Wesley Wright has been a great representative of the Astros in the Houston community. He’s also been an outstanding teammate and was one of few remaining veterans on the team.
During Monday’s game with the Texas Rangers, the Astros assigned the left-handed reliever to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash considerations.
Astros coaches and players will miss the personable Wright, who likes to talk sports, especially Auburn football.
“Wesley Wright has an opportunity to go play for a pennant,” said Astros manager Bo Porter. “He’s going to a great organization. He will be missed in our clubhouse, but it’s a great opportunity for him.”
In replacing the 28-year-old Wright, the Astros will select the contract of 30-year-old right-handed pitcher Philip Humber from Triple A Oklahoma City. Humber, who will be used in relief, started the season in the Houston starting rotation. He’ll join the team in Oakland on Tuesday.
“It could be long (relief) or short it all depends on the situation,” said Porter.
In 54 relief appearances this season Wright was 0-4 with a 3.92 ERA. He had been with the Astros organization since being selected from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft in Dec. 2007.
“He’s a great guy, even when he struggles or does well,” said Astros starter Brett Oberholtzer. “He’s a great leader.
“To us he was like an uncle. We call (Erik) Bedard a grandfather. Wes is a great guy.”
Astros center fielder Brandon Barnes said the team will miss Wright, who has been used primarily as a left-handed specialist over the last two seasons.
“It’s tough losing a guy like Wes,” said Barnes. “I wish him the best of luck. And going to a team in the playoff race, he deserves it and we’re all happy for him.”
Humber struggled as an Astros starter, but has pitched well in relief at Oklahoma City. Humber was 0-8 with a 9.59 ERA with the Astros. In his last seven appearances at OKC, Humber was 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA with 14 strikeouts and two walks in 11 1/3 innings. He last pitched Aug. 9, going two innings.
“He’s been throwing the ball well as of late,” said Olberholtzer, who has pitched at OKC this season. “He’s another veteran we can look up to and look for some leadership.”