Saturday, March 31, 2012

More Roster Moves from Saturday

In addition to the expected move by the major league club of reassigning Carlos Corporan to the minor league camp, there were four additional minor league cuts this morning:

RHP Alberto Arias - Has not played since 2009 due to injuries.

1B/OF Jordan Brown - Signed as a free agent in January.

C Emerson Frostad - Played last season at Lancaster, Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City. (UPDATED TO CORRECT Oops, that was Lancaster Barnstormers in PA, not the Jethawks ... thanks to Franklin Leon for the catch.)

RHP Blake King - Picked up as a waiver claim from St. Louis in 2011.  Pitched in 33 games for Corpus out of the bullpen.

UPDATED TO ADD: transactions show that Jorge de Leon has been assigned from Corpus Christi to Lancaster.

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Saturday's Game:  Yankees (14-11) at Astros (14-14) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast: KTRH 740 at 11:50
Probable Starters: RHP Phil Hughes (0-1, 2.03) & RHP Jordan Lyles (0-2, 6.32)

Friday's Results (Game 1 SS):  Braves over Astros 3-1
Winning Pitcher:  Jair Jurrjens (2-2, 5.81)
Losing Pitcher:  Kyle Weiland (2-1, 2.86)
SV:  Eric O'Flaherty
HR:  HOU - Chris Snyder (4)

Friday's Results (Game 2 SS):  Mets over Astros 9-1
Winning Pitcher:  Bud Norris (3-1, 3.60)
Losing Pitcher:  Randall Delgado (1-4, 7.89)
HR:  None

Happy Birthday - 3/31

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Rafael Montalvo (48)
Montalvo was included as part of the Dodger trade in July 1985 for Enos Cabell.  His entire major league career consisted of pitching one inning on April 13, 1986.  At 22, he was 17 years younger than teammate Nolan Ryan.  He continued to toil in the minors and last played in independent ball in 1999.  In 13 seasons in the minors and independent league ball, he was 59-48 with 83 saves and a 3.75 ERA in 561 games.

Tweet of the Day


I think I can see Opening Day from here!

Friday, March 30, 2012

More Releases and Retirements

The following retirements and releases have been confirmed.

We already knew about a couple of voluntary retirements, but there are more to report:

RHP Steve Martin - Drafted in the 37th round in 2011.  Played last season at Greeneville.  UPDATED TO ADD:  As I was reminded in the comment below, this is why I was rooting for Steve Martin to make it (from August of 2011).

1B Justin Shults - Drafted in the 46th round in 2011.  Played last season with the GCL Astros.

In addition, the following players were released:

RHP Ebert Rosario - Signed out of the Dominican Republic prior to the 2006 season.  A converted position player, he played last season at Tri-City.

1B Jimmy Van Ostrand - Drafted in the 8th round in 2006.  Played the last 4 seasons at Corpus Christi.

3B David Flores - Drafted in the 18th round in 2008.  Split last season between Corpus Christi and Lancaster.

RHP Lance Pendleton - Re-signed as a free agent in November 2011 after pitching in 4 games in Houston in September.

Livan Hernandez Released

With the report from Alyson Footer and others this morning that Livan Hernandez has been released, the Astros youth movement is full steam ahead.  I'm not even going to attempt to project the final bullpen and rotation, but keep in mind that Lucas Harrell and Henry Sosa are out of options (according to today's Chronicle).  I wouldn't be terribly surprised to see either of those players in the mix with Lyles going down to AAA to start the season since he does have options left.  But then again, I have been known to be spectacularly wrong about these things before so who knows ...

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Friday's Game 1 (SS):  Astros (13-13) at Braves (9-15) at 5:05 CST
Broadcast: None
Probable Starters: RHP Kyle Weiland (2-0, 2.25) & RHP Randall Delgado (1-3, 7.94)

Friday's Game 2 (SS):  Braves (9-15) at Astros (13-13) at 6:05 CST
Broadcast: KBME 790
Probable Starters: RHP Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 7.45) & RHP Bud Norris (2-1, 5.00)

Thursday's Results:  Mets over Astros 9-1
Winning Pitcher:  Mike Pelfrey (1-2, 8.59)
Losing Pitcher:  Livan Hernandez (1-2, 5.62)
HR:  NYM - David Wright (1)

Happy Birthday - 3/30

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Jeriome Robertson (died May 29, 2010 at 33)

Robertson was drafted by Houston in the 24th round in 1995 and pitched for Houston in 2002 and 2003 before being traded to Cleveland in March of 2004 for Luke Scott.  The 2003 season was Robertson's shining moment in the majors.  Despite a somewhat high 5.10 ERA and 1.519 WHIP, he managed a 15-9 record.  His 8 appearances for Cleveland didn't impress and his last major league game was in July of 2004.  He died in a motorcycle accident in May of 2010 at only 33.  For more about Robertson, check out Bryan Trostel's Random Random Astros segment at Astros County.

