Saturday, July 2, 2011

Astros sign international free agent

Baseball America's Ben Badler says that the Astros signed 16-year old IFA SS Arturo Michelena for $220,000.

Michelena, a 16-year-old out of Maracaibo, is 6 feet, 165 pounds and has represented his country during international youth tournaments. He's a righthanded hitters with good hand-eye coordination and defensive actions.

Chris Burke polished up his resume

Here we learn that former Astro Chris Burke has interviewed to be the head baseball coach at Western Kentucky.

David Carpenter had the bubbleguts

Nice article on David Carpenter's debut.

"The main thing I was trying to do the entire time was say, 'Keep the bill of your hat down and don't look up at the stands.' It's one thing playing in a minor-league park where there's 12,000 people there and it's a decent-sized place. When you come to a major-league field, it's just different. It's louder. The lights are brighter. There's a reason people call it 'The Show.'"

Employees of the Month: June 2011

Remember, Employees of the Month get 10% off in the Team Store, and get to park near the front. Let's go...

Houston Astros:
Carlos Lee - was 30x99 with 11K:15BB and 3HR, hitting .303/.388/.505 in June.

Bud Norris - went 2-2 (somehow) with a 2.53 ERA/1.03 WHIP, allowing 20H/9ER, 27K:13BB in 32IP. Opponents hit .183/.270/.229.

Oklahoma City:
Drew Locke - hit .309/.377/.509, with seven extra-base hits.

Wesley Wright - In 17IP, allowed 13H/5ER, 13K:7BB, and opponents hit .213 against him.

Jose Altuve - Who else? In 27 games he got 40 hits, hitting .364/.383/.564.

Dallas Keuchel - In 33IP Keuchel allowed 24H/8ER, 22K:8BB, getting a 2.40 GB/FB ratio.

Kody Hinze - Unbelievable. Three straight months with an OPS above 1.000, and June was his best so far. Hit .357/.505/.690, with eight homers, 20K:24BB.

Kirk Clark - In ten games (12.2IP), allowed 7H/2ER, 9K:1BB.

Tyler Burnett - This was a difficult choice, but Burnett hit .286/.375/.377 with 11 walks in June

Jason Chowning - In 14.1IP, he allowed 13H/3ER, 12K:3BB.

Next month we'll hit up Tri-City, Greeneville, and the GCL Astros.

Eddie's Farm: July 1

Oklahoma City (34-48)

Despite out-hitting Memphis 7-4, OKC managed to lose 5-2. Andy Van Hekken took the loss, allowing 3H/5ER, 4K:5BB and 2HR in 5.2IP. New RedHawk Mickey Storey allowed 1H/0ER, 2K:0BB in 2.1IP.

Robinson Cancel was 2x4 with 2RBI, J.B. Shuck was 0x3, but drew two walks. Humberto Quintero was 1x3 with a double in his rehab start.

Man of the Match: Robinson Cancel

Corpus (29-49)

Corpus battled back from a 4-1 deficit to defeat Tulsa 9-4 in a game where five errors were committed (three fielding errors by Jimmy Paredes). Ross Seaton allowed 6H/4R (3ER), 5K:1BB in 6IP and Kyle Greenwalt threw 3IP, faced 10 batters, and allowed 0H/0ER, 1K:0BB.

J.D. Martinez was 3x5 with a double, Jose Altuve was 2x5 with a double and 3RBI, Paredes (RBI) and Jake Goebbert (2B) also had two hits. Chris Wallace hit his first homer for Corpus.

Man of the Match: Kyle Greenwalt

Lancaster (30-48)

Good Lord. Modesto had a seven-run 4th and a six-run 5th for a 17-3 win over Lancaster. Robby Donovan allowed 5H/7R (6ER), 0K:3BB; Colton Pitkin gave up 3H/3ER, 0K:1BB; Wander Alvino allowed 2H/6R (0ER), 1K:3BB; Yordany Ramirez allowed 5H/1ER, 2K:1BB in 2.1IP and Chris Hicks threw a perfect 8th inning.

So four errors (Hinze, two from Mier, and one from Rene Garcia) accounted for seven runs. Jonathan Meyer was 2x4 with 2RBI, and Mier, Wates, and Hinze (RBI, 2BB) had your other hits.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Meyer

Lexington (37-42)

Brutal loss for Lexington, who allowed two runs in the bottom of the 9th and the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th for a 6-5 loss at Hagerstown. Alex Sogard allowed 6H/3ER, 5K:1BB in 6IP; Brian Streilein allowed 2H/2R (0ER), 2K:2BB in 3IP, and David Martinez took the loss with 2H/1ER, 1K:1BB in 1.1IP.

Every Legend had a hit, but Ben Orloff (who committed the error leading to two runs in the 9th) went 2x4 (2B, 3B, 2RBI). Delino DeShields - who stole three bases, Enrique Hernandez, Adam Bailey, and Telvin Nash had a hit and a walk.

Man of the Match: Delino DeShields

Tri-City (6-8)

Lowell got two runs in the bottom of the 6th, and that's all the scoring. Lowell beat Tri-City 2-0. Kyle Hallock got the hard-luck loss, allowing 3H/2ER, with 11K:0BB in 7IP. Travis Smink allowed 2H/0ER in the 8th.

