Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy Birthday - 10/1

3B Chris Johnson (27)
Drafted in the 4th round in 2006 out of Stetson University, Chris was unable to duplicate his success from 2010 in which he posted a .308/.337/.481/.818 line.  In 2011 he had a slow start but picked things up considerably in June, only to backslide in July.  Following a stint at OKC, Chris came back to Houston with the September call-ups and finished the year off nicely with a .314 BA in September.  Overall for 2011, Chris posted a .251/.291/.378/.670 line with a very respectable .281 BA with runners in scoring position.

2B Josh Magee (20)
An 18th round pick in 2010, this Alabama native had an excellent year at Greeneville, with a .283 BA and a .346 OBP.  He hit a gaudy .376 in August, thanks in large part to a string of 12 hits in 12 straight AB's in the middle of the month.  He hit .306 against lefties and .277 against right-handed pitchers.

Tweet Followup

And the doctor (Jimmy VanOstrand) wins this round edging out Bobby Doran by picking Tigers in 5.  Nobody thought Cardinals/Phillies would go 5 or that the Cardinals would ultimately prevail.

Let's see who has the best predictions.
Jimmy VanOstrand
Here's my picks... in 4 in 5 in 4 in 5 gonna be a great postseason!!

Bobby Doran
Got my predictions ready: Rangers in 4, Tigers in 4, Phils in 4, and Brewers in 5!

Jarred Cosart
Ok fans here we go I got rays in 4 Yankees in 4 since tigers have Verlander lol Phillies In 3 and brewers in 4

Roster Moves - 9/30/11

Baseball America is reporting that RHP David Martinez who played most recently for Lexington has re-signed with the Astros.

Friday, September 30, 2011

October Birthdays

The following current or future Astros have birthdays in October.  Age given is age as of October birthday.

The 40-Man Dilemma - Part II

As I noted in my post yesterday, the Astros 40-Man Roster is full to overflowing at this point.  I included the stats for those players (all pitchers) on the 40-Man who weren't on the active roster at season end.  Today I will post stats for both pitchers and position players who will be eligible in the Rule 5 draft this December.  I am using the list established by farmstros as I only researched those players who will be newly eligible this year.

First the pitchers:

And now the position players:

Of these players, I think most of us will agree that Paul Clemens and Kody Hinze should probably be protected.  Clemens numbers are inflated by a really bad outing in OKC in which he gave up 8 runs over 4.2 innings.  At Corpus, he posted a 2.35 ERA over 5 starts.  Kody Hinze, of course, opened a lot of eyes this season with a .306 BA and 29 homeruns.  He would only be subject to the AAA phase of the draft, and I'm sure some team would be happy to keep him on their AAA club for the season.

But another player I would protect is Dayan Diaz.  He would be subject to the AA phase of the Rule 5 draft and it would only cost $4000 for some team to put him on their AA roster for the year.  Not only did Diaz have a terrific season, he also was named as a Baseball America short-season All-Star so he is definitely on the radar.

It will be interesting to see the choices that are made over the next few weeks as the deadline for finalizing rosters approaches.

In case you missed it, here is the information on how the Rule 5 draft works.

Happy Birthday - 9/30

RHP Carlos Quevedo (22)
Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela in 2006, he first played in the VSL in 2007.  After working his way up through Greeneville and Tri-City, he spent the 2011 season in Lexington where he went 8-6 in 26 starts with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.404 WHIP.  Most impressive is his 5.79 SO/BB ratio which is actually down from the prior two years.

OF Kelvin Vizcaino (19)
Originally from New York City, Vizcaino was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010 and first played in the DSL that year before playing for the GCL Astros this season for 29 games.  In splitting his time between left field and center field, he posted a line of .244/.319/.366/.685.

