Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Look at the Dominican Summer League

Today marks the first day of play in the Dominican Summer League. Beginning this year, the Astros will be fielding 2 teams in the DSL.

DSL Astros Blue will be playing in the Santo Domingo North Division with the A's, Indians, Dodgers, Rays, and Royals.

DSL Astros Orange, the new club, will be in the Boca Chica North division with the Angels, Cubs, Marlins, Mets 2, Yankees 2 Phillies, Pirates, and 2 Rangers teams.

Here are the rosters, as listed on I have no idea where most of these guys came from; I (or Jayne) will update when I (or she) find information. The big signings from this past international signing period look to be evenly dispersed between Blue and Orange.


3 Australians are on the roster: C Hayden Timberlake, 2B Connor MacDonald, and RHP Lachlan Madden. Madden signed in February, and he's a product of the same club that also produced Travis Blackley. You can follow him on Twitter @lokkstarrmadden.

RHP Albert Abreu
RHP Dariel Aquino
LHP Luis Arias
RHP Yan de la Cruz
LHP Carlos Hiraldo
RHP Lachlan Madden
RHP Ezequiel Madera
LHP Salvador Montaño
RHP Hansel Paulino
RHP Erasmo Pinales
RHP Gabriel Pirela
RHP Moreno Polanco
RHP Jose Rosario
RHP Abdiel Saldaña
RHP Carlos Sanabria
RHP Josue Uribe

Carlos Canelon
Hayden Timberlake
Oliver Toribio

SS Marcos Almonte
3B Reiny Beltre
SS Wander Franco
2B Connor MacDonald (don't think I've ever seen a 6'5" 2B before)
SS Jonathan Matute
SS Joan Mauricio

Edgar Lorenzo
Felix Lucas
Nestor Tejada


RHP Bryan Abreu
LHP Yhoan Acosta
RHP Joel Belboder
RHP Gerald Benzant
RHP Robert Corniel
RHP Tomas Lopez
RHP Adonis Peña
RHP Carlos Pizzolato
RHP Jose Ramos
RHP Michael Richez
LHP Starlyng Sanchez
LHP Cristopher Santamaria
RHP Starlyn Taveras
RHP Gabriel Valdez
LHP Edwin Villarroel

Ihan Bernal
Gabriel Bracamonte (Javier Bracamonte's son?)

SS Wilson Amador
SS Osvaldo Duarte
SS Frankeny Fernandez
3B Cristopher Luciano

Bryan de la Cruz
Andy Pineda
Vicente Sanchez

Beat the Streak, May 31 and June 1

I will be taking the weekend off from this game. Please police yourselves!

May 31 Games

OKC vs. Memphis, 7:05
Corpus Christi vs. Northwest Arkansas, 7:10
Lancaster vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 8:00
Quad Cities @ Wisconsin, 6:35
DSL Astros Orange vs. DSL Angels, 9:30 A.M.
DSL Astros Blue @ DSL Indians, 9:30 A.M.

June 1 Games

OKC vs. Memphis, 6:05
Corpus Christi vs. Northwest Arkansas, 6:10
Lancaster vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 4:00
Quad Cities @ Wisconsin, 1:05

Current Active Streaks

Jayne, Baseball Mom, Rip Noblin, Matt Naber, and Daniel Nelson are all tied at 2.

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, May 30, 2014

Oklahoma City 2, Omaha 1

W- Alex White (1-0)
L- Buddy Baumann (1-1)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks avoided the sweep in dramatic fashion as they scored a pair in the 9th and executed the ol' walk-off squeeze play.

Mike Foltynewicz was just excellent in this one. He pitched 7.2 innings and allowed a run on 6 hits and struck out 10. Both of his double-digit strikeout outings this season have come against the Storm Chasers. Josh Zeid only faced one batter; he struck out Paulo Orlando to end the 8th. Alex White worked around a 2-out infield single to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1 in the inning.

Well, it took them the entire game, but better late than never. The RedHawks had a chance to take control earlier, but they left the bases loaded in the 7th and the 8th. 4 batters appeared in the 9th, and all 4 of them reached. Kiké Hernandez kicked off the rally by walking, and then he advanced to 2nd on a Gregorio Petit single. Hernandez would score the tying run as Matt Duffy reached on an error. Petit moved up to 3rd on the play. One batter later, Carlos Perez laid down an exquisite bunt and Petit made an "unreal" slide home for the winning run. The bunt was scored as a sacrifice and Perez received credit for the only OKC RBI. He was also the owner of the lone RedHawks extra-base hit when he doubled with 1 out in the 6th.

Memphis is in town for 4. In game 1, Jake Buchanan will face Zach Petrick. First pitch is at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 7, Northwest Arkansas 2

W- Mike Hauschild (1-0, 3-1 season)
L- J.C. Sulbaran (2-4)

CC home runs: Telvin Nash (3, solo in 6th)

The Hooks took the opener as they were able to get themselves out of the offensive rut that they were in during the last 2 games of the Arkansas series. The Naturals briefly tied the game at 2 after they scored a pair in the top of the 3rd, but Corpus ran off 5 unanswered to get the W.

Leo Heras put Corpus on the board first in the 2nd with an RBI triple. He would score on a Tyler Heineman groundout. Nolan Fontana led off the bottom of the 3rd with a ground-rule double and scored on a Jonathan Meyer fielder's choice to put the Hooks up for good. Telvin Nash finished a triple shy of the cycle (in 3 at-bats); he swatted a solo homer (3) in the 6th and scored twice. He was plunked in his final plate appearance of the evening, in the 8th inning. Before he was hit, Heineman led off the inning with a double and scored when Delino DeShields laid down a sac bunt and an error was committed on the play. Meyer brought Nash home with a pop-fly RBI single, and DeShields scored the final run of the night on another error that allowed Preston Tucker to reach, and loaded the bases. Tucker, who finished 2-5 with a double, was credited with an RBI on the play.

Mike Hauschild finally got his 1st win at the AA level after 2 really good starts and a decent one. He pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. In his AA debut, Tyson Perez fired 3 scoreless and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Pat Urckfitz struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th to wrap it up.

In the middle game of this series, Luis Cruz and Jordan Jankowski will take on Sam Selman at 7:10.

Lancaster 9, Rancho Cucamonga 1

W- Josh Hader (5-0)
L- Geoff Brown (1-3)

Lancaster home runs: Roberto Peña (3, 2-run in 2nd)

Rancho got on the board in the 6th to make it a 2-1 game, but the JetHawks took off in the 7th with a touchdown to run away with the opener and their 7th straight victory. Also, Josh Hader continued his fine season.

Hader went 7.2 and the only ding on his line was a solo homer to James Baldwin, which constituted the entire Rancho offense. He allowed 3 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 9. J.D. Osborne retired all 4 Quakes hitters he faced, striking out 3 of them.

Before the JetHawks' assault in the 7th, their 2 runs came in the form of a Roberto Peña (3) 2-run homer in the 2nd. A couple of triples from Ruben Sosa and Jordan Scott signaled the beginning of the end for the Quakes. Tony Kemp then ripped an RBI double. Teoscar Hernandez walked, and then Carlos Correa hit a 2-run single. Rio Ruiz continued the assault with an RBI double, and after Peña went down for the 2nd out, Conrad Gregor drew a walk. Dan Gulbransen capped it off with a 2-run triple. Rio finished 3-4, while Correa was 2-5 with a steal (13). Sosa also had a double to go along with his triple, which served as the catalyst for the big inning, and Peña also ripped a double to go along with his blast.

Game 2 of the series has Mark Appel making his return to the Lancaster rotation. He'll take on the young phenom, Julio Urias, at 6:00 Pacific.

Quad Cities 7, Beloit 3

W- Edison Frias (2-3)
L- Lou Trivino (3-4)

QC home runs: Ronnie Mitchell (7, grand slam in 1st)

The River Bandits swept the Snappers out of the Quad Cities as they raced out to a 7-0 lead after 4 innings, powered by Mitchell's slam in the 1st.

Chase McDonald opened the scoring in the 1st with an RBI single. Later on in the inning, Mitchell homered for the 4th straight game. The grand slam (7) extended his hitting streak and his RBI streak to 5 games. The last time he hit a grand slam was in Little League. Tyler White went 2-3 with a couple of doubles; one of them brought home Brian Holberton in the 3rd. Chan-Jong Moon added an RBI double in the 4th. Holberton and Jon Kemmer also had 2-hit nights.

