Armenteros threw six innings and 95 pitches for Round Rock on Friday, meaning he’ll be going on three days’ rest. Despite that, he was about the only choice the Astros had to bolster their depleted rotation. Most other potential options were unavailable, either because it had been fewer than 10 days since they were last optioned (Jose Urquidy, Cy Sneed) or because of injury (Brady Rodgers, Cionel Perez).
"I think they’re physically able to do a lot more than we allow them to do," manager AJ Hinch said of Armenteros throwing on short rest. "But the first couple of innings for him of getting into his outing are important. He can handle it, it’s just a matter of managing the opponent."
Framber Valdez, who likely pitched himself out of contention for a starting spot in the near future with a poor outing in Monday’s 9-6 loss, was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Armenteros. A rotation that’s been pared down to Justin Verlander, Wade Miley and Gerrit Cole paired with recent heavy bullpen usage created the necessity for a new arm, and Armenteros got the call.
Armenteros’ Major League debut came with the Astros earlier this season when he made two relief appearances in June before getting optioned back to Triple-A. He allowed two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six across five innings.
In 14 games (13 starts) for Round Rock this year, Armenteros has a 5.37 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP, with 63 strikeouts vs. 21 walks in 57 innings pitched.
Marisnick wins Heart and Hustle Award
Outfielder Jake Marisnick was recognized Tuesday as the Astros’ recipient of the Heart and Hustle Award. The award, which is voted on by members of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, “honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit and traditions of the game,” the organization said in a press release.
“I think Jake has, in my five years here, long been an underappreciated guy with what he brings on the field,” said Hinch. “He sells out for all plays -- runs into walls, diving plays, the consummate team professional guy that we love to watch play. He has an energy that the crowd absorbs, that his teammates absorb, that opponents have to deal with.”
Altuve at short
Some defensive shuffling in Monday’s night game resulted in Jose Altuve taking over at shortstop for two innings. It was just his second time playing there in his Major League career, and first time in over three years. Altuve last played shortstop on June 9, 2016, for four innings in a 5-3 loss to the Rangers.
“I told him a couple of weeks ago when we had these injuries [to Carlos Correa and Aledmys Diaz] that he may end up at shortstop, and he may even start a game there,” said Hinch. “I don’t think it surprised him as much as he just didn’t know when the opportunity was going to come.”
It was not a seamless transition for Altuve, who was unable to convert the one opportunity he got, missing a catch on a play at second base that allowed a run to come home in the seventh inning. That doesn’t rule him out from making another appearance there before Correa and Diaz return, though.