Thursday, March 5, 2009

No chance of having four outfielders, then?

It would be interesting, in the vein of LaRussa and Yost batting the pitcher 8th: Remove your 2B and place a rover, if you will, in shallow center-field. A speedy guy, like Bourn or Abercrombie, to cover shallow outfield and provide help for Carlos Lee and allow Bourn to cover more deep outfield at Minute Maid Park. Of course you wouldn't do this with a man on first base (which would complicate things as far as the lineup goes), to preserve the double play, but it's still an interesting idea.

The whole reason behind this thought lay in the fact that there are some good outfielders in the Astros' organization, and not much of a chance for them to play. In an AP article in the Brownsville Herald, we learn just how tough it is - and will be - for a prospect to find a place to play. Regard:

1. Carlos Lee is owed too much money for too long - and is still productive.
2. Michael Bourn was obtained for too much - and this is a make-or-break season.
3. Hunter Pence just needs to be in the lineup. He's a reminder of brighter minor league days.

And that doesn't include Darin Erstad and Jason Michaels, who have guaranteed major-league contracts.

So what of Brian Bogusevic? What of Reggie Abercrombie?

"There's a lot of guys that can play," Cooper said. "It's crowded. We've got two vets that are going to be hard to supplant but I can't say that we won't. I'll have some decisions to make when it gets down closer. You kind of know which way you're going. You've got veterans, Erstad and Michaels, that are proven major league hitters, so they have the edge over the other guys because of that but these kids are all making strong cases. We're going to see Bogusevic as much as we can and the same goes for Reggie."

Of the current five - Michaels is probably the most expendable. But why hamper the development of Bogusevic, who needs everyday ABs, to sit him on the bench five days a week? It's not a bad problem to have. It would be nice if the Astros had too many pitchers (but that's not the case).

Again, this is a situation that will - most likely - resolve itself in the next four weeks, but then again...it might not.

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