Results tagged ‘ Humberto Quintero ’

Astros send Quintero, Bourgeois to Royals

The Astros have traded catcher Humberto Quintero and center fielder Jason Bourgeois to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Minor League lefthander Kevin Chapman and a player to be named later.

Both players hugged teammates and said their goodbyes as they left the facility following Tuesday’s game. Bourgeois was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Cardinals but was scratched just before first pitch. Quintero was supposed to play in the second half of the game, but he wound up not playing.

“It was a great opportunity to get my first full season in and now somebody wants me,” Bourgeois said. “I’ll always have place in my heart for Houston. I grew up there, so I think that says a lot.”

The 24-year-old Chapman, who was selected by KC in the fourth round of the 2010 June Draft out of the University of Florida, was one of the top strikeout pitchers in the Texas League while at Northwest Arkansas in 2011. In 25 relief appearances, he tallied 50 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings pitched while totaling three saves.

Chapman began the 2011 season at Class A Wilmington where he struck out 40 batters in just 22 1/3 innings in 15 appearances with seven saves. His combined stats for 2011 were a 1-4 mark with a 4.94 ERA in 40 appearances with 10 saves and 90 strikeouts in 62 innings.

“Jason and Humberto were a big part of this team last year and both will be missed,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. “They are quality players and well-liked in Houston.  This deal gives us an opportunity to add prospect depth and we are excited about both players coming our way.”

 Bourgeois, a 30-year-old Houston native, appeared in 93 games last year for the Astros, hitting .294 with 16 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. He was considered one of the favorites for the backup outfielder role, but the Astros added depth in that department in the offseason by bringing in Travis Buck, Jack Cust and Fernando Martinez, among others.

“It’s bittersweet,” Bourgeois said. “You always want to have a uniform on. I’m going to another organization and I’m glad somebody wants me.”

Bourgeois is a career .262 hitter with 46 stolen bases in 192 career Major League games with the White Sox and Astros, who claimed him off waivers in 2009.

Quintero, 32, is a hard-nosed backup catcher who has been with the club since 2005, the second-longest tenure on the team outside of Wandy Rodriguez. The strong-armed Quintero has spent parts of nine seasons in the big leagues and last year started 73 games at catcher when Jason Castro was lost for the season.

“I got my house and everything in Houston and I’m going to miss everybody here,” Quintero said. “Baseball is baseball and I’m going to go someplace else I get more opportunity to play.”

With Castro missing all of last year following knee surgery and undergoing foot surgery in December, the Astros signed Chris Snyder off the free agent market to add some depth at catcher. Castro is completely healthy

Quintero was bothered by a bulging disk in his back early in the spring, but the Royals had been scouting him for days as they search for a replacement for the injured Sal Perez. Quintero is a career .234 hitter with 15 homers and 94 RBIs in 379 career games.

Morning Astros update

As the Astros hit the field at rainy Osceola County Stadium, here’s a Sunday morning update from manager Brad Mills:

– Catcher Humberto Quintero (bulging disk) will catch in the bullpen Sunday for the second day in a row. Quintero caught Livan Hernandez‘s side session Saturday and felt some stiffness in his back, though it got better the longer he was out there. He will catch Sergio Escalona on Sunday and swing off a tee Monday.

– Catcher Chris Snyder is in the lineup catching consecutive games for the first time. Jason Castro will be behind the plate on Monday. Mills said the way the catching rotation was set up, Snyder was making most of the road trips and facing all the right-handed pitchers and Castro was staying in Kissimmee and facing all the left-handed pitchers. “That’s not quite how we wanted to work things out and we had to mix it up,” Mills said. “I don’t have any problem with Castro facing lefties, but we want to mix it up.”

– Left-hander Sergio Escalona (elbow) will throw his first bullpen session Sunday since being shut down for a few days with elbow problems. Escalona was very effective out of the bullpen last season for the Astros, so they would like the back issue to get resolved and get a good look at him.

– Non-roster outfielder Justin Ruggiano was back in the lineup Sunday in right after missing some time with a strained oblique. It’s the same injury that’s sidelined outfielder Travis Buck, but he’s available to play Sunday.

– Infielder Angel Sanchez (back) is scheduled to see his first action of the spring Sunday and will be in the starting lineup at second base when the Astros face the Yankees on Monday night.

– Right-hander Kyle Weiland will make his first start of the spring Monday against the Yankees in Tampa. That’s the rotation spot of Bud Norris, who will instead throw four innings/60 pitches in a simulated game. The Astros know what Norris can do, but getting a chance to see Weiland face the Yankees will be a good test for him.

Astros lineup vs. Tigers:

CF Jason Bourgeois

SS Jed Lowrie

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

C Chris Snyder

DH Chris Johnson

3B Jimmy Paredes

RF Justin Ruggiano

2B Jose Altuve

LHP Wandy Rodriguez

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

—-

RHP Jordan Lyles, followed by Zach Duke

Lee, Quintero both sidelined to start Grapefruit League play

First baseman Carlos Lee, who was originally in the lineup for Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Nationals, said the mild right hamstring strain that caused him to be scratched isn’t serious and that he’s aiming to be in the lineup Monday against the Braves

“It’s something that happened in the offseason when I was running and I never felt it pull or nothing,” he said. “I was running one afternoon and the next day I woke up and it was kind of sore. I was treating it in Panama, too, and I feel a lot better. I ran yesterday and have been doing some exercises, and it’s feeling pretty good. I didn’t want to push it today. I’ll run some more today and tomorrow and I’m shooting for Monday.”

