WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
7-27: RHP Makay Nelson (22)
7-28: RHP Jorge Alcala (21)
7-29: RHP Moreno Polanco (22)
Makay Nelson - May 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen
In addition to the moves I posted earlier this week, there have been several more over the last few days ...
7-25: IF Antonio Nunez assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
7-25: IF Nolan Fontana assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
7-25: RHP Edison Frias assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
7-25: RHP Jorge Guzman assigned from Greeneville to the GCL
7-25: RHP Josue Uribe assigned from Greenevillie to the GCL
7-25: LHP Cristhopher Santamaria (GCL) released
7-25: RHP Carson Larue assigned to the GCL Astros
7-25: C Brandon Benavente assigned from the GCL to the DSL
7-25: C Orlando Marquez assigned from the DSL to the GCL
7-25: SS Alex Bregman called up to Houston
7-25: IF Danny Worth designated for assignment
7-24: RHP Gonzalo Sanudo (Corpus Christi) released
7-24: LHP Michael Freeman activated from the Corpus Christi 7-day DL
7-23: SS Anibal Sierra signed (22-year old Cuban reportedly signed for $1.5 million plus a $1.5 million overage tax)
7-23: 3B/1B Matt Duffy claimed off waivers by the Rangers and assigned to AAA Round Rock
7-23: RHP Trent Thornton assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
7-23: RHP Jose Hernandez assigned from Quad Cities to Lancaster
7-23: RHP Hector Perez assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities
7-23: RHP Jorge Alcala assigned from the Gulf Coast League to Greeneville
7-22: OF Preston Tucker recalled to Houston from Fresno
7-22: RHP Jacques Sambo (DSL Astros) released
7-21: OF Ramon Laureano assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
7-21: 1B A.J. Reed optioned from Houston to Fresno
7-21: IF Chan Jong Moon assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
7-21: SS/OF Osvaldo Duarte assigned from Quad Cities to Lancaster
7-21: 3B Randy Cesar assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities
7-21: 2B Tyler Wolfe assigned from Greeneville to Tri-City
7-21: RHP Junior Garcia assigned from the GCL to the DSL
7-20: OF Alejandro Garcia activated from the Corpus Christi 7-day DL
7-20: LHP Brian Holmes (Corpus Christi) sent to the GCL on a rehab assignment
7-20: RHP Jean Reyes assigned to the DSL Astros Blue (18-year old Venezuelan signed in May)
7-19: 1B Felix Lucas (DSL Astros) released
7-17: LHP Michael Freeman placed on the Corpus Christi 7-day DL
Since we last checked in on the standings, Fresno has gone 7-4 but has fallen from second to third place in the division with a hot Reno Aces team (Diamondbacks) climbing past them in the standings. The Grizzlies trail Reno by one game and the first place Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) by four and a half games. There are no wild cards and no first half qualifiers in the Pacific Coast League so they will have to take the division outright in order to advance to the playoffs.
The Hooks have been scuffling and are 4-8 in their last 12 and are now five games behind Midland (A's) and one game behind San Antonio (Padres) in the second half. However, the Hooks are assured of a playoff berth regardless of what happens in the second half by virtue of winning the first half.
Lancaster is 7-3 over their last 10 and are still in sole possession of first place in the second half, leading Lake Elsinore (Padres) by a half game. The 'Hawks have increased their lead over third place Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers) and fourth place High Desert (Rangers) to three and a half games and four games, respectively.
At 7-4 in their last 11, Quad Cities is still in a tie for second place, but they have fallen a game further behind the first place Clinton (Mariners) team. The Banditos are tied with Cedar Rapids (Twins), but it is still a crowded field with three other teams within two games of second place.
The ValleyCats have gone 6-6 in their last 12 games and remain two games behind the division-leading Lowell Spinners (Red Sox) and a game and a half behind the Connecticut (Tigers) with those two teams trading places in the standings.
