Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Let's... finish up a game and play another in Connecticut!

Reno 3, Fresno 1

W- Jared Miller (3-2)
L- Reymin Guduan (5-6)
S- Silvino Bracho (6)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Aces stunned the Grizzlies with 3 runs in the 7th.

Tony Kemp went 2-4 and drove in Fresno's only run with an RBI single in the 5th.

Mike Hauschild allowed 3 hits, walked 7, and struck out 4 over 5 shutout innings. Kevin Comer worked around a couple of hits to throw a scoreless 6th, striking out 2. Reno got to Reymin Guduan and Jumbo Diaz after stretch time. Guduan only recorded one out, allowing 2 runs on a homer and one other hit. Diaz got the last two outs of the 7th, but not before allowing a run on 2 hits. Jacob Dorris threw a 1-2-3 9th, striking out 1.

The Grizzlies have Wednesday off. They'll welcome Tacoma to Chukchansi Park for their final home series of the 2017 season beginning Thursday.

Corpus Christi 5, Midland 1

W- Yoanys Quiala (3-4, 8-5 season)
L- Grant Holmes (10-12)

CC home runs: Ramon Laureano (7, 2-run in 4th), Kyle Tucker (12, 21 season; 2-run in 5th)

The Hooks launched a pair of 2-run shots to top the RockHounds on Tuesday.

Corpus also played host to some rehabbing Astros as they look to get back to full strength for September. Tony Sipp, Will Harris, and Michael Feliz all started off with a scoreless inning. Sipp walked 1 and struck out 2 in the 1st inning, Harris threw a 1-2-3 2nd and got two groundouts and a strikeout. Feliz worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 3rd, striking out 1. He walked Jorge Mateo, who got caught stealing to end the inning.

Yoanys Quiala followed with 5 innings and allowed a run on a solo homer, 5 other hits, and walked 1. Riley Ferrell struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Ryne Birk opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 2nd inning. Ramon Laureano smacked a 2-run homer in the 4th and Kyle Tucker whacked one of his own in the 5th. Laureano finished 2-3 and scored twice. Evan Gattis caught 7 innings; at the plate, he walked twice and scored a run.

Framber Valdez faces Heath Fillmyer at 7:05.

Lynchburg 6, Buies Creek 3

W- Dominic DeMasi (6-3)
L- Elieser Hernandez (4-4, 5-4 season)

BC home runs: Randy César (3, 6 season; solo in 8th)

The Carolina Stros fell behind early and couldn't quite recover.

Elieser Hernandez allowed 5 runs on 6 hits and struck out 9 in 6 innings. Carlos Sierra allowed a run on a sac fly, a double, walked 1, and struck out 4 in his 3 innings.

Jake Rogers tripled to lead off the 2nd and scored on a Carmen Benedetti groundout. Rogers added an RBI single to his ledger in the 3rd, and Randy César launched a solo homer in the 8th. Rogers, Taylor Jones, and Ronnie Dawson all finished with 2 hits on the night. Dawson was making his Carolina League debut.

Brett Adcock takes on Sean Brady in game 2. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

Quad Cities 4, Beloit 1


W- Salvador Montaño (7-3)
L- Sam Sheehan (3-2)

QC home runs: Abraham Toro-Hernandez (8, 14 season; solo in 8th)

The Banditos got a solid night from their pitchers to take the first game of this series. With this victory, Quad Cities' magic number is now down to 2.

Carlos Sanabria went 5.2 innings and allowed an unearned run on 6 hits, walked 2, and struck out 8. Salvador Montaño shut it down by allowing 2 hits and striking out 7 over the last 3.1 innings.

Josh Rojas put Quad Cities on the board with an RBI single in the 4th. Rojas scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the 7th and Wander Franco, who was hitting at the time, extended the lead with an RBI single. Abraham Toro-Hernandez launched a homer to start off the 8th.

Ronel Blanco goes up against Zack Erwin in game 2. First pitch is at 7:00.

From June 30: Connecticut 2, Tri-City 1

W- Burris Warner (1-0)
L- Diogenes Almengo (0-2)

TC home runs: None.

The Tigers scored the only two runs of the game after play resumed.

Carlos Hiraldo and Corbin Martin both threw 4 innings; Hiraldo did that almost 2 months ago and allowed 2 hits while striking out 4. Martin came on after play resumed and allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4. Diogenes Almengo allowed a single in the 9th and an error allowed the runner to advance to 3rd, and then a sac fly allowed the runner to score; the run was unearned.

Kristian Trompiz's RBI single in the 4th inning back on June 30 turned out to be Tri-City's only scoring play.

Connecticut 1, Tri-City 0

W- Dean Aldridge (1-0)
L- Colin McKee (1-4)
S- Drew Carlton (6)

TC home runs: None.

Both teams had 3 hits, but the Tigers had the only run.

Bryan De La Cruz, Gabriel Bracamonte, and Kyle Davis all singled.

Brandon Bielak allowed 2 hits and struck out 3 over 4 scoreless innings, while Colin McKee allowed the only run on a single, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 2 innings. The run was unearned.

Game 2 of this series begins at 7:05 Eastern.

Bristol 7, Greeneville 3

W- Max Kranick (1-0)
L- Humberto Castellanos (4-1, 6-1 season)
S- Alex Manasa (1)

Greeneville home runs: Brody Westmoreland (8, solo in 2nd)

The Appy Astros suffered a costly series loss to the Appalachian League's worst team.

Brody Westmoreland smacked a solo homer in the 2nd inning. Gilberto Celestino hit an RBI single in the 3rd and it turned into a Little League home run thanks to an error. Celestino and Westmoreland both went 2-4.

Chad Donato allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out a career-high 9 in 3.2 innings. Juan Corniel was the first man out of the Greeneville bullpen and allowed a hit, walked 1, and struck out 4 in 2.1 innings. Humberto Castellanos allowed 4 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2 in 2 innings, and Noel Pinto threw a 1-2-3 9th, striking out 1.

