Wade LeBlanc, who’d been designated for assignment on Monday by the Miami Marlins, has been claimed off of waivers by the Houston Astros according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. LeBlanc will reportedly join the team in Kansas City prior to tomorrow’s game, at which point in time they’ll need to make a corresponding move to create room on the active roster.
The 28 year old left-hander has had a relatively unimpressive career since being taken by the San Diego Padres in the 2nd Round of the 2006 Draft. He’s 20-32 for his career over the past six seasons, posting a 4.47 ERA and 6.1 K/9 across 410.2 IP. Acquired by the Marlins prior to the 2012 season, LeBlanc has made 38 appearances for the team (including 16 starts). He’s 1-5 with a 5.18 ERA and 1.603 WHIP this season in 48.2 IP, though most of that damage came in seven starts for the team (he’s been marginally better since being moved back to the bullpen).
It seems clear that LeBlanc will fill a bullpen role with the Astros rather than sliding into the starting rotation, giving the team another left-handed option in relief. It remains to be seen who will be pushed out of the bullpen to make room for LeBlanc’s addition. Greg Thurston at Climbing Tal’s Hill suggests that Paul Clemens could be the likely casualty, simply because he has options remaining. Clemens has pitched relatively well for the Astros of late, however, which could potentially encourage the team to designate Wesley Wright for assignment instead.