Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, July 25, 2016

Fresno 7, Albuquerque 3

W- Joe Musgrove (5-3, 7-4 season)
L- Christian Bergman (1-3)

Fresno home runs: A.J. Reed (12, 2-run in 6th)

A.J. Reed had a big night as he looks to get himself back to Houston. His first stint with the Astros was not a good first impression, but plenty of top prospects have done well for themselves in the Majors after poor first impressions.

On the mound, Joe Musgrove logged another solid start. The two runs he allowed in his 7 innings came on a home run hit by Chris Nelson in the 5th inning. He allowed 5 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Josh Fields and Kevin Chapman pitched an inning apiece; Fields allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout in a scoreless 8th, and Chapman allowed two hits in the 9th, one of which was a solo home run hit by Tom Murphy.

Tyler White singled to lead off the bottom of the 6th, and one batter later, Reed launched his home run and sparked a 5-run inning. Tyler Heineman added an RBI single, and an error on the play allowed Jon Kemmer to score another run. Heineman, who advanced to 3rd base on the miscue, scored on an Andrew Aplin single. Reed narrowly missed his second homer of the night in the 7th inning; he settled for an RBI double. He'd come around to score on a single from Teoscar Hernandez.

All three of Reed's hits on the night went for extra bases (2 2B, 2-R HR). White (2 R) and Heineman (RBI, R) had two hits apiece.

Tonight, the Grizzlies will assume their alter ego, the Fresno Tacos, as they get set to start a 4-game series with Vegas. In game 1, César Valdez will take on Robert Gsellman. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

San Antonio 10, Corpus Christi 4 in 7.5 innings

W- Kyle Lloyd (5-4)
L- Cy Sneed (4-4)

CC home runs: D.J. Fisher (15, solo in 1st), Danry Vásquez (3, 2-run in 7th)

This game was called in the middle of the 8th due to rain. The Hooks fired the first salvo in this game, but the Missions responded with an assault that gave them a 7-1 lead after four innings of play.

D.J. Fisher's solo home run in the 1st inning opened the scoring. Danry Vásquez doubled to lead off the 5th inning and scored on a Ramon Laureano triple. Danry, who finished 2-3, added a 2-run home run to his ledger in the 7th inning.

Cy Sneed went 4 innings and allowed 7 runs on 9 hits (2 solos and a 3-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 3. Albert Minnis was the first man out, and in 2 innings, he allowed 2 hits and struck out 2. Michael Freeman pitched the 7th and allowed 3 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1.

Trent Thornton will make his Texas League debut tonight. He'll take on Seth Simmons at 7:05.

Lake Elsinore 4, Lancaster 3

W- Enyel De Los Santos (2-3)
L- Jose Luis Hernandez (0-1, 3-3 season)
S- Phil Maton (6)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks mounted a late rally that fell just short. The tying run was stranded 90 feet away to end the game.

In his California League debut, Jose Luis Hernandez pitched 6.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Jacob Dorris pitched 1.2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, one of which was a 3-run home run that allowed the 2 runners he inherited from Hernandez to score, and struck out 1.

Bobby Boyd scored Lancaster's first run in the 8th on a wild pitch. Jamie Ritchie walked to lead off the 9th and advanced to 3rd on a double from Aaron Mizell. Keach Ballard added a sac fly, and Boyd ripped an RBI double to cut the deficit to one run. Boyd advanced to 3rd on a passed ball, but he was left there, as Jason Martin struck out to end the game. Boyd finished 2-5, while Drew Ferguson stole his 24th base of the season.

In game 2 of this series, Josh James will take on Zech Lemond. First pitch is at 6:00 Eastern.

Bowling Green 4, Quad Cities 3

W- Eduar Lopez (2-0)
L- Albert Abreu (2-8)
S- Tim Ingram (2)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos were foiled in their bid to sweep the series as their comeback bid fell one run short.

All three of their runs came in the 7th inning: Anthony Hermelyn put them on the board with an RBI single, Randy César scored on a wild pitch, and Myles Straw brought Hermelyn in with an infield single. The Banditos left the tying run on 3rd base to end the 8th inning.

Albert Abreu went 3.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits, one of which was a 3-run home run, walked 2, and struck out 1. Makay Nelson was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen and he struck out 1 in 1.1 perfect innings. Franklin Perez pitched the final 4 innings, allowing a hit and striking out 4.

Yoanys Quiala will start the opener of a 3-game series with Peoria. He'll face Jake Woodford at 7:00.

Tri-City 13, Vermont 1

W- Enrique Chavez (3-0)
L- Brandon Bailey (0-1)

TC home runs: Taylor Jones (5, 2-run in 1st)

Well, that was fun. The ValleyCats stormed out to a 5-0 lead and romped to a victory to take their series with the Lake Monsters.

Taylor Jones only hit two home runs at Gonzaga this past spring, but he racked up a ton of doubles. Now, it looks like he's starting to tap into his power as a pro.



On the mound, Enrique Chavez shackled the Lake Monsters in his 5 innings; he allowed just one hit and struck out 7. Dustin Hunt allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 3 scoreless. Vermont spoiled the shutout when Miguel Mercedes hit a solo home run off Howie Brey in the 9th. That was the only hit that Brey allowed in the inning, and he struck out 2.

Ryan Hartman will get the start as the ValleyCats look to sweep the Lake Monsters out of New York's Capital District. He'll take on Dakota Chalmers at 7:00 Eastern.

Greeneville 3, Princeton 2 in 12 innings

W- Devin Raftery (2-0)
L- Alex Estrella (0-1)

Greeneville home runs: Frankeny Fernandez (2, solo in 5th)

The Appy Astros began a new series with a walk-off win.

Connor MacDonald turned in his second consecutive 3-hit performance; he opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st inning. Frankeny Fernandez clubbed a solo homer in the 5th inning. The Rays scored 2 in the 6th inning to tie the game, and that was where this game stood until the 12th inning.

Both teams did have opportunities to take the lead, but neither of them could capitalize. Greeneville stranded a runner at 3rd in the 7th inning and had another thrown out at the plate in the 8th. Fernandez singled with one out in the bottom of the 12th, and one batter later, MacDonald won the game with an RBI double. Fernandez (solo HR, 2R) and MacDonald (2B, 2 RBI) both finished 3-6.

Carlos Sanabria went 5 innings and allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Carlos Hiraldo and Angelo Serrano threw 3 innings apiece. Hiraldo allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3, while Serrano allowed a hit and struck out 3. Devin Raftery struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 12th inning.

Patrick Sandoval will start game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 3, GCL Nationals 1

W- Cristian Javier (3-1)
L- Trevor Gott (0-1)
S- Enoli Paredes (2)

GCL home runs: None.

Cristian Javier and Enoli Paredes shackled the Nationals after Brian Holmes' rehab appearance.

Holmes allowed a solo homer to Tyler Beckwith, which was the Nationals' only run of the day. In 1.2 innings, he allowed three other hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Javier walked 1 and struck out 6 over 3.1 scoreless, and Paredes allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 4 innings.

Joan Mauricio hit an RBI single in the 2nd to tie the game at 1. The Kissimmee Stros took the lead in the 4th on a pair of RBI singles from Edgar Lorenzo and Andy Piñeda. Andy Piñeda finished 3-5, while Juan Piñeda finished 2-3 with a double and a run scored. Jonathan Matute scored 2 of the GCLstros' 3 runs in this game.

DSL

The Blue team's game with the Dodgers was suspended due to rain. Both teams are tied at 3.

The Orange team fell 4-1 to the Rays 2 in 6.5 innings. Vicente Mota's solo home run (4) was the Orange team's only scoring play in this game. Gerardo Bojorquez went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Francisco Villegas allowed 2 unearned runs, a single, and walked out 2.

