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Topics - Duman

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The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / MILB Contraction
« on: November 18, 2019, 06:09:59 am »
MLB owners have a approved a proposal to get rid of 42 MILB teams. 

The leagues most impacted are as follows:

NY Penn - 9 out of 14 teams
Appy - 9 out of 10 teams (the lone survivor is Pulaski where the Yankee's invested significant $$ recently)
Pioneer - full league of 8 teams
Sally - three teams
Mid West - three teams (Including the River Bandits)
North West - 2 teams out of 8 (lone surviving non complex short season league)
Florida St - two teams
Eastern - two teams
Southern two teams
Carolina - one team
California - one team (Lancaster)

Not saying some changes need to be made but this looks pretty drastic.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Former Busride Managers in the playoffs
« on: October 09, 2019, 10:46:00 pm »
Before the Division Series wraps up, I wanted to point out that there are at least three former bus ride managers manning coaching positions on playoff teams:

Rodney Linares - 3rd base coach - Rays
Stubby Clapp - 1st base coach - Cards
Tim Bogar - 1st base coach - Nats

Did I miss any?

Talk Zone / JV ejection break down
« on: August 28, 2019, 07:17:49 am »
Great pick up of field mic and lip reading.  (NSFW language)

This is done by the Yankee fan who had the great reaction to the Grienke trade.  Anytime there is an ejection or on field fight, he does these breakdowns.  The Reds /Pirates fight breakdown was pure gold.  

Beer and Queso / College Football 2019
« on: August 24, 2019, 07:30:41 pm »
Pretty good game to start the season.  Miami hanging in with Florida. Upset alert

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / July 2nd Signings 2019
« on: July 02, 2019, 09:03:55 pm »
Astros sign 13 international players today. The big signing is #14 ranked prospect SS Dauri Lorenzo.

“Dauri Lorenzo is an athletic and projectable 16-year-old switch-hitter,” said Roman Ocumarez, Astros assistant director of international scouting. “He has a smooth, compact swing with a great ability to hit and solid defense. We had the chance to see him several times, and he always stood out for his hitting ability. Lorenzo also has great makeup and attitude on and off the field. We are very happy to acquire him.”[/quote

The other players signed by the Astros are catcher Fernando Caldera (Venezuela), outfielder Everett Cooper (Bahamas), outfielder Denfry De La Cruz (Dominican), infielder Luis Encarnacion (Dominican), right-hander Elvis Garcia (Venezuela), outfielder Richi Gonzalez (Dominican), infielder Danyuri Guzman (Dominican), right-hander Eurys Martich (Dominican), outfielder Christopher Morales (Dominican), infielder Josue Payano (Dominican), outfielder Luis Perez (Dominican) and catcher Juan Santander (Venezuela).

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / GCL 2019
« on: July 02, 2019, 08:21:04 pm »
Now they they got their first win, let's talk about the state side youngins here.

In today's game, 4th Rounder Colin Barber went 3 for 5 with 2 runs & 2 RBI.  He is now 5 for his first 19 with 1 BB and 8K's.  Welcome to the pros kid.

Two rehabbing pitchers threw today.  Tyler Ivey pitched the first.  No hits, 2 BB, 2 K's first appearance since May 17 in CC.  Dean Deetz pitched the second.  1 H, 0 BB, 1 K.  First appearance since 5/29 with RR. 

Talk Zone / When was the last time
« on: May 28, 2019, 07:23:06 am »
I wasn't able to pay total attention to the game yesterday, My son asked me a question that I didn't see anyone answer.  When was the last time the Astros had a line up that did not include any of the the three: Altuve, Springer, Correa? 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / 2009 Draft podcast: Full Account
« on: May 28, 2019, 07:15:07 am »
MLB has done a 6 episode podcast looking back at the 2009 MLB Draft.  The episodes give the back story on the following:

Mike Trout
Stephen Strasberg
Nolan Arenado
J D Martinez
Paul Goldschmidt
Jeff Luhnow

It is worth a listen.

Talk Zone / Athletic Subscription Sale
« on: May 24, 2019, 02:27:02 pm »

Talk Zone / Morning Lineup MLB Podcast
« on: May 22, 2019, 08:08:41 am »
Listened this morning it was Footer & Justice co hosting.  They were discussing the need for the Mets to fire their manager and a lively discussion broke out between the two over the 2004 Astros move from Williams to Garner. 

Also there is an interview with Luhnow that has some good info.  Mainly it will remove all doubt that they made an offer to every free agent who left last year.  Also talked about dealing with all the front office changes over the past few years.  Good stuff.

I listen to this one because it only comes out 3 days a week.  Sticks to baseball and the regular host Anthony Castrovince and Justice have a pretty good rapport. 

Talk Zone / Brady Aiken update
« on: May 15, 2019, 07:24:55 am »
Hanging out at driveline instead of playing in the minors

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Look back at top 100 of 2014
« on: April 11, 2019, 12:10:21 pm »
Very good read from John Sickles (Athletic $$). This was a loaded class. 

Astros Highlights:
13) Carlos Correa, SS, Astros: In A-ball at the time the list was written but another young star, .277/.355/.476 in 2078 plate appearances, 15.7 fWAR....
15) George Springer, OF, Astros: Also a success, .266/.356/.469 in 2843 at-bats, 18.7 fWAR....
28) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Astros: Biggest bust on the list so far, .171/.290/.331 in 420 at-bats, -0.9 fWAR; released.....
48) Lance McCullers, Jr, RHP, Astros: Another “very successful when healthy” case, 29-22, 3.67 in 454 innings, 9.8 fWAR....
51) Mark Appel, RHP, Astros: Never made the majors; one of the biggest busts in prospect history; an interesting case study that bears more detailed analysis in a full article....

Also included Astros farm hands Folty and VV.

Beer and Queso / OWA 2019 Bracket Challenge
« on: March 18, 2019, 08:28:47 am »

Talk Zone / Dominican Baseball Article
« on: February 05, 2019, 06:13:28 am »
This is why I pay for the Athletic.  Best writing in sports.  ($)

Managing a clubhouse — rather than the game — is a big part of being a manager in most places, but Hammock soon realized he was trying to paddle a boat with a pitchfork. Winter league clubhouses do not march to the drumbeat of whoever is sitting in the manager’s office. That guy changes too often. “You’re like a stepdad that’s coming in every year,” he said. “A new stepdad that comes in every year to look over the household, make out lineups and try not to mess up the pitching moves.”

Talk Zone / Batting stance toddler
« on: August 14, 2018, 06:17:54 am »
This kid is too cute.  Gattis cracked me up.

Beer and Queso / Podcasts
« on: August 09, 2018, 07:38:40 am »
I am turning to podcast more and more for entertainment/learning.

What is on your list of ones you look forward to dropping in you feed?  I am falling out of love with some of my long term listens in my feed and am looking for some fresh listens.  Would especially like a short daily general baseball podcast. 

Here is my list:
Houston Astros Podcast (repeat of the pregame show and some interview sound bites & highlights)
Revisionist History - Gladwell is a master story teller
Freakanomics -
The Holy Post - Faith & Culture

Just started listening to "Dan Carlin's Hardcore History" My friend who recommended it said it requires commitment.  I saw what he meant when I downloaded the first episode and it was 4.5 hours.  It was almost like a mix of an audible book and a great history lecture.  The episode I just listened to discussed who Japanese cultural dynamics lead to their involvement in the war with China starting in 37 and ultimately their involvement in WWII. 

Beer and Queso / Empty Nest Wisdom?
« on: August 09, 2018, 07:26:46 am »
We dropped off our son at college (War Eagle) and also attended a welcome luncheon with our daughter for Vet School (also War Eagle) on Monday of this week.  Mrs. Duman and I are now adjusting to the life of empty nesters.  Any wisdom from folks who have navigated this stage of life? 

Beer and Queso / New Tommy John Procedure?
« on: May 26, 2018, 07:41:40 pm »
A kid my son played ball with in TN had his UCL torn during football season.  They used a new procedure to repair it.  Here is how the local paper described it:

The Dr. Andrews’ group developed a procedure where McLain’s ligament was adhered back together with a collagen-coated fiber tape and a few sutures. The tape is ultra strong and allows for a much quicker recovery time, typically five months to return to throwing.

The surgery is seen as preferable for young athletes because generally the tendon’s tissue is still strong unlike Major League veterans who have put a lot of stress on their elbows over decades of use and abuse. In those situations, replacing the ligament can be more fruitful.

The kid returned to hitting in the last regular season game - just over 4 months after surgery.  He played CF through most of the playoffs and helped lead the team to the state championship. 

Beer and Queso / revisionist history
« on: May 21, 2018, 07:55:06 am »
Malcolm Gladwells's Revisionist History Podcast is my favorite non baseball podcast.  He is a great story teller.  Season 3 started last week. The first episode was one I though folks here might like, it involved a:

Punctuation in the US Constitution, Texas statehood & Texas Politics

Divide & Conquer

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / International Summary
« on: May 07, 2018, 08:39:59 am »
BA recently released that Astros International Free Agent Recap from last year.

Astros signed 49 players with the highest bonus at $300,000 (7 players got that bonus)

Some names to watch in the future:

Heitor Tokar 6'7" 250 RHP 17 years old.  88-91 fast ball with a plus 80-84 change.

Wilyer Abreu was able to play in the DSL last year (.286/.377/.345 in 34 games) He might be on the GCL roster when it comes out next month.  L/L 6'0" 170 - look for him to play center.

Sleeper who is already moved up:  21 year old RHP Luis Garcia signed for just $20,000.  When they scouted him, he was throwing mid 80's.  When they signed him he was hitting the high 80's and now he is in the low 90's.  Due to his age, they jumped him from the DSL to Quad Cities.  So far, in 5 games (18 IP) he has allowed 13 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned runs, 1 HR, 7 walks and has fanned 24.  has above average curve and throws strikes. 

Technically these were spring training moves but it will get the thread started.  BA now has transactions as a part of the paywall area.  They are give 10 free articles, so that will about get us to the all star break with transactions.

Signed: 1B Luis Encarnacion (released by Phillies, March 18) - currently in extended spring training
Released: RHP Ronaldo Marrero | LHP Noel Pinto

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Quad Cities 2018
« on: April 01, 2018, 06:00:28 am »
Preliminary roster released by the Astros (Link in FRESNO 2018 Thread)


Adam Bleday*

J.B. Bukauskas

Robert Corniel

Tyler Ivey

Cristian Javier

Colin McKee

Parker Mushinski*

Yohan Ramirez

Cesar Rosado

Carlos Sanabria

Patrick Sandoval*

Peter Solomon

Cole Watts*


Gabriel Bracamonte

Michael Papierski#


Jake Adams

Marcos Almonte

Jonathan Arauz*

Cody Bohanek

Roman Garcia

Adrian Tovalin


Bryan De La Cruz

Corey Julks

J.J. Matijevic*

Jake Meyers

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / BUIES CREEK 2018
« on: April 01, 2018, 05:59:07 am »
Preliminary roster released by the Astros (Link in FRESNO 2018 Thread)


Brett Adcock*

Jorge Alcala

Brandon Bailey

Jesus Balaguer

Brandon Bielak

Ronel Blanco

Justin Ferrell

Carson LaRue

Corbin Martin

Hector Perez

Abdiel Saldana

Kit Scheetz*

Carlos Sierra


Carlos Canelon

Chuckie Robinson


Osvaldo Duarte

Josh Rojas*

Troy Sieber*

Anibal Sierra

Abraham Toro-Hernandez#

Kristian Trompiz


Ronnie Dawson*

Patrick Mathis*

Chas McCormick

Luis Payano

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Corpus Christi 2018
« on: April 01, 2018, 05:57:24 am »
Preliminary roster released by the Astros (Link in FRESNO 2018 Thread)

Akeem Bostick

Brock Dykxhoorn

Riley Ferrell

Ralph Garza

Ryan Hartman*

Kevin Hill

Josh James

Cionel Pérez*

Erasmo Pinales

Yoanys Quiala

Sean Stutzman*

Framber Valdez*

Alex Winkelman*


Lorenzo Quintana

Jamie Ritchie


Ryne Birk*

Randy César

Alex De Goti

Taylor Jones

Arturo Michelena

Nick Tanielu


Yordan Alvarez*

Carmen Benedetti*

Myles Straw

Stephen Wrenn

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Fresno 2018
« on: April 01, 2018, 05:56:01 am »
Here is your preliminary roster for AAA to start the year:


Rogelio Armenteros

Buddy Boshers*

Jacob Dorris

Kent Emanuel*

Reymin Guduan*

Mike Hauschild

Francis Martes

Brendan McCurry

Chris Nunn*

David Paulino

Matt Ramsey
Cy Sneed

Andrew Thome

Trent Thornton


Tim Federowicz

Garrett Stubbs*


Tony Kemp

Jack Mayfield

Antonio Nuñez

AJ Reed*

Tyler White


Drew Ferguson

Alejandro Garcia

Jon Kemmer*

Kyle Tucker*

* - left-hander / left-handed hitter

# - switch-hitter

Talk Zone / MLB Rankings of positions
« on: January 21, 2018, 04:21:36 pm »
MLB Network is filling the void with some position by position rankings.  They have Altuve & Correa as the best 2nd & SS.  It was the right field rankings that interested me. Look at the Astros connections. 

1.   Judge
2.   Stanton
3.   Betts
4.   Harper
5.   JD Martinez (2011 - 13)
6.   Reddick (17 - Present)
7.   Avisail Garcia
8.   Domingo Santana (14-15 )
9.   Mitch Haniger
10. Dexter Fowler (14)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Beyond the top 30
« on: January 11, 2018, 01:48:57 pm »
If you want to get to know more of the minor league depth in the system.  What The Heck Bobby is doing a position by position look at players outside the top 30. 

So far, they have posted


Second Basemen

Talk Zone / Ex Astros News 17-18
« on: December 22, 2017, 03:47:15 pm »
Let's talk about the has beens, got aways and cast offs here.

= Lyles signs deal with the Friers.

Lyles gets a $750,000 salary next year under the deal announced Sunday, and the Padres' option is for $3.5 million with a $250,000 buyout.

His 2019 salary would escalate to $4.5 million if he is selected comeback player of the year in 2018 by Sporting News. If the option is exercised, he could earn performance bonuses of $250,000 each for 15, 20 and 25 starts, and of $125,000 apiece for 40 and 50 games pitched.

Talk Zone / Correa in the players tribune
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:09:48 am »
Correa wrote an article for the Player's Tribune on the season.  He touches on veteran leadership, fog machines and Harvey.  Also a great story about Altuve.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Rule 5 (V) draft 2017 edition
« on: September 25, 2017, 03:55:34 pm »
Jayne over at Whattheheckbobby has done her usual bang up job of laying out the upcoming Rule 5 draft

She starts with this reminder that really the 40 man is like the 43 man right now:
The current Astros 40-man roster is full to overflowing right now with the 60-day DL stints of Jandel Gustave and Brady Rodgers making them the 41st and 42nd player respectively. And, oh, what happens when David Paulino is eligible to play again? Hmmmm, getting a little crowded, isn't it? And, to make matters just a wee bit more complicated, at some point before late November, the Astros are going to have to figure out who to add and who to subtract or risk losing a player or two to the Rule 5 Draft.

Below the rules, she list the players eligible.  While there are names of interest on the list, the first players to watch will be the three that come off the current 40 man roster. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / AFL 2017
« on: August 29, 2017, 09:23:49 pm »
Roster for the Arizona Fall League Mesa Solar Sox have been released.  Astros farm hands on this list are:

Joshua James RPH
Framber Valdez LHP
Jake Rogers C
Yordan Alverez 1B
Nick Tanielu 3B/2B
Kyle Tucker OF
Omar Lopez Manager

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville 2017
« on: June 20, 2017, 04:35:14 pm »
They had their meet and greet with fans last night so rosters should be posted soon. 

Notice the BP hats the manager is wearing.  That is the Gville mascot Gizmo who is supposedly relative of Orbit.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Scouting Life
« on: June 19, 2017, 09:27:31 am »
Take your anti nausea medicine and watch this video by the Cubs about the scouts who make the draft happen.  Pretty well done.  It is on their facebook page so it might be blocked if you are at work.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / 2012 Draft looking back
« on: June 08, 2017, 09:36:54 am »
I recently saw that the Astros have had 9 players drafted & signed from the 2012 draft make the majors:
(Correa, LMJ, Fontana, Rogers, Ruiz, Phillips, Tucker, Hauschild, Jankowski)

I wondered how that compare to other teams, so here are the results:

No other team has had that many make their debut.  Several have had 7 make it: A's, Dodgers, Mets, & Red Sox

The impact measured by WAR is as follows:
Astros = 16.7
Dodgers = 12.6
Cards = 12.1 (had 5 players make MLB debut but several with positive impact - Wacca 5.4 & Piscotty 4.3)
A's = 11.2
Mets = 1.7
Red Sox = -1.7

Among players, the highest career WAR of those players are:
Correa 12.7
Corey Seager 9.7 (Dodgers)
Alex Wood 9.0 (Braves)
Addison Russell 8.8 (A's)
Marcus Stroman 7.3 (Blue Jays)
Matt Duffey 6.4 (Giants)
Jake Lamb 6.1 (D Backs)
Devon Travis 6.0 (Tigers)
Gausman 6.0 (O's)
LMJ 5.7

Talk Zone / Pitch Type By Count
« on: May 11, 2017, 01:32:26 pm »
If you are looking for a good time waster today.  Baseball Savant has a new cool feature that allows you look at a pitcher's tenancies based on count.  Here is LMJ's chart.

And here is Keuchel's

The Astros have signed 19 year old Brian Solano out of Costa Rico.
Currently playing in Nicaragua’s MLB developmental league, Solano is said to have an arsenal that includes a fastball north of 90 miles per hour, a solid slider, and an improving curveball.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Quad Cities River Bandits 2017
« on: March 29, 2017, 11:27:46 am »
Catch your bandits news here

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Buies Creek Astros 2017
« on: March 29, 2017, 11:26:52 am »
A permanent place for the temporary new Carolina League affiliate.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Corpus Christi 2017
« on: March 29, 2017, 11:24:39 am »
Get your hooks fix here.

Beer and Queso / OWA Bracket Braggin Rights
« on: March 13, 2017, 08:19:07 am »
Show of your prognostication prowess. Folks who participated last year should have gotten an email. 
PIck'em if you got em.

Beer and Queso / More lessons from High School baseball
« on: March 07, 2017, 09:26:19 am »
There are going to be people in your life who in trying to be helpful, do just the opposite.

My son was pitching last night.  Rebounded nicely from a lead off HR to a kid who went 7-7 in the DH with a BB and HBP. 

In the 4th inning, the catcher took a foul ball off the leg.  Ump goes out to the mound to give the catcher time to recover.  Tells my son, "if you had a better catcher, you would have 5-10 more strikes".  There was no need to say that to my son.  He doesn't get to choose his catcher.  So by trying to make my son feel better, he increased tension between my son and the catcher.  Thanks blue. Why don't you just add if the 3B hadn't committed 2 errors in the second, he would have thrown another inning before reaching his pitch count limit. 

He wasn't wrong.  Catcher was not sticking pitches. He was letting the glove drop and was taking ball out of the zone.


The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor league umps get a raise
« on: January 16, 2017, 01:52:08 pm »
Summary of Story:

Hotels must have interior access.  No more doors facing parking lots.
Starting pay increase from 1900/mo to 2000/mo for short season (players make $1150/mo)
AAA starts at 2900/mo (players start at $2150/mo)
Per Diems go up $2 per day, starting at 44.50 in A ball.  (MILB players $25 on the road)
Five days of paid family leave for birth of child.
Limit of 30 days consecutive work.
Fridges in the club house (to store concussion headgear with ice)

Since the umps make more, maybe we really are paying to see them?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Bush (bean) League
« on: December 05, 2016, 03:18:55 pm »
I guess there is something cooking on the hot stove this year.  MILB signs deal to make Bush's the official Bean of Minor League Baseball.

Let the bad puns continue....

Talk Zone / TBT 1989 Spring Training
« on: October 20, 2016, 08:45:28 am »
Minor League Pitcher Tim Dillard talks about trying to get Yogi's autograph during the Astro1989 Spring Training. 

Player after player walked by me and climbed onto the bus.  Biggio?  I already have your autograph, beat it.  Mike Scott?  Nice hair, don’t need ya.  Ken Caminiti?  Cool British Knights, keep walking.  Each one would look down and smile at me, probably knowing who I was waiting for with just a ball and a pen in my hand.  The bus was nearly full when suddenly…

One of the best minor league follows on Twitter. I mean look, he tweeted this last night.

Oh so close... almost made it 2 whole innings without having to replay an Angel Hernandez call. #Postseason

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Rule 5 draft - 2016 Edition
« on: September 13, 2016, 08:28:27 am »
Jayne @ What the Heck Bobby does her usual great job of breaking down who is eligible for the draft. 

It looks like most of the guys not on the 40 are probably unlikely to be taken.  There are a couple of arms at AAA I  could see someone trying to stash. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Welcome to Rookie Ball
« on: June 30, 2016, 09:55:44 am »
Crazy first inning in the Arizona League yesterday. 

15 run first inning which included 8 straight walked batters.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / GCL Astros
« on: June 15, 2016, 01:53:26 pm »
Talk about the complexities of the complex team here.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville Astros
« on: June 15, 2016, 01:52:47 pm »
Your place to talk about the G-Stros

Talk Zone / Cesar Cedeno Bobble Leg give away in Greeneville
« on: May 12, 2016, 03:10:12 pm »
Who wouldn't want a Cesar Cedeno bobble leg? CC regularly hangs his leg over the dugout railing during games.  [url]There is a great picture a few years ago of Brett Philips copying him[/url]. 

Talk Zone / Altuve: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
« on: May 09, 2016, 10:52:20 am »
Lost in the poor start of the team is the great start of Altuve.  Through 32 games:

American League
4th in Average
2nd on OBP
3rd in Slugging
2nd in OPS
3rd in Hits
2nd in doubles
T- 2nd in HR
T-1st in Runs
1st in SB
T-11th in Walks - maybe the most impressive because of the improvement. Through this point in the year, he has 16 BB & 16 K.  He has never had more than 40 walks in a season before.  Last year he had 33 BB and 67 K.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Quad Cities River Bandits 2016
« on: April 05, 2016, 07:25:12 pm »
Steal all your good bandits info here.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lancaster JetHawks 2016
« on: April 05, 2016, 07:23:32 pm »
Talk about your Cal League bus riders here.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Corpus Christi Hooks 2016
« on: April 05, 2016, 07:22:41 pm »
Hook em if you got em

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Fresno Grizzlies/Tacos 2016
« on: April 05, 2016, 07:22:11 pm »
Here you go - talk about em here

Beer and Queso / Baseball teaches tough lessons
« on: April 01, 2016, 10:33:25 pm »
Local HS team is AA and was playing a AAA team on the road tonight. 

Son came into pitch with the team down 2-1 in the 5th.

Has a 123 5th,

Then leads off the 6th with a double to left center in his first at bat of the night.  Courtesy runner runs for him and comes around to score on a nicely executed bunt to tie the game at 2.

Sixth, he allows two hits but strikes out a good hitter on three pitches to get out of the jam.

One of the Sr's dad looks up at me and yells "talk about coming of age" - My son is a 10th grader.

Bottom of the 7th his is facing the 3,4,5 hitters.

He hits the first batter. 

Sac bunt moves him to second.

Hits the third batter. 

Next kid grounds out to first. 

Two down runners at 2nd & 3rd. 

Pinch hitter is announced. 

Coach comes to the mound tells son - "don't be afraid to pitch inside."

1st pitch hits the kid. 

Bases loaded - 2 outs. 

Something has to happen now.
1st pitch called a ball - coach reacts - thought it was a strike. Ump said low.
2nd pitch foul - 1-1
3rd pitch foul - 1-2
4th pitch ball - 2-2
5th pitch ball (all of our fans react - really wanted that strike) 3-2
6th pitch hits batter. 
Run scores. 

Game over - a  3-2 loss. 

Son said his fastball was running in on RH hitters and they started crowding the plate.  He said I tried to adjust but it kept running in. 

I asked what the coach said and he said - "He told me 'good job'".

He added one of the seniors said, "if it wasn't for you, we are not even playing the bottom of the 7th.  Keep your head up." 

Just needed to share this and remind us all that baseball is a hard game.  Beautiful but hard.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lancaster Jethawks Auction
« on: March 20, 2016, 12:05:21 pm »
This Ebay Auction is being done by Country Music Star Rodney Adkins to benefit the agency I work for.  Among other things there is something that might interest some bus ride followers in the Lancaster area.

Lancaster Jethawks Ultimate Fan Pack
4 tix
pre-game autograph session
1st pitch opportunity
Half inning as PA announcer
JetHawks Shirt
Biggio Bobblehead

Some other pretty cool Mets & Dodgers stuff too.  As well as some country, racing and other stuff.

Beer and Queso / OWA Bracket Challenge
« on: March 07, 2016, 07:47:10 am »
It is back again for those who want to show off their prodigious prognostication skills. The OWA NCAA Bracket Challenge is back. 

Those who participated last year should have gotten an email today inviting them.  The rest of you slackers need to sign up.

Talk Zone / 2016 Crystal Ball Tracker
« on: February 15, 2016, 02:09:15 pm »
USA Today is predicting 90 wins for the Astros and an AL West Pennant. 

If you’re assuming 90 wins for the Astros is an endorsement of Carlos Correa’s talents unleashed over a full 162 games, you’d be assuming correctly. The rotation feels sketchy near the back, but the best pitcher in the AL takes the ball at the front.

Beer and Queso / Happy Valentine's Day from the Braves
« on: February 14, 2016, 01:04:37 pm »
Their 1976 valentine to their season ticket holders:

1976 - The Atlanta Braves send Valentine's Day cards to their season-ticket holders and the media. The Braves finished in fifth place in 1975, 40 1/2 games behind the Cincinnati Reds. Atlanta will finish this season in last place, 32 games behind Cincinnati, but they are first in rhyming.

Their card reads: "Rose is a Red Morgan's one, too. They finished first, Like we wanted to. But last year's behind us; We're happy to say. Now we're tied for first, Happy Valentine's Day."

Marketing fail.

Talk Zone / chance encounter
« on: January 23, 2016, 09:29:52 pm »
I am chaperoning my son's advanced chorus trip to NYC. We are staying at the mid town Hilton which happened to be the site of the BBWAA awards dinner tonight. My son exchanged waves with Bryce Harper and I shared an elevator with Dallas Keuchel. The kids I was with had no idea who he was but they were impressed with his beard.

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Talk Zone / Lawsuit over Future of Televised Baseball
« on: January 11, 2016, 11:50:46 am »
Here is a good breakdown of the issues that are at stake.  It is slated for court next Tuesday. 

*realize that my definition of good breakdown comes from my perspective as a non lawyer. 

A few weeks ago, I learned the Astros had hired Rachel Balkovec to be their Latin American Strength & Conditioning Coordinator.  Here is a post she wrote for a fitness blog about her approach.  It is worth the read.

One Highlight:
For example, when I was with the St. Louis Cardinals, I was very frustrated that our pitchers did not even know how to say ‘arm’ in English. It seemed like a given, but our athletes who literally depend on their arms to make money did not know how to say the word ‘arm.’ Hence, I created a giant poster of our catcher, Yadier Molina (with his permission) and posted in the weight room. Every day at the end of the workout, each player had to pin magnetic English words on the poster in the correct places and say the word with correct pronunciation. Along with that I would regularly have ‘All English’ days in the weight room to force the guys into using the language instead of taking the easy route.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor League Free Agents
« on: November 10, 2015, 10:02:31 am »
Baseball America has released the list of minor league free agents. Most teams have 15-20 players who have been in the minor leagues 6 years and haven't been released or put on the 40 man roster; or those who were signed as minor league free agents whose contract is up. 

