Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Checking in on Tri-City ValleyCats RHP Erasmo Pinales

Near the end of a Tri-City ValleyCats game last month, I made my way over to sit by a couple of 'Cats super fans and season ticket holders who sit directly behind home plate. Thus I found myself wedged between @VamosGatosCrew's Rob Witt (aka @1_Santa_Claus) and ValleyCats LHP Framber Valdez (since promoted to Quad Cities). Valdez is an interesting player in his own right, but his story will have to wait for another day.

Valdez was charting pitches that night and I was peeking over his shoulder to see the velocities that RHP Erasmo Pinales had put up in his 4.2 innings. The chart was full of hashmarks for 94 and 95, as well as a goodly number of 96's and 97's. On top of that, he had hashmarks under every single offspeed offering as well, indicating a robust repertoire of pitches. I was scheduled to talk with ValleyCats Pitching Coach Drew French the next day and I quickly added Pinales to the list of players to ask him about.

Erasmo Pinales - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

According to French, "(Pinales) features six pitches that all are of major league average or better quality pitches. Clearly for him, it's not about (adding) a pitch or anything like that. It's about how consistent can I be with my delivery and my work day in and day out, not just the day that I pitch. How consistent emotionally can I be day in and day out so that the day that I pitch is my easiest day. When those things line up for him, he's been really, really good."

French continued, "Making this jump is different from Greeneville to here. The quality of player on the opposing team is not near as high (at Greeneville). You have more college guys (at Tri-City) that have a little more skill and ability. They take close pitches and they don't chase everything.

"(Pinales) is having to learn to be a professional in all aspects of his life, but he has some of the most interesting stuff in our organization. He's one that there's a lot of people watching him very closely because he's got an opportunity, I think, to really press on in the years to come and make a name for himself.

"Every pitch he throws is above 83 or 84 miles an hour. [When I mentioned that Pinales's fastball was 93 to 97 the prior night, French noted that Pinales has hit some 98's as well.] It's explosive stuff, absolutely." French went on to remark that Pinales had been fighting his command in that game, but that he did an excellent job of sequencing his pitches and making adjustments throughout the game to get him through his 4.2 innings. Although French would have liked to get Pinales to five innings to give him a change to get the win, he had to adhere to pitch count restrictions. "The rules are the rules with these guys and right now, it's more about their development and taking care of them than it is about getting them a W."

When asked about Pinales's best offspeed offering, French said, "It really varies from day to day. Yesterday, his curveball was really, really good but (his) changeup, his split, his curveball, his slider and both of his fastballs, 4-seam and 2-seam, are really, really good pitches. So I'd say yesterday was probably the curveball, but when he faces righthanders, his changeup and his slider are kind of his go to. The split he sprinkles in as he feels necessary. It's really hard to get him to use all his pitches when he has so many pitch types. That's one of the things that we have to monitor very closely with him is just to make sure that he gets the reps on everything or else he could just go five innings and throw a fastball and a slider and have a lot of success on the scoreboard, but (not) get the reps developmentally."

Having too many pitches sounds like a good problem to have. Pinales is definitely an interesting player to watch and I will be doing just that. Here are a couple of videos I took of that July 17th game showing Pinales in action.


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Albuquerque 6, Fresno 4 in 10 innings

W- Brian Schlitter (1-2)
L- Jordan Jankowski (2-3)

Fresno home runs: None.

Old friend Brandon Barnes smacked a 2-run homer in the first extra frame, allowing the Isotopes to walk off with the win.

Brady Rodgers went 5.1 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits (solo and 2-run homers, both hit by Tom Murphy), walked 2, and struck out 4. Brendan McCurry was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen; he threw 1.2 scoreless, allowing a hit and fanning 3. James Hoyt allowed a hit and struck out 3 over 2 innings, and Jordan Jankowski allowed Barnes' walk-off homer with one out in the 10th. He allowed one other hit, and the out was recorded via strikeout.

Danny Worth put Fresno on the board with an RBI double in the 4th inning. The Grizzlies scored 3 in the 6th to take the lead; D.J. Fisher brought in two of those runs with a double, and he wound up scoring on a single from Max Stassi. Worth went 3-4 on the evening, while Stassi finished 2-4.

The Grizzlies are back home to begin their final home series of the season: a 4-game set with Sacramento. César Valdez will face Chris Stratton at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 7, Midland 2

W- Kent Emanuel (5-3)
L- Kris Hall (1-3)

CC home runs: Chase McDonald 2 (16; solo in 3rd, 3-run in 6th)

The Hooks started off their final homestand of the regular season with a bang, thanks to a pair of homers from Chase McDonald. They also broke a 2-2 tie with 5 runs in the 6th inning.

McDonald led off the 3rd with his first home run of the night, which put Corpus on the board. Mott Hyde followed by drawing a walk. He then advanced to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a double from Drew Ferguson.

Garrett Stubbs doubled to lead off the 6th and came around to score on a J.D. Davis single. Davis advanced to 3rd on a single from Ramon Laureano and scored on a Conrad Gregor single. Although Nick Tanielu went down on strikes for the first out of the inning, McDonald came through, whacking a 3-run homer to bring in the last 3 Hooks runs. Everyone in the Hooks' lineup had a hit; McDonald and Laureano had 2 apiece.

Kent Emanuel went 6.1 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 5. In his Texas League debut, Ryan Deemes allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 1.2 innings, and Ryan Thompson threw a 1-2-3 9th; he induced three groundball outs to finish the game.

Cy Sneed will start game 2 of this series. He'll take on Ben Bracewell at 7:05.

High Desert 10, Lancaster 4

W- Adam Quintana (7-5)
L- Josh James (9-5)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks took off and led 3-0 after the 1st inning, but the Mavericks ended up finishing the game on a 10-1 run.

Lancaster opened the bottom of the 1st with five straight singles; the last three, which were hit by Kyle Tucker, Bryan Muñiz, and Aaron Mizell, drove in runs. Tucker, who finished a home run shy of the cycle, smacked an RBI triple in the 2nd inning. Marc Wik went 3-5, and Myles Straw (2 R) and Brooks Marlow had 2 hits apiece.

Josh James went 5 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Kevin McCanna and Ralph Garza Jr. followed with 2 innings apiece out of the bullpen; McCanna allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3, and Garza allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 1.

Lancaster and High Desert will play a doubleheader tonight with game 1 starting at 5:05 Pacific. Jose Luis Hernandez will face David Ledbetter in game 1, and Akeem Bostick takes on Brett Martin in game 2.

Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1

W- Williams Ramirez (3-1)
L- Justin Ferrell (4-6)
S- Anthony McIver (10)

QC home runs: Hector Roa (6, solo in 2nd)

For a second consecutive night, the Banditos couldn't get their offense going.

Hector Roa's solo homer in the 2nd represented their only scoring play. Bobby Wernes finished 2-4 with a double.

Matt Bower allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 5, and struck out 4 in 5.1 innings of work. Justin Ferrell pitched 2.2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4.

In game 3 of this series, Framber Valdez will face Sean Poppen. First pitch is at 6:35.

Auburn 2, Tri-City 0

W- Dane Dunning (2-1)
L- Tyler Britton (0-1, 3-2 season)
S- A.J. Bogucki (1)

TC home runs: None.

Once again, the ValleyCats' offense was silenced. They only mustered up one run across two games as Hudson Valley swept them in a twinbill, and they got blanked in the first game of a new series.

In his Tri-City debut, Andy Piñeda went 2-3 and stole 2 bases. He stole 16 in the Gulf Coast League, so that gives him 18 on the season.

Tyler Britton and Salvador Montaño pitched 3 innings apiece; Britton allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3, and Montaño allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. Kevin Hill allowed 3 hits and struck out 1 over 2 scoreless innings.

Abdiel Saldaña will start game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:05 Eastern.

Burlington 6, Greeneville 1

W- David McKay (3-2)
L- Forrest Whitley (0-1, 1-2 season)

Greeneville home runs: None.

Both teams had 9 hits in the game, but the Appy Astros only had one run to show for that hit total.

Carlos Machado finished 2-4 and spoiled the shutout bid with an RBI single in the 9th. Connor MacDonald and Ruben Castro also finished with 2 hits in the game.

