Paulino will start Tuesday if Oswalt can't go

Astros general manager Ed Wade said Saturday right-hander Felipe Paulino would start Tuesday against the Giants if Roy Oswalt can’t pitch. Oswalt, who has been bothered with a lower left back strain, will likely be placed on the 15-day disabled list of he can’t start Tuesday.

Paulino was scheduled to start Saturday at Triple-A Round Rock, but he was scratched in anticipation of perhaps throwing Tuesday. Paulino, who is 2-5 with a 7.04 ERA for the Astros this year, is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts at Round Rock.

“He’s going to do a bullpen up there and just be on hold,” Wade said. “If we get word back from Roy on Monday he’s not going to be able to make the start on Tuesday, that probably puts us in a position of having to put him on the disabled list.”

Oswalt would miss only two starts if he’s on the disabled list. He threw 50 pitches off flat ground Saturday in St. Louis and said he felt “20 to 30 percent” better than he did after throwing lightly Friday at 50 percent effort. He threw at 75 percent effort Saturday.
Oswalt said he will get a better idea if he’s going to make the start when he pitches off the mound either Sunday or Monday.

“Throwing off flat ground is great and all, but the biggest test will be when I get on the mound,” Oswalt said. “About the only time you’re 100 percent is in the off-season, so if I get back to 90 percent I’ll be in good shape. The biggest thing is trusting it when you get out there. You don’t want to get in a situation in a game where you’re not going all out and you lose a ballgame. If I think I can get out there and get outs, I can get out there.”

Yorman Bazardo (9-5, 2.98 ERA) has been Round Rock’s top starter this year, but he’s out of options. If the Astros brought him up to make a spot start, he would have to clear waivers to make it back to Round Rock.

“From a logistical standpoint, Paulino was the obvious choice at this stage,” Wade said. “Bazardo was a consideration, but from a roster standpoint he has no options remaining, and if we were to bring Yorman up at that point in time we’re pretty much locked into keeping him. That creates a domino effect when Oswalt comes off the DL and [LaTroy] Hawkins comes off the DL. So we had to sort of look at it in the short term and long term.

“Short term because we may need to cover two starts and long term if you cover with a guy like Bazardo it could impact the structure of the pitching staff and put him in position we have to put him on waivers to get him back down. Every little roster move has ramifications, and we need to try to think these things through.”

4 Comments

Ed Wade is an idiot, he needs to do what is best right now to save the season and have a shot at the playoffs. If he brings Yorman up and he is productive and the others come off the DL he is worrying about losing him on waivers. He better be worrying about keeping his job and trying to make the playoffs. But he is right, Yorman will not clear and some other team will claim him off of the wire. Please do something that makes sense and get the best players up there to try to help.

What is Ed Wade thinking???? If we bring up Bazardo and he does well then we send Gervacio or Fulchin back to RR. If he doesn’t then he would probably clear waivers. We need the best pitchers we have on the roster. I’m tired of us waiting until someone gets hurts before we bring up kids from the minors that deserve to be playing in Houston instead of watching washed up vets keep playing terrible. Wakeup Wade before you get fired. The fans deserve the best players on the field in Houston, not RR or CC.

I totally agree with you strosfan. There are two reasons I think Yorman would not clear, (1) he has big league experience and (2) there are quite a few teams needing pithching due to injuries or ineffectiveness by their pithchers. If Wade lets thing get much worse it might cost him his job. There are more than the injured players that are the problem right now. It seems like the starters get behind in almost every game just like tonight. I hope things get better.

I totally agree strosfan, the reason I said Yorman would not clear is because of two reasons. One he has big league experience and it is late in the season and quite a few teams are looking for pitching due to injuries. But I think if Wade waits and lets it get worse it will cost him his job.

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