Man, April can't get here soon enough. I've been reading Astros Daily, Rotoworld, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Primer, and Aaron Gleeman so much lately that I felt guilty for not making a post of my own. So here goes.
Richard Hidalgo and Ezequiel Astacio are gone. One had a bad spring (Hidalgo) and one had a good spring (Astacio), but Hidalgo was sent to the minors and Astacio was claimed by the Rangers. I'm glad we let Hidalgo go; he's a shell of his former self, and hopefully this means one last shot for Jason Lane. I'm a little upset that Astacio never worked out; he had a great K rate and good overall numbers in the minors, but he just gave up too many HR's. He'll probably be remembered for giving up that HR to Geoff Blum in the World Series. GEOFF BLUM!
Eric Bruntlett will probably not make the team also. Sorry, Eric, but being good defensively at most positions isn't enough, especially with guys like Mark Loretta and Orlando Palmeiro, both of whom will probably put up better offensive numbers than you would.
From everything that Garner has said, it looks like Wandy Rodriguez and hopefully Fernando Nieve will be the 4th and 5th starters. Wandy Rodriguez - ugh. Nieve has done quite well this spring; unfortunately, neither Chris Sampson or Matt Albers has been great, so it looks like we're stuck with Wandy for a bit.
A few interesting Astros spring training statistics:
Jason Lane is hitting .250 / .323 / .589 with 5 HR and 6 BB in 56 AB's.
Morgan Ensberg is hitting .286 / .375 / .510
Eric Munson - .395 / .477 / .553
Adam Everett - .119 / .229 / .190
Hunter Pence - .571 / .647 / 1.071!!!
Woody Williams - 9.92 ERA, 26 hits in 16.1 innings
Fernando Nieve - 2.81 ERA, 4 BB / 12 K in 16.0 innings
Matt Albers - 3.21 ERA, 12 BB (!!!!!!) / 6 K in 14.0 innings
Chris Sampson - 7.36 ERA, 5 BB / 9 K in 11.0 innings
Wandy Rodriguez - 5.40 ERA, 12 BB (!!!!) / 8 K in 11.2 innings
Rick White - 0.00 ERA, 2 BB / 8 K in 11.0 innings
Paul Estrada - 0.00 ERA, 0 BB / 6 K in 5.1 innings
Trever Miller - 0.00 ERA, 1 BB / 10 K in 8.0 innings - only 1 hit allowed!
That bullpen is looking pretty nice. Hopefully Paul Estrada gets a chance to fill in for whichever of Rick White / Dave Borkowski falls apart. A front 5 of Lidge / Wheeler / Qualls / Miller / Estrada is good. Unless Lidge goes wild again.
Oh, and Andy showed me that our blog was listed in Sports Illustrated. They put 4 different blogs for each team on the "Team Preview" page, and we were #4 for the Astros, along with Astros Daily, The Crawfish Boxes, and...someone else, sorry.