Results tagged ‘ Wes Musick ’

Astros stockpile young talent

The Astros’ success from 1997-2005 was a product of some terrific front-office moves. They drafted well, made some key free-agent signings and weren’t afraid to trade away some of their top prospects to get players in return. When the big contracts become burdensome and the youth pipeline began to dry up, the Astros were forced to shift course.

What made matters worse was the disastrous draft of 2007, which led to a shake up in the front office. Ed Wade took over as general manager and was asked to rebuild a farm system considered one of the worst in baseball, and one of the first thing he’s he did was hire Bobby Heck as scouting director.

The 2008 draft produced catcher Jason Castro and pitcher Jordan Lyles, and the Astros are still waiting to see what the 2009 and 2010 drafts produce, though several of their top prospects came from those drafts, including 2009 first-round pick Jiovanni Mier.

But what Wade and his staff have managed to do is add even more young players to the system in the past few months with a series of trades, as well as the Rule 5 draft. Here’s a look at the moves the teams has made since July 1 that have netted 11 young players in return:

  • July 1, 2010 – Acquired infielder Angel Sanchez from Boston in exchange for Kevin Cash.
    Comment: Sanchez did a nice job at the plate while starting at shortstop for much of the second half of the season while Tommy Manzella was on the disabled list. Sanchez has no power and is limited defensively, but he has skills.
  • July 29, 2010 – Acquired pitcher J.A. Happ, infielder Jonathan Villar and outfielder Anthony Gose from Phillies in exchange for Roy Oswalt.
    Comment: Oswalt didn’t want to be in Houston anymore, and the Astros were thrilled to get the switch-hitting Villar, who immediately became one of the team’s top prospects.
  • July 29, 2010 – Acquired first baseman Brett Wallace from Blue Jays in exchange for Gose.
    Comment: With Lance Berkman on his way out, the Astros spun Gose to the Blue Jays for Wallace, who became the starting first baseman at the Major League level.
  • July 31, 2010 – Acquired pitcher Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes from the Yankees in exchange for Lance Berkman.
    Comment: The Astros weren’t going to pick up Berkman’s hefty option for 2011, so he agreed to a trade to the Yankees. Melancon is a key part to the bullpen, and Paredes is a speedy third baseman who was put on the 40-man roster.
  • Aug. 19, 2010 – Acquired pitcher David Carpenter from the Cardinals in exchange for Pedro Feliz.
    Comment: With rookie Chris Johnson tearing it up at the plate, Feliz was done in Houston. Still, the Astros managed to get something for him in a trade. Carpenter was added to the 40-man roster and could be in the mix this year in the bullpen.
  • Dec. 9, 2010 – Selected right-handers Aneury Rodriguez and Lance Pendleton in the Rule 5 Draft.
    Comment: Both Rodriguez and Pendleton will compete for a spot in the rotation this spring, but they must remain on the active roster or be offered back to their former clubs (Rodriguez came from the Rays and Pendleton the Yankees).
  • Dec. 23, 2010 – Acquired left-hander Wes Musick and right-hander Jonnathan Aristil from the Rockies in exchange for Matt Lindstrom.
    Comment: Lindstrom was due for a big raise in arbitration, and the Astros were worried about his health and inconsistency last year. They got a pair of young arms in return who have some potential.

Lindstrom reacts to trade to Rockies

Matt Lindstrom was shoveling ice and snow from his mother’s driveway Thursday morning in Rexburg, Idaho, when he phone started going crazy. He soon found out he had been traded for the second consecutive offseason, but the news wasn’t all necessarily bad.

Lindstrom, who makes his offseason home in the Denver area, had been traded to the Colorado Rockies, who sent Minor League left-handed pitcher Wes Musick and right-handed pitcher Jonnathan Aristil to the Astros. “It’s pretty exciting,” Lindstrom told MLB.com on Thursday. “It’s a little bit bittersweet because I enjoyed my time in Houston so much and all my teammates and everyone was really good to me down there. I’m going to miss even [the media]. At times I wasn’t as good as I thought I was, but [the media] wasn’t too hard on me. I’m really excited to get going to Colorado and help them out and provide late-inning relief, especially because that’s where I spend my offseason.”

Lindstrom said he had talked to both Astros general manager Ed Wade and Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd on Thursday.

“[O’Dowd] clued me in on what they’re going to have me do and that’s provide late-inning relief,” he said. “Whatever the innings may be, there’s a lot of good guys over there already and hopefully I can contribute.”

Lindstrom, whom the Astros acquired a year ago in a trade with the Marlins, went 2-5 with a 4.39 ERA and a team-high 23 saves in 58 appearances. Lindstrom lost his closer’s job when he struggled in the second half of the year and wound up spending two weeks on the disabled list with a lower back strain.

“There were things I learned through my journey last year,” Lindstrom said. “I’m just going to take care of myself and be healthy all year and I know if I can do those things, good things will happen.”

When asked how he feels now, Lindstrom said: “Feel awesome.”

Lindstrom made $1.625 million last season and was due a raise in arbitration, which made him a candidate to be traded by the budget-minded Astros. Houston has feels good about its bullpen depth, with Brandon Lyon saving 20 games last season and Wilton Lopez developing into a dependable late-inning arm.

The Astros have also shopped infielder Jeff Keppinger, who started at second base for most of last season but has been pushed back to the bench by the signing of Bill Hall earlier this week. Houston traded with the Rockies in November to acquire shortstop Clint Barmes. Keppinger is still dealing with foot issues.

With the acquisitions of pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith, Barmes and Hall and trading away Lindstrom, the Astros are pretty much done this offseason, unless they can find a taker for Keppinger. They are also still in the market for a left-handed reliever.

In the last sixh months, the Astros traded away Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Pedro Feliz and Lindstrom and got eight prospects in return, plus they took two more in the Rule 5 Draft. That’s 10 young players injected into the system.

_____________________________________________________________________________

I am on vacation all of next week — like I was this week, with the exception of helping my colleagues here and there on all the Astros news that happened — and I want to wish everyone who reads this blog a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Spring Training is around the corner!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers