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Astros sign Chirinos to one-year deal

Veteran catcher hit 18 home runs for the Rangers in 2018

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have signed free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos to a one-year deal for the 2019 season. The announcement was made by Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Chirinos, 34, spent his 2018 season with the Rangers, posting career highs in home runs (18), RBI (65) and games played (113). His .757 OPS (.338 OBP/.419 SLG) ranked second among AL catchers and sixth in the Majors (min. 400 PA). Chirinos' combined .808 OPS over the past two seasons ranks second among AL catchers and fifth among Major League catchers in that span. He is just one season removed from a breakout 2017 campaign, in which he posted an .866 OPS (.360 OBP/.506 SLG) in 88 games for the Astros intra-state rivals. Chirinos spent a total of six seasons with the Rangers (2013-18) and has appeared in parts of seven Major League seasons, including a 20-game stint with the Rays in 2011. 

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have signed free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos to a one-year deal for the 2019 season. The announcement was made by Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Chirinos, 34, spent his 2018 season with the Rangers, posting career highs in home runs (18), RBI (65) and games played (113). His .757 OPS (.338 OBP/.419 SLG) ranked second among AL catchers and sixth in the Majors (min. 400 PA). Chirinos' combined .808 OPS over the past two seasons ranks second among AL catchers and fifth among Major League catchers in that span. He is just one season removed from a breakout 2017 campaign, in which he posted an .866 OPS (.360 OBP/.506 SLG) in 88 games for the Astros intra-state rivals. Chirinos spent a total of six seasons with the Rangers (2013-18) and has appeared in parts of seven Major League seasons, including a 20-game stint with the Rays in 2011. 

With the addition of Chirinos, the Astros 40-man roster now stands at 38 players.


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Houston Astros

Statement on the passing of former President George H.W. Bush

Houston Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane released the following statement Saturday on the passing of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush: 

"President Bush was a great American who devoted his life to serving his country. He epitomized class and dignity and was a true patriot. 
 
"The Houston Astros had the great privilege of hosting President Bush and his wife Barbara at Astros games for many years. As loyal fans, they stuck with us through the challenging years and were there to celebrate Houston's first World Series championship in 2017. Game 5 of last year's World Series is considered the most memorable and dramatic game in Astros history. What made it even more special was that President George H.W. Bush and his son, President George W. Bush, were on the field that night taking part in the first pitch ceremony. 
 
"As our nation mourns his passing, our entire Astros organization sends heartfelt condolences to the Bush family. We will greatly miss him."
 

Houston Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane released the following statement Saturday on the passing of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush: 

"President Bush was a great American who devoted his life to serving his country. He epitomized class and dignity and was a true patriot. 
 
"The Houston Astros had the great privilege of hosting President Bush and his wife Barbara at Astros games for many years. As loyal fans, they stuck with us through the challenging years and were there to celebrate Houston's first World Series championship in 2017. Game 5 of last year's World Series is considered the most memorable and dramatic game in Astros history. What made it even more special was that President George H.W. Bush and his son, President George W. Bush, were on the field that night taking part in the first pitch ceremony. 
 
"As our nation mourns his passing, our entire Astros organization sends heartfelt condolences to the Bush family. We will greatly miss him."
 

Houston Astros

Astros to Host Home Plate for the Holidays on Sunday, Dec. 2

Holiday event to take place at Minute Maid Park from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

This Sunday, Dec. 2, fans are invited to kick off the holiday season with the Houston Astros at the third-annual Home Plate for the Holidays event at Minute Maid Park from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is free and open to the public with an event voucher, a limited number of which will be available at gates, so all are encouraged to come out and enjoy the festivities!

 

This Sunday, Dec. 2, fans are invited to kick off the holiday season with the Houston Astros at the third-annual Home Plate for the Holidays event at Minute Maid Park from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. The family-friendly holiday event is free and open to the public with an event voucher, a limited number of which will be available at gates, so all are encouraged to come out and enjoy the festivities!

 

Fans looking for the perfect stocking stuffers can find official Astros merchandise up to 75% off available for purchase at Home Plate for the Holidays, along with 2019 Season Tickets, Buddies Club memberships and Outfield Manual Scoreboard Holiday Photo Opportunities. Please note, the Manual Scoreboard Holiday Photo Opportunities are now sold out. Home Plate for the Holidays will also be the first opportunity for fans to purchase the newly-released "Journey to 103" Commemorative Photo Book or have Orbit sign a copy of the Orbit's First Day of School children's book from 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

 

Additionally, Home Plate for the Holidays will feature free photo opportunities with "Orbit Claus," carolers, a station to write letters to Santa, inflatables, a screening of Elf shown on the main videoboard and much more for families and fans of all ages. A limited number of vouchers will be made available for the Orbit Claus photo opportunity, which will be distributed at the event on a first come, first served basis. Fans will also have the opportunity to have their photo taken with the 2017 World Series Trophy, free of charge.

