Saturday, March 17, 2012

Calling all Astros Minor League Players

As you may know, over the off-season I started doing e-mail interviews with Astros minor league players.  I've enjoyed getting to know a few of you better and being able to introduce you to my readers.  But now that Spring Training is in full swing and the new season is right around the corner, it will be more difficult to find the time for me to do the research and for you to answer the questions.  So, I've found what I hope may be a solution by limiting the number of questions to a handful and making them more generic than my normal interviews.  (I will still try to do in-depth interviews from time to time, but not as often.)

So, you're asking yourself, "Why would I want to be interviewed by a blogger?"  Think of it as practice for when you become a famous ballplayer.  Believe me, my softball questions about hardball are easy compared to what you'll get when you make it to the bigs!  Also, your new boss (Jeff Luhnow for those of you not paying attention) has been known to read my blog from time to time.  Just think of the impression you can make on him when you tell me that you're supporting your nine orphaned brothers and sisters or that you were born with one leg six inches shorter than the other but you have managed to overcome!

And by answering the questions via e-mail, it's pretty painless.  Just ask Jason Chowning, Rafy Valenzuela, Jarred Cosart, Dallas Keuchel, Neiko Johnson, Kyle Hallock, Jio Mier, Matt Duffy, John Hinson, Adrian Houser, Brandon Barnes, Garen Wright, Ryan Cole and Adam Bailey - they were all brave enough to answer my questions and Jordan Comadena is even willing to guest blog for me.  If you're concerned about spelling or are otherwise grammar-challenged, I've got your back so you can't use that as an excuse either!

If you would like to be interviewed for this blog, please either click on the e-mail link on the main page or send me an e-mail at wthb57@gmail.com or contact me on twitter (@whattheheck57).   So far I have been limited to interviewing those players I have been able to contact via twitter.  I would love to interview any and all players so if you are an Astros minor league player and you're reading this, spread the word.

Unfortunately, my Spanish ranges between dreadful and non-existent, but if you're a Spanish-speaking player (or Portuguese or Korean) and you can have someone translate your answers, I would love to hear from you as well.

Thanks to all of you!
Jayne (aka What the Heck)

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Saturday's Game:  Astros (7-6) at Yankees (7-8) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast:  MLB Network, MLB.tv, MLB.com & KTRH 740 live at noon
Probable Starters: RHP Bud Norris (1-0, 0.00) & RHP Hiroki Kuroda (0-1, 5.40)

Friday's Results:  Braves over Astros 9-5
Winning Pitcher:  Tommy Hanson (1-0, 6.00)
Losing Pitcher:  Wandy Rodriguez (1-1, 9.95)
HR:  HOU - Travis Buck (1), ATL - Jason Heyward (2), Michael Bourn (1)

Happy Birthday - 3/17

C Raul Chavez (39)
Chavez, a native of Venezuela, was originally signed as a NDFA by Houston in 1990 and was traded to the Expos along with Dave Veres for Sean Berry in 1995.  Signing with Houston in 2000 as a free agent, he played in 136 games in 2000 and 2002 through 2005 as a back-up catcher.  His regular season stats were nothing to write home about, but he did go 4 for 9 with a home run and two RBI's in the NLDS and NLCS in 2004.  He also boasts a 41% career caught stealing percentage in the major leagues and a 44% career caught stealing in the minor leagues, so far.  He played in the Mets minor league system in 2011 and, as of this writing, is currently an unsigned free agent.

Tweet of the Day

Joe Witkowski

Talked to astros legend Craig Biggio for awhile today during practice. First class guy.   

Roster Moves - 3/15

RHP Angel Heredia of the DSL Astros suspended 50 games for PED's.

I forgot to post this yesterday, but frankly, I have never heard of this guy.  He's not in my database.  He hasn't played since 2009 and that was for the Pirates as a shortstop.  Baseball America, my normal go to on all minor league transactions, has no record of Houston picking up Heredia.  So apparently, at some point Houston picked up the 19-year old pitching convert and he got popped for PED's.  Now you know as much as I do.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Player Updates & Observations from Grand Old Game

Don't miss this!  Interesting, informative observations about some of the Astros minor league players from the Grand Old Game blog.  He includes notes on:

David Martinez
Telvin Nash
Mike Kvasnicka
Jason Chowning
Ruben Sosa
Vincent Velasquez
Adrian Houser
Mitchell Lambson
Brandon Culbreth

Jordan's Journey Continues

[Note from What the Heck:  Jordan Comadena, a catcher in the Astros minor league organization, is going to guest blog for us throughout the season about life in the minor leagues.  If you missed it, his last entry is here.]

