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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Farmstros will Twitter-ku the Park Friday

To Minute Maid Park?
There must be a big mistake
Am I invited?

In honor of the Astros first blogger night, which takes place tomorrow, on a throwback Friday, I will be having a throwback event of my own: Farmstros Twitter-kus the Park.

Around 6 pm tomorrow, I will be arriving at Minute Maid Park to represent the Farmstros Village at a Blogger Night hosted by the Astros.  According to the information I have received, representatives from numerous Astros and baseball-related blogs will be allowed to set up shop in one of the suites at MMP. From the suite, we will be able to blog to our heart's content.  Included on the evening's blogger-friendly agenda is a pre-game conversation with Jeff Luhnow. 

A guy I play softball with occasionally has agreed to let me use his laptop.  I will use that  borrowed laptop to follow all the games in the farm system and, if time allows, the regional games of the NCAA baseball tournament.  With this onine data and the Astros' game as my inspiration, I will post an MMP Twitter-ku(haiku posted on Twitter) @farmstros every 22 minutes beginning with the first pitch of the Astros' game.  The 22 minute interval is chosen based on the Astros win total to this point in the 2012 season.  If the Astros beat Colorado tonight, I will alter my procedures accordingly Friday night.


Jason Castro Reflects on Being Drafted in 2008

It has been almost four years since the Astros drafted Jason Castro in the first round of the 2008 draft. Castro took a few minutes to remember the day he was drafted by the Astros and share some of that experience with the Farmstros Village. NOTE: My original plan was to post this audio during Friday's blogger night at Minute Maid Park as part of a special pre-draft event. The audio at the beginning of this interview reflects that pervious plan.

2012 Farmstros Five- Week #8 (Under 21 Edition)

As I started looking through the top performances in the organization for the week of May 24-30, 2012, it struck me that several players in the list were quite young, a great sign for a rebuilding system.  There were some players over 21 who made a strong case for inclusion in the Farmstros Five, most notably Jonathan Villar, who turned 21 on May 2.  However, I made a decision to make this week's Farmstros Five an Under 21 Edition.

The Top Perfomer:

Jon Singleton, 20, 1B/OF, Corpus Christi.  Singleton went 10 for 24 for the week. He had five home runs and 12 RBI for the Hooks in six games.

The Other Four:

Delino DeShields, Jr., 19, 2B, Lexington. DeShields was 9 for 28 on the week.  He had one double, one triple, one home run, three RBI, five runs scored and four stolen bases.

Mike Foltynewicz, 20, RHP, Lexington.  Foltynewicz made two starts for the Legends.  He pitched 13 innings, allowing 12 hits and four runs, while striking out 12.

Luis Ordosgoitti, 19, RHP, Lexington. Ordosgoitti pitched seven innings in his only start of the week.  He allowed six hits and two runs while striking out six.

Domingo Santana, 19, OF, Lancaster. Santana was 11 for 29 on the week.  He had two doubles, one triple, two home runs and seven RBI.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Enough Already, Twitter! Return @TNash100 Immediately!

Until April 27, 2012 it looked like it could be a big year for Lancaster's Telvin Nash.  He was batting .247 and was leading the JetHawks with nine home runs. Nash also had 15 RBI, a .623 slugging percentage and a .972 OPS.  He had struck out 28 times in 77 at bats, but over-all, it was good to be Telvin Nash in April. 
I'm sure it is just a coincidence, but Nash's season took a downward turn the afternoon of April 27, when as part of a team promotion, he interacted with fans on Twitter.  Nash missed a few games after the Twitter Takeover with an unrelated injury and has not been the same since.
Through two at bats in Wednesday night's game(two strikeouts), Nash is batting .200(19 for 95) since April 27.  He has only four home runs and 11 RBI over the stretch.  His two strikeouts tonight brought his total in his last 95 at bats to 50.

June and All-Star Games are Rapidly Approaching

With June just two days away, all stars from the various Astros' affiliates will soon be announced.  Here's a schedule of this summer's all-star games:

June 19- at BB&T Ballpark in Winston-Salem, NC- California League vs. Carolina League All-Stars

June 19- at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Stadium in Charleston, SC- South Atlantic League All-Star Game
Note: Festivities for this contest are scheduled to include a Home Run derby on an aircraft carrier.

June 28- at One OK Field in Tulsa, OK- Texas League All-Star Game

July 8- at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City, MO- MLB Futures Game

July 11- at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, NY- AAA All-Star Game

August 14- at Eastwood Field in Niles, OH- New York-Penn League All-Star Game

Correa Reportedly in the Picture too

One of the names that came up in Jim Callis' draft chat with the Farmstros Village yesterday was Carlos Correa.  Callis didn't say this in the chat, but on Sports Talk 790 in Houston this morning, he reportedly said Mark Appel, Byron Buxton and Correa are the only three players still in the running to be the Astros' first pick on Monday.
Correa is a shortstop from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. You can see some video of him hitting and fielding at this link.

So, You Want to See the Legends

Thanks to Clinton Riddle @TheGrandOldGame, you can see pictures of the Lexington Legends in action.  Clinton's album doesn't include every player on the team, but it does have more than 40 images from Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

June 2012 Transactions

Luis Alvarez, C, promoted from Extended Spring to Lexington.

Hector Ambriz, RHP, signed to a minor league contract.  Assigned to Oklahoma City.

Jay Austin, OF, activated to the Lexington roster.

Max Ayarza, SS, released.

Brian Bixler, IF, promoted from Oklahoma City to Houston.

Travis Buck, OF, designated for assignment.  Removed from 40-man roster. Outrighted to Oklahoma City.

Xavier Cedeno, LHP, optioned from Houston to Oklahoma City.

Jason Chowning, RHP, promoted from Lexington to Lancaster.

Bobby Doran, RHP, promoted from Lancaster to Corpus Christi.

Matt Downs, IF, optioned from Houston to Oklahoma City. Promoted to Houston.

Chris Epps, OF, promoted from Lexington to Lancaster.

Nolan Fontana, SS, signed to a minor league contract.  Assigned to Lexington.

Jose Fernandez, IF, promoted from Extended Spring to Lexington.

Blake Ford, RHP,  promoted from Extended Spring Training to Lexington. Demoted to Tri-City.

Armando Galarraga, RHP, assigned to Lexington. Promoted to Oklahoma City.

Gabriel Garcia, LHP, demoted from Lancaster to Lexington.

Ernesto Genoves, C, promoted from Extended Spring Training to Lexington. Demoted to Greeneville.

Jake Goebbert, OF, promoted from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City. Demoted to Corpus Christi.

Justin Gominsky, OF, demoted from Lexington to Tri-City. Promoted to Lexington.

Mario Gonzalez, 1B, released.

Chris Hicks, RHP, released.

Jimmy Howick, IF, demoted from Lexington to Greeneville.

Dallas Keuchel, LHP, contract purchased by Houston.  Added to 40-man roster.  Promoted to Houston from Oklahoma City.

Emilio King, OF, promoted from Extended Spring to Lancaster. Demoted to Tri-City.

Jordan Kreke, IF, promoted from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City.

 Mitchell Lambson, LHP, promoted from Greeneville to Lexington.

Drew Locke, OF, signed to a minor league contract.  Assigned to Corpus Christi.

