Saturday, November 29, 2014

Happy Birthday - 11/29

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Dean Deetz (21)
Drafted by Houston in the 11th round in 2014 out of Northeast Oklahoma A&M College, Deetz played his first season for the Rookie League Greeneville Astros. In 13 games (five starts), he had a 8.88 ERA and a 1.934 WHIP.

Three former Astros also celebrate ~

LHP Pedro Martinez (46)
Martinez came to Houston in a December 1994 trade with the Padres and pitched in 25 games for the Astros in 1995 with a 7.40 ERA and a 2.177 WHIP. In two seasons with the Padres he was 6-3 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.301 WHIP in 80 appearances.

LF Mike Easler (64)
A 14th round pick by Houston in 1969, Easler had precisely one hit for the Astros in 29 plate appearances spread over 26 games from 1973 to 1975 before being traded to the Cardinals in June 1975. He went on to have a successful career playing for Pittsburgh, Boston, the Yankees and Philadelphia compiling a career batting line of .293/.349/.454. He was an All-Star for the Pirates in 1981.

SS Jason Alfaro (37)
Originally drafted by Houston in the 22nd round in 1997, Alfaro's entire major league career consisted of 12 plate appearances over seven games for the Astros in 2004, hitting .182. In nine minor league seasons, he hit .273/.318/.407.

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Happy Birthday - 11/28

Happy Birthday ~

RHP Derick Velazquez (21)
Drafted by Houston in the 7th round out of California State University Fresno, Velazquez had a very successful inaugural season with the Tri-City team. In 18 appearances out of the bullpen, he was 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA, a 0.857 WHIP and two saves. He walked only two batters and struck out 24 in 23 innings of work.

Two former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

1B/OF Jim Fuller (64)
A second round pick by the Orioles in 1970, Fuller came to Houston as a free agent in November 1976. In 34 games for the Astros in 1977, he hit .160/.243/.280. In nine seasons in the minors, he hit .254/.351/.505.

RHP Pedro Astacio (46)
Astacio came to Houston in a July 2001 trade with the Rockies for Scott Elarton. In four starts for the Astros that season he was 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA and 1.186 WHIP.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Birthday - 11/27

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Luis Ramirez (19)
An international free agent out of Venezuela, Ramirez saw his first professional action in 2014 for the Dominican Summer League Astros. In seven appearances out of the bullpen, he was 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA, a 1.019 WHIP and two saves.

These former Astros also celebrate the day ~

LHP Raul Valdes (37)
Originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2004, the Cuban born Valdes was claimed by Houston off waivers from the Phillies in October 2013. He appeared in eight games for Houston in 2014 with forgettable results before being traded to the Blue Jays in May. He is currently a free agent.

RHP Dave Giusti (75)
Giusti was signed by Houston as an amateur free agent in 1961 and pitched for the Colt .45's in 1962 and 1964 and for the Astros in 1965 to 1968. In 176 games (118 starts), he had a 47-53 record with a 4.02 ERA and 1.284 WHIP. His best seasons were with the Pirates in the early to mid-70's. He had one All-Star appearance and won one World Series while with Pittsburgh.

C Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez (43)
Rodriguez signed with Houston as a free agent in March 2009. In 93 games for Houston that season, he hit .251/.280/.382 and had a 32% caught stealing rate. In August of 2009, he was traded to the Rangers for Matt Nevarez and Jose Vallejo. Rodriguez was an All-Star 14 times while playing with Texas and Detroit as well as a 13-time Gold Glove winner and a 7-time Silver Slugger. He was the American League MVP in 1999 for Texas. He won his only World Series for the Marlins in 2003.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Caracas 10, Caribes 5

Nestor Tejada appeared as a pinch-hitter for the Little Lions in the 7th. He struck out, and then remained in the game at RF.

Caracas will take on Bravos at 11:00 AM Venezuelan time.


Toros 9, Escogido 0

Teoscar Hernandez entered the game as a defensive replacement in the 5th to play CF. He finished 1-2 and ripped a 3-run homer in the 7th which was effectively the final nail in Escogido's coffin. That was 2nd homer of the Dominican campaign.

In a battle for 2nd, Toros will take on √Āguilas. First pitch is at 7:30 Atlantic.

√Āguilas 4, Licey 3

The difference here was a 3-2 3rd inning in favor of √Āguilas. Jonathan Villar finished 1-2 with a walk and a run scored, and for Licey, Domingo Santana went 0-3.

As for Licey, they'll face Gigantes at 7:30 Atlantic.


Jalisco 11, Obregón 2

Leo Heras finished 2-4 with an RBI single in the 9th and 2 runs scored as Jalisco turned a 2-1 deficit in to a laugher by scoring the game's final 10 runs.