Camp is in full swing and the last week has been spent gearing everyone up for our first game.  Once the position players got to town we promptly got going with the live BP sessions and full team defense.  Live BP is always interesting, especially when you just roll in to town.  The pitchers were geared up and ready to go so needless to say the pitching was far ahead of the hitting.  Many of the hitters just stand in and track the balls to home plate.  Some of the more brave position guys will occasionally swing but they are always worried about breaking a bat within the fist couple days.  Personally, the live BP sessions went very well for me offensively.  I was able to square up some balls throughout the week which is a big confidence boost this time of year.  From a catching standpoint, the live BP sessions are great because it gives us a chance to work on the field with a hitter in the box.  It has a much more game like feel than just catching in the bullpen.
From here on out we will be having a morning workout followed by a game in the afternoon.  There are a few days mixed in the rest of the way that are designated ‘camp days’.  These days have a lighter workload and allow us to recover a little bit.
Today being March 15 marks the first real games of the minor league camp.  I am currently on the Oklahoma City roster and the Washington Nationals AA and AAA rosters came to Kissimmee for the game.  Both Corpus and OK City won today, as well as Lancaster and Lexington winning in Viera (Nationals spring training site).  Tomorrow double A and triple A will play games at the Nationals complex. 
As a catcher, it is very important to really get the most out of your playing time.  With the number of catchers on each roster and the limited amount of games, there are only so many innings and at bats to go around.  It is imperative to catch well and get some hits when you get to the plate.  After the inter-squad yesterday and the game today I have managed to do that.  I plan on continuing to do that the rest of the way out.   
Jordan Comadena
March 15th

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Friday's Game:  Astros (7-5) at Braves (2-11) at 5:00 CST
Broadcast:  MLB.tv & on delay on KTRH 740 at 8:00 CST
                     Delay on MLB Network at 9:00 CST - check listings
Probable Starters: LHP Wandy Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00) & RHP Tommy Hanson (0-0, -.--)

Thursday's Results:  Blue Jays over Astros 6-3
Winning Pitcher:  Dustin McGowan (1-0, 0.00)
Losing Pitcher:  Zach Duke (0-2, 6.55)
HR:  TOR - Jake Marisnick (1)

Happy Birthday - 3/16

LHP Reymin Guduan (20)
A NDFA from the Dominican Republic, Guduan has spent the last two seasons pitching for the DSL Astros.  In 2011, the 6'4" 185 lb. lefty started 13 games, going 1-3 with a 2.17 ERA and a 1.599 WHIP.  His ERA and walk rate went down and his strikeout rate went up as the season progressed.  Jeff Luhnow reported that he was hitting 97 on the radar gun last fall, so we will definitely be keeping an eye on Guduan.

RHP Mickey Storey (26)
Originally signed by Oakland in the 31st round in 2008, Storey came to the Astros organization in a trade with Oakland for "future considerations" in July 2011.  He pitched in 23 games for Oklahoma City with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.602 WHIP.  His minor league career ERA and WHIP are 3.16 and 1.151 respectively.

Tweet of the Day - After

brandon meredith

Got that W today.. I know it's spring training but I'm here to win.. "you play to win the game"

Tweet of the Day - Before


Lino DeShields@LinoDeShields  

Roster Moves - 3/15/12

The Astros sent the following players to minor league camp:

Jonathan Singleton
Paul Clemens
Lance Pendleton
Juan Abreu
Jake Goebbert
Brandon Barnes
Diory Hernandez
Chris Wallace
Rene Garcia

Between Clemens and Springer, I'm starting to sense a theme.  Both had terrific games one day and were sent down to minor league camp the next.  Since neither were expected to make the opening day roster, I can see sending them down on a high note.  A small taste of success will serve to feed the hunger of ambition.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring Training Schedule and Results

