Saturday, August 12, 2017

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Friday, August 11, 2017

Fresno and Albuquerque was postponed

Due to wet grounds. A doubleheader will start at 4:35 Mountain, with Rogelio Armenteros starting game 1. David Martinez will take the mound for game 2.

Springfield 7, Corpus Christi 0

W- Adam Helsley (2-0)
L- Akeem Bostick (4-5, 6-6 season)

CC home runs: None.

The Hooks just avoided getting no-hit in this one. Jon Singleton broke it up with a one-out double in the 9th inning. Tony Nuñez walked 3 times and stole a base (8).

Akeem Bostick went 5 innings and allowed 3 runs on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 5. Nick Hernandez was the first man out of the Corpus bullpen and the one hit he allowed was a 2-run homer to Jose Adolis Garcia, which was also Garcia's 2nd homer of the evening. Hernandez walked 2 and struck out 5 during his time on the mound. Ryan Thompson allowed a couple of unearned runs, a couple of hits, and struck out 1 in the 9th.

Alex Winkelman will face Sandy Alcantara in game 2. First pitch is at 7:05.

Down East 6, Buies Creek 4

W- Steven Bruce (3-4)
L- Brett Adcock (4-4, 5-4 season)
S- Jose Valdespina (1)

BC home runs: Carmen Benedetti (1, 5 season; solo in 3rd)

The Carolina Stros got a couple of two-out RBI singles in the 8th to get closer, but two runs was as close as they could get.

Brett Adcock allowed 5 runs on 5 hits (4 singles and a double), walked 1, and struck out 3 in 5.1 innings. Sebastian Kessay went 2.2 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 4, and Erasmo Pinales retired the side in order in the 9th inning, striking out 1.

Carmen Benedetti opened the scoring with his first Carolina League home run to start the 3rd inning. Stephen Wrenn singled to lead off the 4th and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Buies Creek's 2 runs in the 8th came on RBI singles from Yordan Alvarez and Taylor Jones. Wrenn and Alvarez both finished 2-4 on the night.

Ryan Hartman goes up against Emerson Martinez in game 2 of this series, which begins at 6:00 Eastern.

Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 0

W- Clark Beeker (11-3)
L- Yohan Ramirez (3-5)
S- Colton Davis (3)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos' 9-game winning streak came to an end as they got held off the board on Friday.

Josh Rojas' triple was their only extra-base hit of the evening. Troy Sieber, Abraham Toro, and Chas McCormick all singled.

Yohan Ramirez allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 4 in 2.1 innings. Dustin Hunt was the first man out of the bullpen and allowed a run that was an inherited runner charged to him, a base hit, walked 4, and struck out 6. Lucas Williams allowed a hit and fanned 2 in 2.1 innings.

Patrick Sandoval will start game 3. He'll take on Anthony Marzi at 6:35.

Tri-City and Williamsport was postponed

Due to rain. A doubleheader is scheduled for Saturday, with game 1 starting at 5:05 Eastern.

Greeneville 3, Elizabethton 1

W- Chad Donato (1-0, 3-1 season)
L- Bailey Ober (1-1)
S- Humberto Castellanos (1)

Greeneville home runs: Roman Garcia 2 (6; solo in 4th, 2-run in 6th)

The Appy Astros got a big series win thanks to Roman Garcia's bat and the combined efforts of Chad Donato and Humberto Castellanos on the mound.

Garcia was essentially the Greeneville offense on Friday as he finished 3-4 with 2 homers. He accounted for three of the five Greeneville hits and two of their three runs

Donato was a winner in his Appalachian League debut, allowing 3 hits, walking 2, and striking out 7 over 5 shutout innings. Humberto Castellanos allowed the only Elizabethton run on a homer, 4 other hits, and struck out 3 in the final 4 innings.

Greeneville will now open a 4-game series against Kingsport with a doubleheader; they're making up a game that was originally scheduled for July 3. The twinbill starts at 4:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 3, GCL Marlins 2

W- Diosward Gonzalez (1-1, 3-3 season)
L- Alberto Guerrero (2-2)
S- Devin Raftery (2)

GCL home runs: None.

The Palm Beach Stros held off a little rally from the Marlins.

Enmanuel Valdez had a hand in all 3 runs on Friday; he hit a 2-out triple in the 3rd and scored the first run of the day on a passed ball. Valdez added a sac fly in the 5th and got plunked with the bases loaded in the 7th inning. Nathan Perry finished 2-4.

Tanner Duncan and Diosward Gonzalez started off with 3 innings apiece. Duncan struck out 4 in a perfect outing, while Gonzalez allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Carlos Pimentel allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 7th. Chauncey Nuñez got an out in the 8th but ran into instant trouble, as he walked the first two men he faced and uncorked a wild pitch which allowed one of them to score. He also allowed a double, which prompted Devin Raftery's entrance. Raftery got out of the inning with 2 strikeouts and then worked around a double in the 9th to close out the game. Raftery also recorded a strikeout in the 9th.

From July 26: DSL Astros Blue 11, DSL Dodgers1 8

W- Oscar Severino (3-0)
L- Juan Morillo (1-3)
S- Christopher Javier (2)

Blue home runs: None.

It was all Dodgers after this game resumed. Good thing the Blue team built up that 10-0 lead after the 2nd inning before the rain hit.

Nerio Rodriguez went 4-5 with a double, 3 RBI, and scored twice, while Rhandall Sanchez went 2-5 with 3 RBI.

Christopher Javier walked 1 and struck out 4 in 1.2 innings to get the save.

DSL Dodgers1 2, DSL Astros Blue 0

W- Juan Gonzalez (3-2)
L- Renny Ugarte (1-1)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team held the Dodgers to one hit, but they didn't score any runs.

Luis Coronel and Wilyer Abreu singled.

Renny Ugarte allowed a run (inherited runner charged to him), a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 5.2 innings. Nathanael Ventura got the last out of the 6th with a strikeout, but not before allowing a run and walking a couple of batters.

From July 26: DSL Indians 9, DSL Astros Orange 3

W- Wilton Sanchez (1-1)
L- Miguel Matos (1-3)

Orange home runs: None.

It was all Indians after play resumed.

Deury Carrasco and Fildex Perfecto had 2 hits apiece.

DSL Astros Orange 4, DSL Indians 0

W- Christian Mejias (2-2)
L- Ignacio Feliz (1-4)

Orange home runs: None.

Marco Van Der Wijst hit a 2-run single in the 1st and then stole home. Jeury Castillo went 2-3 with an RBI double in the 2nd inning.

Christian Mejias allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 in 5 innings, while Yulian Frontado walked 1 over 2 innings to complete the shutout.

Friday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Tanner Duncan, RHP, GCL Astros: 3 IP, 4 K; perfect outing
Diosward Gonzalez, RHP, GCL Astros: W (1-1, 3-3 season), 3 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K

Christian Mejias, RHP, DSL Astros Orange: W (2-2), 5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K
Yulian Frontado, RHP, DSL Astros Orange: 2 IP, BB

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Roman Garcia, 1B, Greeneville
3-4, 2 HR (6), 3 RBI; drove in every Greeneville run, scored 2 of Greeneville's 3 runs

These are their mugshots on MiLB.com.
Greeneville Astros pitchers: W 3-1 @ Elizabethton
9 IP, 8 H, ER, 2 BB, 10 K
Chad Donato: W (1-0, 3-1 season), 5 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K
Humberto Castellanos: Save (1), 4 IP, 5 H (solo HR allowed), ER, 3 K

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Enmanuel Valdez, IF, GCL Astros
1-2, 3B, 2 RBI, R; involved in all 3 GCL Astros runs

Dustin Hunt, RHP, Quad Cities
3.1 IP, H, ER (inherited runner charged to him), 4 BB, 6 K

Stephen Wrenn, OF, Buies Creek
2-4, 2 R

Friday, August 11, 2017

Jeff Luhnow is Trying to Ruin Your Life: A Satire

As you may or may not know, I have been privy to some Astros insider info from time to time. I generally keep that information to myself because I've found that the front office is more likely to help me out with interview requests and the like if I'm somewhat circumspect in my use of information obtained from my vast network of spies contacts. But I've come across a bombshell of epic proportions that I feel I must share with you, so share I will.

