MEMPHIS, Tennessee - Houston Astros RHP Josh James is set to join the Round Rock Express to begin a major league rehab assignment beginning Thursday night in Memphis. James is expected to pitch in relief in tonight's series finale against the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate) at AutoZone Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
James has been on the Astros' 10-day Injured List since July 22 with right arm fatigue. The righty has been a solid relief option for Houston this season, posting a 4-0 record with a 4.73 ERA (27 ER/51.1 IP) in 39 total appearances, including a lone start. He has racked up 80 strikeouts to 31 walks in the big leagues this season.
The 29-year-old made his major league debut in 2018, pitching to a 2-0 record with a 2.35 ERA (6 ER/23.0 IP) and 29 strikeouts in six games, including three starts, with Houston. In 45 career games at the major league level, James is 6-0 with a 4.00 ERA (33 ER/74.1 IP), 109 strikeouts and 38 walks while holding opponents to a .190 batting average.
He posted a career year at the minor league level prior to his first-ever promotion to the bigs in 2018, combining to go 6-4 with a 3.23 ERA (41 ER/114.1 IP), 171 strikeouts and 49 walks in 23 games, including 21 starts, between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno. His efforts garnered Houston Astros 2018 Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors. He also led all of minor league baseball with a 13.46 strikeouts-per-nine innings ratio a year ago.
The Hollywood, Florida native was originally selected by the Houston Astros in the 34th round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Western Oklahoma State University. James became the lowest-drafted pitcher in Astros franchise history to make a start for the team in the major leagues.
The Express close out their four-game series against the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals affiliate) on Thursday night. Round Rock LHP Ryan Hartman (6-5, 5.24) is scheduled to face Memphis RHP Chris Ellis (4-5, 7.21). First pitch at AutoZone Park in downtown Memphis is slated for 7:05 p.m.
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