Results tagged ‘ Paul Clemens ’

Astros agree to terms with Sipp

The Astros bolstered their bullpen Friday by agreeing to terms veteran left-hander Tony Sipp to a Major League contract. To make room for him on the roster, right-hander Paul Clemens was optioned to Triple-A, and right-hander Jesse Crain was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Sipp’s agent, Hunter Bledsoe, said he could earn up to $700,000 with incentives.

Sipp had appeared in 11 games this season at Triple-A El Paso of the San Diego organization, going 1-1 with a 4.30 ERA in 14 2/3 innings. He asked for his release from the Padres after it became clear a big league opportunity wasn’t on the horizon.

The 30-year-old comes to the Astros with a career 3.84 ERA in 304 appearances with the Indians (2009-12) and the D-backs last season. He’s held lefties to a .224 average in his career and righties to a .209 mark.

“It’s definitely kind of a better chance coming to a club searching for some kind of stability and me just, not trying to make a name for myself, but to almost prove to yourself that you still have the same success that you had the last few years,” Sipp said. “I had a down year last year, and to get an opportunity to go out there and prove yourself, prove to everyone else that this is where you belong, that’s what every player wants. I want to make a home, and there’s no better place than Houston.”

He’ll provide help to an Astros bullpen that ranks last in the Majors in ERA at 5.86 and is tied for the most blown saves with six. He’ll join Raul Valdes, who allowed three earned runs and three hits in 3 1/3 innings in seven games this year, as the lefties in the bullpen. Kevin Chapman began the year as the lefty specialist, but was optioned to Triple-A after giving up five runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings.

Sipp joins fellow veterans Chad Qualls and Matt Albers in the bullpen, though Albers is on the disabled list.

“Just like anything, you want to sit back and get acquainted with the guys before I start giving my input,” he said.

Clemens, 26, has made four appearances for the Astros this season, posting a 4.73 ERA. He pitched on Wednesday against Washington, tossing 3 1/3 innings, while allowing one run.

Crain, 32, has been on the disabled list the entire season while recovering from offseason surgery on his right biceps. He currently is rehabbing at the Astros’ Spring Training complex in Florida, throwing off flat ground, after being diagnosed with bursitis last week.

Astros option Clemens, call up lefty Oberholtzer

After watching him give up six runs in the seventh inning Friday without recording an out, the Astros optioned right-handed pitcher Paul Clemens to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday morning and called up left-hander Brett Oberholtzer.

Clemens was rocked for six runs and four hits, including two home runs, in one-third of an inning in Houston’s 12-6 loss to the Jays, who scored eight runs in the seventh. Clemens, 25, was 4-4 with a 6.36 ERA in 30 games with the Astros, allowing 52 hits in 46 2/3 innings.

This will be the third stint in the Majors this year for Oberholtzer, who is 6-6 with a 4.37 ERA in 16 starts for the RedHawks. He’s pitched 7 1/3 innings for the Astros year, allowing 11 hits and six runs. Both Oberholtzer and outfielder Robbie Grossman, who was called up after Friday’s game when J.D. Martinez went on the disabled list, were expected to be in Toronto for Saturday’s 12:07 p.m. CT game.

Houston’s bullpen has allowed at least one run in 10 consecutive games (since July 13), posting an 8.01 ERA in that span, and has given away several late leads.

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.

Astros get a look at more new pitchers

The second day of pitcher and catcher workouts went off without a hitch, with Astros manager Brad Mills getting his first look at pitchers like Rhiner Cruz, Livan Hernandez and Paul Clemens when they threw in the bullpen for the first time.

“Watching the guys throw, that’s always the biggest thing,” Mills said. “I thought Rhiner Cruz threw the ball really well. I thought Bud Norris threw the ball well and Paul Clemens, too. Livan’s command of his pitches was pretty impressive. The guys are doing the things to get themselves ready. Today was a much better day. Guys knew better where to go and what to do.”

General manager Jeff Luhnow was impressed with Clemens, who came to the Astros in the Michael Bourn trade.

“He’s got a big arm,” he said. “We’re going to develop him as a starter. My philosophy for the better arms is until they prove to us they don’t have three pitches and don’t have command to start, we’re going to start them, and it looks like [Clemens] has got everything he needs.”

Let’s get right to the photos:

Brad Mills hits rag balls to the pitchers.

Catchers lined up in the bullpen.

Side-armer Rhiner Cruz fires a pitch as GM Jeff Luhnow and special assistant Mike Elias watch.

Lucas Harrell throws a pitch with a bunch of folks watching.

Bench coach Joe Pettini hits a rag ball at the pitchers.

Lucas Harrell gets some tips from pitching coach Doug Brocail.

Paul Clemens fires towards home plate.

Mike Kvasnicka and roving Minor League catching instructor Danny Sheaffer.

Chris Snyder and Bud Norris shake hands after working together for the first time.

Carlos Corporan prepraes to swing in the batting cage.

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