Saturday, March 16, 2013

Spring Training Update

A two-run, two-out single in the ninth by Jose Martinez brought the Astros within one run on Friday, but it wasn't quite enough as the Pirates prevailed. Brad Peacock had a solid start, allowing one run on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts over five innings. Kevin Chapman, Paul Clemens and C.J. (don't call me Chuckie) Fick provided scoreless relief, but Chia-Jen Lo allowed two runs on three hits in the seventh. They were the first runs allowed by Lo this spring. The offense tried to make things happen by stealing three bags (Jason Castro, Tyler Greene and Justin Maxwell), but collecting only three hits and three walks isn't exactly a winning strategy.

Spring Training Record: 7-11-2

Spring Training Game 20 Results: Pirates 3, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 20 Minor League Standouts: Jose Martinez' clutch two-run single in the ninth kept the game from being a shutout while Kevin Chapman struck out two batters in his inning of work.

Spring Training Game 21:
Houston at Washington at 5:05 CST (Radio and MLB Network delay)
Carlos Correa, Jon Singleton, Domingo Santana and others will be making the trip to Viera with the club so that Porter can give a few of his regulars a day off.

SPRING TRAINING RESULTS
Spring Training Game 1 Results: Astros 8, Phillies 3
Spring Training Game 2 Results: Astros 7, Mets 7
Spring Training Game 3 Results: Cardinals 10, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 4 Results: Rays 7, Astros (SS) 2 in six innings
Spring Training Game 5 Results: Astros (SS) 9, Detroit 4
Spring Training Game 6 Results: Astros 10, Blue Jays 1
Spring Training Game 7 Results: Astros 7, Yankees 6
Spring Training Game 8 Results: Astros 8, Cardinals 8
Spring Training Game 9 Results: Astros 6, Braves 5
Spring Training Game 10 Results: Pirates 8, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 11 Results: Tigers 8, Astros 5
Spring Training Game 12 Results: Nationals 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 13 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 14 Results: Braves 14, Astros 9
Spring Training Game 15 Results: Mets 9, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 16 Results: Phillies 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 17 Results: Astros 9, Marlins 4
Spring Training Game 18 Results: Nationals 9, Astros 7
Spring Training Game 19 Results: Nationals 6, Astros 3

Happy Birthday - 3/16

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Reymin Guduan (21)
A NDFA from the Dominican Republic, Guduan pitched for the GCL Astros after spending the two prior season with the DSL Astros. In 2012 he was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA and a 1.473 WHIP in eight appearances (three starts).

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

RHP Mickey Storey (27)
Originally signed by Oakland in the 31st round in 2008, Storey came to the Astros organization in a trade with Oakland for "future considerations" in July 2011. He split his 2012 season between Oklahoma City and Houston. In 38 games (two starts) for Oklahoma City, he was 7-4 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.169 WHIP. He made his major league debut on August 3, 2012 and had a 3.86 ERA and a 1.220 WHIP in 26 games. In the two venues combined, he walked 24 batters in 95+ innings while striking out 106. After being selected off waivers three times over the winter, he ended up with the Blue Jays ... for now.

Tweets of the Day


MANwithnoTAN ‏@tannerbushue
Hotel...food....sleep....forever



Blair Walters ‏@bwalters34
If one was to look up the definition of crushing a nap one would see my face next to it. #needsleepy


Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Training Update

The Astros took a tenuous 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh on a Nate Freiman home run, but gave it back in the bottom of the frame courtesy of a Micah Owings grand slam hit off Astros pitcher John Ely. Ely was just a tad bit off his game on Thursday, but .... repeat after me .... it's only Spring Training. His previous outing was actually quite good. Starter Alex White allowed two runs on seven hits (including a solo home run to Jayson Werth) while striking out one. Wesley Wright, Rhiner Cruz and Jose Valdez all provided scoreless relief, with Cruz quickly erasing two inherited runners via a double play.

The minor league teams started their first games yesterday, but unfortunately, results are not readily available. I know that the Rookie League/A League team won their game against the Nationals, but that's all I know. I do not know how the AA/AAA team fared. In the meantime, a flu bug is making its way through the minor league clubhouse leaving a number of players miserable in its wake. And last night the 2012 California League Champion JetHawks had their ring ceremony.