RHP Chris Gardner (43)
A 6th round draft pick by Houston in 1988, Gardner was 1-2 with a 4.01 ERA and a 1.338 WHIP in 5 games (4 starts) for Houston in 1991.  A September call-up, Gardner never made it back to the show.

RHP Conrad Cardinal (70)
Drafted by the Colt 45's from Detroit in November 1962, Cardinal appeared in 6 games (1 start) for Houston in 1963 at the ripe old age of 21.  Those 6 games constituted his entire major league career.

Tweet of the Day

Rafael Valenzuela

Ready to get over to Cali to start the season with the 

Roster Moves

There were no new announced roster moves, but the cuts from last week were finally posted on as well as Baseball America.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An Interview with RHP Chris Hicks

Dallas Keuchel ‏ @kidkeuchy
Unless your hot, you should not be allowed to take pics of yourself in front of a mirror.. Period

Christopher Hicks ‏ @RonaldPineapple
@kidkeuchy I do it daily

Chris Hicks doesn't tweet a lot, but when he does it's often very funny (and very sarcastic). I didn't know much about Chris (or his Ronald Pineapple persona) and I had wondered about his sudden departure from the Arizona Fall League last October so I decided to go to the source.

First a little background ... Chris was a 14th round pick in 2008 and after a handful of appearances out of the bullpen in Tri-City that year, he was quickly sent to Lancaster the next season where he was used exclusively as a starter. In 26 starts for Lancaster in 2009, he was 9-11 with a 6.12 ERA and a 1.612 WHIP. But then he lost the entire 2010 season to surgery before coming back strong in 2011 out of the bullpen. After 15 appearances at Lancaster in which he had a 3.28 ERA, a 0.973 WHIP, 10.2 SO/9 and 1.8 BB/9, he was promoted to Corpus Christi where he had a 3.77 ERA and a 1.465 WHIP (but less favorable SO and BB numbers).

Enough stats! On to the questions ...

WTH: First of all, I've got to ask about Ronald Pineapple. Is there a story behind that or just another example of what I suspect is a quirky sense of humor?

CH: I am a somewhat sarcastic person/jokester. So my wife told me to make up any name for my account, and at the time Ronald Reagan was doing a political analysis of the upcoming election, and at the same time; I was indulging into some pineapple. So obviously I just threw them together and made magic.

WTH: You started out in the Arizona Fall League after the season ended, but only made two appearances before being shut down and sent home. Was there a problem with the shoulder or was it just a precaution?

CH: I had been throwing for 15 months straight and was starting to get fatigued. So I felt it was best to rest the body and get prepared for this season.

WTH: Could you tell me a little about the shoulder injury and how that's affected your development. I know that before the injury you were used as a starter and afterwards you've been used exclusively in relief. Is that related to the injury? Do you have a preference for starting or relief?

CH: After the surgery, it is difficult to see myself going back into the starting role. Although I have succeeded in that role, I feel more comfortable out of the bullpen.

WTH: You were extremely effective at Lancaster, a ballpark that is notorious for crushing pitcher's dreams, in 2011 and almost as effective at Corpus later in the season (but for the strikeout to walk rate). How do you account for your success in such a tough venue as Lancaster and how did the two ballparks compare?

CH: In Lancaster, you have to really focus on keeping the ball down. Velocity is overrated in a park like that, since any fly ball will be a goner. (We have had pitchers batting practice and anyone can hit one out of there.) Whereas in Corpus, the elements play true to a normal baseball game. So it is much easier to succeed in a park like Corpus if you can execute the proper pitches.

WTH: What are your best pitches? Velocity? Are you working on refining or adding a pitch to your repertoire?

CH: My repertoire has pretty much stayed the same since being drafted by the Astros. Just an ordinary fastball and a decent breaking ball.

WTH: If you could "steal" a pitch from any of your Astros teammates, what pitch would it be and whose?

CH: Keuchel changeup.

WTH: What Astros teammate would you least like to face in the batter's box?

CH: Kody Hinze. Best hitter in the minors and my road roommate.

WTH: Can you tell me something about yourself that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear?

