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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Farmstros May 2009 Win-a-Thon

Farmstros supports the Houston Food Bank.

Please join the Farmstros win-a-thon. Join us in giving a penny, a nickel, a dollar to this fine organization, for every win that the Astros minor league teams record during the month of May. If you are inclined to donate, please make the donation directly to the Houston Food Bank.

For your information, Round Rock, Corpus Christi, Lancaster, and Lexington are scheduled to play a total of 116 games in May. In April the four teams won 37 out of 83 contests.

Dydalewicz Disabled

I don't know what the injury is, but Brad Dydalewicz is on the Disabled List for Lexington. Ashton Mowdy has been called up from Extended Spring Training to take his place.

Five Cast-offs add strength to System

One man's trash is another man's Wesley Wright?

One source the Astros have been relying on to rebuild their farm system is other teams' farm systems. Numerous players cut or left unprotected by other teams have been snatched up and plugged into the Houston organization. Here are five players who have taken a shine to being in a Houston-affiliated uniform:

Wesley Wright, LHP(Houston), 24. Wright was picked up in the 2007 Rule 5 draft from the Dodgers for $50,000. Although, he has struggled in 2009 after a steady rookie year, for a left-handed arm, he is a bargain.

Yordany Ramirez, OF(Round Rock), 24. Ramirez was signed after the 2007 season. He fills highlight reels with his defense. He is batting .339 with five doubles for the Express, so maybe his bat is coming around.

Drew Locke, OF(Corpus Christi), 26. Thank the Dodgers again for leaving Locke unprotected in the 2008 Rule 5 draft(minor league phase). He cost the Astros $12,000. He is batting over .400 with 23 RBI and four RBI. He may be a bit old to be a prospect, but for $12,000 he is a good addition in the rebuilding process.

Chirs Minaker, IF(Lancaster), 25. Minaker was released late in Spring Training 2009 and picked up by the Astros. He is hitting .387 with nine RBI for the JetHawks.

Jack Tilghman, RHP(Lexington), 21. Tilghman was drafted and released by the Phillies before the Astros found him pitching for Texarkana in 2008. So far this season, he has a 2.89 ERA with six Ks in 9 1/3 innings.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Farmstros Five 2009- Week Three

Two of the Astros' affiliates won more than they lost this week. Lexington stayed above .500 for the whole season at 11-8 with a 4-2 week. Lancaster went 4 and 3(7-13 for the season). Round Rock was 3-4(7-13). Corpus Christi was 2-4(8-10).

The Farmstros Five for the week of April 22-28, 2009:

Farmstros Performer of the Week

Ross Seaton, Pitcher, Lexington. Seaton made two solid starts for the Legends picking up two victories. He pitched 12 2/3 innings, striking out nine, while allowing eight hits and only one earned run.

Chia-jen Lo, Pitcher, Lancaster. Lo continued his stellar bullpen work with three scoreless appearances for the JetHawks. He struck out 11 and allowed only two hits in 6 2/3 IP.

Brad Dydalewicz, Pitcher, Lexington. Dydalewicz has not allowed a run in three starts this season. This week he pitched seven scoreless, allowing three hits.

Drew Locke, OF, Corpus Christi. Locke is a Farmstros Five honoree for the second week in a row. For the week, he was 11 for 24 with one double, two home runs and eight RBI.

John Gall, IF, Round Rock. Gall has reached base in all sixteen of the Express' home games this season. For this week, Gall went 11 for 29 with four doubles and eight RBI.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Donnelly signs with Astros

Brendan Donnelly who has appeared in over 300 major league games with the Angels, Red Sox, and Indians has been signed by Houston and assigned to Round Rock. To make room for the 37 year-old right-hander the Astros released Clay Hensley.

Farmstros Audio Triple-header on Wednesday

All you need is the time, inclination, and internet access to listen to all three Astros minor league games Wednesday.

The audio for Lexington, Lancaster, and Corpus Christi will be streamed live at with plenty of time between games to catch all three in their entirety. Video of the Lexington will be available for a fee. Round Rock is idle on Wednesday.