Greeneville will begin what is probably their biggest series of the season in Johnson City; the Cardinals are currently two games ahead of the Appy Astros in the standings. Remember... in the Appalachian League, the top two teams in each division are the playoff teams. Jairo Solis takes on Alvaro Seijas in game 1. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

DSL Astros Blue 8, DSL Royals 3

W- Flaer Gonzalez (3-1)
L- Carlos Sanchez (1-1)

Blue home runs: None.

Team Blue and the Royals scored in the same number of innings, but the Blue team's three crooked numbers topped the Royals' single tallies.

Angel Macuare struck out 4 over 3 perfect innings. Manny Ramirez, Flaer Gonzalez, and Jonger Ochoa all pitched 2 innings; Ramirez was first, and he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Gonzalez followed by allowing a hit, walking 1, and striking out 1. Ochoa allowed a run on 3 hits and fanned 1.

There weren't really any offensive standouts, but Leonardo Gonzalez did reach in all four of his plate appearances, finishing 2-2 with a couple of walks, one of which came with the bases loaded in the 7th inning.

DSL Pirates 6, DSL Astros Orange 5 in 10 innings

W- Wilmer Contreras (5-1)
L- Cristofer Melendez (0-3)

Orange home runs: None.

The Orange team scored a run in the 8th to tie the game at 3, but the Pirates regained control in the first extra frame. Team Orange managed to cut the deficit to one run... but no cigar.

Renaigel Martis hit an RBI single in the 3rd. Euclides Chavez tripled in the 4th and ended up scoring on a wild pitch. Gerry Castillo hit an infield single and an error on the play allowed Kelvin Perez to score. Perez started the 10th in scoring position and scored on another error that allowed Deury Carrasco to reach. Carrasco scored on a sac fly from Castillo.

Carlos Perdomo went 3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 4. Ronny Garcia technically struck out the side in the 4th, but one of his victims managed to reach base safely. He also induced a groundout. Asael Uribe followed with 4 innings and allowed a run on 3 hits, walked 4, and struck out 6. Cristofer Melendez threw 2 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1.

Tuesday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Angel Macuare, RHP, DSL Astros Blue: 3 IP, 4 K; perfect outing
Leonardo Gonzalez, OF, DSL Astros Blue: 2-2, RBI, R, 2 BB

Ramon Laureano, OF, Corpus Christi
2-3, 2-R HR (7), 2 R

Quad Cities River Bandits pitchers: W 4-1 @ Beloit
9 IP, 8 H, unearned run, 2 BB, 15 K
Carlos Sanabria: 5.2 IP, 6 H, unearned run, 2 BB, 8 K
Salvador Montaño: W (7-3), 3.1 IP, 2 H, 7 K

Yoanys Quiala, RHP, Corpus Christi
W (3-4, 8-5 season), 5 IP, 6 H (solo HR allowed), ER, BB

Carlos Sierra, RHP, Buies Creek
3 IP, H, ER, BB, 4 K

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Brandon Bielak, RHP, Tri-City
4 IP, 2 H, 3 K

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Juan Corniel, RHP, Greeneville
2.1 IP, H, BB, 4 K

Both photos taken by Bryan Green.
Brody Westmoreland, 1B/3B, and Gilberto Celestino, OF, Greeneville
Westmoreland: 2-4, solo HR (8)
Celestino: 2-4, RBI; Little League HR (also scored on error following RBI single)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Astros Farm Report: 8-22

The roster moves are slowing down and the playoff pictures are solidifying ...

ROSTER MOVES/TRANSACTIONS

8-22: C Evan GattisRHP Will Harris and LHP Tony Sipp scheduled for rehab assignments in Corpus Christi
8-21: SS Juan Pineda assigned to Greeneville from the GCL
8-20: RHP Jordan Jankowski claimed off waivers by the Dodgers
8-19: SS Reid Brignac (Fresno) activated from the DL
8-19: RHP Dustin Hunt assigned to Quad Cities from Tri-City
8-18: C Jose Carrillo assigned to the GCL from the DSL
8-18: OF Ramiro Rodriguez assigned to the GCL from the DSL
8-18: OF Jonathan Lacroix placed on the GCL 7-day DL
8-15: RHP Yoanys Quiala (Corpus Christi) activated from the suspended list
8-15: C Eduardo de Oleo assigned to Fresno from Buies Creek (had been on rehab assignment at GCL)

A complete(ish) list of August transactions/roster moves to date can be found here.

STANDINGS

Collectively, it was not a good week for the farm system as all of the Astros MiLB affiliates combined went 21-35 over the last week.  Fresno's 2-5 week has them in second place only one game behind Reno (D'Backs) who they will play for the final time this season later today. Corpus Christi's 1-5 week left them in the same position as they were in last week, but with fewer games left to play, seven games back with an elimination number of nine doesn't leave them with much margin for error. Despite their 1-5 week, Buies Creek still retains a four and a half game lead over Down East (Rangers). Quad Cities was the only full season team to put up a winning week. Their 5-2 record has padded their lead to seven games over second place Peoria (Cardinals).

On the short season side, Tri-City's 3-2 week was enough to retain second place in the division, but they fell a game and a half further behind first place Vermont (A's). The ValleyCats will face Vermont for three more games the last week of the season. Greeneville dropped from a second place tie to third place with their 3-3 week. They have 10 games remaining with six of those against the first and second place teams. The GCL Astros were hurt the worst by their sub-par week (1-5), dropping to fourth place in their division; with a dwindling number of games, their elimination number is now at 7. The two DSL teams were both eliminated from postseason contention this past week with the Orange team going 1-6 and the Blue team going 4-2.

