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[Official] Astros Spring Training

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by Castor27, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Castor27

    Castor27 Moderator
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    This thread is for roster moves, injuries etc. Please use the game thread to discuss games.
     
  2. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Go Stros!
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    Woohoo! Hope springs eternal.
     
  3. msn

    msn Member

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    aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh baseball is back!
     
  4. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Koby had a three run jack yesterday in the intra-squad game off Matt Lindstrom.
     
  5. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    He probably starts the season at Corpus to make sure last year wasn't a park-induced fluke. I'd like to see him get more time at 1st. There, at some point, has to be a back up plan for Berkman...though I still believe Carlos Lee should give it a shot.
     
  6. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Koby is in search of a position ... third, catcher, corner outfield and now first.

    Koby's road/home splits last year indicate his bat may be for real. If he continues to hit at AA, I like his chances for being an everyday MLB player. The question is at what position.

    Koby's defense at third must be atrocious, which is too bad since there is a fairly clear path in the Astros farm system to the bigs.
     
  7. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Piling up big numbers, like his famous father
    By Nick Cafardo
    Globe Staff / March 4, 2010

    KISSIMMEE, Fla. - There were catcalls from the stands a few years ago from a few dopes who thought Koby Clemens should be blamed for or had something to do with the things his father was accused of. He shrugged them off and stayed focused on what he needed to do - which, when you think about it, was a pretty enormous task. He had the burden of comparisons to his father, the burden of showing the baseball world what he was made of.

    Clemens, a farmhand in the Houston Astros system, hit .345 with 22 homers and 121 RBIs in 116 games at Single A Lancaster (Calif.) last season. You can say the wind at Lancaster makes balls fly out of the park and numbers are usually inflated, but, as Clemens said, “You still have to hit the ball.’’

    And he did.

    Yesterday, in Astros camp, you could see a continuation of that. With Roger watching - and declining interviews - from the stands, Koby went 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs in an intrasquad game against the major leaguers. He belted a three-run homer off Matt Lindstrom, a hard-throwing major league righthander.

    Astros assistant general manager Ricky Bennett said while the Lancaster ballpark situation has to be taken into consideration, “from what our people told us and what I observed personally, he had huge hits. Clutch hits. When there were guys on base, Koby always seemed to come through.

    “There’s no question, he can hit a baseball.’’

    You can see how this all happened.

    In the offseason, Koby Clemens takes batting practice against a 354-game winner with seven Cy Young Awards and 4,672 strikeouts. The sessions are pretty intense, said Koby, which is fine with him.

    “I’m fortunate to be able to go up against Dad, and the sessions are just great,’’ he said. “I’ve learned so much from his knowledge of pitching, and for me as a hitter, I get to think along with the pitcher. He’s always taught me what he’s thinking on this count or that count and what he’s trying to do to get me out.

    “He’ll drop the forkball over and get me once in a while, but once in a while he’ll brush me back or I’ll take him deep and I give it right back to him because he loves that.

    “It’s really taught me the game.’’

    The organizational hope for the younger Clemens is that he’ll be the next Brandon Inge. Bennett worked for the Tigers when Inge was a young player, and when he looks at Clemens, he sees the same skills.

    “I’ve talked a lot to him about Inge,’’ said Bennett. “He came up as a shortstop and then we moved him to catcher and then he got moved to third and the outfield.

    “Our No. 1 pick [in 2008], Jason Castro, was going to get the bulk of the playing time, but I wanted to make sure we kept Koby’s bat in the lineup. So we played him at DH and then when Castro moved up, we caught him. He’s played third and left field and this year he’s going to play first base at Corpus Christi. But we still want him to catch some, maybe a couple of times a week.’’

    Clemens is just fine with the Inge comparisons.

    “If I could ever be a player like Brandon Inge and play in the big leagues, that could be a dream come true for me,’’ Clemens said. “That’s what this is all about.

    “I’m happy I had the year I had because it was just so much fun. It just seemed that everything fell into place and things went right. I was able to hit in the middle of the order, and when I came up, there were people on base and it just worked out.’’

    Bennett has already advised him: “Don’t feel you have to duplicate last year. Just go out and give it everything you have and keep improving.’’

    Clemens smiles when asked what he can do for an encore.

    “I think what the year did for me more than anything was boost my confidence,’’ he said. “I always had the confidence I could hit if given the at-bats.’’

    The Astros will ask Jeff Bagwell, a spring training instructor, to work with Clemens on his footwork at first base. Clemens doesn’t really look like a first baseman; while he is listed at 5 feet 11 inches, 193 pounds, he doesn’t look quite that big.

    “Bagwell wasn’t a real tall guy, either,’’ said Bennett. “But he had power. I think with Koby, as he starts getting older, the power will come. That usually comes last anyway, but for now he’s a bat that we want in the lineup.’’

    Clemens said the best part about Double A is that his family will be able to watch a lot of his games. Roger Clemens used to rent out suites in Salem (Va.) and Lexington (Ky.) - other stops along the trail for Koby - but Corpus Christi is about a five-hour drive from the family home.