Jordan Lyles, RHP, promoted from Oklahoma City to Houston.

Fernando Martinez, OF, promoted from Oklahoma City to Houston. Optioned to Oklahoma City.

Ryan McCurdy, C, demoted from Corpus Christi to Lexington.
Scott Moore, IF, contract purchased by Houston. Added to 40-man roster.  Promoted to Houston from Oklahoma City.

Drew Muren, OF, promoted from Lexington to Corpus Christi.

Brett Oberholtzer, LHP, promoted form Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City.

Euris Quezada, RHP, demoted from Lexington to Greeneville.

Richard Rodriguez, RHP, promoted from Extended Spring Training to Lexington. Demoted to Extended Spring Training.

Tommy Shirley, LHP, promoted from Tri-City to Lexington.

Andy Simunic, IF, promoted from Corpus Christi to Oklahoma City. Demoted to Corpus Christi.

Ruben Sosa, IF, promoted from Greeneville to Lexington.

D'Andre Toney, OF, named as the PTBNL received from Kansas City.  He was acquired along with Kevin Chapman, LHP for Jason Bourgeois, OF and Humberto Quintero, C.

Nick Tropeano, RHP, promoted from Lexington to Lancaster.

Brett Wallace, IF, promoted from Oklahoma City to Houston. Optioned to Oklahoma City.

Jesse Wierzbicki, 1B, demoted from Lexington to Extended Spring Training. Promoted to Lexington. Demoted to Tri-City.

Joe Witkowski, C, released.

Scott Zuloaga, LHP, demoted from Lexington to Greeneville.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Draft Chat with Jim Callis on May 29

With the 2012 Draft rapidly approaching, Baseball America's Jim Callis has agreed to take some time to chat with the Farmstros Village. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, May 29 at 10:30 am(Minute Maid Park time).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lyles with the Astros on Memorial Day again

Jordan Lyles will be kicking off his summer as an Astro for the second straight season. 
Lyles, who made his major league debut in 2011 the day after Memorial Day at Wrigley Field, has been promoted from Oklahoma City and will start the second game of today's Astros/Rockies holiday doubleheader.  Lyles has bounced between Houston and Oklahoma City in 2012.  Today will be his fourth major league start, while he has made seven starts at AAA.
Today, Lyles will be the 26th man on the team's roster thanks to a new exemption allowing teams to have an extra player available for doubleheaders.  Assuming Lyles goes back to AAA after today's start, I am not sure if he has to wait 10 days before he can be called up again.  This question will come in to play Sunday, June 3, the next date the Astros appear to need a fifth starter. 

This Lancaster Barnstormer Used to be a Farmstro

I think I accidentally went through a Farmstros Time Tunnel last night while I was driving on Highway 6 Sunday to watch Drew Locke and the Sugar Land Skeeters for the first time.
The pitcher for the Skeeters' opponent last night, the Lancaster Barnstormers, was John Halama.  Halama started his professional career in the Astros' organization.  Before being traded to Seattle in the 1998 Randy Johnson, Halama was drafted by Houston in 1994, made stops in Auburn, Quad Cities, Jackson and New Orleans and made six starts for the Astros.
Halama and his 56 big league wins were last in the majors with Baltimore in 2006.  He also made stops in Oakland, Tampa Bay, Washington and Boston.
He has split each of the last five seasons between the Atlantic League and various affiliated teams.  He pitched eight innings Sunday in his seventh start of 2012.  He allowed only four hits and two runs, lowering his season ERA to 2.22, which is 4th best in the Atlantic League. 

Farmstros Call of the Week #8

Corpus Christi announcer Matt Hicks had a surplus of big calls this week. Jonathan Singleton left the yard with regularity. Ryan McCurdy hit his first professional home run, a grand slam, no less.

However, the Call of the Week is Jonathan Villar's walk-off home run on Saturday night against Springfield.

Thanks to Hicks and Michael Coffin for the assistance with this week's call.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Here's a Throwback...Cedeno is an Astros Again

It's fitting that there will be a Cedeno in an Astros' uniform today when Houston and the Dodgers meet for the final time as National League rivals Sunday afternoon. Alyson Footer tweeted this morning that the Astros have purchased the contract of left-hander Xavier Cedeno, and that he will be in uniform at Chavez Ravine this afternoon. Fernando Abad is being moved to the disabled list, which makes room for the Cedeno addition. Cedeno, who made three appearances with the Astros in September 2011, has an 0.42 ERA in 17 outings for Oklahoma City in 2012. CESAR Cedeno was one of the central characters in the battles between the Astros and Dodgers in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Cesar Cedeno, who spent twelve seasons as an Astro from 1970-1981, will be on the Greeneville Astros' coaching staff this season.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Brandon Barnes to Take Ruggiano's Spot in AAA

The home run Brandon Barnes hit in the Hooks' victory tonight over Springfield will be his last one in AA for awhile.  Shortly after the game tonight, the Hooks announced via Twitter that Brandon Barnes,26, has been promoted to AAA Oklahoma City.  A spot on the RedHawks' roster opened up when outfielder Justin Ruggiano was traded to Miami.

Barnes has a .317 average for Corpus Chrisit in 44 games, including tonight's contest.  He has 20 doubles, seven home runs 31 RBI and seven stolen bases.

Barnes has spent time in AAA in each of the last two seasons.  His batting average is barely above .200, but he does have nine home runs in 250 AAA at bats.  While with Round Rock in the 2010 season, Barnes earned the distinction of being the last player ever to bat at Omaha's Rosenblatt Stadium.

Former Mayor of Whataburger Field Poised to Be a Senator

Signing to play with the Sugar Land Skeeters has paid off for Jimmy (Dr.) Van Ostrand.

One month into his Atlantic League career, Van Ostrand is returning to affiliated baseball with the Washington Nationals' organization.  Van Ostrand tweeted Saturday that he will be joining Washington's Pennsylvania-based AA affiliate the Harrisburg Senators.  Harrisburg plays in the Eastern League.

In 27 games for the Sugar Land, Van Ostrand was batting .368 with 12 extra-base hits and 20 RBI.  Van Ostrand joined the new independent league club after the Astros released him near the end of Spring Training two months ago.  Van Ostrand had been with the Astros organization since being drafted in 2006.  He spent three plus seasons with Corpus Christi(2008-2011).  He recorded 30 home runs and 163 RBI in 331 games as a Hook.

Orloff, JetHawks Walk-off with 50th Win of May

Ben Orloff's single in the bottom of the 11th inning drove in Rafael Valenzuela giving Lancaster a 4-3 win over Inland Empire.  The win was the 50th win of May for the Astros' four top minor league affiliates
In addition to driving in the winning run, Orloff also scored the tying run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the contest at Clear Channel Stadium into extra innings.  With two outs in the ninth, he scored on a wild pitch third strike to Adam Bailey.  Valenzuela started the ninth inning rally with a solo home run which made the score 3-2. 
It was the first win of the season for the JetHawks when they had trailed after eight innings.  Lancaster is now 1-20 in such situations.

Friday, May 25, 2012

That'll Teach Me Not to Read Every Sentence Zach Levine Writes

There I was assuming that Jordan Lyles couldn't get called back up on May 28 to pitch in the Astros/Rockies double header because he would not have been in AAA for the necessary 10 days since being sent down.  Yet, if I had read this post from Zach Levine on May 20, I would have known that Lyles will be exempt from that restriction because of the new major league rule allowing teams to have one extra player on their roster for a doubleheader.  That extra player is free of the 10-day restriction.

