Results tagged ‘ Doug Brocail ’

Astros expect quiet deadline

Astros general manager Ed Wade reiterated his stance Saturday that he doesn’t see his club making an impact trade before the July 31 deadline.

Wade said the Astros don’t want to give up prospects and aren’t in position to add salary. Also, Houston entered play Sunday three games out of first place in the NL Central.

“We’ll have conversations with clubs,” he said. “I just don’t want to raise undo expectations that we’re going to really be active at the trading deadline because that’s not going to be the case. We’re not going to be in a position to make a deal of significance.

“We’ve talked about where our payroll is at this point in time and we’re going to be very reluctant to give up a lot of young players. But we’ll continue to have conversations if there’s ways to improve.”

The kinds of things Wade anticipates doing are more along the lines of adding inexpensive pieces like Chris Coste, who was claimed off waivers July 10. Relievers Chris Sampson and Doug Brocail could also return from the disabled list soon.

“A year ago at this time we had a real pressing need for starting pitching and bullpen help and we went out and got [Randy] Wolf and [LaTroy] Hawkins,” Wade said. “The way Roy [Oswalt] and Wandy [Rodriguez] are pitching at the top of the rotation and the way the other three guys have gotten us deep enough into games, puts us in a position where we’re not in dire need to go out and add starting pitching.”

Brocail, Bagwell and Manny on prowl in LA

Relief pitcher Doug Brocail was back on the road with the Astros on Thursday, which meant the clubhouse scene was a little more jovial. Brocail took pride in finishing a crossword puzzle and then welcomed reporters to get into the box against him.

That’s because Brocail will be throwing a simulated game Friday. He’s been on the disabled list since May 4 with a strained left hamstring and was giddy over getting back on the mound to face hitters and field his position.

Depending on how he does Friday, Brocail could be close to setting a schedule for a Minor League rehab assignment.

“I need to get in the situation of breaking to first [base],” Brocail said. “You can’t really get that until you get in the game. As much as I hate rehab assignments, this one is going to be a necessity only because if I over-stride or if I move too quickly, I’ve got to know what it’s going to do.”

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Astros manager Cecil Cooper said he will approach pitching to Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez during this weekend’s series in Los Angeles the same way he has pitched to Cardinals All-Star Albert Pujols.

“If there’s a chance to walk him when he has a chance to hurt you, you have to walk him,” Cooper said. “The only way to do that is you have to get the guys out in front of him. Will he change the strategy? Not a whole lot. But you can’t let him beat you.”

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Jeff Bagwell, the Astros’ all-time leader in home runs and RBIs and a special assistant to the general manager, is making a rare road trip with the club this weekend in Los Angeles.

“I think he’s here more to visit with [Dodgers catcher Brad] Ausmus than he is with us,” Houston manager Cecil Cooper said.

Actually, Bagwell will remain with the big club through the weekend before heading to the Astros’ Single-A affiliate in Lancaster next week to check some of the organization’s prospects.

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