Thursday's Game:  Blue Jays (10-2) at Astros (7-4) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast:  No broadcast information listed for this game
Probable Starters: RHP Dustin McGowan (0-0, 0.00) & LHP Zach Duke (0-1, 5.14)

Wednesday's Results:  Astros over Cardinals 4-3
Winning Pitcher:  Juan Abreu (1-0, 4.50)
Losing Pitcher:  Adam Ottavio (0-1, 13.50)
SV:  Paul Clemens (1)
HR:  None

Minor League Player of the Game:  This one is way too easy.  As a matter of fact, if Paul Clemens keeps pitching like he did on Wednesday, he won't be a minor league player much longer.  In his second appearance of the spring, Clemens pitched four innings in relief with two hits, no walks and six strikeouts to preserve his spring ERA at 0.00.  It may seem silly to get excited about a spring outing, but the Astros broadcast team and Larry Dierker were absolutely gushing about his performance - fastball up to 96 and a curveball that got him most, if not all, of those six strikeouts.  It's nice to see the new dad come out strong!

Happy Birthday - 3/15

3B Jose Solano (20)
A NDFA from the Dominican Republic, Solano has played the last two seasons with the DSL Astros.  Although he is currently listed on MiLB.com as a shortstop, he played just about everywhere but short in the 2011 season including pitching an inning.  He hit .282/.348/.336 with 21 stolen bases in 2011.  Oh, and he has a 0.00 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP in his one inning pitched.

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

RHP Wayne Granger (68)
Granger appeared in 55 games for Houston in 1975, going 2-5 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.338 WHIP.  He led the National League in saves in 1970 for the Reds and was named the NL Reliever of the Year in 1969 and 1970.

Tweet of the Day

Justin Shults

First game tomorrow vs Nationals
~~~~~~
Good luck to the minor league players in their first game today!!!

Roster Moves - 3/14

The Astros signed C Landon Powell to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training.  Powell, who will turn 30 next week, was a first round draft pick by Oakland in 2004 out of the University of South Carolina.  Here are his minor league stats and here are his major league stats in 123 games over 3 seasons.  His lifetime caught stealing percentage in the minors is 47% and 40% in the majors.

Major League camp is up to 58 players with this addition.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Wednesday's Game:  Astros (6-4) at Cardinals (4-4) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast:  KBME 790 at 12:00 CST
Probable Starters: LHP J.A. Happ (1-1, 7.71) & RHP Lance Lynn (0-0, 3.00)

Tuesday's Results:  Astros over Philadelphia 6-5
Winning Pitcher:  Enerio del Rosario (1-0, 11.57)
Losing Pitcher:  Jeremy Horst (1-1, 9.00)
HR:  PHI - Dominic Brown (1); HOU - Brian Bixler (1)

Minor League Player of the Game:  This feature may be sporadic now that 6 of our minor league players were sent back to the minor league camp today, but I'll give today's nod to Jonathan Singleton for starting the 10th inning comeback with his single to lead off the 10th.

Tweet of the Day


Jonas Dufek@Jonasty41
Just another day in the life.



~~~~~~~~

Happy Birthday - 3/14

SS Marwin Gonzalez (23)
Gonzalez was drafted from the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft in December by the Red Sox and then quickly traded to the Astros for Rule 5 pick RHP Marco Duarte.  Gonzalez split his time in 2011 between the Cubs AA and AAA teams, earning a Southern League Mid-Season All-Star nod and batting a combined .288/.343/.400/.742.  In  Venezuelan winter league play, he had a .292 batting average.  At short, he showed good improvement defensively from 2010 to 2011.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

3B/OF Ty (sometimes Tye) Waller (55)
Waller played in 11 games for Houston in 1987 with uninspiring results.  His best season in the majors was for the Chicago Cubs in 1981 when he hit .268/.303/.451 over 30 games.  Waller is currently the first base coach for the Oakland A's.

2B Matt Kata (34)
Kata appeared in 40 games for the Astros (52 plate appearances) in 2009 and managed only a .200 batting average.  In 2011 he played in the Texas Rangers minor league system, hitting .293/.353/.480/.832 at the AAA affiliate in Round Rock.