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE/PACIFIC NORTHERN DIVISION
AAA Fresno 2nd 71-58 .550 1.0GB W1

TEXAS LEAGUE/SOUTH DIVISION
AA Corpus 3rd 57-68 .456 14.0GB L2 (Overall)
AA Corpus 3rd 23-32 .418 7.0GB L2 (Second Half)

CAROLINA LEAGUE/SOUTHERN DIVISION
HiA Buies Creek 1st 70-56 .556 -.-GB L4 (Overall)
HiA Buies Creek 1st 33-23 .589 -.-GB L4 (Second Half)

MIDWEST LEAGUE/WESTERN DIVISION
LoA Quad Cities 1st 74-51 .592 -.-GB W2 (Overall)
LoA Quad Cities 1st 37-20 .649 -.-GB W2 (Second Half)

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE/STEDLER DIVISION
SSA Tri-City 2nd 30-27 .526 2.0GB W3

APPALACHIAN LEAGUE/WEST DIVISION
Rk+ Greeneville 3rd 30-27 .526 4.5GB W1

GULF COAST LEAGUE/EAST DIVISION
Rk GCL Astros 4th 23-22 .511 4.5GB L2

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE/NORTH DIVISION (ELIMINATED FROM POSTSEASON)
FRk DSL Orange 8th 25-41 .379 14.5GB W1

DOMINICAN SUMMER LEAGUE/NORTHWEST DIVISION (ELIMINATED FROM POSTSEASON)
FRk DSL Blue 4th 36-30 .545 8.0GB W3

NEWS AND LINKS

I posted some additional thoughts and fun pictures from my trip to Quad Cities here.

A fun look at how a few MiLB teams celebrated the solar eclipse.

A great post about how former Astro Teoscar Hernandez is working to make his mark with a new team. h/t Astros County


Quad Cities C Chuckie Robinson is a postseason All-Star in the Midwest League.

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Monday, August 21, 2017

Fresno 16, Reno 2

W- Cy Sneed (1-0, 10-5 season)
L- Anthony Banda (7-7)

Fresno home runs: A.J. Reed 2 (28; 2-run in 3rd, 3-run in 9th), Tyler White (24, solo in 9th)

The Grizzlies got on the board in this series by demolishing the Aces.


Cy Sneed shook off a 2-run homer in the 1st to got 7 innings. He allowed 3 other hits, walked 1, and struck out 6 during his time on the mound. Dean Deetz walked 1 and struck out 5 over the last 2 innings.

Fresno will look to draw even with Reno in the standings as they conclude this series at 7:05 Pacific. Mike Hauschild takes on Eric Jokisch.

Corpus Christi was off

The Hooks will start a 4-game series with Midland tonight at 7:05. Yoanys Quiala takes on Grant Holmes.

Buies Creek was off

The Carolina Stros are back at Campbell, where they'll start a 3-game series against Lynchburg at 7:00 Eastern. Elieser Hernandez will face Dominic DeMasi.

Quad Cities 8, Wisconsin 7

W- Yohan Ramirez (4-5)
L- Carlos Herrera (2-2)
S- Jesús Balaguer (1, 4 season)

QC home runs: Abraham Toro-Hernandez (7, 13 season; solo in 3rd), Daz Cameron (14, 2-run in 4th)

The Banditos hung on in order to get a road series win even though they nearly squandered an 8-1 lead in the finale.

Yohan Ramirez went 5 innings and allowed 4 runs on 3 hits (solo and 2-run homers), walked 3, and struck out 3. Lucas Williams was the first man out of the Quad Cities bullpen and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. Jesús Balaguer pitched the last 2.2 innings to get the save, allowing a run on 2 hits, walking 1, and striking out 4.

Ronnie Dawson put Quad Cities on the board and in the lead with a 2-run single in the 2nd. They got 2 more in the inning on a Chuckie Robinson RBI single and an RBI double from Troy Sieber. Abraham Toro-Hernandez launched a solo homer in the 3rd, and then in the 4th, Sieber added an RBI single to his ledger and scored on Daz Cameron's 2-run blast. Sieber (2B, RBI, R) and Robinson (2B, RBI, 2 R, SB) both finished with 2 hits on the day. Dawson stole 2 bases (17), while Robinson's stolen base gives him 7 on the year.

Quad Cities' final tour of Wisconsin in 2017 concludes with a 3-game series in Beloit that begins at 7:00. Carlos Sanabria will start game 1 and he'll go up against Matt Milburn.

Tri-City 10, Brooklyn 6

W- Ben Smith (6-2)
L- Joe Napolitano (0-2)

TC home runs: Colton Shaver 2 (4, 10 season; solo in 2nd, walk-off grand slam in 9th), Mike Papierski (3, solo in 4th), J.J. Matijevic (6, 2-run in 7th)

Colton Shaver has two career grand slams, and they're both walk-offs. He clubbed one to beat Staten Island in his first game as a ValleyCat back on July 27, and on Monday, he completed a Tri-City comeback by launching another one.

Shaver also opened the scoring with a solo shot in the 2nd inning. Mike Papierski launched a solo homer of his own in the 4th. Kyle Davis hit an RBI single in the 6th and J.J. Matijevic whacked a 2-run homer in the 7th.

Bryan De La Cruz ripped a one-out double in the bottom of the 9th and Matijevic joined him on the bases after getting a free pass to first base. Gabriel Bracamonte went down on strikes for the 2nd out, but De La Cruz scored the tying run on an error that allowed Adrian Tovalin to reach; Tovalin was credited with an RBI on the play.

With Papierski at the plate, Matijevic stole 3rd and Tovalin took 2nd on defensive indifference. Papierski eventually drew a walk to load the bases for Shaver, who decided that extra innings would not be required to determine the winner of this game. De La Cruz (2B, R, SB) also finished with 2 hits on the night alongside Shaver.

Adam Bleday and Juan Robles both pitched 4 innings. Bleday allowed 4 runs on 7 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2, while Robles allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 5. Ben Smith worked around a walk to throw a scoreless 9th.

