Saturday, July 14, 2012

Jonathan Villar out 6 weeks

Zach Levine just let us know that Villar's anger management issues just cost him 6 weeks of development time.

Hopefully this won't have any long-term impact on his game. It's just another example of why no prospect can ever be a "sure thing."

PreStros Farm Report: July 13


PreStros: July 13


Oklahoma City (53-39) 

The RedHawks lost a wild one 10-8 to New Orleans (MIA).

Brian Bass lasted just 2.2 innings and gave up 6 R on 8 H and 2 BB with 4 K. Sergio Perez went 3 scoreless innings, allowing 5 H and 1 BB with 2 K. Juan Abreu threw 1.1 scoreless with 1 BB and 1 K. Mickey Storey pitched .2 innings and gave up 3 R on 1 H and 2 BB with 1 K. Adalberto Flores took the last 1.1 innings and allowed 1 R on 1 H.

CF-Brandon Barnes was 3x4 with 3 SB, 1 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI. LF-Fernando Martinez was 2x4 with 1 BB, 1 R, and 1 RBI. C-Carlos Corporan was 3x4 with 1 HR, 3 R, and 2 RBI. 3B-Matt Dominguez went 2x5 with 1 R and 2 RBI. RF-JB Shuck was 1x1 with 1 BB, 1 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Carlos Corporan

*Notes: Carlos Corporan is 12x21 (.571) over his last five games, raising his average from .233 to .280. He currently leads all PCL catchers in CS% at 43.6 %.

Corpus Christi (51-39) 

The Hooks wore out Frisco (TEX), winning 12-2.

Jake Buchanan threw 6 innings and allowed 2 R on 9 H and 3 BB with 1 K. Kevin Chapman went 2 scoreless innings, allowing 1 H with 2 K. Alex Sogard pitched a perfect ninth with 1 K.

LF-Austin Wates was 4x5 with 2 2B, 2 R, and 2 RBI. 2B-Jose Martinez was 2x4 with 1 BB, 2 HR, and 4 RBI. 1B-Jonathan Singleton went 2x5 with 1 2B, 1 HR, and 2 R. SS-Jonathan Villar was 1x4 with 1 HR and 2 RBI. DH-Kody Hinze was 1x3 with 1 BB and 1 HR. C-Jair Fernandez went 2x4 with 1 2B and 2 R.

Man of the Match: Jose Martinez

*Notes: Jose Cisnero, Jonathan Villar, and Andrew Simunic were named the CC players of the month by the Astros.

Lancaster (47-44) 

The JetHawks split a doubleheader with Visalia (ARI), losing the first game 7-2 and winning the second 13-3.

Game 1

Nick Tropeano threw 5 innings, giving up 5 R on 7 H and 2 BB with 4 K. Rene Garcia went 2x3 with 1 2B and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Rene Garcia

Game 2

Zach Grimmett threw 3 innings and gave up 2 R on 5 H and 1 BB with 4 K. Carlos Quevedo went 3 scoreless innings with 3 H and 3 K. George Springer was 3x3 with 2 R and 1 RBI. RF-Domingo Santana was 2x3 with 1 BB, 1 SB, 2 R, and 3 RBI. LF-Chris Epps went 2x3 with 1 SB, 2 R and 1 HR, a grand slam. SS-Ben Orloff went 3x3 with 1 BB, 1 2B, 3 R, and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Chris Epps

*Notes: Jose Trinidad, Ben Heath, and Ben Orloff were named Lancaster players of the month by the Astros.


Lexington (47-44) 

The Legends completed their sweep of Kannapolis (CHW) with their second straight dramatic comeback victory, as they won 4-3. Lexington won all four games this series by a total of five runs.

Jonas Dufek threw 6.2 innings and gave up 3 R on 6 H and 1 BB with 7 K. Tommy Shirley pitched 1.1 innings with 2 H and 1 K. Dayan Diaz finished up the final inning with 1 H and 3 K.

LF-Jordan Scott was 2x4 with 1 SB, 1 R, and 2 RBI. CF-Justin Gominsky went 2x4. SS-Chan Moon was 2x4.

Man of the Match: Jordan Scott

*Notes: Mike Foltynewicz, Delino DeShields, and Zach Johnson were named Lexington players of the month by the Astros. Delino DeShields is hitting .413 in July. Jordan Scott has hit .316 against Kannapolis this season.

Tri-City (18-7) 

The ValleyCats continued their domination of the NYPL, beating Williamsport (PHI) 7-2.

Vincent Velasquez went 6 innings, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 3 H and 1 BB with 8 K. Brad Propst went 2 perfect innings with 3 K. Juan Minaya pitched a scoreless ninth with 1 H.

