Sports & Recreation
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 10:13

Top four affiliates begin regular season play this Thursday

HOUSTON, TX – The Houston Astros have set their preliminary 2014 minor league rosters for four of their affiliates, Triple A Oklahoma City, Double A Corpus Christi, Class A Advanced Lancaster and Class A Quad Cities. The announcement was made by Astros Director of Player Development Quinton McCracken.


These rosters are subject to change and will not be officially finalized until the minor league Opening Day. Rosters do not include Disabled List players.


Oklahoma City:



Jake Buchanan

Jose Cisnero

Paul Clemens

Bobby Doran

Darin Downs*

Mike Foltynewicz

Chia-Jen Lo

David Martinez

Collin McHugh

Rudy Owens*

Jason Stoffel

Nick Tropeano

Pat Urckfitz*

Josh Zeid


Ryan McCurdy

Carlos Perez

Max Stassi


Japhet Amador

Erik Castro*

Jonathan Meyer

Gregorio Petit

Jon Singleton*

Ruben Sosa#

Ronald Torreyes



Adron Chambers

Domingo Santana

George Springer

Austin Wates


* - denotes left-hander

# - denotes switch-hitter


Corpus Christi:


Travis Ballew

Colton Cain*

Luis Cruz*

Jorge De Leon

T.J. Geith*

Matt Heidenreich

Jordan Jankowski

Andrew Robinson

Brady Rodgers

David Rollins*

Ross Seaton

Tommy Shirley*

Alex Sogard*

Aaron West


Rene Garcia

Tyler Heineman#


M.P. Cokinos

Matt Duffy

Nolan Fontana*

Enrique Hernandez

Jio Mier

Joe Sclafani#



Andrew Aplin*

Delino DeShields

Chris Epps*

Leo Heras*

Preston Tucker*




Mark Appel

Jamaine Cotton

Chris Devenski

Michael Dimock

Josh Hader*

Mike Hauschild

Mitchell Lambson*

Lance McCullers

Juan Minaya

Daniel Minor

J.D. Osborne*

Tyson Perez

Kyle Smith

Vincent Velasquez

Kyle Westwood


Roberto Pena

Jake Rodriguez


Carlos Correa

Tony Kemp*

Brandon Meredith

Carlos Perdomo

Rio Ruiz*



Justin Gominsky

Dan Gulbransen*

Teoscar Hernandez

Jordan Scott*

Danry Vasquez*


Quad Cities:


Tyler Brunnemann

Patrick Christensen

Chris Cotton*

Kent Emanuel*

Michael Feliz

Evan Grills*

Jandel Gustave

Adrian Houser

Chris Lee*

Albert Minnis*

Zach Morton

Gonzalo Sanudo

Andrew Thurman

Andrew Walter



Brett Booth

Brian Holberton*

Jobduan Morales#



Austin Elkins#

Conrad Gregor*

Jack Mayfield

Chase McDonald

Chan Moon*

Tyler White



Jon Kemmer*

Tanner Mathis*

Brett Phillips*

James Ramsay*


Climbing the Charts:

Over the past two seasons, the combined record of the Astros minor league system has been the best in baseball (915-754, .548)...Houston set a franchise record when their top six minor league affiliates all qualified for the playoffs in 2013, and two clubs ended up winning championships (Class A Quad Cities, Class A Short Season Tri-City)...the Astros became the first organization to have six domestic affiliates qualify for the postseason since the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003...along with the Royals and Mariners, the Astros were one of three organizations to have multiple championship teams in 2013.


This Spring, the Astros minor league system was rated as the best in baseball by both and The Sporting News...Baseball America, who ranked the Astros system as the worst in baseball in both 2009 and 2010, tabbed Houston’s system as the fifth-best in the Houston prospects made the 2014 Top 100 Prospects list, which ranked tied for second among all 30 clubs...of the top 100 prospect lists put out by, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball America and, the following Astros prospects made at least one of those lists: SS Carlos Correa, RHP Mark Appel, CF George Springer, 1B Jon Singleton, RHP Mike Foltynewicz, RHP Lance McCullers, OF Delino DeShields, RHP Vincent Velasquez.


The accolades:

There were 25 Astros prospects who were named All-Stars in their respective leagues across all eight levels of the minors in 2013...CF George Springer hit 37 home runs and stole 45 bases, becoming the first minor leaguer to reach the 30-30 plateau since Oakland’s Grant Desme in 2009...Springer was named Minor League Baseball’s 2013 Offensive Player of the Year and was named the Double A Texas League Player of the 18 years old, SS Carlos Correa was the second-youngest player in the Class A Midwest League but still led the league in OPS (.872) while finishing second in OBP (.405) and third in batting average (.320)...Correa led all Midwest League shortstops in fielding percentage.


