Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall and Winter League Updates


Mesa over Salt River 12-10
This was a wild one with 14 runs scored in the 7th and 8th innings alone.  Jacob Goebbert had an excellent game, going 3-5 with a double, two RBI's and a strikeout, and scored three runs.  Jason Castro drove in Goebbert twice (single and sac fly) and was 1-2.  Kody Hinze was 2-5 with a strikeout and scored a run, but left five runners on base.  Jason Stoffel pitched 1.2 innings giving up two hits, two runs and one walk, with a strikeout.  Both of Jason's runs scored after he was pulled from the game.  With the loss, Salt River's lead in the AFL East is down to three games.

Jason Castro will be the only Astros player participating in the Rising Stars game which will be shown on the MLB network at 7:00 p.m. CST.


Gigantes over Escogido 3-1
Jimmy Paredes was 1-1 as a pinch hitter for the Gigantes, and Erick Abreu pitched 1.1 innings with a hit and three strikeouts and earned the W.  Brett Wallace got his second homer of the winter league season (a solo shot) as he went 1-3 with a strikeout in his DH role for Escogido while David Carpenter pitched one inning with a hit and a strikeout.

Licey over Toros 9-6
Anderson Hernandez was 2-5 with a double, an RBI, a strikeout and a run scored for Licey, and Sammy Gervacio pitched 0.2 inning and gave up a solo homer.  For the Toros, Fernando Abad got banged up in his first start, going only two innings and giving up five hits, five runs (four earned) and three strikeouts.  He was charged with the loss.  Jonnathan Aristil (also for the Toros) pitched one inning and allowed one hit and two walks.


Magallanes over Caracas 6-1
Jose Altuve was 2-5 with a double, an RBI, two strikeouts and scored two runs for Magallanes.  Wladimir Sutil was 2-3 with a double for Caracas.

Lara over Caribes 4-3
Oswaldo Navarro was 2-4 with a strikeout in Lara's win.


Carolina over Caguas 7-6 in 10
Carlos Corporan went 2-3 with a sac fly RBI and a walk for Carolina.

Ponce over Mayaguez 4-1
Robinson Cancel was 2-5 as the DH with an RBI and a run for Ponce.  For Mayaguez, Koby Clemens was 1-4 with an RBI and three strikeouts while Angel Sanchez was 1-4 with a strikeout, a GIDP and an error.


Obregon over Guasave 3-1
Luis Durango went 1-3 with a strikeout for Obregon.

Happy Birthday - 11/5

Only former Astros with birthdays today

OF Tom Wiedenbauer (53)
Wiedenbauer's entire major league career consisted of playing in four games for Houston in 1979.  He made the most of those four games.  In six at-bats, he had four hits, a double and two RBI's.  His career batting average was .667.  Now that's a cup of coffee that you can live with.

RHP Craig McMurtry (52)
Pitched in 11 games for Houston in 1995

Tweet of the Day

Austin Wates
Y'all = Word vomit

Andrew Robinson
woah hold on. Y'all is a great word.

Roster Moves 11/4/11

According to Baseball America, the following Astros minor-league players have been granted free agency:

RHP Erick Abreu (AA)
RHP Sammy Gervacio (AAA)
RHP Brad James (AA)
RHP Ross Wolf (AA)
LHP Kristian Bueno (SS)
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (AAA)
LHP Andy Van Hekken (AAA)
C J. R. Towles (AAA)
1B Koby Clemens (AAA)
2B Jose Vallejo (AAA)
3B Jhonny Medrano (LoA)
3B Oswaldo Navarro (AAA)
SS Anderson Hernandez (AAA)
SS Wladimir Sutil (AA)
OF Luis Durango (AAA)
OF Drew Locke (AAA)

The complete list of all minor league free agents is here.

And I have updated the Winter League rosters with the latest additions in the Puerto Rican league (which just started yesterday) and the addition of Fernando Abad to the Toros roster in the Dominican.

Friday, November 4, 2011

WTH 25-Man Roster - Don't Forget to Vote!

This info for your consideration in voting for a second baseman for the WTH 25-Man Roster got a little buried during the week.  You have until the wee hours on Sunday to vote.


This has been one crazy, busy off-season with tons of things being reported, talked about, analyzed, etc.  Links to recent goings-on below.

