Astros activate Boone, Brocail, Wright
Pitchers aim for strong finish; infielder back after heart surgery
CHICAGO -- Right-hander Doug Brocail and left-hander Wesley Wright, two relief pitchers the Astros were counting upon heavily for the 2009 season, rejoined the club Tuesday following their Minor League rehab outings with hopes of making a strong finish.
Brocail and Wright, both of whom were on the 15-day disabled list with shoulder strains, were activated Tuesday, the first day rosters could be expanded. Third baseman Aaron Boone, who's been on the 60-day disabled list since undergoing open-heart surgery in March, was also activated.
Wright is 2-2 with a 5.97 ERA in 33 games with the Astros this season and hopes better location of his fastball translates into better results. He went on the disabled list Aug. 12.
"I'm just glad to be back and feeling good, and hopefully I can contribute any way I can," Wright said. "I think I accomplished everything I wanted to do [at Triple-A Round Rock]. I had a chance to throw in back-to-back games, and my shoulder felt good. That was the thing for me -- I just wanted to get back in game situations and pitch instead of throwing bullpens."
Brocail has been on the disabled list three times this year and has appeared in only 10 games, posting a 5.40 ERA. The 42-year-old isn't even sure he will pitch beyond this year, but he's glad to be back for September.
"They have guys they have to look at for next year, and if I pitch, I pitch," he said. "If not, then I'll sit down there and try to be there for the guys. I don't know who's coming up when the Minor League season ends, but if guys come up and they have to throw, so be it. I plan on finishing strong."
Boone joined the team last weekend in Arizona after playing 11 games during a Minor League rehab assignment at Round Rock and Double-A Corpus Christi.
"What Aaron has accomplished is amazing," Astros general manager Ed Wade said. "He was determined to make this happen, and it's an honor for us to have been part of his return to action. His work ethic and love of the game are inspiring."
The Astros are expected to call up one or two more players when the team returns home Friday. They are currently carrying 28 players on the active roster -- 14 pitchers and 14 position players.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.