Astros decide to use six-man rotation for remainder of year

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Following in the Marlins’ footsteps, the Astros have decided to go to a six-man rotation for the remainder of the season.

Houston made the change in order to get rookie Dallas Keuchel regular starts down the stretch alongside Jordan Lyles, Fernando Abad, Lucas Harrell, Bud Norris, and Edgar Gonzalez.

Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that the six-man rotation is a way to limit the workloads of young pitchers and also gives the Astros a chance to evaluate more starters for a potential role in 2013 and beyond.

Houston starters rank second-worst in the NL with a 4.70 ERA, ahead of only Colorado, and that mark includes some good pitching from Wandy Rodriguez before he was traded.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.