Saturday, July 19, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, July 18, 2014

Let's play 2 in OKC!

Game 1: Nashville 7, Oklahoma City 6

W- Brent Leach (4-1)
L- Alex White (1-3)
S- Jeremy Jeffress (5)

OKC home runs: None.

The RedHawks were doomed in the 1st game of the twinbill when the Sounds busted out for 5 in the 4th, putting OKC in a 7-1 hole. They stormed back with 5 in the 6th and were threatening in the 7th as they had Jio Mier and Jonathan Villar on 2nd and 3rd, respectively, with 1 out in the inning. After Carlos Perez struck out, Austin Wates was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Ronald Torreyes was unable to come through as he grounded into the game-ending force out.

Domingo Santana put the RedHawks on the board with a sac fly in the 3rd. Gregorio Petit kicked off the 6th-inning rally by doubling to lead off the frame and advancing to 3rd on a wild pitch. Villar brought him home with a single. Villar advanced to 3rd on a single from Matt Duffy, and scored on a double from Perez. Duffy, who made it to 3rd on the play, scored alongside Perez after Wates ripped a 2-run double. Wates finished 3-4, while Petit went 2-3. Marc Krauss was 2-2 with 2 walks.

Alex White had a tough time getting along with Ramon DeJesus and Adam Schwarz, 2/3rds of last night's umpiring crew. White got tossed in the 4th by DeJesus, who was the 1B umpire for the 1st game in the 4th inning. White ended up going 3.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (3 inherited runners charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Jorge De Leon went 2.2 innings and, in addition to allowing the 3 runners he inherited from White to score, allowed one of his own on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Pat Urckfitz worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 7th.

What did game 2 have in store for the RedHawks?

Game 2: Oklahoma City 9, Nashville 7

W- Kevin Chapman (2-1)
L- Jose De La Torre (1-1)

OKC home runs: None.



White didn't stick around very long for the nightcap, because after Tony DeFrancesco got his marching orders in the 1st from Schwarz, who was the 1B ump for this one, White started yelling from the dugout and Schwarz promptly gave him the boot as well. I suppose he won't be sending any Christmas cards to DeJesus and Schwarz this year after getting tossed twice in one night.

As for the game, it got topsy-turvy late as OKC erased a 5-2 deficit with 4 in the bottom of the 5th, only to see Nashville get a pair in the top of the 6th to take a 7-6 lead. That deficit would be short-lived as the RedHawks responded with 3 in the bottom of the inning.

OKC got on the board in the 3rd thanks to a 2-run double from Jonathan Villar. In the 5th, Villar grounded into a force attempt, and an error allowed Joe Sclafani and Max Stassi to score. Villar was credited with 1 RBI on the play. Jio Mier advanced to 2nd on the play. A single from Ronald Torreyes loaded 'em up for Marc Krauss, who gave the RedHawks the lead with a 2-run single. Jio, who went 2-3 with 2 runs scored in game 2, hit an RBI single in the 6th to tie the game at 7. After the bases were loaded once more, Torreyes, who finished 2-4, delivered with a 2-run single that gave OKC the lead once more.

Asher Wojciechowski allowed 5 runs on 9 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 2 in 5 innings of work. David Martinez allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and walked 1 while only getting 1 out in the 6th. Kevin Chapman pitched the final 1.2 innings, and he allowed a hit, and all 5 of the outs he recorded were strikeouts.

In game 3 of this series, Tommy Shirley will take on Mike Fiers at 7:05.

Corpus Christi 9, Frisco 5

W- Travis Ballew (5-3)
L- Keone Kela (1-1)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks only scored in 1 inning, but hey, better late than never. All 9 of their runs came in the 9th as they obliterated a 4-0 deficit. The first 6 Hooks to come to the plate in that inning all reached safely.

Ruben Sosa got things rolling in the 9th with a single, and thanks to defensive indifference, found himself at 3rd. Delino DeShields then walked and stole 2nd (39). One batter later, Jonathan Meyer put Corpus on the board with a 2-run single. Andrew Aplin walked, and Telvin Nash was plunked to load 'em up for Carlos Perdomo, who walked Meyer home to make it a 1-run game. Tyler Heineman tied it at 4 with a sac fly. M.P. Cokinos then got a pinch-hit single to re-load the bases for Sosa, who gave the Hooks the lead with a 2-run double. Delino added a sac fly, and Meyer capped off the scoring with an RBI single. Sosa and Meyer finished with 2 hits apiece, while Perdomo walked twice.

Colton Cain went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits, walked 5, and struck out 4. Richard Rodriguez allowed 3 hits and struck out 3 over 2 scoreless. Travis Ballew allowed a run on a single, walked 3, and struck out 3 in 2 innings. Tyson Perez allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 9th.

The Hooks will look to win the series tonight, as Chris Devenski will face Edwar Cabrera at 7:05.

Visalia 7, Lancaster 5

W- Keith Hessler (2-2)
L- Kyle Westwood (7-6)
S- Enrique Burgos (18)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks were swept as the Rawhide seemingly had an answer for every JetHawks scoring inning. Lancaster tied the game at 4 after the 6th, but Visalia got some separation with 3 in the top of the 7th. JetHawks manager Rodney Linares got tossed in the 9th and was none too pleased with 1B umpire Jeff Gorman's work in this game.

Danry Vásquez went 2-4 with a double and put Lancaster on the board with an RBI single in the 5th. One batter later, Rio Ruiz added a sac fly. Jon Kemmer went 2-4 with an RBI double in the 6th and scored twice. He would score on a single from Tanner Mathis. He also scored on Mathis' RBI groundout in the 8th. Chan-Jong Moon went 2-5 with a double and a run scored.

Kyle Westwood went 6.1 innings and allowed 7 runs on 11 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Dan Minor pitched the final 2.2 innings in scoreless fashion, allowing a hit, walking 2, and striking out 2.

Lancaster will look to regroup as the Modesto Nuts come to The Hangar for 4 starting tonight at 8:00. Kent Emanuel will take on Ben Alsup.

Fort Wayne 7, Quad Cities 0

W- Cody Hebner (1-1)
L- Jandel Gustave (5-5)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits suffered the sweep as they were shut out. They were outscored 23-6 in the series.

All they had on offense were 3 singles from Ronnie Mitchell, Brett Phillips, and Jose Fernandez.

Jandel Gustave went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out a career-high 9. Chris Cotton allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Andrew Walter went 2 innings and allowed a solo homer to Adolfo Reina in the 9th. He allowed 2 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

The Banditos will now welcome the Lake County Captains to Modern Woodmen Park. In the opener, Michael Feliz will face TBA at 6:00.

Tri-City 7, Aberdeen 3

W- Troy Scribner (5-1)
L- Tanner Chleborad (1-1)

TC home runs: Terrell Joyce (3, 2-run in 5th)

The ValleyCats got the sweep as their touchdown topped the Ironbirds' field goal.

After Aberdeen got a run in the top of the 1st, Tri-City responded with 2 in the bottom of the 1st on a couple of RBI singles from Ryan Bottger and Nick Tanielu. In the 3rd, Bobby Boyd scored on an error and Jamie Ritchie hit an RBI single. Joyce's homer came with 2 outs in the 5th and brought Bottger home. Boyd and Jose Solano both went 2-5. Boyd, D.J. Fisher, and Bottger scored 2 runs apiece.

Troy Scribner went 6 innings and allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Vince Wheeland allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and walked 1 in the 7th. Jordan Mills worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1, and Kyle Weiland allowed a hit in a scoreless 9th.

The ValleyCats will welcome Pinckney Division leaders State College to Troy this weekend. In the opener, Randall Fant will take on Dewin Perez.

Greeneville 7, Bluefield 5

W- Eric Peterson (1-0)
L- Joey Aquino (0-2)
S- Angel Heredia (1)

Greeneville home runs: Yonathan Mejia (1, solo in 7th)

The Appy Astros avoided the sweep as they were able to hold off the Blue Jays, who were trying to erase their 5-1 lead.

Sean McMullen went 2-5 and opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Later in the inning, Yonathan Mejia grounded into a force out that scored Antonio Nuñez. McMullen reached on an error in the 5th that allowed Jason Martin to score. He'd score on another error that also allowed Trent Woodward to reach. Cesar Carrasco added an RBI snigle. Mejia's blast came with one out in the 7th, and Ydarqui Marte finished 3-4 and hit an RBI single for Greeneville's final run of the night. Jason Martin finished 2-4 with a double and 2 runs scored as he extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Luis Reynoso went 2-5.

Reymin Guduan pitched 3.1 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 6. Eric Peterson struck out 4 over 1.2 perfect innings for the win. Robert Kahana allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 2 innings, and Angel Heredia allowed a hit and struck out 3 as he got the 2-inning save.

Tonight, the Appy Astros welcome Danville to their quaint little park on the campus of Tusculum College. In the opener, which will start at 6:00, Keegan Yuhl will face Max Povse.

GCL Yankees1 8, GCL Astros 4

W- Deshorn Lake (1-1)
L- Yhoan Acosta (0-1, 2-4 season)

GCL home runs: None.

The Yankees 1 put up 5 runs in the 6th, which put the Kissimmee Stros in a hole too deep to climb out of.

Arturo Michelena put them on the board with an RBI double in the 2nd. He also drew a bases-loaded walk in the 6th. Marlon Avea added an RBI groundout in the 8th, and Osvaldo Duarte scored on a balk in the 9th. Alex Melendez went 1-4 with 2 steals (9).

In his US debut, Yhoan Acosta allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. Kyle Gehrs struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 5th. Starlyng Sanchez probably wants a do-over for his US debut. He allowed 5 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 4 hits and walked 1 while only getting 1 out in the 6th. Alejandro Solarte allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 over 2.2 frames, and Christian Perdomo worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 2.

Both of these teams are currently in a game at the Yankees complex in Tampa.

DSL Astros Blue 10, DSL Indians 8

W- Juan Cuevas (1-5)
L- Alejandro Izaguirre (0-1)

Blue home runs: Juan Fuentes (1, grand slam in 8th)

The Indians took an 8-4 lead thanks to 4 in the top of the 8th, but a rally in the bottom of the inning, capped off by Fuentes' grand slam, gave the Blue team the victory.

Walker... err, sorry, Wander Franco put the Blue team on the board in the 1st by drawing a bases-loaded walk. One batter later, Joan Mauricio added a sac fly. Fuentes hit an RBI double in the 2nd. Rodrigo Ayarza went 2-4 with an RBI single in the 7th.

The rally began in rather painful fashion as Franco was hit by a pitch to begin the 8th. A Mauricio single and a Reiny Beltre walk loaded the bases for Carlos Canelon, who reached on an error on a force attempt. Franco scored the first run of the frame as a result. One batter later, Fuentes gave the Blue team the lead with his first career slam. Fuentes did all this damage at the bottom of the order, as he finished 3-4. Jonathan Matute went 3-4 with a run scored.

Carlos Hiraldo allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, walked 5, and struck out 2 in 5 innings. Josue Uribe struck out 2 over 2 perfect innings. Yan De La Cruz faced 2 batters in the 8th and hit both of them. Both scored. Juan Cuevas allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and struck out 2 in 2 innings.

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

DSL Astros Orange 10, DSL Yankees2 3


W- Edgardo Sandoval (1-0)
L- Jose Baez (0-3)
S- Joel Belboder (2)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team's TD and a field goal topped the Yankees 2's field goal.

