Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winter League Recaps

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Caribes over Caracas 3-2
Marwin Gonzalez went 2-2 with a double and a walk for Caracas.

Magallanes over Aragua 5-4
Jose Altuve was 1-4 with a walk and a run scored for Magallanes, and Gabriel Garcia pitched to one batter and gave up a hit.

Zulia over Lara 3-1
*Oswaldo Navarro was 0-1 with a strikeout in a pinch hitting appearance for Lara.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Ponce over Mayaguez 6-5 in 11 innings
*Robinson Cancel went 0-4 with two walks and scored a run for Ponce.

Caguas over Carolina 16-6
Roberto Pena was 1-1 with two RBI's as a pinch hitter for Caguas, and Luis Cruz pitched 3.1 innings with seven hits, four runs, one walk and a strikeout.  Enrique Hernandez was 0-1 and scored a run for Carolina, and Rene Garcia was ejected before getting an at-bat in the third inning.

*Free Agent

The Six Degrees of Kevin Millwood

Ah, the things I find when there are no former or future Astros birthdays to celebrate.  Baseball-Reference is full of the valuable AND the trivial and both are wonderful.  If you've never played around with the Oracle of Baseball to find a chain of teammates, do so.  It is mindless and yet fascinating entertainment.

And since it's RHP Kevin Millwood's 37th birthday today, let's start with him.

Mike Scott -> Ken Caminiti -> Kevin Millwood

Too easy.  Let's go back to the Colt 45's days.

Jim Wynn -> Charlie Hough -> Chris Hammond -> Kevin Millwood

Still too easy.  Let's go back to the Houston Buffs.

Dizzy Dean -> Les Moss -> Brooks Robinson -> Dennis Martinez -> Kevin Millwood

You can go keep going back to Babe Ruth or back to Honus Wagner and you can still link them in 6 degrees or less.  So if you are bored waiting for Santa, come up with your own teammate chains.  Have fun!

Tweet of the Day



Brett Wallace 
Probably should have planned ahead for Xmas and done some shopping before now 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Winter League Recaps

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

One final make-up game wraps up the Dominican winter league regular season.  Jimmy Paredes probably would have preferred not to play the make-up game as he went 1-4 with three strikeouts as the DH for the Gigantes, but Erick Abreu fared well, pitching 2.1 innings with one hit, one walk and four strikeouts.  Diory Hernandez was 2-4 with a strikeout and an RBI for the Toros team.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Lara over Zulia 4-3 (Game #1)
Joe Thurston was 2-4 with an RBI for Lara.

Zulia over Lara 9-0 (Game #2)
Joe Thurston was 0-3 for Lara.

Magallanes over La Guaira 5-4
Jose Altuve was 1-3 with two RBI's and a walk for Magallanes, and Carlos Quevedo pitched one inning, giving up four hits and two runs, with one strikeout.  Gabriel Garcia pitched two-thirds of an inning for Magallanes with no hits, no runs and no walks.  Sergio Escalona pitched 1.2 innings for La Guaira giving up a solo home run, and was charged with the loss.

Caribes over Caracas 7-5
Marwin Gonzalez was 2-4 and scored a run for Caracas.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Ponce over Carolina 4-3 in 14 innings
*Robinson Cancel was 1-4 with an RBI, two walks and scored a run for Ponce.  Rene Garcia was 0-3 for Carolina, and Enrique Hernandez was 0-1 with a strikeout and scored a run.  Adalberto Flores pitched 3.2 innings for Carolina with one hit, one walk and one strikeout, while Xavier Cedeno pitched 4.1 innings with two hits, one walk and four strikeouts in this marathon game.

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 12/23

Only former Astros with birthdays today

RHP Al "Bozo" Cicotte (died November 29, 1982 at 52)
Pitched in 5 games for the Colt 45's in 1962

RHP Brad "Lights Out" Lidge (35)
Played for Houston from 2002 to 2007
2004 All-Star Season - 1.90 ERA & 0.919 WHIP in 80 games
Went from a high save conversion rate in 2005 of 91% to 70% in 2007
Traded with Eric Bruntlett to the Phillies for Mike Costanzo, Michael Bourn & Geoff Geary

RHP Shawn Chacon (34)
Pitched in 15 games for Houston in 2008
I can't help but get choked up whenever I think of Shawn.

Tweet of the Day


Jonas Dufek
Get a lift in before the sun comes up? Don't mind if I do...

