Saturday, May 16, 2015

Astros Minor League Roster Moves

A couple more moves to report today ...

FRESNO
RHP James Hoyt placed on the 7-day DL

CORPUS CHRISTI
OF Andrew Aplin assigned from Fresno to Corpus

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, May 15, 2015

Jon Singleton is out of control. I actually meant for that statement to have a positive connotation.

Fresno 8, Albuquerque 3

W- Brady Rodgers (2-2)
L- Jonathan Gray (1-4)

Fresno home runs: Jon Singleton (12, grand slam in 3rd), Matt Duffy (4, solo in 3rd)

Jon Singleton did it again. And the Grizz won the series.

Brady Rodgers had a fine outing as he allowed a run on 8 hits and struck out 5 over 7 innings. Kevin Chapman allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out the side in the 8th. Tyson Perez allowed a run on 2 hits and walked 1 in the 9th, but he closed out the game without further incident.

That grand slam that Singleton clubbed was his 3rd of the week. OF THE WEEK!!! Matt Duffy added a solo homer later in the 3rd, giving the Grizzlies a 5-0 lead. In the 7th, L.J. Hoes hit an RBI double in the 7th, and he would later score on a Domingo Santana single. With the bases loaded in the 9th, Singleton.... grounded into a force out that scored Carlos Correa.

Hoes (2B, RBI, 2 R) and Santana (2B, RBI) both finished 3-4. Correa was 2-5 with a double and 3 runs scored.

The 2nd leg of the roadtrip takes the Grizzlies to El Paso. Jake Buchanan was scheduled to start, but he's in Houston. Whoever starts will take on Chris Smith at 7:05 Mountain. Remember, El Paso does not use Central Time.

Corpus Christi 7, Frisco 6 in 10 innings

W- Travis Ballew (2-1)
L- David Martinez (0-1)
S- Jandel Gustave (4)

CC home runs: Jon Kemmer (3, 3-run in 1st)

9 innings was not enough to decide the outcome of this game, but the Hooks scratched across a run in the first extra frame, and they've taken the first 2 against the Rangers' AA team.

Tony Kemp singled to begin the game, and he eventually scored the first run of the evening on an error after a Tyler Heineman single. Jon Kemmer struck for a 3-run homer, putting Corpus up 4-0 after the 1st inning. Kemp finished 3-5 and hit a 2-run single in the 6th to put the Hooks back in front 6-5. The Roughriders tied the game again in the 8th, and that resulted in extra innings. Well, it turned out that one extra inning was needed as Leo Heras ripped an RBI double in the top of the 10th to put Corpus back in the lead. Heras and Telvin Nash both finished 2-4.

Mark Appel's run of poor form continued... he has got to pick himself up off the canvas. Appel went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 6 hits, walked 5, and struck out 4 in 4 innings. Mitch Lambson was the first reliever in for the Hooks and all he did was issue a walk and strike out 6 over 3.1 scoreless frames. Juan Minaya got the final 2 outs of the 8th via strikeout, but he did allow the tying run to score on a wild pitch, one of two that he uncorked in the frame. Minaya allowed a single to the first man he faced. Travis Ballew worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 2, and Jandel Gustave finished it off, working around a leadoff double from Joey Gallo to do so.

In game 3 of this series, Kyle Westwood will take on Chad Bell at 7:05.

Inland Empire 6, Lancaster 5

W- Ryan Etsell (2-1)
L- Zach Morton (0-2)
S- Greg Mahle (5)

Lancaster home runs: None.

Sadly, the JetHawks could not hold a 5-1 lead.

The 66ers got to Joe Musgrove in the 6th inning as they got 2 off of him. He went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 11 hits and struck out 7. He has 36 strikeouts against 1 walk. The 66ers took the lead off of Zach Morton with 3 in the 7th. Morton allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 3 innings of work.

A.J. Reed opened the scoring with an RBI double in the 1st. Later in the inning, Jack Mayfield added another run on a groundout. Reed added an RBI single in the 3rd, and then Mayfield hit an RBI single. Reed would eventually score on a double play that Ronnie Mitchell grounded into. Reed and Mayfield had 2 hits apiece, as did Danry Vásquez.

Bryan Radziewski gets the start in game 2 of this series. He'll face Sean Newcomb at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 10, Cedar Rapids 3

W- Kevin Comer (3-0)
L- Michael Cederoth (1-3)
S- Akeem Bostick (1)

QC home runs: None.

Both teams scored 3 in the 2nd inning, but it was the Banditos who had the final say as they scored the final 7 runs of the night to take the first of 3 games. This is their 10th straight win on the road.

Bryan Muniz opened up the scoring in that 2nd inning with a 2-run double. Thomas Lindauer followed with an RBI groundout. After Cedar Rapids scored 3 in the bottom of the 2nd to tie, the River Bandits got another 3-run inning to put them in front for good. With the bases loaded and 1 out, Alex Hernandez hit a ball to 1B, and on the ensuing error, Jamie Ritchie and Mott Hyde scored. Ryan Bottger followed with an RBI single. Lindauer added a sac fly in the 5th and a bases-loaded walk in the 7th. After Lindauer drew the bases-loaded BB, Jason Martin hit a sac fly. Martin hit another sac fly in the 9th for the final run of the night. Mott Hyde finished 4-5 with a double and 2 runs scored. He, Nick Tanielu, Alex Hernandez, and Ryan Bottger scored 2 runs apiece.

Brandon McNitt, in his first start of the season, went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out a career-high 8. Kevin Comer worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out 1. Akeem Bostick pitched the final 4 innings and allowed a hit while striking out 1.

In the middle game of this series, Austin Chrismon will take on Felix Jorge. First pitch is at 5:05.

Happy Birthday - 5/16

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

RHP Robert Kahana (22)
Kahana was born May 16, 1993 in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, and was drafted by the Astros in the 32nd round in 2014 out of the University of Kansas. He is currently at Extended Spring Training.

Corpus Christi Pitching Coach Doug Brocail (48)
Brocail was born May 16, 1967 in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, and is currently in his second season as Pitching Coach for the Corpus Christi team.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, May 15, 2015

Astros Minor League Roster Moves

So, you remember that whole Lance McCullers was promoted to Fresno thing? That was so 24 hours ago! The Astros announced today that he would instead be heading to Houston and would make his major league debut on Monday. I did not see that coming, but Congratulations go out to Mr. McCullers.

Here are the rest of the transactions that I posted yesterday plus a couple of new ones.

FRESNO
5-13 OF Robbie Grossman optioned from Houston to Fresno
5-13 LHP Kevin Chapman optioned from Houston to Fresno
5-14 RHP Jake Buchanan recalled from Fresno to Houston
5-15 IF Ronnie Torreyes was traded to the Blue Jays for cash

CORPUS CHRISTI
5-14 OF Brandon Meredith placed on the 7-day DL
5-15 LHP Brian Holmes was promoted from Lancaster to Corpus Christi

LANCASTER
5-11 LHP Blaine Sims released
5-15 C Brett Booth was assigned to Lancaster from Extended Spring Training
5-15 RHP Gonzalo Sanudo was loaned to the Diablos Rojos del Mexico

QUAD CITIES
5-14 LHP Jordan Mills assigned to Quad Cities from Extended Spring Training
5-14 RHP Jose Montero placed on the 7-day DL

EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING
5-15 RHP Jose Veras signed a minor league contract and was assigned to Extended Spring Training.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, May 14, 2015

Well, I am still pumped about that Rockets comeback win!

