Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Birthday - 9/29

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

LHP Jim Crawford (62)
A 14th round draft pick by Houston in 1972, Crawford pitched in 92 games for the Astros in 1973 and 1975. In those games, he was 5-9 with 10 saves, a 4.02 ERA and a 1.474 WHIP. Crawford was traded to the Tigers in December 1975. According to Baseball-Reference, his first plate appearance came four days after his pitching debut in 1973 and resulted in a walk-off double in extra innings against the Dodgers.

Tweet of the Day

Brady Rodgers

Where's homer bailey from? Yep you guessed it, Texas

Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Birthday - 9/28

LHP Javier Saucedo (19)
Saucedo was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Panama in 2010 and spent his second season in the organization with the DSL Astros where he put up a solid season out of the bullpen. In 17 appearances (one start), he was 5-4 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.322 WHIP. He was mostly used in long relief and could be a candidate for a starting position next season.

RHP Michael Feliz (19)
Signed as a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2010, he started for the GCL Astros this season where he dominated, earning him a promotion to Greeneville. In seven appearances (three starts) for the GCL team, he was 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA and a 0.887 WHIP. He struggled somewhat making the adjustment to Greeneville where he was 1-1 with a 5.13 ERA and a 1.595 WHIP in six starts. He did end the season on a high note, though, as he earned his first Appy League win in a five inning, three hit outing in which he allowed no runs and struck out five.

Five former Astros with birthdays today ~

1B Dick Gernert (84)
Drafted from the Reds in the 1961 expansion draft, Gernert played for the Colt 45's in 1962 at the end of his major league career. In 10 games for Houston, he hit .208/.345/.208.

PH Gene Ratliff (67)
Ratliff had 4 at-bats in 4 games for the Colt 45's in 1965 and that one hit in the majors eluded him.

RHP Charlie Kerfeld (49)
A first round pick by Houston in 1982, Kerfeld pitched for Houston from 1985 to 1987 and again in 1990. In 98 appearances (six starts), he was 15-8 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.474 WHIP. His best season was by far the 1986 season when he was 11-2 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.206 WHIP in 61 appearances out of the bullpen. Kerfeld, along with Larry Andersen and Dave Smith, was one of the Astros coneheads back in the day.

C Ronn Reynolds (54)
A fifth round pick by the Mets in 1980, Reynolds came to Houston in an April 1987 trade with the Phillies. In 38 games, he hit .167/.189/.235. Reynolds was also a catcher for the fictional Sidd Finch.

C/PH Hector Gimenez (30)
Gimenez played in two games for Houston in 2006 and didn't get a hit in his two at-bats. Five years later, he would get his first major league hit for the Dodgers. He played in the minors for the White Sox organization in 2012.

Tweet of the Day

Jarred Cosart

Hey  fans Houston is changing. Hop on board with the movement. Welcome Bo Porter.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Few Noteworthy 2012 Pitching Performances

I took a look at some notable 2012 minor league pitching performances over at The Crawfishboxes. Meander on over there if you are so inclined.

Happy Birthday - 9/27

RHP Jamaine Cotton (22)
Originally from the Virgin Islands, Cotton was drafted in the 15th round in 2010 out of Western Oklahoma State University.  In 23 appearances for Tri-City this season, he was 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.408 WHIP. He was extremely effective in June and July when he put up a 1.47 ERA and 1.091 WHIP before a couple of rough August outings inflated his numbers.

Two former Astros have birthdays today ~

2B Gary Sutherland (68)
Sutherland spent time with the Philadelphia and Montreal organizations before coming to Houston in 1972. He only played in 21 games for the Astros in 1972 and 1973, hitting .242/.277/.323, before moving on to have his most productive years with Detroit in the mid 70's.

RHP Doug Konieczny (61)
A first round pick by Houston in 1971, Konieczny played for the Astros in 1973 to 1975 and in 1977. In 44 games (38 starts), he was 7-18 with a 4.93 ERA and a 1.588 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Brady Rodgers

Glad to be at Milo's last game!! Been listening to him since I was born 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An Interview with RHP Aaron West

I haven't had the opportunity to meet Aaron West yet. I haven't even talked to him by phone as we conducted this interview through email, but I already feel like I know him. He definitely has one of the friendliest and most interactive twitter presences of the 2012 draft class. He even tweeted me trip suggestions when I visited his home state of Washington in July. Oh, and besides just being a nice guy, there's another little thing you need to know about him. He can pitch. And how!

