So since I haven't blogged about the minors in almost a week, I thought I'd treat you to a gigantic post covering everything under the sun. In the past five days, we've had quite a bit to talk about, so this post will be my usual news & notes column while I plan on bringing out two different pitching profiles later today and will come back with a draft post tomorrow. There has been quite a bit going on recently, including a trip to the 7-day DL for 2008 supplemental first round pick Jay Austin. The 18-year old is the seventh Legends player currently on the DL and at least the 10th this season, which may explain why the team has been so inconsistent recently, and why Eric Suttle was added to the roster last week. So without further ado, here's all the news and notes from around the Astros minor leagues:
Starter Bud Norris bounced back from a sub-par start to have an above-average on last week. The 24-year old lasted six innings, allowing seven hits and one earned run while striking out four and walking three. Norris also allowed a home run for the third straight game and has also not allowed more than two line drives in his last three starts. The four strikeouts were the fewest he's had since his first start of the season and his FIP of 5.00 showed just how much his defense helped him out in this one.
Three hitters have 10 hits this month after the first week of June. The first is Reggie Abercrombie, who has settled into the leadoff spot nicely. The 28-year old still strikes out too much to be useful as an everyday player, but has put up a nice 10 for 27 run in the past week, with one walks, two doubles, three runs scored and seven strikeouts. He was also picked off twice, though, which hurts his value which is why his Runs Created is at 4.49.
Depending on how severe Felipe Paulino's groin injury is, the Astros may be looking for a starter to fill his rotation spot. One theory is that Russ Ortiz will be slotted in, but he's been so valuable as a long reliever, that scenario only makes sense if Paulino doesn't hit the DL. If he does, the team would be hard pressed to pass over Yorman Bazardo. The 24-year old didn't keep his 80 game score streak alive, having just a pedestrian game score of 61 last Friday. Bazardo (7-2) went seven innings and allowed eight hits and one earned run while striking out five and walking one. He gave up his first home run in five starts and also gave up a season-high eight line drives. His pitch count remains low, meaning he is very efficient with his pitches, but that can also get him into trouble like this past start. Bazardo had a G/F rato of 11/4, continuing his trend this season of being a groundball pitcher.
Another Express player with 10 hits this month is Brian Bogusevic. Hitting in the three hole, Bogey leads the team in RBIs this month with five and had two consecutive three-hit games this weekend. His .345/.367/.448 line puts him just above Abercrombie in terms of value, with one of the differences being Bogey was successful on his only stolen base attempt. Both players struck out and walked an equal number of times, though, which is a problem Bogusevic is going to have to overcome before he can be a decent big league player.
Lefthander Mark McLemore has also come off the DL recently and started two games thus far. His first start wasn't noteworthy but both charged him with losses. In five innings, McLemore gave up eight hits and three earned runs while striking out four. Another former Astros lefty, Wesley Wright, hasn't given up a run yet in 6 1/3 innings of work.
Tommy Manzella rounds out the troika of players with 10 hits for Round Rock. At 10 for 28 for the month, Manzella continues to raise his average higher and higher (.309 for the season). Of course, included in those 10 hits was a 4 for 5 day last week, which was the most hits by an Express player in quite a while. Manzella's power has never been his strong suit, but he does seem to be a good baserunner, as he leads the team with three triples this season. It's not all speed with him, though, as he has grounded into a team-high 10 double plays and only has two steals. Still, he's proven to be a very capable player and should get a look at being the everyday shortstop next season after Tejada leaves via free agency.
And this is how far we got today...I'll post this and follow up tomorrow with more.