07/07/12 4:35 PM ET
Houston likely to stick with five-man rotation
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
Astros manager Brad Mills said he anticipates sticking with a five-man rotation to start the second half, which means the current rotation of Lucas Harrell, Bud Norris, J.A. Happ, Wandy Rodriguez and Jordan Lyles will open the second half.
"We talked about it a little bit [Friday] and we will continue to talk about it, but right now the feeling is, probably, we'll go with a five-man rotation," Mills said.
The Astros employed a four-man rotation the first few weeks of the season and occasionally brought up a fifth starter when there was no off-day allowing them to stay on four starters. Lyles joined the rotation in May and the Astros briefly went with a six-man rotation when Norris came back from the disabled list and rookie Dallas Keuchel was coming off a complete game. Keuchel was sent to Triple-A after his most recent start.
Having a five-man rotation allows Mills to carry an extra relief pitcher.
"I'm not taking away from anything anybody's done, but at the same time, we might go to a six-man later to kind of reduce some innings on some guys," he said.
Harrell, a rookie, is second on the team with 102 2/3 innings pitched. His career high innings pitched is 161 2/3 with Triple-A Charlotte (137 2/3) and the White Sox (24) in 2010.
Moore enjoying chance to play every day
HOUSTON -- Scott Moore was in the lineup for the sixth consecutive game for the Astros, starting at third base on Saturday and batting third. Moore had started the two previous games in right field and has a hit in all eight games he's played with Houston, including homers on Friday and Saturday.
"It's nice to be part of the team, and it's even better to walk into the clubhouse every day and see your name in the lineup," said Moore, a former first-round Draft pick of the Tigers, who has played for the Cubs and Orioles. He was called up on June 26.
Moore has also played left field and second base and, along with Brian Bixler and Matt Downs, gives Astros manager Brad Mills the kind of versatility he needs off the bench, considering he's carrying only four backup position players in favor of eight relievers.
"We've been going with a four-man bench for the better part of the first half and when you have those guys that can play different positions it really helps the ballclub," Mills said. "They're fun to the club, they're fun guys and team players and can do a really good job."
Moore, 28, in part signed with the Astros because he knew there would be some opportunities with such a young club.
"I don't know that it's in your mind that people are going to struggle or anything, but I can contribute and help a team, and that was my thought when I signed here," Moore said.
Astros still considering promoting Wallace
HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills said the team has had conversations about bringing up Brett Wallace, who performed well in 11 games with the Astros earlier this year and is hitting .290 with 13 homers and 46 RBIs as the first baseman at Triple-A Oklahoma City.
It was believed Wallace would replace Carlos Lee at first when he was traded, but after dealing Lee to the Marlins on Wednesday, the Astros moved Chris Johnson to first base and called up Matt Dominguez -- one of two players acquired from the Marlins -- to start at third.
"We've talked about [Wallace] and I don't think we've reached, to my knowledge, a decision on what we're going to do," Mills said. "Definitely, he's got to be in the mix, I would think, simply because what he did when he was here and what he was doing in Oklahoma City."
The Astros could be making a few roster moves at the All-Star break, with reliever Wilton Lopez and outfielder Justin Maxwell both on Minor League rehab assignments at Oklahoma City and due to return to the club following the break. Infielder Marwin Gonzalez could also return soon from his rehab assignment.