Saturday, May 10, 2014

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few more moves came dribbling in this afternoon:

OKLAHOMA CITY
OF Austin Wates activated from the DL

LANCASTER
RHP Richard Rodriguez assigned from Oklahoma City to Lancaster
1B Bobby Borchering activated from the DL
RHP Kyle Westwood placed on the temporary inactive list
OF Dan Gulbransen placed on the temporary inactive list

Beat the Streak, May 10

OK, it's been twice that I've gotten a streak going, coming off +1 days, so I will recuse myself from those, in the event that I end up forgetting a day.

I got a 2-run double from Ronald Torreyes in OKC to send my streak to 2. So did pacbellpilgrim, only he chose Carlos Correa. Baseball Mom also has a 2-game streak going, thanks to Chan-Jong Moon's RBI triple in the 7th for Quad Cities.

Jayne got half of a double down with a Joe Sclafani single, but Domingo Santana went 0-4.

Daniel Nelson was the beneficiary of Tony Kemp's rampage and Teoscar Hernandez's 8-game hitting streak, and he's now on a 5-game streak.

Today, I'm going to go with Tyler White.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Colorado Springs, 7:05
Corpus Christi @ Frisco, 7:05
Lancaster @ High Desert, 9:05
Quad Cities vs. Beloit, 6:00

Current Active Streaks

Daniel Nelson- 5

pacbellpilgrim, Baseball Mom, and Me- tied at 2

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, May 9, 2014

Believe in DeShields.





Oklahoma City 3, Memphis 2

W- Bobby Doran (1-2)
L- Boone Whiting (0-5)
S- Kevin Chapman (1)

OKC home runs: None.

For the first time this season, the RedHawks have won a home series. Before that, they lost 3 of 4 in one series (to Nashville) and split the other 2 (Round Rock and New Orleans).

After Audry Perez put Memphis on the board first with a sac fly in the top of the 2nd, Robbie Grossman put OKC on the board by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the inning. Ronald Torreyes had the only extra-base hit for the RedHawks, but it was a big one, as his 2-run double in the 3rd proved to be the difference.

Bobby Doran and 3 relievers held the Redbirds to 3 hits in this one. Well, Doran allowed everything, but the relievers kept Memphis at bay. Doran went 6 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Raúl Valdés got the first 2 outs of the 7th, striking out 1. Josh Fields, in his first outing since being optioned, pitched a scoreless inning (final out of the 7th, first 2 outs of the 8th) and walked 1. Kevin Chapman got the 4-out save; he worked around a walk to Randal Grichuk to lead off the 9th. He erased Grichuk by getting  double play and struck out Stephen Biscotti Piscotty to end it.

The RedHawks will welcome Colorado Springs to Bricktown for 4 beginning at 7:05. Rudy Owens (2-1, 4.32) will start the opener against Pedro Hernandez (1-0, 8.34).

Frisco 6, Corpus Christi 2

W- Alec Asher (3-3)
L- Kyle Smith (0-2, 4-2 season)

CC home runs: Delino DeShields 2 (4, solo in 1st, solo in 3rd)

Well, the Hooks got dropped by the Roughriders. But, the story of the night was Delino DeShields, who was playing in his first game since April 18, when he was drilled in the face in Frisco.

In his first game back at the scene of the crime, DeShields was the Hooks offense. He kicked off the game by taking Alec Asher deep, and he took Asher deep again in the 3rd. Corpus Christi also had 3 singles from Andrew Aplin, Preston Tucker, and Joe Sclafani.

Kyle Smith went 3.2 innings and gave up 4 runs on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 6. Alex Sogard was the first man out of the bullpen and went 1.2 innings, giving up 2 runs (both inherited runners that were charged to him) on 2 hits, walking 2, and striking out 1. Pat Urckfitz got the final 2 outs of the 6th and allowed 2 of the 3 runners he inherited from Sogard to score on a bases-loaded walk and a sac fly. Michael Dimock allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless.

The Hooks will look to get on the board in this series as they send out Tommy Shirley (3-2, 1.60) to face a rehabbing Joe Saunders (0-0, 4.50) in game 3. First pitch is at 7:05.

High Desert 5, Lancaster 3

W- Scott DeCecco (2-2)
L- Vince Velasquez (4-1)
S- Grady Wood (1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks were once again stymied by the lefty, DeCecco, but they did get to him with 3 in the 7th. They also hit into 4 inning-ending double plays (including the game-ender) and didn't strand any baserunners.

Tony Kemp posted his 4th straight multi-hit game, going 3-4 with a double and a run scored. He led off the 7th with a single, then moved to 3rd on a Teoscar Hernandez double. Carlos Correa finally unshackled the JetHawks from DeCecco's grasp with a 2-run double. Rio Ruiz would bring him in with a single one batter later. With that double, Hernandez is now on an 8-game hitting streak, which ties a season-best. He had an 8-game streak from April 13-22. Correa has a 7-game hitting streak of his own; he's got a hit in 12 of his last 13 contests.

Vince Velasquez went 3 innings and the only hit he allowed was a solo homer to Jordy Lara in the 2nd. He walked 1 and struck out 4. Kyle Westwood pitched 5 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Westwood also induced 12 groundouts. Entering this game, Westwood had a 66.7% groundball rate, according to MLBFarm.com.

In the middle game of this series, Kent Emanuel (0-0, 9.64; 0-2, 3.71 season) and Lance McCullers (1-2, 3.86) will take on Dylan Unsworth (2-2, 4.80) at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 5, Beloit 1

W- Adrian Houser (1-1)
L- Chris Lamb (0-1)
S- Chris Cotton (1)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits won the series behind a strong performance from Adrian Houser, who got his first win since August 18, 2012, when he threw 5 shutout innings for Greeneville against Burlington. They've won this series.

Houser tossed 6 shutout innings and allowed 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 7. Albert Minnis got 2 outs in the 7th (both via strikeout), but a hit and 2 walks knocked him out of the game. Tyler Brunnemann came on and got the Bandits out of the inning by striking out Tyler Marincov, who had a golden sombrero. He went 2 innings and the only run he allowed came in the form of a solo homer by Sam Roberts. That snapped a 16.1 inning scoreless streak that Brunnemann was on; he hadn't allowed a run since Opening Day. He allowed one other hit, walked 3, and struck out 3. Brunnemann left the bases loaded for Chris Cotton, who struck out Jaycob Brugman to end it.

QC got on the board first with a pair in the 1st. James Ramsay walked to lead off the inning, stole 2nd (9), and scored on an RBI double from Chase McDonald. Brian Holberton added an RBI single to bring McDonald home. Thomas Lindauer singled to begin the 5th, stole 2nd (1), and scored all the way from 2nd on a Chan-Jong Moon fielder's choice. After Ramsay drew a 1-out walk in the 7th, he scored on a Moon triple. White brought Moon home for the final Bandits run of the night on a sac fly. McDonald and Holberton had 2 hits apiece. Moon also added a steal (10).

The River Bandits will go for the sweep as Andrew Thurman (2-2, 5.40) takes on Dylan Covey (2-2, 3.97). First pitch is at 6:00.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Chase McDonald, 1B, Quad Cities
2-3, 2B, RBI, R



2.



Tony Kemp, 2B, Lancaster
3-4, 2B, R; 4 straight multi-hit games



1.



Delino DeShields, CF, Corpus Christi
2-4, 2 solo HR (4); first game since April 18



Three Stars: Pitchers

3.



Bobby Doran, RHP, Oklahoma City
W (1-2), 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 earned), 2 BB, 3 K



2.



Vince Velasquez, RHP, Lancaster
L (4-1), 3 IP, H (solo HR), ER, BB, 4 K



1.



Adrian Houser, RHP, Quad Cities
W (1-1), 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 7 K

Happy Birthday - 5/10

No future Astros with birthdays today, but three former Astros mark the day ~

C Merritt Ranew (died October 18, 2011 at 73)
Drafted by Houston from Milwaukee in the 1961 expansion draft, Ranew played in 71 games for the Colt .45's in 1962 before being traded to the Cubs in March of 1963. Check out this very interesting story about Ranew being hit on the head with a bat during an in-game fracas during his time in the Seattle Pilots system.

