Saturday, August 27, 2011

Eddie's Farm: August 26

Oklahoma City (62-72)

OKC mounted an unbelievable comeback with 9 runs in the 8th to win 10-5. Xavier Cedeno got hit around for 4 runs in the first, but settled down after that to finish with 5 IP while allowing 10H/4ER with 4K:0BB.

1B-Brett Wallace continued his powerless assault on AAA pitchers, going 3x5 with 1R/2RBI and 0 XBH. 3B-Chris Johnson had the big go-ahead HR during the 8th and finished 1x4 with 1R/3RBI.

Man of the Match: Brett Wallace

Corpus Christi (48-82)

Corpus lost both 7 inning games of Friday’s doubleheader by one run, dropping the first game 2-1 and the second game 3-2.

In game one, starter Ross Seaton went 4.1 IP allowing 5H/1ER with 5K:4BB. Arcenio Leon couldn’t pitch out of a self-inflicted bases loaded no out jam in the final inning and finished the night with 2 IP allowing 1H/1R/0ER with 0K:0BB.

RF-Jon Gaston was the Hooks offense for the game, going 1x3 with 1HR.

Man of the Match: Jon Gaston

The second game was started by Josh Zeid who went 2 IP allowing 1H/2R/1ER with 2K:1BB. Blake King took the loss with 2 IP giving up 1H/1ER with 1K:2BB.

The Hooks again went with a one man offense in the second game. This time 1B-Kody Hinze was picked, and he went 2x3 with a 2R HR. Hinze was a 46th round selection in 2005 by the Pirates as a draft-and-follow pick, but didn’t play professionally until joining the Astros organization as a non-drafted free agent in 2008.

Man of the Match: Kody Hinze

Lancaster (49-81)

Lancaster won 9-3 against the Lake Elsinore Storm. Starter Andrew Robinson went 5.1 IP allowing 6H/3R/2ER with 5K:1BB to get the win.

At the plate, the JetHawks convinced Joe Boo to wake up their bats. SS-Jio Mier was 3x5 with 1 2B and 2R/1RBI and 1 SB. CF-Austin Wates was 1x5 with 3RBI and 2 SB. 1B-Erik Castro went 3x5 with 1R/2RBI. C-Frederico Hernandez was 3x5 with 1R.

Man of the Match: Jiovanni Mier

Lexington (54-75)

The Legends lost 7-5 to the West Virginia Power. Mike Foltynewicz got knocked around in 4.1 IP, giving up 7H/7R/5ER with 4K:2BB.

3B-Mike Kvasnicka went 2x4 with 1 2B and 1HR with 2R/1RBI but committed his 29th error. C-Ben Heath was 1x3 with 1HR and 1BB. SS-Ben Orloff went 2x3 with 1 2B and 1RBI. CF-Emilio King was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1R, adding 1 SB as well.

Man of the Match: Mike Kvasnicka

Tri-City (31-36)

Tri-City finally quit playing
Brooklyn, and beat the Lowell Spinners 8-4. Starter Jamaine Cotton had a good start, going 5 IP allowing 3H/1R/0ER with 3K:1BB. One of those strikeouts was against a rehabbing J.D. Drew. Cotton also broke Drew’s bat on a flyout to left in their second time squaring off. Mitchell Lambson tried to give it away, though, before the ValleyCats bats gave him the win. Lambson went 1 IP giving up 2H/3R/2ER with 1K. Dayan Diaz went 3 IP with 0H/0ER and 3K:2BB to earn his first save.

CF-George Springer started his professional career, going 0x3 with 1K before giving way to Justin Gominsky in the bottom of the 5th. Gominsky went 1x1 with 1 2B, 2RBI, and 1BB. At DH, C-Bubby Williams was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1R. LF-Chris Epps was 1x3 with 1 2B, 1 BB and 2R/1RBI.

Man of the Match: Jamaine Cotton

Greeneville (25-39)

Greeneville lost 3-2 to the Burlington Royals. Francis Ramirez got the start, going 4.2 IP allowing 2H/3R/2ER with 2K/1BB for the loss.

3B-Darwin Rivera was 2x4 with 1 2B and 2R. RF-Ariel Ovando was 1x4 with 1 2B and 1RBI. LF-Jordan Scott went 1x3 with 1 2B and 1 BB.

Man of the Match:
Darwin Rivera

GCL Astros (20-34)

The Astros finished out their season with a dramatic win, beating the Mets 1-0 on a walkoff double. Michael Feliz started for the Astros, with 5 IP allowing 3H/0ER with 4K. Blake Ford got the win after 1 IP allowing 1H. Ford has pitched well since being the 44th round pick in this year’s draft. He is 4-3 with a 1.90 ERA, 8 saves, and 20K:6BB in 23.2 IP.

SS-Jose Fernandez was the walkoff hero, as he went 2x4 with 1 2B and 1RBI.

Man of the Match: Michael Feliz

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bud Norris: Once a thrower, now a pitcher

Bud Norris' hometown paper (the Marin Independent-Journal) has an article about his "homecoming" to northern California. Everyone is proud, of course, including his mom - who wasn't sure if Bud set "unattainable" goals for himself:

"We're very proud of him. He's worked extremely hard to get where he's at. He set goals for himself that I sometimes thought were unattainable. But he's always attained his goals and he never ceases to amaze me with his accomplishments."

Doug Brocail:
"Here's the thing: I know how good Bud can be. I don't think still at this time Bud knows how good he can be. Bud is a kid that has No. 1 (starter's) stuff. And one day when he realizes it, he's going to be phenomenal."

Live Chat!

Live Chat at 3pm!

Friedman "likely to stay" in Tampa

I know some of you don't like it when we link to anything from Jon Heyman, but this is an interesting article on the candidates for the Cubs' GM.

On Andrew Friedman:
Friedman seems likely to stay, but if he goes somewhere, maybe his hometown Houston Astros are more likely.

