HOUSTON -- In an effort to have fresh arms in the bullpen capable of working multiple innings, the Astros on Monday recalled right-hander Jose Cisnero from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned left-hander Brett Oberholtzer back down after a brief stay on the Major League roster.
Oberholtzer was called up Sunday and made his debut against the Indians, throwing two innings while allowing two home runs. He was recalled after long relievers Paul Clemens (3 1/3 innings) and Dallas Keuchel (2 2/3 innings) worked multiple innings in Saturday's 19-6 loss to Cleveland. Keuchel was sent down after the game.
Cisnero has appeared in three games, making one start, for the RedHawks, going 1-1 with a 9.35 ERA in 8 2/3 innings. He last pitched Thursday, throwing three innings against Round Rock. Cisnero had a terrific year in 2012, going 14-7 with a 3.70 ERA in 20 starts at Double-A Corpus Christi and eight at Oklahoma City.
"When you're looking at your available arms, the last thing you want to do is know that you're short and not do anything about it," manager Bo Porter said. "Cisnero was scheduled to start today at Oklahoma City, so it gives us a guy who's built up as a starter and can be in the bullpen tonight."
Cisnero is expected to provide support in long relief for a bullpen that has had to eat up a lot of innings in the last week. Only one Astros starting pitcher has pitched into the sixth inning in the team's last six games, including three starters who didn't make it out of the first.
"It's my first time in the big leagues and I'm excited," Cisnero 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.