What can I say? I missed the words of Levine at my own peril.  Needless to say the "other" button in the survey about who will be promoted to pitch just became a much more attractive option.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

If the PTBNL is a Royals' 2011 Draft Pick, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I posted information about the players the Royals picked in the first 20 rounds of last years' draft.    I felt this information was significant as it is a strong possibility that the PTBNL in the Astros/Royals trade from Spring Training could come from this group of players.

Today, while listening to the OKC game, I learned that a player cannot be traded until one year after he SIGNS, not one year after he is drafted.  Based on that new knowledge, I think it is worthwhile to provide you with the signing dates of the Royals' draftees mentioned in the previous post.  If you have your heart set on Brian Brickhouse, it looks like you will have to wait until August.

Bubba Starling- 08/15/2011

Cameron Gallagher- 08/01/2011

Bryan Brickhouse- 08/15/2011

Kyle Smith- 08/15/2011

Patrick Leonard- 08/15/2011

Cesar Ogando- 06/19/2011

Kellen Moen- 06/13/2011

Aaron Brooks- 06/13/2011

Matthew Murray-  06/13/2011

Jerrell Allen- 06/19/2011

Stephen Lumpkins- 06/19/2011

D'Andre Toney- 06/12/2011

Dean Espy- 06/13/2011

Jack Lopez-08/15/2011

Nicholas Cuckovich-  06/12/2011

Andrew Ferguson-06/12/2011

Terrance Gore- 06/12/2011

These signing dates were taken from the Royals' website.

This is How a Pitching Prospect Makes a AAA Debut

Trevor Bauer, 21, who the Diamondbacks drafted third over-all out of UCLA last summer, faced the Oklahoma City Red Hawks in his first start as a AAA pitcher on May 18.  In the outing against the Astros' AAA affiliate, Bauer went eight innings, allowing four hits, and one run.  He struck out 11 while walking just one batter.  Bauer wasn't quite as impressive in his second start for Reno Wednesday night, walking five batters. However, he did make it through five innings allowing just one hit and one run.  Bauer's ERA in AAA is 1.38.
Bauer's performance is a stark contrast to the AAA debuts of three of the Astros' young throwers this season:
April 22- Ross Seaton, 22.  4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 86 pitches
April 30- Brett Oberholtzer, 22.  5 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 64 pitches
May 8- Jarred Cosart, 21(he turns 22 tomorrow, May 25). 6 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 99 pitches

2012 Farmstros Five- Week #7

Here is the Farmstros Five for the week of May 17-23, 2012:

The Top Performer:

Luis Cruz, 21, LHP, Lexington.  Cruz keeps rolling for the Legends.  He went 7 2./3 scoreless innings in his only start this week.  He allowed only three hits and struck out seven.  In his last six starts, Cruz has an ERA of 0.55.

The Next Three:

Adam Bailey, 24, OF, Lancaster.  Bailey was 12 for 26 with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBI.

Brett Oberholtzer, 22, LHP, Corpus Christi. Oberholtzer went six scoreless in his one start this week.  He allowed eight hits and struck out nine.

Jimmy Paredes, 23, 2B, Oklahoma City.  Paredes makes the Farmstros Five for the second straight week.  This week he was 13 for 29 with two doubles, one triple, one home run, four RBI and five stolen bases.

Farmstros Five #5:

Three players are on the bubble in Week 7.  Please vote your opinion to select the Farmstros Five #5.

Kike Hernandez, 20, IF, Lancaster.  Hernandez was 9 for 20 with two doubles, one triple and four RBI.

Mike Hessman, 34, IF, Oklahoma City.  Hessman went 9 for 18 during the week.  He had three doubles, three home runs and eight RBI.

Brett Wallace, 25, IF, Oklahoma City.  Wallace was 11 for 28 for the RedHawks.  He had one double, three home runs and eight RBI.

Who is the Farmstros Five #5 for Week 7

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 28 Starting Pitcher Update

Some bad weather in Colorado Springs has possibly put a wrinkle in the road to figuring out who the Astros will call up to start against the Rockies on May 28, the next day they need a fifth starter

Aneury Rodriguez was scheduled to pitch tonight for Oklahoma City in Colorado Springs, which would have given him four days rest before the April 28 Astros' game in Denver.  However, the RedHawks' game was rained out and rescheduled as part of  a double header tomorrow.  If Rodriguez starts one of those two games, he will be required to come back on three days' rest if he is to be the Astros' fifth starter next Monday.  Paul Clemens pitched for Oklahoma City Tuesday night and would have five days' rest before May 28.

Updated Information posted on the morning of May 24:  The word from Colorado Springs is that Jordan Lyles will pitch the first two innings of game 1 tonight.  He last pitched for Houston on May 20.  Aneury Rodriguez will relieve Lyles.  Dallas Keuchel is scheduled for game 2 of tonight's doubleheader.  Keuchel last pitched May 19 in Reno.

I assume the teams will be playing two seven-inning games, which means Aneury pitches about three or four innings in relief of Lyles.  That sounds like a good tune up for him to prepare to pitch next Monday in Denver on three days' rest.


Introducing the Official Online Chocolate Covered Strawberry Provider of the Farmstros Village

As a rule, I don't endorse products on this blog. However, I had such an amazing customer service experience with Shari's Berries, that I feel compelled to tell the Farmstros Village about it.

I was at my parents' home this morning taking care of some lawn work.  They are scheduled to return this weekend.  While I was there, the UPS man delivered a package of regrigerated goods from Shari's Berries(see above).  Unfortunately, the chocolate-covered strawberries were not going to remain fresh until my parents return date, so I called the toll-free number to ask Shari's Berries about my dilemma.

The customer service agent did not even hesitate when I explained my situation.  She told me to take the box delivered today home and enjoy it(you bet my family will), and Shari's Berries would send another of the same order to my parents, after they are back home at no cost.

If I had a Farmstros Five for Customer Service, Shari's Berries would definitely be on it.  Since I don't, I'll just name Shari's Berries the official Online Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Provider of the Farmstros Village.

Other Piece of Keppinger Trade Still on Target

With Henry Sosa's rights sold to the Kia Tigers of South Korea, the other piece of last year's Jeff Keppinger trade is still providing increasing returns on the transaction.  Jason Stoffel struggled with Corpus Christi after coming over from the San Francisco organization last summer. However, the right-handed reliever has been solid out of the Hooks' bullpen in 2012.  Hooks' manager Keith Bodie has called on Stoffel 16 times so far this spring, and Stoffel has responded with 19 1/3 IP and a 1.40 ERA. He has allowed six walks and 11 hits while striking out 19 and recording 5 saves.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2012 Farmstros Five- Future Edition

With the 2012 Draft less than two weeks away, here are the five players the Astros are reportedly targeting for 1.1 on June 4(links to video is included):
Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford. (video)
Bryon Buxton, OF, Appling County HS(Georgia) (video
Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU (video)
Kyle Zimmer, RHP, University of San Francisco (video)
Mike Zunino, C, Florida (video)

Monday, May 21, 2012

If You Like the May Win-a-Thon...

