HOUSTON -- Reinforcements are on the way.
The Astros can expand their roster beginning Monday, and manager Bo Porter said the club's initial wave of September callups will join the team Tuesday (the Astros are off Monday). Left-hander Darin Downs, who's on a Minor League rehab assignment, will join the club Tuesday as long as his outing Sunday goes well.
Right-hander Sam Deduno, who was picked up off waivers, will also join the team Tuesday, giving the Astros' bullpen some much-needed help. Astros relievers had thrown the fourth-fewest innings among AL relief corps entering Sunday, but several arms are in uncharted territory as far as innings worked.
"Extra arms will definitely help this time of year because the guys we have down there who have been mainstays throughout the course of the year, they've been asked to pick up a lot of innings," Porter said. "Any chance you have to give those guys a blow will be good."
When the majority of callups arrive in Houston depends on whether Triple-A Oklahoma City makes the playoffs. The RedHawks entered the penultimate day of the regulars season Sunday one-half game behind first-place Omaha in the American North Division of the Pacific Coast League.
Among the other players expected to get called up are relief pitcher Paul Clemens, outfielder L.J. Hoes, catcher Max Stassi and shortstop Jonathan Villar.