Saturday, December 14, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Friday, December 13

LIGA PARALELA (VENEZUELAN MINOR LEAGUE)

Results currently unknown. I'm sure they played games last night, I just know it!

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Sydney 5, Adelaide 1

The Bite traveled to New South Wales for the latest round in the ABL, and they dropped the series opener. After scoring a run in the 3rd to make it a 2-1 game, Adelaide gave up single tallies in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.

Adelaide Bite
3B Joe Sclafani: 1-4

LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACIFICO

Guasave 3, Mazatlán 1 in 10 innings

Guasave's 3 runs were unanswered. They tied the game in the top of the 8th, then took the lead with a pair in the extra frame. Japhet Amador's 8-game hitting streak came to an end.

Algodoneros de Guasave
RF Leo Heras: 2-3, BB
1B Japhet Amador: 0-5, 3 K

LIGA DE BEISBOL DOMINICANO

Gigantes 7, Águilas 1

In the latest chapter of the Cibao derby, it was all Gigantes, as they scored 7 unanswered after Águilas opened the scoring with a run in the 2nd.

Gigantes del Cibao
RHP Rhiner Cruz: 0.2 IP (first 2 outs of the 7th), 2 H

Escogido 4, Licey 2

Tigres del Licey
OF Ruben Sosa: Entered game as a pinch-runner in the 9th.

LIGA DE BEISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE (PUERTO RICO)

Santurce 4, Ponce 2

Jonathan Singleton's 2-run homer in the 6th gave Santurce a little breathing room.

Cangrejeros de Santurce
CF Adron Chambers: 0-3, BB
1B Jonathan Singleton: 2-4, 2-R HR (9), 2 K

Caguas 4, Carolina 2

Gigantes de Carolina
2B Enrique Hernandez: 1-4, K
1B Carlos Corporan: 0-3, BB, 2 K


Bonus Tweet of the Day

I love this picture of Astros RHP Robert Corniel, an 18-year old from the Dominican Republic.

Happy Birthday - 12/14

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Jack Armstrong (24)
Originally from Florida, Armstrong was drafted in the third round in 2011 out of Vanderbilt. He signed late and did not play in 2011 and then had Tommy John surgery prior to the 2012 season. He has yet to make his professional debut.

SS Wilson Amador (17)
Amador signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in July 2013. He is expected to start his professional career in 2014 with the Dominican Summer League team. Here is the story of his signing.

Former Astros celebrating birthdays today ~

2B Craig Biggio (48)
A first round pick by Houston in 1987, Biggio played his entire career for the Astros from 1988 to 2007. He played in 2850 games and had 3060 hits, 668 doubles, 55 triples, 291 home runs, 1175 RBI, 414 stolen bases, and 285 HBP. His lifetime batting line was .281/.363/.433. He won five Silver Slugger awards, four Gold Glove awards and appeared in seven All-Star games. He is in his second year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. If he has fewer votes this year because of the 10 player vote limit, there may very well be a few torches and pitchforks outside some BBWAA voters' homes.

RHP Rodrigo Rosario (36)
Signed as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1996, Rosario pitched in two starts in 2003 with an ERA of 1.13 and a WHIP of 1.000. He suffered a major injury in his second major league start and never pitched again professionally.

Also, a Happy Birthday to friend of the blog, Lee Street, the one attorney I know who would defend me pro bono (or at least provide me with an alibi) if I ever happened to be accused (unjustly of course) of leaving a flaming bag of dog poo on the doorstep of a certain baseball commissioner.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, December 13, 2013

Getting to Know LHP Blaine Sims

With a hat tip to Mike Fast, here is a terrific interview with one of our newest Astros, lefty knuckleballer Blaine Sims.
I’ve always grown up different, and I wanted to be different. I’m already left handed, and guys already think you’re out there anyway. Well then you start throwing a knuckleball, and people are like ‘my God, what is this.’
 It's a great read and goes into the time he spent working with Phil Niekro in developing his knuckleball. Well worth your time.

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Thursday, December 12

LIGA PARALELA (VENEZUELAN MINOR LEAGUE)

Magallanes 3, Tiburones 2

Magallanes walked off with the W by scoring 2 in the bottom of the 9th. Alex Gonzalez had put Tiburones up 2-1 with an RBI single in the 9th inning.

