Monday, December 22, 2014

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Saturday, December 20, and Sunday, December 21


Sunday: Adelaide 4, Sydney 3

The Blue Sox tied the game at 3 with a pair in the top of the 9th, but Ben Lodge un-tied it with a solo homer in the 9th to give Adelaide the sweep. Chan-Jong Moon went 0-2.

This weekend, Adelaide will be in the capital for 4, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday.


Saturday: Caballos 5, Indios 1

Caballos scored in just 1 inning, but it was enough for them to win the game. Telvin Nash went 0-2, but he walked 3 times and scored a run. Jack Mayfield went 1-3 with 2 walks and a run scored, and Tyler White hit a 2-run double and came around to score in the 5-run 3rd.

Jose Montero and Juan Delis combined for 6.1 scoreless innings for Indios; Montero allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 4 over 3.1 innings, and Delis walked 2 and fanned 4 over the final 3 frames.

Results from Sunday

Industriales 4, Indios 3

Rodrigo Ayarza appeared as a defensive sub for Indios; he did not appear at the plate. Agapito Barrios allowed a hit and walked 1 in the 1st inning.

These two teams will play again at 7:00 Eastern.

Águilas 6, Caballos 1

Telvin finished with a double in 4 at-bats, Jack Mayfield went 0-4, and Tyler White tripled in 3 at-bats. Blaine Sims pitched 4.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (2 homers), walked 2, and struck out 3.

Ditto for these two teams. They play again at 7:00 Eastern.


Saturday: Caribes 5, Caracas 4

Caracas scored their 4 in the top of the 6th, which gave them the lead. Caribes, however, scored 3 unanswered runs late to get the win. Gregorio Petit finished 0-3 for Caracas.

Sunday: Caracas 10, Caribes 9

Caracas wound up taking 2 of 3 from Caribes as they fended off a 5-run 1st and a 3-run 5th. They outscored Caribes 7-4 from the 5th to the 8th. Petit finished 2-5 with a double and a run scored.

Tonight, they will be in La Guaira. First pitch is at 7:30 Venezuelan time.


Results from Saturday

Águilas 10, Estrellas 3

Jonathan Villar went 1-2 with a walk and a run scored for Águilas.

Toros 6, Licey 2

Ruben Sosa got the start in left field for Licey and went 3-4 with an RBI infield single in the 5th.

Sunday: Escogido 8, Licey 3

Sosa started at 2B and went 0-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Sunday marked the end of the regular season in the Dominican Republic.


Saturday: Jalisco 6, Los Mochis 5

Leo Heras had a solid night for Jalisco as he finished 3-5 with a double and scored 3 runs.

Sunday: Los Mochis 4, Jalisco 3

Jalisco fought back from an early 3-0 hole to tie the game.... only to see Los Mochis un-tie the game with a run in the 7th. Leo Heras smacked a 2-run homer in the 5th, his 9th homer of the campaign.

There is one week left in the regular season. Jalisco will take on Obregón tonight at 7:30 Mountain.


Saturday: Caguas 4, Mayagüez 3

Roberto Peña got the start behind the plate for Caguas and went 0-3.

Sunday: Carolina 5, Caguas 4

Luis Cruz got the start for Caguas, and he was done in by a 4-run 5th from Caguas. He went 4.1 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 inherited runners charged to him) on 7 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 4. Peña finished 0-4 with a strikeout.

Carlos Corporán ripped a 2-run double in that 4-run 5th.

Tonight, Carolina will take on Santurce, while Caguas hosts San Juan. Both games will be at 7:30 Atlantic.

Happy Birthday - 12/22

No future Astros have birthdays today, but these former Astros celebrate ~

RF Glenn Wilson (56)
Originally drafted in the first round in 1980 by the Tigers, Wilson came to Houston in an August 1980 trade that sent Billy Hatcher to Pittsburgh. In 146 games for the Astros in 1989 and 1990, he hit .238/.284/.357. His best season was his All-Star season for the Phillies in 1985 when he hit 39 doubles and drove in 102 runs.