Monday's Stars



Tri-City ValleyCats: W 13-1 vs. Vermont
Taylor Jones: 3-4, 2 2B, 2-R HR (5), 3 RBI, 4 R
Ronnie Dawson: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R
Jake Rogers: 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Spencer Johnson: 2-5, 2 2B, RBI, R
Enrique Chavez: W (3-0), 5 IP, H, 7 K
Dustin Hunt: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K

A.J. Reed, 1B, Fresno
3-4, 2 2B, 2-R HR (12), 3 RBI, 2 R

Danry Vásquez, OF, Corpus Christi
2-3, 2B, 2-R HR (3), 2 R

Franklin Perez, RHP, Quad Cities
4 IP, H, 4 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Carlos Sanabria, RHP, Greeneville
5 IP, 3 H, BB, 7 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Connor MacDonald, 1B, Greeneville
3-6, 2B, 2 RBI; walk-off RBI 2B in 12th

Photo by Bryan Green
Frankeny Fernandez, OF, Greeneville
3-6, solo HR (2), 2 R

Photo by Bryan Green
Cristian Javier, RHP, GCL Astros
W (3-1), 3.1 IP, BB, 6 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Enoli Paredes, RHP, GCL Astros
Save (1), 4 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K

Getting to Know Tri-City C Jake Rogers

According to ValleyCats Manager Lamarr Rogers, the Astros 2016 third round pick Jake Rogers "comes as prescribed." Of the Tulane University catching prospect, he said,"He can catch. He can throw. He can receive. He does an excellent job receiving. He's got a great personality on him as well. Definitely a bright future. From a catching standpoint, I think the sky's the limit for Jake."

Pitching Coach Drew French had a similar assessment, "Jake is one of the better receivers that I have seen around, especially coming straight out of college. It's really nice how he works with our pitchers. He gets strikes called that may be marginal, questionable strikes."

Jake Rogers - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

When I first met Jake Rogers last week at "The Joe" in Troy, New York, I quizzed him about his Texas connection. He was born in Canyon, Texas, just south of Amarillo in the Panhandle and has family in Lubbock as well.

Of his college experience in New Orleans at Tulane, he said, "It was definitely different than West Texas. I enjoyed it because New Orleans is awesome. I loved it and the food was great. I had good times. It's great to go out and fish. And the guys were great and the coaches were great. It was overall a great experience."

Rogers knew that the Astros were one of the top teams that were interested in drafting him. "Of course, being a Texas boy, I thought it would be pretty cool to get drafted by a Texas team, but I didn't know who was going to take me on draft day. It happened to work out and the Astros took me and it's exciting. I was in Lubbock at my brother's house with my family and it was a really exciting time," said Rogers.

When asked to give a scouting report on himself, Rogers told me, "I pride myself on catching and I think that's what players love about me is I can catch. I can receive well and throw pretty well. I just pride myself on that and hitting too. People think that it's a hole, but I don't think so at all. I think my confidence is good and everything's going to start falling."

Out of the many talented pitchers on the ValleyCats staff, who is the most fun to catch? "I like them all honestly, but my favorite is Hector Perez because he's got good stuff [Perez was subsequently promoted to Quad Cities]. He's got major league stuff and he's always fun. He can throw it. I've loved catching him," said Rogers. Rogers also cited Perez and his fellow right-hander Erasmo Pinales as pitchers he would least like to face in the batters box, "Some good stuff there. I wouldn't want to be there. That's for sure."

As far as challenges in catching this staff, Rogers said, "I haven't really caught many splitters in my day and there are a lot of guys who throw them. Hector [Perez] is one of them. [Sebastian] Kessay is one of them. That's a really tough pitch to catch because it's like a knuckleball kind of. I'd say the guys who throw the splitter (are) the toughest."

In his short time as a pro, Rogers hasn't had too many surprises, "I had a lot of friends that have been here. I was pretty well prepared. They said the travel is going to be pretty hard, the bus rides. We just got back from seven hours to West Virginia and seven hours back from Ohio. It's tough, definitely, getting back at 6:00 in the morning and playing that night. I think that's the most difficult thing, but I've loved it so far. I have Austin Nicely as a roommate and he's been really good with helping me get acclimated. It's been fun and I've enjoyed it."

Contemplating a life in which Rogers couldn't play baseball, he'd still want to stay involved with the game. "I love the game so much. I'd probably have to be around it coaching or something. I just love being in the park. Who wouldn't want to? This is a great venue and the greatest game on earth. So I'd have to be around it somehow."

When asked for something most people might not know about him, Rogers said, "I'm a very outdoorsy guy. I like just being outdoors, hunting and fishing. Anything with family is fun. It's baseball when I'm here and hunting when I go back home so that's about it."

Hmmmm. A baseball player who likes to hunt and fish. Not exactly shocking, but when I pressed him further, he told me that he has a passion for good food. "I'm a huge food guy. My family is too. We'd go down to New Orleans (and) we'd try a different place every time they came down. Huge sweets. I love sweets. Bread pudding is my favorite and New Orleans is the place to be if you want some good bread pudding. Sweets and food. I can definitely eat a lot of it."

At that point, Rogers was off on a tangent about restaurants in New Orleans and was daydreaming about White Chocolate Bread Pudding. And that's where we left things. We actually engaged in several tangents during our conversation and I enjoyed it all.

Thank you for your time, Jake, and best of luck as the season continues.

Other recent interviews:
Hector Perez and Randy Cesar
Carmen Benedetti

Monday, July 25, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fresno 6, Albuquerque 2

W- Brady Rodgers (9-3)
L- Chris Rusin (0-1)
S- James Hoyt (26)

Fresno home runs: None.

Brady Rodgers turned in another outstanding start for the Grizzlies as they took the lead in their series with the 'Topes.

Rodgers allowed 3 hits and struck out 4 over 7 shutout innings. Brendan McCurry threw a scoreless 8th, but Albuquerque spoiled the shutout by scoring 2 runs in the 9th off of him. In 1.2 innings, McCurry also allowed 4 hits and issued a walk. James Hoyt came in with the bases loaded but was able to record the final out.

Jon Kemmer got things started with a 2-run triple in the 1st inning, and one batter later, Tyler Heineman brought him in with a single. Jon Singleton smacked an RBI double in the 5th, and in the 8th, Andrew Aplin hit an RBI single, and Tony Kemp drove in Fresno's final run of the game with a sac fly.

Heineman finished 4-4; this was his third career 4-hit game. A.J. Reed and Chan-Jong Moon had 2 hits apiece, and they both scored a run. Tyler White drew a couple of walks, scored twice, and stole a base.

Joe Musgrove will start the series finale. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Frisco 7, Corpus Christi 6

W- Jose Valdespina (4-1)
L- Kyle Smith (3-6)
S- John Fasola (4)

CC home runs: J.D. Davis (16, solo in 7th)

Well... this one got pretty heated. As for the series, the Hooks had to settle for the split as they were unable to hold a 5-1 lead in the finale.

If you thought that the animosity between the Astros and Rangers was limited to the Major League clubs, you are sorely mistaken.

Danry Vásquez was hit by a pitch to begin the 2nd inning, then immediately charged after Frisco starter Yohander Mendez, who stood his ground..... and then had a sudden change of heart and resorted to throwing his glove at Danry (wtf??????), and it all degenerated from there.

When the dust settled, Vásquez and Mendez, the primary belligerents, were tossed, along with Ramon Laureano, who got into it with Frisco pitching coach Brian Shouse. Roberto Peña also voiced his, um.... displeasure at the Roughriders' actions as he was being pulled away from the fracas.

Here's video from Ian Steele of KIII and Annie Sabo of KRIS, the NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi.




Nolan Fontana took Danry's spot in the lineup; Vásquez was the DH for this game. D.J. Fisher replaced Laureano and proceeded to draw a walk. Fontana would score the Hooks' first run on a passed ball. In the 4th, Mott Hyde ripped a 2-run triple and scored on a bloop single from Peña. Conrad Gregor added an RBI single in the 5th, and J.D. Davis whacked a solo homer in the 7th inning. Gregor finished 2-4 and was the only player in the Corpus lineup to have a multi-hit game.

Kent Emanuel went 5.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits (2-run homer) and struck out 2. Kyle Smith pitched the final 3.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits (2-run homer), walked 3, and struck out 4.

The Hooks are in San Antonio tonight to begin a 4-game series. Cy Sneed will take on Kyle Lloyd at 7:05.

