Friday, June 1, 2012

Goldstein has Astros taking Buxton

Baseball Prospectus' Kevin Goldstein has the Astros taking Byron Buxton with the 1-1 on Monday, saying that Luhnow's leash is long enough to take a riskier pick (over, say, Correa or Appel).

J.R. Richard wants his number retired

We love J.R. Richard - which is stated in our Twitter bio. He will be honored by the Astros tonight with a star on the Walk of Fame and will throw out the first pitch (which we expect to blow Jason Castro back to the bricks).

But he didn't stop there:
“When it happens, it happens, but I would like it to happen as soon as possible. And the reason why I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn is because when you look at the statistics, my number should have been the first one retired.”

Yeah, J.R. Richard's number should be retired. From 1975-1980, Richard was 96-65 with a 3.01 ERA/1.22 WHIP, with 73 complete games, 18 complete-game shutouts, and struck out 1339 batters in 1442.1IP. He led the league in strikeouts in 1978 and 1979 (616Ks, 567.2IP). He also led the league in walks three times, but whatever.

And the Astros have retired nine numbers (plus Jackie Robinson). Those players, in numerical order:
Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio
Jimmy Wynn
Jose Cruz
Jim Umbricht
Mike Scott
Nolan Ryan
Don Wilson
Larry Dierker

I can, of course, understand Bagwell, Biggio, Wynn, Cruz, and Ryan. I can get on board with Mike Scott and Larry Dierker. Still, nine retired numbers in 50 years is a stretch. That's a lot of numbers to retire, and hey:

Jim Umbricht:
9-5 record (8-3 with the Astros). 194IP, 3.06 ERA/1.17 WHIP. 6.2K/9. So how the heck did his number get retired? Well, he was 33 when he died, after a public battle with malignant melanoma. His ashes were spread through the Astrodome's construction site. The Colt .45s honored him by retiring his number, and wearing black wristbands for the entire 1964 season. His was the first number ever retired by the franchise. Hard to argue with that logic and reasoning.

Don Wilson
Longer career, similar story. Wilson was 29 years old when he died, after playing for the Astros his entire career (nine seasons), going 104-92, with a 3.15 ERA/1.21 WHIP, and throwing two no-hitters. He led the league twice - once in 1969 with 16 wild pitches, and in 1971 with only 6.5 H/9 (and an All-Star appearance). While every death is tragic, Wilson's was especially so. He was found in the passenger seat of his car, inside the garage, with the engine running. As the garage was attached to the house, his son passed away and his wife and daughter were hospitalized in a coma. This was January 5, 1975, the Astros retired his number on April 13. Official cause of death says that Wilson's death was accidental.

Point being, with nine retired numbers (the Red Sox have only retired seven numbers), is there a point to not honoring Richard? At this point, why wouldn't you? Richard was a great pitcher whose career - though, thankfully, not his life - was cut short in its prime. Like Umbricht and Wilson.

And who wears 50 now? Bullpen catcher Craig Bjornson. Richard should have to buy the number from him (Three Red Bulls ought to do it). So it's not like anyone's actually using it. Still, Richard is flying dangerously close to the Blyleven Conundrum: Act like you want it, and it won't happen (or, it will happen, but it'll take a lot longer). Calling out the Astros probably isn't going to help anything, but I would imagine that a J.R. Richard pre-game ceremony to retire his number would foster some goodwill with the new Apparatus. And I bet they'll take the extra admission said ceremony would bring in.

Further notes on the Rockies' series

I hated the Rockies to begin with. This didn't help:

*Collectively, the Rockies hit .368/.422/.664 over the four-game series.
*The Rockies reached base 72 times (56 hits, 14 walks, 2 HBPs).
*They were a perfect 9-for-9 in stealing bases. Seven of those came in the last two games.
*Furthermore, five of those seven stolen bases came when the Rockies were up 5-1, 5-0, 8-1, 9-4, and 11-5. Do with that information what you will.

*The Astros had double-digit hits in four straight games for the 2nd time this season, but at least had the decency to go 2-2 the first time around.
*They hit five homers, yet drew only four walks, in four games.
*Houston stole just one base during the series, and did not attempt a steal in the last three games, where they had 46 men reach base.
*Last night was the first time since April 19 that they didn't draw a walk.
*Astros Team ERA in series: 9.18. WHIP: 2.10.
*Team ERA went from 3.47 to 3.89 in four games.
*Astros pitchers allowed more earned runs on May 30-31 than they had in the previous seven games combined.

So, piss off Rockies. I hope you get lapped by the Dodgers.

Bud Norris had a hip flexor issue, and that's why he sucked last night

Bud Norris' worst start since August 23, 2009 (1IP, 6H/6ER, 1K:3BB) had a little to do with Colorado, and a little to do with his hip flexor:

“I really wanted to go out there and have a good one. The hip flexor was a little sore and I tweaked it bad, and that didn’t help. I tried to bulldog through it, but I made a couple mistakes, and they’ve been swinging the bat well.”

PreStros Farm Report: May 31


PreStros: May 31


Oklahoma City (31-23) 

Wes Musick continues to look like a breakout candidate after helping the RedHawks beat Nashville (MIL) 4-1.

Musick went 6 innings, allowing 1 R on 7 H with 4 K. Mickey Storey threw 2 scoreless innings. Jose Valdez pitched the ninth, allowing 1 H with 1 K for save number 11.

LF-Scott Moore was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R. RF-Fernando Martinez was 2x4 with 1 3B and 1 RBI. 3B-Brett Wallace went 1x4 with 1 HR and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Wes Musick

*Notes: The RedHawks hit 43 home runs in May. OKC has won eight straight against Nashville.

