Saturday, June 2, 2012

Bloggers Night at Minute Maid Park

Once again the Astros front office has embraced the Astros blogging community as they invited us to enjoy "the suite life" at Friday night's game. Representatives from Tales from the Juice Box, The Crawfish Boxes, Houston Sports Counterplot, Astros County, The Chronicle Fan Blog, Climbing Tal's Hill, Farmstros and, of course, What the Heck, Bobby? attended. We were feted with burgers, dogs and soft drinks in posh Suite 44 (did Roy approve?).

After a nosh, Alyson Footer joined the festivities with Jeff Luhnow arriving shortly thereafter. First they showed us the new uniform design before revealing the 1.1 draft pick. This was followed by a 3-D presentation of the ballpark changes for the 2013 season, including the installation of an actual space shuttle (no mock up for us) to replace the outfield train, and the utilization of Oswalt's repossessed bulldozer to tear down Tal's Hill. This was followed by a personal visit from J.R. Richard in which he gave each of us an autographed game-worn jersey. And then I woke up.

Seriously, there was not much news broken at the event despite having Jeff Luhnow in our midst for about a half-hour. What did we find out? The PTBNL in the Kansas City trade is most assuredly a 2011 draft pick (although this information was imparted to us in a very nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more fashion). The first pick of the draft will not be a consensus pick, but they have narrowed the choices to five and all involved are making their cases while Luhnow sits back and listens so as not to sway the others as they make their arguments.

What else did we learn? We learned a little more about each other. Before we asked Luhnow a single question, he started quizzing us about our blogs, our jobs, what we thought about the Astros blogging community, etc. That's his trick with the likes of Keith Law, he revealed, as the inquisitor gets off the phone with him only to realize that Luhnow learned much more than he imparted during any given conversation.

We also learned that he is very supportive of Brad Mills and loves the way that Mills has embraced some of the new analytical tools he's been given with the new regime. He also stressed something that some blog readers tend to forget. Player moves are very complicated -- player options, minor injuries and other considerations have to be factored in. Are you willing to lose a player completely by sending him to AAA to work on something? He is cognizant of the issues facing the team, but decisions on player moves at the major league level have to be made in a way that doesn't ultimately create a negative impact.

Of course I had to ask Luhnow about the minor leagues. I didn't want to make it too easy on him so I asked about any players at the lower levels who weren't top draft picks that might be on his radar. After some thought, he did indicate RHP Ruben "R.J." Alaniz at Lancaster was one such player, but he admitted that he hasn't spent much time really looking at the minor league teams given the amount of time he has spent getting ready for the draft. He indicated that he would soon be heading to see some of the teams in person after next week's draft. Since I'm headed to Corpus next Friday, I offered him a ride. He laughed and thanked me for the offer, but since he didn't refuse it, I still have hopes that he will decide that riding shotgun with me is the way to go.

The best part of the event, though, was simply talking, networking, sharing thoughts and ideas with passionate fellow Astros writers. And having a few laughs with new friends. The event itself was a four-course dinner. What happened as it ended was dessert.

As I was making my way back to my car, I saw J.R. Richard not far ahead walking very slowly with a slight limp. He looked awfully tired after his long eventful day. I quickly caught up to him just as we exited the ballpark. I placed a hand on his arm and said, "You brought a lot of joy to a lot of people." He reached over and hugged me. "And a lot of pain to a few other people." He chuckled, "That's right!"

Perhaps it goes without saying, but I have never had that much fun at an Astros loss before. Thank you Jeff, Alyson and intern Brittany for a terrific evening. Let's do it again sometime.

Minor League Schedule and Results

SATURDAY'S GAMES

DSL Astros at DSL Mariners at 9:30 a.m. CST

Rome at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Greg Ross (0-3, 5.93) and LHP Evan Grills (1-0, 3.75)*
Available on MiLB.tv

*MiLB is still showing Evan Grills to start, but I asked him about it yesterday and he said it was doubtful since he had pitched in the 14-inning affair on Thursday. He only pitched to one batter, though, so who knows.

Corpus Christi at Springfield at 6:08 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jake Buchanan (2-4, 5.22) and RHP Trevor Rosenthal (4-4, 2.72)

Iowa at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: TBD and RHP Aneury Rodriguez (2-5, 6.15)
Available on MiLB.tv

Rancho Cucamonga at Lancaster at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Brandon Martinez (1-1, 3.43) and RHP Tyson Perez (3-1, 3.90)

FRIDAY'S RESULTS

Lexington over Rome 4-1
Nick Tropeano (W, 4-3) pitched 5.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits and two walks with nine strikeouts before giving way to Dayan Diaz who pitched 2.1 innings. Diaz was cruising along through two outs in the eighth when he apparently forgot how to pitch and walked three consecutive batters. Exit Diaz. Enter Jason Chowning. Bases loaded? Meh. Not a problem as Chowning gets a quick ground out, retires the side in the ninth and records his tenth save. All in a day's work, ma'am. John Hinson got the start at 2B as Delino DeShields took the night off and made the most of it, going three-for-four with two RBIs, a stolen base and a run scored. Justin Gominsky was two-for-four with an RBI and Roberto Pena had two hits on the night as well.

Corpus Christi over Arkansas 3-1
Brett Oberholtzer (W, 3-3) allowed one unearned run on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings as Corpus Christi swept the series against Arkansas. Oberholtzer has shown what he can do with several good starts. Now he needs to start showing some consistency. But I digress. Henry Villar and Josh Zeid (S, 1) took it the rest of the way with scoreless relief. Jon Singleton hit his 11th home run of the season; he has hit six home runs in his last eight games. Austin Wates was three-for-three with an RBI and a walk.

Oklahoma City over Nashville 5-3
Oklahoma City took the lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back as they too swept the opposing team. Paul Clemens (W, 6-4) has now won four of his last five games. In seven innings, he gave up one run (a solo home run) on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Juan Abreu was perfect in relief before giving way to Adalberto Flores who gave up two runs on three hits in the ninth. Except for a solo home run by Brian Bixler, most of the scoring came via small ball, smart baserunning and taking advantage of mistakes. Brad Snyder went two-for-three with a walk, RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.

