Saturday, September 3, 2011

Eddie's Farm: September 2

Oklahoma City (66-74)

The RedHawks lost 12-1 to
New Orleans Friday.

Starter Paul Clemens was roughed up and wild in his first start for OKC, throwing 4.2 IP giving up 4H/8ER with 6K:6BB.

Not much happened good happened offensively, either. SS-Anderson Hernandez extended his hit streak to 30, going 1x3 with 1 2B. 3B-Oswaldo Navarro went 1x4 with 1 2B and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Anderson Hernandez

Corpus Christi (50-87)

The Hooks lost their final home game of the season to the RoughRiders 3-1.

Erick Abreu turned in a good start, going 8 IP with 7H/3R/1ER and 7K.

CF-Brandon Barnes went 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R. SS-Jonathan Villar was 0x4 with 2 K and 1 error.

Man of the Match: Erick Abreu

Lancaster (53-84)

The JetHawks lost to
Lake Elsinore 2-1.

Jose Cisnero was dominating through 7IP, allowing 4H/0ER with 10K:3BB. Michael Ness gave it away in relief, though, throwing 2 IP giving up 3H/2ER with 1K:1BB to earn the loss.

DH-Erik Castro went 1x3 with 1 2B and 1 R. 2B-Andrew Simunic was 1x2 with 2 BB. 3B-Jonathan Meyer went 0x2 with 2 BB. SS-Jio Mier was 0x2 with 2 BB and 1 SB.

Man of the Match: Jose Cisnero

Lexington (57-78)

The Legends beat the Sand Gnats 7-3.

Luis “Leroy” Cruz gave 5 IP allowing 3H/2R/0ER with 5K:4BB to get the win.

CF-Emilio King went 2x4 with 1 R. SS-Ben Orloff was 2x4 with 1 3B and 1R/2RBI. King has been hot his last ten games, hitting .525/.587/.900 during that stretch with 3 HR.

Man of the Match: Ben Orloff

Tri-City (33-40)

The ValleyCats lost a tough game 5-4 on a 9th inning squeeze bunt.

Luis Ordosgoitti had a rough 1st start for the ValleyCats, with 3IP allowing 7H/4ER and 2K:2BB. Adam Champion held things down for 3IP, giving up 2H with 4K/1BB to help Tri-City stay close. Mitchell Lambson went 2.1 IP allowing 3H/1ER with 4K:1BB and was on the mound when the Lake Monsters squeezed home the final run.

SS-Jacke Healey went 1x3 with 1 3B, 1 SB, and 1R/2RBI. C-Miles Hamblin went 2x4 with 1 HR.

Man of the Match: Jacke Healey

Greeneville (25-43)

Season over.

GCL Astros (20-34)

Season over.

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Eddie's Farm: September 1

Oklahoma City (66-73)

Thursday’s game was postponed due to rain.

No more off day spotlights this season, look for info on a full report on Eddie’s Farm in the coming weeks.

Corpus Christi (50-86)

The Hooks lost to the RoughRiders 4-1.

The Hooks got another strong start, this time from Jake Buchanan in his Corpus debut. Buchanan went 7 IP allowing 6H/1ER with 2K:1BB. Daniel Meszaros lost the lead, though, as he threw .2 IP giving up 3H/3ER with 1K:1BB

RF-Jon Gaston went 2x4 with 1 2B, 1 SB, and 1 R.

Man of the Match: Jake Buchanan

Lancaster (53-83)

The JetHawks beat
Visalia 6-4 to take the series.

Continuing the trend of strong pitching performances throughout the organization, Robert Donovan gave 8 IP allowing 4H/2ER with 8K:1BB.

2B-Andrew Simunic went 3x4 with 1 RBI. 1B-Jonathan Singleton was 2x4 with 2 R. 3B-Jonathan Meyer went 2x4 with 2R/1RBI.

Man of the Match: Robert Donovan

Lexington (56-78)

Lexington dropped the series opener to Savannah 6-5, committing 5 errors during the game. It’s important to note, however, that Lexington’s starting 2B and 3B are being converted to positions they did not play before they were drafted.

Mike Foltynewicz got the start and lasted 5 IP allowing 7H/4ER with 5K:2BB in the loss.

LF-Bryce Lane went 2x4 with 2 2B and 2 R. At DH, C-Ben Heath was 2x4. RF-Domingo Santana was 2x4 with 3 RBI.

Man of the Match: Domingo Santana

Tri-City (33-39)

The ValleyCats lost to the Aberdeen IronBirds 5-3.

Jamaine Cotton got roughed up in 4+ IP, giving up 7H/4ER with 2K:1BB to get pinned with the loss.

SS-Jacke Healey continued his modest late season surge, going 2x3 with 1 RBI. RF-Andrew Muren was 1x2 with 2 BB, 1 SB, and 2 R.

Man of the Match: Andrew Muren

Greeneville (25-43)

Season over.

GCL Astros (20-34)

Season over.

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

Melancon drawing respect

Tracy Ringolsby has a good piece on Mark Melancon, and the impression that he made when he was with the Yankees.

Yankees Scouting Director Damon Oppenheimer:
"He has a curiosity. He wants to learn, and not just about baseball....Mariano (Rivera) talks about the questions Mark asked, the way he wanted to learn the game and understand it, it made an impression on the big leaguers. They respect him."

Callup recap

Here are the six players who will lose playing time to Jason Michaels this month:

Lucas Harrell
Chris Johnson
Jordan Lyles
J.B. Shuck
J.R. Towles
Brett Wallace

Enerio Del Rosario will be activated from the DL to serve as the 7th player. First off, we called a list of potentials, and were spot-on (picking some players who were called-up in the meantime).

