Results tagged ‘ Chia-Jen Lo ’

Owens among five cut by Astros on Sunday

The Astros trimmed their Spring Training roster by five players Sunday, optioning left-hander pitcher Rudy Owens and right-handers Jose Cisnero, Collin McHugh and Chia-Jen Lo and reassigning catcher Tyler Heineman to Minor League camp.

None of the cuts, which leave the Astros with 46 players remaining in camp, come as a surprise. Lo, who appeared in 19 games for the Astros last season, was competing for one of the spots in the bullpen and appeared in four games this spring, allowing one earned run in 3 1/3 innings.

Owens, coming off a foot injury that cost him nearly the entire 2013 season, was a long shot to make the rotation and will likely be in the rotation at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He appeared in three games this spring, making two starts, and was 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA.

Acquired from the Pirates in the Wandy Rodriguez deal in 2012, Owens missed most of last season because of a stress fracture in his left foot. He made merely four appearances, three starts, producing an 0-3 record and 3.71 ERA in 17 innings. He pitched in the Dominican Winter League, producing a 3-2 record and 2.68 ERA in 10 starts and 53 2/3 innings.

McHugh, claimed off waivers in December, appeared in three games this spring and allowed 12 hits and nine earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. He split last season between the Mets and Rockies and the Minor Leagues of both organizations.

Cisnero went 2-2 with a 4.12 ERA in 28 games in his Major League debut last year. He pitched in three games in Grapefruit League play, allowing three hits and one earned run in 2 1/3 innings. Heineman spent all of last season at Class A Lancaster, hitting .286 with 13 homers and 71 RBIs.

Astros have 6 players on World Baseball Classic rosters

Six players from the Astros organization have been selected to play in the World Baseball Classic: outfielder Fernando Martinez (Spain), right-hander Rhiner Cruz (Spain) and left-hander Xavier Cedeno (Puerto Rico), right-handed pitcher Murilo Gouvea (Brazil), outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin (Chinese Taipei) and right-hander Chia-Jen Lo (Chinese Taipei).

Provisional rosters were due on Wednesday, but all 16 teams have until Feb. 20 to file their formal rosters.

Click here for complete World Baseball Classic information.

Martinez, claimed off waivers from the Mets a year ago, hit .237 with six homers and 14 RBIs in 118 at-bats last year for Houston, playing in a career-high 41 games. Though he’s playing for Spain, he was born in the Dominican Republic.

Cruz, who was also born in the Dominican Republic, appeared in 52 games in his rookie season in 2012, posting a 6.05 ERA. He was the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 Rule 5 Draft and ranked fifth among NL rookies in appearances.

Cedeno, a native of Puerto Rico, appeared in 44 games in two stints with the Astros last year after beginning the year at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He posted a 3.77 ERA, closing the season with 12 consecutive scoreless outings.

Lo, who missed almost all of the 2010-11 seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery, made it back to the mound last year and appeared in 10 games between the Gulf Coast League and Class A Lancaster.

Lin, claimed off waivers from Boston in October, spent most of his 2012 season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .247 with 11 doubles, 30 RBIs, 15 stolen bases and a .323 on-base percentage. He had four stints on the Red Sox active roster last season, hitting .250 in nine games, which marks his only Major League experience.

Gouvea, who was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil, went 2-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 50 games in relief last year at Class A Lexington.

Brazil is in Pool A with Japan, China and Cuba and will have round robin play March 2-6 in Japan. Chinese Taipei is in Pool B with Korea, the Netherlands and Australia and will have pool play March 2-5 in Taiwan.

Puerto Rico and Spain are both in Pool C and will hold round robin play March 7-10 in Puerto Rico. The championship round will be held March 17-19 in San Francisco.

Starting pitchers are restricted to 65 pitches in the first round, 80 in the second and 95 in the semifinals and finals. A starter must take four days off if he throws more than 50 pitches.

Relievers can pitch on back-to-back days if they don’t exceed 30 pitches the first day. Throw 30 in a game and you must take one off. After back-to-back appearances, regardless of pitch counts, pitchers must get a day off.

