Friday, August 12, 2016

The Future is Here

Teoscar Hernandez's 6th inning home run tonight represented more than just an amazing first hit for a rookie ballplayer. It represented everything I have studied and researched and written for over five years. Teoscar was the first player who I became intrigued with even though I had never even seen him play. I really did tell the recently hired Jeff Luhnow to check him out and report back to me in an upcoming trip to the Dominican in late 2011.

 I wrote this about Teoscar way back in February 2012.
OF TEOSCAR HERNANDEZIt is really difficult to get much information on the prospects in the DSL, but just looking at Hernandez' stats is more than enough to get me excited about this kid.
He's listed as 6'2" 180 and will be 19 years old for the entire 2012 season. He was named MVP for the DSL team in 2011 for good reason. He hit .274/.360/.487/.847, led the team in doubles, triples and home runs and was tied for the lead in RBI's. In addition he had 16 stolen bases and 7 outfield assists to go with 5 errors over 62 games. Can you say 5-tool player? The potential is there. The right-handed hitter will need to hit better than .143 against lefties, as he did in 2011, but I'm very excited by his upside.
I asked Jeff Luhnow about this player as he was heading to the Dominican Republic last week. I received the following response, "Hernandez is a definite prospect from what I saw today." I would love to see Hernandez get brought up to the GCL this season to see what he can do.
And he did indeed come to the GCL in 2012 and ended the season with a stint at Low A Lexington to end the season. Teo went on to play in Quad Cities in 2013 and that was when I first met him. I was credentialed for a few games and was stalking Teoscar with my camera. Every time I tried to get a picture of him, he looked away.

Prior to the game, I was standing by the dugout and I told one of the other players that I had been trying to get a picture of Teoscar all day with no luck. Teo heard me and turned toward me, placed his sunglasses on his hat, smiled and posed oh so sweetly for me.

Teoscar Hernandez - 

Later than evening, I saw Teoscar play for the first time in person and I was officially smitten. He was so exciting to watch with his speed, strong arm and hint of more to come. I saw him several times over the next couple of years, interviewed him in 2014 in Lancaster and always pulled for him and wanted so badly for him to succeed.

I talked at length with then Lancaster Manager Rodney Linares about Teo. We both saw this immense talent and this immense work ethic, but neither of us really knew how it would all play out. Honestly, we still don't. Anything can happen to a rookie. Success in a single debut game is no guarantee. But when you start to know these players and see how hard they work and how much they want it, how much they support each other, it becomes personal. Even the pros have their favorites and can't totally control their bias for a player they like personally. I know I can't.

But I digress. As usual. One expects a Carlos Correa, a George Springer, an Alex Bregman, an A.J. Reed and a Lance McCullers to make it, to succeed at the highest levels. But I have seen hundreds, if not thousands, of players over the last five years. Not everyone saw Teoscar Hernandez. Not everyone saw Chris Devenski. Not everyone saw Joe Musgrove. Not everyone saw Tony Kemp. Not everyone saw Michael Feliz. Or Preston Tucker. Or Jandel Gustave. Or Tyler White. Or James Hoyt. But I did. I watched most of them play for years.

And now they're here. The future is here.

The fact that I saw something in a Teoscar Hernandez when he was on no one else's radar makes me happy. To see him succeed at the highest level makes me happier. To see a team carrying 10 rookies, all of them good people who I've seen work and grow and strive to be their best makes me the happiest.

I almost want to drop the mic and go away right now. Part of me feels that my work in helping you to get to know these young men who are going to represent the City of Houston is at an end. But then I see a Garrett Stubbs or an Erasmo Pinales or a Ryan Hartman and I fall in love all over again, just as I did with Teoscar Hernandez. So I have no choice but to follow and to write and to cheer on these young men as they follow their dreams.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, August 11, 2016

Let's play two in Lowell!

Fresno was off

The Grizzlies are back home, and they'll start a 4-game series with Iowa tonight at 7:05 Pacific. César Valdez will start for Fresno.

Northwest Arkansas 13, Corpus Christi 3

W- Daniel Stumpf (2-0)
L- Cy Sneed (4-5)
S- Aroni Nina (1)

CC home runs: None.

This was a 4-3 game after the 7th inning, but the Naturals turned it into a laugher with 9 runs in the final two frames.

Both teams scored a run in the 1st; Corpus Christi's run came in the form of a sac fly from J.D. Davis, who also ripped an RBI ground-rule double in the 5th, Tony Nuñez added an RBI single in the 6th, James Ramsay scored 2 of the 3 Hooks runs.

Cy Sneed went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 4 hits (2 solo homers), walked 1, and struck out 6. Eric Peterson tagged in for 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 4. Unfortunately, the 9th inning was where it all unraveled for the Hooks; Michael Freeman and Jacob Dorris bore the brunt of the Naturals' wrath in the final inning. I'll leave it at that.

The Hooks will start a 3-game series with Arkansas tonight at 7:05. Trent Thornton will take on Alex Blackford.

Lancaster 8, Inland Empire 6

W- Akeem Bostick (4-1, 5-2 season)
L- Jake Jewell (1-12)
S- Dean Deetz (1)

Lancaster home runs: None.

Inland Empire got on the board with 3 runs in the 2nd, but the JetHawks responded with 6 in the 3rd to take control of this game.

Marc Wik ignited the big 3rd inning with a one-out single. He advanced to 3rd on a Johnny Sewald double and scored Lancaster's first run on an Osvaldo Duarte groundout. Bobby Boyd followed with an RBI single; he advanced to 3rd on a single from Bryan Muñiz and wound up scoring on a wild pitch. Jamie Ritchie put the JetHawks in front with an RBI single, and Trent Woodward finished off the 3rd with a 2-run double. Boyd hit a sac fly in the 4th, and in the 7th, Muñiz scored on an error following a sac bunt attempt from Ritchie.

Sewald went 4-5 with 2 doubles, a run scored, and a stolen base (20, 36 season). Muñiz (2 R) and Woodward (2B, 2 RBI) both finished 2-5.

Akeem Bostick went 5.2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 10 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 4. Scott Weathersby was the first man out of the Lancaster bullpen, and he struck out 2 over 1.1 perfect innings. Andrew Thome allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits and struck out 1 in the 8th, and Dean Deetz struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th to get the save.

Tonight, the JetHawks will start a 3-game series with San Jose. First pitch is at 6:35 Pacific.

Peoria 7, Quad Cities 4

W- Dailyn Martinez (4-4)
L- Matt Bower (4-2, 6-5 season)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos tried to climb out of a 7-0 hole, but it proved to be too much for them to overcome.

Matt Bower went 4 innings and allowed 7 runs on 8 hits, one of which was a grand slam, walked 3, and struck out 5. Justin Ferrell allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 over 3.2 scoreless innings, and Adam Whitt got the final out of the 8th with a strikeout.

Dex McCall ripped a 2-run double in the 6th to put Quad Cities on the board. Myles Straw finished 2-5 and drove in the other two River Bandits runs with an RBI single in the 7th and a groundout in the 7th. Randy César and Arturo Michelena also had 2 hits apiece.

Framber Valdez will start game 3 of this series. He'll face Jorge Rodriguez at 7:00.

Game 1: Tri-City 13, Lowell 2

W- Makay Nelson (1-0, 1-2 season)
L- Mike Shawaryn (0-1)

TC home runs: Ronnie Dawson (6, 2-run in 4th), Brauly Mejia (1, 3-run in 7th)

The ValleyCats romped to a game 1 victory.

