Results tagged ‘ Carlos Lee ’

Carlos Lee era is over in Houston

Only days after they were unable to complete a deal to send Carlos Lee to the Dodgers, the Astros on Wednesday pulled off a trade to send the 36-year-old veteran to the Marlins. The Astros will get Minor League third baseman Matt Dominguez and left-hander Rob Rasmussen in return.

Dominguez will report to the Astros on Thursday in Pittsburgh, while Rasmussen will report to Double-A Corpus Christi.

“Carlos has been an important part of our team and our community in Houston for almost six seasons and he will be missed,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “We made this move with an eye towards the future, and are very excited about adding Dominguez and Rasmussen to our talent base. Both players have a bright future.”

Lee was pulled from the Astros’ loss to the Pirates at PNC Park in the middle of the seventh inning Wednesday, and by the time reporters were allowed in the clubhouse following the game his locker had been cleaned out and he was gone.

The move paves the way for Brett Wallace to be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City and finish the year at first base. Wallace has been putting up big numbers in the Minors and performed well in 11 games with the Astros earlier this month, hitting .333 with two homers and four RBIs.

The trade comes as no surprise for an Astros team that’s rebuilding and looking to add more young players. Lee was in the final year of a six-year, $100-million contract and represented one of the last holdovers from an era when the Astros were still competing for playoff spots on yearly basis.

Lee was having poorest offensive showing with the Astros, hitting .287 with only five home runs and 29 RBIs in 66 games. His power has dropped dramatically from the first four years of his contract when he averaged more than 30 homers and drove in more than 100 runs.

It’s not known if the Marlins are paying any of the roughly $9 million Lee is owed this year.

The Astros nearly sent Lee to the Dodgers last weekend and were awaiting his approval on the deal before the Dodgers backed out. Lee has a limited no-trade clause, which means there are 14 teams to which his contract can’t be assigned. The Marlins were not on his list, so he couldn’t block the trade.

Barely a year removed from reaching the World Series in 2005, the Astros signed Lee the day after Thanksgiving in 2006 with hopes he could get them over the hump. A veteran club that included Craig Biggio, Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman had a winning record only once – 86-75 in 2008 – after signing Lee and began to sudden show its age.

The Astros signaled they were rebuilding beginning in 2010 when they traded Oswalt and Berkman, two of the most accomplished players in franchise history, and last year moved up-and-coming outfielder Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn for more prospects.

Lee was moved from left field to first base after Berkman was traded.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow took over last December and has said he wants to continue to infuse young talent into an increasingly improving Minor League system. Luhnow will probably also try to move veteran starter Wandy Rodriguez and veteran pitcher Brett Myers prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Dominguez was the Marlins 12th overall pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

The third baseman out of Chatsworth High School near Los Angeles, Dominguez is regarded as a standout defensive player who has had his struggles at the plate. In 78 games with Triple-A New Orleans, the 23-year-old batted .234 with seven home runs and 46 RBIs in 78 games.

When the Marlins moved Hanley Ramirez to third base, it blocked Dominguez’s path to the big leagues.

Rasmussen, a 23-year-old lefty, was 4-7 with a 3.90 ERA in 16 starts at Class A Jupiter. He was recently promoted to Double-A. The Marlins selected Rasmussen in the second round out of UCLA in 2010.

Lee-to-Dodgers deal is off

Tired of waiting for an answer from Astros first baseman Carlos Lee whether he would waive his limited no-trade clause, the Dodgers have pulled their trade offer, according a baseball source.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow didn’t return a message seeking comment.

Lee said following Sunday’s game against the Cubs that he still hadn’t made a decision on whether to accept the trade, though several of his teammates believed the slugger wanted to stay with the Astros. Lee was pulled into manager Brad Mills’ office upon his arrival at Wrigley Field for a closed-door meeting and left with the club for Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

Lee said Saturday he was informed by Luhnow he would be sent to Dodgers in a trade if he approved the deal. Lee, in the final year of six-year, $100-million contract, has a limited no-trade clause and would have to waive it to be sent to Los Angeles. He has given the Astros a list of 14 teams to which his contract may not be assigned (he had the ability to change that list at the end of last year). The limited no-trade supersedes his 10-5 rights to veto any trade.

