Saturday, October 6, 2012

Players Electing Free Agency

The following players elected free agency:

LF Travis Buck
2B Brian Bixler
SS Angel Sanchez

Happy Birthday - 10/6

Former Astros with birthdays today:

C Jerry Grote (70)
Grote played for the Colt 45's in 1963 and 1964, hitting .182/.241/.261 in 103 games, before going on to have a long career with the Mets, Dodgers and Royals.  In 1421 games over 16 seasons, Grote had a .252 lifetime batting average and a career .991 fielding percentage and was a two-time All-Star for the Mets.

LHP Darren Oliver (42)
Oliver pitched in 9 games for Houston in 2004, going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.143 WHIP.  The well-traveled Oliver has played for Texas, St. Louis, Boston, Colorado, Florida, the New York Mets, the Los Angeles Angels and now Toronto. Prior to this season, he has pitched in 13 post-season series, but has yet to earn a World Series ring.

Tweet of the Day

Jarred Cosart

Trying to figure out where the rangers fans are right now? Y'all usually have something to say all the time

Friday, October 5, 2012

Change Is Good?

Change is good. At least that's what they keep telling us. And this is, after all, Houston. A city that has reinvented itself many times over. A city where buildings that are thirty years old or older should automatically get historical designations. A city where, it has seemed at times in years past, no one is actually from. We have very little sense of history in this city.

So I suppose it was natural that Allan Huber "Bud" Selig crammed the Astros move to the American League down our throats with the ownership change. Who cares? It's just Houston. Never mind the 50+ years of history with the National League which, quite frankly, is the equivalent of 100+ years in a city with so little stability. But water under the bridge. No use crying over spilled milk. What's done is done. Pick your platitude.

Enter Jim Crane. Long-time Astros fans (and, yes, there are still many of us) were still reeling from the impending move to the American League. What does Crane do? He casually drops a bombshell that he's thinking of changing the name of the Astros. It was a completely tone deaf move that generated enormous pushback as well as enormous angst by the fans.

What ensued were more and more changes, some good, some bad. Despite conducting focus groups and surveying people to death on many, many topics, Crane throws up hideously ugly advertising signage (you can call it community leaders all day long, but it's still advertising) in left field with nary a word ... on taxpayer owned property. Yes, Houstonians are allowing our view to be spoiled by this blight even though we actually own Minute Maid Park. When does the billboard go up in my backyard? This would be an example of a bad change. As was dismantling the terrific social media presence that Alyson Footer had established.

On the baseball side, the Astros cleaned house, dumping all of the big contracts and trading for a good number of high upside prospects. This would be an example of a good change. The Astros have also done a good job of giving season ticket holders a little more bang for their buck with season ticket holder events and access to front office staff.

But what about the average fan? Not someone that lives and breathes this stuff everyday like me. Not even someone like my sister who has partial season tickets and knows just enough to be dangerous. What about the fan that goes to five to ten games a year, doesn't read the newspaper beyond an occasional boxscore and definitely doesn't read any of the blogs. You know, the person who turns a 13,000 attendance figure into a 30,000 figure. What is that person seeing?

Mr. or Ms. Average Fan saw yet another record losing season. They saw 50 different players wearing an Astros uniform, most of whom they don't know from Adam. They saw the same old tired in-game promotions from last year. They saw an ugly sign go up in left field to block their view of downtown and the fireworks show. They saw a new manager take over. And a new first base coach. And a new hitting coach.

Next year, they're going to wonder why we're playing Oakland so much and when the next Cardinals series will be. And who is Bo Porter? And who are all those new coaches? They're going to turn on their televisions and they may or may not see Jim Deshaies and Bill Brown. No one will say definitively yet, but it doesn't sound good for Bill Brown. And they'll turn on their radio and wonder whatever happened to Dave Raymond and Brett Dolan and Milo. And what happened to the train? Didn't there used to be a hill out in centerfield? It's a wholesale dismantling of everything that Mr. or Ms. Average Fan find familiar and comfortable. There is not even a hint of continuity for them.