Corpus Christi (25-27) 

Corpus scored four runs in the 15th inning to beat Arkansas (LAA) 5-2.

Jose Cisnero threw 7 strong innings, giving up 1 R (unearned) on 5 H and 1 BB with 7 K. Kevin Chapman held down the next 2 scoreless innings with 2 H and 1 BB. Erick Abreu went 5 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Jason Stoffel pitched the final inning and gave up 1 R on 2 H.

CF-Austin Wates was 2x6 with 1 2B, 1 SB, and 1 RBI. 2B-Jose Martinez was 2x7 with 1 2B, 1 R, and 2 RBI. DH-Chris Wallace went 1x4 with 1 BB and 1 HR.

Man of the Match: Jose Cisnero/Erick Abreu

*Notes: Jon Singleton was named Texas League player of the week for the week of May 21-27. He hit .500 with four home runs and 12 runs batted in for the week. Jose Martinez snapped a 23 game on-base streak Wednesday night. During that stretch he moved up to 6th in the league in batting average.

Lancaster (27-27) 

The JetHawks took 13 innings to beat Visalia (ARI) 7-6, bringing their record back to .500.

David Martinez lasted 5.1 innings and gave up 3 R on 4 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Jose Trinidad added 2.2 scoreless innings with 2 H and 1 K. Kirk Clark threw 2 innings and allowed 3 R on 3 H with 2 K. Andrew Robinson threw 2 scoreless innings with 3 H and 2 K. Pat Urckfitz pitched the final inning, allowing 1 H with 2 K.

DH-Erik Castro was 0x4 with 2 BB, 1 R, and 1 RBI. RF-Domingo Santana was 1x5 with 1 2B and 2 RBI. LF-Telvin Nash went 1x4 with 1 HR. C-Ben Heath was 2x5 with 1 R and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Ben Heath

*Notes: Telvin Nash regained sole possession of the California League lead in home runs (14). It’s been an all or nothing season for Nash. While hitting just .219, 24 of his 39 hits have been for extra bases and he’s struck out 81 times in 47 games.

Lexington (28-25) 

Keeping with the theme of the night, the Legends also took their game to extra innings, losing 10-9 after 14 innings against Rome (ATL). Only six of those ten runs allowed were earned, due to seven Lexington errors on the night.

Jonas Dufek went 5.2 innings and gave up 6 R (5 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB with 4 K. Carlos Quevedo threw 1 inning and allowed 2 unearned runs on 2 H with 1 K. Jason Chowning pitched 2 scoreless innings with 1 H, 1 BB, and 3 K. Euris Quezada took the loss with 3.2 innings and gave up 1 unearned run on 2 H and 4 BB with 3 K.

2B-Delino DeShields went 2x7 with 2 2B, 2 R, and 1 error. 1B-Zach Johnson was 3x5 with 2 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, and 1 error. LF-Chris Epps went 4x6 with 1 BB, 2 R, and 1 error. RF-Drew Muren was 2x5 with 2 BB, 1 R, and 2 RBI. C-Mike Kvasnicka was 1x6 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, and 2 passed balls.

Man of the Match: Drew Muren

*Notes: The Legends are second in the league in errors, having committed 78 in 53 games. Jason Chowning is second in K/9 (13.5) among Sally League pitchers with at least 25 innings.


Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.


GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 2nd.

Campbell leaving the Chronicle

So last night Steve Campbell from the Houston Chronicle (a member of the Fearless Few who actually get paid to write about the Astros) announced that he was leaving not only the Houston Chronicle, but also the sportswriting profession (presumably). Here's the tweet:

My last story with the Houston Chronicle. I'm walking away from the business, into an entirely different realm.

Best wishes to Steve as he pursues...whatever the hell it is he's pursuing.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G51: Astros @ Rockies

Bud Norris (5-1, 3.34) vs Jeremy Guthrie (2-3, 5.31)

The Astros got blasted by the Rockies yet again, completing the sweep and handing the Astros their 6th straight loss. The Astros were outscored 40-23 in the 4 game set. While their offense was very good, their pitching was a complete disaster. The Astros now drop to 22-29 while the Rockies improve to 21-29.

*Bud Norris got knocked around big time, and didn't last very long at all. Feast your eyes on this line: 1.2 IP / 7 H / 9 ER / 3 BB / 2 K. His ERA jumped from 3.34 to 4.52 with the awful outing. Carpenter and Lyon each gave up a run as well, while Cruz, Cedeno, Rodriguez and Wright all saw work and didn't allow any runs.

Observations:

*Everytime the Astros get close to .500, they go on a losing streak. This team flashes some huge potential at times, and at other times looks just as bad or worse than last year.

*The Astros did manage 14 hits to the Rockies 15....but the Rockies just scored a pile more runs. Leading the hit parade for the Astros were Altuve (3 for 5), Lowrie (3 for 5) and Castro (2 for 5). Schafer, Lee, Bogey, JD and Maxwell each had a hit as well.

*JD went 1 for 4 with his one hit being his 5th homerun of the season.

*Lowire and Maxwell each had a double (Maxwells as a pinch hitter) and Castro picked up his second triple of the year.

*The Astros didn't walk once, but did only strike out 4 times.

Turning Point:

Well the first inning did it again - hard to give up 5 runs in the bottom of the 1st and then come back to make a game of it (deja vu from yesterday's game).

Man of the Match:

Yuck. How do we pick anyone in yet another blowout. Altuve I guess....solid day at the plate.