Albuquerque 9, Fresno 8

W- Chris Rusin (3-2)
L- Luis Cruz (0-2)
S- Jairo Diaz (5)

Fresno home runs: Matt Dominguez (1, solo in 6th), Matt Duffy (3, solo in 9th)

Unfortunately, the Grizzlies' comeback bid fell short as the Isotopes got on the board in the series.

The Matts carried the Fresno offense in this one; Duffy went 4-5, and Dominguez finished 2-5. Duffy hit an RBI double in the 3rd, and Dominguez followed with a 2-run double. Dominguez ripped a solo homer in the 6th, and Duffy managed to make it a 1-run game in the top of the 9th with yet another grand slam for the Grizzlies. L.J. Hoes finished 2-4 with a double and a run scored. Carlos Correa went 1-4 with a walk and a run scored.

Luis Cruz went 4.2 innings and allowed 5 runs on 12 hits (solo homer) and struck out 2. Jordan Jankowski was the first man out; he struck out all 4 Albuquerque batters he faced. The Isotopes got to Jason Stoffel for 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) in the 7th; he got 2 outs in the inning, allowed 4 hits (solo homer), and struck out 1. James Hoyt got the final 4 outs for Fresno, allowing 2 hits, walking 2, and striking out 3.

In the series finale, Brady Rodgers will take on Jonathan Gray. First pitch is 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 4, Frisco 2

W- Aaron West (1-2)
L- Kyle Lotzkar (1-3)
S- Jandel Gustave (3)

CC home runs: None.

Every scoring inning featured 1 run; the Hooks had 4 of those compared to 2 for the Roughriders, so they won the game. Sometimes, baseball math is easy. Corpus doubled up Frisco in the hit column 8-4 and doubled them up in the most important column.

Telvin Nash doubled to lead off the 2nd inning, and he would score the first run of the game on a Leo Heras double. Tony Kemp led off the 3rd with a double, and he scored on a Conrad Gregor sac fly. Frisco tied the game with 1 in the 3rd and the 4th, and it would stay that way until the Hooks re-took the lead in the 7th when Teoscar Hernandez stole home (6) as part of a double steal with Kemp (5). Heras doubled with 1 out in the 9th, advanced to 3rd on a Teoscar strikeout on a ball in the dirt, and scored a crucial insurance run on an errant pickoff throw from Frisco C Jorge Alfaro.

Heras finished 2-4; both of his hits were doubles. Tony Kemp, who also finished 2-4, stole 2 bases, giving him 6 thefts on the season.

Vince Velasquez allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 6. Angel Báez struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 5th as he bridged the gap between Vince and Aaron West, who allowed 1 hit, walked 1, and struck out 5 over 3 scoreless innings. Jandel Gustave wrapped it up, striking out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th.

In game 2 of this series, Mark Appel will take on Jake Thompson. First pitch is at 7:05.

Visalia 5, Lancaster 4 in 13 innings

W- Bud Jeter (1-0)
L- Chris Cotton (1-2)

Lancaster home runs: A.J. Reed (9, 2-run in 1st)

The JetHawks walked off with a loss in this game, and a loss in the series as they fell back to .500. Jason Schwartz was out in the elements, and it was raining in Visalia. As a result, he had to cover his equipment. The life of a Minor League broadcaster...

After a slow start to the season, A.J. Reed has turned it on in the month of May. His 2-run homer in the 1st inning opened up the scoring. J.D. Davis added an RBI single in the 3rd, and Marc Wik hit an RBI single in the 7th. Unfortunately for the JetHawks, that was the last time they scored in this game. Alfredo Gonzalez was the only player in the lineup with a multi-hit game as he finished 2-5.

Michael Feliz went 5 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. He looks like he's hitting his stride in the California League. Albert Minnis allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 1 in the 6th. Tyler Brunnemann went 2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits and fanned 3. Frederick Tiburcio also went 2 innings; he allowed 2 hits and fanned 1. Chris Cotton threw 2 scoreless, but he ran into serious trouble in the 13th as the first 3 Visalia batters reached on him via 2 singles and an intentional walk. Gonzalo Sañudo got one out after coming on, but he was unable to extract the JetHawks from the trouble. He induced a ground ball from Chuck Taylor, but Jose Fernandez's errant throw allowed the winning run to score.

The second leg of the JetHawks roadtrip continues tonight in Inland Empire. Joe Musgrove will make his first California League start for Lancaster as he takes on Victor Alcantara at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 6, Beloit 3

W- Chris Lee (3-2)
L- Kevin Johnson (1-3)
S- Ryan Thompson (2)

QC home runs: Kristian Trompiz (3, 3-run in 6th)

The Banditos faced an early deficit, which they erased with a 6-0 run. With this win, they took the series from the Snappers.

Jason Martin put QC on the board in the 2nd with an RBI groundout. One batter later, Ryan Bottget ripped an RBI double that tied the game at 2. Mott Hyde put the Bandits in front with a 3rd-inning sac fly. But the big hit of the night belonged to Kristian Trompiz, who proved that he is indeed a power hitter as he clubbed a 3-run homer in the 6th to double the River Bandits' run total. Trompiz was the only player in the Quad Cities lineup with a multi-hit game as he finished 2-4. He's more than holding his own in the Midwest League.


Chris Lee went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs (both in the 1st) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Jordan Mills made his 2015 debut and allowed a hit and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless innings. Eric Peterson pitched 1.2 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. The Closer, Ryan Thompson, got the final out of the game with a strikeout.

The River Bandits will now embark on a roadtrip beginning with a weekend in Cedar Rapids. Brandon McNitt will take on Michael Cederoth in the first of a 3-game set at 6:35.

Happy Birthday - 5/15

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

C Gabriel Bracamonte (20)
Bracamonte was born on May 15, 1995 in Santa Teresa del Tuy, Venezuela, and played his first season in 2014 for the Dominican Summer League Astros.

RHP Michael Richez (18)
Richez was born on May 15, 1997 in Santo Domingo, Domingo Republic. He also played his first season for the Dominican Summer League Astros in 2014.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Astros Minor League Transactions

Lots of movement in the system the last couple of days ...

FRESNO
5-13 OF Robbie Grossman optioned from Houston to Fresno
5-13 LHP Kevin Chapman optioned from Houston to Fresno
5-14 RHP Lance McCullers assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
5-14 RHP Jake Buchanan recalled from Fresno to Houston

CORPUS CHRISTI
5-14 OF Brandon Meredith placed on the 7-day DL

LANCASTER
5-11 LHP Blaine Sims released

QUAD CITIES
5-14 LHP Jordan Mills assigned to Quad Cities from Extended Spring Training
5-14 RHP Jose Montero placed on the 7-day DL

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Corpus was off, but there was still plenty of fireworks in the system, highlighted by a 10-RBI night from one Jonathan Singleton, a young catcher making some serious noise in the Midwest League, Quad Cities rallying from an early deficit, and some outstanding pitching in Lancaster sandwiched in between.

Let's get to it!

Fresno 17, Albuquerque 6

W- Asher Wojciechowski (1-0)
L- Tyler Matzek (0-1)

Fresno home runs: Jon Singleton 2 (11; grand slam in 2nd, 2-run in 3rd)

Well, this is me shifting into lazy mode, because I don't think I have the words to describe this game. The Grizz took full advantage of 13 walks. At one point, they had 9 runs on just 2 hits and led 12-2 after the 3rd inning. Jon Singleton's 2-run homer in the 3rd may still be in flight as I'm typing this.

