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Fields makes case for 'pen spot with perfect inning

Fields makes case for 'pen spot with perfect inning

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- With big first baseman Nate Freiman getting snatched up on waivers by the Oakland A's, the Astros have one remaining Rule 5 player in camp in right-handed reliever Josh Fields, who threw a 1-2-3 inning against the Braves on Saturday.

Fields, who was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft from Boston, appears to have a good shot to make the club. Freiman was the victim of his lack of versatility and too many other players at his position, but Fields is competing to win a spot in a wide-open bullpen.

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"God's very gracious," Fields said. "He's blessed me with an unbelievable opportunity here with the Astros, and I'm super pumped to be here. I'm pretty excited where things are at and hoping I can keep working and keep improving, and hopefully I'll stick around a while."

Fields, who's allowed seven hits and three earned runs in 8 2/3 innings this spring, has tried not to think about the chance he could be wearing a different uniform in a week.

"If you think about it like that, it can get a little nerve-wracking," he said. "I trust where I'm at in the organization and I'll be fine."

Fields said he still has a few finishing touches to get done mechanically and admits he's a late bloomer.

"I'm feeling pretty good right now, and hopefully as the season progresses, I'd like to get a little more consistency in my release point," he said.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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