Notes in the Chronicle this morning detailing various recovering injuries on the team:
“They want me to run. I haven't run at full speed. Then we'll see Tuesday or Wednesday.”
He has run in the pool and done calf exercises in the weight room. He'll be on the field today or tomorrow and hopes to come off the DL during this series against Florida.
Threw a 40-pitch bullpen Sunday and is ready to take the mound tomorrow in Florida.
“The biggest thing is just command right now. In the bullpen, it's OK, but you can tell when you get in the game if your command is going to be there. I don't have any pain.”
“It's a little bit sore. I guess I kind of expected to find something going on in there. I'll go out there and throw a bullpen on Tuesday and see how it goes. Hopefully, it goes well and I can pitch. It's just something I'm going to have to deal with the rest of the year. I don't think surgery is an option right now because it would pretty much end my season, and I don't want to do that. I've had two meniscus tears in my left knee in prior seasons, and it's just something I've dealt with. I talked with the doc, and he said as long as I can handle the pain I'll be all right to get out there and pitch, and it's something we can take care of in the offseason.”
This will probably be a topic of discussion later today, but it's mentioned that if Hampton can't go on his next scheduled start (series finale @ Florida), Bazardo would take his place in the rotation. Which I would be in favor of, anyway...
Spring Training begins today. Boone will begin a lengthy rehab at Corpus today, and will be eased in "as if he were beginning the start of the Grapefruit League schedule."
“I'm ready to do this. I'm playing five innings at third base (tonight), and then I think I'm five at first the next night after that, then another five at third or DH. I'm excited. I'll be in Corpus, I think, 10 or 12 days. Then assuming things are going well, I'll go to Round Rock for a week or so and then join the team in Arizona and hopefully be activated on the first (of September), I guess I felt like (playing again) was possible. It was just pretty low on the list at the time. I knew probably in the back of my mind if things went well and I progressed well that I would try. That's been kind of my approach to it the whole time. If I'm feeling up to it, I want to try, and I am.”
If Boone is activated on 1 Sept, wouldn't that mean he would technically be a September call-up?
Will throw a simulated game today in anticipation of his activation date on Wednesday.
“I'm facing hitters, and we'll see how it goes. I still have an aftershock every now and then, but it's part of the whole shingles thing.”
So the Astros sit four games behind the Cubs, six games behind the Cardinals, and six games behind the Rockies and Giants (with six teams between them) for the Wild Card lead. It will be easier to win the division than the Wild Card. However, one of those six teams is the Marlins, against whom the Astros have a chance to put a dent in that space.
The Astros only have 22 home games left, compared to 28 away games. The teams between the Astros and the Wild Card lead are, in order: Rockies/Giants, Cubs, Marlins, Braves, and Brewers.
How many games remain against each team?
Rockies/Giants: In both cases, zero
Cubs: Three, all away
Marlins: Six, 3h/3a
Braves: Three, all home
Brewers: Six, all away
And then there are three games with the Cardinals, at Beck's Stadium, remaining.
So it's a possibility. A long-shot, but a possibility. According to Buster Olney, there is "a lot more waiver-claiming going on than expected." He also notes that, with the Brewers six games back, they could be waving the white flag. Know who else is six games back? Yep. Will the Astros wave the white flag? Probably not.