The series continues at 7:30 Mountain.


Santurce 4, Caguas 3 in 12 innings

Delino DeShields finished 1-6 with a stolen base (6) for Santurce.

These two teams will play again in Caguas at 7:30 Atlantic.

Mayag√ľez 12, Carolina 2

Carlos Corpor√°n got the start behind the plate for Carolina and went 0-3 with a strikeout. Jobduan Morales entered the game to play 1B in the 8th and struck out in his only plate appearance.

Carolina will be at home to take on San Juan. First pitch is at 7:30 Atlantic.

Happy Birthday - 11/26

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

RHP Jeff Fulchino (35)
An eighth round pick by the Marlins in 2002, Fulchino came to Houston from Kansas City as a waiver claim in December 2008. In 147 games for the Astros from 2009 to 2011, he was 9-9 with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.380 WHIP.

RHP Mike Mendoza (59)
A fifth round pick by the Astros in 1973, Mendoza got his cup of coffee in 1979 and it was a perfect brew - one perfect inning pitched in one game.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Astros Free Agent Landing Spots

A few more of our Astros have flown the nest and found other homes via free agency. According to Baseball America's minor league free agent tracker:

RHP Jose Cisnero - Reds
RHP Paul Clemens - Phillies
1B Jesus Guzman - Hiroshima Carp
RHP David Martinez - Rangers
LHP Rudy Owens - Athletics
LHP Patrick Urckfitz - Marlins

In addition, Evan Drellich of The Houston Chronicle reported today that C Rene Garcia has also been signed by the Phillies. I wish each and every one of them the best.

I've updated my ongoing off-season transaction list with the latest.

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Sunday, November 23, and Monday, November 24, 2014


Sunday: Lara 6, Caracas 4

Leones del Caracas: Danry V√°squez finished 1-3 with an RBI single in the 8th and scored a run.

Caracas will be back in action tomorrow as they'll be in Aragua.


Results from Sunday

Licey 7, √Āguilas 2

Licey took control with a 6-run 6th. Domingo Santana delivered the big hit in the inning as he drove in 2 with a double. Domingo finished 2-4 with 2 runs scored.

Jonathan Villar finished 0-3 with a walk for √Āguilas.

Escogido 5, Toros 4

Teoscar Hernandez entered as a pinch-runner for Toros in the 8th. He remained in the game at CF and did not appear at the plate.

Results from Monday

Estrellas 6, Gigantes 5

Estrellas walked off with the win after scoring 4 in the bottom of the 9th. Jandel Gustave was the first man out of the bullpen for Gigantes and worked 2 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and striking out 2.

All 6 teams in the Dominican will be playing each other again tonight.


Results from Sunday

Jalisco 2, Mexicali 1

Charros de Jalisco: Leo Heras finished 1-4.

Mazatl√°n 8, Culiac√°n 6

Mazatl√°n scored 4 in the bottom of the 9th to get the victory.

Gonzalo Sa√Īudo was Culiac√°n's 3rd reliever; he got 2 outs in the 8th, allowing an unearned run, a hit, walking 1, and striking out 1.

Today, Jalisco will begin a series in Obregón, while Culiacán hosts Navojoa. Both games will start at 7:30 Mountain.


Results from Sunday

Caguas 4, Santurce 0

Cangrejeros de Santurce: The Crabbers were blanked by Logan Williamson, who allowed 4 hits as he went the distance for Caguas. Delino DeShields finished 0-4.

Mayag√ľez 2, San Juan 0

San Juan was held to 3 hits. Nolan Fontana was 0-3 with a strikeout.

Results from Monday

Carolina 7, Santurce 6

Santurce very nearly erased their 7-2 deficit. Very nearly. Delino DeShields went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts.

As for Carolina, Carlos Corpor√°n went 2-4 with 2 runs scored. Both of his hits were doubles, and one of them drove in a run in the 4th.

Tonight, Santurce will host Caguas, while Carolina will be on the road to face Mayag√ľez. Both games will take place at 7:30 Atlantic.

Happy Birthday - 11/25

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Erasmo Pinales (20)
Pinales, an international free agent from the Dominican Republic, pitched only 2/3 of an inning in 2013, but made up for it in his first real season of play in 2014. In 15 games (14 starts) in the Dominican Summer League, Pinales was 3-1 with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.949 WHIP. He walked 18 batters and struck out 63 in 71.2 innings of work.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

RF/3B/2B Jimmy Paredes (26)
Originally from the Dominican Republic and signed by the Yankees as a non-drafted free agent in 2006, Jimmy Paredes came to the Astros organization in the Lance Berkman trade in 2010. In 118 games spread over 2011 through 2013, Paredes hit .234/.274/.311. After being claimed off waivers by the Marlins, Orioles and Royals, the Orioles reacquired him in July 2014.

