Help! I Need Somebody…

Doug Brocail.
Jose Valverde.
Brandon Backe.

The Category: Astros pitchers on the Disabled List.

But that doesn’t exactly tell the entire story. 

Roy Oswalt.

The Category: Astros starters with an ambiguous health status.

Geoff Geary.
Brian Moehler.
Wandy Rodriguez.
Mike Hampton.
Tim Byrdak.
Jeff Fulchino.
LaTroy Hawkins.
Chris Sampson.
Felipe Paulino.

The Category: Astros pitchers who do not appear on either of the above lists, but who have thrown at least 2 innings in the past 5 days.  Wesley Wright barely avoids the list, only having thrown 1.7.

Geary, Fulchino, Wright, and Hawkins have thrown at least three times in the past five games.  So that leaves tomorrow’s probable starter, Russ Ortiz, as the only starter who should be considered anywhere close to 100%.

We need help.  Where to get it?

Assume that the Astros make some sort of roster move – and it makes sense, as they come home tomorrow.  Triple-A Round Rock is less than a three-hour drive away.  Double-A Corpus Christi a little farther – call it three and a half.

The problem, however, lies in the available arms.  The pitchers currently on our 40-Man Roster:

Alberto Arias.  Arias is 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA at Round Rock this season.  He’s struck out 15 in 16.1 IP, but has walked 10.  And he pitched 6.0 innings on May 2.

Samuel Gervacio.  Gervacio is 0-1 with a 11.81 ERA at Round Rock.  In 10.2 IP, he’s managed to give up 13 hits and 8 walks, while striking out 12.  Opposing hitters are .310 against him.  Oh – and on May 3, he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits without recording a single out.

Brad James.  James is 1-1 with a 5.48 ERA at Corpus Christi.  In 21.1 IP, he’s been able to strike out just 8, walking almost double that with 15.  On May 1, he pitched 5.1 innings.

Wilton Lopez.  Wilton is new to the organization, having thrown just 7.0 innings at Corpus Christi.  He struck out 5 and walked none in that time, but also allowed 7 earned runs, for an ERA of 9.00.  He’s fresh, not having thrown since two innings on April 30.

Tyler Lumsden. Lumsden would be a rarity – a LHP who stands 6’4″ tall.  He’s thrown just 7.1 innings, and is currently on the Reserve List at Round Rock and hasn’t pitched since April 15.  He made the most of his limited experience, as his 6.14 ERA will attest.

Polin Trinidad.  My favorite of the candidates, but also the least-polished.  Another tall lefty (6’3″), Trinidad is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 20 strikeouts over 21.0 IP.  Amazingly, he’s walked just one in that same stretch.  For good measure, he also has a save.  He did pitch 4 innings on May 3, as well. 

All in all, not exactly an ideal group to pull from. 

What Happened Was…

Houston Astros (MLB) – A suspended game in the bottom of the 11th ensured that the Astros would end their road trip at 4-3.  The Reds were the only division opponents (doesn’t that series seem such a long time ago?), and we beat them 2 games to 1.  Now it’s home to face the Cubs (2 games) and Padres (3 games).  The good news about the beaten-up state of our roster is that the Cubs are hurting right now, too.  I’m still calling a series split and a 2-1 loss to the Padres.

Round Rock Express (AAA) – Three runs in the top of the ninth were the difference as the Express pushed past the New Orleans Zephyrs (FLA) 8-5.  The oft-beleaguered Chad Paronto pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 7th save and lower his ERA to 1.00 for the season.  But the story, obviously, was the offense.  Outfielders Brian Bogusevic and Yordany Ramirez each had a home run, and Ramirez added a double in his 4-for-5 performance.  He’s now hitting .366/.384/.573 for the season.

Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) – The Hooks proved that they actually can beat the Midland Rockhounds (OAK), and did so in big fashion with a 10-3 drubbing.  Casey Hudspeth earned the win, pitching 7.0 innings and allowing just two earned runs.  Old Man Andy Van Hekken threw two scoreless innings in relief.  Collin DeLome hit a home run, and Drew Meyer worked his way even farther up my Favorites List by going 3-for-5 with a walk and a double.  Even Koby Clemens looked nice at the plate, making the most of his time in Double-A by going 1-for-3 with a walk and a Sacrifice Fly.  But the hero of the game has to be 1B Mark Ori, who was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI, 3 runs scored, and a walk.

