NEW YORK -- Astros manager Bo Porter announced Wednesday that right-hander Jordan Lyles, who began the season at Triple-A Oklahoma City, will start Thursday's series opener against the Tigers at Minute Maid Park. MLB.com reported late Tuesday that Lyles would be called up.
Lyles is taking the rotation spot that came open when right-hander Brad Peacock was moved to the bullpen. The Astros will announce a corresponding roster move Thursday.
Lyles, 22, was set to begin the season in the Astros' starting rotation, but he was sent to Triple-A following a poor spring. He went 2-2 with a 5.32 ERA in six games (five starts) for the RedHawks, throwing a strong game Saturday in which he allowed three hits and one run in five innings.
"This is a guy that we expected to be a part of the rotation," Porter said. "He didn't fair too well this spring, but sometimes guys taking a step back allows him to take three steps forward, and we hope that's the case with Jordan."
Porter said RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco had good things to say about Lyles.
"We received outstanding reports, and Tony has raved about his preparation, his demeanor and wanting to get back to the big leagues, and he's done everything we've asked him to do, and we look forward to getting him back here," Porter said.
Porter said Lyles had done a better job attacking hitters and pitching ahead in the count with improved breaking stuff. Lyles made 25 starts for the Astros last year and went 5-12 with a 5.09 ERA.
"This guy has all the skill sets to be a front-of-the-rotation starter in this league," he said. "We're hoping that is the case and the step he took back this spring added motivation to never take it for granted, to give everything he has to not only be in the big leagues, but be an elite pitcher in the big leagues."
The Astros will also add left-hander Dallas Keuchel from Oklahoma City on Thursday.
Porter respects umpires, but willing to argue
NEW YORK -- Astros manager Bo Porter has yet to be ejected from a game by an umpire in his brief managerial career, but he had one of his most animated arguments at a critical juncture of Tuesday's 7-4 loss to the Yankees. Porter thought the Astros had turned an inning-ending double play in the fifth, but a safe call at first allowed a run to score.
Porter said he'll always take up for his team and his players on close plays, and he said he asked first-base umpire Cory Blaser if he was sure he got the call right.
"One, you have [pitcher] Philip Humber out there and he's giving it everything he has," Porter said. "We intentionally walk a guy to set up the double play and you get the ground ball and it's bang-bang. Did I think the guy was out? Maybe, maybe not. But more importantly, I want Philip Humber and the rest of our team to know, and I told the umpire when I got there, I said maybe he was out, but it looked to me like you anticipated him being safe. And don't anticipate."
Porter said Blaser told him he wasn't anticipating the call and that he believed he got the call right, which replays showed he did.
"I respect umpires, and I think that throughout all the times in which I've been in Major League Baseball, there's mutual respect between my relationships with them and their relationships with me," Porter said. "You have to realize that whatever side you're sitting on, you're biased. You want your guy to be safe and their guy to be out. You want the call to go your way, and when you're looking at it, you're always going to see it the way you want to see it."
Porter said he would never get thrown out on purpose just to fire up his team.
"If you need somebody to fire you up in the big leagues, you're in the wrong place," he said.