Marcos Almonte put the Orange team on the board in the 3rd by grounding into a force out that scored Cristopher Luciano. One batter later, Edgar Lorenzo scored on a wild pitch. Lorenzo, who finished 3-4, added an RBI single in the 4th; an error allowed him to advance to 2nd and also allowed Bryan De La Cruz to score. Lorenzo also drew a bases-loaded walk in the 8th. Later in the 8th, Anardo Peralta grounded into a force out that scored Ihan Bernal, and an error on the play also allowed Luciano to score. Bernal had an RBI single in the 9th; he went 1-3 with 2 walks and 3 runs scored. Luis Vasquez scored on a wild pitch, and Luciano brought home the final run of the day on a sac fly.

Edgardo Sandoval allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 5 innings. Joel Belboder allowed a 2-run homer to Tirson Guzman in the 6th. That was the only blemish on his line. He went 4 innings and allowed 5 other hits and struck out 4.

The Orange team is currently taking on the Mets 2.

Bonus Tweet of the Day

Happy Birthday - 7/19

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to WTHB's own Dustin who writes the best Astros minor league recaps that money can buy ... for free. Writing the recaps is a thankless job, but I thank him from the bottom of my heart for the wonderful job he does. Happy Birthday, Dustin! This one's for you ...


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

RHP Wilton Lopez (31)
Originally signed by the Yankees as a NDFA out of Nicaragua, Lopez was selected off waivers from the Padres in April 2009. In 213 games for the Astros from 2009 through 2012, Lopez had a 13-13 record with a 3.14 ERA, a 1.207 WHIP and 11 saves. He was traded, along with Jose Monzon, to the Rockies for Alex White and Alex Gillingham in December 2012. He was the 11th Nicaraguan national to make it to the U.S. major leagues.

CF Preston Wilson (40)
Originally drafted by the Mets in the first round in 1992, Wilson came to Houston as a free agent in January 2006 and was released in August of that year after hitting .269/.309/.405 in 102 games. In 1999, he was second in Rookie of the Year voting to Reds pitcher Scott Williamson. In 2003, Wilson was an All-Star for Colorado.

OF Rick Ankiel (35)
Ankiel was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round in 1997 as a pitcher, but re-invented himself as an outfielder starting in 2005. He came to Houston as a free agent in January 2013 and was subsequently released on May 9th after hitting only .194/.231/.484 in 25 games (and striking out 35 times in that span).

Tweet of the Day

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Disappointing Setback

I will admit that I am upset that the Astros failed to sign Brady Aiken, Jacob Nix and Mac Marshall. I understand it, but that doesn't make it any better. The reality is that I feel certain that the Astros would have signed Jacob Nix and Mac Marshall if they could have done so without the horrendous penalty they would have incurred by signing them without first signing Brady Aiken. They just simply couldn't have taken that hit, potentially losing the first and second round picks next year.

Which leads me to believe that there was legitimate concern about Aiken's UCL. It doesn't make sense that the Astros wouldn't have simply signed him at the previously agreed upon $6.5 million figure if that elbow wasn't a legitimate concern, particularly knowing that they wouldn't be able to sign any of these three elite players. At some point, Jeff Luhnow and company would have had to blink. And they didn't blink.

The good news (if there is any) is that all three of those players were high school players. They weren't going to be helping the Astros out at the major league level in the next couple of years. There is a pipeline of excellent pitching coming up through the ranks right now that will be likely to help the team just as soon, if not sooner, than the trio that was lost to this unfortunate chain of events. But, more bad news, losing those three is likely to put a bit of a hiccup in that pipeline of talent. It may be a setback, but that is why you need a deep farm system. And the Astros have a deep and very talented system. It is insulting to those players currently in the system to say that the Astros are DOOMED because these three young men weren't signed.

Jeff Luhnow worked the draft system beautifully in 2012, netting him three first round talents in Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers and Rio Ruiz. He tried the same thing in 2014 and it just didn't work. If you thought he was a genius in 2012 and you think he's an imbecile now, that's a bit disingenuous. Similarly, for those FREAKING OUT about Mark Appel, he also didn't go from being a dominant pitcher to a terrible pitcher in the blink of an eye. It just doesn't happen that way. Likely, the problems he's had this season have gotten in his head and his struggles have been exacerbated by that. He can and will be a successful pitcher.

The person I feel sorriest for in this whole convoluted mess is Jacob Nix. He was the unfortunate victim of the slotting system and money pool that is currently in place for the draft. It wasn't his fault that Aiken wouldn't sign for the adjusted price that the Astros offered him. It wasn't his fault that the Astros got cold feet over Aiken's UCL. It wasn't his fault that the Astros couldn't sign him without jeopardizing their first and second round picks. But nonetheless, Nix was the one who was left out in the cold.

One final note. I am disappointed in how the Astros front office handled this whole debacle. It's one thing to be closemouthed about negotiations, but it was absurd that a press release wasn't available at 4:01 p.m. stating that none of the three had been signed. I would have had Reid Ryan front and center trying to smooth things over because he's superbly good at that. A reassuring voice sure would be nice right about now.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, July 17, 2014

GCL doubleheader!

Oklahoma City and Nashville was postponed

A doubleheader is scheduled for today, with the 1st game beginning at 4:05. In game 1, Alex White will take on Michael Blazek. Asher Wojciechowski will face Ariel Peña in game 2.

Corpus Christi 3, Frisco 2

W- Luis Cruz (7-5)
L- Jerad Eickhoff (7-7)
S- Tyson Perez (6, 7 season)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks took the opener as Luis Cruz stifled the Roughriders offense.

Cruz allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 3 in 5 innings. Brady Rodgers gave up a solo homer to Chris Grayson with 2 outs in the 9th. He went 3.2 innings and allowed one other hit, walked 1, and struck out 3. Tyson Perez got the final out of the game.

Delino DeShields went 1-2 with 2 walks and 2 steals (38). After hitting a single in the 4th, he stole his way to 3rd and scored Corpus' first run on a sac fly from Andrew Aplin. In the 5th, M.P. Cokinos smashed an RBI double and Carlos Perdomo scored on a wild pitch.

In game 2 of this series, Colton Cain will take on Chi Chi Gonzalez at 7:05.

Visalia 14, Lancaster 9

W- Spencer Arroyo (5-5)
L- Zach Morton (1-1, 3-2 season)

Lancaster home runs: Tanner Mathis (1, 3-run in 2nd), Conrad Gregor 2 (11, 12 season; 3-run in 5th, 2-run in 8th)

The JetHawks were doomed by a 5-run 7th from Visalia.

The 2 3-run homers from Mathis in the 2nd and Gregor in the 5th resulted in a 6-6 tie after the 5th. Gregor finished 4-5, a double shy of the cycle, and added a 2-run shot in the 8th inning. Roberto Peña went 2-4 with a double and a sac fly in the 7th, after Gregor tripled to lead off the inning. Tyler White, in his JetHawks debut, went 2-4 with 2 runs scored.

Lance McCullers went 3.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 6. Zach Morton was the first man out; he pitched 2.2 innings and gave up 7 runs (6 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 1. Juan Minaya went 2.2 innings and allowed 5 runs (all on homers) on 7 hits (2 solos and a 3-run homer) and struck out 2.

The JetHawks will look to avoid the sweep as Kyle Westwood will take on TBA at 8:30.

Fort Wayne 7, Quad Cities 4

W- Jimmy Brasoban (1-4)
L- Andrew Thurman (4-6)
S- Ryan Butler (1)

QC home runs: Chase McDonald (7, solo in 6th)

The River Bandits nearly clawed back from a 5-0 deficit as they scored 4 unanswered, but the TinCaps put them away with 2 in the top of the 8th.

They got on the board in the 4th with 3 RBI singles from Ronnie Mitchell, McDonald, and Jose Fernandez. McDonald finished 2-4 and added a solo home run in the 6th inning. Fernandez and Brett Phillips both finished 2-3.

Andrew Thurman pitched 4 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 6 hits (solo and 3-run homers), walked 1, and struck out 3. Chris Lee threw 3 scoreless and allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 1. Frederick Tiburcio allowed 2 runs on 3 hits (solo homer) and walked 1 as he only got 1 out in the 8th. Albert Minnis allowed a hit over 1.2 scoreless.

Quad Cities will look to avoid a sweep as Jandel Gustave will face TBA at 7:00.

Tri-City 6, Aberdeen 4

W- Chris Munnelly (2-0)
L- Pat Connaughton (0-1)
S- Ryan Thompson (3)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats turned a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 lead after putting up a 5-spot in the 8th.

Ricky Gingras opened up the scoring with a bases-loaded walk in the 1st. That was the only Tri-City run until the 8th, when....

Adam Nelubowich and D.J. Fisher reached on errors from Hector Veloz. Nick Tanielu kicked things off with an RBI single. A Gingras single loaded the bases. Mott Hyde tied the game with a bases-loaded walk, and Ariel Ovando gave TC the lead with a sac fly. Jamie Ritchie came on as a pinch-hitter and promptly hit an RBI single. Bobby Boyd finished the inning with an RBI single. Ritchie got caught at home to end the inning, but the ValleyCats did the damage. Boyd and Tanielu had 2 hits apiece.

Luis Ordosgoitti went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. Raul Rivera worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out 2. Chris Munnelly went 3 and allowed an unearned run on an error, a single, walked 3, and struck out 6. Ryan Thompson allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 9th.

The ValleyCats will look for the sweep as Troy Scribner will face TBA at 6:00.

Bluefield 8, Greeneville 0

W- Ryan Borucki (2-1)
L- Austin Nicely (1-4)
S- Evan Smith (1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros were held to 3 hits as they ended up dropping the series.

Yonathan Mejia had 2 of the hits; Jason Martin had the other. Martin is now on a 12-game hitting streak.

Austin Nicely pitched 4 innings and allowed 4 runs (1 earned) on 7 hits and walked 2. Jorge Perez was the first man out; he went 2.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (1 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 5 hits and struck out 2. Aaron Greenwood allowed 2 hits and struck out 3 over 1.1 innings.

The Appy Astros will look to avoid the sweep as a couple of Hawaiians will take the mound. Robert Kahana of Ewa Beach will take on Joey Aquino of Mililani. First pitch is at 6:05.

Game 1: GCL Phillies 4, GCL Astros 1

W- Jared Fisher (1-0)
L- Vince Velasquez (0-1)
S- Austin Davis (2)

GCL home runs: None.

The Astros' lone run came on an Osvaldo Duarte groundout in the 5th.

Vince Velasquez allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. John Gatlin pitched an inning (last out of the 3rd, 2 outs of the 4th) and allowed 2 hits and walked 2. Harold Arauz pitched 2.1 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5.

What did game 2 have in store for the Kissimmee Stros?

Game 2: GCL Astros 3, GCL Phillies 2 in 8 innings

W- Juan Delis (1-0)
L- Seranthony Dominguez (0-2)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros walked off with the win and the split as Brauly Mejia hit a walk-off infield single in the botttom of the 8th.

Edwin Medina went 3-3 with 2 runs scored and 4 stolen bases (13). They got a pair in the 3rd on a sac fly from Hector Roa and Medina scored on a wild pitch.

