Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happy Birthday - 1/31

Happy Birthday to ~

SS Juan Pineda (17)
An international free agent signed out of Panama during the 2014 July 2nd signing period, Pineda has not yet started his professional career.

One former Astro celebrates today as well (you may have heard of him) ~

Lynn Nolan Ryan (aka the Ryan Express) was drafted in the 12th round in 1965 by the Mets and signed as a free agent with Houston in November of 1979 where he pitched from 1980 to 1988.  Despite pitching for 27 seasons with a lifetime ERA of 3.19 and WHIP of 1.247, striking out 5714 batters, throwing 7 no-hitters and appearing in 8 All-Star games, he never once won the Cy Young Award.  He was, however, elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999 in his first year of eligibility with a whopping 98.8% of the vote. Ryan is currently a Special Assistant to Astros owner Jim Crane.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Happy Birthday - 1/30

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Brian Holmes (24)
Drafted by Houston in the 13th round in 2012 out of Wake Forest, Holmes spent his 2014 season pitching for the Advanced A Lancaster team. In 20 appearances (10 starts), he was 5-2 with a 4.53 ERA and a 1.248 WHIP.

RHP Dariel Aquino (19)
An international free agent from the Dominican Republic, this was Aquino's second season as a professional, but his first as a pitcher. In 11 appearances, he was 1-3 with a 5.19 ERA and a 2.308 WHIP in 8.2 innings.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Astros Playing in the Australian Baseball League

The final winter league ended their regular season play last weekend as the Australian Baseball League prepares for their playoffs. Here is how your Astros fared in regular season play:


IF Chan Moon
.248/.349/.394 in 47 games
9 doubles, 5 home runs, 21 RBI

RHP Tyler Brunnemann
3.12 ERA and 1.077 WHIP in 22 games
9BB:21SO in 26.0IP


IF Jared Cruz
.244/.311/.280 in 25 games

RHP Lachlan Madden
0.00 ERA and 1.400 WHIP in 2 games
5BB:3SO in 5.0IP


IF Connor MadDonald
.143/.143/.575 in 5 games (7AB)
(His only hit was a home run.)


C Jake Bowey
.500/.500/.500 in 4 games (6AB)

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
Astros in the Panamanian Winter League

Happy Birthday - 1/29

Happy Birthday to ~

1B Dexture McCall (21)
Drafted by the Astros in the 31st round in 2014, McCall spent his first season playing for the Gulf Coast League Astros. In 50 games, he hit .258/.338/.343 with eight doubles, two triples, one home run and 29 RBI.

C Hank Conger (27)
Originally drafted by the Angels in the first round in 2006, Conger came to the Houston in a November 2014 trade that sent C Carlos Perez and RHP Nick Tropeano to the Angels. In 251 major league games for the Angels from 2010 through 2014, he hit .224/.294/.353 and had a 22% caught stealing rate.

One former Astro also celebrates ~

RHP Brian Meyer (52)
Drafted by Houston in the 16th round in 1986, Meyer pitched in 34 games for the Astros from 1988 to 1990 with an ERA of 2.84 and a WHIP of 1.263. He went on to play in the minor leagues for the Seattle and Cleveland organizations in 1991, but never got back to the majors.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

LBPRC Championship Series Recap

Yesterday, a champion was crowned in Puerto Rico, and Santurce added another championship to their storied legacy. This was their first Puerto Rican championship since 2000, and 13th overall. Consequently, this will also be their first appearance in the Caribbean Series in 15 years.

Santurce 5, Mayagüez 3 (Santurce wins series 4-2)

The Cangrejeros scored the game's final 5 runs; 4 of those came in the bottom of the 8th and put them in the lead. Ruben Sosa put them on the board with an RBI double in the 5th. Travis Ballew came out of the bullpen in the bottom of the 7th and although he gave up a hit and issued a walk, he managed to get the final 2 outs of the inning.

On Monday, Culiacán won the LMP Final as they topped Jalisco 4-3 in game 5. Leo Heras went 0-4 and drove in a run in the 6th on a force play.

Happy Birthday - 1/28

Happy Birthday to ~

LHP Randall Fant (24)
Drafted by Houston in the 29th round out of the University of Arkansas, Fant started his 2014 season and ended it with Tri-City, with a side trip to the GCL in between. In 16 appearances (six starts), he was 3-3 with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.329 WHIP. He walked only nine batters and struck out 57 in 49.2 innings pitched.

These former Astros mark the day as well ~

IF Pete Runnels (died May 20, 1991 at 63)
Runnels came to Houston in a November 1962 trade with Boston and played in 146 games for the Colt .45's in 1963 and 1964, hitting .246/.329/.287. Runnels was a three-time All-Star for Boston with a .291 career batting average and he led the American League in batting average in 1960 and 1962.

RHP Oscar Henriquez (41)
Henriquez signed with Houston as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 1991 and pitched in only four games for Houston in 1997 with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.250 WHIP. He was subsequently traded to the Marlins in a package for Moises Alou in November 1997.

