|Bats / Throws||Right / Right|
|Date of Birth||3/8/1993|
|Height, Weight||6'3", 206 lbs|
|College||Western Oklahoma State College|
James (5-1) allowed four runs on three hits and failed to retire a batter, taking the loss against Oakland on Wednesday.
James had pitched well since his return from the injured list, striking out 10 over four innings in three relief appearances. He looked like an answer to the team's quest for bullpen stability, but that faded away with Wednesday's outing. When he's right, James' fastball/slider combo can miss many bats, but none of his 14 offerings were swung upon and missed as deception and command were not present.
James (5-0) allowed one run and struck out five over two innings to pick up the win in extra innings over Seattle on Thursday.
James, who entered to start the 12th inning and ceded a home run to Kyle Seager, was spared the loss when rookie Kyle Tucker tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. He then dominated the Mariners in the 13th, fanning all three batters, putting him in place for the win when Michael Brantley hit a two-run, walkoff homer. Since returning from the injured list, James has fanned eight and walked two over three innings. If he can maintain consistent command, James has the high-velocity fastball to be a bullpen weapon for the Astros.
James walked two and struck out three over one inning to record his first save in Monday's 3-2 extra-inning win over Milwaukee.
James got the chance after Robert Osuna couldn't hold Houston's one-run lead in the ninth. For James, it was his first appearance since being activated off the injured list, and he had mixed results while throwing just 13 of 23 pitches for strikes. He put in work during rehab to improve command, but he walked the first batter faced on four pitches and had men on first and second with one out. Manager AJ Hinch stuck with James, who fanned Christian Yelich on four sliders and Hernan Perez on three fastballs.
James worked to shorten the arm swing of his delivery while working his way back from a shoulder injury in the minors, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
James has walked 31 batters over 51.1 innings in the majors, and the Astros felt his inconsistent command was due to a long arm swing. "Just shortened up my arm swing a little bit just to kind of help me sync up a little bit," James said. "The longer delivery just led to some inconsistency. Now that I've shortened up, I'm able to be around the (strike) zone a little bit more, leverage some stuff and leverage my offspeed and feel better." James was activated off the injured list Sunday but was not needed in Justin Verlander's no-hitter. We'll have to wait to see the shortened delivery.