Tri-City will head to Connecticut to start a new series. The first order of business for both teams, however, is completing a game from June 30 that was suspended due to rain. The ValleyCats were leading 1-0 heading into the 5th inning.

Corbin Martin will start the regularly scheduled game, which will be a 7-inning contest.

Greeneville 16, Bristol 0

W- Hansel Paulino (4-1)
L- Hunter Stratton (0-2)

Greeneville home runs: Brody Westmoreland (7, 3-run in 8th), Patrick Mathis (3, 2-run in 8th)

The Appy Astros administered a severe beatdown on Monday night.


Meanwhile, on the mound, Hansel Paulino, Gerardo Bojorquez, and Dariel Aquino kept Bristol off the scoreboard. Paulino allowed 7 hits, walked 1, and struck out 5 in his 5 innings of work. Bojorquez followed with 3 innings, allowing a hit and striking out 3, and Aquino worked around a hit in the 9th to complete the shutout.

Chad Donato takes the hill for the series finale. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

GCL Marlins 4, GCL Astros 0

W- Karl Craigie (3-0)
L- Javier Navas (1-2)

GCL home runs: None.

The Palm Beach Stros got held off the scoreboard on Monday.

Alfredo Angarita went 2-3 with a double.

Javier Navas went 2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1. Austin Kerns struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 3rd inning. Angel Heredia followed with 2 scoreless; he walked 1 and struck out 1. Tanner Duncan, Brendan Feldmann, and Carlos Pimentel all pitched an inning; Duncan allowed an unearned run on a groundout and a double in the 6th. Feldmann allowed a hit and struck out 1 in the 7th, and Pimentel worked around a hit to throw a scoreless 8th.

DSL Astros Blue 3, DSL Royals 2

W- Antonio Pujols (4-2)
L- Angel Zerpa (3-4)
S- Diosmerky Taveras (1)

Blue home runs: None.

Samir Caraballo and Kendy Moya both had 2 hits apiece in this game. Yorbin Ceuta opened the scoring with an RBI single in the 3rd inning and Ronaldo Urdaneta followed by hitting a sac fly. Nerio Rodriguez's sac fly in the bottom of the 7th put Team Blue back in front after the Royals had tied it in the top half.

Jose Antonio Hernandez allowed a run on a sac fly, a single, and struck out 3 in 4 innings. Angel Matos struck out 2 in a 1-2-3 5th. Antonio Pujols followed with 3 innings, allowing a run on 6 hits and striking out 3. Diosmerky Taveras got three groundball outs in the 9th to get the save.

DSL Astros Orange 2, DSL Pirates 1

W- Hecduar Barcenas (1-1)
L- Luis Arrieta (2-1)
S- Wender Oberto (1)

Orange home runs: None.

Deury Carrasco went 2-4 and opened up the scoring with an RBI single in the 6th. He also stole a base (30) and scored on an RBI double from Marco van der Wijst in the 9th. Van Der Wijst finished 3-4, while Renaigel Martis also had 3 hits on the day.

Fredy Medina allowed 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 4 over 4 scoreless. Hecduar Barcenas walked 1 and struck out 3 in 2 scoreless innings of relief, and Wender Oberto threw the last 3 innings, allowing a run on 2 hits, walking 4, and striking out 6.

Monday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Fredy Medina, RHP, DSL Astros Orange: 4 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K
Jose Antonio Hernandez, RHP, DSL Astros Blue: 4 IP, H, ER, 3 K

Marco van der Wijst, IF, DSL Astros Orange: 3-4, 2B, RBI
Deury Carrasco, IF, DSL Astros Orange: 2-4, RBI, R, SB (30)

Greeneville Astros: W 16-0 vs. Bristol
Offense: 16 R, 13 H
Pitching: 9 IP, 9 H, BB, 8 K
Patrick Mathis: 4-4, 2-R HR (3), 3 R
Brody Westmoreland: 3-R HR (7)
Joan Mauricio: 2-3, 3 RBI, R
Gilberto Celestino: 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI
Hansel Paulino: W (4-1), 5 IP, 7 H, BB, 5 K
Gerardo Bojorquez: 3 IP, H, 3 K
Dariel Aquino: IP, H

Fresno Grizzlies: W 16-2 @ Reno
Offense: 16 R, 18 H
Pitching: 9 IP, 4 H (2-R HR allowed), 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K
Cy Sneed: W (1-0, 10-5 season), 7 IP, 4 H (2-R HR allowed), 2 ER, BB, 6 K
Dean Deetz: 2 IP, BB, 5 K
A.J. Reed: 3-5, 2 HR (28), 6 RBI
Tyler White: 2-3, solo HR (24), 3 RBI, 2 R
Garrett Stubbs: 3-4, 3 RBI, R
Jack Mayfield: 3-5, 2 2B, 5 R

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Colton Shaver, 1B, Tri-City
2-5, 2 HR (4, 10 season), 5 RBI; walk-off grand slam in 9th

Chuckie Robinson, C, and Troy Sieber, 1B, Quad Cities
Robinson: 2-5, 2B, RBI, 2 R, SB (7)
Sieber: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R

Monday, August 21, 2017

Quad Cities Final Thoughts

Every time I take a minor league trip, I collect odds and ends that don't make it into any of my interviews, plus I take a TON of pictures. So consider this a wrap-up of my July trip to Quad Cities.

ODDS AND ENDS

I was already impressed with what I saw from RHP Robert Corniel, and then his teammate Patrick Sandoval heaped praise on Corniel's fastball, so I asked Quad Cities Manager Russ Steinhorn to weigh in on the 22-year old righty who is in his third season following Tommy John surgery. Steinhorn told me, "He was with me down in the Dominican last year all season and he definitely grew up last year a lot. We saw a lot of flashes of him having success with some good stuff. And then they gave him a chance to come to the States this year for extended and I guess he just took in all the information and worked hard with those guys down there. It just shows that if you perform and you get better, then you're going to get your opportunities and he's taken advantage of them along the way and he's just trying to take advantage of them here."

