Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

Get in on this before your annoying officemate...

*Odd story in the Chron about Mike Elias and the draft, which Drellich describes as Elias' sole job. "If it is necessary," Drellich adds later, "Luhnow has the final call on whom the Astros draft. He also handles the negotiations of the highest profile pick in the draft."

*The Astros are one of nine MLB teams to which Cliff Lee could be traded without his consent.

*The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeff Gordon sums up former Cardinal exec Jeff Luhnow.

*Scott Boras describes the difference between the Cubs and the Astros.
I deal with (Luhnow), so I don't know about other aspects of the Astros system, but Jeff has a very empirical formula and he has a very defined plan and he is, at this point in his career, he has a very...tight track of what he wants to do. It's a narrow track as far as his intentions. The Cubs have a plan that I think very much includes kind of what Theo's positioning is after his experiences in Boston.

*Mac Marshall on Friday's draft deadline:
We had to wait until 4pm, but once we found out I was just excited (about staying at LSU).

See! It all worked out for everybody (*sobs*)

*Mark Appel had his next scheduled start - originally tonight - pushed back in order to get extra bullpen work. Mike Elias:
As crazy as his numbers look, we're really not that worried about it internally because of what we know about him and what we expect of him.

*Dexter Fowler isn't very close to returning from his intercostal strain.

*"It's kind of weird to know that this is my third year, but I'm just now getting the hang of it."
-Collin McHugh

*"In addition to revealing the Astros as shitty jerks, the Brady Aiken saga has also reminded the world of the existence of one of the NCAA's silliest and most farcical rules..."
-Deadspin

*They're pretty much what we all thought the Astros would be, only we had the wrong team in Texas pegged as the biggest mess in the sport. 
-New York Daily News, on the Rangers

PreStros Morning Report: July 21

TL;DR

*Astros domestic affiliates go 4-3 on the day
*Mike Foltynewicz struggled in a loss to Round Rock.
*Corpus got lit up at San Antonio, despite newly-promoted Conrad Gregor's two hits.
*Rio Ruiz hit a late game-tying 3-run homer and Teoscar Hernandez provided the 12th inning walkoff for Lancaster
*Adrian Houser throws a strong start and Chase McDonald hits a three-run walk-off homer for Quad Cities.
*Tri-City cruised to a win over State College behind Joe Musgrove's strong start.
*Greeneville got shut down and shut out by Danville.
*GCL Astros beat the GCL Blue Jays as Cristhoper Santamaria strikes out nine in 5IP.

Oklahoma City (52-52, 3.0 GB)

Wild one in OKC last night as Round Rock kept trying to surge ahead, and OKC kept clawing back in. OKC, at various points, were down 4-1, 5-1, 8-5, 8-6, 9-6, and 9-7. They tied it up in the bottom of the 8th, but gave up two in the top of the 9th to fall 11-9. Mike Foltynewicz got rocked, giving up 9H/8ER, 3K:3BB in 4IP to send his ERA over 5.00. Richard Rodriguez allowed 1H/1ER, 2K:0BB in 3IP; Jorge De Leon gave up 5H/2R (1ER) in 1.2IP, and Kevin Chapman allowed a hit that scored the 11th run, but was charged to De Leon.

Austin Wates was 3x5 with a 2nd inning grand slam; Marc Krauss was 3x5 with a double anr 2RBI; Jonathan Villar (RBI) and Jio Mier (HR, BB, three runs scored) had two hits each. Domingo Santana was 0x2 with two strikeouts and three walks.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates

Corpus (16-15, 3.5 GB; 50-51 overall)

Corpus was down 7-0 before they got on the board at San Antonio, ultimately falling 8-3. Jordan Jankowski gave up 8H/7R (6ER), 2K:2BB in 5IP; Travis Ballew allowed 2H/1ER, 1K:2BB in 3IP.

Andrew Aplin (RBI) and newly-promoted-to-Corpus Conrad Gregor had two hits each. Telvin Nash hit his 15th homer of the season and drew a walk. Tony Kemp was 1x4 with a walk.

Man of the Match: Let's give it to the newbie - Conrad Gregor.