That said, it's a traveshamockery that Andy Van Hekken is not on this list.

Everyone should show up to MMP tomorrow around 4:30

Because you can be at the press conference introducing 3rd Round pick Jack Armstrong. He'll be the tall one.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paul Clemens promoted

Via Steve Campbell, Paul Clemens has been promoted from Corpus to OKC, and will start tonight against New Orleans.

In five starts for the Hooks since coming over in the Bourn trade, Clemens allowed 23H/8ER, 26K:12BB in 30.2IP. Over his last two starts, Clemens has allowed 10H/8ER, 9K:3BB in 11IP, including three homers.

Jeff Fulchino now a Padre

Courtesy of MLBTR, we find that the Padres claimed Jeff Fulchino off of waivers, and he will join the team tomorrow night.

Eddie's Farm: August 31

Oklahoma City (66-73)

The RedHawks were 1-hit as they lost 1-0 to
New Orleans.

Xavier Cedeno went 5 IP allowing 2H/1ER with 6K:1BB. The RedHawks pitchers only gave up 4 hits all game, it’s a shame it happened in a game where the opposing pitchers only gave up 1.

That 1 hit was an important one for personal milestones, though. SS-Anderson Hernandez continued his hitting streak, now at 29 games, by going 1x4 with a first inning single.

Man of the Match: Xavier Cedeno

Corpus Christi (50-85)

The Hooks lost to the RoughRiders 6-5.

Ross Seaton looked good in this one, going 7 IP allowing 4H/2ER with 7K:0BB, throwing just 72 pitches! Arcenio Leon and Henry Villar combined to give up 4 runs in the 8th, though, to waste Seaton’s good start. Seaton’s had a rough year, but he looked better in August with a 3.00 ERA and 29K:11BB in 36 innings through 6 starts.

CF-T.J. Steele went 3x4 with 1 2B, 1 HR and 2R/2RBI. SS-Jonathan Villar was 2x5 with 1 SB.

Man of the Match: Ross Seaton

Lancaster (52-83)

The JetHawks split Wednesday’s double header with the Visalia Rawhide, winning the first game 3-2 and losing the second 12-3 as both games were shortened to 7 innings.

Andrew Robinson went the distance in the first game, throwing 7 IP and allowing 7H/2ER with 7K:0BB. In his last three starts, Robinson is 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 24K:1BB in 18.2 IP. RF-Grant Hogue went 2x3 with 1 2B, 1 R, and 1 SB. 1B-Jonathan Singleton was 2x3 with 1 2B and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Andrew Robinson

The JetHawks pitchers didn’t fare so well in the second game. Bobby Doran went 3 IP giving up 4H/3ER with 3K:1BB. Kirk Clark took the most damage, lasting just .2 IP in the 8th, giving up 5H/5R/2ER with 1K. 2B-Alex Todd went 2x4 with 1 R. CF-Andrew Simunic was 1x4 with a solo HR.

Man of the Match: Andrew Simunic

Lexington (56-77)


Off Day Spotlight: Luis Cruz

Cruz, who turns 21 this month, was selected in the 9th round in 2008, and was listed by Baseball-Intellect as the Astros 15th ranked prospect heading into 2009. The 5’9” lefty has slowly moved up through the system, spending two seasons each at Greeneville and Lexington, plus a rough 4 game cameo at Lancaster this year. As part of a preview for the Puerto Rico Pan Am team last fall, he was described by Baseball America as having a good feel for pitching and a strong changeup. After a promising season for the Legends in 2010, Cruz has taken a step back this season. He’s 4-4 with a 4.71 ERA with 87K:19BB in 86 IP. He’s had a good K:BB ratio his entire career, but he’s a fly ball pitcher so he’s prone to giving up home runs. Also of note, in a high school scouting report found here, he apparently often goes by his middle name, Leroy.

Tri-City (33-38)

The ValleyCats beat the Aberdeen IronBirds 16-1 Wednesday. Aberdeen locals were so upset, they tried to charge Brandon Meredith for his hotel room the team had already covered.

Nick Tropeano gave 5 IP of shutout ball, allowing just 3H with 7K:2BB. He’s looked good since Houston made him their 5th round pick this summer, as he has a 2.36 ERA and 63K:21BB through 53.1 IP. In August, he’s 2-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA and 27K:5BB in 17 IP.

At the plate, every batter had at least 1 hit and 1 run or RBI. CF-George Springer was 2x5 with 2 2B and 3R/2RBI. LF-Jordan Scott was 1x4 with 2R/2RBI and 2 BB. 3B-Rafael Valenzuela was 4x6 with 2R/2RBI. 1B Zach Johnson was 1x4 with 3RBI. C-Miles Hamblin was 1x6 with 1 HR. RF-Drew Muren was 2x5 with 1R/1RBI and 1 SB. SS-Jacke Healey was 1x5 with 1R. At DH, OF-Chris Epps was 2x4 with 1 2B, 1 HR and 3R/2RBI. 2B-Neiko Johnson went 2x3 with 3R.

Man of the Match: There’s no way to single out any of the hitters, so Nick Tropeano.

Greeneville (25-43)

Season over.

GCL Astros (20-34)

Season over.

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

The Astros and the 2012 #1 pick

The Astros have been in sole possession of the worst record in baseball since June 9, and currently sit 8.5 games behind the Orioles for next year's #1 pick, 9.0 games behind the Royals, and 10.5 behind the Twins.