GAME OF THE DAY
Lancaster over Visalia 15-4

What went right: Great starting pitching and some insane offensive performances.

I am definitely sensing a theme here as Lancaster swept Visalia and got back to a tie for second place in their division. Bobby Doran (W, 5-3) had another fine start and lowered his ERA to 3.31 with the effort. Brad Dydalewicz gave up three runs in relief followed by a scoreless 1.1 innings from Brian Streilein. But the pitching staff had a lot of leeway as Lancaster scored 11 runs in the fifth inning as 14 batters came to the plate. Erik Castro and Kike Hernandez both had monster nights with ten RBIs between them. Castro hit his 9th home run of the season, a three run shot and Hernandez hit an RBI single, an RBI double and an RBI triple.

Bobby Doran - 6IP 5H 1R 2BB 3SO
Brad Dydalewicz - 1.2IP 6H 3R 1BB 2SO
Brian Streilein - 1.1IP 1H 0R 0BB 1SO

George Springer - 1x5 BB SO 3R
Erik Castro - 3x5 HR 6RBI BB SO 3R
Kike Hernandez - 3x5 2B 3B 4RBI 2R
Alex Todd - 2x5 RBI SO R
Rene Garcia - 2x5 2RBI R
Grant Hogue - 3x5 RBI SO 2R

What went wrong: Telvin Nash had an 0-fer, but he still managed to get two walks.

PITCHERS OF THE DAY
I'm going to do something different today. In a rare confluence of events, all four of the Astros minor league starting pitchers got wins last night on strong performances. So my pitchers of the day are Nick Tropeano, Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens and Bobby Doran. I'm sure they won't mind sharing.

PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Erik Castro and Kike Hernandez can share this one as well. Between them, they were six-for-ten with three walks, a double, a triple, a home run, ten RBIs and five runs scored.

Happy Birthday - 6/2

SS/MGR Bob Lillis (82)
Bob Lillis was drafted by the Colt .45's from St. Louis in the 1961 expansion draft and played for Houston from 1962 through 1967, hitting .232/.267/.272. He also managed the Astros, taking over from Bill Virdon in 1982 and staying in that position through the 1985 season with a 276-261 record. He came in second in the voting for NL Manager of the Year in 1983, losing to Tommy Lasorda.

Tweet of the Day

Alex Sogard

: Sweep! Watch out the hooks are hot! ” hook em hooks

Roster Moves - 6/1

Lexington
RHP Luis Ordosgoitti was placed on the 7-day DL.
2B John Hinson was activated from the 7-day DL.

Apparently, John Hinson had an injury while running the bases and was pulled from the game. I would hate to see him back on the DL a day after coming off, particularly with the terrific night he had last night.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dominican Summer League Roster

The Dominican Summer League starts play tomorrow, June 2nd. Here is the TENTATIVE opening day roster. Players in BOLD are new to the DSL Astros team this season. The DSL roster can have up to 35 players on it with up to 30 players being "dressed and available" for any given game.

PITCHERS
RHP Luis Abad
RHP Harold Arauz
RHP Johan Arias
RHP Rayderson Chevalier
RHP Frangy Colon
RHP Samil De Los Santos
RHP Juan Delis
LHP Edgar Ferreira
LHP Geronimo Franzua
RHP Angel Heredia - I believe he'll start the season on the restricted list.
RHP Elieser Hernandez
RHP Juan Hernandez
LHP Erick Hurtado
RHP Tomas Lopez
RHP Yonquelis Martinez
RHP Victor Mesa
LHP Javier Saucedo
RHP Carlos Vasquez
LHP Edwin Villarroel

CATCHERS
Marlon Avea
Pedro Coa
Brian Pena

INFIELDERS
Randy Cesar
Jean Cortorreal
Michael Medina
Arturo Michelina
Luis Reynosa
Yoel Silfa

OUTFIELDERS
Tomas de la Cruz
Mesac Laguna
Brauly Mejia
*Cristian Murillo
Jarico Reynosa
Edward Santana
Frederick Serrano

*Bats left

In addition, there are several notable absences from last year's roster. I think we can assume that such players as Teoscar Hernandez, Juan Santana, Reymin Guduan and a few others are probably currently at extended spring training and may be earmarked for short season teams, although those rosters won't be set until closer to June 18th (opening day for the first of the short season teams).

Minor League Schedule and Results

FRIDAY'S GAMES

Rome at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Navery Moore (3-1, 3.28) and RHP Nick Tropeano (3-3, 3.05)
Available on MiLB.tv

Nashville at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Wily Peralta (1-6, 6.52) and RHP Paul Clemens (5-4, 6.66)
Available on MiLB.tv

Corpus Christi at Arkansas at 7:10 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Brett Oberholtzer (2-3, 5.61) and RHP John Helwig (2-3, 4.14)

Lancaster at Visalia at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Bobby Doran (4-3, 3.48) and LHP Andrew Chafin (3-0, 2.91)

THURSDAY'S RESULTS

Oklahoma City over Nashville 4-1
For someone who started the season at HiA Lancaster, Wes Musick (W, 1-1) has shown that he is quite comfortable hanging with the big boys at AAA, thank you very much. Musick allowed one run and no walks on seven hits over six innings before turning things over to Mickey Storey who pitched two perfect innings in relief. Jose Valdez recorded his 11th save of the season. Brett Wallace hit his ninth home run of the season. Scott Moore had two hits with a double. Fernando Martinez one-upped him by getting two hits with a triple. Oklahoma City led from the third inning on, and Nashville never threatened thanks to some great pitching.

Rome over Lexington 10-9 in 14 innings
This one was a heartbreaker as Lexington battled from behind twice (including a six run frame), but ultimately fell short as they couldn't convert extra inning runners in scoring position to actual runs. Lexington used seven pitchers in this one. Starter Jonas Dufek gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits, two walks and a home run over 5.2 innings followed by Nathan Pettus getting a key out. Carlos Quevedo gave up two runs and was charged with a blown save and Murilo Gouvea allowed one run in his one inning of work. Jason Chowning pitched two scoreless innings with three strikeouts (and owes Chris Epps dinner for corralling a wind-driven fly ball that almost left the yard). Euris Quezada (L, 0-2) pitched 3.2 innings and, thanks to four walks, had to pitch his way out of trouble several times. In the 14th, a throwing error and a wild pitch by Quezada led to the winning run and his ouster. Evan Grills got the fiinal out, but Lexington was unable to come back in the bottom of the frame. Chris Epps went four-for-six with a walk and scored two runs; Mike Kvasnicka hit his fifth home run; Zach Johnson was three-for-five with his 53rd RBI; Drew Muren, Kvasnicka and Chan Moon had two RBIs a piece; and Delino DeShields hit two doubles. Phew! Just two more extra inning games to recap!!!!