Jon Singleton's 11 homers lead the minors; he took over the lead from Preston Tucker. His 10 RBI is also a Fresno franchise record, and his 35 RBI on the season also puts him in the lead in that category; he overtook Tucker, Carlos Correa, and Peter O'Brien (Arizona), who are all tied at 32.


Asher Wojciechowski pitched 5 innings and was taken deep by Matt McBride twice. Both of those home runs were of the 2-run variety, were the only extra-base hits he allowed, and constituted the 4 runs that he allowed. Wojo also allowed 6 singles, walked 2, and struck out 6. Jonas Dufek was the first man out; he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 2 innings. Tommy Shirley struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 8th, and Tyson Perez struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th.

In game 3 of this series, Luis Cruz will take on Chris Rusin. First pitch is at 11:05 A.M. Mountain.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks are in Frisco, where they'll be starting a 4-game series. Vince Velasquez will take on Andrew Faulkner at 7:05.

Lancaster 2, Visalia 0

W- Edison Frias (4-2)
L- Blayne Weller (1-3)
S- Brian Holmes (1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks got even in the series as Frias and Holmes combined on a 5-hitter.

Well, Frias allowed all 5 hits, but he also shut out the Rawhide in his 5 innings, walking 2 and striking out 6 in the process. Holmes locked it down as he struck out 7 over 4 perfect innings. He's now on a 19-inning scoreless streak and has 45 strikeouts in 30.1 innings this season.

Jose Fernandez drew a walk to lead off the 3rd, advanced to 3rd base on a Danry Vásquez single, and scored the first run of the day on a wild pitch. A.J. Reed drove in the other run with a single in the 5th. Danry finished 3-5 with a stolen base (3). Fernandez, who singled in the 6th inning, also stole a base (4).

In the series finale, Michael Feliz will be on the mound for the JetHawks. He'll take on John Omahen at 7 Pacific.

Quad Cities 15, Beloit 8

W- Reymin Guduan (3-0)
L- Jerad Grundy (0-1)

QC home runs: Jake Nottingham (6, 2-run in 4th)

The Banditos trailed 7-0 after 1.5 innings. They outscored the Snappers 15-1 the rest of the way. Sean McMullen really missed out on the fun...


The Bandits backed up Kevin Comer, who only recorded 2 outs in the game. He allowed 5 runs (3 earned, 2 inherited runners inherited to him) on 4 hits and walked 1. Jose Montero was the first man out, and he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 1. The next 3 Quad Cities pitchers shut Beloit down. Reymin Guduan allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5 over 2.2 scoreless. Keegan Yuhl tagged in for 2 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 3. The Closer, Ryan Thompson, struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th to finish it off.

In the series finale, Chris Lee will take on Kevin Johnson at 7.

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, May 11, 2015 and Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Monday: Tacoma 9, Fresno 7

W- Justin Germano (2-1)
L- Dan Straily (2-3)
S- Yoervis Medina (1)

Fresno home runs: Jon Singleton (8, grand slam in 8th), Luis Flores (1, solo in 9th)

Singleton and Flores led a late Grizzlies uprising, but that wasn't enough. The Rainiers scored in 6 consecutive innings (2nd-7th), and after Singleton's slam brought them to within 1, they answered with 2 in the top of the 9th to separate themselves.

The Grizz scored 5 of their 7 runs on those 2 homers. They drew first blood in the 1st on a Domingo Santana RBI double. Singleton, who finished 2-4, drove in another run on a groundout in the 5th inning. Joe Sclafani went 2-5 with 2 runs scored.

Dan Straily went 5 innings, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits (2 solo homers) while striking out 3. Jason Stoffel allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 1 in the 6th. James Hoyt allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 3 over 2 innings. Jordan Jankowski allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 9th.

Tuesday: Fresno 6, Albuquerque 4

W- Alex White (1-2)
L- David Hale (0-2)
S- Darin Downs (2)

Fresno HRs: L.J. Hoes (1, 2-run in 5th), Jon Singleton (9, 3-run in 6th)

Again, the home run was the equalizer for Fresno as 5 of their 6 runs came off of those 2 homers.

Hoes' blast just got out of the park and tied the game at 2. Domingo Santana hit an RBI single in the 6th, and one batter later, Singleton put the Grizz ahead with his 9th homer of the year. In his AAA debut, Carlos Correa went 1-5 with a strikeout from the #2 spot in the order.

Alex White allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 over 6 innings of work. Richard Rodriguez went 2 innings and allowed 2 runs (both on solo homers) on 4 hits and struck out 2. Darin Downs worked around a hit and a walk to close out the game.

Asher Wojciechowski gets the start in game 2 of this series. He'll take on Tyler Matzek at 5:35 Pacific.

Monday: Corpus Christi 2, San Antonio 1

W- Chris Devenski (3-0)
L- Luis De La Cruz (0-2)
S- Jandel Gustave (2)

CC home runs: Telvin Nash (6, 2-run in 6th)

Chris Devenski allowed his first run of the season, but Telvin Nash and the bullpen backed him up.

Travis Jankowski homered off Devenski with 2 outs in the 5th to snap his scoreless streak at 27 innings. Devenski went 5.2 innings and allowed 6 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 2, and his ERA skyrocketed to 0.31. Travis Ballew got the final out of the 6th, allowing a hit. Mitch Lambson worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 7th, striking out 1. Jandel Gustave closed it out, allowing a hit and walking 1 over 2 scoreless innings.

Jankowski's homer in the bottom of the 5th broke a scoreless tie in the Missions' favor, but Telvin Nash responded with a 2-run home run (ha!) to put the Hooks ahead in the top of the 6th. Telvin was the only player in the Corpus lineup to finish with a multi-hit day, going 2-4.

Tuesday: Corpus Christi 3, San Antonio 2

W- Lance McCullers (3-1)
L- Adam Cimber (0-1)

CC home runs: Teoscar Hernandez (4, 2-run in 8th)

The Hooks took their 2nd consecutive 1-run game, and the series, as a 2-run home run turned out to be the difference once again.

Teoscar Hernandez, who has shown signs of life in recent days after a rough introduction to AA, delivered the eventual game-winning hit with his 4th blast of the season in the top of the 8th. Tony Kemp finished 2-3 with a double. That double came with 2 outs in the 3rd, and Kemp wound up scoring the first run of the evening in the 3rd on two errors; the first came on the pickoff throw, and the other, I presume, came on an errant throw to the plate. Tyler White finished 2-3 with a walk. He's playing extremely well since stepping in for Colin Moran.

Mike Hauschild went 5 innings and allowed a 2-run single to Casey McElroy in the bottom of the 3rd. He allowed 2 other hits (all the hits he allowed were singles), walked 1, and struck out 3. Lance McCullers was absolutely ridiculous, striking out 6 over 4 perfect innings. McCullers lowered his ERA to 0.62 in the process and now has 43 punchouts in 29 innings of work this season.

After a day off, the Hooks travel to Frisco to begin a 4-game set tomorrow evening.