In order for the Astros to wrap up the #1 pick in 2012's draft, those are the teams they're going to have to pull ahead of (obviously). Over their last 30 games, the Astros are 12-18, a record matched by the Orioles. The Twins are 7-23 in that span, and the Royals are 11-19. Over their last 20 games, the Astros (9-11) have a better record than eight other teams.

To put this in perspective, if the Astros were to win out at a .450 pace (the 9-11 clip), then here's what the other teams would need to do (considering the Astros would have a 58-104 record:

Orioles: 3-25
Royals: 3-22
Twins: 2-24

So there you have it. Of course, if the Astros keep winning - and often - this could get skewed. But it would take an LOLMets tragedy in order for the Astros to give the #1 away to the Orioles.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Awe Shucks

John Sickels at Minor League Ball has a quick paragraph on J.B. Shuck today. Here's a teaser, head here for the full report.

If it sounds like I'm describing a future fourth/fifth outfielder, you would be correct

Eddie's Farm: August 30

Oklahoma City (66-72)

OKC got another come from behind win last night to come out on top 7-5 against
New Orleans. That gives them six straight victories and a chance at a .500 record if they can win out.

Dallas Keuchel continued his struggles since being promoted to AAA, putting the RedHawks behind early. He went 5.2 IP giving up 7H/5ER with 1K:3BB.

3B-Chris Johnson went 1x5 with 1 HR. CF-J.B. Shuck was 1x3 with 2 BB and 1R/1RBI. SS-Anderson Hernandez continued his hitting streak, now at 28 games, by going 1x5 with 1R/1RBI and 1 2B. 1B-Brett Wallace was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1R/2RBI. RF-Drew Locke was 3x5 with 1 HR and 1R/2RBI. I’m starting to think that offensively Wallace may be more like Lyle Overbay, Keith Hernandez, Mark Grace…a good batting average, patient, doubles hitting 1B. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Man of the Match: J.B. Shuck

Corpus Christi (50-84)

The Hooks shoved it up Frisco’s a*#, winning 7-1.

Jarred Cosart got fired up for this one, and delivered a strong 5 IP, allowing 4H/1ER with 5K:2BB. Jonnathan Aristil came on strong in relief, throwing 4 IP giving up just 1H with 7K:1BB.

CF-Brandon Barnes was 1x3 with 1 HR and 1R/2RBI. CF-T.J. Steele went 1x4 with 1 2B and 2 RBI. 2B-Brandon Wikoff was 2x4 with 1 R.

Man of the Match: Jarred Cosart/Jonnathan Aristil

Lancaster (51-82)

Lancaster’s game was cancelled due to wet field conditions, despite there being no rain. Blame the grounds crew for this one, they got a little excited wetting down the field before the game.

Lexington (56-77)

The Legends traded 2 run innings with the Power, but came out on top 4-2.

Ruben Alaniz got the start, going 3.2 IP while allowing 4H/0ER with 2K:1BB. Alex Sogard was the pitcher of record for the win, going 4.1 IP and giving up 4H/2ER with 5K:1BB and 2 WP.

RF-Domingo Santana, who is becoming a regular in these recaps, went 3x4 with 1R/1RBI. C-Roberto Pena was 2x3 with 1 BB, 1R/1RBI and 1CS behind the plate.

Man of the Match: Roberto Pena

Tri-City (32-38)

The ValleyCats beat the Aberdeen IronBirds 4-1 Tuesday.

Kyle Hallock continued his strong 1st pro season, going 5 IP allowing 3H/1ER with 5K:2BB. Hallock, the 10th round pick in this year’s draft is 3-4 with a 1.82 ERA and 58K:16BB in 59.1 IP with Tri-City.

At DH for the game, C-Miles Hamblin was 1x4 with 1 3B and 1 RBI. SS-Jacke Healey was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R. CF-George Springer went 0x3 but had 1 SB and 1 R after ROE to lead off the game. As I mentioned in last Thursday’s Farm Report, Jacke Healey has struggled this season, but over his last 10 games he’s hitting .270/.289/.459.

Man of the Match: Kyle Hallock

Greeneville (25-43)

Greenville lost 3-1 and finished out the season losing 7 straight and 13 of their last 16.

Christopher Lee got the start, and went 5 IP allowing 3H/1R/0ER with 3K:4BB.

The Astros just couldn’t get their offense going. At DH, SS-Jean Batista was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1RBI. C-Jose Monzon went 1x3 with 1 2B and 1 BB as well as 2 CS behind the plate.

Man of the Match: Chris Lee

GCL Astros (20-34)

Season over.

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

Season Review-Pitching

With roster expansion just a few days away, it's time to start reviewing the season. Heading into 2011, Astros fans had good reason to feel a little torn between hope and fear. On one hand, we had another magical run to finish out 2010. Fueled by the beginning of the youth movement, the Astros surged to a 40-33 record after the All-Star break. However, that same youth movement led to a lot of uncertainty for this year. So, what were we hoping would go right to feel good about 2011? We'll look at pitching in this installment and position players in the next.



For the first time in a couple years, we weren't scared of our starting rotation. Gone were Shawn Chacon, Russ Ortiz, Mike Hampton, Brian Moehler, and Brandon Backe. In their place were J.A. Happ, Bud Norris, and Brett Myers, plus a surprising Nelson Figueroa, a new ace in Wandy Rodriguez. Yes, pitching was going to lead our fight for respectability. Instead, the Astros are currently next to last in quality starts with 61 and last in the NL in ERA, with starters ERA coming in at 4.69.

