Saturday, April 19, 2014

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

I'm a little slow on reporting these ...

UPDATED: Baseball America is reporting a couple of player releases in addition to T.J. Geith who I had reported about earlier in the week - SS Yoel Silfa and OF Edwin Gomez.

OKLAHOMA CITY
4/17 - RHP Rhiner Cruz assigned to Oklahoma City
4/17 - LHP Raul Valdes to Houston
4/18 - OF Austin Wates to the 7-day DL
4/18 - C Ryan McCurdy activated from the temporary inactive list
4/20 - RHP Chia-Jen Lo placed on the TI list

CORPUS CHRISTI UPDATE
As anticipated, OF Delino DeShields has been placed on the 7-day DL. If you somehow missed what happened to him, you can see what happens when a 90 mph fastball meets the human face here, but frankly I just don't want to look at it anymore. OF Chris Epps, who had been on the DL, was activated to take his place. Get well soon, Delino!

LANCASTER
4/18 - RHP Tyson Perez assigned from Extended Spring Training to Lancaster
4/18 - RHP Chris Devenski placed on the temporary inactive list

QUAD CITIES
4/17 - LHP Albert Minnis assigned to Quad Cities
4/19 - IFs Austin Elkins and Jack Mayfield to the 7-day DL
4/19 - C Brett Booth assigned from Extended ST to Quad Cities

Steve Batterson of the Quad-City Times reports that Thomas Lindauer and Alex Gonzalez will join the team today from extended spring training. It's a homecoming for Lindauer, who is a native of Moline, Illinois.

Beat the Streak, April 19

James Ramsay got a hit in Quad Cities' heartbreaking loss last night, but unfortunately for me, Tony Kemp didn't. So I'm still stuck at zero. I'll be joined by Nance, who chose Jio Mier.

Jayne got an RBI single from Andrew Aplin to see her streak extended to 4. Rip Noblin successfully executed the double down with Dan Gulbransen and Jobduan Morales to jump up to 3 in a row.

Lee White saw Delino DeShields get a single, and Matt Naber also got a single out of Jonathan Meyer.

Today, I'll be choosing Carlos Perdomo and Chan-Jong Moon.

Today's Schedule

OKC @ Memphis, 6:05
CC @ Frisco, 7:05
Lancaster vs. High Desert, 8:30
Quad Cities vs. South Bend, 6:00


CURRENT ACTIVE STREAKS

Jayne- 4

Rip Noblin- 3

Matt Naber- 2

Lee White, Thomas Marr (must pick today)- tied at 1

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, April 18, 2014

Swept again.




Colorado Springs 10, Oklahoma City 9

W- Greg Burke (2-0)
L- David Martinez (2-2)

OKC home runs: Jon Singleton (6, solo in 2nd), Max Stassi (3, 2-run in 7th)

The RedHawks walked off with another loss as they split the series. This happened after they ran off 8 unanswered, which culminated in them taking a 9-8 lead after the top of the 9th.

Jon Singleton opened the scoring with a solo homer (6) in the 2nd. After that, the Sky Sox went on a 9-0 run and were on their way to a comfortable win. However, Singleton had other ideas. He added an RBI single in the 6th, and then Domingo Santana hit a 2-run double. Santana would score when Jonathan Meyer hit into a force out. Max Stassi then made it a 1-run game by smacking a 2-run homer (3). Gregorio Petit hit the game-tying RBI double in the 8th, and Kiké Hernandez completed the comeback with an RBI double in the 9th. Hernandez wound up finishing 4-5. Singleton was 3-5, while Stassi, Petit, and Santana all went 2-5.

Bobby Doran got shelled in 3.2 innings as he allowed 6 runs on 9 hits (3-run homer) and struck out 2. Rhiner Cruz was the first man out and went 1.1 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits and fanning 2. David Martinez threw 3 innings and allowed 2 runs (both inherited runners that scored) on 5 hits and struck out 4. Chia-Jen Lo only got 1 out in the 9th and allowed the game-tying and game-winning singles for Colorado Springs.

The RedHawks will now travel to Memphis for 4 games. In the opener, Rudy Owens and Mike Foltynewicz will take on Angel Castro at 6:05.

Frisco 4, Corpus Christi 3

W- Phil Klein (3-0)
L- Jordan Jankowski (0-1)
S- Matt West (2)

CC home runs: None.

The Roughriders answered the Hooks' 3-run 6th with a 4-run 7th. This was a game that was contested under protest by the Hooks after the 5th inning, stemming from a play at the plate where Tyler Heineman was leveled by Frisco CF Jake Skole.

After 10 zeros were posted, Joe Sclafani led off the 6th inning with a triple. He finished 2-4 and would score the game's first run on a single from Andrew Aplin. Preston Tucker added to the lead with an RBI single to bring Aplin home; he would score himself on a squeeze play from Nolan Fontana.

Aaron West was flying solo last night, as David Rollins is currently on the DL. He started off the game with 4 scoreless and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Alex Sogard went 2 innings and allowed a solo homer to Drew Robinson in the 7th, which wound up sparking their rally. Jordan Jankowski got the L as he gave up 3 runs (1 inherited runner scored) on 2 hits, including a 2-run homer, while only getting 1 out. Andrew Robinson got the final 2 outs of the 7th and gave up a hit that allowed the runner he inherited from Jankowski to score and struck out 1. Travis Ballew struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th.

Ross Seaton and Luis Cruz will start in game 3; their opponent is TBA, but their game notes say a rehabbing Matt Harrison will be starting for Frisco. First pitch is at 7:05.

High Desert 9, Lancaster 0

W- Scott DeCecco (1-0)
L- Mike Hauschild (1-1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

If I could describe this game in one picture:



Mike Hauschild had a pretty good outing; in 5 innings, he allowed a run on a solo homer to Patrick Kivlehan in the 2nd, 3 other hits, and struck out 5. Tyson Perez worked around 2 hits to throw a scoreless 6th in his season debut. Dan Minor and J.D. Osborne.... had outings that they would love to forget. Let's just leave it at that.

The JetHawks offense was held to just 5 singles and struck out 14 times. They'll look to avoid the sweep as Vince Velasquez and Kyle Westwood will take the hill to face Matt Anderson. First pitch is at 6:30 Pacific.

South Bend 4, Quad Cities 3

W- Will Locante (1-0)
L- Andrew Walter (1-2)
S- J.R. Bradley (2)

QC home runs: Brett Phillips (1, solo in 1st), Jon Kemmer (1, solo in 6th)

Every team in the system pretty much let their games get away late.

Andrew Thurman was solid once again; he's put up 2 nice efforts since starting off with a couple of duds. He went 4.1 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 8. Pat Christensen came on to get the final 2 outs of the 5th, striking out 1. Chris Lee went 2 innings and loaded the bases twice, but only allowed a run on a bases-loaded walk in the 6th. Lee allowed 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 4. Andrew Walter threw a scoreless 8th, but he couldn't preserve the lead in the 9th as he gave up 2 runs, which gave the Silver Hawks a 4-3 lead. Walter allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

Brett Phillips put QC on the board with his first home run as a professional, a solo shot in the 1st that tied the game at 1. Jack Mayfield hit an RBI single in the 5th, and Jon Kemmer connected on a solo shot (1) which gave the River Bandits a 3-2 lead in the 6th.

The River Bandits will look to salvage a game in this series as Jandel Gustave and Kent Emanuel will take the mound. They will take on Ben Eckels at 6:00.

Three Stars: Position Players

It was a clean sweep for OKC players.

3.



Enrique Hernandez, 2B/OF, Oklahoma City
4-5, RBI


Domingo Santana, RF, Oklahoma City
2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R



2.



Max Stassi, Oklahoma City
2-5, 2-R HR (3), 2 R



1.



Jon Singleton, 1B, Oklahoma City
3-5, solo HR (6), 2 RBI, 2 R



Three Stars: Pitchers

3.



Mike Hauschild, RHP, Lancaster
L (1-1), 5 IP, 4 H (solo HR), ER, 5 K



2.



Andrew Thurman, RHP, Quad Cities
4.1 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 8 K



1.



Aaron West, RHP, Corpus Christi
4 IP, 2 H, BB, 5 K


Happy Birthday - 4/19

Happy Birthday to ~

Tri-City Pitching Coach Chris Holt (35)
No, not that Chris Holt. This Chris Holt toiled briefly in the Pittsburgh minor league system and will be in his first season coaching in the Astros organization.