Corpus Christi over Arkansas 5-2 in 15 innings
Corpus Christi one-upped Lexington by going 15 innings and getting the win. Unlike the high-scoring Lexington game, though, this one was a pitcher's duel; it was 1-1 after two innings and it remained 1-1 until the 15th inning. Jose Cisnero had his best start of the season, pitching a strong seven innings and giving up only one unearned run on five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Kevin Chapman pitched two scoreless innings, followed by Erick Abreu (W, 5-1) who allowed only two hits and a walk over five scoreless innings of relief. Jason Stoffel closed it out, allowing one run on two hits. Chris Wallace hit his third home run of the season and that was all the Hooks got until the 15th when three singles, two doubles (Jair Fernandez and Jose Martinez) and a sac fly resulted in four runs. Austin Wates was two-for-six with a double, sac fly and a stolen base; Martinez had two RBIs; Jonathan Villar stole his 22nd bag; and Adam Bailey had a less than stellar season debut for the Hooks, going hitless in six at bats with two strikeouts. Phew! Just one more extra inning game to go and I'm starting on my second pot of coffee (really).

GAME OF THE DAY
Lancaster over Visalia 7-6 in 13 innings

Just 13 innings? Slackers! David Martinez gave up a home run in the first and a home run in the sixth; in between he pretty much dominated. After Martinez started to struggle in the sixth, Jose Trinidad took over with 2.2 scoreless innings. Kirk Clark wasn't able to convert the save opportunity as Visalia matched Lancaster run for run in the ninth and tenth innings. Andrew Robinson got the win in relief and Pat Urckfitz got the eventual save three hours and forty-seven minutes after first pitch. Grant Hogue scored the winning run in his first game this season at Lancaster with a ground rule double, advancing on a ground out and scoring on a wild pitch. Telvin Nash hit his 14th home run of the season.

David Martinez - 5.1IP 4H 3R 1BB 3SO 2HR
Jose Trinidad - 2.2IP 2H 0R 0BB 1SO
Kirk Clark (BS, 3) - 2IP 3H 3R 0BB 2SO 2HR
Andrew Robinson (W, 1-1) - 2IP 3H 0R 0BB 2SO
Pat Urckfitz (S, 4) - 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2SO

Domingo Santana - 1x5 2B 2RBI 3SO
Telvin Nash - 1x4 HR RBI 3SO R
Grant Hogue - 1x2 2B R
Ben Heath - 2x5 BB SO R

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Jose Cisnero pitched seven innings for the first time this season and came back nicely after some recent tough starts.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
Grant Hogue is my man for getting the winning run in Lancaster and ending the madness after fifteen hours and nine minutes of Astros minor league baseball played through 51 innings on one crazy night.

Happy Birthday - 6/1

OF Cristian Murillo (19)
As is the case with many of the Dominican Summer League players, we don't know much about Murillo. A native of Columbia, Murillo was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010 and played his first season with the DSL in 2011. In 26 games, he hit .228/.362/.333. He was better in the first half, hitting .242/.390/.364.

Tweet of the Day

Kevin Chapman

Hate when people say "it's not about winning and losing" because it is

Thursday, May 31, 2012

An Interview with RHP Ross Seaton

Drafted in the 3rd round as a compensation pick in 2008 out of Second Baptist High School in Houston, Seaton is in his second season with Corpus. In 2011, he finished the season 4-9 with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.387 WHIP; however, in 6 starts in August 2011, he had a 3.00 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP. In 2012, he has continued with the progress he made last season. In 10 starts with Corpus Christi, he is 4-3 with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.301 WHIP.

Now on to the questions ~

WTH: First of all, can you tell me about your pitch arsenal? What pitches do you use? Best pitch(es)? Velocity? Movement?

RS: My pitches include both a 4 seam and 2 seam fastball, a change up, slider, and curveball. I use all of them throughout the course of game but depend on my fastball to set the tone for the game. All the other pitches work off my fastball, so I would say a located fastball is my best pitch. This season my velocity has been down slightly but has been steadily picking back up.

WTH: You've never been primarily a strikeout pitcher. What is the key to your success on the mound?

RS: Pitching to contact provides the greatest chance of success. Throwing the ball in the strike zone forces the batters to swing at pitches and keeps pitch counts down. Obviously there are times when a strikeout is needed, but even a strikeout requires getting two strikes on the hitter first! Taking all of that into consideration, making quality pitches down in the zone (or at the top) puts the odds in my favor.

WTH: At 21, you were somewhat young for the AA level in 2011. Can you tell me a little about how you handled that and what you learned about yourself in getting thrown into the fire, so to speak? (Also, how glad were you not to have to pitch in Lancaster again?)

RS: All I will say about Lancaster is I never want to go back, ever. Experiencing AA baseball at 21 was a great opportunity for me. Of course, it took me a little while to settle in and realize I belonged there, but it opened up my eyes to quality baseball games. Everyone plays smarter here than in A ball. I learned so much from my older teammates like Jimmy Van Ostrand and Brian Esposito not only about the game itself, but also about how to handle myself on and off the field. It helped me mature and "grow up" much quicker. The 2011 season will always be one of my fondest seasons because of the people I was around and how much I learned about baseball.

WTH: Over the winter, my readers voted you most likely to be the Breakthrough Pitcher for 2012, largely based on the improvement you showed toward the end of last season. So far, so good - 5 of your last 6 starts have been excellent [NOTE: Ross had another strong start on Wednesday after this interview was complete]. Do you feel that you are, indeed, making that next step in your development?

