Saturday, May 7, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, May 6, 2016

Fresno 5, El Paso 4

W- James Hoyt (1-2)
L- Jose Dominguez (0-1)

Fresno home runs: None.

El Paso took a 4-3 lead in the 8th thanks to a 3-run homer, but the Grizzlies snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with 2 in the top of the 9th to take the lead. This was the first time this season that Fresno won a game in which they were trailing after the 8th inning.

Tony Kemp drew a walk to lead off the game, and he scored the first run of the game when Jon Singleton grounded into a force out. Max Stassi hit an RBI single in the 6th, and Danny Worth scored on an A.J. Reed fielder's choice in the 8th. Worth put Fresno in front with a 2-run single, which turned out to be the game-winner.

Danny Worth reached base in all 5 of his plate appearances, going 3-3 with that big 2-run single. He also had a double, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored on his ledger. Max Stassi went 2-4.

Tommy Shirley went 6 innings and allowed a run on 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Jordan Jankowski was the first man out; he went 1.2 innings and had 2 inherited runners charged to him after James Hoyt was taken deep for a 3-run homer by James Loney in the 8th. Jankowski allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3. Loney's home run was the only hit that Hoyt allowed in 1.1 innings; he struck out 3.

Lance McCullers will make his first appearance at the AAA level with a rehab start. He'll take on Daniel McCutchen at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 5, Midland 3

W- Edison Frias (2-0)
L- Corey Walter (0-1)
S- Aaron West (3)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks rebounded with a nice win after getting bludgeoned on Thursday to get the split.

Edison Frias had a bare minimum quality start, allowing 3 hits (solo homer), walking 5, and striking out 5. Aaron West shut the door with 3 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 4.

Danry Vásquez started the 3rd-inning outburst with a single, and he ended up scoring the Hooks' first run on a Mott Hyde triple. Alfredo Gonzalez reached on an error that allowed Hyde to score and eventually scored the go-ahead run on a sac fly from D.J. Fisher. Corpus got 2 more sac flies from Danry in the 4th and Chase McDonald in the 5th. Alex Bregman finished 2-4 with a run scored; both of his hits were doubles.

The Hooks are back home to start a 4-game series with San Antonio. Keegan Yuhl will get the start, and he'll face Bryan Rodriguez at 7:05.

Visalia 14, Lancaster 7

W- Brad Keller (2-1)
L- Brock Dykxhoorn (1-1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks were blown away as the Rawhide put up crooked numbers in the innings in which they scored.

Brock Dykxhoorn, Scott Weathersby, and Ryan Thompson all felt the brunt of the Lancaster Effect. Honestly, I just want to leave it at that. Some things are better left unsaid, and whatnot.

Nick Tanielu put Lancaster on the board with an RBI double in the 4th, which sparked a 4-run inning. He scored on an Alejandro Garcia single. Bryan Muñiz grounded into a force out that scored Garcia, and an error also allowed Jamie Ritchie to score on the play. Jason Martin and Drew Ferguson hit RBI singles in the 7th, and Muñiz ripped an RBI double in the 8th.

Ferguson finished 3-5, while Bobby Boyd (R) and Marc Wik (2 R, BB) had 2 hits apiece.

Evan Grills will start game 2 of this series; he'll take on Josh Taylor at 6:05 Pacific.

Lansing 6, Quad Cities 0

W- Francisco Rios (2-0)
L- Kevin McCanna (0-2)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos have yet to score in this series even though they hold a 14-12 edge in hits.

Kyle Tucker had 2 of Quad Cities' 4 hits in this one, and he also stole his 8th base of the year.

Kevin McCanna went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Ralph Garza Jr. pitched 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 2.

Quad Cities will not only look to avoid the sweep, they'll also have to avoid getting shut out for the series tonight. Justin Ferrell will start the finale, and he'll face Angel Perdomo at 6:05.

Three Stars

*All photos are from Jayne unless otherwise noted.

3.

Photo from MiLB.com
Drew Ferguson, OF, Lancaster
3-5, 2B, RBI

2.

Aaron West, RHP, Corpus Christi
Save (3), 3 IP, H, BB, 4 K


1.


Danny Worth, IF, Fresno
3-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R

Honorable Mentions

Kyle Tucker, OF, Quad Cities: 2-4, SB (8)
- May be a bit outlandish, but could we see Kyle Tucker in Lancaster later in the summer?

Tommy Shirley, LHP, Fresno: 6 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 3 K
- Another solid outing for Shirley... par for the course.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, May 5, 2016

Welcome back, Alex Bregman.

Swept.



Reno 3, Fresno 2

W- Tyler Wagner (1-3)
L- Mike Hauschild (2-3)
S- Silvino Bracho (4)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies' comeback fell just short, and as a result, they had to settle for the split.

Colin Moran scored Fresno's first run of the day after Eury Perez grounded into a force out in the 7th. That was all that the Grizz could muster up after getting the first three batters of the inning on board. Jon Singleton hit a sac fly in the 9th. Tony Kemp finished 2-4.

Mike Hauschild allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and fanned 6 in 5.2 innings. Kevin Chapman was the first man out; he went 0.2 innings (final out of the 6th, first out of the 7th) and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 1. Jandel Gustave allowed a hit and struck out 2 over 1.2 scoreless, and Edwar Cabrera worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 9th, striking out 1.

Tommy Shirley will take the mound for Fresno tonight as they'll be spending the weekend in El Paso. He'll take on Jeremy Guthrie in the first of 4 games; first pitch is at 7:05 Mountain.

