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Astros spare parts come into focus

Alyson Footer answers the question we posed a few weeks back: who will fill out our major league roster. Our best guesses yielded 20-21 players that were pretty much sure things. As per Footer's first response, we were correct: four spots are up for grabs this spring- two catchers, a starting outfielder and a backup middle infielder. That means Chris Johnson is expected to compete for the starting third baseman's job in 2010 for sure. I'd hope so. I don't particularly like the idea of Geoff Blum/Aaron Boone this season, not to mention next season. So, for all of Cecil Cooper's statements otherwise, Johnson isn't probably getting the look he probably deserves. Looks like Ortiz/Backe, Palmisano/Quintero/Towles and Sutton/Manzella/Maysonet are the battles remaining for roster spots. Game on.

It's early March, and I'm already not happy with the lack of a nickname for the Blum/Boone platoon. Any creative suggestions would be appreciated. Please do your best to refrain from using "Bum". At this point, at least. If July 1 rolls around and those guys are playing as effective as an end table, then Bum it shall be, I promise.