Thursday, April 2, 2009

Astros 7 Reds 2. Kepp on former team, Johnson rises like a star and falls to RR

Michael Bourn led off the third with a double, stole third and scored on a base hit by Kazuo Matsui. Darin Erstad knocked a solo homer in the sixth. Chris Johnson drove in a run with a triple in the seventh and scored on a Reggie Abercrombie sacrifice fly.

Roy Oswalt made his last start before the regular season, and threw only four innings cause he didn't eat his Wheaties.

Michael Bourn was an unusual suspect in yesterday's game. Bourn went 3-for-3 including a two-bagger in the third, and swiped two bases to push his Grapefruit League-leading total to 11. As I noted in a post not too long ago, Bourn would get the average up and only patience would bring it. He has hit .247 in ST, however, he has raised that average from a dismal .167 since late march to the current .247. Look for him to continue to grow as a player with the boost of confidence he is getting.

Keppinger on former team:

“It’s been exciting, actually,” Keppinger said. “It’s a better opportunity for me over here, and I like this ballclub. This ballclub looks good.”

Keppinger, 28, will platoon at third base with Geoff Blum, taking a position originally held by Aaron Boone, who is out for the year after undergoing open-heart surgery. Keppinger hit .360 last year against lefthanders and is a career .287 hitter overall.

“They’ll be on a left-right kind of (platoon),” manager Cecil Cooper said. “(Keppinger) is a guy who can also play short or second. There are more options there.”

When talking about his new team, Keppinger smiled as he looked around the clubhouse at the lockers or Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and Ivan Rodriguez.

“You look at the Reds, and that’s pretty much the kind of guys they don’t have over there,” he said. “They don’t have a big three-hole guy who can knock it out of the park in any direction and hit .300 every year.”

Chris Johnson shines before being sent down:

Third baseman Chris Johnson was reassigned to Class AAA Round Rock but will travel with the Astros to Corpus Christi for today’s exhibition and this weekend’s games against Cleveland in Houston.

The Astros’ top position-player prospect, Johnson hit .245 with one homer and seven RBIs in 53 at-bats in his first major league camp.

The move leaves the Astros with 28 healthy players and all but guarantees Jason Smith has made the club as a backup infielder. The other three players likely to get cut before Monday are outfielder Reggie Abercrombie, catcher Lou Santangelo and pitcher Jose Capellan.

1 comment:

  1. We're happy to have Johnson play for the Express this year. My family and I have always enjoyed watching talented ball players in Round Rock and then seeing them play at Minute Maid park (when their time comes!). We hope that Johnson won't be discouraged as we're confident he'll be back in the Big League soon enough.

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