No Announced Roster Moves Today But ...

According to Stephen Goff, Free Agent C Brian Esposito has signed a minor league contract with the Reds with an invitation to Spring Training.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Regular Season over for Dominican League

UPDATED TO INCLUDE FINAL MAKE-UP GAME FROM 12/22

The regular season is over for the Dominican League.  How did your Astros do?  Glad you asked.

POSITION PLAYERS

GOOD

Brian Bogusevic really had a great winter, hitting .317/.446/.500/.946 in 120 AB's over 33 games.  He had 8 doubles, one triple and four home runs, with 27BB:28SO.

Jimmy Paredes batted .306/.346/.395/.741 in 124 AB's over 39 games with four doubles, two triples and a home run.  His walk to strikeout ratio needs work, though, as he had 8BB:34SO.  Paredes had been used solely as a pinch hitter or DH the last couple of weeks; I assume this has to do with a minor shoulder injury that Zachary Levine reported on earlier.  Prior to that injury, he had made the majority of his starts at third base.

Diory Hernanadez hit a combined .287/.337/.397/.733 in 174 AB's over 49 games for two teams.  He had eleven doubles, one triple, two homeruns and 11BB:36SO.

NOT-SO-GOOD

Jonathan Villar hit .111/.238/.111/.349 in 36 AB's over 22 games.

Brett Wallace hit .173/.366/.327/.693 in 52 AB's over 20 games, with 16BB:16SO.

INCOMPLETE

Domingo Santana only got two AB's (.500 BA).

Jimmy VanOstrand had only 17AB's over 6 games (.176 BA).

PITCHERS

GOOD

Fernando Abad was 1-1 in four starts in November with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.813 WHIP, 1BB:16SO.

Erick Abreu appeared in 20 games, going 3-1 with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.042 WHIP, 7BB:27SO.

Rhiner Cruz had 21 appearances with a 1.47 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP.  His batting average against was .169 and he had 10BB:17SO.

Aneury Rodriguez appeared in 8 games (7 starts), going 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA and a 0.857 WHIP.  He gave up five walks and 32 strikeouts in 32.2 innings.

SMALL SAMPLE SIZE AND/OR NOT AS GOOD

Enerio del Rosario - 13 G, 0.93 ERA, 1.241 WHIP
Jorge de Leon - 9 G, 2.16 ERA, 1.440 WHIP
David Carpenter - 10 G, 3.58 ERA, 1.355 WHIP
Henry Villar - 10 G, 3.86 ERA, 1.607 WHIP
Wander Alvino - 10 G, 5.06 ERA, 1.688 WHIP
Jonnathan Aristil - 12 G, 5.60 ERA, 1.358 WHIP
Mickey Storey - 7 G, 6.00 ERA, 1.667 WHIP
Henry Sosa - 7 Starts, 1-2, 6.23 ERA, 1.576 WHIP
*Sammy Gervacio - 11 G, 6.43 ERA, 1.714 WHIP

INCOMPLETE

Jose Cisnero - 2 G, 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 4.000 WHIP

*Free Agent

Winter League Recaps

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Carolina over Ponce 2-0
*Robinson Cancel was 0-3 with a walk and a strikeout for Ponce.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Toros over Aguilas 4-2
Diory Hernandez was 1-3 with an RBI, a walk and a strikeout for Toros.  Jonathan Villar was 0-2 with two stikeouts and two errors (his 5th & 6th) for Aguilas.

Gigantes over Licey 4-3
Jimmy Paredes was 1-4 as DH for the Gigantes team with a run, a walk and two strikeouts.  Enerio del Rosario pitched an inning for the Gigantes giving up one hit, one earned run (his first allowed) and a walk, while Rhiner Cruz pitched an inning with three hits and a strikeout.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Caracas over Caribes 8-7
Marwin Gonzalez went 2-5 for Caracas.

Zulia over Magallanes 6-0
Jose Altuve was 1-2 with a walk for Magallanes.

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 12/22

Only former Astros with birthdays today

RF Glenn Wilson (53)
Played in 146 games for Houston in 1989 and 1990

RHP Michael Jackson (47)
Pitched in 67 games for Houston in 2001

OF Jason Lane (35)
Lane played in 494 games for Houston from 2002 to 2007 and he has been trying to get back to the majors ever since 2007.  So he re-invented himself.  The outfielder signed with the Diamondbacks as a LHP on a minor league contract this month.  Here's the story and here are his pitching stats for the Reno Aces of the PCL.

