Saturday, May 17, 2014

Beat the Streak, May 17

All good things must come to an end... like my streak. Jon Singleton went 0-4 last night in Nashville, so I'm back at the start.

I'll be joined there by Jayne, who saw Matt Duffy got 0-5 with an RBI on a fielder's choice for Corpus. Rip Noblin... hang in there, sir. He chose Jobduan Morales and Tyler Heineman, who both got the day off.

Baseball Mom got back on the board with a single from Chan-Jong Moon, one of just 4 Quad Cities hits on the night. Daniel Nelson got yet another big night from Tony Kemp, and Delino DeShields had a 1-4 night for Corpus as well. Matt Naber was also the beneficiary of Kemp's 4-hit night for Lancaster.

pacbellpilgrim is the new leader as he got a 2-6 night from Carlos Correa.

Today, I'll be going with Teoscar Hernandez.

Today's Games

OKC @ Nashville, 6:35
Corpus Christi vs. Midland, 7:10
Lancaster @ Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05
Quad Cities @ Kane County, 6:30

Current Active Streaks

pacbellpilgrim- 3

Daniel Nelson and Matt Naber- tied at 2

Baseball Mom- 1

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, May 16, 2014

Oklahoma City 6, Nashville 5

W- Chia-Jen Lo (1-0)
L- Kyle Heckathorn (2-2)
S- Jason Stoffel (4)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks withstood a 5-run 2nd from the Sounds, which resulted in a 5-3 deficit, by scoring the game's final 3 runs.

The offense provided 12 hits: 6 singles, and 6 doubles. Domingo Santana opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. The RedHawks got a pair in the 2nd when Max Stassi scored on an error that allowed Ronald Torreyes to reach 2nd. Torreyes was attempting a sac bunt. Adron Chambers followed with an RBI single. Chambers drove in 2 of OKC's final 3 runs with a couple of RBI doubles in the 4th and the 6th. Erik Castro scored in the 4th when Santana walked on a wild pitch. Chambers was 3-5, while Robbie Grossman finished 2-5 with a couple of doubles. Jonathan Meyer finished 2-4 with 2 runs scored, and Kiké Hernandez also had a 2-hit game.

David Martinez went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 5 hits (3-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 6. Chia-Jen Lo worked around 2 hits to throw a scoreless 5th. Bobby Doran tagged in for 3.2 scoreless and allowed 3 hits. He had 2 outs in the 9th, but all of a sudden, the Sounds got 2 hits off of him in the inning. Doran gave way to Jason Stoffel, who closed it out by getting Irving Falu to ground out.

In game 3 of this series, Rudy Owens will face Michael Blazek. First pitch is at 7:05.

Midland 9, Corpus Christi 7

W- Frank Gailey (1-0)
L- Brady Rodgers (1-5)
S- Seth Frankoff (8)

CC home runs: Preston Tucker (7, 2-run in 3rd)

The wheels fell off for the Hooks as Midland finished this game on an 8-2 run from the 6th-9th innings.

Corpus took the lead thanks to a 5-run outburst in the 3rd. Andrew Aplin finished 2-4; he put Corpus on the board with a 2-run single that gave them a 2-1 lead. He'd be erased on a Matt Duffy fielder's choice, but Nolan Fontana, who had a 3-walk game for the 2nd night in a row, scored on the play. Duffy came home on Preston Tucker's blast (7). Aplin added another RBI single in the 6th, and Joe Sclafani chipped in with his own RBI single in the 9th. Sclafani finished 2-5; it's his 5th consecutive multi-hit game. Leo Heras went 0-4, but he stole 2 bases (6). Delino DeShields finished 1-4 with 2 runs scored and a steal (11).

David Rollins allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 3. Brady Rodgers has been in a slump. Outside of throwing 4 scoreless innings on the 6th, he's struggled a bit this month. He went 4.2 innings and allowed 6 runs (5 earned; all 6 runs on home runs) on 6 hits (3 homers) and struck out 2. Pat Urckfitz pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (both in the 9th) on 4 hits and struck out 2.

Matt Heidenreich will take on Shawn Haviland in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:10.

Lancaster 14, Rancho Cucamonga 7

W- J.D. Osborne (2-1)
L- Geoff Brown (1-2)

Lancaster home runs: Roberto Peña (2, 2-run in 5th), Teoscar Hernandez (5, 3-run in 5th)

Well, that turned out to be rather fun, even if it wasn't looking that way early on. The JetHawks were down 6-1 after 4 innings, but they finished the game on a 13-1 run. Everyone in the lineup scored a run. Danry Vásquez was the only member of the starting 9+1 without a hit, but he was still able to get in on the action with a walk and a run scored.

Before his blast, Teoscar Hernandez brought in Lancaster's first run of the night in the 4th on an RBI groundout. The other 2 runs in the 7-run 5th (besides Peña's and Hernandez's homers) came on a 2-run double from Bobby Borchering, who added an RBI single in the 7th. Borchering ended up a home run short of the cycle, as he also hit an RBI triple in the 9th. He would score on a Peña groundout. Hernandez got back in the act with an RBI infield single, and Carlos Correa, who was excellent on defense all night, finished it off with a 2-run single. Tony Kemp went 4-6 with a double, 3 runs scored, and 2 steals (15). He's got 8 multi-hit games in his last 10 contests. Correa, Rio Ruiz, and Jordan Scott all scored 2 runs apiece. Hernandez (11) and Correa (7) also had a stolen base to their name.

Gonzalo Sañudo was greeted rather rudely in his Lancaster debut. He went 3 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits (solo homer) and struck out 4. J.D. Osborne pitched 1.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him), 1 hit (RBI single), and walked 3. Jamaine Cotton pitched 3.2 scoreless, allowing 5 hits and striking out 2. Dan Minor worked around a hit in the 9th to finish it, striking out 1.

In game 2 of this series, Lance McCullers will take on Jamaine's brother, Jharel. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Kane County 4, Quad Cities 2

W- Paul Blackburn (4-1)
L- Chris Lee (1-2)
S- Tyler Bremer (2)

QC home runs: None.

Not exactly the prettiest display of offensive baseball. Either that, or there was some really good pitching. Both teams combined to strike out 25 times and only 3 walks were issued.

Chris Lee was saddled with the loss despite a decent outing. He went 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 8. Tyler Brunnemann went 2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 4. That run that Brunnemann allowed was the first one he's allowed since Opening Day.

Jack Mayfield hit a sac fly that turned into a double play in the 4th to open the scoring. In the 7th, Conrad Gregor hit a triple with 1 out and ended up scoring on a single from Brian Holberton.

Andrew Thurman will take the mound in game 3 of this series. He'll face Tyler Skulina at 6:30.

Happy Birthday - 5/17

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Jordan Jankowski (25)
Drafted by Houston in the 34rd round in 2012, Jankowski started out exclusively out of the bullpen in his first season in 2012 with a great deal of success. Since then, he has been used both as a starter and a reliever and, although he started the 2014 season out of the bullpen in Corpus Christi, he has already evolved into a spot start/long relief role. In 10 games (1 start) this season, Jankowski has a 4.30 ERA, a 1.261 WHIP and 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings of work.

One former Astro celebrates the day as well ~

1B/DH Carlos Pena (36)
Originally drafted by the Rangers in the first round in 1998, Pena signed with Houston as a free agent in December 2012. Pena hit .209/.324/.350 in 85 games with the Astros prior to being released at the end of July 2013. Pena had a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and All-Star appearance to his name during his time playing for Tampa Bay.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, May 16, 2014

Beat the Streak, May 16

Jon Singleton went 1-3 and scored a run for OKC yesterday, extending my streak to 4.

