Thursday, September 3, 2015

Astros Daily Farm Report - 9/3

Everything you need to know from down on the farm ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ...

C Brandon Benavente (18)
Benavente was born September 3, 1997 in Caracas, Venezuela and signed with the Astros in July 2014. He played his first season for the Dominican Summer League Astros Orange team in 2015.

Keep up with the latest Astros minor league roster moves here.

In case you missed it, my Astros Minor League Players of the Month for August.

And the Astros announced their Minor League Players of the Month for each affiliate.

STANDINGS, RESULTS AND LAGNIAPPE

FRESNO

Record: 1st 81-57 -.-GB W1 (Clinched playoff berth; clinched division title)

Wednesday's Game: Fresno 3 over Albuquerque 0
Luis Cruz, along with relievers Travis Ballew and Jordan Jankowski, completed a 5-hit shutout in a crisp 2 hours and 17 minutes. The win tied the Grizzlies previous high franchise win total with five games left to play.

Playoff Picture: Fresno's first two playoff games in the best-of-five Conference series will be at home on Wednesday, September 9th and Thursday, September 10th. The next three games (if three are necessary) will take place at the home ballpark of the PCL Pacific Southern Division winner from Friday the 11th through Sunday the 13th. But we still don't know who Fresno will face in that series. The Las Vegas 51's are currently only a half game ahead of the El Paso Chihuahuas in the Southern Division.

CORPUS CHRISTI

Record: 1st 85-50 -.-GB W2 (Clinched playoff berth; clinched first half title)

Wednesday's Game: Corpus Christi 5 over Frisco 0
Martes (6IP 5H 3BB 9SO) combined with Aaron West (2IP 1H 4SO) and Tyler Brunnemann (1IP 1SO) on shutting out the RoughRiders. After a 4-for-5 night, OF Danry Vasquez is hitting .467 in his last 10 games.

Playoff Picture: Much like Fresno, Corpus Christi will host the first two playoff games next Wednesday, September 9th and Thursday, September 10th, but unlike Fresno, they know who they will be facing. Midland (an Oakland affiliate) clinched the second playoff spot last week. The next three games (if three are necessary will be played in Midland. Corpus Christi owns the season series against Midland 18-14 and split their last series 2-2.

LANCASTER

Record: 3rd 73-62 3.0GB W1 (2nd in 2nd half; 3.0GB; clinched wild card)

Wednesday's Game: Lancaster 5 over Bakersfield 4

19-year old Enrique Chavez held his own in his first start in the High A California League after his recent promotion from the rookie level Gulf Coast League (5IP 4H 2R 2BB 3SO). The 'Hawks trailed 4-2 with two outs in the top of the 9th, but a Ronnie Mitchell RBI single and a 2-run double from Sean McMullen salvaged the win.

Playoff Picture: Lancaster is in the playoffs, but if the season ended today, they would be in as a wild card. However, Lancaster lags High Desert by three games in the second half standings with five games left to play, and the final four games of the regular season will be between these two teams so they still have a chance to win the second half which would get them home field advantage as these two teams will face each other again in the best-of-three mini-series being played September 9th, 10th and 11th (if necessary). The winner of the mini-series will face Rancho Cucamonga (the first half winner) in the Division Finals. Got all that? Good!

QUAD CITIES

Record: 1st 85-48 -.-GB L2 (Clinched playoff berth; clinched first half title)

Wednesday's Game: Kane County 8 over Quad Cities 6
Unfortunately Madden, who had just been promoted from the Astros Rookie League Greeneville team yesterday, got into a little trouble in his third inning of work and was charged with two inherited runners who subsequently scored after he was pulled. The Quad Cities bullpen allowed four runs in the 8th to fall behind Kane County. The River Bandits outhit the Cougars 10 to nine, but stranded seven runners. LF Drew Ferguson was 3-for-5 with a double and is hitting .325 in his last 10 games.

Playoff Picture: In the Midwest League, eight teams advance to the playoffs. As the Western Division first half champion, the River Bandits play the second place team from the first half, the Cedar Rapids Kernels, in a best-of-three division quarter final. The first game will be in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, September 9th and the second and third (if necessary) will be back in Davenport on Thursday, the 10th and Friday, the 11th. The River Bandits won the season series against the Kernels 9 games to 4.

TRI-CITY

Record: 1st 39-31 -.-GB L1

Wednesday's Game: Staten Island 3 over Tri-City 0
The good new is that Tri-City's magic number to clinch the division was only two going into play on Wednesday rather than three as they had previously reported. The bad news is that Lowell won and Tri-City lost so the magic number remains unchanged. Tri-City was held to four hits in the shutout with two of those belonging to 3B Bobby Wernes.

Playoff Picture: Lowell won on Tuesday, reducing Tri-City's lead over them to four games with five games left to play. Connecticut has now been eliminated so it's down to Tri-City and Lowell with the magic number for Tri-City to clinch the division standing at two. The three division leaders plus one wild card (the non-division leader with the best record) advance to the playoffs.

GREENEVILLE

Record: 2nd 34-33 5.5GB W1 (clinched playoff berth)

Wednesday's Game: Off Day

Greeneville had an off day as they prepared to host Kingsport in the best-of-three Division Series starting tonight at 6:00 p.m. Central.

Playoff Picture: Greeneville's win on Tuesday got them to the playoffs with no time to reflect. They will host Game 1 of a best-of-three Division Series starting this Thursday, September 3rd. Games 2 and 3 will be in Kingsport on Friday, September 4th and Saturday, September 5th (if necessary); the Mets affiliate won the season series with Greeneville 6 games to 5.

GULF COAST LEAGUE

Record: 4th 19-41 16.5GB L7 (Eliminated from postseason play)

Season over.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE BLUE TEAM

Record: 1st 43-29 -.-GB L3 (Clinched playoff berth; clinched division title)

Won first round of playoffs over DSL Blue Jays 2 games to 0
Lost second round of playoffs to DSL Rangers1 2 games to 0

Season over.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE ORANGE TEAM

Record: 5th 28-44 22.0GB W1

Season over.

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