Saturday, November 17, 2012

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

And, if true, this is yet another stupid move on the part of the Astros so-called business side. I thought that being a business person meant building up your business, not tearing your business down and giving your fans "the business."

Jim Deshaies was the only thing keeping most fans watching through the last two abysmal seasons. If the Astros do not re-sign him, it will be a monument to stupidity. It will be the Mount Rushmore of stupidity. Jim Deshaies and Bill Brown are simply a fantastic broadcast team and should be kept at any cost.

Less than two months ago at a season ticket holder function, George Postolos said that the Astros wanted to be a first-class franchise. Why then, would you let a first-class broadcast team walk out the door? I can understand if Bill Brown decides to retire, but Jim Deshaies is obviously not ready to retire or he wouldn't be interviewing elsewhere. So the Astros just need to make the man an offer, a fair offer. And they need to do it now!

Please make your voices heard by filling out this Astros feedback form or you can contact them as follows: 

Mailing Address:
501 Crawford St.
Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number:
(713) 259-8000
Season Tickets:
1-800-ASTROS2 (Season Tickets)
Also, you can contact CSN Houston here:

To contact Comcast SportsNet Houston:

713.457.6700
Comcast SportsNet Houston
1201 San Jacinto Street, Suite 200
Houston, TX. 77002

Winter League Recaps - 11/17

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE

Magallanes over Margarita 1-0
Magallanes 2B Jose Altuve was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base. He scored the only run of the game. *RHP Sergio Perez (W, 5-2) got the start and pitched five shutout innings allowing three hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

Aragua over Caracas 6-0
As DH for Aragua, Jose Martinez was 1-for-4 with an RBI, walk and two strikeouts.

Zulia over Caribes 3-1
RF Jake Goebbert was 0-for-2 for Caribes.

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Toros over Gigantes 7-6
*RHP Aneury Rodriguez (W, 3-1) got the start for the Toros and gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts in six innings. Two of his hits were solo home runs. RHP Rhiner Cruz pitched an inning for the Gigantes team and allowed a solo shot as well with two strikeouts while teammate LF Jimmy Paredes went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Caguas over Carolina 7-3

For Carolina, 2B Kiké Hernandez was 1-for-4 and scored a run. C Carlos Corporan was 0-for-1 with a strikeout before being tossed out of the game in the third inning. C Jobduan Morales took over for him and went 0-for-2. I only have the boxscore and recap to go by, but apparently Corporan was thrown out, along with Caguas' CF Jorge Padilla, after Padilla scored against Carolina when Corporan was in defensively at catcher. Many things could have led to those ejections, but the mystery part is why, later in the same inning, *RHP Adalberto Flores was also tossed without throwing a single pitch.


*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 11/17

IF Scott Moore (29)
Drafted out of a Long Beach, California high school in the first round by Detroit in 2002, Moore signed with Houston as a free agent in November 2011. He split his 2012 season between AAA Oklahoma City (.318/.410/.555 in 73 games) and Houston (.259/.330/.448 in 72 games). He hit a total of 37 doubles, one triple and 19 home runs between the two venues.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams (48)
An eighth round pick by San Diego in 1982, Williams came to Houston in a December 1993 trade with the Phillies. He pitched in 25 games for Houston in 1994 with a 7.65 ERA and a 2.250 WHIP. His best season was his All-Star season with Chicago in 1989 when he had a 2.76 ERA in 76 appearances for the Cubbies. Here's a "video" with still photos showing his eccentric buried head wind-up and his fall-off-the-mound delivery.  About 45 seconds in, you can see him in all his full mulleted glory wearing Astros gear.

RHP Bruce Von Hoff (died September 11, 2012 at 68)
Von Hoff was drafted from the Giants in 1964 and pitched in 13 games for Houston in 1965 and 1967 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.594 WHIP.

RHP Dan Osinski (79)
Purchased from the White Sox in December 1969, Osinski pitched in only three games for Houston at the end of his career in 1970 with a 9.82 ERA and a 1.909 WHIP. In eight seasons for six different teams, he had a 3.34 ERA and a 1.391 WHIP in 324 appearances.

RHP Jim Mann (38)
Mann signed with Houston as a free agent in January of 2001 and pitched in 21 games for the Astros in 2001 and 2002 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.207 WHIP.

Also, a Very Happy Birthday to a member of the Astros blogging community, none other than the extremely brilliant, highly excitable, ever passionate and over-the-top humorous Houston Sports Counterplot, aka Andy (aka the guy that brought you Jeff Luhnow in a Lady Gaga meat dress).

Tweet of the Day

Mike Martinez

I take it as an insult when people ask me if I want a 6 inch or a foot long. Have you seen me? Does it look like a 6 inch will fill me up?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Looking at the Astros Draft Classes - 2012

I've been taking a look at the Astros draft classes by year from 2008 to 2012 this week to see how they stand. We've already looked at 200820092010 and 2011. Our final stop is 2012. This draft class included 14 pitchers and 17 position players.