Astros position breakdown: relief pitching

Here it is: the eighth and final installment of the Astros’ position-by-position breakdown. Today we’ll take a look at relief pitching, which general manager Ed Wade says is one of the strengths of the team. Before we get to the bullpen, here are the links to the previous seven entries in the series (click on the desired position to view the entry): catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, outfield, starting pitcher.

RELIEF PITCHING

2010 bullpen to begin season: Brian Moehler, Jeff Fulchino, Sammy Gervacio, Chris Sampson, Tim Byrdak, Matt Lindstrom and Brandon Lyon.

2010 end-of-season bullpen: Fernando Abad, Tim Byrdak, Gustavo Chacin, Enerio Del Rosario, Jeff Fulchino, Matt Lindstrom, Wilton Lopez, Brandon Lyon, Mark Melancon, Felipe Paulino, Henry Villar and Wesley Wright.

Others who made an appearance: Nelson Figueroa, Brian Moehler, Casey Daigle, Gary Majewski, Kevin Cash.

Combined 2010 stats of Astros relief pitchers: 24-23 record, 45 saves in 60 opportunities, 4.49 ERA (ranked 13th in the NL).

Free agents: None.

Arbitration eligible: LHP Tim Byrdak, LHP Gustavo Chacin, RHP Matt Lindstrom, RHP Felipe Paulino.

What happened: The Astros traded for hard-throwing Matt Lindstrom last December and plunked down $15 million on a three-year contract for Brandon Lyon to bolster the back end of the bullpen after losing both Jose Valverde and LaTroy Hawkins to free agency. Lyon developed a cyst in his shoulder and was behind all spring, opening the door for Lindstrom to win the closer’s job.

Lindstrom got off to a terrific start, posting a 1.40 ERA in his first 19 appearances and going 10-for-10 in save opportunities. He blew three saves and posted a 5.23 ERA in June and began battling back spasms that eventually cost him the closer’s job and forced him to the disabled list in August.  Lyon took over as closer in early August and finished with 20 saves in 22 chances and a 3.12 ERA.

Lindstrom, who led the team with 23 saves, and Lyon became the first set of teammates to save at least 20 games in the same season since the 1992 Cincinnati Reds.

Wilton Lopez, who the Astros acquired on a waiver claim in 2009, took on an important role in the back of the bullpen and wound up pitching in 68 games and posted a 2.96 ERA. The Astros also got good mileage out of lefty Tim Byrdak and right-hander Jeff Fulchino, who battled injuries and wasn’t as sharp as he was in 2009. Fan favorite Chris Sampson had a good first half and was eventually sent to the Minors after some struggles and designated for assignment. Alberto Arias, who was injured in Spring Training, and Sammy Gervacio were quickly shut down because of shoulder troubles.

As the year progressed, the Astros got a good look at right-handers Henry Villar and Mark Melancon, who was acquired from the Yankees in the Lance Berkman trade.

What’s next: Astros general manager Ed Wade doesn’t plan to do much to the bullpen in the offseason and sees it as one of the strengths of the club. Lyon and Lindstrom will once again compete for the closer’s job in the spring, though both could again wind up finishing off games at some point. The Astros like what Lopez brings to the back end of the bullpen and envision Melancon as a future late-game reliever.

Arias, who had surgery for rotator cuff impingement, could be in the picture next year along with Gervacio, who missed most of the year with rotator cuff inflammation. Gervacio had mixed results in the Minors but showed some good flashes with the Minor Leagues. Fernando Abad had a good Major League debut in his 22 appearances and will be a left-handed option, along with Wesley Wright.

Who’s on the farm: Left-hander Douglas Arguello, the pitcher of the year at Double-A Corpus Christi, will be in spring camp next year competing for a job. Abad and Villar, both of whom came up late in the season, could lead the next wave of youngsters in the pen. Don’t forget Chia-Jen Lo, who missed much of last year with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament.

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