CH: Obsessed with watches and nice dress suits.

WTH: One final question. Do you prefer Chris, Christopher or Ronald?

CH: Chris.

Thank you for your time, Chris. Best of luck in the 2012 season!

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Thursday's Game:  Astros (13-12) at Mets (6-16) at 5:10 CST
Broadcast: (no radio listed on the schedule)
Probable Starters: RHP Livan Hernandez (1-1, 4.38) & RHP Mike Pelfrey (0-2, 11.49)

Wednesday's Results:  Astros over Marlins 6-3
Winning Pitcher:  Lucas Harrell (1-0, 2.16)
Losing Pitcher:  Carlos Zambrano (0-2, 5.09)
SV:  Brett Myers
HR:  None

Happy Birthday - 3/29

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

UT Eric Bruntlett (34)
Drafted by Houston in the 9th round in 2000, Bruntlett spent five seasons, between 2003 and 2007 playing for the Astros, hitting .250/.323/.364 over 320 games.  In November of 2007, he was traded along with Brad Lidge to the Phillies for Michael Bourn, Mike Costanzo and Geoff Geary.  In August 2009, he became only the second player in major league history to end a game with an unassisted triple play.

Tweet of the Day

Enrique Hernandez

really excited for our team in Lancaster! we're gonna make some serious damage!! 

Roster Moves - 3/28

In addition to the moves in the major league camp that were announced yesterday, I have one minor league move to report.  RHP Ryan Cole has voluntarily retired from the Astros organization.  I don't know his reasons, but it has been confirmed.  Personally, I really liked Ryan and had high hopes for his potential; I hate to see him go. I did this interview with him back in December.  I wish Ryan luck in whatever he does.  I know he'll do well.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rosters Shaping Up

Clinton over at The Grand Old Game blog is compiling a lot of info about who will be playing at Lexington to start the 2012 season.  Head over here to see the latest.

Also, Bryan at Astros County is compiling an ongoing list of all the roster information he's found here.

Link to Josh Magee Interview

Josh Magee did an interview with the Birmingham News about "the streak" and how that changed things for him.  Included in the article is the news that he will start the season at Extended Spring Training due to a shoulder injury.  The money quote from the article?

"The moment you take the Little League out of it ... you make the game a little harder than it really is"

It's a good read and worth reading the whole interview.

Some Actual Thoughts on Yesterday's Roster Cuts

I received the confirmation of yesterday's cuts five minutes before I had to be out the door so a simple post was all I had time to do.  Let's look at these cuts a little more closely.


LHP David Duncan - Duncan hadn't pitched since 2010 and had been rehabbing from surgery, I believe.  I really don't know much about Duncan except that he was incredibly large (6'9" 230#) and was drafted in the 5th round in 2008.

RHP Brandt Walker - Walker also hadn't pitched since 2010 and was rehabbing from surgery.  He was drafted in the 8th round in 2009 out of Stanford.  He was also incredibly funny on twitter and had fantastic eyebrows ... seriously, click on the link for the picture.  I'll wait ... See? Really great eyebrows.


OF Jonathan Gaston - Gaston was one of the victims of the Lancaster effect.  The 2008 7th round draft pick could never recreate his fantastic numbers with Lancaster in 2009 (.598 SLG%), and there are a number of talented outfielders waiting in the wings.

RHP Robert Donovan - Donovan was drafted in the 23rd round in 2009 and was another victim of the Lancaster effect.  I would have liked to see what he could do in a more normal pitching environment, but he did have a fairly high walk rate and that might have been his downfall.


RHP Kyle Greenwalt - A 20th round pick in the totally snake-bit 2007 draft, Greenwalt just never got over that hump.  His minor league career ERA was 5.15 and his WHIP was 1.484.  His 2011 numbers at Corpus weren't that good.  Read AppyAstros excellent post on that 2007 draft class for more.

OF Devon Torrence - My first impression was "Who?"  And then Steve over at Appy Astros came to the rescue.  Torrence, a two sport player, was another member of the ill-fated 2007 draft.  He last played for the Astros in 2008 and, as Steve explained to me, his signing bonus was prorated in case he decided to play football in order to limit the liability to the team.  He did go on to play football, and in all likelihood, this cut was simply a procedural cut.  Steve also provided me with this interesting 2009 article from Jonathan Mayo regarding two-sport athletes and the draft.  UPDATED TO ADD:  According to Mike at Farmstros (see the comment below), Torrence was, indeed, back playing in the Astros organization so this was more than a procedural cut.


