HOUSTON, TX - This week’s episode of Astroline, the Astros popular offseason radio show, will air tomorrow night on SportsTalk 790 from 6-7 p.m. CT. Astros broadcasters Robert Ford and Geoff Blum will serve as co-hosts for the show, which will feature exclusive pre-recorded interviews with a pair of Astros prospects: outfielder Chas McCormick and right-handed pitcher Forrest Whitley.
The taping of this week’s Astroline will be tonight from 6-7 p.m. at Pluckers Wing Bar, which is located at 1400 Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX, 77007. Ford and Blum will be on hand tonight from 6-7 p.m. Astroline is open to the public with no admission charge.
In addition to listening along on SportsTalk 790 tomorrow night, the show can be heard on 94.5 FM HD-2 and at SportsTalk790.com. The show will also be posted online in podcast form at Astros.com/Podcasts and in video form on the Astros official YouTube account.
All Astroline shows, which are presented by Karbach Brewing Company, are scheduled to broadcast on SportsTalk 790, but are subject to change due to scheduling conflicts. Tomorrow night’s show is the eighth of a scheduled 14 shows, which will air weekly on most Thursday’s from 6-7 p.m. CT during the offseason.
McCormick, 25, a right-handed hitting outfielder was active on the club’s 2020 postseason roster for the Wild Card Series and the ALDS, despite never appearing in a Major League game. Originally a 21st round pick by the Astros in 2017, McCormick has risen up the prospect charts in his four years in the Astros system. He spent his 2020 season at the Astros Alternate Training Site, but did not play in an official game. He last accrued stats in 2019, splitting his campaign between the Double A and Triple A levels, combining for an .818 OPS (.386 OBP/.432 SLG) with 14 homers in 110 games en route to being named an MiLB.com Organizational All-Star.
Whitley, 23, has been rated by multiple publications as the Astros top prospect, and one of the best prospects in all of baseball. In four seasons in Houston’s minor league system (2016-19), he has gone 9-15 with a 4.71 ERA (103ER/197IP), 95 walks and 289 strikeouts in 57 games (47 starts). Whitley spent the 2020 season working out at the Astros Alternate Training Site. A San Antonio, Texas, native, Whitley was selected by the Astros with the 17th overall pick in the first round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of Alamo Heights High School.
Ford will be returning for his ninth season as the Astros radio play-by-play commentator in 2021 after being named to the post prior to the 2013 season. Before joining the Astros, Ford spent four seasons as the pre-and postgame host for the Kansas City Royals radio broadcasts on 610 AM KCSP, the Royals flagship station. The 2001 graduate of Syracuse University spent seven years broadcasting minor league baseball, calling more than 800 games during his stints with the Binghamton Mets, Kalamazoo Kings and Yakima Bears. Ford was twice named Frontier League Broadcaster of the Year (2003, 2004).
Blum will also be returning for his ninth season on the Astros television broadcast team in 2021, his fifth as the everyday color analyst for Astros telecasts. Blum, who retired after 14 Major League seasons as an infielder (1999-2012), made the transition from the playing field to the broadcast booth in 2013. During his playing career, Blum had two stints with the Astros, totaling five seasons in Houston (2002-03, 2008-10). Throughout his tenure with the Astros, Blum hit .259 with 228 RBI, 46 homers, 77 doubles and a .711 OPS. A switch hitter, Blum was known as one of the top pinch-hitters and utility players in the game, appearing at four infield positions for nine straight seasons (2000-08). He appeared in the postseason three times in his career (2005-06, 2011).
Astroline preliminary schedule (subject to change):
Day Date Station
Fri. Feb. 5 KBME
Thur. Feb. 11 KBME
Thur. Feb. 18 KBME
Thur. Feb. 25 KBME*
Thur. March 4 KBME*
Thur. March 11 KBME*
Thur. March 18 KBME*
*live from West Palm