HOUSTON -- Rick Smith, the general manager of the NFL's Houston Texans, took in batting practice with his son Saturday at Minute Maid Park as a special guest of Astros manager Bo Porter. The two have become friends in recent months.
"I appreciate watching him and the leadership he displays," Smith said. "I think it's important. They're building something very special here, and to watch him go through what he's going through now and continue to lead the way he is leading is very impressive."
Porter, of course, has a football background and played at the University of Iowa around the same time Smith played at Purdue University.
"We were in school in the Big 10 around the same time," Smith said. "I did not know him personally when he got the job. We had dinner and got to know he and his family and have just been impressed with him."
With their busy schedules, Smith and Porter haven't had much time to spend together, but they stay in touch.
"There's not a lot of opportunities to get together," Smith said. "That's why it was so special for me to bring my son down today for BP. We're about to get going. We're happy to be hometown teammates and excited to support each other."
Bedard moved to bullpen for remainder of season
HOUSTON -- Veteran left-hander Erik Bedard, who's been one of the Astros' most consistent starting pitchers, has been moved to the bullpen for the rest of the season. Manager Bo Porter said Saturday the club wants to use his spot in the rotation to get a look at a younger arm.
Bedard, 34, signed a Minor League deal with the Astros and won an Opening Day spot, though he briefly began the year in the bullpen before moving to the rotation. He's 3-9 with a 4.48 ERA in 25 games this year, including 23 starts. He wasn't happy with the decision.
"I'm very surprised," he said. "I don't even know what to say."
Bedard was asked what the Astros told him.
"They said they looked at my last two years and my innings total was around where I'm at right now, and they said if I keep pitching I'll be about 40 over, and I said, 'Yeah, that's the point.' That's it. I'd rather stay in the rotation."
The Astros will continue to employ a six-man rotation and will announce which player is going into the rotation in the next few days. Lucas Harrell will remain in the bullpen. One of the candidates is rookie David Martinez, who won 14 games between Triple-A and Double-A before being called up Wednesday.
"We're at the point in the year, we only have one lefty down there and we want to take a look at these young guys and give them some extended innings in a starting role to better evaluate them as we head into the offseason," Porter said.
Brett Oberholtzer is scheduled to start Monday in Chicago against the White Sox, and Jarred Cosart will start Tuesday or Wednesday.
Stassi offers update on recovery from concussion
HOUSTON -- Astros catcher Max Stassi, who suffered a concussion Wednesday when he was hit by a pitch, felt well enough Saturday to address the media for the first time since he took a Tanner Scheppers fastball to the face.
Stassi, along with fellow catcher Carlos Corporan, is on the seven-day concussion disabled list, but he doesn't know when he'll return.
"It's going all right," Stassi said. "I woke up this morning feeling good, but the symptoms came back a couple of hours later and just talking with the trainers here and they say you have to let it run its course. That's pretty much it, really. There's not a therapy you can do or ice it or nothing like that. You have to let it run its course and that's it."
The symptoms Stassi is dealing with are dizziness, sensitivity to light and headaches. He's also extremely fatigued and was forced to leave the ballpark early Saturday.
"I wake up and feel good and an hour later I'm really tired," he said. "I feel like I could sleep another 12 hours. I left the game early last night and went home and slept for three hours and got up for an hour and went back to sleep for 12 hours. I sleep most of the day now. The more sleep I get, the faster I recover. It's too far away to tell right now if I make a big recovery in the next couple of days. I'm not sure when I'm able to go on the field or whenever that might be."