Welcome to Appy Astros, a blog dedicated to following current & former Greeneville Astros, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Here you will find reports on current G-Stros, updates on the development of former G-Stros and occasionally an update on what has happened to the guys who have hung up their spikes.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Former G-Stros In The Majors At The Break

The MLB All Star break is upon us.  Now is a good time to do a look at the former Greeneville Astros who are in the majors and see how they are doing.

Let's start by looking at those who play for the Astros:

Jose Altuve  (2008,09) - Altuve started off the year very hot but has struggled a little since missing time due to a collision with Jimmy Parades in right field and the death of his grandmother.  His hitting totals for the pre-all star portion of the schedule are .280/.315/.352.  The break may be just what he needs.

In the field, he has been solid.  He leads all second basemen in the majors with 75 double plays turned.  He only turned 83 in all of 2012.  The team record for double plays turned by a second baseman is 117 set by Craig Biggio in 1999.  Altuve is on pace for 58 more which would bring him to 133 for the season.  In the last 20 years, only three second baseman have turned 130 or more double plays in a single season.  They are: Robinson Cano (136 - 2007), Fernando Vina (135 -1998) and Ronnie Belliard (130 - 2000). 

Altuve recently signed a contract extension with the Astros to keep him with the team through 2017 with a team option for 2018 & 1019 as well. 

Brandon Barnes leads off second in a spring training game 2013 (Photo property of Appy Astros)

Brandon Barnes (2005,06) -  Barnes played in 75 games before the all star break this season. Despite hitting just .232 on the season so far, Barnes is showing a consistent ability to hit left handed pitching.  In 70 at bats against lefties, he is hitting .314.

Barnes' defense is turning into his calling card.  There are currently 19 videos on MLB.com of Barnes highlighting his defense. In addition to the great diving catches, he also has five outfield assist.

His defense plus the ability to hit lefties my keep him in the majors for several years.

Jose Cisnero (2009) - Cisnero has been a pleasant surprise out of the bullpen for the Astros.  He has become a dependable part of the back end of the bullpen.  In 37 2/3 innings pitched he has struck out 37 batters while turning out a 2.87 ERA.  When you consider that he allowed nine of his 12 earned runs in two outings, his numbers look even better.  Fifteen of the 20 times he has been called on to pitch, he has returned to the dugout with no runs accounted to him.

Jordan Lyles (2008) -  Lyles didn't start the year on the MLB roster. He was added in early May and has made 14 starts for the Astros thus far.  The 23 year old is growing up on the job and showing progress this year.  The highlight of the year for him was a run of six starts from May 22 to June 18 where he pitched 39 2/3 innings and allowed just seven runs.   He goes into the break with a 4.02 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.

J.D. Martinez (2009) -  Martinez was heading to AAA out of spring training but injuries put him on the opening day roster.  He too has battled some injuries but appeared to be putting it together right as the all star break arrived.  For the season, Martinez is hitting .256/.281/.394 in 72 games.  For the month of July, he was hitting .300/.317/.350. 

Now let's look across the rest of the teams to find out how former G-Stros are doing in 2013.

Fernando Abad (2007) - Abad was called up to Washington in late May after starting the season in AAA.  Since his arrival, he has been a key part of the National's bullpen.  He has appeared in 20 games (19 2/3 innings pitched.  During that time, he has struck out 21 batters and allowed just 4 runs for a 1.83 ERA.

J.C. Gutierrez (2004) -  Gutierrez was the last man to make the Royals bullpen out of spring training.  He has had an up and down year thus far.  He had a 6.14 ERA in April but bounced back with 1.08 and 2.00 ERAs in May & June respectively.  July has been a little rough with a 5.97 ERA in his four appearances so far.  He has not allowed any of the 11 runners he has inherited to score.

Troy Patton (2004) -  Patton struggled with some command issues with his fastball in April and May but has righted the ship.  Since he gave up two runs in 1 2/3 innings in Houston on 6/7/13, he has appeared in 14 games and has give up just one run in 10 innings pitched.  During that span, he has allowed just 9 hits, has not walked a batter and has struck out 9.  Patton and the Orioles are looking to make another playoff run this season. They are 4.5 games back of Boston for the division led and 1.5 games back of the final wild card spot behind Texas.

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