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Monday, August 31, 2009

GCL Astros season wraps up

The GCL Astros wrapped up their season with a 5-3 loss to the Cardinals Monday. The Gulf Coast League entry finishes 18-38.

Locke done for the Season

Corpus Christi outfielder Drew Locke's season came to an end a week early last night at San Antonio. Locke was hit by a pitch which broke his left hand. Locke, picked up by the Astros in last year's rule 5 draft was the offensive leader of the Hooks this season. He ends the season leading the Texas League with a .338 batting average and 109 RBI. He also has 20 home runs and 31 doubles. The Hooks roster will be even more depleted after tonight's game when Jason Castro and Jimmy Van Ostrand leave for the World Cup.

Farmstros Twitter Ku Streak hits 50

Farmstros Twitter Ku streak has reached 50 straight days with Monday's posting. The streak is the second longest on record. Follow the streak as Farmstros pursues Jose "Senor" Cafe's 56.

Jason Castro leaving AA September 1

Jason Castro is getting a special September call-up after tonight's Corpus Christi game in San Antonio. The Hooks catcher will be leaving Texas to join Team USA in Cary, NC as they train for September's World Cup in Europe. Outfielder Jimmy Van Ostrand, who is representing Canada in the World Cup is also leaving after tonight's contest.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gaston Sets Lancaster Home Run Record

Saturday night Jonathan Gaston hit his 32nd home run of the season, which broke the record for homers in a season for the Lancaster franchise. The previous record was set in 2003 by Kyle Nichols when Lancaster was an Arizona affiliate. Entering Sunday's play Gaston was also tied for the minor league lead in home runs this season.

Express a Ranger affiliate in 2011?

Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman reports that it is likely that Round Rock will be a Ranger affiliate in 2011.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Last chance to see Lyles

The final chance to see Lexington right-hander Jordan Lyles on your computer will be Sunday at 1:05(Central time). Lexington's home games are viewable here.

Lyles should have one more start on the road before the season wraps up September 7.

Legends going to Florida this Fall

Thanks to Mark Maloney at His latest blog post on the Lexington Legends includes information on several players heading to the Fall Instructional League starting in mid-September in Kissimmee, Florida.

Jay Austin, OF
Albert Cartwright, 2B
Brad Dydalewicz, LHP
Federico Hernandez, C
Arcenio Leon, RHP
Jordan Lyles, RHP
Matt Nevarez, RHP
Ross Seaton, RHP
Pat Urckfitz, RHP(Urckfitz is currently assigned to Lancaster)
Henry Villar, RHP
Brandon Wikoff, SS

Lopez an Astro

Wilton Lopez was officially added to the Astros roster today, as Alberton Arias was placed on the disabled list.

Who's Coming Up in September?

With Wilton Lopez on his way to Arizona to meet up with the big club, here's a look at who else may be joining the Astros on or after September 1 when roster limits expand to 40 players.


Aaron Boone, IF. All indications are that Boone is ready to rejoin the squad after his rehab stints in Corpus Christi and Round Rock.

Wesley Wright, LHP. Wright is rehabbing at Round Rock preparing to return.

Doug Brocail, RHP. If Brocail is healthy, he'll be active.

J.R. Towles, C. Towles has been out of the lineup more than he has been in this season. He started playing again about a week ago. If all goes well, he will join the Astros at some point in September.

Matt Kata, IF. Indications are that Tommy Manzella isn't coming up, so I wonder why Kata would be promoted. However, he is versatile and experienced, so he may be back.

Chris Sampson, RHP. I assumed Sampson was coming up without a doubt, but the team skipped him to call up Wilton Lopez when they needed help in the bullpen, so Sampson's return is not a no-brainer.


Tommy Manzella, SS. Until Jiovanni Mier is ready, Manzella is the shortstop of the future. He is hitting about .290 for Round Rock and his glove is well above average. However, I read a report from beat writer Brian McTaggart that Manzella is not expected to be coming up.


The Astros have 39 players on their 40-man roster, adding more than one player would necessitate dropping a player from the 40-man roster.