Midland 13, Corpus Christi 0

W- Raúl Alcantara (2-1)
L- Cy Sneed (1-1)
S- Ben Bracewell (1)

CC home runs: None.

Forgettable game all around.

Alex Bregman went 1-4 in his return to the Corpus lineup; that hit was a double. Jack Mayfield's single to begin the 8th broke up a no-hit bid.

The pitching staff struggled, and honestly, I'd really like to leave it at that. Michael Freeman worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 9th; he was the only Hooks pitcher to emerge from this bloodbath unscathed.

In the series finale, Edison Frias will start for Corpus. He'll take on Corey Walter at 7.

Inland Empire 4, Lancaster 1

W- Isaac Anderson (1-3)
L- Trent Thornton (1-1)
S- Eduardo Paredes (2)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks had to settle for the split as the 66ers got the jump on Trent Thornton in the early going.

Ramon Laureano's RBI double in the 4th was Lancaster's only scoring play. Alejandro Garcia went 2-4.

Trent Thornton went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Andrew Walter threw 2 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 2.

Lancaster will be hosting Visalia for the weekend. Brock Dykxhoorn will start the series opener, and he'll go up against Brad Keller. First pitch is at 6:35 Pacific.

Lansing 1. Quad Cities 0

W- Jon Harris (1-0)
L- Sebastian Kessay (1-3)
S- Dusty Isaacs (4)

QC home runs: None.

The River Bandits held the Lugnuts to one hit..... and lost. They had one of those games that can really make you hate baseball sometimes.

Johnny Sewald went 3-4 with a stolen base (11), while Connor Goedert and Aaron Mizell (2B) had 2 hits apiece. Dex McCall tripled with 2 outs in the 9th, but he was stranded there to end the game.

Sebastian Kessay allowed the only run of the game in the 3rd; it came on a double play. He walked 5 and struck out 4 in 2 innings, giving him one of the weirder lines that we'll see this season. Zac Person went 4 innings and allowed a hit, walked 3, and struck out 5. Adam Whitt walked 1 and fanned 2 over 2 scoreless.

Kevin McCanna gets the start in game 2 of this series. He'll face Francisco Rios at 6:05.

Three Stars

*All photos are from Jayne unless otherwise noted.

3.

Photo from MiLB.com
Johnny Sewald, OF, Quad Cities
3-4, SB (11)

2.

Photo from MiLB.com
Adam Whitt, RHP, Quad Cities
2 IP, BB, 2 K

1.

Photo from MiLB.com
Zac Person, LHP, Quad Cities
4 IP, H, 3 BB, 5 K

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sweep!



Fresno 2, Reno 0

W- Brady Rodgers (1-2)
L- Matt Buschmann (0-3)

Fresno home runs: A.J. Reed (6, solo in 4th)

The Grizz only mustered up 2 runs.... wait, Reno didn't score any? That's great, then!

Brady Rodgers went the distance for the first time in his professional career. He allowed 4 singles, struck out 9, and needed just 86 pitches (70 strikes) and 1:57 to dispatch the Aces.



For Rodgers, the 9 strikeouts ties a career-high; when he was with Lancaster, he struck out 9 in a start against Rancho Cucamonga on August 30, 2013. Rodgers is now sporting a 23:2 K:BB ratio in 30 innings this season.

Tony Kemp opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 3rd, and A.J. Reed clubbed a solo shot in the 4th, his 6th home run of the season.

Game 3 of this series is a matinee. Mike Hauschild will be on the mound for Fresno; he'll face Tyler Wagner at 12:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 7, Midland 6

W- Brian Holmes (1-1)
L- Ryan Doolittle (1-1)
S- Brendan McCurry (2)

CC home runs: J.D. Davis (1, 2-run in 5th), Chase McDonald (8, solo in 8th), Teoscar Hernandez (2, solo in 9th)

The Hounds scored 3 in the 7th to take a 5-3 lead, but the Hooks responded with 2 in the 8th to tie and 2 more in the 9th to snatch the victory.

Mott Hyde opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd. J.D. Davis hit his first Texas League home run in the 5th; it was a 2-run shot that gave Corpus a 3-2 lead.

Chase McDonald continues to terrorize Texas League pitchers; he led off the top of the 8th with a solo blast. This was his 3rd straight game with a home run, and he's homered in 5 of his last 6 contests. Davis followed that up by smacking an RBI double, and he scored the tying run on an RBI single from James Ramsay. Teoscar Hernandez put the Hooks in front with a solo homer in the 9th, and Davis drove in the final Corpus run with an RBI single.

McDonald reached base in all 5 of plate appearances; he went 2-2, drew 3 walks, and scored 2 runs. Davis finished a triple shy of the cycle, scored 2 runs, and drove in 3. D.J. Fisher and James Ramsay (RBI, R SB) had 2 hits apiece.

Francis Martes went 3.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. Aaron West was the first man out; he faced 4 RockHounds and struck out 3 of them. Brian Holmes tagged in for 3 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 4. Brendan McCurry did allow a solo homer to Viosergy Rosa in the 9th, which made it a 1-run game, but he was able to close it out without further incident. The homer was the only hit that McCurry allowed, and he struck out 2.

In game 3 of this series, Cy Sneed will get the start. He'll take on Raúl Alcantara at 7.

Also, in case you missed it, here is the link to Jayne's interview with Cy Sneed.

Lancaster 6, Inland Empire 1

W- Josh James (2-1)
L- Alex Klonowski (1-5)

Lancaster home runs: Nick Tanielu (3, 2-run in 3rd)

The JetHawks jumped out to a 5-0 lead after 3 innings and never looked back.