Goat of the Game:

Bud Norris. What an awful series for our pitching.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Jon Heyman announces Wandy as the "best lefty who could go"

Everyone's favorite Borasite, Jon Heyman, ranks the potential market for teams looking to add pieces at the deadline. What does that mean for Astros fans?

Wandy is #4, behind three NL Central pitchers:
The $33 million owed through 2014 if he's traded (the '14 option becomes a player option if dealt) doesn't look too terrible now for this very solid lefthander (4-4, 2.49 ERA) who could help a lot of teams. Rodriguez is the best lefty who could go.

Brett Myers is #14:
He's a rare closer having an excellent season (12 of 13 saves, 0.92 WHIP), but his contract is still silly: $11 million this year, a $10 million option for next year with a $3 million buyout. Good move by Houston to convert him, though.

We also have Brandon Lyon (#19) and Carlos Lee (#26) on the list. Read at your own peril.

Appel certainly wouldn't mind being picked by the Astros

ESPN's Jim Caple has a post on Mark Appel, and the possibility of Houston taking a hometown boy at 1-1.

Appel:
"...It would be a cherry on top of a dream come true. I've always dreamed of playing pro baseball and playing for the Astros would be pretty unbelievable."

Click the link for more.

And/Or you can click this link, which takes you to McTaggart's article on the prep going into next week's 1-1 pick, the first by Jeff Luhnow, who was hired - in part - based on his draft success with the Cardinals. Jim Crane:

"That was one of the reasons we hired Jeff, was his expertise in this area and needing that expertise to consistently have the Minor League system built up, so we can be competitive year in and year out."

Is Crane going to pull a Drayton and nickel-and-dime the draft? Nope, says Crane:
"We want to build for the future, so we've allocated the maximum amount of money to pay what the slot amount is."

Can we just go ahead and nominate Biggio for president?

Rays Digest has a Q&A with St. Thomas HS LHP Austin Fairchild, who is committed to TCU, but could spurn the Horned Frogs for the wheelbarrow full of money that may come his way next week. They asked about playing for Biggio:

What can I say? It's been an awesome experience. He’s told me a lot about what it takes to make it to the big leagues and the grind to get there. More importantly, he’s taught me the importance of respecting the game and playing the right way, which in the long run goes further than anything, especially when talking about life in general.

PreStros Farm Report: May 30


PreStros: May 30


Oklahoma City (30-23) 

Brian Bass pitched well in his OKC debut as the RedHawks beat Nashville (MIL) 7-2.

Bass threw 6 shutout innings, allowing 5 H, 2 HBP, and 1 BB with 2 K. Enerio Del Rosario gave up 1 R on 2 H in .1 innings. Adalberto Flores threw 1.2 innings and gave up 1 R on 2 H. Jose Valdez pitched the ninth, allowing 1 H.

LF-Scott Moore was 1x3 with 1 BB and 2 RBI. 3B-Brett Wallace went 1x3 with 1 BB and 1 HR. 2B-Jimmy Paredes as 2x3 with 1 R. CF-Brandon Barnes was 2x4 with 2 SB, 1 R, and 1 RBI. 2B-Angel Sanchez went 1x1 with 1 BB, 1 HR, 2 R, and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Brian Bass

*Notes: Dallas Keuchel was placed on the temporary inactive list to help alleviate a roster crunch. Jordan Lyles returned to OKC from Houston.

Corpus Christi (24-27) 

The Hooks made the most of their five hits to beat Arkansas (LAA) 3-2.

Ross Seaton lasted 6.2 innings and gave up 2 R on 9 H with 1 K. Josh Zeid threw 1.1 innings with 1 K. Jason Stoffel earned his sixth save with 1 scoreless inning allowing 1 H.

CF-Austin Wates was 1x2 with 1 BB, 2 SB, and 1 R. 1B-Jon Singleton was 1x4 with 1 HR. RF-Andrew Simunic was 0x2 with 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 R, and 1 outfield assist on a play at the plate.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates

*Notes: Jon Singleton was named Texas League player of the week for the week of May 21-27. He hit .500 with four home runs and 12 runs batted in for the week. Seaton has held his opponents to two or fewer earned runs in six of his last seven starts. Jarred Cosart was scratched for this game due to “not conforming to organizational policy.” He is expected to make his next start Sunday.

Lancaster (26-27) 

The JetHawks managed to pull out of their 3 G flat spin (three games…see what I did there?) with a 4-3 win over Visalia (ARI).

Ruben Alaniz gave an impressive 8 innings, allowing 2 R on 7 H and 1 BB with 4 K. Andrew Robinson gave up 1 H and 1 BB and was charged with 1 R without getting an out in the ninth. Kirk Clark shut the door with 1 inning, 0 R, and 2 BB.

SS-Alex Todd went 1x2 with 3 BB, 1 2B, 1 SB, and 1 R. CF-George Springer was 1x5 with 1 SB and 2 R. DH-Erik Castro was 2x4 with 1 BB, 1 HR, and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Ruben Alaniz

*Notes: The JetHawks are 20-0 with leading after eight innings. They are 22-3 when allowing four or fewer runs.

Lexington (28-24) 

The Legends dominated Augusta (SF) from start to finish, winning 6-1.

Luis Cruz threw 7 shutout innings, allowing 7 H and 1 BB with 5 K. Evan Grills pitched the final 2 innings and gave up 1 R on 2 H and 1 BB with 2 K.