Zach Johnson went 2x4 and Drew Muren got your other hit. Neiko Johnson had your only walk of the game.

Man of the Match: Kyle Hallock

Greeneville (2-9)

The Gastros never led in the game, losing 6-3 at Danville. Jose Perdomo dropped to 0-3, allowing 7H/3ER, 7K:3BB with 2WP and two errors in 4.1IP. Rodney Quintero allowed 3H/3ER, 2K:2BB in 1.2IP, and Zach Dando allowed 0H/0BB, 2K:1BB in 2IP.

Chase Davidson was 2x5 with a double; Luis Alvarez, Jose Vargas, and Chan-Jong Moon had a hit and a walk, with Jose Monzon going 0x2, but drawing two walks.

Man of the Match: Chase Davidson

GCL Astros (3-7)

The GCL Cardinals whooped up on the GCL Astros, 9-2. Adrian Houser had a stellar start, going 4IP, 1H/0ER, 7K:0BB; Brandon Culbreth took the loss with 4R (3ER), 0K:2BB in 0IP. Evan Grills threw 2IP, allowing 3H/0ER.

Javaris Reynolds was 2x4, and Jarrod McKinney, Jean Carlos Batista (RBI), Chris Epps, and Max Ayarza had your other hits.

Man of the Match: Adrian Houser

From the Office of the County Clerk - G83: Astros v. Red Sox

Hey! In case you thought that win against the Rangers was the start of something new and exciting - it was! New And Exciting Ways To Lose Games! Red Sox put up six in the 7th and win 7-5.

*The six runs allowed in an inning tie a season-high.

*The Astros are now 4-5 when scoring exactly five runs, and 18-10 when scoring 5+ runs.

*Some L trends for you: that's six losses in seven games, nine losses in eleven games, twenty losses in 26 games!

*Bud Norris had a strong start, allowing 4H/4ER, 10K:4BB, and a leadoff homer to Marco Scutaro, and Sergio Escalona and Wilton Lopez being responsible for two of Norris' ER.

*The 10Ks mark the first double-digit K game since Norris struck out 11 Brewers on May 1, and the fourth of his career.

*In 12 starts dating back to the May 1 Brewers game, Norris has thrown 77IP, 59H/29ER, 78K:33BB, with opponents posting a .636 OPS (and a .278 BABIP).

*Sergio Escalona took his first loss, and threw the third 0IP outing of the season. He allowed an earned run for the second time since May 27 (17 appearances).

*Wilton Lopez allowed an earned run for the second time in three games, and the third time in five games.

*Enerio Del Rosario walked four batters in 1.1IP, giving the Astros nine walks on the night. Of course the nine walks are a season high and the most since August 24, 2010 (actually, in the span of six days, the Astros walked nine Mets and ten Phillies in August 2010).

*Michael Bourn was 2x5 with his 35th stolen base - five better than MLB's 2nd place Jose Reyes, and ten better than the AL leader, Jacoby Ellsbury.

*Angel Sanchez, Hunter Pence, Carlos Lee, Chris Johnson, and Clint Barmes had two hits each.

*Brett Wallace was 0x3, and Mills pinch-hit Michaels in his spot in the 7th. Since June 16, Wallace is hitting .125/.255/.150 with a .179 BABIP, and his OPS is .783 - the lowest its been since April 21.

*Man of the Match: Going with Hunter Pence here

*Goat of the Game: The bullpen. Winnable game, turned into a Loss.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Astros acquire pitcher Mickey Storey

With a captip to Farmstros, it looks as though the Astros have acquired Oakland minor-leaguer Mickey Storey.

Storey is a 6'2", 185lb RHP, drafted by the A's in the 31st Round of the 2008 draft (a year after being drafted in the 22nd Round by the Twins).

In four seasons - all as a reliever (except for one start in 2010) - he has posted a 3.04 ERA/1.08 WHIP, with 7.3 H/9, 2.5 BB/9, and 9.3 BB9, with a 3.74 K:BB ratio.

In 27 games for Double-A Midland, Storey posted a 4.03 ERA/1.42 WHIP with career worsts in all of the preceding statistics: 38IP, 41H/17ER, 31K:13BB.

Hope you like those pinstripes

Via Richard Justice, there aren't any plans to change the logo, color scheme, etc. once Crane takes over.

This officially qualifies as the worst news of the day.

Gammons: Other GMs not happy Texas got to play Houston

According to Peter Gammons:

I talked to some general managers that were frustrated the Rangers got the Houston Astros [in Interleague play], while one team is getting the Giants and another is getting a really good team. But that's because they're in Texas, and they're really good.

We're presuming that "they" in the last bit does not refer to the Astros.

Pence doesn't want to be traded

Richard Justice talked to Hunter Pence and found that Pence doesn't (audibly) want to be traded:

"This is where I want to be. This is where I want to win. That would be a lot more satisfying - to turn it around for the guys who believed in me. That's my vision."

Terry Francona loves him some Brad Mills

Nice article in the Boston Globe about the ongoing relationship between Brad Mills and Terry Francona.

