That's right, TCB's (soon to be sponsored) Players of the Week is back. Who are this week's honorees?
Hitter of the Week: 3B Pedro Feliz - Continuing a hot streak, Feliz was 7 for 13 last week with three runs scored, two RBIs, three strikeouts, two doubles and a home run. His slash line of .538/.538/.923 helped him to a team-high 6.46 runs created, a .667 BABiP and a .618 wOBA. He, like many of the Astros this spring, hasn't walked much at all. In fact, Feliz doesn't have a walk yet in 21 at-bats. However, his defense has been sparkling. If he can keep hitting with a little average and keeps his average up around .260, he'll do very nicely in the sixth hole.
Pitcher of the Week: RHP Matt Lindstrom - Two scoreless appearances this week saw Lindstrom throw three perfect innings with two strikeouts. He also had a 2/5 GO/FO ratio and an FIP of 1.87. Lyon will start throwing in live, though 'controlled,' games Wednesday. Is that too much time for him to unseat Lindstrom as the closer? Evan brought up the salient points about the battle earlier today, but this may become more about time and innings pitched than stuff.
Let's see how some of the other players in camp have been doing with the Stock Watch:
RHP Brett Myers - slow riser: Myers had possibly the best outing yet by a starter on Sunday, throwing four innings while allowing two earned runs, three walks and striking out six. His ERA and FIP are still high, but he hasn't even thrown his breaking pitches much this spring.
2B Kazuo Matsui - rising: The oft-injured second baseman has been healthy and hitting well this spring. He went 4 for 11 with four runs scored, a double and a home run last week. While his stats don't necessarily mean his 2010 season will be better than 2009, it's a good sign that he is healthy and swinging the bat well.
C Jason Castro - dropping slightly: It was his missed games due to the flu that puts Castro's stock on a decline. While he still went 3 for 6 last week, those missed games might be just the buffer J.R. Towles needs to distance himself.
OF Cory Sullivan - dropping: Sullivan picked up two hits this week, but left another nine runners on base. He did play some center field and remains left-handed. However, he hasn't done anything with the ample playing time he's been given. Spring stats may be meaningless, but Sullivan needs to get his bat going in a hurry if he wants to make the team.
OF Drew Locke - quickly rising: Locke made a brief but notable appearance in big league games last week, going 2 for 3 with a run scored, two RBIs, a double and a home run. There's very little chance Locke makes the opening day roster. However, his strong showing lately may have made enough of an impression on Mills and Co. to deserve a midseason call-up.
LHP Tim Byrdak - falling sharply: Richard Justice has done a video and written an article on Tim Byrdak recently. His back story is inspiring and I'm certainly rooting for him. The fact is that lefthanded relievers are more fungible than most relievers. Byrdak is having a rough spring and had a terrible time last week (22.50 ERA, 13.50 FIP, 4.00 WHIP). He's still got the inside track on the lefty spot in the bullpen, but he's definitely on thin ice.
LHP Wesley Wright - falling: Wright was skipped over in his chance to start on Saturday. He hasn't been great this spring and will probably be ticketed for Round Rock to continue his transition into a starter. I actually think he may be one of the first players sent to minor league camp this week.
RHP Gary Majewski - bottomed out: A victim of a terrible BABiP, Majewski hasn't really done anything to make himself stand out from the other middle relief candidates. He really can't hurt himself any more, but it's not looking like he can
RHP Henry Villar - slowly rising: In three appearances, Villar has struck out two while allowing one hit and one earned run. For a guy who's never appeared above Low A ball, that's pretty amazing by itself. It has to make the Astros optimistic about his future and may get him stationed in Corpus Christi
RHP Chia-jen Lo - dropping slightly: Not a good week for Lo. His control didn't seem to be great and he wasn't striking many batters out. This probably just affirms the Astros opinion that he should spend some more time in the minors, with a ticket to Round Rouck.
Minor leaguers who have appeared in Big League Spring Training games: Evan Englebrook, Jose Valdez, Fernando Abad, Josh Banks, Henry Villar, Chia-jen Lo, Brian Bogusevic, Chris Johnson, Jason Castro, Edwin Maysonet, TJ Steele, Drew Meyer, Kevin Cash, Alex Romero, Brian Esposito, Lou Santangelo, Koby Clemens, Wladimir Sutil, JB Shuck, Drew Locke, Marco Cabral, Brandon Barnes, Matt Kata