2B-Delino DeShields went 1x4 with 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 R, and 1 RBI. CF-Jordan Scott was 1x5 with 1 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI. 1B-Jesse Wierzbicki was 2x4 with 1 3B, 1 SB, 1 R, and 2 RBI. SS-Chan Moon went 3x3 with 1 BB and 2 R.

Man of the Match: Luis Cruz

*Notes: Three of the top four league leaders in innings pitched are Legends (Cruz, Foltynewicz, Tropeano).


Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.


GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 2nd.

Inbox!

It doesn't happen often, but this morning AC got an email from a reader in Winnie:

Q: Hey, y'all haven't posted much lately. What the hell?

A: It's because we're busy planning the rollout of Astros County: Winnie.

Ahh, I jest. But seriously, we are but humble bloggers, with actual jobs. And when Trostel isn't getting shoutouts from Morgan Ensberg, he's got a bunch of stuff going on. McQuid also has a ton of Real Life getting in the way. Also, perhaps you know this, but The Constable and Wife are having a baby in the next month or so. So there are going to be periods of inactivity here and there while we deal with the stuff that pays the bills and keeps our marriages together.

That said, next week is going to be all about the draft (as well as minor-league recaps and game recaps). There will be saturation coverage all three days, including a Live-Chat scheduled for the 1st Round. It'll get better, but please bear with us.

Also, if you're interested in writing for AC, shoot us an email at astroscounty (at) gmail.com.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G50: Astros @ Rockies

Lucas Harrell (3-3, 4.09) vs Christian Friedrich (2-1, 5.09)

The Astros dropped their 5th in a row in a 13-5 blowout loss to the Colorado Rockies. Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez homered 3 times to pace the Rockies offense. While the Astros did manage 5 runs, it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the Rockies high powered attack. The Astros now drop to 22-28 while the Rockies improve to 20-29.

*Lucas Harrell was not good at all, as indicated by his line. 5.0 IP / 10 H / 9 ER / 3 BB / 4 K. The bullpen was also very hittable, as Cruz, Cedeno and Carpenter each allowed a run in relief (with Cruz allowing 2 runs). Harrell drops to 4-4 on the year with a 4.71 ERA.

Observations:

*While overshadowed by the Rockies offensive outburst, the Astros offense actually had a pretty nice day - they managed 5 runs on 15 hits and a pair of walks, although they did strike out 8 times. Unfortunately it could have been much better, as the Astros only went 4 for 17 with runners in scoring position and left a total of 13 men on base.

*Snyder drove in 2 runs, while Maxwell, CJ and Harrell each drove in 1. Runs were scored by Maxwell (2), Altuve, Lowrie and JD. 

*Chris Snyder struck out 3 times in 5 plate appearances, and walked once. He also had a double.

*Altuve had a nice 3 for 5 day at the plate from the 2 hole. 

*Justin Maxwell had a bit  of a mixed day - an error, but an outfield assist. A strikeout, but 2 hits, 2 runs and an RBI. All in all a pretty nice day for rightfielder however, and he has clearly earned himself more playing time as of late.

*Chris Johnson went 3 for 3 and improved his season average to .298.

*OBP for the top 4 Astros hitters tonight (including tonights results): Schafer (.335), Altuve (.357), Lowrie (.350), Lee (.352). The Astros are getting on base...we just need some run producers to bring them home.

Turning Point:

The bottom of the 1st was a real dagger. The Rockies jumped on the Astros early and often yet again. It's hard to keep motivated when you keep digging an early hole.

Man of the Match:

Justin Maxwell. A pretty nice all around game. 

Goat of the Game:

Lucas Harrell. Very rough outing.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

How Many Altuves officially goes nuts

We've been remiss not to mention that our own Juvenile Court Clerk, Bryan Trostel, is the brains behind the wildly popular How Many Altuves website, which you've likely seen on Alyson Footer's blog, Hardball Talk, or heard on the Astros/Rockies broadcast tonight, or heard on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM. So head over that way to find out how many times Jose Altuve would fit inside you. Wait.

Good work, Trostel.

Jarred Cosart made an oops

Jarred Cosart was scratched from his start for the Hooks tonight for "not conforming to organizational policy." He's slated to start on Sunday instead.

This could be absolutely anything, so it's hard to speculate. Greg Rajan notes that it likely wasn't Twitter-related, so that leaves...um...just about anything else.

Turner Field Invasion

Astros County and The Crawfish Boxes, along with a few other of your favorite Astros blogs, have been planning to "invade" Turner Field in Atlanta for the Braves/Astros series August 3-5. The idea is to have enough of us show up and #RootRootRoot that we turn that series into a "home" series for our Stros.

If you follow us on twitter you may already have seen some of the planning and we're now working to finalize those plans. If you're interested in learning more shoot me an email to bryantrostel at gmail.com with the subject line "Turner Field Invasion" and we'll get you added to the growing list. Being on the list does not commit you to attend, it simply gives us an idea of how many may be interested and ensures you're made aware as details fall into place.

PreStros Farm Report: May 29


PreStros: May 29


Oklahoma City (29-23) 

Dallas Keuchel threw a complete game shutout…okay the game was shortened to five innings due to a hail storm, but the RedHawks still beat Nashville (MIL) 2-0.

Keuchel threw all 5 innings and allowed just 4 H with 3 K.

RF-Brad Snyder was 1x2 with 1 BB, 1 2B, and 1 RBI. 2B-Jimmy Paredes was 1x2 with 1 2B and 1 RBI. C-Carlos Corporan went 1x1 with 1 2B, 1 R,  picked a runner off first base and caught another stealing.

