WISHING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO
1-7: RHP Brandon McCurry (25)
1-10: IF Antonio Nunez (24)
1-11: 3B Randy Cesar (22)
1-12: RHP Ricardo Castro (21)
1-12: SS Freudys Nova (17)
1-13: RHP Andrew Thome (24)
1-14: SS Yorbin Ceuta (17)
1-15: OF Daz Cameron (20)
1-15: OF Edgar Lorenzo (20)
1-15: RHP Yoanys Quiala (23)
Randy Cesar - July 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen
Things continue to be very quiet on the transaction front, but here is a reminder of what's transpired so far this offseason.
1-10: C José Mario Barajas signed to a minor league contract. (H/T to Ryan Dunsmore of The Crawfish Boxes)
1-9: RHP Agapito Barrios was released.
1-9: LHP Austin Nicely was released.
Barajas, 18, played with the Marineros de Ensenada, a team in the Northern League, a minor league affiliated with the Mexican League.
Barrios, 22, was signed in 2011 out of Panama and pitched in the Gulf Coast League, Tri-City, and Quad Cities in 2016.
Nicely, also 22, was the Astros' 10th-round draft pick in 2013 out of Spotswood High School in Penn Laird, Virginia. He pitched for Tri-City and had one appearance with Quad Cities in 2016.
We would like to wish Agapito and Austin all the best in their future endeavors.
ASTROS FALL/WINTER LEAGUE UPDATES
All of the fall/winter regular seasons are now over except for the Australian Baseball League where Connor MacDonald has been on a nice roll, batting .400 with one home run, eight RBI and six runs over his last 10 games.
There are also a few Astros minor leaguers still playing in the Caribbean Leagues in playoff games. OF Drew Ferguson is hitting .222 in four playoff games for Santurce in the Puerto Rican winter league, and RHP Juan Santos has pitched 2/3 of an inning for Carolina, allowing only one hit. Santurce leads Carolina 3-1 in the best of 7 semifinal.
And Ramon Laureano has shown up in the playoffs in the Dominican Republic; in three games, he is hitting .125 for the Tigres del Licey. Licey currently has the second best record in the round robin playoffs (which are being dominated by Aguilas).
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL) - SEASON OVER
OF Alejandro Garcia: .200/.304/.200 in 6 games (replaced Laureano on the roster)
OF Jason Martin: .194/.375/.290 w/3-2B 2RBI 9R in 11 games
OF Ramon Laureano: .295/.340/.477 w/ 4-2B 2-3B 8RBI 5SB 12R in 12 games
C Garrett Stubbs: .171/.280/.271 w/ 4-2B 1HR 6RBI 13R in 20 games
IF Nick Tanielu: .352/.379/.500 w/ 5-2B 1HR 5RBI 7R in 14 games
RHP Francis Martes: 2-1 in 6 starts with a 3.22 ERA/1.299 WHIP in 22.1IP
RHP Jacob Dorris: 1-1 in 8 games with a 3.38 ERA/2.375 WHIP in 8.0IP
RHP Rogelio Armenteros: 0-0 (1SV) in 8 games with a 11.05 ERA/1.909 WHIP in 7.1IP
RHP David Paulino: 0-0 (1SV) in 5 games with a 0.00 ERA/0.600 WHIP in 5.0IP
DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM)
(Regular season ended 12/22; playoffs started 12/27)
OF Andrew Aplin: .114/.216/.114 in 19 games
OF Osvaldo Duarte: .000/.111/.000 in 7 games (only 8 at bats)
OF Teoscar Hernandez: .162/.230/.221 w/2-2B 1-3B 4RBI 6R in 20 games
C Max Stassi: .400/.400/.400 in 2 games
RHP Edison Frias: 0-0 in 2 games with a 4.50 ERA/0.500 WHIP in 2.0IP
LHP Reymin Guduan: 1-1 with 1 save in 14 games with a 5.63 ERA/2.250 WHIP in 8.0IP
*RHP Mike Hauschild: 0-1 in 5 starts with a 2.31 ERA/1.329 WHIP in 23.1IP
RHP Jordan Jankowski: 0-1 in 7 games with a 4.50 ERA/1.667 WHIP in 6.0IP
*Claimed by the Rangers in the Rule 5 draft
MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE (LMP)
(Regular season ended Friday, 12/30; playoffs started 1/2)
OF Leo Heras: .262/.368/.443 w/9-2B 8-3B 6HR 26RBI 43R in 67 games
VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP)
(Regular season ended Thursday, 12/29; playoffs started 1/2)
IF Marwin Gonzalez: .174/.269/.174 in 14 games
SS Miguel Sierra: .333/.333/.444 w/1-2B 3RBI in 3 games
RHP Jared Mortensen: 0-0 in 3 games with a 2.70 ERA/0.900 WHIP in 3.1IP
PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LBPRC)
(Regular season ended Friday, 12/30; playoffs started 1/3)
C Juan Centeno: .235/.327/.282 with 4-2B 9RBI in 26 games
OF Drew Ferguson: .283/.327/.413 with 1-2B 1-3B 1HR 1RBI 8R in 12 games
RHP Juan Santos: 0-0 in 8 games with a 3.68 ERA/1.364 WHIP in 7.1IP
AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE (ABL)
(Regular season ends Sunday, 1/29/17)
1B Connor MacDonald: .272/.340/.370 with 2-2B 2HR 17RBI 10R in 25 games
NEWS AND LINKS
The World Baseball Classic will soon be upon us. It runs from March 6th through March 22nd and the full schedule can be found here. The rosters haven't been officially announced yet, but several Astros players are slated to participate, including RHP Luke Gregerson (U.S. Team); SS Carlos Correa and OF Carlos Beltran (Team Puerto Rico); 2B Jose Altuve (Venezuelan Team); and OF Nori Aoki (Team Japan). I will update this list as more information on the rosters becomes available.
Former Astros reliever Josh Zeid was among the WBC Israeli Team members who traveled to Israel recently; Jonathan Mayo chronicled the trip.
Former Astros farmhand David Rollins, claimed from Houston in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft, has been on the move this offseason. Where will he land?
RHP Mike Hauschild, another former Astro claimed in the 2016 Rule 5 Draft, will have a chance to be the Rangers fifth starter. (WTHB wishes him luck!)
And, last but not least, another former Astros farmhand, the very popular Jimmy VanOstrand, landed a unique gig with the Seattle Mariners. (h/t to Steve Duer)