Results tagged ‘ Astros ’
The Astros’ pro scouts are in Kissimmee, Fla., with general manager Jeff Luhnow this week to talk through Minor League free agents, Major League free agents and players the club might take with the top pick in December’s Rule 5 Draft, as well as going through offseason planning. The meetings are being held in conjunction with the instructional league, which ends on Saturday.
“They’ve been out seeing players all year, so it’s great to get their firsthand perspective,” Luhnow said. “[Monday] we went over to watch our instructional league team beat the Braves, 12-2. [Outfielder James] Ramsey hit a three-run bomb, and [first baseman Chase] McDonald hit a bomb. We had five pitchers and couple of them were in the high 90s, and one of them [right-hander Jandel Gustave] was over 100. It was really a fun day.”
Tuesday was a camp day, which meant the Astros players remained at the team’s complex at Osceola County Stadium and got their workouts in. On Thursday, the Astros will travel to Viera, Fla, to face the Nationals.
“It’s kind of like Spring Training to a certain extent,” Luhnow said. “I think the program’s been great. They’ve been doing classwork stuff and doing a lot of good stuff. They all know what their marching orders are for the offseason. And looking at some of these kids in this environment, they’re learning the Astros way, and I’m pretty excited about the way we drafted this year.”
The Astros have agreed to hire Cardinals Minor League pitching instructor Brent Strom to be their next pitching coach, a source told MLB.com on Monday.
Strom, who had worked with the Cardinals since 2007, will be announced by the club when the deal becomes official. He replaces Doug Brocail, who last week was reassigned to become the club’s special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow and senior pitching advisor.
A former Major League pitching coach for the Astros and Kansas City Royals, Strom was with the Nationals/Expos for five seasons from 2002-2006 as Minor League pitching coordinator before joining the Cardinals, where Luhnow was vice president of scouting and player development.
Strom, 64, was the New York Mets’ first-round selection in the 1970 First-Year Player Draft. He owns a career mark of 22-39 with a 3.95 ERA in 100 career Major League games (75 starts) for the Mets (1972), Indians (1973) and Padres (1975-77). He graduated from USC with a degree in physical education and helped the Trojans to NCAA baseball championships in both 1968 and 1970.
Houston native Jackie Moore, who spent several years in the Astros organization as the manager at Triple-A Round Rock and later as Astros bench coach, said Wednesday he would like to stay in the game following his dismissal as dugout coach with the Texas Rangers.
“Baseball has been my life and I feel like I have a lot left,” Moore said. “The years I spent with the Astros were great, don’t get me wrong. I’m going to take a week off and lick my wounds and clear my head a little bit. I’m not ready to give up the game of baseball because I know I can’t stay home. I need to stay active. I know I have a great relationship with the Ryans. At this time, I’m going to sit back and think things over.”
Moore has deep Houston ties and is extremely tight with Rangers president Nolan Ryan and Astros president of business operations of Reid Ryan, who tabbed Moore to manage Round Rock. With Moore out in Arlington, could a return to the Astros organization be in the works?
“I’ve always enjoyed working with Jackie Moore,” Reid Ryan said. “I’ve known him 20 years. There is no finer baseball man or person. As far as a job with the Astros, in the end [manager] Bo Porter and [general manager] Jeff Luhnow will have the final say on the big league staff. If asked, I’d give him a good recommendation.”
Dave Trembley, the former Orioles manager who spent last season as the Astros’ third-base coach, said Wednesday he had accepted an offer to return to the coaching staff in 2014 in a role that will be announced later.
The decision comes one day after the Astros parted ways with first-base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez and reassigned pitching coach Doug Brocail, who will be a special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow and a senior pitching advisor.
Trembley was brought to Houston by manager Bo Porter, who played for three different Minor League teams that Trembley managed.
“I’m confident in the opportunity to show significant improvement for the 2014 season,” Trembley said. “There’s some acquisitions that are needed and I know Jeff and Bo are working on acquiring that and identifying what those needs are.
“I’m certainly excited a lot of the young players did so well at a high level of the Minor Leagues and will have an opportunity to make the club. I love working with young players. Houston is a very good baseball city, the facility is one of the best in the game and we have to start showing some improvement next year.”
Trembley, 61, spent the 2011-12 seasons as the Minor League field coordinator for the Atlanta Braves. Trembley has been in professional baseball the last 29 years, including 18 years as a Minor League manager with Pittsburgh (1987-89), San Diego (1991-93), Chicago Cubs (1994-2002) and Baltimore (2003-06).
Trembley spent three years as the manager of the Orioles, taking over in June 2007 when Sam Perlozzo was dismissed, and then he was let go midway through the 2010 season. The Orioles went 187-283 during Trembley’s tenure as manager.
Luhnow said Tuesday Eduardo Perez, who was the bench coach last season, had been offered a contract to return. Hitting coach John Mallee is coming back for 2014.
The Astros made changes to their coaching staff Tuesday, naming pitching coach Doug Brocail as a special assistant to general manager Jeff Luhnow and senior pitching adviser while announcing first-base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez would not have their contracts renewed.
“It was a tough year on the field this year at the Major League level, despite the significant progress in continuing to build our player pipeline,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “Bo and I discussed how we can improve next year and came to the conclusion that bringing in a few new and different voices would help.”