Four former Astros with birthdays today:

RHP Robin Roberts (died May 6, 2010 at age 83)
Played for the Astros in 1965 and 1966

3B Dave Magadan (49)
Played for the Astros in 1995

RHP Jose "Lima Time" Lima (died May 23, 2010 at age 37)
Played for Houston from 1997 to 2001

LHP Yorkis Perez (44)
Played for Houston in 2000

Tweet of the Day

Astros County
"And hopefully, by 2013, we'll blow it all to hell" RT : bud selig: "only baseball could have produced a night like that.''

Roster Moves - 9/29/11

Astros activated the 6 players from the 40-Man Roster who were not already on the active roster:
RHP Jose Valdez
RHP Arcenio Leon
LHP Fernando Abad
RHP Blake King
RHP Jorge de Leon
RHP Henry Villar

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The 40-Man Dilemma - Part I

If you haven't looked at the Astros 40-Man Roster recently, you may have missed the fact that it has gotten very crowded.  There are currently 40 players on the roster plus 4 players tucked away on the 60-day disabled list that don't count against the 40 ... for now.

Eventually, the Astros will have to activate Jason Castro.  Arguably, they will want Sergio Escalona back so they will have to make room for him.  Both Brandon Lyon and Alberto Arias are wild cards - they may or may not be activated depending on their health, but at least Lyon is a probable yes.

We can probably assume that Jason Michaels will be gone next year, so that's one spot.  And, with Castro healthy, you could conceivably erase two out of the three current catchers from the 40-man roster, particularly with Downs being groomed to do more catching.

But what about the players taking up roster spots that weren't on the active roster at the end of the season?  Let's take a look at their 2011 numbers.  If they spent time in both major and minor league levels, I included both sets of stats.

As the November deadline approaches for setting rosters prior to the Rule 5 draft in December, it will be interesting to see if all of these players remain on the 40-Man.

In Part II, which will be published tomorrow, we'll look at the 2011 stats for those players who aren't currently on the 40-Man roster who will be eligible to be drafted in the Rule 5 draft.

RIP 2011 Astros Season

Note:  This was written before the final game of the season.

It doesn't take a sabermetrician to know that the Astros aren't really a 105 loss team.  If you do want to look at Pythagorean expectation which accounts for luck or the lack thereof, the Astros should have lost 98 games.  But reading higher level math formulas generally makes my brain bleed.

I would prefer to look at what happened with four individual players this season to help explain what happened.

Brett Myers
Myers had a lifetime win percentage of .550 before this season.  This season he had a .350 win percentage.  He had a bad year.  The .550 lifetime win percentage would have translated into 4 fewer losses.

J.A. Happ
Happ had a lifetime win percentage of .678 before this season.  This season he had a .286 win percentage.  Even though many thought he was due for a regression, I don't think they expected this much of a regression.  If you use his win percentage of .556 for Houston last season, he would have 6 fewer losses, 8 fewer losses if you go with his lifetime win percentage.

Brandon Lyon
Brandon Lyon converted 50% of his save opportunities this year; his lifetime save conversion rate before this year was 75% which would translate into 2 fewer losses.

Wilton Lopez
Last season, Wilton was 5-2.  He issued 5 walks and allowed 1 of 33 inherited runners to score.  This year, he was 2-6.  He issued 17 walks and allowed 16 of 34 inherited runners to score.  This one is harder to quantify, but if you look at his first half stats when he was struggling (1-4 with 13 walks) vs. his second half stats when he was more like his 2010 self (1-2 with 4 walks), I think you could safely erase 2 losses from that column if Wilton had performed more like he did in 2010.

This is entirely unscientific and I'm certain that the sabermetricians are rolling their eyes, but if these four individuals had performed even close to their prior success, we could be looking at 14-16 fewer losses and a record of 70-91 to 72-89 going into the final game of the season.  And we would be saying, "Well, that's not bad at all for a team in rebuilding mode."

Many things did not go well for the Astros in 2011, but they weren't as bad as their record.  And now, for the first time in a long time, reinforcements are on the way.  Our farm system is gradually getting stronger.  We will get the #1 draft pick in 2012.  And we will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and try to learn something from a very painful season.