Also, Charley Taylor (64)
Coach of the GCL Astros

Tweet of the Day


Rafael Valenzuela
Loving what I do and doing what I love

No Announced Roster Moves Today But ...

Free Agent IF Anderson Hernandez was signed by the Pirates organization.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter League Recaps

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Mayguez over Carolina 8-2
Angel Sanchez was 0-4 for Mayaguez.  Rene Garcia was 1-3 with a strikeout for Carolina.

Caguas over Ponce 4-2
*Robinson Cancel was 1-4 with a solo home run and a walk for Ponce.  Ryan Rowland-Smith got the start for Ponce, pitching five innings with two hits, three runs (no earned runs), two walks and two strikeouts.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Aguilas over Licey 6-1
*Anderson Hernandez was 0-2 for Licey, and Henry Villar pitched 1.2 innings with a walk and a strikeout.

Gigantes over Estrellas 8-5
Jimmy Paredes went 1-4 with a strikeout and scored a run for the Gigantes, and Erick Abreu pitched two innings with a hit and three strikeouts.  For the Estrellas team, Mickey Storey pitched two innings with one strikeout and Wander Alvino pitched one perfect inning.

Escogido over Toros 3-1
Diory Hernandez was 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout and Jimmy VanOstrand was 0-2 for Toros.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Caracas over Caribes 5-3
Marwin Gonzalez was 1-4 with an RBI double for Caracas.

Lara over Aragua 5-4
Joe Thurston was 0-3 with a walk and *Oswaldo Navarro was 0-1 as a pinch hitter for Lara.

Magallanes over Zulia 10-3
Jose Altuve was 1-5 with three strikeouts for Magallanes.  Arcenio Leon started for Zulia, pitching 4.2 innings with six hits, two runs, one walk and four strikeouts.

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 12/21

C Pedro Coa (19)
Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela, Coa spent his first professional season with the DSL Astros.  His .186/.263/.198/.461 batting line doesn't give credit to the improvement he showed by hitting .257 post All-Star and .292 with runners in scoring position.

Former Astros with birthdays today

RHP Howie Reed (died December 7, 1984 at 47)
Reed pitched in 4 games for the Astros in 1967, going 1-1 with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.145 WHIP.

RHP Joaquin Andujar (59)
Andujar pitcheed for Houston from 1976 to 1981 and again in 1988.  In 202 games with the Astros, he had a 3.67 ERA and a 1.377 WHIP.  He was an All-Star with Houston in 1977 and 1979.

RHP LaTroy Hawkins (39)
LaTroy pitched for Houston in 2008 and 2009, and was 3-4 with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.091 WHIP in 89 games.

Tweet of the Day


brian esposito
A nice jog would be great right now...(in San Diego)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cumulative Off-Season Stats

Here are the updated stats for all Astros players through 12/19 participating in off-season leagues.





*Free Agents

Winter League Recaps

Note: I will be posting the cumulative winter league stats later this morning.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Gigantes over Licey 4-2
Jimmy Paredes was once again used as a DH for the Gigantes team and went 1-3 with two strikeouts, while Enerio del Rosario pitched a third of an inning and gave up one hit.  *Sammy Gervacio pitched two-thirds of an inning for Licey with one walk and one strikeout, while Henry Villar pitched a third of an inning with one walk and one strikeout.

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Caracas over Aragua 5-4
Marwin Gonzalez was 0-4 with a walk and a strikeout for Caracas.  Sergio Perez got the start for Aragua, pitching six innings with seven hits, two runs, three walks, three strikeouts and a solo home run.

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 12/20

C Franny Polanco (20)
From the Dominican Republic, this NDFA is in his second year at the DSL with a .292/.326/.368/.695 batting line.  Polanco is a right-handed hitter who actually hits better against RHP's (.294) than lefties (.289).  His batting average improved to .345 post All-Star.

Former Astros with birthdays today

IF/OF Aubrey Huff (35)
Obtained from the Devil Rays for Mitch Talbot and Ben Zobrist
Played in 68 games in 2006

LF Keith Lampard (66)
Played in 62 games for Houston in 1969 and 1970

RHP Marc Valdes (40)
Pitched in 53 games for the Astros in 2000

MGR Cecil Cooper (62)
As manager of the Houston Astros for parts of 2007 and 2009 and all of 2008, he compiled a 170-170 record.  The things I will most remember Cooper for are his freakishly large hands.