Eddie's Farm: August 25

Oklahoma City (61-72)

OKC won 7-6 in 10 innings. Dallas Keuchel shut down the Iowa Cubs with 7 IP allowing 4H/1ER with 3K:0BB. Jordan Lyles struggled in his return to OKC, lasting 1.1 IP while giving up 5H/4ER with 1K:1BB. Jeff Fulchino got the win in relief, throwing .2 IP allowing 1H/0ER.

1B-Brett Wallace was a force for the RedHawks, as he continued his hot hitting going 4x5 with 2 2B and 2R/3RBI. 2B-Oswaldo Navarro delivered the walkoff single as he went 1x5 on the night. Wallace is hitting .359/.465/.462 with 15BB:19K since his demotion, but has yet to hit a HR for OKC through 78 AB.

Man of the Match: Brett Wallace

Corpus Christi (48-80)

Postponed, to be played as part of a double header today.

Off Day Spotlight: OF-Adam Bailey

Adam was the 23rd round pick in the 2010 draft out of the Univ. of Nebraska and 23 years old. He started the year at Lexington, where he hit .282/.329/.494 with 16 HR and 19BB:57K in 312 AB and was named a Sally League Mid-Season All-Star before being promoted to Lancaster. In his month with the JetHawks, Bailey hit .289/.316/.430 with another 5 HR and 5BB:23K in 128 AB. Since his promotion to Corpus, he’s hitting .326/.333/.500 with 1 HR and 1BB:7K in 46 AB. His combined line on the season is .288/.326/.477 with 22 HR and 25BB:86K in 486 AB across the three levels. Bailey also has an astounding 21 OF assists this season. He doesn’t strike out too much for a power hitter and if he can improve his BB rate I think he has a good chance of continuing his quick rise through the system.

Lancaster (48-81)

Lancaster gave up 9 runs in the 8th inning to lose to the 66ers 14-6. Starter Robert Donovan went 7 IP allowing 8H/5ER with 2K:1BB. Then three pitchers failed to record a single out as 8 straight 66ers reached based to start the 8th. Michael Ness gave up 2H/2ER, Colton Pitkin allowed 1H/1ER, and Kirk Clark gave up 2H/4ER with 2BB. All with 0 IP.

At the plate, CF-Austin Wates was 2x4 with 1R/1RBI as the DH. 3B-Jonathan Meyer went 1x3 with 1R/2RBI on a HR.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Meyer

Lexington (54-74)

The Legends won 5-4 in 10 innings, their second extra inning game in as many nights. Tommy Shirley got the start but ended his scoreless innings streak, going 2 IP with 1H/3ER and 2K:4BB. Alex Sogard stepped up HUGE in relief, throwing 5 IP giving up 4H/1ER with an amazing 10K:1BB. Gabriel Garcia finished out the game with 3 IP only allowing 1BB/0H/0ER with 3K to get the win. Sogard, whose brother Eric recently hit his first ML HR as an IF for the A’s, has a 4.27 ERA with 103K:24BB in 97 IP for
Lexington this season. His ERA may be inflated some by luck, as his FIP is currently 3.55.

RF-Domingo Santana continued his fireworks show, going 2x4 with 2R/2RBI and 1HR, his 4th in 9 games with Lexington. 2B-Delino DeShields was 2x5 with 2R/1RBI and hit his 8th HR of the season.

Man of the Match: Alex Sogard

Tri-City (30-36)

The Valley Cats lost to
Brooklyn by the familiar score of 7-4. Four of the last five games against Brooklyn have ended 7-4!

Starter Nick Tropeano went 4 IP allowing 3H/1R/0ER with 7K:2BB . Travis Blankenship took the loss, going 1 IP giving up 3H/4R/1ER with 1K:1BB. Tropeano, the 5th round pick in this year’s draft, is 2-2 with a 2.61 ERA and 56K:19BB in 48.1 IP while only allowing 1 HR this season.

1B-Rafael Valenzuela was 2x5. RF-Drew Muren was 2x3 with 2R/1RBI and 1 BB.

Man of the Match: Drew Muren

Greeneville (25-38)

Greeneville lost 7-2 to the Burlington Royals. The Astros went halvsies on pitching duties, as starter Chris Lee went 4 IP allowing 2H/2R/1ER with 5K:2BB. Luis Ordosgoitti gave the other 4 IP giving up 6H/5ER with 6K:2BB.

2B-Josh Magee went 2x4 with 1R. RF-Ariel Ovando was 1x4 with 1 2B and 1R.

Man of the Match: Josh Magee

GCL Astros (19-34)

Game Cancelled due to rain. The last game of the season is scheduled for
noon today against the Mets, assuming there’s not more rain.

Off Game Spotlight: 3B-Kyle Redinger

Redinger, the 11th round pick in the 2010 draft, has struggled in his second go-round in the GCL. He’s hitting just .151/.244/.202 through 135 plate appearances, with 10BB:42K. He did get 5 HBP, so that’s something. His defensive numbers are identical to last season, as he’s committed 10 errors in 102 chances.

After two poor seasons with the GCL Astros, I don’t see Redinger making an impact in our farm system.

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

Schafer will do anything to be a star

Here's an article from Jordan Schafer's home paper about how he wants to be the face of the Astros:

"It's not fun being traded from a playoff team to a team that's not in contention. I'm a guy who wants to win. I really don't do well with not winning, so hopefully I can become one of the faces of the (Houston) franchise, whereas it would be a lot harder making your mark in Atlanta."


What in the world...

Courtesy of Steve Campbell, we read about Mills' logic in using Angel Sanchez as a pinch-hitter against the Rockies instead of J.D. Martinez:

"If there was a man on first, (Martinez) was going to hit. If somebody was in scoring position, it was going to be Sanchez. J.D. just hasn’t pinch-hit here at the major league level. Putting him in that role, expecting him to get a hit, I don’t know if that’s really fair. Sanchez has done a really good job getting some big pinch hits for us."

