Saturday, October 4, 2014

Happy Birthday - 10/4

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Vincente Sanchez (18)
Signed by the Astros out of the Dominican Republic prior to the 2014 season, Sanchez had a great season before, presumably, being shut down by injury (he only appeared in one game after July 8th). In 32 games for the Dominican Summer League Astros, he hit .281/.390/.479 with three doubles, three triples, five home runs, 30 RBI, seven stolen bases (seven caught stealing) and walked 22 times (to 23 strikeouts).

Several former Astros celebrating birthdays today:

OF Billy Hatcher (54)
Billy Hatcher came to Houston via a trade with the Chicago Cubs for Jerry Mumphrey.  He played for the Astros from 1986 to 1988 and part of 1989, hitting .266 during that time.  His best year offensively for the Astros was 1987 when he hit .296 for the season.  Billy is best remembered by Houston fans for postponing the inevitable.  In Game 6 of the NLCS in 1986, he hit a home run in the 14th inning against the Mets to re-tie the game which the Astros eventually lost in the 16th inning to lose the series.  In 1989, he was traded to Pittsburgh for Glen Wilson and later played for the Reds, the Red Sox, the Phillies and the Rangers.  He is currently the First Base Coach for the Reds.

RHP Don Bradey (80)
Bradey's entire major league career consisted of two and a third innings pitched in three games for the Colt 45's in 1964 with a 19.29 ERA and a 3.857 WHIP. Ouch. In 15 minor league seasons, he was 127-118 with a 3.85 ERA and a 1.410 WHIP.

RHP Joe Boever (54)
Boever came to Houston as a free agent in January of 1992. In 81 games in relief for the Astros that season, he was 2-6 with a 2.51 ERA and 1.329 WHIP and led the league in appearances.

2B Mark McLemore (50)
Originally drafted by the Angels in the ninth round in 1982, McLemore signed as a free agent with the Astros in March 1991. In 21 games for the Astros, he hit .148/.221/.164. Of 19 seasons spent in the major leagues, McLemore spent 18 of them in the American League hitting .260/.351/.343.

OF Chris James (52)
James signed as a free agent with Houston in January of 1993 and appeared in 65 games for the Astros before being traded to the Rangers in September of that year. He hit .256/.333/.488 during his time as an Astro.

MGR Jimy Williams (71)
Williams managed the Astros in 2002, 2003 and part of 2004 and compiled a 215-197 record with Houston. He was preceded by Larry Dierker and followed by Phil Garner.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Arizona Fall League 2014 Season Preview

Friend of the Blog, Wallee Wright, is a long-time Astros fan and Arizona resident who has previously weighed in with his observations about the Arizona Fall League. Today, he gives us his excellent insight into the rapidly approaching AFL season.

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This coming Tuesday, October 7, the Arizona Fall League opens with three teams in each of two divisions competing for a place in the November fifteenth Championship game at Scottsdale Stadium. Our Astros are teamed up with the Arizona D-backs, Minnesota Twins, Colorado Rockies and Miami Marlins in providing players to the Salt River Rafters, and, despite the performance of their parent clubs this past season, they are likely co-favorites with the Mesa Solar Sox to win the Eastern Division title and a trip to the championship game.

In addition to the Astros’ contingent headed up by Mark Appel, Vincent Velasquez and Rio Ruiz the Rafters will include the number one rated prospect in minor league baseball, OF Byron Buxton from the Twins, and number nine overall, RHP Archie Bradley of the Diamondbacks. The Rocks have assigned their second best prospect per MLB.com, twenty-sixth ranked RHP Eddie Butler, giving the Rafters a highly-rated pitching corps to combat the Solar Sox’ hitter-heavy roster. Left-Hand Pitcher Mitch Lambson, RHP Tyson Perez, C Tyler Heineman, and OF Andrew Aplin round out the regular roster contribution of your Astros, with INF Joe Sclafani on the Taxi Squad and eligible to play only on Wednesdays.

The Mesa Solar Sox includes four Top-100 prospects and 18 Top-20 players jointly provided by the Oakland A’s, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, LA Angels and the Washington Nationals. The Angels sent six of their Top-20 prospects and, along with Oakland, appears to have provided the most in the way of top talent and throwing arms to this position-player-heavy team. The Cubs did send former A’s top prospect Addison Russell, the number five rated prospect overall, but only two other Top-20 prospects from their reputed collection of major-league-ready talent.

