Maysonet called up, Cooper addresses team issues.
Edwin Maysonet messed up a bunt attempt in the eighth inning Thursday night and afterward his Triple-A manager, Marc Bombard, called him into his office and said, “You’ve got to start working on your bunting, especially up there.”
Maysonet didn’t initially understand what “up there” meant. Turns out, it meant the big leagues. Maysonet was called up to replace Jason Smith, who, hitless this season, was designated for assignment after the Astros’ loss to the Brewers.
This is Maysonet’s second call to the big leagues. He was also part of a group of Minor Leaguers who was called up last year when rosters expanded to 40 in September.
Maysonet was hitting .309 with seven doubles and five RBIs for Round Rock at the time of his recall. He’ll fill the same role as Smith — a backup infielder and pinch-hitter.
There have been a lot of whispers about a contentious relationship developing between the players and manager Cecil Cooper, and Cooper addressed the topic before Friday’s game with the Rangers.
Cooper insisted his repoire with the players is fine and downplayed the notion that he’s lost the clubhouse. Here is what he said:
“When you struggle, all sorts of things happen. I’m sensing that’s probably what’s happening. I don’t think it’s a bad relationship. If it is, I don’t think it’s really on me. I think my door’s open. I expressed it all the time. I’m open, I move around amongst my players every day, if there are issues they should be addressed. I don’t feel there are.
“You have to be open, you have to be available and guys have to speak their minds when there’s something going on. There’s only so much you can sense or feel. They have to express themselves.”
Lately, however, the players have been expressing their feelings, largely off the record, to reporters, and not Cooper. They were not happy when Cooper opted not to bunt when the Astros had runners on first and second in the ninth inning in Chicago last Saturday, and some were irked with how he handled the lineup card mixup the other night during their game with the Brewers. Several wondered why it was a player, and not Cooper, who reached out to explain the mixup to Michael Bourn, who did not initially understand why he was being called back to hit again, after he had led off the game with a base hit.
On going to the media with their concerns, and not directly to him, Cooper said this:
“Then I’d say they’ve got a problem. They need to come and talk to me. That’s what I say to that. They need to talk to me. If I had an issue with someone, I would talk to that individual. I would hope they’d have enough confidence and feel good enough to come and talk to me. It’s not like I’m not around. It’s not like my door’s closed. It’s not like I don’t move in and out
of the clubhouse. It’s not like i’m not approachable. I would hope they would come talk to me.”