The Astros have been wheeling and dealing with their 40-Man and 25-Man rosters. Designating Lucas Harrell, sending Robbie Grossman down, reinstating Scott Feldman, and calling up George Springer. This is a flood compared to the slow trickle of changes over the past season. The Astros weren't done, they have sent down the team's only left-handed reliever in the bullpen - Kevin Chapman.
Kevin Chapman was brought into Wednesday's game to face the left-handed Eric Hosmer and he walked him. It would be the only batter he would face in the game. This most recent outing comes on the heels of four outings were Chapman was charged with at least one earned run out of first five appearances. This includes a blown save against the Rangers on April 12, were Michael Choice lead off the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run.
Houston wasn't going without a loogy in the pen. The question was now - who would they call up?
Darin Downs? He struggled in his most recent outing on April 14, he gave up three runs in 1.2 innings of work. Downs had allowed one run in 4.2 innings before that.
Rudy Owens? He has given up four runs on six hits in 1.1 innings of work against Colorado Springs, Tuesday.
Raúl Valdés? He has allowed one run over 3.2 innings of work in 2014. We have a winner.
Valdés was claimed off waived by the Astros on October 2, 2013 from the Phillies. In 2013, he posted a 2.86 ERA over 78.2 innings in Triple-A Las Vegas. It didn't translate to Philadelphia last season, in 35 innings he had a 7.86 ERA (and 3.74 xFIP*).
Valdés fills the roster poster recently cleared by Chia-Jen Lo. The Astros now have a full 40-Man roster.
The Astros have sent a clear message, put up or shut up.
*Stats courtesy of FanGraphs