Bazardo gives Chris Johnson rude welcome
Welcome to the big leagues, Chris Johnson. Don’t forget to duck.
Johnson, the third base prospect who joined the team Tuesday in anticipation of his Major League debut, was struck on the head by a pitch thrown by Yorman Bazardo during a simulated game Tuesday. Johnson was dazed, but otherwise fine and shook off the incident.
“That’s why we wear helmets,” he said.
Bazardo, who hasn’t pitched in a game since Aug. 15, threw two innings to keep sharp.
“He just needed to get some work,” manager Cecil Cooper said. “He hadn’t been in a game and he needed to face some hitters. He had been sitting out there for nine, 10 days without seeing a hitter.
“It’s one thing to throw a pen and another thing to face a hitter. He unfortunately hit one, but the ball came out of his hand real good and I saw some good movement. He threw some real good sliders. I just would like to see him command the zone a little bit better. I’ve talked to him about that.”
I finally cornered Roy Oswalt on Tuesday and asked him how he felt and he seemed shocked I was even asking. In other words, Oswalt will definitely make his next scheduled start Thursday against the Braves, the only National League he has never beaten.
Astros general manager Ed Wade had Astros director of research and analysis Charlie Norton crunch some numbers, and the results were interesting. From the beginning of the season through Sept. 3, baseball has paid approximately $383 million to players on the disabled list.
As of that date, the Astros had 21 DL stints, which ranked in the top five and they had paid out $8.8 million, which ranked probably in the bottom six or seven. The Mets were at $41 million dollars.
Versatile infielder Jeff Keppinger remains day-to-day with back tightness. Keppinger hasn’t played since leaving Friday’s game against the Phillies, and he looks doubtful to play in the three game series against the Braves.
But it’s not like the Astros are in a hurry to get him back. Aaron Boone, Geoff Blum, Miguel Tejada, Chris Johnson and Tommy Manzella give them plenty of depth on the left side of the infield.