WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Left-hander Kevin Chapman was claimed off waivers by the Braves on Monday, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for the Astros. Chapman was outrighted by the team on Saturday.Chapman, 29, appeared in 58 games for the Astros in parts of the last four seasons,
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Left-hander Kevin Chapman was claimed off waivers by the Braves on Monday, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster for the Astros. Chapman was outrighted by the team on Saturday.
Chapman, 29, appeared in 58 games for the Astros in parts of the last four seasons, posting a 4.09 ERA in 55 innings. After appearing in 44 games in '13 and '14, Chapman had played in only 12 games for the Astros in the previous two seasons and worked mostly at Triple-A Fresno.
The Astros needed left-handed depth in the bullpen behind Tony Sipp and claimed Ashur Tolliver off waivers and signed Charles Riefenhauser to a Minor League deal in December. Hard-throwing lefty Reymin Guduan is also on the 40-man roster.
Chapman, who struck out Giancarlo Stanton en route to throwing a scoreless inning for Canada in the World Baseball Classic on Sunday, was acquired from the Royals along with outfielder D'Andre Toney in exchange for outfielder Jason Bourgeois and catcher Humberto Quintero five years ago.
• Astros pitcher Collin McHugh, who's been slowed this spring after coming down with "dead arm," will throw to hitters on a back field on Tuesday. If all goes well, McHugh will get into a game on Friday, most likely a simulated or a Minor League game.
• The Astros will play their only split-squad games of the spring Friday, with games at home against the Braves and in Fort Myers against the Red Sox. Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who will manage the home game, said Brad Peacock will start against Atlanta. Dallas Keuchel will start the road game against Boston.
• Mike Fiers, who had his last turn in the rotation skipped because of a mild sore hamstring, is running once again and will throw a bullpen in the next day or two. He could appear in a game over the weekend. Hinch said Fiers would not have been skipped had it been a regular-season start.
• Outfielder Preston Tucker, who had shoulder surgery 5 1/2 months ago, was scheduled to face pitching for the first time this spring by getting some at-bats in Minor League camp on Monday. Tucker is expected to begin the season on the disabled list
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.