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Houston Astros Minor League Recap: 7/25/13

While Corpus Christi was on the right side of a dominant pitching performance, Lancaster and Quad Cities wind up on the wrong side of them. The DSL Astros went nineteen innings in a losing effort. Meanwhile, the once 13-13 Greeneville Astros kept the streak alive at thirteen straight wins and counting.

Scott Halleran

All Atwitter

A small wave went through Twitter after Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo mentioned that Marwin Gonzalez might be part of a trade. Gonzalez was pulled from his start late, and spent the game in the first base coach's box, but reports were there was no injury. Meanwhile, Jimmy Paredes got the start at shortstop, which is an important reminder that while it sometimes feels like we have a wealth of depth at the shortstop position between Carlos Correa, Nolan Fontana, and Joe Sclafani, we don't have anyone remotely capable of handling the position anywhere near the Triple-A level, never mind the major leagues. So Jonathan Villar, my friend, you have to stick.

Hit Parade

The fact that the Corpus Christi Hooks got ten hits in one game isn't a huge deal. What's nice is some of the names collecting hits: Drew Muren, Preston Tucker, Michael Burgess, and Ronald Torreyes each had a hit, and Domingo Santana and Jiovanni Mier each had two. All six have been having subpar seasons so far in Corpus Christi, so it's nice to see the bats get going. Muren has hits in nine of his last ten games, and has scored at least one run in each of those games, as well. After hitting .174/.240/.217 in June, the 6'6" left-handed center fielder is now .283/.419/.450 through the month of July - all while providing exceptional defense, both in center and in the corners.

Crop Rotation

Jorge De Leon was promoted to Oklahoma City, and Jonas Dufek to Corpus Christi. Meanwhile, Thomas Lindauer - batting just .073 - was sent down to Greeneville.

What Happened Was...

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - What's worse than playing with a short bench and a bad bullpen? Doing it for twelve innings. After the fifth inning, the RedHawks and the Omaha Storm Chasers (KCR) were tied with one run apiece. They'd stay that way until the 12th inning, when Irving Falu scored on a walkoff sacrifice fly. Jason Stoffel, who's enjoyed some success this season, took the loss after walking five and striking out just one over 2.2 innings. RedHawks lose, 2-1.

Oklahoma City: 56-50, 3rd (3.0 GB) - Pacific Coast League American Southern

  • DH Robbie Grossman - 2/4, BB, K, SB
  • SS Jimmy Paredes - 1/5, HR, R, RBI, 2 K
  • 1B Jonathan Singleton - 0/4, BB, 3 K
  • LF Ruben Sosa - 2/4, K, CS
  • RHP Jake Buchanan - 7.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
  • LHP Kevin Chapman - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Jason Stoffel - 2.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 1 K
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - David Martinez (Martiniii?) has flown under the radar a bit this season. He isn't the sexiest prospect in the world, but with a 51.9% groundball rate, a 0.69 HR/9, 11.6% line drive rate, and a tidy 0.99 WHIP, he's shown the ability to induce weak contact, and his 1.46 BB/9 is music to my ears. The downside: He turns 26 in a little over a week. Still, he's a guy who worked his way out of the Venezuelan Summer League, so he's defied the odds before. And yesterday, against the Midland RockHounds (OAK), he reminded us all that he can be dominant at times. He threw a complete game, walking just one batter and striking out eight. To reiterate: He walked just one batter. On the Midland RockHounds, who came into the game with 405 walks as a team, easily best in the Texas League, and second only to the Birmingham Barons in all of Double-A. Meanwhile, the offense gave him plenty of run support as the Hooks won, 5-1.

Corpus Christi: 18-15, 2nd (1.5 GB) - Texas League South
  • 2B Ronald Torreyes - 1/3, R, BB
  • CF Drew Muren - 1/3, 2B, R, 2 BB, SB
  • DH Preston Tucker - 1/4, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
  • C Max Stassi - 0/3, RBI, BB, 2 K
  • RF Domingo Santana - 2/5, K, SB, CS
  • LF Michael Burgess - 1/5, 2 K
  • 1B Zach Johnson - 2/3, R, BB
  • SS Jiovanni Mier - 2/3, 2B, R, K, HBP
  • RHP David Martinez - 9.0 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) - The San Francisco Giants drafted Clayton Blackburn in the 16th round, and it was an absolute steal. He made short work of rookie ball, striking guys out, generating ground balls, and walking almost no one. For a prep pitcher signed for $150k so late in the draft, he was an absolute steal, and people took notice. He's currently listed on as the Giants' #10 prospect, but even he had to know that Lancaster is a tough squad to play, and The Hangar is a very tough place to pitch. Except maybe no one bothered to tell him, because he proceeded to retire the first 20 Jethawks batters he faced before Andrew Aplin hit a double with two outs in the seventh inning. The Jethawks were able to get to him a little bit late, but it wasn't until he was replaced in the ninth inning that they were able to mount a real rally, with a Delino DeShields single, a Nolan Fontana triple, and an Aplin single led off the inning to close the gap to 4-3. But that was the end of the comeback, as the next three batters were retired and the Jethawks lost, 4-3.

Lancaster: 22-13, 1st - California League South
  • 2B Delino DeShields - 1/4, R, K
  • DH Nolan Fontana - 1/4, 3B, R, RBI, 2 K
  • CF Andrew Aplin - 2/4, 2B, RBI
  • 1B MP Cokinos - 0/4, 2 K
  • 3B Matt Duffy - 1/4, R, 3B, 2 K
  • RF Chris Epps - 1/3, 2B, RBI
  • RHP Aaron West - 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
  • RHP Tyson Perez - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Mark Appel versus Tyler DeLoach. Appel began the game by walking the first two Burlington Bees (LAA) batters he faced, and his night didn't get much better, as he ended up walking four in two innings. DeLoach, on the other hand, didn't walk a single batter and struck out nine over seven innings. In fact, not one River Bandit drew a walk the entire game, and twelve strikeouts were recorded as the River Bandits fell, 5-2.

Quad Cities: 17-14, 3rd (3.5 GB) - Midwest League Western
  • SS Carlos Correa - 2/4, 2B, SB
  • DH Luis Alvarez - 1/3, 2B, R, 2 K
  • RHP Mark Appel - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, WP
  • RHP Daniel Minor - 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
  • LHP Mitchell Lambson - 3.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Tri-City ValleyCats (A-) - The bad news? It took twenty-five outs before the ValleyCats managed to put a single run on the board, which they accomplished on a Jon Kemmer home run. The good news? Zach Morton, Albert Minnis, and Randall Fant combined to allow just two hits and not a single run to the Hudson Valley Renegades (TBR). Doing a quick bit of math, that puts the score at ValleyCats 1, Renegades 0.

Tri-City: 26-12, 1st - New York-Penn League Stedler
  • 2B Tony Kemp - 1/3, BB, SB
  • CF James Ramsay - 2/4
  • LF Conrad Gregor - 1/3, HBP
  • RF/LF Jon Kemmer - 1/3, HR, R, RBI, K, HBP
  • C Brett Booth - 1/4, 2B, K
  • RHP Zach Morton - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 WP
  • LHP Albert Minnis - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
  • LHP Randall Fant - 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Greeneville Astros (Rk) - Seriously? Seriously!? Let me just cut to the chase here: Greeneville won their 13th game in a row. Despite no extra base hits, the offense kept churning, paced by Tyler White and Tanner Mathis. Meanwhile, Frederick Tiburcio struggled with his command - five walks and a wild pitch - but allowed just two runs (one earned) in six innings, handing a game tied at two off to Raul Rivera, who allowed just two hits over the final three frames as Greeneville beats the Johnson City Cardinals (STL), 3-2.

Greeneville: 23-10, 1st - Appalachian League West
  • LF Tanner Mathis - 3/4, R, SB
  • CF Brett Phillips - 1/2, R, RBI, K, HBP
  • 1B Chase McDonald - 1/3, 2 RBI
  • 3B Tyler White - 2/4, K
  • C Brian Holberton - 0/2, BB, K, SB
  • RHP Frederick Tiburcio - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K
  • RHP Raul Rivera - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
GCL Astros (Rk) - When play was suspended on Wednesday in the Astros' game versus the GCL Braves (ATL), they led 1-0 and Brian Holmes had struck out six and allowed just one baserunner through four innings. When they resumed play on Thursday, Joe Musgrove struck out five through three and a third. The problem? First, the Astros only scraped together one run on two hits. Second, Musgrove also gave up three runs on four hits. Musgrove allowed a run to tie the game in the inning, and Kevin Ferguson came on in relief, promptly giving up a walkoff double as the Astros lose, 3-1.

GCL Astros: 14-14, 3rd (3.5 GB) - Gulf Coast League Northeast
  • CF Jason Martin - 1/3, R, BB
  • 1B Yonathan Mejia - 0/2, 2 BB
  • 2B Jose Solano - 1/4, 3B, RBI
  • LHP Brian Holmes - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
  • RHP Joe Musgrove - 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
  • LHP Kevin Ferguson - 0.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
DSL Astros (Rk) - Nineteen innings. Nineteen innings. The Astros had eight errors. Eight. Freaking Dominican Summer League, man. The DSL Red Sox (BOS) scored three runs in the fourteenth inning, and the Astros followed up with a three-run frame of their own. Finally, something had to give. Despite the Astros' staff allowing 7 runs in the game, only one of them was earned. Unfortunately, that one was the game winner. Astros lose, 7-5.

DSL Astros: 24-20, 3rd (6.5 GB) - Dominican Summer League Boca Chica Northwest
  • CF Luis Payano - 2/8, RBI, CS, HBP
  • 2B Jean Estrella - 0/8, 2 K
  • 3B Randy Cesar - 2/7, 3B, R, BB, 3 K, 2 E
  • 1B Hector Roa - 2/6, R, K
  • RF Jarico Reynoso - 2/7, 3B, R, 2 RBI, BB, K, SB
  • RHP Harold Arauz - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
  • LHP Junior Garcia - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Angel Heredia - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
  • RHP Yonquelys Martinez - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, HBP