Abad earns permanent spot in Astros' rotation

Abad earns permanent spot in Astros' rotation

NEW YORK -- Fernando Abad threw four innings of one-run ball against the Mets on Saturday, and, in turn, earned himself a permanent role in the Astros' rotation moving forward.

"He's going to be in our rotation," interim manager Tony DeFrancesco said. "What you saw yesterday, four quality innings kept us in the game. I'm really excited about his aggressiveness, and I hope you see a difference from when he was here before as a reliever."

In his first Major League start, Abad allowed four hits and walked four, but he did an excellent job limiting damage with runners on base.

Abad made 30 relief appearances for the Astros before he was optioned to Triple-A in July with a 3.86 ERA. He made three relief appearances for Oklahoma City before he was added to the team's starting rotation, and was called up to make his first Major League start on Saturday after scheduled starter Armando Galarraga was designated for assignment on Wednesday.

Despite Abad's transition from a left-handed specialist to a member of the Astros' rotation, DeFrancesco said he has no worries about the left-hander's durability, citing that Abad was used as a starter during two seasons in the Dominican Winter League. The biggest concern, he said, lies in Abad's pitch selection.

"When you're a lefty situational guy, you're throwing a lot of breaking balls. You're probably a two-pitch pitcher, you're going to throw a fastball, a breaking ball, maybe a slider for a strikeout," DeFrancesco said. "But when you're a starter, you've got four quality pitches and you can mix them in."