Rodrigo Ayarza put Tri-City on the board with a 2-run double in the 2nd inning. One batter later, he scored on a Miguelangel Sierra double. Spencer Johnson missed out on the party, but he was involved in a play that resulted in runs for the ValleyCats in the 3rd; he reached on a botched force attempt also allowed Chuckie Robinson and Taylor Jones to score. Later in the inning, Ayarza added a sac fly. Ronnie Dawson launched a 2-run homer in the 4th inning, and the ValleyCats capped it off in the 7th with an RBI double for Marcos Almonte, an RBI single from Ayarza, and Brauly Mejia provided the cherry with a 3-run homer.



Edgardo Sandoval went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3. Makay Nelson allowed a hit, walked 4, and struck out 1 over 3 scoreless to get the win.

They played another one in Lowell. How did that go for the ValleyCats?
Game 2: Lowell 7, Tri-City 0

W- Kevin Steen (2-4)
L- Enrique Chavez (3-2)

TC home runs: None.

Tri-City missed a chance to pull even with Lowell in the standings as they got blanked in game 2; all they could muster up on offense was 4 singles.

Enrique Chavez allowed 3 runs on 5 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 4. Sean Stutzman was the first man out of the bullpen; he allowed 4 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Howie Brey allowed 2 hits and got the final out of the 6th.

In their final series before the New York-Penn League All-Star Game, the ValleyCats will head to Vermont. Game 1 of this series starts at 7:05 Eastern.

Johnson City 14, Greeneville 3

W- Julio Mateo (1-2)
L- Colin McKee (0-2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

Johnson City stormed out to a 10-1 lead after two innings and basically cruised to the win.

Ray Henderson drove in 2 of the 3 Greeneville runs; he grounded into a force out that allowed Jonathan Arauz to score in the 1st inning and hit an RBI double in the 8th. Vicente Sanchez hit an RBI groundout in the 7th.

Colin McKee and Diogenes Almengo both had tough nights on the mound. Luis Ramirez was the third pitcher to appear for Greeneville, and he allowed a run on 4 hits and struck out 1 in 3.1 innings. Patrick Sandoval pitched the final 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 1.

Forrest Whitley will make his Greeneville debut tonight. He'll face Ian Oxnevad at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 1, GCL Marlins 0

W- César Rosado (3-2, 3-3 season)
L- Edward Cabrera (1-5)

GCL home runs: None.

There was only one run in this game, and it belonged to the Kissimmee Stros. Joan Mauricio hit a sac fly that turned into an inning-ending double play in the 2nd inning. Wander Franco and Randy Vasquez had 2 hits apiece; Vasquez scored the only run of the day.

Felipe Tejada allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 4 over 3 scoreless innings. Saul Martinez was next, and in 1.2 innings, he allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 2. César Rosado got Martinez out of a bases-loaded predicament in the 5th and completed the shutout. He allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 9 in 4.1 innings.

DSL Astros Blue 4, DSL Dodgers2 3

W- Carlos Perdomo (4-0)
L- Luis Pasen (1-1)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team took control of this game with 2 runs in the top of the 8th inning.

Angel De Leon opened the scoring with a sac fly in the 1st inning, and Carlos Canelon scored on an error in the 2nd. In the 8th, Canelon drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game, and De Leon scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Ronny Jimenez finished 2-5.

Yulian Frontado allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Yeremi Ceballos went 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1, and Carlos Perdomo allowed 2 hits and struck out 3 in 3 innings.

Thursday's Stars

Carlos Perdomo, RHP, DSL Astros Blue: W (4-0), 3 IP, 2 H, 3 K

Photo by Bryan Green
GCL Astros combined shutout
Felipe Tejada, RHP: 3 IP, H, BB, 4 K
Saul Martinez, RHP: 1.2 IP, H, BB, 2 K
César Rosado (pictured), RHP: W (3-2, 3-3 season), 4.1 IP, H, BB, 9 K

Justin Ferrell, RHP, Quad Cities
3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K

Ronnie Dawson, OF, Tri-City
2-3, 2-R HR (6), 3 R, SB (10)

Johnny Sewald, OF, Lancaster
4-5, 2 2B, R, SB (20, 36 season)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fresno 10, El Paso 8

W- Brady Rodgers (12-3)
L- Carlos Pimentel (11-6)
S- Brendan McCurry (2, 15 season)

Fresno home runs: Jon Kemmer (13, 3-run in 6th)

The Grizzlies ended their longest roadtrip of the season on a positive note, staving off a rally from the Chihuahuas to earn a split in the series.

Brady Rodgers went 6 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 5. Chris Cotton was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen; he allowed a run on a groundout, a triple, and struck out 1 in the 7th inning. Albert Minnis recorded 2 outs in the 8th; he allowed a run on a sac fly, 2 hits, and struck out 1. Brendan McCurry pitched the final 1.1 innings to get the save; he allowed a run on a sac fly, 3 hits, and struck out 3.

Fresno scored 2 runs in the 2nd, 3rd, and the 4th innings. Their 2 in the 2nd came courtesy of a Teoscar Hernandez double. Max Stassi drew a bases-loaded walk and Jon Singleton added a sac fly in the 3rd, and in the 4th, Teoscar scored on an error, and D.J. Fisher hit an RBI single. Fisher hit another RBI single in the 6th, and one batter later, Jon Kemmer launched a 3-run home run that effectively turned out to be the difference in this game.

Kemmer (2B, 3-R HR) and Nolan Fontana (2 R, SB) finished with 3 hits apiece, while Fisher (2 RBI, R) and Teoscar (2B, 2 RBI, R) both finished 2-5.

The Grizzlies have today off; they'll start a 4-game series with the Iowa Cubs on Friday.

Corpus Christi 5, Northwest Arkansas 4

W- Kent Emanuel (4-2)
L- Ashton Goudeau (4-12)
S- Ryan Thompson (2, 4 season)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks drew even in the series thanks to a 4-run 2nd inning and 3.1 scoreless innings from the bullpen.

Kent Emanuel went 5.2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 9 hits and struck out 1. Kevin Comer allowed 2 hits and fanned 2 over 2.1 scoreless, and Ryan Thompson worked around a hit to close out the game.

James Ramsay opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd. They weren't done just yet; Chase McDonald and Alejandro Garcia followed with singles to load the bases, and Mott Hyde promptly cleared them with a double. Hyde got thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple, but the damage was done. Garrett Stubbs drew a bases-loaded walk in the 4th. Hyde went 2-3 with the big double, while Garcia finished 3-4 with a double and 2 runs scored. Yulieski Gurriel went 1-4; he started at third base and played 7 innings.

In the rubber game of this series, Cy Sneed will face Josh Staumont. First pitch is at 7:05.

Inland Empire 4, Lancaster 2

W- Garrett Nuss (2-2)
L- Rogelio Armenteros (6-4, 6-6 season)
S- Winston Lavendier (2)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks' bats went quiet and they couldn't muster up a response to a 3-run 1st inning from the 66ers.

Drew Ferguson opened the scoring with an RBI infield single in the 1st inning. Jamie Ritchie hit a single in the 6th, and an error on the play allowed Aaron Mizell to score. Bobby Boyd, who scored the first run of the evening, had a double, which was Lancaster's only extra-base hit of the night.

Rogelio Armenteros went 6.2 innings and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 7. Ryan Deemes allowed a hit in 1.1 scoreless innings.

