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 Round Rock Express

Houston Recalls Nieve, Cassel

September 1, 2008 - Pacific Coast League (PCL1)
Round Rock Express News Release

ROUND ROCK - The Houston Astros recalled right-handed pitchers Jack Cassel and Fernando Nieve from Triple-A Round Rock on Monday, marking the first in a series of moves expected as the Express finishes its 2008 campaign against Albuquerque at The Dell Diamond.

Both Cassel and Nieve have joined Houston and will be in uniform for today's game against the Chicago Cubs at Wigley Field.

Cassel, 28, led Round Rock with a 9-5 record, carving out a 3.69 ERA over 19 outings (17 starts). The Los Angeles native strung together seven consecutive wins over 11 outings between April 16 and July 27. Cassel fanned 70 against 30 walks, issuing one or fewer free passes in 10 of his appearances.

Signed by the San Diego Padres in 2000, Cassel first appeared for Single-A Fort Wayne as a 19-year-old. Over nine minor league seasons, Cassel is 55-58 with a 3.94 ERA. He posted a 1-1 record in six appearances (four starts) for the Padres in 2007 and is 1-1 with a 7.11 ERA over five outings (three starts) for the Astros this season. Today's recall marks his third stint with Houston this season.

Nieve, 26, made 40 appearances for the 2006 Astros, posting a 3-3 record with a 4.20 ERA and 70 strikeouts for Houston before undergoing surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm on April 28, 2007. He appeared in five games for the Express in 2007, going 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA and 13 strikeouts on 15 walks.

Nieve posted a 2-5 record with six saves and a 5.72 ERA in 36 games (seven starts) for the 2008 Express. After a 6.75 ERA marred the first half of the year, Nieve rebounded with a 3.52 Post-All-Star ERA. In August, he was 1-0-3 with a season-best 3.14 ERA, fanning 16 against three walks in 14 1/3 innings. His fastball reached a season-high 97-mph in a relief appearance against Nashville on Aug. 17.

Nieve appeared in four May games for Houston, allowing six earned runs over three innings before being assigned to Round Rock.

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