Who Let The Dogs Out?

Who let the dogs out?  Who? Who?

That song may just start blaring again at Minute Maid Park, three years after it was last heard.  If this brings back memories of Richard "Doggie" Hidalgo, then you’re right.  "Doggie" may just be back in an Astros uniform in 2007.

There are rumors circulating around Houston that the Astros are considering offering Hidalgo a minor league contract and an invitation to spring training based on his performance in the Venezuelan Winter League.  Al Pedrique, the manager of the Navegantes del Magallanes and head of the Astros Venezuelan Baseball Operations is said to be pushing strongly for him.

Richard Hidalgo won’t get a starting spot in the outfield, but, he could very well take a bench spot, mainly as a defensive replacement for Chris Burke in Center Field or platooning with Luke Scott in Right Field.  He finished the Venezuelan Winter season with a batting average of .273, OPS of .840 and was tied with the 2nd most home runs in the entire league with 9.   Richard used to have a cannon for an arm while an Astro and as late as 2005, he was still putting up a .989 fpct in Right Field and the few games he played at Center, he was perfect.

If Hidalgo is invited to and does well in spring training, Jason Lane will lose his roster spot.  Lane, who also played a few games in Venezuela this winter, finished his stint there with a .143 batting average and a .502 OPS. 

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4 comments

  1. Rita

    Hidalgo is only 31. He has been around a long time because the Astros signed him when he was only 16 or 17.

    Hidalgo would be an utility outfielder/bench player for the Astros, able to play all 3 outfield positions with an above average defense.

  2. ssw77@aol.com

    While I think he is a sup par regular at this stage, I think he could be a super sub and an great fill in. I wonder if they are still thinking about bringing him in.

  3. Rita

    Even with Loretta’s addition, they still need a 4th outfielder. Palmeiro is good, but, as far as I know, he’s not a center fielder. That was one of the reasons they were having Lane practice there.

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