Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sporting News' six players who can change the NL landscape

Really? This is who they chose?

Astros: 2B Kazuo Matsui
What was expected: The Astros were hoping their switch-hitting leadoff hitter could stay healthy this season. Matsui posted a career-best .354 on-base percentage last season despite three stints on the D.L.
What has happened: Like most of the Astros, Matsui struggled early. He then was slowed by the same hamstring that disabled him once last year, and he went on the disabled list in late May. The Astros started winning shortly after Matsui went out.
What's next: Matsui, hitting .219 with a .288 OBP, is scheduled to come off the disabled list today, though he told reporters his hamstring still isn't 100 percent. With outfielder Michael Bourn performing well in the leadoff role, manager Cecil Cooper has a decision to make if Matsui doesn't pick up his game.

I know Matsui is owed a decent amount of money - about $7.5 million between now and the end of his contract, thanks to some quick math. Would you release him?

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