Houston Astros News
8-31-15: The first-place Astros were not able to cushion their lead in the National League West on Sunday, as they fell to the Minnesota Twins, 7-5. All five of Houston’s runs came in the ninth inning, and those runs came on Chris Carter’s three-run home run and Jose Altuve’s two-run home run. The Astros next head home to face the Mariners and Twins.
8-28-15: The Houston Astros have climbed back into the driver’s seat of the American League West Division race and much of the team’s resurgence was carried on the left arm of ace Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel has been so valuable for the team this season despite being so young that Houston is already said to at least be considering an extension with their ace southpaw. The deal would make sense for Keuchel who is set to reach arbitration for the first time in 2016 and is likely to shatter the record for the biggest contract in the first year of arbitration passing Dontrelle Willis’s $4.35 million contract. That number could go up exponentially if Keuchel wins the American League Cy Young Award like many around the league expect him to in 2015. Speaking of Cy Young their latest pitching acquisition Mike Fiers pitched like it this week when he held the Los Angeles Dodgers hitless to throw his first career no hitter and just the 11th no hitter in the franchise’s history.
8-24-15: Mike Fiers threw the 11th no-hitter in franchise history on Friday. Then on Sunday, the Astros moved to 13 games above .500, which is just one win away from their season-best record above .500, with their three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Houston was trailing by one run in the ninth inning, but tied the contest and won it on Jason Castro’s walk-off home run in the tenth frame.
8-21-15: The Houston Astros had the best package for Philadelphia Phillies ace left-hander Cole Hamels but it was Hamels and his limited no-trade clause that kept Hamels out of Houston and in Texas with the Texas Rangers. Houston was willing to give up prospects Brett Phillips and Josh Hader in the deal, both of whom went to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for center fielder Carlos Gomez, while the Astros were also willing to guarantee Hamels option year written into his contract but ultimately the southpaw declined the deal. Speaking of Astros prospects the team could not be more proud of their find in Tyler White. White was a 33rd round selection in the MLB First Year Players Draft that signed for a miniscule $1,000 out of Western Carolina that has excelled inside the Astros farm system. White has reached Triple-A in 2015 and is currently slashing .396/.498/.617 with five home runs with 26 walks and 28 strikeouts in 178 plate appearances. With the Astros struggles at first base this season many are left wondering if White, who does not have to be protected on the 40 man roster from the Rule 5 Draft yet, could come up this season to give the offense an immediate, and cheap, boost.
8-19-15: The first-place Astros have alternated wins and losses during the first half of their lengthy homestand. With Monday’s 3-2 victory in 10 innings, the Astros moved to 10 games above .500 on the season. Scott Feldman threw seven innings of two-run ball, and Marwin Gonzalez delivered his first career walk-off home run.
8-14-15: The Houston Astros have been assembling their bullpen just in time for the playoff run and that began this week when the team gave Jose Veras his outright release from the team. As the team continues to chase down the American League West Division crown the team could not afford to call up a man who had a 5.68 ERA in Triple-A this season. Veras was walking a batter for every two that he struck out in the minor leagues and would have presumably been a disaster if called up to pitch inside Minute Maid Park. Speaking of Triple-A the Astros farm system and plethora of minor league talent in the highest stop in the minor league system is one reason the team is not showing concern or panic despite a rough road trip this week. Houston knows they have a ton of talent that will be called up when roster expand on September 1st as a part of September call ups and the team also knows that the pitching has been much better than the record has shown in recent weeks. One player that is expected to join the team on September 1st is George Springer who could give the offense an immediate boost on day one.
8-7-15: The Houston Astros began this week showing off their newest players on the roster Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers, and an international bonus slot from the Milwaukee Brewers. In exchange for Gomez and Fiers the Astros acquired four prospects out of the deep Astros farm system that included outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana, right-handed pitcher Adrian Houser and left-handed pitcher Josh Hader. Houston attempted to add to their bullpen as well before the deadline which led the team to make a run at Craig Kimbrel of the San Diego Padres although no deal was struck before July 31st. Kimbrel is likely to clear revocable waivers in August which would allow San Diego to trade him to any team for the remainder of the 2015 season so it is at least possible for trade talks to resurface sometime before the August trading deadline. It was said that the Padres and Astros were working on a major trade that likely included Kimbrel and right-handed starting pitcher Tyson Ross while the Padres searched for a center fielder in return. Houston’s center fielder Jake Marisnick was said to be in the deal for San Diego after the Astros acquired center fielder Carlos Gomez from Milwaukee.
8-7-15: With three runs in the eighth inning, the Astros made a great comeback against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum. However, a costly ninth-inning throwing error by Jed Lowrie led the Athletics to tying the game and forcing extra innings. However, Houston, a team that has struggled on the road this season, stopped its five-game road losing streak after Lowrie doubled in Jose Altuve in the 10th inning.
8-3-15: After the New York Mets did not pull the trigger on acquiring Carlos Gomez, the Astros jumped in to trade for the outfielder. They also received Mike Fiers from the Milwaukee Brewers in the deal. Although Gomez went 0-for-5 in Friday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, he went a combined 4-for-9 in the victories on Saturday and Sunday, as the Astros won for the fifth time in their last six games.
7-31-15: The Houston Astros came into this final week before the July 31st trading deadline as big time buyers in the market. The Astros jumped in front of the market when the team acquired LHP Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics for RHP Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham. Houston was not done there though as the team also made a big push for the Phillies ace LHP Cole Hamels despite already acquiring a rental in Kazmir. Houston made a run at acquiring Hamels as well as every top pitching arm on the trade market including Aroldis Chapman, David Price and Craig Kimbrel but was not able to pull off a trade for either. Instead the team decided to beef up their offense and defense a bit and acquired center fielder Carlos Gomez from the Milwaukee Brewers along with MIke Fiers just days after the deal with the New York Mets fell through for Gomez and the Brewers. Houston sent outfield prospects Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana to Milwaukee along with RHP Adrian Houser and LHP Josh Hader to make the deal happen.