The First Cut(s) is the Deepest

Subtitle - And Then There Were 57

Not surprisingly at all, the Astros sent six back to the minor league camp - the two Leons, the two Villars and two other very important pieces of the Astros future:

RHP Jorge de Leon
RHP Arcenio Leon
RHP Henry Villar
SS Jonathan Villar
OF George Springer
2B Delino DeShields, Jr.

Remaining in camp are OF Jake Goebbert, 1B Jonathan Singleton, C Chris Wallace and C Rene Garcia.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Interview with Adam Bailey

Adam Bailey, a 23rd round draft pick out of the University of Nebraska in 2010, hit the ground running in 2011 and never slowed down. Bailey spent 79 games at Lexington (.282/.329/.494) before getting promoted to Lancaster (.289/.316/.430 in 30 games) and finally to Corpus Christi to end the season (.323/.333/.495 over his final 23 games). Bailey was second only to Kody Hinze in home runs and RBI's in the Astros minor league system.

Now on to the questions ~

WTH: I'd like to start with having you describe your college career. You didn't exactly take the most direct path to being drafted, having started out as a pitcher and having changed colleges twice. How did all that come about?

AB: Well I was recruited by ASU [Arizona State University] out of high school in 2006 as a two-way player, and within the first three weeks I became a pitcher. I told coach I would do anything to play and he wanted me to pitch so that's what I did. I came back that following year and I told him I still had hitting in my heart and that I would love to give it another shot. He gave me a shot that following fall and he told me if I wanted to to be a two-way player I would have to either redshirt, go to junior college, or transfer. I decided in my best interest that junior college was the best bet for me. I went to South Mountain Community College [in Phoenix] my sophomore year and did really well there as a hitter. After that I was then recruited by the University of Nebraska and that's where I played for two years. I definitely experienced all walks of life in college that is for sure.

WTH: You were first drafted by the Yankees in the 38th round in 2009 but didn't sign until you were drafted by the Astros in the 23rd round in 2010. What was different? Any regrets about not signing with a perennial powerhouse like the Yankees?

AB: I really don't know what was different. I felt in my heart that I was not really ready mentally for professional ball. The first thing that came to my head was NO. And of course there are no regrets. The Yankees are a great ball team and have a great farm system as well but I am positive that God put me in the right organization.

WTH: You moved very quickly through the Astros organization in 2011, starting at Lexington, going through Lancaster and ending the season at Corpus Christi. Can you tell me a little about that experience and how you handled it?

AB: OMG the experience was unreal. I had a decent year and I really hope it continues on. The play was different in every level. I met alot of great guys and had a great time except for the bus rides of course. I was quiet most of the time because it was the first time I played with a lot of those guys. As soon as I started to get to know everyone that is when playing with the guys was really fun.

WTH: There is not a lot of information out there about you yet, despite the fact that you were 2nd in home runs and 2nd in RBI's in the Astros minor league system in 2011 behind only Kody Hinze. What can you do to draw more notice as a prospect in the organization?

AB: Well I really don't care about drawing notice, all I really care about is being productive and consistent as much and as long as possible. I want to be a great teammate and I want to do what the coaches expect of me.

WTH: With that said (previous question), you did barely miss out in being named one of the Astros top 30 prospects by Baseball America in their recently released 2012 Prospect Handbook. You were included in their 31st prospect supplement in which they concluded that you are "aggressive to a fault" and don't draw enough walks. Is that a fair assessment and, if so, what are you doing to improve your plate discipline without compromising your power?

AB: Yes every baseball player has their flaws and I agree I am a very aggressive hitter. I should not be striking out as much and for sure draw more walks - that is something that I will work at this spring training. I will work on not swinging at balls over my head or in the dirt but at the same time I do not think I will ever get rid of the aggressive mentality I take up with me at the plate.

WTH: Defensively, you are known to have a good arm, and you ended the season with 21 outfield assists. How do the three venues (Lexington, Lancaster and Corpus Christi) compare defensively for an outfielder?

AB: Lexington has a really short wall in right and I think that is where I had most of my assists. In Lancaster the wind blows out so most of the time I would be running back on balls or just watched them go over my head. And in Corpus Christi the wind blew from right to left. It was a difficult adjustment but I got the job done ... I think haha.

WTH: What pitcher in the Astros minor league system would you least like to face as a hitter and why?

AB: The pitcher I least like to face....hmmmm I dont really know actually. I think after this spring training I will have that answer for you.

