Saturday, April 14, 2012

Minor League Schedule and Results

SATURDAY'S GAMES

Kannapolis at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Brandon Parrent (0-0, 6.23) and TBD
Available on MiLB.tv

Oklahoma City at Memphis at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Henry Sosa (0-0, 2.25) and LHP Nick Additon (0-0, 5.40)

Corpus Christi at Northwest Arkansas at 7:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Brett Oberholtzer (0-0, 6.23) and TBD
Available on MiLB.tv

Lake Elsinore at Lancaster at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers:  TBD

FRIDAY'S RESULTS

Lake Elsinore at Lancaster - Postponed

Lexington over Kannapolis 6-5 in 11 innings
Noteworthy:  Matt Duffy, Justin Gominsky and Alex Todd (with a walk-off home run) provided most of the offensive output, a much needed contribution as Zach Johnson, Jordan Scott and Delino DeShields Jr. seemed to have been carrying the majority of the load lately.  Jonas Dufek had a solid start and there were good relief outings from Evan Grills and Dayan Diaz (W, 2-0).  Murilo Gouvea was charged with a blown save and a throwing error.

Corpus Christi over Northwest Arkansas 12-2
Noteworthy:  I'd like to know what the team OBP was before and after this game as everyone made it on base at least once as Corpus collected nine hits and a whopping 11 walks.  Even though this one was a group effort, Brandon Barnes (3x5 with a double and two RBI) and Jake Goebbert (2x4 with two doubles and three RBI) stood out.  Jose Cisnero earned the win with a strong six inning start in which he gave up only three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.  Henry Villar was very good in two innings of relief, but Josh Zeid gave up three hits and two runs in his one inning.

GAME OF THE DAY
Oklahoma City over Memphis 11-3

What went right:  Jordan Lyles' start and some gaudy offense.  There's no real need to embellish this win with words ... let's just go directly to the stats.

Jordan Lyles (W, 2-0) - 7IP  3H  2R  0BB  7SO  1HR
Adalberto Flores - 1IP  3H  1R
Enerio del Rosario - 1IP  1SO

Brian Bixler - 4x5  RBI  2R  SB
Angel Sanchez - 3x5  HR  2RBI  SO  3R
Fernando Martinez - 2x3  2HR  6RBI  SO  2R
Brett Wallace - 3x5  SO  R
Jordan Lyles - 1x3  2B  2RBI  2SO

What went wrong:  Lyles was a little rocky with his first two batters as he hit the first batter and gave up a home run to the second, but after that it was smooth sailing.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Jordan Lyles for getting his second win against Shelby Miller and helping his cause with a two-RBI double.  His ERA now stands at 2.08.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
Um, yeah, if you get a grand slam, you're probably going to earn my player of the day honors.  Add in a second 2-run home run and that kind of seals the deal.  Fernando Martinez is hitting .361 and has three home runs and 13 RBI already in this young season.

A NOTE ON MINOR LEAGUE RECAPS - I don't plan on doing full-blown recaps of the games this season as that would keep me from writing other things that you may find of interest as it pertains to the Astros minor league system.  For more information (and different perspectives), you should check out Astros County and The Crawfish Boxes for their minor league recaps.

Happy Birthday - 4/14

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

C Brad Ausmus (43)
Ausmus spent 18 seasons in the major leagues, not bad for a 48th round draft pick.  Ausmus spent 10 of those seasons playing for Houston over two separate stints, in 1997 to 1998 and in 2001 to 2008.  The trades that first brought him to Houston, sent him back to Detroit and finally brought him back for the second time, according to Baseball-Reference:

In 1259 games for Houston, he hit .246/.318/.327.  An All-Star for Detroit and a three-time Gold Glove winner for Houston, Ausmus provided Astros fans with one of the most memorable moments in franchise history when he hit a two-out bottom of the ninth homerun in game 4 of the NLDS in 2005, forcing the game into extra inning and allowing the Astros to win the Division.  And, face it, he wasn't hard on the eyes.

Brad Ausmus, Spring Training 2005

C Gregg Zaun (41)
The well-traveled Zaun played for nine different teams in his 16 major league seasons.  Originally drafted by Baltimore in the 17th round in 1989, Zaun came to Houston as a free agent and played for the team in 2002 and 2003.  In 135 games for the Astros, he hit .220/.285/.311.  Used mostly as a back-up catcher throughout his career, Zaun earned his World Series ring playing for the Marlins in 1997.

LHP Bobby Sprowl (56)
A second round draft pick by Boston in 1977, Sprowl came to Houston from the Red Sox as the player to be named later in the Bob Watson trade.  In 19 appearances (1 start) spread out over the 1979 through 1981 seasons, Sprowl was 0-1 with a 5.08 ERA and a 1.748 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Kirk Clark

How far did Erik castos hOmer fly last night? Over or under 450 feet?

