Saturday, August 20, 2011

Meet Your New Juvenile Court Clerk

I'm not one to talk about myself, so this is fairly awkward for me. I'll keep it short, to help protect my secret identity. Well, never mind. The Constable just outed me on twitter. So, since it's already out there, follow me @the_batguy.

Anyway, I am a lifelong Astros fan, with my awareness of the sport coinciding with the '86 playoff run. As such, my favorite players have always been Jose Cruuuuuuuuuuz and Mike "Scuff 'em up" Scott(ie). I was unceremoniously uprooted from Houston by my family shortly thereafter, but it was too late; I was destined to a life as a wandering Astros fan. I'm now in South Carolina, so my only chances to catch some of the organization's live games are to either drive 3 hours south to Atlanta, or catch the Legends when they come to play the local Sally league team, the Greenville Drive. You may have seen one of my recaps at another Astros site.

I am not a writer. That's probably already evident, but I feel I should make that statement clear. I'm just a guy that likes my team a little too much.

Thanks for having me.

Good God, look at Ryan Rowland-Smith's finger

Apparently Ryan Rowland-Smith jacked up his finger last night:

Yeah, Berkman would play for the Phillies or Rangers

As Lance Berkman's contract with the Cardinals comes to a close, he's started thinking about next year.

"If I'm playing, I want to be playing for more than just numbers. I've accomplished pretty much everything I hoped to accomplish in my career. I've made a lot of money. I've had personal success and been part of some great teams. The one thing I haven't done is been part of a world championship. I'm going to be 36 (next season), I'm not going to play just to play."

In the article, "it's believed" that Philadelphia and Texas would fit his criteria, or a return to St. Louis would also be okay. Of course they would.

Springer tries to emulate Torii Hunter

In his inaugural press conference, George Springer says he tries to be Torii Hunter:

"I like to model my style of play after a guy that's actually playing right field now for the Los Angeles Angels, Torii Hunter. He has no regard for his body.
He doesn't get cheated in the box and he'll put it all on the line. That's exactly how I am."

Fulchino down, Wright up

In the yo-yo game that is the 2011 Astros, Jeff Fulchino has been optioned to OKC, with the Astros calling up Wesley Wright, due to the "need" to have another lefty option in the bullpen.

Springer to Tri-City

After taking BP at Minute Maid Park and having a press conference, George Springer will work out for a few days in Kissimmee before reporting to Tri-City to finish out the season.

Scout John Kosciak:
"The best way to describe him is he's freakishly athletic. He comes from a very athletic family. His father played football and baseball at UConn and played in the Little League World Series, and his mother was a gymnast at UConn. At a young age, the whole family was in gymnastics, and that's why he's got great agility."

Eddie's Farm: August 19

Oklahoma City (58-69)

OKC lost 5-3 to
Reno Friday. Starter Ryan Rowland-Smith went 6 IP giving up 7H/4ER with 7K:2BB while battling finger issues suffered bunting (warning: gross). Jose Valdez had 1 IP with 0H/0ER and 1K:1BB. Slingin’ Sammy Gervacio went .2 IP allowing 1H/1ER. Douglas Arguello closed out the night with 1.1 IP giving up 1H/0ER with 1K:1BB.

SS-Anderson Hernandez was 2x5 on the night. 3B-Chris Johnson was 2x4 with 1R and 1K. C-J.R. Towels went 2x3 with 1 2B, 1RBI, and 1BB.

Man of the Match: J.R. Towles

Corpus (45-78)

The Hooks battled the Travelers through 11 innings before giving up 3 in the 12th to lose 4-1. Jarred Cosart had a no-hitter through 5 before giving up a single to lead off the sixth, finishing with 6 IP allowing 1H/0ER with 5K:2BB. Blake King went 1IP giving up a solo HR that tied the game. Jonnathan Aritil was next and lasted 1.2 IP with 2H/1ER and 1K:2BB. Henry Villar held things down with 2 IP allowing 0H/0ER with 1K:0BB. Arcenio
Leon pitched a scoreless 10th and 11th then gave up two singles and a groundout to start the 12th before Arkansas broke through against Josh Zeid. Leon finished with 2.1 IP giving up 3H/2ER with 5K:1BB. Finally, Zeid went the final .2 IP with 1H/1ER, 1K:2BB, and 1 wild pitch.

Offensively, not much happened again. OF-Brandon Barnes rebounded from last night’s sombrero to go 2x6 with 1SB. C-Emerson Frostad was 3x4 with 1 2B, 1RBI, and 1SB.

Man of the Match: Jarred Cosart

Lancaster (44-79)

Lancaster beat the Stockton Ports 4-2 Friday night. Starter Robert Donovan went 6 IP allowing 7H/2ER on 2HR with 6K:2BB. Shane Wolf lasted 2 IP with 0H/0ER and 3K:0BB. Kirk Clark earned his 19th save with 1 IP allowing 1H with 1K:0BB.