Edison Frias went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and struck out 7. Chris Cotton allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 2. Tyler Brunnemann finished it off by retiring all 5 Snappers he faced, striking out 3 of them.

QC will now begin a 3-game series in Wisconsin; Evan Grills will start the opener against Zach Quintana at 6:35.

Three Stars: Position Players


Roberto Peña, C, Lancaster
2-4, 2B, 2-R HR (3)


Ronnie Mitchell, RF, Quad Cities
1-2, Grand Slam (7); 4th straight game with a home run


Telvin Nash, 1B, Corpus Christi
3-3, solo HR (3), 2 R

Three Stars: Pitchers


Tyson Perez, RHP, Corpus Christi
3 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K; AA debut


Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, Oklahoma City
7.2 IP, 6 H, ER, 10 K


Josh Hader, LHP, Lancaster
W (5-0), 7.2 IP, 4 H (solo HR), ER, BB, 9 K

Re-Post of July 2013 Interview with Astros OF Ronnie Mitchell

I will be hard at work this weekend transcribing my notes, uploading video and labeling photos from my trip to Lancaster last weekend. In the meantime, you might enjoy reading this interview I posted last July with OF Ronnie Mitchell. Why now? Well, Ronnie has now hit home runs in four straight games for Quad Cities, culminating in last night's grand slam. I figure he's probably piquing the interest of a few other minor league fans much as he did mine last summer. Enjoy!


One of the players in the 2013 draft class that piqued my interest early on was 38th rounder Ronnie Mitchell, a lefty-hitting outfielder out of Dallas Baptist. His good start, displaying power, speed and range, had me thinking that the Astros might have gotten a steal in the 38th round, sentiments that are echoed by Tri-City Manager Ed Romero, "You see it the same way I see it. I love him. He's very athletic. He's got a lot of tools. He can play all three outfields. He has a plus arm. He's a good defender, runs well. He's got power. Right now, there's a couple things he needs to work on with his swing. He tends to get a little too long at times, but that's very correctable. He's a great kid. Works hard and plays hard. I really like Mitchell."

Ronnie Mitchell - July 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

I talked to Mitchell earlier this month and this is what he had to say (edited for brevity and clarity) ~

On his draft experience: "Obviously, it was a long one for me, being the 38th round pick, had to wait until the last day. Waiting around all day with my family was pretty emotional, but once I got picked, I was just very relieved and happy to get a chance to play professional baseball. [Did he know that the Astros were interested?] I talked to the scout that had interest in me, Jim Stevenson, probably a few weeks before the draft, and there were some other teams I was talking to a couple days before the draft. Jim just asked me if I wanted to play professional baseball and I told him 'yes,' and they drafted me late and I was grateful.

On his college experience: "It was a long journey for me. I went to three different colleges. It's a long story. My freshman year, I went to the University of Nevada-Reno, and ended up transferring. In between those schools, I had foot surgery and transferred to a junior college in Oklahoma, battled through some more injuries and ended up back at Dallas Baptist [where I] continued to battle injuries and tried to stay on the field. In my senior year I was just so grateful that I was able to stay on the field the entire season. I didn't miss a game and eventually got drafted by the Astros.

Any dirt on his former college teammate and fellow Astro Austin "Catfish" Elkins?: "He's a pretty up front guy. I'm sure you know everything about him. [Remembering] He cannot run sprints. That's something I remember even at DBU, we'd try to do conditioning and after 2 or 3 sprints, he's crying to the coach that he can't go anymore. [Laughs] You could say he's a great athlete, very explosive and powerful, but that guy cannot run sprints to save his life."

What has been the biggest surprise for him about playing pro ball so far?: "Obviously just the mental and physical grind every day. Showing up early six or seven hours before the game, working on fundamentals, getting early work in. You have to really focus in and take care of your body to be able to keep up that level of play, so many great guys playing professional baseball at this level."

What has he accomplished so far?: "There's no real sense of accomplishment yet. Like you said, it's early. I'm just showing up every day, trying to be as consistent as I can, level-headed. I just approach every day just giving it my all, playing with energy. Just whatever happens, happens."

What will he need to do to get to the next level as a player?: "Just overall consistency in every aspect - fielding, working on the fundamentals of throwing, catching. Obviously just getting a consistent approach, especially two-strike approach is a big thing at this level, transitioning from aluminum to wood bats, you really have to focus in. I would think that would be the biggest thing, just two-strike approach and fighting off pitches and that kind of thing."

What does he bring to the game?: "Honestly, I don't think about it that much. I just show up and try to play as hard as I can. I guess a consistent energy on a daily basis. I do my best to bring confidence and swagger to encourage my teammates. I just try to have as much fun as I can on the field, hopefully just try to uplift people through my play and off the field."

What would he do if he couldn't play baseball?: "I'd probably be a clothing designer, whether it be sports apparel or formal wear. I like drawing and sketches and that kind of stuff. Even throughout my baseball career, however long I play, I'll do that on the side. That's something that most people don't know about me. I've been blessed with artistic ability and I like to draw and sketch free-hand. Whatever I visualize in my mind, I do a pretty decent job of being able to transfer it to paper."

Who on the team makes him laugh?: "Zach Morton. He's a clown. He just doesn't stop either. A couple of games I got mad at him because I was trying to visualize and focus on my at bat and he's cracking jokes [in the dugout] and I ended up losing focus for a second. I've got to tell him to ease up during the game, but he is hilarious."


The last question I asked Ed Romero was if there was anyone on the team who had surprised him. Mitchell's name came up again, "Mitchell has been a big surprise for me. I think he's much better than a 38th rounder. We did a very good job scouting him. I want to congratulate our scout in that area. He did an outstanding job with Mitchell."

On a personal level, I really enjoyed talking to Ronnie. He's soft-spoken and thoughtful with a sly sense of humor. But one last question cemented him as one of my new favorites to watch. I did not realize that he spent much of his childhood in Port Arthur and has a special fondness for the Astros, "I remember going to Astros games as a kid, and I was just enamored with the [idea that I would] be able to hopefully one day get a chance to play professional baseball. It's great that I was able to get picked up by a team that I was so familiar with, growing up 70 or 80 miles from the ballpark. It's just a great opportunity for me. I'm just enjoying every minute of it."

Thanks for your time, Ronnie, and the best of luck as the season continues.

Happy Birthday - 5/31

One future Astro with a birthday today:

3B Cristopher Luciano (18)
Luciano will be making his professional debut with DSL Astros Orange this season.

One former Astro also celebrates ~

CF Kenny Lofton (47)
Drafted by Houston in the 17th round in 1988, Lofton only played in 20 games for Houston in 1991 out of his 17 year major league career. He was traded, along with Dave Rohde, to Cleveland for RHP Willie Blair and C Ed Taubensee in December 1991 in what turned out to be a spectacularly bad trade. In 1992, Lofton was second in Rookie of the Year voting to Pat Listach. He was a six-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove. He played for 11 teams and had a career batting line of .299/.372/.423 with 622 stolen bases.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, May 30, 2014

Beat the Streak, May 30

Darn. I thought I could switch from Jon Kemmer, who had yesterday off, to Danry Vásquez, who had an RBI single, but forgot that Quad Cities' game had already started.

Jayne and Baseball Mom got themselves back on the board with a Carlos Correa single. Matt Naber got an RBI single from Rio Ruiz, but an 0-4 night from Delino DeShields. Daniel Nelson drew blanks with DeShields and Chan-Jong Moon. Rip Noblin didn't get anything from Moon or Tyler White, who got the day off, and pacbellpilgrim got 1 from Brett Phillips, but zero from L.J. Hoes.

Today, my picks are Max Stassi and Thomas Lindauer.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Omaha, 7:05
Corpus Christii vs. Northwest Arkansas, 7:10
Lancaster vs. Rancho Cucamonga, 8:30
Quad Cities vs. Beloit, 7:00

Current Active Streaks

Jayne and Baseball Mom- tied at 1

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Getting to Know Lancaster JetHawks RHP Gonzalo Sanudo

Gonzalo Sanudo came in to the Astros organization in a Spring 2013 trade that sent 2010 supplemental first round pick Mike Kvasnicka to the Twins organization. Sanudo quickly made his mark with the Greeneville team and ended his season as an integral part of the New York-Penn League Championship Tri-City team.

