Saturday, July 28, 2012

Minor League Results

Friday's Results

DSL Royals 5 DSL Astros 6
First off, the DSL Astros have now won 3 in a row.  The third, Friday's game wasn't exactly a charm either.  The Astros had the lead until the 6th inning when they fell behind a run, 5-4.  The DSL Astros came back for a run in both the 7th and 8th innings to take back the win.  Leading the offensive charge, Pedro Coa hit 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs.  Hector Roa also went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.  Nary a DSL Astro struck out on Friday.  Juan Delis picked up his first win Friday after coming on in the 6th to replace Yonquelys Martinez.  Martinez was charged with the blown save.  Delis threw 2 and 2-thirds, allowing only a hit, a walk and striking out 1.  Rauldison Rodriguez picked up his first save ever after clocking in for the final frame, keeping it scoreless, walking 1 and fanning 1.

GCL Astros 8 GCL Nationals 3
The GCL Astros got on top early Friday, scoring all 8 of their runs in the first 3 innings.  The Astros batted around the order in the 1st inning and scored 5 runs.  Yonathan Mejia went 2 for 5 with 2 RBIs.  Jon Carnahan had 2 RBIs of his own and went 2 for 4 at the plate.  Jandel Gustave (2-0) picked up the win even though he was the only Astros pitcher to allow any runs all day (all 3 runs on 3 hits).  Gusatve also walked 3.

Greeneville Astros 12 Elizabethton Twins 9
The best time to give up 9 runs to the opponent is when you plan on scoring 12.  The opposition was never really close Friday until a 5-run 8th inning got them within 2.  The Astros brought their bats with them on Friday; they had 17 hits.  Jean Batista (2 for 5, 4 RBI) and Ariel Ovando (2 for 5, RBI) both homered in the game.  Angel Ibanez and Ricky Gingras both went 3 for 5 at the dish and Gingras had a pair of RBIs.   Frederick Tiburcio (2-3) picked up the win after tossing the first 5 innings.  Tiburcio had an interesting outing Friday, allowing 4 runs (3 ER) on 4 hits, 2 homers, walking 4 and striking out 6.  Jordan Jankowski picked up his first save after throwing the final 1 and a third and striking out 2.  Jankowskinow has 33 Ks in 19.2 innings.

Tri-City ValleyCats 4 Hudson Valley Renegades 2 (7)
In the first game of the doubleheader on Friday, the ValleyCats got on top early and coasted to the victory.  Jobduan Morales couldn't be fooled in this game.  Morales hit 3 for 3 with a pair of RBIs.  Jesse Wierzbicki got in on the action too, batting 2 for 4 and scoring 2 runs.  Aaron West (5-0) claimed another win after throwing the first 6 and a third innings.  West allowed 2 runs (1ER) on 7 hits, walked 2 and struck out 8.  Blake Ford came on for the final out and picked up save number 11 of the season. 

Tri-City ValleyCats 7 Hudson Valley Renegades 0 (7)
Brian Holmes is, without a doubt, the man of the day for the ValleyCats.  Holmes came within a hair of throwing a perfect game on Friday for Tri-City.  A single in the final frame ended the bid for Holmes.  Holmes struck out 6 in his pursuit.  The offense was behind him in the second game of the doubleheader too.  The ValleyCats had 13 hits and 6 players with multi-hit games.  Jesse Wierzbicki remained strong at the plate Friday, batting 2 for 4, with a 3-bagger and 2 RBIs.  Joe Sclafani was 2 of 3 with a walk, 2 runs scored and had his own pair of RBIs.

Hagerstown Suns Lexington Legends - Postponed   

Inland Empire 66ers 15 Lancaster Jethawks 1
When the opponent scores 13 runs in the first 3 frames, it's usually not a good day at the ballpark for the home team. This was the case on Friday for Lancaster.  Blair Walters had a rough debut for Lancaster after coming over as part of the Brett Meyers trade with the White Sox organization.  Walters was on the mound for the first 2 and a third and he allowed 9 runs on 10 hits, 1 dinger and walked a couple. Jorge De Leon came on for the next 2 and 2-thirds and had about as tough of a time.  De Leon allowed 5 runs on 4 hits, 2 homers (one of which was a grand slam), walked 1 and struck out 3.  Chia-Jen Lo came on for frames 6 and 7 and had a perfect outing, striking out 1. 

Midland RockHounds 5 Corpus Christi Hooks 6
It came down to the last out at Whataburger Field on Friday, but the Hooks came back to hang 4 in the last frame and win the game.  The Hooks were getting shut out until the 7th when Adam Bailey hit a 2-run tater that scored Drew Locke.  Bailey ended up 2 for 4 at the plate with 3 RBIs total.  Jose Martinez was 1 for 4 on the day with a walk, but his "1" was the walk off single that won the game.  Paul Clemens started the game for Corpus Christi and through 6 and 2-thirds allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, 1 walk and K-ed 7.  Alex Sogard (2-1) got the win after finishing out the game, allowing 1 run on a solo homer and striking out 1. 

Iowa Cubs 5 Oklahoma City RedHawks 0
The RedHawks were shut out at home on Friday.  There just wasn't much going for them in this game.  There were some accomplishments however. Fernando Martinez found a way to go 2 for 3 at the plate and pick up his 20th double of the season.  Jimmy Paredes got on base with a walk in the 3rd and stole his 30th base of the season.  Jarred Cosart (0-2) took the loss after allowing 3 runs on 4 hits and walking 1.  Cosart also struck out 5 through his 3 and 2-thirds innings of work. 

Player of the Day:  Jose Martinez takes the cake today.  Any time you hit a walk off single to seal a last-inning comeback victory you should be allowed to have a little cake.

Pitcher of the Day:  Have you been paying attention? Tri-City's Brian Holmes is the man today.  Holmes came shudder-ingly close to a perfecto on Friday and that kind of performance is special.  Well done, Mr. Holmes.  


Happy Birthday - 7/28

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Henry Sosa (27)
Sosa came to Houston from San Francisco as a part of a July 2011 trade for Jeff Keppinger. In 10 starts for Houston in 2011, he was 3-5 with a 5.23 ERA and a 1.444 WHIP. He started the 2012 season playing for the AAA Oklahoma City team, but signed with the Kia Tigers in Korea in May.

OF Dick Simpson (69)
Simpson came to Houston from the Cardinals in June of 1968 and was gone to the Yankees six months later. In between, he played in 59 games for Houston, hitting .186/.282/.299.

RHP Chad Paronto (37)
Originally drafted by Baltimore in the 8th round in 1996, Paronto came to Houston as a free agent in December of 2007. In 12 games for Houston in 2008 and 2009, Paronto was 0-1 with a 7.41 ERA and a 1.706 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Gera Sanchez

Baseball is my life 
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Roster Moves

Oklahoma City
RHP Enerio del Rosario was assigned from Houston to Oklahoma City to make room for new signing RHP Chuckie Fick.

