Friday, March 27, 2009

Tejada doesn't need the juice anymore

After standing up to his unimaginable crime of injecting his ass with syringes full of HGH, Tejada wanted to show everyone he doesn't need the juice anymore than Pete Rose didn't need to gamble on baseball. What? Anyhow, Tejada homered for the first time since hearing his sentence for possibly taking steroids (which was way too harsh, I think) (Sarcasm anyone?). Who needs the juice if you can jack dingers all day? Among his schlama damma ding dong was two hits and driving in two runs to lead the Houston Astros to a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Tejada went 3-for-3 with an RBI double and a single to back Roy Oswalt, who was making his first start since returning from the World Baseball Classic.

Roy Oswalt allowed 10 hits and three runs in six innings. OUCH, guess not being on the world platform doesn't give you that adrenaline sometimes. Bring it back next time Roy.

Norris, Towles cut

The Astros made two roster moves Friday morning, sending right-hander Bud Norris and catcher J.R. Towles to Minor League camp.

Norris will join the Round Rock rotation, but he will be the first pitcher considered if a need arises in either the rotation or the bullpen in Houston.

Towles was edged out when the club signed Pudge Rodriguez, which moved Humberto Quintero to a backup role.

More in this later.

Astros catcher Castro only top 100 prospect

Not like this is news or anything. We all know the Astros farm system stinks worse than that ugly girl you took to prom. I forgot to post this when it first came out. Not only that but I had two Monster Energy Drinks this morning on the way to work, so, i'm kinda ready to GGGGITTTY UP!. Have a look at the prospects.

Bits & Pieces

Bits and Pieces from around the Internet:

"Lance Berkman's improvement as a baserunner last year extended beyond his surprising 18-for-22 performance as a basestealer. "He also scored from second 16 times, after having done it only six times the year before, and was thrown out on the bases five fewer times."

"The third base platoon position is still not settled and neither is the backup infield slot. Otherwise, in spite of the fact that final moves have not been made, Lance is starting to hit like his usual self, Clank and Bourn are also picking it up and now that Miggy Te-roider has gotten his wrist slapped, maybe he will settle down and at least hit for average, if not power. Pudge Rodriguez appears to have hit it off with Wandy (thank God) as well as the rest of the staff, who, by the way, are still pitching decently."

Who is the NL Central sleeper team:
This division belongs to the Cubs, and Milwaukee finished with 90 wins. They're expected to regress, but even if they don't, it's not a Cinderella team. Houston finished 86-76, which shocked a lot of pundits and they're expected to finish in the basement. Okay, they could be a Cinderella team. St. Louis also went 86-76 but strangely seems to be completely off the map. There's another option. Cincinnati, like Florida, is trendy. Pittsburgh... next!

Rockies infielder Jeff Baker, unaffected by the trade rumors, homered twice yesterday.

Brian McTaggart of the Houston Chronicle talked to Astros GM Ed Wade about the difference between guaranteed and non-guaranteed contracts.

Boone's surgery a success

Aaron Boone underwent open heart surgery Thursday at the Stanford University Medical Center, and early indications are that the procedure was successful.

"I spoke to Aaron's father Bob and he indicated that things went well," Astros General Manager Ed Wade said in a statement released by the Astros. "Certainly our prayers are with Aaron and the entire Boone family in hopes of a full recovery."

Dr. D. Craig Miller was scheduled to perform the surgery, which was to include the replacement of an aortic valve. In medical terms, the procedure that Boone was scheduled to undergo is called bicuspid aortic valve aneurysm surgery, which included an aortic valve replacement.

The 36-year-old Boone revealed last week that he has had the heart condition since he was in college and categorized the surgery as "not an emergency situation."

Boone said he would like to play baseball again but was not sure he would. It is highly unlikely he will play again this year. Boone described the recovery time for the surgery to be "several months."

Courtesy of Alyson Footer.