“The thing I think that gets lost a little bit in the translation is that I’ve probably learned more from Millsie than he’s ever learned from me. I’ve always looked up to him. We can go back all the way to [the University of Arizona] when I was a freshman and he was a junior. He was always a bit of a big-brother type to me. Things work out funny sometimes, and he was a coach, but the bench coach, the way we do things, listens to an earful from me probably more often than they want to. Because of our relationship, he probably warranted it more than he should have, but I always looked up to him."

Eddie's Farm: June 30

Oklahoma City (34-47)

Memphis took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd, and while the RedHawks cut it to 2-1 in the 7th, Memphis went on to win 3-1. Nelson Figueroa lasted 1.2IP, 3H/2ER, 1K:2BB and got ejected (along with manager Tony DeFrancesco in the 2nd), where the bullpen took over. A bullpen of Danny Meszaros (3.1IP), Casey Fien (1IP), Ross Wolf (1IP), and Fernando Rodriguez (1IP) combined to allowed 5H/1ER, 5K:3BB in the final 6.1IP.

OKC was held to four hits, and came courtesy of Drew Locke, Oswaldo Navarro (BB), Brandon Barnes, and Koby Clemens - who hit his 9th homer of the season.

Man of the Match: The bullpen.

Corpus (28-49)

Tulsa enjoyed a three-run 6th to go on for a 4-3 win over Corpus. Jonnathan Aristil had a Mr. Hyde game, allowing just 2H/1R (0ER), 4K:0BB in 5IP while Pat Urckfitz allowed 1H/3ER, 0K:3BB, getting the BS/L in 0.2IP. Kyle Greenwalt got the final out of the 6th. Arcenio Leon and Blake King had scoreless innings.

Johnathan Villar and J.D. Martinez (2B, BB, RBI) had two hits each, and Chris Wallace and Jake Goebbert added a hit, walk, and RBI each.

Man of the Match: J.D. Martinez

Lancaster (30-47)

High Desert jumped out to an 8-0 lead by the middle of the 4th, and though the JetHawks scored in five different innings, they lost 10-6. Errors marred starter Zach Grimmett's performance, allowing 8H/8R (2ER), 5K:1BB, 2HR in 3.2IP. Wander Alvino walked three batters in 0.2IP; Shane Wolf allowed 5H/2ER, 4K:0BB in 4.1IP and Kirk Clark got the final out of the game.

Austin Wates was 4x5 with two doubles and an RBI, and Jay Austin (BB, 2RBI), Jose Carlos Thompson, Rene Garcia (2B, HR, BB, 2RBI, E), and Andy Simunic (3B, BB) had two hits each.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates

Lexington (37-41)

West Virginia scored the tying run in the bottom of the 9th, and got the walk-off in the bottom of the 14th for a 5-4 win over Lexington. Carlos Quevedo threw 7IP, 9H/3ER, 2K:0BB; Jason Chowning allowed 2H/1ER - the ER coming on a game-tying homer with two outs in the bottom of the 9th - 3K:0BB; Gabe Garcia allowed 3H in 4.1IP and was charged with the loss when Murilo Gouvea intentionally walked a batter, and gave up the walk-off single.

Delino DeShields (SB), Enrique Hernandez (two doubles, RBI), Telvin Nash (SB, RBI), Jhonny Medrano (BB) and Ben Orloff (SB, BB) had two hits each.

Man of the Match: Gabe Garcia

Tri-City (6-7)

A six-run 3rd put the game further out of reach for an 8-0 Lowell win over Tri-City. Euris Quezada lasted 2IP, allowing 4H/5ER, 2WP; Mitchell Lambson allowed 2H/2ER (and three runs charged to Quezada), 0K:1BB, WP; Adam Champion threw 3IP, 4H/0ER, 3K:0BB, and Ebert Rosario allowed 2H/1ER, 2K:1BB in 2IP.

Miles Hamblin and Zach Johnson had two hits each, while Justin Gominsky, John Hinson, and Ryan McCurdy added your other three hits.

Man of the Match: Adam Champion

Greeneville (2-8)

Crazy one in Danville, as the Gastros had a 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the 8th, where Danville put up seven runs. Greeneville got four back in the top of the 9th but ultimately fell short in an 11-10 loss. Tyson Perez allowed 4H/1ER, 2K:1BB in the start; Mark Jones allowed 4H/3R (2ER) in 0.1IP; Jeremiah Meiners got two nice outs; Brad Propst took the loss with 3H/3ER, 3K:0BB in 2.1IP; Scott Zuloaga took the loss, walking both batters he faced and Paris Shewey allowed three inherited runners to score, as well as two of his own, with 3H/2ER, 1K:0BB in 0.2IP.

Jordan Scott (2B, 2BB, RBI), Chase Davidson (2B, BB, 3RBI), Darwin Rivera (2B, RBI), and Jose Monzon (2RBI) had two hits each. Jorge Sosa (2B, BB) and Ernesto Genoves (BB) added RBIs.

Man of the Match: Jordan Scott

GCL Astros (3-6)

The GCL Marlins put up a four-spot in the 6th and beat the GCL Astros 4-1. Enderson Franco allowed 2H/2ER, 3K:2BB in 5IP while Zach Hardoin allowed the runs charged to Franco, and Justin Gill gave up the two runs charged to Hardoin in 1.2IP and Blake Ford struck out two of the three batters he faced.