Lancaster (15-16, 4.0 GB; 59-42 overall*)

*clinched playoff berth

This one was kerrazy! Down 5-2 in the bottom of the 8th to Modesto, Rio Ruiz hit a game-tying three run homer that sent it to extra innings. Despite Modesto getting the go-ahead run in the top of the 12th, Teoscar Hernandez hit a shot to center that scored Chan Moon for a 7-6 JetHawks win. Brian Holmes threw 6IP, 5H/4ER, 4K:2BB; Juan Minaya threw 2H/1ER, 3K:0BB in 2IP; Jamaine Cotton threw 3IP, allowing just 2H/0ER, and Daniel Minor got the win with 2H/1ER, 3K:0BB in the 12th.

Chan Moon (BB, SB, 2RBI), Teoscar Hernandez (2B, SB, RBI) and Danry Vasquez had two hits each; Rio Ruiz hit the aforementioned three-run homer. Jack Mayfield and Jobduan Morales added hits.

Man of the Match: Let's go with Teoscar Hernandez

Quad Cities (15-15, 4.0 GB; 50-49 overall)

Carrying a 2-1 lead into the top of the 9th vs Lake County, Quad Cities gave up the tying run to send it to extras. But it only went to the 10th thanks to Chase McDonald's three-run walk-off homer to give Quad Cities a 5-2 win. Adrian Houser threw 6IP, 3H/1R (0ER), 6K:3BB; Frederick Tiburcio walked one in a scoreless inning; Andrew Walter gave up the unearned run in 3IP to send it to the 10th, but struck out five in 3IP.

J.D. Davis was 2x4 with a walk; Marc Wik was 2x3 with a walk, double, two stolen bases, and an RBI. Chase McDonald hit the three-run walk-off, while James Ramsay, Brett Phillips, and Jose Fernandez (3B, 2BB) had your other hits. Ronnie Mitchell was 0x2 with two walks and a stolen base.

Man of the Match: Marc Wik

Tri-City (25-12, 6.0 up)

Tri-City held State College to five hits in a 4-1 win. Joe Musgrove got the start for the ValleyCats, throwing 6IP, 2H/0ER, 6K:1BB; Bryan Radziewski struck out five in two shutout innings, and Jordan Mills allowed 2H/1ER in the 9th.

Derek Fisher (BB, SB, RBI) and Jamie Ritchie (2B, RBI) had two hits each; Mott Hyde was 1x2 with a double and two walks, while Bobby Boyd was 1x4 with a walk, RBI, and a stolen base.

Man of the Match: Joe Musgrove

Greeneville (14-16, 4.5 GB)

Danville scored a run in the 1st, and that was all they needed, holding Greeneville to four hits in a 4-0 defeat. Joshua James allowed 7H/3R (2ER), 3K:0BB in 5IP; Jose Montero allowed 2H/1ER, 6K:1BB in 4IP.

Jason Martin had two of the Gastros' four hits and a stolen base, with Jacob Nottingham and Ydarqui Marte providing the other two. Cesar Carrasco drew a walk.

Man of the Match: Jason Martin

GCL Astros (14-13, 2.5 GB)

The GCL Astros trailed 3-2 going into the 6th, but popped off for the next six runs in an 8-3 win over the GCL Blue Jays. Christhopher Santamaria allowed 4H/3ER, but with 9K:0BB in 5IP; John Gatlin threw a scoreless 6th, and Joselo Pinales threw 3IP, 0H/0ER, 2K:2BB.

Ruben Castro (2RBI) and Brian Pena (RBI) had two hits each; Brauly Mejia had a hit, stolen base and two walks, Alexander Melendez (2B, RBI), and Jean Estrella had a hit and a walk each. Luis Payano was 1x4 with a triple and two RBI.

Man of the Match: Christhopher Santamaria

Monday, July 21, 2014

Historical Scouting Reports - Billy Hatcher

The National Baseball Hall of Fame did something really cool last year when they made thousands of historical scouting reports available to the public. This post is part of a series in which we'll look at the reports of players that have passed through Houston during their career. A lot of these are, understandably, difficult to read, so I'll do my best to transcribe them as-is while including pictures of a few of them.