If you like the May Win-a-Thon supporting the Houston Food Bank, I have a feeling you'll love the Empty Bowls Houston event scheduled for this Saturday
For a minimum donation of $25, you can get a hand made bowl, plus a meal of soup and bread.  100% of proceeds will support the Houston Food Bank.  Empty Bowls Houston will take place from 11 am to 3 pm Saturday, May 26 (or until the soup runs out) at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft at 4848 Main in Houston(77002).

This Cruuuuuuuz May Have a Spot in Houston's Baseball Story Too

As the Astros celebrate their 50th anniversary season in 2012, it is fitting that a player named Cruz is making his name known in the farm system.  Luis Cruz, selected in the ninth round of the 2008 draft, is having his most consistent stretch as a professional.  This is his third season with Lexington.
Cruz, a 21-year old left-hander has posted an 0.55 ERA over his last six starts for the Legends.  Over that span, Cruz has pitched 33 innings, allowed 21 hits and struck out 32 batters.
After being drafted in 2008, Cruz spent two summers playing rookie ball with Greeneville.  He was with Lexington all of 2010 and most of 2011(he ventured to Lancaster briefly with little success).
Xavier CEDENO is getting in on the Astros' history celebration on the farm as well. Cedeno a 25-year old left-hander with Oklahoma City didn't allow his first run of the season until Sunday.  In 15 outings, he has allowed only 15 hits, struck out 17 and posted an 0.50 ERA.  Cedeno did spend part of September with the Astros in 2011.

Farmstros Call of the Week #7

This week's Farmstros Call of the Week took place Monday night at Oklahoma City when Brad Snyder's walk-off home run gave the RedHawks a victory over Tucson. As Alex Freedman mentions in his call of the play, this was the first walk-off home run of the season for Oklahoma City.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

And the Astros' Next #5 Starter Will Be?

With Jordan Lyles reportedly to be optioned back to Oklahoma City tomorrow, the Astros will be in the market for another fifth starter in a week.  The club will need that fifth starter when they play a double-header at Colorado on May 28.  Assuming Kyle Weiland will still be out of commission at that point, two pitchers appear to be in the running to make the trip to Denver.
Paul Clemens- His next scheduled start for the RedHawks is May 22 at Colorado Springs.  In his two most recent starts for OKC, Clemens has pitched 12 1/3 innings, allowing nine hits and five earned runs, while striking out two.  His season ERA in AAA is 5.67.
Aneury Rodriguez- His next scheduled start for the RedHawks is May 23 at Colorado Springs.  In his two most recent starts for OKC, Rodriguez has pitched 9 2/3 innings, allowing 13 hits and 5 runs, while striking out two.  Rodriguez has made one big league start this season.  He pitched six innings, allowing two hits and two runs in that six inning stint.   Rodriguez's AAA ERA in 2012 is 4.89.

NOTE:  I have been asked the question if it is worth wasting an option on Paul Clemens by bringing him up to pitch in the Majors when he is not ready for it.  This is a good question that forced me to double check on the rules about options.  Thanks to Baseball America's Matt Eddy for clarifying that since Clemens is on the 40-man roster, the Astros used up their option on him as soon as they optioned him to OKC near the end of Spring Training two months ago.  In most cases, a player has three option seasons where he can be called up to the Majors and sent to the minors without being exposed to other organizations. 

Musick Heading to AAA Monday

It ends up Wes Musick will be making his AAA debut in Colorado Springs after all.  According to a few tweets, Musick will be joining Oklahoma City in Colorado tomorrow to make a spot start necessitated by numerous transactions.

Musick, who was acquired in the Matt Lindstrom trade prior to the 2010 season, was originally drafted out of the University of Houston by Colorado in the 2009 draft.  He didn't advance to AAA Colorado Springs with the Rockies organization, topping out a Low A Asheville, before being dealt to the Astros.  However, Monday night he'll still make it to AAA in the Rocky Mountain state.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

DSL Astros Comenzara in dos semanas

The Astros entry in the Dominican Summer League begins play two weeks from today.  Home games will be played at the team's academy in the Dominican Republic.  The DSL Astros will be competing in the Boca Chica Northwest Division this season. All games are schedule to begin at 9:30 am(Minute Maid Park time).

June 2- vs. DSL Mariners
June 4- at DSL Mariners
June 5- at DSL Cardinals
June 6- vs. DSL Cardinals
June 7- vs. DSL Royals
June 8- at DSL Royals
June 9- vs. DSL Dodgers
June 11- at DSL Dodgers
June 12- vs. DSL Rays
June 13- at DSL Rays
June 14- vs. DSL Indians
June 15- at DSL Indians
June 16- at DSL Athletics
June 18- vs. DSL Athletics
June 19- vs. DSL Mariners
June 20- at DSL Mariners
June 21- at DSL Cardinals
June 22- vs. DSL Cardinals
June 23- vs. DSL Royals
June 25- at DSL Royals
June 26- at DSL Dodgers
June 27- vs. DSL Dodgers
June 28- vs. DSL Rays
June 29- at DSL Rays
June 30- vs. DSL Indians
July 2- at DSL Indians
July 3- at DSL Athletics
July 4- at DSL Athletics
July 5- vs. DSL Mariners
July 6- at DSL Mariners
July 7- at DSL Cardinals
July 9- vs. DSL Cardinals
July 10- vs DSL Royals
July 11- at DSL Royals
July 12- at DSL Dodgers
July 13- vs. DSL Dodgers

July 15- DSL All-Star Game

July 16- vs. DSL Rays
July 17- at DSL Rays
July 18- vs. DSL Indians
July 19- at DSL Indians
July 20- at DSL Athletics
July 21- vs. DSL Athletics
July 23- vs. DSL Mariners
July 24- at DSL Mariners
July 25- at DSL Cardinals
July 26- vs. DSL Cardinals
July 27- vs. DSL Royals
July 28- at DSL Royals
July 30- at DSL Dodgers
July 31- vs. DSL Dodgers
August 1- vs. DSL Rays
August 2- at DSL Rays
August 3- vs. DSL Indians
August 4- at DSL Indians
August 6- at DSL Athletics
August 7- vs. DSL Athletics
August 8- vs. DSL Mariners
August 9- at DSL Mariners
August 10- at DSL Cardinals
August 11- vs. DSL Cardinals
August 13- vs. DSL Royals
August 14- at DSL Royals
August 15- at DSL Dodgers
August 16- vs. DSL Dodgers
August 17- vs. DSL Rays
August 18- at DSL Rays
August 20- vs. DSL Indians
August 21- at DSL Indians
August 22- at DSL Athletics
August 23- vs. DSL Athletics
August 24- vs. DSL Mariners
August 25- at DSL Mariners

August 27- Play-offs begin

Springer is Back for the JetHawks

After missing four straight games, George Springer was back in center field for the JetHawks Friday night.  He doubled on the first pitch he saw in the first inning, his first at bat since Saturday night.  Springer had been removed from Saturday's game as a pre-cautionary measure, shortly after being hit in the hand by a pitch.  After not playing for almost a week, Springer went two for five Friday night with a double, a stolen base and two runs scored.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Surprise! Tyson Perez is Announcing His Presence with Authority

Tyson Perez claimed a spot on the radar of the Astros' system with his performance Thursday night on the mound for Lancaster.  Perez retired 22 of the final 23 Inland Empire batters he faced.  He pitched a complete game allowing only two hits and one run, while improving his record as a JetHawk to 3-0.  Perez, just promoted to Lancaster from Extended Spring Training earlier this month, has a 1.35 ERA with nine hits allowed in 20 innings pitched in the California League.  Perez's promotion was necessitated by the trickle down effect of Kyle Weiland going on the disabled list at the big league level.  To this point, Perez has seized the opportunity.

