Saturday, January 24, 2015

Happy Birthday - 1/24

Happy Birthday to ~

C Jake Rodriguez (23)
Drafted by Houston in the 19th round in 2013 out of Oregon State University, Rodriguez played for Lancaster, Quad Cities and Tri-City in 2014. In 51 games, he hit .128/.195/.179.

RHP Juan Hernandez (22)
Signed as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic in 2012, Hernandez pitched for the DSL team until receiving an August promotion to the Gulf Coast League. In 13 games (two starts), he was 2-4 with a 6.82 ERA and a 1.848 WHIP.

RHP Carlos Sanabria (18)
An international free agent out of Venezuela, Sanabria spent his first professional season in the Dominican Summer League. In 15 appearances (three starts), Sanabria was 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.617 WHIP.

Former Astros celebrating birthdays today ~

LF Sandy Valdespino (76)
Valdespino came to Houston in a December 1968 trade with Atlanta and played in 41 games for the Astros in 1969, hitting .244/.326/.277.

LHP Ross Powell (47)
Originally drafted by the Reds in the third round in 1989, Powell came to Houston from Pittsburgh in July 1995. In 27 games for Houston in 1994 and 1995, he had a 6.61 ERA and a 2.327 WHIP.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Happy Birthday - 1/23

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Keegan Yuhl (23)
Drafted by Houston in the 35th round in 2014, Yuhl split his season between Greeneville and Quad Cities. In 18 appearances, he had a 1.98 ERA and a 1.073 WHIP. He walked eight batters and struck out 33 in 36.1 innings.

Former Astros with birthdays today ~

RHP Don Nottebart (died October 4, 2007 at 71)
Nottebart came to Houston in a December 1962 trade with the Milwaukee Braves and pitched in 88 games (76 starts) for the Colt 45's and Astros from 1963 to 1965 with an ERA of 3.86 and a WHIP of 1.244. Nottebart pitched Houston's first no-hitter on May 17, 1963 against the Phillies.

2B Joey Amalfitano (81)
Amalfitano was drafted by Houston from the Giants in the 1961 expansion draft and played in 117 games for the Colt .45's in 1962, hitting .237/.317/.303.

1B/OF Benny Distefano (53)
A second round pick by the Pirates in 1982, Distefano signed with Houston as a free agent in January 1992. In 52 games for the Astros that season, he hit .233/.303/.300. In 2014, he was the Hitting Coach for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets' short season A affiliate.

RHP Brandon Duckworth (39)
Duckworth came to Houston as a part of the Billy Wagner trade with the Phillies in November 2003. In 26 games (eight starts) for the Astros in 2004 and 2005, he was 1-3 with an 8.08 ERA and a 1.778 WHIP.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, January 21, 2015 (and one from today)

We're winding down the regular season Down Under, while two Finals series in the Caribbean are underway.

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Adelaide 6, Melbourne 4

Down 4-2 heading into the 6th, the Bite took the lead with a 3-run inning. Chan-Jong Moon finished 1-2 with a sac fly in that 3-run 6th inning and a run scored. Jared Cruz went 1-4 with 2 strikeouts for the Aces.

Game 2 of this series will take place at 7:05 Australian Central Time.

LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACÍFICO

Culiacán 11, Jalisco 8 (Culiacán leads series 1-0)

The Tomateros erupted in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings as they scored all 11 of their runs in those 3 innings, giving them an 11-2 lead that withstood a Jalisco rally that lasted through the final 4 innings of this game. Leo Heras, in the #3 spot as usual for Jalisco, went 1-5 with a run scored and 3 strikeouts.

Game 2 of the LMP Finals is at 8:30.

LIGA DE BÉISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE

Santurce 3, Mayagüez 2 in 14 innings (Series tied 1-1)



Santurce tied the game at 2 all the way back in the 5th inning, thanks to Ruben Sosa's solo homer. Ballew ended up getting the win as he allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1 over 2 scoreless. He did have to battle himself in the 13th as he uncorked 2 wild pitches; the 2nd resulted in the go-ahead run making it to 3rd.

The series will resume on Friday in Mayagüez.

Happy Birthday - 1/22

Happy Birthday to ~

RHP Mike Hauschild (25)
A 33rd round pick out of the University of Dayton in 2012, Hauschild split his 2014 season between Lancaster and Corpus Christi. In 28 games (20 starts), he had a 4.32 ERA and a 1.268 WHIP. Hauschild walked 34 batters and struck out 118 in 133.1 innings of work.