Corpus Christi
According to Greg Rajan, C Ryan McCurdy is being assigned from Lexington to Corpus Christi. Expect to see Rene Garcia placed on the DL after an apparent knee injury during Friday's game.

RHP R.J. Alaniz was placed on the 7-day DL (yes, he was just recently activated from the DL).
CF Grant Hogue was placed on the 7-day DL.
1B Rafy Valenzuela was activated from the temporary inactive list.
RHP Jason Chowning was released.
OF Telvin Nash was placed on the 7-day DL.
According to Greg Rajan, OF Drew Muren is being assigned from Corpus Christi to Lancaster.

RHP Krishawn Holley was assigned to the GCL.

RHP Francisco Baso was assigned to the DSL.

Another Tough Goodbye

I woke up this morning to find out that another player who I came to know as a person and for whom I grew to care will no longer be a part of our Astros minor league family. The downside for me in getting to know these young men is that I do become attached to many of them. The upside is that knowing them makes my life richer.

I'm glad I got to see Jason Chowning in action when I was in Lexington. When he was on, he was simply unhittable. I'm also glad I got to see him off the mound as well. He was the guy in the clubhouse that kept things loose. When I asked the ubiquitous question, "Who on the team makes you laugh?" the answer was invariably "Chowning."

But Mike Foltynewicz also told me that he looked up to Jason. When Folty first came to Lexington for his first full season, Jason "took him in" and helped him make the adjustments to the daily grind of baseball. And they became good friends.

Which I can understand. Jason is one of those people who is just easy to connect with. When I'd tweet him about a good performance, I'd generally get back a breezy, "Thank ya mama, I'm tryin." I don't know whether Jason will stay in baseball or whether he will now pursue his other dream of a career in law enforcement, but either way, I wish him the best. I'll be watching, son.

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Always Darkest Before the Dawn

I tweeted this earlier and, based by the number of retweets, it appears that this was a popular statement. So if you missed the earlier tweet or if you are a twitterphobe, here it is ~

Going in to today's games, the Astros minor league system had a cumulative .546 win percentage which would rank the Astros farm system at the very tippy-top of the heap in win percentage out of all 30 organizations. One thing that may make that sound even better for you? Last season, the Astros ranked dead last - 30th out of all 30 organizations in minor league win percentage. That is all.

Minor League Recaps

Thursday's Games

DSL Astros over DSL Cardinals 3-1
I'm so proud. These kids who have struggled mightily this season have won two in a row! Like I said yesterday - baby steps. And they held the Cardinals to two hits. And they had 10 hits. Yay! Elieser Hernandez got his first win of the season on a very good start as he allowed only one hit and one walk with four strikeouts in five innings. Victor Mesa earned his third save of the season. Hector Roa was two-for-four with a double; Pedro Coa was two-for-four with an RBI; and Jarico Reynoso was two-for-three with an RBI and his 13th stolen base of the season.

GCL Astros over GCL Marlins 4-2
Edison Frias gave up two runs early, but hung on for his fourth win of the season thanks in large part to scoreless relief appearances from Raul Rivera and Erick Gonzalez (S, 9). Edwin Gomez had a great day as he went three-for-four with a triple and an RBI, and Juan Santana was two-for-three with two RBI.

Elizabethton over Greeneville 10-2
Christopher Lee went to 1-2 on the season as he gave up five runs in only 1.1 innings. He was followed with a good outing from Andrew Walter, a not so good outing from Christian Garcia and a perfect inning from Scott Zuloaga. Greeneville scored two in the fourth inning on a Terrell Joyce home run, his fifth of the season, but they weren't able to get anything else across on a meager five hits. D'Andre Toney had two of those hits with a stolen base to boot.

Tri-City at Hudson Valley - Postponed

Augusta over Lexington 9-4
It wasn't a very good night for Lexington. Their six-game win streak came to an end and star pitcher Mike Foltynewicz got chased out of the game early after allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks in 3.1 innings. Gabriel Garcia pitched a couple of good innings but he ultimately gave up three additional runs late in the outing before giving way to Euris Quezada for 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Lexington played from behind and never really challenged Augusta. Brandon Meredith had three of Lexington's six hits, including a solo home run (his 10th) and stole a bag. Delino DeShields snagged his 72nd base of the season but was also caught stealing.

Lake Elsinore over Lancaster 5-4
This game looked promising for Lancaster as they scored two runs in the top of the first on George Springer (19) and Domingo Santana (17) home runs. But the bullpen in the form of Pat Urckfitz and Carlos Quevedo couldn't make a 4-3 lead hold up. But I'm getting ahead of myself. In his second start since coming off the DL, R.J. Alaniz allowed three runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work. Zach Grimmett had his second perfect outing since moving back to the bullpen. Chris Epps was two-for-four with a double and two RBI; Carlos Perez was two-for-four with a double; and Grant Hogue was one-for-two with two stolen bases before being pulled from the game. Springer also stole a bag.

Corpus Christi over San Antonio 3-2
Matt Heidenreich won his first game for the Hooks with a terrific eight-inning appearance. He had a shutout going into the ninth. After issuing a leadoff double in the ninth, Heidenreich was lifted for Jason Stoffel who had an uncharacteristic rugged outing, allowing the inherited runner to score and adding a run of his own on three hits before ultimately closing the book on his 18th save. Heidenreich ended up allowing one run on only five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. The Hooks scored in the first on a Drew Locke RBI double and not again until two runs in the eighth on RBI singles from Jose Martinez and Locke. Robbie Grossman was two-for-four with a walk and scored a run in his Hooks debut; Rene Garcia was two-for-three and is now hitting .346 since his promotion; and Ben Orloff was two-for-three and scored a run.

Oklahoma City over Iowa 6-5 in 10 innings
Rudy Owens didn't have quite the debut that Heidenreich had, but with three runs on six hits over five innings, things were still within reach. Mark Hamburger and Mickey Storey provided scoreless relief and the game remained tied at 3-3 until Sergio Perez allowed two of Juan Abreu's runners to score in the tenth and was subsequently rewarded with a win as the Redhawks answered with three in the bottom of the frame on a pinch hit single from Chris Wallace and an error. Brandon Barnes was two-for-five with a double and scored two runs; J.B. Shuck was two-for-four with a walk and scored a run; and Brett Wallace was one-for-three with a solo home run.

Pitcher of the Day: This one is easy. Eight innings of shutout baseball in his team debut gets Matt Heidenreich the honors.

Player of the Day: Jarico Reynoso has had three consecutive two-hit games for the light-hitting DSL Astros and is now leading the team with a robust (for them it's robust) .259 batting average. He is hitting .303 over his last 10 games.

