Thursday, November 3, 2011

Breaking: Wade claims player who looks just like Barmes

Astros County has learned the reason Ed Wade claimed Brian Bixler off waivers from the Nationals. Wade will let Barmes walk, and will try to pass Bixler off as Clint Barmes in order to save $4-5 million on the 2012 payroll. With the media so focused on Jim Crane and the ownership saga, and the focus on Andre Johnson's hamstring, combined with the general "don't-give-a-crap" attitude surrounding the fanbase, Wade felt as though he could make said minor move under the radar, put Bixler in a Barmes jersey purchased from the team store, and save millions.

The evidence:

No one would ever know. You're welcome.

Astros claim Brian Bixler

Courtesy of Alyson Footer, we read that the Astros have claimed Brian Bixler off waivers from the Nationals.

In 79 games - 94 PAs - for the Nationals in 2011, he hit .205/.267/.265, with 19K:7BB, while playing at least one game in LF, CF, RF, 1B, SS, and 3B. So he's defensively versatile, I suppose.

The 29-year old Bixler - the Pirates' 2nd Round pick in 2004 - hit .314/.439/.407 for Washington's Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse in 108 PAs. In five seasons at Triple-A, Bixler has hit .280/.357/.407, with more triples (27) than homers (26).

Interestingly enough, the Pirates gave up on Bixler on January 18, 2010 when they traded him to Cleveland for Jesus Brito. Then decided to take another chance on him on six months later (7/12/10), when they re-acquired him for a Player To Be Named Later. And then Pittsburgh sold him to Washington on August 7, 2010.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Castro, Escalona, Lyon added to 40-Man

According to the Astros' tranzactionz page, Jason Castro, Sergio Escalona, and Brandon Lyon have been activated from the 60-Day Disabled List and added to the 40-Man roster, which now stands at 39-Men.

So all of you who had hoped that Brandon Lyon would be sent to a farm in Connecticut are just going to have to wait.

Jason Castro named to AFL Rising Stars roster

Hey-o! Jason Castro was named to the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars roster.

This is the second award for Castro, after he was named Delayed Rising Star Since Said Star Had Already Started To Rise Yet Jacked Up His Knee Trying To Avoid A Tag In Mother F-ing Spring Training Team MVP.


Yankees officials explain why Astros dumped Oswalt

Here's an ESPN New York report explaining that the Yankees are not interested in Roy Oswalt:

Those concerns prompted a baseball insider with knowledge of the Yankees' thinking on the free-agent pitcher market to tell that the club was "very worried about his injury history. The guy's falling apart from that back of his. That's why Houston dumped him."

Good to know.

Justice confirms Astros tried to change Team MVP

OH NOES! The Astros got their feelings hurt by the local BBWAA naming Hunter Pence Team MVP (something first mentioned in the Crawfish Boxes podcast). And Richard Justice took the BBWAA to task for it (still trying to determine if he's actually being serious):

When the Astros learned Pence had been voted MVP, they were anguished. Not angry, but anguished. Wade typically ordered them “to take the high road” even though voters hadn’t.

I suggested they refuse to participate in the banquet. But they wouldn’t do this because it’s a fundraiser for Minute Maid Charities.

And to the little men who voted for Hunter Pence: You had your laugh. You made your statement. Please enjoy it. Your time is just about up.

Now a word about Carlos Lee. Whatever you think of the guy, he goes out there every single day, plays through pain, through losing, never complains. He has gotten a bad reputation around here because the Astros gave him $100 million. But it’s ridiculous to hold him accountable for someone else’s mistake. He is and has always been a two-tool player. That is, he hits and hits with power. If the Astros decided to give him five-tool money, that’s on them.

I have absolutely no problem with Hunter Pence winning Team MVP. Even in departure, he did what Carlos Lee could not do: provide a return (in Singleton, Cosart, and Zeid). And if the local voting chapter wants to make a statement about the team, that's their prerogative. The purpose of the media is to give feedback on the team, and that's what they did. If their "time is up" for giving said feedback, then what the hell is the point? Aside from tossing softball columns and blog posts about how great a guy Carlos Lee is, of course.

Tal and Ed were anguished that something as virtually meaningless as Team MVP went to a former Astro. I just wish they seemed more anguished about a 56-106 team.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Greg Lucas doesn't think you should hate the Cardinals

Here's why.

Qs, As with Jordan Comadena

Catcher Jordan Comadena, signed as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2009 season, took some time to reflect on his 2011 season with us over the weekend. Please do enjoy:

AC: After bouncing back and forth in between Lancaster and Lexington in 2009 and 2010, you spent the whole year at Lancaster in 2011. Did that help you in getting comfortable in 2011?

JC: Yeah, it certainly is nice to be in one spot for the entire season and not have to move around and disrupt the routine that you have set. Obviously this past season being my third in Lancaster I had a pretty solid routine that I would follow to get myself ready to go. It's also nice to be in one spot so you can really gel with your team mates and develop a nice bond.

AC: Despite a strong slash line (.295/.389/.432) for Lancaster, the coaching staff only got you 115 plate appearances in 2011. Did you get any sort of reasoning for why that was the case?

JC: Well actually coming into the season I don't think I was even going to be allotted that many. I started the year inactive and had to wait for an injury of some sort to even be on the active roster. I started playing outfield early in the season due to injuries on the club and that was what got me on the field initially. Despite my very hot start at the plate I was still deactivated a couple more times. I'm never really given any reason, I just know that its out of my control and I need to be ready when my name is called. I have a lot of pride and high expectations for myself, I expect to do well whenever I play, regardless of the time between my at bats. I keep myself ready. It is frustrating because I've shown that I can preform at a high level, I just need to continue to do what I've been doing and eventually I'll get a break.

AC: Were there any differences from Lancaster 2010, compared to the 2011 team?

JC: Every team is a little different from year to year...I've found that the quicker a team can establish an identity and its players know their roles the better and the more success they will have. The 2010 Lancaster squad was alot of fun in the second half as we made a playoff run. The 2011 team was similar in that we finally put it all together more consistently in the second half.

AC: Who do you look at from Lancaster and think, "That guy's going to be a star?"

JC: When I look back at this year, two guys stand out to me (besides Altuve who is already there, what he was doing in Lancaster was unbelievable). The first person is Jonathan Singleton - at 19 years old he is a physical specimen. He's very strong and moves very well. He's got a nice lefty stroke with power to all fields. If he continues to progress with the talent that he has now he will be a force. The other person that stood out to me was Johnny Meyer. He is the best defensive third baseman that I have ever played with or against. I would routinely be amazed at some of the plays he made look so easy. Offensively he's getting better, he drives the ball to all fields and he handles off-speed well. On top of his God-given ability, Johnny is one of the hardest workers that I've played with. He refuses to let himself fail and he will always find a way to get better each day.

AC: What are your plans for this off-season, and has there been any communication from the Astros about you moving up to Corpus?

JC: I'm living in Champaign, Illinois this year...I'm working a little and working out alot getting ready for next season. I have not had any communication with the Astros up to this point. I do hope however that another good spring by me will give me the opportunity to move up and play in Corpus next season. That is my goal to start the year.


Big thanks to Jordan for taking the time this off-season to answer our prying questions.