RHP Jose Montero (22)
Signed by the Astros as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2010, Montero spent the majority of his 2014 season with the Greeneville Astros, making one rehab appearance in the GCL. In nine games (six starts), he had a 3.27 ERA and a 1.212 WHIP.

Hitting Coach/OF Leon Roberts (64)
A tenth round draft pick for Detroit in 1972, Roberts came to Houston in a December 1975 trade with the Tigers and played for the Astros the following two seasons. In 106 games for the Astros, he hit .267/.324/.405. For the last three seasons, Roberts has served as the hitting coach for the Astros AAA affiliate.

These former Astros celebrate the day as well ~

OF Javier Ortiz (52)
Originally drafted by the Rangers in the first round in 1983, Ortiz came to Houston in a July 1989 trade with the Dodgers. In 77 games for the Astros in 1990 and 1991, he hit .275/.374/.394.

RHP Jose Valdez (31)
Originally signed as a NDFA out of the Dominican Republic by the Yankees in 2000, Valdez came to Houston via free agency in 2009. In 24 appearances out of the bullpen for the Astros in 2011 and 2012, Valdez had a 5.88 ERA and a 1.692 WHIP. He most recently pitched in the Boston minor league system.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, January 20, 2015

In the Dominican Republic, Gigantes has erased their early 2-0 series deficit to Estrellas with a 5-3 victory that has evened up the series at 2 games apiece. Game 5 will be tonight at 5:00 Atlantic.

The Mexican Pacific League Championship Series is set to begin tonight in Guadalajara at 8:30 when Jalisco taking on Culiacán.

LIGA DE BÉISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE

Mayagüez 8, Santurce 2 (Mayagüez leads series 1-0)

This game was busted open early as Mayagüez put up 7 in the 2nd. Ruben Sosa went 2-3 with a double and a stolen base (2) from the top of the Santurce lineup.

Game 2 will be in Santurce and will take place tonight at 7:30 Atlantic.

PROBEIS PANAMA

Caballos 8, Águilas 4 (Caballos win series 3-0)

OK, this game was the clincher, not Monday's, like I originally thought. Caballos basically dominated this series, outscoring Águilas 34-6 en route to the crown. Telvin Nash doubled in 4 at-bats and scored a run, while Jack Mayfield finished 3-4 with a double, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. \

Caballos will represent Panama in the Serie Latinoamericana, which is being held in Panama this year. That tournament runs from February 27 to March 1 and will also feature the champions from Colombia, Nicaragua, and Mexico (not the LMP; the Mexican representative will come out of the Veracruz Winter League).

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Happy Birthday - 1/21

No future Astros with birthdays today, but three former Astros were born on this day ~

RHP Dave Smith (died December 17, 2008 at 53)
An eighth round pick by the Astros in 1976, Smith pitched in 563 games for Houston from 1980 to 1990 with an ERA of 2.53, a WHIP of 1.189, and 199 saves. He was an All-Star for the Astros in 1986 and 1990.

SS Jose Uribe (died December 8, 2006 at 47)
Uribe came to Houston as a free agent in January 1993 and played in 45 games for the Astros that season with a .245/.355/.264 batting line. His best season was 1987 when he hit .291 for the Giants in 95 games.

RHP Jeff McCurry (45)
Originally drafted by the Pirates in the 14th round in 1990, McCurry came to Houston as a free agent in January 1999. McCurry only pitched in 5 games for the Astros that year with forgettable results.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Probeis Panama Championship Series Game 2 Recap

It was a rather quiet Monday night in the MLB-affiliated Caribbean leagues; Gigantes blanked Estrellas 4-0 to get on the board in the Dominican Championship Series. In Mexico, their championship series is set; Culiacán walked off with a 9-8 win in the deciding game 7 to clinch a date with Jalisco. There was, however, one game featuring Astros players in the winter leagues: Game 2 of the LPBP Championship Series between Caballos and Águilas. 

Well, this series was totally dominated by Caballos as they took the crown with a 9-0 victory. They outscored Águilas 26-2 in the 2 wins. In this game, they shelled Harold Arauz for 3.1 innings. Arauz gave up 6 runs on 7 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2.

For the champs, Telvin Nash went 0-4, while Jack Mayfield finished 1-4 with a run scored.

Astros Playing Winter Ball in Panama

Several Astros plied their wares in Panama over the winter. Here is how they fared in regular season play:

CABALLOS

1B/OF Telvin Nash
.296/.444/.620 in 21 games
5 doubles and 6 home runs

3B Tyler White
.267/.433/.373 in 25 games
4 doubles and 2 triples

SS Jack Mayfield
.225/.293/.348 in 24 games
3 doubles, 1 triple and 2 home runs

LHP Blaine Sims
5.40 ERA and 1.542 WHIP in 3 games
6BB:8SO in 11.2IP

INDIOS

2B Rodrigo Ayarza
.218/.348/.345 in 22 games
4 doubles and 1 home run

LHP Chris Santamaria
3.18 ERA and 1.103 WHIP in 9 games
11BB:7SO in 22.2IP

RHP Juan Delis
3.24 ERA and 1.680 WHIP in 8 games
8BB:6SO in 8.1IP

RHP Jose Montero
2.25 ERA and 1.375 WHIP in 8 games
6BB:17SO in 16IP

INDUSTRIALES

RHP Agapito Barrios
0.00 ERA and 2.143 WHIP in 2 games
4BB:2SO in 2.1IP

AGUILAS

RHP Harold Arauz
2.28 ERA and 0.972 WHIP in 5 games
8BB:14SO in 23.2IP

Previously posted:
Astros in the Arizona Fall League
Astros in the Dominican Winter League
Astros in the Mexican Pacific Winter League
Astros in the Venezuelan Winter League

Happy Birthday - 1/20

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Ben Smith (22)
Smith was drafted by Houston in the 17th round in 2014. He underwent Tommy John surgery in April 2014 and has not started his professional career yet.

One two-time former Astro celebrates the day as well ~

RHP Matt Albers (32)
A draft-and-follow pick in the 23rd round by the Astros in 2001, Albers pitched in 35 games (20 starts) for Houston in 2006 and 2007 with a 4-13 record, a 5.87 ERA and a 1.599 WHIP before being traded to Baltimore in December 2007 as a part of the Miguel Tejada trade. After spending time with Baltimore and Boston, he was traded to the Diamondbacks in July 2012. The Diamondbacks subsequently traded him to Cleveland in this dizzying transaction (per Baseball-Reference):
December 11, 2012: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Arizona Diamondbacks with Trevor Bauer and Bryan Shaw to the Cleveland Indians. The Cincinnati Reds sent Didi Gregorius to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cincinnati Reds sent Drew Stubbsto the Cleveland Indians. The Cleveland Indians sent Lars Anderson and Tony Sipp to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cleveland Indians sent Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Donald and cash to the Cincinnati Reds.
Matt came full circle back to Houston, signing as a free agent in December 2013. In eight games for the Astros in April 2014, he had a 0.90 ERA and a 1.300 WHIP and then landed on the DL for the remainder of the season. The Astros did not exercise his option at the end of the season.

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Monday, January 19, 2015

Astros Winter League Recaps

Results for Saturday, January 17, and Sunday, January 18, 2015

*all games are from Sunday unless otherwise noted

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

Adelaide's magic number to clinch the best record in the ABL entering the weekend was 2. They pounded Melbourne 10-3, and the other thing they needed was a Perth loss. Well, they got the Perth loss in the same night as Canberra topped them 7-5, and as a result, Adelaide clinched the top spot in the ABL, and a spot in the ABL Championship Series.

Melbourne 6, Adelaide 4

However, the Bite were foiled in their bid to sweep the Aces as they allowed 1 run apiece in the 6th, 7th, and 9th innings. Chan-Jong Moon finished 1-3 with 2 walks, a run scored, and stole 3 bases (18).

This upcoming weekend, Adelaide will travel to Melbourne for the final series of the regular season.

LIDOM

The Championship Series is underway! Estrellas stormed out of the gates with an 11-2 victory on Saturday.

Sunday: Estrellas 7, Gigantes 3 (Estrellas leads 2-0)

James Hoyt was the 3rd reliever to appear for Gigantes and pitched 1.2 perfect innings, striking out 1.

Game 3 of this series will take place tomorrow at 7:30 Atlantic.

LIGA MEXICANA DEL PACÍFICO

Jalisco 5, Obregón 3 (Jalisco wins series 4-2)

In their first year in Guadalajara, the team formerly known as the Algodoneros de Guasave will be playing for a championship. They'll await the winner of the Mexicali-Culiacán series; they're playing a deciding game 7 tonight.

