Ed Wade sent a shockwave through the fanbase yesterday when he announced that Jason Castro, Chris Johnson, and Jason Bourgeois would be called up, and Kevin Cash, Casey Daigle, and Cory Sullivan were DFA'ed (and Pedro Feliz was basically fired). Why was this such a shock? We all knew this day was coming at some point. But with the Astros there is a big difference between knowing what needs to be done, and then the Apparatus going ahead and actually doing it. This season just became important because, unlike recent years, it just may be that the team realizes there is another year beyond the present.
“They are not saviors. They are not perceived as saviors. They are not coming up here to save this ballclub. They are coming up as young players who we think can bring enthusiasm and give us a chance to see what they’re capable of doing in the midst of the season. The responsibility and ultimate accountability from a player standpoint still falls on the players who have been here for a while.”
“We have to see what some of these guys can do, and that’s why they need to play. If they’re the ones to go further beyond this year or whatever, we need to find those answers.”
If nothing else, the Astros now have two guys who have a chance to get better. Only the Pirates and Orioles have worse record, and no matter what the Astros tell you or themselves, this season is toast. These final 92 games ought to be a tryout camp.
Yesterday, and in the generic yesterdays, they were playing to win one game, perhaps to stay above .400 or avoid a sweep. Now they're playing with a plan. To take inventory. To see whether Johnson and Bourgeois can be contributors in seasons that aren't lost. And to give Castro a chance to traverse his learning curve in a low pressure situation and get a real look (not a 2007 J.R. Towles-sized look) at what he can do.