Forrest Whitley went 2.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Colin McKee was the first man out of the Greeneville bullpen, and in 1.2 innings, he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Carlos Hiraldo pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and striking out 3. Dariel Aquino allowed an unearned run after an error that followed a single, which was the only hit that he allowed in the 8th. He walked 1 and struck out 1.

The Appy Astros are headed home to start a 3-game series with Danville tonight at 7:00 Eastern. Ricardo Castro will take on Joey Wentz.

From August 6: DSL Astros Blue 11, DSL Athletics 1

W- Jose Bravo (2-1)
L- Santiago Rodriguez (1-4)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team ran wild in a game that had to be finished up.

César Cortez went 4-4 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI, and scored 2 runs. Norberto Castellanos came on after play resumed and finished 2-2 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. Anibal Sierra, Nicolás Miranda, and Enmanuel Valdez also scored 2 runs.

Jose Bravo threw a complete game; a runner stole home against him in the 1st inning. He allowed 6 hits and struck out 9 in 7 innings.

DSL Astros Blue 3, DSL Athletics 3

This game was called after 8 innings due to rain.

Nicolás Miranda finished 2-4 and scored a run. The Blue team's three runs all came in the 1st as Anibal Sierra hit an RBI single, Carlos Canelon got plunked with the bases loaded, and Angel Tejeda grounded into a force out that scored Sierra.

Johsson Arias allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and walked 3 in 2.2 innings. Robert Corniel struck out 9 over 4.1 perfect innings, and Adoni Kery allowed 3 hits and walked 1 in a scoreless 8th; he allowed a one-out single, and the pinch-runner was caught stealing 2nd.

From August 22: DSL Astros Orange 6, DSL Mets2 4

W- Miguel Matos (3-1)
L- Joel Romero (1-5)
S- Humberto Castellanos (1)

Orange home runs: None.

Once play resumed, the Orange team pushed across 2 runs in the 6th to break a 4-4 tie. Kelvin Perez hit a sac fly, and Samir Caraballo added an RBI single.

Yohan Ramirez went 2 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. Miguel Matos, who ended up getting the win, allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 4 innings. Humberto Castellanos got the save by allowing a hit and striking out 3 over the final 3 innings.

DSL Mets2 3, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Brian Batista (1-2)
L- Luis Castro (3-3)
S- Jhoander Chourio (3)

Orange home runs: None.

Euclides Chavez smacked an RBI triple in the 2nd, which was the Orange team's only scoring play and only hit of this game.

Luis Castro allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Jose Antonio Hernandez allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 over 3 scoreless, and Christopher Javier walked 1 in a scoreless 6th.

Tuesday's Stars

Jose Bravo, RHP, DSL Astros Blue: W (2-1), CG, 6 H, ER, 9 K
Robert Corniel, RHP, DSL Astros Blue: 4.1 IP, 9 K

César Cortez, OF, DSL Astros Blue
4-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R 

Chase McDonald, 1B, Corpus Christi
2-4, 2 HR (16), 4 RBI

Kent Emanuel (far right), LHP, Corpus Christi
W (5-3), 6.1 IP, 5 H (solo HR allowed), 2 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 5 K

Kyle Tucker, OF, Lancaster
3-4, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI, R; finished HR shy of cycle

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, August 22, 2016

Let's play two in Troy!

Albuquerque 7, Fresno 1

W- Kyle Freeland (5-2)
L- Keegan Yuhl (0-3, 8-6 season)

Fresno home runs: Tyler White (12, solo in 9th)

The Grizzlies have chosen a most inopportune time to go on a cold streak; with this loss, they have dropped 9 of their last 11 games.

Tyler White spoiled the shutout with a solo home run in the 9th inning. D.J. Fisher finished 2-4 with a double.

Keegan Yuhl went 5.2 innings and allowed 5 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 12 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Aaron West allowed a hit and struck out 1 in 1.1 innings, and Chris Cotton allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in the 8th.

Fresno will look to avoid the sweep tonight as Brady Rodgers gets the start. He'll face German Marquez at 6:35 Mountain.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks are back home, and they'll start a 4-game series with Midland tonight at 7:05. Kent Emanuel will face Heath Fillmyer.

Lancaster was off

The JetHawks will start a 3-game series at The Hangar with High Desert at 6:35 Pacific.

Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 1

W- Brady Anderson (3-0)
L- Franklin Perez (3-3)
S- Andrew Vasquez (1)

QC home runs: None.

Both teams had 6 hits, but a couple of Quad Cities errors led to two Cedar Rapids runs.

Bobby Wernes went 3-4 with a double and scored the Banditos' lone run on a single from Arturo Michelena in the 6th inning.

Franklin Perez went 3 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Sebastian Kessay was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen, and he took ownership of the 4th after Perez failed to record an out in the inning. Inheriting a bases-loaded, no out situation, he allowed one of Perez's runners to score on a sac fly.

Kessay also pitched in the 5th inning, allowing a run of his own on a wild pitch. He walked 2 and struck out 4 in the 2 innings. In his Quad Cities debut, Carlos Sierra allowed a hit, walked 3, and struck out 5 in the final 3 innings.

Matt Bower will start game 2 of this series. He'll take on Eduardo Del Rosario at 6:35.

Game 1: Hudson Valley 1, Tri-City 0

W- Spencer Moran (4-1)
L- Edgardo Sandoval (1-3, 1-4 season)
S- Jayson McKinley (6)

The ValleyCats' bats went quiet in the first game of the doubleheader; they only managed to scrounge up 5 singles.

Erasmo Pinales allowed 3 hits and struck out 2 over 2 innings, and Edgardo Sandoval went 5 innings, allowing the only run of the game on 8 hits and striking out 1.

Did game 2 have a better result in store for the ValleyCats?

Game 2: Hudson Valley 3, Tri-City 1

W- Brock Burke (2-3)
L- Makay Nelson (2-1, 2-3 season)
S- Brandon Lawson (2)

TC home runs: None.

Unfortunately, it was more of the same in game 2 as Tri-City suffered the doubleheader sweep.

Tyler Wolfe went 2-3; he led off the 7th with a double and scored the ValleyCats' only run of the day on a passed ball. Alex De Goti finished 2-2.

Makay Nelson went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs, both of which scored on a home run. He allowed one other hit, walked 3, and struck out 4. Angelo Serrano pitched the final 3 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 6.

The ValleyCats are in Auburn tonight to begin a 3-game series. First pitch is at 7:05 Eastern.

Burlington 7, Greeneville 3

W- Alex Close (2-0)
L- Diogenes Almengo (1-2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros had more hits in this game, but the Royals' crooked-numbered innings gave them the win.

Wilson Amador, who was making his Greeneville debut, doubled to lead off the game and scored the first run of the evening on a single from Stijn van der Meer. Vicente Sanchez hit a two-out double in the 5th and wound up scoring on a wild pitch. Sanchez finished 3-4 and added an RBI single to his ledger in the 9th. Van der Meer went 2-4 on the night.

Diogenes Almengo went 2.2 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 1. Reggie Johnson allowed 2 runs, both of which scored on a home run, one other hit, and walked 2 in 2.1 innings. Patrick Sandoval allowed a hit and fanned 5 over 3 scoreless.

Forrest Whitley will start the series finale, and he'll go up against David McKay at 7:00 Eastern.

DSL Astros Blue 7, DSL Athletics 2

W- Jheyson Caraballo (3-0)
L- Enmanuel Sullivan (1-4)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team broke a 1-1 tie in emphatic fashion with 4 runs in the 5th and 2 more in the 6th for good measure.

Carlos Canelon drew a bases-loaded walk in the 1st inning to bring in the first run of the day. Nicolás Miranda broke the tie in the 5th inning with a 2-run single. Canelon followed with an RBI groundout, and Angel Tejeda added an RBI single. Enmanuel Valdez hit a sac fly in the 6th, and Anibal Sierra followed by driving in the Blue team's final run of the day with a single. Sierra and Tejeda both went 2-4.

Jheyson Caraballo allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 5 innings. Yonatan Quintin was the first reliever to appear for the Blue team, and in 2.1 innings, he had an inherited runner charged to him after Yeremi Ceballos threw a wild pitch in the 8th. Quintin allowed a hit and struck out 1. Ceballos got the final two outs of the 8th and walked 2. Angel Matos walked 1 in a scoreless 9th.