Brocail, 46, spent two full seasons as the Astros pitching coach after taking over the position on an interim basis in June of 2011. Prior to taking the Major League job, Brocail served nearly two years (2010-11) as a special assistant to the Astros general manager. Brocail had a long professional career (1986-2009), which included three stops in Houston (1995-96, 2001, 2008-09). A resident of nearby Missouri City, Texas, Brocail has been with the organization in some capacity, as a player, special assistant or coach, since 2008.
“In Doug’s new role, he will assist me in overseeing and guiding our pitchers and pitching coaches across the organization,” Luhnow said. “His experience these last three years as a Major League pitching coach combined with his many years as a player makes him ideal for this role.”
Clark, 51, spent five consecutive seasons on the Astros coaching staff, serving as the third base coach for four seasons (2009-12) and the club’s first base coach in 2013.
“The Astros thank Dave Clark for his many years of service to the organization and wish him the best going forward,” Luhnow said.
Martinez, 58, was with the Astros for the 2013 season, serving as the bullpen coach. Prior to joining the organization, Martinez worked as a pitching coach in the St. Louis Cardinals system for six seasons.
“We want our new pitching coach to be involved in selecting his bullpen coach, since they work so closely together.” Luhnow said.
The Astros shook up their coaching Tuesday, announcing pitching coach Doug Brocail would become a special assistant and the contracts of first base coach Dave Clark and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez would not be renewed.
Brocail had previously served as a special assistant following his 16-year playing career, beginning in 2010. He took over as interim pitching coach on June 14, 2011 and was later named to the position full-time.
Martinez, who won 245 games in the Major Leagues and threw a perfect game in 1991, was in his first season as the team’s bullpen coach.
Clark, who previously served as interim manager and third-base coach, moved across the diamond this year to become first-base coach when the Astros brought in Dave Trembley to be third-base coach.
Lost in the frenzy of the final day of the career of Yankees great Mariano Rivera, which included an on-field ceremony Sunday at Minute Maid Park, was a quick hug that was exchanged between former teammates and friends Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens.
The two Houston-area pitchers had been close friends for years and followed each other from the Yankees to the Astros in 2004 and then back to the Bronx three years later, only to see their friendship sour when Pettitte testified in Clemens’ federal perjury trial that Clemens admitted using human growth hormone.
Clemens sought out Pettitte on Sunday and was asked Monday about the exchange.
“I just told him ‘Congratulations,’” Clemens said. “He proved it in his last start [Saturday] that he probably could continue on and pitch and help a lot of ballclubs if he wanted to continue to play. Andy is 41 and the big left-hander put himself, as far as I’m concerned, right there with Whitey Ford…with the Yankees.”
Pettitte had previously testified Clemens told him he had used HGH, but later said he may have been mistaken.
Pettitte threw a complete game on Saturday to beat the Astros in the final game of his 18-year career.
Here are some numbers from the Astros’ first season in the AL:
Overall record: 51-111
Home record: 24-57
Road record: 27-54
Series record: 11-39-2
Scoring 4 or more runs: 38-35
Scoring 3 or fewer runs: 13-76
One-run games: 18-35
Two-run games: 13-17
Strikeouts: 1,535 (Major League record)
vs. LH starters: 13-33
vs. RH starters: 38-78
Day games: 11-34
Night games: 40-77
Scoring first: 32-42
Opponent scores first: 19-69
Outhit opponent: 30-24
Outhit by opponent: 16-79
Equal hits: 5-8
When hitting a HR: 38-54
No home runs: 13-56
Walkoff home runs: 1-1
Come-from-behind wins: 22
Largest comeback: 3 runs
Losses after leading: 54
Last at-bat wins-losses: 10-16
Largest blown lead: 5 runs
Extra-inning games: 4-8
Batting average leader (minimum 200 at-bats): Jose Altuve, .283
Hits leader: Jose Altuve, 177
HR leader: Chris Carter, 29
RBI leader: Chris Carter, 82
Stolen base leader: Jose Altuve, 35
Wins leader: Jordan Lyles, 7
Losses leader: Lucas Harrell, 17
ERA leader (minimum 50 innings): Jarred Cosart, 1.95
Innings pitched leader: Dallas Keuchel, Lucas Harrell, 153 2/3
Strikeout leader: Erik Bedard, 138
Most errors: Jonathan Villar, Matt Dominguez, 16
Average time of game: 3:11.42 (3:02.09 in 2012)
Here are a few photos from the Astros’ stay in Cleveland:
Members of the Astros front office met Friday in Houston to discuss the proper way to honor Andy Pettitte, the Yankees pitcher who announced his retirement. Pettitte, a Houston-area native, played for the Astros from 2004-06 and will finish his career at Minute Maid Park next weekend.
Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said the club plans to honor Pettitte in some form and fashion and hopes to have a plan in place by early next week.
“We only have three [home] games left, but without a doubt we want to do something to honor Andy because he’s had a great career and he’s a former Houston Astro and a Deer Park kid,” Ryan said. “We just need to figure out what the right thing is to do that you can make meaningful in a short amount of time.”
The Astros are already planning to honor Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who announced earlier this year he was retiring, prior to the Sept. 29 season finale. The club plans to present Rivera with an original work of art by Texas sports artist Opie Otterstad.
Former Yankees manager Joe Torre and Roger Clemens, Rivera’s former teammate with the Yankees, will also be part of Sunday’s pregame celebration.
As far as honoring Pettitte, Ryan says stay tuned.
“We’re feverishly brainstorming,” he said. “There’s a lot of good ideas floating around out there.”