Results tagged ‘ Astros ’
Left-handed pitcher Wesley Wright was called into Astros manager Bo Porter’s office by pitching coach Doug Brocail just prior to game time Monday, where general manager Jeff Luhnow delivered the news he was being traded to the Rays in exchange for money.
In 54 relief appearances this season, Wright was 0-4 with a 3.92 ERA.
“I’m excited,” Wright told MLB.com. “It’s an opportunity to go pitch for a contending team and something I’ve always wanted to do, and to get this opportunity now is kind of shocking, but I’m also excited about it.”
Wright was the longest-tenured member of the team, appearing in 71 games for the Astros in 2008 after they plucked him away from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft. He was also the team’s second-highest paid player, meaning left-hander Erik Bedard is the only remaining player making more than $1 million ($1.15 million).
“The organization has been great to me and my family throughout the past six seasons,” Wright said. “They gave me an opportunity to see what I can do at the big league level. I’m really grateful to the organization and the fans and the city. They were really supportive to me and my teammates. Even in the down years, they supported me and all I can say is thanks to the city of Houston and the fans.”
Luhnow also announced that the Astros will select the contract of right-handed pitcher Philip Humber from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Humber will join the Astros in Oakland on Tuesday. In his last seven appearances (in relief) with OKC, Humber was 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA with two walks and 14 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings pitched.
Humber began the 2013 season in the Astros starting rotation, making seven starts and nine appearances overall before eventually being outrighted to Oklahoma City.
The Astros will call up left-handed pitcher Kevin Chapman from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday and will designate left-hander Travis Blackley for assignment. Chapman will be in uniform against the Rangers for would be his Major League debut.
Chapman, 25, was 1-2 with a 3.20 ERA in 45 appearances for the RedHawks with two saves and 61 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings of work. In his last 10 games, he has posted a 1.42 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings pitched. He earned a save in his last appearance on Tuesday, throwing a scoreless inning against Colorado Springs. For the season, left-handed hitters are hitting .193 against him.
Blackley, acquired by the Astros from Oakland on April 4 in exchange for Minor League outfielder Jake Goebbert, was 1-1 with a 4.89 ERA in 42 appearances with Houston this year.
Chapman, acquired last spring along with outfielder D’Andre Toney from the Royals in exchange for Jason Bourgeois and Humberto Quintero, will be the second rookie reliever to join Houston’s bullpen in as many games. Jorge De Leon was called up prior to Wednesday’s game, but he’s yet to make his Major League debut.
The addition of Chapman gives Houston five rookies in their bullpen, joining De Leon, Chia-Jen Lo, Josh Fields and Josh Zeid. Wesley Wright and Lucas Harrell are the only veterans in the bullpen.
Right-hander Brad Peacock, who has been putting up terrific numbers at Triple-A Oklahoma City, will be recalled to make start Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins on Target Field.
The Astros were forced to find a starter for the series finale after Dallas Keuchel came out of the bullpen and worked 1 2/3 innings in a 13-inning loss to the Twins on Saturday. Peacock, who won’t be officially added to the roster until Sunday, is 6-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) with the RedHawks.
“He’s thrown the ball extremely well,” Astros manager Bo Porter said. “That’s obviously factored into the decision-making.”
Peacock, 25, began the year in the Astros rotation and went 1-3 with an 8.44 ERA in five starts before being moved to the bullpen, where he posted a 7.04 ERA in four appearances (7 2/3 innings). Porter said it’s “definitely a possibility” that Peacock could remain in the rotation.
The Astros have had to shuffle their rotation quite a bit in recent days. Lucas Harrell started in place of Bud Norris prior to the Trade Deadline on Tuesday, and Brett Oberholtzer took Erik Bedard’s place Wednesday when he was pushed back with shoulder soreness.
The team has set its rotation for next week’s series against the Red Sox: Oberholtzer on Monday, Jordan Lyles on Tuesday and Jarred Cosart on Wednesday.
The Astros only have 11 players remaining on their active 25-man roster that were on their Opening Day roster (those players are in bold):
Starting pitchers (2) — Bud Norris, Lucas Harrell, Philip Humber, Brad Peacock and Erik Bedard.
Relief pitchers (2) — Jose Veras, Josh Fields, Hector Ambriz, Xavier Cedeno, Wesley Wright, Rhiner Cruz, Edgar Gonzalez.
Catchers (2) — Jason Castro, Carlos Corporan.
Infielders (3) — Brett Wallace, Jose Altuve, Ronny Cedeno, Marwin Gonzalez, Matt Dominguez, Carlos Pena.
Outfielders (2) — Chris Carter, Justin Maxwell, Rick Ankiel, Brandon Barnes, J.D. Martinez.
Tonight will be flat-out weird. The Astros are going to face off against former teammate Bud Norris, who was traded to the Orioles on Wednesday in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes, left-handed pitching prospect Josh Hader and a Competitive Balance Draft pick.
Norris has spent his whole career with the Astros and will be wearing orange and black tonight instead of orange and blue. He’s pitching in a pennant race for the first time in his career, so how will he respond? The Astros aren’t exactly the 1927 Yankees, but on Wednesday they bashed out 15 hits and 11 runs. Wonder what Bud was thinking?
Astros catcher Jason Castro said tonight’s game will unusual.
“It will be interesting,” he said. “It’s kind of weird, kind of surreal, I think now just having caught him so much I don’t think I’m going to have to watch any video on him tomorrow, but we’ll see. It will be fun and hopefully we can put up something similar to what we did [Wednesday}. It would be nice. Keep swinging it. He’ll do just fine over there, but hopefully that starts after we’re out of here.”
When the Astros traded Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates last year, his first start came against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Rodriguez went six innings against the Astros and allowed six hits and three runs.
This feels different. Norris was in the Astros clubhouse yesterday, took the team bus to the ballpark. Now he’s on the other side.
“He’s going to definitely try to have a good day and hopefully we stay with our approaches sand everything that’s been working the last couple of days,” Castro said. “We know what to expect as far as the stuff that he’s gotten and how he’s going to attack a little bit. We’ll see how he’ll adjust, and it will be fun.”
Bud Norris, one of the few remaining players from the Astros’ previous regime, is on his way to a pennant race.
The Astros finally pulled of a deal just minutes before Wednesday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline, sending Norris to the Orioles in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes and another player.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Norris told MLB.com. “I’m very thankful for Houston and the organization for everything they’ve done for me and given to me. You get drafted by them and come through the Minor League system and play here for four years. Houston’s been my home for a long time. It will be hard to leave a lot of it behind me, but as I look forward I’m excited to play in Baltimore. They’ve got a great city and a great, young team. They play together and play very hard. I’m excited to go to postseason and make a run at something.”
Norris, 28, is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts for the Astros, but was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday in Baltimore, only adding to speculation a trade was in the works. At a $3 million annual salary, Norris was the Astros’ highest-paid player and is under club control for two more years beyond 2013.
Norris, the longest current tenured member of the team, has seen more than 12 trades in the last few years, with many teammates leaving Houston for greener pastures. The list includes Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Lance Berkman, Michael Bourn, Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, Chris Johnson, J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon.
“I really wanted to get an opportunity play in the postseason,” he said. “You play in the big leagues to go out there to win to be the best you can be. It’s been a tough stretch the last four years in Houston and I’ve seen a lot of people get traded from them. I’ve prepared for it and I’m really excited for the opportunity to pitch in Baltimore.”
The trade punches a huge hole in the Astros’ rotation, but they have some arms coming in the Minor Leagues. Jarred Cosart, one of their top pitching prospects, made his debut earlier this month and more young arms could follow.
With Norris off the books, the Astros’ highest-paid player is veteran left-hander Erik Bedard, who’s making $1.15 million. The only other player making more than $1 million is relief pitcher Wesley Wright at $1.025 million.
The Astros traded closer Jose Veras to the Tigers on Monday in chance for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez and a player to be named later. Vasquez was the No. 4-ranked prospect in the Tigers system and was sent to Class A Quad Cities.
The Astros scratched left-hander Erik Bedard from his scheduled start Wednesday night against the Orioles and will instead send rookie lefty Brett Oberholtzer to the mound.
Bedard, who’s on the trading block, hasn’t yet been dealt, though it remains a possibility. On Tuesday, the Astros scratched right-handed Bud Norris from his scheduled outing against the Orioles while working on possible trades.
As of 1 p.m. CT – two hours before the Trade Deadline – Norris had not been traded.
Sources told MLB.com on Tuesday three teams were hard after Norris, including the Orioles, who are in contention in the American League East.
Bedard would have made his third start in Baltimore since he left the Orioles after 2007. He went 0-5 in five starts in July, but posted a respectable 3.86 ERA in that span. He’s pitched at least five innings in eight straight starts.
Bud Norris, his heading swirling full of emotions about 24 hours prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, told reporters Tuesday afternoon in Baltimore he remains committed to the Astros, but wouldn’t mind getting a chance to play for a contender.
Norris got a call earlier that morning from manager Bo Porter, informing him he wasn’t going to get the ball in the series opener against the Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He wasn’t traded, but the Astros wanted to sit him out as a precaution.
“They scratched me for a lot of reasons,” he said. “So it’s a little unfortunate. I wanted to go out there and pitch, but I understand there’s a lot of stuff flying around me. I’m here to support my teammates tonight and just go out and see what happens. I just have to be prepared for both ends of it. You could stay, you could go. So I’ve been concentrating on pitching here, and that’s what I’ve done for the last four years and it hasn’t changed yet, so that’s the way my focus is going to be. It’s out of my hands.”
Even as he repeatedly checked his phone in the clubhouse, Norris found time to escape the rumor mill by playing cards with teammates – the same teammates who stood behind him and jokingly read a fake report from the television that he had been traded.
Norris wouldn’t handicap whether he would be with the Astros in a day.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I don’t want to put any numbers on it. Everybody speculates where I could go and stuff like that. It’s out of my hands. It’s the GM and the front office, and I just want to play baseball for wherever I am and right now. I’m still an Astro and that’s where my focus is.
Norris, the longest current tenured member of the team, has seen more than 12 trades in the last few years, with many teammates leaving Houston for greener pastures. He admits he can’t help but wonder what it would be like to pitch for a contender.
“Absolutely,” he said. “That’s why you play the game, is to compete and go out and win. We’ve been through it the last couple of years here, but to see 10-plus players I’ve seen [traded] in my four years is pretty crazy and I know now that maybe I’m the next piece…
“Like I said, I just want what’s best for me and my family and my future, and I’m very thankful for the Astros and everything they gave me. If they decide otherwise, I understand the reasons behind it and I still wish them well. I have to be a little selfish and take care of myself.”
Norris admitted the last few days have been nerve-wracking.
“And exciting at the same time,” he said. “My emotions are here and there and everywhere. I’m glad I had an off day [Monday] to give me time to relax and rest up. The next 24 hours will be pretty interesting.”
The Astros scratched Bud Norris from his scheduled start Tuesday night against the Orioles and will instead send Lucas Harrell to the mound.
Norris, who’s on the trading block, has yet been dealt and was expected to be at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in an Astros uniform later in the day. The Astros are pulling him from the game as a precaution in advance of Wednesday’s 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline.
A source told MLB.com on Tuesday three teams were hard after Norris, including the Orioles, who are in contention in the American League East, but no deal is imminent.
Norris, 28, is 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA in 21 starts and is on pace to throw 200 innings for the first time in his career. He certainly could help plug a hole in the rotation of a contending team and the Astros are still trying to acquire as many prospects as they can.
Josh Zeid heard Jose Veras had been traded on Monday morning and his mind began to wander who would fill the vacant roster spot. Could he be called up next? If not, who’s it going to be? The relief pitcher couldn’t help but play general manager in his mind.
“You never want to do someone else’s job, so you go about your everyday business,” Zeid said.
About an hour and a half later, while lying on the floor watching television, Zeid got a call from Tony DeFrancesco, the manager at Triple-A Oklahoma City. DeFrancesco told him to pack his bags for Baltimore to join the Astros. He finally got the call.
“You think it’s a prank call,” he said. “Is the really happening for me? You hang up the phone call and you take a deep breath and go ‘Oh my goodness, my dream is about to come true.’”
Zeid, 26, has gone 4-1 with 13 saves and a 3.50 ERA in 43 relief appearances for the RedHawks, serving as closer since June 15 and going 13-for-14 in save chances. He’s struck out 53 batters in 43 2/3 innings pitched and allowed a .231 opponents’ batting average.
He could make his Major League debut Tuesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards when the Astros play the Orioles. His parents, Ira and Karen, began driving to Baltimore from their home in New Haven, Conn., at 5 a.m. Tuesday so they could see their son play.
“My dad’s birthday was recently, so I called my dad and said, ‘Hey, I know I didn’t get you any presents, but happy birthday!’” Zeid said. “’Yeah, you’re going to drive to Baltimore tomorrow.’”
Zeid’s promotion came two years to the day he was acquired by the Astros, along with Jarred Cosart, Domingo Santana and Jonathan Singleton, from the Phillies in exchange for Hunter Pence in a trade that could pay huge dividends for Houston. Cosart made his Major League debut earlier this month, and Singleton shouldn’t be far behind.
Since he got the call, Zeid’s phone has buzzing with an activity of text message and phone calls.
“I’m getting messages from numbers that aren’t stored in my phone from people saying, ‘I’ve been following you your whole career. Congratulations, you deserve it.,’” he said. “It makes you feel like you belong, like you deserve it and everything you’re working for is for a good cause. It’s rewarding. I couldn’t be any happier. The last 20 years of playing baseball has been so worth it.”
While he was making his way to Baltimore on Monday, Zeid just hoped he could help stabilize the rotation.
“I walked many more guys than I would have liked to down in the Triple-A level,” he said. “I think just getting a lot more focus on the bullpen, working with guys who have a lot of experience up there. Any experience at all is going to benefit me a great ton. I hope to get the opportunity to go out there and pitch and do well. Just throw up zeroes and hand the ball to whoever comes after me.”
Now that Zeid can call Houston home, he can join his new wife, Stephanie, who’s a doctor of neuropsychology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
“We kind of wanted to make our home in area where there were great hospitals and facilities for her to work at, and it made it easier for me to work, especially on a Minor League salary,” Zeid said. “I could go and work out in the winter and it wouldn’t cost me anything. You don’t have to pay to work out at Minute Maid Park. If I had to work out anywhere else, I’d have to pay a couple of thousand bucks a winter. The relocation was just as much to benefit me as it was to benefit her.”
Now, they’re both living a dream.