You see, I have found out that Jeff Luhnow, the General Manager of the Houston Astros, wants to ruin your life. Yes, you. Personally. He's been listening to you bitch and moan and second-guess him for years now and he's fed up with it. So he decided to take it out on you. Yes, you. Personally. And he decided to do it in the year that Sports Illustrated predicted that the Astros would be World Series bound.

His plan was diabolical. He built a team of super stars, rising stars and upcoming stars and let them loose on the baseball world. He planned for the team to get to 50 wins at the fastest pace in franchise history, just to let you get your hopes up. Then he decided to pull the rug out from under you!!! Yes, you. Personally.

His first nefarious plan was to pick up a couple extra voodoo dolls. (He'd already tried one out on one of his pitchers before the season started, but the team was still winning.) So he pulled out another one and stuck a pin in the neck of the doll, but it didn't significantly slow down the team. So then he went with a pin to the back of the third one. OK, that slowed things down a bit, but not enough. So he demanded that all players slide head first into home plate. That took care of one star. And then he conspired with the grounds keeping crew to help trip up another star. Diabolical fiend!!! And all so that he can make your life a living hell. Yes, you. Personally.

But he was concerned that the team was still a little bit too hot. So he pulled out the big guns. At the trade deadline, he let everyone think that he was nearing a deal for the Orioles Zach Britton, but the deal fell apart at the last minute. The truth is that Luhnow NEVER had a deal in place; he just wanted to torment you. Yes, you. Personally. He wanted you to get your hopes up, only to dash them. He's good ... at being evil.

The bonus for Luhnow in not picking up another top of the rotation pitcher is that some of his players are a little on the dis- side of gruntled which has him clapping his hands in glee .... that demon, that spawn of darkness!!! Plus those players who aren't among the walking wounded are starting to put extra stress on themselves to pick up the weight. And Luhnow absolutely loves seeing the Astros "fans" turn on their own players when they struggle. Keep them demoralized, he thinks.

But in the back of his mind, Luhnow is still worried. He compiled too much talent. Yeah, there are injuries, but not season-ending ones so those players are already starting to work their way back. And a couple wins in a row can lift the players spirits. Before you know it, they may all be back to peak performance and enjoying baseball and, gasp, winning. I don't know what he'll do then. But rest assured, he will be pulling out all the stops to thwart them because JEFF LUHNOW WANTS TO RUIN YOUR LIFE!!! YES, YOU. PERSONALLY.

>>>>><<<<<
To those of my readers who are not on social media, the above is in response to Astros fans on Twitter who are FREAKING OUT about a team that still has the second best record in baseball because they aren't playing their best right this minute. Well, odds are that they will still manage to make the playoffs. They may go all the way. They may not. And if they don't have a good postseason run, I will be disappointed. But I will shrug my shoulders and say, "Next year." Because this system is poised to be making postseason runs for the next few years.


Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Thursday, August 10, 2017

Fresno 8, El Paso 4

W- Mike Hauschild (6-2)
L- Chad Huffman (0-1)

Fresno home runs: Preston Tucker (22, solo in 1st), A.J. Reed (25, solo in 1st)

The Grizzlies avoided the sweep and snapped a 6-game losing streak by doubling up the Chihuahuas.

Preston Tucker and A.J. Reed smacked back-to-back solo shots in the 1st inning. Fresno got 2 more in the 2nd on a pair of RBI singles from Drew Ferguson and Tony Kemp. In the 7th, Garrett Stubbs ripped a 2-run double and Max Stassi added a 2-run single later in the frame.

Reed went 3-5 on the evening; Jack Mayfield also finished with 3 hits. Stubbs (2B, 2 RBI, 2 R), Stassi (2 RBI, R), Ferguson (RBI, SB), Tucker (solo HR, 2 R), and Kemp (RBI) all had 2-hit nights.

The Grizzlies are in Albuquerque tonight to start a 4-game set. Rogelio Armenteros will be on the mound for game 1 and he'll face Ryan Carpenter at 7:05 Mountain.

Corpus Christi 1, Tulsa 0

W- Riley Ferrell (1-2)
L- Karch Kowalczyk (5-6)

CC home runs: Carlos Canelon (1, solo in 8th)

There was one scoring play in this game and it belonged to the Hooks.

Franklin Perez dueled Mitchell White to a draw; both of them allowed 2 hits over 5 shutout innings for their respective clubs. Perez walked 1 and struck out 6. Kevin Hill was the first man out of the Corpus bullpen and allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 in 2.2 innings. Riley Ferrell retired all 4 Tulsa hitters he faced, striking out 2.

Carlos Canelon was the hero in his Corpus debut as his solo homer in the 8th was the difference.

The Hooks welcome Springfield to Whataburger Field this weekend. Akeem Bostick will take on Ryan Helsley in game 1. First pitch is at 7:05.

Buies Creek 7, Salem 6, in 10 innings


W- Sean Stutzman (1-1, 2-2 season)
L- Daniel McGrath (2-8)

BC home runs: None.

The Carolina Stros took the series despite blowing a 5-1 lead. All three games in this series were decided by one run.

Cionel Perez and Justin Ferrell pitched 4 innings apiece. Cionel got the start and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 7 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3, while Ferrell allowed a run on 3 hits and fanned 4. Sean Stutzman allowed 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1 over 2 scoreless.

Yordan Alvarez opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st inning. He hit another RBI single in the 3rd inning, and an error on the play allowed him to advance to 2nd while Jake Rogers took 3rd. Rogers scored on a Taylor Jones groundout and Alvarez eventually came home on a wild pitch. Rogers ripped an RBI double in the 4th. Alvarez hit his third RBI single of the evening in the 6th and his fourth and final hit of the evening was an RBI double in the first extra frame that turned out to be the game-winner.

Stephen Wrenn also finished with 4 hits on the night; he doubled, stole a base, and scored 4 runs. Carmen Benedetti (2 2B) and Taylor Jones (RBI groundout) had 2 hits apiece.

Brett Adcock will start the first of a 3-game series against Down East. He'll go up against Steven Bruce at 7:00 Eastern.

Quad Cities 7, Cedar Rapids 6

W- Jesús Balaguer (3-0, 4-1 season)
L- Tyler Watson (0-2)
S- Salvador Montaño (5)

QC home runs: Troy Sieber (5, solo in 5th), Abraham Toro-Hernandez (5, 11 season; solo in 5th)

The Banditos staved off a late rally from the Kernels to win the first game of the series.

Ronnie Dawson opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd. Luis Payano hit a 2-run single in the 4th, Troy Sieber and Abraham Toro-Hernandez launched back-to-back solo shots in the 5th, and in the 7th, Sieber scored on an error that allowed Dawson to reach and Josh Rojas scored on another error on the same ball that Dawson put in play. Sieber went 3-5 and scored 3 runs, while Daz Cameron went 2-4 with 2 stolen bases (26) and scored twice.

Carlos Sanabria allowed 3 runs on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 5, and struck out 6. Devon Carr was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 2. Jesús Balaguer and Salvador Montaño threw an inning apiece: Balaguer allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 2 in the 8th, and Montaño worked around a walk to get the save.

Yohan Ramirez will take the mound in game 2. He'll face Clark Beeker at 6:35.