Brian McTaggart

Lee still hasn’t made a decision

Carlos Lee said Sunday morning he still hadn’t made a decision on whether to accept a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, though several of his teammates believe the slugger wants to stay with the Astros. Lee was pulled into manager Brad Mills’ office upon his arrival at Wrigley Field for a closed-door meeting.

When approached by the media at his locker prior to the game, Lee said he hasn’t made a decision.

After going 0-for-4 and hitting into a double play in the Astros’ 3-2 loss to the Cubs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, Lee admitted the weight of trying to decide whether to accept the trade to the Dodgers or stay in Houston has been difficult.

And that’s what prompted Mills to talk to him

“I just wanted to talk to him about a few things, being in the lineup today and so forth,” Mills said. “I kind of wanted to see where his head was and making sure he’s focused. This is a big decision he has to make, and I want to allow him the opportunity to make that. But he felt he wanted to play and wanted to be in the lineup and that wouldn’t affect us.”

Lee said Saturday he was informed by general manager Jeff Luhnow he would be sent to Dodgers in a trade if he approved the deal. Lee, in the final year of six-year, $100-million contract, has a limited no-trade clause and would have to waive it to be sent to Los Angeles.

Lee’s limited no-trade clause means he has to give the Astros a list of 14 teams to which his contract may not be assigned (he had the ability to change that list at the end of last year). The limited no-trade supersedes his 10-5 rights to veto any trade.

He entered play Sunday hitting .285 with five homers and 29 RBIs, but had yet to hit a home run on the road this year.

 

Lee expects to decide by Sunday to accept trade

Astros first baseman Carlos Lee expects to make a decision by Sunday whether he’ll accept a proposed trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After going 0-for-4 and hitting into a double play in the Astros’ 3-2 loss to the Cubs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, Lee admitted the weight of trying to decide whether to accept the trade to the Dodgers or stay in Houston has been difficult.

“That’s why I’ll probably decide by tomorrow. Either I’m going or not,” he said. “I’m going to sit down and talk to my wife tonight.”

Lee said prior to the game he was briefed by general manager Jeff Luhnow about the situation earlier in the day. Lee has a limited no-trade clause and said he would have to approve a trade to the Dodgers.

“I met with Jeff this morning and he told me what’s going on and let’s see what happens,” Lee said.

Lee did confirm the Dodgers have made an offer for the 36-year slugger who was hitting .285 with five homers and 29 RBIs this year. His power numbers have dropped off dramatically – he hasn’t any homers on the road – from earlier in his career, but he’s struck out only 17 times in 242 at-bats and could flourish in a better lineup.

“L.A. has made an offer,” Lee said. “I just told Jeff I want to see my options. I just want to wait and see what my options are.”

Luhnow said Saturday he has a policy not to discuss trades.

“The information you guys have learned from Carlos, that’s fine,” he said. “But I’m not going to add anything to that at this point.”

When Lee signed his six-year, $100-million deal with the Astros the day after Thanksgiving in 2006, the team one was year removed from the World Series and identified him as the big bat it needed to help get the team over the top. He delivered in his first three years with Houston, hitting .305 with an average of 29 homers and 107 RBIs.

Over the next few years, however, the Astros began cutting payroll and were hampered by an overall lack of talent in the Minor Leagues. Management realized it needed to rebuild, and Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt were traded for prospects in 2010. Young stars Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence followed in 2011.

Lee’s limited no-trade clause means he has to give the Astros a list of 14 teams to which his contract may not be assigned (he had the ability to change that list at the end of last year). The limited no-trade supersedes his 10-5 rights to veto any trade.

Lee, who has about $9 million remaining on his contract this season, has deep business ties in Texas and owns and operates a large ranch not far from Houston. When asked if he’d like to finish out the season in Houston or go to a contending club, Lee said that consideration would factor into his decision.

“That’s one of the things I have to think about,” he said. “There ain’t much I can tell you right now.”

