Tumultuous weekend for Astros

What a weekend for the Astros.

When they get back together at Minute Maid Park on Monday afternoon, there should be some introductions in order. In the past 72 hours, the Astros traded away the best hitters in their lineup — outfielders Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn — and sent starting third baseman Chris Johnson and first baseman Brett Wallace to the Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Whew.

Instead of Bourn and Pence, fans will have to get to know players like Luis Durango and Jimmy Paredes. Who are they? They are the newest additions to the club and will join the team Monday. There’s a good chance when the Astros hit the field Monday against the Reds they’ll have three players in the lineup who spent most of the season at Double-A Corpus Christi. Houston Hooks, anyone?

With Johnson going to Oklahoma City, it looks as though Paredes will start at third base. He was iffy defensively during Spring Training when he was in the middle of the infield, and he strikes out three times more than he walks. But he’s as athletic as crazy and just 22 years, so I’m anxious to see what he’s got. Just like I’m anxious to see more of J.D. Martinez and Jose Altuve.

I’m guessing Carlos Lee plays first base until Wallace returns. Jason Bourgeois will play center field until Schafer is healthy, with J.D. Martinez in left and perhaps Brian Bogusevic in right. Jason Michaels and Durango will be in the mix, too. When Schafer returns in about 10 days, Bourgeois could play right field. This all has to be sorted out.

The times certainly have changed for the Astros, and it’s going to require a large amount of patience from the fans. For the second year in a row, the Astros traded two key players and stocked up on prospects. If they pan out the way the Astros hope, they will be well-positioned for the future. As for now, it’s time to enjoy the kids.

The following links are a recap of the day’s coverage on MLB.com:

Chris Johnson and Brett Wallace talked to me about getting sent to the Minor Leagues

The Astros trade Michael Bourn to the Braves for Jordan Schafer and three prospects

Here’s everything you need to know about the prospects the Astros got from the Braves

Astros CF Michael Bourn talked to MLB.com following the trade and gave his thoughts

Astros general manager Ed Wade tried to trade Wandy Rodriguez, but they will try to slip him through waivers and try to deal him in August

On a final note: I’m taking the next few days off, but will be back in the saddle later this week. Thanks for turning to MLB.com for the best coverage of the Astros at the Trade Deadline.

3 Comments

Johnson needs to keep his mouth shut. His comments about getting sent to OKC, are EXACTLY why he got sent down. I think Wallace should try to play winter ball somewhere……..it will do a WORLD of good for him. PLUS, it bodes well with
management, to see a guy trying to get better. We have GOT to see if this guy can hit, and sitting him against lefties is “babying” him.

If you have ever asked the question this Summer with regard to the Astros — “How could things get any worse?” — then you are about to get your answer.

Which also begs the next question — “Does Jim Crane have any idea what he’s doing?” Allowed to answer my own question, I would have to say “yes,” if his sole goal is to lower payroll. However, if his goal was to make the team better, then it may be time for a § 4241 hearing.

Here’s an interesing quote from an article talking about the Braves going after Pence: “Knowing that Derek Lowe and Tim Hudson are past 30, they would not trade Mike Minor or any of their top young pitchers for Beltran. They thought they had a better offer out to Houston for Pence and privately thought Ed Wade’s Philly roots determined the trade, fairly, or unfairly.” So its not just Houston fans that think so.

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