7-28-15: Last week, the Astros acquired Scott Kazmir, and he won his Houston debut by throwing seven scoreless innings on Friday. Jose Altuve’s nine-game hitting streak ended on Sunday, as he went 0-for-4 in Houston’s 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Dallas Keuchel was touched up early and finished with a 6.2-inning line that included 10 hits and five runs.
7-24-15: The Houston Astros started this week off by stating that the team would be heavily involved with upgrading their offense at this season’s July 31st trading deadline. Much of the talk this season has been the potential pursuit of top-end starting pitchers for Houston including potential pursuits of Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto and David Price among others. Instead Astros GM Jeff Luhnow will look to add a bat to help turn the team’s struggling offense that has slipped the team out of first place in the American League West Division. Chris Carter recently left a game with a sprained ankle potentially leaving the team’s first base position all that more dire as the team relies heavily on Jon Singleton. In the first half the Astros have seen a .189/.296/.372 triple slash from their first basemen while their third baseman, led namely by Jed Lowrie and Luis Valbuena, situation has not been much better. The center field and designated hitter positions are also giving the Astros below-average production this season and the team’s ability to win and lose games has been affected by it all. The Astros have a ton of talent not only in their farm system but also on their major league roster which could make Houston one of the most aggressive teams and one of the most aggressive buyers at this year’s July 31st trading deadline.
7-22-15: On Sunday, co-American League Player of the Week Dallas Keuchel threw seven shutout innings and had 13 strikeouts, as the Astros took the rubber match of the series with their 10-0 win over the Texas Rangers. Then, on Tuesday, Chris Carter homered for the 16th time this season en route to Houston’s 8-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
7-17-15: The Houston Astros start this week off like they have started many of the past few weeks, by scouting the Cincinnati Reds ace starting pitcher Johnny Cueto. The Astros definitely have the pieces to acquire any player they want, especially a rental like Cueto, and the team’s bad week entering the All-Star Break may push the team into the Cueto sweepstakes. The Cole Hamels sweepstakes is one that the team will not be taking place in this season after the Phillies ace LHP announced that he would not waive his no-trade clause for Houston. One thing is clear though and that is the fact that the Astros are willing to make the necessary moves to ensure a playoff spot in 2015. The team may also call San Diego Padres GM AJ Preller and see if the team is willing to trade off some of their pieces after a slow start to the 2015 season. It is said that Preller and the Padres are already shopping RHP James Shields this season and may also field offers for Ian Kennedy and Tyson Ross among others. The Astros definitely have the prospects and the major league pieces, and that farm system only got stronger after easily the best draft haul in the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft, and can basically acquire any player the team wants at this year’s trading deadline.
7-13-15: On Sunday, Jose Altuve homered for the eighth time this season, but the Astros could not salvage the final game of their series at Tropicana Field, as they lost their sixth consecutive game. Houston reached base 11 times in the contest, but only two were extra-base hits. With the 4-3 loss, the Astros fell to 49-42 on the season and to second place in the American League West.
7-8-15: Jose Altuve’s season-best hitting streak and on-base streak each ended at 14 games on Tuesday, as his Astros fell to the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, 2-0. In the first two games of the series, Astros starters have posted quality starts: Dallas Keuchel won Monday’s game with six innings of three-run ball, and Vincent Velasquez allowed just two runs in his 6.1 innings the following day.
6-30-15: The first-place Astros made it two consecutive victories with their 6-1 win on Monday. Lance McCullers threw seven innings of one-run ball. In the third inning, Jose Altuve hit his seventh home run of the season. Chris Carter then slugged his 14th home run to give Houston its sixth run of the game.
6-16-15: George Springer continued his season-best hitting streak, as he homered twice on Monday in the Astros’ 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Colby Rasmus also slugged a home run in the win. After Dallas Keuchel threw 6.2 innings of three-run ball, Houston’s bullpen shut out the Rockies the rest of the way.
6-8-15: The first-place Astros are looking to their top prospect Carlos Correa to stop their four-game losing streak. Houston purchased the shortstop’s contract on Sunday in an effort to give the team some offensive help, as it travels to Chicago for a three-game series against the White Sox. Before calling him up, the Astros scored six runs in Sunday’s game after combining for six runs in their previous three games.
6-5-15: The Houston Astros will be the talk of the draft next week after the debacle that the team went through in their 2014 Draft. The team had deals in place with both Jacob Nix and first overall pick Brady Aiken before the Aiken deal fell through leaving no cap space for Nix to sign. As compensation for not signing Aiken first overall in 2014 the Houston Astros will receive two protected picks in the 2015 draft including the #2 overall pick and the 5th overall picks. Houston looks to emulate their very successful 2012 draft where the team took current top prospect Carlos Correa first overall for $2.4 million under cap using the extra cash to sign current impact players like Lance McCullers Jr. and Rio Ruiz. Ruiz was ultimately dealt to the Atlanta Braves deal that brought Evan Gattis to the team while McCullers is currently on the active roster for the Astros pitching staff. The team tried a similar tactic last year when they drafted and failed to sign Aiken after he failed his physical but that deal obviously fell through when it was all said and done.
6-1-15: The Astros moved to 32-20 on the season with their 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles
on Monday in Houston. The Astros were trailing, 2-1, during the seventh-inning stretch, but they sent eight batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. George Springer, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis drove in runs to give Houston the lead for good.