At the plate, DH-Erik Castro provided the fireworks, going 2x3 with 2R/3RBI with 1HR and 1BB:1K.

Man of the Match: Erik Castro.

Lexington (52-71)

The Legends split Friday’s doubleheader with

Continuing in the bottom of the first after being rained out Thursday night, Lexington lost the first game 9-6. Murilo Gouvea “started” the game and went 4 IP allowing 4H/5ER with 3K:1BB. Brian Strelein went 3 IP giving up 4H/4ER including 2HR with 1K:0BB. Jason Chowning threw a scoreless ninth for 1 IP with 0H and 0K/2BB.

DHing for the game, Tyler Burnett was 2x3 with 1R, 1BB, and 2SB. 2B-Delino DeShields went 1x4 with 2R, 1BB, and 1SB while committing his 18th error as he continues his transition to the infield.

Man of the Match: Tyler Burnett

The Legends regrouped to win the second game, shortened to 7 innings, 4-2. Control freak Carlos Quevedo went 5.1 IP allowing 8H/1ER with 5K:1BB to earn the W. Jorge De Leon finished up with 1.2 IP giving up 2H/1ER with 2K:3BB.

At the plate, RF-Domingo Santana was 3x4 with a 2 run HR, his first as a member of the Astros organization. DDJ added a solo HR of his own, going 1x4 for the game. At 1B for this game, Tyler Burnett was 1x3 with 1BB and another SB, giving him 19 on the season with just 2 CS.

Man of the Match: Domingo Santana

Tri-City (26-34)

The Valley Cats continue are still winless since the All-Star break (it’s now been all of three games), losing 6-2 to

Tri-City SP Kyle Hallock couldn’t overcome a pair of costly fielding lapses giving 4 IP while allowing 5H/4R/1ER with 4K:3BB. Dayan Diaz went 1 IP 0H/0ER 2K:0BB. Travis Smink got touched up in his 1 IP, giving up 4H/2ER. Joan Belliard followed with 1 IP with 0H/0ER and 1K:0BB. Kristian Bueno pitched a scoreless ninth giving up 0H/0ER and 2K:1BB.

At the plate, 1B-Rafael Valenzuela went 3x4 with 1R and 1RBI. Coming into the night, in 17 games (61AB) with the ValleyCats Valenzuela is hitting .393/.418/.623 with 11R/12RBI, 2HR, and 4BB:9K

Man of the Match: Rafael Valenzuela

Greeneville (23-34)

Greeneville lost a wild game against the Elizabethton Twins 12-7 as the two teams combined for to allow 41 baserunners. Starter Tyson Perez was roughed up in 4.1 IP allowing 8H/6R/4ER including 3HR and 4K:0BB. James Propst continued batting practice going .2 IP allowing 5H/4R/3ER with 0K:0BB. Danielo Del Rio was next, lasting 2 IP giving up 3H/2ER with 0K:3BB. Matison Smith decided that was enough and went the final 2IP with 0H/0ER and 4K:0BB.

At the plate, IF-Chan Moon was 2x4 with 1R and 1BB:2K along with a throwing error. 1B-Jesse Wierzbicki went 2x4 with 1 2B, 2RBI, and a fielding error. C-Luis Alvarez was 2x4 with 1R. IF-Jean Batista was 2x3 with 1HR, 4RBI, 1BB, and a fielding error.

Man of the Match: Matison Smith

GCL Astros (16-33)

Friday’s game was suspended with one out in the bottom of the 2nd inning with the Astros leading the Marlins 1-0. Evan Grills was pitching with 1.1 IP 0H/0ER with 2K:0BB.

At the plate C-Kevin Gonzalez was 1x1 with 1RBI and 1B-Justin Shults was 1x1 with 1R.

DSL Astros (26-40)

The Astros beat the Royals 4-2 in seven innings in the first game of a doubleheader Friday, breaking up a combined no-hitter with a 4R sixth. Starter Agapito Barrios went 5 IP giving up 3H/2ER with 4K:2BB. Frangy Colon pitched the final 2 IP with 2H/0ER 1K:0BB.

CF-Teoscar Hernandez provided the big hit of the game, going 1x2 with a 3 run HR and 1BB:1K. SS-Juan Santana was 1x3 with 1R/1RBI.

Man of the Match: Teoscar Hernandez.

The second game of the double header was suspended with no score in the 5th inning. At the time, Jandel Gustave had gone 5 IP allowing 1H/0ER with 5K:2BB.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The final pieces in the rebuild hit the waiver wire

Jon Heyman says the Astros have placed Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez on waivers today. Oh, this isn't a shock, in case you were wondering.

