Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spring Training Update

The story of the day was solid pitching (minus a little hiccup from Jose Veras who allowed both Cardinal runs in two-thirds of an inning) as the Astros only mustered six hits for the day. Two of the hits were from Jose Altuve, who also walked once, and two were from Chris Carter. Rick Ankiel drove Tyler Greene in with a sac fly to give the Astros the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth.

Bud Norris stretched it out to six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and three walks with four strikeouts and was followed by Veras who was charged with a blown save. Xavier Cedeno, Jose Valdez and Chia-Jen Lo combined for two and a third innings of one-hit scoreless relief, giving the Astros the chance to win it late.

The other story of the day was the Astros front office ... again. Larry Dierker severed ties with the Astros due to his increasing dissatisfaction with his role as a part of the organization. In the linked article from David Barron of the Houston Chronicle, Dierker characterizes the Astros regime under Jim Crane and George Postolos as being "cold, calculating and humorless."

Disagreements happen and Dierker's accusation is harsh, but I think that Postolos' response to the Houston Astros icon whose number hangs in the upper reaches of Minute Maid Park was unfortunate:
"Larry was complimentary of the direction of the franchise until he didn't get the job he wanted. His remarks today are sour grapes. We regret his bitterness but still wish him well."
As a matter of fact, I find that response to be somewhat cold, calculating and humorless.

Spring Training Record: 11-13-2

Spring Training Game 26 Results: Astros 3, Cardinals 2

Spring Training Game 27:
Astros at Braves (SS) 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
Spring Training Game 18 Results: Nationals 9, Astros 7
Spring Training Game 19 Results: Nationals 6, Astros 3
Spring Training Game 20 Results: Pirates 3, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 21 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 22 Results: Astros 11, Blue Jays 2
Spring Training Game 23 Results: Blue Jays 10, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 24 Results: Mets 7, Astros 5
Spring Training Game 25 Results: Astros 7, Tigers 2

Happy Birthday - 3/23

SS Chan Moon (22)
Signed as a NDFA from South Korea in 2009, Moon played the bulk of the 2012 season at Lexington (with 10 games at Lancaster). For the season, he hit .248/.321/.346 with 13 doubles, a triple and three home runs in 72 games.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Danny Coombs (71)
Signed as an amateur free agent by the Colt .45's prior to the 1963 season, Coombs spent parts of seven seasons playing for Houston. In 90 appearances, he was 8-7 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.551 WHIP. His best season for Houston was 1968 when he went 4-3 in 40 appearances (2 starts) with a 3.28 ERA. In 1970 he  was used primarily as a starter for the Padres, compiling a 10-14 record with a 3.30 ERA. 1971 was his final year in the major leagues.

1B Lee "Big Bopper" May (70)
According to Baseball-Reference, here is how May came to Houston and how he left Houston:
  • November 29, 1971: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Tommy Helms and Jimmy Stewart to the Houston Astros for Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo, Denis Menke and Joe Morgan.
  • December 3, 1974: Traded by the Houston Astros with Jay Schlueter to the Baltimore Orioles for Rob Andrews and Enos Cabell.
In between, he played in 448 games for Houston, hitting .274/.317/.471 with 81 doubles, five triples and 81 home runs and one All-Star appearance. All told, May played in 2071 games over 18 seasons for four teams, hitting 354 home runs and making three All-Star appearances.

Tweet of the Day

Joe Bircher
Great day At the yard for me today, I'm just wondering if a bat boy can be MVP of a game

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Training Update

The Astros brought their big boy bats to Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland and put an old-fashioned whoopin' on Justin Verlander and the Tigers. Brandon Laird led the charge with a two-run homer in the fourth, followed by back-to-back jacks by Carlos Corporan and Matt Dominguez in the fifth. All were off Verlander. Corporan went one better and hit a two-run shot off Al Albuquerque in the seventh as well. The Astros currently rank third out of all the major league teams in home runs during Spring Training (behind the Mariners and the Cubs) and first in the Grapefruit League with 39 long balls. Just for a little Schadenfreude, the Yankees currently have 14 home runs and the Red Sox have 13 during Spring Training. Also of note offensively, Chris Carter doubled, J.D. Martinez went 2-for-2 and Matt Dominguez was 2-for-3 in the game.