Junior Garcia went 3 innings and allowed a solo homer to Jose Pujols in the 2nd. He allowed 2 other hits and struck out 1. Christian Perdomo also allowed a solo homer to Pujols in the 4th. He walked 3 while only getting 1 out in the 4th via strikeout. He gave way to Justin Ferrell, who navigated his way out of a bases-loaded situation that he inherited from Perdomo. Ferrell pitched 2.2 innings and allowed a hit and struck out 2. Samil De Los Santos worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 7th. Juan Delis struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th.

The Kissimmee Stros are at home, where they'll take on the Yankees 1.

DSL Indians 6, DSL Astros Blue 3

W- Daniel Gomez (4-3)
L- Erasmo Pinales (1-1)
S- Jose Nina (3)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team was beaten thanks to a stretch of 5 unanswered runs from the Indians from the 2nd to the 5th innings.

All the Blue team's runs came on 2 doubles from Jake Bowey. He put them on the board in the 1st, and then he ripped a 2-run double in the 8th.

Erasmo Pinales pitched 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Luis Ramirez got 1 out in the 5th and allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him), a hit, and walked 3. Gabriel Valdez went 3.2 innings and allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

Both teams are facing off at the Astros complex.

DSL Yankees2 7, DSL Astros Orange 6

W- Jeris Casanova (1-0)
L- Edwin Villarroel (2-3)
S- Sammy De Jesus (1)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team led 5-2 after 2 innings, but they were on the wrong end of a 5-1 run the rest of the way.

Frankeny Fernandez put the Orange team on the board with a sac fly in the 1st. The Yankees caught Edgar Lorenzo stealing in the 2nd, and Orlando Marquez looked to sneak in with a run as they got Lorenzo. An error allowed him to score. Jose Benjamin and Anardo Peralta both scored on errors. Marquez added an RBI single in the 6th.

Abdiel Saldaña went 5 innings and allowed 5 runs on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 5. Edwin Villarroel went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and struck out 4.

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

A MLB All-Star Tribute That Should Have Been

Although this has nothing to do with Astros minor league baseball, I wanted to share this excellent video that fellow Baseball Blogger Alliance member Sully Baseball put together, showing just how simple it would have been for MLB to honor Tony Gwynn and others during the All-Star game.


Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few Astros minor league roster moves, plus Astros who made the Dominican Summer League All-Star Roster ~

GULF COAST LEAGUE
7/16 - LHP Starlyng Sanchez assigned from the DSL to the GCL
7/16 - LHP Yhoan Acosta assigned from the DSL to the GCL

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE
7/16 - RHP Diogenes Almento assigned to the DSL
7/16 - 1B/3B Jake Bowey assigned from the GCL to the DSL

DOMINICAN LEAGUE ALL-STARS
The following Astros players were named to the All-Star squad. The game will take place on Sunday.

2B Frankeny Fernandez
1B Connor MacDonald
RHP Erasmo Pinales

Happy Birthday - 7/18

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Marc Wik (22)
A 21st round draft pick in 2012 out of Chabot College in California, Wik did some fill-in work with a couple of games at Lancaster and at Corpus Christi, but has spent the bulk of his season with Quad Cities after a late June promotion from Tri-City. In his first 36 games this season, Wik is hitting .231/.329/.373.

Two former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

1B/PH Harry Spilman (60)
Spilman came to Houston via a trade from the Reds in June 1981 for SS/2B Rafael Landestoy. In 223 games from 1981 to 1985, he hit .222/.286/.313, much of that as a pinch hitter. After retiring from baseball, Spilman went into coaching and served as the Astros hitting coach from mid-2000 to 2004.

RHP Josh Banks (32)
A second round pick by the Blue Jays in 2003, Banks signed with Houston as a free agent in 2009 and pitched in only one game for the Astros in 2010 going 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA and a 3.000 WHIP in four innings.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, July 16, 2014

AAA All-Star Game: International League 7, Pacific Coast League 3

W- Liam Hendriks
L- Elih Villanueva

PCL home runs: None.

The lone RedHawk to appear in the game was Max Stassi, who entered the game in the 7th, and grounded out in the 8th in his lone plate appearance.

Oklahoma City is back in action tonight as they begin a 4-game series with Nashville at 7:05. Jake Buchanan will take on Michael Blazek.

Corpus Christi 5, Midland 2

W- Kyle Smith (4-2, 8-2 season)
L- Nate Long (8-5)
S- Jordan Jankowski (3)

CC home runs: Telvin Nash (14, 3-run in 1st)

The Hooks got the split thanks to a Nash Mash, which came as part of a 4-run 1st.

Before the homer, though, Jonathan Meyer opened the scoring when he hit a pop-fly RBI single. Ruben Sosa added an RBI single in the 7th. Meyer, Andrew Aplin, and Tyler Heineman had 2 hits apiece.

Kyle Smith went 5.2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Jordan Jankowski finished it off and allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 4.

The Hooks will now begin a 4-game series in Frisco. In the opener, Luis Cruz will take on Jerad Eickhoff at 7:05.

Visalia 11, Lancaster 6

W- Brandon Sinnery (8-6)
L- Mark Appel (1-5)

Lancaster home runs: Danry Vásquez 3 (4; solo in 1st, 2-run in 3rd, 2-run in 5th)

The wheels fell off for Mark Appel once again as the Rawhide were able to endure Danry's 3 blasts.

All 3 of Danry's hits were homers; he had 3 of Lancaster's 5 hits and he drove in 5 of their 6 runs. The other RBI came courtesy of a Tanner Mathis sac fly in the 5th that preceded Danry's 3rd homer of the game.

Appel allowed 7 runs on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 1.2 innings. The Rawhide put up 6 in the 2nd off of him. Pat Christensen was the first man out; he allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and fanned 3 in 2.1 innings. Brian Holmes went 4 innings and allowed a run on 5 hits and struck out 5, and Jamaine Cotton struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

In game 2 of this series, Lance McCullers will take on Spencer Arroyo at 8:30.

Fort Wayne 9, Quad Cities 2

W- Payton Baskette (4-4)
L- Adrian Houser (4-4)

QC home runs: None.

The TinCaps jumped Adrian Houser for 4 in the 1st and the Banditos were unable to get themselves going.

Houser only lasted 3.1 innings, giving up 6 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits, walking 3, and striking out 2. Aaron Vaughn, in his Quad Cities debut, allowed a sac fly that scored one of Houser's runners in the 4th. He pitched 1.2 perfect innings (for himself), striking out 2. Kevin Comer went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits (solo homer) and struck out 5.

In his Quad Cities debut, J.D. Davis hit an RBI double in the 4th. Brian Holberton went 3-4 with an RBI double in the 8th. Chase McDonald and Brett Phillips had 2 hits apiece.

In the middle game of this series, Andrew Thurman will take on TBA at 7:00.

Tri-City 5, Aberdeen 3

W- Joe Musgrove (2-1)
L- Dariel Delgado (1-2)
S- Derick Velazquez (2)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats took the opener as they responded nicely from going down 2-1.

Bobby Boyd scored the first run of the game when D.J. Fisher hit into a double play in the 1st. Mott Hyde had a sac fly in the 4th, and in the 5th, Jamie Ritchie ripped a 2-run double. Ritchie added a sac fly in the 7th. Boyd finished 3-5 with a double and a steal (7), while Fisher finished 2-4 with a steal (4) and 2 runs scored. Ariel Ovando went 2-3, and in his Tri-City debut, Juan Santana went 1-2 with a run scored.

Bryan Radziewski threw 2 scoreless to start it off, allowing 2 hits and striking out 1. Joe Musgrove pitched 5 innings and got dinged by a couple of solo homers from Jamill Moquete and Hector Veloz. However, those would be the only 2 hits he allowed, and he was very good otherwise, as he walked 1 and struck out 9. Jordan Mills threw a 1-2-3 8th, but had an inherited runner charged to him in the 9th after Veloz hit an RBI single off of Derick Velazquez. Velazquez, who fanned 2 in the 9th, got Tanner Murphy swinging to end the game.

In the middle game of the series, Luis Ordosgoitti will take on TBA at 6:00.

Bluefield 5, Greeneville 3

W- Jesus Tinoco (1-3)
L- Jose Montero (1-2)
S- Dusty Isaacs (3)

Greeneville home runs: None.

A 4-run 4th was the difference as the Blue Jays took the first game of 3.

Yonathan Mejia put the Appy Astros on the board first in the 2nd with an RBI single. The other Greeneville runs came in the 9th, courtesy of a Trent Woodward 2-run triple. Jake Nottingham went 2-4 with a double and a run scored; he now has 4 straight multi-hit games. Jason Martin is currently on an 11-game hitting streak after his double in the 9th. He has a hit in all but 4 games so far this year, and he has failed to reach base just twice.

Jose Montero went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Krishawn Holley threw a 1-2-3 5th, and Josh James struck out 3 over 3 perfect innings.

In game 2 of this series, Austin Nicely will face Ryan Borucki at 6:05.

GCL Astros and GCL Phillies was postponed

They're currently playing a doubleheader in Kissimmee.

DSL Astros Blue 10, DSL Dodgers 4

W- Albert Abreu (2-1)
L- Angel German (1-4)

Blue home runs: None.

After a lull, the Blue team busted out with the game's first 9 runs.

Joan Mauricio had 2 triples, the first of which drove in 2 in the 4th inning. They also got a sac fly from Oliver Toribio, and Mauricio came home on a single from Angel De Leon. The Blue team put up a 5-spot in the 7th as Rodrigo Ayarza grounded into a force out, Reiny Beltre drew a bases-loaded walk, and Mauricio smashed a bases-clearing triple. Andy Piñeda scored the final run of the morning on an error in the 8th. Ayarza joined in on the 2 extra-base hits parade, as he swatted 2 doubles.

Albert Abreu was outstanding as he allowed just 1 hit, walked 2, and struck out 5 over 6 shutout innings. Jose Rosario struck out 1 over 1.1 perfect innings. Miguel Severino allowed 4 runs (3 inherited runners charged to him) and walked 4 as he got the 2nd out of the 8th. Dariel Aquino got the final out of the 8th, but not before he allowed a bases-clearing single. Ezequiel Madera walked 1 and struck out 2 in the 9th, and Luis Arias got the final out of the game with a strikeout.

The Blue team is currently in a game at the Indians complex.

DSL Rangers1 4, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Rafael Volquez (4-1)
L- Carlos Sanabria (1-1)
S- Albert Decena (8)

Orange home runs: None.

Well, they got on the board first, but the Rangers had the final say in this one.

Luis Vasquez went 2-4 and hit an RBI triple in the 4th to open the scoring. This was also the Orange team's lone run.

Carlos Pizzolato went 5 innings and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Carlos Sanabria pitched the final 3 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits and struck out 1.

The Orange team is currently taking on the Yankees 2.

Astros Minor League Snapshot

We are now 15 weeks in to the minor league season. Let's take a look at where things stand.

OKLAHOMA CITY

3rd    50-49    .505    2.5GB    W2

The RedHawks remain in third place in the American Southern Division after going 2-3 before the All-Star Break. Omaha has reclaimed the division lead with Iowa only a half game out of the lead. They will start an eight-game homestand tonight with four against Nashville (51-47) and four against Round Rock (48-47), against whom the RedHawks are 3-5 and 4-4, respectively in the season series.