Today we'll look at Billy Hatcher. Hatcher was a speedy outfielder for Houston from 1986-1989, perhaps best known for his 14th inning home run in the storied Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS against the Mets. Or, if you prefer, for his 1987 suspension for using a corked bat. Either way. Hatcher came to Houston when he was traded by the Cubs for Jerry Mumphrey and patrolled left and center while racking up stolen bases by the dozen before being traded to Pittsburgh for outfielder Glenn Wilson late in the 1989 season. All told, he hit .266 for Houston with 145 steals while accumulating 5.6 WAR. Houston easily got the best seasons of his career.

We have three scouting reports on Hatcher, two from 1985 (just before joining Houston) and one from 1990 (just after leaving Houston). All three are apparently from the White Sox organization.

1985

I project as a .270 hitter with very little power. Good range in the outfield but arm is a minus. He showed good short stroke he had last year and should be average ML player and steal 25-30 bases. Not a plus bat (but?) can help.

*Note: Hatcher ended up hitting .264 for his career and averaged 29 steals per 162 games. Not a bad projection by scout Larry Monroe

Black, stocky strong body. 4.2 to 1st base: Not a good base runner at this time doesn't read pitchers well. Has some power but in these games was making contact but not showing me the power expected: Can play ML outfield.

1990

Physical Descriptions: short - stocky. Injuries: Sore RT. elbow - jammed LFT Shld (cort). White Sox acquire? Yes. 
Hit: 30. Contact: 40. Power: 40. Consistency: 45. Sac bunting: 50. Push bunting: 50. Time to 1st: 4.0. Baserunning: 60. Alert: 60. Arm strength: 40. Accuracy: 50. Release: 50. Fielding alertness: 55. Jump: 55. Range: 55. Hands: 50. Attitude: AGG.
Strong points: Fine spd - 3.96 - GD of. with AB AV range - Fair arm - GD bunter -Base stealer - Swings bat - Has XTRA base prod - Occ. HR PWR.
Weak points: Needs better disipline (sic) & selectivity at bat to ensure harder contact & more bases on balls (only ?timing?)
Summation: Adds GD dimensions to club - AV to AB AV FLD, arm OK, GD range, steals bases, swings bat with XTRA base PWR! AGG - tough - NDS to walk more ACQUIRE! (circled)
How would we pitch him? Jam - FB - SL Chases H O FB Trouble With O CFB.
How would we defense him? STR - MED to (OF) Deep. Corners up (Likes to bunt)



*The formatting and use of abbreviations made this one hard to transcribe. Apologies.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G99: Astros @ White Sox

Jarred Cosart (9-6, 4.17) vs John Danks (8-6, 3.99)

A fugly win is still a win, so we will absolutely take it. Jarred Cosart was far from his sharpest, the Goatpen (at least for one inning) did their worst, and the defense was iffy at best, committing three errors that gifted the White Sox at least two additional runs. But the Astros offense was all over it today, matching a season high with 17 hits, helping Houston take the series finale by an 11-7 score. They now head west to Oakland (where nothing could possibly go wrong) at 41-58 overall.

On the Mound:

*Jarred Cosart made a living last year by working out of trouble - a skill which came in handy again today. 7 hits, 4 walks, and a wild pitch in 5 innings, plus an error behind him, and the results could have turned out much worse. Fortunately, Cosart instead finished with an unspectacular-but-alright 5 IP / 7 H / 4 R / 3 ER / 4 BB / 4 K line.

*Darin Downs allowed a single and got a flyout for the two batters he faced, but ended up with a run charged to his ledger thanks to...

*...Jose Veras, whom the defense hardly helped, but who was hardly sharp himself. A double, a single, and two errors let the White Sox erase the 7-4 deficit they faced starting the 6th. Downs' run was earned, as was one of Veras', with one more unearned tying the score 7-7. Jose did at least record one out cleanly...

*...then Tony Sipp threw one pitch and ended the ugly 6th. He stayed on for a perfect 7th, then left after a leadoff walk in the 8th...

*...which brought on Josh Fields, who struck out everything. Three batters faced, three K's, so that leadoff walk went nowhere.

*Then Chad Qualls took the 9th, and turned in another perfect frame, sealing Houston's first post-ASG win.