Three former Astros with birthdays today as well ~

LF Aaron "Hawk" Pointer (72)
Pointer played in 40 games for the Colt .45's and Astros in 1963, 1966 and 1967 with less than auspicious results. His minor league numbers and his family ties are what brought him some degree of fame. Pointer is the last person to hit over .400 over a full summer in U.S. minor league ball when he batted .402 in 93 games for the Salisbury Braves in the Western Carolina league in 1961. He is also brother to Anita, June, Bonnie and Ruth, also known as The Pointer Sisters. I'm so excited.  For more of his story, visit Baseball-Reference's Bullpen writeup.

OF Jose Cruz Jr. (40)
Originally drafted by the Mariners in the first round in 1995, Cruz went on to play for nine teams over 12 seasons including 38 games for Houston at the end of his career. He came in second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1997, losing to Nomar Garciaparra, and won a Gold Glove in 2003 while playing for the Giants. His best season was 2001 for Toronto when he hit .274/.326/.530 with 38 doubles, four triples, 34 home runs, 88 RBI's and 32 stolen bases.

MGR Harry Craft (died August 3, 1995 at 80)
Craft played CF for the Reds in the late 30's and early 40's before going into the military during WWII. He managed for the Kansas City Athletics and the Chicago Cubs before coming to Houston to manage the expansion Colt .45's from 1962 to 1964.

Tweet of the Day

RGuill also known as @QCBanditPhotog on twitter has generously given us permission to use some of his great photographs on the blog. Many thanks!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Beat the Streak, April 18

So, what happened yesterday? I saw my streak come to an end as Jon Singleton went 0-5.

Lee White had Preston Tucker deliver a home run, but.... he also chose Singleton, so it's back to the start for him too. I originally wanted to be a little more lenient with doubling down, but that might have violated the spirit of the game. Wouldn't be right to have one player go hitless, but another get one to extend a streak.

Jayne got a bunt single from Brett Phillips, and she has taken sole possession of the top spot. Nance saw Jio Mier and Domingo Santana go hitless. Thomas Marr (@Thomas_Marr) had Kiké Hernandez as his guy, and he delivered in a solid AAA debut. Rip Noblin also went with Tucker, so he's on the board for the first time this season. And finally, Matthew Naber (@HideTheMuddler) of House of Houston got himself going with Austin Wates. Jeff Blogwell didn't pick yesterday, so.... he probably should, if he wants to keep his 1-game streak alive.

Today, I'll be going with a pair of 2013 draftees: Tony Kemp again, and Quad Cities CF James Ramsay.

Today's Schedule

OKC @ Colorado Springs, 7:35
Corpus Christi @ Frisco, 7:05
Lancaster vs. High Desert, 8:30
Quad Cities vs. South Bend, 7:00

CURRENT ACTIVE STREAKS

Jayne Hansen- 3

Thomas Marr, Matt Naber, Rip Noblin- all tied at 1


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, April 17, 2014

Swept.




Colorado Springs 3, Oklahoma City 2 in 11 innings

W- Manny Corpas (1-1)
L- Darin Downs (0-1)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks took the lead in extras, only to eventually walk off with a loss in the 3rd game of this series.

Kiké Hernandez, in his AAA debut, got the start in RF and went 2-3 with a run scored, 2 walks, and a steal (1). He scored on a Jonathan Meyer single in the 7th, which tied the game at 1. Ronald Torreyes came on to pinch-hit for Andy Simunic to begin the 10th inning and promptly ripped a triple. Gregorio Petit brought him home with a sac fly to give the RedHawks a 2-1 lead. Austin Wates was 1-3 with 2 walks and 3 stolen bases (8). Max Stassi saw his 12-game hitting streak come to an end as he was 0-5 with 2 strikeouts.

Collin McHugh had a nice start; he went 5 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 3. Nick Tropeano tagged in and allowed a hit and struck out 2 over 3.2 scoreless. Darin Downs pitched 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 1. The game-winning run off of Downs came on a sac fly.

Bobby Doran and David Martinez will start the series finale; they'll be taking on Pedro Hernandez. First pitch is at 7:35.

Frisco 3, Corpus Christi 2

W- Wilmer Font (1-0)
L- Brady Rodgers (0-1)

CC home runs: Preston Tucker (3, solo in 6th)

The Roughriders got 2 late runs and walked off with the victory in the opener.

Again, the Hooks offense was contained as the Frisco hurlers limited them to 5 hits. They did have a couple of chances, but nothing came of those. Rene Garcia scored on a Matt Duffy fielder's choice in the 5th to tie the game at 1, and Tucker, who went 2-4, gave the Hooks the lead with his blast (3) to begin the 6th. Telvin Nash, in his season debut, went 1-4 with 3 strikeouts. Leo Heras was 0-1 with a hat trick of walks, and Nolan Fontana logged his first multi-walk game of the season.

Colton Cain went 4 innings and allowed 2 hits, one of which was a solo home run from Ryan Rua in the 2nd, walked 3, and struck out 3. Pat Urckfitz threw a 1-2-3 5th, and Brady Rodgers went 3.1 and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits (all singles), walked 1, and struck out 2.

Aaron West and David Rollins will be on the mound for game 2, and their opponent will be Alec Asher. First pitch is at 7:05.

High Desert 8, Lancaster 4

W- Tyler Olson (1-1)
L- Chris Devenski (1-2)
S- Will Mathis (2)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks clawed back with 3 in the bottom of the 7th to cut their deficit to 1, but the Mavericks got those 3 runs back in the 8th to take the opening game of the series.

Rio Ruiz, Brandon Meredith, and Jake Rodriguez had 2 hits apiece; Meredith walked twice, while Ruiz's sac fly in the 7th accounted for Lancaster's only RBI. 3 of the 4 JetHawks runs came on wild pitches; Ruiz scored their first run on one in the 6th. Tony Kemp drew a 1-out walk in the 7th, advanced to 2nd on a Teoscar Hernandez single, and scored on 2 consecutive wild pitches. After Carlos Correa walked, Hernandez would score on the 3rd wild pitch of the inning. Teoscar went 1-4 with a steal (7) and extended his hitting streak to 5 games.

Chris Devenski pitched 4.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 5. Mitch Lambson got the final 2 outs of the 5th via strikeout. Josh Hader had his first rough outing of the year, as he gave up 5 runs (2 inherited runners scored) on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 2. Juan Minaya pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed 2 of the 3 runners he inherited from Hader in the 8th to score on a 2-run single and fanned 2.

In the middle game of this series, Mike Hauschild will take on Jochi Ogando. First pitch is at 6:30 Pacific. Mark Appel will not appear due to a "developmental decision," as Jason Schwartz put it. There probably isn't anything going on; it's just an extended period of rest for Appel.

South Bend 5, Quad Cities 0

W- Braden Shipley (1-0)
L- Albert Minnis (0-1)

QC home runs: None, obviously.

The River Bandits only had 5 hits as they got blanked in the series opener. Jack Mayfield, Tanner Mathis, and Chan-Jong Moon hit doubles.

Gonzalo Sañudo started off with 4 scoreless and allowed 3 hits while striking out 2. Albert Minnis gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits in the 5th. Adrian Houser went 3 innings and allowed 3 runs (all in the 9th; 2 inherited runners scored) on 5 hits and struck out 3. Pat Christensen didn't allow any runs of his own in the 9th, but he did allow both of the runners he inherited from Houser to score. Christensen allowed a hit and struck out 1.

In the middle game of this series, Andrew Thurman and Chris Lee will face Blake Perry at 7:00.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Rio Ruiz, 3B, Lancaster
2-4, sac fly, R



2.



Enrique Hernandez, 2B/OF, Oklahoma City
AAA debut: 2-3, R, 2 BB, SB (1)



1.




Preston Tucker, OF, Corpus Christi
2-4, 2B, solo HR (3)




Three Stars: Pitchers

3.



Collin McHugh, RHP, Oklahoma City
5 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 K



2.


Tabasco Hoy (Tabasco Today)

Gonzalo Sañudo, RHP, Quad Cities
4 IP, 3 H, 2 K



1.



Nick Tropeano, RHP, Oklahoma City
3.2 IP, H, 2 K



Astros Minor League Team Standing and Rankings

Well, last night wasn't the best of nights for Astros fans, major and minor, as the good guys got swept. But all four of the Astros full season minor league teams are at least at .500 and three of the four are in first or second place. Here are how the standings break down for each team, and where the Team Batting and Team Pitching rank in each team's respective league.

OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS

1st   10-5   .667   0.0GB   L1

Despite last night's loss, the RedHawks still retain first place in their division, one and a half games ahead of the second place Iowa Cubs who are on a two-game win streak. The RedHawks will not face off against their division rival Cubs until July 3rd. Out of 16 teams in the Pacific Coast League, here is how the Oklahoma City team ranks in various categories:

Team Batting
BA - 8th
OBP - 9th
SLG -5th
OPS -5th
R - 1st
H - 1st
2B - 3rd
3B - T4th
HR - T3rd
RBI - 1st
BB - 2nd
SO - 1st
SB - T1st
CS - T2nd

Team Pitching
ERA - 7th
WHIP - 2nd
Saves - T4th
BB - T11th
SO - 3rd

CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS

2nd   8-5   .615   1-0GB   L3

The Hooks are in second place in their division, one game behind the Texas Rangers AA Frisco team after the Hooks' loss to Frisco last night. The Hooks will need to break their current three-game loss streak because they play three more this weekend against the red-hot Frisco team who are on an 8-game winning streak. Here is how the team ranks out of eight teams in the Texas League:

Team Batting
BA - 3rd
OBP - 3rd
SLG -3rd
OPS - 3rd
R - 2nd
H - 3rd
2B - 2nd
3B - T2nd
HR - T3rd
RBI - 2nd
BB - 7th
SO - 7th
SB - 4th
CS - T5th

Team Pitching
ERA - 1st
WHIP - 2nd
Saves - 3rd
BB - 8th
SO - 1st

LANCASTER JETHAWKS

T1st   10-5   .667   0.0GB   L1

The JetHawks are currently tied with High Desert, a Seattle affiliate, three games ahead of Lake Elsinore (San Diego). The 'Hawks are in the midst of playing six straight against High Desert, winning two out of three against them on the road and losing the first of three against them at home last night. Here is how the team ranks in batting and pitching categories out of 10 teams in the California League:

Team Batting
BA - 2nd
OBP - 2nd
SLG - 4th
OPS - 3rd
R - 2nd
H - 2nd
2B - T3rd
3B - 2nd
HR - 7th
RBI - 4th
BB - 3rd
SO - 10th
SB - 4th
CS - 5th

Team Pitching
ERA - 4th
WHIP - 1st
Saves - 1st
BB - T8th
SO - 2nd

QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS

6th   7-7   .500   4.0GB   L1

The River Bandits are currently in sixth place in the division (out of eight teams), trailing the Kane County Cougars, a Cubs affiliate, by four games. The Cougars are dominating the division right now with an 11-3 record and having won eight in a row. Two of the three Kane County losses came at the hands of the Quad Cities team in the opening series of the season. The two teams face off next in mid-May. The Bandits are only one and a half games out of second place. Here is how the team stacks up against the other 15 teams in the Midwest League:

Team Batting
BA - 2nd
OBP - 1st
SLG - 6th
OPS - 4th
R - 9th
H - 3rd
2B - T3rd
3B - T3rd
HR - 15th
RBI - T9th
BB - 2nd
SO - 14th
SB - 7th
CS - T10th

Team Pitching
ERA - 7th
WHIP - 9th
Saves - T12th
BB - 14th
SO - 11th

For a daily update on standings, look at the sidebar on the front page of the blog. I usually remember to update it every morning.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

In addition to the moves posted yesterday, the following player moves also took place either late yesterday or this morning.

OKLAHOMA CITY
LHP Kevin Chapman optioned from Houston to Oklahoma City

CORPUS CHRISTI
LHP T.J. Geith released
LHP Patrick Urckfitz assigned from Oklahoma City to Corpus Christi
1B Telvin Nash activated from the 7-day DL

LANCASTER
OF Justin Gominsky assigned to Extended Spring Training

Beat the Streak, April 17

So, I forgot that Corpus had a day off. If you picked someone on the Hooks, then we'll just treat that as a pass. But... don't forget to make your pick today, or your streak will go up in smoke.

The double-down rules will be a little more lenient than MLB.com's. If one of your picks got a hit and the other didn't, we'll treat that as a +1, instead of a lost streak.

To recap yesterday: In a bit of a panic, I doubled down with Tony Kemp and Austin Wates, and boy, did they deliver. Jayne got a double from Rio Ruiz in Lancaster, while Lee got one out of Teoscar Hernandez as well. Jeff Blogwell chose Carlos Correa and 2012's #1 delivered with a solo homer and his 3rd straight 2-hit game.

Today, I will be choosing Jon Singleton!

Tonight's Schedule

All times Central.

OKC @ Colorado Springs, 7:35
CC @ Frisco, 7:05
Lancaster vs. High Desert, 8:30
Quad Cities vs. South Bend, 7:00


TODAY'S PICKS

Jayne- Brett Phillips, OF, Quad Cities
Nance- Jio Mier, SS, Corpus Christi, and Domingo Santana, OF, Oklahoma City


CURRENT ACTIVE STREAKS

Me, Jayne, Lee White- Tied at 2

Nance, Anton Joe, Jeff Blogwell- Tied at 1

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1 A.G. (After George)

Oklahoma City 8, Colorado Springs 6

W- Raúl Valdés (1-0)
L- Dan Houston (0-1)
S- Josh Zeid (2)

OKC home runs: Jon Singleton (5, 2-run in 7th)

The RedHawks were trailing 6-1 after the 3rd inning, but finished the game on a 7-0 run which culminated in Singleton's tie-breaking blast in the 7th inning. And so, life after George began with a victory for the Oklahoma City RedHawks.

Gregorio Petit opened the scoring with a sac fly in the 3rd. Domingo Santana extended his hitting streak to 7 games with a single in the 2nd and hit a groundout that scored Singleton in the 4th. OKC got 4 in the top of the 6th to tie the game. Jonathan Meyer hit an RBI single, and then Andy Simunic hit into a force out that brought Erik Castro home. Austin Wates went 2-5 with a 2-run single. Everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Simunic, who still got an RBI and scored despite going 0-4. Singleton finished 3-5, while Wates, Meyer, and Ronald Torreyes had 2 hits apiece.

Jake Buchanan was knocked around in his 2.2 innings; he allowed 6 runs (4 earned; all 6 runs came in the 3rd) on 7 hits (solo homer) and walked 2. The bullpen picked him up and limited the damage to only the 3rd inning.

Jose Cisnero got the final out of the 3rd... in fact, he retired all 9 Sky Sox he faced, striking out 6 of them. Raúl Valdés came on with 2 outs in the 6th.... and got 2 strikeouts in the inning. He struck out Jason Pridie on a wild pitch (he reached), and then got Tim Wheeler to look at strike 3 to actually end the inning. Valdés then proceeded to throw a scoreless 7th, working around a ground rule double from Ben Paulsen. Jason Stoffel struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 8th, and Josh Zeid finished it with a 1-2-3 9th.

In game 3 of this series, Collin McHugh and Nick Tropeano will take on Tyler Matzek. First pitch is at 7:35.

Corpus Christi was off

So if you picked a Hooks player for Beat the Streak, it's alright. Your streak is safe and sound. Colton Cain and Brady Rodgers will be tonight's pairing for the series opener in Frisco. They will take on Nick Martinez at 7:05.

Lancaster 10, High Desert 0

W- Kyle Smith (2-0)
L- Dylan Unsworth (1-1)
S- Lance McCullers (1)

Lancaster home runs: Tony Kemp (2, led off game), Carlos Correa (2, solo in 7th)

The JetHawks took the series in emphatic fashion as Kyle Smith and Lance McCullers combined on a 3-hit shutout, and the offense completely overwhelmed the High Desert pitching staff. Everyone in the starting 9 had a hit, paced by Tony Kemp, who was a double shy of the cycle in 5 at-bats, and Carlos Perdomo, who finished 3-3. Lancaster scored in 5 straight innings (3rd-7th).

Kemp wasted no time in kicking off the scoring as he took Dylan Unsworth deep to begin the game. Teoscar Hernandez hit an RBI ground-rule double and Carlos Correa added a sac fly in the 2nd. Dan Gulbransen had a 1-out triple in the 4th and came home on a Perdomo sac fly.

Ruben Sosa led off the 5th with a single and scored on a triple from Kemp. An error from High Desert SS Tyler Smith allowed Kemp to score and Hernandez to reach; Teoscar was later credited with an RBI on the play. He would steal 2nd (6) and eventually score on Roberto Peña's single. Perdomo doubled to lead off the 6th and came around to score on a Danry Vasquez single. Correa led off the 7th with a homer (2), and one batter later, Rio Ruiz hit a double. Perdomo brought him home for the JetHawks' final run of the game, although he was thrown out between 1st and 2nd to end the inning.

Kyle Smith doesn't seem to be fazed by High Desert's reputation as being the most extreme hitter's park in baseball; remember, he threw a complete game shutout while allowing 2 hits in his 2nd start with the JetHawks on August 10, 2013. This time, he tossed 5 shutout innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Lance McCullers finished it off with 4 scoreless and gave up a hit, walked 2, and struck out 2.