Players in the top 10 in the league in various categories:

Austin Wates
1st in SB - 26
10th in OBP - .396

Domingo Santana
T7th in 2B - 23
T8th in H - 101
T8th in BB - 43

Nick Tropeano
2nd in ERA - 2.38
3rd in WHIP 0.95

Jake Buchanan
9th in WHIP - 1.26
T8th in Wins - 7

Mike Foltynewicz
T9th in SO - 89
T8th in Wins - 7

Note that Kiké Hernandez still ranks 1st in batting average with a .337 mark despite having been called up to Houston.

CORPUS CHRISTI

For the season:
4th    48-48    .500    6.5GB    W1

For the second half:
2nd     14-12     .538     2.5GB     W1

With a 4-3 week, the Hooks fell from one and a half games out of first place in the second half to two and a half games out, but conversely went from fourth place to second place in the second half standings as Frisco and San Antonio fell behind. It's still a very tight race with first and fourth place only separated by three and a half games. The week ahead takes the Hooks on the road for four against Frisco (53-41) and three against San Antonio (49-47). Corpus Christi is even in the season series against San Antonio, but they trail Frisco 10-14 for the season. They are in the midst of playing 26 straight games (with no days off) against their division rivals. Their chances at the second half title will likely be largely determined by this stretch of games.

Players in the top 10 in the league in various categories:

Preston Tucker (now in OKC)
9th in BA - .276
9th in OBP - .348
1st in SLG - .536
1st in HR - 17
T5th in RBI - 43

Nolan Fontana
1st in OBP - .418
3rd in 2B - 21
1st in BB - 61

Andrew Aplin
3rd in OBP - .381
9th in R - 45
T9th in H - 83
T5th in RBI - 43
2nd in BB - 56
T6th in SB - 15

Leo Heras
7th in OBP - .350
T1st in 3B - 5
T9th in BB - 35
5th in SB - 16

Delino DeShields
6th in R - 48
2nd in SB - 36

Ruben Sosa
T1st in 3B - 5
T6th in SB - 15

Telvin Nash
2nd in HR - 14

Tommy Shirley (now in OKC)
1st in ERA - 1.88
1st in WHIP - 0.93
T7th in Wins - 7

Luis Cruz
3rd in WHIP - 1.08

Tyler Heineman and Tony Kemp are also in a 15-way tie for 8th place in triples with three each.

LANCASTER

For the season:
T1st    56-40    .583    -.-GB    L1

For the second half:
4th     12-14     .462     6.0GB     L1

After going 5-1 for the week, the JetHawks reclaimed first place (albeit a tie) for the season standings, but they remain in fourth place in the second half standings. However, they did go from 11 games back to only six games back in the second half. Lancaster lost Game 1 of the current series it is hosting with Visalia (45-51). It is only the second look that the JetHawks have gotten of that team this season after having won their first series with them. That will be followed by the first match-up of the season with Modesto (31-65), also at home. Next Wednesday is an off day.

Players in the top 10 in the league in various categories:

Tony Kemp (now in CC)
4th in BA - .336
1st in OBP - .433
1st in R - 79
T9th in BB - 45
2nd in SB - 28

Carlos Correa
7th in BA - .325
5th in OBP - .416
T7th in 3B - 6
T6th in SB - 20

Teoscar Hernandez
5th in SLG - .562
7th in R - 63
2nd in 3B - 8
T7th in HR - 16
3rd in RBI - 71
3rd in SB - 27

Rio Ruiz
T7th in H - 108
T3rd in 2B - 26
T2nd in BB - 57

Jordan Scott
T3rd in 3B - 7

Josh Hader
2nd in ERA - 2.60
3rd in WHIP - 1.09
3rd in SO - 98
T4th in Wins - 8

Kyle Westwood
7th in ERA - 3.84
7th in WHIP - 1.27
T10th in Wins - 7

Chris Devenski (now in CC)
2nd in WHIP - 1.07

Jamaine Cotton
T8th in Saves - 8

QUAD CITIES

For the season:
T5th    47-47    .500    14.5GB    L4

For the second half:
T5th     12-13     .480     5.0GB     L4

It was a disappointing week for the River Bandits. They have been making slow and steady progress, but that was derailed by a week in which they went 1-5 and fell to a fifth place tie in the Western Division for both the overall season and the second half. They are getting their first look at three Eastern Division teams this week. The River Bandits lost the first of three at home against Ft. Wayne (38-56). That will be followed by three at home against Lake County (42-53) starting Saturday, an off day on Tuesday and a road trip starting next Wednesday in which they will face Dayton (47-46) for three to start the trip.

Players in the top 10 in the league in various categories:

Brett Phillips
6th in BA - .307
5th in SLG - .498
T9th in R - 57
T9th in H - 99
T2nd in 3B - 12

Tyler White (now in Lancaster)
9th in BA - .305
2nd in OBP - .411
7th in SLG - .485

James Ramsay
T9th in 2B - 21
T4th in 3B - 7
10th in BB - 45

Chan Moon (now in Lancaster)
T4th in 3B - 7

Ronnie Mitchell
T8th in HR - 12

Evan Grills (now in Lancaster)
5th in ERA - 2.70

TRI-CITY

1st     21-11     .656     -.-GB     W2

The ValleyCats went 4-2 for the week to increase their Stedler Division lead to six games over Connecticut who is currently in second place. Tri-City took the first of three at home against Aberdeen (10-21). They will then get their first look at State College for three at home starting Saturday. State College is dominating the Pinckney Division with their 24-8 record. That will be followed by a two-game road trip on Tuesday and Wednesday to play division rival Connecticut, against whom they are 5-3 this season.

Players in the top 10 in the league in various categories:

Bobby Boyd
2nd in BA - .379
4th in OBP - .419
T7th in H - 33

A.J. Reed
5th in OBP - .415
T7th in 2B - 9
5th in RBI - 22
5th in BB - 17

J.D. Davis (now in Quad Cities)
T4th in HR - 5
T6th in RBI - 20

Troy Scribner
4th in ERA - 1.24
3rd in WHIP - 0.79
1st in SO - 38
T2nd in Wins - 4

Chris Munnelly
T5th in Saves - 4

Austin Chrismon
T6th in Wins - 3

GREENEVILLE

T2nd     12-13     .480     3.5GB     L1

Greeneville split 3-3 for the week and remains three and a half games behind first place Elizabethton in the West Division, but did manage to creep up into a tie for second. They are currently on the road playing Bluefield (14-12) for the first time this season and lost the first of three. The Appy Astros will return home on Saturday to face Danville (15-10) for three before returning to division play with two against Kingsport (10-15) on the road on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Players in the top 10 in the league in various categories:

Juan Santana (now in Tri-City)
7th in BA - .368
9th in SLG - .506
T3rd in R - 20
3rd in H - 32
T9th in RBI - 16

Antonio Nunez
9th in OBP - .406
T1st in BB - 16

Jason Martin
T3rd in R - 20
1st in 3B - 6
3rd in BB - 15
T8th in SB - 5

Jacob Nottingham
T4th in 2B - 8
T5th in RBI - 18

Yonathan Mejia
T2nd in 3B - 2

Sean McMullen
2nd in RBI - 20

Trent Woodward
T7th in BB - 13

Jose Montero
5th in SO - 26

Zach Davis
T7th in Saves - 2

Angel Heredia
T1st in Wins - 3

Aaron Greenwood
T7th in Wins - 2

Also, although none of the pitchers are in the top 10 in ERA and WHIP, Jose Montero falls just outside that cutoff with a 12th place ERA and an 11th place WHIP.

GCL ASTROS

2nd     12-10     .545     -.-GB     W5

Players in the top 10 in the league in various categories:

Edwin Medina
T5th in R - 15
T4th in BB - 12
T2nd in SB - 9

Kristian Trompiz (now in Greeneville)
T7th in R - 14
T4th in 2B - 7
T10th in SB - 5

Hector Roa
T4th in 2B - 7

Dexture McCall
T3rd in RBI - 15

Osvaldo Duarte
T4th in SB - 8

Alexander Melendez
T6th in SB - 7

Harold Arauz
6th in ERA - 1.42
3rd in WHIP - 0.89
T5th in SO - 22
T6th in Saves - 2
T3rd in Wins - 3

Elieser Hernandez
5th in WHIP - 0.91

Juan Delis
T1st in Saves - 3

Aaron Vaughn (now in Quad Cities)
T1st in Saves - 3

DSL ASTROS ORANGE

T9th     14-26     .350     20.0GB     L4

DSL ASTROS BLUE

T4th     18-22      .450     7.0GB      W1

Players in the top 10 in the league in various categories:

Oliver Toribio
5th in OBP - .468
T3rd in BB - 31

Marcos Almonte
T6th in 2B - 12

Wander Franco
T11th in 2B - 11
2nd in BB - 35

Joan Mauricio
T1st in 3B - 10

Nestor Tejada
T7th in 3B - 6

Vicente Sanchez
T4th in HR - 5
T5th in RBI - 30

Rodrigo Ayarza
T5th in RBI - 30
T7th in BB - 29

Jonathan Matute
T5th in BB - 30

Cristopher Luciano
T7th in BB - 29

Frankeny Fernandez
3rd in SB - 21

Wilson Amador
T8th in SB - 18

Salvador Montano
T3rd in SO - 48
T4th in Wins - 5

Happy Birthday - 7/17

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

RHP Jason Jennings (36) aka He Who Must Not Be Named
A first round pick by the Rockies in 1999, Jason Jennings was obtained (by Tim Purpura in his infinite wisdom) in a trade with the Rockies for Willie Taveras, Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh in December 2006. It was later rumored that Purpura had not adequately checked out Jennings' medical records (he had been playing injured before the trade). In 19 games (18 starts) for Houston, he was 2-9 with a 6.45 ERA and a 1.545 WHIP. But it was his seventh loss that is forever etched in my mind.

Tweets of the Day


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oklahoma City was off

The AAA All-Star game is tonight at 6:00 from Durham, North Carolina. The RedHawks will return to action tomorrow as they open the 2nd half with 4 at home against Nashville.

Midland 6, Corpus Christi 3

W- Sean Murphy (4-0)
L- Mike Hauschild (1-5, 3-6 season)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks were done in by a Max Muncy grand slam for Midland in the 3rd.

Ruben Sosa was 2-5 with an RBI single in the 3rd and an RBI double in the 9th. Telvin Nash went 3-4 with an RBI double in the 4th, and Andrew Aplin finished 2-3 with a walk and an outfield assist, throwing out Hiroyuki Nakajima at the plate.

Mike Hauschild allowed 5 runs (all on homers) on 7 hits (solo and grand slam), walked 3, and struck out 8 in 5 innings. Richard Rodriguez allowed a hit and fanned 5 over 3 scoreless, and Mitch Lambson allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 2 in the 9th.

In the series finale, the team of Kyle Smith and Jordan Jankowski will take on Nate Long at 7:10.

Lancaster was off

The JetHawks will welcome Visalia to The Hangar for 3 beginning tonight at 8:30. TBA will take on Brandon Sinnery.

Quad Cities was off

The River Bandits are back in action tonight as they open up a 3-game series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps at 7:00. Andrew Thurman will get the start; his opponent is TBA.

Tri-City was off

The ValleyCats are opening up a 3-game series with the Aberdeen Ironbirds at 6:00. Bryan Radziewski is listed as the TC starter for tonight; he'll be taking on TBA.