Franklin Leon
 over 450, I think it landed on the freeway on ramp. The center of the field is 410 the ball sailed over the center wall 

No Announced Roster Moves But ...

According to one of the Lancaster regulars, Franklin Leon, Jonathan Meyer got a bit banged up in a slide home in Thursday's game with an injury to his lower back. He did not know the extent of the injury and since Friday's Lancaster game was postponed, we don't know if Meyer will be sidelined for any amount of time.  Franklin is a great resource for what's going on with the Jethawks and I encourage you to follow him on twitter @falketjethawks for game updates and other information.

Also, Bryan Trostel from Astros County inquired as to the injury that has put Domingo Santana on the DL.  Jason Schwartz, play-by-play announcer for the Jethawks, tweeted that Santana had a nagging hamstring issue and that he would likely be back in about a week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Futurists

My latest entry for The Futurists blog profiles Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel.

Minor League Schedule and Results

FRIDAY'S GAMES

Kannapolis at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Kevin Vance (0-0, 2.25) and Jonas Dufek (0-0, 9.00)
Available on MiLB.tv

Corpus Christi at Northwest Arkansas at 7:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jose Cisnero (0-0, 0.00) and LHP Noel Arguelles (0-1, 8.10)

Oklahoma at Memphis at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jordan Lyles (1-0, 1.50) and RHP Shelby Miller (0-1, 12.00)

Lake Elsinore at Lancaster at 9:00 CST - Postponed
Probable Pitchers:  TBD

THURSDAY'S RESULTS

Oklahoma City over Nashville 2-0
Noteworthy:  This one was a pitcher's duel going into the bottom of the 7th as Dallas Keuchel and Josh Butler faced off with Keuchel emerging as victor.  Keuchel, along with relievers Mickey Storey and Jose Valdez, combined for the shutout while also keeping their combined 0.00 ERA intact.  OKC only mustered six hits in this one, but Justin Ruggiano's two RBI pinch-hit single turned out to be all that was needed.

Kanapolis over Lexington 9-4
Noteworthy:  Lexington's home opener was a disappointing one as Tanner Bushue's struggles put the team at an early disadvantage that they would be unable to overcome despite strong offensive performances by Jordan Scott (3x4 with a double and yet another stolen base) and Delino DeShields Jr. (2x5 with a double and a stolen base).  Add three errors into the mix and this is one they'd probably just as soon forget.

Corpus Christi over Northwest Arkansas 12-5
Noteworthy:  Ross Seaton's start wasn't anything to write home about, but it really didn't matter as Corpus Christi scored 12 runs on 14 hits (six doubles and four triples).  Jake Goebbert, Jonathan Singleton and Brandon Barnes all had great nights, but Jose Martinez' 5 RBI's for the night set him apart.

GAME OF THE DAY
Lancaster over Lake Elsinore 6-2

What went right:  Pitching and the DH.  This is how a home opener is supposed to go as the fans got their happy ending.  Zachary Grimmett pitched a strong five innings, followed by scoreless relief from Gabriel Garcia and Pat Urckfitz.  DH Erik Castro's 3x4 three RBI night led the way on offense.

Zach Grimmett - 5IP  4H  2R  2BB  6SO  1HR
Gabriel Garcia (W, 1-0) - 1.1IP  2BB  2SO
Pat Urckfitz (S, 1) - 2.2IP  3 SO

Erik Castro - 3x4  2B  HR  3RBI  SO  2R
Jio Mier - 2x3  2BB  SO  R
Rene Garcia - 1x3  2B  2RBI  SO  SB

What went wrong:  There was an error (Grimmett on a pickoff attempt), passed ball (Garcia), and caught stealing (Mier); and Telvin Nash had a very unusual 0x4 night.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Dallas Keuchel has exceeded everyone's expectations (except maybe mine and his).  His second start (and second win) resulted in seven innings pitched, four hits, no runs, no walks and five strikeouts.  It doesn't get much better than that.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
Despite another terrific night from Jordan Scott, I have to go with Corpus Christi's Jose Martinez as he hit 3x5 with a triple, five RBI's and a run scored.  He is now hitting .375.

A NOTE ON MINOR LEAGUE RECAPS - I don't plan on doing full-blown recaps of the games this season as that would keep me from writing other things that you may find of interest as it pertains to the Astros minor league system.  For more information (and different perspectives), you should check out Astros County and The Crawfish Boxes for their minor league recaps.

Happy Birthday - 4/13

No future Astros, but one former Astro with a birthday today ~

RF Hunter Pence (29)
Drafted by the Astros in the 2nd round in 2004, Pence played for the Astros from 2007 to July of 2011.  In 680 games for Houston, he hit .290/.339/.479 with 145 doubles, 24 triples and 103 homeruns.  The two-time All-Star was traded to the Phillies in July of 2011 for Jarred Cosart, Josh Zeid, Jonathan Singleton and Domingo Santana.

Tweet of the Day

Dallas Keuchel

Team is playing unbelievable right now.. Glad to be a part of it, and can't wait for this 7 hr bus ride! 

