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Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Head-Scratching Acquisition by the 'Stros

I was shocked to read this morning that Mark Loretta will be signing a one-year deal with the 'Stros. Don't get me wrong--Loretta is a very nice player, a career .299 hitter with a great glove. But where is he going to play? Berkman is firmly entrenched at 1B. Bidge will get the majority of the starts at 2B. Despite his below average stick, Adam Everett's glove demands that he handle SS. And you've already got a platoon situation at 3B with Ensberg and Lamb. So where does Loretta fit in?

I really like the idea of adding another bat, but I can't imagine that Loretta is signing up to be a utilityman off the bench. The obvious conclusion is that someone is being shopped, but who? Ensberg? Lamb? This move befuddles me. Regardless, I'm pretty excited that T-Poo just afforded me the opportunity to use "befuddles" in a post.


Blogger Scott said...

Agreed 100%. Nice signing for the Astros, but strange that Loretta couldn't find a better situation for himself, although the Reds and Rangers are both seemingly set at 2B and SS as well, so maybe there just wasn't a starting spot for him anywhere. I imagine he's thinking that there's a very significant chance, based on last season's results, that at least one of Ensberg, Everett or Biggio either gets hurt for a considerable period of time or hits himself onto the bench, in which case he'll get some decent playing time.

Thu Jan 04, 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Lee said...

I say we shop Ensberg and platoon Loretta and Lamb at 3rd. I wish Biggio had already gotten 3000 hits, I'd much rather see Loretta at 2nd and Lamb play everyday.

Thu Jan 04, 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on people, Ensberg is the 3B. Lamb is the left handed stick on the bench and spot starter. Lamb is a bad 3rd baseman and a bad outfeilder. Ensberg just needs to be more consistent and stay healthy and hes a good defensive player. he's got pop and now he's drawing walks.
Why look a gift horse in the mouth Loretta is a great utility player. And a good signing for reasonable money. An insurance policy if you will for second base. Because they must be intending to play Burke in center.

Thu Jan 04, 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not that I can see into Uncle Drayton's or Timmy P's heads (nor would I necessarily want to), but it "feels" like the plan is:

1. Shop Ensberg (probably for a bullpen arm or 4/5 starter)
2. Play Loretta at 3rd base as often as possible and spells Biggio at 2nd base (Biggio will be getting 2 days a week off at least all year long, especially on the road)
3. Lamb comes off the bench

It just feels like this is the response move to the Taveras trade. Since Burke can't play 30% of the games at 2B this season because he'll be playing 80% of the games in CF, someone is needed. And if you light a fire under Ensberg in the process or get something for him, even better.

Thu Jan 04, 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Adding Loretta doesn't make a ton of sense to me with Bruntlett, Burke, Lamb, Biggio, Ensberg and Everett on the roster. There's a real logjam of mediocre infielders on this roster, and couple that trading away your #1 starting pitching prospect, et al. for a #3 starter who's a possible one-year rental (a move which also forced you to shove a weak-armed IF into CF full time) and a horrendously excessive contract to C-Lee, and the end result is that I'm not that impressed at all with T-Poo's strategery. Loretta's not a bad player, but his role is murky at best on the current roster.

Thu Jan 04, 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shop cris burke, get a real centerfielder and this makes sense to me. I think chris burke is overated,don't get me wrong, i would love to see him preform up to expectations as an astro but I think he could still get you something now on the market just on his percieved skills. I think this team desprately needs a centerfielder. I think Lane is the best fit we have on the team other than some minor leaguers and that scares me.

Fri Jan 05, 09:42:00 AM  

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