By DAN MATHEWS, SportsRadio 610

The news of the day has to be the Astros deciding to keep Jordan Lyles on the 25-man active roster and in the pitching rotation.  In order to make room for Wandy Rodriguez’s return, the club optioned Jeff Fulchino down to Triple A Oklahoma City.

Aneury Rodriguez goes to the bullpen, in order to keep Lyles in the rotation.  Lyles’ fourth Major League start comes this Thursday against Pittsburgh.  “I didn’t have my mind made up or tell myself I should or shouldn’t be here,” Lyles said.  “If they told me I was going somewhere else, I would get my stuff ready and get ready for my next start wherever it was.”  The Astros rookie righthander has shown continued composure and confidence both on and off the field since joining the club.

Some may wonder why the Astros did not option Aneury Rodriguez down to Triple A.  It’s because he is a Rule 5 pick from Tampa Bay.  The Astros would have to offer him back to the Rays if they were to remove him from the active roster.  Jeff Fulchino had struggled for the Astros recently, giving up seven earned runs in his last five appearances out of the pen.

“(Fulchino) had some success here in the last couple of years,” Mills said.  “We want him to go down there (Oklahoma City) and be able to work on his command of his pitches and be able to throw the ball over the strike zone with consistency.”

Another person that factors into the decision to send Fulchino down to the minors, is Fernando Rodriguez.  On Sunday, Fernando threw two scoreless/hitless innings against the Braves.  Before that, he’d only allowed three earned runs in his eight appearances.

“He’s given us two innings, a day off and two innings again today.”  Mills said of Fernando Rodriguez’s performance.  “The amount of strike outs and pitches he’s been able to make, has been the reason why he’s going to be able to stick around.”

One other Astros note, Jason Bourgeois was held out of the lineup today with right ankle discomfort.  After the game, Bourgeois said that he’ll undergo an MRI on Monday to examine the area near his Achilles Tendon.  Right now, he’s day to day with the issue.


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