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Houston Astros News
Joe Espada 2nd LATINO In Houston Astros History (Nation World News)
Houston Astros: Outfield prospect Kenedy Corona added to 40-man roster (Houston Chronicle)
Astros Offseason: The manager move is made (Chipalatta)
AL West News
Houston Astros Birthdays
C Collin Price (24)
LHP Pedro Borbón (56)
LHP Randy Niemann (68)
In today’s story, we’re checking out the best of the players who were between 21 and 100 BF/PA and the worst players in the 101 through 500 BF/PA bracket.
Lombardozzi reached the majors with the Twins in 1985, and appeared in 423 games for them over four seasons, including three as their starter at second base. He hit .233/.307/.345, with 19 home runs and 104 RBI. Near the end of Spring Training in 1989, the Twins traded him to the Astros for PTBNLs Ramon Cedeno and Gordon Farmer, neither of whom ever got to the show.
Lombardozzi appeared in Houston’s Opening Day roster, scoring a run on an error in a pinch-hitting appearance in a 10-3 win against the Atlanta Braves. He then was shuttled back to the minors, and didn’t get back to Houston until September.
Lombardozzi played in 20 of Houston’s final 28 games that season. On September 30, he hit an RBI-triple to drive in a go-ahead run in the fifth inning, coming across to score later in the inning in an eventual 9-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. The next day, in the season finale, he had his first two-hit game of the year in a 2-0 victory over the Reds. The following season, he appeared in two of Houston’s first three games, drawing a walk and striking out in two plate appearances. It was his final time in the majors.
675. Bobby Shantz is a five-foot-six left-handed pitcher from Pottstown, PA. Born on September 26, 1925, Shantz played his first major league game in 1949 with the Philadelphia Athletics. He remained with the A’s through their move to Kansas City into 1956 (69-65, 3.80, 1166 2⁄3 IP, two All-Star appearances, 1952 AL MVP), later playing with the New York Yankees (30-18, 2.73, 461 1⁄3 IP, four Gold Gloves) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (6-3, 3.32, 89 1⁄3 IP, Gold Glove). After the 1961 season was over, the Colt .45s chose him in the expansion draft.
Shantz was Houston’s first-ever Opening Day starter, and on April 10 against the Chicago Cubs, he pitched a complete game victory, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, striking out four in an 11-2 victory. Shantz started three games for the Astros, going 1-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 20 2⁄3 innings. On May 7, Houston traded Shantz to the St. Louis Cardinals for John Anderson and Carl Warwick.
Shantz pitched three seasons for the Cardinals (12-10, 2.51, 154 1⁄3 IP, three Gold Gloves), later playing for the Chicago Cubs (0-1, 5.56, 11 1⁄3 IP) and the Philadelphia Phillies (1-1, 2.25, 32 IP). I’ve been doing these daily birthdays for a year now, and I’m reasonably sure that Shantz is the oldest living Houston player, at 98-years-of-age.
674. Stan Javier is a six-foot switch-hitting outfielder from San Francisco de Macoris, DR. Born on January 9, 1964, Javier reached the majors for the first time at the age of 20 with the New York Yankees (seven games, .143/.143/.143). He later played for the Oakland Athletics (635 games, .255/.328/.346, 23 homers, 183 RBI), the Los Angeles Dodgers (281 games, .257/.333/.347, five homers, 40 RBI), Philadelphia Phillies (74 games, .261/.338/.319, 24 RBI), the California Angels (92 games, .291/.362/ .405, three homers, 28 RBI) and the San Francisco Giants (460 games, .282/.360/.378, 17 home runs, 151 RBI),
Javier became a member of the Astros at the 1999 trade deadline, when the GIants traded him for minor leaguer Joe Messman. On September 3, he collected three singles and drew a walk, scoring twice in an 8-1 win over the Montreal Expos. In 20 games, he went 21-for-64 with four doubles and a triple, with four RBI and three stolen bases in four attempts. He drew nine walks and struck out eight times. In the postseason, he went three-for-11 with one run in four games against the Atlanta Braves.
