CINCINNATI -- The Astros' move to a six-man rotation is one that could bring a range of benefits.
Manager Tony DeFrancesco said it gives more opportunities to players to prove their worth as the 2012 campaign draws to a close. It also gives the arms sufficient rest, preventing overwork.
"We're going to the six-man rotation to give everybody an extra day," DeFrancesco said.
DeFrancesco credited both Lucas Harrell, Friday night's starter, and Bud Norris, Saturday's starter, for their efforts in the series against Cincinnati. The interim manager said both pitchers "gave the team a chance to win," which Harrell said is the goal of the rotation moving forward.
"We're young and hungry," said Harrell. "We don't die, we don't quit, and this last month of the season, we really want to show people what we can do and improve every day."
The additional arm being added to the rotation also marks a second coming, of sorts, for Edgar Gonzalez, who, until last Monday, hadn't started a Major League game since 2009.
He earned a win in his first outing back, holding the Pirates to one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. DeFrancesco said there could be more to come.
"[Gonzalez] came a long way to get back to the Major Leagues," DeFrancesco said. "Last time he pitched, it was what we were looking for -- and hopefully he can repeat it. If he gets the breaking ball over and can work the ball in and out, he's going to have success [in the Majors]."