Notwithstanding the Pittsburg Pirates sending four of their top twenty prospects to the AFL this year the balance of the Scottsdale Scorpion roster provided by the Mets, Yankees, Phillies and Giants does not appear to be a threat to take home the divisional title. This theory will be tested early as the Scorpions travel to Salt River Fields at The Talking Stick Resort (whew!) to take on our Rafters on opening day.

In the Eastern Division the Surprise Saguaros appear to be loaded with five Top-100 prospects shipped in by the Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and San Diego Padres, with the Boston Red Sox making a lesser contribution to fill out the roster. Though the Saguaros appear light on pitching their position players should reflect the historically offensive-minded character of the Reds, Rangers and Red Sox.

Joining the Surprise (that is a town here in the Valley of the Sun, not an opinion) team in the east are the Glendale Desert Dogs and the Peoria Javelinas. The Desert Dogs look to live up to their name as the Dodgers, Brewers, White Sox, Tigers and Orioles showed no apparent interest in contributing their top talent as only two players on the roster are Top-100 prospects … though one of those players is the younger brother of Astro-killer Kyle Seager, Dodger High-A hitting machine Corey Seager.

The Javelinas are only modestly better stocked if prospect ratings are to be believed though Kansas City did its best to load them up by providing two of the Top-100 and five of their own Top-20 prospects. Cleveland included their top prospect, infielder Francisco Lindor, but St Louis, Atlanta and Tampa Bay did little to improve the quality of the Peoria roster.

So the East-West Championship game could shape up to be a test of the old axiom that ‘pitching wins titles’ if the Salt River Rafters do meet the Surprise Saguaros in a one-game finale in November. Of course there’s another homily about championships being won on the field, not on paper so I suppose we’ll have to go ahead and play 30-plus games over the next six weeks to determine the 2014 Arizona Fall League Champion. Go Astros … I mean Rafters.

Submitted by WTHB's Arizona correspondent, Wallee Wright.

Happy Birthday - 10/3

Happy Birthday to ~

3B Cesar Carrasco (21)
Carrasco was originally signed by the Diamondbacks out of the Dominican Republic and came to Houston in the July 2014 trade with that organization in exchange for LHP Alex Sogard. In 35 games with the Greeneville Astros after the trade, Carrasco hit .228/.326/.325 with nine doubles and a home run.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

3B/C Eric Munson (37)
Originally drafted by the Tigers in the first round in 1999, Munson signed with Houston as a free agent in December 2005. In 103 games for Houston in 2006 and 2007, he hit .216/.291/.352.

RHP Jack Lamabe (died December 21, 2007 at 71)
Lamabe came to Houston from the Red Sox in a September 1965 trade and left less then three months later in a trade to the White Sox. In between, he pitched in three games (two starts) for the Astros, going 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.579 WHIP. Lamabe got his World Series ring pitching for St. Louis in 1967.

RHP Bert Roberge (60)
A 17th round draft pick for Houston in 1976, Roberge pitched for the Astros in 1979, 1980 and 1982, compiling a 6-2 record, 3.73 ERA and 1.293 WHIP in 62 appearances out of the bullpen.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

An Update on the 2012 Astros Draft Class

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to look back at some of the Astros draft classes and see where things stand. First up, I wanted to see how General Manager Jeff Luhnow's first class is faring. Let's look at the numbers:

41 players drafted
31 players signed
21 players still in the Astros system

22 position players drafted/17 signed/13 still in the system
3 from high school/3 signed/3 still in the system
2 from junior college/2 signed/2 still in the system
14 from college/12 signed/8 still in the system

19 pitchers drafted/16 signed/8 still in the system
1 from high school/1 signed/1 still in the system
2 from junior college/2 signed/0 still in the system
12 from college/11 signed/7 still in the system

Of the 10 no longer in the system, one was traded, seven were released and two retired. Of the seven who were released, four played Indy Ball in 2014 and the other three appear to be out of organized baseball.

Here is a little on each of them. Active Astros players are in bold. The position shown is the position at which the player was drafted, and I have also indicated in parentheses whether they were drafted out of high school (HS), junior college (JC) or college (C).