What a fantastic freshman season the University of Washington product had. In 12 starts for the Tri-City ValleyCats, he went 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 0.957 WHIP. And in 61 and two-thirds innings, he struck out 59 batters while walking only nine, making for an incredible 6.56 SO/BB ratio. In the post-season, he had a 2.45 ERA and a 0.909 WHIP as the ValleyCats fell just one win shy of the New York-Penn League title.

On to the questions ~

WTH: Can you tell me a bit about your college experience?

AW: My college experience was a great one. I learned alot about how baseball should be played and most importantly how to pitch. I had surgery about a month into my sophomore season and I missed the rest of the year and summer. I was back throwing the next season and was a starter. My arm felt good after the surgery but I found out pretty quick that I didn't have my best command and feel for my pitches. There were a few scouts talking to me at this time but I told them that I wanted to finish up my BA degree and because of my red shirt I would have that opportunity. I had a rough year but still went into my summer ball with goals in mind. I played my junior year summer in Huboldt, California for the Humboldt Crabs in the Far West League. This was a great team far above the rest in the league. I had a great summer allowing 1 run in 54 innings and getting my confidence back and the feeling that I could pitch well again. After that summer I started hearing from the scouts again and this continued throughout my next school season which went fairly well.

WTH: Was the decision to sign a difficult one?

AW: The decision for the draft was difficult because I was told by a few scouts that they could not draft me because of the surgery I had on my arm. I was weighing all my offers and talking to family about the best decision and which path I should take. I wanted to play baseball at the next level.

WTH: What was the biggest surprise for you during your first season in professional ball? Best part? Worst part?

AW: The biggest surprise for me was the traveling and bus trips. I had heard from friends that have played in the minor leagues and they have all said that bus trips and hotels were the worst. I didn't have anything to complain about this entire year. Bus trips went well and we stayed in very nice hotels which is where I got the majority of my rest. The best part of my first season was playing on a team with a bunch of great guys who all succeeded with different styles and techniques and it was great to learn from all of them. The worst part was getting sick with a month left in the season. Playing every day makes it tough to get rest and to get feeling better. It was a great learning opportunity for me.

WTH: What do you feel you accomplished in the short season? What do you need to work on to get to the next level developmentally?

AW: I think I accomplished more than I would have hoped for. I performed well and got my name out there for people to see. Being drafted in the 17th round is by all means great but you don't always get the same attention as people drafted in the early rounds. I just want to keep getting better and better every year. To get to the next level I need to develop a very consistent 3rd pitch. Most of the summer I pitched with my fastball and throwing a slider in there every once in a while to keep them off balance. To develop my change-up even more and use it consistently will help me greatly in the future.

WTH: Could you tell me a little about your pitch repertoire?

AW: I throw a 2 seam fastball, slider, and change-up My fastball can range from 90-96 and cuts and runs whenever it feels like it. My slider can range from 79-84 and I can change the movement from a more 12-6 break to a cutter action. My change-up runs and drops away from lefties but I will also use it to back door a right handed hitter.

WTH: Which teammate from Tri-City has a pitch you'd like to steal?

AW: I would love to steal Travis Ballew's slider. That is one of the better breaking balls I have ever seen and I am sure the hitters he pitches to will agree.

WTH: Which teammate at Tri-City would you least like to face in the batter's box?

AW: When Andrew Aplin was at Tri-City he was an amazing hitter, always making contact and fouling off every pitch that he didn't like. I would hate to face him and I am sure a lot of pitchers will be saying the same thing in years to come.

WTH: Was there one player on the team that you just enjoyed sitting back and watching?

AW: I loved watching Travis Ballew pitch. We have the same mentality and pitches and I always had complete confidence when he came in the game whether I was just pitching or in the stands watching. The way he made hitters look with sliders in the dirt was comical to say the least.

WTH: Who on the team made you laugh?

AW: There is a combination of guys from Joe Bircher to Twitterless Brian Holmes and Brady Rodgers. These guys do a 'creed voice' that is hilarious and gets the entire locker room laughing.

WTH: How did you get interested in Middle East studies? If you couldn't play baseball, what would your ideal job be?