On the bright side, Wandy and Bud have performed as well if not better than expected. Among qualified starters, Wandy is currently 17th in the NL in K/9 and 18th in ERA, though a closer look at his peripherals suggest he's been a little lucky this year. Wandy has more or less lived up to our expectations.

Bud Norris has taken a definitely step forward this season, finally starting to realized some of his potential. Norris is 7th in K/9 and 25th in ERA, while lowering his BB/9 by a full walk this season. His peripherals indicate he may be a tad lucky, but he truly has reached a new level of performance this season.

Not many people really expected Brett Myers to repeat his career year of 2010, it's safe to say we were hoping for more than we've seen this season. He's still eating innings at a high level, which is a plus given our bullpen, as we'll discuss in a minute. Myers is striking out fewer while giving up more home runs, and his woes seem to be driven by a decrease in the effectiveness of his off-speed offerings. He may not be as good as he was last year, but I think he's a little better than he's shown this year.

Brace yourself, it's not pretty after this.

J.A. Happ...where to start. It was fairly well known that Happ had likely been lucky in his young career, but he seems to have regressed enough to make up for his two previous full seasons. He got himself so far out of sorts that the Astros sent him to Oklahoma City for three starts in an attempt to clear his head. His strikeout rate is up, but his walk rate jumped more, up to almost 5 walks per 9 innings. Happ has been a big disappointment in 2011, and he must improve his command if he's going to contribute going forward.

Nelson Figueroa, in the words of Denny Green, was who we thought he was. Why Wade ever thought he was worth almost $1 million we'll never know. He lasted 8 games and 5 starts before getting demoted and, a few months later, released. Moving on...

The Astros have also seen a trio of new young starters take a few turns in the rotation this year.

Jordan Lyles is the one who's debut everyone was waiting for, and he has certainly held his own. As a 20 year old who doesn't depend on blowing hitters away, Lyles gave the Astros something to look forward to. His K% should improve a little as he learns how to pitch to major league hitters. His HR% and LOB% indicate he's experienced some bad luck this year, as well.

Henry Sosa was acquired in the Jeff Keppinger trade and, despite having been a reliever all season in the Giants organization, joined the rotation after just one start in OKC. The jury is definitely still out on Sosa, as he hasn't really succeeded or failed in the rotation. With a continued look over the last month of the season and the likelihood of the continuation of the rebuilding effort this winter, he will probably get a look at the rotation next spring.

Aneury Rodriguez was selected in the Rule 5 draft from the Rays organization, and has served as a long reliever/spot starter in 2011. At this point, The Aneurism is a replacement level pitcher with a cool nickname, but he will need to reach a new talent level to contribute long-term.


We knew going in to 2011 that our bullpen was for the most part inexperienced, but what we had seen was serviceable at worst. What we got instead this season was a league worst save %, a 4.28 ERA, and good evidence to support the belief that relievers are a fungible and fickle group.

Brandon Lyon blew the first save in the first game of the season, and it never really got better for him before he hit the DL after 15 games and an 11.48 ERA. No, my finger didn't stutter, that's really an eleven. He has one year left on his contract, so hopefully the repairs to his biceps tendon and labrum will get him back to a respectable level next season.

We were hoping Jeff Fulchino would return to 2009 form, but instead he replicated 2010 as he bounced back and forth between the Astros and the RedHawks, pitching to a 5.18 ERA through 33 major league innings.

After a promising 17 inning call up last year, Mark Melancon has been thrust into the closer role this season due to Lyon's injury, and it's safe to say the results have been mixed. He has a 3.29 ERA in 63 innings, with 15 saves versus 4 blown saves. He's also lost a few games that were tied when he came in. High leverage shakiness aside, he's basically fulfilled our expectations this year.

Fernando Abad looked good after a solid 2010 debut, but he's bounced around from Houston to Oklahoma to the DL and back, and has struggled accordingly. He's given up 5 HR in just 19.1 innings, leading to a 7.32 ERA for the Astros.

Wilton Lopez showed unbelievable control in 2010 and looked like a potential back end piece, and, while not quite as much of a control artist this season his results have been roughly what we were hoping for, posting a 2.79 ERA through 61.1 innings.

The rest of this year's bullpen was essentially unknown coming into the season. The good of the unknown include Fernando Rodriguez (3.29 ERA 46K/22BB in 41 IP), Sergio Escalona (3.00 ERA 25K/11BB in 27 IP), and David Carpenter (2.65 ERA 15K/7BB in 17 IP). The bad would consist of Enerio Del Rosario (4.50 ERA 26K:25BB in 46 IP) and Jose Valdez (9.00 ERA 15K:7BB in 14 IP).

Even Dierker can't explain Martinez

Larry Dierker spent some time thinking about J.D. Martinez:

Watching him, I can't explain it. Martinez has an odd stutter step in his swing. And he takes it when the pitcher starts his delivery -- too soon. What's more, he holds his hands too far from his right shoulder, which elongates his swing. He shouldn't be able to hit like that. But I guess nobody told him.

Still, haters gon hate:
There is just one thing that's bothered me. As a former pitcher, I wondered why Martinez is playing in the outfield. He'll never be better than average out there.

Jamie Quirk said Martinez is not playing the infield because the Astros are concerned about his knee, and Dierker seems to like the idea of Martinez taking over the 3B spot from Paredes/Johnson, with Paredes moving to the outfield, thanks to his speed. What do you think?