Josh James allowed 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6 over 5 shutout innings. The 66ers spoiled the shutout when they got a run off of Eric Peterson in the 8th. Peterson allowed 2 hits and fanned 1 in 2.2 innings. Angel Heredia pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3.

Bobby Boyd led off the game with a single. He then stole his way to 3rd and scored the first run of the game on the errant throw down to 3rd. Bryan Muñiz hit a 2-run single the 2nd, and Nick Tanielu smacked a 2-run homer in the 3rd, his 3rd of the year. Ramon Laureano scored on a wild pitch in the 7th. He finished 3-5 with a double and 2 runs scored, while Tanielu was 2-4.

Lancaster will go for the series win as Trent Thornton takes the hill. He'll face Justin Anderson at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 5, Great Lakes 3

W- Chris Murphy (2-2)
L- Victor Gonzalez (1-2)
S- Andrew Thome (4)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos avoided the sweep and snapped a 3-game skid thanks to a solid day at the plate for Kyle Tucker.

Brooks Marlow walked to lead off the game, and after advancing to 3rd one base at a time, he scored the first run of the day on an error that also allowed Connor Goedert to reach. In the 3rd, Kyle Tucker ripped an RBI double, and Goedert added a sac fly. Tucker doubled to lead off the 6th, and he came around to score on a single from Pat Porter. Little Tuck drove in Quad Cities' last run of the day on a sac fly in the 7th. He finished 2-4, as did Osvaldo Duarte and Marlow (2B, 2 R). Johnny Sewald stole 2 bases, giving him 10 on the year.

Chris Murphy went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 1. Matt Bower was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen; he allowed a run on a wild pitch in the 7th, a single in the 6th, walked 3, and struck out 4. Andrew Thome allowed 2 hits and struck out 1 to get the save.

The River Bandits are now in Lansing, where they'll start a 3-game series with the Lugnuts tonight at 6:05. Sebastian Kessay will take on Jon Harris.

Three Stars

*All photos are from Jayne unless otherwise noted.

3.

J.D. Davis, 3B, Corpus Christi
3-4, 2B, 2-R HR (1), 3 RBI, 2 R

2.

Chase McDonald, 1B, Corpus Christi
2-2, solo HR (8), 3 BB, 2 R


1.

Brady Rodgers, RHP, Fresno
W (1-2), CG, 4 H, 9 K


Honorable Mentions

Josh James, RHP, Lancaster: 5 IP, 5 H, BB, 6 K
- After a bit of a tough start to his campaign, James has had 2 straight scoreless appearances.

Kyle Tucker, OF, Quad Cities: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R
- 2nd straight multi-hit game.

Nick Tanielu, IF, Lancaster: 2-4, 2-R HR (3)
- Nick Tanielu knows how to hit.

A.J. Reed, 1B, Fresno: Solo HR (6)
- Reed may be hitting under .250, but he's still producing.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Reno 3, Fresno 2

W- Archie Bradley (3-1)
L- Asher Wojciechowski (2-2)
S- Silvino Bracho (3)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Aces edged the Tacos with a run in the 7th.

Fresno's 2 runs both scored on a single from Nolan Fontana in the 4th. Colin Moran, who scored one of those runs, finished 2-4.

Asher Wojciechowski went 6.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Juan Minaya was the first man out; he struck out 1 over 1.2 perfect frames, and Jordan Jankowski struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th.

In game 2 of this series, Brady Rodgers will face Matt Buschmann. First pitch is at 6:35 Pacific.

Midland 3, Corpus Christi 1

W- Dylan Covey (2-1)
L- David Paulino (0-1)
S- Aaron Kurcz (3)

CC home runs: Chase McDonald (7, solo in 7th)

The Hooks offense was held in check once again as they could only muster up 3 hits.

The one guy who doesn't seem to be affected by the collective slump is Chase McDonald, who whacked his 4th home run in his last 5 games. His solo shot in the 7th represented the lone Hooks run.

David Paulino went 5 innings, and the 2 runs he allowed came on a home run from Ryon Healy in the 1st. He allowed 3 other hits, walked 2, and struck out 4. Kyle Smith went 3 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4.

Francis Martes takes the mound for the first time in May as he looks to put a tough April behind him. He'll go up against Chris Jensen at 6:30.

Lancaster 4, Inland Empire 2

W- Dean Deetz (2-0)
L- Jake Jewell (0-4)
S- Rogelio Armenteros (1)

Lancaster home runs: Richard Gonalez (1, solo in 9th)

The JetHawks got even in the series as they got a fine outing from their pitchers, who held the 66ers to 4 hits in this one.

Dean Deetz started it off, and he allowed 2 runs on a single and a sac fly, walked 2, and struck out 4 in 5 innings. In his season debut, Andrew Walter struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 6th, and Rogelio Armenteros recorded his first professional save, allowing 3 hits, walking 2, and striking out 3 over 3 scoreless.

Jamie Ritchie put Lancaster on the board with an RBI double in the 2nd. He then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch and scored on a single from Kristian Trompiz. Inland Empire tied the game with a run in the 4th, but the JetHawks re-took the lead in the 5th, thanks to a Nick Tanielu RBI single. Richard Gonzalez provided some insurance in the 9th with a solo homer, his 1st of the year. Tanielu and Gonzalez both finished 3-4.

Josh James will start game 3 of this series; he'll take on Alex Klonowski at 7:05 Pacific.

Great Lakes 3, Quad Cities 2 in 13 innings

W- Brian Bass (1-0)
L- Ralph Garza Jr. (2-1)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos walked off with the loss and ended up dropping the first leg of their roadtrip.

