Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Leftovers

This is going to be a small notes column today as I'm going to put up my May Players of the Month later today. There are also quite a few roster moves which I'll cover at the end. Also, the Astros' Dominican Summer League team began play over the weekend. I won't have anything to offer just yet, but since both the Dominican and the Venezuelan teams have produced prospects for the higher levels frequently over the last few years, I'l give them more than a cursory glance. Onwards and upwards:

Yorman Bazardo followed up the best start of the Astros minor league season by throwing a two-hit shutout, striking out six while walking one. Bazardo's game score of 88 was the highest by far of the season and the only real black marks were that he hit one batter and he had 14 flyball outs to seven groundouts. On the plus side, he needed just 97 pitches to get through nine innings and gave up just one line drive. You may hear more about him later today.

Utility infielder Mark Saccomanno had his 18-game hitting streak broken up on Saturday. He sat out Sunday but finished May with a .292/.325/.383 line, hitting two home runs and five doubles. Third baseman Chris Johnson hit his first home run over the weekend and shortstop Tommy Manzella is working on an eight-game hitting streak.

Shortstop Wladimir Sutil hit his first home run of the season on Friday. Sutil doesn't hit for much power, as he has one double and one home run in 68 plate appearances, and hasn't hit much overall since coming back from a hamstring injury with a line in May of .261/.333/.333.

Another Hooks player who's struggling in May is outfielder Mitch Einertson with a line of .224/.288/.269. The 23-year old has only had 66 plate appearances this month, but hasn't hit for power, hasn't walked much and is 1 for 2 in stolen base attempts. It's really ben a long slump for Einertson, as in about the same number of plate appearances, he hit .288/.373/.577 in April. His season average of .252/.326/.403 is right in line with his career line of .260/.334/.440.

In one of those quirkly little statistical footnotes, reliever Reid Kelly has struck out two batters in his last four outings. In 10 appearances this month, Kelly has at least one strikeouts in each appearance and has multiple strikeouts in 8 of 10.

Jack Shuck is 6 for 9 in the past two days, raising his average back over .300 for the month. He has created almost 19 runs this month, which is good for third on the team. Shuck is a little different than most of the hitters on the JetHawks in that he walks more than he strikes out (15/11 BB/K), which is the best ratio on the team.

Catcher Jason Castro is 9 for 21 in his last five games. He also hit three doubles and a home run over that time and now has more RBIs than Jon Gaston. Castro has struck out 22 times but also has 19 walks in 121 plate appearances. Castro's line of .314/.433/.514 in May raised his season line to .299/.385/.500 and the 22-year old has 17 doubles and six home runs this season.

Starter Jordan Lyles turned in his second-worst start of the season, as he allowed nine hits and five runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings. The 18-year old struck out four and walked one while giving up two line drives. Lyles had a FIP of 2.32 but also had his second straight game with a Power/Finesse Ratio under 1.0.

The Astros made a few roster moves over the weekend after Kaz Matsui went on the 15-day DL. The big league team called up Matt Kata from Round Rock, and the Express got Chad Spann back.... Reliever Evan Englebrook was also sent down to Corpus from Round Rock. To make room for him, Corpus sent Erick Abreu down to Lancaster....This is a little old now, but infielder Jhon Florentino was placed on the 7-day DL last week. Felix Molina has taken over at third base....The JetHawks also added an infielder when they signed shortstop Gabriel Suarez. The 24-year old out of South Mountain College in Arizona was drafted in the 26th round of the 2004 draft by the Montreal Expos. Suarez spent two years with the Expos before being traded to the Rockies and then to the Reds. He has spent the last two seasons in the independant Atlantic League playing for the Camden Riversharks.... A couple of Lexington players went onto the 7-day DL, including infielder Richard Bonfante, reliever Jose Trinidad and first baseman Phil Disher. Hopefully, the injury is the reason Disher hasn't shown any power this spring.

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