Lancaster and High Desert was postponed

Due to safety concerns stemming from the Sand Fire, an active wildfire in Los Angeles County. Info on a makeup game will be disclosed later.

If conditions permit, Lancaster will travel to Lake Elsinore to begin a 4-game series. Jose Luis Hernandez will take on Enyel De Los Santos at 6:00 Pacific.

Quad Cities 6, Bowling Green 5 in 14 innings

W- Zac Person (3-1)
L- Elias Torres (0-1)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos needed two comebacks in order to walk off with the win.

Their first comeback involved erasing a 3-0 deficit, and they did so by scoring 3 in the 6th to tie, and one more in the 7th to take the lead. Pat Porter hit a 2-run single in the 6th to put Quad Cities on the board, and one batter later, Randy César hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3. Kyle Tucker put the River Bandits in front with a single in the 7th inning.

However, the Hot Rods tied the game with a solo home run in the 9th inning and took the lead with another solo home run in the top of the 14th. But, Quad Cities had another response left in them.

Kristian Trompiz and Kyle Tucker both walked to lead off the bottom of the 14th, and Trompiz scored the tying run on a Dex McCall single. A wild pitch allowed Tucker and McCall to advance a base, and with first base open, Pat Porter drew a walk. César was next, and he sent the remaining fans home happy with an infield single that scored Tucker.

César and Porter drove in 2 runs apiece. Myles Straw (2B, 2 R), Trompiz (2 R), and McCall (RBI, R, 3 BB) all had 3 hits in this game. Everyone in the Quad Cities lineup recorded a hit.

In his Midwest League debut, Hector Perez went 4 innings, and the 3 runs he allowed all scored on a home run hit by Kevin Padlo in the 3rd inning. He allowed two other hits, walked two, and struck out 3. David Schmidt was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen, and in 3.2 scoreless innings, he allowed a hit and issued a walk. Adam Whitt was next; he went 2.1 innings and allowed a solo home run to David Olmedo-Barrera in the 9th inning, which was the only run that scored off of him. He allowed one other hit, issued an intentional walk, and struck out 4. Ralph Garza Jr. and Zac Person pitched 2 innings apiece; Garza allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 3, and the one hit that Person allowed was a solo home run to Michael Russell in the 14th inning. He struck out 1.

The Banditos will look for the sweep today as Albert Abreu takes the mound. He'll face Eduar Lopez at 1:00.

Tri-City 6, Vermont 5

W- Juan Carlos Santos (1-0, 1-1 season)
L- Marc Berube (0-1)

TC home runs: Taylor Jones (4, solo in 4th)

The ValleyCats scored 5 of their 6 runs in the final 3 innings, culminating in a 2-run bottom of the 9th that allowed them to walk off with the victory.

Taylor Jones put Tri-City on the board with a solo blast in the 4th inning that also tied the game at 1. Brauly Mejia hit a one-out double in the 7th, advanced to 3rd on a balk, and scored when Stephen Wrenn grounded into a force out. Tyler Wolfe hit a 2-run single in the 8th that tied the game at 4. Vermont scored a run in the top of the 9th to break the tie, and so the ValleyCats had one last opportunity to tie or win.

Alex De Goti and Ryne Birk drew walks to lead off the bottom of the 9th, Wrenn laid down a sacrifice bunt, but an error allowed him to reach and loaded the bases for Carmen Benedetti, who delivered the game-winning 2-run single. He finished 3-5 and was the only player in the TC lineup with a multi-hit game. De Goti and Birk drew 2 walks apiece.

Framber Valdez allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 4 in 5 innings of work. Edgardo Sandoval tagged in for 3 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (solo homer) and struck out 2. Sean Stutzman got 2 outs in the 9th and allowed a run on a sac fly and a double. Juan Carlos Santos got a flyball out to end the 9th.

Enrique Chavez will start game 2 of this series. He'll take on Brandon Bailey at 7:00 Eastern. It's Nickelodeon Night at The Joe. SpongeBob will be taking center stage for tonight's promotion.

Bristol 6, Greeneville 2

W- Matt Eckelman (4-0)
L- Ben Smith (0-2, 0-3 season)
S- Adam Oller (2)

Greeneville home runs: Connor MacDonald (3, solo in 8th)

The Appy Astros dropped this series as they couldn't recover from an early deficit.

Connor MacDonald finished 3-4 with a couple of doubles and scored both of Greeneville's runs; Troy Sieber drove him in with a single in the 4th inning, and he clubbed a solo home run in the 8th. Ruben Castro finished 2-3.

In his Appalachian League debut, Jorge Alcala struck out 1 in a scoreless 1st inning. Ben Smith came on to pitch 4 innings and allowed 4 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Luis Ramirez and Devon Carr pitched 2 innings apiece; Ramirez allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2, while Carr allowed 2 runs on 3 hits.

Carlos Sanabria will get the start tonight as Greeneville begins a 3-game series with Princeton. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

Sunday's Stars


Brady Rodgers, RHP, Fresno
W (9-3), 7 IP, 3 H, 4 K

Tyler Heineman, C, Fresno
4-4, RBI; 4 hits ties career high

Photo from MiLB.com
David Schmidt, RHP, Quad Cities
3.2 IP, H, BB

Dexture McCall, 1B, Quad Cities
3-4, RBI, R, 3 BB

Randy César, 3B, Quad Cities
2-6, 2 RBI; walk-off RBI single in 14th

Carmen Benedetti, 1B/OF, Tri-City
3-5, 2 RBI, R; walk-off 2-run single in 9th

Photo by Bryan Green
Connor MacDonald, 1B, Greeneville
3-4, 2 2B, solo HR (3), 2 R; scored both Greeneville runs

Astros Farm Report: 7-25

Happy Alex Bregman Day!!! Here's my interview with him from back in April.

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

7-27: RHP Makay Nelson (22)
7-28: RHP Jorge Alcala (21)
7-29: RHP Moreno Polanco (22)

Makay Nelson - May 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

TRANSACTIONS/ROSTER MOVES

In addition to the moves I posted earlier this week, there have been several more over the last few days ...

7-25: IF Antonio Nunez assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
7-25: IF Nolan Fontana assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
7-25: RHP Edison Frias assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
7-25: RHP Jorge Guzman assigned from Greeneville to the GCL
7-25: RHP Josue Uribe assigned from Greenevillie to the GCL
7-25: LHP Cristhopher Santamaria (GCL) released
7-25: RHP Carson Larue assigned to the GCL Astros
7-25: C Brandon Benavente assigned from the GCL to the DSL
7-25: C Orlando Marquez assigned from the DSL to the GCL
7-25: SS Alex Bregman called up to Houston
7-25: IF Danny Worth designated for assignment
7-24: RHP Gonzalo Sanudo (Corpus Christi) released
7-24: LHP Michael Freeman activated from the Corpus Christi 7-day DL
7-23: SS Anibal Sierra signed (22-year old Cuban reportedly signed for $1.5 million plus a $1.5 million overage tax)
7-23: 3B/1B Matt Duffy claimed off waivers by the Rangers and assigned to AAA Round Rock
7-23: RHP Trent Thornton assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
7-23: RHP Jose Hernandez assigned from Quad Cities to Lancaster
7-23: RHP Hector Perez assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities
7-23: RHP Jorge Alcala assigned from the Gulf Coast League to Greeneville
7-22: OF Preston Tucker recalled to Houston from Fresno
7-22: RHP Jacques Sambo (DSL Astros) released
7-21: OF Ramon Laureano assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
7-21: 1B A.J. Reed optioned from Houston to Fresno
7-21: IF Chan Jong Moon assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
7-21: SS/OF Osvaldo Duarte assigned from Quad Cities to Lancaster
7-21: 3B Randy Cesar assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities
7-21: 2B Tyler Wolfe assigned from Greeneville to Tri-City
7-21: RHP Junior Garcia assigned from the GCL to the DSL
7-20: OF Alejandro Garcia activated from the Corpus Christi 7-day DL
7-20: LHP Brian Holmes (Corpus Christi) sent to the GCL on a rehab assignment
7-20: RHP Jean Reyes assigned to the DSL Astros Blue (18-year old Venezuelan signed in May)
7-19: 1B Felix Lucas (DSL Astros) released
7-17: LHP Michael Freeman placed on the Corpus Christi 7-day DL

STANDINGS

Since we last checked in on the standings, Fresno has gone 7-4 but has fallen from second to third place in the division with a hot Reno Aces team (Diamondbacks) climbing past them in the standings. The Grizzlies trail Reno by one game and the first place Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) by four and a half games. There are no wild cards and no first half qualifiers in the Pacific Coast League so they will have to take the division outright in order to advance to the playoffs.

