farmstros can be reached at

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Moves and more Moves

There have been a number of moves in response to the recent trades by Houston. Here's a scoresheet:

Jose Altuve, 2B, up from Lexington to Lancaster
Barry Butera, IF, down from Lancaster to Lexington
Albert Cartwright, 2B, up from Lancaster to Corpus Christi
John Frawley, RHP, up from Greeneville to Tri-City
Mark Melancon, RHP, assigned to Round Rock, added to 40-man roster
Jimmy Paredes, IF, assigned to Lexington
Felipe Paulino, RHP, moved to 60-day disabled list
Jack Shuck, OF, moved up from Corpus Christi to Round Rock
Jonathan Villar, SS, assigned to Lexington (Thanks to Larry who pointed out that Villar is actually in Lancaster)
Brett Wallace, 1B, after one day with Round Rock, he is promoted to Houston

2010 Farmstros Five

I'm still waiting the write up from my correspondent on the Farmstros Five for
Week 16. Here are the players he was planning to honor when I last heard from him:

THE Farmstros Five for the week of July 22-28, 2010:

Ruben Alaniz, 19, RHP, GCL Astros

Xavier Baso, 19, RHP, DSL Astros

Danilo Del Rio, 19, RHP, GCL Astros

Jon Gaston, 23, OF, Corpus Christi

Michael Kvasnicka, 21, 3B, Tri-City

Ramirez is a Pitcher too

On the heels of Ebert Rosario's pitching debut the Round Rock Express are reporting that OF Yordany Ramirez is being sent to Lexington to work on becoming a pitcher. I can't wait to hear about his acrobatic defensive plays from the mound.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rosario is a Pitcher Now

Several weeks ago a source mentioned to me that the Astros had asked Ebert Rosario to switch to pitching from infield. I wasn't able to pass on the information at the time, but Rosario made his first appearance as a pitcher today (for the GCL Astros), so I guess it is official.

Farmstros Five Update

Week 16 of the Farmstros Five will be posted later today. All the Roy trade conversation filled up the plate of our correspondent for the week pushing back the schedule a bit.

With the combination of THE QUEST FOR 3000 SYLLABLES picking up speed and having two young children home all day between now and the start of school in several weeks, I am looking for correspondents to do one or two Farmstros Five's in August. StreetJL has done great, but I'd like to spread the fun around:

Here's what I'm needing:

Week 17- July 29- August 4... I will do this one
Week 18- August 5- August 11... Correspondent needed
Week 19- August 12- August 18... Correspondent neeeded
Week 20- August 19- August 25... Correspondent needed (This is the week that DSL season ends)
Week 21- August 26- September 1...Correspondent needed (Greeneville and GCL ends)
Week 22- September 2- September 6... I will do the final week of the season

Anyone interested in picking up one or two of these weeks, please contact me via email or twitter. There's no pay involved and at this point in the season, I am out of supplies to make any new Farmstros magnets.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

44 is Here No More- A Farmstros Song


44 is here no more
I will miss his graceful style
44’s a Phillie now
and he will be for awhile

A spark plug jolt went through him
And its shock made him an ace
Who knew that working on a truck
Could affect a pennant race

With Pujols ball still flying
He went out in old St. Loo
When Roy was done the ‘Stros had won
The Cards, bulldozed, were through

He’s the wizard
He’s Roy O
Now, his Houston time is done
I will tip my hat to him
As he rides off into the sun

Word is that the Astros will pick up J.A. Happ and two more prospects from Philadelphia for Roy Oswalt. Thanks to Roy Oswalt for his time as an Astro and for bringing in some Astros of the Future upon his departure.

NOTE: The two prospects added are SS Jonathan Villar and 1B Brett Wallace. Wallace is reportedly heading to Round Rock.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Valley Cats Go Green Wednesday Night

Tri-City will be celebrating Green Night Wednesday at Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy, New York. Game Time is 6:00 Houston Time. As of Tuesday morning, the Valley Cats staff was trying to fit TAKE ME OUT TO THE GREEN GAME (a Farmstros Song) into the events of the night. If you are going green at Joe Bruno Stadium tomorrow night, keep your ears open for Farmstros.