Tweet of the Day


Bud Norris
my first born son Bailey. He is the man!
pic.twitter.com/LCi1uSkz

Roster Moves - 12/19

IF Brian Bixler cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Oklahoma City with an invitation to Spring Training.

The Astros also accounced their minor league coordinators and medical staff, which showed that Tom Lawless, Manager of the Corpus Christi Hooks last season, will now be the Astros minor league roving infield instructor.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Web Chat with Jeff Luhnow

Here is the transcript from tonight's chat.  I liked Luhnow's answers and his sense of humor.  I, personally, would like more detail on what we're going to do to beef up our Latin American presence, but overall good stuff.

WTH 25-Man Roster

As posted over the weekend, RHP Dayan Diaz became the 13th player and 7th pitcher to be named to the WTH Roster and will be our Long Relief/Spot Starter.  Runners-up were Alex Sogard, Xavier Cedeno, Mitchell Lambson, Jason Chowning, Murilo Gouvea and Kyle Greenwalt (these players will be recycled as candidates as we fill our last couple of pitching spots).  For more on the WTH 25-Man Roster, go here.

Next, let's pick a Left Fielder.  As with other positions, I chose only those players who played a majority of their games at left or were fairly evenly split between two outfield positions and are being nominated for both.  Jordan Scott had a fantastic year and put up great overall numbers, but there are others who merit a good look.  Jake Goebbert also had good overall numbers, plus he contributed 27 doubles and 12 home runs.  And Goebbert held his own against some of the best prospects in the Arizona Fall League and was highly regarded for his defensive abilities.  Chris Epps had good numbers, including decent power and a good walk rate.  Brandon Meredith would also be someone to consider as his AB's were very limited due to injuries in 2011.  Will 2012 be a break out year for him if he stays healthy?

With all that said, here are the 2011 stats for the players.  Look them over and vote.

Winter League Recaps

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Aragua over Lara 6-5
Joe Thurston was 1-4 with a double, three RBI's and scored a run for Lara, and *Oswaldo Navarro was 1-1 with a double as a Pinch Hitter.

Zulia over Magallanes 5-1
Jose Altuve went 0-4 for Magallanes.  David Martinez started for Magallanes, pitching four innings with six hits, two runs (one earned), two walks, three strikeouts, a home run and was charged with the loss, and Gabriel Garcia pitched one inning and walked a batter.

Caracas over Margarita 4-3
Marwin Gonzalez was 1-4 and scored a run for Caracas.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Carolina over Caguas 5-3
Rene Garcia was 3-4 with a double, an RBI and scored a run for Carolina, and Adalberto Flores pitched two innings with no hits, no runs, no walks and one strikeout.  Luis Cruz got the start for Caguas and pitched 5.1 innings with four hits, two runs, three walks and a strikeout, and was charged with the loss.

Mayaguez over Ponce 3-2
Angel Sanchez was 2-4 with a two-run home run and a strikeout for Mayaguez; he is hitting .425 over the last 10 games.  *Robinson Cancel went 1-4 with a double and a strikeout for Ponce.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Gigantes over Estrellas 5-2
Jimmy Paredes was 2-4 with two strikeouts and scored a run as DH for the Gigantes. Paredes hasn't started at a position in a few weeks now; I assume that this has to do with a minor shoulder injury that was reported earlier.  Also for the Gigantes team, Enerio del Rosario pitched a third of an inning with a strikeout, and Rhiner Cruz pitched an inning with two strikeouts.

Licey over Aguilas 6-0
*Anderson Hernandez went 2-4 with a walk and a run scored for Licey.  Jonathan Villar was 0-3 with three strikeouts and an error (his 4th) for Aguilas.

Escogido over Toros 6-2
Diory Hernandez was 1-4 with a double for the Toros team, while Aneury Rodriguez had another strong start - five innings pitched with three hits, no runs, no walks and six strikeouts.  Aneury now has 32 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched.

*Free Agent

Happy Birthday - 12/19

OF Brandon Meredith (22)
Drafted out of San Diego State in the 6th round in 2011, Brandon spent his first professional season at Tri-City.  Hampered somewhat by injuries, he only played in 35 games in which he put up a .244/.371/.395/.766 batting line.  I look forward to seeing what he can do in a full (and hopefully healthy) season in 2012.