Tuesday: Visalia 2, Lancaster 1

W- Mason McCullough (2-0)
L- Chris Cotton (1-1)
S- Nick Sarianides (4)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The Rawhide got 1 in the 6th and 1 in the 7th to top Lancaster's run in the 5th. The JetHawks got their first two men to reach in the top of the 8th, but three straight strikeouts snuffed out the threat.

The only Lancaster run came in the 5th as Brett Phillips beat out an RBI infield single that was hit to first base. Alfredo Gonzalez, who finished 2-3, scored on the play.

Adrian Houser went 5.2 innings and allowed a run on a solo homer to Dan Palka in the 6th. He also allowed 2 singles, walked 4, and struck out 6. Chris Cotton got the final out of the 6th. An error in the 7th was a contributing factor to Visalia scoring the go-ahead run off of Cotton, which was unearned. Cotton allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 2 in his 1.1 innings of relief. Frederick Tiburcio worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 8th, striking out 2.

Game 2 will start at 3:30 Pacific. Edison Frias will get the start for the JetHawks; he'll take on Blayne Weller.

Monday: Quad Cities 8, Beloit 0

W- Dan Mengden (3-1)
L- Dan Gossett (1-4)

QC home runs: Sean McMullen (2, solo in 6th)

Dan Mengden and 2 relievers combined to throw a 2-hitter as he triumphed in a battle of the Dans. This was the River Bandits 12th win in a row.

Mengden allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3 over 6 shutout innings. Keegan Yuhl was the first reliever; he walked 1 and struck out 5 over 2 scoreless, and Jose Montero worked around 2 walks to close it out, striking out 1.

Sean McMullen opened up the scoring with an RBI triple in the 2nd. He led off the 5th with a double, then scored on error after Jason Martin laid down a sacrifice bunt. Later in the 5th inning, Jamie Ritchie hit a 2-run single. McMullen struck again in the 6th as he hit a solo homer with 1 out in the frame. In the 7th, the Banditos got RBI doubles from D.J. Fisher and Mott Hyde and an RBI single from Nick Tanielu. McMullen came up to bat in the 7th needing a single to complete the cycle, but he flew out. Mott Hyde finished 2-4 with that RBI double and scored twice. Jason Martin went 0-2, but he stole his first 2 bases of the season.

Tuesday: Beloit 10, Quad Cities 4

W- Brett Graves (2-0)
L- Brock Dykxhoorn (2-2)

QC home runs: Jamie Ritchie (2, 2-run in 7th)

Well, all good things must come to an end. That 12-game winning streak was fun, but the Snappers ended that 3 crooked innings, giving them a 9-1 lead over the Banditos in the 6th inning.

Ryan Bottger drove in the first Quad Cities run of the day on a sac fly. He led off the 7th with a double and scored on an error that allowed Jason Martin to reach. One batter later, Jamie Ritchie ripped his 2nd homer of the year.

Brock Dykxhoorn went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Josh James allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 after tagging in. Ryan Thompson allowed a solo homer to Jose Brizuela in the 9th, which was the only run and hit he allowed in the inning.

Game 3 of this series is currently in progress, and it's a bit of a rough morning for the Bandits. They trail 5-0 heading into the 2nd inning.

An Interview with Astros/Hooks RHP Kyle Westwood

Corpus Christi Hooks RHP Kyle Westwood is a man of few words so I first spoke to Hooks Manager Rodney Linares about the 13th round 2013 draft pick. According to Linares, "Westwood is solid. He's a professional. What's not to like about Westwood? He's a groundball pitcher. He's got really, really good stuff. He's got a really, really good cutter. His curveball shows flashes of being a really good one. He battles. He's mature. He's one of the most mature pitchers I have, not because of his age, but the way he goes about his business. He's a professional, which you can't say about every pitcher that you have. I believe that he's going to surprise some people, especially this year, the way he's throwing up here. He's fun to watch. He's fun to be around."

Linares went on to explain that Westwood's stats can be a bit deceiving. As a groundball pitcher, he sometimes ends up being penalized by the organization's focus on the use of shifts. Linares said, "(Westwood) understands that it's part of the process. (When) a groundball that should have been a double play was a base hit and the run scores, he understands that it goes on the report and the people notice what he's doing."


Kyle Westwood - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

When I spoke with Westwood earlier this month, the first question I asked him was about his pitch repertoire. Westwood told me, "I throw a 2-seam sinker with a cutter, changeup and curveball. Fastball is usually around 88 to 92, somewhere around there."

For those who have never seen Westwood pitch before, what can they expect to see? "As a pitcher, I'm going to throw a lot of strikes. I'm going to try to get ahead. I'm a groundball pitcher so I try to either get ahead early or just let them hit it on the ground. With the defense we have behind us, it works to my strengths. If I get ahead, I can put hem away also, but that's not what I'm trying to do. As a pitcher, I like to get ahead and get ground balls," said Westwood.

I asked for Westwood to critique a portion of what I wrote about him in the Astros Farm System Handbook I wrote over the offseason:
When I was jotting down my notes on Westwood, I wrote the phrase "working man's pitcher." He just sees what needs to be done, does it and goes on his way. Westwood has been described as quiet with off-the-charts competitiveness. He works quickly and efficiently using a 2-seam fastball/changeup combo to keep hitters off balance and to generate a lot of groundball outs. In addition to his 2-seamer, Westwood was working on an elevated 4-seam fastball/curveball combo during the 2014 season to add more swing-and-miss potential to his repertoire. According to Lancaster Pitching Coach Don Alexander, Westwood made good progress with all of his pitches and his 2-seamer should develop into a solid average to above average pitch with major league sinking action.
His response? "I would say that is spot on, just with the addition of the cutter that was added this year."

Although Westwood prefers Corpus Christi over playing in Lancaster, he noted, "It's not as different as you might think. (In) Lancaster, obviously the wind blows 30 mph out to the right. But here the wind, it's not 30, but we get a pretty constant wind 10 to 15 out to left. You trade wind to right for wind to left."

As to what he's accomplished so far in the season, Westwood said, "Personally, it's early. I don't have a lot of innings yet, but I feel good. Stuff's there ... just got to locate better, make some better pitches throughout the game."

When asked who on that Hooks team had a pitch he would like to steal, he said, "Devenski, his changeup. I would love to have his changeup. That's probably the best one I've seen in a long time." As to what Hooks hitter he'd least like to face? "There are probably two, either Carlos [Correa] or [Tony] Kemp. Kemp's scrappy. He's hard to get out. And then Carlos, he can beat you many ways... long ball, singles, doubles, just everything. So either of those two, I would rather not face."

Of having the recently promoted Correa playing behind him in the field, Westwood said, "It's nice to know that if there's a ball hit on the infield, there's a good chance it's an out. He has great range, strong arm. With Kemp at second base, just those two up the middle, it's almost like a big league infield, and it's great to have them behind you."

I tried to dig deeper with Westwood, but failed abjectly in getting much more out of him on a personal level, other than he has no problem admitting to enjoying an occasional chick flick. So I asked him about an animated conversation I overheard last season amongst the Lancaster pitching staff. The subject was the possible existence of mermaids, Sasquatch and aliens. Westwood's straight-faced response was, "You can't rule out aliens. I mean you just don't know. The universe is a large place. I would say there's a good chance mermaids are real. And I would say Sasquatch is the least likely. [Mermaids?] Earth's covered in what, 70% water? There's a better chance that mermaids are real than Sasquatch."

And on that note, I will leave the reader to ponder the wonders of the universe.