The JetHawks will head home to face these very same Mavericks. In the opener, Chris Devenski and Josh Hader will take on Tyler Pike at 6:30 Pacific.

Quad Cities 3, West Michigan 2 in 11 innings

W- Zach Morton (1-0)
L- Julio Felix (1-1)

QC home runs: None.

The Bandits won the series as Chase McDonald delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th. The big man finished 3-5 as he's looking to get himself going at the plate. They opened up the scoring with a pair in the bottom of the 1st; both runs came with 2 outs. Jack Mayfield doubled, then scored when Conrad Gregor sent a ball back up the middle. After a McDonald single put runners on the corners, Brian Holberton brought Gregor home with an infield single that was grounded to the pitcher. Gregor now has a 7-game hitting streak.

Michael Feliz got the start and threw 4 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 3, and striking out 4. Evan Grills allowed 2 runs (both in the 6th) on 6 hits and issued a walk in 3.2 innings. Tyler Brunnemann walked 1 and struck out 2 over 2.1 scoreless frames, and Zach Morton worked around a hit and a walk to pitch a scoreless 11th, striking out 1.

In a rematch of last year's Midwest League Championship Series, the River Bandits will welcome the South Bend Silver Hawks to Modern Woodmen Park for a 3-game series. Gonzalo Sanudo and Adrian Houser will take on Braden Shipley at 7:00.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Carlos Perdomo, Utility, Lancaster
3-3, 2B, 2 RBI, R


2.




Tony Kemp, 2B, Lancaster
3-5, 3B, solo HR (2), 2 RBI, 3 R

1.




Jon Singleton, 1B, Oklahoma City
3-5, 2B, 3B, 2-R HR (5), 2 R

Honorable Mentions: Chase McDonald, Austin Wates, Carlos Correa

Three Stars: Pitchers

Kyle Smith and Lance McCullers were dominant in pitcher's hell, while Jose Cisnero had a stellar relief outing in an environment that's not exactly easy to pitch in as well.

3.


Jose Cisnero, RHP, Oklahoma City
3 IP, 6 K




1.




Kyle Smith, RHP, Lancaster
W (2-0), 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K



Lance McCullers, RHP, Lancaster
Save (1), 4 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K




Astros MiLB League Leaders

After two full weeks of minor league play, let's look at some of the Astros minor leaguers who are league leaders. (Note that some stats are based on a minimum number of plate appearances or innings pitched. Therefore, some of the Astros farm hands with great numbers may not have enough PA or IP to qualify as league leaders.)

OKLAHOMA CITY/PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE

Jon Singleton
4th in SLG - .792
T4th in R - 15
T5th in H - 19
T3rd in 2B - 6
T2nd in HR - 5
1st in RBI - 18
T5th in BB - 10

George Springer
1st in R - 17
T9th in H - 18
T9th in BB - 9

Austin Wates
T6th in R - 13
T9th in H - 18
T9th in BB - 9
T2nd in SB - 5

Domingo Santana
T8th in 2B - 5

Max Stassi
T8th in 2B - 5

David Martinez
6th in WHIP - 0.92

Jason Stoffel
T2nd in Saves - 3

CORPUS CHRISTI/TEXAS LEAGUE

Preston Tucker
10th in BA - .327
8th in R - 8
3rd in H - 17
T4th in 2B - 4
T6th in RBI - 8

Andrew Aplin
6th in OBP - .439
T6th in RBI - 8
T1st in BB - 13
T7th in SB - 3

Matt Duffy
T8th in H - 13
1st in 2B - 6

Delino DeShields
T3rd in R - 10
T8th in BB - 7
T4th in SB - 5

Nolan Fontana
T 9th in R - 7

Kike Hernandez
T6th in R - 10
T8th in H - 13
T10th in 2B - 3

Tyler Heineman
T10 in 2B - 3

Jio Mier
T4th in RBI - 9

Brady Rodgers
7th in ERA - 1.29

Ross Seaton
8th in ERA - 1.42
T6th in SO - 14

Aaron West
5th in WHIP - 0.87

Travis Ballew
T5th in Saves - 2

Tommy Shirley
4th in SO - 16

Luis Cruz
T10th in SO - 12

LANCASTER/CALIFORNIA LEAGUE

Tony Kemp
4th in BA - .357
2nd in OBP - .449
7th in SLG - .589
1st in R - 21
T2nd in H - 20
T5th in 2B - 5
T6th in BB - 9
T8th in SB - 4

Teoscar Hernandez
9th in BA - .345
9th in OBP - .409
4th in SLG - .655
T7th in R - 11
T2nd in H - 20
T5th in 2B - 5
1st in 3B - 5
4th in RBI - 15
5th in SB - 6

Rio Ruiz
T9th in H - 18
T5th in 2B - 5

Carlos Correa
T5th in RBI - 14

Vincent Velasquez
6th in ERA - 1.69
2nd in WHIP - 0.63
5th in SO - 19

Kyle Westwood
9th in ERA - 2.00
7th in WHIP - 0.89

Josh Hader
10th in ERA - 2.08
4th in WHIP - 0.85
4th in SO - 20

Jamaine Cotton
T4th in Saves - 2

Lance McCullers
T7th in SO - 17

Kyle Smith
T10th in SO - 16

QUAD CITIES/MIDWEST LEAGUE

Chan Moon
6th in BA - .355
10th in OBP - .412

Jack Mayfield
T2nd in R - 11
T9th in 2B - 4

James Ramsay
T8th in R - 10
T10th in H - 14
T1st in 3B - 2
T6th in SB - 6

Brett Phillips
T10th in H - 14

Jon Kemmer
T9th in 2B - 4

Tyler White
T9th in 2B - 4

Conrad Gregor
T6th in BB - 9

Andrew Walter
T1st in Saves - 2

I'll take a look at the standings and how the Team Batting and Team Pitching stack up against the other teams in the respective leagues tomorrow.

Happy Birthday - 4/17

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Nestor Tejada (17)
A July 2013 international signing out of  Venezuela, Tejada has yet to make his professional debut with the Astros. Expect him to play with the Dominican Summer League Astros later this season.

Two former Astros celebrate today as well ~

SS Jed Lowrie (30)
A first round draft pick by Boston in 2005, Lowrie came to Houston, along with Kyle Weiland, in a trade for Mark Melancon in December of 2011. In 97 games for Houston in 2012, he hit .244/.331/.438. He was traded in February 2013 to Oakland, along with Fernando Martinez for Max Stassi, Brad Peacock and Chris Carter. In 15 games for Oakland so far this season, he has a .357/.429/.625 batting line.

UT Denny Walling (60)
Walling was a first round pick by Oakland in 1975 and came to Houston in a trade in June of 1977 where he became a fixture until traded to the Cardinals in August of 1988 for Bob Forsch. Denny Walling was the quintessential utility player, moving among first base, third base, the outfield and a pinch-hitting role with ease and effectiveness. In 13 years for Houston, he hit .277/.345/.402 in 1072 games. One of his career highlights was hitting the game-winning home run in the division-clinching no-hitter pitched by Mike Scott in September 1986. Most recently, Walling has been the hitting coach for the Orioles AAA Norfolk affiliate since 2012.

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

In addition to the news that some guy named George Springer got promoted to Houston, I found a couple more transactions for today.

OKLAHOMA CITY
2B Enrique Hernandez was assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City
OF Robbie Grossman was optioned from Houston to Oklahoma City

LANCASTER
IF/OF Ruben Sosa was assigned from Oklahoma City to Lancaster

There was also this tweet noting that Telvin Nash was being assigned to Corpus Christi, but the transaction has not been posted on MiLB.com yet.

Beat the Streak, April 16

4-6 on Day 1.

Jayne, Lee, Nance, Anton Joe (@AntonJoeMLB) all saw Brandon Meredith, Preston Tucker, and Carlos Correa get their respective streaks going. Anton was actually the first to double down, as he also chose Jio Mier, who did not play last night.

Rip Noblin, who went with Jobduan Morales, and I, who picked Jack Mayfield... well, today's another day. I'm absolutely horrid when it comes to games of chance, so I will be invoking the double down every day for the foreseeable future. I'm just glad that we're not involving money in this..... yet. 

Today, my 2 will be OKC CF Austin Wates and Lancaster's dynamo 2B, Tony Kemp. Who's your pick(s)? Send them to me on Twitter using the hashtag #AstrosBTS, leave a comment at the bottom of this post (if anonymous, please leave a name), or on the WTHB Facebook page.

