Houston Astros Minor League Recap: 8/13/13

With Asher Wojciechowski, Mike Foltynewicz, Kent Emanuel, Frederick Tiburcio, and Luis Cruz pitching, plus Michael Feliz and Chris Cotton in the NYPL All-Star Game, the Astros minors had plenty of talent on the mound... but with some pretty mixed results.

What's In A Name?

It's Moniker Madness time - and voting is open for the best name in the minor leagues. A quick glimpse at the leaderboard didn't show any Astros farmhands. No Asher Wojciechowski. No Austin Nicely. Jabari Blash, but no Telvin Nash. My favorite name from the draft, Sicnarf Loopstok, is at #17 as I type this.

Shutdown Starter

Brian McTaggart reports that Mark Appel is reaching his innings allowance on the season, and after approximately ten more innings (two starts,) he's likely to be shut down.

Bang! POW!

Conrad Gregor was named the Offensive Player of the Week for the New York-Penn League. Through six games, Gregor slashed .583/.607/.917, with three doubles, a triple, a home run, and a stolen base. So far this season, he has drawn 58 walks to 57 strikeouts.

What Happened Was...

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - The offense gave Asher Wojciechowski plenty of run support, exploding for thirteen hits and six runs, including two in the top of the first inning, before Wojciechowski ever took the mound. Unfortunately, the Tucson Padres (SDP) offense was up to the challenge, throwing up a five-spot of their own in the bottom of the first, and matching Oklahoma City hit-for-hit. They'd wind up with fourteen on the night, and thirteen runs. The sole bright spot for the RedHawks pitching staff was Wade LeBlanc, who hurled 1.2 perfect innings in relief. However, despite that - and an inside-the-park home run by George Springer (his second of the season), the RedHawks fell, 13-6.

Oklahoma City: 69-55, 1st - Pacific Coast League American Southern

  • RF Trevor Crowe - 3/5, 2B, R, K
  • 2B Jose Martinez - 2/4, R, RBI
  • CF George Springer - 1/4, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
  • 3B Brandon Laird - 3/4, 2 R, K, HBP
  • 1B Jonathan Singleton - 1/4, 2B, R, RBI, BB, K
  • SS Jimmy Paredes - 0/4
  • DH Marwin Gonzalez - 1/4, 2B, RBI
  • C Carlos Perez - 2/4, RBI, 2 PB
  • LF Ruben Sosa - 0/4, 2 K
  • RHP Asher Wojciechowski - 5.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, WP, HBP
  • RHP Rhiner Cruz - 0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
  • LHP Wade LeBlanc - 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
  • RHP Jose Cisnero - 0.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
  • LHP Pat Urckfitz - 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - Lane Adams homered in the second inning for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (KCR) - a two-run shot off of Michael Foltynewicz to give the Naturals a 2-0 advantage. And it didn't stop there. Adams, who came into the game with just one home run in 24 games, would homer two more times on the night, driving in seven of the Naturals' ten runs. Hooks lose, 10-1.

Corpus Christi: 30-21, 2nd (1.0 GB) - Texas League South
  • 2B Ronald Torreyes - 1/4, SB
  • LF Preston Tucker - 2/4, 2B, R, BB
  • C Max Stassi - 0/5, 2 K
  • RF Domingo Santana - 0/3, 2 K
  • 1B Erik Castro - 2/4, RBI, K
  • 3B Jonathan Meyer - 2/3, 2B, BB, K
  • DH Matt Duffy - 1/3, HBP
  • SS Jiovanni Mier - 0/4, 2 K
  • CF Drew Muren - 0/4, 3 K
  • RHP Mike Foltynewicz - 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, WP
  • LHP Theron Geith - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Cameron Lamb - 1.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, WP, IBB, HBP
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) - The Inland Empire 66ers' (LAA) starting pitcher in this one, Alex Keudell, was the Pac-12 pitcher of the year in 2012. Not Mark Appel, not Brady Rodgers. Alex Keudell. Then, after a 2.28 ERA and a 1.062 WHIP through 43.1 innings, the Rays released him and the Angels signed him. It's a curious story, to be sure. Luis Cruz came out dealing, striking out seven through the first four innings. He ran into trouble in the fifth inning, but Nolan Fontana's first career grand slam, combined with Dan Gulbransen's second home run since getting promoted to the Cal League, paced the Jethawks past the 66ers, 11-5. Also, did I mention that Delino DeShields stole third base while the pitcher was still holding the ball?

Lancaster: 32-19, 1st - California League South
  • 2B Delino DeShields - 2/5, 2B, RBI, K, SB
  • SS Nolan Fontana - 1/4, HR, R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
  • CF Andrew Aplin - 1/3, R, BB, HBP, SB
  • 1B Jesse Wierzbicki - 0/2, R, 3 BB, K
  • LF Dan Gulbransen - 3/5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, K
  • LHP Luis Cruz - 7.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Day Off

Quad Cities: 30-19, 2nd (1.5 GB) - Midwest League Western

Tri-City ValleyCats (A-) - NYPL All-Star Game

Tri-City: 32-22, 1st - New York-Penn League Stedler
  • DH Chan Moon - 1/2, R
  • RHP Michael Feliz - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  • LHP Chris Cotton - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 WP
Greeneville Astros (Rk) - Through his first nine games, Frederick Tiburcio was 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA, 55.1% groundball rate, 23.0% strikeout rate, 9.9% walk rate, and a 0.93 WHIP. Unfortunately, he didn't fare quite as well in this outing, as the Johnson City Cardinals (STL) jumped on him early on the strength of back-to-back doubles by Rowan Wick and Robbierd Garcia. Tiburcio made it just three innings, allowing six runs on nine hits, two walks, and two strikeouts. Kevin Ferguson, who's fared less well since being promoted from the GLC, gave up four runs of his own through two innings. Greeneville loses, 10-3.

Greeneville: 33-19, 1st - Appalachian League West
  • SS Thomas Lindauer - 1/5, R, 3 K
  • 1B Chase McDonald - 1/2, 2 BB
  • 3B Angel Ibanez - 1/3, 2B, RBI, K
  • C Brian Holberton - 1/3, R, K, E
  • DH Ricky Gringas - 0/4, 3 K
  • RF Wallace Gomez - 1/4, 2B, 2 K
  • RHP Frederick Tiburcio - 3.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
  • LHP Kevin Ferguson - 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
GCL Astros (Rk) - Kent Emanuel continues to pitch very well in short outings. He may not be putting up sexy strikeout numbers, but he now has four strikeouts, no walks, six hits, and no runs - earned or otherwise - through six professional innings. Austin Nicely and Devonte German also made appearances in this one, neither faring particularly well. After the Astros built a 4-0 lead, the GCL Tigers (DET) chipped their way back in, eventually beating the Astros, 6-4. Jason Martin went 0-for-4, but reached via a walk. He's now reached base at least once in twelve of his last thirteen games.

GCL Astros: 22-24, 3rd (7.0 GB) - Gulf Coast League Northeast
  • CF Jason Martin - 0/4, BB, SB
  • SS Luis Reynoso - 2/4, 2 R, BB, K, 2 SB
  • 1B Yonathan Mejia - 1/3, R, BB, K
  • DH Jean Batista - 2/4, HR, R, 4 RBI
  • 3B Jose Solano - 1/3, BB K
  • RF Ydarqui Marte - 1/4, 2 K
  • 2B Jean Estrella - 1/4, K, CS, E
  • LHP Kent Emanuel - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
  • LHP Austin Nicely - 3.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, WP
  • RHP Devonte German - 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 3 WP
DSL Astros (Rk) - The Astros pitchers performed well enough in this one, allowing 11 hits but only a single run, and the offense jumped on the DSL Royals' (KCR) Jose Veras (no kidding) for a pair of runs. Astros win, 2-1.

DSL Astros: 32-29, t-3rd (8.0 GB) - Dominican Summer League Boca Chica Northwest
  • SS Kristian Trompiz - 2/4, K
  • 3B Arturo Michelena - 2/3, 2B, R, BB
  • LHP Edwin Villarroel - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
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