Saturday, January 17, 2015

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Friday, January 17, 2015 (and one from today)


Adelaide 10, Melbourne 3

The Bite are closing in on clinching the top spot in the ABL with this win; their magic number is now 2, so a Perth loss combined with an Adelaide win will wrap it up for them. Before I get to this game, these two teams decided to have a Royal Rumble of their own on Friday night.

Two players from each side were punished for their roles in the incident. Now... on to this game.

Adelaide busted this game wide open with a 5-run 4th inning that pushed their lead to 8-2. Chan-Jong Moon finished 2-5 with a 2-run double in that 4th inning and scored 2 runs. He also stole a base (15) in the 1st. Tyler Brunnemann gave up a single to Jared Cruz to begin the 9th, but he retired the next 3 Melbourne batters to end the game. Cruz also drew a walk for the Aces.

The Bite will look for the sweep at 1:00 Australian Central Time.


Jalisco 5, Obregón 3 (Jalisco leads series 3-2)

The Horsemen broke a 3-3 tie with a couple of runs in the top of the 9th. Leo Heras went 2-4 and hit an RBI single that gave Jalisco a 4-3 lead. He also scored a run in the 6th.

Jalisco will get their first chance to close out the series tomorrow at home at 12:30.


Carolina 7, Caguas 0

All the scoring was done in 2 innings. Carlos Corporán went 1-4, Jobduan Morales replaced him behind the plate in the 8th and did not appear at the plate.

Santurce 4, Mayagüez 3 in 11 innings

Ruben Sosa went 1-4. Travis Ballew got the win as Santurce walked off in the bottom of the 11th. He walked 1 and struck out 1 in the top half.

The matchups you see above are the same for tonight; the only difference is a change of venue. Both games will take place at 7:30 Atlantic.

Happy Birthday - 1/17

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

LHP Jeff Tabaka (51)
A second round pick by the Expos in 1986, Tabaka came to Houston in a July 1995 trade with the Padres. In 42 games for the Astros in 1995 and 1996, he had a 4.23 ERA and a 1.590 WHIP.

Manager Lum Harris (died November 11, 1996 at 81)
Lum Harris managed the Colt .45's for 13 games in 1964 after Harry Craft was fired, and then was the first manager of the Astros in 1965. He had a 70-105 record.  For an extremely entertaining interview with Harris that will take you back to an entirely different era of baseball, click here. You won't regret it.

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Thursday, January 15, 2015 (and one from today)


Thursday: Adelaide 2, Melbourne 1

The Bite walked off with the win as Chan-Jong Moon scored the winning run on a single hit by Craig Maddox. Moon scored both Adelaide runs in this game; he hit a solo homer (5) in the 4th to put them on the board. He also stole a base (12).

Jared Cruz was 0-3 with a strikeout for the Aces; Cruz was acquired last September from the Braves as the player to be named later for Andrew Robinson.

Friday: Adelaide 8, Melbourne 2

Moon went 1-3 with a walk, a run scored, and 2 steals (14). Cruz finished 1-2 with 2 walks and scored a run.

Game 3 of this series will take place at 7:00 Australian Central time.


Águilas 5, Toros 3

Jonathan Villar went 2-5 with 3 strikeouts for Águilas.

The final 2 games of the round robin will not be played, as the Finals have been set; Gigantes will take on Estrellas. Estrellas clinched their spot with a 10-4 win over Gigantes, which basically made this game moot from a standings perspective.


Obregón 5, Jalisco 1 (Series tied 2-2)

Leo Heras smacked a solo homer in the 6th for Jalisco's only run of the evening.

Game 5 is set for a 7:30 Mountain start.



Happy Birthday - 1/16

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

RHP Jim Owens (81)
Drafted by Houston from the Reds in the 1963 Rule 5 draft, Owens pitched in 148 games for the Colt .45's and the Astros from 1964 to 1967 with an ERA of 3.60 and WHIP of 1.296.