Magallanes
1B Luis Alvarez: 0-4
C Ernesto Genoves: 0-3, BB, 3 K

Tiburones
SS Alex Gonzalez: 1-4, RBI, HBP

The departed Enderson Franco had a fine outing for Navegantes in their 3-1 win over the Mariners. Franco allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 8 over 6 innings. Franco was selected by the Rays in the minor league phase of the Rule 5 draft yesterday.

Caribes 6, Bravos 4

Bravos scored 4 in the top of the 8th, which made it a 6-4 game. However, the comeback fell short as they went down in order in the 9th.

Bravos
2B Carlos Perdomo: 1-3, R, BB, K

LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACIFICO

Culiacán 6, Guasave 3 in 11 innings

A 3-run homer from Ali Solis in the top of the 11th broke a 3-3 tie in the Tomato Growers' favor. Japhet Amador saw his 8-game hit streak come to an end.

Tomateros de Culiacán
RHP Gonzalo Sanudo: Save (1), IP, K

Algodoneros de Guasave
RF Leo Heras: 1-5, 2B, R, K
1B Japhet Amador: 0-5, 2 K

LIGA DE BEISBOL DOMINICANO

Escogido 11, Toros 1

Leones del Escogido
RHP Jorge De Leon: IP, 2 H

Águilas 5, Licey 4

Ruben Sosa appeared as a pinch-runner in the 8th. He did not make a plate appearance, as he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 9th.

LIGA DE BEISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE (PUERTO RICO)

Ponce 1, Santurce 0

Both teams had 8 hits, but Ponce's 1 in the column that matters was the difference. Adron Chambers, whose status is still up in the air, was a home run shy of the cycle.

Cangrejeros de Santurce
CF Adron Chambers: 4-4, 2B, 3B
1B Jonathan Singleton: 0-2, 2 BB, 2 K

Happy Birthday - 12/13

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Austin Nicely (19)
A 10th round draft pick by Houston in 2013, Nicely saw limited action in his first professional season. In six appearances (four starts) for the Gulf Coast League Astros, Nicely went 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.418 WHIP in 18+ innings.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Ron Taylor (76)
Taylor came to Houston in a June 1965 trade with the Cardinals and pitched in 68 games for the Astros in 1965 and 1966 with a 6.03 ERA and a 1.496 WHIP. Following his playing career, he went back to school at the University of Toronto, got his medical degree and became the team doctor for the Blue Jays.

SS/3B Dale Berra (57)
A first round pick by the Pirates in 1975, Berra came to Houston as a free agent in August 1986 and played in only 19 games for the Astros in 1987 at the end of his major league career. He hit .178/.296/.244. According to Baseball-Reference, Berra was once quoted in talking about his father Yogi as saying, "Our similarities are different."

RHP Aneury Rodriguez (26)
Originally signed by the Rockies as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2005, the Astros acquired Rodgriguez from Tampa Bay in the Rule 5 draft in 2010. After spending all season on the Astros roster as a Rule 5 draft pick in 2011, Rodriguez spent the vast majority of his 2012 season at Oklahoma City with only one start in Houston. In 44 games (nine starts) for Houston, he was 1-6 with a 5.12 ERA and a 1.303 WHIP.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, December 11

LIGA VENEZUELA BEISBOL PROFESIONAL

Game 2: Margarita 3, Anzoátegui 2

The Islanders hosted a twinbill last night, and former Astro Henry Sosa went the distance for them in a 5-2 victory. In game 2, which was originally scheduled for Monday, they got the sweep behind a solid start from Eric Berger, who snapped a personal 3-game losing streak. He gave up 2 in the 6th, but escaped by inducing an inning-ending double play. 

Bravos de Margarita
LHP Eric Berger: W (3-4), 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K

LIGA PARALELA (VENEZUELAN MINOR LEAGUE)

Bravos 9, Caracas 9 in 11 innings

Well, no one could break the tie. Caracas got 7 in the top of the 9th to erase a 7-2 deficit, then Bravos responded by tying the game in the bottom of the inning.

Bravos
2B Carlos Perdomo: 2-5, RBI

Magallanes 3, Zulia 1

All the scoring in this game was done in the first 3 innings of the game. Zulia scored 1st, but Magallanes came out on top as they tied it in the 2nd, then took the lead in the 3rd.

Tiburones 10, Navegantes 5

Tiburones trailed 2-0 after the 3rd, but they closed the game on a 10-3 run.