SS-Austin Elkins was 3x5 with 2 SB, 1 2B, and 1 R. 3B-Ryan Dineen was 2x4 with 1 BB and 2 R. DH-Tyler Heineman was 3x5 with 1 RBI. RF-Emilio King was 2x5 with 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Vincent Velasquez

*Notes: The ValleyCats have scored the second-most runs in the league, while allowing the fewest. They lead the Stedler Division by four games over Vermont.

Greeneville (14-9) 

The G-Stros beat Elizabethton (MIN) 3-2 in 10 innings.

Francis Ramirez threw 4 scoreless innings, allowing 1 H and 3 BB with 6 K. Zach Hardoin pitched .2 innings and gave up 1 R on 2 H and 1 BB with 1 K. Jordan Jankowski went 1.2 innings and gave up 1 R on 2 H with 3 K. Scott Zuloaga threw .2 innings with 1 H. Euris Quezada pitched the final 3 innings with 1 BB and 5 K.

CF-D’Andre Toney was 1x2 with 2 BB and 1 R. 3B-Angel Ibanez was 1x4 with 1 BB. C-Ernesto Genoves went 1x3 with 1 BB and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Euris Quezada

*Notes: Greeneville has moved into a tie for first with Elizabethton.


GCL Astros (10-13) 

The Astros lost a pitcher’s duel to the Nationals 1-0, with the only run coming with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.

Lance McCullers threw 3 scoreless innings with 1 H and 2 K. Agapito Barrious pitched 5.2 innings, allowing 1 R on 4 H and 3 HBP with 4 K.

3B-Darwin Rivera was 1x4 with 1 2B. 1B-Yonathan Mejia was 1x3 with 1 BB. DH-Wallace Gonzalez was 1x3 with 1 2B.

Man of the Match: Lance McCullers

*Notes: Lance McCullers made his professional debut in this game.


DSL Astros (11-24) 

The Astros took a 2-1 lead after the first inning, but lost to the Dodgers 8-2.

Elieser Hernandez went 2 innings and gave up 4 R on 6 H and 2 BB with 2 K. Johan Arias threw 5 innings, allowing 4 R (2 earned) on 8 H with 3 K. Younquelys Martinez pitched 2 scoreless innings with 1 H and 1 K.

SS-Yoel Silfa was 1x3 with 1 BB, 1 SB, and 1 R. 3B-Randy Cesar went 1x3 with 1 BB and 1 2B.

Man of the Match: Yoel Silfa

*Notes: Samil De Los Santos, Randy Cesar, and Yoel Silfa were named the DSL players of the month for June by the Astros. The team is hitting just .206 on the season.

From the Office of the County Clerk: G87 - Astros @ Giants


Wandy Rodriguez (7-6, 3.37) vs Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 3.27)

Baseball is back, but unfortunately it felt much like it did before the break. Madison Bumgarner completely shut down the Astros offense, and Houston lost 5-1 in San Francisco. The Astros are now 33-54, half a game back of San Diego for climbing out of the Major League cellar.

*Wandy Rodriguez got off to a rough start, giving up two runs in each of the first two innings, on a Herculean home run by Buster Posey in the 1st and a series of tough luck singles in the 2nd. But he settled down to allow only 3 singles and a walk in four shutout innings after that. Wandy's final line: 6 IP / 7 H / 4 R / 4 ER / 2 BB / 4 K. Rhiner Cruz escaped a leadoff triple by Nate Schierholtz in the 7th, thanks to a sterling double play authored by Jose Altuve. Enerio Del Rosario was less fortunate on a one-out triple by Pablo Sandoval in the 8th, as Sandoval would clobber Chris Snyder to score on an Angel Pagan sac fly.

Observations:

*The offense managed only two hits and two walks in seven innings against Bumgarner.

*Jed Lowrie led off the 2nd with a single for Houston's first hit. He'd finish 1 for 3 with a walk.

*After that, the Astros didn't have another hit until Chris Snyder took Bumgarner deep to left with two outs in the 7th for their only run. Snyder was 1 for 4 with 2 K.

*Houston's only other hit (are we tired of that phrase yet?) was a 9th inning single by J.D. Martinez (1 for 4).

*Justin Maxwell returned from the DL by going 0 for 3 with a K and a HBP.

*Brian Bixler managed a walk and three strikeouts in four PA.

*Chris Johnson also struck out twice, in four hitless AB.

Turning Point:

The game had been all Giants ever since Buster Posey took Wandy WAY deep to CF in the 1st, but Houston finally began to show signs of life against Sergio Romo in the 9th. After Maxwell led off with a groundout, J.D. Martinez singled and Lowrie walked to give the Astros two on with one out. Chris Johnson and Chris Snyder then represented the tying runs, but Santiago Casilla came in to relieve Romo and struck both of them out.