The Orange team was also in action against the Mets 2; their game was suspended in the 6th in a 4-4 tie. Miguel Matos allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 4 innings.

Monday's Stars

Jheyson Caraballo, RHP, DSL Astros Blue: W (3-0), 5 IP, 2 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Bobby Wernes, IF, Quad Cities
3-4, 2B, R

Carlos Sierra, RHP, Quad Cities
3 IP, H, 3 BB, 5 K; Midwest League debut

Photo from MiLB.com
Patrick Sandoval, LHP, Greeneville
3 IP, H, 5 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Vicente Sanchez, OF, Greeneville
3-4, 2B, RBI, R

Monday, August 22, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, August 21, 2016

Albuquerque 4, Fresno 3

W- Shane Carle (5-8)
L- Evan Grills (0-1, 8-7 season)
S- Simon Castro (8)

Fresno home runs: Jon Kemmer (17, solo in 1st)

The Grizzlies mounted a 9th-inning rally that fell just short.

Jon Kemmer opened up the scoring by launching a solo home run in the 1st inning. This was Fresno's only run until the 9th inning.

Jon Singleton and D.J. Fisher got the rally started with singles, and then Andrew Aplin hit an RBI single with one out in the inning. Jack Mayfield added a sac fly to bring the Grizz to within one, but that was as close as they could get. Singleton, Fisher, and Colin Moran all had 2 hits in the game.

In his PCL debut, Evan Grills went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs that came off a couple of two-run homers. He allowed 6 other hits and struck out 2. Jandel Gustave, Kevin Chapman, and Jordan Jankowski all pitched a scoreless inning; Gustave and Chapman recorded a strikeout as they retired the side in order in the 6th and 7th, respectively, and Jankowski allowed 2 hits in the 8th.

In game 3 of this series, Keegan Yuhl will face Kyle Freeland. First pitch is at 6:35 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 1, Arkansas 0

W- Rogelio Armenteros (1-0, 7-6 season)
L- Zach Nuding (1-2)
S- Eric Peterson (3, 5 season)

CC home runs: Garrett Stubbs (4, 10 season; solo in 1st)

The Hooks finished 4-2 on their final tour of Arkansas this season after taking 2 of 3 from the Travs.

Garrett Stubbs finished 4-4, and his solo home run in the 1st inning was the only run of the game. J.D. Davis and Ramon Laureano had 2 hits apiece.

Rogelio Armenteros was a winner in his Texas League debut; he allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 over 7 shutout innings. Eric Peterson closed it out by striking out 2 over 2 perfect frames.

After a day off, the Hooks will start a series with Midland on Tuesday.

Lancaster 8, Lake Elsinore 5

W- Albert Abreu (1-0, 3-8 season)
L- Zech Lemond (6-5)
S- Kevin McCanna (1, 2 season)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks took the game and the series thanks to a 5-run 8th inning that swung the momentum in their favor.

Dean Deetz pitched 3 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 5 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 7. Andrew Thome was the first man out of the Lancaster bullpen, and he allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 2 innings. Albert Abreu came on to make his Lancaster debut, and he wound up throwing 3 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 3. Kevin McCanna allowed a hit and struck out 2 in a scoreless 9th to get the save.

Keach Ballard opened the scoring with a 2-run double in the 2nd inning and drove in another run with an RBI single in the 6th. Ballard walked to lead off the 8th, and Myles Straw joined him on the bases after hitting a single. They both advanced a base on a passed ball, and then a wild pitch allowed Ballard to score. Johnny Sewald, who was at the plate when all of that occurred, followed with an RBI single. Osvaldo Duarte popped out on a bunt attempt, but Kyle Tucker came through by ripping an RBI triple; he would score on a Trent Woodward sac fly. Jamie Ritchie, who walked and advanced to 2nd on the sacrifice fly, scored the final run of the evening on an error that allowed Jason Martin to reach.

Ballard finished 3-4 on the evening, while Sewald and Tucker both had 2 hits and stole a base. Sewald has 21 steals with Lancaster and 37 on the year, while Tucker, who stole his first in the California League, has 32 on the season. Jason Martin was 1-2 with 3 walks and 2 stolen bases (19).

The JetHawks are off today; they'll begin a 3-game series with High Desert at The Hangar tomorrow.

Kane County 9, Quad Cities 3

W- Carlos Hernandez (7-9)
L- Yoanys Quiala (2-10)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos ended up getting buried by a 6-run 6th inning that turned a 3-0 game into a laugher. They did manage to pull three runs back, but the damage was too significant.

3 of the River Bandits' 4 hits in the game came in the 6th, and they resulted in 3 runs. Stephen Wrenn ripped an RBI triple, Spencer Johnson laced an RBI double, and Pat Porter hit an RBI single.

Yoanys Quiala pitched 5+ innings and allowed 8 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 10 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 4. Chris Murphy and Adam Whitt pitched 2 innings apiece out of the bullpen; Murphy allowed a run on 3 hits (2-run homer) and struck out 4, while Whitt allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

Franklin Perez will get the start as the Banditos begin a new series in Cedar Rapids. He'll take on Brady Anderson at 6:35.

Tri-City and Hudson Valley was postponed

Due to rain. A doubleheader is scheduled for tonight with game 1 starting at 5:00 Eastern. Sebastian Kessay and Makay Nelson will start for Tri-City.

Burlington 10, Greeneville 1

W- Geoffrey Bramblett (5-1)
L- Jorge Guzman (0-3, 1-4 season)

Greeneville home runs: None.

Forgettable Sunday for the Appy Astros.

Jonathan Matute spoiled the shutout in the 8th when he scored on a wild pitch.

Jorge Guzman went 3.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 4. Lucas Williams went 1.2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2, and Carlos Sanabria struck out 2 over 3 perfect innings.

Diogenes Almengo will get the start as Greeneville looks to avoid the sweep. He'll face Travis Eckert at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 6, GCL Marlins 5 in 10 innings

W- Manuel Gonzalez (1-1)
L- Obed Diaz (0-1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros jumped out to a 4-0 lead, saw it vanish, then pulled themselves together to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th on their way to a walk-off win.

Enoli Paredes went 3.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 7. Leovanny Rodriguez was the first man out; he allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 in 4.1 innings. Manuel Gonzalez allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 over 2 innings.

Andy Piñeda walked to lead off the 1st inning. An errant pickoff throw allowed him to advance all the way to 3rd, and he scored the first run of the day on a balk. Wilson Amador, who also walked, advanced to 2nd on a passed ball and scored on a Wander Franco single, and Gilberto Celestino ripped an RBI double. Piñeda scored on a passed ball in the 2nd inning. L.P. Pelletier tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the 9th, and Jose Benjamin was the hero, coming through with an RBI single in the 10th to win it for the GCL squad.

Piñeda (2 R, SB [16]), Benjamin (2B, RBI), and Celestino (2B, RBI, R) all finished with 2 hits on the day.

Sunday's Stars

Jose Benjamin, OF, GCL Astros: 2-5, 2B, walk-off RBI single in 10th inning

Garrett Stubbs, C, Corpus Christi
4-4, solo HR (4, 10 season)

Rogelio Armenteros and Eric Peterson, RHPs, Corpus Christi
Armenteros: W (1-0, 7-6 season), 7 IP, 4 H, BB, 3 K
Peterson: Save (3, 5 season), 2 IP, 2 K

Keach Ballard, IF, Lancaster
3-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R

Albert Abreu, RHP, Lancaster
W (1-0, 3-8 season), 3 IP, H, BB, 3 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Carlos Sanabria, RHP, Greeneville
3 IP, 2 K

Astros Farm Report: 8-22

Looking at the playoff picture for the various Astros MiLB teams, but first things first ...

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

In addition to these moves posted on Thursday, here are a few more moves from the last couple of days.