The Astros have 2: Jio Mier and R J Alaniz.  That is it.....

Here are other former bus riders/Astros who were on the list:

Cody Ransom - still playing at age 39.
Andrew Robinson
Jason Stoffel
Humberto Quintero
Felipe Paulino
Arcenio Leon
Jose Cisneros
Jason Bourgeois
Ross Seaton
Troy Patton
Jorge De Leon
Pat Urckfitz
Brooks Conrad
Rene Garcia
Jason Lane
Jake Elmore
David Martinez
Jonathan Meyer
Juan Guttierez

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Marc Wik Crashes Through Wall
« on: November 06, 2015, 01:46:16 pm »
In an Australian League game.....  Not sure which is better Wik going through the wall or the Aussie's accent calling the game.

Talk Zone / Awards Season
« on: October 26, 2015, 11:34:41 am »
Correa named AL ROY by the Sporting News.  This comes from a vote of AL players.  He got 98 of the votes. Lindor came in 2nd with 30 votes.  McCullers came in 7th with 2 votes.

I had some time today so I went back to look at the 2008 Appy Top 20 list. 

1   Tim Beckham, SS, Rays   After a cup of coffe in 2013 and then was everyday SS for half of 2015 .  Hit .222 in 82 games with the Rays   2015 - MLB Rays

2   Wilmer Flores, SS, Mets   He was just 16 when he made this list.  He made his MLB debut in 2013.  He played in 137 games for the Mets this season.  Including one where he thought he had been traded to the Brewers    2015 - MLB   Mets

3   Matt Moore, LHP, Rays   Debut in 2011.  Solid 2013.  Injured for most of 14.  Made it back for half of 15   2015 - MLB   Rays

4   Gabriel Noriega, SS, Mariners   Has bounced between AA & AAA in 14 and 15 but missed alot of 15 injured, still just 24         2015-   AAA   Royals

5   Mario Martinez, 3B, Mariners   After making it to AAA in 2014, he was back in High A ball in the Red Sox org in 2015.

6   Randall Delgado, RHP, Braves   Made MLB debut at 21 for the Braves in 2011.  Was traded to Diamondbacks in 2013.  Has become a reliever over the last few years.       2015- MLB    D-backs

7   Jordan Lyles, RHP, Astros   Quick assent to the majors.  Made debut in 2011.  Traded to Colorado before 2014 season.  Missed most of 15 with injuries.    2015 MLB Rockies

8   Angel Morales, OF, Twins   Topped out in 2014 in AA.  Didn't play in 2015   

9   Albert Suarez, RHP, Rays   Was Mid Season All Star in Texas League this year    2015 AA    Angles

10   Kelvin Herrera, RHP, Royals   Made MLB debut at age 21 in 2011.  He has become one of be best set up men in baseball.    2015 - MLB Royals

11   Jon Gilmore, 3B, Braves   Career finished at AA with the Whitesox in 2012.   

12   Jay Austin, OF, Astros   Made it to High A as a 19 year old but never climbed any higher.  After being released in
2012, he sat out 2013 and then has played indy ball in 14 & 15.  2015 Indy (Traverse City - Frontier League)

13   Niko Vasquez, SS Cardinals   Topped out a AA in 2012.  Has been in Indy ball since 2013   2015 -Indy (Southern Ill - Frontier)

14   Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Braves   Debut in 2010 at age of 22.  Has been a premier closer in the MLB ever since.   2015 MLB Padres

15   Paul Clemens, RHP, Braves   Made it to the MLB in 2013 with the Astros.  After pitcing in 13 games in 14, he has not been back in the Majors. Signed a free agent deal with the Phillis for 15 season but was released in June.  Signed by the Royals in August and finished the season in AAA with them.    

16   Gregory Infante, RHP, White Sox   Made his MLB debut with the White Sox in 2010 for 5 games.  Hasn't made it back to the show since.  Currently in the Blue Jays org at AAA.

17   Sam Runion, RHP, Royals   Has pitched in AAA parts of the last three seasons.    2015 AAA Nationals

18   Federico Hernadez, C, Astros   Made it to AA as a 22 year old and hit .304 in limited action but forgot how to hit the next year.  Released after 2012.

19   Juan Silverio, SS, White Sox    Made it as high as AAA in affiliated ball.  Played 2015 for Laredo of the American Association (Indy)   

20   Fernando Cruz, 3B, Royals   Was out of affliliated ball after the 2012 season.  He played winter ball in PR and then was signed by the Cubs in 15 and played in 7 games between AA/AAA.

Now the list of guys who didn't make the list who at least got a cup of coffee (some of these may not have had enough innings to qualify.  Many of the pitchers were relievers in the Appy):

Jose Altuve, Astros   Matt Eddy from his chat about the list: .... Altuve is 5-5, 148 pounds and can't handle shortstop. He's the type of scrappy player more commonly seen in Double-A or Triple-A, but not the majors.

Alex Colome, Rays   Closed some for the Rays this year

Jesus Sucre, Braves   Made MLB with Mariners in 2014.  Appeared in 50 games in 2015 for M's

Mark Hamburger, Twins   Had a 4.17 ERA in the Appy but struck out 40 in 36 2/3 IP.  Appearedin 5 games for the
Rangers in 2011.  Has bounced between AAA,/Indy ball & the mexican league since

Alex Castellanos, Cardinals   Played in 24 games with the Dodgers in 12 & 13.  Finished the year in Japan in 15

Michael Blazak, Cardinals   Made MLB debut with Cards in 2013. Then went to the Brewers that year.  Solid bullpen guy on 2015 - 2.75 ERA in 45 games.

Sam Freeman, Cardinals   MLB debut in 2012 with Cardinals.  Pitched for Texas in 54 games in 2015

Jorge Rondon, Cardinals   MLB debut in 2014 with Cardinals.  Pitched in limited action for Colorado and Baltimore in 2015

Collin McHugh, Mets   Appeared in 12 games for the K-Mets. MLB debut in 2013 with Mets.  Won 19 games for Astros in 2015

Robert Carson, Mets   Pitched for the Mets in 12 & 13.  Pitched in indy ball in 15 for Britdgeport of the Atlantic League

John Holtzkom, Mets   Went to Indy ball in 2013 after not getting above high A.  Signed with the Pirates in 2014 and made his MLB debut with them that year. 

Talk Zone / Dream help
« on: October 14, 2015, 08:32:29 am »
Last night, I dreamed someone impelled Prince Fielder with a bat. He was staggering wild eyed around the field like Fred Sanford with the handle of the bat coming out is back and the barrel sticking up towards the sky in the front. Any ideas what this means?

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Talk Zone / Dear BBGs, what can we do about the Taylor Swift thing?
« on: October 02, 2015, 01:01:27 pm »
I knew they should have cancelled that concert: 

Taylor Swift May Be Bringing Bad Blood To MLB Baseball Teams

Before Tay struck Houston, the Astros were 55-45, held the first wild-card spot, and were happily on track to snag a playoff berth (which would’ve been their first in a decade, BTW). But right after her show, they lost seven of eight home games and have turned in a lousy 8-11 record. Ouch. And as ESPNW cleverly points out, “When was the last time the Astros missed the postseason after being at least 10 games over .500 at the halfway point of the season? In 1989. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.”

*edited to fix the title because I am an old uncool guy who gets all these young stars confused.  Now get off my lawn.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Instructs Roster
« on: September 15, 2015, 12:57:25 pm »
Baseball America has released the roster for Instructional League.  Little known fact.  Minor leaguers don't get paid during this time. 

Talk Zone / Dominican Baseball
« on: September 15, 2015, 11:07:56 am »
Great article from Pittsburg Post Gazette Baseball Republic

For those who have seen the documentary Pelatero, the story features the Pirates Rene Goya, who was portrayed as a bad guy in the film.

Spent some time recently looking at Greeneville's rosters from the last few years to see who is still playing.  thought I would share just to see what jumps out at you guys:

2009 (first season with GCL team below Gville - finished 27-40)
MLB active:
J D Martinez

MLB not active -
Jose Cisnero - currently in AA on the DL with the Reds
David Martinez - currently in AA with Rangers, made Texas Lg all star team

AA/AAA Active
Luis Cruz - AAA
Jio Mier - AA

Other active players:
Jon Meyer is in the Rangers org moving to catcher in A ball
B J Hyatt who stayed injured is pitching in Indy ball

2010 (finished 31-35)

MLB active
DeShields (Rangers)
Folty (Braves)


Roberto Pena - AA
RJ Alaniz - AA DL

Bunch of guys in Indy ball - Nash, Ndiffer, Wallace, J. Cotton, A. Gonzalez

2011 (finished 25-43 - last year of Wade/Heck)

MLB - None

Chan Moon AA/AAA
Tyson Perez AA/AAA
Ruben Sosa AA - Angels
Houser AA Brewers

Others still active - Ovando -Rookie ball learning to pitch (Cubs), Chris Lee - High A ball for Baltimore, Zac Dando playing indy ball

2012 (finished 36-32 - first year with Luhnow)



Jankowski - AAA
Hauschild - AAA
Musgrove - AA
Ruiz - AA - Braves
Dimock AA/AAA Padres
Lambson - AAA Braves
Richard Rodriguez - AAA Baltimore

High A

A ball
J. Fernadez

Others still active - Ovando -Rookie ball learning to pitch (Cubs), Chris Lee - High A ball for Baltimore, Zac Dando playing indy ball

2013 (38-30)

MLB - none yet

White AA/AAA
Mayfield AA
Phillips AA Brewers
Frias AA

Six additional players have appeared as high as High A this year (McDonald, Holberton, Brunnemann, Cristmon, Mills and Scriber).  In two years after rookie ball, this should be the baseline for normal development for most players.  So it makes sense the the majority are still here.

Two are in A ball (Reynoso, & Montero (DL))

Several are active outside of the organization.
Borchering is in High A ball with the Tigers.
Franco is in A ball with Miami
Lee is in high A with Balt.
G. Ramerez & G. Sanudo are both in the Mexican League (Unaffiliated AAA)
Gomez is playing Indy ball 

1. 2013 was a college heavy draft and many of those players started above Gville. 
2. The 2012 team had some special arms
3. A fair number of guys have been traded as pieces to help the big club.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Catching Depth
« on: July 24, 2015, 10:13:33 am »
In the trade rumor thread, there was a fair amount of discussion about catching depth in the minors.  I thought this might be worth a more indepth discussion here.  Let's look at what is left after Nottingham is gone to the A's:

Max Stassi is on the 40 man roster.  He is 24 and is hitting .188/.261/.366 in Fresno this year.  He has thrown out 27% of base stealers this year.  Has caught 61 games.

Tyler Heineman is 24 and in AAA.  He is hitting ..298/.333/351 between AA/AAA this year.  He threw out 54% of base stealers at AA (7 of 13) but has thrown out 28% of base stealers in 29 games at AAA (5 fo 18).

Roberto Pena is 24 and at AA.  He is hitting .240/273/.263 this year in 48 games.  He has thrown out 50% of stealers (17 of 34).  He won the minor league gold glove for catchers last year at Lancaster.  He has seen action in the middle infield this season (2 games at 2b and one game at SS). 

Alfredo Gonzalez has been a man on the move this year playing at three levels.  In his first year of full season ball, he is hitting .337/.423/.413 in 51 games (13 at Quad Cities/ 27 at Lancaster/11 at AA).  He has thrown out 49% of stealers but the numbers have dropped as he moved up (63% at QC (10/16), 45% at Lan (5 of 11) and 30% at CC (3 of 10).  He is 23. and never hit higher than .246 in SS ball. He also has the most passed balls of the bunch.

Jamie Richie is 22 and is hitting .274/.437/.386 mostly at QC (72 games) but has had a taste of Lan (6 games).  He has been splitting time between catcher and 1B

Everyone else is either splitting time with other positions or is in short season ball. 

I am partial to Pena because I like a defense first catcher. But Gonzales is pushing him with his offense.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville 2015
« on: June 22, 2015, 07:31:37 am »
Let's talk about the G-Stros here

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Revisiting the 2009 draft
« on: May 27, 2015, 03:35:27 pm »
With the release of Telvin Nash this week, I went back and looked at the 2009 draft.  Here are some observations:

Astros drafted 51 players.  They signed 36 of them.  Of the 36 signed 4 have made it to the majors.

Enrique Hernandez (6th round)
Keuchel (9th round)
Jake Gobbert (13th round)
J. D. Martinez (20th round)

Four players made it to AAA
Mier (only one still active in minors but is at AA) 1st round
Meyer - 3rd round supplemental
Wikoff - 5th round
Castro - 10th round

4 made it to AA
Nash - 3rd round
Orloff - 9th round
Berner - 14th round
Butera - 21st round

4 more made it to high A
Donovan - 23rd round
Modica - 24th round
Hogue - 35th round
Schurz - 44th round

Eight only made it to Low A (Bushue 2nd, Walker 8, Williams 11, B. Kemp 19, Bray 27,  Stines 33, Rivera 37, Sarisky 40
Twelve didn't make it to full season ball. These include 4th round pick B. J. Hyatt plus picks 15, 16,17,18,22,25,29,31, 34, 38, 50.

Last season in affiliated ball:
09 - 4 (highest pick #18 McDonald)
10 - 11 (highest pick #8 Walker)
11 - 7 (highest pick #11 Williams)
12 - 2 ( #4 Hyatt & Hogue #35)
13 - 3 (#2 Bushue, 5 Wikoff, 9 Orloff
14 - 2 (#10 Castro & 37 Rivera)
15 - 1 (Nash #3)

Hernandez #6 - Traded with Austin Wates, Jarred Cosart to Marilns for Moran, Marisnick & Frances Marte (July 14) - That trade is looking very good with the way Marisnick is playing and Marte is pitching in low A.

Gobbert  #13- Traded to A's for Travis Blackley April 13 - Blackley appeared in 42 games out of the Astros pen for a WAR of .01 and was then flipped to the Rangers  in August for a PTBNL &/or cash.  It appears it was cash because I could find no record of a PTBNL.

Of the players who didn't sign, there is one in the Majors now.  Paco Rodriguez was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft by the Dodgers and is currently in their pen. 

A total of 8 improved their draft slot by not signing.  Three were top ten round picks (#32 G. Peavey, #36 G. Saladino, and #48 Rodriguez)
One went backwards - #45 Moralis dropped to 49th round in 2011.

Four were never drafted again - #12, #28, #30, #39

Two signed NDFA contracts with after college - #26 Pare & #49 Smith

Of the 15 who didn't sign, only four are still active.

#26 Pare - High A - Giants
#32 Peavey - AA - Mets
#36 Saladino - AAA - White Sox
#49 Rodriguez - MLB - Dodgers
Three of those four were the ones re-drafted in the top 10 rounds.  Pare is the outlier who signed the NDFA contract in 13 with the Giants.

The other 7 who played affiliated ball never made it to AA before being released. 

The Astros front office at the time swung and missed at several toolsy HS kids high in the draft. Five of the first 7 players picked were HS kids and only one made it to the show (Hernandez)

They did well identifying some quality potential further down the draft grabbing Keuchel in the 8th and Martinez in the 20th.  Their performance has softened the blow of missing on the top picks. 

The biggest bust go to Bushue and Hyatt which both had their careers cut short by injuries.  Hyatt never made it to full season ball and Bushue spent parts of four season in short season ball.

Beer and Queso / Crazy High School Baseball Coaches
« on: May 06, 2015, 07:50:36 am »
Local 9 are in the district tourney.  We played a local rival on Saturday.  We beat their ace.  He left after 4 innings - 88 pitches.  They had to play an elimination game on Monday.  They won.  Ace threw three innings - 42 pitches.  We lost our game on Monday and had to face them again. Who is on the mound to start but Ace.  He went 5 innings - 110 pitches. 

So let's do some math. 

Sat - 88 pitches
Sun - rest
Mon - 42 pitches
Tues - 110 pitches

That is 240 pitches in a 4 day span.  Local college coach told me after the game "hope that coach knows that kid is going to need to be able to use a knife and fork later in life."

Crazy and IMO unethical. 

For the record the state pitching rules are: you may throw no more than 10 innings in consecutive days.  You must rest one day after you pitch 10 innings in consecutive days. 

Also crazy and unethical.

Beer and Queso / Walk Up Music
« on: March 20, 2015, 01:57:09 pm »
My son just got called up from JV to Varsity.  One of the privileges of moving up is you get walk up music at home games.  If you had walk up music, what song would you want:

1 - From you high school days
2 - Current stage of life.


The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / 2015 Astros Farm System Handbook
« on: March 08, 2015, 12:56:05 pm »
Jayne Hansen at What The Heck Bobby has published an impressive ebook - The 2015 Astros Farm System Handbook.  It list EVERY minor league player in the farm system with links to video & pictures.  One of the pieces I found most helpful is information about the DLS guys.  I would encourage you to check it out.  It is available for ibook and kindle.

Beer and Queso / Music 2015
« on: January 23, 2015, 01:43:08 pm »
I haven't seen a new thread started for this year, so here goes.

NPR has a first listen on the new Lone Bellow album - Then Came The Morning.  I think I like this better than their last album. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Q&A with Brett Phillips
« on: January 13, 2015, 10:43:55 am »
Read it here - this is a really good kid who is also a good ball player.

Beer and Queso / Liar Liar
« on: January 09, 2015, 02:46:03 pm »
A guy came out to perform some service out my house today.  We start talking, it comes around to baseball.  He says, "I was drafted out of high school but chose to go to Louisville to play football instead."  I didn't take the bait. Later he volunteers it was by the Yankees.  And that he played against Steve Avery in HS and that is how he got scouted.  End of the visit, he hands me a receipt with his name on it.  According the Baseball Reference, no one with his name was every drafted. 

Can't believe people think they can pull that crap with as much info is out there on the internet.

Talk Zone / Altuve wins another award
« on: October 22, 2014, 01:08:49 pm »
He wins the Luis Aparicio award for the top performance by a MLB player from Venezuela.

Altuve scored 48 first-place vote, 29 for second, 15 for third and 6 to the room for a total of 461 points. Felix Hernandez followed with 28 votes the first, 36 to second, 31 to third, 4 fourth and fifth for 1 to 414 points. The third, and last, to receive first-place votes was Victor Martinez with 24, 32 at second, 39 at third and 15 at a quarter to 399 points, informed the representatives of the award. Four-time winner of three consecutive and only player who has received votes in all editions of the award, Miguel Cabrera, scored 179 points this year, to occupy the fourth boxes.
(via google translate)

Seeing that six people voted him 4th, let's me know that America has no monopoly on stupid sports media voters.

Catchers' Glove Gettin Some Love

Heineman at #3 in AA
Garcia at #10 in AA
Pena #1 in Hi A

Who’s No. 1?
Yet another standout defensive catcher from Puerto Rico, Lancaster’s Roberto Pena (Astros) cut down 23 more baserunners than a league-average catcher would have with the same playing time, which is the highest total in the minors. He also led the way with a 56.5 percent caught-stealing rate, while committing seven fewer passed balls than the average California League catcher. Pena is a good receiver with a quick release and plus accuracy, though he doesn’t quite have the same raw arm strength as some other catchers on these lists.

Both Heineman & Pena made the top ten playmakers list as well.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / 2012 Draft Recap
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:45:03 pm »
Jayne does a very nice recap of the 2012 draft.  21 of the 31 players signed are still in the system + one player who didn't sign. 

Talk Zone / Most hits in a season by a RH Hitter
« on: September 23, 2014, 09:14:32 pm »
I was looking at how Altuve stacked up on the all time hits in a season and I was surprised by how lefty dominated the list was.  Here is how he stacks up against other RH hitters who have more than 220 hits in a season.  He is tied for 27th right now.  I bolded those who have hit more than 220 since WWII.  He is only the eighth RH hitter to hit over 220 hits since WWII.  Plumb impressive season from the little fellow.

RH Hitter Hits in a Season:
1. Al Simmons 253 (1925)
2. Rogers Hornsby 250 (1922)
3. Ed Delahanty 238 (1899)
4. Hugh Duffey 237 (1894)
    Harry Heilmann 237 (1921)
    Joe Medwick 237 (1937)
7. Rogers Hornsby 235 (1921)
8. Kirby Puckett 234 (1988)
9. Nap Lajoie 232 (1901)
10. Freddie Lindstrom 231 (1928)
      Freddie Lindstrom 231 (1930)
12. Tommy Davis 230 (1962)
      Joe Torrie 230 (1971)
14.  Rogers Hornsby 229 (1929)
15.  Kiki Cuyler 228 (1930)
16.  Billy Herman 227 (1935)
       Rogers Hornsby  227 (1924)
       Nap Lajoie 227 (1910)
19.  Harry Heilmann 225 (1926)
       Johnny Hodapp 225 (1930)
       Paul Molitor 225 (1996)
       Tip O’Neil 225 (1887)
23.  Joe Medwick 224 (1935)
24.  Hank Aaron 223 (1959)
       Joe Medwick 224 (1936)
       Kirby Puckett 224 (1986)
27.   Jose Altuve 221 (2014)
       Michael Young 221 (2005)

Link to full list BTW 1930 must have been a down year for pitching.  20  batters had more than 200 hits that season. 

Game Zone 2014 Archive / Wahoos at Houston 9/17/14
« on: September 17, 2014, 08:28:33 pm »
Just because it needs to be said, Altuve with hit #212. Astros down 1-0 in bottom of 5.  Altuve's hit is the only one for Houston thus far.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor League Salaries
« on: August 19, 2014, 07:43:49 am »
Good article about the low rate of pay in the minor leagues.  This is a real issue that needs to be addressed.

According the the site here is what they say a player earns:

Q. What do Minor League players earn?

A. Minor League Baseball player contracts are handled by the Major League Baseball office. Here are the salary ranges:

First contract season: $1,100/month maximum. After that, open to negotiation.
Alien Salary Rates: Different for aliens on visas as mandated by INS (the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service).
Meal Money: $25 per day at all levels, while on the road.

Talk Zone / Sidd Fitch goes to art school?
« on: July 30, 2014, 07:22:37 am »
Nope this is not an April Fools Joke but a great read.

24 year old student at Academy of Art Univ (CA) goes from throwing 91 MHP at pro day to hitting 100 MPH in semi pro game this summer.  Just signed $250K contract with the Twins.  He was assigned to E-Twins of the Appy League.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Jason Martin - player highlight
« on: July 25, 2014, 08:07:52 am »
Okay - this guy has definitely reached my radar this year.

He was an 8th round pick out of Orange Lutheran HS in CA in 2013.  He signed for $159,700.  He spent 2013 in the GCL and hit .251/.357/.698 as a 17 year old.  He did this interview with CrawfishBoxes after the season. It is a good read. 

This year in Greeneville, he is 18 and is 2+ years younger than league average.  Yet he is one of the best players on the team IMO. 

At the plate.  He is hitting .311/.406/.487.  In July, he is hitting .365/.472/.554 out of the lead off spot.  He has a hit in 24 of the 30 games he has played in.  In those six games where he didn't get a hit, he reached base via walk in three of those.  He has 11 multi hit games.  He leads the league in triples (6), tied for 3rd in doubles (9), third in total bases (58) and tied for second in walks at 19.  He has 19 K's in 139 plate appearances.  Three of those came in the first game of the season.  He has only had one game since with more than one K. His heat map at shows he is hitting more balls to CF this year. 

In the field, he is impressive.  He get's very good jumps.  My favorite Martin story this year was a high fly ball was hit to deep center.  Martin turned and ran to where he thought it was coming down, slowed and turned, saw he wasn't deep enough.  Turned and sprinted to the spot, turned and WAITED for the ball to come down.  He makes things look easy in CF.  I haven't seen his arm enough to make an assessment. 

The bases is the lone place I have seen him struggle.  He is 6 for 11 in stolen bases.  I have seen him get picked off a few times too.  He is very fast but is still learning to be a baserunner.  One example  of his poor judgement on the bases.  A sinking liner was hit to LF.  He was on 3rd.  If the guy makes the play, he can tag and with his speed get home easily.  If the LFer misses, he can walk home.  He left when the player dove for the ball.  The guy made the play and doubled Martin off 3rd. 

  I expect he will get a taste of TriCities before this season is out.  Martin won't turn 19 until September 5th. He will be in Quad Cities next year as a teen.  If he keeps progressing at his current rate, he could be in Lancaster before the end of the 2015 season. Definitely a player to keep your eye on.

Beer and Queso / JPArencibia sent from Round Rock to Greeneville
« on: June 12, 2014, 06:47:54 pm »
He is marrying Kimberly Perry ofthe country groupThe Band Perry tonight at First Pres of Greeneville. Main street is shut down and Nashville has decended on our little town. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Tri-City ValleyCats 2014
« on: June 08, 2014, 05:06:11 pm »
Talk amongst youselves

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / GCL Astros 2014
« on: June 08, 2014, 05:01:22 pm »
Talk about them here.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville Astros 2014
« on: June 08, 2014, 04:57:45 pm »
Draft is over, short season teams will be starting soon. Discuss the G-Stros here

Talk Zone / Were #3
« on: May 05, 2014, 12:22:56 pm »
In hard hit ball %.  So when our batters hit the ball, they hit it hard.  The problem is were are #2 in Strike outs as a team.  So we don't hit the ball a whole lot of the time (278 Ks in 1037 AB)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / BA Prospect hot sheet - 2014
« on: April 11, 2014, 12:08:11 pm »
The first edition is out and one future Astro is on the list. V. Velasquez comes in at #8

The Scoop: The Astros are conducting an interesting experiment this season. If any team could subdue the pitcher’s hell that is Lancaster, it’s this JetHawks pitching staff with Velasquez, Mark Appel, Lance McCullers Jr., Josh Hader and Kyle Smith working in a tandem rotation. Velasquez is more than doing his part with two excellent outings. So far, the JetHawks have a 3.29 ERA through roughly one-tenth of their home slate. Lancaster hasn’t had a home ERA under 5.20 in any of the past seven seasons (though it gets cold in the desert at night in April).

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Scouting Children
« on: April 11, 2014, 08:32:26 am »
The more I read about MLB's practices in the DR, the more I am concerned.  It has a child trafficking feel to it. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Oklahoma City - 2014
« on: April 02, 2014, 10:30:39 am »
Here is your place to discuss the almost Astros.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lancaster - 2014
« on: April 01, 2014, 01:56:52 pm »
Thanks to Jayne @ What the Heck Bobby - we now have a preliminary Lancaster Roster

RHP Mark Appel
RHP Jamaine Cotton
RHP Chris Devenski
RHP Michael Dimock
RHP Vincent Velasquez
RHP Kyle Westwood
RHP Kyle Smith
LHP Josh Hader
RHP Mike Hauschild
LHP Mitch Lambson
RHP Lance McCullers
RHP Juan Minaya
RHP Daniel Minor
LHP J.D. Osborne
RHP Tyson Perez
C Roberto Pena
C Jake Rodriguez
3B Rio Ruiz
SS Carlos Correa
IF Tony Kemp
IF Carlos Perdomo
IF/OF Brandon Meredith (will be spending some time at first base)
OF Jordan Scott
OF Teoscar Hernandez
OF Danry Vasquez
OF Justin Gominsky
OF Dan Gulbransen

Notably absent is Telvin Nash

Beer and Queso / Hey Texas, Leave My Coach Alone
« on: November 25, 2013, 01:20:11 pm »

Talk Zone / Altuve in a Pepsi Commercial
« on: November 07, 2013, 07:31:21 pm »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Rule 5 (V), (Five) Draft
« on: October 07, 2013, 09:54:37 pm »
Let's get prepared for this years draft by looking at the seldom seen or understood minor league portions of the Rule 5 draft.  BA has a nice primer here.  This is the best quote to remember:
In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft, teams may select any eligible player left off the major league 40-man roster or the Triple-A reserve roster of 38 players. In the Double-A phase of the draft, teams may select any eligible player left off the major league roster, the Triple-A reserve roster or the Double-A reserve roster of 37 players. In other words, a player selected in the Triple-A phase does not rank among his organization’s top 78 talents, and a Double-A selection does not rank among its top 115.

