Tag:Chris Johnson
Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:57 pm
Edited on: September 7, 2010 1:59 pm
 

Astros rookies get dressed up

If your team is out of the playoff hunt, September always seems to have one more treat for you -- the rookie road trip.

Every year in just about every clubhouse, rookies come into the clubhouse following the last game of a series to find their clothes replaced with some kind of embarrassing costume that they must wear until they get to the hotel in the next city.

Year after year it happens. A couple of years ago I was covering a team that had to scrap its plans at the last minute because the manager was mad and didn't want any merriment from a team following a loss, despite the fact the team was safely out of the running.

While some teams will have these kind of shenanigans earlier in the season, most wait until the end of the season because there are more rookies once call-ups are made. And then there's the whole question of who is a rookie, these pranks aren't like chicken pox -- you can get them more than once. Jeff Keppinger told me he had to do it three different times because of late call-ups and new teams.

Well, Keppinger didn't have to do it this season, but his teammates did. Astros.com's Alyson Footer got some great photos for her blog . Click to see Chris Johnson and Jason Castro as Saturday Night Live 's Ace and Gary, Henry Villar as Super Mario Brother Luigi and Fernando Abad as the ever-popular naughty nurse.

Footer also pulled up old pictures of Roy Oswalt in a Hooters get-up in 2001 and Morgan Ensberg in the same the year before.

It's great stuff from Footer and hopefully we'll see more of these from other teams in coming weeks.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: June 23, 2010 2:39 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2010 2:50 pm
 

Astros install Johnson as third baseman

Pedro Feliz When the Astros signed Pedro Feliz to a one-year deal in the offseason, they envisioned him gobbling up ground balls and having some pop at the plate.

Nine errors and a .220/.245/.295 line in 227 at-bats later, and Feliz is now hitting the pine. He does so in favor of 25-year-old Chris Johnson, son of Red Sox first-base coach Ron Johnson.

"He understood [the decision]," manager Brad Mills told the Houston Chronicle . "He was disappointed, as we knew he would be, but at the same time he understands the situation."

Johnson made the Opening Day roster but was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock after posting a .538 OPS in 26 at-bats. Down on the farm, he's having his best season at the Triple-A level. Over 149 at-bats, he has eight home runs and a .329 batting average. Johnson will clearly be an offensive upgrade over Feliz. On defense, Johnson is thought to be shaky, but it's hard to be worse than Feliz was.

"It's not over for me yet," Feliz said. "This is the first time I'm in this situation in my career, but I won't get tired of saying that it is not over."

Unfortunately for Feliz, his career does look like it's ending, while Johnson's is only beginning. Such is the cycle of baseball.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 20, 2010 7:11 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2010 8:01 pm
 

Astros shake up roster

Jason castro Not content to remain in free fall, the Astros made some changes after Sunday's loss, their eighth in 10 games.

Houston designated for assignment catcher Kevin Cash (.216 average), outfielder Cory Sullivan (.190) and reliever Casey Daigle (six major-league innings in four years). Called up were catcher Jason Castro, infielder Chris Johnson and outfielder Jason Bourgeois. Castro and Bourgeois were not on the 40-man roster.

Castro (pictured), the Astros' top draft pick in 2008, will be making his major league debut, and manager Brad Mills indicated to reporters after the game that he'll be the starting catcher. Humberto Quintero was hit in the head by a swung bat Sunday, causing a gash that needed seven stitches, and could miss time. Cash was the only other catcher on the active roster.

Castro, 23, was batting .265 with four homers and 26 RBIs for Triple-A Round Rock. He's a good contact hitter who has power potential.

Johnson's arrival could portend a seat on the bench for third baseman Pedro Feliz, batting a disappointing .220. Johnson hasn't done much in two brief prior major-league opportunities (including eight games this season), but he's been killing the ball at Triple-A (.329 average, .932 OPS) and the Astros are in dire need of offense.

Bourgeois, a Houston native, brings speed and will probably be a backup in the outfield, replacing Sullivan. He was batting .345 at Round Rock, fifth in the Pacific Coast League.

Houston is 26-44, 12 1/2 games out in the National League Central. The Astros have scored the second-fewest runs in the NL and have the lowest OPS in the majors at .619. They really have nothing to lose by looking to the future and giving some young guys a chance.

-- David Andriesen

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