CINCINNATI -- Wesley Wright was disappointed, but not terribly shocked, when he was called into Astros manager Cecil Cooper's office Wednesday night and was informed he was headed to Triple-A Round Rock.
"You can kind of see the writing on the wall," he said. "I was kind of the last guy on the totem pole in the bullpen. I've been around enough, not at this level, but enough to know what the next move is. It's always disappointing, but I've got to do whatever I can to get back. That's the main focus right now."
Wright was optioned in order to make room for right-hander Brandon Backe, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list and will be available out of the 'pen on Friday in Pittsburgh.
The 24-year-old Wright recorded a 7.24 ERA over 19 appearances this year, spanning 13 2/3 innings. In 11 games in May, he allowed six runs over 6 2/3 innings.
Wright, voted the Astros' 2008 Rookie of the Year after being selected by the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft, will receive more regular work with Round Rock. Playing time was sporadic with Houston, as is often the case with middle relievers and specialists.
"He needs to go pitch," Cooper said. "He can help us. We need him to be the Wesley we saw last year. Here, he was mainly kind of a one-inning guy, sometimes situational. He needs to go and just pitch multiple innings. The primary thing is he really needs to work on his pitches."
Wright didn't argue with his skipper's logic.
"I'm still relatively young, I've still got some fine-tuning to do," Wright said. "It's kind of hard when you're sitting and watching more than you're actually pitching. The fact that I'm going to be pitching more, I guess is a good thing, but I'd rather be pitching here than anywhere else. It's part of the business. I'm not the first guy, I won't be the last. I've just got to move forward."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.