The Astros have decided to pull Brad Lidge from the closer's role and use him earlier in games. Dan Wheeler is the new favorite for saves in Houston.
"I'm going to change the bullpen configuration a little bit," manager Phil Garner said. "Brad is not going to close as a general rule. ... As of right now I'm going to pitch him earlier in the game, sixth inning area, sixth-seventh inning area 'cause I want to pitch him more often, give him more consistent work. As it stands right now I'll probably close with Wheeler, set up with [Chad] Qualls and [Rick] White." It had to be done. Lidge's fastball is still there, so he could turn things around if he gets his head on straight. In the meantime, Wheeler will likely do a fine job saving games. Apr. 9 - 1:58 pm et