 

Parking is free in any of the Astros-owned parking lots. Fans can access the event through the South Home Plate or Atrium entrances on Texas Avenue.

 

For more information about Home Plate for the Holidays, please visit www.astros.com/holidays.

 

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Houston Astros

Astroline show returns tomorrow with Jeff Luhnow as first guest

Newly acquired infielder Aledmys Díaz scheduled to call in during second half of the show

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros offseason radio show, Astroline, returns to the airwaves Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. CT with Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow serving as the first guest of the offseason, weekly program. Astros television broadcasters Geoff Blum and Todd Kalas will serve as the hosts. For the remainder of the offseason, current Astros TV and radio broadcasters will alternate hosting duties.

Newly acquired infielder, Aledmys Díaz will call in during the second half of the show. The Astros acquired Diaz on Nov. 17 from the Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton . This will be the first time fans will have the opportunity to hear from Díaz since his acquisition.

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros offseason radio show, Astroline, returns to the airwaves Thursday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. CT with Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow serving as the first guest of the offseason, weekly program. Astros television broadcasters Geoff Blum and Todd Kalas will serve as the hosts. For the remainder of the offseason, current Astros TV and radio broadcasters will alternate hosting duties.

Newly acquired infielder, Aledmys Díaz will call in during the second half of the show. The Astros acquired Diaz on Nov. 17 from the Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton . This will be the first time fans will have the opportunity to hear from Díaz since his acquisition.

Astroline, which is presented by Karbach Brewing Co., will air on the Astros Radio Network, the Astros flagship station KBME SportsTalk 790 AM, 94.5 FM HD-2 and will be available online following the broadcast at Astros.com/Astroline. All shows are scheduled to broadcast on KBME SportsTalk 790, but are subject to change due to scheduling conflicts. Astroline broadcasts live, weekly from 6-7 p.m. CT during the offseason. 

*PLEASE NOTE REGARDING AUTOGRAPHS - On the day of each show, fans can claim a free raffle ticket at Pluckers beginning at 5:30 p. m. (one raffle ticket per fan) for the chance to receive a special autographed photocard. A limited number of winning tickets will be selected during the Astroline broadcast between 6-7 p.m. Fans must have a winning ticket/voucher to receive an autograph. Only Astros supplied Photo Cards will be signed. 

For the sixth consecutive season, Astroline airs from Pluckers Wing Bar, which is located at 1400 Shepherd Dr., Houston, Texas, 77007. Astroline runs through March, and is open to all Astros fans with no admission charge. Fans can submit questions to the show via Twitter using the hashtag #Astroline, before and during the show. Several shows will also be broadcast live on the Astros offical Facebook page and fans are encouraged to participate. 

Luhnow was hired by the Astros as the 12th General Manager in franchise history on Dec. 7, 2011 and recently completed his seventh full season in Houston. The Astros promoted Luhnow to President of Baseball Operations in June 2018 and extended his contract through the 2023 season. Luhnow is responsible for crafting highly competitive rosters that have resulted in three postseason appearances over the past four seasons, and the Astros first World Series title in 2017.

Blum is entering his seventh season as a member of the Astros television broadcast team in 2018, and his third as the everyday color analyst alongside play-by-play man Todd Kalas. Blum originally joined the broadcast team in 2013, which followed a successful, 14-year Major League career that included two stints with the Astros (2002-03, 2008-10), totaling five seasons. Throughout his career, Blum was known as one of the game's most versatile players and as a top pinch-hitter. 

Kalas is entering his third season as the Astros lead play-by-play television broadcaster. Kalas, who is the son of Hall of Famer and former Astros broadcaster Harry Kalas, has over 25 seasons of experience as a broadcaster in professional baseball. Prior to joining the Astros, he spent his previous 19 seasons (1998-2016) as part of the Tampa Bay Rays TV broadcast team. 

Astroline schedule (subject to change):

Day        Date            Station

Thurs. Nov. 29    KBME

Thurs. Dec. 6     KBME

Wed.    Dec. 12 KBME

Tue. Dec. 18 KBME

Thurs. Jan. 10   KBME

Thurs. Jan. 17   KBME

Thurs. Jan. 24 KBME

Thurs. Jan. 31   KBME

Thurs. Feb. 7     KBME

Wed.    Feb. 13   KBME

Thurs. Feb. 21*  KBME

Tues.    Feb. 26 KBME

Thurs. March 7* KBME

Thurs. March 14* KBME

*live from West Palm

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Houston Astros

Astros acquire infielder Aledmys Díaz from Toronto

2016 National League All-Star recorded a career-high 18 home runs in 2018

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have acquired infielder Aledmys Díaz from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton. The announcement was made by Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Díaz, 28, played in 130 games with the Blue Jays in 2018, batting .263 (111x422) with 26 doubles, 55 RBI, a .756 OPS (.303 OBP/.453 SLG) and a career-high 18 home runs. The right-handed hitter has shown his versatility during his three seasons in the Major Leagues with St. Louis (2016-17) and Toronto (2018), appearing in 269 games at shortstop, 42 games at third base, three games in left field and two games at second base. A native of Santa Clara, Cuba, Díaz made the National League All-Star Team as a rookie in 2016, batting .300 with 28 doubles, 17 homers, 65 RBI and an .879 OPS (.369 OBP/.510 SLG) in 111 games for the Cardinals.