Happy Birthday - 7/27

RHP Brandon Culbreth (20)
Drafted by Houston in the 8th round in 2011 out of high school in North Carolina, Culbreth is in his second season with the GCL Astros. After seven appearances (two starts), he is 0-2 with a 6.53 ERA and a 1.838 WHIP in 20.2 innings of work. However, in his last four outings, he has a 2.38 ERA and a 0.794 WHIP.

CC Hitting Coach Joel Chimelis (45)
Chimelis was drafted by Oakland in the 11th round in 1988 and spent time in the Oakland, San Francisco and New York Mets organizations as well as playing in the Mexican League and Independent League baseball. Chimelis has been a hitting coach in the Astros organization for Tri-City (2006-2010), Lexington (2011) and is now in his first season as hitting coach for Corpus Christi.

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

C Jack Hiatt (70)
Hiatt came to Houston from the Cubs organization in December of 1970. He played in Houston from 1971 until he went to the Angels in July of 1972. In 79 games, he hit .266/.393/.347.

Tweet of the Day

Rob Rasmussen

Why have I never seen this before??? 
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Minor League Recaps

Wednesday's Games

DSL Astros over DSL Cardinals 6-5
Finally, I'm not dreading writing a DSL write-up! The lead changed back and forth a bit and there were still a couple of unearned runs, but Johan Arias had an effective six inning outing and recorded eight strikeouts and, other than allowing an inherited runner to score, Javier Saucedo pitched three good innings for the win. And the offense managed to get eight hits. Yes, they were all singles, but baby steps, you know. Jarico Reynoso was two-for-three with an RBI.

GCL Marlins over GCL Astros 3-2
Lance McCullers got the start and pitched three strong scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts and Brandon Culbreth scattered one hit and three walks over his four innings of work. Juan Mojica ended up with a blown save and a loss in his two-thirds of an inning as he gave up the three Marlin runs. Newcomer Gera Sanchez recorded the final out. Carlos Correa recorded his second home run in as many days as he went two-for-four. Wallace Gonzalez hit a solo shot as well.

Greeneville - Off Day

Hudson Valley over Tri-City 10-9 in 12 innings
Vincent Velasquez got the start and went five innings giving up three runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts before giving way to Travis Ballew (two runs in two innings). Tri-City was up 9-5 going into the eighth inning and appeared to have things well in hand until Brad Propst ran into trouble and suddenly the game was tied. Blake Ford pitched 3.2 scoreless innings and Kenny Long was pegged with his first loss of the season after giving up one run in the 12th. Austin Elkins hit his third home run of the season as he went two-for-five and scored two runs; Jesse Wierzbicki was two-for-six with three RBI and stole his ninth and tenth bags of the season; Tyler Heineman was three-for-six with a double and two RBI; and Joe Sclafani was two-for-five with a walk, an RBI and scored three times.

Lexington over Augusta 9-5
This was a huge win for Lexington. Their sixth win in a row put the Legends in a three-way tie for second place in the division in the second half standings. Juri Perez got his second win of the season, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks with four strikeouts in five innings of work. Tommy Shirley (one run in three innings) and Nate Pettus (one run in one inning) kept things in check in the later innings. The offense scored nine runs on only nine hits, all singles. How did that happen? 11 free passes from Augusta, including two bases loaded walks. Luis Alvarez also took one for the team with a bases loaded hit by pitch. Matt Duffy was three-for-five and scored a run; Nolan Fontana was hitless but drew three walks (including one of the bases loaded walks), stole a base and scored three times; Luis Alvarez was two-for-three with three RBI; and Zach Johnson, Mike Kvasnicka and Jordan Scott each had multiple walk nights.

Lancaster over Lake Elsinore 3-0 in 10 innings
At long last, the Lake Elsinore curse is over. After a dozen futile attempts to beat Lake Elsinore on their home turf, Lancaster's lucky number proved to be 13. It was only fitting that it would take extra innings to do it. David Martinez (7IP 7H 0BB 4SO), Jose Trinidad (1.1IP 1H 2BB 1SO) and Andrew Robinson (1.2IP 1H 0BB 5SO) combined on the shutout with a lot of help from Carlos Perez and his three caught stealings and one pickoff. Trinidad made it a little too interesting in the bottom of the ninth, but Robinson came in to get the final two outs in a bases loaded situation. A leadoff double by Jonathan Meyer, a single from Kike Hernandez, an Alex Todd two-run triple and a Grant Hogue sac fly gave Lancaster a 3-0 lead in the top of the tenth. In the bottom of the frame, Robinson allowed a triple but sandwiched that triple with three strikeouts to earn his second win in relief.

San Antonio over Corpus Christi 5-1
At the other end of the spectrum, you have a team that only scored one run on ten hits. Aaarggghhh. Rob Rasmussen allowed three runs on five hits and four walks with two strikeouts in four innings to go to 1-2 since joining the Hooks. Henry Villar allowed two additional runs in his two innings of work before giving way to Arcenio Leon for two perfect innings. Despite threatening a couple of times, the Hooks could never quite break through at the plate. A Drew Locke sac fly accounted for the only Corpus run. Jake Goebbert was three-for-four with a double. Drew Locke and Jose Martinez each had a pair of hits as well.

Oklahoma City over Iowa 10-8
Starter Brett Oberholtzer allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts over seven innings to earn his fourth win since joining the Redhawks rotation. Mickey Storey pitched an effective eighth inning, but Jake Buchanan in his first appearance with the Redhawks and his first relief appearance of his professional career did not fare well as he allowed four runs in the top of the ninth on five singles while recording only two outs. Jose Valdez came in for the final out to earn his 14th save of the season. Chris Wallace was three-for-four with three RBI and scored two runs; Brandon Barnes was two-for-five with a double and three RBI; and Fernando Martinez was two-for-five with a double and two RBI.

Pitcher of the Day: Andrew Robinson gets all my love today for his huge role in helping to end the Lake Elsinore curse.

Players of the Day: Carlos Perez (or at least his arm) is one of my honorees. Three arrested baserunners and a pickoff? Yeah, I can live with that. My other honoree is Brandon Barnes, not just for his three RBI night, but for his body of work this season. He is now hitting .331/.389/.535 for the season and .413/.471/.696 over his last 10 games.

Happy Birthday - 7/26

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

RHP Carroll Sembera (died June 15, 2005 at 63)
First signed by Houston in 1961, Sembera pitched for the Astros from 1965 to 1967. In 71 games, he was 3-9 with a 4.14 ERA and a 1.450 WHIP. Semberra was drafted by the Expos in the December 1968 Rule 5 draft. Semberra was born and died in Shiner, Texas.

