HOUSTON -- Jose Veras walked through the Astros' clubhouse and shook hands with his old teammates, and a few new ones.
He chatted with Marwin Gonzalez along with greeting Astros rookie George Springer. Veras was called up Thursday from Triple-A Oklahoma City in place of Kyle Farnsworth, who was outrighted off the active roster.
It didn't take long for Veras to make his return to the mound for the Astros. He entered in the ninth inning of Thursday's 6-1 win over the Braves and struck out Justin Upton for the final out of the game.
"It feels great for me, being here with my teammates," Veras said. "I always feel really comfortable here with this team, this organization."
Veras played the first half of last season with the Astros, appearing in 42 games and posting a 2.93 ERA with 19 saves in 43 innings. Houston traded Veras to the Tigers last season, and he went on to sign with the Cubs in the winter. He was projected to be the Cubs' closer, but he lost that role after compiling an 8.10 ERA in 12 games.
Astros manager Bo Porter reiterated that Chad Qualls will continue to close for the Astros, but was also quick to point out the advantages of adding Veras to the roster.
"If there's a situation where Qualls is not available, then you know you have another guy that you feel just as comfortable with," Porter said. "He was our closer last year and did a tremendous job."
Farnsworth was signed by the Astros on May 17 and appeared in 16 games, posting a 6.17 ERA in 11 2/3 innings. He started the year with the Mets, who released him just a few days prior to reaching a $1 million salary bonus.
The team expects Farnsworth to elect free agency instead of accepting an assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Mike Vernon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less