HOUTON -- Astros general manager Ed Wade has had some good luck on waiver claims since he joined the club, plucking outfielder Jason Bourgeois and pitcher Wilton Lopez off waivers, among others. Wade hopes to have found another gem by claiming outfielder Luis Durango off waivers from the Padres.
Durango, who was added to the 40-man roster, will be sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City. To make room for Durango on the roster, right-hander Alberto Arias was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
"He has plus-plus speed," Wade said. "He has sort of Jason Bourgeois, Michael Bourn-type of game-changing speed. He's a switch-hitter who doesn't have power, but we think he gives us a good surplus, and any time you can add speed to your mix, it's sensible to do that."
Durango, 25, hit .243 with 15 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 61 games for the Padres' Triple-A affiliate this season. He has appeared in 37 Major League games with San Diego from 2009-10, hitting .305 with four RBIs and seven stolen bases. The Panama native was originally signed by the Padres as a non-drafted free agent on Sept. 21, 2003, and represented Panama in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Durango played alongside Carlos Lee in the World Baseball Classic, and Lee said he's a strong defensive outfielder who can fly and has a strong arm.
With Bourgeois on DL, Astros recall Bogusevic
HOUSTON -- Jason Bourgeois said he's not surprised the Astros placed him on the 15-day disabled list after he left Tuesday night's game against the Rangers with a right quadriceps injury.
"When it's six or seven days I probably need to recover, I should be on the DL," Bourgeois said. "It's a National League team, so you need everybody ready to go at all times."
Bourgeois said he was feeling "very sore" on Wednesday, but he hopes he won't need the full 15 days before he is ready to start running again.
- 131 wins
- 121 wins
"The goal is to be ready after 15 [games] now, because I have that time," Bourgeois said. "But hopefully, I can be ready in six or seven days. It'll be a great start for the rehab process."
Astros general manager Ed Wade said he noticed Bourgeois favoring his right leg since the first game of last week's series at Texas.
"I thought I noticed something in his gait at that point in time after the game," Wade said. "He was cramping and he got an IV bag at that point because of the dehydration. I sort of wonder whether a part of it was more than just a cramp at that point."
Wade said Bourgeois and Michael Bourn provide a different dynamic for a team who has struggled to hit the ball out of the ballpark.
"It's probably very frustrating for a guy who gets a chance like that and then to have some leg issue and have the oblique strain," Wade said. "I hope it resolves quickly."
Brian Bogusevic was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take Bourgeois' spot on the roster.
"Things happen with moves all the time, but you can't really bank on anything happening in your future," Bogusevic said. "You've just got to go down and do your work."
Bogusevic hit .257 with three home runs, four triples, 14 stolen bases and 27 RBIs in 49 games with Oklahoma City this year.
"I feel good," Bogusevic said. "It was good to go out and play every day down there."
Carpenter called up to join Astros' bullpen
HOUSTON -- David Carpenter, a right-handed reliever who has thrown 19 consecutive scoreless innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City, was called up by the Astros and was in uniform for Wednesday night's game against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.
Carpenter, 25, was acquired by the Astros a year ago from the Cardinals in exchange for third baseman Pedro Feliz. He split time with Double-A Corpus Christi and Oklahoma City this season, going 0-1 with a 1.91 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 33 relief outings.
"We like those 0.00 ERA guys a lot," Astros general manager Ed Wade said. "We paid attention to what he was doing at Double-A and figured that he was ready for the challenge of Triple-A."
The Astros have been waiting on Carpenter to further develop his slider, and Oklahoma City pitching coach Burt Hooton said in his game report a few days ago that Carpenter threw three outstanding sliders and had figured it out.
"That sort of shined a little bit of a bright light on David in the short term," said Wade, who added that Fernando Rodriguez -- who was optioned June 25 to make room for an extra catcher -- had to spend at least 10 days in the Minor Leagues before he could recalled.
With Carpenter coming aboard to put the Astros' bullpen back at full strength with seven arms, catcher Brian Esposito was optioned to Oklahoma City. Esposito was called up as protection at catcher, where J.R. Towles had been unavailable to play defense since Friday because of a chin laceration.
Happ throws live batting practice
HOUSTON -- Astros left-hander J.A. Happ, who has posted a 3-9 record with a 5.54 ERA in 16 starts this year, took the unusual measure of throwing live batting practice Wednesday afternoon under the watchful eye of interim pitching coach Doug Brocail and teammate Brett Myers.
"I just wanted to get in there and reassure myself and kind of make sure I'm trusting my stuff up there getting guys out swinging the bat," Happ said. "I want to throw strikes and get a feel for throwing everything in the zone and make more competitive pitches. Today felt good."
Happ was scheduled to throw his standard bullpen session between starts Wednesday before approaching Brocail and asking if he could do live batting practice. Happ said he has felt good in the bullpen between starts but hasn't seen that translate in games.
"I thought it would be good to get some hitters in there and just switch it up a little bit, and hopefully it will help," he said.
Brocail said throwing to hitters helps Happ get a better reference point than simply throwing in the bullpen. He thought Happ was rushing his mechanics and arching his back in the first inning in his most recent start. Happ is scheduled to start Saturday's game against the Red Sox.
"If it's going to make him comfortable and he wants to throw three or four more bullpens like this, I'm all for it," Brocail said.
Catcher J.R. Towles, who hasn't played behind the plate since being hit in the mask Friday and cutting his chin, is now available to play defense. He tried to wear a hockey-style catching mask, but it pressed against his chin, so he added some padding to his standard mask and is ready to go.
Astros general manager Ed Wade said catcher Jason Castro, who underwent surgery in March to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee, has begun hitting off a tee and could be sent to the team's facility in Kissimmee, Fla., at the end of July to intensify baseball drills. Wade hopes Castro can get on the field in September.
Astros manager Brad Mills said he is going to closely watch the workload of 20-year-old rookie pitcher Jordan Lyles, who made his Major League debut earlier this year. Mills, Wade, interim pitching coach Doug Brocail and bullpen coach Jamie Quirk discussed the matter about a week ago, Mills said. Lyles has thrown a combined 95 innings this year between Triple-A Oklahoma City and the Majors.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. Rowan Kavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.