5-30-15: The Houston Astros are still debating internally when the team will call up shortstop prospect Carlos Correa, especially since the team has struggled a bit lately letting the Texas Rangers back into the American League West division race. Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow is standing by his decision to keep the top prospect down in the minor leagues for as long as they can to help his development regardless of what it means to the team’s standings this season and any potential playoff run in 2015. Houston seems more worried about Correa’s Super Two status more so than the fact that he is just 20 years old with only a handful of games at the Triple-A level in his career. The team also has their eyes on the MLB First Year Player’s Draft in June as the team has the second and fifth overall picks to prepare for. In the latest mock draft for the draft the Astros chose LSU shortstop Alex Bregman with the #2 overall pick they received for not signing Brady Aiken in 2014 and high school outfielder Kyle Tucker with their fifth pick overall.
5-26-15: The Astros moved to 14-6 on the road in 2015 with their 10-8 victory over the Detroit
Tigers on Sunday, as Evan Gattis went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in, a triple and a
home run. In that game, George Springer batted leadoff for the first time as a major
leaguer. He reached twice and a scored a run on Sunday. Although the Astros lost on Monday in Baltimore, Springer homered from the leadoff spot.
5-18-15: The Astros added to their Major League Baseball-leading home run total on Sunday, as they defeated the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2. Luis Valbuena and Colby Rasmus each
hit solo home runs, and Collin McHugh threw seven innings of two-run ball with nine strikeouts in the Astros’ fifth straight victory.
5-12-15: Although the Astros struggled last week and on Sunday, they still have a large lead in the American League West. Los Angeles Angels starter Garrett Richards threw 6.1 no-hit
innings against Houston on Sunday before Jason Castro singled in the Astros’ 3-1 loss.
The team’s offense will look to rebound soon, as George Springer continues to work back from his concussion.
5-5-15: American League Pitcher of the Month Dallas Keuchel pitched very well on Monday, as he threw eight innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts, but his offense could not help him get the victory. The Astros fell to the Texas Rangers, 2-1, which ended Houston’s 10-game winning streak. Even with the loss, Houston still owns the second-best record in Major League Baseball.
4-27-15: Since starting the season with a 3-5 record, the Astros have gone 8-2 to vault to the top of the American League West. On Sunday, Evan Gattis and the Astros came back to defeat the Athletics, completing Houston’s first sweep of Oakland in franchise history. The Astros bring their 7-2 road record to San Diego before returning home.
4-21-15: On Sunday, George Springer had a spectacular catch to rob Leonys Martin of a walk-off grand slam. Springer allowed the Astros to win the game, 6-4, in 14 innings to even Houston’s record at 3-3. However, the Astros returned home and could muster only one run, as they fell to the Oakland Athletics, 8-1.
4-7-15: Last week, the Astros placed pitchers Josh Fields, Brad Peacock and Brett Oberholtzer on
the 15-day disabled list. On Monday, the Astros hosted their Opening Day game and defeated 2014 American League Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, 2-0. George Springer and Jake Marisnick each drove in a run in the win.
3-31-15: Former Los Angeles Angels catcher Hank Conger had been struggling for the Astros in Kissimmee, Florida. However, the backup catcher bounced back to hit his first two home runs of spring training last week. The second came on Saturday off Mat Latos. Also in that contest, Roberto Hernandez allowed one run and three hits in five innings.
3-25-15: Although the Astros lost to the New York Yankees, 3-2, on Saturday, Mark Appel, the No. 1 overall pick in 2013, threw three hitless innings. The 23-year-old pitcher, who was dealing with forearm tightness early in March, was reassigned to minor league camp on Monday. Houston also optioned pitcher Dan Straily to Triple-A Fresno that day.
3-18-15: On Tuesday, 27-year-old Dallas Keuchel was named Houston’s Opening Day starter. The
2014 Gold Glover Award winner led the American League with five complete games last
season. He is heading into his fourth Major League Baseball year. The previous day, the
Astros reassigned infielder Joe Sclafani and right-handed pitcher Jordan Jankowski to
minor league camp.
3-4-15: Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, is having some visa issues and is expected to soon join the Astros in Kissimmee, Florida. He is fighting for the fifth spot in the team’s rotation, but his late start to spring training could hurt his chances. In other pitcher news, Brad Peacock ran for 20 minutes last Wednesday without experiencing any discomfort in his right hip, the one he had surgery on last year.
3-3-15: Starting pitcher Brad Peacock, who had hip surgery last October, lost 28 pounds over the offseason. He is on pace to be ready for Opening Day, as he hopes to make Houston’s big league rotation. Meanwhile, projected setup man Josh Fields threw a successful bullpen session on Tuesday as he readies for spring training games.
2-17-15: Last week, the Astros signed a couple pitchers. On Thursday, Houston brought in starter
Roberto Hernandez on a minor league contract. The next day, the Astros signed left-handed relief pitcher Joe Thatcher to minor league deal with an invitation to spring training. He will earn $1 million if he makes the big league roster and could make an addition $1.3 million in incentives.
2-9-15: After the Chicago Cubs released a struggling Jose Veras on June 10, 2014, the Astros scooped up the reliever, and he posted a 3.03 ERA in 34 appearances with Houston last season. The journeyman is once again a free agent, and the Astros are in the mix of the teams that are interested in signing him for 2015.
2-5-15: The Houston Astros are coming off another mediocre season as the team now enters its third full season in the American League West. The Astros cleaned house after last season and will enter 2015 with a much different looking team and a new manager in A.J. Hinch. During this past offseason, Houston agreed to terms with shortstop Jed Lowrie for a three-year deal and signed pitchers Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek to multiyear deals. Astros tickets this season at Minute Maid Park have a current average of $87.27 on the secondary market. The home opener for the Astros on April 4 vs the Royals have tickets going at an average price of $86.67, with a get-in price of $12.