The series finale is at 7:05 Pacific. Lancaster's starter is TBA; whoever he is, he'll take on Jake Jewell.

Quad Cities was off

The River Bandits will begin a 4-game series in Peoria tonight at 7:00. Matt Bower gets the start.

Tri-City and Lowell was postponed

Due to rain. A doubleheader is scheduled for today, with game 1 starting at 4:05 Eastern. Enrique Chavez (game 1) and Edgardo Sandoval (game 2) will start for Tri-City today.

Johnson City 7, Greeneville 3

W- David Oca (2-2)
L- Jorge Guzman (0-1, 1-2 season)

Greeneville home runs: None,

The Cardinals took sole possession of the division lead from the Appy Astros by taking the opener of this crucial series.

Jorge Guzman went 4.1 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 8 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Carlos Sanabria tagged in for 3.2 innings and allowed 2 runs, both of which scored on a home run. He allowed one other hit, walked 1, and struck out 4. Lucas Williams threw a 1-2-3 9th inning,

Stijn van der Meer hit an RBI single in the 3rd inning. Frankeny Fernandez scored on an error in the 6th, and Oscar Campos scored on a wild pitch in the 9th.

Colin McKee will start game 2 of this this series. He'll face Levi MaVorhis at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Mets 10, GCL Astros 3 in 6 innings

W- Nicolas Debora (2-1)
L- Hansel Paulino (1-1)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros got buried by a 10-0 deficit in a game that was shortened by rain.

Their 3 runs came in the 4th inning and all of them scored on a triple from Joan Mauricio.

Hansel Paulino and Edwin Fidel both bore the brunt of the Mets' assault in the first 2 innings. I'll leave it at that. Ian Hardman pitched 2 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 2, and striking out 2. Leovanny Rodriguez got 2 outs in the 6th and allowed a hit and walked 1 before play was halted.

From July 25: DSL Dodgers2 7, DSL Astros Blue 5

W- Orlandy Navarro (3-1)
L- Jesus Bernaez (1-3)
S- Oliver Polanco (1)

Blue home runs: None.

This game was tied at 3 when it was suspended due to rain.

The Blue team scored 2 runs in the 7th on an RBI single from Enmanuel Valdez and a sac fly from Angel De Leon. They finished this game with just 4 hits.

Jesus Bernaez came on after play resumed, and he allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Angel Matos allowed 2 hits in a scoreless 9th.

The regularly scheduled game ended up getting suspended by rain as well, with the Blue team leading 3-2. Anibal Sierra's 3-run homer, his 2nd, is currently the only scoring play for the Blue team, but it gave them the lead.

Jose Bravo went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits and fanned 4.

DSL Mets2 3, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Willy Taveras (2-2)
L- Humberto Castellanos (1-4)
S- Joel Romero (1)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team couldn't get much going on offense; their lone scoring play was an RBI double from Kendy Moya in the 8th inning.

Humberto Castellanos went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 8 hits and struck out 4. Luis Castro allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 3 innings, and Nivaldo Rodriguez threw a 1-2-3 8th inning.

Wednesday's Stars

Jon Kemmer, OF, Fresno
3-4, 2B, 3-R HR (13)

Teoscar Hernandez, OF, Fresno
2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R

Mott Hyde, IF, Corpus Christi
2-3, 2B, 3 RBI

Kevin Comer and Ryan Thompson, RHPs, Corpus Christi
Comer: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 K
Thompson: Save (2, 4 season), IP, H

Astros Farm Report: 8-11

Checking in on another former Astros farmhand, but first things first ...

WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO

8-11: OF Colby Rasmus (30)
8-12: RHP Kevin Hill (24)

Kevin Hill - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

8-11: LHP Kevin Chapman will be called up to Houston from Fresno as the 26th man for today's double-header with the Twins
8-10: OF Carlos Gomez designated for assignment
8-10: RHP Jandel Gustave called up to Houston from Fresno
8-10: LHP Salvador Montano assigned from Greeneville to Tri-City
8-8: IF Yulieski Gurriel assigned from Lancaster to Corpus Christi

Also, RHP Agapito Barrios finished his rehab assignment and was activated from the DL by the Quad Cities River Bandits on 8/6. This was posted late and wasn't included on my roster moves post from earlier this week.

RANDOM FORMER ASTROS FARMHAND UPDATE

RHP Harold Arauz was included in the December 2015 trade with the Phillies that brought Ken Giles to the Astros. Arauz, who played for the Astros short season A Tri-City team in 2015, was assigned by the Phillies organization to play for the full season Low A Lakewood BlueClaws in the Sally League where he put up 13 starts before going on the DL in late June. Arauz was recently activated from the DL after going on a rehab assignment and has a 3-5 record, a 3.89 ERA and a 1.154 WHIP in 14 starts for the BlueClaws. He has walked 21 and struck out 62 in 69.1 innings.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, August 9, 2016

El Paso 5, Fresno 1

W- Jason Jester (1-2)
L- Keegan Yuhl (0-1, 8-4 season)
S- Rafael De Paula (1)

Fresno home runs: D.J. Fisher (1, 17 season; solo in 6th)

The Grizzlies' bats were silenced on Tuesday. 

D.J. Fisher whacked a solo home run in the 6th that constituted Fresno's only scoring play; it was also their only extra-base hit of the game.

Keegan Yuhl went 6 innings and allowed 4 tuns on 7 hits (2-run homer) and struck out 9. Aaron West allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 1 over the final 2 innings.

Brady Rodgers will start the series finale. He'll face Carlos Pimentel at 7:05 Mountain.

Northwest Arkansas 4, Corpus Christi 1

W- Yender Caramo (3-6)
L- Evan Grills (4-5, 7-6 season)
S- Mark Peterson (8)

Both teams had 8 hits in this game, but the Naturals won in the column that matters most.

Nick Tanielu finished 2-4 and scored on a double play in the 7th inning. This was the only run that Corpus could get out of a bases-loaded, no out situation in the inning. J.D. Davis also went 2-4 at the plate. Yulieski Gurriel went 0-3 in his first game with the Hooks.

Evan Grills allowed 4 runs on 5 hits (3-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 5 over 6 innings. Kyle Smith tagged in to throw 3 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 3.

In game 2 of this series, Kent Emanuel will face Ashton Goudeau. First pitch is at 7:05.

Lancaster 8, Inland Empire 1

W- Josh James (9-3)
L- Jeremy Rhoades (4-11)

Lancaster home runs: None.

The JetHawks seized control of this game with a 5-run 3rd inning. 

Josh James shook off a 1st-inning run and ended up throwing 6 solid innings. He allowed 7 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Elieser Hernandez threw a 1-2-3 7th, striking out 1, and Ralph Garza Jr. walked 2 and struck out 2 over the final 2 innings.

All 5 of Lancaster's runs in the 3rd inning came with two outs; they strung together 6 hits in a row. Keach Ballard and Bobby Boyd kept the inning alive with singles, and then Osvaldo Duarte followed with an RBI double to put them on the board. One batter later, Drew Ferguson smacked a 2-run double. Bryan Muñiz added an RBI single, and Jason Martin capped off the scoring in the inning with an RBI triple. Martin added an RBI single to his ledger in the 5th, and Jamie Ritchie drove in the final two runs of the evening with a double later in the inning.

Duarte (2B, RBI, 2 R), Ferguson (2 2B, 2 RBI, R), Muñiz (RBI, 2 R), Martin (3B, 2 RBI, R), and Ballard all finished with 2 hits in the game. 

