May 14, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz (51) ducks as he is hit by a pitch during the fifth inning against the Houston Astros at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Here's some things to contemplate as you watch it rain...
1) Sometimes you win... - I think the Astros could really use a rainout right about now. You know the part in Bull Durham when the club is in a slump, so they turn the sprinklers on and make the field non-playable? Just to give themselves a little mental break? Maybe that's what this club needs.
But, it looks like it's not happening. Instead, Jordan Schafer and Jed Lowrie will get the afternoon off while J.D. Martinez grabs a start. Against Cliff Lee, should we expect an end to his slump? Martinez is hitting .261/.393/.391 this season against lefties, so there is a chance he could break out. Of course, he's also hitting a lot more ground balls lately against lefties, and that seems to be a big problem in his slump, so...I know nothing.
What we do know is that Jordan Lyles appears to be getting the start today, as the Astros held off making that particular roster move until the last minute so they didn't look foolish if the game got rained out. It didn't, so Jordan is starting. Let's hope he's got what it takes to bust this slump...
2) Jonathan Meyer scouting report - John Klima over at Baseball Prospect Report has a nice look at Jonathan Meyer. Among the very interesting things he says is that Meyer looks like he can do more with his skills than his actual tools imply.
He does things the Astros will like – work counts, see pitches and like the better major league hitters, Meyer will be a guy with the bat control to just flick foul pitches that won’t do him any good.
You should read the whole thing, and there's plenty of video to keep you busy too, but the main takeaway I had was that this is a guy the new administration should really like. He's not going to be flashy, but he could very well be the future at third base for a time.
3) College draft roundup - We're getting nearer and nearer to the draft, with lots of consensus swinging towards Mark Appel as the 1-1 pick. I'm not sold yet, though Jeff Luhnow showing up at his game for seven innings does give it some credence. I still think they are going to play things close to the vest and make a decision on one of the college arms, but that's just a guess.
Here are some interesting names that had good weekends:
Ross Stripling, Texas A&M, RHP - Stripling is turning in a second straight great season and capped things last week by throwing the first no-hitter for the Aggies since 2004. He's got good stuff, good control and would be a decent prospect, but probably won't wow anyone. I'd like for Houston to add him about when they got Tropeano or Hallock last season and I think he'll provide good depth and possible upside down the road.
Mike Zunino, Florida, C - Still in a bit of a slump, going 2 for 10 last weekend, but also knocking in his 13th home run and stealing his eighth base. Nice power-speed combo, but I'm sure the dropoff with his bat will scare teams away, especially at the top.
Richie Schaffer, Clemson, 1B - Here's a guy that's starting to grow on me. The big first baseman only had four at-bats last weekend, but hit his 10th home run and stole his sixth base in that time. Houston doesn't necessarily need a college power bat with Telvin Nash and Jonathan Singleton advancing, but Schaffer provides an intriguing option. I wonder if he could play left better than Nash.
Kyle Zimmer, San Fran, RHP - At this point, there's not much difference between what Zimmer, Appel and Gausman are doing on the mound. All three have seen spikes in their strikeout numbers. All three have similar control numbers and similar ERAs. It'll come down to stuff with these guys. Despite Zimmer pitching deeper into games, he's the one slated for the bullpen out of all three, which may drop him out of the 1-1 consideration.