Notes: Burke set for shoulder surgery

Notes: Burke set for shoulder surgery

HOUSTON -- Chris Burke will undergo surgery on Thursday to tighten the capsule in his left shoulder, general manager Tim Purpura confirmed on Wednesday.

The procedure will be performed in Birmingham, Ala., by Dr. James Andrews, who will be assisted by Astros team medical director David Lintner.

Burke had several mishaps this season that caused the shoulder to temporarily pop out of its socket, and when it happened while he was taking a swing, he knew he would inevitably have to have it surgically repaired. Because it was his non-throwing shoulder, Burke was able to finish the season as an active player.

Purpura said Burke will be healed and ready for Spring Training next year. The rehab process will begin shortly after the surgery, and Burke will be able to do that in his hometown of Louisville.

"He'll rest for a period of time," Purpura said. "He'll be able to move the shoulder, work on range of motion pretty quickly. It's mainly about strengthening and range of motion."

Burke has had three major episodes involving the shoulder injury. He dislocated it on a diving play in center field in September 2005, and he hurt it again in May when he crashed into the right-field wall during a game in Denver.

On June 7, he dislocated the shoulder again while swinging at a changeup from Cubs pitcher Sean Marshall.

"I'd say that pretty much seals my fate as far as getting it operated on at some point," Burke said after that game.

Contract talks: Purpura confirmed that he spoke with Craig Biggio's agent, Barry Axelrod, on Wednesday regarding a contract for 2007.

"It was very positive," Purpura said. "Nothing to report yet."

Biggio ended the season 70 hits shy of 3,000. He's tied with Jake Beckley and Rogers Hornsby for 31st on the Major League Baseball all-time list. He also ranks ninth all-time with 637 doubles, three away from eighth-place holder Honus Wagner.

Biggio finished the season with 21 home runs, marking his eighth 20-homer season. Among players who played primarily second base, only Jeff Kent has more 20-homer seasons (11).

Awards: The Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) has named its award winners for the 2006 season.

Lance Berkman was named Astros Most Valuable Player, while Roy Oswalt was named the club's Pitcher of the Year. Luke Scott earned Astros Rookie of the Year honors, while catcher Brad Ausmus was named the fifth recipient of the Darryl Kile Good Guy of the Year Award.

Ausmus joins Jeff Bagwell (2002), Roy Oswalt (2003), Morgan Ensberg (2004) and Brad Lidge (2005). The award is named after the former Astros right-hander and 12-year Major Leaguer who passed away on June 22, 2002. It is designed to honor a player whose character traits reflect those of the late Kile, and who exhibits "character and decency to teammates, media and fans."

The BBWAA also honored Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford as the Houston-area Major League Player of the Year.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.