Wandy Rodriguez Over/Under 20 Astros Starts?

I have been following Lisa’s blog at Astros Dugout from a far for three years now. To put it very mildly, she is a fan and an analyst. To me she’s the voice of Houston Astros baseball. I asked for her thoughts on a couple issues that pertain to fantasy and the actual game of baseball.

1. Over or under 20 games started this season for Wandy Rodriguez as a member of the Astros?

I have heard, since Jim Crane bought the team last year, that he absolutely wants to get rid of Wandy’s salary. To my knowledge, at least 3 teams have offered to take his entire contract, but, for some reason, it didn’t happen. Many teams wanted to trade for him in the offseason, but apparently, no offer was good enough. Crane is now telling, on the record, what little is left of the local media that he wants to dump the salaries of Carlos Lee, Wandy and Brett Myers at the deadline. Therefore, unless he is injured or is totally ineffective, I expect that he will be gone by August 1.

He would have thrown 19 games by the deadline, so I am going to pick “under.”


2. Although you haven’t officially met Jed Lowrie as an Astro, Red Sox fans (like me) can tell you that first impressions are important. Seeing that he’s on the DL, I’m guessing you are thinking this guy is fragile. With the Red Sox he missed games with neurological surgery, mononucleosis, shoulder injuries, and wrist injuries. He has never played more than 90 games. How do you feel about him as a starting shortstop?

I would bet that Mr. Crystal Swarnova provides more value in the 75 games he is not hurt than Marwin Gonzalez + Matt Downs + Brian Bixler + Angel Sanchez + Jonathan Villar in the rest. I know that is damning with faint praise. Unfortunately, staying healthy appears to be a talent in itself, and one that Jed lacks. I hope that Jed does completely recover as he is Nomar Garciaparra compared to Jonathan Villar’s Julio Lugo v2.

3. J.D. Martinez followed up a pretty good season in the minor leagues by playing some solid baseball with the big club in a couple months with the big club. What are your expectations with a full season of at-bats this season?

First of all, I hope that he is actually given a chance to play a full year and not pulled in favor of Travis Buck if he doesn’t have a .900 OPS at the end of April. He’s been slumping since the third week of Spring Training, but I think that if he’s given a real chance, that he could post at least a .800 OPS over 500 PA. Several baseball people I know and trust, who are not employed by Organized Baseball, have told me that they believe that JD is going to be a very good major league hitter, and I hope they are right.