Results tagged ‘ Fernando Martinez ’

Astros deal Martinez for Minor League arm

Outfielder Fernando Martinez, who appeared in 52 games for the Astros over the past two seasons, was sent to the Yankees in a trade on Tuesday. The Astros acquired right-handed pitcher Charles Basford, who will report to Tri-City.

Martinez, who was at Triple-A Oklahoma City, hit .182 with one homer and three RBIs in 11 games with the Astros this year before being designated for assignment. He batted .237 with six homers and 14 RBIs last year for Houston, but had an inability to stay healthy.

Basford, a 37th-round pick by the Yankees last year, made his first appearance of the season Monday for Staten Island and allowed four hits, including a homer, in two innings. The 22-year-old right-hander was drafted out of Samford University.

A former top prospect of the Mets who was claimed off waivers prior to the 2012 season by Houston, Martinez battled for a spot in the Astros’ outfield to start the season, but wound up beginning the season on the disabled list.

Martinez in February was among five baseball players connected to a South Florida clinic that’s been linked to performance-enhancing drugs, according to an ESPN “Outside the Lines” report.

Astros shape the look of their outfield

Outfielders Rick Ankiel and Fernando Martinez were designated for assignment Monday, likely bringing an end to their tenure in Houston. The Astros also optioned infielder Brandon Laird to Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled outfielder Trevor Crowe and infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes, as well was reinstating outfielder J.D. Martinez from the disabled list. </p>

Crowe, J.D. Martinez and Paredes will join the Astros before Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Angels at Minute Maid Park. Ankiel has enough service time to refuse a Minor League assignment, at which point he would probably be released. The Astros have 10 days to decide what to do with Fernando Martinez, who will be released, traded or sent to the Minor Leagues if he passes through waivers.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow had high hopes for Ankiel, who he watched blossom into a potent outfielder while both were with the Cardinals. Ankiel hit just .194 in 25 games with five homers, 11 RBIs and a whopping 35 strikeouts in 62 at-bats.

“Rick Ankiel is a class guy, and I really like him both as a baseball player and as a person,” Luhnow said. “We brought him in here to help our younger kids, to mentor them and help out on the field. I really appreciate everything he did for us. The reality is the team is not where we wanted to be at this point and we feel like outfield is one of our weakest positions, and we wanted to give some guys who are having some success at Triple-A a chance to continue that up here.”

Luhnow met with manager Bo Porter on Monday at Minute Maid Park and went over the roster, and the general manager said the moves were made to fill some specific needs and not a shake-up of a club that’s lost 10 of 11 games and is 8-24.

“We sat down today and really talked about the mix of the team and what was available to us in Triple-A,” Luhnow said. “This is more of a testament about how Jimmy’s been doing in Triple-A, how Trevor’s been doing in Triple-A and wanting J.D. back. We weren’t making changes for the sake of making changes.”

Luhnow acknowledged the club also talked about the status of struggling starting pitcher Philip Humber, but Luhnow deferred to Porter.

Crowe is hitting .300 (33-for-110) in 29 games for Oklahoma City in 29 games this season, clubbing two homers and driving in 14 runs while stealing a team-high 11 bases. Crowe, a former first-round Draft pick by the Indians who’s appeared in 205 Major League games, was signed by the Astros this offseason as a Minor League free agent.

Paredes entered Monday hitting a team-high .376 (41-for-109) in 29 games for Oklahoma City, which ranked fifth in the Pacific Coast League, with a 1.040 OPS. Paredes has started at third base and in right field this season for the RedHawks and remains raw on defense.

J.D. Martinez, out since April 20 with a right knee sprain, hit .300 in five games on a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi. He played in 14 games, including 12 starts, for the Astros before heading to the disabled list.

Fernando Martinez, who had trouble staying healthy, was hitting .182 with a homer and three RBIs in 11 games, while Laird was batting .200 with two homers and five RBIs in 11 games

Martinez to see doctor, could be headed to DL

After an exceptionally healthy spring camp, the Astros may have to put outfielder Fernando Martinez on the disabled list.

