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Why are the Astros wasting September?

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September opened yesterday with the absolutely thrilling announcement that Doug Brocail would be joining the truly heart warming story of Aaron Boone.  I don't want to take anything away from the truly miraculous return of Aaron Boone, but when the headline for roster-expansion is a guy coming back from open heart surgery, one has to wonder what the front office is thinking.  With about 30 games left in 2009 the Astros have less than 1% odds of making the playoffs.  Less than 1%.  There's nothing to be gained from these games except previewing potential lineup cards for 2010.

I am aware that these kinds of roster expansion typically take place once the minor league season is in the books, but there's a catch for the 2009 Astros organization: Both Round Rock and Corpus Christi aren't playing for anything. There's literally nothing holding the Astros back from experimenting for an extra week to make more informed decisions in the offseason.  The best part is, pretty much everything the Astros need to see is already on the 40-man roster.

  1. How does Miguel Tejada fair at 3B?  Does Geoff Blum really need regular playing time? Does it matter if he makes a bunch of ridiculous errors? The answer to both of these is no.
  2. What does Tommy Manzella hit like at the big league level? Better yet, how does he look at SS? With Miggy over at 3B, it makes perfect sense to bring up his ostensible in house replacement, who is on the 40-man roster, and see how he fares.  Sure his bat is important, but I'm really curious to see how his glove plays.
  3. How do Brian Bogusevic and Yordany Ramirez look? Our current outfield trio aren't going anywhere, but with a relative (and I mean relative) surplus of seemingly capable outfielders why not see if we can get them a strong cup of coffee and sell high on one of them?  Think Josh Anderson in 2007, only hope for more than Oscar Villareal.
  4. What has another year of AAA done for JR Towles? Can we count him in for 2010? Or can we potentially shop him this offseason?  A replication of 2007's cup of coffee could do wonders for his stock.
  5. Who would be a better regular: Jeff Keppinger or Edwin Maysonet? My guess is Keppinger, but why not give them both a consistent run of starts.  It's not like Kaz Matsui needs to play extra games, he's already fragile enough.
  6. Could Yorman Bazardo be more useful as a Chris Sampson-type in the bullpen? It would save him some innings, and allow us to see get a better idea of his relative utility to us.
  7. Finally, it'd be cool to see how this worked out for scrap heap types? I guess we're really out of scrap heap types, but maybe we could figure it out.
With Richard Justice already predicting someone's firing tomorrow today, what does this organization have to lose? Let's be bold.