Saturday, August 22, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, August 21, 2015

Fresno may never lose again.

Fresno 2, Round Rock 1 in 10 innings

W- Jordan Jankowski (8-3)
L- Tanner Scheppers (0-1)

Fresno home runs: None.

A walk-off sac fly in the first extra frame gave the Grizzlies their 19th win in 20 August games.

Mike Hauschild had a fine outing; the only complication he encountered was a solo homer hit by Beamer Weems in the 5th. In his 7 innings, Hauschild allowed 4 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 9. Kevin Champan, James Hoyt, and Jordan Jankowski all pitched scoreless innings. Chapman needed 12 pitches (7 strikes) to throw a 1-2-3 8th, Hoyt struck out the side in order in the 9th, and Jankowski worked around a hit to throw a scoreless top of the 10th, striking out 1.

Jonathan Villar went 2-4 with 2 steals (33) and scored both Fresno runs. He scored the first run of the evening on a Matt Duffy groundout in the 3rd, and scored the winning run on a sac fly from Jon Singleton in the 10th.

Fresno will look to complete the sweep as Brady Rodgers faces Robert Coello. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 9, Northwest Arkansas 7

W- Kyle Westwood (9-6)
L- Matt Murray (5-3)
S- Aaron West (5)

CC home runs: Leo Heras (5, solo in 7th)

It got a bit tense towards the end, but the Hooks ended up taking the first of 3 from the Naturals.

4 players in the Corpus lineup had 2 hits: Jon Kemmer (2B, BB, 3 R), Jio Mier (R), Conrad Gregor (2 RBI doubles, 2 R), and Alfredo Gonzalez (2 RBI, R)

Gregor's first RBI double came in the 2nd and put the Hooks on the board. Corpus turned the tide with 4 in the 4th as Alfredo Gonzalez hit an RBI single, and Leo Heras and Colin Moran followed by drawing bases-loaded walks. Chan-Jong Moon scored the final run of the frame on a wild pitch. Gregor added another RBI double in the 5th. Jio then scored on a wild pitch, and Alfredo added another RBI single to his ledger. Heras, who finished 3-4, scored the Hooks' final run of the evening when he smacked a solo shot in the 7th, his 5th of the year.

Kyle Westwood went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 7 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 3. Aaron West allowed a 3-run homer to Frank Schwindel with 2 outs in the 9th, but he got himself off the canvas and got the final out of the game. In his 3 innings, West allowed 5 other hits, walked 1, and fanned 2.

In game 2 of this series, Michael Feliz will take on Brooks Pounders. First pitch is at 6:05.

Lake Elsinore 3, Lancaster 2

W- Jason Jester (3-1)
L- Albert Minnis (2-4)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks walked off with the loss thanks to an error.

Chase McDonald led off the 2nd with a triple and scored Lancaster's first run of the night on an RBI triple from Marc Wik. Ronnie Mitchell added an RBI groundout in the 4th. James Ramsay and Alex Bregman had 2 hits apiece from the top of the order.

Keegan Yuhl went 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 5. Albert Minnis allowed the winning run (which was unearned) with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. He allowed 3 hits and walked 1.

Christian Powell will be on the mound for game 3 of this series. He'll face Matt Shepherd at 6:00 Pacific.

Quad Cities 3, Kane County 2

W- Steve Naemark (1-0, 2-0 season)
L- Brad Keller (7-9)
S- Elieser Hernandez (1)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos were outhit 10-7 and they only scored in 1 inning, but that turned out to be enough.

Thomas Eshelman, in his first appearance for the River Bandits, allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2 in 3.1 innings. Steve Naemark allowed 2 hits and walked 1 in 1.2 scoreless innings, and Elieser Hernandez shut it down as he allowed 3 hits and fanned 3 in 4 innings.

Luis Reynoso hit a sac bunt in the 5th, and Ramon Laureano scored Quad Cities' first run of the game on the ensuing error. Drew Ferguson and Nick Tanielu later added RBI singles. Ferguson was the only River Bandit with a multi-hit outing as he went 2-4.

In game 2 of this series, Josh James will take on Jared Miller. First pitch is at 6:30.

Hudson Valley 4, Tri-City 2

W- John Williams (1-0)
L- Zac Grotz (3-2, 4-2 season)
S- Tyler Brashears (1)

TC home runs: None.

An uprising from the Renegades gave them the win in the first game of this 3-game set.

Dex McCall put Tri-City on the board with an RBI double in the 4th, and Tony Nuñez ripped an RBI double of his own in the 5th. McCall finished 3-4.

Trent Thornton went 3 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 1, and fanned 5. Yeyfry Del Rosario and Scott Weathersby both pitched 2 scoreless innings; Del Rosario allowed a hit and struck out 2, while Weathersby allowed a hit and fanned 4. Zac Grotz allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 8th, and Juan Carlos Santos allowed a run, walked 2 (1 intentionally), and struck out 1 in the 9th.

Alex Winkelman will get the start tonight for the ValleyCats. He'll face Angel Yepez at 7:00 Eastern.

Greeneville 5, Danville 0

W- Yhoan Acosta (1-2)
L- Ryan Clark (5-1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros allowed 10 hits, but their 4 pitchers kept the Braves off the board.

Makay Nelson allowed 5 hits and walked 1 in 3 innings. Alejandro Solarte worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 4th, striking out 1. Yhoan Acosta was next; he allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6 in 4 innings, and Lachlan Madden finished it with a 1-2-3 9th.

Myles Straw opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 3rd, and a double steal saw him take 2nd (17), while Osvaldo Duarte stole home (16). Kevin Martir added an RBI single in the 4th, and he added another RBI single to his ledger in the 6th. One batter later, Justin Garcia followed with an RBI single. Connor Goedert finished 2-3 with a double and 2 runs scored.

The Appy Astros will look to complete the sweep tonight as Salvador Montaño faces Patrick Weigel. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 2, GCL Braves 1

W- Jorge Guzman (1-0, 3-3 season)
L- Evertz Orozco (4-1)

GCL home runs: Marcos Almonte (1, 6 season; solo in 8th)

Marcos Almonte's homer in the 8th broke a 1-1 tie. He finished 3-4 and had a double to go along with his homer. Bryan De La Cruz hit an RBI single in the 4th.

Enrique Chavez allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 4 innings. The only hit that Michel Martinez allowed in his 3 innings was a solo homer hit by Isranel Wilson in the 6th. Martinez walked 2 and fanned 2. Jorge Guzman walked 3 in 2 scoreless innings.

DSL Athletics 7, DSL Astros Blue 1 in 6.5 innings

W- Jhenderson Hurtado (3-2)
L- Leovanny Rodriguez (1-3)

Blue home runs: None.

This game was called due to rain. Jose Benjamin finished 2-3 with an RBI single in the 3rd.

Cristian Javier struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 6th. He was the only Blue team pitcher with a scoreless appearance.

DSL Nationals 3, DSL Astros Orange 2

W- Francys Peguero (3-1)
L- Luis Vasquez (1)

Orange home runs: None.

Carlos Machado scored on an error in the 7th and hit an RBI single in the 8th. Hector Martinez went 2-4.

Juan Lopez went 3 innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Diosward Gonzalez was the 3rd pitcher to appear for the Orange team; he walked 2 and fanned 4 in 5 innings.

Tweet of the Day

Friday, August 21, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, August 19, and Thursday, August 20, 2015

Let's play 2 in the Quad Cities!

Fresno

The Grizzlies took the first 2 games of their series with Round Rock, winning 7-0 on Wednesday and 6-3 on Thursday.

Asher Wojciechowski and three relievers joined forces to keep Round Rock off the scoreboard.

Wojo allowed 5 hits, walked 1, and fanned 5 over 6 shutout innings. Luis Cruz, Joe Thatcher, and James Hoyt all pitched a scoreless inning. Cruz allowed a hit and struck out 2 in the 7th. Thatcher allowed a hit and struck out the side in the 8th, and Hoyt threw a 1-2-3 9th.

Tyler White got 2 more hits to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. Both of them were 2-run singles. The first one opened up the scoring in the 1st, and the other came in the 5th. Matt Duffy also hit a 2-run single in the 5th. Andrew Aplin grounded into a force out that scored Robbie Grossman in the 8th. Duffy and White had 2 hits apiece, as did Max Stassi.

Mr. White just keeps on terrorizing PCL pitching. He smacked an RBI double in the 1st to open the scoring on Thursday, and he came around to score on a Robbie Grossman double. Matt Duffy hit an RBI double of his own in the 4th, and White drove him in with a single. Jon Singleton followed with a 2-run homer (19). Duffy and White both scored 2 runs and they both had 2 hits. Grossman finished 3-4 with 2 doubles.

