Thursday, August 16, 2018

Reinforcing the Astros: August 15 (& LHP Summary)

So the Astros have rediscovered where their bats are located, and suddenly we don't need any reinforcements!!  Excellent!!  Evan Gattis got his first hit of August (or perhaps he was 1 for 19 or something) and mashed a couple of homers in the process.  While he was doing that, Tyler White was also mashing a couple of homers, and making a case as Gattis' heir apparent.  Who would you rather have at DH??  The bearded guy hitting .240/.297/.491 or the bearded guy hitting .286/.389/.623.  Either way, you get a bearded guy, I guess.

Let's take a quick look at the box scores, before moving onto looking at lefty pitches:

Corpus Christi:  Another win for the Hooks, this one a 6-2 away win in Tulsa.  The Hooks managed five runs between the second and fourth frames, whereas the Drillers scored their only runs in the seventh.  Brock Dykxhoorn couldn't get out of the seventh in an otherwise solid start (6-and-two-thirds, 3H, 3BB, 7K, 2R/ER), but Ronel Blanco finished that frame and pitched another (1H, 2K) and Erasmo Pinales pitched a perfect inning (3 outs) while striking out four.  Ha!  Dykxhoorn was not on the mound when the two runs scored as he had left the bases loaded with two outs.  A ground-ball single up the middle was the result of the next at-bat, and he was hung with two runs.

The Hooks mashed three home runs, including one to RF Carmen Benedetti (1-3), one to LF Chas McCormick (1-4 with a stolen base) and one to 2B Ryne Birk (2-3, BB, HR).  C Lorenzo Quintana (2-3, BB, 2B, 3B) and SS Anibal Sierra (2-4) also managed two hits apiece.  3B Abraham Toro went 1-4.

Fresno:  The Grizzlies scored 4 runs in the first, allowed three runs in the second, and eventually lost by a score of 9-6 to the Las Vegas 51s.  So there were some hits, including home runs to DH AJ Reed (1-5) and RF JD Davis (2-4).  Jack Mayfield also managed 2 hits (2-5), CF Myles Straw was on base thrice (1-3, 2xBB, stolen base), and LF Yordan Alvarez was 1-3, but was the victim of a defensive substitution - immediately before the 51s scored 4 decisive runs in the top of the eighth.

As you can imagine, the pitching did not look good.  Rogelio Armenteros got the start, and he went five-and-two-thirds, allowing 6 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7.  He was credited with allowing 4R/ER.  Dean Deetz relieved, and we went one-and-one-third hitless innings, walking one and striking out one.  Riley Ferrell gave up 4 runs in one inning of work on 2 hits (both HR) and 2 walks. Cy Sneed allowed 1 hit and 1 walk which resulted in 1R/ER.  So not great there, although Armenteros continues to post solid peripherals.

Lefty Pitchers:  Below is a quick summary of the lefties in the upper levels of the minors.

Kent Emanuel: Emanuel was drafted in round 3 of the 2013 draft, and is not currently on the 40-man roster.  He has spent all year at AAA, throwing 73.1 innings, allowing 84 hits, 9 walks and 76 strikeouts (a WHIP of 1.40).  His ERA at 4.42 is a little high, but over his last 10 appearances, he has managed an ERA a full run lower (3.42), while striking out 31 and walking 7 in 26.1 innings.  So perhaps his stock is on the rise, but that WHIP does not look great, and may not translate that well to the major leagues.

Reymin Guduan: Guduan is known to us all, and has managed 5 days in the Big Leagues this year.  He was promoted on June 10, and went on the paternity list on June 15, and was optioned to Fresno upon his return.  He has 48.1 AAA innings on his 2018 resumé, allowing 43 hits, 29 walks and 74 strikeouts.  He has a WHIP of 1.49 and an ERA of 4.28.  But he also pumps gas in the high 90's, is already on the 40-man, and strikes out a lot of hitters, so doubtless we will see him in Houston when the rosters expand at some point.

Guduan's last 10 games have not been good - 17 hits and 6 walks against 13 strikeouts in 9.2 innings pitched, and a 7.45 ERA.  Perhaps having a young child is ruining his life distracting him.

Framber Valdez:  Valdez has made only two appearances in AAA, totalling 8.2IP which has resulted in a 1.27 WHIP and 9 strikeouts.  He carries a combined 4.11 ERA on the year in 103IP between AA and AAA.  In AA, he pitched 31.1 innings against lefties, allowing 25 hits and 5 walks against a hefty 42 strikeouts, and a 2.33 ground-out-to-air-out ratio.  So perhaps he would be useful as a LOOGY or similar this year.

Valdez does not currently occupy a place on the 40-man roster.

Brett Adcock:  Adcock has had a solid year, earning a mid-year promotion from Buies Creek to Corpus.  He has pitched 22 innings in Corpus in five outings, the shortest being 3 innings.  He has allowed 17 hits and 12 walks for a WHIP of 1.32, against 17 strikeouts.  Things would look a lot better for him had he not given up 4ER on 10 hits in his last outing against Springfield.  Adcock does not occupy the place on the 40-man roster.

Ryan Hartman:  Hartman has spent the entire year in Corpus as a starter / tandem starter, throwing 105.1 innings in 22 appearances.  He has allowed 95 hits and 24 walks for a WHIP of 1.13, while striking out 124.  His ERA is a svelte 2.73.  He does not have striking platoon splits, especially around strikeouts (25K in 25.2IP against lefties, 99K in 79.2IP against righties), so perhaps he would be more suitable if the Astros wanted a spot starter or long man.  He does not occupy a 40-man spot, and as a 2016 draftee, does not need to be added anytime soon.

Kit Scheetz:  Scheetz, like Adcock, earned a mid-season promotion from Buies Creek.  He has 31 innings in 18 appearances, allowing 32 hits and 7 walks against 34 strikeouts.  He has a solid 2.61 ERA that is arguably outperforming his peripherals, but his last 10 games have been even better, with a 1.62 ERA in 16.2 IP (13H, 5BB, 21K) over that time.  He is also not on the 40-man.

Alex Winkelman:  Winkelman has spent the entire season in Corpus, throwing 71.1 innings in 27 appearances.  He has allowed on 59 hits, but walked 46 for a 1.47 WHIP.  77 strikeouts have balanced this a little, but his ERA sits at a solid 3.15 on the season.

Like Scheetz, Winkelman has performed very well over the last 10 games: 1.40ERA in 19.1IP, while striking out 20.  That is the good news.  The 13 hits and 14 walks allowed over that time is the bad news.  He does not have a spot on the 40-man roster yet, and as a 2015 draftee, does not need to be urgently added.

My Pick: Framber Valdez gets added to the 40-man and has a cup of coffee in Houston in September.  Reymin Guduan also gets promoted for mop-up duty.  Kent Emanuel may get a spot start, but I think there are a few guys in line before him.

Thanks for reading.  Perhaps tomorrow or the next day we can look at Starting Pitchers.