LHP Pete Schourek (45)
A second round signing by the Mets in 1987, Shourek started 15 games for Houston in 1998, with a 7-6 record, a 4.50 ERA and a 1.475 WHIP. He came in second in Cy Young voting to Greg Maddux in 1995.

CF Glen Barker (43)
Barker came to Houston as a Rule 5 pick from Detroit in 1998. In 235 games played for the Astros in 1998 through 2000, Barker only had 197 plate appearances with a .232/.330/.323 batting line.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, May 9, 2014

Beat the Streak, May 9

Yeah, I'm slipping. I had a final exam yesterday and this totally slipped my mind. Here's another +1 day for everyone!

Well, I chose Domingo Santana on Wednesday, and he went 0-4. Jayne went with Jack Mayfield, and although he drove in a run, walked twice, and scored, he was 0-3. Baseball Mom stuck with Brett Phillips, and while he did score twice, he didn't reach base via hit, going 0-2.

pacbellpilgrim was the beneficiary of Teoscar Hernandez's tear at the plate, although he only (only) went 1-3.

Yesterday, Daniel Nelson chose Jon Singleton and Tyler White. All they did was take the AAA homer lead (Singleton) and deliver a 3rd consecutive multi-hit game (White). So we have a new king of the mountain entering tonight's games. Rip Noblin got half of a double down with Rio Ruiz going 1-5, but Dan Gulbransen was 0-4.

Today, I'll go with Ronald Torreyes.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Memphis, 7:05
Corpus Christi @ Frisco, 7:05
Lancaster @ High Desert, 9:05
Quad Cities vs. Beloit, 7:00

Current Active Streaks

Daniel Nelson- 3

pacbellpilgrim and everyone else- tied at 1

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, May 8, 2014

Oklahoma City 8, Memphis 3

W- David Martinez (4-2)
L- Scott McGregor (0-5)

OKC home runs: Jon Singleton (11, 2-run in 4th)

After getting their winning streak in late morning/early afternoon games snapped, the RedHawks came back to batter the Redbirds, jumping out to a 7-2 lead after the 4th inning.

Everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Robbie Grossman, who walked, scored a run, and stole a base (3) despite going 0-4. The steal (and eventually, the run) occurred in the 1st inning; he ended up on 3rd because the throw from Memphis catcher Ed Easley was errant. Grossman would score the first RedHawks run on a wild pitch from Scott McGregor, which also doubled as a walk to Kiké Hernandez. In the 2nd, OKC got a pair of RBI singles from Erik Castro and Jon Singleton, and Domingo Santana cracked a 2-run double. Singleton, who finished 3-5 with a couple of runs scored, added a 2-run blast (11) in the 4th. His 11 home runs are 2nd in the Minors to Arlington's Joey Gallo, who has 12 in Class A Advanced. Andy Simunic drove in the final RedHawks run of the evening on an RBI single in the 7th. Hernandez hit a double and scored twice.

David Martinez went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2. Rhiner Cruz allowed a hit and fanned 1 over 2 scoreless. Kevin Chapman allowed a single to Stephen Piscotty to lead off the 8th, but struck out Scott Moore and induced an inning-ending double play from Joey Butler. Jason Stoffel walked Pete Kozma to begin the 9th, but promptly erased him from the bases by getting Easley to GIDP, and Luis Mateo grounded out to Singleton to end it.

In the series finale, Bobby Doran (0-2, 6.83) will take on Boone Whiting (0-4, 5.06) at 7:05.

Frisco 5, Corpus Christi 3

W- Keone Kela (1-0)
L- Luis Cruz (3-3)
S- Phil Klein (1)

Corpus was done in by a 4-run bottom of the 3rd after they left the bases loaded in the top of the inning.

Luis Cruz pitched 4 innings and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits (3-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 3. Jordan Jankowski tagged in for 3 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and fanned 3. Andrew Robinson worked around a single and a walk to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1.

M.P. Cokinos finished 2-3 and put the Hooks on the board with an RBI single in the 4th. Matt Duffy was 1-5 with an RBI double in the 5th and a sac fly in the 9th. Nolan Fontana and Andrew Aplin joined Cokinos in the 2-hit club. Both of them drew a walk; Aplin scored a run.

Kyle Smith (0-1, 10.80 with Corpus, 4-1, 3.86 season) will take on Alec Asher (2-3, 4.41) in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:05.

Lancaster 3, Lake Elsinore 2

W- Dan Minor (3-1)
L- Cody Hebner (2-1)
S- Tyson Perez (1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

After dropping the opener, the JetHawks took the next 3 games and emerged with the lead in the California League South at the end of the 1st quarter of the season. My night was made when Astros Director of Pro Scouting Kevin Goldstein, who was making a guest appearance in the 6th and 7th innings, plugged Hello Panda cookies. If I'm not mistaken, it's a season-long promotion. Oh great, I feel like getting some. Try the strawberry ones, they're marvelous.

Um... sorry for the sidebar. As for the game, in the words of Morgan Ensberg, Tony Kemp is a Really Good Player. He had a perfect night at the plate, going 4-4 with a double to begin the game, an RBI single in the 7th, and scored 2 of the 3 JetHawks runs. Kemp's .448 on-base percentage leads the California League and is the 5th-best mark in Class A Advanced.

Teoscar Hernandez is now on a 7-game hitting streak, and he's posted multiple hits in 4 of his last 5 contests, not 4 straight as I originally tweeted last night. He went 3-4 with an RBI double in the 3rd. Carlos Correa kicked things off with an RBI single in the 1st and added a steal (6).

Mike Hauschild had a solid outing, as he allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 5 innings. He also recorded 8 groundball outs, which is something he's rather adept at doing. Dan Minor, ever since that nightmare outing in which he gave up 5 runs (4 earned) while only getting 1 out on April 18, has now thrown 8.1 scoreless innings over 6 appearances. He got the victory as he allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless. Tyson Perez finished the final 2 innings and gave up a hit, walked 1, and fanned 4.

The JetHawks will be spending the weekend in beautiful Adelanto, where they'll take on High Desert in a 3-game set. Vince Velasquez (4-0, 2.88) will take on Scott DeCecco (1-2, 6.12) at 7:05 Pacific. Velasquez will face the Mavericks for the 3rd time this season; conversely, this is the 3rd time that the JetHawks will see DeCecco on the mound.

Quad Cities 6, Beloit 5

W- Zach Morton (2-1)
L- Stuart Pudenz (0-3)
S- Andrew Walter (3)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits rallied from a couple of 3-run deficits (down 3-0 after 4 innings and 5-2 after 7.5) and finally completed the comeback with 4 in the bottom of the 8th.

Michael Feliz, who was activated from the DL prior to this game, started off with 2 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 2. Pat Christensen went 2 innings and allowed 3 runs (all in the 4th) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Gonzalo Sañudo was next up; he went 2.2 innings and allowed a run (inherited runner charged to him) on 2 hits, walked 2 (!!!!!!, but 1 was intentional), and struck out 2. Zach Morton pitched 1.1 innings and allowed a run (his own; he allowed 1 of the 2 he inherited from Sañudo to score in the 7th) on 3 hits and struck out 1. Andrew Walter finished it off, striking out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Brett Phillips tripled to lead off the 5th for QC and scored on a groundout by Chan-Jong Moon. Conrad Gregor began the 6th with a double and would come home on Ronnie Mitchell's single.

The first 3 batters in the bottom of the 8th reached: Jack Mayfield singled, Gregor walked, and Tyler White drove in Mayfield with a single. They both advanced on a sac bunt from Mitchell, and then Brian Holberton hit a sac fly to score Gregor. Jobduan Morales tied the game at 5 with an RBI double, and Phillips gave the Banditos the lead with an RBI double of his own. White finished 2-4; it's his 3rd consecutive multi-hit game. Phillips and Mayfield also had 2 hits each. Moon had a stolen base (9).