AW: I got interested in Middle East history and studies from watching shows like CSI and Criminal Minds and the fact that our economy is based in large part on gas and oil, and in the future we are going to depend on the middle east for oil. Also the fact that terrorism and 9/11 had a huge impact on many people's lives, it would be a great field to get into. I would like to get my degree in Middle East history and a minor in International Studies. I have taken a year of Persian which is the language of Iran and would like to apply for the FBI here in Seattle and work my way up to NSA or maybe CIA. I am going to try to finish up my minor in the next few quarters after the season is over. I have about 3 quarters left.

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

AW: Most people say that I am good at a lot of weird things. I am very good at ping pong, juggling, trampolining and I can even ride a Unicycle and anything else that would be considered weird.

WTH: What would you tell frustrated Astros fans about the state of the Astros farm system?

AW: I would say that I know that it is rough to be on or a fan of a team that is struggling but help is on the way, and we need your support more than ever to help get this team back on the right track. Help is on the way. We just have to believe.

Well, I believe. I believe that with talented players like Aaron in the system, the Astros will get strong and stay strong for a long time. Thank you for your time, Aaron, and best of luck in the coming season.

Happy Birthday - 9/26

Two former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Bobby Shantz (87)
In 16 seasons pitched between 1949 and 1964, Shantz went full circle, starting his career with the Philadelphia Athletics and ending it with the Philadelphia Phillies.  In between, he pitched for the Kansas City Athletics, the Yankees, the Pirates, the Colt 45's, the Cardinals and the Cubs.  In 1935 and two-thirds innings pitched, he was 119-99 over 171 starts with a lifetime ERA of 3.38 and WHIP of 1.260.  He had 78 complete games, 15 shut-outs and 48 saves.  Obtained from the Pirates as the 21st pick in the 1961 expansion draft, Shantz was only with the Colt 45's for 3 starts in 1962, in which he went 1-1 with a 1.31 ERA and a 0.968 WHIP, before being traded to the Cardinals.  In addition to appearing in three All-Star games, he also won eight Gold Gloves and the 1952 AL MVP.

C Rich Gedman (52)
After spending the majority of his career with Boston, Gedman only played one season with the Astros (1990) and was used primarily as a back-up catcher to Craig Biggio.  He had a lifetime .252 batting average, .202 with the Astros.

More on Gedman from Wikipedia:

"1986 saw three of the highlights of Gedman's career. On April 29, he set the American League record for putouts by a catcher with 20, as Roger Clemens set the major league record for strikeouts in a nine-innings game against the Seattle Mariners. On April 30, he had 16 putouts for a total of 36 in two days, which is the most for a catcher in two consecutive games. Gedman was also selected to the All-Star Game that year, to go with his appearance in the 1985 game. But the peak of his career coincided with one of its lows in the 1986 World Series. In the bottom of the tenth inning of Game 6, with the Sox leading by one run with two outs, Kevin Mitchell on third and Mookie Wilson at batreliever Bob Stanley threw a pitch that Gedman failed to handle. It was scored as a wild pitch, but many considered it a Gedman passed ball. Mitchell came in to score, tying the game. Then, Wilson hit a ball that went through first baseman Bill Buckner's legs to win the game for the Mets. The Sox went on to lose the deciding game, and the series."

Tweet of the Day

Lance McCullers Jr.

With my boy carlos at his 's and with  of course!
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Astros Season Ticket Holder Townhall

On Sunday, the Astros had a couple of events for season ticket holders before the game and after the game. The first event was their annual Photo Day which has become a favorite of mine as you can meet the players and get pictures of them or with them, but more on that at a later date. The second event was a Townhall Meeting for season ticket holders with George Postolos and Jeff Luhnow after the game. There was no real news broken, but I thought my readers might be interested in a couple of topics that were discussed.

Postolos started with some prepared remarks and talked a little about the managerial search, the improvements to the farm system, what the front office was doing to improve the season ticket holder experience, the new regional sports network, etc. And then he got to the elephant in the room, or should I say the elephant in left field. Postolos admitted that he had done a poor job explaining the Community Leaders Program which he then addressed in great detail. I personally felt that he did a good job of explaining that part of it, but more or less glossed over the actual signage itself which is what many, many fans find objectionable.

During the Q&A, one long-time season ticket holder summed things up very nicely, indicating that he understood the need for the corporate partners, but thought the signage itself looked like something that was rigged up out of plywood and chicken wire. He then asked with some exasperation, "Can't it be aesthetically pleasing?" His question was greeted with widespread applause. The critique was noted but not specifically addressed.

