In a move that doesn’t shock many people, Jeff Luhnow finally decided that Brett Wallace needed to be sent down to OKC. With Wallace being sent down, the Astros called up Brandon Laird to take his place. To make room for Laird on the 40-man roster, the Astros DFA’d Xavier Cedeno.
This was supposed to be Brett Wallace’s year. Wallace had the first base job to himself. Carter was supposed to be the LF, Pena the DH, and Wallace the 1B. The Astros let go of Nate Freiman making it Wallace’s job for the year, but Wallace seemed to not want it. In his 7 games played this year, Wallace went 1/24 (.042) with two walks and 17 strikeouts. I know you may think I accidentally put a 1 in front of the 7, but it was no mistake. Wallace was terrible. Horrendous. Dreadful. I’m sure you can think of many negative ways to describe Wallace this year and almost all of them would work, and would be warranted. He looked lost at the plate the whole year, swinging at pitches he shouldn’t be swinging at, and swinging through hittable pitches as well. For all the talk about his new approach to the plate, none of it showed this season. His good spring went to waste, and now he finds himself in OKC.
Of course Wallace will probably mash in OKC. In 86 games in 2012, Wallace hit 16 home runs with a .300 AVG and .885 OPS. He has always torn up the minors, and I expect him to do the same this year. Wallace, the 13th overall pick in the 2008 draft, will still have his chances with the Astros. If he starts hitting well, we could see him back in June trying to get his first base job back. Wallace is still just 26 years old, and I don’t see the Astros giving up on him just yet.
With Wallace down, the Astros brought up Brandon Laird to replace him at 1B. I don’t expect Laird to be the everyday 1B, but he adds versatility to the club. He can play both first base and third base and does a better job defensively at third base than Wallace. Laird has been hitting well this year at OKC with a .326 AVG, .854 OPS, and 1 HR in 46 at-bats. We will see how Porter decides to switch up the lineup with Laird on the team, but Laird deserves the call-up, and will have a chance to get playing time at least a few times a week if not more.
To make room for Laird on the 40-man roster, the Astros DFA’d Xavier Cedeno. Cedeno struggled mightily this year with an 11.37 ERA and 2.68 WHIP in 6.1 IP. We will see next week if another team takes a chance on Cedeno.
With the extra spot on the 25-man roster, it seems like the Astros will look to add a pitcher according to Jeff Luhnow. The most logical choice would be the activation of Travis Blackley who will be on a rehab assignment tonight in OKC. If it’s not Blackley, the Astros may look at OKC for a reliever, make a small trade, or possibly look into the FA market.