Roster Moves - 4/12

OKC
2B Brian Bixler was optioned from Houston to Oklahoma City to make room for Jed Lowrie to come off the 15-day DL for Houston.
RF Brad Snyder was placed on the 7-day DL.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Minor League Schedule and Results

THURSDAY'S GAMES

Corpus Christi at Northwest Arkansas at 6:00 CST
Probable Pitchers:  RHP Ross Seaton (0-1, 3.60) and RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-0, 0.00)
Available on MiLB.tv

Kannapolis at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Scott Snodgrass (0-0, 13.50) and RHP Tanner Bushue (0-1, 27.00)
Available on MiLB.tv

Nashville at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Brian Baker (1-0, 0.00) and LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 0.00)

Lake Elsinore at Lancaster at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers:  TBD

WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

Nashville over Oklahoma City 7-6 in 10 innings
Noteworthy:  Aneury Rodriguez was great through 4 innings, but the 5th was a little rocky thanks in part to errors by Collin Delome and Jimmy Paredes behind him.  Sergio Perez and Adalberto Flores had good relief outings but Enerio del Rosario and Juan Abreu were both charged with blown saves as the lead changed hands several times.  Offensively, Scott Moore (starting at 3B) was en fuego, going 4x5 with two doubles and two RBI's, and is now hitting a torrid .571.  J.B. Shuck (with a triple), Jed Lowrie and Fernando Martinez also had good nights at the plate.

Corpus Christi - Travel day

Rancho Cucamonga over Lancaster 6-5
Noteworthy:  All you really need to know about this one comes from this Jethawks tweet from last night - "Jethawks fall to Quakes 6-5 on walk off walk."  Nothing to see here, move along.  Actually, Ruben Alaniz had a decent start and Alex Sogard seems to have settled in, but Jorge de Leon gave up one hit and three walks in the 9th for the loss.  The Lancaster crew managed only 5 hits to 16 strikeouts.  Nash didn't hit another home run, but he did pick up two more RBI's.  His OPS is now 1.348.  What's the over/under on me seeing him in Corpus when I go there in June?

GAME OF THE DAY
Lexington over Hagerstown 3-0

What went right:  Folty, Johnson and Scott.  Mike Foltynewicz set the tone for this one with a superb pitching performance.  Zach Johnson drove in one more run than they needed.  And, after drawing a walk, Jordan Scott worked his way around the bases by advancing on a wild pitch, stealing a base and scoring on a wild pitch to pad the lead.  Lexington only got five hits, but that was one more than Hagerstown got.

Mike Foltynewicz (W, 1-1) - 6IP  3H  0R  2BB  8SO
Murilo Gouvea - 2IP  1H  1BB  3SO
Dayan Diaz (S, 1) - 1IP  1BB

Jordan Scott - 1x3  BB  2R  SB
Zach Johnson - 2x4  2B  2RBI

What went wrong:  Six left on base, a Gominsky caught stealing and a Tyler Burnett fielding error.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Lexington needed a solid start and Mike Foltynewicz gave them that and more.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
A good argument could be made for Scott Moore, but I'm going with Zach Johnson for getting Lexington enough offense to assure the win.

A NOTE ON MINOR LEAGUE RECAPS - I don't plan on doing full-blown recaps of the games this season as that would keep me from writing other things that you may find of interest as it pertains to the Astros minor league system.  For more information (and different perspectives), you should check out Astros County and The Crawfish Boxes for their minor league recaps.

Happy Birthday - 4/12

One former Astro and no future Astros with birthdays today ~

C Jerry Goff (48)
Originally drafted by the Mariners in the 3rd round in 1986, Goff came to Houston as a free agent in 1995.  He played in 13 major league games for the Astros in 1995 and 1996.  He only had six hits for Houston, but he made the most of them.  Four of Goff's hits went for extra bases - two doubles, two homeruns and five RBI's.

Bonus Tweet of the Day

Josh Zeid

Just stopped here at 11 pm in some city in some state... No idea


Tweet of the Day


Josh Bonifay@JCB28
Little snow shower on way to Lexington! Ready for home opener tomorrow night!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Don't Jump!

Wow, I think I might have inadvertently bummed out a few people with this post on Tuesday.  That was most decidedly not my intention.  I was just trying to help fans understand part of the reason the Astros bottomed out so badly in 2011.  As far as I'm concerned, that is now ancient history as our farm system has been strengthened substantially by recent drafts, trades, waiver claims and free agent signings.

Those who have followed this blog for a while are probably sick of hearing this, but I will say it again.  The Astros organization does not lack talent.  The Astros organization lacks depth.  The most obvious example of the depth issue is third base.  The prior regime would not have put Jimmy Paredes at third base with virtually no experience at the position if there had been a viable alternative at the upper levels of the organization.  That's not to say that Paredes isn't a very talented player, but his talents are more suited to the middle infield.