Spring Training Record: 7-10-2

Spring Training Game 19 Results: Nationals 6, Astros 3

Spring Training Game 20:
Pirates at Astros at 12:05 CST (Radio and CSN)

SPRING TRAINING RESULTS
Spring Training Game 1 Results: Astros 8, Phillies 3
Spring Training Game 2 Results: Astros 7, Mets 7
Spring Training Game 3 Results: Cardinals 10, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 4 Results: Rays 7, Astros (SS) 2 in six innings
Spring Training Game 5 Results: Astros (SS) 9, Detroit 4
Spring Training Game 6 Results: Astros 10, Blue Jays 1
Spring Training Game 7 Results: Astros 7, Yankees 6
Spring Training Game 8 Results: Astros 8, Cardinals 8
Spring Training Game 9 Results: Astros 6, Braves 5
Spring Training Game 10 Results: Pirates 8, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 11 Results: Tigers 8, Astros 5
Spring Training Game 12 Results: Nationals 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 13 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 14 Results: Braves 14, Astros 9
Spring Training Game 15 Results: Mets 9, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 16 Results: Phillies 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 17 Results: Astros 9, Marlins 4
Spring Training Game 18 Results: Nationals 9, Astros 7

Happy Birthday - 3/15

Happy Birthday to ~

2B Jose Solano (21)
A NDFA from the Dominican Republic, Solano played with the GCL Astros in 2012 after spending the two previous seasons with the DSL Astros. He only played in 24 games, though, with a .169/.246/.271 batting line.

2B Brian Blasik (23)
Signed as an amateur free agent out of the University of Dayton in 2012, Blasik spent his first professional season with the Greeneville Astros. In 55 games, he hit .318/.346/.424 with 14 doubles, three triples, one home run, six stolen bases and 43 RBI. He was named an Appy League All-Star.

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

RHP Wayne Granger (69)
Granger came to Houston as a free agent in February 1975 and appeared in 55 games for the Astros that season, going 2-5 with a 3.65 ERA and a 1.338 WHIP. He led the National League in saves in 1970 for the Reds and was named the NL Reliever of the Year in 1969 and 1970.

Tweet of the Day

The 2012 California League Champion JetHawks had their ring ceremony last night. That team was very special to me, watching them fight back from long odds to win the Wild Card and eventually the Cali League Crown. It may sound cliche, but that team had a lot of heart. Congratulations to all of the JetHawks players, coaches and staff!

Tyson Perez
Bling Bling! What a season!
Embedded image permalink

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Roster Moves

According to Baseball America, the Astros signed 31-year old catcher Cody Clark. Clark spent the last few seasons in the Royals minor leagues and played for Brisbane in he Australian Baseball League over the winter. Since Chris Wallace is the only catcher currently in the organization who has spent any time at AAA, it makes sense to pick up a seasoned minor league veteran until some of the younger catchers are ready for the level.

Help Wanted: Major League Lefty Starting Pitcher

Help Wanted: Major League Lefty Starting Pitcher. Some experience preferred but not required. Must thrive on competition.

GM Jeff Luhnow might as well have posted a help wanted sign on the front door of the Astros major league clubhouse at Osceola Stadium when the players arrived back in February. After signing lefty starter Erik Bedard to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training this winter, 40-man roster lefties Dallas Keuchel, Brett Oberholtzer and Rudy Owens all knew they had to work just that much harder to make an impression at Spring Training.

I was able to talk with Dallas Keuchel in person on Sunday before I left Spring Training to head back to Houston and I caught up with Oberholtzer by phone the next day. I wanted to hear a little about their Spring Training preparation, experiences and expectations.

Dallas Keuchel - March 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Of his off-season, Keuchel noted, "I beefed up a little bit. I put on about 13 pounds which was my main goal because last year I dropped weight. I got tired." He wants to get to the 200-innings pitched mark this season and be as fresh and strong in September as he was in April so he put on some pounds, lifted more and worked on flexibility with an eye towards maintaining.

In talking about this Spring Training experience, he says, "It's kind of funny. This is my first big league camp and I'm also fighting for a spot so I had to try to balance getting myself ready in the off-season and figuring out what I needed to do to get myself in shape and get my arm in shape because I'm used to coming in a month later."

What is he working on in Spring Training? "I just focus on location. Speed doesn't matter here. It's all about location. If you can keep guys off-balance and locate two to three pitches, that just makes you more tough to hit."