The Hooks have been scuffling and are 4-8 in their last 12 and are now five games behind Midland (A's) and one game behind San Antonio (Padres) in the second half. However, the Hooks are assured of a playoff berth regardless of what happens in the second half by virtue of winning the first half.

Lancaster is 7-3 over their last 10 and are still in sole possession of first place in the second half, leading Lake Elsinore (Padres) by a half game. The 'Hawks have increased their lead over third place Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers) and fourth place High Desert (Rangers) to three and a half games and four games, respectively.

At 7-4 in their last 11, Quad Cities is still in a tie for second place, but they have fallen a game further behind the first place Clinton (Mariners) team. The Banditos are tied with Cedar Rapids (Twins), but it is still a crowded field with three other teams within two games of second place.

The ValleyCats have gone 6-6 in their last 12 games and remain two games behind the division-leading Lowell Spinners (Red Sox) and a game and a half behind the Connecticut (Tigers) with those two teams trading places in the standings.

The Greeneville Astros are 8-4 in their last 12, including an eight game win streak during that span, and they trail the division leaders Johnson City (Cardinals) by a .001 win percentage. It is still a very tight race with only a game and a half separating first place and fourth place in the division.

The Gulf Coast League Astros have come up from fourth place to third place in the standings after going 5-4 in their last nine games, but are a game further behind the division-leading Nationals team. They are a game and a half behind the Cardinals and they lead the Mets by .002 in win percentage.

The DSL Blue team has made up some ground against the Red Sox by going 6-4 in their last 10 and are only one game behind the division leaders; however, the Royals have gone 9-1 in their last 10 to tie the Blue team for second. The next team is eight games back so those are the three teams to watch currently.

The DSL Orange Astros are currently in fourth place after going 6-5 in their last 11 games, but are a half game closer to the first place team (seven games back) then they were when last we checked. The quest for second place in the division is crowded with the Astros behind the Phillies 2 and Rangers 2 by only one game. The Red Sox 2 team continues to lead the pack.

AAA Fresno 3rd 53-46 .535 4.5GB W1

AA Corpus Christi 1st 61-39 .610 0.0GB L1 (Overall)
2nd half: 3rd 14-16 .467 5.0GB L1
(Clinched playoff berth by winning first half)

A+ Lancaster 3rd 54-45 .545 4.0GB W1 (Overall)
2nd half: 1st 19-10 .655 0.0GB W1

A- Quad Cities 5th 48-51 .485 12.5GB W2 (Overall)
2nd half: T2nd 17-13 .567 5.0GB W2

SSA Tri-City 3rd 19-17 .528 2.0GB W2

Rk+ Greeneville 2nd 16-15 .516 0.0GB L2

Rk- GCL 3rd 12-13 .480 3.5GB W1

FRk DSL Blue T2nd 29-13 .690 1.0GB W2

FRk DSL Orange 4th 21-21 .500 7.0GB L2

AND THEN THERE WERE TWO

After 3B/1B Matt Duffy was designated for assignment and claimed by the Rangers a couple of days ago, I'll admit that I shed a tear or two. I'm happy for Matt in that he will have better opportunities with his new team, but I still feel like I've lost a member of my family.

Duffy was one of my first interviews once I started the blog and he was on the first team I visited as credentialed media. From that team (the Lexington Legends Low A team in late April 2012), only two members remain in the Astros fold ... LHP Evan Grills and C Roberto Pena.

Looking at that roster is a blast from the past. It included players who made it to the bigs with the Astros (RHP Nick Tropeano, RHP Mike Foltynewicz and 3B Matt Duffy) and a couple of players who made it to the bigs with other teams (OF Delino DeShields, Rangers and RHP Dayan Diaz, Reds). It included former top prospects who never quite lived up to their promise (C/OF/1B/DH Mike Kvasnicka and RHP Tanner Bushue). There was also LHP Luis Cruz who got to enjoy a National Championship in 2015 before being cut. And there were others who made it to AA or higher (1B Zach Johnson, OF Chris Epps, RHP Jonas Dufek, LHP Kyle Hallock, OF Jordan Scott and RHP Murilo Gouvea). There was a former outfielder who has reinvented himself as a LHP and is currently pitching in High A (Drew Muren, Diamondbacks) and another outfielder who was a fan favorite (OF Justin Gominsky). There was one who hung up the cleats after the following season to go into business (IF Alex Todd). There was one for whom a hashtag lives on #FreeChowning (RHP Jason Chowning). There is one currently playing in Italy and doing very nicely for himself (RHP Carlos Quevedo). And there were those for whom 2012 was the last hurrah (SS Jimmy Howick, RHP Nathan Pettus, IF John Hinson and OF Emilio King). And then there were two ... Grills and Pena are now in Corpus Christi.

Others joined the roster later in the season, but that was the team that was my first team. I interviewed a total of 16 players from that team and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Godspeed, Matt Duffy.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, July 23, 2016

Albuquerque 5, Fresno 4

W- Harrison Musgrave (6-5)
L- Brad Peacock (4-5)
S- Brian Schlitter (2)

Fresno home runs: Jon Kemmer (7, solo in 7th)

No comeback in the cards for the Grizzlies in this one.

Chan-Jong Moon smacked a 2-run double in the 2nd inning to put Fresno on the board and in the lead, and he came around to score on a Tony Kemp single. Jon Kemmer whacked a solo home run in the 7th to bring the Grizzlies to within one run, but that was as close as they could get to the Isotopes. Kemmer finished 2-3 and scored twice. Kemp finished 3-4 with a double.

Brad Peacock went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 10 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Jandel Gustave and Reymin Guduan pitched 2 innings apiece; Gustave allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 1, and Guduan allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and fanned 2.

Brady Rodgers will take on Christian Bergman at 5:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 8, Frisco 7 in 14 innings

W- Albert Minnis (2-0)
L- David Perez (1-4)

CC home runs: Conrad Gregor (7, solo in 9th), Nick Tanielu (6, 10 season; solo in 14th)

Nearly 5 hours later, the Hooks walked off with a victory thanks to Nick Tanielu's solo blast after the 2nd 7th-inning stretch.

Tanielu scored Corpus Christi's first run of the evening on an error following a Conrad Gregor single in the 2nd inning. Nolan Fontana sparked a 7th inning rally with a double. Garrett Stubbs and D.J. Fisher joined him on the basepaths by drawing walks. J.D. Davis was the first casualty of the inning, but Danry Vásquez was able to come through with a 2-run single. A Tanielu RBI groundout tied the game at 4.

The Riders scored 2 in the top of the 8th to re-take the lead, but the Hooks were able to keep pace. Ramon Laureano led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a Garrett Stubbs single. Unfortunately, Corpus left the bases loaded in the 8th inning. However, with one out in the bottom of the 9th, Gregor tied the game with a solo home run.

Corpus Christi foiled Frisco threats in the 11th and 13th, but the Roughriders scored a run in the top of the 14th, and so, the Hooks were down to their last chance once again. Tanielu led off the 14th with a game-tying solo home run. Mott Hyde struck out but was able to reach base safely. Laureano got plunked, and they both advanced a base when James Ramsay laid down a sacrifice bunt. Fontana was intentionally walked to bring up Stubbs, who sent the remaining fans at Whataburger Field home happy with a game-winning single.

Stubbs finished 4-7, while Gregor (solo HR), Tanielu (solo HR, 2 RBI, 2 R), and Laureano (2 2B, R) had 3 hits apiece. Danry and Ramsay both finished with 2 hits.

