HOUSTON -- Astros manager Brad Mills hasn't had what would be categorized as a long reliever at his disposal this year, but that's changed with the arrival of Chuckie Fick. Fick was acquired by the Astros off waivers from the Cardinals on Friday, putting the Astros' 40-man roster at 40.
To make room for Fick, the Astros optioned right-hander Enerio Del Rosario to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
"I've never laid eyes on Chuckie, but I spent the afternoon watching film on him," said Mills, who played with his dad, Chuck Fick, with the Expos. "I like the sink on his ball and how he throws across his body. He's a tall, slender kid. It will be interesting."
The Astros' bullpen was terrific the first two months of the season before the heavy workload caught up with them, and in the past week they've seen closer Brett Myers and reliever Brandon Lyon shipped off via trade. Fick could eat some much-needed innings.
"I've said this many times, in the National League your long guy rarely goes over two innings, and sometimes you can stretch him to three," he said. "I think that's how we will kind of use him right now and see how that goes going forward."
Fick, 26, made two appearances for the Cardinals this season in May, posting no record and a 5.40 ERA. He's spent the majority of this season with Triple-A Memphis, going 1-1 record with one save and a 4.68 ERA in 42 relief appearances. The Cardinals designated him for assignment on Wednesday.
A 15th-round selection by current Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow when he was with the Cardinals in 2007, Fick has posted a 23-17 record with five saves and a 3.35 ERA in six seasons (2007-12) in the Cardinals' Minor League system.