Happy Birthday to ~
RHP Francis Ramirez (21)
Ramirez was signed by Houston as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic and first played for the DSL Astros in 2009. In 2012, he started 13 games for the Greeneville Astros with a 5-4 record, a 4.05 ERA and a 1.463 WHIP. His 10.0 SO/9 for 2012 was the highest of his career so far.
OF Mesac Laguna (21)
A non-drafted free agent from Nicaragua, Laguna has now played three seasons with the DSL Astros. In 2012, he compiled a .248/.315/.374 batting line with 13 doubles and six home runs in 68 games. Against lefties, he hit .338/.395/.515.
Former Astros with birthdays today
2B/OF Casey Candaele (52)
Obtained from the Montreal Expos in a trade for Mark Bailey, Casey Candaele played for Houston from 1988 to 1993, hitting .249/.311/.338 in 512 games. His mother, Helen Callaghan, played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, giving Casey the distinction of being a part of the only mother/son combination ever to play professional baseball. Casey liked to keep things loose. In case you missed this interview from 2011, Casey talks about naked batting practice, the Moneyball movie and more. And then there was the break-dancing at the Astros Wives Gala. You may also enjoy this Jayson Stark column from 2000 in which Casey reveals his dream to join the Latvian ski-jump team.
1B/OF Mike Simms (46)
A sixth round draft pick by the Astros in 1985, Simms played in 181 games for Houston from 1990 to 1992 and in 1994 to 1996, hitting .219/.298/.388. He went on to play for the Rangers from 1997 to 1999, hitting .281/.352/.555 in 149 games.