As one would hope with a shiny new draft class, all the original parts are still intact and no one has been released at this point. However, going forward, you can expect for most of this class to either move quickly through the system or get cut since 27 of the 31 signed picks were drafted out of either college or community college. Only four players, Carlos Correa (1st round), Lance McCuller (1st round supplemental), Rio Ruiz (4th round) and Brett Phillips (6th round) were drafted out of high school.

Helping to prove my point about moving quickly, three players have already progressed beyond rookie league or short season A. Kenny Long (22nd round) and Andrew Aplin (5th round) were both recipients of mid-August promotions from Tri-City to Lancaster (Advanced A level), bypassing Lexington completely. In addition, Nolan Fontana (2nd round) started the season with the full season A level Lexington team rather than the short season A Tri-City team.

The following are the player stats for 2012 as sorted by draft round. "Club" indicates the club where the player finished the season. "Age" is the player's age as of today. And "Pos." is the position (or positions) most played in the 2012 season.





After Thanksgiving, I'll continue with this series and look at how players acquired via trade, waiver claims, NDFA's, etc. are faring.

AFL, Winter League & WBC Recaps - 11/15

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE

Phoenix over Mesa 8-3
In the final game of the season for Mesa, 1B Jon Singleton went 1-for-2 and scored a run; RF George Springer was 1-for-4 with a strikeout; and 3B Jio Mier was 0-for-4. RHP Jarred Cosart started the game and allowed three runs (only one earned run) on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts in three innings pitched. RHP Chia-Jen Lo pitched one inning and allowed no hits, no runs and one walk. Here are the final stats for the Astros AFL players:

Bobby Borchering - .158/.250/.368 2-2B 2HR 5RBI in 11 games (DNP after 11/1)
Jio Mier - .297/.333/.422 8-2B 7RBI in 17 games
Jon Singleton - .226/.345/.409 4-2B 2-3B 3HR 8RBI in 25 games
George Springer - .286/.412/.600 4-2B 3-3B 4HR 14RBI 5SB in 21 games

Jarred Cosart - 0-3 6.50 ERA 1.89 WHIP 9BB/15SO in 6 starts
Chia-Jen Lo - 1-0 2.40 ERA 1.20 WHIP 4BB/11SO in 14 appearances
Alex Sogard  2-1 11.12 ERA 2.38 WHIP 9BB/8SO in 11 appearances
Nick Tropeano - 0-0 3.00 ERA 1.00 WHIP 5BB/18SO in 11 games (1 start)

George Springer was fourth in OPS and tied for fifth in runs scored in the league. Jio Mier was tied for fifth in doubles. Jon Singleton was tied for third in runs scored and tied for first in walks. Chia-Jen Lo was tied for 10th in ERA and Nick Tropeano was tied for sixth in WHIP.

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC

Brazil over Panama 3-2
RHP Murilo Gouvea played a key role in Brazil's upset of the host team in the first game of the WBC qualifier as he pitched three and a third innings in relief for Brazil. Gouvea retired 10 batters in a row before allowing singles to Carlos Ruiz and Carlos Lee. In Gouvea's first inning of work, he retired three major leaguers quickly, getting a flyout from Ruben Tejada, a swinging strikeout from Carlos Ruiz and a groundout from Carlos Lee. He struck out Tejada looking the second time he faced him before giving up the singles to Ruiz and Lee. His final line was two hits, no runs, no walks and three strikeouts in three and a third. The story is here.

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE

Caracas over Magallanes 7-6
Apparently, I misread Brandon Barnes' tweet from earlier this week because I thought he had already finished playing in Venezuela for the winter, but he played again last night (and said via tweet that last night was his final game). With that said, he went 1-for-3 for Caracas last night and ended up with a .292/.353/.491 batting line. Barnes teammate Marwin Gonzalez was 1-for-4 with a walk, scored twice and stole a base as the DH. Magallanes 1B Jose Altuve went 1-for-4 with a walk.

Caribes over Zula 4-2 (Game 1)
RF Jake Goebbert went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for Caribes.

Zulia over Caribes 7-0 (Game 2)
RF Jake Goebbert was 1-for-3 with a walk, two strikeouts and a stolen base for Caribes.

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Carolina over Ponce 10-6
2B Kiké Hernandez was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts for Carolina while Jobduan Morales got his first winter league start as DH and went 2-for-5 with two RBI and scored a run, striking out once. Also for Carolina, C Rene Garcia was 2-for-4 with an RBI, walk and two runs scored while RHP Raul Rivera pitched two innings and allowed one run on three hits and no walks with two strikeouts and was rewarded with the win. Carlos Correa did not play in the game.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE

Los Mochis over Hermosillo 9-0
*RHP Edgar Gonzalez got the start and the loss for Hermosillo as he allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks with no strikeouts in five innings pitched.