Bonus Tweets of the Day

The road loss curse of Lake Elsinore is over at long last ~

Enrique Hernandez

 told u it was over tonight! Time to start a new streak!!   

Jason Schwartz

 Praise the sacrificial chicken and half socks!

Tweet of the Day

Carlos Correa

I appreciate all of the followers! Just shows everyone that the have the best fans in the world!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Signing Down Under

The Astros signed 16-year old 1B Connor MacDonald of Queensland in Australia. It is the first Australian signing by the Astros in over 20 years according to this story.

Roster Moves

The huge infusion of talent that the Astros have added to the farm system via recent trades means that some of the current rosters are getting strained to the breaking point. There are only so many prolonged DL stints and temporary inactive designations before players will have to be released. We've already seen a couple of these at Lancaster with the recent releases of Brian Streilein and Kirk Clark. I will do my best to keep on top of these moves and let you know when I have confirmed information. With that said, here are your latest moves.

Oklahoma City
LHP Rudy Owens will be has been assigned to Oklahoma City.
According to Sports Reporter (and Jake Buchanan girlfriend) Chelsa Messinger, RHP Jake Buchanan will be has been assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City.
ADDED: LHP Xavier Cedeno is being called up to Houston.
ADDED: RHP Jose Cisnero is being assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City.
ADDED: RHP Jarred Cosart is being assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City.
ADDED: RHP Jonnathan Aristil was released.

Corpus Christi
CF Robbie Grossman was assigned to Corpus Christi.
ADDED: IF Jordan Kreke was assigned from Oklahoma City to Corpus Christi.
ADDED: RHP Paul Clemens is being assigned from Oklahoma City to Corpus Christi.
ADDED: OF Austin Wates was placed on the 7-day DL.
ADDED: RHP Adalberto Flores was assigned from Oklahoma City to Corpus Christi.

RHP Chia-Jen Lo was assigned to Lancaster.
LHP Colton Cain was assigned to Lancaster.
LHP Brad Dydalewicz was placed on the 7-day DL.
DH Rafy Valenzuela was placed on the TI list.
LHP Blair Walters was activated.

RHP Steven Dennison was assigned from the GCL to Tri-City.

C Cristian Moronta was assigned from the GCL to Greeneville.
RHP Michael Feliz was assigned from the GCL to Greeneville.

RHP Raul Rivera was assigned from Tri-City to the GCL.
C Jon Carnahan was assigned to the GCL.

Fire Sale! Everything Must Go!

Before I talk about the Wandy Rodriguez trade, I just want to say that I have always been a fan of Wandy's. It always irked me that he never got the recognition that he deserved from the national sports media, from the previous front office and even from a lot of Astros fans. When Wandy was on, he was one of the best out there. I hate to see him go, but it is the best thing for the Astros team and, more importantly, it is the best thing for Wandy as he has had to deal with constant uncertainty for a couple of years now. I do hope that Wandy pitches for the Pirates on Saturday because I will be there and I will stand and I will cheer and I will thank him for his time as an Astro. Then I hope we beat him.

With that said, Wandy Rodriguez was dealt to the Pirates during last night's Astros game. My sister and I were at the game and she had her binoculars trained on the dugout as the rumors flew, watching Wandy. The second he left the dugout, we knew the trade was done. Then he came back to the dugout in a few minutes and started shaking hands and hugging players so there was no doubt.

What did the Astros receive in return? Three top 20 prospects from the Pirates organization! (Click on the player's name to see their current stats.)

OF Robbie Grossman - Grossman was ranked by Jonathan Mayo as #7 in the Pirates organization while Baseball America ranked him at #8 coming in to the season. The 22-year old switch hitter had a breakout season in 2011 with the Pirates Hi-A team, and excelled in the Arizona Fall League before suffering a broken hamate bone in his hand. According to Baseball America, he was the first minor leaguer to reach double digits in walks and runs since Nick Swisher did so in 2004. One thing he brings to the organization that is in short supply is his selectivity at the plate. He will report to Corpus Christi.

LHP Colton Cain - Cain was ranked by Mayo as #16, but BA ranked him higher at #13. Cain throws a low 90's fastball that touches the mid-90's and a curveball and changeup that are still works in progress but show much promise. He is described as fearless with a deceptive delivery and a frame built for durability. Baseball America projected him as a #3 or #4 starter coming in to the season. The 21-year old will also make a lateral move from the Pirates Hi-A team to the Astros Hi-A team in Lancaster.

LHP Rudy Owens - Baseball America ranked Owens as #16 in the Pirates organization going into the season while Jonathan Mayo has him at #12. Owens suffered from shoulder fatigue and reduced velocity in 2011 after being named as the Pirates minor league pitcher of the year in the two prior seasons. The 24-year old appears to be bouncing back this season. When he was at his most effective, he was throwing a 90-93 mph fastball with a "slurvy curveball" and a changeup that were still works in progress. He will report to AAA Oklahoma City.

With the infusion of new talent, there will be a lot of roster moves forthcoming as the existing rosters are full to bursting. I will try to keep a handle on the moves and post them as I have confirmed information.

Minor League Recaps

Tuesday's Games

DSL Mariners over the DSL Astros 7-5
Sometimes reading the DSL boxscore makes my head hurt. This is one of those times. I was going to rag on the Astros for allowing three unearned runs until I saw that the Mariners allowed four unearned runs. Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about this game is that the DSL Astros held the lead until the sixth, that they had eight hits and that they at least had the opportunity to win.

GCL Astros over GCL Cardinals 5-0 in 7 innings (Game 1)
Enderson Franco pitched a 7-inning complete game shutout for his second win of the season. Wallace Gonzalez' two RBI single and Rio Ruiz' two RBI double accounted for the majority of the scoring. Brett Phillips and Carlos Correa both had two hits and both scored twice.

GCL Astros over GCL Cardinals 3-2 in 7 innings (Game 2)
Michael Feliz is now 5-0 for the season as he pitched five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Erick Gonzalez converted his eighth save of the season. Carlos Correa got another two hits in the second game, one of which happened to be a rather convincing home run according to eyewitness reports. Add a Darwin Rivera RBI double and a Teoscar Hernandez RBI single and the Astros had all the runs they needed.

Burlington over Greeneville 4-3 in 10 innings
Starter Daniel Minor allowed three runs on nine hits in six innings, but it was Michael Hauschild who got the loss as he gave up the winning run in the 10th inning after 3.2 scoreless innings. The Astros banged out 12 hits with Mike Martinez getting three of them, including a double. Jose Monzon, Jean Batista and Marc Wik had two each.