Perez spent the summer of 2011 in Greeneville.  He made thirteen starts for the G-Stros, posting a 5.07 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 55 IP.  The Astros drafted him out of Fresno CC in the 17th Round of last summer's draft.  Perez is one of several players in the Astros' organization who have made surprisingly good impressions in the first six weeks of the 2012 season.  A majority of these players are with Lancaster, which sheds some light on why that club is over .500 and in first place when play ended Thursday night.

Five More Surprises:

Erik Castro, 24, IF, Lancaster.  Castro is batting .331 with 14 extra-base hits and 24 RBI in 32 games for the JetHawks.  It is his second season in California.  In 2011, Castro batted .259 with nine home runs and 37 RBI.  He missed the 2010 season with injury.

Kirk Clark, 23, RHP, Lancaster. Clark has regained the closer role for the JetHawks.  He has four saves and a 2.93 ERA in 14 appearances.  Although he led Lancaster with 19 saves in 2011, Clark had an ERA over 7.00 in 54 outings.

Bobby Doran, 23, RHP, Lancaster.  In eight starts, Doran has a 3.35 ERA in 48 1/3 IP.  These numbers are a stark contrast to Doran's 2011 in Lancaster: 9.04 ERA in 66 2/3 IP.

Wes Musick, 25, LHP, Corpus Christi.  After just five starts for Lancaster in 2012, Musick was promoted to Corpus.  As a JetHawk, Musick posted a 2.51 ERA in 32 1/3 IP.  He has made one start and two relief appearances for the Hooks thus far, posting a 3.00 ERA.  Musick, who was acquired in the Matt Lindstrom trade before the 2011 season, spent most of last season with Lancaster, where he posted a 4.80 ERA in 21 outings.

Ross Seaton, 22, RHP, Corpus Christi.  Seaton is putting up his best numbers since 2009, his first full pro season.  In seven starts, he has a 3.65 ERA in 37 innings. Last year with Corpus, Seaton had a 5.23 ERA in 28 starts.    

Thursday, May 17, 2012

2012 Farmstros Five- Week #6

Here is the Farmstros Five for the week of May 10-16, 2012:

The Top Performer:

Paul Clemens, 24, RHP, Oklahoma City.  Clemens allowed only three hits and no runs in his only start of the week.  He struck out six in seven innings.

The Next Three:

Luis Cruz, 21, LHP, Lexington. Cruz makes this list for a third straight week and the fourth time over-all this season.  In his only start of the week, he went 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing 5 hits and striking out nine.  In his last four starts, Cruz has pitched 25 1/3 innings, allowed 18 hits, struck out 25 and posted an ERA of 0.71.

Jimmy Paredes, 23, 2B, Oklahoma City.  Paredes was 10 for 17 on the week with one double, one home run, six runs scored, five RBI and four stolen bases.

Ross Seaton, 22, RHP, Corpus Christi. Seaton pitched six scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and striking out two.

Farmstros Five #5:

This week there are four  candidates for the final slot in the Farmstros Five.

Erik Castro, 24, IF, Lancaster. Castro was 9 for 21 with two doubles, one home run and five RBI.

Domingo Santana, 19, OF, Lancaster. Santana was 8 for 23 with two doubles, one triple, two home runs and seven RBI.  One of his home runs was a walk-off Grand Slam on Saturday night.

George Springer, 22, OF, Lancaster. Normally, Springer's four home runs in one night on Friday would have put him at the top of this list.  However, he was injured in Saturday's game and hasn't played since.  He ended the week 7 for 12 with one triple, four home runs and seven RBI.  Due to Springer's lack of playing time over the whole week, I leave his Farmstros Five fate in the hands of the Village.

Jose Valdez, 29, RHP, Oklahoma City. Valdez saved three of the RedHawks' five wins this week.  He retired eight batters without allowing a hit or a run.  He struck out three.

Who is the Farmstros Five #5 for Week 6?

Erick Abreu Goes Extra 360 Feet to Earn 17th Win as a Hook

Hooks pitcher Erick Abreu was slow and steady when he drew a walk with two outs in the top of the 9th inning in San Antonio Wednesday afternoon.  However, La Tortuga resembled El Conejo when he scored from second base on Ryan McCurdy's single later in the inning to give Corpus Christi and 10-9 lead. 
The Hooks added another run and won the game 11-9, giving Abreu the 17th victory in his Corpus Christi career.  Abreu had relieved Kevin Chapman in the bottom of the 8th inning with two runners on base, no outs and the score tied at 9.  Abreu escaped without allowing a run, setting the stage for his dash around the bases. 
Abreu's 17 wins as a Hook ties him with Chance Douglass for the lead in that category in franchise history.  Abreu has pitched in 103 games(288 innings) for Corpus Christi since 2009.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Austin Wates' mom Checks in From San Antonio

Austin Wates' mom, Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates made the trip to San Antonio this weekend to watch her son and the Hooks play.  She was kind enough to talk to the Farmstros Village for a few minutes about the Hooks victory over San Antonio on Wednesday.  While Tawnya did the talking to the Farmstros Village, Austin's dad made the trek as well.  Both Mom AND Dad were at Wolff Municipal Stadium yesterday and today and will be there Thursday for the series finale.

Springer Absent from JetHawks' Lineup for Third Straight Game

Outfielder George Springer is not playing for the JetHawks in their game this afternoon.  It is the third straight game that Springer has missed for Lancaster.  He was pulled from Saturday's game after beingn hit in the hand by a pitch and has not played since.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Farmstros Calls of the Week #6

The first call of week #6 happened on Friday night in Lancaster.  George Springer hit home runs in four consecutive at bats during a double-header to electrify the Clear Channel Stadium crowd and JetHawks' announcer Jason Schwartz.

The Lancaster excitement continued Saturday night when Domingo Santana ended the game with a grand slam giving the JetHawks an 8-4 victory.

Thanks to Jason Schwartz for providing the audio of these plays.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Santana, JetHawks Walk-off with a Grand Slam

A night after George Springer hit four home runs in four consecutive plate appearances, Lancaster outfielder Domingo Santana sent the Clear Channel Stadium crowd home happy with a walk-off grand slam.  The blast, Santana's third home run of the season, gave the JetHawks an 8-4 win over Lake Elsinore.  
George Springer was pulled from the game before the top of the sixth inning for precautionary reasons.  In the bottom of the fifth, Springer was hit in the hand by a pitch and subsequently hit in the back while running the bases.  Jason Schwartz's game report offered no update on Springer's status, but he was seen during the game going to the clubhouse with the JetHawks' trainer. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Four Plate appearances, Four Home Runs for Springer

During Friday night's doubleheader against Lake Elsinore, JetHawk outfielder George Springer hit home runs in four consecutive plate appearances.  He becomes the third player in California League history to accomplish this feat.  Springer finished the night 5 for 7 with seven RBI, six runs and a stolen base as Lancaster swept Lake Elsinore 5-2 and 7-3 in two seven-inning contests.