WTH: Can you tell me something about yourself that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear?

AB: Well something most people don't know about me is that I love to fly fish, I have a studly swimmer girlfriend that I know I will end up marrying, and also I loveeee tattoos. I only have one but I plan on getting more in the future.

[Note from WTH: I asked a follow-up on this answer because I've never heard a female athlete referred to as "studly" before. Adam's response follows.]

AB: Yes, I said that correctly. My girlfriend is a swimmer aka ... a stud. She qualified for the Olympic trials her sophomore year in college and she is trying to get her trial cut again. She is more athletic than I am.

Thank you for your time, Adam. We all wish you (and your girlfriend) luck and continued success in the coming season.

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Tuesday's Game:  Philadelphia (5-5) at Astros (5-4) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast:  KBME 790 at 12:00 CST
Probable Starters: LHP Cole Hamels (0-0, 1.59) & RHP Livan Hernandez (0-1, 4.15)

Monday's Results:  Astros over Yankees 4-3
Winning Pitcher:  Fernando Rodriguez (1-0, 6.00)
Losing Pitcher:  Michael O'Conner (0-1, 15.00)
Save:  Jorge de Leon (1)

Minor League Player of the Game:  George Springer for hitting a go-ahead RBI double, stealing a base and scoring the game-winning run

Happy Birthday - 3/13

C David "Bubby" Williams (23)
Drafted in the 11th round in 2009 out of Crowder Community College in Missouri, Williams hit .206/.223/.397/.620 at Tri-City in 2011 with five doubles, a triple and six home runs in 36 games.

Bubby was busy this winter becoming a new dad to Baby Bo.  Photo by Zach Johnson.


One former Astro with a birthday today ~

LHP Tom Funk (50)
Drafted by Houston in the 28th round in 1983, Funk pitched in 8 games in 1986 with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.920 WHIP.  In six minor league seasons, he was 37-18 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.280 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Chris Epps

The name of the game is to make a name for yourself

Monday, March 12, 2012

WTH 25-Man Roster - Final Infielder

As posted over the weekend, Austin Wates became the 24th player and final outfielder to be named to the WTH Roster.  Runners-up were Jacob Goebbert, Teoscar Hernandez, Emilio King and Neiko Johnson.  For more on the WTH 25-Man Roster, go here.

Next, let's pick our final infielder.  This list is comprised of all those receiving votes in the last rounds of voting for utility infielder and for designated hitter.  Your choice for this position will probably depend on what you want in that last infield spot. If you're looking for another utility infielder who can play at multiple positions, Jean Batista is your candidate, having played 2B, 3B and SS.  If you're looking for on-base skills, Kody Hinze would be your man.  If you're looking for power, Kody Hinze would be your man.  If you're looking for someone who can draw a walk, Kody Hinze would be your man.  If you're looking for someone who can drive in runs, Kody Hinze would be your man.  Are you sensing a theme here?  But I don't want to unduly influence your decision.  It's totally up to my readers.  Really.  So ...

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

Spring Training Schedule and Results

Monday's Game:  Astros (4-4) at Yankees (5-5) at 6:05 CST
Broadcast:  KBME 790 at 6:00 CST
Probable Starters: RHP Kyle Weiland (1-0, 0.00) & Hiroki Kuroda (0-1, 13.50)

Sunday's Results:  Rain Out

Happy Birthday - 3/12

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

OF Jim "The Toy Cannon" Wynn (70)
Wynn played 11 seasons for the Colt 45's and Houston Astros from 1963 to 1973.  Nicknamed The Toy Cannon for his diminutive stature and powerful stroke, Wynn's numbers were skewed by playing in the cavernous confines of the Astrodome.  A three-time All-Star, he was second in home runs in 1967 behind Hank Aaron and led the National League in walks in 1969 and 1976.  Not only did Wynn hit a home run into the upper deck of the Astrodome, Wynn launched this moonshot out of Crosley Field and on to the freeway in 1967.  His number 24 was retired by the Astros in 2005.

