Saturday, May 26, 2012

Roster Moves - 5/26

Oklahoma City
OF Justin Ruggiano was traded to the Miami Marlins for C Jobduan Morales.
UPDATED TO ADD: CF Brandon Barnes was promoted from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City.

Corpus Christi
C Chris Wallace activated from the temporary inactive list.
2B J.C. Thompson was released.

Minor League Schedule and Results


Lexington at Hickory at 5:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jonas Dufek (1-0, 4.76) and RHP Nicholas Martinez (1-1, 4.26)

Springfield at Corpus Christi at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Seth Maness (1-0, 0.00) and RHP Jose Cisnero (2-5, 5.59)
Available on

Oklahoma City at Albuquerque at 8:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Wes Musick (0-0, 3.00) and RHP John Ely (3-3, 3.64)
Available on

Inland Empire at Lancaster at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Manny Correa (3-2, 2.93) and RHP David Martinez (1-3, 6.55)


Hickory over Lexington 8-7
This one started off so well with Zach Johnson hitting a two run first inning homer, but Luis Cruz got picked on by the Hickory hitters, giving up six runs on nine hits. But it was Nate Pettus, not Cruz, who got pegged with the loss as the Legends battled back to tie it in the eighth thanks in large part to a two run Mike Kvasnicka home run, only to fall short the next inning. Zach Johnson was three-for-four with two RBIs (his 50th and 51st); Matt Duffy was two-for-five; Chris Epps also hit a two run home run; and Delino DeShields stole his 31st bag and got caught stealing for the third time. Justin Gominsky also stole two bases. Pettus and Duffy had fielding errors and Roberto Pena had a throwing error.

Oklahoma City over Albuquerque 10-4
Mickey Storey (W, 2-2) did a nice job in his second spot start for the Redhawks giving up three runs on eight hits over five innings. Sergio Perez and Xavier Cedeno took it the rest of the way. Brad Snyder was three-for-five with two bombs and a stolen base, and Landon Powell hit a three run shot. Jimmy Paredes and Angel Sanchez both had two hits for the night and Paredes stole his 15th base.

Lancaster over Inland Empire 4-3 in 11 innings
Ruben Alaniz went five innings and gave up three runs on eight hits, followed by a very strong 3.2 innings from Andrew Robinson. Pat Urckfitz got the final out in the ninth and kept it tied so that Kirk Clark could pitch two extra innings for the win. Lancaster's comeback in the bottom of the ninth was an unlikely outcome given the circumstances. After cutting Inland Empire's lead to one on a Rafy Valenzuela home run, his first of the season, the JetHawks were down to their final out. A Ben Orloff walk, a George Springer single, a wild pitch to advance the runners and another wild pitch on a strikeout by Adam Bailey to get Ben Orloff home tied the game. In the 11th, a two out single by Orloff brought Valenzuela home to seal the deal. Valenzuela had a great night, going three-for-four with a double and a home run. Jonathan Meyer and Rene Garcia had two hits each.

Corpus Christi over Arkansas 7-2

What went right: Excellent pitching and the Jon Singleton show.

Ross Seaton had another great outing, this time holding the opposing hitters to two runs on three hits over seven innings. Arecenio Leon and Jason Stoffel kept the door firmly shut in relief. Jon Singleton enjoyed hitting a two run home run in the first inning so much that he decided to add on a three run home run in the fifth just for grins. Brandon Barnes added a solo shot in the seventh. Austin Wates and Jonathan Villar also had nice nights at the plate. While you were watching Jon Singleton go yard, Villar has quietly gotten his average up to .262, hitting .372 in his last 10 games.

Ross Seaton (W, 4-3) - 7IP 3H 2R 2BB 5SO
Arcenio Leon - 1IP 1H 0R 0BB
Jason Stoffel - 1IP 0H 0R 0BB

Austin Wates - 2x5 SB
Jonathan Villar - 3x5 RBI SO R
Jon Singleton - 2x4 2HR 5RBI 2R
Brandon Barnes - 1x3 HR RBI BB 2SO R SB

What went wrong: Kody Hinze and Ryan McCurdy both had 0-fers.

Over his last four starts, Ross Seaton is 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 1.037 WHIP. He's not just my pitcher of the day; he's on the short list for pitcher of the month.

Jon Singleton's two home runs and five RBIs make this one easy for me.

Happy Birthday - 5/26

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Rob Murphy (52)
A first round pick by Cincinnati in 1981, Mahoney came to Houston as a free agent in January 1992 and played just that one season for Houston. In 59 games pitched he was 3-1 with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.383 WHIP.

SS Jim Mahoney (78)
Mahoney came from Cleveland prior to the 1963 season and only played in five major league games for Houston in 1965. Those games proved to be his final major league games although he continued to play for various minor league teams until 1970.