Keegan Yuhl went 4 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and struck out 5. Eric Peterson was the first man out of the Hooks bullpen, and in 3.2 innings, he allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits and struck out 1. Ryan Thompson went 3 innings and allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Chris Cotton was next; he allowed 3 hits and struck out 1 in 2.1 innings. Albert Minnis got 3 groundouts and allowed a solo homer to Luis Marte in the 14th, which was the only hit he allowed in the inning.

Kent Emanuel will start the series finale. He'll take on Yohander Mendez at 6:05.

Lancaster 6, High Desert 3

W- Akeem Bostick (2-1, 3-2 season)
L- Jeffrey Springs (2-1)
S- Ryan Deemes (5, 6 season)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks fell behind 3-0 early thanks to a High Desert home run, but Akeem Bostick bounced back, and he, Andrew Thome, and Ryan Deemes kept the Mavs off the scoreboard.

Bostick allowed a 3-run home run to David Lyon in the 2nd inning, which was High Desert's only scoring play. In 6 innings, Bostick allowed 5 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Thome allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Deemes struck out 1 over 1.1 innings to get the save.

Lancaster wasted little time in mounting a response; they scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 2nd to take the lead. Marc Wik walked to lead off the inning. He advanced to 3rd on a Jamie Ritchie single and scored the JetHawks' first run when Johnny Sewald beat out a bunt single. Osvaldo Duarte reached on a bunt single to load the bases, and Aaron Mizell followed with a sac fly. Bobby Boyd drove in the tying run with a groundout, and Tony Nuñez put Lancaster in front with an RBI single. An error in the 5th inning allowed Bobby Boyd and Nuñez to score. Sewald finished 2-4.

In the final game of this series, Jose Luis Hernandez will make his California League debut. He'll take on Reed Garrett at 5:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 9, Bowling Green 3

W- Chris Murphy (4-6)
L- Roel Ramirez (4-8)

QC home runs: Randy César (1, 2 season; 2-run in 1st), Dex McCall (5, 3-run in 3rd), Pat Porter (6, solo in 3rd)

The Banditos put on a show of power early as they cruised to a win.

Kyle Tucker opened the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st inning. Dex McCall followed with an RBI single, and Randy César connected on his first Midwest League homer, a 2-run shot. McCall launched a 3-run home run in the 3rd, and Pat Porter followed McCall's blast by launching a solo homer. Anthony Hermelyn drove in the final Quad Cities run of the evening with an RBI double in the 6th inning.

Chris Murphy also delivered a nice outing on the mound; he went 7 innings and allowed a run on 5 hits and struck out 2. Justin Ferrell pitcched the final 2 innings, and the 2 runs he allowed came on a 2-run homer hit by Kewby Meyer in the 9th inning. Ferrell allowed one other hit and struck out 3.

Hector Perez will make his Midwest League debut tonight. He'll face Jose Mujica at 5:15.

Tri-City 8, Staten Island 4

W- Erasmo Pinales (2-2)
L- Kolton Mahoney (3-2)

TC home runs: Stephen Wrenn (9, solo in 1st)

The ValleyCats avoided the sweep as they got some 9th-inning insurance runs to secure the victory.

Tri-City quickly had two outs against them in the 1st inning, but Stephen Wrenn opened up the scoring with a solo home run. In the 3rd, Ronnie Dawson drew a bases-loaded walk, and Brauly Mejia cleared them with a double; he was credited with 2 RBI on the play, Dawson scored on an error. Actually, two errors occurred on the play which allowed Dawson to score and Mejia was able to advance to 3rd base. Alex De Goti hit an RBI single in the 9th, and Rodrigo Ayarza capped off the scoring with a 2-run double. Wrenn finished 2-5 with 2 runs scored and also stole a base (8).

Sebastian Kessay went 3.2 innings and allowed 2 runs, a solo home run, walked 5, and struck out 4. The other run that Kessay allowed scored on a double play in the 3rd. Erasmo Pinales tagged in for 4.1 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits (solo homer) and struck out 4. Nick Hernandez walked 1 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 9th.

Framber Valdez will start for Tri-City as they get set to begin a series with Vermont. He'll take on Ivan Andueza at 5:00 Eastern.

Bristol 4, Greeneville 1

W- David Whitehead (2-0)
L- Ricardo Castro (2-1)
S- Nick Hutchings (1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

Both teams put up 7 zeroes on the scoreboard, and then the Pirates busted out for 4 runs in the 8th inning.

Abraham Toro's RBI groundout in the 8th was the Appy Astros' only scoring play. Miguelangel Sierra and Vicente Sanchez both finished 2-3.

Abdiel Saldaña pitched 4 innings and allowed 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Angelo Serrano was the first man out of Greeneville's bullpen, and he threw a 1-2-3 5th. Ricardo Castro pitched 3 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Lucas Williams allowed a hit in a scoreless 9th inning.

Greeneville and Bristol will conclude their series tonight at 6:00 Eastern,

DSL Astros Blue 9, DSL Marlins 4

W- Carlos Perdomo (3-0)
L- Julio Frias (0-4)

Blue home runs: None.

This game was tied at 4 after 3 innings, but the Blue team scored the final 5 runs to get the win. They continued their rampage on the basepaths, succeeding on all 6 of their attempts, including a steal of home.

Ronny Jimenez scored the first run of the day in the 1st inning following an error after Jose Benjamin stole 2nd. Jimenez grounded into a force out in the 3rd that scored Ozziel Sanchez-Galan and scored on a wild pitch. Benjamin also scored on a wild pitch. Sanchez-Galan smacked an RBI double in the 4th, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and stole home. Nestor Tejada hit a one-out triple in the 8th and scored on a Nicolás Miranda single. In the 9th, Carlos Canelon and Tejada hit RBI singles.

Tejada (3B, RBI, R) finished 3-4, while Canelon (RBI, 2 R, SB) and Sanchez-Galan (2B, RBI, 2 R, SB) had 2 hits apiece.

Felipe Tejada went 4 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Yeremi Ceballos allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 3 over 2 scoreless innings, and Carlos Perdomo pitched the final 3 innings, allowing a hit, walking 3, and striking out 4.

DSL Rangers2 11, DSL Astros Orange 9

W- Hector Rovain (2-1)
L- Gabriel Pirela (3-1)
S- Jeuyson Fernandez (2)

Orange home runs: None.

The Rangers scored 3 in the top of the 8th to break an 8-8 tie.

The Orange team scored 4 runs in the 1st; 3 of them scored on an error on a botched force out attempt. Gilberto Celestino, who hit that grounder, advanced to 3rd and ended up scoring on a wild pitch. In the 3rd, Yeuris Ramirez hit an RBI single and Jose Abel Hernandez grounded into a force out that scored Vicente Mota. Kendy Moya scored on a wild pitch in the 4th and Bernardo Heras hit an RBI groundout in the 5th inning. Celestino got a run back in the 8th with a sac fly. Moya scored 3 runs and stole a base, his 7th.

Diosward Gonzalez allowed 5 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him), a hit, walked 4, and struck out 2 in 1+ inning of work. Kilvio Peralta was the first man out, and he allowed a run of his own, in addition to allowing the runners he inherited from Gonzalez to score, 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Gabriel Pirela pitched 2.1 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned, 3 inherited runners charged to him) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Jose Bravo allowed 2 hits, and the 3 runners he inherited from Pirela all scored.

Saturday's Stars

Chris Murphy, RHP, Quad Cities
W (4-6), 7 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 K

Dex McCall, 1B, Quad Cities
3-4, 3-R HR (5), 4 RBI

Stephen Wrenn, OF, Tri-City
2-5, solo HR (9), 2 R

Conrad Gregor, 1B, Corpus Christi
3-5, game-tying solo HR (7) in 9th

Nick Tanielu, IF, Corpus Christi
3-7, game-tying solo HR (6, 10 season) in 14th, 2 RBI, 2 R

Garrett Stubbs, C, Corpus Christi
4-7, 2B, 2 RBI, R; walk-off RBI single in 14th

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, July 22, 2016

Fresno 4, Albuquerque 3

W- Josh Fields (1-0)
L- Miguel Castro (2-2)

Fresno home runs: Tyler White (11, solo in 6th), Max Stassi (6, walk-off solo in 9th)

The Grizzlies walked off with a win to begin a new series.