Luhnow also delivered a few prepared remarks, focusing on the improvements to the farm system, changes in field and front office staff and the move to the AL. Of the managerial search, he said, "We're going to find a rising star manager to help us manage our rising stars." In answer to a question about Roger Clemens, Luhnow indicated that he would welcome having Clemens "impart some of his wisdom and work ethic to some of our players" and emphasized that he was reaching out to many Astros alumni to become more involved with the team.

Another question of interest was the final one about bringing back Jim Deshaies and Bill Brown to announce next year. (As you may or may not know, "Brownie" recently made some comments that sounded as though he might be contemplating retirement.) Postolos said that he thought they were both terrific and that it would be addressed in the off-season. Again, not really news but I know it's important to those of us who have counted on J.D. and Brownie to make the last two seasons bearable to watch.

There was one other thing that Postolos said in his prepared remarks that I wanted to pass on. "Everything that goes into making the Houston Astros a great organization has to be first class for us to get to that position." I agree with that. And I agree that Jeff Luhnow is working well towards that goal on the baseball side.

But as others have pointed out, there have been some questionable moves on the business side as of late. The Astros had arguably the best social media experience in MLB under Alyson Footer's direction, but that has degenerated badly since she went back to work for MLB.com. There is no face to Astros social media now, no one that the average fan can relate to. And the Astros should not underestimate the power of social media to bring in fans. I can't tell you how many extra games I went to this season just because some of my Astros tweeps were going. There is nothing first class about the social media operation right now. Oh, and having the players sell tickets on their personal twitter accounts? That's definitely not first class. It's tacky.

And then there's that plywood and chicken wire structure out in left field. No one described it more aptly than Stephen did in this blog post. The money quote (emphasis is mine):
What. The. Hell. Is that thing in LF? Astro optimists, pessimists, and realists alike can all agree that THAT is the most offensive thing the ball club has done this season. I know I am writing for a blog that is run by Mr. Luhnow’s bff, and I myself have praised Crane, Luhnow, and co. for a job well done so far……but that craptastic money grab is offensive. You bought the club and reserve the right to make some extra money, but why put a gigantic yearbook sponsor page in front of the most beautiful part of our stadium? I’d rather see that plump, poor man’s Captain Kangaroo driving Thomas the train across left field than be accosted by that monument to commercialism.
I think what bothers me most about the structure, other than it being ugly, blocking the view, interfering with the enjoyment of fireworks and in no way enhancing the ballpark experience is that the front office knows all that and won't admit it. They knew everyone would hate it. Why else would they focus group everything else to death, yet put up the Community Partners signage with nary a word until it was up and presumably too late for fans to have a say?

Yes, I understand that good will come of the community partnerships in helping Houston area kids get the facilities they need and that good will come of it in helping to keep the team solvent until the Astros are good again. But first class teams have terrific views of riverfronts, bays, downtown skylines, an iconic arch, not plywood and chicken wire advertising. Yes, outfield advertising in the game goes back as far as I can remember, but it needs to be incorporated into the structure in a much more aesthetically pleasing manner. There's no reason it can't be.

The new ownership group has done a lot of things right, from hiring Jeff Luhnow to committing to the rebuild of the farm system to something as simple as letting people bring in their own food and water. But they still have a ways to go if they truly want to be a first class operation and maintain long-term success. They must realize that the average fan experience is more important than any corporate sponsorship when it comes to the long-term success of the franchise. If they can simply provide a good fan experience year in and year out, the profits will come and those will be first class.

Arizona Fall League Update

I somehow missed this along the way, but RHP Nick Tropeano was added to the list of players who will be participating in the Arizona Fall League for the Astros. The complete list of Astros players on the Mesa Solar Sox team is as follows:

RHP Jarred Cosart
RHP Chia-Jen Lo
LHP Alex Sogard
RHP Nick Tropeano
SS Jio Mier
1B Jon Singleton
OF Bobby Borchering
OF George Springer

My understanding is that seven of the players will be on the active roster and one player will be on a taxi squad and only available for games on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Note that Borchering is listed on the roster as an outfielder, although he played 3B for the Hooks after he came to the Astros organization this year. Also note that Lancaster JetHawks Manager Rodney Linares will be managing the team. The other teams represented on the Solar Sox are the Dodgers, Cubs, Orioles and Tigers. The complete roster can be found here. And the schedule can be found here.