One of the players that could be set to come to Houston in a potential deal is Dodgers pitching prospect Garrett Gould, who was scratched Friday from his scheduled start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

Lee, Martinez talk about win over Cubs

Here is Astros first baseman Carlos Lee and left fielder J.D. Martinez reacting to Wednesday’s win

Astros return home to face Dodgers

The Astros (5-8) send J.A. Happ to the mound tonight at Minute Maid Park to face the Dodgers. Here is the lineup:

ASTROS

CF Justin Maxwell

2B Jose Altuve

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

3B Chris Johnson

SS Jed Lowrie

RF Brian Bogusevic

C Chris Snyder

LHP J.A. Happ

Check out this pregame notes:

  • The Dodgers have won four in a row against the Astros, who have scored a total of one run in those four games with only 17 hits (The Astros had 17 hits on Thursday against the Nationals). The Dodgers have outscored the Astros, 15-1, in their last four meetings.
  • The Dodgers have outscored their opponents, 14-3 in the first inning this year, which continued a trend from last year. The Dodgers’ plus-48 run differential in all of last season and the first two weeks of this year is the largest in the Majors.
  • The Dodgers are 8-1 when scoring first this year.
  • The Astros have lost six games in which they’ve blown a lead this year, which is tied with the Cubs for the most in the Majors.
  • Astros second baseman Jose Altuve has been on fire the first two weeks of the season, hitting .348. That’s the highest batting average for players in the Majors whose primary position is second base.
  • Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are the third pair of teammates in the live-ball era to each collect 18-plus RBIs in their team’s first 13 games. What bodes very well for Ethier and the Dodgers is that half of his RBI have come off left-handed pitching; he had just 13 RBIs off southpaws all season in 2011 and his ninth (and 10th) did not come until June 28.
  • Since returning from the Minor Leagues last year, J.A. Happ is 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA. He was 4-14 with a 6.26 ERA in 22 last year prior to getting sent to Triple-A.
  • Dodgers starter Ted Lilly is 7-3 lifetime versus the Astros — though he has not beaten them since Sept. 2, 2009 — and only three active starters have a lower career ERA against them — Adam Wainwright (1.56), Jake Peavy (2.31) and Chris Carpenter (2.62).
  • Carlos Lee has 54 career plate appearances against Lilly, most among active players, and Lilly has never struck him out; that is the most times that any active hitter has faced any active pitcher without being fanned.

Game 15: Lee, Lowrie break loose

The Astros broke out the big bats, getting the first home runs of the spring from Carlos Lee and Jed Lowrie, to beat the Mets, 9-5, on Sunday and snap a three-game losing streak. Here is the boxscore.

Here is the breakdown:

What went right: The Astros pounced on Mets starter Mike Pelfrey and finished with 12 hits, including eight extra-base hits (six doubles, two home runs). The top of the batting order was especially productive, with Jordan Schafer walking twice and scoring two runs, Jed Lowrie going 2-for-3 with a homer and a double from the left side of the plate, Travis Buck going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs and Carlos Lee going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and five RBIs.

Mills continues to like Lowrie in the No. 2 spot.

“The games he’s hit second, he’s really swung the bat well and that’s nice to see,” he said.

Elsewhere, Brett Wallace was 1-for-1 with an opposite-field double, Scott Moore was 1-for-4 with a double, Jimmy Paredes was 1-for-4 with a run scored and Humberto Quintero, who had been slowed by a bulging disk in his back, made his Grapefruit League debut and went 1-for-3 while catching for five innings.

The Astros turned a pair of double plays, and Paredes stole a base.

On the mound, three relief pitchers combined for four scoreless innings. Enerio Del Rosario allowed one hit in two clean innings, and Brandon Lyon and Fernando Abad enjoyed 1-2-3 frames.

What went wrong: Starting pitcher Livan Hernandez got knocked around a little bit, allowing five hits, four runs and three walks in three innings. He said he felt he was rushing to the plate a little bit and wasn’t too worried, considering he’s got a few more starts left in Florida.