Heyman, though, undoubtedly pulled on his testicles with glee at the prospect of having another two chances to rip the organization in 140 characters or less.

MLBTR astutely noted:
By placing the starters on waivers now, the Astros are giving teams an extra two days - the weekend - to contemplate making a claim.

In the least surprising news of the day...

...Nelson Figueroa has been released.

There's no point in coming up with an explanation.

The Astros spent as much as you probably thought on the draft

Baseball America did some checking and got the total bonus expenditures for the 2007-11 drafts, and found that the Astros spent $25,162,630 on their picks over those five drafts, 21st in MLB and about $6m less than average.

This of course includes the disastrous 2007 draft, in which the Astros spent a total of $65.13.

Here we find that the Astros spent $5,545,800 on the 2011 draft, or about $1.15m less than the average team (the average being buoyed by the Pirates spending $17m+ and the Nationals spending $15m+.

So get that checkbook ready, Jim Crane. You'll be paying more for that #1 pick in 2012 than Drayton did for the whole 2011 draft.

Pre-Season Prospects Reviewed

Minor League Ball revisited their pre-season top 20 prospect rankings recently. 7 of the top 20 are now in Houston, and Sickles has some mild encouragement for us:
They still need more depth and there is plenty of room for improvement, but things are looking up.
The rest of the report can be found here.

Eddie's Farm: August 18

Oklahoma City (58-68)

OKC wins 6-3 over
Reno after a 5 run 7th inning outburst. Andy Van Hekken pitched 5 effective innings giving up 6H/1ER and 3K:4BB to keep the RedHawks close. Wesley Wright gets the win after going 2 IP with 1H/0ER and a strong 4K:0BB. Fernando Abad pitched the 8th with 0H/0ER 1K:0BB and Slingin’ Sammy Gervacio took the ninth and allowed 1H/2ER with 1K:1BB. Wright now has a 2.07 ERA in 65.1 IP at OKC and opponents are hitting just .207 against him. Surprisingly he’s having more success against right hand batters this season, holding them to just a .161 AVG.

Brett Wallace was 3x4 with 1 2B, 2R/2RBI and 1BB. Jordan Schafer was 2x4 with 1R/1RBI in his second rehab start for OKC.

Man of the Match: Brett Wallace.

Corpus (45-77)

The Arkansas Travelers had their way with the Hooks last night, beating them 12-0. Brett Oberholtzer was rocked early on a night in which all five Hooks pitchers gave up at least 1R. Oberholtzer went 3 IP allowing 8H/5ER with 3K:1BB. Jonnathan Aritil was next and lasted 1.2 IP with 2H/1ER and 1K:2BB. Daniel Meszaros gave the Hooks 2.1 IP giving up just a solo HR to finish with 1H/1ER and 1K:1BB. Jason Stoffel took the ball next and allowed 2H/1ER and 1K:0BB in his 1 IP. Finally, Chris Hicks pitched the night giving up 2H/4R/1ER along with 0K:1BB.

Offensively, not much happened. Jonathan Villar was 1x4 with 2K. Brandon Wikoff was 1x3 with 1 2B. Brandon Barnes wins the Golden Sombrero, going 0x4 with 4K.

Man of the Match: none

Lancaster (44-79)

Lancaster broke their losing streak against the Stockton Ports, winning 3-2. Wes Musick started and went 4 IP allowing 4H/1ER and 4K:3BB before hitting his pitch count limit due to his transition from bullpen to starter. Walder Alvino poached the win by going 2 IP allowing just 1H/0ER to go with 1K:2BB. Pat Urckfitz followed with 2 IP and 1H/0ER with 2K:0BB and Kirk Clark got his 18th save with 1 IP 1H/1R/0ER and 2K:2BB.

Grant Hogue led off and was 3x4 on the night with 1R and 1SB. Jio Mier was 1x3 with 1RBI and 1BB. Jonathan Singleton continued to impress, going 1x4 with a solo HR, his 3rd with
Lancaster in 71AB.

Man of the Match: Grant Hogue

Lexington (51-70)

Suspended in the bottom of the 1st due to rain. To be completed as part of doubleheader Friday.

Off Day Spotlight: Enrique “Kike” Hernandez – IF/OF. Acquired in the 6th round of the 2009 draft. Kike was the Astros GCL MVP in 2009 after finishing third in the league in hits and fourth in runs. Prior to the 2010 season Baseball Intellect ranked Hernandez 13th among Astros prospects with a “C” grade. Before this season he was used primarily as a 2B, and has spent there this season as well as LF. Hernandez is currently on the DL with an ankle injury, described as bone chips, torn ligaments, and cartilage damage. He is expected to be able to resume baseball activities in 3 months. Hernandez, who just turns 20 next week, was hitting .246/.341/.326 with 31BB:33K in 215 AB, showing an impressive increase in his BB rate while trying to play through the injury.