And of skinny lefty bullpen arm Salvador Montano, Steinhorn said, "He's really turned the corner. Last year wasn't a great year for him. I know he had some difficult conversations in Spring Trainig and Extended. A light bulb turned off and that's been it. It's been great to see that. He had an outing where (in the first half), he came in out of the bullpen with bases loaded and no outs. We're up by one ... on the road ... in the ninth ... and he struck out the side. And that's all you need for your confidence and he's been rolling. He's putting in the work everyday. He's got a great personality."

On RHP Yohan Ramirez: "He got a little stint in Corpus just to fill in and threw like 6 shutout innings. [Close. He allowed one run in 4.2 IP.]  He's got electric stuff. That's a guy to keep an eye on. He was up to 98 or 99. He's always in the dugout even when he's not playing, trying to root his teammates on," said Steinhorn. He went on to say that Ramirez reminds him of Jandel Gustave since he throws hard and has a good slider. "They kind of have the same build and quick arm. We'll see where it takes him. He's another guy to be excited about."

If you missed any of my interviews from the trip, you can find them here:
Marcos Almonte and Abdiel Saldana
Russ Steinhorn

I'm not sure why, but Ronnie Dawson's interview didn't get a lot of clicks and it should have. Not only is he having a fine season (.272/.362/.440 with 23 doubles, four triples, 14 home runs, 80 runs scored, 60 RBI and 15 stolen bases overall and .313/.407/.508 since June 1st), he is also a team leader, universally respected by his teammates and coaches. He is a good student of the game with a great personality.

Another interview that you may have missed was the one that I did with Russ Steinhorn. We spoke about his time managing in the Dominican last season and how that experience is really helping as the contingent of Latin players assembled by Oz Ocampo and his team are starting to work their way up through the system. That was one thing that impressed me about the team. There is a heavy Latin presence with over half of the team hailing from places other than the U.S., but there is still great comaraderie among the players. I've seen that more and more through the past few years, and I will credit the Astros for working to bridge both the language and cultural gaps.

There was an amazing amount of talent on that team. As many interviews as I did, I could have done more. I didn't interview Carmen Benedetti, but only because I interviewed him last year in Tri-City. Not only was Benedetti having a great season at the plate with Quad Cities (.332/.446/.465 in 69 games) prior to his early August promotion, he also impressed with his play in the field. With nine outfield assists to his name for the season (six of those from right field), it is no wonder that I overheard one of the Great Lakes pitchers comment, "That kid's got the best arm I've ever seen."

Similarly, I talked to Chuckie Robinson at Tri-City last year; otherwise, he would have been on my short list to talk with. As impressed as I was with Robinson when I saw him last year, I am doubly impressed with him now, not only for his bat (.291/.347/.488 in 96 games with Quad Cities), but also with his talents behind the dish. He is a pitching coach's dream with his ability to handle a pitching staff and a manager's dream with his 45% caught stealing rate. Plus, I personally liked that he walked up to Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason." One final tidbit about Robinson -- both he and teammate Troy Sieber went to bat without batting gloves. There's something appealing to me about that.

But, honestly, every single player on the team stood out in one way or another. It was an impressive group and I think they've got a really good opportunity in the postseason. I will be pulling for each and every one of them.

And one final note about the trip: Jake Levy (media relations and broadcaster extraordinaire) and Rich Guill (photographer extraordinaire) were both so warm and welcoming. It is a pleasure to "do business" with them.

PHOTOS

When I was finishing up my interview with Russ Steinhorn, I commented on how hard I was trying to make sure that the Latin players who didn't understand English as well as others would know where they could find the pictures I took of them during the trip. I do use the photos for the blog, but honestly, I also take them so that the players can share them with family and friends. That has become equally important to me over the years.

And I know that the players appreciate it. When I see a player from a prior trip, I almost always get a smile and a warm greeting as I did from Cristian Javier in Quad Cities. When he saw me, he didn't say a word, he just smiled, walked over and shook my hand. When I told Russ that, he replied, "Sometimes it's hard on them. It's a long season. They love the support when they're so far away from their families. Sometimes they may not feel it as much as they need it, and to get it definitely puts a smile on their face." And that put a smile on my face.

For all of the photos I took on the trip, you can go to my flickr account here. Here are a few of my favorites.

Osvaldo Duarte, Gabriel Bracamonte and Josh Rojas
checking the forecast

Chuckie Robinson framed by a double rainbow

Marcos Almonte and Ronnie Dawson talking shop

Lucas Williams "Field of Dreams" photo

Chas McCormick and the bridge

Salvador Montano ...

... and his skinny legs!

Ronel Blanco autographing Montano's jersey

Carlos Sanabria warming up

Ronel Blanco

Troy Sieber and Kristian Trompiz

Chas McCormick headed to first

Cristian Javier

And a few more great faces ...
Marcos Almonte

Cesar Rosado

Cristian Javier

Ronnie Dawson

Patrick Sandoval

Yohan Ramirez

THE END

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Sunday, August 20, 2017

Let's play two in Palm Beach!

Or not.

The GCL Astros and GCL Cardinals only got one inning in before rain suspended play. They'll continue this game on Friday.

Reno 11, Fresno 8

W- Louis Coleman (1-1)
L- Brendan McCurry (4-1)

Fresno home runs: Tyler White 2 (23; 2-run in 3rd, 2-run in 5th)

The Aces took control with a 6-run 8th.

Both teams scored 2 runs in the opening frame; Fresno's two came on a Tyler White RBI single and a double play that allowed Colin Walsh to score. Walsh ripped an RBI double in the 3rd and one batter later, White smacked a 2-run homer. White launched another 2-run homer in the 5th inning, and Tony Kemp smacked an RBI double in the 9th. Kemp finished 4-5 on the evening, while White went 3-5.

