Monday's Three Astros Things

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Talking about Brian T. Smith, waiver claims and t-shirts galore...

Some things to talk about as Brett Myers finds a home...

1) The role of a beat writer

This isn't a big point, but I thought I'd reiterate something about the job that Brian T. Smith is doing right now. Besides churning out great content day after day, Smith is breaking news and providing Houston fans with a great first look at this team.

What he is not doing (and not supposed to do), is insert his opinion into the issue. That's not his job, it's Randy Harvey or Jerome Solomon's job. Smith asks about the payroll and goes on about his job. Those other two are the ones who need to be hammering Jim Crane over the numbers and what he said, not Smith.

Because Smith ultimately has to see this organization every day. His job depends on being on good terms with everyone, even after he writes a scathing article about them. That doesn't mean he shouldn't be getting in arguments or just agreeing with everything coming out of the organization, but it does mean that he's not going to fire back at Crane when he gets quotes like he did Saturday.

Maybe this didn't need to be reiterated, but Smith is doing a great job and I think that he's doing exactly what's expected of him so far. I'm looking forward to seeing what he brings in the coming months and years.

2) Waivers heating up

By last count, there are six players who have been designated for assignment in the past week who could be good additions to the Astros next season. They include Orioles outfielder Trayvon Robinson, Rays infielders Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson, Rays right-hander Dane De La Rosa, Mariners right-hander Shawn Kelley and Cubs outfielder Tony Camapana.

There has been a lot of speculation on the site already about Brignac coming to Houston, but I don't see the Astros making any of these moves as "moves." If the player is placed on waivers, I could see Houston claiming him, but not trying to work a trade for said player.

That being said, there's some interesting roster possibilities here. Both Johnson and Brignac could be put into the infield mix and see where things shake out. De La Rosa is a high strikeout pitcher who is older, but really only had control issues for one year while bouncing through the independent leagues. Robinson is an outfielder who doesn't hit much, but could be paired with Maxwell and Ankiel in center field.

Campana could instantly be the best baserunner on the team and would be a great fit defensively in center field at MMP. He can't seem to hit enough to stay on the field, but that's why he's on waivers. Finally, Kelley is like a more polished version of De La Rosa, a guy who has the results to back up his gaudy strikeout rates and low walk numbers.

Any of them could be on the Astros roster in a week or none of them could be there. The question Houston has to ask is if any of them are better than the options Houston has right now. Is Robinson or Campana better than Brandon Barnes? Is Kelley better for this team than Chia-jen Lo?

That'll be a fascinating question this spring, as the Astros take full advantage of that top waiver priority as spring cuts are made and the Houston roster remains in flux.

3) T-Shirts available, more on the way

Did you see those sweet Brian T. Smith tweets from Sunday about the shirts Houston players were wearing or the cool new signs up around the Kissimmee facility? Well, we're putting those on shirts in our TCB t-shirt store.

What?

You were unaware that we have a t-shirt store?

Yep, finally got it up and running again and it's stocked with some basic designs. We've got four more in the process of being added, including a navy shirt with the TCB logo on the front. In addition to that, we have designs for the 27 outs, No More, the Process shirt Brian T. described and Porter's/Hayden Fry's Five P's.

Right now, you can get "Luhnow'd In The Face" or find out that "Crinkle Fries Are The Worst."

We're constantly adding designs, so if you have any ideas, let us know. Keep checking back for the new designs to go live soon, too.

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