Rogelio Armenteros will start game 2 of this series. He'll face Garrett Nuss at 7:05 Pacific.

Quad Cities 6, Burlington 2

W- Agapito Barrios (1-0, 1-2 season)
L- Jaime Barria (8-6)

QC home runs: Stephen Wrenn (1, 10 season; solo in 1st), Randy César (3, 4 season; solo in 5th)

A big 2nd inning gave the Banditos the momentum in this game.

Agapito Barrios turned in 6.2 fine innings; the one run he allowed came on a solo homer hit by Matt Thaiss in the 1st inning. Barrios allowed 3 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Chris Murphy allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 over the final 2.1 innings.

Both teams hit solo home runs in the 1st; Stephen Wrenn responded to Thaiss' solo homer by launching one of his own. Kristian Trompiz led off the 2nd with a double and advanced to 3rd on a Hector Roa single. After Anthony Hermelyn drew a walk to load the bases, Arturo Michelena followed with a 2-run double. Myles Straw added an RBI single, and Wrenn added an RBI groundout to his ledger. Randy César smacked a solo homer in the 5th for the final Quad Cities run. Trompiz and Straw both finished 2-4.

Quad Cities has today off; they'll begin a 4-game series in Peoria tomorrow.

Lowell 8, Tri-City 6

W- Dioscar Romero (4-2)
L- Abdiel Saldaña (0-1, 1-1 season)
TC home runs: Spencer Johnson (6, 8 season; 2-run in 2nd)

The Spinners scored 3 in the 8th inning to take the lead, and the first game of this massive series.

Spencer Johnson hit a 2-run home run for the third consecutive game; this one put Tri-City on the board in the 2nd inning. He and Ronnie Dawson hit RBI singles in the 4th inning. Marcos Almonte ripped an RBI double in the 7th and scored on a single from Tyler Wolfe. Johnson finished 3-4 on the evening, and Taylor Jones went 2-3 with a double and 2 runs scored.

Sebastian Kessay and Abdiel Saldaña both went 3.2 innings. Kessay allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 5 hits, walked 5, and struck out 5, while Saldaña allowed 2 runs (both inherited runners charged to him) on 3 hits and fanned 2. Nick Hernandez got the final two outs of the 8th, but not before allowing 3 runs in the inning. He allowed both of Saldaña's runners to score and one of his own on 2 hits and struck out 1.

In game 2, Edgardo Sandoval will face Kevin Steen. First pitch is at 7:05 Eastern.

Pulaski 2, Greeneville 1 in 13 innings

W- Phillip Diehl (2-0)
L- Reggie Johnson (2-2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

All of the scoring was done in one inning. Unfortunately for the Appy Astros, Pulaski managed to score one more run than they could.

After 24 zeroes were posted on the scoreboard, Luis Payano broke the tie by scoring on an error in the top of the 13th. Ray Henderson, who was credited with an RBI on the play, finished 2-7 with a double. Greeneville could not convert on a bases-loaded, one out situation in the 13th. Troy Sieber, Carlos Machado, and Reiny Beltre had 2 hits apiece.

Cristian Javier allowed 2 hits, walked 4, and struck out 8 over 5 shutout innings. Ben Smith and Devon Carr followed with 3 scoreless innings apiece out of the bullpen; Smith allowed a hit, walked 3, and struck out 5, while Carr allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 4. Reggie Johnson threw a 1-2-3 12th inning, but the Yankees got to him in the 13th for the winning run. Johnson allowed Pulaski's two runs on 4 hits in 1.2 innings.

Jorge Guzman will be on the mound as the Appy Astros get set to start a 3-game series with Johnson City. He'll take on David Oca at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Nationals 5, GCL Astros 3 in 10 innings

W- Nick Conner (1-0)
L- Dariel Aquino (1-2)

GCL home runs: None.

The Kissimmee Stros fought back to tie the game and force extras..... only to see the Nationals re-take the lead in the first extra frame. 

In the 7th, Joan Mauricio laid down a sacrifice bunt, and on the errant throw, Jose Benjamin scored. Later in the 7th, Wilson Amador added a sac fly. Benjamin finished 2-3 and hit an RBI single in the 8th. 

David Paulino went 5 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Bryan Abreu tagged in for 4 innings and allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Dariel Aquino pitched the 10th and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and walked 1.

DSL Astros Blue 11, DSL Marlins 6

W- Johsson Arias (3-0)
L- Edison Suriel (1-6)
S- Yonatan Quintin (1)

Blue home runs: Norberto Castellanos (1, 2-run in 6th)

The Blue team scored 11 runs despite only getting 5 hits in this game. 

Nicolás Miranda opened the scoring with an RBI groundout in the 1st inning. Alvaro Alvarez drew a walk in the 5th and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Enmanuel Valdez ripped a 2-run triple and then scored on a wild pitch. Nestor Tejada, who was at the plate at the time, followed with an RBI triple. Norberto Castellanos whacked a 2-run homer in the 6th, Alvarez and Ronny Rafael drew bases-loaded walks in the 7th, and Alfredo Angarita scored the final run of the day on a wild pitch.

Jheyson Caraballo allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 4 innings. Johsson Arias went 2.2 innings and allowed 6 runs on 5 hits, walked 4, and fanned 1. Yonatan Quintin walked 1 and struck out 2 in 2.1 innings.

DSL Astros Orange 2, DSL Phillies2 1

W- Yohan Ramirez (1-0)
L- Victor Sobil (0-1)
S- Cristofer Melendez (2)

Orange home runs: None.

The Phillies scored a run in the 9th, but the Orange team was able to hold them off.

Jose Abel Hernandez broke a scoreless tie in the 6th with a sac fly, and Renaigel Martis ripped an RBI triple in the 8th. 

Yohan Ramirez allowed 3 hits and struck out 1 over 5 shutout innings, and Cristofer Melendez allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5 over the final 4 innings.

Tuesday's Stars

Yohan Ramirez, RHP, DSL Astros Orange: W (1-0), 5 IP, 3 H, K
Enmanuel Valdez, IF, DSL Astros Blue: 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 R

Spencer Johnson, OF/1B, Tri-City
3-4, 2-R HR (6, 8 season), 3 RBI

Agapito Barrios, RHP, Quad Cities
W (1-0, 1-2 season), 6.2 IP, 4 H (solo HR), ER, BB, 3 K 

Drew Ferguson, OF, Lancaster
2-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R

Josh James, RHP, Lancaster
6 IP, 7 H, ER, 2 BB, 5 K

Kyle Smith, RHP, Corpus Christi
3 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Cristian Javier, RHP, Greeneville
5 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 8 K

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, August 8, 2016

El Paso 5, Fresno 2

W- Frank Garces (5-6)
L- Brad Peacock (5-6)
S- Kevin Quackenbush (2)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Grizzlies got on the scoreboard first, but the Chihuahuas quickly took control.

Both of Fresno's runs came in the 2nd inning as Jon Singleton scored on an error, and Nolan Fontana hit a sac fly that scored D.J. Fisher. Max Stassi finished 2-3.

Brad Peacock went 7 innings and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits (solo and 2-run homers), walked 1, and struck out 5. Reymin Guduan allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 2 in the 8th inning.

Keegan Yuhl will make his AAA debut in game 3 of this series. He'll face former Astros farmhand Michael Dimock at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks will begin a 3-game series with Northwest Arkansas at 7:05. Evan Grills will face Yender Caramo. Yulieski Gurriel will also make his Hooks debut tonight.

