Saturday, December 20, 2014

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Thursday, December 18, and Friday, December 19, 2014


Friday: Adelaide 6, Sydney 2 in 8 innings

Chan-Jong Moon had a fine night at the plate as he went 4-4 with a double, 2 RBI singles in the 3rd and the 7th, and added 2 stolen bases (5). Tyler Brunnemann got the final 2 outs of the 8th inning, striking out 1.

Saturday: Adelaide 4, Sydney 2

Moon went 0-3 with a run scored and 2 strikeouts. Bruno notched his 5th save of the ABL campaign as he got the final 2 outs of the game for a 2nd straight night. He worked around a hit to do so and struck out 1.

The Bite will look for the sweep at 1:00 Australian Central Time.


Thursday: Caballos 2, Indios 0

All 3 Astros reps on the Indios squad made appearances. Cris Santamaria got the start, and unfortunately, the loss, as he allowed a run on a solo homer, one other hit, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 4 innings. Jose Montero was the first man out; he allowed a run, a hit, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 5th. Juan Delis walked 1 in a scoreless 8th.

For Caballos, Jack Mayfield went 0-4, and Tyler White went 1-3.

Friday: Indios 7, Caballos 5

Caballos went into the loss column for the first time this season as Indios responded to a 4-run 2nd with a 6-1 run to close out the game.

Telvin Nash finished 1-4 with a walk and 2 strikeouts, and Jack Mayfield went 0-4 with a walk.

These two teams will play again at 6:00 Eastern.


Thursday: Caracas 9, Bravos 1

It was all Caracas as they scored 9 unanswered to close it out. Gregorio Petit finished 2-4 with an RBI single in a 6-run 4th inning and later came around to score.

Friday: Caracas 9, Caribes 3

In the first of 3 straight with Caribes, Caracas took round 1 as they finished the game on an 8-1 run after Caribes scored a pair in the bottom of the 4th to take a 2-1 lead. Gregorio Petit finished 3-4 with a double, 2 RBI singles in the 6th and the 7th, and scored 2 runs.

The 2nd game of this series, if you will, will take place at 7:00 Venezuelan time.


Results from Thursday

Águilas 7, Estrellas 4

Jonathan Villar played a big part in a 4-run 2nd for Águilas as he hit a 2-run single. He did get thrown out at 2nd trying to stretch it into a double, but I think he'll take the 2 RBI.

Licey 3, Toros 2 in 11 innings

Licey walked off with the win as Juan Francisco hit a sac fly in the 11th. Domingo Santana went 0-4 with a strikeout.

Results from Friday

Escogido 5, Águilas 4

All the scoring in this game was done in the first 3 innings. The difference was Escogido's run in the 3rd. Jonathan Villar went 1-3 with a run scored.

Águilas will host Estrellas at 7:30 Atlantic.

Estrellas 1, Licey 0

Licey was held to just 3 hits. Ruben Sosa went 0-4 with a strikeout, and Domingo Santana finished 0-3 with a strikeout.

Licey will head east as they take on Toros tonight at 7:30 Atlantic.


Thursday: Jalisco 3, Hermosillo 1

Jalisco completed the sweep. Leo Heras went 0-3 with a walk and 2 strikeouts.

Results from Friday

Jalisco 6, Los Mochis 4 in 10 innings

The Horsemen won their 7th straight as they put up a pair in the first extra frame. Leo Heras finished 2-5 with a run scored.

The series continues at 6:00 Mountain.

Obregón 3, Culiacán 1

Culiacán outhit Obregón 12-3... but they lost in the column that counts. Gonzalo Sañudo got the final out of the 7th, but he also allowed the go-ahead hit, which allowed 2 runs to score.

This series continues at 6:00 Mountain.


Thursday: Mayagüez 4, Carolina 2

Mayagüez broke the tie with 2 in the 9th after both teams scored 2 in the 3rd inning. Carlos Corporán went 0-3 with a walk, and Jobduan Morales was 0-2 with 2 walks and a run scored.

Carolina will be back in action tomorrow when they take on Caguas.

Happy Birthday - 12/20

No future Astros with birthdays today, but several former Astros celebrate the day ~

1B/3B/OF Aubrey Huff (38)
A fifth round pick by Tampa, Huff came to Houston in a July 2006 trade for Mitch Talbot and Ben Zobrist. In 68 games for the Astros in 2006, he hit .250/.341/.478. He went on to play for Baltimore where he earned a Silver Slugger, Detroit and finally San Francisco where he earned World Series rings in 2010 and 2012.

