Clint Barmes Breaks Hand, To Miss Month

KISSIMMEE FL - FEBRUARY 24: Clint Barmes #14 of the Houston Astros poses for a portrait during Spring Training photo Day at Osceola County Stadium on February 24 2011 in Kissimmee Florida. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Houston Astros need the regular season to start as soon as possible. For the second time this spring, a significant starter suffered an injury that will keep him out of the lineup for a while, as shortstop Clint Barmes broke his had and will miss 4-6 weeks, according to reports by the Houston Chronicle and MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.

The Astros will consider internal candidates like Angel Sanchez, Matt Downs, Anderson Hernandez and Oswaldo Navarro. It also appears they may consider making a move for an outside shortstop to fill the gap until May when Barmes comes back.

Houston is already without catcher Jason Castro, who tore his ACL and meniscus in the first week of spring training. Former starting second baseman Jeff Keppinger is also out with a foot injury and is expected to be back around the same time as Barmes.

What's interesting is that there was no mention of last year's starter Tommy Manzella as a replacement. Manzella was optioned to Oklahoma City Thursday. That's a pretty big vote of no confidence in the former Tulane star, though we do have some time before the season begins. Management may change their minds between now and next week, depending what talent is available. Of course, I also could be reading too much into this tweet by McTaggart,where he doesn't list Manzella as an internal candidate. Levine had a note in his story this morning that general manager Ed Wade hasn't commented on the possibility of Manzella being in the mix.

What do you think? Will the Astros be okay with Angel Sanchez and Co. until May? Are there any interesting candidates outside the team that would be worth picking up?

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