Brandon Backe was designated for assignment in order to clear room for Felipe Paulino to return from the DL. This is somewhat of a surprise, because Cecil Cooper had stated earlier in the week that he wanted to keep Backe in reserve in case Paulino can't pitch deep enough in Saturday's game. Backe was interviewed after the game and said he would like to be picked up by another team so that he can play in the majors. However, if Backe isn't picked up, it is very possible that he will end up pitching for Round Rock. With a 10.38 ERA in 12 innings so far this year, it's hard to criticize the decision to DFA Backe. For Astros' fans, this is a mixed bag: on the one hand, moving Backe off the roster is probably the best action from a a baseball perspective; however, most Astros' fans hold a spot in their heart for Galveston's Backe because of his crucial big game pitchiing to get the Astros to the playoffs in 2004, as well as pitching superbly in the NLCS in 2004 and the World Series in 2005.
This leaves an interesting question? What happens if Paulino runs out of gas in the 5th inning Saturday? Several key pitchers in the bullpen have been worked hard in recent games and may be unavailable.