Barmes leaves early after being hit by pitch
Astros shortstop to have X-ray on left hand on Saturday
TAMPA, Fla. -- Astros shortstop Clint Barmes will undergo an X-ray on his left hand Saturday morning after being forced to leave Friday's game against the Yankees when he was hit by a pitch from New York starter Ivan Nova.
Barmes' hand was bruised and he had it heavily taped in the clubhouse after he left the game, but he was encouraged after doing some range-of-motion tests. He said the ball hit him square on the outside of the hand.
"It's sore, but very promising at this point," he said. "It's one of those things where I tried to get out of the way and backing off a little late, I didn't really have time to turn in on it, and that's what I'd normally do on a fastball in like that. Just by backing up, it got my hand."
Barmes was forced to miss the last three weeks of the 2002 season at Double-A Carolina after he fractured his left hand when he was hit by a pitch. Barmes said he had a boxer's fracture, which is a break of the bones that form the knuckles.
"There's always been a little bit of a bump where it hit me, and it hit me in the exact same spot," he said. "I'm hoping that it's a little stronger there and obviously that it's not broken, and if it's not broken, then we should be good. It's just real sore right now."
Astros tweak rotation for end of spring slate
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Astros have tinkered with their rotation for the final few Spring Training games, with left-hander Wandy Rodriguez pitching Sunday against the Nationals, Bud Norris starting on three days' rest Monday against the Phillies and J.A. Happ going on Tuesday against Oklahoma City.
Astros manager Brad Mills flip-flopped Happ and Rodriguez so Happ isn't facing the Phillies twice in a row (he'll start at Philadelphia in the third game of the regular season). Brett Myers, who was originally scheduled to start against Washington on Saturday, will instead throw in a Minor League game. He has already faced the Nationals twice this spring.
"I know there's a good chance he'll face them twice during the season," Mills said. "Do we want to expose him that much during the spring? That's kind of what we're looking at. Plus, we can monitor things more down there [in a Minor League game]."
Mills said Myers will pitch about six or seven innings in his last appearance before facing the Phillies -- his former team -- at Citizens Bank Park on April 1. Nelson Figueroa will start the exhibition against the Red Sox at Minute Maid Park on Wednesday.
Astros want Wright refining delivery in 'pen
TAMPA, Fla. -- Left-hander Wesley Wright, who was optioned to Minor League camp on Thursday, will be used in the bullpen this year at Triple-A Oklahoma City while he continues to refine his new sidearm delivery.
Wright pitched exclusively in relief in his first two years in the Majors, appearing in 71 games for the Astros in 2008 and 49 games in '09. Last year, he made 14 starts at Triple-A Round Rock and started four games with Houston, in addition to appearing in 10 other games in relief.
"I'm not going to close the door on him being a starter," manager Brad Mills said. "But when you make a change like this, the guy's getting an opportunity to really be pretty effective with the movement you're getting on the ball and throw the breaking ball from that angle as well."
Wright has been working closely with pitching coach Brad Arnsberg on the new arm angle, and Mills said his arm slot could drop even further as he becomes comfortable with it.
"We're going to have the Minor League department have him fit in where he can," Mills said. "We've talked about possibly putting him in the bullpen. They have my vote to put him in the bullpen, simply because we think he can get more appearances, and that's what we think he needs right now."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.