HOUSTON, TX - Astroline, the Astros popular weekly radio show, will air its 12th episode of the season tomorrow on SportsTalk 790 from 6-7 p.m. CT. Astros television broadcaster Geoff Blum along with Astros radio broadcasters Robert Ford and Steve Sparks will serve as the co-hosts for the show, which will feature pre-recorded interviews with Astros prospect Colin Barber and field coordinator Jason Bell. Barber is one of several minor league players currently working out at the Astros minor league camp at the club’s Spring Training facility in West Palm Beach.
In addition to listening along on SportsTalk 790, the show can also be heard live on the iHeartRadio App.
All Astroline shows, which are presented by Karbach Brewing Company, are scheduled to broadcast on SportsTalk 790, but are subject to change due to scheduling conflicts.
Barber was the Astros fourth-round pick in the June 2019 MLB draft from Pleasant Valley High School in Chico, California. During his minor league career, he’s batted .248 (35x141) with five home runs, six doubles and seven RBI in 44 games. The outfielder is listed as the Astros number seven overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com.
Bell, who oversees the Astros minor league camp and minor league mini-camp enters his first year as the field coordinator and his sixth with the Astros. He served as the fundamentals coordinator from 2019-2021. In 2018, Bell served his first managerial post at Class A Short Season Tri-City and led the club to a New York-Penn League Championship title. Bell joined the Astros as a development coach at Quad Cities in 2017.
Blum will be returning for his 10th season on the Astros television broadcast team in 2022, his sixth as the everyday color analyst for Astros telecasts. Blum, who retired after 14 Major League seasons as an infielder (1999-2012), made the transition from the playing field to the broadcast booth in 2013. During his playing career, Blum had two stints with the Astros, totaling five seasons in Houston (2002-03, 2008-10). Throughout his tenure with the Astros, Blum hit .259 with 228 RBI, 46 homers, 77 doubles and a .711 OPS. A switch hitter, Blum was known as one of the top pinch-hitters and utility players in the game, appearing at four infield positions for nine straight seasons (2000-08). He appeared in the postseason three times in his career (2005-06, 2011).
Ford will be returning for his 10th season as the Astros radio play-by-play commentator in 2021 after being named to the post prior to the 2013 season. Before joining the Astros, 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, 2004).
Sparks will be returning for his 10th season in 2022 as the Astros radio color commentator after being named to the post on Feb. 13, 2013. Prior to joining the Astros radio broadcast team, Sparks served as a pre-and postgame analyst for Astros television games over several seasons following a 17-year playing career. A knuckleballer in his playing days, Sparks pitched in the Major Leagues in parts of nine seasons (1995-2004) for the Brewers, Angels, Tigers, A’s and Diamondbacks. His best season came in 2001 for Detroit when he went 14-9 with a 3.65 ERA and a Major League-best eight complete games while tallying 232.0 innings pitched.