"Bourne" almost went to Toronto

Before the Blue Jays got themselves some Colby Rasmus, the Astros and Blue Jays were talking about "speedy centre-fielder Michael Bourne" (Canadians and their gratuitous vowels!):

The Astros scoured the Jays' minor-league ranks at double-A New Hampshire and class-A Dunedin. The Jays ended up acquiring centre fielder Colby Rasmus from the St. Louis Cardinals instead.

Winter Ball updates!

Looks like the Juvenile Court Clerk will be busy this off-season, as Winter Ball rosters were announced.

Jose Altuve - Venezuela
Henry Sosa - Dominican Republic
Jimmy Paredes - Dominican Republic
Jonathan Villar - Dominican Republic
Brian Bogusevic - Dominican Republic
David Carpenter - Dominican Republic
Brett Wallace - Dominican Republic
Carlos Corporan - Puerto Rico
Koby Clemens - Puerto Rico

Wallace and Carpenter will play for Escogido, who will be managed by Tony DeFrancesco, OKC's manager.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G136: Pirates @ Astros

Isn't this interesting? The Astros got a six-run 6th inning and an 8-2 win over the Pirates.

*For those keeping track of trends, that's three in a row, four of six, and eight of fourteen. The win ties a season high for wins in a calendar month, with eleven.

*The Astros are 4-2 against Pittsburgh in their last six games, after starting the season 1-7 against them.

*Henry Sosa had his best start of the season: 6IP, 2H/1ER, 7K:1BB. In his last two starts (at SFG, vPIT) Sosa has thrown 12IP, 6H/2ER, 10K:4BB.

*And he's been efficient, too. He has gotten 18 outs in four of his five starts, while throwing 100 pitches just once. Sosa has faced 118 batters, retired 87 of them (73.7%), while throwing 436 pitches. That's 3.69 pitches per batter, and 5.01 pitches per out.

*Wesley Wright threw another perfect inning, and since allowing an earned run in his season debut on August 6 he has thrown 5.1IP, allowing 2H/0ER, 4K:1BB.

*Brett Myers - who was in the game getting an inning in before his wife gives birth - took the opportunity to give up his 30th homer, to Andrew McCutchen in the 9th. It's the third time in his career he's allowed 30+ HR, and the first since 2004/2005.

*The six-run 6th inning ties a season high for runs in an inning.

*Top four in the lineup (Schafer, Altuve, Martinez, Lee) went a combined 9x19, with 6RBI. Bottom four (Bogusevic, Paredes, Barmes, Corporan) went 3x14, with 4BB.

*J.D. Martinez went 3x5 with 3RBI - his 9th multi-hit game in 28 starts. In August, Martinez is hitting .282/.315/.515.

*Jose Altuve hit his 2nd homer of the year, and in these two games against Pittsburgh, Altuve is 5x10 with two extra-base hits, and no strikeouts. He has gone 14 plate appearances without a strikeout, six shy of his season-high of 20 K-less PAs.

*Carlos Corporan, he of the .264 OBP, walked twice in a game for the first time in his major-league career.

*Carlos Lee went 2x5 with an RBI, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, in which he's 19x42 with six doubles, two homers, 3K:6BB, raising his OPS 47 points, to .772.

*Man of the Match: Henry Sosa, and J.D. Martinez

*Goat of the Game: Clint Barmes - went 0x4, with 2K, and 0x3 w/RISP.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Arizona Fall League rosters announced

Zach Levine has the rosters for the Arizona Fall League:

-Jay Austin
-Jason Castro
-Jake Goebbert
-Chris Hicks
-Kody Hinze
-Dallas Keuchel
-Jason Stoffel
-Josh Zeid

I can get on board with this Jarred Cosart fella

Jarred Cosart takes the mound tonight against Frisco. Is he pumped? Let's ask him:

On the mound tonite against frisco. Always good to shove it up the rangers a*#. letsgoooooo

Lucas Harrell will start Friday

We know the name of the first September Call-Up - Lucas Harrell, who will start Friday's game instead of Brett Myers, whose wife is having a baby on Thursday or Friday.

Harrell, in nine starts with OKC, has thrown 52.1IP, 42H/10ER, 38K:24BB, holding opponents to a .220 BAA. In his last four starts (29IP), he has allowed 9H/1ER, 15K:10BB.

Bummer for Andy Van Hekken, but there's still hope, I suppose. Harrell will stay with the team through the rest of the season.

Eddie's Farm: August 29

Oklahoma City (65-72)

OKC got a come from behind win last night, scoring 3 in the ninth to come out on top 7-6 against
New Orleans and former Astro Chris Sampson. That gives them five straight victories and a 7-3 record in their last 10 games.

Ryan Rowland-Smith struggled while putting the RedHawks behind early. He went 4.2 IP giving up 9H/6ER with 2K:3BB. Jordan Lyles gave 2 IP of scoreless ball, allowing 2H. Rowland-Smith has struggled tremendously this season after competing for the Astros 5th starter job in spring training. He’s 2-9 with a 6.34 ERA through 98 innings with 82K:39BB and 124 hits allowed while trying to pitch with some nasty blisters this year.

Several RedHawks had nice nights at the plate. 3B-Chris Johnson led the charge, going 3x4 with 2 2B, 1 HR, 2R/3RBI and 1 BB. CF-Luis Durango was 2x5 with 1R. SS-Anderson Hernandez continued his hitting streak, now at 27 games, by going 2x4 with 1R and 1 BB. 1B-Brett Wallace was 2x5 with 1 2B and 1R/1RBI. LF-J.B. Shuck was 2x5 with 1 2B and 1R/1RBI. RF-Jacob Goebbert was 2x3 with 1 2B and 1RBI.

