H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Friday, July 21, 2006

Hunter Pence, Astros' 2007 Opening Day Center Fielder?

AAA: Jared Gothreaux was knocked around by the Redbirds, allowing three home runs in five innings in a 7-1 loss for the Express. Jailen Peguero allowed two runs in two innings of relief work. Jason Lane was 0-3 with a pair of whiffs.

How quickly things change...former NL All Star Junior Spivey is the leadoff man in Memphis, and he is currently batting .176 in 199 AB's at AAA.

AA: Corpus Christi took out their frustration on the Midland Rouckhounds, pounding out 16 hits in a 9-4 rout at Whataburger Field. Chad Reineke was wild, failing to get out of the fourth inning thanks in part to five free passes. JR House was 3-3 with a pair of runs scored, and Josh Bonifay, Josh Anderson, Hunter Pence, Jonny Ash and even Osvaldo Fernando (.165 avg) each had a pair of hits.

As mentioned in Greg Rajan's notebook, Hunter Pence started in centerfield on Thursday night, with regular centerfielder Josh Anderson moving to right field. This is potentially an interesting development. The Astros continue to suffer from a void in centerfield, and establishing that he is capable of manning centerfield defensively could help Hunter Pence expedite his trip to the big leagues.

High A: Salem lost 2-1 to Potomac. Jimmy Barthmaier had another strong start, as he and Troy Patton jockey for the chance to replace Matt Albers in the rotation at Double-A. Aaron Fitt from Baseball America had a quick write-up about Patton's recent run of sensational pitching. Patton is 4-0 with a 0.72 ERA in July and currently leads the Carolina League in strikeouts.

Low A: Lexington was whipped again by Hagerstown, this time by a score of 8-3, thanks in no small part to five errors by the Legends.

Short Season A: Tri City's winning streak was snapped in a 11-1 loss at the hands of the Auburn Doubledays. 1st round pick Max Sapp is off to a slow start in his first 66 AB's, hitting at a .227/.301/.303 clip.

Rookie: Elizabethton stomped Greenville 7-2.

Zobrist/Talbot Watch: Ben Zobrist was 1-4 with a walk and a fielding error for Triple-A Durham, dropping his average to a scant .393. Aubrey Huff is 6-25 since being acquired by the Astros.


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