Monday, July 07, 2008

Darin Erstad's Playing Time Gauges Astros Plans

The playing time of veteran Astros infielder-outfielder Darin Erstad is as good a gauge as any to determine whether the Astros are converting to a rebuilding mode, or continuing to fight for a playoff berth even though the team is a dozen games out of contention.

Erstad -- now playing highly effective baseball after years of health difficulties -- will likely be given more plate appearances if the team desires to win. But if the team decides to focus on the future, Erstad must be benched or traded in favor of acclimating younger talent at the big league level.