MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - INSIDE PITCH
Jake Elmore owned his game-changing eighth-inning throwing error Sunday and acknowledged he hasn't made a strong defensive impression during his return to the Houston Astros.
The converted second baseman has been off target since being called up Tuesday from Triple-A Oklahoma City, committing two errors Saturday and recording a critical one in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Angels. Several of Elmore's throws have also been low or nearly pulled the first baseman off the bag.
"The past couple years in Triple-A, I've never had an issue throwing the ball; accuracy's always been a big part of my game," Elmore said. "These first couple games here, I've had some errant throws and obviously it's not good when it's a tie ballgame."
He added: "Throwing the ball and hitting people in the chest is kind of second nature. So, obviously, it's not a good first impression from the shortstop position. But it's over now. Water under the bridge. We'll move on (Monday)."
Elmore represents the fourth shortstop the Astros have called upon since Jed Lowrie was traded to Oakland during the offseason. Tyler Greene didn't make the club out of spring training. The 30-year-old Cedeno was a late signing after being waived by St. Louis. An underperforming Marwin Gonzalez was sent to OKC the day before Elmore arrived; Elmore initially filled in for second baseman Jose Altuve during a three-game run in May.
Asked about the club's limited options and lingering defensive problems at shortstop, Astros manager Bo Porter said, "It's early for Elmore. We're going to give him an opportunity to either prove us right or prove us wrong."
MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost three
PAST 10 GAMES: 3-7
NEXT: Rays (Matt Moore, 10-3, 3.95) at Astros (Dallas Keuchel, 4-4, 4.34)
--RF Justin Maxwell was placed on the 7-day disabled list with concussion-related symptoms. Maxwell suffered a mild concussion diving for a ball on Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals and, after sitting out Wednesday's game, passed a battery of tests on Thursday and was deemed fit to play. Maxwell appeared as a pinch runner against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday but complained of headaches that night. OF Jimmy Paredes was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City as his replacement.
--LHP Dallas Keuchel will return to the rotation Monday night against the Tampa Bay Rays after having his previous turn skipped and pitching in relief on June 25 against the St. Louis Cardinals. Keuchel tossed 2 2/3 innings and allowed a two-run home run to Carlos Beltran in the Astros' 13-5 loss. Keuchel made nine consecutive starts before his relief appearance, logging at least six innings in seven consecutive starts.
--1B/DH Carlos Pena left the team and returned to his native Dominican Republic following an unexpected death in his family. Pena was not placed on the bereavement list and is expected to miss two games, with a plan to return for the second game of the four-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays. Pena is batting .221 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs splitting time between 1B (40 starts) and DH (30 starts).
--RHP Lucas Harrell bounced back from a rough outing against the St. Louis Cardinals last Tuesday by posting his eighth quality start of 2013, allowing one run on six hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over seven innings. His seven strikeouts matched a season high set on June 15 against the Chicago White Sox. Harrell matched Seattle Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez for the American League lead with his 10th start this season allowing one earned run or less.
--LF Chris Carter recorded a walk for a fifth consecutive game and now has nine walks over his last 11 contests. Carter has reached base safely in 13 consecutive games dating back to June 15, improving his on-base average 23 points to .322.
--OF Jimmy Paredes was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to replace OF Justin Maxwell, who was placed in the seven-day DL.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Two of the most important fundamentals in baseball are throwing and catching. If you give teams extra men on base, odds are at some point those guys are going to score. We have to do a better job of protecting the baseball." -- Manager Bo Porter, after Houston's 3-1 loss to the Angels Sunday.
MLB Team Report - Houston Astros - ROSTER REPORT
--OF Justin Maxwell (concussion) was placed on the seven-day DL June 30 due to concussion-like symptoms.
--OF Trevor Crowe (right shoulder sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 21. There is no timetable for his return.
--RHP Edgar Gonzalez (right shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 26. He is rehabbing in Kissimmee, Fla.
--RHP Alex White (Tommy John surgery in April 2013) went on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He is out for the season.
RHP Bud Norris
RHP Lucas Harrell
LHP Erik Bedard
RHP Jordan Lyles
LHP Dallas Keuchel
RHP Jose Veras (closer)
LHP Wesley Wright
RHP Hector Ambriz
RHP Paul Clemens
LHP Travis Blackley
RHP Jose Cisnero
RHP Josh Fields
1B Chris Carter
2B Jose Altuve
SS Ronny Cedeno
3B Matt Dominguez
DH Carlos Pena
INF Jake Elmore
INF Brett Wallace
LF J.D. Martinez
CF Brandon Barnes
RF Jimmy Paredes
OF Marc Krauss