Keuchel is also working on his curveball, "My curveball has been on and off. It's been like a 50/50 pitch for me. One day it will be good and the next day it will be kind of iffy. So this year I got kind of a slurve. That's the pitch I struck out Corey Brown with the other day. It's more of a slow slider, but it's got sharp movement and that's really what I'm going to feature this year. Maybe the straight over-the-top curve for an early pitch, but (for) the later pitch, I want to do that slurve."

What I really wanted to know was what kind of mindset Keuchel had as he approached Spring Training, knowing that the competition had increased with the Bedard signing, "It's nothing new. Coming out of high school, I was a pretty big recruit for Arkansas and I thought at the time that my poop didn't stink. Coming into a quality program in college, it was like 'Whoa, everybody's good!' So that's when I first got into the competition mode. Ever since it's just been the same. Good competition is healthy. That's what drives a lot of guys. Every day you've got to come out and prove yourself. The task at hand is just to go out there and prove myself and do my job."

Brett Oberholtzer talked about his off-season a little as well, "This off-season I worked hard, continued to push myself even further beyond what I have in the past."

The competition aspect of Spring Training was a little different for Oberholtzer since he hasn't made his major league debut yet. He knew it would be even harder for him to crack the rotation so he didn't really think about the competition too much coming into Spring Training, "I don't look at that. I take it day by day. When I wake up in the morning, I approach every day (on) it's own and I hold myself accountable to get better and take my career in the right direction and focus on what I can control and not what I can't.

"I know that I will be able to pitch in the big leagues for a long, long time if I continue to do what I'm doing on and off the field. I can't get bummed on the opportunity or the role I'm given in Spring Training. Once the season gets started, all hands are on deck and hopefully I'll be the first guy to come out of OKC and be ready to get going."

Brett left me with a final thought. I think it's safe to say that Dallas feels the same way. "All I want is an opportunity to win a job. If I lose it, that's (on me)." As far as I'm concerned, if Bedard wins the job out of Spring Training, he'd better not get too comfortable. There is talent, drive and desire waiting in the wings.

Spring Training Update

When the Astros took a 4-0 lead in the first with a lot of help from Nationals' errors and timely two-out hitting, it looked like it might be a particularly good day for the Astros. And although the hitters did have a good day, the pitcher's didn't. Only Erik Bedard and Chia-Len Lo tossed scoreless frames. Jose Altuve had a particularly good day at the plate going 3-for-5 with a double while Justin Maxwell and Brandon Laird contributed a triple and home run, respectively.

I may be in the minority, but I'm not particularly concerned about Jordan Lyles and Dallas Keuchel, each of whom gave up three earned runs in Wednesday's loss. It's Spring Training. When all is said and done, none of the losses (or wins) count for anything. It's a time to work on things and make adjustments. If neither pitcher makes the opening day rotation, it is not the end of the world. They are both still young, they both still have options and they will only be a phone call away at AAA.

Spring Training Record: 7-9-2

Spring Training Game 18 Results: Nationals 9, Astros 7
Game 18 Minor League Standout: Chia-Jen Lo continues to shine in Spring Training. In six appearances he has not allowed a run and has a 0.882 WHIP.

Spring Training Game 19:
Astros at Nationals at 12:05 CST (Radio only)

SPRING TRAINING RESULTS
Spring Training Game 1 Results: Astros 8, Phillies 3
Spring Training Game 2 Results: Astros 7, Mets 7
Spring Training Game 3 Results: Cardinals 10, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 4 Results: Rays 7, Astros (SS) 2 in six innings
Spring Training Game 5 Results: Astros (SS) 9, Detroit 4
Spring Training Game 6 Results: Astros 10, Blue Jays 1
Spring Training Game 7 Results: Astros 7, Yankees 6
Spring Training Game 8 Results: Astros 8, Cardinals 8
Spring Training Game 9 Results: Astros 6, Braves 5
Spring Training Game 10 Results: Pirates 8, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 11 Results: Tigers 8, Astros 5
Spring Training Game 12 Results: Nationals 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 13 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 14 Results: Braves 14, Astros 9
Spring Training Game 15 Results: Mets 9, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 16 Results: Phillies 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 17 Results: Astros 9, Marlins 4

Happy Birthday - 3/14

Happy Birthday to ~

SS Marwin Gonzalez (24)
Gonzalez was drafted from the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft in December 2011 by the Red Sox and then quickly traded to the Astros for Rule 5 pick RHP Marco Duarte. In 80 games for the Astros in 2012, Gonzalez hit .234/.280/.327 with 13 doubles and two home runs.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

3B/OF Ty (sometimes Tye) Waller (56)
A fourth round pick by the Cardinals in 1977, Waller came to Houston as a free agent in Decembr 1983 and played in 11 games for the Astros in 1987 with uninspiring results. His best season in the majors was for the Chicago Cubs in 1981 when he hit .268/.303/.451 over 30 games. Waller is currently the first base coach for the Oakland A's.

