Monday, May 4, 2015

Minor League Transactions, Part 2

Here is another installment of Minor League Transactions. Unfortunately, there were some releases in the Astros organization. But, first things first.

In the latest installment of Baseball America's Minor League Transactions, utility player Ruben Sosa was loaned to the Mexican League. He began his loan deal with Mexico City, but is now currently playing with Veracruz.

And now, on to the players who were released. Team(s) in parentheses was the team(s) they spent 2014 with. WTHB would like to wish these players all the best in their future endeavors.

C Hayden Timberlake (DSL Blue, DSL Orange)
LHP Christian Perdomo (GCL)
RHP Krishawn Holley (GCL)
RHP Juan Hernandez (DSL Orange, GCL)
RHP Jay Gause (Tri-City)

Getting to Know Astros OF Brandon Meredith

Since he was drafted by Houston in the 6th round in 2011, Brandon Meredith has traditionally been a slow starter. That is decidedly not the case in 2015. Through the first 19 games of the season for the Corpus Christi Hooks, Meredith is hitting .324/.407/.521 with three doubles, one triple and three home runs. He has drawn nine walks while striking out 13 times.

Brandon Meredith - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

I spoke with Hooks Hitting Coach Dan Radison about Meredith's hot start. According to Radison, "I think his preparation has more clarity to it. He knows how he's going to attack the baseball. We've definitely helped his direction by getting his extension out through the middle of the field and he's hitting the ball better in the air than he has in the past." Radison also noted that Meredith has started using his lower half more effectively to complement his strong upper body.

Manager Rodney Linares also weighed in, telling me that Brandon is maturing as a player and has taken advantage of an opportunity as some of the other players started out more slowly. Linares went on to say, "Nothing to not like about Meredith. He plays the game the right way. He's fun to watch. He's fun to be around. He keeps the guys loose. He's one of the guys that does a lot of good things not only on the field but off the field." The one thing he's trying to change about Meredith is to get him to slow down his home run trot which is more of a home run sprint. And that's probably one of the better problems to have with a player.

Meredith and I spoke briefly about his fast start, playing right field, the talented Corpus Christi team and his not-so-secret passion.




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Want to know more about the Astros farm system? Purchase the 2015 Houston Farm System Handbook for information on over 250 players in the Astros minor league system!


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, May 3, 2015

It's been a rough start to the month for Corpus and Lancaster.

Fresno 6, Tacoma 5

W- Jordan Jankowski (2-0)
L- Logan Bawcom (0-1)
S- James Hoyt (4)

Fresno home runs: Domingo Santana 2 (7; solo in 1st, 3-run in 8th), Max Stassi (2, solo in 4th)

The Grizz avoided a sweep as Domingo's 3-run shot in the 8th put them on top 6-4, and despite a Tacoma run in the 9th, that lead would hold up.

Santana's 2 hits were homers; he opened the scoring with a solo homer in the 1st. Max Stassi homered to lead off the 4th inning. Nolan Fontana went 2-3 with a run scored and a steal (5); on that stolen base, which happened in the 6th, Andrew Aplin scored on the errant throw down to 2nd.

Asher Wojciechowski had a bare minimum quality start (6 IP, 3 ER), allowing 7 hits, walking 2, and striking out 4. Jordan Jankowski allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 7th. Tommy Shirley worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1. James Hoyt allowed a run in the 9th but was able to close out the game. He allowed 3 hits and struck out 2.

The Grizzlies head home for the week. Tonight, they begin the first of 4 against El Paso at 7:05 Pacific. Jake Buchanan gets the start.

Frisco 6, Corpus Christi 3

W- Kyle Lotzkar (1-1)
L- Kyle Westwood (1-2)
S- Francisco Mendoza (5)

CC home runs: Tyler White (1, solo in 2nd), Telvin Nash (5, 2-run in 3rd)

The Hooks got out to a nice start as they led 3-0 after 3 innings. Unfortunately, it was all Frisco as they scored 6 unanswered to close out the game.
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All 3 Corpus runs came off of those 2 homers you see above. Carlos Correa finished 3-4 with a double and a run scored.

Kyle Westwood's day started out well enough, but the Roughriders tagged him for 4 runs in the 4th inning; 3 of those 4 scored on a homer. Westwood went 5 innings and allowed 3 other hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Aaron West pitched the final 4 innings; he allowed 2 runs in the 9th, 4 hits, walked 1, and fanned 2.