Lucas Harrell allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out two over five innings, and was followed with a scoreless inning of relief from Hector Ambriz. But the big story, pitching-wise, was the excellent outing from Brad Peacock. Peacock pitched the final three frames, allowing a meager two hits and no walks while striking out five batters. The performance by Peacock certainly didn't hurt his case as he looks to be one of the last men standing in his campaign for one of the final two rotation spots.

Spring Training Record: 10-13-2

Spring Training Game 25 Results: Astros 7, Tigers 2

Spring Training Game 26:
Cardinals 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
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
Spring Training Game 20 Results: Pirates 3, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 21 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 22 Results: Astros 11, Blue Jays 2
Spring Training Game 23 Results: Blue Jays 10, Astros 6
Spring Training Game 24 Results: Mets 7, Astros 5

Happy Birthday - 3/22

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

3B Sean Berry (47)
Drafted by the Royals in the first round in 1986, Berry came to Houston in a trade with the Expos in 1995 and played for the Astros from 1996 through 1998. He hit .283/.342/.476 with 79 doubles, three triples and 38 home runs in 330 games. Berry served as hitting coach for the Astros from July of 2006 until July of 2010. Most recently, he has served as the minor league hitting coordinator for the Padres.

IF Billy Goodman (died October 1, 1984 at 58)
After having spent the majority of his playing days with Boston, as well as stints with the White Sox and Orioles, Goodman played in 82 games for the Colt .45's in 1962 at the end of his career. He hit .255/.306/.292, but his career line over 16 seasons was .300/.376/.378 in 1623 games. He was a two-time All-Star and led the American League in batting average in 1950 when he hit .354 over 110 games.

MGR Matt Galante (69)
Matt Galante managed the Astros for 27 games in 1999, going 13-14, as Larry Dierker recovered from brain surgery.

RHP Jeremy Griffiths (35)
Drafted by the Mets in the third round in 1999, Griffiths pitched in a total of 10 games in his major league career, one of those for the Astros in 2004. Griffiths came to Houston with David Weathers in the Mets trade for Richard Hidalgo in June 2004.

Tweet of the Day

Daniel Minor
Never thought I'd consider 730 sleeping in, either way looking forward to it

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Training Catching Drills

In case you missed it, earlier this week I posted a number of videos from my Spring Training trip earlier this month - Batting Practice videos for Rio Ruiz, Chase Davidson, Preston Tucker, Andrew Aplin and Telvin Nash; a short video and interview with Christian Garcia highlighting his bullpen session with pitching coach Rick Aponte; and several Astros minor leaguers throwing live BP to hitters - John Neely, Mitch Lambson, Bobby Doran, Jamaine Cotton, Kenny Long, Andrew Robinson and Cameron Lamb.

Today, I bring to you evidence that I am a full-on baseball nerd. I really enjoyed watching the players drill on fundamentals. This first video is of catchers blocking balls in the dirt:



And then Carlos Perez:



And if you're really interested in this kind of stuff, a couple more unidentified players drilling:




Spring Training Update

The Astros scored five runs on seven hits in the first two innings; unfortunately, they were only able to muster four scattered hits the rest of the game. Carlos Pena drove in three of the runs, two via the long ball. Brandon Barnes provided the only other extra base hit, a double in the eighth. Chris Carter drew the only two walks for the Astros. Jose Altuve and Tyler Greene each swiped a bag.

Alex White allowed three runs on seven hits, including a two-run home run by Collin Cowgill, in his four and a third innings of work. He walked one while striking out three. Kevin Chapman had a tough outing in the seventh, culminating in a two-out, two-run triple and his ouster from the game. Wes Musick came in to get a quick final out in the seventh. It was good to see Musick get that opportunity. He started last season at Lancaster and quickly moved first to Corpus Christi and then to Oklahoma City, having great success at each level before getting shut down for the season due to injury. As a lefty, he will most likely be given every chance to succeed.

As I noted in yesterday's update, I was becoming increasingly concerned with Jordan Lyles' spring numbers. I completely understand that spring stats are often fairly meaningless because pitchers are working on things, but Lyles was getting absolutely pounded - 36 hits and 23 earned runs over only 11 and two-thirds innings in five games. Therefore, I was not surprised that he was optioned to minor league camp on Wednesday. I have no doubt that he will get the bugs worked out and be back in the big leagues in no time, and at 22, he still has a long productive road in front of him, but for now I think it is absolutely the right move. John Ely was also optioned to minor league camp.