This makes not one bit of sense to me. First of all, as a pinch-hitter in 2011, Sanchez is 8x29 with no extra-base hits, and a .276/.344/.276 line. With a runner on 2nd, Sanchez - in 35 PAs - has six hits (one homer), and a .207/.303/.310 line. In the last 28 days, Sanchez is also 5x23 with no extra-base hits. In fact, it's been 72 plate appearances since Sanchez has gotten an extra-base hit, and he has three hits since July 30 (23 PAs).

J.D. Martinez, in the lat 28 days, is hitting .308/.347/.582. No, he doesn't have the "pinch-hitting experience" (whatever the hell that means) - in his only pinch-hit appearance, he ripped an RBI double. Moreover, Martinez has a .440/.483/.960 line with RISP. Is it a small sample size? Of course. But Sanchez is in the same boat.

I'm curious about these "big pinch-hits" that Sanchez has picked up for the Astros. We can debate the merits of the RBI another time, but that can only be what I assume Mills means. He had an RBI single as a pinch-hitter in Game 85 against the Red Sox. And one against the Pirates on May 8. So that's two games where Sanchez drove in a run as a pinch-hitter, and he's only gone on to score three times as a pinch-hitter.

If you want Martinez to get the experience where he could provide a bat off the bench in the (ideally) rare case that he isn't in the lineup, maybe when you're 40 games under .500 is a good place to gather that experience.

Flowery, sobering words about George Springer

Here's an interesting article about 1st Round pick George Springer from Mark McGuire:

Springer is a star-in-waiting for a franchise desperate for merely decent players, a five-tool outfielder who at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds can still fill out without losing speed. He got introduced last Friday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, reportedly to a nice ovation. But the baseball draft is not the same experience for fans of the NFL, NBA or even NHL: There is no instant gratification. You get to open your Christmas present, but have to put it back on the shelf for a year or two or five. Sometimes you never get to play with it at all.

Slow down, Astros fans. If everything goes perfectly with Springer, maybe you see him in 2013. Maybe later. Maybe not at all.

This is pretty fantastic

Courtesy of Sully Baseball, this really pisses me off. Why, you ask? Because we didn't think of it first.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eddie's Farm: August 24

I apologize for missing yesterday’s recap and the abbreviated report today. My mom kicked me out of the basement Work’s been crazy.

Oklahoma City (60-72)

OKC lost 12-7 to
Iowa Wednesday. Starter Ryan Rowland-Smith went 5.2 IP giving up 9H/7ER with 8K:2BB in the loss. Rowland-Smith is 2-9 on the season with OKC, with a 6.08 ERA and 80K:36BB in 93.1 IP

SS-Anderson Hernandez continued his hot hitting, going 3x5 with 1HR and 2R/2RBI. Hernandez’s hitting steak is now at 22 games. He’s hitting .306/.372/.410 on the year with 21SB/12CS and 50BB:74K in 468AB.

Man of the Match: Anderson Hernandez

Corpus (48-80)

The Hooks lost to the RockHounds 3-2 on a walk-off 2 run double. Jarred Cosart continued to look good at AA, going 6 IP allowing 4H/1ER with 2K:3BB. Jason Stoffel took the loss, giving up 2H/2ER and 2BB without retiring a batter in the 9th. Cosart is 0-1 through 5 starts with CC with a 2.96ERA and 13K:8BB in 27.1 IP.

2B-Brandon Wikoff has been hot lately, and last night was no different. Wikoff was 2x2 with a solo HR. Wikoff is now hitting .310/.403/.356 on the season with 45BB:27K in 306AB.

Man of the Match: Brandon Wikoff

Lancaster (48-80)

Lancaster beat the Inland Empire 66ers (what a team name) 5-1. Starter Wes Musick gave a strong 5.1 IP allowing 7H/0ER with 4K:0BB. Pat Urckfitz struck out the final two batters in the ninth for the save. “Funky” Musick is now 3-5 with Lancaster with a 4.43 ERA and 42K:15BB in 44.2 IP.

At the plate, CF-Austin Wates was 2x4 with 1R and 1SB. 1B-Jonathan Singleton went 1x3 with 1R/1RBI and 2BB. Wates is hitting .304/.369/.413 with 22SB/6CS, 6 HR, and 45BB:77K in 480AB.

Man of the Match: Wes Musick

Lexington (53-74)

The Legends lost 12-8 in 10 innings. Starter Carlos Quevedo pitched 4.2 IP giving up 9H/6R/5ER with 5K:2BB and 2HR, including a grand slam. Brian Streilein took the loss, throwing 1IP allowing 3H/4ER with 1K:2BB and giving up another grand slam. Quevedo is 8-5 on the season with a 4.17 ERA and 104K:17BB in 144.2 IP. He has also allowed 21HR this year.

RF-Domingo Santana has been outstanding with the Legends, and he went 2x4 with 1 2B, 1HR with 1R/2RBI and 1BB. SS-Ben Orloff was 2x5 with 1HR and 2R/3RBI. CF-Emilio King was in the zone at the plate, going 5x5 with 1 2B, 1HR, and 1R/3RBI. Since joining the Astros organization, Santana is hitting .344/.432/.688 with 3HR and 4BB:6K through 8 games and 32AB.

Man of the Match: Emilio King

Tri-City (30-35)

The Valley Cats beat
Brooklyn 7-4 with a 5 run 8th inning.

Starter Kyle Hallock gave 5 IP allowing 4H/2R/1ER with 6K:3BB. Joan Belliard got the win in relief, going 2.1 IP with 2H/0ER and 1K:1BB. 10th round pick Hallock has started his pro career in good fashion. He’s just 2-4, but sports a sterling 1.82 ERA with 53K:14BB in 54.1 IP.

