Saturday, June 28, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, June 27, 2014

Oklahoma City 8, Omaha 5

W- Jason Stoffel (1-2)
L- Spencer Patton (4-3)

OKC home runs: Marc Krauss (3, 7 season; 2-run in 6th), Domingo Santana (13, walk-off 3-run in 9th)


That homer was a thing of beauty. This blog isn't a platform for demanding the promotion of a prospect, and I've largely avoided doing that (except for George Springer, and I did a poor job of containing myself), but I believe that if Astros left fielders continue to not produce and if Domingo continues to produce in OKC, he'll find himself in Houston when the 2nd half kicks off, or even sooner.

The RedHawks were down 4-1, but they finished the game on a 7-1 run capped off by Santana's blast. They got on the board in the 2nd with an RBI single from Matt Duffy. After Gregorio Petit singled to lead off the bottom of the 6th, Marc Krauss sent one out to make it a 1-run game. Santana singled and eventually scored the tying run when Preston Tucker grounded into a force out. Austin Wates then legged out an RBI infield single that gave the RedHawks a 5-4 lead.

The Storm Chasers tied the game at 5 with a run in the 9th, but Domingo's 4th hit of the evening un-tied it and gave the RedHawks the victory. Wates and Duffy had 2 hits apiece; everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Ronald Torreyes, who was 0-3 with a walk.

Bobby Doran went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Andrew Robinson was the first man out and threw a 1-2-3 7th. Kevin Chapman worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1. Jason Stoffel allowed the tying run on a double in the 9th. He walked 1, struck out 1, and stranded the go-ahead run at 3rd.

In game 3, Asher Wojciechowski will face Aaron Brooks at 7:05.

Springfield 6, Corpus Christi 2

W- Jon Cornelius (7-5)
L- Mike Hauschild (1-4, 3-5 season)

CC home runs: None.

Down 3-0 heading into the 6th, the Hooks got back in the game with 2 in the top of the frame, but the Cardinals put them away with 3 in the bottom of the frame.

Delino DeShields ripped an RBI double, and one batter later, Andrew Aplin hit a sac fly. DeShields' double was the only extra-base hit for Corpus. He also walked twice.

Mike Hauschild allowed 6 runs on 11 hits and struck out 7 over 5.2 innings. Alex Sogard pitched 1.1 innings and allowed a hit and walked 1, while Travis Ballew worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th.

The next stop on the roadtrip is Tulsa, where they'll play 3 with the Drillers. In the opener, Tommy Shirley will face Ryan Kulik. First pitch is at 7:05.

Lancaster 13, Lake Elsinore 5

W- Mark Appel (1-3)
L- Coby Cowgill (1-1, 3-3 season)
S- Brian Holmes (2)

Lancaster home runs: Chan-Jong Moon 2 (2, 4 season; 3-run in 2nd, 3-run in 3rd)

The JetHawks ran off 12 unanswered after falling behind 3-0 early on.

Mark Appel finally has the monkey off his back as he earned his first win of the season. He got knocked around in the first 2 innings, but he settled himself down and shackled the Lake Elsinore offense for the duration of his outing. He went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Appel did not allow a hit in his final 3 innings. Brian Holmes went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs (both in the 6th) on 2 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 3.

Lancaster seized control with a 5-run 2nd. An error allowed Tanner Mathis to reach and 2 runs to score, and then Chan-Jong Moon unleashed the first of 2 3-run blasts.

In the 3rd, Roberto Peña hit an RBI single, then Jack Mayfield grounded into a force out that scored Conrad Gregor. Mathis hit an RBI single, and Moon sent out his 2nd 3-run homer of the night. Peña hit a sac fly in the 4th, and Brandon Meredith scored the final run of the night on a passed ball after hitting a 2-out triple in the 8th. Conrad Gregor's double in the 2nd extended his hitting streak to 15 games, a new season's best in the Astros system this season. Moon added a double to go along with his homers, while Meredith scored 3 runs. Danry Vásquez finished 2-4 with 2 runs scored; Gregor and Mathis also scored twice.

Kyle Westwood will face Joe Ross in game 3 of this series. First pitch is at 8:00.

Quad Cities 4, Peoria 3

W- Edison Frias (5-3)
L- Robert Stock (0-1)
S- Evan Grills (1)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits answered the Chiefs' 2-run 1st with a 3-run 6th as they took the first of 5 games.

Chase McDonald got QC on the board in the 6th with an RBI double. He would come around to score on a single from Ronnie Mitchell, who advanced to 3rd on an error and would score on a Tyler White single. McDonald, who finished 2-5, added some insurance with an RBI single in the 9th. Jon Kemmer was 3-5 with a double and scored the Banditos' first run of the evening. Mitchell also finished 3-5. James Ramsay (2 2B) and Brett Booth (1 2B) had 2 hits apiece. Mitchell (4) and Ramsay (18) each had a stolen base.

Edison Frias pitched 5 and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and fanned 5. Evan Grills allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 6 in 4 innings.

Adrian Houser will face Blake McKnight in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 6:30.

Tri-City 7, Connecticut 5

W- Sebastian Kessay (1-0)
L- Emanuel Chavez (0-1)
S- Chris Munnelly (3)

TC home runs: Terrell Joyce (1, 2-run in 7th)

A 5-run 7th turned the tide of this game in the ValleyCats' favor.

Mott Hyde drove in TC's first run of the night with an RBI double in the 3rd inning. After Ariel Ovando walked to begin the 7th, Terrell Joyce got it started with a 2-run homer. Bobby Boyd added an RBI double, and J.D. Davis had an RBI single. An error on the play allowed Boyd to score and Ryan Bottger to reach 3rd. Bottger got some insurance with an RBI groundout in the 9th. Boyd, Davis, Hyde, and Ricky Gingras had 2-hit nights. Bottger stole his first base as a pro, while Boyd scored twice.

Francis Ramirez went 1.2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Raul Rivera allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and walked 1 in 1.1 innings. Ryan Thompson threw a 1-2-3 4th. Sebastian Kessay pitched 2 innings and was charged with 2 inherited runs on 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 2. Derick Velazquez didn't allow any runs himself, but he did allow the 2 runners that he inherited from Kessay to score in the 7th. He allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Jordan Mills struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th, and Chris Munnelly worked around a hit and a walk to finish the game, striking out 2.

In the middle game of this series, Austin Chrismon will face Chase Edwards, a graduate of Klein Forest High School. First pitch is at 6:05.



Danville 11, Greeneville 5

W- Bradley Roney (1-0)
L- Dean Deetz (0-1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros saw the wheels fall off for them in the 7th, as the Braves put up 7 runs after stretch time to turn what was a 5-4 lead for Greeneville into the final score.

Sean McMullen extended his hitting streak to 8 games when he opened up the scoring with a 2-run double in the 1st. An error allowed him to advance to 3rd, and he would score on a sac fly from Trent Woodward. Antonio Nuñez went 2-4 with an RBI single in the 7th, and later in the inning, Juan Santana grounded into a force out that allowed Ydarqui Marte to score.

Agapito Barrios went 4.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 4, and struck out 2. Angel Heredia retired the only batter he faced to end the 5th. Brock Dykxhoorn allowed a run on a hit and walked 1 in the 6th. Dean Deetz bore the brunt of the Braves assault in the 7th; he allowed 6 runs (3 inherited runners charged to him) on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 1. Jorge Perez, in addition to allowing all 3 runners he inherited from Deetz to score, allowed one of his own in the 7th. He went 1.1 innings and allowed 2 hits and struck out 2.

On a personal note: Matt Sims worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1 for Danville. He is a RHP who was drafted by the Braves in the 28th round out of UTSA. I've known him since 5th grade and to see someone I know get to chase his dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player is just, for lack of a better term, awesome. Once again, congratulations, Matt!

Greeneville will now head off to Burlington, North Carolina for 3 against the Appy Royals. In the opener, Jose Montero will take on Yunior Marte. First pitch is at 6:00.

GCL Pirates 5, GCL Astros 2

W- Remy De Aza (1-0)
L- Joselo Pinales (0-1, 1-3 season)
S- Horelbin Ramos (1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros got the first 2 runs of the game, but the Pirates scattered around 5 unanswered runs to close the game.

The 2 runs came in the 3rd and came in the form of an Edwin Medina sac bunt that turned into an error that resulted in Osvaldo Duarte scoring, and an RBI single from Dex McCall. McCall, who went 2-4, has opened up his career on a 7-game hitting streak. Hector Roa went 3-4 with a double.

Justin Ferrell, in his pro debut, went 2 innings and allowed a hit while striking out 2. Christian Perdomo allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 1 in the 3rd. Joselo Pinales pitched 4.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits and struck out 1. Kyle Gehrs got the final 2 outs of the 8th, but not before allowing a run of his own on 2 hits, in addition to allowing the runner he inherited from Pinales to score.

These two teams will play again in Kissimmee at 10:00 A.M.

DSL Astros Blue 6, DSL Royals 3

W- Salvador Montaño (3-1)
L- Ofreidy Gomez (0-2)
S- Lachlan Madden (4)

Blue home runs: Joan Mauricio (1, 2-run in 3rd)

The Blue team was down 3-0 heading into their half of the 3rd, but finished the game by scoring 6 unanswered.

Mauricio got them on the board with his homer in the 3rd. Rodrigo Ayarza tied the game with an RBI triple in the 4th and scored himself on a wild pitch. Oliver Toribio added an RBI single in the 5th, and Jose Benjamin scored on a wild pitch in the 8th. Mauricio scored 2 runs, while Jonathan Matute went 2-2 with 3 walks and a steal (2).