Greeneville was off

The Appy Astros are in Bluefield, where they'll start a 3-game series with the Blue Jays. Jose Montero will be Greeneville's starter in the opener, which will take place at 6:05.

GCL Astros 6, GCL Pirates 5

W- Cristhopher Santamaria (1-0, 2-1 season)
L- Yunior Montero (0-2)
S- Juan Delis (3)

Down 5-3 after the 4th, the Kissimmee Stros scored 3 unanswered, which included 2 in the top of the 8th to take the lead.

Roa got it started with an RBI double in the 1st. One batter later, he came around to score on a single from Brauly Mejia. Ruben Castro went 2-4 with an RBI single in the 4th. Marlon Avea had an RBI groundout in the 6th to bring the GCLstros to within 1. Castro tied the game with another RBI single in the 8th, and Avea scored the go-ahead run on an error as Arturo Michelena beat out an infield single.

Joselo Pinales went 3 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. J.D. Osborne allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) and walked 3 as he only recorded 2 outs in the 4th. Cristhopher Santamaria threw 3 scoreless, allowing 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4. Alejandro Solarte worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 1. Juan Delis finished it with a 1-2-3 9th.

The Astros are at home, where they're hosting the Phillies.

DSL Dodgers 6, DSL Astros Blue 0

W- Miguel Urena (3-4)
L- Salvador Montaño (5-2)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team was held to 5 hits; Andy Piñeda had 3 of them, and he also stole 3 bases, giving him 15 on the season.

Salvador Montaño went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Juan Cuevas pitched the final 4 innings and gave up 4 runs on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 4.

Both of these teams are currently in a game at the Astros complex.

DSL Rangers1 7, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Marcos Diplan (4-2)
L- Adonis Peña (2-2)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team fell behind 7-0 and were never really in the game.

Orlando Marquez hit an RBI single in the 6th, accounting for their only run. Frankeny Fernandez finished 2-4 and scored on the play.

Adonis Peña pitched 4 innings and allowed 6 runs (5 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Antonio Almonte came on for the next 4 innings and allowed a run on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Starlyn Taveras pitched a 1-2-3 9th.

Both teams are at it again, this time at the Rangers complex.

An Interview with Greeneville C/LF/1B/DH Trent Woodward

Drafted in the 20th round out of California State University Fresno, Trent Woodward received the ultimate compliment from Greeneville Manager Josh Bonifay, "He's a baseball player." There is much to like about the extremely versatile Woodward. Drafted as a catcher, he has already appeared in left field, at first base and served as DH in addition to playing behind the dish.

Bonifay went on to say of Woodward, "He's a switch-hitter so you can keep him in the line-up [because] he can play multiple positions. He does a really good job behind the plate communicating with pitchers. He's very vocal. He kind of takes the bull by the horns as a leader on the field. And he just gives you a good at-bat every time up. He does a lot of extra work. He wants to take ground balls at third, at first, so he's very active."

Trent Woodward - July 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

When I sat down to talk with Woodward recently, our first area of conversation was his college experience, "My first two seasons I went to Orange Coast College in southern California. Had two amazing years there. Played for a very good program." Orange Coast was recently named the top Junior College team in the country by Perfect Game.

Woodward continued, "Then after my sophomore year, in the summer going in to Fresno State, I tore my UCL so I got to Fresno State and had to have Tommy John surgery. So my first year was just getting to know the program, getting to understand the difference between junior college baseball and Division 1 baseball. At eight months, I got cleared and I got to go play baseball in the Cape Cod League which was an unbelievable experience. I had a lot of fun out there. Then my senior year, I had a great experience [at Fresno State]."

I asked about his draft experience and whether or not he was aware of the Astros interest in him. "I did. They were not one of the more forward teams, but Tim Costic, the California representative, did a great job communicating some interest early and prior to the draft. It was one of those bittersweet days. It's stressful, stressful, stressful and then you get that phone call and an opportunity to go play professional baseball. It's an unbelievable experience, an unbelievable feeling."

The biggest adjustment to professional baseball for Woodward is "probably the work load." Trent went on, "At school it's a little different. You go to school. You have an hour break and then you have three-hour practice. Here you have early work, you have BP. It's just baseball, baseball, baseball, baseball. There's nothing I'd rather do instead, but it's a physical adjustment, actually a mental adjustment as well. Waking up every single day regardless of how you performed the night before, being confident, trusting your game and flushing the good days and the bad days ... just come out and play and be confident."

I never had the opportunity to see Woodward catch a game during my time in Greeneville so I asked him to characterize his work behind the dish. "Behind the plate, I view myself as the commander of the field, the leader. I want to take control. I want to instill confidence within my pitchers. I feel like as a pitcher you control the game, but as a catcher, I want him to trust me with signs, calls, pitches, the tempo of the game. I feel like there's a lot of little things and variables and I take a lot of pride in controlling the game and understanding base runners, hitters' tendencies. I might not have the best arm on the field. I'm probably not going to stand out, but I'm going to compete and I'm going to do all the little things right."

How would he characterize himself as a hitter? "I'm extremely patient. I like seeing pitches. I believe good pitches, good hitter. The better pitches I'm seeing, the better pitches I'm swinging at, the better I'm probably going to perform. I'm extremely patient and I like to focus on gap-to-gap. I might run into a ball from time to time, but I view myself more as a doubles guy, a guy that's going to be a tough out. I don't like that walk back to the dugout and I don't like getting out. I know it's part of the game, but I'm going to go up there, I'm going to compete and have a quality at-bat every at-bat. That's my goal. I'm not a guy that's going to hit it 500 feet, but I like to have quality at-bats and put my best swing on every pitch."

In detailing what he's accomplished in his short time as a professional, Woodward said, "I think one thing that I've accomplished [is] I've shown myself that I'm more versatile, a more versatile player. In college, they kind of just stick you at one place or another. Here, I've caught. I've played first. I've played left. I'm taking ground balls at third. I'm showing versatility within my game. I think that's something I'm accomplishing. I'm making gains not just as a catcher, but whatever it takes to be on the field, to be in the line-up, to help the team win, to contribute."

As far as what he's working on, he said, "I think that it's just continuing to get better every single day. You're out here for three months. I want to get better every single day. I want to leave the field, go home, look myself in the mirror and say, 'I got better today. I gave it my all. I did everything I could.' It's those little things. I'm 22 years old. I don't want to be the same talent/skill level when I'm 23 or 24. I want to continue to get better in all aspects ... athleticism, flexibility, strength, hitting, catching, throwing, the fundamentals. I think that it's all so important."

Unlike Sean McMullen whose interview I posted earlier this week, Woodward wasn't familiar with his new Hitting Coach at Greeneville. Of Cesar Cedeño, he noted, "I had to go home and Google him. My Dad texted me, 'You know, Cesar Cedeño's your hitting coach. I remember he was a stud. He was great.' Sure enough, I pulled up his numbers, unbelievable what he did ... baserunning, stealing bases, I think he had [over 2000] hits. Just unbelievable stuff. I try to pick his brain as much as I can. 'Hey, CC, what have you got on this.' Because he's a legend in the Astros organization."

I went on to ask him which pitcher on the team he would least like to face in the batter's box. He responded, "I have two. I'm going to say [Reymin] Guduan is probably my least favorite one because he's just nasty -- 97, 98. [But having caught him], I'd hate facing [Jose] Montero because Montero has three quality pitches. He throws very firm. He's probably 95, 96 and he has big league demeanor. You see him on the mound and he just looks like you could put a big league uniform on him ... obviously he's still developing and he's only going to get better, but he's a guy that's a couple ticks away from being there."

Woodward hadn't caught Guduan in a game situation yet, only bullpens, but he is very impressed, "He's dynamite. Just electric stuff. Unbelievable fastball. Great slider. Been working on a better changeup for him. I've got nothing but good things to say about him. He's only gong to get better and he's still young. That arm's unbelievable."

Is there a player or pitcher that he particularly enjoys watching? "One of the biggest things that I've noticed is the level of talent out here is so strong. I've got three or four hitters that I love watching. I love watching [Jason] Martin hit. I think he goes up there and he's got a sound approach. I like watching Guduan because he's got dynamite stuff. Same thing with Montero. There's so many quality guys that have quality at-bats. It's just a step up from college where it's not the same level of competition. When you get here, everyone knows how to play. Everyone is the best from wherever they came from. [Sean] McMullen ... I hit fourth so I usually hit right behind him and that sucker has a great at-bat every time. It just blows my mind. He's up there. He's battling with two strikes, making good contact. He's someone I enjoy watching too."

In answer to who on the team makes him laugh, Woodward said, "I'm going to go with Jacob Nottingham. I spend a lot of time with him as one of the other catchers and he's got one of those quirky personalities. It's not what he's saying. It's how he says it. He's a fun person to be around. I know me, him and Brett [Clements] all have a great time, spending time together and he makes me laugh probably the most."

If Woodward couldn't play baseball, he told me, "I would try to pursue a career in college coaching, be a Division 1 head coach. 18 to 22 years old is such a young [moldable] age, and I think it's important to be a positive influence and instill confidence. [I'd want to] be around the game because I don't know what I'd do without this game. This is the best game ever. The level of competition, understanding failure ... there's a lot of things that I feel like it doesn't just help you in baseball, but it helps you in life. I feel like college kids [would be] a great age to coach."

My last task for Woodward was to have him tell me something that most people don't know about him. "In my spare time, I enjoy playing FIFA so I'm probably one of the best FIFA players I know. FIFA soccer. I'm obviously into the World Cup. I'm slightly disappointed that America could get past the 16 stage, but we're getting better and better. I do like watching soccer. Anything to do with sports, something competitive."

My take on Trent Woodward is that he is one of the rarest kinds of ballplayers. He is extremely smart and extremely self-aware, but he doesn't let his intelligence bog him down and get in the way. He is also exceedingly competitive, and he is always looking for ways not only to compete against the team in the other dugout, but against himself as he challenges himself to be a complete ballplayer.

I'll leave you with these final words from Josh Bonifay, "He's just a professional baseball player. He does all the little things well." Woodward already knows it is the little things that will set him apart.

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

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

The voice you hear in the background of this BP video is none other than Greeneville Hitting Coach Cesar Cedeno.


Happy Birthday - 7/16

Happy Birthday to ~

1B/C Jake Bowey (18)
Signed by Houston as an international free agent out of Perth, Australia, Bowey is spending his first professional season with the Gulf Coast Leage Astros. In six games, he is hitting .222/.286/.444.

One former Astro with a birthday today ~

RHP Jonathan Johnson (40)
A first round pick by the Rangers in 1995, Johnson came to Houston as a free agent in October of 2002. In four games for the Astros in 2003, he was 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA and a 2.283 WHIP. According to Baseball-Reference, he was 1-1 with a 3.84 ERA for Team USA in the 1994 Baseball World Cup.

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, July 14, 2014

AAA is currently on its All-Star break.

Midland 14, Corpus Christi 2

W- Chris Jensen (7-7)
L- David Rollins (2-4)

CC home runs: None.

Well, the Hooks got mauled.

Andrew Aplin and M.P. Cokinos had 2 hits apiece. Cokinos hit an RBI single in the 5th and Jonathan Meyer hit an RBI groundout in the 8th.

David Rollins went 4 innings and allowed 8 runs (7 earned) on 8 hits (solo, 2-run, and grand slam), walked 3, and struck out 1. R.J. Alaniz went 2.2 innings and allowed a 2-run homer to Blake Forsythe in the 7th. He allowed 3 other hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Travis Ballew went 2.1 innings and 4 runs on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1.