Sanudo continued his dominance with Quad Cities earlier this season, putting up a 1.14 ERA and a 0.887 WHIP in seven appearances, leading to his promotion to High A Lancaster. Sanudo is still getting acclimated to the California League (he allowed three home runs in his first three games, one more than he had allowed in his entire minor league career prior to the promotion), but as a control pitcher, I have no doubt that he will make the necessary adjustments. In 131 career innings pitched, Sanudo has only walked 20 batters.

Gonzalo Sanudo - May 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

In addition to adjusting to the league, Sanudo is also transitioning from reliever to starter. I spoke with Lancaster Pitching Coach Don Alexander about Sanudo's strengths and further development into that role, "He's a strike thrower. He's not afraid to challenge hitters. He's not afraid to work in the strike zone. Big thing with him right now is he's working on his put away package. He gets ahead of hitters outstanding, attacks the strike zone and ... once he gets into that position of advantage and he's controlled the count, now he can end the at bat. We've been spending time working on that put away arsenal so that when he gets into those good counts and those pitcher's counts and the positions of advantage, he can stop at bats right away."

Now let's hear from Sanudo himself (with a video bomb from Manager Rodney Linares) ~


Thank you for your time, Gonzalo, and the best of luck on your journey.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, May 29, 2014

Omaha 4, Oklahoma City 3

W- Ryan Verdugo (1-1)
L- David Martinez (5-3)
S- Spencer Patton (10)

OKC home runs: None.

Close, but no cigar. The RedHawks got burned by a bases-clearing double from Mike Moustakas in the 3rd, and they have lost 3 straight since coming home.

Domingo Santana went 2-4 and led off the 2nd with a double. He'd come around to score OKC's first run of the evening on a Gregorio Petit single. After Jon Singleton doubled to lead off the 4th, Santana hit a single to drive him in. L.J. Hoes hit a sac fly in the 8th, which made it a 4-3 game at the time. Santana and Petit finished with 2 hits apiece.

David Martinez pitched 7 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, walking 3, and striking out 5. Alex White struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 8th, and Jason Stoffel gave up a run on a sac fly, walked 3, and struck out 1 in the 9th.

OKC will look to avoid the sweep as Mike Foltynewicz, who struck out 12 the last time he faced the Storm Chasers, takes the hill. He'll take on John Lamb at 7:05.

Arkansas 4, Corpus Christi 0

W- Michael Roth (4-3)
L- David Rollins (0-1)
S- Michael Brady (1)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks were shut out in the final 2 games of this series after taking the opener 6-2. Jio Mier and Preston Tucker had 2 hits apiece; Jio's double in the 9th was the only extra-base hit for Corpus. The two of them were stranded on 2nd and 3rd to end the game. René Garcia was 1-1 with 2 walks.

David Rollins went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Alex Sogard threw 3 scoreless, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 3. Michael Dimock pitched the final 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 1.

The other Arkansas team is in Corpus for the weekend. Mike Hauschild will start the opener against J.C. Sulbaran at 7:10.

Lancaster 5, Lake Elsinore 3

W- Chris Devenski (2-5)
L- Colin Rea (5-3)
S- Jamaine Cotton (5)

Lancaster home runs: Jobduan Morales (1, 2 season; solo in 3rd)

The JetHawks took sole possession of 1st place in the California League South with their sweep of the Storm. After Lake Elsinore took a 2-1 lead after 3 innings, the JetHawks responded with 4 unanswered runs, which included a 3-run 6th.

Jobduan Morales put the JetHawks on the board with a solo homer in the 3rd, his 1st as a JetHawk and 2nd of the season. That would be their only run of the game until they took control in the 6th inning, when they got RBI singles from Rio Ruiz and Danry Vásquez, and Ruben Sosa scored when Carlos Perdomo scored on a force out. Conrad Gregor brought home the JetHawks' final run of the night with an RBI single in the 8th. Tony Kemp finished 2-5 with a run scored. Perdomo, despite going 0-3, scored twice and added a couple of stolen bases (8). Carlos Correa went 1-3 with a steal (12).

Chris Devenski went 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 5. Matt Heidenreich allowed a hit over 2 scoreless, and Jamaine Cotton shook off a solo homer from Hunter Renfroe to close it out. He allowed one other hit in the 9th, but nothing came of it.

The JetHawks will now begin a 7-game homestand. First up is a 4-game set with Rancho Cucamonga. Josh Hader will start the opener; he'll face Chris Anderson at 6:30 Pacific.

Quad Cities 2, Beloit 1

W- Jandel Gustave (5-2)
L- Matt Stalcup (0-2)

QC home runs: Ronnie Mitchell (6, 2-run in 7th)

That 2-run homer was all the offense for Quad Cities. Mitchell homered for the 3rd straight game, while Jack Mayfield, who also scored on the blast, finished 2-3 as he was the only player on either side to have a multi-hit game. They swiped 3 more bases without getting caught. Brett Phillips (9), James Ramsay (14), and Mayfield (2) were the thieves in this game.

Michael Feliz was just dominating. He threw 5 no-hit innings and walked 1 while striking out 8. Jandel Gustave was victimized by a sac fly in the 6th but allowed nothing else the rest of the way. That run was unearned, by the way. He went 4 innings and allowed both Beloit hits, walked 1, and struck out 4.

The River Bandits will look for the sweep tonight. Edison Frias will take on Lou Trivino at 7:00.

Three Stars: Position Players


Gregorio Petit, SS, Oklahoma City
2-3, RBI


Domingo Santana, LF, Oklahoma City
2-4, 2B, RBI, R


Ronnie Mitchell, LF, Quad Cities
Go-ahead 2-R HR (6) in 7th; 3rd straight game with a home run

Three Stars: Pitchers


Alex Sogard, LHP, Corpus Christi
3 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K


Michael Feliz, RHP, Quad Cities
5 IP, BB, 8 K

Jandel Gustave, RHP, Quad Cities
W (5-2), 4 IP, 2 H, unearned run, BB, 4 K

Astros Minor League Roster Moves

The actual roster move hasn't been made official yet, but Mark Appel is back with the JetHawks and is slated to start on Saturday.

Happy Birthday - 5/30

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Brett Phillips (20)
Drafted in the sixth round in 2012 out of Seminole High School in Florida, Phillips has made a splash in Quad Cities this season. Through 49 games, he is hitting .307/.377/.480 with eight doubles, seven triples, three home runs and six outfield assists.

One former Astro celebrates today as well ~

RHP Mike "Buffie" LaCoss (58)
A third round draft pick by the Reds in 1974, LaCoss was a waiver claim by the Astros in April 1982. He pitched in 118 games (43 starts) for Houston from 1982 to 1984. He had an 18-18 record with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.418 WHIP. LaCoss was an All Star for Cincinnati in 1979.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Catching Up with Lancaster JetHawks 3B Rio Ruiz

I first talked to Astros third baseman and 2012 4th round draft pick Rio Ruiz in August 2012 when he was playing with the Greeneville Astros in his first season and I had the opportunity to watch him again last year in Quad Cities. Over the weekend, I watched Ruiz at work in the desert in High A Lancaster, California, and decided that it was time to check in with him again.

Rio Ruiz - May 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

When I brought up Ruiz' name in talking with Lancaster Manager Rodney Linares and Hitting Coach Darryl Robinson, the first reaction of each man was to break into a smile. Rio is just so charismatic and full of life that one cannot help but like him. He is also young, having just turned 20 last week and both Linares and Robinson urged against rushing Ruiz. He may not be on the fastest track, but he is nevertheless making excellent progress.

After struggling out of the gate in 2013, Ruiz has been one of the most consistent bats in the JetHawks lineup in 2014. His defense, one of the biggest concerns coming in to the season, has been coming along nicely as well. According to Linares, "He went through a stretch of maybe 20 games where he was making a highlight reel play every night." And indeed that was the case in one of the games I witnessed over the weekend as Ruiz made a beautiful leaping catch of a scorched line drive ball.

