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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wright makes Second Start

Wesley Wright made his second start of the winter Wednesday. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, two earned runs, walking three and striking out seven.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Abad, like Wright, moving to Starter

Fernando Abad, LHP, who made three starts at Corpus Christi at the end of the 2009 season after spending the remainder of the season in the Lancaster bullpen, appears to be transitioning to a starting role this off-season. He has already made two starts in the Dominican Winter League.

A switch by Abad could leave the 2010 Corpus Christi starting rotation looking like this:

Jordan Lyles, RHP
Ross Seaton, RHP
Robert Bono, RHP
Leandro Cespedes, RHP
Fernando Abad, LHP
Doug Arguello, LHP (Arguello was in AA last year, but spent a good portion of the season injured, so may not move up to start the year.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Locke Shows up in Venezuela

Drew Locke appeared for the first time this off-season over the weekend. The outfielder is playing for Aguilas de Zulia in Venezuela.

Mills to manage the Astros

If Tommy Manzella, Chris Johnson, Polin Trinidad, Chia-jen Lo or any other Farmstros make it to Minute Maid Park during the 2010 season, they will be playing for Brad Mills.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chia-jen Lo Arizona Player of the Week

Chia-jen Lo had three scoreless outings each covering two innings to earn player of the week honors in week two of the Arizona Fall League.

Farmstros Playing in the Winter

MLB.com has a listing of the stats. of all the Astros affiliated players playing this winter.

Farmstros has a listing of all these players with links to their player page at MiLB.com. Some players listed here have not played this winter, but are included on winter league rosters.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Wright Starts in Dominican Republic

Wesley Wright made his first start of the winter Thursday in the Dominican Republic. Wright is spending the off-season transitioning to a starting role, and he pitched five scoreless innings in his debut for Toros del Este. The lefty gave up two hits and four walks while striking out six.
Thanks to Oregon Stros Fan at Spikes 'n Stars posted this information.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Acta Gets the Farmstros Endorsement

Looking at the four reported finalist for the Astros managerial job, it seems Manny Acta deserves the Farmstros endorsement. Acta was signed by the Astros and spent several years in their minor league system. Add on to that, seven years as a minor league manager for Houston and he IS Farmstros. Granted, he has two years experience as a big league manager, but that was with Washington, so it doesn't detract too much from his Farmstros resume.

Friday, October 16, 2009

More on Winter League Participants

Zach Levine of the Houston Chronicle has a post on his blog with a preliminary list of Astros and Farmstros playing winter ball. Also with the start of the Dominican League Tuesday those rosters are starting to fill in with players. I'll continue to keep the Houston winter league roster updated.

Domincan League Opens Friday

With the Domincan Winter League opening Friday, winter baseball is in full swing. (Puerto Rico's league starts on November 12) Any Farmstros I find on Winter rosters will be posted here. I have heard rumors that Drew Locke and Wesley Wright will show up somewhere in the Dominican. Wright is supposedly beginning a transition from bullpen to starter.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Two Coaches get Demoted

As a result of the recent shakeup of coaches at Minute Maid Park, two Astros coaches will be in the minors for the 2010 season.

Bench Coach Ed Romero will be managing rookie ball in Greeneville, Tennessee.

Bullpen Coach Mark Bailey will be at Whataburger Field, where he will serve as Corpus Christi's Batting Coach

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Farmstros Playing in the Winter

With the post-season in full swing, the season of winter league baseball is ramping up as well. The following members of the Astros organization are listed on winter league rosters (@MiLB.com), or else information from the Astros (mainly via Zach Levine's blog) has indicated that they may be playing during the winter. For the sake of complete coverage, I have included members of the big league club in this list as well.