Some of these changes will ultimately prove to be good and some ultimately bad, but I am hard pressed to think of one single change thus far that an average fan would wholeheartedly like other than being able to bring in food and drink.

The latest of these changes happened last night when it was announced that the contracts of Brett Dolan and Dave Raymond would not be renewed. Yes, the long-suffering duo who have propped up Milo Hamilton for the last several seasons won't get a chance to see what life without Milo might be like.

I'll be honest. I didn't like Brett and Dave at first, mostly because they had no history with the team. But after seven years with the team, they had built that history and they had built a following. And Dave, in particular, was incredibly generous in his interactions with Astros fans which made the broadcasts even more fun for many of us who follow him on twitter.

But at this point, I was still trying to keep the move in perspective. I know that not everyone liked their style. Perhaps the Astros front office is bringing back Larry Dierker or Alan Ashby, announcers who truly were popular with almost everyone. And then I saw this on twitter:

We wish Dave and Brett well. We look forward to finding someone to fill Milo's big shoes (or it is his voice). We want to hear your ideas.

Seriously?!? You don't already have someone in place? So we could end up right back where we started seven years ago with an inexperienced tandem with no knowledge of the team? And you want our ideas about replacing them, but you didn't ask for our input about whether or not they needed to be replaced in the first place? This boggles the mind. At least it boggles my feeble little noggin. Again, it just seems so completely tone deaf.

Ultimately, the Astros may hire new broadcasters who will be beloved by all for the next 20 years. Ultimately, the Astros will start winning again. I am hopeful that the new uniforms will hearken back to incorporate the Astros history. I hope for the same when it comes to changes to the mascot and the ballpark. I hope that Bo Porter is a good manager. I hope that Porter puts together a good staff. I hope that we don't lose 100+ games again next season. I hope that the Astros keep Jim Deshaies and Bill Brown together. I hope that Astros social media becomes fun and interactive (and accurate) again. I hope that all these changes we're seeing right now will fade into the past and ultimately the good will outweigh the bad. But right now, all I'm seeing is an all out concerted effort on the part of the front office to alienate and drive away Mr. or Ms. Average Fan. Change just for the sake of change? Not good.

Owning a baseball team isn't like owning just any other business. I'm not going to get terribly worked up if Sears quits selling Kenmore washers and dryers or if Kentucky Fried Chicken changes its brand to KFC. Baseball is a business that resonates with people. A business with a history that becomes intertwined with family histories. Entire relationships are built around and defined by baseball. I don't know what my father and I would have talked about in his final years had it not been for baseball. And I know that I am not alone in saying that.

Jim Crane may think that he can run the Astros as a nameless, faceless, soulless business. But, if he does, there is one thing that he doesn't understand. He doesn't actually own the Astros. The people of Houston do. We're just letting him rent the team for a while. The sooner he realizes that, the better. And, by the way, get that damn sign off my property.

Happy Birthday - 10/5

LF Marc Krauss (25)
Krauss came to the Astros organization (along with 3B/OF Bobby Borchering) in a July 2012 trade with the Diamondbacks for 3B Chris Johnson. After the trade, Krauss simply tore it up in Corpus Christi, hitting .414/.514/1.000 with two doubles, five home runs and 16 RBI in seven games before a quick promotion to Oklahoma City. Krauss didn't fare quite as well at AAA, hitting .123/.203/.123 in 22 games for the Redhawks.

Former Astros with birthdays today:

RHP Felipe Paulino (29)
First signed by the Astros as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2001, Paulino was never quite able to put it together for Houston.  In 34 starts over 47 appearances for the Astros in 2007, 2009 and 2010, Paulino went 6-21 with a 5.83 ERA and 1.598 WHIP.  Traded to the Rockies for Clint Barmes in November of 2010, Paulino only spent a short time with the Rockies, compiling a 0-4 record and a 7.36 ERA, before being dealt to the Kansas City Royals where he has gone 7-7 in 28 games with a 3.55 ERA and and a 1.337 WHIP.