LHP Ron Villone (45)
A first round pick by Seattle in 1992, Villone first came to Houston in a June 2001 trade with Colorado. In 50 games (25 starts) for the Astros in 2001 and 2003, he was 11-13 with a 4.69 ERA and a 1.374 WHIP. All told, he pitched in 15 major league seasons for 12 different teams. In 2014, he was the Pitching Coach for the Cubs Advanced A affiliate.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Estrellas 4, Águilas 2

Jonathan Villar went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts for Águilas.

Toros 5, Gigantes 3

Toros took control of this game in the top of the 9th when they scored 4 runs. New Astro James Hoyt came out of the Gigantes bullpen in the 9th and was able to get the final out of the inning via strikeout, but not before he allowed a 2-run double that gave Toros a 5-2 lead.

Tonight in the Dominican, Gigantes will head east to take on Estrellas, while Águilas will host Toros. Both games will start at 7:30 Atlantic.


Jalisco 4, Obregón 2 (Jalisco leads series 2-1)

Leo Heras was in the leadoff spot for Jalisco and he finished 2-5 with a double.

Game 4 of this series will take place at 7:30 Mountain.


Santurce 4, Caguas 1

Ruben Sosa went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored from the leadoff spot for Santurce. Roberto Peña was behind the plate for Caguas and finished 0-3.

Carolina 5, Mayagüez 2

Well, this game apparently got chippy late as 2 Carolina players and 4 Mayagüez players were tossed. Martin Maldonado got plunked in the 7th and then it looked like tensions reached a boiling point. Maldonado, René Garcia, Hiram Burgos, and Mario Santiago were all thrown out.

Carlos Corporán went 0-4. while Jobduan Morales opened up the scoring with a sac fly in the 3rd. He was hit by a pitch in the 8th, which ended Mayagüez pitcher Tyler Herron's night early. Mayagüez manager Lino Rivera got his marching orders soon after. Morales ended up scoring when Enrique Hernandez grounded into a force out.

Friday night's slate has Carolina hosting Caguas and Santurce hosting Mayagüez.

Astros Trade with Altanta

The Astros announced on Wednesday (several hours after it first leaked out) that they had completed a trade that will send RHP Mike Foltynewicz, 3B Rio Ruiz and RHP Andrew Thurman to the Braves for C Evan Gattis and RHP James Hoyt.

Those who follow me on twitter probably already know that I'm not wild about this trade. Partly because I agree with Adam Everett ...
... and partly because I'm not convinced that Colin Moran will stick at third base. And third base has been a problem for the Astros for a very long time. I loved Rio Ruiz's high energy and infectious enthusiasm. And I loved that sweet swing of his. I think he will be a star. And you don't let future stars go.

I was also very disturbed that Vince Velasquez's name was associated with this trade at one point. It's bad enough that the Astros are losing Foltynewicz who I think would ultimately become the team closer, they were considering letting a guy go who has the potential of being the staff ace.

Gattis has a great story and the fans in Atlanta love him. I got an email from an Atlanta fan who follows me that said, "Not since the steroid era has a hitter excited a fan base like he has where every BP session is like hearing a canon go off and each AB is a chance to witness sheer power at the plate. Atlanta fans love El Oso Blanco and I’m sure you all will too." But there are health concerns with him that already have him moving to left field or first base or DH because of those issues. Nothing is guaranteed, but I really don't want this trade to go down in history as another Bagwell for Andersen.

With that said, if you haven't already, it is time to acquaint yourself with the Evan Gattis story. I also found this article on Hoyt which makes me like him. Plus I heard this from former Astros farmhand Alex Todd had this to say about him.
I think the worst thing about this whole trade is that it will force me to follow the Braves. And I hate the Braves. But it is now time to say fare-thee-well. You will be missed.

Happy Birthday - 1/15

Happy Birthday to ~

OF Edgar Lorenzo (18)
Signed by Houston as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic, Lorenzo played his first professional season in the Dominican Summer League. In 56 games, he hit .236/.361/.363 with 15 doubles, one triple, two home runs and 15 stolen bases.

