The Houston Astros minor league affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies, got a chance to square off against the Angels’ ace from a season ago on Tuesday night–and they impressed. Salt Lake sent Garrett Richards to the mound in a rehab start against the Grizzlies, and the recovering Richards went five plus innings and allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out five.
Designated hitter Preston Tucker, the offensive star of the evening for the Grizzlies, belted two homers, one a two-run, two out shot off Richards in the fifth, and finished the evening 2-for-5 with two jacks, four rbi and three runs. Since he is a member of the Houston Astros’ farm system he also threw in a strikeout for good measure. This season with the Grizzlies, Tucker is batting .375 (9-for-24) with 3 home runs and seven rbi to go along with a .423 on-base percentage.
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As we mentioned yesterday, the Astros were looking for reliever Josh Fields to work consecutive days before he is brought up to Houston, and Tuesday night he worked a scoreless ninth, recording one strikeout. Having pitched in back-to-back games, we can expect a Fields-related move in the coming days, likely on Thursday.
Outfield prospect Andrew Aplin saw his first game action of the season on Tuesday night, going 2-for-2 with a double, two rbi, two walks and a stolen base. That’s a lot of two’s.
Here is a quick look at how the offensive players are performing in the early going. We’ll get the pitcher’s stats up soon, we just wanted them to have a couple of starts under their belts first.
The positions listed are those that are on the Grizzlies’ website, although many of the players on the roster will be seen at multiple positions throughout the season. Someone has to play center field, right?
You can tell by the at-bat totals who the Houston Astros are trying to get a good read on. Jon Singleton for instance, they would like to have back at Minute Maid Park as soon as possible, so they are having him play consistently. Preston Tucker is also receiving a good amount of playing time, which is something to keep an eye on, along with his exploits at the dish, since that could set up a mid-season trade of one of the Astros surplus outfielders. With Colby Rasmus under contract for just one season, Jeff Luhnow could be looking to deal him at the deadline. That said, Rasmus is a Luhnow guy, and this is just speculation.
Towards the bottom of the list you’ll see that Domingo Santana is struggling. To make matters worse, he has accumulated nine strikeouts in his 17 at-bats, which was his big issue in his brief time with the Astros, striking out in 14 of his 17 big-league ABs in 2014.
Following Tuesday night’s win over Salt Lake (1-5), the Grizzlies improved their record on the season to 4-2. Elsewhere on the Houston Astros farm, this happened:
*Video from Corpus Christi website–they have lots of great highlights! Check them out!
While the big-league team is struggling to realize their potential at the moment, the prospects that have provided so much hope over the years are nearly ready for their audition, and we’ll be keeping you updated throughout the season!