Miguel Severino, making his organizational debut, allowed a run on a sac fly, a single, and struck out 1 in the 1st. Salvador Montaño went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. Gabriel Valdez allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over 3 scoreless, and Lachlan Madden worked around a hit to finish it off, striking out 1.

The Blue team will host the Rays in a few minutes.

DSL Astros Orange 10, DSL Yankees 2 7

W- Juan Hernandez (1-1)
L- Amauris Sanchez (0-1)
S- Jose Ramos (2)

Orange home runs: Vicente Sanchez (4, grand slam in 6th)

The Orange team was spurred on by a 6-run 6th.

Frankeny Fernandez had 2 steals in this one, and he's 15-15 on stolen base attempts this season. He stole 2nd in the 1st, and the ensuing error allowed Marcos Almonte to score the first run of the morning. Almonte had an RBI groundout in the 3rd. Vicente Sanchez had an RBI single in the 5th. He wasn't done yet.

In the 6th, Bryan De La Cruz hit a 2-run double that tied the game at 5. It wouldn't be that way for long, as Sanchez hit his first career grand slam to give the Orange team a 9-5 lead. Sanchez finished 3-5 and scored the final Orange run on a wild pitch in the 9th.

Edwin Villarroel went 4.2 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Juan Hernandez pitched 2.1 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Ramon Rodriguez worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1, and Jose Ramos walked 1 and struck out the side to close the door.

The Orange team is currently at the Mets complex. They'll be taking on the Mets 2 in a few minutes.

Friday: DSL Yankees2 6, DSL Astros Orange 4 in 10 innings

W- Freddery Arias (1-0)
L- Joel Belboder (1-2)

Orange home runs: None.

Well, looks like someone finally got around to posting the result of this game.

All 4 Orange runs came in the 5th. Marcos Almonte had an RBI groundout, Vicente Sanchez hit a single and an error allowed Juan Fuentes to score. Sanchez eventually scored on a wild pitch, and Frankeny Fernandez scored on an errant pickoff throw. Fernandez finished 2-5, while Almonte's groundout was the Orange team's only RBI.

Cristhopher Santamaria pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 unearned runs on 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Antonio Almonte allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits in 3 innings, and Joel Belboder allowed 2 unearned runs on 2 hits and walked 1.

Happy Birthday - 6/28

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Michael Feliz (21)
Signed as a non-drafted free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2010, Feliz is currently pitching for the Quad Cities team. In 14 games (10 starts), he is 3-2 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.319 WHIP. He has struck out 56 batters in 47 innings.

A few former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

LHP Joe Sambito (62)
A 17th round draft pick by Houston in 1973, Sambito was a fixture in the Houston bullpen from 1976 until an arm injury sidelined his career in 1982. He pitched for Houston again in 1984 after his recovery but was released in April of 1985. In 353 games for Houston over eight seasons, Sambito had a 2.42 ERA and a 1.112 WHIP. In his All-Star season of 1979, he sported a 1.71 ERA in 91.1 innings ... not bad at all.

OF Richard Hidalgo (39)
Hidalgo was signed by the Astros as a non-drafted free agent out of his native Venezuela in 1991 and made his Astros debut six years later. In 813 games for Houston from 1997 to 2004, Hidalgo hit .278/.356/.501 with his best season being 2000 when he hit .314/.391/.636 with 42 doubles, three triples, 44 home runs, 122 RBIs and 118 runs scored. Who let the dogs out, indeed.

RHP Fred Gladding (78)
Gladding came to Houston in a November 1967 trade with Detroit for Eddie Matthews and spent the next six years (and remainder of his career) pitching out of the bullpen for the Astros. From 1968 to 1973, Gladding was 22-23 with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.417 WHIP. He led the National League in saves in 1969 with 29.

LF Greg Sims (68)
Picked up in the Rule 5 draft in November of 1965, Sims appeared in seven games for the Astros which also happened to be the entirety of his major league career. Unlike some, Sims can say he did get that one hit in the majors.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, June 27, 2014

Getting to Know Quad Cities RHP Tyler Brunnemann

When I mentioned to Quad Cities Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski what a steal the Astros had gotten in 2013 40th rounder Tyler Brunnemann, Borkowski responded, "All you've got to do is get drafted or be a free agent and get an opportunity. Whatever happens to him down the road, he works his butt off." That was a sentiment echoed by Quad Cities Manager Omar Lopez, "He works so hard that I think he deserves to be able to succeed every single day. He deserved to be in the All-Star game."

Lopez continued in his praise of Brunnemann, "To put a lot of words into maybe just a couple? Model citizen. On time for everything. On top of everything. Applies the information. He's one of the guys that listens and applies the information and executes it." Lopez credits Brunnemann's success to the fact that he gets the absolute maximum out of his natural abilities through hard work.

Tyler Brunnemann - June 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

And success is definitely something that Brunnemann has had a lot of so far this season. In 18 bullpen appearances for Quad Cities, the 22-year old righty has a 1.56 ERA and a 0.837 WHIP. In 34+ innings, he has struck out 35 batters while walking nine. Only four of 15 inherited runners have scored on his watch. His has been an incredibly reliable arm out of the Quad Cities 'pen.

But Brunnemann isn't one to toot his own horn. He's quiet and unassuming and has a kind of "Aw shucks, just doing my job, ma'am" quality about him. Even when I asked him about his off-season weight loss which totaled 40 pounds, he downplayed the magnitude of such an accomplishment, "Just changed eating habits pretty much. Eating healthy and working out a little bit more."

But even though Brunnemann is quiet, I got to know him a little bit more when I talked to him last weekend in Quad Cities. As usual with pitchers, my first question was regarding his pitch repertoire. "I throw a fastball, which is the pitch I throw the most and am most confident in, and then curveball and change up, curveball more for an out pitch. Fastball right about 88 to 91 usually, and then I think the curveball is in the lower 70's, change up maybe mid 70's. I get decent movement on the curveball and change up. [I've] been working on those both a lot."

So far this season, Brunnemann told me that he has been "just working on the curveball and throwing a lot of strikes and just working on getting outs." He continued, "And then definitely all season this year, I've been working on the curveball, tightening it up, sharpening it up and that's been going well, getting more strikeouts with it."

I asked Brunnemann what the biggest adjustment has been for him in playing professional ball, "I think the biggest adjustment might just be just being ready to play everyday. In college, we only played three times a week and in professional baseball, it's seven days a week, and just being ready to always pitch, being ready to go out there and get your work in everyday. Especially in the bullpen. Always being ready down there."

Of Brunnemann's All-Star experience, he told me, "The All-Star game was great. It was a lot of fun. The whole weekend was good, set up by West Michigan. And in the game, Bork told me eight pitches and just nice quick 1-2-3. It was a lot of fun out there. It was fun, meeting some guys from other teams, just enjoying the experience."

On the experience of being a late round draft pick, Brunnemann said, "The draft, it was a stressful day. I talked to the Astros throughout the day and it wasn't happening for a while. I was getting real frustrated at the end and then I got picked and it was great and I was just ready to go. So I went to Greeneville a week or two later. I just wanted to get playing. I don't even think about it really, being a 40th rounder. I just do what I do."

Brunnemann hails from Garden Ridge, Texas, just north of San Antonio and that is still his home in the off-season. He attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and was only the second player ever to be drafted from that school and the first since the Phillies drafted Rusty Hamric in 1979. According to Brunnemann, "We're a small school out in West Texas. I think our enrollment's like 2500, not a lot of people. Just went there for baseball. I chose them because of my educational path I wanted to be on and baseball just ended up working out." He majored in exercise science and originally thought about going into physical therapy, but now his post-playing goal is to be a coach.

And, as always, I asked Brunnemann some of my silly questions. Which Astros pitcher has a pitch he would like to steal? "I'd say, this one's probably said a lot, but [Jandel] Gustave's fastball. I've seen him hit, in Greeneville last year, hit 102 so that would definitely be nice to have." Which Astros hitter would he least like to face? "I would say probably Brett Phillips. He just hits the ball a lot. He gets good counts. He's had a lot of extra base hits this year and he's fast."

When I asked Tyler who on the team makes him laugh, he didn't want to chose. "Do I have to narrow it down to one person? I would just say the bullpen as a group. We get along real well down there. We joke around and have a lot of fun and then all those guys this year have been doing great. Once we get on the mound, it's all business and the whole bullpen's been pitching real well."

Sometimes I get no answer at all, but occasionally, I will get surprised when I ask a player to tell me something about himself that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear. Such was the case with Brunnemann. "When I was 11, I had a brain tumor removed. It was benign. So I'm good now, but that happened. I was playing baseball and I has having double vision actually and that's obviously not easy. So I went to an eye doctor and I got sent in for an MRI that day and then I had surgery the next day. It was crazy. It went real fast. I was 11. I didn't even understand what was going on."

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

Brunnemann isn't a flashy player. He doesn't have the most elite stuff on the team. But he knows that he has been given an opportunity and he wants to make the most of that opportunity. Borkowski put it well, "He wants to pitch in the big leagues. He has the desire to pitch in the big leagues and he's going to get every ounce out of himself that he can. He competes. He prepares. He's ready to go. He really takes care of himself and it's a lot of fun to watch a kid like him have success." I couldn't agree more.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, June 26, 2014

Omaha 7, Oklahoma City 2

W- Clayton Mortensen (3-0)
L- Mike Foltynewicz (6-5)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks offense was kept in check and the Storm Chasers knocked Mike Foltynewicz and Alex White around.