These former Astros also celebrate the day ~

RHP Armando Galarraga (33)
Galarraga signed with Houston as a free agent in May 2012 and started five games for Houston with a 6.75 ERA and a 1.917 WHIP. Galarraga is best known for the perfect game that wasn't. Pitching for Detroit on June 2, 2010, he threw a one-hitter against Cleveland due to a blown call by umpire Jim Joyce on what should have been the final out of the game.

LHP George Cappuzzello (61)
A 27th round pick by the Tigers in 1972, Cappuzzello came to Houston as a free agent in April 1982. In 17 games for the Astros that season he had an ERA of 2.79 and WHIP of 1.190.

RHP Mike Marshall (72)
Purchased from the Brewers in November 1969, Marshall pitched in only four games for the Astros in 1970 with an 8.44 ERA and a 2.250 WHIP before being traded to Montreal in June. In 1974, he led the National League in appearances for the Dodgers with 106 and won the Cy Young Award with his 2.42 ERA, 1.186 WHIP, and 21 saves. He was an All-Star in 1974 and in 1975 for Los Angeles as well.

And one more birthday of importance ~

Terri (aka @AGirlintheSouth on twitter) celebrates today. Terri is one of the founding members of the *FBBBB Club (along with yours truly) as well as an occasional contributor to The Crawfish Boxes and Astros County.

*Female Baseball Bloggers Brunch with Booze Club

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Astros Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees

On Tuesday, the Astros announced that 17 non-roster players have been invited to Spring Training. They are:

RHP Mark Appel
LHP Darin Downs
RHP Jordan Jankowski
RHP Brady Rodgers
RHP Jason Stoffel

C Luis Flores
C Tyler Heineman
C Roberto Pena

IF Carlos Correa
IF Matt Duffy
IF Nolan Fontana
IF Dan Johnson
IF Colin Moran
IF Gregorio Petit
IF Joe Sclafani

OF Andrew Aplin
OF Preston Tucker

Of those who haven't made their major league debuts yet, Preston Tucker, Matt Duffy and Jason Stoffel are, in my opinion, the closest to being ready with Brady Rodgers, Jordan Jankowski, Andrew Aplin, Joe Sclafani and Tyler Heineman not far behind. I don't think that Appel and Correa will be given legitimate consideration out of Spring Training this year, but I also wouldn't be surprised if either of them forced the issue. Of the others, Fontana missed a lot of time last season due to injury; Colin Moran is still very young; Pena could be inserted in a lineup today defensively, but needs more work on the bat; and Flores (about whom I know little) is behind a logjam of catchers already on the 40-man roster.

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Águilas 5, Toros 4

The difference here was a 4-run 4th for Águilas. They had to hold on for this win, though, as Toros made it a 1-run game with 2 in the 8th and they had the tying run on 3rd in the 9th inning. Jonathan Villar hit an RBI double in that 4-run 4th inning.

Águilas will face Estrellas tonight at 7:30 Atlantic.


Carolina 3, Santurce 2

Carlos Corporán finished 1-2 with a walk and scored a run for the victors, while Ruben Sosa went 1-2 with 2 walks for Santurce.

Mayagüez 5, Caguas 4

Roberto Peña got the start behind the plate for Caguas and finished 1-4.

Tonight, Santurce will host Caguas, while Carolina takes on Mayagüez. Both games will begin at 7:30 Atlantic.


Águilas 4, Caballos 3 in 11 innings

Caballos scored their 3 runs in the 9th to tie the game. However, Águilas wound up walking off with the win in the 11th. Tyler White finished 2-4 with a walk and a run scored. Telvin Nash also finished 2-4; he clubbed a 2-run homer in that 9th inning. Jack Mayfield went 0-5.

Indios 3, Industriales 2 in 8 innings

Rodrigo Ayarza entered the game as a defensive replacement for Indios and finished 1-3 with an RBI. Cris Santamaria got the win; he allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1 in the 8th.