Tri-City (26-33)

The Valley Cats continue to be winless since the All-Star break (ok, it’s only been two games).

Tri-City SP Jonas Dufek went an effective 4 IP giving up 1H/1ER with 5K:1BB. Adam Champion took the loss in relief with 3 IP 4H/2ER and 2K:0BB. Mitchell Lambson pitched a scoreless ninth giving up 1H/0ER and 0K:0BB.

At the plate, Rafael Valenzuela went 2x4. Miles Hamblin went 2x3 with 1RBI, 1 2B and 1SB, but opposing runners stole 3 in 4 attempts against him. Chris Epps was 0x1 with 1R and 3BB. If Epps could make better contact his stock would rise very quickly, as he’s shown tremendous ability to take a walk, even during his time at Clemson University. On the year he has 31BB in just 169 PA between Tri-City and the GCL. His combined triple slash on the year is .294/.432/.471 but he also has 44K.

Man of the Match: Jonas Dufek

Greeneville (23-33)

Greeneville pulls out the victory in a back and forth game, winning 4-3. Ricardo Batista was your starter for Greeneville with a strong 6 IP allowing 5H/1ER and 5K:3BB. Rodney Quintero made things interesting in his .2 IP giving up 2H/2ER with 1K:0BB. Scott Zuloaga gets his first W by going .1 IP with 0H/0ER and 1K:0BB. Steve Martin had a wild and crazy 1 IP giving up 3H but allowing 0ER with 1K:0BB. Zack Dando closed out the ninth uneventfully after Martin gave up back to back singles to open the inning. Dando made a good play to get the lead runner on a sac bunt effort for the first out, then induced a game ending double play, finishing the night with 1 IP 0H/0ER 0K:0BB.

Ariel Ovando went 2x4 with 1 2B, 1RBI, and 2K. Luis Alvarez was 3x4 with 1R and Darwin Rivera went 3x4 with 1RBI

Man of the Match: Zach Dando

GCL Astros (16-33)

The Astros lost a back and forth game 10-8 in 11 innings against the Nationals. Seven pitchers took the mound for the Astros, led by starter Enderson Franco, who went 5IP allowing 5H/3ER with 1K:1BB. Krishawn Holley 1 IP 1H/0ER 2K:0BB; Zachary Hardoin .2 IP 1H/2ER 1K:1BB; Justin Gill .1 IP 1H/0ER 0K:1BB; Richard Rodriguez 1 IP 2H/2ER 2K:2BB; Blake Ford 2 IP 1H/1R/0ER 1K:1BB; and pitching the 11th for the loss was Pedro Gomez with 1 IP 3H/2ER 0K:0BB.

At the plate Javaris Reynolds went 3x5 with 2R and 2SB and an OF assist at home. Justin Shults hit his 3rd HR as he went 3x4 with 3R/2RBI, adding 1 2B and 1SB. Kelvin Vizcaino was 1x5 with his 1st HR and added a steal as well. In total the Astros had 5 steals, but were also caught stealing once and picked off twice.

Man of the Match: Javaris Reynolds

DSL Astros (25-40)

The Astros beat the RedSox 6-4 Thursday. Starter Luis Abad went 1.2 IP as he struggled with control, giving up 2H/2ER with 2K:5BB. Juan Delis pitched the next 4.1 IP with 4H/1ER 2K:2BB to get the win. Javier Saucedo finished the game with 3 IP 0H/1R/0ER 3K:3BB for the save.

Jose Solano was 3x4 at the plate with 2R, 1 2B and 2SB. Mario Gonzalez went 2x3 with 1R/1RBI, 2 2B, 2BB and 1SB. Mesac Laguna hit 2x4 with 1R/3RBI with 1HR.

Man of the Match: Mario Gonzalez.

Schafer doesn't think his finger will actually heal until December

Jordan Schafer, on a rehab assignment in OKC, sees some pain in his forecast:

“It's still swollen pretty bad. It's probably going to be swollen until December. But as long as I can swing and throw, I am going to try to play.”

And he certainly has that possessive down:
“Obviously it's a lot different coming from Atlanta. You are used to winning there mostly every day. We are playing with a bunch of 23-, 24- and 25-year old kids. You are going to go through your growing pains, and you are going to take your lumps.

“I think we are trying to find our identity a little bit here. I think it's going to take a little bit. Our front office and our fans have to be patient. We have just so many young guys who are just trying to find their way right now and get their foot in the door and trying to show everybody that they belong here.”

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some of these new guys could see Minute Maid Park before the end of the year

In Brian McTaggart's off-day article, the Astros are excited - of course - about all the prospects they got in the Keppinger, Pence, and Bourn deals. Some of them, among may be in whatever colors the Astros are in that day by the end of the year.

