Results tagged ‘ Brett Myers ’

History of Luhnow’s major trades in Houston.

Here’s a look at the significant deals made by Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow since he took over 14 months ago (you can click on each player’s name for his 2012 stats):

Date: Dec. 14, 2011.

Astros receive: SS Jed Lowrie, RHP Kyle Weiland.

Red Sox receive: RHP Mark Melancon.

The skinny: Luhnow’s first trade as GM was a good one. Weiland showed promise last spring before a serious arm infection ended his season, but Lowrie proved to be one of the team’s top offensive weapons when healthy. Luhnow wound up dealing Lowrie to the A’s for three players earlier this week, giving this trade even a more significant return. Melancon was a bust in Boston and has landed in Pittsburgh.

Date: March 21, 2012.

Astros receive: LHP Kevin Chapman, player to be name named later (OF D’Andre Toney).

Royals receive: C Humberto Quintero, OF Jason Bourgeois.

The skinny: Quintero and Bourgeois were back-ups who couldn’t crack the starting lineup of a last-place team, and Luhnow managed to trade them for two Minor Leaguers. Chapman had a good year in relief at Double-A Corpus Christi last season and could be a left-handed option in the pen down the road. Toney played at Greeneville and remains a work in progress.

Date: July 4, 2012.

Astros receive: IF Matt Dominguez, LHP Rob Rasmussen.

Marlins receive: 1B Carlos Lee, cash.

The skinny: The first of five major trades in July, the Marlins were desperate for first base help and gave the Astros two Minor League players for the aging slugger. The Astros were happy to get him off their roster, and were even willing to pay the bulk of his remaining contract. Dominguez was brought up to the Majors and was impressive, hitting .284 with five homers and 16 RBIs in 109 at-bats. Everyone knew he could play defense, but he showed enough offensively that he’ll enter spring as the starting third baseman. Rasmussen was shipped to the Dodgers for RHP John Ely a few months later.

Date: July 20, 2012.

Astros receive: RHP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, RHP Joe Musgrove, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez, a player to be named later (RHP Kevin Comer).

Blue Jays receive: LHP J.A. Happ, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP David Carpenter.

The skinny: The Astros acquired seven players, including four Minor Leaguers and a player to be named later, in a 10-player deal with the Jays. Happ had been with the team two years and could never gain consistency, while Lyon was in the final year of his three-year deal. This trade was more about the Minor League arms the Astros received, while addressing a catching shortage in the system, more than it was about the two big league players they received. Neither Cordero nor Francisco made it to the end of the season in Houston. Musgrove, Comer and Perez are among the Astros’ top 20 prospects.

Date: July 21, 2012.

Astros receive: RHP Matthew Heidenreich, LHP Blair Walters, a player to be named later (RHP Chris Devenski)

White Sox receive: RHP Brett Myers, cash.

The skinny: With Myers having a good shot at vesting his 2013 option that would have paid him $10 million, the Astros sent him to the White Sox and stockpiled a few more Minor League arms. Myers was having a solid season as closer after starting 66 games the previous two years in Houston. Heidenreich finished the year in the rotation at Double-A Corpus Christi and pitched well, while Walters took his lumps as a starter in the hitter-friendly environment in Lancaster.

Date: July 25, 2012.

Astros receive: LHP Rudy Owens, OF Robbie Grossman, LHP Colton Cain.

Pirates receive: LHP Wandy Rodriguez, cash.

The skinny: The rebuilding effort continued as the Astros sent Rodriguez – the last remaining member from the 2005 World Series team – to the Pirates for three more prospects. The Astros had to pay a substantial part of Rodriguez’s remaining contract, but they felt getting more prospect was worth the price. Owens will come to Major League camp and will likely start the year in the rotation at Triple-A Oklahoma City. Grossman will also be at big league camp after getting on-base at a .422 clip in 36 games last year in Double-A Corpus Christi.

Date: July 29, 2012.