Brett Oberholtzer went 8 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Joe Thatcher allowed a run on a hit in the 9th.

Mike Hauschild will be on the mound tonight. He'll take on Phil Klein at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi

The Hooks dropped their series with Arkansas, losing on Wednesday by a final score of 4-2. They fell 10-7 in 10 innings on Thursday.

Leo Heras opened the scoring on Wednesday with a home run (4). Their other run came on an RBI single from Danry Vásquez in the 9th. Danry finished 2-3, while Colin Moran went 3-4.

Chris Devenski allowed 2 unearned runs on 4 hits, walked 4, and struck out 2 in 5 innings. Aaron West and Travis Ballew each pitched 2 innings and allowed a run. West allowed 4 hits, while Ballew allowed 2 hits and struck out 4.

On Thursday, the Hooks got through a wild start that saw both teams combine for 12 runs in the first 4 innings.

Teoscar Hernandez hit a 2-run homer (17) in the 2nd, and Jio Mier smacked a solo shot (7) in the 3rd. Jon Kemmer's 2 hits were doubles, and he also scored 2 runs. Moran had another 3-hit game.

Reymin Guduan walked 2 and struck out 2 in 2.1 innings. He was the only Corpus pitcher to have a scoreless appearance on Thursday.

Kyle Westwood will be on the mound tonight as the Hooks welcome Northwest Arkansas to Whataburger Field. He'll face Matt Murray at 7:05.

Lancaster


The JetHawks completed a sweep of Inland Empire with a 14-13 win on Wednesday, and opened their series in Lake Elsinore with a 4-0 win on Thursday.

They gave up 13 runs in 4 innings to the 66ers... and yet, they battled back to walk off with a win.


James Ramsay's 4th hit on Wednesday was the game-winner, as he ended the game with a homer. Brian Holberton also homered, as did Chase McDonald, who continued his rampage. 

Kevin Comer walked 1 and struck out 5 in an outstanding relief outing.

Ramsay ended one game with a home run.... and began another one with a home run. He took Brad Wieck deep to begin the game in Lake Elsinore. That blast was his 10th homer of the year. Mott Hyde added an RBI double in the 7th, and Ronnie Mitchell hit a 2-run single in the 8th. Hyde finished 3-3, while Marc Wik went 2-4.

Bryan Radziewski and Andrew Walter combined on a 5-hit shutout. Well.. Radziewski allowed all 5 hits. The lefty from The U went 7 innings and fanned a career-high 9. Walter struck out 3 over 2 perfect frames.

In game 2 of this series, Keegan Yuhl will face Travis Radke. First pitch is at 7:00 Pacific.

Quad Cities

On Wednesday, the Banditos swept a twinbill with Wisconsin, winning 3-2 and 8-1. They were foiled in their bid to sweep the series as the Timber Rattlers won 7-4 in 10 innings.

In game 1, Justin Ferrell held the Rattlers off the board for 6 innings as he allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. It got a bit hairy for Angel Heredia when he looked to close out the game, but he pulled himself together and secured the win. Heredia allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and fanned 2 in the 7th.

Bryan Muñiz drew a bases-loaded walk in the 1st, Jason Martin hit an RBI single in the 2nd, and Ramon Laureano hit an RBI single in the 5th.

Wisconsin scored first in the second game, but the Banditos closed it on an 8-0 run.

In the 1st inning of game 2, Jose Fernandez drew a bases-loaded walk, Ryan Bottger hit a sac fly, and Muñiz scored on a wild pitch. Fernandez hit a sac fly in the 3rd, and then Muñiz cleared the bases with a double in the 4th. Laureano grounded in to a force out that scored Kristian Trompiz in the 6th.

Dean Deetz allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and fanned 5 in 5 innings. Steve Naemark allowed a hit in a scoreless 6th, and Eric Peterson worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 7th, striking out 2.

The Banditos couldn't hold a 4-1 lead on Thursday, though.

Drew Ferguson hit an RBI single in the 1st. Then, in the 2nd, Kristian Trompiz smacked an RBI double, the first of 3 2-baggers on the night for him. He came around to score on an RBI single from Bobby Boyd. Trompiz doubled again in the 4th and scored on another hit from Boyd; this one was a double. Boyd, Garrett Stubbs, and Nick Tanielu all finished with 2-hit games.

Agapito Barrios allowed 2 unearned runs (1 inherited run charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7 in 5.1 innings. Zach Davis went 2.1 innings and allowed a hit and fanned 4. They were the first 2 pitchers for the River Bandits.

Tonight, Thomas Eshelman will make his first start for the River Bandits as they travel to Kane County. He'll take on Brad Keller at 6:30.

Tri-City

The ValleyCats swept their 2-game set in Vermont, winning 9-2 and 5-2.

Tri-City seized all momentum with a 7-run 4th on Wednesday, and Ryan Deemes was excellent as he allowed just 3 hits and struck out 5 over 5 shutout innings. The Lake Monsters spoiled the shutout as they got 2 runs off of Chris Murphy in 4 innings. Murphy allowed 5 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 3.

Dex McCall finished 3-5 with a pair of RBI singles as he's looking to carry his MVP performance in the NYPL All-Star Game over into the home stretch. Bobby Wernes also had a 3-hit night; he ripped an RBI double in that big 4th inning. Aaron Mizell finished 2-4 with an RBI single and scored 2 runs. Kolbey Carpenter smacked a 2-run double in the 4th.

Aaron Mizell opened the scoring in Thursday's game with a solo homer (2) in the 1st. Brooks Marlow led off the 5th with a solo homer (6), and then Mizell reached on an error that scored Johnny Sewald. Marlow added an RBI single to his ledger in the 6th, and Anthony Hermelyn scored another run in the inning when Alex Melendez grounded into a double play.

Zac Person allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and fanned 4 in 3.2 innings. Kevin McCanna allowed a hit and struck out 5, and Ralph Garza Jr. allowed a run on 2 hits and fanned 2 in 2 innings.

The ValleyCats will begin a series with Hudson Valley tonight at 7 Eastern. Trent Thornton will be on the mound.

Thursday: Greeneville 6, Danville 5

W- Matt Bower (2-1)
L- Luis Gamez (2-4)
S- Samil De Los Santos (2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros came out on top in the first game between the two third-place teams in the Appalachian League.

Connor Goedert opened the scoring in the 3rd with an RBI groundout. Kyle Tucker later added an RBI single. Tucker added another RBI single in the 5th. Greeneville got a couple of RBI groundouts from Daz Cameron and Randy Cesar in the 6th, and Goedert ripped an RBI double. Myles Straw went 3-4 with a double, 2 runs scored, and a steal (16). Tucker (2 RBI singles), Kevin Martir (2 singles), and Justin Garcia (2 2B) had 2 hits apiece.

Andrew Thome went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Matt Bower tagged in for 3 innings and allowed 2 hits while striking out 5. Cris Santamaria allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits (solo homer) and struck out 1 in the 8th, and Samil De Los Santos struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

In game 2 of this series, Makay Nelson will take on Ryan Clark. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros

The Kissimmee Stros dropped 2 to the Yankees 1. They walked off with an 8-7 loss on Wednesday and lost 2-0 on Thursday.

Wander Franco had a nice game in Wednesday's contest as he finished 3-5 with 2 doubles, a solo homer (5), and 3 runs scored. Marcos Almonte finished 2-6 with an RBI.

They only had 2 hits on Thursday. Juan Robles allowed 2 hits and struck out 1 in 3 innings. Franklin Perez allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5 in 3 innings.

DSL Astros Blue

The Blue team whacked the Phillies 15-3 on Wednesday, but the tables turned on them in an 8-3, 10-inning loss on Thursday.

Every position player who appeared on Wednesday got a hit. Wilson Amador had 4, and 2 of those were triples. Ronny Jimenez had 2 doubles and drove in 4.

Gabriel Valdez allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 5 innings. Hansel Paulino went 4 innings and allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and fanned 4.

Ricardo Castro allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 1 in 4 innings on Thursday. Framber Valdez was the 3rd pitcher for the Blue team; he allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5 in 3.2 innings.

DSL Astros Orange

The Orange team dropped an 8-3 decision to the Mariners 2 on Wednesday, but they rebounded for a 5-4 win on Thursday.

Hector Martinez and Anardo Peralta had 2 hits apiece on Wednesday. Carlos Espinoza, a 21-year-old lefty from Mexico, allowed 4 runs on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 in his first 3 innings as a pro.

Fredy Medina finished 2-3 with an RBI single on Thursday. Juan Cuevas allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and struck out 5 in 5 innings. Edwin Villarroel allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in 3 innings.