Since Jeff Luhnow was appointed Astros General Manager in November of 2011, the Astros have acquired talent through the draft, trades and international signings...when looking at Baseball America’s top 30 Astros prospects, 17 were acquired during Luhnow’s current tenure with the club:

Through the Draft: SS Carlos Correa (#1), RHP Mark Appel (#3), RHP Lance McCullers (#5), 3B Rio Ruiz (#11), RHP Andrew Thurman (#15), OF Andrew Aplin (#19), SS Nolan Fontana (#20), LHP Kent Emanuel (#23), OF Brett Phillips (#30)

Via Trade: RHP Asher Wojciechowski (#10), C Max Stassi (#12), LHP Josh Hader (#14), LHP Kevin Chapman (#17), RHP Kyle Smith (#22), RHP Gonzalo Sanudo (#26), OF Danry Vasquez (#29)

International Signings: OF Leo Heras (#25)



Last year, the Astros minor league system led all 30 organizations in OPS (.731) and on-base percentage (.342) while finishing second in walks (3208), homers (611) and runs (4101)...on the pitching side, Houston’s minor league system ranked second among all 30 organizations in walks per 9.0 innings (3.1) and strikeout to walk ratio (2.53)...led by Domingo Santana (25 HR), George Springer (19 HR) and Max Stassi (17 HR), Double A Corpus Christi finished third in the minors with 158 homers...Class A Advanced Lancaster led all of the minors in runs, walks, OBP and OPS in 2013.


2014 breakdown - astros top 20 prospects by team:

- Triple A Oklahoma City (6): Jon Singleton (#2), George Springer (#3), Mike Foltynewicz (#6), Domingo Santana (#9), Nick Tropeano (#17), Max Stassi (#18)

- Double A Corpus Christi (2): Delino DeShields (#7), Nolan Fontana (#18)


- Class A Advanced Lancaster (9): Carlos Correa (#1), Mark Appel (#2), Lance McCullers (#5), Vincent Velasquez (#9), Rio Ruiz (#11), Teoscar Hernandez (#13), Josh Hader (#15), Kyle Smith (#19), Danry Vasquez (#20)

-Class A Quad Cities (2): Michael Feliz (#10), Andrew Thurman (#16)



News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Marco LaNave   
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:25
Preliminary roster has seven of Houston's top 30 prospects, six returnees from 2013 Midwest League Champions
DAVENPORT, Iowa (April 2, 2014) – More of the top prospects from baseball's No. 1-ranked minor league system will play at Modern Woodmen Park this season. The defending Midwest League Champion Quad Cities River Bandits and their major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, announced the club's preliminary roster for the 2014 season on Wednesday. Included are seven of the top 30 Houston Astros prospects, according to Baseball America, and six players who played for the River Bandits during their championship season.
Quad Cities alumni account for five of the top seven and nine of the top 30 prospects in the Astros organization. Adding the seven others set to play for the 2014 squad, more than half of the Astros' top prospects (16 of 30) will have played at Modern Woodmen Park since last year's season opener that began Quad Cities' new affiliation with the Houston Astros, whom ranked this year as having the best minor league system in baseball.
“This great roster is a perfect example of why we are so proud to be affiliated with the Houston Astros,” said River Bandits owner Dave Heller. “The Astros are not merely sending us future major leaguers, they are sending the Quad Cities future stars. Like last season's roster featuring Carlos Correa and Mark Appel (among many others), this season's roster is loaded with future stars. For young people in our area, they will have many chances to see, meet and get autographs from many of the best up and coming players in major league baseball. We're not just breeding major leaguers, we're grooming future major league stars!”
The 2014 River Bandits' pitching staff includes six top prospects. The youngest on the staff, 20-year-old right-hander Michael Feliz, is the No. 9 prospect in the Astros' minor league system, according to Baseball America. Also ranked among the top prospects are right-hander Andrew Thurman (15), left-handers Kent Emanuel (23) and Chris Lee (24), and right-handers Gonzalo Sanudo (26) and Jandel Gustave (27). Outfielder Brett Phillips (30), who played 12 games with Quad Cities in 2013, is the only ranked position player on the roster.
In addition to Phillips, five other River Bandits played for Quad Cities last season. Catcher Jobduan Morales, infielder Austin “Catfish” Elkins, and right-handed pitchers Patrick Christensen, Zach Morton and Andrew Walter were all on the championship squad last September. Walter finished five playoff wins, including the championship clincher at Modern Woodmen Park.
Of the 27 players on the preliminary roster, 18 played last season for the Astros' Short-Season Class-A affiliate, the Tri-City ValleyCats, who won the 2013 New York-Penn League title. In all, 21 players on the River Bandits' 2014 preliminary roster played for a championship-winning club in 2013. Five others were on the rookie-level Greeneville club that reached the Appalachian League Championship Series.
In 2013, the Houston Astros had a franchise-record six minor league playoff clubs, becoming the first organization to have six domestic affiliates qualify for the playoffs in the same season since Pittsburgh in 2003. Each of the highest six affiliates - Triple-A Oklahoma City (Pacific Coast League), Double-A Corpus Christi (Texas League), Class-A Advanced Lancaster (California League), Quad Cities, Tri-City, and Greeneville made the postseason. The combined regular season winning percentage of all affiliates (.569, 476-360) ranked second out of 30 MLB organizations.
The roster is subject to change before the opening game at 7:00 p.m. Thursday at Modern Woodmen Park.
UP NEXT: Opening Day is April 3, so lock in your seats now to see the defending Midwest League Champions in 2014! Single-game tickets are available online at To order any of the ticket plans - with new lower prices - call the River Bandits box office at 563-324-3000. Season ticket and mini-plan packages start at just seven games and begin at less than $40. Call a River Bandits account representative today to choose your seats and get the details of our various mini-plan packages.
ABOUT THE BANDITS: Having just been named Ballpark Digest's winner of Best Ballpark Improvement in America under $1 million, the River Bandits ownership is making one of the biggest improvements to Modern Woodmen Park since the ballpark was first built back in 1931! A new Ferris wheel, standing 110 feet over the playing field, is opening this spring, along with a carousel, a new ride called a "Drop and Twist," an expanded 300-foot long zip line, and many other new games and attractions. In 2013, the team unveiled a new 220-foot long dual zip line, a rock climbing wall, and a number of new bounce houses. The team's major league affiliate, the Houston Astros, just saw all six of its affiliates reach the playoffs - the first time in a decade any MLB team can claim such success. The River Bandits were one of three affiliates to reach the championship round and one of two to win their league championship.