Tri-City over Connecticut 7-3
Brady Rodgers gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and zero walks with five strikeouts in seven innings to earn his fourth win of the season and to end a shocking two-game losing streak (hey, for this team, a one game losing streak is shocking). Jeremiah Meiners added on two hitless, scoreless innings of his own. The game was tied until the bottom of the sixth when Tri-City had a big inning as they brought 10 batters to the plate and scored five, keeping the line moving with five straight singles and a subsequent single and double for good measure. Joe Sclafani (3x5 RBI SB), Jesse Wierzbicki (2x4 2B RBI 2R SB), Jobduan Morales (2x4 RBI R) and Preston Tucker (2x4 2RBI) all had good days at the plate.

Lexington over Augusta 4-3
Jonas Dufek gave up one run in the first and then held the line there until the eighth when he ran into a little trouble, thanks in part to a Justin Gominsky fielding error. In the end he allowed two earned runs on eight hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. Mitch Lambson finished off the eighth and pitched the ninth to earn the win. Zach Johnson was two-for-four for the night and collected his league leading 80th RBI of the season. Brandon Meredith was two-for-four with a double and an RBI and is hitting .353/.477/.765 over his last 10 games. In other news, Delino DeShields did not steal a base and Mike Kvasnicka did not hit a home run.

Lake Elsinore over Lancaster 3-1
Nick Tropeano (L, 2-2) had a decent start, allowing only three runs (*two one earned) on *seven six hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over five innings, but that turned out to be two runs too many as Lancaster only scraped together one run on four hits. The "Jorge de Leon as a starter" experiment may have run its course as de Leon pitched two effective innings out of the bullpen on Tuesday. Chia Jen-Lo was activated from his rehab stint with the GCL and pitched a perfect final frame. An RBI single from George Springer driving in Chan Moon was the offensive highlight. (*Nick Tropeano told me that the boxscore was wrong and since he hasn't lied to me yet, I'm changing it to what he says!)

Corpus Christi over San Antonio 4-1
It was a terrific first outing for Asher Wojciechowski (who I will frequently be referring to as Wojo as per his twitter handle) as he held the Missions to one run on three hits and three walks with six strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Kevin Chapman and Jason Stoffel (17th save) took it the rest of the way. The Hooks scored four runs on only three singles and a double with the aid of walks and wild pitches in a small ball kind of night.

Oklahoma City over Iowa 15-9
After getting blown out the previous night, Oklahoma City came back with a vengeance on Tuesday. Armando Gallaraga was pulled after a three inning start leading to conjecture that he will replace Wandy Rodriguez in the Astros starting rotation. Aneury Rodriguez then pitched a very tough six run (four earned) inning. Sergio Perez gave up two additional runs in his two innings of work but was rewarded with a win as the Redhawks blew things wide open in the later innings. Mark Hamburger and Jose Valdez each provided a scoreless inning and Adalberto Flores pitched the ninth and gave up one run (seven fewer than his outing from the previous night). Matt Dominguez was the star of the night with six RBI (sac fly, three run homer, two run double), but Brad Snyder and Jimmy Paredes also offered up solo shots. Brett Wallace was two-for-three with a walk and four RBI. Wallace is hitting .444/.556/.583 in his last 10 games.

Player of the Day: Matt Dominguez six RBI qualify him for the honor. Small sample size, but Dominguez is hitting .333/.370/.524 in his 11 games with OKC. Everyone needs to pray very hard that Dominguez keeps hitting because we really need his defense at third base in Houston.

Pitcher of the Day: Asher Wojciechowski had such a great first start that I'm actually willing to spell his name out twice in one post!

Happy Birthday - 7/25

LHP Alex Sogard (25)
Drafted in the 26th round out of North Carolina State by Houston in 2010, Sogard started his season with Lancaster but was called up to Corpus Christi after only six appearances. He was a little bit rocky to start, but has settled in nicely. His combined ERA is 4.01 with a 1.723 WHIP. In his last 10 appearances with Corpus, he is 1-0 with a 1.83 ERA and a 1.373 WHIP.

Several former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Billy Wagner (41)
A first round pick by the Astros in 1993, Billy the Kid pitched for Houston from 1995 to 2003. In 464 appearances, he was 26-29 with a 2.53 ERA, a 1.039 WHIP and 225 saves. A three-time All Star for Houston, Wagner would go on to receive four additional All Star nods. He had eight 30-save seasons and two 40-save seasons.

RHP Doug Drabek (50)
Originally drafted by the White Sox in the 11th round in 1983, Drabek signed with the Astros as a free agent in December of 1992. In four seasons with Houston (1993-1996), Drabek was 38-42 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.319 WHIP in 118 starts. His best season for Houston was his All-Star 1994 season when he went 12-6 with a 2.84 ERA. His best season overall was 1990 for Pittsburgh when he won the Cy Young award after compiling a 22-6 record with a 2.76 ERA.

RHP Larry Sherry (died December 17, 2006 at 71)
Sherry came from Detroit in a June 1967 trade. In 29 games for Houston that season, he was 1-2 with a 4.87 ERA and a 1.623 WHIP. His most notable season was 1959 when he earned the World Series MVP for the Dodgers. According to Baseball-Reference:
In 1959, he was 7-2 with a 2.19 ERA on a team whose team ERA was 3.79. In the World Series, he appeared in four games, pitching 12 2/3 innings with a 0.71 ERA. He won two games, the fourth game and the sixth - which was the winning one for the Dodgers. Sherry also recorded saves in other two Dodger victories.
LHP Fred Schermann (68)
Obtained in a December 1973 trade with Detroit, Schermann was with the Astros in 1974 until he went to the Expos in June of 1975. In 69 games for Houston, he was 2-6 with a 4.29 ERA and a 1.519 WHIP. His most successful season was his 1971 season for Detroit when he was 11-6 with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.239 WHIP.

SS Mick Kelleher (65)
Originally drafted by the Cardinals in the 3rd round in 1969, Kelleher came to Houston in October of 1973. He played in only 19 mostly forgettable games for Houston in 1974 before going back to St. Louis in December of that year. In 1081 official major league at bats, Kelleher never recorded a home run.

Tweets of the Day

Enrique Hernandez

 I'm so glad baseball is so relaxing and stress free!!

Adam scott bailey

 hahahah it sure is. Every baseball player loves failing 7 out of10 times

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Roster Moves

LHP David Rollins was placed on the 7-day DL.

Gulf Coast League Astros
Signed C Jon Carnahan and assigned him to the GCL Astros.

Scouting the Future - Late July and August

Bobby Heck has been gracious enough to offer us a glimpse into what his scouts will be doing each month. This is where the focus will lie from now until the end of August.

"This last week of July has the Amateur Scouts finishing up their assigned professional minor league coverage. Most of them get 5-6 teams each to cover. They see those teams 5 straight days so they can report on the entire club. This coverage must be wrapped up prior to July 25th due to the trade deadline. The last 2 weeks of July we have been hitting the Cape Cod League heavy with 6 scouts taking in 75-85 games of the 10 team league culminating with the ASG on July 28th.