So, step away from that ledge please!  In contrast to that dismal 2007 draft, I believe that there are still 14 players in the organization from the 2008 draft including Jason Castro, Jordan Lyles, J.B. Shuck and  a number of high school drafted players like Ross Seaton who is still only 22.  I also show 14 players from the 2009 draft, including J.D. Martinez, Dallas Keuchel, Jake Goebbert, Telvin Nash, Tanner Bushue and Jio Mier, among others.  From 2010, I believe there are 26 players in the system with Chris Wallace, Jake Buchanan and Austin Wates having advanced the farthest.  And the 2011 draft class is still virtually intact and just getting their feet wet, with George Springer having advanced the farthest.

That doesn't even count trade pieces Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Kevin Chapman (and the PTBNL that has everyone speculating), Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens, Josh Zeid, Henry Sosa, Juan Abreu, Jimmy Paredes, Jonthan Villar and others.  Nor does it include Rule 5 picks or Latin American free agent signings or waiver claims.

A couple more years of good drafts and Latin American signings; smart trades and waiver claims; and effective development of existing talent will have the Astros farm system back in very good shape.  The key is to never, ever, ever neglect the system again.  No more win-now-at-all-costs attitude.  Keep the faith.  The worst is behind us and now the fun starts.

Minor League Schedule and Results

WEDNESDAY'S GAMES

Lexington at Hagerstown at 9:35 a.m. CST
Probable Pitchers:  RHP Mike Foltynewicz (0-1, 6.75) and RHP Brian Dupra (0-1, 8.10)
Available on MiLB.tv

Nashville at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Michael Fiers (0-0, 1.50) and RHP Aneury Rodriguez (1-0, 5.40)
Available on MiLB.tv

Lancaster at Rancho Cucamonga at 9:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Ruben Alaniz (0-0, 1.93) and LHP Chris Reed (0-1, 5.40)

TUESDAY'S RESULTS

Hagerstown over Lexington 16-8
Noteworthy:  The less said about the pitching performances of Carlos Quevedo, Nathan Pettus and Scott Zuloaga, the better (four home runs, including two grand slams allowed).  Zachary Johnson was 2x5 with a double, a home run and three RBI's.  Tyler Burnett and Mike Kvasnicka started getting hot at the plate.  And even when Jordan Scott  isn't getting multiple hits, he manages to make things happen.  Tonight it was one hit, three walks and a stolen base.

Tulsa over Corpus Christi 6-3
Noteworthy:  Austin Wates has now hit in all six games.  His double in the bottom of the 9th, along with a Jonathan Singleton single and a Brandon Barnes home run were the start of a comeback that didn't quite make it as they were unable to overcome Henry Villar's shaky start.

Rancho Cucamonga over Lancaster 7-5
Noteworthy:  This one hurts.  After leading 5-2 in the top of the 8th, Lancaster gave up 5 runs in the bottom of the frame.  Brian Streilein, previously flawless in the bullpen, got charged with a blown save and the loss.  The good news is that Jio Mier is heating up at the plate, Springer had a good night, and Nash continues to mash with two more home runs.

GAME OF THE DAY
Oklahoma City over Nashville 5-1

What went right:  Pitching, pitching, pitching and just enough offense to get the job done.  Clemens had an extremely strong start and the bullpen didn't allow a single hit over four innings.  Getting five runs on five hits with no home runs is not a line score you see often, but that's what OKC did.  No one player got more than one hit, but Lowrie and Ruggiano got two RBI's each.

Paul Clemens (W) - 5IP  5H  1R  1BB  4SO
Mickey Storey - 2IP  3SO
Fernando Abad - 1IP  1SO
Jose Valdez - 1IP  1SO

What went wrong:  Several 0-fer nights, including Brett Wallace and Jimmy Paredes, and a throwing error by Wallace.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Paul Clemen's terrific start for OKC earns him the honors.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
It's tempting to go with Telvin Nash for his two HR night, but I've got to give the love to Brandon Barnes for his 4x5 night with a double and a two-run clutch home run in the bottom of the 9th.

A NOTE ON MINOR LEAGUE RECAPS - I don't plan on doing full-blown recaps of the games this season as that would keep me from writing other things that you may find of interest as it pertains to the Astros minor league system.  For more information (and different perspectives), you should check out Astros County and The Crawfish Boxes for their minor league recaps.

Bonus Tweet of the Day

Alyson Footer

Happy Birthday - 4/11

RHP Jose Cisnero (23)
Signed as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2007, Cisnero first played for the DSL Astros in 2008.  After 3 seasons of sub-4.00 ERA's, he hit Lancaster.  In 27 starts, he was 8-11 with a 6.06 ERA and a 1.541 WHIP.  His SO/9 was very good at 11.1, but his walk rate was high at 5.5 BB/9.  In one start at Corpus Christi so far this season, he pitched four innings with one hit, no runs, four walks and three strikeouts.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Jeff Calhoun (54)
A third round draft pick in 1980, Calhoun pitched for Houston from 1984 to 1986.  In 73 appearances, he was 3-6 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.202 WHIP before being traded to the Phillies for C Ronn Reynolds in April of 1987.