Man of the Match: Chris Johnson

Corpus Christi (49-84)

Corpus avoided the sweep, beating
San Antonio 8-3.

Brett Oberholtzer pitched well in his 5th start for CC, going 6 IP with 5H/2ER and 7K:1BB. Daniel Meszaros had a good outing in relief, throwing 2 IP with 2H and 5K. If Oberholtzer was affected by being traded, he hasn’t shown it on the mound. His numbers for CC are nearly identical to his stats in Mississippi, though his peripherals have improved some since joining the Astros organization. On the season, Brett is 11-11 with a 3.73 ERA and 120K:50BB in 154.1 IP.

SS-Jonathan Villar went 3x4 with 3R/1RBI and 2 SB. CF-Brandon Barnes was 3x5 with 2 2B and 1RBI. RF-Adam Bailey went 2x5 with 1 2B and 3RBI. 3B-Brandon Wikoff was 2x4 with 1 2B, 2R/2RBI and 1 SB. As mentioned in last weeks live chat, Wikoff is making a case for consideration as a solid utility prospect. He’s spent meaning full time this year at 2B, 3B, and SS, while hitting .308/.397/.355. He doesn’t show much power, but think Jeff Keppinger if he took walks instead of hitting doubles and you’ve got a good picture of Wikoff.

Man of the Match: Brett Oberholtzer

Lancaster (51-82)

Lancaster won 5-2 against the Lake Elsinore Storm. Starter Wes Musick, acquired in the Matt Lindstrom trade, went 6 IP giving up 4H/1ER with 5K:2BB. Musick had been pitching out of the bullpen most of the season before starting his last 4 games, and he has a 4.09 ERA with 47K:17BB in 50.2 IP with Lancaster this year.

At the plate, SS-Jio Mier was 2x3 with 1 2B and 1RBI. 3B-Jonathan Meyer was 2x4 with 1 HR and 2R/1RBI. At DH, 1B-Erik Castro was 2x4 with 1R. 2B-Andrew Simunic went 2x4 with 1R/1RBI. LF-Daniel Adamson was 2x3 with 1 2B, 2RBI, and 1SB/1CS.

Man of the Match: Wes Musick

Lexington (55-77)

The Legends lost 17-9 to the West Virginia Power. Put simply, the pitching was ugly for
Lexington. Starter Carlos Quevedo lasted just 3.1 IP giving up 8H/8ER with 5K:1BB. Gabriel Garcia was next, going 2.2 IP and allowing 5H/3ER with 2K:2BB. Brad Dydalewicz continued his struggles, throwing just .2 IP allowing 0H/4R/1ER with 3BB, a wild pitch, and a balk. Brian Streilein pitched the last 1.1 IP before they finally ran out of baseballs giving up 4H/2ER.

2B-Delino DeShields was 1x5 while hitting his 9th HR of the season. RF-Domingo Santana went 2x5 with another HR, his 5th in 12 games with Lexington. CF-Emilio King continued his hot hitting, going 4x5 with 1 HR and 2R/2RBI. C-Ben Heath was 3x5 with 1 2B and 2R. Over the last 10 games, King is hitting .528/.575/.944 with 3 HR.

Man of the Match: Emilio King

Tri-City (31-38)

The ValleyCats lost both ends of a double header to the Lowell Spinners 5-4 and 3-2.

In the first game, Starter Juri Perez gave 4 IP allowing 6H/3ER with 4K:1BB. The bullpen tried to hold things together for the ValleyCat hitters to get back in the game, but in the 10th Joan Belliard allowed 1H/2R/1ER with 1BB to get the loss. CF-George Springer hit his first professional HR to lead off the 1st inning, and finished 2x4, adding 1 2B and 1 BB with 3R/1RBI. 1B-Zach Johnson went 3x4 with 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: George Springer

For the 7 inning second game, Adam Champion threw 4 IP allowing 5H/2R/1ER. Offensively, the ValleyCats ran absolutely wild on the bases. Despite having just 9 batters reach base, Tri-City had 7 SB! CF-George Springer led the way with 3 SB, going 1x3 with 1 R and 1 HBP. LF-Chris Epps has 2 SB and went 1x2 with 1 2B and 1 BB. 1B-Neiko Johnson was 0x3 with 1 SB, 1 R, and 1 HBP. C-Miles Hamblin went 1x3 with 1 SB.

Man of the Match: George Springer again!

Greeneville (25-42)

Greeneville lost 4-0 to the Pulaski Mariners. Tyson Perez got the start and pitched well, going 5 IP allowing 5H/1ER with 7K/1BB for the loss. #smh

At DH, SS Jean Batista was 2x3. 2B-Josh Magee went 1x3 with 1 2B and 1BB.

Man of the Match: Tyson Perez

GCL Astros (20-34)

Season over.

DSL Astros (26-40)

Season over.

Monday, August 29, 2011

From the Office of the County Clerk - G135: Pirates @ Astros

Well well. The Astros overcome a 3-run deficit because Wandy turned into Jason Jennings for a half-inning, and beat the Pirates 7-4.

*The Astros won their 10th game of the month - the first time since May they've reached double-digits in wins.

*The pitching staff allowed five hits for the 20th time this season, and are 13-7 when allowing five (or fewer) hits.

*Wandy Rodriguez threw effectively: 7IP, 4H/3ER, 13K:4BB - with the 13Ks coming in for a career-high - improving to 10-9. The Astros now have two pitchers, Wandy and Melancon, who are over .500.

