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April 6, 2015
AL West Standings
Team W L Pct GB RS RA Diff Home Road East Cent West L10 Streak
x-Anaheim9864.605-77363014352-2946-3519-1424-943-333-7L 3
y-Oakland (E)8874.5431072957215748-3340-4120-1217-1738-385-5W 1
Seattle (E)8775.537116345548041-4046-3518-1519-1441-355-5W 4
Houston (E)7092.43228629723-9438-4332-4916-1814-1835-413-7L 2
Arlington (E)6795.41431637773-13633-4834-4710-2314-1933-437-3L 1

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Mets 8
Astros 3

January 31 - This Date in Astros History
January 31 - This Date in Astros History
January 31

2002 - Despite a petition drive seeking to honor longtime Astro broadcaster Gene Elston with the Ford C. Frick Award at the Baseball Hall of Fame, the winner is his former broadcast partner Harry Kalas. Kalas worked six seasons (1965-1970) with Elston before becoming the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies and NFL Films. Kalas' signature call while with Houston was to describe their home runs as "Astro orbits".
1980 - Two-time MVP Joe Morgan returns to the Astros as a free agent, signing a one-year contract. Fulfilling his promise to the organization that gave him his start, Morgan is an important cog in the team's first championship.
1965 - 18-year-old catcher Bob Watson signs as a free agent. Watson would eventually play left field and first base, becoming one of the best hitters in franchise history.
1961 - Harris County voters approve bonds to build a domed stadium. It is expected to house the new National League team when finished.
1947 - Lynn Nolan Ryan is born in Refugio, TX. He would pitch nine seasons in Houston (1980-1988), winning two ERA titles and tossing a record fifth career no-hitter on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Date      Opp      Result
9/01      off        --
9/02      ANA      W 8-3
9/03      ANA      W 4-1
9/04      off        --
9/05     @OAK      W 4-3
9/06     @OAK*     L 4-3
9/07     @OAK*     W 4-3
9/08     @SEA      L 4-1
9/09     @SEA      W 2-1
9/10     @SEA      W 5-2
9/11      off        --
9/12     @ANA     L 11-3
9/13     @ANA      L 5-2
9/14     @ANA*     W 6-1
9/15      CLE      W 3-1
9/16      CLE      L 4-2
9/17      CLE      L 2-0
9/18      CLE      L 2-1
9/19      SEA     L 10-5
9/20      SEA     W 10-1
9/21      SEA*     W 8-3
9/22     @TEX      L 4-3
9/23     @TEX      L 2-1
9/24     @TEX      L 5-1
9/25      off        --
9/26     @NYM      W 3-1
9/27     @NYM      L 2-1
9/28     @NYM*     L 8-3
* - day game.

April record:   9-19
May record:    15-14
June record:   12-15
July record:    8-17
August record: 15-14
Sept record:   11-13

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Houston Astros recap - 01/19/15 - Fowler Dealt To Cubs For Pair
Fowler Dealt To Cubs For Pair
Valbuena, Straily Headed To Houston

Fowler: Next stop, Wrigleyville
(c) Associated Press
Jeff Luhnow fancies himself a genius. Theo Epstein has been previously hailed as one. Both believe strongly in sabermetric Moneyball principles. So it will be interesting which one comes out ahead after Luhnow traded one of his priciest players to Epstein's Cubs for a pair of guys who fill roster gaps at least and may upgrade the Astros overall.

Sent to Chicago was outfielder Dexter Fowler after one season from Colorado. In his final arbitration year before hitting free agency, Fowler failed to come to terms with Houston and could earn as much as the $10.8 million he asked for in arbitration or the $8.5 million Houston offered.

A .276 hitter last season in 116 games, Fowler was one of the team's offensive catalysts and clubhouse leaders. Fowler, who will turn 29 in March, missed time with injuries but the Astros seemed to find suitable center field replacements in George Springer and Jake Marisnick in the interim.

The Astros received infielder Luis Valbuena, a 29-year-old who played at third base for the Cubs. He batted .249 last season with 16 homers in 149 games. A career .229 hitter, the lefty bat may platoon with Matt Dominguez at third to begin the season but should see the majority of at bats, being the lefty half of the platoon. The Venezuelan also has experience at second base and the corner outfield positions. Valbuena is slated to earn $4.2 million in salary for this coming season.

The other player acquired is starting pitcher Dan Straily, a 26-year-old righthander with an up-and-down record so far in the majors. In 2013, he started 27 games for Oakland, crafting a 10-8 record and a 3.96 ERA. Last year, however, he was sent to the Cubs in the Jeff Samardzija trade and never found a home on their pitching staff. Straily has yet to reach arbitration eligibility so he is a low-cost gamble for a rotation that has lost candidates Nick Tropeano and Mike Foltynewicz in trades this winter.

On paper, the Astros are losing a proven talent for two guys with iffy futures but the Astros are also saving at least half of what they would have to pay Fowler while shoring up two positions that needed better depth.

The trade puts Dominguez on the hot seat to make the club and may weaken Marwin Gonzalez' leverage as well. Gonzalez was the other player besides Fowler that did not reach agreement by the arbitration deadline. MarGo asked for $1.4 million in salary while Houston countered with $800,000. Gonzalez was talked about as a possibility to platoon with Dominguez but that's out now.