The schedule:
Rome at Lexington(9:05 am, Houston time)... Brad Dydalewicz is scheduled to start for the Legends. EDIT: It turns out Henry Villar got a spot start instead of Dydalewicz.

San Jose at Lancaster(1:00 pm, Houston time)... Shane Wolf gets the start for the JetHawks. (NOTE: I have not been able to listen to Lancaster through FIREFOX, but their announcer assures me that the broadcasts play through INTERNET EXPLORER.

Corpus Christ at Midland(6:30 pm, Houston time)... Brian Moehler makes a rehab start for the Hooks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Moves all up and down the Line

The injury to Humberto Quintero was a domino that led to a slew of moves in the Astros farm system. All the moves are recorded on the transaction page. Most notably, J.R. Towles moved up to Houston, Brian Esposito moved up to Round Rock, and Koby Clemens moved up to Corpus Christi.

In addition Round Rock third baseman Chris Johnson moved off the disabled list and back on in the space of three days over the weekend. He had been disabled when a pitch hit his hand early this season. The first x-rays showed no structural damage; however, a more in-depth examination after he had been activated revealed a micro-fracture of his finger. He is expected to be out between one and two weeks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

New Farm Report Available

This week's Farm Report includes the latest on the Lexington pitching staff and two Farmstros in the top 10 in minor league home runs.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Farmstros Five 2009- Week Two

The Lexington Legends starting rotation continues to be a bright spot in the farm system. In six starts, the starters posted a 2.57 ERA. However, the Legends struggled to a 3 and 4 record(7-6 overall) as a result of struggles at the plate. Elsewhere, Corpus Christi was 3 and 3 for the week(6-6); Round Rock was 2-5(4-9); Lancaster lost their last six games to go 1 and 6(3-10)

The Farmstros Five for the week of April 15-21, 2009

The Farmstros Performer of the Week:

Jack Tilghman, RHP, Lexington. Tilghman did not allow a run in four relief appearances. He picked up one win and struck out six in 7 2/3 innings.

The Other Four:

Kyle Greenwalt, RHP, Lexington. Greenwalt pitched six scoreless innings allowing three hits.

Robert Bono, RHP, Lexington. Bono also pitched six scoreless innings allowing five hits.

Drew Locke, OF, Corpus Christi. Locke, who was picked up in the minor league phase of the 2008 Rule 5 draft, had nine hits in 25 at bats. He hit three doubles and one home run and drove in seven runs.

Mark Ori, 1B, Corpus Christi. Ori went 10 for 25 with two doubles and seven RBI.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

How old is too old to be a Prospect?

This week we witnessed the trade of Drew Sutton, who will soon be 26. Part of the discussion surrounding this trade concerned whether or not Sutton is really a prospect. His "advanced" age was often used as proof that he is not. I did a little research in hopes of adding a little insight to the discussion about when a prospect is too old to be a prospect.

I researched 26 players who were in last year's all-star game. The starting position players, 2 starting pitchers, and two relievers from each league. My criteria for "reaching the major leagues" was having 200 at bats of 50 innings pitched in the major leagues.

Of these 26 players, only three turned more than 26 years old the year they first reached the majors. Two of these three were from Japan, Ichiro Suzuki and Kosuke Fukudome, so they don't really fit the parameters. The third was Brad Lidge who turned 27 the year he reached the big leagues. Lidge had his development slowed by injuries.

Only four all-stars turned 26 in their first year: Josh Hamilton, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera, and Chase Utley.

11 of the remaining 19 were 23 or younger when they made it to the majors for the first time.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Farmstro Makes Interception in Ohio St. Spring Game

Devon Torrence, who has spent the last two summer's as an outfielder for Greeneville, made an interception in the Ohio State Spring football game. Torrence apparently has an inside track on a starting cornerback position as junior this fall. He and Coach Jim Tressel will reportedly be discussing his baseball plans in May.

Paulino to Start at Minute Maid Park

Felipe Paulino will start the Astros game against the Reds today. He will be called up before the game with Alberto Arias being sent back to Round Rock. Paulino, who replaces injured Brian Moehler in the rotation, made has made two solid starts for Round Rock.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Farm Report Available

This Week's Farmstros Farm Report is now available.

