08/31/10 9:09 PM ET
Astros to send seven to Arizona Fall League
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
Houston's contingent will be assigned to the Peoria Javelinas in Peoria, Ariz., with play beginning Oct. 12.
Clemens, the son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens, is hitting .246 with 24 homers and 80 RBIs at Double-A Corpus Christi this year.
"He's had a good year and we'll continue to get him at-bats," said Astros assistant general manager/director of player development Ricky Bennett. "One thing I want him to do is work on using the whole field. At times this year he got pull happy, and I want him to use the whole field and work on his swing and going the other way."
Urckfitz, who is 4-3 with a 4.13 ERA at Class A Lancaster, will be used primarily out of the bullpen. Steele is a fleet-footed outfielder who appeared in only 67 games at Double-A Corpus Christi because of an injury. The Astros want him to get about 100 at-bats in Arizona.
Nevarez, who is 2-1 with a 3.53 ERA at Corpus Christi, will be sent to Arizona to work on his mechanics, and Perez will need extra innings after injuries slowed him at Corpus Christi and Triple-A Round Rock. Greenwalt is 8-6 with a 5.92 ERA in 25 starts at Lancaster, and Shuck hit a combined .300 at Double-A and Triple-A.
Bogusevic heads list of September callups
HOUSTON -- Brian Bogusevic, who was selected by the Astros in the first round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft as a pitcher before transitioning to the outfield in '08, is among five Minor League players who will join the team Wednesday, the first day rosters can be expanded beyond 25 players.
The Astros announced Tuesday that Bogusevic, infielder Matt Downs, right-handed pitcher Henry Villar and left-handed pitcher Wesley Wright will be recalled. The club will also purchase the contract of catcher Brian Esposito. Bogusevic and Villar will be making their Major League debuts.
Bogusevic, 26, hit .278 with 13 home runs, 26 doubles, 57 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 130 games for Triple-A Round Rock. This is his second full season as a position player after being taken as a left-handed pitcher out of Tulane.
Downs, who was claimed off waivers by the Astros, hit .244 in 29 games for the Giants this year, primarily as a second baseman. In three Minor League stops this season with Round Rock, Triple-A Fresno and the Rookie Arizona League Giants, Downs combined to hit .244 with seven homers and 32 RBIs.
Villar, 23, is 4-7 with a 4.15 ERA in 36 games, including 11 starts, at Double-A Corpus Christi. Wright will be making his third appearance on the Astros' roster. He has made 10 appearances, including four starts, for the Astros in 2010, posting a 1-2 record and a 6.28 ERA in 15 games, including 14 starts.
Esposito will be the third catcher on the roster after hitting .205 with two homers and 18 RBIs in 58 games with Round Rock and Corpus Christi this season. He is a veteran of 11 professional seasons, but has played in only one inning of a Major League game and has not had an at-bat.
To make room for Esposito on the 40-man roster, the club will transfer right-handed pitcher Brian Moehler from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Moehler is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his lower abdomen Wednesday in Philadelphia.
Bagwell reflects on trade to Astros
HOUSTON -- Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of the landmark trade in which the Astros sent veteran reliever Larry Andersen to the Boston Red Sox for Minor League third baseman Jeff Bagwell, a trade considered one of the worst in baseball history.
Bagwell went on to win the National League Rookie of the Year in 1991, the NL Most Valuable Player in 1994, made five All-Star teams and set club records with 449 homers and 1,529 RBIs. Andersen appeared in only 15 games for the Red Sox and pitched well, but the Red Sox lost a superstar.
Bagwell, currently the Astros' hitting coach, grew up in Connecticut cheering for the Red Sox, so he wasn't exactly thrilled with the trade when it went down.
"I was crushed," Bagwell said. "My family was crying, my grandmother and my grandfather, too. But my dad came the next day and picked me up in Albany and said, 'You know, I've been looking at this, and this could be a good opportunity for you.'"
The Red Sox had Wade Boggs entrenched at third base and prospects Scott Cooper and Tim Naehring waiting in the wings. The Astros had Ken Caminiti at third, but moved Bagwell to first base, where he stayed for 15 years.
"It changed my life," Bagwell said. "Here I am, probably third on the depth chart to play third base with the Red Sox, and I get traded and I'm in the big leagues. I tell kids this all the time. They'll go and say, 'Man, I'm hitting well, but they have Lance Berkman at first.' I'll tell them, 'There's other teams watching you, so if you go ahead and do your business, it will take care of itself.'"
Several Rockets players take batting practice
HOUSTON -- Several members of the NBA's Houston Rockets, including starting point guard Aaron Brooks and forwards Chuck Hayes and Chase Budinger, got a chance to take batting practice at Minute Maid Park prior to Tuesday's game against the Cardinals.
The only person in the contingent to hit a home run was assistant coach Shawn Respert, though Hayes, a 6-foot-6 power forward, hit a few balls to the wall. Hayes, dripping in sweat, said he had a new amount of respect for baseball players.
"In the Home Run Derby, I always wondered why they were sweating so much, and now I know," he said. "I get it. Now I know why they always have a Gatorade handed to them when they're done swinging. What you do on the court has nothing to do with out here. Those guys are amazing."
Astros center fielder Michael Bourn, who claims he can dunk a basketball, was impressed with Hayes, but he said he's ready to show off his skills on the court.
"They were out there to have fun and they actually know more about baseball than you think," Bourn said. "Now it's time for me to go over to their territory. I can get up there a little bit, but I have to get my legs a little rest. They're a little tired from this season."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.