CF Al Heist (died October 2, 2006 at 78)
Drafted from the Cubs in the 1961 expansion draft, Heist played in 27 games for the Colt 45's in 1962, hitting .222/.263/.236. He played for three more seasons for Houston in the minor leagues, but never made it back to the majors.

OF Alex Diaz (44)
Diaz signed as a free agent with Houston in January 1999. He played in 30 games for the Astros that season, hitting .220/.264/.320.

RHP Brandon Puffer (37)
Originally drafted by the Twins in the 27th round in 1994, Puffer first came to the Houston organization in 2000 after pitching in the Atlantic League. In 68 games for the Astros in 2002 and 2003, he was 3-3 with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.611 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Gera Sanchez

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Happy Birthday - 10/4

RHP Lance Day (23)
Day was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Astros in July after a brief stint for the Independent League Grand Prairie Airhogs. The product of the University of Texas at Arlington fit right in with the strong Tri-City pitching staff as he went 6-1 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.139 WHIP in 11 appearances (eight starts).

No future Astros, only former Astros celebrating today:

OF Billy Hatcher (52)
Billy Hatcher came to Houston via a trade with the Chicago Cubs for Jerry Mumphrey.  He played for the Astros from 1986 to 1988 and part of 1989, hitting .266 during that time.  His best year offensively for the Astros was 1987 when he hit .296 for the season.  Billy is best remembered by Houston fans for postponing the inevitable.  In Game 6 of the NLCS in 1986, he hit a homerun in the 14th inning against the Mets to re-tie the game which the Astros eventually lost in the 16th inning to lose the series.  In 1989, he was traded to Pittsburgh for Glen Wilson and later played for the Reds, the Red Sox, the Phillies and the Rangers.  He is currently the First Base Coach for the Reds.

RHP Don Bradey (78)
Bradey's entire major league career consisted of two and a third innings pitched in three games for the Colt 45's in 1964 with a 19.29 ERA and a 3.857 WHIP. Ouch. In 15 minor league seasons, he was 127-118 with a 3.85 ERA and a 1.410 WHIP.

RHP Joe Boever (52)
Boever came to Houston as a free agent in January of 1992. In 81 games in relief for the Astros that season, he was 2-6 with a 2.51 ERA and 1.329 WHIP and led the league in appearances.

2B Mark McLemore (48)
Originally drafted by the Angels in the ninth round in 1982, McLemore signed as a free agent with the Astros in March 1991. In 21 games for the Astros, he hit .148/.221/.164. Of 19 seasons spent in the major leagues, McLemore spent 18 of them in the American League hitting .260/.351/.343.

OF Chris James (50)
James signed as a free agent with Houston in January of 1993 and appeared in 65 games for the Astros before being traded to the Rangers in September of that year. He hit .256/.333/.488 during his time as an Astro.

MGR Jimy Williams (69)
Williams managed the Astros in 2002, 2003 and part of 2004 and compiled a 215-197 record with Houston. He was preceded by Larry Dierker and followed by Phil Garner.

Tweet of the Day

RafyValenzuela

And this is why baseball is by far the best sport. You never know what's going to happen

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MiLBY Awards

Voting for the minor league MiLBY Awards is now open and you have the chance to vote for a few future Astros.

PLAY - Austin Wates over the wall catch and Jake Goebbert collision at home plate

BREAKOUT PROSPECT - Mike Foltynewicz

GAME - Chris Devenski's no hitter and Jesse Wierzbicki's hitting for the cycle

PROMO - The Home Run Derby aboard the U.S.S. Yorktown which featured Lexington Legend's players Matt Duffy and Zach Johnson

I object most vehemently that the Lancaster Jethawks weren't nominated for Team of the Year, but I guess they can take solace in their California League Championship trophy!