10-1-14: I think it’s safe to say that the Houston Astros took a big step forward this season. After losing at least 106 games in three consecutive seasons, Houston finished the season 70-92. Jose Altuve compiled 225 hits, and was dominant against left-handed pitching. Altuve finished the season hitting .414 against lefties. Chris Carter hit 37 home runs this season.
9-30-14: The Houston Astros have seemingly narrowed their search for a new manager to six candidates in interim manager Tom Lawless, Manny Acta, A.J. Hinch, Don Wakamatsu, Red Sox bench coach Tory Lovullo, and Angels bench coach Dino Ebel. Other candidates are still being considered but the field has seemingly narrowed to these six men while any other interviews are simply procedural. Houston wants to have a manager in place before the World Series is over and before free agency begins and looks to be closer to hiring a new manager than the Arizona Diamondbacks are. One player the new Astros manager will be happy to have on his team will be second baseman Jose Altuve who won an AL batting title with a .341 batting average in 2014. Houston finished the 2014 season with a 70-92 record and will not be in the 2014 postseason.
9-25-14: Houston has looked like a different team in the second half this season. They’re 29-32 since the All-Star break and have been a pain in the rear to their AL West opponents. Jose Altuve holds an 8-point lead over Victor Martinez in the AL batting title race, and his .343 mark is tops in all of baseball this year. He also leads the AL with 54 steals and MLB with 221 hits. Chris Carter is tied for second baseball with 37 home runs.
9-23-14: The Houston Astros have yet to fill their vacant managerial job after dismissing manager Bo Porter a few weeks back. If it feels like Houston just went through this process a couple of years ago it’s because the team did when they fired Brad Mills. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow did not want to put a timeline on finding a manager as the club wants to take their time and do it the right time this time around. The Astros Triple-A manager, who filled in after Mills was dismissed in 2012 for the final 41 games of the season, Tony DeFrancesco hopes to be considered for the big league club manager job. Speaking of the Triple-A affiliate of the Astros they will have a new home in 2015 as the team is moving to Tulsa from Oklahoma City. Houston is definitely playing spoiler as the season comes to an end making it tough for teams like the Seattle Mariners to make the postseason in 2014. Houston will not be heading to the playoffs once again after posting a 69-87 record to date although the team will not lose 100 games as they did last season.
9-18-14: The Astros have been surprisingly competitive against their division this season, going 33-37 against AL West teams. They took a series from the Mariners on the road last week and have split with Cleveland this week. Chris Carter has 36 home runs, leaving him just three behind MLB leader Nelson Cruz. He's been one of the biggest surprises of the second half along with the continued play of Jose Altuve who lead MLB in average at .343.
9-16-14: The Houston Astros entire coaching staff now finds itself in limbo after the dismissal of manager Bo Porter. A new manager is likely to request certain individuals be kept and certain individuals be fired in an attempt to bring on his own staff. One strategy that former manager Porter implemented was the use of the shift and the Astros may have benefited the most from all the shifting in the infield. To date the Astros have saved 44 hits during the 2014 season using the shift which leads you to believe that it is here to stay. One scenario that could ease the transition between managers would be if Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig allowed the Astros to sign Brady Aiken past the draft deadline although that still seems unlikely at this point and time, Selig himself was quoted as saying that this was “very, very unlikely.”
9-12-14: The Astros picked up right where they left off after a 15-14 month of August. They beat the red-hot division-leading Los Angeles Angels in a quick two-game series and then took two out of three from the A’s this past weekend. Thus far, they’ve split two games with the Mariners.
Chris Carter just continues to smack the ball, as he leads all of baseball with 17 home runs and 45 RBI since the All-Star break. Jose Altuve leads all of baseball with 198 hits, putting him 12 hits short of tying the franchise record of 210 set by Craig Biggio back in 1998. Altuve also leads the majors in average at .336.
9-9-14: The Houston Astros fired their manager Bo Porter and their bench coach Dave Trembley last week and this week named Tom Lawless the interim manager for the remainder of the 2014 season. Former Astros player Adam Everett was named the team’s replacement bench coach as well as Houston and general manager Jeff Lunhow head in a different direction with the team going forward. Lunhow and Porter reportedly did not see eye to eye which caused the firing of Porter prematurely. Some potential candidates to replace Porter on a permanent basis are the Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo, former player and current team advisor Craig Biggio, the Rangers bench coach Tim Bogar, the Rays bench coach Dave Martinez, the Tigers third base coach Dave Clark, and the White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing. Houston also received their player to be named later from the Atlanta Braves this week that completed the deal that sent 26 year old RHP Andrew Robinson to Atlanta. 19 year old utility infielder Jared Cruz out of the Gulf Coast League will be sent to Houston to continue his professional career.
9-4-14: The Astros posted their second winning month of the season in August, going 15-14 overall. It
looks as if they will avoid finishing in last place in the AL West this season. Chris Carter led all
of baseball in August with 12 home runs and ranked second with 29 RBI. That brings his season
home run total to 33, which ties him with Jose Abreu for second place in the AL and he trails
only Nelson Cruz, who has 36.
9-2-14: The Houston Astros placed relief pitcher Chad Qualls on revocable waivers this week and the Detroit Tigers were awarded the claim on the right hander. Detroit has had bullpen issues all season long so the need for the Tigers to make a move was obviously present but the teams could not pull the trigger on a trade and Qualls was pulled back off waivers and will keep the reliever. One player Houston is unlikely to get is Brady Aiken as it seems more and more unlikely that the team will be allowed another shot at signing him and fellow draftee Jacob Nix. Houston wants to come to an agreement with Nix before his grievance hearing is heard this winter but no such grievance has been filed for Aiken at the time of this writing. The Astros ended the week by firing their manager Bo Porter as Houston looks to turn the page to the future in 2015.