Check back after the season starts on October 9th as I will be recapping the performances of the Astros players participating in both fall and winter leagues.

Happy Birthday - 9/25

LHP Geronimo Franzua (19)
Yes, it is one of the cooler names in the Astros minor league system. Unfortunately Franzua, an NDFA from the Dominican Republic did not fare too well in his second season with the DSL Astros. In 12 games (one start), he had an 8.10 ERA and a 3.225 WHIP.

Four former Astros with birthdays today ~

SS/3B Ray Busse (64)
Originally signed by Houston as a NDFA in 1967, Busse played in a total of 44 games for the Astros in 1971, 1973 and 1974, hitting .153/.209/.200.

RHP Mike Stanton (60)
Drafted by Houston in the first round in 1973, Stanton pitched in only seven games for the Astros in 1975 with a 7.27 ERA and a 2.308 WHIP. He went on to pitch for Cleveland, Seattle and the White Sox with a career 4.61 ERA and 1.509 WHIP.

RHP Ron Mathis (54)
Originally drafted by Detroit in the 30th round in 1980, Mathis came to Houston as a free agent in May of 1982. In 31 games for the Astros in 1985 and 1987, he was 3-6 with a 5.93 ERA and a 1.598 WHIP.

RHP David Weathers (43)
A third round draft pick by the Blue Jays in 1988, Weathers came to Houston as a part of the June 2004 trade with the Mets for Richard Hidalgo. He pitched in 26 games that season with a 1-4 record, a 4.78 ERA and a 1.375 WHIP. In all, Weathers spent 19 seasons in the major leagues playing for nine different teams. He won a World Series with the Yankees in 1996.

Tweets of the Day

I went to bed early and when I got up this morning, my timeline had exploded. Here are just a few of the many, many tweets that greeted me this morning.

Marc Krauss

The NFL has turned into an absolute joke the last couple weeks. Gotta get these clowns out 

Nick Tropeano

What is going on!? Is this real life? All of America we are on Punk'd!! The NFL referees are jokes.

Neiko Johnson

Just imagine if they had replacement umpires.....so many players would get ejected for bad strike calls lol

My favorite one, though, had to come from former Astros farmhand Brian Esposito ...

brian esposito

Touchdown!!! No!!! He's safe!!!!!!! Tate got around the tag!!!
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Monday, September 24, 2012

Astros Affiliated with the Quad Cities River Bandits

As most of you have probably already heard by now, the Astros are moving their Lo-A affiliate from Lexington, Kentucky to Davenport, Iowa. I have a special place in my heart for Lexington for several reasons, but mostly because it was my first experience at a minor league ballpark since I started writing my blog. When I went to Lexington back in April, I was blown away by the people there. Everyone was incredibly helpful and accommodating. I truly had the time of my life and I thank everyone there for all you did for me. And yes, Dave, I'm talking about you, among others.

But life moves on and so do we. The Quad Cities River Bandits team is technically located in Davenport, but the area actually encompasses five cities along the Mississippi River on the Iowa-Illinois boundary. Yes, I know, but the link explains that Quint Cities never caught on. I've already checked it out and you can fly into Moline, Illinois (extremely close), Cedar Rapids (about 67 miles away) or Chicago (about 3 hours away). I also have been told that it is quite a beautiful ballpark with a stunning setting on the Mississippi River, but I'll admit the name Modern Woodmen Ballpark makes me think of this.

If you're on twitter, an automatic follow for you should be @QCRiverBandits. Another fun one is @MWLtraveler who writes a blog about the Midwest League. I have also had @tarawellman @sbatt79 @danmak_DA and @cwyers recommended as good follows.

World Baseball Classic Qualifier Update

Well, the modified double elimination format didn't work in Team Israel's favor as Team Israel was eliminated Sunday after their only loss to Team Spain. Ben Orloff didn't see any action in this game, but Josh Zeid was used in all three games of the tournament for Team Israel.

Israel took an early lead but Spain fought back, taking a short-lived lead in the fourth inning and another one run lead in the eighth. Team Israel came back to tie it up in the bottom of the eighth. Josh Zeid came in to get three quick outs in the ninth and the game went to extras. In the top of the 10th, the Israeli catcher was ejected after Zeid issued a lead-off walk and then the wheels came off as a hit batter, sac bunt and a single led to two Team Spain runs. Israel wasn't able to come back in the bottom of the frame and that was pretty much that.