Here's the Valley Cats' write up about the night.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cespedes in Round Rock

StreetJL, apparently doing some research for this week's Farmstros Five caught the fact that Leandro Cespedes started tonight for Round Rock. Sergio Perez was scheduled to be on the hill. The Express game notes indicate that Cespedes is just up for a spot start in Perez's place. Jordan Lyles is pitching tonight for Corpus, but the way he has been getting knocked around recently AAA might not be in his best interest at the moment. Doug Arguello is lined up to pitch tomorrow, so he would have been on short rest if he had been called up. My guess is that if Perez is out for more any more starts, a more permanent replacement will be brought up from Corpus Christi or brought in as a free agent signing.

NOTE: I got word from Larry Little with the Express that Cespedes is heading back to Lancaster Tuesday.


I am back in Houston with a few more syllables behind me on THE QUEST FOR 3000 SYLLABLES. Saturday night at Dell Diamond, the Express and Cubs were kind enough to play four extra innings giving me four more opportunities to tweet my way to 3000 syllables. Among the memorable moments of the night: Josh Banks takes a line drive off the face; Marc Bombard gets thrown out, Fernando Abad gets called up from Corpus Christi to Houston.

Thanks to the Express staff for all their assistance. Also thanks to David Coleman at THE CRAWFISH BOXES, who let me use his laptop and even unwittingly provided the topic for one of the haiku.

Friday, July 23, 2010

THE QUEST takes Farmstros to Round Rock

Later this morning, Farmstros will hit the road. Destination: Round Rock.

I will be attending Express games Friday and Saturday night.

Friday, I will just be there to watch and roam the park. I have a new homemade shirt just for the event. Feel free to say "Hi" if you see me.

Saturday, I will be tweeting a haiku an inning as part of THE QUEST FOR 3000 SYLLABLES. The first haiku of the night will take the QUEST past 2000 SYLLABLES.

Special thanks to David Coleman at THE CRAWFISH BOXES who has agreed to let me use his laptop on Saturday night and provide technical support.

Remember you can TRACK the QUEST here. If you want to see the entire collection, you can view it here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

2010 Farmstros Five- Week 15

As promised, this week's Farmstros Five is focused entirely on the Astros' four short-season affiliates. First, however, a quick rundown of the entire organization's records for the week. Round Rock, 3-4 (41-57); Corpus Christi, 4-3 (6-19); Lancaster, 2-5 (11-16); Lexington, 2-4 (13-13); Tri-City, 3-4 (13-19); Greeneville, 4-4 (15-14); GCL Astros, 2-4 (10-13); DSL Astros, 1-3 (16-28)

The Farmstros Five (Short-season edition) for the week of
July 15-21, 2010:


Luis DeLa Rosa, 18, OF, DSL Astros. DeLa Rosa made the most of a short week in the Dominican. In just four games, he was 6 for 14 with three doubles, two home runs and four RBI.


Ricardo Batista, 18, LHP, Greeneville. Batista pitched seven innings, allowed five hits and one run, striking out five.

Leandro Alayon, 18, RHP, DSL Astros. Alayon had six scoreless innings in his only start. He struck out six and allowed two hits.

Rafael Valenzuela, 22, IF, GCL Astros/Greeneville. Valenzuela started the week in Florida and ended it in Tennessee. His totals for the week: 9 for 27 with three doubles, one triple, and four RBI.

Michael Kvasnicka, 21, IF, Tri-City. Kvasnicka started out his week 0 for 12; however, on the strength of his hottest four game stretch as a professional, he ended the week 7 for 31 with two doubles, one triple, one home run, and five RBI.

NOTE: Since I will be taking care of some QUEST FOR 3000 SYLLABLES business next week, STREETJL will be doing the Farmstros Five again.