Robinson enjoys working with Ruiz and complemented him on his work ethic. He's working with Rio on getting him to open the field for himself a bit more, "Trying to get him to work middle to other way a little more because they throw him away a lot. He takes those pitches on the outside corner that he can drive in the gap." Robinson calls Rio an incredible talent and praises the way he refrains from getting overly excited about anything.

Linares says of Ruiz, "Rio has a chance to be as good as he wants to be. He's got legit bat speed. Rio has a chance to be a power hitting corner left-handed hitter. There's not a lot of those around."

Let's hear from the man himself ~

Ruiz is definitely young like many on this Lancaster team, but he has impressed me with his steady progress these last two seasons. He may not be on the same fast track as Carlos Correa, but I don't think he'll be too far behind. And I guarantee that the Houston fans will love getting to know him.

Beat the Streak, May 29

I got an RBI double from Thomas Lindauer, but Teoscar Hernandez hasn't played the last couple of games.

Seemed like everyone chose Tyler White, who got a day off.

Matt Naber chose Brett Phillips, who went 2-4, but Brian Holberton got the day off. Baseball Mom also went with Holberton, and Tyler White didn't play either. pacbellpilgrim chose Phillips and White. Daniel Nelson got a single from Delino DeShields, but he also picked White. Rip Noblin got a big night from Ronnie Mitchell, but Carlos Perez went 0-3.

Today, my pick is Jon Kemmer.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Omaha, 7:05
Corpus Christi vs. Arkansas, 7:10
Lancaster @ Lake Elsinore, 9:05
Quad Cities vs. Beloit, 7:00

No current active streaks.

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Power outages in the upper levels; the A clubs experienced no such thing, though.

Omaha 2, Oklahoma City 0

W- Casey Coleman (2-0)
L- Josh Zeid (2-2)
S- Spencer Patton (9)

OKC home runs: None.

Welp, the RedHawks were held to just 3 singles. L.J. Hoes had 2 of them, and Austin Wates had the other.

Rudy Owens had an excellent outing as he allowed just 4 hits and struck out 7 over 6.2 shutout innings. The Storm Chasers got to Josh Zeid for 1 in the 8th; he allowed 2 hits and walked 1. Omaha got 1 more in the 9th off Kevin Chapman; that run was unearned. Chapman allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 1.

Game 3 of this series has David Martinez taking on Ryan Verdugo. First pitch is at 7:05.

Arkansas 2, Corpus Christi 0

W- Orangel Arenas (5-1)
L- Brady Rodgers (1-7)
S- Cam Bedrosian (7)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks bats were silenced in this one; they were also held to 3 singles. Delino DeShields, Joe Sclafani, and Chris Epps had 1 each. Sclafani has a nice little 5-game hitting streak going.

Brady Rodgers just can't seem to buy a break. He dropped his 6th straight decision despite pitching solidly. Rodgers got dinged by a solo homer from Zach Zaneski in the 5th. He allowed 2 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Travis Ballew went 2 innings and allowed a run on a single (the only hit he allowed), walked 2, and struck out 1. Andrew Robinson struck out 2 over 2 perfect innings.

David Rollins will get the start in the rubber game of this series; he'll face Michael Roth at 7:10.

Lancaster 6, Lake Elsinore 2

W- Kent Emanuel (2-1, 2-3 season)
L- Zach Eflin (5-3)
S- Lance McCullers (4)

Lancaster home runs: Carlos Correa (5, 3-run in 7th)

The JetHawks busted this one open with a 4-run 7th inning. 3 of those 4 came off a ball that Carlos Correa just absolutely devastated. Lancaster and Lake Elsinore are now tied at the top of the California League South.

Kent Emanuel cruised through 5 innings; he allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 4, and his outing only required 55 pitches. Lance McCullers pitched the final 4 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 6.

The top three of Tony Kemp, Ruben Sosa, and Correa just terrorized Lake Elsinore's pitchers; they had 8 of the JetHawks' 11 hits in this game. Kemp had 2, while Sosa and Correa had 3 each. 2012's #1 opened up the scoring with an RBI ground-rule double in the top of the 1st. Tony Kemp led off the 5th with a single, moved to 3rd on a Ruben Sosa single, and scored Lancaster's 2nd run on a passed ball. Before Correa's blast in the 7th, Ruben Sosa hit an RBI single; Jordan Scott noticed Hunter Renfroe lazily tossing a ball back into the infield and took advantage. One batter later, Correa crushed that poor, poor ball. In his Lancaster debut, Conrad Gregor went 2-4.

The JetHawks will look for the sweep as they send out Chris Devenski. He'll take on Colin Rea at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 9, Beloit 5

W- Pat Christensen (3-1)
L- Bobby Wahl (0-4)

QC home runs: Chase McDonald (2, 2-run in 5th), Ronnie Mitchell (5, solo in 7th)

Quad Cities got this series started off on the right foot as they went on a 6-3 run between the 4th-7th innings to take control. Their final 5 runs were unanswered.

The Bandits more than lived up to their name, as they swiped 8 bases without getting caught. 4 of those belonged to Chan-Jong Moon, who now has 23 on the season. Also joining in on Moon's spree were Brett Booth (1), Ronnie Mitchell (3), Jon Kemmer (2), and Thomas Lindauer (2).

Moon, who went 3-5 with a run scored, put QC on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the 1st. The River Bandits would score 3 in the inning to answer Beloit's 2 in the top of the inning. Moon scored on Brett Phillips' single, and Phillips came home on a sac fly from Chase McDonald. Lindauer hit an RBI double in the 4th. After the Snappers scored 3 in the top of the 5th to take a 5-4 lead, the Bandits responded with 3 of their own to retake the lead. 2 of those 3 came on a 2-run homer from Chase McDonald (2), and the other was a sac fly from Mitchell. Phillips, who went 2-4 with a couple of runs scored, hit a sac fly in the 6th, and Mitchell capped off a 3-3 night by hitting a solo shot (5) in the 7th.

Chris Lee pitched 4.2 innings and allowed 5 runs (all on a pair of home runs by Jaycob Brugman) on 7 hits (Brugman hit a 2-run shot and a 3-run shot off him), walked 2, and struck out 6. Pat Christensen and Andrew Walter combined for 4.1 scoreless out of the bullpen to pick him up. Christensen threw 2.1 innings and gave up a hit, walked 3, and struck out 2. Walter went 2 innings and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 2.

Michael Feliz will get the start in the middle game of this series; he'll face Junior Mendez at 7:00.

Three Stars: Position Players


Chan-Jong Moon, SS/2B, Quad Cities
3-5, RBI, 4 SB (23)


Ronnie Mitchell, LF, Quad Cities
3-3, solo HR (5), 2 RBI, 2 R, SB (3)


Carlos Correa, SS, Lancaster
3-4, 2B, 3-R HR (5), 4 RBI, SB (11)

Three Stars: Pitchers


Brady Rodgers, RHP, Corpus Christi
L (1-7), 5 IP, 3 H (solo HR), ER, BB, K

Kent Emanuel, LHP, Lancaster
W (2-1), 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 K

Lance McCullers, RHP, Lancaster
Save (4), 4 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K

2. Excellent relief outings.

Andrew Robinson, RHP, Corpus Christi
2 IP, 2 K

Andrew Walter, RHP, Quad Cities
2 IP, H, BB, 2 K

Pat Christensen, RHP, Quad Cities
2.1 IP, H, 3 BB, 2 K


Rudy Owens, LHP, Oklahoma City
6.2 IP, 4 H, 7 K

Astros Minor League Snapshot

The minor league season is now eight weeks old. Let's take a look at where things stand.


2nd   29-25   .537   0.5GB   L2

The RedHawks slipped to second place place in the American Northern Division, one-half game behind the Iowa Cubs. They are currently hosting third place Omaha against whom they have dropped the first two of their 4-game series (2-4 on the season). Memphis, currently occupying third place in the American Southern Division, will come to Bricktown for four games starting on Saturday. The RedHawks are 8-4 against Memphis so far this season. That will be followed by an off day next Wednesday.