Quad Cities' 2 runs came in the 5th as Bobby Wernes scored on an error following an Osvaldo Duarte single. Duarte, who advanced to 2nd on the blunder, scored on an RBI single from Kyle Tucker. QC had some opportunities to put up at least one more run, as Christian Correa hit a 1-out double in the 6th, but he was stranded at 3rd to end the frame. Tucker ripped a triple in the 10th, but he was also stranded at 3rd. Little Tuck wound up finishing 3-6 with a stolen base (7). Correa finished 2-5, while Anthony Hermelyn went 2-4 with 2 walks.

Jose Luis Hernandez went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs (both on solo homers) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Alex Winkelman tagged in for 3.2 scoreless innings and allowed a hit, walked 3, and fanned 8. Ryan Deemes pitched 3.1 innings and all he did was strike out 5. The Loons jumped all over Ralph Garza Jr. in the 13th, though. He allowed the winning run on 2 hits and got 1 out in the inning.

The Banditos and Loons are just getting underway; Quad Cities is looking to avoid the sweep today. Chris Murphy is taking on Victor Gonzalez.

Three Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless noted otherwise.

3.

Photo from MiLB.com
Richard Gonzalez, C, Lancaster
3-4, solo HR (1)


2.

Photo from MiLB.com
Alex Winkelman, LHP, Quad Cities
3.2 IP, H, 3 BB, 8 K

1.

Photo from MiLB.com
Ryan Deemes, RHP, Quad Cities
3.1 IP, 5 K


Honorable Mentions

Chase McDonald, 1B, Corpus Christi: Solo HR (7)
- The big man just keeps rolling along.

Nick Tanielu, IF, Lancaster: 3-4, RBI
- It was only a matter of time before Tanielu got his bat going.

Juan Minaya, RHP, Fresno: 1.2 IP, K
Jordan Jankowski, RHP, Fresno: IP, 2 K
- Fresno's relievers have been outstanding to begin the season.

Kyle Tucker, OF, Quad Cities: 3-6, 3B, SB (7)
- Little Tuck has more than held his own in his first shot at full-season ball.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Getting to Know Hooks RHP Cy Sneed

Hooks Pitching Coach Dave Borkowski wasn't sure what the Astros were getting when they traded SS Jonathan Villar to the Brewers last fall for RHP Cy Sneed. He had seen Sneed in his time with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2015 when Borkowski was coaching the Astros Quad Cities affiliate and he liked the way Sneed competed, went after hitters and pounded the zone. But Borkowski didn't expect to see Sneed's fastball reaching the mid-90's. "I don't know what we thought we were getting, if we expected that, but's it's definitely been a pleasant surprise," said Borkowski.

Cy Sneed - April 2016
Photo Courtesy of Tammy Tucker

Borkowski continued with his praise of Sneed, "I really like his attitude and his demeanor on the mound. He's a competitor. He just wants to pound the zone, pitch to contact, use all his pitches. From a demeanor, mentality standpoint, he's an A+ on my list. And I've been pleasantly surprised with what's come out of his arm." In addition to that low to mid-90's fastball, Borkowski noted that Sneed has a good curveball and "a real, real good split." Sneed's changeup is, according to Borkowski, the one pitch that he needs to focus on. "(Sneed) needs to not worry so much about the movement, but taking velocity off (the changeup). Right now, it's like a BP fastball. If he can get that velo differential, he'll have another plus pitch in his arsenal."

When I spoke with Sneed last month, he elaborated on his pitch arsenal. He throws a fastball that cuts naturally, a 12-6 or 11-5 curveball that he's working on throwing a little harder, and a split that he often uses as an out pitch. "The split can be anywhere from 79 to 87. It's straight down. It will come a little armside at times which is what I want it to do," said Sneed. Of the changeup, Sneed said, "We're trying to get some more movement armside with it. It's pretty straight right now. So that one's kind of a work in progress." He went on to say that his goal is to find consistency day to day with the movement and speed change of the pitch.

When asked to give a scouting report on himself, Sneed responded, "I feel like I pitch in pretty well. I throw to both sides. Righties, especially where I stand on the mound, I can get in on them and lefties, with that ball that cuts, they have trouble with it on their hands. Because of my arm slot, I'm able to pitch up in the zone, but I'm also able to pitch down in the zone so I'm able to expand the zone top to bottom. I don't really pitch off the plate to the sides usually. I try to keep it pretty much corner and in, pretty much the way my stuff works. I can pitch backwards a little bit. I can kind of go normal. I can go up, down. I try to do a little bit of everything to be a little bit unpredictable. Just depends on who's up there, the situation, if I've faced guys before, that kind of thing. I just try to be random a little bit."

Having played with Hooks teammate OF Ronnie Mitchell for two years in his time at Dallas Baptist University, I asked Sneed to give me a scouting report on Ronnie. "He's changed a little bit since college. He's got pretty good power all over the place. He really sprays the ball around. He's not really one of those guys who's one dimensional and hits the ball just to one side. He's a really good outfielder. He's fast, runs the bases well. He's pretty good," replied Sneed.

Of his short time in the Astros system, Sneed told me, "I love it! I think it's great. A lot of their player development stuff is very uniform throughout the organization. I really like that. It's a very fun environment." He particularly likes the emphasis on winning ballgames.

I had pegged Sneed to at least start his first season in the system with High A Lancaster, but he had his sights set on AA Corpus Christi. "It's where I'd really wanted to go. I went into Spring Training as prepared as possible and really trying to do that. (I'm) really happy that I was able to do that and really happy to be here. Obviously, great ballpark, great environment," said Sneed.

