Here's some of the random things I've been thinking about in the past week...
Felipe Paulino has me worried. When he originally went on the disabled list, I thought it was a product of the Astros wanting to limit his innings. Turns out that shoulder tendinitis was a little more serious than let on. While he may not have to have surgery, it's a distinct possibility. This late in the season, it's doubtful the Astros will count on Paulino as a part of the Opening Day rotation.
Chris Johnson doesn't have a shot at winning National League Rookie of the Year, but he may be the Astros top rookie this season.
Brett Myers feels like a top-line starter, doesn't he? When I see his rotation turn pop up in the past two months, I've felt like the Astros have a good shot at winning the game no matter what. Felt that way with Oswalt and am beginning to feel the same way with Happ.
I'm impressed with the lack of main-stream panic over Jason Castro. His season hasn't gone according to plan offensively, but he's acquitted himself nicely overall. I really think the Astros were planning on bringing him up later this season, but the black hole at catcher forced him to be called up early.
While Tommy Manzella seems totally recovered from his injury, the Astros have talked about him retooling his swing while on rehab. I've read before that they can leave him on rehab for three full weeks. He's already spent seven games in the minors, so that means he's got about 14 days left. Could the Astros be trying to put off a roster move that lets someone on this current team go by keeping him down in the minors till rosters expand? Maybe that was the plan all along...
Is Hunter Pence the best offensive player on the team? Is it Johnson? Is it Carlos Lee?
Lots of talk about the draft signing deadline on Monday. It all boils down to "advisors" and players not wanting to negotiate till right up until the deadline and the commissioner's office not approving over-slot signings until later in the process. Astros still negotiating with three guys, Austin Wates, Adam Plutko and JaCoby Jones. Bobby Heck was optimistic on signing two of the three. I'm less so. Wates will probably sign and I think Plutko might be a dark-horse as the other signee.
Have you seen the pics of DDJ's forearms from his debut with the GCL Astros? Dude can generate some power from there. That's one of the reasons I think he can hit for more power than scouts project him for.
Did you read Zach Levine's piece on Jordan Lyles? It might be time to rein in the expectations on this kid some. I like him as much as any prospect since Ben Zobrist, but this is ridiculous. He's like Houston's Strasburg.
In a completely self-serving moment, I was looking over my mini-scouting reports on the Day Two selections from 2009 earlier this week and was surprised with some of them. For instance, I predicted that David Berner wouldn't be phased by the hitting environment up in Lancaster. Lo and behold, he's got an ERA right at 3.00 in 56 innings. On the bad calls? Misspelling Dallas Keuchel's name and being really high on Brandon Wikoff were not my best moments. Also was interesting to read my take on Robbie Donovan in the context of his Lexington numbers.