After an off day, only 5 games remain. On Thursday, Industriales will take on Águilas, while Caballos will face off against Indios.

Happy Birthday - 1/14

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

2B Derrel Thomas (64)
A first round pick by the Astros in 1969, Thomas only played in five games for Houston in 1971 in which he went hitless. He was traded to the Padres in December 1971 and went on to play a total of 15 seasons for seven different teams.

UT Dave Campbell (73)
Campbell came to Houston in an August 1973 trade with Houston and played in 44 games for the Astros from 1973 to 1974, hitting .158/.179/.237. After his playing days, Campbell became a broadcaster for the Giants, Padres, Rockies and ESPN.

LHP Danny Boone (61)
A second round pick by the Angels in 1976, Boone came to Houston in a June 1982 trade with the Padres. In 10 games for the Astros that season, he had a 3.55 ERA and a 0.868 WHIP. And, yes, he is a descendant of that Daniel Boone.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Monday, January 12, 2015


Obregón 6, Jalisco 5 (Series tied 1-1)

Leo Heras finished 1-3 with a walk and 2 runs scored.

The series shifts to Obregón on Wednesday.


Santurce 5, Caguas 4 in 10 innings

Roberto Peña entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 7th and grounded into a double play. But... he put Caguas in the lead with a 2-run double in the top of the 9th. However, Santurce responded with a 2-run double from René Rivera to tie the game, and in the first extra frame, the Cangrejeros walked off with the win. Ruben Sosa went 3-5 with 2 runs scored for Santurce.

Caguas will face Mayagüez, while Santurce takes on Carolina. Both games will take place at 7:30 Atlantic.

Mayagüez 1, Carolina 0

Carlos Corporán went 0-2 with a walk for Carolina; they were held to 1 hit in this game.


Águilas 5, Caballos 0 in 7 innings

Jack Mayfield had the only hit for Caballos, while Tyler White went 0-2 with a walk. Harold Arauz got the start, and the win, for Águilas as he allowed just the 1 hit to Mayfield, walked 1, and struck out 2 over 6 shutout innings.

Industriales 7, Indios 6 in 11 innings

Rodrigo Ayarza went 0-5 with a strikeout for Indios. Juan Delis was the first man out of the Indios bullpen but got knocked around as he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits without recording an out in the 7th.

The finales of both series will begin at 4:00 Eastern.

Happy Birthday - 1/13

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

UT Ron Brand (75)
Drafted from the Pirates in the 1964 Rule 5 draft, Brand played in 300 games for Houston from 1965 to 1968, hitting .231/.293/.270. He spent time as catcher, third baseman, second baseman, left fielder and right fielder while playing for Houston. He went on to play shortstop and centerfield for Montreal.

LHP Mike Madden (58)
Madden came to Houston, along with Kevin Bass and Frank DiPino in a September 1982 trade with Milwaukee for Don Sutton. In 71 games (26 starts) for the Astros from 1983 to 1986, he was 12-10 with a 3.94 ERA and a 1.603 WHIP.

SS Orlando Miller (46)
A native of Panama, Miller came to Houston in a March 1990 trade with the Yankees and played in 247 games for Houston from 1994 to 1996 with a batting line of .262/.307/.406. Miller left Houston in this nine-player trade to Detroit on 12/10/96 (from Baseball-Reference):
The Houston Astros traded Doug Brocail, Brian Hunter, Todd Jones, Orlando Miller and cash to the Detroit Tigers for Brad Ausmus, Jose Lima, Trever Miller, C.J. Nitkowski and Daryle Ward.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Saturday, January 10, and Sunday, January 11, 2015


Perth 3, Adelaide 1

The Heat dealt the Bite their first series loss of the season. Chan-Jong Moon finished 0-4 with a strikeout.

This weekend, Adelaide returns home for a 4-game set against Melbourne.


Saturday: Gigantes 7, Águilas 1

Jonathan Villar finished 0-5 out of the leadoff spot for Águilas.

