Saturday, November 23, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Friday, November 22 (and, in the case of the Australian Baseball League, today)


Zulia 12, La Guaira 6

Down 6-1 after the 3rd? No problem. Zulia closed the game on an 11-0 run and scored in their final 4 innings, with the big blow being a 7-run 8th that gave them a 10-6 lead.

Águilas de Zulia
3B Marwin Gonzalez: 2-4, 3 RBI, R, 2 BB

Tiburones de La Guaira
LHP Sergio Escalona: Hold (9), L (0-3), 0.1 IP, 2 H, 4 R (all unearned, 2 inherited runners scored), K

Magallanes 8, Caracas 5

Caracas was done in by a pair of 3-run innings from los Navegantes in the 4th and the 6th.

Leones del Caracas
RF J.D. Martinez: 2-3, solo HR (5), 2 RBI, R, 2 BB
LF Eric Thames: 1-5, 3 K


Bravos 4, Cardenales 1

2B Carlos Perdomo: 1-5, 2B, RBI

Tiburones 8, Tampa Bay 0

SS Alex Gonzalez: 1-4, RBI, R, 2 BB, CS
C Marlon Avea: 4-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R


Perth 4, Melbourne 2

The Heat's 4 runs were unanswered, and 3 of those came in the bottom of the 8th.

Perth Heat
LHP Cameron Lamb: W (1-0), 2 IP, H, BB, 2 K; this was his first appearance of the season.


Cibao 3, Licey 2

Gigantes del Cibao
RHP Rhiner Cruz: 0.1 IP, K; in his 1st apperance of the season, he struck out Yamaico Navarro to end the top of the 8th.


Carolina 7, Santurce 0

Santurce was held to 4 hits; on the other hand, Enrique Hernandez continued his fine winter form for Carolina.

Cangrejeros de Santurce
1B Jonathan Singleton: 1-4, 2B
RF Austin Wates: 0-3, K, 2 outfield assists

Gigantes de Carolina
2B Enrique Hernandez: 2-5, RBI, R, K

Happy Birthday - 11/23

No future Astros, only former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP John Anderson (died December 20, 1998 at age 69)
Obtained from the Cardinals in a May 1962 trade with St. Louis, Anderson pitched in 10 games for the Colt .45's in 1962 with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.642 WHIP.

OF Colin Porter (38)
A 17th round draft pick by the Astros in 1998, Porter played in 24 games for Houston in 2003, hitting .188/.212/.188. He was claimed off waivers by St. Louis in January 2004 and hit .314/.314/.429 in 23 games for the Cardinals that year. He went on to play in the Yankees and Diamondbacks organizations in 2005, but never made it back to the bigs.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, November 22, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Thursday, November 21


Aragua 15, Zulia 6

Los Águilas got buried by a 14-3 run from the 3rd to the 6th innings. Aragua landed the haymaker by putting up a touchdown and tacking on the extra point in the 5th. 

Águilas de Zulia
3B Marwin Gonzalez: 1-5 as the DH

Caracas 6, La Guaira 4 in 10 innings

Caracas walked off with the win as the Padres' Jesus Guzman sent out his 2nd of the game, a 2-run shot in the 10th that broke a 4-4 tie.

Leones del Caracas
LF J.D. Martinez: 0-4, BB, K

Tiburones de La Guaira
LHP Sergio Escalona: 0.2 IP, K


Caribes 12, Tiburones 4

Los Tiburones got swamped early, as they fell behind 11-1 after the 4th inning.

SS Alex Gonzalez: 2-4, BB, R
C Marlon Avea: 0-3, K as the DH

LHP Junior Garcia: 2 IP, BB, K; 3rd pitcher to appear
RHP Joselo Pinales: IP, K
RHP Jamaine Cotton: IP, K

Bravos 8, Detroit 2

Los Bravos got on the board first with a run in the 3rd, and then they proceeded to run away with the game by scoring in their final 4 frames.

2B Carlos Perdomo: 3-4, RBI, 2 R, BB


Mexicali 7, Guasave 4

Guasave attempted a comeback from a 7-0 deficit, but that hole proved to be too much to overcome.

