Well, the Astros have finished up with a third of the season. And you’ve read my daily thoughts on the Astros. So I thought I would give grades to the team, the players, coaches, and front office.
The Astros as a whole: C. This team is performing as I expected. It sucks. But I expected the team to suck.
The Front Office: D-. Hey, they did bring Hunter Pence up to the team from the minors. And he’s about the only positive thing on the team. But he started the season in the minors because of the Chris Burke experiment. And one can say that Carlos Lee is doing okay, though I think that he is overpaid. But the team held onto Brad Lidge instead of trading him in the spring, when teams like the Red Sox were very interested. And can anyone really explain why Rick White, Trever Miller, and Brian Moehler got contracts?
The Manager: F. The job of the manager is to put the team in the best position to win. Does anyone really think that Phil Garner’s done this? Come on, for the six weeks Craig Biggio led off and Jason Lane, Morgan Ensberg, and Adam Everett were getting consistent starts. And for some reason, he insists on carrying 12 pitchers – though this was ended last week. The 12-pitcher thing is really nonsense when pitchers nine through 12 are Brad Lidge, Rick White, Trever Miller, and Brian Moehler.
Roy Oswalt: He’s get an A+. It’s kind of strange, when Roger Clemens got this lack of run support, all that media did was shout in outrage. But it’s kind of silent about the lack of support for Oswalt. I wonder if he’s doubting the wisdom of signing that contract?
Chris Sampson: B+. And that’s surprising. The guy came into the season as the number five starter. He’s easily the number two starter now.
Wandy Rodriguez: C. He’s doing a little better than expected. But if he wasn’t a left-hander, he wouldn’t be on a major league roster.
Woody Williams: F. And he’s signed through next season. Good work there, Drayton.
Jason Jennings: C. He’s really hard to grade since he’s missed so much time.
Matt Albers: D. He may have been pushed just a bit too far a bit too fast.
Dave Borkowski: C. A complete nonentity. I think he pitches.
Rick White: D. Wow, he’s on the DL again.
Brian Moehler: F. He can’t even handle mop up duty.
Brad Lidge: C. He’s failed in the closer’s role. Again. He seems to have done okay as a middle reliever, but he’s making too much money for that role. And sure he’s been pitching okay, but does anybody out there really want him pitching the ninth inning with a one-run lead? I didn’t think so.
Chad Qualls: B. He’s been an adequate set-up guy.
Dan Wheeler: B. Who really knows how good he is? The Astros just aren’t performing enough to judge. Though I’ve really got to wonder if there might be another Brad Lidge situation coming up after Albert Pujols took him yard.
Lance Berkman: D. Lance, maybe you should spend more time working out in the office season, and less time working that whole Christian ministry thing. Adam Everett has more extra base hits than you do. Adam Fucking Everett.
Adam Everett: D-. I’m really sick of hearing about how his glove makes up for his lack of offense. Omar Vizquel has a great glove, and he can hit. So can J.J. Hardy, Jose Reyes, and Jimmy Rollins. I think this guy is the worse shortstop in the National League.
Morgan Ensberg: F. Can we all just forget about 2005 now?
Craig Biggio: C. I know he’s the icon. I know he’s aiming for 3,000 hits. But he shouldn’t be playing every day, and he definitely shouldn’t be batting lead-off every game. I don’t care how many people drive in from Huntsville and Beaumont to watch him play.
Brad Ausmus: D. Yeah, he calls a good game. He still doesn’t hit.
Carlos Lee: A-. He’s hitting the ball. He’s the team’s main power source. He’s still overpaid.
Hunter Pence: A. He’s one of the top candidates for Rookie of the Year. He’s everything that he was hyped up to be, though it wasn’t hype. He’s the only player on this team showing any life.
Luke Scott: C-. Sometimes he hits. Sometimes he doesn’t. His defense is only so-so. Still, he’s not Jason Lane.
Jason Lane: F. He just got sent down to Round Rock. It’s about time. But somehow, I think he’ll be back on the team. Who else is Garner going to send to up to strike out in a pinch hit situation.
Chris Burke: D. No one’s been treated worse by this team than Burke. He’s not a centerfielder, yet the team forced him to play in center, then we he didn’t perform, he was sent to the minors, despite his average being higher than Craig Biggio, Morgan Ensberg, Adam Everett, Jason Lane, and Orlando Palmeiro. He was recalled from Round Rock on Sunday.
Orlando Palmeiro: F. When’s the last time he got a pinch hit? And that’s his sole role.
Mike Lamb: B. He’s getting his hits, but he’s still not the best defensive player. Garner’s used him at third and first. Despite his defense, he deserves to be starting.
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Mark Loretta: A. He plays second, short, third, and first. And he hits no matter where he plays.
Humberto Quintero: D. Who?
Eric Munson: Inc. He’s been up for two games. He’s started both games. Is the Brad Lidge era over?
-- John Royal