Despite having a pretty healthy pitch arsenal himself, when quizzed about what fellow Astros farmhand has a pitch Sneed would like to steal, he didn't hesitate. "[Reymin] Guduan. His fastball that will be 100. That would be a nice one to have in your back pocket, be able to rip that out every now and then. Or you've got Mike Freeman, his slider that just takes off when it's on, is really good. You've got a lot of guys like that (that have had success) throughout the organization. You've got guys with really good stuff. Those are just two guys that are here that have two pitches that are really, really good when they're on."

When I mentioned that fellow Hooks pitcher Brendan McCurry coveted his cutter, Sneed wasn't surprised. "He loves it. He watched me pitch a game in Spring Training and he hasn't stopped talking about it since. For whatever reason, the way I throw, the ball just cuts. And it's kind of interesting. With my arm slot, you wouldn't really expect it. The other day I threw one that moved like a slider but it was a fastball and it was totally out of nowhere. I think it's effective because the hitter doesn't always know if I did it on purpose or not. And I don't know if I did it on purpose half the time. It's working pretty well. He likes that thing."

As to the Hooks hitter Sneed would least like to face, he picked Alex Bregman. "I'm talking to him a little bit on the bench and what he's thinking and what he sees and what he's going to try to do in his next at bat really would fall in line with what I would think, pitching to him. So I think he would be a very difficult at bat."

On a personal note, Sneed mentioned that he is from Idaho and is married (to the beautiful and charming Hannah Sneed who I had the privilege of talking with at length during my trip to Corpus), but was hard pressed to come up with anything terribly unusual about himself aside from his affinity for The Band Perry who he first saw at a local fair in high school before they made it big, and his love of sweets. "There's not a sweet that I'll turn down. I don't discriminate. I'll eat it all! That gets me in trouble a little bit, but my wife keeps me in line."

Being a big outdoorsman from Idaho, Sneed has been hunting and fishing his entire life. With those skills, I nominated him as the Astros player I would most like to have with me were I to be stranded on a desert island. He laughed and conceded that he'd probably be "alright" although he's more at home in the mountains. Who does he think might be a good pick? "There's definitely some sleeper picks in there. I've heard good things about Colby Rasmus. He would definitely be in the running for that. You can't really rule anybody out. You don't know what somebody's got in their back pocket."

In Sneed's first four appearances with the Hooks, he has a 1.15 ERA and a 1.149 WHIP. It is obvious that, aside from his mountain man expertise, Sneed has a few skills in his back pocket as well and they are translating nicely in his first few games in the Astros system.

>>>>>>><<<<<<<

Thank you for your time, Cy, and best of luck as the season progresses.

Other recent interviews and profiles:
LHP Reymin Guduan
SS Aleg Bregman
RHP Brendan McCurry

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, May 2, 2016

This Joe Musgrove guy is pretty good.

Fresno 5, Reno 2

W- Jandel Gustave (1-0)
L- Kaleb Fleck (0-2)
S- James Hoyt (7)

Fresno home runs: None.

Both teams put up 2-run innings, but it was Fresno that came out on top as they took control with 3 in the 8th.

Fresno's 2 came in the 2nd as Tyler Heineman and Eury Perez hit RBI singles. Jake Marisnick sparked the 8th-inning rally with a leadoff double, and he scored the go-ahead run on an RBI double from Danny Worth. After Jon Singleton got a free pass to 1st base, Andrew Aplin came on as a pinch-hitter and ripped a 2-run double.  Both of Worth's hits were doubles.

Brad Peacock went 6 innings, and the only runs he surrendered came on a 2-run homer from Socrates Brito in the 4th. Other than that hiccup, he had a solid outing, allowing 3 other hits, walking 3, and striking out 7. César Valdez struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 7th. Edwar Cabrera allowed a hit and got 1 out in the 8th. Jandel Gustave got the final 2 outs of the 8th, striking out 1, and James Hoyt did his thing, striking out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th to shut the door.

In game 2 of this series, Asher Wojciechowski will face Archie Bradley. First pitch is at 6:35 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 8, Frisco 2

W- Joe Musgrove (2-1)
L- Sam Wolff (4-1)
S- Michael Freeman (1)

CC home runs: Chase McDonald (6, solo in 9th)

After dropping the first 2 games of the series, the Hooks battled back to earn the split as Joe Musgrove shined on the mound again.

Musgrove allowed 5 hits, walked 1 (!!!), and struck out 5 over 6 shutout innings and lowered his ERA on the year to 0.39. Michael Freeman finished it off; he allowed 2 runs on 5 hits (solo homer) and struck out 1 in 3 innings.

Corpus stormed out of the gate by parlaying a bases-loaded, no out situation in the 1st into 4 runs. Chase McDonald opened up the scoring with a 2-run single, and the ensuing error allowed D.J. Fisher to score. Danry Vásquez added an RBI single later in the frame. In the 3rd, Fisher scored another run when Danry grounded into a fielder's choice, and Jack Mayfield extended the lead with a sac fly. Fisher added another run with an RBI groundout in the 6th, and McDonald clubbed a solo shot in the 9th for the final Hooks run of the evening.

McDonald finished 2-4, and both of his hits resulted in runs. Teoscar Hernandez went 3-5 with a double and scored a run. Fisher was 0-3, but he drove in a run on the groundout, drew 2 walks, and scored twice.

The Hooks are now in Midland, where they'll start a 4-game set with the RockHounds tonight at 7:05. In game 1, David Paulino will face Dylan Covey.