It's not beyond the realm of possibility that one or two of them get to the big leagues this year before the end of the season. We've clearly indicated we're prepared to be aggressive getting players to the big leagues, and there are a number of players in these deals who have a chance to get here, not only quickly, but quickly and play significant roles at the big league level."

Enrique Hernandez is set for three months of rehab

In a reply to the Legends Enrique Hernandez had surgery, and will be cleared to resume baseball activities in November.

Mike Jacobs more fun to deal with than Jim Crane

So Bud Selig and the other owners didn't even talk about Jim Crane and the sale of the Astros. They did, however, talk about a guy who got suspended for using HGH.

"we have a program in place and it did what it was supposed to do. We don't duck the issue."

Nope, the issue they are ducking - however - is the future of the Astros, which they are apparently still thinking about. Selig had no comment on that, but due diligence is being done.


Eddie's Farm: August 17

Oklahoma City (57-68)

Lucas Harrell pitched 7 shutout innings to lead the RedHawks to a 2-1 victory over
Reno. Harrell gave up just 2H and 2BB to go with 4K, throwing 63 of his 104 pitches for strikes. Mickey Storey threw .1 IP, 1H/1ER; Xavier Cedeno followed with 1H/0ER in .2 IP; and Juan Abreu finished up with 0H/0ER, 1K:2BB in 1 IP to earn the save.

Brett Wallace was 1x3 with 12B a night in which OKC scattered 5H and 5BB as a team. Wallace is now sporting a line of .346/.453/.423 in 14 games since his demotion, along with 4 2B, 9RBI, and 1SB!

Man of the Match: Lucas Harrell.

Corpus (45-76)

Eric Abreu cast the Hooks to a 7-1 victory over the Arkansas Travelers after Corpus jumped to an early 4-0 lead after two innings. Abreu went 8 IP giving up only 2H and 1R unearned along with 10K:1BB. He threw just 104 pitches with an impressive 73 for strikes. Josh Zeid pitched a perfect ninth going 1 IP 0H/0ER 1K:0BB.

Offensively, Kody Hinze had a good night going 3x4 with 1R/2RBI and 1BB. Adam Bailey was 1x4 with 1R/2RBI and hit his 1st HR for CC. Brandon Wikoff also did well going 2x3 with 1R and 1BB.

Man of the Match: Erick Abreu

Lancaster (43-79)

Lancaster’s troubles continued as they spotted Modesto a 6-0 lead after 5 to eventually lose 7-3, continuing their losing streak, now at 10 games. Jose Cisnero started and lasted 5 IP allowing 6 H, including 2HR, 6ER 9K:3BB. Kyle Greenwalt attempted to stop the bleeding and went 3.1 IP giving up 2H/1ER and 1K:1BB before turning the ball over to Colton Pitkin. Pitkin got the final 2 outs with a groundout and a flyout.

Austin Wates was 2x4 with 1R/1RBI. Erik Castro was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1K. Alex Todd had a good night going 2x4 with 2 2B and 1K. Jonathan Singleton continued to deliver, going 1x4 with 2RBI and 1K.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates

Lexington (51-70)

Lexington jumped on Stephen Strasburg early, but Hagerstown did the same to Luis Cruz and the Legends lose 9-6, getting swept by the Suns and dropping their 9th straight. Cruz got burned for 11H/5ER and 6K:3BB giving up 3 2B, 2 3B and 1 HR in 5 IP. Gabriel Garcia followed up with a strong outing in relief allowing 0H/0ER in 2 IP with 3K:0BB. Jason Chowning finished up the night with 0H and 1R unearned in 1 IP and 1K:1BB.

In his 2nd game with
Lexington since coming over from the Phillies to complete the Hunter Pence trade, Domingo Santana went 2x4 with 1R/3RBI. Telvin Nash added his 12th HR while going 2x4 with 1R/2RBI and 1 2B. Emilio King also went 2x4 with 1R and 2 2B. Delino DeShields went 0x3 but added 2BB with 2R and 1K

Man of the Match: Telvin Nash

Tri-City (26-32)

The Valley Cats returned to action last night but lost 3-1 to the Williamsport Crosscutters.

Tri-City SP Juri Perez lasted 5 IP giving up 7H/2ER with 4K:1BB. Garrett Bullock pitched the rest of the way, going 3IP with 2H/1ER 0K:BB.

At the plate, Ryan McCurdy went 2x4, Matthew Duffy went 2x4, and Miguel Arrendell went 2x4. Zach Johnson contributed the only run on his only hit of the night, a 2nd inning solo HR. Finally, Andrew Muren was 1x2 with 2BB.