Astros receive:  IF Bobby Borchering, OF Marc Krauss.

D-backs receive: 3B Chris Johnson.

The skinny: The Astros pulled off their fifth trade of the month. Houston wasn’t actively shopping Johnson, but he had recently gone on a tear and some teams were getting aggressive in their pursuit of the 27-year-old third baseman. Unlike the previous trades in July in which the Astros stockpiled the pitching, the Johnson trade brought a pair of bats, and in the case of Borchering, maybe some much-needed power to the system. Borchering hit four homers in 30 games at Double-A Corpus Christi, giving him 24 homers and 86 RBIs for the season as a whole. Krauss killed it in Corpus Christi, hitting .414 with a .514 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage with five homers and 16 RBIs in only seven games. He finished the year in the outfield at Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Date: Dec. 5, 2012.

Astros receive: RHP Alex White, RHP Alex Gillingham.

Rockies receive: RHP Wilton Lopez and player to be named later or cash..

The skinny: Less than a week after the Astros tried to send Lopez to the Phillies, they were able to use the arbitration-eligible relief pitcher to acquire White and right-hander Gillingham. White appeared in 23 games (20 starts) for the Rockies last season and was 2-9 with a 5.51 ERA. He split the season between Colorado and Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he went 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA. He will battle for a spot in the rotation this spring, but could pitch out of the bullpen.

Date: Dec. 19, 2012

Astros receive: RHP John Ely.

Dodgers receive: LHP Rob Rasmussen.

The skinny: The Astros gave up a 23-year-old left-hander they had acquired only months earlier for a 26-year-old right-hander in Ely, who gives them Major League experience. Ely, who is 4-13 with a 5.70 ERA over three seasons with the Dodgers, is expected to compete for a spot in Houston’s rotation, though he could begin the season in Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Date: Feb. 4, 2013.

Astros receive: RHP Brad Peacock, OF/1B Chris Carter, C Max Stassi.

A’s receive: SS Jed Lowrie, RHP Fernando Rodriguez.

The skinny: The Astros shipped Lowrie, who was set to make $2.4 million this year, to the A’s along with Rodriguez and go three young players. The trade was text book for a rebuilding club — trade an established player with a rising salary for youth. Peacock will compete for a rotation spot, and Carter is expected to be a fixture in the lineup. He’s a right-handed hitter with plenty of power. Stassi becomes one of the Astros top catching prospects in a position where there was a definite need in the Minor Leagues.

Mills instrumental in Myers going to Cleveland

Former Astros pitcher Brett Myers passed his physical and officially became a member of the Cleveland Indians on Friday, reuniting him with former Astros manager Brad Mills. In fact, Myers told on Friday that Mills was a big reason he was able to sign with the Indians.

Mills managed the Astros from the start of the 2010 season until Aug. 18 of last year when he was let go. He will be the Indians’ third-base coach this season, reuniting him with close friend Terry Francona. Mills was Francona’s bench coach for six years in Boston.

Myers said Mills called him about two weeks ago to gauge his interest in joining the starting rotation.

“He asked me where my head was and I told him I was ready,” Myers said. “I told him I was willing to start and he said they could use me here. The next thing you know they called my agent and it was like, ‘Hey, let’s work something out.’ Millsie was a big part of me getting over there.”

Myers also was recruited by Indians bullpen coach Kevin Cash, who caught him for half a season with the Astros in 2010.

“He called me about 2 ½ months ago and talked to me about it, and it all fell into place,” he said.

The idea of returning to the rotation after pitching in the bullpen for the Astros and the White Sox last year was appealing. He said his arm is in good shape.

“I came off hip surgery in ’09 [with Philadelphia] and only threw like 70 innings that year and then went out and threw 224 innings for Houston [in ’10],” Myers said. “Hopefully I can repeat that performance again. I have Cash here and he’s going to help me out with all the reports and stuff like that.”

