Rhiner Cruz rehabbing at AAA
Astros reliever Rhiner Cruz began a rehab assignment last night at AAA Oklahoma City. The flame-throwing Rule 5 pick has been on the disabled list since April 24 with an ankle sprain. Cruz entered last night’s game in Omaha with the score tied in the eighth inning and was a little rusty from the long layoff. Cruz threw only 13 of his 25 pitches for strikes, allowing two runs in 2/3 of an inning. Rhiner walked one and hit a batter but also registered two strikeouts. Cruz is scheduled to pitch for the RedHawks again on Monday and could be activated for Wednesday’s game against the Marlins.
Aneury Rodriguez announced as Tuesday’s starter
Aneury Rodriguez will be called up to start for the Astros Tuesday against Miami. Rodriguez is 1-3 with a 4.97 ERA in six starts at Oklahoma City this season. AnRod has an unimpressive 1.90 WHIP but has tallied 37 strikeouts in only 29 innings. Rodriguez will be the second pitcher to audition for the fifth starter’s spot left vacant when Kyle Weiland went down with a shoulder injury. It looks like Weiland will miss a considerable amount of time after undergoing arthroscopic surgery last week. The Astros need to find a long term replacement because the possibility exists that Weiland could be out for the year. Jordan Lyles was impressive last Sunday in Cincinnati, so Aneury will have to pitch well to win the job.
Justin Maxwell shines in spot-start
Jordan Schafer got Saturday off against lefty Jaime Garcia and Justin Maxwell took advantage of the opportunity. Maxwell smacked his first two doubles of the season and drew a walk in the Astros 8-2 win, driving in a run and scoring a run along the way. Maxwell was solid on defense, as usual, and is starting to look like a nice waiver wire pick up. I think it’s time for FSN Houston to go ahead and get a photo of Justin for their “coming up next inning” graphic.
Astros, Happ go for sweep of Cards
The Astros send J.A. Happ to the mound today against the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright as they look for a sweep of the three game series. The so-called experts predicted this team would lose more games than last year’s 106 loss team. There’s a long way to go but the Astros have been a pleasant surprise thus far. Houston is currently in third place in the division with a 13-14 record thanks to a five game winning streak. Astros fans are excited about the way this young team is going about it’s business.
Sunday’s lineup vs. St. Louis