Lancaster was off

The JetHawks are starting a 3-game series in Inland Empire tonight at 7:05 Pacific.

Burlington 8, Quad Cities 4 in 15 innings

W- Jared Walsh (1-1)
L- Adam Whitt (3-5)

QC home runs: Kristian Trompiz (3, solo in 2nd)

The Banditos unraveled late.

After Stephen Wrenn smacked a one-out triple in the 1st, Kyle Tucker brought him home with an RBI single. Kristian Trompiz whacked a home run to lead off the 2nd inning. In the 5th, Bobby Wernes and Myles Straw to lead off the 5th. Wernes was erased at 3rd on a force out, but Wrenn took his place on the bases. Straw and Wrenn successfully executed a double steal, and then a balk allowed Straw to score. Dex McCall, who was at the plate at the time, followed with an RBI single.

Everyone in the Quad Cities lineup had a hit; Straw led the way by finishing 4-7. Jake Rogers and Hector Roa had 2 hits apiece.

Yoanys Quiala went 5.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 8 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 8. Zac Person was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen, and in 1.1 innings, he allowed a run on 2 hits and fanned 3. David Schmidt and Juan Carlos Santos were next, and they threw 3 scoreless innings apiece; Schmidt allowed 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1, and Santos walked 3 and struck out 4. Adam Whitt pitched 2 innings and allowed 4 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1.

In the series finale, Agapito Barrios will get the start. He'll take on his fellow Panamanian, Jaime Barria, at 7:00.

Brooklyn 14, Tri-City 3

W- Gabriel Llanes (3-5)
L- Austin Nicely (6-2)

TC home runs: Spencer Johnson (5, 7 season; 2-run in 2nd)

After shellacking the Cyclones on Sunday, the ValleyCats were reminded of that old adage: "Turnabout is fair play."

Ronnie Dawson and Spencer Johnson both finished 2-4 and were responsible for all 3 Tri-City runs. Johnson whacked a 2-run home run in the 2nd, and Dawson added an RBI single in the 6th. Everyone in the starting 9+1 recorded a hit; Marcos Almonte, who entered as a defensive replacement in the 6th, drew a walk in his only plate appearance.

Austin Nicely and Howie Brey both pitched 2 innings; Nicely allowed 7 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits (2-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 2. Brey allowed 4 unearned runs on 4 hits and walked 2. Carlos Sierra went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Angelo Serrano allowed a hit and struck out 2 in a scoreless 9th.

The ValleyCats will start a pivotal series in Lowell tonight; the Spinners lead them by 1 game in the New York-Penn League's Stedler Division. First pitch is at 7:05 Eastern.

Greeneville 3, Pulaski 0

W- Jorge Alcala (1-0, 2-1 season)
L- Juan Jimenez (2-3)
S- Ricardo Castro (1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

Jorge Alcala and Ricardo Castro joined forces to throw a 4-hit shutout for the Appy Astros. Alcala allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3, and Castro allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4.

Reiny Beltre opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd inning. He scored in the 5th when Stijn van der Meer reached on an error; van der Meer was credited with an RBI on the play. Abraham Toro drove in the final run of the evening with an RBI single in the 7th. Beltre and Vicente Sanchez both went 2-4 from the bottom of the order.

Cristian Javier will start the series finale. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

DSL Marlins 5, DSL Astros Blue 4 in 13 innings

W- Willi Garcia (1-3)
L- Juan Cuevas (6-5)

Blue home runs: Anibal Sierra (1, 2-run in 5th)

The Blue team scored a run in the top of the 12th to take the lead, but the Marlins managed to tie it in the bottom of the inning, and they walked off with the win.

Anibal Sierra put the Blue team on the board with a 2-run homer in the 5th inning. César Cortez ripped a two-out triple in the 6th and came home on a single from Brandon Benavente. Carlos Canelon added an RBI single in the 12th inning. Benavente went 3-3.

Juan Corniel went 4 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. Willy Collado was the first man out and threw a 1-2-3 5th. Javier Navas followed with 4 scoreless, allowing 4 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4. Robert Corniel allowed a hit and walked 2 in 2 innings, and Juan Cuevas went 1.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits (game-tying solo homer in 12th), walking 1, and striking out 1.

DSL Phillies2 6, DSL Astros Orange 4

W- Alessandro Ciarla (1-0)
L- Asael Uribe (3-3)
S- Luis Ramirez (10)

Orange home runs: None.

The Phillies scored 2 in the 7th to take the lead and added an insurance run in the 8th.

Luis Coronel scored the Orange team's first run on a wild pitch in the 3rd. Yordan Alvarez also scored on an error, and Anthony Rodriguez hit a sac fly that turned into an inning-ending double play. Ramiro Rodriguez scored on an error in the 6th.

Maikel Sepulveda went 4.1 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Freylin Garcia walked 1 and fanned 1 in 1.2 innings. Asael Uribe went 2 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and struck out 3. Gabriel Pirela allowed a hit in a scoreless 9th.

Monday's Stars

Javier Navas, LHP, DSL Astros Blue: 4 IP, 4 H, BB, 4 K

Myles Straw, OF, Quad Cities
4-7, R

Spencer Johnson, OF, Tri-City
2-4, 2-R HR (5, 7 season)

Photo from MiLB.com
David Schmidt, RHP, Quad Cities
3 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, K

Juan Carlos Santos, RHP, Quad Cities
3 IP, 3 BB, 4 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Jorge Alcala, RHP, Greeneville
W (1-0, 2-1 season), 5 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K

Photo from MiLB.com
Ricardo Castro, RHP, Greeneville
Save (1), 4 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Reiny Beltre, 3B, Greeneville
2-3, 2B, RBI, R

Astros Farm Report: 8-9

Yulieski Gurriel will play his first game with AA Corpus today as the Cuban infielder rapidly works toward his Houston debut expected later this month. But in the meantime, let's check in with the rest of our future Astros stars and see where things stand as they hit the dog days of summer.

STANDINGS/PLAYOFF PICTURE

I will check in with the teams more frequently as they make their final pushes for playoff berths. Here is where they stand today with less than a month remaining in the season.

AAA Fresno 2nd 64-52 .552 4.0GB L1

Fresno has been on a nice roll, going 11-6 and climbing to second place in their division since last we checked in on them. They are still four games behind the first place Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) but have managed to leapfrog the Reno Aces (D'Backs) and lead that team by two 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. With 27 games left in the regular season, the Grizzlies have four remaining games against Tacoma in their penultimate series of the season.

AA Corpus Christi 1st 68-46 .596 0.0GB W1 (Overall)
2nd half: 3rd 21-23 .477 8.0GB W1
(Clinched playoff berth by winning first half)

The Hooks are automatically slated for the playoffs by virtue of winning the first half. That's a good thing because they have definitely struggled at times over the second half. But the Hooks have managed to play .500 (7-7) since last we looked. With 26 games remaining in the regular season, they are eight games behind Midland (A's) in the second half, but only one game behind San Antonio (Padres). The Hooks really need to get in a rhythm over this next few weeks in order to avoid limping into the playoffs and facing another first round elimination.