Man of the Match: Zach Johnson

Greeneville (22-33)

Josh Magee continued his hot hitting by leading off the game with a HR, but it was all Pulaski after that as the G-Stros lose 13-1. Adrian Houser was your starter for Greeneville with 5H/6R/3ER and 2K:4BB in 2.1 IP. Paris Shewey came in next and lasted just .2 IP giving up 4H/3ER and 1K:0BB. Matison Smith then came on and went 1.2 IP 2H/2R/0ER and 2K:1BB. Zuloaga completed the 6th with .1 IP 0H 0K:0BB. Mark Jones finished out the last 3 IP with 3H/2ER 3K:1BB.

Josh Magee was 1x4 with 1HR but committed 3 errors on the night. Ariel Ovando went 0x4 with 2K and is now sporting a line of .262/.317/.408 with 11BB:40K in 130AB with Greeneville as a 17 year old.

Man of the Match: none

GCL Astros (16-32)


DSL Astros (24-40)

The Astros lost to the Mets 7-4 Wednesday. Starter Ambiorix De Leon went 1.1 IP 3H/2ER with 3K:1BB in the loss. Yonquelys Martinez pitched 2.2 IP with 1H/1R/0ER 0K:0BB. Alexander Martinez went 3 IP 4H/1R/0ER with 0K:0BB and Edgar Ferreira finished the game with 2 IP 1H/3ER 2K:3BB.

Mario Gonzalez was 2x4 at the plate with 1R/1RBI and 1BB. Juan Santana went 0x2 with 2R, 3BB, and 1SB.

Man of the Match: Juan Santana

Yes, Bud will comment on Crane. When? LATER.

Bud Selig will comment on the sale of the Astros - among other things - following the joint meeting of all 30 owners later today in Cooperstown.

Drayton deferred to Bud, who said:
"I'll talk about that tomorrow."

Barry Bloom:
The ownership meeting was canceled and the executive council then took up the subject. Steve Greenberg, a former MLB Deputy Commissioner under Fay Vincent, is an agent for Allen & Co. and is brokering the deal.

Greenberg and McLane went behind closed doors with the executive council and once left the meeting together to caucus with each other in an adjacent room. They then re-entered the meeting. Greenberg finally left for good about 15 minutes later.

When asked by several reporters for comment, Greenberg declined. McLane, who left the room several times, was asked if there had been any resolution to the issue.

"I don't know," he said once upon returning. "I'm going back in to find out."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Astros thinking about September Call-Ups, but not much

So the Astros have thought about September 1, and what that could mean for the expanded roster. But not much.

We've gone over some things. Nothing is set in stone yet. It's kind of in the first phase of talking about it a little bit. There has been some [talks], but it's been very minimal.

So let's help them out. Here's a list of players on the 40-Man roster that could feasibly see some time on the bench in Houston, getting free plane rides around the country, and living off DAT PER DIEM.

Juan Abreu
J.A. Happ
Lucas Harrell
Wesley Wright

J.R. Towles

Chris Johnson
Brett Wallace

Jordan Schafer is off on a rehab assignment, and will be activated whenever they damn well feel like it, so he's not necessarily a candidate. Anyone missing?

How badly do you want Carlos Lee gone?

Jayson Stark has an Indecent Proposal for you. Let's set the stage:

You hate Carlos Lee. I mean, he makes you so freaking angry that you can't stand it. You would kiss Ed Wade's beanbag if it meant moving Carlos Lee somewhere else.

But would you take Carlos Zambrano in return? That's what Stark says could happen, as the Cubs probably won't just release him - they'll want something in return (think Carlos Silva-for-Milton Bradley).

Amazingly, and this proves that Wade isn't the worst GM in baseball, Zambrano is more expensive than Carlos Lee in 2012.

If this happens - and it's doubtful that it would (remember, Jim Crane wants to pay the players $2.13/hour + tips in 2012) - I vote for routine public humiliation of Zambrano every 5th day.

Later on, Stark checks in on the Pence PTBNL: Domingo Santana:

"This guy has a chance to be Vlad Guerrero," one scout said. "He's still crude right now. But he has the highest ceiling imaginable. You put him in there with the other guys they got, and this has a chance to be like the [Bartolo] Colon deal was for Cleveland." To refresh your memory, the Indians got back Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips -- whoever they are -- when they shipped Colon to Montreal in 2002.


What's wrong with Brett Wallace?

Seriously. Let's take a look at something that's troubling me:

Wallace was drafted in 2008, where everyone knows that he knocked the cover off the ball at Arizona State. As part of three different systems, he did about the same thing. Let's look:


Alright. From 2008-2010, Wallace's XBH/Hit% was an overall 32.6%, and his XBH/PA rate was 8.8%.

We're talking about a ridiculously small sample size in 2011, but so far, through 60PAs, Wallace has three extra-base hits - all doubles - for a rate of 5.5%. If you count his three doubles in 17 hits, that's a 17.6% rate, almost half his career minor-league rate, and well under his Triple-A rate in 2010.