1. SS Carlos Correa (HS)

Correa had a terrific season with High A Lancaster and was poised for a promotion to Corpus Christi when his season was ended as he suffered a broken femur on June 21st. Prior to that, he hit .325/.416/.510 in 62 games.

1s. RHP Lance McCullers (HS)

McCullers, who turns 21 today, started off his season in Lancaster quite nicely with his 2.51 ERA and 1.151 WHIP in his first seven appearances (four starts) in April, but had a bit of an up-and-down season after that, ending his season with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.557 WHIP in 25 games (18 starts).

2. SS Nolan Fontana (C)

Fontana also had an incomplete for the season. He played in 66 games at AA Corpus Christi before hitting the DL in late June, where he remained for the rest of the season. In those 66 games, he hit .262/.418/.376 and played 41 games at second base.

3. RHP Brady Rodgers (C)

Rodgers made all but one of his appearances with Corpus Christi (making a very successful spot start in AAA Oklahoma City in early August as well). In 27 games (18 starts), he had a 4.55 ERA and a 1.239 WHIP.

4. 3B Rio Ruiz (HS)

Ruiz quietly went about having a very consistent season with Lancaster in 2014, hitting .293/.387/.436 over 131 games.

5. OF Andrew Aplin (C)

Aplin split his season between Corpus Christi (98 games) and Oklahoma City (28 games), hitting .265/.372/.345 combined.

6. OF Brett Phillips (HS)

Fully healthy for the entire season, Phillips had a breakout year, resulting in his being named the Astros Minor League Player of the Year. In 130 games (103 with Low A Quad Cities and 27 with High A Lancaster), he hit .310/.375/.529.

7. OF Preston Tucker (C)

Tucker received his promotion to Oklahoma City after playing in 65 games for Corpus Christi. In a combined 138 games, he hit .282/.352/.481.

8. C Tyler Heineman (C)

Heineman spent his season with Corpus Christi, appearing in 78 games (70 behind the dish). He hit .242/.332/.332 and had a robust 46% caught stealing rate.

9. RHP Daniel Minor (C)

Minor fully transitioned to the bullpen in 2014, making all 36 appearances for Lancaster this season in relief. He ended the season with a 9-3 record, 3 saves, a 4.25 ERA and a 1.302 WHIP. One of those saves came as he pitched the final inning of a no-hitter in May.

10. LHP Joe Bircher (C) - released

Released prior to the 2014 season, Bircher played independent ball with the Sioux Falls Canaries in the American Association in 2014. He had a 4.37 ERA and a 1.477 WHIP in 18 starts.

11. LHP Hunter Virant (HS) - did not sign

Virant went to UCLA and missed all of 2014 due to injury.

12. OF Terrell Joyce (JC)

Joyce spent his 2014 season with Short Season A Tri-City where he hit .231/.309/.495 in 53 games.

13. LHP Brian Holmes (C)

Holmes toiled in the California League for the entire season, putting up a 5-2 record (with two saves), a 4.53 ERA and a 1.248 WHIP in 20 games (10 starts).

14. SS Joe Sclafani (C)

Sclafani played in 98 games between Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City in 2014. He hit .315/.384/.405 and played 54 games at second base, 31 games at third base and 13 games at DH.

15. RHP Erick Gonzalez (JC) - released

Gonzalez also played Indy Ball with the Sioux Falls team in 2014. In 13 bullpen appearances, he had a 6.75 ERA and a 1.821 WHIP.

16. OF Dan Gulbransen (C) - retired

Gulbransen retired from baseball in mid-July. He had been playing for the Lancaster team.

17. RHP Aaron West (C)

West spent much of his season on the DL. In 10 games (8 starts) between Corpus Christi and a Gulf Coast League rehab assignment, he had a 4.72 ERA and a 1.252 WHIP.

18. C Ricky Gingras (C)

Gingras played in 46 games for the Tri-City team, hitting .252/.309/.361. He played first base for 18 games, caught in nine games and DH'd for the remainder of his games.

19. 2B Austin Elkins (C)

Elkins missed about six weeks of his season on the DL, but played in 26 games at Quad Cities and 36 games at Lancaster, hitting a combined .254/.369/.340.

20. LHP Michael Clark (C) - did not sign

Clark continued to play with Kent State. In 2014 he was a Red Shirt Senior and had a 1.07 ERA and a 0.993 WHIP in 16 games (three starts). He signed with the Texas Rangers as a non-drafted free agent this summer and pitched only six innings over seven games, last appearing on July 31st.