Spring Training Record: 9-13-2

Spring Training Game 24 Results: Mets 7, Astros 5
Spring Training Game 24 Minor League Standout: RHP David Martinez pitched the final two frames beautifully, facing only six batters and allowing no hits or runs while striking out two.

Spring Training Game 25:
Astros at Tigers 5:05 CST (Radio and MLB Network on delay)

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
Spring Training Game 20 Results: Pirates 3, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 21 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 22 Results: Astros 11, Blue Jays 2
Spring Training Game 23 Results: Blue Jays 10, Astros 6

Happy Birthday - 3/21

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Andrew Aplin (22)
Drafted in the fifth round in 2012 out of Arizona State, Aplin quickly made his mark in his first professional season as he hit .348/.441/.537 with nine doubles, five triples and four home runs in 44 games at Tri-City before getting promoted directly to the High A Lancaster JetHawks team to end the season. In 24 games for Lancaster, he hit .260/.287/.423 with four doubles, two triples and three home runs.

C Rene Garcia (23)
Garcia was drafted in the 35th round in 2008 out of high school in his native Puerto Rico. Garcia started the season at Lancaster. In 60 games for the JetHawks, he hit .279/.308/.340 with 13 doubles before getting promoted to Corpus Christi. Garcia only played in nine games at Corpus (hitting .333/.379/.370) before an injury derailed his season.

RHP Bobby Doran (24)
Drafted in the fourth round in 2010 out of Texas Tech, Doran was one of the true success stories of 2012. He went from a 1-3 record with a 9.04 ERA and a 2.010 WHIP in 2011 to a 14-6 record with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.284 WHIP in 2012 as he split his season between Lancaster and Corpus Christi.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

1B Prentice Almont "Pidge" Browne (died June 3, 1997 at 68)
Browne played in 65 games for the Colt 45's in 1962, a rookie at 33. According to Baseball-Reference:
Pidge Browne was a long time minor league star who at the age of 33 finally got a shot at the major leagues with the expansion Houston Colt .45's in 1962 ... He was the Texas League home run champion in 1955 when he hit 33 home runs for Shreveport. He later became a fan favorite playing for the Houston minor league team in the late 1950s. 
He hit .210/.298/.320 with four doubles, two triples and a home run for Houston that season and never played in the major leagues again.

OF Tommy Davis (74)
Davis came to Houston in a trade with the Seattle Pilots in August of 1969 and played for Houston for parts of the 1969 and 1970 seasons, hitting .271/.308/.377 over 81 games. Davis spent parts of 18 seasons in the major leagues, playing 1999 games for 10 teams and earning All-Star nods and National League batting titles in 1962 and 1963.

Tweet of the Day


Play of the game: Bo Porter's one hand grab of a foul ball.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Minor League Cuts

A quick note as I head out the door for more jury duty. The first cuts from minor league camp occurred today.

Zack Grimmett
John Hinson
Jeremiah Meiners
Daniel Meszaros

We wish all of these players the best of luck.

Spring Training Update

There is something very surreal about having lunch in a jury room a couple blocks from Minute Maid Park and listening to Robert Ford and Steve Sparks call a two-run home run from Jason Castro, his fifth of the spring season. With an evening game scheduled today, I won't have the chance to sneak a listen again, but if I did, I would expect nothing less than another home run for my trouble! And I might not be disappointed  since the Astros have been among the top teams in producing the long ball during Spring Training. But I digress.

Jason Castro wasn't the only player to hit a two-run blast. Brandon Barnes joined him in that distinction, hitting his fourth home run of the spring. Castro, Chris Carter and Justin Maxwell also doubled in the game, and Jose Altuve went 3-for-4 and scored a run. Now about that pitching. Did I mention that Castro and Barnes both hit home runs? Yeah? OK, about that pitching. Lyles continues to struggle this spring. I know, I know ... spring stats are meaningless and all that horse hockey, but personally I would really like to see him quit "working on things" and actually put up a solid pitching performance between now and opening day. He didn't walk anyone, but he didn't need to as he allowed six earned runs on ten hits over only three and two-thirds innings. I know he'll turn it around, but I would like to see him do so sooner rather than later.