Man of the Match: Dallas Keuchel

*Notes: David Carpenter has been promoted back to Houston. Enerio Del Rosario was sent to OKC from Houston. Chris Hicks has been promoted from Corpus and presumably activated from the DL. Landon Powell has a nine game hitting streak including four homeruns.

Corpus Christi (23-27) 

OFF

*Notes: Jon Singleton was named Texas League player of the week for the week of May 21-27. He hit .500 with four home runs and 12 runs batted in for the week. T.J. Steele was released over the weekend. Brandon Wikoff has been added to the CC roster.

Lancaster (25-27) 

Excessive wildness by JetHawks starter Jorge De Leon led to an early six run deficit for Lancaster as they ultimately lost 7-4 to Lake Elsinore (LAA). The Storm was also seven for seven in stolen base attempts.

De Leon lasted just 3 innings and gave up 6 R on 5 H, 5 BB, and 1 HBP with 1 WP and 1 K. Zach Grimmett threw the final 5 innings and allowed 1 unearned run on 5 H and 1 BB with 3 K.

SS-Ben Orloff was 1x4 with 1 BB and 2 RBI. RF-Adam Bailey was 1x5 with 1 2B, 1 RBI, and 1 outfield assist on a play at the plate. DH-Domingo Santana was 2x4. 2B-Kike Hernandez went 1x3 with 1 BB and 1 HR.

Man of the Match: Enrique Hernandez

*Notes: Adam Bailey was promoted to Corpus following this game. Grant Hogue will take his roster spot. Hogue broke a bone in his hand during spring training and has played yet this season.

Lexington (27-24) 

Another night, another extra inning game in Lexington. Unfortunately the Legends were on the losing end this time, falling 2-1 to Augusta (SF) in 11 innings.

Mike Foltynewicz pitched a gem, going 7 innings and allowing just 1 R on 5 H and 1 BB with 5 K. Dayan Diaz threw 2 scoreless innings with 1 BB and 3 K. Murilo Gouvea took the loss with 2 innings and 1 R on 2 H with 1 K.

2B-Delino DeShields went 1x5 with 1 HR. 3B-Matt Duffy was 1x4 with 1 BB and 1 2B.

Man of the Match: Mike Foltynewicz

*Notes: Chris Epps has a thirteen game hitting streak, raising his average from .111 to .258 over that stretch. Mike Foltynewicz is dominating the Sally League so far. He’s 6-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 11 starts.


Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.


GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 2nd.

Buxton is "the best player I've scouted"

The Tacoma News-Tribune's John McGrath talked to scouts about some of the possible 1-1s in next week's draft, and the scout who talked about Byron Buxton needs to get the drool off his chin:

A National League scout told Baseball America that Buxton is “probably the best player I’ve scouted.” The scout wasn’t referring to this year. He was referring to the best player he’s scouted, period. “It’s the best tool package I’ve seen in 10 years, and he has the potential to hit,” the scout continued. “This kind of athlete doesn’t play our sport. He’s unique to our game. The ones we get don’t have a feel for the game. This guy does.”

And WSAV (Savannah) has this interview with Buxton:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PreStros Farm Report: May 28


PreStros: May 28


Oklahoma City (28-23) 

Was yesterday Memorial Day, or Groundhog Day? Facing a lineup that included Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera, both on rehab assignments, the RedHawks couldn’t keep up offensively in the 11-9 loss to Albuquerque (LAD).

Aneury Rodriguez went just 3 innings and gave up 7 R on 7 H and 5 BB with 3 K. Sergio Perez threw the next 3 innings, allowing 1 R on 5 H with 3 K. Adalberto Flores finished out the last 2 innings and gave up 3 R on 1 H and 2 BB with 3 K.

3B-Scott Moore was 2x5 with 1 R. 2B/SS-Brian Bixler went 3x5 with 1 R and 1 RBI. SS-Angel Sanchez was 1x2 with 1 BB and 1 HR. CF-Brandon Barnes went 2x5 with 2 R and 1 SB.

Man of the Match: Brian Bixler

*Notes: Pending an assumed demotion of Jordan Lyles back to OKC and the addition of recent minor league free agents Armando Galarraga and Brian Bass, OKC will need to remove someone from their roster in the next few days.

Corpus Christi (23-27) 

Jake Buchanan pitched well, but not as well as his counterpart on the mound, as the Hooks lost 3-2 against Springfield (STL).

Buchanan threw 7 innings and gave up 3 R on 6 H and 1 BB with 6 K. Arcenio Leon and Jason Stoffel each threw 1 scoreless inning in relief.

CF-Austin Wates was 1x4 with 1 BB and 1 SB. 2B-Jose Martinez was 2x4 with 1 R. 3B-Brandon Wikoff went 2x3 with 1 BB and 1 SB.

Man of the Match: Jake Buchanan

*Notes: Jon Singleton was named Texas League player of the week for the week of May 21-27. He hit .500 with four home runs and 12 runs batted in for the week. T.J. Steele was released over the weekend.

Lancaster (25-26) 

Domingo Santana continues to swing a hot bat, but the JetHawks bullpen couldn’t hold the lead as Lancaster lost 8-5 to Lake Elsinore (SD).

Tyson Perez lasted 7 innings and gave up 5 R on 8 H and 2 BB with 4 K. Brian Streilein took the loss by giving up 3 R on 3 H and 1 BB without recording an out. Brad Dydalewicz logged 1 scoreless inning.

SS-Ben Orloff was 2x5 with 1 R. RF-Domingo Santana went 2x4 with 1 2B, 1 HR, and 3 RBI. 1B-Erik Castro was 2x3 with 1 BB and 1 2B.

