Houston Astros Farm Report: Grizzlies struggle as Worth, Rodgers shine
The Houston Astros’ Grizzlies have a few individual standouts despite sub-par team play
The Fresno Grizzlies finished the week with two wins and four losses. The club is 7-14 in May and 17-25 overall in 2016. After leading the Pacific Coast League in 2015 with a collective .357 on-base percentage, the Grizzlies hold the fourth lowest total in 2016 at .319. The Grizzlies are also only hitting .232 as a team – second-worst in the PCL. The pitching staff has collectively put up middle-of-the-pack numbers through the first month and a half of play – 4.36 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, but hold the second best strikeout total in the PCL (369).
Danny’s Worth it
While much of the team’s recent struggles can be attributed to the Houston Astros plucking two of the team’s top offensive weapons (Tony Kemp, Colin Moran), Danny Worth continues to rake for the Grizzlies. Worth has a hit in nine of the team’s last ten games as well as three home runs and seven RBIs.
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Worth’s line on the season (.341/.421/.581) merits high praise and would be worthy of a promotion for most teams. The 30-year-old veteran is currently blocked from a middle-infield spot with the Astros, but if the big-league club continues to struggle offensively, they may have to make room for Worth as a potential spark plug in the lineup.
Jon Singleton has hit four home runs in his last ten games to bring his season total to 10 (fourth most in the PCL). Despite the recent power surge, Singleton is still hitting only .211 with a .758 OPS and is 5-for-40 against left-handed pitching on the season.
A.J. Reed missed time recently with a hamstring injury but returned to the Grizzlies lineup on Sunday going 1-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout. Reed hasn’t taken off the way many Astros fans predicted and hoped he would, but a hot stretch could warrant a call to the show with the teams previously mentioned struggles at the plate.
Preston Tucker has struggled at the plate since his demotion. Through five games, Tucker has only two hits (singles) in 19 at-bats with eight strikeouts. Tucker’s struggles at the plate are salt in an open wound for Astros fans hoping for offensive progress from the club in 2016.
Brady Rodgers, a third-round pick of the Astros in 2012, has taken off in the month of May. The 6’2″ righty has a 2.03 ERA and 1.09 WHIP this month with 32 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings. On Saturday, Rodgers threw 6 2/3 innings, allowed only one run on six hits, no walks while striking out 11. Rodgers was also a participant in Talking Stros’ sponsor Program 15’s offseason training program.
The Grizzlies primary closer James Hoyt has continued his dominance over Triple-A hitters. Hoyt made four consecutive appearances without allowing a hit before allowing a hit on Thursday. Hoyt has struck out 17 over his last 11 innings and held a 0.89 WHIP and .167 AVG against him for the season.
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Joe Musgrove has impressed in his first two starts since a promotion from Double-A Corpus Christi. After allowing one run over five innings in his first start, Musgrove struck out seven in six innings while allowing two runs on Thursday in his first Triple-A win.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***