Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eddie's Farm: September 4

Round Rock

Round Rock busted open the game in the middle innings on their way to a 6-2 win over Albuquerque. Andy Van Hekken threw 8IP, 6H/1ER, 6K:0BB, needing just 91 pitches to get 24 outs. Chris Sampson allowed two hits and an unearned run in the 9th on Brandon Barnes' fielding error. Jack Shuck was 2x3 with two runs scored, Collin DeLome hit a three-run triple, and Oswaldo Navarro, Drew Locke, and Matt Kata added RBIs.

Man of the Match: Andy Van Hekken


Corpus squandered a 5-1 lead going into the 7th, allowing one in the 7th and three in the 8th, sending it to extra-innings, where San Antonio took it, 7-6. Bubbie Buzachero threw 7IP, 4H/2ER, 2K:1BB, while it took Jose Valdez and Shane Wolf to give up three earned runs - with neither recording an out (though Wolf allowed the run charged to Valdez). Jailen Peguero threw two perfect innings. Then it got bizarre. In the 10th inning, Evan Englebrook came in to pitch, and was ejected before recording an out. Arcenio Leon came in and gave up 3H/2ER. In the bottom half of the 10th, David Cook homered to bring it to one run, and the Hooks couldn't push the tying run across. Ben Heath was 3x4 with a double and 2RBI (and is 6x8 in two starts at Double-A). We already noted Cook's 10th inning HR, and Mike Affronti and Jon Gaston added the other RBIs.

Man of the Match: Bubbie Buzachero


Lancaster jumped on Rancho Cucamonga early, taking a 10-2 lead after three, and riding it out for a 12-5 win. Robby Donovan threw 6IP, 7H/2ER, 5K:1BB, WP, for the win. Brian Wabick threw 2IP, 2H/0ER, 3K:1BB and Jose Trinidad allowed 2H/3ER, 1K:2BB in 1IP. Jose Altuve was 3x5 with a homer in his third straight game and 4RBI. Bryce Lane was 3x4 with two doubles and an RBI. Brian Pellegini was 1x3 with a homer and 2HBPs. Lee Cruz and David Flores also hit homers on the night.

Man of the Match: Jose Altuve


Lexington took advantage of five Rome errors (in addition to ten hits) for a 6-0 win. Jose Cisnero threw 6IP, 4H/0ER, 3K:4BB while Brendan Stines allowed 3H/0ER in 3IP. Jimmy Paredes (SB, HR), Jake Goebbert (2 2B, RBI), Kody Hinze (HR), and Grant Hogue (SB, RBI) had two hits each. Our Boy Aaron Bray was 1x4, and Brian Kemp was 1x4 with a walk.

Man of the Match: Jake Goebbert


Ohhh, it's getting exciting in upstate New York! The ValleyCats allowed runs in the 7th and 8th innings to let Brooklyn tie it up, but Adam Bailey picked a good time to get his 2nd RBI of the game - scoring Tyler Burnett for the game-winning run. ValleyCats win 8-7, Connecticut loses to Aberdeen, and the ValleyCats are a half-game up with one game to play.

Jake Buchanan threw 3IP, 6H/4ER, 1K:1BB, while Mike Ness allowed 2H/1ER, 1K:1BB. Murillo Gouvea is a strikeout machine - getting six of the seven outs he recorded via punchout. Jorge De Leon allowed 3H/1ER, 1K:2BB in 2.2IP for a blown save and a win. Adam Bailey (2RBI) and Chris Wallace (RBI) were each 3x5. Ben Orloff, Tyler Burnett, and Jacke Healey each had two hits, while Austin Wates and Telvin Nash each added homers.

Man of the Match: Adam Bailey

Connecticut plays at 1:35 Central, while the ValleyCats play at 4:00 Central, so they'll know exactly what they're up against by the time they take the field.

Paulino simulates reality

Felipe Paulino threw a simulated game today, throwing 45 pitches in two simulated innings (which sounds eerily similar to reality).'s Andrew Pentis:
A decision will be made Sunday as to the next step for Paulino, who has been on the 15-day disabled list due to shoulder tendinitis since June 21. The right-hander was 1-8 with a 4.40 ERA in 14 starts but is amenable to temporarily transitioning into a relief role.

"Right now my focus is -- I don't care if I go back [as a] starter or reliever -- my focus right now is [getting] back on the field and pitching. I want to show I'm really back. I want to show everybody I'm back. Nobody wants to end the season on the DL."

From the Office of the County Clerk - G135: Astros @ 'iamondb'cks

To quote The Constable, "Boom, Sucka!" Carlos Lee gets to play the hero, and the Astros steal one, 6-5.

*But let's begin with Bud Norris. Bud, Bud, Bud. With the 4.2IP, 8H/5ER, 5K:3BB performance, his road ERA jumped to 5.45 - now higher than his 5.23 home ERA.

*It marks the second straight game that Norris has allowed 5ER, and the first time since July 17 that he hasn't gone five full innings - also a road start, but at Pittsburgh.

*Norris needed 102 pitches to get his 14 outs - 7.29 pitches per out. That's the highest number in a start since he needed 7.83 pitches to get each of his 12 outs against San Diego on May 7.

*Things got away from Norris in the bottom of the 5th when, with two outs, he walked Miguel Montero and Ryan Roberts took a 2-2 pitch to left for a three-run homer. Seven of the 24 homers that Norris has given up have come with two outs, but it's only the 2nd 3-run homer he's given up in his career.

*Four of Norris' eight hits came with two strikes in the count.

*This is interesting: Tonight's game was the 3rd game in which Norris has left with the Astros behind, and come back to win.

*Four pitchers were used to get the final 13 outs of the game. In those 4.1IP, the bullpen allowed 2H/0ER, 2K:1BB. That performance lowered the bullpen's ERA to 4.42.

*The Astros got ten total bases off Aaron Heilman (single, double, triple, homer). With those bases, the Astros' SLG against Heilman jumped to .531 - highest among all NL teams, and only second behind the Orioles, who lit him up in two career games.

*Carlos Lee swung the big bat tonight. The Astros had the lead twice, and it was Lee who made it happen both times - providing an RBI single in the 1st, and a three-run homer in the 8th. It's his 3rd 4RBI game of the year.

*Those hits were his 23rd and 24th go-ahead hits of the season. He had 19 in all of 2009.

*Top of the lineup (Bourn-Kep-Pence-Lee): 5x16, 5RBI. Bottom of the lineup (Michaels-Johnson-Manzella-Quintero): 1x12

*Angel Sanchez was 2x2 as a pinch-hitter/replacement, doubling his substitute hitter total from two to four.

*Michael Bourn ended his 12-game hit streak with an 0x4 night. But he did draw a walk to extend his on-base streak to 14 games.

*Pitch Count Hero: Michael Bourn (0x4, BB) - 25 pitches in five PAs

*Pitch Count Punk: Tommy Manzella (0x3) - seven pitches in three PAs

*Man of the Match: Easy. Carlos Lee.

*Goat of the Game: Going with Norris here. Still inconsistent, and was inefficient tonight.

Suddenly, our 2011 bandwagon is getting crowded

The New York Times' Tyler Kepner has some time to talk to Ed Wade about the 2.0 version of the 2010 Astros.

Wade credited the Astros’ first-year manager, Brad Mills, with keeping the team focused after a 17-34 start. The Astros have reveled in the spoiler role, sweeping the contending Phillies and Cardinals in recent series. In the best case, the Astros could mimic the San Diego Padres and the Cincinnati Reds, who finished strong last season and built off that momentum this year.

If nothing else, though, the trades of Oswalt, Berkman and Feliz were a long-delayed acknowledgment that the Astros had moved on. Nobody who played for Houston in the 2005 World Series remains with the team. For all the angst caused by Oswalt’s early trade request, it was actually for the best.

It'll be interesting to see where Wade falls on the annual column-filling "Worst GMs in Baseball" later this off-season.

GCL Astros: Kyle Redinger

Kyle Redinger
How did he get here?: Drafted (11th Round), 2010
Stats: 6'3" 205 lbs, Bats: Right Throws: Right
Age as of April 1, 2011: 19
Position: 3B

2010 Overview


What happened?

Drafted in the 11th Round out of Cedar Crest High School in Pennsylvania, Redinger got off to a booming start in seven June games, before crashing back to earth in July and August.

Redinger hit a lot of ground balls - 60%, as a matter of fact. As a result, he posted a .278 BABIP, so they didn't find a lot of holes.

Thirty-five of Redinger's 36 defensive starts came at 3B, where he committed ten errors in 106 chances, for a .906 Fld%.

What went right?

June. In seven June games, Redinger hit .409/.500/.636, drawing five walks and collecting four extra-base hits.

Like Chan-Jong Moon, hitting w/RISP. His OPS was 186 points higher w/RISP (.677) than with the bases empty (.481).

Also, since we're looking for positives here, his Road OPS was .648, compared to .477 at home.

What went wrong?

July and August. After four extra-base hits in seven June games, Redinger got two XBHs the rest of the season. And after five June walks, he drew ten walks in July and August.

Hitting against RHP. In 121 ABs, Redinger hit .198/.277/.256.

Redinger has a big frame, so an off-season of conditioning and preparation should help him out as he moves to Greeneville.

GCL Astros: Chan-Jong Moon

Chan-Jong Moon
How did he get here?: Free agent, 2009
Stats: 6'0" 160 lbs, Bats: Left. Throws: Right
Age as of April 1, 2011: 20
Position: IF

2010 Overview


What happened?