Foltynewicz went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits (solo and 2-run homers), walked 1, and struck out 6. The solo homer he allowed was of the inside-the-park variety. Alex White went 1.2 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits, walked 2, and fanned 2. Pat Urckfitz pitched 1.1 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and a walk. Jorge De Leon worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

Marc Krauss doubled to lead off the 2nd and would score on a wild pitch strikeout that also saw Max Stassi reach 1B safely. Gregorio Petit had the only RBI; it came in the form of a single in the 5th. He and Kiké Hernandez had 2 hits apiece; Hernandez, who is now on an 8-game hitting streak, doubled to begin the inning and came around to score on the Petit single.

Game 2 of this series has Brett Oberholtzer taking on Ryan Verdugo. First pitch is at 7:05.

Springfield 6, Corpus Christi 5

W- Mike Mayers (1-1)
L- Jordan Jankowski (1-3)

CC home runs: Andrew Aplin 2 (4; 2-run in 1st, 2-run in 9th)

Close, but no cigar for the Hooks, as a 9th-inning rally fell just short. They stranded runners on the corners to end it.

Big night for Andrew Aplin, who went 3-4 and clubbed a couple of 2-run homers. The first blast came in the 1st and opened up the scoring. The second one came in the 9th and made it a 6-4 game. Carlos Perdomo had a pinch-hit single in the 9th and scored on an error to make it 6-5. Unfortunately, Telvin Nash couldn't come through, as he whiffed to end the game. Tony Kemp was 2-4 with a run scored.

Jordan Jankowski pitched 5 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits (2 2-run homers) and struck out 4. Mitch Lambson went 2 innings and the only blemish on his line was a solo homer to Jonathan Rodriguez in the 6th. He allowed one other hit and struck out 1. Richard Rodriguez threw a 1-2-3 8th.

In the series finale, Mike Hauschild will face Jon Cornelius at 7:10.

Lancaster 9, Lake Elsinore 8

W- Dan Minor (5-2)
L- Brandon Alger (3-2)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks walked off with the win and snapped their 5-game losing streak.

Rio Ruiz went 3-4 and put Lancaster on the board first with an RBI single in the 1st. After the Storm put 3 up in the 3rd, the JetHawks hit back with 3 of their own in the bottom of the inning.

The heavy lifting on offense was done by the trio of Conrad Gregor (2B, R), Roberto Peña (2 2B, R), and Danry Vásquez, who all had 2 hits in the game. Gregor extended his hit streak to 14 games with an RBI single in the 3rd, and one batter later, Peña ripped a 2-run double. Peña would score on a double play in the 6th, Then, in the 7th, Gregor got another RBI on a groundout and Vásquez added a 2-run single. After the Storm tied the game with 2 in the 9th, Gregor un-tied it with an RBI double that gave the JetHawks the victory.

Josh Hader pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits (solo homer) and struck out 4. Chris Devenski tagged in for 3 innings and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 1. Jamaine Cotton got 2 outs in the 9th, but not before the Storm tied the game. Not his best outing, as he allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits (solo homer) and walked 2. Dan Minor came on with 2 runners aboard and got the JetHawks out of the inning with no further damage.

In game 2, Mark Appel will face Coby Cowgill. First pitch is at 8:30.

Clinton 12, Quad Cities 3

W- Lars Huijer (4-5)
L- Michael Feliz (3-2)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits couldn't finish off the sweep as they were absolutely buried by the LumberKings, who scored the game's first 12 runs.

All 3 QC runs came in the 8th as James Ramsay scored on a wild pitch, Tyler White hit an RBI single, and Ronnie Mitchell had a sac fly. White (2B) and Jon Kemmer had 2 hits apiece, and Ramsay had the other hit for Quad Cities.

Michael Feliz went 3.1 and allowed 6 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Chris Cotton was the first man out of the bullpen and allowed 2 unearned runs on 3 hits. Anthony Bass struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 6th. Andrew Walter pitched 2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (3-run homer), walked 1, and fanned 1.

The roadtrip continues with a 5-game series in Peoria. The game that was postponed last Sunday in Davenport will be made up as part of a doubleheader this upcoming Sunday. In the opener, Edison Frias will take on Chase Brookshire at 7:00.

Lowell 3, Tri-City 0

W- Randy Perez (1-1)
L- Troy Scribner (1-1, 3-1 season)
S- Carlos Pinales (4)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats got blanked and got swept out of Lowell.

3 of the 5 ValleyCats hits were doubles; those belonged to A.J. Reed, J.D. Davis, and Ravel Santana.

Troy Scribner went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Kevin Ferguson worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 5th. Jay Gause, in his pro debut, went 2 innings and allowed a run on a wild pitch, walked 1, and struck out 1. Jordan Mills threw a 1-2-3 8th.

Tri-City's roadtrip continues with a weekend in Connecticut. In the opener, Francis Ramirez will take on Confesor Lara at 6:05.

Danville 4, Greeneville 2

W- Matt Kimbrel (2-0)
L- Robert Kahana (1-1)
S- Caleb Dirks (1)

Greeneville home runs: Sean McMullen (1, solo in 6th)

A 3-run 6th turned the tide of this matchup in the Braves' favor.

The Appy Astros got on the board first in the 2nd thanks to an RBI triple from Yonathan Mejia. McMullen extended his hitting streak to 7 games with that homer. Mejia and Trent Woodward (2B, R, BB) had 2 hits apiece in this game.

Devonte German kicked things off with 5 shutout innings, and he allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Robert Kahana was knocked around in the 6th and coughed up the lead. He went 2 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned, all in the 6th) on 4 hits and struck out 3. Eric Peterson allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 1 in the 8th.

In the rubber game of this series, Agapito Barrios will take on Ian Stiffler at 6:00.

GCL Astros 3, GCL Yankees2 1

W- Elieser Hernandez (1-0)
L- Domingo Acevedo (0-1)
S- Aaron Vaughn (1)

GCL home runs: None.

The big news out of Kissimmee was that Kyle Weiland is off his island. The last time he pitched in a baseball game was April 21, 2012, when he went 7 innings against the Dodgers at Minute Maid Park.

Weiland worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 1st, striking out 1. Also making a rehab appearance was Colton Cain, who allowed a hit and struck out 3 over 2 scoreless. Elieser Hernandez was next up and all he did was throw 5 perfect innings, striking out 4. The Yankees spoiled the shutout by getting a run off of Aaron Gordon in the 9th. Gordon allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

The Kissimmee Stros got 2 in the 1st as Osvaldo Duarte scored on an error as Edwin Medina stole 2nd. Medina would score on an RBI single from Dex McCall. McCall scored on a passed ball in the 8th. Hector Roa and Kristian Trompiz finished with identical lines: both of them went 2-4 with a double.

The Astros will travel to Bradenton to take on the Pirates. First pitch is at 11:00 A.M.

DSL Royals 6, DSL Astros Blue 5

W- Cesar Melendez (2-0)
L- Dariel Aquino (0-2)
S- Frandy Diaz (1)

Blue home runs: None.

A 9th-inning rally fell short for the Blue team as well.

They got 2 in the 3rd on an RBI single from Rodrigo Ayarza and a sac fly from Jonathan Matute. In the 6th, Matute hit an RBI double. Felix Lucas hit a 2-run double in the 9th to bring the Blue team to within 1. Ayarza went 2-4 in his first game with the Blue team.

Moreno Polanco went 3.1 innings and allowed an unearned run on 4 hits, walked 4, and struck out 1. Gabriel Pirela had an inherited runner charged to him on 2 hits and fanned 1 in 1.2 innings. Ezequiel Madera got 1 out in the 6th via strikeout and had an inherited runner charged to him. He allowed a hit and walked 1. Dariel Aquino pitched 1 innings (2 outs in the 6th, 1 in the 7th) and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits and walked 1. Josue Uribe allowed an unearned run and a hit in 1.2 innings.

These two teams are currently in a game at the Astros complex.

DSL Astros Orange

?????

Someone fell asleep on the job. The Orange team and the Yankees 2 are currently in a game. Or are they?

Happy Birthday - 6/27

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Tanner Mathis (23)
Signed with Houston as a non-drafted free agent out of Ole Miss in 2013, the lefty-hitting Lake Charles, Louisiana native started his second season in the organization with Quad Cities, but was recently promoted to Lancaster. In 44 games so far this season, he is hitting .268/.374/.349.

Two former Astros celebrate today as well ~

LF/1B Daryle Ward (39)
Originally drafted by the Tigers in the 15th round in 1994, Ward came to Houston in a December 1996 trade. In 418 games for the Astros from 1998 to 2002, he hit .269/.316/.465. Ward was the first player to hit a home run on the fly into the Allegheny River at PNC Park in Pittsburgh when he accomplished that feat for Houston in July 2002. He and his father Gary Ward are the only father-son major league combo to have both hit for the cycle. Although Ward hasn't played in the major leagues since 2008, he is still toiling away and is currently playing in the Mexican League.

IF Eddie Kasko (82)
Kasko came to the Colt .45's in a January 1964 trade with the Reds, where he had been an All-Star in 1961.  His best season, however, was the 1960 season when he hit .292/.359/.378 for the Reds. In 201 games for the Astros and the Colt .45's in 1964 and 1965, Kasko hit .244/.300/.290. After his playing days were over, he went on to manage the Red Sox from 1970 to 1973.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Astros Minor League Snapshot

We are now 12 weeks in to the minor league season. Let's take a look at where things stand.

