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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rule 5 preview- Crawfish Boxes Style

With the Rule 5 Draft less than two weeks away "Orem LK" over at the Crawfish Boxes is running through some of the draftables from each division. I will be providing links to each of these previews as they come out.

AL East
AL Central

Links to MLB Rule 5 Eligible Players

Here's a link to Bucco This link includes links to numerous other websites that have information on various teams' rule 5 eligible players. Since they included a link the Farmstros Rule 5 page, I figured I'd return the favor.

James outrighted to AAA

According to an Alyson Footer tweet Tuesday afternoon, Brad James has been outrighted to AAA and removed from the 40-man roster.

Astros finalize minor league instructors/staffs

Houston has finalized its minor league staffs including roving instructors, managers, etc.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Johnson will be in Majors in 2010

At least one member of Chris Johnson's family will be in the majors in 2010. While Chris is waiting for spring training to try to earn a spot on the Astros big league roster, his father Ron will be spending the 2010 season as Boston's 1st Base Coach. The elder Johnson earned the promotion after 18 years managing in the minors, including the last 10 in the Red Sox system.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Arizona Fall League Wrap-up

The Arizona Fall League Championship Game is Monday night, but all the Astros players are done for the season.

Jason Castro, C. Before being shut down early Castro only had six hits in 42 at bats.

Evan Englebrook, RHP. Englebrook gained some buzz for his 94-96 MPH fastball. He and his 7.11 ERA were added to the 40-man roster.

Jonathan Gaston, OF. Gaston struck out at an alarming rate- 38 in 92 at bats. He did have three home runs and 19 RBI.

Chia-jen Lo, RHP. Lo was the most solid Houston representative in Arizona. He pitched in six games, striking out 12 in 10 1/3 IP. He posted a 3.48 ERA.

Wilton Lopez, RHP. Lopez made six appearances also. He had a 3.72 ERA in 19 1/3 IP.

Dan Meszaros, RHP. Meszaros had 15 Ks in 11 2/3 Arizona innings.

Jose Vallejo, IF. Vallejo, who was acquired in the Pudge Rodriguez trade, batted .275 with eight stolen bases in 80 at bats.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Astros Sign Jose Valdez, add three to 40-man roster

Houston signed RHP Jose Valdez as a minor league free agent. Valdez comes from the Yankee organization. He is a reliever and split time between AA and AAA in 2009.

Houston also added three pitchers to the 40-man roster before today's 11 pm deadline:

Evan Englebrook, RHP
Matt Nevarez, RHP
Henry Villar, RHP

I am surprised that Drew Locke was not added to the roster. Perhaps this speaks to the number of outfielders in the organization.

These moves leave the Astros with 37 players on the 40-man roster.

Speculation on 2010 Rosters

SnakeDiggity had a post at Crawfish Boxes, which speculates on the rosters from AAA to Low A for Houston in 2010.


The word is that Santangelo was not released. He has been re-signed by the Astros.

Astros Expected to add to 40-man Roster Friday

Friday is the deadline for the Astros to add players to their 40-man roster and thus, protect them from December's Rule 5 draft. Just so it you know this isn't a piggyback off of Brian McTaggart's post today, here is what Farmstros wrote about Rule 5 eligible players a while back.

BA posts their top 10 Houston Prospects

Baseball America has posted their list of Houston's top 10 prospects. Jason Castro is #1 with Jiovanni Mier at #2.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Santangelo Back?

Perhaps I got all emotional for nothing. Baseball America is now reporting that catcher Lou Santangelo has re-signed with Houston. They reported he was released about a week ago.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Minor League Free Agents Posted

Baseball America posted their minor league free agent list today. Here's link to Houston's full list of minor league free agents. (There are a few players who were granted free agency earlier in the off-season, not included on the BA list.)

13 players who I had listed the free agent list based on my research don't show up meaning either the Astros retained their services or I erred in my research.