*Wandy's 10th win means that this is the third straight season he has posted double-digit wins. From 2008-present, Wandy is 44-40 with a 3.37 ERA/1.28 WHIP in 115 starts.

*He also threw his 3rd wild pitch of the season - last year he had eight.

*David Carpenter has now made nine consecutive appearances without allowing an earned run, and five straight appearances without allowing a hit. His ERA has dropped from 4.22 on August 12 to 2.65 after tonight's perfect outing.

*Welcome to the big leagues, Juan Abreu! He struck out the first two batters he faced (Alex Presley, Brandon Wood), walked Garrett Jones, and allowed a run-scoring triple to Ronny Cedeno.

*To the offense.

*Jimmy Paredes and Carlos Corporan were the only position players to not get a hit (aside from pinch-hitting Matt Downs).

*Jordan Schafer was 2x4 with an RBI, and in his seven starts with Houston has four multi-hit games.

*Jose Altuve was 3x5, collecting three hits for the 6th time this season. He has four hits (two doubles) in his last six plate appearances.

*Carlos Lee was 2x3 with a walk, homer, and 3RBIs. And with that, he has eight hits (five for extra-bases) in his last 10 ABs, raising his monthly average to .262. His .772 OPS is at the highest point since July 28 (.776).

*Clint Barmes was 2x4, breaking a 13PA hitless streak.

*Brian Bogusevic had two doubles on the night, and in August he's hitting .385/.431/.731. In 33 Pre-ASG ABs, Bogusevic had a .539 OPS. In 55 Post-ASG ABs, his OPS is 1.110.

*Carlos Corporan was 0x4 with 3Ks, giving him 42Ks on the season, in 132 ABs, and he has 5Ks in his last 13ABs.

*Man of the Match: Wandy Rodriguez

*Goat of the Game: Good mood night. No Goat.

Springer hits 1st career pro homer

Congrats to 2011 1st Round pick George Springer hit his 1st career homer today, a lead-off blast off Lowell's Raynel Velette.

McLane doesn't know when to pipe down

Drayton McLane apparently defied Selig's wishes when he held a press conference in May announcing Jim Crane as an owner. Today, despite an earlier report that the vote may not come until November, Drayton said that he thought the sale could be approved in the next 7-10 days.

“Baseball is being very careful. As you know, we move at our own pace in baseball. We all criticized Congress on the debt-ceiling deal, but baseball also has its own schedule for getting things done.”

Duuuuuude, stop.

Altuve still isn't elite, apparently

Just when we thought Baseball America had made some progress by including a couple of Astros' prospects in their Hot Sheet last week, they go and do this, comparing Jose Altuve to some nutbag from the Cubs. Jim Callis responds:

Altuve isn't an elite prospect. He has a gift for putting the bat on the ball, but he takes a huge hack and is very aggressive at the plate. I see him as a .280/.330/.400 hitter. He has average to plus speed but won't be a big basestealer, and he's a solid defender.

The other guy - wait for it - bigger, has more power, but isn't as quick.

Eddie's Farm: August 27-28 Weekend Roundup

Oklahoma City (64-72)

OKC won both games over the weekend 2-1 against the Iowa Cubs.

Saturday’s game featured an outstanding performance by Lucas Harrell. Harrell lasted 8 IP giving up 3H/1R/0ER with 7K:6BB. RF-Drew Locke provided the big hit, finishing the night 2x3 with 1 HR.

Sunday’s starter Andy Van Hekken battled through 5.2 IP allowing 6H/1ER with 2K:3BB. Of his 86 pitches only 44 went for strikes as he managed to pitch through some tough hitter’s counts all game. 1B-Brett Wallace powered up, going 2x4 with 1HR.

Man of the Weekend: In honor of the four-named man (Lucas William Bradley Harrell) we’ll give the award to Harrell Locke Van Hekken Wallace.

Corpus Christi (48-84)

The Hooks lost both games over the weekend, losing 6-0 Saturday and 13-1 Sunday against the San Antonio Missions.

Saturday’s starter Paul Clemens gave up a pair of home runs, as he went 5 IP allowing 4H/5ER with 4K:1BB, taking his first loss as a Hook. At the plate, the Hooks managed just 3 singles, one each by SS-Jonathan Villar, LF-Adam Bailey, and 3B-David Flores.

Sunday’s pitchers got shelled, with starter Erick Abreu getting the worst of it. Abreu threw 3 IP giving up 8H/7ER with 3K:3BB. SS-Jonathan Villar kept the Hooks from being shutout in back-to-back games, going 1x4 with a solo HR. 1B-Kody Hinze was 2x3 with 1BB. OF-Brandon Barnes went 3x3 with 1BB. 3B-Brandon Wikoff was 2x3.

Man of the Weekend: Do I have to? Fine, Jonathan Villar.

Lancaster (50-82)

Lancaster went 1-1 over the weekend against the Lake Elsinore Storm, losing Saturday 1-0 and winning 9-4 Sunday.

JetHawks starter Jake Buchanan had a solid start wasted, as he went 6.2 IP allowing 7H/1R/0ER with 5K:1BB but took the loss. 1B-Jonathan Singleton went 2x4 on the night.

Demonstrating why wins are a near useless stat, Zach Grimmet got the win Sunday after going 6 IP giving up 5H/4ER with 2K:1BB and 2HR allowed. Making Grimmet look good, CF-Austin Wates went 2x5 with 1 2B, 1 3B and 2R/2RBI. RF-Grant Hogue was 3x5 with 1 2B and 2R with 1 SB. 1B-Jonathan Singleton went 2x4 with 2R/1RBI. 3B-Jonathan Meyer was 3x4 with 2 2B and 1R/2RBI.