OKLAHOMA CITY

3rd    42-38    .525    1.0GB    L4

After losing four straight, the Redhawks have dropped into third place in the standings; however, they are virtually tied with second place Iowa, trailing that team by a statistical fraction, and are only one game behind first place Omaha. They will have their chance to make up some ground starting tonight as they host a four-game series with Omaha, against whom they are 5-7 for the season. They will then journey to play the last place Colorado Springs team (33-45) for four games starting Monday. The season series between Oklahoma City and Colorado Springs is split 4-4.

CORPUS CHRISTI

For the season:
4th    37-40    .481    7.0GB    W2

For the second half:
4th     3-4     .429     2.5GB     W2

In the South Division second half standings, the Hooks trail the second place Missions by one game and the third place Rough Riders by only a half a game while the Midland RockHounds lead the pack. Corpus Christi is on a road trip playing North Division teams, all of whom are currently tied in the second half standings with identical 3-4 records. After taking the first game of a three-game series in Springfield, the Hooks are now 5-2 against that team this season. They will then head to Tulsa for three. Corpus Christi leads the season series against Tulsa 4-2, but they have not faced that team since very early in the season. After a day off on Tuesday, the Hooks will once again face Springfield and Tulsa, but this time at home.

LANCASTER

For the season:
1st    46-31    .597    -.-GB    L5

For the second half:
4th     2-5     .286     4.0GB     L5

The second half of the season hasn't started particularly well for the 'Hawks. They are on a five-game skid, have lost Carlos Correa for the season to injury and just lost Tony Kemp to promotion. But there is still so much talent on this team that I have no doubt they will soon get headed back in the right direction. Lancaster will host Lake Elsinore (44-33) for four games starting tonight. The JetHawks lead that season series 13-6. After a day off on Monday, they will travel to face Stockton (44-33) on the road for only the second series between those teams this season; they were swept by Stockton in their first meeting earlier this week.

QUAD CITIES

For the season:
5th    38-36    .514    10.0GB    W2

For the second half:
4th     3-2     .600     1.5GB     W2

Quad Cities will go for a sweep against Clinton (32-42) on the road tonight and then will head to Peoria (41-33) for five games, including a make-up game for last Sunday's rain-out. Then they will finish the road trip with three in Beloit (32-44). The River Bandits are 4-5 and 7-2 against Peoria and Beloit, respectively, in those season series.

TRI-CITY

1st     8-5     .615     -.-GB     L1

The ValleyCats have spent the first two weeks of the season playing against their division rivals and that will continue to be the case this next week. After yesterday's loss, Tri-City will try to salvage a split with Lowell tonight in that two-game series on the road; they are 3-3 against Lowell so far this season. The 'Cats will then head to Connecticut for three games (2-1 lead in the season series) and Vermont for three games (3-2 lead in the season series). Lowell, Connecticut and Vermont are all tied for second place in the division with identical 6-7 records and are all two games behind Tri-City.

GREENEVILLE

T1st     4-3     .571     -.-GB     W1

Greeneville is currently in a four-way tie for first place in the West Division. On the present road trip, they are playing East Division teams Danville (4-3) and Burlington (2-5). The Astros took the first game of the three-game series with Danville yesterday. They will head to Burlington for another three-game series on Saturday. Next Tuesday and Thursday, they will play division rival Kingsport (4-3) on the road and will have an off day in between.

GCL ASTROS

T1st     3-2     .600     -.-GB     W1

DSL ASTROS ORANGE

T7th     7-15     .318     11.0GB     W1

DSL ASTROS BLUE

T5th     9-13     .409     5.0GB     L1

This week, let's look at some of the organizational leaders in a few select categories:

Batting Average (minimum 200 AB)
Tony Kemp - .334
Conrad Gregor - .332
Kike Hernandez - .327

On-Base Percentage (minimum 200 AB)
Tony Kemp - .433
Conrad Gregor - .429
Nolan Fontana - .418

Slugging Percentage (minimum 200 AB)
Teoscar Hernandez - .564
Conrad Gregor - .510
Carlos Correa - .510

Runs Scored
Tony Kemp - 80
Teoscar Hernandez - 55
Conrad Gregor - 51

Hits
Tony Kemp - 100
Kike Hernandez - 93
Domingo Santana - 88

Doubles
Domingo Santana - 21
Nolan Fontana - 21
Tony Kemp - 20
Conrad Gregor - 20
Teoscar Hernandez - 20
Danry Vasquez - 20

Triples
Brett Phillips - 10
Teoscar Hernandez - 7
Chan Moon - 7

Home Runs
Preston Tucker - 17
Teoscar Hernandez - 14
Jon Singleton - 14
Matt Duffy - 13

RBI
Teoscar Hernandez - 62
Carlos Correa - 57
Matt Duffy - 51

Stolen Bases
Tony Kemp - 28
Ruben Sosa - 27
Delino DeShields - 26

Walks
Nolan Fontana - 61
Rio Ruiz - 47
Tony Kemp - 46
Andrew Aplin - 46

ERA (minimum 10 starts)
Tommy Shirley - 1.90
Josh Hader - 2.27
Nick Tropeano - 2.28

WHIP (minimum 10 starts)
Tommy Shirley - 0.899
Nick Tropeano - 0.962
Josh Hader - 0.995

ERA (minimum 18 appearances)
Kevin Chapman - 0.98
Tyler Brunnemann - 1.56
Jamaine Cotton - 1.66

WHIP (minimum 18 appearances)
Tyler Brunnemann - 0.837
Pat Urckfitz - 1.141
Andrew Walter - 1.151

Strikeouts
Kyle Smith - 83
Josh Hader - 78
Nick Tropeano - 72

Strikeout to Walk Ratio (minimum 50 IP)
Chris Devenski - 6.18
Rudy Owens - 5.00
Tommy Shirley - 4.60

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

The Astros minor league moves keep coming fast and furious ~

OKLAHOMA CITY
RHP Asher Wojciechowski optioned to Oklahoma City (from rehab assignment)
OF Robbie Grossman optioned from Houston to Oklahoma City (L.J. Hoes to Houston)

CORPUS CHRISTI
IF Tony Kemp assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi

LANCASTER
IF Austin Elkins assigned from Quad Cities to Lancaster

QUAD CITIES
OF Marc Wik assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities

GULF COAST LEAGUE ASTROS
RHP Kyle Weiland to the GCL for a rehab assignment
LHP Colton Cain to the GCL for a rehab assignment

In addition, according to Baseball America, the Astros have released 2B Alex Gonzalez and have signed three NDFA - RHP Aaron Vaughn (GCL), LHP Kyle Gehrs (GCL) and SS Dayne Parker (GRN). Also, LHP Christian Perdomo (GCL) was signed as a free agent after his release from the Red Sox organization.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Oklahoma City was off

The RedHawks will host Omaha for 4 beginning tonight at 7:05. Mike Foltynewicz will take on Clayton Mortensen at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 7, Springfield 4

W- Brady Rodgers (3-9)
L- Ryan Sherriff (2-2)
S- Tyson Perez (2, 3 season)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks started off the post-All-Star Game portion of their schedule with a victory, as they responded to a 3-run Springfield 5th by finishing the game on a 7-1 run.

David Rollins started off with 4 shutout innings; he allowed 2 hits and struck out 2. Travis Ballew came on to start the 5th, but he only got 1 out while allowing 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits and walking 3. Brady Rodgers pitched 3.1 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Tyson Perez got the 4-out save, although it looked a little hairy at times. The first man he faced, Breyvic Valera, hit a single that loaded the bases. However, Perez averted disaster by striking out David Popkins to end the 8th. He opened the 9th with 2 groundouts, but then all of a sudden, he allowed 2 singles. Nothing came of that, as he got Jonathan Rodriguez to ground into a force out to end the game.

A double steal got the Hooks on the board in the 6th; Andrew Aplin stole home, while Leo Heras took 2nd and advanced to 3rd on an error. René Garcia then brought Heras home with a single.

Tony Kemp got his first hit as a member of the Hooks when he led off the 7th with a ground-rule double. One batter later, he scored on an RBI triple from Ruben Sosa. Heras and Delino DeShields followed that up with RBI singles. Sosa added an RBI single in the 8th, and Heras drew a bases-loaded walk. They both had 2 hits, 2 RBI, and 2 steals (Heras 10, Sosa 11, 27 season). The Hooks went 7-7 on steals, with Andrew Aplin swiping 2 (11) and DeShields (26) stealing one.

In game 2 of this series, Jordan Jankowski will take on Mike Mayers. First pitch is at 7:10.

Stockton 10, Lancaster 2

W- Jonathan Joseph (3-3)
L- Kent Emanuel (3-2, 3-4 season)

Lancaster home runs: Conrad Gregor (6, 7 season; solo in 4th)

The JetHawks were swept as they were just swamped in this game.

Jobduan Morales hit a sac fly in the 4th, and Conrad Gregor extended his hitting streak to 13 games with his blast to lead off the 4th. Chan-Jong Moon went 2-4 at the top of the order.

Kent Emanuel was shelled in 5.1 innings, as he allowed 9 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 10 hits (2 solos and a 2-run homer), walked 3, and struck out 4. Pat Christensen pitched the final 3.2 innings and the only ding on his line was a 9th-inning solo homer to Renato Nuñez, who had taken Emanuel deep earlier in the game. Christensen allowed 2 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

The JetHawks will try to snap out of this slump as Lake Elsinore arrives at The Hangar for 4 beginning tonight at 8:30. Josh Hader will face Colin Rea in the opener.

Quad Cities 4, Clinton 3 in 12 innings

W- Frederick Tiburcio (1-1)
L- Paul Fry (1-2)

QC home runs: Chase McDonald (4, 2-run in 6th)

The River Bandits fell behind 3-0, but scored the game's final 4 runs as they earned a series win on the road.