The Astros got four hits on the night: courtesy of Justin Shults (BB), Chris Epps (SB, outfield assist), Kevin Gonzalez, and Luca Martone (2B). Kyle Redinger was 0x1, but drew two walks, and Javaris Reynolds had a walk and an RBI.

Man of the Match: Chris Epps

From the Office of the County Clerk - G82: Astros v. Rangers

Wandy deals, and shuts down the Rangers for a 7-0 win, losing the Silver Boot by a game.

*It's the 4th shutout for the Astros this season, and the first since all the way back on June 18, when the Astros beat the Dodgers, also by a 7-0 score.

*The Astros are 12-3 when scoring 7+ runs.

*Wandy killed it, allowing 4H/0ER, 4K:3BB in 7IP, and lowering his ERA to 2.97. In his last four starts, he's thrown 25IP, 19H/5ER (all in one start against the Rays), 20K:10BB.

*His 7IP are the most since May 17, when he threw 8IP.

*Wandy only threw first-pitch strikes to eight of 25 batters. When doing so, the Rangers were 1x8, K, with 2 GIDPs.

*Let's give it up for David Carpenter: made his MLB debut striking out Craig Gentry and getting pinch-hitter Endy Chavez and Ian Kinsler to fly out to right. Good work by Mills to get his debut in Houston, and by facing the Rangers' 8-9-1.

*Deputy Street did the leg work and found that Carpenter threw nothing but fastballs (16): sitting 92-96, and hitting 94mph in six pitches.

*And for whatever reason, the Astros used two pitchers in the top of the 9th with a 7-0 lead. Fernando Abad got two outs on ten pitches (Andrus' flied out to left, Hamilton grounded out to 2nd). Then, Mark Melancon came in for two pitches, and got Adrian Beltre to ground out. It was Abad's first appearance since June 25 and Melancon's first appearance since June 26.

*The Astros' offense went off for some extra-base hits! They got two homers in a game for the first time since May 30, and had four doubles for the 12th time in 2011.

*Carlos Lee hit a homer in back-to-back games for the first time since September 17/18, 2010. AND he drew two walks! That's three straight games with a walk, and in the last week, he's hitting .294/.350/.706, with a .299/.375/.474 line in June - all monthly highs for the season.

*Clint Barmes was 3x4, and is 8x18 with four doubles in the last week - raising his average from .226 to .237.

*Jason Michaels swung a big bat, going 2x4 with a double, homer, and 3RBI. The last time that Michaels had a homer and a double in the same game was June 26, 2010 - against Texas.

*J.R. Towles. Holy crap, man. After an April where he went 12x33 with a 1.068 OPS, he is 11x85 since May 1, with an OPS in May and June of .367 and .479, respectively.

*Man of the Match: Wandy Rodriguez

*Goat of the Game: J.R. Towles.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

From the Office of the County Clerk - G81: Astros v. Rangers

This is officially getting old. Astros lose 3-2.

*It's the fifth straight year the Rangers have taken the Silver Boot, if that sort of thing means something to you.

*For the 9th game this season, an opponent hit a homer to lead-off the game (Ian Kinsler). I'm not necessarily interested in seeing how this stacks up against the rest of the League. Not now, anyway.

*The Rangers have hit 11 homers off the Astros this season, with a game to play tomorrow, tying the Braves for the team with the most homers off Astros pitching.

*Brett Myers allowed both Rangers homers for his 21st and 22nd allowed - vaulting him back above Bronson Arroyo for the most allowed in the Majors. Rangers starter Colby Lewis allowed his 20th homer to Carlos Lee for 3rd-most in MLB.

*The 3-2 loss drops the Astros to 10-14 in one-run games, and also marks their 8th straight loss at home

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I find this conversation improbable

Evan Grant talked to C.J. Wilson about his triple in last night's debacle. Apparently this happened:

"As soon as I hit it, I see it rocketing up there, I'm like, 'Dude, Bourn is nowhere near that. I'm digging.' " Wilson told the Ben and Skin show on KESN-FM on Wednesday. "So, I'm running and I look up and the ball is still flying ... Right off the gate I was like, 'Oh, this is a triple.' With my sore foot, starting to act up by about the sixth or seventh step I hit first base and then Carlos Lee looks at me and he's like, "Holy crap, Dude, you crushed that ball.' and I was like, 'Yeah, man, I'm a deer. Check this out.' And we said that to each other and if you look at the video you can see him running next to me for like three steps as I motor on to second base. And I was kind of laughing the whole time."

I'm calling bullcrap.

Tranzactionz! Durango claimed, Carpenter called up

A host of tranzactionz for your reading pleasure, courtesy of Alyson Footer (and here):

*The Astros claimed outfielder Luis Durango off waivers from the Padres, and sent him to Oklahoma City.

*They then transferred Alberto Arias to the 60-Day DL.

*They then optioned Brian Esposito back to Oklahoma City...

*...And called up David Carpenter from OKC to Houston.

*And according to Farmstros, Chia-Jen Lo has been put back on the DL, after two injury-free outings.