Tweet of the Day

Kirk Clark

Big W tonight! Walkoff by captain orloff! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Minor League Schedule and Results


Lexington at Hickory at 6:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Luis Cruz (4-1, 2.50) and TBD

Arkansas at Corpus Christi at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP A.J. Schugel (2-4, 3.04) and RHP Ross Seaton (3-3, 3.48)
Available on

Oklahoma City at Albuquerque at 8:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Mickey Storey (1-2, 5.40) and RHP Stephen Fife (3-3, 5.32)
Available on

Inland Empire at Lancaster at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Max Russell (2-4, 4.50) and RHP Ruben Alaniz (4-1, 3.75)


Game 1: Oklahoma City over Colorado Springs 7-4
Jordan Lyles only pitched two innings (33 pitches) which presumably leaves him open to start in one of the Astros doubleheader games in Colorado on Monday on short rest. He gave up two hits, including a solo home run. Aneury Rodriguez pitched the next 3.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits with no walks, two strikeouts and a home run. Rodriguez got the win and David Carpenter got a four out save (his first), allowing only one hit. Oklahoma City had 10 hits, including a Ruggiano home run and a Scott Moore double (both went two-for-four); Fernando Martinez was three-for-four with a caught stealing.

Corpus Christi over Arkansas 13-4
It wasn't exactly smooth sailing for Jarred Cosart, with 12 hits, a hit batter and a balk, but he held on through seven innings for the win. Kevin Chapman and Henry Villar pitched the final two innings of scoreless relief. And the Hooks batters brought their big boy bats, particularly Jose Martinez (three-for-five with two doubles, a home run and three RBIs), Jon Singleton (four-for-five with a home run and four RBIs), and Ryan McCurdy (two-for-four with a double and a grand slam).

Game 2: Colorado Springs over Oklahoma City 9-2
I'm not sure what's going on with Dallas Keuchel (L, 4-4) in his last couple of starts, but they have not been pretty. In Keuchel's first seven appearances, he gave up a total of 13 earned runs. In his last two starts, he's given up 19 earned runs. Keuchel only lasted 3.2 innings in this one with Juan Abreu, Adalberto Flores and Jonnathan Aristil taking it the rest of the way. Scott Moore was two-for-three, Fernando Martinez and Brett Wallace both doubled and Brad Snyder hit a solo home run.

Inland Empire over Lancaster 12-6
Inland Empire jumped all over starter Jorge de Leon as he gave up six runs (four earned) on six hits over two innings. Three fielding errors and back to back home runs didn't help his cause. Zach Grimmett fared a tad bit better over five innings of relief; unfortunately, he pitched 5.1 innings and that last third of an inning was his undoing as he ended the night with six runs on eight hits. Jose Trinidad had clean up duty. Domingo Santana was two-for-three with a double, home run (his third in the last two games), two RBIs and scored three runs. Erick Castro and Jonathan Meyer also had two hits for the night.

Lexington over Hickory 7-3

What went right: Solid pitching and solid hitting.

Mike Foltynewicz has spoiled me. I found myself disappointed that, despite the fact that he got his sixth win, he only just had a quality start. Three runs allowed. Pffft. Not acceptable. Seriously, though, I would like to see him get stretched out a bit. He's only pitched more than six innings once. Carlos Quevedo pitched two scoreless innings of relief and Jason Chowning closed it out with a scoreless frame. The Legends had thirteen hits, including a two-run home run by Roberto Pena and a triple by Delino DeShields, six walks and three stolen bases (and only one of those was DeShields).

Mike Foltynewicz (W, 6-1) - 6IP 7H 3R 2BB 7SO
Carlos Quevedo - 2IP 1H 0R 0BB 2SO
Jason Chowning - 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1SO (0.78 ERA & 0.826 WHIP)

Delino DeShields - 2x3 3B RBI 2BB 2R SB(30th) CS(2nd)
Jordan Scott - 3x4 RBI BB SB CS
Zach Johnson - 0x5 RBI(48th) SO
Matt Duffy - 2x4 BB 2R SB
Roberto Pena - 1x5 HR 2RBI R
Chris Epps - 2x5 2RBI SO
Jimmy Howick - 2x4 2-2B R

What went wrong: Zach Johnson and Brandon Meredith both had 0-fers, but Johnson still managed an RBI and Meredith walked and scored a run.

No one really blew me away, but I'll go with David Carpenter for getting a four-out save, his first of the season.

Ryan McCurdy gets some love for hitting his first professional home run and doing it right with a grand slam.

Happy Birthday - 5/25

RF Brad Snyder (30)
Originally drafted by Cleveland in the first round in 2003, Snyder signed with Houston as a free agent in the offseason in 2011 after playing with both the Cleveland and Chicago organizations.  He is currently hitting .295/.391/.589 for Oklahoma City.

RHP Jarred Cosart (22)
Cosart was a 38th round draft pick by the Phillies in 2008, going in the lower rounds primarily because of signability issues. He came to Houston in July 2011 along with Jon Singleton, Josh Zeid and Domingo Santana in the Hunter Pence trade. In seven starts at Corpus Christi, Cosart is 3-2 with a 3.79 ERA and a 1.684 WHIP.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Bob Knepper (58)
A second round draft pick by the Giants in 1972, Knepper came to Houston in December of 1980 as a part of  the Giant's trade for Enos Cabell. He pitched for Houston from 1981 to 1989 with a 93-100 record, a 3.66 ERA and a 1.306 WHIP in 284 games (267 starts). His best season for the Astros was in 1986 when he went 17-12 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.140 WHIP. He was an All Star for Houston in 1981 and 1988, and let the National League in shutouts in 1978 and 1986 (for the Giants and Astros, respectively).