Myers happy to be headed to White Sox

The Astros continued to restock their farm system on Saturday by trading veteran pitcher Brett Myers and cash considerations to the White Sox in exchange for right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich, left-handed pitcher Blair Walters and a player to be named later.

Myers spoke exclusively to on Saturday about the trade, saying he was excited to be going to a White Sox team that’s in first place in the American League Central.

“They’re in first place,” he said. “I’m pumped about that and to play for a team that’s fighting for a championship. That’s why I play the game, to win championships.”

Myers, who closed for the Phillies in 2007, has saved 19 of 21 games this year for the Astros in his return to closer. He has a $10 million option for 2013 that vests if he finishes 45 games this year. He has finished 29 games so far. There’s a $3 million buyout if the option doesn’t vest.

The Astros are expected to pick up most of the remainder of Myers’ $11-million contract for this year.

“I was happy they gave me an opportunity to re-establish myself as a starter, and this year they needed a closer,” Myers said. “They had a couple of guys to pick from and they asked me to do it and I was happy to do it. I had a good time there. It was good for my family and everything and it was a good place to play. I guess it just didn’t work out in the end for us.”

Myers, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Astros prior to the 2010 season and went 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA in 33 starts, earning him a two-year contract extension from former general manager Ed Wade. Myers went 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA in 2011 before being moved to closer prior to this year.\“Brett showed that he was a real team player by going to the bullpen for us and was very successful as our closer,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “We appreciate everything he has done for us.”

On Friday, The Astros shipped veteran starting pitcher J.A. Happ, veteran reliever Brandon Lyon and Minor League reliever David Carpenter to Toronto in exchange for seven players – reliever Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, four Minor League prospects and a player to be named later.

It’s the third major trade Luhnow has pulled off this month, having sent Carlos Lee to the Marlins on July 4 in exchange for two prospects. Earlier this year, he shipped veteran catcher Humberto Quintero and outfielder Jason Bourgeois to Kansas City for two Minor Leaguers.

Heidenreich (6-5, 185) was 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 combined starts at Class A Winston-Salem and Dobule-A Birmingham with two complete games and a shutout. The 21-year-old, who was the White Sox fourth-round selection in the 2009 draft, has a 25-17 record in four Minor League seasons with a 3.87 ERA in 75 appearances (56 starts). He will be assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi.

Walters, 22, was 4-6 with a 3.96 ERA in 18 combined starts with Class A Kannapolis and Class A Winston-Salem this season while tallying 93 strikeouts in 97 2/3 innings with 22 walks. Walters, who was taken in the 11th round of the 2011 Draft by the White Sox, has a 13-6 record in his two Minor League seasons with a 3.99 ERA in 32 appearances (31 starts) with 165 strikeouts in 171 1/3 innings of work. He will be assigned to Class A Lancaster.

“The pitchers we are receiving are talented young prospects with big-league upside,” Luhnow said. “They have had success in their young careers and we’re excited to add them to the mix.”

Myers heading to White Sox

The Astros continue to deal, sending veteran pitcher Brett Myers to the White Sox, a source told on Saturday.

It’s not yet known what the Astros are getting in return, but the team has made a flurry of deals lately in an effort to stockpile Minor League talent. Houston made a 10-team deal with Toronto on Friday and received seven players in return, including four Minor Leaugers and a player to be named later.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow couldn’t be reached for comment.

Myers, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Astros prior to the 2010 season and went 14-8 with a 3.14 ERA in 33 starts, earning him a two-year contract extension from former general manager Ed Wade. Myers went 7-14 with a 4.46 ERA in 2011 before being moved to closer prior to this year.

Myers, who closed for the Phillies in 2007, has saved 19 of 21 games this year for the Astros. He has an option for 2013 that vests for $10 million if he finished 45 games this year. He has finished 29 games so far. There’s a $3 million buyout if the option doesn’t vest.