Man of the Match:

Uhh... Chris Snyder? At least he kept Houston out of another shutout.

Goat of the Game:

The offense was worse than Wandy was, so take your pick. Bixler never even put a ball in play, but CJ did the least with the most opportunities, striking out twice while leaving three on base.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Draft signing deadline has passed

...and the entirely expected happened in Astros-land. Meaning, nothing. Is what happened.

Preston Tucker didn't sign, but Jim Callis confirms that he likely still will. Hunter Virant "can't wait to be a [UCLA] Bruin." And... that's it.

Assuming that Tucker (eventually) signs, it will be the second year in a row that Houston has inked all of their picks from the top 10 rounds. They'll end up with 31 of 41 picks signed, after they signed 30 of their top 40 picks last year.

Up next in Draft-land is the confusing-as-heck "Competitive Balance Lottery," giving 13 teams a shot a 6 extra (and tradeable!) picks between the 2nd and 3rd rounds of next year's draft. But the Astros aren't one of those lucky 13, so never mind about all that.

EDIT: And had I posted a moment later, I could have linked to this handy deadline day rundown from Zach Levine.

Former/future Astros on film

Astros fans may be interested to know about a pair of documentaries that have made their debut this week.

First, MLB Network last night debuted The Life and Death of Darryl Kile (preview here). It was 10 years ago last month that the former Astros pitcher passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack during the 2002 season. David Barron of the Chronicle and Christine Coleman of Aerys Sports both shared their thoughts on the documentary. It will air again at 4:00 pm CT tomorrow on MLB Network.

Second, today is the theatrical premiere of Ballplayer: Pelotero, which follows the journey of two 16-year-old Dominican baseball players as they are recruited and signed by MLB teams. One of the two is is Jean Carlos Batista, now a shortstop for the Greeneville Astros. Farmstros saw the film and provided a nice rundown over here.

Disclaimer that I haven't seen either of these yet myself, but you can read perspectives from those who have at the links above.

Assorted Astros Miscellany from Zach Levine

Zach Levine has a few things for us this morning:

*From here, we learn that:

  1. Justin Maxwell should officially be activated today.
  2. Brett Wallace is still in OKC, for reasons known only to Jeff Luhnow.
  3. With CJ moving back to third, Matt Downs and Scott Moore will likely form a platoon at first for now.
  4. Jose Altuve is the Astros' "Heart and Hustle Award" nominee.
*Big Z also did a great interview with owner Jim Crane, who doesn't like losing. The whole thing is well worth a read - go check it out.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Addendum on Preston Tucker

Jim Callis of Baseball America had a chat with fans this afternoon, and he had this interesting note about Preston Tucker:
"I'm not sure why Tucker hasn't signed yet, but remember as a college senior with no eligibility left, the deadline doesn't apply for him."
So we may not hear of Tucker's signing before 4:00 pm Friday after all, but it's likely still coming soon.

Deadline Eve Draft Update

Slow news day for most of baseball as everyone awaits tomorrow's return to on-field action. However, 4:00 pm CT tomorrow is the signing deadline for the 2012 MLB Draft, so have a couple of notes on announcements we will (and won't) hear by tomorrow afternoon:

*Another captip to Native_Astro for the link, as Preston Tucker confirms the expected and sounds like he'll be signing:
"I am going back home for however many days I have left of summer. Then I am going out to play professional baseball. It shouldn't be too long (but) I am going to enjoy the next couple of days at home and then get right back into playing ball."
*Besides Tucker, Hunter Virant is the Astros' only other remaining unsigned draftee among their first 20 picks. But today he retweeted this from ESPN's Mike Rooney - from which we infer that Houston's 11th-round offer isn't "life-changing" enough to keep him away from UCLA.

*Many other unsigned draftees like Michael Clark (20th round) and C.J. Hinojosa (26th round) have already indicated that they're not signing, so it sounds like Tucker will be the only deadline deal.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

PreStros Stat Highlights


Thought I'd share a few players who I think are putting up some interesting numbers so far.

OKC

Mike Hessman continues to lead the PCL in home runs with 27. Jimmy Paredes is second in the league in steals (28), just one behind the leader. Despite a 6.42 ERA, Paul Clemens is tied for third in the PCL with eight wins.

Mike Hessman - .263/.326/.603 with 27 homers.

Landon Powell - .280/.393/.429 and has a 40% caught stealing rate behind the plate

Jimmy Paredes - .312/.335/.451 with 28 steals

Mickey Storey – 7-2 with 2 saves. 3.23 ERA and 57 strikeouts against 11 walks in 53 innings.