Moon was signed by Pacific Rim scout Glen Barker last summer (reported in August, confirmed in September), and Barker said the following:
He's a high-energy player with solid fundamentals. His ceiling for growth and improvement is high, and I feel he will be a solid Major League player down the road.

Well, that ceiling has to be above some shag carpet, doesn't it? Rough professional debut for Moon - which is to be expected, I suppose, given the new surroundings, etc. Moon struck out an awful lot (about 32%, which you have already seen), and didn't show much pop.

Moon spent 19 games at 3B, committing nine errors in 62 chances (.855 Fld%), and 14 games at SS, with ten errors in 49 chances (.796 Fld%).

What went right?

Walks. Moon led the GCL Astros with 19 walks, and despite his low average, was 3rd on the team among players with 33+ appearances in OBP. 15 of his 19 walks came against RHP, for a .369 OBP.

Hitting w/RISP. Moon's OPS was .521 with the bases empty, .691 with men on, and .853 in 17ABs w/RISP, drawing seven walks with runners in scoring position.

What went wrong?

Uh, hitting. Moon hit .219/.324/.219 in July and .207/.333/.241 in August for a .585 season OPS. And after 89ABs, his BABIP was .352.

Hitting against lefties. In 24 ABs against LHP, Moon was 4x24 with 11K.

The Astros gave him a $350,000 signing bonus, so he'll be given every opportunity to move through the system. Once he gets some weight on that 160lb frame, and cuts down on those strikeouts, he has some promise.

Buster Olney: The 2010 Astros are the 2009 Padres

Buster Olney's Insider-Only blog post details the Astros of tomorrow.

It was about this time a year ago that the general manager of the hottest team in the National League recognized the promise of his club. The Padres had traded their most prominent player, Jake Peavy, and then had reeled off a bunch of wins, and Kevin Towers -- then the GM of San Diego -- spoke about the promise of the Padres, about how their pitching was coming together and how the team's strengths really seemed to fit its park.

Towers was fired within a couple of weeks after that, but the Padres turned out to be as good as he thought they might be; despite their recent losing streak, they lead the NL West by three games.

And meanwhile, the Houston Astros are the 2010 version of what the Padres were last year.

Ed Wade:
"There's no reason for us to not feel like the pitching will continue to be good going into next year. What we have to do is use the remaining time to give these kids an opportunity to perform, and then objectively assess what we've seen."

Paulino to throw, Sampson accepts assignment

Nice Notes Column from David Barron today, as we learn a couple of interesting tidbits:

1. Felipe Paulino will throw a simulated game today. Mills:
"Whether it's live batting practice or whatever, we need to get him throwing a little bit. It's a tough thing to head into the offseason with a guy who had injuries but hasn't had a chance to put them behind him and throw to hitters. We want to see where he is and how the injury is and how things are coming along."

2. Chris Sampson has accepted his assignment to Triple-A (Insert 2011 Triple-A team here).

Eddie's Farm: September 3

Round Rock

The Express start their final homestand as an Astros affiliate this weekend against Albuquerque, and they must have been saving up some wins. The Express break their nine-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Isotopes. Shane Loux threw a complete game shutout (his first since 2004): 9IP, 5H/0ER, 6K:0BB. Brandon Barnes is having an impressive Triple-A run, going 2x3 with a double to raise his average to .364. Jack Shuck, Oswaldo Navarro, and Edwin Maysonet all provided RBIs.

Man of the Match: Shane Loux


Frisco did all their damage in the first inning, beating Corpus 2-1. Dallas Keuchel took a hard-luck loss, allowing 5H/2ER, 5K:2BB in 7.2IP. Evan Englebrook struck out three of the final four Frisco batters. The Hooks only got three hits, but two of them were for extra-bases: David Cook's triple, and Jimmy Van Ostrand's double. J.D. Martinez had the other hit. Koby Clemens is just having a hard time since returning from the DL. He hit .188 in August, and is hitting .132/.233/.237 in his last ten games.

Man of the Match: Dallas Keuchel


This was a tight game, until the 5th inning when Rancho Cucamonga put up a 5-spot. Lancaster falls 8-3. Ross Seaton is all over the place, throwing 5IP, 9H/7ER, 3K:2BB, and Edwin Walker allowed 3H/1ER, 4K:0BB in 4IP. Jose Altuve was 2x5 with his second consecutive game with a homer. Brian Pellegrini hit his 14th homer of the year, and Lee Cruz, David Flores, and Bryce Lane (RBI) had your other hits.

Man of the Match: Jose Altuve


Jeesh. Thanks for spoiling J.R. Towles induction to the Legends Hall of Fame, Rome. Lexington loses 1-0. Juan Minaya threw 8IP, 4H/1ER, 7K:2BB, and Wander Alvino closed out the last three outs. The Legends got five hits - all singles - from Goebbert, Hinze, Pena, Butera, and Kemp.

Man of the Match: Juan Minaya


Tri-City was down 5-0 after four innings, but just fell short in a 5-4 loss to Brooklyn. Connecticut won their game, so Tri-City falls one-half game back. Bobby Doran threw 4.1IP, 7H/5ER, 1K:0BB, HBP. Brandt Walker allowed three hits and a walk in 2.2IP, and Jason Chowning threw a perfect 9th. Ben Orloff was 2x4 with a stolen base and an RBI, Mike Kvasnicka hit a 2-run homer in the 9th, and Telvin Nash got his first hit - a double - for Tri-City. Jacke Healey was 1x3 with an RBI triple. Austin Wates was 0x3 with a walk, but stole two bases.

Man of the Match: Ben Orloff

From the Office of the County Clerk - G134: Astros @ Diamon'bac's

An inning after the Astros tied the game at 3-3, Arizona scores the game-winner on a sac fly for a 4-3 win over Houston.

*The Astros dropped the series-opener against an opponent on the road for the third time in the past two weeks, with the lone win coming - of course - against the Phillies.

*In the 27 games since that 18-4 drubbing of St. Louis on August 3, the Astros have scored 5+ runs six times. And it's been 18 games since the Astros scored 6+ runs.

*Houston is now 3-7 at Arizona since the beginning of the 2008 season.

*Brett Myers kept that 18+ out streak alive, to hit 28 games, throwing 6IP. However, it was the first time in four starts that he hadn't gone 7IP.

*With his 6IP, Myers has thrown 191IP. That's seven short of his highest total since 2006. Considering that he has four, maybe five, starts - if he keeps his streak alive all season, he could surpass his career high in IP (215IP in 2005).

*Myers got 19 strikes in which the batter was looking, the lowest total since August 7.

*Arizona starter Daniel Hudson did a pretty good job shutting the Astros down, retiring nine of the first ten batters before allowing his first hit to Angel Sanchez in the top of the 4th. Sanchez later scored on Keppinger's single. When Houston got the leadoff man on base, which happened twice, they both later scored (more on that second one in a minute). It happened for Arizona three times.

*Wilton Lopez got the loss, allowing a leadoff double that later came around to score on Augie Ojeda's sac fly. It's his first loss of the season. And, after making 18 appearances without allowing a run (July 19-Aug 22), he has allowed runs in three of his last five appearances - including one where he didn't record an out, and was pulled after allowing a hit. That's a 6.75 ERA, and an opponent slash line of .353/.333/.588.

*The top of the order was strong for the Astros, as Bourn, Sanchez, and Pence had two hits each. Bourn's single in the 7th extended his hitting streak to 12 games. That 12-game streak is a career-high, beating his previous record set in 2009.

*Jeff Keppinger was 1x3 with a walk last night, hitting 5th. Of all lineup spots in which he has more than 20 ABs (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th) - his OPS is lower in the 5th spot than in any other. He's been most successful in the #3 spot, hitting .414/.452/.759 in 29 ABs. Limited sample size, naturally.

*Big congratulations to Brian Bogusevic, who entered the game in the 7th, pinch-hitting for Myers. He took the first pitch for a strike, and then drilled a ground rule double to right for his first major league hit, off Blaine Boyer, and later scored on Angel Sanchez' GIDP.

*Someone needs to help me on this, but I think that if Manzella and Bogusevic get in the same game, it'll be the first time Tulane has been represented by two players on the same team.

*Pitch Count Hero: Michael Bourn (2x5) - 25 pitches in five PAs.

*Pitch Count Punk: Carlos Lee (0x4) - eight pitches in four PAs.

*Man of the Match: Any objections to Bogusevic getting it?

*Goat of the Game: Carlos Lee! 0x4, including 0x2 w/RISP.

Friday, September 3, 2010

GCL Astros: Jose Monzon

Jose Monzon
How did he get here?: Free agent, 2008
Stats: 6'0" 170 lbs, Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Age as of April 1, 2011: 19
Position: CF

2010 Overview


Career (before 2010)


What happened?

Monzon spent his first professional season in the Dominican Summer League, generally faring poorly, and posting a .586 OPS in 50 games. Coming to the States, he played in fewer games (35, as opposed to 50 in 2009), but saw his OPS increase by 119 points - no small jump.

In 2009, Monzon also stole 14 of 18 bases (77.8%). That dropped sharply in 2010 (9 of 14 - 64.3%). He spent all of his time in the field out in CF, committing three errors, and getting two outfield assists.

What went right?

July and the beginning of August. Monzon opened the season 2x26, and when you're only talking about 146 PAs, that's going to hurt the old average. He hit .272/.352/.395 in July, and was hitting .381/.458/.476 in six games in August before playing his last game on August 7.

He was the Astros GCLer of the Month in July.

What went wrong?

We don't exactly know what happened to Monzon, and why he stopped playing on August 7. There's nothing in the August transactions page to indicate that he was released, injured, or placed on the temporarily inactive list.

