Friday, March 6, 2009

Next Game:At Braves 7:05 PM. Final:13-SKUNK

Fernando Nieve is slated to get the start tonight against Jo-Jo Reyes, who threw three scoreless innings last time out. Tonight will be the first night game of Spring Training. Nieve has a 10.00 ERA in his last 9 IP. Reyes has shown sparkling numbers of 1.50 ERA in 5 IP. Should not be to much for the Astros to worry about though as Reyes has a career 6.50 ERA against the spacemen. Nieve has a respectable ERA of 3 over 10 IP's against the Braves. More as the game starts.....................

Seems that under the cloak of night didn't help the spacemen on this game. Must have been the moon light or something. So, 13-0. Yeah, let me repeat that, 13-0. One more time for the co-worker reading over your shoulder, 13-0. Let's just get all the awful stats out in the open before I explode today. Astros: 2 hits, 4 errors. Those are the big ones. How about Astros hitters batting 2/29 in the game (.069 avg.). Nieve, Norris (no relation to Chuck apparently) and Gervacio (No link cause' it literally says "no stats available") all having ERA's over 10. I don't think anything else needs to be said about this game. Honestly, I'm feeling the same way Cecil is right about now. I know these games don't count but, damn, how much embarrassment can a team get by hitting .069 in a game. Cecil pretty much said what I think and the link is here. Cecil rant. Some notable quotes from the frustrated Cooper:

"If you lose, you lose. That's OK -- well, it's not OK, but you live with it. It's how you do it -- body language, the effort, those kinds of things. That's what bothers you."

Interpretation: Play baseball, damn it! get out there and hustle and make some things happen. quit playing grab-ass in the locker room and focus. Apparently Cecil Cooper is using the media to tell his guys that losing because you didn't play is not an option. Not only that but a closed door meeting during spring training says a lot about Cecil. It says he wants to win and isn't waiting for the lazy days at Kissimmee to end before he starts trying.

"A lot of people I haven't seen before," Cooper said. "You need to impress me in some ways. If you don't play well and physically get hits and get some outs, you ought to at least show me that you have some "get up" about you."

Interpretation: Pretty much everyone competing for a job is from the minor leagues and I have no idea who they are. In order for me to remember them, they are going to have to impress me. If I were a college grad such as these guys, i'm sure I could interpret that as "hmm, if I get a hit and steal a base, I bet Cecil will notice me."

I know this is still spring training, I know these games don't count, I know that the Astros aren't the world series- caliber team they once were and I know I have an Astros blog, which means I shouldn't be so darn pessimistic, however, after seeing "Braves blank Stros' 13-0 under the lights" or "Astros lose to Pirates" over and over again, it really makes me wonder, are the Astros doomed this year? C'mon Stros' give me something joyous to write about!!!!

Astros Projections for 2009.

First of, let's start with individual projections and rankings.

#1 - Lance Berkman - Even though Berkman will be 33 for the 2009 season, he is still one of the most reliable and dependable players out there. His usual .300 batting average, to go along with 30 homeruns, 100 rbi and 100 runs scored is nearly money in the bank for the 2009 season.

#2 - Carlos Lee - Lee has been one of the most steady fantasy baseball outfielders for the past ten years. Now entering the summit of his career in 2009 at age 33, Lee should once again be good for 30 homeruns, 100 rbi, 90 runs scored, 5-10 stolen bases, and a solid .300 batting average. Although I don't like his defensive play much, I do like him greatly as a fantasy player.

#3 - Hunter Pence - Even though Pence regressed a bit in 2008 after his outstanding major league debut in 2007, expectations will remain high for him as he will be just 26 years old during the 2009 season. Pence has the potential to be a 20 homerun and 20 steals guy, and 2009 could be his year to finally hit that plateau. Expecting numbers in the range of 25 homeruns, 15-20 steals, 90 rbi, 80-90 runs scored, and a batting average around .290 is reasonable for Pence in 2009. Plus he has a hot girlfriend.

#4 - Roy Oswalt -As the Astros pitching ace for the past seven years, Oswalt should once again be a top 20 overall pitcher in 2009. Expecting 15+ wins, 170 strikeouts, an ERA between 3.00-3.50, and a WHIP no higher than 1.20 seem likely for Oswalt in 2009.