RHP Sean Bergman (42)
Originally drafted by the Tigers in the 4th round in 1991, Bergman came to Houston in January of 1998 in a trade with the Padres for OF James Mouton.  In two seasons for the Astros in 1998 and 1999, he went 16-15 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.406 WHIP in 50 appearances (43 starts).

Tweet of the Day


Nick Tropeano@PaPaTropeano
"Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere." Live life to the fullest.
~~~~~~~
I'd say he's living life to the fullest with his ten strikeouts in relief on Monday night!

Roster Moves - 4/10

Oklahoma City
RHP Jonathan Aristil was optioned from OKC to CC
SS Jed Lowrie was sent to OKC for a rehab assignment

Corpus Christi
RHP Chris Hicks went on the 7-day DL (per Greg Rajan, he has a sore shoulder)

Lancaster
I either missed this one or it was posted late.
RF Domingo Santana went on the 7-day DL (effective 4/6)

Lexington
RHP Nathan Pettus was assigned to LEX
C Miles Hamblin was assigned to TCV from LEX

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

And Then There Were Six

Since I first looked at the pre-2008 draft classes back in August, we have lost another six of those players (J.R. Towles, Brad James, Koby Clemens, Jimmy VanOstrand, Kyle Greenwalt and Colton Pitkin), leaving only six still in the Astros system. The 2007 Astros draft class has been much maligned, but it was just the culmination of several years of sub-par drafts.  Let's take a look at the results, starting in 2002.

2002 Draft
Players remaining in the system - None
Notable players - Mitch Talbot

2003 Draft
Players remaining in the system - None
Notable players - Jason Hirsh, Josh Anderson

2004 Draft
Players remaining in the system - None
Notable players - Hunter Pence, Ben Zobrist, Troy Patton, Drew Sutton, J.R. Towles

2005 Draft
Players remaining in the system - Brian Bogusevic, Brandon Barnes
Notable players - Brian Boguesevic, Tommy Manzella

2006 Draft
Players remaining in the system - Sergio Perez, Chris Johnson, Bud Norris
Notable players - Bud Norris, Chris Johnson

2007 Draft
Players remaining in the system - Collin DeLome
Notable players - None

Out of the six draft classes prior to Bobby Heck's tenure, there are only six players remaining in the system, and three of those (Brandon Barnes, Sergio Perez and Collin DeLome) are probably running out of chances to set themselves apart.

But what made the situation even worse was how the Astros wasted the limited resources that they had, and how very little (until the more recent trades) they received in return.

Ben Zobrist & Mitch Talbot -----> Aubrey Huff ------> Nothing
Jason Hirsh -----> Jason Jennings ------> Nothing
Josh Anderson -----> Oscar Villarreal -----> Nothing
Troy Patton ------> Miguel Tejada ------> Nothing

Of course there were a couple of decent trades:

Drew Sutton -----> Jeff Keppinger -----> Jason Stoffel & Henry Sosa
Albert Cartwright ------> Sergio Escalona

This is how the Astros got into the situation they were in last season, but the good news is that the worst is over.  Four players from Bobby Heck's first two drafts have already made their major league debuts, and there are more drafted players on the horizon that look to become solid major leaguers.  In addition, the Pence, Bourn, Melancon and Quintero/Bourgeois trades appear to be winners in the potential that they are bringing the team.  And, finally, we now have a General Manager who, I believe, will not be apt to waste any resources in re-building and strengthening the Astros system.

The Astros have gotten off to a terrific start in 2012.  However, there will undoubtedly be many painful losses to come, but they will be losing games because we have young players out there fine-tuning their skills at the highest level, not because we have a lot of aging free agent retreads trying to re-establish themselves.  That, in and of itself, will make the Astros worth watching this season.

Minor League Schedule and Results

TUESDAY'S GAMES

Lexington at Hagerstown at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers:  RHP Carlos Quevedo (0-0, 6.75) and RHP Wirkin Estevez (0-0, 13.50)
Available on MiLB.tv

Tulsa at Corpus Christi at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers:  LHP Drew Pomeranz (0-0,-.--) and RHP Jarred Cosart (0-0,0.00)
Available on MiLB.tv

Nashville at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Wily Peralta (0-0,1.50) and RHP Paul Clemens (0-1, 3.00)
Available on MiLB.tv

Lancaster at Rancho Cucamonga at 9:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP David Martinez (0-0,13.50) and RHP Zach Lee (0-0, 0.00)

MONDAY'S RESULTS

Hagerstown over Lexington 8-7 in 11 innings
Noteworthy:  They gutted this one out and fell just short.  Hallock's first start was less than memorable, but Tropeano provided five innings of relief with 10 strikeouts.  Delino DeShields, Zach Johnson and Alex Todd provided the bulk of the offense.

Corpus Christi over Tulsa 7-4
