Saturday, July 12, 2014

An Interview with Greeneville Astros RHP Aaron Greenwood

When I headed to Greeneville last weekend, it was with the knowledge that there would be around 25 players that I would need to get to know, 14 from the 2014 draft alone! In picking my victims interviewees, I picked out a few players who had a good start to their seasons. That is what brought me to interview RHP Aaron Greenwood, drafted in the 28th round out of Ole Miss. In his first five appearances out of the bullpen for Greeneville, he is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and a 0.750 WHIP.

Greenwood has already earned Greeneville Manger Josh Bonifay's confidence even though he's only seen him a handful of times and is still getting to know him. He likes that he uses/mixes all of his pitches well, and according to Bonifay, '[His] velocity was higher than what I saw of him in the College World Series on TV." Bonifay went on to say of Greenwood, "I have all the confidence in the world to bring him back in a game once we're in a save situation and he's available."

Aaron Greenwood (Left) and Dean Deetz - July 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

When I sat down with Greenwood, I first asked him to tell me a little about his college and draft experiences. He said, "I went to Ole Miss. I went there for three years. I went to JuCo [junior college] first, Bossier Parish Community College, and thankfully I was able to get picked up by Ole Miss. The first two years we made it to the regionals and lost out, and then the last year made it to the College World Series so it was kind of a neat experience. Going through the college atmosphere and everything, I feel like it helped me grow up a little bit and mature faster. I'm grateful for that.

"My senior year in the super regionals right before we played Louisiana in Lafayette, I got a call from Justin Cryer of the Astros and he asked me if I wanted to play and I said, 'No doubt!' I really wanted to play professional baseball so I was excited abou that. I got drafted in the 28th [round]. He called me after that and said, 'Congratulations, you're an Astro.' It was an awesome experience and I'm just proud to be a part of the Astro family."

According to Greenwood, he throws a 4-seam and 2-seam fastball anywhere from 88 to 93 mph, and also has a change up, slider and curveball in his arsenal. His goal is to move up one step at a time, "I'm hoping to move up as quick as I can, but just make another step, get better, make my pitches get better and then move up to the next place."

The biggest adjustment to professional ball for Greenwood has been time management since the players bear more responsibility for their off-field work than they did in college. Greenwood said, "Most of the time you just get here really early and get your stuff done and then enjoy playing baseball every single day."

When asked who he's seen on the team so far that has a pitch he'd like to steal, he responded, "Agapito [Barrios] has a pretty nasty breaking ball, curveball." He is also spending a lot of time with 32nd round draft pick Robert Kahana as they give each other tips on their respective changeups and sliders, "We're back and forth helping each other out so it's kind of cool."

I also posed the question as to which of the hitters on his team he would least like to face. Greenwood replied, "I would say [Sean] McMullen, but in college we faced each other and I struck him out three times. [Laughs] I'm just kidding. Either McMullen has a good bat and then [Trent] Woodward strokes it pretty good. Average wise, the two of them have been the best, and [Ydarqui] Marte, of course."

If Greenwood couldn't play baseball, he told me, "I'd actually be in school right now, either going to nursing school or physical therapy school, one of the two." Something that most people might not know about him? "I was a valedictorian in high school."

One thing I did know about Greenwood is that he was teammates with John Gatlin, a recent free agent signing by the Astros about whom I know virtually nothing. I asked Greenwood about Gatlin. "Kind of weird thing. He actually signed in free agency as a pitcher, and he didn't pitch one inning for Ole Miss. He came out of JuCo [and] came to Ole Miss as a pitcher, [but] ended up playing in the field. So after the season was over, Cryer (the same guy that drafted me) went and watched him throw a bullpen and he was 92, 94. Saw something he liked so he picked him up. I love Gatlin. He's an awesome guy. Great character and I'm glad he's part of the Astros family too."

Greenwood also played with current Lancaster OF Tanner Mathis. Of Mathis, he said, "He's a spark plug. Everyone either hated or loved him. But if he was on your team, you definitely loved him. He gets the job done. He plays his heart out and he's a good guy."

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to see Greenwood pitch while I was in Greeneville, but I did have the foresight to ask him what I would see when I did see him on the mound. He replied, "Good command, four pitches I can throw anywhere I want and real good changeup." In response to the same question, Bonifay told me simply, "He's a competitor. He competes really hard."

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

Thank you for your time, Aaron, and best of luck as the season continues.

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few more Astros minor league roster moves because, presumably, Jeff Luhnow and company don't want me to actually have a free day.

OKLAHOMA CITY
RHP Frederick Tiburcio assigned from Quad Cities to Oklahoma City

LANCASTER
OF Jon Kemmer assigned from Quad Cities to Lancaster
OF Teoscar Hernandez placed on the 7-day DL (he was hit on his hand by a pitch in Thursday's game)

QUAD CITIES
RHP Andrew Thurman activated from the DL

Also, rumor has it that Greeneville Manager Josh Bonifay went on the temporary inactive list as he welcomed his daughter into the world last night. If I remember correctly, Josh told me last weekend that her name would be Cora Catherine Bonifay. Congratulations to Josh and Tiffany on adding another baseball fan into the world.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, July 11, 2014


Iowa 7, Oklahoma City 4

W- Chris Rusin (7-10)
L- Paul Clemens (4-1)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks were doomed by a 6-run 2nd inning and they never fully recovered from it.

Paul Clemens went 6 innings and allowed 7 runs on 5 hits (2-run homer), walked 5, and struck out 5. Frederick Tiburcio leapfrogged 2 levels to make his AAA debut, and he fared rather well. He threw 2 scoreless and allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 1.

Domingo Santana put OKC on the board first in the 1st with an RBI single. Carlos Perez scored on a Jio Mier GIDP in the 5th, and they got a pair in the 9th on a 2-run single from Jonathan Villar.

Let's play 2 in Des Moines! Game 1 will be at 1:05 and will feature Tommy Shirley making his AAA debut against Dan Straily. In the nightcap, which will take place at 7:05, Rudy Owens will face TBD.

Corpus Christi 12, Frisco 4

W- Luis Cruz (6-5)
L- Alec Asher (7-8)

CC home runs: Andrew Aplin (5, 2-run in 2nd)

Corpus jumped all over Frisco in the first third of the game and came out on top 11-2 after 3 innings.

Tony Kemp led off the game with a triple, and Ruben Sosa opened the scoring by bringing him home with a double. Jonathan Meyer whacked a 2-run double, and he came around to score on a ground-rule double from Carlos Perdomo. Meyer added a 2-run single in the 2nd, and then Aplin connected for his 5th homer of the year. Sosa added an RBI single to his line in the 3rd. Meyer grounded into a force out that allowed Brandon Meredith to score, and Aplin hit an RBI single. Kemp brought home the Hooks' final run of the night with an RBI single in the 9th.

Luis Cruz went 7 innings and a solo homer to Drew Robinson was the only blemish on his line. He allowed 2 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 8. Travis Ballew allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and walked 2 in the 8th, and Mitch Lambson struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

In the series finale, Brady Rodgers will face Jerad Eickhoff at 7:05.

Lancaster 8, Rancho Cucamonga 5

W- Kyle Westwood (7-5)
L- Jharel Cotton (3-6)
S- Zach Morton (2)

Lancaster home runs: Jon Kemmer (1, 5 season; 2-run in 2nd), Dan Gulbransen (6, solo in 6th)

The JetHawks found themselves down 5-3 after the 5th, but they put up 5 unanswered the rest of the way.

Jon Kemmer made an impact in his first game as a JetHawk; he hit a 2-run homer in the 2nd that tied the game at 2. He finished 2-3 with 2 runs scored and added a sac fly in the 4th. Dan Gulbransen finished 3-4 with a double and 3 runs scored; his homer came with 2 outs in the 6th. A Jordan Scott sac bunt turned into an error that gave the JetHawks the lead. Rancho 3B Steven Proscia threw the ball away, which allowed Kemmer and Catfish Elkins to score. Scott, who advanced to 3rd on the play, scored on a Chan-Jong Moon sac fly. Scott finished 2-3 and added an insurance run in the 9th with an RBI double.

Lance McCullers served up a 2-run homer to Chris Jacobs in the 1st. That turned out to be the only hit and the only runs that he allowed in his 3 innings. He walked 3 and struck out 4. Kyle Westwood came on and threw 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out 7. Zach Morton worked around a walk to finish it off.

Matt Heidenreich will start game 2 of this series; he'll face Tom Windle (who had been scheduled to start the game that was recapped) at 9:05.

Quad Cities 10, Wisconsin 5

W- Chris Lee (5-5)
L- Harvey Martin (2-5)

QC home runs: Jake Rodriguez (1, 2-run in 9th)

The River Bandits took the opener as they outscored the Timber Rattlers 10-3 over the final 4 frames.

Jake Rodriguez tied the game at 2 with a 2-run single in the 6th. The momentum shifted completely in Quad Cities' favor as they put up 5 in the top of the 8th. Marc Wik had an RBI single, and then Jose Fernandez scored on a James Ramsay fielder's choice. One batter later, Brett Phillips ripped a 2-run triple; he would score on a sac fly from Dayne Parker. Wik, who finished 3-3 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored, added another RBI single in the 9th and scored on Rodriguez's homer. Ronnie Mitchell went 3-5 with 2 doubles. Jose Fernandez was 2-4 with a double, 2 runs scored, and a steal (7).

Andrew Thurman made his first start since coming off the disabled list and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 5 innings of work. Chris Lee tagged in for 3.1; he gave up 3 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Chris Cotton got the final 2 outs of the game, but not before allowing a 2-run single which allowed 2 of Lee's runners to score.

In game 2 of this series, Jandel Gustave will face Anthony Banda. First pitch is at 6:35.