Happy Birthday - 10/3

3B Michael Medina (19)
Signed as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2010, Medina played his second professional season for the DSL Astros this year hitting .113/.167/.177. I'm at a loss to explain how he drew 36 walks in 2011, but only one in 2012. Granted it was only about half as many at-bats, but that is still a bit mystifying.

Former Astros with birthdays today:

3B/C Eric Munson (35)
Originally drafted by the Tigers in the first round in 1999, Munson signed with Houston as a free agent in December 2005. In 103 games for Houston in 2006 and 2007, he hit .216/.291/.352.

RHP Jack Lamabe (died December 21, 2007 at 71)
Lamabe came to Houston from the Red Sox in a September 1965 trade and left less then three months later in a trade to the White Sox. In between, he pitched in three games (two starts) for the Astros, going 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.579 WHIP. Lamabe got his World Series ring pitching for St. Louis in 1967.

RHP Bert Roberge (58)
A 17th round draft pick for Houston in 1976, Roberge pitched for the Astros in 1979, 1980 and 1982, compiling a 6-2 record, 3.73 ERA and 1.293 WHIP in 62 appearances out of the bullpen.

Tweet of the Day

Jarred Cosart

Hey  fans. Rome wasn't built overnight. Look at the texans. All good things take time.   

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

An Interview with OF Brett Phillips

When I told Lance McCullers that I was going to interview Brett Phillips, Lance assured me that the interview would be "epic." And he should know. Lance and Brett, along with Carlos Correa and Rio Ruiz, have become the greatest of friends, a tightly knit core group of players that I have come to think of as The Four Musketeers. The four (four of the seven top 2012 draft picks for the Astros) started their first professional season together with the GCL Astros.

And Brett did not disappoint. He is open, talkative, funny and a little bit quirky. The conversation was peppered with "fer sures", "definitelys" and a breathless (and infectious) excitement about the future. And he has the greatest of all abilities, that of being able to laugh at himself. Oh, and about that laugh ... more on that later. I talked to him last Friday by phone and here's just a little of what he had to say (edited for clarity and brevity).

Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green

On the draft process and his questionable (at the time) signability: "Prior to draft day, everyone was telling me I was going to be second or third round ... Baseball America, ESPN Top 100, the scouts, everyone I talked to. [The way] everything was slotted out this year, I knew how much there was and my signability was the top four rounds. When draft day started, I got a couple of phone calls here and there [gauging] my signability. Then come the end of the third round, a lot of teams started calling [with offers for the fourth round]. They were going lower and lower and [then the] Astros called [with the] second highest offer I had received. The Cincinnati Reds had called and offered me [more] but with everything going on in the Astros organization, and Lance and Carlos and everything with the future, I chose to go with the Astros in the sixth. The signing bonus was perfect, but college we had to negotiate. That was the only thing keeping me back from signing [until] a little later. We had to get the college plan all settled and from there everything was perfect. [How did he know Lance and Carlos?] I knew Carlos from the World Showcase, but Lance I've known since I was nine. We used to play each other all the time."

What was the biggest surprise from his first season of pro ball?: "I would have to say the pitching. I didn't play in all the USA tournaments. I didn't take advantage of the big travel ball tournaments because I played football. I didn't see that pitching in high school obviously. The first couple weeks, it was tough, it was overpowering, but I adjusted and it just got easier and easier, but that was for sure the most overwhelming part of my first pro season."

What did he accomplish and what is he working on?: "Definitely stealing bases. That's what I need to focus on a lot. Getting on base. Getting better reads on the ball. I guess my biggest accomplishment on paper is [being one of the league leaders in] walks and triples, I guess."

Which of his teammates would he least like to face on the mound?: "Lance for sure. Lance is just out of this world. I consider him a god. Not just physically amazing, but also mentally when it comes to the brains part of the game and how to pitch to someone and just everything. I wouldn't want to be facing him."