RS: First I'm honored that I was voted to be the Breakthrough Pitcher for 2012! Thanks everyone! I honestly do believe I have made great strides since the last third of the 2011 season. It all deals with my mindset and approach to the game. I finally gave everything over to God and trusted that He has great plans for me (Romans 8:28 is a verse that my life proves). As soon as I gave results and my career to Him, a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders. I literally felt lighter. Now it's all about going out and enjoying pitching. No more stressing out on the mound or trying to do too much. Pitching relaxed, calm, and focused is much more efficient than over complicating the simplicity of the task at hand. In addition, this year I have worked on gaining confidence in the game. Confidence shows on the field and directly translates into your performance, so the more you have the better you will be! As always, all glory goes to God since everything I have comes from Him.

WTH: You were a good hitter at Corpus in 2011. I mean, a REALLY good hitter (.286/.304/.476). Are you going to miss getting to hit when Houston moves to the AL?

RS: Of course I'm going to miss hitting! I missed it my few seasons in pro ball! Who doesn't like hitting??

WTH: If you could steal a pitch from any pitcher in the Astros system, whose would it be?

RS: I would definitely take Bud Norris' slider. It has so much spin and looks just like his fastball until the very end. The later the break the more effective the pitch.

WTH: Which player in the Astros system would you least like to face in the batters box?

RS: My teammate Jose Martinez would be a formidable opponent in the box. He has solid plate discipline and squares up more balls than most other players. He's also a quality teammate who brings energy to the whole team.

WTH: You got married over the off-season. How difficult is marriage for a minor league player?

RS: Because Houston is only 3 hours away from Corpus, being apart from my wife has not been as difficult as most people experience. She has been able to come out and see me at least every other weekend. However, it would be much more enjoyable if she could travel with me everywhere we go. Additionally, she encourages me when things get tough and always supports my endeavors in the game. Having her in my life has greatly enhanced my ability in the game.

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

RS: These are always tough ones to answer. I am turning into a car fanatic. One of my dreams is to restore a classic car from the muscle car era. I plan on purchasing a 1973 Chevy truck from a good friend and mentor of mine this off season that will be my first "project". Cars and baseball. Classic American passions.

Thank you for your time, Ross. Congratulations on your marriage and the best of luck to you as you continue to make your way up the ladder in life and in baseball!

Minor League Schedule and Recaps

THURSDAY'S GAMES

Rome at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Ryan Weber (1-1, 6.30) and RHP Jonas Dufek (1-1, 5.56)
Available on MiLB.tv

Nashville at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Mark Rogers (1-2, 4.93) and LHP Wes Musick (0-1, 5.40)
Available on MiLB.tv

Corpus Christi at Arkansas at 7:10 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jose Cisnero (2-5, 5.36) and RHP A.J. Schugel (2-5, 3.54)

Lancaster at Visalia at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP David Martinez (1-3, 6.12) and LHP David Holmberg (6-3, 3.13)

WEDNESDAY'S RESULTS

Lexington over Augusta 6-1
Despite a slight hiccup in his last start, Luis Cruz has been simply terrific. In his last seven starts, he has five wins and two no decisions with a 1.56 ERA and a 1.044 WHIP over 46 innings. Cruz gave up no runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts to lower his ERA to 2.84. Evan Grills gave up the only run on two hits in two innings of relief. The offense in this game was dominated by relative newcomers Chan Moon (three-for-three with a walk and two runs) and Jesse Wierzbicki (two-for-four with a triple, two RBIs, SB). Delino DeShields stole his 32nd bag of the season.

Oklahoma City over Nashville 7-2
Brand new Astro Brian Bass (W, 1-0) had a heckuva debut, allowing no runs on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts over six innings pitched. Enerio del Rosario and Adalberto Flores each allowed a run in relief, while Jose Valdez pitched the final inning giving up only one hit. Brett Wallace hit his eighth home run of the season (he only hit six all last season between the major leagues and the minor leagues); Scott Moore and Carlos Corporan each had two RBIs; Jimmy Paredes and Brandon Barnes each had two hits. Barnes stole two bases while J.B. Shuck stole one.

Lancaster over Visalia 4-3
Ruben Alaniz (W, 5-1) continues to prove that he belongs as he allowed only two runs on seven hits over eight innings. Andrew Robinson came in for the ninth but failed to record an out against his two batters and was pulled for Kirk Clark who got his sixth save of the season. A two run Erik Castro home run and a RBI double from Rafy Valenzuela accounted for most of the scoring, but George Springer also contributed with smart base-running as he scored from third on a wild pitch. Alex Todd had a double, three walks and a stolen base to his credit, and Springer also stole his 13th bag of the season.

GAME OF THE DAY
Corpus Christi over Arkansas 3-2

What went right: Good pitching and effective (and timely) small ball hitting.

Ross Seaton didn't get the win, but he kept the Hooks in the game in this low-scoring affair. Josh Zeid who has had a couple of spectacularly bad outings this season had his third scoreless outing in a row. And Jason Stoffel continues to impress, getting the save and lowering his ERA to 1.21. The pitching was key as the Hooks only had five hits, scoring on a Jose Martinez ground out, a Jonathan Villar fly out and a Jon Singleton solo homer (his tenth of the season). Austin Wates stole two bases, his 11th and 12th of the season. Andy Simunic stole a bag as well.

Ross Seaton - 6.2IP 9H 2R 0BB 1SO
Josh Zeid (W, 2-0) - 1.1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1SO
Jason Stoffel (S, 6) - 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 0SO

Austin Wates - 1x2 BB R 2SB
Jon Singleton - 1x4 HR RBI SO R
Jake Goebbert - 1x4 2B SO

What went wrong: A fielding error by Villar and a wild pitch by Seaton is about all I can find.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Luis Cruz pitched seven innings, giving up no runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts. That is pitcher of the day worthy to me.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
Brandon Barnes was two-for-four with an RBI, a run scored and two stolen bases. He's hitting .333 after four games. I think he feels right at home in Oklahoma City.

Happy Birthday - 5/31

No future Astros and only one former Astro with a birthday today ~

CF Kenny Lofton (45)
Drafted by Houston in the 17th round in 1988, Lofton only played in 20 games for Houston in 1991 out of his 17 year major league career. He was traded, along with Dave Rohde, to Cleveland for RHP Willie Blair and C Ed Taubensee in December 1991 in what turned out to be a spectacularly bad trade. In 1992, Lofton was second in Rookie of the Year voting to Pat Listach. He was a six-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove. He played for 11 teams and had a career batting line of .299/.372/.423 with 622 stolen bases.