SS Miguel Tejada (38 as far as I know)
Originally signed by Oakland out of the Dominican Republic in 1993, Tejada came to Houston in a December 2007 trade with the Orioles for Luke Scott, Dennis Sarfate, Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Mike Costanzo one day before being named in the Mitchell Report in connection with steroids. He played in 316 games for Houston in 2008 and 2009, hitting .298/.327/.435. He was an All Star six times, won the Silver Slugger two times, was American League MVP in 2002, among many other notable achievements during his career.

Tweet of the Day

Alex Sogard

Big Props to McCurdy on his 1st pro bomb! He did it big by going Granny style   

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Minor League Schedule and Results


Game 1: Oklahoma City at Colorado Springs at 5:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jordan Lyles (5-0, 3.49) and LHP Drew Pomeranz (2-0, 0.00)
Available on

Lexington at Hickory at 6:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Mike Foltynewicz (5-1, 2.15) and LHP Victor Payano (3-2, 3.57)

Arkansas at Corpus Christi at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Eddie McKiernan (3-2, 1.47) and RHP Jarred Cosart (2-2, 3.48)
Available on

Game 2: Oklahoma City at Colorado Springs
Probable Pitchers: LHP Dallas Keuchel (4-3, 3.75) and RHP Guillermo Moscoso (2-3, 5.40)
Available on

Inland Empire at Lancaster at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Ryan Crowley (0-2, 4.76) and RHP Jorge de Leon (0-3, 7.77)


Corpus Christi over Arkansas 9-5
Jake Buchanan (W, 2-3) was two outs away from a complete game, but with two runs in, the bases loaded and only one out in the top of the ninth, he was pulled for Josh Zeid. Zeid proceeded to allow two more runners to score on wild pitches before getting the last two outs on strikeouts. The good news is that the offense, which has been largely stifled as of late, came out with a vengeance, banging out 14 hits with two home runs (Jonathan Villar and Brandon Barnes) and two doubles (Austin Wates and Jon Singleton). Brandon Barnes was three-for-four with a three-run home run.

Oklahoma City - Rain out

Lancaster - Off Day

Lexington over West Virginia 4-0

What went right: An excellent start by Ordosgoitti and a bullpen in lockdown mode.

In his fourth start since being called up, Luis Ordosgoitti lowered his ERA from 8.49 to 5.21 as the 19-year old attempts to show that he belongs at this level. Murilo Gouvea and Dayan Diaz pitched the final 1.2 innings to complete the shutout. Matt Duffy and Mike Kvasnicka both went two-for-four. Duffy had two RBIs and a double. Jordan Scott hit a triple and had an outfield assist.

Luis Ordosgoitti (W, 1-1) - 7.1IP 4H 0R 3BB 4SO
Murilo Gouvea - 0.2IP 0H 0R 1BB
Dayan Diaz - 1IP 0H 0R 2BB 2SO

Delino DeShields - 1x5 RBI SO
Jordan Scott - 1x4 3B SO R
Matt Duffy - 2x4 2B 2RBI R
Mike Kvasnicka - 2x4 SO R

What went wrong: No stolen bases from Delino DeShields and no RBIs from Zach Johnson. Slackers! (For the humor impaired, that's a joke.)

Luis Ordosgoitti gets his first win at Lexington and his first Pitcher of the Day award from WTHB. The excitement is almost palpable!

Brandon Barnes continues to prove that his hot start at Corpus isn't a fluke. After 41 games, he is hitting .320/.382/.549.

Happy Birthday - 5/24

RHP Henry Villar (25)
Signed as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2005, Villar has had mixed results at Corpus Christi so far this season. In seven games (two starts), he is 2-2 with a 7.50 ERA and a 1.444 WHIP, but he has fared considerably better as a reliever - 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.083 WHIP.  In 2010, he made eight appearances for the big club with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.333 WHIP.

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

2B Mike Richardt (54)
A first round draft pick by the Rangers in 1978, Richardt came to Houston in a trade in 1984. Richardt only had 15 plate appearances in 16 games for Houston in 1984 and hit .267/.267/.333.

Tweet of the Day

Andy Simunic

Great performance by  tonight on the bump and glad to see  display the power stroke 

Roster Moves - 5/23

Oklahoma City
SS Diory Hernandez was released by the Astros. In 44 at bats, he was hitting .159/.240/.159.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An Interview with 2B Delino DeShields, Jr.

Delino DeShields, Jr. was the Astros first round draft pick in 2010 out of Woodward Academy in College Park, Georgia. He is in his third professional season at the ripe old age of 19 and is playing for the Lexington Legends LoA team. He is currently hitting .241/.361/.333 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 15 RBIs, and has walked 28 times while striking out 40 times. He leads the South Atlantic League with 29 stolen bases and is tied for fifth in the league with 33 runs scored. If Delino played in all of the remaining games for Lexington, he is on a pace to steal 95 bases this season. He has been caught once.