Edited to fix the BA link

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Best Combined Record in Minors
« on: September 21, 2013, 09:53:53 am »
The Astros locked it up for the second year in a row. And they tweaked the Cardinals in the process

Short-season State College’s loss to Tri-City in the deciding game of the New York-Penn League finals broke the Cardinals’ five-year streak of having at least one minor league champion each season.

Talk Zone / Astros & the Double Play
« on: August 26, 2013, 01:22:57 pm »
For those looking for something to track in the last month of the season - the Astros & Jose Altuve are on pace to break team records for double plays turned. 

Through 129 games

1 - the Astros have turned 140 and are on pace for 175.  The team record is 170 by the 1999 team (Biggio, Bogar, Rickey Gutierrez, Caminiti and Bagwell)
2 - Jose Altuve has been in on 98 of the 140 double plays.  The team record for most double plays by a second baseman is 117 by Biggio in 1999.  Altuve is on pace for 123. 

So what do you think has caused the higher number of double plays this season:

A. Increase work with pitchers on getting ground balls.
B. Improved defensive alignment due to the analytic department
C. Both A & B
D. Just pure luck.

Beer and Queso / Texas Collegiate League
« on: July 13, 2013, 08:37:33 am »
Anyone ever go to these games?  My cousin's son is playing for the Victoria Generals this summer. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Blast from Past - Beau Torbert
« on: July 09, 2013, 01:47:09 pm »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / GCL - 2013
« on: June 18, 2013, 07:47:17 am »
Talk about the rookies here. Here is the preliminary roster

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville - 2013
« on: June 18, 2013, 07:46:20 am »
Let's get it started with a brief intro to the preliminary roster

Talk Zone / ummmm might want to tune in to the Pirates V Braves game
« on: June 05, 2013, 01:00:37 pm »
Teheran has a very good game going.  

Talk Zone / Scary stuff at local HS baseball game
« on: April 04, 2013, 08:39:08 am »
Tuesday night, a pitcher at the local high school was hit in the neck and face with a broken bat. The bat being used was an Easton S1 which has a composite handle and an aluminum barrel. It broke near the joint but it wasn't a clean break.

The pitcher reacted to the ball and never saw the bat.  He went to try to field the ball and the jagged end of the bat lacerated his neck between his esophagus and his artery (a 1/2 inch either way and there was major trouble). The barrel then hit his jaw and broke it in about 8 places.  He was taken to a nearby hospital and who then flew him to Univ. of Tenn. hospital. 

Sewed him up and had surgery yesterday to put a titanium plate with 8 screws in his jaw.  They were also able to save all of his teeth as well. He is supposed to come home from the hospital today. Scary stuff!  Kid is wanting to know when he can get back on the field.  Jaw will be wired shut for 3-4 weeks.

Has anyone else heard of these type of bats breaking.   It was cool at game time (low 50's) but not cold.  But bat has warning that using it in temps below 65 degrees can damage the bat.

Talk Zone / Dear Astros PR department -
« on: March 27, 2013, 12:58:10 pm »

Talk Zone / How we got into this mess.....
« on: February 15, 2013, 02:28:18 pm »
Sam Miller at Baseball Prospectus has a great article comparing the best and worst farm systems in 2004. Technically the Astros were in 29th but the Expos were in a "weird place" so he decided to do the Astros instead.  He looks year by year of what each system (Brewers were #1 at the time) got out of their top 30 prospects.  Since it is "premium content" I won't post much but here are a few nuggets:

In 2012, the Astros don’t get a single at-bat or inning from a member of the 2004 prospect group, or from any player acquired directly or indirectly for a member of the 2004 prospect group....The Brewers still have Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart signed, Carlos Gomez (in return for J.J. Hardy) signed, and two draft picks that produced legit prospects in the current system. Which means they could actually still get more value out of their 2004 farm system from 2013 on than the Astros got in total.

The Astros still have two players in their farm system who were supplemental picks of players who were lost to free agency in this group:  Mike Kvasnicka and Mike Foltynewicz. 

Combined WARP of the 2004 prospects for the Astros (+ players acquired through them) 12.4..... For the Brewers... 74.9

And that is how we got into this mess.  It didn't happen overnight and it isn't going away overnight.

Talk Zone / Spring Training Trip
« on: January 24, 2013, 11:10:30 am »
Looks like my son and I will be hitting the road in early March for Spring Training.  Anyone got tips on where to stay /not stay near the Astros facility?  tentative dates are March 7 -11.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Looking back at old prospect list
« on: December 16, 2012, 06:05:25 am »
I often wonder how good these folks do at identifying the top prospects.  Here is my break down of the Baseball America 2004 top 20 Appy League Prospects.

Beer and Queso / Pearls before Swine goes longhorn
« on: December 03, 2012, 01:27:32 pm »

Talk Zone / No, F-Mart can't go down to the Dominican and play ball
« on: September 28, 2012, 03:25:26 pm »
Here is the list of Astros players who are on the "Extreme Fatigue" list from MLB/Houston.  This list is sent to winter ball teams and the players on the list are limited if not excluded entirely from playing winter ball. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Rule 5 Guys
« on: September 10, 2012, 12:30:13 pm »
Farmstros always does a nice job of breaking down who could be lost to the rule 5 draft if not protected.  Here is this year's list - If you were in charge, what three players would you protect from this list?

My three to protect -
1. J. Villar
2. B. Oberholtzer
3. J. Cisnero

Remember, other guys can be protected from the minor league section by being on the AAA or AA rosters

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Instructional League Rosters
« on: August 29, 2012, 08:33:08 am »
One of the players told me today that only four players from Greeneville will be going to instructionals:

Rio Ruiz
Lance McCullers
Carlos Correa
Terrell Joyce

I found it interesting Houser, Toney, and Ovando were not on that list.

Beer and Queso / 2 things I had never seen before I saw this weekend
« on: June 25, 2012, 10:01:55 am »
1. Our best hitter on our travel team hit a line drive back up the box and caught the pitcher square in the cup.  Kid writhed on the ground for a time, got up and continued pitching!  As one of the dads said to me: I think that cup is now a diaphragm.  (Mound is at 50' - four feet further out than Little League - when you see 12 year olds near and over 6 foot on a regular bases, I am surprised this doesn't happen more frequently)

2.  My son came up with runners on 2nd and 3rd in the last inning with two outs in a tie game.  Took the first pitch down the right field line for a walk off single. I think that has been my favorite memory so far watching him play.

Talk Zone / Visual evidence of Altuve's improvement
« on: May 03, 2012, 07:54:38 am »

Talk Zone / Q feels his pain
« on: April 30, 2012, 11:51:56 am »

Beer and Queso / Welcome to the SEC Aggies
« on: April 19, 2012, 12:40:34 pm »
Now go to Geography Class - North Carolina is not Missouri

Talk Zone / Ausmus on Fresh Air
« on: April 06, 2012, 07:58:26 pm »
The interview was from last year but they replayed it tonight - here is the link to the show

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lexington - 2012
« on: March 24, 2012, 06:51:21 am »
The best place to talk about which players will survive the nine hour bus rides of the Sally League.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lancaster - 2012
« on: March 24, 2012, 06:50:08 am »
Your place to complain about the park factor at Clear Channel Stadium, home of the High A JetHawks

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Corpus Christi - 2012
« on: March 24, 2012, 06:49:09 am »
Your one stop shop for AA Astros talk in 2012.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Oklahoma City - 2012
« on: March 24, 2012, 06:47:41 am »
Topic is Redhawks Baseball 2012 - Talk amoungst yourselves

Beer and Queso / Sports Journalism Exposed
« on: January 19, 2012, 03:16:00 pm »
Deadspin got email history from Auburn's PR guy and expose a season of request during the Cam Newton season. Interesting to see the fawning and softballing.

Talk Zone / AL MVP beef
« on: September 14, 2011, 03:24:47 pm »
IMO Verlander is the MVP - Here is my response to those who say "every day players impact the game more and are thus more valuable" or "Pitchers have the Cy Young"

Issue A: Pitchers vs. Everyday Players
1.  As of this morning Verlander has faced 910 batters (opportunities to impact the game for his team) in 32 starts
2. Granderson has had 640 Plate Appearances and had 345 Chances in the field, which combine for 985 chances to impact the game for his team.  That is in 144 games. 
3. So Granderson who has played in 4 times the games has only had 75 more chances to impact the game for his team than Verlander.  Granderson spends most of his time being ready - ready to field the ball in left and sitting on the bench being ready to hit.

Issue B: Pitchers have the Cy Young
1. There is also the Hank Aaron award for the best offensive performer too.  It is a newer award and not talked about as much but I remember that being instituted to be the offensive equivalent of the Cy Young.
2. Pitchers are on the roster therefore, they are players - This is the Most Valuable Player- Not the most valuable offensive player - that is the Hank Aaron award.

I feel better now.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville - 2011
« on: June 17, 2011, 01:46:19 pm »
Your one stop shop to discuss this edition of the G-Stros

Talk Zone / Scoring Question
« on: May 29, 2011, 05:42:38 am »
How do you score the following scenario?

Runners at 1st & 2nd, no one out.  Batter squares to bunt.  He bunts the ball between the catcher and the pitcher.  Pitcher fields, looks to 3rd where no one is covering.  Looks to first and the runner has made too much progress to warrant a throw.  Everyone safe.

The batter was attempting to sacrifice.  If the pitcher goes to first immediately, the batter would have been out.   But he reached because of a pitcher's choice to look to throw to third. 

It can't both be a sac bunt and a fielder's choice can it?  A sac bunt doesn't count as an AB, where as a fielder's choice does.  Any thoughts?

Beer and Queso / Baseball & tornados
« on: May 04, 2011, 03:57:36 pm »
I have really been emotionally impacted by the recent storms in Alabama & Tennessee.  My wife & I lived in the Tuscaloosa & Birmingham areas from 91-02.  Several communities close to her home in NW Alabama were hit hard.  The county where I was born had over 30 people killed and the place where we live now had 7 people killed.  It has put so much into perspective.  Thankfully all of my family was safe.  I did lose one friend in Alabama to the storms

Rick Reilly did a nice piece on the Hueytown High baseball team which is playing in the 5 A state playoffs despite their coach and several players being impacted by the storms. 

I love baseball and I love that it can be a part of healing for people hurting from times like this. 

Beer and Queso / Name change - AppyAstros=Duman
« on: January 31, 2011, 10:11:56 pm »
Just wanted to make sure you guys know I got married changed my name. Some time ago I decided to step back from the big farm and just focus more on Greeneville & their alums.  I have started [ur=]a blog [/url]which is getting descent traffic and I decided to be consistent with my "branding".

Talk Zone / OMG Look at Pence Bobble
« on: September 03, 2010, 11:15:10 am »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Appy Astros
« on: August 13, 2010, 12:50:52 pm »
Many of you have seen me write that I started following the Astros when the Appy league team moved to Greeneville.  Really what got me following the Astros was following the careers of those who played in our little hamlet of Greeneville.  I have decided to share my hobby of following their careers and inflict the information on others besides just here.  I have started a blog called Appy Astros.  I am also "tweeting" under the name of AppyAstros

I will still be active in the bus ride.  Check it out & follow the twitter feed if you so desire.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / with the 20th round pick
« on: July 16, 2010, 09:37:25 am »
I am going to start paying attention to this round.  This round has had surprising success when the expectation for this round is roster filler.   Since I have been following Astros Minor Leagues (2004 when the Astros came to Greeneville), here are the 20th round picks:

2004 - J. R. Towles - has had a couple of cups of coffee, the last one was bitter enough to send him to AA
2005 - Ryan Mitchell - Had a great 05 in the Appy League, was a top 20 prospect.  Was released after the 06 season which he repeated at G'ville.  Now playing for the Armadillo Dillas in Indy ball.  Potential never realized - have heard several theories on this but will not share any since I don't know the accuracy of any.
2006 - Soboleski - not signed but later drafted in the 4th round by the Blue Jays in 09.  He is now in High A ball.  Pretty quick move.
2007 - Kyle Greenwalt - Made the top 20 Appy Prospects in 07.  Is now surviving in Lancaster.  He is battling with Colin DeLome & Brian Pelligrini for the best player our of that draft still with the Astros.
2008  -Shea Robin took his Vandy degree and said no thanks.
2009 - J. D. Martinez - recently promoted to AA one year after being drafted.  Has manhandled 3 levels so far.
2010 - Daniel Adamson - Currently hitting .313 in Tri Cities.

By the way, this is also the round where Redding (97) & Wade Miller (96)

It means very little.  Just something I had observed.

Humphries, a top student at the Ivy League’s Columbia University in New York, has accepted a five-figure grant for time and expenses by the University to author a study on the sociological aspects of baseball’s Minor Leagues and the lives and careers of those trying to make it to the Major Leagues.

the link

Edit to fix link

Talk Zone / Cleaning the Aquarium
« on: June 23, 2010, 11:02:42 am »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Futures Game
« on: June 22, 2010, 03:41:13 pm »
Jordan Lyles will be there according the Fallas via twitter

Beer and Queso / Bush Airport Hangouts
« on: April 27, 2010, 03:53:45 pm »
Flying to Minn via Houston from Knoxville tomorrow.  Have a 3 hour layover in Bush.  Any suggested places to pass the time or get some work done.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Draft 2010
« on: April 23, 2010, 08:39:43 am »
ESPN is speculating that Houston might still be looking at a catcher with the #8 pick in the draft: Crazy Talk

Chances are that one of those two (Towles or Castro), or possibly Quintero, are the answer in the mean time, but the Astros select No. 8 in the first round of June's First-year Player Draft, and could tab their future backstop then, too.

Miami's Yasmani Grandal and LSU's Micah Gibbs are among the top college backstops available this year, and Grandal could land in Houston's lap if they don't believe Castro is their guy.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lexington 2010
« on: April 09, 2010, 10:19:44 am »
Your place to post about the 2010 Legends

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lancaster 2010
« on: April 09, 2010, 10:19:06 am »
Your place to discuss the 2010 model JetHawks

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Corpus Christi 2010
« on: April 09, 2010, 10:18:09 am »
Your place to discuss the 2010 Hooks

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Round Rock 2010
« on: April 09, 2010, 10:17:33 am »
Your one stop shop for all talk of the 2010 Express

Talk Zone / Tough world of Little League
« on: March 29, 2010, 02:48:13 pm »
I am a coach this year for 9-10 year old little league this year and I have to cut players to the "farm" league.  We get draft 14 players and then cut down to 12.  Anyone else's little league have cuts to an instructional league?  Not looking forward to the conversation with the kid. 

I really have 3 kids who could use much more instruction than they would get on the bench but I can only send 2 down.

Beer and Queso / A little story about hope
« on: February 05, 2010, 01:04:11 pm »
I am a self admitted sap. That being said, this 20 minute short film "The Butterfly Circus" has a great message about what it takes to instill hope in others, and the power of words.  Take some time to watch it.  I don't think you will regret it. 

Beer and Queso / Rapid Share Downloads - is it safe?
« on: January 29, 2010, 09:27:26 am »
I am trying to find a copy of a short movie (the butterfly circus) that is not for sale but found a download on this site (rapidsharedownload).  Is it safe?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Appy Playoff changes
« on: January 04, 2010, 12:55:03 pm »
Looks like it will be more than just the Twins & Braves in the playoffs next year.  A new 4 team format unveiled.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lex pitchers to skip Lancaster?
« on: August 20, 2009, 07:51:42 am »
According to Kyle Greenwalt, that may be in the plans:

“Once spring training comes around, from what our pitching coordinator had said, he wants our starting rotation from here to be in double-A next year in Corpus Christi,” said Greenwalt. “I just got to get ready for that.”

Beer and Queso / DFW
« on: August 06, 2009, 10:20:27 am »
I will be flying through DFW on my way home from a work trip to the Philippines. I have never flown through there before.  Any suggestions of descent places to grab a bite in the airport while I wait out my couple of hour wait for my flight home.

Talk Zone / Tarp eats intern
« on: August 03, 2009, 07:22:48 am »
Being a intern in the front office for a minor league ball team sounds like fun, until you have to help pull the tarp.  (the fun starts at 1:20)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Castro to represent US
« on: July 25, 2009, 07:34:12 am »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / DLS Astro suspended for 50 games
« on: July 25, 2009, 07:26:42 am »
RHP Felix Ramirez gets 50 games for a positive test for steroids.  The tall skinny (6'5", 150) 18 year old was missing bats this season giving up only 8 hits in 20 2/3 innings.  He had fanned 25 and walked 17.

For short season players this punishment is even more severe.  He will miss @ 25 games this year and then have to miss the first 25 to start next season.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / BA on Mier
« on: July 15, 2009, 07:12:23 pm »
Recapping 1st round draft picks
No. 21. Jiovanni Mier, ss, Astros: The top prep shortstop taken in the draft, Mier has gotten off to probably the hottest start of any of the ‘09 first rounders. The Astros dispatched him to Rookie-level Greeneville of the Appalachian League afer signing him for $1,358,000, and Mier, whose bat was his biggest question mark, has handled the transition to pro ball nicely, hitting .323/.425/.516 through 62 at-bats. His four triples are tied for the league lead, while his 13 RBIs are good for the team lead. Mier has already had seven multi-hit games in 15 starts and is currently riding a five-game hitting streak.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Traders Remorse - Parraz & Lumsden
« on: July 12, 2009, 06:06:49 am »
Back when the trade happened.  I understood the need for Parraz to have a change of scenery and wasn't sure if he would ever develop the potential that was seen in him.  Now half a season after the trade, I feel like the Astros got fleeced. 

Tyler Lumsden started the year in RR.  In 14 appearances over 18 1/3 innings, he walked more batters (12) than he struck out (10) and had an ERA of 4.42.  As a result, he was demoted to Corpus where in a limited sample size (3.2 IP) his ERA is 12.27.

Parraz, prior to an injury that has landed him on the DL, is hitting .358 in his first year in AA.  He is getting on base at a .451 clip and is slugging at a .553 pace.  He leads the Texas League in all those categories.

I know player development is a marathon and not a sprint.  But as of today, this looks like a bad deal.

Beer and Queso / international Wireless internet plans
« on: July 07, 2009, 03:11:05 pm »
Warning - I maybe asking a stupid question in wrong syntax because Tech is a way foreign language to me.

I am going to the Philippines in August and am taking my laptop.  The hotel I am staying at is going to charge 20 bucks a day for internet access.  I am sure there isn't much free wifi floating around Manila to take advantage of.  Plus I will have ample time in airports to be hanging out. 

Is there a good service here in the US that gives a decent deal on international access?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Devon Torrence - giving up baseball
« on: July 03, 2009, 10:17:37 pm »
Looks that way:  He has not made it official and has been out of touch with everyone. 

So the bottom line is Torrence appears to have chosen football over baseball, which probably is the right move, considering he already is a junior, and he is pushing Andre Amos for a starting cornerback job. Missing workouts might have allowed Amos to solidify the spot.

If this is true, Torrence is also walking away from 3/5ths of his signing bonus.  For dual sport athletes, the signing bonus is spread out over 5 years.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Free Agent Signings
« on: June 30, 2009, 08:17:17 am »
Greeneville's bullpen is getting a couple of NDFA signings.

Tio McLean - who will be playing at the same park where he played college ball for Tuscullum College.

Garrett Bullock - college senior out of Wake Forest.  Was drafted by D-backs in 45 round in 07 but came back for senior year.  Didn't do very well with an ERA over 8.00.  He allegedly has a great pick off move.  Looking at his stats, he has had plenty of opportunity to use it.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Trinidad to AAA
« on: June 29, 2009, 07:02:36 am »
Polin is being called to RR.  I wonder what other moves are a foot.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / New Dominican Facility
« on: June 25, 2009, 07:21:18 am »
The Astros have announced they have signed a build & lease agreement for their new Dominican Republic Academy.

The complex will consists of two-and-a-half baseball playing fields, six-pack pitching mounds, batting cages and an observation tower among other amenities.

The facility will also include a two-story building with the first floor consisting of administrative offices, educational classrooms, a dining room, full-service industrial kitchen, weight room, training room, manager and coaches offices and locker rooms, equipment room, clubhouse, and laundry room. On the second floor of the building will be player and staff living accommodations, along with a computer lab with 15-20 work stations and a player entertainment room.

I am not sure what that 1/2 field will be used for.

Ed Wade:
"The facility will allow us to further the on-field development of our young Latin players along with giving us the opportunities to enhance their diets and provide them with English lessons that will allow them to function at a higher level when they move along the development chain in the United States.

Beer and Queso / Confederations Cup update
« on: June 24, 2009, 02:29:42 pm »
US lead spain at half 1-0.   Let's hope it turns out better than the half time lead against Italy

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Live from Bristol Va.
« on: June 23, 2009, 05:29:01 pm »
I found wifi at the G-steps opener. Will post updates.  I love my I-touch

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville Astros 2009
« on: June 17, 2009, 09:40:44 am »
This is your stop for the Greeneville Astros bus in 2009.

Players will start arriving in G'vegas tomorrow.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Tri Cities ValleyCats 2009
« on: June 17, 2009, 09:30:06 am »
This is your stop for the ValleyCats bus for 2009.  

Latest word is the roster will be released on Thursday. Some of the players hanging out in New York right now include:

David Duncan, Russel Dixon, Antonio Noguera, Kyle Godfrey, Danny Meier & Jeff Hulett

[ur=]And Draftees:[/url]

fifth-round pick Brandon Wikoff, ninth-rounder Ben Orloff and Justin Harper. James McDonald and Brian Kemp, selected in rounds 17-19, will also be making the trip. Joining them in Tri-City will be 21st-round pick Barry Butera, 23rd-25th-round picks Robert Donovan, Mike Modica and Nicholas Stanley, as well as 33rd-round pick Brenden Stines, adding to the group that features only players drafted out of college.

Another player reportedly headed to Tri Cities is catcher Pedro Gonzalez.  Who has slid down the ladder from Lancaster to Lexington to Tri Cities this season.  

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Footer on Promotions & Norris
« on: June 13, 2009, 06:07:21 am »
Summary - Gaston & Shuck - could sniff AA this year, Lex pitchers not slated for promotion at this time but not out of the question

Norris -
During Spring Training, several Astros evaluators said if Norris, the club's top pitching prospect, can develop the changeup and effectively use it as a quality third pitch, his future is probably as a starter. If it turns out he is more of a two-pitch pitcher, he could be looked at as a future candidate for the back end of the bullpen, possibly as a closer. As of now, his changeup is coming along nicely, and the Astros are still hopeful he can eventually turn into a top-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Gaston Cal League All Star
« on: June 12, 2009, 07:37:36 am »
Jon Gaston made the all star team.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Sally All Stars
« on: June 08, 2009, 06:00:42 pm »
Bono, Seaton & Rosario all made the cut.

It's worth looking at the roster if for nothing else to see "SWP Pat Venditte"

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Hook's 5th anniversary team
« on: June 08, 2009, 06:32:14 am »
The voting has started for catcher. Here is Matt Hicks & Greg Rajan's break down of the catchers. You can vote at or at

Players of the month for May as named by the Astros Player Development folks.

Pitcher - Patrick Urckfitz
Offensive - Brian Pelligrini
Defensive - Brandon Barnes

Pitcher - Jordan Powell
Offensive -Jon Gaston
Defensive - Jason Castro

Corpus Christi
Pitcher - Doug Arguello
Offensive - Drew Locke
Defensive - Josh Flores

Round Rock
Pitcher - Bazardo
Offensive - Manzella
Defensive - Manzella

Talk Zone / Trying to figure out Pence - not from Foooters Blog
« on: June 03, 2009, 10:48:26 pm »
Okay, let's try to make some sense out of this. 

"I'm kind of just finding holes here and there," Pence said during the Astros' recent series at Cincinnati. "It comes with more experience, more learning. You put it in play. Right now, I've been putting it in play and finding holes.

Before, I'd been more of a guy who tried to get the head (of the bat) out too much, afraid to get jammed. But sometimes it's a good thing. Then, when you do get the head out, good things happen."

Thank goodness for parentheses.

Meanwhile Cooper is in love:

"One of the best young players in the game, no question about it," Astros Manager Cecil Cooper said of Houston's top draft pick of 2004. "I love his drive for the game, his focus. I mean, he's going to be a star, ain't no question about it.

"Time and maturity, that's all he needs. His skill level is there. His skills are almost off the charts."

But wait there's more...this is just great from Coop:
He has the ability to make adjustments, that's for sure," Cooper said. "I can just go back to his first year here (Houston), there was some things I saw him do that he's not doing anymore. Over the course of last year, you could see him making progress. ... There's a small growth that he'll probably go through, but he's pretty close to a finished product."..."Sometimes pitchers would use his aggressiveness against him, and I think it took him pretty much all of that first year, and he just went on natural ability," Cooper said. "But last year I saw him make some strides in that area. And this year it's like lightning. If he keeps doing that, kind of going up this way, it's off the charts what he can do."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Matt Weston Signed
« on: June 03, 2009, 09:59:02 pm »
Matt Weston, 12 round pick of the Giants in 06, was signed out of the Can-Am indy league and assigned to Lancaster.  He hit .276 with 11 HR in 435 AB in Augusta of the SALLY League in 07 before playing in indy ball in 08.  He was signed as a 1B.  He played one year of college ball at U of Houston.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / DSL
« on: June 02, 2009, 10:21:01 am »
The DSL season is underway.  I have updated the transaction post with signings and releases that came with the season.  Not much in the way of news comes out of there but it looks like transactions will be updated through this year.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville Pitching Coach
« on: June 01, 2009, 08:07:02 am »
Originally, Travis Driskill was going to be in G'vill this year.  However, due to Charlie Taylor's illness, Driskill is spending his time in Lexington.  So Rick Aponte, who was going to be the pitching coach for the GCL astros is being moved to Greeneville.  Aponte has a long history with the organization.  He also has some time in the bigs as a bullpen coach for the Nationals. 

The GCL pitching coach has not been named yet.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Gabe Suarez signed
« on: May 31, 2009, 04:35:37 am »
A middle infielder out of the Atlantic League (INDY).  Was hitting .353 in 12 games for the Long Island Ducks this season.  Assigned to Lancaster.

He was drafted by the Expos in 04, released in 05, signed with the Rockies for 06 and ended up traded to the Reds in 07.  Played 1 game for Sarasota before winding up in indy ball again.  Don't expect the .353 average.  Expect more around .200- 225 range based on history.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / 2006 Mid Term Draft Report Card
« on: May 29, 2009, 11:58:49 am »
Posted at the bus stop, bring back a signed copy from your parents on Monday.

