Laid low by some kind of pneumonic bug, I neither reported to work nor caught Astros baseball today. Instead I slept til four in the afternoon, and am only now seeing that Jason Lane hit two homers in our 4 - 2 win over the Fish.
Is it possible that Lane could make the club? I'm still not sure. While on the surface, a Lane/Scott platoon makes sense, the fact is both players hit righties better. In Scott's case, the platoon split is large, something like 200 points of OPS over his limited career, and in Lane's case it's only a little, more like 20 points over the last three years.
Lane does slightly better vs. lefthanders than Luke, but the difference is nothing to write home about.
For what it's worth, I think that whoever you pick in right--whether it be Luke Scott or Jason Lane--would be best served by playing against both lefties and righties.
And if you've made that decision, then you almost have to go with Luke as the Opening Day starter. He's the closest thing we have to an incumbent, he's had a creditable spring himself, and yes, I think you can still say that he has the higher ceiling.
I think Lane has some value as a fourth/fifth outfielder, where he can bring both defense and pop off the bench. But those Hunter Pence Now! fans among us might say that there's no better time to trade Lane than the present moment.
I wonder. . . .
The team also sent five players packing today. Paul Estrada, Miguel Asencio, and Brooks Conrad were optioned to Round Rock, while Lou Santangelo and Scott Sauerbeck were reassigned to minor league camp.
Estrada will be back this year, got a feeling.
Funny thing about Conrad: I've begun to think of him as just as capable as Burke to take the reins for Biggio at second.