Monzon hit far better at home than he did on the road. Home: .279/.380/.443. Away: .224/.297/.299. That's the difference in 227 OPS points.

Given his age, I imagine Monzon will be in Greeneville next year, especially after how strong he came on after getting those first brutal 26 ABs out of the way.

Do you live near Hwy 90 and Hwy 6?

Then you will barely know there's a baseball team there!

Preliminary results of a noise and traffic survey show that building a minor league baseball stadium at the northeast corner of U.S. 90A and Texas 6 will have minimal impact on surrounding neighborhoods.

The city hired consultants to measure issues like noise, safety and traffic after selecting the site as their "preferred" location for the stadium, where Sugar Land's planned minor league team would play.

This is, of course, the proposed site of the new, independent team in Sugar Land

Brett Wallace has some inspiring words

Nice article in today's Chronicle about the role the Astros are playing down the stretch.

Brett Wallace:
"Those teams are playing for something, and they're really making pushes," Wallace said. "They're throwing their best at you, and they're trying to do everything they can. For us, especially with all of our youth in here, it shows us what we can do if we can just continue to jell as a team. Hopefully we can show people that we're for real and that this turnaround doesn't have to take forever. I think we have the pieces here to do it right now. I think everyone around here believes that, and I think we're starting to show people that."

Backe given one day of probation

The sordid tale of the post-wedding fight with GPD has ended for Brandon Backe.

Former Houston Astros pitcher Brandon Backe and two others pleaded no contest to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges, stemming from a 2008 post-wedding reception ruckus with police at an upscale bar, according to court documents...

The defendants were given deferred adjudication, which means they were given probation. The probation, however, was listed as one day. The court order also considered the probation period to have ended, court documents revealed.

Backe's restaurant was closed - through no fault of his own - because of astounding ignorance back in May.

Apparently nobody on a national level has watched the Astros since May

The New York Times' Joe Queenan (wasn't that Martin Sheen's character in The Departed?) has a nice article in the Wall Street Journal about cliches in baseball. And, oh yes, there's a jab at the Astros, in reference to the Phillies:

The summer is always a good time for high-octane sports banalities, and this year was no exception. When the Philadelphia Phillies went 27 straight innings without scoring a run against the cataleptic New York Mets, they were routinely described as "struggling at the plate," or "struggling to score runs" or hamstrung by an offense that was "struggling."

When you don't score any runs for days at a time, especially against teams like the New York Mets and the Houston Astros, you can't really be described as "struggling." The correct terminology is "stinking" or "sucking," as in "The Philadelphia Phillies offense, which has flat-out sucked recently, will try to stop sucking tonight against the Dodgers."

It's satire, and let's leave it at that.

Your '77 Astros: The Midas Touch

It's been a while since we gave you an update on The Constable's efforts to manage the 1977 Astros in the wonderful Strat-O-Matic league Play That Funky Baseball.

The Constable has the Midas Touch, in which everything turns into a muffler. Through 91 games, his Astros are 40-51. The actual '77 Astros were 41-50 through 91 games. The goal is to finish at .500, since that's what the '77 Astros did, and he's only one game off the pace.

Go get 'em, Chief!

Jack Shuck is a walking Springsteen album

Perhaps setting a record for the most times one person has been called "gritty" (or a variation thereof) in a single article, we learn about Jack Shuck.

Father Jack (who, despite my own label, is not a priest):
"He's hard-nosed with his work ethic. Guys play it for fun, but J.B. plays it because that's what he wants to do. There were a lot of times when he was younger he had the opportunity to go swimming with the guys or play Nintendo with guys, but he would rather be on the ball field. I remember throwing batting practice to him when he wanted the extra work."

Shuck, himself:
"You see a zero in the homerun column. That's not my job. I'm trying to get on base any way I can. Then, I'm trying to steal a bag or go first to third. I always liked watching Kenny Lofton play. Being from Ohio, I was a big Indians fan growing up, and I loved the way he played - the way he covered center field, and the way he hit the ball."

Hall-of-Famer J.R. Towles

J.R. Towles will be inducted into the Lexington Legends Hall of Fame tonight prior to the game against Rome.

Lexington President/CEO Alan Stein:
"Without question, J.R. Towles is one of the most popular players to ever wear the Legends uniform. His fiery attitude and 100% effort on the field endeared him to our fans from that very first collision at home plate in his initial game at Applebee's Park. We're proud to welcome J.R. into the Lexington Legends Hall of Fame."

Eddie's Farm: September 2

Round Rock

This is a string getting played out. Omaha went ahead and just finished off the sweep with a 6-2 win over Round Rock. Sergio Perez threw 4IP, 5H/5ER, 2K:4BB, 2WP, and Yorman Bazardo threw 4IP as well, allowing 6H/1ER, 2K:2BB. Oswaldo Navarro and Edwin Maysonet had two hits each, with Navarro hitting two doubles, and Maysonet collecting the lone RBI.

Man of the Match: Yorman Bazardo


The Hooks had a 7-2 lead going into the 6th, which dwindled to 7-3, 7-5, 7-7, and ended up losing in 12 innings to Frisco 8-7. Pat Urckfitz had a solid start, throwing 5IP, 8H/2ER, 4K:1BB. Matt Nevarez allowed two runs charged to Jared Wells, and Jose Valdez allowed two runs charged to Matt Nevarez. Jailen Peguero took the loss. J.D. Martinez (BB), Jimmy Van Ostrand (2RBI), Wladimir Sutil (BB), and Ben Heath - in his Double-A debut - (2RBI, BB) had three hits each, while Koby Clemens hit his 25th homer of the year for a 2x6, BB night. Jon Gaston was 0x3, but drew three walks.

Man of the Match: Ben Heath


Lancaster battled back from a 6-1 deficit with a 5-run 4th, but Lake Elsinore was too much, winning 9-8. Leandro Cespedes allowed 8H/6R (5ER), Ashton Mowdy gave up a solo homer in 3IP, Kyle Godfrey had a rough one, allowing 3H/2ER in 0.1IP, and David Berner gave up a hit and three walks in 2.2IP. Jose Altuve hit his 2nd homer for Lancaster, while Mark Ori (3RBI), and Lee Cruz (2RBI) hit homers, as well. Brian Pellegrini was 2x4 with a walk, and Andy Simunic was 2x2 with two walks and a stolen base.

Man of the Match: Mark Ori


Back and forth game with Hagerstown, but Lexington comes out on top 8-6. Tanner Bushue threw 5IP, 10H/5ER, 4K:3BB; Dan Sarisky threw 2IP, 2H/0ER; Brendan Stines walked two in 0.1IP, and Kirk Clark got the Blown Save and the Win. Jimmy Paredes (2BB, HR, 2RBI, SB), Kody Honze (2BB, RBI), Jonathan Meyer (2RBI), Roberto Pena (RBI), and Grant Hogue (SB) had two hits each. Jake Goebbert hit his 10th homer of the year in the 3rd and added a sac fly for a 2RBI night.

Man of the Match: Jimmy Paredes


Tri-City and Connecticut are battling it out for Stedler supremacy with both winning last night. Lowell was the ValleyCats' victim, 3-1. Carlos Quevedo threw 6IP, 5H/0ER, 4K:1BB; Alex Sogard allowed the lone run in 0.2IP, Murillo Gouvea gave up one hit in 1.1IP, and Mike Ness threw a perfect 9th. Austin Wates had himself a game: 3x3, 3B, BB, RBI, 2SB, and scored two of the ValleyCats' three runs. Ben Orloff, Adam Bailey, and Chris Wallace had two hits each.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates

Thursday, September 2, 2010

This Sampson thing isn't getting any prettier

The Saga of Chris Sampson just got ratcheted up. Less than 24 hours after tweeting that the Astros weren't so good at communication, he has essentially been removed from the 40-Man Roster and outrighted to Round Rock.

He has three days to accept the assignment, or refuse, and become a free agent. Maybe it has something to do with his tweet. Maybe it doesn't. But it's still an interesting development.

GCL Astros: Jose Vargas

Jose Vargas
How did he get here?: Free agent, 2008
Stats: 6'1" 200 lbs, Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Age as of April 1, 2011: 19
Position: RF

2010 Overview




What happened?

Vargas spent his first two seasons in the Astros' organization behind the plate, but shifted to RF in 2010, and saw more of the same when at it. His OPS decreased 51 points from a shortened 2009 season, though he was repeating the GCL level.

Vargas was somewhat of a liability behind the plate, and even more so in right field, committing ten errors in 81 chances for an .877 Fld%.

What went right?

Vargas did improve from month-to-month, posting an OPS of .558 in June (5 games), .618 in July, and .672 in August.

What went wrong?

Vargas hit lefties pretty well - a .738 OPS in 38 ABs, but had a hard time with the RHPs, posting a .205/.260/.344 line in 122 ABs.

He also struck out 20 times in his final 20 games, and finished the season hitting .171/.275/.314 in his last ten games.

I don't know what the future holds for Jose Vargas, but he's had three seasons to show something. I don't know if he's done enough.

GCL Astros: Josh Magee

Josh Magee
How did he get here?: Drafted, 18th Round (2010)
Stats: 5'10" 160 lbs, Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Age as of April 1, 2011: 19

2010 Overview


What happened?

Magee was a two-sport star at Hoover High in Alabama which, if you watch ESPN, is the greatest high school in the history of education, and had committed to Southern Miss to play both baseball and football. The fact that the Astros pulled him away from that commitment is impressive.