Jamestown 8, Tri-City 6

W- Marek Minarik (1-2)
L- Luis Ordosgoitti (2-2)
S- Julio Eusebio (1)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats very nearly came back from a 7-1 deficit; they got to within 1 run, but the Jammers got 1 in the bottom of the 7th to just give them enough separation. Tri-City squandered a huge opportunity in the 8th as Mott Hyde grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded. As a result, they were foiled in their bid for a sweep.

Jamie Ritchie put TC on the board with an RBI double in the 3rd. They got 3 in the 6th as A.J. Reed reached on an error that also allowed Bobby Boyd to score and Nick Tanielu smacked a 2-run triple. Reed finished 2-3 and extended his hitting streak to 8 games. Another error allowed Boyd to score in the 7th after a Ryan Bottger single. Bottger, who advanced to 2nd on the E, came home on an RBI triple from D.J. Fisher. Fisher finished 2-5 and has a personal 6-game hitting streak going; he went 2-3 in his debut in the GCL, and has a hit in all 5 games that he's played as a ValleyCat.

Luis Ordosgoitti pitched 3.2 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Kevin Ferguson allowed a 2-run homer to Francisco Aponte in the 5th. He allowed one other hit and struck out 1 in 1.1 innings. Chris Munnelly went 2 innings and allowed a run on a force out, a triple, walked 1, and struck out 2. Vince Wheeland worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

The ValleyCats will now head to Williamsport, home of the Little League World Series, where they'll play 3 with the Crosscutters. In the opener, Troy Scribner will face Alejandro Arteaga at 6:05.

Greeneville 8, Johnson City 3

W- Austin Nicely (1-3)
L- Juan Perez (3-1)
S- Zach Davis (2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros got the sweep as they finished up this game on an 8-2 run after the Cards got 1 in the 3rd to open the scoring.

Ydarqui Marte doubled with 2 outs in the 5th and he wound up scoring on an error that allowed Antonio Nuñez to reach. Nuñez went to 2nd on a balk and scored the go-ahead run on a double from Juan Santana. Yonathan Mejia tripled in the 6th and came home on a Cesar Carrasco single. Santana finished 3-4 and added a single to his line in the 7th; Jason Martin scored, but he was not credited with an RBI. He stole home (3) as part of a double steal with Sean McMullen, who took 2nd (2). Martin, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 7th after Ramon Laureano left with a hand injury, extended his hitting streak to 7 games with an RBI single in the 8th. Also occurring in the 8th was a Connor Goedert sac bunt that resulted in Mejia and Carrasco scoring, thanks to an error. Carrasco and Marte (2 2B) had 2 hits apiece.

Robert Kahana pitched 4 innings and allowed an unearned run in the 3rd, a single in the 4th, and walked 1. Austin Nicely went 3.1 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Zach Davis got a 5-out save, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1.

Next up is a rematch of last year's Appalachian League Championship Series, as the Pulaski Mariners roll into Greeneville. Reymin Guduan will get the start; he'll take on TBA at 5:00.

GCL Astros 5, GCL Yankees2 2

W- Randall Fant (1-0)
L- Carlos Diaz (0-1)
S- Juan Delis (2)

GCL home runs: Luis Payano (1, solo in 3rd)

The Kissimmee Stros got 3 in the 5th to break a 2-2 tie.

Vince Velasquez made his first rehab start for the GCL club; he allowed a hit and struck out 4 over 2 scoreless frames. Christian Perdomo allowed a 2-run single and walked 2 in the 3rd. Randall Fant then came on for 5 scoreless, allowing 3 hits and striking out 6. Juan Delis struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th for the save.

Luis Payano put the Kissimmee Stros on the board in the 3rd with a solo homer. Edwin Medina then followed that up with a single. He then stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, and scored on a Randy Cesar sac fly. Medina stole 3rd base in the 5th, giving him 8 on the season. He scored on a single from Brauly Mejia, who went 4-4. Later in the inning, Richard Gonzalez and Ruben Castro were both plunked with the bases loaded.

Both teams will be in action in Tampa later this morning. First pitch is at 10 A.M.

DSL Rays 6, DSL Astros Blue 2

W- Ariel Gracia (2-0)
L- Starlyng Sanchez (1-3)

Blue home runs: None.

An early 5-0 hole proved to be too much for the Blue team.

Starlyng Sanchez went 3 innings and allowed 5 runs on 5 hits (3-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 2. Jose Rosario also pitched 3 innings; he allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and fanned 2. Miguel Severino threw 2 perfect innings, striking out 1.

The 2 Blue runs came in the 6th, as Juan Fuentes scored on an error, and Jonathan Matute hit an RBI single. Matute went 2-2 with a walk.

The Blue team will travel to the A's complex for a game later this morning.

DSL Astros Orange 4, DSL Phillies 2

W- Tomas Lopez (1-0)
L- Yan De La Cruz (3-4)
S- Joel Belboder (1)

Orange home runs: Edgar Lorenzo (1, solo in 2nd)

The Orange team got 6 shutout innings from their bullpen as they held off the Phillies.

Erasmo Pinales pitched 3 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Tomas Lopez allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 4 scoreless, and Joel Belboder got the 2-inning save, allowing a hit, walking 3, and striking out 2.

Frankeny Fernandez opened the scoring with a 2-run double in the 1st. He also added a sac fly in the 6th. Lorenzo's 1st homer came with 1 out in the 2nd. Lorenzo finished 2-3. Wilson Amador went 2-4 with a double and 2 runs scored.

At 9:30 A.M., the Orange team will take on the Tigers. They're at home.

Happy Birthday - 7/12

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Zach Morton (24)
Drafted by Houston in the 32nd round in 2013 out of Northwestern, Zach started the 2014 season making 12 appearances out of the bullpen for Quad Cities, going 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.182 WHIP in 22 innings. Since his promotion to Lancaster in mid May, he is 1-0 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.391 WHIP in his first 10 games (three starts).

LHP Tony Sipp (31)
Originally drafted by Cleveland in the 45th round in 2004, Sipp signed with Houston as a free agent on May 1st of this year. In 27 bullpen appearances, he is 1-1 with one save, a 2.81 ERA and a 0.779 WHIP.

Two former Astros have birthdays today as well ~

RHP Ron Willis (died November 21, 1977 at age 34)
Willis was purchased by Houston from the St. Louis Cardinals in August of 1969 and returned to the Cardinals in November of 1969. I'd call that a rental. He only pitched 2.1 innings for the Astros in three games, but had a 0.00 ERA and a 1.286 WHIP.

RHP Scipio Spinks (67)
One of the better names in Astros history, Spinks was signed by Houston as an amateur free agent in 1966. In 11 appearances over three years with the big club from 1969 to 1971, he had a 5.40 ERA and a 1.400 WHIP before being traded to the Cardinals in April of 1972. He had a very successful season for the Cardinals (5-5 in 16 starts with a 2.67 ERA) before injuring his knee in a collision at the plate with Johnny Bench.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, July 11, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, July 10, 2014


New Orleans 10, Oklahoma City 8

W- Edgar Olmos (1-1)
L- Asher Wojciechowski (0-2)
S- Arquimedes Caminero (3)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks dropped the series in a wild one, as both teams combined to score 10 runs on 12 hits. By the 2nd inning.

Ronald Torreyes had a big night; he went 4-5 with a bases-clearing triple in the 2nd, a stolen base (4) and 2 runs scored. He put OKC on the board by scoring on a wild pitch in the 1st. Later in the 1st, Preston Tucker added an RBI double. After Torreyes' triple in the 2nd, Marc Krauss brought him home with an RBI single. Krauss added an RBI groundout to his ledger in the 4th, and hit a sac fly in the 6th. Gregorio Petit went 2-5 with a run scored.

Asher Wojciechowski labored through 3.2 innings, allowing 8 runs (5 earned) on 11 hits (solo and 3-run homers), walking 2, and striking out 3. Pat Urckfitz tagged in for 4.1 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 4, and struck out 1. Kevin Chapman allowed an unearned run, a hit, walked 2, and struck out 2 in the 9th.

In their final series before the AAA All-Star break, the RedHawks will head up to Iowa for 4 against the Cubs. In the opener, Paul Clemens will take on Chris Rusin at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 4, Frisco 1

W- Jordan Jankowski (3-3)
L- Alex Claudio (1-1)
S- Tyson Perez (5)

CC home runs: Ruben Sosa (2, 3 season; solo in 6th)

The Hooks got outhit 8-5, but they got a very nice showing from their pitching staff as they took game 2 of this 4-game set.

Jordan Jankowski kicked things off with 5 shutout innings; he held the Roughriders to 4 hits and struck out 8. Kyle Smith was the first man out and was charged with an inherited runner on 3 hits, walked 1, and fanned 2. Mitch Lambson got the final 2 outs of the 8th and allowed one of the two runners he inherited from Smith to score on a force out. He also allowed a hit. Tyson Perez shut the door by striking out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Tony Kemp walked to lead off the game. He would advance to 2nd on a sac bunt, steal 3rd (4, 32 season), and score the first run of the game on a Delino DeShields groundout. In the 5th, Carlos Perdomo ripped a 2-run double. Sosa's homer led off the 6th inning. Leo Heras has stolen a base in 4 straight; he's now got 16 on the season.

Luis Cruz will get the start in game 3; he'll take on Alec Asher at 7:05.

Lancaster 9, Inland Empire 8

W- Dan Minor (6-3)
L- Eduard Santos (2-2)

Lancaster home runs: Rio Ruiz (8, 3-run in 7th), Conrad Gregor (9, 10 season; solo in 7th), Jack Mayfield (4, 6 season; solo in 8th)

The JetHawks took the series as they came from behind for both of their victories. In this latest comeback, they rallied from a 7-0 deficit.

The bullpen backed up Mark Appel by throwing 3.2 innings of 1-run ball. Appel's struggles at The Hangar continued, as he allowed 7 runs on 13 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 5 in 4.1 innings. Juan Minaya tagged in and threw 3 scoreless, allowing 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4. Dan Minor allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1 in 1.2 innings.

