Discussing the Houston Astros, Jonah says team still has little offense, & pitching
staff depends on whether or not Clemens returns. Astros have done well developing
pitching prospects, but not with hitters. They brought up Jason Lane, but he was already 27 years old by then. Astros currently have 4 good pitching prospects in the
minors. Jason Hirsch is one, mentioned because he did well in the Texas league which
is a tougher one. Predict P Brandon Backe will be back if no Clemens. *Of note to National league teams---Backe is a very good hitter as well. Jonah notes Hunter Penn
is a good hitting prospect. Astros have right idea on being flexible developing pitchers, using the Earl Weaver model--bring pitchers up & let them start in the bullpen, as Roy Oswalt did, also Scott Elarton. Jonah mentions his upcoming books,
Baseball Prospectus 2006, & Baseball Between the Numbers. Jeff has a special for XM
subscribers at Rotowire.com/xm. Tomorrow will discuss BREWERS.