RHP Michael Jackson (50)
A second round pick by the Phillies in 1984, Jackson signed with the Astros as a free agent in December 2000. In 67 games for Houston in 2001, he had a 4.70 ERA and a 1.304 WHIP. In 1998, he saved 40 games for Cleveland with a 1.55 ERA and a 0.85 WHIP.

OF/LHP Jason Lane (38)
Drafted by the Astros in the sixth round in 1999, Lane played in 494 games for Houston from 2002 to 2007, hitting .241/.315/.458. He re-invented himself in 2011 as a left-handed pitcher with a little help from the Diamondbacks organization. After his release in May 2012 by Arizona, Lane pitched for the Independent Sugar Land Skeeters in 2012 and 2013 before being picked up by the Padres organization in July 2013. On June 3, 2014, Jason Lane played in his first major league game since October 1, 2007, this time as a pitcher for the Padres. He made three appearances for San Diego in 2014 with a 0.87 ERA and a 0.667 WHIP in 10.1 innings. What a terrific story!

Tweet of the Day

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Birthday - 12/21

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Asher Wojciechowski (26)
A first round pick by Toronto in 2010, Wojciechowski came to the Astros in the July 2012 10-player trade with the Blue Jays. Wojo spent a good chunk of his season on the DL, but in his 15 games (14 starts) for the AAA Oklahoma City team in 2014, he was 4-4 with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.447 WHIP.

LHP David Rollins (25)
Drafted by Toronto in the 24th round in 2011, Rollins also came to Houston in the big July 2012 trade with the Blue Jays. Rollins pitched for the AA Corpus Christi team for the entire season and was transitioning from a starter to a relief role in the latter part of the season. In 27 games (12 starts), Rollins had a 3.81 ERA and a 1.231 WHIP. He walked 22 batters and struck out 77 in 78 innings. [NOTE: Rollins was claimed in the Rule 5 draft, but I'm currently in denial so I'm leaving him on the birthday list for now.]

2B Austin "Catfish" Elkins (24)
A 19th round pick out of Dallas Baptist by Houston in the 2012 draft, Elkins split the 2014 season between Quad Cities and Lancaster, but also spent a chunk of the season on the DL. In 62 games, he hit .254/.369/.340.

RHP Gerald Benzant (20)
An international free agent out of the Dominican Republic, Benzant pitched his first season in the Dominican Summer League. In 14 games (seven starts), he had a 7.17 ERA and a 1.912 WHIP.

These former Astros mark the day as well ~

RHP Howie Reed (died December 7, 1984 at 47)
Reed came to Houston in an October 1966 trade with the Angels. In four games (two starts) for the Astros in 1967, he was 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP. His best season was 1965 when he played for the World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

RHP Joaquin Andujar (62)
Andujar first came to Houston in an October 1975 trade with the Reds and pitched for the Astros from 1976 to 1981 and again in 1988.  In 202 games with the Astros, he had a 3.67 ERA and a 1.377 WHIP.  He was an All-Star with Houston in 1977 and 1979. Andujar made two additional All-Star appearances and won a Gold Glove with the Cardinals, and he earned his one World Series ring with them  in 1982.

RHP LaTroy Hawkins (42)
Originally drafted by Minnesota in the seventh round in 1991, Hawkins came to Houston in a July 2008 trade with the Yankees. In 89 appearances for Houston in 2008 and 2009, he was 3-4 with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.091 WHIP. He has currently pitched 20 seasons for ten different teams with the latest being the Rockies in 2014. He may be turning 42, but I still wouldn't mess with him if I were you.

RHP Philip Humber (32)
Originally drafted by the Mets in the first round in 2004, Humber was claimed by the Astros off waivers from the White Sox in November 2012. In 17 appearances (seven starts) with the Astros in 2013, Humber went 0-8 with a 7.90 ERA and a 1.738 WHIP, a far cry from the perfect game he threw for the White Sox on April 21, 2012. Humber spent 2014 playing for the AAA Oakland affiliate.