3B Kyle Redinger (20)
Kyle was drafted in the 11th round in 2010 out of high school in Pennsylvania.  Playing for the GCL Astros in 2011, he hit .148/.239/.197/.436 in 41 games.

LHP Yeudy Perdomo (20)
Signed by the Astros as a non-drafted free agent in 2009, Perdomo has spent three seasons in the DSL now.  In 2011, he had a 3.78 ERA and a 1.200 WHIP with 21 strikeouts over 16.2 innings pitched.

Former Astros with birthdays today

OF Walt "No Neck" Williams (68)
Where have all the good nicknames gone?  No Neck played in 10 games for the Colt 45's in 1964.

RHP Joe Slusarski (45)
Pitched in 65 games in Houston in 1999, 2000 and 2001

Also, Tom Lawless (55)
Manager of the Corpus Christi Hooks

Bonus Tweet of the Day


brandon meredith
Better pic... Black and purps
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The birthday boy headed to the Ravens-Chargers game last night.

Tweet of the Day

I would like to take a break from baseball to thank all of our veterans of all wars, but most particularly to welcome home the brave men and women who served in Iraq.  Thank you for your service and a job well done.  Welcome home and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!  Please keep your thoughts and prayers with those who are still in danger in Afghanistan and other places.

Richard Engel
Last soldier out of , spc vergil heger

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Happy Birthday - 12/18

LF Collin DeLome (26)
One of only three players remaining in the Astros organization out of the 2007 draft, Collin was drafted in the 5th round out of Lamar.  He spent the season at Oklahoma City and compiled a .256/.317/.420/.737 batting line, hitting .271 Pre All-Star.

RHP Edison Frias (21)
Frias was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic and spent his first professional season with the DSL team.  He was 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.412 WHIP and had 21 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched.

Former Astros with birthdays today

UT Mike White (73)
Played in 100 games for the 1963 & 1964 Colt 45's and the 1965 Astros

RHP Jim Clancy (56)
Pitched in 96 games for Houston from 1989 to 1991

RHP Willie Blair (46)
Pitched in 26 games for Houston in 1992 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.258 WHIP

WTH 25-Man Roster

The 13th player selected for the What the Heck 25-Man Roster was RHP Dayan Diaz for our Long Relief Pitcher.  Runners-up were Alex Sogard, Xavier Cedeno, Mitchell Lambson, Jason Chowning, Murilo Gouvea, and Kyle Greenwalt.  (For more information on the WTH 25-Man Roster, go here.)

Coming Monday - Let's pick a Left Fielder.

Winter League Recaps

VENEZUELAN LEAGUE

Zulia over La Guaira 9-2
Sergio Escalona got roughed up a bit last night for La Guaira.  He faced three batters, giving up one hit, two walks and three runs without recording an out.

Caracas over Margarita 3-2
Marwin Gonzalez went 0-3 with a walk, a strikeout and scored a run for Caracas.

Lara over Aragua 15-8
Joe Thurston was 1-3 with a walk for Lara.

Magallanes over Caribes 8-0
Jose Altuve was 0-3 with a walk, a strikeout and scored a run for Magallanes.

DOMINICAN LEAGUE

Escogido over Gigantes 3-0
Jimmy Parades was 0-3 as DH for the Gigantes team.

Licey over Toros 5-0
*Anderson Hernandez was 1-5 with a double, two RBI's, a strikeout, an error and scored a run for Licey.  Diory Hernandez was 1-4 for the Toros.

Estrellas over Aguilas 2-1 in 11 innings
Mickey Storey faced one batter for Estrellas and got the win.  Jonathan Villar was 0-1 for Aguilas.

PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE

Ponce over Caguas 4-2
*Robinson Cancel was 1-4 with an RBI and a strikeout for Ponce.

Mayaguez over Carolina 8-7
Angel Sanchez went 2-4 with a double, an RBI, a walk and scored a run for Mayaguez.  Xavier Cedeno pitched two-thirds of an inning for Carolina, giving up two hits, one run and one walk with a strikeout; he was charged with a blown save and the loss.

AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE

Sydney over Canberra 11-0
Brandon Barnes had a monster night going 3-5 with a double, two RBI's, a strikeout and scored four runs in Sydney's lopsided victory.

*Free Agent

Tweet of the Day


Kyle Hallock
I feel like Harry Potter in this outfit