SS-Jacke Healey provided the big shot of the night, going 1x3 with the go-ahead grand slam. LF-Neiko Johnson went 1x5 and hit the 1st HR of his pro career. Healey has struggled in his second attempt at Tri-City, hitting just .125/.232/.242 this season.

Man of the Match: Jacke Healey

Greeneville (25-37)

Greeneville couldn’t overcome a 3 run 1st inning by the Blue Jays, losing 5-2. Starter Tyson Perez went 5 IP giving up 4H/3ER with 4K:3BB in the loss. On the season Perez is 2-4 with a 5.40 ERA and 42K:12BB in 50 IP, allowing 10HR.

At the plate, LF-Jordan Scott continued to show a good bat, as he went 2x4 with 2RBI. At
Greeneville this season, Scott is hitting .346/.397/.433 with 18BB:33K in 231 AB.

Man of the Match: Jordan Scott

GCL Astros (19-34)

The Astros lost 5-4 in a 7 inning game Wednesday.

Brandon Culbreath got the start, but lasted just 1.2 IP while giving up 5H/4ER with 1K:2BB. It was Culbreath’s first start of the season. He’s 0-2 with the Astros with a 12.71 ERA and 4K:7BB, though he’s had just 5.2 IP in his pro career.

1B-Justin Shults was 1x4 with 1HR and 1R/2RBI. C-Kenny Diaz was 1x1 with 1R and 2BB. Shults is hitting .228/.318/.386 in his first pro season with 21BB:50K and 5HR in 171AB.

Man of the Match: Justin Shults

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

How the Wandy talks with the Rockies didn't go

Courtesy of the Denver Post we get a glimpse into the back-and-forth between the Astros and Rockies over Wandy. Here's the summary:

1. The Astros wanted the Rockies to take all of Wandy's contract.

2. And for the Rockies to give up Double-A catcher Willin Rosario, or Double-A LHP Drew Pomeranz (whom the Rockies just picked up for Ubaldo Jimenez).

3. The Rockies agreed to #1, but countered with 28-year old RHP Jason Hammel.

4. In the end, the Rockies balked at Houston's asking price and the Astros, in full-scale rebuilding mode, weren't willing to bail on Rodriguez's contract.

Everybody's Got Jokes

As an accountant, I frequently take time to read the Wall Street Journal *yawn*. In today's Personal Journal section, there's a whimsical article remarking on how talented the LLWS teams are, particularly on defense. I was thoroughly enjoying reading Jason Gay's take on the subject. And then I saw it.

If you recall one thing from a couple years in Little League, it's the importance of hitting the cutoff man. How many times did your coach scream it? Not so simple when you're 11 years old. Not so simple if you're a Houston Astro, either.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wandy pulled back

Well, Wandy isn't going to be a Rockie. Richard Justice says that Ed Wade has pulled Wandy back from waivers.

So we get to do this again in the off-season.

Shuck to OKC

In order to make room for J.A. Happ, J.B. Shuck has been optioned to Oklahoma City, thus blowing a great chance to DFA Jason Michaels.

Ed Wade doesn't expect Wandy to be traded

Courtesy of Adam Wexler, Ed Wade said on Sports Talk 790:

"I expect Wandy to be pitching for the Astros five days from now."

Escalona out, Abreu up

The Astros have placed Sergio Escalona on the DL with elbow tendinitis and called up Juan Abreu from OKC.

So of the four players the Braves traded for Michael Bourn, Abreu is the second to see time with the ML team. And he's the third player from the spate of deadline trades to see the majors (Sosa, Schafer, Abreu).

Talks with Rockies "stalled"

The Denver Post's Troy E. Renck says that talks between the Astros and Rockies have stalled, because Wade wants the Rockies to pick up the tab on Wandy, and give a prospect - catcher Willin Rosario - or a top young pitcher.

The Rockies don't want to do that, naturally.

Colorado is prepared to take on Rodriguez's contract but is reluctant to give up a young player as well.

Rosario is 22 years old, and in 93 games at Double-A Tulsa, is hitting .253/.286/.458 with 16 walks in 388 PAs.

Want to see the Astros' scouting report on Johan Santana?

Mike Silva's New York Baseball Digest has a photographed copy of the Astros' 1995 scouting report on Johan Santana. Looks like A. Reiner did a pretty good job.

Happ to pitch tomorrow

Maybe you already saw this, but J.A. Happ is scheduled to pitch tomorrow in Colorado.

Ed Wade:
We had already determined it was going to happen. Certainly the reason J.A. went down there was to work on some things, get some things straightened out, so the fact he had the type of outing he did in Sunday gives us greater comfort that the decision we had already made was correct. If he’d given up nine runs in three innings, we probably would have still made the move because it was in Jordan Lyles’ best interests and our best interests.

Dave Cameron comes to Wandy's aid

Nice post at FanGraphs by Dave Cameron on Wandy:

Jon Heyman noted that only “some fool” would put in a claim, given the amount of money he’s still owed on his contract. This isn’t to pick on Heyman, as he’s hardly been the only writer talking about Rodriguez’s burdensome contract...Through it all, I’ve sat here and scratched my head trying to figure out if we’re all talking about the same Wandy Rodriguez here, because the one that I’m aware of is actually a pretty good pitcher.

Rockies players would love to have Wandy

And who wouldn't? But the Rockies are especially excited.

Carlos Gonzalez:
"The message is clear: We're still alive. If we get Wandy, it's going to be great for us. He's a really good pitcher. He's a competitor, and I'm sure if he comes here he would happy and ready to help us."

Jason Giambi:
"If we get him, we would go from being very depleted in our pitching to starting to have an abundance, which is always nice in this game."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Lancaster Off Day Spotlight - Andrew Robinson

RHP Andrew Robinson is this year's Astros County Adopt-a-Player, so he should be familiar to those who have been following us here for a while. The Astros drafted Robinson in the 12th round in 2010, and Astros County had a quick report on him then.