8-27-14: The Astros picked up a series win against the Yankees in New York last week and have split the first two games of their series this week versus Oakland. They are now 12-12 in August, as they continue to be a much more improved team compared to the last few years. Starters Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh continue to impress atop the rotation. It will be quite interesting to see how management fills out the rotation around them in the offseason. Houston has a bright future.
8-26-14: The Houston Astros may still be able to sign first overall pick Brady Aiken through the part of the collective bargaining agreement known as “MLB’s discretion situation.” Jacob Nix, another one of Houston’s failed draft signings, had a grievance filed by the MLB Players Association against the Astros after Houston backed out of a potential deal. The hearing is expected to be held sometime over the offseason. The Astros had a verbal contract with Aiken days before the draft but nothing was finalized after a post draft scan revealed an unusually small UCL in his throwing elbow. Although it is unlikely that Aiken would want to pitch for Houston after the debacle at the draft and after agent Casey Close’s harsh words against the organization and the way they handled the negotiations. The Astros also passed starting pitcher Scott Feldman through waivers this week and can now trade him to any team for the remainder of the season.
8-20-14: The Astros are on pace to lose over 95 games this season, but they have taken major steps forward in their rebuilding process this season. They split a four-game series with the Boston Red Sox this past weekend and took game one of a three game set against the Yankees Tuesday. There is much hope for the Houston faithful moving forward as Jose Altuve is a star and prospects Jon Singleton and George Springer have arrived at the MLB level.
8-19-14: The Houston Astros are looking toward the 2015 season and have some decisions to make regarding a couple of their relief pitchers. Matt Albers has been out since early April with a shoulder injury and the team holds a 2015 club option on the relief pitcher that they are unlikely to accept. Jesse Crain was considered to be the steal of the offseason this winter but has not thrown a pitch this season since undergoing biceps surgery last October as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. Houston currently sits at 52-73 and find themselves 21.5 games behind the first place Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Oakland Athletics.
8-13-14: Houston has been playing some strange baseball of late. They took back-to-back series from the Oakland A's and Toronto Blue Jays last week, but followed that up with getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies. They bounced back to win their series with the Texas Rangers over the weekend, which keeps them in fourth in the AL West and have split their series this week with Minnesota.
8-12-14: The Houston Astros are closer than expected to contending in the AL West division and may go after many veteran free agents after this season to mix in with the youth movement we have seen over the past few seasons. The Astros may need to compete as soon as next season if there is any hope for Jeff Luhnow to keep his job in Houston. The team and many officials are not happy with the way the negotiations with first overall pick Brady Aiken went as the team failed to sign him and two others due to the contract not getting done. Also the Astros have not shown the progress that many in the front office have expected or would have liked. The Astros currently sit at 49-69 and sit 23.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics in the AL West division.
8-6-14: Jon Singleton’s RBI single in the seventh inning tied their game with Philadelphia at one. That would be the last run any team would score until the 15th inning as Ryan Howard and the Phillies beat the Astros 2-1 on Tuesday night. Astros outfielder George Springer, who has been on the disabled list since July 20 with a strained left quad, made his second rehab appearance at Single-A Quad Cities. Springer could be called up before the series ends Thursday.
8-5-14: The Houston Astros started the week off by arranging a private workout with Cuban defecting outfielder Rusney Castillo after watching his showcase in Miami last weekend. The Astros have one of the brightest futures in all of Major League Baseball so adding Castillo would only add to that. What the Astros lost in terms of the future was obvious when they hooked up with the Miami Marlins in a six player trade before the 2014 trading deadline. The Astros traded Jarred Cosart, Enrique Hernandez, and Austin Wates for Colin Moran, Jake Marisnick, and Francis Martes along with a competitive balance draft pick in 2015.
7-30-14: The Houston Astros are highly unlikely to trade away any of their young talent at next week’s trading deadline but are willing to listen on veteran relief pitchers Tony Sipp and Chad Qualls. The Astros have also made Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, and Jarred Cosart available in trades if the right deal presents itself. The Astros announced they would want major league ready talent, preferably a bat, in return for any of the young trio of pitchers. Keuchel is controlled through the 2018 season and McHugh and Cosart are controlled through the 2019 season so neither player is likely to come cheap to acquire.
7-28-14: Rookie George Springer, one of the Astros’ best players this season, was unfortunately placed on 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with a strained right quad. He only had one hit in his last four games before being injured, so he will hope to bring back his strong bat after some time resting. In the meantime, Houston looks to be a spoiler for its divisional foes, but the team has yet to win a series since the All-Star break.
7-24-14: L.J. Hoes hit a homer with one out in the top of the 12th inning, as the Astros beat the A's 3-2 on Tuesday night for their first victory in four attempts at the Oakland Coliseum this year. The win earned the Astros their first three-game winning streak against the A's in franchise history. Jose Altuve’s franchise-record of 28 consecutive steals without being caught was snapped Tuesday. While the Astros won’t make the playoffs this season, their future is bright and could be contenders in the AL West in a few years.
7-21-14: The Houston Astros shocked Major League Baseball when they failed to sign top draft pick Brady Aiken. Aiken was drafted first overall in the 2014 draft and after initial reports had Aiken signing near his slot recommended deal of $6.5 million the deal was quickly lowered to somewhere around $5 million. In the end Aiken will head to college and the Astros will not sign two more draft picks due to the lowering of their cap allotment. The Astros tried to go over cap with fifth round pick Jacob Nix and failed and also couldn’t sign 21st round pick Mac Marshall due to Aiken not signing. The Astros will get the #2 pick in next year’s draft due to not signing Aiken which could be very interesting if Houston finishes with the worst record in all of baseball again and gets the first overall pick.