Getting to Know Astros/River Bandits 3B Nick Tanielu

Since being drafted by the Astros in the 14th round in 2014 out of Washington State University, 3B Nick Tanielu has been a steady presence on the roster, first for Tri-City in 2014 and for Quad Cities this season. He was an All-Star both seasons. He has hit equally well in each of his two seasons and currently owns a .307/.355/.431 career line. He is hitting .333/.394/.522 with two outs and runners in scoring position for the season. He is hitting .317/.367/.444 against right-handers and .292/.324/.406 against lefties. As Quad Cities Manager Josh Bonifay puts it, Tanielu has been "that guy," the guy in the 3 and 4 hole who provides stability to the line-up and consistent at-bats.

I spoke with Tanielu earlier this month about his season so far, what he's working on, his not-so-serious side and the overall competitiveness of ballplayers among other things.

Nick Tanielu - August 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Of his season, Tanielu said, "I feel like it's been a great year so far. I feel like coming in this year I had to work on (my) power numbers, and I feel like the coaches here prepared me for that. They've given me the tools. I just have to execute that. And I feel that, as a team, this team's accomplished a lot. We came in. We were hot. We had a lot of guys here that aren't here anymore that were really hot, leading the league as a matter of fact. Then we lose a lot of guys and the team we have now is rolling. A lot of chemistry, a lot of guys trusting one another, trusting that they'll get the job done and our coaching staff trusts us as well."

According to Tanielu, he feels that the key to his continued development is to "just keep working every day." Tanielu knows what he needs to work on ... his power numbers, his speed, and his footwork when he's asked to play second base. He intends to work in the offseason on all of those things in addition to goals that the coaching staff will give him in an upcoming end of season meeting.

And the coaching staff will likely set lofty goals for Nick. Quad Cities Hitting Coach Joel Chimelis spoke highly of Tanielu and his season, but at the same time indicated that he expects much more from the third baseman. Tanielu understands where Chimelis is coming from. "Last year, talking to my agent after the year, he thought it was a good year. But then you go back in the offseason and you think, 'I could have done this. I could have done that.' And that was the main thing this year working with Chimelis. He tries to get so much out of you, and I think we've made big strides this year, but there's also so much more to accomplish. I think with the work he's giving me in the offseason, doing that, trying to stay healthy, get stronger, I think I can make some strides coming in to the next Spring Training. That's the plan."

Bonifay has been impressed with how hard Tanielu has worked this season in making the adjustments that Chimelis set for him, "First part of the year, he would just pepper the right side and Joel's just done a tremendous job working with him on the ability to hit balls to left field and being able to drive balls. He's just come a long way. He's put in hours and hours of focused work and it's been fun to see him."

And Tanielu is very focused. When I first saw him in Tri-City in 2014, I thought he was almost too focused and serious, but he definitely showed me his playful side during my recent visit to Quad Cities. Bonifay said of Nick, "He's really fun in the clubhouse. He keeps the guys loose. They keep each other entertained. And if you can ever get him to break off a rap, it's pretty impressive. Give him three words, he can dominate one."

When I mentioned the different sides I'd seen of him in the two seasons, Tanielu told me, "Last year was a little different. First year of pro ball, you kind of want to be serious, try to get your work done. Last year's team was playful as well but ... a lot of college guys were grinding it out. A lot of guys were tired. But this year, starting fresh and knowing a lot of the guys, it's great. You're spending every day with them. You've got to spark things up a little bit and there's plenty of guys on this team to do it with."

One of the things that Tanielu and company do to keep loose is playing hole-in-one dugout golf before games. In my experience, ballplayers make everything into a competition. Tanielu agreed, "Me and Ramon (Laureano) started that a couple days ago and now we've got a few guys on it, but honestly that's just how it is. Whatever we're doing, there's always some kind of competition going on from shooting a piece of paper into a garbage can or trying to get a baseball into a sewer unit."


When asked what Astros pitcher he would least like to face, Tanielu was expansive in his answer. "We'll start with our team. First of all, I wouldn't want to face (Ryan) Thompson just because he's a sidewinder guy and his slider's pretty nasty. We went to watch (Lance) McCullers pitch when he pitched against the White Sox. He was pretty electric. I wouldn't want anything to do with that. Last would probably be Musgrove, just because he's a bulldog up there. He's going to attack you with every pitch he's got and I think he's definitely one of my favorite pitchers to watch. I don't think I'd have a fun time in the box when he's up there."

If Tanielu couldn't play baseball, he would likely utilize his Criminal Justice major. "I'd probably join law enforcement, not necessarily be a cop, but that's always something I've wanted to do, been intrigued by. I like working with kids too so maybe a coaching career at one point but right now, it would probably be criminal justice," said Tanielu.

In asking Tanielu for something most people don't know about him, I got a two-fer, including the origins of his somewhat unusual name. Tanielu told me, "I'm a big WWE wrestling fan. I like The Rock. He was one of my idols growing up, him being Samoan and me being Samoan. It always gave me hope for Samoans to get on the big stage. Now that he's in the movies and everything, he gives Samoan/Polynesian kids hope."

It seems quite appropriate that The Rock is an idol of Tanielu's since that is precisely what he's been for Josh Bonifay and the Quad Cities team. The first word out of Bonifay's mouth when I mentioned Tanielu's name was "Leader." Bonifay continued, "He is a true leader. Leads by example. Very quiet. Goes about his business the right way. Gives you tremendous at-bats. Leads the team and really doesn't say much." A rock.

Thank you for your time, Nick, and best of luck as you head toward the postseason.


Other Recent Interviews:
RHP Dean Deetz
OF Jason Martin
1B Bryan Muniz

Happy Birthday - 8/21

Wishing a Very Happy Birthday to ...

OF Derek Fisher (22)
Fisher was born August 21, 1993 in Rexmont, Pennsylvania, and was drafted by Houston in the first round in 2014 out of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. He is currently playing for the High A Lancaster JetHawks.

Infield Coach Ramon Vazquez (39)
Vazquez was born August 21, 1976 in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. He is currently the Infield Coach for the High A Lancaster JetHawks.

Tweet of the Day

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tweet of the Day

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, August 18, 2015

It got a bit crazy in Fresno.

Fresno 14, New Orleans 12

W- Jake Buchanan (5-3)
L- Blake Logan (0-3)
S- Jordan Jankowski (2)

Fresno home runs: Tyler Heineman (1, 2-run in 4th)

The Grizzlies swept the Zephyrs out of the Central Valley in what was probably their wildest game of the year. They took control (or so they thought) with a 7-run 3rd that gave them an 8-3 lead. When New Orleans responded with 3 in the top of the 4th, they put up 5 in the bottom of the 4th.

Tyler White continued his rampage as he logged another 3-hit night. His first 2 hits were RBI doubles in the 1st and the 3rd. His other hit was a 2-run triple in the 4th inning.

No words, really.


Mark Appel had a rough outing, which was a departure from his prior outstanding performances. He allowed 9 runs (6 earned) on 12 hits (3-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 3 in 4.2 innings. However, the offense and the bullpen picked him up. Jake Buchanan allowed 2 hits and fanned 3 over 2.1 scoreless. Tyson Perez pitched a 1-2-3 8th. Kevin Chapman allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (2-run homer) and walked 1 while only getting 1 out in the 9th. Jordan Jankowski was able to secure the win by getting the final 2 outs of the game. He walked 1 and struck out 1.

The Grizzlies' homestand concludes with 4 against Round Rock beginning tonight at 7:05 Pacific. In game 1, Asher Wojciechowski will face Anthony Ranaudo.

Corpus Christi 8, Arkansas 4

W- Edison Frias (1-1, 9-5 season)
L- Chris Ellis (5-3)

CC home runs: Teoscar Hernandez (16, solo in 1st), Jon Kemmer (17, 3-run in 1st)

The Hooks welcomed the Travelers to Corpus Christi by doubling them up. 

Teoscar Hernandez and Jon Kemmer set the tone early with their blasts in the 1st inning. A.J. Reed finished 4-4 with an RBI single in the 3rd and scored 2 runs. Conrad Gregor doubled to lead off the 4th. He advanced to 3rd as Teoscar grounded into a force out. Teoscar then stole 2nd (29), and the errant throw down to 2nd allowed him and Gregor to score. Jio Mier added an RBI single in the 5th. Kemmer finished 3-4, while Teoscar hit a double to go with his homer. He scored 3 runs.

Lance McCullers, in what appears to be a tune-up outing, went 3 innings and allowed an unearned run, a single, walked 3, and struck out 5. Edison Frias went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (all on a 3-run homer) on 4 hits and fanned 6. Chris Cotton allowed 2 hits and struck out 1 over 2 scoreless.

