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12/08/08 4:45 PM EST

Astros claim 'pen candidate Fulchino

Seldom-used reliever exposed to waivers by Royals

LAS VEGAS -- The Astros added a bullpen candidate to the mix on Monday when they claimed right-hander Jeff Fulchino off waivers from the Royals.

The 29-year-old Fulchino was signed as a Minor League free agent by the Royals last February and posted an 0-1 record and a 9.00 ERA over 12 relief outings last season. He also made 25 appearances for Triple-A Omaha, where he was 3-4 with a 4.84 ERA. He also made two appearances at the Double-A level.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound righty was previously in the Marlins' organization. He has a Minor League record of 45-49 with a 4.45 ERA and six saves over 182 games, including 154 starts.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.