McDonald's homer got the Bandits on the board and brought them to within 1. Brett Booth tied the game with a 1-out RBI double. Marc Wik, who was just promoted from Tri-City, came on to pinch-run for Tyler White in the 10th, then stayed in the game at 3B, which he was playing for the first time as a pro. He doubled with 2 outs in the 12th, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored the eventual game-winner on a single from Brett Phillips. Phillips finished 3-5 with a run scored and 2 steals (14). Thomas Lindauer went 2-4 with a double.

Jandel Gustave pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 8 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. The bullpen picked him up and threw 7 scoreless. Tyler Brunnemann allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 over 3 scoreless, and Frederick Tiburcio allowed a hit, walked 1, and fanned 6 in 4 scoreless frames for the victory.

The Banditos will look for the sweep as Michael Feliz will take on Lars Huijer in the finale. First pitch is at 6:30.

Lowell 8, Tri-City 4

W- German Taveras (2-1)
L- Luis Ordosgoitti (1-1)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats had a 4-run 2nd, but that was the only inning in which they scored. They ended up being on the wrong side of an 8-0 run to finish the game.

The 4 TC runs in the 2nd came in the form of an RBI single from Jamie Ritchie and a bases-clearing double from Alex Hernandez. Ritchie added a stolen base (2), while Hernandez, Ariel Ovando, and Mott Hyde had 2 hits apiece.

Blaine Sims went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Raúl Rivera worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 6th, striking out 1. The wheels fell off for Luis Ordosgoitti, who allowed 6 runs on 6 hits (3-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 3 in 2 innings of work.

In the finale of this 2-game series, Troy Scribner will face Randy Perez at 6:05.

Greeneville 9, Danville 5

W- Aaron Greenwood (1-0)
L- Andrew Waszak (0-1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros started off the game with a 9-0 lead, which proved to be enough of a cushion to withstand the late Danville rally.

Reymin Guduan started off with 4 scoreless, allowing 4 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4. Keegan Yuhl struck out the side in the 5th, but the Braves got to him for 2 in the 6th. He allowed 3 hits and struck out 3. Aaron Greenwood got the win in his pro debut; he threw 2 scoreless and allowed a hit while striking out 2. Krishawn Holley was tagged for 3 unearned runs on 2 hits in the 9th; he walked 1 and fanned 1.

Sean McMullen has started off his pro career with a 6-game hitting streak. He finished 3-5 and opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Jake Nottingham added a sac fly in the 3rd, and then Greeneville busted out for a 4-run 4th. Jason Martin had an RBI double, and then Juan Santana and McMullen followed with RBI singles, and Trent Woodward chipped in with a sac fly. Santana was 4-6 and also had a 2-run double in the 5th. Before that double, Ydarqui Marte scored on a passed ball. Marte was 3-5 with 2 runs scored, while Dayne Parker finished 4-5 with 2 runs scored. Martin only went 1-5, but he had a stolen base (2), drew a walk, and scored 3 runs.

In the middle game of this series, Gerardo Juarez will take on Daniel Cordero at 6:00.

GCL Astros 7, GCL Yankees2 5

W- R.J. Alaniz (1-0)
L- Alex Polanco (1-1)
S- Harold Arauz (1)

GCL home runs: None.

A 5-run 6th spurred the Kissimmee Stros on to a win as they bounced back from getting swept by the Tigers.

Brauly Mejia stole 3rd and scored the GCLstros' first run of the game on the ensuing error in the 4th inning. Mejia was 0-3 with 2 strikeouts, but he also walked twice, stole another base (2) and scored twice. Dex McCall had an RBI groundout in the 5th, and then they took control in the 6th. Richard Gonzalez and Osvaldo Duarte (with a bunt) opened with a couple of RBI singles, then Edwin Medina drew a bases-loaded walk. And finally, McCall finished the scoring with a 2-run double. Duarte went 2-5 and had a couple of steals (3, 10 season). Gonzalez also had 2 hits, as did Kristian Trompiz, who doubled and scored a run.

R.J. Alaniz went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Harold Arauz pitched the final 4 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 7.

These two teams will go at it again in Kissimmee at 11:00 A.M.

DSL Indians 6, DSL Astros Blue 0

W- Jose Rodriguez (1-0)
L- Jose Rosario (0-2)

Blue home runs: None.

Wander Franco (2B) and Connor MacDonald had 2 hits apiece. Marcos Almonte and Edgar Lorenzo both stole a base, which gives the two of them 5 steals on the season.

Jose Rosario went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Carlos Hiraldo allowed 2 unearned runs on 2 hits and walked 2 while striking out 3 in 2 innings, and Carlos Sanabria gave up an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 3 in 3 innings.

The Blue team is at the Royals complex for a game there at 9:30 A.M.

DSL Astros Orange 3, DSL Blue Jays 0

W- Yhoan Acosta (1-1)
L- Wilfri Aleton (0-1)
S- Edgardo Sandoval (1)

Orange home runs: None.

Yhoan Acosta and Edgardo Sandoval combined on a 5-hit shutout for the Orange team. Acosta allowed 4 hits and struck out 8 over 6 innings, while Sandoval finished it off by allowing a hit and striking out 4 in the final 3 innings.

The Orange offense broke a scoreless tie with 3 runs in the 7th, as Wilson Amador was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Rodrigo Ayarza hit an RBI single, and Frankeny Fernandez had a sac fly. Fernandez also stole his 12th base of the season, while Andy Piñeda was the only player on either side to have a multi-hit game, as he finished 2-4 with a double and a stolen base (7).

The Yankees 2 will be at the Astros complex in Boca Chica; they're the Orange team's next opponents. First pitch is at 9:30 A.M.

Happy Birthday - 6/26

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Ryan Thompson (22)
Drafted by Houston in the 28th round out of Campbell University (Blues Creek, NC) in 2014, Thompson has only pitched in 3.2 innings in his very brief professional career and has a 2.45 ERA and a 1.636 WHIP in three appearances.

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

An Interview with Quad Cities RHP Kevin Comer

RHP Kevin Comer has had a few ups and downs since coming to the Astros organization in late August 2012 as the player to be named later in this July 2012 megatrade:
July 20, 2012: J.A. Happ, David Carpenter and Brandon Lyon traded by the Houston Astros to the Toronto Blue Jays for a player to be named later, Joseph Musgrove (minors), Carlos Perez (minors), David Rollins (minors), Asher Wojciechowski (minors), Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Kevin Comer (minors) (August 16, 2012) to the Houston Astros to complete the trade.
 But despite a few bumps in the road, one thing is clear. The 2011 first rounder has excellent "stuff." I talked with both Quad Cities Manager Omar Lopez and QC Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski in my quest to better understand who this 21-year old pitching prospect really is, as both a person and as a pitcher.

Lopez had Kevin on his Greeneville team for a short time in August 2012 after the trade, "The kid that we have right now is not even close to the same guy. He's much, much better. He's been able to recover his velocity. His breaking ball is right there." According to Lopez, however, his change up is a work in progress.

Comer has had a couple of tough outings and Borkowski seems to think that Kevin's biggest challenge is simply to trust himself and his pitches. "He's still young. He's got plus stuff all across the board. I think it's a matter of him trusting it for nine innings. He gets to the point sometimes where things are going good and it's going really easy for him, and he thinks he can't just keep doing that at times. He gets away from what he's doing and instead of just attacking the zone and using all his pitches, he'll start to get fine and not trust his stuff.

"He's throwing a low to mid 90's fastball so he doesn't have to be perfect and that's one thing that gets him in trouble when he tries to be perfect. His stuff's so good that he needs to just pound the plate, split it in halves and go there instead of trying to [be] too fine with stuff."

I sat down with Comer and talked about the ups and downs he's been through, among many other things, during my recent trip to Quad Cities.

Kevin Comer - June 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As always, I first asked about Comer's pitch repertoire. "I have a pretty simple pitch repertoire I'd say. I've got a fastball, regular 4-seam [and] a 2-seam. Those are anywhere from 88 to 94 range for velocity most of the time. And off-speed wise, I throw a curveball. It's a little slurvish so some people think maybe curveball-slider, but in my head it's a curveball. It's, I'd say, upper 70's in speed and I hope good break. I had a change-up last year, a regular 4-seam change-up, but I switched out this year. They let me start throwing my splitter again so I'm enjoying that, having that pitch back."

As far as the ups and downs of the last couple of seasons, Comer told me, "I think a lot of it has been learning the game. I'm getting better with that, starting to call my own games now and taking control of myself as a pitcher in my career. I think I'm doing a good job of that. I've found a little bit of velocity in my arm this year which is great because I haven't seen that in a while so that's been a big upside to the year so far. I've been back and forth, walking more people than I should, but overall I think I'm fighting pretty good and I like where I'm at right now."

What is he working on? "Getting walks down. And I just need to pitch to more contact. Trying to be too fine, trying to do too much with pitches and everything. That's probably the same case for a lot of people, but I'm working on that and just trying to better every part of the game as I can."

In response to a question about the trade that brought him to the Astros system, Comer said, "I think we, the guys who came over to the Astros, we like to use that as a chip on our shoulder a little bit. 'What were they thinking in trying to get rid of us?' But who really knows? Maybe they're happy with that they got a great guy in J.A. Happ who's doing pretty good work for them now. I'm sure they're happy with what they've done."

Is there any extra pressure in being a first rounder? "It's there. It's always there. It will always be there, not in a bad way I don't think. I'm obviously happy with what I've been and what I've had and how I came into the game and everything. I like to use that as motivation. To have that to my name is a great accomplishment and it's only a positive thing to me."