Thank you for your time, Kyle. Best of luck as the 2015 season continues to unfold!

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happy Birthday - 5/12

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

OF Luis Payano (19)
Payano was born May 12, 1996 in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic. He signed with the Astros in July 2012 and played for the Gulf Coast League Astros in his second season in 2014.

Tweets of the Day


Monday, May 11, 2015

Weighing in on the Carlos Correa Promotion

I have largely remained out of the fray as the twitterverse debated the merits of a Carlos Correa promotion, whether it be to AAA or to Houston. This was partly due to mixed feelings and partly due to a complete lack of time in which to write up my thoughts on the subject.

With today's news that Correa has been promoted to AAA Fresno, I feel compelled to weigh in with my thoughts. I have had the opportunity to see Carlos Correa several times over the years, not just in game situations but in early work, batting practice, etc., first in Greeneville in 2012, then in Quad Cities in 2013 and in Lancaster in 2014. What I saw was one of the most serious and dedicated young men you will ever lay eyes on. But Correa was SO serious. I rarely saw him smile or cut up with the other players before games. I actually asked then Lancaster Manager Rodney Linares last year if Correa ever had fun, and the answer I got was a lukewarm yes.

Then I went to Corpus Christi last weekend. Either Correa has become much more relaxed and is having a lot more fun at the ballpark or he is less guarded around me (or most likely, a combination of the two). I saw a ready smile from Correa, joking in the dugout before the game and just an overall "looseness" that I hadn't seen from him before.

Carlos Correa - May 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Correa is still as determined and hardworking as ever, but I think he now understands that, although he still strives to be perfect, he will fall short of that mark. And I think he now understands that is OK, that lack of perfection doesn't equal failure. And I think he needed to understand that.

And I needed to see that. My concern that Correa would be too hard on himself if he struggled at a higher level suddenly evaporated. Coupled with his success in AA, I left Corpus convinced that a promotion to AAA was not only imminent, but was probably the right thing for him.

But a promotion directly to Houston? That's a whole other animal. As now Corpus Christi Manager Linares told me, "Could he play in the big leagues today? Yes. Should he? No." Linares would have liked to have had Correa a little longer. He wanted the other teams to see Correa two or three times in order to see how those pitchers adjusted to Correa and how he adjusted to them.

But Linares knew that he would likely lose Correa sooner rather than later and he felt strongly that a stint at AAA was in order. We agreed that Correa would be best served in the long run by having the opportunity to succeed at every level along the way. When he gets to Houston, it should be for good. Once he proves that he can handle AAA, send him on his way and let him make the adjustments he needs to make in order to succeed in the big leagues. If he knows that he has mastered every level along the way, he will be that much more confident and adaptable as he enters the big stage.

How long Correa will be at AAA will largely be up to him. I think it likely that he will make a case for himself quickly and we will see him in Houston no later than the end of June. Ultimately, Carlos will tell us when he's ready. And I, for one, can't wait to see him in an Astros uniform ... smiling, loose, happy and successful.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lancaster sweep!


Fresno 3, Tacoma 2

W- Jake Buchanan (3-1)
L- Trey Cochran-Gill (0-1)
S- Tyson Perez (2, 3 season)

Fresno home runs: None.

A 3-run 2nd inning held up for the Grizzlies, who took a 2-1 lead in this series.

Jake Buchanan was perfect through 4 innings; he ultimately went 7.2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 1. Tyson Perez got the 4-out save by retiring all 4 Rainiers he faced, striking out 1.

Jon Singleton walked to lead off the bottom of the 2nd, advanced to 2nd on an error by Tacoma 3B Carlos Rivero, and then scored the first run of the day on another error by Rivero when he fielded an Andrew Aplin sac bunt and promptly unleashed an errant throw. Matt Dominguez advanced to 3rd on the play, while Aplin took 2nd. After a Max Stassi groundout, Joe Sclafani walked to load the bases. Nolan Fontana would come through with a 2-run single, although the inning came to an abrupt end when he was caught stealing after L.J. Hoes struck out.

The Grizz look to win this series as Dan Straily gets the start. He'll take on Justin Germano at 12:05 Pacific.

San Antonio 6, Corpus Christi 5

W- Michael Dimock (2-1)
L- Dan Minor (0-1)
S- Tayron Guerrero (2)

CC home runs: Teoscar Hernandez 2 (3; solo in 6th, solo in 8th)

Well, after five zeroes, the Hooks offense got themselves going as they scored in their final four innings. They put up 1 in the 6th, 1 in the 7th, and 1 in the 8th to erase a 3-0 deficit that existed since the 1st. Unfortunately, the Missions put up 3 in the 8th to regain the lead. Corpus rallied back to make it a 1-run game in the top of the 9th, but.... unfortunately, they left the tying run 90 feet away from home to end the game.

Teoscar Hernandez put Corpus on the board with his first homer of the game in the 6th inning. Conrad Gregor doubled to lead off the 7th and would score on a Jon Kemmer groundout. Teoscar went deep once again to tie the game at 3. Carlos Correa led off the top of the 9th with a triple and Gregor brought him home with a double. Kemmer struck again as he drove in Gregor with a single. He advanced to 3rd on a Tyler Heineman single, putting runners on the corners for Teoscar, but sadly, he couldn't come through, popping out in foul territory to end the game.

Josh Hader survived a rough 1st inning and ended up going 6 innings. He allowed 3 runs (1 earned, all in the 1st), 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Travis Ballew worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 7th. The Missions got to Dan Minor, who got 2 outs in the 8th (1 via strikeout), but not before allowing 3 runs (2 inherited runners charged to him) on 2 hits. The one run he allowed that wasn't inherited was the go-ahead run; he also issued 2 walks. Juan Minaya got the final out of the 8th, but he also allowed a 2-run single that scored the 2 runners he inherited from Minor.

Game 3 of this series will begin shortly; it's an 11:05 first pitch. Chris Devenski will take on Justin Hancock.

Lancaster 9, Lake Elsinore 8

W- Tyler Brunnemann (1-0)
L- Eric Yardley (0-1)

Lancaster home runs: J.D. Davis (5, solo in 1st)

In a wild back-and-forth affair, the JetHawks walked off with a win for the 2nd time in the series and swept the Storm out of The Hangar.

J.D. Davis put the JetHawks on the board with his 5th homer of the year in the 1st inning. The JetHawks took off for 4 in the 2nd as Alfredo Gonzalez got his first RBI in the Cal League with a single. Brett Phillips followed with an RBI single, and Danry Vásquez delivered a big blow with a 2-run triple. After the Storm answered with 3 in the 3rd to cut the Lancaster lead to 1, Jack Mayfield hit an RBI single in the 5th to extend the 'Hawks lead.

The Storm tied the game with 2 in the 6th and took the lead with 1 in the 7th, but Lancaster managed to tie the game in the 8th as James Ramsay came through with an RBI single. Fernando Perez put Lake Elsinore back in front with a solo homer in the top of the 9th, but the JetHawks would have the final say in this one. After Danry struck out to begin the bottom of the 9th, the last 4 batters for the JetHawks reached base. J.D. Davis and A.J. Reed both singled, and then Ronnie Mitchell, who came on as a pinch-hitter, came through with an RBI double to tie the game at 8. One batter later, Jack Mayfield ended it with a single. Davis (2B, solo HR, 3 R) and Mayfield (2 RBI singles, 2 R) both finished 4-5. Danry Vásquez and Alfredo Gonzalez had 2 hits apiece.