Area scouts checking in on the other summer college leagues in their respective territories and attending each leagues ASG is possible.

  • East Coast Professional Showcase – Aug 1-4 in Syracuse, NY. The premier HS event for prospects east of the Mississippi, we’ll have 10+ scouts in attendance watching 6 teams play 4 games a day over 4 days.
  • Area Code Games – Aug 5-10 in Long Beach, CA. The HS tournament with the concentration of players coming from West of the Mississippi. 10+ scouts again watching 8 teams play 20 games over 6 days.
  • Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, NM – we’ll have 2-3 scouts for most of this event.
  • Perfect Game All-American Game in San Diego on August 12th – 1 game National Showcase with multiple scouts in attendance
  • Under Armour Classic at Wrigley Field on August 18th – 1 game National Showcase with multiple scouts in attendance
This pretty much wraps up the major amateur events for the summer. Most of our 20 scouts have some supplemental professional coverage that they will have to complete in the last 2 weeks of August."

Many thanks to Bobby Heck for giving up this glimpse into the amateur scouting world.

Minor League Recap

Monday's Games

DSL Mariners over DSL Astros 7-2
Edwin Villarroel went to 2-5 on the season as he allowed three runs in his two innings pitched. The good news is that Yonquelys Martinez had his best outing of the season, four scoreless innings in which he gave up only three hits and one walk with six strikeouts. Let's just say Juan Delis didn't do so well and leave it at that. The Astros only scoring was courtesy of a two-run home run from Frederick Serrano as the team once again scraped together only five hits.

GCL Astros - Postponed

Burlington over Greeneville 5-0
An Ariel Ovando single was the only thing standing between Burlington and a no-hitter. Francis Ramirez went five innings and gave up five runs (four earned) to bring his season record to 4-1 in an outing that was less than effective despite his six strikeouts. Jordan Jankowski struck out five in his 2.2 innings of work, but he also walked four. Scott Zuloaga came in for the final out in a bases loaded situation and got a strikeout.

Connecticut over Tri-City 6-4
Tri-City was down 6-1 in the sixth inning and did battle back to make it close, but ultimately fell short. Joe Bircher gave up all six runs on nine hits to go to 0-2 on the season. John Neely followed with three scoreless frames and Jamaine Cotton with one. Other than an Andrew Aplin solo home run in the third, the rest of the scoring was small ball with Tyler Heineman, Dan Gulbransen and Joe Sclafani all contributing RBI singles. Jobduan Morales was two-for-four with a double and scored one of the runs.

Lexington over Augusta 6-2
This was really the only good news story of the night in Astros minor league land. Lexington has now won four in a row and they are only two games behind in the second half standings, the bad news being that there are four teams in front of them in the standings. Starting pitcher Luis Ordosgoitti flirted with disaster a couple of times, loading the bases in the first inning and being hit against for the cycle in the fourth and only allowing two runs out of all that. The seven strikeouts and zero walks didn't hurt, and in the end he prevailed with his third win of the season. Murilo Gouvea earned his third save. Matt Duffy had a big night, going two-for-four with a double and scoring two runs, as did Mike Kvasnicka, going two-for-four with an RBI double and his 15th home run of the season (and third in the last two days), a two-run shot. A Justin Gominsky RBI single, a Nolan Fontana RBI double and a Luis Alvarez solo home run rounded out the Legends scoring.

Lancaster - Off Day

Frisco over Corpus Christi 11-3
Starter Ross Seaton got behind the 8-ball early as he allowed three runs via the long ball in the first two innings. He would ultimately allow six runs on six hits and two walks with six strikeouts to fall to 6-7 on the season. Arcenio Leon (two runs) and Josh Zeid (three runs) did not fare much better. Four wild pitches and a passed ball for Zeid didn't help matters. Jon Singleton was two-for-four with a triple and an RBI. Drew Locke and Adam Bailey each contributed an RBI single.

Memphis over Oklahoma City 9-8
Seven of the runs belonged to starter Brian Bass as he got hit early and often, including a grand slam in the third, but he didn't get the loss as Oklahoma City battled back to tie things up in the eighth. Mark Hamburger had his first outing for OKC and gave up one run on one hit and two walks in 1.1 innings. Mickey Storey pitched a perfect 1.2 innings. Juan Abreu came in for the ninth and allowed the winning run. Good nights from Matt Dominguez (2x4 2B 2RBI), Jimmy Paredes (2x4 2B RBI), Mike Hessman (2x4 2B RBI), and Jordan Kreke (2x4 2B 2R). Fernando Martinez tied the game with a two-run pinch hit home run in the eighth.

Pitcher of the Day: Luis Ordosgoitti gets the nod for his Houdini act in the first and fourth innings.

Player of the Day: Mike Kvasnicka is my hero for two days in a row now.

Happy Birthday - 7/24

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

IF/PH Jason Smith (35)
Originally drafted by the Cubs in the 23rd round in 1996, Smith signed with Houston as a free agent in January 2009. In 21 games for Houston (27 plate appearances), he didn't collect a single hit or walk, but he did score one run and recorded one RBI so he's got that going for him.

Tweet of the Day

Jonas Dufek

I have seen 4am too many times this summer.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

An Interview with Jason Stoffel

I didn't intend to blow off my interview with Jason Stoffel from last month. I just got ridiculously busy and I ended up with more material from my Corpus Christi trip than I had time to use, and then I got the big interview with Bobby Heck, and then I went on vacation. Yada yada. In all fairness though, I did use his advice to the new draft class here, and I did this profile on Stoffel here so I hope he forgives me for being so slow in posting this.

With that said, Stoffel has continued to do a stellar job out of the bullpen for Corpus Christi. Through Friday's game, he was 1-1 with a 1.83 ERA, a 0.966 WHIP and 16 saves in 38 appearances. He has allowed 10 walks to 36 strikeouts and has held opponents to a .200 batting average. In his last 10 outings, he has allowed only 6 hits.

When I talked to Stoffel, I was struck by his quiet demeanor and his discomfort in talking about himself. He is not the type to blow his own horn. On to the interview ~

On his much improved results this season: "It's been a mindset change for me. I kind of got away from trying to strike every one out, which I've been trying to do for the last few years, and trusting my stuff. [I'll throw] it in the zone instead of maybe wasting a couple of pitches trying to get a strike out, then I'm 3-2 on guys and walking people and just getting myself in trouble. I think that's been a huge part of it."

On his pitch repertoire: "Mainly fastball/slider. My slider's around 80-82. Fastball anywhere from 90 to 94, 95 some nights. Pretty consistent around those numbers."

On closing: "I've been closing for a few years. Obviously that's my goal in the end, but I'm not fooling myself thinking I'm going to break into that role but if they put me up there, wherever they want to put me is fine."

