On Wednesday at work I did nothing for six hours of the day but sit on hold with some IT guy. Or at least that's how it felt. With a broken computer that is heavily firewalled anyways, I had nothing better to do than to practically beg Twitter to update so I could find some link to click or morsel of news to digest on my Blackberry. Sadly, I didn't have to beg at all for a seemingly mind numbing stream of injury news about the Astros.
The day started with news of Lance Berkman, Alberto Arias, and Yorman Bazardo would, at a minimum, begin the season on the DL. Then Brian McTaggart was tweeting that Felipe Paulino couldn't move because of back spasms. As I passed along/discussed this series of awful news to Evan, he wondered (in a far more expletive laden manner) how was all of this possible. Astros County asked whether the next injury would be to the strength and conditioning coach.
I don't blame anyone in particular, but I am distressed. Alberto Arias, whom many of us were anointing the closer in waiting, has a condition that is a precursor to a torn rotator cuff. Will Carroll recently threw the words "microfracture surgery" and Lance Berkman's name in the same sentence. Things are bleak. And we haven't even broached the subject of Roy Oswalt's less than inspiring lower back. Nor have we discussed the near unanimous consensus among the media types that Tommy Manzella is not actually ready to play SS because of his quad.
Over a month ago, I wrote a nightmare scenario for the Houston Astros 2010 season. I didn't include the now distinct possibility that Lance Berkman could see a huge drop off in performance as he deals with his knee. I also didn't include Alberto Arias or Yorman Bazardo being hurt because they were actually part of the back up plan for the scenario in which Roy Oswalt went down.
There is cause for much alarm amongst us. But it is still spring, and that behooves us to feign hope in these times. So I will.
By all accounts from those with medical knowledge, Roy Oswalt should be alright. Lance Berkman as well, but he'll have to adjust to the reality of his knee. Felipe Paulino is still day to day, but is feeling better. However, my guess is that Arias is headed to a surgeons table before he gets back to regular playing time/meaningful contributions.
the forced optimism, the Astros have a razor thin margin of error. The probabilities of havoc-wreaking injuries that will depress win totals are increasing.
The dreary—and too easily imagined—outlook facing the Astros is something we could all see ahead of time. In order to cobble together an outside chance of competing, a lot of money has been leveraged on this season. Moves have been made that many have disagreed with and we have tepidly defended, in some instances. I have a strong sense of how the majority of us feel about Ed Wade's offseason. What I am not sure of is how we will feel if it all goes to pot due to injuries. So that's what I'd like to determine before any meaningful games start. Just so we can keep ourselves honest.