Results tagged ‘ Lee ’

Roy marches on, Carlos heading to Fla. Fanfest, and frozen yogurt.

Random news, notes and thoughts:

One of the many traits I inherited from my dad is a penchant for yelling at the T.V. during tense sports moments. I can vividly remember him lying on the couch yelling at the television — and the Reds — during tough times in the 1970s and ’80s. Later, when I was in college, I found myself doing the same thing while watching my Cincinnati Bearcats play basketball.

And again last night, watching Team USA play Team Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

Watching Roy Oswalt’s pitch count rise as he labored through the fourth inning was kind of like watching John Franco try to nail down a save for the Reds in the second half of 1989. You want desperately to jump on the field and yell “stop the madness,” but you can’t, of course, because you’re at home, watching on T.V., and no one is interested in your opinion.

I had no problem with Roy hitting the 70-pitch limit if he was cruising. But by the time he hit his 65th pitch, he was clearly gassed, and in my estimation, Team USA manager Davey Johnson was a tad tardy on yanking him.

I talked to Oswalt about that today and he just laughed at me, which did ease my mind a little bit. He insisted he had a direct open line of communication with the coaching staff and that he had told Johnson and pitching coach Marcel Lachemann he wanted to get to at least 60 pitches in this outing, if not a little more.

The good thing is that Oswalt has six days off before his next appearance. He’ll throw two bullpens this week and will be back on the mound Saturday in Miami for round two of the Classic. He says his body was tired after the outing, but his arm is fine. Whew.

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Carlos Lee contacted Cecil Cooper today and told him he was headed back to Spring Training camp and wanted to get into the game on Tuesday. Lee’s Team Panama was bounced from World Baseball Classic competition after just two games, and apparently, the burly left fielder is ready to return to his day job.

“He’ll be in the lineup tomorrow,” Cooper said after Monday’s game in Viera.

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Cooper, on Jose Capallan, who pitched three scoreless innings: “He’s pitching himself right into the picture. He’s done exactly what we asked him to do: throw strikes, change speeds, pitch down in the zone. He’ll keep getting stretched out.”

 

On Felipe Paulino, who allowed six runs over two innings: “Not very good. He seems to have no feel for pitching. A couple of breaking balls were good, but it did’nt look like he had a good feel. His command was not very good.” 

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A reminder: Astros FanFest this year will be held in conjunction with the exhibition game played against the Indians at Minute Maid Park, following the Florida portion of Spring Training. The date is April 4. When I receive more details regarding activities and autograph schedules, I will be sure to pass that along. But you can count on pretty much the entire team — plus several alumni — participating.

I had mistakenly thought FanFest was a two-day event, but it’s only one…please make note in your calendars, and sorry about the confusion.

From the Inbox:

Why isn’t Lance Berkman getting more playing time? It’s obvious he needs to work on his swing, and two innings every few days just doesn’t seem to cut it. I can’t understand Cooper’s thinking. My prediction: they will finish in last place! —

Elizabeth W., Dallas

When Cooper mapped out the travel schedule for his veteran players for the spring, he had Berkman marked down for no more than three road games all month. That’s why you haven’t seen much of him. Berkman is working out daily at the home complex and is of course playing in most home games, but is it enough? I realize Cooper wants to go easy on his veterans, but at the same time, the hitters have work to do in terms of getting their timing down at the plate. The only way they can do this is to face live pitching regularly, and it bugs me that Berkman is missing all of these road games. And there really isn’t any excuse for him not going to the Braves complex for a game or two, considering it’s less than 30 minutes from the Astros’ complex.

I have to disagree with you that they’ll finish in last place. I don’t know how good they’ll be, but they won’t finish lower than the Pirates. That I can promise you.
 
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Who wants low-fat frozen yogurt after the seventh inning stretch? I do…and I’d bet I’m not alone. Who can I contact to request/encourage this addition to the ballpark menu? — Tracy B., Houston

A cool refreshing snack without the high-calorie guilt? Count me in! I liked your idea so much I forwarded it to the Astros customer service. And let this serve as a reminder to everyone out there — you send your questions, concerns, compliments and complaints to customerservice@astros.com. I can assure you they read each and every one of them and respond to the best of their ability.

Oswalt in typical form…Astros on TV.

Roy Oswalt enjoyed facing his slugging teammates as the batting practice pitcher on Saturday during a session that included a few broken bats, a few laughs and a bunch of good-natured trash talking.

You can imagine the lively scene as Oswalt threw to Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee, but at the same time, Oswalt was careful about where his pitches were going, so as to not hurt his own teammates.

“It’s just all in fun,” Oswalt said. “I’m not going to throw in on the guys. Just in case I hit one of the guys I don’t want to knock him out for the season as far as breaking something.

In terms of trash-talking, Oswalt was clearly enjoying the fact that his hitting teammates hadn’t seen live pitching since last September. Advantage, Oswalt.

“I had the upper hand,” he said. “I ran up a few balls here and there, just to keep them honest. I don’t want them to be leaning out over there, but not too far in. But I’m not throwing on the inside part of the plate.”

Random news and notes:
Good news — a ton of Astros spring games will be on television this year. ESPN will broadcast the Astros-Braves game at Disney next Thursday (Feb. 26) at 12:05 p.m. CT., and FS Houston will broadcast four games: March 20 vs. Cincinnati, March 23 vs. Florida, March 24 vs. the Mets and March 25 at St. Louis. Also, when the Astros return home, the April 4 exhibition game with the Indians will also be on FS Houston.

The Yankees games usually sell out, and this year is no exception. The game between these two teams at Osceola County Stadium on March 18 is standing room only.

I’ve had a lot of questions about FanFest…it will take place the weekend of the exhibition games with the Indians, April 3 and 4.

Alyson

Grapefruit League on the horizon.

Grapefruit League games will begin on Wednesday, and it looks like Mike Hampton will get the first start. He’ll take the mound against the Nationals at Osceola County Stadium, beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET. Because it’s only the first game, Hampton probably won’t pitch more than one, or maybe two, innings.

Roy Oswalt will start the second game next Thursday at the Braves. That probably will be the only start he makes before departing for Clearwater on March 2 to join his Team USA teammates as they gear up for the World Baseball Classic. Depending on how far their teams get in the tournament, Oswalt, Carlos Lee [Panama] and Miguel Tejada [Dominican Repubic] could be away from Astros camp for three weeks.

Today is photo day, an annual rite of passage that involves players walking from station to station and posing for various outlets, including baseball card companies and wire services. Players don’t particularly love this day, because it means arriving to the ballpark before 7:30 a.m. The good thing is they get everything done at once and don’t have to do this again, until next year.

More later on Toby Hall’s MRI results and other news and notes from spring camp.

Alyson

 

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