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Minor League Recap: Games of April 27, 2014

Your daily look at the previous night's Minor League happenings.

A step in the right direction for Adrian Houser
A step in the right direction for Adrian Houser
Bob Levey

AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks: 8-5 loss to Nashville (MIL)

-> Gregorio Petit: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 R
-> Max Stassi: 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R
-> Domingo Santana: 2-for-4, RBI
-> Ronald Torreyes: 2-for-5, solo HR
-> Robbie Grossman: 1-for-4, BB, R
-> Enrique Hernandez: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI
-> Erik Castro: 0-for-2, BB
-> Jon Singleton: 0-for-3, BB

SP Bobby Doran: 5.0 IP, 5 R (2 ER), 8 H, 0 BB, 1 K (loss)
RP David Martinez: 3.0 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K
RP Chia-Jen Lo: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K

Half of Nashville's runs were unearned, thanks to a pair of errors.

Too bad for Doran, who was pitching fairly well until that error. He did end up allowing three homers though, and even though the error let them not all be tagged to him, at the same time, you do have to pitch around some adversity caused by your fielders at times. He did get nine ground outs to only two fly outs though. Coming into this game, his GB% was down, and BAbip and LD% up, compared to his career averages, so we could see some positive regression coming soon for him.

If you haven't been paying attention to Torreyes yet, he's asking you to take a look at him. Much like Altuve, he's small (not that small, but still), contact oriented, doesn't strike out a lot, and so on. He's also showed a little ability on the base paths in the past, but not so much this season. Like Altuve and similar guys, he can look like an All-Star when he's on a hot streak, and he is right now; .359/.405/.538 over his last ten games, with two doubles, a triple and tonight's long ball. He's struck out just four times in 23 games, well over 85 PA. He's also only walked four times, though.

And speaking of hot, Santana might be hotter; .366/.395/.561 over his last ten games, with five XBH. He's struck out 11 times in those ten games, which is actually pretty reasonable as far as he goes, and a definite improvement over what he was doing a few weeks ago.

AA Corpus Christi Hooks: 4-3 loss to Frisco (TEX)

-> Andrew Aplin: 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB
-> Chris Epps: 1-for-3, SB, R, 2 BB
-> Rene Garcia: 1-for-4, BB
-> Jiovanni Mier: 1-for-4, SB, RBI
-> Joe Sclafani: 1-for-4, RBI
-> M.P. Cokinos: 1-for-5
-> Nolan Fontana: 0-for-2, R, 3 BB
-> Leonardo Heras: 0-for-3, R, 2 BB
-> Preston Tucker: 0-for-4, BB

SP Aaron West: 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K
RP Andrew Robinson: 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K
RP Patrick Urckfitz: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 2 K
RP Jorge De Leon: 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K (loss)

West has had a rough go of it in AA so far. Walk rate is still strong, but he's not missing many bats so far (just 4.77 K/9). FIP likes him better than his ERA would indicate, again, but nothing else below the surface looks like a big red flag to me at this point. We'll just have to wait and see, who knows what he might be working on or through?

Aplin hasn't struck out since April 20. He now has 21 walks and 10 strikeouts on the season. My goodness, who's even a comp for something like that? The crazy thing is that, as good as that is, that's about all he's doing; he's not hitting for average, or power, or stealing bases. I'm not saying he won't have any value or anything, but when I see a guy who can do something like that so well, and then struggles everywhere else, it can be frustrating. Here's hoping he can improve in other areas as well.

Very Fontana-esque game tonight for Fontana. His overall numbers are still very mediocre, but he's on a .297/.395/.405 run in his last ten games. And speaking of walks, Heras has six in his last eight games.