Can't rest easy though... Jayne's right on my heels as her pick, Tony Kemp, was 2-5 with a triple and a run scored. Her streak is now at 3. pacbellpilgrim got back on the board with good nights from Carlos Correa (2-4, RBI double) and Rio Ruiz (3-run homer) in Lancaster. Matt Naber also got another streak going as he picked Rio.

Daniel Nelson got half of a double down with Kemp, but Robbie Grossman went 0-3. Baseball Mom stuck with Tyler White, who has been in a bit of a funk as of late. Rip Noblin got nothing from Grossman and Adron Chambers. Don't sweat it, Mr. Rip.. this is actually the 1st time all year I've been able to keep a streak going.

Today, I'll stick with Jon Singleton.

Today's Games

OKC @ Nashville, 7:05
Corpus Christi vs. Midland, 7:10
Lancaster @ Rancho Cucamonga, 9:05
Quad Cities @ Kane County, 6:30

Current Active Streaks

Me- 4

Jayne- 3

pacbellpilgrim- 2

Matt Naber- 1

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, May 15, 2014





Oklahoma City 4, Nashville 2

W- Nick Tropeano (2-3)
L- Ariel Peña (2-3)
S- Kevin Chapman (2)

OKC home runs: Erik Castro (1, solo in 5th), Domingo Santana (6, solo in 8th)

The RedHawks took the opener thanks to a tremendous performance on the mound and some rather timely hitting.

Nick Tropeano took a no-hitter into the 6th. He struck out Kevin Mattison to begin the inning, but Mattison managed to reach on a wild pitch. The no-hitter was lost when Eugenio Velez took him deep. That was the only hit and the only runs Trope surrendered in his 6 innings. He walked 2 and struck out 7. 2 of those 7 punchouts came on wild pitches, and the batters both reached 1st safely.

After 8 zeros were posted on the board, Erik Castro opened up the scoring with a 2-out solo shot (1) in the 5th. Max Stassi extended the lead with a 2-run double in the 6th, and after Velez's homer made it 3-2, Domingo Santana provided a little more separation by homering in his 3rd straight game (6). Santana finished 2-3 with 2 runs scored, and Kiké Hernandez joined him in the 2-hit club, going 2-4.

Game 2 of this series has David Martinez taking on Mike Fiers at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 3, San Antonio 2 in 11 innings

W- Tommy Shirley (4-2)
L- Leonel Campos (0-1)
S- Alex Sogard (2)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks' 3 wins in this series all came in extra innings, totaling 36 frames in all.

Kyle Smith went 6 innings and the lone blemish on his line was a solo homer to Austin Hedges in the 5th. Smith allowed one other hit, walked 2, and struck out 4. Tommy Shirley allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6 in 4 innings of work. Things were on the verge of getting a little dicey for Alex Sogard as an error and a walk put 2 men on with nobody out. However, he induced a double play and struck out Yeison Asencio to end the game, stranding the tying run on 3rd.

Corpus got on the board first in the 1st thanks to an RBI single from Leo Heras. After San Antonio got 1 in the 5th and 7th, Matt Duffy tied the game at 2 with an RBI single. He finished 3-5 and is now on a 6-game hitting streak. In 5 of those 6, he's posted multi-hit games. Joe Sclafani wrapped up this series with a 2nd straight 3-hit game; he led off the 11th with a single, advanced to 3rd on René Garcia's sac bunt, and scored the eventual game-winning run on a double from Jio Mier. Sclafani is currently on a 5-game hitting streak, and has a multi-hit game in 4 straight. Nolan Fontana might have went 0-2 with 2 strikeouts, but he did what he does, and that's walk. He drew 3 BBs and scored 2 of the Hooks' 3 runs in this one. Now, he's well off the pace that he set over the last 1.5 years in BBs, but it wouldn't surprise me to see him post some more multi-walk games in the near future.

The Hooks will welcome Midland to Whataburger Field for the weekend and Monday. David Rollins and Brady Rodgers will start the opener against Drew Granier. First pitch is at 7:10.

Lancaster 10, Bakersfield 1

W- Kyle Westwood (2-3)
L- James Allen (2-3)

Lancaster home runs: Danry Vasquez (1, solo in 7th), Roberto Peña (1, 2-run in 3rd), Rio Ruiz (3, 3-run in 3rd)

As the old saying goes, turnabout is fair play. And we saw that in action in this series that saw the JetHawks take 2 of 3. They no-hit the Blaze in the opener, only to get absolutely dominated in the middle game of the series. So, the JetHawks turning the tables again would probably be the only logical outcome. And, they did just that by scoring 9 unanswered after Bakersfield tied the game at 1 in the top of the 3rd inning.

Offensively, everyone had a hit except for Ruben Sosa, who still found a way to get in on the fun. He walked twice, scored twice, and stole 2 bases (9, 11 season).

Tony Kemp led off the bottom of the 1st with a single. He proceeded to steal 2nd (13) and scored on the very same play thanks to 2 Blaze errors. Jordan Scott began the 3rd with a walk and he wouldn't have to wait long to come home; Roberto Peña followed up with a 2-run homer (1) that broke a 1-1 tie. Peña, who also added a double in 4 at-bats, was 2-2 in catching would-be base stealers. Shhh... no one say anything. Let them learn the hard way about trying to run on Roberto Peña.

Ruben Sosa walked and moved to 3rd on a Carlos Correa single. Correa wound up taking 2nd on a throw. And then, Rio Ruiz pretty much opened the floodgates with a 3-run homer (3). The JetHawks got a pair in the 5th on a couple of RBI doubles from Correa and Danry Vásquez. It was big night for Danry, as he went 3-4 with a couple of doubles and capped off the scoring with his 1st homer of the season. Correa was 2-4 with 2 runs scored, and Jordan Scott also scored twice.

Kyle Westwood was outstanding over his 7.2 innings, as he allowed a run on 7 hits and struck out 2. The 2 strikeouts are low, but that's not his game. He induced 15 groundball outs to just 1 flyball out. Mitch Lambson allowed a hit and struck out 2 over the final 1.1 innings.

The JetHawks will now hit the road; their first stop will be in Rancho Cucamonga for 4. It'll be a matchup of Mexicans on the mound, as Gonzalo Sañudo will make his Lancaster debut against the 17-year-old, Julio Urias. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 7, Kane County 0

W- Adrian Houser (2-1)
L- Duane Underwood (0-1)

QC home runs: Thomas Lindauer (3, grand slam in 3rd)

The River Bandits put up a touchdown and blanked the Cougars in the opener.

The haymaker was Thomas Lindauer's slam, which was part of a 5-run 3rd that more or less removed all doubt as to the outcome. He finished 3-4 and opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd. The other 2 RBI came on a Ronnie Mitchell bases-loaded walk in the 3rd and a Brett Booth single in the 5th. Booth finished 2-5 with a double and a run scored, and Conrad Gregor was 3-5 with a run scored.

Adrian Houser had another solid start as he threw 5 shutout innings and allowed 3 hits and a walk while striking out 3. Kevin Comer tagged in for 3 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 3, and striking out 1. Albert Minnis worked around a hit to finish it off.

In game 2, Chris Lee (1-1, 2.89) will face Jen-Ho Tseng (3-0, 2.81). First pitch is at 6:30.

Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Domingo Santana, RF, Oklahoma City
2-3, solo HR (6), 2 R



2.



Roberto Peña, C, Lancaster
2-4, 2B, 2-R HR (1); 2 runners caught stealing in 2 attempts


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Danry Vásquez, RF, Lancaster
3-4, 2 2B, solo HR (1), 2 RBI



1.



Thomas Lindauer, SS, Quad Cities
3-4, Grand Slam (3), 5 RBI


Honorable Mentions: Jio Mier (for his go-ahead RBI double in the 11th), Carlos Correa, Matt Duffy, Max Stassi, Brett Booth


Three Stars: Pitchers

Where on earth do I start. Every pitcher that appeared in the system performed well.

4.



Nick Tropeano, RHP, Oklahoma City
6 IP, H (2-run HR), 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K


3.



Kyle Smith, RHP, Corpus Christi
6 IP, 2 H (solo HR), ER, 2 BB, 4 K



Tommy Shirley, LHP, Corpus Christi
4 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 K


2. Quad Cities shutout!



Adrian Houser, RHP
W (2-1), 5 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K



Kevin Comer, RHP
3 IP, H, 3 BB, K



Albert Minnis, LHP
IP, H


1.



Kyle Westwood, RHP, Lancaster
W (2-3), 7.2 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 K


Honorable Mentions: Mitch Lambson, Rhiner Cruz, Kevin Chapman, Alex Sogard, who all happen to be the 4 pitchers I didn't mention. Now I feel bad.

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

According to this post from Eric Smith, Vincent Velasquez and Brandon Meredith are headed back to Extended Spring Training in Kissimmee this morning. Meredith has been battling a shoulder injury and may be returning in the not so distant future. Velasquez, however, has a groin injury which may ultimately require surgery. Read Eric's post for the full story.

Happy Birthday - 5/16

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP, Special Assistant to the GM and CC Interim Pitching Coach Doug Brocail (47)
A first round draft pick by San Diego in 1986, Brocail was part of the Houston organization on three separate occasions as a player. The Houston trades he was a part of (from Baseball-Reference):
December 28, 1994: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Derek Bell, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez, Phil Plantier and Craig Shipley to the Houston Astros for a player to be named later, Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Steve Finley, Roberto Petagine and Brian Williams. The Houston Astros sent Sean Fesh (minors) (May 1, 1995) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
December 10, 1996: Traded by the Houston Astros with Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, Orlando Miller and cash to the Detroit Tigers for Brad Ausmus, Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski and Daryle Ward.
December 11, 2000: Traded by the Detroit Tigers with Brad Ausmus and Nelson Cruz to the Houston Astros for Roger Cedeno, Chris Holt and Mitch Meluskey.
He pitched in 151 games for Houston at the major league level in 1995, 1996, 2008 and 2009 with a 15-14 record, a 4.24 ERA and a 1.422 WHIP.

After retiring from baseball, Brocail became a special assistant to the Astros General Manager until he was asked to fill in as the Astros pitching coach when Brad Arnsberg was fired in June 2011, a position he retained for the next two seasons. After the 2013 season, Brocail was once again named as a Special Assistant to the GM and was pressed into service as the Interim Corpus Christi Hooks Pitching Coach while Gary Ruby is out on medical leave.

Two former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

RHP Bob Bruce (81)
Obtained in a trade with Detroit in December of 1961, Bruce pitched in 219 games for the Colt .45's and the Astros from 1962 to 1966. He was 42-58 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.279 WHIP in a mostly starting role for Houston. His best season was 1964 when he went 15-9 with a 2.76 ERA and a 1.107 WHIP. He pitched in the final game at Colt Stadium and in the first game at the Astrodome.

RHP Rick Rhoden (61)
Rhoden was drafted by the Dodgers in the first round of the 1971 draft and came to Houston as part of a trade with the Yankees in January 1989. Houston was the final stop in a 16 year career in the majors that saw Rhoden earn two All-Star nods and three Silver Slugger Awards. After retiring from baseball, he went on to have a second, very successful career in golf.


Tweets of the Day


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Astros Minor League Snapshot

Six weeks have now come and gone since the start of the minor league season and we're past the quarter mark. Let's take a look at where things stand.

OKLAHOMA CITY

2nd   22-18   .550   -.-GB   W2

The Redhawks are in second place in the American Northern Division because of a .006 difference in win percentage to first place Iowa. (Iowa has played four fewer games than Oklahoma City and has a .556 win percentage with two fewer wins and two fewer losses.) They are coming off a split with the third place Colorado Springs Sky Sox team (3 games behind OKC) followed by an off day on Wednesday.

The RedHawks are now headed on a 12-day road trip with four games each against three American Southern Division teams. First up are Nashville and New Orleans. For the season, Oklahoma City has a 1-3 record against first place Nashville and a 6-2 record against the last place New Orleans team.

Here are how a few individual players have fared in the league:

Jon Singleton
4th in SLG (.629)
7th in R (29)
2nd in HR (13)
5th in RBI (34)
5th in BB (26)

Gregorio Petit
T9th in 2B (11)

Nick Tropeano
T10th in ERA (2.94)
10th in WHIP (1.10)

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

BA - 11th (out of 16 teams)
OBP - 10th
SLG - 9th
ERA - 2nd
WHIP - 2nd

CORPUS CHRISTI

3rd   20-19   .513   5.0GB   W1

In the South Division, the Hooks trail Frisco by five games and Midland by two. They lead the 4th place Missions team by three games and will conclude a series with that team in San Antonio today (they are currently leading the series 2-1). The Hooks will then host Midland for four. They are 3-5 against the RockHounds for the season. That will be followed by an off day/travel day as they head to face the second place North Division Arkansas Travelers, a team they have not faced yet this season.

Here are how a few individual players are faring in the league:

Andrew Aplin
5th in BA (.299)
2nd in OBP (.412)
6th in R (24)
T3rd in H (43)
4th in RBI (25)
1st in BB (29)

Nolan Fontana
8th in OBP (.375)
T2nd in 2B (12)
T8th in BB (19)

Preston Tucker
9th in SLG (.472)
8th in R (22)
2nd in H (44)
1st in 2B (13)
T5th in HR (6)
T8th in RBI (22)

Matt Duffy
T3rd in H (43)
T4th in 2B (10)
2nd in RBI (27)

Leo Heras
T1st in 3B (3)
T10th in RBI (18)

Joe Sclafani
T3rd in 3B (2)

Delino DeShields
T3rd in SB (10)

Tommy Shirley
2nd in ERA (1.67)
2nd in WHIP (0.93)
4th in SO (40)

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

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

LANCASTER

T1st    23-17   .575   -.-GB   L1

Lancaster is currently tied with Lake Elsinore for first place in the South Division, with High Desert only trailing by one game. Lancaster will host the rubber game against the North Division first place Bakersfield team tonight followed by four on the road against Rancho Cucamonga and three in Bakersfield. Rancho Cucamonga trails the South Division leaders by five games. The JetHawks are 1-2 against Rancho this season.