Astros manager Brad Mills isn’t too worried

“We knew it was like that when he came into camp and we’ve tried to hold off as much as we could as far as testing him, to see if he could play,” he said. “Yesterday, the day before we started playing, we ran him through some pretty good tests and after running through those tests we felt it would be best to give him two more days off. We’ll see how it is after tomorrow and see where he’s at for Monday.”

Meanwhile, catcher Humberto Quintero’s back is acting up again and will keep him out of game action for a couple of days. Quintero was scheduled play Saturday after starter Jason Castro left the game, but Carlos Corporan will get that time instead.

“We’ll probably hold him out of today and tomorrow as well and hopefully we’re able to get him behind the plate on Monday and Tuesday,” Mills said. “We were hoping to get him into the game today after Castro. We’ll hold off on that.”

Mills said third baseman Jimmy Paredes (left wrist) has been cleared to start swinging a bat from the right side of the plate. Infielder Angel Sanchez keeps progressing from his back injury and might begin swinging off a tee on Saturday.

Here is Saturday’s lineup against the Nats:

LF J.B. Shuck

2B Jose Altuve

RF Travis Buck

DH Jack Cust

3B Chris Johnson

SS Jed Lowrie

1B Brett Wallace

CF Jason Bourgeois

C Jason Castro

SP Livan Hernandez

Corporan to provide relief for Towles

The Astros made a move they hope will bolster their catching position following Thursday’s loss to the Cardinals, purchasing the contract of switch-hitter Carlos Corporan from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioning catcher Robinson Cancel to Oklahoma City.

Corporan, who recently returned to action after missing a month with a broken finger on his right hand, will join the club Friday. The injury limited him to 22 games this year for the RedHawks, and he was hitting .250 with three homers and 12 RBIs.

“He will catch some, but we’ll kind of see,” Astros manager Brad Mills said. “[J.R.] Towles has been getting beat up the last few days with foul tips and so forth, and we’ll have to give him a couple of days at some point.”

Towles has been catching four out of five games since starter Humberto Quintero went on the disabled list May 28 with a high ankle sprain. Quintero isn’t expected to return to action for at least another week.

Corporan, who had a hit in his only Major League at-bat in 2009 with Milwaukee, was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training this year for the Astros and hit .353 with four homers and 13 RBIs.

 

 

 

Plenty of positives in Astros loss

One of the first things Astros manager Brad Mills spoke about following Friday’s gut-wrenching, 5-4 loss to the Phillies on Opening Day was how well his team played. Sure, the Astros coughed up three runs in the ninth and lost a game they should have won, but for 8 1/2 innings they played pretty much flawless baseball.

Mills is a stickler for doing things the right way on the field, being prepared and making the plays you’re supposed to make. For the most part the Astros did that, and that’s a good sign going forward.

For all those who were disturbed by what the Astros in Spring Training or the high ERA that Brett Myers had in Grapefruit League play, Friday should go a long way into reminding you how meaningless Spring Training results are. The Astros played as well for 8 1/2 innings Friday as they had at any point during the spring, and that tends to happen when your starters stay on the field for most of the game.

“It was a great game,” right fielder Hunter Pence said. “We came out and got in the fight and competed. They found some holes at the end and we weren’t able to get the final outs, but we’ve got three games here. We’ve got two more to go and we’re going to keep going up there battling and going hard. I’m pretty happy with what we did today.”

Here’s what stood out to me today:

  • Brett Myers was downright terrific. I enjoy watching him pitch and compete. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he’s not the same pitcher he was while he was in Philadelphia, when he was throwing in the mid-90s. He’s a true pitcher now, and has good command. He kept the ball down and never let the Phillies get in a rhythm at the plate.
  • If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ll know I’m not a huge fan of the game of Angel Sanchez. I’ve said repeatedly that he’s slow and he’s not a good defensive player, but I have to admit the guy is growing on me. Those shortcomings are still true, but he makes the routine plays for the most part and he can hit. He’s not going to hit for much power, but he went 2-for-4 with two singles in the No. 2 hole on Friday. He’s a good guy to have on the team. It just took me a while to realize it.
  • Humberto Quintero had a very nice spring at the plate, and he went 1-for-4 in his regular-season debut Friday. The most impressive thing about his game was throwing out Shane Victorino while he was trying to steal second base, and Quintero did it while he was still in his crouch. As the Phillies found out last year, his arm is a huge weapon. The Astros may be alright with him starting three days a week.
  • Brett Wallace had a quiet game, going 1-for-4, but he went the other way for a single against a left-handed pitcher, which is an extremely encouraging sign. He looks like he’s picked up where he left off in Kissimmee. I don’t know if he’ll ever hit for much power — he just hasn’t shown that much at all — but the kid can swing the bat.
  • The Astros didn’t strike out any batters on Friday. Unusual to say the least.