Talk Zone / Maysonet the 3rd catcher?
« on: May 29, 2009, 06:27:04 am »'s Mark Maloney caught up with the former Lex Legend in Cincy and got this gem:

"He told me when he got here, 'I can even catch. I can be your third catcher,'" Cooper said. "So (Monday) he was going out there, warming the pitcher up and getting ready because one of our catchers is down. So he's a good player. He's a good little infielder and, hopefully, he gets a lot of time to be at this level and show that he can play here."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Brandon Wilkerson signs
« on: May 27, 2009, 06:24:32 am »
The Astros signed Brandon Wilkerson (SS) to a minor league contract according to BA.  This is the son of Curtis Wilkerson, the former Ranger.  He went to high school in Austin (Lamar).

He attended Panola JC in 08 and only played in 11 games hitting .342.

He also played some indy ball, coached by his dad.

Talk Zone / Rules Question
« on: May 25, 2009, 11:01:26 am »
Okay, help me figure out who is obstructing whom here, if there was any to begin with:

Runner at 2nd with 1 out.  Ground ball to the SS, man on second waits and when throw is released, he heads to 3rd.  Batter is out at 1st and 1st baseman throws to 3rd to get runner out.  Before ball arrives, a collision occurs.  3rd baseman is about 3-4 feet off the bag in the baseline.  Runner scrambles to 3rd.  Ball is backed up by LF and runner has no chance of advancing. What is the ruling:

1.  Runner out for running over the 3rd baseman despite the fact he was in the baseline.
2.  Runner safe but no obstruction, stays at 3rd
3.  Runner safe and awarded home based on obstruction of 3rd baseman being in the baseline.

After you guys discuss, I will tell you what the ump at my son's game decided and we can castigate or praise based on what you guys thing.

He goes on a trip[b=] round the bases[/b] with us.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lo & Behold
« on: May 22, 2009, 04:12:27 am »
C. J on the DL

The Hooks also had a roster move before the game, as righty reliever Chia-Jen Lo was put on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. He has not pitched since being called up from high-A Lancaster on Saturday.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Scouting Life
« on: May 20, 2009, 09:23:22 am »
Article on life of Astros Scout at the Bus Stop

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Bunch of transactions
« on: May 16, 2009, 07:27:20 pm »
Chris Johnson to RR
C. J. Lo to CC
Daniel Meszaros to CC

Among many others.  See the transactions page.  Those bolded have happened in the last two days.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Chris Johnson to Lancaster?
« on: May 12, 2009, 02:53:04 pm »
Just saw the transaction.  I assume this is a rehab kind of assignment.  Anyone have any other ideas?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Former Bus Rider: Juan Gutierrez
« on: May 06, 2009, 03:30:35 pm »
Just an update on a former bus rider who is having some success. Juan was traded away as a part of the Valverde deal.  He was nothing to write home about last year in AAA but started out this year in the Diamondback's pen.  So far, this is his season line:

15 IP, 11 H, 5 R/ER, 0 HR, 6 BB, 20 K, 3.00 ERA

He gave up 4 hits and 3 ER in his second outing and has been very solid since then.

From an official release at

They are listed in order of Pitcher of the month, Offensive POM, and Defensive POM

Round Rock: RHP Jeremy Johnson, IF Mark Saccomanno, IF Tommy Manzella;
Corpus Christi: RHP Brad James, OF Drew Locke, IF Drew Meyer;
Lancaster: RHP Chris Hicks, OF J.B. Shuck, C Jason Castro; Lexington:
Lexington: RHP Daniel Meszaros, IF Ebert Rosario, IF Albert Cartwright.

Talk Zone / No Hitter
« on: May 05, 2009, 09:37:45 pm »
Must be a boastful dad! My 9 year old pitched a mercy rule shortened no hitter tonight.  He faced the minimum over 4 innings.  9 strike outs and one walk.  The one base runner was thrown out stealing 3rd.  He only threw 51 pitches. 

After the game, the coach told the team that he had thrown a no hitter and the other players started telling him thank you.  It was kinda neat.  He got a game ball signed by all his teammates. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor Transactions 2009
« on: April 10, 2009, 06:22:11 pm »
Minor League Transactions for the 2009 season.  If you name is listed, it ain't minor to you.

Erick Abreu - placed on 7 day DL (Apr), reinstated from DL (Apr.), sent from CC to Lancaster (May), sent back to CC (June), promoted to RR (July)
Leonardo Alayon - signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Jose Altuve - promoted to Tri Cities (Aug)
Douglas Arguello - placed on 7 day DL (June), assigned to Tri for Rehab (July),promoted to CC (Aug)
Alberto Arias - called up to Houston (Apr.), Optioned to RR (Apr.), Called back up to Houston (May)
Jay Austin - placed on DL (June), activated from DL (June), back on DL in Aug (Aug)
Max Ayarza -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Brandon Backe - assigned to CC for rehab assignment (May)
Brandon Barnes - promoted to Lancaster (June)
Kenny Baugh - signed to minor league contract, assigned to CC (July)
Yorman Bazardo - called up to Houston (Aug)
David Berner - placed in 7 day DL (July)
Chris Blazek - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.)
Geoff Blum - rehab in RR (June), Back to Houston (June)
Richardo Bonfante- placed on 7 day DL with separated shoulder (May), assigned to GCL Astros for rehab (July)
Aaron Boone - sent to CC on rehab (Aug)
Steve Brown - Placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), activated of DL in Lex (May)
Doug Brocail - assigned to RR for rehab assignment and then sent to CC to continue (July)
Garrett Bullock - signed as a free agent and assigned to Greeneville (June), sent down to GCL (July)
T J Burton - promoted from CC to RR (July)
Fredwin Campusano-signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Jose Capellan - placed on 7 day DL (Aug)
Albert Cartwright - Placed on 7 day DL with broken bone expected out 4-6 weeks (May), activated from DL (June)
Jason Castro - promoted to CC from Lancaster (June)
Leandro Cespedes - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), activated from DL and assigned to Lancaster (May)
Kirk Clark - signed to minor league contract and assigned to Tri Cities (Aug)
Koby Clemens - promoted from Lancaster to CC (Apr), returned to Lancaster (May)
Jordan Comandena - placed on Lex roster from EST (Apr), promoted from Lex. to Lancaster (Apr), activated from inactive list in Lancaster (May), placed back on inactive list (May), activated from inactive list (June), placed back on inactive list (June), reactivated (June), promoted to CC (July)
Rayner Contreras - signed to minor league contract (June - BA),placed on temp. inactive list (July - BA)
Roy Corcoran - signed as free agent and assigned to RR (Aug)
Casey Daigle - signed to minor league contract and assigned to RR (Apr)
Luis De La Rosa -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Elias De Leon -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Jorge De Leon - assigned to Lex from EST (May), sent down to Tri (Aug)
Danilo Del Rio -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Dayan Diaz - placed on 60 day DL (June)
Mike Diaz - called up to CC from Extended Spring due to Sutil going on DL (May), assigned to Lexington (May)
Russel Dixon - send from Lex to EST due to Brown coming off the DL (May), assigned to Tri Cities (June), promoted back to Lex with Austin on DL (Aug)
Jason Dominguez - released (Apr.)
Brendan Donnelly - signed to minor league contract (Apr), granted free agency (July)
David Duncan - placed in inactive list in Lancaster and assigned to Tri Cities (June), promoted to Lexington (July)
German Duran - signed to Minor League Free Agent contract and assigned to GCL (July), assigned to CC (July)
Jose Duran - placed on 7 day DL (May), activated in Lancaster (June), Placed back on DL (June)
Brad Dydalewicz - placed on 7 day DL (May), Activated off DL in Lex (May)
Evan Englebrook - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.) activated and assigned to RR (May), sent down to CC (May), Placed on DL (June), activated off DL (July)
Darin Erstad - sent to CC for rehab assignment (Aug)
Martin Espinal - released (May)
Brian Esposito - promoted from CC to RR (Apr), returned to CC (May), promoted to RR (July)
Paul Estrada - placed on temp. inactive list (May), called up to Round Rock (May), released (May)
Tip Fairchild - signed to minor league contract and assigned to Lancaster (July)
Rafael Farias -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Max Fearnow - signed as a NDFA (July)
Johnathan Fixler -Moved from Lex roster to CC (Apr), sent to Lancaster when Castro called up (June), assigned to RR (July), sent back to Lancaster (July), promoted back to CC (July)
Jhon Florentino - placed on DL (May), activated from DL (June)
David Flores - placed on DL (July), activated from DL (Aug), placed back on DL (Aug)
Enderson Franco - signed and assigned to DSL Astros (July)
Jeff Frawley - assigned to GCL (Aug)
Jeff Fulchino - Called up from RR to Houston (Apr.), Optioned back to RR (Apr), Called back up to Houston (Apr.), Sent back to Round Rock (May), called back up from RR to Houston (May)
Gabriel Garcia - placed on restricted list after receiving 50 game suspension for PED (Aug)
Geoff Geary - out righted to Round Rock (June)
Sammy Gervacio - called up to Houston (July), Optioned to RR (Aug), recalled to Houston (Aug)
Kyle Godfrey - promoted from Tri Cities to Lex (July)
Pedro Gomez - placed on 60 day DL (June)
Abraham Gonzalez - signed to minor league contract and assigned to Greeneville (Aug)
Alfredo Gonzalez -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Mario Gonzalez -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Pedro Gonzalez - placed on reserve list (Apr.), Assigned to Lexington (Apr), send down to Tri Cities (June)
Murillo Gouvea - acquired in trade from White Sox for future considerations, assigned to Greeneville (July)
Rochi Gutierrez -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Michael Hacker - promoted from GCL Astros to Lex (May), placed on DL (Aug)
Justin Harper - placed on 7 day DL (July)
Clay Hensley - released (Apr.)
Frederico Hernandez - placed on 7 day DL (Aug)
Kody Hinze - Placed on inactive list in Lex (May), Sent back to GCL (June), Sent up to Lex (July)
Jeff Hullett - promoted from Tri to Lex (July)
Casey Hudspeth - Assigned to Lancaster from CC (July)
Jeff Icenogle - released (July)
Wilton Infante - released (June),  re-signed and assigned to GCL astros (June),Promoted to Greeneville (July)
Eli Iorg - placed on temp. inactive list (Apr.), Activated (Apr),placed on inactive list (May), placed on DL (May), Sent to Tri for rehab assignment (July), released (July)
Roliner Iturralde -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Christopher Jackson - assigned to Lexington from RR (July)
Chris Johnson - placed on DL retro 4/14 (Apr), placed back on DL with microfracture of finger (Apr), activated and assigned to Lancaster (May), reassigned to Round Rock
Jeremy Johnson - contract sold to LG Twins (Korea) (July)
Matt Kata - called up to Houston (May), optioned to Round Rock (July), called back up to Houston (July), optioned to RR (Aug)
Reid Kelly - placed on DL (June), Released (July)
Dallas Keuchel - Assigned to Tri Cities (June)
Carlos Lazu - released (June)
Chase Lehr - released (May)
C J. Lo - promoted to CC from Lancaster (May), placed on DL (May), activated from DL (June)
Jose Lopez (C) - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), assigned to GCL Astros (Aug)
Jose Lopez (OF)  -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Raymer Lopez -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Wilton Lopez - Claimed of waivers from the Padres and assigned to AA. (Apr.), Activated on CC roster (Apr)
Andrea Lucati - released (June)(erroneous report on Appy League Transaction), assigned to GCL Astros (June)
Tyler Lumsden - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), outrighted to Round Rock (June), assigned to CC (July)
Ryan McKeller - sent from RR to CC (May)
Tio McLean - signed as a free agent and assigned to Greeneville (June), sent down to GCL (Aug), placed on suspended list (aug)
Mark McLemore - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), activated from DL in RR (June)
Alexander Martinez - signed and assigned to DSL Astros (July)
J. D. Martinez - promoted to Tri Cites (July)
Kaz Matsui - Rehab assignment in CC (June)
Edwin Maysonet - recalled to Houston (May), optioned to RR (June), Called back up when Berkman placed on DL (July), optioned back to RR (July), recalled to Houston (Aug)
Danny Meier - released (July)
Jhoan Mejia - released (May)
Yonathon Mejia - signed and assigned to DSL Astros (July)
Daniel Meszaros - promoted from Lex to CC (May)
Nathan Metroka - called up to Lex from EST (Apr.), Returned to EST (May), assigned to Greeneville (June)
Jiovanni Mier - assigned to Greeneville (June)
Scott Migl - promoted to Tri Cities (July), sent back to Greeneville (Aug)
Kyle Miller - assigned to GCL Astros from Lex (May), recalled to Lex (May), sent down to Greeneville (July)
Chris Minaker - released (May)
Brian Moehler - assigned to RR CC for rehab (Apr)
Felix Molina - activated off inactive list in CC (Apr), placed on inactive list (Aug)
Dionel Montas - released (MILB - June), BA list as on 60 day DL (June)
Jose Monzon -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Nicholas Moresi - promoted to Corpus Christi (June)
Austin Mowdy - assigned to Lex from EST due to Dydalewicz being placed on DL (May), promoted to Lancaster (July)
Neal Musser- released (Apr.)
Antonio Noguera - promoted to Lex (Aug)
Bud Norris - called up to Houston (July)
Ben Orloff - sent down to Greeneville (Aug)
Jay Pacella - released (May)
Felipe Paulino - called up to Houston (Apr.), optioned to Round Rock (July), recalled to Houston (Aug), send back to RR (Aug), called back to Houston (Aug)
Lou Palmisano - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), released (May)
Chad Paronto - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), activated (Apr), placed on DL (June), Activated (July), called up to Houston (July), taken off 40 man roster and assigned to RR (July)
Wilder Parra - assigned to Lex from GCL (Aug)
Brian Pellegrini - sent from Lancaster to Lexington (May)
Kilby Pena - signed and assigned to DSL Astros (July)
Jose Perdomo -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
German Perez - placed on DL (July), assigned to GCL (Aug)
Reinaldo Pestana - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), assigned to Lex (June)
Yeudy Perdomo -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Nathan Pettus - promoted to Tri Cities (July)
Humberto Quintero - assigned to RR for rehab assignment (May), activated in Houston (May)
Felix Ramirez -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May), suspended for 50 games due to steroids - placed on restricted list (July)
Francis Ramirez -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Ronald Ramirez - promoted to Lancaster (July)
Carlos Reyes - placed on DL (June), activated from DL at GCL (July)
Darwin Rivera -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Raul Rivera - assigned to GCL Astros (Aug)
Kirkland Rivers - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), assigned to Lex (May), placed on inactive list (June), activated (July)
Phillip Rorabaugh - signed and assigned to GCL Astros (July)
Amilkin Rodrigez - released (May)
Raul Rodrigez - signed and assigned to DSL (May)
Ebert Rosario - promoted from Lex to Lancaster (July)
Joel Romero - released (June)
Phillip Rummel - assigned to Lancaster from EST (Apr.)
Chris Salamida - assigned from CC to Lancaster (July)
Chris Samson - optioned to RR (Aug)
Jose Santana - released (May)
Max Sapp - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.)
Daniel Sarisky - promoted to TriCities (Aug)
Micheal Schurz - promoted from GLC to Tri (Aug)
Rob Semerano - released (May)
Sergio Severino - Reassigned from Lancaster to GCL Astros (May)
Andru Sierra -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Andrew Simunic - called up to Lex from EST due to Albert Cartwright's broken arm (May), placed on inactive list (June), activated (June), promoted to Lancaster (Aug)
Jason Smith- Designated for assignment, granted free agency(May), resigned with Houston (May), designated for assignment to RR (May)
Chad Spann - Promoted from CC to RR (Apr), sent back to CC (May), returned to RR (May)
T.J. Steele - placed on 7 day DL (Apr.), Activated from DL list (Apr), placed back on DL list (Apr)
Gabriel Suarez - signed to a minor league contract and assigned to Lancaster (May), placed on 7 day DL (July)
Wlad Sutil - placed on DL due to hamstring injury (May), Activated from DL (May)
Eric Suttle - signed to minor league free agent contract and assigned to Lancaster (May), send to Lexington (June)
Drew Sutton - traded to Reds as PTBN to complete Keppinger trade (Apr)
Eric Taylor - placed on reserve list (Apr), reinstated from DL (Apr.), Retired (May)
Frederick Tiburcio -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
Jack Tighman - promoted from Lex to Lancaster (May)
Devon Torrence - placed on inactive list (June)
Julio Torres -signed and assigned to DSL Astros (May)
J. R. Towles - called up to Houston (Apr), optioned to Round Rock (May), placed on DL (June), activated from DL (July), placed on bereavement list (July) placed on 7 day DL (July)
Jose Trinidad - placed on DL (May). activated from DL (june), placed back on DL (Labrum) (July)
Polin Trinidad - placed on DL with right knee injury (Apr), activated from DL (May), called up to RR (July)
Chris Turner - released (June)
Pedro Valdez - released (May)
Jose Valverde - Rehab assignment in CC (June)
Andy Van Hekken - promoted from CC to RR (May), called back to CC due to Lo being placed on DL (May), placed on inactive list (June), Activated due to Arguello going on the DL (June), promoted to RR (Aug)
Radaulin Vargas - released (May)
Chad Wagler - Assigned from CC to Lancaster (May),retired (June)
Charles Weatherley III - signed minor league free agent contract and assigned to Corpus Christi (July)
Matt Weston - signed to minor league contract and assigned to Lancaster (June)
Brandon Wikoff - promoted to Lex (Aug)
Brandon Wilkerson - signed to a minor league contract (May)
Marques Williams - Assigned from EST to Lex (May), placed on DL (June), activated from DL (Aug)
Wesley Wright - optioned to AAA (May), recalled to Houston (June), send back to RR (June), recalled to Houston (June), optioned back to RR (June), recalled to Houston (July)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Front Page
« on: April 07, 2009, 08:43:30 am »
Don't forget to check the front page.  There are two minor news pieces new up there today on Brad James & Colin Delome.  When the games start, there will also be summaries posted on a fairly regular basis. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / McTaggart's minor updates
« on: April 06, 2009, 02:44:09 pm »
Tag reports

Sapp likely out for year

Jarred Holloway had season ending elbow surgery

Chris Barnwell traded to Pitt for PTBN

Lex will have a great pitching staff (see Legends thread)

And the following catching news

The Astros are thrilled with their depth at catcher in the minors, and here's where they will likely begin the season: Lou Santangelo has passed J.R. Towles on the depth chart, but both will be at Round Rock to start the year. Lou Palmisano and Brian Esposito will split time in Corpus Christi, with Esposito getting a majority of the playing time while Palmisano recovers from an injury. Jason Castro and Koby Clemens will catch at Lancaster, but Castro will get majority of time.

Which means Fixler will be repeating Lex but likely to move up if Castro moves up.

Talk Zone / Nolan's new workout plan for Ranger's pitchers
« on: April 03, 2009, 09:51:15 am »
BA has a lengthy article on Nolan Ryan's new expectations for the Ranger's pitchers:

Longer long toss - exceeding the 120' that is currently the norm
"I would get up to 45 minutes in of BP, and I would play long toss," Ryan said. "It was part of my five-day routine. But I probably threw a lot more long toss in January and February when I was getting ready for spring training."
Throwing live BP between starts
"You can see how your ball is moving," (LHP Derek) Holland said of live BP, noting he doesn't go a full 100 percent. "When you have a hitter there, you see what you've got to work on. When you don't have a hitter, you don't get a reaction.
Better conditioning
"I've (Ryan) always believed that the one thing you could control was the shape you were in. I never wanted to walk off the field with the feeling I got beat because somebody was in better shape than I was."

Any thoughts from our pitching experts out there?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lexington Legends 2009
« on: April 02, 2009, 03:20:21 pm »
Welcome to the Legend's thread for 2009.  Enjoy the bus ride.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lancaster Jethawks 2009
« on: April 02, 2009, 03:19:18 pm »
This is your tread to discuss the new Astro's affiliate - The Lancaster JetHawks.  Sit back and enjoy the California bus ride.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Round Rock Express 2009
« on: April 02, 2009, 03:18:04 pm »
Welcome to the Express thread for 2009.  Enjoy the bus ride.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Corpus Christi 2009
« on: April 02, 2009, 07:44:26 am »
This will be your thread to discuss the goings on with the Hooks this season.  Sit back and enjoy the bus ride.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lou Palmisano to minors
« on: March 22, 2009, 06:11:06 am »
He was offered back to Brewers as a rule 5 pick, they said no thanks so he accepted assignment to minor league camp.  Will it be he and Towles at RR or will he be with Santangelo at CC?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Round Rock 10th Anniversary Team
« on: March 12, 2009, 09:46:58 am »
Here is the line up:

Starter:Roy Oswalt (RHP),
Closer: Brad Lidge (RHP)
 Humberto Quintero (C)
Mark Saccomanno (1B)
Brooks Conrad (2B)
David Matranga (SS)
Mike Coolbaugh (3B)
Luke Scott (OF)
Willy Taveras (OF)
Hunter Pence (OF).

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / New Florida Winter Baseball League
« on: March 12, 2009, 09:34:28 am »
News is trickling out of Florida of a new Winter Baseball league.  This will not be a league similar to the AFL or the defunct HWL.  But will be a "prefered U. S. alternative" to playing in one of the Caribean Leagues. 

The season will begin in late October and feature 60 games through January. It will be the only winter baseball in the United States outside of Arizona. Many rookie league and Class A players currently travel to Latin America to play winter ball. Each franchise will have a $60,000 salary cap for 22 players....“The goal of this was to have a place for our guys to train during the off-season,” Boudreaux said. “I think we’ve got major league prospects that maybe didn’t get enough at-bats or didn’t pitch enough innings. Now, they’ll get a chance to train in sunny Florida.”

The league will start with 4 teams:  Miami, Leesburg, Sanford and Cocoa.  Cocoa will play at the old Astros spring training complex.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Sapp hospitalized with seizures
« on: March 12, 2009, 09:18:24 am »
See front page for summary and link to Footer's story.

Talk Zone / The smoking syringes?
« on: March 10, 2009, 10:22:54 pm »

Talk Zone / The Late Show with Roy O
« on: March 05, 2009, 12:28:13 pm »
According to the pregame notes, he and 8 of his buddies will be helping Dave out with the top 10 list tonight.  Top 10 Reasons to watch the world baseball classic. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Spring Training Minor Transactions
« on: March 02, 2009, 03:47:43 pm »
Remember if your name is on the list, it's not minor to you.

Reggie Abercrombie - optioned to Round Rock (April)
Colt Adams - released (Mar.)
Alberto Arias - optioned to Round Rock (April)
Chris Barnwell - traded to Pittsburgh for a PTBN (Apr.)
Corey Bass- released (Mar.)
Antony Bello- released (Mar.)
Brian Bogusevic - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Marcos Cabral - signed to a minor league contract (Mar.)
Jose Capellan - optioned to Round Rock (Apr.)
Jason Castro - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Eduin Ciriaco- released (Mar.)
Gilbert De La Vara - returned to the Royals as a rule 5(V) draft pick (Mar.)
Brian Esposito - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Jeff Eure- released (Mar.)
Cat Everett- released (Mar.)
Jeff Fulchino - optioned to Round Rock (Apr.)
John Gall - - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Sammy Gervacio - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.)
Jimmy Goethals- released (Mar.)
Danny Graves - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.), requested and was granted release (Mar.)
Billy Hart- released (Mar.)
Clay Hensley - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Julian Henson - released (Apr)
Jarred Holloway - on DL with season ending elbow surgery (Mar.)
Brad James - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.) Option transferred to Corpus (Apr)
Chris Johnson - reassigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Pascual Juan- released (Mar.)
Matt Kata - - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Michael Koons- released (Mar.)
Tyler Lumsden - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.)
Tommy Manzella - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.)
Edwin Maysonet - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.)
Chris Minaker - signed to minor league contract. (Apr)
Neil Musser - signed to Minor League contract & Non roster invitee to ST (Mar.), assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Bud Norris - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Lou Pamisano - Rule 5 draftee offered back to Brewers who declined, accepted assignment to minor league camp (Mar.)
Sergio Perez - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Josh Pressley- released (Mar.)
Jacob Priday - Placed on restricted list (Feb)
Chad Pronto - assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Yordany Ramirez - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.)
Brett Robinson- released (Mar.)
Jason Romano- released (Mar.)
David Qualben- released (Mar.)
Mark Saccomanno -assigned to minor league camp (Mar.)
Lou Santangelo - assigned to minor league camp (Apr.)
Ole Sheldon- released (Mar.)
Drew Sutton - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.)
J. R. Towles - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.)
Polin Trinidad - optioned to Round Rock (Mar.) option transferred to Corpus (Apr)
Jason Tyner- released (Mar.)
Tom Vessella- released (Mar.)
Sean Walker- released (Mar.)

Talk Zone / Scrap Iron's Number Being Retired at UT (Knoxville not Austin)
« on: February 19, 2009, 09:18:01 am »
Phil's number #18) is being retired tonight in Knoxville. Joins Todd Helton's #3 as the second baseball number to be retired.

Talk Zone / Dick Justice blames Cooper for Troy Patton's injury
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:12:39 pm »
Tell us how you really feel Richard.

On Sept. 7, 2007, before a game at Shea Stadium, Patton remembers Cooper approaching him and saying he understood he had pitched a lot of innings and that he would be getting an extra day or two off before his next appearance.

That night, Patton, thinking there’s no way he’d be used, headed to the bullpen in running shoes.

“Hold it,’’ teammate Chris Sampson told him. “Go put your cleats on. You never know.’’

The Astros were being blown out that night when Cooper telephoned the bullpen and ordered Patton to warm up.

Patton had pitched in relief just one other time in his life. Instead of his usual 24-minute warm-up session, he got ready in about five minutes.

He pitched an inning that night and woke up the next morning with a sore left shoulder. He hasn’t pitched an inning since, and last year underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum.

He’s careful not to blame anyone, especially Cooper, for his injury.

Still, the manager should never have used the organization’s top pitching prospect in that situation.

Then he throws this bit of solid reporting in:

Wade took over as general manager a few weeks later and foolishly included Patton in a package of players that brought Miguel Tejada to the Astros.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Drew Meyer Signed to Minor League Contract
« on: February 09, 2009, 08:11:03 am »
Former 1st round pick of the T-Rangers has signed with the good guys

Talk Zone / Dustin Pedroia's Brother in trouble
« on: January 29, 2009, 09:58:49 am »

Talk Zone / 1963 MVP question
« on: January 26, 2009, 05:12:25 pm »
Someone help me understand why Dick Groat finished 2nd ahead of Hank Aaron?

Beer and Queso / Basketball goal advice
« on: January 23, 2009, 01:16:37 pm »
A few months ago, I performed a flawless slam dunk on our basketball goal in the back yard.  It was set on 7 1/2 feet at the time thank you very much.

What I didn't realize is the post holding the goal up and never been covered.  Years of rain had puddled at the 2 1/2 foot level and rusted to post out.  So when my 200 + LBS slammed, the goal came down with me.  The post was sunk very deep in concrete.  I don't want to have to jack hammer or sledge hammer the post out.  I would like to find a post to fit over the old one. 

Any ideas or suggestions on where to find a post that would work?

I figure with out the great suggestions for rats, this question should be a breeze for the SnS faithful.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lancaster Sold
« on: January 23, 2009, 09:18:11 am »
By opening day, the JetHawks will have new owners.  One of the heads of the ownership group is Lawrence Lyttle.

Lyttle, who resides in Pacific Palisades, is a longtime television executive and producer who has sheparded dozens of television series from Murphy Brown to Night Court to China Beach to Moesha to Judge Judy and on. In addition, Lyttle has served in the political arena as a media consultant on Sen. Joe Lieberman's 2004 Presidential campaign and Phil Angelides Gubernatorial campaign against Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The other head is a baseball junkie.