7-19-14: With the Astros being in such a difficult division this season, it will be very difficult for them to get back in the postseason race. With their 3-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Friday, they fell to 17 games below .500 on the season. Although Scott Feldman dropped to 4-7 on the season, he threw a quality start.
7-17-14: The first half has to be considered a success for the Astros. They were 33-61 at the All-Star break last season, but they seem to finally be taking some steps in the right direction this season.
Jose Altuve is having a huge season, and the arrival of top prospects George Springer and Jonathan Singleton has given fans a reason to watch. The emergence of stud pitchers Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh is also a major plus.
7-15-14: The Houston Astros are said to be interested in upgrading their starting pitching and bullpen this trading deadline but instead released right hander Jerome Williams this week making him a free agent. Williams has struggled this season but is said to have around eight teams already interested in his services for the rest of the season. The Astros revealed the real delay in signing top overall pick Brady Aiken as a ligament issue was found in his elbow, which explains him signing for $1.5 million under his slot recommendation of $6.5 million. The Astros have since backed away from that reported deal and could be in trouble if they cannot get a deal done with Aiken at a discount. The Astros went $1.13 million over slot with their fifth round pick Jacob Nix and would incur big penalties if Aiken is not signed his allotted salary would disappear from the Astros pool for 2014.
7-14-14: After the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels swept the Astros, Houston bounced back this past week to sweep the Rangers in Texas. On Wednesday, rookie George Springer hit a two-run home run to finish the three-game sweep. However, Springer was scratched from the lineup right before Friday’s game due to discomfort in his right knee. Chris Carter’s two solo home runs were not enough as the Astros fell to the Boston Red Sox, 8-3.
7-10-14: Chris Carter homered twice and George Springer had one inning-starting long ball as the Astros beat the Texas Rangers 8-3 on Tuesday night, inching ever so closer to escaping the AL West cellar. The Astros go for the three-game series sweep on Wednesday after winning only twice in 19 games against Texas last season. Houston has won four straight overall against their instate rival for the first time since 2002. Jose Altuve pushed his AL-leading stolen base total to 41. He also leads the American League with 126 hits and a .341 batting average.
7-7-14: Mike Trout’s walkoff home run delivered the Astros their fifth straight loss. Houston stands at a season-worst 16 games below .500 after that defeat. Earlier in the week, the Seattle Mariners swept the Astros, but George Springer has been a huge part of Houston’s lineup. He hit his 17th home run of the season on Friday.
7-3-14: Jarred Cosart tied a season-high by allowing six runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of work to end a four-game winning streak as the Astros fell to the Mariners 13-2 Tuesday night. Domingo Santana, Houston's eighth-rated prospect by Baseball America, went 0 for 4 in his MLB debut after being called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City Monday. Santana reached on an error in the seventh inning and scored on a ground-rule double. Kike Hernandez, who was called up from Oklahoma City on Tuesday, made his MLB debut when he entered the game in the seventh inning. He finished with two hits.
7-2-14: The Houston Astros are going to sell off veteran pieces and expensive players once again this season which means relief pitchers Tony Sipp and Chad Qualls are likely to be available this July. The Astros top prospect Carlos Correa will miss the remainder of the 2014 season after suffering a broken fibula that required surgery, a big blow to the Astros farm. The Astros have already lost Kyle Farnsworth out of their bullpen after designating him for assignment. Farnsworth elected free agency and Jose Veras has been selected to take his roster spot in the pen.
6-30-14: The Astros struggled to score in the first two games of their series with the Atlanta Braves, but George Springer hit his 15th home run of the season and Jarred Cosart won his fourth consecutive start after allowing just one run over seven innings on Thursday. The Astros made it two victories in a row after Jason Castro hit a walkoff solo home run to snap the Tigers’ seven-game winning streak.
6-26-14: If it wasn’t for the Upton brothers homeruns, the Astros would have won Tuesday night. Instead, they fell to the Braves 3-2. Houston rookie George Springer hit his team-leading 14th home run and Jose Altuve added two hits to give him a major league-best 105. SS Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall draft pick by Houston in 2012, is expected to be out for an extended period time after injuring his right ankle Saturday night playing for Class A Lancaster.
6-24-14: The Houston Astros have had the first pick, and subsequently the worst record in Major League Baseball, for a few consecutive seasons now but seem to be willing to relinquish that spot to teams like the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014. The Astros are not exactly close to competing but have shown a much improved team that sports big time rookies like George Springer. Not all the news on prospects is good though as their top prospect Carlos Correa suffered an ankle injury on an RBI triple and may be out for a big chunk of the 2014 season. The Astros have Brady Aiken in Houston this week to make his contract signing official so there is always that.
6-18-14: The Astros dropped a close one Tuesday night in Washington, 6-5, to the Nationals. Dallas Keuchel took the loss and dropped to 8-4 on the year. Keuchel was the AL leader in ground ball/fly ball ratio coming into Tuesday’s game. He was 6-1 with a 1.33 ERA over his last seven starts, but struggled with finding the strike zone. Houston has now lost three of their last four overall and 11 of their last 12 against Washington. The Astros are 11 1/2 games behind Oakland in the AL West.
6-17-14: The Houston Astros find themselves in a weird position as of Father’s Day going into the week with a better record than the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, a position no one thought the club would find themselves in before the season started. GM Ed Wade has had a lot to do with the sudden improvement in Houston as George Springer, Dallas Keuchel, and Jon Singleton were all called up during Wade’s tenure while the Hunter Pence trade brought back multiple pieces that are currently in the lineup. The Astros have signed Jose Veras to a minor league deal after being released by the Chicago Cubs for a bit of a reunion. Veras spent the 2013 season in Houston and posted a 2.93 ERA with a 9.2 K/9 as the team’s closer.
