After tossing two scoreless innings (you read it right, TWO SCORELESS INNINGS) with two hits, a free ride to first and one K, Brandon Backe left the game with a strain in his left side. This "injury bug" is just the latest and doesn't make me feel very good either. As most know, I really don't like Backe. So in my mind, I'm already looking for a replacement. My list is as follows in no particular order:
Russ Ortiz - Ortiz is 5 years removed from his last effective season in the majors. Once a great pitcher, Ortiz hasn't pitched in the previous 18 months due to two surgeries, one of them being Tommy John. As you may know, most pitchers either take almost two years to recover or just don't ever fully recover. The dice is being rolled as we speak so to say. Ortiz has been midly succesful, which leads me to believe most of the TJ surgery is behind him. At this point, I would love for him to have a spot and show the brilliance he once had with the Giants/Braces in the 1998-2004 years. As I typed that, I realized wow. another older guy. Hmm.
Clay Hensley - A native Tomball boy, Hensley has shown he loves him some Texas by signing a $550K minor league deal with invite to camp in December. Hensley is another "recovering from injury player", having shoulder issues and a "backe strain" last season with the Monks (Pad's). Hensley, who once shared a bullpen with Broacail, comes highly touted from the journeyman and was pretty excited when he heard the news. I think Hensley has the most upside as he did show signs of brilliance in the recent past. he showed a 3.71 ERA in 2007 over 29 starts for the Pad's.
Polin Trinidad - "In Double-A Corpus Christi, lefty Polin Trinidad was named Pitcher of the Month for his 2.51 ERA and 2-1 June record, his second time winning the honor. He previously won it for Class A Salem in April." Although Trinidad has no big league experience, I hardly doubt the Astros are in a position to use that as an excuse. Polin has sparkled in The Hooks' system and won't be much longer before he will need to be utilized.
Other mentionables: Gilbert De La Vara, Brad James, Tyler Lumsden.
Most of the other guys of mention will probably end up at RR. If you want to include one, go right ahead, plead your case.