Thursday, December 31, 2015

18 Years, 2 Months and 8 Days

18 years, 2 months and 8 days.

That is longer than the following Astros minor leaguers have been on this Earth:

Ozziel Sanchez-Galan
Juan Robles
Miguelangel Sierra
Franklin Perez
Jose Carillo
Juan Pineda
Javier Navas
Felipe Tejada
Carlos Machado
Nestor Muriel
Hector Martinez
Jacques Sambo

Not to mention the July 2nd signings who haven't even played yet.

On October 22, 1997 ...

Carlos Correa was three years old.

Joe Musgrove had just turned five years old.

Dallas Keuchel would soon turn 10.

The Marlins were about to win the World Series.

Leonardo DiCaprio was set to become King of the World.

Princess Diana had recently died.

Seinfield was still on top.

There was no Google.

Bill Clinton was President.

Roger Clemens was about to win his 4th Cy Young Award.

That is a long time, particularly a long time to work in the same job, in the same office. For most of that 18 years, 2 months and 8 days, this was my view.

Heck, if I looked to the right I could even see the Astrodome peeking out from behind NRG Stadium. But I loved it best when the reflection of the sun setting in the west reflected off the Transco Tower (you can't make me call it the Williams Tower!).

I love that building.

Another advantage of my office was being able to watch the family of falcons that live on top of our building. It wasn't unusual to see them soaring around the area.

It was a lovely view. I very much appreciated it every day and I will miss it as I start the next chapter of my life today.

But, honestly, I will miss this view even more.

It's hard to leave behind people that you have come to love and care for. But it is time.

Earlier this week, I saw the family of falcons flying in circles, swooping and reeling and enjoying the sunshine. The sight somehow helped to reinforce in me the knowledge that I had gotten too comfortable with what I had been doing the last few years, that being kicked out of the nest by circumstances beyond my control was the best thing that could happen to me. It's time to re-invent myself. It's time to soar to new heights. It's time to find new views. It's time.

I will continue to re-invent the blog as well. I don't know what I'll be writing or when I'll be writing, but whatever direction it goes will probably be one that will keep things (and me) from getting too stale. Dustin has told me that he'll be back in the coming season with his amazing recaps. For that I am truly thankful. Hopefully, I can con a few other people into contributing from time to time. But there will always be interviews and profiles. I will continue to bring you the stories of these young men who are really just starting their journeys at the same time as my long lifetime journey has taken a little detour. I 'm not sure where it will all lead, but the road just got more interesting.

Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Astros Farm Report: 12/27

A couple of new Astros, the Dominican Republic falls in love with an Astros minor leaguer and Baseball America honors the Minor League Manager of the Year, but first things first ...


12-27: RHP Tyson Perez (26)
12-31: LHP Maikel Sepulveda (19)
1-1: LHP Dallas Keuchel (28)


Here is how the Astros players participating in fall and winter leagues have fared to date (through Saturday, the 26th, unless otherwise noted):

3B J.D. Davis - .279/.329/.456 in 17 games
OF Derek Fisher - .254/.397/.424 in 17 games
IF Chan-Jong Moon - .093/.241/.116 in 13 games
1B A.J. Reed - .231/.326/.385 in 11 games
LHP Chris Cotton - 1.17 ERA/0.783 WHIP in 8 games (7.2IP)
LHP Brian Holmes - 1.13 ERA/1.250 WHIP in 6 games (16.0IP)
LHP Albert Minnis - 2.31 ERA/1.200 WHIP in 9 games (11.2IP)
RHP Keegan Yuhl - 7.88 ERA/1.625 WHIP in 8 games (8.0IP)

New Astro Brendan McCurry, obtained in the Jed Lowrie trade, went 0-1 with a 4.73 ERA and a 1.125 WHIP in 11 games (13.1 IP) in the Arizona Fall League.

OF Andrew Aplin - .278/.325/.444 in 10 games
C Tyler Heineman - .190/.288/.224 in 19 games
OF Teoscar Hernandez - .275/.295/.375 in 17 games
1B/DH Tyler White - .297/.421/.494 in 44 games
RHP Jake Buchanan - 2.01 ERA/0.830 WHIP in 7 games (31.1IP)
LHP Reymin Guduan - 4.22 ERA/1.875 WHIP in 13 games (10.2IP)
RHP Jandel Gustave - 2.87 ERA/1.277 WHIP in 14 games (15.2IP)
RHP Angel Heredia - 13.50 ERA/2.500 WHIP in 2 games (2.0IP)
RHP Jordan Jankowski - 16.20 ERA and 2.400 WHIP in 2 games (1.2IP) - moved to LBPRC
RHP Juan Minaya - 12.79 ERA/2.842 WHIP in 6 games (6.1IP)

The Dominican Winter League regular season is over and Tyler White earned an MVP for a league he was only intending to play in for the first month of the season. Teoscar Hernandez ended the regular season on a (very) high note, going 2-for-4 with a double, home run, RBI and two runs scored in the finale on Monday. The post season round robin playoffs will start today.