Inland Empire 2, Lancaster 1

W- Jordan Piche (1-0)
L- Evan Grills (2-1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

Both teams scored a run in their half of the 3rd, but it was the 66ers that walked off with the victory.

Bobby Boyd's sac fly in the 3rd represented the only JetHawks run. Bryan Muñiz, who scored on that sac fly, went 2-3, as did Kristian Trompiz, whose 2-3 night consisted of 2 doubles.

Elieser Hernandez went 5 innings and allowed an unearned run (an error in the 3rd allowed this run to score), a single that also occurred in the 3rd, walked 3, and struck out 2. Evan Grills went 3.1 innings and allowed the winning run on a single in the 9th. He allowed two other hits, issued an intentional walk, and struck out 3.

Dean Deetz will get the start in game 2 of this series. He'll take on Jake Jewell at 7:05 Pacific.

Great Lakes 4, Quad Cities 0

W- Isaac Anderson (2-0)
L- Albert Abreu (0-3)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos couldn't get their bats going to support a strong outing from Albert Abreu.

Abreu allowed a run on an RBI single in the 1st, which was the only hit that he allowed in his 6 innings of work. He walked 3 and struck out 9. Jacob Dorris went 1.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits (all singles), walked 1, and struck out 1. Adam Whitt inherited a bases-loaded situation in the 8th, but he prevented any further damage from occurring with a strikeout.

On offense, Aaron Mizell went 2-4 with a double. Brooks Marlow also hit a double.

In game 2 of this series, Jose Luis Hernandez will take on Dennis Santana. First pitch is at 6:05.

Three Stars

3.

Elieser Hernandez, RHP, Lancaster
5 IP, H, unearned run, 3 BB, 2 K

2.

Photo from MiLB.com
Albert Abreu, RHP, Quad Cities
L (0-3), 6 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, 9 K


1.

Joe Musgrove, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (2-1), 6 IP, 5 H, BB, 5 K


Honorable Mentions

James Hoyt, RHP, Fresno: Save (7), IP, 2 K
- Just doing what he's been doing.

Andrew Aplin, OF, Fresno: Pinch-hit 2-RBI 2B in 8th

Chase McDonald, 1B, Corpus Christi: 2-4, solo HR (6), 3 RBI, 2 R
- McDonald is doing his part to carry the load in Alex Bregman's absence.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, May 1, 2016

Let's.... try to play 2 in the Quad Cities!

El Paso 4, Fresno 3


W- Daniel McCutchen (4-1)
L- Tommy Shirley (3-1)
S- Jose Dominguez (1)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies had to settle for a split as they were edged by the Chihuahuas in the series finale. Fresno has split all three of their home series so far.

Both teams scored twice in the 2nd inning; Fresno's 2 came in the form of an RBI double from Jon Kemmer and a Nolan Fontana RBI single. Jon Singleton hit a sac fly in the 3rd that gave the Grizz a 3-2 lead. Colin Moran went 2-4 with a run scored.

The Grizzlies did threaten in the bottom of the 5th, but they left 2 runners in scoring position to end the inning, and Tony Kemp was on as the tying run in the 8th, but he too was stranded.

Tommy Shirley dropped his first decision of the year, as he allowed 4 runs on 9 hits and struck out 3 in 6 innings. Jordan Jankowski worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 7th, striking out 1, and Kevin Chapman allowed a hit and struck out 3 over 2 scoreless.

Tonight, the Grizzlies welcome Reno to town for a 4-game set. Brad Peacock will take on Archie Bradley in game 1; first pitch is at 6:35 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 4, Frisco 3

W- Chris Cotton (1-0)
L- Jose Leclerc (0-4)
S- Aaron West (2)

CC home runs: Chan-Jong Moon (1, solo in 3rd)

The Hooks got on the board in the series as they got 2 in the top of the 7th to nip the Roughriders.

Keegan Yuhl went 5.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits (2 solo homers), walked 3, and struck out 6. Chris Cotton tagged in and got the win in relief; he walked 1 over 1.2 scoreless, and Aaron West shut the door with 2 scoreless, allowing 2 hits and striking out 2.

Corpus couldn't get much going against a rehabbing Yu Darvish, but they got themselves going once he left. Chan-Jong Moon put the Hooks on the board with a solo shot in the 3rd. Danry Vásquez hit an RBI single in the 6th, then stole his way to 3rd. The big hit of the evening belonged to D.J. Fisher, who cracked 2-run double to put Corpus on top 4-3. Moon reached base in all 4 of his plate appearances; he finished 2-2 with a stolen base (2), 2 walks, and 2 runs scored.

Joe Musgrove will start the series finale; he'll face Sam Wolff at 7:05.

Lake Elsinore 3, Lancaster 2

W- Chris Huffman (3-1)
L- Scott Weathersby (0-3)
S- Jose Torres (1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks got 2 in the 8th to make it a 1-run game, but they weren't able to extend the game.

Nick Tanielu drove in those 2 runs in the 8th with a single. He went 2-3 and was the only player on either side to have a multi-hit game.

Scott Weathersby went 4.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Yeyfry Del Rosario followed with 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4.

Lancaster will now start a 4-game series with Inland Empire and their eardrum-breaking train horn. In game 1, Elieser Hernandez will take on Tyler Carpenter. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

West Michigan 3, Quad Cities 2


W- Beau Burrows (1-1)
L- Justin Ferrell (0-1)
S- Jake Shull (2)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos had the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th and they managed to make it a 1-run game, but the Whitecaps were just able to escape with game 1 of the twinbill.