Coming to terms and avoiding arbitration were DH Chris Carter ($4.175 million), C Jason Castro ($4 million), P Tony Sipp ($2.4 million), C Hank Conger ($1.075 million) and C Carlos Corporan ($975,000). Corporan has been linked in trade rumors with the Rangers and seems the most obvious to be traded with four catchers on the 40-man roster plus newly-acquired Evan Gattis may also catch.

The Astros were also rumored to be looking for another starting pitcher. Perhaps the deal for Straily satisfies that but perhaps not. Rumors pegged righthander Ryan Vogelsong, recently of the Giants, signing with Houston.

- Bob Hulsey

Houston Baseball: The Early Years 1861-1961
(click to order)

Houston Astros: Deep In The Heart (click to order)


RSS Feed | News Archives
Biggio 'kind of speechless' after pre-induction tour of Hall of Fame - Associated Press
Triple-A Astros bringing back famed 'Tequlia Sunrise' jerseys - Yahoo! Sports
Astros' top 10 prospects - ESPN
Trade to Astros doesn’t change Colin Moran’s status as a top prospect - Houston Chronicle
Houstonian finds way to nurture passion for baseball artifacts - Houston Chronicle
Biggio learns who his Hall of Fame neighbor will be - Houston Chronicle
Biggio gets first tour of HOF - Houston Chronicle
Moylan says he’s feeling great in recovery from TJ surgery - Houston Chronicle
Biggio up close with history during HOF visit - Astros.com
Who will be on the bench for the Astros? - Climbing Tal's Hill
Biggio thinking of ill friend during HOF process - Astros.com
Villar: What now? - Climbing Tal's Hill
Luhnow on the offseason - Crawfish Boxes
Hinch on Springer - Climbing Tal's Hill
Astros’ farm system still in upper echelon - Houston Chronicle
Bagwell to help out Astros at spring training - Associated Press
Ex-Bandit Correa rated top shortstop - Quad City Times
Astros strikeout projections - Climbing Tal's Hill
Rangers pick up Corporan from Houston for Akeem Bostick - Minor League Ball
Former Red Sox coach Don Bryant dead at 73 - WEEI
Astros banking on rotation remaining a strength in 2015 - Houston Chronicle
Lowrie enjoys his time spent in Colombia - Houston Chronicle
What book is Appel reading? - Houston Chronicle
Prospectus pegs Astros to finish last - Houston Chronicle
Prospect scouting reports for nos. 16-26 - Crawfish Boxes
FanFest: A photo essay - Crawfish Boxes
Checking in on the 2014 draft - Crawfish Boxes
Starting pitching candidates: Who fills the final two spots? - Climbing Tal's Hill
Can the Astros get Cole Hamels? - Climbing Tal's Hill
Astros AAA affiliate to wear rainbow uniforms - Crawfish Boxes
Nats, Astros hope Florida legislature can clear hurdle for new spring training complex - MASN
Don 'Bear' Bryant dies at age 73 - NESN
Correa No. 1 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 SS Prospects list - Astros.com
Lowrie helps grow game with trip to Colombia - Astros.com
Astros' disappointments - Climbing Tal's Hill
Astros top 20 prospects for 2015 - Minor League Ball
Bagwell to join Astros for a week during spring training - KRIV-TV
Biggio reflects during Notre Dame appearance - Elkhart Truth
Checking in on the 2014 draft - Crawfish Boxes
Joe Sclafani will be a productive major leaguer - Crawfish Boxes
Heyman: Astros checking out Correia - SportsRadio 610
Talking with A.J. Hinch - Climbing Tal's Hill
Astros legend Bagwell to rejoin organization - Astros.com
Bagwell to serve as guest instructor this spring - Houston Chronicle
2010 top 30 Astros prospects review - Crawfish Boxes
Astros preliminary grade distribution breakdown - Minor League Ball
Biggio visits team event, chats about baseball career - The Observer
One-on-one with Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Craig Biggio - WSBT-TV
Inside look at Astros offseason through Luhnow's eyes - Climbing Tal's Hill
Report: Astros among teams looking at free agent right-hander Kevin Correia - NBC Sports
Berkman won’t be on Rice baseball coaching staff this season - Houston Chronicle
Graham: Berkman 'steps back' from Rice baseball - KRIV-TV
Astros reach out to San Antonio fan base - The Ranger
Astros' roster upgrades have Hinch raring to go - Astros.com
Reid Ryan's hand in the rebuilding of the Astros - Climbing Tal's Hill
Keuchel appreciates the added bullpen help - SportsRadio 610
Biggio to visit National Baseball Hall of Fame this week - KRIV-TV
Biggio reflects on Hall of Fame career at FanFest - Astros.com
Is Valbuena the man at third for the Astros? - Climbing Tal's Hill
Vogelsong and the Astros: Allusions, illusions and delusions - allvoices
Blast from the past still hits home for Scott Podsednik - Chicago Tribune
Photos: Astros host 2015 FanFest at MMP - Houston Chronicle
Astros remember ‘Mr. Cub’ Ernie Banks - Houston Chronicle

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- Bob Hulsey