Astros Minors Notebook: May 14, 2012

Astros Minors Notebook: May 14, 2012 -- USE THIS ONE

HOUSTON -- For Corpus Christi skipper Keith Bodie, the most significant thing about winning career game No. 1,000 as a Minor League manager is that it came with the same organization in which he began his managerial career more than 25 years ago.

Bodie, manager of the Astros' Double-A affiliate, won his benchmark game Friday night when the Hooks beat Frisco -- the Rangers' Double-A affiliate -- in Corpus Christi. He became the third Minor League manager to achieve 1,000 wins this year, pushing his 16-year career record to 1,000-945.

"Honestly, it's much ado about nothing," Bodie said. "I'm kind of taken aback from some of the attention surrounding it. I'm flattered by the recognition, but it just means I've been doing this a long time. I'm just glad we got to 1,000 wins before we got to 1,000 losses."

Bodie got his first win with the Astros organization in 1986 as the manager of the team's New York-Penn League affiliate in Auburn, N.Y. He advanced with a group of young Minor Leaguers, managing at Class A Asheville in '87 and Class A Osceola in '88. He finished first all three seasons and has gone on to accumulate seven first-place finishes on his resume.

"It's special for me that I can come back to the Astros and kind of experience that with the Astros," he said.

Among the Astros players Bodie managed earlier in his career were Craig Biggio, Tuffy Rhodes and Mike Simms, each of whom made it to the Major Leagues.

"We had a lot of talent in the system in those years, and I was fortunate enough to be mixed with them and it was an exciting time," Bodie said. "I'm looking forward to that returning."

With Houston's Minor League system on the uptick, Bodie is again managing some players who could have promising Major League careers. The Astros' top two prospects -- pitcher Jarred Cosart and first baseman Jonathan Singleton -- are both playing with the Hooks.

Cosart allowed seven hits, two runs and two walks and struck out four batters while picking up a win on Sunday. Singleton went 2-for-3 on Sunday with a three-run homer and four RBIs, and is hitting .301 with five homers and 19 RBIs.

"That was a nice start from Cosart, who's a power arm and an outstanding prospect," Bodie said. "He just needs to pitch. He needs to learn how to command the arsenal he's got. He's got a plus fastball, curveball and changeup, but like every power arm, more times than not, he's a thrower and not a pitcher. He's got to get command of those pitches, and I'm certain he's going to do that."

Alaniz thriving in Lancaster

It is well known how easily the ball carries in the California League, especially at the Astros' affiliate in Lancaster. Yet, that doesn't mean there are pitchers who can't succeed in that environment.

Ruben Alaniz, a 20-year-old right-hander, is 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA through his first seven starts of the season for the JetHawks. He's allowed 43 hits and nine walks in 45 innings while striking out 35 batters. The Astros signed Alaniz as a non-drafted free agent in August 2009, out of Juarez-Lincoln High School in La Joya, Texas. He received a $160,000 signing bonus.

"He's a very durable guy who's pitching deep into games," said Astros director of player development Fred Nelson. "His command has been solid. He has three average to above-average pitches, he's aggressive and he's pitched very well in the California League. He's really a bright spot for us."

Alaniz has some deception in his delivery, too, that has added to his success.

Clemens back on track

After giving up 15 earned runs in only 5 1/3 innings in two consecutive starts on the road earlier in the month, Triple-A Oklahoma City prospect Paul Clemens got back on track Saturday by throwing seven scoreless innings against Tucson. The right-hander didn't walk a batter and struck out six.

Clemens, who made some favorable impressions during his time in Major League Spring Training this year, is 3-3 with a 5.24 ERA in seven starts. He's allowed only five earned runs in five starts outside of his two rough outings May 3 and 7.

"He's back to pitching the way we expected him to pitch," Nelson said. "That's encouraging for us. Guys go through times when they're not going to locate real well or they run into some tough luck and they pitch themselves into some trouble. He's a good competitor and a very good pitcher with outstanding stuff. We look forward to more good starts."

Paredes continues to make progress

Jimmy Paredes, who was moved back to second base this spring after starting at third base for the Astros in the second half of last season, is finally starting to feel comfortable again at second base, a position he played in the Minors last year.

The switch-hitting Paredes is doing pretty well at the plate as well, hitting .295 with 14 RBIs, seven stolen bases and a .411 on-base percentage at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He has walked four times and struck out 31 times in 129 at-bats.

"Paredes has gotten back to where he's just about to where he was last year when he left second base," Astros director of player development Fred Nelson said. "When he first came back, he needed some reps. It's a little different game at second base than it is than third, and he's worked very hard defensively and offensively, and it's starting to show. He continues to make adjustments defensively."

Worth noting

• Lancaster outfielder George Springer, who hit four home runs in four consecutive at-bats across two games of a doubleheader on Friday, was hit by a pitch on his left hand on Saturday. Springer went for X-rays, which were negative. He leads the California League with 32 RBIs.

• Domingo Santana, the outfielder the Astros received as the player to be named later in the Hunter Pence trade with the Phillies last year, hit a walk-off grand slam Saturday in Lancaster's win over Lake Elsinor. He's hitting .229 with three homers and 16 RBIs.

• Left-hander Wes Musick, who started the season with a 3-1 record and a 2.51 ERA at Lancaster, was called up to Double-A Corpus Christi for one start and allowed one run in seven innings Monday against San Antonio.

Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.