Game 18: Bats can’t touch Dickey

Behind a dominant pitching performance from Mets knuckle-baller R.A. Dickey, the Astros lost to the Mets, 8-2, on Thursday afternoon to fall to 9-9. Here is the boxscore.

Now, onto the breakdown:

What went right: Rhiner Cruz, a Rule 5 pick from the Mets, had easily his best outing of the spring, and it came against his old team. He struck out a batter to end the fourth and strand runners at second and third, and then pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning and finished with two strikeouts.

Closer Brett Myers continues to pitch extremely well. He pounded the strike zone in his one inning of work, pitching around an error, and was at 90-92 mph on the radar gun. “He was spotting his fastball and his curveball had good depth,” manager Brad Mills said. “He was able to throw the curveball two different speeds — a hard one and a softer one, and both of them had real good depth. Obviously, he’s starting to get the feel for that because it was the same way last time.”

Henry Sosa also pitched well, allowing one hit and striking out two batters in 1 2/3 innings of work.

Not much to brag about at the plate, though the Astros did scorch some balls in the ninth inning, including a hit by Brad Snyder. Justin Ruggiano came off the bench and had a pair of hits, including a double. The only other hit was a single by Scott Moore, who also made a tremendous defensive play at third base in the eighth.

Matt Downs hit a rocket in the ninth inning that would have been extra bases had the left fielder not made an acrobatic catch at the wall.

What went wrong: The Astros didn’t manage a hit against Mets starter R.A. Dickey until Justin Ruggiano’s pinch-hit in the sixth inning. Among those going 0-for-3: J.B. Shuck, Travis Buck, J.D. Martinez, Jimmy Paredes and Jason Castro. When Dickey changes speeds like that, he’s tough to hit.

Wandy Rodriguez battled command problems all game, throwing 80 pitches in 3 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits, four runs and walked five batters and said after the game he understands he needs to pitch deeper into games. Rodriguez hasn’t had a good spring, but he did the same thing last year and was pretty good in the regular season.

Sergio Escalona, in only his second appearance of the spring because of an elbow hyper-extension, gave up four hits and four runs (three earned) in one-third of an inning.

The Astros also committed three errors: a fielding error by Paredes at third, a missed catch by Carlos Lee at first on a throw from Paredes that was a little wide and a fielding error by Moore. Ruggiano and Snyder collided in right-center field chasing a ball, but Snyder hauled it in.

What they said: “His concern comes from he wants to be out there throwing to work on things. When his pitch count gets so high early the game, those are stressful innings and I don’t want to kill him out there.” — Astros manager Brad Mills on pulling starter Wandy Rodriguez in the fourth after 80 pitches.

What’s next: Bud Norris starts when the Astros return home to face the Washington Nationals at 12:05 p.m. CT on Friday. Norris gave up five hits, five runs and four walks in his previous outing Saturday against the Yankees. Shortstop Jed Lowrie, who fouled a ball off his foot Tuesday and hasn’t played since, is scheduled to make his return to the lineup.

Injury update: Center fielder Jordan Schafer (left hand sprain) is day-to-day, but won’t play until Saturday at the earliest. … Shortstop Jed Lowrie, who fouled a ball off his foot Tuesday and hasn’t played since, is scheduled to make his return to the lineup Saturday.

Here are a few pictures from Digital Domain Park:

Jimmy Paredes and Angel Sanchez chat in dugout prior to game.

Wandy Rodriguez chills in the dugout before his start.

J.D. Martinez heads to the cage.

Travis Buck takes batting practice.

Carlos Lee signs autographs.

Jimmy Paredes makes contact during BP.

Mills sporting a black eye and a new watch

The Astros worked out on the stadium field at the Osceola County Stadium complex for the first time Friday morning in anticipation of Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Washington Nationals.

Before the players began to stretch, manager Brad Mills addressed the team and lauded non-roster outfielder Brandon Barnes for presenting him earlier in the morning with a Transformers watch. Mills’ watch was shattered and he suffered a black eye Wednesday when a ball came through the netting behind the cage and struck him.

