Brian McTaggart tells us that the recent roster moves by the Astros could be good news for former Greeneville Astro Fernando Abad.
Left-hander Fernando Abad, who had a 2.84 ERA in 22 appearances in his rookie season in 2010, is in the mix to assume the role of lefty specialist, though there are some in the organization that envision him as a possible starter.
Late yesterday afternoon, I saw the latest transactions by Baseball America. I saw the first batch of releases by the Astros this off season. Several former Greeneville Astros were on the list. I want to give a glimpse back at their contributions to Greeneville.
Justin Harper (17th round pick 2009) played on the 2009 & 2010 Greeneville teams. He came out of the bullpen in a combined 16 games between the two years. He showed some improvement in 2010 but not enough.
John "Jack" Frawley (NDFA 2009) started the 2010 season in Greeneville before being promoted to Tri Cities. Didn't put up bad numbers but was about to turn 25 later this month. I will always remember him as a part of the bullpen who had the guts to do the gator chomp while Rocky Top was being played during the 7th inning stretch at Pioneer Park. Since I am not a Univ. of Tenn. fan, I thought it was funny. Most fans didn't.
Daniel Sarisky (40th round pick 2009) spent most of 2009 in Greeneville. He spent 2010 in Lexington and missed a good part of the season with some injuries. Finishes with a career 5-1 record. Daniel is one of the players that sticks in your mind. He always seemed to be enjoying himself at the ball park. Even this year when he was on the DL, we saw him with Lexington once and he talked about what a great experience he was having.
Aaron Bray (27th round pick 2009) spent 2009 in Greeneville. He came out of UNC Charlotte with a reputation as a hitter. He couldn't quiet translate those skills from the college game to the wooden bat pro game. He spent last year in Lexington. I got to talk with Aaron's parents at a few games. They were proud of him and rightly so. Aaron did some first hand accounts of minor league life for Astros County last year. They are worth the read.
Richardo Heradia (NDFA 2006) didn't fair well in his first season in the States. He only hit .155 in 37 games for Greeneville in 2010.
Richardo Garcia (NDFA 2005) spent 2010 with the G-Stros. He was one of the leaders on the team among the young Latin American players. Though his career with the Astros is over, he is playing winter ball in Venezuela in the Liga Paralela (LVBP minors). With Leones, he is hitting .303 through 16 games.
Releases are tough. I talk to these players before and after games. I see them around town and chat with them. I get to know some of them fairly well. I know that every one of them has a dream, even if they deep inside know that their chances aren't very good. So when releases come, I think about the kid. Whether they are a kid from the Dominican Republic, who was hoping for a better life, or a college kid who was having some fun before entering the real world; that phone call has to be tough. Best of luck in the future to these young men.