In game 3 of this series, Mike Hauschild will face Sean Murphy at 7:10.

Lancaster 5, Rancho Cucamonga 3

W- Evan Grills (1-1, 4-4 season)
L- Lindsey Caughel (6-4)
S- Jamaine Cotton (8)

Lancaster home runs: None.

Sweep! The JetHawks 2-run 1st turned out to be the difference in a 2-run game. Also, I would like to wish Dan Gulbransen all the best in the next chapter of his life.

Gulbransen, who announced his retirement to the team before this game, opened up the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st. One batter later, Rio Ruiz legged out an RBI infield single. Jack Mayfield went 3-5 with 2 doubles, one of which went for an RBI in the 5th. Jobduan Morales added an RBI single in the 7th, and Gulbransen scored the final run of the game and his career in the 9th. He singled, stole 2nd (2), advanced to 3rd on a passed ball, and scored on a wild pitch/Morales walk.

Evan Grills shook off a solo homer from James Baldwin in the 5th and had a solid night. He went 6 innings and allowed 6 other hits and struck out 3. Juan Minaya allowed a run on a sac fly, a hit, walked 2, and struck out 4 in 2 innings. Jamaine Cotton got 2 strikeouts, then Baldwin took him deep. One batter later, though, Cotton got Adam Law to ground out to end it.

The JetHawks will have today off, and then Visalia will roll into The Hangar for 3 games starting tomorrow night at 8:30. Starters have yet to be announced.

Wisconsin 8, Quad Cities 4

W- Barrett Astin (6-4)
L- Blaine Sims (1-2, 2-2 season)

QC home runs: Chase McDonald (6, solo in 2nd), Brett Booth (3, 3-run in 7th)

The Banditos lost the last 3 games of the series. In this game, a 5-run 4th doomed them.

The home runs above constituted the entire Quad Cities offense. McDonald and Brian Holberton both finished 2-4.

Blaine Sims went 4 innings and allowed 7 runs on 9 hits (grand slam), walked 4, and struck out 2. Chris Lee went 1.2 innings and allowed a solo homer to Taylor Brennan in the 6th. Lee gave up 2 other hits and struck out 1. Chris Cotton pitched 2 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 2, and striking out 3.

The River Bandits will have today off. On Wednesday, they'll begin a 3-game series with Fort Wayne. Adrian Houser, Andrew Thurman, and Jandel Gustave are the scheduled starters for QC in that series.

Tri-City 4, Williamsport 0

W- Kyle Weiland (1-0, 2-1 season)
L- David Whitehead (2-2)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats had 4 pitchers combine on a 4-hitter as they took 2 of 3 from the Crosscutters.

Jamie Ritchie went 2-3 and opened the scoring with a 2-run double in the 4th. He added a sac fly in the 8th as he had all the runs batted in. The one run that wasn't batted in came in the 7th, as Mott Hyde scored on a balk. Alex Hernandez went 3-4 at the bottom of the order. Jose Solano came on to pinch-run for A.J. Reed in the 4th and went 1-2 with 2 runs scored.

Brandon McNitt threw 4 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 4. Kyle Weiland worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out 2. Austin Chrismon allowed a hit over 2.2 scoreless, and Jordan Mills struck out 2 over 1.1 perfect innings.

The ValleyCats have today off. Tomorrow, they'll begin a 6-game homestand against Aberdeen and State College. The Ironbirds will be in town for 3 first.

Greeneville 7, Pulaski 6

W- Angel Heredia (3-1)
L- Rohn Pierce (2-1)

Greeneville home runs: Ydarqui Marte (2, 2-run in 6th)

The Appy Astros avoided the sweep, even as their 6-3 lead was erased. The 6-6 tie was short-lived as they got a run in the bottom of the 8th.

Jake Nottingham notched his 3rd straight multi-hit game as he went 2-2; he opened up the scoring with an RBI triple in the 2nd and would score on a sac fly from Yonathan Mejia. He added an RBI double in the 6th and scored on Marte's 2-run shot. Mejia drove in the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run with a double in the 8th.

Devonte German allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 over 4 innings. Agapito Barrios went 3 and allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and struck out 1. Zach Davis got 2 outs (both via strikeout) in the 8th and allowed the tying run on 2 hits and walked 1. Angel Heredia walked 1 and struck out 1 over 1.1 scoreless.

After a day off, Greeneville will head up to the Virginia/West Virginia border for 3 against the Bluefield Blue Jays. Starters for the 3-game set are TBA.

GCL Astros 5, GCL Pirates 0

W- Elieser Hernandez (2-1)
L- Gerardo Navarro (1-2)

GCL home runs: None.

5 pitchers combined on a 5-hitter.

Osvaldo Duarte tripled to lead off the 1st and scored the first run of the game on an Edwin Medina groundout. Duarte scored in the 6th thanks to 2 passed balls and a wild pitch, and Medina scored on an error. Alex Melendez went 2-3 with an RBI single in the 7th, and Arturo Michelena added an RBI single of his own in the 8th. Michelena and Duarte also had 2 hits.

Aaron West, in his 1st rehab start, walked 1 and struck out 1 over 3 scoreless. Kyle Gehrs threw a 1-2-3 4th, Elieser Hernandez allowed 3 hits and struck out 1 over 3 scoreless, Samil De Los Santos worked around a hit to strike out the side in the 8th, and in his pro debut, John Gatlin worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 9th.

The Kissimmee Stros are currently in Bradenton to take on the very same Pirates. The game just started.

DSL Astros Blue 5, DSL Athletics 4 in 13 innings

W- Josue Uribe (2-1)
L- Wilfredo Magallanes (3-1)

Blue home runs: Rodrigo Ayarza (1, 3-run in 5th)

The Blue team walked off with the win thanks to Juan Fuentes, who had the game-winning single in the bottom of the baker's dozen-th inning.

Ayarza's homer tied the game at 3 in the 5th. Nestor Tejada grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Oliver Toiribio and gave them the lead in the 8th.

Moreno Polanco went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 3. Gabriel Valdez walked 2 and struck out 1 over 1.2 scoreless. Luis Arias had an inherited runner charged to him on 2 hits and struck out 4 over 2 innings. Josue Uribe allowed 1 hit, walked 2, and struck out 2 over 4.1 innings. He did allow one of Arias' runners to score, so he was tagged with a blown save.

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

DSL Tigers 12, DSL Astros Orange 8

W- Andres Tejada (2-0)
L- Juan Hernandez (1-2)
S- Francisco German (1)

Orange home runs: None.

Well, that's not a line you see often. The Orange team only managed 3 hits, but they put up 8 runs. They scored a touchdown in the 3rd (and only had 1 hit!) to take a 7-1 lead, only to see the Tigers re-take the lead with an 8-run 4th.

Wilson Amador hit into a force out that scored Ihan Bernal to put the Orange team on the board in the 3rd. Then the weirdness sort of started. A double steal occurred with Luis Vasquez scoring and Amador taking 2nd. Amador wound up scoring on a Frankeny Fernandez fielder's choice. Fernandez stole 2nd (21) and scored on a passed ball. Orlando Marquez hit an RBI single, and then an error allowed him and Cristopher Luciano to score. Marcos Almonte stole for the cycle in the 6th; he took home as part of a double steal.

Gerald Benzant went 3.1 and allowed 5 runs (2 earned, 2 inherited runners scored to him) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Juan Hernandez allowed 4 unearned runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Jose Ramos allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 8th.

The Orange team currently hosting the Rangers 1.

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

It looks as though there are several moves in the Astros minor league system in the works. I'll update as more is known. Here is what we know now.

CORPUS CHRISTI
RHP Richard Rodriguez assigned from Oklahoma City to Corpus Christi

LANCASTER
3B Tyler White assigned from Quad Cities to Lancaster

QUAD CITIES
3B J.D. Davis assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities

TRI-CITY
IF Juan Santana assigned from Greeneville to Tri-City

GREENEVILLE
IF Kristian Trompiz assigned from the GCL to Greeneville

An Interview with Greeneville Astros OF Sean McMullen

Greeneville OF Sean McMullen, drafted in the 30th round out of LSU, has had an outstanding beginning to his professional career. In 22 games, he is hitting .325/.372/.470 with four doubles, one triple, two home runs and 20 RBI. Generously listed as 5'9" on the roster, McMullen hasn't let his small stature get in his way as he carves out his niche on the Greeneville team.

Sean McMullen - July 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Greeneville Manager Josh Bonifay said of McMullen, "I love Mac. Mac's just a baller. He's been a stable in our 3-hole. He gives really good at-bats. If you try to blow fastballs by him, he's ready to hit them. If you try to pitch him backwards, he's also patient with his eye. He's been clutch, very clutch in our 3-hole. He's been very stable in left field. He gives you a good route to the ball. He hits the cut-off. He just does the small things right here at this level. He does them well. He actually runs better than you think. He gets down the line pretty good. He's got some good baseball instincts which is good to have in the clubhouse."

When I talked to McMullen last weekend in Greeneville, the first question I asked him was about his college experience. He said, "Out of high school, I didn't get any scholarship offers from the major Division 1 schools that I wanted to go to so I decided to go to junior college [Delgado Community College] where Coach Joe Scheuermann gave me a great opportunity to get better which I ended up doing. I spent my two years there and I earned a scholarship to LSU. I grew up a Tiger fan and it was a blast being able to wear that uniform."

Of his draft experience, McMullen assured me that as a senior sign, he wasn't particularly worried about where he would get drafted, "I just wanted my chance. I just wanted a team to believe in me and give me a shot. I know I can play baseball. I was always kind of under-rated as a player and that's how I like to play. Now that I'm out here, I feel like it doesn't matter what round you're picked in. If you can play baseball, they're going to want you to move up. I have a number of friends in this organization and they all love it. They have nothing but good things to say. I'm excited to see them down the road, meet new people, all the managers and coaches."

When McMullen spoke of the coaching staff, he made a veiled reference that I felt must be referring to Greeneville Hitting Coach Cesar Cedeño. Since none of these players were even born yet when Cedeño was a star in Houston, I asked Sean if he even knew who Cedeño is. "I wasn't around when he was the superstar, but I definitely knew who Cesar Cedeño was." Once he got to Greeneville, he was a little bit in awe, "I was like, 'Wow, Cesar Cedeño is watching me hit. He likes my swing. I must be doing something right.' But he wants to help us out just as much as we want to get better." McMullen appreciates the opportunity to learn from Cedeño and to soak in his knowledge.

The biggest adjustment to pro ball for McMullen is playing every day, "In college, you play about four games a week and you have time to practice and recover. But the fact that I don't have school, I don't have to study for stuff definitely helps relieve a lot of the stress. Definitely playing every day is the biggest adjustment. Being able to brush off either a bad night or even a good night and going the next day like it's a new day. You don't want to stumble at all because it can be a slippery slope here."

I asked McMullen what he felt like he had accomplished in his short time as a professional baseball player. He responded, "I think I just proved to myself that I can play, that I can play pro ball and succeed. My biggest thing is that once I believe that the competition is too great for me, then I'll admit it. But I haven't been in a spot or a league where I've been over matched. I feel like I can succeed at any level that I play at. Just being able to come straight from college into pro ball, I realize that it's the same game that I played growing up. I think that there's a lot less pressure right now than I had playing in the SEC. It's just a lot of fun. I'm having a lot of fun right now, especially meeting people [hearing] their stories, where they come from. That's always interesting too."

