbacks, and has a minor league line of .251/.306/.377/.683 over 1948 AB. He did post a career high .870 OPS, but that was at Reno (you know, the desert, high averages, etc…)
Brian Esposito, age 32, career minor leaguer who has logged a .583 OPS over 2286 ABs.
Rene Garcia, age 21. This one I don’t get. He was picked in the 35th round of the 08 draft by the Astros and had a .621 OPS at A-ball (Lexington) last year. He’s not on any prospect lists, so I’m kind of stumped, but hey, maybe it was a lottery, youneverknow.
Astros haven’t developed a catcher who could hit since John Buck – and he was traded back in 04 for Carlos the Jackal Beltran. Well, at least JR Towles hit at AAA, which is more than the rest of them have done.
Next up, starting pitchers.