RHP Matison Smith - Smith was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010 and had very good numbers (2.12 ERA and 1.279 WHIP over 2 seasons, and 11.9 SO/9 in 2011).  This one surprised me the most of all of the cuts.

LHP Adam Champion - A 2010 24th round draft pick, Champion had a nice season at Lexington with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.295 WHIP over 45.2 innings pitched.  His strikeout rate wasn't very sexy at 6.1 SO/9, but I still found this one a tiny bit surprising.


RHP Justin Gill - Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2011, Gill only pitched 21.2 innings in 20 appearances for the GCL Astros in 2011.  He had decent numbers (3.32 ERA & 1.246 WHIP), but that's really all I know about him.

C Jacob Meskin - Another non-drafted free agent signing in 2011, Meskin didn't have a very good start to things in 2011 (as in 2 hits and 2 walks over 30 AB's).

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Wednesday's Game:  Marlins (9-10) at Astros (12-12) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast: KBME 790 at 11:50 CST
Probable Starters: RHP Carlos Zambrano (0-1, 4.61) & RHP Lucas Harrell (0-0, 3.09)

Tuesday's Results:  Astros over Tigers 14-7
Winning Pitcher:  Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 7.88)
Losing Pitcher:  Andrew Oliver (1-2, 5.17)
HR:  DET - Brennan Boesch (5), Austin Jackson (2); HOU - Brian Bogusevic (1), Brian Bixler (3)

Happy Birthday - 3/28

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

1B Glenn Davis (51)
Davis, a 1st round draft pick (5th overall) for Houston in 1981, played for the Astros from 1984 to 1990, hitting .262/.337/.483 with 150 doubles, 10 triples and 166 home runs over 830 games.  Davis was a two-time All-Star and also won the Silver Slugger Award before being traded to the Orioles in January of 1991 for Pete Harnisch, Curt Schilling and  Steve Finley.  After a disappointing tenure with the Orioles, he ended up back in the minor leagues and eventually played for two seasons in Japan.  According to Baseball-Reference:
He returned in1996 [to Japan] and became the 10th player in Nippon Pro Baseball history to hit a sayonara (walk-off) grand slam home run to win a game; he was the first gaijin to accomplish that.
Ironically, he never hit a grand slam in the MLB.

RHP Mark Melancon (27)
Drafted by the Yankees in the 9th round in 2006, Melancon came to Houston along with Jimmy Paredes in the Lance Berkman trade in July 2010.  Melancon pitched in 91 games for Houston in 2010 and 2011, going 10-4 with a 2.85 ERA, a 1.211 WHIP and 20 saves.  Melancon was traded to Boston in December 2011 for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland.

Roster Moves - 3/27

In addition to the minor league roster cuts previously announced, the Astros also cut LHP Zach Duke and OF Jack Cust, bringing the players in big league camp down to 38.  The number of players on the 40-man roster will go down to 36 when Sergio Escalona is put on the 60-day DL as he undergoes Tommy John surgery.  There will be plenty of room to add Livan Hernandez and Brian Bixler (who I believe has to be in the mix as a right-handed bench player) to the 40-man roster if they make the team out of camp.  Zachary Levine has the story here.

UPDATED TO ADD:  Shows you what I know, Bixler was sent to minor league camp this morning, along with Angel Sanchez, Scott Moore, and Enerio del Rosario.  Joe Thurston was released.  That leaves 33 in big league camp.

Tweet of the Day

Josh Zeid

Spring training laundry day... Gotta wait for the two washing machines and dryers to open up, while 180 guys have laundry...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Confirmation on Today's Minor League Cuts

I just received confirmation from the Astros organization on today's minor league cuts.  They are as follows:

LHP Adam Champion
RHP Robert Donovan
LHP David Duncan
OF Jon Gaston
RHP Justin Gill
RHP Kyle Greenwalt
C Jacob Meskin
RHP Matison Smith
OF Devon Torrence (I didn't even know he was still in the system)
RHP Brandt Walker

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Tuesday's Game:  Tigers (15-4) at Astros (11-12) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast: KBME 790 at 11:50 CST
Probable Starters: LHP Drew Smyly (0-0, 1.13) & LHP Wandy Rodriguez (1-2, 8.10)

Monday's Results:  Nationals over Astros 7-4
Winning Pitcher:  John Lannan (1-1, 4.50)
Losing Pitcher:  Jordan Lyles (0-2, 6.32)
SV:  Henry Rodriguez
HR:  HOU - Chris Johnson (4), Brandon Barnes (1); WAS - Roger Bernadina (2)

No Birthdays Today But ...