Here are a few of the JetHawks who are league leaders:

Tony Kemp
1st in BA (.361)
1st in OBP (.454)
1st in R (44)
1st in H (56)
T5th in 3B (3)
T7th in BB (23)
4th in SB (12)

Teoscar Hernandez
7th in SLG (.516)
T6th in R (27)
T8th in 2B (11)
1st in 3B (6)
T8th in RBI (27)
T7th in SB (10)

Rio Ruiz
T8th in 2B (11)

Danry Vasquez
T8th in 2B (11)

Carlos Correa
T5th in 3B (3)
6th in RBI (29)

Carlos Perdomo
T5th in 3B (3)

Josh Hader
4th in ERA (2.56)
3rd in WHIP (1.01)
2nd in SO (45)

Kyle Westwood
8th in WHIP (1.20)

Chris Devenski
10th in WHIP (1.23)

Jamaine Cotton
7th in Saves (4)

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

BA - 4th (out of 10 teams)
OBP - 3rd
SLG - 6th
ERA - 6th
WHIP - 2nd

QUAD CITIES

T5th    18-20   .474   7.5GB   L2

Quad Cities is currently tied with Wisconsin for fifth place in the 8-team division, seven and a half games out of first. After winning six in a row, the River Bandits made it back to .500 only to fall in their next two games. They will face first place Kane County on the road for four followed by three at home against 7th place Burlington. The Bandits are 2-2 against Kane County. Next week's series against Burlington will be their first meeting of the season.

Here are how a few Quad Cities players fare in the league:

Chan Moon
10th in BA (.314)
6th in OBP (.404)
T7th in R (25)
T1st in 3B (5)
T6th in SB (13)

Conrad Gregor
T9th in OBP (.390)
T5th in 2B (11)
T10th in BB (21)

Tyler White
T9th in OBP (.390)

Brett Phillips
T1st in 3B (5)

James Ramsay
T10th in BB (21)

Gonzalo Sanudo has not pitched enough innings to qualify as a league leader, but if he had just a few more innings under his belt, he would be 1st in ERA (1.14) and 1st in WHIP (0.89) in the Midwest League.

And 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 - 6th

Beat the Streak, May 15

With Delino DeShields' single yesterday afternoon, I've set a season-high streak for myself in this game.

Daniel Nelson's personal-best streak came to an end, but it didn't take long for him to start up another one as Tony Kemp had one of Lancaster's 2 hits and Chan-Jong Moon went 2-3 in Wisconsin.

Jayne got a single from Preston Tucker, who also chipped in an RBI double in the 10th for Corpus.

Rip Noblin is in a bit of a funk. He got a hit from Brian Holberton, but Jobduan Morales got a day off. pacbellpilgrim got nothing from Carlos Correa and Rio Ruiz; again, it was a tough day for Lancaster's bats. Matt Naber saw his streak come to an end after going with Correa, and Baseball Mom got an 0-fer from Tyler White.

I'm leading? It looks like I am. I can't believe it, either. Today, I'm choosing Jon Singleton.

Today's Games

OKC @ Nashville, 7:05
Corpus Christi @ San Antonio, 7:05
Lancaster vs. Bakersfield, 8:30
Quad Cities @ Kane County, 6:30

Current Active Streaks

Me- 3

Jayne, Daniel Nelson- tied at 2

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Field trip games!

Oklahoma City was off

The RedHawks will begin their annual Big 12 Tournament roadtrip in Nashville tonight. Nick Tropeano (1-3, 2.94) will face off against Ariel Peña (2-2, 4.66) at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 7, San Antonio 6 in 13 innings

W- Travis Ballew (2-0)
L- Luis de la Cruz (0-4)
S- Pat Urckfitz (2)

CC home runs: Joe Sclafani (1, solo in 7th)

The Hooks' 2 wins in this series have come in extra innings. They had to work for this one though... they had the Missions down to their final out twice, only to see them tie the game with a solo homer each time. And, they needed to withstand 4 Missions home runs. Telvin Nash went 0-5, but he provided the go-ahead sac fly in the top of the 13th. This was Nash's first RBI that came off something other than a home run.

Offensively, the Hooks capitalized on 3 Missions miscues, scoring 4 runs as a result. Joe Sclafani had himself an afternoon at the plate as he went 3-6 with a 2-run single in the 2nd (an error preceded this), a solo homer in the 7th that tied the game at 4 at that point, and 2 runs scored. In the 12th, he took off for 3rd on a wild pitch and ended up scoring the go-ahead run as Austin Hedges' throw was errant. That run put Corpus up 6-5. Andrew Aplin was 3-6 with a double in the 10th inning. He wound up scoring on Preston Tucker's double which put Corpus up 5-4. Matt Duffy opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Tucker went 2-5. M.P. Cokinos was the only player in the starting 9+1 to not strike out, and Leo Heras, who was activated from the DL along with Colton Cain, went 1-2 with a walk in his first action.

Colton Cain got the start and allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1 in 3 innings. Jordan Jankowski probably isn't too thrilled that he gave up 3 runs on 2 home runs, but outside of that, he allowed one other hit, walked 2, and struck out 4 in 4.2 innings of work.

Jorge De Leon pitched 2.1 innings. He got the first 2 outs in the bottom of the 10th, but... Rymer Liriano, who was the 3rd man due up in the inning, had other ideas. He sent the first pitch he saw from De Leon out of there to tie the game at 5. That was Liriano's 2nd homer of the game; he took Jankowski deep in the 6th to give San Antonio a 4-3 lead. De Leon allowed 2 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Travis Ballew tossed a 1-2-3 11th, and had 2 outs and a 1-2 count on Jake Lemmerman in the 12th. Lemmerman decided that this game needed to go on a little longer and re-tied it with a solo homer. That was the only blemish on Ballew's line; he struck out 2. Pat Urckfitz decided that enough was enough and slammed the door. He worked around a walk and wild pitch to finally finish this one, striking out 2 in a scoreless 13th.

The Hooks will look for the series win as they send out Kyle Smith (0-2, 10.38; 4-2, 4.46 season). He'll be taking on Odrisamer Despaigne, a Cuban defector who is making his season debut. First pitch is at 7:05.

Bakersfield 10, Lancaster 0

W- Wandy Peralta (4-3)
L- Brian Holmes (0-1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

Ugh.

The only 2 JetHawks hits in this game belonged to Tony Kemp and Bobby Borchering. Rio Ruiz went 0-2 with 2 walks.

Brian Holmes went 4.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 3. Richard Rodriguez was the first man out and pitched 1.2 innings, allowing a run on 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 1. Tyson Perez allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and walked 1 in 2 innings, and finally, Juan Minaya worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th.

Kyle Westwood will face James Allen in the series finale. First pitch is at 6:30 Pacific.

Wisconsin 5, Quad Cities 1

W- Barrett Astin (4-2)
L- Evan Grills (1-1)
S- Rodolfo Fernandez (1)

QC home runs: None.

The Timber Rattlers took control of this game and took the series thanks to a 4-run 4th that broke a 1-1 tie.

Brett Phillips went 2-4; he doubled to lead off the game, advanced to 3rd on a Chan-Jong Moon sac bunt, and scored QC's only run of the evening on Jack Mayfield's groundout. Moon went 2-3 with a steal (13).

Evan Grills pitched 7 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2, and Chris Cotton struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 8th.

The River Bandits will now begin the 2nd leg of their roadtrip as they head to suburban Chicago to begin a 4-game set with Kane County. Coming off his best start of the season, Adrian Houser (1-1, 4.67) will get the start in the opener. He'll take on Duane Underwood (0-0, 2.91) at 6:30.

Three Stars

3.



Brett Phillips, CF, Quad Cities
2-4, 2B, R



2.



Pat Urckfitz, LHP, Corpus Christi
Save (1), IP, BB, 2 K



1.