21. OF Marc Wik (JC)

Wik played a couple of fill-in games with both Corpus Christi and Lancaster before starting his season in earnest with Tri-City in June. After 12 games there, he was promoted to Quad Cities for the rest of the season. In a combined 75 games, he hit .248/.340/.400.

22. LHP Kenny Long (C) - released

Kenny Long was the third member of this draft class who played with the Sioux Falls Canaries in 2014. He appeared in 40 games and had a 3.76 ERA and a 1.377 WHIP.

23. RHP Travis Ballew (C)

Ballew started and ended his season with Corpus Christi with a brief side trip to the GCL in between. In 44 bullpen appearances, he was 6-3 with five saves, a 5.23 ERA and a 1.726 WHIP.

24. SS Pat Blair (C) - did not sign

Blair went back to Wake Forest in 2013 and was subsequently drafted by the Rays in the 12th round last year. He hit .252/.341/.344 in 2014 for the Rays full season Low A team.

25. SS Ryan Dineen (C) - released

Dineen played for two seasons and was released prior to the 2014 season. He appears to be out of organized baseball.

26. SS C.J. Hinojosa (HS) - did not sign

Hinojosa went on to attend the University of Texas. In 2014, he hit .298/.373/.376 for the Longhorns.

27. OF Tanner Mathis (C) - did not sign

Mathis did not sign with the Astros when he was first drafted by them in 2012, but subsequently signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2013. In 76 games split between Quad Cities and Lancaster in 2014, he hit .259/.362/.371.

28. 3B Angel Ibanez (C) - released

Ibanez played in the system for two seasons and was released prior to the 2014 season. He also appears to be out of organized baseball.

29. RHP Christian Garcia (JC) - released

Garcia was released prior to the 2014 season and played briefly for the Winnipeg Goldeyes independent league team this year. He is still pursuing a career in organized baseball.

30. RHP John Neely (C) - retired

Neely retired from baseball in July 2013.

31. C M. P. Cokinos (C)

Cokinos played in 60 games for Corpus Christi this season, hitting .271/.305/.320. He only caught in two games, and spent 33 games at DH and 20 games at first base.

32. LHP Tyler Manez (HS) - did not sign

Manez went on to play for Elon University Phoenix. In 10 games (five starts) in 2014, he had a 6.52 ERA and a 1.655 WHIP.

33. RHP Mike Hauschild (C)

Hauschild started his season with Lancaster and was promoted to Corpus Christi in mid-May. In a combined 28 games (20 starts), he had a 4.32 ERA and a 1.268 WHIP.

34. RHP Jordan Jankowski (C)

Jankowski started his season for Corpus Christi in the bullpen, but earned a rotation spot by late May. In 30 games (14 starts), he had a 3.58 ERA and a 1.074 WHIP. In August, he had a 1.35 ERA and a 0.650 WHIP with three walks to 33 strikeouts in 20 innings.

35. C Jimmy Sinatro (HS) - did not sign

The son of then Astros Catching Coordinator Matt Sinatro, Jimmy went on to attend Gonzaga where he hit .286/.380/.350 in 2014.

36. 3B Mike Martinez (C) - released

Martinez played for two seasons and was released prior to the 2014 season. He is currently out of organized baseball and is pursuing his EMS certification.

37. RHP Michael Dimock (C) - traded

Dimock was traded to the Padres organization in June 2014 for RHP Miguel Severino. After the trade, Dimock had a 3.64 ERA and a 1.315 WHIP in 23 bullpen appearances.

38. 3B Zach Remillard (HS) - did not sign

Remillard hit .259/.318/.368 for Coastal Carolina University in 2014.

39. RHP Mitchell Traver (HS) - did not sign

Traver pitched only one-third of an inning for TCU in 2014.

40. RHP Josesph Shaw (HS) - did not sign

In 26 games (three starts) for Dallas Baptist University in 2014, Shaw had a 2.96 ERA and a 1.079 WHIP.

Happy Birthday - 10/2

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Lance McCullers (21)
A first round supplemental pick by Houston in 2012, McCullers spent his entire 2014 season pitching in the not-so-friendly California League. In 25 games (18 starts) for Lancaster, he was 3-6 with a 5.47 ERA and a 1.557 WHIP. He struck out 115 batters while walking 56 in 97 innings pitched.