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 11/16

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Rob Mallicoat (48)
A first round pick by Houston in 1984, Mallicoat pitched in 51 games for the Astros in 1987, 1991 and 1992 with a 5.70 ERA and a 1.752 WHIP.

RHP Dwight "Doc" Gooden (48)
Originally drafted by the Mets in the first round in 1982, Gooden signed with Houston as a free agent in January 2000 and pitched in only one game for the Astros that season before being purchased by Tampa Bay. Gooden is best remembered for his 11 seasons with the Mets, during which time he was Rookie of the Year (1984), N.L. Cy Young winner (1985) and a four-time All-Star among other noteworthy accomplishments.

SS Julio Lugo (37)
Drafted by the Astros in the 43rd round in 1994, Lugo played for Houston from 2000 until May 2003. In 366 games, he hit .268/.332/.391.

Tweet of the Day

Jonas Dufek

'Pelotero' on Netflix was ridiculous. I'm moving to the Dominican... also I am now 15. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Looking at the Astros Draft Classes - 2011

I've been taking a look at the Astros draft classes by year from 2008 to 2012 this week to see how they stand. So far, we've looked at 20082009 and 2010. Next up is 2011. This draft class included 16 pitchers (11 of whom are still in the system) and 19 position players (15 of whom remain in the system).

One player was released during the season -- Zach Hardoin (47th round). In the recent round of roster cuts, four additional players were released -- Jimmy Howick (21st round), Jarrod McKinney (31st round), Brad Propst (38th round) and Blake Ford (44th round).

The pitchers who have progressed the furthest are Nick Tropeano and Tyson Perez, each of which spent substantial time at Lancaster in 2012. As to position players, George Springer made it to Corpus Christi in an early August promotion, but he was beaten there by Drew Muren who started at Lexington, turned a mid-season temporary assignment at Corpus Christi into a 33-game stint before ending the season at Lancaster. Alex Todd and Chris Epps also spent significant time at Lancaster.

The following are the player stats for 2012 as sorted by draft round. "Club" indicates the club where the player finished the season. "Age" is the player's age as of today. And "Pos." is the position (or positions) most played in the 2012 season.



Arizona Fall and Winter League Recaps - 11/14

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE

Scottsdale over Mesa 8-2
Jio Mier at third base went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and a run scored. RHP Nick Tropeano pitched one inning - fly out, ground out, pop out - thank you very much. No other Astros players played in the game. Today's game will be the last of the Arizona Fall League regular season.

Today's Game - Phoenix (12-15) at Mesa (10-19) at 1:35 CST

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE

Magallanes over Caribes 3-2
2B Jose Altuve was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts for Magallanes.

Caracas over Zulia 7-6
Marwin Gonzalez was the DH for Caracas and had a good night by anyone's standards as he was 3-for-4 with three doubles, an RBI, a walk and a run scored with one strikeout.

Aragua over La Guaira 15-10
Jose Martinez also had a good DH night for Aragua, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, two walks and two runs scored.

DOMINICAN WINTER  LEAGUE

Escogido over Aguilas 3-2
Jonathan Villar appeared as a pinch runner only and swiped a bag.

Toros over Gigantes 9-2
*RHP Erick Abreu faced one batter for the Gigantes and struck him out.

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Carolina over Mayaguez 4-3 in 10 innings
2B Kiké Hernandez went 0-for-4 with a walk for Carolina while C Rene Garcia was 2-for-5 with a two-run double and a strikeout. Carlos Correa only got into the game as a pinch runner and got picked off by former Astros SS Angel Sanchez - how rude! *RHP Adalberto Flores pitched one perfect inning in the 10th inning and was rewarded with the win as Carolina came back in the bottom of the frame to score.

Ponce over Caguas 8-6
Roberto Pena came in to pinch hit for Caguas and obliged with a two-run pinch hit home run!

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 11/15

SS Jean Batista (21)
A non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic, Batista opened some eyes in his second year in the Astros organization. After playing in 51 games for Greeneville, he was promoted to Tri-City for the final 12 games of the season. Between the two venues, he hit .318/.336/.502 with 23 doubles, two triples and six home runs. Batista was one of two featured players in a documentary Ballplayer: Pelotero about the impact of the MLB in the Dominican Republic as the young Dominican players try to make their way. I just watched the film this past weekend and it is excellent, eye-opening and often disturbing.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Randy Niemann (57)
A second round pick by the Yankees in 1975, Niemann came to Houston from New York in a June 1977 trade. In 48 appearances for the Astros in 1979 and 1980, he was 3-3 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.420 WHIP. In September 1981, he was sent to the Pirates as a PTBNL in the August 1981 Phil Garner trade. He was named pitching coach for the Red Sox in August 2012.