When I was in Lexington last month, I saw two Delinos. Off the field, he was quiet, thoughtful and observant, taking in everything around him. On the field, he was still thoughtful and observant, but there was nothing quiet about him. His diving catches on defense and his relentless approach on the basepaths did his talking for him.

Delino DeShields, Jr. April 2012
After stealing second and third

WTH: I know that last season your focus was more on the defensive end and really learning to play second base. By all accounts from your teammates and coaches, your defense is night and day from last season. How do you feel about your progress as a defensive player? What are you still working on in that regard?

DD: I feel like I progressed a lot from when I first started. I've been trying to stay focused, put in the necessary work so that one day I'll be great. I know I still have a long way to go. I still have unmet goals that I've set for myself but if I keep putting in the work I believe that I will get to where I want to be soon enough.

WTH: To what do you attribute your improvement at the plate this season? How would you describe yourself as a hitter? What are you working on?

DD: After last year, I have a better idea of what the level of dedication and commitment to professional ball is about. I know my strengths now and I've dedicated this year to work on my weaknesses at the plate. I would describe myself as a guy who will do anything to get on base. If that means driving the ball gap to gap or laying down a bunt, then that's what I have to do. I have some pop in the bat to knock it out of the park occasionally and if the situation is right I can do my job.

WTH: You were an equally talented football player in high school. Was the decision to pick baseball over football a difficult one?

DD: Not necessarily. Please don't get me wrong, I love football but I had to look at the big picture. I wanted to go to college to play football, however I didn't have plans on playing in the NFL. Going to college to play football would have been more recreational than anything and I didn't the feel the pros outweighed the cons if I went that route. The Big Picture for me has always be about getting to the Big Leagues so it made sense to go ahead and put all my eggs in one basket and get started in pursuing my career. So really, at the end of the day it wasn't a tough decision for me.

WTH: How are you like your father as an athlete/baseball player? How are you different?

DD: Dad and I are similar in a lot of ways. We both were very talented athletes in high school. We both can run and we have similar playing styles. The main difference that I think we have is that I have more 'thunder' than he does at the plate.

WTH: I read an article recently that you had tweeted a link to about the dwindling number of black athletes pursuing baseball. What would you do if you were the Commissioner of Baseball to change that?

BB: I really can't say what I would do if I were the commissioner but as a person and a baseball player who loves this game, if given the opportunity to make it in the Big Leagues, I would try to give young black athletes somewhere where they could play and showcase their talents. Baseball just happens to be one of those sports that can be very expensive, especially when you factor in all the costs that come with traveling on the competitive level. Some people can't afford it and it's not necessarily fair.

WTH: Do you feel added pressure as a first round draft pick?

DD: I did initially, because I was only 17 years old. Now that I'm a little older, there's still pressure, but I've grown to learn that as much as I would like to, I can't possibly please everyone all the time. I just have to play for me and my team. And people just look at numbers, but it's not always about numbers -- it's about the little things that we do to help the team win.

WTH: Can you tell me something about yourself that most people don't know and that might surprise them?

DD: I love playing the guitar. It relaxes me when I'm not playing baseball. Music for me is very therapeutic.

Thanks for your time Delino. Keep stealing those bases and getting that uniform good and dirty!

Minor League Schedule and Results


West Virginia at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Robbie Rowland (0-0, 9.00) and RHP Luis Ordosgoitti (0-1, 8.49)
Available on

Oklahoma City at Colorado Springs at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Aneury Rodriguez (1-4, 4.89) and LHP Drew Pomerantz (2-0, 0.00)
Available on

Arkansas at Corpus Christi at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Orangel Arenas (2-3, 3.59) and RHP Jake Buchanan (1-3, 5.80)
Available on

Lancaster - Off Day


High Desert over Lancaster 12-8
Tyson Perez (L, 3-1) wasn't able to recreate the phenomenal success of his first three starts as he went to the mound for the fourth time for Lancaster. In 5.1 innings, he gave up six runs on nine hits. Five of Perez' runs came via the long ball. Brian Streilein and Kirk Clark also struggled to be effective, allowing another six runs over the next 2.2 innings. Brad Dydalewicz was the only pitcher not to get mauled as he pitched the final frame. The ball was flying out of the park as the teams combined to hit eight home runs for the day. Down 12-3 going in to the bottom of the eighth, the JetHawks at least made it interesting, scoring five runs in the eighth, including back to back to back solo home runs by George Springer, Adam Bailey (3x5) and Domingo Santana (his second of the day) but the deficit proved to be too great to overcome.

Lexington over West Virginia 3-2
Nick Tropeano deserved a better fate than a no decision, but that's what he got with the blown save from Carlos Quevedo (who went on to get the win). Tropeano pitched 6.1 innings, giving up four hits and a run (on a runner Quevedo allowed to score) with no walks and eight strikeouts. The pitching staff didn't have much room for error as Lexington only had three hits. Thankfully one of those hits was a two run home run by Drew Muren which proved to be the game winner. Five walks and two stolen bases (including Delino Deshields 29th) helped the Legends cause; Zach Johnson got an RBI (his 48th) on a ground out thanks to two walks, a wild pitch and a stolen base in front of him. Jason Chowning got his eighth save, giving up one hit with three strikeouts.