Thanks to Jason Schwartz for sharing this audio.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Two RBI-less Runs in 8th Give Bodie win number 1000

Corpus Christi scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning tonight without the benefit of an RBI to give manager Keith Bodie the 1000th win of his professional managerial career.  Austin Wates scored from third on a throwing error by Frisco catcher Zach Zaneski to give the Hooks a 3-2 lead.  Jose Martinez plated the second run of the inning for Corpus Christi following a passed ball by Zaneski. 
Jason Stoffel closed out the game, pitching a scoreless ninth for his third save of 2012.  He finished the game by striking out Zaneski with a runner on first base.

Adam Bailey to Take Over Twitter

Fresh off of being named to the Farmstros Five for Week 5, Lancaster outfielder Adam Bailey will takeover the JetHawks Twitter account(@JetHawks) this afternoon.  He will interact with fans 140 characters at a time beginning at 2 pm(Minute Maid Park time).  Bailey went 9 for 18 with four home runs during Week 5 of the season earning the Farmstros Five honor.

If the PTBNL from the Royals is a 2011 Draft Pick

With the 2012 Draft on June 4 less than four weeks away and the PTBNL in the Astros/Royals Spring Training trade still unnamed, it is tempting to assume that the player to be named will be one of Kansas City's 2011 draft picks. A player cannot be traded until one year after he is drafted. This restriction would explain the delay in announcing the name of the player the Astros will receive in addition to Kevin Chapman.

Following is a listing of the 17 players the Royals drafted AND signed in the first 20 rounds of last summer's draft. Only three of these players are currently playing on a full season affiliate.

1. Bubba Starling, 19, OF. Starling has yet to play professionally.(Royals' #2 Prospect according to Baseball America)

2. Cam Gallagher, 19, C. 2011 Short Season-.157, two HR, nine RBI, 28 games.(Royals' #23 Prospect according to Baseball America)

3. Bryan Brickhouse, 19, RHP. Brickhouse, from the Woodlands, TX, has yet to play professionally.(Royals' #16 Prospect according to Baseball America)

4. Kyle Smith, 19, RHP. (Royals' #31 Prospect according to Baseball America)

5. Patrick Leonard, 19, OF. Leonard played for Craig Biggio at St. Thomas High School.

6. Cesar Ogando, 19, LHP. 2011 Short Season- 12 Games, 10.52 ERA, 32 IP, 23 K.

7. Kellen Moen, 23, RHP, Kane County. So far this season, Moen has made seven starts, pitched 35 2/3 innings struck out 35 and posted a 4.79 ERA in Low A.

9. Aaron Brooks, 22, Kane County. Brooks has seven starts for the Cougars. He has posted a 6.40 ERA with 31 K in 32 1/3 innings as a starter in 2012.

10. Matt Murray, 22, RHP. 2011 Short Season- 12 Games started. 53 IP, 58 K, 3.40 ERA.

11. Jerrell Allen, 19, OF. 2011 Short Season- .242, 5 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 5 SB, 42 Games.

13. Stephen Lumpkins, 22, LHP. 2011 Short Season- 10 Games, 33 1/3 IP, 26 K, 7.02 ERA

14. D'Andre Toney, 20, OF. 2011 Short Season- .340, 5 HR, 29 RBI, .587 slugging, 43 games.

15. Dean Espy, 22, 1B, Kane County. Espy has eight hitless at bats so far in 2012.

16. Jack Lopez, 19, SS.(Royals' #25 Prospect according to Baseball America)

17. Nick Cuckovich, 20, SS. 2011 Short Season- .302, 7 2B, 19 RBI, 37 games.

18. Andy Ferguson, 22, RHP. 2011 Short Season- 20 games, 36 1/3 IP, 33 K, 5.45 ERA.

20. Terrance Gore, 20, OF. 2011 Short Season- .340, 16 RBI, 35 games.

According to Junction Jack (on a PC), There's no Free Lunch at MMP

I received the following letter yesterday from Junction Jack (on a PC) yesterday. 

Dear Farmstros Village,

I have often heard the saying “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”. An encounter with two fans at a recent Astros’ game confirmed that the truth of this axiom apparently extends to Minute Maid Park and has some unexpected consequences for young fans.

I was walking on the stadium concourse in the top of the third inning of a game, when I heard a few fans discussing Chris Snyder’s home run in the 2nd inning. One of them mentioned something about a free meal from Denny’s that they could get as a result of Johnson’s home run. The other man’s reply caught me off guard. He said, “Free meal?! That promotion caused one of my students to miss a question on the S.T.A.A.R. test last month. Thanks, Astros.”

I needed to get ready for my next between-inning performance, but after hearing such a dissatisfied comment from a customer, I made a decision that this issue needed to be addressed immediately. I followed the gentlemen and asked if they could tell me more about what I had just heard them say, and they were happy to oblige.

It turns out that the two men are 3rd grade math teachers in the Houston Independent School District. A student in one of their classes attended an Astros game on April 22. This date was coincidentally two days before the student was scheduled to take the Math portion of the S.T.A.A.R. test. (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness). At the April 22 game, Jordan Schafer hit a grand slam in the 2nd inning. It was announced to the audience that as a result of Schafer’s home run, they would all receive a free Grand Slam breakfast at Denny’s. The student and his family were pleased by the addition of this extra bonus being to what had been a good day at the ballpark. They got their FREE meal coupon and stopped at a neighborhood Denny’s for supper on the way home from the game.

However, once they arrived at Denny’s, they discovered that in this case, “FREE” really meant you had to buy a beverage and then you would get a meal at no charge. As a result, each FREE dinner cost the student’s family $2.89 after tax. The family didn’t like the situation, but they were already at Denny’s and hungry, so they ate and went home and didn’t think much more about it.

Two days later, the student took his S.T.A.A.R. Math test. After school, he discussed the test with his parents. He wasn’t sure how he did over-all, but he was very excited about one question that he was sure he answered correctly. “I know I got the right answer, because I learned it at the Astros’ game Sunday!” he said. The curious parents asked a few questions and found out that their son deciphered one of the word problems on the test and figured out that it was asking the cost of a “free” meal. The student confidently chose the answer option of $2.89.

The parents told the boy’s teacher the story. The teacher was understandably frustrated to see his work, at least on this one test question, negated by a misleading advertisement at a baseball game. The teacher was very happy to be able to share his story with me. “It is really confusing to me as an educator to see the Astros, especially with their new emphasis on math and science in their day-to-day operations, carry out a promotion that confuses a student’s understanding of mathematics.”

I offered to look into the situation and get back to him and asked for his contact information. However, he preferred to remain anonymous for professional reasons. He did indicate that he is a member of the Farmstros Village, and if I was able to update the situation on this blog, he would be sure to read it.

At the request of the teacher I met, I have followed up with the Astros’ organization about this matter. About a week ago, I was told by a member of the team in a much higher position than myself that he would look into it.   I have not heard back from that individual at this point in time. Until I hear more I will continue to assume that at when it comes to the Home Run Inning at Minute Maid Park, there is NO SUCH THING AS A FREE LUNCH.”