Which teammate does he like to sit back and watch?: "Definitely Carlos and how he fields. Carlos is probably the best infielder I've ever seen. I mean professional, MLB, whatever, high school, travel ball. How he fields is just amazing. It's just smooth like butter."

Which of his teammates make him laugh?: "I would have to say all three of them, our pack, Lance, Carlos and Rio. I'm really the punching bag in the group so everything I say or do, they kind of make fun of me for. It's all fun though. We're all good friends and they all make me laugh and we have a good time in and out of baseball."

About that laugh (which has been described as the sound a dying donkey would make): "This is the funniest thing ever. The Dominicans actually caught on to my laugh and they think it's just the most outrageous thing they've ever heard. I mean we're talking about kids who don't speak English, they just die. And then they try to mock me and it's just the funniest thing ever. Everyone loves it in the clubhouse. The coaches are always making fun of me for it, trying to make me laugh. It's all fun and games. It's pretty out there. It's pretty crazy."

Was he disappointed when promotions to Greeneville broke up The Four Musketeers?: "What I told them was go tear it up. We'll be together sooner or later. I didn't let it get to me at all. It's just all part of how the process and everything goes. What I told them was just go tear it up, do your thing and we'll be back together before you know it. [Does he realize what a special group they are?] It's amazing. I couldn't ask for a better group. Not only are they really good baseball players, but they're all really good people. I like to surround myself [with] good people who [have] good judgement and [make] good decisions off the field as well because that makes you a better player as well."

Something most people don't know about him: "I played football my freshman year, just J.V. football, and we had a baseball coach over in my high school who said, after my freshman season, you have a big path ahead of you with baseball and you don't want to jeopardize it playing football. So I listened to him. Sophomore year rolled around and I didn't play football and regretted it. Junior year rolled around, didn't play football and regretted it. And I was just sitting in the stands thinking [about how] I love football as well. It was really just getting to me. We had a new coach and I was going to be a senior. Come the first game of the season, I didn't play and I [thought] I can't sit in the stands my senior year and watch this. So the football coach let me come out and it was my first year of really playing football and I tore it up. I made All County. I made the All-Star team. And there were some colleges looking at me to play Division 1 football and it was my first year playing so I was pretty excited about that. [What did he play?] I played outside linebacker on defense and running back on offense."

Any regrets about picking baseball over football?: "Oh no, never, never. There's a lot of good that comes from playing college football and there's a ton of bad coming from it. I've seen those huge kids on TV. I for sure made the right decision to stay with baseball. Baseball's a sport I love. I've played it since I was two years old, three years old I was picking up a bat and swinging it so baseball's definitely where my heart is and football  was really for fun, but I love to watch it still."

On why he's not at the fall instructional league: "During the season, about halfway through, I tweaked something in my knee and I played with it until the end of the season. Finally I said something. I was at the doctor and the doctor was moving it around and he hit a certain spot and it felt like someone just stabbed me in the knee. The doctor actually wrote down that he thought it was a torn meniscus. So the next day I got an MRI. It turned out clean. Everything was clean, just my ligaments were all bruised up so the Astros decided to sit me out for instructs. I've been rehabbing my knee and working out a lot. I'm going to start running here soon to see how my knee is, but it was nothing big. Nothing to be scared about Astros nation!"

On his middle name: "My dad, his nickname was Maverick when he was younger, but it wasn't his real name. He told my mom when he had a son, he wanted [the] middle name to be Maverick. It's going to be a generation name for sure. My son's going to have it. His son's going to have it."

Lance wanted me to ask Brett who his best friend was from the 2012 draft class: "Hopefully Carlos and Rio don't read this (laughs). Me and Lance actually hang out. We've hung out already like three or four times because he lives [nearby] in Tampa. We're like really close. We're almost identical twins when it comes to everything. He's just a really good friend and I've known him since I was nine. But then you have Carlos and Rio who are also really good friends to me and I would do everything for all those guys."