As you can see, Magee hit quite a few singles, largely due to hitting ground balls at a 54.7% clip. Those grounders didn't find too many holes, as his BABIP was .267.

Like Fernandez, Magee hit better with men on (.749 OPS) than when he was up to the plate with nary an Astro in sight (.478 OPS). Twenty-five of his 35 strikeouts came with the bases empty, while his only homer was with men on base.

In the field, Magee committed 11 errors at second base in 198 chances - good for a .944 Fld%, taking part in 24 double plays.

What went right?

His low-ish strikeout rate. To compare, Jose Fernandez struck out 14 more times in one more AB than Magee did. His fielding was pretty good, too, considering he was in high school three months ago.

What went wrong?

The groundballs...Magee didn't show much pop in his bat (four doubles, one triple, one homer). Also, the dude was pretty unlucky. With runners in scoring position, Magee hit 45.5% groundballs (48.5% flyballs), and his BABIP was .290. BABIP vs. LHP = .269, and it was .267 vs. RHP.

More reps and swings will help his development along, and as he grows (5'10" 160 is pretty wee - or approximately the same size as my left leg), when he puts the bat on the ball, the ball should start to jump more.

A note on these In Review profiles

The goal of the In Review series is to get a Big Picture look at each member of the Astros' organization, as opposed to the day-to-day focus of the Eddie's Farm posts. In quite a few of these instances, the sample size is simply too small to make anything close to an informed judgment. So we're putting a limitation on who we take a look at:

1. Position players need to have played in at least 50% of the team's games that season.
2. Pitchers needed to have thrown half of an inning for the team's games (the GCL's 66-game schedule would mean we're considering pitchers throwing 33IP or more).

This means we're not going to be discussing Austin Wates or Delino DeShields in this series, because they just haven't played enough to review. If they wanted to be in this so bad, they should have signed earlier. That'll teach 'em.

One extenuating circumstance which will be kicked is for promotions, where a decent amount of time is accumulated between the levels.

Is it a perfect system? Absolutely not. Will it make do? Sure. We're going alphabetically by last name, position players first, then pitchers, starting with the GCL and moving up the ladder.

This will allow us some flexibility and allow us to get through the most-used players quickly, and hopefully before the burn-out sets in.

GCL Astros: Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez
How did he get here?: Signed as a free agent, 2009
Stats: 6'1", 170 lbs, Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Age as of April 1, 2011: 17

2010 Overview


What happened?

Jose Fernandez was one of three GCL Astros to play at 17 years old, and you can see from his numbers that he did alright for a player almost two years younger than the team average.

Playing as a shortstop, Fernandez drew good reviews from Ricky Bennett, and he'll be given every opportunity to move up through the organization.

Fernandez hit a lot of groundballs - right at 46%, and his overall BABIP was .317. In a very limited (32 AB) sample size, Fernandez got eight hits against LHP, and his OPS was 319 points higher against LHPs than RHPs (keeping in mind, we're talking about the difference in 113 ABs). Encouragingly, his road OPS was 105 points higher (.677) than his home OPS (.572), and he hit far better with runners on (.302/.337/.512) than with the bases empty (.165/.200/.209) in a comparable number of ABs.

In the field, Fernandez posted an .879 Fld%, committing 32 errors in 265 chances at shortstop.

What went right?

The fact that, as a 17-year old, he was in the GCL. The Astros are proving that they're more aggressive with their minor-leaguers. He may not have posted incredible numbers this season, but the fact that he was even here shows what the Astros think of him.

Total Man of the Match awards: Zero.

What went wrong?

Hitting with the bases empty. His OPS was 440 points lower with the bases empty than with runners on.

I imagine we'll see him in Greeneville next year, and he'll be 18 when the Appalachian League starts play.

Nice things are being said about Carlos Quevedo

In Zach Levine's Minor League Notebook, Tri-City manager Jim Pankovits has some nice things to say about pitcher Carlos Quevedo, who has a Cliff Lee-esque K:BB ratio (51K:7BB in 79.1IP)

"He's pitched better than his numbers, believe it or not. He's an unbelievable competitor, a very smart, heady kid that knows how to pitch, recognizes swings, makes adjustments very quickly and astutely. He's got a bright future. I've got him as a big league prospect and one of the best in this league."

"I feel bad when I walk hitters, because I have good command."

Blum: The Cardinals didn't want to beat us

Interesting little quote from Geoff Blum on the intensity of yesterday's game shown by the Cardinals.

"Their backs are against the wall, not ours, and it didn't look like they wanted to come out and beat us. It's really surprising. For whatever reason, we got to them at their weakest point."

Drayton: Talks weren't progressing on sending Roy to St. Louis

In Derrick Goold's article explains that the rivalry between Houston and St. Louis didn't have anything to do with not trading Roy to the Cardinals.

"That was not a roadblock. I think (trading within the division) used to be something you avoided. That's not how I viewed it this time. We had discussions with the Cardinals, and it just did not work - it did not work for either team. It just never really materialized. They talked two or three times, and it never got close to being a deal."

McLane acknowledged that Oswalt was "excited about the potential of being with the Cardinals" and that he expressed that wish to Houston ownership. McLane said the players offered by the Cardinals, who included at least one major-league player, did not cause negotiations to falter.

Hmm. So it wasn't the rivalry, and it wasn't the players. What was it, exactly?

Moehler has surgery

Brian Moehler has had surgery in Philadelphia on his lower abdomen and groin. What happens next is anybody's guess...

Martinez named SAL League MVP

J.D. Martinez, despite getting promoted in the middle of July, has been named the South Atlantic League's MVP.

Jose Altuve and the recently-acquired Jonathan Villar were named to the Post-Season All-Star Team.

Santangelo to DL

Corpus Christi catcher Lou Santangelo's season is over after being placed on the 7-Day DL yesterday.

Eddie's Farm: September 1

Round Rock

The misery continues for Round Rock as they drop their 8th in a row, losing 5-1 at Omaha, despite outhitting the Royals 13-8. Josh Banks threw a complete game, with 8IP, 8H/5ER, 3K:2BB, WP, HBP. Edwin Bellorin was 3x4, and Oswaldo Navarro, Chris Shelton, Brandon Barnes, Edwin Maysonet, and German Duran had two hits each. Navarro had your lone RBI, and Duran your only walk.

Man of the Match: Oswaldo Navarro


Corpus was all over Frisco offensively, and held them to three hits for a 9-0 win. Erick Abreu improved to 4-4 with 7IP, 3H/0ER, 4K:0BB; Arcenio Leon threw 1IP, 0H/0ER, 1K:2BB, and Shane Wolf threw a perfect 9th. Albert Cartwright was 3x5 with a double and 2RBI, and Federico Hernandez was 3x4 with two runs scored. David Cook and Jon Gaston hit homers, and Koby Clemens added 2RBI. Clemens and Martinez combined for a 1x8 night.

Man of the Match: Erick Abreu


Lancaster took an early 1-0 lead, but Lake Elsinore scored the next six runs for a 6-2 win. Mike Modica got the start, having made his first 35 appearances out of the bullpen, and threw 4IP, 5H/3ER; Jose Trinidad allowed 5H/2ER in 3IP, and Edwin Walker and David Carpenter threw an inning each. Brian Pellegrini and Lee Cruz each hit a solo homer for the scoring. Jay Austin stole his 53rd base of the year.

Man of the Match: Brian Pellegrini


Oof. Hagerstown scored three runs in each of the 1st and 2nd innings, and won 9-1 over Lexington. Luis Cruz allowed 6H/6R (5ER), 0K:3BB in 1.2IP. Colton Pitkin allowed 4H/3ER, 2K:1BB, WP, Balk; Yordany Ramirez threw 2IP, 2H/0ER, 2K:2BB, WP, and Mike Schurz threw 2IP, 2H/0ER to close it out. The Legends got four hits - two of them for extra bases from Barry Butera (RBI) and Brian Kemp (both doubles). Grant Hogue and Jonathan Meyer provided your other hits. Butera came in for Jiovanni Mier as a defensive replacement in the 7th.

Man of the Match: Butera


The ValleyCats kept their half-game lead over Connecticut by beating up on last-place Lowell, 11-1. They'll finish the series with Lowell today, and then head to KeySpan Park for a brutal three-game season-closing series with McNamara Division leaders Brooklyn (48-23. Yeah, 25 games over .500 after 71 games). Andrew Robinson threw a strong start, going 6IP, 2H/0ER, 2K:2BB (11 groundouts, and three flyouts). Adam Champion allowed 1H/1ER, 2K:1BB, and John Frawley closed it out with 1H/0ER, 1K:0BB in 1IP. Adam Bailey and Mike Kvasnicka (RBI) were each 3x4, and Chris Wallace was 2x4 with 2RBI. Tyler Burnett hit a 2-run homer, and Austin Wates was 0x4 with a walk, RBI, and stolen base.

Man of the Match: Andrew Robinson

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Chris Sampson isn't the happiest guy in the world

I feel bad for Chris Sampson. I really do. The Previous Administration didn't treat his arm so well in 2009, and he's suffered for it ever since.

Astros aren't calling me up. 6 more days left in minor league season and then I will start doing camps & lessons at my Lonestar Baseball (Academy)

When asked if he was given a reason, he said:
(The Astros) did not give me any reason. Communication is not their strong point.