“That’s pretty good for a young kid to do that,” Mills said. “I told the guys if we screw up on the time today, it’s Brandon’s fault, because of the Transformers watch.”

Here’s the latest on the Astros:

  • LHP Sergio Escalona, who injured his throwing elbow swinging a bat last week, will be shut down for a few days, Mills said. Escalona had an MRI on Thursday, which showed no structural damage.
  • Mills announced the next two starters in his rotation following Livan Hernandez (Saturday), J.A. Happ (Sunday) and Jordan Lyles (Monday).  Wandy Rodriguez will start Tuesday against the Mets, and Bud Norris will start Wednesday against the Phillies in Clearwater.
  • Among the relievers scheduled to pitch behind Hernandez on Saturday are Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon, who will be pitching in a game for the first time since May. Myers will throw one inning in his debut as Astros closer (he won’t pitch the ninth, however).
  • The batting order has yet to be announced, but Mills revealed his starters for Saturday’s game against the Nats: Chris Johnson (third base), Jed Lowrie (shortstop), Jose Altuve (second base), Carlos Lee (first base), J.B. Shuck (left field), Jason Bourgeois (center field), Travis Buck (right field), Castro (catcher) and Jack Cust (DH).
  • Third baseman Jimmy Paredes, who’s nursing a sore left wrist, took batting practice left-handed Thursday, but is still not cleared to swing right from the right side of the plate.
  • Castro, who missed all of last year following knee surgery and then had foot surgery in December, will catch only three innings Saturday. Mills said he’d like Castro to catch three more innings Monday and then perhaps four on Wednesday, depending on how he feels.

Players gather to stretch on the stadium field for the first time

Myers to bullpen dominants day at Astros camp

The Astros made their first big news of Spring Training when it was announced early Tuesday by manager Brad Mills that starting pitcher Brett Myers was being moved into the closer role. Myers closed for the Phillies in 2007 and has been nothing short of a workhorse in his two years in Houston, pitching the fifth-most amount of innings in the NL in that span.

Here’s what else went on Monday:

  • Mills said catcher Jason Castro is progressing so well from his offseason foot surgery that he will have no limitations when the team begins Grapefruit League play Saturday against Washington. “We first thought he was going to be a week late and then a few days and now it looks like he won’t be late at all,” Mills said. “We’ll pick out what games we want him to maybe catch to start with. Right off the bat, I’m thinking three innings would be a good start for him. That would give him at least one at-bat.”
  •  Outfielder Jack Cust didn’t participate in base running sprints after tweaking his right knee Tuesday. He will be re-evaluated Wednesday. “He bent over for a ball and felt something in the back of his knee and the trainers didn’t want him to run on it,” Mills said. “I talked to him and he doesn’t think it’s that bad.

For a rundown of all the day’s news, including what Brandon Lyon thinks of Myers moving to the closer role, click here.

Here is the day in pictures:

Brian Bogusevic works on base running drills.

Matt Downs and Brad Mills speak during drills.

Bench coach Joe Pettini goes over base running.

Jonathan Villar.

Delino DeShields Jr.

George Springer.




Astros have no shortage of rotation candidates

Brett Myers’ move to the closer role all but guarantees Livan Hernandez will start the season in the Astros rotation, unless he has a terrible spring or gets injured. Hernandez, who has never been on the disabled list in his 15-year career, can eat up the innings that were lost from in the rotation with Myers being moved to the bullpen.

It’s also good news for Lucas Harrell, Zach Duke, Henry Sosa, Kyle Weiland and everybody else competing for a rotation spot. One open spot has become two, giving someone an opportunity they wouldn’t have had if Myers had stayed in the rotation.

The top three spots in the rotation appear to be set with Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ. The next five weeks will be about competition and finding out who’s the best option to complete the final two spots in the rotation, or one if you believe Hernandez is a lock.