Martinez, who’s made the club as one of the team’s backup outfielders, was scratched from the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Tigers and he admitted going on the DL was a possibility. He missed a week earlier this spring with lower back tightness and will be examined by a doctor Friday in Houston.

“I think it’s the [left] oblique right now,” Martinez said. “I feel a little more pain right now than I did before. Hopefully a couple of days off and I’ll be back.”

Martinez said the team has discussed possibly having to put him on the disabled list. The Astros are taking a bevy of extra players to Houston, so they wouldn’t have to go reach to find his roster replacement. Trevor Crowe and J.D. Martinez were among the last outfielders cut from camp.

Martinez is holding out hope he won’t have to go on the DL.

“I can play like that, but sometimes when I throw and I swing I feel a little pain,” he said.

The 24-year-old left-handed hitter batted .237 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 41 games last year for the Astros, who claimed him off waivers on Jan. 11, 2012.

 

Maxwell first pick for Astros intrasquad

The Astros on Wednesday morning held a draft for Thursday’s intrasquad game with Minor League instructor Morgan Ensberg, who will be coaching against Adam Everett, taking outfielder Justin Maxwell with the No. 1 overall pick. The Astros will split up for an intra-squad game at 12 noon CT Thursday at Osceola County Stadium.

Here’s what else is new Wednesday:

  • Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez issued a no comment through a team spokesman Wednesday morning one day after an ESPN reported linked him to a South Florida clinic that’s been connected to performance-enhancing drugs. Astros manager Bo Porter told reporters Wednesday he spoke to Martinez prior to the team’s morning workout at Osceola County Stadium. Porter said Martinez would continue to be involved in camp activities, and he was on the field Wednesday.
  • Porter said he’s working to get legendary Iowa football coach Hayden Fry to be at his managerial debut March 31 at Minute Maid Park. He said Fry follows everything that goes on with the Astros with “great anticipation.” Porter played football at Iowa under Fry.
  • Porter said he expects Matt Dominguez to get the bulk of the time at third base, which certainly isn’t a surprise. He said Brett Wallace will get a look at third base, but he’ll primarily play first. Brandon Laird and Marwin Gonzalez can also play third base.
  • Today is Roger Clemens‘ final day in camp, and he could throw live batting practice. He showed up to the facility wearing his baseball pants, so stay tuned.

     

Martinez backs out of World Baseball Classic

Astros outfielder Fernando Martinez arrived in camp Tuesday morning and said he’s not going to play in the World Baseball Classic. Martinez was going to play for Spain, though he was born in the Dominican Republic.

“I’m not going to play,” he said. “I’m going to stay here and prepare for the season.”

Martinez, claimed off waivers from the Mets a year ago, hit .237 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 118 at-bats last year for Houston, playing in a career-high 41 games. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said earlier this year Martinez would hurt his chances of making the club by playing in the Classic, and Martinez heard the message.

“I just thought about and I figured it would be a lost couple of weeks and I want to make the team here,”  he said.

Astros pitcher Chia-Jen Lo was originally scheduled to participate in the Classic as well, but had a change of heart.

Astros have 6 players on World Baseball Classic rosters

Six players from the Astros organization have been selected to play in the World Baseball Classic: outfielder Fernando Martinez (Spain), right-hander Rhiner Cruz (Spain) and left-hander Xavier Cedeno (Puerto Rico), right-handed pitcher Murilo Gouvea (Brazil), outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin (Chinese Taipei) and right-hander Chia-Jen Lo (Chinese Taipei).

Provisional rosters were due on Wednesday, but all 16 teams have until Feb. 20 to file their formal rosters.

Click here for complete World Baseball Classic information.

Martinez, claimed off waivers from the Mets a year ago, hit .237 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 118 at-bats last year for Houston, playing in a career-high 41 games. Though he’s playing for Spain, he was born in the Dominican Republic.

Cruz, who was also born in the Dominican Republic, appeared in 52 games in his rookie season in 2012, posting a 6.05 ERA. He was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft and ranked fifth among NL rookies in appearances.

Cedeno, a native of Puerto Rico, appeared in 44 games in two stints with the Astros last year after beginning the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He posted a 3.77 ERA, closing the season with 12 consecutive scoreless outings.