CC

Jonathan Villar leads the Texas League in steals (39). Jon Singleton is tied for second in runs (56). Erick Abreu is tied for second in wins (8). Jason Stoffel is third in the league in saves (14). Jose Cisnero is second in strikeouts (101).

Jon Singleton - .271/.397/.482 with 12 homers and 18 doubles

Jose Martinez - .314/.368/.490 with 17 doubles, 4 triples, 10 homers, and 62 RBI

Jonathan Villar - .264/.342/.393 with 10 homers and 39 steals

Jason Stoffel – 1.50 ERA with 14 saves. 34 strikeouts and 8 walks in 36 innings. 0.92 WHIP

Jose Cisnero – 7-6 with a 3.68 ERA. 101 strikeouts in 93 innings.

Lancaster

George Springer is third in the California League in runs (78). Telvin Nash leads the league in homers (21). Jose Trinidad is tied for third in wins (8).

George Springer - .321/.401/.568 with 78 runs, 17 doubles, 7 triples, 17 homers, 63 RBI, and 20 steals

Telvin Nash - .217/.311/.510 with 21 homers

Jose Trinidad – 8-3 with a 2.22 ERA

Lexington

Delino DeShields is tied for second in the Sally League in runs (69) and first in steals (64). Zach Johnson is second in RBI (69). Mike Foltynewicz is tied for first in wins (10). Dayan Diaz is second among pitchers with at least 30 innings in ERA (1.41). Nick Tropeano is still third in strikeouts (97) despite being promoted to Lancaster two weeks ago.

Delino DeShields - .281/.387/.410 with 69 runs, 7 homers, and 64 steals.

Matt Duffy - .308/.388/.491 with 12 homers and 24 doubles

Zach Johnson - .241/.341/.405 with 23 doubles, 10 homers, and 69 RBI

Mike Foltynewicz – 10-2 with a 2.59 ERA

Dayan Diaz – 1.41 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with 11 saves. 41 strikeouts in 38.1 innings

Tri-City

Andrew Aplin is second in the New York-Penn League in batting average (.394) and first in steals (13). Travis Ballew is tied for first in wins (3). Blake Ford is first in saves (7).

Jobduan Morales - .254/.338/.458 with 17 runs and 14 RBI

Andrew Aplin - .394/.506/.485 with 14 runs, 11 RBI, 13 steals, and 14 walks against 7 strikeouts in 86 plate appearances

Travis Ballew – 3-0 with a 0.60 ERA and 0.67 WHIP. 16 strikeouts and 3 walks in 15 innings

Blake Ford – 0.00 ERA and 0.72 WHIP with 7 saves

Vincent Velasquez – 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA. 20 strikeouts in 20.1 innings

Aaron West – 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA and 0.68 WHIP. 15 strikeouts and 2 walks in 17.2 innings

Greeneville

Jordan Jankowski and Francis Ramirez are both tied for second in the Appy League in wins (3). Richard Rodriguez is second in strikeouts (27).

D’Andre Toney - .261/.361/.319 with 17 runs

Jean Batista - .325/.350/.506 with 13 runs and 15 RBI

Terrell Joyce - .364/.408/.500 with 13 runs

Marc Wik - .311/.456/.333

Brian Blasik - .357/.390/.536 with 7 doubles and 2 strikeouts in 63 plate appearances

Jordan Jankowski – 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA. 18 strikeouts in 11 innings

Francis Ramirez – 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA. 18 strikeouts in 18 innings

Michael Dimock – 1.64 ERA and 0.82 WHIP. 12 strikeouts in 11 innings

Mike Hauschild – 2.89 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 9.1 innings

Richard Rodriguez – 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. 27 strikeouts and 5 walks in 22 innings

GCL

Darwin Rivera is tied for second in the Gulf Coast League in RBI (13). Michael Feliz is tied for second in wins (3). Erick Gonzalez is tied for third in saves (4).

Brett Phillips - .286/.395/.492 with 11 runs, 4 steals, and 5 triples

Darwin Rivera - .375/.420/.528 with 13 RBI

Michael Feliz – 3-0 with a 1.16 ERA and 0.77 WHIP

Erick Gonzalez – 0.00 ERA and 0.80 WHIP with 4 saves

DSL

Not much to write about on the Dominican team. They're "hitting" .209 as a team.

Samil De Los Santos – 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. 37 strikeouts and 9 walks in 34.2 innings

Post-ASG Notes & Links

If you missed last night's All-Star Game (or if you tuned out after Justin Verlander imploded), then a brief recap of the Altuve action is in order:

Jose entered the game as a defensive replacement for Dan Uggla in the bottom of the 5th, then assisted in doubling up Detroit's Miguel Cabrera an inning later to help preserve the National League's shutout. Altuve got one AB in the top of the 8th, facing Baltimore's Jim Johnson, grounding to second and getting called out on a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery close play at first. But the NL won in their last game with Houston's assistance, so it's all good.