Tiburones
SS Alex Gonzalez: 1-4, R, BB, K, CS
DH Marlon Avea: 2-5, RBI, R, K

LHP Junior Garcia: 3 IP, 3 H, 2 unearned runs, 3 BB, 2 K; he got the start.
RHP Joselo Pinales: W (3-1), 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (1 inherited runner scored and was charged to him), BB, 6 K

[NOTE FROM JAYNE: It appears that whoever posts the boxscores for the Liga Paralela had Junior Garcia mixed up with Julio Garcia. I believe that Junior Garcia actually pitched two innings in relief for the Tiburones: 0H 0R 0BB 1SO.]

LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACIFICO


Only 3 hits for Guasave, but 1 of them was a 2-run homer for Japhet Amador, who extended his hitting streak to 8 games. It's his 2nd since joining the team.

Algodoneros de Guasave
RF Leo Heras: 0-3, K
1B Japhet Amador: 1-2, 2-R HR (2, 6 combined) in 5th, BB

LIGA DE BEISBOL DOMINICANO


Raúl Valdés was chased from the game after giving up 2 in the 6th. 

Toros del Este
LHP Raúl Valdés: L (2-2), 5.1 IP, 4 H (solo HR allowed), 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K


Gigantes del Cibao
RHP Rhiner Cruz: 0.1 IP; he got Maikel Franco (Phillies) to pop out to end the 7th inning.

LIGA DE BEISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE (PUERTO RICO)


Mayagüez created some big-time separation with a 5-run 5th.

Gigantes de Carolina
2B Enrique Hernandez: 0-3, BB, K
C Carlos Corporan: 0-4, K
1B Jobduan Morales: 2-3, 2B, R, BB, K

Roster Moves/Transactions

UPDATE: The Astros selected LHP Patrick Schuster with the first pick in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. MLB.com is still reporting that Schuster will go to the San Diego Padres. [SECOND UPDATE: Schuster was, indeed, traded to the Padres for cash.] The Astros passed on the second round so it appears that the Astros will not carry a Rule 5 player on the big league club in 2014. More importantly (to me), the Astros did not lose any players in the major league portion of the draft (such as C Carlos Perez, RHP Jake Buchanan and RHP Andrew Robinson).

In the minor league phase (AAA) of the Rule 5 Draft, the Astros selected OF Ravel Santana of the Yankees organization in the first round. The 21-year old Santana played for the short season A Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League in 2012 and did not play in 2013.

In the second round of the minor league phase (AAA) of the Rule 5 Draft, the Astros selected LHP Carlos Vazquez of the Mets organization. The 22-year old Mexican lefty played in the Mexican League and for the High A St. Lucie Mets in 2013. In five seasons in the minors, he is 22-8 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.137 WHIP.

In the AA phase of the minor league draft, the Astros selected LHP Blaine Sims from the Atlanta organization. In 2013, Sims played at three levels, going 0-9 with an 8.44 ERA and a 2.044 WHIP.

The only player that the Astros lost was RHP Enderson Franco who went to Tampa Bay in the minor league phase of the draft.

>>>>>>><<<<<<<

As has already been widely reported, the Astros traded a player to be named later or cash considerations to San Diego for RHP Anthony Bass and a PTBNL or cash. The 26-year old pitcher was first drafted by the Padres in the 5th round in 2008. He has pitched in 75 games (18 starts) at the major league level over the last three seasons, putting up a 4.08 ERA and a 1.393 WHIP. In 15 starts for the Padres AAA affiliate in 2013, Bass was 4-6 with a 5.45 ERA and a 1.576 WHIP.

As mentioned by MLB Trade Rumors on Wednesday, the two PTBNL in this deal appear to hinge on today's Rule 5 Draft. That appears to be the case based on this late night tweet from Jim Callis.


With the addition of Bass, the Astros 40-man roster now stands at 38 in advance of this morning's Rule 5 Draft.

Happy Birthday - 12/12

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

IF Carlos Hernandez (38)
No, not that Carlos Hernandez. This Carlos Hernandez was an amateur free agent from Venezuela signed by the Astros in 1992 who played in 16 games for Houston in 1999 with a .143 batting average in 14 at-bats. He also had three stolen bases in his limited playing time. He was traded in March 2000 to the Mariners.

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, December 10

LIGA PARALELA (VENEZUELAN MINOR LEAGUE)

Magallanes 5, Bravos 0

Magallanes got 2 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd, which turned out to be enough as the Bravos offense couldn't get themselves going. 