LF Keith Lampard (69)
Drafted by Houston in the second round in 1965, Lampard played in 62 games for the Astros in 1969 and 1970, hitting .238/.289/.393. In nine seasons in the minor leagues, he hit .289/.316/.470.

RHP Marc Valdes (43)
Originally drafted by the Marlins in the first round in 1993, Valdes came to Houston in a May 2000 trade with Tampa. In 53 appearances for the Astros in 2000, he was 5-5 with a 5.08 ERA and a 1.659 WHIP. After playing, he became a coach in the Mets organization. In 2014, he was the pitching coach for the Low A Savannah Sand Gnats.

MGR Cecil Cooper (65)
As manager of the Houston Astros for parts of 2007 and 2009 and all of 2008, he compiled a 170-170 record. Of all the things I could remember Cooper for, I actually most remember him for his freakishly large hands.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

2015 Astros Minor League Coaching Staffs

The Astros announced their minor league coaching staffs, including roving instructors and coordinators, today. As was reported by Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle last week, three of last year's Astros minor league Managers are on the move with Rodney Linares going from Lancaster to Corpus Christi, Omar Lopez going from Quad Cities to Lancaster, and Josh Bonifay going from Greeneville to Quad Cities. Bonifay's replacement at Greeneville has not been announced at this time.

Other than numerous moves within the Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning ranks, most remaining staff will stay put with a couple of notable exceptions. Ralph Dickenson, who was the Astros MLB assistant hitting coach in 2014, will rejoin the minor league ranks as the Roving Hitting Instructor. Dan Radison, who was a Special Assistant for Player Development in 2014, will join the Hooks as Hitting Coach, replacing Tim Garland who will be joining the Quad Cities team as an Outfield/Baserunning Coach. Garland replaces Vince Coleman in that capacity. Coleman and 2014 Corpus Christi Manager Keith Bodie, along with Oklahoma City Pitching Coach Steve Webber who announced he was leaving the team at the end of the 2014 season will not be returning. A former Cardinals minor league coach, Arthur "Ace" Adams, will replace Webber as Pitching Coach for the new AAA affiliate Fresno Grizzlies.

Doug Brocail, interim Pitching Coach for the Hooks in 2014, is now joining the team in that capacity officially as former Hooks Pitching Coach Gary Ruby will be a Pitching Advisor headquartered out of Kissimmee. Tom Lawless was originally intended to be an Infield Coach for Corpus Christi in 2014 when he was pressed into service as the interim Oklahoma City RedHawks Manager as Tony DeFrancesco went on medical leave. He later served as acting Manager of the Astros after Bo Porter was fired. Lawless will now be fulfilling last year's intended assignment and will report to Corpus Christi.

Here is how the rest of the assignments break down:


Coordinators, Rovers and Medical Staff
Special Assignment Coach - Morgan Ensberg
Pitching Advisor - Gary Ruby
Field Coordinator - Paul Runge
Pitching Coordinator - Dyar Miller
Hitting Coordinator - Jeff Albert
Infield Instructor - Adam Everett
Roving Pitching Instructor - Doug White
Roving Hitting Instructor - Ralph Dickenson
Roving Catching Instructor - Mark Bailey
Strength & Conditioning - Brendan Verner
Medical Coordinator - Jamey Snodgrass
Rehab Coordinator - Daniel Roberts
Rehab Coach - Mike Burns
Athletic Training Advisor - Mike Freer

Manager - Tony DeFrancesco
Pitching Coach - Arthur "Ace" Adams
Hitting Coach - Leon Roberts
Catching Coach - Jeff Murphy
Athletic Trainer - Bryan Baca
Strength & Conditioning - Trey Wiedman

Manager - Rodney Linares
Pitching Coach - Doug Brocail
Hitting Coach - Dan Radison
Infield Coach - Tom Lawless
Athletic Trainer - Grant Hufford
Strength & Conditioning - Mark Spadavecchia

LANCASTER (Advanced A)
Manager - Omar Lopez
Pitching Coach - Don Alexander
Hitting Coach - Darryl Robinson
Infield Coach - Ramon Vazquez
Athletic Trainer - Michael Rendon
Strength & Conditioning - Taylor Rhoades

QUAD CITIES (A - Full Season)
Manager - Josh Bonifay
Pitching Coach - Dave Borkowski
Hitting Coach - Joel Chimelis
Outfield/Baserunning Coach - Tim Garland
Athletic Trainer - Corey O'Brien
Strength & Conditioning - Dwayne Peterson

TRI-CITY (A - Short Season)
Manager - Ed Romero
Pitching Coach - Chris Holt
Hitting Coach - Russ Steinhorn
Athletic Trainer - John Gregorich
Strength & Conditioning - James McNichol