A+ Lancaster 3rd 63-50 .558 5.0GB L1 (Overall)
2nd half: 1st 28-15 .651 0.0GB L1

Lancaster, on the other hand, has had a very good second half and are 9-5 since our last look. With 27 games remaining, the 'Hawks have increased their second half lead over Lake Elsinore (Padres) to two and a half games. High Desert (Rangers) is still very much in the mix as well, trailing Lancaster by only three games. Lancaster will need to either win the second half or earn the wild card in order to make the playoffs. In addition to leading the division in the second half, they are also currently only one-half game behind the lead for the wild card, so there are potentially two ways in to the playoffs for the JetHawks.

A- Quad Cities 6th 54-59 .485 14.5GB L1 (Overall)
2nd half: 4th 23-21 .523 7.0GB L1

Quad Cities is still in the mix for a potential second half playoff berth, but they will have to do better than their 6-8 record over their last 14. Only two games separate the second through fourth place teams. With 26 games remaining in the season, the River Bandits can make the playoffs, but they have to start winning more consistently to do so.

SSA Tri-City 2nd 28-22 .560 1.0GB L1

At 9-5 in their last 14 games, the ValleyCats are now in second place, one game ahead of Connecticut (Tigers) and one game behind the division-leading Lowell Spinners (Red Sox). They are in third place (one game back) in the Wild Card race as well. With 26 games left in the regular season, they will face Lowell six more times and Connecticut twice.

Rk+ Greeneville 1st 25-20 .556 0.0GB W1

The Greeneville Astros are 9-5 in their last 14 and are in sole possession of first place, one half game ahead of Johnson City (Cardinals) and two and a half games in front of the third place Elizabethton Twins. The first and second place teams in the division advance to the playoffs so the Appy League Astros are in good position with 23 games remaining in the regular season. They have three games remaining against Johnson City and will play their final six of the season against Elizabethton.

Rk- GCL 5th 16-22 .421 7.5GB L1

With only 18 games left in the regular season, it is pretty much all over but the crying for the Rookie 'Stros in Kissimmee. Their elimination number is currently at 12 as they have scuffled mightily down the stretch and have dropped to last place in their division.

FRk DSL Blue 2nd 36-16 .692 2.5GB L1

At 7-3 in their last 10 games, the Blue team has a tenuous half game hold on second place and on the wild card. They have 17 games remaining.

FRk DSL Orange 5th 23-31 .426 12.5GB L5

The Orange team has skidded badly, going 2-10 in their last 12 games and dropping to fifth place in their division. With 17 games left, their elimination number is at 7.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, August 7, 2016

Fresno 3, El Paso 1 in 10 innings

W- Jordan Jankowski (2-2)
L- Derek Eitel (4-1)
S- Jandel Gustave (3)

Fresno home runs: Colin Moran (8, 2-run in 10th)

Colin Moran's 2-run home run in the first extra frame made him the hero on Sunday. The top third of the Fresno lineup accounted for all 7 hits; Moran picked an ideal time to get his first hit of the evening, while Jon Kemmer and Danny Worth had 3 hits apiece and stole a base. Kemmer stole home in the 4th inning to put the Grizzlies on the board first.

Mike Hauschild allowed 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5 over 6.2 shutout innings. Kevin Chapman got the final out of the 7th and the first two outs of the 8th; he allowed a hit and walked 1. El Paso scored the tying run on Jordan Jankowski in the 9th inning; Jankowski went 1.1 innings and also allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Jandel Gustave walked 1 in the 10th inning, but he was able to close it out.

In game 2 of this series, Brad Peacock will face Frank Garces. First pitch is at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 3, Midland 1

W- Francis Martes (8-4)
L- Daniel Gossett (3-5)
S- Jacob Dorris (1, 11 season)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks earned the split thanks to fine start from Francis Martes.

Martes allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7 in 7 innings of work. In his Hooks debut, Jacob Dorris pitched the final two innings and got the save, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 3.

Chase McDonald opened up the scoring with an RBI double in the 2nd inning. He finished 3-4 on the day and added an RBI single to his ledger in the 4th. In the 7th, McDonald scored on a single from Tony Nuñez. Conrad Gregor scored 2 of Corpus Christi's 3 runs in this game.

The Hooks have today off; they'll begin a 3-game series with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals tomorrow.

Modesto 12, Lancaster 10

W- Helmis Rodriguez (3-8)
L- Brock Dyhxhoorn (7-4)
S- Luis Niebla (9)

Lancaster home runs: Yulieski Gurriel (1, grand slam in 6th), Jason Martin (18, 2-run in 7th), Osvaldo Duarte (5, 8 season; solo in 8th)

The JetHawks were foiled in their attempt to sweep the series as the Nuts jumped out to a 10-1 lead. To Lancaster's credit, they fought back and nearly erased this deficit, but it proved to be too much to overcome.

All of the JetHawks' runs in this game were driven in by Osvaldo Duarte, Yulieski Gurriel, and Jason Martin. Gurriel opened the scoring with an RBI double in the 1st inning. Martin hit a sac fly in the 6th. Later in the inning, Duarte drew a bases-loaded walk, and Gurriel followed with a grand slam, his first home run in American baseball. Martin launched a 2-run home run in the 7th, and Duarte led off the 8th with a home run.

In his final game before heading to Corpus Christi, Gurriel finished 2-4. Johnny Sewald, Duarte, and Drew Ferguson scored 2 runs apiece. Ferguson and Trent Woodward also finished the game with 2 hits.

It was not the greatest day at the office for Brock Dykxhoorn, and I will leave it at that. Fortunately, his line of work allows him to have a fresh start every time he steps on the mound. He's a good pitcher, and he'll bounce back. Alex Winkelman was the first man out, and in 1.1 innings, he allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. Kevin McCanna allowed a hit and struck out 2 over 2.2 scoreless.

The JetHawks will begin a 3-game series in Inland Empire on Tuesday.

Quad Cities 2, Burlington 1 in 10 innings

W- Juan Carlos Santos (1-0, 2-1 season)
L- Andrew Vinson (0-2)

QC home runs: None.

Kyle Tucker sent the River Bandits fans home happy with a walk-off single in the first extra frame. Little Tuck, who finished 3-5, also tripled in the 6th inning and wound up scoring the Banditos' first run of the day on a Randy César single. Dex McCall finished 2-5; he doubled to lead off the 10th and scored the winning run. César and Kristian Trompiz also had 2 hits on the day.

Albert Abreu went 5 innings and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 6. Franklin Perez tagged in to throw 4 scoreless innings, allowing 3 hits and fanning 4. Juan Carlos Santos threw a 1-2-3 10th inning, striking out 1.

Yoanys Quiala will start game 3 of this series. He'll face Luis Peña at 7:00.

Tri-City 18, Brooklyn 4

W- Ryan Hartman (2-0)
L- Erik Manoah (5-2)
S- Tyler Britton (1)

TC home runs: Spencer Johnson (4, 6 season; 2-run in 5th)

The ValleyCats stormed out to an 8-0 lead after the 1st inning and wound up setting a franchise record for runs in a single game.

- Spencer Johnson now has 30 home runs in this calendar year; he led Division I with 24 home runs at Missouri State this past season, and he's added 6 more between Greeneville and Tri-City.
- Every position player who appeared for the ValleyCats had a hit and scored a run.


Kevin Hill, Ryan Hartman, and Tyler Britton pitched 3 innings apiece. Hill got the start and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Hartman allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2, and Britton allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and fanned 4.

Austin Nicely will take the mound as the ValleyCats look for the sweep. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

Pulaski 8, Greeneville 7

W- Miles Chambers (2-1)
L- Luis Ramirez (0-1, 2-2 season)
Greeneville home runs: Jonathan Arauz (2, solo in 4th)

The Yankees scored 4 in the 6th to take a 6-4 lead. The Appy Astros responded with 3 in the 7th to take the lead, but Pulaski tied in the 8th and walked off with the win in the 9th.