Spring Training Record: 9-12-2

Spring Training Game 23 Results: Blue Jays 10, Astros 6

Spring Training Game 24:
Mets at Astros at 5:05 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
Spring Training Game 18 Results: Nationals 9, Astros 7
Spring Training Game 19 Results: Nationals 6, Astros 3
Spring Training Game 20 Results: Pirates 3, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 21 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 22 Results: Astros 11, Blue Jays 2

Happy Birthday - 3/20

No future Astros with birthdays today, only former Astros ~

RHP Jim Golden (77)
Obtained by Houston from the Dodgers in the 1961 expansion draft, Golden pitched for the Colt .45's for two seasons before being included in a trade to the White Sox in 1963 for Nellie Fox. He was 7-12 for Houston with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.428 WHIP in 40 appearances (19 starts).

OF Rick Parker (50)
Drafted by the Phillies in the 16th round in 1985 out of the University of Texas, Parker was signed by Houston as a free agent in January of 1992 and spent one season with the Astros. In 49 plate appearances over 45 games, he hit a solid .333/.375/.400.

RHP Blas Minor (47)
Minor was drafted three times before he finally signed with Pittsburgh on the fourth try as a sixth round pick in 1988. His best season was for the Mets in 1995 when he went 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.221 WHIP.  Having signed with Houston as a free agent in November of 1996, Minor pitched in only 12 innings for the Astros in 1997 with a 1-0 record, a 4.50 ERA and a 1.500 WHIP.

LHP Wilfredo Rodriguez (34)
A non-drafted free agent first signed by Houston in 1995 out of Venezuela, Rodriguez's whole major league career consists of  three innings pitched over two games in 2001 with an ERA of 15.00 and a WHIP of 2.333. In eight seasons of minor league and independent ball, he had a 4.17 ERA and a 1.384 WHIP.  He was named as a #25 prospect by Baseball America before the 2000 season and a #57 prospect by Baseball America before the 2001 season.

I would also like to wish Kevin Goldstein, Coordinator of Pro Scouting for the Astros, a very Happy Birthday!

Tweet of the Day

Daniel Minor
Haven't seen the sun rise this many days in a row before in my life

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Live Batting Practice Videos

Here are a few of the videos I took during Spring Training of pitchers throwing live batting practice. The quality isn't great on a couple of them (and a couple look like they were filmed by the makers of Blair Witch Project), but you'll at least be able to get an idea.













This is the worst quality of all the videos, but it is our first look at Cameron Lamb, the Australian side-armer that the Astros picked up in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft over the winter.

A Bullpen Lesson with RHP Christian Garcia

When I was at Spring Training earlier this month, one of the first things I did was head to Field 5 at the very back of the complex. This is where most of the younger, more recent additions to the Astros were plying their trade. And one of the first things I witnessed was Rick Aponte, one of the Astros minor league pitching coaches discussing run vs. sink with RHP Christian Garcia during Garcia's bullpen session.

I talked with Garcia, a 29th round 2012 pick out of Florence-Darlington Technical College in South Carolina, briefly about that conversation with Aponte, "[Aponte's] point of view is that run is pretty much pointless because [if] the ball runs sideways without any drop on it, it's still going to hit the bat. The bat being a long object as it is, it will just run sideways and connect with the bat at a different point which does make a lot of sense. Which versus sink, [if] the ball's sinking, it's sinking toward the bottom of the bat, thus producing ground balls and perhaps even missing the bat itself."

Immediately following Garcia's exchange with Aponte, I caught this moment in which Garcia immediately illustrated Aponte's point:



When I talked to Garcia on Saturday, he had just seen his first game action pitching two innings, "six up, six down" with two strikeouts, two ground outs and two fly outs. While I had Garcia on the phone, I asked him about his pitch repertoire, "So far in Spring Training, it's been the fastball, sinking fastball, the slider and the changeup. [During Saturday's game], fastball was probably 88 to 91 or 92, sinker was coming in about 88. That's a nice little pitch, kind of has some sinking downward [movement], breaks a lot of bats, lot of ground balls which I like a lot. Then I have my slider which is really more of a slurve. You can imagine throwing it at the right hip of a righty, it will break down into the zone. And finally I have the changeup which likes to fall off arm side, little bit of sink to it. [It] comes in anywhere from 6 to 9 mph slower than my fastball."

I sincerely enjoyed talking with Christian who is extremely intelligent and thoughtful, and I hope to catch up with him again during the season to learn more about him.

Thank you for your time, Christian, and best of luck in the 2013 season!

