Wojciechowski ready for first big league start

Right-hander expects family, friends to attend Major League debut

Wojciechowski ready for first big league start

HOUSTON -- After winning an unlikely spot in the starting rotation this spring, Astros right-hander Asher Wojciechowski will make his Major League debut when he starts Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Indians at Minute Maid Park.

In 21 innings this spring, Wojciechowski, 26, posted a 1.29 ERA, allowing 17 hits and six runs (three earned) in six games (three starts). He struck out 16 and walked five.

"I've been pretty anxious to get out there and just waiting around all week to finally get out there and pitch," said Wojciechowski, who hasn't thrown in a game since Aug. 31 in Florida. "I'm definitely excited. I've been looking forward to it, and it's an exciting moment right now."

Wojciechowski said he expects to have about 14-15 people at the game Thursday cheering him on, including his wife, parents, in-laws and some college friends and teammates.

"I'm going to have the same mindset I had in Spring Training, and that's to go out there and compete as hard as I can and play with a fire up underneath me and go out there and take it one pitch at a time and just compete," Wojciechowski said.

Hank Conger, who caught Wojciechowski during the spring, will get the start behind the plate -- his first with the Astros.

"Just looking from his composure and his competitiveness in Spring Training, it's going to be fun," Conger said. "As far looking at the scouting reports and what he wants to do, especially for him first time coming up, just go with his strengths. That's going to be the best key for him coming into tomorrow's game is sticking to what he knows best and what he does best and go from there."

Wojciechowski was acquired from the Blue Jays in a blockbuster deal on July 20, 2012. He went 4-4 with a 4.74 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) last year at Triple-A Oklahoma City and came to camp as a long shot to win a rotation spot.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.