Corpus looks to avoid the sweep tonight as Mark Appel faces Jake Thompson at 7:05.

Modesto 7, Lancaster 1

W- Johendi Jiminian (1-3)
L- Troy Scribner (1-1)

Lancaster home runs: J.D. Davis (3, solo in 4th)

The JetHawks suffered the sweep in what was just a rough series all around.  In this one, a 5-run 3rd doomed them, and the 'Hawks never really got their bats going.

J.D. Davis's solo shot in the 4th represented the only run. Brett Phillips finished 2-4.

Troy Scribner only lasted 2.1 innings; he allowed 5 unearned runs (1 inherited runner charged to him), a single, walked 1, and struck out 3. Chris Cotton allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over 2.2 scoreless. Ambiorix De Leon pitched 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits (solo homer) and struck out 2. Albert Minnis struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th.

Well, on to the next. The JetHawks will begin a 4-game series with Stockton tonight at 7:10. Evan Grills will take on Joel Seddon.

Quad Cities 10, Wisconsin 1

W- Joe Musgrove (4-1)
L- Kodi Medeiros (0-2)

QC home runs: None.

The Bandits swept the Rattlers in dominating fashion, outscoring them 17-4 over the weekend series. They just keep rolling along; this is their 5th straight victory.

6 players in the lineup had 2 hits: the top 5 in the order (Bobby Boyd, Jamie Ritchie, D.J. Fisher, Mott Hyde, and Nick Tanielu) and the #9 hitter, Kristian Trompiz. All of them played a significant part in the River Bandits' romp; Hyde opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk in the 1st. Tanielu followed with a 2-run single. Then, Alfredo Gonzalez grounded into a force out that brought Hyde home.

The Banditos added 2 more in the 5th, the 6th, and the 9th. Kristian Trompiz hit a 2-run single in the 5th, Hyde hit an RBI double and Gonzalez added an RBI groundout in the 6th, and they got 3 consecutive triples from Trompiz, Boyd, and Ritchie (in that order) in the top of the 9th. Boyd, Ritchie, Fisher, and Hyde scored 2 runs each.

Joe Musgrove continued his dominant start to the season with 5 more shutout innings. He allowed 3 hits and struck out 3. Bryan Radziewski finished things off; he allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 in 4 innings.

The second leg of this roadtrip takes the River Bandits to Kane County for 3 games. They have yet to announce a starter for this game. Whoever it is, he'll take on Markus Solbach at 6:30.




Happy Birthday - 5/4

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

RHP Akeem Bostick (20)
Bostick was born May 4, 1995 in Florence, South Carolina, and came to the Astros system in a January 2015 trade that sent C Carlos Corporan to the Texas Rangers. Bostick is currently at Extended Spring Training.

RHP Juan Cuevas (21)
Cuevas was born May 4, 1994 in San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, and first appeared with the Astros in the Dominican Summer League in June 2014.

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, May 2, 2015

Tacoma 5, Fresno 1

W- Sam Gaviglio (2-2)
L- Brady Rodgers (1-2)

Fresno home runs: Matt Duffy (2, solo in 2nd)

The Grizz dropped this series as the Rainiers have silenced their bats, holding them to just 4 runs through 3 games. This loss is their 6th straight away from Chukchansi Park.

Matt Duffy's homer to lead off the 2nd inning was the only Fresno run, and was one of just 4 hits. Domingo Santana hit a double in 2 at-bats and drew a walk.

Brady Rodgers went 6 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits (2 homers hit by Stefen Romero), walked 2, and struck out 7. Richard Rodriguez struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 7th, and James Hoyt worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th.

The Grizzlies will try to avoid the sweep at 1:35 Pacific. They have yet to announce a starter for this game.

Frisco 2, Corpus Christi 0

W- Alec Asher (1-2)
L- Lance McCullers (1-1)
S- Josh McElwee (3)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks held the Roughriders to just 2 hits, but they still ended up with the loss. Baseball.

One mistake really can decide the outcome, and in no sport is this more obvious than in baseball. One pitch that Lance McCullers would absolutely love to have back... sunk him in this game. He allowed a 2-run homer to Royce Bolinger in the 2nd, which turned out to be the difference. McCullers pitched 6 innings and allowed just one other hit (a single before the homer), walked 2, and struck out 7. The 2-run home run represented the first earned runs that Lance has surrendered this season.

Angel Báez was the first man out of the bullpen; he walked 1 and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless, and Travis Ballew struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Corpus had 6 singles on offense, 2 of which were hit by Conrad Gregor. Despite the power outage, the Hooks still threatened as they put 2 runners on in the bottom of the 9th, but sadly, Teoscar Hernandez lined out to end the game.

The Hooks are looking to get on the board in this series as Kyle Westwood takes the hill. He'll face Andrew Faulkner at 2:05.

Modesto 8, Lancaster 6

W- Rayan Gonzalez (1-1)
L- Albert Minnis (0-1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

Ugh. The JetHawks bullpen suffered a horrible meltdown as they gave up 6 in the bottom of the 9th and walked off with a loss. Ugh.

A.J. Reed opened up the scoring with an RBI groundout in the 1st. Jose Fernandez extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single in the 4th. After the Nuts tied the game in the bottom half of the 4th, the JetHawks quickly re-took control with 2 in the 5th coming on a J.D. Davis single. They got some insurance in the 9th on an RBI single by Brett Phillips and an RBI double by Jack Mayfield.... but in the California League, no lead is truly safe, and the JetHawks found that out in a painful fashion.

Michael Feliz went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Zach Morton tagged in and threw 3 scoreless. He came out for the 9th, and that's when the trouble began. Wilfredo Rodriguez tagged him for a 2-run homer. Albert Minnis came in, but only got 1 out (via strikeout) and allowed 3 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 2 hits. Gonzalo Sañudo got the 2nd out of the 9th, but he was unable to extract the JetHawks from this perilous situation, allowing the game-winning 3-run homer to Jordan Patterson.

The JetHawks will look to avoid the sweep this afternoon. Troy Scribner gets the start at 1:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 5, Wisconsin 2

W- Reymin Guduan (1-0)
L- Zach Hirsch (1-3)
S- Eric Peterson (1)

QC home runs: None.

The best in the Midwest notched their 4th consecutive victory as they got the jump on the Timber Rattlers.

Nick Tanielu finished 2-4 with 2 doubles; the first one came in the 1st and drove in the first 2 runs of the day. He later scored on a single from Alex Hernandez. After Mott Hyde hit his 2nd double of the game in the 3rd, Tanielu traded places with him by cracking another double. And, in the 7th, Alfredo Gonzalez added an RBI single. Hyde finished 3-3 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored; both runs came off of Tanielu's doubles.

Kevin Comer went 4.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Reymin Guduan got the win in his season debut as he allowed 2 hits, and walked 1 while striking out 3 over 2 scoreless. Eric Peterson got the 7-out save, allowing 4 hits, walking 1, and striking out 1.

The River Bandits are looking for the sweep. Joe Musgrove will take on Kodi Medeiros at 1:05.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.
Brett Phillips, OF, Lancaster
3-5, 2B, RBI, 3 R

2. 
Nick Tanielu, IF, Quad Cities
2-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, R

1. 
Mott Hyde, IF, Quad Cities
3-3, 2 2B, 2 R
*Fun fact that was not included in Jayne's book: Mott was born in Saudi Arabia.

Three Stars: Pitchers

3.
Reymin Guduan, LHP, Quad Cities
W (1-0), 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K

2.
Lance McCullers, RHP, Corpus Christi
L (1-1), 6 IP, 2 H (2-run HR), 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

1.
Angel Báez, RHP, Corpus Christi
2 IP, BB, 2 K

Happy Birthday - 5/3

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

RHP Elieser Hernandez (20)
Hernandez was born May 3, 1995 in Ocumare del Tuy, Miranda, Venezuela, and was signed by the Astros in November 2011. Hernandez spent the majority of his third season (2014) in the organization with the Gulf Coast League Astros before an August promotion to the Appalachian League Greeneville Astros.

Elieser Hernandez - July 2014
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, May 1, 2015

Their opponents got to them late....

Tacoma 2, Fresno 0

W- Forrest Snow (1-1)
L- Tyson Perez (0-1)
S- Lucas Luetge (1)

Fresno home runs: None.

Well, the Grizz had nothing going for them on offense as they were held to 2 hits. Preston Tucker and Matt Duffy both went 1-3.

Luis Cruz started it off with 5 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits, walking 3, and striking out 3. The Rainiers got their 2 runs off of Tyson Perez in the 6th inning; Perez went 2 innings and allowed 3 hits while striking out 2. Darin Downs worked around 2 hits to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1.

Brady Rodgers will take the mound in game 3; he'll face Sam Gaviglio at 5:05 Pacific.

Frisco 5, Corpus Christi 4

W- Francisco Mendoza (1-0)
L- Jandel Gustave (0-1)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks scored 2 in the bottom of the 8th as they rallied to take a 4-3 lead, but that lead would be short-lived as the Roughriders re-took the lead with 2 of their own in the top of the 9th inning.

Corpus got on the board first as Carlos Correa drew a 2-out walk, stole his way to 3rd, and scored on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Jon Kemmer. Tony Kemp doubled with 1 out in the 5th and came home on a Tyler White single. Roberto Peña's 2-run single in the 8th inning put the Hooks on top, but they wouldn't be on top for long. Kemp finished 2-5.

Mike Hauschild pitched 4.2 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits (7 singles and a double) and struck out 5. Dan Minor was the first man out; he walked 1 and struck out 2 over 1.1 scoreless. Jonas Dufek tossed 2 scoreless, walking 1 and striking out 1. Frisco cracked Jandel Gustave in the 9th; he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in the inning; the go-ahead run scored when he uncorked a wild pitch.

In game 2 of this series, Lance McCullers will face Alec Asher. First pitch is at 7:05.

Modesto 3, Lancaster 2

W- Carlos Estevez (3-0)
L- Edison Frias (2-2)

Lancaster home runs; A.J. Reed (4, solo in 4th)

The Nuts got 1 run in each of the final 3 innings as they walked off with the victory in the series opener.

Mr. Golden Spikes constituted the entire JetHawks offense as he drove in both runs. A.J. Reed opened up the scoring in the 1st with a sac fly, then led off the 4th with his 4th homer of the season. Brett Phillips stole his 2nd base of the season, while Danry Vásquez and Jose Fernandez both finished 2-4; Fernandez extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

Brian Holmes was excellent as he allowed just 1 hit, walked 1, and struck out 7 over 5 shutout innings. Edison Frias pitched 3.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned, including the game-winner) on 4 hits and struck out 3.

Michael Feliz will be on the mound for game 2. He'll face Konner Wade at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 2, Wisconsin 1

W- Chris Lee (1-2)
L- Cy Sneed (1-2)
S- Ryan Thompson (1)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos got the win despite getting outhit 9-5; to me, they converted on just one more scoring opportunity.

In his season debut, Jason Martin was the River Bandits offense. He drew a bases-loaded walk in the 4th to tie the game at 1 and hit an RBI single in the 6th to put QC ahead. Everyone in the lineup drew a walk except for D.J. Fisher.

Chris Lee allowed a run on 6 hits and struck out 4 over 5 innings to get the victory. All but one of the hits he allowed were singles. Keegan Yuhl tagged in for 2.2 scoreless, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4. The Closer, Ryan Thompson, shut it down; he allowed a hit, walked 1, and fanned 3 as he got the final 4 outs of the game.

The other 2 games in the series will start at 1:05. In game 2 of this series, Kevin Comer will face Zach Hirsch.

Three Stars: Position Players

Slim pickings here, so I'll just go with the guys who drove in 2 runs.

3.
Roberto Peña, C, Corpus Christi
2-run single in 8th inning

2. 
A.J. Reed, 1B, Lancaster
1-3, solo HR (4), 2 RBI

1. 
Jason Martin, OF, Quad Cities
1-3, 2 RBI

Three Stars: Pitchers

3.
Jonas Dufek, RHP, Corpus Christi
2 IP, BB, K

Dan Minor, RHP, Corpus Christi
1.1 IP, BB, 2 K

2. 
Luis Cruz, LHP, Fresno
5 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K

1. 
Brian Holmes, LHP, Lancaster
5 IP, H, BB, 7 K

A Jandel Gustave Pitch in Photos

Jandel Gustave ...