Kent Emanuel went 4 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, walked 2, and struck out 2. Dayan Diaz was the first man out of the Fresno bullpen and allowed a run on 2 hits and struck out 3 in 2 innings. Brendan McCurry and Reymin Guduan both pitched an inning apiece. McCurry threw a 1-2-3 7th but was shelled in the 8th to the tune of 5 runs (1 inherited runner charged to him) on 5 hits. Guduan took ownership of the 8th and allowed a run on 3 hits (3-run homer; 1 run charged to McCurry) and struck out 1.

Cy Sneed takes on Anthony Banda in game 3 of this series. First pitch is at 7:05 Pacific.

Springfield 7, Corpus Christi 2

W- Austin Gomber (9-7)
L- Akeem Bostick (4-6, 6-7 season)

CC home runs: Ryne Birk (5, 13 season; 2-run in 2nd)

The Hooks got on the board first, but it was all Cardinals afterwards.

Ryne Birk had an excellent series as he homered in all three games: he clubbed a grand slam on Friday, launched a solo shot on Saturday, and whacked a 2-run blast on Sunday. That, unfortunately, was Corpus Christi's only scoring play of the day. Birk and Kyle Tucker both finished 2-4.

Akeem Bostick went 2.1 innings and allowed 6 runs on 9 hits while striking out 2. Ryan Thompson was the first man out of the Corpus bullpen and allowed a hit and struck out 1 over 2.2 scoreless innings. Cionel Perez allowed 2 runs on 4 hits (solo homer) and struck out 1 in 3 innings.

After a day off, Corpus welcomes Midland to Whataburger Field for 4 starting Tuesday. Yoanys Quiala faces Grant Holmes in the first game.

Down East 3, Buies Creek 0

W- Kyle Cody (2-0)
L- Carson LaRue (0-2, 12-6 season)
S- Jeff Springs (1)

BC home runs: None.

The Carolina Stros were swept out of Kinston to end a rough roadtrip in which they dropped 6 of 7.

Rodrigo Ayarza finished 2-3; Anthony Hermelyn had the only other Buies Creek hit. Carmen Benedetti reached base twice by drawing a couple of walks.

Carson LaRue met the minimum requirements for a quality start, allowing 9 hits, walking 1, and striking out 2. Erasmo Pinales allowed 2 hits and struck out 3 over the final 2 innings.

Buies Creek has Monday off. They'll welcome Lynchburg to Campbell University for 3 games starting Tuesday.

Quad Cities 13, Wisconsin 3

W- Kit Scheetz (2-0, 2-3 season)
L- Victor Diaz (2-5)
S- Cristian Javier (1)

QC home runs: Troy Sieber (7, solo in 1st), Josh Rojas (10, 3-run in 3rd), Chuckie Robinson (14, grand slam in 4th)

The Banditos cruised to a Sunday win to take the lead in this series.

Kit Scheetz allowed 4 hits and struck out 6 over 5 shutout frames. The Timber Rattlers spoiled the shutout with a 3-run homer off Cristian Javier in the 8th. In 4 innings, Javier allowed one other hit, walked 3, and struck out 3.

Troy Sieber kicked things off with a solo shot in the 1st inning. Sieber drew a two-out walk in the 3rd and Daz Cameron joined him on the bases after getting plunked. Josh Rojas was next, and he smacked a 3-run homer.

Quad Cities scored 4 in the 4th off an RBI single from Ronnie Dawson and a bases-clearing double from Daz. Chuckie Robinson drove in 4 more in the 5th with a grand slam, and Sieber, who drove in the Banditos' first run, drove in their last run with a single in the 8th. The three home run hitters (Sieber, Robinson, and Rojas) all finished with 2 hits on the day; Sieber and Robinson both scored 3 runs.

Quad Cities and Wisconsin will conclude their series at 12:05. Yohan Ramirez takes on Carlos Herrera.

Tri-City 13, Brooklyn 10

W- Hunter Martin (2-0)
L- Tony Dibrell (0-1)
S- Luis Ramirez (2)

TC home runs: Adrian Tovalin (5, 9 season; 2-run in 1st), J.J. Matijevic (5, solo in 4th)

The ValleyCats came out on top in a crazy back-and-forth affair on Sunday.

Gabriel Bracamonte was the only player in the Tri-City lineup to go hitless and not score a run, but he still chipped in with a sac fly in a 5-run 2nd. Adrian Tovalin whacked a 2-run homer in the 1st to put the ValleyCats on the board and lashed a 2-run double in the 2nd inning.


Alex House went 2 innings and allowed 5 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and struck out 1. Parker Mushinski was the first man out of the bullpen and went 2.1 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned, 2 inherited runners charged to him) on 4 hits, walking 2, and striking out 3. Hunter Martin was next, and he allowed a run on 6 hits and struck out 4 in 3.2 innings. Luis Ramirez struck out 1 in a 1-2-3 9th for the save.

Adam Bleday faces Nicolas Debora in the series finale. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

Bristol 6, Greeneville 3


W- Domingo Robles (3-7)
L- Johsson Arias (1-3, 1-4 season)
S- Drew Fischer (1)

Greeneville home runs: None.

The Pirates scored twice in the 6th and the 8th to edge the Appy Astros.

Both teams scored a run in the 1st; Greeneville's came on a Frankeny Fernandez sac fly. Fernandez hit an RBI single in the 6th and Wilson Amador scored another run on the relay throw. Fernandez went 2-4, while Amador went 2-3 with a stolen base (19) and scored 2 of the Appy Astros' 3 runs.

Jheyson Caraballo allowed a run on 5 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2 in 4 innings. Johsson Arias went 1.2 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 2. Cole Watts pitched the final 3.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, walking 2, and striking out 5.

Hansel Paulino starts game 2 of this series. First pitch is at 7:00 Eastern.