Man of the Match: Domingo Santana

*Notes: After his hot start, Telvin Nash is hitting just .200/.263/.422 in May with a strikeout rate of 47.5%. His 13 home runs are tied for the California League lead.

Lexington (27-23) 

After battling to tie the game in the eight inning, then again in the ninth, the Legends beat Augusta (SF) 4-3 in dramatic fashion with a bases loaded walkoff single by Jordan Scott in the tenth inning.

Luis Ordosgiotti went 7 innings, allowing 2 R on 6 H and 1 BB with 6 K. Carlos Quevedo took the final 3 innings and gave up 1 R on 2 H with 6 K.

2B-Delino DeShields was 2x4 with 1 BB. CF-Jordan Scott was 2x5 with 1 RBI. 3B-Matt Duffy went 1x4 with 1 HR. LF-Chris Epps was 2x4 with 1 2B and 2 R.

Man of the Match: Chris Epps

*Notes: Chris Epps has a twelve game hitting streak, raising his average from .111 to .262 over that stretch. After Luis Ordosgiotti’s rough debut, in which he allowed six earned runs in three and two thirds innings, he has settled in to post a 2.83 ERA over his last four starts.


Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.


GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 2nd.

Monday, May 28, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G49: Astros @ Rockies

Jordan Lyles (0-1, 5.29) vs Alex White (1-3, 5.32)

Apparently the Astros weren't happy being scheduled to play 'only' 18 innings today, thanks to their Double Header, so they took the Rockies to extra innings in the night cap. In the end it was the Rockies who prevailed over the Astros 7-6 in 10 innings. The Astros and Rockies ended up playing a total of 19 innings today. The Astros finish the day with a year to date record of 22-27, while the Rockies now sit at 19-29. The Astros have now lost 4 in a row. The two teams take a day off tomorrow, before concluding the series on Wednesday.

*Jordan Lyles didn't have a great night. His line: 5.0 IP / 6 H / 6 R / 4 ER / 2 BB / 3 K. Following him were a plethora of Astros relief pitchers - Cruz, Wright, Lopez, Cedeno, Rodriguez, Lyon and finally Myers.

Observations:

*The Astros deployed a slightly different lineup for the nightcap. However, thanks to extra innings, there weren't many 'nights off' to be had.

*Schafer led off again and went 1 for 4 with a RBI. The fact that he was able to play both games of the doubleheader SHOULD mean he's fully recovered from his injury.

*Altuve batted second but had a rough night at the plate, going 0 for 5.

*Bogusevic was promoted to third in the lineup with Lowrie having the night off (to start - although he did enter the game as a pinch hitter), and he responded going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and a run on his homerun.

*CJ and Castro got the night off, with Downs and Snyder in their place. Neither were much of a factor at the plate. CJ was used a pinch hitter so he also did not get the full night off - much like Lowrie.

*Snyder & Maxwell also homered tonight.

*Myers entered the game in the 10th and promptly gave up a single to Cuddyer, and a triple to Fowler to end the game.

Turning Point:

Brett Myers entering the game.

Man of the Match:

The bullpen. Until Brett Myers came in. And offensively, Bogusevic.

Goat of the Game:

Brett Myers. And CJ for grounding into a double play in the top of the 10th to kill a very good chance of scoring for the Astros.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G48: Astros @ Rockies

Wandy Rodriguez (4-4, 2.14) vs Juan Nicasio (2-2, 4.83)

In an entertaining back and forth game, it was an error which eventually allowed the Colorado Rockies to take a 9-7 lead and sneak away with the opening game in today's Day/Night Doubleheader in Colorado. The Astros lose their 3rd straight and fall to 22-26 while the Rockies now sit at 18-29.

*Wandy Rodriguez was hit hard in the thin Colorado air. His line: 5.0 IP / 10 H / 7 R (4 ER) / 0 BB / 5 K. At least his control was good, as he didn't walk a single batter. Lyon, Wright and Cedeno got work, while Fernando Rodriguez took a tough luck loss.

Observations:

*Schafer led off and had a great day at the plate. In fact, the whole top half of the order had a nice day at the plate.

*Schafer/Altuve/Lowrie/Lee/CJ batted 1 to 5. They went a combined for 12 for 23 with 7 runs scored, 6 RBI, a HR and a SB. 

*Bogey/JD/Castro/Wandy batted 6 to 9. They went a combined 0 for 12 with 6 strikeouts. Maxwell and Downs also saw AB's in the #9 spot, and went 0 for 2 combined.

Turning Point:

*In a 7-7 game in the 7th, Jed Lowrie flipped to 2nd on a groundball thinking Altuve had called for it. Unfortunately he didn't and the ball went to an uncovered bag. The Rockies would end up scoring 2 runs in the inning, taking the 9-7 lead.

Man of the Match:

Many good options tonight as the offense was stellar, but going to give it to Schafer. Looks like he's back in form. 3 for 5, 3 runs scored, a triple and a stolen base.

Goat of the Game:

Hate to, but have to give it to Lowrie for the error in the 7th. Lowrie took it luck a man and faced the press after the game, which he wasn't required to do. Good on him. Could have easily been the Man of the Match based on his nice day at the plate, had it not been for that one game changing play.

PreStros Farm Report: May 27


PreStros: May 27


Oklahoma City (28-22) 

Facing a lineup that included Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera, both on rehab assignments, the RedHawks couldn’t keep up offensively in the 11-9 loss to Albuquerque (LAD).