A great article from Jonathan Mayo on how Kim Ng is working to improve the international signings process

Jonathan Mayo's take on the Astros prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League

The latest blog posting from Josh Zeid on his experiences in the Arizona Fall League

Jason Castro talks about the progress he's making in coming back from his knee surgery

Brian Bogusevic's nomination for a GIBBY award

Kody Hinze talking about his Arizona Fall League experience

Dallas Keuchel talking about the pitches he's working on in the Arizona Fall League

Appy Astros looks at where the 2008 Greeneville Astros players are and how they're doing

Josh Magee gets a Milby award

I just assume that anyone who reads WTHB is also reading the Crawfishboxes site, but in case you missed it, I recorded a podcast with Tim, Sean and David to talk about top 30 prospects and more.  Here is Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Baseball Prospectus' top 11+ Astros prospect rankings

Top Prospect Alert's top 15 Astros prospect rankings


Fall and Winter League Updates


Salt River over Peoria 13-4
None of the Astros position players were involved in this one.  Josh Zeid pitched two innings, giving up two hits (including a two-run home run) and a walk, while striking out one.  Salt River still leads the AFL East by four games.

Salt River (17-10) vs. Mesa (13-14) at 2:35 CST


Aragua over Caracas 1-0
Sergio Perez was the star of this one, pitching 6.2 innings with three hits, a walk and three strikeouts to get the win for Aragua.  Wladimir Sutil was 1-3 with a strikeout for Caracas.

Margarita over Magallanes 7-6
Jose Altuve went 3-5 with two doubles, two RBI's, scored a run and was caught stealing for Magallanes.

Lara over La Guaira 4-3
Oswaldo Navarro was 1-5 with a strikeout for Lara.


All Dominican League teams had an off-day


Hermosillo over Obregon 9-1
Luis Durango was 2-3 with a double and a walk for Obregon.


The first games start this evening.  Still only one roster posted as of this writing.

Happy Birthday - 11/4

Only former Astros with birthdays today

C Mark Bailey (50)
Bailey played for the Astros from 1984 to 1988 before being traded to the Montreal Expos for Casey Candaele in 1988.  Since retiring from playing, Bailey has been a coach in the Astros system.  He served as bullpen coach for the Astros from 2002 to 2009 and has since functioned as the hitting coach for Corpus Christi in 2010 and the hitting coach for Tri-City in 2011.

OF Ryan Thompson (44)
Played in 12 games for Houston in 1999

RHP Ezequiel Astacio (32)
Pitched in 28 games for the Astros in 2005 and 2006
Came to Houston in the Billy Wagner trade

Tweet of the Day

Jordan Scott

RT : Our 2011 MVP is ! In 60 games, he had 246AB's, 1HR, 31RBI, .337AVG. Holds all-time batting record for ...

Josh Magee
that batting record!! ayeee!!!

Roster Moves 11/3/11

UT Brian Bixler claimed off waivers from Nationals and added to the 40-Man Roster

And in case you missed it, I made some adjustments for late postings to correct the 40-Man roster which now stands at 38.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anatomy of a Cluster-You-Know-What

May 19th Smooth Sailing Eyed

June 1st
Deal expected to be approved by early July

June 12th
Expecting sale to be approved before trade deadline

June 29th
Expecting sale to be final in 2-3 weeks

July 8th
Approval could be delayed to mid-August meetings

July 9th
McLane hoping for approval by end of July

July 12th
Selig says approval is on track

July 14th
Approval not likely until late July or early August

August 2nd
Approval expected on August 18th

August 3rd
Approval likely at the annual owners meetings 8/18 & 8/19

August 9th
McLane expects transfer of team on August 22nd

August 15th
August 15th
McLane says Selig indicated approval should come in 2 weeks

August 29th
McClane says approval will be in a week to 10 days

August 30th
McClane expects approval by the middle of the next week

September 8th
McClane says the matter will reach a resolution in a few days

September 24th
McClane expects approval to be complete in 3-4 weeks

October 10th
McClane hoping to see some action in the next week

October 12th
Approval expected in mid-November

November 3rd
Approval is two weeks away

Roster Updates - 11/3/11

UPDATED TO ADD (or rather subtract) Clint Barmes and Jason Michaels who declared free agency and were taken off the 40-Man roster effective 10/30/11.  (As a side note, Barmes and Michaels were still on the roster when I checked it early this morning.)

Also, IF Brian Bixler claimed off waivers from the Nationals goes on the 40-man roster.

Effective 10/31/11, the Astros activated the following players from the 60-Day DL:

C Jason Castro
RHP Brandon Lyon
LHP Sergio Escalona

The 40-Man Roster now stands at 38.

