Pregame Meal: Friday, July 5th
By Matt Appel (@mattappel)
At long last, it is finally #MarkAppelDay! At 7:00 pm (approximately), Mark Appel, the first overall pick of the 2013 MLB Draft, will begin his professional baseball career with the ValleyCats. While Appel is reportedly on a 30-pitch limit in this outing, it will still mark the beginning of what has the potential to be a long and successful career.
-I’ll be joined after Appel’s start in the radio booth by Astros Assistant General Manager David Stearns, to break down Mark’s outing, as well as discuss where the Astros are as an organization right now.
-ValleyCats come into this one struggling a little, losers of three of their last four, while scoring no more than two runs in any of those games. For a team that has relied so much on its offense, there has been little extra base production, or production of any sorts since the calendar turned to July. We’ll see if that changes tonight.
-If I had to guess, we might have a bigger crowd tonight for Appel’s start than we did for July 4th last night, which is saying something. The crowd outside the gate before they were opened was tremendous.
-Quick scouting report that haven’t seen Appel pitch yet: 98 MPH fastball (we won’t see that tonight), a wipeout slider from 84-86, and a changeup at 82-84. All three pitches are potential strikeout pitches for the righty.