Dan Gulbransen scored the first Lancaster run of the evening when he came home on a passed ball/Danry Vásquez walk in the 5th. The comeback was in full effect in the 7th, as Rio Ruiz (3-run) and Conrad Gregor (solo) went back-to-back in the 7th. Mayfield made it a 1-run game by leading off the 8th with a blast. Danry tied it with an RBI double and scored the go-ahead run on a Jordan Scott fielder's choice. Rio, who finished 3-5, singled in the inning, and the ensuing error allowed Scott to score. Gregor, Mayfield, and Roberto Peña had 2 hits apiece.

The JetHawks will now hit the road to begin a 4-game series against Rancho Cucamonga. Lance McCullers will start game 1; his opponent will be Tom Windle. First pitch is at 9:05.

Kane County 9, Quad Cities 5

W- Juan Carlos Paniagua (6-3)
L- Kevin Comer (1-2)
S- Jose Arias (2)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits were down 8-0 at one point, but they had the bases loaded in the 8th and the 9th innings so they were very much in it until the end.

Ronnie Mitchell went 4-5 and got the River Bandits on the board in the 6th with a 2-run double. They added a pair in the 8th as Brian Holberton grounded into a force out that scored Tyler White, and Thomas Lindauer drew a bases-loaded walk. They could've had more with 1 out, but the next 2 batters were retired to end the threat. Jose Fernandez added an RBI single in the 9th, and the Banditos also had the bases loaded with 1 out in the frame. However, they couldn't seize that opportunity, as Marc Wik and Jon Kemmer, who would've been the tying runs, were retired to end the game. Fernandez finished 2-3 with 2 walks, while White went 3-4 and scored 3 of the 5 Quad Cities runs.

Kevin Comer pitched 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 8 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 2. Adrian Houser also went 4; he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 4. Chris Cotton struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th.

The River Bandits are on the road tonight; they are in Wisconsin for 4 with the Timber Rattlers. In the opener, TBA will take on Preston Gainey at 7:05.

Tri-City 4, Jamestown 3

W- Bryan Radziewski (1-0)
L- Nick Neumann (1-2)
S- Derick Velazquez (1)

TC home runs: A.J. Reed (3, solo in 8th)

Reed's solo shot was the difference as the ValleyCats won the series.

D.J. Fisher went 1-3 and opened the scoring with a 1-out single in the 3rd. This was the first game in which he had fewer hits than outs. Tri-City got a pair in the 6th on a pair of RBI singles from Reed and Mott Hyde. Reed, who finished 3-4 with a steal (2), is currently on a 7-game hitting streak, and he broke a 3-3 tie with his 3rd home run, and 26th of this calendar year. Bobby Boyd went 2-5 at the top of the order.

Joe Musgrove went 5 and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Bryan Radziewski was tagged for 2 in the bottom of the 6th by the Jammers, who tied the game at 3. He allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 2 innings. Jordan Mills worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 2. Derick Velazquez finished it off with a 1-2-3 9th inning.

The ValleyCats will look for the sweep tonight. Luis Ordosgoitti will take on Marek Minarik, a native of the Czech Republic. First pitch is at 6:05.

Greeneville 1, Johnson City 0 in 10 innings

W- Angel Heredia (2-0)
L- Kevin Carlow (0-2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

19 zeros were posted on the board until the Appy Astros finally made the breakthrough in the first extra frame with a....

Walk-off wild pitch/error!!! Cesar Carrasco, in his Greeneville debut, went 1-3 and led off the 10th with a double. He was then lifted for Antonio Nuñez. After 2 outs, Johnson City pitcher Kevin Carlow uncorked a wild one, which allowed Nuñez to take 3rd, but then the catcher, Jose Godoy, threw the ball away, allowing him to finally open up the scoring. Jason Martin went 2-3 to extend his hitting streak to 6 games. In 5 of those 6 (and 3 straight), he's had 2 hits.

Josh James threw 4 scoreless and allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Jorge Perez allowed a hit in a scoreless 5th. Jose Montero tagged in for 4 scoreless, allowing 3 hits and striking out 7. Angel Heredia struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 10th and got the win.

The Appy Astros will look for the sweep over the Cardinals at 6:00. Robert Kahana will take on Juan Perez.

GCL Astros 7, GCL Tigers 5

W- J.D. Osborne (1-0, 3-1 season)
L- Micah Kellogg (0-1)
S- Aaron Vaughn (2)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros put up 5 in the bottom of the 7th to erase a 5-2 deficit. That outburst turned out be the difference.

Dex McCall opened up the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st. Pedro Coa added another sac fly in the 4th.

The big 7th was made possible by having the bases loaded with no outs. They did not have an extra-base hit in the inning, either. Osvaldo Duarte opened the floodgates with a single. Then, McCall added an RBI single to his ledger. Hector Roa drew a bases-loaded walk, and then Brauly Mejia hit a sac fly, and Kristian Trompiz finished it off with an RBI single.

Junior Garcia pitched 2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and walked 1. Justin Ferrell tagged in for 4 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1. J.D. Osborne allowed an unearned run, walked 1, and struck out 2 in 2 innings, and Aaron Vaughn worked around a hit to close it out.

The Astros will host the Yankees 2 later this morning. First pitch is at 11:00 A.M.

DSL Rays 15, DSL Astros Blue 11

W- Luis Nuñez (3-0)
L- Dariel Aquino (0-3)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team coughed up a 6-0 lead as the wheels fell off on their pitchers.

Rodrigo Ayarza went 2-3 and scored the first run of the game on a passed ball in the 1st. The Blue team put up 5 in the 4th as Oliver Toribio hit an RBI single. Andy Piñeda added an RBI single, Ayarza was plunked with the bases loaded, and Jonathan Matute hit a 2-run single. Wander Franco added a sac fly in the 6th, and later in the inning, Joan Mauricio grounded into a force out that scored Matute. Ayarza hit a sac fly in the 7th, and Matute added an RBI single later on. Toribio ripped an RBI double in the 8th. Ayarza, Matute, Connor MacDonald, Mauricio, and Toribio all had 2-hit days. MacDonald had a 7-game hitting streak snapped on June 26, but he's now on a 12-game hitting streak and has a hit in 19 of his last 20 contests.

Albert Abreu went 4.1 and allowed 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. Juan Cuevas was the first man out; he went 3.2 innings and allowed 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Dariel Aquino came on for the 9th and walked the only batter that he faced; he ended up scoring as an unearned, inherited runner that was charged to Aquino. Luis Arias allowed a 3-run homer to Jose Tonton in the 9th and struck out 1.

Both teams are currently in a game at the Rays complex.

DSL Phillies 3, DSL Astros Orange 2

W- Edgar Campusano (1-1)
L- Bryan Abreu (0-2)
S- Juan Torres (2)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team tied the game at 2 in the 8th, only to see the Phillies re-take the lead with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning.

Bryan De La Cruz hit a sac fly in the 4th, and Anardo Peralta scored on an error that was committed on a Wilson Amador groundout in the 8th. Ihan Bernal went 2-3 with a double. De La Cruz also stole 2 bases, giving him 4 on the year.

Carlos Pizzolato went 4 innings and allowed an unearned run on 4 hits and walked 1. Carlos Sanabria allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 over 3 innings. Bryan Abreu allowed the go-ahead run on 2 hits and struck out 1 in the 8th.

Both teams are at the Astros complex; the game is just underway.

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few more Astros minor league moves to report ~

OKLAHOMA CITY
RHP Richard Rodriguez assigned from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City

Although I haven't seen anything officially posted yet, Brian McTaggart reported that RHP Bobby Doran was traded to the White Sox for SS Jeffry Santos who has been assigned to Greeneville.

CORPUS CHRISTI
LHP Colton Cain activated from the DL

GREENEVILLE
SS Jeffry Santos assigned to Greeneville

GCL
RHP Vincent Velasquez assigned to GCL for rehab assignment

Happy Birthday - 7/11

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

SS Bert Pena (55)
Pena was first signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Puerto Rico by Houston in 1977 and he spent his entire career as an Astro. In very limited playing time (only 88 games over six seasons), Pena hit .203/.268/.248.

LHP Ron Cook (67)
A converted outfielder, Cook pitched for the Astros for two seasons. In 46 games over 1970 and 1971, he went 4-8 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.417 WHIP.

RHP Donne Wall (47)
An 18th round pick by Houston in 1989, Wall pitched in 40 games (36 starts) for the Astros from 1995 to 1997. He was 14-14 with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.440 WHIP.

RHP Yorman Bazardo (30)
Bazardo joined Houston as a free agent in April of 2009. Although he put up decent numbers with the AAA affiliate that season (9-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.133 WHIP), it didn't really translate in his 10 appearances  in Houston later that season as he was 1-3 with a 7.88 ERA and a 1.844 WHIP. Bazardo is currently pitching for Reynosa in the Mexican League.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, July 9, 2014

New Orleans 4, Oklahoma City 3

W- Donnie Joseph (2-1)
L- Jorge De Leon (2-1)
S- Arquimedes Caminero (2)

OKC home runs: Marc Krauss (5, 9 season; 2-run in 1st)

The RedHawks were nipped by 2 Zephyrs runs in the top of the 8th.

Marc Krauss opened up the scoring with his 2-run shot in the 1st. Ronald Torreyes went 3-3 and scored 2 of the 3 OKC runs. Domingo Santana went 2-4 with an RBI single in the 3rd. Preston Tucker also finished 2-4.

Alex White got the start and went 3 innings, and the only ding on his line was a 2-run homer to Matt Angle in the 3rd. White allowed 2 other hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Richard Rodriguez, in his first OKC appearance since May 7, allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 2 over 3 scoreless. Jorge De Leon couldn't hold the lead, as New Orleans got 2 off of him in the 8th. He went 3 and allowed 3 hits and struck out 3.

In the series finale, Asher Wojciechowski will take on Elih Villanueva. First pitch is at 7:05.