On his 2011 trade from the Giants to the Astros: "I was kind of shocked because I wasn't having a great year with San Francisco and I didn't think I was on anyone's radar. We were just out taking BP one day and I got called off the field. 'Hey, you've been traded.' It's just kind of surprising. It was real out of the dark and [I] didn't really see it coming at all. Obviously, any time you get traded, the team you go to is giving up someone to get you. It's a good feeling but I felt like I had a little pressure on me to perform."

On whose pitch he'd like to steal: "I'd probably take Oberholtzer's change up. It's nasty. Or Villar's change up."

On his goal for the rest of the season: "That I can keep doing this the rest of the year. I'm going good right now, but this is baseball and things can change around in a hurry. I hope that they don't. It's nice to go out and be consistent and see if I can continue that for the entire season."

On something most people don't know about him: "I can juggle. I'm a dork. I love reading. I was a history major. I read everything. Growing up I was a WWII [enthusiast] ... loved military history and I'd just read the same book over and over and over because it was the only book in the library that I'd check out. Kept it out for about a year straight. They got mad at me."

Reserved, quiet and bookish, Stoffel does seem at times to have more in common with a college history professor than a baseball player but, personally, I'm glad he chose baseball. I won't be the least bit surprised to see Stoffel get a well-deserved promotion sooner rather than later.

Copyright  © 2012 Jayne Hansen
All Rights Reserved

Astros History

There are no birthdays today, but today is still a significant day in Astros history.  On this date in 2000, the Astros combined for 6 home runs in route to a 15-7 victory over the Cardinals at ,then, Enron Field.

Lance Berkman and Bill Spiers both had a pair of long balls. Jeff Bagwell and  Richard Hidalgo hit one apiece.  Bill Spiers' shot in the 7th inning was a grand slam.

That grand slam got me thinking, and along the same timeline, tomorrow is the day Craig Biggio announced his retirement in 2007 and hit a 7th inning grand slam of his own.

Here's the footage of that:


The Evolution of the Astros Top 20 List

I look at how the Astros Top 20 list is evolving over at The Futurists. The times, they are a-changin'.

Minor League Recaps

Sunday's Games

Burlington over Greeneville 9-3
Tanner Bushue got the start and it wasn't good. He gave up seven runs (six earned) on five hits and four walks in only 1.2 innings and was charged with his third loss of the season for Greeneville. Zach Dando gave up another two runs (only one earned) in 4.1 innings on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Michael Dimock pitched the last two scoreless frames. Down 7-0 after only two, it was an uphill battle for Greeneville and they never got much going after three straight doubles in the fourth from Terrell Joyce, Ernesto Genoves and Ariel Ovando.

Vermont over Tri-City 4-2
All good things must come to an end. Blake Ford proved that he is, after all, human. After getting out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, he gave up three runs in the ninth for his first earned runs, his first loss and first blown save of the season after converting his first 10 saves. Lance Day had a very nice start giving up only one run on six hits in five innings. Travis Ballew, Brad Propst and Kenny Long all provided scoreless relief. The ValleyCats were held to only three hits and did all their scoring in the fourth on a two-run Joe Sclafani double.

Lexington over Greenville 13-7
Luis Cruz had a pretty tough outing, allowing all seven Greenville runs (six earned) in only 4.1 innings of work, but Euris Quezada (W, 1-2) and Dayan Diaz shut things down the rest of the way. Cruz really needs to buy Mike Kvasnicka dinner, though, because without his SEVEN RBI, Cruz most likely would have gotten charged with a loss. Kvasnicka hit a three-run bomb in the first and enjoyed it so much, he decided to add a grand slam to his resume in the eighth. Delino DeShields also had a great outing, going three-for-five with a walk, two runs and two more stolen bases to bring his total to 71 for the season. Zach Johnson, Brandon Meredith and Jose Fernandez also had multi-hit games.

Lancaster over Rancho Cucamonga 4-3
Bobby Doran earned his eighth win for Lancaster (11th overall) with a solid seven inning outing, giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Andrew Robinson pitched a perfect eighth and Carlos Quevedo earned his third save. It was a small ball offense as runs were scored on a Telvin Nash single, a Jonathan Meyer single and a two-run bases loaded Carlos Perez single, in his first game with Lancaster.

Corpus Christi over Frisco 3-1
Jose Cisnero went to 9-6 on the season after throwing a complete game, allowing one run on five hits and no walks with seven strikeouts. An RBI double from Kody Hinze and sac flies from Adam Bailey and Jose Martinez accounted for all the scoring. Drew Muren and Drew Locke also doubled and Jake Goebbert was two-for-four.

Memphis over Oklahoma City 24-7
This one put the ugh in ugly. Paul Clemens only lasted three innings after giving up eight runs on 10 hits, two walks and a home run with no strikeouts, a throwing error and a wild pitch. But that wasn't the bad part. Enter Adalberto Flores in the fourth inning - single, single, single, pop out, grand slam, strikeout, walk, walk, walk, grand slam. Exit Adalberto Flores. Jonnathan Aristil mercifully gave up only one run in his 2.1 innings, but then Xavier Cedeno came in and coughed up another seven runs (five earned) in only a third of an inning before being bailed out by Mickey Storey who thankfully gave up no additional runs. The final inning was pitched by Jordan Kreke, the infielder. He actually didn't allow a hit or a run and had one walk and one strikeout. Kreke also went three-for-four with a triple and an RBI. Brandon Barnes, Jimmy Paredes and Angel Sanchez all had multi-hit nights as well; and Travis Buck and Brad Snyder contributed solo home runs. Brett Wallace earned the Platinum Sombrero, striking out five times. Now can we just forget that one ever happened?

Pitcher of the Day: I have to go with Jose Cisnero for his complete game, but Jordan Kreke deserves honorable mention for pitching in to help out a bullpen in need (and doing so quite nicely, I might add).

Player of the Day: Nobody else even comes close to Mike Kvasnicka with his two home runs and seven RBI. In his last 10 games, he is hitting .326/.333/.652 with 15 hits and 17 RBI.

Copyright  © 2012 Jayne Hansen
All Rights Reserved

Tweet of the Day

Jamaine Cotton

 RIP to my mom and all the loved ones lost in the fight 
Embedded image permalink

Roster Moves

Corpus Christi
Erick Abreu was placed on the 7-day DL.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Minor League Results

Saturday’s Results

DSL Athletics 0 DSL Astros 4
This game was called in the 7th due to rain but not before Rayderson Chevalier got a chance to go to work on the opponents.  Through 5 innings Chevalier only allowed 2 hits and struck out 8 batters. Chevalier moves to 2-1 on the season with this win.  True to form, the DSL Astros collected just 5 hits Saturday.  The difference Saturday was that the Astros took advantage of a walk and a throwing error in the 1st inning and used good old-fashioned small ball in the 3rd inning.