8-21: IF Yulieski Gurriel called up to Houston from Fresno
8-21: IF Tyler White optioned from Houston to Fresno
8-21: LHP Evan Grills assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
8-20: IF Jack Mayfield activated from the Fresno 7-day DL
8-20: IF Keach Ballard assigned from Fresno to Lancaster
8-19: RHP David Paulino assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
8-19: LHP Eury de la Rosa assigned to Fresno
8-19: RHP James Hoyt optioned from Houston to Fresno
8-19: RHP Brad Peacock recalled from Fresno to Houston
8-19: LHP Albert Minnis assigned from Fresno to Corpus Christi
8-19: OF Drew Ferguson assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
8-18: RHP Albert Abreu assigned from Quad Cities to Lancaster
8-18: RHP Nick Hernandez assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities
8-18: RHP Enrique Chavez assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities
8-18: RHP Agapito Barrios placed on the Quad Cities 7-day DL retroactive to 8-17

STANDINGS/PLAYOFF PICTURE

Let's check in with the teams as they make their final pushes for playoff berths.

AAA Fresno 3rd 67-61 .523 7.0GB L3

Going 2-8 in the last 10 has not helped Fresno's chances of making the playoffs. The revolving door between Fresno and Houston, along with pitching injuries, has been a bad combination. With 15 games left in the season, Fresno's elimination number is down to 10. It's looking increasingly likely that the Grizzlies will be free to join the big league club when rosters expand on September 1st (or at least when their season ends on September 5th)

AA Corpus Christi 1st 75-51 .595 0.0GB W1 (Overall)
2nd half: 3rd 28-28 .500 9.0GB W1
(Clinched playoff berth by winning first half)

The Hooks are automatically slated for the playoffs by virtue of winning the first half. Midland (A's) holds an 8-game second half lead over the second place San Antonio (Padres) team and is almost certain to be the team that the Hooks will face in the first round of the playoffs. The Hooks are off today as they travel back from Arkansas and will host Midland for a 4-game series starting Tuesday. There are 14 games remaining in the regular season. The playoffs are slated to start in Corpus Christi on Wednesday, September 7th.

A+ Lancaster 3rd 71-55 .563 3.0GB W1 (Overall)
2nd half: 1st 36-20 .643 0.0GB W1

The JetHawks remain in first place, increasing their lead to five games in front of High Desert (Rangers) and five and half games in front of Lake Elsinore (Padres) in the second half, but falling to one-half game behind Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers) in the wild card race. Lancaster will be off on Monday before hosting High Desert for four games over three days starting Tuesday. There are 14 games left in the regular season.

A- Quad Cities 6th 58-67 .464 21.5GB L2 (Overall)
2nd half: 5th 27-29 .482 14.0GB L2

Although they haven't been officially eliminated from the postseason, in reality the Banditos really need to sweep the second place Cedar Rapids (Twins) on the road starting tonight in order to remain in the conversation. Their elimination number now stands at 10 with 14 games remaining in the season.

SSA Tri-City 3rd 32-28 .533 3.5GB L2

The ValleyCats have fallen to three and a half games behind Lowell (Red Sox) and one and a half games behind Connecticut (Tigers) in the division. They are in fourth place, two games back, in the wild card race. Tri-City has three games remaining against Lowell and two more against Connecticut in their final 16 games which will be played over 15 days.

Rk+ Greeneville 3rd 28-29 .491 5.5GB L2

The Appy League Astros have gone 3-7 in their last 10 games and have fallen to five and a half games behind Johnson City (Cardinals) and three games behind second place Elizabethton (Twins). Since the first and second place teams in the division advance to the playoffs, Greeneville still has a chance since they play the final six games (out of 11 remaining) against Elizabethton.

Rk- GCL 5th 20-28 .417 10.0GB W1
ELIMINATED

There are 8 games remaining in their season.

FRk DSL Blue 3rd 39-23 .629 6.5GB L5

The Astros Blue team picked a bad time to fade. After losing five in a row, they have gone from playoff contention to an elimination number of four with six games left in the season. They can still make it, but a whole lot of things need to go right.

FRk DSL Orange 4th 28-36 .438 17.0GB L1
ELIMINATED

The Orange team has officially been eliminated from postseason play.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, August 20, 2016

Everyone lost.



Albuquerque 7, Fresno 2

W- Eddie Butler (7-2)
L- David Paulino (0-1, 5-3 season)

Fresno home runs: D.J. Fisher (3, 19 season; solo in 2nd)

David Paulino was given a rather rude welcome to the Pacific Coast League. The Grizzlies fell behind 6-1 and never really threatened the Isotopes in this one.

D.J. Fisher opened the scoring with a solo homer in the 2nd inning. Fresno's other scoring play came in the 6th, when Jon Kemmer ripped an RBI double. Kemmer finished 2-4 on the night.

Paulino went 4 innings and allowed 6 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 7. Reymin Guduan was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen, and in 3 scoreless innings, he allowed 2 hits and struck out 1. Brendan McCurry allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out the side in the 8th.

Evan Grills will make his AAA debut in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 6:05 Mountain.

Arkansas 4, Corpus Christi 2

W- Eric Alonzo (2-1)
L- Francis Martes (8-5)
S- Eduardo Paredes (5)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks scored first, but they couldn't get any more runs across.

J.D. Davis ripped a 2-run double in the 1st that turned out to be the Hooks' only scoring play of the night. Ramon Laureano, who scored one of the runs, finished 2-3 with a stolen base (5, 38 season).

Francis Martes went 7 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Albert Minnis allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 8th.

In the series finale, Rogelio Armenteros will make his Texas League debut. He'll face Zach Nuding at 6:10.

Lake Elsinore 2, Lancaster 1

W- Zech Lemond (6-4)
L- Scott Weathersby (5-6, 6-6 season)
S- Phil Maton (9)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks' bats went quiet on Saturday night. They managed to tie the game in the 7th, only to see the Storm retake the lead in the 8th.

Bryan Muñiz led off the 7th with a double, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored Lancaster's only run on a sac fly from Osvaldo Duarte. The double was their only extra-base hit of the night; Trent Woodward and Jason Martin had singles, which were their other two hits in the game.

Elieser Hernandez and Scott Weathersby pitched 4 innings apiece; Hernandez allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out 6, while Weathersby allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4.

The JetHawks will look to avoid the sweep as Dean Deetz gets the start. He'll take on Enyel De Los Santos at 5:00 Pacific.

Kane County 4, Quad Cities 2

W- Emilio Vargas (4-6)
L- Enrique Chavez (0-1, 3-3 season)
S- Austin Mason (1)

QC home runs: None.

For 8 innings, the Banditos' offense was rendered useless by Emilio Vargas, who struck out 17 for the Cougars. They finally got to him in the 9th, but the rally fell short.

Jake Rogers tripled to lead off the bottom of the 9th and scored Quad Cities' first run on an error that allowed Bobby Wernes to reach. Wernes advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch and scored on a Dex McCall single. Rogers had 2 of the River Bandits' 3 hits on the evening.

In his Quad Cities debut, Enrique Chavez went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 4. Nick Hernandez was also making his Quad Cities debut, and he allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 2 innings. Zac Person allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 in 3 innings.

Yoanys Quiala will start the series finale, and he'll take on Carlos Hernandez at 1:15.

Hudson Valley 4, Tri-City 3

W- Porter Clayton (3-1)
L- Austin Nicely (5-3)
S- Joe Serrapica (7)

TC home runs: None.

The Renegades' two 2-run innings trumped the ValleyCats' one-run and 2-run innings. Tri-City had the tying run on base in the 9th, but Gabriel Bracamonte grounded into the game-ending double play.

Chuckie Robinson opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st inning. Both teams scored two in the 5th; the ValleyCats' two runs came home thanks to an RBI double from Miguelangel Sierra and an RBI single from Brauly Mejia. Sierra finished 3-4 on the night, and Mejia went 2-4.

Austin Nicely allowed 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in 4.1 innings. In his Tri-City debut, Devin Raftery went 1.2 innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 4. Ryan Hartman pitched the final 3 innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4.

Sebastian Kessay will start game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 5:00 Eastern.

Danville 7, Greeneville 4

W- Jeremy Walker (3-1)
L- Cristian Javier (1-1, 4-2 season)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros fell behind 6-1 as they dropped the series.

Cristian Javier went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits (solo homer) and struck out 4. Ben Smith and Carson LaRue pitched 2 innings apiece; Smith allowed 4 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1, while LaRue struck out 3.