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have acquired infielder Aledmys Díaz from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for right-handed pitcher Trent Thornton. The announcement was made by Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Díaz, 28, played in 130 games with the Blue Jays in 2018, batting .263 (111x422) with 26 doubles, 55 RBI, a .756 OPS (.303 OBP/.453 SLG) and a career-high 18 home runs. The right-handed hitter has shown his versatility during his three seasons in the Major Leagues with St. Louis (2016-17) and Toronto (2018), appearing in 269 games at shortstop, 42 games at third base, three games in left field and two games at second base. A native of Santa Clara, Cuba, Díaz made the National League All-Star Team as a rookie in 2016, batting .300 with 28 doubles, 17 homers, 65 RBI and an .879 OPS (.369 OBP/.510 SLG) in 111 games for the Cardinals.

Thornton, 25, went 9-8 with a 4.42 ERA (61ER/124.1IP) and 122 strikeouts in 24 games (22 starts) at Triple A Fresno this season. Selected by the Astros in the fifth round of the 2015 MLB Draft, Thornton had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League this year, striking out 20 batters and walking four in 15.2 innings pitched for Scottsdale.

With the acquisition of Díaz, the Astros 40-man roster stands at 35 players.

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Houston Astros

Verlander finishes second in 2018 AL Cy Young voting

Marks the seventh-career top-five finish in the Cy Young voting for the All-Star right-hander

HOUSTON, TX - Astros All-Star right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander finished second in the 2018 American League Cy Young Award voting, as announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America tonight.

Verlander garnered 154 vote points, falling 15 points shy of the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, who received 169 points. Verlander received 13 first-place votes, 13 second-place votes, three third-place votes and one fourth-place vote.

HOUSTON, TX - Astros All-Star right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander finished second in the 2018 American League Cy Young Award voting, as announced by the Baseball Writers Association of America tonight.

Verlander garnered 154 vote points, falling 15 points shy of the 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, who received 169 points. Verlander received 13 first-place votes, 13 second-place votes, three third-place votes and one fourth-place vote.

This marks the seventh time in Verlander's career that he has finished in the top-five of the AL Cy Young Award voting, and the third time he has finished second. He won the award in 2011, the same season that he received AL MVP honors, and finished fifth in 2017, second in 2016, second in 2012, third in 2009 and fifth in 2007.

At 35 years old, Verlander put together one of the most dominant seasons of his outstanding career in 2018, leading or finishing at the top of the leader boards among American League starters in several significant categories. He led all Major League pitchers in WHIP with an 0.90 clip, which marked the third-lowest number for an AL starter in the last 50 seasons (min. 175 IP). Additionally, Verlander led the AL in pitching WAR (6.8*), strikeouts (290), opponent on-base percentage (.242), strikeout to walk ratio (7.78) and road wins (12-2), and was second in innings pitched (214.0). He also ranked third in ERA (2.52) and opponent batting average (.200). Notable: Verlander posted a 16-9 won-loss record despite being ranked 46th in the Majors in run support average (4.25).  

DOWN THE STRETCH: Verlander was outstanding for the Astros down the stretch, posting a 4-0 mark in five September starts with a 1.09 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 33.0 innings of work, proving to be a central figure in helping Houston earn their second-straight AL West title. Verlander posted 10+ strikeouts in each of his final four starts of the season.  

VERLANDER'S 2018 AL RANKINGS

WHIP: 0.90 (1st in MLB)

Pitching WAR: 6.8* (1st)

Strikeouts: 290 (1st)

Innings Pitched: 214 (2nd)

Opp. OBP: .242 (1st)

Strikeout/Walk Ratio: 7.84 (1st)

Road Wins: 12-2 (1st)

ERA: 2.52 (3rd)

Opp. Avg.: .200 (3rd) 
*Per Fangraphs

MILESTONES, ACCOLADES: In 2018, Verlander hit two significant milestones, notching his 200th career victory on Aug. 19 at OAK, and his 2,500th career strikeout in a complete-game shutout on May 16 at LAA. Additionally, Verlander was an AL All-Star, won the AL Pitcher of the Month for May and was twice named AL Player of the Week. 

