Fulchino hits DL with right elbow tendinitis
Houston reliever bothered Tuesday while playing catch
MILWAUKEE -- The Astros placed right-hander Jeff Fulchino on the 15-day disabled list prior to Tuesday's game with tendinitis in his right elbow and purchased the contract of right-hander Casey Daigle from Triple-A Round Rock.
Fulchino, who had a 6.83 ERA in 29 games, has been dealing with discomfort in his elbow while throwing sliders for more than a month, and he underwent an MRI 10 days ago that showed no structural damage. He also took anti-inflammatory medication and received a cortisone shot.
"I thought I had turned the corner on this thing, and today I came in and it didn't respond," Fulchino said. "It was stiff this morning when I went to throw. It's a step in the wrong direction. We made the decision to take some time off because I've done everything I can do to get better, aside from taking time off."
After throwing a scoreless inning Monday, Fulchino tried to play catch with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg and couldn't get past 100 feet without the elbow bothering him.
"Before we went on the road trip, we talked about how he felt, and at that point he felt he was making good progress," said Astros general manager Ed Wade. "So we talked about the possibility of going on the disabled list at that point in time, and he didn't think it was necessary.
"We tried to nurse it through, and he threw well last night and felt good coming out of the game, and this morning -- not to put words in his mouth -- he felt like he was back at square one."
Wade is hopeful Fulchino will be able to return after the All-Star break.
"I wish I would have pressed the issue to put him on the disabled list at the time," Wade said. "With the All-Star break timed into this thing, that's four days right there we won't lose. Hopefully, we get him back in position to where this is a thing of the past. We know how valuable he's been to us since we claimed him off waivers."
Daigle makes quick return to Majors
MILWAUKEE -- A little more than a week after he was designated for assignment, right-handed relief pitcher Casey Daigle is on his way back to the Major Leagues.
Daigle had his contract purchased from Triple-A Round Rock prior to Tuesday's game when the Astros placed right-hander Jeff Fulchino on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right elbow. Daigle had appeared in only one game since returning to Round Rock, throwing a scoreless inning Friday.
Daigle had an 8.10 ERA in nine games with the Astros earlier this month, which marked his first action in the Major Leagues in four years. He is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA and seven saves in 21 games this year at Round Rock.
Astros general manager Ed Wade said manager Brad Mills and pitching coach Brad Arnsberg have a comfort level with Daigle.
"He throws strikes," Wade said. "That's probably the tipping point in Casey's favor is that they felt he was capable of coming up here and putting the ball in the strike zone. They didn't talk about alternatives."
Mills satisfied with Castro's discipline at dish
MILWAUKEE -- Astros manager Brad Mills has been very satisfied with the patience shown at the plate by rookie catcher Jason Castro, who saw 26 pitches in four at-bats on Monday and eight more in his first at-bat in Tuesday's game.
"He's been giving some good at-bats, and that's very nice to see," Mills said.
Castro struck out in his first two at-bats Monday, both after seeing eight pitches. He drew a walk on five pitches in his third plate appearance, and then struck out on five pitches in his final at-bat. He walked 32 times and had 211 at-bats while at Triple-A Round Rock this year.
Mills said patience can't be taught, but it can be improved.
"The reason I think it can be improved is the guys you have on the ballclub have some influence on other guys, but it's tough to change one guy completely over to be patient," Mills said. "You can work and work with guys, and then if you can put patient guys around them, they can improve. At the same time, it's tough to change a tiger's stripes."
Houston's rookies leaning on each other
MILWAUKEE -- With so many first- and second-year players on the roster, the Astros' youngsters are relying on each other to endure the growing pains that come with fighting through the grind of a Major League season.
"It definitely helps being a part of that group," said rookie catcher Jason Castro. "It kind of gives you someone to lean on, I guess, and kind of go over stuff with. The last few days we've gone out and had lunch together and have gone to the field together. Someone who's there and is going through the same thing as you, it makes it a little easier."
Castro is one of five rookies on the roster, joining Chris Johnson, Wilton Lopez, Tommy Manzella and Oswaldo Navarro.
"We can all learn from each other's mistakes," Johnson said. "If I make a mistake, I can go to Castro and talk about it, and Tommy, it's the same. That's definitely a good thing. There's going to be struggles, and it's good we can all go through it together. That's why I'm here, to learn and figure out what I need to get better."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.