It could be that he's just not seeing the pitches, and pitchers are throwing around him - Wallace's walk rate is 13.3% of his PAs, where it was 7.4% from 2008-2010. But if Wallace is going to inspire the confidence needed to get regular playing time again, he's going to have to flash the power that made him so coveted in the first place.

Eddie's Farm: August 16

Oklahoma City (56-68)

OKC overcame three errors and J.A. Happ pitched just good enough against
Reno for the Redhawks to hang close and grab the walkoff win, 5-4, on a Robinson Cancel two out single to center. Happ threw 108 pitches and gave up 6H and 3BB in 5 IP, leaving after allowing 3ER. Wesley Wright threw 2IP, 1H/0ER; Doug Arguello followed with 0H/0ER, 1K:3BB in 1.1 IP; and Fernando Abad finished up with 0H/0ER, 1K:0BB in .2 IP to earn the W.

Anderson Hernandez was 2x4 with 1BB, 1R, and 1RBI on the night. Robinson Cancel was 2x5 with 1R, 12B, and 2RBI; Drew Locke went 1x3 with 1BB; and Oswaldo Navarro was 2x4 with 1BB.

Man of the Match: Robinson Cancel.

Corpus (44-76)


Lancaster (43-78)

Lancaster fell behind early after a 1st inning Modesto HR and couldn’t muster a threat, losing 7-0 and continuing their losing streak, now at 9 games. The Nuts kept the JetHawks at bay with a mixture of power (5 XBH including 3 HR), speed (4 SB), and dominating pitching (15 K). JetHawks SP Zach Grimmett lasted 4.2 innings allowing 6 H, including 2 of the 3 HR, 5ER 5K:1BB. Bobby Doran pitched the rest of the way with 4.1 IP 5H/1ER 3K:1BB

Austin Wates was 0x3 with 1BB and 2 OF assists; Andrew Simunic was 2x4. Jonathan Singleton was 0x3 with 1BB and 3K and Jio Mier got a hit and 2K.

Man of the Match: Bobby Doran

Lexington (51-69)

Lexington couldn’t overcome a 5 run 1st by Hagerstown and lost their 8th straight, 10-2. Foltynewicz got rocked for 8H/8ER and 0K:1BB giving up 1 2B, 2 3B and 2 HR in 2.1 IP. Alex Sogard followed up with a strong outing in relief allowing just 2H/0ER in 4.2 IP with 5K:0BB. Juan Minaya finished up the night with 1H/2ER in 1 IP and 0K:1BB.

Delino DeShields went 2x4 including 1 2B with 1R and 1RBI to provide almost all of the Legends offense for the night

Man of the Match: Alex Sogard/DDJ

Tri-City (26-31)


Greeneville (22-32)

Walkoffs weren’t just in abundance in the major leagues last night, unfortunately for the G-Stros, as they lose 4-3 on a walkoff solo HR. Francis Ramirez was your starter for Greeneville with 4H/2ER and 2K:0BB in 5 IP. Jeremiah Meiners came in next and lasted 2.1 IP before giving up the tying run in the 8th to finish with 2H/ 1ER and 3K:1BB. Zach Dando then came on and finished up the 8th before giving up the walkoff to the leadoff batter in the ninth, ending with .2 IP 1H/1ER and 1K:0BB

Josh Magee was 3x4 with 1R and 1SB. Jordan Scott went 1x3 with 1BB and 1SB and Chan Moon finished 1x3 with 1 3B and 1R/1RBI. Jordan Scott, who is from Greer SC in my neck of the woods, is hitting .340/.396/.416 with 10 SB and 17BB/26K in 48 games and 197AB for Greeneville.

Man of the Match: Josh Magee

GCL Astros (16-32)

The Astros used 5 pitchers in their 3-2 win over the Mets. Starter Frederick Tiburcio went 5IP 2H/0ER with 4K:2BB to earn the win. Jose Valdez pitched 1 IP of perfect ball 0K:0BB, followed by Nathan Pettus with 1 IP 1H/1ER 0K:0BB and Pedro Gomez .2 IP 1H/1ER 1K:1BB. Blake Ford went 1.1 IP 1H/0ER 3K:1BB for the save

Yonathan Mejia went 3x3 with 1 2B 2R/1RBI and 1BB. Alfredo Gonzalez contributed by going 2x4 with 1 3B, 1 2B and 1RBI and Jose Fernandez was 1x3 with 1BB 1R and 1SB.

Man of the Match: Tiburcio/Mejia.

DSL Astros (24-39)

The Astros jumped on the Brewers early with a 4 R 1st and cruised to a 6-1 victory. Starter Edison Frias went 6IP 4H/1ER with 5K:1BB in the victory. Felix Ramirez pitched 1 IP with 1H/0ER 1K:1BB. Victor Mesa finished the Brewers off while going 2 IP 2H/0ER 2K:0BB.