LHP Pedro Borbon (45)
Borbon came to Houston from Toronto in May of 2002 and pitched in 56 games for for the Astros that season with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.593 WHIP. I still cannot hear the name Pedro Borbon without thinking of this even though it referred to Borbon's father.

Tweet of the Day

Jordan Jankowski

 when you prove people Wrong

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Looking at the Astros Draft Classes - 2010

I've been taking a look at the Astros draft classes by year from 2008 to 2012 this week to see how they stand. So far, we've looked at 2008 and 2009. Next up is 2010. This draft class included 19 pitchers (11 of whom are still in the system) and 16 position players (eight of whom remain in the system).

Five players were released during the season -- Tyler Burnett (17th round), Josh Magee (18th round), Dan Adamson (20th round), Jason Chowning (28th round) and Brian Streilein (37th round). In the recent round of roster cuts, three additional players were released -- Kyle Redinger (11th round), Rodney Quintero (25th round) and Kenny Diaz (49th round).

Of the 19 players remaining in the system, none have made their major league debuts and only Jake Buchanan and Chris Wallace spent any time at Oklahoma City in 2012. Several players spent significant time at Corpus Christi though.

The following are the player stats for 2012 as sorted by draft round. "Club" indicates the club where the player finished the season. "Age" is the player's age as of today. And "Pos." is the position (or positions) most played in the 2012 season.

Preliminary WBC Qualifying Rosters

The third and fourth qualifiers of the World Baseball Classic start tomorrow in Panama City, Panama and New Taipei City, Taiwan. The qualifying rosters have been slow to come out for the eight teams involved which include Brazil, Colombia, Nicaragua and Panama (third qualifier) and New Zealand, Phillipines, Thailand and Chinese Taipei (fourth qualifier). So far, the preliminary rosters show Astros representation on the Nicaraguan and Colombian teams:

Team Nicaragua
Manager Dennis Martinez (Astros new bullpen coach)
Marlon Avea (listed as a coach)
RHP Wilton Lopez - not listed on WBC site roster
OF Mesac Laguna - not listed on WBC site roster

Team Colombia
Eduardo Perez (Astros new bench coach)
RHP Dayan Diaz

Team Brazil
RHP Murilo Gouvea (according to the Astros twitter feed)

I will update if/when I find additional Astros representation on any of the teams.

Arizona Fall and Winter League Recaps - 11/13

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE

Surprise over Mesa 10-8
1B Jon Singleton was 0-for-5 with a strikeout. It just wasn't a good day for Singleton as he ground into two double plays and had another couple of ground outs. George Springer was the DH and went 1-for-4 with a triple, a strikeout and a run scored. Jio Mier has quietly gone about having a good run at the plate since he apparently took over for Bobby Borchering as a regular (Borchering hasn't played since November 1st). In yesterday's game, Mier was 2-for-3 with a walk and scored a run in a start at third base. Mier is hitting .316/.344/.439 in 15 games with seven doubles and seven RBI. LHP Alex Sogard pitched two-thirds of an inning, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out one. Sogard allowed one run to score and was charged with two additional runs after he was lifted from the game. RHP Chia-Jen Lo also pitched two-thirds of an inning and allowed one run on two hits.

Today's Game - Mesa (10-18) at Scottsdale (14-15) at 7:35 CST

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE

Caracas over Zulia 7-3
For Caracas, CF Brandon Barnes went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in what he tweeted was to be his last game of the season. He ended his winter league season with a .291/.353/.495 batting line, three doubles, three triples, four home runs and 20 RBI in 27 games. As a side note, our old friend Humberto Quintero played his first game of the winter for Zulia and went 0-for-2 with a walk.

Caribes over La Guaira 2-1
RF Jake Goebbert went 0-for-2 with a strikeout for Caribes.

Magallanes over Aragua 3-2
2B Jose Altuve was 1-for-5 with a walk and scored a run for Magallanes. Jose Martinez got a start at first base for Aragua and went 2-for-5 with a double, a sac fly RBI and a strikeout.

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Gigantes over Licey 2-1 in 10 innings
Jimmy Paredes got the start for the Gigantes team in left field and went 1-for-4 and scored a run while teammate *RHP Enerio del Rosario pitched a third of an inning and allowed two hits.

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Caguas over Carolina 13-4

Kiké Hernandez got the start for Carolina at second and then moved to third. He went 1-for-4 and scored a run. Also for Carolina, Carlos Correa went 0-for-4 (three ground outs and a fly out) and Carlos Corporan was 1-for-3 with a strikeout. RHP Raul Rivera also showed up on the Carolina roster. In his first appearance, he gave up three hits in one and two-thirds innings, including a two-run home run.


*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 11/14

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Curt Schilling (46)
Originally drafted in the second round of the 1986 draft by Boston, Schilling came to Houston in 1991 in a trade (along with Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch) with the Orioles for Glenn Davis.  He only played one season in Houston, pitching in 56 games with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.559 WHIP.  He was traded to the Phillies for Jason Grimsley (sigh). He went on, of course, to be a six-time All-Star and to win three World Series. In 19 post-season starts, Schilling was 11-2 with a 2.23 ERA and a 0.968 WHIP. (Heavy sigh.)