I then proceeded to ask him a couple of my standard silly questions. Who in the Astros system has a pitch he would like to steal? "There's plenty of them. [Jandel] Gustave's fastball would be nice. That would be a fun one to be able to have in your back pocket." Which Astros hitter would he least like to face in the batter's box? "There's a lot of them, especially that we have. We have a lot of good guys and, you know, I think one guy that has my number in the organization in the few times I've faced him is Teoscar Hernandez. He's got me pretty good. So, I think out of [the Astros minor leaguers], he's the guy I never like throwing to too much."

I also asked Comer if there was one player that he particularly enjoyed having behind him in the field, "I've always enjoyed having [Chan-Jong] Moon out there. I've always loved having him out there. From what little Korean I can speak to him, we have a good time out there most of the time. And I can trust him back there."

Who on the team makes him laugh? "There's a lot of people. I'd say [Albert] Minnis is a guy that can get you to laugh. He's a funny guy to have out there. Always looking on the light side of things."

What would he do if he couldn't play baseball? "That's a good question. There's a lot of things that I love to do. I've always been sports-oriented. My mother played basketball. I always did that until high school and that would be one thing that I wish maybe I could have learned to do, but as far as taking that as a profession, might not happen. But I always loved working around food with my mother. We always made a lot of Korean food and things like that and we always talked about maybe opening a restaurant one day together which would be, I think, a great thing with the family, but that's something maybe in the works."

When I asked Kevin if he could tell me something about himself that most people don't know about him, he actually mentioned something that anyone who follows him on Twitter or Instagram already knows about, his devotion to his Shiba Inu pup, Opie. "I'm a proud dog owner now. I love my new puppy and he's been great. I went home for the All-Star break and got to see him a bit. That's something ... that I love animals, love them to death. I had a horse growing up, two dogs. [I've] always been around them and now this one, he's been the joy in my life."

Going in to the interview, I had one goal. I wanted to get a handle on Comer. I wanted to know him better as a pitcher and and a person. As a person, my impression is that Kevin is quiet and laid back, but well-spoken and really easy to talk with one-on-one. He's smart, has a good sense of humor and doesn't take himself too terribly seriously.

But as a pitcher, I still wasn't sure that I had a good handle on him. When I told him that, he said, "I'm me. That's really all there is. I'm still trying to learn a lot and I'm still a little younger. I guess for the most part, I'm pretty laid back, aggressive at times when I need to be, definitely competitive. I love going out there. It's my career and what I love to do. Every day I'm out there being the best pitcher that I can."

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

Thank you for your time, Kevin, and the best of luck as the season progresses.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Tacoma 2, Oklahoma City 0

W- Taijuan Walker (2-1, 3-1 season)
L- David Martinez (5-5)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks suffered the sweep, and this time they lost in regulation. They lost the 4 games in this series by a total of 5 runs.

They were held to 4 hits by Taijuan Walker, who went the distance. Domingo Santana and Marc Krauss had doubles.

David Martinez pitched rather well, but unfortunately, he was forced to take the loss. A 2-run homer to Xavier Nady way back in the 1st was the difference. Martinez went 7 innings and allowed 4 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Jose Veras struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th.

The RedHawks will have today off, and then on Thursday, the Omaha Storm Chasers roll into OKC for a 4-game set. In the opener, Mike Foltynewicz will face Clayton Mortensen at 7:05.

Texas League All-Star Game: North 3, South 1

W- Kyle Hald
L- Kyle Smith
S- Cam Bedrosian

Tommy Shirley was the 2nd pitcher for the South All-Stars and he worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 2nd inning, striking out 1. Kyle Smith was the only pitcher for the South team to throw more than 1 inning; he threw a scoreless 3rd, but was taken deep by Cody Stanley in the 4th. He allowed one other hit and struck out 2.

As for the hitters, Delino DeShields and Andrew Aplin both entered the game and they both went 0-1.

The Hooks will be on the road for 6 games; their first stop will be Springfield for 3 against the Cardinals. David Rollins will get the start in the series opener. He'll take on TBA at 7:10.

Stockton 6, Lancaster 4

W- Tim Atherton (6-2)
L- Matt Heidenreich (2-1, 3-1 season)
S- Austin House (10)

Lancaster home runs: Teoscar Hernandez (14, 3-run in 1st)

The JetHawks dropped their 4th straight as the Ports responded to Teoscar's blast with 5 unanswered runs.

The other JetHawks run came on a Tony Kemp groundout in the 4th, after Danry Vásquez tripled to lead off the inning. They had the bases loaded in the 2nd, but the rally was killed by an inning-ending double play. Kemp (2B, R), Brandon Meredith, Conrad Gregor (2B), and Danry (2B, 3B, R) all had 2 hits.

Matt Heidenreich went 3 innings and allowed 5 runs on 9 hits (3-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Zach Morton allowed a run on 6 hits and struck out 1 in 4 innings, and Dan Minor allowed a hit and fanned 3 over 2 scoreless.

The JetHawks will look to avoid the sweep as they send Kent Emanuel to the mound this afternoon. He'll take on Chris Lamb at 1:00.

Quad Cities 5, Clinton 2

W- Andrew Thurman (4-4)
L- Edwin Diaz (2-4)
S- Andrew Walter (6)

QC home runs: Brett Booth (2, 2-run in 2nd)

The Banditos kicked off their roadtrip on a winning note as they scored the game's first 4 runs and kept the Clinton offense at bay.

Anthony Bass began his rehab with a 1-2-3 1st inning and struck out 1. Andrew Thurman was the first man out and he threw 4 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 3. Chris Lee's only blemish in his 3 innings of work was a 2-run homer to Marcus Littlewood in the 8th. He allowed 4 other hits and struck out 2. Andrew Walter worked around a hit to close it out, and he struck out the side.

Brett Booth opened the scoring in the 2nd with his 2-run homer. QC got 2 more in the 3rd on a sac fly from Brett Phillips and a Chase McDonald RBI double. Phillips provided a little insurance in the 9th with an RBI double of his own. The two of them, in addition to Jose Fernandez (2B, R, BB), had 2-hit nights. Catfish Elkins scored twice, while Tyler White drew 2 walks.

In game 2 of this series, Jandel Gustave will take on Jose Flores. First pitch is at 6:30.

Tri-City 5, Vermont 4 in 11 innings

W- Chris Munnelly (1-0)
L- Jon Massad (0-2)

TC home runs: J.D. Davis (2, solo in 7th)

The ValleyCats swept this 2-game series in walk-off fashion as J.D. Davis beat a double play and Bobby Boyd scampered home with the winning run.

Davis had driven in the ValleyCats' last run when he brought himself home with a solo homer in the 7th. A.J. Reed opened the scoring with an RBI double in the 3rd. They got a pair in the 6th thanks to an RBI double from Mott Hyde, and an error on the play allowed Alfredo Gonzalez to score. Hyde, Boyd, and Marc Wik had 2 hits apiece, and Boyd recorded his first stolen base as a pro.

Joe Musgrove went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. That walk was the only one that was issued by Tri-City pitchers. Kevin Ferguson worked around a hit batter to throw a scoreless 6th, striking out 2. Bryan Radziewski threw a scoreless 7th, but the Lake Monsters got to him for 2 in the 8th. He allowed 3 hits and struck out 2. Ryan Thompson allowed a hit and struck out 2 over 1.2 scoreless, and Chris Munnelly got the victory as a result of the walk-off force out. He allowed 2 hits and struck out 3 in 1.1 innings of work.

Playing the same teams over and over again is fun! I know Vermont, Connecticut, and Lowell are their division rivals, but a little diversity in the scheduling never hurt anyone. The ValleyCats will have their 3rd series with Lowell this season; they're back in Lowell after taking 2 of 3 this past weekend. That makes very little sense to me, but then again, I don't make the New York-Penn League schedule.

Whoops, sidebar. In the opener, Blaine Sims will take on Jake Drehoff at 6:05.

Princeton 5, Greeneville 3

W- Jose Alonzo (1-0)
L- Austin Nicely (0-2)
S- Justin McCalvin (1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros were foiled in their bid for a sweep as the Rays scored the game's first 4 runs and were just able to hold them off, as Greeneville stranded the tying runs on 1st and 2nd to end the game.

Austin Nicely went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 9 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 2. In his pro debut, Brock Dykxhoorn allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 2 in the 6th. Jorge Perez walked 1 and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless frames, and Angel Heredia allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 1 in the 9th.

Jake Nottingham got Greeneville on the board in the 6th with an RBI single and the ensuing error allowed him to advance to 3rd. He would come home on a Juan Santana groundout. Jason Martin had an RBI groundout in the 7th. Ydarqui Marte finished 3-4 with a double and a run scored. Bryan Muniz and Sean McMullen both finished 2-4; McMullen has a hit in all 5 games in which he's appeared this season.

Greeneville will now embark on their first roadtrip of the season. Their first stop will be Danville, Virginia, for 3 games with the Braves. In the opener, Reymin Guduan will take on Andrew Waszak. First pitch is at 6:00.

GCL Tigers 11, GCL Astros 3

W- Spenser Watkins (1-0)
L- Samil De Los Santos (0-1)

GCL home runs: Brauly Mejia (1, solo in 2nd)

The Kissimmee Stros allowed the Tigers to score in 7 out of 8 innings. Yeah, tough day for the pitchers.

Brauly Mejia's homer led off the 2nd. Kristian Trompiz led off the 5th with a double, advanced to 3rd on a passed ball, and scored on a Richard Gonzalez strikeout. Alex Melendez drew a bases-loaded walk in the 7th. Dexture McCall and Osvaldo Duarte (2B) had 2 hits apiece; Duarte was making his U.S. debut after spending the month on the DSL Orange team.