Jeff (Katofsky) has coached over 75 youth baseball and girls softball teams and has been a volunteer board member of his local little league for over two decades.

While this doesn't impact the player development side of things. It lets fan's in the area know what to expect at the park.

Talk Zone / Astros in the WBC
« on: January 20, 2009, 05:59:25 am »
Here are the preliminary rosters for the WBC and here is a list of those with Astros Connections:

Roy Oswalt

Chris Barnwell (Signed minor league contract)
T. J. Burton (Signed minor league contract)
Stubby Clapp (Greeneville Astros pitching coach)

Carlos Lee

Fernando Nieve
Humberto Quintero

Dom. Republic:
Miguel Tejada
Wandy Rodriguez
Jose Valverde

Chia-Jen Lo

These 45 player rosters will be cut to 28 rosters (13 pitchers required) by Feb. 24. 

Talk Zone / Get Fuzzy
« on: January 16, 2009, 03:14:42 pm »
For the past week or so, the comic strip "Get Fuzzy" has been on a baseball theme.  The acerbic cat in the comic strip is a Yankee's fan while his owner is a Red Sox Fan.  After stating that the Yankee's "are officially more dangerous in the strike zone than a teamster with a bag of rocks", the cat started designing, several new logos for the Red Sox, today he takes on the Cubs.  The design is a classic!

From KHOU:

 The Puerto Rican National said he was in his brand new Mercedes with his pregnant wife and two kids when Bellaire police pulled him over.  At the time, he said he had no idea what he had done wrong.

"They came out of nowhere," said Cruz. “The officer proceeded to arrest me. He told me that there were warrants out for my arrest. I told him that I didn’t have so much as a ticket, much less a warrant."

The Bellaire High School grad ended up spending the night in jail. But it was a mistake. Cruz said it turned out that those warrants weren't for him.

Paul Doyle is the ball player's attorney, and said there is real problem in the area. He believes Cruz may have been a victim of racial profiling.

“It wasn't until we got involved that the police came up with the pretext that they pulled him over because he didn’t have a front license plate. That was the excuse they used,” said Doyle. “They're not going to say that they saw a Puerto Rican guy driving a nice car and stopped him.”

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Bus Riders in Big Boy Spring Training
« on: January 08, 2009, 09:19:47 am »
Here are the invites so far:

Chris Johnson
Bud Norris
Lou Santangelo
Jason Castro

Castro who was just drafted last year has risen quickly after a solid performance in the NYPenn League and then a very good performance in the HWL. 

"Bringing kids to Spring Training right after their first pro contract usually turns out poorly," Wade said. "As much as you explain he doesn't have a chance to make the club, the day you send him out, he's disappointed or upset. But with [Castro's] makeup and background, when we talked about it last summer, that didn't seem to be an issue."

Baseball America does a pretty good piece on how the Passed Ball stat changes as players move up and gives some of the reasons why.  They then list the rankings of catchers in the minors with Passed Ball/120 Games.  The worst on the list is Koby Clemens.  In breaking his situation down they give this insight:

A 21-year-old catcher who just outhit the Carolina League average OPS by 65 points is impressive, but Clemens has a ways to go on defense. The same lateral mobility and body control issues that plagued Clemens at third base hamper his defense behind the plate. He threw out 35 percent runners, but teams ran on him frequently because his pop times are below-average and his footwork needs improvement.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Economic Impact on Minor League BBall
« on: December 12, 2008, 11:30:53 am »
NYTimes has piece today about minor league teams trying to save money.  Round Rock is saving by keeping something old in place:

The Round Rock Express, the Houston Astros’ Class AAA affiliate, has often bought new in-game entertainment features for fans from one season to the next. Next season, however, the team plans to run the same video entertainment on the outfield screen between innings.

“It will be the same cap shuffle video instead of changing the whole thing, like we’ve done in years past,” said Clint Musslewhite, the team’s director for ballpark entertainment. “We are not going to have them redo it. We’re going to strategically change our entertainment; the number of inflatable things we’ll rent will decrease.”

Talk Zone / Maddux retires
« on: December 05, 2008, 03:59:29 pm »

Talk Zone / Bogar a Basecoach for Boston
« on: November 30, 2008, 05:36:27 am »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Clemens & Ori talk way out of trouble
« on: November 21, 2008, 09:13:12 pm »
Katrina Waugh has the scoop on the dropped charges.

Clemens, son of seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, and Ori spoke at Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast at Salem High School, three classes of ninth and 10th graders at Glenvar High School, Gus Mitchell School at HopeTree Family Services and the Winter Sports Pledge Meeting at Salem High School on Thursday, according to the news release.

Friday morning, Bowers “nolle prossed and discontinued the prosecution” of the charges against Clemens and Ori in front of District Court Judge Jacqueline Talevi.

Goethals case will still be heard on Dec. 2.

Talk Zone / 40 man roster move
« on: November 19, 2008, 02:30:29 pm »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor League Free Agent List
« on: November 07, 2008, 01:43:24 pm »
BA has released the list of 561 Minor League Free Agents.  25 of them are Astros.
Houston Astros (25)
RHP: Erick Abreu (Hi A), Jack Cassel (AAA), Ron Chiavacci (AAA), Chance Douglass (AA), Paul Estrada (AA), Bo Hall (AA), Ryan Houston (AAA), Kyle Middleton (AAA), Josh Miller (AAA), Jose Oyervidez (AA), Nick Regilio (AAA)
LHP: Doug Arguello (Hi A), Ray King (AAA), Mark McLemore (on DL all season) (AAA)
C: Julian Henson (Lo A)
2B: Richard Paz (AAA)
3B: Rob Cosby (AA)
SS: Osvaldo Fernando (AA), Danny Klassen (AAA), Roberto Mena (Hi A)
OF: Jarred Ball (AA), Nick Gorneault (AAA), Val Majewski (AAA), Ray Sadler (AAA), Todd Self (AAA)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / top prospect list season
« on: November 06, 2008, 03:32:37 pm »
It's that time of the year when different folks start putting out their top 10/20 prospect list.  Baseball America started theirs off with the O's and named former Astro farm hand Troy Patton as #8.  They will do their Astros list on Jan 16.  This thread will be a way to keep up with the list as they come out.  Feel free to post one if you find it first.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / New Manager in Lexington
« on: November 06, 2008, 03:26:06 pm »
We don't know who yet but there will be one.   Farmstro sent me this link which tell us Gregg Langbehn will be managing in the frontier league next season. 

Talk Zone / Philly giving Ed Wade some credit
« on: November 05, 2008, 10:29:25 pm »
It is nice to see that Pat Gillick and others are giving some of the credit to Ed Wade.  This from the sporting news.

``The Phillies weren't used to winning,'' said shortstop Jimmy Rollins, a second-round pick in the 1996 draft. ``But Ed Wade did a good job drafting guys that were built to win, but to be good players and stay for the long run. We're now seeing the work that Ed Wade put in.''

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Bud Norris (video)
« on: October 31, 2008, 12:42:34 pm »
Here is another video from the AFL.  Bud Norris pitching from the stretch.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Now Batting #73 Brian Bogusevic (video)
« on: October 31, 2008, 12:38:12 pm »
Found this today.  Feel free to analyze the former pitcher's swing.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Off Season Minor Transactions 08-09
« on: October 10, 2008, 12:31:18 pm »
Minors Related Transactions for the 08-09 off season.

Reggie Abercrombie - re-signed to a minor league contract (Dec)
Doug Arguello - re-signed (Nov)
Chris Barnwell - Signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Dave Borkowski - Outrighted to AAA off the 40 man roster (Oct), granted free agency (Oct.)
Bryan Brown - Released (Nov)
Greg Buchanan - released (Nov)
Jose Capellan - Signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Kevin Carkeek - released (Nov)
Jack Cassel - Outrighted to AAA off the 40 man roster (Oct)
Jose Castillo.- Outrighted to AAA off the 40 man roster (Oct), granted free agency (Oct.)
Jordan Comadena - Signed to a minor league contract (Jan)
Raymar Diaz - released (Nov)
David Dinelli - released (Nov)
Brian Esposito - Signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Paul Estrada- Outrighted to AA off the 40 man roster (Oct.), resigned to minor league contract (Dec.)
John Gall - Signed to Minor League Contract (Dec)
Danny Graves - Signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Toby Hall - Signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Clay Hensley - signed to Minor League Contract (Dec)
Julian Henson - signed to Minor League Contract (Feb)
Runelvys Hernandez - Granted free agency (Oct.)
J. R. House - Signed with Royals (Nov)
Ryan Houston - Outrighted to AAA off the 40 man roster (Oct)
Jeremy Johnson - signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Matt Kata - Signed to Minor League Contract (Dec)
Carlos Ladeuth - Released (Oct)
Jacob Leonhart- Released (Nov)
Mark McLemore - signed to Minor League Contract (Feb)
Drew Meyer - signed to Minor League Contract (Feb)
David Miller - Released (Nov)
Felix Molina - signed to a Minor League Contract (Feb)
David Newhan - signed to a minor league contract and invited to spring training (Jan)
Russ Ortiz - signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Luis Pardo - Released (Nov)
Chad Paronto - Signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Jordan Parraz - traded to Royals as the PTBN for Tyler Lumsden (Dec)
Tomas Perez -Granted free agency (Oct.)
Agustin Pinelas - released (Dec)
Josh Pressley - Signed to Minor League Contract (Dec)
Cesar Quintero - Released (Nov)
Orlando Rosales - released (Nov)
Rob Semerano - signed to Minor league Contract (Feb)
Jason Smith - signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Chad Spann -signed to minor league contract (Jan)
Tim Torres - Released (Nov)
Polin Trinidad - placed on 40 man roster (Oct.)
Andy Van Hekken - Signed (Nov.)

Talk Zone / Towles & the Draft Slot
« on: October 06, 2008, 03:57:04 pm »
BA's Jim Callis took a question in the Ask BA session today on Towles, here is his assessment:
I'm not sure the Astros would publicly call Towles a potential all-star after he batted .137/.250/.253 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 54 major league games, but they haven't given up on him yet. ...He still has solid tools across the board and more athleticism than most catchers. ...I wouldn't read too much into the Castro selection. The Astros drafted Castro simply because they thought he was the best player on the board at No. 10, not to try to fill a perceived need behind the plate.

Also in the chat is the draft order which shows the Astros draft 21st this year.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Ty Cobb aquired by Lexington Legends
« on: September 26, 2008, 08:59:36 am »
Okay so it's not the real Ty Cobb

The Lexington Legends announced today they have received the rights of the famed Ty Cobb from the Omaha Royals. In exchange for the young Cobb and in the spirit of the late Hall of Famer with the same moniker, the Royals will receive a bottle of Maker's Mark Kentucky Bourbon, a box of cigars and a copy of the 2003 film "Anger Management".

High expectations of the young Cobb
"Our staff had a tough time parting ways with the perfectly drinkable bourbon, but we're incredibly excited to have him join our team," said Legends General Manager Andy Shea. "One of his first duties as a Kentuckian will be to visit the Maker's Mark distillery, so he can see first-hand what we gave up for him and exactly how much we value him in our company."

Talk Zone / Weekend Weather - This could get interesting
« on: September 25, 2008, 06:34:53 am »
NY expecting heavy rains Friday and into Saturday.

An entirely different concern would arise if Friday’s game is postponed, forcing the Mets to play a doubleheader — presumably on Saturday. Because the Mets have used up their quota of day-night doubleheaders — each team can play two at home and two on the road — they would most likely have to play back-to-back games...
The Mets would clearly rather play the games as scheduled so that their erratic bullpen would not have to pitch twice in one day. As long as no more than one game is rained out, the Mets’ rotation would not seem to be affected. Either way, the Mets would need a fill-in starter — either Brandon Knight or Nelson Figueroa.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Top 20 Prospect List
« on: September 19, 2008, 07:47:18 am »
The list are starting to roll out.  The first that impacts the Astros' farm system is the BA Appy League top 20.  The Greeneville Astros placed 3 players on the roll. 

RHP Jordan Lyles (7)
CF Jay Austin (12)
C Frederico Hernandez (18)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / HWL
« on: September 19, 2008, 07:45:10 am »
Here is your place to discuss the Hawaiian Winter League.

We now know that Jason Castro will be spending his fall in the Hawaiian Winter League.  We will see who else joins him. 

Talk Zone / Keeping up with the Cassell boys
« on: September 11, 2008, 03:22:03 pm »
I found this trolling for my usual minor news fair.

Q: Have you heard from your brothers Jack [pitcher for the Houston Astros] and Justin [pitcher for the Birmingham Barons, a double-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox] who are both playing baseball right now?

MC: I talk to my brothers [Jack and Justin] all the time. There are constant conversations among us. They are a great support factor for me because they are in sports, they are in the spotlight and they know the ups and downs of this game. I constantly lean on them.

Q: Have they given you any brotherly advice?

MC: Not really. They just said go out there and have fun.

Q: Do you see your brother Jack’s career, working through the minor leagues, similar to your career?

MC: Well both of us in our careers have faced a little adversity. We continue to push forward and we continue to go through those tough times. At the same time, once you persevere and get through it to get to a time like this where you have finally reached what you have been working so hard for it is all worth it.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Sally League Changes
« on: September 03, 2008, 09:33:57 pm »
Columbus (Ga) is moving to Bowling Green KY next year.  Which will give Lex a rival in state.  But then it ends the next year when Bowling Green & Lake County (Ohio) will be leaving the Sally League and joining the Midwest League.  In a touch of irony, Lake County moved from Columbus Ga as well.

That will cause the Sally League to drop to a 14 team league.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Arizona Fall League
« on: August 30, 2008, 05:29:45 am »
ETA: We will sticky this tread and let it be the discussion place for the AFL this year.

This year, the Astors farm hands will be on the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Here is the list of players assigned so far:

Chris Blazek
Brad James
Bud Norris
Sergio Perez
Chris Johnson
Mark Ori (taxi squad, can only play on Wed. & Sat.)
Drew Sutton
Brian Bogusevic

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Rule 5 losses
« on: August 19, 2008, 09:55:00 pm »
So we lost several players in the rule 5(V, Five, 5.0) draft.  How have those players faired in their new homes?

Neil Sellers, AA Reading- Phillies - .273, 28 Dbls (T-9th in the league), 18 HR (T-6th in league), 74 RBI (T-4th in league),  201 total bases (T. 8th in league)

Victor Garate, low A Great Lakes/High A Inland - Dodgers - Combined 7-3 with a 2.27 ERA in 21 games (16 starts). 129 K's in 99 IP

Santo Luis, High A Winston Salem/ Low A Kinnapolis - White Sox - Combined 5-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 36 games (35 with Kinnapolis).  IOW, he is repeating the Sally League.  119 K's in 84 IP.  Only 3 HR compared to 12 in 75 innings last year.

Julio Puentes - Rookie Princeton - Rays, pitched in one game in June and hasn't appeared again.

Levi Romero - Rangers org - played in a total of 5 games for 3 different teams and was released in June.

As for our pickups:

Wesley Wright - has been solid in the Houston pen

Guiseppe (Joey) Norrito - was released out of spring training.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Astros High A moving to Richmond?
« on: August 18, 2008, 08:54:10 pm »
This didn't seem like a possibility in the off season when the Red Sox group bought the Avalanche franchise and plan on moving their High A team from Lancaster of the California League to Salem next season. 

Baseball America is reporting the the Carolina League has an agreement in principle to purchase two affiliates from the California League.  That would extend the Carolina League to 10 teams.  The only Cal League team who has a MLB affiliate in the East or Central Time Zones ,other than the Red Sox, is the Texas Rangers.  That would make the Astros and the Rangers likely courters for the two new teams in the Carolina League.  Richmond is the place that is most desirable at this time for a new Carolina franchise.

"Right now, because of the quality of that territory, it is like everything connects to Richmond," O'Conner said. "I'm not going to be able to create a new franchise for Richmond, so therefore acting on Richmond alone is not possible. There will be a domino effect. For someone to go to Richmond someone will have to leave somewhere else. We may have waves of shuffling once the shoe drops."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Olympic Bus Riders
« on: August 14, 2008, 01:51:20 pm »
Stubby Clapp goes 2 for 4 with a run scored but commits an error at 2nd.
Jimmy Van Ostrand goes 1-3 with a double as DH.

Canada loses a heart breaker to Cube 7-6.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / July Players of the Month
« on: August 14, 2008, 07:24:20 am »
Here is the release from the Astros

Beau was cut during spring training and was signed by the Sioux City Canaries of the American Association. He is leading the league with 18 HR.  The league record is 21.   He has 62 RBI that also lead the league.  The record is 91.  His has a .616 slugging %, the record is .579. 

There are 29 games left. There is a good chance he could break the HR and the Slugging % records this season.  The RBI is a long shot but he has 62 through 64 games so it is not out of the question he could get 30 in 29 games.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Buscones Beware
« on: July 14, 2008, 05:42:01 am »
NYTimes has a brief piece on a FBI investigation of alleged corruption in international signings:

Players primarily from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, who are not subject to baseball’s amateur draft, have traditionally paid portions of their bonuses to local baseball insiders — called buscones — who help them be seen by scouts. But the F.B.I. is investigating whether some major league club officials paid the players small fractions of the bonuses they reported to Major League Baseball and kept most of the difference.

Polin Trinidad is quoted:
Polin Trinidad, a Class AA pitcher for the Houston Astros, said: “I’ve seen it happen. I can’t say who.”

There is a nice photo of Trinidad with the article.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / 2007 Draft picks falling
« on: July 07, 2008, 09:05:13 pm »
I was seeing the names being released and was surprised how many 2007 draft picks have gone down.  So far, 9 out of the 33 draft picks signed have been released.  Of the 24 left, here is where they are: 3 are at Salem, 10 are at Lex, 3 are in Tri Cities, and 8 are in rookie ball for a second year.  Looks like the new management has a very different picture of these guys than those who drafted them.

Released so far this year:
17th round Mason Roberts
22nd round Drew Anderson
23rd round Phillip Gamble
24th round Phillip Stringer
26th round Sal Iacono
28th round Jerrod Pitts
29th round Travis Sweet
30th round Danny Gil
33rd round Cody Phipps

Still playing this year:
5th round Colin Delome (Salem)
6th round David Dinelli (G'ville)
7th round Russell Dixon (Lex)
9th round Luis Pardo (Lex)
10th round Matt Cusick (Lex)
11th round Robert Bono (Tri)
12th round Brian Pelligrini (Lex)
14th round Craig Corrado (Lex)
16th round Devon Torrence (G'ville)
19th round Jon Fixler (Lex)
20th round Kyle Greenwalt (G'ville)
21st round Kyle Miller (G'ville)
25th round Kevin Carkeek (Salem - been released and resigned)
27th round Brett Robinson (Lex)
31st round Jason Dominquez (Salem)
32nd round David Miller (Tri)
34th round Brian Wabick (G'ville)
35th round Jordan Powell (Lex)
36th round Albert Cartwright (G'ville)
37th round Jake Leonhardt (Lex)
41st round Jim Colton Pitkin (G'ville)
42nd round Chris Turner (G'ville)
43rd round Marquis Williams (Tri)
44th round Cat Everett (Lex)

Talk Zone / Climbing The Ladder
« on: June 17, 2008, 06:48:22 am »
A few weeks ago, I was approached by the Greeneville Astros to write a positive piece about the organization for their Gameday Program.  I have posted it on the site to day in honor of Opening Day for Greeneville. I am honored to be asked and excited about the exposure it will provide the site.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville Astros
« on: June 13, 2008, 05:25:16 pm »
Welcome to the Greeneville Astros 2008 thread.  Here is where we will welcome your thoughts, questions, observations and especially your first hand accounts of the G-Stros this season.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Tri Cities ValleyCats
« on: June 13, 2008, 05:24:28 pm »
Welcome to the Tri Cities 2008 thread.  Here is where we will welcome your thoughts, questions, observations and especially your first hand accounts of the ValleyCats this season.   

Story talks about his injury last year:
"I guess it's pretty common in baseball and golf," Castro said. "It was a struggle. I had surgery, and it was kind of a tough blow. I had some issues with it, coming back. It healed a little slower than I thought it would."

On Grandpa's connections:
The Astros have had their eyes on Castro for years -- his grandfather, Tom Castro, played youth baseball with scout Gene Wellman

His Coach's take:

"Jason has always been a good hitter, but unfortunately he broke a bone in his hand and came back earlier than he probably should have and really struggled last season," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said. "It kind of mushroomed, but we weren't worried. We knew he could hit.

"What I really am happy with is his defense, receiving and handling pitchers. That's really key. He never came off a bad at-bat and carried it onto the field."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Jan Baldee sighting
« on: June 11, 2008, 02:09:16 pm »
Farmstro just let me know he is on the VSL roster.  So much for coming to America for the young SS signed out of the land of wooden shoes.

The details are in the press release at

Round Rock

P - Runelvys Hernandez
O- Mark Saccomanno
D -Edwin Maysonet

Corpus Christi
P - Brad James
O - Chris Johnson
D -Lou Santangelo


P - Bryan Hallberg
O - James Van Ostrand
D - Jhon Florentino


P - Fernando Abad
O - Craig Corrado
D - Colin DeLome

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / 2008 Draft Thread
« on: June 05, 2008, 07:10:20 am »
Here is your draft war room to discuss picks, share info you have about players picked.  Enjoy

Talk Zone / Round the Bases Salem Style
« on: June 04, 2008, 09:24:31 pm »
Jason Benetti is our last full season farm team voice to join us in our trip around the bases. Enjoy.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Mass. Paper story on Koby
« on: June 03, 2008, 10:19:50 am »
Them folks up north in Boston love them some Clemens family.  However, the piece did have a few interesting tid bits. 

Assessment from a Salem "insider"
I've watched every pitch of evey home game, and he's got a good swing and he doesn't chase bad pitches," he said.

"But behind the plate, you can expect it to be a struggle. He's got a good arm, and he's got the right body type ... about 6 feet tall and pretty thick. He's adjusting very well to the wear and tear of catching, and if he doesn't catch, he's the DH, because he's got one of the best bats on the team," the spokesman added.

Clemens is hitting well. His .285 average is 12th in the pitcher-friendly Carolina League, and his .872 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentages) is fifth in the circuit.

"If he'd stayed at third base, he'd probably be hitting 30 points higher," the spokesman said.

I had forgotten this info, if I ever knew it:
On the other hand, it's surprising that his 2004 back surgery didn't scare the Astros away from the move to such a physically demanding position.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Proximity and Minor League Teams
« on: May 30, 2008, 04:06:10 pm »
There were some concerns about what would happen to RR & CC when Nolan Ryan jumped to the Rangers front office this off season.  This is an article about how the Rangers like their relationship with Frisco based on proximity.  What I found interesting was the inclusion of this:

Rangers president Nolan Ryan, who owns the Houston Astros' affiliates in Round Rock and Corpus Christi, says he expects more major league clubs to seek similar arrangements.

I don't see CC being an issue but I expect the competition for RR will be hot and heavy when the development agreement expires.  The Rangers current AAA affiliate is Oklahoma City.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Coming to America
« on: May 28, 2008, 02:48:24 pm »
Farmstros did some research and found the following players who where on the 2007 VSL roster were not on the 2008.  Which means they are good candidates to be in Greeneville this season:

Jose Altuve - 18 year old, 2B, 2 years VSL
Herman Armas - 21 year old , OF, 3 seasons VSL
Ricardo Bonfante - 19 year old, SS, 2 seasons VSL
Federico Hernandez - 20 year old, C, 2 seasons VSL
Renzo Tello - 20 year old, OF, 3 seasons VSL
Jeiler Castillo - 19 year old, LHP, 2 seasons of VSL
German Perez - 20 year old, RHP, 2 seasons of VSL

The reason the number of seasons is important is that you can only play 3 years in the VSL before either being promoted or released.

Beer and Queso / Motorcycle for commuting
« on: May 23, 2008, 11:39:52 am »
With gas approaching $4 a gallon here.  I am thinking about getting a small motorcycle/scooter for my 4 drive to and from work.  Would need room for storage of laptop/briefcase.  Would also like to be able to fit a second rider on and get up hills with out problem.


Talk Zone / 2005 Draft Mid Term Report Posted
« on: May 13, 2008, 01:08:04 pm »
Time for a parent teacher conference!  These grades are not pretty.  Enjoy.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Clapp Flap
« on: May 12, 2008, 08:58:13 am »
There was a NYCU post last week about the Astros denying LExignton Hitting Coach, Stubby Clapp, the chance to play for Canada in the Olympics.  He was to meet with Astros brass about it this weekend.

This is getting big play in Canada and according to my google search, even in in India.  Anything with that much coverage, gets picked up by the dugout. Here is their take.  Gotta like Stubby's screen name.

Talk Zone / One last hit
« on: May 08, 2008, 11:42:37 am »
Grab a tissue and read this incredible story about a high school kid with cancer.

The 18-year-old kid dying of cancer gets his wish, a chance to swing a bat maybe one last time in a real baseball game.

He hasn't played in a few years, but he's called on to pinch-hit. His eyes light up at the first pitch and he puts all of his 5-foot-5, 93-pound frame into one mighty swing, making contact and sending a line drive into right field for a single -- if he can reach first base. The cancer he's been battling for almost two years has spread to his pelvis, making running nearly impossible.

The kid worries about falling as he hustles down the first-base line. When he gets to the base, he lets out with a yell. "I did it! I did it!"

Safe at first with a hit and an RBI, the kid is hugged by a crying first-base coach. The opposing pitcher takes off his glove, starts applauding and his teammates follow suit. The kid's teammates run onto the field to celebrate.

It sounds like the climax to a heart-tugger movie. But there was no producer or film crew at the game between Freedom and Aliquippa high schools two weeks ago. The scene was as real as the tumors in John Challis' liver and lungs.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor Transactions 2008
« on: April 17, 2008, 01:34:26 pm »
Here is your place to view the minor league transactions.  If your name is on the list, the transaction ain't minor to you.