Teoscar Hernandez led off the bottom of the 2nd inning with a walk. He advanced to 3rd on a Jon Singleton single and scored the first run of the evening on a passed ball. Tyler White led off the 6th with a home run, and then Teoscar followed with a single. Just like the 2nd inning, he moved over to 3rd on a Singleton single and scored on a Jon Kemmer single. The Isotopes tied the game at 3 with a run in the 7th inning, and that's where it stood heading into the bottom of the 9th. It didn't last very long, since Max Stassi led off the inning by whacking a home run to end the game.

Mike Hauschild went 6.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 10. Kevin Chapman was the first man out of the bullpen, and in an inning (final out of 7th, 2 outs in 8th), he walked 1 and struck out 1. Jordan Jankowski allowed a hit and recorded the final out of the 8th inning. Josh Fields walked 1 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 9th.

Brad Peacock will start game 2 of this series. He'll take on Harrison Musgrave at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 4, Frisco 3

W- Edison Frias (4-1)
L- Jose Monegro (0-1)
S- Albert Minnis (1)

CC home runs: Nick Tanielu (5, 9 season; solo in 7th), Danry Vásquez (2, solo in 8th)

Corpus held off a Roughriders rally in the top of the 9th to escape with a victory.

Edison Frias turned in another solid performance on the mound, allowing just one run on 5 hits, walking 1, and striking out 5 in 7 innings of work. Aaron West threw a scoreless 8th, but Frisco got to him for 2 runs (both unearned) on a couple of singles in the 9th inning. He struck out 1 in 1.2 innings. Albert Minnis got a groundout for the final out of the game.

J.D. Davis drove in the first run of the game with a groundout in the 1st inning and scored on an error following a Danry Vásquez double in the 6th inning. Nick Tanielu led off the bottom of the 7th with a home run, and Danry struck again in the 8th with a solo home run. He and D.J. Fisher both finished 2-4 on the evening.

In game 3 of this series, Keegan Yuhl will take on Richelson Peña. First pitch is at 7:05.

High Desert 9, Lancaster 8

W- David Ledbetter (4-7)
L- Alex Winkelman (0-2, 5-4 season)
S- Nick Gardewine (2)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks nearly came back from a 6-0 deficit, but... no cigar.

Johnny Sewald put Lancaster on the board with an RBI triple in the 3rd and scored on a Tony Nuñez groundout. Marc Wik added an RBI single in the 4th. Sewald led off the 5th with a double, and Nuñez brought him home with a single. Nuñez wound up scoring himself on a passed ball later in the inning. Jamie Ritchie scored in the 6th inning on a force out, and in the 7th, he drove in a run with a groundout. Later in the 7th, Wik added another RBI single to his ledger. Sadly, Lancaster's comeback bid ended there.

Sewald finished a home run shy of the cycle. Wik and Keach Ballard had 2 hits apiece for the Hawks.

Alex Winkelman went 2.2 innings and allowed 6 runs on 3 hits (3-run homer) and walked 6. Kevin McCanna tagged in for 3.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (solo homer) and struck out 1. Dean Deetz pitched the final 3 innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4.

Akeem Bostick will take on Jeffrey Springs in game 3 of this series. First pitch is at 6:05 Pacific.

Dayton 3, Quad Cities 2

W- Jesus Reyes (5-2)
L- Ralph Garza Jr. (3-4)
S- Sarkis Ohanian (8)

QC home runs: None.

A solo homer in the top of the 9th put Dayton ahead and thwarted the Banditos' bid to sweep the series.

Elieser Hernandez threw 6.1 absolutely filthy innings for the River Bandits. He allowed 2 runs on 3 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out a career-high 14. Zac Person was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen, and in 1.1 scoreless innings, he walked 1 and struck out 3. Ralph Garza Jr. pitched the final 1.1 innings, and the one run he allowed came in the form of a solo homer hit by James Vasquez in the top of the 9th. He allowed one other hit, walked 1, and struck out 2.

Quad Cities' two runs came in the bottom of the 7th. Connor Goedert ripped an RBI double, and Pat Porter scored when Bobby Wernes grounded into a double play. Goedert's double was their only extra-base hit of the evening.

Tonight, Quad Cities will welcome the Bowling Green Hot Rods to Modern Woodmen Park. Jose Luis Hernandez will start the opener, and he'll face Roel Ramirez at 6:00. Ramirez is another Texas kid in the Minors; he is a native of Laredo.

Staten Island 13, Tri-City 7

W- Chad Taylor (1-0)
L- Agapito Barrios (0-1)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats couldn't withstand the Baby Bombers' offensive onslaught.

Chuckie Robinson opened the scoring with an RBI double in the 1st inning. In the 5th, an error allowed Alex De Goti and Tyler Wolfe to score, and Carmen Benedetti grounded into a force out that scored Ryne Birk. In the 7th, Benedetti added a sac fly and Birk scored on an errant pickoff throw. De Goti, who finished 2-4 and scored 4 runs, scored Tri-City's final run of the evening on an error that allowed Benedetti to reach. He was the only player in the ValleyCats lineup with a multi-hit game.

Agapito Barrios went 3.2 innings and allowed 5 runs on 5 hits (3-run homer) and struck out 4. Carlos Sierra allowed a run on 3 hits in 1.1 innings. Austin Nicely was next, and in 2.1 innings, he allowed 5 runs (3 inherited runners charged to him) on 6 hits (solo homer) and walked 1. Howie Brey recorded the final 2 outs of the 8th, but not before he allowed 2 runs of his own, a 3-run homer, walked 1, and struck out 1.

Tri-City will look to avoid the sweep at 6:00 Eastern.

Greeneville 2, Bristol 1

W- Tyler Britton (3-1)
L- Robbie Coursel (0-1)
S- Salvador Montaño (2)

Greeneville home runs: Miguelangel Sierra (9, solo in 1st)

The Appy Astros were solid on the mound, and Miguelangel Sierra continued his power binge.

Sierra led off the 1st inning with his 9th home run of the season. The Pirates tied the game at 1 in the 5th, but Greeneville quickly regained the lead in the 6th as Marcos Almonte tripled and scored on a wild pitch. Almonte finished 2-4 and also hit a double.

Three pitchers threw 3 innings for Greeneville. Nathan Thompson started it off, and he allowed a hit and struck out 2. Tyler Britton was next, and he allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and fanned 6. Salvador Montaño's 3 frames were perfect, and he capped off the win by striking out 4.

Abdiel Saldaña will start game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 6:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 6, GCL Marlins 3

W- Juan Robles (1-0)
L- Edward Cabrera (0-4)
S- Leovanny Rodriguez (1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros doubled up the Marlins in a game that had quite a bit of significance for a first-round pick.

Forrest Whitley made his professional debut, and he allowed a run on a single, walked 1, and struck out 2 in the 1st inning. No GCL pitcher went more than 2 innings in this game. Yeyfry Del Rosario and Yhoan Acosta followed Whitley with an inning of their own; Del Rosario allowed a run on an error, a triple, and walked 1 in the 2nd, and Acosta walked 1 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 3rd. Juan Robles allowed a hit and fanned 1 in 2 innings. Gabriel Valdez and Hansel Paulino each pitched an inning. Valdez allowed a run on a sac fly and a double in the 6th, while Paulino worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 7th. Leovanny Rodriguez pitched the final 2 innings, walking 1 and striking out 3.

Carlos Machado drove in the Kissimmee Stros' first run of the day with a groundout in the 1st. He added an RBI triple to his ledger in the 3rd and scored on a Brody Westmoreland sac fly. Machado and Westmoreland were responsible for the offensive production; they both recorded 3 RBI. Machado grounded into a force out that scored Cristopher Luciano, and Westmoreland hit an RBI single in the 4th. Westmoreland added another RBI single to his ledger in the 6th inning. Wilson Amador finished a home run shy of the cycle, while Andy Piñeda went 2-5 with a double and 2 runs scored.