Sunday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Quad Cities River Bandits: W 13-3 @ Wisconsin
Kit Scheetz: W (2-0, 2-3 season), 5 IP, 4 H, 6 K
Chuckie Robinson: 2-4, 2B, Grand Slam (14), 3 R
Troy Sieber: 2-3, solo HR (7), 2 RBI, 3 R
Josh Rojas: 2-5, 3-R HR (10)
Daz Cameron: 3-RBI 2B in 4th

Erasmo Pinales, RHP, Buies Creek
2 IP, 2 H, 3 K

Ryne Birk, 2B, Corpus Christi
2-4, 2-R HR (5, 13 season)
Home run in all three games of series @ Springfield

Tyler White, IF, and Tony Kemp, 2B, Fresno
White: 3-5, 2 HR (23), 5 RBI
Kemp: 4-5, 2B, RBI, 3 R

Tri-City ValleyCats offense: W 13-10 vs. Brooklyn
Bryan de la Cruz: 2-5, 4 RBI, R
J.J. Matijevic: 2-3, solo HR (5), 3 R
Adrian Tovalin: 2-5, 2B, 2-R HR (5, 9 season), 4 RBI
Kyle Davis: 2-2, 2 R, 3 BB

Wilson Amador's photo taken by Bryan Green.
Frankeny Fernandez, OF, and Wilson Amador, OF, Greeneville
Fernandez: 2-4, 2 RBI
Amador: 2-3, 2 R, SB (19)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Astros Minor League Recaps

Results for Saturday, August 19, 2017

Could Team Orange get their doubleheader in without any weather issues?

Reno 4, Fresno 1

W- Kaleb Fleck (2-2)
L- Trent Thornton (6-4, 7-6 season)
S- Erik Davis (3)

Fresno home runs: None.

The Aces struck first in a crucial series featuring the top two teams in the PCL's Pacific Northern division.

Trent Thornton took the loss despite a solid outing; he allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits (solo homer), walked 2, and struck out 8 in 6 innings of work. Jacob Dorris and Kevin Comer both pitched an inning out of the bullpen; Dorris allowed a 2-run homer to Evan Marzilli and struck out 1 in the 7th, while Comer allowed a hit and fanned 1 in a scoreless 8th inning.

Tony Kemp went 2-5 and scored the only Fresno run on a Preston Tucker groundout in the 3rd. Colin Walsh had the only other hit for the Grizzlies.

Kent Emanuel faces Matt Koch at 1:05 Pacific.

Springfield 12, Corpus Christi 5

W- Corey Littrell (1-2)
L- Josh James (4-6)

CC home runs: Ryne Birk (4, 12 season; solo in 4th)

The Cardinals stormed out of the gate with 5 in the 1st and left Corpus in the dust.

Josh James failed to get out of the 1st inning, and I think I'll leave it at that. Nick Hernandez was the first man out of the Hooks bullpen and went 3.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 2 hits, walking 2, and striking out 1. Alex Winkelman was next, and he allowed 5 runs (4 earned, 1 inherited runner charged to him) on 7 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5 in 3.2 innings. Ralph Garza Jr. got the final out of the 8th, but not before he issued a bases-loaded walk that allowed one of the runners he inherited from Winkelman to score.

Corpus scored twice in the 2nd as Ramon Laureano hit an RBI single and Jason Martin stole home. Ryne Birk led off the 4th inning with a homer, and then Tony Nuñez followed with a double and moved to 3rd on an error. He scored on a Laureano triple. Laureano trotted home on a Kyle Tucker double. He (3B, 2 RBI, R, SB) and Nuñez (2B, 2 R) both finished with 3 hits on the night. Birk and Jamie Ritchie had 2 hits apiece.

The Hooks and Cardinals will wrap up the series at 2:10 as Akeem Bostick takes on Austin Gomber.

Down East 5, Buies Creek 1

W- Brett Martin (2-8)
L- Jorge Alcala (4-5, 6-5 season)

BC home runs: Randy César (2, 5 season; solo in 6th)

Jorge Alcala was knocked around by the Wood Ducks once again; he gave up 4 runs in his previous outing, which also came against Down East. This time around, he allowed 5.

Alcala allowed 7 hits (solo homer), walked 1, and struck out 2. Matt Bower stopped the bleeding with 4 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits and striking out 7.

Randy César homered to start the 6th, which was Buies Creek's only scoring play. Yordan Alvarez doubled twice; he now has 4 consecutive 2-hit games.

Carson LaRue goes up against Kyle Cody in the series finale. First pitch is at 2:00 Eastern.

Wisconsin 8, Quad Cities 5

W- Daniel Brown (5-3)
L- Dustin Hunt (0-7)

QC home runs: None.

The Banditos managed to tie the game at 2 with a run in the top of the 7th, but the Rattlers quickly regained control with a run of their own in the bottom of the 7th and then they blew this game open with 5 in the 8th.

Daz Cameron smacked a triple with one out in the 2nd inning and scored the first run of the game when Josh Rojas grounded out. Luis Payano drew a one-out walk in the 7th and scored what was the tying run when Kristian Trompiz ripped a double. As mentioned above, Wisconsin quickly untied the game and seized all the momentum. Quad Cities did pull 3 runs back in the top of the 9th as Payano scored on a Ronnie Dawson double and a couple of errors allowed Dawson and Chuckie Robinson to score. Wander Franco finished 2-4, while Payano scored twice.

Nathan Thompson went 5 innings and the two runs he allowed both came on solo homers. He allowed two other hits and struck out a career-high 8 batters during his time on the mound. The Timber Rattlers ran roughshod on Dustin Hunt in his 2.2 innings; he allowed 6 runs on 7 hits, walked 3, and struck out 5. Devon Carr recorded the final out of the 8th inning.

Kit Scheetz gets the start in game 3. He'll take on Victor Diaz at 1:05.