Most recent transactions are bolded. PM Duman with any additions or corrections

Reggie Abercrombie - Called up to Houston (June), Designated for assignment and accepted assignment to RR(July), Called back up to Houston (Aug)
Colt Adams - Placed on DL (May)
Drew Anderson - Released (May) 
Josh Appell - released (Aug)
Alberto Arias - claimed off waivers from Rockies and assigned to RR (July), Sept Call Up
Jonny Ash - Sent from RR to CC (July)
Jerrod Ball - Signed to Minor League Contract, assigned to CC (June)
Brandon Barnes - Sent down to Extended Spring Training (May), Returned to Lex from EST (June)
Anthony Bello - Placed in DL on Lexington (May), Activated from DL (June)
Brian Bogusevic - Sent from CC to Salem to learn to be position player (July),Promoted to CC as OF (July)
Dave Borkowski - Accepted Assignment to RR (June), Recalled to Houston (July), Sent back to RR (July)
Micah Bowie - Signed Minor League Contract assigned to RR (July), released (Aug)
Bryan Brown - Assigned to Lexington from Extended Spring Training (May)
Jim Brower - signed and assigned to RR (July), acquired by Hiroshima Carp (July)
Tim Byrdak - Signed to Minor League contract (Apr.), contract purchased by Astros (Apr.)
Kevin Carkeek - Promoted from Lex to Salem (May)
Jack Cassell - Called up the Houston (Apr.) Optioned back to RR (May) Called up to Houston (May) Optioned back to RR (June), Placed on DL (June), Called back up to Houston (July), Sent back to RR (July), Sept Call Up
Alberto Cruz - Released (June)
Luis Cruz - Placed on DL (Aug)
Matt Cusick -Traded to Yankees (July)
Mike DeJean - Released (Apr.)
Colin DeLome - Promoted to Salem from Lex (June)
Jose Duran - Promoted to Lex from Tri (July)
Chance Douglass - Called up to RR from CC (May), Returned to CC (May), Back up to RR (July) Back down to CC (Aug)
Victor Diaz - Released (May)
Brad Dydalewicz - added to Greeneville roster (July)
Harold Eckart - Released (Apr.)
Mitch Einertson - Placed on DL (June), Activated of DL (July)
Evan Englebrook - Placed on DL (July)
Brian Esperson - Released (May)
Paul Estrada - Placed on DL (Apr.), activated off DL in CC (Aug)
Cat Everett - Called up to Lex from Ext. Spring (May)
Tip Fairchild - Placed on DL (Apr.) Activated from DL in Corpus Christi (May)
Jonathon Fixler - Promoted to CC from Lex (Aug), Sent back to Lex (Aug)
Josh Flores - Placed on DL (Apr.)
Chris Frye - Released (May)
Charles Gamble - Released (June)
Felipe Garcia - Released (Apr.)
Danny Gil - Released (June)
Axel Gonzalez - Released (June)
Pedro Gonzalez -promoted from G'ville to Tri (Aug)
Brian Gordon - Released (Apr.)
Jimmy Goethals - Sent to Salem from RR (June), From RR back to Salem and then promoted to CC (July), Back down to Salem (July), Placed on 7 day DL (Aug)
Jared Gothreaux - Released (May)
Kyle Greenwalt - promoted from G'ville to Tri (Aug)
Bo Hall - placed on inactive list (Aug)
Billy Hart - Placed on DL (June), Activated from DL (July)
Julian Henson - promoted from Tri to Lex (Aug)
Runelvys Hernandez - Contract Purchased by Houston (June), Optioned back to RR (July), Back to Houston (July), Sent back to RR (July)
Carlos Hines - Released (June)
J. R. House -called up to Houston (Aug), Sent back to RR (Aug)
Ryan Houston - Placed on RR DL (July), Activated of DL (July)
Casey Hudspeth - Promoted to CC from Salem (July)
Jeff Icenogle - Placed on DL (Apr.), Activated of DL (May)
Sal Iacona - Retired (May)
Christopher Jackson - Promoted to Lex from Tri (July)
Brad James - Placed on DL (July)
Chris Johnson - Promoted from CC to RR (July)
Josh Johnson - Released (Apr.)
Reid Kelly - Placed on DL (May), Activated from DL (June)
Ray King - Signed to a Minor League contract (June)
Danny Klassen - Placed on DL (May), Activated of DL (July), Placed on Inactive list for Olympics (July), Activated from inactive list (Aug)
Andy Launier - Released (May)
Carlos Lazu - Placed on restricted list (June), Reinstated from Suspended list (July)
Chase Lehr - Placed on inactive list (Aug).
Jose Lopez - promoted from CC to RR (Aug),Sent back to CC (Aug)
Andrea Lucati - Reinstated from inactive list - Greeneville (July)
Justin Lyle - promoted from G'ville to Tri (Aug)
Val Majewski - Signed to Minor League Contract assigned to CC (June),Promoted to RR (July)
Tommy Manzella - Promoted to RR (June)
Edwin Maysonet - Placed on DL (Apr.), Activated (Apr.), Sept Call Up
Ryan McKeller - Placed on DL (Aug), Activated off DL (Aug)
Mark McLemore - Placed on DL (Apr.)
Jhonny Medrano - Placed on DL (June)
Jackson Melian - Signed to Minor League Contract,assigned to RR (June), Released (July)
German Melendez - Released (May)
Joe Melton - Assigned to Lexington from Extended Spring (May), Released (June)
Robert Mena - Promoted from Lex to Salem (May)
Kyle Middleton - Placed on DL (Apr.), Promoted from CC to Round Rock (May), Sent back to CC (June), Promoted back to RR (June) Placed on DL (July)
Kyle Miller - Promoted from G'ville to Lex (July)
Nick Moresi - Promoted to Salem from Lex (May) Placed on DL after breaking bone in arm on HBP (May),Activated from DL (July)
David Newhan- Contract purchased by Houston, designated for assignment (Apr.), Called up to Houston (June)
Lance Niekro - Released (May)
Fernando Nieve - Called up to Houston (May) Optioned to RR (May), Sept Call Up
Bud Norris - Placed on DL (May), Activated from DL (July)
Jose Oyervidez - promoted from CC to RR (July), sent from RR to CC (July)
Jay Pacella - promoted to Salem from Lex (Aug)
Luis Pardo - Called up to Lex from Ext. Spring (June)
Chad Paronto - Placed on DL (June), Activated from DL (June), Called up to Houston (July),
Rafeal Parks - Released (June)
Josh Paul - Signed to Minor League deal and sent to RR (Apr.), Released (June)
Richard Paz - Promoted from CC to RR (May) Sent back down to CC (May) sent back up to RR (Aug)
Brian Pellegrini - Called up to Lex from Ext. Spring (May)
Sergio Perez - Placed on DL (Apr.), Activated from DL (May), Placed back on DL (May)
Tomas Perez - Outrighted to RR (Apr.), Placed on DL (Aug)
Cody Phipps - Released (June)
Agustin Pinales - Placed on DL (June)
Jordan Powell - Promoted from Lex to Salem (July) Placed on inactive list (Aug)
Humberto Quintero - Outrighted to AAA, cleared waivers and accepted assignment, called up due to Towles hand injury (Apr.), Outrighted back to RR (Apr.), Promoted back to Houston (June), Rehab assignment in CC (July), Back to Houston (July)
Ronald Ramirez - Demoted from Lex to Tri Cities (June)
Ryan Reed - Released (May)
Chad Reineke - Called up to Houston (July),Sent back to RR (July) Traded to Padres for Randy Wolf (July)
Mason Roberts - Released (June)
Orlando Rosales - Promoted from Salem to CC (May), Sent back to Salem (July)
Ebert Rosario - Sent from Tri Cities to G'Ville (June)
Lou Santangelo - Promoted from CC to RR (July)
Joel Santo - Released from Salem (July)
Max Sapp - Placed on DL (Apr.) Activated from DL (May), Placed on DL (Aug)
Sergio Severino - Promoted from Lex to Salem (May)
Alay Soler - Signed to Minor League deal (Apr.) Released (May)
Jorge Sosa - Signed to Minor League deal and assigned to RR (May), Released (July)
T. J. Steele - placed on DL (Aug)
Phillip Stringer - Released (June)
Wlad Sutil - Promoted to Corpus Christi (May)
Travis Sweet - Promoted to Salem from Ext. Spring (May)
Justin Tellam - Released from Salem (June),
Ryan Thompson - Released from CC (June)
Devon Torrence - placed in inactive roster to return to Ohio State (July)
J. R. Towles - Sent from Houston to RR (June), Called back up to Houston (July), Sent back down (July)
Polin Trinidad - Promoted from Salem to CC (May)
Chris Turner - Placed on DL in G'ville (June), Activated from DL (July)
Pat Urckfitz - Signed as NDFA assigned to Greeneville (June)
Andy Van Hekken - Signed to minor league contract, assigned to CC (June)
Jimmy Van Ostrand - Promoted to CC from Salem (June), Returned to Salem (June), placed on inactive list for Olympics (July), Placed back on active roster (Aug)
Thomas Vessella - Promoted to Lexington from Ext. Spring (May), Placed on DL (July)
Brian Wabick - Promoted to Tri Cities from G'ville (July)
Chad Wagler - Placed on DL (Apr.) Activated off DL in Salem (May), back on DL (June), Back off DL (July)
Sean Walker - Sent to Salem from CC (July)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Braves Minor League Suspended for HGH
« on: April 08, 2008, 09:59:04 pm »
Jordan Schafer, a top CF prospect in the Braves system is suspended 50 games for HGH.

No test, so how do they know?  Sounds like they are getting some info on some minors players.  There is some extra sweating going on in MILB buses through out the country

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lexington Legends
« on: April 02, 2008, 09:28:36 am »
Welcome to the Lexington Legends 2008 thread.  Here is where we will welcome your thoughts, questions, observations and especially your first hand accounts of the Legends this season.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Salem Avalanche/ Lancaster JetHawks
« on: April 02, 2008, 09:27:03 am »
Welcome to the Salem Avalanche 2008 thread.  Here is where we will welcome your thoughts, questions, observations and especially your first hand accounts of the Avalanche this season.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Corpus Christi Hooks
« on: April 02, 2008, 09:26:16 am »
Welcome to the Corpus Christi Hooks 2008 thread.  Here is where we will welcome your thoughts, questions, observations and especially your first hand accounts of the Hooks this season.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Round Rock Express
« on: April 02, 2008, 09:25:26 am »
Welcome to the Round Rock Express 2008 thread.  Here is where we will welcome your thoughts, questions, observations and especially your first hand accounts of the Express this season.   

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Venezuelan Baseball Book
« on: April 01, 2008, 08:47:34 pm »
Came across a review of a new book about the scouting and development of Venezuelan baseball.  Sounds like an interesting read.  The astros play a key part because they were the first, though by some accounts they have not benefited as much as they should have due to letting players get a way in rule 5 drafts and such.

'Venezuelan Bust, Baseball Boom: Andrés Reiner and Scouting on the New Frontier' by Milton H. Jamail

Here is the review from the LA Times and the Amazon info on the book. 

Talk Zone / April Fools -
« on: April 01, 2008, 09:12:32 am »
This morning, a false AP report was sent out via email with no link saying that Bruce Pearl was leaving Tennessee for Indiana.  It made it onto a sports talk radio show and a blog.  Bruce happened to be on Dan Patrick and said he was staying put but TN fans were upset!  Check the calendar people and check a source!

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / New Faces
« on: March 31, 2008, 10:29:44 pm »
I will try to provide some background on some guys that we didn't capture in off season signings or spring training signings that are on rosters now:

Jay Pacella - RHP at Kent State and at River City in the Frontier League last year where he posted a 1-2 record and a 7.36 ERA in 3 starts.
Roberto Mena - SS/2b played in the Northwest League for Everett last year in the Seattle Org.  Hit .205.  Teammate of Craig Corado and Sergio Perez at U of Tampa.

Joel Santo: appears to be a 6 year free agent signed out of the Cubs org.  Pitched in A+ ball last year primarily with a 8-9 record and an 5.15 ERA in 27 appearances (22 starts).  Control is not his strong suit.  72 BB in 124 IP and 10 Wild pitches.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / CC Hooks Roster
« on: March 31, 2008, 05:03:32 pm »
They have put the roster on their site

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Lex Roster
« on: March 30, 2008, 07:47:33 am »

Talk Zone / Roster Final - Q not on it
« on: March 29, 2008, 06:18:04 pm »

Talk Zone / Alumni Brag (Non-Astros)
« on: March 27, 2008, 07:59:24 am »
Many of you know I am an Auburn grad. I couldn't pass up passing on this story that shows the good that a college baseball team is doing to support one of their mates

Here is a list of the transactions that impact the farm system during spring training.

Reggie Abercrombie -  Cleared waivers and reported to AAA (March)
Jarred Ball - Released (March)
Francisco Caraballo - Released (March)
Jack Cassel - Optioned to AAA (March)
Alberto Castillo - Released (March)
Nick Cavanaugh - Released (March)
Scott Chaisson - - Released (March)
Ken Chenard - Released (March)
Reece Creswell - Signed (March)
Andrew Darnell - Released (March)
Mike DeJean - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Kyle DeYoung - Released (March)
Victor Diaz - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Paul Estrada - Optioned to AAA (March)
Michael Gallaway- Released (March)
Jesse Garcia - Released (March)
Samuel Gervacio - Optioned to AA (March)
Nick Gorneault - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Runelvys Hernandez - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Carlos Hines - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
J. R. House - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Ryan Houston - Optioned to AAA (March)
Brad James - Optioned to AA (March)
Josh Johnson - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Michael Johnson - Released (March)
Mike Just - Released (March)
Mark McLemore - Optionted to AAA (March)
Tommy Manzella - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Natanael Mateo - Released (March)
Josh Muecke - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Joseph Muro - Released (March)
Lance Niekro - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Fernando Nieve - Optioned to AAA (March)
Guiseppe Norrito - Released (or possibly just returned to Dodgers) (March)
Pat Osborn - Released (March)
John Pacella - Signed (March)
Chad Paronto - Outrighted to AAA (March)
Jared Pitts - Released (March)
Aaron Rakers - Signed (March), Released (March)
Yordany Ramirez - Optioned to AAA (March)
Stephen Randolph - Reassigned to Minor League Camp (March)
Chad Reineke - Optioned to AAA (March)
Angel Reyes - Released (March)
Rory Shortell - Released (March)
Beau Torbert - Released (March)
Jeff Wigdahl - Released (March)

Talk Zone / Clemens has a job offer!
« on: March 19, 2008, 03:39:20 pm »
To be the mascot for the AA Huntsville Stars:

Clemens... was offered a position to fill in for Stars' mascot Homer the Polecat.

"Clemens is a small town guy, and he'd fit in great in Huntsville," said Stars General Manager Buck Rogers. "The Huntsville/Madison County community has been great to me in my first few weeks here, and I'm sure they'll accept Clemens too."

You got to love Buck Rogers being the manager for a team that uses a rocket as their logo!

Talk Zone / Pirates invest in 90K pitching machine
« on: March 11, 2008, 05:49:40 pm »
BA talks about the new machine the Pirates have invested in joining several other MLB teams.  Here is video of said machine.

I saw a similar set up at the Louisville Slugger Museum last summer.  I got to stand (behind glass) and watch a 90 MPH fast ball come out of Randy Johnson's hand.  Plumb Scary is all I have to say.

Story on Ben Zobrist and his tranisition into a super utility man

"It's like a sporting goods store in there," locker mate infielder Andy Cannizaro said.

Zobrist has five gloves: one for third base, shortstop, second base, first base and the outfield.

"Yeah, it's fun," he said. "It's a new look from each position. I've got to know different things to do. I like it. It gives me a different viewpoint of what's going on."

Talk Zone / Cuts like a knife
« on: March 10, 2008, 07:49:07 am »
First cuts of Spring Training:

Neive, James, Gervacio, Yordany Ramirez, Estrada, Reineke - all sent to RR

Manzella, Muecke, and Niekro - assigned to minor league camp

Talk Zone / Pence interviewed by ESPN
« on: March 07, 2008, 12:29:02 pm »
He addresses issues as varied as last years production, glass doors, ping pong, Clemens stealing their fans, and Tejada.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Stats from team Canada
« on: March 06, 2008, 04:48:23 pm »
Here are the stats from VanOstrand and Clapp in their games for Team Canada against Australia:

VanOstrand - AVG .357 (5/14) double, homer and 3 RBI. 5 K's, 1 BB & 1 HBP

Clapp - AVG. 333 (5/15) double, 3 BB, 2K, 1 stolen base in two attempts

Talk Zone / $4000 per walk
« on: February 28, 2008, 04:11:28 pm »
or per out which ever way you choose to look at it.  That is what the Diamondbacks paid for Jason Neighborgall.  Drafted in the 3rd round and given a $500,000 signing bonus, he has played 3 years before retiring.  His lack of control was discussed here last season some I believe. 

Here is BA's account of his pro career:

Total batters faced in career: 310

Outs: 127 (48 by SO)

Hits: 40

Hit batters: 13

Sacrifices: 2

Walks: 128

Wild pitches: 59

Yet another example of the draft being a crap shoot.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Hooks Spring Training Schedule
« on: February 28, 2008, 10:14:01 am »
The hooks have posted their spring schedule for those lucky enough to be heading down to FLA.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / MILB's overview
« on: February 28, 2008, 10:06:32 am »
MILB has put out its 10 to watch and predict the player and pitcher of the year (Parraz & Gervacio)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Pirates hoping Barthmaier is a steal
« on: February 27, 2008, 03:24:12 pm »
In the article, it explains some new info about why he struggled so much last year:

There are circumstances that caused Barthmaier to go from top prospect to Texas League punching bag. Barthmaier began feeling numbness in his right forearm early in the season and it stayed with him for most of the season before going away.

“I just didn’t throw the ball the way I’m capable of throwing it,” said Barthmaier, who likely will begin the season in the starting rotation at Class AA Altoona. “I had a hard time getting a feel for the ball in my hand and I just got scared to really cut loose and throw it. I just wasn’t healthy for most of the season.”

It didn't help him any in Arizona which probably why the Astros left him exposed to the waiver wire.

Talk Zone / The cost of a dropped call?
« on: February 25, 2008, 10:33:38 pm »
Sounds like Debbie got some nice ice from Roger to "celebrate" his return to the Yankees.

papers say Clemens, who had pitched for the Yankees from 1999 to 2003, decided to buy the ring after he announced in May 2007 that he had agreed to return to the team following a stint with the Houston Astros. Soon after, Clemens called Hyman to say he wanted to buy a ring for his wife.

The ring in question contains a 2 1/2 carat pink diamond.

Edited to fix link

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor League Mini Camp Underway
« on: February 25, 2008, 11:02:25 am »
Oh and by the way in case you didn't know, Koby was there.  He said his father was on his way.

Talk Zone / Backe & Berkman Ailing
« on: February 24, 2008, 12:12:24 pm »
According to

Backe hit by ground ball during BP and has bone bruise.

Berkman strained an oblique taking left handed swings

Talk Zone / Luke Scott talks about his awful Astros days
« on: February 23, 2008, 05:38:53 am »
He is happy to be out of Houston:

"I never knew what was going on," Scott said in the Baltimore Orioles' clubhouse earlier this week. "I was always in the dark."

Indeed, after nearly four years of frustration in the Astros organization, Scott believes he finally has a fair shot at becoming an everyday outfielder with what he regards as a fresh start with the Orioles.

"From Day One, they've been honest with me, the front office and the manager, has been up-front," Scott said. "Everything's been on the table. It's just refreshing to have that."

"When you feel you have your manager and your general manager behind you, as well as your teammates, it helps. It really does help. To tell you the truth I don't know how to act. This is foreign territory for me."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / BA- How close are they
« on: February 15, 2008, 12:19:56 pm »
Our system may suck but we got players close to the Majors.  BA using their formula, ranked the Astros 3rd.  Which really screwed with their perception our system is the suckiest.

Astros: Seeing the Astros score this highly on the talent location spectrum was the biggest surprise to me, at first. But when a team gives away top draft picks through free agent signings, then doesn’t even sign the top players it drafts, what else should we expect? The mediocre players at the high level of the system to rise to the top, if only because they’re closer to the big leagues and are more likely to provide at least some value to their major league team. However, the team’s top three prospects—catcher J.R. Towles, righthander Felipe Paulino and center fielder Michael Bourn—all seem like certain bets to make the major leagues, something that can’t be said of many other systems’ top three prospects.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Bennett on 7 who could wear the Star
« on: February 12, 2008, 09:27:42 am »
Jose's blog yesterday gave Rickey Bennett's take on Chris Johnson, Sergio Perez, Tommy Manzella, Eli Iorg, Brad James, Felipe Paulino and Chad Reineke.

Here are some highlights, feel free to discuss:

Johnson should start at CC

Manzella could start at RR but will be decided at ST

Iorg has all the tools just needs to be consistant

James is getting folks excited & "starting to hit his peak"

Perez is making strides (Jacksonian's comparison to Hirsh is looking better everyday)

Reineke looks like a future bullpen guy

Not much said about Paulino other than he had a good winter and is healthy.

Talk Zone / NYCU Yordany a young A. Jones
« on: February 08, 2008, 02:13:14 pm »
My problem with that quote is he is 4 years older than Jones was when Jones broke in the majors.  Saying a 23 year old reminds you of a 19 year old isn't necessarily a good thing.

Talk Zone / Nolan Ryan on the steroid tempation
« on: February 04, 2008, 02:58:14 pm »
I found this interesting:

"If I was one of the youngsters coming up and that was the culture, and I was faced with whether I could make it in the game and the impact that it might have on my family financially, who's to say whether you would have been tempted to do it?" Ryan said. "You would like to think that you wouldn't, but I wasn't faced with that so you really don't know what you would do."

After reading the article I linked in Minors News I noticed one high profile pitcher was not talked about as in the next crop: Brian Bogusevic.  Sometimes what is not said is as important as what is said.

On Licey - Yordany Ramirez
On Venezuala - Frankie Caraballo
On Aguilas - Miguel Tejada
No one on Mexico

Talk Zone / Astros Super Bowl Connection
« on: February 01, 2008, 07:45:38 am »
Jack Cassel, who signed in the off season with the Astros is the brother of Matt Cassel AKA Tom Brady's backup.

On wondering if he should have played baseball instead of football
"Nah, I only played one year in college trying to get out of spring football," Cassel said. "I love baseball, but I don't know if I'd enjoy the minor-league buses."

He has heard enough stories from his brothers, Jack and Justin, to be wary.

Jack, a right-hander who notched his first major-league victory with the Padres in September, just signed a one-year contract with the Houston Astros and is on their 40-man roster.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / ESPN top 100
« on: January 31, 2008, 01:41:38 pm »
Law has posted his top 100 prospects.

61 - Towles
65 - Paulino

None of the traded away players (Guttierez or Patton) made the list.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Video of prospects
« on: January 29, 2008, 11:58:12 am »
Videos of prospects are showing up on Youtube and other sources.  We thought it might be nice to have all of these linked to one place. 

Discuss what you see in the forum.

Please PM Duman to add any videos you find. 

Talk Zone / NYCU - Ryan talking to Rangers
« on: January 26, 2008, 01:37:26 pm »
MLB is reporting that Drayton has given permission and that the conversation has taken place.

"Nolan said he would like to visit with him because of courtesy," McLane said. "We're eager to continue our relationship with him. Nolan has been a real asset as a talent evaluator in player development. We're very positive he'll continue to work with us."

Talk Zone / Paulino's heat registered at 102
« on: January 24, 2008, 08:23:58 pm »
According to BA Paulino had the fastest recorded fast ball among prospect that will be in their 2008 book:

Paulino’s 102 is reported by other organizations’ scouts, while the Astros say he’s peaked at 100.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Where does our talent come from
« on: January 22, 2008, 03:48:26 pm »
Baseball America has posted how each team's top 30 prospects were acquired

Here is the Astros breakdown:

College 14 (A's have 18 to lead all teams)
Junior College 4 (second only to the Dodger's 5)
High School 5 (Angles lead with 14)
Draft & Follow 0 (Brewers lead with  eight )
Non Drafted FA 0 (No one has more than one)
International 4 (Mariners lead with 11)
Trade 1 (Rangers lead with 9 thanks to their big profile trades last season)
Rule 5 1 (Reds have two)
Indy Leagues 0 (Yanks have two)
Minor League FA 0 (Pirates have 3 including Jimmy Barthmaier)

Talk Zone / Gary Redus talks about making the team
« on: January 22, 2008, 03:26:19 pm »
Gary Redus was hired as the Astros roving Outfield & Base running coordinator in the minor leagues season this year.  He was the keynote speaker at the Decatur, Alabama MLK Jr. day luncheon.  The Decatur Daily relays his story.

“When I was growing up, we didn’t have organized baseball. All we had were pick-up games,” he told the packed banquet hall at the Decatur Holiday Inn on Monday.

“I didn’t want to play professional baseball. I just wanted to play organized baseball,” he said. ...

In 1968, at age 12, he and about 10 friends decided that would be the year they played in the all-white county league. They gathered at the place where they played their pickup games, mustered up their courage and headed over to the school where tryouts were held. He remembered crossing a bridge about halfway there.

“It’s not the Selma (Edmund Pettus) Bridge but it’s just as symbolic. Once we crossed it, we had to keep going,” Redus said.

The tryouts ended as a great success, he said, as he and his friends were so good, every one of them was picked to play.

“Getting on this organized team was a dream. It was a stepping stone,” Redus said.

ETA the link

Talk Zone / Tim Bogar's latest Gig
« on: January 11, 2008, 02:32:46 pm »
Tim B is now with the D Rays as the 7th Major League coach on the team.

Bogar, 43, is entering his 20th season in professional baseball, fifth since his playing career ended. He will be in uniform during Spring Training and all pregame practices. His duties will include assisting with infield and baserunning instruction; serving as a liaison between the scouting department and the club, including series preparation; and coordinating Spring Training.

"I think [the position] is something that is going to open up a lot of new opportunities to me," Bogar said. "[It] gives me an opportunity to understand the game and see it from different angles."

Or to put in another way
The Rays added to their major-league staff Thursday, hiring former big-league infielder Tim Bogar to fill a newly created "quality assurance coach" position.

"As an aspiring manager myself, it's going to give me an opportunity to basically intern and watch what's going on," Bogar said. "But for the most part it's a situation where I just want to be there and try to make Joe's job easy."

MLB rules state you can only have 6 coaches so Bogar is pioneering the "stands coach" position.

Talk Zone / Does anyone else see similarities between Clemens & Rose?
« on: January 10, 2008, 01:31:18 pm »
Ever since I watched Roger on 60 minutes.  I have been thinking about about how similar Clemens sounded and acted to Pete Rose when the gambling stuff first broke.  Anyone else thought about this?

First you stole Chizik from Auburn and now it appears you have stolen Muschamp from us.  Hope you wallets are fat:
Muschamp had agreed on a $425,000 contract to coach at Auburn next year. Texas' two co-defensive coordinators each made $300,000 this season.

You may also want to cover your children's ears.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor league signings
« on: January 04, 2008, 09:41:27 pm »
According to Baseball America, the Astros have signed some minor league free agents:

RHP Felipe Garcia - 25 year old, here are his stats of the last few years when in the pirates organization

RHP Carlos Hines- 27 years old, two years of AAA ball and currently pitching in Mexican Pacific League for winter ball.  Stats here Last year in the Giants org, previous year in Tampa Bay's.

RHP Natanael Mateo - 27 year old who has spent time in Phillies, Padres & Mariners org.  Didn't play ball that I can find last season.  Baseball Cube Stats.  One source said very hard thrower but not much else.

Talk Zone / NYCU - Repeating quotes is a sign of the void
« on: January 04, 2008, 12:40:11 pm »
The quote from todays NYCU referenced article was also quoted 10/30/07 announcing Ausmus' signing and his role mentoring JR.

"As a receiver, he's very good," Ausmus said. "He's probably one of the better receivers in the league. But just arriving to the big leagues, there's some things he has to learn. It comes with experience, and he doesn't have experience. Hopefully he'll speed up the learning process, in theory, with me around."

I thought it sounded familiar and had to go looking.

Talk Zone / I think someone is playing with wiki again
« on: January 03, 2008, 08:52:25 pm »
On the Pecota page buried deep in #1 in the notes section there is this gem:

In 2007, the Houston Astros organization created their own system and named it PANKOVITS, an acronym in honor of former utility player Jim Pankovits that stands for Player Analysis with Neutral Knowledge of Offensively Vital Information Tracking Statistics. Neither the player projections nor the underlying methodology of these forecasting systems have been made public.

Real or Wiki?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Clemens to Catch
« on: December 13, 2007, 12:39:08 pm »
Farmstros put me on to this article in today's Houston Chron. ETA: I also now see that this was mentioned in a TZ thread about clemen's and Mitchell.

Clemens' only announcement Wednesday was that, "We've finally got a catcher in the family."

Koby, 21, will move behind home plate from third base next season with the Astros' top Class A team in Salem, Va. He has caught for his father informally since he was 15 but never in any kind of game situation.