At the Plate:

*Lots of offense! So much offense. Which was good, given the state of the pitching and defense today. The 7 runs allowed matched the most allowed in any Houston win this year, back on July 7 @ Texas - incidentally also the other game in which the Astros offense put up 17 hits. Fielding errors by Jonathan Singleton and Jose Altuve, plus a throwing error from CF by Kiké Hernandez, made two of those seven runs unearned.

*Many stars on offense, but the biggest this afternoon was Matt Dominguez, who drove in runs with each of his three hits. Missing only a triple for the cycle, Matty D finished the day 3x5 with a 2B, a HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, and a K. The home run was his 12th of the season and came in the 5th with one on.

*Jose Altuve also went deep today, with one on in the 3rd for his 3rd of the season. He also had another multi-hit day (ho hum), finishing 2x5 with 2 R and 2 RBI.

*Chris Carter DH'd and hit like a DH today, going 2x3 with 2 2B, a sac fly, a RBI, 2 R, a BB, and a SB (!) - his first steal since September 4 of last year, and the fourth of his big league career.

*George Springer was held out of the lineup to rest leg issues, so Kiké Hernandez started in his place in center, going 2x5 with a run scored and a K.

*Marwin Gonzalez also had himself a nice day, going 3x4 with a 2B, a R, 2 RBI, and a K.

*Robbie Grossman got in on the multi-hit barrage, going 2x4 with a R, a RBI, a BB, and a K.

*L.J. Hoes had a RBI double in the 7th, and later scored a run, finishing 1x5 with a K.

*Jonathan Singleton was 1x5 with a run scored and 3 K.

*And Carlos Corporan went 1x5 with 2 K, so that every Astro had at least one hit.

Turning Point:

Astros gonna Astro, but after the bullpen/defense let Chicago pull even at 7-7 in the 6th, Houston struck back quickly against White Sox reliever Daniel Webb in the 7th. Chris Carter lined his first pitch to left for a leadoff double. Two pitches later, Matt Dominguez also doubled to left, putting the Astros back ahead to stay at 8-7. Webb got the next two outs, then intentionally walked Robbie Grossman, but L.J. Hoes made him pay with a double to right that scored Dominguez. Then Marwin Gonzalez singled home both Grossman and Hoes for good measure, and the 11-7 final was set.

Man of the Match:

Matt Dominguez. He's done this year basically what he did last year, but it would be a nice boost to the offense seeing him kick it up a notch.

Goat of the Game:

Veras, Downs, and the cast of clowns behind them in the 6th. Fortunately, at least for today, it didn't matter.

Choose Your Own Rageventure!

The date is June 6, 2014. The Astros have drafted Brady Aiken with the 1st overall pick of the 2014 draft.

To act as Astros GM Jeff Luhnow, turn to Page 13.

To act as Brady Aiken's "family adviser" Casey Close, turn to Page 24

To act as 5th Round pick Jacob Nix, turn to Page 187.

A Collection of Takes regarding Luhnow, Aiken, and the Astros

A Hot Take roundup for your Sunday morning

*Even if the front office played by the rules, the Astros have a long road back to credibility as questions linger for all parties to answer in a sweeping drama that could eventually bring significant change to the draft and its medical information process.
-Evan Drellich

*It looks bad (for Luhnow), being out of the country. What good would it have done for Luhnow to return? Probably none. It's an image matter, and the Astros haven't been good about controlling their image, from things like this to bigger matters. They don't draw the benefit of the doubt.
-Evan Drellich

*Close can berate Luhnow if he likes, but a case could be made that the adviser might have been better off getting their own doctor to examine Aiken first, or perhaps even getting the Astros to sign off on a doctor of their choosing. If Close finds the Astros so sketchy, as he seems to from his 'conversation' with Luhnow, the question may be asked whether he should have trusted the exam to the team, where anything could happen to lower the pre-arranged $6.5 million deal...Luhnow understands the 'delay' is not a positive. It certainly isn't for a team that has had the worst record in baseball three years running, and whose fans deserve a medal for patience as they await the fruits of the grand plan.
-Jon Heyman

*It's just that as of July 18, 2014, there's no way to say it other than that 2014 has been catastrophic for the Astros in terms of having three straight top overall picks.
-Matt Snyder