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Houston Astros

Astros and iHeart Radio Announce Partnership Renewal

Astros games will air on both SportsTalk 790 KBME and 740 KTRH beginning in 2019

The Houston Astros and flagship radio partner iHeart Radio have announced the renewal of their partnership through the 2021 season. Beginning in 2019, the majority of Astros games will air on both SportsTalk 790 KBME and 740 KTRH, increasing the reach of Astros radio broadcasts throughout the region. All games, including all postseason games, will be broadcast on SportsTalk 790 KBME, with simulcasts on 740 KTRH beginning at 7:00 p.m. CT. Astros games will also continue to be available on 94.5-HD2 FM HD and 99.1-HD2 FM.

 

The Houston Astros and flagship radio partner iHeart Radio have announced the renewal of their partnership through the 2021 season. Beginning in 2019, the majority of Astros games will air on both SportsTalk 790 KBME and 740 KTRH, increasing the reach of Astros radio broadcasts throughout the region. All games, including all postseason games, will be broadcast on SportsTalk 790 KBME, with simulcasts on 740 KTRH beginning at 7:00 p.m. CT. Astros games will also continue to be available on 94.5-HD2 FM HD and 99.1-HD2 FM.

 

"We are thrilled to extend our partnership with the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros," said iHeart Radio Region President Eddie Martiny. "SportsTalk 790 will continue as the radio flagship station, and we are proud to be simulcasting games on KTRH 740 AM, one of the most powerful radio stations in America. The future for iHeart Radio and the Houston Astros is very bright, and we look forward to celebrating our next World Series Championship."

 

Astros radio broadcasters Robert Ford (play-by-play) and Steve Sparks (color analyst) will also return in 2019, marking their seventh season as the Astros radio broadcast team.

 

"The iHeart Radio organization has been a great partner to us, and we're excited to continue our relationship," said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. "Now, Astros fans can listen to game broadcasts on 740 KTRH and 790 KBME, helping us reach fans with a better signal throughout the region. Robert Ford and Steve Sparks are two of the best in the business, bringing insight, storytelling and humor to every Astros radio broadcast."

 

The Astros and iHeart Radio have enjoyed a 20-year partnership, bringing Astros games to the Houston airwaves since 1999.

 

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Houston Astros

The Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children Announce Five-Year Extension for College Classic Naming Rights

Five-year deal will run thru the 2023 tournament

HOUSTON, TX - The Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children have announced the extension of a multi-year naming rights agreement for the annual Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic held at Minute Maid Park. The collaboration between the Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children surrounding one of the nation's premier collegiate tournaments will extend through March 2023. The Astros Foundation will continue to operate the tournament.

"Shriners Hospitals for Children has been a wonderful partner for the Astros Foundation" said Twila Carter, Executive Director of the Astros Foundation. "Today, we are pleased to announce the five-year extension of our partnership with the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. We are grateful for their generous support and collaborative efforts to bring transformative change to our community."

HOUSTON, TX - The Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children have announced the extension of a multi-year naming rights agreement for the annual Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic held at Minute Maid Park. The collaboration between the Astros Foundation and Shriners Hospitals for Children surrounding one of the nation's premier collegiate tournaments will extend through March 2023. The Astros Foundation will continue to operate the tournament.

"Shriners Hospitals for Children has been a wonderful partner for the Astros Foundation" said Twila Carter, Executive Director of the Astros Foundation. "Today, we are pleased to announce the five-year extension of our partnership with the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic. We are grateful for their generous support and collaborative efforts to bring transformative change to our community."

"This tournament provides our health care system with a national platform to share the story of how Shriners Hospitals for Children has changed the lives of more than 1.3 million kids over the course of the past 96 years," said Jim Cain, Imperial Potentate (CEO) of Shriners International, the fraternity that founded and continues to support Shriners Hospitals for Children. "Our partnership with the Astros Foundation will help us continue to advance our mission of providing world-class care to children, regardless of the families' ability to pay."

The Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic, a 19-year Astros Foundation tradition, returns to Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros from March 1-3, 2019. The invite only tournament once again boasts a strong lineup, featuring some of college baseball's most respected programs including Baylor, Houston, Rice, TCU, Texas A&M and Texas State. The Astros Foundation will donate $1 from the sale of each ticket directly to Shriners Hospitals as well as provide other fundraising and awareness opportunities.

This event is regarded as one of the top collegiate baseball tournaments in the nation, as it continues to draw fans, top-ranked programs and scouts from every Major League organization each year. Since 2001, this prestigious event has hosted 32 different NCAA Division-I baseball programs. Historically, the Shriners Hospitals for Children College Classic has hosted the No. 1 team in preseason polls seven times in tournament history and has hosted two eventual College World Series champions.

