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Astros: Could David Paulino be Mike Fiers backup plan?

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Sep 8, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher David Paulino (63) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher David Paulino (63) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jordan Jankowski is sent down to Triple-A with possibly David Paulino coming up to the Houston Astros.

The Houston Astros did something that they have never done in the history of the organization. Last night, the Astros won for the first time in the eighth inning after trailing by six or more runs. They were behind 8-2 and scored 11 runs in the eighth inning to go on to win 16-8. The person who got the win was Jordan Jankowski, who pitched 2 1/3 innings giving up four runs.

Unfortunately, Jankowski will not be given a chance to bring down his 16.20 ERA. Following the dramatic come from behind win, Jankowski was optioned to Triple-A. Now that he has had a cup of tea, he can work on how to stick when he comes up next. Because A.J. Hinch was sick and unavailable for the post-game media session, we really don’t know who is coming up.

Paulino coming up?

Jake Kaplan then reported that David Paulino was scratched from his start at Triple-A. This would probably indicate that he is on the way to Minnesota to join the Astros. With the uncertainty in the rotation following Charlie Morton hitting the DL, Mike Fiers has already been announced as the starter for today. This doesn’t mean his spot in the rotation is guaranteed past today.

With Jankowski pitching multiple innings, this could be just a case of getting an extra arm up here. With the limited options at Triple-A for the rotation, it’s hard to imagine Paulino would be part of the bullpen for an extended period. Look for Fiers to be given a shot today and if he fails to go deep into the game, then bring in Paulino.

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A starter or reliever?

Brad Peacock made his second start of the season and had trouble reaching the five-inning mark again. It will take some time before he is stretched out, so Paulino could be available as a long-reliever there. My guess is that Paulino is an insurance policy for either Fiers or Peacock.

Paulino has been better in Triple-A than his numbers indicate as he had a poor start last time out. I have mentioned on Talking Stros that Paulino would be an option before Francis Martes. Paulino started the year on the DL with the bone bruise suffered in spring training but has started three games with Fresno. He has 13 strikeouts in 14 innings with a 4.50 ERA. One negative would be his nine walks.

Next: Astros and Twins are both winning but have different teams

We need to patch together some starters until closer to the trade deadline. With Morton going down, it’s a reminder that you rather be safe than sorry. The Astros will get another starter at the trade deadline, but this team is the best team in baseball at the moment.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***

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