*They may have their reputation among agents and future draft picks substantially damaged. Of course, it's also the case that we don't know - and likely can't know due to confidentiality concerns - what the Astros saw in Aiken's elbow. If it was legitimately serious, well, maybe they're just being prudent. At the same time, Casey Close is not a bomb-thrower, and his reaction to all of this was pretty sharp. That he is as angry with the team as he has been suggests some seriously toxic dealings between the parties that may read in his favor and negatively towards the Astros. 
-Craig Calcaterra

*Between wasted years of development, tying two other players to Aiken's slot money, Houston whiffed on most important part of its rebuild.
-Jeff Passan

*This is the kind of thing that does more than slow the franchise's momentum toward being competitive. To Aiken - and others in the industry - there may be questions about whether Luhnow negotiated the original deal in good faith, and that kind of damage can take years to repair. Luhnow will have plenty of chances to do just that in the years ahead. He has said many times that rebuilding a franchise isn't an easy process. He was reminded of that on Friday. 
-Richard Justice

*Now, I don't know if the Astros are handling the Aiken deal on the level. That would take eight more years of school and a functioning brain for me to figure out. But as for the idea that they're guilty of treating players like interchangeable cogs in a giant baseball machine? Of course they do. We all do.
-Grant Brisbee

PreStros Morning Report: July 19

TL;DR

*Affiliates go 3-4 on the day.
*The top of OKC's lineup goes 0x13 in a defeat to Nashville.
*Chris Devenski lost a no-hitter, and the game, in the 7th inning.
*Kent Emanuel gets a strong start and a 2-run homer from Roberto Pena in a win
*Michael Feliz dominated Lake County in a Quad Cities win
*Tri-City got whooped by State College
*Greeneville held on for a 5-4 win
*Hector Roa hit two homers, but the GCL Yankees1 get eight runs in the 6th for a win.

Oklahoma City (51-51, 4.0 GB)

Nashville got two in the top of the 2nd, which the RedHawks cut in half, and then Nashville scored the next six runs on their way to handing the RedHawks a 7-3 defeat. Tommy Shirley made his 2nd start for OKC and went 6.1IP, 10H/7ER, 1K:4BB. Jason Stoffel struck out three and walked two in 2.2IP, and didn't allow a hit.

All of OKC's hits came in the bottom half of the order, 1-4 in the lineup went a combined 0x13. Domingo Santana was 2x4; Matt Duffy hit his 9th homer for OKC and drew two walks. Preston Tucker (SB), Max Stassi (RBI), and Jio Mier (BB) had your other hits.

Man of the Match: Matt Duffy

Corpus (16-13, 3.5 GB; 50-49 overall)

Chris Devenski had a no-hitter into the 7th before Frisco managed two hits that scored two runs that provided the 2-1 margin to defeat Corpus. Devenski threw 6.2IP, 2H/2ER, 5K:2BB; Mitchell Lambson got the last four outs with three strikeouts to lower his ERA to 0.66.

Tony Kemp had a double, walk, and an RBI; Delino DeShields had a hit, a walk, and stole his 40th base of the season. Brandon Meredith had a double, while Rene Garcia and Carlos Perdomo added hits.

Man of the Match: Chris Devenski

Lancaster (13-16, 5.0 GB; 57-42 overall*)

*clinched playoff berth

Lancaster did all their scoring in the first three innings, going up 5-0 on Modesto, and winning 5-2 despite 9th inning Nuts runs (yep). Kent Emanuel threw 5IP, 3H/0ER, 6K:1BB; Matt Heidenreich threw 4IP, 3H/2ER, 6K:1BB.

Roberto Pena hit a two-run homer and went 2x4; Teoscar Hernandez was 2x4 with an RBI. Rio Ruiz hit his 9th triple of the game, drove in a run, and drew a walk. Tanner Mathis was 0x1 with three walks.

Man of the Match: Kent Emanuel

Quad Cities (13-15, 6.0 GB; 48-49 overall)

Quad Cities held Lake County to three hits and, despite only getting six hits of their own, cruised to a 6-0 win. Michael Feliz threw 7IP, 3H/0ER, 8K:3BB and Tyler Brunnemann struck out three in two hitless IPs.