Algodoneros de Guasave
1B Japhet Amador: 0-3
RF Leo Heras: 1-4, BB, 2 K


League-wide off day.


Ponce 6, Santurce 5 in 11 innings

Santurce walked off with the loss as Ponce got to Xavier Cedeño in the 11th with a pair of RBI singles, turning a 5-4 game into the final above.

Cangrejeros de Santurce
1B Jonathan Singleton: 3-5, 2 K
RF Austin Wates: 0-5, 2 K

Caguas 10, Mayagüez 8

The offenses got rolling early; Caguas held a 9-7 lead after the 4th. However, after the outburst to start the game, the only other runs that were scored came in each team's half of the 8th inning.

Criollos de Caguas

C Roberto Peña: 2-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R, K

Happy Birthday - 11/22

Happy Birthday to ~

CF Drew Muren (25)
Drafted in the 22nd round in 2011 out of Cal State Northridge, Muren started the 2013 season with Lancaster. After a dozen games with the JetHawks, Muren spent the remainder of his season at Corpus Christi where he hit .238/.314/.344 with 17 doubles, five triples and one home run in 93 games.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

OF Joe Gaines (77)
Obtained in a June 1964 trade with the Orioles, Gaines Played for the Colt .45's in 1964 and the Astros in 1965 and 1966. In 200 games, he hit .239/.304/.372.

LHP Wade Blasingame (70)
Blasingame came to Houston in a June 1967 trade with Atlanta and pitched for Houston from 1967 to 1972. In 116 games (62 starts), he was 17-28 with a 4.84 ERA and a 1.478 WHIP.

RHP Oscar Villarreal (32)
Villarreal was traded to Houston from Atlanta in November 2007. In 35 games for the Astros in 2008, he had a 5.08 ERA and a 1.566 WHIP. Since playing for Houston, he has played in the Seattle, Colorado, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Baltimore organizations (with a couple side trips to the Mexican League), but has yet to make it back to the major leagues.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, November 20

*Now with 11/19 games from the Liga Paralela.


Caracas 8, Aragua 2

Leones del Caracas
RF J.D. Martinez: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R

Tigres de Aragua
2B Jose Martinez: 1-4

Lara 7, Zulia 2

Águilas del Zulia 
3B Marwin Gonzalez: 1-2, BB, R


11/19 Games

Caribes 8, Bravos 1

SS Carlos Perdomo: 2-4

Magallanes 5, Tiburones 1

SS/2B Alex Gonzalez: 2-4
C Marlon Avea: 1-4 as the DH

RHP Gerardo Juarez: 2 IP, 3 BB; he got the start.
LHP Junior Garcia: IP, H, ER, BB, K
RHP Joselo Pinales: L (1-1), 0.1 IP, H, 3 ER, 2 BB
RHP Jamaine Cotton: 0.2 IP, 2 H, ER, K

RHP Carlos Quevedo: 6 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 2 K

11/20 Games

Tampa Bay 8, Bravos 5

2B Carlos Perdomo: 1-3, K

Seattle 6, Magallanes 3

C Ernesto Genoves: 0-3, 2 BB as the DH

Caracas 11, Tiburones 1

SS Alex Gonzalez: 1-4, RBI
C Marlon Avea: 0-3


Mexicali 7, Guasave 0

Algodoneros de Guasave
1B Japhet Amador: 1-4, 2B, K as the DH
CF Leo Heras: 0-4, K


Gigantes 5, Toros 3

Gigantes del Cibao
LHP Rudy Owens: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Leones 8, Águilas 3

Águilas Cibaeñas
SS Jonathan Villar: 1-4, SB (8), 2 K


Carolina 8, Caguas 2

Criollos de Caguas
LHP Luis Cruz: L (0-1), 3.2 IP, 5 H (HR allowed), 2 ER, 2 K

Gigantes de Carolina
2B Enrique Hernandez: 2-5, 2-R HR (2), 3 RBI; that homer came off of Luis Cruz in the bottom of the 3rd.
C Rene Garcia: 0-4, RBI, R
1B Jobduan Morales: Entered game as a defensive replacement in the 9th; recorded the final putout of the game

Happy Birthday - 11/21

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Chris Cotton (23)
Drafted by Houston in the 14th round in 2013 out of LSU, Cotton pitched for Tri-City in 2013. In eight appearances (six starts), he was 3-3 with a 1.74 ERA and a 1.097 WHIP. He walked only two batters in 31 innings.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Gary Wilson (59)
A first round pick for the Astros in 1976, Wilson's entire major league career consisted of seven and a third innings pitched in 6 games for Houston in 1979 with a 12.27 ERA and a 2.864 WHIP.

