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Monday, January 31, 2011

Pitcher of the Year Voting Begins February 2

Voting for Farmstros pre-season Pitcher of the Year will begin the morning of Wednesday, February 2. To encourage educated voting, I will post a link on Tuesday to the ten candidates and a summary of their 2010 season accomplishments. Polls will be open through February 8. Voting for the Pre-season player of the year will begin on February 9.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Art Class with Lyles in OKC?

Many thanks to April Sandefer with the Oklahoma University Medical Center. She forwarded me this picture of Jordan Lyles doing some art on his recent visit to OKC, as part of the Astros' caravan. This event took place at the Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases in Children at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Video from Astros Sojourn to Oklahoma

OK Blitz has posted video from the Astros carvan stop in the home of their new AAA affiliate, Oklahoma City. The video appears to be from an event with Red Hawks' season ticket holders on Tuesday night (January 18). It includes interviews with Brad Mills, Bud Norris, and (Red Hawks' opening day starter?) Jordan Lyles.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Minor League Mini-Campers

Here's the 39 players who will be reporting to minor league mini-camp in Kissimmee on February 24: (See all Houston minor league camp dates here)

Ruben Alaniz, 19 (age as of 4/1/2011) (Greeneville in 2010)
Jake Buchanan, 21 (Tri-City)
Tanner Bushue, 19 (Lexington)
Jose Cisnero, 21 (Lexington)
Robert Doran, 22 (Tri-City)
Brad Dydalewicz, 21 (Lexington/Lancaster)
Mike Foltynewicz,19 (Greeneville)
Kyle Greenwalt, 22 (Lancaster)
B.J. Hyatt, 22 (Injured, Greeneville in 2009)
Chia-jen Lo. 24 (Corpus Christi)
Daniel Meszaros, 25 (Corpus Christi/Round Rock)
Juan Minaya, 20 (Lexington)
Matt Nevarez, 24 (Corpus Christi)
Jose Perdomo, 19 (GCL Astros)
Carlos Quevedo, 21 (Tri-City)
Rodney Quintero, 21 (Greeneville)
Yordany Ramirez, 26 (Round Rock as an OF; Lexington as a pitcher)
James Robinson, 23 (Tri-City)
Ross Seaton, 21 (Lancaster)

Alfredo Gonzalez, 18 (Injured, DSL Astros in 2009)
Ben Heath, 22 (Tri-City/Lexington/Corpus Christi)
Roberto Pena, 18 (GCL Astros/Greeneville/Lexington)
Chris Wallace, 22 (Greeneville/Tri-City)

Tyler Burnett, 21 (Tri-City)
Delino DeShields, Jr., 18 (GCL Astros/Greeneville)
Jose Fernandez, 17 (GCL Astros)
Enrique Hernandez, 19 (Tri-City)
Michael Kvasnicka, 22 (Tri-City)
Marcus Nidiffer, 24 (Greeneville/Tri-City)
Jose Vallejo, 24 (GCL Astros/Corpus Christi)
Jonathan Villar, 19 (Lancaster after being acquired in Roy Oswalt trade)

Jay Austin, 20 (Lancaster)
Kellen Kiilsgaard, 22 (Drafted in 2010; injured did not play)
Jose Monzon, 19 (GCL Astros)
Telvin Nash, 20 (Greeneville/Tri-City)
Ariel Ovando, 17 (Signed during 2010; did not play)
Austin Wates, 22 (GCL Astros/Tri-City)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

10 ? with Folty recently posted this interview with 2010 Draft pick Mike Foltynewicz.

Lyles visits Oklahoma City

Thanks to Appy Astros who tweeted this article. Part of the Astros Caravan was in Oklahoma City this week. As part of the caravan, Jordan Lyles got a chance to check out Bricktown Ballpark, where he will likely be pitching for part of the 2011 season.