Tweet of the Day

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Thursday, December 18, and Friday, December 19, 2014


Friday: Adelaide 6, Sydney 2 in 8 innings

Chan-Jong Moon had a fine night at the plate as he went 4-4 with a double, 2 RBI singles in the 3rd and the 7th, and added 2 stolen bases (5). Tyler Brunnemann got the final 2 outs of the 8th inning, striking out 1.

Saturday: Adelaide 4, Sydney 2

Moon went 0-3 with a run scored and 2 strikeouts. Bruno notched his 5th save of the ABL campaign as he got the final 2 outs of the game for a 2nd straight night. He worked around a hit to do so and struck out 1.

The Bite will look for the sweep at 1:00 Australian Central Time.


Thursday: Caballos 2, Indios 0

All 3 Astros reps on the Indios squad made appearances. Cris Santamaria got the start, and unfortunately, the loss, as he allowed a run on a solo homer, one other hit, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 4 innings. Jose Montero was the first man out; he allowed a run, a hit, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 5th. Juan Delis walked 1 in a scoreless 8th.

For Caballos, Jack Mayfield went 0-4, and Tyler White went 1-3.

Friday: Indios 7, Caballos 5

Caballos went into the loss column for the first time this season as Indios responded to a 4-run 2nd with a 6-1 run to close out the game.

Telvin Nash finished 1-4 with a walk and 2 strikeouts, and Jack Mayfield went 0-4 with a walk.

These two teams will play again at 6:00 Eastern.


Thursday: Caracas 9, Bravos 1

It was all Caracas as they scored 9 unanswered to close it out. Gregorio Petit finished 2-4 with an RBI single in a 6-run 4th inning and later came around to score.

Friday: Caracas 9, Caribes 3

In the first of 3 straight with Caribes, Caracas took round 1 as they finished the game on an 8-1 run after Caribes scored a pair in the bottom of the 4th to take a 2-1 lead. Gregorio Petit finished 3-4 with a double, 2 RBI singles in the 6th and the 7th, and scored 2 runs.

The 2nd game of this series, if you will, will take place at 7:00 Venezuelan time.


Results from Thursday

Águilas 7, Estrellas 4

Jonathan Villar played a big part in a 4-run 2nd for Águilas as he hit a 2-run single. He did get thrown out at 2nd trying to stretch it into a double, but I think he'll take the 2 RBI.

Licey 3, Toros 2 in 11 innings

Licey walked off with the win as Juan Francisco hit a sac fly in the 11th. Domingo Santana went 0-4 with a strikeout.

Results from Friday

Escogido 5, Águilas 4

All the scoring in this game was done in the first 3 innings. The difference was Escogido's run in the 3rd. Jonathan Villar went 1-3 with a run scored.

Águilas will host Estrellas at 7:30 Atlantic.

Estrellas 1, Licey 0

Licey was held to just 3 hits. Ruben Sosa went 0-4 with a strikeout, and Domingo Santana finished 0-3 with a strikeout.

Licey will head east as they take on Toros tonight at 7:30 Atlantic.


Thursday: Jalisco 3, Hermosillo 1

Jalisco completed the sweep. Leo Heras went 0-3 with a walk and 2 strikeouts.

Results from Friday

Jalisco 6, Los Mochis 4 in 10 innings

The Horsemen won their 7th straight as they put up a pair in the first extra frame. Leo Heras finished 2-5 with a run scored.

The series continues at 6:00 Mountain.

Obregón 3, Culiacán 1

Culiacán outhit Obregón 12-3... but they lost in the column that counts. Gonzalo Sañudo got the final out of the 7th, but he also allowed the go-ahead hit, which allowed 2 runs to score.

This series continues at 6:00 Mountain.


