Mary Jane Schafer is gone – the Braves, for some reason I can’t understand, wanted him back. They can have him. Besides, Brandon Barnes runs circles around him with the glove and Justin Maxwell can at least hit for SOME power.
Had a really good laugh today – Tim Dierkes (who I luvvvvv, and have known since I started blogging back in 04) writes MLB Trade Rumors – and he thinks that Mike Napoli, expensive free agent catcher, ends up with the Astros. We have the “payroll space” but DEFINITELY not the payroll inclination, Tim. And not Russell Martin, neither.
Astros just declined Chris Snyder’s 4 mill option and he’s all the yummy veteran goodness they could want right THERE. Sure Russell is a power upgrade, but he’s gonna cost more than 4 mill. They have Jason Castro and Carl0s Corporan – what more could you want? Me, I’m still rooting for Chris Wallace – he was hurt a lot of last year, but hey, he just might could pick it up – youneverknow.
Click here to check out Jason Park’s scouting report (from Baseball Prospectus) on last year’s #1 pick, Carlos Correa. I’m quite sure the reports on Jio Mier never read like that.
Kyle Weiland, who spent all last year on the DL because of an infected shoulder joint (I’m think Bagwell – and he never had an infection) was removed from the 40 man and put on the AAA roster. It’s goodbye to Abad (TOLDJA the starter experiment was dumb) and Sergio Escalona (surgery), Jose Valdez and his non-existent strike zone and last month starter fill-in Edgar Gonzalez.
Still can’t figure who is gonna be in the rotation, unless they pick up someone very VERY cheap from the scrap heap or a Mike Hampton/Russ Ortiz end of the line type guy. Here’s Luhnow, as quoted by Brian T. Smith, in the Chron, discussing payroll (which just might could increase from 15 mill):
“Are we going to go out and sign a free agent that’s going to play and contribute at the major league level? Probably not. Now, we have some flexibility. We’ve got some outfield spots, we’ve got some pitching spots, we’ve got some bullpen spots — there’s places to plug in players that are major league value right now that we feel we’re going to go look at. But by and large … I feel pretty good that even if we don’t go out and sign free agents, we have a team that’s going to be better next year.”
It’s gonna be better, like HOW? With only 3 starters, none of whom are above league average? And no, there aren’t any minor league pitchers who look as if they could be any sort of major league starters in our system.
We picked up a couple of minor leaguers off waivers from the DBax – Sam Demel and Jake Elmore.
Sam, a righty reliever, is 27, from Spring, and picked in the 3rd round of the 07 draft by Oakland. He was traded mid June 2010 by Trader BillyBeane for Conor Jackson. (My GAWD – Conor Jackson – he was supposed to turn into this huge star – guess he must have gotten hurt because he got traded/droppped and is OOB. Had OPS in the high 800s his first 3 years.) Anyway, Sam has thrown 62 unremarkable innings of 84 ERA+ ball over the past 3 years, most of it in 2010. He’s been pretty much a AAA guy for the past 4 years – and has spent the past 2 in Reno (think Coors with the wind blowing out) and has a nice 10.2 K/9, 3 BB/9 and 8 H/9. Homers are a little high, but we ARE talking the high desert. I guess they want to see what he’d do in OKC, as he did pretty well at Sacramento. Anyway, we NEED more AAA relief arms, seeing as how we barely have any.
Jake Elmore is one of those little utility guys, SS, second baseman – age 25, 34th round pick of the Dbax in 08. He KILLED the ball in Reno (remember what I said about Reno) but had a .717 OPS over 2 years at AA Mobile (Southern League.) We really need roster filler at AA and AAA, so, like fine with me.
And last, but not least, check out Chris Jaffe’s remembering that the Astros signed Little Joe Morgan 50 years ago today.