Tweet of the Day

Cockroach

Chris Wallace breaks up the chants of "cheese dip" with a two-out single in the 9th. (Fans would have recieved a coupon if he struck out.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Roster Moves - 5/30

Oklahoma City
RHP Brian Bass assigned to Oklahoma City
LHP Dallas Keuchel placed on the temporary inactive list (I think this is probably just a move to juggle a full roster, since Dallas was the last starter and won't be needed for a few days.)

The Crawfishboxes

And, just because I don't have anything else to do, I posted a look at some of The Regulators In Waiting from the minor league system over at the Crawfishboxes site. Take a peek if you are so inclined.

The Futurists - We Don't Stink!

If you get a chance, come over and see me at The Futurists where I look at the Astros minor league records and the vast improvement over last season.

Minor League Schedule and Results

WEDNESDAY'S GAMES

Augusta at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Christopher Marlowe (1-1, 2.55) and LHP Luis Cruz (4-1, 3.20)
Available on MiLB.tv

Nashville at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Seth McClung (1-4, 5.28) and TBD
Available on MiLB.tv

Corpus Christi at Arkansas at 7:10 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jarred Cosart (3-2, 2.79) and RHP Matt Oye (1-2, 4.08)

Lancaster at Visalia at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Ruben Alaniz (4-1, 3.88) and RHP Jeffrey Sheilds (1-1, 7.71)

TUESDAY'S RESULTS

Augusta over Lexington 2-1 in 11 innings
Three solo home runs accounted for all of the scoring in this pitching duel. Mike Foltynewicz pitched beautifully, giving up one run (a solo homer) on five hits with one walk and five strikeouts over seven innings. Dayan Diaz provided two hitless innings and Murilo Gouvea was charged with the loss as he gave up a home run in his second inning of relief. Delino DeShields provided all of Lexington's offense with his third home run of the season. Matt Duffy's seventh inning double broke up Augusta pitcher Clayton Blackburn's no-hit bid.

Lake Elsinore over Lancaster 7-4
Jorge de Leon (L, 0-5) continues to struggle -- six runs on five hits and five walks in only three innings. Zach Grimmett provided five solid innings of long relief, surrendering only one run on five hits. Ben Orloff was one-for-four with a two run single, Kike Hernandez hit a solo home run and Adam Bailey had an RBI double and an outfield assist in his last appearance as a JetHawk before his promotion to Corpus Christi today. Domingo Santana was two-for-four with a walk.

Corpus - Off Day

GAME OF THE DAY
Oklahoma City over Nashville 2-0 (Game called after five innings)

What went right: A great start by Dallas Keuchel and a little intervention from Mother Nature.

Dallas Keuchel needed a good start since his last two had been a bit rocky (to say the least) and he got it. Keuchel worked quickly and efficiently, allowing only four scattered hits and striking out three. He had only thrown 59 pitches so he appeared to be good for the long haul, but Mother Nature intervened with high winds, rain and then hail and the game was called. Brad Snyder and Jimmy Paredes provided the offense with RBI doubles.

Dallas Keuchel (W, 5-4) - 5IP 4H 0R 0BB 3SO

Brad Snyder - 1x2 2B RBI BB SO
Jimmy Paredes - 1x2 2B RBI
Carlos Corporan - 1x1 2B R

What went wrong: Not much of anything.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Mike Foltynewicz continues to make a statement. He pitched seven innings for only the second time this season. I think his pitching deeper into games on a routine basis will help him immensely when he gets the eventual promotion for which he is rapidly making a very good case.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
I'll go with Delino DeShields for showing us that he does indeed have a little pop in his bat.

Happy Birthday - 5/30

No future Astros and only one former Astro with a birthday today ~

RHP Mike "Buffie" LaCoss (56)
A third round draft pick by the Reds in 1974, LaCoss was a waiver claim by the Astros in April 1982. He pitched in 118 games (43 starts) for Houston from 1982 to 1984. He had an 18-18 record with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.418 WHIP. LaCoss was an All Star for Cincinnati in 1979. For more on LaCoss, check out Bryan Trostel's Random Random Astros post at Astros County.

Tweet of the Day

Enrique Hernandez

 our wolf pack separated by one selfish guy who's playing his last single a baseball game tonight!

Adam scott bailey
  I am sorry I told them we came as a pack. Its a no go.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Roster Moves - 5/29

Oklahoma City
RHP Jordan Lyles was optioned back to Oklahoma City from Houston.
RHP Chris Hicks was activated from the DL and assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City.

Corpus Christi
CONFIRMED Unconfirmed, but according to numerous player tweets it looks as though OF Adam Bailey will be sent from Lancaster to Corpus Christi on Wednesday (and will play at Lancaster tonight).

Lancaster
CONFIRMED Also, not confirmed by the Astros, but OF Grant Hogue confirmed in a tweet to Bryan Trostel of Astros County that he was being assigned from Extended Spring Training to Lancaster. He had started the season on the DL after breaking a hamate bone in Spring Training. Updated to Add: This move is not official until Wednesday as well.

Jay Austin Sighting

Sean (@native_astro) brought up a good question the other day on twitter, wondering whether or not Jay Austin is ready to be activated from Extended Spring Training. For those who don't know or remember, he broke his hand at the very beginning of Spring Training. Well, I did a little detective work and this photo of Jay was taken May 25th. He's definitely playing (although I still have no idea about any timetable on him). Now, you know as much as I do.

Jay Austin, Photo Courtesy Bryan Green

Talking Dominican Academy with Allen Rowin

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Allen Rowin, Player Development Coordinator for the Astros, to talk about his baby -- the Astros Academy in Guerra, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. With a BA in Spanish and Political Science from UCLA and an MBA in Sports Business Management from San Diego State, Rowin was a natural to spearhead the planning, construction and ongoing operations of the Academy which was completed in 2010.