A few other notes/links from the last couple of days:

*From Monday, Wilton Lopez is officially back from the DL, and David Carpenter is back to OKC.

*FOX 26's Mark Berman reported that Roger Clemens is back with the Astros, in... some capacity.

*USA Today had a nice feature on Altuve the All-Star (including a shoutout to the Juvenile Court Clerk's wildly popular How Many Altuves?).

*The Chronicle's Zachary Levine had a nice chat with fans on all things Astros yesterday.

*Preston Tucker (7th round) is Houston's highest remaining unsigned draft pick, and the signing deadline is Friday, but he has an excuse this week: he's accepting an award at the ESPYs tonight. Expect news of his signing tomorrow or Friday.

PreStros Farm Report: July 10


PreStros: July 10


Oklahoma City (52-38) 

Off

*Notes: Mike Hessman and Mickey Storey were named OKC players of the month by the Astros. The RedHawks hold a .5 game lead over Albuquerque (LAD) at the break.

Corpus Christi (49-39) 

The Hooks were shutout by Tulsa (COL) 6-0.

Bobby Doran went 5 innings, allowing 4 R on 6 H with 4 K. Alex Sogard threw 2 innings and gave up 2 R on 3 H and 1 BB with 2 K. Josh Zeid pitched 1 inning with 1 K.

SS-Jonathan Villar was 1x3 with 1 BB, 1 SB, and 1 2B. 2B-Jose Martinez was 1x3 with 1 BB and 1 2B.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Villar

*Notes: Jose Cisnero, Jonathan Villar, and Andrew Simunic were named the CC players of the month by the Astros. Justin Maxwell has completed his rehab assignment and is expected to rejoin the Astros after the break.


Lancaster (46-43) 

Off

*Notes: Domingo Santana has a 15 game streak. Jose Trinidad, Ben Heath, and Ben Orloff were named Lancaster players of the month by the Astros.


Lexington (44-44) 

The Legends combined to pitch a gem as they shutout Kannapolis (CHW) 2-0.

Mike Foltynewicz started with 6 innings, giving up 4 H with 6 K. Murilo Gouvea threw 2 innings with 1 BB and 2 K. Dayan Diaz took the final inning and gave up 1 H.

2B-Delino DeShields was 2x4 with 2 SB, 1 HR, and 2 R. DH-Ruben Sosa was 1x2 with 1 BB and 2 SB.

Man of the Match: Folty/DeShields

*Notes: Mike Foltynewicz, Delino DeShields, and Zach Johnson were named Lexington players of the month by the Astros.

Tri-City (15-7) 

Off

*Notes: The ValleyCats have scored the second-most runs in the league, while tied for allowing the fewest. They lead the Stedler Division by one game over Vermont.

Greeneville (12-8) 

Off

*Notes: Greenville is second in their division, 2.5 games behind Elizabethton.


GCL Astros (9-11) 

The Astros held off a late rally to beat the Marlins 9-7.

Jose Valdez threw 1 scoreless inning with 1 K. Jandel Gustave went 3 innings, allowing 2 R (1 earned) on 1 H and 4 BB with 5 K. Jose Montero pitched 1 scoreless with 1 BB and 1 K. Reymin Guduan threw 1.1 innings and gave up 4 R on 5 H and 2 BB. Alan Abreu pitched 1 inning and allowed 1 R on 1 H and 1 BB. Erick Gonzalez finished out the last 1.2 innings with 2 H.

CF-Brett Phillips was 3x5 with 1 2B and 2 R. 3B-Darwin Rivera was 2x3 with 1 BB, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, and 4 RBI. 1B-Yonathan Mejia went 2x4 with 1 R and 1 RBI. SS-Juan Santana was 2x4 with 1 R and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Darwin Rivera

*Notes: Erick Gonzalez has yet to allow a run in seven appearances.


DSL Astros (11-21) 

The Astros got whooped by the Royals 13-1.

Rayderson Chevalier threw 2 innings and gave up 4 R on 4 H and 2 BB with 2 K. Frangy Colon pitched 5 innings, giving up 9 R (5 earned) on 9 H with 2 K. Geronimo Franzua took the final 2 innings with 3 BB and 2 K.

C-Brian Pena was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R. 2B-Arturo Michelena was 2x3.

Man of the Match: Brian Pena

*Notes: Samil De Los Santos, Randy Cesar, and Yoel Silfa were named the DSL players of the month for June by the Astros.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How this is going to go

Greetings, Citizens!