Today's Picks

Lee- Teoscar Hernandez
Jayne- Rio Ruiz
Nance- Jio Mier
Tyler Stafford (also known as the one and only Jeff Blogwell)- Carlos Correa & Delino DeShields

Of course, Mrs. Wates will be choosing her son. 

CURRENT ACTIVE STREAKS

Jayne Hansen, Lee White, Nance M, and Anton Joe- All tied at 1


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Let's play 2 in Davenport!

George Springer is coming! George Springer is coming!




Oklahoma City 11, Colorado Springs 9

Nothing in this game matters. All that matters is that GEORGE SPRINGER IS COMIN' TO HOUSTON, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoops, sorry. Got carried away there.

W- Mike Foltynewicz (1-1)
L- Christian Friedrich (0-2)
S- Josh Zeid (1)

OKC home runs: George Springer (3, grand slam in 2nd)

The RedHawks jumped out to a 7-0 lead after 2 innings, and then they needed to hang on for dear life. Nevertheless, they came out on top in the series opener.

George Springer, in what might have been his final game in the Minor Leagues, made it an unforgettable one. He went 3-4 with a 2nd-inning grand slam (3 home runs) and scored 4 runs.

OKC got 3 in the 1st from Gregorio Petit scoring on an error and a pair of RBI singles from Domingo Santana and Max Stassi. It is actually Stassi who has the longest hitting streak in the organization; he has a hit in all of the 11 games that he has played. Santana grounded into a force out in the 5th, which allowed Jon Singleton to score. Springer scored on a Stassi GIDP in the 7th, and in a 1-run game in the top of the 9th, Stassi hit a 2-run double to create some much, much-needed separation. Singleton, who was 2-5, and Santana, who went 1-5 are both on 6-game hitting streaks.

After a rough beginning to life in AAA, Mike Foltynewicz spun his best start of the season, as he went 5 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. Rudy Owens struggled through 1.1 innings, giving up 5 runs (4 earned, 1 inherited) on 6 hits (2-run HR) and striking out 1. Chia-Jen Lo got the final 2 outs of the 7th, but allowed a pair of home runs (solo and 2-run shots) in the process. Jason Stoffel was the only RedHawks pitcher to not allow a run; he allowed 2 hits and struck out 1. Josh Zeid shook off a solo homer from Ben Paulsen to close the door.

Game 2 will feature TBA (this spot was vacated by Paul Clemens) and Jake Buchanan as they take on Christian Bergman. Early start for this one; first pitch will be at 11:05 A.M. Mountain.

Springfield 2, Corpus Christi 1

W- Zach Petrick (2-0)
L- Tommy Shirley (1-2)
S- Ronnie Shaban (2)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks dropped the series as they dropped their 2nd straight 2-1 decision.

Leo Heras hit an RBI single in the 2nd which tied the game at 1 at that point in time. Preston Tucker went 2-4 with a double. Other than the 2nd inning, the Hooks' chances for runs were few and far between; they stranded runners on the corners to end the 5th, which was the only time that the Hooks had more than one person on base at any point in the game.

Tommy Shirley got the start and went 4.1 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 inherited) on 5 hits, walking 1, and striking out 6. Andrew Robinson got the final 2 outs of the 5th, but he allowed the go-ahead single that resulted in one of the 3 runners he inherited from Shirley to score. Matt Heidenreich tagged in for 3 perfect innings, striking out 5. T.J. Geith (1st out) and Jorge De Leon (final 2 outs) combined on a 1-2-3 9th.

The Hooks will have a day off before they head up to the Metroplex to begin a 4-game series with Frisco. In Thursday's opener, Colton Cain and Brady Rodgers will take on Nick Martinez at 7:05.

Lancaster 5, High Desert 4

W- Vince Velasquez (3-0)
L- Blake Hauser (1-1)
S- Jamaine Cotton (2)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks got even as a run in the 9th broke a 4-4 tie in their favor.

Everyone in the lineup had a hit; Carlos Correa, Teoscar Hernandez, and Dan Gulbransen had 2 apiece. Correa tied the game in the 3rd with an RBI triple. Lancaster got a pair in the 4th on a couple of RBI singles from Carlos Perdomo and Tony Kemp, and Brandon Meredith added an RBI single of his own in the 5th. Kemp led off the top of the 9th with a walk, advanced all the way to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored the go-ahead run on a Hernandez double.

Kyle Westwood went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. This was the first time that Westwood has allowed 2 earned runs in any appearance. He did allow 2 runs 3 times with Tri-City last year, but each time, there was an unearned run. Vince Velasquez tagged in for 3 innings and was dinged by a 2-run homer from Patrick Kivlehan in the 6th, which tied the game at 4. Vince allowed one other hit, walked 1, and struck out 3. Jamaine Cotton worked around a single to close the door, getting Tim Lopes to fly out to end the game. Cotton's one strikeout was of Steven Baron for the 2nd out of the 9th inning.

In the series finale, Kyle Smith and Lance McCullers will face Andrew Kittredge at 7:05 Pacific.

Game 1: West Michigan 6, Quad Cities 4

W- Matt Davenport (1-0)
L- Chris Cotton (0-2)
S- Joe Mantiply (2)

QC home runs: Brian Holberton (1, solo in 4th)

The Whitecaps put up 3 in the top of the 5th to take a 5-4 lead and scored 1 more in the 6th to take the first game in the twinbill.

QC got in the board first with 2 in the 2nd inning. Tanner Mathis reached on a force out which scored Conrad Gregor, and he would score on a Jon Kemmer double. James Ramsay went 2-3 with a double and led off the bottom of the 3rd with a triple; he scored on a Gregor single. Brian Holberton led off the 4th with a homer to put the River Bandits up 4-2 at that point in time.

Kent Emanuel went 4 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned; 2 of those 4 runs were inherited) on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Chris Cotton couldn't hold the lead; he allowed both of the runners he inherited from Emanuel in the 5th to score, and then gave up 2 more of his own on 6 hits while striking out 1 in 3 innings.

Tough way to end game 1; would game 2 bring some good news for the River Bandits?

Game 2: Quad Cities 2, West Michigan 1 in 8 innings

W- Andrew Walter (1-1)
L- Scott Sitz (1-1)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits walked off with a split as Catfish Elkins delivered the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 8th! Jon Kemmer led off the 8th with a double, advanced to 3rd on a James Ramsay sac bunt, and Elkins brought him home.

Ramsay scored the River Bandits' other run in the 3rd as he reached on an error from Willy Adames and scored on another Adames error, which allowed Conrad Gregor to reach. Gregor hit a double to lead off the 2nd to extend his hitting streak to 6 games, although he saw his 5-game RBI streak come to an end.

Jandel Gustave allowed an unearned run on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6 in 4.2 innings. Pat Christensen threw 1.1 scoreless and allowed a hit while striking out 2, and Andrew Walter tossed 2 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and fanning 2. He'd get the victory, thanks to Elkins' heroics.

In the series finale, Michael Feliz and Evan Grills will take the mound for QC, and they will be opposed by Chad Green. First pitch is at 7:00.

Three Stars

Today, there is only one.


George Springer, CF, Oklahoma City Houston
3-4, Grand Slam (3), 4 R

Welcome to Houston, Welcome to the Future

I was at the Astros game last night and it wasn't pretty. The starting pitcher, who only threw 56 of his 101 pitches for strikes, wasn't exactly helped out by an error from his left fielder, but that really wasn't the problem.

The Astros offense was, well, offensive. I'm not taking anything away from the Royal's Yordano Ventura, who at only 22 years of age, already looks like he could be a fixture in the Royals' rotation for a good long time. But it wasn't just last night's performance at the plate that was the problem.

At the beginning of last night's game, only two of the starters had batting averages over the Mendoza Line. Factor in Monday night's 12 strikeouts and the Astros team batting line for the nascent season is a very dismal .185/.258/.347.

As I left the game, I knew that this had to be the straw, the straw that would bring George Springer to the people. The dwindling crowd of diehard fans, including me, was starting to get restless, particularly after news spread that Springer had hit out a moon shot Grand Slam in Colorado Springs for the RedHawks last night. "It's time," I thought to myself, "How can the Astros not bring him up now?"

I wasn't home long when the news came that Springer did get the call and would be headed to Houston. Even though I thought Luhnow and Company would do their best to keep Springer down on the farm until the Super Two window closed, I knew that was no longer feasible. The long-suffering fans needed this. We can only take so much and the limit had been reached, at least mine had.

As fans, we don't need George Springer to be a superstar overnight. That is a lot of pressure to put on a pair of 24-year old rookie shoulders. But we need the hope that he represents. We need to see the light at the end of a very, very, very long tunnel. We've started to see some encouraging signs from the pitching staff, but now it's time to see a spark from the offense.