Clark Sets Lexington Save Record

Lexington closer Kirk Clark set a Lexington franchise record last night when he recorded his 21st save of the season. Mark Maloney filed this report on Clark's season and the record.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Meanwhile Lumsden Leaves Corpus

Thanks to Astros County, who I think is the leader in catching transactions, for pointing out that LHP Tyler Lumsden has been traded to San Diego for future considerations.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Keuchel Heading to Corpus too

Word on the internet last night is that Dallas Keuchel (from Lancaster) is heading up to AA Corpus Christi, joining the latest crop on new Hooks.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Leon a Hook

According to RHP Arcenio Leon has been promoted from Lexington to Corpus Christi.

Baso has a quick inning in DSL All-Star Game

The three batters who faced Farmstro Xavier Baso in Sunday's Dominican All-Star Game didn't get the ball out of the infield. Actually, they didn't even get the ball to the pitcher's mound. Baso struck out two of the three batters he faced. The third batter popped out to the catcher.

The other Farmstro in the game, Yonathon Mejia, flew out in his one at bat. He played third base and had one put out in two innings.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Two Astros on Dominican All-Star Team

If you happen to be in the Dominican Republic this Sunday, you can check out two Astros in the Dominican Summer League's all-star game. RHP Francisco (Xavier) Baso and IF Yonathan Mejia are scheduled to represent the Astros in the contest. Baso was in the most recent Farmstros Five.

Levine on Martinez's Promotion

Here's a link to Zach Levine's blog about J.D. Martinez jumping to Corpus Christi.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Martinez heading to Corpus

Word on Twitter (e5enterprises who was retweeted by AstrosCounty) is that Lexington OF J.D. Martinez has been promoted to Corpus Christi. Here's a link to J.D.'s Facebook page.

Martinez's Facebook page also includes a link to a TV report on him last week in West Virginia after his five hit, six RBI game.

2010 Farmstros Five- Week 14

Three teams finished with winning records for the week; one finished .500 and the Hooks snapped their 16-game losing streak. Greeneville, 4-1 (8-9, over-all); Lancaster, 4-2 (9-11); Lexington, 4-2 (11-9); Tri-City, 3-3 (10-15); Round Rock, 1-3
(38-53); Corpus Christi, 2-5 (2-16); GCL Astros, 2-3 (8-9); DSL Astros, 2-5 (15-25)

The Farmstros Five for the week of July 8-14, 2010:

The Top Performer:

Jhonny Medrano, 21, IF, Greeneville. No one performance ran away with the week, but Medrano was on the team, Greeneville, with the best record. He was 11 for 23 with two doubles, three home runs and nine RBI.

The Other Four:

Ross Seaton, 20, RHP, Lancaster. Ih his only start, Seaton pitched
7 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed five hits and struck out three.

Albert Cartwright, 22, IF, Lancaster. The JetHawks second baseman ended the week 10 for 25 with one double, one triple, two home runs, seven RBI, seven runs scored and three stolen bases.

Xavier Baso, 19, RHP, DSL Astros. Baso had two scoreless relief appearances. In 9 2/3 IP, he allowed only four hits.

J.D. Martinez, 22, OF, Lexington. Martinez was 13 for 23 (including a five hit game) with three doubles, five home runs and 10 RBI. NOTE: For those readers gathering ammunition for the Martinez to Corpus campaign, this is his fourth Farmstros Five appearance this season.

For a change of pace, next week's Farmstros Five (July 15-21), will be limited to the short season affiliates. Tri-City, Greeneville, the GCL Astros and the DSL Astros have a total of 23 games scheduled on the week from which to draw.

More on Ross Seaton

Here's a link to an article on Ross Seaton by Zach Levine at

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Banks gets All-Star Loss

Round Rock pitcher Josh Banks gave up two runs in the sixth inning and was tagged with the loss as the Pacific Coast League fell to the International League 2-1 in tonight's AAA All-Star Game.