LHP Wesley Wright (30)
Dequam LaWesley Wright was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the seventh round in 2003 and came to Houston as a Rule 5 pick in 2007. In 286 appearances over six seasons, Wright had a 4.44 ERA and a 1.427 WHIP. His contract was purchased by Tampa Bay in August 2013. He pitched for the Cubs in 2014 after signing with them as a free agent in December 2013.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Happy Birthday - 1/27

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

LF Phil Plantier (46)
An 11th round pick by the Red Sox in 1987, this is how he got to Houston (according to Baseball-Reference):
December 28, 1994: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Derek Bell, Doug Brocail, Ricky Gutierrez, Pedro Martinez and Craig Shipley to the Houston Astros for a player to be named later, Ken Caminiti, Andujar Cedeno, Steve Finley, Roberto Petagine and Brian Williams. The Houston Astros sent Sean Fesh (minors) (May 1, 1995) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
Plantier played in 22 games for the Astros in 1995, hitting .250/.349/.456 before being traded to the Padres in July of that year. Most recently, he was the hitting coach for the Padres until he was fired in October 2014.

RHP Rusty Meacham (47)
Originally drafted by the Tigers in the 33rd round in 1987, Meacham signed with Houston as a free agent in 1999 and pitched in only five games for Houston in 2000 with less than desirable results. His best season was 1992 for Kansas City when he went 10-4 with a 2.74 ERA and a 1.072 WHIP in 64 appearances.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Astros Winter League Playoff Recaps

Results for January 22-25, 2015

Uh.... I'm sure Jayne has noticed my slacking off again. Please, excuse me while I go run for cover.


The Adelaide Bite finished the regular season by taking 3 of 4 from the Melbourne Aces. They won the first 2, dropped the 3rd, and won the finale. Chan-Jong Moon appeared in all 4 games for the Bite and went 4-10 with a double, 2 RBI, 3 walks, 2 strikeouts, 2 runs scored, and 2 stolen bases. Moon finished the regular season with 20 swipes. Tyler Brunnemann appeared in game 2 of this series and got the save (8); he walked 2 in the 9th but was able to avoid further trouble; he also struck out 2.

Jared Cruz also appeared in all 4 games in the series for Melbourne. He finished 2-9 with a double, 2 runs scored, 6 strikeouts, and a stolen base (2).

By virtue of having the ABL's best record, the Adelaide Bite will have a bye to the Championship Series, which begins on February 6.


A new champion was crowned in the Dominican Republic, and it was los Gigantes del Cibao. They won the best-of-9 series over Estrellas with a 12-5 win in game 8 yesterday. Gigantes faced an early 2-0 deficit in the series, but they turned the tables on Estrellas by winning the next 4 games to take the series lead, and eventually, they got the win. This is Gigantes' first title. For Estrellas, their title drought continues; their last LIDOM championship occurred in 1968.

James Hoyt appeared in game 7, which was a 2-1 Estrellas victory. He came on in the 6th and although he issued a walk, he was able to get the final 2 outs of the inning.


Since I last recapped games, Culiacán has taken control of the LMP Finals as they have a 3-1 lead over Jalisco. Tonight is their first chance to close out the series; first pitch is at 7:30 Mountain.

In the 3 games that I haven't recapped, Leo Heras went 4-11 with 2 RBI, a walk, 4 strikeouts, and a stolen base, his 1st of the series.


Santurce and Mayagüez traded shutouts on Friday and Saturday, and then Santurce blew up on Sunday with a 9-1 thrashing to take a 3-2 lead in the LBPRC championship series.

Ruben Sosa had a solid weekend at the top of the Cangrejeros lineup; he went 5-9 with an RBI, 3 runs scored, 3 walks, and 2 stolen bases, giving him 4 in the series. Travis Ballew appeared out of the bullpen on Saturday and Sunday and was credited with a hold on Sunday. Ballew allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 over 2.2 scoreless innings (1 Saturday, 1.2 Sunday).

The series continues on Tuesday with Santurce looking to finish it off.

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Happy Birthday - 1/25

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

RHP Vern Ruhle (died January 20, 2007 at 55)
A 17th round pick by the Tigers in 1972, Ruhle signed with Houston as a free agent in March 1978. In 186 games (93 starts) for the Astros from 1978 to 1984, he had a record of 39-46 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.227 WHIP. His best season with Houston was 1980 when he was 12-4 with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.111 WHIP in 28 games (22 starts).

2B Ernie Fazio (73)
Signed by Houston as an amateur free agent in 1962, Fazio played in 114 games for the Colt .45's in 1962 and 1963, hitting .179/.270/.271.

LHP Philip Barzilla (36)
Drafted by the Astros in the fourth round in 2001, Barzilla faced two batters in one-third of an inning on June 11, 2006 and gave up a hit, leading to his major league career 0.00 ERA and 3.000 WHIP.

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