George Springer - May 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Springer will provide a spark in more ways than one. He is a very special player. He is shy and quiet and thoughtful away from the field. But on the field, Springer is silly and gregarious and charismatic and very, very talented. His teammates have a nickname for him.
I don't know what to expect from Springer when he gets to Houston tonight. Will he be a Rookie of the Year candidate like Ryan Braun or Mike Trout? Or will he take a while to settle in, like a Jose Bautista? My best guess is he will fall somewhere in between. Fans will need to be patient with him at times and realize that sometimes he will be Superman, but sometimes he will be Clark Kent.

What I do know is that Springer will provide a much-needed spark for both the Astros and their fans. Welcome to Houston, George. Welcome to the future, Astros fans.

Happy Birthday - 4/16

Happy Birthday to ~

2B/SS Jean Estrella (18)
A non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic, Estrella had a very successful first professional season. After 50 games with the DSL Astros, he received a late season promotion to play his final eight games with the Gulf Coast League Astros, hitting a combined .278/.354/.308 for the season.

Two former Astros celebrate today as well ~

C Bruce Bochy (59)
A first round draft pick by Houston in 1975, Bochy was an Astro from 1978 to 1980 before playing for the Mets and the Padres. As an Astro, he hit .239/.308/.321 over 132 games. Shortly after he quit playing in 1988, he started managing in the minor leagues, graduating to manager of the San Diego Padres in 1995 at the ripe old age of 40. After a dozen years at the helm in San Diego, he started managing the Giants in 2007, leading them to World Series Championships in 2010 and 2012.

SS Tommy Manzella (31)
Drafted by Houston in the third round in 2005, Manzella played in 90 games for Houston in 2009 and 2010. Despite hitting .289/.339/.417 in 133 games at AAA in 2009 prior to his September call-up that year, he struggled at the plate in the majors, hitting .224/.266/.262. He was claimed off  waivers by the Diamondbacks in August of 2011. After bouncing around for the last three years (Diamondbacks, Brewers, White Sox, Rockies, Blue Jays, White Sox, Diamondbacks), he was released by the Diamondbacks in March 2014.

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beat the Streak, April 15

Yesterday was a little test event for this game. Jayne won with Teoscar Hernandez, and Lee White (@Lee_White73) picked Jon Singleton, who just got a hit in the nick of time to get him a victory. I, on the other hand, was left in the dark as Delino DeShields went 0-3 with 2 strikeouts. D'oh!

But... today marks the first official day of Beat the Streak! Now, there is a doubleheader today, with Quad Cities taking on West Michigan at 5:30. If you choose a River Bandits player before 5:00 P.M. Central time, their 2 games will count as 1, provided that they're playing both games. If you choose one of them before game 2 begins, then their stats from game 2 will only be used.

Here's today's schedule. All times are Central.

OKC @ Colorado Springs, 7:35
CC vs. Springfield, 7:10
Lancaster @ High Desert, 9:05
QC vs. West Michigan, 5:30 (game 1), and I assume game 2 will start 45 minutes after game 1 concludes.

My pick for today will be Quad Cities SS Jack Mayfield. Who ya got?

Jayne: Brandon Meredith
Lee White: Preston Tucker

This post will be updated as picks come in. If you would like to play through Facebook, then just leave a comment in the box below once DeAnna posts this to the WTHB Facebook page.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, April 14

Swept.



New Orleans 14, Oklahoma City 8

W- Bryan Evans (1-1)
L- David Martinez (2-1)

OKC home runs: George Springer (2, solo in 4th)

After 2 fine outings, Team DorInez (Bobby Doran and David Martinez) got knocked around as the RedHawks were forced to settle for a split in this series. This game was the last of 8 straight against New Orleans, and OKC finished 6-2 in this stretch. OKC rallied with 4 in the 7th to make it a 10-8 game, but the Zephyrs put it away with a 4-1 run in the final 2 innings, getting 2 in the 8th and 9th.

Jon Singleton was 1-3 with an RBI groundout in the 1st, walked twice, and scored twice. George Springer went 2-3 with a homer (2) to lead off the 4th inning. Erik Castro added an RBI single later in the inning. Ruben Sosa opened the scoring in the 7th with a sac fly, and then the RedHawks got a pair of bases-loaded walks from Max Stassi and Castro, with a Domingo Santana RBI infield single sandwiched in between. Andy Simunic was just added to the roster and made his debut in this game; he went 1-2 with a run scored after coming on for Ronald Torreyes in the 7th.

Martinez went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and walked 2. Doran only went 3.1 innings and gave up 6 runs (1 inherited) on 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. Darin Downs pitched the final 1.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out 1.

The RedHawks will now head out on a roadtrip. Their first stop will be in Colorado Springs for 4. Mike Foltynewicz and Rudy Owens will start the opener against Dan Houston. First pitch will be at 7:35/6:35 Mountain.

Springfield 2, Corpus Christi 1

W- Kurt Heyer (1-1)
L- Luis Cruz (2-1)
S- Dean Kiekhefer (2)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks just couldn't get the bats going, and couldn't capitalize on a fine pitching performance in which Luis Cruz and Ross Seaton combined on a 3-hitter.

Nolan Fontana (2-3 with a triple and a double) and Andrew Aplin (3-4) went a combined 5-7; Aplin drove in Fontana with his 3rd single of the night in the 6th. Fontana hit a double in the 1st and attempted to score on Aplin's 1st single, but was thrown out at home.

Luis Cruz went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Ross Seaton had a fine outing after tagging in, as he allowed a hit and fanned 5 over 4 scoreless frames.

Tommy Shirley and Matt Heidenreich will take the hill for the series finale, and they will be opposed by Zach Petrick. First pitch is at 7:10.

High Desert 11, Lancaster 10

W- Andrew Kittredge (1-1)
L- J.D. Osborne (0-1)
S- Will Mathis (1)

Lancaster home runs: Rio Ruiz (1, 3-run in 8th)

Just your garden-variety California League game, with 22 runs, 29 hits, and crooked numbers aplenty. Of course, as a garden-variety California League game, it got topsy-turvy late: the Mavs scored 4 in the bottom of the 7th to take a 9-6 lead. Lancaster responded with 4 of their own in the top of the 8th to regain the lead, which was 10-9, and then in the bottom of the inning, the Mavs plated 2 without getting a hit to re-take the lead for themselves.

Mark Appel made his first appearance in the biggest hitter's park in professional baseball, and his first foray into High Desert lasted 3 innings. He allowed 3 runs on 5 hits (2-run homer) and struck out 4. Juan Minaya allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 4th. Mike Hauschild tagged in for 3 innings and gave up 5 runs on 8 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 3. J.D. Osborne came on for the 8th and issued 2 straight walks on 8 balls. Jamaine Cotton came on and walked the first batter he faced. He technically threw a scoreless inning, allowing a hit and walking one, but he allowed both of the runners that he inherited from Osborne to score via a double play and a wild pitch.

Teoscar Hernandez was on fire, as he went 3-5 with a 2-run double in the 3rd, another RBI double in the 6th, and an RBI single in the 8th. Rio Ruiz had a monster night as well; he finished 4-5 with a 2-run double of his own in the 3rd and a huge 3-run homer in the 8th which gave the JetHawks a 10-9 lead at that time. The only run that was not batted in was scored by Roberto Peña as he dashed home on a wild pitch in the 4th. It was a rather eventful night for Peña behind the plate as well; he was charged with 2 passed balls. On the flip side, he was 3-3 in catching potential base-stealers. High Desert CF Aaron Barbosa will be regretting the fact that he even thought about testing Peña, as he got caught stealing 2nd twice. The other victim was Vladimir Guerrero's nephew, Gabriel.

Carlos Correa lifted himself off the canvas by going 2-6 with 2 runs scored. However, he struck out with runners on 1st and 2nd to end the game.


Jordan Scott was 2-3 with a double, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored.

Game 2 of this series features the team of Kyle Westwood and Vince Velasquez as they take on Tyler Pike. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities and West Michigan was postponed

Due to snow. A doubleheader is scheduled for 4:30 P.M. Kent Emanuel will face Jeff Thompson in game 1, and Jandel Gustave will oppose Kevin Ziomek in game 2.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Andrew Aplin, RF, Corpus Christi
3-4, RBI single in 6th



Nolan Fontana, SS, Corpus Christi
2-3, 2B, 3B, R, BB



2.


Photo courtesy of Brian Green

Teoscar Hernandez, CF, Lancaster
3-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 2 R, outfield assist



1.



