Sunday, May 18, 2014

Happy Birthday - 5/18

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Edwin Villarroel (19)
A non-drafted free agent signed out of Venezuela in July 2011, Villarroel has spent two seasons with the DSL Astros and was an integral part of that team's excellent 2013 rotation. In 14 starts, he was 5-5 with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.144 WHIP.

Two former Astros celebrate today as well ~

OF Carroll Hardy (81)
After coming to Houston from the Red Sox, Hardy played in 61 games for the Colt .45's in 1963 and 1964. His career numbers, as well as his numbers for Houston, are uninspiring. More interesting are these tidbits from Baseball-Reference:
He is the answer to a trivia question as the only player to pinch hit for Ted Williams; it happened on September 20, 1960, in the last weeks of Williams' career. Williams fouled a ball off his foot in the first inning, Hardy took over for him and lined into a double play. He is also the answer to an even more trivial question, as the only player to break a scoreless tie with a walk-off grand slam in the 12th inning (No-one has done this in a later inning). It happened for Boston against Cleveland on April 11, 1962.
He is also from Sturgis, South Dakota. No word on whether or not he is a motorcycle enthusiast.

Originally drafted by the Mets in the 30th round in 1995, Figueroa pitched in 26 games for Houston in 2010 and 2011 with a 5-6 record, a 4.88 ERA and a 1.563 WHIP. Figueroa played in nine major league seasons for six different teams. He also played in 19 seasons for numerous minor league teams, the independent league Long Island Ducks, and the Dorados de Chihuahua in the Mexican League. And he was MVP for the Uni-President Lions in the 2007 Taiwan Series. He also played in the Dominican Winter League and in the Mexican Pacific League, and for the Puerto Rican national team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and again in 2013 when he was instrumental in sending the USA team to defeat in the second round. Figueroa was the regular United Nations of baseball. It appears that he may have finally hung up his cleats. He pitched last in April 2013 for the AAA Diamondbacks team.

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