|DJ Houlton||Rogér Clemens|
|4 - 2, 6.33||7 - 3, 1.41|
Tonight Houston faces one more former Astro prospect made good with another team. Righthander DJ Houlton was drafted in the eleventh round of the 2001 by the Astros out of the University of the Pacific, and assigned thereupon to Rookie League Martinsville. He was named to the 2001 Appy League postseason All-Star, as well as to the 2002 Midwest League midseason squad.
Houlton split 2003 between Round Rock--then a AA club--and AAA New Orleans, posting a 3-4 record with a 5.40 ERA, then, busted back down to AA last year, he went 12 - 5 with a 2.94 for the Express in 2004.
Houlton was then picked by the Dodgers in the first round of the major league phase of the December Rule V draft.
The Dodgers had to keep Houlton at the major league level or offer him back to Houston, and he began the year in the bullpen, appearing in 13 games without a hold or a save, before taking the place of injured lefty Wilson Alvarez in the rotation on June 6, and you can see his record since then.
Houlton's out pitch is a big dropping curve. He's got a fastball in the high 80's, low 90's and the ability to throw a good change off it. If not overpowering, it does seem as if Houlton has sharp location, moving the ball back and forth across the plate in addition to changing speeds.
Houlton's last start was not good, as he gave up 6 runs and 6 hits over 2 innings in last Sunday's home loss to the D-Backs. Still, the Dodgers are pleased enough with Houlton that not only are we unlikely to see Houlton offered back to us, Houlton might even remain in the LA rotation even after Alvarez has returned from the DL.
Given how horrifically banged up the Dodgers are, I was surprised to see that LA is actually number three in the NL in team OPS for the month of July, trailing only Atlanta and the Astros.
I knew immediately what the team preview chart must be:
|x||.685||Jason Phillips||C1||Brad Ausmus||.626|
|.457||Mike Rose||C2||Raul Chavez||.502||x|
|.772||Hee Seop Choi||1B||Lance Berkman||.822||x|
|.808||Antonio Perez||2B||Craig Biggio||.853||x|
|x||.803||Oscar Robles||SS||Adam Everett||.702|
|.748||Mike Edwards||3B||Morgan Ensberg||.976||x|
|.769||Jayson Werth||OF1||Jason Lane||.758|
|.689||Jason Repko||OF2||Willy Taveras||.694|
|.552||Jason Grabowski||OF3||Chris Burke||.597||x|
|.408||Cody Ross||OF4||Orlando Palmeiro||.855||x|
|x||.859||Olmedo Saenz||Util/PH||Eric Bruntlett||.649|
|.583||DJ Houlton||P1||Roger Clemens||.636||x|
|x||.545||Jeff Weaver||P2||Roy Oswalt||.301|
|.269||Odalis Perez||P3||Brandon Backe||.679||x|