Junction Jack on a PC

Thursday, May 10, 2012

2012 Farmstros Five- Week 5

Here is the Farmstros Five for the week of May 3-9, 2012:

The Top Performer:

Nick Tropeano, 21, RHP, Lexington. Tropeano allowed only two hits and struck out eight in seven scoreless innings.  He lowered his season ERA to 1.87 in 33 2/3 innings.

The Next Three:

Adam Bailey, 24, OF, Lancaster.  Bailey went 9 for 18 with one double, four home runs and seven RBI.  One of Bailey's four home runs was an inside-the-park round-tripper which was the Farmstros Call of the Week.

Luis Cruz, 21, LHP, Lexington.  In two starts, Cruz pitched 12 innings, allowing 11 hits and two earned runs while striking out 10.

Dallas Keuchel, 23, LHP, Oklahoma City. Keuchel made two starts this week for the RedHawks.  He pitched 15 1/3 innings, including a complete game.  Keuchel allowed 13 hits and four earned runs, while striking out seven. Keuchel's ERA for the season is 1.85.

Farmstros Five #5:
Three candidates are up for consideration for the final spot in this week's Farmstros Five.  Please vote below.

Matt Duffy, 23, IF, Lexington. Duffy was 10 for 22 with five doubles and two RBI.

Wes Musick, 25, LHP, Corpus Christi. Musick pitched seven innings in his debut with the Hooks.  He allowed six hits and one run, while striking out seven.

Tyson Perez, 22, RHP, Lancaster.  Perez made his first start after being promoted from Extended Spring Training.  He allowed one run and two hits in six innings pitched for the JetHawks.

Who is the Farmstros Five #5 for Week 5?

Houston's Baseball Future Will Meet its Past in OKC Tonight

Jordan Lyles shouldn't be surprised if his pitching opponent tonight, Tim Redding, looks familiar. Ten years ago, Las Vegas' Tim Redding was in approximately the same spot Lyles is in now, the brink of becoming a full time starter for the Houston Astros. 

Redding, scheduled to start for the 51s against Oklahoma City tonight, split the 2002 season between New Orleans(AAA) and Houston.  He made 14 major league starts that year, before spending the entire 2003 season in the Astros' rotation.  Redding, who the Astros' drafted in 1997, was traded to San Diego after the 2004 season for Humberto Quintero.  He finished with 21 victories and 72 starts in his Astro career.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Line Drive Off of His Leg Doesn't Slow Down Keuchel

Taking a line drive off of his right leg didn't prevent Oklahoma City pitcher Dallas Keuchel from recording a solid start during the RedHawks' Wednesday morning/afternoon game.  Moises Sierra led off the second inning for Las Vegas by drilling a line drive up the middle into Keuchel's right leg. 
Sierra reached base on the play, and after being thoroughly examined by Mike Freer, the club's trainer and manager Tony DeFrancesco, Keuchel stayed on the mound. He didn't leave the game until there was one out in the eighth inning.  The RedHawk bullpen could not hold a 1-0 lead for Keuchel, but he finished his day allowing four hits and no runs while striking out five Las Vegas batters.

Jim Callis on Houston Radio This Morning

Jim Callis of Baseball America will be talking about the Astros with Sports Radio 610 at 11:30 am(Minute Maid Park time) Wednesday.  Callis didn't tweet specifics, but I assume he will be talking about the Astros upcoming draft. 

Wilka is Central to the Astros' Draft Preparation

Stephanie Wilka and Allen Rowin talk to a 2nd grade class at Helms Elementary School in January 2012.

As the Coordinator of Amateur Scouting, Stephanie Wilka is responsible for gathering and coordinating information about the close to 1000 players are keeping an eye on as next month's draft approaches.  The story of Wilka's path to the front office of the Astros is told by Amanda Rykoff of ESPNW.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It Appears the Farmstros Village Mom is a Trend-Setter

Following the lead of the Farmstros Village Mom, who made a stop at Whitaker Bank Ballpark a few weeks ago,  numerous bloggers have been to on-hand watch the Lexington Legends play recently.
Bryan Trostel saw the Legends play in Greenville, South Carolina.  He has posted audio of interviews with Legends' shortstop Alex Todd and batting coach Josh Bonifay.
Tim DeBlock was in Greenville as well.  As best I can count, he posted 12 videos of the Legends in action on The Crawfish Boxes You Tube page.
Jayne Hansen made a recent trek to Lexington to watch the Legends.  Among the things she did on the trip was interview Mike Foltynewicz.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Jack Armstrong, Jr. Meets Tommy John

One revelation of Brian McTaggart's most recent minor league notebook is that Jack Armstrong had Tommy John surgery about two weeks ago.  The Astros drafted Armstrong in the third round of the 2011 Draft out of Vanderbilt.  Armstrong did not pitch professionally last summer, and as a result of the surgery will miss all of 2012 as well.

Musick's Corpus Christi Debut Impressive

Despite leaving the game with his team trailing, Wes Musick was solid in his first appearance as a Hook.  Musick allowed just one run over seven innings Monday night, allowing six hits and two walks while striking out seven on 89 pitches.  The Missions were leading the game 1-0 when Musick was replaced.
The start was Musick's first for the Hooks since being called up from Lancaster. Musick, who was acquired before the 2011 season from Colorado as part of the Matt Lindstrom trade, had a 2.51 ERA in five starts for Lancaster this season before he was promoted.

Farmstros Call of the Week #5

Adam Bailey hit a total of four home runs Friday and Saturday night for the JetHawks. The first of the four was an inside-the-park job, and it is the call of the week. Thanks to Jason Schwartz for sharing the audio of his call of the play.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Austin Wates Makes a Player of the Month-Worthy Catch Saturday Night

After being selected the Farmstros April Player of the Month, Austin Wates went above and beyond to impress The Village with a highlight reel catch at Whataburger Field Saturday night. That's Brandon Barnes falling into the bullpen with Wates and Josh Zeid helping the umpire with the call. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cosart on His Way to AAA

According to his Twitter feed, Right-handed pitcher Jarred Cosart has been promoted to AAA Oklahoma City.  Presumably, he will join the RedHawks in Omaha, where they began a series tonight.  A pitcher from OKC is likely to be called up to Houston on May 8 to fill the rotation spot vacated by Kyle Weiland, who is injured.  This promotion will leave a spot in the RedHawk rotation for Cosart. 
Cosart most recently pitched 5 2/3 innings in a start for the Hooks on Wednesday.  If he goes on five days rest, his next turn would be on Monday.  According to Oklahoma City's current 5-man rotation, Henry Sosa is in line to pitch Sunday, May 6; Aneury Rodriguez on Monday, May 7; Paul Clemens on Tuesday, May 8. 

Farmstros' May 2012 Win-a-Thon

Farmstros supports the Houston Food Bank.
Please join the Farmstros win-a-thon. Join us in giving a penny, a nickel, a dollar of more to this fine organization, for every win that the Astros' minor league teams record during the month of May.  Farmstros pledges to give $4 for every victory the organization's top affiliates record this month.  If you are inclined to donate, please make the donation directly to the Houston Food Bank.  If you are not in the Houston area and would prefer to direct your donation to a charity in your community, that is encouraged as well.

For your information, Oklahoma City, Corpus Christi, Lancaster, and Lexington are scheduled to play a total of 117 games in May.  The four clubs combined to win 49 of 98 games in April.

