Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend Leftovers

Before we jump into the past four days around the minors, I just wanted to update you on this week's schedule. Yesterday, my day got eaten by a doctor's visit and hospital tour for the baby and Thursday afternoon I leave for Chicago. It'll be my first trip to Wrigley Field and I get to see the Astros play the Cubs, which is very cool. I'll try and take some pictures to post on here after I get back. I'll have a short roundup-style post up here Thursday morning before I leave, but the blog will be dark until Sunday. At any rate, he are the best news and notes from around the Astros farm:

Two minor league players were honored with Players of the Week awards. Doug Arguello was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week after he was the first Hooks pitcher to throw a complete game this season. Jonathan Gaston was also named Player of the Week by and was the first Lancaster player to win an award this season. Another Hooks player, Collin DeLome, was featured in a nice article on the team's website.
There are six Express players currently hitting .300 or better for May, which is a big reason Round Rock is 8-3 in games this month. Brian Bogusevic leads the way with a line of .433/.528/.633 with a home run and three doubles. Bogey has played mostly in left field but has started a couple games in center, a stark contract from April when he played almost exclusively in center.

Chad Spann is also making a nice showing with the Express since his call-up late last month. The 25-year old third baseman is 9 for 27 in May with a double, four runs scored and two RBIs. He's struck out eight times, but is a capable enough eight-hole hitter in the Round Rock lineup.

Bud Norris picked up his first win of the season on Saturday. The 24-year old righty went 6 2/3 innings, giving up one unearned run and four hits. He struck out five and walked three for a game score of 66, his highest of the season. His PRC also adjusted up to 16.36, which puts him third on the team in Runs Created, behind Yordanny Ramirez and Brian Bogusevic.

Another pitcher for Round Rock who's been performing rather well lately is Yorman Bazardo. In two starts this month, he's pitched 11 1/2 innings, giving up nine hits and four earned runs, striking out eight and walking two. At 24, he's the same age as Norris and may well get himself a pitching profile sometime soon.

According to, Wladimir Sutil has been nursing a sore hamstring, which is why he went almost two weeks between games. Sutil last played on April 26 at home against Frisco when he injured his leg while running out an infield hit in the fifth inning. In order to make room for Sutil on the active roster, infielder Mike Diaz was reassigned to Low A Lexington, where he started at DH on Monday.

Josh Flores is off to a good start in May. After hitting just .169 in April, he's brought his average up over .200 by going 11 for 35 with three walks, nine runs scored, two doubles, two triples and his first home run of the season. The dinger was a leadoff shot to in the bottom of the first inning on Monday.

Corpus Christi's Casey Hudspeth twirled a gem for the Hooks on Monday. The 24-year old righthander pitched a complete game, scattering nine hits and two earned runs. Hudspeth struck out two and walked none for a game score of 63, inducing two double play balls and throwing the most pitches of the season at 116. His PRC sits at 12.33 right now, which is tops on the Hooks staff, though his strikeout rate (3.68/9 inn.) is the lowest among the five starters.

Another Astros farm hand coming back from injury this weekend was Leandro Cespedes. The 22-year old righthander made his 2009 debut with Lancaster on Sunday, striking out two in two innings and giving up three hits and no earned runs. Cespedes had a 4.06 ERA in 130 innings with Lexington last season, striking out 137 and walking 45.

One Lancaster player I haven't mentioned much is Craig Corrado, who's slowly heating up at the plate. The 23-year old second baseman is 10 for 35 this May with three runs scored and four RBIs. He's also hit two doubles and stolen three bases while striking out just once. Corrado was drafted in the 14th round in 2007 out of the University of Tampa and hit .275/.315/.349 in 126 games at Lexington last season.

Ashton Mowdy extended his scorless inning streak to seven on Monday, giving up five hits this month and striking out six. Another Lexington reliever, Danny Meszaros, hasn't given up a hit in his four appearances this month. In five innings, he's struck out six and walked one.

Ross Seaton's start on Friday may have been his worst of the season, but that's just a product of how well he'd pitched to that point. In six innings, Seaton gave up eight hits and three earned runs, striking out two and walking none. His defense efficiency ratio was the worst of the season at .652 and he gave up six line drives, three of which came in the fourth inning.

After starting off the month on a hot streak, Jay Austin has cooled off and his average has dipped under .200 again. The 18-year old centerfielder has one hit in his last 16 at-bats, but has wlaked twice during that time frame and hit a double.

Lexington's roster was in flux this weekend, as the aformentioned Diaz arrived and two shortstops went down with injuries. Both Ricardo Bonfante and Ronald Ramirez left games this weekend and haven't played since, though neither have been added to the 7-day DL yet. Other additions to the Lexington roster were designated hitter Jacob Priday, an 11th round pick out of the University of Missouri in 2008, Jorge De Leon, a 21-year old shortstop signed out of the Dominican Republic three years ago, and 21-year old catcher and former first round pick Max Sapp, who was battling a potentially deadly strain of meningitis this winter and has been added to the 7-day DL in Lexington. Priday is currently on the restricted list, meaning he probably won't appear in a game any time soon.

Another few roster moves were made over the weekend, with Koby Clemens being sent back to Lancaster, Chris Johnson starting a rehab assignment with the JetHawks, Brian Esposito sent back to Corpus Christi, Humberto Quintero being recalled to the majors, Paul Estrada was promoted to Corpus Christi and J.R. Towles optioned back to Round Rock. No performance-related promotions yet, but I expect as we get closer to the June draft, the Astros might promote some of their top performers just to clear a little room on the rosters.

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