Chad Paronto, RHP. Paronto has recorded 24 saves for Round Rock. He recently had a 23 2/3 IP scoreless streak. He did have a brief stay in Houston earlier this year and in 2008.

Casey Daigle, RHP. Daigle has been an effective set up man for Round Rock. He has previous big league experience like Paronto.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wilton Lopez Coming up to the Big Leagues

Here's some big news from Greg Rajan at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times by way of Crawfish Boxes. Hooks pitcher Wilton Lopez is headed to meet the Astros in Arizona. He will be available to pitch in the bullpen in case Alberto Arias is still ailing.

In case you missed it, Farmstros noticed Lopez and wondered if he'd be in Houston anytime soon 10 days ago. He was also a Farmstros Five Top Performer of the Week twice this month. August 5 and August 19

Last Chance to see Seaton

Lexington's Ross Seaton is scheduled to pitch tonight. The game will be viewable at 6:05(Central Time). It is likely to be the final Seaton start with viewable video of the season.

Seven September Games Viewable

Four Round Rock games and three Corpus Christi games are viewable as the season winds down in September. Each team's home games are available through their websites. RR/ CC

September Games:

Round Rock
4 & 5- vs. Omaha(7:05)
6- vs. Omaha(6:05)
7- vs. Omaha(12:05)

Corpus Christi
5- vs. San Antonio(7:05)
6- vs. San Antonio(6:05)
7- vs. San Antonio(7:05)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Not too Bad for a first player Signed

Not to be outdone by Jiovanni Mier, Corpus Christi Hooks outfielder Collin DeLome ended tonight's game at Whataburger Field with a ninth inning walk-off home run. DeLome wasn't a first-round draft pick, but he was the highest draft pick that the Astros signed in the 2007 draft.

Not Bad for a First Round Draft Pick

Greeneville shortstop Jiovanni Mier, the Astros first-round pick in the 2009 draft, ended the Astros game tonight with a tenth-inning walk-off two run home run. Mier is batting .276 with six home runs and 27 RBI. Thanks to Duman for pointing out that Wednesday was also Mier's 19th birthday.

Farmstros Five 2009- Week 20

Four teams in the Astros farm system lost six games this week. Greeneville(22-38, over-all) and the GCL Astros(17-35) were 0 and 6, while Round Rock(56-75) and Corpus Christi(25-32) were 1 and 6. Lancaster(27-31) had the only winning record at 4 and 3.
Lexington, 3-4(23-34); Tri-City, 3-3(21-40). The DSL Astros went 1 and 1 to end their season at 33-32, which will likely be the only winning record in the organization this year.

NOTE: The GCL Astros(August 31) and Greeneville(September 1) conclude their season in the upcoming week.

The Farmstros Five for the week of August 19-25, 2009:

The Top Performer:

Drew Locke, 26, OF, Corpus Christi. Locke had multiple hits in six straight games going 15 for 26 with three doubles, one home run and four RBI.

The Other Four:

Josh Muecke, 27, LHP, Round Rock. Muecke allowed no earned runs, seven hits and struck out eight in two starts(12 2/3 IP).

Koby Clemens, 22, DH/C/OF, Lancaster. Clemens was 14 for 30 with two doubles, two triples, two home runs, eight runs scored, and nine RBI.

Abraham Gonzalez, 22, RHP, Greeneville. In two relief appearances, Gonzalez pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing no runs, two hits and striking out six.

Brandon Wikoff, 21, IF, Lexington. The 2009 draft pick was 12 for 34 with six runs, two doubles, one triple and four RBI.

Tri-City's Jose Altuve an Appalachian League All-Star

Tri-City Second Baseman Jose Altuve has been named an all-star in the Appalachian League. Altuve batted .324 with 20 doubles and 21 stolen bases in 45 games for Greeneville before being promoted to Tri-City earlier this month.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seven Farmstros headed to Arizona Fall League

Seven Farmstros are slated to participate in this fall Arizona Fall League. The league which features many top prospects every year begins in early October.

