Results tagged ‘ Rockies ’

Astros-Rockies preview

The Astros, coming off losing two of three games at the Dodgers, will try to get it going on the road today with a rare doubleheader in Denver against the Rockies. Here are the pitching match-ups:

Monday (Game 1): LHP Wandy Rodriguez (4-4, 2.14) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (2-2, 4.38)

Monday (Game 2): RHP Jordan Lyles vs. RHP Alex White (1-3, 5.32)

Wednesday: RHP Lucas Harrell (4-3, 3.72) vs. LHP Christian Friedrich (2-1, 5.09)

Thursday: RHP Bud Norris (5-1, 3.14+) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-3, 5.31)

  • The Rockies are 11-8 all-time on Memorial Day, the third-best winning percentage in baseball on that day.
  • Over the past two seasons, the Rockies and Astros have combined to score 12 runs per game.
  • The Astros are 9-0 this year when scoring four or more runs. No other team in baseball is undefeated when scoring four or more runs.
  • Rockies starters have averaged 5.4 innings pitched per start this year, which is the worst average in the NL. Only the Royals and Twins are getting less innings out of their starters.
  • To that end, the Rockies have posted a team ERA of 8.22 ERA in the fifth inning of games this year. That’s the worst in the Majors.
  • Jed Lowrie is hitting over .300 with zero or one out this season but hasn’t had the same production when it’s down to the last out of the inning. He’s hitting .309 with zero or one out and .171 with two outs.
  • Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is one of just four NL players currently leading his team in all three Triple Crown categories. The others are Adam LaRoche of Washington, Andrew McCutchen of Pittsburgh and David Wright of the Mets.
  • Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez has put up some impressive numbers in the early innings this season. He has posted a 1.50 ERA in the first three innings of his starts this year.

Astros try for series win vs. Rockies

With Bud Norris making his 2012 debut, the Astros will try to win the series against the Rockies in Sunday’s series finale at 1:05 p.m. at Minute Maid Park. If the Astros win and improve to 2-1, they will be over .500 for the first time since they were 51-50 on July 29, 2009. A win Sunday would give the Astros their first opening series win since taking two of three from the Marlins at Minute Maid Park in 2006. Hey, you have to start somewhere.

Astros starting pitchers haven’t allowed an earned run through two games this year (13 1/3 innings). Lucas Harrell, who threw seven scoreless innings Saturday, became the first Astros pitcher to pitch at least seven innings without allowing a run or a walk in his season debut since Bob Knepper — a fellow lefty — in 1986.

Here is the lineup, which is the same as Opening Day 1-8:

CF Jordan Schafer

2B Jose Altuve

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Chris Johnson

C Jason Castro

SS Marwin Gonzalez

P Bud Norris

A case of the opening night jitters?

Astros catcher Jason Castro understandably wanted to look at the bright side, saying it was pretty remarkable the Astros were in position to win Friday night’s season-opener in the ninth inning despite making a whopping four errors. He has a point, but it was surprising to see the Astros play so poorly on defense after playing so well on defense during Spring Training, where fields are not always in the best of condition.

Third baseman Chris Johnson made a fielding error in the second and pitcher Wandy Rodriguez was charged with an error in the third when he fielded a Dexter Fowler bunt and threw to first base — where Jose Altuve was a step late getting to the bag. That allowed three unearned runs to score. Altuve committed a fielding error in the fourth allowing pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to reach.

The fourth and most costly error came in the eighth when Castro — seeing pinch-runner Eric Young Jr. was caught between second and third — fired to second base to try to get the out, only to watch the ball skip off the glove of Marwin Gonzalez and into center field to allow Young to score the winning run.

“In that kind of situation, you pretty much have to make a decision right away,” Castro said. “He turned to go back to second and I had to make a throw. He took a hard step and turned around. I think with him being as fast as he is, he probably would have been safe regardless. It was one of those plays that was tough. In that situation, I had to make a decision pretty much in the blink of an eye. He’s that quick. I tried to get him at second and unfortunately we didn’t get him there.”

With Young scoring without a hit after stealing second base as a pinch-runner, it was a reminder how dangerous speed can be. The Astros had two similar players last year who could fly in Michael Bourn and Jason Bourgeois and both have been traded, so don’t expect the Astros to win games with speed.

They’ll have to win games with pitching and defense. The pitching was plenty good Friday with Rodriguez allowing no earned runs in 6 1/3 innings and Fernando Rodriguez throwing 1 2/3 innings with allowing an earned run, but when you pitch and don’t field, you’re doomed.

“We’ve got to avoid those mistakes, but it’s only one game,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to learn from it quick and fix it tomorrow and get back after it.”

Geivett in Houston to interview with Astros

Bill Geivett, the senior vice president of scouting and player development/assistant general manager of the Colorado Rockies, arrived in Houston on Friday morning to interview with the Astros for their vacant general manager position.

The Astros are trying to fill their GM spot that became open when Ed Wade was dismissed last week after four-plus years.

“I’m very excited to be here and it’s a great organization and a great city and everybody knows a great state,” Geivett said. “I’m very excited and we’ll see how it goes today.”

Geivett is the first known candidate to come to Houston to interview, though the team has reached out to Tampa Bay Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Texas Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine, who has since said he will stay with the Rangers.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Geivett said.

Geivett, 47, oversees both scouting and player development for the Rockies, while also assisting GM Dan O’Dowd with all baseball decisions and evaluations. He joined the Rockies in 2000 and just completed his 11th season with the club and 24th in professional baseball.

The club’s director of player personnel since 2000, Geivett added the role of farm director in 2003. He came to Colorado from the Dodgers where he had worked since September of 1998, most recently as assistant GM (2000).