Thursday: Mayagüez 4, Carolina 2

Mayagüez broke the tie with 2 in the 9th after both teams scored 2 in the 3rd inning. Carlos Corporán went 0-3 with a walk, and Jobduan Morales was 0-2 with 2 walks and a run scored.

Carolina will be back in action tomorrow when they take on Caguas.

Happy Birthday - 12/20

No future Astros with birthdays today, but several former Astros celebrate the day ~

1B/3B/OF Aubrey Huff (38)
A fifth round pick by Tampa, Huff came to Houston in a July 2006 trade for Mitch Talbot and Ben Zobrist. In 68 games for the Astros in 2006, he hit .250/.341/.478. He went on to play for Baltimore where he earned a Silver Slugger, Detroit and finally San Francisco where he earned World Series rings in 2010 and 2012.

LF Keith Lampard (69)
Drafted by Houston in the second round in 1965, Lampard played in 62 games for the Astros in 1969 and 1970, hitting .238/.289/.393. In nine seasons in the minor leagues, he hit .289/.316/.470.

RHP Marc Valdes (43)
Originally drafted by the Marlins in the first round in 1993, Valdes came to Houston in a May 2000 trade with Tampa. In 53 appearances for the Astros in 2000, he was 5-5 with a 5.08 ERA and a 1.659 WHIP. After playing, he became a coach in the Mets organization. In 2014, he was the pitching coach for the Low A Savannah Sand Gnats.

MGR Cecil Cooper (65)
As manager of the Houston Astros for parts of 2007 and 2009 and all of 2008, he compiled a 170-170 record. Of all the things I could remember Cooper for, I actually most remember him for his freakishly large hands.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, December 19, 2014

2015 Astros Minor League Coaching Staffs

The Astros announced their minor league coaching staffs, including roving instructors and coordinators, today. As was reported by Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle last week, three of last year's Astros minor league Managers are on the move with Rodney Linares going from Lancaster to Corpus Christi, Omar Lopez going from Quad Cities to Lancaster, and Josh Bonifay going from Greeneville to Quad Cities. Bonifay's replacement at Greeneville has not been announced at this time.

Other than numerous moves within the Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning ranks, most remaining staff will stay put with a couple of notable exceptions. Ralph Dickenson, who was the Astros MLB assistant hitting coach in 2014, will rejoin the minor league ranks as the Roving Hitting Instructor. Dan Radison, who was a Special Assistant for Player Development in 2014, will join the Hooks as Hitting Coach, replacing Tim Garland who will be joining the Quad Cities team as an Outfield/Baserunning Coach. Garland replaces Vince Coleman in that capacity. Coleman and 2014 Corpus Christi Manager Keith Bodie, along with Oklahoma City Pitching Coach Steve Webber who announced he was leaving the team at the end of the 2014 season will not be returning. A former Cardinals minor league coach, Arthur "Ace" Adams, will replace Webber as Pitching Coach for the new AAA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies.

Doug Brocail, interim Pitching Coach for the Hooks in 2014, is now joining the team in that capacity officially as former Hooks Pitching Coach Gary Ruby will be a Pitching Advisor headquartered out of Kissimmee. Tom Lawless was originally intended to be an Infield Coach for Corpus Christi in 2014 when he was pressed into service as the interim Oklahoma City RedHawks Manager as Tony DeFrancesco went on medical leave. He later served as acting Manager of the Astros after Bo Porter was fired. Lawless will now be fulfilling last year's intended assignment and will report to Corpus Christi.