Leo Heras went 0-2 with a walk.

LIGA DE BÉISBOL PROFESIONAL ROBERTO CLEMENTE

Results from Saturday

Mayagüez 2, Santurce 1 in 11 innings 

Ruben Sosa finished 1-4 and scored the only Santurce run in the 3rd. Mayagüez scored 1 in the bottom of the 9th to tie, and 1 in the 11th to win. Travis Ballew got the loss; he allowed the winning run on 2 hits and walked 3 in 1.1 innings.

Carolina 4, Caguas 0

Carlos Corporán doubled in 3 at-bats and walked for Carolina. Roberto Peña appeared as a.... pinch-runner in the 9th for Caguas.

Sunday: Mayagüez 1, Carolina 0

Corporán went 0-3, while Jobduan Morales had a pinch-hit double in the 8th for Carolina.

The LBPRC Championship Series is set; Santurce will face off against Mayagüez beginning tomorrow.

PROBEIS PANAMA

Panama is on to their championship series as well. Caballos defeated Indios 5-1 on Friday, which set up the final matchup between them and Águilas. Telvin Nash clubbed 2 homers, while Tyler White went 0-2 with a walk. For Indios, Rodrigo Ayarza went 0-3, Jose Montero allowed a hit and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless, and Juan Delis allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 9th.

The Championship Series began yesterday, and it was all Caballos as they romped to a 17-2 win over Indios. Nash went 1-2 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored, Jack Mayfield had a double in 4 at-bats and scored twice, and Tyler White struck out in his only at-bat.

Game 2 of this series is tonight at 7:00 Eastern.

Happy Birthday - 1/19

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

OF Orlando Palmiero (46)
Originally drafted by the Angels in the 33rd round in 1991, Palmiero came to Houston as a free agent in January 2004. In 420 games played for the Astros from 2004 to 2007, he hit .258/.332/.356. He won a World Series with the Angels in 2002.

LHP Ramon de los Santos (66)
Signed by the Astros as an amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic in 1972, de los Santos pitched in 12 games in 1974 for Houston with a 2.19 ERA and a 1.622 WHIP.

RHP Jeff Juden (44)
A first round pick by the Astros in 1989, Juden pitched in only six games (three starts) for Houston in 1991 and 1993 with a 5.87 ERA and a 1.478 WHIP before being traded to the Phillies, along with Doug Jones, for Mitch Williams in December 1993.

3B/1B Phil Nevin (44)
The first overall pick of the draft in 1992, Nevin only played in 18 games for the Astros in 1995 before he was traded to the Tigers in August 1995. Nevin went on to play 12 major league seasons for seven different teams, hitting a cumulative .270/.343/.472 and was an All-Star for the Padres in 2001, a year in which he hit 41 home runs. He managed the Diamondbacks AAA affiliate in 2014.

RHP Anthony Young (49)
Originally drafted by the Mets in the 38th round in 1987, this Houston native signed with the Astros as a free agent in January 1996. In 28 games for Houston that season, he had a 4.59 ERA and a 1.740 WHIP.

Manager Brad Mills (58)
Mills managed the Astros from 2010 until his firing in August 2012 with a record of 171-274. Mills was dealt a bad hand with the teams he was given, but he is now a part of the Astros history for better or worse. He was most recently the bench coach for the Cleveland Indians.

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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Happy Birthday - 1/18

Happy Birthday to ~

SS/OF Osvaldo Duarte (19)
An international free agent signed out of the Dominican Republic, Duarte started his first season in the Dominican Summer League, but received a late June promotion to the Gulf Coast League Astros team. In 35 games, he hit .275/.333/.362.

One former Astro celebrates the day as well ~

LHP Wandy Rodriguez (36)
Rodriguez first signed with the Astros on January 12, 1999 as a 17-year old NDFA named Eny Cabreja.  It wasn't until 2002 that he revealed to the Astros that he had really been 19 at the time and had used a friend's identity. ( Here is a great article by Jose de Jesus Ortiz from 2008 that helps explain the pressures facing young Dominican players who are considered old at 19.) Rodriguez pitched for Houston for eight seasons, from 2005 until his trade to Pittsburgh in July 2012, with a 80-84 record, a 4.04 ERA and a 1.339 WHIP.

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