Mallards Set Playoff Roster Rookie Perry Added as Amateur PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brian Lavelle   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 12:41

MOLINE, Ill. (March 31, 2014) – The Quad City Mallards have set their roster for the Central Hockey League President’s Cup playoffs, the Mallards announced today.

In addition to the nineteen players on the roster proper, the Mallards have added rookie forward Joe Perry to fill one of two slots available for amateur players joining CHL clubs for the playoffs.  Goaltender Ty Rimmer and forwards Jim McKenzie and Mike Hellyer have returned to the roster for the playoffs while forward Gabriel Levesque has been placed on 14-day injured reserve and forward Jordan Lane and goaltender Eric Levine have been left off the postseason roster.

Rimmer returned to the Mallards today after being recalled by the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons last Monday.  McKenzie has scored three goals and added five assists in 26 games since joining the AHL’s Iowa Wild in January after starting the season with the Mallards.  Hellyer missed the Mallards’ final 22 regular season games after being placed on injured reserve February 16 due to an upper body injury.

Levesque suffered a lower body injury yesterday during the Mallards’ regular season-ending 5-3 win over the Missouri Mavericks.  Levine was signed last week when Rimmer was called up by Oklahoma City, and served as the Mallards’ backup netminder in four games.  Lane picked up one assist and collected 88 penalty minutes in 56 regular season games.

Perry, 24, joins the Mallards after earlier this month leading Division III powerhouse St. Norbert College to its third national title in his four years as a Green Knight.  The 6’ 2”, 215-pound Nanaimo, British Columbia, native was named to the America Hockey Coaches Association Division III All-American first team after finishing the season tied for first in the nation with 24 goals and totaling 37 points in 32 games.  Perry earned NCAA tournament Most Valuable Player honors after scoring five goals and adding two assists in three tournament games.  He scored 50 times and recorded 106 points in 115 career collegiate games.   


In full, the active playoff roster is comprised of forwards Hellyer, McKenzie, Matt Boyd, Justin Fox, Thomas Frazee, Jeff Lee, Jordan Mayer, Gergo Nagy, Vladimir Nikiforov and Mike Stinziani; defensemen Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel, Matt Duffy, Darren McMillan, Mike Monfredo, Nicholas Rioux and Tyler Yaworski; forward/defenseman Nick Grasso; goaltenders Rimmer and Thomas Heemskerk; and amateur forward Perry.  

