Astros owner Jim Crane thinks Roger Clemens’ comeback could continue in Houston. That would be news to the 50-year-old right-hander, who doesn’t sound too interested in the idea.
Crane said Monday there’s a possibility Clemens could pitch this season in the majors.
The Astros, with baseball worst record, started a weeklong homestand on Monday against the Cubs and Phillies. Their only remaining home games after this stretch are against the Pirates and the Cardinals — two teams in postseason contention.
Crane said he would not pitch the seven-time Cy Young Award winner against a contender, which leaves this week as the only option.
But Clemens said Monday night the only way he would pitch this season was against a team in contention.
“I can tell you right now, and they would know too, that if I was going to go do it, I am going to pitch against a contender, that’s who I want to knock out … ” Clemens told Houston television station KRIV. “Pitching against somebody that’s not in contention wouldn’t be any fun for me.”
Clemens pitched with the Astros from 2004-2006, accumulating a 38-18 record in 84 starts with a 2.40 ERA.
MCCARTHY TO LEAVE HOSPITAL SOON
Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy took a few steps with the aid of a handrail Monday and is making good progress five days after undergoing two hours of brain surgery after getting hit in the head by a line drive last week.
Team trainer Nick Paparesta said McCarthy seems likely to leave the hospital soon.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, whose line drive hit McCarthy, said he was grateful to hear McCarthy is making steady progress.
THREE PLAYERS SUSPENDED FOR DRUGS
Two minor leaguers, third baseman Ernest Vasquez and right-hander James Walczak (both amphetamines) from the Reds’ Class A Dayton club, and free agent pitcher Frank Diaz (Stanozolol) each received a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug program.
The total number of suspensions this year under baseball’s minor league drug programs reached 95. That is an increase from 71 last year.
San Diego slugger Lance Berkman will have season-ending surgery on his right knee. … Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was examined Monday and an MRI showed an irritation to his left calf strain. He is expected to be sidelined for 10-14 days. … Minor league slugger Darin Ruf was recalled by the Phillies from Double-A Reading. … White Sox slugger Adam Dunn was out of the lineup for a fourth consecutive game with a strained right oblique. Also, right-hander Gavin Floyd will likely return to the pitching rotation Wednesday. … The Rockies recalled left-hander Josh Outman from Double-A Tulsa. … Angels ace Jered Weaver is set to pitch Thursday after skipping a start to rest his right shoulder tendinitis. … The Pirates called up infielder Chase d’Arnaud and right-handers Bryan Morris and Rick VandenHurk from Triple-A Indianapolis.