Tri-City 8, Lowell 5

W- Carlos Hiraldo (1-4)
L- Yorvin Pantoja (0-5)
S- Colin McKee (4)

TC home runs: Colton Shaver (2, 8 season; solo in 9th)

The ValleyCats scored in fewer innings, but they put up a crooked number in all of them.

J.B. Bukauskas went 3 innings in his Tri-City debut and allowed a run on a wild pitch, a single, walked 2, and struck out 3. Diogenes Almengo pitched the 4th and allowed 2 hits, one of which was a solo homer, and struck out 1. Carlos Hiraldo allowed 3 runs (1 inherited) on 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out 6 in 2.2 innings, and Colin McKee allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 5 in 2.1 innings.

TC took control with 4 in the 4th. Adrian Tovalin put them on the board and in the lead with a 2-run single and scored on a Gabriel Bracamonte triple. Bracamonte wound up scoring on a passed ball that was also ball 4 to Kyle Davis. Davis walked again to lead off the 6th and scored on Andy Piñeda's triple. Piñeda came home on a sac fly from Bryan De La Cruz. The ValleyCats got some insurance in the final inning as they held on to a one-run lead: J.J. Matijevic singled to lead off the 9th and scored on an errant pickoff throw and another errant throw in an attempt to throw him out on the basepaths. Colton Shaver capped off the evening with a solo homer. He (solo HR, 2 R, SB) and Tovalin (2 RBI, R) both finished with 2 hits on the night.

The ValleyCats will kick off a 3-game series in Williamsport at 7:05 Eastern.

Greeneville 5, Elizabethton 2


W- Hansel Paulino (2-1)
L- Brusdar Graterol (1-1)
S- Juan Corniel (1)

Greeneville home runs: Roman Garcia (4, solo in 5th)

The Appy Astros came out on top to start a big series as they try to make up some ground on the Twins while simultaneously trying to hold off Johnson City, who is right on their tails.

Almost all of the scoring in this game was done in the very first inning. Greeneville put up 4 to start the game.Cody Bohanek walked to start things off. He then stole 2nd (2), advanced to 3rd on the errant throw down, and scored the first run on a Gilberto Celestino double. Roman Garcia got plunked, and then Brody Westmoreland ripped an RBI double. Garcia scored on a Jose Benjamin groundout and Frankeny Fernandez hit an RBI single to score Westmoreland. Garcia went 2-3 and launched a homer to start the 5th, which was Greeneville's only hit after the 3rd inning.

Hansel Paulino shook off a 2-run homer in the 1st to throw 5 innings. He allowed 2 other hits and struck out 8. Cole Watts went 3.1 innings and allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 9. He left the bases loaded for Juan Corniel, who got the last two outs of the game without any further incident.

Humberto Castellanos faces Ryley Widell in game 2. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

DSL Astros Blue 8, DSL Braves 7 in 10 innings

W- Luis Garcia (1-0)
L- Jhonny Diaz (2-5)

Blue home runs: None.

The Blue team saw the Braves tie this game in the 9th and take the lead in the 10th, but they managed to pull themselves together and walked off with the victory.

Wilyer Abreu went 2-5 and drove in 3 runs; he won it with a 2-run single. Nerio Rodriguez and Yorbin Ceuta both scored twice; Nerio tied the game with an RBI double in the 10th. Abreu, Ceuta, and Luis Coronel both finished with 2 hits on the day.

Manny Ramirez allowed 2 runs, a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3 in 3 innings. Angel Macuare was the first man out of the Blue team bullpen and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 3 in 2 innings. Flaer Gonzalez went 4 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 4, and Luis Garcia allowed a couple of unearned runs, a hit, and struck out the side in the 10th.

DSL Astros Orange 10, DSL Indians/Brewers 3

W- Asael Uribe (2-2)
L- Wilmer Mejia (0-3)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team's bats came alive as they scored all 10 of their runs in a three-inning span.

Sean Mendoza went 3-4 with a double, drove in 2, and scored twice. Deury Carrasco and Jose Alvarez both finished 1-3 with a couple of walks and a couple of runs scored.

Asael Uribe allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 3 over 5 shutout innings. Carlos Perdomo went 3 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2, and Ronny Garcia walked 1 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 9th.

Thursday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Asael Uribe, RHP, DSL Astros Orange: W (2-2), 5 IP, H, 2 BB, 3 K
Sean Mendoza, UTIL, DSL Astros Orange: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R

Wilyer Abreu, OF, DSL Astros Blue: 2-5, 3 RBI; walk-off 2-run single in 10th

Hansel Paulino's photo taken by Bryan Green.
Cole Watts' and Juan Corniel's photos are their mugshots on MiLB.com.
Greeneville Astros pitchers: W 5-2 @ Elizabethton
9 IP, 7 H (2-R HR allowed), 2 ER, BB, 17 K
Hansel Paulino: W (2-1), 5 IP, 3 H (2-R HR allowed), 2 ER, 8 K
Cole Watts: 3.1 IP, 4 H, BB, 9 K
Juan Corniel: Save (1), 0.2 IP; stranded bases loaded to end game

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Colton Shaver, 1B, Tri-City
2-2, solo HR (2, 8 season), 2 R

Colin McKee, RHP, Tri-City
Save (4), 2.1 IP, H, 2 BB, 5 K

Troy Sieber, 1B, Quad Cities
3-5, solo HR (5), 3 R

Yordan Alvarez's photo is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Yordan Alvarez, 1B/LF, and Stephen Wrenn, OF, Buies Creek
Alvarez: 4-5, 2B, 4 RBI, SB (4, 6 season); Go-ahead RBI double in 10th
Wrenn: 4-6, 2B, 4 R, SB (8, 16 season)

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Carlos Canelon, C, Corpus Christi
Solo HR (1) in 8th accounted for game's only run

Corpus Christi Hooks pitchers: W 1-0 vs. Tulsa
9 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 9 K
Franklin Perez: 5 IP, 2 H, BB, 6 K
Kevin Hill: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, K
Riley Ferrell: W (1-2), 1.1 IP, 2 K

Preston Tucker, RF, A.J. Reed, 1B, and Garrett Stubbs, C, Fresno
Tucker: 2-5, solo HR (22), 2 R
Reed: 3-5, solo HR (25), 2 R
Stubbs: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Wednesday, August 9, 2017

El Paso 5, Fresno 3

W- Dillon Overton (4-5)
L- Dean Deetz (3-4, 7-6 season)
S- Cory Mazzoni (1)

Fresno home runs: Jack Mayfield (5, 19 season; solo in 2nd), Tony Kemp (10, solo in 6th), A.J. Reed (24, solo in 9th)

The Grizzlies got three solo shots.... but not much else on offense as they couldn't quite come back from an early 4-0 deficit. A.J. Reed went 2-4 on the night.

Dean Deetz went 2 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 4. Jacob Dorris and Ashur Tolliver pitched 3 innings apiece; Dorris allowed a hit and fanned 3, while Tolliver allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 4, and struck out 3. Brendan McCurry struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th.

Mike Hauschild gets the start in the finale. He'll face Chad Huffman at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi 10, Tulsa 7

W- Ryan Thompson (2-2, 2-3 season)
L- Shea Spitzbarth (2-4)

CC home runs: Rico Noel (1, solo in 2nd), Dexture McCall (5, 9 season; solo in 5th), Arturo Michelena (1, 2-run in 7th), Jason Martin (10, 17 season; walk-off grand slam in 9th)

The Hooks scored 6 in the bottom of the 9th to steal one from right under the Drillers.

Framber Valdez went 4.1 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 6. Cy Sneed was the first man out of the Corpus bullpen and went 3 innings, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out 4. Ryan Thompson allowed a hit and fanned 2 over 1.2 scoreless.