Three 1-out singles from Brooks Marlow, Aaron Mizell, and Daz Cameron loaded the bases for Quad Cities in the 7th. Marlon Avea went down on strikes for the 2nd out, but Tony Nuñez and Johnny Sewald both drew walks to bring in 2 runs. Unfortunately, the threat ended when Osvaldo Duarte was called out on strikes to end the game. Daz finished 2-3.

In his season debut, Justin Ferrell went 4.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Zac Person allowed 2 hits and struck out 4 over 2.1 scoreless.

The rain came again and wiped out game 2 of the doubleheader. Game 2 will not be made up.

Quad Cities will now hit the road for 6 games; their first stop is Midland, Michigan. They'll be visiting the Great Lakes Loons for 3 starting tonight at 6:05. Albert Abreu will get the start in game 1, and he'll take on Isaac Anderson.

Three Stars

3.

Photo by Bryan Green
Yeyfry Del Rosario, RHP, Lancaster
3.1 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K

2.

Photo from MiLB.com
Zac Person, LHP, Quad Cities
2.1 IP, 4 K

1.

Chan-Jong Moon, IF, Corpus Christi
2-2, solo HR (1), 2 R, 2 BB, SB (2)


Honorable Mentions

Nick Tanielu, IF, Lancaster: 2-3, 2 RBI
- After an 0-fer, Tanielu wasted little time in getting back on track.

Chris Cotton, LHP, Corpus Christi: W (1-0) 1.2 IP, BB
Aaron West, RHP, Corpus Christi: Save (2), 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K
- Cotton and West came out with fine relief outings as they picked up Keegan Yuhl and sealed the win for the Hooks.

D.J. Fisher, OF, Corpus Christi: Go-ahead 2-RBI 2B in 7th
- Despite the unattractive .218 average, Fisher is still sporting a .774 OPS, which means that he's getting on base (16 BB, .351 OBP) and making some solid contact (9 XBH). Getting his bat going would be a massive boost to a Hooks offense that is still searching for a spark while Alex Bregman is on the shelf.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Astros Farm Report: 5/1

Let's take a look at my Astros MiLB Pitchers and Players of the Month, but first things first ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

5-3: RHP Elieser Hernandez (21)
5-4: RHP Akeem Bostick (21)
5-4: RHP Juan Cuevas (22)

Elieser Hernandez - August 2015
Photo by Jayne Hansen


TRANSACTIONS/ROSTER MOVES

It's been a quiet few days on the transaction front with the main news being that, although he is now eligible to  come off the DL, SS Alex Bregman has not been activated for the Hooks at this time. That is not unsurprising since the Astros are likely to be extra cautious with one of their top prospects. The only other recent move I've seen is ...

4-30: C Marlon Avea assigned to Quad Cities

STANDINGS

Fresno has inched closer to .500 since we last checked, but more importantly, they have gone from 2.5 games behind to only half a game behind thanks to a four-game losing streak by the league leading Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners). The Hooks, however, have dropped six straight, and are now a full 8.0 games behind Frisco (Rangers). They have won only one game since Alex Bregman went on the DL.  Lancaster has been treading water over the last few days and they remain in fourth place, 7.5 games behind High Desert (Rangers). Quad Cities has clawed their way back from last (8th) place and are now only four games behind the league leaders Clinton (Mariners).

AAA Fresno 2nd 10-11 .476 0.5GB W1

AA Corpus Christi 3rd 9-12 .429 8.0GB L6

A+ Lancaster 4th 8-12 .400 7.5GB L1

A- Quad Cities 6th 10-12 .455 4.0GB W3

APRIL STANDOUTS

Here are the Astros MiLB top five in select categories through the end of April ...

ERA
0.52: RHP Joe Musgrove
0.64: RHP Ryan Deemes
0.75: LHP Reymin Guduan
1.10: RHP Andrew Thome
1.15: RHP Cy Sneed

WHIP
0.750: RHP Jandel Gustave
0.789: RHP Ralph Garza
0.803: RHP Rogelio Armenteros
0.808: RHP Joe Musgrove
0.833: LHP Reymin Guduan

SAVES
6: RHP James Hoyt
4: RHP Riley Ferrell
3: RHP Andrew Thome
2: RHP Ralph Garza
11 tied with 1 each

STRIKEOUTS
25: RHP Rogelio Armenteros
25: RHP Brad Peacock
24: LHP Matt Bower
23: RHP David Paulino
22: RHP Albert Abreu

AVG
.349: OF Eury Perez
.347: IF Danny Worth
.340: SS Alex Bregman
.333: C Anthony Hermelyn
.304: IF/OF Tony Kemp

OBP
.464: C Anthony Hermelyn
.431: SS Alex Bregman
.422: IF/OF Tony Kemp
.414: IF Danny Worth
.413: OF Ramon Laureano

SLG
.660: SS Alex Bregman
.558: OF Eury Perez
.547: IF Danny Worth
.534: 1B/DH A.J. Reed
.511: C Anthony Hermelyn

DOUBLES
8: C Anthony Hermelyn
6: 3B Nick Tanielu
5: 1B/DH A.J. Reed
5: OF Dex McCall
5: OF Jon Kemmer
5: OF Teoscar Hernandez

HOMERUNS
5: A.J. Reed
5: Alex Bregman
5: Chase McDonald
5: Jon Singleton
4: Jack Mayfield

STOLEN BASES
11: OF Bobby Boyd
8: OF Johnny Sewald
7: OF Ramon Laureano
6: Kyle Tucker
6: Teoscar Hernandez

WALKS
15: OF Derek Fisher
14: OF Teoscar Hernandez
13: 1B/DH A.J. Reed
13: 3B J.D. Davis
12: OF Ramon Laureano
12: IF/OF Tony Kemp

APRIL PLAYERS OF THE MONTH

Without further ado, here are my Players of the Month ...