The Farmstros who are Arizona-bound:

Daniel Meszaros, RHP
Evan Englebrook, RHP
Chia-jen Lo, RHP
Jason Castro, C
Wilton Lopez, RHP
Jonathan Gaston, OF
German Duran, IF

Catcher Jose Lopez in Corpus Christi

After a brief stint with the GCL Astros, catcher Jose Lopez is working out with Corpus Christi. Lopez suffered an aneurysm prior to spring training and is in recovery mode. According to the Hooks' game notes, Lopez will be joining the team's active roster when he is ready. Perhaps he will be ready to fill in for Jason Castro when Castro makes his way to Europe for the World Cup next week.

Back to back to back to back off of Benitez

Thanks to Zach Levine of the Houston Chronicle who passed on this information: Armando Benitez debuted with Round Rock Monday night at Dell Diamond. The right-handed former all-star retired the first two batters he faced in his Round Rock debut. However, before he recorded the third out in the eighth inning against Memphis, Benitez allowed four straight home runs and a single for good measure. In preparation for his next outing, he did strike out the Memphis pitcher to end the inning.

Zach Levine is in Round Rock through Wedesday blogging about the Express experience.

Monday, August 24, 2009

DSL Astros Have a Winning Record

A number of solid pitchers led the Dominican Summer League Astros to what may prove to be the only winning record in the organization this season. The club had the worst team batting average; however, the pitching was strong enough to post an over-all record of 33-32.

A few names to mention:

Xavier Baso, 18, RHP. This was Baso's second year in the organization. He pitched 59 2/3 innings in 18 relief appearances. 45 hits allowed, 60 Ks, 2.26 ERA.

Dieudone Paul, 21, LHP. Paul was impressive in his first professional season. 54 2/3 IP, 16 games, 37 hits allowed, 66 Ks, 1.65.

Leonardo Alayon, 17, RHP. Another first year guy, Alayon finished the season with a 2.32 ERA in 50 1/3 IP.

Jose Perdomo, 17, RHP. Perdomo's first year ended with 47 IP, 31 hits allowed, 34 Ks, and a 3.64 ERA.

Roliner Iturralde, 18, RHP. After spending 2008 in Venezuela, Iturralde pitched 41 1/3 innings, allowed 28 hits and posted a 2.61 ERA.

Hector Rodriguez, 20, IF. Rodriguez was the top hitter on the team with a .269 average. He had 32 runs and 11 doubles in 54 games.

Last Chance to see Castro in Corpus Christi this Week?

The Hooks start a four game home stand against Midland Tuesday night. It is not the Hooks final home series of the season. However, it will probably be the final chance to watch catcher Jason Castro at Whataburger Field as he will most likely be preparing for the World Cup with Team USA by the time the final home series vs. San Antonio(September 5-7) commences. Jimmy Van Ostrand will be leaving the Hooks at the same time as Castro so that he can prepare to represent Canada in the same competition.

Wilton Lopez has another Quality Start

Corpus Christi right-hander Wilton Lopez had his fifth quality start this month Sunday night. Lopez pitched seven innings allowing five hits and three runs, while striking out four. For the month of August, Lopez has a 1.23 ERA with 19 hits allowed over five starts(36 2/3 IP). Based on the current schedule and rotation, Lopez, who is on the 40-man roster, has three starts remaining for Corpus Christi.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hooks on Computer for Free

I am not sure when this started, but all Corpus Christi home games are available to view on your computer for free. There are only seven Hooks' home games left.

August 25-28 vs. Midland(all games at 7:05)
September 5-7 vs. San Antonio(7:05, 6:05, 7:05)

Hopefully, this coverage will continue in 2010 when the crop of prospects makes it to Texas from Lancaster and Lexington.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

DSL Astros Season Ends

The Astros' Dominican Summer League wrapped up Friday with a 2-0 loss to the Braves squad. The Astros ended the campaign at 33-32..

Friday, August 21, 2009

Steele back on field

Just for the record, T.J. Steele started for Lancaster tonight and has four at bats as of 11:25 central time. SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE: Steele left after seven innings.