What would he tell Astros fans?: "Don't give up on what we have coming. Just have faith and keep following the Astros. If you're a Houston native or Texas native, don't ever bandwagon over to the Yankees or the Red Sox because in the future you're going to be coming back to the Astros."

Talking to Brett completed my mental picture of this group of extremely talented young men. I refer to them as The Four Musketeers not just out of convenience, but also because the motto, "All for one and one for all" is most fitting to describe their friendship, camaraderie and support of each other. Carlos is intense and driven; Rio is a leader by example; Brett lives and plays with a joyful abandon; and Lance is the glue that holds it all together. It will be difficult for me to ever think of one without the others again. Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan - Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno!

Happy Birthday - 10/2

RHP Lance McCullers (19)
A first round supplemental pick by Houston in 2012, McCullers split his first professional season between the GCL Astros and the Greeneville Astros. Limited to a strict pitch count, he didn't see much action and he ended the season pitching only 26 innings with a 3.46 ERA, a 1.231 WHIP and 10.0 SO/9. Personally, having met Lance, I have to tell you that it's hard to believe that he's just turning 19. His social skills definitely make you think he's older than that!

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

3B Oswaldo Navarro (28)
Originally signed as a NDFA out of Venezuela by the Mariners in 2001, Navarro came to the Astros organization as a free agent in 2009.  He appeared in 14 games with the Astros in 2010 and had one hit and five walks in 20 at-bats. In 2012, he played in the Mets organization.

SS/3B Ernie Riles (52)
A third round draft pick by Milwaukee in 1981, Riles came to Houston as a free agent in January 1992. In 39 games for the Astros, he hit .262/.281/.328.

Manager Leo "the Lip" Durocher (died October 7, 1991 at 86)
Durocher managed the Astros for the final 31 games in 1972 and went on to manage Houston in 1973 at the end of his career. He compiled a 98-95 record with the Astros during those two seasons. During 24 years of managing, he went 2008-1709 with two pennants and one World Series title. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994 posthumously. Baseball-Reference has more on the very colorful Durocher here.

Tweet of the Day

Alex Todd

Studying for a midterm is worse than taking pre game in August

Monday, October 1, 2012

Fall and Winter League Rosters & Important Dates

2012 Important Dates and Participating Astros Players

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
10/9/12 - Opening Day
11/3/12 - Rising Star Game
11/17/12 - Championship Game

Mesa Solar Sox
MGR Rodney Linares
RHP Jarred Cosart
RHP Chia-Jen Lo
LHP Alex Sogard
RHP Nick Tropeano
*SS Jio Mier
1B Jon Singleton
OF Bobby Borchering
CF George Springer

*Taxi Squad

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE
10/14/12 - Opening Day
12/11/12 - All-Star Game
12/21/12 - Season Ends

Toros del Este
LHP Fernando Abad
SS Jose Fernandez
C Cristian Moronta

Gigantes del Cibao
**RHP Jose Cisnero
**RHP Rhiner Cruz
RHP Enerio del Rosario
**2B/OF Jimmy Paredes

Leones del Escogido
Pitching Coach Gary Ruby
RHP Jorge de Leon
OF Fernando Martinez

Aguilas Cibaenas
OF Emilio King
**SS Jonathan Villar

Tigres del Licey
RHP Juan Minaya
**OF Domingo Santana
2B Ruben Sosa
**RHP Jose Valdez
RHP Henry Villar

Estrellas de Oriente
Bench Coach Rodney Linares
**RHP Jose Trinidad

**Listed as Primary. All other players are listed as Secondary and not all players will necessarily get playing time.

MEXICAN PACIFIC WINTER LEAGUE
10/13/12 - Opening Day
11/22/12 - Second Half Starts
12/30/12 - Season Ends

