DETROIT -- Admitting he was tired of giving up runs, relief pitcher Josh Zeid went to work with Triple-A Oklahoma City pitching coach Steve Webber a few weeks ago. He made some mechanical adjustments and altered his positioning on the rubber, making it easier for him to throw strikes.
The results Zeid had at Oklahoma City were positive, and the right-hander will get a chance to use what he's learned in the big leagues after the Astros recalled him on Wednesday and optioned reliever Josh Fields to Oklahoma City. Zeid now stands on different parts of the rubber when facing right-handers and lefties.
"It's created some angles, which has allowed me to throw the ball inside to righties and lefties while they're up," Zeid said before being summoned in the seventh inning of Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Tigers and striking out the only batter he faced. "It was making my breaking ball, my splitter more effective."
Zeid spent three days on the Major League roster last month while Matt Albers was on paternity leave. He pitched two games in Toronto and allowed two earned runs and four hits in three innings. He served as the closer at Oklahoma City and picked up his fifth save Tuesday night, throwing 15 pitches.
Zeid had pitched in 11 games for the RedHawks this year and was 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA, 13 strikeouts and three walks. Astros manager Bo Porter said he wouldn't be shy about using him late in games.
Fields allowed five runs and six hits in two-thirds of an inning in Tuesday's loss to the Tigers. In his last five outings, he gave up 14 earned runs and 14 hits in three innings after starting the season with a 2.00 ERA in his first nine games.
"This is a tough place to try to get your confidence back, and just looking at the big picture, we'll allow him to go to Oklahoma City and gain his confidence back and come back here," Porter said. "He has good stuff. You look at even the beginning of the season, how he started out, but it spiraled. We tried to put him into some lower-leverage innings and after last night it was a decision that was made -- let's get him out of here and go to Oklahoma City and get his confidence back."