Joe Sclafani, 2B, Corpus Christi
3-6, solo HR (1), 3 RBI, 2 R



Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few more roster moves and a few more in the works:

OKLAHOMA CITY
5/14 RHP Josh Fields recalled to Houston

CORPUS CHRISTI
5/14 RHP Michael Dimock placed on the temporary inactive list
5/14 LHP Colton Cain activated from the DL
5/14 OF Chris Epps placed on the temporary inactive list
5/14 OF Leo Heras activated from the DL

LANCASTER
These moves haven't been made official yet and apparently more are on the way. I'll update when further info is available.

UPDATED:



QUAD CITIES

5/15 RHP Frederick Tiburcio assigned to Quad Cities from Extended Spring Training.

Happy Birthday - 5/15

No future Astros with birthdays today, but one former Astro (and seriously nice guy) celebrates today ~

CF Brandon Barnes (28)
Originally drafted by the Astros in the sixth round in 2005, Barnes made his major league debut on August 7, 2012. In 179 games for the Astros, he hit .233/.282/.330 before being included in a trade to the Rockies in December 2013. In his first 36 games with Colorado, he is hitting .325/.378/.422.

Brandon Barnes - Spring Training 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Tweet of the Day

I love Astros fans. Make that Magic Number 49, Jay!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Doug Brocail Talks About Hooks LHP Tommy Shirley

On my recent trip to Corpus Christi, I talked briefly with Keith Bodie about several players and then I posed the question, "Who has been the biggest surprise for you this season?" His answer came back about a nanosecond later, "Tommy Shirley."

Tommy Shirley - April 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

I was extremely impressed with what Shirley accomplished in Lancaster in 2013 and I did this phone interview with him over the off-season. When I saw Tommy at Spring Training, I told him that he was going to be on my under-the-radar prospect post that I was planning to write. Unfortunately, I still haven't written the post and it may be too late to include Shirley on that list because he isn't exactly flying under the radar anymore.

In his first eight games (six starts) for the Hooks, Shirley is 3-2 with a 1.67 ERA and a 0.929 WHIP and is among the league leaders in those categories. Hitters are only managing a .185 batting average against him. He has definitely opened some eyes.

One person who had a lot to say about Tommy was Hooks Interim Pitching Coach Doug Brocail. When I was in Corpus Christi late last month, I intended to talk to Brocail about several pitchers, but we spent most of our time talking about Shirley. It was a very interesting discussion and I think the whole thing is worth sharing, so that's precisely what I'm going to do. Here are Doug Brocail's largely unedited thoughts about the lefty.

Doug Brocail - April 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

"Tommy's a little different. When you look at Tommy as a pitching [coach], the first thing you say is, 'Wow, that's ugly.' And then you start watching Tommy and all the moving parts. Tommy has really good mechanics.

"The kid's got a Bugs Bunny fastball if that makes sense. Everybody's seen the cartoon where Bugs Bunny throws the pitch in [and] right before it gets to the bat, it does the old dipsy doodle. It's one of those things where when you watch this kid pitch, he's so exciting because you don't know what you're going to see.

"We see a ton of bad swings. We see counts that favor the hitter against Tommy that are really not favorable counts because of how his ball moves. He can move it both ways with a natural fastball and that's very hard to do when you have a guy that throws across his body. Sometimes he cuts it a little short. Sometimes he gets over extension. The ball cuts. The ball runs. The ball dips. The ball dives. He has all that going for him.

"Usually I don't share this, but I made a mound visit out in Springfield and I think he was a little astonished that I was out there. He was doing really well and he'd fallen down 2-0 on the very last hitter of the game. I just walked out and said, 'Hold on. I know. I'm just out here to tell you that it's been a pleasure watching you pitch today. Now give me three strikes right down the middle.' He did. He got the strikeout. We ended up winning the game. We shook hands.

"This kid, at one point, I was convinced he was the worst fielding, worst athletic pitcher I'd ever seen. And over the last week and a half, we've been doing drills every day. Tommy doesn't hold runners. He has what I thought was one of the worst pick-off moves. I did not want him to pick off. [But after working on it only a little bit, Tommy surprised Brocail.] 'You have that?!' And he [says], 'Well, I've never done it before,' but he looks like a 20-year vet on the mound doing it.

"I'd made the comment there was no way Tommy Shirley was going to pick a guy off. Well, he picked a guy off in Springfield [and we've worked on it a little more]. He looks like Righetti out there, a little quick step off, throw over and it's a Mach-1 chest high every time to the first baseman. I said, 'Where's that been?' He says, 'Well, you guys said don't pick off.' I said, 'How long have you been doing that?' He says, 'Oh, I just started.'

"I came in the other day just to look at [Tommy's] numbers, to see where this kid has been, what he's done in the past, and I missed on Tommy. I don't like admitting that I'm wrong. Sometimes you've just got to give guys a chance and make sure that you're not holding them back on something as simple as a pick-off move.

"Tommy's got a very special arm. He gets the ball up to 94, 95. Tommy's got a very good change  up. He started working on his curveball. [It was] kind of slurvish at times, inconsistent, not a very good selling point, [but he] slowed his body down and all it took was one session and Tommy's throwing first pitch strikes with it, he's putting guys away with it."

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

The last thing Brocail said to me about Shirley was this, "His learning curve is really, really high and he's an exciting kid to watch." Shirley is definitely on Brocail's radar screen now, and I think he will continue to open a few eyes.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, May 13, 2014 (and one from Monday, too)



Oklahoma City 1, Colorado Springs 0

W- Jake Buchanan (3-3)
L- Christian Bergman (3-2)
S- Josh Fields (1; 3 season)

OKC home runs: Domingo Santana (5, solo in 6th)

The RedHawks got the split by blanking the Sky Sox in a brisk 1 hour and 59 minutes.

Jake Buchanan breezed through this one, as he allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 7.2 shutout innings. It took him 85 pitches (54 strikes) to get through the day, and he faced 2 batters over the minimum. He left after issuing a walk with 2 outs in the 8th. Jason Stoffel allowed a single to put another runner on, but nothing came of it. Josh Fields struck out the side in order to finish it off.

On another note... you gotta feel for Colorado Springs starter Christian Bergman. He's allowed 1 run over his last 22 innings, but his offense has supplied him with zero runs over that span.

Both teams only had 3 hits apiece. The difference was Domingo Santana's blast off Bergman with 1 out in the 6th. The other 2 hits were provided by Adron Chambers and Kiké Hernandez.

OKC will have Wednesday off, and then they'll embark on a 12-game roadtrip, as the Big 12 Tournament will be kicking off at Bricktown next week. This year, they'll be heading to Nashville, New Orleans, and Memphis.

Monday: Corpus Christi 6, San Antonio 5 in 12 innings

W- Pat Urckfitz (1-1)
L- Luis de la Cruz (0-3)
S- Travis Ballew (3)

CC home runs: Telvin Nash (2, solo in 7th), Nolan Fontana (1, solo in 12th)

The only run that was put on the board after this game was resumed came off the bat of Nolan Fontana, who took Luis de la Cruz deep with 1 out in the 12th. The Hooks took this one despite blowing a 4-0 lead and letting an excellent AA debut from Mike Hauschild go to waste.

There weren't really many changes in the final lines for the starting 9+1; Tyler Heineman finished 3-5 with a double.

Pat Urckfitz came on to pitch after the game's resumption and threw 2 scoreless, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 2. Travis Ballew closed it out by striking out 2 in a 1-2-3 12th.