Troy Scribner pitched 4.1 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Albert Minnis faced 1 batter and on 1 pitch, he got the final 2 outs of the 5th. Efficiency! Evan Grills went 3+ innings and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 4. Tyler Brunnemann came on in the 9th with a runner on, and he got the JetHawks out of the inning without further damage being done. He struck out 1.

After a day off, the JetHawks will begin a roadtrip. First stop, Visalia for 3 games beginning tomorrow at 6:00 Pacific. Adrian Houser will face Zack Godley.

Quad Cities was off

The River Bandits will begin a 3-game series against Beloit at 7:00 in a battle of the Dans. The Banditos will be sending out Mengden and his 'stache, while the Snappers have Gossett and his long, blonde locks.

WTHB Astros MiLB Under-the-Radar Roster: YTD Stats

Several weeks ago, I introduced the WTHB Under-the-Radar Roster. Let's check in on their progress.

Brian Holmes

STARTING PITCHERS:

2-0 with 1 save in 5 games (3 starts) for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
0.00 ERA and 0.814 WHIP in 23.1 IP (9 BB:22 SO)

Believe it or not, that stingy WHIP represents a spike from the last time we checked in on Devenski, mostly due to 5 walks issued in his last outing. And believe it or not, that 0.00 ERA is not a typo.

1-3 in 6 games (4 starts) for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks
7.17 ERA and 1.875 WHIP in 21.1 IP (10 BB:17 SO)

Grills is not having the best start to his season and is really struggling in his home ballpark (9.58 ERA and 2.129 WHIP).

1-0 with 1 save in 5 games (3 starts) for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits and 1 game (1 start) for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks (promoted on 5/8)
1.67 ERA and 0.889 WHIP in 27 IP (5 BB:30 SO)

Radziewski performed so well for the River Bandits that he received a promotion last week to the JetHawks. In his first appearance for that team on Saturday, he allowed 4 hits, 1 unearned run and no walks (5 strikeouts) in 5 innings of work.

RHP Troy Scribner
1-1 in 6 games (4 starts) for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks
6.17 ERA and 1.371 WHIP in 23.1 IP (11 BB:31 SO)

Scribner's numbers took a hit due to one particularly rough outing against the Quakes. As a starter, he has a 2.55 ERA and a 0.906 WHIP in 17.2 innings.

1-2 with 3 saves in 6 games (3 starts) for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
3.42 ERA and 1.367 WHIP in 26.1 IP (6 BB:10 SO)

Westwood had a couple of marginal outings prior to a very strong appearance on Saturday.

STARTING RESERVES:

3-1 in 5 games (4 starts) for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
4.18 ERA and 1.563 WHIP in 23.2 IP (4 BB:24 SO)

Since last we checked in, Hauschild has lowered his ERA significantly while his WHIP has inched up slightly.

2-1 in 6 games (4 starts) for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks
2.73 ERA and 1.063 WHIP in 26.1 IP (8 BB:38 SO)

Of all these starters, Holmes has improved his stock the most over the last 2 weeks. He has allowed no runs in his last 3 appearances and has walked 2 batters while striking out 22 over his last 15 innings.

BULLPEN:

1-0 with 1 save in 11 appearances for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks
2.70 ERA and 1.300 WHIP in 20 IP (7 BB:23 SO)

Brunnemann allowed one run in his first 8 appearances and 5 in the next 2 before reverting to form with a perfect appearance on Sunday.

3-0 in 13 appearances for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies
1.69 ERA and 1.688 WHIP in 16 IP (12 BB:18 SO)

In his last 7 appearances, Jankowski has allowed only 1 run, but has walked 11 batters. He will need to get his walk rate down or those walks will likely come back to haunt him.

2-1 in 8 appearances for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
4.35 ERA and 1.548 WHIP in 10.1 IP (2 BB:9 SO)

Lambson has allowed 5 runs thus far in the 2015 season. Unfortunately for him, 4 of those came in one abbreviated outing (0.1IP), causing his numbers to spike significantly since the last time we checked in with him.

0-1 with 3 saves in 3 appearances for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks and 9 appearances for the AAA Fresno Grizzles (promoted 4/21/15)
2.40 ERA and 0.667 WHIP in 15 IP (2 BB:10 SO)

Perez has been perfect in 5 of his 9 outings for Fresno, allowed only one hit in each of 2 other outings, and has allowed 2 runs each in the remaining 2 outings. He has not walked a batter since his promotion.

RHP Eric Peterson
1-0 with 3 saves in 7 appearances for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits
1.42 ERA and 1.342 WHIP in 12.2 IP (5 BB:14 SO)

With the starting rotation in Quad Cities having an incredible amount of success, Peterson has only been called upon to make 2 appearances in the last 2 weeks. In both of those appearances, he earned the save.

3-1 in 7 games (4 starts) for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies
4.63 ERA and 1.243 WHIP in 23.1 IP (4 BB:17 SO)

Shirley has been used as both a starter and a reliever with mixed results. Let's just say that his last start on Saturday was not one of his best and leave it at that.

0-0 with 1 save in 10 appearances for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits
0.64 ERA and 1.000 WHIP in 14 IP (3 BB:16 SO)

Since last we checked, Thompson's ERA skyrocketed from 0.00 to 0.64 (yes, I'm being facetious) as he finally allowed his first run of the season on Saturday.

BULLPEN RESERVES:

0-1 with 1 save in 6 appearances for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits and 4 appearances for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks (promoted first of May)
2.25 ERA and 0.583 WHIP in 12 IP (1 BB:16 SO)

Minnis allowed three runs in his first appearance with the Lancaster team (two of those as a result of runners who scored after he was pulled from the game). Those are the only runs he has allowed this season.

0-1 in 6 appearances for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
4.32 ERA and 1.320 WHIP in 8.1 IP (5 BB:7 SO)

Minor has gotten very little work so far this season, going 10 days between appearances at one point. After Sunday's appearance, he went from a 1.17 ERA and 0.913 WHIP to what you see above. Such is the life of a relief pitcher.

Alfredo Gonzalez


CATCHERS:

.313/.378/.403 in 17 games for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
6-2B; 4 RBI; 6 BB; 5 SO
50% Caught Stealing (5 SB; 5 CS)

Heineman's hitting numbers have held up well since we last checked, but his caught stealing rate came back down to earth from an unsustainable 80% rate.

.340/.476/.420 in 13 games for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits and 2 games for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks (promoted on 5/7)
2-2B; 1-3B; 9 RBI; 2 SB; 11 BB; 8 SO
59% Caught Stealing (7 SB; 10 CS)

Gonzalez has had an excellent start to his season, leading to his promotion to Lancaster.

CATCHING RESERVES:

.273/.349/.532 in 22 games for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits
3-2B; 1-3B; 5 HR; 18 RBI; 8 BB; 17 SO
56% Caught Stealing (4 SB; 5 CS)

Nottingham has been on a roll at the plate, hitting .400/.438/.733 over the last week.

INFIELDERS:

.247/.307/.370 in 21 games for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies
4-2B; 2 HR; 13 RBI; 5 BB; 15 SO

Duffy suffered a dry spell, not getting a hit in 6 consecutive games before righting the ship. Unfortunately, 3 games later he was placed on the 7-day DL.

