Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 2/23/12
Mark Mitchell FOXSportsHouston.com When Paul Clemens' phone rings, his heart seemingly skips a beat. The uneasiness is partially due to participating in his first spring training camp, but is compounded by the anticipation of a becoming a father. Clemens and his wife, Marlee, are expecting their first child sometime during spring training with the true status closer to "day-to-day." With his wife in Dalton, Ga., Clemens is prepared to return home at a moment's notice while also attempting to maintain his focus on the field. "I want to be a good father and husband, but I am locked in," said Clemens, who wed during the offseason. "She knows I can flip a switch and understands my passion for the game." He apprised the Astros of the situation prior to spring training and they are supportive. As for his future with the club, manager Brad Mills said the right-hander has the talent to compete for a spot in the starting rotation, but is reserving judgment if Clemens is ready to pitch in the major leagues or better served gaining more experience in the minors. "I'm just going to come in and execute my pitches whenever the skipper hands me the ball," said Clemens, who turned 24 last week. "Whatever role he sees suitable for me to help the club, I will do." Acquired midseason of last year from the Atlanta Braves as a member of the Michael Bourn trade, Clemens pitched for Double-A Corpus Christi, where he was 2-1 in five starts that included a run of 19.2 scoreless innings, and one start at Triple-A Oklahoma City. With the pressure mounting both on and off the field, Clemens smiles when asked if the anticipation of being a father is greater than battling for a spot on the Astros staff. The answer is one any parent would be proud to hear when he says, "defiantly being a father. If I can do half the job my father did, than I will do just fine. He is the reason I am in this position." The size of the training camp grew Thursday when outfielder Fernando Martinez reported early to Kissimmee. After an injury-plagued career with the New York Mets that ranged from being a "can't miss" prospect to a waiver-wire castoff, he hopes to found a new home. "I feel grateful to be here and to see new people," he said. Only 23, Martinez has frequented the disabled list since season-ending surgery in 2009 to replace cartilage in his right knee. After offseason workouts, he feels the knee is 100 and can to play all three outfield positions.
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