Paul Clemens last 5.1 innings and gave up 8 R on 11 H (3 HR) and 1 BB with 8 K. Juan Abreu went 1.2 innings, allowing 2 R on 5 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Jonnathan Aristil threw the final inning, giving up 1 R on 2 H.

3B/1B-Scott Moore was 2x4 with 1 BB, 1 2B, 2 R, and 2 RBI. SS-Angel Sanchez was 2x2 with 1 2B, 2 R, and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Scott Moore

*Notes: Brandon Barnes has been called up from Corpus Christi. Xavier Cedeno was promoted to Houston.

Corpus Christi (23-26) 

Springfield (STL) scored five runs in the top of the first and never looked back as the Hooks lost 10-1.

Brett Oberholtzer lasted 6 innings, allowing 5 R on 6 H and 3 BB with 3 K. Henry Villar pitched 1 scoreless inning with 1 K. Erick Abreu threw 1 inning and gave up 4 R (2 earned) on 2 H and 2 BB. Alex Sogard took the final inning, giving up 1 R on 3 H.

SS-Jonathan Villar was 0x3 with 1 BB, 2 SB, and 1 R. RF-Jake Goebbert was 1x3 with 1 BB.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Villar

*Notes: At the time of his callup to OKC, Brandon Barnes was in the top 10 in runs (30), home runs (7), runs batted in (31), batting average (.317), slugging percentage (.567), OPS (.944), and total bases (93). He was also leading the league in doubles (20).

Lancaster (25-25) 

For the third straight night Lancaster took the game to extra innings but this time they fell short, losing 6-5 to Lake Elsinore (SD).

Bobby Doran threw 7.1 innings and gave up 4 R (2 earned) on 7 H and 2 BB with 6 K. Kirk Clark turned in 1.2 scoreless innings with 1 H and 3 BB. Gabriel Garcia went the next 2.2 innings and allowed 1 R on 1 H with 4 K. Jose Trinidad took the loss with 2 innings, allowing 1 R on 2 H with 1 K.

CF-George Springer was 1x6 with 1 BB, 2 SB, 2 R and 1 RBI. RF-Domingo Santana was 3x6 with 1 3B, 1 R, and 2 RBI. 3B-Jonathan Meyer went 3x5 with 1 BB, 1 R, and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Domingo Santana

*Notes: After a five game win streak last week, the JetHawks have lost five of their last seven.

Lexington (26-23) 

The Legends salvaged a series split against Hickory (TEX) as they won 6-4.

Nick Tropeano threw 6.1 innings and gave up 4 R on 12 H with 4 K. Murilo Gouvea pitched 1.2 innings and allowed 3 H with 2 K. Jason Chowning owned the ninth as usual with 2 K earning his 9th save.

DH-Zach Johnson was 1x3 with 1 BB, 1 HR, and 2 R. 3B-Matt Duffy was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R. LF-Brandon Meredith went 2x5 with 1 2B and 1 R. RF-Chris Epps was 1x4 with 1 2B, 1 R, and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Zach Johnson

*Notes: Chris Epps has an eleven game hitting streak, raising his average from .111 to .246 over that stretch.


Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.


GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 2nd.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G47: Astros @ Dodgers

JA Happ (4-3, 4.56) vs Chris Capuano (6-1, 2.25)

The Astros jumped on the Dodgers early, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a Jose Altuve leadoff triple, but the Dodgers didn't waste much time tying and taking the lead in the game. They eventually cruised to a 5-1 win, also winning the series. The Astros now sit at 22-25 while the Dodgers are 32-15.

*JA Happ had a very nice game, and it could have been much better if not for a costly Chris Johnson error in the 7th. His line: 6.1 IP / 9 H / 3 R (2 ER) / 2 BB / 10 K. He continues to have a nice outings and finally is starting to look like a solid middle of the rotation starter. Rodriguez and Del Rosario also saw work, along with Xavier Cedeno.

Observations:

*The Astros have not won a series on the road yet this year and have a road record of 6-15.

*Chris Johnson had a very rough afternoon, going 0 for 3 at the plate and striking out twice, and making 2 errors (one of which was a real dagger in the 7th).

*Jose Altuve led off the game with a standup triple, but was quiet after that. He finished 1 for 4 with a run scored.

*Altuve was leading off because Schafer was out again. Maxwell started in CF and went 0 for 3 with a K.

*All in all, a very tough night for the offense. The Astros only managed 2 hits (1 for Altuve leading off, and 1 for Lowrie batting 2nd). They also only drew 2 walks while striking out 10 times. 

Turning Point:

Chris Johnson's error in the 7th was a big one. Had CJ fielded it cleanly it could have been a double play and still a 2-1 game, but that cost the Astros another run, putting them down 3-1. Tough to overcome against some good Dodger pitching.

Man of the Match:

JA Happ had a very nice outing and deserves Man of the Match tonight. Easily could have come away with a win in this one.

Goat of the Game:

Chris Johnson went 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts and 2 errors. Ouch.

T.J. Steele Released

Greg Rajan has tweeted that Steele has been released and IF Brandon Wikoff has been added to the CC roster from extended spring training.

Steele was the Astros 4th round pick in 2008 but, other than the typical Lancaster boost, never lived up to expectations. In 2012 he hit just .141/.184/.268 with 27 strikeouts in 78 plate appearances.

PreStros Farm Report: May 26


PreStros: May 26


Oklahoma City (28-21) 

Wes Musick didn’t fare as well in his second AAA start as the RedHawks lost 7-4 to Albuquerque (LAD).