Chris Devenski will be on the mound tonight. He'll face Sean Newcomb at 7:05.

Lancaster 8, Inland Empire 4

W- Austin Chrismon (6-3, 10-4 season)
L- Victor Alcantara (6-11)

Lancaster home runs: Ronnie Mitchell (12, 2-run in 4th)

Astros affiliates made it 2-0 over the Angels' affiliates as the JetHawks doubled up the 66ers.

They took flight with a 6-run 4th. Chase McDonald led off the inning with a walk, and one batter later, Ronnie Mitchell sent one out to put Lancaster on the board and in the lead. Later in the frame, Jamie Ritchie scored on a wild pitch. Marc Wik added an RBI groundout, James Ramsay ripped an RBI triple, and Alex Bregman finished off the scoring in the 4th with a sac fly. Mitchell struck again in the 7th with an RBI double, and Ramsay added an RBI single to his ledger in the 8th.

Sean McMullen went 3-4 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base (1, 7 season). Ramsay (3B, 2 RBI, R), Bregman (2B, RBI, R, SB [5, 10 season]), Mitchell (2B, 2-run homer, 3 RBI) all had 2-hit nights.

Austin Chrismon went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 5 hits (solo homer) and struck out 3. Michael Freeman walked 2 and struck out 2 in 2.2 innings, and Andrew Walter got the final out of the game via strikeout.

The JetHawks will look for a huge series sweep as Akeem Bostick takes on Ryan Etsell at 6:30 Pacific.

Quad Cities and Wisconsin was postponed

Due to rain. Doubleheader begins at 6, with Justin Ferrell facing Angel Ventura. In game 2, Dean Deetz will take on Kodi Medeiros.

New York-Penn League All-Star Game

The North team triumphed 4-2. Dex McCall was named the game's MVP as he hit a 2-run double in the 1st and drew a walk. Bobby Wernes grounded into a force out in the 1st inning. Pat Porter entered the game in the 5th and popped out in foul territory in his only at-bat in the 7th.

The ValleyCats return to action tonight as they travel to Vermont. Ryan Deemes will face Bubby Derby at 7:05 Eastern.

Johnson City 3, Greeneville 1

W- Josh Wirsu (2-5)
L- Alejandro Solarte (0-4)
S- Jhonatan Escudero (1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros dropped the series, dealing a blow to their playoff hopes. They still have some time, though.

Their only scoring play was an RBI single from Ford Stainback in the 5th. 

Edgardo Sandoval allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 over 5 shutout innings. Alejandro Solarte allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer) in the 6th. Dylan James allowed a solo homer to Edmundo Sosa (who took Solarte deep in the 6th), which was the only hit he allowed in the 7th. He also walked 1. Joselo Pinales walked 2 and fanned 2 in 2 scoreless innings.

Greeneville will begin a 3-game series in Danville tonight at 7:00 Eastern. Andrew Thome will take on Matt Withrow.

GCL Phillies 2, GCL Astros 1

W- Luis Morales (1-0)
L- Carlos Sanabria (2-4)
S- Ismael Cabrera (2)

GCL home runs: None.

All the scoring in this game was done in 1 inning. The Phillies just happened to score one more run.

Bryan De La Cruz scored the Kissimmee Stros' only run of the day on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 7th. Jake Bowey and Jonathan Matute both hit doubles.

Patrick Sandoval, Hector Perez, and Carlos Sanabria pitched 3 innings each. Sandoval allowed a hit and struck out 2. Perez allowed 2 hits and walked 2, and Sanabria allowed 2 unearned runs on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2.

DSL Astros Blue 9, DSL Rays 4

W- Felipe Tejada (4-3)
L- Jose Alejandro (0-4)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team was up by as much as 8-0 in this one.

Cristopher Luciano and Oscar Campos drove in 2 apiece. Ozziel Sanchez-Galan and Angel Tejeda had 2 hits apiece. 

Jose Ramos allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3 over 4 scoreless.

DSL Cardinals 9, DSL Astros Orange 3

W- Will Changarotty (2-3)
L- Bryan Abreu (2-2)

Orange home runs: None.

Anardo Peralta and Randy Vasquez each had 3 hits, while Carlos Machado had 2. 

Diosward Gonzalez walked 2 in 2 innings. He was the only Orange team pitcher with a scoreless outing.

Tweet of the Day

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, August 17, 2015

Tyler White tearing it up.

Francis Martes making his case to be the top prospect in the system.

Fresno 10, New Orleans 4

W- Dan Straily (10-6)
L- Travis Blackley (4-7)

Fresno home runs: Tyler White (5, 12 season; 2-run in 1st), Jon Singleton (18, solo in 7th), Alex Presley (3, solo in 8th)

The Grizzlies took game 3 of this series behind a huge night from Tyler White.

White finished 4-6, and all 4 of his hits drove in at least 1 run. He opened up the scoring with a 2-run homer in the 1st, and then he followed that with an RBI infield single in the 3rd. White added a 2-run single to his ledger in the 5th, and he capped off the scoring with an RBI ground-rule double in the 8th inning.

In that 5th inning, in which thee Grizzlies scored 4, Robbie Grossman added a sac fly, and Max Stassi hit an RBI single. Jon Singleton greeted Fabian Williamson with a solo shot to begin the 7th. and Alex Presley did the same in the 8th inning. Stassi went 3-5, while Singleton (solo homer, 2 R), L.J. Hoes (2 BB, 3 SB [21], 4 R), and Matt Duffy (BB, SB [2], R) all had 2-hit nights.

Dan Straily was the beneficiary of this offensive outburst, but he had a solid night on the mound himself. He went 7 innings and allowed 2 runs on 5 hits (solo homer) and struck out 8. Kevin Chapman allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 8th, and Joe Thatcher worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

The Grizz will look to complete the sweep as Mark Appel takes the mound. He'll take on Blake Logan at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks are back home, and they'll welcome the Arkansas teams to Whataburger Field starting with 3 against the Arkansas Travelers. Lance McCullers will face Chris Ellis at 7:05.

Lancaster 8, Inland Empire 0

W- Francis Martes (3-1, 6-3 season)
L- Jordan Kipper (6-9)

Lancaster home runs: Chase McDonald (25, 3-run in 2nd)

The JetHawks took flight in the 2nd as they scored 7 runs and Francis Martes completely dominated the 66ers on the mound. Everyone in the Lancaster lineup had a hit except for D.J. Fisher, who drew 3 walks and scored a run.

Martes, who may very well be the Astros' top pitching prospect right now, allowed 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 9 over 7 shutout innings in yet another outstanding outing. Jordan Mills completed the shutout as he allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 over the final 2 innings. There was a 26 MPH wind blowing out to center field in Lancaster last night.

Sean McMullen kicked off the festivities in the 2nd with an RBI double. He moved over to 3rd on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI double from Mott Hyde, who scored on... you guessed it, an RBI double from Marc Wik. Wik advanced to 3rd on a James Ramsay single and scored on an Alex Bregman groundout. Fisher drew a walk, and then Chase McDonald capped off a huge inning by continuing his home run binge. This latest blast was of the 3-run variety and put the JetHawks up by a touchdown.

McMullen added an RBI single in the 5th. He finshed 3-4 with 2 doubles. Wik, Ramsay, Bregman, and Ronnie Mitchell (who is on a triples binge) all had 2-hit nights.

Austin Chrismon will face Victor Alcantara in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 6:30 Pacific.

Quad Cities was off

The River Bandits will begin a 3-game series with Wisconsin tonight at 7. Justin Ferrell will take on Angel Ventura.

Tri-City is off

The New York-Penn League All-Star Game will take place tonight at 6:35 Eastern in Aberdeen, Maryland. Alex Winkelman, Bobby Wernes, Johnny Sewald, and Dex McCall will represent the ValleyCats.

Tri-City will resume play tomorrow as they'll play a 2-game set in Vermont.

Greeneville 9, Johnson City 5

W- Diogenes Almengo (2-0)
L- Juan Caballero (3-2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros kept pace in the division as they finished the game on a 6-1 run that began in the 4th inning.

Randy Cesar opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Two batters later, Kyle Tucker ripped an RBI double. Cesar hit another RBI single in the 4th. Greeneville proceeded to take control of this game in the 6th.

Osvaldo Duarte kicked things off with a single. He then scampered all the way home on an error following a Myles Straw sac bunt. Straw, who made it to 3rd, scored on an RBI double from Daz Cameron, who came home on an RBI double from Cesar. Kevin Martir added a sac fly with the bases loaded. Duarte scored on another error in the 7th; this one occurred after a single from Straw.