Samil De Los Santos went 2.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Randall Fant was the first man out of the bullpen; he pitched 1.2 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Albert Minnis was next; he allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and walked 2 while striking out 2. Juan Delis allowed a run on a bases-loaded walk, a hit, and walked 3 in the 7th, and Joselo Pinales, also making his U.S. debut, allowed a run on a sac fly, a triple, and struck out 1 in the 8th.

The Kissimmee Stros are in Tampa to take on the Yankees 2. First pitch is at 11:00.

DSL Astros Blue 3, DSL Indians 2

W- Lachlan Madden (1-1)
L- Daniel Gomez (1-3)

Blue home runs: None.

Nestor Tejada picked a fine time to get his first hit of the day, as it was a 2-run triple in the top of the 9th to put the Blue team in the lead. Carlos Canelon snapped an 0-26 with his first hit of the season, an RBI single in the 4th.

Erasmo Pinales went 4 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Gerald Benzant allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 5 over 3 scoreless innings, and Lachlan Madden allowed the Indians to take the lead with a run in the 8th, but he secured the win with a scoreless 9th. He allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

Both teams will be back at it in a few minutes.

DSL Blue Jays 4, DSL Astros Orange 2

W- Denis Diaz (2-1)
L- Starlyng Sanchez (0-2)
S- Luis Sanchez (1)

Orange home runs: None.


Frankeny Fernandez went 1-3 with a stolen base (11) and scored both runs for the Orange team. The first came on a wild pitch in the 5th, and he came home a 2nd time on a groundout from Bryan De La Cruz in the 7th. Wilson Amador and Luis Vasquez had the other 2 Orange hits.

Starlyng Sanchez pitched 3 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Abdiel Saldaña followed with 5 scoreless, allowing 3 hits and striking out 7, and Bryan Abreu worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

These 2 teams will play again at the Blue Jays complex.

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A couple of roster moves and a trade in Astros minor league news yesterday ...

First of all, RHP Aaron Greenwood (28th round) was assigned to Greeneville although his signing hasn't been announced officially yet. I have updated my ongoing list of 2014 draftees' signing status here. In addition, OF Andrew Aplin was activated from the DL in time to play in last night's Texas League All-Star game.

Also, it was announced that the Astros traded RHP Michael Dimock to San Diego for RHP Miguel Severino. Dimock will be sorely missed by this blogger for his quality 'stache, high socks and good humor. Best of luck, Michael!

Michael Dimock - June 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Happy Birthday - 6/25

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

OF Luke Scott (36)
Originally drafted by Cleveland in the ninth round in 2001, Scott came to Houston in a March 2004 trade with the Indians for LHP Jeriome Robertson. In 231 games for the Astros from 2005 to 2007, Scott hit .273/.366/.516 before being included in the Miguel Tejada trade in December 2007. After four seasons with Baltimore, he signed as a free agent with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012 where he played for two seasons. He is currently playing in South Korea which, of course, means that technically he already celebrated his birthday yesterday.

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Random Observations From My Quad Cities Trip

As always when I travel to some of the minor league venues, I conduct a few interviews. And, as always, I dread the chore of transcribing them. But I hope to have a couple of interviews posted this week and a couple more next week. In the meantime, I'll just share a few random observations from my recent trip to Quad Cities.

Watching Michael Feliz and Jandel Gustave throw long toss is pretty awe-inspiring.



Particularly when Gustave throws from here without bouncing it.


And, although I already knew this about myself, I was reminded what a baseball nerd I am. I absolutely love watching Pitchers Fielding Practice (which some people might find as exciting as watching paint dry). Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski also does a dexterity drill with his pitchers that was a lot of fun to watch. Time and again, the bullpen outlasted the starters on a "one and done" challenge. Here are relievers Tyler Brunnemann, Albert Minnis, Chris Cotton, Patrick Christensen and Andrew Walter showing how it's done.



I was glad that I finally got to see Brett Phillips in game action. He was hurt when I was in Greeneville last year so I've only seen him in Spring Training simulated games. Not only did I get to witness his cannon of an arm on an outfield assist, I also got to see his speed as he was literally flying down the line after bunting.


Lefty pitcher Chris Lee has got some skinny legs.


The team defense was simply excellent and it didn't matter who was in the line-up. The work that Manager Omar Lopez and his coaching staff do on fundamentals clearly shows.

I wasn't a huge fan of Modern Woodmen Park when I visited last year. The view of the bridge is fantastic, but it just seemed to be missing something for me. To me, it lacked character. The ferris wheel beyond left field has remedied that. Here's the view from right field now.



However, with that said, if I was a season ticket holder, I would have to sit on the third base side. After dark, the lights on the ferris wheel are downright mesmerizing. I couldn't take my eyes off of the ever-changing light patterns.


One of the fun parts of traveling to the different venues is that I invariably meet players' parents or girlfriends and end up having some terrific conversations. I often offer to take photos of them which I send to them privately and never post, but I'm going to make an exception because this one of Brian Holberton and his Mom is just too good. I don't think they'll mind.


Aside from a few weather issues and a delayed bag, the trip was definitely a success and I enjoyed myself immensely. Many thanks to Scott Kornberg who took very good care of me in Marco LaNave's absence. And many thanks to Manager Omar Lopez and Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski for their time.

And, as usual, I took far too many pictures and I'm still in the process of weeding them down to a manageable number to post on Flickr. In the meantime, enjoy one of my favorites from the trip.

Austin "Catfish" Elkins and Ronnie Mitchell

All Photos by Jayne Hansen
All Rights Reserved

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, June 23, 2014


Tacoma 9, Oklahoma City 8 in 10 innings

W- Brandon Maurer (1-0)
L- Jason Stoffel (0-2)

OKC home runs: L.J. Hoes (1, 3 season; solo in 1st), Domingo Santana (12, solo in 4th), Marc Krauss (2, 6 season; solo in 4th), Gregorio Petit (9, 2-run in 6th), Matt Duffy (7, 13 season; solo in 7th)

3 games, 3 walk-off losses in extra innings for the RedHawks. This time, they couldn't hold an 8-4 lead as the Rainiers scored 4 in the 8th to tie, and got the winning run across in the first extra frame.

L.J. Hoes got things started with his homer in the 1st. Santana and Krauss went back-to-back in the 4th. Matt Duffy added a sac fly in the 5th, then Petit hit OKC's only multi-run homer of the evening in the 6th. Duffy then led off the 7th with his 13th blast of the season, added an RBI groundout to his ledger in the 8th, and capped off his night with a double in the 10th. However, he was stranded at 2nd to end the inning. Kiké Hernandez just continues to hit; he went 2-5 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 6 games. Austin Wates also had himself a 2-hit night, as did Santana, Krauss, and Duffy. Krauss and Petit also scored 2 runs apiece.

Asher Wojciechowski went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits (solo homer) and struck out 3. Rudy Owens was roughed up in his 3.2 innings; he allowed 6 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 2. Jason Stoffel went 2 innings and allowed a run..... but it was the winning run, and it came with 2 outs in the 10th. He allowed 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1.

The RedHawks will look to avoid the sweep as David Martinez will take on Taijuan Walker. First pitch is at 8:05.

Corpus Christi was off

The Texas League All-Star game will take place tonight in Little Rock at 7:15. 5 Hooks were initially named to the South Division All-Star team, but only Tommy Shirley is currently an active member of the Corpus roster; Nolan Fontana is currently on the DL, while Matt Duffy, Preston Tucker, and Andrew Robinson are currently in Oklahoma City. So, in their stead, Delino DeShields and Kyle Smith will represent the Hooks in Arkansas.

Stockton 8, Lancaster 7 in 10 innings

W- Jeremy Barfield (4-1)
L- Jamaine Cotton (1-1)

Lancaster home runs: Rio Ruiz (7, 3-run in 4th), Brandon Meredith (6, solo in 8th)

The JetHawks were nipped by a Ports run in the top of the 10th.

Gonzalo Sañudo went 4 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Kyle Westwood also went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 1. Jamaine Cotton pitched 2 innings and allowed the eventual winning run in the 10th. He allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

Rio Ruiz got Lancaster on the board in the 4th with his 3-run homer. All 7 runs were driven in by the top 5 in the JetHawks lineup. A 2nd 3-run inning came in the bottom of the 7th in response to Stockton scoring 3 in the top of the inning. The JetHawks got those 3 runs back on a sac fly from Tony Kemp and a pair of RBI singles from Teoscar Hernandez and Conrad Gregor. Brandon Meredith tied the game with his solo blast in the 8th. Gregor and Meredith had 2-hit nights. Gregor is now on an 11-game hitting streak.

The JetHawks will look to snap a 3-game losing streak in the middle game of this series. Matt Heidenreich will take on Tim Atherton at 8:30.

Quad Cities was off

The River Bandits will begin a 10-game roadtrip tonight. Their first stop will be Clinton, where they'll begin a 3-game set with the LumberKings at 6:30. Anthony Bass is scheduled to make his first rehab appearance for QC; he'll be taking on Edwin Diaz.

Tri-City 6, Vermont 2

W- Brandon McNitt (1-0)
L- Dominique Vattuone (0-1)

TC home runs: Ravel Santana (1, 3-run in 8th), Alfredo Gonzalez (1, solo in 8th)

One swing can change everything. Ravel Santana did just that as his 3-run home run broke a 2-2 tie in Tri-City's favor.