Since there are no future or former Astros with birthdays today, I was looking around for something relevant to the Houston Astros that had to do with this date.  In looking at Transactions on this Date from Baseball-Reference, I noticed that Shane Reynolds was released on this date in 2003. Whoa, didn't I just cover his birthday yesterday?  Why, yes I did.  So the Astros released the 11-season Houston veteran one day after his 35th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Shane.

Reynolds had undergone back surgery the prior June, but had recovered well and was fully expecting to make the team out of Spring Training.  Why was he released?  This Chronicle archive article from Richard Justice explores the various possibilities and gives Reynolds' side of the story.

But I was more interested in how Reynolds fared for Atlanta in that 2003 season as compared to the Houston staff he left behind than in how it all came about.  The rotation for Houston that year started as:

Roy Oswalt
Wade Miller
Jeriome Robertson
Brian Moehler
Tim Redding

Oswalt, Miller, Robertson and Redding were all fixtures for the entire season, but Brian Moehler's spot rapidly became a revolving door until it stabilized with Ron Villone.  Collectively, Brian Moehler, Scott Linebrink, Kirk Saarloos, Pete Munro, Jonathan Johnson, Rodrigo Rosario and Jared Fernandez made 26 starts, going 5-7 as starters.  Add Ron Vallone's starts and that becomes 11-13 in 45 starts.  Shane Reynolds was 11-9 in 29 starts for Atlanta that year.  He won as many games as those other eight pitchers combined.

As a matter of fact, Reynolds .550 win percentage as a starter for Atlanta was better than that of every starting pitcher on the Houston staff who had more than one start and wasn't named Oswalt or Robertson.  Happy Birthday, indeed.

Tweet of the Day

Lino DeShields

“Nobody ever said, "Work ball!" They say, "Play ball!" To me, that means having fun.” –Willie Stargell

Monday, March 26, 2012

2012 Comeback/Breakthrough Candidates - Position Players

I looked through all of the current Astros minor league players and identified some of those who either showed early promise before getting bitten by the injury bug or who have not been able to make a decisive step to the next level.  I looked at those who have played in at least parts of three seasons and I capped it at age 22.  I looked at pitchers last week.  This week, let's look at the position player candidates I identified:

SS Jio Mier (21)
A first round pick in 2009, Mier has never quite been able to recapture the .276/.380/.484/.864 batting line from his first season at Greeneville that excited so many, but there were glimpses at the end of last season that he was starting to get in a groove after coming back from an earlier injury.  When I interviewed Jio during the off-season, he felt good about his results at the plate after simplifying his approach.  At 21 (he'll be 22 in August), it's a little early to give up on the first round pick.  Could this be the year that he takes that next step in his development?

LF Jay Austin (21)
Up until a couple weeks ago, I would have picked Austin as a good favorite for the breakout player for 2012, but that was before it was reported that he broke his hand.  A second round pick in 2008, Austin had his best batting average (.267) and OBP (.320) in 2009 at Lexington and, unsurprisingly, had his best slugging percentage (.414) at Lancaster in 2010.  In 2011, he only hit .242/.313/.336/.649 between Lexington and Lancaster, but he did get his walk rate up.  But it was his Arizona Fall League results that really stood out as he batted .311/.385/.444/.829.  It may have only been 11 games, but it was against the best of the best.  I hope that the hand injury doesn't derail his progress and that he can build on that AFL experience.

C Rene Garcia (just turned 22 on 3/21)
Garcia's best season was his first.  After being drafted in the 35th round out of high school in Puerto Rico in 2008, he hit .295/.340/.386/.727 in a brief 18 games at Greeneville.  He has put up some fairly respectable numbers since, but nothing really showy until this winter.  In the Puerto Rican League, he hit .333/.409/.487/.896 in 21 games.  Can he build on that success in the coming season?

LF Enrique Hernandez (20)
A sixth round draft pick in 2009, Hernandez put up very good numbers in both his first season in 2009 with the GCL Astros (.295/.336/.396) and in 2010 at Tri-City (.280/.322/.398) before a rather dramatic fall-off in 2011 at Lexington (.247.341/.326).  The good news is that his OBP ticked up and he increased his walks from 14 walks in 246 AB in 2010 to 31 walks in 215 AB in 2011.  The bad news is that he had a very, very bad winter in the Puerto Rican League.  Hernandez doesn't turn 21 until August so a rebound is a definite possibility.