Musick threw 5.2 innings and gave up 6 R (5 earned) on 11 H and 2 BB with 4 K. Adalberto Flores went 1.1 innings and gave up 1 unearned run on 3 H with 2 K. Jose Valdez pitched a scoreless ninth with 1 K.

CF-Brad Snyder was 1x4 with 1 BB, 1 SB, and 2 R with 1 outfield assist. 1B-Brett Wallace was 1x3 with 2 BB and 1 RBI. LF/RF-JB Shuck went 3x3 with 1 BB, 1 2B, and 1 R.

Man of the Match: Brad Snyder

*Notes: After drawing just four walks in his first 41 games, Brett Wallace has doubled his 2012 total with four more walks in his last two games.

Corpus Christi (23-25) 

The Hooks survived a five run inning by Springfield (STL) to win 6-5 on a walk-off home run by Jonathan Villar.

Jose Cisnero threw 90 pitches in 5 plus innings, allowing 2 R on 5 H with 5 K. Alex Sogard went 1 inning and gave up 3 R (2 earned) on 3 H with 2 K. Josh Zeid pitched 2 innings with 1 H and 1 K. Kevin Chapman threw a scoreless ninth.

SS-Jonathan Villar was 2x5 with 1 SB, 1 HR, and 2 R. 1B-Jon Singleton was 2x4 with 1 HR and 2 RBI. CF-Brandon Barnes went 1x4 with 1 HR. RF-Jake Goebbert was 3x4 with 2 R. C-Chris Wallace was 3x3 with 1 2B.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Villar

*Notes: Chris Wallace returned to the lineup for the first time since being placed on the temporarily inactive list on May 3 for a groin injury.

Lancaster (25-24) 

The JetHawks won on an extra-inning walk-off single for the second night in a row. This time it was Rene Garcia in the tenth that gave Lancaster a 5-4 victory over Inland Empire (LAA).

David Martinez lasted 6 innings and gave up 4 R (2 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB with 4 K. Brian Streilein went 3 scoreless innings with 1 H and 1 K. Pat Urckfitz gave up 1BB and 1 H before getting 1 K for his .1 innings. Jose Trinidad got the last two outs.

SS-Ben Orloff was 2x4 with 1 RBI. CF-George Springer was 1x3 with 2 BB, 1 3B, and 2 RBI. LF-Telvin Nash went 1x4 with 1 BB, 1 HR, and 2 R. 3B-Jonathan Meyer was 2x5 with 1 R. C-Rene Garcia was 3x5 with 1 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Rene Garcia

*Notes: The JetHawks position players are tied for the youngest age in the league at 22.2. Domingo Santana, 19, is the youngest on the team and is tied for youngest in the league

Lexington (25-23) 

The Legends were roughed up by Hickory (TEX) 11-2.

Jonas Dufek went 4 innings and gave up 6 R on 7 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Euris Quezada threw the next 3 innings and allowed 4 R on 4 H and 2 BB with 3 K. Dayan Diaz pitched the final inning, allowing 1 R on 2 H with 1 K.

2B-Delino DeShields was 2x3 with 1 2B. 3B-Matt Duffy was 1x3 with 1 HR. RF-Justin Gominsky went 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R. SS/2B-Chan Moon was 2x4.

Man of the Match: Justin Gominsky

*Notes: Chris Epps has a ten game hitting streak, raising his average from .111 to .245 over that stretch.


Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.


GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.


DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 2nd.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G46: Astros @ Dodgers

Bud Norris (5-1, 3.14) vs Chad Billingsley (2-3. 3.91)

The Astros hung with one of the best teams in the Majors for a full 9 innings again, but they couldn't build on their winning streak as they dropped a 6-3 decision to the Dodgers, due to a walkoff 3 run homerun by Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis in the bottom of the 9th. The Astros drop 2 games back of .500 at 22-24 while the Dodgers improve to 31-15. The Astros will look to pick up the series win on Sunday.

*Bud Norris had been hot as of late, but he laboured through his outing today. He threw 116 pitches (74 for strikes) in only 4.2 innings of work. His line: 4.2 IP / 8 H / 3 ER / 4 BB / 4 K. Del Rosario, Cruz, Lyon, Wright and Lopez each saw work. Wright took the loss after his baserunner scored on the walkoff homerun (given up by Lopez).

Observations:

*Jordan Schafer returned to the lineup and slid right back into his familiar leadoff spot. Another interesting decision by Mills as Schafer had been struggling there even before his injury, and Altuve had been red hot there. Schafer went 1 for 4 with a walk and an RBI, but also struck out twice.

*Altuve went 1 for 5 with another double from the 2 hole. His line on the year is now .309/.361/.463. The guy can hit.

*After JD Martinez' big game, he came crashing right back down to earth with an 0 for 5, 2 K performance.

*Carlos Lee continued to quietly produce, going 1 for 5 with another RBI. His line on the year is now a very solid .301/.359/.428.

*CJ and Castro each picked up a hit as well. CJ's line is pretty solid this year as well - .289/.327/.440. 

*The Astros walked 6 times to 9 strikeouts, not a bad ratio. They also had 7 hits on the night, but went 2 for 10 with RISP again - one of their biggest ongoing struggles this season.

Turning Point:

It doesn't get much bigger than the 3 run walkoff homerun by Ellis, although the Dodgers 4th inning was a big turning point too, as they Astros still held a 2-1 lead - but came out of that inning down 3-2.

Man of the Match:

Bogusevic had a very nice night at the plate, scoring 2 runs (including the game tying run in the 8th), and went 2 for 3 with a walk.

Goat of the Game:

Wilton Lopez gave up the walkoff 3 run homerun after giving up a walk as well.