Jonathan Arauz led off the 4th inning with a home run to put Greeneville on the scoreboard. In the 5th, Vicente Sanchez hit an RBI single and Jonathan Matute drew a bases-loaded walk. Oscar Campos hit an RBI single in the 6th. Frankeny Fernandez, who scored on Campos' single, hit a 2-run single in the 7th and came around to score on a single from Reiny Beltre. Arauz and Beltre had 2 hits apiece.

Nathan Thompson only got 2 outs in the first inning, both by strikeout. He also allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and walked 2. Lucas Williams got the final out of the 1st inning and proceeded to throw 3 scoreless, allowing a hit and striking out 2. Salvador Montaño went 1.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 1, Luis Ramirez pitched 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 2. Reggie Johnson came on with 1 out in the 9th, and he walked a batter and uncorked a wild pitch that resulted in the winning run for Pulaski.

Jorge Alcala will start game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Cardinals 2, GCL Astros 0 in 5 innings

W- Franyel Casadilla (3-2)
L- Juan Robles (1-1)

GCL home runs: None.

This game was called due to rain.

Edgar Lorenzo, Randy Vasquez, and Juan Piñeda hit singles on offense.

Juan Robles allowed 2 runs on 6 hits (solo homer) and struck out 3 in 5 innings. Lupe Chavez came on for the 6th and walked the only batter he faced before the rain came.

Sunday's Stars

Francis Martes, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (8-4), 7 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 7 K

Mike Hauschild, RHP, Fresno
6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K

Colin Moran, 3B, Fresno
Go-ahead 2-R HR (8) in 10th


Chase McDonald, 1B, Corpus Christi
3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R

Follow Yulieski Gurriel on Twitter: el_yuly10
Yulieski Gurriel, IF, Lancaster
2-4, 2B, grand slam (1), 5 RBI

 Photos by Rich Guill
Kyle Tucker, OF, Quad Cities
3-5, 3B, walk-off RBI single in 10th, R

Franklin Perez, RHP, Quad Cities
4 IP, 3 H, 4 K

Tri-City ValleyCats: W 18-4 vs. Brooklyn
Spencer Johnson: 2-4, 2B, 2-R HR (4, 6 season), 5 RBI
Taylor Jones: 2-4, 4 R, 3 BB
All position players who appeared in game recorded a hit and scored a run.

Photo by Bryan Green
Jonathan Arauz, IF, Greeneville
2-3, solo HR (2), 2 R

Photo from MiLB.com
Lucas Williams, RHP, Greeneville
3.1 IP, BB, 2 K

Astros Minor League Roster Moves

The Astros minor league moves just keep on coming, including the promotion of a certain GCL flamethrower to Greeneville ...
8-7: OF/IF Tony Kemp recalled to Houston from Fresno
8-7: OF Derek Fisher assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
8-7: 2B Ryne Birk placed on the 7-day DL
8-6: RHP Forrest Whitley assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-6: RHP Jorge Guzman assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-6: RHP Carson LaRue assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-6: RHP Brad Peacock optioned from Houston to Fresno
8-6: RHP Elieser Hernandez assigned to Lancaster from Quad Cities
8-5: RHP Jacob Dorris assigned to Corpus Christi from Lancaster
8-4: RHP Ralph Garza assigned to Lancaster from Quad Cities
8-4: LHP Brian Holmes assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-4: IF Stijin van der Meer assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-4: C Oscar Campos assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-4: IF Fredy Medina placed on 60-day DL.
8-4: RHP Rhandall Sanchez assigned to DSL Astros Blue
8-4: 1B Yordan Alvarez assigned to DSL Astros Orange
8-3: RHP Brad Peacock called up to Houston from Fresno
8-3: RHP James Hoyt called up to Houston from Fresno
8-3: LHP Albert Minnis assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
8-3: RHP Aaron West assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
8-3: C Jake Rogers assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities
8-3: 2B Ryne Birk assigned from Tri-City to Quad Cities
8-3: RHP Abdiel Saldana assigned from Greeneville to Tri-City
8-3: IF Miguelangel Sierra assigned from Greeneville to Tri-City
8-3: C Gabriel Bracamonte assigned from Greeneville to Tri-City
8-3: RHP Freylin Garcia assigned to DSL Astros Orange team
8-2: 1B A.J. Reed called up to Houston from Fresno
8-2: IF Yulieski Gurriel assigned from the GCL to Lancaster
8-2: C Oliver Toribio assigned from the GCL to Tri-City
8-2: RHP Saul Martinez assigned to the GCL
8-2: RHP Guadalupe Chavez assigned to the GCL
8-1: RHP Joe Musgrove called up to Houston from Fresno
8-1: RHP Keegan Yuhl assigned from Corpus Christi to Fresno
8-1: OF Ramon Laureano activated from suspension
8-1: RHP Josh Fields traded to the Dodgers for Yordan Alvarez
8-1: RHP Scott Feldman traded to Blue Jays for Guadalupe Chavez
8-1: OF Bryan de la Cruz assigned from Greeneville to Tri-City

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Happy 5th Blogiversary to WTHB!!!

Five years ago today, this innocuous post went up. 5901 posts later, a lot of things have changed. I no longer use my database for much more than keeping track of birthdays. My twitter handle changed from the genderless @whattheheck57 to @JayneWTHB when I realized that most of my readers had zero issues with a woman writing about baseball. I started spending less time on the stats side of things and more time getting to know the players. And I finally had to stop posting every single day (as I had for the better part of four years) because I decided that I needed to sleep occasionally. (My deepest gratitude to Dustin Nguyen for having my back and keeping things running smoothly!)

Some things haven't changed. I still like to look at the big picture. I don't care so much about what a player does in one game as I do about what he does over time, the trends and tendencies, whether he is moving forward or falling behind. I also still make mistakes and I always will. I strive for accuracy, but time is not always my friend, and sometimes there isn't enough coffee in the world to sharpen my wits. And I still largely write for my own entertainment, about the things that I'm most interested in.

But the one thing that has changed more than anything else is the depth of talent in the Astros system. Back in the day, I was hard pressed to find very many bright spots. Now I find it difficult to keep up with all the talent. Over the past five years, I've conducted ~184 interviews with ~148 players (in addition to dozens of interviews with coaches, managers, front office personnel and others). Of those 148 players, 31 have now made their major league debuts, and another two or three dozen more from that list will likely do so in the next five years. I no longer have to search to find the silver lining.

I do not know where the next five years will take me, but as of right now, I plan to keep traveling, taking photos, and talking to minor league players, coaches, managers, fans, writers, broadcasters, agents, scouts, front office personnel, clubbies, groundskeepers and whoever else will talk to me and then writing about it. I will write about upcoming star prospects, but I will also continue to look for under-the-radar players, players with great stories, underdogs and the next wave of young talent. And I hope to continue making friends and making memories. Thank you for continuing with me on this journey!

George Springer, Jayne Hansen and Rafy Valenzuela
August 2012 - Lancaster, California

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, August 6, 2016

Las Vegas 10, Fresno 8

W- Luis Mateo (1-0)
L- Aaron West (0-1, 5-3 season)
S- Josh Smoker (3)

Fresno home runs: Jon Singleton (17, 3-run in 1st)

Vegas took the finale after scoring 2 in the 8th inning to break an 8-8 tie. Nevertheless, the Grizzlies still won the series 3-2.