2B Matt Kata (35)
Originally drafted by Arizona in the ninth round in 1999, Kata signed with Houston as a free agent in December 2008. In 40 games for the Astros (52 plate appearances) in 2009, he hit .200/.212/.220. For the last two seasons, he has played in the Texas Rangers minor league system.

Tweet of the Day

Jake Elmore
The deepest sleep imaginable is the ten minutes in between alarms after you hit snooze

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Astros Spring Training Photos

I have uploaded a great many of my photos from Spring Training and they can be found here. I haven't had time to label them with player names yet, but will try to do so over the weekend. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorites.

Brandon Barnes

Justin Maxwell

Ben Heath strapping on the gear

Cesar Cedeno looking good back in orange and blue

Mike Kvasnicka, Adam Bailey and Erik Castro
taking it all in at major league camp

Ready for work

George Springer

Brandon Barnes showing Jose Altuve some love

Photos by Jayne Hansen
 All Rights Reserved*

*The players and coaches featured in these photos are hereby granted permission to use these photos for personal use. All other uses require permission and acknowledgment. 

Spring Training Update & Cuts

The Astros took a literal day off on Monday after the offense took a figurative day off on Sunday and it paid off in a big way as the Astros pounded out eight extra base hits, including five home runs (from Carlos Pena, Brett Wallace, Matt Dominguez, Jason Castro and Chris Carter) in Tuesday's win. Bud Norris allowed all four of Miami's runs on seven hits, but didn't walk a batter. Phil Humber had an excellent five-inning one-hit outing. He also walked no batters and struck out three.

In my random observations from Spring Training which I posted yesterday, I neglected to add something about some of those players who were either injured or fell off the grid last season. I never saw Kyle Weiland, but there were sightings of Wes Musick, Javaris Reynolds, Jack Armstrong, Chase Davidson, Miles Hamblin, John Hinson and others. Unfortunately, I never saw Jio Mier and it turns out he tweaked something and was in the trainer's room. I'm hoping it wasn't anything major because I'd love to see what Jio can do in a full season this year. Grant Hogue has been rehabbing from shoulder surgery since January and is bouncing around the backfields happy to have company now and eager to play.

More cuts from big league camp are anticipated today in advance of minor league games starting tomorrow. UPDATED: Ross Seaton, Brett Oberholtzer, Jose Cisneros and Jarred Cosart were optioned to minor league camp this morning.

Spring Training Record: 7-8-2

Spring Training Game 17 Results: Astros 9, Marlins 4

Spring Training Game 18:
Nationals (SS) at Astros at 12:05 CST (Radio only)

SPRING TRAINING RESULTS
Spring Training Game 1 Results: Astros 8, Phillies 3
Spring Training Game 2 Results: Astros 7, Mets 7
Spring Training Game 3 Results: Cardinals 10, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 4 Results: Rays 7, Astros (SS) 2 in six innings
Spring Training Game 5 Results: Astros (SS) 9, Detroit 4
Spring Training Game 6 Results: Astros 10, Blue Jays 1
Spring Training Game 7 Results: Astros 7, Yankees 6
Spring Training Game 8 Results: Astros 8, Cardinals 8
Spring Training Game 9 Results: Astros 6, Braves 5
Spring Training Game 10 Results: Pirates 8, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 11 Results: Tigers 8, Astros 5
Spring Training Game 12 Results: Nationals 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 13 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 14 Results: Braves 14, Astros 9
Spring Training Game 15 Results: Mets 9, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 16 Results: Phillies 7, Astros 1

Happy Birthday - 3/13

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

LHP Tom Funk (51)
Drafted by Houston in the 28th round in 1983, Funk pitched in eight games for the Astros in 1986 with a 6.48 ERA and a 1.920 WHIP. In six minor league seasons, he was 37-18 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.280 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Andrew Robinson
Course record in putt putt. No big deal.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Random Thoughts on Astros Spring Training

A few random thoughts and observations from my time at Spring Training:

For anyone who likes to follow prospects, the backfields are where it's at. The general public can get access to the backfields on the days when the major league club is on the road.