Banks an All-Star Tonight

I don't think I mentioned this here before, but Round Rock starter Josh Banks has replaced teammate Brian Bogusevic in tonight's AAA All-Star Game. The contest pitting the Pacific Coast League and the International is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (Houston time) in Allentown, PA, the home of the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

Maloney on Mier

Mark Maloney at has posted an article on Lexington shortstop Jio Mier and his recent upswing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Keuchel, wait, it's Lyles

First of all, thanks to everyone who voted in the Farmstros June Player of the Month poll. I'll admit that I don't know all the intricacies of Blogger polls, but I am still baffled by what happened on this one. The June Player of the Month Poll closed late Monday night. As of this morning, the poll was showing a final tally of 48 votes, with Lancaster left-hander Dallas Keuchel nipping Jordan Lyles by one vote. However, I have just logged on Tuesday night and an additional eight votes have been recorded and now Lyles leads Keuchel 16 votes
to 15. Since I already contacted Keuchel last night and congratulated him on his victory, I would rather not deprive him of the honor. Therefore, my executive decision is to give the award to Keuchel AND Lyles. Maybe they can arm wrestle for it in the Whataburger Field locker room if Keuchel gets called up to Corpus Christi later this season. J.B. Shuck ended up third with 10 votes. Lexington's Aaron Bray and Zach Grimmett received five and four votes respectively.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stuck in Lexington-The J.D. Martinez Story

While Lexington OF J.D. Martinez has continued hitting and then hitting some more, I (and other bloggers) have wondered why he hasn't been moved up to Lancaster or even Corpus Christi. Subber10 posted a comment at The Crawfish Boxes which gives some good insight into the reason for Martinez's extended low A stay. I am working on confirming with Subber10 where he got this information, but it appears to be pretty good reasoning to me. NOTE: The word from SUBBER10 is that Zach Levine tweeted this a few weeks ago.

"Yes, there is some reasoning to it that I have grown to understand and like. JD’s max value is as a RFer. LFers and first baseman who can hit like he can are easily replaceable and not that valuable. A RFer on the other hand is valuable. He has the arm to play RF but is new to the position and therefore raw defensively. So, while his bat needs to be promoted, his defense doesn’t. If this were a few years back when our A+ affiliate was in Salem, he’d be there. But, that isn’t the case anymore. Lancaster would be a bad place to learn RF. The wind blows out to RF and the winds are pretty strong. That throws the ball all over the place and would probably hurt his learning curve.

The plan is that he will skip Lancaster and move straight to CC next year

Saturday, July 10, 2010

JetHawks facing a Former Astro tonight

There has been quite a bit of hype about Manny Ramirez rehabbing for Lake Elsinore, who happen to be playing Lancaster this evening. However, another familiar face is in the line up for the Dodgers' affiliate as they face the JetHawks. Catcher Brad Ausmus, also on the Los Angeles Disabled List, is batting #2 right behind Ramirez. As I type this, Ausmus has two hits in two at bats.

Hooks skid reaches not-so-sweet 16

The Hooks fell again tonight to Tulsa stretching their losing streak to 16 games. According to a tweet from the Hooks, a win is guaranteed tomorrow at Whataburger Field. If the Hooks lose at 6:05 to Northwest Arkansas, fans will receive a free ticket to another game.

My Kingdom for a Win!

After being swept by Tulsa last night, Corpus Christi has lost 15 straight games. Doug Arguello is scheduled to start for the Hooks tonight at Whataburger Field against Tulsa at 6:05 p.m. in an attempt to break the skid.

On a positive note, Jordan Lyles is slated to represent the Hooks and the Astros in tomorrow's Futures' Game at Anaheim, California. The right-hander will be on Team USA during the contest, which kicks off All-Star week.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Rojo is on my Shelf

The Round Rock Express gave away Rojo Johnson bobbleheads on July 7. I just got mine via UPS yesterday. Thanks to the Express for passing one of these my way. It provides a good memory of that whole experience.

2010 Farmstros Five- Week 13

Since I was with family on Lake Livingston over the 4th of July, I handed Farmstros Five duties for week 13 off to StreetJL/Oregon 'Stros fan. Big Thanks to him for doing the research and adding his voice to this feature.

