Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall and Winter League Updates


Scottsdale over Salt River 9-5
Kody Hinze was 2-4 with a two-run home run, a strikeout and a fielding error.  Jacob Goebbert was 1-4 with a strikeout and a run scored.  Jason Castro was 0-3, reached on a fielder's choice and a walk, was caught stealing and was charged with two passed balls.  Jason Stoffel worked two innings with one hit, one run, two walks and two strikeouts (one against Bryce Harper).  Salt River leads the AFL east by four games.

A rematch between Salt River (14-8) and Scottsdale (7-13)


Toros over Estrellas 6-3
Anuery Rodriguez gave up two solo home runs in the first two innings pitched, but then settled in for Toros.  Over five innings, he gave up five hits, two runs, one walk and had three strikeouts.

Licey over Escogido 4-3
Anderson Hernandez was 0-4 for Licey.  For Escogido, Brett Wallace was 1-3 with a double and a run scored, while David Carpenter pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit and allowing one inherited runner to score.

Aguilas over Gigantes 7-5
Brian Bogusevic was 0-3 with a walk and a run scored for Aguilas and Jonathan Villar came in as a pinch runner and scored a run.  Jimmy Paredes went 1-2 with two walks, two runs scored and a stolen base for the Gigantes.


Aragua over Magallanes 3-1
Jose Altuve went 1-3 for the Magallanes.

Caribes over Lara 9-2
Oswaldo Navarro went 2-3 with a double, a two-run home run, a walk and an error, and provided Licey with the only two runs they were to score.

Margarita over Zulia 5-4 in 10 innings
Arcenio Leon pitched a third of an inning, giving up one hit, two runs and a walk in Zulia's loss.

November Birthdays

No birthdays today so here are all the birthdays for next month.

Ages shown are those as of the date of the player's birthday.

Tweet of the Day

Austin Wates
Man I wanna do that some day

Roster Moves - 10/28/11

C Craig Tatum claimed off waivers from Orioles and added to 40-man roster

OF Brandon Barnes re-signed and given an invite to spring training

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall and Winter League Updates


Surprise over Salt River 5-3
Jacob Goebbert was 2-4 with a doube, a strikeout and an error.  Josh Zeid pitched one inning and gave up one hit (a solo home run) and one run with a strikeout.  He was charged with a blown save.  Salt River still leads in the AFL East standings by five games.

Salt River (14-7) vs. Scottsdale (6-13) at 8:35 CST


Caracas over Zulia 6-3
For Caracas, Wladimir Sutil went 0-2 before being lifted for a pinch hitter.  Arcenio Leon pitched one inning for Zulia with one walk and two strikeouts.

La Guaira and Magallanes Game Postponed


Happy Birthday - 10/28

Only former Astros with birthdays today

RHP Mark Knudson (51)
Pitched in 11 games for Houston in 1985 and 1986

SS Tim Bogar (45)
Played in 392 games for Houston in 1997 through 2000
Had a .219 BA and .297 OBP for Houston
Had a .750 BA (3-4) in the 1999 NLDS

RHP Kirk Bullinger (42)
Pitched in 34 games for Houston in 2003 and 2004
Had a 6.28 ERA and a 1.397 WHIP

Tweets of the Day

Christopher Hicks
congrats on the little league world series. Did ya'll get a participation ribbon?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall and Winter League Updates


Salt River over Surprise 6-2
Jay Austin was 2-4 with a double, a two-out RBI, a walk, a strikeout and a run scored in Salt River's win.  Salt River is in first place in the AFL East by 5 games.

Salt River (14-6) vs. Surprise (14-5) at 2:35 CST


Magallanes over Aragua 8-1
Jose Altuve was 2-3 with a double, a walk, a strikeout, two runs scored and a stolen base for the Magallanes team.

LaGuaira over Lara 5-3
Oswaldo Navarro was 0-3 with a walk for Lara.


Licey over Gigantes 5-2
Anderson Hernandez had a good night, going 2-3 with a double, an RBI, a walk and a strikeout for Licey while Sammy Gervacio pitched 0.2 innings and gave up one hit with a strikeout.  For the Gigantes team, Jimmy Paredes was 1-4 with three strikeouts and two errors while starting at second base again.  Erick Abreu pitched one inning with two hits and three runs (none earned) and was charged with the loss for the Gigantes.