Farmstros Database Available Online

I've been maintaining a database of the Houston farm system for over a year. It includes birthdates, how acquired, and contract status. You can access the database in this blog's favorites list. I'm still experimenting with this function. It may take a few attempts to load properly. If anyone has any ideas for a place to upload spreadsheets, I am listening.

Steele needs Replacement; Salamida doesn't

All I have to go on is Thursday night's game recap, but I can't help but wonder if T.J. Steele is injured again. Steele has been in and out of the lineup since being drafted last summer out of the University of Arizona. In the top of the fifth inning of Thursday's game at Lake Elsinore the outfielder grounded out. However, in the bottom of the fifth, Steele was replaced in the outfield by Andrew Simunic.

Meanwhile starting pitcher Chris Salamida didn't need any replacement, as he pitched the first complete game of his pro career. The left-hander has bounced back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen since being drafted in 2006. On Thursday night against the Storm, he gave up a single and a home run after one out in the first. For the next 8 2/3 innings, he allowed only two hits, two walks and hit a batter as no Lake Elsinore advanced past second base.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Here's a Reason to Root for the Rangers

According to Alyson Footer, the Astros will get a third player for Pudge Rodriguez if the Rangers make the play-offs this October. That clarification on the terms of the deal makes scoreboard watching relevant at Minute Maid Park. In case you missed it, Pudge is doing his part. He went three for four with a double in his first game as a Ranger Wednesday night.

Legends pitchers to Corpus Christi next Spring?

“Once spring training comes around, from what our pitching coordinator had said, he wants our starting rotation from here to be in double-A next year in Corpus Christi,” said Greenwalt. “I just got to get ready for that.” This quote is taken from an article about Kyle Greenwalt, who is one of the starting pitchers in Lexington. If this plan comes to fruition, Seaton, Lyles, Bono, Greenwalt, and Dydalewicz could all be in Corpus Christi.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Greeneville Left-hander suspended

Zach Levine reports that Greeneville left-hander Gabriel Garcia has been suspended 50 games for a performance enhancing drug policy violation.

Farmstros Five 2009- Week 19

The Corpus Christi Hooks completed the week with their first five game winning streak of the season. The Hooks were 5 and 1(24-26, for the second half). Round Rock, 3-3(55-69); Lancaster, 3-3(23-28); Lexington, 0-6(20-30); Tri-City, 2-3(18-37); Greeneville, 3-4(22-32); GCL Astros, 2-3(17-29); DSL Astros, 2-2(31-30)

The Farmstros Five for the Week of August 12-18, 2009

The Top Performer:

Wilton Lopez, 26, RHP, Corpus Christi. Lopez continued his hot August. He made two starts, pitched 15 2/3 innings and allowed eight hits and one run while he struck out 12.

The other Four:

Dallas Keuchel, 21, LHP, Tri-City. Keuchel pitched seven scoreless innings allowing five hits and striking out five.

Dieudone Paul, 21, LHP, DSL Astros. Paul pitched seven scoreless innings allowing three hits and striking out four.

Roliner Iturralde, 18, RHP, DSL Astros. Iturralde pitched six scoreless innings allowing two hits and recording three strikeouts.

Tommy Manzella, 26, SS, Round Rock. Manzella went 10 for 23 with two doubles and six RBI.

Farmstros Twitter Ku Streak Second Longest of All Time

With a Twitter Ku posted today, Farmstros streak of Twitter Kus reached 38 days. This is the 2nd longest streak in history. With 38 days, Farmstros passed Lily Petras.

Petras spent her entire career covering the Reds minor league system. Her streak is shrouded in some controversy as some historians contend that she actually Twitter Kued about major league players on more than one occasion.

Next on the horizon with 56 days is Hall-of-Famer Jose "Senor" Cafe.