The middle game of this series features TBA (?-?, ?.??) for the River Bandits going up against Chris Lamb (0-0, 2.25). First pitch is at 7:00.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Teoscar Hernandez, CF, Lancaster
3-4, 2B, RBI



2.



Jon Singleton, 1B, Oklahoma City
3-5, 2-R HR (11), 3 RBI, 2 R



1.



Tony Kemp, 2B, Lancaster
4-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R


Honorable Mentions: Brett Phillips, M.P. Cokinos, Tyler White


Three Stars: Pitchers

3.



Michael Feliz, RHP, Quad Cities
2 IP, H, BB, 2 K; first outing since coming off DL


2. OKC's bullpen slams it shut.



Rhiner Cruz, RHP
2 IP, H, K




Kevin Chapman, LHP
IP, H, K



Jason Stoffel, RHP
IP, BB



1. Lancaster relievers preserve lead.



Dan Minor, RHP
W (2-1), 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K



Tyson Perez, RHP
Save (1), 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K


Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few transactions to report from yesterday (and one I had missed from earlier):

UPDATE: RHP Paul Clemens has been recalled from Oklahoma City to Houston and LHP Brett Oberholtzer has been optioned to Oklahoma City, effective 5/9.

CORPUS CHRISTI
UPDATE: RHP Mike Hauschild assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi (5/9)
RHP R.J. Alaniz to the 7-day DL, retroactive to 5/4
RHP Troy Scribner to the DL
OF Delino DeShields activated from the DL
1B/DH Telvin Nash activated from the temporary inactive list

LANCASTER
I hadn't seen this but suspected that 1B Brandon Merdith was on the DL because he hadn't been in the line-up lately. He went on the 7-day DL on 5/4.

Also, this hasn't been reported officially yet, but OF Marc Wik tweeted that he is on his way from Corpus Christi to Lancaster. UPDATE: It's now officially been reported.

QUAD CITIES
RHP Michael Feliz activated from the DL

Also, Edison Frias and Kevin Comer have been assigned to Extended Spring Training. I learned last year that doesn't always mean that they are being moved physically to Kissimmee, but it removes them from the active roster.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Astros Minor League Snapshot

We are now five weeks in to the minor league season (is that all?!?!). Let's take a look at where things stand.

OKLAHOMA CITY

2nd    18-16    .529    1.5GB    L1

The Redhawks are currently one and a half games behind the first place Iowa Cubs and two games ahead of third place Colorado Springs Sky Sox (all in the American Northern Division). They play two more at home against the third place American Southern Division Memphis Redbirds (16-17) before continuing the homestand with four games against Colorado Springs (15-17). That will be followed by Oklahoma City's second off day of the season next Wednesday. The RedHawks are 3-3 against Memphis and 2-2 against Colorado Springs in their encounters this season.

Despite being in a bit of a slump, Jon Singleton is still in the top 10 in the league in slugging percentage, runs scored, walks and is tied for first place with his 10 home runs. Austin Wates is still in the top 10 in stolen bases despite a prolonged DL list stint. Rudy Owens and Nick Tropeano are in the top 10 in WHIP and Tropeano comes in just outside the top 10 with an 11th place ERA. The newly promoted Josh Zeid is in the top 10 in saves.

Here is how cumulative team stats stack up in the league in a few major categories:

BA - 8th (out of 16 teams)
OBP - 9th
SLG - tied for 8th
ERA - 4th
WHIP - 2nd

CORPUS CHRISTI

3rd    17-15    .531    3.0GB    W2

In the South Division, the Hooks trail Frisco by three games and Midland by two and a half games. After an abbreviated off day followed by an overnight bus ride, the Hooks will play four games on the road against Frisco (20-12) starting today, followed by four games in San Antonio against the 4th place Missions (13-18). Corpus Christi has a 3-5 record against Frisco and a 3-1 record against San Antonio this season.

The top 10 list of league leaders in offensive categories is littered with Hooks players ... Preston Tucker (BA, SLG, R, H, RBI, T1st in 2B, T2nd in HR); Andrew Aplin (BA, OBP, R, H, RBI, 1st in BB); Nolan Fontana (OBP, T1st in 2B, BB); Matt Duffy (2B, RBI); Leo Heras (BB, T1st in 3B); and Delino DeShields (SB). Tommy Shirley, Luis Cruz and Brady Rodgers are all top 10 ERA leaders. Cruz and Shirley are also in the top 10 in WHIP, with Rodgers closely trailing in 11th place. Shirley and Rodgers are in the top 10 in strikeouts as well.

Here is how cumulative team stats stack up in the league in a few major categories:

BA - 2nd (out of 8 teams)
OBP - 1st
SLG - 1st
ERA - 2nd
WHIP - 3rd

LANCASTER

T1st    20-14    .588    -.-GB    W2

With last night's win against Lake Elsinore, Lancaster moved into a tie for first (in the South Division) with that team. They play one more game in the current series at Lake Elsinore who they currently lead 7-4 in the season series before heading to High Desert (19-15) for a weekend series. High Desert trails Lancaster in the standings by only one game. Lancaster and High Desert are tied 5-5 in their season series. After a well-deserved off day on Monday, Lancaster will play three at home against the red-hot Bakersfield Blaze. The Blaze are tops in the North Division with a 26-8 record and have won their last seven games in a row. It will be the two teams first meeting of the season.

The JetHawks team is well-represented on the top 10 list in offensive categories ... Tony Kemp (BA, OBP, H, 3B, BB, SB, 1st in R); Teoscar Hernandez (SLG, R, RBI, SB, 1st in 3B); Rio Ruiz (H, 2B); Danry Vasquez (2B); and Carlos Perdomo (3B). Josh Hader and the recently promoted Kyle Smith are in the top 10 in ERA and WHIP, and are joined by Kyle Westwood in the latter category. Hader, Lance McCullers and Chris Devenski are in the top 10 in strikeouts. Jamaine Cotton is in the top 10 in saves.

Here is how cumulative team stats stack up in the league in a few major categories:

BA - 4th (out of 10 teams)
OBP - 2nd
SLG - 6th
ERA - 6th
WHIP - 1st

QUAD CITIES

T6th    14-18    .438    8.5GB    W2

Quad Cities is currently tied with Wisconsin for sixth place in the 8-team division, eight and a half games out of first. Kane County leads the pack with a fairly comfortable four-game lead in the Western League. The River Bandits will face off against 8th place Beloit (13-19) in a three-game series at home starting tonight; they are 1-2 against Beloit in their previous encounters. After a day off on Sunday, they will head to Wisconsin for three games. It will be the first meeting of the two teams this season.

Top 10 offensive leaders in the league include Chan Moon (BA, OBP, R, 3B); Tyler White (BA, OBP); Tanner Mathis (OBP); James Ramsay (3B); Brett Phillips (3B); and Conrad Gregor (BB). None of the Quad Cities pitchers appear in the top 10 in ERA or WHIP, but look for that to change as Gonzalo Sanudo (0.86 ERA and 0.810 WHIP) gets stretched out and amasses enough innings to qualify as a league leader. Andrew Thurman is the top strikeout artist on the team and is tied for 12th place in the league in that category.

Here is how cumulative team stats stack up in the league in a few major categories:

BA - 1st (out of 16 teams)
OBP - 1st
SLG - 1st
ERA - 6th
WHIP - 9th

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Did OKC Matinee Magic happen again?

Memphis 8, Oklahoma City 1

W- Zach Petrick (2-1)
L- Nick Tropeano (1-3)

OKC home runs: None.

No more Matinee Magic. The RedHawks' 10-game winning streak in games that start before noon came to a halt.