Tickets for the 2019 tournament will go on sale on Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Astros.com/CollegeClassic. The tournament broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

About the Houston Astros Foundation
The Astros Foundation, the official 501(c)(3) team charity of the Houston Astros, seeks to harness the passion of baseball fans to support youth baseball and softball programs, the recognition and honor of our nation's military, childhood cancer awareness and efforts to reduce homelessness. Our cornerstone initiatives include the Community Leaders program, the Astros Youth Academy and the Astros RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Program. For more information on the Astros Foundation, please visit www.astros.com/foundation.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system with locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Our staff is dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, conducting innovative research, and offering outstanding educational programs for medical professionals. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care, regardless of the families' ability to pay. Within these broad service lines, many types of care are provided. For example, some locations offer reconstructive plastic surgery, treatment for craniofacial abnormalities or care for sports injuries. Generally, care is provided until age 18, although, in some cases, it may be extended to age 21. All services are provided in a compassionate, family-centered environment. For more information, please visit shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.


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Houston Astros

Astros announce personnel moves in Research & Development department

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have made two additions and several promotions in their Research & Development department, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today. 

Ehsan Bokhari has joined the Astros as Director, R&D, where he will lead the organization's R&D department. Bokhari joins the Astros from the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he has spent the last four seasons as a senior analyst in the club's Research and Development department. Bokhari joined the Dodgers in 2015 as one of the original members of the organization's R&D staff, helping the club reach four National League West Division titles and two National League pennants. Prior to joining the Dodgers, Bokhari spent a year as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Illinois. He earned his undergraduate degrees in psychology and mathematics at the University of Arizona in 2011, and received his master's in statistics and a PhD in quantitative psychology from the University of Illinois in 2014.

HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros have made two additions and several promotions in their Research & Development department, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced today. 

Ehsan Bokhari has joined the Astros as Director, R&D, where he will lead the organization's R&D department. Bokhari joins the Astros from the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he has spent the last four seasons as a senior analyst in the club's Research and Development department. Bokhari joined the Dodgers in 2015 as one of the original members of the organization's R&D staff, helping the club reach four National League West Division titles and two National League pennants. Prior to joining the Dodgers, Bokhari spent a year as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Statistics at the University of Illinois. He earned his undergraduate degrees in psychology and mathematics at the University of Arizona in 2011, and received his master's in statistics and a PhD in quantitative psychology from the University of Illinois in 2014.

Sarah Gelles has been hired as Program Manager, R&D. Gelles has spent the last eight seasons working for the Baltimore Orioles, including the last three seasons as Director of Analytics & Major League contracts. With the Orioles, Gelles oversaw the club's analytics department, led the development of internal baseball operations systems, handled Major League roster management and rules compliance, and assisted with player acquisitions and negotiations. Before her time with the Orioles, Gelles worked for the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and Major League Baseball's Labor Relations Department.

Colin Wyers was promoted from Manager, R&D, to Senior Architect, R&D. In his new role, Wyers will lead the Astros efforts in the design of large-scale systems and infrastructure, and will work closely with Director, R&D, Ehsan Bokhari on the overall direction of the R&D department. Wyers joined the Astros in the fall of 2013 as a mathematical modeler. Before working for the Astros, Wyers was the Director of Statistical Operations for Baseball Prospectus, and a writer for The Hardball Times.

Ryan Ferguson has been promoted to Senior Analyst, R&D. Ferguson joined the Astros as Analyst, R&D, in 2016 following a stint as a Cognitive Scientist at Air Force Research Labs in San Antonio, Texas. Ferguson earned his PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Arizona State University, where he focused his studies on Alzheimer's diagnostics, team coordination, expertise, and eyewitness memory. Prior to joining the Astros, Ferguson taught classes on memory at the University of Texas-San Antonio. 

Catherine Cage has been promoted to Manager of Research, R&D. Cage joined the Astros as Analyst, R&D, in January of 2017 following an internship with the Washington Nationals. She received her master's degree in statistics from the University of Florida and her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Texas Tech University. Prior to working in baseball, Cage worked for the MD Anderson Cancer Center and was a statistical analyst at BioStat Solutions, Inc.

Ryan Hallahan is entering a new role with the Astros as a software development consultant, as he and his family transition into careers in ministry. Previously the club's Senior Architect, R&D, Hallahan joined the Astros in 2012 and has been an integral part of the club's success over his seven seasons.

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Houston Astros

Altuve wins fifth consecutive AL Silver Slugger Award

All-Star joins Craig Biggio as only players in franchise history to win five Silver Sluggers

HOUSTON, TX - Louisville Slugger announced tonight that Houston Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve has won his fifth consecutive Silver Slugger Award (2014-18), which names him as the top offensive player at his position in the American League in 2018. By winning his fifth, Altuve joins Craig Biggio as the only players in franchise history to win five Silver Slugger Awards. 

Established in 1980, the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards are the top offensive honors in Major League Baseball. Managers and coaches of all 30 Major League teams vote for the players they feel are the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National Leagues.

HOUSTON, TX - Louisville Slugger announced tonight that Houston Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve has won his fifth consecutive Silver Slugger Award (2014-18), which names him as the top offensive player at his position in the American League in 2018. By winning his fifth, Altuve joins Craig Biggio as the only players in franchise history to win five Silver Slugger Awards. 

