Results tagged ‘ Brian Moehler ’

Busy off day for the Astros

Astros pitcher Brian Moehler said Thursday he torn the tendon off the bone in his left groin area during Wednesday’s simulated game in St. Louis and is seeking more input from doctors about what course of action he should take.

Moehler flew to Houston from St. Louis on Wednesday night and was examined Thursday morning by team medical director Dr. David Lintner. Moehler will have to choose between having the groin repaired surgically or trying non-surgical procedures.

“Dr. Lintner said you see more of this in football players and hockey goalies than you do baseball players, and he said a lot of studies are showing now that they’ve had success without surgery,” Moehler said. “We’re going to talk to a couple of other doctors who specialize in that area, and Dr. Lintner wants to know as well and see what they have to say.”

Moehler said Lintner was surprised with how well Moehler was moving around Thursday. He even threw a baseball off flat ground without pain. He plans to work out Friday at Minute Maid Park and rejoin the team when it returns to Houston on Monday.

“I’m not in any pain,” he said. “I’m walking around fine, and that’s very surprising. I thought I’d be in discomfort.”

Moehler admitted there’s a chance he might not pitch again this year.

“My head’s spinning because I don’t know which way to go,” he said. “If I do rehab and it doesn’t’ work, then I’ve wasted six weeks or however long it would take me to get back on the mound. I just need to talk to as many people as people and see what the other doctors have to say.”

The 38-year-old Moehler, who has been on the disabled list since July 8 with a right groin strain, is 1-4 with a 4.92 ERA in 20 games, including eight starts.

Also, right-hander Felipe Paulino is scheduled for a second opinion on his ailing right shoulder and will visit Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Aug. 12.

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Major League Baseball made official what was reported Wednesday by announcing Astros’ Minor League players Marcos Cabral, a shortstop, Jonathon Fixler, a catcher, and Danny Meszaros, a pitcher, were suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

All three tested positive for Methylhexaneamine and began serving their suspension immediately. On Wednesday, MLB announced pitcher Richard Rodriguez of the Astros’ Dominican Summer League team had been suspended for 50 games for using a performance-enhancing drug.

Astros general manager Ed Wade released a statement about the suspension that was understandably strong:

“The Houston Astros fully support the efforts of the Commissioner’s Office to rid our sport of any type of inappropriate drug use. Our players and staff have been briefed, counseled, educated and warned about what the ramifications and consequences are when they choose, either knowingly or not, to violate the MLB drug policy. And yet, despite the best efforts of MLB and the Astros, we still have individuals who abuse our game by ignoring reality. We are embarrassed by these types of suspensions. They are a smear on our game and our organization, and we will redouble our efforts to make sure the message gets through.”

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Astros general manager Ed Wade, in Corpus Christi to watch the Hooks play on Thursday night, said shortstop Tommy Manzella reported to Corpus Christi to being his rehab. He’s been out six weeks with a fractured left index finger.

The plan is for Manzella to get two at-bats in two games and then increase to three at-bats in two games before playing in a full game. He will then continue his rehab at Triple-A Round Rock. The longest the rehab could last is 20 days, but Manzella hopes it won’t be that long.

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The Astros made official the signing of first-round pick Delino DeShields Jr. during a news conference Thursday at Minute Maid Park. DeShields inked for a signing bonus of $2.15 million, which is around the suggested slot recommendation.

For a complete story on DeShields, as well as pictures and video of the news conference, click here.

Here are a couple of other stories Astros fans should read that posted today at Astros.com:

 

Day 33: Could the Astros be considering a four-man rotation?

The biggest news that came from Thursday’s game against the Phillies in Clearwater was starting pitcher Brett Myers leaving in the sixth inning with a mild groin strain. Myers doesn’t seem to be too worried about it, but we should know more Friday when he shows up at the ballpark.

Until then, don’t panic.

Instead of doing my usual breakdown, I’m going to discuss another direction the Astros could be going when it comes to the composition of their roster. There’s been so much talk about the fifth starter, but the reality is with three off days in the first 15 days of the season, the Astros won’t need a fifth starter until – and I think my math is now correct after being wisely alerted by a reader – April 18.

Could the Astros carry 11 pitchers to start the season – with Felipe Paulino making a few starts in Triple-A Round Rock the first few weeks – and carry an extra infielder? We know Lance Berkman had knee surgery nearly two weeks ago and could start the year on the disabled list and shortstop Tommy Manzella is trying to recuperate from a strained quadriceps, which are both issues that could play into roster composition.