One side note. The 10-inning game was played in a crisp four hours and fifty minutes. It was an exciting game, but if this is the future of baseball around the world, God help us all.

The final game from this round of qualifiers will be at noon CST today and features Canada and Germany. The next qualifying rounds will be in November in Panama and Taiwan.

Happy Birthday - 9/24

RHP Jake Buchanan (23)
Drafted in the eighth round in 2010 out of North Carolina State, Buchanan spent most of the 2012 season pitching for the Corpus Christi team. Used as a starter early in the season, he was moved to the bullpen in August. In 19 starts for the Hooks, he was 5-6 with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.513 WHIP. Out of the bullpen, he was 0-3 with 4.76 ERA and a 1.554 WHIP in 8 appearances.

OF Jacob Goebbert (25)
Drafted in the 13th round out of Northwestern in 2009, Goebbert spent the majority of his 2012 season in Corpus Christi with the Hooks where he hit .304/.399/.473 with 23 doubles, six triples and nine home runs. He was among the league leaders in batting average.

RHP Christian Garcia (21)
Drafted in the 29th round in 2012 out of Florence-Darlington Technical College in South Carolina, Garcia pitched in 18 games out of the bullpen for the Greeneville Astros this season and compiled a 2-0 record with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.398 WHIP.

Alyson Footer (?)
Although Alyson isn't technically a part of our Astros family anymore, she will always hold a special place in our hearts. Happy Birthday, Alyson!

Tweet of the Day

Josh Zeid

We really fought tonight . I left all I had out there but It wasn't enough sorry everyone. Thanks 4 the love all week

Sunday, September 23, 2012

World Baseball Classic Qualifying Rounds Update

Corpus Christi Hooks LHP Alex Sogard saw action in the second game for the Czech Republic. In a video interview last week, Sogard talked about his mother's Czechoslovakian heritage and how excited he was to represent her on the Czech team. And represent he did! Sogard pitched three and two-thirds innings in relief and allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts in the Czech team's loss to Great Britain. Unfortunately, it was the Czech team's second loss so Alex will be heading home from Regensburg, Germany where this qualifying round took place.

Long-time Astros minor league followers might be interested to know that former Astro Albert Cartwright played for the British team and went 3-for-5 in yesterday's game. And Another former Astro has been making news in Regensburg for the Canadian team. Jimmy VanOstrand went 4-for-6 with two home runs, five RBI and scored three times in Team Canada's win over Germany yesterday.

Astros Josh Zeid and Ben Orloff will take part in the final qualifying round for Team Israel today in Jupiter, Florida. Team Israel is undefeated and will take on Team Spain for the second time in the tournament. Israel defeated Spain on Friday 4-2 in, as one very clever tweeter said, payback for the Spanish Inquisition. If you want to root on Team Israel, you can follow their game on the World Baseball Classic site live at 4:00 CST or watch the delay on MLB network at 7:00 CST this evening.

Happy Birthday - 9/23

2B Ruben Sosa (22)
This switch-hitting second baseman from the Dominican Republic was drafted in the 23rd round in 2011 out of Oklahoma City University. Sosa spent the majority of his time with Lexington this season with good success. In 44 games for Lexington, he hit .280/.364/.336. In his last 10 games, he was even more impressive as he put up a .382/.432/.412 batting line.

Three former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Oscar Zamora (68)
Zamora signed with Houston as a free agent prior to the 1978 season and pitched in 10 games with a 7.20 ERA and a 1.800 WHIP.

C Terry McGriff (49)
Originally drafted by the Reds in the eighth round in 1981, McGriff came to Houston in an August 1990 trade and played in only four games for the Astros in which he went hitless.

RHP Pete Harnisch (46)
A first round pick by Baltimore in 1987, Harnisch came to Houston as part of the Glenn Davis trade with the Orioles (along with Steve Finley and Curt Schilling) in January of 1991. In 117 starts from 1991 through 1994, he was 45-33 with ten complete games, six shut-outs, a 3.41 ERA and a 1.205 WHIP. Harnisch was named to the All-Star team for Houston in 1991. His best season was 1993 when he compiled a 16-9 record and threw two one-hitters.

Tweet of the Day

Robert Peña

Another Day in paradise..!! On our way to the field..!!