SS/2B Tripp Cromer (46)
Originally drafted by the Cardinals in the third round in 1989, Cromer first signed with Houston as a free agent in December 1999. In 12 games for the Astros in 2000 and 2003, he hit .167/.231/.333.

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Astros Roster Moves

UPDATE: According to this tweet from J.J. Cooper of Baseball America, the Astros protected Domingo Santana, Asher Wojciechowski and Luis Cruz from the Rule 5 Draft by adding them to the 40-man roster:
Most surprising exclusions are RHP Jake Buchanan and C Carlos Perez. I had thought either Perez or fellow C Rene Garcia would be protected to preserve catching depth, particularly after last season's catching woes with so many injuries.

Several people have indicated some surprise regarding the inclusion of LHP Luis Cruz. I'm not terribly surprised after talking with Manager Rodney Linares, Pitching Coach Don Alexander and Morgan Ensberg about Cruz in May in Lancaster. They were all quite effusive in their praise of him. And don't forget what Kevin Goldstein had to say about Cruz in this recent article, "I adore him."

As of mid-afternoon, the Astros have made the following moves in advance of adding players who will need to be protected from next month's Rule 5 Draft:

RHP John Ely released
IF Jake Elmore claimed off waivers by the White Sox
OF J.D. Martinez removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to Oklahoma City
IF Ryan Jackson claimed off waivers from St. Louis

There are currently 34 players on the 40-man roster. I will update this post as additional moves are made, as well as this ongoing list of all off-season Astros transactions.

As a reminder, this is what I wrote about those players who may be taken in the Rule 5 Draft if they are not protected.

An Interview with OF Tanner Mathis

The first thing you'll notice about Tanner Mathis if you meet him off the field is his Louisiana accent and his easygoing manner. But don't let that fool you. Despite his love for hunting and Ole Miss, he isn't just another good old boy. If you look beyond his outgoing personality and loquaciousness, you'll find someone who has obviously thought long and hard about what it will take to succeed and has worked diligently to make that a reality.

Mathis is currently working up the road in Cypress during the off-season. The job, working for a construction and remodeling company owned by his cousin, affords him the opportunity to hunt on the weekends and is helping to fund a couple of special off-season hunting trips. But he still finds the time to get his work in and also found the time to talk with me last week about his first professional season. Here is what we discussed, edited for brevity (believe it or not) and clarity ~

Tanner Mathis - September 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

JH: You were originally drafted by the Astros in 2012, but didn't sign, instead choosing to go back to Ole Miss for your senior year. This past summer, you signed with Houston as a non-drafted free agent. Can you tell me a little about that process? Any regrets?

TM: The process was pretty hectic. I was drafted late in the draft, the 27th round. I only had 30 hours left at school, two semesters. I was weighing the option of playing pro ball and going back and getting that degree later, or graduating and then playing pro ball the next year. A lot of people told me that it's hard [to go back later]. I had people for each side pulling. Some people wanted me to sign. Some people wanted me to go back to school. I just kind of shut everybody off and [I decided] I wanted to go back to school because it was best for me in the long run. Getting that degree, having that piece of paper whenever my career is over, whether I'm 25 or 40, I won't have to go back to school and finish a year. I don't regret it at all. I had a great year. Obviously, your senior year of college is always a special time of your life and I cherish every moment of it.

JH: What is your degree?

TM: I've got a criminal justice degree with Homeland Security emphasis and a minor in Parks and Recreation. Starting off, I was going into a Game Warden kind of deal, but around my junior year, I'd taken a couple of law classes and fell in love with the law aspect so I'm planning on going back to law school when baseball is finished. That's my goal. I don't know if it will happen or not. With a law degree, I could be a sports agent down the road.

JH: You were one of a handful of players invited by the Astros to spend time in the Dominican Republic after the season ended. Can you tell me a little about that?

