Astros Rumors: Valverde, Hawkins, Manager

The Houston Chronicle's Richard Justice has a five-point plan to solve the Houston Astros' problems — or at least to point the team in the right direction. Here are some of his ideas:

  • Bring Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins back to the bullpen.
  • Focus on pitching and defense, which would mean installing players like shortstop Tommy Manzella, second baseman Edwin Maysonet, and catcher Jason Castro (a 2008 first-round pick) into the 2010 starting lineup.
  • Sign a "reliable" free-agent starting pitcher to add to a rotation led by Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez. Justice's wishlist includes most of the market's biggest names, such as John Lackey, Ben Sheets, and Rich Harden.
  • Hire Jim Fregosi as the new manager. Justice adds that Manny Acta, Bob Melvin, Don Baylor, and Ned Yost would also be good fits for the opening.

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