The Greeneville Astros are 8-4 in their last 12, including an eight game win streak during that span, and they trail the division leaders Johnson City (Cardinals) by a .001 win percentage. It is still a very tight race with only a game and a half separating first place and fourth place in the division.
The Gulf Coast League Astros have come up from fourth place to third place in the standings after going 5-4 in their last nine games, but are a game further behind the division-leading Nationals team. They are a game and a half behind the Cardinals and they lead the Mets by .002 in win percentage.
The DSL Blue team has made up some ground against the Red Sox by going 6-4 in their last 10 and are only one game behind the division leaders; however, the Royals have gone 9-1 in their last 10 to tie the Blue team for second. The next team is eight games back so those are the three teams to watch currently.
The DSL Orange Astros are currently in fourth place after going 6-5 in their last 11 games, but are a half game closer to the first place team (seven games back) then they were when last we checked. The quest for second place in the division is crowded with the Astros behind the Phillies 2 and Rangers 2 by only one game. The Red Sox 2 team continues to lead the pack.
AAA Fresno 3rd 53-46 .535 4.5GB W1
AA Corpus Christi 1st 61-39 .610 0.0GB L1 (Overall)
2nd half: 3rd 14-16 .467 5.0GB L1
(Clinched playoff berth by winning first half)
A+ Lancaster 3rd 54-45 .545 4.0GB W1 (Overall)
2nd half: 1st 19-10 .655 0.0GB W1
A- Quad Cities 5th 48-51 .485 12.5GB W2 (Overall)
2nd half: T2nd 17-13 .567 5.0GB W2
SSA Tri-City 3rd 19-17 .528 2.0GB W2
Rk+ Greeneville 2nd 16-15 .516 0.0GB L2
Rk- GCL 3rd 12-13 .480 3.5GB W1
FRk DSL Blue T2nd 29-13 .690 1.0GB W2
FRk DSL Orange 4th 21-21 .500 7.0GB L2
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
After 3B/1B Matt Duffy was designated for assignment and claimed by the Rangers a couple of days ago, I'll admit that I shed a tear or two. I'm happy for Matt in that he will have better opportunities with his new team, but I still feel like I've lost a member of my family.
Duffy was one of my first interviews once I started the blog and he was on the first team I visited as credentialed media. From that team (the Lexington Legends Low A team in late April 2012), only two members remain in the Astros fold ... LHP Evan Grills and C Roberto Pena.
Looking at that roster is a blast from the past. It included players who made it to the bigs with the Astros (RHP Nick Tropeano, RHP Mike Foltynewicz and 3B Matt Duffy) and a couple of players who made it to the bigs with other teams (OF Delino DeShields, Rangers and RHP Dayan Diaz, Reds). It included former top prospects who never quite lived up to their promise (C/OF/1B/DH Mike Kvasnicka and RHP Tanner Bushue). There was also LHP Luis Cruz who got to enjoy a National Championship in 2015 before being cut. And there were others who made it to AA or higher (1B Zach Johnson, OF Chris Epps, RHP Jonas Dufek, LHP Kyle Hallock, OF Jordan Scott and RHP Murilo Gouvea). There was a former outfielder who has reinvented himself as a LHP and is currently pitching in High A (Drew Muren, Diamondbacks) and another outfielder who was a fan favorite (OF Justin Gominsky). There was one who hung up the cleats after the following season to go into business (IF Alex Todd). There was one for whom a hashtag lives on #FreeChowning (RHP Jason Chowning). There is one currently playing in Italy and doing very nicely for himself (RHP Carlos Quevedo). And there were those for whom 2012 was the last hurrah (SS Jimmy Howick, RHP Nathan Pettus, IF John Hinson and OF Emilio King). And then there were two ... Grills and Pena are now in Corpus Christi.
Others joined the roster later in the season, but that was the team that was my first team. I interviewed a total of 16 players from that team and they will always hold a special place in my heart. Godspeed, Matt Duffy.