Friday, November 7, 2008

First signing of the post-season!

Go ahead and add ~$3.75 million to the 2009 payroll as the Astros will agree to terms with reliever LaTroy Hawkins on a 1-year deal.

LaHawk pitched in 57 games with a 3.92 ERA. Relievers' ERAs are a little misleading, as one run can blow up an average. So let's break this down a little more closely.

Acquired at the trade deadline in what I assumed would be a move simply to get an extra draft pick, as his contract expired at the end of '08 (and was thus wrong), LaHawk pitched in 24 games in August and September, but only gave up a run in one game - September 26 against Atlanta. When LaHawk pitched, the Astros went 19-5, and he threw an average of 4.2 pitches per batter faced. LaHawk's ERA with the Astros was 0.90.

This is a relatively expensive way to bolster the bullpen, but it will be nice to have someone in a 7th or 8th inning role who can get guys out on a consistent basis.

1 comment:

One Brave Soul said...

So the same guy that gets booed out of Minnesota, Chicago and New York is now going to save the bullpen? Granted he pitched well for the Stros at the end of the year but he is notoriously a pitcher that can't get the big out and has a lifetime ERA close to 5.

In regards to the previous post on the Off-season look up for Houston, I think they have a lot to play for. If they actively go after free agent Starting Pitchers like Burnett, Dempster and/or Lowe, they could very well stay below the $110 million line. By getting one/some/all of those guys, you wouldn't need Peavy and you wouldn't have to give up the prospects you already don't have. If they manage to sign at least one of the free agent pitchers, and maybe re-sign Wandy, then they can compete with the likes of the Cards and Chicago's other team. Hopefully also Oswalt won't lay an egg like he did in the first half of the 2008 season. It looked like Home Run Derby until about June.

The bullpen, I thought, was rather suprising. After getting rid of Qualls and Wheeler I thought they would be the doormat of the league but they held their own and if they can sign some of those key free agents from their team then I think they will have success again next year. Valverde was a monster, now a proven backstop, but he is still pissed about the arbitration and I am sure he will look to jump ship ASAP. The two left-handed reliever specialists played well also (Wright and Byrdak). On a side note, Byrdak has an eerie resemblance of Daniel Stern's character in the kid's baseball movie "Rookie of the Year."

On the offensive side of the diamond, I felt Houston underachieved horribly. I banked on them being close to the tops in almost every category and we know that didn't happen. What a great trade Miguel Tejada turned out to be. Giving up your only power hitting outfielder and some prospects for an aging and ornery shortstop that we can't figure out how old he really is. I understand that Lee had knee surgery but el Caballo needs to step up big next year because Berkman will get a slipped disk if has to carry the offense any further. Another trade that really seemed to help out was getting Michael Bourn in exchange for Brad Lidge. A week hitting centerfielder is always better than a closer that converts all his saves...right?

I actually like what Cecil Cooper has done. It looks like the guys really like playing for him. I also think Ed Wade has done an okay job. At least we can say the team is much more competitive than they have been. I also give him more respect for overcoming the itch to sign Clemens back. It showed he has rational thinking skills to let that jackass make a fool of himself.