The orange unis with white pants that the minor league players are wearing are my favorites. They look super sharp. Coaching staff were wearing the blue batting practice jersey with the rainbow stripes under the arm. Cesar Cedeno told Steve Duer (Appy Astros) and I that he really likes that uni because he played for the Astros during the rainbow years.

Speaking of Cedeno, I'll admit it was very cool when he remembered me from last season when I was in Greeneville and came over to chat. But of course I do stick out like a sore thumb back there. I talked with a number of coaches and managers. Josh Bonifay, Rodney Linares, Keith Bodie, Gary Ruby and Joel Chimelis all remembered me and didn't run away and hide from me which is a good sign, I suppose.

It was harder to get a chance to talk to any of the players because they are seriously focused back there (and I didn't want to get any of them into trouble), but I did manage to meet several guys in person with whom I'd done email or phone interviews like Aaron West, Kenny Long, Brian Holmes, Brett Phillips, Tyler Heineman, and Dan Gulbransen.

And I was able to catch up (briefly) with many, many more players that I had met before, but I hesitate to name them at the risk of sounding like a name dropper. Suffice it to say that I felt like the Rock Star of the Backfields with all the warm greetings I received from everyone.

There were a number of players who stood out for me for the shape they were in (best shape of his life!). Domingo Santana is a mountain of a man-child. He looked a little bit soft when I saw him last August, but that can't be said anymore. Telvin Nash looked very good with the dropped pounds, as did Mike Hauschild. Ricky Gingras also stood out. When I saw him last August, I thought he was way too thin to be a catcher but he has definitely added muscle. Ariel Ovando has really filled out as well.

There is a hands-down winner for best 'stache in the minor leagues and that would be Michael Dimock. Note the excellent use of an ironic eyebrow raise as well. I think I'm going to like this guy.

Michael Dimock - March 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

One of the greatest things about being on the backfields is listening to the chatter. The best thing I overheard was Rodney Linares talking to Matt Duffy at the batting cage, "How many times were you hit by pitches last year? What, you couldn't get out of the way?"

I also got to meet a couple of my tweeps which was fun and hang out a little with Appy Astros (and his very, very brilliant son), Tim and Brooks of Crawfishboxes fame and Terri (Tales from the Juice Box) and her very entertaining and precocious daughter, Wee One. And just to show what a small world it is, I ran into my BFF Dave, an usher for the Lexington Legends with whom I made friends, at one of the games.

I got a brief interview with Dallas Keuchel (which I will be writing up as soon as I find the time), and one thought occurred to me during that interview. I'll bet Zachary Levine never got a hug when he interviewed Dallas Keuchel, despite them both being lefties. So there, Z!

And I decided that I'm a very fickle woman. I have far too many baseball crushes - Kike Hernandez, Roberto Pena, Nick Tropeano (who I have nicknamed Sweet Nicky in my mind), Adam Bailey and Rafy Valenzuela (who gives great hugs). Yes, I know I'm old enough to be their mother, but that's allowed with baseball crushes. I'm sure it's in a rulebook somewhere.

The backfields are a place where the hope and energy and enthusiasm of a new season is palpable. It is where all things are possible and everyone has the chance to shine. On a beautiful, warm, sunny day in early March before the Florida heat takes over, I don't need Disney because the backfields are my Happiest Place on Earth.

Happy Birthday - 3/12

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

OF Jim "The Toy Cannon" Wynn (71)
Drafted from the Reds in the 1962 first year draft, Wynn played 11 seasons for the Colt .45's and Houston Astros from 1963 to 1973. Nicknamed The Toy Cannon for his diminutive stature and powerful stroke, Wynn's numbers were skewed by playing in the cavernous confines of the Astrodome. A three-time All-Star, he was second in home runs in 1967 behind Hank Aaron and led the National League in walks in 1969 and 1976. Not only did Wynn hit a home run into the upper deck of the Astrodome, Wynn launched this moonshot out of Crosley Field and on to the freeway in 1967. His number 24 was retired by the Astros in 2005. His autobiography Toy Cannon: The Autobiography of Baseball's Jimmy Wynn came out in October 2010.