"I'm excited about it because Koby's excited about it," Clemens said. "He picked my brain when he got the phone call to come in and meet with (assistant general manager) Ricky (Bennett). They've always talked about him catching. He loves being in the middle of everything going on, and you have to be that way to catch. ...

"I made some phone calls to some guys I respect a lot who have caught me over the years and they've offered their services — anything to help. Koby's going to put his heart out there (to reach the majors). But it's very, very difficult. The odds are stacked against him."

That helps explain Ralphie H's trade and also means that we have very very few prospects at 3rd.  We will wait to see if Sapp splits time with Koby at Salem or if he is learning 1b/DH at Lexington.

Talk Zone / Steroids in 25% of supplements (corrected)
« on: December 05, 2007, 10:34:02 am »
In USA Today

A study scheduled to be released Wednesday and obtained by USA TODAY reports that 13 of the 52 supplements (25%) purchased at various U.S. retailers contained small amounts of steroids and six (11.5%) had banned stimulants.

Talk Zone / Ransom A Yankee
« on: December 04, 2007, 08:42:48 am »
According to Baseball America
New York Yankees
Signed: 2B Bernie Castro, SS Cody Ransom

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Top Prospect List Thread
« on: November 29, 2007, 01:17:35 pm »
While the baseball america list was discussed in the TZ, I thought we would start a thread for all the top prospect list that show up in the off season. 

Here is John Sickles top 20 put out today:
1Troy Patton, LHP, Grade B+
2 J.R. Towles, C, Grade B  (considering B+)
3 Felipe Paulino, RHP, Grade B
4 Bud Norris, RHP, Grade B-  (looks like a breakthrough candidate to me)
5 Mike Costanzo, 3B, Grade B-
6 Michael Bourn, OF, Grade B-  (seems like a cheat to list him but he doesn't have 150 at-bats)
7 Mitch Einertson, OF, Grade B-  (borderline grade, could be C+)
8 Juan Gutierrez, RHP, Grade C+ (borderline, could flip to B-)
9 Brad James, RHP, Grade C+
10 Sam Gervacio, RHP, Grade C+
11 Chad Reinkie, RHP, Grade C+
12 Jordan Parraz, OF, Grade C+  (I've always liked him for some reason)
13Josh Flores, OF Grade C+
14 Eli Iorg, OF, Grade C+
15 Collin DeLome, OF, Grade C+
16 Paul Estrada, RHP, Grade C+
17 Polin Trinidad, LHP, Grade C
18 Max Sapp, C, Grade C
19 Sergio Severino, LHP, Grade C
20 Koby Clemens, 3B, Grade C

Talk Zone / Nutt from Ark to Ole Miss
« on: November 27, 2007, 10:28:20 am »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor League 6 Year Free Agents
« on: November 04, 2007, 04:47:14 pm »
Per BA, Here is the Astros List: Soto & Conrad are the best prospects on the list IMO

Righthanders: Brian Gordon, Tim Lavigne, German Melendez, Josh Miller, Chan Ho Park, Jose Rodriguez, Levi Romero (spent all year on DL), Matt Sweeney, Ronnie Ventura (AKA Martinez)

Lefthanders: Philip Barzilla, Enyelbert Soto

Catchers: Danny Fatheree, Hector Gimenez

First baseman: Michael Johnson

Second basemen: Brooks Conrad, Jesse Garcia, Drew Saylor

Shortstops: Osvaldo Fernando, Danny Klassen

Outfielders: Francisco Caraballo, Tim Raines, Michael Rodriguez, Ray Sadler, Barry Wesson

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Dominican Winter League Updates
« on: October 23, 2007, 07:58:29 am »
Here are the updates as of 10/23

Sergio Severino - Aguiles Cibaenes-  Has not pitched yet
Phillip Barzilla – Licey – Has appeared in 2 games with an ERA of 27.00.  4 hits and one earned run in 1/3 of an inning.
Polin Trinidad – Licey – Has pitched one inning in one game.  Zeros across the board.
Samuel Gervacio – Appeared in one game but got no one out and allowed one hit and one earned run so the dreaded *.** ERA
Miguel Asencio – Estrellas – Has not played yet
Santo Luis – Estrellas - Has not played yet
Osvaldo Fernando – Estrellas - Has not played yet
Jhon Florentino – Gigantes - Has not played yet

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Rule 5 Draft, who do you protect
« on: October 19, 2007, 01:34:45 pm »
The Astros have to have their 40 man roster set by Nov. 20th to protect players from the rule 5 draft. This draft will capture players drafted or signed at under 19 in 2003 and those drafted/signed in 2004 who were 19 +.  There are currently 4 slots on the 40 man roster that could be used to protect prospects.

Here is my top 13 list of those who are rule 5 draft eligible this year. 

Tommy Manzella

Sammy Gervacio
Chad Reineke
Lou Santangelo
Brad James
Marc Saccomanno
Drew Sutton
Johnny Ash
Josh Muecke
Ryan McKeller
J. Gothreaux
Neil Sellers
Edwin Maysonet
Beau Torbert
Ryan Thompson
Among those eligible last year and not selected: Chance Douglass, Ronnie Martinez/Ventura, Frankie Caraballo

There are others who fall into the category but have not played above High A ball so I don't think they are at risk.  In fact, I don't think there is much risk of any being drafted away but the top 3 are the ones I would worry most about.

Remember if you get drafted it doesn't mean you leave the team forever.  If drafted, a player must stay on the 25 man roster all season or be offered back to the original club at 1/2 the $50K cost it took to draft them. 

(Edited to fix the players caught by Jacksonian)

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / MILB recaps Astros farm season
« on: October 19, 2007, 11:46:39 am »
Their annual recap includes players of the year (Einertson & Patton) and a summary of who is making progress or sliding back.

They say "it's not all doom and gloom" but most of it is.

ETA: MILB didn't do their job editing.  The Org Flashback section is full of references to Greenville of the Sally League instead of Greeneville of the Appy League.  One E makes a big difference.

May 12 -- Greenville suffered its 10th consecutive loss, falling to Augusta, 8-4.
  Well that is great to have a losing streak like that before the Greeneville season even started! No wonder their record sucked.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Who is Ronnie Martinez
« on: October 17, 2007, 02:50:03 pm »
In checking the BA transactions for Sept. 25th, it shows the Astros reinstated RHP "Ronnie Ventura" from the Disable List.  I couldn't recall a Ventura in the system.  So I went to MILB and typed in the name.  He showed up on the Hooks roster under the name of Ronnie Martinez.  So far the birth date hasn't changed but having a name change in the middle of your career rarely works out in your favor.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Snipets from Former Legends
« on: October 15, 2007, 10:14:37 am »
The Lexington Paper gave snipets of their conversations with Former Legends that took place during a late season trip to Cincinnati.
Part of the article is a guessing game since they left the name off the quotes and just put the position.  Who needs editors anyway.

Here are some highlights:

"I used to throw a lot harder than I do now. Everything's different. I throw a different breaking ball low. I attack hitters differently. ... I was like 90, 94 (mph) back then. Now I'm like 88-to-90. I move it around. I'm sinking it more. ... And I threw a big curveball back then. Now I throw a little slider, or slurve, and a two-seamer."

Manager Cecil Cooper sees Paulino as a possible closer because "that's an arm that you just don't see." Paulino says he has traded velocity for command: "Now I've got control for strikes. Before I could throw hard -- 99, 100 -- but never had command of my fastball. That is a good plus for me, getting my fastball 4 or 5 mph lesser, but throw for strikes."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / VWL - Stat update (10/15)
« on: October 15, 2007, 08:30:21 am »
Kyle Middleton – Tigres – Started on game.  Went 4 1/3 innings allowing one run on 3 hits and no walks.  He struck out 2 batters.
Juan Gutierrez – Leones – Has not played
Cesar Quintero –Leones – Has appeared in 4 games, hitting .273 with 3 doubles.  Has struck out twice in 11 AB.
Victor Garate – Leones – Has pitched 2/3 of an inning allowing a hit and a walk.
Fernando Nieve – Caribes – Has not played
German Melendez – Magallanes – Has not played
Marc Saccomanno – Magallanes – Has appeared in 3 games and is batting .286 with a double and a homer.  He has 4 RBI.  He has K’d 4 times in 14 AB.
Wlad Sutil – Magallanes – Appeared in one game and was hitless in 5 AB with 2 Ks
Frankie Caraballo – Magallanes – Has appeared in 2 games and is batting .286 with a double and a stolen base.  He has K’d 3 times out of 7 AB
Felipe Paulino - Bravos de Margarita – Has not played
Enyelbert Soto - Bravos de Margarita – Has not played
Humberto Quintero – Aguilas de Zulia – Has not played

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / BA's PCL top 20
« on: October 12, 2007, 01:01:55 pm »
The lone Astro on the list is Patton who comes in at #15

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / BA's Texas top 20
« on: October 10, 2007, 10:39:20 am »
Patton #9
Towles #10
Paulino #16

Here is the list

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Winter League - Caribbean Leagues
« on: October 10, 2007, 08:25:32 am »
The Mexican league is underway.  The only Astro I could find on the rosters was

Dennis Sarfate playing for Naranjeros de Hermosillo.

Rosters aren't yet posted for the Dominican or Venezuelan leagues.  I expect to see more guys on those rosters.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Nothing to see here.... move along
« on: October 10, 2007, 08:19:36 am »
No Astros bus riders were listed in the classification all stars by BA. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Rookie Team History Posted in Bus Ride
« on: October 03, 2007, 04:05:03 pm »
I have been tracking the Astros minor league system since their rookie affiliate move to Greeneville in 2004.  This year, 4 players from that team were promoted to Houston.  That sounded impressive to me but I had no frame of reference so I went back and checked the promotion rates of the rookie league teams in the Astros system back to 1991. 

Since I spent the time digging up the info, I thought I would share it with you.Enjoy

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / BA Carolina League top 20
« on: October 03, 2007, 10:10:44 am »
Three Astro Bus Riders make the list

#11 Mitch E
#14 Sergio Perez
#15 Brad James

Talk Zone / Pence & Anderson stories in Lexington Paper
« on: October 03, 2007, 08:27:24 am »
While the Astros were in Cincinnati, apparently the Lexington paper took the chance to get some interviews with former Legend Hunter P & KY native & former Legend Josh Anderson.

Here are some snippets:

Josh Anderson has been a real pleasant surprise for me," Astros Manager Cecil Cooper said. "I saw him in the spring the last couple years and you could see there was some ability there, raw ability. He just had to harness it.

"And it looks like he's starting to figure it all out. He's played well here. And as long as he continues to do that, we'll keep running him out there. He's got some skills

Hunter on advice from Pujols on how to approach Spring Training:
"He said, 'When they ask me what I plan to do in spring training every year, I say I want to make the team,' " Pence said during Houston's final road trip of the year. "Pujols, one of the faces of the game, one of the best hitters ever to play, and he takes that attitude to spring training."

"Hunter has been just a marvelous player for us. Just an exciting player to watch," Cooper said. "He continues day after day to get hits for us. He plays center, he's played right, and he does a good job out there. He's the guy that, down the road, he's going to be the face of our franchise."

Differences between Pence the Legend and Pence the Astro are slight.

"Probably a little more balanced, a little less movement at the plate," he said. "I see the ball better, and I'm a little more selective. I used to swing at every pitch.

"In the outfield, you get better instincts the more you play, and I'm just a little bit better outfielder."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / New Appy Team?
« on: September 29, 2007, 09:13:03 pm »
Looks like Pulaski is trying to impress someone to get the 10th team back into the Appy League

The Town of Pulaski is looking for families willing to host a baseball player for about three months each summer, in hopes of getting minor-league baseball back into the community next summer.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Devon Torrence Football Update
« on: September 27, 2007, 03:10:38 pm »
Devon is getting some PT at OSU as a true freshman.  Due to the Buckeyes blow outs he has been playing at WR and has 3 catches for 14 yards.  He is on the kick off team and has made one tackle that resulted in a fumble. 

His brother, who is committed to joining him at OSU is getting some national pub in SI

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Appy League top 20
« on: September 25, 2007, 02:58:47 pm »
Baseball America has released the Appy League Top 20.

It is no suprise the that  list is chock full of Twins (7) & Braves (7 including 4 of the top 5) but the lowly Greeneville Astros put up the 3rd most players 2.

3rd baseman Ebert Rosario came in at 16th
RHP Kyle Greenewalt came in at 20th

The Cards, O's, DRays, & White Sox had one each for the rest of the list.

The Royals & Mets didn't have anyone make the list

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Astros Minor MVPs
« on: September 24, 2007, 11:13:49 am »
Here are the MVPs of each team in the org as decided by the development folks:

RR - Ransom
CC- Sadler
Salem - Mitch E
Lex - Parraz
Tri - Barnes
G'ville - Cespedes
DSL - Villar
VSL - Medrano

Talk Zone / I am in hell
« on: September 19, 2007, 08:06:32 am »
I have been in the Philippines this week on business.  The ESPN here has shown all the games of the NYY/BSOX 2xs this week that is all the baseball I have been able to see.  What have I done to deserve this?????

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Minor league game notes feedback
« on: September 16, 2007, 02:08:26 am »
I started doing the daily recaps of the Astros' minor league teams in late July.  It was a fair amount of work and before I begin to think about next doing a full season next year, I wanted some feedback.

When you vote - add comments to tell me what you  like best, what you  could do without, etc.....

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / catching base runners
« on: September 14, 2007, 07:44:56 pm »
If you are not fortunate enough to have David Q picking runners off, here is how some of our catchers do throwing runners out according to BA:

#24 Lou Santangelo caught 12 of 40  his % was 1.8 % lower than the AA average
#29 Max Sapp caught 19 of 68 for 3.8% below his league average
#32 J. R. Towles caught 23 out of 97 in 3 different levels for a % that was 5.3% below the average

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville's Lazu Suspended
« on: September 08, 2007, 10:45:45 am »
Carlos Lazu, a little used relief pitcher for Greeneville has been suspended for 50 games.  This will probably end his career.

Houston: C J.R. Towles, 23, had played at three levels in the organization, hitting .284-11-62 in 99 games. He is one of the best overall defensive catchers in the minors, and the Astros are intrigued that he's athletic enough to steal bases. Injuries have slowed him the last two years, but he could be playing in Houston in 2008.

If you want to read about the other teams picks they are here

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Attendance & Winning
« on: September 05, 2007, 08:22:14 am »
Here is a look at where Astro affiliates ranking on the field and in the stands:

Greeneville:(9 team Appy League)
9th place in Appy League standings
1st place in Attendance (Average 1558 per night)

Tri Cities: (14 team NYPENN League)
Currently tied for 13th with 3 games to go
Currently 7th in attendance (average of 3800 per night).  Set record for best attendance in franchise history

Lexington: (16 team Sally League)
13th overall in Sally League
3rd in attendance (5753 per night)

Salem: (8 team Carolina League)
2nd overall in Carolina League standings
3rd in attendance (3916 per night)

Corpus Christi:(8 team Texas League)
6th best record in Texas League
3rd in attendance ( 7048 per night)

Round Rock: (16 team Pacific Coast League)
14th overall in PCL
2nd in attendance (9465 per night)

It is obvious that the people running the business side of the franchises are doing a good job.  The Lexington paper this morning had a good piece on drawing well in spite of having the worst team in franchise history.

On the impact of losing on the bottom line:
"I think it would take multiple years consecutively," Stein said. "So much of our business is pre-sold group sales. Where it could impact you ... is turnstile numbers. But, paid numbers, it doesn't have that much impact."

On the Legends future as an Astros affiliate:
"As long as we're a South Atlantic League single-A club, I hope that we stay an Astros affiliate," Stein said. "We trust the Astros to give us a good squad of quality individuals, players who are committed to getting better, developing and helping the big-league club somewhere along the way."

On making the jump to AA at some point:
It's so complicated. ... Not only do we have to get approval to relocate this club, which would mean we'd have to find another place and then negotiate a settlement with the league, we also would have to acquire a Double-A club," Stein said. "And there aren't any really available right now. And then get approval to relocate it to Lexington. It's a complicated deal.

"And I'm not so sure, frankly ... that I'd be interested in doing it if we didn't ultimately think that we could get a Reds affiliation. And Chattanooga just re-signed another extension to their PDC, so that kind of eliminates that."

The CC Caller raises speculation that Dave Clark's time as manager of the Hooks might be done.  Speculation is he may be off to bigger and better things in the right door opens:

Ricky Bennett:
"We think highly of Dave," Bennett said. "He's got a bright future in this game as a field manager. I think he has the makings of being a very good major-league manager and it's a matter of time before he gets that opportunity.

"From his standpoint, I think he can handle a higher level. We'll have to sit down at the end of our season and see what's in the best interest for the organization and for Dave. I think he's shown us he can manage at the Double-A level and higher. You never want to keep guys at a level too long, especially when they show you they can manage at a higher level, in terms of how he manages ballgames and his club. I think he's shown us that."

"When I decided this is what I wanted to do, I gave myself a five-year plan," Clark said. "Sometimes, just like with anything else in life, you've got to make adjustments. This is year five and I may have to make an adjustment. What that adjustment might be, I don't know yet."

The article also gives the 5 high points and 5 low points of the season in CC

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Einertson MVP of Carolina League
« on: August 31, 2007, 05:15:13 pm »
Mitch E is rewarded for his good season with the Carolina League MVP.  He is the only Av represented on the post season all star team.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Salem interview
« on: August 30, 2007, 11:23:55 am »
The manager & the play by play guy give their thoughts on [url]Brian B, Perez, James, Sutil, & Einertson[/url]

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Brandon Barnes article
« on: August 30, 2007, 11:19:16 am »
Nice interview with Tri Cities MVP candidate Brandon Barnes:

“I only played one year of baseball in high school,” Barnes explained. “I was a football guy all of my life. When I got to Cyprus [Community College], I asked the head baseball coach if I could try out. I made the team and ended up being a Freshman All-American. When I got drafted in the sixth round I was pretty surprised. I didn’t think that many people knew about me.

“From the beginning of the season I went after it,” the right-handed outfielder told “I knew what I wanted to do and focused on getting good at bats. I guess it’s all kind of falling into place. Part of the improvement was that I was taking my work ethic that I brought to the field, and applying that same intensity into practice.”

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / All Stars
« on: August 27, 2007, 10:11:36 pm »
Season ending all star teams are starting to be announced.

In the Texas League Ray Sadler & Troy Patton made the list.

Talk Zone / Patton's first start
« on: August 25, 2007, 10:13:49 pm »
Any thoughts from those who were able to watch?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Torbert moved back to CC
« on: August 24, 2007, 09:40:54 pm »
Looks like the result of the Jason Lane move is Beau Torbert is back at CC.  He is in the line up tonight.

Talk Zone / Pence in RR tonight
« on: August 18, 2007, 08:53:11 pm »
Pence to this point is one for three.

Out 6-3
Line out 7
Double to 7

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / When to give up switch hitting?
« on: August 16, 2007, 09:28:03 am »
Lexington infielder Greg Buchanan is hitting .366 for the month of August.  According to the radio broadcast of the game yesterday, it corresponds to him going to batting exclusively right handed instead of being a switch hitter. 

I wonder if this is worth considering for other struggling switch hitters such as Ralph Henriquez, who shows much more power from the left side of the plate.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / July Players of the Month
« on: August 14, 2007, 10:28:43 am »
The Houston Astros Player Development Department has named the following players of the month for July: Round Rock: RHP Juan Gutierrez, IF Cody Ransom; Corpus Christi: RHP German Melendez, C J.R. Towles, IF Edwin Maysonet; Salem: RHP Ryan McKeller, IF Billy Hart, OF Orlando Rosales; Lexington: RHP Reid Kelly, OF Jordan Parraz, OF Nicholas Moresi; Tri-City: RHP Jason Dominguez, OF Brandon Barnes, IF Cat Everett; Greeneville: LHP Fernando Abad, IF Bryan Brown, OF Devon Torrence. These awards are chosen every month by the field staff of each team.

Here are more details on what warranted their selection

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / State of the Farm
« on: August 13, 2007, 12:19:13 pm »
Greg Rajan of the Corpus Christi Caller gives a lengthy article on the condition of the farm system.  Here are some highlights:

"They were 22nd coming into the year and my guess is they've taken a step backward instead of a step forward," said Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis, who covers the Astros' system for the magazine.

"I think a lot of people who write about things don't do any research and don't come down and see the players," Purpura said. "I don't care what farm system you're talking about, you're going to go through peaks and valleys. There are going to be good times and bad times, and sometimes when your players are playing their worst is when they're learning the most.

"When you've been an organization like we have where we've been a winning organization, we don't draft very high. We usually draft in the twenties, so by the time 20 picks have gone by, there are a lot of good players who are off the board. You're always going to have peaks and valleys, good years and bad years, and there are always guys who come out of nowhere allegedly to become good players."

"In the whole Texas League last year, there were one or two Hunter Pences," Purpura said. "And that's frankly where people do get spoiled. They see the good talent come through and they think you can go to the grocery store and pick them off the center-fielder aisle, and it just doesn't work that way."

"I think you have to have what I call a balanced portfolio," he said. "You have to be effective in your draft, you have to draft high-school and college players and you have to be aggressive in Latin America and maybe even in Asia.

There is much more food for discussion in this article but I don't want to violate any copyright laws if I haven't already. 

In honor of school starting here last week, here is your assignment:  Please read & discuss.

Saylor, Frye & Sweet down to Greeneville

Stringer, Axel Gonzalez & Pitts to Tri Cities

Also Marques Williams has signed and is in Greeneville.

Talk Zone / Bonds aided by body armor?
« on: August 10, 2007, 02:56:55 pm »
This article lays out that the body armor Bond's wore on his elbow is a "hitting machine".  Those who understand physics better than I can weigh in on fact or conspiracy?

Several years back, baseball was rightfully scandalized by the revelation that Sammy Sosa had "corked" his bat. The advantages conferred by the Bonds "hitting machine," however, far exceed anything supplied by cork. Ultimately, it appears the Bonds "achievement” must be regarded as partly the product of “double duplicity" -- steroidal and mechanical.

Talk Zone / Baseball America's best tools
« on: August 02, 2007, 10:09:08 am »
Here are the Astros on the list based on a survey of NL Managers:

Hit & Run Artist: Loretta #2
Best Curve Ball: Oswalt #2
Best Defensive Catcher: Ausmus #3

Former Astro Willy T was the 2nd fastest baserunner

The NL Managers also believe that ESPN's Stark's opinions are overrated as they voted Andruw Jones the best defensive outfielder.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / MLB Scholarship Program Article
« on: August 02, 2007, 10:00:30 am »
The Asheville Citizen Times has a nice piece on the use of the MLB Scholarship program for minor league players:

In 1989, only 38 percent of players drafted got scholarship money in their contracts, said Rich Hunt, payroll and pension manager for MLB. From 2000-05, an average of 60 percent of signed players were awarded scholarship money, Hunt said, referencing the league’s most recent extensive study in 2005.

According to MLB, of the 1,482 players selected in the 2002 first-year player draft, 93.5 percent have yet to appear in a single major league game.

If you come out of college and you’re a junior, most college baseball players want that money toward school,” Josh Bonifay said. “They know they have that, and they don’t have to pay for school when they’re done (with baseball).

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Good & Bad VSL
« on: August 02, 2007, 09:42:56 am »
Here is where the VSL Astros stand among league leaders:

Jose Altuve is 5th with a .332 average, tied for 5th with 4 triples, 6th with an OBP of .414
Richardo Bonfante is 8th with a .319 average, 10th in OPS with .846.  Altuve is a 5'5" 17 year old righthanded 2B.

Herman Armas is 4th with 50 runs scored, tied for 7th with 71 hits, tied for 9th with 3 triples, tied for 3rd with 9 HR, tied for 5th with 45 RBI, second with 113 total bases, tied for 6th with 37 walks, 9th in strike outs with 47, tied for 7th with an OBP of .411, 5th in slugging with .475, 5th in OPS of .885.  Armas is a 5'11" lefthanded 20 year old outfielder.

Jhonny Medrano is tied for 10th with 13 doubles, tied for 7th with 18 stolen bases
Oscar Figueroa is tied for 10th with 13 doubles
Manuel Holder is tied for 5th with 4 triples
Renzo Tello is tied for 7th with 7 HR

German Perez is tied for 5th with 6 wins, in 5th with an ERA of 2.26, tied for 9th with 49 Ks, 9th with a WHIP of 1.12.  Perez is a 5'11" lefthander who is 17 years old.

Julio Puentes is tied for 3rd with 7 saves
Robert Moreno is tied for 6th with 4 saves
Gabriel de Jesus Garcia is tied for 8th with 3 saves

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Good & Bad DLS
« on: August 02, 2007, 09:24:08 am »
Here is where the DLS Astros batters rank among league leaders:

Randy Claxton is tied for 10th with 35 walks, is tied for 10th with an OBP of .434, Claxon is a 21 year old righthanded 1B
Frank Almonte is tied for 6th with 55 strike outs

Rafael Luna is tied for 4th with 5 losses
Henry Villar is in 5th with 61 1/3 innings pitched, Tied for 5th with most hits allowed (56), tied for 4th with 4 HR allowed, tied for 10th with 61 K's.  Villar is a 20 year old righty. He has only allowed more than 2 earned runs in one of his last 10 starts.  He has not struck out fewer than 4 batters in his last 10 starts.
Wilfred Lopez is tied for 5th with 10 Hit batters
Angle Gonzalez is tied for 10th with 27 walks issued.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Van Ostrand's involved in racquet
« on: July 31, 2007, 02:59:32 pm »
well badminton that is

Van Ostrand was one of the top-ranked badminton players in British Columbia and a double-gold medalist at the Junior Pan Am Games in the sport in his high school days in Vancouver.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Troy Patton You Tube Interview
« on: July 31, 2007, 01:01:07 pm »
Here is an interview I came across of Troy Patton done on a show "Sports off center" at a local Hooters

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Bogusevic called up to CC
« on: July 29, 2007, 06:00:07 am »
after Saturday nights game

"He made tremendous progress," Pankovits said. "He developed a strikeout pitch. He learned to use both sides of the plate. ... He was extremely durable, making every start for us.

"He deserves this opportunity."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Parraz hits for cycle
« on: July 26, 2007, 10:22:34 pm »
Tonight in a 14 inning loss for Lexington, Jordan Parraz hit for the  cycle. 

Tripled and scored leading off 2nd inning
Double and scored in the 4th
Ground out in 6th
HR in 8th with 2 on and 2 out
Ground out in the 11th
Single in the 14 and was stranded at second when the game ended. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Weekend Update Is Up
« on: July 23, 2007, 10:38:48 am »
Trying out a new feature in the news section.  Feel free to discuss here

Talk Zone / First License Plates now HS baseball stats
« on: July 20, 2007, 12:31:22 pm »
The next slide down the slippery slope:

The Houston Independent School District has denied a parent's request for the statistics of high school baseball players, citing a federal privacy law...."We agree it looks weird, and frankly, it would probably be a whole lot less heartache to the district if this information were not protected," said Chris Gilbert, an attorney for the district. "But the law is the law and we're required to follow it."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / League Leaders: Good & Bad PCL
« on: July 20, 2007, 09:52:35 am »
Cody Ransom is tied for 9th with 26 doubles.  He is tied for 7th in strike outs with 88.  He is tied for 6th in stolen bases with 17.
Brooks Conrad is in 5th for most walks with 49.  He also leads the league in Ks with 98.
Anderson is second in stolen bases with 31.