Minor League Camp Dates

Five weeks from today, some of the Astros minor league players will be reporting to Osceola County Stadium for mini-camp. Here's the entire reporting schedule for the minor league system:

February 24- Report for mini-camp
February 25- First workout

March 3- Pitchers and Catchers report
March 4- First workout

March 8- Position players report
March 9- First workout

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

McTaggart Talks to Clemens

Brian McTaggart posted this article after interviewing Koby Clemens, who is preparing to be at big league camp next month.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Follow the Players on Twitter

This is a work in progress, but my plan by Spring Training is to have a comprehensive list of all the Astros minor leaguers who are on Twitter. Here is a link to what I have so far.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Altuve Visits Appy Astros

Astros second base prospect Jose Altuve was kind enough to do an interview with the folks over at Appy Astros.

Spring Training Transactions

Mike Affronti, SS released

Doug Arguello, LHP reassigned to minor league camp

Brian Bogusevic, OF optioned to the minors

Robinson Cancel, C signed to minor league contract; reassinged to major league camp

David Carpenter, RHP optioned to minors

Cesar Carrillo, RHP optioned to minors; Removed from 40-man roster, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Oklahoma City

Gustavo Chacin, LHP reassigned to minor league camp

Koby Clemens, 1B reassigned to minor league camp

Carlos Corporan, C reassigned to minor league camp

Lee Cruz, OF released

Jorge DeLeon, RHP optioned to minors

Ryan Ditthardt, 1B released

Brian Dopirak, 1B reassigned to minor league camp

Sergio Escalona, LHP optioned to minors

Brian Esposito, C reassigned to minor league camp

Casey Fien, RHP reassigned to minor league camp

Oscar Figueroa, SS released

Rene Garcia, C reassigned to minor league camp

Jon Gaston, OF reassigned to minor league camp

Sammy Gervacio, RHP reassigned to minor league camp

Kyle Godfrey, RHP released

Anderson Hernandez, IF reassigned to minor league camp

Ryan Humphrey, OF released

Joe Inglett, IF/OF acquired from Tampa Bay for player to be named later or cash considerations; contract purchased and added to 40-man roster

Kody Kirkland, 3B released

Arcenio Leon, RHP optioned to minors

Drew Locke, OF reassigned to minor league camp

Chris Lovett, IF released

Andrea Lucati, RHP retired

Jordan Lyles, RHP reassigned to minor league camp

Tommy Manzella, SS optioned to the minors; recalled to major league camp; optioned to Oklahoma City

J.D. Martinez, OF reassigned to minor league camp

Jiovanni Mier, SS reassigned to minor league camp

Ozzie Navarro, IF reassigned to minor league camp

Marcus Nidiffer, 1B/C released

Fernando Nieve, signed to a minor league contract

Jimmy Paredes, SS optioned to minors

Lance Pendleton, RHP returned to New York Yankees (RULE 5 draft transaction)

Fernando Rodriguez, Jr., RHP reassigned to minor league camp

Ryan Rowland-Smith, LHP designated for re-assignment

J.B. Shuck, OF reassigned to minor league camp

T.J. Steele, OF reassigned to minor league camp

Brenden Stines, RHP released

Renzo Tello, OF released

Jose Carlos Thompson, IF reassigned to minor league camp

Patrick Urckfitz, LHP reassigned to minor league camp

Jose Valdez, RHP reassigned to minor league camp

Henry Villar, RHP optioned to Oklahoma City

Brian Wabick, RHP released

Edwin Walker, LHP released

Jared Wells, RHP released

Ross Wolf, RHP reassigned to minor league camp

Wesley Wright, LHP optioned to the minors

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How about Pat Urckfitz?!

