CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -- Another day, another new face for Hooks manager Keith Bodie.
The flurry of trades the Astros have made in the last month have infused the Minor League system with even more bodies, some of whom have found their way to Double-A Corpus Christi. Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, acquired from Toronto in a 10-player trade, joined the Hooks on Saturday, and will make his first start Tuesday at San Antonio.
Another right-hander, Matt Heidenreich, met the Hooks on Sunday after being acquired from the White Sox in a trade for Brett Myers. The team also has a pair of new catchers in Ben Heath and Rene Garcia, both up from Class A Lancaster.
"Regardless of the changes, they've played cohesive enough to really do an amazing job," said Bodie, whose team entered play Monday in first place in the Texas League's South Division at 20-9.
Wojciechowski, 23, was Toronto's first selection in the compensation round of the 2010 Draft. He was 7-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 18 starts at Class A Dunedin, going 5-1 with a 1.49 ERA in his last seven starts.
Wojciechowski, a power pitcher who likes to attack hitters, said landing with the rebuilding Astros will give him more opportunity.
"I kind of get that feeling right now, looking at all the movement they're doing," he said. "Seeing what's going on, I definitely feel like this is a great opportunity and have a great chance to do something here."
Another newcomer to the rotation is left-hander Rob Rasmussen, who came to Houston from the Marlins in the July 4 deal for Carlos Lee. Rasmussen is 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three starts in his first Double-A experience. He joined the Hooks from Jupiter of the Florida State League.
"He's getting acclimated to a new level," Bodie said. "It's his first time in Double-A, and [Friday] night he made some nice adjustments from his previous outing. We're happy to have him, a left-hander with quality stuff. He's got four quality pitches, and another thing with him is he's still young and command is a big issue. When he's down, he's very effective."
Heidenreich was 9-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 combined starts at Class A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham with two complete games and a shutout. The White Sox selected the 21-year-old in the fourth-round of the 2009 Draft and he's gone 25-17 in four minor league seasons, with a 3.87 ERA in 75 appearances (56 starts).
Cosart overcomes minor injury problems
Jarred Cosart has been blessed with a talented right arm, but he can also thank Stan's Rodeo Ointment for his recent success.
Cosart, the Astros' top pitching prospect, threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Saturday's win over Frisco, allowing just three hits. He's 2-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his last five starts, and appears to have put his blister issues behind him.
Cosart has been using the ointment, the same gooey stuff that Red Sox pitcher and fellow Texan Josh Beckett tabbed to deal with his blister problems.
"We read about Josh Beckett and a lot of guys who had significant blister issues, and got a hold of it and it's been great," Cosart said. "I feel like I have my old fingers back. I'm just going out there and not having to worry about coming out in the middle of starts."
Cosart was followed to the mound Sunday by teammate Jose Ciserno, who threw a complete game and allowed five hits in a win over Frisco. The 23-year-old Dominican has won five consecutive starts, going 7-1 with a 2.16 ERA in his last 10 outings.
Rookie righty West unhittable to begin career
How about the quick start by right-handed pitcher Aaron West in his professional career?
West, selected by the Astros in the 17th round of this year's Draft out of the University of Washington, has made six starts for short-season Tri-City and is 4-0 with a 0.88 ERA. In 30 2/3 innings, he's allowed just 15 hits, two walks and three runs, while striking about 26 batters.
On Friday against Vermont, he threw seven scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks, and struck out seven batters.
Kvasnicka displays power from both sides of plate
Mike Kvasnicka, the No. 33 overall pick in the 2010 Draft, homered from each side of the plate Sunday for Class A Lexington, going 3-for-4 and driving in seven runs in a 13-7 win over Greenville. He hit a three-run homer in the first and a grand slam in the eighth.
Kvasnicka, who has been playing the outfield as well as catcher and designated hitter, is slowly brushing off a slow start in which he was 0-for-17 and 5-for-62. He's hitting .226 after his three hits on Sunday.
"I was slumping with guys in scoring position," he said. "That gave me the emphasis to focus on situational hitting. The RBIs start to come, and if you hit a home run with runners on base, you also get the cheap RBIs."
-- Oklahoma City second baseman Jimmy Paredes was named PCL Player of the Week on Monday. From July 16-22, Paredes hit .500, and was one of three players to lead the league with 17 hits. He also hit three homers and drove in nine runs. In the eight games since he returned from paternity leave, he has gone 19-for-37 (.514).
-- Right-hander Paul Clemens allowed 10 hits and eight runs (three earned) in three innings Sunday in Triple-A Oklahoma City's 24-7 loss to Memphis, which pounded out 24 hits. Clemens is winless in his last seven starts, and has allowed four or more runs in nine straight starts. His 6.73 ERA this season is currently the highest among qualifying pitchers in the PCL. The game marked the second time this year the RedHawks have allowed 24 hits in a game.
-- Unlike teammate Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft who is hitting .180 through 89 at-bats, Rio Ruiz is flourishing in his brief time with the Gulf Coast League Astros. The third baseman is hitting .296 with two doubles and a triple in his first 27 at-bats.
-- Oklahoma City first baseman Mike Hessman has not homered since July 5 in New Orleans. The 14-game streak without a homer is his longest of the season. He still comfortably leads the PCL with 27 dingers this season.
-- Lexington starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz improved to 11-2 on Saturday after allowing four runs in six innings. He has 16 wins in two seasons, making him Lexington's career leader for wins.