Results tagged ‘ Travis Buck ’

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.

Buck optimistic about hamstring injury

Travis Buck’s string of consecutive starts likely came to an end at three Wednesday after he left a game against the Nationals in the fourth inning with a mild left hamstring strain. He’s listed as day to day.

Buck, starting in left field in place of J.D. Martinez, injured the hamstring while hitting an RBI grounder to first base in the fourth inning. He went to the outfield to play defense between innings, but came back to the dugout when he decided he couldn’t go.

“It’s pretty cold tonight and I felt loose during the whole game,” he said. “It just happened right when I swung before I even got out of the box. I just felt it tighten and put an awkward swing and just tried to run it out. Fortunately enough we scored a run out of it.”

Buck said the hamstring is the same one that’s given him problems throughout his career. He said he strained it pretty seriously last year and only missed six days, and that this strain isn’t anywhere as bad as the one he had last season.

“It’s just the nature of the game,” he said. “I want to go out there and continue to play but you’ve got to be smart enough. You don’t want to make it a DL issue or something bigger than it really is. I’m hoping to take it day by day but I should be back sooner rather than later.”

Game 15: Lee, Lowrie break loose

The Astros broke out the big bats, getting the first home runs of the spring from Carlos Lee and Jed Lowrie, to beat the Mets, 9-5, on Sunday and snap a three-game losing streak. Here is the boxscore.

Here is the breakdown:

What went right: The Astros pounced on Mets starter Mike Pelfrey and finished with 12 hits, including eight extra-base hits (six doubles, two home runs). The top of the batting order was especially productive, with Jordan Schafer walking twice and scoring two runs, Jed Lowrie going 2-for-3 with a homer and a double from the left side of the plate, Travis Buck going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs and Carlos Lee going 2-for-3 with a double, a home run and five RBIs.

Mills continues to like Lowrie in the No. 2 spot.

“The games he’s hit second, he’s really swung the bat well and that’s nice to see,” he said.

Elsewhere, Brett Wallace was 1-for-1 with an opposite-field double, Scott Moore was 1-for-4 with a double, Jimmy Paredes was 1-for-4 with a run scored and Humberto Quintero, who had been slowed by a bulging disk in his back, made his Grapefruit League debut and went 1-for-3 while catching for five innings.

The Astros turned a pair of double plays, and Paredes stole a base.

On the mound, three relief pitchers combined for four scoreless innings. Enerio Del Rosario allowed one hit in two clean innings, and Brandon Lyon and Fernando Abad enjoyed 1-2-3 frames.

What went wrong: Starting pitcher Livan Hernandez got knocked around a little bit, allowing five hits, four runs and three walks in three innings. He said he felt he was rushing to the plate a little bit and wasn’t too worried, considering he’s got a few more starts left in Florida.

“He just really wasn’t killing himself out there and he went back out for 11 more pitches [in the fourth] and then I went and got him,” manager Brad Mills said.

Fernando Martinez went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk against his former team, and Matt Downs went 0-for-4 and committed a fielding error while playing second base.

What they said: “I feel comfortable at the plate and I feel I’m in the right position to hit. I’m seeing the ball pretty good, and I’m happy where I am at right now.” — Astros first baseman Carlos Lee on driving in five runs Sunday, including a three-run home run.

What’s next: Right-hander Kyle Weiland, who has allowed no runs and three hits in eight innings this spring, makes the start for the Astros when they travel to Jupiter, Fla., to meet the Miami Marlins at 12:05 p.m. CT. Weiland threw four hitless innings Monday against the Yankees in Tampa and is in the thick of the race for the fifth starter’s spot.

Injury update: CF Jordan Schafer left Sunday’s game in the third inning after spraining his left hand while making a diving catch. He’s listed as day-to-day after X-rays were negative. … LHP Sergio Escalona (elbow inflammation) is available to pitch and could get into a game as early as Monday, but most likely Tuesday. … OF Jack Cust (right elbow tendinitis) played three innings in the outfield in a Minor League game Sunday and threw out a runner, while going 1-for-1 with two walks. Cust has yet to play in the outfield in Grapefruit League play because of the elbow.

Here are some photos:

Jed Lowrie takes a swing in the cage.

Humberto Quintero made his Grapefruit League debut Sunday, going 1-for-3 in five innings.

Carlos Lee waits at the cage, and then drives in five runs.

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

Mills sporting a black eye and a new watch

The Astros worked out on the stadium field at the Osceola County Stadium complex for the first time Friday morning in anticipation of Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Washington Nationals.

Before the players began to stretch, manager Brad Mills addressed the team and lauded non-roster outfielder Brandon Barnes for presenting him earlier in the morning with a Transformers watch. Mills’ watch was shattered and he suffered a black eye Wednesday when a ball came through the netting behind the cage and struck him.

“That’s pretty good for a young kid to do that,” Mills said. “I told the guys if we screw up on the time today, it’s Brandon’s fault, because of the Transformers watch.”

Here’s the latest on the Astros:

  • LHP Sergio Escalona, who injured his throwing elbow swinging a bat last week, will be shut down for a few days, Mills said. Escalona had an MRI on Thursday, which showed no structural damage.
  • Mills announced the next two starters in his rotation following Livan Hernandez (Saturday), J.A. Happ (Sunday) and Jordan Lyles (Monday).  Wandy Rodriguez will start Tuesday against the Mets, and Bud Norris will start Wednesday against the Phillies in Clearwater.
  • Among the relievers scheduled to pitch behind Hernandez on Saturday are Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon, who will be pitching in a game for the first time since May. Myers will throw one inning in his debut as Astros closer (he won’t pitch the ninth, however).
  • The batting order has yet to be announced, but Mills revealed his starters for Saturday’s game against the Nats: Chris Johnson (third base), Jed Lowrie (shortstop), Jose Altuve (second base), Carlos Lee (first base), J.B. Shuck (left field), Jason Bourgeois (center field), Travis Buck (right field), Castro (catcher) and Jack Cust (DH).
  • Third baseman Jimmy Paredes, who’s nursing a sore left wrist, took batting practice left-handed Thursday, but is still not cleared to swing right from the right side of the plate.
  • Castro, who missed all of last year following knee surgery and then had foot surgery in December, will catch only three innings Saturday. Mills said he’d like Castro to catch three more innings Monday and then perhaps four on Wednesday, depending on how he feels.

Players gather to stretch on the stadium field for the first time