Here are those 13:

Erick Abreu, RHP
Doug Arguello, LHP
Marcos Cabral, IF
Rayner Contreras, IF
Roy Corcoran, RHP
German Duran, IF
Brian Esposito, C
Jhonny Florentino, IF
Sergio Severino, LHP
Gabe Suarez, IF
Eric Suttle, OF
Jack Tilghman, RHP
Brandon Wilkerson, IF

Astros Minor League Coaching Changes Shakeout

Leave it Zach Levine at the Houston Chronicle to have the skinny on minor league coaching changes while he is allegedly on vacation. More indepth information on the 2010 coaching staff is available via the Astros website

The changes, which are mostly a trickle-down from major league staff changes:

Ed Romero- Astros bench coach to Greeneville manager
Rodney Linares- Greeneville manager to Lexington manager
Tom Lawless- Lexington manager to Lancaster manager
Wes Clements- Lancaster manager to Corpus Christi manager
Luis Pujols- Corpus Christi manager to released from the organization

Mark Bailey- Astros bullpen coach to Corpus Christi batting coach
Keith Bodie- Corpus Christi batting coach to Round Rock batting coach
Ron Jackson- Round Rock batting coach to released from the organization

Friday, November 13, 2009

From A to W in Venezuela...Let the Conversion Continue

Two former left-handed relievers continue to impress as starters in Venezuela this winter.

Wesley Wright, struck out 10 batters and allowed two hits in his most recent start, which covered 5 1/3 innings. In four start, Wright has 30 strikeouts with 14 hits allowed and a 1.29 ERA in 21 IP.

A little bit further down the ladder (yet further up the ladder alphabetically) Fernando Abad has a 2.45 ERA in five starts. He has allowed 17 hits with 18 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings. Abad, who is the first player alphabetically in the Houston organization, started three games for Corpus Christi at the end of the 2009 season after spending most of the season in the Lancaster bullpen.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Puerto Rican Winter League starts Thursday

The Puerto Rican Winter League opens Thursday. Click Here to see the Farmstros who are slated to play in Puerto Rico and other winter leagues.

Farmstros in Venezuelan Minor Leagues

Thanks to Steve who sent me this link. This is a stats page for the minor league portion of the Venezuelan Winter League. As best I can tell from looking through the pages, seven Farmstros are playing in the league:

Jose Altuve, IF (Altuve is listed with Magallanes and Zulia. I don't know if this means he changed teams or there are two Jose Altuves) Thanks to JL Street who has done some bilingual research and found that the Zulia Jose Altuve appears to be a catcher.
Oscar Figueroa, IF (Leones)
Jose Lopez, OF (There are two Lopezes listed with Caracas. I'm not sure which (or even if) is the OF from the Houston system.)
Jhonny Medrano, IF (Aragua)
Carlos Quevedo, P (Magallanes)
Nestor Santana, OF (Caribes)
Renzo Tello, OF (Leones)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Draft Pick to speak in Chicago

Thanks to Astros County for this link:

Jake Goebbert, drafted by Houston in June 2009, will be speaking at a suburban Chicago congregation Sunday.

So Long, Lou Santangelo

The most recent Baseball America transaction post shows Houston releasing catcher Lou Santangelo. With Castro, Towles and Clemens (?) in the queue to the big leagues, it is not surprising to see Santangelo moving on. My best Lou Santangelo memory? April 2008, I made a road trip to CC to see the Hooks, before the Sunday game the ground crew forgot to move the tractor off the field, delaying the start of the contest. Santangelo wasn't playing in the game, so he jumped on the tractor and moved it to its proper place so the game could start.

In other news, Jose Lopez, catcher, has re-signed with the organization. Lopez spent most of last season recovering from a brain aneurysm before ending the year back at Corpus Christi.

2008 Draft Review

I recently teamed up with David Coleman at The Crawfish Boxes to review Houston's 2008 draft. Here's a link to the finished product.

Monday, November 9, 2009

40-man Roster Additions?

Last week the Astros added two potential free agents (Sutil and Abad) to the 40-man roster. If, as is expected, all the Astros free agent eligibles file, this will leave the club with 33 players on the 40-man roster. This gives Houston as many as seven openings to fill with players who they hope to protect from the Rule 5 draft by the November 20 deadline.