Lots of moves today on Eddie's Farm:

Round Rock

-Brandon Barnes and John Curtis sent to Round Rock from Lancaster


-Ben Heath sent to Corpus from Lexington
-Pat Urckfitz sent to Corpus from Lancaster


-Ashton Mowdy placed on Temporarily Inactive list
-Rene Garcia assigned to Lancaster from Lexington


-Barry Butera activated from 7-Day disabled list
-Roberto Pena assigned to Lexington from Greeneville


-Garrett Bullock, Ryan Cole, Telvin Nash, Brian Streilein assigned to Tri-City from Greeneville

From the Office of the County Clerk - G133: Astros v. Cardinals

Boom, sucka! Astros sweep the Cardinals behind more strong starting pitching, 5-2.

*This marks the second time the Astros have swept the Cardinals twice in a season since 1997.

*The win puts the Astros at 62-71 on the year, nine games under .500 for the first time since being 13-22 on May 14. Courtesy of Brian McTaggart, we can point out that the Astros are 64-63 since their 0-8 start to the season.

*The Astros were 10-5 against St. Louis this season, making them 36-24 against NL Central opponents in 2010.

*Nelson Figueroa and the bullpen came up big, withstanding St. Louis' early 2-run homer by Matt Holliday. The Cardinals in the 1st inning: 2x5, 2R. The Cardinals in the next eight innings: 5x28, 3BB, HBP

*With the win, Nelson Figueroa posted the highest number of wins in a season since 2001, tying a career high at four.

*Hunter Pence broke put the Astros ahead with one swing of the bat, hitting a three-run homer in the 5th to give the Astros a 3-2 lead. With the homer, Jeff Suppan joined Jamie Moyer and Ricky Nolasco as the only pitchers Pence has hit three homers against.

*35 of Pence's 88 career homers have been go-ahead homers. 27 of them with two outs, and 45 of them have been in the 5th inning or later.

*Pence also drew two walks on the day, ending a 37 plate appearance streak without a walk (last walk: August 24, the 16-inning Phillies game). It's his third 2BB/2H game of the year.

*Jason Castro was also 2x4 today. For the season against St. Louis, Castro hit .318 (7x22) - the highest average against any team. In his last six games, Castro has three two-hit games, and is 7x20.

*Brian Bogusevic was the first call-up to see some game action. He took a first-pitch ball, and hit the second pitch for a grounder to first, leading to Brett Wallace getting thrown out at home. Two batters later, Bogusevic stole his first Major-League base on Yadier Molina.

*Michael Bourn extended his hitting streak to eleven games. He's 17x44 (.386) during the streak.

*Pitch Count Hero: Michael Bourn (1x2, BB) - 22 pitches in three PAs.

*Pitch Count Punk: Carlos Lee (0x3) - seven pitches in three PAs.

*Man of the Match: Hunter Pence!

*Goat of the Game: Geoff Blum. Unless anybody has any other ideas.

Bogusevic to see time as a left-handed bat off the bench

Brian McTaggart has the feel-good stories of call-ups Brian Esposito and Brian Bogusevic.

"At the end of the day, I put all the work in and to just get an opportunity like this makes you feel like all the hard work you've put into it has paid off. It's a good feeling for me. I know I worked hard and busted my butt to get myself in position to do this. I don't know how much I'm going to play or how little, but I'm here and available for whatever they need me for. We'll just take it from there."

And on Bogusevic?
Astros manager Brad Mills plans to use Bogusevic as a left-handed bat off the bench, though he will get some playing time in right field.

Jim Callis on Ben Heath

Baseball America's Jim Callis answered some questions today, including one on the projectability of Lexington catcher Ben Heath:

He's an offensive catcher who broke Penn State's home run record with 19 in the spring. Power is the tool that will have to carry him, as he doesn't project as a high-average hitter and is only decent defensively.

Matt Downs will be riding pine until Saturday

Brian McTaggart informs us that call-up Matt Downs isn't available to play until Saturday. Why?

Players claimed off waivers must stay in Minors for 10 days.

So, enjoy Omaha, Mattie.

Lineup for today's game

Here's the lineup for your first game of the last month of the season:

1. Bourn - CF
2. Keppinger - 2B
3. Pence - RF
4. Lee - LF
5. Blum - SS
6. Johnson - 3B
7. Wallace - 1B
8. Castro - C
9. Figueroa - P

Like Barret Loux? So does everyone else

Yahoo's Kendall Rogers says it may take a few days for drafted/unsigned free agent Barret Loux to sign, as "several" teams are interested in him.

The Art of the Backhanded Compliment

Ken Rosenthal has mastered it. Check the opening:

Sometimes these things aren’t so complicated. The Astros are playing better in part because they couldn’t play worse.

Okay. Let's get to some objective analysis?

On the offense:
Some of the Astros’ offensive problems were attributable to poor luck. The Astros batted only .268 on balls in play during their 17-34 start, and still rank last in the NL at .286. For Lee, in particular, the hits just were not falling — his BABIP for the first two months was just .215.

Of course, BABIP works both ways: Rookie third baseman Chris Johnson’s .415 average on balls in play is a strong indication that he has been awfully lucky.

But don't undersell the impact of The Roy Situation. Wade:
“Roy’s situation had hung over our club for an extended period of time. In all candor, once he made people aware he wanted out, it hung there for a while. Until we made a move, there was a negative drag with all that stuff going on.”

Wade on Mills:
“I’ve got to give them a ton of credit. They’re so consistent in their approach. I talked about how happy I was when we hired Mills as manager, how happy I was with how he ran spring training. My feelings have only grown stronger that he is the right guy. He got us through the storm of the first half. The guys appreciated his approach.”

The team needs more power in the middle infield positions, another starting pitcher, bullpen help and a deep bench to support the youngsters...But finally, the Astros are on their way.

Eddie's Farm: August 31

Round Rock

I don't know that I've ever seen "Completed Early" as a reason for only playing 4 1/2 innings, but it was an official game, and it's a good thing for the Express. Omaha wins a shortened game, 7-0. Jordan Lyles threw 4IP, 12H/7R (5ER), 4K:0BB. The Express committed more errors (3) than they got hits (2). Matt Kata and Collin DeLome provided your hits, while Edwin Maysonet, Lyles, and Drew Locke were charged with errors. The Express have lost ten of their last eleven.

Man of the Match: Nope.


Corpus came pretty dang close to a shutout over Frisco, but had to settle for a 4-1 win, instead. Matt Lindstrom threw a rehab inning to open the game, striking out one, hitting a batter, and throwing a wild pitch. Then Polin Trinidad took over and threw the next eight innings, allowing 7H/1ER, 4K:1BB, and a wild pitch. Corpus got 12 hits, but only one with runners in scoring position. David Cook, Albert Cartwright, Mike Affronti (HR), Wladimir Sutil, and Federico Hernandez had two ehits each. Koby Clemens was 0x4 with 3Ks and an RBI.

Man of the Match: Polin Trinidad.


Lancaster took an early 1-0 lead, but Lake Elsinore scored the next five runs on their way to a 7-3 win over the JetHawks. Kyle Greenwalt threw 6IP, 8H/4R (1ER), 4K:1BB and was tossed in the 6th. Brian Wabick allowed 6H/3ER, 2K:1BB in 3IP. Jay Austin committed the error leading to three unearned runs, but was 1x5 with a double. Jose Altuve was 1x3 with a double, walk, and 2RBI.

Man of the Match: Jose Altuve


Lexington scored in five of their eight innings for a 10-7 win over Hagerstown. Zach Grimmett threw 3IP, 5H/2ER, 5K:1BB. Brad Dydalewicz got his first win for the Legends with 3IP, 1H/0ER. Dydalewicz has allowed three earned runs in his last 18 innings, showing a marked improvement over the rest of the season. Wander Alvino allowed 3ER in 2IP and Kirk Clark gave up 2ER in 1IP. Jimmy Paredes was 4x5 with a double and 2RBI. Rene Garcia was 3x4, Jiovanni Mier was 2x5 with 2RBI, and Jonathan Meyer provided 2RBI, as well. Ben Heath hit his fourth homer for Lexington.

Man of the Match: Jimmy Paredes


Tri-City is peaking at the right time. Last night's 4-0 win at Lowell put them at 35-34, and a half-game clear of Connecticut for 1st place in the Stedler division. David Martinez threw 7IP, 8H/0ER, 7K:0BB, and Joan Belliard closed it out with two perfect innings. All eight of the ValleyCats' hits were singles, but Tyler Burnett had two of them. Austin Wates was 1x3 with 2BB and three runs scored.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates


Greeneville closed out the season with a 5-2 win over Pulaski. Mike Foltynewicz threw 4.2IP, 5H/1ER, 4K:1BB, HBP, WP. Paul Gerrish threw 3.1IP, 1H/0ER, 4K:0BB, HBP, and Brian Streilein allowed 1H/1R (0ER), 2K:0BB, 2WP. Delino DeShields was 2x4 with a walk, RBI, and 2SB. Rafael Valenzuela was 2x5 with an RBI, as was Telvin Nash. Jonathan Merritt was 1x3 with a walk and an RBI.

Man of the Match: Delino DeShields

Astros announce Arizona Fall League participants

The Astros will send seven minor leaguers to the Peoria Javelinas of the Arizona Fall League: left-hander Patrick Urckfitz, center fielder T.J. Steele, first baseman Koby Clemens, right-handers Matt Nevarez, Sergio Perez and Kyle Greenwalt and outfielder J.B. Shuck. Play will begin October 12.

With any luck the final tally will be eight players, with the eigth participant going by the last name of Loux...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

From Greeneville to Tri-City

Big captip to Citizen Caitlin as we find out that Garrett Bullock, Ryan Cole, and Brian Streilein got bumped up from Greeneville to the ValleyCats.