Naranjeros de Hermosillo
**RHP Edgar Gonzalez

**Primary

NICARAGUAN WINTER LEAGUE
10/19/12 - Opening Day

Orientales de Granada
**C Marlon Avea

Tigres del Chinandega
**1B/OF Mesac Laguna

**Primary

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE
11/18/12 - Opening Day

Gigantes de Carolina
**LHP Xavier Cedeno
**C Carlos Corporan
**C Rene Garcia
**2B Enrique Hernandez
**C Jobduan Morales

Criollos de Caguas
**LHP Luis Cruz
1B/OF Edwin Gomez
**C Roberto Pena

Indios de Mayaguez
**SS Angel Sanchez (Free Agent)

Leones de Ponce
Pitching Coach Hector Mercado

**Primary

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE
10/11/12 - Opening Day
12/2/12 - All-Star Game
12/30/12 - Season Ends

Navagantes del Magallanes
**2B Jose Altuve
C Luis Alvarez
RHP Enderson Franco
**LHP Gabriel Garcia
**C Ernesto Genoves
**RHP David Martinez
OF Jose Monzon
**RHP Juri Perez
**RHP Carlos Quevedo

Leones del Caracas
#CF Brandon Barnes
**SS Marwin Gonzalez
**RHP Luis Ordosgoitti
**C Carlos Perez

Aguilas de Zulia
RHP Elieser Hernandez
SS Kristian Trompiz
**RHP Arcenio Leon
SS Arturo Michelena

Tigres de Aragua
**2B Jose Martinez

Caribes de Anzotegui
Third Base Coach Omar Lopez

**Primary
#Import

Happy Birthday - 10/1

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

3B Chris Johnson (28)
Drafted by Houston in the fourth round in 2006, Johnson played for the Astros starting in 2009 and ending with his trade to the Diamondbacks in July of 2012. In 304 games, he had a .274/.314/.421 batting line with 64 doubles, eight triples and 26 home runs, 8 of which were in the 2012 season prior to the trade.

Tweet of the Day

Brady Rodgers

Last year I offered football fans to hop on the texans band wagon..your time has passed and that option is no longer available

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Birthday - 9/30

RHP Carlos Quevedo (23)
Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2006, Quevedo started the season in Lexington and ended it as an integral part of the Lancaster bullpen as they pursued a wild card berth. In 15 appearances with Lancaster, he had a 2.03 ERA and a 1.065 WHIP. For the season, he was 6-7 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.085 WHIP in 40 appearances over 86 and two-thirds innings. He struck out 96 while walking only 16.

Four former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Robin Roberts (died May 6, 2010 at age 83)
Roberts came to Houston as a free agent in August 1965 and pitched in 23 games (22 starts) for the Astros in 1965 and 1966. Roberts compiled an 8-7 record with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.146 WHIP. His best years were those spent with the Phillies for whom he was an All-Star in seven straight seasons. An astounding statistic in this day and age is that of Roberts' 609 career starts, 305 of them were complete games. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.

3B/1B Dave Magadan (50)
Originally drafted by the Mets in the second round in 1983, Magadan signed with Houston as a free agent in April 1995. In 127 games for the Astros that season, Magadan hit a rather healthy .313/.428/.399 with 24 doubles and 71 walks.

RHP Jose "Lima Time" Lima (died May 23, 2010 at age 37)
Lima came to the Houston organization in a December 1996 trade with Detroit and pitched for the Astros from 1997 until he was traded back to Detroit in a June 2001 trade. In 167 games (111 starts) for Houston, he was 46-42 with a 4.77 ERA and a 1.328 WHIP. He had his greatest success for Houston in 1998 and his All-Star season of 1999 when he went 21-10 in his 35 starts.

LHP Yorkis Perez (45)
Perez came to Houston in a March 2000 trade with the Phillies for LHP Trever Miller and pitched in 33 games for the Astros with a 2-1 record, a 5.16 ERA and a 1.721 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

brandon meredith

Good week of baseball... Have the rest of today off as well as tomorrow... It's time for