TM: That was awesome. We went down there for 10 days. It was part of the Dominican League instructs. You know they have the [instructional] league in Florida for three weeks in October? This was kind of like the Florida instructs. "We want to get you some extra work. Do you want to go to the Dominican?" Of course! We went down there for two weeks. We played ball. We practiced stuff every day. In the morning we worked out, lifted weights. Then five or six times, we'd leave our complex to tour the country. We put on a camp one day. We rode around. We went out to the beach. We went to a couple different towns and cities and visited the Astros complex while I was there. We just had a lot of fun interacting with the Latin guys. Google Translate is amazing, what you can do on Google Translate talking to the guys. We used that a lot.

JH: So, you had a chance to bond with some of the Latin players?

TM: Being in Greeneville, there were 16 or 17 Latin guys on that roster, and half of our Greeneville team was at the complex [in the Dominican] or I saw them throughout the trip. So it was cool to see the guy and how he lived. It was kind of like, along with the instructs and baseball part, [it] was a cultural [experience]. They come to our country and they're lost. The don't speak English. They might not like the food, whatever. So it was kind of like the opposite ... send the American guys over there to see what the Latin guys deal with when they come to our country. It was cool. You go down there. You don't speak Spanish. You might not like some of the food. It's just a culture shock. And I think we did a great job in adapting to it, getting along with the guys.

JH: In looking at your splits at Greeneville this season, I noticed that you actually hit better against lefties (.304 BA) than you did against right-handed pitchers (.268 BA). Do you usually hit that well against lefties? [Note: Mathis is a left-handed hitter.]

TM: My freshman year of college I was platooned with another outfielder and I would only play against right-handed pitchers. So [I didn't] see a lefty all that year just about. Then I went to summer ball my first summer and I [wanted] to face as many lefties as possible. [I sat down with the summer ball coach] and said I might not do well against them at first, but I need to see as many as possible. Then, as the season went on, I was able to face lefties. Not that I couldn't hit them, but my college coach, he really liked having the match-ups. I don't blame him. Most of the stats, it all pays off. But I really set my goal to play every day as a sophomore in college and I needed to face lefties. I actually hit better in my sophomore and junior years in college ball against left-handed pitchers than right-handed pitchers so I guess it's kind of normal. I don't know. It's just one of those things I don't even think about it anymore.

JH: The other thing I noticed is that you drew a lot of walks (44 in 60 games) and didn't strike out much (14 times). Were you that disciplined a hitter in college?

TM: My sophomore year of college, I struck out 10 times and I was one of the top 10 hardest guys to strike out in the country. I had 15 walks and 10 strikeouts as a leadoff hitter that year and they [wanted me] to walk more. Then my junior year, I had around 40 walks [and he continued to draw more walks in his senior year.] It's just, being a lead off hitter, you have to get on base. You can't hit .400. It's just not going to work. No one does that so you have to add another element. Pitch recognition was something I worked on a lot with my college coaches, walking, taking a strike, taking two strikes sometimes, working the count and getting on first base so we could make the offense go. And I just brought that over to pro ball. Actually in Greeneville, they told me to lead off the game, every game, the first at-bat of the game, they told me to take until I had two strikes because I could still hit with two strikes and I wasn't going to chase very many pitches. And it worked. I think I ended up setting a franchise record there and it just goes back to [Cesar] Cedeno and [Josh] Bonifay working with me in the cages about it. Also, my college coaches helping me along the way.

JH: What was the biggest surprise for you in your first season of pro ball?

TM: All those big time arms. All the velocity. You'd see between 88 and 102 any given day. We had [Jandel] Gustave down there on our team throwing 100 to 102. And the Mets had a couple of guys throwing around 100. [Even at the best schools], you might get 95 to 97, but that's only one day. Where in pro ball, you might get it three or four days in a row and you just have to deal with it.

JH: What memory will you take with you from the season?

TM: Clinching a playoff spot was pretty special, especially because [it was] Bonifay's first year as a manager. And we had the winning streak, then a losing streak, then another winning streak. Then finally we clinched like the day before the season was over. He gave me an MVP trophy. I thought that was really neat. And just your first year in general ... you never forget your first anything. Being part of such a special group of guys in a special organization in Greeneville is something I'll never forget, the whole thing.

