Stan McNeal has a new column up in which he praises the efforts of hitting coach Jeff Bagwell.
Rookie Jason Castro isn't going to threaten for the N.L. batting title, but after a sit-down with Bagwell earlier this season, Astros assistant GM Ricky Bennett says the 23-year-old catcher improved his average by "about 70 points in a matter of 2 1/2 weeks" in the minors and reached the majors a month later.
The 42-year-old former slugger has brought an old-school approach to the job. He is not big on video and he doesn't believe that 100 swings in the batting cage are more beneficial than "10 or 15 good ones." Today's hitters, he says, "find ways to put themselves in slumps."