Magallanes
1B Luis Alvarez: 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI, R, K
DH Ernesto Genoves: 0-2, BB, K

Bravos
3B Carlos Perdomo: 0-3, BB

Lara 10, Tiburones 9 in 11 innings

A walk-off loss for Tiburones in extra frames.

Tiburones
SS Alex Gonzalez: 1-4, 3B, RBI, 2 R, BB, K
C Marlon Avea: 2-6, 2B, RBI, R, K

LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACIFICO

Guasave 6, Culiacán 5 in 14 innings

It took 2 7th inning stretches, but the Cotton Growers topped the Tomato Growers, thanks to a walk-off single from Japhet Amador, who extended his hitting streak to 7 games. 

Algodoneros de Guasave
RF Leo Heras: 2-6, 2B, RBI, BB, K
1B Japhet Amador: 3-7, walk-off RBI single, K

Tomateros de Culiacán
RHP Gonzalo Sanudo: 1.1 IP, 3 H, BB, 2 K

LIGA DE BEISBOL DOMINICANO

Estrellas 3, Licey 2

OF Ruben Sosa: Entered the game as a pinch-runner in the 8th. He did not appear at the plate, although he remained in the game as the left fielder.

Gigantes 12, Toros 0

The Giants of Cibao scored in 5 straight innings (3rd-7th), and Rudy Owens started off a combined 4-hitter as it was all Gigantes in this one.

Gigantes del Cibao
LHP Rudy Owens: W (3-2), 5 IP, H, 3 BB, 4 K

Toros del Este
CF Teoscar Hernandez: 0-3, 2 K

LIGA DE BEISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE (PUERTO RICO)

Carolina 3, Santurce 2

Carolina got 2 in the top of the 9th off of Arik Sikula to get the victory. Both Santurce runs came on bases-loaded walks in the 2nd.

Gigantes de Carolina
2B Enrique Hernandez: 2-5, 2B; this was his 3rd straight multi-hit game.
C Rene Garcia: 0-1, K as a pinch-hitter
C Carlos Corporan: 1-1, game-tying RBI single in the 9th as he pinch-hit for Rene Garcia

Cangrejeros de Santurce
CF Adron Chambers: 0-4, RBI bases-loaded BB, 2 K
1B Jonathan Singleton: 2-5, 2 K
LF Austin Wates: 0-1, RBI bases-loaded BB, 2 other BBs, K

Caguas 2, Ponce 1

Luis Mateo's (Cardinals) RBI triple in the top of the 9th broke a 1-1 tie. Luis Cruz had a tremendous start, although he had to take a no-decision.

Criollos de Caguas
C Roberto Peña: 1-4, K

LHP Luis Cruz: 5 IP, H, unearned run, BB, 3 K

Happy Birthday - 12/11

No future Astros, only former Astros celebrating birthdays today ~

OF Derek Bell (45)
A second round pick by the Blue Jays in 1987, Bell came to Houston from San Diego in a December 1994 trade. Bell played for Houston from 1995 to 1999 and compiled a batting line of .284/.341/.430 in 683 games as an Astro. He had 153 doubles, ten triples, 74 home runs, 444 RBI's and 102 stolen bases. In nine games of post-season play from 1997 to 1999, he only managed an .094 batting average. He got his one World Series ring in 1992 with the Blue Jays.

OF Thomas Howard (49)
Originally drafted by the Padres in the first round in 1986, Howard signed with Houston as a free agent in December 1996. In 107 games for the Astros in 1997, he hit .247/.323/.353.

RHP Hal Brown (89)
Brown was purchased from the Yankees in March 1963 and pitched in 53 games for the Colt 45's in 1963 and 1964 at the end of his career with an ERA of 3.62 and a WHIP of 1.189. Brown spent a total of 14 seasons in the major leagues. His 1960 season in Baltimore, when he went 12-5 in 30 games (20 starts) with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.113 WHIP, was probably his best year.

OF Lee Maye (died July 17, 2002 at 67)
Maye came to Houston in a May 1965 trade with the Milwaukee Braves and played in 223 games for the Astros in 1965 and 1966, hitting .268/.302/.380. In 1964, he led the National League in doubles with 44 as he hit .304/.346/.447 for Milwaukee.

2B Rob Andrews (61)
A 10th round pick by the Orioles in 1970, Andrews came to Houston, along with Enos Cabell, in a December 1974 trade with Baltimore. In 212 games for the Astros in 1975 and 1976, he hit .249/.311/.294.