JH: You got a late season call up to Lancaster after the Greeneville season ended, but you never got into a game. What were you able to take away from the experience?

TM: One thing I saw and noticed is that they know exactly what it takes to get ready for a game, whether it's a playoff game, season-on-the-line Game 5 or just another game. They don't do anything different. They were really loose, really relaxed in the clubhouse. And they came out and they brought it. They were intense. They played hard. That's just something that, as you get older and you play more and more games, you realize what you have to do to get ready for each game. I think seeing that helped me a lot.

JH: What do you feel like you accomplished in your first season and what are you still working on?

TM: I'm working on a lot of things. I'm working on getting faster, stronger, bigger. I need to be able to steal more bases, still need to walk more, hit for more power, play better defense, every aspect of the game. It's just non-stop. It's always evolving.

What have I accomplished? I had a good year. I thought I had an average year for myself, [but] I hold myself to a high standard. Personally, it was my on-base percentage ... I was surprised that it was so high. That's why I kept playing. Because I brought it every day and I was rewarded by Bonifay and them to let me keep playing [in Lancaster after the Greeneville season was done].

JH: How would you characterize yourself defensively?

TM: I would say I'm an above average outfielder, just a tick above average with an average arm. I can run down some balls and I would say I play pretty smart out there. I made a couple good throws this year, throwing guys out at second on balls down the left field line. Just a smart player, I guess.

JH: What Astros pitcher that you've seen would you least like to face in the batter's box?

TM: Oh man. I have no idea. A lot of them. Gustave throws real hard. The lefty that throws real hard, [Reymin] Guduan, I probably wouldn't like facing him very much. And Brady Rodgers ... I saw him pitch in Lancaster. He and Travis Ballew -- their offspeed's real good. Probably those four guys and there's a couple other ones that I probably wouldn't enjoy facing either.

JH: Who on the team made you laugh?

TM: A lot of the Latin guys in Greeneville made me laugh, just how they acted. Wallace Gonzalez and I hung out a lot. He made me laugh. But I'd have to go with Brett Phillips. Brett Phillips' laugh made me laugh more than I've ever laughed before. That laugh is awesome. I have it recorded on my phone and I watch it all the time. [Note from Jayne: Having heard the infamous Brett Phillips laugh, I couldn't agree more!]

JH: Was there a player that you liked to just sit back and watch play?

TM: A lot of the guys in High A. I think [Andrew] Aplin was a really good person to fit my game after. He played really hard. And [M.P.] Cokinos was a really good hitter. [Chris] Epps was a good left-handed power guy. A bunch of those guys on that team really played hard. Aplin would run through a wall to catch a ball. He's not afraid of anything and he's going to swing the bat. And, of course, watching Delino [DeShields] run is always good too.

JH: You've more or less already answered this, but what would you do if you couldn't play baseball?

TM: If I don't make it to the big leagues, I'd probably go back to school and get my law degree and either become a lawyer or an agent. Or if that doesn't work out, just probably become a coach and work my way up from there.

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

TM: I moved six weeks before high school started my freshman year to go to Barbe High School [in Lake Charles], a big baseball powerhouse. It was my best shot at getting a scholarship and eventually playing pro ball down the road. So we move over there 20 or 30 minutes south of where we used to live. Then Hurricane Rita comes through. Nobody ever remembers Hurricane Rita. It comes through just a little west of Lake Charles. We were on the bad side of the storm. And it blew off almost all the shingles on our house. With all that rain and wind, about half our house [had the ceilings cave in]. So, my whole freshman year I didn't live in Lake Charles. I lived back in my old house [with my grandfather]. It was really hard on everybody in my family because we were just in our new house and just moved and, boom, we were back out of it. Just having the stress of basically having to rebuild the house from the inside out, it was just a pain to have to go through that. And I'm thankful for my grandfather [for] bringing me to school every day.


I've already mentioned the easygoing Louisiana cadence that is the first thing one notices about Tanner off the field. The first thing one notices about Tanner on the field, though, is his very distinctive ritual when he comes up to bat.