Established in 1980, the Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Awards are the top offensive honors in Major League Baseball. Managers and coaches of all 30 Major League teams vote for the players they feel are the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National Leagues.

Altuve, 28, hit .316 (169x534) with 29 doubles, 13 home runs, 61 RBI, 17 stolen bases and an .837 OPS (.386 OBP/.451 SLG) in 137 games for the Astros this season. He earned his sixth All-Star appearance (fourth start) and finished third in the AL in batting average and sixth in on-base percentage. Among AL second baseman, Altuve ranked first in batting average, OBP and slugging, while ranking second in hits and runs scored (84) and third in stolen bases. He was on pace for another 200-hit season, which he's reached four times, but was slowed in the second half of play with right knee soreness, which ultimately required offseason surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery and to be ready to play next Spring Training.

Altuve is the only Astros player to win five consecutive Silver Slugger awards, as Biggio won his in 1989, 1994-95 and 1997-98. In fact, Altuve is the just the second second baseman to win five straight at the position since the award was conceived in 1980. He joins Ryne Sandberg, who won a total of seven Silver Sluggers in his career, including a five-season run from 1988-92. Prior to Altuve, the last player at any position to have a five-season run of Silver Sluggers was outfielder Mike Trout from 2012-16.

There have been 11 Astros who have won a Silver Slugger Award: Altuve (2014-18), outfielder George Springer (2017), outfielder Carlos Lee (2007), third baseman Morgan Ensberg (2005), left-handed pitcher Mike Hampton (1999), outfielder Moises Alou (1998), first baseman Jeff Bagwell (1994, 1997, 1999), Biggio (catcher in 1989, second baseman in 1994-95, 1997-98), first baseman Glenn Davis (1986), outfielder Jose Cruz (1983-84) and shortstop Dickie Thon (1983).

This announcement continues a busy awards season for the Astros so far as several players have been named award winners or finalists for various honors. This began last week with left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel earning his fourth career Gold Glove Award (2014-16, 2018) and his fourth in a five-year span. Keuchel was the Astros only Gold Glove winner, but third baseman Alex Bregman and catcher Martín Maldonado joined him as finalists. Right-handed pitcher Justin Verlander is up for the AL Cy Young Award, as one of three finalists, set to be announced next Wednesday, Nov. 14. Verlander was also named a finalist as the American League's Most Outstanding Pitcher, as named by the Players Choice Awards. That award winner will be announced on Nov. 27.


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Houston Astros

McCullers Jr. undergoes elbow surgery

All-Star right-hander is expected to miss the 2019 season

HOUSTON, TX - Astros right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow today, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced. 

McCullers Jr. will miss the 2019 season, but is expected to make a full recovery. 

HOUSTON, TX - Astros right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow today, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow announced. 

McCullers Jr. will miss the 2019 season, but is expected to make a full recovery. 

McCullers Jr., 25, was 10-6 in 2018 with a 3.86 ERA in 25 appearances (22 starts) while tallying 142 strikeouts in 128.0 innings of work. He posted a 10-4 record in his first 19 starts prior to the All-Star Break before being slowed by discomfort in his right elbow, causing him to miss 43 games while on the Disabled List from Aug. 5-Sept. 24. McCullers Jr. returned from the DL to make three scoreless relief appearances during the final week of the regular season. He went on to post a 1.80 ERA (1ER/5.0IP) in five postseason appearances, all in relief.

For his Major League career, McCullers Jr. is 29-22 in 83 appearances (80 starts) with a 3.67 ERA (185ER/453.2IP) and 509 strikeouts in 453.2 innings pitched. 

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Houston Astros

Keuchel wins Rawlings Gold Glove Award

Left-handed pitcher named top defensive AL pitcher for fourth time in career

HOUSTON, TX - Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. announced tonight that left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel has won an American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award. This marks the fourth time in the last five seasons for Keuchel to be named the top defensive pitcher in the American League. He also won the award in three consecutive seasons from 2014-16. Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and catcher Martín Maldonado were also finalists for Gold Glove Awards, which were awarded to third baseman Matt Chapman and catcher Salvador Pérez.

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award was created in 1957, and since then the award has served as the highest symbol of defensive excellence in Major League Baseball. The winners are determined by combining votes from Major League managers and coaches with a sabermetric component.

HOUSTON, TX - Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc. announced tonight that left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel has won an American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award. This marks the fourth time in the last five seasons for Keuchel to be named the top defensive pitcher in the American League. He also won the award in three consecutive seasons from 2014-16. Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and catcher Martín Maldonado were also finalists for Gold Glove Awards, which were awarded to third baseman Matt Chapman and catcher Salvador Pérez.

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award was created in 1957, and since then the award has served as the highest symbol of defensive excellence in Major League Baseball. The winners are determined by combining votes from Major League managers and coaches with a sabermetric component.