Here is how the team compares within the league in a few categories:

BA - 11th (out of 16 teams)
OBP - 9th
SLG - 9th
2B - 3rd
3B - 16th
HR - 7th
BB - 3rd
SO - 11th
SB - 10th
CS - 3rd

ERA - 2nd
WHIP - 2nd
HR - 16th
BB - 13th
SO - 6th


3rd   27-25   .519   4.0GB   L1

In the South Division, the Hooks trail Frisco by four games and Midland by one. Tonight, the Hooks face Arkansas at home in the rubber game of the series (3-2 on the season) before hosting Northwest Arkansas for three over the weekend. The Hooks are 1-2 against Northwest Arkansas (18-33) this season. They will have Monday off before traveling to play division rival Midland for a 4-game series starting Tuesday (5-7 for the season series).

Here is how the team compares within the league in a few categories:

BA - 2nd (out of 8 teams)
OBP - 1st
SLG - 4th
2B - 4th
3B - T2nd
HR - 4th
BB - 2nd
SO - 8th
SB - 3rd
CS - 1st

ERA - 4th
WHIP - 2nd
HR - 1st
BB - 7th
SO - 1st


T1st    32-22   .593   -.-GB   W5

Lancaster is yet again tied with Lake Elsinore for first place in the South Division after taking the first two from that team in the ongoing 3-game road series. (The 'Hawks are 10-4 against Lake Elsinore in the season series.) High Desert trails by three games. After looking for a sweep tonight, the JetHawks will head back home to face 4th place Rancho Cucamonga for four games and 5th place Inland Empire for three. Lancaster is 3-4 against Rancho Cucamonga this season and 5-3 against Inland Empire.

BA - 3rd (out of 10 teams)
OBP - 2nd
SLG - 5th
2B - 7th
3B - 2nd
HR - 8th
BB - 3rd
SO - 9th
SB - T2nd
CS - T5th

ERA - 5th
WHIP - 1st
HR - 5th
BB - 8th
SO - 2nd


4th    26-26   .500   9.5GB   W2

Quad Cities is currently in fourth place in the 8-team division, nine and a half games behind Kane County, but only a half game behind third place Clinton. The River Bandits took the first game in a 3-game series at home against Beloit last night; they are now 5-2 against the 8th place Beloit team for the season. They will then head to 7th place Wisconsin (against whom they are 1-2 for the season) for three starting on Saturday followed by an off day on Tuesday. Quad Cities will then face off against Burlington on the road. The Bandits are 2-4 against Burlington for the season and hold only a half-game lead on that team.

BA - 1st (out of 16 teams)
OBP - 1st
SLG - 1st
2B - 1st
3B - 3rd
HR - 10th
BB - 1st
SO - 14th
SB - 5th
CS - 14th

ERA - 6th
WHIP - 6th
HR - 8th
BB - 15th
SO - 12th

Happy Birthday - 5/29

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Leo Heras (24)
Heras was in his seventh season with the Mexican League when his contract was purchased by the Astros in August of 2013. In his first 35 games at Corpus Christi this season, he is hitting .218/.350/.319.

OF Terrell Joyce (22)
Drafted by Houston in the 12th round in 2012 out of Florida College, Joyce played in 72 games with Quad Cities in 2013, hitting .186/.284/.283. I am assuming that he is currently in Extended Spring Training.

RHP Juan Delis (20)
Delis was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Panama and has now pitched for the DSL Astros for the last three seasons. In 13 appearances (18.2 innings) in 2013, Delis was -3 with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.500 WHIP.

RHP Harold Arauz (19)
Arauz signed as a NDFA out of Panama in July 2011 and excelled in his second season for the DSL team in 2013. In sixteen games (12 starts), he was 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA and a 0.894 WHIP.

Two former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

LHP Trever Miller (41)
Originally drafted by Detroit in the first round in 1991, Miller first came to Houston in this trade:
December 10, 1996: Traded by the Detroit Tigers with Brad Ausmus, Jose Lima, C.J. Nitkowski and Daryle Ward to the Houston Astros for Doug Brocail, Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, Orlando Miller and cash.
He pitched on the major league level for Houston in 1998 and 1999 before being traded to Philadelphia in March of 2000. Miller came back to Houston for two additional seasons in 2006 and 2007. In 230 games for the Astros, he was 7-5 with a 3.96 ERA and a 1.435 WHIP. He holds the record for the most appearances in a season (76) without getting a decision in 2007.
A fourth round pick by the Giants in 1983, Hayes played in only 31 games for Houston at the end of his major league career in 2001. He played for seven teams over 14 seasons. His best season was in 1993 for Colorado when he hit .305/.355/.522 with 45 doubles, two triples and 25 home runs.

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

In addition to the moves Dustin reported on yesterday, there are a few more to report on today.

RHP Jorge de Leon assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City
3B Matt Duffy assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City

3B Jonathan Meyer assigned from Oklahoma City to Corpus Christi
RHP Tyson Perez assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi

LHP Kent Emanuel activated from the inactive list

Beat the Streak, May 28

Well, looks like my streak went by the wayside, as Jon Singleton went 0-3 despite drawing a couple of walks.

Matt Naber, who picked Carlos Correa on Memorial Day and I didn't check his Twitter feed, saw his streak end at 5 as Enrique Hernandez's 12-game hitting streak was snapped. pacbellpilgrim got half of a double-down as Austin Wates went 2-4 with a double, but Carlos Correa finished 0-5 in Lake Elsinore. Baseball Mom got back on the board with Brett Phillips. Jayne chose Brett, but her other choice, Tanner Mathis, is on the DL. Daniel Nelson got a hit from Delino DeShields, but he also went with Kiké.

Today, my picks are Thomas Lindauer and Teoscar Hernandez.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Omaha, 7:05
Corpus Christi vs. Arkansas, 7:10
Lancaster @ Lake Elsinore, 8:05
Quad Cities vs. Beloit, 7:00

Current Active Streak

Baseball Mom, 1

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Omaha 9, Oklahoma City 1

W- Brett Tomko (3-3)
L- Nick Tropeano (2-4)

OKC home runs: None.

The Storm Chasers spoiled ruined Tony DeFrancesco's return to the OKC dugout as they ran off 9 unanswered runs in the middle stages of the game to run away with the series opener. They're gonna have to pay for that...

The only RedHawks run came on a bases-loaded walk from Jon Singleton in the 2nd. Kiké Hernandez's 12-game hitting streak came to an end in this one. Austin Wates and Domingo Santana both went 2-4. Adron Chambers hit a double in 3 at-bats and scored the lone run.

Nick Tropeano went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 7 htis and struck out 6. Bobby Doran threw the final 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4.

In game 2, Rudy Owens will take on TBA; their game notes from yesterday lists Aaron Brooks as Omaha's starter. First pitch is at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 6, Arkansas 2

W- Kyle Smith (2-2, 6-2 season)
L- Drew Rucinski (3-3)

CC home runs: Matt Duffy (6, solo in 8th)

The Hooks took control of the opener as they ran off 5 in the 6th.

They were shackled by Drew Rucinski for much of the game before the outburst, coupled with Rucinski's wheels falling off, gave them the lead. René Garcia and Telvin Nash reached on singles, and Delino DeShields tied the game with a sac fly. A couple of errors resulted in a couple of runs, Leo Heras hit an RBI single, and Jio Mier grounded into a force out that allowed Matt Duffy to score. Duffy, who finished 2-3, scored himself when he took Nick Maronde deep (6) in the 8th inning. DeShields was 1-3 with a steal (19).

Tommy Shirley pitched 5 innings and allowed a run on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Kyle Smith threw the final 4 innings, and the only dent on his line was a solo homer to Jimmy Swift in the 7th. He allowed one other hit and struck out 5.

In the middle game of this series, Brady Rodgers will face Orangel Arenas. First pitch is at 7:10.

Lancaster 7, Lake Elsinore 0

W- Kyle Westwood (3-3)
L- Joe Ross (5-3)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks took the opener as their pitchers posted 9 zeros and held Lake Elsinore to 5 hits. They're a game back of the Storm for 1st in the California League South.

Lancaster finally broke it open in the final third of the game, scoring 4 in the 7th and 2 more in the 9th to bust open a 1-0 game.