Dydalewicz's no-hitter and Lancaster's pair of three home run games are included.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

JetHawks get to 25

Catcher Pedro Gonzalez has been placed on the inactive list in Lancaster. The move brings their roster to the 25 player limit.

Johnson to RR DL, Three Activated

Third Baseman Chris Johnson was placed on the Disabled List after being hit in the hand by a pitch. Additionally, pitchers Chad Paronto and Casey Daigle and outfielder Eli Iorg were activated to the Express roster.

Drew Sutton to Reds

The Astros have sent Drew Sutton to the Reds to complete the Jeff Keppinger deal. Sutton will report to Triple A Louisville. Thanks to KHB who caught this first and posted it.

Who's Still in Florida?

As the season gets rolling, there are still 39 players who ended last season in Greeneville or Tri-City who are not on a roster. My assumption, having not seen them released, is that they are in Extended Spring Training in Kissimmee. In case you are looking for them here they are. If you have more information on this, please feel free to add. (I am including how they were acquired and their 2008 team)

PLEASE NOTE: I am not sure if players from Venezuela and the D.R. spend this time training in their home country or in Florida.


Jarred Holloway(2008 Draft; Tri-City)-Disabled for 2009 Season
Sergio Severino

Jose Lopez(2002, Venezuela; CC/RR)

Jan Baldee(2007, The Netherlands; VSL Astros)

Devon Torrence(2007 Draft; Greeneville)@Ohio St. for football

Pellegrini, Gaston Homer Three times each for JetHawks

It looks like the California League's reputation as a hitters' league is well-founded. Lancaster outfielders Jonathan Gaston and Brian Pellegrini homered three times each in Wednesday night's home game against Inland Empire. The double trifecta was the first ever by two JetHawks teammates in the same game.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Arias up to Houston

Alberto Arias has been called up to Houston to take Brian Moehler's spot on the roster. Moehler is on the Disabled List with a sprained knee.

Farmstros Five 2009- Week One

Lexington had the most impressive start of the Astros four full season affiliates. The Legends won their first four games for the first time in the franchise's nine year history. They ended the week 4 and 1. Corpus Christi broke even at 3 and 3. Round Rock and Lancaster both won Tuesday night to finish the week at 2 and 4. I started featuring a Farmstros Five last season to highlight some of the top performers in the Astros system. My "week" for this feature runs from Wednesday to Tuesday mainly because Wednesday is the most convenient day for me to get on the computer and research the stats and post this information.

Without further ado, the Farmstros Five for the week of April 9-14, 2009

The Top Performer of the week, Brad Dydalewicz, LHP, Lexington. Dydalewicz's first start in full season baseball was memorable. He pitched five hitless innings and picked up one of the Legends' four victories.

The other four:
Sergio Perez, RHP, Corpus Christi. Perez made two solid starts for the Hooks picking up two victories. He pitched 11 innings, giving up one earned run and six hits. He seems to be back from an injury-plagued 2008.

Daniel Meszaros, RHP, Lexington. Meszaros picked up three saves in the opening week. He pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four.

Felipe Paulino, RHP, Round Rock. Paulino came out of the chute with two strong starts for Round Rock. He pitched 12 innings, allowed seven hits and one earned run. He struck out 12, in his comeback from 2008 arm problems.

Mark Saccomanno, 1B, Round Rock. Saccomanno only picked up six hits in 23 at bats, but he made them count. He had one triple, two home runs, and 10 RBI.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Legends Starters: 25 IP, 1.08 ERA

With Kyle Greenwalt's start tonight, the five starters for Lexington(Low A) have all made one start. The five games were highlighted by Brad Dydalewicz, who threw five no-hit innings in his start, however, each pitcher recorded five solid innings.

Jordan Lyles- Five innings, five hits, two earned runs, and three Ks

Ross Seaton- Five innings, three hits, one earned run, and two Ks.

