Archive for March, 2010

Catcher Position Settled, For Now

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , on March 30, 2010 by beckeesh

Today J.R. Towles outlasted Jason Castro, earning the starting catcher job out of Spring training for the second time in three seasons.

And I thought my Towles autographed hat was going to go the way of my autographed Billy Spiers photo and the minor league ball that Chamo signed for me in the rain.

Whatevs!  Towles is here, probably not to stay, but for the time being.

Astros Spring Training: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not

Posted in Houston Astros on March 21, 2010 by beckeesh

The Astros are 10-7 this Spring, and everyone knows Hunter has been smacking the you-know-what out of the ball, and Towles has been crazy!  Reading the press and blogs, plus getting a chance to see our b-listers take BP off of Papelbon today, got me all giddy with dreams of a 100 win season.  Plus, Matsui hit one out again?

I was all set to post about free agency and its possible positive impact on our club’s 2010 season.  (Matsui and Myers came to mind first. Then I found that Kaz is hitting only .242 in 33 ABS and Myers has an ERA of 6.43 in 14 IP.)

So I decided that instead I would post who appears to be doing well, and who doesn’t.


Hunter Pence, with an amazing .467 avg in 30 ABS, has 3 HR and team-leading 14 RBIs

Chris Johnson, .314 in 35 ABs, 3 HR, 11 RBIs

J.R. Towles, hitting .478 in 23 ABs, 2 RBIs

Pedro Feliz, .400 in 30 ABs, 3RBIs

Edwin Maysonet, .409 in 20ABs, 3RBIs

Geoff Blum, .344 in 32 ABs, 5 RBIs

Carlos Lee, .308 in 26 ABs, 1 HR, 6 RBIs

Roy Oswalt, 0.00 ERA in 6 innings, 4 BB, 3 K

Chris Sampson, 3.38 ERA in 8 IP, 0 BB, 5 K

Samuel Gervacio, 1.29 ERA in 7 IP, 2 BB, 8 K


Humberto Quintero, .222 in 27 ABs, 2 RBIs

Jeff Keppinger, .238 in 21 ABS, 2 RBIs

Michael Bourn, .209 in 29 ABS, 3 RBIs

Bud Norris, 10.8 ERA in 6.2 IP, 4 HR, 6 BB, 5 K

Wandy Rodriguez, 9.0 ERA in 9 IP, 4 HR, 3 BB, 9 K

Wesley Wright, 8.53 ERA in 6.1 IP, 2 HR, 3 BB, 5 K

Tim Byrdak, 9.00 ERA in 5 IP, 1 HR, 3 BB, 2 K

On the whole, these stats are uplifting me, but not much.  We need Wandy to do well this year, 15 wins well.  And Norris needs to come through, too.  Michael Bourn has to hit better than that.  Feliz, Maysonet, and Sampson are good to see in the “hot” category.

Based on these numbers, I’m mildly optimistic, and willing to up my win prediction from 72 to 75.

What say you, Astros fans?  Will we hit .500 with this team?  Make your fearless predictions here.

Willy T. or Wand-y?-Easy Beckeesh – Michael B.

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2010 by Astropolithecus

This one’s easy.

You go for the funny, fiery, all out flying machine.

The battling one man OBP Machine. The man with natural highlights. The poor man’s Hanley Ramirez with the legs of Mr.Fantastic.

The Pink Panther of second base. The newest clutch-crashing, dive-swiping Killer B.

The Gold Glove with a purple heart. The Houston Hill Topper. Center Shield.

You See Beck, as lovely and wily as old Willy T. is, and as much as it hurt when he left town for Coors, he never busted out like the new man of the hour.

Why worry about the one that got away, when an even bigger, flashier fish patrols the waters behind  your other man, the new three pitch Wandy.

Becky, it’s time to have closure. It’s time to start dating other hustle.

Baby, you were Bourn to run.


Willy T. v. Wandy: What do I do?!

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , on March 17, 2010 by beckeesh

Wandy pitched well today.  He struck out 7 and gave up only 2 earned runs, both solo shots, in a 70 pitch, 4 inning effort.  The Astros beat the Nationals 11-2.