Randolph is tied for 4th with 8 wins.
Estrada is tied for 8th with 8 losses.
Juan Gutierrez is in 5th for ERA at 3.80. He is second with 116 innings pitched.  Tied for 7th with 45 walks.  Tied for 4th with a 1.30 WHIP.
Barzilla is tied for 9th in most hits allowed (126)
Gothreaux is tied for 7th wit 16 HRs allowed.
Asencio is tied for 5th with 7 hit batters.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / League Leaders: Good & Bad Texas
« on: July 20, 2007, 09:41:57 am »
Sutton tied for 6th with 56 runs scored. Tied for 10th with 12 stolen bases.
Self is tied for 9th with 55 runs scored.  He is also 9th in hits with 96.  He is tied for 7th with 53 RBIs.  He is tied for 8th with 148 total bases.  He has taken 49 free passes good for 6th.  His .410 OBP is good for 5th.  His .306 average places him in a tie for 3rd.
Varner is tied for 8th with 3 triples.  His OPS of .872 is the 8th best in the league.
Sadler is tied for 5th with 15 round trippers.  He is tied for 5th with 55 RBIs.  His 82 strike outs places him 5th.  Tied for 7th with 7 caught stealing.
Ash is in 10th with his .381 OBP.  He is in 6th with his .305 batting average.

Martinez is tied for 2nd in losses with 9. Tied for 6th with most runs surrendered (59). He is in 8th for most earned runs allowed (54).
Barthmaier is tied for 4th with 7 losses.
Patton though promoted is holding on to the 2nd slot in ERA with 2.99.  He is also still 8th with 102.1 innings pitched.  He is 5th in HB with 9. His WHIP of 1.26 has him holding on to a tie for 7th
Douglas also promoted is holding on to the 3rd slot in ERA with 3.12.  His WHIP of 1.13 is still good for 2nd.
Middleton’s 14 saves is good for 4th.
Miller is tied for 9th with 11 HRs given up.
Thompson is tied for 9th with 11 HRs given up.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / League Leaders: Good & Bad Carolina
« on: July 20, 2007, 09:41:11 am »
Although promoted, Flores is tied for 9th in runs, and tied for 2nd with 6 triples.  He is still tied for 3rd in stolen bases with 25.  His OBP of .392 ranks 6th.  His slugging of .500 is good for 7th.   He is second with a .325 batting average and 6th in OPS with .892.
Einertson is 5th with 89 hits. His 29 doubles is good for 2nd.  His 67 RBIs leads the league.  6th in total bases with 143.  His OBP of .379 is good for 9th and his slugging of .514 is tied for 4th.  His batting average of .320 is the 3rd best. His OPS is 5th (.893)
Reed is tied for 9th with 5 triples
Hart is tied for 9th with 5 triples and in 9th with 17 stolen bases.
Sutil is tied for 7th with 21 stolen bases

Promoted Brad James is tied for 3rd with 9 wins.  He leads the league in ERA still with a 1.98. He is tied for 7th with 8 hit batters.  His WHIP of 1.10 is good for 2nd.
Bogusevic is tied for 6th with 8 wins and his ERA of 3.57 comes in at 7th. He is 5th in innings pitched with 103.1.  His 112 hits allowed places him in 2nd for most hits.  He is 3rd with 83 Ks.
Perez is in 8th on the ERA chart with 3.64.  His 9 HB places him tied for 4th.  His WHIP of 1.21 places him 6th.
Gervacio is second with 15 saves.
Diaz is 8th in innings pitched with 101.  He is 3rd with hits allowed (110).  Diaz is tied for 8th with 56 runs allowed.  He is tied for 2nd with 51 earned runs.  He is tied for 1st in most home runs allowed with 11.  He is tied for 4th with 81 Ks.
Salamida is tied for 8th in earned runs allowed with 47.  He is tied for 4th in most home runs allowed with 10. He is tied for 7th with 8 hit batters.
Shortell has hit 10 batters which ties him for 2nd.
McKeller is tied for 7th in holds with 5.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / League Leaders: Good & Bad Sally
« on: July 20, 2007, 09:40:35 am »
Moresi is tied for 10th in triples with 5.
Parraz is tied for 5th in stolen bases with 31.

DeYoung is tied for 5th with 7 losses.
Hudspeth is 10th with innings pitched (102.2).  Tied for 7th with hits given up (119). 5th place in runs allowed (72). 9th in earned runs allowed with 56
Arguello is tied for 6th in runs allowed (68). Tied for 10th in earned runs allowed with 55.
Trinidad is tied for 7th in HR’s allowed with 13.
Qualben is 3rd for most walks with 49

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / League Leaders: Good & Bad NY/Penn
« on: July 20, 2007, 09:40:03 am »
Tri Cities:
Colin Delome is tied for 6th with 33 hits.  Tied for 2nd with 3 triples. Tied for 5th with total bases with 52.
Brandon Barnes is tied for 4th in HRs with 4. Tied for 4th in Slugging with .566. 7th in OPS with .938
Cusick is tied for 10th in OBP with .415.

Pardo tied for 7th with 3 losses
Vassella tied for 7th with 3 losses. Tied for 7th in most runs allowed with 19.
Dominguez is tied for 2nd with 6 saves.
Bello tied for 7th with most hits (32). Tied for 7th in most runs allowed with 19.  Second place in earned runs (19). Tied for 4th in most HRs allowed with 3.
Laduth is tied for 4th in most HRs allowed with 3.
Esperson is tied for 7th with most walks with 16

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / League Leaders: Good and Bad Appy
« on: July 20, 2007, 09:39:10 am »
Andrew Launier is tied for 6th with 9 Doubles, Tied for 7th with 26th K’s
Timmy Johnson leads the league in most K’s with 29

 Leon leads the league in losses with 5.  He surrendered the 6th most runs (22) and earned runs (17th).  He is tied for 3rd on most HBP with 4.
Noguera, tied for 3rd in most losses with 3
Cespedess tied for 3rd in most losses with 3
Pinelas  tied for 3rd in most losses with 3.  Leads the league in most hits (37), runs (26) surrendered and most earned runs (23)
Wabick is tied for 2nd in most HR surrendered with 4
Lazu is tied for 3rd most HBP with 4.
Ciriaco is tied for 5th in most walks surrendered with 14.
Abad is tied for 10th in most strike outs with 25.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Gunning Down Runners
« on: July 19, 2007, 05:52:45 am »
There were some moves and some arms in action last night:

Qualben picked off 3 base runners and Henriquez threw out 3 base runners.

Quintero picked up his 9th outfield assist in 32 games at Salem.

Caraballo helped out Brad James by gunning a runner out at home.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Players of the month
« on: July 18, 2007, 06:43:56 am »
Here are your players of the month as designated by the Astros Player Development Department:

P -Driskill
O- Anderson
D- Ransom

P - Middleton
O- Towles
D - Maysonett

P- Gevacio
O- Sutil
D - King

P- Arguello
O- Florentino
D - Clemens

P- Leonhardt
O - Dixon

P- Ciriaco
O & D - Launier

For more details

Talk Zone / My day just got much better
« on: July 17, 2007, 11:35:52 am »
One of my co-workers used to work in Baltimore at a sports agents office.  She just walked in and handed me a baseball saying she thought I would appreciate it more than she does.  It is a Brooks Robinson autographed baseball. 

Little did my co worker know that as a kid, that was who I pretended to be diving for grounders in my backyard.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / David Dixon
« on: July 17, 2007, 07:40:02 am »
Dixon was drafted as a 2b.  He committed 3 errors at 2b yesterday.  Here is what manager Pete Rancot had to say about it:

"He (Dixon) is primarily an outfielder," Rancont said. The time he will get at second base will not be significant."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Barthmaier
« on: July 14, 2007, 06:33:41 am »
He is really struggling.  Is it time for a step back to Salem for him?

Meanwhile, Hooks starter Jimmy Barthmaier (2-7), who hasn't won since June 3 at Springfield, continued to struggle. He is winless in seven consecutive starts and has only won twice in 13 starts this year, with his earned-run average ballooning to 6.08.

Barthmaier -- a member of Houston's 40-man roster -- lasted only four innings against Frisco, laboring through a 94-pitch outing. He issued a season-high six walks, with three of those runners coming around to score.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Salem's Bats Hot in July
« on: July 14, 2007, 06:22:40 am »
Sutil was the hitter of the month in June batting .328.  He has stayed hot in July and he has company:

In 10 games in July, he's hitting .359.

Sutil hardly stands out in the order. He is one of nine Avalanche players hitting better than .300 in July. Orlando Rosales is hitting .390 with a double and two triples -- he leads the team with eight triples.

Billy Hart is hitting .378 and Einertson, Eric King and Mark Ori are all hitting .333. Osvaldo Fernando (.318) and Ryan Reed (.306) are up over .300 and newcomer Pat Osborn hit .400 in his first four games.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / lefty bats
« on: July 12, 2007, 10:15:27 pm »
Here is a list of ALL the left handed hitters in the astros system.  I don't see a whole lot here to be excited about.  Sapp, Dixon & Delome have some promise but above A, I don't see an every day player in the Majors? 

Josh Anderson - AAA
Mike Rodriguez – AAA
Jonathan Ash - AA
Todd Self – AA
Mark Ori – High A
Ryan Reed – High A
Max Sapp – A
Russell Dixon – A Short Season
Matt Cusick – A Short Season
Colin Delome – A Short Season
Pedro Gonzalez - Rookie

That was so discouraging, I decided to make the Switch Hitter List as well.

Brooks Conrad  - AAA
Drew Sutton – AA
Ralph Henriquez – A
Tim Torres – A
Greg Buchanan- A
Catlin Everett – A Short Season
Chris Turner - Rookie

5 of the 7 are infielders whose glove is more important than their bat.  Henriquez is working hard to stay above 200 and Turner is working hard to stay above 100.

Any thoughts on these list?

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Brian Bogusevic fans 11
« on: July 11, 2007, 08:47:49 pm »
Nice pitching performance tonight for Brian B.

6 innings, 11 K's, 2 walks, 3 hits, 2 unearned runs. 

Of the 18 outs: 11 K's (one batter reached on a WP), 6 ground balls and 2 fly balls

Talk Zone / Lidge pitching at CC
« on: July 11, 2007, 08:37:16 pm »
He started and pitched a perfect first inning.  A line out and two fly outs.

Talk Zone / Golden Retrievers
« on: July 11, 2007, 03:40:40 pm »
Back in 93, I attended a game at the Dome.  They had some older gentlemen who were the "ball boys" down the line in the out field.  Some one in the stands told me they called them "golden retrievers".   Was that true?

My wife and I were on our way to see her brother who was stationed at Ft. Hood.  We took the souther route from Birmingham to be able to see an Astros game and sight see in San Antonio.  Then took the northern route home to see the Rangers & the White Sox.  I missed the Ryan v Ventura fight by one night.  Both those ball parks are gone now.  Guess that means another trip at some point and time, even though her brother is in D.C. now.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Injuries
« on: July 06, 2007, 05:52:45 am »
This thread can be your one stop shop for injury news.  Update as you have info:

From Lexington:
Legends IF Jhon Florentino had his right thumb fractured by a line drive Tuesday. He is expected to be sidelined at least four weeks....Florentino was not moved to the disabled list, which already is occupied by pitchers Nick Cavanagh (hip flexor) and Ryan Owens (knee), along with IF Ronnie Martinez (clavicle).

Talk Zone / Switch Hitting
« on: July 05, 2007, 09:29:47 am »
Seeking alittle advice here from coach or others.

My 7 1/2 year old came up to me the other day and said he wants to learn to hit left handed.  I have no clue how to teach this.  Any hints.  So far, I said here is the tee and some balls, hit away.  He went through 15 - 20 balls and then went back to right handed.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / DSL & VSL info
« on: July 05, 2007, 09:08:51 am »
In the past, this info has been tough to come by.  Now daily box scores and stats are on 

Our DSL team can be found at:

Our VSL team can be found at:

Some names to file away:
From the VSL team:

Jose Altuve a 17 year old  2B - .372 through 37 games with 10 K's in 107 ABs.
Ricardo Bufante an 18 year old SS - .314 through 39 games with 7 k's in 140 ABs.
German de Jesus Perez an 18 year old LHP - 2.15 ERA in 8 appearance/7 starts.  37.2 innings, 28 K's and 11 BBs

From the DSL:

Angel Gonzalez an 18 year old LHP - 2.70 ERA through 6 appearances/4 starts. 28k's in 23.2 innings.  Only 19 hits surrendered but 11 walks.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Patton & Home Runs
« on: July 02, 2007, 08:10:36 am »
Troy Patton is going to have to work on keeping the ball in the yard.  In his last 3 starts, he has given up 6 round trippers.  He has surrendered multiple homers in 3 of his last 6 starts.  This is after only giving up 2 in his first 10 starts.

Talk Zone / Clemens V. Maddux
« on: June 28, 2007, 10:07:42 am »
After Greg M won his 340th last night, I got to thinking about where he stands as opposed to Roger "Greatest Pitcher of All Time" Clemens.  So I compared their career stats.  Here is what I found:

Clemens is in his 23rd year
Maddox is in his 21st year

Clemens has won started 3 More games,
Clemens has pitched126 2/3 more innings,
Clemens has surrendered 293 fewer hits
Clemens has surrendered 21 more runs
Clemens has surrendered 34 more home runs
Clemens has surrendered 597 more walks
Clemens has amassed 1405 more Ks
Clemens has amassed 9 more wins
Clemens has suffered 26 fewer losses
Clemens has averaged 14.3 more pitches per start
Clemens has a career whip that is more by .03
Clemens has a career batting average is lower by .017
Clemens has a career ERA that is higher than .03

What struck me is with the exception of hits, walks and K's how close they are.  Yet to hear the media, Roger is without peer.  I beg to differ.  I think Maddux is just as good as Roger, in fact at this point in their careers, I would rather have Maddux than Roger

Also, the difference in the hits, walks & K's shows the different styles of pitcher.  Maddux goal is to get them to hit the pitch he wants them to, Clemens goal is to get them to miss. 

Talk Zone / Hunter Pence = Joel Osteen
« on: June 22, 2007, 12:21:09 pm »
Pence, very simply, is to Houston sports what Joel Osteen is to Houston televangelism. He has been such a sensation that a headline in the Houston Chronicle, noting the drafting failures of the Houston Texans, asked: "Who needs Vince Young when you've got Hunter Pence?"

Okay blue star seekers - here is your meatball pitch right down the middle!

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Mid Season Promotions
« on: June 22, 2007, 05:37:51 am »
Let's get moving:

Beau Torbert to AAA

"He gets his first home run and that was his reward. He gets promoted to Triple-A," Hooks manager Dave Clark said.

Salem/Lex/Tri Cities

SS Tim Torres and 3B Chris Johnson were called up to High-A Salem in the Carolina League. SS Ronald Ramirez and IF Brandon Caipen will join the club and are expected to be in uniform tonight.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Towles takes on the world
« on: June 21, 2007, 04:05:37 pm »
JR Towles has been named to the US Futures all star team.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Sheldon out 6-8 weeks
« on: June 19, 2007, 08:14:03 am »
Sheldon was hit in the hand by a pitch and will be out for six to eight weeks.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Work before play
« on: June 18, 2007, 07:30:39 am »
Ever wondered what a minor league player does before game time?  This article from the Salem paper does a great job of pointing out the work that is done with the players the help them develop into big league players.  It is one of the best articles I have seen come out of the minor league town papers in the last few seasons.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Where are they now
« on: June 17, 2007, 09:34:59 pm »
Here is a story on Alan Zinter - still playing ball at 39

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville
« on: June 15, 2007, 06:30:20 am »
Now that the Tri Cities roster has been released, some things are know about the Greeneville Roster and the 05 draft prospects.  There are 3 players from the 05 draft who will be in Greeneville for their 3rd year.  All were high school draft picks but 3 years in the Appy league is unusual.  All have reason to be here:

Timmy Johnson - was a train wreck at SS last year.  Have heard he hadn't played much ball prior to being drafted but there are questions about the mental toughness.

Ryan Mitchell - has had some off the field issues that got him sent home early last year.  Big maturity question marks.

Allen Langdon - Was injured much of the 05 season. 

This will be an important year for these guys. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Tri Cities
« on: June 13, 2007, 04:25:06 pm »
The first glimps of the Tri Cities roster is released.

There are 9 being promoted from last years Greeneville squad (names not included on the press release)

Draftees mentioned included:


Returnees from last year:


The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Why I love the minors
« on: June 11, 2007, 07:32:46 am »
The minor leagues is about many things.  The primary being development of young baseball players into major league baseball players.  I enjoy watching that development.  Yet, more than that, I love watching the guys who realistically have no chance of making the majors enjoy playing the game.  They seem understand that they are very lucky to have a job playing baseball.  Those guys are some of my favorites.

Case in point is Jim Goethals of Lexington.  Going into last nights game, Jim was 0 for the season.  He came to bat in the bottom of the ninth with a runner on and two outs.  He was 0-2 on the night.  By the way, of his 0-12, 10 were strike outs.  Jim got his first hit of the season last night.  A walk off two run home run.  The call of the homer and the video are on the legends website, as well as a player of the game interview.  The lighting is bad in the interview but you can still see him beaming.  Here is the video.

On top of the big hit, he also got props from the starting pitcher for the game he called in the local paper:

I just threw the right pitches in the right counts. Give a lot of credit to Jim Goethals. He called a great game today."

This kid may never play at a higher level but he never forget last night.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / All Stars
« on: June 07, 2007, 10:28:51 am »
The first all star in the Astros Org is:

Left-handed pitcher David Qualben is the lone Legend selected to play in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game, June 19 at Rome, Ga

He didn't even get a mention on the MILB story.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Iorg likely out for year
« on: June 01, 2007, 07:06:12 am »
From the Avs local paper this morning
Outfielder Eli Iorg left the team Thursday and will have surgery to repair a ligament in his right elbow on Tuesday in Houston, said Pankovits, who added that the injury was likely season-ending.

Other injury news for Salem:
Infielder Wladimir Sutil saw his first action Thursday since getting hit by a pitch in the elbow on Sunday, and right fielder Ryan Reed (thumb) and shortstop Tommy Manzella (finger) are also out of action.

But they won the 11th straight anyway and are 1/2 game out of 1st with the the first half ending 6/17

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Salem is Smokin'
« on: May 30, 2007, 10:48:42 pm »
Salem won their 10th straight game tonight.  They scored over 10 runs for the 5th time during the streak. 

Josh Flores missed the cycle by single tonight.  He went 4 for 6 with 2 doubles, a triple, a HR, 3 runs scored and 3 RBIs.

Tim Torres who was recently called up from Lexington hit two HRs and 3 RBIs in the game.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Burke's rant met with silence
« on: May 27, 2007, 05:36:47 am »
From today's Statesman

"Everybody sees life from their own two eyes," Burke said. "The organization doesn't revolve around me."

Revolve? At this stage, he wonders if it even includes him.

And he told that to Astros general manager Tim Purpura and manager Phil Garner in a 30-minute rant two weeks ago, when he was told of his demotion to Triple-A. The thing he remembers most from that vent session?

"Their silence," he said.

This isn't reporting.  It's editorializing.
The Astros owe him some of the loyalty they've bestowed on the struggling Morgan Ensberg, Jason Lane and Adam Everett. The club is hitting so poorly — 25th in the majors with a .247 average and no production from five positions — that Burke should return to the majors now to spell a slumping Biggio or break up the ineffective Lane-Luke Scott platoon in right field.

What might have been
"If I had it to do it over, maybe I would have made a stink about a playing opportunity at shortstop or been more of a jerk, and they'd run me out of town."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Interview with Koby
« on: May 25, 2007, 08:59:03 am »

"The Astros didn't draft me because I'm Roger Clemens' son," he said in a recent interview at L.P. Frans Stadium in Hickory. "They drafted me because they thought I could be a good major league baseball player."

Maybe not but the Charlotte Observer wouldn't be interviewing you if you weren't a Clemens.

Assuming that he is not promoted by the Astros organization, Hickory fans will have a chance to see Clemens play again when the Legends visit L.P. Frans on June 5 and 6, and July 14, 15, and 16.

I think it is safe to buy tickets.

Talk Zone / 2004 Draft Mid Term Progress Report
« on: May 23, 2007, 09:53:59 pm »
As we anticipate the 2007 draft, here a progress report on the 2004 draft.

Talk Zone / JJ in CC
« on: May 17, 2007, 10:28:42 pm »
Jennings made his first rehab start tonight.  5 innings, 3 hits, no runs, a walk and 2 K's

Talk Zone / That had to hurt!
« on: May 15, 2007, 10:45:27 am »
With two outs in the top of the third inning, Wisconsin shortstop Carlos Triunfel lined Italiano's pitch right back up the middle, striking the 21-year-old right-hander on the forehead and caroming into the crowd for a ground-rule double.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Greeneville's Manager Interviewed
« on: May 14, 2007, 09:03:42 pm »
Not much news here but Rodney Linares, the new Greeneville Manager was in town for a "meet the manager" event.  The local paper put a audio interview online It maybe down tomorrow since this is the papers front page.  The interview had a few extra tid bits that weren't in the article which is here

Talk Zone / What do these three have in common?
« on: May 11, 2007, 05:14:14 am »
From the Lexington Paper
"A crowd of 5,273, including Miss Kentucky Michelle Banzer, Miss Teen Kentucky Katrina Giannini and King Yankee Roger Clemens, pushed attendance to 79,414 for 17 dates."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Santangelo suspended for 50 games
« on: May 08, 2007, 08:36:10 am »
The Astros have their first performance enhancing drug suspension.  Purp uses very strong language in the article.

Double-A prospect Lou Santangelo was suspended 50 games without pay, effective immediately, for using a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He was informed of the positive test by assistant general manager Ricky Bennett. Santangelo is home until further notice.

"We're extremely disappointed," general manager Tim Purpura said. "We certainly made that clear to Lou. We feel like we've done a lot to educate players. Sometimes they make decisions that don't seem to make a lot of sense. Obviously, this is one of them."

Santangelo was hitting .236 (17-for-72) with four doubles and no home runs for the Corpus Christi (Texas) Hooks at the time of his suspension.

Decent article in the Salem paper today that discusses the role of player development in the minors.  Several players are discussed (Flores, Sheldon, Hart)with some observations fromRickey Bennett.
"In the Carolina League, Bennett said, "we look for command of all three pitches. If they can locate the fastball to both sides of the plate, consistently get the breaking ball over the plate -- 50 to 55 percent, the goal is 60 percent -- and the third pitch occasionally for strikes.""

On Chris Sampson - "If a guy shows success, even though they don't [fit a] profile, we put the next challenge in front of them. Chris, he did that. There were always critics that said he's not big enough, but he just keeps having success. ... Now he's in the big leagues. He's not very big but he keeps defying the odds."

"Flores profiles as a prototypical center fielder," Bennett said.

"He can run, throw, he's got good speed on the bases. Typically as a center fielder he's a guy that can hit in the top two in the order."

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Salamida takes perfect game to 8th
« on: May 05, 2007, 08:46:43 pm »
Then he allowed a walk with 1 out. He kept the no hitter into the 9th when he gave up a hit and was replaced. 

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Brad James
« on: April 28, 2007, 05:51:08 am »
Brad James had his 4th start last night for Salem.  The kid is pitching great:

Last night was his roughest start of the year: He went 6 2/3 with with 6 hits, 2 BB, 3 K's and one earned run.  The earned run was a homer, the first he offered up this year.  It raised his ERA from .45 to .67 for the season.  Full stats here:

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Patton pitches 6 no hit innings
« on: April 13, 2007, 06:42:59 am »
Troy Patton pitched 6 no hit innings last night.  He pitched against the same team and the same pitcher (Hochever) he pitched against in his first start.  One of the things that was as nice to see as the no hits was the fact that his GP/FP out ration was 8/4.  He threw 87 pitches in the six innings of work.

And you have to like his approach to getting better:

"I would like to continue just to get better and throw more changeups for strikes," Patton said. "By no means have I been really sharp on the mound. I've had good results, but I don't know if that was really the result of me being that good (on Thursday). It just worked in my favor.

"My stuff wasn't as good as it possibly could have been. They were good outcomes, but my changeup still isn't where I want it to be, and I could still locate the fastball a little bit better.",1641,CCCT_17996_5482298,00.html

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / CC Roster
« on: April 03, 2007, 01:59:59 pm »
Here is the roster in a press release.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Salem Roster Article
« on: April 03, 2007, 05:34:01 am »
Pankovits says ""great pitching" in spring training, "but not as much hitting as I would have liked."

Only 4 returning players Sheldon, Sutil, Shortell, & Hart.  The article doesn't give a full list.  I figure the web sites will have it sometime today.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Legends Roster Released
« on: April 02, 2007, 03:04:46 pm »

Clemens there again
Parraz finally gets a full season
Battle of the Catchers Ralph & Max

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Transactions
« on: March 29, 2007, 09:08:01 am »
Thanks for the modification of the transaction page to have the recent transactions at the top.  I really like that feature.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Pence = Young Frank Thomas?
« on: March 26, 2007, 08:40:14 pm »
According to Jason Stark on his "insider" blog on scout compared the way the bat comes off Pence's bat to a young Frank Thomas.

Now if he needs is a young Thomas' plate discipline.

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Mayo's predections of who is where
« on: March 19, 2007, 02:29:13 pm »
Mayo of MILB makes his predictions on where some of the top prospects will be.  The Link

Here is a sample of what he says:
RR: Outfield of Pence, Rodriguez and Jimerson (if he clears waivers)

CC: Patton, Barthmaier, Paulino, and Reinke being caught by Santangelo

Lexington: "The Astros will have to be creative in playing time for a pair of catchers at this level. First-round pick Max Sapp will be there, as will Ralphie Henriquez. They'll be able to develop both while making sure neither young backstop gets worn out behind the plate"

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Nice Zobrist Story
« on: February 27, 2007, 02:18:22 pm »
Saw this in the Lexington newspaper.  Glad things look good for this kid.

The Link

Talk Zone / Thin mountian air
« on: February 15, 2007, 04:39:22 pm »

The Bus Ride Discussion Forum / Who's on the hot seat this year
« on: February 15, 2007, 03:39:22 pm »
Who in the system hasn't lived up to their potential and has to prove their worth this year?  Who is at the most risk of being released this year if things don't improve?

Mitch Einertson and Timmy Johnson are the candidates I nominate from the low end of the system.  Who else is on the hot seat?

Talk Zone / OWA & Greg D getting some love at JDJO on his blog
« on: February 12, 2007, 04:26:25 pm »

By the way, we've received great feedback recently from some folks who favor, others who favor and some fans of other Astros sites. I'm already in the process of trying to put some questions together for Gregory, who does a great minor-league recap on

The Link

He has Patton at 50 & Pence at 41.  FWIW Hirsh is as 36.

The Link

Talk Zone / No more DFE's?
« on: October 25, 2006, 10:36:04 am »
Another post about the agreement.  Does this mean there will be no more DFE's?  

Players selected in the June amateur draft who aren't college seniors must sign by Aug. 15.  

 The Link

If so, how does that impact current DFEs?

Talk Zone / Pence vs. Zobrist in AFL action
« on: October 10, 2006, 04:45:28 pm »
Hunter P & Ben Z are in the line up for the Arizona Fall League opener but for the first time on opposite teams.

The Link

Talk Zone / Minor league development of Patton
« on: July 26, 2006, 11:00:23 am »
Well it looks like the Hooks are grooming Troy Patton for life in Houston.  Quality start with no run support.

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