Citizen Warren sent a question to the ol' inbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) today:
How about an update on Drew Locke? Will he be ready to play winter ball and will he start the next season in Triple-A? Any chance in a look by the Astros in Spring Training?
Excellent questions, all of them.
Back on September 1, we heard from Ricky Bennett that Drew Locke's broken hand would preclude him from playing Winter Ball.
That flat-out ain't true, as Locke is currently playing for Aguilas de Zulia in the Venezuelan Winter League. Locke has played in three games for AdZ beginning on October 24, had three hits in his first eight ABs, and went 0x4 yesterday. Wladimir Sutil also plays for AdZ, and he's hitting .306/.327/.367 in 14 games, and seven errors.
I would imagine that, after tearing up Double-A and given that he'll be 27 on Opening Day, he would find himself in Round Rock. The Astros don't have the best track record of promoting to the Majors based on a hot Spring, but if he shows well in Winter Ball and follows it up with a good Spring, he could be on the short list for a look by the Big Club, maybe for a September call-up.
Unfortunately for him, he's an outfielder, and the Astros are pretty well set at OF for the time being, with fatty Lee's fatty contract and Pence/Bourn being young. Take this for what it's worth, as this is completely speculative.