Are You Ready For The Merry-Go-Round?

Yesterday was an off-day for the Astros before kicking off their home weekend series against the Mets.  But even a day off is a busy day in Major League Baseball.  A run-down:

  • 1B Lance Berkman was placed on the DL with a calf strain
  • 2B Edwin Maysonet was recalled from Round Rock
  • 3B Ebert Rosario called up from Lexington to Lancaster
  • OF Jeff Hulett called up from Tri-City to Lexington

Round Rock has not made a corresponding roster move.  Their official roster is now at 22 players.

The Houston Astros 25-man roster now looks like this:

Pitchers
SP Roy Oswalt
SP Wandy Rodriguez
SP Mike Hampton
SP Russ Ortiz
SP Brian Moehler
RP Alberto Arias
RP Tim Byrdak
RP Jeff Fulchino
RP Chad Paronto
RP Wesley Wright
SU LaTroy Hawkins
CL Jose Valverde

Catchers
Ivan Rodriguez
Humberto Quintero
Chris Coste

Infielders
Kazuo Matsui
Miguel Tejada
Geoff Blum
Jeff Keppinger
Matt Kata
Edwin Maysonet

Outfielders
Michael Bourn
Carlos Lee
Hunter Pence
Jason Michaels

The Berkman injury has posed an interesting debate: Should GM Ed Wade make a trade for a first baseman?

There are very few assets that would entice any team into giving up a first baseman who would be demonstrably better than some combination of Chris Coste and/or Mark Saccomanno.  And let’s say you were able to go out and get a guy worthy of filling Berkman’s shoes: What do you do when Berkman comes back?

Tradable assets at this point include Bud Norris, J.R. Towles, and potentially Yorman Bazardo.  I don’t truly believe losing any of them would hurt all that much, but neither would any of them bring a first-baseman that’d be worth much at all.  A far-better option might be to go out and grab Richie Sexson or – even better – Tony Clark, two remaining free agent first basemen.

Clark is 37 years old, and has no qualms about being a part-time or Triple-A or even part-time Triple-A player.  A journeyman who’s played in the majors for the Tigers, Mets, Braves, Yankees, Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Padres, he was released after batting just .182/.295/.424 in in just 36 games for Arizona this season.  He’d come at an Ed Wade price, and when you look at those numbers, they’re not as bad as first glance might show you.  Yes, the average is low, but how many veterans start slowly?  See the Astros’ April numbers for reference.

TonyClark.jpg

If Ed Wade signs Tony Clark, there’d better not be
any more of this nonsense.

The OBP is actually good when you consider his low average.  In fact, he had nearly as many walks (11) as he had hits (12) in 78 plate appearances.  And his SLG was decent, as well.  Of his 12 hits, 8 were for extra bases, four each in doubles and home runs. 

Sexson might be a more pricey commodity to acquire, but not necessarily by a lot. He’s played for the Indians, Brewers, Diamondbacks, Mariners, and Yankees.  No playing time this year, but as a part-timer for New York last season, he went .250/.371/.393 in just 28 plate appearances and looked uncomfortable most of the year.  But with a career .507 SLG, he certainly has had pop in his bat at times.  An MVP candidate as recently as 2005, if “Big Sexy” could find any of his previous swagger, he could be a real gem.

What Happened Was…

Round Rock Express (AAA) – The Dodgers have no absence of top young pitching talent.  You know about Clayton Kershaw and James McDonald by now, but do you know about Charlie Haeger yet?  The Express found out in person last night when Haeger struck out 12 of them in a complete game which saw the Albuquerque Isotopes (LAD) prevail, 5-1. Haeger issued just two walks and six hits.  Polin Trinidad actually pitched quite well, but earned the loss.  Geoff Geary and T.J. Burton each threw a perfect inning in relief.  OF Yordany Ramirez had the only multi-hit game for Round Rock, going 2-for-4 with a double in the losing effort.  Of Haeger’s 12 strikeouts, 25% of them were at the hands of Mighty John Gall.

Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) – The Hooks game against the Midland Rockhounds was postponed due to “wet grounds.”  If only Starbucks would do the same.  In all honesty, the weather was just fine in Midland, but the field was left uncovered as storms dropped more than an inch of rain at the ballpark.  I may not know much, but I do know this: The Midland Rockhounds should have been forced to forfeit this game.  I understand weather-related field problems, but this was an easily-avoidable problem.  </rant>

Lancaster Jethawks (A+) – It’s really not fair to Christopher Hicks.  He pitched 7 innings, striking out 7 against the Lake Elsinore Storm (SDP).  He allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a single walk – a good start, but not good enough as the bullpen would blow the lead and earn the 9-5 loss.  Kobe Clemens was back in left field, where he went 2-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and a walk.  He is now .321/.394/.558 in the California League this season.  2B Craig  Corrado had a fitful night.  He was 0-for-4, was picked off at first base, caught stealing second, and committed a throwing error.

