The Astros officially added infielder Jose Vallejo to the organization yesterday, in the Pudge trade. He's expected to join Round Rock tomorrow.
“He's a 22-year-old infielder, primarily a second baseman. Guys on our grading system defensively and from a speed standpoint, they give him 60 grades, and 50 is average major leagues. He's got excellent range, an excellent throwing arm, a very good runner. He stole 40-plus bases in both '07 and '08. He hasn't been running as much this year. He has 10 stolen bases between Double-A and Triple-A. We think he profiles as an everyday second-base prospect or possibly a utility guy because we think he has a versatility to go play other positions.”
Have we seen the last of Mike Hampton? It certainly looks that way, as he will attempt to rehab his jacked-up shoulder to try and pitch again this season, though surgery is inevitable, given his partial-tear in the rotator cuff.
“My first question was, ‘Can I not have anything done and still be able to throw my kids (batting practice) and still play catch with my kids?' That's my first concern, really. You throw baseball out of the window and see about quality of life. I talked to Dr. (David) Lintner, and he said, ‘Eventually you're going to have to get some kind of surgery.' Being 37 I'm always very active. Eventually I'm going to have to have something done. When that time period is? Who knows. That's why I keep saying day-to-day....
...I'm going to approach it like I'm going to go out and pitch again. Hopefully I can go. I could have said (all the rehabs are too much) three years ago. It's obviously a question that I ask myself all the time. When is it time? Or do I have the surgery and continue to pitch? John Smoltz had pretty major surgery last year and he got back and he's pitching.”
Brocail will begin a rehab assignment in Round Rock on Saturday, pitching one inning on Saturday and Monday, and two innings on Wednesday and Friday. If his arm doesn't detach from his body, he should be ready to go on August 31 against the Cubs.
Don't expect to see players having good seasons down on Eddie's Farm in an Astros jersey come September 1, just because.
“September recalls, I'm a believer that if we're going to bring guys up, they have to have a role here. It's not a reward or a showcase, so I would doubt it. We'll continue to evaluate. I don't expect us to bring a whole lot of guys up. We have a few people coming off the disabled list that will be here. Our numbers probably won't be significant.”
Yeah. Why would you reward someone who has had a good season with someone else carrying bags, and getting a seat on a charter jet. There's no incentive in it. Whatever, any thoughts as to whom those players may be? I'm guessing Boone and Towles for now.