Both teams scored a run in the 2nd inning; Corpus got theirs on Rico Noel's first homer as a member of the Astros organization. Dex McCall launched a solo homer in the 5th, and Arturo Michelena hit a 2-run homer in the 7th that tied the game at 4. The Drillers got 3 in the 8th to re-take the lead.

Ryne Birk led off the bottom of the 9th with a single, which prompted Tulsa to make a pitching change. McCall greeted new Drillers pitcher Shea Spitzbarth with a single. Michelena went down on strikes, but Colin Walsh hit an RBI single to cut the Tulsa lead to 7-5. Tony Nuñez singled to load the bases for Kyle Tucker, who hit a sac fly to bring Corpus to within a run. Jamie Ritchie legged out an infield single to re-load the bases for Jason Martin, who sent the Whataburger Field crowd home in ecstasy with a walk-off grand slam while down to his last strike. Martin and McCall both finished with 3 hits on the evening.

Franklin Perez will take on Mitchell White in the series finale. First pitch is at 7:05.

Buies Creek 3, Salem 2

W- Elieser Hernandez (4-3, 5-3 season)
L- Matthew Gorst (0-1)

BC home runs: Jake Rogers (10, 16 season; solo in 4th)

The Carolina Stros got a run in the 9th to break a 2-2 tie.

Anthony Hermelyn hit a pair of RBI singles; he opened the scoring in the 2nd and drove in the go-ahead run in the 9th. Jake Rogers also went 2-3 and smacked a homer to begin the 4th. Taylor Jones went 2-4 with a double and scored what turned out to be the winning run.

Forrest Whitley went 4 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits (solo homer), walked 3, and struck out 7. It was not his sharpest performance as he also uncorked 4 wild pitches. Erasmo Pinales worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out 1. Elieser Hernandez allowed 3 hits and struck out 1 over the final 4 innings.

Cionel Perez will start the series finale. He'll go up against former Aggie Matt Kent at 7:05 Eastern.

Quad Cities was off

The Banditos will begin a 4-game series in Cedar Rapids tonight at 6:35. Carlos Sanabria will take on Tyler Watson.

Tri-City 7, Lowell 2

W- Ben Smith (5-2)
L- Nick Duron (2-4)
S- Corbin Martin (1)

TC home runs: Jonathan Arauz (1, 2-run in 1st), Adrian Tovalin (4, 8 season; 2-run in 3rd)

The ValleyCats got back to the .500 mark thanks to a pair of 2-run blasts and a dominating outing from Corbin Martin to end the game.

Brandon Bielak allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and struck out 3 in 4 innings. Ben Smith worked around a couple of walks to throw a scoreless 5th, striking out 2. Martin shut things down for the final 4 innings, walking 1 and striking out 9 to record his first save as a pro.

J.J. Matijevic hit a one-out single in the 1st and Jonathan Arauz opened the scoring by launching a homer. Adrian Tovalin whacked a 2-run homer of his own in the 3rd inning. Tovalin scored on a wild pitch in the 6th and Kyle Davis added an RBI single not long after. Tovalin scored the last run of the evening in the 7th on another wild pitch that Colton Shaver stole 2nd on. Arauz (2-R HR, 2 R), Tovalin (2-R HR, 3 R), and Gabriel Bracamonte (3B, R) all finished with 2 hits on the night.

J.B. Bukauskas makes his Tri-City debut in the series finale. First pitch is at 6:35 Eastern.

Elizabethton 6, Greeneville 1

W- Edwar Colina (3-3)
L- Jheyson Caraballo (1-2)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Twins scored twice... in three consecutive innings to take the opener.

Jheyson Caraballo and Gerardo Bojorquez pitched 4 innings apiece. Caraballo allowed 4 runs on 7 hits (2-run homer), walked 2, and struck out 5. Bojorquez allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and fanned 5.

Jose Benjamin spoiled the shutout with a pinch-hit RBI single in the 8th inning. Patrick Mathis went 2-4 with a double.

Hansel Paulino takes on Brusdar Graterol in game 2. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 4, GCL Nationals 0

W- Maikel Sepulveda (5-3)
L- Tomás Alastre (2-1)

GCL home runs: Juan Piñeda (2, 3 season; solo in 3rd)

The Palm Beach Stros shut out their complex mates on Wednesday, holding the Nationals to 4 hits.

Maikel Sepulveda allowed 3 hits and struck out 2 in 5 innings. Austin Kerns was the first man out of the GCLstros bullpen and went 3 innings, allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 1. Brendan Feldmann struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 9th to complete the shutout.

Carlos Machado went 2-4 and opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 1st inning. After Machado's single, Angel Tejeda scored on Trent Woodward's groundout. Juan Piñeda smacked a homer to start the 3rd. César Cortez walked to lead off the 4th, stole 2nd, then scored on two straight wild pitches. Piñeda finished 3-4 on the day.

DSL Astros Blue 16, DSL Braves 2

W- Jose Antonio Hernandez (3-2)
L- Luis De Jesus (2-4)

Blue home runs: None.

Team Blue only had one extra-base hit, but they still managed to score 16 runs thanks to 8 walks, 13 hits, and 5 Braves errors.


Antonio Pujols allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 4 innings. Jose Antonio Hernandez was the first man out of the Blue team bullpen and went 3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, walking 1, and striking out 2. Christopher Javier walked 1 and fanned 3 over the last 2 innings.

DSL Astros Orange 3, DSL Indians/Brewers 0

W- Fredy Medina (4-2)
L- Henry Medina (3-4)
S- Cristofer Melendez (2)

Orange home runs: Ramiro Rodriguez (5, solo in 5th), Marco Van Der Wijst (1, solo in 5th)

Team Orange could only push across 3 runs with their 13 hits, but they also shut out the Brewdians.

Ramiro Rodriguez and Marco Van Der Wijst launched back-to-back solo homers in the 5th to break a 0-0 tie and Deury Carrasco stole home in the 8th. Rodriguez and Van Der Wijst both finished 2-3. Sean Mendoza went 3-5, while Carrasco and Jose Castillo both went 2-4. Carrasco had 2 steals, giving him 21 on the year.

Wender Oberto allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 3 innings. Fredy Medina tagged in for 4 no-hit innings, walking 2 and striking out 6. Cristofer Melendez allowed a hit and struck out 2 in the final 2 innings for the save.

Wednesday's Stars

DSL Astros Blue: W 16-2 @ DSL Braves—16 R, 13 H (12 singles, 1 double)
Ronaldo Urdaneta: 3-5, 2 RBI, R
Yorbin Ceuta: 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI, R
Rhandall Sanchez: 2-6, RBI, 3 R

DSL Astros Orange: W 3-0 vs. DSL Indians/Brewers
Ramiro Rodriguez and Marco Van Der Wijst: 2-3, solo HR each (Rodriguez: 5 HR, Van Der Wijst: 1 HR)
Deury Carrasco: 2-4, 2 SB (21); stole home in 8th inning
Fredy Medina: W (4-2), 4 IP, 2 BB, 6 K
Cristofer Melendez: Save (2), 2 IP, H, 2 K

Adrian Tovalin's photo is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Jonathan Arauz, IF, and Adrian Tovalin, 3B/1B, Tri-City
Arauz: 2-4, 2-R HR (1), 2 R
Tovalin: 2-5, 2-R HR (4, 8 season), 3 R

Photo by Don Carson
Corbin Martin, RHP, Tri-City
Save (1), 4 IP, BB, 9 K

Anthony Hermelyn, C, and Jake Rogers, C, Buies Creek
Hermelyn: 2-3, 2 RBI singles; drove in go-ahead run in 9th
Rogers: 2-3, solo HR (10, 16 season)

Elieser Hernandez, RHP, Buies Creek
W (4-3, 5-3 season), 4 IP, 3 H, K

Dexture McCall, 1B, and Jason Martin, OF, Corpus Christi
McCall: 3-4, solo HR (5, 9 season), 3 R
Martin: 3-5, walk-off grand slam (10, 17 season)

Jacob Dorris, RHP, Fresno
3 IP, H, 3 K

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Getting to Know Quad Cities OF Ronnie Dawson

The first thing you will notice about Ronnie Dawson is his ever-present smile. Dawson is a young man who very much enjoys what he does for a living and it shows on his face every single day. And he has a lot to smile about these days. After an inauspicious start to his season (.213/.295/.343 in April and May), he caught fire, hitting .327/.414/.536 with 13 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 34 RBI, 50 runs scored and seven stolen bases in the 58 games from June 1st on.


