Astros vs. Athletics: Pre-game notes from batting practice

Scott Halleran

Some random thoughts about the Astros and Jonathan Villar's debut batting practice

For the first time in way, way too long, I made it over to MMP for a game. Didn't quite get here in time for Bo Porter's press conference, but I did get to watch most of Houston's players take batting practice and got some good notes from Jeff Luhnow. It wasn't a complete bust, in other words.

Here's my scattered notes from the pre-game festivities:

  • First guy I spotted around the cage? Adam Everett. Wasn't hard with those ears, amirite? Pretty cool that he's here for Villar's debut. I wonder what kind of feedback he'll give on this game. When I saw him, Everett was deep in conversation with Eduardo Perez about who know's what.
  • If I had one hope for Villar, it's that he took a page out of Everett's playbook when he broke his hand last year. Remember when Everett suffered that broken arm that forced him onto the bench? And he talked about how much he learned from that, watching the manager and the game from there? I think Villar could use some of that. Maybe it sank in.
  • Speaking of Villar, he had a pretty good BP session. He hit from both sides and seemed to have more raw power from the right. But, boy, was he swinging from his heels. I think the moment was big on his mind tonight. Seems a little amped up.
  • Always fun to watch Chris Carter take BP. He was hitting ropes for all of his sessions and most of them were straight away or to the opposite field. All were on a line.
  • Most disappointing BP performance? Jason Castro. He had a few good swings, but overall didn't seem to be barreling up the ball. It's just BP, so take this all with a grain of salt.
  • Luhnow talked about how there isn't a "timetable" for the young guys and that Cosart and Villar forced their way up. Again, that flies in the face of what Smith was talking about this morning, right? That Houston "gave up" on their experiment and was forced to call up young guys ahead of schedule. What if the young guys forced their hand? It's not like Villar was hitting like Jon Homerton, right?
  • No trade talks active, says the world's most secretive GM. Like he'd tell us if they were. But, he said he expects things to heat up mid-week. So, count on a Afterburners podcast on Thursday.
  • Sadly, Jerome Solomon was not in the house. I guess I don't know where to find him after all. Pity.

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