Before the RedHawks bullpen got swamped in the final 2 frames, they were trailing 2-1, and all the scoring came in the 2nd. Memphis scored a pair in the top of the inning, and OKC responded with an RBI single from Carlos Perez in the bottom of the frame. That turned out to be the only run the RedHawks could muster up.

Nick Tropeano pitched 6.2 innings and the only dent on his final line was a 2-run homer for Tommy Pham in the top of the 2nd. He allowed 3 other hits and struck out a season-high 8. Richard Rodriguez got the final out of the 7th, but.... it all went horribly wrong in the 8th. All 3 Redbirds he faced reached, and all of them scored after he left. Chia-Jen Lo retired the side in the 8th, but not before he allowed all 3 inherited runners to score. He also gave up a run of his own on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Raúl Valdés served up a 2-run homer to Luis Mateo in the 9th.

David Martinez will get the start in game 3; he'll face Scott McGregor at 7:05.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks are headed up to Frisco to begin a 4-game series. In the opener, Luis Cruz and Jordan Jankowski will take on Kyle Lotzkar. First pitch is at 7:05.

Lancaster 3, Lake Elsinore 1

W- J.D. Osborne (1-1)
L- Colin Rea (3-1)
S- Jamaine Cotton (4)

Lancaster home runs: None.

All the scoring in this game occurred in the 2nd. The JetHawks bullpen threw 5 innings and quelled the Storm, holding them to just 1 hit over those 5 innings.

Lancaster's 3 all came with 2 outs in the 2nd. Ruben Sosa hit a double and came around to score on Jordan Scott's single. Scott's last 3 RBIs have been Sosa, and all 3 have come via single. Teoscar Hernandez and Carlos Correa followed that up with RBI singles of their own. Hernandez is now on a 6-game hitting streak. Jordan Scott and Tony Kemp both went 2-3 in this one.

Brian Holmes got the start and allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6 over 4 innings. J.D. Osborne struck out 2 over 2 perfect innings, Mitch Lambson allowed a hit and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless, and Jamaine Cotton finished it with a 1-2-3 9th.

In the series finale, Mike Hauschild will take on Bryan Rodriguez at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 7, Cedar Rapids 3

W- Edison Frias (1-1)
L- Yorman Landa (3-1)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits were down 3-0 after 2 innings, but they ran off 7 unanswered late to take the series. The offense was stymied by Kohl Stewart, but after he left, they feasted on the Kernels bullpen. Well, they didn't unleash a barrage of extra-base hits, but they sure wore out the Cedar Rapids bullpen.

They tied the game with 3 in the 6th... without recording a hit. Ronnie Mitchell drew a 1-out walk, and after Chase McDonald struck out for the 2nd out, QC drew 5 consecutive walks. James Ramsay's BB, which was the 3rd in a row, put them on the board, and after a pitching change, Chan-Jong Moon (4th in a row) walked in another run. Brett Phillips scored the tying run on a passed ball. Jack Mayfield was the 5th consecutive batter to reach on a BB in the inning.

The Bandits took control in the 8th with 4 runs, and this time, they put the ball in play for 3 of those runs. With 1 out in the inning, Phillips was hit by a pitch, then moved to 3rd on Ramsay's double. Moon drew his 4th walk of the night to load the bases, and Mayfield took Phillips' spot on the basepaths by walking him in. Conrad Gregor added a sac fly, and Tyler White and Ronnie Mitchell followed it up with RBI singles. White and Mitchell had 3 hits apiece, while Ramsay finished 2-4. Phillips, despite going 0-2, scored twice.

Evan Grills went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 8 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Edison Frias got the victory with 3 scoreless. He allowed a hit, walked 2, and fanned 2. Andrew Walter worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 9th.

Quad Cities will welcome Beloit to town for a 3-game set. In the opener, TBA (QC hasn't announced starters for this series yet) will take on Kingwood native and Texas State product Kyle Finnegan. First pitch is at 7:00.

Happy Birthday - 5/8

No future Astros with birthdays today, but two former Astros mark the day ~

LHP Mike Cuellar (died April 2, 2010 at 72)
The Cuban born Cuellar was signed by Cincinnati in 1957 and came to Houston in a trade with the Cardinals in June 1965. In 127 games (88 starts) for Houston from 1965 to 1968, Cuellar was 37-36 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.162 WHIP (with one All Star nod) before being traded to Baltimore. In eight seasons with Baltimore, Cuellar was a three-time All Star winner and one-time Cy Young Winner.

2B Dave Rohde (50)
Drafted in the 5th round by Houston in 1986, Rohde played in 88 games for Houston in 1990 and 1991. Despite hitting .353 at AAA in 1990 and .372 in AAA in 1991, he only managed a collective .165 batting average during his time in Houston during those two seasons.

Tweets of the Day


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Beat the Streak, May 7

Jon Singleton drew 2 walks, but also went 0-2. So, I'm stuck in the mud. 

Brett Phillips got the day off, so Baseball Mom was back at the start for another night. 

Rip Noblin got half of a double down with Jobduan Morales, but Andy Simunic went 0-3. The same went for pacbellpilgrim, who got an RBI single from Max Stassi, but Ronald Torreyes was 0-4.

Jayne was the only person to rise from the ashes of all these broken streaks, as Tony Kemp came through with a 2-run double and Carlos Correa hit a single in the nick of time (it came in the top of the 9th) in Lake Elsinore.

Today, I'll go with Domingo Santana.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Memphis, 11:05 AM
Lancaster @ Lake Elsinore, 8:05
Quad Cities vs. Cedar Rapids, 7:00

Current Active Streak

Jayne, 2

Season's Best Streak

Rip Noblin, 8


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, April 6, 2014

Sweep!




Oklahoma City 2, Memphis 0

W- Jake Buchanan (2-3)
L- Tim Cooney (3-2)
S- Josh Zeid (5)

OKC home runs: None.

In a crisp 2:10, the RedHawks blanked the Redbirds in the opener as Jake Buchanan and 3 relievers combined on a 6-hit shutout.

Buchanan started off with 7 shutout innings and gave up 5 hits while striking out 5. Rhiner Cruz and Kevin Chapman combined to throw 7 pitches in the 8th. Cruz threw 4 pitches as got the first 2 outs of the inning. The 2 outs came on 1 pitch, and in between, he allowed a 1-out single to Kolten Wong; that at-bat lasted 2 pitches. Kevin Chapman came on and struck out Oscar Taveras on 3 pitches to end the inning. Josh Zeid threw a 1-2-3 9th, striking out Audry Perez to end the game.

OKC's runs came in the 4th on a pair of RBI singles from Max Stassi and Carlos Perez. All 6 of OKC's hits were singles. Jon Singleton went 0-2, but had 2 of OKC's 3 walks; Kiké Hernandez had the other.

In game 2 of this series, Nick Tropeano will face Zach Petrick at 11:05 A.M. The RedHawks have won 10 straight games that have started before noon.

Corpus Christi 8, San Antonio 0

W- Matt Heidenreich (1-0)
L- Josh Geer (1-4)
S- Brady Rodgers (2)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks took 3 of 4 in the series as they swamped the Missions early. They only scored in 2 innings, but they put up crooked numbers in both of them. Everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Jio Mier. Nolan Fontana (2-run double), Andrew Aplin (RBI single, run), Matt Duffy (3-run triple), Preston Tucker (run), and Marc Wik (double, 2 runs, HBP) all had 2 hits; Wik and René Garcia scored 2 runs apiece. Tyler Heineman went 1-2 with a run scored; he's now on a 10-game hitting streak.

Tucker led off the 2nd inning with a single, advanced to 2nd on a Jio Mier groundout, then made his way to 3rd on a Heineman single, and he would score the first run of the night on Garcia's single. The catchers would be joined on the basepaths by Wik, who got plunked. Joe Sclafani drew a bases-loaded walk, and then Fontana ripped a 2-run double. Aplin wrapped up the scoring in the 2nd inning with a sac fly. Duffy put the finishing touches on the game as he cleared the bases with a triple in the 8th.