Manager - To be announced
Pitching Coach - Josh Miller
Hitting Coach - Cesar Cedeno

Manager - Marty Malloy
Pitching Coach - Hector Mercado
Hitting Coach - Vinny Lopez
Coach - Wladimir Sutil
Strength & Conditioning - Julio Diaz

Manager - Johan Maya
Manager - Charlie Romero
Development Specialist and Pitching Coordinator - Rick Aponte
Pitching Coach - Erick Abreu
Hitting Coach - Luis Mateo
Hitting Coach - Sixto Ortega
Outfield Coach - Melvi Ortega
Catching Coach - Carlos Lugo
Athletic Trainer - Ambiorix Reyes
Athletic Trainer - Christian Bermudez
Strength & Conditioning - Geremias Guzman
Strength & Conditioning - Miguel Angel Cabrera

Happy Birthday - 12/19

Happy Birthday to ~

OF/1B Brandon Meredith (25)
Drafted out of San Diego State in the sixth round in 2011, Meredith split his 2014 season fairly evenly between Lancaster and Corpus Christi (but missed about six weeks of the season on the DL). In a total of 80 games, he hit .249/.346/.450 with 10 doubles, two triples, 15 home runs and 44 RBI.

Tom Lawless (58)
In his sixth season working in the Astros minor league system, Lawless served as interim manager for the Oklahoma City RedHawks while Manager Tony DeFrancesco was on medical leave, in addition to his job as minor league infield development specialist. On September 1st, he became the 21st Manager in Astros history, guiding the big league club to an 11-13 record in his brief tenure in the interim position. Lawless is still remembered by many for his three-run home run for the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series in 1987 and his subsequent bat flip seen here 48 seconds in.

These former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

OF Walt "No Neck" Williams (71)
Where have all the good nicknames gone? No Neck signed with Houston as an amateur free agent prior to the 1963 season. In 10 games for the Colt .45's in 1964, Williams went hitless in nine at-bats. He went on to play several more seasons with the White Sox, Indians and Yankees with a .270/.310/.365 career batting line.

RHP Joe Slusarski (48)
Originally drafted by Oakland in the second round in 1988, Slusarski came to Houston as a free agent in May 1998. In 65 games pitched for the Astros in 1999, 2000 and 2001, he had a 4.57 ERA and a 1.379 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Adelaide 10, Sydney 3

The Bite struck for 6 in the bottom of the 1st to take control of this game. Chan-Jong Moon clubbed a 2-run homer in that 1st inning, his 4th Down Under.

Game 2 of this series will take place at 7:00 Australian Central Time.


Caballos 3, Industriales 0

Caballos has emerged from the first 3 games as the sole undefeated team in the league. Telvin Nash finished 2-3 with a solo homer and scored 2 runs. Jack Mayfield and Tyler White both finished 1-3.

Tonight, Caballos will host Indios at 7:00 Eastern.


Bravos 8, Caracas 1

Gregorio Petit went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts, while Danry Vásquez appeared as a pinch-hitter in the 8th and struck out. He remained in the game as the LF.

Caracas will play one more on the island tonight. First pitch is at 7:30 Venezuelan time.


All 3 games in the Dominican Republic last night were shutouts.

Estrellas 10, Licey 0

Domingo Santana had 2 of Licey's 8 hits.

Licey will host Toros tonight at 7:30 Atlantic.

Águilas 8, Escogido 0

Jonathan Villar opened up the scoring for Águilas with a 2-run double in the 3rd, and he eventually came around to score as Manny Ramirez roped a single to left field. He scored another run in the 5th as he reached on an error to lead off the frame, stole 2nd, and then took 3rd as part of a double steal... then Escogido catcher Charlie Valerio threw the ball away, which allowed Villar to score. He now has 8 steals on the season.

Águilas will host Estrellas at 7:30 Atlantic.


Jalisco 7, Hermosillo 0

Leo Heras opened up the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st, and then he led off the bottom of the 7th with a solo shot, his 8th of the Mexican campaign.

The series concludes at 7:00.


Carolina 5, Mayagüez 4

Carlos Corporán went 1-3 with a sac fly in the 1st and an RBI single in the 7th. Jobduan Morales finished 0-2 with a walk and a strikeout.

Tonight, these two teams will play each other again in Carolina; this game is a makeup from December 3, when it was rained out. First pitch is at 7:30 Atlantic.