So, how has he done so far? The Astros appear to be working on stretching him out to start after he spent his college career at Georgia Tech as a reliever. Early results were promising in 2010 at Tri-City, where he posted a 2.83 ERA in 54 IP that included 7 starts in 20 appearances. He showed a 4.6K/BB ratio to go with a 2.2GB/FB rate and a minuscule .33 HR/9. While these results led some to hope Andrew would have a breakout season this year, that hasn't been the case.

Andrew has had a rough season and has seen his stats slide as a result. Including a week long stint at Corpus where he got in 3.1 IP, Andrew's ERA jumped to 6.21 this year, while his K/BB rate slid to 2.4 and his GB/FB ratio has fallen to 1.7. While those numbers might not have hurt as much as a reliever, when you combine them with an opponents BA of .319 and a HR rate of 1.4/9 this year you get a recipe for many rough outings, especially as a starter. His FIP at Lancaster this season is 4.96, which indicates some of this may be bad luck, but at 23 years old, Andrew needs to get back on track next season to get himself back on the radar.

Wandy Situation is just another case of the Astros' terrible timing

One day before the Mitchell Report was released, Ed Wade traded five prospects to the Orioles for Miguel Tejada - who was, 24 hours later, then named in said report.

This is worse. Because at least the Astros got something back in return from the Orioles. Tejada posted a 6.2 WAR in 2008 and 2009. Luke Scott had a 6.1 WAR from 2008-2010. You can validly question the wisdom of trading for Tejada, but from an offensive standpoint, it sort of worked. It would have worked a lot better if the Astros were a good-hitting shortstop away from the playoffs. But they weren't, and that's why it got panned.

But if the reports are true - that the Rockies will not want to trade anyone at all for Wandy thanks to the raise he got less than eight months ago - then you can expect Wade to pull him back. If he lets Wandy walk with no return, then it's time for Wade to go - as he clearly has no sense of time or space.

With Tejada, Wade was just a hair too early. With Wandy (and Myers), he was far, far too late.

Developing story: Wandy Claimed

Via Ken Rosenthal (with a captip to MLBTR), Wandy has been claimed by an unknown team.

The Astros now have three options:

1. Trade him to the unknown team
2. Pull him back off waivers
3. Just let him go, a la Alex Rios.

It's going to be an interesting few hours in Astroland. Just for the record, if Wade lets Wandy go without getting anything back, I'm fully in favor of his departure, even if George Postolos gets a team of monkeys to make personnel decisions.

(Updates go from most-recent to least-recent, top to bottom)

Update: The Rockies have been awarded the claim. There has to be some sort of resolution by noon on Thursday. However, Colorado won't want to give up anything to take on Wandy's contract, since he's making so damn much money. More on this later.

Here's guessing that Ed Wade waits until close to the Thursday deadline to do anything, as Wandy is scheduled to pitch against Colorado tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon, and probably wouldn't appreciate Wandy dominating the Astros lineup in a Rockies uniform.


Update: It's not the Nationals, according to Rosenthal.

Update: Jerry Crasnick notes that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has called a press conference for 3:30pm. The Blue Jays were allegedly in on Wandy at the deadline. However, there's been a trade between the D'Backs and Blue Jays.

Updated Update: Could be the Nationals, according to Buster Olney. "Early speculation among rival teams is that WASH is the team that placed claim on Wandy Rodriguez; they need a veteran SP for '12 rotation.

Update: The claiming team "doesn't appear" to be the Yankees, or the Diamondbacks.

This post is rated "R" for depression

Baseball Prospectus has a good look at the team-by-team compensation in 2011.

Of note:

*Carlos Lee takes up 24.45% of the Astros' total payroll.
*Roy Oswalt is the 4th-highest paid player on the 2011 Astros.
*Lee and Oswalt account for a third of the payroll.
*The Astros dumped just under $13m in payroll from 2010 to 2011, and their payroll is $18.2m less than the average.
*11.05% of the 2011 Astros' payroll is used on players who do not play for the 2011 Astros.
*The average salary of the 2011 Astros is $2.589m (among 30 players). Take out Carlos Lee, and the average salary is $2.024m.
*The total salary of the active roster seems to be (double-check if you like) $43.733m. Carlos Lee, Brett Myers, and Wandy Rodriguez make up 78.9% of the active payroll ($34.5m). That has been worth 3.7 WAR.
*In 2010, the Astros paid Brett Myers $750K per 1.0 WAR. They've paid him $5.53m for 0.4 WAR so far in 2011

GCL Off Day Spotlight - Javaris Reynolds

Left-handed CF Javaris Reynolds was selected by the Astros in the 7th round of this year's draft out of King HS in Tampa Bay, FL. He signed quickly and was able to get in a full season in the Gulf Coast League. Reynolds is described as athletic but raw, with above average speed. His senior year he hit .403/.560/.528 with 0HR along with 23BB:6K and 27SB.

Through Sunday's game, Reynolds is hitting .235/.357/.255 with 19BB:39K and 15SB in 22 attempts.

The Astros seem to have a lot of this type of OF in the system, and if Reynolds is going to standout he'll probably need to develop a little more power. The fact that he signed quickly and was able to get almost 50 pro games under his belt this season can only help his development, but he's still too far away to get any indication of his true potential.

Someone is coming up

Deep in Steve Campbell's notebook, we see that someone needs to start Thursday, and it won't be anyone currently with the Big League team.

Manager Brad Mills indicated he’d reveal who will step into the Thursday spot in the starting rotation by Wednesday. He indicated it likely wouldn’t be any of the pitchers on hand, which would keep righthander Aneury Rodriguez in the bullpen.

So who could it be?

Well, it won't be Andy Van Hekken, because he's pitching at 12:05 today in Iowa. It also won't be Lucas Harrell, because he pitched last night.