Matt Heidenreich started off with 5 shutout innings, allowing 6 hits, walking 1, and striking out 5. Brady Rodgers completed the shutout; he went 4 innings and allowed 2 hits while striking out 6.

After a day off, the Hooks will head up to Frisco for 4 beginning on Thursday. Luis Cruz and Jordan Jankowski will start the opener against Kyle Lotzkar at 7:05.

Lancaster 7, Lake Elsinore 2

W- Josh Hader (2-0)
L- Zach Eflin (4-2)
S- Chris Devenski (1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks led 5-0 after their half of the 4th and repaired the damage from a 2-run homer from Padres' 2013 1st-rounder Hunter Renfroe in the bottom of the 4th by getting those 2 runs back in the 6th. A night after going 0-13 with RISP, they went 6-13. They also got a couple of nice pitching performances from the pairing of Josh Hader and Chris Devenski.

Teoscar Hernandez wasted little time in extending his hitting streak to 5 games; he hit a double with 1 out in the 1st, advanced to 3rd on a Carlos Correa groundout, and scored on Rio Ruiz's single. Ruben Sosa was 2-3 with a double, a triple, and 3 runs scored. His double came in the 2nd and he eventually scored on a single from Jordan Scott. Tony Kemp went 2-5 with a 2-run double in the 4th, and Hernandez's 2nd double of the evening brought him home. Sosa tripled to lead off the 6th and Scott hit another single to bring him in. Scott would score Lancaster's final run of the night on a Carlos Correa GIDP.

Josh Hader didn't mow everybody down, but he wasn't all over the place either. Last time out, he allowed just 1 hit in a scoreless outing, but he also issued 5 walks in those 4 innings. He went 5 innings and the only blemish on his line was Renfroe's 2-run shot in the 4th. Hader allowed 4 other hits (all singles), walked 1, and struck out 3. Chris Devenski shut it down as he allowed 3 hits and struck out 6 over the final 4 innings.

Brian Holmes will make his first start of the season in game 3 of this 4-game set. He'll take on Colin Rea at 6:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 10, Cedar Rapids 4

W- Chris Cotton (1-2)
L- Josue Montañez (0-1)
S- Kevin Comer (2)

QC home runs: Ronnie Mitchell (1, solo in 4th)

The River Bandits got a little OKC Matinee Magic as they jumped all over the Kernels early, taking an 8-1 lead after the 2nd inning as part of an 18-hit assault in which everyone took part. All the scoring was done by the top 5 hitters in the lineup.

QC's first 4 batters of the game all reached. James Ramsay led it off with a single and came home on a triple from Chan-Jong Moon. Jack Mayfield poked a ball through the left side of the infield to send Moon home, and Chase McDonald hit a single to put runners on the corners. Tyler White had a perfect day. The first of his 5 hits came in the form of a single that scored Mayfield.

They put up a 5-spot in the 2nd, and all 5 of those runs came with 2 outs. The following sequence sort of mirrored what happened in the 1st. Ramsay walked, then scored on Moon's 2nd triple of the day. Mayfield hit another single to score Moon. Mayfield was eventually joined on the bases by McDonald and Ronnie Mitchell, who both walked. White promptly brought them all home with a double.

Mitchell led off the 4th with a homer (1), and Ramsay doubled to begin the 5th. He scored the final QC run of the afternoon by coming home on a McDonald single. Tyler White finished 5-5 with a pair of doubles and 4 RBI. Ramsay was 3-4 with a double, 3 runs scored, 2 walks, and a steal (8). Moon had his triples and scored on both of Mayfield's singles. McDonald was the other member of the multi-hit club. Mitchell, Moon, Ramsay, and Mayfield all had multi-run days.

Jandel Gustave pitched 3.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 4, and struck out 4. The relievers picked him up with 5.2 scoreless to close it out. Chris "58%" Cotton struck out 1 over 2.2 perfect innings, and Kevin Comer finished the final 3 innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and struck out 2. I assume that Gustave and Comer (replacing Kent Emanuel) are now a pairing.

In the series finale, Evan Grills will face off against Houston native and St. Pius X product Kohl Stewart. First pitch is at 7:00.

Three Stars: Quad Cities

3.



Chris Cotton, LHP
W (1-2), 2.2 IP, K


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Kevin Comer, RHP
Save (2), 3 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K



2.



James Ramsay, CF
3-4, 2B, 3 R, 2 BB, SB (8)



1.


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Tyler White, 3B
5-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI


Man, there were so many great individual performances to choose from this game.


Three Stars: Position Players

3. Size matters.



Tony Kemp, 2B, Lancaster
2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R



Ruben Sosa, 2B/OF, Lancaster
2-3, 2B, 3B, 3 R, BB



2.



Teoscar Hernandez, CF, Lancaster
2-4, 2 2B, RBI, R



1.



Matt Duffy, 3B, Corpus Christi
2-4, 3-R 3B



Nolan Fontana, 2B/SS, Corpus Christi
2-5, 2B, 2 RBI


Three Stars: Pitchers

3.


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Josh Hader, LHP, Lancaster
W (2-0), 5 IP, 5 H (2-R HR), 2 ER, BB, 3 K



Chris Devenski, RHP, Lancaster
Save (1), 4 IP, 2 H, 6 K



2. Corpus shutout!



Matt Heidenreich, RHP
W (1-0), 5 IP, 6 H, BB, 5 K



Brady Rodgers in the 2003 Little League World Series. Yes, that's really him.

Brady Rodgers, RHP
Save (2), 4 IP, 2 H, 6 K



1. OKC shutout!



Jake Buchanan, RHP
W (2-3), 7 IP, 5 H, 5 K


Rhiner Cruz, RHP
0.2 IP, H


Kevin Chapman, LHP
0.1 IP, K


Josh Zeid, RHP
Save (5), K


An Interview with Corpus Christi Hooks OF Preston Tucker

I first talked to Preston Tucker last May in Lancaster and saw him again later in the season. I don't know if Preston has changed since we first met or if he just feels more comfortable talking with me ... probably a little bit of both. But I definitely sensed a change in him. When we spoke last weekend in Corpus Christi, I got an impression of confidence that I hadn't seen before, a sense that he belongs and he knows that he belongs. Not cockiness by any stretch of the imagination. Just quiet confidence.

Preston Tucker - April 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Jeff Albert, the Astros Minor League Hitting Coordinator, was also in Corpus Christi last weekend. I spoke with him briefly about Tucker and Andrew Aplin. The thing that stands out for Albert is that, although Tucker and Aplin have both had some pretty good success so far, neither player is content to rest on their laurels. They are both very hard workers and are always striving to improve.

I also talked with Corpus Christi Hooks Manager Keith Bodie about Tucker. "Very, very, very big bat potential in the middle of the line-up. Hits the ball as hard as any human being I've seen in a long time. His defense has improved tremendously. Very conscientious. Just needs to continue to play and hone his swing and his plate discipline, and swing at pitches early in the count that he can drive.

"I see Tino Martinez in his swing when he swings. For a left-handed hitter, he's not your typical low ball hitter. His bat stays in the zone for a long time. He's got a flat swing. That's why he runs into a lot of balls and he doesn't swing and miss a lot. He only misses when he overswings occasionally, but he's pretty good."

I asked Tucker what he felt like he had accomplished since he first got promoted to Corpus Christi at the end of June last year. "It's just the little things. It's not like I've changed my swing. It's not like I'm trying to do a whole lot different than I did last year. Just trying to barrel balls up really. I think I had some success last year. Obviously, I wasn't putting everything together mechanically and [in my] approach. So I'm just trying to work on different things on my approach, just shorten up my swing and just try to have a better approach in general. Just shortening up and trying to barrel everything up instead of trying to hit a home run every time."