Lo, who missed almost all of the 2010-11 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery, made it back to the mound last year and appeared in 10 games between the Gulf Coast League and Class A Lancaster.

Lin, claimed off waivers from Boston in October, spent most of his 2012 season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .247 with 11 doubles, 30 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and a .323 on-base percentage. He had four stints on the Red Sox active roster last season, hitting .250 in nine games, which marks his only Major League experience.

Gouvea, who was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, went 2-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 50 games in relief last year at Class A Lexington.

Brazil is in Pool A with Japan, China and Cuba and will have round robin play March 2-6 in Japan. Chinese Taipei is in Pool B with Korea, the Netherlands and Australia and will have pool play March 2-5 in Taiwan.

Puerto Rico and Spain are both in Pool C and will hold round robin play March 7-10 in Puerto Rico. The championship round will be held March 17-19 in San Francisco.

Starting pitchers are restricted to 65 pitches in the first round, 80 in the second and 95 in the semifinals and finals. A starter must take four days off if he throws more than 50 pitches.

Relievers can pitch on back-to-back days if they don’t exceed 30 pitches the first day. Throw 30 in a game and you must take one off. After back-to-back appearances, regardless of pitch counts, pitchers must get a day off.

Martinez called up by Astros, Buck to DL

The Astros placed outfielder Travis Buck on the 15-day disabled prior to Saturday’s game against the Reds and called up outfielder Fernando Martinez from Triple-A Oklahoma City, general manager Jeff Luhnow said. Martinez was expected to be in uniform for the game.

Buck hit .216 in 33 games with the Astros and hasn’t been available to play for a couple of days because of an injury to his right heel, which had him in a protective boot on Friday.

Martinez, considered one of baseball’s top prospects from 2006-10, was claimed off waivers by the Astros in January. He was batting .319 with eight homers and 38 RBIs in 51 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, with a .374 on-base percentage and .532 slugging percentage. Like Buck, he’s a left-handed hitter.

Martinez, 23, spent the majority of the 2011 season at Triple-A Buffalo, but did have a brief stint with the Mets. In 63 games with Buffalo, he hit .260 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs. He hit .227 in 11 games for the Mets with a home run, which came May 13 at Minute Maid Park off Astros pitcher Bud Norris.

Martinez also had brief stints with the Mets during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, appearing in a combined 36 games in that span. He has a .274 career average in six Minor League seasons after being signed by the Mets as an amateur free agent in 2005 at 16 years old.

Game 2: Astros break out big bats

Chris Snyder, Fernando Martinez and J.D. Martinez each homered to send the Astros past the Nationals, 10-2, on Sunday afternoon in Viera, Fla. The Astros improved to 2-0. Click here for the boxscore.

Before we get to the breakdown, be sure to check out the feature story on George Springer and Delino DeShields Jr., which includes a video interview with Springer.

Here’s the breakdown:

WHAT WENT RIGHT: You have to start with offense. The Astros broke the game open with four runs in the third inning and five runs in the fourth inning to beat the Nats for the second day in a row despite being outhit (11-8).

Catcher Chris Snyder, making his first start, hit a long solo homer down the left-field line in the third off Nats starter Stephen Strasburg. Outfielder J.D. Martinez belted a three-run homer in the third, and designated hitter Fernando Martinez – claimed off waivers from the Mets in January – hit a three-run homer in the fourth to cap a 2-for-2 day with a walk.

Fernando Martinez is trying to make the roster as an outfielder, and he’s got a shot if he stays healthy considering he swings left-handed and has power. Chris Johnson, Scott Moore, Brian Bixler and Jordan Schafer also had hits Sunday.

“We had some good at-bats in key situations,” manager Brad Mills said. “Snyder’s home run, that ball was hit. The other two might have gotten a little extra help [from the wind]. Fernando Martinez’s home run would have been in the gap anyway and would have been a double. J.D. put a good swing on a ball that was in on him. Any time you get a three-run home run, that’s a huge boost.”

It was another good day on the mound for the Astros, who walked only two batters. Starter J.A. Happ allowed three hits and one run in two innings. He was up in the zone a bit in his second inning of work, but was able to get outs at key times.

