Astros demote Brett Wallace and Chris Johnson to Triple-A

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As if trading away Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn wasn’t enough of a roster shakeup, the Astros also decided to demote first baseman Brett Wallace and third baseman Chris Johnson to Triple-A last night.

They started 91 and 86 of Houston’s first 108 games, but Johnson has struggled all season with a ghastly .286 on-base percentage and .659 OPS and Wallace convinced the Astros he needed more time in the minors by going just 12-for-66 (.182) in July.

Of course, with Pence and Bourn gone Wallace’s overall .720 OPS ranks second on the team behind only Carlos Lee, which isn’t bad from a 24-year-old rookie and makes the demotion based on 66 at-bats an odd one. Even stranger is that Wallace was replaced on the roster by 22-year-old Jimmy Paredes, who was acquired from the Yankees in last year’s Lance Berkman deal and had nearly the same OPS at Double-A (.726) that Wallace did in the majors (.720).

Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle notes that only two of the eight position players in the Opening Day lineup remain starters and apparently the Astros don’t have any patience for 24-year-old rookies with decent overall numbers even when they’re in the midst of a full-scale rebuild and have MLB’s worst record.

Wade Miley will start NLCS Game 5 for Brewers

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The Brewers haven’t yet decided what route to go for Game 4 of the NLCS, but Wade Miley will start Game 5, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Miley will be on three days’ rest after starting Game 2 on Saturday.

Miley, 31, has yet to give up a run this postseason. He made his postseason debut in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Rockies, hurling 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He then went 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dodgers.

Jhoulys Chacín is starting tonight’s Game 3. It seems likely the Brewers will go with an “opener” in Game 4. Who that will be likely depends on which pitchers are used tonight.