FRESNO GRIZZLIES


James Hoyt

CORPUS CHRISTI HOOKS

  • Starter: RHP Joe Musgrove (1-1 with a 0.52 ERA and 0.808 WHIP in 4 games/3 starts)
  • Reliever: LHP Reymin Guduan (1-0 with 1 save, a 0.75 ERA and a 0.833 WHIP in 8 games)
  • Position Players: (I'm going with a tie on this one since Bregman spent the final week of the month on the DL.) SS Alex Bregman (.340/.431/.660./1.091 in 13 games) and IF Jack Mayfield (.246/.348/.509/.857 in 17 games
Alex Bregman and Joe Musgrove



LANCASTER JETHAWKS

  • Starter: (Another tie) RHP Dean Deetz (1-0 with a 2.37 ERA and 1.211 WHIP in 4 games/3 starts) and RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (1-0 with a 2.29 ERA and 1.220 WHIP in 4 games/3 starts)
  • Reliever: RHP Riley Ferrell (0-1 with 4 saves, a 1.80 ERA and 1.110 WHIP in 8 games)
  • Position Player: 3B Nick Tanielu (.301/.342/.493/.835 in 19 games)

Brock Dykxhoorn

QUAD CITIES RIVERBANDITS


Rogelio Armenteros
From MiLB.com


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fresno 3, El Paso 0

W- Mike Hauschild (2-2)
L- Jeremy Guthrie (0-5)
S- James Hoyt (6)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizz got a fine outing from their hurlers as three of them combined to throw a 5-hit shutout.

Mike Hauschild breezed through 7 shutout innings, allowing 4 hits, walking 1, and striking out 1. Jandel Gustave struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 8th, and James Hoyt bounced back from a loss in his last appearance by working around a hit to shut the door, striking out 2 in the 9th to do so.

Danny Worth opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st. Fresno's other 2 runs came in the 5th on a Tony Kemp RBI triple and an RBI single from Jake Marisnick. Eury Perez went 2-3 with a triple and scored a run.

Tommy Shirley will start the series finale. He'll take on Daniel McCutchen at 1:05 Pacific.

Frisco 4, Corpus Christi 3

W- Adam Parks (1-0)
L- Brendan McCurry (0-1)

CC home runs: Chase McDonald (5, 2-run in 6th)

Teams from the Astros organization, from the Major League club on down, have won a grand total of 1 game against a team from the Rangers organization this season. It's getting a little absurd, really. This latest loss was a walk-off with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th.

Chase McDonald put Corpus on the board and in the lead by whacking a 2-run homer in the 6th, his 2nd home run in as many games. But again... to say that the Hooks offense is in a slump in the wake of Alex Bregman's injury is quite the understatement. McDonald's blast was one of just 3 hits that they could muster up. The other Hooks run came in the 9th when James Ramsay scored on an error that allowed Chan-Jong Moon to reach. Ramsay drew 3 walks in this one.

Edison Frias went 5 innings and allowed an unearned run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3. Cy Sneed tagged in and allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4 over 3 scoreless. Brendan McCurry couldn't close it out as the Roughriders scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th to win. He allowed 3 hits, walked 2, and the 2 outs he recorded in the 9th were both strikeouts.

Keegan Yuhl gets the start for the Hooks today. First pitch is at 4:05.

Lake Elsinore 3, Lancaster 2

W- T.J. Weir (1-1)
L- Riley Ferrell (0-1)
S- Colby Blueberg (3)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The Storm took game 2 by scoring the game's final 3 runs.

Luis Reynoso finished 2-4; both of his hits were doubles, and he scored both of Lancaster's runs. He opened the scoring by stealing home in the 3rd and scored on a Jason Martin single in the 5th. Jason Martin and Alejandro Garcia (2B, SB [5]) also went 2-4.

Brock Dykxhoorn went 5.2 innings and had an inherited runner charged to him on 5 hits, walked 1, and fanned 1. Riley Ferrell had an uncharacteristically poor outing as he allowed a game-tying 2-run homer to Luis Tejada in the 6th. 1 of those runs was charged to Dykxhoorn. Ferrell allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 2. Angel Heredia struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 8th.

Scott Weathersby will start the series finale; he'll take on Chris Huffman at 1:00 Pacific.

Quad Cities and West Michigan was postponed

Due to rain. They'll play a doubleheader today starting at 12:15. Justin Ferrell will make his 2016 debut in game 1 against Beau Burrows, and Albert Abreu will face Eudis Idrogo in game 2.

Three Stars

3.
 
Luis Reynoso, IF, Lancaster, and Chase McDonald, 1B, Corpus Christi
Reynoso: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 R, SB (1)
McDonald: 2-R HR (5)

2.

Cy Sneed, RHP, Corpus Christi
3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K


1.

Mike Hauschild, RHP, Fresno
W (2-2), 7 IP, 4 H, BB, K


Honorable Mentions

Brock Dykxhoorn, RHP, Lancaster: 5.2 IP, 5 H, ER (inherited runner charged to him), BB, K
- He survived a month in possibly the toughest environment for pitchers in professional baseball. So far, so good.

James Hoyt, RHP, Fresno: Save (6), IP, H, 2 K
- Who gets to Houston first: James Hoyt, or Jandel Gustave?