Henry Sosa, who was also up in the zone in his the second inning, worked around four hits to throw two scoreless innings. Paul Clemens made his debut and pitched a scoreless frame. The Nats didn’t appear to be seeing the ball very well off of him. Lucas Harrell allowed three hits and a run in two innings and had good life on the baseball, though his command wasn’t there. Fernando Rodriguez looked really sharp, striking out two of the three batters he faced, including Bryce Harper. David Carpenter finished it out, allowing one hit in one inning.

The Astros have yet to commit an error this spring.

Click here to hear Fernando Martinez and J.A. Happ discuss their games.

WHAT WENT WRONG: For the second day in a row, there isn’t much negative to single out. The Astros did strike out 10 times and left 13 runners on base, but let’s not get nitpicky. They did draw seven walks, after all, and had a lot of base runners.

WHAT THEY SAID: “He’s got good ride on them [fastballs]. It will ride back through the zone. That was the first time I faced him. Obviously, you hear about him, but it’s definitely live stuff. Him coming off Tommy John and day two of Spring Training games, he’s definitely got good stuff.” – catcher Chris Snyder on facing Stephen Strasburg.

WHAT’S NEXT: Jordan Lyles, who’s battling for a spot in the rotation, makes his Grapefruit League debut for the Astros when they face the Braves on Monday in Kissimmee. The game could also mark the spring debut of veteran slugger Carlos Lee, who sat out the first two games with a mild right hamstring strain.

INJURY UPDATE: Carlos Lee (mild right hamstring strain) is expected to be in the lineup Monday. … Catcher Humberto Quintero (right leg) is day-to-day. … Third baseman Jimmy Paredes (left wrist) and infielder Angel Sanchez (back) are taking batting practice against the coaching staff, but not ready to play.

Sorry, no pictures today. The Astros hit in the cages in Viera on a rainy Sunday morning, leaving me no opportunities to snap a few photos. Check back tomorrow.

OF Martinez among those in camp early Thursday

Among the position players who reported to camp early Thursday were infielders Scott Moore, Joe Thurston and Diory Hernandez and outfielder Fernando Martinez, a former top prospect with the Mets.

Widely considered one of baseball’s top prospects from 2006-10, Martinez was billed as a power-hitting outfielder expected to be a cornerstone of the Mets’ lineup throughout this decade. But multiple injuries and an arthritic right knee have prevented Martinez from appearing in more than 82 games in any of the past three seasons.

“I’m really happy to be here, to be on a team and have  new competition,” Martinez said. “My whole career I played for the Mets, and right  now I have a new home and I feel very grateful to be here.”

Martinez, 23, spent the majority of the 2011 season at Triple-A Buffalo, but did have a brief stint with the Mets. In 63 games with Buffalo, he hit .260 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs. He hit .227 in 11 games for the Mets with a home run, which came May 13 at Minute Maid Park off Astros pitcher Bud Norris.

“I have to work hard, and if I play very good here they could give me the opportunity to play in the Majors this year,” Martinez said.

Martinez has one option remaining, so if he doesn’t make the Major League roster he could begin the season at Triple-A Oklahoma.

Also, manager Brad Mills gave no hints about who his closer might be, but he said a decision could be made within the week. More details on that later. For now, enjoy some pictures from the morning:

Lance Pendleton leads a group of players onto the field.

Astros catchers stretch on the field.

Astros pitcher Wesley Wright awaits morning stretch.

Strength and conditioning coach Gene Coleman gets ready to lead the pitchers in stretch.

Astros get Martinez from Mets

The Astros have won a waiver claim on former Mets top prospect Fernando Martinez, a source confirmed for MLB.com.

Widely considered one of the Mets’ top prospects from 2006-10, Martinez was billed as a power-hitting outfielder expected to be a cornerstone of the Mets’ lineup throughout this decade. But multiple injuries and an arthritic right knee have prevented Martinez from appearing in more than 82 games in any of the past three seasons.

The Astros would have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster to make room for Martinez.

Forty-seven of those appearances have come with the Major League club, though almost exclusively as a reserve. Martinez hit .183 with two home runs during those stints. He hit .260 with eight home runs in 63 games for Triple-A Buffalo last season.

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