6-10-14: The Houston Astros signed top prospect John Singleton to a long term deal without him ever playing a single inning at the major league level. You remember the Astros tried the same with then top prospect George Springer and were denied the bargain. Singleton agreed to a five year deal worth $10 million with three club options that could make the deal worth $30 million. Springer also has $5 million in incentives that he could reach throughout the life of the deal. The Astros are taking a huge risk by committing so many years and so much money to a guy who has never played a single inning in the majors but first base prospects are generally safer bets than say pitchers or catchers are. The Astros also started the MLB First Year Players Draft by selecting High School pitcher Brady Aiken. The Astros signed Aiken to a deal below slot worth $6.5 million to immediately start his professional career.
6-3-14: The Houston Astros and their top pick in this year’s MLB First Year Players Draft have been the talk of every mock draft for obvious reasons but until recently the pick has always gone to NC State’s Carlos Rondon. This week speculation has been raised that Houston will take high school pitcher Brady Aiken with the pick and shy away from Rondon and his struggled this season. The Astros won seven straight games at one point this week leading to the beliefs that Houston may be closer to competing then we all expected. The Astros still have an amazing amount of depth and talent in the minor leagues that can help via trade or by filling in the gaps too so the Astros may be a scary team to face sooner rather than later.
5-28-14: The Houston Astros have the eyes on them from all other 29 teams since they have the first pick in the June MLB First Year Players Draft. It was long thought that the Astros would take NC State’s Carlos Rondon but speculation has started up that High School outfielder Alex Jackson may go as the top pick to Houston. The Astros are also looking to increase their presence in Japan and General Manager Jeff Luhnow and pro scouting director Kevin Goldstein recently visited Japan to get the initiative started. This announcement comes off the heels of losing out on the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes and seeing the fellow American League West rivals Yu Davrish flourishing in the states.
5-21-14: The Houston Astros added another piece to the worst bullpen in the major leagues this season when they picked up former New York Met Kyle Farnsworth on the free agent market. Farnsworth had at least three other offers out there but chose Houston due to the chance to pitch in high leverage situations for the Astros, maybe even as the closer. The Astros need all the help they can get with their 16-28 record, although they are 6-4 in their last 10 games, but are instead turning their attention to the MLB Draft and the trading deadline. The Astros should have plenty of veteran players, like Farnsworth for example, to trade and they also own the first pick in the draft. The core of the Astros is starting to emerge and Houston fans may finally see a winning season sooner than you think.
5-15-14: The Houston Astros hold the worst record in the American League and have their eyes on the June MLB First Year Players Draft that they have the first pick in. The Astros are said to be interested in NC State's Carlos Rondon with that top pick despite his struggles and slow start this season. Houston is also looking forward to the opening of the international signing period on July, 2 where they have been linked to multiple international free agents including outfielder Ronny Rafael and shortstop Miguel Angel Sierra. The Astros are also looking forward to the July, 31 trading deadline and have already been showcasing their catching depth to the Baltimore Orioles who are said to be offering left handed relief pitcher Troy Patton who could immediately help the worst bullpen in the league and their 6.06 team ERA. Patton was originally drafted by the Astros and was traded to Baltimore as a part of the Miguel Tejada trade.
5-7-14: The Houston Astros to nobody's surprise have the worst record in all of baseball once again and are at the very bottom of the American League West division after 30 games this season. The Astros have the worst run differential in all of baseball and are likely eyeing the July, 31 trading deadline to sell off some of their extra and pricey parts for the future. The Astros are instead turning their attention to the June MLB First Year Player's Draft that they have the top overall pick in and the opening of the international signing period in which they have the biggest cap space. The Astros are looking at NC State's starting pitcher Carlos Rondon to add to their impressive list of young players in their farm system.
4-28-14: The Houston Astros have begun the #1 prospect George Springer era in Minute Maid Park after calling him up to the big leagues shortly after the 2014 season began. The Astros have been going against the grain for the first month of 2014, most notably with their infield positioning and shifting. No team has shifted more than the Houston Astros this season and no team has used more "long relief" in the league then the team in Houston. The Astros have put together pitching tandems in their minor league system to try and prevent injuries and miles on their upper levels arms and could be the model organization if it eventually works out for them. The Astros need all the help they can get as they are once again in the cellar of the American League West division and once again have the worst record in all of Major League Baseball but have one of the brightest futures in all of baseball. Be sure to vote at least one Astros player into the All Star Game this summer as voting has opened up for the event this week.
4-14-14: The Houston Astros ended the past week at the bottom of the AL West, sitting with a 5-8 record as losers of seven of their last 10. Houston got the week going with a 2-1 series loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, followed by another 2-1 series loss to the Texas Rangers. The bats ran dry late in the week, as the Astros lost twice to the Rangers by the score of 1-0. Scott Feldman has been excellent for Houston, winning two of three games with a ridiculous 0.44 ERA.
4-7-14: The Astros have been a bit inconsistent to start 2014, barely missing out on a three game sweep to the New York Yankees in their first series of the year, and then preventing themselves from getting swept by the L.A. Angels with a 7-4 win in game three. Still, at 3-3 in the AL West, the Astros are in second place. Jose Altive has led the charge on offense with 4 RBIs and a .300 hitting average, while Scott Feldman has been the main man on the mound, getting off to a 2-0 start with four strikeouts.
4-2-14: The Houston Astros took care of business at home to start the season, tallying eight hits off of New York Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia (nine overall) in a 6-2 win at home. Houston spoiled the beginning of Derek Jeter’s final season as pitcher Scott Feldman registered three strikeouts in a solid defensive showing. Jesus Guzman and L.J. Hoes combined for two homers to help fuel the offense, as the Astros kicked off 2014 with a 1-0 start.