CF Steve Finley (48)
A 13th round pick by the Orioles in 1987, Finley came to Houston, along with Pete Harnisch and Curt Schilling, in a trade with Baltimore for Glenn Davis in 1991. Finley played four seasons (1991-1994) for the Astros, hitting .281/.331/.406 before departing Houston in this trade:
December 28, 1994: Traded by the Houston Astros with a player to be named later, Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Roberto Petagine and Brian Williams to the San Diego Padres for Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier and Craig Shipley. The Houston Astros sent Sean Fesh (minors) (May 1, 1995) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
In 19 seasons for eight clubs, Finley won five Gold Gloves to go with two All-Star nods and, according to Baseball-Reference, he became only the second player in major league history, behind Willie Mays, to hit 300 home runs, 425 doubles and 100 triples, and to steal 300 bases.

RHP Bob Watkins (65)
A 22nd round draft pick by Houston in 1966, Watkins pitched 15.2 innings over five games in 1969 with a 5.17 ERA and a 1.660 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Kevin Chapman
Always have big plans for off-days, never happens. Being lazy always wins

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spring Training Update & First Cuts

The Astros offense took the day off after Tyler Greene's leadoff double in the first inning as the Phillies one-hit the hometown heroes. Brad Peacock had a nice start with three scoreless. A couple runs scored off of Sergio Escalona and Josh Fields, but things didn't really start to get out of control until Jarred Cosart came in to pitch. "Out of control" is a good phrase for Cosart's one and two-thirds innings, too. He simply didn't have command of his pitches as he struck out only one hitter while allowing four runs on three hits and a walk with two hit batters. Brett Oberholtzer pitched the final two frames with nice results (more about that later).

The other news from Spring Training was that the first cuts of the spring were made yesterday as the Astros reassigned Delino DeShields, George Springer, Jake Goebbert, Marc Krauss and Chris Wallace to minor league camp and optioned Rudy Owens and Sam Demel to the minor league side as well. More cuts are expected Wednesday in advance of the first minor league games. Brian McTaggart has more here.

I know it was a bit of a downer day with the loss and the first cuts, but I continued to enjoy myself immensely on the backfields. The minor league pitchers were all abuzz as they had been addressed by Roger Clemens prior to workouts. I took a ton of pictures and some video as well. And I had the opportunity to interview Dallas Keuchel briefly so look for more spring training content the next few days, but today I'm in travel mode. I will, however, leave you with this future face of the Astros looking good in the orange and blue.

Mike Foltynewicz
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Spring Training Record: 6-8-2

Spring Training Game 16 Results: Phillies 7, Astros 1
Game 16 Minor League Standouts: Brett Oberholtzer had a good outing. I liked the way he retained his composure working around some early trouble in his first inning of work and then came out and dominated the second inning with two quick strikeouts.

Spring Training Game 17:
Off Day on Monday
Astros at Marlins at 12:05 CST on Tuesday (Radio only)

SPRING TRAINING RESULTS
Spring Training Game 1 Results: Astros 8, Phillies 3
Spring Training Game 2 Results: Astros 7, Mets 7
Spring Training Game 3 Results: Cardinals 10, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 4 Results: Rays 7, Astros (SS) 2 in six innings
Spring Training Game 5 Results: Astros (SS) 9, Detroit 4
Spring Training Game 6 Results: Astros 10, Blue Jays 1
Spring Training Game 7 Results: Astros 7, Yankees 6
Spring Training Game 8 Results: Astros 8, Cardinals 8
Spring Training Game 9 Results: Astros 6, Braves 5
Spring Training Game 10 Results: Pirates 8, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 11 Results: Tigers 8, Astros 5
Spring Training Game 12 Results: Nationals 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 13 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 14 Results: Braves 14, Astros 9
Spring Training Game 15 Results: Mets 9, Astros 6

Happy Birthday - 3/11

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

2B/OF Chris Burke (33)
A first round draft pick for the Astros in 2001, Burke hit .249/.319/.377 in 359 games for Houston from 2004 to 2007. At AAA in 2004, he hit .315/.396/.507 but was being blocked at 2B by both Jeff Kent and Craig Biggio. In December of 2007, he was included in a trade to Arizona for Jose Valverde. Chris Burke will always be remembered by Astros fans for this moment in the 2005 NLDS Game 4 18-inning marathon.