Durango is a 25-year old switch-hitting outfielder who has been in the Padres' system since 2003. He did spend some time with the Padres, hitting .305/.369/.305 in the admittedly small-sample 37 games (67 PAs).

In seven minor-league seasons, Durango has hit .315/.406/.366, with 73 career extra-base hits (46 2Bs, 24 3Bs, 3 HRs) in 2410 plate appearances. Encouragingly, however, he's managed to strike out just 283 times (11.7% of PAs) and draw 296 walks. Still, there's not much pop in his bat. He was hitting .243/.328/.294 in 61 games for Triple-A Tucson before getting placed on waivers.

So the question for Durango is, should we read anything into this? Bogusevic is up, leaving Shuck, DeLome, Barnes, and Locke as your OKC OFs. Is Durango better than what the Astros have at OKC now? Does it indicate that there's an expendable outfielder or two at OKC, or that J.D. Martinez won't be coming to OKC in the near future? Who knows what lurks in the mind of the Apparatus?!

Also, good for David Carpenter. Even if it's just a cup of coffee, we're happy for him, after the position change, and all. And we're happy for the Astros, who got a potentially viable bullpen piece out of the Cardinals in the Pedro Feliz trade.

Allowing 4+ runs

Early this morning, the County Clerk did some checking and found that when allowing 4+ runs the Astros are 5-46. This seems awfully low. So let's look and see just how bad it is across the NL.

TeamOverall Rec.Allowing 4+ R

A few things to note about this.

1) Of course this means that the Astros' offense struggles to score 4+ runs. In their 80 games, the Astros have scored 4+ runs in just 43 of them - and are 21-22 when they actually do.

2) Only the Cubs have played more games where they have allowed 4+ runs, with 53 to the Astros' 51. But they've at least won 11 of those games.

3) As a whole, the National League is 185-496 when allowing their opponents to score 4+ runs for a .272 Win%. Taking the Astros out of the equation, that bumps up the NL Win% to .286, because the Astros bring that down with their .098 Win%.

Astros sale "2-3 weeks" away

KPRC Sports Director Randy McIlvoy tweeted out:

Reported last night. In intw, Drayton told me, w/Dodgers Bankruptcy, astros sale now 2-3 weeks away.

If the latter time frame is true, this puts the sale of the Astros to within a week of the trade deadline. Of course, Crane can likely approve decisions, and I doubt McLane would stand in the way of any agreement on a trade between Wade and Crane. But still, Frank McCourt is screwing things up (not that this is a news flash).

Baseball America is actively engaging in height and location discrimination

With a captip to Appy Astros for the link, Baseball America posted their mid-point leaders for the minors, and Jose Altuve (AVG) and Kody Hinze (HR) are on the list.

What do they say about Altuve?
Jose Altuve hit .301 at two Class A stops last season (561 plate appearances), on the heels of a cumulative .306 showing in two years in the Rookie-level Appalachian League (360 PA), so he has a clear track record of hitting for average. His crazy .395 average this year has been propped up by an otherworldly showing at home in the high Class A California League prior to his bump to Double-A. Altuve hit .464 (52-for-112) in 28 home games for Lancaster, collecting a hit slightly more than half the time he put the ball in play (50.5 percent). At his current pace, Altuve would collect 225 hits over the course of a 140-game minor league season. In case you're wondering, the highest hit total from 2005-10 belongs to the Mariners' Kyle Seager, who collected 192 last year.

We have come to Altuve's aid from BA's vicious attacks questioning his abilities to hit outside of Lancaster before, and it's worth noting that - through 26 games at Corpus - he's still hitting the ball often and hard. In 18 home games at Corpus, he has a .389/.400/.556 line, compared to .364/.400/.667 in eight road games.

So yes, Altuve was Video Game Good at Lancaster, and while hit OPS is almost 70 points lower at Double-A, it's still a Stupid Good .990. So Baseball America can kindly eat one.


Some tranzactionz for you on Eddie's Farm:

June 28: Lancaster placed Erik Castro on the 7-Day DL, Corpus sends Shane Wolf to Lancaster

June 26: OKC sends Pat Urckfitz to Corpus, brings up Brad Hennessey

Jason Bourgeois back to the DL

Jason Bourgeois is our very own Mr. Glass, going back on the DL with a strained right quad, and bringing up Brian Bogusevic to take his roster spot.

We also find from Campbell's article that J.A. Happ is not hurt, even if his numbers are:
“I feel fine. I feel good. There’s no excuse, and I can’t say things are going perfectly. I’ve just got to keep at it and try to be consistent.”

Eddie's Farm: June 28

Oklahoma City (34-46)

Round Rock got out to a 6-0 lead by the end of the 2nd, but the Express and RedHawks traded four-run innings and OKC lost 12-9. Gustavo Chacin lasted 3IP, allowing 12H/8ER, 2K:0BB, and 4HR. Danny Meszaros gave up a hit and two walks (3Ks) in 2IP; Sam Gervacio allowed 3H/4ER, 1K:2BB, HR in 1.2IP; Jose Valdez walked one and struck out one; and Emerson Frostad became the second OKC catcher to make an appearance on the mound, and got two outs without incident.