Aguilas over Toros 5-2
Brian Boguesevic was 2-4 with a solo homer, a strikeout and a stolen base for Aguilas.  Jonnathan Aristil pitched 0.1 innings for the Toros and gave up two hits; unfortunately, both of those hits were solo home runs.

Estrellas over Escogido 5-2
Brett Wallace had an 0-4 night for Escogido while Jorge de Leon pitched one inning with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts.

Happy Birthday - 10/27

3B Darwin Rivera (20)
A non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic, Rivera first played for the DSL Astros in 2010 in only one game.  In 2011, he played in 12 games for DSL before getting promoted to Greeneville where he finished out the season.  At Greeneville, he only hit .224 after hitting .333 in the Dominican, but he did show some pop in the bat with 14 doubles and five home runs for the season.

One former Astro with a birthday today

LHP Eric Bell (48)
Pitched in 10 games for Houston in 1993

Bonus Tweet of the Day

Jimmy VanOstrand
Thanks everybody for all the support! What an amazing ride, fun to be a part of

Tweet of the Day

Ryan Rowland-Smith

What should I be for Halloween? Any ideas?

Drew Locke
Burt hooten

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saving Brett Myers from Bad Juju

So, I'm on my computer doing this and that and the doorbell rings.  I glance out the front window and it's the UPS truck.  I rack my brain and I can't think of a thing that I've ordered recently so I open the door and look down and there's this largish package there.  Then it dawns on me that it's the Astros bobbleheads I pre-ordered as a season ticket holder this year.  (I love me a good bobblehead and I don't like standing in line to get them so I paid for them, sucker that I am.)

I really wanted to get the Brett Myers one out and I was having a terrible time getting it out of the box.  I finally got it out of the box and then I couldn't separate the plastic packaging.  It just didn't want to come apart.  I finally forced it apart and then I see something drop and I hear this click as something hits the floor.  It's Brett Myers' arm.  His right arm.  This cannot be a good omen.

I immediately get out the superglue because I'm trying to erase the bad juju of having Brett Myers' right arm fall off on my watch.  I put the dab of superglue on his arm, place it in his sleeve and count to 20 while the superglue takes.  Then I let the arm go and it's in place.  Phew.  It's all good.  I didn't break Brett Myers.  No harm. No foul.

And then I put it down.  Or I tried to.  A tiny speck of superglue had dropped on to my right ring finger and it was now attached to the base of Brett Myers.  Every household absolutely must have fingernail polish remover in their inventory.  I don't care if you're a guy and you've never painted your nails in your life.  Fingernail polish remover is the only thing that came between me and a very uncomfortable evening.

Brett is now happily ensconced on the Astros memorabilia shelf with the other bobbleheads and signed balls.  I think I'll wait until tomorrow to open the rest.

Yeah, Brett, I know how you feel!

Fall and Winter League Updates


Salt River over Phoenix 4-3
Despite giving up a 2-run home run, Dallas Keuchel put in a strong five innings, giving up two hits, two runs and no walks with one strikeout.  He had ten ground-outs to three fly-outs.  Josh Zeid pitched the sixth and got the win.  He allowed two hits, no walks and had one strikeout.  Jason Castro was 1-3 with a walk, a strikeout and a run scored as he slowly tries to get back in the swing of things.  Kody Hinze continued to struggle, managing only one single in four AB's with a strikeout.

Salt River (13-6) vs. Surprise (14-4) at 2:35 CST


Lara over La Guaira 7-2
Oswaldo Navarro went 2-4 and scored two runs in Lara's win.

Magallanes over Zulia 5-3
Jose Altuve went 1-4 with a solo home run and an error while Gabriel Garcia successfully stranded two runners and got his one batter out in 0.1IP for the Magallanes team.


Licey over Aguilas 5-1
Anderson Hernandez was 1-4 with a run scored for Licey while Henry Villar pitched 1.1 innings and gave up one hit, no runs and no walks.  Brian Bogusevic was 0-4 with a strikeout for Aguilas.

