H-Town Sports

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

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Hernandez's Change-up Good, Needs Fastball

AAA: Wandy Rodriguez was crushed by Colorado Springs in a 10-9 loss for the imploding Express. Wandy gave up nine runs on eleven hits and four walks in 3.1 innings. But the good news was that Mike Gallo rebounded nicely, allowing only four hits and a single run over 3.2 innings while piling up six strikeouts. Maybe Tim's dreams will finally come true, and The Rooster will be stretched out so that he can contribute to the Astros in his destined role - top-of-the-rotation starter. Lots of offense in this one, as the Express did have 14 hits. Brooks Conrad, Cody Ransom and Brian Gordon all homered.

Another seemingly illogical choice by the Astros' front office in sending Eric Bruntlett down to AAA to make room for Big O Palmeiro. OP is Garner's pinch-hitting favorite, which says a lot for Garner's ability to select terrible pinch-hitters. In 46 pinch-hitting opportunities this season, OP has a grand total of eight hits (.174 BA, .255 OBP, .174 SLG, .429 OPS). The only positive that I can glean from this move would be that Chris Burke would have to be considered the team's backup SS, since no one else on the roster can play SS. The move is not dumb because Bruntlett is going to missed as much as that the Astros now have Wilson, Scott, Palmeiro, Lane, Lamb, Huff, Berkman and Ensberg clogging up their roster, giving them very little flexibility on defense.

AA: The Hooks got a much-needed win at home versus San Antonio 3-1. Carlos Hernandez walked two in two hitless innings in his first rehab start, and the Hooks' bullpen held the Missions in check the rest of the way. Josh Bonifay and Mark Saccomanno homered to provide the difference. Carlos' velocity reportedly topped out at 86 mph, which is not too encouraging, unless these girls need some pitching.

High A: Salem was shut out 6-0 by Winston-Salem. Enyelbert Soto, a 23 year-old signed as a free agent out of Venezuela, continues to pitch well out of the Avalanche bullpen (2-2, 1.97 ERA, 45.2 IP, 46 H, 16 BB, 36 K).

Low A: Lexington toppled Rome 5-4. Josh Flores was 2-4 with a home run.

Short Season A: Aberdeen defeated Tri-City 3-2 in extra innings. Nice start for Bryan Hallberg (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K), the Astros' 12th round pick out of Pace University in 2006.

Rookie: Greenville was off.

Zobrist/Talbot Watch: Ben Zobrist started again at SS for the Devil Rays and was 0-3, but much to Phil Garner's ire, he did successfully execute a squeeze bunt for his first major-league RBI. Mitch Talbot made another quality start for Double-A Montgomery (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K), but a bullpen failure prevented him from earning the win. Aubrey Huff received a night off from the Astros in their 7-1 win at San Diego.


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