Jose Solano and Franny Polanco each went 2x4 as the Astros hit 9 singles to go with their 4 BB. Polanco also threw out a Brewer trying to steal 3rd during the 7th inning.

Man of the Match: Frias.

Maury Brown on why the approval was delayed

The Biz of Baseball's Maury Brown has a list of reasons as to why (perhaps) the vote on Jim Crane's approval was delayed by MLB.

Click the link for the full read, but the short list is:

*Crane's large list of owners
*Allegations of war profiteering and discrimination
*Backing out of the sale in 2008
*The amount of financing, in an effort to avoid a McCourt-like situation
*A move to the American League

Commissioner Selig isn’t going to call the vote until there is complete consensus. Word is that could be in 10 days, or two weeks, or it’s entirely possible (although unlikely) that Crane is never approved and McLane goes back to the drawing board.

I know some of you have been critical of Brown, but the fact is, he's brought the noise to Crane more than anybody else.

Springer just happy it's over

Here's some insight from the Hartford Courant on the George Springer signing process:

"You can say it was difficult or frustrating, but at the same time, it's not so bad. It's my dream. I'm just happy to get going."

Springer's adviser, Greg Genske, and the Astros exchanged proposals in mid-July and were several hundred thousand dollars apart. Negotiations did not begin again until Monday evening.

Meanwhile, Springer might spend time at two levels with Eddie's Farm, first getting acclimated in the GCL or Appalachian League, and finishing up with the NYPL.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G123: Cubs @ Astros

Or was it Astros @ Cubs. You wouldn't be able to tell from the crowd at MMP. But the Astros won in what is easily the best game of the year - 6-5.

*The loss snaps a seven-game losing streak, and a four-game losing streak to the Cubs.

*The four runs in the 9th were the second-most in the 9th inning all season.

*Brett Myers did what Brett Myers does: Throws seven innings, gave up 4ER, 5K:2BB, and yes, a homer - to Tyler Colvin. It's been since July 9 (seven starts) that Myers hasn't recorded at least 18 outs, and he's given up 12 hits in his last 14.2IP.

*Wilton Lopez allowed 2H/1ER in 0.2IP - it's the third time in his last four appearances that he has allowed two hits.

*And congratulations to Aneury Rodriguez, who got something he couldn't get in eight starts - his first ML win.

*Now. On to the drama. The Astros weren't doing much in the way of "hits." Down 5-2 going into the 9th, it didn't look good. When trailing going into the 9th inning, the Astros were 3-73.

*Paredes lined out to left, Shuck singles to right and then advanced on a wild pitch. Barmes singled to left. Downs - hitting for Quintero - walked. In 38 pinch-hit plate appearances, Matt Downs has seven walks. In 86 plate appearances as a starter, he has six walks.

*And then Brian Bogusevic happened. He got down in the count too quickly - swinging strikes on the first two pitches, then a foul, then two balls. On the sixth pitch of the AB, Bogusevic deposited Marmol's pitch 430 feet away to left center for a walk-off grand slam.

*It was Bogusevic's 2nd career homer. And in 6.1IP against the Astros this season, he has allowed 10H/6ER, 10K:5BB.

*Bogusevic's homer was the 3rd grand slam that Marmol has allowed (first since September 6, 2008), and the 3rd homer at Minute Maid Park courtesy of Marmol. Marmol has also allowed three homers this season - one of those to Hunter Pence on May 31.

*Anyhow, Jimmy Paredes had two doubles and an RBI - he has multi-hit games in four of his last ten games (nine starts).

*Shuck (two runs scored) and Barmes (BB) also had two hits each. 1-4 in the lineup (Bourgeois, Altuve, Martinez, and Lee) were 1x14, 2BB. 5-8 in the lineup (Paredes, Shuck, Barmes, Quintero) went 6x13, BB.

*Man of the Match: Are you kidding? Bogusevic.

*Goat of the Game: In too good a mood. No Goat today.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

/clinks glass with spoon

Okay. After talking with your county leadership team, the following has been decided:

*Astros County is taking applications for the following positions:
-County Clerk
-Juvenile Court Clerk (Eddie's Farm)

The Wife has noticed that I've been fairly downtrodden lately, and made the valid point that Astros County has been around for .375 of our marriage. "I didn't let you do this for almost three years for you to arbitrarily shut it down for no good reason," she said.

So, Astros County will continue to exist, with some new leadership. The County Clerk and Juvenile Court Clerk have resigned their positions. If you are interested in the above positions, send an email to astroscounty (at) with an example - using last night's loss to the Cubs as a reference point. Astros County will continue once these positions have been filled. In the meantime, regular posting will begin again, probably tomorrow.

Thank you for your attention.