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Let's Talk Brian Bogusevic, Grand Slam Hero

Is the outfielder getting a fair shake of the dice by Manager Brad Mills?

Looking back at everything written before the 2011 season the article that stands out most to me, was Timmy De Block's nomination of Brian Bogusevic as a breakout candidate for the Houston Astros.

As Tim said, in what I assume is a Yoda impression:

There is hope though for Mr. Bogusevic. A positive trend he has.

Go and read the piece for the minute detail, but this is the conclusion:

He is not done developing, and heading into what many consider the prime years of a player he has an opportunity to really surprise some people.

This prophecy might have had a better chance of being fulfilled if Bogusevic had made the team out of Spring Training. Alas, Jason Bourgeois and J.B. Shuck were the last men standing for the final roster spot and the fifth outfielder position behind the Brad Mills stalwart Jason Michaels

Bogusevic's pick for top rookie does not sound too absurd even now as most of the young guys on the team were in their sophomore seasons, and players like Altuve, Lyles and Martinez were not widely expected to make the team before the trade deadline. 

Considering he was a left-handed bat and Mills needed one for his bench, most assumed that Bogusevic was nailed on for a spot on the 25-man roster. I did at first. But Bourgeois put up numbers that could not be ignored in ST and it was off to Oklahoma City for Bogusevic, back to Houston, back ot OKC and then back again. He has done a lot of yo-yo-ing between the two clubs. 

Since the deadline has played in 14 games, but made just six starts with Shuck and Michaels hoovering up the remaining gametime. Tim has constantly voiced his frustration that the Astros seemed to have judged Bogusevic over 60 or so major league plate appearances, giving guys like Michaels and Angel Sanchez endless plate appearances. 

Last night's grand slam, and the tater he hit in Arizona last week, might have opened a few eyes. While Shuck is still a prospect at 24, and Bogusevic is not, at 27, and a converted pitcher at that, the former had four minor league home runs, the latter 26. While Shuck hit no home runs in Oklahoma City this year, Bogusevic hit 13 in a full season at Round Rock last year. Both have great footspeed, but Bogusevic, again, is the cannier baserunner, owning a 90.2% stolen base success rate in the minors. That is pretty darned good. 

The entire half inning was impressive, from Shuck's patient at bat, to Clint Barmes' left-field single on a slider on the outside corner, to Matt Down's hard-earned walk. Bogusevic fouled off a few tough fastballs, before laying off a few sliders in the dirt, making Carlos Marmol throw a fastball over the heart of the plate, crushing it to the right of the Conoco Pump. 

It was the first walk-off grand slam at Minute Maid Park since Carlos Lee hit one in 2007, the game that Craig Biggio recorded his 3000th hit. The last Astros pinch-hit grand-slam was hit by Gregg Zaun back in 2002. Aneury Rodriguez also got his first major league win, pitching an inning in relief. 

Hopefully it will trigger more starts for Bogusevic, that is until Jordan Schafer returns and Brad Mills and Ed Wade send him back to Oklahoma City instead of releasing Jason Michaels or Angel Sanchez.

Depend on it people. 

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.