Taking nothing for granted

Rookie Tommy Manzella well-prepared for new role as Astros' every-day shortstop

Originally Published: February 27, 2010
By Tim Kurkjian | ESPN The Magazine

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Astros shortstop Tommy Manzella delayed the start of an interview, saying "I have to pay up." He hadn't lost a bet; he laughed and said, "Lance [Berkman] wants all the young guys to pay off the clubhouse guys before they're sent to the minor leagues."

Manzella is not going to the minor leagues. At age 26, he's scheduled to be the Astros' every-day shortstop. The Astros' philosophy has changed in the past few months; now they're pushing prospects through the system faster, ...

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