Now that this game was done, these two teams had another one to play.

San Antonio 7, Corpus Christi 4

W- Tim Sexton (1-0)
L- Luis Cruz (3-4)
S- Johnny Barbato (11)

CC home runs: Telvin Nash (3, 2-run in 7th)

It was a tough night for Luis Cruz, who got knocked out after getting just 1 out in the 1st. The big blow was a grand slam from Jake Lemmerman. Cruz allowed 5 runs (the other was on a bases-loaded walk), 2 hits, and walked 3. Andrew Robinson came in and was fantastic in picking up Cruz; he allowed 3 hits and struck out 3 over 3.2 scoreless. Alex Sogard went 2 innings and got dinged by a 2-run homer from Lee Orr in the 6th. Sogard allowed 2 other hits. Michael Dimock finished out the game, allowing a hit and fanning 3 over 2 scoreless.

The Hooks finally got themselves off the canvas with a 2-run homer from Telvin Nash (3). They got another pair in the 8th on a Matt Duffy groundout and a Joe Sclafani single. The two of them had 2 hits apiece, while René Garcia went 3-4 with a pair of doubles.

Later this morning, Colton Cain will take on a rehabbing Casey Kelly. First pitch is at 11:05 A.M. Cain was just activated from the DL.

Lancaster 1, Bakersfield 0

W- Josh Hader (3-0)
L- Ben Lively (6-1)
S- Dan Minor (1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

366 days ago, Kyle Hallock and Luis Cruz combined to no-hit Stockton. Mother's Day seems to bring some good juju for the JetHawks. Oh alright, it was a belated Mother's Day. Well then. 3 pitchers combined on this no-no. They did issue 5 walks, but they kept the Blaze off the run and hit columns. That's what really matters here.

Josh Hader started it off with 6 innings. He walked 4 while striking out 6. J.D. Osborne was the first man out; he walked 1 and struck out 1 over 2 innings, and Dan Minor capped it all off by striking out Kyle Waldrop to end the game. Minor also punched out Jesse Winker to begin the 9th.

The JetHawks offense was stifled by Ben Lively, who's done that to everyone he's faced this season. However... Hader, Osborne, and Minor neutralized his performance by yielding nothing to Bakersfield's bats. Jordan Scott's RBI single in the 2nd was the only scoring done in this one. Danry Vasquez and Dan Gulbransen provided doubles.

The middle game of this series is a field trip game for the kids. Brian Holmes will take on Wandy Peralta at 11:00 A.M. Pacific.

Wisconsin 10, Quad Cities 4

W- Tyler Alexander (3-3)
L- Edison Frias (1-2)
S- Taylor Williams (1)

QC home runs: Tyler White (1, 2-run in 6th)

The River Bandits got their 4 runs in the 6th to cut into a 6-0 deficit, but they were put away by a couple of 2-run innings.

Edison Frias went 4 innings and allowed 6 runs on 8 hits (solo homer) and struck out 3. Zach Morton was the first man out; he went 2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Andrew Walter pitched the final 2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned), a hit, walked 1, and fanned 2.

Quad Cities' 4 runs all came with 2 outs. James Ramsay and Chan-Jong Moon both scored on an error that allowed Ronnie Mitchell to reach. Mitchell would steal 2nd (1) and scored when Tyler White went deep for the first time this season. Everyone in the lineup had a hit; Tanner Mathis was 2-4 with a triple.

In the series finale, Evan Grills will face Barrett Astin at 6:35.

May 12 Three Stars: Position Players

3.


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Conrad Gregor, 1B, Quad Cities
2-4, 2B, 3 RBI



2.



Telvin Nash, 1B, Corpus Christi
2-5, solo HR (2)


1.



Gregorio Petit, SS, Oklahoma City
2-4, solo HR (3), 2 RBI, 2 R



Jon Singleton, 1B, Oklahoma City
2-4, solo HR (12)



Domingo Santana, LF, Oklahoma City
2-4, solo HR (5)



May 12 Three Stars: Pitchers


3. Could be an explosive pairing in the making for Quad Cities.



Michael Feliz, RHP
3.1 IP, 2 H, ER, 6 K



Jandel Gustave, RHP
W (2-2), 4 IP, 2 H, 4 K


2. Making it clear he doesn't want to be in OKC for long.



Brett Oberholtzer, LHP, Oklahoma City
W (1-0; 1-6 season) 7 IP, 5 H, BB, 9 K


1.



Mike Hauschild, RHP, Corpus Christi
5 IP, H, 3 K (AA debut)




May 13 Three Stars: Position Players

3.



Joe Sclafani, IF, Corpus Christi
2-4, RBI


1. One run makes a difference.



Jordan Scott, LF, Lancaster
1-3, RBI single in 2nd



Domingo Santana, OF, Oklahoma City
1-2, solo HR (5) as the DH


May 13 Three Stars: Pitchers

3. A couple of fine multiple-inning relief appearances for Corpus...



Andrew Robinson, RHP, Corpus Christi
3.2 IP, 3 H, 3 K


Michael Dimock, RHP, Corpus Christi
2 IP, H, 3 K



2. Every field trip game should have Jake Buchanan on the mound.



Jake Buchanan, RHP, Oklahoma City
W (3-3), 7.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K


1. NO-HITTER!!!


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Josh Hader, LHP
W (3-0), 6 IP, 4 BB, 6 K



J.D. Osborne, LHP
2 IP, BB, K


Dan Minor, RHP
Save (1), IP, 2 K



Beat the Streak, May 14

The JetHawks only had 4 hits last night, but one of those came off the bat of Rio Ruiz. So, I've got another chance to extend my streak to 3 without the benefit of a +1 once again.

Jayne also got herself back on the board with Rio. However, pacbellpilgrim got an 0-4 night from Carlos Correa.

Unfortunately, Daniel Nelson couldn't tie the season-high streak as Delino DeShields went 0-5 in Corpus Christi's regularly scheduled game in San Antonio.

Matt Naber didn't pick yesterday, but he's going with Carlos Correa. He's the new king of the mountain at the moment.

Couple of day games today. I'll be going with Delino DeShields.

Today's Games

OKC is off.
Corpus Christi @ San Antonio, 11:05 A.M.
Lancaster vs. Bakersfield, 1:00
Quad Cities @ Wisconsin, 6:35

Current Active Streaks

Matt Naber- 5

Me- 2

Jayne-1

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Happy Birthday - 5/14

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

C Pat Borders (51)
Originally drafted by the Blue Jays in the sixth round in 1982, Borders came to Houston in an August 1995 trade with the Royals and only played in 11 games for the Astros with forgettable results. He had a 17-year major league career with nine different teams. His most notable years were with the Blue Jays where he won two World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. He was MVP in the 1992 Series as he hit .450/.500/.750 in six games. He also won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympic team in the 2000 Sydney games.

Also, a Very Happy Birthday to Astros Assistant Director of Player Development Allen Rowin!

Tweets of the Day


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Beat the Streak, May 13

I'm off the schneid! At least for a day. Domingo Santana delivered with a 2-4 night which included a solo homer.

Corpus Christi will have to finish their game from yesterday, but if you chose a Hooks player who got a hit yesterday, then your streak was extended (or began) anyway. Daniel Nelson got a single from Delino DeShields, Matt Naber got 2 from Andrew Aplin, and pacbellpilgrim got 2 hits from Tyler Heineman before the suspension. Rip Noblin chose M.P. Cokinos, who got the day off.