Noteworthy:  Jake Buchanan had way too much traffic in his 5.1 innings, but still managed to keep Corpus in the game, while Kevin Chapman and Josh Zeid shut the door.  Austin Wates continues to hit at a torrid pace with another 3-hit night, but Jake Goebbert was the man of the night with a 3-run walk-off home run to give Corpus the win.

Oklahoma City over Nashville 4-2
Noteworthy:  The pitching staff was effective all around with a solid start by Henry Sosa and solid relief from the bullpen corps.  And they needed strong pitching because they only scraped together five hits as opposing pitcher Seth McClung took a no-hitter into the fifth.  Fernando Martinez was the man of the game with a 2-run single that gave OKC the cushion they needed for the win.

GAME OF THE DAY
Lancaster over Rancho Cucamonga 6-0

What went right:  Wes Musick, the bullpen and Jonathan Meyer.  Wes Musick gave Lancaster the strong start they needed in order to finally get that elusive first win, and the bullpen never allowed Rancho Cucamonga to get anything going.  On offense, it really was a team win, but Jonathan Meyer's early home run in the second gave them the lead they would never relinquish and set the tone.

Wes Musick (W) - 5IP  4H  0R  1BB  6SO
Pat Urckfitz - 2IP  1H  1SO
Kirk Clark - 1IP  1H  2BB
Jorge de Leon - 1IP  1SO

Jonathan Meyer - 3x5  HR  3RBI  2R  SB
Rafy Valenzuela - 2x5  SO  R
Telvin Nash - 3x5  2B  RBI  R
Kike Hernandez - 1x4  2B  2RBI

Also, Adam Bailey and George Springer each contributed a stolen base.

What went wrong:  Nine runners left on base and a fielding error by Jonathan Meyer, but a win is a win.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Wes Musick, hands down.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
Jake Goebbert - when you get a 3-run walk-off homer, you've pretty much sealed the deal for player of the day for me.

A NOTE ON MINOR LEAGUE RECAPS - I don't plan on doing full-blown recaps of the games this season as that would keep me from writing other things that you may find of interest as it pertains to the Astros minor league system.  For more information (and different perspectives), you should check out Astros County and The Crawfish Boxes for their minor league recaps.

Happy Birthday - 4/10

No future Astros, and only one former Astro with a birthday today ~

LF/1B Bob Watson (66)
Watson was first signed by the Astros as an amateur free agent in January of 1965 and spent the majority of the next 15 years in the Astros system.  A two-time All-Star, Watson compiled a batting line of .297/.364/.444 in 1381 games spread over 14 seasons.  After retiring as a player, he coached before becoming Assistant General Manager of the Astros from 1989 to 1993.  In 1994 and 1995, he was the General Manager of the team.  He later became a Vice President of Major League Baseball until his retirement at the end of 2010.  For more on Bob Watson, read this excellent Baseball-Reference article.

Watson at 2012 Fan Fest

Roster Moves - 4/9

OF Justin Maxwell was picked up off waivers from the Yankees and immediately made his mark by clubbing an Astros home run in his first at-bat in his first game.  In order to make room for Maxwell, Fernando Abad was optioned to Oklahoma City.

Tweet of the Day

Kevin Chapman

1.000 career batting average. 1st professional hit tonight. Haven't had an ab in 6 years. To top it off we walked it off tonight w a bomb!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Minor League Schedule & Results

MONDAY'S GAMES

Lexington at Hagerstown at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Kyle Hallock and RHP Christopher McKenzie
Available on MiLB.tv

Tulsa at Corpus Christi at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers:  RHP Joe Gardner and RHP Jake Buchanan
Available on MiLB.tv

Nashville at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Seth McClung and RHP Henry Sosa
Available on MiLB.tv

Lancaster at Rancho Cucamonga at 9:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Wes Musick and RHP Angel Sanchez

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

Greensboro over Lexington 9-8
Noteworthy:  This one was a heartbreaker that was lost in the bottom of the 9th as Jason Chowning was unable to shut the door with the bases loaded, no out situation that Scott Zuloaga left behind.  Great offense in the game as Delino Deshields and Jordan Scott both went 3x4; Zach Johnson went 2x5 with a 3-run HR; Matt Duffy was 2x5 with 2RBI; Miles Hamblin was 1x3 with a walk and a HR.  They also stole 5 bases (Jordan Scott stole 3 of them).  The bad news is that they also had 6 errors (Deshields had 2 of them).

Tulsa over Corpus Christi 9-7
Noteworthy:  Let's not talk about the pitching which didn't go well. Because I'd rather talk about Austin Wates (2x3 with 2 doubles, 2 walks, an RBI and scored a run) who is now hitting .563 and Jose Martinez (2x4 with a double, home run, 3 RBI and scored two runs) who is now hitting .400.  Also of note was Brandon Barnes defense with two outfield assists.  On the other hand, you have T.J. Steele who went 0x5 with a strikeout and left 5 on base.  Just sayin'.

