We learned a couple of weeks ago that the Astros were going to reach out to Lance Berkman to investigate his interest as joining them as their DH. Now they have reached out, reports Mark Berman of MyFoxHouston.com:
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane told FOX 26 Sports he met last week with free agent first baseman Lance Berkman.
“We had a chat in my office,” Crane said. “He was just seeing where we were at. He expressed some interest in maybe working a deal out. “We haven’t gotten to that (discuss contract). I think his knee is still up in the air. So we got to get that all worked out. It was a get-acquainted meeting, really.”
With the new logo and stuff there is a definite “get the band back together” vibe coming from Houston. And moving to the AL, the Astros do need someone who can DH. Whether Berkman — a man who just recently said that the AL was a “Mickey Mouse league” because of the DH — is that guy remains to be seen.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.