A+ Lancaster JetHawks: 8-6 loss to Rancho Cucamonga (LAD)

-> Brandon Meredith: 2-for-4, 3B, R
-> Ruben Sosa: 2-for-5, SB, R
-> Daniel Gulbransen: 1-for-3, BB, RBI
-> Carlos Perdomo: 1-for-3, RBI, R, 2 SB
-> Anthony Kemp: 1-for-4, RBI, R
-> Roberto Pena: 1-for-4, RBI, R
-> Teoscar Hernandez: 0-for-4, BB, RBI, R
-> Rio Ruiz: 0-for-4, BB
-> Bobby Borchering: 0-for-4, BB

SP Mike Hauschild: 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K
RP Tyson Perez: 2.0 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 4 H, 1 BB, 3 K (loss)
RP J.D. Osborne: 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 2 BB, 4 K
RP Jamaine Cotton: 0.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K

Nothing much of note to point out here...except...that Correa hasn't played since April 24. That's three straight games he's missed. Not to hit the panic button, but it's a little concerning. He isn't listed on the DL, at least. Anyone know anything?

A- Quad Cities River Bandits: 15-3 win over Peoria (STL)

-> Jobduan Morales: 4-for-6, 2B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI
-> James Ramsay: 2-for-4, BB, 2B, RBI, 2 R
-> Thomas Lindauer: 2-for-4, R, 3 RBI
-> Jon Kemmer: 2-for-5, BB, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R
-> Brett Phillips: 2-for-5, BB, HR, R, 2 RBI
-> Chan Moon: 2-for-6, R
-> Conrad Gregor: 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, 2 R
-> Chase McDonald: 1-for-4, R, 2 BB
-> Tyler White: 1-for-6, R

SP Gonzalo Sanudo: 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 4 K (win)
RP Adrian Houser: 3.0 IP, 2 R (0 ER), 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K
RP Andrew Walter: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K

Wow. Four runs in the fifth and five in the sixth are what really broke it open. Total laugher. Why can't the Big League club have one of these...

Morales, wow, have a day. After three hits in Saturday, Morales has a homer, two singles and four doubles in the last two days. Two walks and no strikeouts either. He's hitting .381/.471/.595 on the season now, though the sample isn't huge because he's been pretty much a part-time player. Maybe not for long, right?

On a team with Michael Feliz, it's Sanudo who's been the ace so far. After five outings, he has a 0.50 ERA, 1.00 BB/9 and 7.00 K/9 in 18 innings. He hasn't walked a batter since April 11. Baseball America ranked him #26 in their Top 30 Astros prospects this year (you have to get the book for the #11-#30 guys, if you're wondering), and without giving away too much of their hard work for free, they did talk about how Sanudo was a control specialist who was only hitting 86-89 MPH when the Astros picked him up, and after fixing his mechanics, he's now sitting 92-93 and kissing 95 on occasion. The Astros FO seems pretty high on him, as they've converted him to the rotation from the bullpen this year, and he's rewarding that confidence so far. With his command and results like these, plus the increase in velocity, he's a big breakout candidate in my eyes. Not a back pickup for the busted pick of Michael Kvasnicka (who currently has a .454 OPS in AA as a 25-year-old, if you were wondering).

Houser, sadly, has not gotten off to the start I was hoping for, but I'm still high on him and hoping for improvement. This was a big step in the right direction, as he had walked 11 batters in 14.1 innings prior to this. He's still having so BAbip luck go against him, and prior to this start his GB% was darn near 60%, so don't give up on him yet. Just a little shift in some luck and tightening up on the control, and he could take off.

Remember how Phillips started off the year so well, then slumped a bit and started striking out like you'd expect a kid his age to? Yeah, well, he seems to be past that. He's 6-for-19 (.316) in the past five games with zero strikeouts and six walks. In his last ten games, we've seen some power with two bombs and two triples. On the season he's hitting .316/.407/.468 with 12 walks and a very-reasonable 17 strikeouts in 21 games. I have to say, this guy is my surprise of the season so far. I liked him an his tools, but being a two-way prep guy who had looked pretty lost at times the last two years, I figured he was still a long, long way off, if not a T.J. Steele-esque AA washout in the future. And, I mean, who knows, he may still be. But he's doing everything right so far. What a nice boost to the system he could be.

Tomorrow's Scheduled Starters

AAA: Rudy Owens vs. Scott Richmond
AA: Ruben Alaniz vs. Alec Asher
A+: Vincent Velasquez vs. TBD
A-: Andrew Thurman vs. Eddie Campbell