Rowin speaks with obvious pride about the complex which was two years in the planning and construction stages before becoming a reality. Having a facility complete with dorms, computer lab and classrooms helps the Astros become more competitive in player development in the Dominican. "You see the benefits of that when you have the players on site. You can do extra work. You can do early work. You can do English classes. You can do other classes that help them with their interpersonal skills ... You have a more captive audience ... more readily available for instruction," according to Rowin.

And the complex is in use most of the year. Rowin described a dizzying number of player moves in and out of the complex before the Dominican Summer League season as DSL players, players destined for full season teams in  the U.S., and players destined for short season teams in the U.S. all operate on different schedules in January through March with the latter two groups headed to the U.S. for regular Spring Training or Extended Spring Training, respectively.

The complex is closed for the better part of April until the DSL team starts training late in the month for games starting in June and going through August. After being closed in September, the Dominican Instructional League starts in October and runs parallel with the Fall Instructional League in Florida and operates in much the same vein. The Dominican Instructional League features DSL prospects plus many of the Latin players who have played in the U.S. for a year or so and continues through the early part of December before the complex shuts down for the holidays.

Then in January, it starts all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Rowin described it as Baseball 365. "You're always looking at the next program that's going to start and planning for what's going to happen."

I asked Rowin about a typical day for a player during the DSL season. The day starts early with breakfast at 6:30, early work at 7:00, and on the field by around 8:30. Depending on whether there is a scheduled game with another DSL team or just a split squad game, they will start playing from around 10:00 to 11:00 in time to finish and get off the field by no later than 1:00 or 2:00 in order to avoid the worst of the heat and the sun. According to Rowin, getting enough nutrition in the bodies of 16 to 18 year old athletes is enough of a challenge as it is without factoring in playing in the tropical heat of the day.

And Rowin worries about nutrition and language skills and facilities and maintenance and personnel because the Academy is truly his baby. He oversees the operations of the complex in addition to his everyday duties handling the minutiae of player development and minor league rosters. It is a lot of work, but it is obviously a labor of love.


Minor League Schedule and Results

TUESDAY'S GAMES

Augusta at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Clayton Blackburn (1-2, 4.26) and RHP Mike Foltynewicz (6-1, 2.40)
Available on MiLB.tv

Nashville at Oklahoma City at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Michael Fiers (1-3, 4.42) and LHP Dallas Keuchel (4-4, 4.52)
Available on MiLB.tv

Lancaster at Lake Elsinore at 9:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jorge de Leon (0-4, 8.63) and RHP Don Roach (2-1, 1.57)

Corpus - Off Day

MONDAY'S RESULTS

Albuquerque over Oklahoma City 11-9
Aneury Rodriguez only lasted three innings in this one as he gave up seven runs on seven hits, including a two run home run from Matt Kemp (on a rehab assignment). Sergio Perez pitched three effective innings of relief, giving up one run before giving way to Adalberto Flores who gave up another three runs in the final two innings. All of the starters except Aneury got at least one hit, with Scott Moore, Brian Bixler and Brandon Barnes having multi-hit games. Angel Sanchez hit a solo home run.

Springfield over Corpus Christi 3-2
Jake Buchanan got a quality start in this one (three runs on six hits over seven innings) and the loss as Corpus came oh so close to pulling this one out, but stranded the tying run at third to end it. Arcenio Leon and Jason Stoffel took it the rest of the way. Stoffel continues to impress me and has whittled his ERA down to 1.27. There were no extra base hits in this one, but Jose Martinez and Brandon Wikoff each had two hits. Austin Wates, Brandon Wikoff and Chris Wallace all stole bases.

Lake Elsinore over Lancaster 8-5
Tyson Perez did not have a quality start, thanks in large part to two home runs which accounted for four of the five runs he allowed on eight hits over seven innings. The problem was exacerbated as Brian Streilein (L, 1-3) couldn't get an out in the eighth, allowing a Perez runner to score plus another three runs on three hits and a walk before all was said and done. Brad Dydalewicz came in to stop the bleeding, but the damage was done and Lancaster's lead had evaporated. Domingo Santana had an RBI double and a two run home run. George Springer had an RBI triple. Ben Orloff and Erik Castro each had two hits. Santana is hitting .341 over his last ten games.

GAME OF THE DAY
Lexington over Augusta 4-3

What went right: Good pitching and timely hitting.

Luis Ordosgoitti had his second straight quality start as he tries to establish himself in the League. It's a shame that he didn't get the win, but the Legends saved their scoring for late in the game. Carlos Quevedo was the recipient of the Legend hitters largesse as he got his fourth win of the year, all in relief. Lexington scored twice on a ground out and a fielder's choice in the eighth to tie it up, only to fall behind a run in the top of the next frame. Matt Duffy played hero in the bottom of the ninth with his eighth home run of the season to re-knot the game and force extra innings. A Jordan Scott RBI single in the tenth gave the Legends the only W of the day for the Astros organization.

Luis Ordosgoitti - 7IP 6H 2R 1BB 6SO
Carlos Quevedo (W, 4-1) - 3IP 2H 1ER 0BB 6SO
Jason Chowning (S, 9) - 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1SO

Delino DeShields - 2x4 BB
Jordan Scott - 2x5 RBI SO
Matt Duffy - 1x4 HR RBI SO R
Chris Epps - 2x4 2B 2R

What went wrong: A caught stealing by Jimmy Howick and a fielding error by Duffy is about all I can find.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Luis Ordosgoitti has lowered his ERA from 8.49 to 4.50 over his last two starts. That's good enough for me.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
Matt Duffy is my guy!

Happy Birthday - 5/29

RHP Juan Delis (18)
Delis was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Panama and played for the DSL Astros in 2011. In 15 appearances (one start), he was 1-0 with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.890 WHIP.

