Tagged: J.R. Towles

Welcome home

r1901214050.jpgWe’ve heard a lot about the Astros’ initial woes. That’s our topic for a feature at astrosdehouston.com, the official Spanish-language website of your Houston Astros. For those of you already swearing to tune in to Grey’s Anatomy or whatever else is on TV, I have a message for you:

Don’t panic yet. There’s a very long way to go.

In fact, this isn’t the Houston team that was destined for the cellars last year; not even the 2005 team which rode all the way to the World Series, with pitching so good they could bear a lack of hitting so bad I wouldn’t even want to think about it again. And they were NL champs with that.

You can see all Astros starters have had at least very decent outings. Some even could be considered brilliant. That was the case tonight. Wandy Rodriguez was again at home, and you could feel it. Heck, he has even pitched great on the road.

7.1 solid innings, and he had his teammates’ support to back him up this time. Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee and J.R. Towles went yard. All Astros runs were scored courtesy of the good old homerun.

Jose Valverde’s missteps were erased with a Miguel Tejada walkoff homer. Yes, you read that right. The Dominican-born player couldn’t have dreamt with a better welcome to Minute Maid Park, turning the tables for good against the Cardinals.

Fans can’t say they didn’t get their money’s worth tonight. It was a very entertaining ballgame to watch, defined in the most dramatic way possible. They have not won the World Series, very far from it. They’re celebrating their season is starting to show different shades and colors, instead of gray.

All places set

I was wrong. sorry about that.

I thought that, despite a not-so-stellar Spring Training, Woody Williams was going to survive the last round of cuts. But that wasn’t the case.

Chris Sampson will be No. 5 of the starting rotation. Besides, the somewhat controversial idea of keeping three catchers in the roster will not be kept. Humberto Quintero was sent to Triple-A, while J.R. Towles and Brad Ausmus remain on the big team.

Williams was unceremoniously released. It is expected for the Houston-native hurler to call it quits after 15 MLB seasons.

Against Woody we can mention his age, his Spring outing and, above all else, his 15-8 record of 2007.

His teammates are not really pleased.

“Fourteen years in the big leagues, you have one bad year…you can’t really go on that,” Roy Oswalt said. “A lot of people have a bad year.

“I don’t think it’s right for Spring Training to be judged. But that’s [management’s] job. They’re trying to put a team on the field and I guess they’re trying to go a different way.”

A whole different case could be made for Quintero. The Maracaibo, Venezuela native really made his best effort, he shed a few pounds and proved himself at his top game. But in the end, Cecil Cooper didn’t go through with the three-catchers combo.

Venezuela-born seasoned infielder Tomas Perez made the cut though.

It’s true, this is a different path for the Astros. A road never travelled before, and a 180-degree departure from last year.

Or maybe, from the past 5 or 6 years in management style terms.