Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Justice: Bring back Blum and Erstad, too

I can't handle it. This is too much. First, championing Moehler's return, and then being in favor of bringing back Blum and Erstad, because they're good at chemistry. (I guess the unspoken implication is that Roy and Lance aren't so good at clubhouse chemistry).

The Astros picked up his $3-million option for 2010 on Tuesday, and it's the right thing to do. In 2007-2008, he was healthy and a very decent back-of-the-rotation starter, going 12-12 with a 4.42 ERA in 26 starts. He didn't get deep enough into games in 2007, but turned in nine quality starts and a 4.56 ERA in 2008...

...Part of what the Astros hope to build for 2010 is a club constructed around pitching, defense and the right clubhouse chemistry. Hiring the right manager is huge beyond words...

...But it's also important to have the right mix of veterans. That means Geoff Blum, Brian Moehler and maybe even Darin Erstad. I'm not sure how much Erstad has in the tank, but if the people in charge think he can produce, he certainly adds something in the clubhouse...

... Now about that rotation. Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and Brian Moehler appear to have four of the five sports locked up. In a perfect world, the Astros would be able to count on one more young guy coming through. At the moment, though, there's not a guy you could point to and feel good about his production. The Astros seem likely to attempt to re-sign Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins, but let's hope Drayton McLane is feeling real generous this off-season and will give Ed and Tal enough sawbucks for one starting pitcher...

...One pitcher would dramatically change the shape of the club.


If the Astros don't trust the development of their pitchers, then it's time to make some coaching/instructional changes. They're asking Wesley Wright to become a starter. For Bazardo and Lopez, this was their first taste of Major League action. They didn't come out and go all Porcello on the league, but who's expecting them to? Paulino is still figuring his stuff out, and with an off-season to recap and prepare, two of them ought to be able to replace a Brian Moehler and a Mike Hampton. And if Ed signs Carl Pavano or Brett Myers, I seriously might commit a crime.

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