RHP Harold Arauz (17)
Arauz signed as a NDFA out of Panama in July 2011 and hasn't played an official game for the Astros yet. According to Baseball America:
Arauz, 16, has a projectable 6-foot-4 frame and was the MVP of the Dominican Prospect League all-star game in May, when he struck out five of the six hitters he faced.
Former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Trever Miller (39)
Originally drafted by Detroit in the first round in 1991, Miller first came to Houston in this trade:
December 10, 1996: Traded by the Detroit Tigers with Brad AusmusJose LimaC.J. Nitkowski and Daryle Ward to the Houston Astros for Doug BrocailBrian HunterTodd JonesOrlando Miller and cash. 
He pitched on the major league level for Houston in 1998 and 1999 before being traded to Philadelphia in March of 2000. Miller came back to Houston for two additional seasons in 2006 and 2007. In 230 games for the Astros, he was 7-5 with a 3.96 ERA and a 1.435 WHIP. He holds the record for the most appearances in a season (76) without getting a decision in 2007.
A fourth round pick by the Giants in 1983, Hayes played in only 31 games for Houston at the end of his major league career in 2001. He played for seven teams over 14 seasons. His best season was in 1993 for Colorado when he hit .305/.355/.522 with 45 doubles, two triples and 25 home runs.

Tweet of the Day

Jiovanni Mier

Happy Memorial Day! God bless all the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country today. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Roster Moves - 5/28

Oklahoma City
RHP Enerio del Rosario was assigned to Oklahoma City as RHP David Carpenter was recalled to Houston.
RHP Brian Bass was signed to a minor league deal and is to be assigned to Oklahoma City.

Minor League Schedule and Results

MONDAY'S GAMES

Oklahoma City at Albuquerque at 2:35 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Aneury Rodriguez (2-4, 5.10) and RHP Mike Parisi (1-1, 2.57)
Available on MiLB.tv

Lancaster at Lake Elsinore at 4:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Tyson Perez (3-1, 3.20) and RHP Jerry Sullivan (1-2, 5.66)

Augusta at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Joe Biagini (0-3, 10.67) and RHP Luis Ordosgoitti (1-1, 5.21)
Available on MiLB.tv

Springfield at Corpus Christi at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Richard Castillo (1-0, 1.93) and RHP Jake Buchanan (2-3, 5.40)
Available on MiLB.tv

SUNDAY'S RESULTS

Springfield over Corpus Christi 10-1
After a good start last time around, Brett Oberholtzer reverted to form as he continues to struggle to find his way pitching in the Texas League. In six innings, he gave up five runs on six hits, including two home runs. Henry Villar followed with his third perfect inning since coming off the DL. Erick Abreu was not perfect, however, as he gave up four runs (2 earned) on two hits in only one inning. Alex Sogard got touched for a run in his one inning as well. The Hooks were held to six singles and one double (hit by Brett Oberholtzer) with no one player having a multi-hit game. Jonathan Villar stole two bags and is now at 21 for the season with five caught stealing.

Lake Elsinore over Lancaster 6-5 in 14 innings
This one was a heartbreaker as Lancaster scored one in the top of the tenth, only to have Gabriel Garcia give up a solo home run in the bottom of the frame to tie it back up. Bobby Doran had a good start, but was the victim of a throwing error that caused two of his four runs to be unearned over his 7.1 innings. Kirk Clark pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief despite walking three batters, Garcia was charged with a blown save and Jose Trinidad got the loss. Domingo Santana was three-for-six with a triple and two RBIs. Jonathan Meyer also had three hits.

Albuquerque over Oklahoma City 11-9
This was another heartbreaker as Oklahoma City scored eight runs in the final two frames only to fall short in the end. Paul Clemens (L, 5-4) is still struggling to find consistency on the mound as he gave up eight runs on 11 hits, five runs courtesy of the long ball, although he did have eight strikeouts. Juan Abreu and Jonnathan Aristil gave up the final three runs in relief. The Redhawks really battled in the eighth and ninth getting all eight runs playing small ball. Scott Moore was two-for-four with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored; Landon Powell was one-for-one with a double and two RBIs; and Angel Sanchez was two-for-two with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Brandon Barnes was one-for-four with an RBI and a walk in his season debut for Oklahoma City.

GAME OF THE DAY
Lexington over Hickory 6-4

What went right: Just a good old-fashioned team win.

Nick Tropeano wasn't exactly overwhelming the hitters in this one, but he kept Lexington in the game. Murilo Gouvea kept things under control in 1.2 innings and Jason Chowning sealed the deal in the ninth for his ninth save of the season. Zach Johnson hit a solo shot for his 52nd RBI of the season. Chris Epps hit a two run double.

Nick Tropeano (W, 3-3) - 6.1IP 12H 4R 0BB 4SO
Murilo Gouvea - 1.2IP 3H 0ER 0BB 2SO
Jason Chowning (S, 9) - 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1SO

Zach Johnson - 1x3 HR RBI BB SO 2R
Matt Duffy - 2x4 2B SO R
Brandon Meredith - 2x5 2B SO R
Chris Epps - 1x4 2B 2RBI SO R

What went wrong: Delino DeShields (three strikeouts) and Justin Gominsky both had 0-fers.

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Jason Chowning got his ninth save of the season and lowered his ERA to 0.75 and his WHIP to 0.791. His strikeout rate is 13.5 SO/9 innings and his SO/BB ratio is 4.5. Why he is still at Lexington is a total mystery to me.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
I'll have to go with Domingo Santana who is hitting .333/.408/.714 over his last ten games.

Happy Birthday - 5/28

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

2B Bill Doran (54)
Doran was drafted in the sixth round in 1979 by Houston and played nine seasons for the Astros before being traded to the Reds in August of 1990. In 1165 games for Houston from 1982 to 1990, he hit .267/.355/.374. In 1987, he hit .283 while playing in all 162 games and leading the National League in fielding percentage for a second baseman.

2B/SS Rafael Landestoy (59)
Landestoy was signed by the Dodgers in 1972 out of the Dominican Republic and came to Houston in a July 1978 trade. He played for the Astros from July 1978 until he was traded in June 1981 to the Reds. In 372 games, he hit .250/.312/.315. His best season was 1979 when he hit .270 in 129 games.

C Skip Jutze (66)
Originally drafted by the Cardinals in the fourth round in 1968, Jutze came to Houston in a November 1972 trade and played for the Astros from 1973 to 1976. In 191 games, he hit .210/.250/.244.

Tweet of the Day

Mike Kvasnicka

First official tweet. The first of many, I guess. To both of my followers, don't get your hopes up...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Roster Moves - 5/27

Oklahoma City
LHP Xavier Cedeno was called up to Houston to fill in for Fernando Abad who went on the DL with a strained right intercoastal.
The move of CF Brandon Barnes from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City was made official.