Richard Justice wears flip flops year round

So when the Astros got Tejada Justice was beside himself. When Tejada hit well the first couple months he was in Houston, Justice said, "I told you so". When Tejada slumped the last few weeks, Justice, of course, barked up Wade's horrible trade history, wondered how anyone could trade for Tejada and criticized everything possible involved with Tejada. Well, Justice is now on the path of flip flopping like a crappie on the dock once again. I think last week Justice praised McLane for signing Pudge (steroid user), however, Tejada gets a thumbs down because he used steroids and got a slap on the wrist? Honestly, how does Justice get to write for the Chron? He should pick a position and stick with it. I understand Justice includes a lot of sarcasm, I can pick up on that, but writing something for the sake of writing it isn't a great way to work. Guess I just don't know enough, seeing as he writes for Chron and i'm stuck to my small piece of the pie.

Appearence on

Here is a link to an article on of some Astros fantasy baseball breakdown stuff I did for Kyle C. Have a look.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tejada Sentenced

"Miguel Tejada was sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service, in addition to a $5,000 fine, for lying to Congress about performancing-enhancing drugs."

Shame on you Tejada, and that gigantic fine should serve you right, all 5K of it.

So who is REALLY playing 3rd..UPDATE

Scouring the depths of the web for something to post today, I keep seeing possible players being named that the Astros may acquire. Let's take a look at who they are and the odds on getting picked up.

Jeff Baker - Uber utility man for the Rockies, who has spent a portion of ST dealing with an inflamed right elbow, is out of options. He specialized in second base but has played pretty much everywhere. He hit .309 in his first two major league seasons (07' & 08'). He is making roughly 400K, which is within the Astros payroll. He would be a clear upgrade over Blum/Insert name here. Baker is my first choice.

Mark Teahan - Another utility man, kinda. Teahan is just above league average in HR's, Avg, and RBI. He is currently 3B2, LF2 and has been playing 2nd in ST this year. Still unclear if he will remain with the Royals or not. Another good pick if the Astros can make something work, although, he is making 2 million and change. Baker still gets the edge as he costs significantly less and projects about the same as Teahan.

Melvin Mora - Originally signed as an amatuer free agent in 1991 by the Astros, Mora will not be with the Astros come opening day. Although his age (37) fits the Astros quite well, his price tag is around 7 Million. Nobody was really interested in Mora during the offseason and I highly doubt that even though the Astros need for a 3rd baseman are that bad. Compare Mora to Johnson and I think the Astros would rather just let the newbie work it out at the hot corner.

That is really about all I have heard in the rumor mill. I keep racking my brain to wonder who the Astros would possibly trade for and it just isn't working. I know the only real trade bait right now is JR Towles, but he had a lackluster spring and probably won't get many GM's peeing their pants to get him. In addition, the Astros would only get prospect(s) for Towles and they severely need a major league ready guy.

Unless Wade pulls a couple million out of his ass, don't expect much at the hot corner.

Another win.

So as you may have noticed, I haven't really been reporting on the Astros wins thus far. I didn't want to sound to pessimistic in their lose every day campaign. Looks like I won't have to worry about that anymore.

The Astros rallied in the ninth to win against the redbird's 4-3 in last nights game. P-Rod cranked dat like Soulja Boy in the 3rd last night for a solo HR. Jason Smith and Hunter Pence had 3 hits a piece. The biggest hit of the night came from Michael Bourn who hit, what Snoop would call a drizzler, up the middle to bring in the go ahead run.

Gret performances from the mound as well. Russ Ortiz threw 5 great innings. After breezing through his first inning, Geoff Geary was touched for two runs in his second. Wesley Wright picked up the win in relief with a scoreless eighth.