Collin DeLome was 3x5 with three doubles and 2RBI, while Drew Locke hit his 5th homer, drew a walk, and got two other hits for a 3x5 night, and Oswaldo Navarro also had three hits. J.B. Shuck and Brian Bogusevic were 1x4 with a walk, and OKC as an offense was 4x18 w/RISP, leaving 15 men on base.

Man of the Match: Collin DeLome

Corpus (28-48)


Lancaster (30-45)

Lancaster never trailed, taking an 8-0 lead before High Desert got on the board, JetHawks win, 12-7. Our Boy Andrew Robinson threw 7IP, 8H/3ER, 2K:1BB for the win; Yordany Ramirez allowed 2H/3ER, 2K:1BB in 0.2IP, Mike Ness gave up a solo homer (accounting for two of Ramirez' runs), and Kirk Clark threw a perfect 9th inning.

Kody Hinze was 3x5 with a three-run homer and 6RBI on the night. Grant Hogue (2B, RBI), Jiovanni Mier (BB, RBI), Jonathan Meyer (RBI), Rene Garcia (SB) and Andy Simunic (BB) had two hits each.

Man of the Match: Kody Hinze

Lexington (36-40)

West Virginia broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 8th, going on to beat Lexington 4-3. Ruben Alaniz allowed 5H/3ER, 7K:2BB in 5IP, and David Martinez got the final nine outs, allowing 1H/1ER, 2K:1BB in 3IP and taking the hard-luck loss.

The Legends only got four hits - a homer from Tyler Burnett, a double from Ben Heath, and hits from Emilio King and Ben Orloff. Telvin Nash made his return to the Legends' lineup, and went 0x4.

Man of the Match: David Martinez

Tri-City (6-5)

Tri-City held off a late Connecticut rally, where the Tigers scored the final three runs, but still lost to the ValleyCats 6-5. Juri Perez threw 5IP, 6H/2ER, 7K:1BB; Travis Smink allowed 4H/1ER, 1K:0BB in 2IP; Garrett Bullock allowed 1H/0ER, 1K:1BB in 1IP, and Ryan Cole got the save despite a 3H/2R (1ER) IP.

Justin Gominsky, John Hinson (SB), and Brandon Meredith (2 2Bs, SB, RBI) had two hits each, while Drew Muren, Zach Johnson (BB), and Miles Hamblin (2B) added RBIs.

Man of the Match: Brandon Meredith

Greeneville (1-7)

Brutal start to the season for the Gastros. They had a 5-1 lead going into the 8th, allowed five runs in the top of the inning, got it back in the bottom half, and allowed two runs in the top of the 10th for an 8-6 loss to Kingsport. Luis Ordosgoitti allowed 3H/1ER, 3K:1BB in 6IP, getting 11 grounders to three flyball outs; Zach Dando allowed 3H/4R (3ER), 1K:2BB. Jeremiah Meiners got the blown save, allowing an unearned run and a walk, with no hits, yet costing Dando two earned runs. Paris Shewey took the loss with 3H/2ER, 2K:0BB in the 10th.

Leadoff hitter Garen Wright was 3x5 with his first homer of the season; Ernesto Genoves was 2x4 with a double and an RBI. Chase Davidson and Luis Alvarez were each 1x4 with a walk and an RBI, with Davidson hitting his 4th homer of the season.

Man of the Match: Garen Wright

GCL Astros (3-4)


From the Office of the County Clerk - G80: Astros v. Rangers

A couple of big-ish innings doomed the Astros, mainly because if you can get up by four against Houston, that pretty much takes care of it. Rangers win, 7-3.

*The loss is the 18th in the month of June - a monthly high for 2011, and the most losses in a month since May 2010, when the Astros went 9-20.

*So, from April-June, the Astros have lost 17, 17, and 18 games respectively. This is the first time the Astros have lost 17+ games in three straights months since July-September 1966.

*Jordan Lyles drops to 0-3 after throwing 6IP, 10H/5ER, 2K:2BB, and giving up a homer to Josh Hamilton. Even though the 2Ks are a season low, Lyles still has 28K:8BB.

*Lyles threw a first-pitch strike to 22 of 29 batters. When throwing the first-pitch ball, opponents were 3x7, with 2Ks.

*Things got away from Lyles with one out in the 6th, when Mitch Moreland singled, Yorbit Torrealba doubled, and Kinsler tripled, turning a 3-1 Rangers lead into a 5-1 Rangers lead. That's important, because...

*...If the Astros allow 4+ runs, their record is 5-46.

*Enerio Del Rosario threw a perfect outing for the first time since June 1 (seven appearances), and Aneury Rodriguez allowed two homers for the 3rd time this season, and the second time since rejoining the bullpen.

*So that gives Astros pitchers 97 HR allowed on the season - 5 HR more than 29th place Baltimore, 8 HR more than 15th in the NL (Cincinnati), and 54 HR more than NL-leading San Francisco.

*For the offense, Carlos Corporan led the way with a career-high three hits, and Michael Bourn and Clint Barmes had two hits each. That's four two-hit games for Barmes in his last ten games.

*Hunter Pence had a hit and a walk for the second time in three games, but he's 3x15 (3K:2BB) since returning after a week off for the sprained elbow.

