Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Thanks to Astro in Exile, I found this article about the Astros over at The Hardball Times. It's a good site they have going there - it's basically a bunch of really good baseball bloggers who decided to join forces and write really great articles together. So I'll be stopping by there a lot, and - what the heck - I'll link 'em at the bottom of the page.

The article is excellent - essentially optimisitc, although it recognizes the team's weaknesses. I didn't realize how poorly Pecota has Biggio projected compared to Jason Lane.

I also agree with moving Hidalgo back to CF. For whatever reason, if you look at pictures from his monster 2000 year, he looked quicker, more agile, and had a quicker bat. He's certainly a better CF than Biggio, and while I understand the reasoning behind putting the guy with the best arm in RF to gun down guys advancing from 1st to 3rd on singles, that pales in comparison with the extra ground Hidalgo can cover out there. This might seem strange, since Biggio might be faster than Hidalgo, but Hidalgo reads balls better, gets better jumps, and seems way more comfortable out there. Of course, we won't change anything.

The author also likes our pitching staff, especially Pettitte with Everett vacuuming up tons of ground balls, rips on Ausmus, and loves the Wagner trade. I agree completely. He ends up being very optimistic with the Astros (95 wins seems a little high to me...I'd guess 90/91) and predicting we make it to the World Series, which I love. Anyway, read the article, it's a good one.

I'm really excited about seeing Andy Pettitte pitch tonight. We signed him for 3 years, so we better get used to him. I think he'll be fine, but I'll breathe easier when he has a good first outing. If I remember correctly, we hit Tomko pretty hard last year when he was with the Cardinals, so hopefully we can get to him. I'd like to see a big game from Berkman, who gets his first ABs as a lefty. I also want to see a little more of how the bullpen might work and if Jimy will let Jason Lane get an at-bat. Finally, I just want to beat the damn Giants - they always seem to be a tough matchup for us, and we need a win. Let's get one.

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