Next Up: Houston is off on Thursday, then returns to action with an appealing pitching matchup at home on Friday. Roy Oswalt will make his first start since returning from the World Baseball Classic when he pitches at home against Brett Myers and the Phillies at 12:05 p.m. CT.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ryan Gaydos with Bleacher Report thinks Astros finish 5th

I honestly think they finish better than that. Pittsburgh can't possibly be better than the Spacemen. Cincinnati does have some good arms, young speedy guys, however, they lost several key players including Jeremy Affeldt, Josh Fogg, Matt Belisle, Ryan Freel, Corey Patterson, Paul Bako, David Ross, Javier Valentin, and of course, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., and Todd Coffey were lost mid-season.

Still feel we finish a hair higher than the red birds and just below the Bre Crew, for 3rd in the Central.

Oh yeah, article here.

Paronto's injury better than thought

Paronto left Monday's game with what was originally diagnosed as a right shoulder muscle strain, but after undergoing a series of strength tests the next morning, the right-hander was told he should be OK after a few days of rest. The source of the pain, according to Paronto, is isolated to where the back and shoulder meet.

"I've been playing for 13 years, and this is the first thing that's ever happened to me," Paronto said. "I don't know how to go about it."

Paronto became visibly agitated when the injury first happened, acting more out of frustration than pain.

"I was panicked," he said.

Understandably so. Paronto has had one of the better springs of all Astros relievers, and while he isn't expected to make the club out of Spring Training, he's hoping to finish the month strong. In seven appearances, Paronto has earned three earned runs over 10 innings for a 2.70 ERA.

"I've never had anything like this happen," he said. "I've never been hurt. I've been very lucky with that. Things have been going so well this spring that this isn't a good time for this to happen. You want to have a good showing, even if it's an outside shot."

Courtesy of Alyson Footer

Wan-Rod doesn't need a manicure anymore

Apparently Wandy Rodriguez has no more pain in his fingernail. Whew, I was pretty scared for a second that his broken finger nail may hurt his mechanics and somehow injure his rib. OK, that was sarcasm, but it should be noted that this really could hurt him further. i don't know, guess I just don't like hearing that a professional athlete is pondering taking some time off because their fingernail is broken. Honestly, try using that as an excuse at your job.

Anyhow, Wan-Rod did appear stellar against the Mets. He allowed two hits and walked two, but did not allow a run in his longest outing of the spring. The true test arrived when he threw his curveball, a pitch that wasn't working for him last time out because he was unable to dig his fingernail into the ball as he normally would do.

This time, Rodriguez threw the curveball, and all of his other pitches, without any pain.

"I felt it a little, but I could control my curveball," Rodriguez said. "I felt it, but it wasn't bad. I need to work more because today, I missed my location a little bit. I'm going to be OK, I didn't feel any soreness."

Rodriguez is projected to fall somewhere in the middle of the Astros' rotation this year, although manager Cecil Cooper hasn't yet revealed how the remaining four will line up after Roy Oswalt. Cooper did reveal he's considering moving Rodriguez's next start up one day, to Saturday, "to line him up" for opening week.

Face it, Wan-Rod is our number 2 guy this year unless Ben Sheets, Andy Pettitte, Jake Peavy or Roger Clemens want to come this way.

"Da Foot" reports on the youngins' in camp

Good read, Cooper gives some decent insight into his mindset with the rookies. HERE.

Brian Moehler dodges bullets, Bogusevic's fate sealed

Brian Moehler is apparently dodging bullets these days. After taking a hit off his shoulder the other day, Moehler reports no lingering issues. he will throw a side on Friday and pitch on Sunday.

Copper sealed Bogusevic's fate in an interview when asked if he could be a backup option if Michael Bourn struggles, Cooper offered up two other options instead.

"We have two guys who we're counting on to play the corners and some center field and come off the bench -- [Darin] Erstad and [Jason] Michaels. And we'll have to look there before we go in another direction."

See ya at RR, buddy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Who, REALLY, is going to play 3rd base?

Scouring the depths of the web for something to post today, I keep seeing possible players being named that the Astros may acquire. Let's take a look at who they are and the odds on getting picked up.