CF Steve Finley (47)
Coming to Houston along with Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling in a trade with Baltimore for Glenn Davis in 1991, Finley played four seasons (1991-1994) for Houston, hitting .281/.331/.406/.737 before departing Houston in this trade:
December 28, 1994: Traded by the Houston Astros with a player to be named later, Ken CaminitiAndujar CedenoRoberto Petagine and Brian Williams to the San Diego Padres for Derek BellDoug BrocailRicky GutierrezPedro MartinezPhil Plantier andCraig Shipley. The Houston Astros sent Sean Fesh (minors) (May 1, 1995) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
In 19 seasons for 8 clubs, Finley won five Gold Gloves to go with two All-Star nods and, according to Baseball-Reference, he became only the second player in major league history, behind Willie Mays, to hit 300 home runs, 425 doubles and 100 triples, and to steal 300 bases.

RHP Bob Watkins (64)
A 22nd round draft pick by Houston in 1966, Watkins pitched 15.2 innings over 5 games in 1969 with a 5.17 ERA and a 1.660 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Brian McTaggart

Animals are lining up 2 by 2 around Osceola County Stadium.

Stephen Naron
 don't let any cubs on the ark ...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Training Schedule and Results

Sunday's Game:  Tigers (6-1) at Astros (4-4) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast:  KTRH 740 at 12:00 CST
Probable Starters: LHP Todd Smyly (0-0, 0.00) & LHP Wandy Rodriguez (1-0, 0.00)

Saturday's Results:  Blue Jays over Astros 5-2
Winning Pitcher:  Aaron Laffey (1-0, 1.80)
Losing Pitcher:  Zach Duke (0-1, 5.14)
Home Runs:  TOR - Travis Snider (3), Jose Bautista 2 (2)

Minor League Player of the Game:  Jonathan Singleton who went 1 for 1 with a double and scored a run, as well as recording several outs while playing at first base for three innings

WTH 25-Man Roster

The 24th player and final outfielder selected for the What the Heck 25-Man Roster was OF Austin Wates.  Also receiving votes were Jacob Goebbert, Teoscar Hernandez, Emilio King and Neiko Johnson.  (For more information on the WTH 25-Man Roster, go here.)

Coming Monday - Let's pick our final infielder.

Happy Birthday - 3/11

IF Max Ayarza (20)
A non-drafted free agent from Panama, Ayarza spent the 2009 and 2010 seasons in the DSL before graduating to the the GCL Astros in 2011.  In 23 games with the GCL, he only managed a .148 batting average despite hitting a much more respectable .260 the prior year.

RHP Alexander Martinez (19)
Originally from Nicaragua, Martinez has spent the last two seasons pitching in the DSL after being signed as a non-drafted free agent.  In 2011, he had a 7.00 ERA and a 1.852 WHIP in 27 innings pitched over 16 games.  One good sign for Martinez is that his SO:BB went from 5SO:17BB over 12.2 IP in 2010 to 17SO:14BB over 27IP in 2011.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

2B/OF Chris Burke (32)
A first round draft pick for the Astros in 2001, Burke hit .249/.319/.377/.697 in 359 games for Houston from 2004 to 2007.  At AAA in 2004, he hit .315/.396/.507/.903 but was being blocked at 2B by Craig Biggio.  In December of 2007, he was included in a trade to Arizona for Jose Valverde.  Chris Burke will always be remembered by Astros fans for this moment in the 2005 NLDS Game 4 18-inning marathon.

CF Cesar Geronimo (64)
Obtained by the Astros from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft in 1968, Geronimo spent three seasons with Houston from 1969 to 1971, hitting .228/.272/.307/.579 before being included in the Joe Morgan trade to the Reds in November of 1971.  He went on to earn four Gold Gloves for Cincinnati.  His best year at the plate was 1976 when he hit .307 in the regular season and .308 in the World Series for the Reds.

RF Bobby Abreu (38)
Abreu played in 79 games for Houston at the start of his career before being drafted by Tampa Bay in the expansion draft and quickly flipped to the Phillies.  He maintained a .303 batting average for Philadelphia over 9 seasons while collecting a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger and two All-Star nods.  He led the National League in triples in 1999 and in doubles in 2002 before moving to the American League, playing first for the Yankees and most recently for the Angels.

RF Larry Ray (54)
A 4th round pick by the Astros in 1979, Ray got one hit and one RBI in his cup of coffee with Houston in 1982.

Tweet of the Day

Adrian Houser

Not a bad day today!