Connor MacDonald finished 3-4 with a double, and he scored Greeneville's first run of the game on a single from Ruben Castro in the 5th inning. Reiny Beltre hit an RBI groundout in the 6th. Abraham Toro grounded into a force out that allowed Stijn van der Meer to score in the 8th, and Luis Payano hit a sac fly in the 9th. Castro finished 2-4 on the evening.

Greeneville will begin a 3-game series in Burlington tonight at 6:00 Eastern. Jorge Guzman will get the start.

GCL Mets 7, GCL Astros 2

W- Ronald Sanchez (1-2)
L- Bryan Abreu (1-4, 1-5 season)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros scored first, but it was all Mets afterwards. I believe that the GCL Astros have been eliminated from playoff contention with this loss.

Jose Benjamin opened the scoring with an RBI triple in the 1st, and one batter later, Bernardo Heras brought him home with a single. Heras finished 2-3 on the day.

Bryan Abreu went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 6 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Juan Robles was the first man out of the bullpen, and he allowed 2 unearned runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 2.2 innings. Saul Martinez allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 1.1 innings.

DSL Rays1 10, DSL Astros Blue 5

W- Ender Cespedes (1-0)
L- Jesus Bernaez (1-4)

Blue home runs: None.

The Rays buried the Blue team with a 5-run 5th inning.

Angel De Leon opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. He went 2-5, with his other hit being a double. Nestor Tejada followed with an RBI single. Ronny Jimenez hit a sac fly in the 5th, and in the 6th, Alfredo Angarita hit a sac fly and Ronny Rafael scored on a wild pitch.

Juan Corniel went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Jesus Bernaez got shelled in his 2 innings; he allowed 7 runs on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Yeremi Ceballos allowed a hit and hit a batter in a scoreless 7th, and Jean Reyes walked 1 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 8th.

DSL Phillies2 2, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Reiwal Gonzalez (3-1)
L- Asael Uribe (3-4)
S- Luis Ramirez (11)

Orange home runs: None.

All of the scoring in this game was done in the 8th inning. However, the Phillies' half-inning was more productive than the Orange team's.

Samir Caraballo's RBI single in the 8th was the Orange team's only scoring play of the game. Yordan Alvarez and Yeuris Ramirez had 2 hits apiece.

Maikel Sepulveda allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 over 6 shutout innings. Asael Uribe pitched the final 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3.

Saturday's Stars

Maikel Sepulveda, LHP, DSL Astros Orange: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K

Jake Rogers, C, Quad Cities
2-3, 3B, R

Ryan Hartman, LHP, Tri-City
 3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K

Francis Martes, RHP, Corpus Christi
L (8-5), 7 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB, 7 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Miguelangel Sierra, IF, Tri-City
3-4, 2B, RBI, R

Photo from MiLB.com
Carson LaRue, RHP, Greeneville
2 IP, 3 K

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, August 19, 2016

Omaha 11, Fresno 7

W- Benino Pruneda (3-1)
L- Eury De La Rosa (0-1)

Fresno home runs: Colin Moran (9, 2-run in 3rd), Jon Kemmer (16, solo in 4th)

The Grizzlies couldn't overcome an early 7-0 deficit, and they dropped the series.

Colin Moran's 2-run homer put Fresno on the board in the 3rd inning. Jon Kemmer led off the 4th inning with a home run, and the Grizzlies got 3 more runs in the inning thanks to an RBI double from Andrew Aplin and RBI singles from D.J. Fisher and Moran. Kemmer drove in Fresno's final run with an RBI groundout in the 9th. Moran finished 2-4 on the evening.

Eury De La Rosa went 4 innings and allowed 7 runs on 10 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 2. Chris Cotton was the first man out of the Grizzlies bullpen, and he allowed 3 runs, all of which were inherited runners that were charged to him, 2 hits, and walked 1. The one hit that Aaron West allowed in his 1.1 innings was a bases-clearing double in the 6th that resulted in all of Cotton's runners coming home. Kevin Chapman allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 1 in 2 innings.

The Grizzlies are in Albuquerque tonight to begin a 4-game series with the Isotopes. David Paulino will make his AAA debut tonight. He was originally scheduled to take on Jeff Hoffman, but Hoffman was called up by the Rockies. First pitch is at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 4, Arkansas 3

W- Trent Thornton (2-1, 9-5 season)
L- Alex Klonowski (0-1)
S- Jacob Dorris (2, 12 season)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks had to hold off a furious 9th-inning rally from the Travs to take game 1 of this series.

Trent Thornton allowed 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5 over 6 shutout innings. Kyle Smith walked 1 and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless. Michael Freeman came on in the 9th, but he failed to record an out. He allowed 3 runs (1 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him), a hit, and walked 2. Jacob Dorris took ownership of the 9th; he allowed a hit and struck out 2; he hit the first man he faced to bring in a run, and the one hit was a two-out RBI single. Bobby Boyd ended the game by throwing out Zach Welz at the plate.

Corpus got on the board first thanks to a pair of RBI singles from James Ramsay and Tony Nuñez in the 2nd inning. Boyd ripped an RBI double in the 4th, and he scored on a Conrad Gregor groundout in the 7th inning. Boyd, Gregor, Roberto Peña, and J.D. Davis all finished 2-4.

Francis Martes will start game 2 of this series. He'll take on Jose Molina at 7:10.

Lancaster 6, Lake Elsinore 3

W- Brock Dykxhoorn (9-4)
L- Jerry Keel (2-2)
S- Ryan Deemes (6, 7 season)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks doubled up the Storm as they took the first game of the series.

Lancaster took the lead in the 3rd inning on a pair of RBI singles from Osvaldo Duarte and Bryan Muñiz. Jamie Ritchie hit an RBI single in the 5th, and Muñiz scored later in the inning when Jason Martin grounded into a force out. With the JetHawks holding on to a one-run lead in the 9th, Trent Woodward provided some crucial insurance by ripping a 2-run double.

The first five hitters in the Lancaster lineup were Myles Straw, Johnny Sewald, Duarte, Muñiz, and Ritchie, and they all finished with 2 hits and were involved in all of the JetHawks' scoring plays.

Brock Dykxhoorn went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and struck out 4. Alex Winkelman allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over 1.2 scoreless, and Ryan Deemes got the save; he allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and fanned 2 in 2.1 innings.

In game 2 of this series, Elieser Hernandez will face Chris Huffman. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 8, Kane County 2

W- Hector Perez (2-0, 4-0 season)
L- Jose Almonte (2-4)
S- Juan Carlos Santos (3, 5 season)

QC home runs: Hector Roa (5, solo in 3rd)

The Banditos put the Cougars away with 4 runs after stretch time.

Hector Perez and Juan Carlos Santos turned in solid nights on the mound; Perez allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 7 in 5.2 innings, and Santos finished it off, allowing a run on 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 6 in 3.1 innings.

Hector Roa led off the 3rd inning with a home run that put Quad Cities on the scoreboard. The Banditos took control in the 5th with a couple of RBI singles from Anthony Hermelyn and Kristian Trompiz. Randy César added an RBI single in the 6th, and in that deciding 7th inning, Dex McCall smacked a 2-run double. César brought him home with an RBI double, and Stephen Wrenn provided the icing with an RBI single. Trompiz, César, and Wrenn all went 2-4.

Game 2 of this series will start at 6:00.

Aberdeen 7, Tri-City 4

W- Cody Dube (3-1)
L- Dustin Hunt (0-1)

TC home runs: None.

The Ironbirds foiled the ValleyCats' bid for a sweep by jumping out to a 6-1 lead.

Rodrigo Ayarza drove in Tri-City's first run with an RBI double in the 3rd inning. In the 8th, he scored on a triple from Miguelangel Sierra. Chuckie Robinson scored on a wild pitch in the 9th, and Connor Goedert hit an RBI double. Goedert went 2-4.

Dustin Hunt went 2.2 innings and allowed 2 unearned runs on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Sean Stutzman allowed 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 4 hits in 1.2 innings. Abdiel Saldaña was next, and he threw 3.2 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and fanning 6. Howie Brey allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1 in the 9th.

