A sick wife and a 2 1/2 hour LOST series finale Sunday night left me precious little time to write this morning's post. But, I was really interested in an idea that was brought up in the live chat Sunday. What OremLK mentioned was that putting Brian Moehler in the rotation and bumping out Bud Norris would top his list of dumbest, yet plausible, moves the Astros make this season. I liked the idea so much, I thought I'd come up with my own Top 10 list of such moves. Feel free to add your own in the comments. I'm sure I won't catch them all.
1) Putting Brian Moehler back into the rotation; bumping Bud Norris to the bullpen - Lots of talk about this already. Basically, there is a fairly large contingent of Astros fans who are clamoring for Norris to be demoted/bullpenized while Moehler is bumped into the starting rotation. These same people seem to think it is 2008 and/or the Astros could be contenders. While it makes sense to possibly lower Norris and Paulino's innings with a judicious spot start here or there, no one who saw Moehler throw batting practice to Tampa Bay can think he's ready to go back into the rotation. He's injury insurance, no more. If the Astros are going to be bad, they at least need to cultivate the few young players still on the roster.
2) Bringing up Jordan Lyles this season - There are a few reasons why this would be a phenomenally bad idea. One? He's only 19 years old! As I've said before, the last NL pitcher to debut at that age was Doc Gooden. Felix Hernandez did it for the Mariners, but they were very strict on his innings count and didn't let him throw a slider. Thus, he's had a relatively healthy pro run. Lyles should not be throwing important innings at the big league level this season. I'm almost of the mind that he shouldn't throw them next season either, but I'd settle for none in 2010. Did I mention his arbitration clock would start ticking early? Ask the Giants how that worked out with Lincecum...
3) Playing Jeff Keppinger every day at shortstop - Pass. We all know why this is a bad idea. This next one is a bit more complicated.
4) Call up Chris Johnson, cut Pedro Feliz, yet start Geoff Blum at third - Basically, this does two-thirds of what a lot of you have been asking. Feliz would get cut (highly unlikely), Johnson would be called up to the big leagues (more likely the way he's hitting in Round Rock), but Geoff Blum would get the majority of the starts at the hot corner. He's already proven to be a Brad Mills favorite, so I could see it working from that angle. His defense has also looked passable at short, so he'd probably play decently at third. His bat, however, would not hold up under extended playing time. As in, he'd crater faster than Feliz has. Plus, they'd be burying another young player and not giving him a chance to succeed. I'm angry just considering this scenario.
5) Trade Roy Oswalt for veteran player(s) - Basically, the deal Wade works out for Oswalt brings back one or two "name" veterans with big contracts (say, Scott Rolen or Adam Dunn), but doesn't bring in any prospects. This is a bad idea simply because the current Astros roster is not built to win now. Wade may feel some pressure to upgrade the big league club immediately, but this is not the answer.
6) Pick up Lance Berkman's 2011 option - This one is kinda sneaky. On the one hand, I want Berkman back. Drayton wants him back. Wade probably wants his bat back, but at that cost, it doesn't make sense. The only two options I see are that the Astros decline the option and Berkman becomes a free agent or they work out a multi-year extension that brings his price tag down to around 8 million a year. if he won't do it, I think Wade deals him.
7) Demote J.R. Towles, give Kevin Cash the starting catcher's job (h/t to timmy) - Yeah, it already happened. It was a good call by Timmy, though, so I had to throw him some credit. At least Cash is a good defensive catcher...
8) Stand pat at the July trading deadline - The Astros have to move people this July. I don't care who it is. Brett Myers, Pedro Feliz, Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, heck, I wouldn't be against the idea of moving Hunter Pence or Michael Bourn if they could get a nice package. Unless something drastic happens in the next four weeks, this team is not contending in 2010. They're probably not contending in 2011 either. With a depleted farm system, the only way they fill holes early is by getting something in return for one or all of these guys.
9) Firing Brad Mills after the season - It's already been mentioned by one national media member. I'm sure there will be more talk as the season moves on, if the Astros are still playing this bad. I don't need to tell you all, though, that Brad Mills doesn't hit the ball and he doesn't start games on the mound. The Astros are this bad all by themselves and no manager, not even Connie Mack or John McGraw could make a difference. I think Mills has the potential to be a playoff manager. He just might have to wait out some bad baseball to get there.
10) Hold a goofy 7th inning race between Taco Bell hot sauce packets - Oh, wait...