Frisco 4, Corpus Christi 3

W- Will Lamb (2-1)
L- David Rollins (2-3)
S- Francisco Mendoza (6)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks tied the game at 3 with 2 in the 7th, only to see Frisco go ahead once again by getting one back in the bottom of the inning. They outhit the Roughriders 10-6, but... they lost in the column that matters.

Jonathan Meyer put Corpus on the board first in the 1st with an RBI single. In the 7th, Ruben Sosa put them up with a 2-run double, but that lead would be short-lived. Delino DeShields went 0-2, but drew 2 walks and stole 2 bases (34). Leo Heras went 2-4 with a double and a steal (15). Sosa finished 2-5. René Garcia was 3-3 with a double and a run scored.

Mike Hauschild went 5 and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. David Rollins allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 3 innings.

In game 2, Jordan Jankowski will take on Alex Claudio at 7:05.

Lancaster 15, Rancho Cucamonga 12

W- Jamaine Cotton (1-1)
L- Kurt Spomer (2-2)

Lancaster home runs: Conrad Gregor (8, 9 season; grand slam in 3rd), Chan-Jong Moon (3, 5 season; 3-run in 7th), Dan Gulbransen (5, 3-run in 8th)

The Lancaster Effect in full effect. The JetHawks rallied from an 8-0 deficit by finishing the game on a 15-4 run that included a 10-2 spurt between the 7th and 8th innings.

Gregor's slam put Lancaster on the board in the 3rd. In the 4th, Teoscar Hernandez grounded into a force out that scored Tanner Mathis.

Chan-Jong Moon's 3-run shot in the 7th breathed new life into the JetHawks as they were able to complete the comeback. Later in the inning, Teoscar added an RBI double. After Rio Ruiz doubled to lead off the 8th, Gregor got plunked. They both advanced a base on a passed ball. Jobduan Morales was the first casualty of the inning, but Gulbransen sent one into the Antelope Valley night to tie the game at 12. Jack Mayfield walked, then Mathis singled. Moon, who finished 5-6 with 3 runs scored, put the JetHawks on top with an RBI single. Danry Vásquez went 3-4 with 2 runs scored, 2 walks, and added an RBI single of his own, following Moon's. One batter later, Teoscar added a sac fly to his ledger. Rio added a 2nd double when he came up again in the 8th. Mayfield finished 3-4 with 2 runs scored.

Brian Holmes got mauled in his 2.2 innings, as he gave up 8 runs on 8 hits (3-run homer), walked 3, and struck out 2. Pat Christensen allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 3.2 innings. Jamaine Cotton went 2.2 and allowed 2 runs, a hit, and walked 2.

In the rubber game of this series, Mark Appel will face Dan Tobik. First pitch is at 8:30.

Quad Cities 3, Kane County 1

W- Blaine Sims (1-0, 2-0 season)
L- Daury Torrez (9-4)
S- Andrew Walter (8)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits were outhit 11-6, but they had more in the column that counts.

Quad Cities got a pair in the 2nd on a pair of RBI singles from Brian Holberton and Brett Booth. Marc Wik added a sac fly in the 4th. Holberton was the only River Bandit with a multi-hit game, going 2-4.

In his River Bandits debut, Blaine Sims allowed a run on 8 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3 in 5.2 innings. Tyler Brunnemann followed up with 2.1 scoreless, allowing 3 hits and striking out 2. Andrew Walter finished it off by striking out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

In the rubber game, Kevin Comer will take on Juan Carlos Paniagua. First pitch is at 7:00.

Tri-City 6, Jamestown 5

W- Austin Chrismon (3-2)
L- Jose Regalado (1-2)
S- Ryan Thompson (2)

TC home runs: None.

In their first game against a team from outside their division, the ValleyCats took control with a 4-run 6th that gave them a 5-2 lead. It got rather hairy in the 9th as the Jammers were able to make it a 1-run game.

J.D. Davis scored the first TC run of the evening on an error in the 3rd. They opened the 6th with a double from Jamie Ritchie, who scored on a Mott Hyde double. One batter later, Bobby Boyd laid down a sac bunt, and the ensuing error allowed Hyde to score. D.J. Fisher got plunked, and then two batters later, A.J. Reed ripped a 2-run double. Hyde, who went 2-3, singled in the 7th, advanced to 3rd on a Boyd single, and scored on a balk. Boyd (2 steals [5], R), Fisher (2 steals [3], R), Nick Tanielu, and Ritchie (2B, R, SB [4]) all had 2 hits.

Austin Chrismon went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and fanned 2. Brandon McNitt allowed a solo homer to Jordan Luplow in the 6th. He pitched 3 innings and allowed 1 other hit and struck out 3. Ryan Thompson served up a 2-run homer to Chase Simpson in the bottom of the 9th, which cut the Tri-City lead to 6-5. However, he pulled himself together and closed it out. Thompson struck out 1 in the inning.

Joe Musgrove will get the start in the middle game of this series; he'll face Frank Duncan at 6:05.

Greeneville 8, Johnson City 2

W- Agapito Barrios (1-0)
L- Steven Farinaro (1-3)

Greeneville home runs: Trent Woodward 2 (2, 2-run in 3rd, solo in 8th)

Big night for Trent Woodward as his bat powered the Appy Astros to victory. He also got support in the form of Sean McMullen; they both drove in 3, representing all of Greeneville's RBIs. After the Cardinals scored 2 in the top of the 1st, the Astros rattled off 8 unanswered to take the series opener.

McMullen put Greeneville on the board with an RBI groundout in the 1st. The Appy Astros put up 4 in the 3rd as Juan Santana reached on an error that scored Ramon Laureano. McMullen then added an RBI double to his line, and Woodward brought him home with his first pro home run. Jason Martin hit a 1-out triple in the 5th, and McMullen brought him home with a single. Woodward went deep for a 2nd time to lead off the 8th, and after that, Jake Nottingham walked. He would score on an error following a Bryan Muniz double.

Martin finished 2-5 with 2 runs scored and a steal (5). After a bit of a slow start, he has really kicked it into gear. He's on a 5-game hitting streak, and his 6 triples lead the Appy League; no one else has more than 2. Laureano and McMullen also had 2 hits. Woodward, playing 1B, finished 3-4.

Agapito Barrios had a solid night as he went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 2. Devonte German tagged in to throw 3 scoreless; he allowed 3 hits and struck out 2. Aaron Greenwood worked around a walk to finish it off, striking out 2 in the 9th.

In the middle game of this series, Josh James will take on Ian McKinney. First pitch is at 6:00.

GCL Tigers 5, GCL Astros 3 in 7 innings

W- Anthony Castro (2-1)
L- Joselo Pinales (0-2, 1-4 season)
S- Daryl Norris (1)

GCL home runs: None.

This game was called due to lightning.

Osvaldo Duarte put the Kissimmee Stros on the board with a sac fly in the 3rd. They got a pair in the 5th as an error on an Alex Melendez sac bunt allowed Marlon Avea to score. Dex McCall added an RBI single later on in the inning.

Cristhopher Santamaria pitched 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits and struck out 3. Joselo Pinales pitched the final 2.2 innings before the game was called and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2.

The Astros will host the Tigers in Kissimmee at 11:00 A.M.

DSL Astros Blue 9, DSL Royals 5

W- Salvador Montaño (5-1)
L- Ofreidy Gomez (0-4)
S- Josue Uribe (3)

Blue home runs: None.

A 6-run 3rd turned the tide early and in the Blue team's favor. This came in response to a 2-run 2nd from the Royals.

Joan Mauricio opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk in the 1st. In the 3rd, Mauricio added an RBI single to his ledger as he fired the opening salvo. Carlos Canelon then proceeded to draw a bases-loaded walk. Jose Benjamin followed that up with a sac fly, and then Andy Piñeda joined in with an RBI single. Rodrigo Ayarza finished is off with a 2-run single, although he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.

Ayarza hit a sac fly in the 5th, and Benjamin brought home the Blue team's final run of the morning with an RBI triple in the 7th. Mauricio, Piñeda, and Angel De Leon all had 2 hits apiece.

Salvador Montaño went 5 and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Yan De La Cruz allowed 3 runs (2 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 1+ innings. He pitched the 6th and the 7th, failing to retire the 3 batters that he faced in the 7th. Josue Uribe threw 3 scoreless and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 2.

The Blue team is at home, where they'll be taking on the Rays later this morning.

DSL Rangers2 6, DSL Astros Orange 5

W- Daniel Mavo (4-2)
L- Jose Ramos (0-1)

Orange home runs: None.

Oh, your affiliates may have won this day, Rangers, but.... the Astros aren't in last place, are they?

The Orange team put up 3 in the 7th and 2 more in the 8th to tie the game at 5, only to see the Rangers 2 walk off with a win.

The 3 runs in the 7th came on an RBI single from Wilson Amador and a 2-run single from Frankeny Fernandez. Felix Lucas brought them to within 1 with an RBI double in the 8th, and an error allowed him to score the tying run.

Adonis Peña went 4.1 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Antonio Almonte tagged in for 3.1 innings and allowed a run, a hit, walked 3, and struck out 1. Jose Ramos got 2 outs in the 9th, but he also allowed the winning run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

The Orange team is currently at the Phillies complex for a game.


#VoteKeuchel

Astros Minor League Snapshot

We are now 14 weeks in to the minor league season. Let's take a look at where things stand.

OKLAHOMA CITY

3rd    48-46    .511    2.0GB    L1

The RedHawks dropped to third place after a 3-4 week, but still trail second place Omaha by only a half game. They will try to salvage a split with New Orleans (46-47) in the final game of four at home tonight before hitting the road to face first place Iowa for four starting Friday (including a rare scheduled double-header). This will be only the second time this season that the RedHawks have faced the division rival Iowa Cubs. They saw the Cubs for the first time all season last week and took that series 2-1. Including that series, the RedHawks will face the Cubs 16 times over their last 56 games, further proof that minor league schedule makers are either insane or incompetent (or both). Oklahoma City will then start their All-Star break on Monday with the All-Star game scheduled for Wednesday the 16th. C Max Stassi, SS Gregorio Petit and RHP Nick Tropeano were all named to the team.