It was safe to assume that Jordan Lyles, J.D. Martinez, and J.B. Shuck would be in big league camp next month. Jio Mier? well, his contract says he has to be there. But what about Pat Urckfitz? In the 2008 draft, after he helped lead Monroe Community College to 3rd Place in the JUCO World Series, Urckfitz wasn't even drafted. Yet, here he it is three years later and the 22-year left-hander will in be Kissimmee, Florida starting February 16 along with Brett Myers, Jordan Lyles and Wandy Rodriguez. Given the status of the left-handed portion of the Astros bullpen, who knows what can happen then? Urckfitz, signed as an undrafted free agent in June 2008, spent most of 2010 with Lancaster. He did make one start for Corpus Christi at the end of the season.

Thanks to google, I found an article about Urckfitz in the Brighton-Pittsford Post. Urckfitz is from Penfield, New York.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nine to Join Lyles

The Astros made it official today that Jordan Lyles will be joining the big league pitchers and catchers when they report to spring training on February 16. Nine other prospects will join Lyles in big league camp, bringing the total number of non-roster invitees to 22.

Announced today as non-roster invitees were:
Koby Clemens, 1B
Rene Garcia, C
Jon Gaston, OF
Drew Locke, OF
Jordan Lyles, RHP
J.D. Martinez, OF
Jio Mier, SS
J.B. Shuck, OF
T.J. Steele, OF
Pat Urckfitz, LHP

According to Zachary Levine, Jio Mier's invitation was stipulated in his contract.

With J.D. Martinez on his way, perhaps the folks in Osceola County will be singing HERE COMES J.D. (Hear it below):

The non-roster Invitees

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Who's Joining Lyles?

With Brian McTaggart's report that Jordan Lyles will almost certainly will be at major league camp next month, here's some speculation about who may be joining him early in Kissimmee from the prospect ranks.

From Most to Least Likely:
J.B. Shuck
J.D. Martinez
Koby Clemens
Drew Locke
Sergio Perez

I also wonder if an extra catcher or two will be invited to carry the heavy pitching load during the early part of camp. Five catchers are slated for camp at the moment. Two canidates to join the fun would be Federico Hernandez and Ben Heath. Last year's Farmstros' Spring Training correspondent Jonathon Fixler would be a candidate. However, he is still serving his suspension and won't be at Spring Training.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Legend of Jordan Lyles

Listen to THE LEGEND OF JORDAN LYLESc2010 Farmstros

Brian McTaggart is reporting that Jordan Lyles coming to major league Spring Training on February 16 is a certainty. Needless to say, the bears in Osceola County are on notice.

Friday, January 7, 2011

BA Releases Top 10 Prospects List

Baseball America has released their list of the Astros Top 10 prospects. You can see their Astros page here.

The Top 10 are as follows:

Jordan Lyles, RHP (Hear a Farmstros song about Jordan Lyles)
Delino DeShields, Jr., OF/2B
Jonathan Villar, SS
Mike Foltynewicz, RHP
Jio Mier, SS
J.D. Martinez, OF (Hear a Farmstros song about J.D. Martinez)
Jimmy Paredes, IF
Tanner Bushue, RHP
Austin Wates, OF
Ariel Ovando, OF

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Poem for Bagwell (and Biggio)

While Jeff Bagwell waits for Wednesday to find out if he will be going into baseball' Hall of Fame this summer, here's a little poem for #5 (and #7). Hopefully, a few current Astros of the Future will have similar success to these Astros of the Past.

#5 and #7

Number 5 and number 7, they’ve been here through thick and thin
Many wins and many losses and a brand new stadium

In ’88 and ’91, the two of them began
And looking back the Astros then, were surely in good hands

The ‘90s rolled along, the rainbow jerseys put away
Number 5 and number 7 led the charge out every day

The Astrodome still rings with echoes of the many cheers
A championship had come again after eleven years

Of course, that was the start of quite a run for all to see
That ended in St. Louis in ’05- THE VICTORY

Now, Number 5 is done and 7 has not much to do
Before too long the numbers on the field will all be new

Yet years from now when adding up the Houston baseball heart
The numbers 5 and 7 will be right there at the start.

NOTE: I wrote this poem during the 2007 season, shortly after Craig Biggio announced that he would retire at the end of that season