Javier left the Astros for free agency after the season. He then played two seasons with the Seattle Mariners (194 games, .282/.362/.396, nine home runs, 73 RBI).
673. Gregorio Petit is a five-foot-10 right-handed infielder from Ocumare del Tuy, VZ. Born on December 10, 1984, Petit reached the majors for the first time with the Oakland Athletics in 2008 (25 games, .278/.304/.333, one RBI). After appearing in 11 games in 2009 for the A’s, Petit bounced around the minors for a number of years in the systems for the Texas Rangers, the San Diego Padres, and the Cleveland Indians. Petit signed with the Astros preceding 2014 Spring Training.
On September 14, Petit hit a double and a home run with three RBI in a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels, one of five multi-hit games he had for the Astros that season. Petit was 27-for-97 with eight doubles, two home runs and nine RBI, drawing one walk and striking out 25 times. The Astros traded Petit going into the 2015 regular season to the New York Yankees.
Petit played for the Yankees in 2015 (20 games, .167/.217/.238, five RBI), the Los Angeles Angels in 2016 (89 games, .245/.299/.348, two home runs, 17 RBI), and the Minnesota Twins in 2018 (26 games, .246/.313/.279, three RBI).
672. Kiké Hernández is a five-foot-11 right-handed pitcher from San Juan, PR. Born on August 24, 1991, Hernández was drafted by the Astros in the sixth round of the 2009 draft out of the American Military Academy in Toa Baja, PR. Five years later, he reached the majors for Houston.
Hernández appeared in 24 games for Houston between his debut on July 1 through June 30, collecting multiple hits eight times. On July 9, he hit a triple with a walk and an RBI in an 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers. On July 29, he hit a double and a triple with two RBI and a run scored in a 7-4 loss to the Oakland Athletics. Overall, he was 23-for-81 with four doubles, two triples, a homer, eight RBI, and 10 runs scored. He drew eight walks and struck out 11 times.
At the trade deadline, the Astros traded Hernández with minor leaguer Austin Wates and Jarred Cosart to the Marlins for Jake Marisnick, Francis Martes, Colin Moran, and a competitive balance pick. After finishing the season with the Marlins (18 games, .175/.267/.425, two home runs, six RBI), he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (648 games, .240/.312/.425, 68 home runs, 213 RBI) and the Boston Red Sox (313 games, .234/.308/.382, 32 home runs, 136 RBI). In 2023, he returned to the Dodgers for the second half of the season (54 games, .262/.308/.423, five home runs, 30 RBI).
671. Dan Driessen is a five-foot-11 lefty-batting, righty-throwing corner infielder from Hilton Head Island, SC. Born on July 29, 1951, Driessen reached the majors for the first time in 1973 with the Cincinnati Reds (1480 games, .271/.361/.416, 133 home runs, 670 RBI, 152 SB). He later played with the Montreal Expos (142 games, .252/.323/.405, 15 home runs, 57 RBI) and the San Francisco Giants (69 games, .228/.302/.325, three home runs, 22 RBI).
On June 2, 1986, Driessen signed with the Astros through free agency. He made his debut for them on September 1 when the rosters expanded, and collected two singles in each of his first two games, followed by one hit in each of his next three games. Unfortunately, he followed that with an 0-for-10 slump to end the season, although he did walk five times during that slump. In 17 games for Houston overall, he was seven-for-24 with a double, a homer, and three RBI, with five walks, five runs scored, and only two strikeouts.
Driessen was released by Houston following the season, and returned to the majors in 1987 with the St. Louis Cardinals (24 games, .233/.309/.317, one home run, 11 RBI.
670. Joe Inglett is a five-foot-nine left-handed batting righty-hitting infielder from Sacramento, CA. Born on June 29, 1978, Inglett was an eighth-round choice of the Cleveland Indians in 2000 out of the University of Nevada.