Sunday: Águilas 6, Toros 4

Águilas took control with 5 runs in the top of the 9th. Villar finished 1-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.

Today's an off day. Tomorrow, Águilas will host Toros.


Jalisco 6, Obregón 1 (Jalisco leads 1-0)

Stretch time did the Jalisco lineup good, as they put up 5 in the bottom of the 7th to seize all the momentum in this game. Leo Heras went 0-1 with 4 walks and a run scored.

Game 2 of this semifinal series will take place at 7:30.


Carolina 10, Santurce 4

Santurce emerged from the 1st inning with a 3-2 lead, but Carolina erupted late in the game and finished it on an 8-1 run from the 6th-9th innings. Carlos Corporán went 1-4 with a walk for Carolina.

Ruben Sosa got the start in LF for Santurce and went 1-4. Travis Ballew allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and walked 2 in the 7th inning.

Caguas 6, Mayagüez 5 in 11 innings

Roberto Peña entered the game as a defensive replacement in the 6th and finished 0-2 with a walk and a run scored. Caguas trailed 5-0 heading into the 6th, but they wound up scoring the game's final 6 runs.

Today was a scheduled off day, but Saturday's games were rained out. So, Caguas will face Santurce, and Carolina will host Mayagüez. Both games will start at 7:30 Atlantic.


Results from Saturday

Caballos 8, Águilas 4

Caballos was spurred on to the win with a 6-run 4th. Tyler White had a double, 2 RBI, walked twice, and scored twice. Jack Mayfield went 0-3 with an RBI and a walk.

Industriales 3, Indios 2

Industriales scored 1 in the 8th to tie, and then one more in the bottom of the 9th to walk off with the win.

Rodrigo Ayarza went 0-2 with a walk for Indios.

Results from Sunday

Caballos 8, Águilas 1

This game was made official after 6.5 innings.

Tyler White went 3-4 with 3 RBI, while Jack Mayfield hit a double in 4 at-bats and drove in 2.

The 4th game in this series will take place at 4:00 Eastern.

Industriales 5, Indios 4

Industriales walked off with a win for the 2nd straight night. For Indios, Rodrigo Ayarza finished 1-3 with a walk and 2 runs scored, and Jose Montero pitched 2.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits (1 homer), walking 2, and striking out 2.

Game 4 of this series takes place at 7:00 Eastern.

Happy Birthday - 1/12

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Francis Ramirez (23)
Ramirez was signed by Houston as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic and first played for the DSL Astros in 2009. In 2014, he pitched for Tri-City. In 15 games (eight starts), he was 2-5 with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.329 WHIP. He struck out 45 and walked 21 in 49+ innings pitched.

And two former Astros celebrate birthdays today ~

2B/OF Casey Candaele (54)
Obtained from the Montreal Expos in a trade for Mark Bailey, Casey Candaele played for Houston from 1988 to 1993, hitting .249/.311/.338 in 512 games.  His mother, Helen Callaghan, played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, giving Casey the distinction of being a part of the only mother/son combination ever to play professional baseball. Casey liked to keep things loose.  In case you missed this interview from 2011, Casey talks about naked batting practice, the Moneyball movie and more.  And then there was the break-dancing at the Astros Wives Gala.  You may also enjoy this Jayson Stark column from 2000 (scroll down) in which Casey reveals his dream of joining the Latvian ski-jump team.

1B/OF Mike Simms (48)
A sixth round draft pick by the Astros in 1985, Simms played in 181 games for Houston from 1990 to 1992 and in 1994 to 1996, hitting .219/.298/.388. He went on to play for the Rangers from 1997 to 1999, hitting .281/.352/.555 in 149 games.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy Birthday - 1/11

Happy Birthday to ~

3B Randy Cesar (20)
An international free agent from the Dominican Republic, Cesar played the majority of his season with the Gulf Coast League team, receiving a late August promotion to Greeneville. In 52 games, he hit .273/.309/.381 with 12 doubles, three home runs and 15 RBI.

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