One possibility is lefty - and Man-Crush Recipient Dallas Keuchel. Thursday would be his regular starting day, anyway, after throwing for OKC last Saturday. But it's not like he has dominated at Triple-A. Far from it. In four starts for OKC, Keuchel has thrown 16.1IP, 34H/23ER, 7K:8BB - but his last two starts have yielded 11IP, 16H/5ER, 6K:4BB. That's not great, but it's not his first two starts, either (5.1IP, 18H/18ER, 1K:4BB).

I like Keuchel, he's a big lefty, and to use the most anti-SABR term possible, he just looks like a ball player. I don't know that the Astros would want to use up an option for a spot start - but it wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility for the Astros to just throw him every 5th day from here on out, just because. Keuchel has also thrown 144IP this season - 30.1IP short of his 2010 total.

Of course, it could also be J.A. Happ. I forgot about him.

Tampa Bay doesn't want Friedman to leave

GM Media Darling Andrew Friedman is drawing interest, but Tampa doesn't want him to leave.

It seems as though he'll have two options: finish the rebuilding of the Astros, or help the Cubs win the World Series.

Martin Fennelly:
I happen to think Friedman loves what he has in Tampa Bay, his working relationships with owner Stu Sternberg, team president Matt Silverman, and manager Maddon.

Power Rankings Are Serious Business

Beyond the Box Score and Fangraphs both updated their power rankings today, and predictably the Astros are 30th in each. Not much new information is presented in either, but here are the pertinent quotes for us.

Carlos Lee leads the team in home runs, which wouldn't be so bad if he was still a 30+ HR guy. Unfortunately he only has 11.

It's always nice to see immediate results from a trace, and that is what the Astros are getting now that Henry Sosa— who they netted in the Jeff Keppinger deal — is in the ‘Stros starting rotation. The results haven’t been great, but they haven’t been awful (2:1 K/BB in three starts) and if nothing else, Houston gets to take an extended look to see if he can contribute next year.

Also among those the Astros are interested in taking an extended look at: Jason Michaels. (read in your best SNL Gov. David Patterson voice)

Eddie's Farm: August 22

Oklahoma City (60-70)

OKC lost 4-0 to
Iowa Monday. Starter Lucas Harrell went 7 IP giving up just 4H/1ER with 4K:2BB. Xavier Cedeno was victimized by a pair of errors by SS-Anderson Hernandez as Cedeno threw .2 IP with 2H/3R/1ER and 1K:0BB. Jose “Juan” Valdez got the last .1 IP allowing 0H/0ER.

SS-Anderson Hernandez was 2x4 on the night but committed 3 errors. 1B-Brett Wallace was 1x3 with 1 2B and 1BB:1K.

Man of the Match: Lucas Harrell

Corpus (47-79)

The Hooks lost to the Cardinals 4-1. Erick Abreu went 6 IP allowing 9H/3ER with 4K:0BB in the loss. Jonnathan Aritil was next and went 1 IP with 0H/0ER and 2K:0BB. Arcenio
Leon finished out the evening with 2 IP giving up 1H/1R/0ER with 1K:1BB.

RF-Jon Gaston had a good day both in the field and at the plate, going 2x4 with 1 2B and 2 OF assists. 2B-Brandon Wikoff reached base all five times up, going 2x2 with 3BB and scoring the Hooks only run.

Man of the Match: Brandon Wikoff

Lancaster (46-80)


Off-Day Spotlight to follow

Lexington (52-73)

The Legends couldn’t overcome a 4R 3rd by
Asheville and fell 5-4 to the Tourists. Luis Cruz went 5 IP allowing 6H/5R/4ER with 6K:2BB while giving up 2HR. The bullpen managed to stop the bleeding, as Gabriel Garcia had 3 IP with 3H/0ER and 1K:1BB. Brian Streilein had 1 IP with 1H/0ER and 2K.

RF-Domingo Santana continued his strong showing since the trade, going 1x4 with a 2R HR. 1B-Telvin Nash went 2x3 with 1R, 1BB.

Man of the Match: Domingo Santana

Tri-City (28-35)

The Valley Cats split a doubleheader against
Brooklyn Monday, winning the first game 7-4 before dropping the second 3-2.

In the first game, Jamaine Cotton got the start and threw 3 IP allowing 6H/2ER with 3K:0BB. Dayan Diaz went the next 4 IP giving up 4H/1ER with 4K:1BB to get the win. Travis Blankenship threw the final 2 IP allowing 1H/1ER on a solo HR with 1K.

At the plate C-Bubby Williams had a big night, going 2x4 with 1 3B and 1HR with 2R/2RBI. 3B-Matt Duffy went 2x4 with 1 2B and 2RBI.

Man of the Match: Bubby Williams

In game two, which was shortened to 8 innings, starter Juri Perez went 4.1 IP giving up 8H/2ER with 4K:4BB. Garrett Bullock gave 2 IP allowing 1H/0ER and 1BB. Ryan Cole contributed .1 IP issuing 1BB. Mitchell Lambson was the pitcher of record, going 1IP with 1H/1ER and 2K while giving up the walkoff HR.

Not much was going on with the bats Monday night. C-Miles Hamblin was 1x3 with 1 3B and 1R. CF-Andrew Muren was 1x3 with 1R and 1 OF assist.

Man of the Match: Andrew Muren

Greeneville (24-36)

Greeneville jumped out to an early lead but couldn’t hold on, losing 7-5 to the Bluefield Blue Jays. Starter Adrian Houser went 4 IP allowing 4H/3ER including 3K:3BB. Rodney Quintero went 2.1 IP giving up 2H/2ER with 1BB. Scott Zuloaga gave .2 IP with 2K. James Propst got the loss, throwing 2 IP allowing 3H/2ER with 1K.