Inglett made his big league debut with the Tribe in 2006 (64 games, .284/.332/.383, two home runs, 21 RBI), later also playing for the Toronto Blue Jays (147 games, .297/.356/.402, three homers, 47 RBI) and the Milwaukee Brewers (102 games, .254/.331/.401, one home run, eight RBI).
Author’s note: It’s only now that I realize that Inglett had -0.3 bWAR with the team, but I had him calculated at +0.3 bWAR. Well, mistakes will happen, and he is one of the 975 players to appear on-field for the boys, you’re just hearing about him about a week later than you should have.
Inglett appeared in 20 games for Houston in April and May, 2011, going six-for-27 with a double an RBI, and three runs scored. He drew zero walks and struck out seven times. That was his last time in the majors.
669. Rodrigo Rosario is a six-foot-two right-handed pitcher from La Romana, DR. Born on December 14, 1977, he joined Houston’s system in 1998 at their rookie level, and progressed at a normal pace through their minor league system. By 2003, Rosario had pitched in 114 games in the minor leagues, going 41-30 with a 3.37 ERA and 513 K’s in 588 1⁄3 innings.
On June 21, 2003, Rosario was called on to start a game for the Astros against the visiting Texas Rangers. He struck out four and allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings on four hits and two walks. Six days later, he made his second major league start, on the road against those same Rangers. He pitched two scoreless innings, striking out a pair and giving up one walk and one hit. After two innings, he had to leave the game due to shoulder tightness, and eventually received surgery to repair partial tears in his arm. It was the final time he played major league baseball.
668. Dennis Sarfate is a six-foot-four right-handed pitcher from Queens, NY. Born on April 9, 1981, he was a 15th-round choice of the Texas Rangers in 1999 out of high school, then a ninth-round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers in round nine in 2001 out of Chandler-Gilbert Community College. He made his debut with the Crew five years later, striking out 11 in 8 1⁄3 IP over eight games in relief.
On September 11, 2007, the Astros purchased Sarfate’s contract, and put him directly to work. It was a glorious stretch for Sarfate. On September 18, he struck out five over two perfect innings in a 9-1 loss to the Brewers. On September 26, he struck out three in two scoreless innings, earning a win by allowing only a hit in a 7-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Sarfate pitched 8 1⁄3 innings for the Astros over seven appearances between September 13 and September 29, striking out 14 and allowing one run on five hits and one walk. That’s a pretty darn good line, but Houston didn’t retain Sarfate, instead flipping him to the Baltimore Orioles with Matt Albers, Mike Costanzo, Troy Patton and Luke Scott for Miguel Tejada.
Sarfate enjoyed the bulk of his major league service time with the Orioles in 2008, pitching 79 2⁄3 innings in 57 appearances, including four starts. He struck out 86 and posted a 4.74 ERA, going 4-3 with a 1.556 WHIP. In 2009, he played another 23 innings in 20 games for the O’s, striking out another 20 batters.
667. Randy Hennis is a six-foot-six right-handed pitcher from Clearlake, CA. Born on December 16, 1965, he was a fourth-round pick of the New York Yankees in 1984 out of high school. Three drafts later, Hennis went to the Astros in the second round out of UCLA.
Hennis reached the majors with the Astros in 1990, coming into a game in relief on September 17. He struck out two over 1 2⁄3 perfect innings in a 5-0 loss to the San Diego Padres. Six days later, he entered another game in relief, pitching two innings, striking out two, and allowing two walks and zero hits. On October 3, he started the final game of the campaign against the Cincinnati Reds. Through five innings, Hennis hit a batter and walked one, allowing zero runs on zero hits. In the sixth inning, he gave up a double, the first hit he allowed in his career to that point. It also turned out to be the last.