CF Cesar Geronimo (65)
Obtained by the Astros from the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft in 1968, Geronimo spent three seasons with Houston from 1969 to 1971, hitting .228/.272/.307 before being included in the Joe Morgan trade to the Reds in November of 1971. He went on to earn four Gold Gloves for Cincinnati. His best year at the plate was 1976 when he hit .307 in the regular season and .308 in the World Series for the Reds.

RF Bobby Abreu (39)
Abreu played in 79 games for Houston at the start of his career before being drafted by Tampa Bay in the expansion draft and quickly flipped to the Phillies. He maintained a .303 batting average for Philadelphia over nine seasons while collecting a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger and two All-Star nods. He led the National League in triples in 1999 and in doubles in 2002 before moving to the American League, playing first for the Yankees and then the Angels for several seasons. Abreu came back to the National League in 2012, playing for the Dodgers. He is currently a free agent.

RF Larry Ray (55)
A fourth round pick by the Astros in 1979, Ray got one hit and one RBI in his cup of coffee with Houston in 1982.

Tweet of the Day

Blair Walters
Listened to Roger Clemens speak today at the complex. Now about to watch the Lakers take down the Bulls and watch Tiger dominate

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Training Update

I didn't make the trip to Port St. Lucie to watch the Astros take on the Mets, opting instead to hang out on the backfields, watching "my guys," and shooting the breeze with Cesar Cedeno. (Yes, I'm name-dropping. So sue me. It was Cesar freaking Cedeno!!!) And it sounds as though I didn't miss much aside from a Carlos Pena two-run dinger and a two-run single from Nate Freiman driving in Jose Martinez and the speedy Delino DeShields. Alex White and Kevin Chapman, in particular, got roughed up by Mets hitting, and Chia-Jen Lo was the only Astros pitcher who didn't allow a run, or a hit for that matter, as he walked one and struck out two in his one inning of work.

Spring Training Record: 6-7-2

Spring Training Game 15 Results: Mets 9, Astros 6
Game 15 Minor League Standouts: As noted above, Lo had a good outing. On the offensive side, Delino DeShields was the only Astros hitter to have a multi-hit game. Jose Martinez contributed an RBI double, the only other extra base hit other than Pena's homer.

While Marwin Gonzalez and Delino DeShields manned second base in Port St. Lucie yesterday, Jose Altuve was looking all relaxed and hunky on the backfields.

Jose Altuve - March 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Spring Training Game 16:
Phillies at Astros at 12:05 CST (Radio and CSN)

SPRING TRAINING RESULTS
Spring Training Game 1 Results: Astros 8, Phillies 3
Spring Training Game 2 Results: Astros 7, Mets 7
Spring Training Game 3 Results: Cardinals 10, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 4 Results: Rays 7, Astros (SS) 2 in six innings
Spring Training Game 5 Results: Astros (SS) 9, Detroit 4
Spring Training Game 6 Results: Astros 10, Blue Jays 1
Spring Training Game 7 Results: Astros 7, Yankees 6
Spring Training Game 8 Results: Astros 8, Cardinals 8
Spring Training Game 9 Results: Astros 6, Braves 5
Spring Training Game 10 Results: Pirates 8, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 11 Results: Tigers 8, Astros 5
Spring Training Game 12 Results: Nationals 7, Astros 1
Spring Training Game 13 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 14 Results: Braves 14, Astros 9

Happy Birthday - 3/10

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

A fourth round pick by the White Sox in 1982, Cangelosi signed as a free agent with Houston in March 1995 after playing a total of eight seasons for the White Sox, Pirates, Rangers and Mets. In 198 games for Houston in 1995 and 1996, Cangelosi hit .287/.413/.367 before heading to the Marlins in 1997 where he hit .333 in World Series play. He also pitched a total of 4 innings for three different teams (including Houston) and finished his pitching career with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.750 WHIP.

After coming to Houston from the White Sox in a trade in December 1965, Heath hit .301/.353/.350/.703 over 55 games in the 1966 season. He only played in a handful of games for the Astros in 1967 before being picked up by Detroit. Heath earned his MBA from the University of Houston in 1981 and became a very successful financial advisor after retiring from baseball.

A native of Canada and a Yale graduate, MacKenzie pitched in 21 games for Houston after being purchased from the Giants in October 1964 and went 0-3 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.405 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Josh Zeid
Josh Zeid @Josh_Zeid14
Holy world baseball classic! Haymakers, takedowns and ground and pound. #teamcanada should try out for next ultimate fighter! #wbcisforreal