DSL Astros Blue 5, DSL Marlins 3

W- Johsson Arias (1-0)
L- Yeremin Lara (0-2)
S- Juan Cuevas (2)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team scored 3 in the 6th to take the lead. They wreaked havoc on the bases, going 9-10 on their stolen base attempts.

Alfredo Angarita and Nicolás Miranda successfully executed a double steal in the 1st and an error allowed the two of them to score. Angarita hit an RBI single in the 6th. Nestor Tejada laid down a sac bunt that allowed Ozziel Sanchez-Galan to score the go-ahead run, and Miranda added an RBI single. Angarita finished 2-5 with 3 stolen bases (13), while Miranda had 2 hits and 2 stolen bases (5).

Jheyson Caraballo allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and struck out 6 in 4 innings. Robert Corniel allowed an unearned run, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 5th. Johsson Arias walked 5 and struck out 5 over 3.2 scoreless innings, and Juan Cuevas got the final out of the game.

DSL Rangers2 7, DSL Astros Orange 6 in 10 innings

W- Yerry Rodriguez (2-1)
L- Bernardo Heras (0-1)

Orange home runs: Vicente Mota (3, solo in 6th)

The Rangers tied the game in the 8th and walked off with the win.

Both teams scored 2 in the 2nd; the Orange team's 2 runs came on a pair of RBI doubles from Vicente Mota and Yeuris Ramirez. In the 3rd, Kendy Moya scored on a wild pitch and Gilberto Celestino scored on an error. Celestino, who finished a homer shy of the cycle, tripled in the 5th and scored on the ensuing error. Mota whacked a solo homer in the 6th.

Humberto Castellanos went 2.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Jose Antonio Hernandez, Luis Castro, Cristofer Melendez, and Yohan Ramirez all pitched 1.2 innings. Hernandez was first, and he allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and fanned 2. Castro had 2 inherited runners charged to him; he also allowed a hit and walked 3. Melendez allowed an unearned run, a hit, walked 3, and struck out 1, and Ramirez allowed a hit and struck out 1. Bernardo Heras allowed the winning run on a sac fly and walked 1.

Friday's Stars

Alfredo Angarita, IF, DSL Astros Blue: 2-5, RBI, 3 SB (13)
Gilberto Celestino, OF, DSL Astros Orange: 3-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R
Vicente Mota, C/1B, DSL Astros Orange: 2-4, 2B, solo HR (3), 2 RBI, 2 R


Elieser Hernandez, RHP, Quad Cities
6.1 IP, 3 H (solo HR), 2 ER, BB, 14 K (career-high)

Edison Frias, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (4-1), 7 IP, 5 H, ER, BB, 5 K

Johnny Sewald, OF, Lancaster
3-5, 2B, 3B, RBI, 2 R

  
All photos from MiLB.com
Nathan Thompson, LHP, Tyler Britton, RHP, and Salvador Montaño, LHP, Greeneville
Thompson (above left): 3 IP, H, 2 K
Britton (above right): W (3-1), 3 IP, 2 H, unearned run, 6 K
Montaño (bottom): Save (2), 3 IP, 4 K

Alex De Goti, SS, Tri-City
2-4, 4 R

Photo by Bryan Green
Brody Westmoreland, 3B, GCL Astros
2-3, 3 RBI

Photo by Bryan Green
Wilson Amador, OF, GCL Astros
3-3, 2B, 3B, 2 R

Friday, July 22, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, July 21, 2016

Round Rock 3, Fresno 0

W- Michael Roth (8-3)
L- Tommy Shirley (7-7)
S- Andrew Faulkner (3)

Fresno home runs: None.

There was only one scoring play in this game, and it did not belong to the Grizzlies. Fresno only had two hits in this game, and they both belonged to Tony Kemp.

Tommy Shirley went 2.1 innings and allowed a 3-run home run to Joey Gallo in the 3rd, 5 other hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. Brendan McCurry was the first man out of the Grizzlies bullpen; he walked 1 and struck out 5 over 2.2 scoreless. Jandel Gustave allowed a hit and fanned 2 in 2 scoreless innings, and Jordan Jankowski struck out the side in order in the 8th inning.

The Grizzlies will return home, with Alex Bregman still with the club, to begin a 4-game series with Albuquerque tonight at 7:05 Pacific. Mike Hauschild will take on Kyle Freeland.

I'm not thrilled that Alex Bregman isn't a Houston Astro yet, especially when this is an ideal time to have him up. But... I strongly suspect that the Astros front office knows what they're doing. They do a pretty good job at testing whether we can delay our gratification, and I admit that there are times (see: George Springer flirting with 40-40 in the minors in 2013) where I have failed badly at this. He'll be in the Majors this year. Just..... not at this moment.

Frisco 7, Corpus Christi 6 in 10 innings

W- John Fasola (3-1)
L- Chris Cotton (1-1)

CC home runs: J.D. Davis (15, 2-run in 3rd), Roberto Peña (8, 2-run in 8th)

The Roughriders tied the game with a run in the 9th and went ahead with a run in the first extra frame.

Mott Hyde put Corpus on the board with an RBI single in the 2nd inning. J.D. Davis clubbed a 2-run home run in the 3rd to put them in the lead, and Nolan Fontana added an RBI single in the 4th. Roberto Peña responded to Frisco's 4-run 7th inning with a 2-run home run in the 8th that put the Hooks back in front. Six players finished with two hits in this game, including Davis, Fontana, and Hyde.

Evan Grills went 6.1 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits (2 solo homers) and struck out 6. Kyle Smith tagged in to throw 2 innings, allowing a run on 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 1. Chris Cotton allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1 in 1.2 innings.

Edison Frias will start game 2 of this series. He'll take on Scott Carroll at 7:05.

Lancaster 9, High Desert 8 in 11 innings

W- Kevin Comer (2-2)
L- Felix Carvallo (6-2)

Lancaster home runs; Bryan Muñiz (9, solo in 2nd), Aaron Mizell (4, 6 season; solo in 8th), Drew Ferguson 2 (7; solo in 8th, walk-off 2-run in 11th)

The Astros' affiliates dropped 2 of 3 from the Rangers' affiliates on Thursday, but the one win came in walk-off fashion. The JetHawks erased a 7-2 deficit by finishing the game on a 7-1 run, scoring 2 in the 8th and the 9th to force extras and winning the game with Drew Ferguson's 2-run home run in the bottom of the 11th.

Bryan Muñiz's solo home run in the 2nd put Lancaster on the board. Drew Ferguson drew a bases-loaded walk in the 4th, and Aaron Mizell scored on an error following a Johnny Sewald single in the 6th inning. Mizell and Ferguson led off the 8th with solo home runs, and then in the 9th, Mizell tied the game with a 2-out, 2-run double. The Mavs re-took the lead with a run in the 11th, but in the bottom of the inning, Ferguson sent the crowd at The Hangar home happy by sending a ball into the warm Antelope Valley night for a 2-run home run, his second of the evening. He finished 3-4 in the game. Mizell finished 2-6 with 3 RBI and scored twice, and Sewald and Tony Nuñez went 2-6 from the top of the order.

Rogelio Armenteros went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 4, and struck out 7. Jacob Dorris was the first man out of the JetHawks bullpen, and he took ownership of the 6th inning. It was a rare off night for Dorris as he allowed 3 runs of his own in addition to allowing both of Armenteros' runners to score. His 3 runs all scored on a home run. Dorris allowed 4 other hits in his outing. Scott Weathersby stopped the bleeding with 3.2 scoreless innings; he allowed 3 hits and fanned 3. Kevin Comer pitched 1.1 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2.

In game 2 of this series, Dean Deetz will start against David Ledbetter. First pitch is at 6:35 Pacific.

Quad Cities 12, Dayton 4

W- Matt Bower (4-0, 6-3 season)
L- Ty Boyles (2-6)

QC home runs: Anthony Hermelyn (3, 3-run in 2nd), Pat Porter (5, solo in 5th)

Quad Cities saw their lead whittled down to one run, thanks to a 3-run 6th from the Dragons, but they responded with 3 of their own in the bottom of the 6th and put this game away with a 4-run 8th inning.

