Saturday, September 12, 2009

Wright to the rotation? And lots of other notes!

So maybe the whole "getting Wesley Wright to throw until he runs out of electrolytes" experiment at Wrigley Field had some farther-reaching motives, as we read that Wesley Wright is expected to compete for a spot in the rotation in 2010.

Why? Because he's 24. And he can throw a fastball about 94mph.

Wright has been one of the topics of discussion as the baseball staff begins working on a blueprint for 2010. Third baseman Chris Johnson, shortstop Tommy Manzella, second baseman Edwin Maysonet and catcher Jason Castro could all be in the opening day lineup.

Those four players would transform the Astros from one of baseball's oldest teams to one of its youngest. With Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence back, there would be only two thirtysomethings—Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee—in the everyday lineup.

What does this do to the rotation? The first three spots are locked up with Roy, Wandy, and The Troof (Bud Norris). We read that the Astros are "almost certainly" gonig to offer a contract to Brian Moehler, leaving some competition for SP5. Among those candidates are Yorman Bazardo, Felipe Paulino (who continues to audition, apparently), and now Wesley Wright. It's a low-risk move to ask Wright to at least give it a shot, as they can just move him back to the bullpen if it doesn't work out.
As the Astros look to 2010, we read some more interesting tidbits about the bullpen: now it looks as though the Astros will attempt to resign LaHawk and Valverde. The money needed to resign both would be an offsetting of not paying Tejada the $13 million he'll get once September wraps up.

Valverde is certain to get a raise, probably to $10 million/year. LaHawk got $3.5 for 2009, and wasn't a slouch, so he'll be looking at a raise. Will the Astros bring Tejada back? It won't happen for $13 million, but he's had a career year. With Manzella getting to see what the bench looks like, he'll be in the mix for SS1 come February 2010.