Dydalewicz- Five innings, zero hits, zero runs, one K

Robert Bono- Five innings, five hits, zero runs, three Ks

Kyle Greenwalt- Five innings, four hits, one unearned run, two Ks

What's more, the Legends won the first four games of the season for the first time in the franchise's nine year history.

Daigle to Round Rock

Houston signed right-handed pitcher Casey Daigle and assigned him to Round Rock.

Bazardo Activated

With Jeff Fulchino called up to Houston, Right-hander Yorman Bazardo has been activated to the Round Rock roster. Bazardo was most recently in the Phillies minor league camp this spring. The Astros picked him up when Philadelphia released him.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Farmstros Five Returns Wednesday

The weekly Farmstros Five will make its 2009 debut on Wednesday. This year the Farmstros Five will include the Farmstro of the Week for the top performer of the week in question.

Several Disabled Players

Baseball America had a list of several injured Farmstros that I had not seen mention of before...

Evan Englebrook, P(Corpus in 2008)
Leandro Cespedes, P(Lexington)
Kirkland Rivers, P(Tri-City)
Jose Lopez, C(Corpus)
Reinaldo Pestana, C(Tri-City)
Max Sapp, C(Lexington)

Farmstros Debuts in California

Tonight marks the home opener for Lancaster, the Astros new High A affiliate in the California League. Fans who pick up a program at Clear Channel Field will see an article highlighting Houston's top 10 prospects included within. I am curious to see if anyone finds their way here through that program. If you do, feel free to leave a comment to let us know.

2008 Draft Picks Still in Florida

15 of the 32 players the Astros drafted and signed in last June's draft have started this season in Lexington and Lancaster. Doing a little quick math, 15 draftees are apparently still in Extended Spring Training in Kissimmee preparing for short season or a call-up Lexington in case of an injury. Two draftees Jarred Holloway, LHP(Injured) and Jacob Priday, IF(Restricted List) are unaccounted for in my computation.

The 15 who would appear to be in Florida...
9th Round, Luis Cruz, LHP
12th Round, Jeff Hulett, IF
13th Round, Kyle Godfrey, IF
17th Round, Andrew Simunic, IF
19th Round, Ashton Mowdy, RHP
24th Round, Danny Meier, OF
25th Round, Michael Hacker,LHP
27th Round, Nathaniel Pettus, RHP
28th Round, Zachary Grimmett, RHP
30th Round, Michael Diaz, IF
31st Round, Philip Rummel, RHP
35th Round, Rene Garcia, C
37th Round, Kirkland Rivers, LHP
47th Round, Nathan Metroka, OF
49th Round, Chase Lehr, RHP

Fulchino Up to Astros

Jeff Fulchino is the first player to get called up to Houston in 2009. He will be filling in in the bullpen for Doug Brocail, who is on the diabled list.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Three Day Journey From Worst First

A Three Day Journey from Worst to First(aka Don't get your golf clubs out just yet)

The season’s end was drawing near
The pennant drive was done
With just a few days left the Dukes
Had lost more than they’d won

The minor leaguers were called up
To try out for next year
A last place finish was assured
That fact was very clear.

Yet strange things happen to the Dukes, each season without fail
I’ve heard their coach in ’58 was eaten by a whale.

The Dukes came to the ballpark for their final three game ‘stand
Soon after Sunday’s final out their flights home were all planned.

But during batting practice of the Friday night game one
A word came that the Cougars had declared their season done.

The Cougars were the champions of the eight team baseball league
They clinched a week ago, but now they claimed they had fatigue.
“We find we’re just too tired” said their skipper on that day.
“We cannot carry on for even one more single day”

So just like that the Cougars slept, relinquishing their crown
Which passed on to the Zephyrs, who played games in the next town.

The Dukes thought little of this news. They played their game. They lost.
A few of them were talking of how much their golf clubs cost.

Yet, on the television at 11:43
The news was made official that one more team had to leave.

“The owner of the Zephyrs is to marry in five days.
He wants his team to be there, so the play-offs, they can’t play.”

In light of this, the Zephyrs had to pass the crown along
They couldn’t be the champions and not sing the play-off song.
They sent the title to the third place Powered Up Energy
The bloggers wondered blogging, “Just how long will THEIR reign be?”