Jon Singleton opened the scoring with a 3-run home run in the 1st inning. Andrew Aplin added a 2-run single in the 4th and came around to score on a single from Colin Moran. Singleton added an RBI double to his ledger in the 5th, and Moran scored on an error in the 6th inning. 

Tyler Heineman finished 3-5 with a double and a run scored, and Singleton (3-R HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) and Danny Worth (2 BB, 2 R) had 2 hits apiece.

Edison Frias went 3.1 innings and allowed 8 runs (6 earned) on 10 hits (3-run homer), walked 1, and struck out 1. Albert Minnis was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen and threw 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 1. Aaron West was next; he went 1.1 innings and allowed 2 runs, both of which were inherited runners that were charged to him, a double, and walked 1. Brendan McCurry took ownership of the 8th inning and allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 2.

The Grizzlies are in El Paso for the final leg of their 13-game roadtrip. Mike Hauschild will take on Bryan Rodriguez at 6:05 Mountain. 

Midland 7, Corpus Christi 2

W- Ben Bracewell (7-1)
L- Trent Thornton (1-1, 8-5 season)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks were sunk by a pair of home runs from top A's prospect Matt Chapman in this game.

Trent Thornton went 6 innings and allowed 5 runs on 6 hits (solo and 3-run home runs both hit by Chapman), walked 2, and struck out 4. Michael Freeman allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in 2 innings.

Ramon Laureano doubled to lead off the game and scored the first run of the evening on a single from J.D. Davis. Laureano smacked another double to drive in the other Corpus Christi run in the 2nd inning. He and James Ramsay had 2 hits apiece from the top of the order.

Francis Martes will start the series finale. He'll face Daniel Gossett at 2:00.

Lancaster 11, Modesto 5

W- Jose Luis Hernandez (1-2, 4-4 season)
L- Parker French (6-9)
Lancaster home runs: Aaron Mizell (5, 7 season; solo in 2nd), Keach Ballard (3, 4 season; solo in 2nd)

The JetHawks busted this game open with a 5-run 5th inning.

Johnny Sewald scored the first run of the game when Trent Woodward grounded into a force out in the 1st inning. Aaron Mizell led off the 2nd inning with a homer, and two batters later, Keach Ballard launched a solo shot of his own. Yulieski Gurriel added an RBI single later in the frame. Ballard scored on an error in the 4th inning following a Johnny Sewald bunt single. 

Jason Martin walked to lead off the 5th, and Mizell joined him on the bases after a single. Brooks Marlow got plunked to load the bases, and they all ended up scoring. Ballard drew a walk to bring in Martin, Mizell scored after Sewald got hit by a pitch, and Marlow scored on a Bobby Boyd walk. Gurriel added a sac fly, and Woodward hit a two-out RBI single. Mizell hit a one-out triple in the 8th and scored Lancaster's final run on a single from Marlow. He finished 4-5 with 3 runs scored. Ballard and Sewald also scored 3 runs in the game. 

Jose Luis Hernandez allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 3, and tied a career high with 12 strikeouts. Ryan Deemes was the first man out of the JetHawks bullpen, and in 1.1 innings, he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and walked 3. After Deemes failed to record an out in the 9th, Andrew Thome took ownership of the inning and finished the game, striking out 1.

The JetHawks will look to sweep the Nuts out of The Hangar at 5:05 Pacific. Brock Dykxhoorn will face Helmis Rodriguez.

Burlington 7, Quad Cities 3

W- Austin Robichaux (2-1)
L- Justin Ferrell (4-5)
S- Aaron Cox (4)

QC home runs: None.

This game was tied at 3 after 3 innings, but the Bees scored the game's final 4 runs.

Ryne Birk put Quad Cities on the board with an RBI single in the 1st. He got caught stealing 2nd base, but Dex McCall took his place on the bases with a double. McCall came around to score on a double from Kyle Tucker. Kristian Trompiz drew a two-out walk in the 3rd inning. He proceeded to steal 2nd (7, 11 season) and scored after two consecutive wild pitches. Myles Straw finished 2-5 with a double and a run scored; he has 7 straight multi-hit games.

Hector Perez and Justin Ferrell both pitched 4 innings; Perez allowed 3 runs on 6 hits, walked 3, and struck out 8, and Ferrell allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5. Adam Whitt allowed a run on a fielder's choice, walked 3, and struck out 1 in the 9th inning. 

In game 2 of this series, Albert Abreu will take on Jose Rodriguez. First pitch is at 1:15.

Tri-City 4, Brooklyn 1

W- Sean Stutzman (2-2)
L- Thomas Szapucki (1-2)
S- Dustin Hunt (1)

TC home runs: Tyler Wolfe (1, solo in 7th)

The ValleyCats took game 1 from the Cyclones as their offense came alive in the late innings.

They were hitless through the first 5 innings, but they scored 2 in the 6th to take the lead. Marcos Almonte drew a walk to lead off the inning. He proceeded to steal 2nd and moved to 3rd on the errant throw. Two batters later, Brauly Mejia ripped an RBI double to give Tri-City their first hit of the game. Later in the 6th, Taylor Jones put the ValleyCats in front with an RBI single. Tyler Wolfe led off the 7th with his first home run as a pro, and Spencer Johnson ripped an RBI double in the 8th to bring in the final run of the game.

Enrique Chavez went 5 innings and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 3. Sean Stutzman walked 1 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 6th, and Dustin Hunt finished it off with 3 scoreless, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 4.

Kevin Hill will start game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 5:00 Eastern.

Greeneville 4, Bristol 1

W- Patrick Sandoval (2-2)
L- Mike Wallace (2-2)
S- Diogenes Almengo (2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros scored 3 in the 6th and got a fine outing from Patrick Sandoval to take 2 of 3 from the Pirates.

Sandoval allowed 3 hits and struck out 7 over 5 shutout innings. The Pirates spoiled the shutout in the 8th with a run off of Diogenes Almengo. Almengo pitched the final 4 innings, allowing 3 hits and walking 4.

Jonathan Arauz doubled to lead off the 3rd inning and scored the game's first run when Abraham Toro grounded into a fielder's choice. Connor MacDonald singled to lead off the 6th; Ray Henderson and Carlos Machado joined him after they both got plunked. Frankeny Fernandez followed by hitting a sacrifice fly that scored MacDonald; an error allowed Henderson to score, and Machado also advanced to 3rd. Machado ended up scoring on a wild pitch. Arauz (2B, R) and MacDonald had 2 hits apiece.

Tonight, Nathan Thompson will start the first of a 3-game series in Pulaski. First pitch is at 5:00 Eastern.

Dominican Summer League

Both the Blue team and the Orange team had their games suspended by rain.

Saturday's Stars

Jon Singleton, 1B, Fresno
2-4, 2B, 3-R HR (17), 4 RBI, 2 R

Aaron Mizell, 2B/OF, Lancaster
4-5, solo HR (5, 7 season), 3 R

Enrique Chavez, RHP, Tri-City
5 IP, 2 H, unearned run, 3 K

Sean Stutzman, LHP, Tri-City
W (2-2), IP, BB, K

Dustin Hunt, RHP, Tri-City
Save (1), 3 IP, H, BB, 4 K

Photo from MiLB.com
Patrick Sandoval, LHP, Greeneville
W (2-2), 5 IP, 3 H, 7 K