After Ruben Sosa hit a 1-out triple in the 1st, he scored on a Carlos Correa groundout. Rio Ruiz opened the floodgates in the 7th by scoring on an error. Roberto Peña chipped in with an RBI single. He was picked off, but an error allowed him to escape, and allowed Dan Gulbransen to score. Peña would eventually score on a single from Tony Kemp. Gulbransen scored on another error in the 9th and Sosa, who finished 2-4, brought in the final JetHawks run of the evening with a sac fly.

Kyle Westwood started off with 6 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits and striking out 3. Richard Rodriguez and Juan Minaya took it home; Rodriguez walked 1 and struck out 1 in 2 innings, and Minaya worked around a 2-out single to close it out, striking out 2.

In game 2 of this series, Kent Emanuel will face Zach Eflin. First pitch is at 6:05.

Quad Cities 10, Burlington 9

W- Albert Minnis (1-1)
L- Spencer Trygg (0-1)
S- Frederick Tiburcio (1)

QC home runs: Jon Kemmer (4, solo in 4th), Brian Holberton (4, solo in 5th), Ronnie Mitchell (4, 2-run in 7th)

The River Bandits avoided the sweep in a wild back-and-forth affair that saw them club 3 home runs. They scored in 5 consecutive innings to take an 8-6 lead, but the Bees scored 3 in the 6th to take a 9-8 lead. However, Ronnie Mitchell swatted a 2-run homer in the 7th to put QC in the lead. Albert Minnis and Frederick Tiburcio restored order as they were able to close it out.

James Ramsay walked to open up the game and scored on a triple from Chan-Jong Moon. After Brett Phillips walked, a double steal put up another run as Moon took home (19) while Phillips took 2nd (8). Thomas Lindauer scored on a wild pitch in the 2nd. A Phillips bunt single and an error allowed Moon to score in the 3rd, and Phillips wound up scoring on a double play. Kemmer took Clint Sharp deep in the 4th. Holberton extended his hitting streak to 6 games with his solo blast in the 5th. He finished 2-5 to give him 5 multi-hit games in those 6. Tyler White followed Holberton's homer with a double; he'd score on a passed ball. Mitchell put up the decisive runs with his 2-run shot in the 7th. Moon and Mitchell both finished 3-5; White and Kemmer joined Holberton in the 2-hit club.

Andrew Thurman went 5.1 innings and allowed 8 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 10 hits (3-run homer), walked 3, and struck out 6. Albert Minnis pitched 2.2 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 2. Frederick Tiburcio worked around a hit to strike out 2 in the 9th.

QC will now head home to begin a 3-game series with Beloit beginning at 7:00. Chris Lee will take on Bobby Wahl.

Happy Birthday - 5/28

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

2B Bill Doran (56)
Doran was drafted in the sixth round in 1979 by Houston and played nine seasons for the Astros before being traded to the Reds in August of 1990. In 1165 games for Houston from 1982 to 1990, he hit .267/.355/.374. In 1987, he hit .283 while playing in all 162 games and leading the National League in fielding percentage for a second baseman.

2B/SS Rafael Landestoy (61)
Landestoy was signed by the Dodgers in 1972 out of the Dominican Republic and came to Houston in a July 1978 trade. He played for the Astros from July 1978 until he was traded in June 1981 to the Reds. In 372 games, he hit .250/.312/.315. His best season was 1979 when he hit .270 in 129 games.

C Skip Jutze (68)
Originally drafted by the Cardinals in the fourth round in 1968, Jutze came to Houston in a November 1972 trade and played for the Astros from 1973 to 1976. In 191 games, he hit .210/.250/.244.

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

Let's have a look at the roster moves that have been made in the system over the past week. Moves are in chronological order, beginning from 5/22 (last transactions post).

5/23: Astros recalled LHP Rudy Owens.
5/23: OF Austin Wates activated from the DL.
5/23: RHP Josh Zeid optioned.
5/24: Astros recalled LHP Brett Oberholtzer.
5/24: LHP Rudy Owens optioned.
5/26: OF L.J. Hoes optioned.
5/26: Astros recalled OF Robbie Grossman.
5/27: RHP Chia-Jen Lo released.

All Corpus moves in this timeframe involved the temporarily inactive list.

5/23: RHP Brady Rodgers activated from it, RHP Kyle Smith placed on it.
5/25: RHP Jorge De Leon activated from it, RHP Troy Scribner placed on it.
5/27: RHP Kyle Smith activated from it, RHP Jordan Jankowski placed on it.

**UPDATE 1** 

5/23: RHP Kyle Westwood and LHP Kent Emanuel placed on temporarily inactive list.
5/24: RHP Matt Heidenreich placed on the temporarily inactive list, LHP Josh Hader activated from it.
5/27: 1B Bobby Borchering placed on the DL retroactive to 5/25.
5/27: 1B Conrad Gregor promoted from Quad Cities.
5/27: RHP Gonzalo Sañudo placed on the temporarily inactive list.

**UPDATE 2**

5/22: OF Tanner Mathis placed on the DL retroactive to 5/21.
5/22: RHP Tyler Brunnemann activated. (was assigned to extended spring training)
5/24: RHP Jandel Gustave activated. (was assigned to extended spring training)
5/24: C Jake Rodriguez assigned to extended spring training.
5/27: 1B Chase McDonald activated. (was assigned to extended spring training)

Beat the Streak, May 27

Rip Noblin, who submitted his pick to me well in advance of yesterday, was the only person in action, and he went 0-4 with Tony Kemp.

Because yesterday was a national holiday, everyone's safe from punishment.

Today, I'm back in the game and I'll be going with Mr. Singleton, who seems to be having a blast with Twitter since remembering his password.

Today's Games

OKC vs. Omaha, 7:05
Corpus Christi vs. Arkansas, 7:10
Lancaster @ Lake Elsinore, 8:05
Quad Cities @ Burlington, 6:30

Current Active Streaks

Me, Matt Naber- tied at 4

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, May 26, 2014

Oklahoma City 6, Memphis 4

W- Paul Clemens (3-0)
L- Kurt Heyes (0-1, 2-3 season)
S- Jason Stoffel (5)

OKC home runs: Jon Singleton (13, 2-run in 3rd), Kiké Hernandez (3, 4 season; 2-run in 5th)

The word of the day is dozen. The RedHawks jumped out to a 6-0 lead as they wrapped up their Big 12 Tournament roadtrip on a winning note. Their 7-5 record on the roadtrip is the first time that they've finished with a winning record on the Big 12 Tournament roadtrip since 2010. It got a little too close for comfort late, though.

Everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Erik Castro, who missed out on the party. Gregorio Petit opened the scoring in the 2nd with an RBI single. Singleton's 2-run blast in the 3rd gave him a baker's dozen of home runs. Ronald Torreyes went 2-4 with an RBI single in the 4th, and Kiké Hernandez's 2-run homer in the 5th extended his hitting streak to a dozen games. Singleton and Austin Wates also had 2 hits apiece; Wates had a double and a steal (12).

Paul Clemens started it off with 5 shutout innings; he allowed 3 hits and struck out 3. Alex White followed that up with 2 scoreless, allowing a hit and striking out 1. Josh Zeid had a tough time; he got 2 outs in the 8th, but not before the Redbirds got 4 runs (1 earned; 2 inherited runners charged to him) off of him. He allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Kevin Chapman got the final out of the 8th and the first 2 of the 9th, allowing 2 hits and walking 3. Jason Stoffel entered with 2 runners on and 2 outs; he shut the door.

Two weeks after playing their last home game before embarking on this roadtrip, the RedHawks are finally home, and they've got the place to themselves. Well, actually, they're beginning a 4-game series with Omaha starting tonight at 7:05. Nick Tropeano will face Brett Tomko in the opener.

Northwest Arkansas 5, Corpus Christi 3

W- Sam Selman (3-3)
L- Michael Dimock (1-2)
S- Andrew Triggs (3)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks ended up dropping 2 of 3 to the Naturals as Michael Dimock was tagged for a pair of runs in the 5th.

The offense was powered by Matt Duffy, who went 4-5 and is now on a 7-game hitting streak. He put the Hooks on the board in the 2nd with an RBI single (down 2-1) and came home on a double from Preston Tucker which tied the game at 2. Duffy would go on to add an RBI double in the 7th, while Tucker finished 2-5. Delino DeShields was 1-5 with a steal (18). Joe Sclafani started a game in the outfield for the first time as a pro (not sure if he did it in Australia this past winter). He was in left field and went 1-4 with a double and is now on a modest 4-game hitting streak. Sclafani has a hit in 12 of his last 13 games.