Toros over Escogido 5-4
Brett Wallace went 0-3 with two RBI's and two strikeouts for Escogido and David Carpenter pitched 0.2 innings with no hits, no runs and a walk.

Gigantes over Estrellas 7-4
Jimmy Paredes, getting a start at second base, was a busy man in the Gigantes win.  He went 2-3 with a double, four RBI's, a run scored, a walk, a strikeout and a stolen base.  Erick Abreu, also with the Gigantes, pitched 0.2 innings giving up one hit and one walk with a strikeout.

Pan Am Games Final Update

Canada over U.S.A. 2-1
Canada won out over the U.S. team to earn the gold medal in a tight fast-paced game.  Andy Van Hekken pitched a great game for the U.S. team, going seven innings and giving up six hits, two runs and one walk with six strikeouts.  And Jimmy VanOstrand only got one hit, but that one hit proved to be a game-winner.  With two outs in the sixth, JVO hit a double and drove in two for the Canadian team.  Either team could have won this one, but this time Canada prevailed.  Both of the "Astro-Vans" can be proud of two well-played tournaments in Panama and Mexico over the last several weeks.  They represented their nations and the Astros organization very well.

Here's the story from Baseball America.  And here's the story from MiLB.

Tweets of the Day

Dallas Keuchel
I see you canadians taking gold from us. Damn you! Haha congrats man. Let frosty know I'm proud of you gangstas

Drew Locke
Congrats to on winning the gold medal! Clutch two out double in the sixth...

Shi Davidi
Cdn veteran Jimmy VanOstrand, who hit a 2-run double: “It’s unbelievable, a completely surreal experience. ...It’s pretty special.”

No tweets from the man himself.  Too busy celebrating, I suppose!

Happy Birthday - 10/26

We have no future or former Astros having birthdays today so I tried to find another player or two that had some tangential relationship to the Astros.  What I found was a trip down memory lane.

IF Steve Ontiveros (60)
Ontiveros played for the San Francisco Giants from 1973 to 1976 and for the Chicago Cubs from 1977 to 1980.  I stumbled across this play-by-play recap of a game between the Cubs and the Astros from June 17, 1978, in which Ontiveros appeared.  There is nothing monumental about this game or even particularly interesting, but all of the names brought back so many memories for me.  So I thought I would share it.

UT Mark Sweeney (42)
Sweeney spent 14 seasons in the majors playing for seven different teams.  It was a game in which he played for the Dodgers in August 2007 that caught my eye.  Sweeney was the goat of this game as the Astros prevailed.  These memories are more recent but the story creates some great visuals.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall and Winter League Updates


Phoenix over Salt River 4-1
Salt River never managed to put up much of a fight in this one.  They did get eight hits but could never string anything together for a big inning.  Kody Hinze went 0-4 with a strikeout and an error, and Jacob Goebbert only managed one single in his 1-4 outing.  Jason Stoffel got a bit of a tough luck loss.  He gave up the only two runs that Phoenix would need in the third inning, but actually did a nice Houdini impersonation in the fourth inning as he got out of a no-out, men on second and third situation unscathed.  In two innings pitched, he gave up four hits, two earned runs, two walks and had one strikeout.

Salt River (12-6) gets a chance to redeem themselves in a re-match with Phoenix (6-12) at 2:35 CST

The Caribbean Leagues all had the day off on Monday.

In case you missed this from yesterday, here are the cumulative stats through 10/24 for all Astros players participating in the Arizona Fall League or the Caribbean Winter Leagues.

Pan Am Games Update

U.S. over Cuba 12-10
The U.S. team won in a game that was closer than it should have been.  The U.S. led Cuba 12-4 going in to the sixth inning, but Cuba scored twice in the sixth, once in the seventh and three times in the eighth to make things a little too interesting for the U.S. team who advanced to the Gold Medal round with the win.

Canada over Mexico 5-3
Jimmy VanOstrand went 1-2 with three walks and a run scored.  Mexico took an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Team Canada shut them down after that.  Canada took the lead in the fifth inning and never looked back as they advanced to the Gold Medal round.

U.S. (3-1) vs. Canada (3-1) at 7:00 p.m.

I'm hoping that this match will feature the two Vans.  It is probable that Van Hekken will pitch for the U.S. team and it is almost certain that VanOstrand will start for Canada.

