Astros Assistant GM held a live chat with the Chronicle this morning, talking about the Astros' youngsters. Here are some highlights:
-It's not likely Jason Castro will join the Astros this season, but 2010 is more likely.
-The Astros are impressed with Drew Sutton, Chris Johnson, Brian Bogusevic and Bud Norris so far this spring.
-Bogusevic is more likely to start the season in the minors to get consistent at-bats.
-Maysonet, Manzella, Smith, Kata and Newhan are basically competing for the 25th spot on the roster.
-Chris Johnson, defensively, is "major-league ready."
-Manzella's main problem right now is hitting the ball in the air, and then the ball not going farther than the fence. Tommy needs to be more consistent with his knowledge of the strike zone and his ability to make consistent contact.
-The Astros will let the Spring play out before deciding on Towles or Palmisano as Quintero's backup.
-Sergio Perez and Felipe Paulino project to be starters.