Hennis never appeared in major league baseball again, leaving a remarkable statline of 9 2⁄3 IP, zero runs, three walks, one hit, and four strikeouts, with an opposing slashline of .033/.147/.067. Digging around the interwebs, I found nothing explaining why he didn’t play afterward. Does anyone here at TCB know what happened to this guy? I only know that he later joined the Florida Marlins as a minor league coach.
666. Mike Fischlin is a six-foot-one infielder from Sacramento, CA. Born on September 13, 1955, he was a seventh-round selection of the New York Yankees in 1975 out of Cosumnes River College. Two years later, the Bombers traded Fischlin with Randy Niemann and PTBNL Dave Bergman to Houston for Cliff Johnson. In September, 1977, he made his Astros debut.
Fischlin appeared in 13 games for the Astros to close out the 1977 season, with a single on September 23 and two singles on September 30, going three-for-15 and striking out twice. In 1978, Fischlin played in 44 games for Houston, and somehow collected zero multi-hit games and a positive WPA on four occasions. Overall, he finished 10-for-86 with three runs, one double, four walks, nine strikeouts, and zero RBI.
Near the start of the 1981 season, the Astros traded Fischlin to the Cleveland Indians for cash and PTBNL Jim Lentine. Fischlin played five seasons for the Tribe (387 games, .235/.312/.299, three home runs, 65 RBI), later also playing for the Yankees (71 games, .206/.261/.225, three RBI) and the Atlanta Braves (one game, zero PA).
665. Iván Murrell was a six-foot-two right-handed outfielder from Almirante, Panama. Born on April 24, 1943, Murrell got to the big leagues with the Colt .45s in 1963, going one-for-five with a run scored and two strikeout in two games. In 1964, he appeared in 10 contests for them, going two-for-14 with a double, a run, and an RBI.
After missing the 1965 minor league season, Murrell spent 1966 with the Durham Bulls at Single-A for Houston, where he slashed .253/.308/.388 in 120 games. In 1967, he played 124 games with the Triple-A Oklahoma City 89ers, slashing .289/.325/.460. He clubbed 26 home runs through the two seasons, perhaps prompting the newly renamed Astros to give him another try.
In September 1967, Murrell played in another 10 games for the Astros. On September 9, he went three-for-four in a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. From September 10 through September 17, he had a five-game hitting streak, going six-for-21 with an RBI.
In 1968, Murrell appeared in 32 games for the Astros through the first half of the season, going six-for-59 with a double, a triple, three runs scored, and three RBI. He drew one walk and struck out 17 times. After the season, the San Diego Padres drafted Murrell in the expansion draft.
Murrell played 437 games over five seasons with the Friars, hitting .241/.272/.388 with 31 home runs and 106 RBI. He finished up in 1974 with the Atlanta Braves (73 games, .248/.273/.316).
664. Ronn Reynolds is a six-foot right-handed catcher from Wichita, KS. Born on September 28, 1958, he was a fifth-round choice in 1979 for the Oakland Athletics, then again went in the fifth round to the New York Mets in 1980 out of the University of Arkansas.
Reynolds got to the majors with the Mets in 1982, and eventually played in parts of three seasons with them (54 games, .195/.258/.221). He played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1986 (43 games, .214/.242/.317). On April 2, 1987, the Phils traded Reynolds to the Astros for Jeff Calhoun.
Reynolds played in 38 games for Houston through the 1987 season, picking up multiple hits four times. On September 13, he hit his only home run of the season, a solo shot in a 10-2 loss to the San Diego Padres. On September 18, he hit two doubles in a 2-1 loss to the Padres.
Reynolds hit 17-for-102 with Houston, with four doubles, a homer, five runs, seven RBI, and three walks versus 29 strikeouts. In 262 innings behind the plate, he made six errors for a .975 fielding percentage, throwing out 25 percent of basestealers.
Released following the season, Reynolds eventually made it back to the majors with the Padres in 1990, going one-for-15 in eight games.