Happy Birthday - 10/25

Former Astros with birthdays today

RHP Danny "Dr. Death" Darwin a.k.a. The Bonham Bullet (56)
Nicknamed Dr. Death by teammate Nolan Ryan, Danny Darwin spent 21 seasons in the major leagues, playing for eight different teams.  For his career, he had a 3.84 ERA and a 1.268 WHIP.  Dr. Death was with Houston from 1986 to 1990 during which time he had a 47-35 record with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.164 WHIP.  His most successful season was 1990 when he led the National League in ERA, WHIP and BB/9.

From Wikipedia:

"It was a source of debate amongst Astros players and fans over who would win in a fight, Ryan or Darwin. Though Astros pitcher Bob Knepper attempted to set up a fight between the two during spring training in 1988, manager Hal Lanier stopped it before it could commence. Many experts, including Astros shortstop Rafael Ramirez, felt that Darwin would win because he "looked like someone no man would want to mess with.""

LHP Skip Guinn (67)
Pitched in 32 games for Houston in 1969 and 1971

Tweet of the Day

Jimmy VanOstrand
What a win!! 5-3 victory to head to the gold medal game vs USA tomorrow. Love playing with these guys!

Roster Moves - 10/24

According to a tweet from Alyson Footer, the following players (recently removed from the 40-man roster) have been re-signed by the Astros to minor league contracts:

RHP Jose Valdez
LHP Xavier Cedeno
RHP Alberto Arias

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall and Winter League Updates

Cumulative stats for all Astros players on rosters for the Arizona Fall League or Caribbean Winter League teams through 10/24.  If there are no stats, the player hasn't been in a game yet.

WTH 25-Man Roster - Lefty Relief Pitcher

As posted over the weekend, C Chris Wallace overwhelmingly won the sixth spot on the WTH roster.  Also receiving votes were Jordan Comadena, Roberto Pena, Ernesto Genoves and Marlon Avea.  Go here for more info on the What the Heck 25-Man Roster.

Next, let's pick our second relief pitcher, this time a lefty.  I picked LHP's who generally only pitched one inning per game (the actual cut-off was an average of 1.5 IP per appearance).  So these pitchers would be used primarily in the 7th and 8th innings or as LOOGY's.  The minimum number of appearances was 14.  I did not include Wesley Wright or Sergio Escalona because I think they are both likely to make the Houston team in the spring, but I did include Abad.  (We will be picking one or two long relievers/swing men later so if you aren't seeing a favorite, they may be showing up in that category.)

For me, the two strongest candidates are Garrett Bullock with his 3.25 ERA and Travis Blankenship with a 1.067 WHIP and a low .209 BA against.  But you can't completely ignore Fernando Abad with that terrific SO/BB ratio of 5.50.

As I did for right-handed relief pitchers, I'm going to do the polling a bit differently.  I'm going to allow votes for multiple players and then we'll recycle the runners-up in a later poll as we fill our last 2 or 3 bullpen positions.  Vote for your top three choices.  I'll put you on the honor system.

Fall and Winter League Updates

Sunday was an off-day for Arizona Fall League

Salt River (12-5) vs. Phoenix (5-12) at 2:35 CST


Magallanes over Aragua 2-1
Jose Altuve went 0-4 with a strikeout and a stolen base (his first) in Magallanes win.  Sergio Perez put together a terrific start for Aragua, pitching five innings with no hits, no runs, three walks and nine strikeouts.

Caracas over Lara 10-5
Oswaldo Navarro went 0-1 with three walks, a strikeout, a run scored and an error for Lara.

Zulia over Caribes 8-6
Arcenio Leon got the save (although he allowed two inherited runners to score) by facing three batters over two-thirds of an inning and allowing one hit for Zulia.


Licey over Aguilas 11-6
Anderson Hernandez went 3-6 with a solo home run, two runs scored, a strikeout and an error for Licey.  Also for Licey, Henry Villar pitched a third of an inning, facing three batters, with a hit and a strikeout and Sammy Gervacio retired his one batter with a fly out.   Brian Bogusevic went 0-4 with two strikeouts for Aguilas.