GCL Astros 4 GCL Nationals 3
The GCL Astros took the lead in the 1st inning and never lost it Saturday.  The bats were hot for the Astros; every starter got a hit except for Juan Santana.  4 guys had multi hit games.   Yonathan Mejia and Brett Phillips both went 3 for 3 with a walk apiece. Wallace Gonzalez got in on the action too. Although he only went 1 for 4, his “1” was a home run in the 4th inning.  That was Gonzalez’s 1st career homer.  Reymin Guduan got the win Saturday after coming on in the 5th for 2 and 2 thirds.  Guduan (1-1) didn’t allow any runs on 4 hits, struck out 3 and walked 2. Erick Gonzalez picked up his 7th save after coming on allowing a run on 2 hits and issuing 2 walks.

Kingsport Mets 4 Greeneville Astros 13
This game was just a good, old-fashioned trouncing.  Greeneville was up by 10 runs before Kingsport even scored on Saturday. The Astros had 18 hits and 5 of those were homers.  Ariel Ovando tied for the biggest night with the stick, going 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs, a walk and a pair of 2-run homers.  Those were Ovando’s first 2 long balls this season.  With Ovando, was Jean Batista who hit 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs; all 3 of his hits were doubles.  Adrian Houser (2-2) got the win after 5 and 2 thirds innings of work.  Houser allowed a couple runs on 4 hits, walked 2 and K-ed 7.  Scott Zuloaga took the mound for the final frame and had a strong showing, sending the final 3 batters down in order, striking out 1.

Some of the offensive highlights:

Jean Batista- 3X5 2R 3-2B 2RBI
Brian Blasik- 3X5 RBI
Ernesto Genoves- 3X5 3R HR RBI
Terrell Joyce- 2X5 2R HR RBI SO
Michael Martinez- 3X5 R HR 2RBI
Ariel Ovando- 3X4 4R 2HR 4RBI BB SO

Vermont Lake Monsters 3 Tri-City ValleyCats 7
Tri-City had control of this game almost the entire time.  The ValleyCats fell behind a run in the top of the 1st but were up by 1 by the inning’s end and never looked back.  Dan Gulbransen had a good night at the dish, clubbing 2 of 4 with a homer and 2 RBI.  The ValleyCats were wearing down the base paths Saturday, with 4 stolen bases in the game.  Brian Holmes (3-1) had a great start and picked up the win Saturday after 7 innings of work.  Holmes gave up a run on 4 hits and struck out 8 batters. 

Lexington Legends 7 Greenville Drive 5
Lexington provided enough runs for Mike Foltynewicz to work comfortably Saturday and improve his record on the season to 11-2. Foltynewicz allowed 4 runs on 6 hits over 6 innings pitched and struck out 5.  By the time Foltynewicz allowed the 4th run, the Legends had 5 runs thanks to a 5 run 2nd inning.  Delino DeShields went 3 for 5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored.  Brandon Meredith picked up his 9th HR of the season with a 1-run solo-shot in the 8th.  Murillo Gouvea picked up his 2nd save after allowing a run and striking 1 batter out.

Lancaster JetHawks 4 Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 2
The JetHawks utilized the long ball to get ahead in the first inning Saturday and it worked.  In the 1st inning, Erik Castro hit a 2 run knock and Telvin Nash hit a solo shot and that was all the lead the JetHawks needed.  Tyson Perez (7-2) picked up the win after tossing the first 6 innings, allowing 2 runs (1ER) on 4 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. Carlos Quevedo picked up his second save of the season after coming on in the 8th and retiring the 6 batters he faced in a row, striking out 1. 
Frisco RoughRiders 0 Corpus Christi Hooks 3

Saturday, all in attendance at Whataburger Field witnessed the Jarred Cosart show.  Cosart (5-5) went 7 and 2 thirds scoreless, striking out 4, walking 3 and giving up just 3 hits.  Kevin Chapman preserved the shutout after coming on next and collected his first save.  Chapman didn't allow any hits or walks and retired all 4 batters he saw in order.  The bats weren't particularly hot for Corpus Christi Saturday, but they took advantage of a couple of errors to score their first 2 runs. Jake Goebbert and Rene Garcia both went 2 for 3 at the dish.
Oklahoma City RedHawks 2 Memphis Redbirds 6
Oklahoma City pitcher Sergio Perez gave up a run in the 1st inning and a grand slam in the second inning. The RedHawks never recovered.  Perez picked up the loss moving him to 2-2 on the season after 3 innings of work.  Aneury Rodriguez clocked in for the next 3 frames and kept them scoreless, giving up just 2 hits with a single K.  All was not lost however; Jimmy Paredes finished the game a triple short of hitting for the cycle.  Paredes was 3 for 5 on the day.  Travis Buck batted 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and a RBI.
Player of the Day: I’m giving the honor to Ariel Ovando and Jean Batsista of Greeneville.  Ovando clubbed 2 2-run taters and Batista collected 3 doubles.  That’s award worthy any day.

Pitcher of the Day:  Jarred Cosart gets the honor today after shutting out Frisco for almost 8 innings.  Rayderson Chevalier gets a nod for doing the same thing in 5 innings in the DSL and for striking out 8 batters in the process.


Happy Birthday - 7/22

RHP Angel Heredia (20)
I know virtually nothing about Heredia other than that he was born in the Dominican Republic, he played shortstop in the Pirates organization in 2009 when he was 16, he was picked up at some point during the off-season by the Astros and converted to a pitcher and he got popped for PEDs and is currently on the restricted list. He should be eligible to come off the restricted list for the DSL Astros in 10 more games.

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

1B/C Cliff Johnson (65)
Drafted by Houston in the fifth round in 1966, Johnson did not make his major league debut until six years later. He played in 376 games for Houston from September 1972 until his trade to the Yankees in June of 1977, hitting .256/.370/.471. As a player without a fixed position, Johnson was often used as a pinch hitter until moving to the American League where he was often used as a DH with modest success.

Tweet of the Day

Jason Schwartz

Telvin Nash may have just hit the longest home run I've ever seen. Wow.

And it wasn't in the friendly confines of Lancaster ... so no Lancaster effect on this one!

Roster Moves

Oklahoma City
RHP Jose Valdez was activated from the 7-day DL.

3B Kyle Redinger was assigned from the GCL to Tri-City.

RHP Richard Rodriguez was assigned from Greeneville to the GCL.
OF Edwin Gomez was signed and assigned to the GCL (Gomez has actually been with the GCL for 6 games now and is hitting .333.)

Another one I missed - The Astros signed RHP Gera Sanchez, a NDFA from New Mexico. It doesn't appear that he has been assigned to a team yet.