Given the strenuous upcoming slate of games to finish the season (and into the playoffs), this is a strategic move.

Astros to call up 5

McTaggart blogs that the Astros will call up five players on Wednesday. And the lucky five are 1B/OF Brian Bogusevic, IF Matt Downs, RHP Henry Villar, LHP Wesley Wright and C Brian Esposito.

Surprised? Admittedly the call-up of Villar was unexpected (as was the non-call of Chris Sampson), but other than that not particularly.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tri-City: Screw you, college coaches

Very interesting article in the Troy Record tonight about the challenges that pitchers and catchers face when they start their professional careers.

Honorary Citizen (and Actual ValleyCats Assistant GM) Vic Christopher, on rookie catchers:
"They don't know how to call a game. They're not even used to calling pitches (selection). These college (head) coaches want to control everything. They call all the pitches, all the situational stuff and when catchers get here, they don't know what to do."

Former UH catcher Chris Wallace:
:Yeah, pretty much in the tradition that the coach called all the pitches, everything, Here, we (catchers) call everything. You kind of have feel for the game, playing it for so long. But there is a big jump and that's like the biggest one for a catcher, is becoming that player who has a feel for the game, and has a feel for the swings of the hitters and to be able to call your own game."

And hey, there's a rumor about some roster movement once Greeneville's season ends (and the ValleyCats' season extends a few days):
Talk around the Joe on Monday was that the parent Houston Astros will send the ValleyCats their 2010 No. 1 draft pick Delino Deshields Jr. and several other Greeneville (Tenn.) players as soon as the Appalachian League season ends.

Further info on the Triple-A situation beat writer T.R. Sullivan has some info on the Rangers' plans for Triple-A.

Nolan Ryan also owns the Round Rock team and it has long been a foregone conclusion that the Rangers would switch in 2011. The switch would help the Rangers gain inroads into the Central Texas market although they have enjoyed a strong following in Oklahoma City over the years.

Sullivan says it's "likely" the Astros will move their Triple-A PDC to Oklahoma City. But this is interesting: Mandalay Sports Entertainment owns the Frisco team, and is reportedly trying to buy the Oklahoma City franchise.

Lindstrom, Paulino doing better; Call-up notice

McTaggart tells us that both Matt Lindstrom and Felipe Paulino are doing better.

"I feel 110 percent better than I felt the last couple of days. I'm ready to go get an inning in. I've been doing a lot of stabilization exercises and stuff like that and making good progress, too. Right now I feel like I did the first half of the season. It's just kind of like a big weight off my mind. I've been dealing with this for a long time now."

And Paulino? McTaggart tells us he threw off the mound today, throwing 30 fastballs and he'll throw another mound session with breaking balls on Wednesday.

We also get an update on Alberto Arias:
Right-hander Alberto Arias, who has been out all season after undergoing rotator cuff surgery, has begun throwing off flat ground and hopes to be ready by next season.

How about those call-ups, when the rosters can expand on Wednesday?

"I think you'll probably see a couple of guys on Wednesday and a couple of guys later on. The reason is because we can't devastate the [Round Rock] team. They need to have enough guys to finish. Of course, we're going to get Lindstrom off the DL fairly soon, if not on [Wednesday], and Keppinger will be back. We'll get those guys right away. Some of the other guys, we'll have to wait and see, depending on the schedule and so forth."

Steve Phillips thinks the coaching carousel will pass Houston by

Steve Phillips says the Astros' recent performance is good job security for Brad Mills:

Brad Mills got sold a bill of goods. He took a team with Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman and now he is managing J.A. Happ and Brett Wallace. Give Mills credit, though. He has the Astros playing hard and acting as spoilers in the National League playoff races. They will be rebuilding in Houston for the next couple years, and it seems that Mills will handle it well.

I don't even know what the bill of goods thing means. But I like Brad Mills!

Rangers get to the business of extending their PDCs

So the Rangers extended the PDCs of three affiliates today: Frisco (Texas League), Hickory (SAL), and Spokane (NW League).

Who's not on this list? You guessed it...

Nash, Nidiffer win awards

Telvin Nash and Marcus Nidiffer won awards tonight in Greeneville, before the final home game of the season.

Nash won the Gastros' Team MVP award, while Marcus Nidiffer won the Oscar Padron Award.

Writer Hunter Reed, on Nidiffer:
The Bristol, TN native received the award for not only excelling on the field, but more importantly, being a leader in the clubhouse and an outstanding all-around person with great character off the field.

Eddie's Farm: August 30

Round Rock

Good Lord. The Express drop their ninth out of their last ten games in a big way. How big a way? 23-5 big at Omaha. Amazingly, the Express actually led this game 2-0, and then Omaha scored the next 14 runs, including an 11-run 3rd inning. Omaha's Mike Moustakas hit three homers (two in the 3rd inning) and had 11 RBI. To put that into perspective, the Express had scored eleven runs in their previous seven games. Andy Van Hekken allowed 9H/10ER, 1K:2BB in 2+ innings. Gary Majewski threw 2IP, and allowed 9H/8ER. Corcoran and Daigle both allowed runs, and catcher Brian Esposito actually closed out the game with 1H/0ER in 1IP. Jack Shuck was 4x5, Matt Kata was 3x4, Drew Locke and Collin DeLome each had two hits, and Edwin Maysonet hit a three-run homer.

Man of the Match: Jack Shuck.


Corpus got all their runs in the 7th inning for a 4-2 win over San Antonio. Bubbie Buzachero threw 5IP, 3H/0ER, 5K:0BB in a solid start, and Matt Nevarez picked up the win with a scoreless sixth. Jailen Peguero allowed 3H/2ER, 0K:2BB, and Evan Englebrook threw a perfect inning. Jon Gaston was 2x4 with an RBI, and Jose Vallejo, David Cook, and Freddy Parejo added RBIs. J.D. Martinez was 1x4 and Jeff Keppinger was 1x4 in a rehab start.

Man of the Match: Bubbie Buzachero!


Lancaster jumped on Rancho Cucamonga for an 8-2 win. Robby Donovan threw 6IP, 8H/1ER, 5K:1BB for his first win in Lancaster. David Berner gave up an unearned run in 2IP, and Kyle Godfrey continues his excellent August (20.2IP, 10H/3ER, 22K:9BB) with a scoreless 9th. Mark Ori was 3x3 with two doubles, a walk, and an RBI, while Lee Cruz and John Curtis had two hits each. Jonathan Villar and Bryce Lane added two RBI each. Jose Altive was 1x4 with a walk and an RBI.

Man of the Match: Mark Ori


Despite getting 10 hits, the Legends scored 14 runs - nine in the first inning - for a 14-1 win over Hagerstown. Jose Cisnero threw 6IP, 4H/1ER, 4K:1BB, 2WP, and Brendan Stines got his first save for the Legends with 3IP, 0H/0ER, 4K:0BB. So how do you score 14 runs on ten hits? How about by drawing eight walks and four HBPs. Jimmy Paredes (BB, RBI), Jiovanni Mier (2B, RBI, BB), Jake Goebbert (2B, BB, 5RBI), and Renzo Tello (2B) had two hits each. Kody Hinze hit a three-run homer, and Grant Hogue was 1x2 with 3RBI and three runs scored.

Man of the Match: Jake Goebbert


The ValleyCats didn't want their last home game of 2010 to end so much that they went ahead and played 14 innings. Luckily for everyone involved, the ValleyCats won 5-4 over Hudson Valley. Jake Buchanan allowed 5H/1ER, 8K:0BB in 5IP. Travis Blankenship gave up 3H/3ER, 1K:1BB. Brandt Walker allowed a walk in 1.1IP. Jorge De Leon gave up four hits, but no runs (ERA: 0.36) in 3IP, and Jason Chowning allowed two hits and a walk in 3IP for the win. Adam Bailey was 3x7 with an RBI, while Ben Orloff (also 2BB), Marcus Nidiffer, and Mike Kvasnicka added two hits each. Jacke Healey hit a three-run homer in the second.

Man of the Match: Adam Bailey - three hits and the game-winning RBI, scoring Chris Wallace.


The Gastros got four runs in the top of the 9th, but it just wasn't enough, as Pulaski won 8-6. Euris Quezada allowed 6H/2ER, 9K:0BB in 5IP, but it was Ryan Cole (2IP, 1H/2ER) and Phil Rorabaugh (1IP, 3H/4ER, 3HR) who allowed the damage. Jonathan Merritt was 3x5 with two doubles, a homer, and 3RBI. Rafael Valenzuela was 2x5 with 2RBI, and Ricardo Garcia was 2x3. Telvin Nash hit his 12th homer of the year.

Man of the Match: Euris Quezada

From the Office of the County Clerk - G131: Astros v. Cardinals

Oooh, this feels so good. Behind J.A. Happ, the Astros shutout the Cardinals 3-0.

*J.A. Happ threw the third complete game shutout of his career. It's the second CG SHO of the year for the Astros in 2010, with Oswalt throwing the first against the Pirates on July 8.

*Happ threw 9IP, 2H/0ER, 4K:1BB. In his last four starts, he's gotten 19K:9BB. He's also thrown 100+ pitches in five straight starts. His 114 pitches tonight were a season-high. His career high is 127 pitches (against Colorado on Aug 5, 2009).

*Highly impressive was how Happ dealt with Albert Pujols. Pujols came into tonight's game hitting .447/.500/.872 in 47 ABs - the second highest OPS against an NL team (behind the Cubs). Pujols was 0x3 with a GIDP on the night.

