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Friday, October 31, 2008

Brocail qualifies as a Type A Free Agent

Doug Brocail hasn't filed for free agency yet, but if he does he will be a type A free agent. This information is according to the Elias rankings that came out today. The Astros have indicated a desire to retain Brocail's services for the 2009 season. However, if Houston offers him arbitration and he ends up with another team, the Astros will receive two draft picks in the June 2009 draft as compensation. It was also revealed that Mark Loretta, La Troy Hawkins, and Randy Wolf are type B free agents. If they are offered arbitration by the Astros and go elsewhere, the team will receive a compensation pick in the draft for each departure.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Winter Baseball Update

A few performances of note by members of the Astros organization in various winter leagues...

Drew Sutton... 18 for 34 with four doubles, one triple, four home runs and 13 RBI

Jason Castro... 18 for 51 with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBI

Josh Miller... 12 1/3 IP in three games with a 2.19 ERA
Cesar Quintero... .300 with one triple and four RBI
Nick Regilio... five games, seven IP, seven strikeouts and a 1.29 ERA
Kyle Middleton... two starts, 10 2/3 IP and an 0.84 ERA.

Additionally, a few Farmstros have been added to Caribbean rosters:
Jhon Florentino, IF(Dominican... Gigantes del Cibao)
Jose Duran, P(Dominican... Aquila Cibaenas)
Polin Trinidad, P(Dominican...Tigres del Licey)

How Wade Built these Phillies

With the Phillies one game away from the World Series championship, much has been made of the part Ed Wade played in building the team during his time as general manager. Here's a breakdown of how Ed Wade's portion of the team was built:

Pre-Ed Wade
Jimmy Rollins, SS

Ed Wade Era(March 1998- October 2005)
Pat Burrell, OF(1998 Draft, 1st Round)
Clay Condrey, P(Trade prior to 2005 season)
Chris Coste, C(Minor League Free Agent, prior to 2005 season)
Cole Hamels, P(2002 Draft, 1st Round)
Ryan Howard, 1B(2001 Draft, 5th Round)
J.A. Happ, P(2004 Draft, 3rd Round)
Ryan Madson, P(1998 Draft, 9th Round)
Brett Myers, P(1999 Draft, 1st Round)
Carlos Ruiz, C(1998 foreign player signing)
Chase Utley, 2B(2000 Draft, 1st Round)
Shane Victorino, OF(2004 Rule 5 draftee. He was sent back to the Dodgers. The Dodgers released him, and the Phillies signed him to a minor league contract.)

Since Ed Wade's Departure
Joe Blanton, P
Eric Bruntlett, IF
Greg Dobbs, IF
Chad Durbin, P
Scott Eyre, P
Pedro Feliz, IF
Geoff Jenkins, OF
Brad Lidge, P
Jamie Moyer, P
J.C. Romero
Matt Stairs, OF
So Taguchi, OF
Jayson Werth, OF

Friday, October 24, 2008

Astros Reportedly sign Taiwanese Pitcher

The Astros have reportedly signed right-handed pitcher Chia-Jen Lo. The 22 year-old would be the first Taiwanese player in the Astros organization. He pitched for Taiwan in the 2008 Olympics and reportedly signed for $250,000.

Fall Instructional League Wraps this Weekend

The Astros Fall Instructional League camp in Florida is scheduled to wrap up Sunday, October 25. The 41 player camp, which includes 23 2008 draft picks began on September 19.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Astros Draft Budget 12th in Big Leagues

Baseball America has an article that lists what each team spent on the 2008 draft. The Astros were 12th in baseball spending $6,544,500 on 32 picks. This figures contrasts starkly with the $1,584,000 that the team spent in 2007.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dave Clark gets Called Up

After just one year at AAA, Dave Clark has gotten called up to the majors. Clark who managed Round Rock in 2008 will be the Astros third base coach in 2009. The spot opened up when Jackie Moore moved from the Astros bench to the Rangers bench and Ed Romero moved to the Astros bench from third base coach. No word on who will be managing the Express in 2009.