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Monday's Game:  Astros (11-11) at Nationals (6-13) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast: KBME 790 at 11:50 CST
Probable Starters: RHP Jordan Lyles (0-1, 6.55) & LHP John Lannan (0-1, 4.85)

Sunday's Results (Game 1):  Braves over Astros 11-1
Winning Pitcher:  Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 7.45)
Losing Pitcher:  Zach Duke (0-3, 11.30)
HR:  ATL - Dan Uggla (6), Brian McCann (2), Freddie Freeman 2 (3)

Sunday's Results (Game 2):  Pirates over Astros 9-7 in 10 innings
Winning Pitcher:  Jose Diaz (1-0, 0.00)
Losing Pitcher:  Enerio del Rosario (1-1, 6.14)
SV:  Michael Dubee
HR:  HOU - Jed Lowrie (2), Chris Snyder (3)

Happy Birthday - 3/26

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Shane Reynolds (44)
Drafted by the Astros in the 3rd round in 1989, Reynolds pitched for Houston from 1992 to 2002.  He had a 103-86 record over 274 appearances (248 starts) with an ERA of 3.95 and a WHIP of 1.292.  His best season was 1998 when he went 19-8 with a 3.51 ERA and a 1.329 WHIP.  In 1999 he led the National League in SO/BB ratio and sacrifice hits, and was finally given an All-Star nod in 2000.

IF Jose Vizcaino (44)
Vizcaino played in 18 seasons for 8 different teams, 5 of those for Houston from 2001 to 2005 where he batted .276/.316/.369 in 559 games.  He led the National League in fielding percentage and assists by a shortstop in 1995 for the Mets.  In 2000, he had the game-winning hit for the Yankees in Game 1 of the Subway World Series between the Yankees and the Mets.

Tweet of the Day

Brandon Culbreth

Glad i did good in front of moms for the first time shes seen me pitch since high school

Sunday, March 25, 2012

WTH 25-Man Roster Change

Boy, do I hate this.  I've been putting it off, but I'm just going to rip the bandage off and do it.  We're going to have to replace the recently released Jordan Comadena on the WTH Roster.  I knew that it was likely that we would have to replace a player due to injury or being called-up at some point, so I compiled a list of the runners-up in the voting for that eventuality.

So without further ado, Roberto Pena is now a member of the WTH Roster, and I feel like a total rat fink.  Sigh.

Comeback/Breakthrough Pitcher for 2012

The votes are in and you picked Ross Seaton to be the breakthrough pitcher for the 2012 season.  Seaton was followed closely by Tanner Bushue.  Also receiving votes were Juri Perez and Brad Dydalewicz.  Jose Perdomo received no love from voters.  Parameters for the vote are here.

Coming Monday - Comeback/Breakthrough Position Player candidates for the 2012 season

Spring Training Schedule & Results

Sunday's Game:  Astros (11-9) at Braves (7-14) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast: 12:00 CST
Probable Starters: LHP Zach Duke (0-2, 6.55) & RHP Jair Jurrjens (0-2, 10.13)

Second Game:  Pirates (7-13) at Houston (11-9) at 12:05 CST
Broadcast:  KTRH 740 at 11:50 CST
Probable Starters:  RHP Brad Lincoln (0-0, 18.00) & LHP J.A. Happ (1-1, 7.27)

Saturday's Results:  Astros over Pirates 5-4 in 10 innings
Winning Pitcher:  Rhiner Cruz (1-1, 9.64)
Losing Pitcher:  Kris Johnson (0-1, 0.00)
HR:  HOU - Scott Moore (1); PIT - Garrett Jones (3)

Happy Birthday - 3/25

No future Astros with birthdays today, and only one former Astro ~

RHP Mike Nagy (64)
Obtained in a trade from the Cardinals in December 1973, Nagy only pitched in 9 games for Houston in 1974 at the end of his major league career with less than desirable results.  His best season was his rookie season in 1969, when he was 12-2 with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.469 WHIP in 33 appearances (28 starts) for Boston.  He was second only to Lou Pinella in AL Rookie of the Year voting that year.  According to Baseball-Reference:
After his stint in the US ended, Nagy starred in the Mexican League from 1976-1979. He led the Liga in ERA in 1978 and his 2.01 career ERA is the lowest in LMB history among hurlers with 500+ innings.

Tweet of the Day

Now for something completely different, the Tweet of the Day comes from me!

I know it's just Spring Training, but the fact that the Rangers currently have the worst ST record out of 30 teams makes me very happy.