Man of the Weekend: Jonathan Singleton.

Lexington (55-76)

The Legends split the weekend against the West Virginia Power, winning 11-3 Saturday before going down 9-0 Sunday.

Saturday’s starter Luis Cruz pitched well enough, going 5 IP giving up 8H/3ER with 6K:3BB to get the win. Juan Minaya got a rare 3 IP save, allowing just 1H with 2K:3BB. Every position player had a good day offensively except Tyler Burnett, who went 0x4 with 2 K and 1 CS. 1B-Telvin Nash was 2x5 with a 3R HR. CF-Emilio King was 3x4 with 1 2B, 1 HR and 2R/3RBI, adding an OF assist. C-Roberto Pena went 4x5 with 2 2B and 3R. RF-Domingo Santana was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1R/2RBI, with an OF assist as well.

As good as the Legends looked Saturday, they looked just as bad Sunday. David Martinez gave 4 IP giving up 10H/5R/4ER to take the loss. 2B-Ruben Sosa was 2x4. RF-Emilio King was 2x3 with 1 2B

Man of the Weekend: Emilio King

Tri-City (31-36)

Both of the ValleyCats games were rained out over the weekend.

Greeneville (25-41)

The Greenville Astros lost both games over the weekend, 4-3 Saturday against
Burlington and 12-2 Sunday against Pulaski. They committed a combined 10 errors between the two games.

Saturday’s pitchers were victimized by poor defense, as not a single run scored was earned. Starter Adrian Houser gave a strong performance, going 5 IP allowing 2H/0ER with 5K:2BB. 2B-Josh Magee went 2x5 with 1 RBI and 2 SB/1 CS and a 9th inning error that allowed the eventual winning run to get on base. At DH, 1B-Jesse Wierzbicki was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 SB.

Sunday was a different story pitching-wise, as the Astros pitchers deserved to give up most the runs they allowed, despite the 6 errors behind them. Starter Ricardo Batista went 3 IP giving up 6H/3ER with 2K:1BB. Paris Shewey got hit hard in his 1 IP, allowing 5H/5ER with 2K. At the plate, Jordan Scott continued his chase of the Appy League batting crown, going 2x4. Scott, now hitting .343 on the season, is behind only Brandon Drury of the Danville Braves, who is hitting .347. With just two games to go, he may not have time to catch the leader, though.

Man of the Weekend: Adrian Houser

GCL Astros (20-34)

Season over

DSL Astros (27-40)

Season over

DeFrancesco pulling for Van Hekken

Good article in The Oklahoman about the possibility of an Andy Van Hekken call-up, which Astros County completely endorses.

OKC manager Tony DeFrancesco:
“Hopefully, he will get a chance in September and help the Astros down the finish line."

Van Hekken - who has the PCL's 2nd-best ERA - understands that Ed Wade can be kind of a douche about call-ups, though:
“There just hasn't been a whole lot of opportunity (at the major league level). I know from the past they don't reward guys, just calling guys up because they've had good years. They want to get guys up there that can help them out (long-term).”

FanGraphs notes that Van Hekken's FIP is 3.26 (not sure when it was last updated), and that he's suffering from a .361 BABIP - so he's probably been better than his mainstream statistics indicate.

Working against Van Hekken is that he's not on the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 40. It's possible, I suppose, that the Astros could put Del Rosario or Escalona on the 60-Day DL to free up a spot. But it's ridiculous to me to think that the Astros wouldn't reward Van Hekken with a call-up for being one of the very few bright spots at OKC in 2011.

Maury Brown: No vote on Crane until November

Maury Brown said this morning that Jim Crane might not come up for a vote until November:

Yes, the league can hold the vote via conference call, but they have more pressing matters to deal with right now.

Those close to baseball say that the Dodgers bankruptcy, the Mets legal battles surrounding the Madoff ponzi scheme, and the labor negotiations around the new CBA are pushing the Astros sale into the backseat as resources are spread thin.

But, back to Crane, everyone close to the matter agrees that Crane’s background continues to be the wild card in getting the deal done. Rogers’ idea of Kenny Friedman may be a reach, but the idea that some other individual that would become the managing partner is something worth considering as the process continues to drag on.

At this point, it doesn't really matter when it happens - but Drayton should probably already be coming up with Plans B & C.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

There's something up with Crane

Richard Justice has been enjoying a fine run of articles and columns lately, and today's post on Crane's approval process has raised Justice's eyebrows:

You can read the delay in the approval process any way you like, but as someone who has known Selig for almost 30 years, it’s not insignificant.

Perhaps it really is as simple as completely vetting all the investors. But it could also be that MLB just can’t reach a comfort level with Crane.

In his heart Drayton McLane has to know this too. If he hasn’t begun to shop for another buyer, he’s at least thinking about the possibility. I’m not sure what has changed in the last couple of weeks, but something clearly has.

The Rockies will never get Wandy if the Astros keep acting like this

Troy E. Renck's article discusses the possibility of the Rockies chasing after Wandy in the off-season:

For the Rockies to improve next year, they must upgrade their rotation. It's why they placed a waiver-claim on Houston's Wandy Rodriguez​ and why they likely will pursue him in the offseason (talks aren't going anywhere if the Astros insist on acquiring pitcher Drew Pomeranz and catcher Wilin Rosario).

Even with the humidor, the Rockies know a salient truth: It's a lot easier to trade for a pitcher than to sign him as a free agent.