Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday's Rundown

Not much going on Tuesday evening as both Corpus and Lancaster had the day off. I'm going to give you some quick notes on those box scores before I start to work on my first Organizational Profile on one of the Astros four minor league affiliates. Without further ado, here's the news and notes from Tuesday night:

Pick a player, any player on the Round Rock roster, and they probably had a good night on Tuesday. Brian Bogusevic? Back in the leadoff slot, he was 3 for 5. Tommy Manzella? A 2 for 5 night brought his average up to .293 and he scored two runs. J.R. Towles? 2 for 4 with two runs scored, a double and an RBI. Chris Johnson? 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and two RBIs. Yordany Ramirez was the only Round Rock regular not to get a hit as the club banged out 15 hits and scored 8 runs. That run total was the most the Express have scored in ?? games. Johnson did get picked off and caught stealing a base, so his day was tempered a little, but he's definitely starting to hit after missing a month with a broken finger.

Yorman Bazardo threw out another excellent start, getting the victory by pitching 8 scoreless innings. The 24-year old allowed three hits, striking out six and walking one. His game score of 81 was the highest in the Astros minors this season. Bazardo only needed 112 pitches to get through eight innings, throwing 75 of those for strikes and only giving up one line drive. Bazardo has come on in May, throwing 33 1/3 innings with an ERA of 1.54, 22 strikeouts and six walks. His FIP of 3.29 for the month is higher than you'd like, mainly because he doesn't strike out a ton of batters. His K/9 rate is at 5.94, which is right at the cutoff between pitchers who can survive and those who can't. As a general rule, a pitcher needs to strike out 6 or more batters per 9 innings to succeed in the big leagues. Bazardo gets a lot of ground balls and hasn't given up many home runs since a few rocky starts in April. His HR/9 rate of 0.54 is excellent but is BB/9 of 1.62 is a tad high. He's still young enough to develop into a good pitcher, but he's already been through three organizations, so time is definitely ticking for him.

Lexington's Jay Austin has put together a nice six-game hitting streak lately, going 10 for 27 over that time with a double, five runs scored, two RBIs and a stolen base. Austin is a very young hitter and in many ways is still learning the game. Like most young guys, he's very streaky at the plate and that's showing right now. For example, Austin hit .191 in April but is at .256 in May. His OBP hasn't been above .300 yet, which is troubling, but in terms of progress, he's gone from a .198 batting average last season in rookie ball, to .228 through last night's game.

Ross Seaton won for the first time this month last night, pitching 5 innings and allowing seven hits and one earned run. Seaton struck out three while walking none. A big reason why he did better yesterday than in previous starts was that he didn't give up line drives. In five innings, he had two line drives hit off him, both fell for singles and both were in his last inning of work. In his previous starts, that number has been at least five or six, which is why teams are scoring more runs off of him. Seaton has the stuff to be dominant, as he has good life on his fastball and has a hard slider he can use to strike people out. He still needs to learn how to harness his stuff though, and it looks like he'll take a little time to develop.

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