In response to my question about the differences for him as a hitter between Lancaster and Corpus Christi, Tucker responded, "Obviously, the pitching's better. The [Corpus Christi] park is not favorable to lefties either, which actually I kind of like because it makes me use more of a middle of the field approach rather than just dead pull which sometimes I'd get away with at Lancaster, but which didn't really help me down the road. This league, in general, the pitching's really good. The ballparks aren't particularly hitters' ballparks either. It really makes you want to shorten up your swing and really not miss mistakes when you get them."

I also spoke with Tucker about Astros GM Jeff Luhnow's comparisons of him to St. Louis Cardinal's Allen Craig. "Well, Allen Craig is really good so I like that comparison. I do like that I'm being compared to a big leaguer. That's cool, but I'm not trying to see what someone else does and compare myself to him. I'm just trying to do my own thing and let numbers speak for themselves. But, if the guys in the front office like me, that means I'm going in the right direction so I'm happy with that."

Of the team chemistry in Corpus Christi, Tucker says, "It's awesome. A lot of the guys I played with in Lancaster, a great group of guys. We have a lot of fun. Obviously, playing ball is fun in itself but the way these guys get together ... the team really pulls for each other is the thing. It's not individual like it gets on some teams. Everybody wants everyone else to succeed and we're doing that so far."

What does he like about living in Corpus Christi? "I love my host family. That's one of the big pluses is having a host family. Corpus Christi is a great place to play. I really like the stadium. I really like the fans and that's one of the biggest things is seeing this place almost packed every single night. It's really exciting and something you look forward to about coming to the ballpark every day."

Of the depth and competition for jobs in the Astros minor league system, Tucker told me, "It's something you can't control so it's something you try not to think about. As long as I'm going out there every day and playing, I'm happy whether I'm DH-ing, playing left or right as long as I'm in the line-up. My defense isn't going to be what gets me to the big leagues, but potentially it's going to be my hitting. So long as I'm hitting, I don't care where they put me. I'm hoping I just continue my success and hopefully play outfield the higher up I go."

How is his defense coming along? "It's getting better. It's not where it needs to be. I think there's a lot of areas for improvement, but I think slowly but surely, I'm starting to get the hang of it, both left and right. Before I got to Corpus, I hadn't played any left field ... I played maybe five games at Lancaster ... but I'm starting to get the hang of both positions which is going to be helpful in the long run."

To long-suffering Astros fans, Tucker had this to say, "If you just look at the way all our minor league teams are playing, we're going to have a great ball club. It's not only the next couple years, it's 10 years down the road. We're going to be good. I follow all the full season teams, and up and down the line-up, there is so much depth which is a great thing to have. It's going to be exciting. It's going to be like that in a hurry, too."

Happy Birthday - 5/7

No future Astros with birthdays today, but two former Astros celebrate the day ~

RHP Claude "Frenchy" Raymond (77)
First signed by Milwaukee in 1955, Raymond played for Houston from 1964 to 1967. In 154 games for the Colt .45's and Astros, he was 19-18 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.127 WHIP. The one-time All Star for Houston was traded to Atlanta in June 1967 for LHP Wade Blasingame.  He would ultimately play for Montreal in 1969 through 1971 where (from Baseball-Reference):

"Claude Raymond [was] considered a baseball hero in Quebec as the first Québécois to play for the Montreal Expos. He was an Expos French-language color broadcaster from 1972 to 2001, and was the public address announcer for the 1996 Olympics baseball tournament in Atlanta."

RHP Manny Hernandez (53)
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1978 by Houston, Hernandez only pitched in 15 games (7 starts) for the Astros in 1986 and 1987, going 2-7 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.520 WHIP. In 13 minor league seasons, he was 83-68 with a 3.93 ERA and a 1.310 WHIP.


Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Beat the Streak, May 6

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. For the first time this season, no one will enter a day with an active streak.

I got a pair of doubles from Ronald Torreyes yesterday, but Brett Phillips went 0-4 in Quad Cities, so there went my brief streak. Baseball Mom, who had been leading, also went with Phillips.

Rip Noblin, who recently established the new high-water mark for the season, also had half of a double-down working. Andy Simunic was 2-3, but Gregorio Petit went 0-3 yesterday afternoon.

Daniel Nelson got 0-fers from Tony Kemp and Andrew Aplin, while Jayne saw Roberto Peña's 3-game streak of 2 hits come to a close.

Today, I'm rolling with Jon Singleton again.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Memphis, 7:05
Corpus Christi vs. San Antonio, 7:10
Lancaster @ Lake Elsinore, 8:05
Quad Cities vs. Cedar Rapids, 11:00 A.M.

Current Active Streaks

There are none.

Season's Best Streak

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, May 5, 2014


Oklahoma City 5, Omaha 1

W- Mike Foltynewicz (3-1)
L- Ramon Troncoso (1-2)
S- Paul Clemens (1)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks earned the split thanks to a couple of big 2-out hits and a combined 1-hitter from the pitching staff.

The story of the day would have to be Mike Foltynewicz. Let's just say that things got a little, uh.... testy on Twitter a couple of nights ago and leave it at that. The real story was his performance on the mound yesterday afternoon. He threw 6 innings and allowed 1 hit, a solo homer to Melky Mesa in the 3rd. The Storm Chasers only got 3 baserunners on him: Mesa's homer, and 2 walks (in the 1st and 4th). Foltynewicz struck out a career-high 12, including the final 6 batters he faced. He struck out everyone in Omaha's lineup except for Matt Fields. Paul Clemens tagged in for 3 perfect innings, striking out 1 to close it out. Together, they retired the final 16 Omaha batters, and 20 of the final 21.

Robbie Grossman led off the 3rd inning with a single. He would advance to 2nd on a sac bunt from Ronald Torreyes, and Jon Singleton got on via an intentional walk soon after. They would both advance on a Domingo Santana groundout. A Gregorio Petit walk loaded the bases, and then Kiké Hernandez laced a 1-1 pitch down the right field line to open the scoring. Andy Simunic would follow up with an RBI single to give the RedHawks a 3-0 lead.

Grossman drew a walk to begin the 7th and would come all the way around to score on a Torreyes double. Torreyes moved to 3rd on Jon Singleton's groundout and wound up scoring the final run of the afternoon on a wild pitch from Donnie Joseph. He added another double in the top of the 9th. Torreyes, Hernandez, and Simunic all had 2-hit days, while Grossman scored twice.

The RedHawks are headed home to kick off a 4-game series with Memphis. Jake Buchanan will get the start against Tim Cooney in the opener. First pitch is at 7:05.


Corpus Christi 6, San Antonio 3

W- Tommy Shirley (3-2)
L- John Hussey (1-1)
S- Jorge De Leon (2)

CC home runs: Marc Wik (1, 2-run in 6th)

The Hooks took a 2-1 lead in the 4-game set as the bullpen effectively backed up the reigning Pitcher of the Month, Tommy Shirley, who was alright himself. Also, in his first game outside of the Appalachian League, Marc Wik stole the show. Three safeties topped the field goal.

Shirley threw 5.1 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Both runs came in the form of back-to-back homers from Kyle Gaedele (the grandnephew of Eddie Gaedel, the shortest baseball player ever) and Lee Orr (who's from Louise, the town after El Campo when you head south on 59) in the 3rd. All 3 hits that Shirley allowed went for extra-bases; Austin Hedges doubled off of him. He wasn't at his sharpest, but he was still effective enough.

Travis Ballew was the first man out of the Corpus bullpen and got the final 2 outs of the 6th without incident. He did serve up a home run to Yeison Asencio to begin the 7th, but shook that off to retire the side, striking out 2. Pat Urckfitz worked around a single and an error to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1. Jorge De Leon finished it up with a 1-2-3 9th, striking out Gaedele to end it.

The Hooks got deuces in 3 innings. Joe Sclafani started things off by reaching on an error in the 1st, advanced to 3rd on another error, and scored the first run of the game on an Andrew Aplin force out. Later in the inning, Jio Mier added an RBI single. After Mier grounded out to begin the 4th, the catchers reached; Tyler Heineman walked and advanced to 3rd on a René Garcia double. Heineman scored on Marc Wik's groundout, and Sclafani brought Garcia home with a single. Wik would go on to deposit a 2-run homer onto the berm in left field in the 6th for the Hooks' final 2 runs. That was his first homer since August 21, 2012, when he was playing with Greeneville. Nolan Fontana and Preston Tucker had 2 hits apiece. Aplin was the only member of the starting 9+1 to not have a hit, but he did get an RBI on the force out in the 1st.