One of the home runs belonged to my man, Willy T.

See, it’s situations like this that make me cringe.  As an Astros fan who latches on to certain players and never lets go, I had a crisis today.

Willy is 1 for 12 off Wandy in regular season play… but what if he’s got his number now?!  What will I do?!

Of course, yes, it depends on the situation:

Are we in the playoff chase?  Oh wait, we’re the disAstros… Are we one game out of the cellar?

Are there runners on base?  Or, OK, is there one runner on base?

Are we ahead by 10 runs?  Oh, wait, sorry, Spring Training scores have me all out of whack…  Are we ahead by 3 runs?

And how is Wandy feeling?  Is JJO misquoting him in the media again? Is little Walinda sick? Oh wait, JJO isn’t around, and we still don’t get decent Wandy coverage!!!

People, I am an Astros fan, first and… first.  So, you know, the important factors, I’ll take them into consideration.  I’ll add them all up and divide and quantify before I make the decision to I tearfully root for…

Willy T.?  or Wandy?

Wandy? Wandy?

Posted in Houston Astros with tags on March 10, 2010 by beckeesh

Wandy got rocked today.

I was sad, but then I remembered that my last post – just yesterday – was titled, “Matsui Goes Yard Off Santana.”

Smell it – it’s springtime!

Matsui Goes Yard Off Santana

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , on March 9, 2010 by beckeesh

Contract year, what!

Does anyone else have MLB network?

Ooh,  Jason Michaels is up. Gotta go!

Hunter Pence Shows Flash of Ausmus Spring Greatness

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , , , on March 4, 2010 by beckeesh

And he better!

The Astros took BP off of the Nationals in the Spring Opener today. There were home runs all around!

All I know is I hope Pence keeps it up this spring and into the regular season.

Frequent readers of this blog know that I have a perhaps irrational belief in some players on our team, such as Wandy Rodriguez and Wesley Wright.  Well, I have an equally irrational distaste for others on our team, such as Geoff Blum and Hunter Pence.

Listen, I want them to do well, I just… eh.

With Hunter, it’s the “aw shucks” routine.  It bothers me.  Tons.  Dude, if you want to hide your private life from the media, then be like Biggio and offer the “respect the game” line.  There’s still life in that!

I think that actually Hunter enjoys the spotlight, but he wants it on his terms.  He wants to be able to be a reckless young MLB player in his private life and have adulation in his professional life, so he pretends to be all dumb and gracious.  Hunter, we all grew up with people just like you.  You spend all weekend drinking and all week sucking up.   It’s gonna catch up to you.

So, yeah, I tire of the “aw shucks” bit.  I also tire of his 100+ strikeouts every year.  I also tire of his habit of doing nothing when the bases are loaded. In 2009 he was 0 for 11 in this situation.  I know I’ve blogged about it before.

Other game notes reveal that Jason Michaels hit one out, too!  Yes, Jason Michaels!

Wait, Who is Cory Sullivan?

Posted in Houston Astros with tags , , on March 1, 2010 by beckeesh

Back in January we signed Cory Sullivan to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.

With all the hooplah (in my house, there was hooplah) around the possible Willy T. signing that didn’t happen; I got curious about this extra outfielder.  Yes, extra still meaning in addition to Jason Michaels.

You may remember Sullivan as a Rockie.  If you followed the team at all in 2005 or 2006, then you would.  He was the starting center fielder for the Rox.  This changed in 2007, when (of course!) Willy T. arrived to camp. Sullivan lost the job and hasn’t played a full season since. (He was signed to a major league deal by the Mets in ’09, playing in 64 games but taking the field in only 46.)

His transaction history on looks like this:

January 20, 2010 Signed to a minor league contract
March 27, 2009 Sent to minors
August 14, 2008 Sent to minors
July 29, 2008 Purchased from minors
June 13, 2008 Outrighted to minors
June 06, 2008 Sent to minors
May 25, 2008 Called up from minors
March 28, 2008 Sent to minors

So, who is Cory Sullivan?  Another guy at camp, I guess.

Games start Thursday!