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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Pence to Round Rock Already A Done Deal?

I guess hitting .652 just doesn't cut the mustard anymore. Today's Chronicle features an infuriating article that features Astros management more or less assuring the fans that Hunter Pence is bound for Round Rock, regardless of what the rest of the spring holds. Well, he isn't hitting 1.000, so I guess Pence should be demoted. Makes total sense, right?

What? I've said it once, and I'll say it again: How can you field your "best team" (as Garner says he intends to do) and not include the guy who is easily having the best spring? This is maddening.


Blogger Bouj said...

I've said it before: the Purpura/Garner tandem butchers roster moves like no other team in baseball. Keeping Lane and Wandy in the majors last season, the Palmerio Bereavement Leave debacle, and almost any situation involving the young talent (Burke, Hirsh, Albers, Sampson, etc) are all glaring examples.

It's OK. Pence will finally get his chance once he turns 26 or 27. Gotta make sure he's seasoned at AAA.jvlnamln

Thu Mar 15, 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How can you field your 'best team' (as Garner says he intends to do) and not include the guy who is easily having the best spring?"

Because you realize that spring training stats are basically meaningless. Pence may or may not deserve a shot, but(assuming you don't want to waste him pinch-hitting) he has to beat out Lane, Scott, or Burke. All of whom are having ok springs, and all of whom have produced above AA.

The idea that the Astros don't give their prospects a shot is BS, in my opinion.

Lane: He was blocked in the OF by, at various times, Moises Alou, Lance Berkman, Daryle Ward(who was about as young as Lane at the time, with about as good stats), Richard Hidalgo, Craig Biggio, and Carlos Beltran. Who, out of those, are you going to replace with him? Biggio maybe, but he had to move in order to get Kent. You can say the Astros should have traded him, and I'd agree, but that has nothing to with not giving young talent a shot.

Luke: Luke was 26 when we got him, and was given the starting job the year after he got here. Blame Cleveland for taking too long in developing him, not the Astros.

Burke: He was blocked by a HOFer. What were the Astros supposed to do, cut Biggio? Instead they got him ABs in the OF, as opposed to letting him waste away in AAA

Those seem to be the three main ones that people bring up as examples, but people ignore Willy Taveras(22 when he was first called up, 23 when he was starting), Daryle Ward(blocked by great hitters, but still got 150 ABs at 24 and ~200-400/year the rest of his Astros career), Hidalgo(300 ABs at 24, starter at 25), Berkman(starter at 24), Lugo(starter at 24) and Bobby Abreu(~200 ABs at 23). As for pitching, in recent years the Astros have had Carlos Hernandez(22), Oswalt, Wade Miller, Scott Elarton, Kirk Saarloos, Tim Redding, Fernando Nieve, Matt Albers(All 23), Jason Hirsh, Taylor Buchholz(24), Chad Qualls, Ezequiel Astacio Brandon Backe(25) and finally Lidge(injury-plagued) and Wandy(also injury-plagued, if you count sucking as an injury :)) at 26 years old.

Most of these players, both hitting and pitching got their start at around 23 or 24, which happens to be about the average age of prospects in the 2000's. There's just no evidence that Astros prospects "get their chance" at ages higher than the rest of the league.

Sat Mar 17, 01:53:00 AM  

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