Happy Birthday - 9/29

RHP Kyle Greenwalt (23)
Drafted by the Astros in the 20th round in 2007 out of high school, this Pennsylvania native split his time between Lancaster and Corpus Christi this season.  In 95.1 innings pitched, he was 5-11 with a 6.33 ERA and a 1.469 WHIP.  His numbers improved somewhat in the second half of the season, but he'll need to show improvement with runners in scoring position.

One former Astro with a birthday today

LHP Jim Crawford (61)
Pitched for Houston in 1973 and 1975

Bonus Tweet of the Day

Jiovanni Mier
Baseball at it's finest! You can't script what just happened!! If that doesn't make you love baseball, you have issues

Tweet of the Day

Ryan Rowland-Smith
and Astros fans should be excited about all the good young talent they got this year, 2 yrs of seasoning they'll be studs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jason Chowning Update

Houston tomorrow for MRI.
Jason posted this on Monday.  He was understandably nervous as this very promising pitcher was getting an MRI to check on a possible torn labrum.  Via twitter on Wednesday, he confirmed to me that he does have a small tear.  The good news is that it's not torn through and the doctor is recommending rehab and not surgery and deemed it "fixable."  Jason posted terrific numbers in relief for the Legends this season.  We all wish him well as he works through this injury.

This and That

There has been a lot going on lately and I wanted to make sure nobody missed out on some of the recent postings.

First, please look over the Astros MiLB Lefty Starters info and vote in the poll for the WTH 25-Man Roster.

Next, you might have missed this contact info and sample letter to Drayton and Bud about the contemplated move to the American League.  I encourage everyone to write, e-mail, fax, etc.

Also, farmstros has posted a list of players eligible for the Rule 5 draft and I posted a recap of what Rule 5 says as well as a link to the Professional Baseball Agreement so you can see for yourself.

Finally, Appy Astros has been kicking it today with information about voting on some of the Astros MiLB players for play/game of the year and some great info on Outfield Assist Leaders in the Astros minor league affiliates.

Happy Birthday - 9/28

RHP Danilo Del Rio (21)
Signed as a non-drafted free agent from Columbia in 2007, Danilo first played in the VSL in 2008.  After being used primarily as a starter in the previous 2 seasons, Danilo was used almost exclusively in the bullpen in long relief in 2011, his first season at Greeneville.  In 17 appearances, he was 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.704 WHIP.

LHP Javier Saucedo (18)
2011 was Javier's first season in the Astros organization, having been signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Panama in 2010.  In 12 appearances out of the bullpen with the DSL Astros, he was 1-0 with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.925 WHIP, but he had shown much improvement as he posted a 7.30ERA/2.351WHIP Pre All-Star and a 1.80 ERA/1.4 WHIP Post All-Star.

RHP Michael Feliz (18)
Feliz is just turning 18 and he already has two professional seasons behind him.  Signed as a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2010, he started for the DSL Astros last season and moved to the GCL Astros this season where he went 0-3 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP over 10 starts.  He showed good improvement over the season.  His BA against was .324 in June, .307 in July and .218 in August, and his ERA reflected that improvement as well.

Five former Astros with birthdays today

1B Dick Gernert (83)
Played for the Colt 45's in 1962

PH Gene Ratliff (66)
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 (48)
One of the coneheads, he pitched for Houston from 1985 to 1987 and in 1990

C Ronn Reynolds (53)
Catcher for the fictional Sidd Finch, he played for Houston in 1987

C Hector Gimenez (29)
Played in 2 games for Houston in 2006

Tweet of the Day

Bud Norris
Blessed to do what I do. Thank you Naomi.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Professional Baseball Agreement

I was working on a piece on the Rule 5 draft and who might be affected for later in the week.  In the meantime, farmstros has published a tentative list of those players who may be taken in the Rule 5 draft if not protected.  I think that from my reading of the rules Brett Oberholtzer will not be subject to the draft until next year, but I imagine that is why it's called a tentative list as the rules are very convoluted.