RHP Kent Bottenfield (44)
A fourth round pick by the Expos in 1986, Bottenfield came to Houston as a free agent in January of 2001. In 13 games pitched for the Astros in 2001, at the end of his career, he was 2-5 with a 6.40 ERA and a 1.481 WHIP. His best season was his 1999 All-Star season when he went 18-7 for the Cardinals.

Tweets of the Day

Jarred Cosart

Are the marlins drunk?


Rafael Valenzuela

The Marlins have been drinking


Alex Todd

Well see ya marlins franchise

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Looking at the Astros Draft Classes - 2009

I'm going to take a look at the Astros draft classes by year from 2008 to 2012 this week to see how they stand. Here is 2008. Now for 2009. The numbers are not exactly auspicious for pitchers. Of 17 pitchers drafted in 2009, only three remain in the system whereas 10 of 19 position players drafted in 2009 are still in the system.

In the recent round of roster cuts, only one player was released -- Garen Wright (29th round), an outfielder whose medical issues kept him from playing in 2012. Of a total of 36 players drafted, thirteen remain in the system. Of those thirteen, two have made their major league debuts -- Dallas Keuchel (7th round) and J.D. Martinez (20th round).

The following are the player stats for 2012 as sorted by draft round. "Club" indicates the club where the player finished the season (except I included minor league stats for Keuchel and Martinez as well). "Age" is the player's age as of today. And "Pos." is the position (or positions) most played in the 2012 season.
        

An Interview with RHP Brady Rodgers

A third round pick out of Arizona State University by the Astros in 2012, Brady Rodgers hails from nearby Richmond, Texas. He grew up watching the Astros and knows how lucky he is to have been drafted by his hometown team.

In his first season in the organization, he did not disappoint. In 12 starts for the short-season A level Tri-City ValleyCats, he was 7-2 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.139 WHIP.  He walked 11 while striking out 49. The Tri-City staff successfully broke the all-time win record for the team and made it to the playoffs, falling just one game short of the title.

Let's see what Brady had to say about his experience so far ~

WTH: Could you tell me a little about being drafted back in 2009 and then the draft experience this time around. I know that you were a little surprised to be drafted by the Astros. What other teams had been talking to you? Was it helpful coming in to the organization with your Arizona State teammate Andrew Aplin?

BR: Back in '09, it was a crazy experience because getting the opportunity to start my professional career at 18 puts a lot of stress on a kid and it was definitely a tough decision because I also had the chance to go play at a tradition rich college in ASU. This time around it was a lot easier, especially with the Astros selecting me, because only a handful of guys are drafted by the team they grew up loving and watching. There were a few teams actually talking to me such as the Cubs and Braves, and the Astros were talking a little too, but you have no idea whats going on in the draft room so I was just waiting for my name to be called along with [Andrew Aplin], my teammate and roommate at ASU. When I saw Ap's name get called (the Astros got a steal), I was stoked because he's a great ballplayer, teammate and friend so to have him around me again, it was gonna be an easy transition to pro ball and definitely make it fun!

WTH: Could you tell me a little about your pitch repertoire.

BR: I throw a 4-seam fastball, 2-seam fastball, curveball, slider and change. My velocity usually sits at 90-91 and honestly I love all my pitches so it's hard to pick a favorite. The main thing I work on is my command of my pitches and being able to throw strikes with all of them. I've always pitched to where the batter is going to have to beat me by swinging the bat and not walking to get on base. And also I take pride in being able to field my position because pitchers always get made fun of by being [called] non-athletes. I consider myself an athlete!

WTH: Since I haven't seen you pitch yet, what could I expect to see when I finally do?

BR: You'll see a competitor who isn't afraid of any hitter. The game won't last three hours because I like to speed up the game to make the batters uncomfortable and you'll see a guy who loves the game and will do whatever it takes to help the team win.

WTH: What do you feel like you accomplished in the short season?

BR: I feel like I accomplished getting used to a five-man rotation and throwing every single day and taking care of my body as the season goes on so I won't wear down and become sluggish as the season continues.

WTH: What was the biggest surprise for you in your first pro season?

BR: The biggest surprise had to be how tiring playing every day can be, but I love this game way too much to let that affect me so it was surprising but also real fun at the same time.

WTH: Who on the Tri-City team has a pitch you'd like to steal?

BR: Thats a tough one so I'll use a few people. Travis Ballew's and Kenny Long's sliders because the hitter knows it's coming and still can't hit it. I would also love to have Aaron West's fastball because he throws gas and I think it would be nice to see the radar gun at 96 when I'm throwing. And last but not least Brian Holmes' change up because it fools the hitter every single time because it looks so much like his fastball coming out of his hand.