*Poor Jake Westbrook. He's faced the Astros twice since coming over from Cleveland, and has thrown 13IP, 13H/5ER, 10K:2BB. And the Cardinals have lost both those games.

*The Cardinals only got one AB with a runner beyond first, and Skip Schumaker promptly did nothing with it.

*The Astros got nine hits on the night, and give of those came from 5-6-7 (Johnson - 1; Wallace - 3; Manzella - 1).

*Brett Wallace had five hits in his previous 45ABs before tonight's three-hit game. Those three hits equalled the number of hits he had in his previous 36ABs. He also recorded his first RBI since August 13 (13 starts).

*Michael Bourn was 1x4 on the night, extending his hitting streak to nine games. He's hitting .368 (14x38) during the streak.

*With the win, the Astros move to 61-70. They're two games behind the 2009 Astros at the 131-game mark, but from the All-Star Break to G131, the 2010 Astros are six games ahead of the 2009 Astros.

*Pitch Count Hero: Hunter Pence (2x4) - 16 pitches in four PAs.

*Pitch Count Punk: Chris Johnson (1x3) and Brett Wallace (3x3) - nine pitches in three PAs.

*Man of the Match: J.A. Happ

*Goat of the Game: None tonight.

Follow the County Clerk on Twitter, and you can read the exact same crap you read here...minutes earlier!

Arguelo and Lyles named to Postseason All-Star Team

Congratulations to Doug Arguello and Jordan Lyles, who have been named to the Texas League's Post-Season All-Star Team.

GCL Astros: Ryan Ditthardt

Ryan Dittardt
How did he get here?: Undrafted Free Agent (Troy University)
Stats: 6'3", 205 lbs, Bats: Right. Throws: Right
Age as of April 1, 2011: 22

2010 Overview


What happened?

Ditthardt was a nice pickup as an undrafted free agent out of Troy towards the end of June. He spent most of his time at 1B (28 of 40 starts), but also saw six starts in LF. Ditthardt posted his best numbers of the season at the beginning of the year, with a .764 OPS in six June games, an .871 OPS in 17 July games, before bottoming out with a .217/.325/.275 line in 19 August games, including a 6x37 run in his final ten games of the season.

Ditthardt hits a lot of groundballs - 43.2%, with 38.9% flyballs, and 16.8% line drives. This is a decent indicator of his 2010, as his BABIP was .309.

In the field, Ditthardt posted a .968 Fld% - committing seven errors at 1B and one error in seven chances in LF.

What went right?
Hitting against LHPs. In a limited sample size (which will be a theme throughout the GCL In-Reviews), Ditthardt hit .324/.395/.441 against lefties in 2010, compared to .257/.353/.327 in 101 ABs against RHPs.

Also, Ditthardt thrived on the road - which is always nice to see. His road OPS (.793) was 140 points higher than his home OPS.

Total Man of the Match awards: Three

What went wrong?

It seems like Ditthardt just got tired. He struck out eight times in 23 games in June and July, and 15 times in 19 games in August, seeing a 271-point OPS dropoff from July to August.

Also, check this out. With the bases empty, Ditthardt had a .798 OPS. With runners on, that drops to .644, and with runners in scoring position that dropped further to .558.

An off-season for conditioning should help Ditthardt as he moves up the chain.

In Review: Gulf Coast League Astros

So later on - perhaps today - we'll start the In Review section of the posting schedule, in which we recap the minor-league season, player-by-player. This is an effort to get a jump on the posting as soon as the season ends, as we barely got to Lancaster last year before Spring Training started.

But right now we take a look at the GCL Astros as a team.

The GCL Astros finished the season 20-36, 17GB of the GCL Marlins, and 4GB of the GCL Yankees for the worst record in the GCL.

Home: 11-16
Away: 9-20

It should be pointed out that the average age of the GCL Astros' batters was 18.8 - below the League average of 19.6.

Runs: 216 (15th out of 16), 3.86 per game
Doubles: 74 (16th)
Triples: 20 (2nd)
Homers: 11 (16th)
Stolen Bases: 55 (11th) - 32 caught stealing - 63.2% SB rate
Strikeouts: 437 (7th-most)
Walks: 162 (12th)

Batting Average: .232 (15th)
OBP: .305 (15th)
SLG: .311 (16th)
OPS: .616 (16th)

The GCL Astros' pitchers fared about the same, with their 19.6-year old average almost a full year below the 20.5 average for pitchers in the GCL.

Runs allowed/game: 5.71 (16th)
ERA: 4.38 (16th)
WHIP: 1.49 (16th)
Strikeouts: 415 (12th)
Walks: 204 (14th) - 2.03 K:BB ratio
Wild Pitches: 70 (15th)

Fielding Errors: 135 (16th)
Fielding Percentage: .938 (15th)
Passed Balls: 14 (7th)
Stolen Bases on: 67
Caught Stealing: 28 (T-5th)
Caught Stealing %: 29% (10th)

Team Leaders:
Runs: Jose Monzon (24)
Hits: Jordan Scott (44)
Doubles: Jose Vargas (12)
Triples: Jose Fernandez (6)
Homers: Jose Monzon (3)
RBI: Jose Vargas (23)
Total Bases: Jose Fernandez (63)
Strikeouts (most): Jose Fernandez (49)
Walks: Chan-Jong Moon (19)
Stolen Bases: Garen Wright (14)

Avg (100 AB minimum): Jordan Scott (.301)
OBP: Jordan Scott (.372)
SLG: Jordan Scott (.370)

IP: Jose Perdomo (59.1)
Wins: Jose Perdomo (4)
Losses: Danilo Del Rio (7)
ERA (10IP min.): Matison Smith (1.59)
WHIP (10IP min.): Jose Perdomo (0.98)
Strikeouts: Jose Perdomo (69)
Walks (by starter): Danilo Del Rio (13 walks, 57.1IP)

Offensive Employee of the Year: It could feasibly go to Rafael Valenzuela, but he only played 16 games for the GCL Astros before getting promoted. So the Offensive Employee of the Year goes to Jordan Scott.

Pitcher of the Year: Jose Perdomo. In 11 starts, he allowed 11 earned runs, and posted 10.5 K/9, and a 3.45 K:BB ratio.

Carlos Lee fixed his swing, not Jeff Bagwell

Carlos Lee enjoys Jeff Bagwell's presence, but he's not necessarily responsible for Lee's recent resurgence:

"I've played 12 years in the big leagues. I know my swing, and sometimes it takes you to fix it."

Ed Wade:
"I attribute it to good players who got off to slow starts. It's not the formula you'd like to see, but all over baseball there were players getting off to slow starts."

On July 4, Carlos Lee was hitting .232/.279/.379 after two straight 0x4s at San Diego. Since then, beginning with a series sweep against the Pirates, he's been hitting .279/.317/492 - all with a .259 BABIP - and 40% of his hits (20 of 50) have been for extra bases.

Eddie's Farm: August 29

Round Rock

The scoreless streak ended at 29 innings, with the Express taking a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the first. Then Memphis scored the next seven runs on their way to a 11-3 win to complete the four-game sweep. Shane Loux allowed 12H/10R (6ER), 1K:0BB in 4IP. Jonah Bayliss allowed 3H/1ER, 2K:1BB in 2IP, and Chris Sampson allowed one walk in 2IP. Loux allowed five extra-base hits - three doubles and two homers. Jack Shuck was 2x4 with a walk, Collin DeLome was 1x4 with a solo homer, and Matt Downs added the other RBI on a double.

Man of the Match: Jack Shuck


Corpus took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the 4th, where San Antonio got two back, and then two more in the 6th. Then San Antonio answered the Hooks' 8th inning run with one of their own. Missions win 5-3. Dallas Keuchel threw 6IP, 8H/4ER, 3K:3BB in the loss, and Jose Valdez allowed his first run of the season, after 14IP between the GCL and Corpus. The Hooks only got one extra-base hit: A double by...Dallas Keuchel! Wladimir Sutil was 2x5, and a rehabbing Jeff Keppinger (1x1, BB), Lou Santangelo, and Keuchel provided the RBIs. Of note, Jose Vallejo got his first hit since July 28.

Man of the Match: Dallas Keuchel


Rancho Cucamonga, down 3-2 in the 7th, scored the go-ahead runs off Jose Trinidad for a 4-3 win over Lancaster. The Education of Ross Seaton continues with a quality start: 6.1IP, 7H/3ER, 4K:0BB. Jose Trinidad allowed 3H/1ER (and one of Seaton's), and Edwin Walker closed out the game with 0.2IP, 1BB. Brian Pellegrini, Mark Ori, and Bryce Lane had two hits each, with Ori providing a homer and 2RBI and Lane adding an RBI. Lane is hitting .360 since joining the JetHawks. Jay Austin stole his 52nd base of the year.

Man of the Match: Mark Ori




Bonus baseball in Tri-City! The ValleyCats tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the 8th, but it was Hudson Valley who pulled away with the 5-4 win in 12 innings. Bobby Doran got the start, throwing 4H/1ER, 6K:1BB in 5IP. Alex Sogard allowed 5H/3R (2ER), 1K:1BB in 2.2IP, Murillo Gouvea faced eleven batters, and struck eight of them out in 3.1IP (with 2WP), and Mike Ness took the loss with 1H/1ER, 0K:2BB in the 12th. Tyler Burnett was 2x5 with two doubles, a walk, and an RBI. Crhis Wallace hit a two-run homer, and Mike Kvasnicka was 0x3 with two walks.

