For a second straight day, the Astros dealt with a bit of bad news on the injury front as right-handed starter Felipe Paulino was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with shoulder tendinitis. Right-hander Josh Banks had his contract purchased from Round Rock and will start in Paulino's place on Saturday.
The Astros had an extra spot open on the 40-man roster after they designated Casey Daigle, Kevin Cash and Cory Sullivan for assignment on Sunday. Banks joined the organization in the offseason after spending the previous two seasons shuttling between Triple-A and the majors with the San Diego Padres.
Paulino has been one of the bright spots in the Astros rotation this season. He won a competition with Brian Moehler for the fifth starter's spot during spring training and has impressed with a mid-90's fastball and a nasty slider. He's struck out at least five in seven of his 14 starts. He also allowed two or less runs in six of his last seven starts, with the only exception happening last week in Kansas City.
There haven't been many signs that Paulino was hurt, as he pitched six innings in his last start and threw over 100 pitches for the 10th straight game.
Banks is an extreme ground ball pitcher who has a sterling ERA at Round Rock but disturbing peripheral stats. The main knock on him is that he doesn't strike anyone out. His K/9 rate with the Express is 3.10 and that number dropped to 2.70 in June. Still, Banks is the best option to take Paulino's spot in the rotation, as many of Round Rock's pitchers have struggled this season.