Right-hander Henry Sosa, a former minor league All-Star and a member of the World Team in the 2007 XM All-Star Futures Game, continues to turn heads and create excitement since joining the Astros’ farm system after being acquired, along with right-handed reliever Jason Stoffel, by Houston on July 19 in a trade that sent infielder Jeff Keppinger to the San Francisco Giants.
The 26-year-old Sosa went 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA over three starts at Double-A Corpus Christi before earning a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Sosa tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits with three walks and three strikeouts, in his first start for Oklahoma City last Friday against Las Vegas at Cashman Field to earn a no-decision.
He welcomed the trade with strong optimism, especially since the talented right-hander felt it was the right time for a fresh start.
“When I found out, I thought it was good for me,” Sosa said. “I know I have a better chance with the Astros. The Giants won the World Series last year. They have the pitching staff they need. So, I have a much better chance to compete with the Astros.”
Sosa throws a fastball in the low to mid 90s and continues to work on locating his pitches better, especially the two-seamer and curve.
“I like to throw the first pitch strike,” Sosa said. “I am working hard to improve my slider, changeup and two-seamer. I need to locate my curve better. I throw several good pitches, but that first pitch, I want to throw it for a strike. Everything went well with Don Alexander [pitching coach] at Corpus Christi, and now I’m working with [Oklahoma City pitching coach] Burt Hooton.
“Everybody has been so nice.”
Astros general manager Ed Wade calls Houston “the land of opportunity” for young ballplayers looking to capitalize on a chance.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Sosa, who signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Giants on April 23, 2004, focuses on the task at hand and works hard to execute his job without letting the thought of tomorrow enter his mind in the world of minor league baseball.
For now, Sosa intends to listen and do everything asked of him by Oklahoma City manager Tony DeFrancesco and Hooton.
If his recent success merits a potential call-up this season, Sosa will simply move forward and try to be an asset for the Astros.
“I hope to keep doing what I’m doing right now,” he said. “I have control over my job today, but I don’t have control on where I’ll be tomorrow. Today, I’m playing for Oklahoma City, but tomorrow, I could be pitching in a different uniform. I try the best I can and I believe everything has a way of working out.”
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