Unfortunately, Jayne and Baseball Mom were knocked back to the start as Tyler White went 0-4 in Wisconsin.

Today, I'll go with Rio Ruiz and Jon Singleton. Picking a Corpus player? Well, you obviously can't choose him for the suspended game. C'mon, guys.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Colorado Springs, 11:05 A.M.
Corpus Christi @ San Antonio, I guess it'll begin 30-45 minutes after the completion of the suspended game, which resumes at 6:00?
Lancaster vs. Bakersfield, 8:30
Quad Cities @ Wisconsin, 6:35

Current Active Streaks

Daniel Nelson- 7

Matt Naber- 5

pacbellpilgrim- 3

Me- 1

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, May 12, 2014 

Rain, rain, go away. No, really.

Oklahoma City 6, Colorado Springs 2

W- Brett Oberholtzer (1-0; 1-6 season)
L- Yohan Flande (0-6)

OKC home runs: Gregorio Petit (3, solo in 4th), Jon Singleton (12, solo in 7th), Domingo Santana (4, solo in 7th)

The RedHawks got themselves on the board in this series as they bludgeoned the Sky Sox pitching staff, scoring the game's first 6 runs.

On offense, the home run hitters all had 2 hits apiece. Petit, who also scored twice, opened the scoring with his homer in the 4th, then added an RBI double in the 6th. Kiké Hernandez added an RBI single in the 6th and would advance to 2nd after an error on the play. Another error would allow him to score. Singleton and Santana hit back-to-back blasts off old friend Wilton Lopez in the 7th. Jonathan Meyer was the only player in the lineup to walk and strike out.

Brett Oberholtzer pitched as if he didn't want to be in OKC for long. He tossed 7 shutout innings and allowed 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 9. Rhiner Cruz gave up 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the final 2 innings.

In the series finale, Jake Buchanan (2-3, 3.89) will face Christian Bergman (3-1, 4.06) at 11:05 A.M.

Corpus Christi 5, San Antonio 5 in 10 innings

After a rain delay, this game has been suspended. There is currently 1 out in the top of the 10th, and Matt Duffy has a 1-0 count. This game will resume at 6, with the regularly scheduled game to follow.

What's happened up to this point? Delino DeShields reached base in 3 of his 4 plate appearances (single, 2 walks), scored 3 runs, laid down the game-tying sacrifice bunt and is 3-3 on stolen bases (10). Andrew Aplin has a pair of RBI singles, and Telvin Nash hit a solo shot (2) in the 7th.

Mike Hauschild, in his AA debut, threw 5 innings of 1-hit, shutout ball and struck out 3. It only took him 51 pitches (35) to get through those 5 innings. Unfortunately, the bullpen couldn't hold a 4-0 lead. Matt Heidenreich went 2.1 innings and allowed 4 runs (2 earned; 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Michael Dimock struck out the only batter he faced in the 8th. Alex Sogard, on the other hand, didn't. He committed an error that allowed an inherited runner to score and was charged with an inherited run. Jorge De Leon allowed the go-ahead 2-run double to the first man he faced. He did recover to get the final out and threw a 1-2-3 9th.

In the regularly scheduled game, Luis Cruz (3-3, 3.52) will face Devin Jones (4-2, 6.62). By the way, there's a 60% chance of rain in San Antonio today.

Lancaster was off

The JetHawks will begin a 3-game series with Bakersfield beginning tonight at 6:30 Pacific. Josh Hader will get the start against Ben Lively, a guy who is probably going to be called up to AA any time now.

Quad Cities 4, Wisconsin 3

W- Jandel Gustave (2-2)
L- Trevor Seidenberger (2-1)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos have clawed their way back to .500 with their 6th straight victory. They also lived up to their name as they went 5-6 on stolen base attempts.

QC got on the board in the 3rd with a pair of RBI doubles from Jack Mayfield and Conrad Gregor. Gregor, who finished 2-4, added an RBI single in the 5th and broke a 3-3 tie with a sac fly in the 7th. Mayfield waas 3-4 with a run scored, and Brian Holberton notched his 3rd straight 2-hit game.

The steals were provided by Brett Phillips (6), Chan-Jong Moon with 2 (12), James Ramsay (10), and Jobduan Morales (1).

River Bandits pitchers did not issue a walk in this game. Michael Feliz went 3.1 innings and allowed a run (inherited runner charged to him) on 2 hits and struck out 6. Pat Christensen was the first man out and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and struck out 1. Jandel Gustave finished it with 4 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 4.

In the middle game of this series, Edison Frias (1-1, 5.14) will take on Tyler Alexander (2-3, 5.24). First pitch will be at 6:35.

Three Stars from these games will be included in tomorrow's recaps.

An Interview with Astros LHP Jordan Mills

Last August in Greeneville, Tennessee, I got my first look at Astros LHP and 2013 28th round draft pick Jordan Mills. He definitely caught my attention, but then at 6'5" and rocking the high socks, he's a tad bit hard to miss.

Jordan Mills - August 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Aside from having a commanding presence on the mound, he also had the numbers to back it up. In his first 14 professional appearances (six starts), Mills went 5-1 with a 2.08 ERA, a 1.028 WHIP and he only walked 13 batters while striking out 43 in 47+ innings pitched. Batters only hit .216 against him and he had a 2.76 ground out/air out ratio, one of the highest ground ball rates in the organization.

I reached out to Jordan, who is currently at Extended Spring Training, via email to find out a little bit more about him. Here is what he had to say ~

JH: First things first. I always like to ask pitchers about their pitch repertoire, including velocity, movement, best out pitch, what you're working on, etc. Can you tell me a little about all that?

JM: The pitches I throw are a fastball (2 seam and 4 seam), change up, curveball, and cutter. I throw from a low 3/4s slot so I seem to get good action on my pitches tailing away from right handed batters. I’d have to say that my best out pitch is my change up and it produces strike outs and mass amounts of ground balls. I’m working on pitching to left handed batters more dominantly with perfecting my curve ball and cutter which both go away from a left handed batters barrel.

JH: What do you feel like you accomplished in your first professional season? What do you think you will need to accomplish this season in order to get to the next level developmentally?

JM: In my first professional season I feel like I accomplished being able to go out and compete more. Pitching to wood bats is a different experience and throwing strikes is a bigger part in the game as well as calling your own game. In order to get to the next level I need to be more consistent with throwing my cutter and curve ball to left handed hitters and just being more consistent in general.

JH: Can you tell me a little about your college career and the draft experience? Did you know that the Astros were interested in drafting you? Any other teams?

JM: My college career I went to Saint Mary’s College for 3 years and had an absolute great time. The team as well as the baseball was awesome and made quite a few life long friends along the way. It was tough junior year not to think about the draft cause for all baseball players, it's always in the back of your mind but as a team we always went out there and had fun and competed to the best of our ability and played for each other which helped take our mind off the pressure of the draft. I did know the Astros were interested. I got a pre-draft call from our area scout Bryan Byrne and was very excited to hear from him.

JH: What was the biggest surprise for you in your first professional season?

JM: The biggest surprise for me in my first professional season was how on our own we are. We call our own game and everything is on our shoulders when you toe the rubber so I felt it made you compete even more because you want to do as good as you can to help out your team as much as possible. As well as playing everyday, you really have to have your priorities straight to eat right, sleep right and do all of the right things on and off the field because it’s a grind compared to only playing 3 games a week in college.

