How Long is the Leash on Bourn???

As you all know, the Astros just sent J.R. Towles down to AAA Round Rock due to his ineffectiveness at the plate and brought up Humberto Quintero.  The Astros still have at least one player (in my opinion) that they need to make a move on... they need to either send Bourn down to the minors and get him some steady playing time where it's not going to kill the big league team, or keep him on the Astros as a bench player.  I suggest sending him down.  Bourn needs playing time but we can't afford him to get that playing time with the Astros.  I mean he is supposed to be our lead-off hitter of the future, but his OBP is about .100 below what a good lead off hitter should be.  He doesn't take enough walks and he strikes out WAY too often.  When he gets on base he's fantastic... he even leads the NL in stolen bases.  He just doesn't get on enough to be of any use as a lead off hitter.  Like Towles, his defense isn't a problem.  He can play big league defense... he just can't hit.  You can see his full stats below.


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008 - Michael Bourn 57 215 23 46 3 3 3 10 18 51 24 4 .214 .274 .298

I wouldn't have as big of a problem with Bourn staying on the Astros if they didn't have a better option... but the problem for Bourn sits on our bench.  His name is Darin Erstad.  Erstad has been pretty good in his limited at bats.  Erstad in just under 1/3 as many AB's as Bourn has 1/2 as many hits, 2 more RBI's, 10 less runs scored and exactly as many extra base hits.  Not bad for a guy with 140 less at bats. 

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2008 - Darin Erstad 51 75 13 23 8 0 1 12 2 14 1 2 .307 .325 .453

So what do you think?  Do we continue with the Bourn experiment?? Or do we try and field the best team we can possible and start the better player?


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