Man of the Match: Murillo Gouvea


Greeneville scored a run in the top of the 9th, but it just wasn't enough as Pulaski wins 5-4. Gabe Garcia threw 3.1IP, 4H/2ER, 5K:0BB. Garrett Bullock allowed 3H/2R (1ER), 2K:2BB in 2.2IP, and Rodney Quintero allowed 2H/1ER, 4K:1BB in 2IP. Delino DeShields was 2x5 with an RBI, and Hector Rodriguez was 2x4. Rafael Valenzuela got the only extra-base hit, a double. Jonathan Merritt was 1x3 with two walks.

Man of the Match: Delino DeShields

Sunday, August 29, 2010

McTaggart's Notebook: Lindstrom, Bourn, Michaels, and Wallace

Brian McTaggart's Notebook has some information of note:

*Lindstrom had a good outing in a bullpen session today.

I'm anticipating an outing with the Double-A team within the next couple of days, so it should be fine. It's a day-to-day thing. Whenever I wake up, I try to see how I feel, but today was a good day."

*Bourn's hamstring is acting up, and he left today's game in the 3rd inning.

"It's all right. It got tight on me earlier in the game, and that's why some balls I couldn't run out. Before it got too bad, I came out. I knew better than to try to keep going in there and to try to run again. You could feel the tightness and it was hot out there. Instead of being dumb, I tried to be smart."

*Jason Michaels, who likely knows that he's only on a one-year deal (with a $900,000 deal for next year, or a $100,000 buyout for 2011), likes Houston:

I like this group here and I love the staff. I think it's worked, personally. I think Houston's a great place to play. I'd definitely love to come back."

*And Wallace had the day off while he's battling The Zeroes.

"He seems to be handling it extremely well and really looking at it from a good angle. This kid's got a good head on his shoulders and is really quiet, and observes a lot and listens and pays attention to what's going. I think he's going to be OK. Everybody goes through a tough time, and it's not the first time a young kid is going through issues."

From the Office of the County Clerk - G130: Astros @ Mets

R.A. Dickey pretty much single-handedly beat the Astros today, holding them to one run and driving in two of his own. Mets win 5-1, despite the Astros getting nine hits.

*Still, the Astros were 6-4 on this road trip. Last ten-game road trip? May 9-18, 2008 (at LAD, at SF, at TEX) and they went 7-3.

*The Astros' last winning road-trip (above .500) was from June 12-21, 2009 (at ARI, at TEX, at MIN), when they went 5-4.

*Bud Norris had a rough one, allowing 8H/5ER, 5K:3BB. Norris allowed the same number of earned runs today (five) as he had in his previous three starts (20IP), and busted up a seven-start streak of getting at least 18 outs.

*In 12 of Norris' 21 starts, he has walked 3+ batters. He has made it out of a start without walking a batter just once this season. The Astros are 10-11 in his starts.

*Fernando Abad threw the final four outs, allowing just one hit. Abad has appeared in five games, and has thrown scoreless outings in four of those.

*6-9 in the Mets' order (Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Luis Hernandez, and R.A. Dickey) went 6x14 with 3RBI.

*R.A. Dickey dominated the Astros - again. In G120, Dickey allowed 9H/2ER in 8.1IP. So in two starts against the Astros, Dickey has posted 15.1IP, 15H/3ER, 8K:3BB.

*Again, the Astros got nine hits, but only one run. Tommy Manzella - batting second - was 2x4, as was Geoff Blum and Jason Castro.

*In his last two starts (yesterday and today), Manzella was 5x8 - all singles.

*Jason Michaels was 0x2, but with two walks. Michael Bourn drove in his 30th run of the season, five off his career-high, set last season.

*Pretty incredible stat: The Astros got 86 hits on this road-trip, but only scored 26 runs. That's 3.30 hits/run.

*Pitch Count Hero: Jason Castro (2x4) - 23 pitches in four PAs.

*Pitch Count Punk: Chris Johnson (0x4) - 7 pitches in four PAs.

*Man of the Match: Jason Castro?

*Goat of the Game: Hunter Pence. 0x4, left three on base, ended two innings, and hit into a DP.

Wade's trade history with the Phillies is "pure happenstance"

That's according to Ed Wade hisself, in the Gloucester County Times.

But Wade who has orchestrated two big trades with his former team, including one with protg Ruben Amaro Jr. said his familiarity with the organization had little to do with his acquisitions.

"Pure happenstance," assured Wade.

"You can never predict, the sentiment when I got here was Brad needed a change of scenery to have the type of year he had. Would that have happened in Houston? I don't know, nobody will ever know. We can only worry about the players we got in these deals. We're very, very happy to have Michael here...

...In the Lidge and Oswalt deals, we made the most effective deal for that particular time. We have to take advantage of getting multiples of young guys who fit what we want to do going forward and take advantage of that."

On his challenges, and the possibility that he'll get fired:
"We had a lot of work to do when I got there. The system was barren. We've been trying to be effective in the draft and I think we have been."

Added Wade with a laugh, fully aware he was fired in Philadelphia before finishing the job: "We might get this one figured out right around the same time frame the Phillies situation got figured out, you never know."

Chris Johnson on Kurkjian's All-Rooke Team

And he damn well better be. Tim Kurkjian's NL All-Rookie Team includes Chris Johnson as his 3B1.

Alyson Footer: Don't bring up Lyles

And we agree with that sentiment.

Don't get me wrong -- I believe Lyles is the real deal and could be a long-term fixture at the top of this rotation. But by the time the Triple-A season is over he'll have thrown somewhere in neighborhood of 160 innings, and for a 19-year-old kid in just his third professional season (and his second full one), that is more than enough.

I like what the Astros have been doing lately and the influx of young players has sparked an optimism among fans and the front office not felt in about two years. But bringing Lyles to the big leagues is not necessary, and it is not in the best interests of the player or the organization.


Eddie's Farm: August 28

Round Rock

That's some dry spell there, Round Rock. After getting shutout again by Memphis, 2-0, the Express have now gone scoreless in three straight games, and managed to score just one run in the entire four-game series against the Redbirds. That's a 29-inning scoreless streak rolling for Round Rock as of last night. Sergio Perez threw 58 pitches in 3IP, 2H/0ER, 3K:3BB. Yorman Bazardo got the loss with 2H/2ER, 5K:2BB in 4IP, and Casey Daigle threw a perfect 9th. Round Rock out-hit Memphis 5-4, with Shuck, Bogusevic, Shelton, Maysonet, and Bellorin getting the lone extra-base hit.

Man of the Match: Yorman Bazardo. Lost the game on one pitch, a two-run homer.


Corpus led this game twice, but in each inning the Hooks scored, San Antonio answered with a tying run. Then San Antonio scored an unanswered run in the 7th for a 3-2 win over Corpus. Henry Villar threw 6IP, 9H/2ER, 4K:3BB - both runs coming on solo shots - and Evan Englebrook took the loss with another solo homer in 2IP. Wladimir Sutil and Lou Santangelo had two hits each, and Albert Cartwright and Koby Clemens provided the other two hits.

Man of the Match: Lou Santangelo


Lancaster scored four runs in the 8th to almost erase a 5-0 deficit, but Rancho Cucamonga got two in the bottom of the inning and the JetHawks fell 7-4. Leandro Cespedes had a rough one, allowing 10H/5ER, 4K:1BB in 5IP, and a bullpen of Ashton Mowdy (2IP), Brian Wabick (0.1IP - 1H/2R (1ER) and David Carpenter (0.2IP) closed out the game. Carpenter allowed the hit scoring the two runs charged to Wabick. Lancaster got their runs on one swing of the bat - a granny by Brian Pellegrini, his 12th of the year. Brandon Wikoff got two hits, while Brandon Barnes and Jonathan Villar had the other extra-base hits.

Man of the Match: Brian Pellegrini


Lexington nearly overcame a 6-0 deficit, scoring two runs in the 7th and three in the 8th, but just fell short 6-5 to Kannapolis. Juan Minaya allowed three earned runs (five total) on three hits, three wild pitches, and a walk in 5IP. Brad Dydalewicz allowed an unearned run in 2IP, and Yordany Ramirez struck out two in a perfect 8th to lower his ERA to 16.20. That's right. Only three earned runs, thanks to errors by Jonathan Meyer, Jimmy Paredes, and Jiovanni Mier. Ben Heath was 2x3 with a 2-run triple in the 8th, Kody Hinze was 1x2 with 2BB, and Our Boy Aaron BRay was 1x3 with a walk, RBI, and two runs scored.

Man of the Match: Ben Heath


Some good pitching got Tri-City a nice 2-1 win over Hudson Valley. Carlos Quevedo allowed 3H/1ER, 5K:2BB. Brandt Walker allowed two hits and a walk (responsible for Quevedo) and left a runner for Blankenship, who got out of it, walking one in 1.1IP, and left one for Jorge De Leon, who struck out three of the four batters he faced. Oscar Figueroa was 2x3, while Chris Wallace (1x3, double) and Adam Bailey got the RBIs.

Man of the Match: Carlos Quevedo.


Greeneville had a 4-3 lead going into the 8th, and Kingsport put up three runs in the top of the inning for a 6-4 win. Ricardo Batista threw 3.1IP, 6H/3R (2ER), 4K:1BB. Jeiler Castillo alowed 1H/0ER (but did allow one of Batista's) in 2.2IP. Paul Gerrish allowed 4H/2ER in 1IP, Ryan Cole gave up an unearned run in 1IP, and Phil Rorabaugh allowed a hit in the 9th. Jonathan Merritt was 2x3, and Telvin Nash and Chris Lovett (HR) provided two RBI each. Delino DeShields was 1x4 with a double.

Man of the Match: Chris Lovett