I, your humble Constable, am officially on Blogger Paternity Leave. I find it incredibly convenient of my impending daughter to decide she's ready to come into this world during the All-Star Break, and I hope she's ready for a lifetime of Astros fan-dom. If she's not, well, she'll be disciplined. If she decides she's a Rangers fan, then check your local rivers and tributaries for a basket with a child in it.

I know what you're thinking: "How did this blogger knock somebody up from his mom's basement? Well, he wasn't wearing pants. That's 10% of the battle." And I would tell you, Jon Heyman, to piss off.

Anyhow, with The Wife being induced first thing tomorrow morning, you won't see me around these parts much for the time being. I leave you in the capable hands of Deputies Trostel, McQuid, Barto, and Cockroach. You may even get a surprise from Deputy Phelps. If they haven't started a blogger fight with a Rangers fan, or even managed to rile up Evan Grant, then they will each be fired.

You'll be able to find me more often on Twitter, as it will be more acceptable to La Constabless for me to be on my phone, rather than on the trusty basement laptop.

Best wishes, and maybe when I return, the Astros will have re-overtaken the Cubs.

Bro-hugs all around...

Monday, July 9, 2012

1st Half Notes, Stats, and "Awards"

Let's go over a few things, now that we have a few welcome days away from the Astros, shall we?

1. Even though we knew this season was going to be rough, losing 62% of the games has been extremely difficult to swallow. That said, and I truly believe this, I still think 2011 was the darkest year in franchise history. This season was never going to be easy to follow, but with every event that passes (June Draft, Trading Deadline, etc), we're that much closer to the implementation of the front office's plan. But yeah, this season still sucks.

2. The Astros are 58-109 (.347) from the 2011 All-Star Break to the 2012 All-Star Break, with a -162 run differential. In their last 162 games, they're 60-102.

3. Houston is 12-30 since the beginning of Memorial Day weekend. They're 10-17 in Day games, and 0-8 in extra-innings.

4. They're on pace to be one of the worst road teams in the history of baseball, having won just nine road games all season. The 2010 Pirates and 1962 and 1963 Mets won 18 road games all season. On the road, they're hitting .241/.297/.359. they're 3-13 in June and July road games, and haven't won since June 14 - the game after Matt Cain's perfect game.

5. Things won't get much better for the Astros after the break. Their first ten games are on the road against NL West teams, against whom the Astros are 7-13 this season. They have a 10-19 record against the teams they'll play until the Trade Deadline.

6. We'll get a taste of 2013 life, when seven of the first ten games after the break don't start until 8pm or later Houston time.

7. 1st Half Astros MVP: Jed Lowrie. That deal - Luhnow's first as GM - even with Weiland on the DL, could not have turned out better for the Astros. Lowrie is 10 games away from setting a career-high in games played. He had 19 career homers coming into 2012, and has 14 homers since. How he isn't an All-Star is totally beyond us. (Honorable Mention: Jose Altuve)

8. 1st Half Astros Cy Young: Wandy Rodriguez. Wandy and Lucas Harrell are the only starters with a winning record, but Wandy also has a 3.38 ERA/1.23 WHIP. It's just another season of Wandy being Wandy. Still, it's not going to be pretty for August-September if the Astros do what most think they will, and trade both Lowrie and Wandy.

9. 1st Half Astros LVP: Jordan Schafer. It's not just that he's been bad. From May to the Break, Schafer has an OPS of .599. And that's with a .310 BABIP. Schafer's OPS, by month: .707, .661, .538, .554.

10. 1st Half Astros Cy Dumb: Fernando Rodriguez. Rodriguez comes into the break with eight losses, one behind J.A. Happ for the team lead. Hardball Talk noted that Rodriguez has the "chance" to be the 8th reliever since 2000 - and the first since 2008 - to record ten losses. In five straight appearances (and eight of his last ten) where Rodriguez has faced 2+ batters, he has left the game with the Astros in worse shape than when he entered.

Tranzactionz and potential tranzactionz

In McTaggart's Notebook we find a few things:

*Matt Dominguez has been optioned to OKC, and Justin Maxwell is likely to take his roster spot.
*Chris Johnson will likely slide back to 3B, possibly making room for Brett Wallace.
*Marwin Gonzalez could be rehabbing in OKC for another week and a half.
*Wilton Lopez is probably coming back to the bullpen after the Break.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk: G86 - Astros v. Brewers


Zach Greinke (9-3, 3.17) vs Jordan Lyles (2-5, 5.40)

For the second straight game, Zach Greinke started for the Brewers. For the second straight game, Houston got to him before he recorded an out. But after giving up three runs in the first, Greinke and five other Milwaukee pitchers combined for nine shutout innings, and Houston's bullpen couldn't hold the lead after a solid start by Jordan Lyles. Astros lose 5-3 in 10, falling to 0-8 in extra innings and 33-53 overall. Houston enters the 2012 All-Star Break exactly where they ended 2011 - last in the major leagues.

