Results tagged ‘ Lance Pendleton ’

Pendleton “super excited” to return to Astros

Lance Pendleton, who spent nearly the entire spring in Astros camp after he was taken in the Rule 5 Draft, was claimed on waivers Friday by his hometown club and will report to the Astros on Saturday – his 28th birthday – in time for the game against the Nationals in Washington.

“I’m super excited to get picked up and it makes it even better that it’s with the Astros,” Pendleton told MLB.com.

Pendleton, a right-hander, was in Houston on Friday when Astros general manager Ed Wade called and informed him he had been claimed. He gave him the option of flying to Washington to meet the team or just catching up the Astros when they return home Monday.

“Ed Wade called and said, ‘Hey, looks like we’re doing this all over again,’” Pendleton said. “I said, ‘Sounds good to me.’ He told me I could take my full three days and meet them on Monday or meet us there, and I said, ‘No, I’m ready to go.’”

Wade was pleased no one claimed Pendleton before the Astros.

“We liked him enough to take him in the Rule 5 Draft in December and we would have liked to have retained him in Spring Training,” he said. “We couldn’t get a deal workout with the Yankees to retain him. He’ll go into the mix and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Pendleton was offered back to the Yankees at the end of the spring and appeared in 11 Major League games, posting a 3.21 ERA for the Bombers. He spent most of the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (3-4, 3.11 ERA in 18 games, including 10 starts) and was designed for assignment on Tuesday.

“I’ve been up and down four times now with the Yankees, and when I was up it was sporadic on the mound,” Pendleton said. “I threw well when I got out there and felt pretty good. Going a week and a half or so between innings, it’s hard to stay sharp. When I went back down in Scranton, I threw pretty well.

“I would say it’s been a successful season for me and how I’ve been feeling. There are still things to work on and continue to get used to the bullpen. With the Astros, I’ll probably be in the bullpen. I don’t know what their long-term plan for me is. They might only have a three-week timeframe, but whatever they’re willing to give, I’ll try to take advantage of it.”

Game 11: Crisp win over Mets

The Astros split a pair of games Tuesday afternoon, beating the New York Mets, 5-4, in Kissimmee, and losing, 3-2 , to the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers.

The race for the fifth starter’s spot was front and center Tuesday afternoon, with three of the five candidates for the job – Nelson Figueroa, Aneury Rodriguez and Lance Pendleton – all in action in two different games.

Figueroa started the split-squad game against the Mets, his former team, and gave up three hits and one run in one inning. He allowed the Mets to load the bases with one out in the first inning, but allowed just one run on a sacrifice fly.

Rodriguez started the Astros’ other split-squad game against the Red Sox in Fort Myers and gave up four hits and one walk in three scoreless innings. He was followed on the mound by Pendleton, who allowed two hits, two walks, one run and hit one batter in two innings.

Here’s the breakdown of the win over the Mets:

What went right: Plenty, beginning on the mound, where Figueroa, Mark Melancon, Wilton Lopez, Casey Fien and Sergio Escalona all pitched well.

The Astros banged out nine hits, including doubles by Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence, Clint Barmes and Oswaldo Navarro and a home run by J.R. Towles. It was Towles’ first home run of the spring.

“I just want to see the ball and put a good swing on it and I can’t do anything other than that,” said Towles, who went 1-for-3 to raise his average to .273. “That’s all I’m really looking to do.”

Barmes, having scrapped the leg kick he worked on all winter, went 2-for-3 to raise his average to .167, and Pence went 2-for-2 with a double and is hitting .524 this spring.

What went wrong: The only pitcher to get roughed up was Cesar Carrillo, who allowed two hits and two runs in one inning. Matt Downs and Brett Wallace, both of whom have had good springs, each went 0-for-3. The Astros were 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

What they said: “When I first got to spring I was looking at some video and some pictures [of the 2007 and 2008 seasons], and my hands were lower than they had been [recently], so I just got my hands a little lower and am sitting back on that back leg a little bit and not going out to get it. I’m feeling good and seeing the ball well. I’ts working for me, so I don’t need to change anything right now.” – Astros catcher J.R. Towles.

What’s next: The Astros meet the Mets for the second day in a row, traveling to Port St. Lucie for Wednesday’s 12:10 p.m. CT game. Ryan Rowland-Smith, one of five men competing for the fifth starter’s job, will make his second start and his third outing of the spring. He allowed three runs in his first spring start Friday against the Cardinals. Jordan Lyles, also battling for the final spot in the rotation, will follow Rowland-Smith.

Injury update: Jason Michaels, who was originally in the lineup in the outfield against the Red Sox, was scratched because of back spasms. … Bud Norris, who strained his hamstring on Monday, said Tuesday he felt fine.

Now to the photos:

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Above: Catcher J.R. Towles cover the plate during some drills early Tuesday.