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

BA: 7th (out of 16 teams)
OBP: 6th
SLG: 8th
ERA: 3rd
WHIP: 3rd

CORPUS CHRISTI

For the season:
4th    44-45    .494    7.0GB    L1

For the second half:
4th     10-9     .526     1.5GB     L1

The Hooks made some headway in the second half standings with their 5-1 record over the last week, getting them up to one and a half games out of first place. They are a half game behind third place Frisco to whom they fell in the first game of a four-game road series last night. They will return home on Sunday to play four against first place Midland. Corpus Christi is in the hole in the season series with each of those teams. They will need to start winning series against their division rivals if they want a chance at the second half title.

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

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

LANCASTER

For the season:
2nd    51-39    .567    1.0GB    W1

For the second half:
4th     7-13     .350     11.0GB     W1

The bad news is that the JetHawks continue to scuffle in the second half and went 2-5 over the last week. The good news is that they had a HUGE comeback win last night, erasing an early 8-0 deficit. That's the kind of game that can get a team's mojo working again, and that's what I'm hoping for. Lancaster will try to take the series from the last place 66ers tonight before hitting the road to play four against first place Rancho Cucamonga starting Friday (the 'Hawks are 9-10 versus the Quakes for the season). That will be followed by an off day on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they will start a three-game series at home against Visalia. It is only their second look at that team this season.

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

BA: 2nd (out of 10 teams)
OBP: 1st
SLG: 4th
ERA: 8th
WHIP: 3rd

QUAD CITIES

For the season:
T4th    46-42    .523    12.0GB    W1

For the second half:
T3rd     11-8     .579     2.5GB     W1

After going 4-2 for the week, the River Bandits have crept into third place in the Western Division in the second half standings. They will play the rubber game against first place Kane County tonight at home before a road trip to fourth place Wisconsin. That is followed by an off day on Tuesday. Quad Cities has a 7-6 edge on the season series with Wisconsin. The Bandits will get their first look of the season at Ft. Wayne starting next Wednesday at home. Ft. Wayne is currently in last place in the Eastern Division for the second half.

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

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

TRI-CITY

1st     17-9     .654     -.-GB     W1

The ValleyCats went 5-1 for the week to increase their Stedler Division lead to five games over Lowell and Connecticut who are tied for second place. Tri-City is currently playing outside their division and getting their first look at Jamestown who they defeated last night in the first of three on the road. They will then head to Williamsport for three starting Saturday, followed by an off day Tuesday. Jamestown is 8-17 and in fifth place in the Pinckney division while Williamsport's 15-11 record puts them in third place in that division. Starting Wednesday, the 'Cats will host Aberdeen (currently 7-19 and in last place in the McNamara Division).

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

BA: 1st (out of 14 teams)
OBP: 1st
SLG: 2nd
ERA: 10th
WHIP: 10th

GREENEVILLE

3rd     9-10     .474     3.5GB     W2

Greeneville's winning week (4-2) brought them up to third place in the West Division from last week's fourth place standing. The Appy Astros took the first of three at home last night from second place Johnson City who they trail by two games. They will host the third place East Division Pulaski Mariners (10-10) for three games starting Saturday followed by an off day on Tuesday. Wednesday will see Greeneville traveling to Bluefield for three games. Bluefield is currently tied for third place in the East Division with Pulaski.

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

BA: 4th (out of 10 teams)
OBP: 4th
SLG: 3rd
ERA: 8th
WHIP: 9th

GCL ASTROS

3rd     7-10     .412     3.5GB     L2

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

BA: 7th (out of 16 teams)
OBP: 6th
SLG: 8th
ERA: 10th
WHIP: 10th

DSL ASTROS ORANGE

7th     13-21     .382     16.0GB     L1

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

BA: 12th (out of 36 teams)
OBP: 4th
SLG: 13th
ERA: 34th
WHIP: 36th

DSL ASTROS BLUE

T4th     15-19     .441     5.0GB     W1

Team standings within the league in a few categories:

BA: 21st (out of 36 teams)
OBP: 8th
SLG: 11th
ERA: 23rd
WHIP: 16th

Happy Birthday - 7/10

Happy Birthday to ~

C Ruben Castro (18)
Castro was drafted by Houston in the 19th round in 2014 out of Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He has played in only four games to date for the Gulf Coast League Astros and is hitting .167/.286/.167.

Tweet of the Day

You can still vote for Dallas Keuchel to get the final spot in the All-Star game. Voting ends today at 3:00 CST.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Oklahoma City 6, New Orleans 5

W- Jake Buchanan (7-5)
L- Adam Conley (2-4)
S- Kevin Chapman (5)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks built a 6-1 lead and then had to hang on for dear life as the Zephyrs chipped away at it.

After New Orleans opened the scoring in the 1st, OKC responded with 4 in the bottom of the 2nd in the form of an RBI single from Max Stassi, a 2-run double from Jio Mier, and a Ronald Torreyes sac fly. In the 3rd, Matt Duffy hit an RBI groundout, and Joe Sclafani added an RBI single. Austin Wates, Preston Tucker (2 R), Sclafani, and Stassi all had 2 hits in this game.

Jake Buchanan went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 1. Jason Stoffel allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and fanned 3 over 2 scoreless, and Kevin Chapman allowed an unearned run on 3 hits in the 9th, but he was able to pull himself together to close it out. He struck out 1.

In game 3, uh... Jake Buchanan was scheduled to start that one. I suppose he and Brett Oberholtzer switched places? Whoever the starter is, he'll take on Brian Flynn at 7:05.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks will actually begin a 4-game series in Frisco beginning at 7:05. Mike Hauschild will face Edwar Cabrera.

Inland Empire 14, Lancaster 8

W- Chris O'Grady (1-2)
L- Evan Grills (0-1, 3-4 season)

Lancaster home runs: Jack Mayfield (3, 5 season; 3-run in 2nd), Conrad Gregor (7, 8 season; solo in 9th)

The JetHawks' slide continues. They got to within 1 run twice, but the 66ers put them away with a 6-1 run over the final 4 innings.

They got on the board in the 2nd with a 5-spot, as Jack Mayfield ripped a 3-run homer and Danry Vásquez hit a 2-run single. Chan-Jong Moon added a sac fly in the 4th, and later on in the frame, Danry hit another RBI single. Conrad Gregor's homer came with 1 out in the 9th. Everyone in the lineup had a hit; Moon (2B, R, SB [2, 27 season]), Danry (hitting 2nd for the 1st time this season), Dan Gulbransen (2B, R), Mayfield (3-R HR, 2 R), and Tanner Mathis (2B, R) all had 2 hits.

Evan Grills was making his Lancaster debut; he pitched 4 and allowed 8 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 2. Josh Hader tagged in for 3.2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 4. Dan Minor pitched 1.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on on 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 1.

In the middle game of this series, Brian Holmes will face Elliot Morris. First pitch is at 8:30.

Kane County 7, Quad Cities 3


W- Paul Blackburn (8-2)
L- Edison Frias (5-4)

QC home runs: Marc Wik (2, 4 season; 2-run in 2nd), Brett Phillips (7, solo in 6th)

The Cougars jumped out to a 6-2 lead after 4 innings and the River Bandits offense never really got going, as they were held to 4 hits.

All 3 Bandits runs came off of the two homers you see above. Phillips finished 2-4, while the other hits belonged to Wik and Chase McDonald.

Edison Frias went 3.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Albert Minnis tagged in for 3.2 innings and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and fanned 3. Frederick Tiburcio finished it out, allowing 2 hits and striking out 2 over 2 scoreless.

In the middle game of this series, Blaine Sims makes his Quad Cities debut. He'll face Daury Torrez at 7:00.

Connecticut 18, Tri-City 4

W- Austin Pritcher (3-1)
L- Francis Ramirez (1-3)

TC home runs: A.J. Reed (2, solo in 8th)

After scoring the game's first 2 runs, the ValleyCats found themselves on the wrong end of an 18-2 run.

Reed, who finished 3-4, hit a 2-run double in the 1st to open the scoring. Alfredo Gonzalez went 2-2 and singled to lead off the 5th, then made his way around the bases on a couple of groundouts, and finally scored on a wild pitch. Reed went deep with 2 outs in the 8th. D.J. Fisher went 1-2 with 2 walks and a run scored.

*Fisher's middle name is Joseph, and D.J. is how I will refer to him from now on, because the Houston Rockets fan in me absolutely loathes Derek Fisher the basketball player.

Francis Ramirez went 3.1 innings and allowed 5 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Vince Wheeland only got 1 out (via strikeout) in the 4th in relief of Ramirez; he allowed 4 runs on 3 hits and walked 2. Raul Rivera was the only Tri-City pitcher who emerged unscathed; he struck out 1 over 1.1 perfect innings. Sebastian Kessay and Chris Munnelly both allowed 4 runs on 4 hits in 2 innings; all 4 of Kessay's runs came on a grand slam to Justin Verlander's brother, Ben. Kessay walked 1 and struck out 2, while Munnelly walked 2 and struck out 1. Kevin Ferguson gave up another homer to Verlander in the 9th and struck out 1 in the inning.

After playing their division for the first 25 games of the season (that must get really tiring, playing the same teams over and over and over and over), the ValleyCats will finally play a team from outside their division. They will begin a 3-game series with the Jamestown Jammers tonight at 6:05. Austin Chrismon will face Montana DuRapau in the opener.

Greeneville and Bristol was postponed

This game will be made up as part of a twinbill on July 26.

As for tonight, the Appy Astros are at home, where they will begin a 3-game series against the Johnson City Cardinals. In the opener, Agapito Barrios will take on Steven Farinaro. First pitch is at 6:00.