.261/.320/.478 in 24 games for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks
5-2B; 5 HR; 14 RBI; 1 SB; 9 BB; 35 SO

After a red-hot start to the season, McDonald came thudding back to earth. He has only had one hit in his last 8 games.

.284/.326/.352 in 23 games for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits
4-2B; 1-3B; 14 RBI; 2 CS; 5 BB; 15 SO

Tanielu is hitting very well so far in May: .370/.379/.444 with 2 doubles, 7 RBI, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts in 7 games.

.319/.415/.473 in 25 games for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits
12-2B; 1-3B; 10 RBI; 1 SB; 3 CS; 15 BB; 13 SO

Despite cooling off a little bit over the last week, Hyde is still putting up very good numbers for the season.

.287/.323/.437 in 25 games for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits
5-2B; 1-3B; 2 HR; 9 RBI; 3 BB; 21 SO

Trompiz has hit .286/.348/.524 against left-handed pitching and .288/.314/.409 against right-handers so far this season.

.235/.333/.324 in 19 games for the AAA Fresno Grizzlies and 3 games for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
2-2B; 2-3B; 7 RBI; 1 SB; 9 BB; 13 SO

Sclafani started out the season in Fresno, was sent to Corpus for 3 games at the end of April and is now back with the Grizzlies. Sclafani has had a slow start to the season and is hitting much better as a right-handed batter this season: .261/.370/.348.

INFIELD RESERVES:

.327/.493/.400 in 17 games for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
1-2B; 1HR; 11 RBI; 1 SB; 18 BB; 10 SO

So far in May, White is hitting .355/.474/.452.

.315/.395/.493 in 17 games for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks, 3 games for AA Corpus Christi and 2 games for AAA Fresno
5-2B; 1-3B; 2 HR; 14 RBI; 6 SB; 2 CS; 10 BB; 16 SO

Moon got called to Corpus Christi when Jio Mier was on the DL and then was sent almost immediately to Fresno when Ronald Torreyes was DFA'd.

OUTFIELD:

.287/.358/.447 in 25 games for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
4-2B; 1-3B; 3 HR; 16 RBI; 1 SB: 3 CS; 10 BB; 20 SO

Meredith apparently likes those away games as he's hitting .378/.440/.578 on the road this season.

.280/.337/.480 in 20 games for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks
6-2B; 3 HR; 10 RBI; 1 CS; 7 BB; 13 SO

Mitchell is another hitter who has cooled considerable since his hot start to the season as he struggles against his fellow lefties.

.273/.325/.355 in 27 games for the Low A Quad Cities River Bandits
5-2B; 2-3B; 5 RBI; 5 SB; 4 CS; 8 BB; 25 SO

Boyd is hitting .300/.364/.433 so far in May, but more importantly, has cut down on his strikeout rate during the month.

.213/.286/.338 in 24 games for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks
5-2B; 1-3B; 1 HR; 8 RBI; 2 SB; 1 CS; 9 BB; 21 SO

Ramsay is hitting .279/.365/.465 at The Hangar.

.171/.356/.200 in 12 games for the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks
1-2B; 4 RBI; 1 CS; 10 BB; 15 SO

Wik is hitting .250/.444/.300 at The Hangar.

OUTFIELD RESERVES:

.229/.362/.354 in 15 games for the AA Corpus Christi Hooks
2 HR; 6 RBI; 8 BB; 21 SO

Kemmer has had a slow start to the season, but is showing some signs of coming around, having hit home runs in back-to-back games last week.

For background information on these players and more information regarding their selection, see my prior posts on Pitchers and Position Players.

Happy Birthday - 5/11

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

LHP Jordan Mills (23)
Mills was born May 11, 1992 in Shingle Springs, California and was drafted by the Astros in the 28th round in 2013 out of St. Mary's College of California (Moraga, California). He is currently in Extended Spring Training in Florida.

Jordan Mills - July 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen


IF Anardo Peralta (19)
Peralta was born May 11, 1996 in Azua, Dominican Republic and was signed by the Astros in June 2014. He spent his first season in 2014 playing in the Dominican Summer League.

RHP Luis Castro (20)
Castro was born May 11, 1995 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and was signed by the Astros in February 2015.

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, 2015

First off, I would like to wish every mother a happy Mother's Day! This one goes out to all the mothers of Astros minor league players.

So, let's get crackin'. The last two days in the system have been quite fun... we had a walkoff win on Friday, and Quad Cities just continues to lay waste to their opponents.

Friday: Fresno 4, Tacoma 0

W- Richard Rodriguez (2-0)
L- Forrest Snow (1-2)
S- Darin Downs (1)

Fresno home runs: None.

A 3-run 8th inning provided some much-needed breathing room for the Grizz as they recorded their 2nd shutout of the season.

Brady Rodgers allowed 3 hits over 4.2 scoreless innings, walked 4, and struck out 4. Richard Rodriguez threw 3 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 2. Darin Downs got the 4-out save, retiring all 4 Rainiers he faced.

Domingo Santana broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the 4th. The score remained 1-0 until the 8th, when Alex Presley led off the inning with his 4th hit of the night. He would score on a Matt Dominguez single. Andrew Aplin laid down a bunt single, and on the ensuing error, Jon Singleton scored. Chan-Jong Moon drove in the final run of the evening with a sac fly. Presley finished a perfect 4-4 at the plate.

Saturday: Tacoma 8, Fresno 3

W- Mike Montgomery (3-2)
L- Tommy Shirley (3-1)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies got pounded in a 4-inning span that saw them trail 8-1 after the 5th inning (this began in the 2nd inning).

Jon Singleton put Fresno on the board with an RBI single in the 4th inning. L.J. Hoes hit an RBI double in the 8th, and Alex Presley drove him in with a single. Presley finished 2-4; the top 3 of the order in Joe Sclafani, L.J. Hoes, and Alex Presley scored the 3 Fresno runs.

Tommy Shirley went 4 innings and allowed 5 runs on 7 hits (solo and 2-run homers) and struck out 2. Jonas Dufek went 3 innings and allowed 3 runs (all on a home run) on 4 hits and struck out 2. Jason Stoffel struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th inning. Tyson Perez worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th.

In game 3 of this series, Jake Buchanan takes the mound. First pitch is at 2:05 Pacific.

Friday: Midland 4, Corpus Christi 3

W- Ryan Dull (2-0)
L- Aaron West (0-2)
S- Tucker Healy (1)

CC home runs: None.

The Rockhounds spoiled the Hooks' bid to sweep the series as their bats woke up late. The Hooks made it a 1-run game in the bottom of the 9th, but their comeback bid was cut short.

Brandon Meredith put the Hooks on the board with an RBI groundout in the 4th. Tyler White put them in the lead with an RBI single in the 5th. Leo Heras added another RBI groundout that scored Teoscar Hernandez in the 9th. White and Jio Mier finished with 2 hits each.

Vince Velasquez made his long-awaited 2015 debut and was absolutely marvelous in his 5 innings. He allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 10. Midland got to Aaron West with 2 runs in the 8th inning. West went 3 innings and allowed 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Juan Minaya allowed a run, a hit, and walked 2 in the 9th inning.