For the third time in his career, Keuchel went a full season without committing an error (also 2013, 2016), successfully handling 41 total chances with 27 assists in 34 starts in 2018. He led all American League pitchers in total chances, while ranking tied for second in assists and tied for seventh in putouts (14). Keuchel is the only pitcher in franchise history to win a Gold Glove Award and is just the fourth Astro at any position to win four-or-more Gold Glove Awards, joining second baseman Craig Biggio (1994-97), outfielder Cesar Cedeño (1972-76) and third baseman Doug Rader (1970-74). He is the first AL pitcher to win four Gold Gloves in a five-year span since Kenny Rogers won four of five from 2002-06.

By winning a Gold Glove, Keuchel is now eligible for the Rawlings Platinum Glove, which will be given to the top defender in each league, regardless of position. The winners will be selected via a combination of a national fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index. Fan voting is housed at Rawlings.com and will begin tonight at 9 p.m. CT and close on Thursday at 9 p.m. CT.


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Houston Astros

Astros unveil Fayetteville Woodpeckers as new Minor League affiliate

Woodpeckers to play in Class A Advanced Carolina League

The Houston Astros today unveiled the Fayetteville Woodpeckers as their new Class A Advanced Minor League affiliate, located in Fayetteville, N.C.

"The Houston Astros have found the perfect location for our Class A Advanced affiliate in Fayetteville, North Carolina," said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. "The All-American feel of the city, its support of our nation's military and its economic development make it a great environment for the championship-caliber baseball we will bring to the Fayetteville community."

The Houston Astros today unveiled the Fayetteville Woodpeckers as their new Class A Advanced Minor League affiliate, located in Fayetteville, N.C.

"The Houston Astros have found the perfect location for our Class A Advanced affiliate in Fayetteville, North Carolina," said Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan. "The All-American feel of the city, its support of our nation's military and its economic development make it a great environment for the championship-caliber baseball we will bring to the Fayetteville community."

"Fayetteville is proudly recognized as the nation's "Most All-American City", making it the perfect home for America's pastime," said Fayetteville Woodpeckers President Mark Zarthar. "The Woodpeckers are honored to reside alongside Fort Bragg, the world's largest military installation, and couldn't have asked for a better community to call home."

"The Houston Astros are thrilled to partner with the City of Fayetteville to open a state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue at the epicenter of the city's new downtown development," said Astros Senior Director of Business Operations Dan O'Neill. "In addition to the new retail, restaurant, hotel, and office space, it will be the top destination in Fayetteville for fun. The community has welcomed us with open arms and has already shown overwhelming energy and enthusiasm for our new brand. The Fayetteville Woodpeckers are proud to call Fayetteville home and plan to build on this excitement for years to come."

The concept of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers came directly from the Fayetteville community. Thanks to insight gleaned in town hall meetings, online surveys and one-on-one conversations with residents, the Woodpeckers brand celebrates the core characteristics of the city, its natural beauty and proud community.

As the home to the second-largest population of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers (RCW) in the world, the sights and sounds of Fort Bragg are intrinsically linked to the woodpecker. The bird is small in size but vital to the Long Leaf Pine ecosystem, fighting extinction and embodying the resilient nature that the Fayetteville Woodpeckers will show with their play on the field. The same can also be said of the City of Fayetteville -- though small, Fayetteville is tough, proud and vital to this country's protection.

The Woodpeckers' primary colors of black and red are a tribute both to the RCW's natural plumage as well as the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, which is headquartered at Fort Bragg and carries the same colors on its insignia. Fort Bragg and the military's influence on Fayetteville are also represented in the Woodpeckers' brand through the star and shield detailed on the club's primary logo, as well as the American flag displayed on the players' uniforms.

The Fayetteville Woodpecker is proud and confident, unwavering in its work ethic and commitment to success - just like the City of Fayetteville itself. The community is a true representation of American values and pride, and the Fayetteville Woodpeckers will represent those values on and off the field.

ABOUT THE FAYETTEVILLE WOODPECKERS

The Houston Astros own and operate their Class A Advanced Minor League affiliate, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers. The Astros agreed to a 30-year lease and are invested in the long-term success of the City of Fayetteville. The team's direction focuses on creating a culture of success with an accessible management team, building the best young talent in baseball, engaging with fans, and connecting the community with an exciting, family-friendly experience.

ABOUT THE CITY OF FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.

Fayetteville is proud of its rich role in our nation's history and holds fast to the friendly feel of a true hometown, while providing the cultural and entertainment amenities of bigger cities. The city boasts sophisticated restaurants, museums, musical and sporting events, and nearby Fort Bragg - the nation's largest military installation - that solidifies the city's deep roots in all things military. Fayetteville is the sixth-largest city in the state and home to more than 208,000 residents.