Cameron (2B, RBI, 2 R), Cesar (2B, 3 RBI, 2 R), and Duarte (2B, 3 R) all finished with 3 hits. Greeneville's 9 runs were scored by 4 players: Straw, Cameron, Cesar (all 3 of them scored 2), and Duarte.

Moreno Polanco had 3 inherited runners charged to him in 1.1 innings. He allowed 2 hits and walked 2. Starlyng Sanchez allowed 2 runs of his own on 5 hits and struck out 1 in 2.2 innings. Diogenes Almengo was excellent in his 5 innings of relief; he allowed 2 hits and struck out 5.

In the series finale, Edgardo Sandoval will take on Josh Wirsu. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros

The Kissimmee Stros completed a suspended game and played another with the Phillies. They lost the suspended game 5-3, but won the regularly scheduled game by a score of 5-2.

The suspended game began on August 1. Frankeny Fernandez scored on a wild pitch in the 5th, and Nestor Tejada hit an RBI single in the 9th.

Michel Martinez came on after play resumed and allowed 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 4 scoreless. Starlyn Taveras allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and fanned 2 in 2 scoreless.

They only scored in 1 inning (the 3rd) in the regularly scheduled game, but it turned out to be enough. Marcos Almonte, Vicente Sanchez, and Brian Peña all hit RBI singles, while Wander Franco ripped an RBI double, and Connor MacDonald had a sac fly. Franco finished 2-4.

Enrique Chavez went 5 innings and allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Jorge Guzman allowed a run on a double play, a triple, and walked 2 in 2 innings.

DSL Astros Blue 7, DSL Rays 3

W- Gabriel Pirela (3-5)
L- Kendri Salvador (3-2)

Blue home runs: Cristopher Luciano (4, 2-run in 1st)

The Blue team broke a 3-3 tie with 2 in the 7th and 2 more in the 8th.

Cristopher Luciano's 2-run homer in the 1st opened up the scoring. He added a sac fly in the 5th. In the 7th, he reached on an error that allowed Ozziel Sanchez-Galan to score and made it to 2nd, and Juan Fuente brought him home with a double. Angel Tejeda singled with 1 out in the 8th, stole his way to 3rd (10), and scored on the errant throw down to 3rd. Sanchez-Galan ripped an RBI double for the final run of the day. Fuente and Andy Piñeda both had 2 hits.

Jorge Alcala allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5 in 3.2 innings. Robert Corniel allowed a run on 4 hits and fanned 2 in 2.1 innings, and Gabriel Pirela went 3 innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and fanned 2.

DSL Cardinals 5, DSL Astros Orange 2

W- Edwar Ramirez (4-2)
L- Yan De La Cruz (0-2)
S- Estailin Tejada (3)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team scored 2 in the 6th to tie the game... only to see the Cardinals retake the lead with 3 in the bottom of the 6th.

Javier Navas went 4 innings and allowed a run on a force out, a single that occurred after he allowed the run, walked 4, and struck out 4. Yan De La Cruz allowed 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits and struck out 1 in 1.2 innings. Harlen Florencio walked 2 in 2.1 scoreless innings.

As I mentioned earlier, the Orange team's 2 runs came in the 6th as Fredy Medina hit a sac fly and Brandon Benavente scored on an error. Carlos Machado finished 3-4, while Nicolás Miranda stole 2 bases (3).

Getting to Know Astros/River Bandits 1B Bryan Muniz

Not every player gets off to a good start in their professional career. Just ask Bryan Muniz. Drafted by the Astros in the 22nd round in 2014 out of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, Muniz hit .400/.506/.609 and was named the Sun Conference Player of the Year, First-Team All-Conference, NAIA Honorable Mention All-American, and NCCAA Second-Team All-American in his junior year at Southeastern.

After signing in 2014, Muniz reported to Greeneville where his initial numbers were more than a bit south of the numbers he put up in college. But he ended with a healthy August and was sent to Quad Cities to start his 2015 season. Once again, he struggled and this time he was sent down to Tri-City to work with Hitting Coach Russ Steinhorn to get on track. After a successful stint with Tri-City (.292/.387/.443 in 22 games), Muniz was headed back to Quad Cities at the end of July. In 11 games in August, he is hitting .295/.354/.577 for the River Bandits.

Bryan Muniz - August 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Muniz first came on my radar last season when then Greeneville Manager Josh Bonifay told me that Muniz was a much better player than his numbers indicated. Bonifay is once again Muniz's Manager, this time with Quad Cities. He reminded me that playing in April in Quad Cities can be particularly difficult for some of the players. "Everybody has to understand that the Midwest League is ... so cold at first that it's hard for guys from Miami (like Muniz), from Venezuela, from the Dominican to get going. People just don't take into consideration how hard that is sometimes," said Bonifay.

When I had the chance to talk with Muniz earlier this month, I asked the right-handed hitting first baseman what he had done to overcome his rough start. "Pretty much not trying to do too much. I tried last year to impress people. In reality, I should have just tried to be myself ... easy, comfortable at the plate, just try to square the ball up," said Muniz. And although he hasn't developed into a big home run hitter yet (three home runs this season vs. 18 doubles), he knows that his size will help him hit the ball a long way if he just makes solid contact. Muniz continued, "I worked down in Tri-City with (Steinhorn) just to square the ball up. If I square it up and give it a ride, whatever happens after that, I have no control over. So that's pretty much my mentality now going up to the plate."

And Muniz knows that, playing first base, he will be expected to provide some power at the position. "I feel very comfortable and I like hitting in the gaps. That's probably the farthest part of the field ... left center, right center. But (I'll) just keep working out every day and in the offseason, keep training and just bring up my power numbers (and) hit more home runs, hopefully one day like A.J. Reed. Just hitting 20 a year would be nice. But right now, as long as I keep doing not too much and just trying to square the ball up, I know my time will come. God's time is the best time."

Muniz keeps it simple defensively as well. He knows that most of the time, all a first baseman has to do is just "stand there and body it up if I have to." But he works everyday in early work and BP, taking hundreds of ground balls from Bonifay, working especially on improving his footwork and backhand picks. "It's just a confidence thing," said Muniz. "If I can catch Boni's ground balls (in BP), in a game I have a lot more time and a lot more chance to make the play since I get a hundred a day. It's just working and keep getting better at it."

If someone has yet to see Muniz in action, he told me what they could expect. "Pretty much someone who enjoys playing the game. I've been playing since I was three. You see me, even if I'm 0-for-3 or 0-for-4, I've got a big smile on my face. I'm just enjoying my time here. I come from a small school, both high school and college, so not many people like me have this privilege to play this game. I enjoy my time as long as I'm here. I'm always happy and smiling even if I'm not playing."

Bonifay agrees. Even during that tough first month of the season, Bonifay said of Muniz, "He was a true pro. He even caught bullpens for us during games at times. It's so much fun to have him back here. He smiles. He has a good time."

When I asked Muniz what Astros pitcher he would least like to face, he did not hesitate. "Joe Musgrove. He has been lights out this year. I got the chance to live with him this year and I know the type of pitcher he is. I even know how he would pitch to me. He even told me how he'd pitch to me and I still don't think I'd have a chance against him. He's got good command of everything. He stands there and throws strikes. You know he's going to throw strikes, but his ball just moves. Everything he throws moves. He's just a good pitcher. Seeing him pitch, being able to play with him this year, seeing his persona on the mound is unbelievable. So kudos to Musgrove -- just keep doing his thing."

If he couldn't play baseball, Muniz would likely fall back on his Criminal Justice major. "My uncle has the best job in the world. He's a marine patrol officer so being out on the water every day, being a police officer ... I love the water. I love the ocean. I always told (my uncle) once I'm done with baseball, I'm going to take his job," said Muniz.

Asked to name a guilty pleasure, Muniz admitted to me that he is a fan of the chick flick. "I really do like the movie 'The Notebook.' I've seen it countless times with my girlfriend." And he often surprises his girlfriend by suggesting that type of movie.

Muniz may also surprise a few people as he continues to develop as a ballplayer. According to Bonifay, "He is swinging the bat extremely well. He's barrelled a ton of baseballs since he's been back here from Tri-City. He's playing a really solid first base. He's put in a lot of work. He's been just a true pro and now you see the fruits of his labor. He's going to provide a lot for us down the stretch."

Thank you for your time, Bryan, and best of luck as you head toward the postseason. Keep on smiling, and remember, it's not where you start ... it's where you finish!


Other Recent Interviews:
RHP Dean Deetz
OF Jason Martin

Astros Minor League Roster Moves

In addition to these Astros minor league roster moves from last week, there have been a few more already this week.

CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS
8-20: RHP Josh Fields optioned from Houston to Corpus Christi
8-20: RHP Vince Velasquez recalled from Corpus Christi to Houston
8-20: LHP Reymin Guduan activated from the 7-day DL
8-18: RHP Joe Musgrove placed on the 7-day DL
8-16: RHP Tyler Brunnemann assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
8-16: RHP Michael Feliz activated from the DL
8-16: LHP Brian Holmes placed on the 7-day DL

LANCASTER JETHAWKS
8-18: C Ruben Castro assigned from the GCL to Lancaster
8-18: 3B J.D. Davis placed on the 7-day DL retroactive to 8-16
8-16: RHP Christian Powell activated from the DL
8-16: RHP David Paulino activated from the DL
8-16: C Brian Holberton activated from the DL

QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS
8-20: RHP Thomas Eshelman assigned from the GCL to Quad Cities
8-18: RHP Brandon McNitt retired

GCL ASTROS
8-17: C Ruben Castro assigned from Lancaster to the GCL
8-17: RHP Josue Uribe assigned from the DSL to the GCL

DSL ASTROS
8-19: LHP Carlos Espinoza assigned to the DSL Orange team

Also, I'll admit that I totally missed the news that RHP Jason Stoffel was traded to the Orioles for cash last week. WTHB wishes him the best of luck!

Tweet of the Day

Monday, August 17, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, August 16, 2015

Quad Cities salvages something from their Roadtrip from Hell.

Fresno 4, New Orleans 0

W- Jordan Jankowski (7-3)
L- Robert Morey (2-5)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizz took game 2 of this series as Brady Rodgers and three relievers combined to throw a 2-hit shutout.

Rodgers allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 7 over 6 innings. Jordan Jankowski, Tyson Perez, and James Hoyt all threw perfect innings. Jankowski was the first man out and he struck out the side in order in the 7th. Perez needed just 8 pitches to get through the 8th, and Hoyt struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Nolan Fontana broke the monotony of a scoreless tie when he whacked a 2-run double in the 7th. Fresno got 2 more in the 8th on a Tony Kemp RBI single and an RBI double from Matt Duffy. Duffy finished with 2 hits, as did Andrew Aplin, who stole 2 bases (17, 29 season) and scored a run.

Dan Straily will take the hill for the Grizzlies tonight. He'll face Travis Blackley at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 2, Northwest Arkansas 1

W- Michael Feliz (6-2, 7-3 season)
L- Brooks Pounders (1-3)
S- Jandel Gustave (15)

CC home runs: Teoscar Hernandez (15, 2-run in 3rd)

The Hooks took 2 of 3 from both Arkansas teams. In this game, Michael Feliz had another fine start.

Feliz ran his scoreless innings streak to 26.1 with 6 more shutout innings. He allowed 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 8. Vince Velasquez tagged in for 2 innings; he allowed a hit, walked 1, and fanned 2. The Naturals spoiled the shutout when they got a run off on Jandel Gustave in the 9th. However, he got himself out of a situation with runners on the corners with nobody out thanks to a double play (a run scored) and a flyout to end the game. Gustave walked Lane Adams to begin the 9th and allowed a single to Zane Evans.

Teoscar's 2-run homer in the 3rd constituted all the scoring for Corpus Christi. Roberto Peña finished 3-3 with a double and scored on Teoscar's blast. A.J. Reed finished 2-4.

The Hooks have a day off today. Tomorrow, they'll welcome the Arkansas teams to Whataburger Field for the final time in the regular season.

San Jose 7, Lancaster 5

W- Jeff Soptic (1-3)
L- Christian Powell (0-2, 3-3 season)
S- Jake Smith (10)

Lancaster home runs: Chase McDonald (24, 2-run in 3rd)

The JetHawks squandered a 5-1 lead as the Giants took this series. San Jose scored 5 in the 6th to take the lead.

Mott Hyde opened the scoring with an RBI double in the 2nd inning. One inning later, Chase McDonald continued his home run rampage after a brief lull. The 2-run shot is his 8th in the month of August. In the 4th, Hyde scored on a wild pitch, and Alex Bregman hit an RBI single. Hyde finished with 2 hits, as did Ronnie Mitchell; both of Mitchell's hits were triples.

David Paulino went 2.2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. Kevin Comer was the only JetHawks pitcher to throw a scoreless outing; he allowed a hit in 2.1 innings. Christian Powell allowed 5 runs on 4 hits and walked 1 while only getting 2 outs in the 6th. Albert Minnis allowed an unearned run and 2 hits in 2.1 innings.

The JetHawks will begin a 3-game series with Inland Empire tonight at 6:30 Pacific. In game 1, Francis Martes will face Jordan Kipper.

Quad Cities 6, Lake County 2

W- Brock Dykxhoorn (7-4)
L- Sean Brady (7-9)
S- Angel Heredia (7)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos avoided the sweep in the series, and snapped their 6-game skid. They also avoided an 0-fer the roadtrip.

Bobby Boyd drew a walk with 1 out in the 2nd. He then stole 2nd and 3rd (31), and on the errant throw down to 3rd, he scored the first run of the day. He struck again in the 6th with an RBI single. Later in the inning, Bryan Muñiz ripped a 2-run double. Boyd and Nick Tanielu hit RBI singles in the 7th.

Tanielu finished 3-5 with a triple and scored 2 runs. Ramon Laureano had a double and a triple in 5 at-bats. Boyd had the 2 RBI singles, the 2 stolen bases, and scored 2 runs.

Brock Dykxhoorn went 5.1 innings and the only 2 runs he allowed came on a 2-run homer hit by Bobby Bradley. He allowed 2 other hits, walked 2, and fanned 3. Ryan Thompson was the first man out; he allowed a hit and struck out 1 over 1.2 innings. Riley Ferrell got 2 outs in the 8th; he allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 1. Angel Heredia ended up getting the 4-out save; he tightroped out of a bases-loaded situation to end the 8th. He allowed a hit and struck out 2.

After a day off, the River Bandits return to action with a 3-game series against Wisconsin.

Lowell 5, Tri-City 3

W- Matt Kent (6-0)
L- Rogelio Armenteros (1-2)
S- Bobby Poyner (7)

TC home runs: Pat Porter (3, solo in 5th)

This game was suspended due to rain on Saturday. The ValleyCats were threatening late, but they left runners on the corners to end the game.

Pat Porter put Tri-City on the board with a homer to begin the 5th inning. Porter struck again in the 7th when he ripped an RBI double. In the 9th, Johnny Sewald hit an RBI single. Sewald, who finished 2-5, also stole his 26th base, which ties the ValleyCats' single-season mark held by Josh Anderson. In addition to Sewald, Brooks Marlow, Porter (solo homer, RBI 2B), and Cesar Carrasco (2B, R) also finished with 2 hits.

Rogelio Armenteros went 2.2 innings and allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and walked 4. Adan Whitt got the final out of the 3rd. Alex Winkelman came on after play resumed and threw 4 innings, allowing an unearned run on 3 hits and fanning 3. Juan Carlos Santos walked 2 in a scoreless 8th.

Tri-City 2, Lowell 0

W- Zac Grotz (3-1, 4-1 season)
L- Jose Almonte (2-3)
S- Jacob Dorris (5)

TC home runs: None.

In the regularly scheduled game, 4 Tri-City pitchers combined on a 1-hitter.

Jose Luis Hernandez, making his Tri-City debut, walked 4 and struck out 5 in 4 innings. Zac Grotz threw a 1-2-3 5th. Harold Arauz allowed a hit in a scoreless 6th, and Jacob Dorris struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 7th to secure the win.

The only 2 runs of the game came in the 1st as Bobby Wernes and Kolbey Carpenter hit RBI singles. Johnny Sewald finished 2-3 and scored a run.

The New York-Penn League All-Star Game will take place tomorrow in Aberdeen, Maryland. Unlike past iterations of the game, which used to divide players by their parent organization's league, players will be divvied up by geography.

Bobby Wernes, Dex McCall, Alex Winkelman, and Johnny Sewald will represent the Tri-City ValleyCats. They'll play on the North team, alongside players from Auburn, Batavia, Connecticut, Hudson Valley, Lowell, and Vermont.

Johnson City 5, Greeneville 3 in 13 innings

W- Steven Farinaro (2-1)
L- Lachlan Madden (0-2, 1-2 season)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros suffered a pretty big loss. They're 2 games out of 1st, but at the same time, they're 2 games out of last. They couldn't hold a 3-1 lead in this game.

Luis Payano scored Greeneville's first run of the game in the 3rd following an error as Myles Straw stole 2nd. Kyle Tucker added an RBI groundout in the 4th, and Payano scored on a wild pitch in the 5th. Payano, Tucker, and Kevin Martir had 2 hits apiece. Straw ended up stealing 2 bases, giving him 15 on the season. Tucker also stole one of his own; he has 5 in the Appalachian League and 9 overall.

