Even though the trade deadline has passed the Astros continue to blow up the active roster. First the Astros sent Brett Wallace and Chris Johnson to AAA in favor of Jimmy Paredes and J. D. Martinez. That move appears to be paying some early dividends. Paredes became the first Astro to triple in his first plate appearance and Martinez has already collected eight RBIs.
Luis Durango was given a shot to replace Michael Bourn as the centerfielder and leadoff hitter, but quickly proved ineffective and was sent back down. You know what they say- one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. J.B. Shuck got the call up and has seen some action in rightfield, getting a hit and stealing a base in his first inning in the show.
Brandon has already chronicled J.A. Happ’s ongoing struggles and subsequent demotion to Oklahoma City. Hopefully Burt Hooton can get Happ straightened out so the lefty can be a contributor for the big league club down the stretch. Speaking of Hooton, I think it’s only a matter of time until he is summoned to the bigs to work his magic as the pitching coach. I was surprised when Doug Brocail was put in that position, having no previous coaching experience. Here’s my take on that little mystery. Drayton is not a fan of Brocail and figured that was the best way to get rid of him. Surely the new owner will make wholesale coaching changes and Brocail will become a casualty. Promoting Hooton earlier would have been risky in that sense.
Enerio Del Rosario has been put on the disabled list with a strained shoulder. Wesley Wright and Jeff Fulchino are the two newest members of the pitching staff. I was puzzled earlier this season when Wright was brought up and never saw game action before being sent back down a few days later. Although I think Wright has very little to offer, why waste the roster spot? After seeing Wright promptly cough up a homer last night to the second hitter he faced, I can see why Mills was hesitant to use him. But this begs the question I was asking all along- Why Wright? I think Fulchino is a good addition. The Astros have been missing a veteran presence in the bullpen.