Results tagged ‘ Jose Veras ’
The Astros have acquired outfielder Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jose Veras.
Vasquez, 19, has spent the 2013 season at Class A West Michigan where he has hit .281 (105-for-374) with 16 doubles, five triples, five homers and 39 RBIs in 96 games. He is currently ranked by MLB.com as the Tigers’ No. 4 prospect and will report to Class A Quad Cities.
“There was some significant interest in Veras,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “Obviously, he’s been successful in the bullpen and we’re going to miss him. Really, I felt like this was an opportunity to improve our organization as a whole for a player who can help a playoff-contending team.
“I really like the player we got back. I’ve been following him since he was an international free agent, and he’s at the A ball level and you plug him into Quad Cities with [Rio] Ruiz, [Carlos] Correa and the pitchers there, it’s a pretty formidable group there and pretty exciting. He’s young and has a tremendous upside. He has the potential to be hit in the middle of the lineup.”
Veras signed with the Astros during the off-season and went 0-4 with a 2.93 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 2013. He recorded 19 saves in 22 opportunities, including 11 in a row. The trade leaves the Astros with a huge void at closer in a bullpen that was already struggling to protect leads.
“There’s an opportunity in our bullpen for guys to step and take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself,” Luhnow said. “We’ll see. You can never tell how someone is going to react in the ninth inning until they’re in that situation. There are guys who have the ability to do it. They’ll have an opportunity for sure.”
With the trade deadline coming Wednesday, the Astros could still deal starting pitcher Bud Norris, but nothing is imminent.
“There’s nothing close at this point, but we still have two and a half days to go and still a lot of activity could happen, even though nothing’s close,” Luhnow said.
Fresh off his country’s victory in the World Baseball Classic, Astros relief pitcher Jose Veras returned to camp on Thursday and was beaming with pride Friday morning while talking about the Dominican Republic’s performance. The Dominicans closed out their undefeated run to the Classic title in convincing fashion with a 3-0 defeat of Puerto Rico on Tuesday night in San Francisco.
“It was something that can’t explain,” Veras said. “It was unbelievable to be there and the feeling you have, the pressure you have in each game is impressive. The first two games I was there I couldn’t imagine it was going to have that intensity, it’s going to be that tough, and then after that you’re starting to find out the spirit of the game and the way we play, it was like World Series games.”
Veras pitched in two games for the Dominican, throwing 1 2/3 innings, but the chance to contribute for the win and share it with his fellow countrymen was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“We always prayed to God to have the victory and prayed to God to do our job, to do our best because some people don’t think we can make it, some people didn’t think we could do it because guys were thinking we were missing All-Star players, but it’s not about names,” Veras said. “It’s was about one goal and that’s why we won every game and played with our heart every day, and that was the way we made it.”
Veras will now turn his attention to the Astros. He hasn’t pitched in a Grapefruit League game since March 1, and he’s the clear favorite to begin the season as the team’s closer.
“I’m probably going to pitch three or four or five more times before we leave,” Veras said. “We’re going to be OK knowing I have to focus on my job here and to prepare for a long season. The WBC is over and thank God we win, and now I have to focus forward.”
Here is the Astros’ starting lineup:
2B Jose Altuve
LF Brandon Barnes
DH Chris Carter
CF Justin Maxwell
1B Brandon Laird
C Jason Castro
RF J.D. Martinez
3B Matt Dominguez
SS Tyler Greene
RHP Bud Norris
Astros closer Jose Veras was beaming with pride Friday morning at the thought of being able to represent his native Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic. Veras was on the Dominican roster that was released Thursday.
“You can’t explain the feeling any player can have to represent their flag,” he said. “I think it’s going to be wonderful.”
Veras said he made the decision to play earlier this week after getting approval from general manager Jeff Luhnow. It’s special to Veras, considering he wasn’t allowed to play in the 2009 Classic.
“I was supposed to play in the last one, but the Yankees didn’t let me for a couple of circumstances,” Veras said
Veras, 32, went 5-4 with a 3.63 earned run average last season in 72 games and 67 innings for Milwaukee before signing a one-year deal with Houston. He knows this will be his final opportunity to play in the tournament.
“It’s probably going to be my last chance,” he said. “My next one I’ll be 36, 37 and I don’t know if they’ll give me an opportunity, so this is my chance to do it.”
Astros right-hander Rhiner Cruz (Spain), left-hander Xavier Cedeno (Puerto Rico) and outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin (Chinese Taipei) also appeared on final rosters, as expected. Lin left camp Wednesday to train with his team. Minor League pitcher Murilo Gouvea is on Brazil’s final roster.