The Houston Astros called up Brett Oberholtzer from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Sunday, and sent Dallas Keuchel to Triple-A in a corresponding move.
Oberholtzer has been a starter in the minor leagues, but is being summoned to the major league level to provide bullpen depth. Keuchel pitched 2.2 innings of relief in the Astros 19-6 defeat to the Cleveland Indians, allowing seven runs. Oberholtzer last pitched on Tuesday, so he should be ready to pitch out of the bullpen when called upon.
The 23 year-old prospect did not exactly earn his promotion with strong pitching this season, as he owns a 9.49 ERA after three starts for Oklahoma City. Oberholtzer has been unable to strike batters out and is surrendering far too many home runs, as he has surrendered three home runs in 12.1 innings pitched.
The southpaw was sent to the Astros by the Atlana Braves for Michael Bourn in 2011. He pitched well in Double-A for the Braves and the Astros that season, but lost some of his luster as a prospect with a disappointing 2012 campaign. Oberholtzer throws four pitches, fastball, slider, chageup, curveball, and tops out at 92 mph.
Keuchel started 16 games for the Astros last season, and has a career ERA of 5.06 in 93 innings.