IF Arturo Michelena - .083/.083/.083 in 8 games (only 12 at-bats; has been playing in the Liga Paralela)
IF Kristian Trompiz - 2 games as pinch runner; no at-bats (has been playing in the Liga Paralela)
OF Danry Vasquez - .281/.335/.401 in 52 games
RHP Chris Devenski - 5.21 ERA/1.579 in 5 games (19.0IP) - no longer playing
RHP James Hoyt - 1.86 ERA/1.035 WHIP in 19 games (19.1IP) - no longer playing

The Venezuelan Winter League regular season ends on Tuesday. Danry Vasquez had a good week, going 4-for-12 with a double, three walks (to only one strikeout), four RBI and three runs scored in four games.

OF Leo Heras - .297/.409/.493 in 41 games
RHP Octavio Acosta - 1.98 ERA and 1.463 WHIP in 8 games (13.2IP) - last played 12/11
RHP Enrique Chavez - 9.00 ERA/3.000 WHIP in 1 game (1.0IP) - not currently playing
RHP Jose Hernandez - 1.39 ERA/1.021 WHIP in 8 games (32.1IP) - last played 11/29
RHP Juan Robles - 4.02 ERA/1.277 WHIP in 10 games (15.2IP) - last played 11/25
RHP Gonzalo Sanudo - 3.60 ERA/1.200 WHIP in 17 games (15.0IP)

The Mexican Pacific regular season ends on Tuesday as well. Leo Heras was 8-for-16 with three doubles, four walks, one RBI and four runs scored last week. The only other active Astro for the week was Gonzalo Sanudo who allowed one hit (a solo home run) and one walk in his three appearances.

C Jake Bowey - .103/.186./.103 in 12 games
IF Jared Cruz - .091/.091/.091 in 7 games - not currently playing
1B Connor MacDonald - .156/.264/.267 in 19 games - last played 11/29
IF/OF Marc Wik - .322/.466/.400 in 35 games
RHP Kevin Comer - 16.88 ERA/4.499 WHIP in 4 games (2.2IP) - not currently playing

Unlike the Latin American and Mexican teams, the ABL still has almost a month to go in their regular season. And unlike many of the other American players playing in the winter leagues, Wik stayed down under to celebrate Christmas. Personally, I can think of worse places to spend it. In two games since last weekend, Wik went 2-for-6 with two RBI, three walks and two stolen bases.

OF Edwin Medina - .273/.370/.318 in 23 games (22AB)
OF Alexander Melendez - .000/.000/.000 in 5 games (2AB) - not currently playing
C Roberto Pena - .167/.219/.217 in 21 games
C Max Stassi - .280/.333/.520 in 8 games - no longer playing
RHP Travis Ballew - 2.38 ERA/1.368 WHIP in 19 games (22.2IP)
RHP Jordan Jankowski - 0.00 ERA and 0.923 WHIP in 5 games (4.1IP)

The LBPRC will end its regular season next week on January 4th. Ballew allowed two walks and struck out three in his one appearance last week while Jankowski walked two and struck out two in his sole outing of the week. Pena was 1-for-10 for the week (3 games) and Medina got a rare start on Saturday and made the most of it, going 1-for-3 with a walk, stolen base and run scored.


Even before being named MVP for LIDOM, Tyler White was getting some attention from Afterwards, there was more attention forthcoming:
And here. And here as well. It appears that the Dominican Republic has fallen in love with White.

Someone else getting recognition recently was Fresno Manager Tony DeFrancesco. Baseball America posted his Minor League Manager of the Year acceptance speech from their Gala in Nashville.

And finally, one new Astros was inked and another was rumored over the last week. The Astros claimed RHP Danny Reynolds off waivers from the Dodgers. Baseball Reference has him as Dan Reynolds. The other rumored signing (pending a physical) is 21-year old Cuban RHP Carlos Sierra who features a 4-pitch mix.

The Off-Season Transaction List has been updated here.