A copy of the full Professional Baseball Agreement can be found here.  The section regarding Rule 5 starts on page 63 and the Rule 5 eligibility starts on page 65.

The main gist (as I read it) as to who may be eligible for the first time this year would be those players who:

1.  Signed after June 5th in 2007, and were 18 or younger as of the June 5th immediately preceding the signing (those who were born on June 5th 1989 or later); or

2.  Signed after June 5th in 2008, and were 19 or older as of the June 5th immediately preceding the signing (those who were born on June 5th, 1989 or earlier).

There are, of course, other factors.  If the player signs after the end of the season for the team to which he is assigned but before the winter meetings, they gain an extra year (so it is extremely important to know when a NDFA actually signed).  If a player is released and then re-signed by the same club within a year of being released (such as was the case with David Duncan), they will be eligible to be drafted.  And so on.

If you have a little extra time on your hands and want to read the whole 274 pages of the Professional Baseball Agreement, just click on the link above.

Meeting the Players

Sunday was my second photo day with the Astros so I had met quite a few of them and had already formed impressions of many of them.  But there were so many of them that were new, it was a great deal of fun for me and most of them got into it as well.  Some general notes and impressions ...

Barmes is really a good guy and badly wants to come back next year.  We talked briefly about our mutual admiration of Adam Everett's defensive prowess.  When I mentioned that his bat was better than Everett's, he told me that he was really working hard to get better offensively.  He came across as very sincere and very committed and very humble.

I did get to see and talk very briefly with the Corpus Christi triad (Martinez, Altuve and Paredes).  I talked to Martinez and asked him why he didn't tweet any more and he said something to the effect that one bad tweet spoiled it all for him.  All three seemed to be having fun and taking it in stride.  Martinez seemed quiet and gentle, while Altuve in particular had a definite swagger to him.

Wallace was more relaxed than last year. Chris Johnson looked a little less uncomfortable with it than last year.  And Brett Myers sped through the process as quickly as humanly possible giving off the impression that he would rather have a root canal, just like last year.

Jordan Lyles seemed a little shy.  Bourgois and I became fast friends.  Bud was his normal crazy charming self.  Pendleton was thrilled to be back in Houston.  Wesley Wright was shaking hands and introducing himself, "Wesley Wright, good to meet you," like a politician.  Lee was very affable and good-natured. Fernando Rodriguez was very quiet and polite.

But there's always got to be one in the bunch.  I took an instant dislike to Lindstrom last year.  This year it was Schafer.  He was too important to be bothered with going down the line like everyone else.  He went up to maybe one in every 30 people and deigned to have his photo taken.  You'd better be hitting more than .240 if you want to take that attitude son.

I got a laugh out of Clark when I told him, "Hold Lee; send Altuve."  I talked a bit with Brocail, who I simply love because he makes me feel like a petite little flower.  He is a big man with a huge head.  From my conversation with him and another that I overheard, he really wants to come back next season, but he has to clear it with "Mom" first, referring to his wife.

I got pretty good reactions from Sosa, Shuck and Corporan when I teased them about their outfits for the rookie road trip.  When I told Sosa that he looked pretty good in his outfit with his guns on display, he high-fived me.  Carpenter wasn't as happy to have been seen in his ensemble by anyone outside the clubhouse.  The word to use might be mortified, actually.

And everyone seemed upbeat about the Astros prospects.  They know that they are better than they played this season and the coaches feel that too.  They haven't let this year grind them down.  At all.

Only caught brief glances of most of the rest, except for two.  Wilton Lopez and Sergio Escalona were having so much fun together, clowning and laughing all the way down the line.  And they were inseparable.  No use even trying to get a picture with just one of them.  They both had to be in the picture.  They were like mischievous 10-year old best buddies, having fun and looking for trouble.  It was enjoyable all around, but watching them had to be the highlight.