Rio Ruiz, 3B, Lancaster
4-5, 2 2B, 3-R HR (1), 5 RBI


Two Stars: Pitchers

1 (tie).




Ross Seaton, RHP, Corpus Christi
4 IP, H, 5 K



Luis Cruz, LHP, Corpus Christi
L (2-1), 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 3 K


Happy Birthday - 4/15

No future Astros with birthdays today, but one former Astro celebrates ~

SS J.C. Hartman (80)
Once a player for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues in 1955, Hartman was, at 28 and 29, one of the older players for the Colt 45's in 1962 and 1963. He played in 90 games over those seasons putting up an anemic .185/.211/.210 batting line (compared to his minor league line of .280/.319/.345 over 10 seasons). His time in the Negro Leagues was interrupted by a stint in the Army, where he played on the All-Army champion team in 1957 with singer Charley Pride and a couple of future San Francisco Giants players. After baseball, he became a Houston policeman, eventually becoming the first black police supervisor in the Houston Police Department in 1973. For more on Hartman, read this entry from the Negro Leagues Baseball eMuseum site.

Tweet of the Day

Monday, April 14, 2014

Astros Roster Moves/Transactions

OKLAHOMA CITY REDHAWKS

1B/DH Japhet Amador was placed on the 7-Day disabled list retroactive to 4/13. 
2B/OF Andy Simunic was assigned to OKC from Extended Spring Training.

CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS

LHP T.J. Geith was activated from the 7-Day disabled list.
LHP David Rollins was placed on the 7-Day disabled list.

Let's Play a Game....

It's called Beat the Streak! It might be an obvious rip-off of the version that MLB.com offers, but... I'm too poor to offer prizes.

The format is exactly similar to the MLB.com one, only in this version, we'll be using players from the Astros organization. Once the short-season leagues begin play and their rosters are set, those players will become available to choose as well. Obviously, if the player you chose got a hit, your streak is extended/begins again. And obviously, if the player you chose went hitless, it's back to square one. Now, a few ground rules:

1. All players from the Astros minor league system, all the way down to the Dominican Summer League (when I say "All," I mean it) are available for selection. 

2. There is no limit on how many times you can choose a player; like T.J. Oshie in the shootout against Russia in the Olympics, if your player's still hot, or if you think he's still feeling it, feel free to choose him again! 

3. If you had the same idea as somebody and see that the player you wanted to pick was taken by someone else, don't fret, go ahead and pick him anyway! And yes, just like the actual MLB.com game (if you're familiar with its workings), you can double down and choose an additional player.

4. Don't know who to pick? Well, since I'm a nice person (I promise), out of the goodness of my heart, here are the rosters for each team: 





NOT ACTIVE YET:




There is no link to a DSL Astros 2 roster yet. My tip: Bookmark!

5. Picks will be locked in 30 minutes before each team's game begins. So for example, the first pitch for Greeneville's game on July 15 is at 6:30 Eastern/5:30 Central. That means if you picked a Greeneville player that day, you're locked in to whoever you picked at 6/5 Central.

What if there's a day game and you didn't have time to pick someone who's going to be playing in the evening? For example, OKC played a game at noon and you wanted to pick Matt Duffy, and the Hooks don't play until 7:00. In that case, this rule will change to "30 minutes before that game begins." So, you have until 6:30 to pick Matt Duffy.

6. If the player you chose had a day off, you won't be punished; your streak will be preserved for the next day. If you had a streak going and somehow forgot to choose someone, it's like an off day for you as well. So, your streak will also be preserved for another day. However, if you don't pick the day after, your streak WILL reset. Be mindful!

7. You can make your picks on Twitter using the hashtag #AstrosBTS. 

8. When a club finishes its regular season, its players can no longer be selected. Greeneville finishes on August 29 and the GCL finishes on August 28.

9. The person with the longest active streak at the end of the season will get.... something. I'll need to think of some kind of reward.

10. In the event that your streak reaches 57... then I'll need to think of an even bigger reward. 

Well... that's all the rules I can think of for now. Good luck and have fun guys!!! 

Astros Minor League Player and Pitchers of the Week: Week Two

Welcome to Week Two of my newest feature focusing on outstanding Astros minor league performances from the prior week. The nominees and winners for Player and Pitchers of the week for Sunday, 4/6 through Saturday, 4/12 are as follows:

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Several players were outstanding in smaller sample sizes (limited number of games or at-bats), including Quad Cities' Jack Mayfield and Jobduan Morales and Corpus Christi's Tyler Heineman and Jio Mier. Quad Cities OF James Ramsay only had 19 at-bats in 5 games, but he made the most of them, hitting .368/.520/.526 with a double, a triple, an RBI, five walks and five stolen bases.

Here are some of the noteworthy performances for those with at least 5 games and 20 at-bats. Stats are for the week only and are not cumulative for the season.

Tony Kemp (Lancaster)
.370/.452/.518
10R 2B HR 7RBI 3BB 2SO 3SB 2CS

Jon Singleton (Oklahoma City)
.320/.414/.680
7R 3-2B 2HR 11RBI 4BB 7SO E

Gregorio Petit (Oklahoma City)
.433/.485/.633
5R 3-2B HR 3BB 7SO 2CS 2E

George Springer (Oklahoma City)
.333/.455/.629
9R 3-2B 3B HR 3RBI 6BB 8SO 4SB

Austin Wates (Oklahoma City)
.354/.444/.613
9R 3-2B 3B HR 3RBI 5BB 4SO 4SB

Kike Hernandez (Corpus Christi)
.476/.523/.714
5R 2-2B HR 5RBI 1BB 2SO

Matt Duffy (Corpus Christi)
.458/.458/.625
3R 4-2B 6RBI 0BB 5SO E

Any and all of those nominees are worthy of Player of the Week, but our winner took it to another level in Week Two. And, in case you're wondering, the four triples is not a typo. Teoscar Hernandez had more triples in one week than most players will have in a full season.

Teoscar Hernandez (Lancaster)
.407/.484/.852
7R 2B 4-3B HR 8RBI 4BB 4SO 3SB 1CS E

Teoscar Hernandez - April 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: OF TEOSCAR HERNANDEZ

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

STARTING (TANDEM) PITCHER OF THE WEEK

This was absolutely the hardest category for me to pick a winner. I had to limit the nominees some way so I only nominated those who had at least two outings during the week which unfortunately left fine performances from Oklahoma City's Paul Clemens and Corpus Christi's Ross Seaton out in the cold. With that said, it was still ridiculously difficult to chose among the following. Stats are for the week only and are not cumulative for the season.

Jake Buchanan (Oklahoma City) - 1 win
1.13 ERA/0.750 WHIP
8IP 6H 1R/1ER 0BB 7SO

Kyle Westwood (Lancaster) - 1 save
1.00 ERA/0.889 WHIP
9IP 6H 2R/1ER 2BB 9SO

Tommy Shirley (Corpus Christi) - 1 win, 1 loss
1.00 ERA/1.000 WHIP
9IP 7H 3R/1ER 2BB 10SO

Gonzalo Sanudo (Quad Cities) - 2 wins
0.00 ERA/1.000 WHIP
6IP 4H 0R 2BB 5SO

OK, here is where it gets REALLY difficult.

Brady Rodgers (Corpus Christi) - 1 save
1.00 ERA/0.778 WHIP
9IP 6H 1R/1ER 1BB 8SO
Pitched 5 no-hit innings with one walk in one of his outings

CORRECTION:
I transposed some numbers and totally messed up on Vincent Velasquez' totals. Velasquez should have been my Pitcher of the Week, but since David Martinez also had such a terrific week, I'll just have to make them co-winners. Blame my senility and bad handwriting!

Vincent Velasquez (Lancaster) - 2 wins
0.00 ERA/0.111 WHIP
9IP 1H 0R 0BB 9SO
Pitched 4 perfect innings in one of his outings

David Martinez (Oklahoma City) - 2 wins
0.00 ERA/.0.444 WHIP
9IP 3H 0R 1BB 7SO
Pitched 5 perfect innings in one of his outings

David Martinez - May 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

STARTING (TANDEM) PITCHERS OF THE WEEK: RHP DAVID MARTINEZ AND RHP VINCENT VELASQUEZ

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

RELIEF PITCHER OF THE WEEK

In limiting the relief nominees, I went for those who either made two appearances or pitched multiple innings. There were still several standouts. Again, stats are for the week only and are not cumulative.