Tri-City 4, Brooklyn 1

W- Matt Ruppenthal (2-1)
L- Luis De Los Santos (0-5)

TC home runs: Bryan de la Cruz (1, 2 season; solo in 1st)

The ValleyCats got themselves back above the .500 mark with a win to start this series.

Leovanny Rodriguez allowed 4 hits, walked 3, and struck out 4 over 4 scoreless innings. Diogenes Almengo went 2 innings and allowed the only Brooklyn run on 2 hits and walked 2. Matt Ruppenthal pitched the final 3 innings, allowing 4 hits while striking out 3.

Bryan de la Cruz led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer that opened the scoring. Adrian Tovalin hit a 2-run single in the 3rd. De La Cruz, who finished 2-4, scored the first run of the game... and he scored the last run of the game when he came home on a single from Miguelangel Sierra in the 7th inning.

Alex House goes up against Jose Geraldo at 5:00 Eastern.

Pulaski 11, Greeneville 3

W- Gilmael Troya (4-2)
L- Maikel Sepulveda (0-1, 4-4 season)

Greeneville home runs: Roman Garcia (7, 2-run in 4th)

The Appy Astros had a rough day in the field and on the mound.

Roman Garcia was one of the few bright spots on offense as he whacked a 2-run homer in the 4th inning. Frankeny Fernandez went 2-4 and ripped an RBI double in the 8th. Oscar Campos also went 2-4 with a double.

Maikel Sepulveda went 3 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, walking 1, and striking out 2. Noel Pinto was the first man out of the Greeneville bullpen and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, walked 1, and struck out 1 in the 4th. Francisco Villegas came out for the 5th, but he only got two outs in the inning, one via strikeout. On the other hand, he allowed 5 runs, all unearned, a grand slam, and walked 4. Willy Collado stopped the bleeding by allowing 2 hits and striking out 5 over 3.1 scoreless innings.

Greeneville starts a 3-game series with Bristol at 6:00 Eastern.

GCL Nationals 4, GCL Astros 0

W- Nelson Galindez (2-2)
L- Freylin Garcia (0-2, 1-7 season)

GCL home runs: None.

How does a team win a game where they have more errors than runs scored? By holding their opponent to zero runs.

All the Palm Beach Stros got on offense were singles from Juan Piñeda, Jose Carrillo, and Ramiro Rodriguez.

Freylin Garcia pitched alright, although he had to take a loss. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5 in 5 innings of work. Saul Martinez allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and walked 2 in 2 innings, and Chauncey Nuñez walked 1 and struck out 1 in a scoreless 8th.

DSL Astros Blue 4, DSL Rays1 2

W- Angel Ortega (3-2)
L- Jeremy Galan (3-1)
S- Christopher Javier (4)

Blue home runs: None.

Team Blue snatched the win in this game by scoring twice in each of the final two innings.

Ronaldo Urdaneta put the Blue team in the board and in front with a 2-run single in the 8th. Rhandall Sanchez ripped a double to lead off the 9th and Wilyer Abreu joined him on the bases after getting plunked. Sanchez ended up scoring on a wild pitch and Abreu scored on a Leonardo Gonzalez groundout.

Bryan Solano allowed 3 hits, walked 1, and struck out 4 over 5 shutout frames. Angel Ortega went 3.2 innings and allowed 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits, walked 5, and struck out 4. Christopher Javier came on with 2 runners on in the bottom of the 9th, but he induced a force out to end it.

Game 1: DSL Rays2 2, DSL Astros Orange 1

W- Emilio Alfonzo (5-0)
L- Jesus Bernaez (2-5)
S- Rodolfo Sanchez (4)

Orange home runs: None.

Team Orange almost stole game 1, but they left two runners on scoring position to end it.

Sean Mendoza's RBI single in the bottom of the 7th was their only hit.

Jesús Bernaez went 4 innings and allowed an unearned run on 3 hits, walked 2, and struck out 1. An error following a force out in the 2nd inning resulted in the run. Miguel Matos allowed an unearned run, walked 3, and struck out 1 in 3 innings. Another error in the 5th resulted in the other Rays run.

Game 2: DSL Rays2 4, DSL Astros Orange 2 in 8 innings

W- Dauris Lopez (2-4)
L- Luis De Paula (2-1)
S- Ender Cespedes (2)

Orange home runs: None.

Team Orange actually got no-hit in game 2, but they somehow managed to push a couple of runs across.

Deury Carrasco walked with 2 outs in the 1st and scored by stealing his way around the bases. Euclides Chavez scored on an error that allowed Carrasco to reach in the 8th. Carrasco now has 29 stolen bases on the season.

Elian Rodriguez allowed a run on 4 hits, walked 5, and struck out 2 in 3.1 innings. Ronny Garcia got the last two outs of the 4th, one via strikeout. Fabricio Reina and Luis De Paula threw 2 innings apiece; Reina allowed a hit, walked 2, and struck out 3, while De Paula allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits, walked 3, and struck out 2.

Saturday's Stars

All photos are from Jayne unless stated otherwise.

Bryan Solano, RHP, DSL Astros Blue: 5 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 K

Ramon Laureano, OF, and Antonio Nuñez, IF, Corpus Christi
Laureano: 3-5, 3B, 2 RBI, R, SB (24)
Nuñez: 3-3, 2B, 2 R

Trent Thornton, RHP, Fresno
L (6-4, 7-6 season), 6 IP, 2 H (solo HR allowed), 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 8 K

Matt Bower, LHP, Buies Creek
4 IP, 2 H, 7 K

Photo by Bryan Green
Bryan De La Cruz, OF, Tri-City
2-4, solo HR (1, 2 season), 2 R

Nathan Thompson, LHP, Quad Cities
5 IP, 4 H (2 solo HR allowed), 2 ER, 8 K (career-high)

This is his mugshot on MiLB.com.
Willy Collado, RHP, Greeneville
3.1 IP, 2 H, 5 K