At the plate, SS-Jean Batista was 2x5 as the DH with 1HR and 1R/3RBI. LF-Jordan Scott went 2x5 with 1RBI.

Man of the Match: Jean Batista

GCL Astros (18-33)


Off-Day Spotlight to follow

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Arguello Released from OKC

According to Greg Rajan and verified on the PCL transactions page, Oklahoma City pitcher Douglas Arguello was released today. Arguello, who was a Texas League All-Star as a starter in 2009 and 2010, struggled with control this season, allowing 46BB in 68.2 innings as he moved from starter to reliever. However, he was still having a decent season overall, buoyed by a .214 opponents BA and a nearly 2:1 ground ball to fly ball ratio.

Arguello had arguably improved year after year since being stretched out as a starter at Tri-City in 2005, but perhaps after almost 10 years in the system the Astros simply didn't see him as a prospect any more. He's still just 26 years old, and given that he's a lefty I imagine he'll get picked up and given a shot elsewhere next season.

Today in "No S**t, Sherlock"

Unbelievably, the Austin Chronicle spent what seems to be a pretty decent amount of time on why the Round Rock Express are better this year than they were last year. Should we tell them that maybe it's because they went from the Astros to the Rangers?

Diamondbacks out on Wandy, according to Heyman

It's fun to accuse journalists of team bias. That way, when a journalist is critical of your team, you can chalk it up to, "Ed Wade probably gave him herpes," and you go on your merry way.

Still, there isn't another national writer - hell, there's not a blogger - who at least seems to go out of his way to needle the Astros more than Jon Heyman, who took the opportunity to say that anyone who would claim Wandy is a "fool."

Oh yes, the Yankees and Diamondbacks aren't apparently interested in Wandy. Take that for whatever spare change you think it's worth.

What to do with the outfield?

So here's the scenario: The Astros have a ton of outfielders, and - at deadline - can only have three outfielders. J.D. Martinez' place is solidified as is, presumably, Jordan Schafer's. That leaves one outfield spot for Brian Bogusevic, Jason Michaels, and J.B. Shuck.

I know what you must be thinking: Surely Michaels will not be getting regular ABs, right?

wrong. Check Brian McTaggart:

Perhaps Bourgeois is better fitted for a reserve role, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Having Bourgeois available to pinch run late in a game will be a huge weapon. J.B. Shuck has also seen time in center recently, but he’ll likely split time in right field with Jason Michaels (against left-handers) and Brian Bogusevic (against right-handers)..

Here's my issue: I don't think anyone saw Jason Bourgeois hitting .340 for any duration of the season, so if he gets relegated to the bench, so be it. I'm okay with that. But when the Astros traded Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, and promoted Martinez and Shuck, I can't believe that there is a scenario - even one involving a bus wreck - where Jason Michaels gets even a platoon role.

Only this team could look at Michaels, hitting .219/.288/.329 against lefties this season, as a better option over seeing what Bogusevic or Shuck can do.

Or, the Yankees are interested

The New York Post says that maybe the Yankees are in on Wandy. And maybe the Blue Jays, too.

New York not all that interested in Wandy

ESPN New York's (or is it ESPNNEWYORK) Andrew Marchand has a couple of nuggets for us:

1. Wandy has "reportedly" cleared waivers.

2. The Yankees aren't all that interested.

the New York Yankees have no interest in him, according to a baseball official familiar with their thinking. The Yankees feel as if they have six starters for five spots right now and don't see how Rodriguez would fit into their rotation. Rodriguez, a lefty, is 9-9 with a 3.31 ERA. He also has two more years reamining on his three-year, $34 million contact.

Friedman "wouldn't jump" at the chance to be in Houston

Here's an interesting story from ChicagoNow in which they spend some time discussing the candidates to be the new GM of the Cubs. Of course, Andrew Friedman is up for discussion, and we all kind of thought Friedman was destined for Houston. Maybe not:

Friedman, for his part, had no comment when asked about the Cubs job but interestingly enough, he said he "wouldn't jump at the chance to be the Astros GM". The fact that he was disinclined to take one job and in the next breath had no comment about the other makes you wonder a bit. He had the opportunity to deny interest in the Cubs, but chose not to do so.

Eddie's Farm: August 20-21 Weekend Roundup

Oklahoma City (60-69)

OKC won both games over the weekend, 11-10 Saturday and 4-0 Sunday against the Iowa Cubs.

Saturday’s game was a slugfest, and Dallas Keuchel and Douglas Arguello took the brunt of the damage on the mound. Keuchel lasted 5 IP giving up 9H/4ER with 2K:3BB. Arguello couldn’t retire any of the 5 batters he faced, finishing with 0 IP allowing 3H/5ER with 0K:1BB and 1 HBP. The RedHawk bats were stronger, though. CF-Jordan Schafer was 5x5 with 2 2B and 2R/2RBI with 2SB, as well. RF-Jacob Goebbert went 2x5 with 1HR and 4RBI.

Sunday’s game featured much better pitching by the RedHawks, as J.A. Happ went 7 IP giving up just 1H/0ER with 6K:3BB. At the plate, Schafer continued his strong hitting, going 2x5 with 1R and 1SB. Goebbert had another 2x5 night with 1R and 1 2B.

Man of the Weekend: Jordan Schafer

Corpus Christi (47-78)

The Hooks took both games over the weekend, winning 10-9 Saturday and 9-6 Sunday against the Springfield Cardinals.

Saturday’s game was tough on the Hooks pitchers. Ross Seaton went 6 IP allowing 3H/5R/4ER with 3K:4BB and gave up 3HR. Josh Zeid was roughed up as well, lasting just .1 IP giving up 2H/3ER with 1HBP. Hooks batter fared much better. OF-Brandon Barnes was 3x5 with 1BB, 2HR, 1 2B, 3R/6RBI. OF-Adam Bailey went 3x6 with 1R.