#5 - Jose Valverde - Valverde reaffirmed last year in Houston that he can be a top 10 overall relief pitcher and closer in 2009, and best of all, Valverde offers excellent strikeout totals for a closer. Numbers in the range of 35-40 saves, 80 strikeouts, an ERA around 3.50.

Now, as a team I project the Astros to finish WAY, WAY higher than PECOTA. 67-95, REALLY? c'mon fellas, there is no way in hell that the Astros finish 2 games above the a** pirates! granted, every team in the central except the butt pirates have improved in the offseason. The Red's have bolstered their starting pitching significantly, however, they have lost most of the pop in the lineup. The cubs haven't improved significantly, unless they get Peavy. By the way check out Astros County blog about if the cubbies do get Peavy. The Cubbies are still a better team than the Astros but, the cubbies still have "the curse" going in the Astros favor. The Carinals couldn't close a game to save their life. In addition they are all lefties these days it seems like. The Brew Crew lost CC, although they do have a leaner Prince and Gallardo who is coming off a injury year as their ace. In reality (my world) the Astros do have a chance IF all the IF's work in their favor. The Astros need Hampton, Wandy and whoever fills out the rest of the rotation to perform PERIOD. The lineup is much improved although it is not new players. Bourn has spent time working on his dismal season at the plate and shows vast improvement. Miguel "I don't do steriods anymore"Tejada will do what he did last year and hopefully Kaz "anal fissures" Matzui can play at least 100 games this season. With that being said, C'mon STROS!!!

Once again, Hunter Pence's Girlfriend.

Sampson mixes with "general population" and Astros sign a Royal defect

Brian McTaggert reports Chris Sampson threw 40 pitches off the mound Thursday, mixing in some breaking balls and reported no pain out of his surgically repaired right elbow.

Sampson had surgery in October, appears to be in line with his rehab of his elbow. He will throw 50 pitches on Saturday and attempt some BP with the general population after that. This doesn't excite me nor worry me really. He will be back at the same post in the bullpen after being converted from the starting rotation last year. The only probablility of him returning to the rotation would be if Backe takes even more steps "backe". Some of you may already know from my previous blog on that I absolutely despise Brandon "don't taze me, bro" Backe. I would love to see Sampson Completely blow the Astros Brass away and earn a starting job at some point. So far my hopes and dreams (the baseball ones involving Backe) may come true. i know it's only Spring Training but Backe has posted a 9.00 ERA in 4 IP with 1 HR and 3 BB. Let's see what Sampson does in the next week or so and cross our fingers for Backe to go Backe to Galveston and maybe crash a wedding or something instead of giving up meatballs.

On a lighter note, the Astros were apparently scavenging the depths of the pitching talent and signed Neal Musser, who was designated for assignment on Feb. 19 by The Royals organization. Looking at "the cube", it doesn't look like this is anything of happy, happy, joy, joy with a career minor leaguer for the previous 10 years who has thrown 25 innings in the majors in the previous two years, with only one inning last year., however, it is nice to see the Astros making an attempt to make depth in the lower ranks Musser has a career 4.21 ERA in the majors and a career 3.78 ERA in the minors (since 1999). He spent the last 6 years with KC and i'm guessing that they had to see something in him to hold on for so long. I can't see that if he was that good they would have kept him in AAA as the major league club's relief program isn't the best in the league. Who knows, we will catch some of this guy in ST and see what happens. For now I would guess he will report to RR and find a home.

I was feeling in a weird mood today and attached some links to some goofy stuff, so check it out. It's always good to learn the weird things in life.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Make Room for "Pudge"?

It appears that no matter how many times Ed Wade Denies talking to Pudge, it's still a lie. WEEI Radio Network has an interview of Pudge saying that The Astros and Florida have "expressed" interest. Now does that mean he is coming to Houston, No. Does it mean he goes back to the glory days of Florida (steriod free and 50 pounds heavier), No. It does mean that in the end Pudge WILL play somewhere. On a side note, I realized I have to re-name my blog. Apparently "Full Count" is taken by the fore mentioned WEEI Radio. On an even further side note, Matt Holliday will out produce all of the people who say he will stink this year.

Thoughts on the abyss of catchers

I started wondering earlier, who is going to get the C1 spot. Well as I was thinking that, fellow blogger Astros County beat me to it. After looking at his post, I shouldn't have asked the "curiosity cat" either. Spring Training stats below are from Astros County.