If Berkman starts the year on the DL and the Astros carry an extra infielder, that could open spots for Edwin Maysonet and Chris Shelton, who smacked a three-run homer Thursday. Chris Johnson is also have a great spring, but he’s not going to a bench player. He’ll probably go to Round Rock and start at third base.

Or they could carry the standard six infielders and 12 pitchers, giving them an extra reliever. That would allow Chris Sampson, Sammy Gervacio and Wilton Lopez all to make the club.

The Astros haven’t announced any plans for their rotation behind Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez and Myers, whose status is now in doubt. Bud Norris will pitch in a Minor League game Friday, but the Astros have not said he’s made the team. Paulino and Brian Moehler are competing for the fifth spot, but Moehler will be working in the bullpen the rest of spring.

Manager Brad Mills said that’s not an indication Moehler will begin the season in the bullpen, so we’ll just have to wait and see. As of now, he’s still in the mix as a starter.

The injuries to Berkman and Manzella and the lack of a need for a fifth starter until the third week of the season certainly make any roster speculation more difficult. Whatever the case, we should know within the next week what the 25-man roster will look like.

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To reiterate a post from earlier today, Berkman can’t play in any more games during Spring Training in which an admission is charge — i.e. Grapefruit League or the April 2-3 exhibitions against Toronto at Minute Maid Park — without it affecting how long he would be on the disabled list. That’s if he starts the season on the DL.

Friday is the retroactive date, meaning players who don’t appear in games beginning Friday can be placed on the 15-day DL and return to action April 10 when the 15 days are up. If Berkman plays, say, the April 1 spring finale and then is put on the DL, he couldn’t return until April 17, missing 10  games instead of four.

So when it’s time for Berkman to get on the field and test his knee, it will likely be done in a Minor League game. 

How the rotation shapes up with Myers

The Astros squeezed a few more bucks together and have reached an agreement wiht free-agent pitcher Brett Myers, pending a physical. That’s key, considering he missed most of last season after undergoing surgery on his hip.

If Myers is healthy for the entire season, this could be a key signing for the Astros. Myers will likely slide into the No. 3 spot in the rotation behind Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez, leaving Bud Norris, Felipe Paulino and Brian Moehler battling for two spots. I have to think Norris’ performance, youth and high ceiling give him a spot, and Moehler’s veteran presence and experience puts him ahead of Paulino.

Paulino has the stuff to succeed and could very well pitch his way into the rotation in the spring, forcing the Astros to slot him somewhere. That is a problem general manager Ed Wade and manager Brad Mills would love to have.

So as it stands, here is what the Astros’ rotation could look like once they get Myers in the fold.

Roy Oswalt, RHP, 32 years old (8-6, 4.12 ERA in 30 starts last year) – Oswalt, who needs only seven wins to tie the club career record, has been slowed by back problems the past three seasons, forcing the Astros to shut him down last year in mid-September. He still has the ability to be one of the best in the game if he remains healthy.

Wandy Rodriguez, LHP, 31 years old (14-12, 3.02 ERA in 33 starts) — The Astros can only hope Rodriguez’s coming-out party wasn’t a one-year show. He led the team in wins, starts, innings pitched, strikeouts and quality starts (23). He pitched like an ace for most of the season.

Brett Myers, RHP, 29 years old (4-3, 4.84 ERA in 18 games, including 10 starts) — He missed most of the season because of hip surgery, but he’s a hoss when healthy. He started at least 30 games in each season from 2003-2008, with the exception of 2007 when he was moved to closer and saved 21 games. He’s a significant upgrade to the rotation.

Bud Norris, RHP, 24 years old (6-3, 3.53 ERA in 11 games, including 10 starts) — Coming off an impressive rookie season in which he won his first three and final three starts, Norris could be poised for a breakthrough season.

Brian Moehler, RHP, 38 years old (8-12, 5.47 ERA in 29 starts) – The Astros picked up his $3 million option for 2010. He has the occasional rough outing, but he takes the ball every fifth day and is a workhorse. Excluding his first two and his last two starts, he was 8-8 wiht a 4.25 ERA in his other 25 starts.

Other candidates — RHP Felipe Paulino (3-11, 6.27 ERA), RHP Yorman Bazardo (1-3, 7.88 ERA), LHP Wesley Wright (3-4, 5.44 ERA as a reliever), RHP Wilton Lopez (0-2, 8.38 ERA).

 

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