Ronnie Dawson - July 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Dawson was on my original list to interview, but I somehow kept missing him. And the more I talked to others, the more I wanted to talk to him. If you've been reading my other interviews from late last month in Quad Cities, you will have noticed the praise that was heaped on him by teammates ...

From Troy Sieber
Watching Ronnie hit ... I love his swing ... he's a left-handed batter, big kid and he can drive the ball to every part of the field. When I see him hit the ball out to left field, it's really nice because a lot of the time, you see a guy pulling the ball for home runs, but when you see a guy like him that can hit the ball out right-center, left-center, it's really a nice thing to watch. And for a guy that big that has such good speed, it's just ... he's a really good player. It's awesome to watch for sure. You don't see that very often.
From Josh Rojas
And then I really like the way Ronnie [Dawson] plays, just because he's so big and athletic at the same time. The first time I saw him run, I was like, 'What the heck?' I did not expect that out of him.
From Daz Cameron
We have a lot of good guys, but the guy that stands out to me the most would probably be Ronnie [Dawson]. Ronnie is a good player. He's got everything. He can do a lot of things on the field. He can run for his size. I enjoy watching him play. When he gets it going, I love watching his swing. His swing ... it's nice when it gets going.
And then I spoke with Quad Cities Manager Russ Steinhorn about Dawson. According to Steinhorn, Dawson didn't let his slow start to the season faze him. "He never gets down on himself. He's always smiling and having a good time which is what you need in a long season. He puts in more work in the batting cage in fixing his swing than anybody. He is so focused on trying to get better, and I'm just happy to see the work that he's put in is paying off," said Steinhorn.

Steinhorn continued, "We have a lot of guys that work hard, but he stands out. You can tell he's got a plan to be successful and he's trying to do everything he can to do it." Steinhorn loves that Dawson can hit for power and fool people with his speed and came up with an interesting comp for the approach the Astros want him to take, "There's only one George Springer, but if (Dawson) could be our George Springer in the Midwest League, I think that's the approach that we're trying to teach him because he can run and he can hit the ball out of the park. Hit the ball out of the park the first at-bat and try to do it like George does and, if not, just get on base and run and have good at-bats the rest of the game."

Wow. Well, I was finally able to sneak in a few minutes with Dawson between Sunday chapel and game prep. My first question centered on whether he felt the extra pressure associated with being a top draft pick (Dawson was a second round pick in 2016). Dawson admitted that he has sometimes felt that pressure, "Especially last year I did. I wanted to prove myself early and I struggled at the beginning of last year and again this year also. It really has mentally made me a better person, a better teammate, a better ballplayer. I put so much pressure on myself at the beginning, wanting to do good. Then I realized at the end of the day, it's baseball, and me struggling helped me push myself ... to just play the game (and) have fun. And last year, I had a real good month and right now, I'm getting back to playing like I usually do and not worrying about (where I was drafted). I'm playing baseball and at the end of the day, it's the same thing."

When asked what was clicking for him in his recent success, Dawson said, "Honestly, the second half I sat down with one of my good friends ... he's actually a mental coach ... and I really talked to him. His name's Diamond Hall and I played baseball with him. He's no longer playing baseball, but ever since my freshman year of college, me and him would talk about the mental side of baseball. Each year I get better and better. And now, I talk to him at least once a weekend. We just talk about that. I sit down, set goals for myself that I can worry about. I can't worry about getting hits. I can't worry about hitting home runs and RBI's. I don't really determine that. That's the baseball gods. I can get a bloop hit, hit a ball hard. My thing is really worrying about quality at-bats and controlling the stuff I can control. That's what I've really been focusing on this second half."

Growing up, Dawson's parents kept him in sports from a young age, playing football, basketball and baseball. He credits that early exposure for his athleticism and speed. Despite enjoying baseball, Dawson thought it more likely that he would end up pursuing football, and probably would have but for a chance encounter in high school, detailed in this recent MiLB article, that resulted in the AAA Columbus Clippers, a Cleveland Indians minor league affiliate, bringing Dawson into their fold as both bat boy and baseball protege.

Of that experience with the Clippers, Dawson said, "Yeah, that's when I really took off and thought about playing baseball at the next level. I was always a football guy. I was football, football, football, going to football camps. Baseball, I was good at it, but didn't think I could play at the next level, even college. Then (as a) bat boy, I started talking to a lot of guys. George Robinson [the Clippers director of clubhouse operations], he really helped me. I was hitting every day and (he told me I) should go to a camp and get noticed. Went to a camp, got my first offer (and I thought) this baseball thing may work out for me. I was talking to a lot of guys, all of the guys that are with the Indians now, they were down in AAA, like Corey Kluber, Lonnie Chisenhall. One guy that really stuck out, and I still talk to him today, was Matt LaPorta. He was a first baseman for the Cleveland Indians for a while. I really enjoy talking to him. I really learned a lot from him. Take the stuff that he taught me back then and apply it to my game today. Not even on the field, more off the field, preparing myself for the game and stuff like that. I'm really grateful for the opportunity. It's priceless."

Better known for his bat, I asked Dawson to characterize himself defensively. "I'm pretty good. On a scale of 1 through 10, I'm not a 10. I'd say 7, 7-1/2, 8. I can still get better. I just started playing outfield. This is my fourth year. I'm still getting better. I'm real comfortable in left field," said Dawson. He's gotten a little more experience playing right field this season and is starting to get more comfortable at that position as well. Playing alongside Daz Cameron doesn't exactly hurt, either. "I'm getting better, learning. Daz Cameron's probably one of the best outfielders I've played with and I've just tried to learn from him because he's been around the game since he was born. I try to pick up things from him and that helps me a lot."

Delino DeShields, Jr. once told me that he felt that the underrepresentation of black players in baseball was due in part to the mere expense associated with the game, playing travel ball and going to camps in order to get noticed as a player. I asked Dawson for his thoughts on that, "Yeah, I would agree with him. Travel ball is expensive." Dawson said that he didn't really know much about the youth baseball initiatives for inner-city kids, but he thinks that's a great step to increase participation. "Honestly, it is expensive. Back then I didn't realize ... my parents had to do whatever they had to do to make sure I played. Talking to them (later), 'You guys paid that much for me to play baseball?' Especially when I'm 10 years old. It's cool for me to travel to North Carolina, but at the end of the day, me winning that tournament wasn't worth all that. (But) you build life memories. Honestly, the memories I had when I was little were unreal. The sacrifices my parents made for me ... I didn't understand it back then. Now, looking back at it, us not going on vacation because I'm at a baseball tournament," said Dawson. Add in the time commitment of 4 or 5 years in the minors, and it doesn't take much to see why professional football and basketball can seem more attractive to many young athletes.

On a lighter note, I asked Dawson for something about himself that most people didn't know. "One thing that people probably don't know, but my teammates probably would know, is that I love to dance. If you see (me) before the game, pre-game, I'm probably dancing. If there's a good song on, got a good little tune, I'm probably dancing and just trying to have fun. And I think that's another thing that helps me mentally. This game is so hard. Three out of 10 times, you're a hall-of-famer, and for a lot of us, three out of 10 times, that's a really good 10 at-bats. I try to keep having fun and stay positive as much as possible. Dancing and stuff helps me do that a lot."