Jordan Jankowski pitched 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 4. Dimock pitched 1.2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits. The last time Dimock allowed a run was May 2, so this outing put an end to a nice scoreless run for him. Pat Urckfits allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 2 in 2.1 innings.

The Hooks are back home, and for this homestand, they'll be welcoming the Arkansas teams to Corpus Christi. First up is 3 with the Travelers. Tommy Shirley will face Drew Rucinski in the opener; first pitch is at 7:10.

Lancaster 6, Inland Empire 5

W- Dan Minor (4-1)
L- Jairo Diaz (2-3)

Lancaster home runs: Dan Gulbransen (2, grand slam in 6th)

Under the watchful eyes of Jayne and Astros Social Media Director Amanda Rykoff (well, she was there for the weekend, not sure if she saw this game), the JetHawks ran off 6 unanswered to take this game, and take 3 of 4 in this Memorial Day series.

It looked rather dire as they were down 5-0, but that changed in a hurry in the 6th inning. Carlos Correa led off the inning with a single, and Rio Ruiz brought him home with a double to put them on the board, down 5-1. An error and a single later, the bases were loaded for Dan Gulbransen, who came through in a huge way as he belted the game-tying grand slam. The JetHawks completed the comeback in the 8th as Roberto Peña hit a single to send Danry Vásquez home with the eventual game-winning run. It was great night for Vásquez as he finished 4-4 with 2 runs scored.

Gonzalo Sañudo went 5 innings and allowed 5 runs (all on a 2-run homer and a 3-run homer) on 7 hits and struck out 2. J.D. Osborne threw 1.1 scoreless, walking 3 and striking out 1. Dan Minor went 2.2 scoreless and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2.

The JetHawks will now have a brief getaway from The Hangar as they're in Lake Elsinore for 3 games starting tonight at 6:05 Pacific. Kyle Westwood will take on Joe Ross in the series opener.

Burlington 7, Quad Cities 5 in 10 innings

W- Alan Busenitz (1-3)
L- Tyler Brunnemann (0-1)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits jumped out to a 5-0 lead through 3.5 innings, but the Bees stung them for 7 unanswered, which culminated in a walk-off 2-run home run in the first extra frame.

The game started off swimmingly for the Bandits as they put up 4 in the 1st on an RBI double from Brett Phillips, who scored on an RBI single from Conrad Gregor. Later in the inning, Ronnie Mitchell added a 2-run single. Jon Kemmer went 2-4 and led off the 4th with a double. He would score on a Chan-Jong Moon fielder's choice. Brett Phillips and Brian Holberton finished with 2 hits apiece.

Adrian Houser allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 4. Kevin Comer pitched 3 innings and the only ding on his line was a solo homer from Eric Aguilera in the 8th. He allowed 2 other hits and struck out 4. Andrew Walter allowed a run (on a sac fly) and a hit in the 9th. Tyler Brunnemann walked off with the loss after he gave up the 2-run homer to Mike Fish with 1 out in the 10th.

QC will look to avoid the sweep as Andrew Thurman and Chris Lee will take on Clint Sharp at 6:30.

Three Stars: Position Players


Danry Vásquez, LF, Lancaster
4-4, 2 R


Matt Duffy, 3B, Corpus Christi
4-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R


Jon Singleton, 1B, Oklahoma City
2-5, 2-R HR (13), 2 R

Three Stars: Pitchers


Kevin Comer, RHP, Quad Cities
3 IP, 3 H (solo HR), ER, 4 K


Dan Minor, RHP, Lancaster
2.2 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K
0.00 ERA in May


Paul Clemens, RHP, Oklahoma City
W (3-0), 5 IP, 3 H, 3 K

Happy Birthday - 5/27

No future Astros with birthdays today, but two former Astros (and someone else you may know) celebrate the day ~

1B Jeff Bagwell (46)
Originally drafted by Boston in the fourth round in 1989, Bagwell came to Houston in the infamous Larry Andersen trade in August 1990 and played his entire major league career from 1991 to 2005 as an Astro. In 15 seasons he hit .297/.408/.540 with 488 doubles, 32 triples, 449 home runs and 202 stolen bases. From Baseball-Reference, here are just some of his accomplishments:
  • 1991 NL Rookie of the Year Award
  • 4-time NL All-Star (1994, 1996, 1997 & 1999)
  • NL MVP (1994)
  • NL Gold Glove Winner (1994)
  • 3-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1994, 1997 & 1999)
  • NL Slugging Percentage Leader (1994)
  • NL OPS Leader (1994)
  • 3-time NL Runs Scored Leader (1994, 1999 & 2000)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (1994)
  • NL Doubles Leader (1996)
  • NL RBI Leader (1994)
  • NL Bases on Balls Leader (1999)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 12 (1993-2004)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 9 (1994 & 1996-2003)
  • 40-Home Run Seasons: 3 (1997, 1999 & 2000)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 8 (1994, 1996-2001 & 2003)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 9 (1994, 1996-2001, 2003 & 2004)
Anyone who doubts that this man belongs in the Hall of Fame doesn't deserve to vote for the honor.

MGR Terry Collins (65)
Collins managed the Astros from 1994 to 1996 and compiled a 224-197 record with the team finishing in second place each of his three seasons. He is currently managing the New York Mets.

One more birthday today ~

Your friendly neighborhood blogger celebrates a birthday today as well, but I'd rather not say which one if you don't mind (but I'm somewhere between Jeff and Terry).

Tweet of the Day

Monday, May 26, 2014

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

It's time to look back at Week Eight and acknowledge some winning performances for the week commencing Sunday, May 18th and continuing through Saturday, May 24th.


There are so many players deserving of honorable mentions this week! I really want to send a shoutout to Quad Cities' Conrad Gregor, James Ramsay, Jack Mayfield and Tyler White; Lancaster's Carlos Perdomo and Jordan Scott; Corpus Christi's Preston Tucker, Nolan Fontana and Delino DeShields; and Oklahoma City's Max Stassi, Domingo Santana, Robbie Grossman and Kike Hernandez. Plus, Austin Wates made a statement in his first two games back from the DL. I'm probably missing someone because the list was so long and so very impressive.

As a matter of fact, the list was so long and so impressive that I had to pick two runners-up this week.

OF Teoscar Hernandez (Lancaster)
6R 2B 3B 3HR 10RBI 2BB 9SO 3SB 0CS
1 Outfield Assist

OF Brett Phillips (Quad Cities)
8R 2-2B 2-3B HR 9RBI 3BB 5SO 2SAC SF 1SB 0CS
2 Outfield Assists

Our winner got a head start when he hit for the cycle last Sunday, and he never slowed down!

C Brian Holberton
6R 4-2B 3B HR 8RBI 1BB 2SO


Brian Holberton
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green



Honorable mentions this week go to Oklahoma City's David Martinez (6IP 3H 0R 2BB 5SO) and NickTropeano (6.2IP 3H 0R 2BB 8SO CS) and to Corpus Christi's Luis Cruz (6.1IP 1H 0R 2BB 9SO).

My runner-up continues to put up some fantastic numbers. For the season, he has a 1.51 ERA and a 0.881 WHIP in 10 appearances.

LHP Tommy Shirley (Corpus Christi) - 1 win
0.00 ERA/0.167 WHIP/0.53 batting average
6IP (1 game) 1H 0BB 5SO

Our winner has also had a great season. The runs that he allowed in yesterday's game broke up a 28+ inning scoreless streak.

RHP Jake Buchanan - 1 win
0.00 ERA/.0.667 WHIP
9IP 6H 0BB 10SO
Compete game shutout


Jake Buchanan - May 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen



I had a terrible time narrowing this week's list down and an equally hard time picking the runner up and winner. The honorable mentions for this week include Rhiner Cruz, Kevin Chapman and Alex White of Oklahoma City; Michael Dimock, Andrew Robinson, Patrick Urckfitz and Jordan Jankowski of Corpus Christi; J.D. Osborne, Daniel Minor, Richard Rodriguez and Jamaine Cotton of Lancaster; and Tyler Brunnemann and Andrew Walter of Quad Cities.

