Houston Astros Sunday Roundup: In Search of Good News

June 14, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; Houston Astros left fielder J.D. Martinez (14) at bat against the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

It has been a dismal three weeks for the big-league club.

5-15. That's the Astros record over the past three weeks. Bud Norris and Wilton Lopez have both been sent to the disabled list, Matt Cain tossed a perfect game against them earlier in the week, but at least Carlos Lee is back with the big league club. Brett Wallace was demoted because his haircut looked awful. How bad can it get?

In solace we go to the minor leagues, where the Dominican Summer League and Gulf Coast Leagues will be starting this week.

It is good to see George Springer has woken up after suffering a minor injury, clanging eight hits over the last three games. He will continue to get most of the attention, but I'm still high on Domingo Santana, considering he is yet to turn 20. Joel Cisnero pitched a two-hit shutout for the Hooks yesterday, Delino DeShields Jr now has 45 stolen bases this season. Mike Foltynewicz is still mowing them down in Lexington. You need more? That is about all I've got for now.

Meanwhile the Oklahoma City Redhawks get to facing a certain Roy Oswalt this evening, as the former Astro gets in his warmup starts in the Texas Ranger organisation. So instead of facing Oswalt in AAA, Dallas Keuchel will get to make his major league debut against the Rangers this afternoon, trying to salvage something from a dismal series. Last night the team was soundly beaten by a guy making his major league debut. The Hooks meanwhile get to face Barrett Loux.

Keuchel is the second 2009 draftee to reach the majors after 20th-rounder J.D. Martinez. You figure Telvin Nash and Jiovanni Mier might be able to help the major league ballclub, but apart from that, not much else. Tanner Bushue has flattered to deceive, as you really have to stay healthy to have a chance of attaining any success.

In other good news Zachary Levine is reporting that the Astros have agreed terms with supplemental draft pick Lance McCullers Jr, who is on his way to Houston for a physical. This is good because it leaves Luhnow with enough time to see who out of Ruiz, Virant and Hinojosa he can get signed with the slot pool money he has left over, having signed all the first 10 round guys apart from those still at the College World Series (Nolan Fontana, Preston Tucker and Tyler Heineman.

Trade talk will start to swallow up most Astros fans spare time with Ken Rosenthal and Nick Cafardo kicking tyres in recent days. We talked about how every single piece is probably available for those who want it. As I mentioned on TCB last week the only issue I have with Jed Lowrie is his power numbers this year may be a mirage. According to ESPN's home run tracker, eight of his 13 home runs have been classed as 'just enough'.

Other interesting nuggets: four of Justin Maxwell's nine homers have been no doubters, with true distances of 471 and 443 on two of them. After generating early excitement, Jordan Schafer's season has gone down the toilet and Maxwell is picking up the pieces, picking up starts in center and left field (with Martinez DHing against AL teams).

Glad the Astros missed out on Jorge Soler? Well you should be. $30m is an insane amount of money to pay for a player at his sort of age.

Lastly since it is fathers day, make sure you check out Native_Astro's piece for The Crawfish Boxes.

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