The ValleyCats will begin a 3-game series with Hudson Valley tonight at 7:00 Eastern. Austin Nicely will get the start.

Greeneville 2, Danville 0

W- Jorge Alcala (2-1, 3-2 season)
L- Joey Wentz (0-3)
S- Ricardo Castro (2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

Jorge Alcala and Ricardo Castro dominated the Braves on their way to posting a shutout for the Appy Astros. Alcala walked 1 and struck out 7 over 5 innings, and Castro brought it home, allowing 3 hits and striking out 6 in the final 4 innings.

Oscar Campos tripled to lead off the 5th inning and scored the first run of the game on a wild pitch. Reiny Beltre went 2-4 and hit an RBI single in the 6th.

Cristian Javier will start the series finale. He'll face Jeremy Walker at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 7, GCL Nationals 3

W- Gabriel Valdez (2-2)
L- Tomas Alastre (0-2)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros got a solid outing from Lupe Chavez and they put the game way with an offensive surge in the middle innings.

Chavez allowed 3 hits and struck out 2 over 4 scoreless innings. Gabriel Valdez struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 5th inning. Hansel Paulino was next, and he walked 3 and struck out 2 in 2 innings. Ian Hardman allowed a run on 2 hits in the 8th, and Dariel Aquino allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in the 9th.

Joan Mauricio opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd. Andy Piñeda hit an RBI double in the 5th and came around to score on a single from Wander Franco. Mauricio singled in the 6th, and an error on the play allowed L.P. Pelletier to score. In the 7th, Piñeda scored on an error, Jose Benjamin hit into a force out that allowed Wilson Amador to score, and another error in the inning allowed Benjamin to score.

Piñeda finished 3-4 with a stolen base (15), and Mauricio went 2-3.

DSL Rays1 2, DSL Astros Blue 1

W- Luis Medina (2-2)
L- Robert Corniel (0-2)

Blue home runs: None.

The Rays got their 2 runs late to snatch the win from the Blue team.

Carlos Canelon's RBI groundout in the 6th was the Blue team's only scoring play.

Ronel Blanco allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7 over 5 shutout innings. Juan Lopez allowed an unearned run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 in 3 innings, and Robert Corniel allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1 in the 9th.

DSL Astros Orange 4, DSL Phillies2 2

W- Gerardo Bojorquez (3-5)
L- Abdallah Aris (3-1)
S- Gabriel Pirela (2)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team got some vital insurance runs late and were able to navigate around a potential Phillies threat in the 9th to get the win.

Yordan Alvarez opened the scoring with an RBI groundout in the 1st. This was their only scoring play until the 8th, when Samir Caraballo whacked an RBI double. In the 9th, Alvarez scored on a wild pitch and Ramiro Rodriguez hit an RBI single. Ramiro and Caraballo both went 2-4.

Diosward Gonzalez went 3 innings and allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. Jose Antonio Hernandez walked 2 in 2 innings. Gerardo Bojorquez was next, and he allowed 3 hits and struck out 1 over 3 scoreless. Nivaldo Rodriguez got 1 out in the 9th; he allowed an unearned run on 2 hits, and Gabriel Pirela walked 1 and got the final two outs of the game.

Friday's Stars

Ronel Blanco, RHP, DSL Astros Blue: 5 IP, 3 H, BB, 7 K

Colin Moran, 3B, Fresno
2-4, 2-R HR (9), 3 RBI

Trent Thornton, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (2-1, 9-5 season), 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K

Bobby Boyd, OF, Corpus Christi
2-4, 2B, RBI, R, SB (2, 35 season)
OF assist threw out would-be tying run to end game

Hector Perez, RHP, Quad Cities
W (2-0, 4-0 season), 5.2 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Juan Carlos Santos, RHP, Quad Cities
Save (3, 5 season), 3.1 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 6 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Abdiel Saldaña, RHP, Tri-City
3.2 IP, 2 H, 6 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Jorge Alcala, RHP, Greeneville
W (2-1, 3-2 season), 5 IP, BB, 7 K

Photo from MiLB.com
Ricardo Castro, RHP, Greeneville
Save (2), 4 IP, 3 H, 6 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Guadalupe Chavez, RHP, GCL Astros
4 IP, 3 H, 2 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Andy Piñeda, OF, GCL Astros
3-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R, SB (15)

Friday, August 19, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, August 18, 2016

Let's play two in Adelanto and the DSL!

Fresno 2, Omaha 1 in 11 innings

W- Jandel Gustave (3-2)
L- Clayton Mortensen (3-5)

Fresno home runs: None.

Colin Moran was the hero on Taco Truck Throwdown 6. It's Fresno's biggest promotion of the year, and they sent the fans home happy.

Danny Worth put the Tacos on the board first with an RBI single in the 1st inning. Omaha tied the game with a run in the 3rd inning, and the game remained in a deadlock until the bottom of the 11th.

Alejandro Garcia led off the inning with a single and advanced to 2nd on a Max Stassi sacrifice bunt. Andrew Aplin was then intentionally walked to keep the double play in play. Nolan Fontana went down on strikes, but Moran came through with the game-winner, a single that brought Garcia home. Garcia finished 3-5 with a stolen base (1, 13 season), and Worth went 2-3 with a double.

César Valdez turned in yet another fine start for the Tacos; he allowed a run on 6 hits and struck out 9 over 7 strong innings. Brendan McCurry was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen, and he wound up throwing a 1-2-3 8th inning. Jordan Jankowski walked 1 and struck out 3 over 2 scoreless, and Jandel Gustave set the Storm Chasers down in order in the 11th inning, striking out 1.

Fresno and Omaha will wrap up their series tonight at 7:05 Pacific. Eury De La Rosa, whose contract was recently purchased from the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League, will make his organizational debut. He'll face Mike Minor.

Corpus Christi 4, Northwest Arkansas 0

W- Cy Sneed (5-5)
L- Eric Skoglund (6-9)

CC home runs: Ramon Laureano (5, 15 season; 2-run in 1st)

The Hooks took the series from the Naturals as Cy Sneed and Kevin Comer joined forces on a shutout. Sneed allowed 4 hits and fanned 5 in 7 innings, and Comer finished it off, allowing 3 hits and striking out 5 in the final two frames.

Ramon Laureano opened the scoring with a 2-run home run in the 1st inning. Mott Hyde added a sac fly in the 5th, and J.D. Davis drove in the final run of the evening with an RBI single in the 8th. Conrad Gregor and Tony Nuñez both went 2-4 from the bottom of the lineup.

Tonight, Corpus is in Little Rock for the second leg of their tour of Arkansas. Trent Thornton will take on Alex Blackford at 7:10.

Game 1: High Desert 12, Lancaster 6

W- Shane McCain (5-3)
L- Akeem Bostick (4-2, 5-3 season)

Lancaster home runs: Drew Ferguson 2 (13; solo in 4th, solo in 5th), Bryan Muñiz (12, solo in 5th)

There was plenty of offense in game 1; unfortunately for the JetHawks, their pitchers could only keep the Mavericks off the scoreboard for one half-inning. They had a 4-3 lead after their half of the 4th, but High Desert finished the game on a 9-2 run.

Drew Ferguson put Lancaster on the board in the 4th inning with his first home run of game 1. Kyle Tucker followed with a single; he advanced to 3rd on a single from Aaron Mizell and eventually scored on an error that allowed Jason Martin to reach. Trent Woodward hit an RBI infield single to bring Mizell home, and Martin scored on a wild pitch. Ferguson and Bryan Muñiz hit back-to-back solo home runs in the 5th inning. Ferguson went 3-3, while Little Tuck went 2-4 in his Lancaster debut.

Akeem Bostick went 3.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 5, and struck out 4. Ralph Garza Jr. was the first man out of the Lancaster bullpen, and he allowed 6 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 1. Alex Winkelman got the final two outs of the 6th, striking out 1.

Did game 2 bring about a more positive result for the JetHawks?