3-27-14: The Houston Astros have lost a couple members of the club as they draw closer to finalizing a 25 man roster in advance of Opening Day 2014. Infielder Cesar Izturis has opted out of his deal and has become a free agent. The Astros also released one time sixth best prospect JD Martinez, who quickly latched on with the Detroit Tigers to possibly replace the injured Andy Dirks. The Astros almost doubled their payroll in 2014, all the way up to about $45 million, but still has the lowest payroll in all of Major League Baseball. The Astros lost Peter Moylan after he tore his UCL, which will likely require Tommy John surgery. While Scott Feldman has been named the Opening Day starter manager Bo Porter refuses to name the rest of the rotation because Houston has the first pick in any kind of waiver claim process suggesting that the Astros may not be done adding talent and making a legitimate run at improving in the American League West in 2014.
3-20-14: The Houston Astros have announced their Opening Day starter as Scott Feldman, the big fish free agent starting pitcher Houston signed to a three year deal earlier in the offseason. The Astros open the season at home against the New York Yankees and CC Sabathia in a three game series. The Astros spent big money this offseason, they gave Feldman $30 million when their payroll was less than that for 40+ men in 2013, but the struggles have continued with one of the worst records in the Grapefruit League this year. The Astros have seen Giancarlo Stanton hit a three run bomb that bounced off the roof of the Miami clubhouse, have been dominated by the Atlanta Braves Alex Wood, and were dominated by Michael Wacha in the last week in a turn of events that Astros fans hope don't happen 100 more times in 2014.
3-14-14: Astros prospect Carlos Correa is impressing quickly in his first Spring Training action. The 19 year old shortstop homered twice in yesterday's 7-5 victory vs the Blue Jays. Correa was the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. Correa is impressing on both sides of the ball, making a number of defensive stops during his short tenure with the team.
3-13-14: The Houston Astros have been the lovable losers in Major League Baseball for more than a few seasons now but that title may finally have to go to another team with the additions of Dexter Fowler, Scott Feldman, and Jesse Crain. The Astros tickets are some of the cheapest in the league while the team may be one of the league's more up and coming teams. Houston has a losing record this spring and a negative run differential but the future is coming for the Astros franchise and the time may be now. Houston has built from within and stockpiled draft picks and money primed and ready to make a run at an American League West title and by looking at their spring training camps 2014 may be the season.
3-5-14: Houston Astros manager bowl Porter stated that he expects Japhet Amador to make his spring debut for the Astros this weekend. In other news for the Astros veteran Jesse Crain was hurt during camp workouts. The injury is said to be a calf strain and he will most certainly start the 2014 season on the disabled list.
1-24-14: The Houston Astros may not have had a lot of success this past season but that didn’t stop them from pursuing free agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to be their ace on the mound. Despite missing out on Tanaka the Astros have a solid farm system with the lowest payrolls in all of baseball so expect them to start to make waves in the future.
1-7-14: Earlier last month the Houston Astros acquired first baseman Jesus Guzman from the padres in exchange for infielder Ryan Jackson. Guzman is 29 years old and has split time between first base and the corner outfield positions. In other news regarding the Astros they also signed relief pitcher Matt Albers to a one-year deal with 2 1/2 million dollars.
12-9-13: Last season the worst record in baseball long to the Houston Astros. As a young team in a new league without any real household names the Houston Astros are certainly in a long rebuilding process. The Houston Astros ended last season on a 15 game losing streak and only one 24 games total at home. Offense of firepower is definitely a weakness of the Astros right now as last season they only scored 610 runs the lowest total in the division. Last week the Astros inked right-handed pitcher Chad Qualls To a two year contract with $6 million. They will need a lot of help from their phone system in order to compete in the American League.
8-20-13 - The last-place Houston Astros have had a miserable season. Currently there 30.5 games out of first place and 42 games under .500. There is no hope for the Houston Astros to make the playoffs and they are also -185 in terms of run differential. Making the switch from the National League into the American League has not been an easy transition for the Houston Astros. With not many bright spots to speak of their leading hitter is batting only .277. This week Houston Astros will face their Texas neighbors the Texas rangers. Last night, the Astros got hammered by Rangers 16-5.
8-6-13 - The Houston Astros have only 137 games and currently sit 27 games out of first place. The Astros currently own the worst record inmajor-league baseball. This week they will face the 1st Place Boston Red Sox.
7-31-13 - The Astros have sent right-handed starter Bud Norris to the Orioles in exchange for outfield prospect L.J. Hoes, minor-league lefty Josh Hader and the Orioles’ competitive-balance pick. They also he sent outfielder Justin Maxwell to the Royals for minor league pitcher Kyle Smith.
7-18-13 - After switching leagues the Houston Astros Continue to struggle. With a record of 33 – 61 they are 22.5 games out of first place. After the All-Star break it will take on the Seattle Mariners. The Houston Astros ranked 29th overall in team batting average on-base percentage and slugging percentage. They have the worst record in baseball. Left-fielder Chris Carter continues to lead the team in both home runs and RBIs.
7-7-13 -Catcher Jason Castro was the only Houston Astro selected for the 2013 American League all-star team, his first selection of his career. The 26-year-old is hitting .270 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI.
6-12-13 - After switching to the American League Houston Astros find themselves in a familiar situation last place. The Astros are just 10-23 at home and currently sits 17 games out of first place in the AL West. Losers of six in a row the Astros will battle the White Sox and Brewers in the upcoming weeks. Left fielder Chris Carter leads the team in both home runs and RBI. Veteran newcomer Carlos Peña is hitting just .233 with six home runs. The switch to the American League does not seem to sit well with the Astros and Their future.