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Houston Astros Weekly Stock Watch

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HOUSTON - APRIL 12:  Angel Sanchez #36 is forced out at second base as shortstop Starlin Castro #13 of the Chicago Cubs avoids the slide at Minute Maid Park on April 12, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON - APRIL 12: Angel Sanchez #36 is forced out at second base as shortstop Starlin Castro #13 of the Chicago Cubs avoids the slide at Minute Maid Park on April 12, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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You'll have to wait a day for Players of the Week, but for now, let's look at how different players are trending in the past week.

Angel Sanchez, blistering: Has there been anyone hotter than Sanchez, while simultaneously producing absolutely no power? In his current four-game hitting streak, he's got three multi-hit games. He's gone 10 for 19 in that time with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs. He's only walked once in that streak, but has only struck out twice. We can't make any definitive conclusions on defense, but we can say that Sanchez has provided the most fWAR on the team through the season's first week and a half. That's also a team that's collected the seventh-most fWAR in the entire majors to this point. Let that sink in for a minute.

Hunter Pence, hotter than hot: Only a notch below Sanchez on the Blister-O-Meter, Pence has been very, very good at the plate in the past five games. He's gone 9 for 23 in that time with three doubles and seven RBIs. He has struck out four times and walked only once, which lowers him past Sanchez, but he's having a very strong start to the season. Pence's line of .326/.367/.478 is about 100 points higher than his line in April 2010 of .232/.250/.329, so there's hope he's finally tapping into a "breakout season."

Carlos Lee, who the heck knows?: What is El Bufalo doing? He hits triples, he hits into double plays, he drives in runs and he goes 1 for 5. His numbers have taken a nose dive of late and Nelson Figueroa actually has more batting fWAR than he does right now. I'm pretty sure he's in a slump, but he might hit for the cycle tonight, just to disprove me.

Brett Myers, blue chip status: I mentioned this in the recap last night, but it's worth reiterating with facts. Since the start of the 2010 season, there are only 12 pitchers who have a higher fWAR total than Brett Myers. Of those, Adam Wainright is injured and Ubaldo Jimenez has dramatically regressed. Myers may have the lowest strikeout rate in that group, but he definitely deserves to be there and, so far, has performed like a legitimate No. 1 starter for this team.

The bullpen, rebounding slightly: That's what a nice game against the Cubs on Monday and a couple solid innings on Tuesday will do for your standing here. The bullpen as a whole has still been pretty streaky, just as you'd expect from a young group. But, they have showed some promise. Mark Melancon and Wilton Lopez continue to be solid options while Enerio Del Rosario has been effective. Overall, not as solid yet as last year's group, but not bad.

Aneury Rodriguez, struggling badly: On the other hand, Rule 5 pick Aneury Rodriguez has struggled quite a bit this season. He's thrown in five games, but only has one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings. He's also walked three and hit a batter, forcing his suspension for three games. Conroestro asked the question of whether the Astros should keep him around. The question you should really be asking is who'd be better? The Astros already have a solid late inning group of Lopez, Lyon and Melancon. So who fits that long relief role? Hyphen? I'd rather have Aneury's upside, even if he has a brutal year this season. Remember, Johan Santana had a 6.49 ERA for the Twins after he was plucked via the Rule 5 draft. Patience, my friends, is a virtue.

J.R. Towles, volatile: He's been good when given a chance, but this playing time seems to be coming in chunks rather than a set rotation. Is it better for a catcher to have two straight games in the lineup and then two days off? Or alternating starts and sits? Either way, there doesn't seem to be a set pattern yet, other than Q catching Myers and Towles catching Wandy.

Bill Hall, slowly rising: Boy, talk about your bad start to a new team. Hall has been pretty terrible at the plate, striking out a ton without offering much else. He's flashed excellent range at second though. I had forgotten what having a second baseman like that could be like. To show you how unimpressive some hitting streaks can be, Hall is currently riding a 7-game streak. In only one of those games did he collect more than one hit and he has just three extra-base hits in that span. It has raised his average from .105/.105/.158 to .231/.268/.410, which is a pretty substantial improvement.

Chris Johnson, bottoming out: CJ and April just don't get along. He's in the midst of a 2 for 15 slump and hasn't shown much power. His detractors will jump on that to say he was a flash in the pan, but I just think he's a slow starter. Give him time and he'll be giving us a Laser Show once again.