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ENEMY LINES
Josh Elliott
March 25, 2002
an opposing team's scout sizes up the Astros
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March 25, 2002

Enemy Lines

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an opposing team's scout sizes up the Astros

"Their pitching is going to be filthy good. They have a really strong blend of young and established arms, and a bullpen with guys who throw a mixture of stuff....

Wade Miller is flat-out nasty and Roy Oswalt and Carlos Hernandez are two other kids with big upsides. Then they have veterans, like Shane Reynolds and Dave Mlicki, who have been around and will help....

Billy Wagner and Octavio Dotel make them strong in the back end of the bullpen, though you wonder about Wagner's health [left elbow surgery in 2000], If he goes down, they're in trouble....

Jeff Bagwell remains the unquestioned team leader and still drives in a ton of runs and gets on base. Craig Biggio is on the downside, but continues to be an effective player and a leader on the field....

At shortstop the Astros can go with Julio Lugo or Adam Everett, who's real slick with the leather but hasn't hit much....

Lance Berkman is a superb player who has good leadership ability. He reminds me a lot of Todd Helton. Eventually this is going to be Berkman's team....

Daryle Ward isn't going to drive in the runs Moises Alou did, but he's going to hit. He's an adventure in leftfield, though. You won't see him out there in the ninth inning too much....

Richard Hidalgo will be fine. People said he had a bad year, but he still knocked in 80 runs....

I like the Jimy Williams influence. One thing that helps is he's not Larry Dierker. The big guys on the team didn't like Dierker, but they should respond to Williams."

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