GCL Braves 5, GCL Astros 3 in 10 innings

W- Jorge Zavala (3-0)
L- Aaron Vaughn (0-1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros have alternated wins and losses in their last 4 contests.

Brauly Mejia went 2-3 with a 2-run triple in the 1st. They would have to wait until the 8th for their next run, which came on a Randy Cesar sac fly. Alex Melendez went 2-5 and has a 5-game hitting streak going.

Aaron West made his first rehab appearance and threw 2 scoreless, allowing 3 hits and striking out 2. Elieser Hernandez tagged in for 5 innings and gave up 3 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. J.D. Osborne threw a 1-2-3 8th, striking out 1. Juan Delis worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, and Aaron Vaughn was tagged for 2 runs on 3 hits in the 10th. He struck out 1.

The GCLstros are in Lakeland to face the Tigers; that game will start momentarily.

DSL Royals 7, DSL Astros Blue 5

W- Miguel Medrano (2-1)
L- Gabriel Valdez (2-3)

Blue home runs: None.

The Royals erased a 4-1 deficit by going on a 6-1 run over the final 4 innings.

The Blue team got 1 run from the 1st-4th innings. In order: Oliver Toribio was plunked with the bases loaded. Then, Jonathan Matute hit an RBI single. Connor MacDonald scored on an error, and then he added a sac fly in the 4th. Toribio added an RBI single to his ledger in the 7th. Rodrigo Ayarza went 3-5 with a double and a run scored, and Wander Franco finished 2-5 with a double and 2 runs scored.

Moreno Polanco allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5 in 5 innings. The wheels fell off on Gabriel Valdez, who allowed 6 runs on 7 hits (solo homer) and struck out 2 in 2 innings. Luis Arias worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 8th.

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


DSL Astros Orange 3, DSL Rangers2 2

W- Joel Belboder (3-2)
L- Jesus Linares (0-1)

Orange home runs: None.

Another Astros team emerged victorious over the Rangers, as the Orange team got a run in the 8th to break a 2-2 tie.

Bryan De La Cruz grounded into a force out in the 4th that brought home their first run. Frankeny Fernandez scored on a wild pitch in the 6th, and he scored the eventual game-winning run on a single from Vicente Sanchez in the 8th. Fernandez added a steal; he's now 18-19 on the year. Luis Vasquez went 2-4.

Gerald Benzant allowed an unearned run on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 3 IP. Juan Hernandez also went 3; he allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and fanned 2. Joel Belboder, who had a walk-off walk to go along with his win on Saturday, threw 3 scoreless and allowed a hit, walked 1, and fanned 4.

These two teams are at it again at the Rangers complex.


Monday: DSL Marlins 8, DSL Astros Orange 3


Marcos Almonte: 2-5, 2 2B, R
Frankeny Fernandez: 2-3
Bryan De La Cruz: 2-4

Yhoan Acosta: L (2-2), 3.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (4 earned), BB, 4 K

An Interview with Greeneville Astros RHP Devonte German

When I met Greeneville Astros RHP Devonte German this past weekend, I will admit that I was surprised in more ways than one. Physically, he is more imposing a figure than some of the recent college drafted players on the team. And he impressed me with his emotional and intellectual maturity as well, traits that are often missing in 19-year olds.

Greeneville Manager Josh Bonifay agreed that German has surprised him somewhat as well, showing leadership in pitcher/catcher meetings, "For him being so young, he's actually one of the kids that talks a lot and he leads the meetings. It blows you back." Bonifay went on to praise German for the attention he pays to all aspects of the game.

And Bonifay likes German's projection as a pitcher as well, "I like Devonte. That's a young, big guy right there. He's got a good body. Got a real heavy fastball. We're working on his secondary pitches to develop those, but he's a kid that when he's in the zone that fastball is really heavy and he can put away hitters. He can blow it by them." Bonifay likes German's chances of success once he gets better use of his secondary pitches and sees his strong, and hopefully, durable body as a big asset.

Devonte German - July 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

German barely got his feet wet after being drafted in the 11th round in 2013 and the results of those first few outings were mostly forgettable, but this season is starting off much better for him. According to German, "The biggest difference between last year and and this year is I got to put in more time. I was able to get my body ready for the season sooner instead of playing my high school season, taking time off because of the draft and then jumping right back into it. Some muscles [were] tired and just not really in shape and then this year, I had a whole year to get ready for the season."

In explaining his pitch repertoire to me, he said, " I throw a fastball, a breaking ball that either breaks like a curve or a slider sometimes and a change up. My fastball is normally between 90 and 94. Change up is 82 to 86 and my slider's about 84 to 85. My slider would be my out pitch."

German talked about what he has accomplished so far during the relatively new season, "I feel like I've made a lot of improvements from last year to this year with how my body moves off the mound, how my pitches come out of my hand and throwing more strikes. Being able to compete with a lot of these guys who are older than me, coming from college and just being able to be competitive in my second year out of high school. To get to the next level as a pitcher, German is working on "being able to throw my fastball consistently hard down in the zone."

German didn't pitch while I was in Greeneville so I asked him what I would see if I had the chance to see him on the mound. "You'll see a calm demeanor, not really letting things bother me. I give it my all every pitch.. I'm going to make them beat me with my best stuff."

I asked Bonifay the same question and he responded, "Somebody who's not afraid to attack hitters. He will go after you. He's like a bulldog. He gets on the mound and he works. He's very young. A lot of young guys are timid and afraid, but he attacks hitters and gets after them."

I moved on to ask him some of my questions that serve to help me get to know some of the other players as well. Who has a pitch he'd like to steal? "If I had to steal a pitch, it would be [Jose] Montero's splitter. His splitter's one of the nastiest ones I've ever seen." What Astros hitter would he least like to face? "Probably Fontana because he draws a lot of walks. He's going to raise your pitch count up really fast."

When I asked about any Astros minor league fielders he liked having behind him in the field, German responded that, although he's only played with him a couple of times, he's impressed by 2B Tony Kemp, "Some plays he made up the middle I haven't seen made before so I'd like him to be behind me."

Who on the team makes him laugh? "There's a lot of guys that are really funny. Someone who might surprise you is Keegan Yuhl. He's a really funny guy. He can get you laughing."

In response to my question about what he'd do without baseball, German said, "If I couldn't play baseball, I'd probably be playing football in college." He definitely looks the part.

One of my final questions was one I always ask. Can you tell me something about yourself that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear. His response made me laugh out loud, "I'm actually a putt-putt champion. I'm pretty good. My putting game's on point. I can't drive, but I can putt."

It turns out that the other thing about Devonte that surprised me is how funny he is. He made me laugh out loud a couple of times. His photobomb in this picture of Aaron Greenwood and Dean Deetz is, like his putting game, on point.

Photo by Jayne Hansen

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Thank you for your time, Devonte, and the best of luck as the season continues. I can sincerely say that it was a pleasure getting to know you a little better.

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few more Astros minor league moves over the last couple of days ~

OKLAHOMA CITY
OF Robbie Grossman recalled to Houston (with Alex Presley to the DL)
RHP Nick Tropeano placed on the 7-day DL

TRI-CITY
RHP Kyle Weiland sent to Tri-City on rehab assignment

GREENEVILLE
3B Cesar Carrasco (obtained in the Alex Sogard trade) assigned to Greeneville

GCL
RHP Aaron West started rehab assignment

Also, Baseball America is reporting that OF Ravel Santana, obtained in the minor league phase of the December 2013 Rule 5 draft, has been released by the Astros. Once considered a top prospect, Santana never fully recovered from an extremely severe ankle injury in 2011.

Happy Birthday - 7/9

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Edgardo Sandoval (18)
Sandoval is in his first season with the Astros, playing for the Dominican Summer League Astros Orange Team. In five games (one start), he has a 4.40 ERA and a 1.465 WHIP. He has walked four and struck out 16 in 14.1 innings.

One former Astro celebrates the day as well ~

SS Sonny Jackson (70)
Jackson was signed by the Colt .45's as an amateur free agent in 1963 and played for Houston from 1963 to 1967. He only made a handful of appearances from 1963 through 1965. He came in second in Rookie of the Year voting to Tommy Helms in 1966 when he hit .292/.341/.334 and led the league with 160 singles (out of his 174 hits).

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, July 7, 2014


New Orleans 10, Oklahoma City 1

W- Anthony DeSclafani (2-2)
L- Mike Foltynewicz (6-6)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks dropped the first of 4 against the Zephyrs as Mike Foltynewicz just didn't have anything going for him.

Folty only lasted 3 innings and allowed 7 runs on 6 hits (3-run homer), walked 6, and struck out 2. Bobby Doran tagged in for 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 3. Pat Urckfitz allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 9th inning.

An RBI single from Marc Krauss in the 1st represented the lone OKC run. Krauss also stole a base (1). Matt Duffy and Robbie Grossman both went 2-4; Grossman extended his hitting streak to 18, which ties him with Conrad Gregor for the longest in the Astros organization this season.

In game 2 of this series, Brett Oberholtzer will take on Adam Conley. First pitch is at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 6, Tulsa 5

W- Chris Devenski (1-0, 6-5 season)
L- Cole White (3-3)

CC home runs: Ruben Sosa (1, 2 season; 3-run in 5th)

The Hooks erased an early 4-0 hole with a 5-run 5th and wound up walking off with a win and the sweep.

M.P. Cokinos put Corpus on the board with a 2-run single to cut the deficit in half, and then after a Tony Kemp single, Sosa put them in front with his 1st homer as a Hook. Cokinos (2-RBI 1B) and Sosa (3-R HR, 2 R) both finished with 2 hits; Leo Heras went 3-4.



So yeah, in the 9th, it got a bit chippy as Sosa had to duck out of the way of a pitch that was surely aiming for his head. Naturally, he wasn't too thrilled with Tulsa P Cole White after that, and the benches cleared as a result. When cooler heads prevailed, Sosa continued the inning with an infield single. He advanced to 2nd on an Andrew Aplin walk, stole 3rd (14, 31 season) as part of a double steal, and scored the winning run as Jonathan Meyer dunked a ball into left field.

