Jose Cisnero was optioned to Triple A Oklahoma City on Wednesday because the rookie right-handed reliever was struggling with his fastball command and he had lost confidence in his pitching. He basically didn’t trust his stuff.
Astros manager Bo Porter said that a move to Oklahoma City will benefit the 23-year-old Cisnero, who started the season strong but has struggled for more than a month. To replace Cisnero, right-handed Jorge De Leon, who began his professional career as an infielder, was selected from OKC.
Porter said he likes De Leon’s fastball and put-away slider.
De Leon, who will wear No. 67, has never pitched in the major leagues. De Leon, 25, has not allowed a run in five appearances for the OKC RedHawks in 7 1/3 innings with two walks. He last pitched on Aug. 5 vs. Colorado Springs, going 1 2/3 innings.
De Leon began the season at Double AA Corpus Christi, where he made 29 appearances (three starts) with a 4.27 ERA and six saves. De Leon made the move to become a pitcher in 2010.
Cisnero, a product of the Astros Dominican Academy, pitched on Tuesday in the Astros’ 15-10 loss to the Red Sox in which Houston led 5-0 after two innings. Cisnero was the third of five pitchers, allowing three runs, three walks and two hits (both homers) in one inning pitched. His ERA is 4.12.
“He had a really good stretch where he was very effective and he’s struggled in the last month or so,” said Porter. “A lot of it has to do with mechanics, fastball command. It looked like his confidence continued to go.
“When you’re trying to get something straightened up at the major league level, and situations dictate when you’re going to use this guy and he’s working on something, this is not the place where you want to continue to work on things.”