Albert Abreu went 4 innings and allowed a run, a hit, walked 2, and struck out 4. Cris Santamaria threw a 1-2-3 5th. Salvador Montaño and Samil De Los Santos both pitched 3 innings. Montaño allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1, while De Los Santos allowed the tying run in the 9th. He gave up 2 his and fanned 4. The Cardinals got to Lachlan Madden for 2 runs in the 13th. Madden went 1.1 innings and allowed 4 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. Alejandro Solarte came on with the bases loaded and got the final 2 outs to keep the deficit manageable.

Moreno Polanco will get the start in game 2 of this series. He'll face Ramon Santos at 7:00 Eastern.

Astros MiLB Playoff Picture

As the Astros minor league regular season winds down, let's check in with the various teams and their chances for post-season play.

FRESNO GRIZZLIES - Current record: 73-48 1st place

The first place Grizzlies have a comfortable lead in the PCL Pacific Northern Division. With 22 games left in their season, they have a 14.5 game lead over their closest rivals, the second place Sacramento River Cats, a Giants affiliate. The River Cats have won seven in a row, but the Grizzlies have mostly kept pace by winning six in a row and the Cats elimination number has dwindled to nine.

The Week Ahead: Of Fresno's remaining 22 games, they play zero versus division rivals. This week, they will play two more versus New Orleans at home (Fresno is up 2-0 in the series) and four against Round Rock (also at home) before an off day on Sunday. It will be the first time this season that the Grizzlies have faced Round Rock.

CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS - Overall record: 76-44 1st place; Second half: 28-22 2nd place

The Hooks are already assured of a playoff berth because, unlike the PCL, the team that wins the first half of the season (the Hooks) automatically makes the playoffs. The Hooks are in first place overall in the Texas League South for the season, but they trail Midland (an Oakland affiliate) by six game in the second half. The magic number for Midland to eliminate the Hooks as second half champions is 15.

The Week Ahead: The Hooks have an off day today as they recover from an overnight 14-hour bus ride back from Northwest Arkansas. They will repeat the just completed 3-game series against Arkansas (Angels affiliate) and Northwest Arkansas (Royals affiliate), playing them at home this time, starting Tuesday. The Hooks prevailed over both teams 2-1 on the road trip and lead the season series against both teams as well.

LANCASTER JETHAWKS - Overall record: 60-59 3rd place; Second half: 23-26 4th place (2nd place in the Wild Card Standings)

As always seems to be the case with the California League South, there are several teams vying for the playoffs, and with the addition of a wild card to the mix, there are more ways to get there. The only team in the South Division that is currently assured a playoff berth is Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers affiliate) who advanced to the playoffs by virtue of winning the first half. High Desert currently leads the wild card standings with Lancaster 4.5 games back; and the second half standings with Rancho Cucamonga 1.5 games behind, Inland Empire 4.0 games back and Lancaster 4.5 games back. (Lake Elsinore trails significantly in both the wild card and second half.) The "easiest" path to the playoffs is currently as a wild card.

The Week Ahead: The JetHawks are currently in the middle of a 20-game stretch with no off days. After traveling home from San Jose last night, they will host Inland Empire for three starting today, followed by four in Lake Elsinore. The 'Hawks are 9-9 vs. Inland Empire (58-60) for the season series and 8-6 against Lake Elsinore (43-76). Inland is currently on a three-game losing streak and Lake Elsinore has dropped six in a row.

QUAD CITIES RIVER BANDITS - Overall record: 75-42 1st place; Second half: 30-19 3rd place

Much like the Hooks, the River Bandits are assured of a playoff berth by virtue of winning the Western Division for the first half. But unlike the Texas League, there are actually eight teams that advance to the playoffs in the Midwest League. And the River Bandits already know who they will be facing in the Semi-Finals as they take on Cedar Rapids (the second place finisher in the Western Division in the first half) in a best of three. Quad Cities is currently six games behind Kane County and one game behind Peoria in the second half and will face Kane County six more times and Peoria three more times in the remaining 21 games.

The Week Ahead: All of the Banditos remaining games are against division rivals. After an off day on Monday, they will host Wisconsin (40-78) for three and then head to Kane County (72-45) for three. Quad Cities leads the season series against those two teams 11-1 and 7-5 respectively.

TRI-CITY VALLEYCATS - Record: 30-25 1st place

The ValleyCats lead the Lowell Spinners (Boston affiliate) by only a half game in the Stedler Division. In the New York-Penn League, the three Division leaders and one wild card team (the team having the best record that is not a division winner) all advance to the playoffs so Tri-City has a second way into the playoffs in the event that their tenuous lead over Lowell falters. The ValleyCats have no further head-to-head games against Lowell in the regular season.

The Week Ahead: The 'Cats have Monday and Tuesday off for the All-Star break before heading to Vermont (25-30) for two games. They will then host Hudson Valley (27-28) for two games on Friday and Saturday and play one vs. Hudson Valley on the road on Sunday. Tri-City leads the season series against each of these teams, 4-2 and 2-1 respectively.

GREENEVILLE ASTROS - Record: 26-26 3rd place

The Appy Astros are currently in third place in the Western Division, two games behind co-leaders Elizabethton and Kingsport. The first and second place teams in each division advance to the playoffs. Of the 15 games remaining on their schedule, the Astros will face Elizabethton three times and Kingsport once. Their elimination number is 14.

The Week Ahead: Greeneville lost the first game of a three-game series against Johnson City (23-27) on Sunday; the Astros are 3-4 on the season against the Cardinals affiliate. After a day off on Wednesday, the Astros will head to play East Division Danville (26-27) for three games; the Appy Astros were 2-1 against the Braves affiliate in their only meeting this season. Greeneville will then host Elizabethton for three starting Sunday. Only four games separate the first place teams from the last place team so these standings could change a lot by the time Greeneville meets first place Elizabethton seven days hence.

GULF COAST LEAGUE ASTROS - Record: 17-30 4th place

With the GCL Astros 12 games behind the leader and an elimination number of 4 with only 13 games remaining, it will take nothing short of a miracle for the Baby 'Stros to pull out a playoff appearance.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE ASTROS BLUE TEAM - Record: 40-26 1st place

The Blue Team is leading the Indians in the Boca Chica Northwest Division by three games, and the Phillies and Rays by four games, with only six games left to play, two each vs. the Phillies and Rays and none against the Indians. The Indians also play four of their six against the Phillies and Rays. With a couple of wins, the Blue Team can almost guarantee a playoff appearance, but in the DSL, anything can happen! The playoff procedures are not available on MiLB.com.

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE ASTROS ORANGE TEAM - Record: 26-40 5th place

The Orange Team has been eliminated from playoff contention.

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, August 14, and Saturday, August 15, 2015

Keegan Yuhl continues to be on fire in the California League.

Fresno

The Grizzlies completed a sweep of Albuquerque with an 8-6 win on Friday, and then on Saturday, they returned home and defeated New Orleans 6-3 in the first of 4.

In Albuquerque, they were down 4-0 after the 1st, but they finished the game on an 8-2 run. Jonathan Villar finished 2-6 with 2 runs scored and stole 3 bases (31). Alex Presley, Joe Sclafani, and Max Stassi both finished 2-3; Presley had a 2-run single in the 2nd and added a sac fly in the 3rd. Stassi hit a 2-run single in the 3rd and scored 2 runs. Sclafani walked twice, stole a base (4), scored a run, and is currently on a 9-game hitting streak.

Brett Oberholtzer allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 6 innings. The bullpen brought it home as Tyson Perez, Joe Thatcher, and James Hoyt all pitched 1 inning. Perez struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 7th, Thatcher allowed a hit in the 8th, and Hoyt allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 1 in the 9th.

Jonathan Villar led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer (4), which set the tone for the Grizzlies offense on Saturday. He finished with 2 hits for the 3rd consecutive game. Jon Singleton added another run in the 1st with an RBI double. Villar added an RBI double to his ledger in the 4th, and he came home on an... RBI double from L.J. Hoes. Matt Duffy added an RBI single. Robbie Grossman led off the bottom of the 5th with a solo homer (5).

Mike Hauschild allowed 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 5 hits (2-run homer), walked 3, and struck out 4 in 4.2 innings. Luis Cruz allowed 2 hits and walked 1 in 2.1 innings, and Jake Buchanan allowed a hit in 2 scoreless innings.

In game 2 of this series, Brady Rodgers will take on Robert Morey. First pitch is at 6:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi

The Hooks dropped the first game of their series in Northwest Arkansas 8-1 on Friday, but they rebounded to win 7-2 in game 2 on Saturday.