You'd think a team that went 0x11 w/RISP wouldn't score much. You'd be wrong. The River Bandits drew eight walks on top of the six hits - two by James Ramsay (3B, BB) and one by Brett Phillips (BB), Chase McDonald (HR, BB, 2RBI), Marc Wik (2B, BB, RBI) and Thomas Lindauer. Ronnie Mitchell was 0x3 with two walks and an RBI.

Man of the Match: Michael Feliz

Tri-City (23-12, 6.5 up)

State College (now 26-9) got five 1st inning runs on their way to a 9-2 pasting of the ValleyCats. Randall Fant gave up 11H/8R (5ER), 3K:1BB in 3.2IP; Raul Rivera allowed 2H/0ER, 3K:1BB in 2.1IP and Francis Ramirez gave up 2H/1ER, 4K:2BB in 3IP.

Bobby Boyd, Derek Fisher (2B, RBI), Nick Tanielu (RBI), and Ariel Ovando each had a hit and a walk. Alex Hernandez was 0x2 with two walks.

Man of the Match: Derek Fisher

Greeneville (14-14, 3.0 GB)

Greeneville, down 2-1 in the top of the 4th, got four runs in the bottom half of the inning and held off a late Danville charge for a 5-4 win. Keegan Yuhl threw 3IP, allowing 1H/0ER, 1K:1BB; Dean Deetz allowed 4H/2ER, 1K:0BB; Krishawn Holley threw a scoreless 5th, allowing 2H/1BB; Brock Dykxhoorn threw 3IP, 1H/1ER, 3K:1BB; and Zach Davis allowed a run in the 9th.

Luis Reynoso was 2x3 with an RBI while Cesar Carrasco, Ydarqui Marte (2B) and Kristian Trompiz each had RBIs. Jason Martin was 1x4 with a double.

Man of the Match: Luis Reynoso

GCL Astros (13-13, 2.5 GB)

The GCL Astros had a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the 6th when the GCL Yankees1 (not a typo) got eight runs on their way to an 11-5 win. Aaron West allowed 7H/3ER, 3K:0BB in 5IP; J.D. Osborne allowed 3H/6R (5ER), 0K:2BB, leaving the bases loaded for Kyle Gehrs, who allowed all those inherited runners to score plus two of his own. Elieser Hernandez allowed 1H/0ER, 2K:1BB.

Hector Roa was 3x4 with two solo homers; Randy Cesar was 2x3. Jean Estrella was 1x3 with a walk, and Arturo Michelena was 1x4 with an RBI.

Man of the Match: Hector Roa

Saturday, July 19, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G98: Astros @ White Sox

Dallas Keuchel (9-5, 3.20) vs Hector Noesi (3-6, 4.56)

Positives! Positives. After the events of the last few days (and weeks... and years), Astros fans are Brady ready and Aiken achin' for some good news. So... George Springer hit his team-leading 20th home run! Jose Altuve had his 41st multi-hit game of the season, extending his MLB-leading hit total to 133! The bullpen allowed only a single single in three scoreless innings! Buuuuuuuut, the Astros are why we can't have nice things. So they still lost 4-3, falling for the 11th time in their last 15 games, and dropping to 40-58 overall.

On the Mound:

*Dallas Keuchel since mid-June has not been the Dallas Keuchel we saw up to that point. Following his 13th start of the season on June 11, Kid Keuchy was up to 8-3 and down to a 2.38 ERA, having allowed more than 3 runs in a start only twice. Now in five starts since then, he's allowed at least 4 runs every time, getting knocked around today for 12 hits, which trails only the 13 he surrendered two starts ago on July 4. Given all the White Sox on the bases, it's fortunate the damage wasn't any worse, but still Houston has now lost behind Keuchel as many times in his last five starts (four) as they did all season before then. Line: 5 IP / 12 H / 4 R / 3 ER / 2 BB / 5 K, with a bases-loaded HBP.

*No goatpen action tonight, as Anthony Bass retired all three hitters in order in the 6th.

*Tony Sipp went three up, three down with 2 K in the 7th.

*And Chad Qualls allowed a leadoff single but nothing else in the 8th, fanning one.

