Well, Mills is the man and DQ has done a great job of talking about all the reasons why he's the acceptable choice now. However poorly they handled the negotiations with Acta, they got the next-best guy, which I'm happy about. Justice, of course, runs down all the reasons why Mills is the right guy. I especially like the story about Mills sliding into the dugout and staying in the game. Toughness is a virtue this Astros team could use.
Looking ahead to who will join Mills' staff, the obvious choice for bench coach is Tim Bogar, as I'm sure it'd be a step up from first base coach. I wonder if Mills will reach out to anyone he used to manage in the minors, like LaRussa bringing in McGwire this week. Any ideas on pitching coaches?
I know it's hard to imagine other news going on today, but here's a nice story on the Astros minor league from an ongoing series on FanGraphs. I disagree only slightly on both Paulino and on Cespedes. First, Paulino was coming off an injury that forced him to miss most of 2008, so maybe he just needs some more time to round into form. I could see his numbers going down next year with more time and seasoning. Cespedes, on the other hand, appears to be a guy everyone loves to call a sleeper, but who never really taps into his considerable potential. Even though he had a respectable ERA when corrected for ballpark factors, Cespedes had some real clunkers and just wasn't consistent enough to make me believe he can be successful at the higher levels. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think once someone stays a sleeper for three or four years, they lose some of their luster.
I know that Justice talked about it earlier today, but I'm not as concerned about the Astros indifference to Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. Sure, he's 21 and a hard thrower, but who was the last Cuban player to make a huge impact in the majors? Livan Hernandez signed 13 years ago but every player from Castro's island that's signed since then hasn't really panned out that well. Kendry Morales has some potential with the Angels and Jose Contreras had some good seasons, but 40-60 million is a lot for some kid who scouts have only seen sketchily.