*Chris Johnson got a hit, giving him a six-game hit streak. Johnson's OPS in April: .531; May: .715; June: .815.

*Man of the Match: Jeez, I don't know. How about Corporan?

*Goat of the Game: Jeff Keppinger. Went 0x4 and ended three innings, one with a GIDP.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

On the rest of the 2011 season, and Brett Wallace

Brett Wallace is not in tonight's lineup against the Rangers. Why? Presumably because lefty C.J. Wilson is starting for Texas and, well, Brett Wallace doesn't start against lefties.

This is completely ridiculous. If Wallace is the long-term answer at 1B, then he needs to be starting every single game, and Mills needs to quit screwing around and putting Lee at 1B every time a lefty is on the mound. Why? Because this season has officially ceased to matter, at least as far as 2011 is concerned.

The Astros, as a team, are hitting .264/.319/.371 against lefties. This includes Wallace's .208/.296/.250 line. This, obviously, is atrocious. But he's going to have to learn to hit lefties at some point in his career if he's the Reincarnation of Jeff Bagwell. And what better place to start than with a 28-51 record?

Chip Bailey had a post today wondering if the Astros "patented second-half run" could be far away.

Sure, it's a notable tradition, but there's no point. Let's look at the standings:

Milwaukee: 44-35
St. Louis: 41-38
Cincinnati: 41-39
Pittsburgh: 39-38
Chicago: 32-46
Houston: 28-51

This leaves the Astros 16 games back of the Brewers for first place, with the largest gap between two teams in all of baseball, including the Marlins who have not won since April 10*.

Even if the Astros went 62-21 from here on out, here's what the records of the five other teams would need to be in order to finish one game ahead of the Bizarro Astros:

Milwaukee: 47-36
St. Louis: 50-33
Cincinnati: 50-32
Pittsburgh: 52-32
Chicago: 59-25

Of course, you can count the Cubs out here, and probably the Pirates. Cincinnati and St. Louis would have a tall order. But Milwaukee, who is winning games at a .557 clip would simply need to go win at exactly the same pace they have been winning games to this point in order to finish above the Astros on the last day of the season.

Oh yeah, and if at any point you're questioning the logic of whether the Brewers can keep up this pace, remember the preceding paragraph is formulated on the theory that the Astros - who have been winning at a .354 clip would suddenly win the remaining 83 games at a .747 pace.

So Mills: stop sacrificing the development of your First Baseman of the Future based on the supposition that the second half run starts any day now.

(* - Approximately)

Here's a review of Clear Channel Stadium

Stadium Journey recently posted a review of Clear Channel Stadium, aka Where the Lancaster JetHawks play on their site late last week.

Your money quote:
The JetHawks are certainly keeping pace with the great minor league experience in the California League. While they may not experience the draw of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, they definitely provide a better experience than the nearby High Desert Mavericks.

While I initially thought I would not be traveling to the Lancaster/Palmdale region, I found a lot of great attractions and a great ballpark experience that will certainly have me returning again and again.

Quintero update

There have been some updates regarding the return of Humberto Quintero, via Twitter:

From Alyson Footer (and here):
Spotted: Quintero practicing jumping up out of crouch to field dribblers in front of plate. Throwing to first, second and third. No timetable for Q's return but this is an encouraging sight.

And from Steve Campbell (and here):
Quintero said he will begin a medical rehab assignment with Okla City on Friday, joining team in Memphis. Plan is for Quintero to build up endurance so he's ready to play regularly after All-Star break.

Round Rock finds fans are actually engaged when team does well

The Austin American-Statesman spent what seems to have been a decent amount of time examining the issues and evidence (using all steps of the scientific method) and came to the stunning conclusion that fans like it when their team wins, as they apparently do in Round Rock.

What has changed since the Astros and Rangers switched Triple-A teams? Let's find out from Express GM George King:
"For one thing, there's not the mass exodus after the seventh or eighth inning. Our fans are looking at the standings more than they have in the last few years. Fans are embracing this team. It's fun to be at the park."

Traitorous Astros fan:
"I'm a 'Stros fan, but it's hard to work up any enthusiasm for them because they've been bad for a bunch of years. I just want to see some good baseball for a reasonable price. I have no problem pulling for the Express."

Other now-Express fan:
"I'd rather follow these guys on their way up to the Rangers than what we had. Besides, everybody loves a winner, right?"

Carpenter could find his way to Houston soon

But apparently he's not ready yet, according to Fred Nelson:

He has work to do to get himself ready to go to the big leagues. He’s not there yet. Sometime shortly if there’s a need at the big league level, he could certainly be a candidate who could go to the big leagues. He’s still working on location and command and his secondary stuff and how to pitch to experienced hitters.”

That makes total sense considering that, in 19IP, he's allowed 15H/0ER, 21K:6BB, and opponents are hitting .221 against him.

Or if you take into account his last ten games (five at home, five on the road), where he has allowed 6H/0ER, 13K:4BB in 11IP, with a .162 BAA.

Eddie's Farm: June 27

Oklahoma City (34-45)

OKC never trailed God's Gift to the Minor Leagues (Round Rock), defeating them with a 4-1 win at Round Rock. Wesley Wright threw 4IP, allowing 2H/1ER, 2K:4BB, getting lifted after throwing 59 pitches. Ross Wolf came in for the win, allowing 1H/0ER, 2K:0BB in 3IP; Fernando Rodriguez struck out the side and David Carpenter extended his ER-less streak to 19IP with a 2H/0ER, 1K:0BB inning.