Which brings me full circle back to that ever-present smile of his. Dawson told me, "It helps. There are times especially in the first half, I get down on myself and it's not making the game fun. If I have a bad game, oh well, I've got tomorrow. There's more to me than just baseball. I love the game, but I can't have baseball identify me. I love the game so much ... I've just got to remember that. Even if I have a bad day, I've always got tomorrow."

I have a feeling that baseball will bring Dawson a lot of tomorrows, and with his plan, his focus and his positive approach, it will be my pleasure to watch.

Thank you for your time, Ronnie, and best of luck as the season continues.

Other Recent Interviews:

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Let's play two in Greeneville!

El Paso 7, Fresno 5

W- Bryan Rodriguez (6-7)
L- Jordan Jankowski (1-3)
S- Adam Cimber (3)

Fresno home runs: A.J. Reed (23, solo in 3rd)

Fresno has been in a tailspin as of late; they dropped their 5th straight on Tuesday and have relinquished the division lead to Reno.

Kent Emanuel went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs on 10 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Jordan Jankowski pitched 2 innings and allowed 2 runs on a sac fly and a wild pitch, a double, walked 4, and struck out 2. Dayan Diaz allowed a run on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in the 9th.

Jack Mayfield opened the scoring with a 2-run single in the 1st inning. Alejandro Garcia scored on a groundout in the 2nd, and A.J. Reed smacked a solo homer in the 3rd. Tony Kemp tripled to lead off the bottom of the 5th and scored on a Jon Kemmer groundout. Reed finished 2-4, making him the only player in the Fresno lineup with a multi-hit game.

Dean Deetz takes on Chad Huffman in game 3 of this series. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Tulsa 3, Corpus Christi 1

W- Josh Sborz (6-7)
L- Ralph Garza Jr. (0-1, 2-3 season)
S- Corey Copping (3)

CC home runs: Colin Walsh (1, 12 season; solo in 1st)

Both teams had 5 hits, but the Drillers scored more runs, so... they won.

Colin Walsh went 2-4 and his solo homer in the 1st was the Hooks' only scoring play. Rico Noel went 2-4.

Brock Dykxhoorn went 5 innings and allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 6. Ralph Garza Jr. and Andrew Thome pitched 2 innings apiece; Garza walked 2 and only allowed 1 hit, but it was a 2-run homer that turned out to be the difference. Thome allowed a hit and struck out 2.

Framber Valdez starts game 2 of this series. He'll face Andrew Sopko at 7:05.

Salem 2, Buies Creek 1

W- Adam Lau (4-6)
L- Jorge Alcala (4-4, 6-4 season)

BC home runs: None.

While Buies Creek saw their chance to break a 1-1 tie in the 8th fall by the wayside after stranding a couple of runners, Salem took advantage of their opportunity in the bottom of the 8th.

Matt Bower and Jorge Alcala both allowed a run on 4 hits. Bower went 5 innings and also walked 1 and struck out 5. Alcala walked 2 (1 intentionally) and struck out 1 in his 3 innings.

The Carolina Stros' only scoring play was a Yordan Alvarez RBI single in the 3rd. They left the bases loaded to end their half of that inning. They also finished 1-10 with runners in scoring position. Randy César, Carmen Benedetti, and Rodrigo Ayarza all went 2-4, while Myles Straw drew 4 walks out of the top spot in the order.

Forrest Whitley will go up against Roniel Raudes in game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:05 Eastern.

Quad Cities 5, Beloit 0

W- Cristian Javier (1-0, 2-0 season)
L- Seth Martinez (4-6)

QC home runs: Daz Cameron (13, 3-run in 1st)

Daz Cameron dominated at the plate and the Banditos' pitchers dominated on the mound to give Quad Cities their 8th straight victory.

Cristian Javier allowed 2 hits and struck out 7 over 5 innings of work. Gabriel Valdez was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen and turned in 3 perfect innings, striking out 4. Robert Corniel worked around a hit and a walk to complete the shutout, striking out 1 in the 9th.

Daz opened the scoring with a 3-run blast in the 1st inning. He hit a two-out single in the 3rd, stole 2nd (24), and scored on a Josh Rojas single. After Abraham Toro-Hernandez doubled in the 5th, Daz added an RBI single to his ledger. He finished 4-4 on the night; he and Toro both scored twice.

Carlos Sanabria will take on Tyler Watson in the first of a 3-game series in Cedar Rapids at 6:35.

Lowell 4, Tri-City 0

W- Dakota Smith (3-2)
L- Kit Scheetz (0-3)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats' bats went silent on Tuesday.

Gabriel Bracamonte went 3-4 with a double and Jonathan Arauz finished 2-4, so theirs had a little life, at least.

Kit Scheetz went 4.1 innings and allowed 4 runs (3 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 7. Luis Ramirez allowed a hit and got the last two outs of the 5th via strikeout. Juan Robles allowed 2 hits and struck out 4 in 3 innings.

Brandon Bielak starts game 2 of this series. He'll face Jake Thompson... but Thompson pitched in this game for the Spinners, so that matchup is most likely incorrect. First pitch is at 6:35 Eastern.

Game 1: Greeneville 6, Burlington 5

W- Willy Collado (2-1)
L- Luis Alcantara (0-4)

Greeneville home runs: Gilberto Celestino (4, 2-run in 6th)

The Appy Astros took game 1 by scoring two in each of the final three innings in which they batted.

Leovanny Rodriguez allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and struck out 1 in the 1st inning. Francisco Villegas, Tim Hardy, and Willy Collado all followed with 2 innings each out of the Greeneville bullpen. Villegas was first and he allowed 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Hardy allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1, and Collado allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 3.

Patrick Mathis and Brody Westmoreland started the 4th inning by drawing a walk and singling, respectively. Reid Russell and Frankeny Fernandez both went down on strikes, but the two men on base successfully pulled off a double steal and they both came home on Ruben Castro's single to put the Appy Astros on the board.

Greeneville loaded the bases in the 5th inning and Russell atoned for his strikeout by ripping a 2-run double. Wilson Amador singled to lead off the 6th, then stole 2nd and moved to 3rd on a balk. Gilberto Celestino launched a homer that turned out to be the difference. Celestino finished 2-4 with a stolen base (10) and extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

The Appy Astros went 6-6 in stolen base attempts in game 1; Amador (16) and Mathis (2) stole 2 apiece. Westmoreland's steal was his first of the year.

Game 2: Burlington 3, Greeneville 1

W- Connor Mayes (4-0)
L- Adam Bleday (1-1)
S- Tyler Zuber (5)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Appy Astros had more hits in game 2... but they also had two miscues that resulted in a couple of runs for the Royals.

Martin Figueroa went 2-3 and drove in Greeneville's lone run in game 2 with an RBI single in the 6th inning. Cody Bohanek, who scored on the play, also went 2-3. Wilson Amador stole another base; his 17 steals lead the Appalachian League.

Adam Bleday went 5 innings and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 8. Dariel Aquino pitched the final 2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 3.

Greeneville will start a 3-game series in Elizabethton at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Astros 8, GCL Mets 3

W- Javier Navas (1-0)
L- Liam McCall (0-2)

GCL home runs: Enmanuel Valdez (4, solo in 1st), César Cortez (1, 2 season; solo in 5th)

The Palm Beach Stros busted a 3-1 game open with 3 runs in the 5th and 2 more in the 6th.

Enmanuel Valdez went 2-5 with a homer to start the 1st and an RBI double in the 5th. César Cortez led off the 5th with a homer and drove in another run with a sac fly in the 6th. Nathan Perry had an RBI double in the 2nd and a sac fly in the 5th. Wander Franco, Carlos Machado, and Vicente Sanchez all had 2 hits on the day.