Before the 8th, both ValleyCats runs came on a couple of force outs from Jose Solano in the 3rd and the 7th. Santana gave TC the lead with his blast, and then Alfredo Gonzalez went back-to-back as he added a solo shot soon after. Ariel Ovando was 3-4 with a run scored, Nick Tanielu finished 2-4, and Santana and Gonzalez both scored twice. Bobby Boyd came on as a pinch-runner for Tanielu in the 8th and scored on Santana's home run.

Austin Chrismon went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 3. Brandon McNitt got his first win as he struck out 3 over 3 perfect innings, and Vince Wheeland worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th.

In the finale of this brief series, Joe Musgrove will face A.J. Burke at 6:00.

Greeneville 7, Princeton 1

W- Robert Kahana (1-0)
L- Trevor Lubking (0-1)

Greeneville home runs: Juan Santana (1, 2-run in 1st), Ydarqui Marte (1, solo in 4th)

The Appy Astros climbed above .500 for the first time with their 3rd straight victory. They rattled off 7 unanswered runs and pounded out 14 hits in this game after Princeton got on the board first.

Juan Carlos Santos got the start and gave up a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5 in 4 innings. In his debut, Dean Deetz struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 5th. Rob Kahana was making his debut as well, and he got the win. He threw 2 scoreless and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1. Josh James pitched the final 2 innings, allowing 2 hits and walking 1 while striking out 3.

Everyone in the lineup had a hit. Jason Martin kicked things off in the 1st with a double and eventually scored Greeneville's first run of the evening when he came home on a double from Connor Goedert. One batter later, Juan Santana would give them the lead (which turned out to be for good) with the first Greeneville homer of the season. Ydarqui Marte's blast accounted for the lone Astros tally in the 4th, and Martin added a 2-run single in the 6th, and Antonio Nuñez brought home the final run of the evening with an RBI single. Martin had himself a 3-hit night, while Luis Reynoso (2 2B), Marte (2 runs scored), and Brett Clements (2B and scored a run) had 2 hits apiece.

The Appy Astros will look for the sweep as Austin Nicely will take the mound. He'll face Jose Alonzo at 6:00.

GCL Tigers 8, GCL Astros 3

W- Carlos Lara (1-0)
L- Junior Garcia (0-1)

A 6-run 4th doomed the Kissimmee Stros to their first defeat of the campaign.

Will Dupont, in his first game as a member of the Astros organization, opened up the scoring with an RBI triple in the 1st. He would score the 2nd run of the game as Dex McCall brought him home with a single. Kristian Trompiz hit an RBI double in the 6th. McCall and Edwin Medina had 2-hit days.

Junior Garcia went 3.2 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 2 hits and walked 4 while striking out 1. Christian Perdomo got the final out of the 4th via strikeout, but not before he allowed the runner he inherited from Garcia to score and 3 more runs (1 earned) of his own on 2 hits and a walk. Kyle Gehrs pitched 2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Alejandro Solarte got dinged by a solo homer from David Gonzalez in the 8th. He allowed one other hit and struck out 1 in 1.2 innings, and Aaron Gordon was the only GCLstros pitcher with a scoreless outing; he allowed a hit in 1.1 innings.

These two teams will go at again in Lakeland at 11:00 A.M.

DSL Dodgers 4, DSL Astros Blue 0

W- Angel German (1-1)
L- Gabriel Valdez (2-2)

Blue home runs: None.

Marcos Almonte and Joan Mauricio had 2 hits apiece. Mauricio also added a steal (3).

Albert Abreu kicked things off with 5 shutout innings; he allowed 4 hits and struck out 5. Gabriel Valdez went 2 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Ezequiel Madera worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th.

The Blue team is currently at the Indians complex for a game that will start at 9:30.

DSL Angels 9, DSL Astros Orange 8

W- Cesar Araujo (1-0)
L- Juan Cuevas (0-4)

Orange home runs: None.


The Orange team was doomed by 8 errors. A 5-run 6th gave them a 7-5 lead, but it didn't last.

Rodrigo Ayarza hit a sac fly in the 4th to get the Orange team on the board. Another sac fly, this time from Frankeny Fernandez, brought home another run in the 5th. Then came the outburst in the 6th. Luis Vasquez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, then Cristopher Luciano hit a 2-run single. Vasquez scored on a fielder's choice and Ihan Bernal drew a bases-loaded walk. Ayarza hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 9th, but Gabriel Bracamonte, who was the tying run, was struck down at the plate.

Adonis Peña went 3.1 innings and allowed 4 unearned runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Carlos Pizzolato pitched 2 innings and allowed a run on a single, walked 4, and struck out 3. Next up was Juan Cuevas, who allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and struck out 1 in 2.1 innings. Ramon Rodriguez struck out the only batter he faced to end the 8th, and Juan Hernandez allowed a run on a hit in the 9th.

The Orange team will welcome the Blue Jays to their complex for a game later this morning.

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few more minor league moves in the Astros system yesterday ~

TRI-CITY
OF Bobby Boyd (8th round pick) assigned to Tri-City

GREENEVILLE
RHP Krishawn Holley assigned from Tri-City to Greeneville

GULF COAST LEAGUE
LHP Randall Fant assigned from Tri-City to the GCL
LHP Albert Minnis assigned from Quad Cities to the GCL
RHP Joselo Pinales assigned from the DSL to the GCL
SS Osvaldo Duarte assigned from the DSL to the GCL

Happy Birthday - 6/24

No future Astros with birthdays today, but a couple of former Astros celebrate the day ~

RHP Doug Jones (57)
Originally drafted by the Brewers in the third round in 1978, Jones was a three-time All-Star for Cleveland before signing with Houston as a free agent in January of 1992. In 151 games for Houston in 1992 and 1993, he was 15-18 with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.198 WHIP. 1992 was the better of his two seasons with the Astros as his 11-8 record with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.012 led to his fourth All-Star appearance. In December of 1983, he was traded (along with RHP Jeff Juden) to the Phillies for LHP Mitch Williams. He earned one more All-Star nod for the Phillies in 1994 and would end his career in 2000 after playing 16 seasons for seven different teams.

C Jim Campbell (77)
Obtained by Houston in a trade with the Milwaukee Braves in February of 1961, Campbell played in 82 games for the Colt .45s in 1962 and 1963, hitting .222 with a 32% caught stealing percentage.

Tweet of the Day

Monday, June 23, 2014

Astros Minor League Player and Pitchers of the Week: Week 12

It's time to look back at Week 12 and acknowledge some winning performances for the week commencing Sunday, June 15th and continuing through Saturday, June 21st.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Since I'm traveling this week, I'm not going to give you my normal huge list of honorable mentions, but I would like to point out a few really excellent performances for the week.

I had three runners-up this week. Here they are in no particular order:

L.J. Hoes (Oklahoma City)
.458/.519/.500 in 6 games
11H 9R 2B 5RBI 2BB 2SO 3SB 1CS

Gregorio Petit (Oklahoma City)
.429/.467/.750 in 7 games
12H 5R 2B 3B 2HR 9RBI 2BB 3SO

Andy Pineda (DSL Astros Orange)
.409/.567/.500 in 6 games
9H 9R 3B 2RBI 6BB 3SO 4SB 1CS
(Note that Andy won't be 18 until November)

My winner had one pretty ridiculous game and a pretty darn good week as well.

Kiké Hernandez (Oklahoma City)
.516/.583/.871 in 7 games
16H 10R 3-2B 3B 2HR 6RBI 5BB 3SO

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: UT ENRIQUE HERNANDEZ


Kiké Hernandez - May 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

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

STARTING (TANDEM) PITCHER OF THE WEEK

There were a ton of honorable mentions for the week with great starts (or tandem finishes) from David Martinez, Elieser Hernandez, Edwin Villarroel, David Rollins, Evan Grills, Moreno Polanco, Edison Frias, Rudy Owens, Luis Cruz, Jandel Gustave, Harold Arauz, Starlyng Sanchez and Adrian Houser. Phew! That's a lot of great pitching!!!

I was torn on my winner, but when it came right down to it, I decided on the following runner-up and winner:

RHP Nick Tropeano (Oklahoma City) - 1 win
0.00 ERA/0.429 WHIP
7IP (1 game) 2H 1BB 6SO
Held batters to a .091 batting average

Our winner got two starts for the week and excelled in both of them.

RHP Troy Scribner (Tri-City) - 1 win
0.00 ERA/.0.444 WHIP
9IP (2 games) 3H 1BB 12SO
Held batters to a .097 batting average

STARTING (TANDEM) PITCHER OF THE WEEK: RHP TROY SCRIBNER


Troy Scribner - April 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

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

RELIEF PITCHER OF THE WEEK

Since my time is at a premium, I'm only going to post a winner this week. But part of the reason for that is that narrowing down the runners-up is just too tough! Honorable mentions go to the excellent work from Jose Rosario, Jordan Jankowski, Keegan Yuhl, Joel Belboder, Jason Stoffel, Samil de los Santos, Kevin Chapman, Krishawn Holley, Ramon Rodriguez, Bryan Radziewski, Jordan Mills and a number of other pitchers with shorter appearances as well.

But this week, I'm going with a pitcher who is making the most of his opportunity after his recent promotion to Corpus Christi. In seven relief appearances since his promotion, he is 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA, a 1.200 WHIP and one save. For the week, though, his numbers are even better.

RHP Tyson Perez (Corpus Christi) - 1 save
0.00 ERA/0.250 WHIP
4.0IP (2 games) 0H 1BB 3SO

RELIEF PITCHER OF THE WEEK: RHP TYSON PEREZ


Tyson Perez - May 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen