Happy Birthday to ~
RHP Raul Rivera (22)
Drafted in the 37th round in 2009 out of high school in Puerto Rico, Rivera only pitched in 1.2 innings in 2010 and did not play in 2011 at all. In 2012, however, he pitched 36 innings in 12 games (six starts) with a 2-1 record, a 2.00 ERA and a 1.111 WHIP for the GCL Astros.
RHP Zachary Grimmett (23)
Drafted in the 28th round out of high school in Oklahoma in 2008, Grimmett repeated at Lancaster in 2012. The predominately flyball pitcher had an 8.21 ERA and a 1.776 WHIP in 23 games (10 starts).
RHP Mark Hamburger (26)
Originally signed as an amateur free agent by Minnesota in 2007, Hamburger came to Houston as a waiver claim from San Diego in 2012. In 17 appearances at Oklahoma City in 2012, he was 1-1 with a 4.71 ERA and a 1.571 WHIP.
LHP Colton Cain (22)
An eighth round draft pick by the Pirates in 2009, Cain came to Houston in the July 2012 Wandy Rodriguez trade. In seven starts for Lancaster, he was 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA and a 1.654 WHIP.
Former Astros with birthdays today ~
OF Norm Miller (67)
Drafted by Houston from the Angels in the 1964 first-year draft, Norm Miller didn't exactly put up Hall of Fame numbers in his nine seasons (1965-1973) for Houston with a .240/.322/.355 batting line, but the converted second baseman (some guy named Joe Morgan had that job) does have some interesting stories to tell about his life in baseball. His 2009 book To All My Fans From Norm Who? is more of a collection of anecdotes than a real memoir, but for any Astros fan, those anecdotes constitute a nice glimpse of the early days of the Astros organization.
OF Lee Thomas (77)
Thomas came to Houston in a February 1968 trade and played in 90 games for the Astros toward the end of his career, hitting .194/.249/.229. His best season was his All-Star year in 1962 when he played for the Angels. Thomas was the GM of the Phillies from 1988 to 1997 and was followed by some guy named Ed Wade.
Also, Happy Birthday to the naming inspiration for my blog, former Astros Scouting Director Bobby Heck.