JH: What Astros MiLB pitcher that you've played with or seen in ST or EST has a pitch you'd like to steal?

JM: Blaine Sims knuckleball for sure. When a catcher has to wear a special glove to catch you and even then still struggles, you know you have something unique and special.

JH:. What Astros MiLB player would you least like to face in the batter's box?

JM: I would have to say Jake Rodriguez; he’s always had my number even when we played together as kids.

JH: Since you get a lot of ground ball outs, is there a particular player that you really liked having play behind you when you pitched last season?

JM: I really liked having Jack Mayfield and Tyler White last year behind me. If the ball's hit in their direction you know they’re going to make the play.

JH: What teammate really makes you laugh?

JM: Chris Lee definitely makes me laugh the most. He’s always got energy day in and day out.

JH: What would you do if you couldn't play baseball?

JM: If I couldn’t play baseball I would go back to school and finish my last year of school at Saint Mary’s College and get my business degree

JH: Can you tell me a little bit about Extended Spring Training and the day-to-day experience?

JM: The Extended spring training day-to-day experience is a blast but still is a grind. You start off waking up at 6 am every morning and shower and get ready and eat breakfast to catch the bus by 7. Then we start practice and stretch around 8 and that usually goes to 11:30 eat lunch and get ready to play our game around 1. It’s all worth it because the knowledge that our coaches have is out of this world and we can learn so much from them day in and day out. They make it fun and interesting for us and we really get better every day we are out there.

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

Astros Minor League Roster Moves

A few more roster moves over the last couple of days ...

OKLAHOMA CITY
5/11 - 1B Eric Castro put on the temporary inactive list
5/11 - OF Adron Chambers activated from the DL
5/12 - OF Austin Wates placed back on the DL
CORPUS CHRISTI
5/11 - LHP Tommy Shirley placed on the reserve list (I don't even know what that means)
5/11 - LHP David  Rollins activated from the DL

LANCASTER
5/11 - OF Dan Gulbransen activated from the temporary inactive list
5/12 - RHP Vincent Velasquez placed on the 7-day DL retroactive to 5/11

Tweet of the Day

Monday, May 12, 2014

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

In our look back at last week, we have some great Astros minor league performances to acknowledge. These nominees and winners are from the week commencing Sunday, May 4th and continuing through Saturday, May 10th.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Another week, another plethora of amazing performances. Let me start by handing out a couple of honorable mentions to Oklahoma City utility player Andy Simunic (4 games) and Quad Cities first baseman Chase McDonald (5 games) who had terrific weeks.

The nominees and winners played in a minimum of six games. Stats are for the week only and are not cumulative for the season.

OF James Ramsay (Quad Cities)
.389/.577/.556
7R 3-2B 3RBI 8BB 4SO 2SB

2B Chan Moon (Quad Cities)
.364/.548/.636
6R 3-3B 6RBI 9BB 3SO

SS Carlos Correa (Lancaster)
.424/.441/.545
5R 2-2B 3B 11RBI 0BB 4SO 2SB

3B Matt Duffy (Corpus Christi)
.409/.462/.682
2R 2B 3B HR 6RBI 2BB 1SO

3B Tyler White (Quad Cities)
.500/.500/.583
2R 2-2B 7RBI 1BB 1SO

2B Tony Kemp (Lancaster)
.517/.588/.621
10R 3-2B 4RBI 5BB 3SO

Tony Kemp has had an amazing season, but once again he is the bridesmaid to our winner who put up ridiculous numbers for the week. And, of course, I mean ridiculous in the best possible way!!!

OF Teoscar Hernandez (Lancaster)
.536/.618/.857
8R 6-2B HR 7RBI 6BB 9SO SB CS

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: OF TEOSCAR HERNANDEZ


Teoscar Hernandez - April 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

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STARTING (TANDEM) PITCHER OF THE WEEK

As a reminder, my starting pitcher parameters are either two appearances or a minimum of five innings in one game over the 7-day period. With that said, acknowledgement needs to be made of two excellent 4-inning outings from Corpus Christi's Brady Rodgers and Lancaster's Chris Devenski, and great 3-inning outings from Quad Cities' Kevin Comer and Edison Frias.

With that said, here are my nominees and my winner for the week. Stats are for the week only and are not cumulative for the season.

RHP Matt Heidenreich (Corpus Christi) - 1 win
0.00 ERA/1.400 WHIP
5IP (1 game) 6H 1BB 5SO
Held hitters to a .286 BA

RHP Bobby Doran (Oklahoma City) - 1 win
1.50 ERA/0.833 WHIP
6IP (1 game) 3H 2BB 3SO PO CS
Held hitters to a .176 BA

RHP Mike Foltynewicz (Oklahoma City) - 1 win
1.50 ERA/0.500 WHIP
6IP (1 game) 1H 2BB 12SO
Held hitters to a .053 BA

Some may disagree with my winner. Yes, Folty had a completely dominating performance, but when all is said and done, Buchanan pitched one more inning and allowed one fewer run and two fewer walks. In his own way, Buchanan was at least as dominating ... he just goes about it in a different way.

RHP Jake Buchanan (Oklahoma City) - 1 win
0.00 ERA/0.714 WHIP
7IP (1 game) 5H 0BB 5SO (15 groundball outs)
Held hitters to a .192 BA

STARTING (TANDEM) PITCHER OF THE WEEK: RHP JAKE BUCHANAN

Jake Buchanan - May 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

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RELIEF PITCHER OF THE WEEK

There were so many excellent relief appearances last week that once again, I had to go for those who put up multiple scoreless outings or longer outings. Tyson Perez and J.D. Osborne (both of Lancaster) and Michael Dimock (Corpus Christi) all had great scoreless two-inning appearances. Even taking them out of the equation, I had ten pitchers with multiple scoreless outings and one scoreless long relief outing, so I narrowed the field further by including only those with a WHIP under 1.000. This left Jason Stoffel (Oklahoma City), Andrew Walter (Quad Cities) and Patrick Urckftiz (Corpus Christi) behind despite their effectiveness. I was still left with seven names so I took Josh Zeid out of the running since he got promoted. Here are your final six. Stats are for the week only and are not cumulative for the season.

RHP Rhiner Cruz (Oklahoma City)
0.00 ERA/0.750 WHIP
2.2IP (2 games) 0BB 1SO

LHP Kevin Chapman (Oklahoma City) - 1 save
0.00 ERA/,0.750 WHIP
2.2IP (3 games) 1BB 3SO
2 inherited runners/0 scored

RHP Daniel Minor (Lancaster) - 2 wins
0.00 ERA/0.923 WHIP
4.1IP (2 games) 3BB 4SO CS
1 inherited runner/0 scored

RHP Jorge de Leon (Corpus Christi) - 1 save
0.00 ERA/0.250 WHIP
4.0IP (3 games) 0BB 3SO

RHP Juan Minaya (Lancaster)
0.00 ERA/0.231 WHIP
4.1IP (1 game) 1BB 7SO
1 inherited runner/0 scored

Again this week, the only apparent way to beat those excellent outings seems to have been perfection and that's precisely what our winner provided. Plus there's the little matter of what happened when our winner inherited bases loaded, not once but twice last week!

LHP Chris Cotton (Quad Cities) - 1 win, 1 save
0.00 ERA/0.000 WHIP
3IP (2 games) 0BB 2SO
6 inherited runners/1 scored

RELIEF PITCHER OF THE WEEK: LHP CHRIS COTTON


Chris Cotton - July 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen