Results tagged ‘ Astros ’
Upon his arrival at Safeco Field on Thursday, Astros right fielder George Springer told manager Bo Porter he’s ready to play. Alas, Springer, who strained his right hip flexor in the ninth inning Wednesday in Anaheim, was held out of the lineup by Porter.
Springer said Thursdays he’s still sore but could play if needed. He didn’t take batting practice Thursday.
“I want to help contribute no matter what,” he said. “I like playing every day. I’m an everyday kind of guy. If I’m not playing, it’s tough. If he needs me, I’ll get ready to go out and just try to help.”
Porter typically airs on the side of caution and likes to give players an extra day when they say they’re ready.
“He’s much better, but we decided to give him a day,” Porter said. “The injury happened [Wednesday] night and it’s not something you want to risk any further damage. We’re going to give him a day today and [Friday] he’ll come out and he’ll run around.”
Representing the tying run at first with one out in a 2-1 loss to the Angels, Springer’s leg gave out on him as he tried to get back to the base as Angels right-hander Jered Weaver made a quick — and successful — pickoff move.
“I woke up today happy, breathing, so I can play,” he said.
The Astros have agreed to terms with free agent right-handed pitcher Kyle Farnsworth, who will be in uniform for Saturday’s game against the White Sox. Reliever Paul Clemens was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City after Friday’s game.
Farnsworth, 38, posted three saves and a 3.18 ERA in 19 Major League games with the Mets this season. He was given his release Wednesday, just two days after earning a save for the Mets in their 9-7 win over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
A veteran of 16 Major League seasons, Farnsworth has appeared in 877 career games with the Cubs (1999-2004), Tigers (2005, 2008), Braves (2005, 2010), Yankees (2006-08), Royals (2009-10), Rays (2011-13), Pirates (2013) and Mets (2014).
Clemens, 26, has made eight appearances for the Astros this season, posting a 4.08 ERA. He pitched Friday against the White Sox, tossing 2 1/3 innings. With the addition of Farnsworth, the Astros 40-man roster is now full at 40.
Astros reliever Matt Albers said Wednesday he could be out of action for another three to four weeks while he recovers from tendinitis in his right shoulder. Albers had a cortisone injection in the shoulder Tuesday and will head to Kissimmee, Fla., at some point within the next week to continue to rehab.
Albers, on the disabled list since April 22, tried to throw a simulated game Friday in Baltimore but didn’t feel right warming up and shut it down. He’s since underwent an MRI that showed no structural damage to the shoulder.
“Throwing at 60, 70 percent was fine, and I really tried to ramp it up and the pain came back,” he said. “I took the next step and got an MRI and structurally everything looked good, which is a good sign. There’s just inflammation in there. That’s what’s causing the pain. They went ahead and gave me a couple of cortisone shots and I will take a couple of weeks off and see where I’m at. I’m not exactly sure, but I think it’s a good three to four weeks before I come back.”
Albers, signed to a contract this offseason, has pitched in eight games this season, allowing one earned run in 10 innings. He was on the disabled list from June 26-Oct. 21, 2008 with right shoulder inflammation.
“It’s definitely discouraging,” he said. “Obviously, you’d love to be out there helping the team. I pride myself in being pretty durable and I haven’t had any issues with being on the DL, except for 2008. It’s definitely unfortunate, but it just kind of happens that you have to deal with it. I tried to come back quickly and it wasn’t working, so I have to take time and make sure it’s right.”
Meanwhile, Astros reliever Anthony Bass felt some discomfort on the right side of his torso while playing catch Tuesday and has been diagnosed with a strained intercostal muscle. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.
“It’s sore,” Bass said. “I’m going to give it time and ice. Everyone’s different. It all depends on how the body responds to the treatment and then I’ll be back.”
Bass, 26, is 1-0 with two saves and a 4.50 ERA in 15 games for the Astros this season. He leads the club with four holds and has allowed a .239 opponent’s batting average this year.
“It’s not disappointing because I was throwing the ball hard, it’s disappointing because I want to get out there and help the team win,” he said. “These things happen. It’s unfortunate. I’ll be back. Hopefully the treatment responds and I come back here soon, but we’ll see. There’s really no timetable.”
Several Astros players took the opportunity Sunday to don pink gear in honor of Mother’s Day. While starting pitcher Jarred Cosart wore pink cleats for his mother, who was in the stands Sunday, players Jesus Guzman, Alex Presley, Marc Krauss, L.J. Hoes and George Springer had specially made pink bats.
The bats are of a special significance to Hoes, whose mother, Gail Hoes, and grandmother, Mary Hoes, are both breast-cancer survivors and were in attendance Sunday in Baltimore, which is near where L.J. grew up.
“This is the first time I’ve been home on Mother’s Day in a long time,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. It’s going to be a great experience, and I’m happy I’m able to see her on Mother’s Day and happy I get to spend a little time with her.”
Krauss was swinging a pink bat in honor of his mother, Jenny.
“She’s an amazing mom,” he said. “I was so lucky and blessed to have her in my life. She puts up with a lot for me and my two older brothers. She deserves all the credit for raising us, and it’s cool to have a day like this where we get to celebrate all the great moms.
Mother’s Day is also significant for Krauss’ wife, Kelcey, who is celebrating her first Mother’s Day after giving birth to the couple’s first child, Ava, last offseason.