Corpus Christi - Off Day

Oklahoma City over Colorado Springs 9-5

What went right: Long balls from Jimmy Paredes, Brett Wallace and Brad Snyder.

Paul Clemens wasn't exactly overpowering in his start, but it didn't matter as his offense came to the rescue with three-run home runs from Brett Wallace and Brad Snyder and a solo shot by Jimmy Paredes. The bullpen only allowed one run over the final four innings. In addition to some great hitting, Paredes stole a pair of bags and Fernando Martinez added a couple of outfield assists to the mix. It was a solid team effort.

Paul Clemens (W, 5-3) - 5IP 8H 4R 1BB 4SO
Sergio Perez - 1IP 2H 1R 1BB
Xavier Cedeno - 2IP 0H 0R 3SO
David Carpenter - 1IP 1H 0R

Jimmy Paredes - 2x5 HR RBI SO 2R SB
Fernando Martinez - 1x4 2B BB 2SO 2R
Scott Moore - 3x3 2B 2RBI BB R
Brett Wallace - 1x4 HR 3RBI 2SO 2R
Brad Snyder - 1x1 HR 3RBI R
Landon Powell - 2x3 BB SO

What went wrong: Brian Bixler was 0-for-6 with three strikeouts, but since he is still hitting .331, I'll overlook it.

I'm going to declare a tie. Nick Tropeano pitched extremely well and should have gotten the win. Jason Chowning got his eighth save; he has no walks and 19 strikeouts in his last seven appearances.

Brad Snyder gets the glory for a pinch hit three run jack.

Happy Birthday - 5/23

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

SS Ricky Gutierrez (42)
A first round draft pick by Baltimore in 1988, Gutierrez came to Houston in this megatrade:
December 28, 1994: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier and Craig Shipleyto the Houston Astros for a player to be named later, Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Steve Finley, Roberto Petagine and Brian Williams. The Houston Astros sent Sean Fesh (minors) (May 1, 1995) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
He played for Houston from 1995 to 1999, hitting .266/.337/.340 over 469 games.

Saarloos was drafted by Houston in the third round in 2001 and pitched for Houston in 2002 and 2003 before being traded to Oakland for Chad Harville in April of 2004. In 53 games (21 starts), Saarloos was 8-8 with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.478 WHIP.

Originally drafted by Houston in the eighth round in 1999 as a shortstop, Sampson had retired in 2000 and gone on to coach baseball for Collin College in Plano where he came to realize his potential as a pitcher. After contacting the Astros and being given a tryout, he was signed to a minor league contract in 2003. Sampson went on to pitch in 174 games (33 starts) for Houston from 2006 to 2010 with a 20-15 record, a 4.42 ERA and a 1.330 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Josh Zeid@Josh_Zeid14
Ping pong by the pool on our day off w

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Roster Moves

2B John Hinson placed on the 7-day disabled list.
1B Jesse Wierzbicki assigned from extended spring training to Lexington.

Minor League Schedule and Results


High Desert at Lancaster at 1:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Cameron Hobson (0-1, 11.57) and RHP Tyson Perez (3-0, 1.35)

West Virginia at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: TBD
Available on

Oklahoma City at Colorado Springs at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Paul Clemens (4-3, 5.67) and RHP Edgar Gonzalez (2-1, 4.99)
Available on

West Virginia over Lexington 4-3
Jonas Dufek pitched a solid seven innings giving up three runs with no big innings, but Murilo Gouvea gave up one run in then tied game and was charged with the loss. Zach Johnson was 2x3 with another RBI, his 47th of the season. To put things in perspective, if Johnson played in all remaining 97 games for Lexington, he is on a pace for 158 RBIs. And Delino DeShields, who stole his 28th base and scored two runs, is on a pace to steal 94 bases.

Oklahoma City over Colorado Springs 5-3
Wes Musick fared extremely well in his AAA debut as he pitched six innings, giving up two runs on six hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Adalberto Flores pitched two innings getting a blown save and a win and Jose Valdez got the save, his tenth of the season. After four home runs in the previous game, the Redhawks won this one playing small ball as Brett Wallace contributed the only extra base hit of the evening, a double, as he went 2x4. J.B. Shuck and Jimmy Paredes were both 3x5 for the night. Paredes is now hitting .329. Fernando Martinez and Mike Hessman each had two RBIs.

High Desert over Lancaster 8-2
Starter Bobby Doran (L, 4-3) was cruising along nicely until he got to the seventh inning. With one out, one run in and two baserunners on, Doran was pulled for Andrew Robinson who allowed both of Doran's runners to score plus added two of his own for good measure before mercifully inducing a double play to end the inning. At that point the damage was done and the JetHawks' four hits were not enough to get them back in the game. DH Erik Castro hit a solo home run, his seventh of the season.