Two former Astros mark the day as well ~

3B Oswaldo Navarro (30)
Originally signed as a NDFA out of Venezuela by the Mariners in 2001, Navarro came to the Astros organization as a free agent in 2009.  He appeared in 14 games with the Astros in 2010 and had one hit and five walks in 20 at-bats.

SS/3B Ernie Riles (54)
A third round draft pick by Milwaukee in 1981, Riles came to Houston as a free agent in January 1992. In 39 games for the Astros, he hit .262/.281/.328.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Birthday - 10/1

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Junior Garcia (19)
Signed as an NDFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2013, Garcia spent the vast majority of his season with the GCL Astros, making one appearance in Tri-City as well. In 13 games (eight starts), he had a 2.89 ERA and a 1.534 WHIP.

3B Colin Moran (22)
Originally drafted by the Marlins in the 1st round (6th overall) in 2013, Moran came to the Astros organization in the July 2014 trade that sent Jarred Cosart, Kiké Hernandez and Austin Wates to Miami. In his first 89 games of the season with the Marlins High A affiliate, Moran hit .294/.342/.393. After the trade, he hit .304/.350/.411 with the AA Corpus Christi Hooks. For the season, he collected 27 doubles, 7 home runs and 55 RBI.

One former Astro celebrates the day as well ~

3B Chris Johnson (30)
Drafted by Houston in the fourth round in 2006, Johnson played for the Astros starting in 2009 and ending with his trade to the Diamondbacks in July of 2012. In 304 games, he had a .274/.314/.421 batting line with 64 doubles, eight triples and 26 home runs, 8 of which were in the 2012 season prior to the trade. In January 2013, he was traded to the Braves and was second in the National League in batting average that season (.321/.358/.457). In 2014, he hit .263/.292/.361.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Birthday - 9/30

Happy Birthday to ~

IF Jack Mayfield (24)
A product of the University of Oklahoma program, Mayfield signed with Houston as a non-drafted free agent in 2013. He split his 2104 season with the Astros between Quad Cities (39 games) and Lancaster (66 games). Between the two venues, he hit .282/.341/.440 with 31 doubles. two triples, nine home runs and 55 RBI.

A few former Astros mark the day as well ~

RHP Robin Roberts (died May 6, 2010 at age 83)
Roberts came to Houston as a free agent in August 1965 and pitched in 23 games (22 starts) for the Astros in 1965 and 1966. Roberts compiled an 8-7 record with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.146 WHIP. His best years were those spent with the Phillies for whom he was an All-Star in seven straight seasons. An astounding statistic in this day and age is that of Roberts' 609 career starts, 305 of them were complete games. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.

3B/1B Dave Magadan (52)
Originally drafted by the Mets in the second round in 1983, Magadan signed with Houston as a free agent in April 1995. In 127 games for the Astros that season, Magadan hit a rather healthy .313/.428/.399 with 24 doubles and 71 walks. He is currently the hitting coach for the Rangers.

RHP Jose "Lima Time" Lima (died May 23, 2010 at age 37)
Lima came to the Houston organization in a December 1996 trade with Detroit and pitched for the Astros from 1997 until he was traded back to Detroit in a June 2001 trade. In 167 games (111 starts) for Houston, he was 46-42 with a 4.77 ERA and a 1.328 WHIP. He had his greatest success for Houston in 1998 and his All-Star season of 1999 when he went 21-10 in his 35 starts.

LHP Yorkis Perez (47)
Perez came to Houston in a March 2000 trade with the Phillies for LHP Trever Miller and pitched in 33 games for the Astros with a 2-1 record, a 5.16 ERA and a 1.721 WHIP.

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Astros 2014 Season: I Told You So ...

Back on April 25th, the Astros were 7-17 and the Astros fan base was in collective freakout mode. There was much wailing, gnashing of teeth and rending of garments. The loss that night was a particularly ugly one with three Astros errors and a bullpen implosion of epic proportions in which a 5-5 tie going into the ninth inning became a 12-5 loss when the ninth inning was, at last, mercifully complete.

