Brad Mills and Ed Wade had unusually loose lips regarding the 2010 Astros and the lineup. Let's run it down:
On the departure of Tejada/promotion of Manzella:
Mills: You lose a guy like Tejada and close to 200 hits, we're going to miss him. We're not asking [Manzella] to be Tejada or a frontline offensive shortstop this year. We just want him to be himself, and I think that's a pretty good hitter besides being a very good shortstop. And Feliz has proven he can drive in runs."
Wade, on Bourn and Pence:
"A year's more experience from Bourn and Pence will serve both of them very well. Michael opened the season hitting eighth, and it wasn't until an appreciable amount of time into the season he was moved into the leadoff position.
"I think (Bourn) hitting first the entire season will serve him well. Hunter continues to make adjustments and we expect good things out of him, and I do think that Lance and Carlos had good, not great, years and are capable of having a great year because of the standards they've set for themselves."
Wade, on Feliz:
"Feliz gives us a guy capable of knocking in 85, 90 runs at third base, and I think we have the ability to keep him productive in the fact we have Geoff Blum that can play a lot of games over there as well."
Wade puts it on Matsui:
"Kaz is in the last year of his contract and certainly we expect him to step up. If not, we've got Blum and [Jeff] Keppinger who could both go over and play second base. We're certainly hoping Kaz goes out there and plays the lion's share of the games at second, but we do have an alternative."
Wade, on needing Lance to be Lance, and Lee to be Lee:
If Lance and Carlos are doing what they've done throughout their careers, that makes the opposing pitcher pitch differently to our lineup and gives great opportunities to whoever's hitting in front or behind them. Whatever way Mills decides to set the order, the big guys in the middle are capable of making everybody better."