Follow the streak every day here

Seven UDFAs

In addition to the draft picks the Astros signed this summer, the team also added seven undrafted free agent pitchers to the system. Two of the players signed for substantial amounts(listed below):

Ruben Alaniz, RHP, GCL Astros($160,000)
Garrett Bullock, LHP, GCL Astros(he started at Greeneville)
Kirk Clark, RHP, Tri-City($50,000)
Max Fearnow, RHP, Tri-City
John Frawley, RHP, GCL Astros
Tio McClean, RHP, GCL Astros(he started at Greeneville)
Philip Rorabaugh, RHP, GCL Astros

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Valley Cat Homers in NY-Penn League All-Star Game

J.D. Martinez represented the Tri-City Valley Cats with a home run in Tuesday's NY-Penn League All-Star Game. Three of Martinez's teammates also played in the game. Brian Kemp was 1 for 1 with a walk. J.B. MacDonald pitched 2/3 innings without allowing a run. Surprisingly, Russ Dixon, who has been called up to Lexington returned to play in the game going 0 for 2.

More on the incoming Farmstros

It looks as though the Astros will get three new minor leaguers for Pudge Rodriguez. Matt Nervarez, RHP and Jose Vallejo, 2B are two of them plus a player to be named. The Crawfish Boxes had the following information on the trade.

New Farmstros on the Way?

Rumors are swirling that Ivan Rodriguez is being dealt to Texas for prospects. One report I read indicates the Astros will be getting two mid-tier prospects. The name I saw mentioned as a possible future Farmstro is Matt Nevarez, 22 who is a right-handed reliever at Low A Hickory(in the same league as Lexington).

Monday, August 17, 2009

September Call-up... Wilton Lopez?

It's a long shot, but Corpus Christi right-hander Wilton Lopez is making a push for a September call-up. In four August starts Lopez, who the Astros claimed off waivers from San Diego in April, has the following line: 29 2/3 IP, 14 hits, 3 runs, two earned runs, four walks and 18 Ks. Lopez likely has two more starts before the September 1 roster expansion. He is on the 40-man roster, which is to his advantage, when it comes to a call-up. However, one good month might not be enough to overcome four poor ones. He entered August with a 6.48 ERA in 73 2/3 IP(his ERA has dropped to 4.79).

The Verdict? 36 of 51

The Astros will pass the signing deadline with no more ink flowing. 12th Round Pick Geoffrey Thomas, a right-handed pitcher from Georgia decided to go to Southern Mississippi next year rather than sign with the Astros. Some sources are reporting 35 signings, but 37th round pick Raul Rivera signed recently to make it 36. Thanks to Zach Levine at the Houston Chronicle for catching that tidbit.

Signing Deadline, Season Winding Down

Monday is the deadline for the Astros to sign draft picks from the 2009 draft. The team has signed 36 of 51 picks to this point, including 25 of their top 26 picks. I have read in several locations that the team is hopeful of signing one or two more picks before the deadline.

The signing deadline also marks a mere three weeks until the end of the regular season in the minor leagues. The Dominican Summer League comes to a close first with games ending this Friday, August 21.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back from Corpus

Farmstros is back home after a quick trip to Whataburger Field. The game itself was uneventful. The highlight was a bases loaded walk by Jason Castro to give an idea. We did get a tour of the park from Gil who runs the video board during the games. Also, found out that James Van Ostrand will be leaving the team early along with Castro. Van Ostrand and Castro will be representing Canada and the USA respectively in next month's Baseball World Cup, which begins September 9 in Europe.

Four Valley Cats are All-Stars

Four members of the Tri-City Valley Cats were named to National League all-star team for the New York-Penn League All-Star Game. Outfielders Russ Dixon, Brian Kemp, and J.D. Martinez along with closer J.B. Mac Donald are the all-stars. The game is scheduled for August 18 at State College, PA. Dixon has been called up to Lexington since being named to the all-star team.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Farmstros at Whataburger Field

Farmstros will be at Whataburger Field on Friday night. It looks like Kenny Baugh is pitching that night. I am a huge Rice University fan, so it will be pretty cool if he ends up starting. We are in Section 110. I've got my Portland Rockies hat ready to go.