The Mallards head to Rapid City Friday and Saturday for games one and two of their best-of-seven opening round series against the Rush.  The Mallards return home for game three on Wednesday, April 9 at 7:05 p.m. and game four on Friday, April 11 at 7:05 p.m.  If a fifth game is necessary, it will be played on Saturday night April 12 at 7:05 p.m. at the iWireless Center.  Should a sixth game be required, the series will shift back to Rapid City on Tuesday, April 15.  If the series goes to a seventh game, the Rush would host the deciding contest on Wednesday, April 16.

Tickets for Mallards home playoff games can be purchased in person at the iWireless Center box office, online, at Ticketmaster outlets or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period. 

About the Quad City Mallards
A proud affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild and the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild, the Quad City Mallards are in the midst of their seventeenth season their fourth in the Central Hockey League.  One of the winningest teams in all of minor league hockey, the Mallards competed in the United Hockey League from 1995 through 2007 and in the International Hockey League in 2009-10.  The Mallards’ proud history has seen them capture the UHL’s Colonial Cup Championship three times (1997, 1998, 2001) and secure that league’s Tarry Cup four times (1998, 2000, 2001, 2002) for the best overall regular season record.  In 2001, the Mallards made professional hockey history, recording their sixth consecutive season with 50 or more wins, a feat that has yet to be matched.  The iWireless Center provides a unique environment for hockey and features one-of-a-kind seating areas such as the Nest for groups and functions and the exclusive Drake Club.  For more information on the Quad City Mallards or for Mallards tickets go to  Fans can also follow the Mallards via Twitter at and on Facebook at

–### Quad City Mallards ### –

Branstad to sign Senate File 2341, Newton Speedway bill, into law Wednesday in Newton PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 12:34

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today announced he will signSenate File 2341, an Act relating to the rebate of sales tax imposed and collected at an automobile racetrack facility and including effective date and retroactive applicability provisions, into law Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. in Newton, Iowa. The bill will be signed before Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds hold their Jasper County “Iowa is Working” town hall meeting.

Senate File 2341 passed the Iowa Senate 36-9 and the Iowa House 82-14.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014  

10:30 a.m. Gov. Branstad signs Senate File 2341 at Jasper County “Iowa is Working” town hall meeting

Newton Manufacturing

1123 - 1st Avenue East

Newton, IA


News Releases - Sports & Recreation
Written by Brian Lavelle   
Monday, 31 March 2014 10:02
MOLINE, Ill. (March 30, 2014) – Mike Stinziani scored once and added two assists and Jeff Lee provided the third period game winner as the host Quad City Mallards closed out the regular season by defeating the Missouri Mavericks 5-3 Sunday in front of 5,218 fans.  With the victory, the fifth place Mallards (33-23-10, 76 points) head into the Central Hockey League playoffs riding a four game winning streak while the defeat was the third in a row for the regular season champion Mavericks (44-20-2, 90 points).

Lee crashed the net to break a 3-3 deadlock and put the Mallards on top for good at 4:04 of the third.  Lee buried the winner just two minutes and four seconds after Mike Ramsey had evened the score for the Mavericks with a wrist shot from the right wing circle.  At 7:23 of the third Matt Boyd’s wraparound goal provided vital insurance for the Mallards.

The Mallards, who never trailed, got an early jump on the Mavericks by outscoring Missouri 2-1 over a wild two minute and thirty-four second stretch of the first period.  Justin Fox’s point blank power play goal gave the Mallards a 1-0 lead at 7:39 of the first.  One minute and five seconds later, Mike Stinziani’s shorthanded wraparound doubled the margin.  The Mavericks got on the scoreboard for the first time when Andrew Courtney swept the puck in from the doorstep at the 10:13 mark.

The second period brought more rapid fire scoring.  Thomas Frazee’s one timer from the slot gave the Mallards a two-goal cushion at 14:52 but the Mavs’ Obi Aduba narrowed the gap to 3-2 from the high slot just 14 seconds later.

The Mallards welcomed a total 11,020 fans to their final two regular season home games and have drawn throngs of better than 5,000 to the iWireless Center six times since January.

The Mallards head to Rapid City Friday and Saturday for games one and two of their best-of-seven opening round playoff series against the Rush.  The Mallards return home for game three on Wednesday, April 9 at 7:05 p.m. and game four on Friday, April 11 at 7:05 p.m.  If a fifth game is necessary, it will be played on Saturday night April 12 at 7:05 p.m. at the iWireless Center.  Should a sixth game be required, the series will shift back to Rapid City on Tuesday, April 15.  If the series goes to a seventh game, the Rush would host the deciding contest on Wednesday, April 16.

Tickets for Mallards home playoff games can be purchased in person at the iWireless Center box office, online at, at Ticketmaster outlets or through Ticketmaster charge-by-phone toll free at 1-800-745-3000.  The ticket office is open weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and on game days from 10:00 a.m. until the start of the second period.

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