Lyles and Sosa both made their Major League debuts for the Astros last season and made a handful of starts, and Harrell was claimed off waivers last year from the White Sox. Duke, a non-roster invitee, is the only lefty of that bunch.

The Astros ranked 14th in the 16-team National League last year with a 4.52 ERA as a starting staff. Rodriguez (11-11, 3.49 ERA) pitched well, but Norris (6-11, 3.77 ERA) struggled with control at times and didn’t get good run support and Happ (6-15, 5.35 ERA) had a woeful first four months.

While the Astros are hopeful all four can pitch to their potential this year, they added more arms to the mix this winter in case someone gets injured or isn’t up to the task at hand. Or if someone gets moved to the bullpen.

Astros move Myers to closer

The Astros’ search for a closer ended with a surprise announcement Tuesday morning.

Astros manager Brad Mills told reporters veteran starting pitcher Brett Myers would be moved into the closer role, a position he held with the Phillies in 2007. The Astros approached Myers shortly after the start of spring camp to gauge his interest in becoming the closer, and he agreed to the move Monday after consulting with his family and his body.

The Astros have no shortage of candidates to fill Myers’ spot in the rotation after signing Livan Hernandez and Zach Duke to Minor League contracts this winter. Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris and J.A. Happ are likely to be in the rotation when the season starts, with youngsters Jordan Lyles, Lucas Harrell, Henry Sosa and Kyle Weiland in the mix for the other spots

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said had been discussing the move for a while with Mills and pitching coach Doug Brocail

“From my standpoint, we have some depth in the rotation between Duke, Livan, Happ, Sosa and Harrell and all the young guys,” he said. “We feel like we’re in pretty good shape there and have some choices. We felt like were a little exposed in the bullpen, and having a guy who’s been successful in that role and who’s got the mentality and stuff to do well takes pressure of Brandon Lyon coming off an injury and doesn’t put pressure on young kids like David Carpenter and Wilton Lopez.”

Myers began 2007 as the Phillies’ Opening Day starter before being moved to closer three starts into the season. In 21 relief appearances, he went 5-5 with 21 saves and a 2.87 ERA, but was shifted back to the rotation after Philadelphia acquired Brad Lidge prior to the 2008 season. He’s been a starter ever since.

The Astros began last year with Brandon Lyon as closer, but he got injured a month into the season and wound up having surgery repair the detachment of his right biceps tendon and to also mend a tear in his labrum. Mark Melancon closed most of 2011, but the team traded him to the Red Sox in exchange for Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland.

With Lyon apparently not in the team’s plans, that left the Astros without an experienced closer. The team soon turned to Myers.

Astros’ lineup and preview for Thursday

Astros right-hander Brett Myers (3-12, 4.76 ERA) tries to snap his career-long, six-game losing streak tonight in the finale of a four-game series against the D-backs at Chase Field. Myers leads the team and is 13th in the NL with 153 innings pitched, having thrown at least six innings in 53 of his 57 starts with the Astros since the start of last year.

Arizona counters with left-hander Joe Saunders (8-9, 3.67 ERA).

Here is the Astros’ starting lineup:

CF Jason Bourgeois — Returns to the lineup after being out Wednesday. He’s hitting .103 (4-for-39) since July 30.

2B Jose Altuve — Has hit safely in 16 of his 20 Major League games and has started 15 of the Astros’ last 16 games.

LF J.D. Martinez — Has 11 RBI in his last seven games and has hit safely in seven of his 11 games.

1B Carlos Lee — Hitting .148 in August.

3B Jimmy Paredes — Five of his 10 hits have been for extra bases.

RF Jason Michaels — He’s 2-for-11 with two walks in his career against Arizona starter Joe Saunders.

SS Clint Barmes — Hitting .315 in 36 games since Hune 26 with 5 homers and 14 RBIs.

C Humberto Quintero — Hitting .324 durig his current career-long 10-game hitting streak.

RHP Brett Myers — Has quality starts in seven of his last 10 starts.