Drew Locke was 2x3 with two doubles, a walk, and an RBI, while J.B. Shuck provided a 2x5 game. Robinson Cancel hit his 3rd homer of the year and added another RBI, and Anderson Hernandez was 0x2, but drew two walks and scored twice.

The RedHawks won despite going 0x10 w/RISP.

Man of the Match: Ross Wolf

Corpus (28-48)

Corpus had a 2-0 lead going into the 8th inning, but Frisco came up with six runs for a 6-3 win over the Hooks. Xavier Cedeno threw out of his mind: 6.2IP, 1H/0ER, 14K:0BB, but got the no decision when Mike Perconte allowed 2H/2ER, 2K:1BB in 0.2IP and Henry Villar gave up 6H/4ER, 1K:1BB in 1.2IP.

Jose Altuve was 3x4 with an RBI and a stolen base and Brandon Wikoff was 3x5. Jimmy Van Ostrand was 2x4 and J.D. Martinez had your only extra-base hit, getting a double. Chris Wallace was 1x4 with 2Ks and is now hitting .278/.350/.278 in five games.

Man of the Match: Xavier Cedeno - bring him up to OKC.

Lancaster (29-45)

Lancaster got all the runs they needed by the end of the 2nd, and held on for a 4-3 win over High Desert. Jake Buchanan threw 6IP, 8H/3R (1ER), 3K:0BB; Chris Hicks gave up 2H/0ER, 3K:1BB in 2IP and Kirk Clark got his 14th save with a perfect inning. After a brutal May (11IP, 20H/17ER, 8K:5BB), Clark has rebounded in June with 11.1IP, 7H/2ER, 8K:1BB.

Rene Garcia was 2x3 with a double; Jonathan Meyer hit a two-run homer, his 7th, and drew a walk; and Austin Wates, and Kody Hinze added your other hits.

Man of the Match: Jake Buchanan

Lexington (36-39)

In a game that featured five ejections and a walk-off, West Virginia beat Lexington 2-1 on the Power's 10th inning homer. Mike Foltynewicz allowed 2H/1ER, 8K:3BB in 6IP; Jason Chowning allowed 1H/0ER, 3K:0BB in 3IP, and Jorge De Leon gave up the lead-off game-winning walkoff.

Emilio King was 3x4 with a double, and Delino DeShields and Mike Kvasnicka had two hits each. Ben Heath had your lone RBI of the night, while Adam Bailey and Brian Streilein got ejected for Lexington.

Man of the Match: Mike Foltynewicz

Tri-City (5-5)

Connecticut was in charge the whole time, taking the game from Tri-City, 6-0. Nick Tropeano allowed 6H/4R (3ER), 0K:1BB in 3IP; Adam Champion allowed 2H/0ER, 0K:1BB in 2IP; Joan Belliard pitched to three batters, hitting one and walking two; Kristian Bueno threw 2IP of scoreless relief, while Brad James got 2K:1BB in 1IP, and Travis Blankenship finished it off with 2H/1ER, 1K:0BB in 1IP.

John Hinson, Justin Gominsky, Zach Johnson (2B), Miles Hamblin, and Neiko Johnson (2 errors) accounted for your hits.

Man of the Match: Jeez. Zach Johnson?

Greeneville (1-6)

The Gastros got their first win of the season with an emphatic 15-6 win over Kingsport. Chris Lee allowed 5H/4ER, 2K:3BB in 3IP; Jamaine Cotton gave up 7H/2ER, 5K:0BB - earning his first professional win - and Brad Propst threw 2IP, giving up 1H/0ER, 3K:0BB.

Lots of hits, as you can imagine, with Darwin Rivera (coming up from the DSL a week ago) leading the way with a 4x5, 2RBI day. Chase Davidson (2B, HR, BB, 3RBI), Alex Todd (2 doubles, 2RBI), and Jorge Sosa (2B) had three hits each. Jordan Scott was 2x3 with 3RBI, Luis Alvarez was 2x5 with his first homer, and Jose Monzon was 2x5.

Man of the Match: How about Chase Davidson?

GCL Astros (3-4)

Our first GCL report of the year sees a 9-3 loss to the GCL Mets. Eight pitchers were used, and we're not going into all of them. Notably, Francis Ramirez got the start, allowing 4H/3R (2ER), 3K:5BB. Casey Fien threw a rehab inning, Brad Dydalewicz pitched to four batters - giving up a hit and three walks.

Telvin Nash was 2x4 with a double, Jean Carlos Batista was 1x4.

Man of the Match: Telvin Nash

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rosenthal thinks the Astros should trade Pence to Atlanta

Smilin Ken Rosenthal wonders, while admitting the chances of this are slim:

The Astros need to rebuild around pitching. They’ve got right-handers Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles in place. What if they could move Pence to the Braves for a package built around one or more of Atlanta’s many appealing young arms?

They would save money. They would increase their inventory of young talent. They would kick-start a rebuilding process that is long overdue.