R.J. Alaniz, in his season debut for the Hooks, went 4 innings and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits, walked 5, and struck out 2. Travis Ballew worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 5th. And finally, Chris Devenski went 4 innings and allowed a game-tying homer in the 9th to Jared Simon, but that was the only ding on his line. He allowed 1 other hit, walked 1, and struck out 4.

Winners of 6 straight, the Hooks will head up to Frisco to begin a 4-game series with Frisco. In the opener, Mike Hauschild will take on Edwar Cabrera at 7:05.

Rancho Cucamonga 7, Lancaster 5

W- Tom Windle (9-4)
L- Kent Emanuel (3-3, 3-5 season)
S- Rob Rogers (7)

Lancaster home runs: Teoscar Hernandez (16, solo in 1st)

The 2nd half has not been kind so far for the JetHawks, who, at 6-12, are looking for something to get themselves going.

Teoscar opened the scoring with a solo shot in the 1st, his 16th on the season. He then added a 2-run triple in the 5th, and one batter, scored on a sac fly from Conrad Gregor, which made it a 5-4 game. Unfortunately, that was as close as they would get to the Quakes. Jack Mayfield scored on an error in the 6th. Teoscar finished a double shy of the cycle in 4 at-bats.

Kent Emanuel went 5 innings and allowed 5 runs on 10 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Zach Morton pitched the final 4 innings; he gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 4.

The JetHawks will now begin a 3-game series with Inland Empire. Evan Grills will make his JetHawks debut; he'll face Mike Clevinger in the opener at 8:30.

Quad Cities was off

The River Bandits will begin a 3-game series with Kane County beginning tonight at 7:00. Edison Frias will take the mound in the opener, and he'll face Paul Blackburn.

Tri-City 10, Connecticut 2 in 5 innings

W- Troy Scribner (3-1)
L- Fernando Perez (1-2)

TC home runs: Ryan Bottger (3, solo in 2nd)

The ValleyCats scored in all 5 innings in a game that was called on account of rain.

A.J. Reed got it started with a 2-run single in the 1st. Later in the frame, Jamie Ritchie drew a bases-loaded walk. Bottger homered for the 3rd consecutive game with 1 out in the 2nd. In the 3rd, Mott Hyde hit an RBI safety squeeze that scored Ariel Ovando. Nick Tanielu ripped a 2-run double in the 4th, and he scored on an RBI single from Ovando. Bottger led off the 5th with a double and scored on a  J.D. Davis double. Reed hit a sac fly for the final Tri-City run. Derek Fisher, in his TC debut, went 2-2 with a walk, a steal (1), and 3 runs scored. Bottger also scored 3 runs. They were joined in the 2-hit club by Davis and Ovando.

Troy Scribner pitched all 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 9.

In the series finale, Sebastian Kessay will take on Josh Heddinger at 10:00 A.M.

Greeneville 15, Bristol 3

W- Brock Dykxhoorn (1-0)
L- Jon Sandfort (0-2)

Greeneville home runs: Sean McMullen (2, 2-run in 1st)

The Appy Astros scored a touchdown in the 1st, then they tacked on 2 field goals and a safety as they romped to a victory in Bristol.

McMullen's blast opened the scoring. A walk and 2 singles loaded the bases for Bryan Muniz, who cleared them with a triple. He would score on an errant pickoff throw. The extra point came courtesy of an RBI triple from Jason Martin.

Juan Santana went 4-6 with 4 runs scored and an RBI single in the 3rd. Later in the frame, McMullen clubbed a 2-run triple. An error on a Santana single allowed Ramon Laureano to score in the 5th. McMullen then added an RBI groundout, and Jake Nottingham hit an RBI infield single. Trent Woodward finished it off with a 2-run triple in the 7th. Martin, McMullen, and Nottingham had 2 hits apiece.

Dean Deetz went 2 innings and allowed a solo homer to Pablo Reyes in the 2nd. He allowed one other hit, walked 1, and struck out 1. Brock Dykxhoorn threw 2 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1. Keegan Yuhl allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 3 scoreless. Eric Peterson allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out the side in the 8th. Krishawn Holley threw a 1-2-3 9th.

In the series finale, Agapito Barrios will face Billy Roth at 6:00.

GCL Astros 11, GCL Braves 0

W- Kyle Weiland (1-1)
L- Jhon Martinez (0-1)
S- Harold Arauz (2)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first third of the game and never looked back.

Dex McCall opened the scoring with an RBI groundout in the 1st. The floodgates opened in the 2nd as Alex Melendez hit a 2-run single. McCall drew a bases-loaded walk, and then Hector Roa cleared the bases with a double and scored on a balk. Osvaldo Duarte hit a sac fly in the 3rd, and an error on the play allowed Arturo Michelena to score as well. Luis Payano capped it off with an RBI double in the 9th. Melendez went 3-3, while Ruben Castro finished 2-5 with 2 runs scored.

Colton Cain allowed 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 4 scoreless innings. Kyle Weiland threw 2 perfect innings and struck out 2 to get the win, and Harold Arauz allowed a hit and struck out 3 over 3 scoreless.

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

DSL Indians 13, DSL Astros Blue 9

W- Jose Rodriguez (2-1)
L- Jose Rosario (1-3)
S- Henry Martinez (1)

Blue home runs: Joan Mauricio (2, solo in 6th), Connor MacDonald (2, grand slam in 7th)

An 11-1 deficit proved to be too much for the Blue team to crawl out of.

Oscar Campos, who was just recently added to the roster, put them on the board with an RBI double in the 4th. Mauricio's homer came with 1 out in the 6th. MacDonald hit his first career grand slam in the 7th. Later in the inning, Campos had an RBI single, and Nestor Tejada ripped a 2-run triple. These 4 had 2-hit days.

Jose Rosario went 3 innings and allowed 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Carlos Hiraldo allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Ezequiel Madera allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 2 hits (solo homer) and struck out 3 in 2.1 innings. Lachlan Madden allowed 3 hits over 1.2 scoreless.

The Blue team is currently at the Royals complex for a game.

DSL Astros Orange

?????

Saturday: DSL Astros Orange 6, DSL Marlins 5 in 10 innings


Well, someone finally got the result of this game posted.

Vincente Sanchez: 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI, R
Edgar Lorenzo: 3-4, 2B, R

Abdiel Saldaña: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 unearned runs, BB, 3 K
Erasmo Pinales: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 2 unearned runs, 2 BB, 6 K
Joel Belboder: W (2-2), 1.1 IP, H; walk-off walk

Random Observations from my Greeneville Trip

As many of you already know, I just made the journey to Greeneville, Tennessee over the last few days to see the Astros Rookie League team in action. First of all, I'd like to thank GM David Lane, Assistant GM Hunter Reed, the always warm, friendly, charming and welcoming Manager Josh Bonifay (who incidently awaits the birth of his first child any day now and is shown here modeling the fantastic Astros Hawaiian night jersey), and unofficial Team Manager and Super Fan Tiny Thomas Hurley for their hospitality.



There was a huge crowd at Pioneer Park on July 4th and every detail was perfect, including this nice touch from the groundskeeper, providing some stars and stripes for the occasion.



Unfortunately, the crowds were much smaller for the Saturday and Sunday games which is really a shame because Pioneer Park, located on the Tusculum College Campus, is simply a beautiful venue inside ...



and out ...



and the weather could not have been more beautiful for the three games.

I did conduct a few interviews while I was there, but mainly I just wanted to get to know the players a little bit better. A whopping 14 of the 2014 draft picks are on the roster, plus numerous other players that I hadn't met yet. Just getting a feel for who they are was a major undertaking, but I feel like I have a much better understanding of their personalities and the team dynamics.

One thing that really stood out for me was the incredible chemistry on a team that has only been playing together for a very few weeks. It is a tightly knit group. The other thing that stood out was that there doesn't appear to be the typical cultural divide that I often see on teams, particularly young teams, between the Latin players and the U.S. players. Everyone seems to be reaching out across that cultural divide and it shows in the team chemistry.


C Jacob Nottingham is the team character. He works hard, but he's going to have fun in the process. He has taken over Brett Phillips' role from last season in teasing Cesar Cedeño for his habit of throwing his leg over the rail.


OF Ramon Laureano has the best nickname of the bunch. The similarity of his first name to the word Ramen has resulted in this serious-looking young man being dubbed "Noodles."


RHP Brock Dykxhoorn is listed as 6'8" while OF Sean McMullen is listed as 5'9" on the roster. It is slightly jarring to see them together.


It was really good to see former Astros minor leaguer (2004-2011) Wladimir Sutil back in the Astros fold. He is hard at work as a member of the coaching staff in Greeneville.


I was waiting for OF Jason Martin to get a restraining order against me for stalking him with my camera, but those eyes ...


Although Juan Santana (on right) is known as "Smiley" on the club, I fell in love with Ydarqui Marte's broad grin as well.


Speaking of Santana, he is not even close to being the same player I saw last year. His BP that I watched was VERY impressive. I would not be the least bit surprised to see him (and a couple of the other players I met this past weekend) in Tri-City when I get there at the end of the month.

The level of play on the field was uneven, but that is to be expected from a Rookie League club that has been together less than a month. I saw flashes of great things from numerous players (particularly the pitching from Josh James and Zach Davis), but consistency is always the hardest thing to find for young players. Give it time.

The game on the 4th of July was a crazy one. The Greeneville Astros won 14-1 as the Kingsport Mets pitchers were just a tad bit wild, issuing 13 walks and recording seven wild pitches and two passed balls. Things like that happen in rookie league ball. I didn't get to see any fireworks on the field until the next night when "Noodles" Laureano hit his first professional home run, but there were plenty of fireworks off the field that night.