At the Plate:

*Jose Altuve remains THE diamond in the (deep... DEEP) rough for these Astros, going 2x5 tonight with a 2-run double that had Houston very briefly tied. But he also struck out twice, following 3 K last night, which marks the first time he's had back-to-back multi-strikeout games since Aug. 26-27 last year... at the White Sox.

*George Springer put up Houston's first run with a typically mammoth solo shot to RF leading off the 4th. He finished 1x4.

*It's a shame that Kiké Hernandez has been overshadowed by... well, everything else going on with the Astros, because he continues being a nice bright spot himself. Tonight he went 3x4 with a run scored, raising his average back up to .318 through 14 big league games.

*Marwin Gonzalez was 2x3 with a run scored and a sac bunt, but he also committed the throwing error in the 2nd that let in Chicago's unearned run.

*Robbie Grossman had the other hit, going 1x3 with a BB and a K.

Turning Point:

After falling behind 3-0 through three, Springer's HR in the 4th and Altuve's 2-RBI double in the 5th had Houston tied for about 10 minutes. But neither Jason Castro (fly out) or Springer (ground out) could bring Altuve home, then Keuchel allowed a one-out triple to Alejandro De Aza and a subsequent RBI double to Tyler Flowers that promptly put the White Sox back ahead 4-3. The Astros left the bases loaded in the 7th, and failed to score following two-on, one-out in the 9th, so they have only themselves to blame.

Man of the Match:

Altuve's K's both came in the high-leverage 7th and 9th for Houston, so we'll go with Kiké tonight.

Goat of the Game:

Dallas Keuchel. But also The Bats for not following through on late chances.

Friday, July 18, 2014

From the Office of the County Clerk - G97: Astros @ White Sox


Please hold for rant.

Have the Astros signed Brady Aiken yet?

The deadline to let the Commissioner's office know that teams have signed their draft picks is at 4pm Central. Here is a running update of updates. 

UPDATE: 4:15pm: Report that the Astros did not sign Aiken, Nix, or Marshall
(https://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/490243272904699904)

 4:13pm: Jim Callis reports a source who said Marshall did not sign with Houston (https://twitter.com/jimcallismlb/status/490242739200884739)

4:00pm: waiting on word

3:55pm: No

3:50pm: No

3:40pm: No  

3:30pm: No

3:00pm: No

2:30pm: No

2:00pm: No

1:30: No

1:00pm: No

12:30pm: No

12:00pm: No

11:22am: No

11:00am: No

10:30am: No

10:00am: No

9:30am: No

9:00am: No

8:30am: No

8:00am: No

Mac Marshall will not comment on Astros contact

The Baton Rouge Advocate is reporting that Mac Marshall had "no comment" when asked if he had been in contact with the Astros this morning.

PreStros Morning Report: July 17

TL;DR

*Astros affiliates go 3-4 on the day.
*Corpus got a strong start from Luis Cruz in a 3-2 win at Frisco.
*Lancaster loses despite Conrad Gregor's 4x5, 2HR/triple, 5RBI day.
*Chase McDonald homered for Quad Cities, but Andrew Thurman struggled in a loss to Ft. Wayne.
*Tri-City scores five in the bottom of the 8th in a 6-4 win.
*Greeneville gets dominated top to bottom in a shutout loss
*GCL Astros split a double-header with the GCL Phillies, Edwin Medina goes 3x3 with a walk and four stolen bases in G2.

Oklahoma City (50-49, 2.5 GB)

Game with Nashville postponed due to rain

Corpus (15-12, 2.5 GB; 49-48 overall)

Frisco struck first in the series opener, taking an early 1-0 lead, but Corpus got one in the 4th and two in the 5th and held on to a 3-2 win. Luis Cruz threw 5IP, 2H/1R (0ER), 3K:0BB; Brady Rodgers gave up 2H/1ER, 3K:1BB in 3.2IP, and Tyson Perez recorded the final out of the game (Perez has allowed 13H/2R (1ER) in 22IP for Corpus this season.

Corpus scattered six hits via Delino DeShields (2BB, 2SB), Tony Kemp, Andrew Aplin (RBI), Rene Garcia, and MP Cokinos (2B, RBI).