Farmstros Five 2009- Week 18

Five affiliates had three wins this week, but none had a winning record. Round Rock was 3-4(52-66, over-all); Corpus Christi, 1-5(19-25); Lancaster, 2-4(20-25); Lexington, 3-4(20-24); Tri-City, 2-4(16-34); Greeneville, 3-6(19-28); GCL Astros, 3-4(15-26); DSL Astros, 3-4(29-28)

The Farmstros Five for the week of August 5-11, 2009:

The Top Performer:

Leandro Alayon, 17, RHP, DSL Astros. Alayon pitched in two games. He allowed one earned run, nine hits and struck out eight in 10 1/3 IP.

The other four:

Steve Brown, 22, OF, Lexington. Brown went 9 for 29 with one triple, three home runs and 10 RBI.

John Frawley, 23, RHP, GCL Astros. Frawley, a 2009 undrafted free agent pitched seven innings, allowing four hits and one earned run while striking out 10 over two relief appearances.

Brandon Barnes, 23, OF, Lancaster. Barnes was 12 for 24 with three doubles, one triple and five RBI.

Koby Clemens, 22, C/DH/OF, Lancaster. Clemens waited until his last at bat of the week to clinch his spot. He hit a walk-off two-run homer Tuesday night, his third walk-off homer of the season. For the week, he was 10 for 25 with two doubles, one home run and nine RBI.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lopez plays for GCL Astros

Catcher Jose Lopez played for the GCL Astros Monday. The game was Lopez's first action since he had a brain aneurysm before spring training.

Watch hot prospect Lyles on Tuesday

Baseball America has Jordan Lyles ranked as the #7 HOT PROSPECT for the past week.(Thanks to the Crawfish Boxes for pointing this out). In case you want to see Lyles pitch on your computer, his next start is tomorrow at 6:05 in Lexington. (streaming information)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bazardo on His Way to Houston

Friday night the Astros announced that they have purchased the contract of RHP Yorman Bazardo and are bringing him up to Houston. Felipe Paulino is being optioned to Round Rock to make room for Bazardo. Bazardo is out of options meaning he must stay on the big-league roster or be exposed to waivers.

Farmstros Twitter Ku August 8, 2009

Due to the problems with Twitter, today's Twitter Ku will be posted here(to maintain the Twitter Ku streak). I will post it on Twitter when able to as well.

Former Hooks standout
Returns to Whataburger
Welcome back, Sadler

Friday, August 7, 2009

Einertson Suspended

According to Corpus Christi outfielder Mitch Einertson has been suspended for a second violation of MLB's substance abuse policy. The 50-game suspension will carry over into the 2010 season. Einertson, who is in his second season with Corpus Christi, becomes a free agent after this season.

An update on Einertson. His suspension was for recreational drug use and not performance ehancing drugs.

He has been replaced on the Hooks' roster by Corpus Christi veteran Ray Sadler.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Farmstros Five 2009- Week 17

The season has rolled into August meaning there are less than five weeks until Labor Day(minor league closing day). Corpus Christi led the way this week with a 5-3 record(18-20, second half); Round Rock was 4-3(49-62); Lancaster was 4-2(18-21); Lexington was 3-3(17-20); Tri-City was 2-6(14-30); Greeneville was 0-4(16-22); GCL Astros were 2-3(12-22); DSL Astros were 1-3(26-24)

In case you are planning your off-season, it looks like none of the Astros farm teams will be in the play-offs.

The Farmstros Five for the week of July 29- August 4, 2009

The Top Performer:

Wilton Lopez, 26, RHP, Corpus Christi. Lopez, who is on the 40-man roster, pitched seven scoreless innings allowing only four hits in his most effective start of the season.

The other four:

Drew Locke, 26, OF, Corpus Christi. Locke was 12 for 32 with two doubles, one triple, four home runs and 12 RBI.

Koby Clemens, 22, C/OF/DH, Lancaster. Clemens continued his torrid pace going 11 for 23 with two doubles, one triple, three home runs and eight RBI.

Jordan Lyles, 18, RHP, Lexington. Lyles pitched six scoreless innings allowing three hits and striking out eight.

Enrique Hernandez,17, IF, GCL Astros. Hernandez was 9 for 19 with two doubles, two triples and seven RBI.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

July Players of the Month, Where's Clemens?