Game 2: Lancaster 10, High Desert 2

W- Jose Luis Hernandez (2-3, 5-5 season)
L- Jeffrey Springs (2-2)

Lancaster home runs: Drew Ferguson (14, solo in 1st), Marc Wik (5, 2-run in 2nd), Christian Correa (2, 3 season; 2-run in 4th)

Jose Luis Hernandez went the distance and Drew Ferguson continued his rampage from game 1 as the JetHawks earned the split in the doubleheader. Hernandez allowed 2 runs; both came on solo homers. He allowed two other hits, walked 3, and struck out 3 over the 7 innings.

Ferguson opened the scoring by launching a solo homer in the 1st inning. Marc Wik got in on the act with a 2-run homer in the 2nd inning, and Christian Correa whacked a 2-run home run of his own in the 4th. Bryan Muñiz hit an RBI single in the 5th, and Ferguson scored on an error later in the inning. In the 6th, Myles Straw hit an RBI single and came around to score on an Osvaldo Duarte triple. Ferguson capped off the night by ripping an RBI double to score Duarte.

Five JetHawks had 2-hit games: Straw (RBI, 2 R), Ferguson (2B, solo HR, 2 RBI, 2 R), Muñiz, Correa (2B, 2-R HR, 2 R), and Wik (2-R HR).

The JetHawks will start a 3-game series in Lake Elsinore tonight at 7:00 Pacific.

Clinton 3, Quad Cities 2

W- Joey Strain (6-2)
L- David Schmidt (3-3, 4-4 season)
S- Matt Walker (10)

QC home runs: Dexture McCall (8. 2-run in 7th)

The Banditos managed to tie the game at 2.... only to see the LumberKings regain the lead with a run in the 8th, and that was the difference as they got swept out of Clinton.

Dex McCall's 2-run home run in the 7th inning put Quad Cities on the board, tied the game at 2, was their only scoring play of the evening, and was one of just two hits that they could muster up in the game. Arturo Michelena, who scored on the homer, singled for the other River Bandit hit.

Framber Valdez went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 7. David Schmidt pitched the final 3 innings and allowed the go-ahead run in the 8th on a double. The other hit he allowed was also a double, and he struck out 1.

The Banditos are back home, and tonight, they'll start a 3-game series with Kane County at 7:00. Hector Perez will go up against Jose Almonte.

Tri-City 4, Aberdeen 2

W- Salvador Montaño (1-0, 2-1 season)
L- Zach Muckenhirn (4-2)
S- Tyler Britton (2)

TC home runs: None.

Both teams scored in the 1st and the 5th innings, but Tri-City put up the only crooked number of the game in the 5th and got an insurance run in the 8th.

Rodrigo Ayarza doubled to lead off the bottom of the 1st inning and an error allowed him to advance to 3rd. He scored the ValleyCats' first run of the evening on a wild pitch. Ayarza added an RBI single to his ledger in the 5th, and Alex De Goti later scored on another wild pitch. Ronnie Dawson drove in the final run of the evening with an RBI single in the 8th.

Ayarza (2B, RBI, R), Brauly Mejia, Chuckie Robinson (R), and De Goti (2B, R) all finished with 2 hits in the game.

Kevin Hill, Salvador Montaño, and Tyler Britton all went 3 innings for Tri-City. Hill got the start and allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 3. Montaño had home stolen on him in the 5th inning; the run was unearned. He also allowed a single, walked 4, and struck out 4. Britton allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 5 to get the save.

The ValleyCats will look for the sweep tonight at 7:00 Eastern. Dustin Hunt will take on Lucas Humpal.

Danville 3, Greeneville 2 in 10 innings

W- Drew Harrington (1-0)
L- Devon Carr (1-3)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros have picked a bad time to get in a funk; they're 2-8 in their last 10 contests. They took the lead in the 8th, only to see the Braves tie the game in the bottom of the inning and walk off with the win in the first extra frame.

Frankeny Fernandez put Greeneville on the board with an RBI single in the 5th inning, and Abraham Toro's RBI groundout in the 8th was their other scoring play. Stijn van der Meer scored both Greeneville runs. Fernandez and Carlos Machado both finished 2-3, and Luis Payano also finished with 2 hits.

Forrest Whitley went 3 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 3. Colin McKee and Carlos Hiraldo followed with 2 innings out of the bullpen; McKee allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1, and Hiraldo walked 2 and struck out 2. Devon Carr went 2.1 innings and allowed the winning run (well, it scored after he left) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Luis Ramirez got an out in the 10th, but he hit Brett Cumberland with the bases loaded to bring in the winning run for Danville.

Jorge Alcala will start game 2 of this series. He'll face Joey Wentz at 7:00 Eastern.

DSL Astros Blue

The Blue team dropped a doubleheader to the Royals; they lost game 1 6-2 and dropped game 2 by a score of 4-2.

Anibal Sierra had a triple and an RBI in game 1. Johsson Arias allowed a run, a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 3 innings.

Angel De Leon smacked a 2-run triple in game 2.

DSL Astros Orange

On the other hand, the Orange team swept the Rays 2, winning game 1 by a score of 9-2 and game 2 2-0.

Hector Martinez doubled and scored 3 runs in game 1, while Yordan Alvarez tripled and scored twice.

Kilvio Peralta and Freylin Garcia combined on a shutout in game 2; Peralta allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6, and Garcia allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Gerry Castillo ripped an RBI double in the 2nd and later scored on a Luis Coronel single. Coronel finished 2-2 on the day.

Thursday's Stars


Colin Moran, 3B, Fresno
Walk-off RBI single in 11th inning

Fresno pitchers from top: César Valdez, Brendan McCurry, Jordan Jankowski, Jandel Gustave
Valdez: 7 IP, 6 H, ER, 9K
McCurry: IP (retired side in order in 8th)
Jankowski: 2 IP, BB, 3 K
Gustave: W (3-2), IP, K

Photo by Tammy Tucker
Cy Sneed, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (5-5), 7 IP, 4 H, 5 K

Kevin Comer, RHP, Corpus Christi
2 IP, 3 H, 5 K

Drew Ferguson, OF, Lancaster
Game 1 of doubleheader: 3-3, 2 solo HR (13)
Game 2 of doubleheader: 2-3, 2B, solo HR (14), 2 R

Photo from MiLB.com
Tyler Britton, RHP, Tri-City
Save (2), 3 IP, H, BB, 5 K

Astros MiLB Alumni: LHP Kyle Hallock

Way back in December 2011 (after I had been writing this blog for only a handful of months), I reached out to my first minor league player on twitter to ask for an interview. Those who have followed this blog for any length of time will hardly be surprised to know that I picked a lefty pitcher, given my affection for southpaws. Kyle Hallock had just been drafted in the 10th round out of Kent State earlier that year and was an All-Star in the New York-Penn League. Kyle's prompt, generous response to me encouraged me to keep asking for interviews and really opened a door for me. Here is the result of a rookie blogger interviewing a rookie player if you'd like to take a look.

During my recent trip to Tri-City, I spoke with one of the season ticket holders who had made friends with Kyle and his family during his time playing there. Candi told me a little about Kyle's life since he left the Astros fold and I thought he would be a perfect subject for my Astros MiLB Alumni series. Once again, Kyle was very generous with his time in sharing his post-Astros story.


Coach Hallock

JH: Can you tell me about what you've been up to since your time with the Astros?

KH: After I was released by Houston in March of 2014, I had a choice to continue playing or start the next part of my career. I received a phone call from Scott Pickler asking if I would be interested in coaching the pitchers of the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod Baseball League. I decided to take him up on that opportunity and see if I would enjoy the coaching side of baseball. Following that, I accepted a Graduate Assistant position in August of 2014 at Malone University, a Division II school in Canton, Ohio. Within the past few months I have received an M.B.A. degree from Malone, accepted a full-time position on the coaching staff and married the best woman I have ever met, my wife Morgan.

JH: What one memory (or more) have you taken with you from your time in the organization?

KH: I learned a lot about the game of baseball from the guys I shared a dugout with while in the Astros organization. As I have had some time to reflect on my playing career, the few memories that stick out are starting the New York Penn League All-Star game in Lowell, Massachusetts in 2011. I was fortunate enough to have a hand in throwing a no-hitter on Mother's Day out in Lancaster, California. And finally, I learned the most while at AAA in Oklahoma City from a great group of guys that showed me how to be a professional and get big league caliber hitters out on a consistent basis. Those three stops along the way have allowed me to share some unique experiences with the players I am helping to develop.