Jeff Baker - Uber utility man for the Rockies, who has spent a portion of ST dealing with an inflamed right elbow, is out of options. He specialized in second base but has played pretty much everywhere. He hit .309 in his first two major league seasons (07' & 08'). He is making roughly 400K, which is within the Astros payroll. He would be a clear upgrade over Blum/Insert name here. Baker is my first choice.

Mark Teahan - Another utility man, kinda. Teahan is just above league average in HR's, Avg, and RBI. He is currently 3B2, LF2 and has been playing 2nd in ST this year. Still unclear if he will remain with the Royals or not. Another good pick if the Astros can make something work, although, he is making 2 million and change. Baker still gets the edge as he costs significantly less and projects about the same as Teahan.

Will have more later today or tomorrow.

Catch me on Astros County

Recently did an interview with Astros County. Very good guy, until we are both at the top and fighting for position. Muhahaha, yes, everything is going according to plan. Not only a great individual, but a good blogger who has very good stuff on the Astros. Go check it out! If you missed the Q & A I did with Astros County, check it out here.

In the Astros Blogosphere with Scott Barzilla

I have been following fellow blogger, Scott Barzilla with, for quite some time now. I recently asked him to be the first guest blogger on “In the Astros Blogosphere” feature that I will be entertaining weekly. Scott is an amazingly bright individual who spends his free time with his two year old daughter, playing golf and baseball. He probably has a better collection of Max Bishop memorabilia than you in his closet. Scott has a book coming out in the spring covering his first ten years as a teacher, which is entitled; Combating Ignorance: Inside and Outside the classroom.

Gambling vs. Investing

By Scott Barzilla

I’m sure you think you are getting stuck in a financial seminar, but really I am talking about two ways to build a bullpen. You can either gamble or you can invest. There are general managers out there that are good at both. Believe it or not, it is one of Ed Wade’s strengths. The concept is pretty simple. I’m sure most of you have noticed that bullpen performance tends to fluctuate from season to season. In many respects, bullpen performance is one of the categories that makes predicting the final standings difficult. The reason is that most prognosticators go by what happened last year instead of looking at what might happen.

When you look at the Astros for instance, you will see a very good bullpen. In particular, after Latroy Hawkins was picked up, the Astros bullpen was nearly spotless. Overall, it was easily one of the top five bullpens in the National League. Surprisingly, the Astros were one of the top five or six teams in the National League despite having a roster that looked mediocre or worse. This is one of the many reasons why some optimistic fans have picked them to win while most casual observers see the same mediocre roster. Before we go too far, we need to have a primer course in why relief pitching is so unpredictable.

You can split fans and analysts into three categories. First, you have your simpletons like Joe Morgan. They look at wins and losses. Most fans and analysts don’t fall into that category. They recognize that winning and losing is predicated mostly on luck. The second category looks at statistics like ERA and WHIP. However, much of that is also predicated on luck. The sabermetricians are the third category. We look at statistics called DIPS (defense independent pitching statistics). In other words, you can learn a whole lot more by looking at strikeouts, walks, and home runs allowed than you can at ERA. In particular, another statistic (BABIP) really opens eyes.

Relief pitchers’ relative performance changes more from season to season than starting pitchers because of the sample size involved. In 200 innings, a pitcher’s luck will typically even out which makes using ERA a little more reliable. In 50 innings, a pitcher’s ERA is very dependent on luck. BABIP (or batting average on balls in play) fluctuates wildly from season to season and as BABIP goes so goes ERA. So, a pitcher with a 3.00 ERA might easily have a 5.00 ERA the next season without changing all that much. A good gambling general manager can take advantage of that.

