Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday's Rundown

Here's what happened in the Astros minor league system on Tuesday:

Bud Norris pitched a good game for Round Rock but took the loss, going 7 innings and allowing five hits and three runs, two of which were earned. He also struck out seven and walked six. Norris has a 2.28 ERA this season and has struck out 25 batters in 23 2/3 innings.

There was a messy, messy game in Lancaster, featuring eight combined errors by the two teams, five hit batters, one wild pitch, 24 combined runs and 35 combined hits. 2008 draft pick David Duncan started for the JetHawks and was bounced in the third, after giving up eight hits and eight runs, only two of which were earned. A parade of relievers including Sergio Severino, JJ Pacella and Fernando Abad also got hit hard, but that's nothing new. Only four of the JetHawks pitchers have ERAs under 4.00 and one of those hasn't even pitched in 10 innings yet (Bryan Hallberg, 6 appearances, 9 2/3 IP).

The Lancaster hitters continue to pound out base knocks. Jack Shuck followed up his perfect Monday by going 2 for 5 with a run scored and a strikeout. He's currently batting .346/.400/.423. His 27 hits leads all Houston minor leaguers....In Tuesday's game, Giants 21-year outfielder Thomas Neal hit for the cycle, going 4 for 5 with a four runs scored.

One hitter having an good season for Lexington is Albert Cartwright. The 21-year old was drafted out of Polk Community College in the 36th round of the 2007 draft as an outfielder. This season, he's playing second base and is one of the few Lexington players hitting the ball well. Cartwright is batting .293/.379/.500 in 64 plate appearances and has hit two home runs, a triple and four doubles and has been successful on all three of his stolen base attempts. Cartwright hit a home run in Tuesday's game, going 2 for 2 with two walks, two RBIs and a run scored.

Both Collin DeLome and Wladimir Sutil sat out Tuesday's game with Corpus Christi. Josh Flores started in DeLome's place and played center field. Flores missed all of 2008 with a knee injury and has struggled in his comeback this April. Currently, he's 10 for 55 with four walks and 13 strikeouts. He has managed to hit three doubles and steal three bases but he may be struggling to regain his timing.

A scary half inning for Lancaster saw both Jason Castro and T.J. Steele leave the game after being hit by pitches. No word on whether they are injured; neither started the early afternoon game today, but Castro did pinch hit late in the game....In other news, Chad Spann, the 25-year old third baseman, was called up from Corpus to Round Rock and started Tuesday's game. He was little used with the Hooks this season, appearing in seven games and accumulating 24 at-bats. He didn't hit much in his limited time, but may provide an insurance policy if the Astros are calling up Mark Saccomanno.

I'm coming back later tonight with my first-ever pitching profile. This first one will be on Ross Seaton, who picked up his third win on Tuesday, but I have more scheduled for later.

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