JH: What life lessons have you taken with you from your time playing minor league baseball?

KH: One of the life lessons I acquired through minor league baseball was the need to be self-sufficient on and off the field. Everything in the season is on the go (travel, promotions, etc.) and you don't have to get ready for that if you stay ready. As you make it to new places, you have to be capable of fitting in socially, while still maintaining an acceptable level of performance in parts of the country you have never been to. I attempt to bring a consistent mindset to our players here at Malone so they know what they are getting out of me. The more I look back, the more I realize being a reliable player/coach/person becomes a necessity if you desire success. People count on me every day to have it ready and I do my best to do that in whatever situation I find myself in.

JH: What advice would you give to a player whose dream gets cut short?

KH: For those who do not achieve their dreams of making it to "The Show" I would recommend learning as much about the game as possible because the younger generation of baseball players are eager to learn. The other side of the game (coaching) is extremely rewarding when you find guys that want to be great and win championships which we are finding here at Malone.

JH: What would you like to say to the friends and fans you made along the way?

KH: I would just like to thank my family, coaches, friends and fans for their support. When you're in the minor leagues working towards getting to the top of your profession, it can be extremely lonely. At times, you're by yourself or with guys you haven't had time to get to know, all while doing it in a foreign part of the country. Those texts and calls I received along the way while playing kept me and a lot of other guys going.

JH: One final question ... You provided me with one of the most memorable moments since I started writing my blog when you and Luis Cruz combined for a no-hitter on Mother's Day 2013. I interviewed you after the game and you were so calm and cool about it. Were you really that calm about it? I would have been losing my mind!

KH: Whenever I was on the mound, I tried to be a rock. What I mean by that is, I wanted to be solid for my teammates and coaches. I tried not to allow anything to break me. So to answer your question, yes I was really that calm. I expected great things to happen every time a coach gave me the ball. I tried to make history every time I took the mound. Every starting pitcher begins with a perfect game and no hitter, it's the great ones that see how long they ride those scenarios out. That Mother's Day in 2013, it came together for Luis [Cruz] and I. I will never forget that afternoon in Southern California and I can't thank Luis and the defense enough for finishing that job so I could be a part of it.


Kyle Hallock - May 12, 2013 No-hitter

Thank you for your time, Kyle, and thank you for the memories!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Omaha 4, Fresno 3

W- Luke Farrell (6-3)
L- Brady Rodgers (12-4)
S- Andrew Edwards (5)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies mounted a 9th inning rally that fell just short.

Brady Rodgers went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Kevin Chapman allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 2 in the 5th inning. Aaron West allowed 2 hits over 3 scoreless innings, and Jandel Gustave allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 2 in the 9th inning.

Jon Singleton opened the scoring with an RBI groundout in the 1st inning. He ripped a ground-rule double in the 9th and came around to score on a double from Tyler Heineman. Alejandro Garcia brought Heineman home with a groundout, but that was as close as Fresno got to forcing extras. Singleton (2 2B, RBI, R) and Colin Moran (2B, R) both finished 2-4.

Tonight is Taco Truck Throwdown 6 in Fresno, and it's the biggest promotion of the year for the Grizzlies, who will assume their alter ego, the Fresno Tacos. César Valdez will face Jon Dziedzic at 7:05 Pacific.

Northwest Arkansas 11, Corpus Christi 6

W- Ashton Goudeau (5-12)
L- Kent Emanuel (4-3)

CC home runs: Conrad Gregor (9, solo in 2nd), Ramon Laureano (4, 14 season; solo in 3rd)

The Hooks were behind the eight-ball early in this one, trailing 8-2 after two innings.

J.D. Davis opened the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st inning, and Conrad Gregor and Ramon Laureano followed with solo home runs in the 2nd and the 3rd, respectively. Davis hit a one-out triple in the 8th and scored on a James Ramsay groundout, and in the 9th, Garrett Stubbs and Nick Tanielu hit sac flies. Gregor (solo HR, 2 R), Davis (3B, RBI, R), Laureano (solo HR, SB), and Tony Nuñez all finished with 2 hits; Laureano now has 36 stolen bases on the season.

It was a rough night at the office for Kent Emanuel. It happens, and he'll bounce back. Eric Peterson stepped in for damage control and he allowed a run on 4 hits and fanned 6 in 3.2 innings. Ryan Thompson allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in 3 innings.

Cy Sneed will start the series finale, and he'll face Eric Skoglund at 7:05.

Lancaster and High Desert was postponed

Due to the Blue Cut Fire, an active wildfire in San Bernardino County. If conditions permit, the JetHawks and Mavericks will wrap up their series with a doubleheader starting at 5:00 Pacific.

Clinton 4, Quad Cities 3

W- Jake Brentz (2-0)
L- Chris Murphy (5-7)

QC home runs: None.

Yet again, the Banditos could only score in one inning. Yet again, the LumberKings found some offense late, and this time, they walked off with the victory.

All 3 Quad Cities runs came in the 2nd inning, and none of them scored via hit. Stephen Wrenn stole home to open the scoring, and then Kristian Trompiz and Arturo Michelena drew bases-loaded walks. Spencer Johnson and Bobby Wernes had 2 hits apiece.

Matt Bower allowed 2 runs, both on a 2-run homer, on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 9 in 5.2 innings. Chris Murphy went 3 innings and allowed the tying and winning runs in the 9th inning; both were unearned. He allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

The River Bandits will look to avoid the sweep as Framber Valdez gets the start. He'll face Ronald Dominguez at 6:30.

Tri-City 6, Aberdeen 4

W- Makay Nelson (2-0, 2-2 season)
L- Travis Seabrooke (1-6)
S- Angelo Serrano (1, 2 season)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats started off the home stretch on the right foot with a 4-run 5th inning and 5.2 solid innings from the bullpen to get the win.

Edgardo Sandoval went 3.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 3. Makay Nelson tagged in to throw 4.2 innings, allowing a run on 3 hits and striking out 6, and Angelo Serrano got 3 flyball outs in the 9th to close it out.

Connor Goedert put Tri-City on the board with a sac fly in the 2nd inning. Alex De Goti drove in a run with a sac fly of his own in the 4th, and the ValleyCats took control in the 5th. Rodrigo Ayarza led off the inning with a single and he eventually scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 3. Ronnie Dawson put the ValleyCats in the lead with a 2-run triple and scored on another wild pitch. Dawson finished 2-3 with 2 runs scored. Chuckie Robinson scored 2 runs as well.

Kevin Hill will face Cody Sedlock in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

Greeneville was off

The Appy Astros will start a 3-game series in Danville at 7:00 Eastern. Forrest Whitley will take on Jaret Hellinger.

GCL Astros 2, GCL Cardinals 1

W- Felipe Tejada (1-0, 2-0 season)
L- Jonathon Mulford (1-1)

GCL home runs: None.

Joan Mauricio's 2-run single was the Kissimmee Stros' only scoring play in this game and it allowed them to walk off with the victory. Jose Benjamin and Brody Westmoreland both finished 2-3 on the day.

César Rosado went 3.2 innings and allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Manuel Gonzalez was the first man out of the bullpen, and he threw 1.1 perfect innings. Felipe Tejada allowed the only Cardinals run, which came on a solo home run in the 6th inning. Tejada allowed 2 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 5.

Wednesday's Stars



Ronnie Dawson, OF, Tri-City
2-3, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R

Makay Nelson, RHP, Tri-City
W (2-0, 2-2 season), 4.2 IP, 3 H, ER, 6 K

Jon Singleton, 1B, Fresno
2-4, 2 2B, RBI, R

Aaron West, RHP, Fresno
3 IP, 2 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Joan Mauricio, IF, GCL Astros
Walk-off 2-run single in 9th

Photos by Bryan Green
GCL Astros pitchers: 9 IP, 6 H (solo HR), ER, 2 BB, 11 K vs. GCL Cardinals
César Rosado (top), RHP: 3.2 IP, 3 H, BB, 6 K
Manuel Gonzalez, RHP: 1.1 IP
Felipe Tejada (not pictured), RHP: W (1-0, 2-0 season), 4 IP, 3 H (solo HR), ER, BB, 5 K