1B Rafael Batista (died October 25, 2008 at age 62)
Batista was drafted from Atlanta in the minor league draft in November 1967. In 22 games for Houston in 1973 and 1975, he hit .280/.308/.320. After his time with the Astros, Batista played in the Mexican League for nine seasons.

RHP John Johnstone (46)
Originally drafted by the Mets in the 20th round in 1987, Johnstone signed as a free agent with the Astros in December 1995. In nine appearances for the Astros in 1996, he had a 5.54 ERA and a 1.692 WHIP. His best seasons were for the Giants in 1998 and 1999 when he had a 2.87 ERA and a 1.158 WHIP in 132 appearances.

RHP Octavio Dotel (41)
Dotel came to Houston from the Mets in a December 1999 trade and pitched for the Astros from 2000 to 2004. In 302 appearances, he was 22-24 with a 3.24 ERA, 1.169 WHIP and 42 saves. Dotel went to Oakland in a three-team trade in June 2004 that brought Carlos Beltran to the Astros. Dotel played for a total of 13 teams over 15 seasons.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Baseball America Astros Top 10 Prospect List

Unfortunately, no time for analysis or reflection, but here is BA's Top 10 Astros Prospect List "hot off the presses." Enjoy!

Happy Birthday - 11/24

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Francis Martes (19)
Originally signed by the Marlins out of the Dominican Republic, Martes came to the Houston organization as a part of the July 2014 trade that sent Jarred Cosart, Kiké Hernandez and Austin Wates to Miami. In his second professional season with the Gulf Coast League, he had a combined (between the Miami and Astros system) 4.09 ERA and 1.295 WHIP. For the GCL Astros, he had a 0.84 ERA and a 0.727 WHIP in four appearances (three starts).

One former Astro celebrates the day as well ~

RHP George Throop (64)
A 16th round pick by the Royals in 1972, Throop came to Houston in an April 1979 trade. In 14 games for the Astros that season, he had a 3.22 ERA and a 1.559 WHIP.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Astros Fall and Winter League Recaps

Results for Saturday, November 22, 2014


Brisbane Bandits 7, Adelaide Bite 2

Adelaide was thwarted in its bid for a sweep. Chan-Jong Moon went 0-2 with 2 walks and a strikeout.

Next weekend, the Bite will be in the capital, Canberra for 4 against the Cavalry. The first game will be played on Thanksgiving. No, Australians don't celebrate Thanksgiving. That what my aunt told me.


Tiburones de La Guaira 6, Leones del Caracas 4

L.J. Hoes got the start in CF and went 1-4 for the capital club, while Danry V√°squez entered the game as a defensive replacement in the 7th and struck out in his only plate appearance.

In the early game today, Caracas will host Lara at 4:00 Venezuelan time.


Toros del Este 4, Tigres del Licey 3

Teoscar Hernandez appeared as a pinch-runner in the 7th and came around to score. Toros put up 3 in that inning to turn a 3-1 deficit into what turned out to be the final score.

Toros will take on Escogido at 5:00 Atlantic.

Estrellas del Oriente 3, √Āguilas Cibae√Īas 1

Jonathan Villar went 1-4 with a couple of Ks for √Āguilas, who will be in the capital to take on Licey. First pitch is also at 5:00 Atlantic.


√Āguilas de Mexicali 10, Charros del Jalisco 4

Leo Heras had a double in 4 at-bats for Jalisco. They scored first, but Mexicali responded with 10 runs that were left unanswered until the 9th.

Jalisco and Mexicali will wrap up their series at 3:00 Pacific.


Both games on the slate for Saturday were rained out. Today, Caguas will host Santurce, while San Juan takes on Mayag√ľez. Both games are scheduled for 4:15 Atlantic.

Happy Birthday - 11/23

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

RHP John Anderson (died December 20, 1998 at age 69)
Obtained from the Cardinals in a May 1962 trade with St. Louis, Anderson pitched in 10 games for the Colt .45's in 1962 with a 5.09 ERA and a 1.642 WHIP.

OF Colin Porter (39)
A 17th round draft pick by the Astros in 1998, Porter played in 24 games for Houston in 2003, hitting .188/.212/.188. He was claimed off waivers by St. Louis in January 2004 and hit .314/.314/.429 in 23 games for the Cardinals that year. He went on to play in the Yankees and Diamondbacks organizations in 2005, but never made it back to the bigs.

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