WTH: Which batter on the Tri-City team would you least like to face?

BR: Our entire lineup was pretty deadly but if I had to choose I would say Preston Tucker because he has so much raw power and even if he gets fooled by a pitch, he still has the strength to hit it out.

WTH: Can you tell me a little about the ValleyCats playoff run and the team chemistry. That team was stacked with good pitchers!

BR: Not just the playoff run but the entire season was awesome. A season will always be fun when you're winning and I would say the chemistry was great which is what led to our success. And you're right, we had a ton of depth with good pitchers which should lead to some exciting years in Houston.

WTH: Who on the team made you laugh?

BR: The entire pitching staff always cracked me up. If we were together in the same room, I don't think we ever stopped laughing or talking.

WTH: What would you do if you couldn't play baseball?

BR: That's an excellent question and I don't think I've ever asked myself that, but I think I would have my own TV show on the Discovery Channel about surviving in the wild such as Bear Grylls.

WTH: Can you tell me something about yourself that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear.

BR: Hahaha, man I had a feeling this type of question was going to come up. I like to sing but only when I'm by myself and trust me you don't want to hear me because I might bust your ear drums but when a song I know comes on the radio, I can't help myself so I'll start jamming out.

WTH: How do you like the new Astros uniforms?

BR: I love the new unis because its a classy look and brings back great memories. Also I'm glad to see Orbit back as the mascot because he was who I grew up wanting to take a picture with and get his autograph for some reason! But orange and blue reminds me of the days Biggio was starting out and Nolan Ryan was throwing no-nos, so I see the baseball tradition and many winning years finally coming back to Houston!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the final game of the Tri-City season, Brady was called upon to come in to the game in an unusual relief outing. He gave the team three and two-thirds innings, allowing only one hit and striking out six. When his team really needed him, he left everything on the mound to give his team a chance. That told me as much about Brady as a player as this interview told me about Brady as a person. I think I'm going to really enjoy seeing him wear the orange and blue one of these days for his hometown team, making some memories of his own.

Good luck in the coming season and thank you for your time, Brady!

Arizona Fall League Recap - 11/12

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE

Salt River over Mesa 8-4
Jio Mier got another start at third base. He went 3-for-5 with a double, run scored and two strikeouts. RF George Springer was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. His one hit was a solo home run that, according to the AFL twitter feed, went over the fence and bounced out of the stadium. Alas, the loss means that Mesa was eliminated and there will only be three games left in their season.

Today's Game - Surprise (16-12) at Mesa (10-17) at 1:35 CST

All of the Astros players in the other leagues had the day off.

Happy Birthday - 11/13

1B/DH Erik Castro (25)
Drafted in the 10th round in 2009 out of San Diego State, Castro spent his second season with Lancaster where he showed that he is fully healed from a surgery that sidetracked his career, shutting him down in 2010 and limiting his playing time in 2011. In 128 games this season, he hit .285/.382/.511 with 27 doubles, one triple, 27 home runs and tied for the organization lead in RBI with 108. Castro was one of many players who contributed to the JetHawks making the playoffs with his .981 OPS in the last 10 regular season games. He hit .306 with five doubles and eight RBI in the post-season.

RHP Chris Devenski (22)
Originally drafted in the 25th round by the White Sox in 2011 out of Cal State Fullerton, Devenski came to the Astros organization a little late as the PTBNL in the Brett Myers trade. He only made five starts for Lexington, going 2-2 with a 3.07 ERA and a 1.330 WHIP, but it was his final start of the season that set him apart as he pitched a complete game no-hitter with 16 strikeouts that was only one walk away from being a perfect game. For the season, he was 8-7 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.330 WHIP in 24 appearances (13 starts).

Tweets of the Day

So how did you spend your off-season?

Aaron West

In the line waiting to get black ops 2 

Rudy Owens

i watched paranormal activity 2 and i know what you did last summer today :( what the heck am i doing. worst idea ever! i need a night light

Brady Rodgers

Mornin everyone!! Time for me to get ready to head to the deer stand

Zach Johnson

I made my bed today

Monday, November 12, 2012

Looking at the Astros Draft Classes - 2008

I'm going to take a look at the Astros draft classes by year from 2008 to 2012 this week to see how they stand. First of all, a note on the prior year draft classes -- as of the end of the 2012 season, there were only four players remaining in the system who were drafted prior to 2008. Brian Bogusevic (first round) and Brandon Barnes (sixth round) were drafted in 2005, and Sergio Perez (second round) and Bud Norris (sixth round) were drafted in 2006. Currently Bogusevic and Perez are free agents.

In the recent round of roster cuts, two pitchers from the 2008 draft class were released -- Brad Dydalewicz (eighth round) and Nate Pettus (27th round). In addition, J.B. Shuck (sixth round) asked for and was given his release (according to Baseball America). During the season, Jay Austin (second round), T.J. Steele (fourth round) and Chris Hicks (14th round) were released. Of 32 players from the draft, eight remain in the system. Of those eight, two have made their major league debuts. (Shuck also made it to the big leagues for 37 games in 2011.)