Corpus Christi
According to Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller Times, OF T.J. Steele was released and IF Brandon Wikoff, who started the season on the disabled list, was activated from extended spring training and will be assigned to Corpus Christi.

Minor League Schedule and Results

SUNDAY'S GAMES

Springfield at Corpus Christi at 1:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Trevor Rosenthal (3-4, 2.81) and LHP Brett Oberholtzer (2-2, 5.36)
Available on MiLB.tv

Lexington at Hickory at 4:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Nick Tropeano (2-3, 2.73) and RHP Santo Perez (2-3, 6.16)

Lancaster at Lake Elsinore at 4:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Bobby Doran (4-3, 3.62) and RHP Matthew Andriese (3-3, 3.97)

Oklahoma City at Albuquerque at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Paul Clemens (5-3, 5.84) and LHP Michael Antonini (1-2, 5.31)
Available on MiLB.tv

SATURDAY'S RESULTS

Hickory over Lexington 11-2
Jonas Dufek (4IP) and Euris Quezada (3IP) both got roughed up in this one, allowing ten earned runs between them. Even the normally reliable Dayan Diaz gave up a run in the final inning. Matt Duffy hit a solo home run. Delino DeShields, Justin Gominsky and Chan Moon each had two hits. DeShields had his third caught stealing in as many games. Ultimately, this one is best forgotten so let's do that and move on.

Albuquerque over Oklahoma City 7-4
Wes Musick (L, 0-1) hit a wall during his second AAA start, giving up six runs (five earned) on 11 hits over 5.2 innings. Adalberto Flores allowed the final run in his 1.1 innings and Jose Valdez pitched a perfect final frame. It was a quiet night for the Redhawks hitters with Fernando Martinez and J.B. Shuck getting the only extra base hits, each hitting a double. Shuck was three-for-three with a walk for the night.

Lancaster over Inland Empire 5-4 in 10 innings
David Martinez gave up four runs on eight hits over six innings pitched, but only two of the runs were earned thanks to an Alex Todd fielding error. Brian Streilein pitched three innings in relief allowing only one single and keeping the game tied. Pat Urckfitz and Jose Trinidad shared duties in the tenth with Trinidad getting the win as Rene Garcia hit a two-out single that scored Telvin Nash in the 10th for the win. There were several good nights at the plate with Telvin Nash hitting his 13th home run, George Springer hitting a two run triple, Jonathan Meyer and Ben Orloff having two-hit nights and Rene Garcia having three hits, including the game winning RBI.

GAME OF THE DAY
Corpus Christi over Springfield 6-5

What went right: According to Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller Times, this was the Hooks first win this season when trailing after six or seven innings, but there's a first time for everything.

Jose Cisnero seemed to have turned things around a bit in this start after struggling in his last few as he gave up two runs on five hits in five innings. Unfortunately, Alex Sogard had a tough night giving up three runs (two earned) in one inning and getting charged with a blown save. Fortunately, Josh Zeid pitched two terrific innings in which he gave up only one hit and Kevin Chapman got the win after pitching a perfect ninth. Brandon Barnes hit a solo home run in his finale with the Hooks before earning his promotion to Oklahoma City. Also hitting home runs were Jon Singleton (the two run variety) and Jonathan Villar (the walk off variety). Jake Goebbert was three-for-four on the night and Chris Wallace was three-for-three in his first game since being activated.

Jose Cisnero - 5IP 5H 2R 0BB 5SO HR
Alex Sogard - 1IP 3H 3R/2ER 0BB 2SO
Josh Zeid - 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 1SO
Kevin Chapman (W, 3-2) - 1IP 0H 0R 0BB

Jonathan Villar - 2x5 HR RBI SO 2R SB
Jon Singleton - 2x4 HR 2RBI R
Brandon Barnes - 1x4 HR RBI R
Jake Goebbert - 3x4 2R
Chris Wallace - 3x3  2B

What went wrong: Austin Wates was 0-5 (but with no strikeouts).

PITCHER OF THE DAY
Brian Streilein is my guy for holding Inland Empire to one hit over three innings of relief and giving Lancaster the opportunity to win the game.

PLAYER OF THE DAY
Rene Garcia gets the nod for a two-out extra-inning game-winning RBI single, his third hit of the night.

Happy Birthday - 5/27

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

1B Jeff Bagwell (44)
Originally drafted by Boston in the fourth round in 1989, Bagwell came to Houston in the infamous Larry Andersen trade in August 1990 and played his entire major league career from 1991 to 2005 as an Astro. In 15 seasons he hit .297/.408/.540 with 488 doubles, 32 triples, 449 home runs and 202 stolen bases. From Baseball-Reference, here are just some of his accomplishments:
  • 1991 NL Rookie of the Year Award
  • 4-time NL All-Star (1994, 1996, 1997 & 1999)
  • NL MVP (1994)
  • NL Gold Glove Winner (1994)
  • 3-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1994, 1997 & 1999)
  • NL Slugging Percentage Leader (1994)
  • NL OPS Leader (1994)
  • 3-time NL Runs Scored Leader (1994, 1999 & 2000)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (1994)
  • NL Doubles Leader (1996)
  • NL RBI Leader (1994)
  • NL Bases on Balls Leader (1999)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 12 (1993-2004)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 9 (1994 & 1996-2003)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1997, 1999 & 2000)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 8 (1994, 1996-2001 & 2003)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 9 (1994, 1996-2001, 2003 & 2004)
Anyone who doubts that this man belongs in the Hall of Fame doesn't deserve to vote for the honor.

MGR Terry Collins (63)
Collins managed the Astros from 1994 to 1996 and compiled a 224-197 record with the team finishing in second place each of his three seasons. He is currently managing the New York Mets.

One more birthday today ~


Your friendly neighborhood blogger seen here with birthday boy Jeff Bagwell in September 2010 celebrates a birthday today as well, but I'd rather not say which one if you don't mind (but I'm somewhere between Jeff and Terry).

Tweet of the Day

Rafael Valenzuela

Another great win boys!! Come from behind two nights in a row.. Whoops!!