Geivett is the former special assistant to the GM for the Devil Rays and headed Montreal’s farm system for three years. He broke into the majors with the Yankees as a scout and organizational instructor in 1991. He coached collegiately at Loyola Marymount (1989) and Long Beach State (1990).

Astros lineup Sunday vs. Rockies

Here is the Astros lineup for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Rockies at Minute Maid Park:

CF Jordan Schafer

2B Jose Altuve

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Chris Johnson

SS Clint Barmes

C J.R. Towles

P Lucas Harrell

Astros lineup for Thursday’s game against Rockies

Here is the Astros lineup for Thursday’s game against the Rockies:

CF Jordan Schafer

2B Jose Altuve

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Jimmy Paredes

SS Clint Barmes

C J.R. Towles

RHP Henry Sosa

Rodriguez likely to stay in Houston

Astros general manager Ed Wade said Wednesday afternoon he expects left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, who was claimed on waivers by the Rockies on Tuesday, will remain in Houston, which means any trade with Colorado is unlikely.

“I can’t make predictions,” Wade said. “I don’t predict what could happen, but my gut tells me at this point there’s no reason to believe that Wandy will be pitching anywhere than wherever we’re playing in five days, which is Houston.”

The Astros have until Thursday afternoon to work out a deal to send Rodriguez to the Rockies, allow the Rockies to take him in a $20,000 waiver claim or pull him back off waivers, which appears to be the direction the club is headed. Wade has a policy not to discuss waivers or trade talks.

Rodriguez started for the Astros on Wednesday afternoon against the Rockies at Coors Field, one day after telling reporters his agent informed he had been claimed by the Rockies. Wade has said he puts every player on waivers at some point, but Rodriguez drew strong interesting prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline and could have been traded to any team had he cleared waivers.

Rodriguez has pitched well this season – he’s 9-9 with a 3.31 ERA for a team that’s 44 games under .500 – but he’s owed a hefty owed $36 million after this season.

Rodriguez is due the remainder of his $7 million he’s owed in 2011, plus $10 million in 2012 and $13 million in 13. There’s a $13 million option for 2014 that becomes a player option of the player’s contract changes hands.

Wandy claimed, so now what?

We know that Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez was claimed off waivers by the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies aren’t a contender by any stretch, so their motives behind claiming Rodriguez are a little fuzzy. Maybe they wanted to block him from going to Arizona for the next three years, or maybe they actually have interest in adding him a month after trading away Ubaldo Jimenez.

Whatever the case, the Astros and Rockies have 48 hours — until noon CT Thursday — to resolve the situation. At this point, three things can happen:

1. The Astros and Rockies can work out a trade.

2. The Astros can simply give Rodriguez (and his contract) to the Rockies in exchange for a $20,000 waiver claim.

3. The Astros, either unable or unwilling to work out a trade, can pull Rodriguez off waivers, which would mean he’d remain with the Astros for the rest of the season.

The most likely scenario is the Astros wind up keeping Rodriguez. They had difficulty trading him prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline in part because of the $36 million he would be owed after this year if he switches teams. The Astros would likely be asked to take on some of that money.

Unless the Astros get blown away in a trade offer from the Rockies, they would probably just to hold onto him until the offseason and try to deal him again. Of course, they might be so eager to free up more payroll that they could simply give Rodriguez to the Rockies, making Colorado responsible for the rest of his contract. That’s a risk the Rockies took.

Interestingly, Rodriguez pitches against the Rockies on Wednesday afternoon in Denver, so they will get an up-close look at Rodriguez, who’s had a pretty good year (9-9, 3.31 ERA) on a team that’s 44 games under .500. We’ll know by Thursday afternoon if he’s going to remain with the Astros for the rest of the year or will be wearing a Rockies uniform.

Astros fill infield need, acquire Barmes

 The Astros made their first significant move of the offseason, acquiring infielder Clint Barmes from the Colorado Rockies on Thursday in exchange for right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino.

Barmes, 31, has appeared in 665 games in his five-plus seasons in the Major Leagues, splitting time mostly between shortstop and second base. He hit .235 in 133 games in 2010 with 21 doubles, eight home runs and 50 RBIs.

Barmes started 69 games at second base and 39 games at shortstop this past season. He started 32 of 33 games at shortstop while Troy Tulowitski was on the 15-day disabled List, hitting .284 in that span with three home runs and 12 RBIs.

Barmes’ most productive season came in 2009 when he hit 23 home runs with 32 doubles and 76 RBI in 154 games as the Rockies everyday second baseman. His home run total ranked third in the NL for second basemen.

One of the goals for Astros general manager Ed Wade this offseason was adding some offensive punch in the middle infield.

“We’re excited to add Clint to our club,” Wade said. “He’s a plus defensive player at two positions, has gap and some home run power and has great makeup. It’s tough to give up a power arm like Felipe’s, but Clint fits a need that we had to address.”

Barmes has a .254 career average in 665 games with 61 home runs and 285 RBIs. He’s appeared in 333 games at shortstop and 306 games at second base. Barmes was the Rockies’ Opening Day shortstop in both 2005 and 2006. In 2009, he became one of just three middle infielders in Rockies history to tally 50-or-more extra-base hits. His 126 RBIs since 2009 rank fourth among NL second basemen.

Paulino, 27, was 1-9 in 19 appearances (14 starts) for the Astros in 2010 with a 5.11 ERA. For his Major League career, all with Houston, he posted a 6-21 mark in 47 appearances with a 5.83 ERA. Paulino had been in the Astros organization since signing as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2001.