The next day I posted one of my "soapboxes" in which I posited the following:
No matter how good a team is, and the Astros certainly cannot be categorized as a good team of late, they are going to have almost shockingly bad games from time to time. But as Astros fans, we have been conditioned over the last three seasons to expect those shockingly bad games. And we have been conditioned to respond, "Here we go again," when they happen. No longer do we think, "Oh, that's just a blip on the radar screen." We think that a flaming Hindenburg is going to crash onto the deck of a sinking Titanic and the whole fiery mess is going to be swept up by a Category 5 hurricane and deposited at the corner of Crawford and Texas. Even when the Astros do start playing well, every stunningly bad game that they have will provoke this response in Astros fans as surely as Pavlov's dogs looking for dinner. 
I went on to say that I felt confident that the Astros would play better than their rough start indicated, and that we, the fans, would start seeing incremental improvements in the team's play.

One commenter had this to say to me, "Feeling pretty silly about your 71 win prediction, aren't ya? Another 100 losses is in the cards."

After scraping myself off the ceiling for basically being referred to as a "silly" girl, I engaged in a little back and forth with Mr. Commenter. After saying that I stood by my prediction and that 24 or 25 games was too early to make any sweeping generalizations about the season, Mr. Commenter game back with this, "Going 71-91 translates to .432. We are currently a .280 team [the Astros were actually .292 after 24 games]. Getting to 71 wins from our current record would require a .468 clip the rest of the way [actually .464, but why pick nits?]. Going .468 is generally not much to ask. This very poor start make [sic] even that look like a bridge too far."

Well, he was right. The Astros only went .457 the rest of the way and my prediction of 71-91 fell far short of the actual final record of 70-92. Silly me.

In any event, Astros fans did finally climb down from the ledge and start to enjoy the season. There were still some rocky stretches from time to time, but overall, it was a fun season to watch as eight more players made their major league debuts and more established players such as Dallas Keuchel and Jose Altuve soared to new heights. Collin McHugh and George Springer showed us the promise of things to come and Chris Carter came into his own. There were a lot of positives to take away from the season.

Even without knowing who will manage the team in 2015, how the roster will be constructed, who will come and who will go, I can already tell you a few things. There will continue to be growing pains at times. The team will occasionally have a monumentally bad game. There will be bullpen implosions from time to time. At least one rookie will have a bad start that will have "fans" calling for his head in April. And the Astros will get that much closer to contending, and contending for a long time to come. At some point, it won't be baby steps any longer; it will be a giant leap to viability. And, hopefully, at some point, Astros fans will be conditioned to expect the best and not the worst.

Oh, and I do have one last thing to say to Mr. Commenter. Nanny Nanny Boo Boo. (I never said that I was mature.)

Happy Birthday - 9/29

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

LHP Jim Crawford (64)
A 14th round draft pick by Houston in 1972, Crawford pitched in 92 games for the Astros in 1973 and 1975. In those games, he was 5-9 with 10 saves, a 4.02 ERA and a 1.474 WHIP. Crawford was traded to the Tigers in December 1975. According to Baseball-Reference, his first plate appearance came four days after his pitching debut in 1973 and resulted in a walk-off double in extra innings against the Dodgers.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Happy Birthday - 9/28

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

1B Dick Gernert (86)
Drafted from the Reds in the 1961 expansion draft, Gernert played for the Colt 45's in 1962 at the end of his major league career. In 10 games for Houston, he hit .208/.345/.208.

PH Gene Ratliff (69)
Ratliff had our at-bats in four games for the Colt 45's in 1965 and that one hit in the majors eluded him.

RHP Charlie Kerfeld (51)
A first round pick by Houston in 1982, Kerfeld pitched for Houston from 1985 to 1987 and again in 1990. In 98 appearances (six starts), he was 15-8 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.474 WHIP. His best season was by far the 1986 season when he was 11-2 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.206 WHIP in 61 appearances out of the bullpen. Kerfeld, along with Larry Andersen and Dave Smith, was one of the Astros coneheads back in the day.

C Ronn Reynolds (56)
A fifth round pick by the Mets in 1980, Reynolds came to Houston in an April 1987 trade with the Phillies. In 38 games, he hit .167/.189/.235. Reynolds was also a catcher for the fictional Sidd Finch.

C/PH Hector Gimenez (32)
Gimenez played in two games for Houston in 2006 and didn't get a hit in his two at-bats. Five years later, he would get his first major league hit for the Dodgers. He last played in the minors for the Brewers in 2014.

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