Another exam awaits Fulchino

Another exam awaits Fulchino

HOUSTON -- Relief pitcher Jeff Fulchino will be further examined by team doctors on Sunday and could get a cortisone shot in his right elbow, which has been causing him pain when he throws sliders. He underwent an MRI on Friday that showed no structural damage and has been put on oral inflammatory meds, general manager Ed Wade said.

Fulchino said he had a couple of small bone spurs, a bone bruise and some inflammation in the elbow.

"It's something I've been dealing with for the better part of a month, and it just got to the point where it had to be checked out to make sure there is nothing seriously wrong with it," Fulchino said. "I'm going to try to work through it and see what happens."

Fulchino (0-0, 7.62 ERA in 27 games) threw only a couple of sliders in a scoreless inning of work Friday, and said he will have to have better command of his fastball and rely on his split-finger fastball as his secondary pitch instead of his slider.

Fulchino, claimed off waivers by the Astros on Dec. 8, 2008, went 6-4 with a 3.40 ERA in a career-high 61 games last year and was named the Astros' Rookie of the Year by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.