Happy Birthday - 9/27

RHP Jamaine Cotton (21)
Originally from the Virgin Islands, Jamaine was drafted in the 15th round in 2010 out of Western Oklahoma State University.  In his second season with the Astros organization, he went 6-2 in 10 starts between Greeneville and Tri-City, with a combined ERA of 4.76 and WHIP of 1.535.  He is currently participating in the Fall Instructional League.

Two former Astros have birthdays today

UT IF Gary Sutherland (67)
Played for Houston in 1972 and 1973

RHP Doug Konieczny (60)
Played for Houston in 1973 to 1975 and in 1977

Tweet(s) of the Day

Astros County
Join us...or die RT : Your life is messed up when you find yourself having to root for friggin' Astros in late September.
Yeah.  What he said!

Zachary Levine
I wish there were a fifth playoff team so this could be interesting. #$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Yeah.  What he said too!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Letter to Drayton and Bud

This is a letter I'm sending off today.  Feel free to use all or part of it in any letters or e-mails you might send.

September 26, 2011

Mr. Drayton McLane
501 Crawford Street
Houston, TX  77002

Mr. Allen H. Selig, Commissioner
Major League Baseball
245 Park Avenue
, 31st Floor
New York, New York  10167

Dear Sirs:

Let me cut to the chase.  Moving the Astros to the American League is simply a disastrous idea. 

First of all, there is the tradition.  Houston is about to celebrate its 50th season as a club, all of those years as a National League team.  Before that, Houston had history as a farm town for the Cardinals, also a National League team.  We’ve had rivalries throughout the years with the Dodgers, the Phillies, the Mets, the Braves and the Cardinals that are a part of our history as a team.  We all have those memories and we cherish them.  Baseball is nothing without history and tradition.

Secondly, if anyone actually believes that attendance will go up at Minute Maid Park in conjunction with such a move, I think that he or she is seriously deluded.  Yes, you may pack them in with the one time a year that the Yankees and Red Sox come to town.  But if you really think that the Angels, Mariners, A’s and Rangers are going to draw as well as the Cardinals, Cubs, Braves, Dodgers, Mets, Giants and Phillies, I think that you are dead wrong.

Next, television viewership will go way down … partly because people in Houston would rather see an Astros-Cubs matchup than an Astros-A’s matchup, but mostly because of the number of games played on the West Coast.  But even then, I would stay up to watch an Astros-Dodgers game or an Astros-Giants game, but not one at Anaheim or Seattle.

Finally, there is no rivalry between the Astros and the Rangers, and Astros fans are not interested in creating one no matter how hard the Astros marketing department has tried to create one.  Nobody that I know cares a flip about the stupid boot.  And I would hate for our players to have to play more games in that non-roofed oven in Arlington.

If a change must be made, the Diamondbacks are the logical team to move to the American League.  At 14 seasons, they are a very young franchise.  I know that this would likely result in moving the Astros to the National League West, but I think most fans can live with that.  We won’t be wild about the additional West Coast start times, but we have history in the NL West and, if a move must be made, that would be the more palatable option for the fans.

Many Astros fans feel strongly about this, but after the last season or two, we are simply numb.  We understand the need for re-building but we haven’t forgotten the mistakes that brought us to this place.  We’re excited about the young players coming up through the system and we know, at least intellectually, that things will indeed get better.  But to push through this move to the AL right now smacks of kicking the fans while they’re down.  We should be rewarded for our patience, not punished for supporting a team in transition.

I will leave you with this quote from Ken Burns:

“Nothing in our daily life offers more of the comfort of continuity, the generational connection of belonging to a vast and complicated American family, the powerful sense of home, the freedom from time's constraints, and the great gift of accumulated memory than does our National Pastime.”

Please don’t take away our memories.

WTH 25-Man Roster - Lefty Starter

As posted over the weekend, 1B Jonathan Singleton was the second player picked for the WTH roster.  Go here for more info on the What the Heck 25-Man Roster.

