RHP Mark Appel to be guest on Astroline Thursday

Top prospect Mark Appel joins radio broadcaster Robert Ford on Thursday at Pluckers Wing Bar

HOUSTON, TX - Houston Astros top pitching prospect Mark Appel will be the guest on Astroline this Thursday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. CT at Pluckers Wing Bar for the third installment of the offseason radio program. Astros radio play-by-play commentator Robert Ford will serve as the host.

Thursday's Astroline, which is presented by Karbach Brewing Co., will air on KBME SportsTalk 790 AM and will stream online at Astros.com/Astroline. All shows are scheduled to broadcast on KMBE SportsTalk 790, but are subject to change due to scheduling conflicts. Astroline will broadcast live, weekly from 7-8 p.m. CT during the offseason.


For the second consecutive season, Astroline takes place at Pluckers Wing Bar, which is located at 1400 Shepherd Dr., Houston TX, 77007. Pluckers Wing Bar is entering its second year of business in Houston after officially opening to the public last November. Astroline runs through March (16 segments) with the next 10 at Pluckers, which will be open to all Astros fans with no admission charge.


Fans can submit questions to the show via Twitter using the hashtag #Astroline, before and during the show. Fans may also post questions on the Astros Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Astros. As always, fans will also have the option to call the show with questions at 713-212-5790.


Appel, 23, is currently ranked as the top pitching prospect and the No. 2 overall prospect in the Astros system by MLB.com. The 6-foot-5, 222-pound right-hander closed out the 2014 season with Double A Corpus Christi, going 1-2 with a 3.69 ERA (16ER/39.0IP) and 38 strikeouts in seven games. Appel's season was highlighted by his first professional shutout, which came on Aug. 26 vs. the Frisco RoughRiders. He went 8.0 innings with 10 punchouts, allowing only two hits and a walk. Following the season, he pitched in the Arizona Fall League for the Salt River Rafters. He went 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA (9ER/31.0IP) in seven starts, and did not give up a run in his first three outings (12.0 innings). He also led the AFL in innings pitched while ranking tied for second in strikeouts (24) and tied for sixth in WHIP (0.84). A Houston native, Appel was drafted by the Astros with the first overall selection in the 2013 draft after finishing his degree from Stanford University.


Ford enters his third season as the Astros radio play-by-play commentator after being named to the post on Feb. 13, 2013. Prior to joining the Astros radio broadcast team, Ford spent four seasons as the pre-and postgame host for the Kansas City Royals radio broadcasts on 610 AM KCSP, the Royals flagship station. The 2001 graduate of Syracuse University spent seven years broadcasting minor league baseball, calling more than 800 games during his stints with the Binghamton Mets, Kalamazoo Kings and Yakima Bears. Ford was twice named Frontier League Broadcaster of the Year (2003 and 2004).


*Media Note- Media wishing to interview Mark Appel are asked to arrive by 6:45 p.m.


Astroline preliminary schedule (subject to change).


Day           Date               Station

Thu.           Dec. 11         KBME

Wed.         Dec. 17          KBME

Tue.           Jan. 6              KBME

Tue.           Jan. 13            KBME

Thu.           Jan. 22            KBME

Thu.           Jan. 29            KBME

Thu.           Feb. 5             KBME

Thu.           Feb. 12           KBME

Thu.           Feb. 19           KBME

Thu.           Feb. 26          KBME

Thu.           Mar. 5             KBME

Tues.         Mar. 10           KBME

Wed.         Mar. 18           KBME

Thu.           Mar. 26           KBME