RedHawks Pitchers Won't Need Bats for a While

Please understand if the Oklahoma City pitchers leave their bats in their bags when they arrive in Omaha today.  The RedHawks will be using the Designated Hitter for the next eight days.  The second longest such stretch of the 2012 season. The team's schedule includes a 16-game stretch of DH baseball from July 28 to August 20. Jordan Lyles, Dallas Keuchel, et. al are slated to bat in 96 of the RedHawks' 144 games in 2012.
Houston's AAA and AA affiliates will use the DH throughout the 2013 season, when the Astros become an American League team. However, this season, the pitchers don't bat only when the opponent is an affiliate of an American League team.  The RedHawks start a four-game set at Omaha (Royals' affiliate) tonight, after which they will face Las Vegas(Blue Jays' affiliate) in Oklahoma. 
So far in 2012, Oklahoma City has used the DH in four of its 28 games.  Fernando Martinez, who has otherwise played almost exclusively in Left Field, wore the DH tag twice and Scott Moore and Mike Hessman filled the role once each in a series against Round Rock.

Take that, Twitter! Sincerely, @TNASH100

Telvin Nash doubled in his first at bat Thursday night at Bakersfield, providing evidence that he may have recovered from last week's Twitter Takeover.  Nash finished the game with two hits and a walk in five plate appearances.  He scored one and drove in two, including one RBI via sacrifice fly in the 7th inning, which gave Lancaster the lead they would not relinquish as they knocked off the Blaze.

Nash missed the first three JetHawks' games after he interacted with fans via Twitter last Friday. He recovered from his sore wrist but went 0 for 8 with six strikeouts in his first two games back after his social media experience.

April 2012 Pitcher of the Month Candidates

Who is The Farmstros April Pitcher of the Month?

R.J. Alaniz, 20, RHP, Lancaster. Alaniz took his first month in the California League in stride.  He made five starts and posted a 2.90 ERA.  He allowed 27 hits and struck out 26 while walking seven in 31 IP.

Kevin Chapman, 23, LHP, Corpus Christi.  The player who WAS named in the Spring Training trade with Kansas City, Chapman posted a 1.38 ERA in nine relief appearances for the Hooks.  He had 19 strikeouts and allowed five walks in 13 IP.

Jason Chowning, 24, RHP, Lexington.  Chowning finished the first month of the season with an 0.00 ERA and three saves in nine relief appearances.  He allowed seven hits and eight walks while striking out 17 in 13 1/3 IP.

Paul Clemens, 23, RHP, Oklahoma City.  Clemens missed part of the month with a blister on his pitching hand. However, he still managed to post a 2.05 ERA in the four starts he did make.  He allowed 18 hits and six walks, striking out 16 over 22 IP.

Dayan Diaz, 23, RHP, Lexington. Diaz didn't allow a run until the last day of the month. He pitched 18 1/3 innings over nine relief appearances.  He had four wins and two saves, striking out 19, and allowing nine hits and seven walks.

Mike Foltynewicz, 20, RHP, Lexington. In five starts for the Legends, Foltynewicz had three wins and a 1.98 ERA.  He struck out 27 in 27 1/3 IP.

Dallas Keuchel, 23, LHP, Oklahoma City.  Keuchel made five starts for the RedHawks, posting a 1.62 ERA over 33 1/3 IP.  He had four wins and struck out 16 while allowing 26 hits and 7 walks for a WHIP of 0.99. 

April 2012 Player of the Month Candidates

Who is the Farmstros April Player of the Month?

Brandon Barnes, 25, OF, Corpus Christi. Barnes batted .353 for April(30 for 85). He had 14 doubles, four home runs, 21 RBI and a .659 slugging percentage.

Zach Johnson, 22, IF, Lexington. Johnson finished the month with an organization-high 30 RBI. In April, he was 25 for 91 with nine doubles and four home runs.

Fernando Martinez, 23, OF, Oklahoma City. Martinez was 28 for 89(.315) with six doubles, four home runs and 21 RBI.

Telvin Nash, 21, 1B, Lancaster. Nash led the organization with nine home runs in April. He finished with 15 RBI and a .247 average in 77 at bats.

Jonathan Singleton, 20, 1B, Corpus Christi. Singleton batted .350 for the month. He had seven doubles, two triples, three home runs and 13 RBI in 80 at bats.

George Springer, 22, OF, Lancaster.  After opening the season with a grand slam, the Astros' first pick in the 2011 Draft ended the month with 18 RBI.  He batted .278 with five doubles, three triples and two home runs.

Austin Wates, 23, OF, Corpus Christi. Wates batted .340 in April.  He was 32 for 94 with six doubles, one triple, one home run, 15 RBI and five stolen bases.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

2012 Farmstros Five- Week 4

Here's the Farmstros Five for the Week of April 26- May 2, 2012:

The Top Performers:

R.J. Alaniz, 20, RHP, Lancaster and Luis Cruz, 21, LHP, Lexington.  Although they were three-quarters of a country apart on Friday night, their pitching performances fit nicely side by side.  Both pitched seven scoreless innings allowing only two hits.  Alaniz struck out seven while Cruz came in with six strikeouts.  Alaniz and Cruz are both scheduled to start again Thursday night.

The Other Three:

Fernando Martinez, 23, OF, Oklahoma City. Martinez was 11 for 30 on the week with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBI.

Drew Muren, 23, OF, Lexington.  Muren was 10 for 22 with two doubles, one triple, one home run and five RBI.  His home run was a  walk-off shot on Saturday night.

Wes Musick, 25, LHP, Lancaster.  Musick continued putting up good numbers in the California League.  The former Houston Cougar allowed four hits and one earned run in an eight-inning start this week.  So far in 2012, Musick has a 2.51 ERA in five starts.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

RedHawks Come Through at the Last Minute in Albuquerque

With just one out remaining in their game Wednesday night, Oklahoma City had only five hits and were trailing Albuquerque 1-0.  However, three doubles and two walks later, the RedHawks had taken a 4-1 lead that they would ride to victory over the Isotopes. 
Brett Wallace and Jimmy Paredes tied the game with back to back doubles.  Then after Brad Snyder and Carlos Corporan walked, Justin Ruggiano cleared the bases with a pinch-hit double which put the RedHawks in the driver's seat.  Jose Valdez closed out the game for Oklahoma City in the bottom of the ninth, picking up his fifth save of the season. 

What Did Twitter do to Telvin Nash?

Lancaster first baseman Telvin Nash Took Over Twitter last Friday afternoon. Yet looking at what has happened to Nash since the social media event occured, it appears the roles in the Takeover may have been reversed. 

Nash missed the first three games the JetHawks played after he interacted with fans via Twitter for about an hour on Friday afternoon.  Reportedly, Nash's wrist has been bothering him.  Nash was able to return to the lineup Tuesday night as a DH.  However, he went 0 for 4, striking out all four times he came to the plate.

Kirk Clark Hits the Big 5-0

Kirk Clark recorded the final out of the JetHawks' 5-4 win over Bakersfield Tuesday night to earn the 50th save of his professional career.  Clark, an undrafted free agent out of Creighton, led the Astros minor league system in saves in each of the last two seasons.  Tuesday night was Clark's second save of the 2012 season.  He has a 2.84 in eight appearances out of the Lancaster bullpen this season.