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I hope to have a couple of my interviews up this week (did I mention how much I hate transcribing?) and the other two next week. I have done the initial cut of my photos and have uploaded them to Flickr here. They aren't labeled yet and I still need to cut a couple hundred of them, but if you're feeling adventurous, go for it.

Happy Birthday - 7/8

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

C Alan Ashby (63)
Originally drafted by Cleveland in the third round in 1969, Ashby came to Houston via a November 1978 trade with Toronto. He spent 11 seasons with Houston, hitting .252/.324/.374 in 965 games from 1979 to 1989. Ashby caught three no-hitters during his tenure with the Astros, one by Ken Forsch, one by Nolan Ryan and the legendary Mike Scott 1986 NL West Division clinching no-hitter. I understand that Ashby is currently announcing Astros games on CSN Houston, but since I have DirecTV, I cannot verify that that is the case.

OF Terry Puhl (58)
The native of Saskachewan province in Canada was signed as an amateur free agent by Houston in 1973 and played all but 15 games of his 15 major league seasons as an Astro. From 1977 to 1990, Puhl played in 1516 games, hitting .281/.349/.389 with 502 walks to 505 strikeouts. At the time of retirement in 1991, he was the career leader in fielding percentage for an outfielder. Puhl earned one All-Star nod in 1978.

OF Al Spangler (81)
Spangler was drafted by Houston in the 1961 expansion draft from the Milwaukee Braves. He played for the Colt .45's and the Astros from 1962 to 1965. In 422 games, he hit .265/.347.361 before being traded to the Angels in June of 1965.

RHP Gary Kroll (73)
Obtained from the Mets in a January 1966 trade, Kroll made ten relief appearances for Houston before being traded to Cleveland in July 1967. In 23.2 innings, he had a 3.80 ERA and a 1.563 WHIP.

RHP George Culver (71)
Obtained in a trade with the Cardinals in June 1970, Culver pitched 136 games out of the bullpen for Houston from 1970 to 1972. His record with the Astros was 14-13 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.296 WHIP.

MGR Salty Parker (died July 27, 1992 at 80)
Salty Parker has the distinction of having a 1.000 win percentage as the Manager for the Houston Astros. Of course, he was only the Manager for one game. Parker took over for one game on August 26, 1972. He was preceded by Harry Walker and followed by Leo Durocher.

Tweet of the Day

Monday, July 7, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, July 6, 2014

Let's play 2 in Davenport!

Iowa 5, Oklahoma City 4

W- Armando Rivero (3-0)
L- Alex White (1-2)
S- Zac Rosscup (2)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks couldn't finish the sweep as the tandem of Javier Baez and Kris Bryant gave them fits once again. All 3 games in the series were decided by 1 run; the I-Cubs got 1 in the top of the 8th to break a 4-4 tie.

Preston Tucker went 2-4 and opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. OKC would have to wait until the 6th to score again, when Marc Krauss hit a sac fly. Robbie Grossman finished 4-5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI single in the 7th; he's now on a 17-game hitting streak in AAA. Grossman has recorded a hit in every game since being optioned. Later in the 7th, Austin Wates grounded into a force out that scored Joe Sclafani, which tied the game at 4. Wates went 0-4 with a hat trick and stole 2 bases (22).

Rudy Owens pitched 6.1 innings and allowed 4 runs (all on homers) on 8 hits (2 solos and a 2-run homer) and struck out 5. Alex White pitched the final 2.2 innings and allowed the go-ahead run in the 8th on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2.

Tonight, the RedHawks will host New Orleans for 4 games beginning at 7:05. In the opener, Mike Foltynewicz will take on Anthony DeSclafani.

Corpus Christi 7, Tulsa 2

W- Brady Rodgers (4-9)
L- Tyler Anderson (3-4)
S- Luis Cruz (1)

CC home runs: Telvin Nash (11, 2-run in 6th)

For the 2nd straight night, the Hooks topped the Drillers 7-2 as their bats are getting themselves going once again.

A fine Brady Rodgers start also spurred them on to a win. Rodgers, who seems to have put that nightmare stretch behind him, threw 5 shutout innings and allowed just 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Luis Cruz got tagged for 2 in the 6th, but he righted the ship and threw a solid outing. He allowed 4 hits and struck out 2 in 4 innings of work.

René Garcia went 2-4 with a double and 2 runs scored. On that double, which came in the 2nd, an error was committed, which allowed Carlos Perdomo to score the game's first run. Later on in the frame, the Hooks got a pair of RBI triples from Ruben Sosa and Tony Kemp. The two of them combined on another run in the 4th, as Kemp brought Sosa home with an RBI single. The two of them just wreaked havoc all night; Kemp was 4-5 with 2 steals (3, 31 season), while Sosa went 3-4 with a steal (13, 29 season), 2 triples and 3 runs scored.

After Garcia led off the 6th with a single, Telvin Nash clubbed his 3rd homer in 2 games. Sosa followed that up with his 2nd triple of the evening and scored the Hooks' final run when he came home on a sac fly from Delino DeShields. Delino finished 2-3, and it looks like he's getting his bat going again after a tough June.

The Hooks will look for the sweep as R.J. Alaniz makes his return to Corpus after opening his season on a rehab stint in Kissimmee. He will face Richard Castillo at 7:10.

Rancho Cucamonga 17, Lancaster 4

W- Jharel Cotton (3-5)
L- Juan Minaya (2-3)

Lancaster home runs: Teoscar Hernandez (15, solo in 8th), Jack Mayfield (2, 4 season; solo in 9th)

Ugh. One of the notable occurrences of this game was that the Cotton brothers both appeared in a game. Jharel started for Rancho, while Jamaine came on in the 7th for Lancaster.

Down 9-0, the JetHawks finally got on the board with a 2-run double from Jobduan Morales that extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Teoscar's blast led off the 8th. Ditto for Mayfield's homer in the 9th. Mayfield was the only JetHawk with a multi-hit game, going 2-4.

Juan Minaya went 3 innings and allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. After that, though, everyone was mauled. Pat Christensen allowed 8 runs (5 earned) on 10 hits (3-run homer) and struck out 2. Jamaine Cotton allowed 4 runs (all on homers) on 6 hits (2 solos and a 2-run homer) and struck out 3 in 2 innings. This resulted in Morales coming in to pitch the 9th. He did not record an out. He allowed 4 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him), a hit, and walked 4. Catfish Elkins technically threw a scoreless 9th, but he did allow a single and a groundout that resulted in 2 runs being charged to Morales.

In the series finale, Matt Heidenreich will face Tom Windle. First pitch is at 8:30.

Game 1: Quad Cities 5, Wisconsin 0

W- Chris Lee (4-5)
L- Anthony Banda (4-6)

QC home runs: Thomas Lindauer (4, 3-run in 2nd)

The Bandits took the first of 2 as the Chrises held the Timber Rattlers to 5 hits.

Chris Lee allowed 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 over 6 shutout innings, and Chris Cotton threw a 1-2-3 7th.

Thomas Lindauer's 3-run blast opened up the scoring in the 2nd. Ronnie Mitchell added an RBI triple in the 3rd, and Chase McDonald hit an RBI single in the 5th. McDonald finished 2-3 with 2 runs scored. Jose Fernandez stole 2 bases, giving him 6 on the year.

What would game 2 have in store for the Banditos?

Game 2: Quad Cities 6, Wisconsin 4

W- Michael Feliz (5-2)
L- Tyler Spurlin (3-1)

QC home runs: Brett Phillips (6, walk-off grand slam in 7th)

The River Bandits swept the twinbill and won the series thanks to Brett Phillips' heroics.

Mitchell put QC on the board first in the 1st with an RBI single. After James Ramsay tripled to lead off the 5th, he scored on a Marc Wik groundout. 3 singles set the stage for Phillips, who won the game with one swing of the bat. Ramsay went 2-4 with 3 runs scored and a stolen base (22). Lindauer stole his 3rd base of the season.

Jandel Gustave went 3.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Michael Feliz tagged in for 3.2 and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6.

The River Bandits will have today off, and then they'll begin a 3-game series with Kane County. In the opener, Edison Frias will face Paul Blackburn. First pitch is at 7:00 on Tuesday.

Tri-City 11, Lowell 3

W- Luis Ordosgoitti (2-1)
L- Jake Drehoff (0-1)

TC home runs: Ryan Bottger (2, solo in 4th), J.D. Davis (4, 3-run in 6th)

The ValleyCats got the sweep behind a 17-hit assault led by Ryan Bottger and J.D. Davis.

Bottger, who finished 4-4 with 2 doubles, a solo homer, 4 RBI, and 3 runs scored. His first double opened the scoring in the 1st. Later in the frame, he would score on a Terrell Joyce single. Davis hit a 2-run double in the 2nd. Bottger's homer was a solo shot with 1 out in the 4th. Davis' 3-run homer followed a walk to Bobby Boyd and a Bottger single in the 6th. Boyd, who finished 3-4 with a steal (3) and 3 runs scored, hit an RBI groundout in the 7th, and later in the inning, Bottger ripped a 2-run double. Joyce, Davis, and Mott Hyde all went 2-5. Jamie Ritchie went 2-3 with a steal (3).

Luis Ordosgoitti allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 4 in 5 innings of work. Joe Musgrove went 2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 1. Jordan Mills allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 2 in 2 innings.

The ValleyCats will host Connecticut for 2 starting at 6:00. Troy Scribner will take on Fernando Perez in the opener.

Bristol 4, Greeneville 2

W- Junior Lopez (2-1)
L- Reymin Guduan (0-2)
S- Cesilio Pimentel (1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The offense just couldn't get anything going in this one.

The Appy Astros got 2 in the 6th on an RBI triple from Jason Martin and an RBI groundout from Juan Santana.

Reymin Guduan allowed 4 unearned runs on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 6 in 4 innings. Robert Kahana walked 2 and struck out 3 over 3 scoreless, and Zach Davis struck out 5 in 2 perfect innings.

The series continues in Bristol, for some reason. Dean Deetz will take on Jon Sandfort at 6:00.