RHP Mike Henneman (52)
Originally drafted in the fourth round by Detroit in 1984, Henneman came to Houston in an August 1995 trade with the Tigers for Phil Nevin. In 21 games for the Astros in 1995, he had a 3.00 ERA and a 1.190 WHIP. He was an All-Star for Detroit in 1989.

Also, a very happy birthday to Rachel Frey, former "MLB.com Real Time Correspondent covering the Houston Astros" and just genuinely nice person and friend of the blog.

Tweets of the Day



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Confessions of a Clubhouse Manager: Greeneville's Johnny Stewart

I love learning more about the ins and outs of minor league baseball. And when I saw 2013 Greeneville Clubhouse Manager, Johnny Stewart, on twitter (and saw that he is clever and funny and very approachable), I decided to reach out and find out more about what it's like to be a minor league clubby.

Johnny answered my questions before heading to the Winter Meetings ~

Stewart hard at work
Greeneville 2013

JH: First things first ... there is a lot more to being a Clubhouse Manager than just laundering uniforms and putting out a pre-game spread for the players. Can you tell me more about your day-to-day duties?

JS: Doing laundry and feeding the players are certainly two big parts of the job, but you're right, there's a lot more to it. A big part of my job is keeping both the home and visitors clubhouses clean. Its not a glamorous job at all. Cleaning toilets, showers, mopping the floors; those are all daily duties. The first thing that visitors such as roving instructors and Houston front office people are going to notice about the clubhouse is its cleanliness, and I don't want to disappoint. How clean I keep the clubhouse is a direct reflection of how we do things in Greeneville. I manage equipment - like bats and catchers equipment, I hand out uniforms to new players, and I also rub 7 dozen baseballs with mud before each home game for the umpires.

JH: How exactly does one become a Clubby? In particular, how did a good Canadian lad end up in Greeneville, TN?

JS: Pretty near my entire life, I've wanted to work in professional baseball. When I was younger, I wanted to play professionally, but after playing 4 mediocre years of college baseball at Graceland University in Iowa, I knew I wouldn't be able to hack it as a player. I got kind of burned out on baseball, and moved out to Whistler, British Columbia to snowboard, and work as an ice crew member at the 2010 Olympic bobsled track. It was a great 3 years, and I learned an awful lot about myself in terms of how hard I can push myself, and how well I can handle pressure. I then moved back to Ontario, and held a few jobs that had nothing to do with baseball or sports at all, and hated it. I decided that I would go all in, and do whatever I could do in order to be a baseball scout. It has long been a dream job of mine. On the advice of a former college teammate of mine who now scouts for the Orioles, I went to the baseball winter meetings last winter in Nashville to see who I could meet, and see if I could get my foot in the door. I didn't actually interview with Greeneville in Nashville, but I did interview with a couple of other teams for internships, which gave me the confidence to keep on applying for jobs. David Lane (the GM in Greeneville), finally gave me a shot, and here I am. Two feet in the door.

JH: Maybe the more important question (rather than how) is why someone would want to be a Clubby. It sounds like a lot of hard work and long hours.

JS: In order to do what I very badly want to do, which is be an amateur scout, I made the decision that I would do whatever it takes to get there. If that means 16 hour days, and cleaning dirty socks and underwear, so be it. It is a fun job though. You have to love the game. You have to be comfortable working alone, and staying up late at night. But there are so many special moments that make it incredible. I get to sit on the bench during the games and pick the brains of the coaching staff, which is so cool. Getting to know the players is really fun too. My favourite (Canadian spelling) part of playing and coaching baseball has always been the relationships you strike up with the fellas, and its the same as a clubby. Everyone treated me so awesome this past season.

JH: What is the most unusual thing you were asked to do as a Clubhouse Manager?

JS: That's a tough question. I expected before I started that I would have all sorts of unusual requests, but that never really played out. One player consistently asked for peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches, which was super odd to me.

JH: I know that what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse, but can you tell me any unusual player quirks you witnessed, the messiest player, that kind of thing?

JS: Baseball players are certainly some of the quirkiest athletes around, no question there. Off the top of my head, one surprising thing was how good of a singer Gonzalo Sanudo is. It's known that he's a very good pitcher, but the guy can also sing. He sings opera style, and he can really belt it out. Very entertaining.

JH: I know that you're headed to the winter meetings. Up until a couple of years ago, I naively thought that all that happened at the winter meetings was GM's huddled in a smoke-filled conference room wheeling and dealing. There's a lot more that goes on there. Can you tell me a little about what all happens at the meetings from your perspective?

JS: Going into last year's Winter Meetings, I had no idea what to expect. It was definitely overwhelming. Everyone of any importance, it seems, is there. GM's, coaches, agents, players, media - its crazy. I remember I snuck into the Rule 5 draft. There was a mass of people walking towards a room, so I joined the crowd. Next thing you know, I'm standing in between Jon Heyman of CBS and Ken Rosenthal from Fox. They looked at me like "who is this guy??" I spent most of my time at the job fair with a stack of 50 resumes, and naively emailing scouting directors and GM's trying to get some face time. This year, I'm much more confident being as how I'm a member of the Greeneville family, and know a few members of the Houston family. I'm going to try my best to go to as many meetings and dinners that I can get my way into. The more I can learn, and the more people I can meet, the better.

JH: I want to ask about how compensation works ... clubhouse dues, tips, etc. because I'm not sure the average fan knows about all that.

JS: The players, coaches and rovers all pay me dues. It's a set amount of money per day, usually paid to me every two weeks. If I go above and beyond my duties, I get a little bit more. Good incentive to work hard.

JH: What are you doing in the off-season? It sounds as though you were helping out on a family farm? And you're also de-icing planes?

JS: This off-season I'm working at the Canadian air force base in Trenton, Ontario, de-icing airplanes. It's a pretty interesting job. I also try and help my dad out when I can at the family dairy farm. I'm admittedly not much of a farmer though. I'm allergic to cows, straw, hay, and dust, and my dad says I'm allergic to hard work (he really doesn't say that), so I'm not a very good farmer.

JH: I spoke with one of my spies from last year's Greeneville team and he had two questions he thought I should ask you. Is Trailer Park Boys the saving grace of Canada? And what is so great about Tim Horton's?

JS: Your spy is definitely Christian Garcia haha. Him being from New York State, he kind of understood my Canadian tendencies. We certainly bonded over our mutual admiration of my favourite Canadian TV show, the Trailer Park Boys. As far as Tim Horton's, its more than a coffee shop. Its a Canadian institution. Tim's coffee is basically the best, most turbo charged coffee ever, and their baked goods are essentially better than most people's moms could bake. Just the best. I've already had two cups of Timmie's today, and it's not even 9:30 am.

>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Thanks for an entertaining and insightful look at the life of a Clubby, Johnny. Best of luck at the Winter Meetings!

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Monday, December 9

LIGA PARALELA (VENEZUELAN MINOR LEAGUE)

For some odd reason, a game from November 30 has popped up:

Bravos 10, Cardenales 2

Bravos
2B Carlos Perdomo: 3-5, 3 RBI, R, SB

Now, on to Monday's action.

Aragua 11, Tiburones 7 in 10 innings

Aragua got 4 in that decisive 10th inning to break a 7-7 tie, which capped their 9-0 run to end the game.

Tiburones
SS Alex Gonzalez: 0-4, BB, 3 K
DH Marlon Avea: 2-4, RBI

RHP Jamaine Cotton: L (1-1), 1.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (3 earned; in addition, 2 of those 4 runs were inherited runners that scored), BB, K
LHP Junior Garcia: 0.2 IP, H, K; both runners he inherited from Cotton scored.

Magallanes 6, Phillies 0

Magallanes
1B Luis Alvarez: 1-2, K, 2 HBP
C Ernesto Genoves: 0-3, BB, K

LIGA DE BEISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE (PUERTO RICO)

Carolina 6, Mayagüez 3

Carolina put up 2 runs thrice to get the victory. Enrique Hernandez played a starring role in this game, as he opened the scoring with a 2-run shot in the 1st and added a pair of RBI singles in the 6th and the 8th.

Gigantes de Carolina
2B Enrique Hernandez: 3-5, 2-R HR (3), 4 RBI
1B Carlos Corporan: 1-5, R, K
C Rene Garcia: 0-1; entered game as a defensive replacement in the 8th.
1B Jobduan Morales: Entered game as a defensive replacement in the 8th. Did not appear at the plate.


Happy Birthday - 12/10

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Chris Epps (25)
Drafted in the 45th round in 2011 out of Clemson, this Georgia native spent his time in 2013 with the High A Lancaster team. In 115 games, Epps hit .275/.381/.503 with 32 doubles, five triples, 16 home runs and 75 RBI. A left-handed hitter, Epps has historically hit as well or better against lefty pitchers than he has against righties and 2013 wasn't an exception. In 72 at-bats against lefties, Epps hit .306/.370/.542.