“He just really wasn’t killing himself out there and he went back out for 11 more pitches [in the fourth] and then I went and got him,” manager Brad Mills said.

Fernando Martinez went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk against his former team, and Matt Downs went 0-for-4 and committed a fielding error while playing second base.

What they said: “I feel comfortable at the plate and I feel I’m in the right position to hit. I’m seeing the ball pretty good, and I’m happy where I am at right now.” — Astros first baseman Carlos Lee on driving in five runs Sunday, including a three-run home run.

What’s next: Right-hander Kyle Weiland, who has allowed no runs and three hits in eight innings this spring, makes the start for the Astros when they travel to Jupiter, Fla., to meet the Miami Marlins at 12:05 p.m. CT. Weiland threw four hitless innings Monday against the Yankees in Tampa and is in the thick of the race for the fifth starter’s spot.

Injury update: CF Jordan Schafer left Sunday’s game in the third inning after spraining his left hand while making a diving catch. He’s listed as day-to-day after X-rays were negative. … LHP Sergio Escalona (elbow inflammation) is available to pitch and could get into a game as early as Monday, but most likely Tuesday. … OF Jack Cust (right elbow tendinitis) played three innings in the outfield in a Minor League game Sunday and threw out a runner, while going 1-for-1 with two walks. Cust has yet to play in the outfield in Grapefruit League play because of the elbow.

Here are some photos:

Jed Lowrie takes a swing in the cage.

Humberto Quintero made his Grapefruit League debut Sunday, going 1-for-3 in five innings.

Carlos Lee waits at the cage, and then drives in five runs.

Game 4: Rodriguez, Lee make debuts, Snyders make noise

The Astros (3-1) got a two-run home run by Brad Snyder and a solo home run by Chris Snyder — his second homer in as many starts — to beat the split-squad New York Mets, 4-1, Tuesday afternoon at windy Osceola County Stadium. Here’s the boxscore.

In addition to marking the spring debuts of Wandy Rodriguez and Carlos Lee, Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez was playing against his former team for the first time. Catch up on his story by clicking here.

Here’s the breakdown;

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Plenty. Wandy Rodriguez allowed one hit in three scoreless innings in his first start of the spring, despite struggling with his location. Aneury Rodriguez worked two scoreless innings, and David Carpenter, Wesley Wright and Wilton Lopez each worked a scoreless inning. Carpenter struck out a pair of batters.

Rodriguez threw 51 pitches and wasn’t hampered at all by the lower back strain that bothered him earlier in camp.

“I felt good today, but I need to work a lot because I missed a lot of my spots,” he said. “That’s normal because it’s my first outing. My arm felt very strong today.”

Chris Snyder started and caught six innings behind he plate and went 1-for-3 with his second home run of the spring. Brad Snyder, a non-roster outfielder, hit a two-run homer in the second inning, cutting his ball down the right-field line and into a stiff wind. Jason Bourgeois scorched the ball three times and had one hit to show for it.

J.B. Shuck had a hit and another walk and Marwin Gonzalez, Chris Johnson, Chris Wallace and Jose Altuve each had a hit. Carlos Lee made his spring debut after missing the first three games because of a strained right hamstring and was 1-for-3.

“I felt like I was in a good position to hit,” Lee said. “The timing was a little off, being the first time out there in a real game. But I like the way I had a good approach today and stayed back and used my hands. It’s all about timing now.”

The Astros didn’t commit and error for the third time in four spring games, and they outhit an opponent (9-5) for the first time this spring.

WHAT WENT WRONG: There’s not too much to be worried about here. The only run the Mets scored came against Brett Myers, who paid for a two-out walk in the fourth. But Myers still located pretty well and he will be fine.

I could get nit-picky and write the Astros were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, but I won’t do that.

WHAT THEY SAID: “I don’t care if it’s Spring Training or the regular season or intra-squad, I want to lock it in right now and stay locked in as much as I can. To get results is a good sign, but I’m still trying to put together good at-bats, see some pitches and make good contact.” — Astros C Chris Snyder, who’s 2-for-5 with two homers in two spring starts.

