News and Notes:
- More speculation regarding the future of Brett Myers as an Astro.
- What have the Astros shown us over the first month of the season? Here are ten standouts.
- With the draft about a month away the Astros hope to pick up a significant piece for their future with the No. 1 pick.
- Jordan Schafer was back atop the Astros lineup after dealing with back issues over the past few games.
- Lance Berkman could be back as early as this weekend. Berkman hasn't played since straining his left calf in mid-April.
- Their performance in the series finale against the Pirates wasn't one of the better days in franchise history. The bats bounced back in yesterday's game against the Astros.
- Recently released Erik Komatsu was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Twins.
- It's closer by committee on the north side. It's really too bad... it's made my job so much easier the past couple of days. It probably sucks for Marmol as well.
- Is overuse really to blame for Marmol's struggles this season?
- Is prospect Hayden Simpson beginning to turn his career around? More on that, and other minor league notes, here.
- If only every team relied on leadership to pull them through adversity they would all be as successful as the Cubs have been so far this season.
- Matt Garza is sick (and not in a good way), Dale Sveum got tossed, and more on the closer situation. All that and more courtesy of mlb.com.
- Andrew McCutchen is also under the weather. The outfielder has been battling a stomach flu the past few days which kept him out of the lineup again for yesterday's game.
- Pedro Alvarez: Pittsburgh's lightening rod.Again, is there a more talked about player who has done less than Alvarez?
- All things considered, the Pirates could be a lot worse off a month into the season.
- After an indifferent start to the year the Reds have turned it around lately and manager Dusty Baker hopes for continued success.
- Brandon Phillips' hamstring, which has been troubling the second baseman for most of the past month, is on the mend and nearing 100 percent.
- Lots of minor league notes. Fellow SB Nation blog Red Reporter looks at the upper level talent. Left handed pitcher Tony Cingrani is finding success in the hitter friendly California League picking up Pitcher of the Week honors. Cingrani isn't the only pitcher doing well among Reds' prospects. Will Shortstop Billy Hamilton's early success push him up a level, especially in light of the recent Paul Janish injury?
The Astros and Cardinals play game two of their series today at 6:05 p.m. CDT in Houston. Bud Norris (1-1) will start for Houston and Jamie Garcia (2-1) is scheduled to take the hill for the Cards.
The Cubs and Dodgers have another afternoon game in Wrigley Field. Today's game is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. CDT. Chris Volstad (0-3) was pushed up and will make the start for the Cubs replacing the ill Matt Garza. Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (3-0) will look to improve on his unbeaten start.
The Pirates entertain the Reds in game two of their series in pittsburgh. John McDonald (1-1) will make the start for the Bucs. Mike Leake (0-3) will start for the Reds, still looking for his first win on the year.