RHP Andrew Thurman (22)
Drafted in the second round in 2013 out of UC-Irvine, Thurman spent his first professional season with the Tri-City ValleyCats. In 12 games (five starts), Thurman went 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.361 WHIP. He walked 11 batters while striking out 43 in 39+ innings.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Doug Henry (50)
Originally drafted by the Brewers in the eighth round in 1985, Henry came to Houston as a free agent in November 1997. In 139 games for the Astros from 1998 to 2000, he was 11-8 with 5 saves and had a 3.88 ERA and a 1.372 WHIP.  In four games for Houston in the NLDS in 1998 and 1999, he had a 1.88 ERA and a 1.125 WHIP.

RHP Dan Wheeler (36)
A 34th round pick by Tampa in 1996, Wheeler came to Houston in an August 2004 trade with the Mets. In 205 games for the Astros from 2004 to 2007, he was 6-12 with 23 saves and had a 3.02 ERA and a 1.088 WHIP.  In the NLDS in 2004 and 2005, he pitched in four games with a 1.69 ERA and a 1.313 WHIP.  Since it's his birthday, we'll just say that he didn't fare quite that well in the World Series and leave it at that.  He was traded to the then Devil Rays in 2007 for Ty Wigginton.

2B Bob Fenwick (67)
A first round pick by the Giants in 1967, Fenwick was drafted from the Giants in the Rule 5 draft in November 1971. In 36 games for the Astros in 1972, he hit .180/.226/.240. According to Baseball-Reference, Fenwick was the only major leaguer born in Okinawa when it was under U.S. control.

Tweets of the Day


Monday, December 9, 2013

Astros 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. I have made note of a few league leaders following the charts.





Liga Paralelea
C Marlon Avea - Tied for 3rd in RBI
IF Alex Gonzalez - 1st in BB

LVBP
LHP Eric Berger - 7th in ERA

LIDOM
SS Jonathan Villar - Tied for 3rd in SB (despite not having played since 11/20)
LHP Raul Valdes - 6th in WHIP; 8th in ERA
LHP Rudy Owens - 1st in SO; 4th in WHIP; 10th in ERA

LMP
OF Leo Heras - Tied for 5th in SB

LBPRC
1B Jon Singleton - 1st in HR; 2nd in SLG; 2nd in BB; 3rd in R; tied for 3rd in H; 7th in RBI; tied for 7th in 2B
2B Kike Hernandez - Tied for 4th in RBI; tied for 7th in 2B
OF Austin Wates - Tied for 5th in SB

ABL
IF Joe Sclafani - 3rd in R; tied for 4th in BB

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Sunday, December 8

The entire Venezuelan League slate was wiped out, with "other" listed as the cause.

LIGA PARALELA (VENEZUELAN MINOR LEAGUE)

3 days' worth of action to cover, so.... let's get to it. There were no games on Sunday.

12/4 Games

Magallanes 14, Detroit 1

Magallanes scored in every inning, and then they showed mercy in the 9th. 

Magallanes
1B Luis Alvarez: 2-5, 2 2B, RBI, R, BB, K
DH Ernesto Genoves: 2-4, RBI, 3 R, BB

Tiburones 6, Seattle 5

The Mariners made it a 1-run game with 2 in the 9th, but Tiburones was able to hang on.

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

RHP Gerardo Juarez: 2 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 2 K

12/5 Games

Caimanes 10, Navegantes 6

Enderson Franco was knocked out of the game in the 2nd, but he didn't bear the brunt of assault, as Caimanes scored 7 unanswered to seize control of the game.

Navegantes
RHP Enderson Franco: 1.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, BB

Caimanes 8, Magallanes 3

C Ernesto Genoves: 1-3, 2B, BB, K

The David Martinez who started for Magallanes plays in the Rockies system.

Caribes 7, Detroit 6 in 11 innings

Caribes scored 4 in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game at 6, and they walked off with a win thanks to a sac fly in the bottom of the 11th.

Caribes
LHP Edwin Villarroel: 3 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, K

Boston 3, Tiburones 0

Tiburones
SS Alex Gonzalez: 1-4
DH Marlon Avea: 1-4, 2B, 2 K

RHP Joselo Pinales: 2 IP, H, 2 K
LHP Junior Garcia: 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K

11/7 Games

Magallanes 16, Boston 6

Magallanes burst out of the gate for a 6-0 lead, and responded to a 4-run 2nd from Boston by going on a 10-2 run for the rest of the game.