King in Mexico

Veteran left-hander Ray King who ended 2008 on the Round Rock roster is pitching in Mexico this winter. He has shown up on the roster for Algodoneras de Guasave.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Little Information about minor league free agency

In September I listed all the Farmstros who are eligible to become free agents. I came across another site that explained that the Astros have exclusive rights to negotiate with all these free agents until the end of the World Series. After that time, those players are free to sign minor or major league contracts with any team.
Clubs have the option of granting free agency prior to the deadline to some players. The Astros have reportedly done this for:

Tomas Perez, IF
Dave Borkowski, P
J.R. House, C/IF
Runelvys Hernandez, P
Chad Paronto, P

Monday, October 20, 2008

Getting Ready for 2009

While Ed Wade's old team and Gerry Hunsicker's new team get ready to meet in the World Series, ten current Astros minor leaguers are competing for positions in the 2009 season:

In Hawaii
Jason Castro continues to hit well. He is now 15 for 43 with two doubles, one home run and six RBI.

In Arizona
Drew Sutton is batting .600. The infielder is 12 for 20 with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI.

Brian Bogusevic was out for awhile with a hamstring injury, but is 3 for 5 with three runs and one RBI.

Chris Johnson is 9 for 29 with four doubles and eight RBI.

Bud Norris has a 1.69 ERA in three appearances(5 1/3 IP).

In Venezuela
Josh Miller pitched seven innings and allowed one earned run in his first start Sunday.

Cesar Quintero is 3 for 4 with one triple and two RBI.

Nick Regilio has pitched five scoreless innings with four strikeouts in three appearances.

Kyle Middleton gave up two hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday.

In Dominican Republic
Sammy Gervacio has made two scoreless innings... three innings, three strikeouts.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pedrique Named Minor League Field Coordinator

The Astros announced that Al Pedrique will be the minor league field coordinator. Full details are in the Recent Articles section.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Astros to play at Whataburger Field

The Astros and Hooks announced today that the big league club will visit Corpus Christi for an exhibition game next spring. The Hooks and Astros will meet at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 2 at Whataburger Field. Also, it was announced that the player development agreement between Houston and Corpus has been extended two more years and now runs through the 2012 season. I have included a link to the full story on today's announcement in the recent articles section.

Bogusevic Injured in Arizona

Brian Bogusevic, who is in the Arizona Fall League to continue his transition to the outfield, tweaked a hamstring after one at bat and is currently sidelined. Bogusevic had originally injured the hamstring during the last week of the regular season in Corpus Christi.

More Farmstros in Caribbean

As of today, three major Caribbean winter leagues are in play(Puerto Rico begins in November). A look at the Astros players active in Venezuela and the Dominican Republic. As of this morning, no Farmstros are on a Mexican League roster:

Leones del Caracas
Jose Lopez, C(Corpus Christi and Round Rock in 2008)
Jose Castillo, IF(Houston)
Cesar Quintero, OF(Salem)

Caribes del Anzotegul
Josh Miller, RHP(Round Rock)
Paul Estrada, RHP(Corpus Christi)
Fernando Nieve, RHP(Round Rock and Houston)

Navegantes del Magallanes
Richie Paz, IF(Corpus Christi and Round Rock)
Tomas Perez, IF(Round Rock)
Wladamir Sutil, IF(Salem and Corpus Christi)
Nick Regilio, RHP(Round Rock)

Aquilas de Zulia
Humberto Quintero, C(Round Rock and Houston)

Bravos de Margarita
Felipe Paulino, RHP(Injured during 2008)

Tigres de Aragua
Kyle Middleton, RHP(Corpus Christi and Round Rock)

Aqilas Cibaenas
Sergio Severino, LHP(Lexington and Salem)

Azucareros del Este
Fernando Abad, LHP(Lexington)

Tigres del Licey
Sammy Gervacio, RHP(Corpus Christi and Round Rock)
Yordany Ramirez, OF( Round Rock)

Leones del Escogido
Runelvys Hernandez, RHP(Round Rock and Houston)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Castro in Hawaii

Jason Castro is 11 for 31 in 10 Hawaii games. The catcher has two doubles, one home run and four RBI.


