DeWitt clearly isn’t a candidate for the opening-day roster, even with Nomar still sidelined and LaRoche unavailable until May. I spoke with Mike Easler after the game — and game in which DeWitt went 3 for 4 with a walk, a triple, his second HR of the spring, to raise his average to .333 (6-18) — and Easler couldn’t stop gushing about him and how much potential he has.
“I first saw him three years ago when he was (19),” Easler said. “He had all the makings, the body, the sweet swing. You could see there was some power there. It was just a matter of time before he put it all together. He is looking good, isn’t he?”
But then, when I asked if DeWitt was ready for the majors, Easler didn’t hesitate.
“Not yet,” said Easler, who pointed out that most of the pitchers DeWitt is facing are saving their nastiest breaking pitches for the regular season. “But him being here now and playing in these games is a great experience for him, and that will do wonders for his confidence. He is one of those guys you don’t want to rush. He is a little different from Andy (LaRoche) or Matt Kemp. He just needs to develop nice and slowly.”
Also, I went over to the Astros clubhouse before the game and spoke briefly with Wesley Wright, the lefty the Astros took from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 draft. Said he was really excited when the Astros took him, and that he is optimistic they’re going to keep him. He has given up just two runs (one earned) on three hits in five innings over five appearances, so he has a shot. The Dodgers strongly considered putting him on the 40-man roster this winter, but ultimately decided not to. For the uninitiated, Rule 5 picks must be kept on the 25-man roster all season or offered back to their original clubs, a decision that can be made at any point during spring training or the season. Dodgers would love to have this kid back, but he’s an easy guy to root for, so here’s hoping he makes it with the ‘Stros.