Each ML team has 25 roster spots. Those are valuable spots. The idea is to have 25 players who contribute something to the team, or at least don't hurt the team.
In '07, Astros roster management was terrible. Too much nonproductive deadwood that did more to hurt the team than help it: Woody Williams, O. Palmeiro, Borkowski, Moehler (actually, he was kind of a neutral, did OK as a mopup guy, but useless in game-on-the-line situations), Lane, Ensberg, Ausmus (offensively). Biggio as leadoff and no-range 2B didn't help, either, but let's not get back into that. "Can't-hit-a-lick" Everett.
Give some marks for improvement this year: Williams, Palmeiro, Lane, Ensberg, Biggio, Everett gone.
But there's still too much deadwood: Borkowski & Moehler remain. (Why carry ANY relief pitchers, much less 2 of them, who can't be trusted in game-on-the-line situations?) "O." Palmeiro has been replaced by ".063" Cruz Jr. Ausmus remains as an offensive liability.
Additionally, it's wasting one roster spot to carry both Blum & Loretta. They're the same player: old, limited range on defense, no power on offense, will hit .230 or less. They fill the same role -- playing multiple infield positions on defense, can contribute an occasional timely hit off the bench on offense -- and are simply redundant. Of the two, Blum's the keeper, because he's a switch-hitter and is the 3rd catcher. Admittedly, that situation is not totally Wade's fault. They offered Loretta arbitration hoping he'd decline & they'd get a sandwich pick for him as a Type B free agent. Unfortunately, the other 25 teams correctly evaluated his age and faded talent and no one offered him a job, so we're stuck with him.
That's really the key to evaluating these players. Would any of the other 25 teams pick them up? No one would take Cruz, Jr., who's already been dumped by the Giants, Dodgers and Padres in recent years. The Astros are wasting a roster spot on him only because ... well, we all know why. I think Jose Sr. could outhit Jose Jr. if they swapped positions. Moehler would clear waivers. Some team would probably take a foolish flyer on Borkowski, but maybe we'd get lucky & it would be a team in the NL Central so we could crush HR's off him.
Time to bring up some of the AA guys (there's little talent in RR) & see if they can do better than the deadwood we've got. They could hardly do worse. Einerston or Iorg could hit .163 & be 100 points better than Cheito. Tommy Manzella could hit .230 and be better (defensively) than Loretta. Even a journeyman like Paz or Sadler would be better than Cruz Jr.
Until we get the deadwood that other teams won't touch off our roster, we're going to keep having washed-up, mediocre players losing games for us. Cooper's basically competing with a 21-man roster against smarter teams (Exhibit A: the Cardinals) who are productively using 25. Over the course of the season, that will sink you.