Richard Hidalgo is playing for the Navegantes del Magallanes in Venezuela this winter. While that in itself isn’t big news, it could mean the return of Dawgie to Houston as a bench player.
The Magallanes are managed this year by Al Pedrique the new Head of Astros Latin American Operations. If Richard is mounting a comeback, at least right now he seems to be well on his way. After a slow start, he is hitting .333 with 4 home runs in the last 10 games.
A good impression in the Venezuelan Winter League will probably result in a non-roster invitation to Kissimmee in 2007. I wouldn’t mind seeing Hidalgo back in an Astros uniform because he may be a better righty option off the bench than Lane, who could be traded as part of a package for a starting pitcher. If Pettitte doesn’t make up his mind soon or decides to retire, it will be imperative the Astros sign a decent free agent like Wolf, Williams or Lilly and add one more veteran starter via trade if they have any hopes at all of a return to the playoffs in 2007.