In short, a gambler will sign guys who had down seasons expecting them to bounce back. If you look at BABIP for instance, you will notice that the league average BABIP usually comes in around .300. After you remove walks, strikeouts, and home runs, that is usually where most hitters and pitchers will wind up. If you find a pitcher that came in well above that then you can expect him to improve with even average luck. Some teams (like the Astros last season) came in below that overall. With a good defense, you can expect quite a boost in performance. Naturally, the reverse is true for pitchers with a very low BABIP. The temptation of the gambling GM is the same as the conventional gambler. It is easy to see success and expect that success to continue. Thus, the Astros have the same bullpen coming back. Here is a quick look at their collective efforts.


Jose Valverde

72.0 10.37 2.87 1.25 .281

Latroy Hawkins

62.0 6.98 3.19 0.44 .279

Doug Broacail
68.7 8.38 2.75 1.05 .289

Geoff Geary

64.0 6.33 3.94 0.42 .228

Chris Sampson

117.3 4.68 1.76 0.61 .287

Wesley Wright

55.2 9.22 5.50 1.29 .252

Tim Byrdak

55.1 7.64 4.75 1.63 .235

You might be thinking that ERAs and won-loss records are missing, but you really don’t need them. You know that Jose Valverde is the best pitcher based on his strikeout rate. You know that the two lefties are shaky based on their high walk and home run rates. This of course brings us to the whole art of gambling. The Astros gambled and gambled big on Geoff Geary and Tim Byrdak. Byrdak was an outrageously lucky bargain. The reason the house always wins is because the house knows you are stupid enough to keep playing long odds if your first play is a win. A smart gambler knows when he was lucky and walks away. The rest of spring will tell us if the Astros are smart enough to walk away from Tim Byrdak.

Geary was a gamble, but a calculated one given that he at least keeps the ball in the park. However, there are rumblings that he is on the trading block. If that is the case then the Astros could dodge two bullets and end up with another solid pen. If they keep Byrdak and Geary in place of someone else they could end up being a bad pen.

Investing always sounds better than gambling, but really they are not that much different. The only difference is that investing usually pays off over the long haul. In the short term, they are one in the game. If Ed Wade seems more the gambling sort we can’t blame him too much. Investing in the bullpen involves having live young arms that will tend to put up the kind of numbers that Valverde, Brocial, and Wright are putting up in the strikeout department. Once you get that, you simply bank on improvement as we hope to get from Wright this year. Since Wright is the only pitcher that can be called a prospect, Wade can’t do a whole lot of investing.

The trouble with investing is that those pitchers eventually become arbitration eligible or free agent eligible. So, the hope is that they get it before they become expensive. Wade would like to get to that point, but right now he has to keep looking for bargain players in the hopes they will strike it lucky with their BABIPs. The problem is that Wade has never mentioned BABIP before, so we don’t know if he agrees with the principles I’ve outlined. If he does, you can easily find a dozen or so guys that were bitten by the hit bug last year. Good luck and bad luck rarely repeat themselves two years in a row. Of course, it looks like Astros fans will have to hope that happens in 2009.

Once again, Scott, thanks for the insight and see you in the blogosphere!

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is a test for a feature I am working on.

Alyson Footer's blog. Info for Pudge and Wandy.
clipped from
Wandy Rodriguez's next start was pushed back a day, and now the left-hander is tentatively expected to throw on Tuesday.
Rodriguez hurt the tip of the index finger on his left hand after being hit with a comebacker during his start against the Mets last Thursday.
"I was able to keep pitching in the game after it hit me," said Rodriguez, who gave up five runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks over two innings Thursday. "It just hurts a lot and feels like it's going to bleed when I throw my curveball. I even tried to [poke] it with a needle (Saturday night) to get the blood out of there, but the blood is still on the tip."
Because he digs that index finger into the ball when he he throws his curveball, he cannot pitch through this injury, as he discovered during a recent bullpen session.
 blog it

Berkman has an awesome day against the Marlins

Apparently Berkman decided enough was enough today and belted two homers, one in the 3rd and one in the 5th. Michael Bourn drove in a run in the 5th with a double. In addition, Tejada had a double in the 7th.