It ended up a short one…lasting ‘til the next sunrise
The P.U.E. announced that they were giving up their prize.
“We can’t believe we’re saying this,” The Powered Up’s skipper said
“19 of our players must make sure their pets are fed.
It seems that every pet-sitter is ill or out of town
We must tend to our animals, and sacrifice our crown.”

The news had barely soaked in when the Dukes began game two
They had moved up to fifth place…still they lost 13-2.

The websites and announcers barely had the standings right
When another new announcement was made late Saturday night.

It seems the 4th through 6th place teams the Thunder, Colts, and Caps
Would be unable to pick up the top three’s title scraps.
“We just can’t open up our gates for one more game, you see”
The skipper of the Colts explained, “It’s the economy”.

It was the same for each of them, their coffers had run dry
“We cannot pay for one more game, no matter how we try.”

So Sunday morning came, the Dukes were now in second place
They only trailed the Aces in this upside down turned race.

The Dukes thought little of it, for they trailed the first place team
By seven games so passing them was nothing but a dream.

Yet, after Sunday’s game the Dukes were scratching there’s no doubt
They read on Wikipedia, the Aces had pulled out.

The Aces Field was being razed and for next year, redone.
With Aces playing on the road, construction had begun.

So while the Aces tended to their grass and brand new seats
The Dukes began to celebrate their title, oh so sweet!

The season’s end was drawing near
The pennant drive was through
The Dukes had gone from worst to first
In three games it is true.

Fairchild signs with independent Somerset

Tip Fairchild who was just released by the Astros 10 days ago, signed with Somerset of the indpendent Atlantic League. Link

Astros Claim Lopez off of waivers

The Astros claimed reliever Wilton Lopez off of waviers from San Diego. The 25 year old right hander spent last season at High A, Double A, and Triple A. He has been assigned to Corpus Christi.

Farm Report Available

The newest Farmstros Farm Report is available.

It includes a brief rundown of Thursday's minor league opening games.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

98 for '09

With today's minor league opening day in full swing, the 98 players on the Astros four minor league affiliates have been set(several additional are inactive or disabled). Please reference the convenient roster links in the favorites sections.

A little tidbit from each of the four rosters:

Watch out for the Lexington rotation... With Jordan Lyles, Ross Seaton, Brad Dydalewicz, Kyle Greenwalt, Robert Bono the Legends' starter may shed some light on the future of Astros' pitching.

Fast advancers in Lancaster... Ten members of the JetHawks roster ended last season at Short Season A Tri-City. Jason Castro, David Duncan, and Jack Shuck and seven others skipped a level in their development.

Repeating AA...Mitch Einertson is the only member of last season's Corpus Christi outfield to be back with the Hooks. Einertson is eligible to be a free agent after this season.

Who will lead the catching race...Lou Santangelo has reportedly regained his position ahead of J.R. Towles in the depth chart. It will be interesting to see who gets called up if there is a catching injury at Minute Maid Park.

Fixler to Hooks

Jonathan Fixler was on the Lexington roster to start the season. However, he has been moved to Corpus Christi. Lou Palmisano is on the DL for the Hooks, and I assume Fixler has been promoted to back up Brian Esposito until Palmisano is able to play.

This might be Nothing, but...

The Express were supposed to have their roster announced this morning. Actually, I was asked to wait until noon to post the information that Paulino is starting tonight. Nothing has come out at the team's website yet, concerning an official roster. It makes me wonder if some type of trade, perhaps the completion of the Keppinger deal is holding things up. I did hear Ed Wade mention that the Astros will be giving up a quality prospect for Keppinger. It might be something or maybe the Round Rock internet connection is acting glitchy like mine sometimes does.

Paulino to Start for Round Rock

Felipe Paulino gets the nod to start opening night for Round Rock. The Express takes on Iowa tonight at 7:05 pm at Dell Diamond in Round Rock.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Your Opening Day Starters

The unofficial opening day starters...

