Veteran third baseman Aaron Boone needs heart surgery, according to a press conference held yesterday by the Houston Astros. It is not an emergency situation and Boone has known for several years that he would eventually have to do the surgery, but doctors have recommended that Boone take care of the situation now.
The third baseman is best known for his homerun in game 7 of the American League championship series against the Red Sox that propelled the New York Yankees to the 2003 World Series.
Boone, 36, was expected to platoon at third base for Houston along with Geoff Blum. Now, it looks as though Blum will get most of the playing time, although the Astros are still considering power hitting Chris Johnson.
Blum, 35 and an eleven year MLB vet, hit .240 last year and is a .250 career hitter. Blum posted career highs last year with 14 homers and 53 RBI in 114 games with Houston. He’s off to a horrible start this spring as his average is currently just .094.
“(Johnson) is going to play, and so is Blum,” Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. “The same two guys are going to continue to play, Blum and Johnson. We’ll see what they do.”
After a hot start this spring, Johnson has dropped to .231 with one home run and six RBIs. Johnson has yet to even establish himself at Class AAA. After hitting .324 with 12 homers and 58 RBIs last year at Class AA Corpus Christi, Johnson hit .218 in 30 games at Round Rock last year.
“If we think there’s a need at the end (of camp), there’s going to be guys available,” general manager Ed Wade said. “I got a call today from a club that’s got a guy that they want to make available if we have the need.”
Wade did not say who the mystery third baseman is, but it’s our guess that the Astros will make a move shortly to add a third baseman. Blum, although strong defensively, is not an everyday player; Johnson, 24, needs more time to develop.
Boone’s wife, Laura Cover, was a finalist for Fantasy Baseball Dugout’s Baseball’s Hottest Wives in 2008. Cover finished eighth in the voting. We at Fantasy Baseball Dugout wish Aaron the best and hope to see him back on the field in 2010.