Astros call up Santana, send down Villar

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by Houston Astros Media Relations

khou.com

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 6:32 PM

HOUSTON, TX — The Houston Astros have called up three players today from Triple A Oklahoma City in left-handed pitcher Kevin Chapman, infielder Kiké Hernandez and outfielder Domingo Santana. Chapman and Santana have been officially recalled, while Hernandez has been selected to the Major League roster. This marks the Major League debuts for Hernandez and Santana.

To make room for the trio, the Astros placed outfielder Dexter Fowler on the 15-day DL with a right intercostal strain (retroactive to June 27) and designated right-handed pitcher Jerome Williams for assignment. Last night, the Astros announced that shortstop Jonathan Villar had been optioned to Triple A OKC.

The announcements were made by Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow.

Chapman, 26, made the Astros Opening Day roster this season and made six appearances for the Astros before being optioned to Triple A OKC on April 16. Since his option, the lefty has been dominant at the Triple A level, posting a 1-1 record with two saves and a 0.94 ERA (3ER/28.2IP) in 26 games. He’s struck out 37 hitters in 28.2 innings pitched, while allowing just a .190 (19x100) opponent’s batting average. Chapman made his Major League debut for Houston last season, posting a 1-1 record with one save and a 1.77 ERA (4ER/20.1IP) in 25 games.

Hernandez, 22, has split his 2014 season between Triple A OKC and Double A Corpus Christi, posting a .336 (102x304) average with 20 doubles, nine home runs and 36 RBI in 77 games. He’s played his last 67 games with Triple A OKC, where he’s hit .337 (89x264) with 17 doubles, eight home runs and 31 RBI. A versatile defender, Hernandez has played every position at OKC other than pitcher and catcher. Hernandez was originally a sixth round pick by the Astros in the June 2009 draft.

Santana, 21, entered this season ranked as the Astros No. 8 prospect by Baseball America and currently ranks as the club’s No. 7 prospect by MLB.com. He was also recently named to the 2014 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. The 6’5” corner outfielder has hit .304 (97x319) with 22 doubles, 13 home runs, 52 RBI and a .383 on-base percentage in 84 games with Triple A OKC this season. He ranks tied for second in the Pacific Coast League in hits, tied for seventh in walks (40) and eighth in RBI. Santana was the final player the Astros received from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade in 2011. He became the player to be named later in the deal, which also brought right-handed pitcher Jarred Cosart, first baseman Jon Singleton and right-handed pitcher Josh Zeid to Houston.

If Hernandez and Santana play tonight, they will become the first set of Astros players to make their Major League debuts on the same day since right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino and catcher J.R. Towles did so on Sept. 5, 2007 at MIL.

Fowler, 28, has missed the last four games while recovering from the intercostal strain. In his first season with Houston, Fowler has hit .270 (77x285) with 12 doubles, six home runs, 24 RBI and a .377 on-base percentage, which ranks 10th in the AL. He will be eligible to return from the DL on July 12.

Williams, 32, made 26 appearances for the Astros this season, tossing 47.2 innings in relief. He is a veteran of nine Major League seasons and has pitched in 181 career games with San Francisco (2003-05), Chicago-NL (2006), Washington (2007), Los Angeles-AL (2011-13) and Houston (2014).

With the addition of Hernandez and the removal of Williams, the Astros 40-man roster remains full.

 

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