Fall and Winter League Updates


Peoria over Salt River 4-2
Salt River had nothing going as Peoria's Tyler Lyons pitched a perfect game through five innings.  (As a side note, I can't believe they pulled a guy with a perfect game going, but they did.)  Once Lyons was gone, Jay Austin didn't waste any time getting an RBI double, his only hit of the game.  Kody Hinze was 1-4 with two strikeouts and Jacob Goebbert was 0-4.  Thanks to a loss by Mesa, Salt River still leads the AFL East by four games.

Salt River (16-10) gets a rematch against Peoria (12-13) at 8:35 CST


Zulia over Aragua 4-3
Arcenio Leon pitched one inning, facing five batters and issuing one walk, and got his second save for Zulia.

Magallanes over Lara 4-1
Jose Altuve was a home run short of the cycle, going 3-4 with a double, a triple and a run scored for Magallanes while Gabriel Garcia pitched 0.2 inning giving up a solo homer and striking out one.  Oswaldo Navarro went 2-4 with a strikeout for Lara.

La Guaira over Caracas 7-6
Wladimir Sutil went 0-1 with a walk.


Aguilas over Escogido 8-1
Brian Bogusevic was 1-4 with a two-out RBI, a run scored and a strikeout for Aguilas.  Brett Wallace was 0-2 with two walks for Escogido.  Also for Escogido, Jorge de Leon and David Carpenter each pitched an inning.  De Leon faced three batters and had one strikeout.  Carpenter face four batters and gave up one hit with two strikeouts.

Licey over Estrellas 8-1
Anderson Hernandez had a big night for Licey, going 3-4 with a double, an RBI, a walk and two runs scored.


Play in the Puerto Rican League is scheduled to start on Friday.  Only one roster has been released as of this writing.  LHP Luis Cruz and C Roberto Pena are on the roster for the Criollos de Cagnas.  Zachary Levine had written earlier that Carlos Corporan and Koby Clemens were expected to play, and Ryan Rowland-Smith had tweeted that he would be playing.  I will update the winter league roster link on the front page as rosters are published.

Happy Birthday - 11/3

RHP Brian Streilein (23)
Drafted in the 37th round in 2010 out of Villanova, this New Jersey native pitched in 40 games (1 start) for Lexington this season.  His record was 5-4 with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.286 WHIP.  If you take away his one disastrous start (2.1IP 9H 8R/ER 2HR), his numbers improve to a 3.06 ERA and a 1.197 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Jordan Comadena

how's the knee? You be all ready to go this year?

Brandt Walker
Funky! I'm good man. Just grinding hard. What's new with you?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall and Winter League Updates


Salt River over Phoenix 10-7
Not exactly a pitcher's duel in Phoenix today.  Jacob Goebbert went 1-4 with an RBI single, a walk, a strikeout and he scored a run.  Jason Castro was 1-3 with a strikeout before being pulled for a pinch hitter.  He singled and scored on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch.  Jason Stoffel had a really, really, really tough day.  After getting his first two batters to strike out on foul tips, he gave up a single and three consecutive walks before being pulled.  All of his runners subsequently scored so he was charged with four earned runs but he lucked out in that he didn't end up with a loss.  Josh Zeid pitched one inning with a walk and a strikeout.

Salt River is now four games up in the AFL East.  As a side note, the only Astros player from the Arizona Fall League named to the roster for the Rising Stars Game was Jason Castro.

Salt River (16-9) vs. Peoria (11-13) at 2:35 CST


Estrellas over Aguilas 2-1
Henry Sosa, one of the newest Astros additions to winter league rosters, pitched two innings and gave up three hits and one run for Estrellas while Wander Alvino walked the one batter that he faced.  For Aguilas, Brian Bogusevic was 1-2 with a double, two walks (one intentional) and a stolen base and Jonathan Villar was used as a pinch runner in the ninth.

Escogido over Gigantes 3-2
Brett Wallace was 0-2 with a walk and a strikeout for Escogido. Jimmy Paredes, playing at third base, was 0-3 with a walk while Enerio del Rosario (another Astros player who just showed up on a winter league roster) pitched one inning, giving up a hit and two unearned runs for the Gigantes team.  Del Rosario was charged with the loss and a blown save.

Toros over Licey 5-3
Anderson Hernandez was 0-4 for Licey.


Caracas over La Guaira 14-4
Wladimir Sutil was 2-5 with an RBI, a run scored and his third error of the winter for Caracas.

Lara over Magallanes 5-3
Oswaldo Navarro was 1-4 with an error (his third) for Lara.  Jose Altuve was 1-4 with an error (his sixth) for Magallanes.


Hermosillo over Obregon 7-6
Luis Durango was 0-2 with a strikeout for Obregon.