The Astros announced their organizational players of the month for July Tuesday. I have to wonder about the Lancaster offensive player of the month. Outfielder Jonathan Gaston received the award for the third month in a row. However, Koby Clemens had a far more productive month.

Take a look at the July numbers:

Gaston, 111 ABs, .243 BA, one double, five triples, 11 home runs, and 21 RBI

Clemens, 114 ABs, .395 BA, 16 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, and 39 RBI

Clemens' July offensive numbers were by far the best in the entire Houston organization, let alone Lancaster.

Busy Off-season on tap for Jason Castro

Although he won't be playing at Minute Maid Park this September, the off-season looks to be a busy one for Corpus Christi catcher Jason Castro. As reported earlier, Castro will be representing the USA in the Baseball World Cup in Europe. That tournament begins September 9, two days after the Hooks season ends, and runs through September 27. Following his time in Europe, Castro will be heading to Arizona to participate in the Arizona Fall League. I haven't found a 2009 schedule for Arizona, but last season's games got started October 7 and ran through the middle of November.

Farmstros Twitter Ku streak Third Longest of All-Time

With Tuesday's Twitter Ku about Ross Seaton, Farmstros' streak was extended to 23 straight days...the third longest Twitter Ku streak of all-time. Farmstros passed legendary Japanese haiku writer Basho. Early in his haiku career, Basho took a break from his main gig and spent a few seasons Twitter Kuing about the Hiroshoma Carp's minor league system. He amassed a streak of 22 straight days with a Twitter Ku at least three times.

Only two rungs remain on the list towards the longest Twitter Ku streak of all time:

37 days- Lily Petras. Petras spent her entire career covering the Reds minor league system. Her streak is shrouded in some controversy as some historians contend that she actually Twitter Kued about major league players on more than one occasion.

56 days- Jose "Senor" Cafe. Cafe set the standard for Twitter Ku while covering the Yankees farm system. His hall-of-fame career included 9 seasons with at least 400 Twitter Kus. His streak has long been considered the most unbreakable record in minor league sports journalism.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Van Ostrand Waves goodbye to Midland

James Van Ostrand went 0 for 4 in his final game of 2009 at Midland Monday night. In 16 games this season at Midland, the Hooks outfielder went 26 for 65 with five doubles, eight home runs and 25 RBI.

After Further Review, THIS is a SCOOP

Just when I was getting too big for my britches, DUMAN, who posts regularly at SPIKES n STARS pointed out that Baseball Prospectus was passing on the BUD NORRIS LEGEND back in November of 2007. Meaning they scooped me by about one year and five months.

I think that this Might be Called "A Scoop"

Alyson Footer blogged Sunday that the origin of Bud Norris' nickname "Bud" is related to the family ordering Budweiser at a restaurant. I heard Norris tell a very similar story on the radio during Spring Training and included the tale in the Farmstros prospect guide four and 1/2 months ago.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Baso's Hitless Streak Snapped

Xavier Baso of the DSL Astros had his hitless streak ended today. The right-hander gave up a hit in his second inning of work. He had gone 16 1/3 IP without allowing a base hit.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Paulino may be called up for Tuesday start

If Roy Oswalt's back isn't well by Tuesday Round Rock right-hander Felipe Paulino will be called up to fill in as a starter against the Giants. Yorman Bazardo was considered for the spot, but he is out of options, meaning that if the team called him up and then tried to send him back down to Round Rock, he would need to clear waivers. The Astros decided to go with Paulino to avoid that scenario, under which they may lose Bazardo, who has been neck in neck with Bud Norris as the top starter at AAA this season.

Van Ostrand Midland update

Corpus Christi outfielder James Van Ostrand has not been quite effective this trip into Midland. Through the first three games of the Hooks series against the Rock Hounds, Van Ostrand is only 1 for 8; however he does have a 2-run homer. In 14 games at Midland in 2009, the outfielder is 24 for 57 with four doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBI. Corpus Christi plays their final two games at Midland Sunday and Monday.