Yep, this is back. Sort of. When I can come up for air...
1) Carlos Corporan and Houston's response
First of all, condolences to Carlos Corporan and his family on the tragedy they suffered. The Houston catcher's 16-month old son died recently after dealing with some serious health issues, including four heart surgeries since he was born.
Here's what the Astros said in a press release Saturday:
"We send our deepest sympathies to Carlos and Stephanie Corporan and to their families and friends in this extremely difficult time. Their son, Carlos, Jr., battled valiantly through serious health issues since his birth and served as an inspiration to so many of us. The entire Astros family is in mourning over the passing of this brave, young child. Our hearts and prayers are with the Corporans."
As much as we've rightfully criticized this organization for how its handled things of late, this was spot on. Very, very nice sentiment and one that TCB wholeheartedly seconds.
2) Nats bumped from playoffs
Sadly, the Washington Nationals imploded in one of the most spectacular fashions in recent playoff history. It was painful to watch as the Cards came back to win that game against Washington, but it does give the Astros a nice surprise this week.
That's right, Bo Porter will officially be on the job. Soon. Sometime soon.
What does that mean? I'm guessing he'll meet with the front office, they'll hold a press conference at some point (though this will be an interesting test for Selig's No Major Announcements rule during the playoffs. They already announced Porter, right? Can they still have a press conference with him?) and he'll settle into his job.
I'm also assuming that will mean more talk about putting together his staff will happen, though movement there might not be finalized until after the World Series. Still, it'll be nice to have the new manager back in his new organization, won't it?
What do you expect from Porter once he's on board?
3) Rice pitchers struggle in majors
We have talked before about some college reputations, such as the Stanford hitting approach or the fact that all the Rice pitchers have their arms fall off. Well, John Sickels has done a bang-up job of looking at the phenomenon in how it relates to Rice. Here's an excerpt from his latest entry:
It was not an impressive list, filled with injured pitchers and disappointments. At the time, the only two Rice products who had done anything truly positive in the majors wereDavid Aardsma and Jeff Niemann, although both broke down again after I wrote the article. The White Sox got a good season out of Phil Humber in '11, before he broke down again this year.
So, is there something to the notion that Wayne Graham's system chews pitchers up and spits them out? We haven't seen a ton out of highly touted draftee John Sims since he went to Rice (remember, he was The Woodlands kid who was buddies with Jameson Taillon). And, as Sickels points out, there is some serious concern about the crop of Rice pitchers who have hit the majors recently.
But, are these problems inherent in college pitchers in general? We're definitely dealing with a small sample size, so that may be part of the issue, but college pitchers also have more wear and tear on their arms. Could that lead to more injury problems down the road?
It's an interesting idea to throw around on a Monday, isn't it? Do you think there is a fundamental problem with the way Rice develops pitchers, or do you think that this would happen with any arms that get taxed at the college level?