Happy Birthday - 11/2

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

UT Orlando Merced (45)
Merced played for Houston in 2001 to 2003 at the end of his career.  He hit .262 for the Astros over 340 games, slightly lower than his career batting average of .277.  While with the Pirates in 1991, Merced came in second in voting for the NL Rookie of the Year, losing out to Jeff Bagwell.

Tweet of the Day

Jimmy VanOstrand
first! Starting it off clean shaven. Interested to see what the mo evolves into

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fall and Winter League Updates


Peoria over Salt River 8-0
This is one that Dallas Keuchel and Kody Hinze would probably like to forget.  Keuchel started the day with a 4.50 ERA but that jumped to 5.75 after pitching 4.1 innings and giving up ten hits, five runs, one walk (his first) and a home run.  He also recorded three strikeouts and a wild pitch and was pegged with the loss.  Kody Hinze was 0-3 with a strikeout.  Salt River now leads the AFL East by only three games.

Salt River vs. Phoenix at 2:35 CST


All of the Caribbean Leagues were idle on Monday.

Here are the cumulative stats for all Astros players on rosters for the Arizona Fall League or Caribbean Winter League teams through 10/31.  If there are no stats, the player hasn't been in a game yet.

Happy Birthday - 11/1

3B Jonathan Meyer (21)
Drafted in the 3rd round supplemental in 2009 out of high school in California, Meyer has moved up a level each year, playing the 2011 season at Lancaster.  His batting line for 2011 was .264/.343/.399/.742 with 23 doubles and 14 home runs.  In August and September, he really heated things up with a .307 BA.

RHP Frederick Tiburcio (21)
A non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic, Tiburcio spent two seasons in the DSL before graduating to the GCL Astros in 2011.  In 12 games (10 starts), he went 3-5 with a 4.47 ERA and a 1.399 WHIP.  He improved toward the end of the season to 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.300 WHIP in August.

Former Astros with birthdays today

RHP Russ Kemmerer (80)
Pitched in 53 games for the Colt 45's in 1962 and 1963.

OF Howie Goss (died July 31, 1996 at 61)
Played for the 1963 Colt 45's

Tweet of the Day

Andrew Robinson
Me and at the Southwest Christian Care Celebrity Golf Classic. Really nice guy. I was a big fan of his.

Monday, October 31, 2011

WTH 25-Man Roster - Second Base

As posted over the weekend, LHP Fernando Abad won the seventh spot on the WTH roster as our first left-handed relief pitcher.  Close runners-up included Pat Urkfitz and Colton Pitkin.  Go here for more info on the What the Heck 25-Man Roster.

Next, let's pick our second baseman.  I found a couple of surprises when I compiled this list.  First of all, there are very few players in the system who are being used almost exclusively at second base and that was the basis I used in order to determine who would go on the list.  (Players who are being used at multiple infield positions will be voted on later for a utility infield position.)  Secondly, Yonathan Mejia hadn't really been on my radar previously, but he put up some good offensive numbers (except for power numbers) and very few errors so I think, at 19, he bears watching in the coming season.

Of these players, Delino DeShields, Jr. brings the most upside and excitement due to his pure speed and athletic ability.  Although his 2011 offensive numbers aren't that impressive, keep in mind that he only turned 19 in August and that his numbers improved significantly as the season progressed.  And of course, Josh Magee brought some excitement to the Appy League this year with his 12 hits in 12 consecutive at-bats.

With that said, here are their 2011 numbers.  After you look them over, please vote in the poll.

Fall and Winter League Updates


Off on Sunday

Salt River (15-8) vs. Peoria (10-12) at 2:35 CST


Gigantes over Aguilas 9-3
For the Gigantes, Jimmy Paredes went 2-4 with two RBI's, a strikeout, a sacrifice fly and two runs scored, and Erick Abreu pitched to one batter, got the out and stranded three inherited runners.  Brian Bogusevic was 3-3 with a double, two walks, an outfield assist and scored a run for Aguilas.

Licey over Escogido 5-3
Lots of Astros players involved in this one.  For Licey, Anderson Hernandez was 2-4 with a double, an RBI, a strikeout and a run scored. while Henry Villar pitched 0.1 inning with two hits and Sammy Gervacio pitched 0.1 inning with a walk.  For Escogido, Wallace (as DH) was 0-1 with two walks, a strikeout and a run scored.  Also for Escogido, Jorge De Leon pitched 1.1 innings with two hits, one run, one strikeout and a home run and David Carpenter pitched 1.1 innings with one hit and two strikeouts.