Mark Ori 05-05-09.jpgLancaster Jethawks (A+) – Bad pitching ruined a perfectly-good day for OF Jack Shuck as the Jethawks dropped this one, 10-4, to the Lake Elsinore Storm (SDP).  Shuck was 3-for-4 with a triple, and the former Buckeye is now .353/.411/.431 on the season.  It was his third triple of the year, and he accentuated it with his 7th stolen base.  The Storm’s Wynn Pelzer continued to win games (4-0) despite not pitching terribly well.  He struck out 8 Jethawks in 7.0 innings, and scattered 7 hits.  Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the spectrum, David Duncan dropped to 0-5 and saw his ERA rise to 10.24.

Lexington Legends (A) – Lexington continues to roll, improving to 17-9 on the strength of a 4-3 win at the Augusta Greenjackets (SFG).  DH/1B Kody Hinze was 2-for-4 with two doubles to lead the offense, and Robert Bono earned the win, allowing just a single earned run in 6.0 innings, striking out five and walking two.



  1. juliasrants

    While it is still early in the season, it seems that lots of teams and players are beat up and hurting. The Red Sox have more then their share right now also. It does worry me. If they are this bad now, what will in be like come September? Maybe they will be recruiting from the local Little League Parks!


  2. astrosfaninexile

    The worse story is not just the inning count – it’s the pitch count. What’s hidden in 1/3 of an inning – 20 pitches? Here’s my quick count of the bullpen innings and pitch counts for the last 5 days. (Sorry if there are errors – I added these up quickly in my head.) (Each “tenth” = 1/3 inning)

    Geary – Fri 1.2 innings (21 pitches); Sun 1.1 (26), Tue 3 (41) = 6 innings (88 pitches)
    Fulchino – Fri 1 inning (21), Sun 0.1 (6), Mon 2.1 (46) = 3.2 innings (73 pitches)
    Wright – Fri 1 inning (20), Sun 0.1 (7), Mon 0.1 (19) = 1.2 innings (46 pitches)
    Paulino – Sat 2 innings (35), Mon 0.1 (23) = 2.1 innings (58 pitches)
    Byrdak – Sat 2.1 innings (43), Tue 1.1 (18) = 3.2 innings (61 pitches)
    Sampson – Sat 1.2 innings (19)*, Tue 0.2 (26) = 2.1 innings (45 pitches)
    Brocail – Sat 1 inning (13), Sun 0.1 (5)* = 1.1 inning (18 pitches)
    Hawkins – Sat 1 inning (17), Sun 1.1 (28), Tue 0.1 (8) = 2.2 innings (53 pitches)
    Ortiz – Sun 0.1 inning (12) = 0.1 inning (12 pitches)
    * left game with injury


  3. redstatebluestate

    What? What happened? How did Wright pitch 1.7 innings? I didn’t know innings could be divided like that. Just joshin’ you. If it’s a joke, I’m laughing. If it’s a typo, then, well, I’m still laughing because if anyone could labor through 1.7 innings, it’s Wesley Wright. LOL.

  4. stonebutch99

    If we were playing “Name that band” with the song ~Help! I need somebody~ I would get it right. 😉

    The Hooks beat my Rockhounds?? What the hell? Ok, they’re not my Rockhounds.

  5. roundrock15

    1.7 is 1.2, and 1.3 is 1.1… I always use .3 and .7 for the purposes of stats calculation, and sometimes forget to change them back into more “agreeable” forms. Because 1 and a third really isn’t 1.1.

    Susan, thanks for that. I didn’t have time to add up the total pitches, but there you have it. The only non-injured pitcher who has thrown fewer than 45 pitches in the past 5 days is Russ Ortiz.

  6. roundrock15

    Well, that’s actually by design… it’s his turn in the rotation, so it’s a damn good thing he hasn’t thrown 45 pitches in the last five days. The fact that he’s thrown 12 is bad enough.

  7. heartruss

    Thanks for responding to my post: we are paying Andruw Jones (who lost weight and is hitting better.) and Jason Schmidt (still on DL for how many years now??) more money than all the young players combined. Boy, thanks for reminding me. And don’t forget the big bucks Juan Pierre is being paid for coming off the bench every so often.

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