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
Jason Castro, C
Evan Englebrook, RHP
Jonathan Gaston, OF
Chia-jen Lo, RHP
Wilton Lopez, RHP
Daniel Meszaros, RHP
Jose Vallejo, IF

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Fernando Abad, LHP
Erick Abreu, RHP
Alberto Arias, RHP
Marcos Cabral, IF
Jose Capellan, LHP
Jhon Florentino, IF
Sammy Gervacio, RHP
Yordany Ramirez, OF
Polin Trinidad, LHP
Jose Valdez, RHP
Wesley Wright, LHP

PUERTO RICO
Brian Bogusevic, OF
Luis Cruz, LHP
Chris Johnson, 3B
Edwin Maysonet, IF

VENEZUELA
Yorman Bazardo, RHP
Gustavo Chacin, LHP
Gabriel Garcia, LHP
Drew Locke, OF
Oswaldo Navarro, IF
Freddy Parejo, OF
Carlos Quevedo, RHP
Alex Romero, IF
Wladimir Sutil, IF

Venezuelan Minor League (Link to statistics)
Jose Altuve, IF (Zulia or Magallanes)
Oscar Figueroa, IF (Leones)
Jose Lopez, OF (Caracas-two Jose Lopezes are on this team)
Jhonny Medrano, IF (Aragua)
Nestor Santana, OF (Caribes)
Renzo Tello, OF (Leones)

Arizona Fall League starts Tuesday

Prospects from all 30 teams start playing Tuesday in the Arizona Fall League. The Astros have eight players involved in this league which lasts about six weeks.

Jason Castro, C
Evan Englebrook, RHP
Jonathan Gaston, OF
Chia-jen Lo, RHP
Wilton Lopez, RHP
Dainel Meszaros, RHP

Three Farmstros Granted Free Agency

The period for minor leaguers eligible for free agency to file is generally the same as its major league counterpart. However, teams often release a few players early. The Astros granted free agency to Geoff Geary, Jason Smith, and Matt Kata.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Three off of 40-man roster

The Astros removed three players from their 40-man roster Friday. Infielder German Duran who is getting ready to play in the Arizona Fall League was assigned to Round Rock. RHPs Chad Paronto and Billy Sadler become minor league free agents.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What will we do without Mark Saccomanno?

I have put together a list of the Farmstros who are eligible for Minor League Free Agency this off-season. This list was accurately described on another fansite as "A veritable who's who of won't get picked and replaceable players." Thank you Jacksonian at Spikes n Stars.

Despite its relative irrelevance, I do wonder when I look at this list, "What we will do without Mark Saccomanno?"

It was a great story when Saccomanno was promoted in 2008 and homered in his first big league at bat. He has been one of Round Rock's top performers for three seasons. However, he is not going to push Lance Berkman out of first base at Minute Maid Park. Further, Mark Ori and Jimmy Van Ostrand seem to be on their way to Dell Diamond in 2010, meaning Saccomanno's days there are numbered.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Farmstros 13 for '12

With the close of the 2009 season, here's a look at 13 Farmstros making their way to MMP in the early double digit years:

Farmstros 13 for '12

Sunday, October 4, 2009

With the #8 Pick in the 2010 Draft the Astros select...

The Astros conclude the 2009 regular season with a 74-88 record. This record means the Astros will select eighth in next June's draft.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

'09 in Review Part 9- What I Like about Farmstros

It is enjoyable to have this forum to follow the Astros of the Future and invite others to do so with me. Personally, my two favorite events of the 2009 season were:

1) Having Wilton Lopez on my radar long before anyone. I noticed Wilton Lopez (on the 40-man roster) was having a very good August in Corpus Christi, which caused me to wonder on this blog if he may be another September call-up. Within a week or two of my wondering, Lopez was called up to replace an injured pitcher. Much of my Farmstros information is gathered from other sources and passed on to you as quickly as possible, so it was exciting to be the one with this scoop.

2) The 57-day Twitter Ku streak. I love writing poetry of all forms so the challenge of writing a haiku about the Farmstros every day for almost two months was fun. So much fun that I am planning to take it even further in 2010. Plans are under way for THE QUEST FOR 3000 SYLLABLES during which I will tweet 177 haiku over the course of a 22-week season. The first Twitter Ku is scheduled for Opening Day (April 8).

Friday, October 2, 2009

'09 in Review Part 8- All Called Up with no place to Go

In retrospect, I should have told Ed Wade thanks but no thanks.

Back in late-August, Farmstros received an invite from Mr. Wade for a September call-up. Apparently, there was going to be room on the big league blogging roster. One of the reserve bloggers had severe carpal tunnel syndrome and was being put on the 60-day disabled list. According to Wade, this move was going to open up a spot on the big league roster. Wade told me that his philosophy about September call-ups is to only promote bloggers who are going to have a role on the team during the final month of the season. I wouldn't be just sitting on the bench, he assured me.