Happy Birthday - 12/18

Happy Birthday to ~

DH/1B/LF Chris Carter (28)
Originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 15th round in 2005, Carter came to the Astros, along with Brad Peacock and Max Stassi, in the February 2013 trade that sent Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez to Oakland. In 145 games for Houston in 2014, Carter hit .227/.308/.491 with 21 doubles, one triple, 37 home runs (second in the AL) and 88 RBI. He dropped from first to second place in strikeouts in the league in 2014, letting Mike Trout have the honors for the year.

RHP Edison Frias (24)
Frias was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2011. Frias pitched for the Quad Cities team in 2014, compiling an 8-5 record with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.326 WHIP in 17 games (12 starts).

These former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

LHP Rudy Owens (27)
Originally drafted by the Pirates in the 28th round in 2006, Owens came to Houston in the 2012 trade that sent Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh. Owens made his major league debut for Houston in a spot start on May 23, 2014, but otherwise pitched his entire season with AAA Oklahoma City. In 25 games (21 starts), he was 8-5 with a 4.33 ERA and a 1.252 WHIP. He recently signed with Oakland as a free agent.

OF Mike White (76)
Originally drafted from the Angels in the minor league draft in 1961, White played in 100 games for the 1963 and 1964 Colt .45's and the 1965 Astros, hitting .264/.311/.321.

RHP Jim Clancy (59)
A fourth round pick by the Rangers in 1974, Clancy signed with Houston as a free agent in December 1988. In 96 games (36 starts) for Houston from 1989 to 1991, he had a 9-25 record with a 5.03 ERA and a 1.478 WHIP. His best years were for the Toronto Blue Jays for whom he pitched for 12 seasons and won his one All-Star nod in 1982.

RHP Willie Blair (49)
Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 11th round in 1986, Blair came to Houston in a December 1991 trade with the Indians. In 29 games (eight starts) pitched for the Astros in 1992, he was 5-7 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.258 WHIP. Most recently, he was the bullpen coach for the San Diego Padres in 2014.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, December 16, 2014


The ABL All-Star Game took place yesterday (today Down Under), with the natives defeating the imports 11-8. Team Australia took control with 8 in the bottom of the 8th. Tyler Brunnemann was on the World Team and allowed a hit to the only batter he faced in the 7th inning.

The season resumes today as Adelaide welcomes the Sydney Blue Sox to South Australia. Last week, they took 3 of 4 on the road from Sydney. First pitch is at 7:30 Australian Central Time.


Caracas 4, Zulia 3 in 11 innings

In the only game in Venezuela last night, Caracas walked off with an extra-inning win. Gregorio Petit finished 1-5 with a double and a run scored, while Danry Vásquez entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 8th and remained in the game as the left fielder. He walked to lead off the bottom of the 11th and scored the winning run on a botched double play attempt from Zulia. They were trying to double off Petit, which would've sent the game to the 12th.

The capital club is on the island of Margarita tonight as they take on Bravos. First pitch is at 7:30 Venezuelan time.


Indios 4, Águilas 1

Harold Arauz got the start for Águilas and took the loss as he allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 1 over 3 innings.

Cris Santamaria was the first man out of the Indios bullpen and threw a 1-2-3 6th, while Juan Delis finished it out. Águilas spoiled the shutout when they got an unearned run off of Delis in the 9th; he allowed a hit and struck out 2.

These two teams will play again at 7:00 Eastern.

Caballos 8, Industriales 4

Telvin Nash went 2-3 with 2 doubles and 2 runs scored for Caballos. Jack Mayfield finished 1-4, and Tyler White finished 2-3 with a double, 2 runs scored, and 2 walks.

Blaine Sims got the start for Caballos and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 5 innings.

These two teams will play again; the only difference is a change of venue. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.


Gigantes 6, Águilas 5

Jonathan Villar finished 1-4 with a run scored and opened the scoring with an RBI infield single in the 2nd for Águilas.

Tonight, Águilas will host Escogido at 7:30 Atlantic.

Licey 8, Escogido 2

In a battle between the bottom 2 clubs in the Dominican, it was Licey taking this one with 8 unanswered after Escogido put up 2 in the 3rd. Ruben Sosa went 1-3 as the DH, while Domingo Santana was 2-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.

Licey will host the leaders, Estrellas, tonight at 7:30 Atlantic.


Jalisco 3, Hermosillo 2

Leo Heras, in his customary #3 spot for Jalisco, went 1-3 with a walk and 2 Ks.

The middle game of this series is tonight at 7:00.


Both games on the slate last night were rained out. Tonight, Carolina will take on Mayagüez, while San Juan will face Santurce. Both of these games will start at 7:30 Atlantic.