After one bad season and one worse season at Corpus Christi, I won't be surprised if pitcher Brad James is supplanted from the 40-man roster before the deadline. Yet, there aren't many players who need protecting so James may live for another season.

Here's six players who are vulnerable to the Rule 5 draft in order of their likelihood of being protected on the 40-man roster:

Drew Locke, OF...Locke had a monster year and needs to protected to avoid being a Rule 5 draftee two years in a row.

Evan Englebrook, RHP...positive buzz in Arizona may necessitate giving Englebrook some protection.

Sergio Perez, RHP... Perez has showed some promise as a starter (AA in 2009)

Koby Clemens, UTL...Clemens' numbers in 2009 and his name might make him appealing to someone

Jimmy Van Ostrand, 1B...I heard a rumor that the Canadian National team might draft him

Matt Nevarez, RHP...Acquired in the Pudge Rodriguez he is Rule 5 eligible. He was impressive in a short stint at Lexington after the trade, but he may be too low to merit a 40-man roster spot.

Be the First on Your Block with a Farmstros Magnet

In preparation for the 2010 season, including the Quest for 3000 Syllables which begins April 8, 2010, I have designed a FARMSTROS MAGNET. You can have your own magnet for FREE by following these five steps.

1. Download the homemade graphic

2. Cut out the graphic

3. Glue the graphic to an old cd (a piece of cardboard will work as well)

4. Glue magnets on the back side of the cd (two small magnets should be sufficient)

5. Post the magnet in a visible spot to remind yourself and tell your friends about Farmstros.

SUPPLIES Needed: Scissors, Glue (super glue recommended for the magnets), an old cd.

Special thanks to the Houston Zoo for this idea for recycling cds. You can also use this concept for pictures.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Castro heading Home for the Off-Season

After Saturday's Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, the Astros have decided to send catcher Jason Castro home to rest and focus on the 2010 season. Houston's 2008 #1 draft pick has had an eventful first professional season, playing almost nonstop from February to November. He has donned the tools of ignorance in Florida, California, Texas, Europe and Arizona. He is expected to challenge for the Astros starting job next spring.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Watch Castro in Arizona Saturday

Farmstro Catcher Jason Castro will be on the MLB Network (simulcast on Saturday night at 7:15 pm (Houston Time). Castro is slated to play in the Rising Stars Game of the Arizona Fall League.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Congratulations to Sutil

It was good to see Wladamir Sutil added to the 40-man roster. Maybe it's the first name, Wladamir!, but I he's been one of my favorite Farmstros since this blog launched back in September 2007.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Abad, Sutil added to 40-man Roster

Infielder Wladamir Sutil and Left-handed pitcher Fernando Abad have been added to the Astros 40-man roster. Sutil spent 2009 in Corpus Christi. Abad spent the majority of the season in Lancaster's bullpen. However, he started a few games for Corpus at the end of the season. He is reportedly transitioning to a starting role, and has started a few games in the Caribbean this off-season.
Both players were eligible to become minor league free agents on Monday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More On Coe

Yesterday, I posted about the Astros releasing Ryan Coe, who hadn't played in ten years. The word from Stephen Grande in the Houston Media Relations Department is that Coe landed a scouting job with the Rangers, so the Astros released him completely.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A few Links

Brian McTaggart at has an update on Farmstros playing in Arizona

Zach Levine at the Houston Chronicle has an interview with 2009 first round draft pick Jiovanni Mier

Coe Released

A transaction post on Baseball America on October 29 indicated that the Astros activated from the inactive list consequently released a first baseman name Ryan Coe. Being unfamiliar with this name, I did a little research on Coe. As best I can determine, Coe was drafted in 1995 by Houston. He played in the system through 1999, reaching the High A Level. I am assuming this move was mostly just a paperwork move.

I also discovered yesterday that Jacob Priday, IF, who the Astros drafted out of Missouri in 2008, retired after the 2008 season. Priday was listed as inactive throughout the 2009 season.

Castro in AFL Rising Stars Game Saturday

Despite struggling at the plate in Arizona, Jason Castro has been named to the roster for the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game Saturday in Surprise. The Astros' Catcher of the Future, Castro has only six hits in 38 at bats this fall with one home run and four RBI.