AAA Round Rock... TBA Thursday at 12:01 pm
AA Corpus Christi... Sergio Perez(2nd Round, 2006 Draft)
High A Lancaster... Shane Wolf(26th Round, 2008 Draft)
Low A Lexington...Jordan Lyles(2008 Draft)

Rosters Getting near Finality

Tomorrow is opening day in the minors and the rosters are gradually coming into focus. Please check the link in the Farmstros Favorites to see who's playing where. Links are included to the players' pages at

Two pitchers who are surprisingly not showing up on a roster are Leandro Cespedes, who I expected to be at Lancaster and Chris Blazek, who I expected to be at Round Rock(or worst case Corpus Christi).

Santangelo Passes Towles on the Depth Chart

According to Brian McTaggart in the Houston Chronicle, Lou Santangelo has moved back ahead of J.R. Towles in the catching depth chart. Both will start the season in Round Rock.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Barnwell Traded to Pittsburgh

The Astros traded minor league infielder Chris Barnwell to Pittsburgh for a player to be named later.

Another tidbit of information from Brian McTaggart in the Chronicle: Left-hander Jared Holloway had season ending surgery.

Also, the Lexington starting rotation is set to be: Jordan Lyles, Ross Seaton, Brad Dydalewicz, Kyle Greenwalt, and Robert Bono.

JetHawks to host Antelope Valley College

Lancaster is slated to play Antelope Valley College Tuesday at 5 pm(California time) at Clear Channel Field in a final tune up for the 2009 season.

Henson Released

Catcher Julian Henson was released by the Astros according to Baseball America.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Farmstros Report Available

This week's Farm Report has been uploaded

I am having some technical difficulties linking to the archives, but this link will take you to the most recent edition.

Rotation Speculation

In case you are planning a trip to Round Rock or Corpus Christi, a little speculation on the starting rotations for the two clubs...this speculation is aided by the fact that Corpus Christi's roster for Thursday exhibition game has been released.

Felipe Paulino
Bud Norris
Josh Muecke
Jose Capellan

My guess is Tyler Lumsden or Clay Hensley

Sergio Perez
Polin Trinidad
Brad James
Casey Hudspeth
Doug Arguello

Bakers Dozen Plus One Released, One new signee

With opening day just a week away, 14 more players have been released from minor league camp in Kissimmee. Here's the list of players who are moving out to make room for the younger prospects:

Corey Bass, 24, RHP(Drafted in 2004, signed in 2005)
Anthony Bello, 23, LHP(Drafted in 2006)
Eduin Ciriaco, 23, LHP(Signed in 2005 from Dominican)
Jeff Eure, 28, 3B(signed this off-season...snuck past the Farmstros radar)
Cat Everett, 23, SS(Drafted in 2007)
Jimmy Goethals, 26, C(Signed in December 2005)
Billy Hart, 26, OF(Drafted in 2005)
Pascual Juan, 24, LHP(signed this off-season...snuck past the Farmstros radar)
Josh Pressley, 29, 1B(Signed December 2008)
David Qualben, 23, LHP(Drafted in 2006)
Jason Romano, 29, OF(Signed in December 2008)
Ole Sheldon, 26, 1B(Drafted in 2004)
Jason Tyner, 31, OF(Signed this off-season)
Sean Walker, 26, RHP(Drafted in 2005)

In addition to these releases, Houston signed another minor league infielder...

Marcos Cabral is a 25 year old infielder from the Dominican Republic. Cabral started in pro ball in the U.S. in 2003. His highest level has been AAA reached last year in the Toronto system.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hooks Roster for Exhibition with Astros

The Corpus Christi Hooks have announced their roster for their exhibition with the Astros on Thursday night at Whataburger Field.

The 27-man roster includes Felipe Paulino who will start Thursday night. It will be trimmed to 24 by opening day. Although the roster is not final, a few thoughts on what has been announced:

It looks like the rotation will be Sergio Perez, Polin Trinidad, Doug Arguello, Casey Hudspeth, and Brad James as a poster previously reported. Thanks for that.

With Palmisano catching at AA, I assume Santangelo and Towles are headed for Round Rock and Koby Clemens will be in Lancaster.