Astros line up pitching after All-Star break
Wandy Rodriguez, and not Roy Oswalt, will get the ball to start the second half of the season Thursday in Los Angeles, manager Cecil Cooper said Saturday. Cooper wants to give Oswalt an extra day of rest to recover from the bone bruise on two of his fingers, an injury he suffered swinging the bat in the sixth inning Friday.
Oswalt, who will start Friday at Dodger Stadium, said Saturday he will be ready to pitch and expects to be recovered from his injury. Mike Hampton, who was roughed up Saturday, will start Saturday at Dodger Stadium and Russ Ortiz will start the final game of the series.
Cooper said Rodriguez is staying in Houston during the All-Star break and will throw a bullpen session at Minute Maid Park.
In case you missed it, the Astros claimed catcher Chris Coste off waivers on Friday. Coste, who spent 11 years in the Minor Leagues, including five in independent ball, broke in with the Phillies in 2006 and last year won a World Series ring. Wearing No. 41, he saw his first action for the Astros in the seventh inning Saturday.
The addition of Coste makes the Astros the first team in the Majors to have two players born in North Dakota on the roster at the same time. Coste was born in Fargo, N.D., and Darin Erstad is from nearby Jamestown, N.D. Those in Jamestown upset that it was reported their favorite son was from Fargo should take note that Erstad was quick to remind a reporter of his real hometown and urged everyone to refrain from writing letters.