Looks like our big players are contributing and helping the Astros win some games.

Mike Hampton allowed three runs on seven hits over five innings, striking out four. Chad Paronto left the game after one-third of an inning with a right shoulder muscle strain, and Gilbert De La Vara yielded two runs over two-thirds of an inning.

Go Hampty!!!

NEXT UP: The 'Stros host the Met's tomorrow. Not sure what the MLB page is saying. Wan-Rod may throw tomorrow but will not work on his curve cause of an injured fingernail????? SISSY

Fox Sports Article on Hot Corner Candidates for the Astros

"Astros third baseman Chris Johnson is another young player who might benefit from more minor-league experience. He started last season at Class AA, then was promoted to Class AAA and batted only .218 in 101 at-bats.

The loss of Aaron Boone leaves the Astros looking for a platoon partner for Geoff Blum, a switch-hitter with a .310 career on-base percentage, .287 last season. Blum, like most switch-hitters, generally is stronger from the left side.

The Reds, to the surprise of several scouts, are considering trading infielder Jeff Keppinger, a right-handed hitter. Keppinger would be a perfect fit for the Astros, alternating with Blum and representing insurance for oft-injured second baseman Kaz Matsui.

Juan Uribe could be another possibility for the Astros if he fails to stick with the Giants. Frankly, the player the Astros need is Ty Wigginton, whom they declined to re-sign for financial reasons."

Crazy, that last sentence has been my sentiments all along. Astros really, really need Ty Wiggington back in town. I don't mind Keppinger. I remember picking him up in one of my fantasy leagues last year for a while. He was on a tear until he got some osrt of mild injury (if I remember correctly). Uribe may work but is pretty much an everyday average player. My wants for the Astros would be Teahan or Melvin Mora. Neither one of those guys are out of the question, with the exception Mora is a little bit more expensive but both are above average, barely.

Playing time swayed Pudge...DUH

Decent article on Pudge not signing with the fish and the reasons why. Nothing we didn't already know other than the fact that P-Rod is taking some ground balls at different positions. Could he have a good enough arm to throw from 3rd?

Mark Teahan MAY BE on Astros Radar

I posted several blogs (here & here) recently about who the Astros could snag up out in hot corner land. On my list is back up 3rd baseman Mark Teahan. MLBTR has a rumor that the Astros have either informally or formally expressed interest in Royal's 3rd baseman back up Mark Teahan. Nothing too particular on the subject and who knows who it came from or anything of that nature. As of now, I wouldn't look too much into it, although, that could have been said about Pudge.

Former Astro Daryle Ward released by Reds

Former Astro Daryle Ward was released by the Reds today.

Daryle was a former Astro from 98' to 02' He averaged a .281 batting average in through 1083 AB's. Ward has gone through 7 teams since departing the Astros in 2002. Most recently with the Reds, Daryle hit .259/.310/.407 in 29 plate appearances this spring. The Reds apparently couldn't squeeze him in for a pinch-hitting role. Fultz, 35, posted a 3.38 ERA in 5.3 innings.

Wonder who could use him? Maybe the Marlins? Any Al team with a horrible DH would fit Ward.

Cecil Cooper. Mr. Optimistic

Apparently Cecil Cooper knows something we don't. He predicts the Astros will win 90 games.

"We should win 90 games, without question," Cooper said this morning. "We have a terrific bullpen. We have one of the best closers in the game. We've got the ace in the National League. We've got three of the best offensive players at their position. We've got, if not the best, then one of the top catchers in baseball.

"I mean, c'mon. We've got what it takes. You're telling me we're not going to win that many games?"

I agree, but 90 wins is going to have to come from the players that he didn't mention. Bourn has to produce, Kaz has to be healthy, Pence has to show more than his sophomore slump, SP3-5 are going to have to win 5-7 games a piece. It's going to take more than Fat Elvis, Roy O and Lee to win.