My runner-up only pitched in one game this week, but earned the win in his long relief outing as he retired 8 of 9 batters faced. His only baserunner reached via a hit by pitch.

RHP Patrick Christensen (Quad Cities) - 1 win
0.00 ERA/0.000 WHIP
2.2IP (1 game) 0H 0BB 2SO HBP
2 inherited runners/0 scored

My winner pitched in two games, and retired all five of the batters he faced without recording a strikeout. Four of the five were retired on ground balls.

LHP Albert Minnis (Quad Cities)
0.00 ERA/0.00 WHIP
1.2 IP
1 inherited runner/0 scored


Albert Minnis - March 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Beat the Streak, May 26

Joe Sclafani has just been solid this month. He went 2-4 yesterday, and my streak is up to 4. Rip Noblin also saw Carlos Perdomo go 2-4 to increase his streak to 5.

Unfortunately, a few streaks went by the wayside yesterday, as Jayne drew a blank with Brett Phillips, and Daniel Nelson and pacbellpilgrim had incomplete double downs.

I'm not playing today. You shouldn't either. Go enjoy this day off! What's the point of having one if you're not going to have fun?

Please, don't forget to take a moment out of your day to think about the men and women currently serving in our Armed Forces. This may be a day where we're all relaxing on the beach, or having a good time with family and friends, etc., but sometimes we forget that today is supposed to be a solemn day, as well. Remember those who have given their lives in service to our country.

If you're so inclined to play, here's today's schedule.

OKC @ Memphis, 1:05
Corpus Christi @ Northwest Arkansas, 1:05
Lancaster vs. Inland Empire, 7:00
Quad Cities @ Burlington, 2:00

Current Active Streaks

Rip Noblin- 5

Me, Matt Naber- tied at 4

Streak to Beat

Rip Noblin, 8

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, May 25, 2014

Let's play 2 in Burlington, because a game needed to be finished.

Memphis 3, Oklahoma City 2

W- Scott McGregor (1-5)
L- Jake Buchanan (4-4)
S- David Aardsma (7)

OKC home runs: Kiké Hernandez (2, 3 season; solo in 4th)

The RedHawks made it a 1-run game, but they just couldn't get over the hump.

Jake Buchanan had a bare minimum quality start (6 IP, 3 ER or less); he allowed 8 hits and walked 2. Bobby Doran struck out 2 over 2 perfect innings.

Kiké Hernandez put the RedHawks on the board as he hit a solo homer in the 4th. That blast extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Max Stassi reached on an error in the 7th and scored when Andy Simunic grounded into a force out.

In the final game of this long, long roadtrip for OKC, Paul Clemens will take on Kurt Heyer. First pitch is at 1:05.

Northwest Arkansas 7, Corpus Christi 4

W- J.C. Sulbaran (2-3)
L- Luis Cruz (4-5)
S- Malcom Culver (4)

CC home runs: Matt Duffy (5, 2-run in 6th)

The Naturals raced out to a 6-0 lead after the 4th as they got even in the series.

Luis Cruz went 5 innings and allowed 6 runs on 9 hits (2 solos and a 2-run homer) and struck out 4. Alex Sogard was the first man out of the Hooks bullpen; he went 2 innings and allowed an unearned run on a sac fly, walked 1, and struck out 1. Jorge De Leon struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 8th.

The Hooks got on the board in the 6th thanks to a 2-run shot from Matt Duffy (5) and an RBI single from Jio Mier. The two of them had 2 hits apiece, as did Tyler Heineman and Joe Sclafani. Mier brought Duffy home with a bases-loaded walk in the 8th. Delino DeShields was 1-5 with a steal (17).

In the series finale, Jordan Jankowski will face Sam Selman at 1:05.

Lancaster 12, Inland Empire 5

W- Zach Morton (1-0, 3-1 season)
L- Mark Sappington (0-1, 1-5 season)

Lancaster home runs: Carlos Correa (4, 2-run in 8th)

The JetHawks scored in their final 5 innings as they took 2 of 3 in the series. They went on an 11-1 run from the 4th to the 8th, which proved to be the decisive stretch. Everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Teoscar Hernandez, who still walked twice, stole a base (15), and scored a run despite suffering through a hat trick at the plate.

They had the bases loaded with no one out in the 1st, but could only muster up a run that scored on a double play. A pair of walks reloaded the bases, but Danry Vásquez flew out to end the inning.

Vásquez, who finished 2-5, redeemed himself with an RBI double in the 4th that gave Lancaster a 2-1 lead. After the 66ers tied the game at 2 in the 5th, the Carloses (?) gave the JetHawks the lead with a couple of RBI singles in the bottom of the inning. After Roberto Peña walked to begin the 6th, he scored on a Jordan Scott triple. Scott came home on a Tony Kemp single. Peña got in on the fun with a 2-run single after stretch time. Correa went deep (4) in the 8th, and Vásquez finished it off with a 2-run single. Correa and Kemp had 3 hits each, while Scott joined Vásquez in the 2-hit club. Perdomo (6) and Scott (3) also recorded steals.

Zach Morton got his first win as a JetHawk as he allowed 2 runs on 6 hits (solo homer) and struck out 1 over 5 innings of work. Brian Holmes pitched 3 innings and allowed 3 runs (all in the 9th, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 4 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 2. Mitch Lambson worked around 2 hits to finish the game, striking out 1.

Gonzalo Sañudo gets the start in the series finale; he'll face TBA at 5:00 Pacific.

From May 21: Burlington 12, Quad Cities 4

W- Trevor Foss (1-1)
L- Edison Frias (1-2)

QC home runs: Ronnie Mitchell (2, solo in 3rd)

Note: That was Mitchell's 2nd home run at the time.

Unfortunately, the wheels fell off in the 9th as the Bees stung Edison Frias for a pair of 3-run homers as part of an 8-run 9th. Frias, who came on after play was resumed, got through 2 innings without incident, but he unraveled in the 9th. He got 1 out in the 9th, but gave up 8 runs on 8 hits (2 3-run homers, an RBI single, and an RBI double) and walked 1. Chris Cotton cleaned up the mess as he retired both Bees hitters he faced, striking out 1.

There wasn't much change in the River Bandits' side of the ledger; Brian Holberton ultimately finished 3-4.

Regularly Scheduled Game: Burlington 3, Quad Cities 2

W- Harrison Cooney (3-3)
L- Frederick Tiburcio (0-1)
S- Ben Carlson (3)

QC home runs: Jack Mayfield (2, solo in 2nd)

The River Bandits shot themselves in the foot in the 7th as they had an error, a couple of wild pitches, while Burlington scored 2 to take the lead.

The Bandits had 3 hits in this one; one was a solo shot from Jack Mayfield (2) that opened the scoring in the 2nd. The other 2 hits came in the form of a Thomas Lindauer single and a James Ramsay double in the 3rd. Both came with 1 out; but all they mustered up in that situation was a Chan-Jong Moon sac fly.

Evan Grills pitched 6 innings and allowed a run (on a solo homer from Eric Aguilera) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Frederick Tiburcio was tagged with both runs in the 7th; both were unearned. He pitched 2 innings and also allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 5.

In the middle game of this series, Adrian Houser will take on Ryan Etsell at 2:00.

Three Stars: Position Players


Matt Duffy, 3B, Corpus Christi
2-5, 2-R HR (5), 2 R

Jio Mier, SS, Corpus Christi
2-3, 2 RBI, BB


Tony Kemp, 2B, Lancaster
3-5, RBI, 2 R

Carlos Correa, SS, Lancaster
3-4, 2-R HR (4), 3 RBI, 2 R

Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Danry Vásquez, LF, Lancaster
2-5, 3 RBI

Three Stars: Pitchers


Bobby Doran, RHP, Oklahoma City
2 IP, 2 K


Zach Morton, RHP, Lancaster
W (1-0, 3-1 season), 5 IP, 6 H (solo HR), 2 ER, K; 9 groundouts, 2 flyouts


Photo courtesy of Bryan Green

Evan Grills, LHP, Quad Cities
6 IP, 6 H (solo HR), ER, BB, 2 K