The following are the player stats for 2012 as sorted by draft round. "Club" indicates the club where the player finished the season (except I did include Lyles minor league stats as well since he spent significant time there). "Age" is the player's age as of today. And "Pos." is the position (or positions) most played in the 2012 season.





I just noticed that Zachary Grimmett is misspelled, but I'm too lazy to fix the chart and re-embed it. Oops!

Winter League Recaps and Stats - 11/11

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE

Sunday was an off day. Today's game is Salt River (14-12) at Mesa (10-16) at 1:35 CST. There are four regular season games left to play and Mesa's magic number for elimination is one.

AFL Player Stats to Date:

Bobby Borchering - .158/.250/.368 2-2B 2HR 5RBI in 11 games
Jio Mier - .265/.288/.388 6-2B 7RBI in 13 games
Jon Singleton - .233/.359/.430 4-2B 2-3B 3HR 8RBI in 23 games
George Springer - .293/.438/.586 4-2B 2-3B 3HR 13RBI 5SB in 18 games

Jarred Cosart - 0-2 7.20 ERA 1.80 WHIP 7BB/13SO in 5 starts
Chia-Jen Lo - 1-0 2.03 ERA 1.13 WHIP 3BB/11SO in 12 appearances
Alex Sogard  2-0 9.28 ERA 2.16 WHIP 7BB/7SO in 10 appearances
Nick Tropeano - 0-0 3.21 ERA 1.07 WHIP 5BB/18SO in 10 games (1 start)

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE

Caracas over Magallanes 5-4
CF Brandon Barnes was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts for Caracas. 2B Jose Altuve went 1-for-4 with an RBI double and a walk. He also struck out once and scored a run.

Aragua over Caribes 3-1
Jose Martinez got the start at first base for Aragua and went 4-for-5 with an RBI double.

LVBP Player Stats to Date:

Jose Altuve - .412/.500/.647 2-2B 3B 3RBI SB in 4 games
Brandon Barnes - .300/.363/.510 3-2B 3-3B 4HR 20RBI 2SB in 26 games
Jake Goebbert - .205/.255/.273 3-2B 3RBI 1SB in 12 games
Marwin Gonzalez - .000/.333/.000 in 3 games (Played 1 game in the Liga Paralela as well)
Jose Martinez - .311/.360/.444 3-2B 3HR 15RBI in 24 games

*Sergio Perez - 4-2 4.91 ERA 1.23 WHIP 9BB/19SO in 6 starts

Liga Paralela Player Stats to Date:

Luis Alvarez - .261/.333/.283 2B 9RBI in 13 games
Ernesto Genoves - .288/.413/.500/ 2-2B 3HR 8RBI in 14 games
Jose Monzon - .241/.353/.414 3B HR 2RBI in 11 games
Carlos Perez - .353/.393/.529 6-2B HR 9RBI in 15 games
Alfredo Gonzalez - .333/.394/.533 3-2B HR 6RBI in 10 games

Carlos Quevedo - 2-1 1.62 ERA 0.90 WHIP 3BB/17SO in 4 games (1 start)
Enderson Franco - 0-1 2.57 ERA 1.52 WHIP 8BB/19SO in 6 games (4 starts)

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Aguilas over Gigantes 8-6 in 11 innings
Jonathan Villar had a pinch hit appearance for Aguilas with a sac bunt. Jimmy Paredes was the DH for the Gigantes and went 2-for-4 with a strikeout and a caught stealing. Also for the Gigantes, Rhiner Cruz allowed one run on three hits without recording an out and was charged with a blown save; *Erick Abreu allowed a run on one hit with two strikeouts in one inning pitched; and *Enerio del Rosario allowed one hit in one inning.

LIDOM Player Stats to Date:

Jimmy Paredes - .254/.267/.458 3-2B 3HR 15RBI 1SB in 14 games
Domingo Santana - .100/.400/.100 1RBI in 6 games
Jonathan Villar - .214/.267/.214 SB in 10 games

*Erick Abreu - 1-0 4.61 ERA 0.58 WHIP 0BB/15SO in 7 appearances
Rhiner Cruz - 0-0 0.00 ERA 0.75 WHIP 1BB/4SO in 2 appearances
*Jorge de Leon - 0-1 9.00 ERA 3.00 WHIP 3BB/0SO in 2 appearances
*Enerio del Rosario - 0-0 0.00 ERA 1.00 WHIP in 1 appearance
*Aneury Rodriguez - 2-1 2.37 ERA 1.16 WHIP 7BB/14SO in 5 starts

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Caguas over Mayaguez 4-2
C Roberto Pena was 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout for Caguas.

Carolina at Santurce was postponed.

LBPRC Player Stats to Date:

Carlos Corporan - .250/.200/.250 1RBI in 2 games
Carlos Correa - .143/.143/.143 in 2 games
Rene Garcia - .333/.333/.333 in 1 game

Kiké Hernandez - .333/.429/.833 2B 3B 2RBI in 2 games
Roberto Pena - .000/.250/.000 in 2 games

*Adalberto Flores - 0-0 0.00 ERA 0.50 WHIP in 1 game


LMP (Mexico) Player Stats to Date:

*Edgar Gonzalez - 0-0 3.86 ERA 1.29 WHIP 1BB/2SO in 1 start

LBPN (Nicaragua) Player Stats to Date:

Marlon Avea - .200 AVG/.200 SLG in 4 games (no extra base hits)
Mesac Laguna - .231 AVG/.538 SLG 2-2B 2HR in 10 games

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 11/12

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Joe Hoerner (died October 4, 1996 at age 59)
Drafted from the White Sox in the 1961 minor league expansion draft, Hoerner pitched only 14 innings over eight games for the Colt 45's in 1963 and 1964 before being picked up by the Cardinals in the Rule 5 draft in 1965.  Hoerner was later involved in the Curt Flood trade which led eventually to overturning the reserve clause and expanding free agency. His best years were with St. Louis in the late 60's (4 seasons with a 2.10 ERA and a 1.019 WHIP in 206 appearances), but he also had strong seasons with Philadelphia leading to his only All-Star appearance in 1970.

RHP Mark Small (45)
A 17th round draft pick by Houston in 1989, he pitched in 10 games for Houston in 1996 with a 5.92 ERA and a 1.890 WHIP. That was his only major league experience.

C Randy Knorr (44)
Originally drafted by the Blue Jays in the 10th round in 1986, Knorr was purchased by Houston from the Blue Jays in May of 1996. In 54 games played for the Astros in 1996, 1997 and 1999, he hit .200/.241/.296. In 2012, he was bench coach for the Washington Nationals.

Tweet of the Day

matt duffy

I would be afraid of me if i was me

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Arizona Fall and Winter League Recaps - 11/10

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE

Mesa over Peoria 11-8
This was a huge comeback for Mesa as they scored seven runs in the seventh to come back from a 6-2 deficit. RF George Springer was in the middle of the comeback as he drove in two runs with a single. He ended the day with three hits, including a double and a triple, to go with his two RBI and two runs scored while striking out once. Springer is now hitting .293/.438/.586 in 18 games. 1B Jon Singleton was 0-for-4 with a walk, two strikeouts and a run scored. RHP Nick Tropeano pitched two innings, allowing one run on two hits with a strikeout. Mesa has now won four games in a row with four games left to play in the season.

No game today.

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE

La Guaira over Caracas 7-3
CF Brandon Barnes was 0-for-1 with a strikeout. He was replaced in CF in the second inning.

Magallanes over Lara 9-5
*RHP Sergio Perez got the start and the win for Magallanes as he allowed three runs on four hits and a walk with three strikeouts. 2B Jose Altuve was 2-for-5 with a triple and a strikeout. He also scored two runs and committed two errors (fielding).

Caribes over Aragua 9-5
Jake Goebbert came in as a pinch hitter for Caribes and stayed in to play left field. He was 0-for-2. Jose Martinez was DH for Aragua and had a 1-for-5 night with a strikeout.

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE

Gigantes over Licey 5-4
LF Jimmy Paredes was 0-4 with two strikeouts and scored a run for the Gigantes.

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE

The Ponce at Carolina game was postponed.

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 11/11

LHP Tommy Shirley (24)
Originally from Pennsylvania, Shirley was drafted in the ninth round in 2010 out of Xavier University. Coming off an injury, Shirley pitched only a few innings in 2011, but got stretched out a bit in 2012 as he pitched a total of 42 and a third innings out of the bullpen for Tri-City (three appearances) and then Lexington (16 appearances). He ended the season with a 3-4 record, a 2.76 ERA and a 1.299 WHIP.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

CF Scott Loucks (56)
A fifth round pick by Houston in 1977, Loucks played in 69 games scattered over 1980 to 1983 hitting .260/.308/.288. In July 1984, he was traded to the Montreal Expos for Brad Mills (yes, that Brad Mills).

C/1B J. R. House (33)
Originally drafted by the Pirates in the fifth round in 1999, House came to Houston as a free agent in 2006 and again in 2008. In four games in 2006 and three games in 2008 for the Astros, he never got a hit. However, in 12 seasons of minor league and independent ball, he hit .300/.361/.470. After believing his baseball career to be over due to injuries, he enrolled in West Virginia University and played football for a season in 2005 before coming back to baseball in 2006. In 2012, he became a hitting coach in the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system.

Tweet of the Day

Rafael Valenzuela

Johnny Football takes down Bama