Paulino proves me wrong. Astros on the mend.

I’ll be honest — I wasn’t expecting much from Felipe Paulino on Sunday. He was wholly unimpressive while auditioning for the fifth starter job during Spring Training, and while his first two starts for Round Rock were terrific, success at Triple-A doesn’t necessarily translate into success in the big leagues.

Paulino opened the game by allowing a base hit to Willy Taveras, and he hit the next batter, Chris Dickerson. But from there, Paulino was clearly in control. I have no idea what they’ll do with him once Brian Moehler is ready to come off the disabled list, but clearly, Paulino earned the chance to make another start. Moehler is probably going to make a few Minor League starts before rejoining the rotation, so that will give Paulino more opportunities to prove Sunday’s outing wasn’t a one-hit wonder.

With Brandon Backe on the mend and Paulino knocking on the door, it appears the Astros might actually have a little pitching depth. I’m still not convinced Backe can be an effective full-season starting pitcher, but he’s piqued my interest. We’ll see.

Kaz Matsui should be ready to return to his position Monday and look for Jeff Keppinger to play during the Dodgers series. The Astros are facing three lefties — including former Astro Randy Wolf — and the Astros are going to need Keppinger’s bat, and his stellar average against lefties, in that series.

Alyson Footer is on Facebook and Twitter

8 Comments

With the bullpen being the “strength” of the team, I’m really ********** right now to see them blow 2 out of 3 after the “weakest” part of the team-starting pitching-turned in excellent performances. I’m very confused, maybe they are, too. But if I’m Roy, I’m mixing Gold Bonds in some relief pitchers drawers, with Paulion watching the door.

AlyO (hope you don’t mind that nickname, I spent seconds on it), are you only blogging when the team is at home? Just let me know so I know to track down the road teams blogger during the season. And are you considered a professional blogger now or still a professional writer? Can one be both? Richard Justice thinks so, but I’m not so sure… :-)

Alyson,

All due respect but I think you are missing the point on the Sutton deal. Drew Sutton hitting stats for last year at AA were: AVG: 317, OBP: 408, OPS: 931, 39 doubles and 20 HR. Then he goes to the AFL and hits 317 with a 1038 OPS, 7 HR (fith most) and 17 extra base hits in 108 AB. Both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus listed him as the astros? 8th best prospect, the one with the best strike-zone discipline and the only 2b/ss in their top ten. I know being the 8th best prospect in their farm system is not saying a whole lot but still, why would you deplete the farm system even more when we know and I even think Drayton and Ed Wade would honestly tell you (if forced to tell the truth) that there is no way this team is a playoff team. I know He is 25 but Pence was 24 when he first played in the majors and we all know how the astros are very slow to graduate players to the big league club. I mean, given the state of the farm system, this would only make sense to me if they had a really good chance at making the playoffs. Sutton might end up being a utility infielder but at least there is a chance He might prove them wrong, with Keppinger, at age 29, you know HE IS utility infielder at best

kucerajd, I think she was taking a few days off is all, and will hopefully post on the blog for away games as well (I hope so anyway, correct me please if I’m wrong). Ofcourse you can always check other teams’ blogs via MLB.com (I sound like a freakin’ commercial, sorry).

I agree with you kucerajd, I was VERY frustrated with what happened yesterday. Such a good performance by Paulino and it was absolutely trashed by the bullpen.

I was tempted but will refrain from adding MY comments regarding Justice…I think Alyson is friends with him so out of respect….

Aggie06: I certainly see your point and can understand the frustration. I’ve just never been terribly swayed one way or another when the team trades prospects who may or may not be something someday. Sutton is a good player but he’s never been one who comes up in conversation when the club talks about its top prospects. However, there is most definitely a chance that the trade will come back to haunt them. I just really like Keppinger and I think he’ll be good for this team over the next couple of years.

Regarding the blog updates…I’ll update when I’m working. I won’t be updating when I’m not working, and yes, there will be days that I’m off (thankfully).

Thanks for reading!

I am fairly new to the Astros, I go to most AAA games in Round Rock, I agree that it really pains me to see them loose in the late innings. I know things will get better but for now it is so sad.

Alyson,

What makes you and the Astros orginization so optimistic about Red Meat? I know the guy is a character, high energy all around good guy, but he’s never been a good pitcher. Furthermore, he’s never been able to stay healthy.

He’s definately pitched some great games for us, especially in our play-off runs, but his #’s suggest he’s nothing but a innings eater. He has basically been a human batting tee at the major league level (1.4 hr/9). I don’t understand why everyone acts like he is a legitimate #2 or #3 starter.

Oh could we just get a win?!?!?!? Please!!

Let the flame war begin. . . We need to start firing some pitchers. Thanks again bullpen. . .

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