Lexington Legends (A) – An eight-inning “extra inning” affair saw the Legends prevail, 2-1, in walk-off fashion against the Lake County Captains (CLE). David Duncan pitched very well, striking out 7 batters in as many innings, giving up zero walks, seven hits, and a solitary run.  Kyle Godfrey struck out one in a perfect inning of relief to earn the win.  Legends batters managed their two runs on just two hits, which has seriously got to irk the Captains, but they did draw four walks, including two to 1B Brian Pellegrini, who followed one of them up by stealing second.

Lexington Legends (A) – It was so nice, Lake County and Lexington played two games yesterday.  (Ed. Note: Was it nice?  It’s been blazing hot here in Southern California.)  This one lasted the regulatio 7 innings, with Lake County earning a 3-2 victory.  2B Andrew Simunic was 2-for-3 in the losing effort, and Jeff Hulett – called up just in time for fifteen innings of double-header baseball, earned his first Sally League hit – a first-inning double.  Congratulations, Jeff!  Brian Pellegrini continued his nice day, going 1-for-2 with a home run and one of the two walks the Legends were able to draw as a team.  They teach impatience at the plate very early in the system here at Houston.

Tri-City ValleyCats (A) – In many situations, a two-run bottom of the ninth would be an exciting conclusion to the game.  When you enter said ninth inning down by 13 runs, however, it loses a lot of its luster.  That’s exactly what happened yesterday as the ValleyCats stumbled and bumbled to a 13-2 defeat at the hands of the Oneonta Tigers (DET).  Tigers pitcher Adam Wilk had no trouble with the Vall
eyCats.  He allowed just three hits and no walks, striking out 8 batter in 7.0 innings before handing it off to Mike LaLuna. Wilk is now 2-0 with a 0.30 ERA, a .162 BAA, and a .667 WHIP.  The ValleyCats pitchers, on the other hand, didn’t fare quite so well.  None of them gave up fewer than three runs, including probably my least-favorite player, Scott Migl, who gave up 3 runs (four, actually, but three earned) on five hits and four walks in just two innings.  His ERA currently stands at 13.50.  It wasn’t completely without offensive highlights, as OF Renzo Tello went 2-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI, and SS Brandon Wikoff was 2-for-3 with a double, and one of only two ValleyCats hitters (C Rene Garcia being the other) not to strike out once in the game.

Greeneville Astros (R) – You know, I really think Joan Belliard could turn into a nice pitcher.  He earned the win in Greeneville’s 6-4 win over the Bluefield Orioles (BAL), pitching 3.2 innings in relief, giving up just a walk and a hit and striking out 2.  Jeiler Castillo pitched a perfect ninth to earn his second save.  OF Ryan Humphrey was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI; and first-rounder Jiovanni Mier was 2-for-4 with a walk, to bring his season line to .312/.404/.484.

GCL Astros (R) – It’s always a barn-burner when the GCL Astros face off against the GCL Mets.  Or maybe it is, anyway.  But a quick look at the box score shows the Mets scored 3 runs in the 8th, 2 in the 9th, and 1 in the 10th en route to losing to the Astros, who scored 1 run in each the 7th, 8th, and 9th, plus 2 in the 10th to take the game 8-7.  Michael Schurz pulled off the rare blown save/win combination, and Rafael Pio recorded the last two outs in order to earn the save.  Lots of multi-hit games by Astros position players, led by SS Luis Bryan, who was 4-for-6 – a double away from the cycle – with 3 RBI.  He also each recorded his first-ever professional home run.  Congratulations, Luis.

DSL Astros (R) – The DSL Astros had a rare day off to spend with their pushers families.

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5 comments

  1. renaudtn

    Hey RR15,

    Do you have any idea what happened last time Maysonet was with the team and was hitting pretty well and all of a sudden they benched him, no pinch hit, nothing??
    Did Cooper get mad at him or something?
    I know Matsui came back and got his spot back, but Maysonet didn’t play at all after that whereas I believe Kata and Michaels were used.
    I’m just curious.

  2. roundrock15

    Dillon – Absolutely. The only good news is that we’ve essentially gone 5-2 without him, as he’s only been available in very limited capacities in the second half so far.

    Renaud – That was a puzzlement to me. All I can do is chalk it up to Cecil Cooper, who is demonstrably insane and hates young players (meaning anyone under the age of 35).

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