Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Thursday's Thoughts

I'm off today, so this quick and dirty look at the Astros minor league system comes to you live from early Thursday morning. We'll try to get something more in line with my usual 2,500 word posts on Friday. Without further ado, here's the news and notes from Wednesday's minor league games:

Jose Capellan started for Round Rock on Wednesday and was very effective. In six innings, Capellan gave up three hits and one earned run while striking out six and walking one. In addition, Capellan went 2 for 2 at the plate and had a sacrifice hit. To top it all off, the long reliever who was starting for the first time since late April needed just 74 pitches to get through his innings.

Outfielder Brian Bogusevic picked up two more hits on Wednesday, going 2 for 4 with two runs scored and a walk. They were the 49th and 50th runs of the season for Bogey, as the 25-year old has batted in the top three lineup spots for the majority of the season.

A few short notes on Round Rock: Chris Johnson picked up his first hit in three games, going 1 for 4 with a strikeout and a GIDP.... Mark Saccomanno hit his 12th home run, going 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored. It was the second straight game with a homer for the 29-year old from Baylor....Three different relievers threw a scoreless inning, each striking out one batter. Geoff Geary and Sammy Gervacio each earned holds while Casey Daigle picked up a save. Since former closer Chad Paronto was called up to the Astros then designated for assignment, Daigle has finished two games.

Not as much going on in Corpus, but there were some middlingly interesting things in the box score. For instance, Danny Meszaros threw three innings in relief, striking out two and lowering his ERA to 4.47. It was the longest outing I can recall this season for Meszaros but I'll double check that and get back to you on Friday. Former Rice pitcher Kenny Baugh picked up his second victory since joining the Hooks this month.

Collin DeLome didn't get a hit on Wednesday, but he did walk once and stole his 14th base of the season. DeLome also struck out once, but the walk and steal added more value in my eyes, so I won't hold it against him. This time...

Minor notes on the Hooks: Jhon Florentino extended his hitting streak to six games by going 1 for 4 on Wednesday. Florentino had a day off on Tuesday.... Jason Catro went 3 for 4 and has his season average hundreths of a point away from .300....Drew Locke hit two home runs, giving him 15 this season and continuing his run of extra-base hits that started when I called him out in this space a week or so ago. Maybe he just fixed his swing and adjusted to the pitchers. I still think it was all Minor Musings...

An absolute shootout took place in Lancaster as the JetHawks and High Desert combined for 17 runs and 24 hits. Starter Casey Hudspeth picked up the victory for Lancaster by allowing just two earned runs over seven innings. Reliever Ashton Mowdy was actually having a good start in Lancaster before giving up five hits and five runs without recording an out in the eighth inning. Mowdy still has a great strikeout rate, if that's any consolation.

Jon Gaston hit his 29th home run on Wednesday and is now two home runs away from tying the Lancaster single-season record of 31 set by Kyle Nichols in 2003. Koby Clemens also hit a home run on Wednesday, his 12th this season, and went 4 for 5 at the plate. The 22-year old now has multi-hit games in 6 of his last 10 starts.

Jay Austin finally broke his hitless streak, going 1 for 5 on Wednesday but still saw his season average drop down to .259. Austin did pick up an outfield assist, though, so it doesn't seem like he's letting his recent hitting struggles affect his defensive play.

Brandon Wikoff went 2 for 3 with a run scored and a walk, but was caught stealing on his only attempt on Wednesday. Wikoff is batting .455 since his callup from Tri-City three days ago.

Robert Bono put up a rather forgettable start on Wednesday. The 20-year old lasted 5 2/3 innings, striking out one and walking two while giving up seven hits and two earned runs. The right-hander still has a sub-3.00 ERA but hasn't been striking many guys out in his last couple of starts, so his numbers may soon regress.

Former Texas A&M pitcher Scott Migl put together his best appearance of the season on Wednesday, pitching 1 1/3 innings for Tri-City without giving up a run. Migl struck out one and walked none, lowering his ERA to 11.13. Migl battled injury problems while at A&M, but if he can stay healthy, has the arm to be a good prospect.

Third baseman Erik Castro reached base all four times he went to the plate on Wednesday, going 1 for 1 with a run scored, a double and three walks. Castro is hitting .232 this season, but has not played regularly since college, where he caught No. 1 oveall draft pick Steven Strasberg. Castro is making the transition from catcher to third, giving the Astros more depth at the position.

Former Stanford pitcher Brandt Walker wasn't bad on Wednesday, he just wasn't that great either. Walker gave up just two hits and two runs in 4 1/3 innings, while striking out four and walking six. The 21-year old has had a devil of a time finding the strike zone since being drafted. Walker has walked 22 batters in 27 1/3 innings while striking out 20. For those of you scoring at home, that's not a good ratio at all and makes for a BB/9 rate of 7.24.
That does it for today, but I'll be back on Friday, so stay tuned...

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