Zeid called up after Albers placed on paternity leave

Zeid called up after Albers placed on paternity leave

TORONTO -- Right-hander Josh Zeid was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City for Tuesday's series opener against the Blue Jays after reliever Matt Albers was placed on paternity leave.

The Astros didn't waste any time getting Zeid into a game. The right-hander allowed one hit and struck out one in two-thirds of an inning. He also picked Jose Bautista off second base.

Zeid, who has made one appearance with the RedHawks this season, understands that his stay with the Astros is likely to be short, but he's eager to make the most of it.

"It's always nice, especially being so close to Spring Training because I feel really comfortable with the group of guys that are here already," Zeid said. "I know it could be a temporary thing, so I'm not getting my hopes up too large, but I'm really excited for the opportunity.

"I'm hoping to get in and show the front office and coaching staff that I can be successful at this level."

Zeid got his first taste of the big leagues in 2013, making 25 appearances with the Astros and pitching to a 3.90 ERA while converting six holds.

"Every time you go out there, it's your job on the line," Zeid explained. "Whether you are a 10-year veteran or have a couple months under your belt, you have the same plan when you go out there.

"If you throw strikes and get ahead of hitters you are going to be successful, just like at any level. Strike one is the best pitch in baseball. You have to be able to strike guys out, that's certainly important. Hitters are hitters, they get themselves out seven times out of 10, eight times out of 10, so you have to put yourself in the best position to get them out and get ahead."

Zeid said some mechanical adjustments he made during Spring Training allowed him to throw the ball better, as he struck out 12 batters over 8 2/3 innings, and it certainly caught the attention of the Astros' coaching staff.

Manager Bo Porter said Zeid was in the mix to make the team out of camp, but was caught up in a numbers game when the Astros elected to carry seven relievers, opposed to eight. Porter said it was a tough decision leaving Zeid behind.

"At the back end of Spring Training, he threw the ball really well," Porter said. "It was good to be able to send a guy with Major League experience to Triple-A, knowing that you need more than 25 [players] anyway, and at some point he was going to be with us."

Albers, meanwhile, will take the full three days of paternity leave that is allowed under Major League rules, said Porter.

Chris Toman is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.