    “Just having the whole clan there is going to be a lot of fun,’’ said Clemens. “I haven’t had that since high school, so that part is going to be a blast for me.’’

    Clemens said he still has to improve on many things, including defense. He said catcher is his favorite position, and he’s been able to catch his father quite a bit.

    “I’ve talked to Koby about that,’’ said Bennett. “On the one hand, you’re catching Roger Clemens. On the other hand, Roger is so near the plate all the time that he’s not a big challenge. There aren’t a lot of balls you have to block. We kid around about that.’’

    Obviously, young Clemens has had many advantages in his life. He’s a wealthy kid who had the best equipment at his home. But his work ethic has always impressed the Astros.

    “He’s really smart,’’ said Bennett. “You can tell him things and he retains it and he goes out and implements it. He’s capable of making adjustments very quickly, both at the plate and defensively, and he works. He really works. I think he sets a nice example for a lot of the kids here.’’

    Nobody knows where it all goes from here, what happens with Koby or what happens to his father and the federal grand jury investigations about steroid use. The younger Clemens just has to prove that last year wasn’t an aberration. He may not make Baseball America lists of hot prospects to watch, but that’s OK with him.

    “My dad built a work ethic in me that you never stop trying to get better,’’ said Clemens.

    Before walking to the field, he added, “You know, my dad really loved playing in Boston.’’

    Nick Cafardo can be reached at cafardo@globe.com.
     
  8. HoustonN06

    HoustonN06 Member

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    Lindstrom and his no movement fastball... Clemens won't be the only one hitting it.
     
  9. cardpire

    cardpire Member

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    didn't want to start a new thread to post this, but i said this at the time...i just dont understand how the guy only drew a 6yr/30MM contract.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/bi...its-100-mph-strikes-out-three-?urn=mlb,226703

    i'd sure as hell rather take on that contract than moehler, lindstrom, and lyon. would bring us some buzz and excitement and a potential stud and a dirt cheap price. oh well, at least we can watch him dominate us 4 times/year.
     
  10. RocketMania1991

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    6 years for 30 million isn't expensive, but it isn't cheap.

    You are getting an unproven commodity who has never pitched in a major league game or the miners.

    You don't know what you can expect. He has the potential but can he piece it all together.

    I think if teams like the Yankees or Red Sox truly felt he was the next stud they could/would of gotten him.
     
  11. wallyj12

    wallyj12 Member

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    Yea I would have liked to see him an Astros uniform, especially since he's a young arm. One of the ESPN guys made a good point though about that contract he signed. Its not too too expensive, but teams didnt know his major league readiness level. If he had to spend, say 3 years in the minors fine tuning his skills, you just spent 15 million and he only has 3 years left on his contract. Again, the money amount isn't that great but it was an interesting point
     
  12. cardpire

    cardpire Member

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    i tend to disagree, i think it's dirt cheap for a potential stud starter who would bring the buzz that he would. i can't imagine that he would be such a bust that he isn't even capable of being a serviceable 5th starter, and we are currently paying our 37 year old #5 $3MM.

    and even if he were to be a complete bust, that still wouldn't register in the top 40 worst contracts in the league.
     
  13. bobrek

    bobrek Not a liberal, regardless of my posts
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    One time, Kelvin Cato had a triple double in an exhibition game.
     
  14. cardpire

    cardpire Member

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    sure. then he got overpaid.

    i'm just saying, chances seem slim to me that 6 years/30 million will ever be considered an awful contract.
     
  15. RocketMania1991

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    If he's a bust it won't be terrible, but none the less a waste of money.

    And for a small market team like the Reds are it seems odd that they would go after Chapman in the first place.

    I haven't seen enough of Chapman to judge, i've only heard what scouts have been reporting.
     
  16. bobrek

    bobrek Not a liberal, regardless of my posts
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    Considering Chapman came from a communist country, it was only natural that he signed with the "Reds".
     
  17. Chilly_Pete

    Chilly_Pete Contributing Member

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    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/bb/6910174.html
     
  18. No Worries

    No Worries Contributing Member

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    Can Carlos Lee play first base better than LF?
     
  19. rockets934life

    rockets934life Contributing Member

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    NOOOOOOOO....I hope its only 2-4 weeks because while the season isn't won or lost in April by any means, a fast start is important for a respectable season.

    By the way, i've been saying Puma's decline is here and health is part of that reasoning by my part. Dude has had more health issue the last few years and if his numbers start to go down either by fatigue or injury this team SHOULD NOT pick up that 14 million dollar option.
     
  20. leroy

    leroy Contributing Member

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    By the sounds of the type of surgery, 4 weeks should be the absolute max.

    Makes me wonder if this is the same thing I'm dealing with. My knee has been killing me for weeks now since a soccer game, and I don't remember doing anything to it. Just swells up, gets tight, and aches in no particular place. Unfortunately, I don't have a major league team paying for it so I'll be dealing with it for a while and hope that it goes away on it's own.
     
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