How would McMullen characterize himself defensively? "I think I'm a much speedier guy than people tend to see out of me because obviously I don't have the height. I can hit the ball for power and I think people just assume that since I can hit for power I'm a little bit slower, but I think I'm one of the fastest people in the leagues that I've played in. So when I play defense, I show that I can get to those balls and open their eyes. I take a lot of pride in my defense. I definitely love playing the outfield, but I love hitting too."

When I asked Sean what pitcher on the team he would least like to face, his answer came quickly, "[Reymin] Guduan. No doubt. Oh man! He looks like a big leaguer. He's one of the first people I saw when I got off the plane here and I was like 'What am I getting myself into?' Gudan, for sure, especially [being a] lefthander [throwing] 96 to 98."

Who on the team makes him laugh? "[Yonathan] Mejia. Mejia's trying to learn English and he's doing a really good job of it, but he learns it through music. I just watch what songs he's listening to. It's just really funny. Especially since I can't understand half of what he says, and I'm still laughing at what he says. I can only imagine if I could completely understand him."

I also wanted to know if there were any particular players on the team that he really enjoyed watching play. "You know, I think [Juan] Santana is a very special player. He's still developing and he has all the talent in the world. He makes some plays that definitely open up people's eyes. Just watching his demeanor ... I love the way he plays baseball." And then McMullen went back to Guduan as another standout, "I actually really like watching Guduan pitch just because you see big league stuff on the mound and you just want him to do well so bad."

What would Sean do if he couldn't play baseball? "I'd be a physical therapist. That's what I studied in school and it's definitely my second passion." Having been through a number of injuries himself, McMullen appreciates the experiences he had with his physical therapists, "I just realized that's what I'd want to be if baseball wasn't to work out."

When asked if he could tell me anything about himself that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear, he told me, "I'm actually a stud on the pogo stick. I can do a backflip on the pogo stick."

The one thing that stood out for me in speaking with McMullen is that he will never offer up an excuse. He is the type of player who will get the maximum out of every opportunity and experience, whether it's proving that he belongs on the field or simply just getting to know his fellow players. He knows that he has been given a unique opportunity and he plans to make the most of it.

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

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


Dan the Yoga Man Leaves on a High Note

I know nothing other than this tweet from last night, but wanted to pass it along. I do know that Dan made a lot of friends and fans along the way.

Happy Birthday - 7/15

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Mark Appel (23)
Drafted by Houston as the number one overall draft pick in 2013 out of Stanford, Appel has struggled this season. An off-season emergency appendectomy curtailed his spring activities and he's never really gotten in a groove so far this season. In 10 starts for Lancaster this year, he is 1-4 with a 9.57 ERA and a 1.964 WHIP.

OF Ramon Laureano (20)
Drafted by Houston in the 16th round in 2014 out of Northeast Oklahoma A&M University, Laureano is spending his first professional season with the Greeneville club. In 16 games, he is hitting .189/.283/.245.

LHP Carlos Hiraldo (18)
Signed by Houston as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic, Hiraldo is in his first season with the Dominican Summer League Astros. In nine games (four starts), he has a 4.68 ERA and a 1.560 WHIP.

Several former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

C Dave Adlesh (71)
Adlesh was signed by the Colt .45's as an amateur free agent in 1963 and played a handful of games over six seasons (from 1963 to 1968) for Houston. In 106 games, he hit .168/.227/.199. He was 19 years old when he started playing for the Colt .45's in 1963.

C Kirt Manwaring (49)
A second round pick by the Giants in 1986, Manwaring came to Houston in a July 1996 trade and spent only 37 games as an Astro, hitting .220/.264/.256. With the Giants, he earned a Gold Glove in 1993 and led the National League in caught stealing percentage in 1992 and 1993 with a 50.5% and 45.9% respectively.

RHP Fernando Nieve (32)
An amateur free agent signed out of Venezuela by Houston in 1999, Nieve pitched in 51 games for Houston in 2006 and 2008 before being picked up off waivers by the Mets in March of 2009. In those 51 games (11 starts), he was 3-4 with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.374 WHIP. He once again signed with the Astros in March 2011 but was released a month later. He is currently playing for the Angel's AAA team.

CF Reggie Abercrombie (34)
A 23rd round pick by the Dodgers in 1999, Abercrombie was selected by Houston off waivers from the Marlins in October of 2007. He played in 34 games for Houston in 2008, hitting .309/.339/.539. He has spent the last four seasons playing in the Mexican League and in Independent League ball.

RHP David Carpenter (29)
Originally drafted by the Cardinals in the 12th round in 2006 out of West Virginia University, Carpenter came to Houston in an August 2010 trade with St. Louis for Pedro Feliz. In 65 games for Houston in 2011 and 2012, he was 1-5 with a 4.55 ERA and a 1.709 WHIP. He was included in the 10-player July 2012 trade with the Blue Jays. He is currently pitching for Atlanta.

Tweet of the Day

Monday, July 14, 2014

Astros Minor League Roster Moves/Transactions

A few more moves around the Astros minor leagues today ~

OKLAHOMA CITY
RHP David Martinez optioned from Houston to Oklahoma City

QUAD CITIES
RHP Aaron Vaughn assigned from the GCL to Quad Cities
RHP Frederick Tiburcio assigned from Oklahoma City to Quad Cities

TRI-CITY
LHP Randall Fant assigned from the GCL to Tri-City

GCL
RHP John Gatlin assigned to the GCL (NDFA out of Ole Miss)

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, July 12, 2014

Let's play 2 in Iowa!

Game 1: Iowa 6, Oklahoma City 5

W- Marcos Mateo (1-0)
L- Jason Stoffel (2-3)

OKC home runs: None.

The Redhawks scored the game's first 5 runs, and the Cubs scored the game's final 6 as they took the first game of the twinbill in walk-off fashion.

Preston Tucker opened things up with an RBI single in the 1st. He singled again in the 3rd, and an error allowed Ronald Torreyes to score and also allowed him to advance to 2nd. OKC got 3 in the 4th on an Austin Wates bases-loaded walk and 2 sac flies from Torreyes and Gregorio Petit. Marc Krauss also finished 2-3.

In his AAA debut, Tommy Shirley went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (3-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 2. Jason Stoffel and Kevin Chapman couldn't hold the lead; Stoffel only got 1 out in the 7th and allowed 2 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 3 hits. Chapman did not record an out; he allowed the game-winning hit.

What did game 2 have in store for the RedHawks?

Game 2: Oklahoma City 2, Iowa 1

W- Rudy Owens (5-4)
L- Yoanner Negrin (0-2)
S- Jorge De Leon (1)

OKC home runs: None.

OKC got the split behind a solid night from Rudy Owens.

Owens pitched 6.1 innings and had an inherited runner charged to him on 6 hits, walked 3, and struck out 7. The Cubs spoiled the shutout when Logan Watkins hit an RBI groundout in the bottom of the 7th. De Leon allowed a single and got the final 2 outs of the game.

Krauss hit an RBI single in the 1st to put the RedHawks on the board first. Joe Sclafani scored on a passed ball in the 2nd.

Frisco 6, Corpus Christi 2

W- Jerad Eickhoff (7-6)
L- Brady Rodgers (4-10)
S- Keone Kela (2)

CC home runs: Telvin Nash (12, solo in 7th)

The Hooks had to settle for a split as the Roughriders jumped out to a 5-1 lead and the Hooks were never really in it.

Telvin Nash scored both Hooks runs; he came home on René Garcia's single in the 2nd and drove himself in on a solo shot in the 7th. He and Garcia had 2 hits apiece; the other Corpus hit belonged to Andrew Aplin.

Brady Rodgers went 5 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. R.J. Alaniz threw 2 scoreless and allowed a hit and walked 2. Travis Ballew allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 1 in the 8th.

Lancaster 15, Rancho Cucamonga 3

W- Kent Emanuel (4-3, 4-5 season)
L- Tom Windle (9-5)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks fell behind 3-2 after the 3rd, but they posted a baker's dozen of unanswered runs to finish off the game.

Everyone in the starting 9+1 had a hit except for Jon Kemmer. Roberto Peña kicked things off with an RBI single in the 1st. Jordan Scott drove in another run with a groundout in the 2nd. In the 4th, Jobduan Morales smacked an RBI triple and scored on a sac fly from Scott, who finished 2-4 with a triple and 2 runs scored. Chan-Jong Moon then drew a walk and made his way around the bases by stealing 2nd (3, 28 season) and advancing to 3rd on a wild pitch. Jack Mayfield brought him home with a single.

The JetHawks led 5-3 after the 4th, then proceeded to outscore the Quakes 10-0 in the final third of the game. Rio Ruiz hit a 2-run triple and scored on a sac fly from Conrad Gregor in the 7th. The beatdown was on in the 8th, as they got 3 straight run-scoring doubles. Mayfield and Rio drove in 2 each, and Rio scored on Gregor's two-bagger. Gregor would score when Kemmer reached on an error. Scott's triple came with 1 out in the 9th and he came home on a single from Moon, who finished 4-5 with 4 runs scored. Mayfield finished 3-6, while Rio and Dan Gulbransen had 2 hits apiece.

Matt Heidenreich went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. Kent Emanuel tagged in and threw 4 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 4. Jamaine Cotton struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Wisconsin 9, Quad Cities 8

W- Victor Diaz (3-3)
L- Blaine Sims (1-1, 2-1 season)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits erased an 8-1 deficit only to see the Timber Rattlers break the tie with a run in the bottom of the 8th.

Brett Phillips had a big night as he went 3-4 with 2 doubles and 3 runs scored. One of those doubles, which came in the 5th, brought home a run. Chase McDonald went 2-5 and hit an RBI single in the 4th to put QC on the board. Thomas Lindauer hit an RBI double in the 5th that scored Phillips. McDonald led off the 6th with a double and ended up advancing to 3rd on a passed ball. The next 3 Bandits struck out, which should have ended the inning, but another passed ball allowed McDonald to barrel on home and James Ramsay to reach, extending the inning instead. Ramsay, who made it to 3rd on Brett Phillips' 2nd double of the game, would score on a wild pitch, and then an error allowed Phillips to score and Lindauer to reach. Tyler White went 2-4 and tied the game at 8 with a 2-run double in the 8th.

Jandel Gustave went 3.1 innings and allowed 8 runs (6 earned) on 5 hits, walked 5, and fanned 5. Albert Minnis allowed just l hit, walked 3, and struck out 2 over 3.2 scoreless. Blaine Sims allowed an unearned run and walked 1 in the 8th.

Tri-City 9, Williamsport 5

W- Troy Scribner (4-1)
L- Alejandro Arteaga (1-3)

TC home runs: J.D. Davis (5, solo in 1st)

The ValleyCats had a bit of a scare when the Crosscutters made a big dent in their 6-0 lead with a 4-run 7th. However, they put Williamsport away with 3 in the top of the 8th to go up 9-4.