I am glad to see he is so optimistic about this years team. Let's see in 13 days huh?

Roy Oswalt gets tattered by Japan, shows he is human at least....

Japan completely tagged almost every pitch Roy O could muster. He gave up up six runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings. He walked four and struck out one. The Houston Astros right-hander was 1-1 in three WBC starts, allowing nine runs, seven earned, in 11 1-3 innings. Not the best performance I have seen him give, but he got the rust out, performed well in most situations and now at least he'll be back at camp ready to go. No need to be worried about Roy Oswalt though, he has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the show since 2003 or so.

Hampton emerges as SP2, Wandy gets set back and Backe is at least guaranteed some money

With all the injuries happening to the Astros pitching staff during spring training, Mike Hampton is now being scheduled as the #2 starter. Not saying the guy doesn't deserve it. He has thrown great this spring. Well, great in comparison to the other Astros pitchers. Well deserved and if this provides any insight to the season, Hampton is on his way to a mid 3 ERA and hopefully more wins than we can count on one hand. Good to see some pitchers emerging as great players this spring.

Wandy Rodriguez will be pushed back to a Tuesday throwing after he attempted, notice the word attempted, to catch a line drive with his bare hand. Honestly, who does he think he is? Anyhow, this is how Hampton really earned the SP2 spot, but not that it matters as Hampton has been, is better and always will be better then Wan-Rod.

Backe seems pretty frustrated that he hurt himself. I would too, considering my job would be in jeopardy, but apparently Ed Wade feels Backe still has something, so he will be on the DL for the start of the season and is guaranteed the money owed to him. Keep an eye on ESPN "the Ocho" around April 2. That is the day he COULD be released, although I don't see it happening, it just might.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pudge Rodriguez is a hit!

Pudge was 1-3 on the game in the 2 hole today. The Astros beat the Nat's 1-0 and continue on a tear by winning the last three. The Astros are still on pace for the worst spring training record EVER.

Look at the hits my god!!!

"The Astros logged seven hits, including six singles and a Reggie Abercrombie double in the eighth. Carlos Lee and Miguel Tejada led off the second with back-to-back hits, but Hunter Pence grounded into a double play and Chris Johnson followed a Jason Michaels walk with a groundout. Ivan Rodriguez made his Astros spring debut with a base hit in the opening frame. Kazuo Matsui singled in the sixth, and Lance Berkman singled in the seventh. Darin Erstad drove in the winning run with a fielder's choice groundout, scoring Michael Bourn."MLB.COM

Things are looking up as the 'Stros continue a home game in Kissimmee against the Marlins at noon tomorrow. Pretty excited other than the fact the P-Rod won't be playing against the fish. Only 14 more days 'til the regular season!!!!

Weekend Round Up

Wandy Rodriguez's next start was pushed back a day, and now the left-hander is tentatively expected to throw on Tuesday. Rodriguez hurt the tip of the index finger on his left hand after being hit with a comebacker during his start against the Mets last Thursday. From "Da Foot"

Russ Ortiz pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Houston Astros to a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday.Ortiz, vying for the fifth spot in Houston's rotation, allowed one hit, struck out two and walked none. Lance Berkman hit a two-run homer and Humberto Quintero had an RBI single for Houston. Johnny Cueto worked five innings in his second spring start for Cincinnati. Cueto, who played for Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, yielded two runs and six hits.

The Brew Crew declined on Palmisano. he got stash in the minors!! Good for the Stros. Story Here

Pudge is hitting second in today's lineup. huh?

Right-handers Clay Hensley and Danny Graves, lefty Neal Musser and infielders Matt Kata and John Gall all got sent down to the minors. Graves may sign with another team.

Backe is on the DL for the start of the season. YES!!!!

Astros beat the Nat's. LINK

I'll be back tomorrow afternoon with some new stuff i got in the works