Originally posted on Fox Sports Houston  |  Last updated 4/4/12
Lucas Harrell has appeared in 17 games in the Major Leagues, including six for the Astros in 2011, so starting the second game of the season is not a debut of any sort. But it seems like a new beginning for the 26 year-old right hander. Harrell did not make the rotation due to an injury or due to a lack of options. Harrell earned his way on to the team after posting a 2.16 ERA in 16 23 innings in Florida. "The main thing I focused on was getting my arm slot back to where it was a couple of years ago," Harrell said. Harrell was a 4th round pick of the White Sox in 2004 and in 29 innings over two years in Chicago he posted a 5.28 ERA. The White Sox waived Harrell last July and he was claimed by the Astros. He entered spring training as a contender for a bullpen spot and emerged as a member of the rotation. "I feel like in the past couple of years I've matured a little bit," said Harrell. "I figured out how to get my body where I need it to be for an opening day." Saturday night Harrell's counterpart will be the Rockies' 49 year-old Jamie Moyer. "I think he broke into the big-leagues when I was one," Harrell said. "I was to play with (Moyer) on Super Nintendo when I was a kid. Throwing that super change-up he was unhittable so hopefully I can get a base hit off of him." When he was notified by the Astros that not only had he made the team but that he would be in the rotation, Harrell said he became ecstatic. "There was smile on my face that no one could wipe off," he said. "Immediately afterwards I went and called my mom and dad and my sister. It was just an awesome feeling." Harrell expects at least his mother to be in the crowd Saturday night for his start. Harrell grew up in Springfield, Missouri, an area considered Cardinals territory. He actually grew up a fan of the Royals but he hopes the Astros are his home for the long-term. "It feels like I've been here for a while," Harrell said. "I feel comfortable and it feels like it's a nice home. I'm just proud to be a Houston Astro and part of this organization.
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