Here is how the rest of the assignments break down:


Coordinators, Rovers and Medical Staff
Special Assignment Coach - Morgan Ensberg
Pitching Advisor - Gary Ruby
Field Coordinator - Paul Runge
Pitching Coordinator - Dyar Miller
Hitting Coordinator - Jeff Albert
Infield Instructor - Adam Everett
Roving Pitching Instructor - Doug White
Roving Hitting Instructor - Ralph Dickenson
Roving Catching Instructor - Mark Bailey
Strength & Conditioning - Brendan Verner
Medical Coordinator - Jamey Snodgrass
Rehab Coordinator - Daniel Roberts
Rehab Coach - Mike Burns
Athletic Training Advisor - Mike Freer

Manager - Tony DeFrancesco
Pitching Coach - Arthur "Ace" Adams
Hitting Coach - Leon Roberts
Catching Coach - Jeff Murphy
Athletic Trainer - Bryan Baca
Strength & Conditioning - Trey Wiedman

Manager - Rodney Linares
Pitching Coach - Doug Brocail
Hitting Coach - Dan Radison
Infield Coach - Tom Lawless
Athletic Trainer - Grant Hufford
Strength & Conditioning - Mark Spadavecchia

LANCASTER (Advanced A)
Manager - Omar Lopez
Pitching Coach - Don Alexander
Hitting Coach - Darryl Robinson
Infield Coach - Ramon Vazquez
Athletic Trainer - Michael Rendon
Strength & Conditioning - Taylor Rhoades

QUAD CITIES (A - Full Season)
Manager - Josh Bonifay
Pitching Coach - Dave Borkowski
Hitting Coach - Joel Chimelis
Outfield/Baserunning Coach - Tim Garland
Athletic Trainer - Corey O'Brien
Strength & Conditioning - Dwayne Peterson

TRI-CITY (A - Short Season)
Manager - Ed Romero
Pitching Coach - Chris Holt
Hitting Coach - Russ Steinhorn
Athletic Trainer - John Gregorich
Strength & Conditioning - James McNichol

Manager - To be announced
Pitching Coach - Josh Miller
Hitting Coach - Cesar Cedeno

Manager - Marty Malloy
Pitching Coach - Hector Mercado
Hitting Coach - Vinny Lopez
Coach - Wladimir Sutil
Strength & Conditioning - Julio Diaz

Manager - Johan Maya
Manager - Charlie Romero
Development Specialist and Pitching Coordinator - Rick Aponte
Pitching Coach - Erick Abreu
Hitting Coach - Luis Mateo
Hitting Coach - Sixto Ortega
Outfield Coach - Melvi Ortega
Catching Coach - Carlos Lugo
Athletic Trainer - Ambiorix Reyes
Athletic Trainer - Christian Bermudez
Strength & Conditioning - Geremias Guzman
Strength & Conditioning - Miguel Angel Cabrera

Happy Birthday - 12/19

Happy Birthday to ~

OF/1B Brandon Meredith (25)
Drafted out of San Diego State in the sixth round in 2011, Meredith split his 2014 season fairly evenly between Lancaster and Corpus Christi (but missed about six weeks of the season on the DL). In a total of 80 games, he hit .249/.346/.450 with 10 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and 44 RBI.

Tom Lawless (58)
In his sixth season working in the Astros minor league system, Lawless served as interim manager for the Oklahoma City RedHawks while Manager Tony DeFrancesco was on medical leave, in addition to his job as minor league infield development specialist. On September 1st, he became the 21st Manager in Astros history, guiding the big league club to an 11-13 record in his brief tenure in the interim position. Lawless is still remembered by many for his three-run home run for the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series in 1987 and his subsequent bat flip seen here 48 seconds in.

These former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

OF Walt "No Neck" Williams (71)
Where have all the good nicknames gone? No Neck signed with Houston as an amateur free agent prior to the 1963 season. In 10 games for the Colt .45's in 1964, Williams went hitless in nine at-bats. He went on to play several more seasons with the White Sox, Indians and Yankees with a .270/.310/.365 career batting line.

RHP Joe Slusarski (48)
Originally drafted by Oakland in the second round in 1988, Slusarski came to Houston as a free agent in May 1998. In 65 games pitched for the Astros in 1999, 2000 and 2001, he had a 4.57 ERA and a 1.379 WHIP.