He's definitely a fun player to watch and a fun player to talk with. I look forward to seeing him in action again next season.

Thank you for your time, Tanner, and the best of luck in the 2014 season.

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Monday, November 19


Tigres de Aragua

2B Jose Martinez: 1-4, R, K; served as the DH

Leones del Caracas

LF Eric Thames: 0-4, K
RF J.D. Martinez: 2-4, 2B, R


Results currently unknown.


Tomateros de Culiacán

RHP Gonzalo Sanudo: 2 IP, H (HR), ER, K

Algodoneros de Guasave

1B Japhet Amador: 2-4, 2 2B
RF Leo Heras: 1-3, 2B


Toros del Este

CF Teoscar Hernandez: 0-4, K

Águilas Cibaeñas

SS Jonathan Villar: 1-3, SB (7), 2 K


Cangrejeros de Santurce

1B Jonathan Singleton: 1-3, solo HR (3), 2 BB
RF Austin Wates: 1-3, R, BB, K

Happy Birthday - 11/20

One former Astro celebrates today ~

RHP C.J. "Don't Call me Chuckie" Fick (28)
A 15th round pick by the Cardinals in 2007, Fick was selected by Houston off waivers from St. Louis in July 2012. In 18 appearances for the Astros in 2012, he had a 4.30 ERA and a 1.783 WHIP. After a handful of appearances for Oklahoma City in 2013, Fick was released by Houston in June 2013. Chuckie Fick should go down in history as the name most likely to get a tongue-tied broadcaster in a lot of trouble.

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Monday's Games

Rather light slate for Monday, as there was only 1 game in each of the Caribbean Leagues. The only games where Astros players appeared occurred in Venezuela.


La Guaira 6, Zulia 2

Águilas del Zulia

3B Marwin Gonzalez: 1-4, RBI single in 3rd


Caracas 5, Bravos 4


2B Carlos Perdomo: 0-4, RBI

Tiburones 7, Navegantes 5


SS Alex Gonzalez: 0-3, 2 BB, R
C Marlon Avea: 0-4, RBI


RHP Enderson Franco: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R (2 earned), 3 BB, 4 K

Happy Birthday - 11/19

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

RHP Aurelio Monteagudo (died November 10, 1990 at age 46)
Monteagudo was purchased by Houston from the Kansas City Athletics in May 1966 and pitched in 10 games for Houston that season with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.630 WHIP.

A belated Happy Birthday to fellow Astros blogger Tyler Stafford of Climbing Tal's Hill. Tyler truly has one of the best twitter handles out there - @JeffBlogwell. Reportedly, he is all of 21 years of age today. I wouldn't want to be 21 again, but I'd love to have the knees of a 21-year old.

Tweets of the Day

Monday, November 18, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Cumulative Stats

The cumulative stats for all Astros (minor league and major league) players who either are participating or have participated in fall and winter league ball follow. Free agents are noted with an asterisk. Stats are through Sunday's games. Last week, I posted this final look at the Astros who participated in the Arizona Fall League, which league has now concluded.

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Sunday's Games


La Guaira 5, Zulia 4

Tiburones de La Guaira

LHP Sergio Escalona: Hold (8), 0.1 IP, 2 H, ER, K

Águilas del Zulia

3B Marwin Gonzalez: 2-3, R, 2 BB, K

Margarita 3, Magallanes 2

Bravos de Margarita

LHP Eric Berger: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 3 K

Caracas 9, Lara 8

Leones del Caracas

LF Eric Thames: 3-3, solo HR (2), 2 RBI, 3 R

RF J. D. Martinez: 2-4, 3-R HR (4), R

Thames entered the day hitting .261 in 6 games; after his perfect day at the plate, that figure is now up to .346.


Off day.


Let's play 2 in Sinaloa!

Game 1: Culiacán 1, Guasave 0

Algodoneros de Guasave

1B Japhet Amador: 0-3, 2 K; he served as the DH in his debut for the Cotton Growers.

Game 2: Guasave 1, Culiacán 0

1B Japhet Amador: 1-3; he was in the field for game 2.

RF Leo Heras: 1-2, solo HR (2) in 6th


No games until 11/22

I didn't realize that this was a weekend league.


