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Christmas in July: When September Call Ups Come Early

With Christmas in July bringing Astros fans the presents of Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Villar it will serve fans well to remember that no one man is Superman and will save the day...and sometimes prospects take time to adjust.


When it was announced that Jonathan Villar would be making his major league debut at Monday's game against the A's twitter went wild. There had been calls for this since the season began. In fact, a fandom full of desperation, Astros supporters have been chanting the names of numerous prospects since Opening Day - Villar, Cosart, Springer among others.

Jarred Cosart wowed fans with his MLB debut, throwing pitches into the ninth and doing it impressively to beat a Rays team that was on quite the tear. Last night he didn't shutdown the A's quite as effectively, but still held his own and had glimpses of greatness as he allowed only 1 earned run on 7 hits in his first home appearance.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Villar was Superman last night, doubling in the bottom of the ninth following Matt Dominguez's 2 run homer to the game and showing his remarkably fast feet when he scored on a blown pick off attempt. Villar and Cosart helped defeat the giant the Astros couldn't figure out how to beat - the Oakland Athletics.

So far, the fans desires have been fulfilled. Big name prospects have risen to the top, they've made their MLB debuts, and they've shown us all that they're capable of the kind of play that will help them stick in the majors. But will it all be sunshine and lollipops? Heck, no.

With the DFAs of Carlos Pena and Ronny Cedeno, the need to fill shoes and rosters has become more pronounced and the call ups we wait for in September have become Christmas in July for fans. But much like Christmas morning, some of these call ups will be disappointing initially.

Unwrapping socks on Christmas morning isn't as fun as an unwrapping an iPhone or some other gadget that you are certain will change your world. Socks aren't flashy, but they sure will keep your feet warm when it's cold.

As names are called and boys rise to the majors with a shot to prove they are men ready to play baseball with the best, some will feel a bit like socks. Their debuts won't be as exciting as Cosart's or Villar's. They may not be in a situation to shine initially. They may falter with nerves. They may take a bit of time to adjust at a new level of play. They may not pan out.

There are many ways a prospect can go. They won't all be Superman in their first week. They won't all pitch 8+ innings in their first game, they won't all hit homers to announce their presence or make highlight reel-worthy saves in the outfield in their first games. But they did those things to get noticed. They did those things to prove they were ready to move at each level of the organization and they'll likely do those things again...if not right away.

My point? I know that the patience of Houston fans has been tested by watching painful baseball and praying for the call ups to begin, but it's time to be patient again and give these players a chance. After all, if nothing else, it's something new and exciting to see at Minute Maid Park and we haven't had that since, well....last September.