HOUSTON -- With Roger Clemens having pretty much ruled out a comeback this year, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Monday he doesn't expect the seven-time Cy Young Award winner to play for Houston anytime soon.
"Right now, we have a six-man rotation and we've planned our rotation for the rest of the year," Luhnow said. "I'm not expecting any changes. The words I've heard Roger say suggest that's not front and center in his mind. At this point, I'm not expecting anything."
Astros owner Jim Crane said he hadn't talked to Clemens recently, but added that if Clemens did return to pitch for the Astros, it would have to be in games against non-contenders. That would mean pitching against the Cubs or Phillies this homestand, considering the Astros' final homestand is against the Pirates and Cardinals.
Clemens, however, told KRIV-TV in Houston on Monday night he would only want to pitch against a contender.
"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 said. "Why would I want to waste my time running around and getting in shape. I get over to Minute Maid [Park], I'll crank it up and get it over 90 for a contender. We'll knock them right out of the playoffs. That would be the fun. Pitching against somebody that's not in contention wouldn't be any fun for me."
Clemens, 50, has made two starts for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, throwing 4 2/3 scoreless innings Friday night with his son, Koby, serving as his catcher. Clemens said following that game he was unlikely to pitch in 2012, but didn't rule out '13.