Escogido 4, Licey 0

Tigres del Licey

RF Domingo Santana: 0-3, 2 K

Águilas 13, Cibao 11 in 10 innings

Águilas Cibaeñas

SS Jonathan Villar: 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB, 2 K; that double brought home 2 in the 8th.

Villar's 11 walks currently rank 2nd on the club. He also leads los Águilas with 6 steals (unfortunately, his 4 CS also leads) and is 4th with a .361 on-base percentage.


Mayagüez 5, Caguas 3

Criollos de Caguas 

C Roberto Peña: 0-3

Carolina 4, Ponce 3

Gigantes de Carolina

C Rene Garcia: 0-3, RBI groundout in 2nd

Happy Birthday - 11/18

Former Astros celebrating birthdays today ~

OF Travis Buck (30)
Originally drafted by Oakland in the first round in 2005, Buck signed with Houston as a free agent in November 2011. Buck spent 33 games with the Astros in 2012, hitting .216/.284/.311. Buck played for the San Diego AAA affiliate in 2013.

RHP Gil Rondon (60)
Originally drafted by the Orioles in the third round in 1973, Rondon was drafted by Houston from the Angels in the Rule 5 draft in 1975. In 19 games (seven starts) for the Astros in 1976, he was 2-2 with a 5.70 ERA and a 2.031 WHIP.

C Luis Pujols (58)
Signed by Houston as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1973, Pujols played in 311 games for the Astros from 1977 to 1983, hitting .192/.239/.259. In 2013, Pujols managed the Orioles minor league South Atlantic League team.

RHP Jeff Heathcock (54)
A first round pick by the Astros in 1980, Heathcock pitched in 56 games (13 starts) for Houston in 1983, 1985, 1987 and 1988 with a 9-9 record, a 3.76 ERA and a 1.190 WHIP.

LF Steve Henderson (61)
Originally drafted by the Reds in the fifth round inn 1974, Henderson came to Houston as a free agent in March 1988. In 42 games for the Astros that season, he hit .217/.321/.261. In his debut year of 1977 with the Mets, Henderson came in second to Andre Dawson in Rookie of the Year voting. His career batting line over 12 seasons was .280/.352/.413. In 2013, he was the hitting coach for the Phillies.

C Eddie "Scooter" Tucker (47)
A fifth round pick by the Giants in 1988, the Astros claimed Tucker off waivers from San Francisco in September 1991. In 34 games played for Houston in 1992, 1993 and 1995, he hit .157/.222/.217. He managed the Lake County Captains of the Midwest League, a Cleveland affiliate, in 2013.

RHP Tom "Flash" Gordon (46)
Originally drafted by the Royals in the sixth round in 1986, Gordon came to Houston in an August 2002 trade with the Cubs. In 15 appearances for the Astros in 2002, he had a 3.32 ERA and a 1.105 WHIP. Gordon pitched in 21 major league seasons for eight different teams. In 1989 while pitching for the Royals, he came in second to Baltimore's Gregg Olson in Rookie of the Year Voting. He was a three-time All-Star for the Red Sox, the Yankees and the Phillies.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Saturday's Games

***Updated with 1 game from 11/16 in the Liga Paralela***

*In the case of the Liga Paralela, there will be 3 days' worth of games to cover, as the game reports from November 13, 14, and 15 have now surfaced. It looks like they were having problems updating their servers, hence the delay in posting scores.


Season complete.


Caracas 5, Lara 1

Leones del Caracas

LF Eric Thames: 1-3, K
RF-LF J.D. Martinez: 0-4, 2 K

Zulia 5, La Guaira 4

Águilas del Zulia

3B Marwin Gonzalez: 1-3, BB

Caribes 19, Aragua 1

Tigres de Aragua

2B Jose Martinez: 0-1, came in as a defensive replacement in the 7th inning


11/13 Games

Tiburones 7, Boston 4 


C Marlon Avea: 2-3, RBI, BB, R
SS Alex Gonzalez: 1-4

RHP Jamaine Cotton: IP, 2 H, 2 K

Magallanes 9, Caimanes 1


RHP Carlos Quevedo: W (1-1), 5 IP, 3 H, BB, 6 K

11/14 Games

Aragua 2, Tiburones 0


C Marlon Avea: 0-0, 3 BB 
SS Alex Gonzalez: 2-3

*Apparently Aragua and Tiburones played a doubleheader on the 14th, with Aragua taking the 1st game 13-0. But, when I tried to access the box score for that game, I got a file not found.