Corpus Christi over Midland 5-2

What went right: Great nights for Brett Oberholtzer and Jonathan Villar.

Thanks to a great start by Brett Oberholtzer, Corpus Christi had a shutout going until the eighth inning. With two outs in the eighth inning, Kevin Chapman was pulled for Arcenio Leon after allowing a single and a walk. Leon allowed a single, hit a batter and issued a bases loaded walk without recording any outs which led to Erick Abreu coming in to get a four out save, his first save of the season. The Hooks got 11 hits and four of those belonged to Jonathan Villar. Brandon Barnes had the only extra base hit, a double.

Brett Oberholtzer (W, 2-2) - 6IP 8H 0R 1BB 9SO
Kevin Chapman - 1.2IP 1H 2R 1BB 2SO
Arcenio Leon - 0.0IP 1H 1BB
Erick Abreu (S, 1) - 1.1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2SO

Jonathan Villar - 4x5 RBI SO R SB
Jose Martinez - 2x4 RBI SO
Brandon Barnes - 1x4 2B SO R

What went wrong: Kody Hinze was 0x3 with a walk and three strikeouts as he continues his struggles at the plate. He is currently hitting .213 for the season.

Brett Oberholtzer gets the nod.

Jonathan Villar. After a 4x5 night, he now has his average up to .247 and he's hitting .333 over his last 10 games. Good to see!

No Birthdays Today ...

So I thought I'd share another episode of T. Sean Shannon's Baseball Card Theatre. Enjoy!

Tweet of the Day

Andy Simunic

Rookie karaoke not a bad way to start this trip back home

Roster Moves

Oklahoma City
RHP Jordan Lyles optioned from Houston to Oklahoma City.
RHP Enerio del Rosario recalled from Oklahoma City to Houston.
The previously reported LHP Wes Musick move from Corpus Christi to OKC was also confirmed.

Also, according to a tweet from Joe Witkowski, 1B Jesse Wierzbicki is headed to Lexington, but this information HAS NOT been confirmed yet.

Monday, May 21, 2012

An Interview with Lancaster Closer Kirk Clark

RHP Kirk Clark was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2009 and recently surpassed the 50 save mark for the Astros organization. At Lancaster this season, he has a 2-1 record with a 2.76 ERA, a 1.163 WHIP and five saves in 15 games.

WTH: First things first. Since the Lancaster games aren't available on, I've never gotten the opportunity to see you pitch. If I got that chance, what would I see? What are your best pitches? Velocity? Movement?

KC: Well the first thing you'll notice is that I'll be the aggressor. I'm going to go after hitters. I'm not gonna just let em get a free base. I'm going to challenge them with strikes. My arsenal consists of a fastball that just hovers at 90 with some good movement. My next pitch is a circle change up that when it's on looks like a split. Thirdly, is a curve I've been working on this season.

WTH: I know it's still early in the season (and that bullpen ERAs are subject to a lot of volatility), but your ERA and WHIP so far this season are substantially better than last season. To what do you attribute that? Have you just figured out how to be more effective in the tough environs of Lancaster?

KC: My thought process is just to go after hitters no matter what the conditions are here in California. If I get hit, it's gonna be because I fell behind or made a bad pitch. I've been just working a lot on locating and not giving teams free bases. It's also easy when I have a great defensive team behind me as well. I feel confident if or when they put the ball in play, that the play will be made.

WTH: Speaking of Lancaster, I have a theory. It seems to me that if a pitcher has decent command to start with, Lancaster can actually help him become a better pitcher as he fine-tunes his command. In other words, he has to pitch, not just throw. Am I on to something or am I just full of it?

KC: You are on to something. You can't just gear up and throw fastballs by people here. Hitters are always looking for something out over the plate that they can drive. You have to be able to read people's swings [both] when someone else is pitching or in the middle of an at bat. Not always is a well executed pitch going to work in your favor but most of the time it will.

WTH: I also noticed that you aren't striking out as many batters so far this season. Is that by design, trying to get more groundball outs? [The day I sent Clark this question, he struck out the side that night.]

KC: I usually don't pay attention to strike outs. As long as I'm doing my job by getting outs and winning games, that's way more important to me. ... [If] I'm throwing a lot of strikes or pitches that look like strikes coming out of my hand, [it] makes hitters antsy [that I will be] around the zone so [they had] better be ready early in the count. And as I said before, the defense has been great making plays for me as well so I know when I pitch to contact, they'll be ready to make the play for me.

WTH: You haven't gotten a lot of save opportunities so far this season. Are you being used in a different role? [At the time I asked this question, Clark only have three saves; he's gotten two additional saves since.]

KC: I've been in games where I'd come into games in the 7th, 8th, or 9th. I really don't think about getting save opportunities. I just think about doing my job no matter what it is and putting our team in a good spot to win.

WTH: As someone who was signed as a non-drafted free agent, what can you do to set yourself apart?

KC: To be honest I don't think about being a NDFA. As long as you produce, do your job, and work your butt off, you'll get the same opportunities as anyone. You just have to come out guns blazing all the time and compete. Some days you'll get beat, some days you'll beat yourself, some days you'll do your job. You just have to be consistent in what you do.