*Lyles did indeed redeem himself from his awful previous start, with a 7 IP / 6 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 1 BB / 3 K line. He left with a 3-2 lead, but Wesley Wright and Brandon Lyon allowed the tying run to score in the 8th, then Fernando Rodriguez threw up a 1 IP / 2 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 3 BB / 3 K line in the 10th to ensure that Houston wouldn't win. Brett Myers pitched an adventurous but scoreless 9th in between.

Observations:

*Jordan Schafer led off the game with a hit off of Greinke again, today a single. He'd finish the day 1 for 4 with a run scored and a strikeout.

*Jose Altuve followed with a double, driving in Schafer against Greinke for the second day in a row (though it took until his fifth pitch of the game today). Altuve came around to score and finished 1 for 5 with a strikeout.

*It was J.D. Martinez that drove in Altuve with a single, going 1 for 4 with a run scored.

*Chris Snyder was 1 for 3 with an RBI on a bases-loaded walk by Greinke in the first.

*Scott Moore has hit safely in all nine games as an Astro so far, going 1 for 5 with a single and 3 K today.

*Chris Johnson was 1 for 4 with 2 K in presumably his last start at 1B.

Turning Point:

Jordan Lyles turned over a 3-2 lead to the "Regulators" in the 8th, but Wesley Wright began the inning by walking Norichika Aoki. Wright was pulled after Nyjer Morgan sacrificed Aoki over to second, then Brandon Lyon came on and allowed a RBI single to Ryan Braun that tied the game. The Astros did get the tying runs into scoring position with one out in the 10th, even after F-Rod's meltdown in the top of the inning. But they could have won the game without ever getting to extras if Wright and Lyon had done their jobs here.

Man of the Match:

Jordan Lyles. He out-pitched Zach Greinke on this day and deserved to win, but like too many great starts by Houston pitchers lately, it was ultimately wasted.

Goat of the Game:

Fernando Rodriguez. He has a 6.61 ERA and 8 losses out of the bullpen by the All-Star Break. There is no defensible reason that he's still on this team.

PreStros Farm Report: July 7


PreStros: July 7


Oklahoma City (51-38) 

OKC pitchers gave up eight home runs as the RedHawks lost to New Orleans (MIA) 9-5

Brett Oberholtzer threw 4 innings and gave up 7 R on 12 H and 1 BB with 2 K. Sergio Perez went 1 inning, allowing 1 R on 2 H with 3 K. Wilton Lopez pitched 1 inning, giving up 1 R on 2 H with 1 K. Jonnathan Aristil threw 1 scoreless inning with 2 K.

SS-Marwin Gonzalez was 2x4 with 1 BB, 1 2B, and 3 RBI. LF-Fernando Martinez was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R with one outfield assist on a play at the plate. RF-Travis Buck was 2x4. C-Carlos Corporan went 2x4 with 2 R.

Man of the Match: Marwin Gonzalez

*Notes: Mike Hessman and Mickey Storey were named OKC players of the month by the Astros.

Corpus Christi (48-37) 

After trailing 3-0 after five innings, the Hooks rallied to beat Northwest Arkansas (KC) 7-3.

Jake Buchanan went 6 innings, allowing 3 R (1 earned) on 6 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Kevin Chapman threw 1.1 scoreless innings with 2 H and 3 K. Josh Zeid pitched .2 innings with 1 H and 1 K. Jason Stoffel took the ninth with 1 BB and 3 K.

SS-Jonathan Villar was 0x2 with 3 BB, 2 SB, and 2 R. 3B-Andy Simunic went 1x3 with 2 BB, 1 SB, and 2 R. DH-Jose Martinez was 3x5 with 1 SB, 1 3B, 1 R, and 5 RBI. C-Chris Wallace was 3x5 with 1 R.

Man of the Match: Jose Martinez

*Notes: Jose Cisnero, Jonathan Villar, and Andrew Simunic were named the CC players of the month by the Astros. Newly acquired Rob Rasmussen is scheduled to start Sunday against Tulsa.


Lancaster (44-43) 

Heading into the bottom of the fifth the JetHawks were down 5-0 but rallied to beat Stockton (OAK) 9-5.

Tyson Perez threw 3 innings, allowing 3 R on 5 H and 2 BB. Brad Dydalewicz went 2 innings and gave up 2 R on 5 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Pat Urckfitz pitched 3 scoreless innings, allowing 1 H and 1 BB with 4 K.

