Well, the other shoe in that rumored Paul Clemens call-up finally dropped on Monday afternoon. Right-handed reliever Josh Fields heads to the disabled list with a right forearm strain and Clemens will be called up to replace him in Houston's bullpen.
Fields made two scoreless appearances for Houston and last appeared on April 4. His DL stay will be backdated to then. Fields was a Rule 5 draft pick for Houston last winter and formerly pitched in the Boston Red Sox system.
Clemens was acquired from the Atlanta Braves in 2011 as part of the Michael Bourn deal. The 25-year old right-hander posted a 6.23 ERA in 20 starts and 101 innings last season for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He also posted a career-low strikeout rate of 6 K/9 while walking 2.83 batters per nine innings.
Fields marks the third Astros pitcher to hit the disabled list already this season, with Alex White already needing Tommy John surgery and missing the rest of the season. Fields' forearm injury is a little distressing, as forearm injuries can sometimes be precursors to elbow problems which then lead to TJ. But, until we know more, let's assume Fields will be back and throwing gas before too long.
This disabled list situation also explains the lag time between when Clemens was told he was heading to the majors and when the move got announced. Fields would have to be diagnosed, tested and then told he's heading to the DL before Clemens could officially be recalled.
What say you? Are you getting worried about all the injuries cropping up to this pitching staff?