Jairo Solis allowed a solo homer and struck out 4 in his 3 innings. Javier Navas went 5.1 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits (solo homer), walked 4, and struck out 6, and Saul Martinez got the last two outs of the game, one via strikeout.

Tuesday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Daz Cameron, OF, Quad Cities
4-4, 3-R HR (13), 4 RBI, 2 R, SB (24)

Gabriel Valdez's photo taken by Bryan Green.
Quad Cities River Bandits pitchers: W 5-0 vs. Beloit
9 IP, 3 H, BB, 12 K
Cristian Javier: W (1-0, 2-0 season), 5 IP, 2 H, 7 K
Gabriel Valdez: 3 IP, 4 K; perfect outing
Robert Corniel: IP, H, BB, K

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Enmanuel Valdez, IF, GCL Astros
2-5, 2B, solo HR (4), 2 RBI
Jairo Solis, RHP, GCL Astros: 3 IP, H (solo HR), ER, 4 K


Photo by Bryan Green
Gilberto Celestino, OF, Greeneville
2-4, 2-R HR (4), SB (10) in game 1 of doubleheader

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Adam Bleday, LHP, Greeneville
L (1-1), 5 IP, 2 H, unearned run, 3 BB, 8 K in game 2 of doubleheader

Juan Robles, RHP, Tri-City
3 IP, 2 H, 4 K

Matt Bower, LHP, Buies Creek
5 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 5 K

Brock Dykxhoorn, RHP, Corpus Christi
5 IP, 3 H, unearned run, BB, 6 K

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Colin Walsh, IF, Corpus Christi
2-4, solo HR (1, 12 season)

A.J. Reed, 1B, Fresno
2-4, 2B, solo HR (23), 2 R

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 8-8

Standings, roster moves/transactions and interviews galore!!!

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

Garrett Stubbs - April 2017
Photo by Jayne Hansen

8-7: C Carlos Canelon assigned to Corpus Christi from Tri-City
8-7: C Bernardo Heras assigned to Tri-City from Corpus Christi
8-5: RHP J.B. Bukauskus assigned to Tri-City from the GCL
8-5: RHP Chad Donato assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-5: C Garrett Stubbs assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-5: SS Alex DeGoti assigned to Fresno from Buies Creek
8-5: 1B A.J. Reed optioned to Fresno from Houston
8-5: 3B J.D. Davis called up to Houston from Fresno
8-5: C Juan Centeno recalled to Houston from Fresno
8-5: C Bernardo Heras assigned to Corpus Christi from the GCL
8-5: Ozziel Sanchez-Galan (GCL) activated from the suspended list
8-5: OF Cesar Cortez (GCL) activated from the suspended list
8-4: RHP James Hoyt recalled to Houston from Fresno
8-4: OF Rico Noel assigned to Corpus Christi from Fresno
8-4: OF Rico Noel assigned to Fresno (picked up from the Atlantic League)
8-4: RHP Jordan Jankowski optioned to Fresno from Houston
8-4: C Trent Woodward (Corpus Christi) sent to the GCL for a rehab assignment
8-4: RHP Gabriel Valdez activated from the Quad Cities DL
8-4: IF/OF Marcos Almonte placed on the Quad Cities 7-day DL, retroactive to 8-1
8-4: RHP Matthew Merrill assigned to the GCL from Greeneville
8-4: SS Ozziel Sanchez-Galan (GCL) suspended for an undisclosed number of days
8-4: OF Cesar Cortez (GCL) suspended for an undisclosed number of days
8-2: RHP Elieser Hernandez activated from the Buies Creek DL
8-2: OF Carmen Benedetti assigned to Buies Creek from Quad Cities
8-2: OF Luis Payano assigned to Quad Cities from Tri-City
8-1: RHP Jordan Jankowski recalled to Houston from Fresno
8-1: OF Drew Ferguson assigned to Fresno from Corpus Christi
8-1: 1B/OF Spencer Johnson assigned to Fresno from Buies Creek
8-1: RHP Kevin Hill assigned to Corpus Christi from Buies Creek
8-1: RHP Josh James (Corpus Christi) suspended for an undisclosed number of days

STANDINGS

Collectively, all of the Astros MiLB affiliates went 30-27 over the last week. Fresno had been on a torrid pace and had started to pull ahead of Reno (D'Backs), but their 1-5 record over the past week has put them back in a tie for first with that team. Corpus Christi's 2-3 week still sees them in second place for the second half (behind San Antonio), but has dropped them from four games behind the Padres affiliate to six games behind. Buies Creek, 4-1 for the week, has further solidified their first place standing; they are now seven games ahead of the second place team (currently Winston-Salem, a White Sox affiliate). And last of the full season affiliates, but certainly not least, Quad Cities has been on quite a roll and have won seven straight. That 7-0 week has put the River Bandits back in the driver's seat; they are back in first place for the second half, four games in front of second place Peoria (Cardinals).

The short season teams were a mixed bag for the week. Tri-City (5-2) had the best week and has moved into second place, only one and a half games behind division-leading Vermont (A's), but only one-half game ahead of Connecticut (Tigers). Greeneville's 2-3 week was enough to maintain their second place standing, three games behind the Elizabethton Twins. The GCL 'Stros (2-4 for the week) remain in second place behind the GCL Nationals, but their lackluster week dropped them a game further behind that team. The DSL Astros Orange team (3-5) is back in the basement while the Blue team (4-4) has dropped from third place to fourth in their division.

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE/PACIFIC NORTHERN DIVISION
AAA Fresno T-1st 66-49 .574 -.-GB L4

TEXAS LEAGUE/SOUTH DIVISION
AA Corpus 3rd 54-59 .478 13.0GB L2 (Overall)
AA Corpus 2nd 20-23 .465 6.0GB L2 (Second Half)

CAROLINA LEAGUE/SOUTHERN DIVISION
HiA Buies Creek 1st 66-47 .584 -.-GB W2 (Overall)
HiA Buies Creek 1st 29-14 .674 -.-GB W2 (Second Half)

MIDWEST LEAGUE/WESTERN DIVISION
LoA Quad Cities 1st 66-46 .589 -.-GB W7 (Overall)
LoA Quad Cities 1st 29-15 .659 -.-GB W7 (Second Half)

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE/STEDLER DIVISION
SSA Tri-City 2nd 23-23 .500 1.5GB W2

APPALACHIAN LEAGUE/WEST DIVISION
Rk+ Greeneville 2nd 23-19 .548 3.0GB W2

GULF COAST LEAGUE/EAST DIVISION
Rk GCL Astros 2nd 18-16 .529 4.0GB L2

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE/NORTH DIVISION
FRk DSL Orange 8th 20-34 .370 13.5GB L4

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE/NORTHWEST DIVISION
FRk DSL Blue 4th 29-25 .537 6.0GB L3

RECENT INTERVIEWS

In case you've missed any of these, I've been rolling out all of the interviews from my recent Quad Cities trip. Check them out! (If you're so inclined.)


FORMER ASTROS FARM HAND UPDATE

Another former Astros farmhand has shown up in affiliated play, in the Diamondbacks system. RHP Kevin McCanna was drafted by the Astros in the 13th round out of Rice University in 2015. After being released by the Astros out of Spring Training this year, McCanna signed with the Sioux City Explorers in the American Association, an independent league, where he compiled a 2.95 ERA, a 1.487 WHIP and a 5-0 record in 27 appearances. McCanna was picked up by the Diamondbacks on August 3rd and went 5.1 hitless innings and earned the win in his first appearance with the short season A Hillsboro Hops in the Northwest League.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, August 7, 2017

Let's play two in the Dominican Republic!