Today, let's pick a Lefty Starter.  As I did with our first right-handed starter, I picked only lefties used primarily as starting pitchers who had a minimum of 120 IP for full-season teams and a minimum of 50 IP for short-season teams.  I included Xavier Cedeno even though he was converted to a reliever later in the season because he was very effective as a starter and even though he is currently at the major league level.  If any player on the WTH roster makes the MLB club out of Spring Training, we will replace that player.

With that said, we don't have as many choices, but they are all worthy of the WTH 25.  I was able to see several of Keuchel's starts on and I was immediately struck by his composure on the mound.  He seems very much in control.  On paper I am quite impressed with Kyle Hallock's performance.  Van Hekken had good results with his 9-6 record.  And, as stated earlier, Cedeno was quite good as a starter at Corpus before he made the switch to relief.  Not an easy task, but please look over the numbers and vote.

Just Say No to the American League

Greg Lucas tweeted an article today that told us Drayton McLane has received virtually no letters (or presumably e-mails) objecting to the possible move of the Astros to the American League.  If you are against this move, which you should be if you have been an Astros fan for any but the shortest amount of time, here is the information on contacting the Astros via e-mail, snail mail or phone:

Mailing Address:
501 Crawford St.
Houston, TX 77002
Phone Number:
(713) 259-8000

In addition, here is an address, phone and fax number for Bud Selig.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
Address: 245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
City: New York, State: NY Zip Code: 10167
Phone: 212-931-7800
Fax: 212-949-5654

Courtesy of @CockroachMLB via twitter, here is Jim Crane's office address.

Mr. Jim Crane
Crane Capital Advisors
4409 Montrose Blvd. Suite 200
Houston, TX  77006-5859

Also, courtesy of @KeepHoustonInNL on twitter, an on-line petition to Bud Selig has been set up here.


Here's another petition to sign.
If you do not think that the Astros should be moved to the American League, please take a moment to phone, fax or e-mail.  Thank you!

Happy Birthday - 9/26

Two former Astros with birthdays today

LHP Bobby Shantz (86)
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 1935.2 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 8 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.

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 bat, reliever 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."

For more on Gedman, I recommend the full article:

Tweet of the Day

OK, so this wasn't from yesterday -- it was from last weekend in Chicago on the rookie road trip, but bear with me on the reason this is my tweet of the day.

Yesterday I was at the fan appreciation photo op day with the players.  The last guy I met was David Carpenter.  I had teased several of the players about their outfits for the rookie hazing so I commenced to tease Carpenter as well, asking him how well that outfit would go over in his native West Virginia.  Carpenter started to laugh and then said, "You saw those pictures?  Where did you see those pictures?"  I told him that Alyson Footer had posted some and that I had seen one of him in the clubhouse that Bud had tweeted.  That would be the one below.

The last I saw of Carpenter ... he was on his way to kill Bud Norris.

Bud Norris
Chick-a-Dee. Lol. Choke the chicken Carpenter.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

WTH 25-Man Roster

The second player selected to the What the Heck 25-Man Roster was 1B Jonathan Singleton. He won by a comfortable margin although Chase Davidson wasn't too far behind.  Also receiving votes were James Van Ostrand, Kody Hinze, Koby Clemens and Tyler Burnett.  (For more information on the WTH 25-Man Roster, go here.)

Coming Monday - Let's pick a lefty starter.

Happy Birthday - 9/25

LHP Geronimo Franzua (18)
Yes, it is one of the cooler names in the Astros minor league system.  Franzua, despite going 0-6 in his debut season with the DSL Astros, did pretty well, particularly considering that he was only 17.  Over 10 starts, this non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic, pitched 39.1 innings with a 4.12 ERA.

Four former Astros have birthdays today:

UT IF Ray Busse (63)
Played for Houston in 1971 and again in 1973 and 1974

RHP Mike Stanton (59)
Played for Houston in 1975

RHP Ron Mathis (53)
Played for Houston in 1985 and again in 1987

RHP David Weathers (42)
Played for Houston in 2004

Tweet of the Day

Zachary Levine
Astros-Rockies recognized by MLB as 200,000th regular season game. Ranks in the top 80,000 for me so far.