Happy Birthday - 3/19

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

UT Matt Downs (29)
Originally drafted by the Giants in the 36th round in 2006 out of the University of Alabama, Downs became an Astro after being claimed off waivers in August of 2010. In three seasons with the Astros, he hit .235/.298/.432 in 208 games and played at 2B, 3B, 1B, RF, SS and LF. He was also the emergency catcher but was never called upon in that capacity. Downs was signed as a free agent by the Marlins back in January.

3B/2B Jose Castillo (32)
Claimed off waivers from the Giants in 2008, Castillo played in 15 games for Houston that year, hitting .281/.314/.313. In 2012, he played for Veracruz in the Mexican League.

UT Chuck Jackson (50)
Drafted by Houston in the seventh round in 1984, Jackson played in 81 games for Houston in 1987 and 1988, hitting .218/.281/.321. In 12 seasons in the minors, he hit .288/.369/.426.

Tweet of the Day

Rafael Valenzuela

Went ham on that much needed nap

Monday, March 18, 2013

Get Well Soon!

Astros minor league infielder Brandon Wikoff was involved in a single car accident Sunday evening in Florida. According to this story from CSN, he is in the hospital and is listed in stable condition. I think I can speak for all my readers as I wish Brandon a speedy recovery.

Brandon Wikoff - June 2012
Photo by Jayne Hansen



Batting Practice Videos

I am STILL trying to catch up from my Spring Training trip. So, today I'm going to offer up some of the video I took at Spring Training. Here are a few of the hitters I saw take batting practice.









Spring Training Update

Woah there, boys! Let's save a little of the firepower for opening day! The Astros banged out four doubles, a triple and four home runs, two by Chris Carter, while holding the Blue Jays to four hits. Jason Castro and Brandon Laird also homered while Justin Maxwell had a double and a triple. Bud Norris pitched an effective and efficient six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Erik Bedard took it the rest of the way, allowing only one hit while striking out five.

Spring Training Record: 9-11-2

Spring Training Game 22 Results: Astros 11, Blue Jays 2

Spring Training Game 23:
After a day off on Monday, Houston will be at Toronto 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
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
Spring Training Game 20 Results: Pirates 3, Astros 2
Spring Training Game 21 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2

Happy Birthday - 3/18

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

RHP Brian Fisher (51)
Originally drafted by Atlanta in the second round in 1980, Fisher signed with Houston as a free agent in February 1990 and pitched in only four games (five total innings) for the Astros that season. His best season was his rookie season for the Yankees in 1985 when he was 4-4 with an ERA of 2.38 and a WHIP of 1.078 over 55 games.

Tweet of the Day

Rafael Valenzuela

All these weird tan lines... It's definitely baseball season!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Training Update

Watching the top of the eighth inning from Saturday's game made this minor league follower a very happy camper as Jose Martinez, Carlos Correa, Jon Singleton, Domingo Santana and Rene Garcia all figured in scoring the runs that would put the Astros on top. Lucas Harrell provided a solid four innings, despite a scare in which a shattered bat of death took aim at his head (he ducked). Edgar Gonzalez provided three scoreless innings of relief and was rewarded with the win. Trevor Crowe was 3-for-5 with a double and run scored and Rick Ankiel provided a solo shot in the fourth. Jake Elmore also flashed some good leather and swiped a bag.

Spring Training Record: 8-11-2

Spring Training Game 21 Results: Astros 4, Nationals 2
Spring Training Game 21 Minor League Standouts: Carlos Correa (1-for-2, RBI single, SB, run) and Rene Garcia (1-for-1, 2 RBI single) provided 3/4 of the offense between them against the Nationals' A-Team. That was nice to see.

Spring Training Game 22:
Toronto at Houston 12:05 CST (Radio and CSN Houston)

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
Spring Training Game 20 Results: Pirates 3, Astros 2

Happy Birthday - 3/17

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

C Raul Chavez (40)
Chavez, a native of Venezuela, was originally signed as a NDFA by Houston in 1990 and was traded to the Expos along with Dave Veres for Sean Berry in 1995. Signing with Houston in 2000 as a free agent, he played in 136 games in 2000 and 2002 through 2005 as a back-up catcher. His regular season stats were nothing to write home about, but he did go 4 for 9 with a home run and two RBI's in the NLDS and NLCS in 2004. He also boasts a 41% career caught stealing percentage in the major leagues and a 44% career caught stealing in the minor leagues.

Tweet of the Day

John Hinson
Things typically get easier the more you do them.. But that's certainly not the case when it comes to a cold tub