Astros option Fields, Stassi; Castro activated

McCullers rejoins club from disabled list ahead of Friday's season debut

Astros option Fields, Stassi; Castro activated

BOSTON -- The Astros made a pair of roster moves following Thursday's 11-1 loss to the Red Sox, clearing a path for the return of pitcher Lance McCullers from the disabled list and catcher Jason Castro by optioning reliever Josh Fields and catcher Max Stassi to Triple-A Fresno.

McCullers is set to make his 2016 debut with a start on Friday against red-hot Boston after missing most of Spring Training because of a sore right shoulder. Stassi was called up earlier this week to take the spot of Castro, who missed three games on paternity leave following the birth of his first child. Castro will join the team on Friday.

Feliz's scoreless relief

The demotion of Fields is a vote of confidence for reliever Michael Feliz, who has pitched terrific lately. Feliz allowed one hit across three innings in relief on Wednesday to earn his first big league win. The 22-year-old right-hander has tossed eight scoreless innings in his four outings, surrendering one hit while striking out 13 and issuing no walks.

Fields, meanwhile, has appeared in 15 games and posted a 6.89 ERA, allowing 23 hits and 12 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings.

"Feliz has pushed his way into being a factor in a couple of different roles," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I like having multiple guys down there that can go multiple innings. We've got [Scott] Feldman down there. We've got Feliz down there now, and he's dominated. His last three or four outings have been spectacular. Fields hasn't had a successful start to the season. He's about one click off every outing, it feels like. From a competition standpoint, we feel like Feliz is the right pick."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.