Sunday’s starter had a much better outing. Paul Clemens went 6 IP allowing 6H/3ER with 5K:2BB, earning the W. Blake King had a rough outing in relief, lasting 1.1 IP while giving up 2H/3ER with 1K:2BB. The Hooks batters were too much for Springfield, though. CF-T.J. Steele was 2x5 with 1 2B, 1 3B, and 2R/2RBI. LF-Adam Bailey had another strong night, going 3x5 with 2R/3RBI and 1 2B. 1B-Emerson Frostad went 2x4 with 2R/2RBI with 1HR.

Man of the Weekend: Adam Bailey

Lancaster (46-80)

Lancaster went 1-1 over the weekend against the Stockton Ports, winning Saturday 3-0 but losing Sunday 3-2.

JetHawks starter Andrew Robinson was outstanding Saturday, going 6.1 IP giving up just 3H/0ER with an astounding 12K:0BB!!! 1B-Jonathan Singleton put Lancaster up with a 2 run HR in the 4th as he went 1x4 on the night. SS-Jio Mier added a little insurance in the 5th with a solo HR as he also went 1x4.

Lancaster got another decent pitching performance Sunday, as Zach Grimmett gave 6IP allowing 7H/3ER with 3K:3BB in the losing effort. The JetHawks were only able to muster 4H on the night, all from different players.

Man of the Weekend: Andrew Robinson.

Lexington (52-71)

The Legends lost Saturday 10-3 to the Hickory Crawdads, but got the day off Sunday due to rain.

All three pitchers Saturday gave up at least 1R. Tanner Bushue got roughed up in 4 IP, giving up 9H/7R/5ER with 3K:1BB. Alex Sogard went 3 IP, allowing 2H/2ER with 4K:2BB. Juan Minaya finished the night with 1 IP giving up 1H/1ER with 1K:1BB.

DHing for the game, Telvin Nash was 2x5 with 1RBI and 2 2B. LF-Ruben Sosa went 2x4 with 2RBI and 1 2B.

Man of the Weekend: Telvin Nash

Tri-City (26-34)

The Valley Cats won 3-0 Saturday against the Brooklyn Cyclones and were leading 6-2 in the top of the 4th when the second game was suspended, to be finished today.

The ValleyCats enjoyed strong pitching Saturday, as three pitchers combined for a 1 hitter. Nick Tropeano gave 5 IP of no-hit ball, with an impressive 9K:1BB. Thomas Shirley gave up the only hit with one out in the 7th, going 3IP with 1H/0ER and 6K:0BB. Ryan Cole finished the game with 1 IP and 0H/0ER with 1K:0BB to earn the save.

At the plate, SS-Jacke Healey went 2x4 with 1SB. 1B-Rafael Valenzuela was 1x3 with 2RBI and 1BB. LF-Neiko Johnson was 0x3 with 2BB, 2R, and 1SB.

Man of the Weekend: Nick Tropeano

Greeneville (24-35)

The Greenville Astros went 1-1 over the weekend, winning Saturday 6-0 and losing Sunday 14-3 against the Elizabethton Twins.

Saturday starter Christopher Lee went 3 IP allowing 1H/0ER with 6K:5BB. Luis Ordosgoitti went 5 IP giving up 2H/0ER with 4K:2BB to get the win. 2B-Josh Magee continued his hot hitting, going 3x4 with 1 2B and 2RBI. At DH Saturday, 1B-Jesse Wierzbicki was 2x4 with 1HR and 1 2B and 1R/2RBI.

Sunday was a different story, as 6 Astros pitchers got touched for at least 1R. Starter Francis Ramirez went 4IP allowing 3H/2ER with 3K:1BB. Zach Dando got hung with the loss, going 2.1 IP with 3H/2ER and 3K:1BB. Taking the brunt of the Twins outburst was Steve Martin, who had 1 IP giving up 5H/5ER with 1K:1BB. 2B-Josh Magee was 2x4 with 1R, while LF-Jordan Scott went 3x4 with 2R and 1HR with an OF assist.

Man of the Weekend: Josh Magee

GCL Astros (18-33)

Our boys in the GCL won both games 5-4 over the weekend, beating the Cardinals Saturday and the Mets Sunday.

Saturday’s victory was a come from behind effort as the Astros scored 3 in the bottom of the 8th. Starter Michael Feliz went 5 IP allowing 5H/3ER with 4K:1BB. 3B-Max Ayarza went 2-2 with 2R after entering the game in the top of the 6th. At DH, C-Joe Witkowski was 2x3 with 1RBI. 2B-Luca Martone went 2x4 with 1RBI.

Sunday’s starter did his best Michael Feliz impression, going 5IP with 6H/3ER and 4K:2BB to get the W. Several Astros had good days at the plate. CF-Kelvin Vizcaino was 2x5 with 1 3B and 2R/1RBI. C-Alfredo Gonzalez was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1R/1RBI. 1B-Justin Shults was 2x3 with 1 2B and 2RBI. 2B-Luca Martone was 3x4 with 1 2B, 2R, and 1SB.

Man of the Weekend: Luca Martone

DSL Astros (27-40)

DSL team wrapped up their season by winning 6-2 against the Dodgers before the 2nd game of the double header was rained out.

Four pitchers each through multiple innings in the victory, with Yonquelys Martinez getting the most work, going 3 IP with 3H/1ER and 1K:1BB.

SS-Juan Santana was 2x5 with 2RBI. At DH, C-Franny Polanco went 3x4 with 1 2B, 2R, 1BB, and 1SB. RF-Mesac Laguna was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1R/1RBI.

Man of the Weekend: Franny Polanco

Steve Campbell brings the noise

Steve Campbell has a really good post about Wandy and waivers. Here's your money quote:

Houston is too big and too good of a market to become the National League’s Kansas City of the south – perpetually turning over the roster with young, cheap players without committing the resources necessary to build a winner.