Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So...what now?

When one-half of your platoon goes down for the year, do you still have a platoon? I doubt Cecil Cooper has given too much thought to it. But I have.

Geoff Blum hasn't received more than 400 ABs in a season since 2003. This opens up another infield spot, and I'm going to guess it goes to Chris Johnson. Blum crack-a-lacked 14 homers in a limited role, partially due to Ty Wigginton's arrival (who, it seems, might have been worth holding on to, particularly if the Astros knew Boone had a heart concern). To be fair, Wigginton signed at the price he did because the Astros did not offer him arbitration. We're talking about a difference in $5-6 million, so there were larger forces at work.

So hopefully this forces the Astros to start towards giving the young guys a chance. Meaning if the Astros sign Vinny Castilla, I'm going to claw my eyes out. If Blum gets his 325-400 ABs, that means there are between 200-250 ABs open at third base, which, hopefully, would go to Chris Johnson. Blum has hit 67 of his 85 career homers and has a .393 SLG as a left-handed hitter (he goes both ways. Stop it.) So if Johnson picks up those at-bats, we have a platoon again.

Which then opens up another back-up infield spot, and I would give the nod to Jason Smith at this point. So far this spring he's hitting .448 (13x29)/.484/.629. And he's a lefty who has played every infield position.