Friday, June 25, 2004

This is a copy of the latest post from my blog, where I discuss all kinds of topics including the Astros.

OH BEHBEH! The Astros got Beltran!!!!

Our part of the deal was Dotel and minor-league catcher, John Buck to KC for Beltran. The Royals then sent Dotel to the A's for some prospects.

I love this trade. It's clear that the team we had wasn't going to get it done this year. The offense has been bad as of late, with a ridiculous inability to get timely hits and score runs. Beltran should provide an obvious spark to the lineup. No telling where Jimy will put him in the lineup, but I would guess that he'll move into either the 2 slot (shifting Everett/Ensberg to the bottom of the lineup) or he'll hit 3rd and push Berkman/Kent/Bagwell each down a spot. I hope Beltran bats 2nd for the simple fact that Jimy cannot possibly have him sac bunt every time that Biggio gets on base. (Well, I won't put anything past Jimy at this point.)

The other obvious advantage Beltran brings is that we no longer have to bear the horrid defense of Biggio in CF. I cringe every time a ball is hit near Tal's Hill, for fear that Biggio's going to eat face again. I'm not sure how I want the defense to be rearranged now that Biggio has been supplanted from CF. In no way can he move to RF...baserunners will move 1st to 3rd on every single to RF with his weak arm. So our options are to move him to LF, back to 2B, or bench him. From what I've read, it appears that moving him to LF is the most likely option. This would force Berkman to RF and send Lane back to the bench. If he were to move back to 2B, Kent would shift to 3rd and Ensberg/Lamb would see the bench. The best option defensively would be simply bench Biggio and keep everyone else the same, but that's not going to happen.

As for what we gave up...well I'm happy we didn't part with both Buck and Chris Burke. The loss of Dotel obviously weakens our bullpen, but I think Lidge can more than adequately move into the closer position. This more clearly defines why we acquired Weathers....he's take over the 7th inning duties from Miceli, who shifts to Lidge's primary setup man. I think we're going to have to acquire another bullpen arm....a quality setup guy (unless they choose to acquire a closer and shift Lidge back to setup man). A good lefty would also help.

We also gave up John Buck, a 23 year old catcher, who's tearing up AAA this year. However he has been inconsistent throughout the minors, having weak years in both 2002 and 2003. He's not especially strong defensively, as he has trouble throwing runners out on the basepaths, but he's got good offensive potential. The problem is...well we still have Ausmus for at least another year, so Buck wouldn't be the starter until at least 2006....and you know what, no telling how strong he'll be in the majors.

That's all I got for tonight. I'm getting tired and having trouble putting together good thoughts. From what I heard tonight, Beltran is expected in Arlington for Friday night's game, so we should see the future outlook of our lineup then.

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