While we continue the debate of how much — or even whether — the Astros have improved or are making strides in the right direction, let’s open the floor to your conversation, thoughts, ideas, complaints, raves and rants on a Free Blog Weekend.
I’ll get it started with a few thoughts, but would like to hear yours.
Wandy Rodriguez was DFA’d by the Pirates on Thursday. Somewhat of a surprising move in that much of the season is left. He’s actually pitched fairly well for the Pirates. When he’s pitched. Health issues have plagued him since the 2012 trade. The Astros are paying $5.5 million of his 2014 salary and the Pirates are picking up the remaining $7.5 million. If he’s ultimately released — and that’s the most likely route — any team can sign the 35-year-old lefty (35? Really?) for the league minimum. For example, the Astros could pick him up for an additional few hundred thousand dollars for the remainder of the season. My thought: Why?
Brandon Lyon. Now here’s one I never did understand. Lyon was pitching well for the Mets last year when they suddenly released him. He had an ERA in the low-to-mid 3s until one horrific game against the Nationals. He signed with the Red Sox, pitched a few games in the minors, then asked for his release. He pitched at AAA this season for the Angels, then asked for his release recently. He’s a free agent. Is there more to the story? Or is he worth a flyer at the league minimum?
The college baseball season is heating up. Some of my favorite teams are right in the thick of conference tournaments this weekend. Regionals are scheduled for next week and Houston and south Louisiana are both in line perhaps to host. Houston and Rice could host while UL-Lafayette and LSU could both host. The Cajuns are ranked #2 in the country with a record 51 wins under their belts and LSU has won four of the last seven SEC tournaments. Stay tuned. The top seeds and regional hosts will be announced Sunday evening.
With all the injuries around MLB, the trade season may kick in early. Whether early or later, though, the phone lines and conversations are guaranteed to be significant as teams try to replace arms and position players out for extended time. If you had to guess, which players might Jeff Luhnow be considering trading? And, no, Jesus Guzman, Marc Krauss, Jerome Williams et al aren’t allowed for speculation.