Their only run on Friday came on a solo homer from Leo Heras in the 3rd inning. He, A.J. Reed, and Jack Mayfield finished with 2 hits apiece.

R.J. Alaniz picked up Brian Holmes with 4 scoreless innings. He allowed 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2.

Kyle Westwood was excellent in his 8 innings on Saturday as he held the Naturals to a run on 6 hits. He walked 1 and struck out 7. Juan Minaya allowed a run on a sac fly, a double, and struck out 1 in the 9th.

A.J. Reed smacked a 2-run double in the 5th and drove in another run on a sac fly in the 9th. He and 4 others had 2-hit games.

The other 4 were as follows: Jon Kemmer tripled and scored on Reed's sac fly. Chan-Jong Moon hit 2 singles that resulted in Jack Mayfield scoring each time. One of Mayfield's runs occurred on an error, though. Moon was credited with an RBI single in the 4th. Danry Vásquez hit an RBI single in the 8th.

In the series finale, Michael Feliz will take on Brooks Pounders at 6:05.

Lancaster

Lancaster was shut out 3-0 in the first game of their series with San Jose but they returned the favor with a 3-1 win on Saturday.

The JetHawks were held to 4 singles on Friday night as Chase Johnson struck out 14 in 6 innings after coming out of the Giants bullpen.

Bryan Radziewski went 5.2 innings and allowed 3 runs (all on a solo and a 2-run homer) on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Troy Scribner became the 2nd pitcher in the system to strike out 100 this season (after Brian Holmes). He struck out 4 over 2.1 perfect frames.

Keegan Yuhl was excellent again as he allowed 3 hits, walked 3 and struck out 4 over 7 shutout innings on Saturday. Tyler Brunnemann walked 1 in a scoreless 8th. The Giants spoiled the shutout when they got a run in the 9th off of Andrew Walter, who allowed 2 hits and walked 1 while getting 2 outs in the inning. Jordan Mills got the final out of the game.

Marc Wik finished 3-4 with a double, scored a run, and stole a base (9). James Ramsay hit an RBI double in the 3rd and added a sac fly to his ledger in the 9th. Alex Bregman brought Ramsay home with a single in the 3rd. D.J. Fisher went 2-3 with a double.

David Paulino, just activated from the DL, will take on Martin Agosta in the series finale. First pitch is at 5:00 Pacific.

Quad Cities

The River Bandits are having a Roadtrip from Hell of their own. They were swept out of Fort Wayne, and now they've dropped their series with Lake County, losing the first 2 games 7-1 and 5-0. They've scored 1 run in the last 4 games. They are now on a 6-game losing streak.

Jason Martin scored their only run on Friday on an error following a Ryan Bottger double. Bottger's double was one of just 2 hits for the Banditos.

Elieser Hernandez had his first poor outing of the season as he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (2-run homer), walked 3, and struck out 1 in 5 innings. Zach Davis allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 in the 6th, and Steve Naemark pitched 2 innings and struck out 2. The only hit (and run) he allowed was a solo homer hit by David Armendariz.

The Banditos got 8 hits on Saturday, but they couldn't get a runner across the plate. Garrett Stubbs had 2 of them.

Josh James allowed a grand slam to Bobby Bradley, who has massacred Quad Cities pitching in this series. All 4 runs were unearned, though. James allowed one other hit, walked 3, and struck out 4 in 5 innings. Eric Peterson allowed a run on 3 hits and struck out 4 in 2 innings, and Jorge Perez worked around a hit and a walk to throw a scoreless 8th.

The Banditos will look to avoid the sweep as Brock Dykxhoorn takes the mound. He'll face Sean Brady at 1:30 Eastern.

Tri-City

The ValleyCats were rained out on Friday, and the series finale with Auburn will not be made up.

They were down 4-0 in Lowell on Saturday before play was suspended. They'll finish that game today at 3:05 Eastern before playing a 7-inning game afterwards. Jose Luis Hernandez will make his ValleyCats debut in the regularly scheduled game, and he'll take on Jose Almonte.

Jose Luis Hernandez is one of three players named Jose Hernandez in the Astros system. He's from Mazatlán, Mexico. The other two, Jose Miguel and Jose Abel, are both Dominican outfielders. Jose Miguel is currently with the Blue team, while Jose Abel is with the Orange team. Jose Abel is from Cotui, which is Teoscar Hernandez's hometown, so possibly a sibling?

Greeneville

The Appy Astros were swept out of Pulaski, and they also lost their lead in the division in the process. At 26-25, they now trail Kingsport and Elizabethton by 1 game in the Appalachian League West.

They lost 5-0 on Friday as they were held to 6 hits. Randy Cesar had 2 of them.

Andrew Thome was the 3rd pitcher to appear for Greeneville; he allowed a hit and fanned 1 in 3 innings of work.

Osvaldo Duarte's home run (4) was their only scoring play in an 8-1 loss on Saturday. Kyle Tucker had the other Greeneville hit, and he also stole a base (4, 8 season).

Dylan James was the first man out of the Appy Astros' bullpen on Saturday and he went 2 innings, allowing 2 hits and fanning 2.

Albert Abreu will be on the mound tonight for Greeneville as they get set to kick off a 3-game series against Johnson City at Pioneer Park. He'll take on Juan Bautista at 6:00 Eastern. It's Faith Night in Greeneville, and the opposing pitcher's name translates to John the Baptist.

GCL Astros

The Kissimmee Stros topped the Pirates twice, winning 2-1 on Friday and 5-3 on Saturday.

In Friday's contest, Wander Franco finished 3-4 with a double. He had an RBI single in the 6th inning. Frankeny Fernandez hit a solo homer in the 7th inning, his 1st of the season. Jake Bowey had a triple.

Jose Rosario struck out 1 over 4 perfect innings. Carlos Hiraldo also went 4 innings; he allowed an unearned run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Hector Perez struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th for the save.

Thomas Eshelman made his 2nd appearance on Saturday. He went 2 innings and the 1 run he allowed came on a steal of home by Edison Lantigua in the 2nd. Lantigua also had the only hit that Eshelman allowed, which was a double to begin the inning. Eshelman walked 2 and struck out 3. Franklin Perez allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 1 in 3 innings. Juan Robles was next; he allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and fanned 4 over 3 scoreless. Abdiel Saldaña worked around a walk to finish it off, striking out 2.

Bryan De La Cruz finished 2-4 with 2 runs scored. Jared Cruz hit an RBI single in the 2nd and added a sac fly in the 6th. Ihan Bernal finished 2-2 with an RBI single in the 8th.

DSL Astros Blue

The Blue team jumped out to a 12-0 lead and ended up with a 14-5 win over the Royals on Friday, and then they pounded the Royals again in an 8-0 win on Saturday.

Juan Fuente (3, 3-run in 2nd) and Carlos Canelon (1, 2-run in 4th) homered for the Blue team on Friday. Canelon had a career-high 4 hits, drove in 5, and scored 2 runs. Fuente also hit a triple to go with his homer; he drove in 4 and scored 2 runs. Andy Piñeda finished 3-5 with a steal (28) and scored 3 runs. Angel De Leon was 2-2 with 2 walks and 4 runs scored. Jose Miguel Hernandez finished 2-4 with 2 RBI and scored twice.

Leovanny Rodriguez started it off by allowing 3 hits and striking out 3 in 4 innings.

A 5-run 4th turned out to be all the Blue team needed on Saturday. Fuente, who finished 3-5, hit an RBI single in the 4th inning. Andy Piñeda went 2-4 with a double and stole a base (29). Angel De Leon ripped a 2-run homer (5) in the 6th.

Cristian Javier and 3 relievers combined to throw a 3-hitter. Javier allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6 in 5 innings. Yonatan Quintin allowed a hit, walked 1, and fanned 2 in 2 innings. Cristofer Melendez walked the bases loaded in the 8th, but he navigated his way out of that predicament, striking out 2. Jacques Sambo struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

DSL Astros Orange

The Orange team walked off with a 5-4 loss on Friday night against the Rangers 1, but they turned around and won 3-2 on Saturday.

They scored 2 in the top of the 9th to tie... only to see the Rangers walk it off. Darlin Figueroa finished 2-5 with a solo homer (2) in the 5th. Felix Lucas hit the game-tying 2-run homer (5) in the 9th.

Maikel Sepulveda allowed an unearned run on 4 hits and struck out 1 in 4 innings.

Carlos Machado's RBI triple in the 8th broke a 2-2 tie on Saturday. He also had an RBI groundout in the 3rd inning. Lucas hit an RBI single in the 4th.

Juan Lopez allowed 2 hits and fanned 4 over 4 innings.

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