Sunday, August 5, 2018

Reinforcing the Astros: August 4 & 5

Scouring for replacements for Lance McCullers and George Springer.  When McCullers misses a start (he has been placed on the 10-day DL), this will be the first start missed by an Astros pitcher this year.  If Springer hits the DL, the Astros will have all their up-the-middle players (which is, like, their strength) on the DL at the same time.  It is best that this happens in August and not September or October, but man, Weiland Island is starting to look a little crowded.

Corpus Christi:  If you are looking for second lefty arm for the Astros' bullpen, and for some reason you had soured on Cionel Perez, then the August 4 Hooks game was a must-see.  Brett Adcock toed the rubber to start the game (he did well: 5IP, 3H, 1R/ER, 2BB, 5K, with his ERA remaining at a solid 2.25) and he was replaced by Framber Valdez (he did less well: 1.2IP, 4H, 4R/ER, BB, 4K).  One of the hits was a home run, the other was a triple.

In terms of the position player side of things, that Carlos Correa guy had a good night, going 1 for 3 with a walk and a home run.  He struck out once, and played short.  But his performance was eclipsed by CF Ronnie Dawson's performance: 3 for 4 with a double and a home run, and a caught stealing.  Randy César went 1 from 4.  Abraham Toro went 1 from 4 with a triple.

The Hooks lost by a score of 5-3, if that means anything to you.

The August 5 game saw another Hooks loss, this time by a score of 5-1.  Corbin Martin struggled to start the game, giving up all 5 runs (all earned) in six innings.  He allowed 7 hits (two doubles and a second inning grand slam to Jurickson Profar) while walking two and striking out five.  And if you wanted a "long shot situational lefty" update - Anthony Gose struck out the side in 1 inning of work, walking one and allowing a hit.

At the plate, the Hooks obviously weren't great.  But Carlos Correa went 2-4 with a double as the DH.  Randy César also went 2-4.  Anibal Sierra had the other extra-base hit (1-4 with a double).  Ronnie Dawson, after his great game yesterday, fell back to earth with a 0-5, 4K night.

Fresno:  Fresno opened a series with Memphis on August 4, and The Griz won by a score of 9-3.  DH Yordan Alvarez hit a Grand Slam in a 1-5 night.  CF Derek Fisher staked his claim to an outfield slot, having a 2-3, 2BB night with a double.  3B Nick Tanielu went 2-4 with 2 doubles.  LF Kyle Tucker went 2-5.  2B Jack Mayfield went 1-4 with a walk, and Garrett Stubbs went 1-4.

On the pitching side of the equation, Trent Thornton started and pitched 7 frames, allowing 7 hits and a walk, striking out one, and allowing 2ER.  The "lefty reliever" crowd would be interested in Reymin Guduan and his one scoreless inning of BB, 2K ball.

Things weren't so rosy for the Grizzlies on August 5, when they lost an extra inning contest 6-5, after being up 5-0 after 4 innings.  AJ Reed was the standout offensive performer, with a 3-5 night which included a double and 3RBI.  C Jamie Ritchie and SS Alex De Goti had Fresno's other extra-base hits (both doubles) in a 1-4 and 1-5 night respectively.  CF Myles Straw went 2-6 and two SB, and 2B Jack Mayfield went 1-4 with a walk.

Josh James got the start, and he allowed 3R/ER in six innings of 3H, 1 walk ball.  The three runs scored off him were all via a home run by CF Lane Thomas.  James struck out 7, so he continued to make his peripherals look impressive (154K against 42BB in 99IP over two levels this year).  Dean Deetz relieved, and he allowed 2R/ER in 1.1 IP, and Brandan McCurry wore the loss, with 1.2 IP of 2H, 1R ball, against 4K.  Remember that a runner starts on second base in an extra-inning game in the MiLB.

So overall, the Astros potentially created two new spaces on their roster over the last two days.  Carlos Correa has started to hit, and may not be that far away.  The lefty relief prospects seem to be stuggling a little, with no one really standing out at this time.  No bats are consistently performing in the high minors, with some of the names we know having the odd good night, but not putting any sort of streak together.

That said, I will keep sifting through box scores and video to see if anyone is getting hot.  See you tomorrow.