El Paso 14, Fresno 9

W- Jose Valdez (3-3)
L- Kevin Comer (5-4)

Fresno home runs: Preston Tucker (21, solo in 4th)

Despite getting 5 runs in the bottom of the 1st before recording an out, the Grizzlies got battered on Monday by 4 El Paso home runs and were outscored 14-4 the rest of the way.

A.J. Reed opened the scoring by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 1st. Jack Mayfield and Jon Kemmer followed by walking in two more runs, which prompted a pitching change. Garrett Stubbs grounded into a force out that scored Reed, and Mayfield ended up scoring on an error. Reed ripped an RBI double in the 2nd inning, Stubbs hit an RBI single in the 3rd, and Tucker smacked a solo homer in the 4th. Mayfield scored on a Drew Ferguson groundout in the 7th inning. Mayfield (2B, RBI, 2 R) and Kemmer (2B, RBI, R) both finished 2-4.

It was not a banner night for the Fresno pitching staff, but Ashur Tolliver did retire the side in order in the 9th, getting two flyouts and a groundout.

It's Tuesday, so you know what that means... Taco Tuesday! Kent Emanuel takes on former Astro Jordan Lyles in game 2. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks will start a 3-game series against Tulsa at 7:05. Brock Dykxhoorn will take on Josh Sborz in game 1.

Buies Creek was off

Matt Bower will face Mike Shawaryn at 7:05 Eastern as the Carolina Stros kick off a 3-game series in Salem.

Quad Cities 8, Beloit 5

W- Carson LaRue (12-4)
L- Zack Erwin (5-3)

QC home runs: Abraham Toro-Hernandez (4, 10 season; solo in 2nd), Josh Rojas (9, solo in 5th), Chuckie Robinson (12, 2-run in 6th)

After the Snappers scored twice in the opening half-inning, the Banditos responded with 8 unanswered runs to seize control of this game. Beloit made things a little interesting late, but the Banditos were able to secure their 7th consecutive win.

Carson LaRue started things off and shook off those early runs to throw 5.1 innings, allowing 8 hits, walking 1, and striking out 7. Lucas Williams was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 1.2 innings of work. Dustin Hunt allowed 2 runs on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in the 8th, and Salvador Montaño pitched the 9th, allowing a run on a wild pitch, a double, walking 1, and striking out 2.

Abraham Toro-Hernandez led off the bottom of the 2nd with a homer to put the Banditos on the board. Daz Cameron followed by drawing a walk. He moved to 2nd base on a Josh Rojas single and scored on a Kristian Trompiz single. Ray Henderson kept the line moving with an RBI single, and Luis Payano drew a walk to load the bases. Ronnie Dawson struck out and Chuckie Robinson popped out in foul ground, but Troy Sieber came through with a single to bring Trompiz in.

Henderson added another RBI single to his ledger in the 3rd inning. Rojas led off the 5th with a homer, and after Dawson walked to lead off the 6th and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch, Robinson launched his second 2-run homer in as many nights. Rojas (solo HR, 3 R) and Henderson (2B, 2 RBI) had 3 hits apiece, while Sieber (RBI) and Trompiz (RBI, R) both finished with 2 hits.

Cristian Javier takes on Seth Martinez as Quad Cities wraps up this series. First pitch is at 6:35.

Tri-City 4, Aberdeen 3

W- Reggie Johnson (5-0)
L- Jimmy Murphy (1-2)

TC home runs: None.

The ValleyCats took this game and the series thanks to a wild 8th inning. Aberdeen broke a 1-1 tie with a pair in the top half and Tri-City responded with 3 in the bottom half to take the lead.

No one in the lineup recorded an RBI. Corey Julks scored the ValleyCats' first run of the evening on a double play in the 2nd inning. J.J. Matijevic hit a one-out double in the bottom of the 8th and scored on an error that allowed Adrian Tovalin to reach.

Tovalin, who advanced to 2nd on the error, moved to 3rd on Colton Shaver's single and scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Shaver made way for Andy Piñeda, who stole 2nd (13), advanced to 3rd on the wild pitch that allowed Tovalin to score, and scored what turned out to be the winning run on an error that allowed Julks to reach. Shaver finished 2-4 on the evening.

Alex House and Hunter Martin started it off with 3 innings apiece. House allowed a homer to Mason McCoy to start the game, a double, and struck out 5. Martin allowed 2 hits and struck out 3. Parker Mushinski allowed 2 runs (1 earned), a bunt single, walked 3, and struck out 3 in 1.2 innings. Reggie Johnson retired all 4 Aberdeen hitters he faced and struck out 3 of them.

Tri-City will begin a 3-game series in Lowell at 6:35 Eastern.

Greeneville and Burlington was postponed


Due to rain. A doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 5:00 Eastern. Leovanny Rodriguez will face Nathan Webb in game 1. The second game will start 30 minutes following the conclusion of game 1; the Appy Astros' starter for that game is TBA.

Game 1: DSL Athletics 6, DSL Astros Blue 2

W- Alexander Calderon (3-1)
L- Jean Reyes (0-1)

Blue home runs: None.

Team Blue got their two runs in game 1 in the 5th inning: Leonardo Gonzalez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Kendy Moya followed by walking in another run. Gonzalez finished 2-2.

Jean Reyes allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and struck out 4 in 4 innings. Bryan Solano was the first man out of the bullpen in game 1 and went 2 innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, walking 2, and striking out 4. Angel Matos worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 7th.

Game 2: DSL Athletics 1, DSL Astros Blue 0

W- Livan Sanchez (1-1)
L- Angel Ortega (2-2)
S- Ruber Aquino (8)

Blue home runs: None.

The only hit that the Blue team could muster up in game 2 was a single from Yorbin Ceuta. Yeuris Ramirez walked twice, while Ronaldo Urdaneta stole 2 bases (21).

Angel Ortega went 4 innings and allowed the only run on 3 hits and struck out 1. Jervic Chavez walked 1 and struck out 2 over 2 scoreless.

Game 1: DSL Rangers1 2, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Jesús Linares (5-1)
L- Fredis Guerrero (3-1)
S- Darel Torres (4)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team outhit the Rangers 12-6, but lost in the column that matters most.

Luis Barajas had a pinch-hit RBI single in the 7th. Fildex Perfecto scored, but Michael Garcia was thrown out at the plate to end the game as he attempted to score the tying run. Ramiro Rodriguez, Marco Van Der Wijst, and Deury Carrasco all finished 2-3.

Fredis Guerrero went 5 innings and allowed a run on 6 hits and fanned 4. Luis De Paula walked a batter in the 6th who eventually scored on... a throw from the outfield that went to the wrong target, I guess. De Paula also had a strikeout in the inning.

Game 2: DSL Rangers1 13, DSL Astros Orange 0

W- Sergio Suarez (3-1)
L- Elian Rodriguez (0-3)

Orange home runs: None.

Uhhh... the second game didn't go as well for Team Orange. I think I'll just leave it at that.

Monday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Jervic Chavez, LHP, DSL Astros Blue: 2 IP, BB, 2 K in game 2 of doubleheader

Josh Rojas, IF, and Ray Henderson, C/2B, Quad Cities
Rojas: 3-3, solo HR (9), 3 R
Henderson: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Don't forget to check out Jayne's interview with Josh Rojas!

Carson LaRue, RHP, Quad Cities
W (12-4), 5.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, BB, 7 K

Alex House's and Hunter Martin's photos are their mugshots on MiLB.com.
Alex House, RHP, Hunter Martin, RHP, and Reggie Johnson, RHP, Tri-City
House: 3 IP, 2 H (solo HR allowed), ER, 5 K
Martin: 3 IP, 2 H, 3 K
Johnson: W (5-0), 1.1 IP, 3 K

Jack Mayfield, IF, and Preston Tucker, OF, Fresno
Mayfield: 2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R
Tucker: Solo HR (21), 3 R