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Above: That’s Telvin Nash, a burly outfielder brought over from Minor League camp to play in Tuesday’s game, taking a swing during batting practice.

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Above: Carlos Lee practices tagging up from third base.

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Above: Ryan Rowland-Smith practices fielding a ground ball during drills. Bud Norris awaits the throw at third base.

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Above: Hall of Fame announcer Milo Hamilton convinces Hall of Fame guy Clint Barmes to be his guest on Astroline on Wednesday night. He said yes.

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Above: That’s former Astros pitcher Tim Byrdak, now trying to win a job with the Mets.

Astros stockpile young talent

The Astros’ success from 1997-2005 was a product of some terrific front-office moves. They drafted well, made some key free-agent signings and weren’t afraid to trade away some of their top prospects to get players in return. When the big contracts become burdensome and the youth pipeline began to dry up, the Astros were forced to shift course.

What made matters worse was the disastrous draft of 2007, which led to a shake up in the front office. Ed Wade took over as general manager and was asked to rebuild a farm system considered one of the worst in baseball, and one of the first thing he’s he did was hire Bobby Heck as scouting director.

The 2008 draft produced catcher Jason Castro and pitcher Jordan Lyles, and the Astros are still waiting to see what the 2009 and 2010 drafts produce, though several of their top prospects came from those drafts, including 2009 first-round pick Jiovanni Mier.

But what Wade and his staff have managed to do is add even more young players to the system in the past few months with a series of trades, as well as the Rule 5 draft. Here’s a look at the moves the teams has made since July 1 that have netted 11 young players in return:

  • July 1, 2010 – Acquired infielder Angel Sanchez from Boston in exchange for Kevin Cash.
    Comment: Sanchez did a nice job at the plate while starting at shortstop for much of the second half of the season while Tommy Manzella was on the disabled list. Sanchez has no power and is limited defensively, but he has skills.
  • July 29, 2010 – Acquired pitcher J.A. Happ, infielder Jonathan Villar and outfielder Anthony Gose from Phillies in exchange for Roy Oswalt.
    Comment: Oswalt didn’t want to be in Houston anymore, and the Astros were thrilled to get the switch-hitting Villar, who immediately became one of the team’s top prospects.
  • July 29, 2010 – Acquired first baseman Brett Wallace from Blue Jays in exchange for Gose.
    Comment: With Lance Berkman on his way out, the Astros spun Gose to the Blue Jays for Wallace, who became the starting first baseman at the Major League level.
  • July 31, 2010 – Acquired pitcher Mark Melancon and infielder Jimmy Paredes from the Yankees in exchange for Lance Berkman.
    Comment: The Astros weren’t going to pick up Berkman’s hefty option for 2011, so he agreed to a trade to the Yankees. Melancon is a key part to the bullpen, and Paredes is a speedy third baseman who was put on the 40-man roster.
  • Aug. 19, 2010 – Acquired pitcher David Carpenter from the Cardinals in exchange for Pedro Feliz.
    Comment: With rookie Chris Johnson tearing it up at the plate, Feliz was done in Houston. Still, the Astros managed to get something for him in a trade. Carpenter was added to the 40-man roster and could be in the mix this year in the bullpen.
  • Dec. 9, 2010 – Selected right-handers Aneury Rodriguez and Lance Pendleton in the Rule 5 Draft.
    Comment: Both Rodriguez and Pendleton will compete for a spot in the rotation this spring, but they must remain on the active roster or be offered back to their former clubs (Rodriguez came from the Rays and Pendleton the Yankees).
  • Dec. 23, 2010 – Acquired left-hander Wes Musick and right-hander Jonnathan Aristil from the Rockies in exchange for Matt Lindstrom.
    Comment: Lindstrom was due for a big raise in arbitration, and the Astros were worried about his health and inconsistency last year. They got a pair of young arms in return who have some potential.

Jordan Lyles heading to Spring Training

Not that it should come as any surprise, but right-handed pitcher Jordan Lyles, the Astros top prospect, will be at Spring Training when pitchers and catchers report in a little more than five weeks, general manager Ed Wade said.

“At this point, I’m pretty much certain he will be there,” Wade said. “We’re going to sit down here [soon] and contact players. There’s a number of guys – including some six-year Minor League free agents we’re committed to contractually to giving an Major League invitation – we’ll be reaching out to. It’s safe to assume Jordan will be one of them.”

Lyles, 20, went a combined 7-12 with a 3.57 ERA in 27 games (26 starts) combined between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Round Rock. He spent most of the season at Corpus Christi, going 7-9 with a 3.12 ERA in 21 games.

Lyles will compete for the fifth spot in the Astros’ rotation with Nelson Figueroa, Ryan- Rowland-Smith and Rule 5 picks Aneury Rodriguez and Lance Pendleton and will be one of the most interesting players to watch during the spring.

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