This was needless to say a very tempting offer. A pay increase. Traveling with the big league club. Given the upside, I was more than willing to walk around in Spandex as part of the annual rookie hazing. After taking a few minutes to discuss it with my family and taking care of some child care issues, I called Mr. Wade back and asked him to save a computer for me.

Now, three weeks later, my September call-up is almost over. Unfortunately, contrary to what I had been told, my time with the Astros HAS consisted of "just sitting on the bench".

Apparently, Brian McTaggart is a warrior and Alyson Footer has some personal Twitter-related goals that she is working on, which means that there has not been space for a Farmstros contribution anywhere in the mix. It has been interesting and educational to watch those two veterans go about their jobs everyday, but it has been a bit frustrating to not be able to give management and the fans any idea of what I can contribute on the big league level in 2010 and beyond.

Fortunately, I have gotten to spend quite a bit of time with Tommy Manzella and Chris Johnson who are in the same situation as myself.

'09 in Review Part 7- Bobby Heck's Second Draft


The Astros signed 25 of their top 26 draft picks in the June draft. In total, 36 of the 51 draft picks signed. There weren't as many early picks for Houston as they had in the 2008 draft; however, several players impressed in their first professional experience.

Jiovanni Mier, SS, Greeneville (1st Round). Mier was ranked by Baseball America as the #2 prospect in the Appalacian League. He batted .276 with seven home runs, 32 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 51 games.

Tanner Bushue, RHP, GCL Astros (2nd Round). Bushue was impressive in five pro starts (2.42 ERA) before being shelved with some back issues.

Dallas Keuchel, LHP, Tri-City (7th Round). Keuchel's arrival at Tri-City was delayed by a strong College World Series appearance (with Arkanasas). Once Keuchel made it to the Valley Cats, he made 10 starts and posted a 2.70 ERA with nine walks and 44 strikeouts in 56 2/3 IP.


J.D. Martinez, OF/1B, Greeneville/Tri-City (20th Round). Martinez was equally effective with Greeneville and Tri-City. His totals for the summer were .348 with 24 doubles, 12 home runs and 56 RBI in 72 games. He was in Tri-City long enough to win the New York-Penn League batting title.

Spencer Hylander, LHP, GCL Astros (50th Round). Hylander was the last player the Astros picked in the draft. He posted a 3.23 ERA in 39 innings. He struck out 26 while walking only nine.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

'09 in Review Part 6- Round Rock's All-Star Starters


The first two pitchers for the Pacific Coast League in the 2009 All-Star Game represented the Round Rock Express. Bud Norris made the start and was relieved by Yorman Bazardo. Norris and Bazardo starting every fifth day was one of few highlights in Round Rock, where the Express struggled to one of the worst records in AAA.

Before being called up in July, Norris had the best ERA in the PCL. In 19 starts, he pitched 120 innings and struck out 112 while posting a 2.63 ERA. Prior to his August promotion, Bazardo pitched 135 innings and had a 3.20 ERA.

'09 in Review Part 5- Clemens a Big Stick with no Position


Koby Clemens struggled to find a position on the field for Lancaster in 2009. However, he knew exactly where he was supposed to be when he was in the batter's box.

In his second season of High A ball, it appears that Clemens' catching days are numbered. He switched to catcher from third base at the beginning of the 2008 season. Yet, Clemens extremely hot bat have the Astros trying to find a place for him.

After a slow start in April, Clemens batted over .300 in May, June, July and August. He finished the California League schedule with a .345 average, 45 doubles, six triples, 22 home runs and 121 RBI. He had another two RBI during a brief stint in Corpus Christi, giving him a minor league leading 123.

Clemens played catcher, OF, DH, and I think a few games at third base for the JetHawks in 2009. In a recent online chat, Ed Wade indicated that there has been discussion of putting him at first base in the future. To add to the intrigue, Clemens is eligible for the Rule 5 draft this December meaning the Astros also need to decide if they think he needs to be protected on the 40-man roster.