Anthony Hermelyn's 3-run home run in the 2nd inning put the Banditos on the board and in the lead. Myles Straw hit a single in the 4th, and on the ensuing error, Randy César scored. Pat Porter whacked a solo homer in the 5th inning.

César, Hermelyn, and Myles Straw led off the 6th by singling to load the bases. Kristian Trompiz grounded into a force out that erased Straw at 2nd base, but an error allowed César and Hermelyn to score. Trompiz, who advanced to 2nd on the gaffe, stole 3rd and scored on a Kyle Tucker sacrifice fly. Trompiz reached on another error in the 8th and scored on a triple from Hector Roa. Arturo Michelena followed with a 2-run double, and Connor Goedert capped off the scoring with an RBI single.

César finished 3-5 and scored 3 runs in his Midwest League debut. Hermelyn (3-R HR, 2 R), Roa (2B, 3B, RBI, R), Porter (solo HR, 2 R), and Goedert (RBI, R) all had 2 hits in this game.

Matt Bower went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (3-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 11. He is the second pitcher in the Astros system to reach the 100-strikeout plateau this season. Adam Whitt allowed a hit and fanned 3 over 2 scoreless innings, and Makay Nelson walked 1 and struck out 2 in the 9th inning.

Elieser Hernandez will take the mound as the Banditos look for the sweep. He'll face Austin Orewiler, a Galveston native and Rice product, at 7:00.

Staten Island 6, Tri-City 5

W- Taylor Widener (2-0)
L- Kevin Hill (0-2)
S- Brooks Kriske (3)

TC home runs: Jake Rogers (2, solo in 2nd)

The ValleyCats' comeback bid fell one run short.

Taylor Jones drove in Tri-City's first run with a groundout in the 2nd inning. Jake Rogers followed by launching a solo homer. Alex De Goti followed Rogers' blast with a single and was able to make it to 2nd base on an error. De Goti then stole 3rd (7) and scored on a wild pitch. Ronnie Dawson ripped an RBI double in the 3rd inning. De Goti hit a one-out single in the 9th and made his way to 3rd, thanks to a couple of wild pitches. Rodrigo Ayarza, who was batting at the time, walked, and Ryne Birk brought De Goti home with a sac fly. Unfortunately, Ayarza was left at first base to end the game. De Goti (2 R) and Carmen Benedetti (2B) both finished 2-4.

Dustin Hunt went 1.2 innings and allowed a 3-run home run to Timmy Robinson in the 1st, which was the only hit that he allowed. He walked 2 and struck out 1. Ryan Hartman tagged in for 3.1 innings and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits, walked 1, and fanned 6. Kevin Hill allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 2 in 1.2 innings, and Juan Carlos Santos allowed a hit and struck out 1 in 1.1 innings.

Game 2 of this series starts at 7:00 Eastern.

Greeneville 6, Johnson City 1

W- Diogenes Almengo (1-1)
L- Austin Sexton (0-1)
S- Angelo Serrano (1)

Greeneville home runs: Chaz Pal (2, 3-run in 6th)

The Appy Astros avoided the sweep thanks to a big home run that gave them a little more breathing room on the scoreboard.

Jonathan Arauz opened the scoring in the 2nd inning with an RBI double. Chaz Pal got plunked to lead off the 5th, advanced to 3rd on an errant pickoff throw, and scored on a Vicente Sanchez single. Pal got his revenge in the 6th as he whacked a 3-run home run to extend Greeneville's lead to 5-1. Troy Sieber capped off the scoring in the 7th by ripping an RBI double.

Sieber (2B, RBI, 2 BB), Arauz (2B, RBI), Pal (2B, 3-R HR, 2 R), and Gabriel Bracamonte (2 R) all finished with 2 hits apiece in this game.

Diogenes Almengo allowed a solo homer to Bryce Denton in the 5th which accounted for Johnson City's only run. In 5 innings, Almengo allowed 2 other hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Patrick Sandoval tagged in for 3.1 innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 4, and striking out 1. Angelo Serrano inherited a bases-loaded situation from Sandoval in the 9th, but he was able to record the final two outs of the game, thwarting the Cardinals' comeback bid.

Nathan Thompson will start for the Appy Astros tonight as they get set to start a 3-game series with Bristol. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 4, GCL Mets 0 (play suspended)

This game will be completed on July 26.

DSL Athletics 2, DSL Astros Blue 1

W- Jhenderson Hurtado (2-1)
L- Javier Navas (1-1)
S- Jean Ruiz (1)

Blue home runs: None.

Well, the Blue team was left to rue some missed opportunities on offense in this one; they were 0-11 with runners in scoring position.

Angel Tejeda's RBI single in the 7th was their only scoring play. He and Nicolás Miranda had 2 hits apiece.

Javier Navas allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Angel Matos allowed a run on a force out, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 6th, and Juan Corniel allowed a hit over 2 scoreless.

DSL Astros Orange 4, DSL Red Sox2 3

W- Asael Uribe (2-2)
L- Joan Martinez (0-1)
S- Yohan Ramirez (1)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team made it two in a row over the Red Sox 2.

Both teams scored 2 runs in the 6th inning; the Orange team's two runs came on an RBI single from Hector Martinez and an Anthony Rodriguez RBI double. In the 8th, Ronaldo Urdaneta scored on a wild pitch, and Martinez scored on an errant pickoff throw. Martinez finished 2-3 in this one.

Junior Garcia allowed 3 hits and struck out 3 over 3 scoreless. Miguel Matos went 2 innings, walking 4 and striking out 2. Asael Uribe went 3 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned), a single, walked 3, and struck out 3. Yohan Ramirez allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 1 in the 9th.

Thursday's Stars


Photo from MiLB.com
Chaz Pal, OF, Greeneville
2-3, 2B, 3-R HR (2), 2 R

Photo from MiLB.com
Diogenes Almengo, RHP, Greeneville
W (1-1), 5 IP, 3 H (solo HR), ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Anthony Hermelyn, C, Quad Cities
2-4, 3-R HR (3), 2 R

Scott Weathersby, RHP, Lancaster
3.2 IP, 3 K

Drew Ferguson, OF, Lancaster
3-4, 2 HR (7), 4 RBI, 2 R; walk-off 2-R HR in 11th

Aaron Mizell, 2B/OF, Lancaster
2-6, 2B, solo HR (4, 6 season), 3 RBI, 2 R; hit game-tying 2-R 2B in 9th

Getting to Know Tri-City ValleyCats OF/DH Carmen Benedetti

Tri-City ValleyCats OF/DH Carmen Benedetti was literally the first player I saw when I arrived in Troy, New York on Saturday. He was by the stands, holding court with a couple of fans, when I introduced myself. I was immediately struck by his engaging personality and his quiet self-confidence. Benedetti is someone who is very comfortable in his own skin.

Carmen Benedetti - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen


Benedetti, the Astros 2016 12th round pick out of the University of Michigan, has had a very good start to his professional career. In 21 games for the Tri-City ValleyCats short season A club, he has hit .364/.411/.432 and is even better against his fellow southpaws (.421/.500/.526) and with runners in scoring position (.419/.455/.484).

In talking to Tri-City Manager Lamarr Rogers about Benedetti, it was once again Carmen's personality that came to the forefront in our conversation. "Carmen is a very interesting player to me. I love his ... I guess you would say ... his flow. He's never too high. He's never too low. He's in his own space. It's fun. He's very secure in who he is. He's a bright spot on this team from a personality standpoint. He's very up tempo, lively personality, a lot of fun to be around. His little mannerisms and the things that he does makes every one smile. I just think that it's an asset to him and I hope he doesn't change," said Rogers.

Rogers continued, "He's new to professional baseball, but he seems to have made the adjustment offensively. He's got some work to do defensively, but obviously he does swing a very good stick."


I would like to echo Rogers statement. I also hope that Benedetti doesn't change. With such a great personality, he is destined to become a fan favorite.

Thank you for your time, Carmen, and the best of luck as the season continues.