High Desert over Lancaster 8-6
Noteworthy:  The pitching staff, other than Brian Streilein is having trouble finding their groove.  The offense has been connecting with Rafael Valenzuela, Jonathan Meyer, George Springer and Telvin Nash (2 home runs) having particularly good days.  Let's hope that Rancho Cucamonga treats them better than High Desert did because they need to get a win before they get too discouraged.

GAME OF THE DAY
Oklahoma City over Memphis 8-1

What went right:  Jordan Lyles, the bullpen and Brett Wallace.  Jordan Lyles had a terrific performance and even helped himself out with an RBI single.  The bullpen kept Memphis from ever threatening.  Brett Wallace was hot, hot, hot at the plate.  The fact that the losing pitcher for Memphis was Shelby Miller, ranked #5 on Jonathan Mayo's top prospect list, was gravy.

Jordan Lyles - 6IP  7H  1R  1BB  5SO (78 pitches - 48 strikes)
Mickey Storey - 1IP  2H
Enerio del Rosario - 1IP  1BB
Jose Valdez - 1IP  1H  1SO

Brett Wallace - 3x4  2B  HR  3RBI  3R
Scott Moore - 2x4  2B  2RBI  SO  R

Also, Justin Ruggiano and Fernando Martinez each had a double; and J.B. Shuck and Martinez each had an RBI.

What went wrong:  Not much of anything.  Fernando Martinez did ground into a double play, but since he also had a double and an RBI, I can live with that.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Duh, Jordan Lyles.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
Brett Wallace for waking his slumbering lumber.  He went from hitting .167 to hitting .313 in one game.

A NOTE ON MINOR LEAGUE RECAPS - I don't plan on doing full-blown recaps of the games this season as that would keep me from writing other things that you may find of interest as it pertains to the Astros minor league system.  For more information (and different perspectives), you should check out Astros County and The Crawfish Boxes for their minor league recaps.

Happy Birthday - 4/9

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

OF Nate Colbert (66)
Obtained by Houston from the Cardinals in the Rule 5 draft in 1965, Colbert was drafted from Houston by the Padres in the 1968 expansion draft.  In the interim, he played in 39 games for Houston in 1966 and 1968.  He went on to be a three-time All-Star for the Padres.  For more on his incredible accomplishments for the Padres, read this Baseball-Reference piece.

IF Mike Brumley (49)
Originally drafted by Boston in the 2nd round of the 1983 draft, Brumley came to Houston as a free agent in 1993.  He had a total of 29 plate appearances in 26 major league games for Houston in 1993 and 1995 (spending 1994 in Oakland).  His minor league numbers in 1993 were quite impressive as he hit .353/.419/.471 in 96 games, but his composite batting average for the big league club was less than inspiring.  He is currently the first base coach for the Mariners.  For more about Brumley, read Bryan Trostel's Random Random Astros segment.

RHP Dennis Sarfate (31)
Sarfate, a 2001 9th round draft pick by Milwaukee, was purchased by Houston in September 2007 and was an Astro for a total of 8.1 innings before being traded away to Baltimore as part of the Miguel Tejada deal.  In 7 games for Houston, he was 1-0 with a 1.08 ERA and a 0.720 WHIP. After three seasons in the Baltimore organization, Sarfate played for the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League in 2011, going 1-3 with a 1.34 ERA and a 0.923 WHIP in 60.2 innings pitched over 57 games.

Tweet of the Day

Dallas Keuchel

Early excitement here in okc. Makes coming to the park everyday so much better '12

No Announced Roster Moves But ...

We knew that Danny Meszaros was starting the season on the DL, but Baseball America showed that he is starting the season on the 60-day DL while the other players we knew about are starting the season on the 7-day DL.  Jordan Comadena told me that Meszaros was having Tommy John surgery so that explains that.  Meszaros was a 48th round draft pick in 2008.  He is currently 26 years old.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Futurists

I know, I know, it's really an awful title, but I didn't pick it.  Jonathan Mayo with MLB.com started a new blog to talk about prospects.  I just posted my first entry.  Check it out if you get a chance.

Minor League Schedule and Results

SUNDAY'S GAMES

Memphis at Oklahoma City 2:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Shelby Miller and RHP Jordan Lyles
Available on MiLB.tv

Lexington at Greensboro at 3:00 CST
Probable Pitchers:  RHP Jonas Dufek and TBD

Tulsa at Corpus Christi 4:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Nick Schmidt and LHP Brett Oberholtzer
Available on MiLB.tv

Lancaster at High Desert at 5:05 CST
RHP Bobby Doran and RHP George Mieses

SATURDAY'S RESULTS

Game 1:  Greensboro over Lexington 11-1