Magallanes 2, Phillies 1


DH Luis Alvarez: 0-4

11/15 Game

Lara 9, Tiburones 4


C Marlon Avea: 3-4, RBI

RHP Joselo Pinales: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K
LHP Junior Garcia: L (0-1), IP, 2 H, 3 R (all unearned), K

11/16 Game

Phillies 16, Bravos 7


2B/3B Carlos Perdomo: 1-5, RBI, 2 K


Culiacán and Guasave was postponed.


Gigantes 4, Águilas 3

Gigantes del Cibao

RHP Jose Cisnero: Hold (2), 0.1 IP, H

Águilas Cibaeñas

SS Jonathan Villar: 1-3, BB, 2 CS


Melbourne 7, Adelaide 4

2B Joe Sclafani: 1-4, 2 K

Today's game:

Adelaide 13, Melbourne 1

Sclafani was 0-6 with 2 runs scored. He reached on a fielder's choice in the 1st and on a force out in the 9th.


Caguas 22, Carolina 9

The Criollos had a 19-5 lead after 5 innings in this one. 

Criollos de Caguas

Roberto Peña entered the game as a pinch-hitter for starting DH Ramon Castro and singled in his lone at-bat, which came in the 8th.

Gigantes de Carolina

2B-3B Enrique Hernandez: 2-5, 2B, RBI, 3 K
C Rene Garcia: 1-2, RBI, R
C-1B Jobduan Morales: 1-2, BB, K

Happy Birthday - 11/17

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Jon Kemmer (23)
Drafted by the Astros in the 21st round in 2013 out of Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Georgia, Kemmer spent his first professional season playing for the Tri-City ValleyCats. In 65 games, he hit .221/.304/.327. He did not make an error in 63 games in the outfield, primarily left field.

OF Trevor Crowe (30)
Originally drafted by Cleveland in the first round in 2005, Crowe came to Houston as a free agent in November 2012. In 60 games for Houston in 2013, he hit .218/.287/.291. He is currently a free agent.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

LHP Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams (49)
An eighth round pick by San Diego in 1982, Williams came to Houston in a December 1993 trade with the Phillies. He pitched in 25 games for Houston in 1994 with a 7.65 ERA and a 2.250 WHIP. His best season was his All-Star season with Chicago in 1989 when he had a 2.76 ERA in 76 appearances for the Cubbies. Here's a "video" with still photos showing his eccentric buried head wind-up and his fall-off-the-mound delivery.  About 45 seconds in, you can see him in all his full mulleted glory wearing Astros gear.

RHP Bruce Von Hoff (died September 11, 2012 at 68)
Von Hoff was drafted from the Giants in 1964 and pitched in 13 games for Houston in 1965 and 1967 with a 5.06 ERA and a 1.594 WHIP.

RHP Dan Osinski (died September 13, 2013 at 79)
Purchased from the White Sox in December 1969, Osinski pitched in only three games for Houston at the end of his career in 1970 with a 9.82 ERA and a 1.909 WHIP. In eight seasons for six different teams, he had a 3.34 ERA and a 1.391 WHIP in 324 appearances.

RHP Jim Mann (39)
Mann signed with Houston as a free agent in January of 2001 and pitched in 21 games for the Astros in 2001 and 2002 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.207 WHIP.

IF Scott Moore (30)
Drafted out of a Long Beach, California high school in the first round by Detroit in 2002, Moore signed with Houston as a free agent in November 2011. In 72 games for the Astros in 2012, he hit .259/.330/.448 with 11 doubles and nine home runs. After playing in the Oakland and San Diego minor league systems in 2013, Moore signed with St. Louis as a free agent last week.

Also, a Very Happy Birthday to a member of the Astros blogging community, none other than the extremely brilliant, highly excitable, ever passionate and over-the-top humorous Houston Sports Counterplot, aka Andy (aka the guy that brought you Jeff Luhnow in a Lady Gaga meat dress).

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