WHAT’S NEXT: Right-hander Bud Norris will be the last Astros starting pitcher to make his first appearance of the spring when he starts against the Phillies at 12:05 p.m. CT Wednesday in Clearwater, Fla. Fernando Rodriguez, Jorge De Leon and Fernando Abad are also scheduled to pitch for Houston

INJURY UPDATE: Catcher Humberto Quintero traveled to Houston on Tuesday to have his ailing back examined by a team doctor and was expected to get a cortisone shot. . … Third baseman Jimmy Paredes, who has yet to appear in a spring game because of left wrist inflammation, will face live pitching Tuesday afternoon on one of the Minor League fields. … Infielder Angel Sanchez (back) took two sets of batting practice with the coaching staff and tracked pitches with Minor Leaguers.

Here is the day in photos:

Delino DeShields Jr. gets down for a ground ball in drills.

A group of pitchers awaits morning drills.

Jose Altuve works on his bunting.

Jed Lowrie looks pensive at the cage.

Fernando Martinez catches up with former teammate Ruben Tejada.

Former University of Houston catchers Rob Johnson and Chris Snyder talk.

Quintero heading to Houston for cortisone shot

Astros catcher Humberto Quintero left the team’s facility in Kissimmee early Tuesday to head to Houston to get his ailing back checked out. Quintero said he’s going to have a cortisone shot Wednesday and be back on the practice field Thursday with the hope of playing Friday against Toronto.

“I’m feeling better,” he said.

Quintero said trainers told him he could have some inflammation in one of the disks in his back, which could be pinching a nerve and causing discomfort down his right leg. He’ll be examined by team medical director Dr. David Lintner in Houston.

Meanwhile, third baseman Jimmy Paredes, who has yet to appear in a spring game because of left wrist inflammation, will face live pitching Tuesday afternoon on one of the Minor League fields. Infielder Angel Sanchez (back), whom manager Brad Mills said isn’t as far along in his recovery as Paredes, will take two sets of batting practice with the coaching staff and track pitches with Minor Leaguers. Mills said they’re both going to Viera, Fla., for Thursday’s game against the Nationals.

In other injury news, Carlos Lee is in the lineup for the first time Tuesday for the game against the Mets:

CF Jason Bourgeois

LF J.B. Shuck

SS Jed Lowrie

1B Carlos Lee

DH Fernando Martinez

3B Chris Johnson

C Chris Snyder

RF Brad Snyder

2B Jose Altuve

LHP Wandy Rodriguez

Carlos Lee will make debut Tuesday

Astros slugger Carlos Lee is scheduled to be in the lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Mets in his first Spring Training game of the year. Lee sat out the first two games with a mild right hamstring strain, but he said Monday he feels great and can play. Lee said he ran the bases and 20 sprints on Sunday and had no issues.

Meanwhile, catcher Humberto Quintero (back/hip) is still a few days from getting in the lineup, manager Brad Mills said. Third baseman Jimmy Paredes (wrist) and infielder Angel Sanchez (back) continue to progress and will take batting practice Monday. Mills said they’re tentatively planned to take live batting practice on Tuesday.

Today’s game will be the first Astros center fielder Jordan Schafer against his former team. Michael Bourn, who was traded to the Braves in the Schafer deal last year, will start for Atlanta.

“It will be fun just to be able to go against some of my old guys,” Schafer said. “It’s just another Spring Training game and trying to get ready for the season, but it will be fun to go against my old teammates.”

Schafer worked out in the offseason with Martin Pardo and even a few times with Matt Diaz. He’s also kept in touch with Tim Hudson and Jair Jurrjens, who will start today for the Braves.

“When you’re on a team for a few years you build friendships, but at the same time I’m still getting ready to go for the season,” he said.

Here is the Astros lineup:

CF Jordan Schafer

2B Jose Altuve

RF Brian Bogusevic

LF J.D. Martinez

DH Jack Cust

SS Jed Lowrie

3B Matt Downs

1B Scott Moore

C Jason Castro

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RHP Jordan Lyles, followed by Zach Duke

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