ABOUT THE FAYETTEVILLE BALLPARK

The $37.8 million state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue is expected to be a catalyzing economic development tool that attracts and retains business, provides national exposure, increases civic and community pride and provides for an improved quality of life for residents. It features natural grass, a 25x70 LED scoreboard, six luxury suites, four field boxes, a premium club level, outdoor party deck, a kids zone and more. Construction is scheduled to be completed in March 2019 with Opening Day slated for April 2019.

ABOUT THE HOUSTON ASTROS

The 2017 World Champion Houston Astros have been Houston's hometown baseball team since 1962, when the Colt .45s first took the field in Colt Stadium. Three years later, the team became the Houston Astros as a tribute to America's "Space City" and will be entering their 58th season in Major League Baseball. In 2013, the Astros moved to the American League West Division, becoming the first franchise to move from the National League to the American League. The Astros are also the only team in MLB history to have won both an American and National League pennant. For 81 regular season games a year, the Astros can be found on their home field at Minute Maid Park, where families and friends come together to enjoy America's favorite pastime in one of baseball's most comfortable and fan-friendly ballparks. In addition to striving for success on the field, the Astros take pride in their local community and are committed to making Houston a better place by honoring our nation's military, combatting homelessness, aiding in the fight against cancer and supporting youth baseball and softball through the Astros Foundation's cornerstone programs. For more information on the Astros, please visit www.astros.com.

Houston Astros

Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane Inducted into Texas Business Hall of Fame

Induction performed at last night's Texas Business Hall of Fame 36th Annual Induction Dinner

Last night, the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation inducted Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane into its ranks at the 36th Annual Texas Business Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.

 

Last night, the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation inducted Astros Owner and Chairman Jim Crane into its ranks at the 36th Annual Texas Business Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.

 

For 36 years, the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation has honored the best of Texas' past and present business leaders and inspired the leadership of the future, perpetuating and inspiring the values of entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and community leadership in all generations of Texans.

 

"I am grateful to the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation for being recognized with this induction," said Crane. "I believe that business leaders have an obligation to make a positive impact on their communities, and my investment in Houston, both personally and professionally, has returned tremendous dividends. I will share this honor with the many fine people that I have worked with, who deserve much of the credit for the successes I have enjoyed. This is truly a great honor."

 

The 2018 Texas Business Hall of Fame inductees include:

  • The Chao Family, T.T. Chao (Posthumous), Albert Chow, Dorothy Chao Jenkins, James Chao, Westlake Chemical Corporation
  • Ernie Cockrell, Cockrell Interests
  • Jim Crane, Crane Capital/Houston Astros/Crane Worldwide Logistics
  • Jim McIngvale, Gallery Furniture
  • David Weekley, David Weekley Homes
  • Dick Weekley, Texans for Lawsuit Reform/David Weekley Homes
  • Patricia Will, Belmont Village Senior Living

 

ABOUT THE TEXAS BUSINESS HALL OF FAME FOUNDATION:

The Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation is a non-profit organization of directors who are business leaders from cities throughout the state. The Organization's mission is to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of Texas business leaders, to perpetuate and inspire the values of entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and community leadership in all generations of Texans. This mission is achieved by inducting honorees at an annual dinner, publicizing their accomplishments throughout the state and providing financial support for higher education in Texas. For additional information, contact the TBHF office at 713-993-9433 or visit www.texasbusiness.org.

 

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Houston Astros

Astros decline club option on McCann, outright Gustave

Following transactions, the Astros 40-man roster stands at 33 players

The Houston Astros have declined their club option on catcher Brian McCann and have outrighted right-handed pitcher Jandel Gustave off their 40-man roster. Both McCann and Gustave will become free agents. The announcement was made by Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

McCann, 34, played 63 games for the Astros this season, making 55 starts behind the plate. He was hampered by two trips to the disabled list with right knee discomfort, which sidelined him for 59 team games. A veteran of 14 Major League seasons, McCann was with the Astros for two seasons and was the club's everyday catcher during their 2017 World Series run, starting 17 of the 18 Astros playoff games in 2017.

The Houston Astros have declined their club option on catcher Brian McCann and have outrighted right-handed pitcher Jandel Gustave off their 40-man roster. Both McCann and Gustave will become free agents. The announcement was made by Astros President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

McCann, 34, played 63 games for the Astros this season, making 55 starts behind the plate. He was hampered by two trips to the disabled list with right knee discomfort, which sidelined him for 59 team games. A veteran of 14 Major League seasons, McCann was with the Astros for two seasons and was the club's everyday catcher during their 2017 World Series run, starting 17 of the 18 Astros playoff games in 2017.

Gustave, 26, did not make a pitching appearance this season after undergoing UCL reconstruction surgery in June of 2017. He made six appearances for the Astros in 2017 and was on the club's Opening Day roster that season.

With the removals of McCann and Gustave, the Astros 40-man roster now stands at 33 players.

Houston Astros