As the off-season gets rolling, the Astros started making a few moves.

Optioned from 40-man roster
Jose Castillo, IF
Dave Borkowski, P

Castillo and Borkowski have the option of rejecting the assignment and becoming free agents.

Ryan Houston, P
Jack Cassel, P

Houston and Cassel automatically become minor league free agents.

Granted minor league free agency
Chad Paronto, P
J.R. House, P

Carlos Ladeuth, P(2008 at Lexington)

Five signings from the Caribbean this summer

Baseball America reports five teenagers who the Astros signed this summer during the international signing period:

Darwin Rivera, 16, 3B, Dominican Republic
Alfredo Gonzalez, 16, C, Venezuela
Alejandro de La Rosa, 16, SS, Dominican Republic
Jose Vargas, 17, C, Domincan Republic
Monzon, OF, (this is all that was listed on this player)

Vargas played for the DSL Astros this summer. The other four will show up in DSL or VSL in 2009.

Three Farmstros in Venezuela

Venezuela and the Dominican Republic winter baseball season will start this week. Complete rosters have not posted yet, however, three players that are part of the Houston organization are listed with Leones del Caracas:

Jose Lopez, C
Jose Castillo, IF
Cesar Quintero, OF

The Mexican Winter League is underway and no players with Astros ties appear on the roster there.

Jet Hawks Home Opener Six Months from Today

The Lancaster Jet Hawks will host their first home game as an Astros affiliate in six months. The team will host Inland Empire(Dodgers) in the home opener. The Astros low A affiliate Lexington will also open their home season on the 13th of April against Kannapolis(White Sox) at Applebee's Park. All four of the Astros full-season affiliates open their season on April 8:

Round Rock vs. Iowa(Cubs)(Home Opener)
Corpus Christi vs. Tulsa(Rockies)(Home Opener)
Lancaster at High Desert(Mariners)
Lexington at West Virginia(Pirates)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Farmstros on the Radio Wednesday?

I just received word that I am a possible guest on Jim Deshaies and Dave Raymond's new baseball show when it premieres tomorrow(Wednesday) on 790 AM the Sports Animal here in Houston.
I proposed that my baseball poem, The Golden Sombrero Wearer-The Strikeout King Strikes Out(I have included a link to the poem in the FARMSTROS FAVORITE SECTION) would be an ideal poem to wrap up the baseball season, and the hosts are interested. There are no guarantees that I will make it to air, but they have my phone number. Please give the show a listen. Thanks for your support

Time- Wednesday, October 8 beteween 10 and 11 am(Central time)
Station- 790 AM the Sports Animal

Note: If you aren't in the Houston area the station streams through their website. I can't put a link to it, but you can find it by searching for 790 the Sports Animal.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Castro Picks up four hits in Hawaii

Jason Castro finished his first full week in the Hawaii Winter League with a four-hit game Saturday. Thus far, the Astros' 2008 first round pick leads the league in batting with 7 hits in 16 at bats. He also has two doubles and two RBI.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Caribbean Leagues Around the Corner

Winter baseball gets started next week. I'll be scouring the rosters for Astros' minor leaguers.

Opening Dates:

Mexico... October 11
Venezuela... October 14
Dominican Republic...October 15
Puerto Rico...November 6

Elias Rankings and minor league free agency

Last year's Elias Rankings came out right near the end of the World Series. As soon as I see them, I will post where the Astros potential free agents rank.

Further, sometime in November, Baseball America posts a list of minor league free agents. I will be posting the Astros' portion of that here as well.