So far...(BA/OBP/SLG)

Quintero: 0x9, 1K. .000/.000/.000
Palmisano: 0x5. .000/.000/.000
Towles: 1x6, 1BB, 2Ks. .167/.167/.286
Santangelo: 0x1, 1BB. .000/.500/.000
Castro: 1x3, 1K. .333/.333/.333

Although it looks dismal on the surface most fantasy "experts" are considering Towles a sleeper candidate (really doesn't mean much) with projections from CHONE over at fangraphs of 315AB/75H/20DB's/10HR/240AVG/4SB.
Quintero is still 0-Spring Training , however, he projects out the same basically with 290AB/71H/15DB's/15HR/.245AVG/2SB.
I really only added projections for the two above as I see them being the two that start the year with the big league club. After a little discussion with Astros County, I started delving myself deeper into finding the answer as the curiosity cat was still looking for a place to drop its "leftovers". Basically, my thoughts are this: Q gets the starting nod even if he is 0-1,000 right now due to his experience over Towles. Towles will not lose the C2 spot because he has been touted as the "catcher of the future"(which means he has a built in pizza warmer behind the chest protector or something) and the Astros Brass do not want to lose the public interest in him. Palmisano will more than likely be looked at again by the O's if he doesnt make the camp because of the O's entertaining the idea of converting Matt Weiters to a 1B. In all likelihood this won't happen anytime soon, though, it is a good idea. Santangelo and Castro are clear favorites for the Hooks and RR.

Thanks to Astros County for a little good conversation!

So what's been going on in Kissimmee?

  • Wandy Rodriguez has thrown for 14 minutes in the previous 2 days and somehow expects to start the following week. Wandy has a 9.00 ERA in 2 IP with 4 hits, a walk and no K's. I'm not surprised at Wandy's Lackluster performance at all this Spring. I'm not sure when you actually jump off (a ledge) the "wandy Bandwagon". Personally it SHOULD have been about 5 years ago when he was 25. The Astros would have been smart to get rid of him two years ago when he still showed "potential" as a 28 year old. I wonder if nobody within the organization wants to save face and get rid of the player they so highly touted (cough) Drayton (cough)......
  • A non-roster invitee with only a slight chance to make the team, Jose Capellan nonetheless impressed, firing three shutout innings against a strong Venezuelan lineup. Capellan walked one, allowed one hit and struck out none. But Felipe Paulino, a product of the Astros' Venezuelan Academy, allowed two runs in his two innings.
Very surprising news here. Almost hoping the guy makes the team, although, his previous, well, every year in the majors hasn't been impressive. (I don't want readers to get the wrong impression, so let me say this here: I'M NOT A PESSIMIST ABOUT THE ASTROS. Just seems nothing is very positive at the moment other than we haven't lost anyone to injury, the games don't count and Roy O is an avid speaker about leadership, steroids, and his hunting rifle.) Since being called up in 2004 by the Braves, Capellan has a career 4.89 ERA in 123 IP's. This seems to be the running theme with Astros pitchers these days and hope this kid turns it around. His best year in 2006, with the Brew Crew showed some signs of normalcy and what COULD be expected of Capellan with a 4.40 ERA over 71 IP's and 58 K's.

  • The only REAl competition for a starting spot this year seems to be at the backstop. Towles, "Q", as I like to call him, and Palmisano seem to have a fiery rivalry going. Cecil says that "Q" will probably get the nod, but nothing is guaranteed. Translation: I have no idea who is going to start but for now "Q" deserves a mention at least. My next update will cover some analysis of who really should start.
Who do you think should get the nod and why?


First of all, I been a little side tracked with getting ready for Fantasy, real estate stuff, and my twin girls. I hoped to have this up and running before spring training. Sorry!

I wanted to start off by saying, this is a blog. Not a multi-million dollar run site. I don't always type properly, nor do I use proper usage of the English language from time to time. I see this blog as an in between of and with a hint of Astros in it. I like to keep it fun and relax, it's just the Internet! First post will be an analysis of the roster chart as of that day with insight as to who gets the starting nod and who will report to AAA, AA, etc.

Also, any suggestions are welcome and hope you enjoy. You can contact me on here, by email (, through myspace (which I never check, its for the young kids) or if you live in Houston and need an appraisal on your home, VIA Citywide Appraisal Group, LLC.