Estrellas over Gigantes 3-2
Jimmy Paredes went 1-4 and ground into a double play while Erick Abreu pitched 1.2 innings with one hit, one walk, two strikeouts and a hit batter for Gigantes.

Escogido over Toros 9-2
Brett Wallace went 1-3 with two walks, a strikeout and a run scored for Escogido while Aneury Rodriguez pitched one inning allowing two hits and a run with one strikeout.

All Caribbean League teams are off today.

Happy Birthday - 10/24

RHP Jose Perdomo (20)
Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Venezuela, Jose has played three seasons for the Astros organization.  In only five starts in 2011 at Greeneville (none after July 18th), he had an ERA of 9.00 which leads me to believe that there were injury issues.  In 2009 for the DSL Astros, he had a 3.64 ERA and a 1.043 WHIP and in 2010 for the GCL Astros, he had a 1.67 ERA and a 0.978 WHIP.  He is currently on the roster for the Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League, but has not pitched as of this writing.

Former Astro with a birthday today

RHP Mark Grant (48)
Pitched in 6 games for the Astros in 1993 with a 0.82 ERA and a 1.455 WHIP

Also, Darryl Robinson, hitting coach for Lancaster is 44 today.

Tweet of the Day

Awesome! I bought a pack of autographed cards, and got a George Springer rookie autographed card.

Let's try this one last time. George Springer autographed rookie card.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

WTH 25-Man Roster

The sixth player selected for the What the Heck 25-Man Roster was C Chris Wallace who, unsurprisingly, won the poll by a huge margin.  Also receiving votes were Jordan Comadena, Roberto Pena, Ernesto Genoves and Marlon Avea.  (For more information on the WTH 25-Man Roster, go here.)

Coming Monday - Let's pick our first lefty reliever.

Fall and Winter League Updates


Mesa over Salt River 9-2
Jay Austin got a single in the first AB of the game (and was promptly caught stealing) and that would be Salt River's only hit until the 5th inning, by which time Mesa was already up 6-0.  Austin went 1-4 and reached on an error and Jacob Goebbert was 0-3 with a walk and also reached on an error.

No games today


Magallanes over Lara 5-4
Jose Altuve went 2-5 with two RBI's while Gabriel Garcia got his one batter with a strikeout for Magallanes. Oswaldo Navarro went 2-5 with a double and a strikeout for Lara.


Escogido over Gigantes 6-2
Brett Wallace went 0-4 with a walk and a strikeout while David Carpenter pitched 1.2 innings with four hits, one earned run and three strikeouts for Escogido.  Jimmy Paredes went 0-4 with a strikeout for the Gigantes.

Aguilas over Estrellas 14-2
Brian Bogusevic went 2-3 with an RBI and a walk and scored two runs for Aguilas while Jonathan Villar went 1-5 with a walk, an RBI, a strikeout, a run scored, a stolen base and an error.

Toros over Licey 5-4
Jonnathan Aristil pitched to four batters without recording an out and gave up three hits and three runs (two earned) for the Toros.  Sammy Gervacio faced one hitter and got a strikeout for Licey.

Pan Am Games Update

Canada over Venezuela 4-1
Jimmy Van Ostrand went 2-4 and scored a run.

Mexico over U.S. 3-2

Today is an off-day.

Monday - Semifinals
Canada (2-1) vs. Mexico (3-0) at 2:00
U.S. (2-1) vs. Cuba (3-0) at 7:00

Happy Birthday - 10/23

Only Former Astros with birthdays today

2B George Williams (died May 14, 2009 at age 69)
Played in 5 games for the Colt 45's in 1962

RHP Bo McLaughlin (58)
A first round pick for the Astros in 1975, McLaughlin played for Houston from 1976 to 1979.  He had a 9-15 record over 87 appearances with a 3.90 ERA and a 1.352 WHIP.  He was traded to the Braves in 1979 for Frank LaCorte.

2B Kazuo Matsui (36)
Played for Houston from 2008 to 2010 with a composite .259 BA
Responsible for placing the phrase "anal fissure" in the lexicon of Astros lore

Tweet of the Day

Brett Dolan
Ya, 9 games a year at the Rangers Ballpark instead of just 3 is going to be a lotttttt of fun. Humidor anyone?