Week 13 (okay, week +1) was a less-than-stellar one for Astros affiliates. Corpus Christi extended its consecutive loss streak to 12 games, going 0-5 (0-11, second half) . Greeneville was almost as bad, going 1-7 (7-9). Round Rock, Lancaster and Tri-City fared little better, going 2-5 (37-50), 3-5 (5-9) and 3-4 (7-12) respectively. Lexington at least went .500, going 4-4 (7-7). The only Astros affiliates with winning records for Week 13 were the GCL Astros and DSL Astros, going 3-2 (6-6) and 5-4 (13-20) respectively.

That said, there were a number of individual performances that merited Farmstros Five consideration over Week 13. So without further adieu, here are your Farmstros Five for the “week” of June 30 – July 7, 2010:

The Top Performer:

Thomas Shirley, LHP, 21, Tri-City. Shirley has yet to allow an earned run as a professional, extending his streak to 14.0 IP over 4 games started. His line for Week 13: 2 GS, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 14 SO. What makes this streak somewhat unique is that Shirley has been working almost exclusively off of his fastball throughout each of his four starts. For a more detailed discussion of Shirley’s outings check out ‘Cats Corner. The blog provides in-depth information on individual ValleyCats performances, and is a must-read for Farmstros followers.

The Other Four:

Zach Grimmett, RHP, 20, Lexington. Grimmett extended his streak of scoreless innings in relief to 18.2, going 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO over two relief appearances.

Patrick Urkfitz, LHP, 21, Lancaster: With a 3.08 ERA over 25 appearances (23 in relief), Urkfitz has been the among the most reliable pitchers for Lexington this season. His continued consistency from the ‘pen earned him a spot in the JetHawks rotation, and he did not disappoint going 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB,
7 SO.

Jose Fernandez, SS, 17, GCL Astros: The 17 year old Dominican began his professional career in the GCL, rather than the DSL, batting third for the Astros. Fernandez appeared in 3 of the GCL Astros 5 games during Week 13 hitting
.385, going 5-13 with 2 R, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 3 SO.

Jiovanni Mier, SS, 19, Lexington: slowly but surely, Mier has begun to show signs of breaking out of his season-long slump. During Week 13 Jio hit .250, going 7-28 with 3 2B, HR, 4 R, 8 RBI. What earns him the final spot on the Farmstros Five for Week 13, however, was his performance on July 4 where Jio created his own fireworks with a 2B, HR, 2 R and 5 RBI.

Week 13 Near Misses:

Ruben “R.J.” Alaniz, RHP, 19, Greeneville: the highly touted non-drafted free agent started his professional career with 2 wins in 2 starts, going 10.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1, BB, 7 SO. He gave up 2 runs in this third professional start for the Astros, going 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 SO, running his ERA up to 1.13.

Dallas Keuchel, LHP, 22, Lancaster: Although getting tagged with 2 losses, Keuchel continued his a string of strong performances for the JetHawks over 14.2 IP, with 13 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 11 SO. Over his last ten starts Keuchel has a 1.96 ERA and has 58 SO (to 15 BB) over 69.0 IP.

Jonathan Meyer, 3B, 19, Lexington. Meyer hit .381, going 8-21 with 4 R, 2B, RBI for the Legends.

Jose Altuve, 2B, 20, Lexington: Altuve hit .303 for the Legends, extended his hitting streak to 9 games while going 10-33 with 5 R, 2B, 3 BB, 8 SO.

Brian Bogusevic, OF, 26, Round Rock: Bogusevic hit .357, going 10-28 with 7 R, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 3 SO for the Express.

And with that, I’ll hand you back to your regularly scheduled programming for
Week 14. Farmstros, take it away!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

More on Dallas Keuchel

In my return from vacation, I missed Zach Levine's latest minor league notebook at Just saw a link to it a Astros County. Levine just returned from Lancaster where he gathered quite a bit of information on Dallas Keuchel.

June Farm Report at Astros Daily

My June Report on the Farm has been posted at Astros Daily. The link should be at the top left of the landing page.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Astros sign top Latin American Prospect

The Astros report that they have signed outfielder Ariel Ovando, 16. Ovando is touted as one of the top prospects in the Dominican Republic. Ovando will be at Houston's Dominican Academy this summer and is scheduled to take part in the club's Fall Instructional Camp in Florida.