CF-George Springer was 2x4 with 1 BB, 2 R, and 1 RBI. 1B-Erik Castro was 2x3 with 1 BB, 1 R, and 2 RBI. RF-Domingo Santana went 4x5 with 1 HR and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Domingo Santana

*Notes: George Springer has a 15 game hitting streak and Domingo Santana has a 14 game streak. Jose Trinidad, Ben Heath, and Ben Orloff were named Lancaster players of the month by the Astros.


Lexington (43-43) 

The Legends lost their fourth straight against Hagerstown (WAS) 9-6.

Luis Ordosgiotti threw 4 innings and gave up 5 R on 7 H and 3 BB with 2 K. Nathan Pettus went 2 innings, allowing 1 R on 2 H and 3 BB with 1 K. Mitchell Lambson pitched 2 innings and allowed 3 R (2 earned) on 3 H and 1 BB with 3 K.

SS-Nolan Fontana was 3x5 with 1 SB, 1 2B, and 2 R. 3B-Matt Duffy was 2x5 with 1 2B, 1 R, and 3 RBI. CF/RF-Justin Gominsky was 2x4 with 1 R and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Matt Duffy

*Notes: The Legends are 8-17 in one-run games. Mike Foltynewicz, Delino DeShields, and Zach Johnson were named Lexington players of the month by the Astros.

Tri-City (14-6) 

The ValleyCats took advantage of 12 walks by the Aberdeen (BAL) pitchers to win 8-2.

Aaron West threw 5 scoreless innings with 2 H, 1 BB, and 3 K. Lance Day pitched .2 innings and allowed 2 R on 3 H. Kenny Long went 1.1 innings with 2 K. Brad Propst closed things out with 2 innings and 1 H.

DH-Neiko Johnson was 1x2 with 4 BB, 1 SB, and 2 R. CF-Andrew Aplin was 2x5 with 2 RBI. 3B-Jesse Wierzbicki went 2x4 with 1 BB, 2 SB, 1 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI. C-Tyler Heineman went 2x4 with 1 SB, 2 R, and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: Aaron West

*Notes: The ValleyCats have scored the second-most runs in the league, while allowing the fewest. Their team ERA is just 2.37 through 20 games.

Greeneville (11-7) 

Greeneville rode an eight run fifth inning to beat Bristol (CHW) 14-2.

Francis Ramirez threw 5 innings, allowing 1 unearned run on 2 H and 3 BB with 6 K. Tanner Bushue went 3 scoreless innings with 2 BB and 2 K. Andrew Walter pitched 1 inning, giving up 1 R on 4 BB with 1 K.

CF-D’Andre Toney was 3x5 with 1 SB, 1 HR, 3 R, and 3 RBI. 3B-Brian Blasik went 2x5 with 1 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI. LF-Terrel Joyce was 2x4 with 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 HR, 3 R, and 2 RBI. RF-Ariel Ovando was 2x3 with 2 RBI. SS-Jean Batista went 2x5 with 1 3B, 2 R, and 2 RBI. 1B-Michael Martinez was 2x5 with 1 R and 1 RBI. 2B-Josh Magee was 2x5 with 1 2B and 2 R.

Man of the Match: D’Andre Toney

*Notes: Jean Batista is hitting .355 with just six strikeouts in 63 plate appearances.


GCL Astros (8-10) 

The Astros lost a tough one to the Nationals 1-0 in 12 innings.

Agapito Barrios went 5 scoreless innings, allowing 3 H and 3 BB with 4 K. Brandon Culbreth threw 3.1 innings, giving up 2 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Erick Gonzalez went 2.1 innings and gave up 2 H and 1 BB with 2 K. Alan Abreu took the loss, throwing .2 innings and giving up 1 R on 2 H.

SS-Juan Santana was 2x5. RF-Teoscar Hernandez was 0x4 with 1 BB, 3 SB and 2 outfield assists, one at home and the other at second.

Man of the Match: Barrios/Culbreth/Gonzalez

*Notes: Chia-Jen Lo is now 0-1 despite having a 0.00 ERA.


DSL Astros (11-19) 

The Astros lost to the Cardinals 4-2 in 10 innings.

Elieser Hernandez went 7 innings, allowing 1 R on 5 H with 5 K. Rauldison Rodriguez threw 1 innings, giving up 1 unearned run on 1 H and 1 BB with 2 K. Younquelys Martinez pitched 2 innings with 2 K.

RF-Johan Tomas De La Cruz was 2x5 with 1 SB. LF-Mesac Laguna was 3x4 with 1 R and 1 RBI. 3B-Yoel Silfa was 2x4 with 1 BB, 1 2B, and 1 R. 1B-Pedro Coa went 2x4.

Man of the Match: Elieser Hernandez

*Notes: Samil De Los Santos, Randy Cesar, and Yoel Silfa were named the DSL players of the month for June by the Astros.