Saturday: Corpus Christi 11, San Antonio 1

W- Mark Appel (3-0)
L- Elliot Morris (1-2)
S- Kyle Westwood (3)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks pounded out 16 hits as they swamped the Missions in the first edition of the I-37 Series in 2015. Everyone in the lineup had a hit as Tyler White and Teoscar Hernandez, who both went 3-5 with 2 runs scored, led the way. It's been a tough start for Teoscar; hopefully this game gets his bat out of the mudhole it's been stuck in all season. On the other hand, the door opened for Tyler White because of Colin Moran's injury, and he's busted that door down. White has recorded a hit in 13 of  the 16 games he's played this season.

Jio Mier put Corpus on the board first with a 2-run double in the 2nd inning. Things got out of hand in the 6th inning as the Hooks scored a touchdown in the inning.

Tyler White drove in the first run of the frame with an RBI single. Roberto Peña followed with an RBI single; an error allowed Jon Kemmer to score and Peña also advanced to 2nd. Leo Heras hit a 2-run single, and then Jio smacked an RBI triple. Carlos Correa, who scored the first run of the inning, ripped an RBI double. Oh, and uh... he's 15-15 in stolen base attempts this season. The Hooks finished it off with a pair of RBI singles from White and Teoscar in the top of the 9th.

Mark Appel and Kyle Westwood breezed through this game; together, they threw 96 pitches. Appel went 5 innings and allowed 8 hits (7 singles and a double), an unearned run, walked 1, and struck out 1. Westwood got the 4-inning save, allowing a hit and striking out 1 in the process.

Josh Hader will be on the mound this afternoon for the Hooks. He'll face Zack Segovia at 2:05.

Friday: Lancaster 7, Lake Elsinore 6 in 10 innings

W- Gonzalo Sañudo (2-0)
L- Genison Reyes (1-2)

Lancaster home runs: Jack Mayfield (2, solo in 2nd), James Ramsay (1, 2-run in 9th)

James Ramsay was the hero on Friday as he tied the game in the bottom of the 9th with his 1st homer of the season, and won it for the JetHawks with an RBI double in the first extra frame. He picked a fine time to get his first two hits of the evening.

The JetHawks got a pair of RBI doubles from A.J. Reed and Jose Fernandez in the 1st. Jack Mayfield's 2nd homer of the season led off the 2nd inning, and Fernandez reached on an error that allowed Reed to score in the 3rd. After Lancaster took the 4-2 lead into the 4th, the Storm struck back, putting up 2 in the 4th and the 5th to take a 6-4 lead, and it would stay that way heading into the bottom of the 9th. Mayfield walked to lead off the inning, and after Brian Holberton lined out to center, Ramsay stepped in and tied the game. They very nearly walked off with the win, as Danry Vásquez found himself 90 feet away from home after a J.D. Davis single. Reed was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Fernandez was unable to come through, striking out to end the inning. Holberton drew a 2-out walk, and one batter later, Ramsay ended it with the double.

Zach Morton was all over the place on Friday night; he allowed 4 runs on 5 hits, walked 6, and struck out 1 over 3.2 innings. Tyler Brunnemann skirted out of a bases-loaded situation to end the 4th, although he gave up a 2-run homer to Jeremy Baltz in the 5th. Bruno allowed 1 other hit and struck out 2 in 1.1 innings of work. Michael Feliz came on and threw 4 scoreless, allowing 3 hits and striking out 3. Gonzalo Sañudo worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 10th, striking out 1.

Saturday: Lancaster 3, Lake Elsinore 1


W- Joe Musgrove (1-0, 5-1 season)
L- Rafael De Paula (2-2)

Lancaster home runs: Danry Vásquez (1, solo in 6th)

In the rare low-scoring game at The Hangar, the two debuting pitchers, Bryan Radziewski and Joe Musgrove enjoyed stellar California League debuts. Actually.... I get the feeling that low-scoring games at The Hangar have become more common in recent years.

The southpaw, Radziewski, got the start and allowed an unearned run on 4 hits and struck out 5 over 5 innings. All Musgrove did in his 4 innings was allow a hit and strike out 6.

Danry finished a double shy of the cycle. He put the JetHawks on the board with an RBI triple in the 3rd inning, and then he put them in the lead with his 1st homer of the year in the 6th inning. James Ramsay brought in the final Lancaster run of the evening with a sac fly in the 7th. J.D. finished 2-4. Unfortunately, Jose Fernandez went 0-4, ending his hitting streak at 17 games.

The JetHawks look for the sweep as Troy Scribner takes the mound this afternoon. He'll take on Jake Lloyd at 2:00 Pacific.

Friday: Quad Cities 11, Wisconsin 6

W- Akeem Bostick (1-0)
L- David Burkhalter (0-3)

QC home runs: None.

The Timber Rattlers struck for 6 runs in the final 2 innings, but no matter, the River Bandits still extended their win streak to double digits.

Bryan Muniz got things started with an RBI single in the 1st, but the big blow in the inning came when Ryan Bottger cleared the bases with a double. Bobby Boyd finished 3-5 with a stolen base (5), 3 runs scored, and laid down a bunt single in the 5th. An error on the play allowed Kristian Trompiz to score, and Boyd advanced to 2nd. He eventually scored on a D.J. Fisher single. The Banditos put up a 5-spot in the 8th thanks to a 2-run single from Jason Martin, Boyd followed with an RBI single, and then Trompiz scored on another error. Nick Tanielu finished the scoring in that inning with a sac fly. Martin (2B, 2 RBI, R) and Trompiz (2B, 2 R) finished 2-4.

In his season debut, Akeem Bostick allowed a hit and struck out 1 over 5 shutout innings. Brandon McNitt, also making his season debut, went 3 innings and allowed 3 runs (all in the 8th) on 5 hits (solo and 2-run homers), walked 1, and struck out 2. Jose Montero allowed 3 unearned runs, a double, walked 2, and struck out 2 in the 9th.

Saturday: Quad Cities 6, Wisconsin 3

W- Austin Chrismon (4-1)
L- Milton Gomez (1-2)

QC home runs: Jake Nottingham (5, 3-run in 3rd)

11 in a row! This winning streak is "believed to be the longest" for the Quad Cities franchise since 1979. According to Wikipedia (I know... I know it's not always reliable), this would be the longest winning streak for a Quad Cities baseball team in the Midwest League era.

A pair of 3-run innings did the trick for the Banditos in this one, as did a huge night for The Sheriff, Jake Nottingham, who drove in 5 of their 6 runs. He put them on the board in the 3rd with a 3-run blast that also put them in the lead. In the 7th, Mott Hyde laid down an RBI bunt single, and two batters later, Nottingham struck again with a 2-run triple. In the end, Nottingham, Bobby Boyd (2 R), D.J. Fisher (2B, R), and Sean McMullen (2 singles) finished with 2 hits apiece.

Austin Chrismon allowed a run on 5 hits and struck out 5 over 5 innings. Reymin Guduan was the first man out of the bullpen; he allowed a run on a wild pitch in the 7th after he allowed a double to lead off the inning, and struck out 2. The Closer, Ryan Thompson, pitched the final 2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and fanned 3.

After a Sunday off, the River Bandits will get back to it on Monday, when they welcome Beloit to Modern Woodmen Park.

Happy Birthday - 5/10

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

1B/DH A.J. Reed (22)
Reed was born May 10, 1993 in Terre Haute, Indiana, and was drafted by the Astros in the second round in 2014 out of the University of Kentucky. Reed is currently playing on the Advanced A Lancaster JetHawks team.

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