FRISCO - The Houston Astros announced Sunday night that right-handed pitcher Jake Buchanan and outfielder George Springer will be promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Springer and Buchanan will join the RedHawks after participating in the Texas League All-Star Game Tuesday at Northwest Arkansas.
Buchanan helped anchor a pitching staff that carried the Hooks for much of the first half, going 7-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 18 games, 13 of them starts. He earned Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors in May after he did not allow an earned run and posted a 4-0 record. Buchanan led the TL in WHIP (0.93), ranked fourth in batting average against (.226) and fifth in innings pitched (82.0).
In 2012, the 23-year-old North Carolina State product went 5-6 with a 5.00 earned run average in 19 starts before a move to the bullpen.
"Jake had struggled here the last year and a half and what he's been able to do the first half, the way he's thrown, is huge," Hooks president Ken Schrom said. "If I had to put my finger on one thing that turned our club around, I would have to say the way that he's pitched."
Houston drafted Buchanan in the eighth round of the 2010 draft. He earned the Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year award in 2011 after he went 5-10 with a 3.91 ERA for Advanced-A Lancaster.
Springer was leading the run producer in the Texas League in the first half of the season, hitting .297 with 19 home runs and 55 RBIs. At the time of his promotion, he ranked among league leaders in hitting (6th), home runs (t-1st), runs batted in (t-2nd), stolen bases (23, t-2nd), hits (81, t-4th), doubles (20, 5th) and runs scored (56, 1st).
Springer fell one long ball short of becoming the second Hook to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in a season. Drew Sutton hit 20 home runs and stole 20 bases in 2008.
Houston selected the former Connecticut Huskie with the 11th overall pick in the 2011 draft. Springer played in 22 games for the Hooks in 2012 and hit .219 with two home runs and five RBIs.
"It was good that he came here last year and saw the challenge ahead of him and he still has a long way to go, although he's had a very, very productive first half," Hooks manager Keith Bodie said. "Obviously when you have a guy like that in your lineup he contributes a lot."
The Astros have not announced a corresponding roster move.