WTH: I understand that you pitched in the Alaskan Summer League a while back. Can you tell me a little about that experience?

KC: Well the Alaska summer league was amazing! Just imagine playing ball games at 10 pm and not having to worry about lights. It's gorgeous. It's 75-80 everyday with no humidity. It was a great experience. The people up there are also just amazing. Everyone was extremely friendly and would always lend a hand if you needed any help. Go glacier pilots! And ... it [was also ...] so much fun because we had a bunch of great guys on the team and we became great friends.

Thanks for your time Kirk. I hope to see you in Corpus soon!

Minor League Schedule and Results


West Virginia at Lexington at 6:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Ryan Haffner (0-3, 8.24) and RHP Jonas Dufek (1-0, 4.96)
Available on

Corpus Christi at Midland at 6:30 CST
Probable Pitchers: LHP Brett Oberholtzer (1-2, 6.18) and RHP Murphy Smith (3-0, 2.76)
Available on

Oklahoma City at Colorado Springs at 7:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: TBD
Available on

High Desert at Lancaster at 9:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: TBD

Oklahoma over Reno 10-9
Mickey Storey got a spot start for Oklahoma City and gave up five runs on five hits and two walks over three innings, but still managed to get seven strikeouts. Juan Abreu, Xavier Cedeno, David Carpenter and Jose Valdez combined to go the rest of the way, with Carpenter getting the win and Valdez getting the save. Xavier Cedeno gave up his first earned run of the season. There was a lot of firepower in this one with home runs from Fernando Martinez, Scott Moore, Brett Wallace and Landon Powell. Every starter except for Mike Hessman and Mickey Storey got at least one hit. J.B. Shuck scored what turned out to be the winning run in the seventh inning on a Brian Bixler double.

Midland over Corpus Christi 9-3
Jose Cisnero (L, 2-5) had yet another tough start, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks over four innings. Henry Villar and Alex Sogard kept Corpus in the game, but Midland broke things wide open as Josh Zeid allowed five runs on four hits and a walk in one third of an inning and Erick Abreu had to come in to get the final two outs. Once again, the Hooks were limited to a handful of hits and Jake Goebbert was the only player to get an extra base hit, a double.

High Desert over Lancaster 11-4
David Martinez (L, 1-3) was yet another victim of a rough Sunday for most of the Astros starters. In 4.1 innings pitched, he gave up seven runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out eight. The bullpen in the guise of Jose Trinidad, Pat Urckfitz and Gabriel Garcia allowed another four runs. George Springer and Ben Heath were both 2x4, but it was Adam Bailey that really stood out going 4x4 with a home run and two RBIs.

Lexington over Kannapolis 7-1

What went right: Luis Cruz had an absolutely brilliant start and four Legends had multi-hit days.

Luis Cruz got the win to improve to 4-1 as he allowed only three hits over 7.2 innings. Euris Quezada took it the rest of the way, giving up one run over the final 1.1 innings. Jordan Scott, Zach Johnson, Matt Duffy and Drew Muren all had great days at the plate. Johnson got another two RBIs to bring his season total to 46 over 40 games. Delino DeShields was the only player not to get a hit, but he did draw a walk and score.

Luis Cruz - 7.2IP 3H 0R 2BB 7SO
Euris Quezada - 1.1IP 3H 1R

Jordan Scott -3x5 2B 2R
Zach Johnson - 2x5 2B 2RBI R
Matt Duffy - 4x5 2-2B 2RBI 2R
Drew Muren - 3x45 2B 2RBI BB

What went wrong: A throwing error from Cruz and a couple of GIDPs for DeShields and Muren.

Luis Cruz was a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day of pitching.

I've got to go with Adam Bailey for his 4x4 game and two run home run, but Matt Duffy is a very close second.

Happy Birthday - 5/21

2B Jordan Kreke (25)
Originally drafted by Atlanta in the 13th round in 2009, Kreke was signed as a minor league free agent in the off-season. In 22 games for Corpus Christi, he is hitting .204/.232/.278.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Barry Latman (76)
Obtained in a trade with the California Angels in December of 1965, Latman pitched for Houston in 1966 and 1967 at the end of his career. In 70 games pitched, he was 5-13 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.273 WHIP. He was an All Star for Cleveland in 1961 when he went 13-5 with 5 saves in 45 games (18 starts).

LHP Tom Martin (42)
A sixth round draft pick by the Orioles in 1988, Martin came to Houston as a free agent in December 1995. He pitched in the Houston organization for two seasons before being selected by the Diamondbacks in the expansion draft in November 1997. He again signed with Houston as a free agent in April 2005 and was released in June of that same year. Martin pitched out of the bullpen in 55 games with Houston at the major league level in 1997. He was 5-3 with a 2.09 ERA and a 1.339 WHIP over 56 innings pitched.

