08/02/10 8:08 PM ET
DeShields says son will sign with Astros
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
The deadline to sign Draft picks is Aug. 16.
"He's going to be an Astro," DeShields said. "No doubt."
DeShields Jr. was drafted No. 8 overall as a second baseman out of Woodward Academy in College Park, Ga., where he played the outfield. DeShields Jr., who committed to LSU to play baseball, was the leadoff hitter for his private school and hit .415 and led the team in homers (9), RBIs (40) and stolen bases (29).
The Astros had hoped to sign DeShields Jr. sooner and have him already playing in their system in the outfield before moving him to second base in the instructional league. DeShields Jr. is a good enough athlete to make up for lost time, but the clock is ticking.
"The get-it-done deal is in front of Delino and his family," Astros assistant general manager/director of scouting Bobby Heck said. "We're still extremely optimistic he will be an Astro. Unfortunately, it will be more on their clock and calendar than we had hoped."
In addition to DeShields Jr., the other picks in the first 10 rounds the Astros have yet to sign are third-round pick Austin Wates, an outfielder, and sixth-round pick Adam Plutko, a right-handed pitcher. Heck hopes to get more players in the fold this week.
Wallace soaks up return to St. Louis
ST. LOUIS -- Rookie first baseman Brett Wallace, who was drafted in the first round by the Cardinals in 2008 before winding up in Houston after three high-profile trades, figured he would get to play at Busch Stadium someday. But he could never have imagined it would be in an Astros uniform.
Wallace, acquired by the Astros from the Blue Jays last week, was plugged into the starting lineup Saturday in his Major League debut as a replacement for Lance Berkman, who was traded to the New York Yankees after 11 years with the club.
Wallace, who was in the starting lineup Monday at St. Louis, is certainly familiar with Busch Stadium, having worked there when he signed his contract. He also played a few innings during last year's Futures Game.
"This is a great park and there's so much history, and all the fans here come out every night and support that team," Wallace said. "Getting to come back is pretty awesome. I thought I'd have a chance to play on the other side, but coming back here to the big leagues and playing against them is going to be a lot of fun."
Wallace has remained friends with several of the players currently on the Cardinals' roster, including Jon Jay, Tyler Greene and Nick Stavinoha.
"It's going to be fun to play against them and have a chance to see them," he said.
Manzella to have finger examined
ST. LOUIS -- Shortstop Tommy Manzella, who's been on the disabled list since June 24 with a fractured left index finger, is scheduled to be X-rayed in Houston on Thursday morning, six weeks after suffering the injury. He's hoping to begin his Minor League rehab Thursday night.
"The plan is, barring anything that comes out bad, which we're not anticipating, I'll begin my rehab right after that," Manzella said. "I'm ready to get out and start playing."
Manzella has been cleared for all baseball-related drills and has been working out with the team prior to games. He'll work out Wednesday afternoon before flying to Houston later that night.
"If I'm clear at that point, I'll be able to go and play in a game on Thursday night," he said.
Manzella said he's hoping to participate in a simulated game scheduled Wednesday for right-hander Brian Moehler, but manager Brad Mills said he didn't want him to risk getting jammed and injuring the finger. Mills said Manzella's rehab would be a long one.
"That's going to be an extended rehab because he's been out for so long and we're dealing with a broken bone," he said.
Astros' Lee could see time at first base
ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Lee came up as a third baseman before finding his way to the outfield, but manager Brad Mills said Monday he's considering using El Caballo at first base against some left-handers the rest of the season.
Lee played 18 games at first base in the Minor Leagues, but only six in the Majors, including one inning of one game last year.
"We were talking about that over the week and there was talk about that today," Mills said. "There's a good chance of getting him at first base. When? I don't know that yet."
Moving Lee to first base would allow Mills to get Jason Michaels and Jason Bourgeois more playing time. Both are much better defensive players than Lee, and Michaels leads the team in slugging percentage.
"[Lee's] played over there before and he looks pretty good," Mills said. "The way he goes about his movement and actions over there, it wouldn't take much at all for him to get in there."
Right-hander Brian Moehler said he will throw a simulated game Wednesday. He said he's encouraged with the progress he's made from a groin injury that's kept him on the disabled list since July 8. ... Closer Matt Lindstrom, who was unavailable Sunday because of stiffness in his lower back, said Monday he was available to pitch. "Unfortunately, it's been a lingering thing for the last month, and I'm kind of tired of it," Lindstrom said. ... Infielder Geoff Blum is scheduled to play in his final Minor League game Monday and could rejoin the team later this week. He had surgery July 7 to clean out loose bodies in his left elbow.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.