J.D. Davis opened up the scoring with his homer, which came with 2 outs in the 1st. A.J. Reed then extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a double, and he would score on a single from Nick Tanielu. Terrell Joyce led off the 2nd with a double and scored on Alfredo Gonzalez's single. Davis led off the 3rd with a double and scored on Reed's 2nd double of the evening. Reed would score on Tanielu's 2nd RBI single of the evening. Joyce would score again in the 6th on a single from Bobby Boyd. The 3 runs in the 8th came on an RBI single by Alex Hernandez and a 2-run triple from D.J. Fisher.

Boyd, who also added a steal (6), and Davis had 3 hits apiece. Reed, Tanielu, Joyce, and Gonzalez had 2 hits each.

Troy Scribner was dominant as he allowed just 1 hit, walked 3, and struck out 7 over 6 shutout innings. Raul Rivera got 2 outs in the 7th, 1 via strikeout, but he allowed 3 hits and was tagged with 4 unearned runs. 2 of them scored on a passed ball and in the ensuing argument, TC skipper Ed Romero was shown the door. The other 2 runs that Rivera allowed came on a 2-run double. Derick Velazquez got the ValleyCats out of the inning, but he did allow a solo homer to Aaron Brown in the 8th. He allowed one other hit and struck out 1 in 1.1 innings. Ryan Thompson struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Pulaski 11, Greeneville 10

W- Ugueth Urbina (1-2)
L- Angel Heredia (2-1)
S- Peter Miller (2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros were outgunned in the first of 3 games of  this Appalachian League Championship series rematch. They led 6-0 after the 2nd inning but found themselves on the wrong end of an 11-4 run.

Jake Nottingham opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk in the 1st. One batter later, Ydarqui Marte cleared the bases with a double. Juan Santana led off the bottom of the 2nd with a double and scored on a wild pitch. Nottingham, who went 3-4 with 2 doubles, added an RBI single to his ledger later in the frame. Yonathan Mejia scored on an error in the 5th, and one batter later, Jason Martin smacked a 2-run double. Nottingham's 2nd double of the game drove in a run in the 6th.




Reymin Guduan allowed 7 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 10 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 3.1 innings. Krishawn Holley went 1.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Angel Heredia was next up; he allowed 2 unearned runs, a hit, and walked 3 in 2 innings, and Jorge Perez was the only Greeneville pitcher to emerge unscathed; he walked 2 and fanned 2 over 2 scoreless.


GCL Astros 7, GCL Yankees2 5

W- Harold Arauz (3-0)
L- Elvin Perez (0-1)
S- Aaron Vaughn (3)

GCL home runs: Randy Cesar (1, solo in 5th)

The Kissimmee Stros saw their lead take a hit after the Yankees 2 scored 3 in the bottom of the 7th, but Aaron Vaughn slammed the door.

Harold Arauz pitched 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. J.D. Osborne worked around a couple of walks to throw a scoreless 6th. Alejandro Solarte bore the brunt of the Yankees' attack in the 7th, as he allowed 3 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Vaughn got the 2-inning save in perfect fashion, striking out 2.

Hector Roa opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Cesar's homer led off the 5th inning. In the 6th, Brian Peña hit an RBI single, and Arturo Michelena ripped a 2-run double. They got a pair in the 7th on a sac fly from Edwin Medina and a Cesar force out that scored Dex McCall. Cesar, McCall, and Kristian Trompiz had 2 hits apiece.



DSL Astros Blue 2, DSL Athletics 1

W- Edwin Villarroel (2-2)
L- Reynaldo Hoyos (1-1)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team stole one late as they got their 2 runs in the top of the 9th. Rodrigo Ayarza hit an RBI single that tied the game at 1, and Juan Fuentes put them in the lead by scoring on a wild pitch.

Carlos Hiraldo went 4 innings and allowed an unearned run on 5 hits and struck out 4. Edwin Villarroel threw 5 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 6.

DSL Tigers 15, DSL Astros Orange 10

W- Vijandrick Jacobs (3-2)
L- Yhoan Acosta (2-3)

Orange home runs: Orlando Marquez (1, solo in 8th), Frankeny Fernandez (1, 3-run in 8th)

The Orange team fell into an 8-4 hole after the first third of the game. All of the Tigers' scoring innings had crooked numbers.

Bryan De La Cruz hit a 2-run single in the 1st to get them on the board. He would score on a double from Edgar Lorenzo, who scored on a passed ball. In the 4th, Anardo Peralta scored on a wild pitch. Wilson Amador ripped an RBI double in the 6th. The 2 homers above constituted the scoring in the 8th. Marcos Almonte went 4-4 with 3 runs scored at the top. Fernandez finished 2-3 and added 2 steals, giving him 20 on the season.

Yhoan Acosta only went 2 innings and allowed 6 runs on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Edgardo Sandoval allowed 6 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 7 hits, walked 3, and fanned 4 in 3.1 innings. Abdiel Saldaña went 2.2 and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Starlyn Taveras allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in the 9th.


Results for Sunday, July 13, 2014

Oklahoma City 5, Iowa 2

W- Mike Foltynewicz (7-6)
L- Tsuyoshi Wada (9-6)
S- Kevin Chapman (6)

OKC home runs: Preston Tucker 2 (3, 20 season; solo in 2nd, solo in 6th), Jonathan Villar (1, 6 season; 2-run in 5th)

The RedHawks earned the series split as Tucker and Villar bludgeoned the I-Cubs. OKC will enter the AAA All-Star break 1 game over .500, at 50-49.

Tucker finished 4-4 with 3 runs scored, and his 1st solo shot opened the scoring in the 2nd. After the Cubs took a 2-1 lead heading into the 5th, Villar put the RedHawks back in front with his 2-run blast in the 5th. Tucker was at it again, hitting his 2nd solo homer in the 6th. Jio Mier had the only RBI that wasn't the result of a home run, as he hit an RBI single in the 8th. Austin Wates went 2-5 with a triple and a steal (26).

It's been a bit of a rough month for Mike Foltynewicz, but he was in the saddle in this one. He went 6 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. The bullpen finished with 3 perfect frames. Jorge De Leon struck out 4 over 2, and Kevin Chapman struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th to finish it off.

The AAA All-Star game will take place on Wednesday in Durham, North Carolina.

Corpus Christi 14, Midland 1

W- Chris Devenski (2-0, 7-5 season)
L- Shawn Haviland (5-6)

CC home runs: Ruben Sosa (3, 4 season; solo in 3rd), Tony Kemp (2, 6 season; 2-run in 3rd), Telvin Nash (13, 3-run in 3rd)

The Hooks unleashed hell on the RockHounds and things got really weird, which certainly livened up this laugher a bit. The entire starting 9+1 had a hit and scored a run. Brandon Meredith, who came on for Tony Kemp after Kemp was plunked on the leg, missed out on the party.

René Garcia opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd. Nash then scored on a wild pitch. He, Kemp, and Sosa pretty much decided that this game would end in horrific fashion for Midland as they bludgeoned Shawn Haviland and Blake Hassebrock for homers in the 3rd. Hassebrock plunked Nash to lead off the 5th, which prompted this:


Well, it appears someone had a little too much to drink. Both teams handled the situation rather well, although how on earth did that guy even make it to the mound before anyone intervened? Also, best part of the video was when a Midland player steamrolled the guy 20 seconds in. I might be laughing, but I agree with Hassebrock. It's a good thing that guy wasn't somehow armed.

Kemp also got plunked by Hassebrock in the 5th, which prompted a warning. He brought Nash home in rather painful fashion and ended up leaving the game. No word on his condition yet. Sosa then added a sac fly. The Hooks got 3 more in the 8th as Andrew Aplin scored on an error, Sosa drew a bases-loaded walk, and Delino DeShields hit an RBI single.

Chris Devenski threw 5 shutout innings and allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Colton Cain went 2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 2. He and Keith Bodie both got tossed in the 8th after a breaking ball sailed a little too close to Max Muncy for home plate umpire Lee Meyers' liking. Mitch Lambson came on and worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless frame, striking out 1. Tyson Perez pitched a 1-2-3 9th.

In game 2 of this series, David Rollins will face Chris Jensen at 7:10.

Lancaster 6, Rancho Cucamonga 2

W- Josh Hader (8-1)
L- Chris Anderson (6-6)

Lancaster home runs: Jobduan Morales (3, 3-run in 1st), Jon Kemmer (2, 6 season; 2-run in 4th)

Morales and Kemmer knocked 2013 1st-rounder Anderson around as the JetHawks won their 6th straight.

Jobduan's homer opened the scoring in the 1st, and Kemmer's blast came in the 4th. Morales finished 2-5 and added an RBI single in the 8th. Conrad Gregor and Jordan Scott both went 2-4, while Rio Ruiz finished 3-4 with a double and 2 runs scored.

Josh Hader was strong once again; he went 6 innings and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 7. Zach Morton allowed a run on 2 hits in the 7th, and Dan Minor allowed a hit and struck out 1 over 2 scoreless.

The JetHawks will look for the sweep as Evan Grills will take on Lindsey Caughel at 9:05.



Wisconsin 13, Quad Cities 4

W- Zach Quintana (3-4)
L- Edison Frias (5-5)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos had 13 hits, but they were doomed by 4 errors, which led to 6 unearned Wisconsin runs. An 8-0 hole after the 3rd didn't help matters either.

Chase McDonald went 2-5 with an RBI single in the 4th. Ronnie Mitchell added an RBI double in the 5th. Brett Phillips went 3-4 with 2 doubles; his second one brought home a run in the 8th. Jake Rodriguez finished 2-4 and scored on a wild pitcher later in the inning.

Edison Frias allowed 8 runs (3 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 2.2 innings. Tyler Brunnemann went 2.1 and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 3. Andrew Walter pitched the final 3 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3.

The series finale will begin at 12:05. Blaine Sims will be taking on Barrett Astin, but he pitched on Saturday.


Williamsport 5, Tri-City 0 in 5 innings

W- Matt Imhof (1-0)
L- Francis Ramirez (1-4)

TC home runs: None.

This game was called due to rain. The ValleyCats had 3 singles from D.J. Fisher, Ryan Bottger, and Terrell Joyce.

Francis Ramirez pitched all 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 3 hits (solo and 3-run homers), walked 3, and struck out 4.

In the rubber game of this series, Brandon McNitt will take on David Whitehead. First pitch is at 6:05.

Pulaski 11, Greeneville 6

W- Troy Scott (2-2)
L- Brock Dykxhoorn (1-1)
S- Jarrett Brown (1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

A 7-0 hole proved to be too much to overcome for the Appy Astros. They scored 5 unanswered to make it a 2-run game, but the Mariners put them away with 3 in the 8th.

Juan Santana finished 3-4 with an RBI single in the 5th. One batter later, Sean McMullen added an RBI groundout. Jeffry Santos made his organizational debut and went 2-4 with an RBI ground-rule double in the 6th. Jake Nottingham went 2-5 with a double and an RBI single in the 7th. Santana added a sac fly, and McMullen reached on a force out attempt that resulted in an error which allowed Santos to score.

Brock Dykxhoorn only lasted 1.1 innings and allowed 6 runs on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Keegan Yuhl was the first man out; he allowed a run on 6 hits, walked 1, and fanned 3. Eric Peterson was the only Appy Astros pitcher to emerge unscathed; he threw 2 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 2, and striking out 2. Dean Deetz went 1.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him), a hit, and walked 3. Aaron Greenwood pitched the final 1.2 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 1.

The Appy Astros will look to avoid the sweep tonight at 6:00. Devonte German will take on TBA.