HOUSTON - APRIL 24: Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros throws in the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Minute Maid Park on April 24, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
1.) Justin Maxwell injury update – Zachary Levine updated us on the status of our injured Astros here last night. Justin Maxwell has been the latest Astro to be bitten by the injury bug, but his left ankle sprain has been something that has been lingering for a little while. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI on the ankle tomorrow as the pain has reached an uncomfortable level for Maxwell.
"Every time I hit, I kind of roll my ankle," Maxwell said. I’ve done every avenue of treatment that I could so I could play. When it was bothering me today on defense, I knew something was wrong. That’s why I said something to (Brad Mills)".
What does that mean for the Astros? The outfield has been plagued by injuries all year, and is somewhat short-handed in the depth department if Maxwell were to go on the disabled list. However, if the Astros can just stand pat for a few days it sounds like reinforcements are close to being ready. Travis Buck is working his way back from the disabled list and could be able to rejoin the team soon. Levine also informs us that Fernando Martinez has passed his concussion tests and will begin a rehab assignment in Oklahoma City as well. That would be a predominantly left-handed outfield reserve corps again, but both Matt Downs and Brian Bixler could fill in as needed for the time being. If Maxwell ends up missing more time than expected then it is possible that the Astros may want to add another right-handed hitting outfielder to the mix to spell Jordan Schafer and Brian Bogusevic against left-handed pitching. One right-handed hitting outfielder for Oklahoma City that seems to be trending among Astros fans right now is Brandon Barnes.
2.)Kyle Weiland eyeing a return to action this year - 2.) Not to try to steal everything from Zachary Levine today, but he also touched base on Kyle Weiland, who you may remember as that other guy in the Mark Melancon trade. Kyle Weiland is rehabbing from his shoulder surgery and hopes to rejoin the team at some point this year. Weiland made three starts this season and had a 6.62 ERA before hitting the disabled list with an infection in his shoulder. The most disappointing thing about the injury was the timing as it came on the heels of his most effective start of the season at that point, a seven inning three earned run six strikeout performance. In the article Luhnow had this to say about Weiland’s rehab so far.
“I would say he’s probably mid-January type of status right now,” Luhnow said. “There’s things that we can do to accelerate it, but we’re only going to do it if he’s feeling well.”
At the very least Weiland is an interesting arm with a good fastball and good off-speed stuff. Hopefully he can make it back this season and showcase what he has to offer the Astros for next season.
3.) Wandy Rodriguez trade rumors are starting to heat up – Okay, so maybe that headline is a little exaggerated, but in stating the obvious yesterday Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reported that the Astros will listen to offers on Wandy Rodriguez. If anything else this signals that it is that time of year again, and the lefty will probably be in the rumor mill quite often from now up until the deadline, though I’m not sure if those rumors ever fully dissolved from last year’s deadline. I myself am looking forward to hearing time and time again that AL executives are concerned about how he would fare in the American League.
This time representatives from the Blue Jays, Giants, and Yankees were on hand to watch his most recent start against the Royals. The Blue Jays seem like a good fit given their need for pitching, but it also seems like Alex Anthropolos checks in on everyone that seems likely to hit the trade market. The Blue Jays were also rumored to be interested in Wandy last year around the trade deadline, but nothing ever developed. Expect more Wandy rumors in the near future.