Game 29: Pence, Quintero lead 16-hit attack

With the wind blowing out at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla., Wednesday’s game between the Astros and Pirates figured to be high scoring. It didn’t disappoint, either, with the Astros awaking from their offensive slumber to outslug the Pirates, winning 10-6.

Before we get to the recap, click here to read about which players are out of options for the Astros and how that might affect roster decisions. Click here to read about which two catchers appear to be the most likely to be on the Opening Day roster.

There were plenty of good things to happen for the Astros, so let’s get to the recap:

What went right: After behind held to six hits in their previous two games, the Astros bashed 16 hits against the Pirates. Hunter Pence led the way by going 3-for-3 with his first spring homer, raising his average to .385.

Pence doubled in the first and hit a long homer to left field in the third.

“Whenever the season starts, it would feel better if you do that,” Pence said.

Brian Bogusevic, battling for an outfield spot, came off the bench and went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, and Jason Michaels was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to raise his spring average to .413. Then there was Humberto Quintero, who not only picked off a pair of runners but was 3-for-3. He’s now hitting .452.

Brett Wallace drove in three runs, pushing his spring total to a team-leading 17 RBIs. He had sacrifice flies in the first and fifth innings and an RBI single in the ninth. Angel Sanchez went 1-for-3 in his return from a back injury and reported no problems, and Brian Esposito and Matt Downs each had a hit in their only at-bats.

The Astros also did a nice job in situations, going 4-for-5 in getting runners home from third base with less than two outs and 3-for-3 in moving runners over from second base. Starting pitcher J.A. Happ even but down a pair of sacrifice bunts.

Happ threw 100 pitches in six innings of work. The results weren’t great – nine hits, five earned runs and two walks allowed – but the pitching conditions weren’t the best. All in all, it was a good sign to see him throw so many pitches.

Enerio Del Rosario threw another scoreless inning, running his spring scoreless streak to 11 1/3 innings. Gustavo Chacin worked a scoreless ninth, and Wesley Wright didn’t allow a run in two-thirds of an inning, though he gave up one hit and one walk.

What went wrong: Not much, outside of the runs allowed by Happ. Chris Johnson had a tough day, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a fielding error. Still, he’s hitting .283 this spring. Jose Valdez gave up two hits and one run in one-third of an inning.

What they said: “I think I made adjustments after the first two innings. I was disappointed after that second inning. I kind of had a bad series of executions in a couple of hitters, situational-type things with the pitcher at the plate, guys on second and third. After that I think I kept ball down better than I did in the first two innings in the last four and tried to build off that.” – Astros starter J.A. Happ on his outing Wednesday.

What’s next: Right-hander Bud Norris, coming off his best start of the spring, makes his final Grapefruit League start of the spring when the Astros return to Osceola County Stadium to meet the Tampa Bay Rays at 12:05 p.m. CT on Thursday. Norris, who’s the No. 4 starter in the Astros’ rotation, threw five scoreless innings against the Cardinals on Saturday. Brandon Lyon, Mark Melancon, Fernando Abad and Ross Wolf are also scheduled to pitch for the Astros.

Injury update: Right fielder Hunter Pence needed four stitches to close a gash on his right shin Wednesday, an injury that occurred while he was sliding into home plate in the fifth inning. He said he would be fine to play Thursday. … Infielder Angel Sanchez (back) returned to the lineup and went 1-for-3 and said his back feels great.

And, no, I don’t have any photos for the second day in a row. I left my camera in the press box when I went to the field, but rest assured I’m coming back strong tomorrow in Kissimmee. See you then.

Options a factor a decision time

As the Astros debate their remaining roster decisions in the next few days, one of the factors that will come into play is which players are out of options. Players who are out of options and don’t make the 25-man roster must clear waivers before being sent to the Minor Leagues, so the Astros would risk losing them.

The Astros have seven players who are out of options for 2011 – right-handers Nelson Figueroa and Alberto Arias, infielders Clint Barmes, Angel Sanchez and Jeff Keppinger, catcher Humberto Quintero and left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith. Of those, only Sanchez and Rowland-Smith are battling for roster spots at this point.

“It’s certainly something we talk about,” general manager Ed Wade said. “We try to weigh all factors, including out-of-options status. Whether it’s one of the out-of-options guys or the Rule 5 players, we try to factor in everything before we make a decision.”

Sanchez, who returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing a few days with an upper back strain, is among five players competing for two backup spots on the infield. Rowland-Smith is in the hunt for a slot in the bullpen. Keppinger will start the year on the disabled list, and Arias is likely to be disabled, as well. Barmes, Figueroa and Quintero are locks to make the club.

Pitchers Lance Pendleton and Aneury Rodriguez were both taken in the Rule 5 Draft, which means they must remain on the 25-man roster all season or be offered back to their former clubs. That’s assuming, the Astros can’t work out a trade to keep them. Pendleton came from the Yankees, and Rodriguez from the Rays.

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