Sunday, April 11, 2004

The Astros lost 6-1 to the Brewers yesterday, as Tim Redding was outpitched by Ben Sheets (who has 7 straight wins against the Astros). The offense didn't do much, but it was partially sabotaged by Jimy, who started Orlando Palmeiro, Jose Vizcaino, and Mike Lamb. So far Morgan Ensberg, he of the 907 OPS and 25 HRs last year, has started 3/5 of the games. The other thing that scares me is that the first time Biggio gets a day off his spot goes not to young power hitting Jason Lane but to Orlando Palmeiro, who is not a bad player but makes a better defensive replacement and pinch-hitter. Jimy needs to recognize that Lane is the 4th OF, NOT Palmeiro.

Here's my Jimy count so far for the year:

Vizcaino at-bats 6
Lamb starts 2

Baseball Prospectus finally got around to covering the Astros in their Team Health Report. It's premium content, which I paid for, so I think I can give you guys the basics of it, but if you want some great analysis every day, it's worth the 20 bucks a year or so. Anyway, the only position players to get warnings are Craig Biggio (red), and Bagwell/Kent/Berkman (all yellow). I was a little surprised that Biggio got such a high chance of injury, but he is 38, playing center field, and generally goes all-out. Again, an injury to Biggio, while a shame, wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to the club. The pitching staff looks a lot riskier, with Roy Oswalt, Pettitte, and Clemens all yellow lights and Wade Miller a red light. I'm surprised Miller got the red, but they suspect a lingering elbow injury. Oswalt gets the light because of last year's groin injury, and Clemens and Pettitte aren't getting any younger.

In fact, Andy Pettitte just went on the 15 day DL yesterday, apparently due to a slight elbow injury from a CHECK SWING while batting. That's not easy to do, and I hope he's all right. He said he was fine in the newspaper today, just that the doctors wanted to be sure, but of course he's going to say that...come back soon, Andy. We called up Brandon Backe to take his place - kind of a strange move. I would think we would call up Saarloos or Carlos Hernandez to make Pettitte's start, but instead Jared Fernandez is getting the nod. After a few games, I don't think Eric Bruntlett or Brandon Duckworth should be on the club right now - Bruntlett is another Vizcaino, and Duckworth doesn't look good and his numbers look worse.

We could call up Hernandez / Saarloos (probably Hernandez...we could use a lefty) and anyone that can play 2B / SS other than Bruntlett (Matranga, Chris Burke, Brooks Conrad). That's what I'd do.

Little Andy Wade is at the Astros - Brewers game today, which starts at 1:05. He's already declared he'll have a big write-up, so get ready for that later today.

Oh, and sorry for the delay the last few days - I was playing in a tennis tournament, and I got to the semifinals, where I lost to the 1 seed (and last year's champion) 6-4, 6-3. Damn.

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