Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez made his first rehab start since injuring his groin in a game on April 19. In six innings, Rodriguez allowed four hits and one run with one walk and no strikeouts. Wandy threw 78 pitches and saw 22 batters, so he didn't have to stretch himself out too much but still pitched effectively, with a fifth inning solo home run being the only extra base hit he gave up. The real test will be in five days when he makes his next start. If he doesn't suffer any setbacks, he should be rejoining the rotation next weekend (optimistically).
Jack Cassel has thrown at least 100 pitches in each of his four starts for Round Rock this month. What's surprising about this is Cecil Cooper didn't let him throw more than 70 in either of his starts with the big club. Cassel still has a great ground out-flyout ratio, which he maintained in his brief stint with the Astros. Oh, and he hasn't allowed more than three runs in a game this season. Methinks we didn't give him enough of a shot the first time around.
Some great information in this week's Minor League Notebook by the Chronicle's Brian McTaggart. Disappointing to hear about Moresi getting hurt. He was really hitting the ball well this month before that. I knew he'd been out for a while and was most likely injured, but that's one of the limitations bloggers often have (though Buzz Bissinger will vehemently disagree); I simply didn't have access to people who knew about these things. None of the Astros minor league teams are near enough to major newspapers to carry useful information about injuries and the like. I've looked at the game stories after Moresi was out of the lineup for two or three games, but it mentioned nothing about an injury either, even though the box score listed him getting hit by a pitch then leaving the game for a pinch hitter. It's these little things that can frustrate bloggers. Were I on the ground following one of these teams, I'd have better access, but I also wouldn't be able to look as comprehensively at all the teams. I guess I just get frustrated about the limitations I deal with sometimes...sorry for the digression.
The other interesting note from McTaggart was about Cusick moving to third. He lists Chris Johnson as the only solid third base prospect on the farm. Considering Johnson has 17 errors already at third, I'm not sure how good he's going to be at the hot corner. There's not really anyone promising at Round Rock or Salem, though I really like the red-hot Mark Saccomanno for the Express, but he's also 28...not exactly a prospect. The other interesting thing about this move is Lexington already has a productive third baseman in Craig Corrado. I'm working on a new feature profiling a specific hitter each week. The first one will be Cusick, followed by some of my other favorite guys. Keep your eyes peeled!