Fields to DL, Clemens called up

The Astros placed right-handed pitcher Josh Fields on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a right forearm strain and recalled right-hander Paul Clemens from Triple-A Oklahoma City. Fields’ stint on the disabled list is retroactive to April 4.

Clemens, who will wear No. 56, joined the team in Seattle, where the Astros will open a three-game series against the Mariners. He made one start this season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, allowing seven hits and three earned runs Friday at Memphis.

Clemens has been a starter for much of his career, and general manager Jeff Luhnow said the front office is split on whether his future is in the rotation or the bullpen. But he pitched in relief during Spring Training and performed well, striking out the side against Washington on March 7.

“That’s one of the reasons he got the call and not [Jordan] Lyles,” Luhnow said. “He’s been able to do the relief thing very well in Spring Training because he’s got absolutely dominant, powerful stuff. This is an opportunity for him to come up while Fields is out and show us what he can do in a big league bullpen. It doesn’t mean he won’t go back to being a starter, but right now, given the role we need, he’s the right guy and he deserves it.”

Fields was taken by the Astros with the No. 1 overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft last December and has appeared in two games, recording one out both Tuesday and Wednesday against the Rangers. Luhnow doesn’t think Fields will be on the shelf too long.

“During the spring, we cautiously brought him along and he felt just a little something after his second outing [Wednesday],” he said. “We were hoping it would go away, but it hasn’t and we don’t expect it to be anything significant, but I feel like it’s better to take some time off and rehab.”

Fields is the second Astros pitcher to go on the disabled list in three days. The club placed newly acquired left-hander Travis Blackley on the disabled list Saturday with a left shoulder strain, just two days after he was acquired in a trade with Oakland.

Clemens was one of four players acquired by the Astros from the Braves in 2011 in exchange for outfielder Michael Bourn.  The team also acquired right-handed pitcher Juan Abreu, left-hander Brett Oberholtzer and outfielder Jordan Schafer in exchange for Bourn, but only Clemens and Oberholtzer remain in the organization.


Wow, 6 games into the season and they’re starting to drop like flies. Not good!

“drop like flies” seems a bit dramatic. Neither injury seems very serious, and these guys haven’t been big contributors yet. That said, the bullpen has been very rough in the early games, so maybe getting fresh arms in there will eventually help find the right mix.

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