Noteworthy:  Lexington was held to 4 hits for the second game in a row (Greensboro had 17), but Jordan Scott had two of them.  Tanner Bushue & Luis Cruz got roughed up badly.  LHP Scott Zuloaga stopped the bleeding with a scoreless 7th (and final) inning in the shortened double-header game.

Oklahoma City over Memphis 5-4
Noteworthy:  Dallas Keuchel had a brilliant start that almost went for nothing as Juan Abreu gave up four runs on two home runs in the top of the ninth.  There were several good offensive performances as all the starters except for Keuchel and Brett Wallace joined the hit parade.

Corpus Christi over Northwest Arkansas 7-2
Noteworthy:  Offense, offense and more offense including 5 doubles.  Austin Wates continues to prove he belongs with the big dogs in a 3x4 night that left him with a .538 BA.  Kody Hinze, Jonathan Singleton and Jose Martinez (2 doubles) also contributed 2 hits each for the evening.

High Desert over Lancaster 16-2
Noteworthy:  Rafael Valenzuela went 2x3 and Adam Bailey had a double and scored a run.  That's about it.  This is one that the pitching staff will want to put behind them.

GAME OF THE DAY
Game 2:  Lexington over Greensboro 5-3

What went right:  Carlos Quevedo wasn't overwhelming hitters in his first start, but he definitely pitched well enough to keep Lexington in the game.  The bullpen, in the form of Dayan Diaz and Jason Chowning, did the rest by shutting the door on Greensboro hitters.  That allowed the team an opportunity to come back in the top of the 7th with 3 runs via a little small ball.  They needed this win, they fought for it and they earned it!

Carlos Quevedo - 4IP  6H  3R  1BB  4SO
Dayan Diaz (W) - 2.1IP  1H  0R  2BB  2SO
Jason Chowning (SV)  0.2IP  0H  0R  0SO

Delino Deshields - 1x4  RBI  SO  SB
Jordan Scott - 2x3  3RBI  SO
Drew Muren - 2x3  2B  2R  SB
Roberto Pena - 1x2  RBI  BB  SO  2R

What went wrong:  Matt Duffy, Mike Kvasnicka and Emilio King went 0-9 with 6 strikeouts.  Some of the batters haven't quite gotten going yet, but they'll get there.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
This is an absolute no-brainer.  Dallas Keuchel may not be flashy, but he's efficient and effective and he gets the job done.  Tonight - 6IP  2H  0R  0BB  3SO

PLAYER OF THE DAY
I've got to go with Jordan Scott for leading Lexington to their first win.

A NOTE ON MINOR LEAGUE RECAPS - I don't plan on doing full-blown recaps of the games this season as that would keep me from writing other things that you may find of interest as it pertains to the Astros minor league system.  For more information (and different perspectives), you should check out Astros County and The Crawfish Boxes for their minor league recaps.

Happy Birthday - 4/8

RHP Juan Abreu (27)
Abreu came to Houston as a part of the Michael Bourn trade in July 2011.  In 2011, he posted a combined 2.18 ERA and a 1.318 WHIP with 12.0 SO/9 between the Braves and Astros AAA teams.  In 7 appearances for the Astros, Abreu had a 2.70 ERA and and 1.350 WHIP and struck out 12 in 6.2 innings pitched.  But there was the matter of five hit batters in that time frame as well.  He is currently listed as #18 on Jonathan Mayo's top 20 prospect list for the Astros.  Abreu started the season at AAA Oklahoma City.

IF Diory Hernandez (28)
Originally signed by the Braves as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic, Hernandez signed with the Astros as a free agent in November 2011.  In 9 seasons in the minor leagues, he carries a .272/.323/.378 batting line.  He has played in 75 games over 3 seasons with the Braves with less than spectacular results at the plate.  However, he had a good winter in the Dominican Republic, hitting .287/.337/.397 over 49 games.  Hernandez is starting out the season at Oklahoma City.

Pitching Coach Gary Ruby (63)
Ruby started in the Astros organization as the pitching coach for the Salem Avalanche in 2007-2008, served in the same position for Tri-City from 2009-2011 and will be coaching for Corpus Christi starting this season.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Richard Joseph "Turk" Farrell (died June 10, 1977 at 43)
Ferrell came to Houston in the expansion draft in 1961 and played for the Colt 45's and Astros from 1962 to 1967.  The hard-throwing and intense right-hander was 53-64 in 181 games for Houston with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.142 WHIP.  A three-time All-Star for Houston, Farrell led the National League in WAR in 1962, a year in which he compiled an anemic 10-20 record due to lack of run support.  Farrell died in an auto accident in England in 1977.

OF Jose Herrera (70)
Herrera, a native of Venezuela, was signed as a free agent by Houston in 1964 and made his major league debut in 1967.  He only played in 32 games for Houston in 1967 and 1968 before being drafted by Montreal in the 1968 expansion draft.

Tweet of the Day

Drew Muren

Come from behind win. That's nice first W for the season