In the series finale, it appears that the tandem system will be back online, according to the Hooks' game notes from yesterday. Matt Heidenreich and Brady Rodgers will take on Josh Geer at 7:10.


Lake Elsinore 7, Lancaster 4

W- Joe Ross (3-2)
L- Lance McCullers (1-2)
S- Brandon Alger (1)

The JetHawks clawed their way back from an early 6-0 hole, but some missed opportunities prevented them from completing the comeback; they went 0-13 with runners in scoring position.

Lance McCullers only lasted 1.2 innings in this one, as he gave up 6 runs (5 earned) on 4 hits and walked 3. This was his first outing this season in which he failed to record a strikeout. Juan Minaya did an excellent job of picking McCullers up; he followed with 4.1 no-hit innings, walking 1 and striking out 7. Jamaine Cotton threw the final 2 innings and gave up a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1.

After a lull in the 3rd in which neither team scored, the JetHawks went on a little 4-0 run over the second third of the game. They got on the board with a pair in the 2nd; after Teoscar Hernandez beat out a bunt single, he scored on a Carlos Correa triple. Correa wound up scoring on a sac fly from Dan Gulbransen. Danry Vasquez led off the 5th with a double and would score 2 groundouts later. Hernandez and Correa led off the 6th with singles. They'd advance to 2nd and 3rd on a Rio Ruiz groundout, which really had some potential. However, all that came of that situation was a Gulbransen groundout that scored Hernandez. Correa finished 3-4, while Hernandez was 2-4 with 2 runs scored; he's on a 4-game hitting streak, and he's posted multiple hits in 3 of those 4. Danry Vasquez finished 2-4 with a run scored; both of his hits were doubles, and it was his 2nd straight 2-hit night.

Forgot to mention this, but this is a battle for 1st in the California League South. With the loss, Lancaster is now 2 games behind Lake Elsinore. Game 2 features another intriguing pitching matchup, as Josh Hader will face off against Zach Eflin. First pitch is at 6:05 Pacific.

Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 2

W- Brandon Bixler (2-1)
L- Chris Lee (0-1)
S- Hudson Boyd (5)

QC home runs: Chase McDonald (1, solo in 5th)

The River Bandits dropped the opener and were condemned to a 3rd straight loss as their bats were held in check. They only had 4 hits in this game; one of them was a solo homer by Chase McDonald (1) in the 5th. Brett Phillips led off the 6th by reaching on an error, and after advancing station-to-station, he would score on a Conrad Gregor fielder's choice. That run actually tied the game. However, the Kernels broke the tie with a 3-run top of the 8th.

Andrew Thurman went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Chris Lee was saddled with the loss; he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and walked 3 in 3 innings of work. Andrew Walter threw a scoreless 9th despite facing a bases-loaded situation. He allowed a pair of singles, walked 1, and struck out 2 in the frame.

The middle game of this series will be a morning/early afternoon game. Will there be a little OKC Matinee Magic in store for Quad Cities? Jandel Gustave will face Josue Montañez at 11 A.M.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Carlos Correa, SS, Lancaster
3-4, 3B, RBI, R



2.


I spy Batman.

Enrique Hernandez, Utility, Oklahoma City
2-4, 2B, 2 RBI



1.



Marc Wik, OF, Corpus Christi
1-4, 2-R HR (1), 3 RBI; season debut


Honorable Mentions: Ronald Torreyes, Andy Simunic, Teoscar Hernandez, Danry Vasquez, Preston Tucker

Three Stars: Pitchers


3.


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Juan Minaya, RHP, Lancaster 
4.1 IP, BB, 7 K


1 (tie). OKC 1-hitter, led by Studmuffin himself.




Mike Foltynewicz, RHP
W (3-2), 6 IP, H (solo HR), ER, 2 BB, 12 K



Paul Clemens, RHP
Save (1), 3 IP, K



An Interview with Astros RHP Brady Rodgers

Shortly before the 2013 season started, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Astros announcer Bill Brown. It wasn't a formal conversation or an interview, just two baseball fans talking. Brown told me about conversations he'd had with Astros Special Assistant Enos Cabell telling him about some of the terrific pitching prospects in the lower minors, in particular Vince Velasquez and Michael Feliz. He asked me if there was anyone else to whom he should be paying attention. The first name that popped into my mind was Brady Rodgers. I told Brown that I thought Rodgers would move quickly through the system and would be helping his hometown team sooner than most people probably thought because not only did he have a good arsenal of pitches, he had pitch command beyond his years.

Brady Rodgers - April 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Fast forward a season. After spending a season in the hitter-friendly California League refining his command and his approach, he landed in AA Corpus Christi for 2014 and had immediate success at the level. According to Hooks Manager Keith Bodie, that success didn't come as a surprise to him, but rather said that Brady came "as advertised." Bodie had this to say about Rodgers, "Typical consummate professional. Commands the ball very well. His stuff is very good. He's going to progress very quickly because he commands the strike zone very well. He's got a good feel for pitching."

I also sat down with Hooks Interim Pitching Coach Doug Brocail to get his take on Rodgers. Brocail explained to me that, at the end of Spring Training, the pitching coaches get together and map out a plan for each pitcher, but "with Brady it's a little bit different because Brady's close, really, really close." Brocail continued, "Me being here and getting to see him every day, his work habits and his bullpens and how he attacks hitters in the game ... it's almost like Brady has been to the big leagues. His misses are small. He knows when he needs to [rear] back. He knows that his best stuff isn't when he [rears] back. He's an all-round, ultimate pitcher.

"I wouldn't say he has the best stuff [on the team], but he knows how to use his stuff which makes it probably the best stuff. When you sit down and talk with Brady, Brady can talk hitting a little bit and I think that's where he understands how and why he's getting guys out. It's exciting to watch Brady work. He's getting better and better every day. The kid never ceases to amaze me.

"He knows how to pitch. He's getting better every time out and really, for me, Brady doesn't have hardly anything to work on other than he needs innings. The more innings he gets, the quicker he's going to get to the big leagues. You'd like to be able to say that every one of my pitchers on my staff are going to make it to the big leagues. In all reality, 5% of everybody makes it to the big leagues and I think it's safe to say that Brady's one of those 5%."

I talked with Rodgers briefly last Sunday after work outs.



When Rodgers was drafted in the third round in 2012, he was the first Astros draft pick to sign. He couldn't wait to play for his hometown team. The reality of that dream is inching closer and closer.

Happy Birthday - 5/6

Happy Birthday to ~

2B Jose Altuve (24)
Altuve was first signed by the Astros as a free agent out of Venezuela in 2007 and played on the Astros Venezuelan Summer League team that year. After starting in Greeneville in 2008, Altuve rapidly moved up the ranks until his major league debut in July of 2011. In his first full season for the Astros in 2012, Altuve earned his first All-Star nod. Over his first 31 games of 2014, Altuve is hitting .289/.345/.391 with 8 doubles, one triple, one home run, 10 RBI and an American League leading 11 stolen bases.

One former Astro celebrates today as well ~

RHP Larry Andersen (61)
Originally drafted by Cleveland in the seventh round in 1971, Andersen came to Houston as a free agent in 1986. In five seasons with the Astros, he pitched in 268 games going 22-16 with a 2.57 ERA and a 1.211 WHIP. Andersen was known for his sense of humor and his Steven Wright style one-liners. According to this post, Andersen was the instigator of the SNL-inspired conehead masks sported by Andersen, Charley Kerfeld and Dave Smith. Andersen is best known (and loved) by Astros fans for being part of the most lopsided trade in baseball history as he was traded to the Red Sox for future Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell.