“It’s the first time she gets to celebrate and I get to celebrate her and everything she does,” he said. “She does so much for us. We’re gone half the time and that’s the only bad part of our job. She’s doing an amazing job and puts up with a lot and handles a lot. It’s a great day to be able to honor her, and I’m proud of her and happy we’re able to do this together.”
Springer’s mother, Laura Marie Springer, was also in attendance Sunday in Baltimore to see her son, who had pink bats with her name on them and pink cleats.
“At the end of the day, whether it’s cracked or not, I’ll hand that to her and give her the cleats I’ve got and let her kind of enjoy her day,” Springer said. “She means the absolute world to me. She’s had a huge impact on my life, and I wouldn’t be here today without her. Every day, to me, is Mother’s Day, but today is special for her and hopefully we can do something special for her.”
Astros relief pitcher Jose Cisnero has returned to Houston and was examined by a team doctor on Thursday after he felt discomfort in his elbow following his outing Tuesday against the Tigers in which he gave up two runs in one inning.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Thursday the team was still awaiting the results on the extent of the Cisnero injury and didn’t know if he would need to go on the disabled list.
“He had some discomfort, and so we let him come in the next day and get evaluated and we felt we needed to have him see our doctors and we sent him here,” said Luhnow, who remained in Houston during the series against the Tigers.
Cisnero was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on April 25 and appeared in five games with the Astros. Cisnero’s injury could play into the roster decisions the Astros are going to have to make soon. Starting pitcher Scott Feldman is set to come off the disabled list Friday, and reliever Matt Albers will throw a simulated game Friday and could come off the DL this weekend.
“There will probably be a couple of things we have to do depending on how long Ciserno is going to be out,” Luhnow said.
With veteran right-hander Scott Feldman set to come off the disabled list Friday and start against the Orioles, it’s still unclear who’s coming out of the starting rotation to make room for him.
What is known is that right-hander Collin McHugh, who made three starts in place of Feldman, will remain in the rotation and make his fourth start Saturday against the Orioles in Baltimore. Jarred Cosart will start Sunday’s series finale at Camden Yards.
Astros manager Bo Porter said the club will make a corresponding roster move prior to Friday’s game to open up a roster spot for Feldman, who will make his first start since April 17. It appears either Dallas Keuchel, Brad Peacock or Brett Oberholtzer will be removed from rotation.
McHugh was dazzling in his first two starts in place of Feldman. He struck out 12 batters in 6 2/3 innings April 22 at Seattle and held the A’s to one run and two hits in 8 2/3 innings April 27. He struggled a little bit in his previous outing Sunday against Seattle, allowing five earned runs and eight hits in four innings.
“He threw the ball well,” Porter said. “Even in the last start against Seattle, I felt like he battled. He still had his secondary stuff. It wasn’t as sharp as it was the first two times out, but you look at the body of work in the three starts, and I feel he deserves an opportunity.”
In a move that came as no surprise, the Astros optioned struggling relief pitcher Josh Fields to Triple-A Oklahoma City and recalled right-hander Josh Zeid, who was in uniform for Wednesday’s game at Comerica Park.
Zeid spent three days on the Major League roster last month while Matt Albers was on paternity leave. He pitched two games in Toronto and allowed two earned runs and four hits in three innings. He’s served as the closer at Oklahoma City and picked up his fifth save Tuesday night.
He had pitched in 11 games for the RedHawks this year and was 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA with 13 strikeouts and three walks.
Fields allowed five runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday’s loss to the Tigers. In his last five outings, he had given up 14 earned runs and 14 hits in three innings after starting the season with a 2.00 ERA in his first nine games.
“I was throwing strikes and pitching the ball down in the zone,” Fields said Tuesday. “They were making some good swings on some pitches.”
When Astros pitcher Chad Qualls made his big league debut nearly 10 years ago, he leaned heavily on veteran reliever Russ Springer to learn how to carry himself and veteran catcher Brad Ausmus to learn about the nuances of pitching in the Majors.
Qualls, who returned to Houston this year on a two-year deal, took some time this week to catch up with Ausmus, who’s in his first year as manager of the Tigers. As a young pitcher, Qualls learned quickly to put his compete trust in Ausmus.
“Brad was really good,” Qualls said. “I was open-minded about pitching, so there was numerous times when I had two strikes or something on a guy and he would signal for a sinker and I would shake him off. I wanted to throw a slider in the dirt. He’d put down for a sinker, and I would shake. He’d put down sinker again and I would shake, and he would put down sinker down and stare at me. I was ‘OK, I have to throw that pitch.’”
Qualls would then take the opportunity to talk to Ausmus in the dugout and ask him about the pitch sequence.
“I would just ask, ‘Why would you want me to throw a sinker there?’ Because I didn’t know,” he said. “He said the guy had no chance on my fastball. Sure enough, it worked. He’s really in tune with the game and just taught me that sometimes you don’t always have to throw sliders. I can get guys out with my fastball with two strikes.”
Even back then, Qualls could tell Ausmus was managerial material.
“Everybody knows he’s a Dartmouth guy and a smart guy,” he said. “Not only is he smart, but he understands that there’s different individuals in the clubhouse. Everyone is different. He really was a great catcher. You don’t hit .200 every year – OK, I’ll give him .225 – and play for like 15 years. He definitely knows the game of baseball and knows what to do and how it’s supposed to be played.
“He’s a well-respected guy. When he retired and when I would read he wanted to manage, I knew it would come along. He just had to wait for the right opportunity, and he inherited a team that had 90-something wins last year and some great players. He deserves it.”
Road series photos are back: