Friday, May 13, 2005

According to Rotoworld, the Astros released Brandon Duckworth and replaced him by bringing up Mike Burns from AAA. It's too bad Duckworth was pretty awful this year - I had hope that he'd be a league average 5th starter, giving Zeke Astacio some time at AAA, but it didn't happen. On the bright side, Mike Burns has been lights out both last year and this year, so he could provide some bullpen help. I'm not sure who our spot starter would be right now - we'd probably have to call someone up (Wandy Rodriguez?) Regardless, Burns is better than Russ Springer and John Franco. Again, the organization shows that it is not shy at all about bringing up top prospects (Astacio, Self, and now Burns). I wish Duckworth luck - he wasn't a good fit in Houston, but shit happens. I just hope that Self and Burns find a little playing time the next few weeks.

I took my last in-class final today; just need to turn in a take-home final tomorrow and I'm done with my 1st year of grad school. Then I've got a week off before a river trip.

Oh yeah, the Astros are still struggling. Our offense was shut down (big surprise) by Dontrelle Willis, and Andy Pettitte was oupitched tonight by the great Brad Hennessey. Morgan Ensberg stayed hot, going 1-for-2 with a HR and 2 walks, but he made two crucial errors, and our only other offense came from 2 Craig Biggio solo HR's. We're simply carrying too much dead weight in our offense to consistently win games. Just as a reminder,

Carlos Beltran
Jeff Kent
Jeff Bagwell
Lance Berkman

are the guys we're currently missing. Yes, I know Berkman is back, but he's not really back yet. It's hard to replace that much offense. Damn hard.

4 comments:

Scott Barzilla said...

Jack,

One of the mistakes people make is that they look at these things as holes in the lineup. ie "We're missing 200 RBIs with Kent and Beltran out of the lineup." Of course, that isn't true. The real problem is not that they didn't replace Kent and Beltran but that they didn't replace the other weak spots in the lineup. Biggio is playing like Kent did at second and Taveras is doing okay in centerfield (although not as good as Beltran).

The key is to have eight decent hitters in the lineup instead of two or three superstars. When you look at the best offenses in baseball you see that all of them have good hitters up the middle. If a GM can't find a corner outfielder or infielder that can post at least a .750 OPS then he needs to resign. Finding the middle infielders and catchers that can do the same is the hard part.

The Astros have been pretty good at third (Ensberg .840 OPS) and halfway decent at first considering. Lane should bounce back to be serviceable while we know that Berkman will hit eventually. The crucial problem has been Ausmus and Everett's ineptitude. Yet, both are doing what they have done in the past, so the club cannot claim slump in their case. When you add that to a lineup where some young players are struggling (Taveras has a sub 700 OPS) and veterans are hurt (Bagwell and Berkman) you get unmitigated disaster.

Anonymous said...

WELL I WOULD TRADE THE VETS FOR YOUNGER PLAYERS AND REBUILD. BUT SINCE IT IS SO IMPORTANT FOR BIGGIO TO GET INTO THE HALL OF FAME, THEN AT LEAST MOVE HIM TO FIRST AND BRING UP BURKE , WHO IS THE BEST MINOT LEAGUE PROSPECT. IT IS STUPID THAT HE IS IN AAA WITH A TEAM LIKE THIS.

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