Magallanes
1B Ernesto Genoves: 1-4, 2B, RBI, BB

La Guaira 8, Tiburones 4

La Guaira turned the tide of this game by scoring 5 in the top of the 8th.

Tiburones
SS Alex Gonzalez: 0-2
C Marlon Avea: 1-5, R, K

LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACIFICO

Los Mochis 9, Guasave 1

After Guasave scored their lone run of the game in the top of the 5th to make it a 2-1 game, Los Mochis ran off 5 in the bottom of the inning to run away with the game.

Algodoneros de Guasave
RF Leo Heras: 1-3
1B Japhet Amador: 1-4; Amador is on a 6-game hitting streak, although this was his 4th consecutive 1-hit outing.


Totals for Sunday

Position players: 3-11, 2B, R

Liga Paralela Totals

Position players: 11-38, 5 2B, 4 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K, HBP
Pitchers: 10.1 IP, 14 H (no home runs allowed), 5 ER, 6 BB, 7 K


Happy Birthday - 12/9

Happy Birthday to ~

GCL Manager Ed Romero (56)
A coach for the Astros at the major league level in 2008 and 2009, Romero has managed in the Astros minor league system for the last four seasons. In 2013, he managed the Astros Short Season A Tri-City ValleyCats to the New York-Penn League Championship.

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

3B Chris Truby (40)
Originally signed by the Astros as an amateur free agent in 1992, Truby played in 126 games for Houston in 2000 and 2001. He hit .241/.288/.464 with 21 doubles, five triples and 19 home runs. He was traded to the Expos for Geoff Blum in March 2002 (in Blum's first stint with the team).

Tweet of the Day

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Saturday, December 7

LIGA VENEZUELA BEISBOL PROFESIONAL

Lara 11, Caracas 4

In every inning in which Lara scored, they put up a crooked number. They held a 7-1 lead after the 3rd and sat pretty for the rest of the game.

Leones del Caracas
C Carlos Perez: 0-4, K

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

11/8 Game

Melbourne 4, Adelaide 1

Adelaide was shackled for 7 innings by Lewis Thorpe (Twins), who allowed 1 hit and struck out 8 during his time on the mound. As a result, they were swept by the Aces this round.

Adelaide Bite
SS Joe Sclafani: 1-4, 2B, R

LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACIFICO

Los Mochis 7, Guasave 6 in 12 innings

Los Mochis rallied back from a 6-1 deficit to tie the game with a 5-spot after stretch time, and they walked off with the win in the 12th after Sandy Madera led off the inning by sending his 2nd out of the park. Ay caramba.

Algodoneros de Guasave
RF Leo Heras: 5-6, 3 RBI, R; Heras snapped a 3-game hitless streak in a big way, as he hit a 2-run single in the 2nd and added an RBI single in the 6th.
1B Japhet Amador: 1-4, 2B, RBI, K; Amador is currently on a 5-game hitting streak.

LIGA DE BEISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE (PUERTO RICO)

Ponce 1, Santurce 0

Santurce couldn't get anything going at the plate, as they were held to 4 hits.

Cangrejeros de Santurce 
CF Adron Chambers: 0-4, K
1B Jonathan Singleton: 0-4, K
LF Austin Wates: 0-3, BB, K

Caguas 6, Carolina 5 in 10 innings

Both teams traded 3 runs in the 7th and 8th innings; Caguas' 2 in the 8th allowed them to tie the game, and they would go on to walk off with the victory on a sac bunt that resulted in an error in the first extra frame.

Gigantes de Carolina
2B Enrique Hernandez: 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI, K; he hit an RBI single in the 5th and a 2-run double in the 7th.
C Rene Garcia: 2-2, 3 R, 2 BB
1B Carlos Corporan: 0-1

Totals for Saturday

Position players: 12-39, 2 2B, 7 RBI, 6 R, 4 BB, 6 K
No pitchers appeared. 

Tweet of the Day

Happy Birthday - 12/8

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

C John Mizerock (53)
Drafted by the Astros in the first round in 1979, Mizerock, born in Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania (the home of Groundhog Day) played in 92 games for Houston in 1983, 1985 and 1986.  As the back-up back-stop for Alan Ashby, Mizerock didn't warrant a great deal of playing time and his .181 batting average for Houston helped ensure that would be the case.