Man of the Match: Luis Cruz

Lancaster (12-15, 6.0GB; 56-41 overall - already clinched playoff berth)

Crazy game in Lancaster. The JetHawks were up 3-0, then down 6-3, then tied 6-6, then down 12-6, and that was pretty much it. Visalia and Lancaster combined for 23 runs, 25 hits, and five errors as Lancaster falls 14-9. Lance McCullers allowed 2H/2ER, 6K:3BB in 3.2IP; Zach Morton gave up 4H/7R (6ER), 1K:3BB in 2.2IP and Juan Minaya allowed 7H/5ER, 2K:0BB (and two of Morton's runs) in 2.2IP.

Conrad Gregor had him a day, going 4x5 with a triple, two homers, and 5RBI. Rio Ruiz, Tyler White (BB), and Roberto Pena (2B, RBI) had two hits each; Tanner Mathis hit a 3-run homer and drew a walk.

Man of the Match: Conrad Gregor

Quad Cities (12-14, 6.0 GB; 47-48 overall)

Quad Cities' losing streak reaches five as the River Bandits fall behind early and can't recover in a 7-4 loss to Fort Wayne. Andrew Thurman gave up 6H/5R (4ER), 3K:1BB in 4IP; Chris Lee allowed 1H/0ER, 1K:2BB in 3IP; Frederick Tiburcio was charged with 3H/2ER, 0K:1BB in 1IP and Albert Minnis threw 1.2IP, allowing only a hit.

Brett Phillips was 2x3 with a walk; Chase McDonald was 2x4 with a homer and 2RBI, and Jose Fernandez was 2x3 with a walk and an RBI. J.D. Davis and Ronnie Mitchell (RBI) had your other hits.

Man of the Match: Chase McDonald

Tri-City (22-11, 6.0 up)

Tri-City was down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the 8th before exploding for five runs in a 6-4 win over Aberdeen. Luis Ordosgoitti threw 4IP, 2H/2ER, 6K:2BB; Raul Rivera allowed 1H/0ER in 1IP; Chris Munnelly allowed 1H/1R (0ER), 6K:3BB in 3IP, and Ryan Thompson allowed 2H/1ER, 1K:1BB in 1IP.

Bobby Boyd (BB, RBI) and Nick Tanielu (RBI) had two hits each. Ricky Gingras (BB, RBI), Ariel Ovando (RBI), and Jamie Ritchie (RBI) had your other hits, meaning the ValleyCats put up six runs with zero extra-base hits.

Man of the Match: Luis Ordosgoitti

Greeneville (12-14, 3.5 GB)

Greeneville got straight worked over at Bluefield last night, committing more errors (4) than they recorded hits (3) in an 8-0 loss. Austin Nicely allowed 7H/4R (1ER), 0K:2BB in 4IP; Jorge Perez gave up 5H/4R (3ER) in 2.2IP and Aaron Greenwood allowed 2H/0ER, 3K:0BB in 1.1IP.

Yonathan Mejia had two hits and a walk, and Jason Martin collected the other hit on the night.

Man of the Match: Yonathan Mejia.

GCL Astros (13-11, 0.5 GB)

Game 1: Vincent Velasquez made his second rehab start, allowing 3H/2ER, 5K:1BB, 2HBP in 2.2IP; John Gatlin allowed 2H/0ER (but one of Velasquez's runs), 0K:2BB in 1IP, and Harold Arauz allowed 3H/2ER, 5K:2BB in 2.1IP. GCL Astros lose 4-1.

Osvaldo Duarte had your RBI single while Ruben Castro and Richard Gonzalez had a hit and a walk each.

Man of the Match: Vincent Velasquez

Game 2: The GCL Astros won on a Brauly Mejia walk-off single in the bottom of the 8th, 3-2. Junior Garcia alowed 3H/1ER, 1K:0BB in 3IP and a bullpen of Christian Perdomo (0.1IP, 1H/1ER, 1K:3BB), Justin Ferrell (1H/0ER in 2.2IP), Samil De Los Santos (1IP, 1H/0ER) and Juan Delis (1IP, 2K) closed it out.

Edwin Medina was 3x3 with a walk and four stolen bases. Osvaldo Duarte, Brauly Mejia (RBI), Brian Pena and Luis Payano (2B) had your other hits.

Man of the Match: Edwin Medina