Caracas over Magallanes 5-0
Wladimir Sutil was 0-4 with a throwing error for Caracas.  Jose Altuve was 0-4 and ground into a double play for Magallanes.  As reported by farmstros, Andy Van Hekken did indeed show up in Venezuela and got the start for Magallanes yesterday.  He had a bit of a rough start and was tagged for the loss, but settled in, pitching six innings with six hits, three runs and three strikeouts.

Caribes over Lara 2-0
Oswaldo Navarro was 1-3 with a double and two strikeouts for Lara.


Culiacan over Obregon 4-1
Luis Durano was 0-2.

Tomorrow I will post the weekly update of the cumulative stats for all Astros players in the fall and winter leagues.

Happy Birthday - 10/31

SS Wladimir Sutil (27)
Originally from Venezuela, Sutil was signed by the Astros as a non-draft free agent in 2003.  He split his time between Oklahoma City and Corpus Christi this season, putting up a combined .269 BA and .342 OBP.  He is currently playng for Caracas in the Venezuelan league during the off-season.

Former Astros with birthdays today

C John "Pork Chop" Hoffman (died December 27, 2001 at 58)
Played in 8 games for the Colt 45's and the Astros in 1964 and 1965

C Ed Taubensee (43)
Played in 203 games for the Astros from 1992 to 1994

LHP Tim Byrdak (38)
Appeared in 199 games for Houston from 2008 to 2010
Went 5-5 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.345 WHIP

Tweet of the Day

Bud Norris 

Chris Johnson
Dare a little one to come to my door and ask for candy!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

WTH 25-Man Roster

The seventh player selected for the What the Heck 25-Man Roster was Lefty Relief Pitcher Fernando Abad, who squeaked ahead of Pat Urkfitz and Colton Pitkin.  Also receiving votes were Travis Blankenship, Garrett Bullock, Kristian Bueno and Paris Shewey.  (For more information on the WTH 25-Man Roster, go here.)

Coming Monday - Let's pick our second baseman.

Fall and Winter League Updates


Salt River over Scottsdale 4-3
Jay Austin was 0-3 with two walks and a strikeout, and scored a run after stealing a base.  Kody Hinze went 1-3 with an RBI double, a walk and a strikeout.  Josh Zeid pitched one inning giving up one hit and getting one strikeout.  Salt River leads the AFL East by four games.

Next game on Monday
Salt River (15-8) vs. Peoria (10-12)


Aragua over La Guaira 10-8
Sergio Perez had a rough start for Aragua, pitching 2.2 innings and giving up five hits, five runs and four walks with two strikeouts and a hit by pitch.

Caribes over Lara 5-0
Oswaldo Navarro went 1-4 with a caught stealing for Lara.

Magallanes over Caracas 6-5 in 12 innings
Jose Altuve had a decent night at the plate for the Magallanes team going 2-4 with a run scored and a strikeout, but he didn't help his team out with his three errors (missed catch, fielding, fielding).  Also for Magallanes, Gabriel Garcia retired the one batter he faced.  Wladimir Sutil was 2-5, scored two runs and also committed an error.


Licey over Gigantes 4-1
Anderson Hernandez was 1-4 with an RBI and a strikeout for Licey.  For the Gigantes, Paredes went 0-2 with one walk, one strikeout and a run scored, while Erick Abreu pitched one inning with one hit and one strikeout.

Toros over Aguilas 3-1
Brian Bogusevic was 0-3 with a walk and Jonathan Villar was 0-2 with two walks and a strikeout for Aguilas.


Obregon over Culiacon 8-5
Luis Durango was 1-1 with three walks, scored a run and was caught stealing.

Happy Birthday - 10/30

LHP Andres Feliz (21)
A non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic, Feliz has spent two seasons with the DSL Astros.  In 15 games (26.1 IP) in 2011, he was 1-5 with a 6.15 ERA and a 1.860 WHIP.  Feliz had a 0.77 ERA with the bases empty.

2B Anderson Hernandez (29)
Anderson was first signed by the Tigers in 2001 as a NDFA and was picked up from Cleveland by the Astros as a waiver claim in 2010.  In 136 games for Oklahoma City in 2011, Anderson hit .300 with 25 doubles, four triples, six home runs and a 30-game hitting streak.  He is currently playing for Licey in the Dominican League during the off-season where he is hitting .275 with a .356 OBP in his first ten games.

One former Astro with a birthday today

RHP Mark Portugal (49)
Played for Houston from 1989 to 1993
Was 52-30 with a 3.34 ERA and a 1.268 WHIP
Was 1st in the National League in win percentage in 1993, going 18-4

Tweet of the Day

Jiovanni Mier
Did the rangers give it away or did the cardinals win it?