Tweet of the Day

Drew Muren

Winning feels great. Period

Roster Moves

According to Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller Times, LHP Wes Musick will be assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City to make a spot start.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Minor League Schedule and Results


Corpus Christi at Midland at 2:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: RHP Jose Cisnero (1-2, 5.18) and RHP Sean Haviland (1-3, 5.60)
Available on

Oklahoma City at Reno at 3:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: TBD and RHP Charles Brewer (1-3, 6.92)
Available on

High Desert at Lancaster at 4:00 CST
Probable Pitchers: TBD

Lexington at Kannapolis at 4:05 CST
Probable Pitchers: TBD and RHP Miles Jaye (1-1, 4.02)


Reno over Oklahoma City 14-9
I always say that if you have to lose, you might as well do it in spectacular fashion. Dallas Keuchel (L, 4-3) did just that as he gave up 12 runs on 13 hits and raised his ERA from 2.09 to 3.75 in one fell swoop. I didn't watch the game and have no idea exactly why Keuchel was instructed to intentionally walk someone with one out and one on IN THE FIRST INNING, but apparently he was. I wouldn't intentionally walk Josh Hamilton in the first inning with the bases loaded, much less in that situation, but I digress. Despite Keuchel having an off night (vast understatement), the Redhawks tried to battle back, scoring eight runs in the last four innings but fell short. Jimmy Paredes (2B, 3B, 4R) and Brett Wallace (HR, 3RBI) were both 3x5 for the night. Mike Hessman and Carlos Corporan homered as well.

Corpus Christi over Midland 5-4
Ross Seaton (W, 3-3) continued his progress as he put up his third quality start in a row, giving up two earned runs on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Jason Stoffel pitched two innings for his fifth save. The Hooks came from behind in this one with Jake Goebbert's RBI double in the eighth giving them the lead. Goebbert was 2x3 for the night; Kody Hinze was 2x4 with an RBI; and Jon Singleton was 1x3 with two walks and two runs scored. Austin Wates was back in the lineup so apparently there are no lingering problems from being hit by a pitch the other night.

Lexington over Kannapolis 7-5
Mike Foltynewicz (W, 5-1) wasn't at his sharpest, allowing four runs on five hits and four walks over six innings, but he kept the Legends in the game. He started the seventh inning, but was pulled with runners on first and third and no outs. Murilo allowed one of Foltynewicz' runners to score before getting out of the inning. Jason Chowning had a two inning adventure while getting his seventh save of the season. In the eighth inning, Chowning struck out the side working around a base runner who reached on a fielding error and THREE passed balls by Mike Kvasnicka to allow only one unearned run in the frame. The ninth inning was thankfully a bit more routine. Jordan Scott and Chan Moon each had two hits. Zach Johnson, Scott and Moon each had two RBIs. Johnson now has a league-leading 44 RBIs on the season and Delino DeShields stole his 26th base.

Lancaster over Inland Empire 8-4

Ruben Alaniz pitched a solid six innings for his fourth win. Except for a bit of a hiccup from Brad Dydalewicz in the ninth, the bullpen pitched strongly. Ben Orloff and George Springer were the stars of the night, but everyone in the lineup either got a hit or drew a walk. The win, Lancaster's fifth in a row, put them in sole possession of first place in their division.

Ruben Alaniz - 6IP 6H 2R 0BB 3SO
Gabriel Garcia - 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1SO
Brian Streilein - 1IP 1H 0R 0BB
Brad Dydalewicz - 0.2IP 3H 2R 1BB
Andrew Robinson (S, 1) - 0.1IP 0H 0R 0BB

Ben Orloff -3x5 3RBI 2R
George Springer - 4x5 HR RBI R
Adam Bailey - 1x4 2RBI SO
Kike Hernandez - 2x5 2B RBI BB SO 2R

Jason Chowning is my guy for pulling off a Houdini act and only giving up one unearned run in a very wild inning.

I'm hoping that 5-tool, .145 hitting T.J. Steele won't stand in the way of a promotion to Corpus for my player of the day, George Springer. Springer's only hitting .331 so who knows? (sarcasm intended)

Happy Birthday - 5/20

SS Jose Fernandez (19)
A non-drafted free agent signing out of the Dominican Republic, Fernandez spent the last two seasons playing with the Gulf Coast League Astros. In 43 games in 2011, he hit .245/.318/.321 with six double, three triples and 11 stolen bases.

Bonus Tweet of the Day

Enrique Hernandez

why are we in first place? cuz our pitching is dirty and YES, WE RAKE!!!!    

Tweets of the Day - Austin Wates Deep Thoughts

Austin Wates

If you follow the crowd you might get lost in it 

Austin Wates
Are there any sports that wouldn't be improved by adding a polar bear?

Austin Wates
Everything on earthquake prone surfaces should just be built on Tempur-Pedic mattresses 

Austin Wates
You can almost always substitute Nutella for a serious relationship

Austin Wates
It's all fun and games till 10% battery remaining shows up

Austin Wates
I'm suspicious of people who don't like dogs..But I totally trust a dog when it doesn't like a person  animals!

Austin Wates
They should call Crepes Frenchilladas 

Roster Moves - 5/19

Corpus Christi
LHP Wes Musick was placed on the temporary inactive list.
RHP Henry Villar was activated from the DL.