Tweet of the Day

Monday, May 5, 2014

Beat the Streak, May 5

With Jon Singleton going 2-3 yesterday, I've just tied my season high streak.... of 2.

Roberto Peña went 2-4 with an RBI single, while Tony Kemp did draw 3 walks, but... he went 0-2. Unfortunately, as a result, Rip Noblin was knocked back to the start.

Jayne's pick, Preston Tucker, hit an RBI double in Corpus, so she's got a 2-game streak going.

Baseball Mom is the new leader, as Carlos Perdomo hit a 2-run single in that big 7th inning for Lancaster.

pacbellpilgrim and Daniel Nelson both picked Tony Kemp, and they're both back at the start.

For today, I'll take Ronald Torreyes and Brett Phillips.

Today's Games

OKC @ Omaha, 11:05 A.M.
Corpus Christi vs. San Antonio, 7:10
Lancaster @ Lake Elsinore, 8:05
Quad Cities vs. Cedar Rapids, 7:00

Current Active Streaks

Baseball Mom- 4

Jayne and Me- tied at 2

Season's Best Streak

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

I totally missed this one from over the weekend. Corpus Christi OF Leo Heras was placed on the 7-day DL and OF Marc Wik was assigned from Extended Spring Training to take his place on the roster.

Also, I am sad to announce that OF Justin Gominsky was given his release, and he intends to play Independent Ball. A wrist injury derailed Gominsky's season in 2013 and although he started this season with Lancaster, he was moved back to Extended Spring Training after only a few games. He was a fan favorite in his time with Tri-City and Lexington and will be missed.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, May 4, 2014

Class debuts!

Omaha 4, Oklahoma City 1

W- Sugar Ray Marimon (3-1)
L- Rudy Owens (2-1)
S- Kameron Loe (1)

OKC home runs: Andy Simunic (1, solo in 7th)

The OKC offense has really hit a rut; this was the 6th straight game in which they've scored 3 runs or fewer, and they've scored just 10 runs over their last 6 contests.

Andy Simunic went 2-3, and his solo homer (1) in the 7th inning accounted for the RedHawks' lone run. Jon Singleton also went 2-3 with a double and a bunt single.

Rudy Owens threw 6 innings and allowed 4 runs (both on 2-run doubles) on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Jason Stoffel walked 2 in the 7th, but also struck out 2 in the inning. Josh Zeid worked around a walk to strike out the side in the 8th.

The series finale will take place later this morning, as Mike Foltynewicz will face Ramon Troncoso at 11:05 A.M.

San Antonio 6, Corpus Christi 4

W- Devin Jones (4-1)
L- Kyle Smith (0-1, 4-1 season)
S- Johnny Barbato (7)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks fought back from an early 6-0 deficit, but ran out of steam.

All 4 Hooks runs came in the 5th. Matt Duffy ignited the rally by drawing a walk, and he scored the first run of the game on a double from Preston Tucker. An error allowed Jio Mier to reach while Tucker took 3rd; they both came home on Tyler Heineman's 2-run triple. Heineman would score on an M.P. Cokinos groundout. Duffy and Heineman had 2 hits apiece.

The Missions greeted Kyle Smith rather rudely in his AA debut. He went 5 innings and gave up 6 runs on 9 hits (3 solo homers) and struck out 6. Alex Sogard allowed 3 hits and struck out 1 over 3 scoreless, and Jorge De Leon worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th.

Game 3 of this series has Tommy Shirley on the mound, and he'll be taking on John Hussey. First pitch is at 7:10.

Lancaster 8, San Jose 6

W- Dan Minor (2-1)
L- Jorge Bucardo (0-2)
S- Mitch Lambson (2)

Lancaster home runs: Teoscar Hernandez (4, solo in 2nd)

The power of the 7th-inning stretch. The JetHawks erased a 5-2 deficit with a 6-run bottom of the 7th to take the series finale and 2 of 3 in the series.

Roberto Peña went 2-4 and hit an RBI single in the 4th to put the JetHawks on the board, down 3-1. Teoscar Hernandez went 3-5 with a solo homer in the 5th (4). After seeing his average drop to .234 on April 30, Hernandez has responded by going 7-12 with a couple of 3-hit games in the series to raise his average to .269.

Danry Vasquez, Ruben Sosa, and Tony Kemp all walked to begin the 7th, and Hernandez promptly sent them all home with a double that tied the game. Teoscar was credited with 2 RBI, as an error was committed on the play. Carlos Correa then hit a single and advanced to 2nd on a throw to 3rd. Rio Ruiz walked to re-load the bases. After Dan Gulbransen and Peña became the first 2 casualties of the inning, Carlos Perdomo came through with a 2-run single. Vasquez, who went 2-3 with a double and started all of this with a leadoff walk, came back up and hit an RBI single. Carlos Correa was 2-5 with 2 runs scored.

Kent Emanuel went 4.2 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 in his High-A debut. Dan Minor threw 2.1 scoreless, allowing a walk while fanning 2. Mitch Lambson was taken deep by Mitch Delfino to begin his outing... but no matter. After the homer, Lambson struck out the side in the 8th, and worked around a hit batter to close it out. He struck out 4 in 2 innings, and Delfino's home run was the only hit he gave up.

The JetHawks will now hit the road to begin a 4-game series in Lake Elsinore. Lance McCullers gets the start in the opener; his opponent will be Joe Ross. First pitch is at 6:05.

Beloit 6, Quad Cities 3

W- Junior Mendez (1-2)
L- Adrian Houser (0-1)
S- Sam Bragg (2)

QC home runs: None.

Well, the crooked-numbered inning bit Quad Cities once again, as a 4-run 5th was the difference for the Snappers.

Chan-Jong Moon hit a 1-out single in the top of the 1st, stole 2nd (8), and came around to score on a Conrad Gregor single. That would be QC's only run until Chase McDonald hit a 2-run single in the 8th. Jack Mayfield was the only River Bandit with a multi-hit day, going 2-5 with a double and a run scored. Mayfield is now on a 6-game hitting streak. Brett Phillips extended his hitting streak to 5 with a single in the 3rd.

Adrian Houser pitched 3.2 innings and gave up 5 runs on 5 hits, walked 5, and struck out 2. 4 of those 5 runs came in the 5th and came in the form of a Tyler Marincov grand slam. Tyler Brunnemann struck out 1 over 1.1 perfect innings, and Gonzalo Sañudo allowed a run on a force out in the 8th, a hit, and walked 2 in 3 innings.

The River Bandits will return home to open up a 3-game series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. TBA (was Kent Emanuel's spot in the rotation) will take on Ethan Mildren at 7:00.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Tyler Heineman, C, Corpus Christi
2-4, 3B, 2 RBI, R



2.



Andy Simunic, Utility, Oklahoma City
2-3, solo HR (1) in 7th



1.



Teoscar Hernandez on Twitter: @TeoscarH

Teoscar Hernandez, CF, Lancaster
3-5, 2B, solo HR (4), 3 RBI, 2 R


Honorable Mentions: Jon Singleton, Danry Vasquez, and Carlos Correa


Three Stars: Pitchers

The bullpens of all 4 teams combined to allow just 2 runs on 7 hits.

4. Quad Cities


Tyler Brunnemann on Twitter: @TBruno35

Tyler Brunnemann, RHP
1.1 IP, K



Gonzalo Sañudo, RHP
3 IP, H, ER, 2 BB

He walked 2?!!!?!!???????


3. Lancaster



Dan Minor, RHP
W (2-1), 2.1 IP, BB, 2 K



Mitch Lambson, LHP
Save (2), 2 IP, H (solo HR), ER, 4 K


2. Corpus Christi



Alex Sogard, LHP
3 IP, 3 H, K


Jorge De Leon, RHP
IP, H



1. Oklahoma City



Jason Stoffel, RHP
IP, 2 BB, 2 K



Josh Zeid, RHP
IP, BB, 3 K