Mitch Lambson (Lancaster) - 1 save, 1 win
0.00 ERA/1.333 WHIP
3IP 3H 0R 1BB 2SO

Travis Ballew (Corpus Christi) - 2 saves
0.00 ERA/1.285 WHIP
2.1IP 2H 0R 1BB 1SO
2 inherited runners/0 scored

Zach Morton (Quad Cities)
0.00 ERA/0.857 WHIP
2.1IP 2H 0R 0BB 5SO
1 inherited runner/0 scored

Patrick Christensen (Quad Cities)
0.00 ERA/0.375 WHIP
2.2IP 0H 0R 1BB 4SO
3 inherited runners/1 scored

Tyler Brunnemann (Quad Cities)
0.00 ERA/0.00 WHIP
2.1IP (1G) 0H 0R 0BB 1SO
1 inherited runner/0 scored

So, how on earth can you beat Tyler Brunnemann's terrific outing? You can have two perfect outings and get two saves in the process.

Jason Stoffel (Oklahoma City) - 2 saves
0.00 ERA/0.00 WHIP
2IP 0H 0R 0BB 3SO

Jason Stoffel - June 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

RELIEF PITCHER OF THE WEEK: RHP Jason Stoffel

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, April 13, 2014

Let's play 2 in Midland, Michigan!

Oklahoma City 4, New Orleans 3

W- Josh Zeid (2-0)
L- Chris Hatcher (0-2)

OKC home runs: Jon Singleton (4, solo in 6th), Domingo Santana (1, solo in 9th)

The RedHawks walked off with the victory as Domingo Santana played hero late. After dropping the opener, they've taken the next 2 games.

Jon Singleton and Domingo Santana had all the RBIs today. Singleton was first up; he finished a triple shy of the cycle (in 4 at-bats) and opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st, and after the Zephyrs tied the game in the top of the 6th, he untied it with a solo blast in the bottom of the inning. New Orleans took the lead with a 2-run double from Kyle Jensen in the 8th, and Chris Hatcher was on to close it out in the 9th. Santana had other ideas; he tied the game at 3 by taking Hatcher deep to begin the inning, and he had the last laugh by delivering the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. Austin Wates went 2-3 with 2 walks and a stolen base (5). Carlos Perez was 2-4, and Ruben Sosa was 2-3 with 2 steals (2).

After getting knocked around in his first appearance on the year, Nick Tropeano has settled in a bit, throwing 8 scoreless innings since then. He threw 5 shutout innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Collin McHugh went 2 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits. Jason Stoffel was victimized by the 2-run double in the 8th; he walked 1 and struck out 1. Josh Zeid got the win by throwing 2 scoreless innings, allowing a hit, walking 2, and fanning 2.

In the series finale, David Martinez and Bobby Doran will face Bryan Evans. First pitch is at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 9, Springfield 1

W- Aaron West (2-0)
L- Jonathan Cornelius (0-2)

CC home runs: Preston Tucker (2, solo in 5th), Jio Mier (2, 3-run in 5th), Delino DeShields (2, solo in 8th)

The Hooks opened up this series with a bang as they battered the Cardinals with 14 hits and scored the game's first 9 runs. 5 of the starting 9 had multi-hit games, led by DeShields and Tucker, who had 3 each. Jio Mier, Leo Heras, and Andrew Aplin had 2 apiece. Aplin opened the scoring in the 1st with an RBI single that brought DeShields home. Jio reached on a fielder's choice in the 2nd, and an error allowed 2 to score on the play. Heras stole home on a double steal in the 4th. Tucker and Mier delivered the haymakers in the 5th with their blasts, and DeShields provided the cherry with his shot in the 8th.

David Rollins issued a lead-off walk and that was the end of his day.


Jordan Jankowski came out in Rollins' stead and threw 3 scoreless, allowing only 1 hit, walking 1, and striking out 2. Aaron West tagged in and got the victory with 5 scoreless. He allowed a hit and struck out 2. Travis Ballew allowed a solo homer to James Ramsey in the 9th, but that was all the Cardinals got.

In the middle game of this series, Luis Cruz and Ross Seaton will face Kurt Heyer at 7:10.

Lake Elsinore 3, Lancaster 2 in 11 innings

W- Chris Nunn (1-1)
L- Dan Minor (0-1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks couldn't finish off the sweep as they were left to rue the miscues and missed opportunities in this game. They were just 2-15 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. In the process, they snapped a 7-game winning streak. 2 errors resulted in 2 unearned runs, including the tying run in the bottom of the 8th.

Down 1-0 in the 6th, Danry Vasquez hit a 2-run double that gave the JetHawks the lead. He, Rio Ruiz, Carlos Perdomo, and Tony Kemp all went 2-5.

Josh Hader went 5 innings and allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. That was Hader's first walk issued of the year. The unearned run came as Teoscar Hernandez misplayed a ball that was hit by Gabriel Quintana in the 1st. Chris Devenski pitched 4 innings and also allowed an unearned run on 3 hits and walked 1. Vasquez called off Kemp to catch a popup from Corey Adamson and dropped it. Adamson wound up coming home with the tying run. Dan Minor came on for the 10th and worked around a single and a walk to strike out 2 in a scoreless frame, but Diego Goris took him deep to begin the 11th to end the game.

The JetHawks will now travel to High Desert to open a 3-game set with the Mavericks. Mark Appel and Mike Hauschild will take the mound for Lancaster, and they'll take on TBA. First pitch will be at 7:05 Pacific.

Game 1: Quad Cities 11, Great Lakes 0

W- Andrew Thurman (1-2)
L- Luis Chirinos (1-1)

QC home runs: None.

Quad Cities ran roughshod over the Loons in the early afternoon, sealing the deal with an 8-0 assault over the final 3 innings. Everyone had a hit except for Jack Mayfield, who was 0-4 with a sac fly in the 5th. 8 of the 9 River Bandits in the lineup had at least 1 RBI, except for Chan-Jong Moon, who was 3-4 with 2 runs scored.

Brian Holberton opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd, although he got thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Tanner Mathis hit an RBI single of his own in the inning, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on a force out, and scored on an error as the Loons tried to pick him off. Mayfield put up the first run of the 5th with his sac fly, then they got a 2-run double from Conrad Gregor, who scored on a Tyler White double. James Ramsay hit a sac fly in the 6th, and in the 7th, Jon Kemmer added another RBI double. He would score on a Ramsay single, and Brett Phillips finished it off with an RBI single.

After a rough start to his season, Andrew Thurman got himself going with 5 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 5. Tyler Brunnemann completed the shutout; he went 2 innings and allowed 2 hits and fanned 2.

What would game 2 hold in store for Quad Cities?

Game 2: Great Lakes 5, Quad Cities 4 in 9 innings

W- Jacob Rhame (1-0)
L- Pat Christensen (0-1)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits walked off with a loss, but they still took 2 of 3 to finish with a .500 record on their first roadtrip of the year.

Chris Lee went 4.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Zach Morton pitched 3.1 scoreless and gave up 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Pat Christensen got a groundout from the first batter he faced, but the next 3 guys all reached on him, the culminaiton of which was a walk-off single from Kyle Farmer.

Brett Phillips was 2-4 with a bases-clearing triple in the 3rd. Conrad Gregor was also 2-4; he added an RBI single in the 6th.

The River Bandits will now head home, where they will host the West Michigan Whitecaps for 3 at Modern Woodmen Park. In the opener, Kent Emanuel and Jandel Gustave will take on Jeff Thompson at 7:00.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Brett Phillips, CF, Quad Cities
Game 1: 2-4, RBI, R
Game 2: 2-4, 3B, 3 RBI



2. Hooks sink Springfield



Delino DeShields, CF, Corpus Christi
3-4, 2B, solo HR (2), 2 R



Preston Tucker, LF, Corpus Christi
3-5, solo HR (2)



Jio Mier, SS/3B, Corpus Christi
2-4, 3-R HR (2)




1 (tie). ALL THE RUNS BATTED IN!!!!!!!!!




Domingo Santana, LF, Oklahoma City
2-4, game-tying solo HR (1) in 9th, walk-off RBI single in 10th



Jon Singleton, 1B, Oklahoma City
3-4, 2B, solo HR (4), 2 RBI


Honorable Mentions: Austin Wates, Leo Heras, Danry Vasquez, Conrad Gregor, Andrew Aplin


Three Stars: Pitchers

3.



Andrew Thurman, RHP, Quad Cities
W (1-2), 5 IP, 4 H, 5 K


2.




Nick Tropeano, RHP, Oklahoma City
W (1-1), 5 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K



1.




Aaron West, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (2-0), 5 IP, H, 2 K

Honorable Mentions: Jordan Jankowski, Tyler Brunnemann, Josh Zeid, Josh Hader, Zach Morton, Chris Devenski