Astros move rookie righthander Brandon Bielak to starting rotation

Bielak will start Thursday against the Diamondbacks

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 07: Brandon Bielak #71 of the Houston Astros in action against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training baseball game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 7, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. The Cardinals defeated the Astros 5-1. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) (Rich Schultz, 2020 Rich Schultz)

HOUSTON – This 2020 baseball season has been a whirlwind for Houston Astros rookie right-hander Brandon Bielak. After camp at Minute Maid Park, he was with the rest of the guys in Corpus Christi to continue training.

Little did he know what would soon happen in his career. From a low-level minor league prospect in 2017 to a successful run in Corpus Christi and Round Rock in 2019, Bielack got the call to the big leagues and he hasn’t disappointed since he arrived. He credits many on the journey that helped to get him to the major leagues.

“My dad was one of my biggest coaches, learned a lot at Notre Dame. Lot of people I can thank to get me where I am today. I thank all of those coaches out there that helped me get here,” said Bielak on Wednesday from Arizona.

The Astros think so highly of Bielak that on Wednesday morning, they decided to alter the rotation and move Bielak into the starting role where he will toe the rubber in Arizona on Thursday. Consequently, Josh James was moved to the bullpen.

“I found out yesterday while I was working on my side. I’m excited about it. I’ll be good to go as long as they need me to. Got to 80 pitches in camp. I’ll be good to go,” said Bielak on his media Zoom call.

Bielak, 24, is quiet in person but doesn’t lack confidence on the mound. He got sound advice from pitching coach Brent Strom.

“Just go out there and have a game plan and stick to being the pitcher that I am,” said Bielak. “I’m in the rotation for a reason and just go out there and do my job.”

While he makes his first major league start Thursday, he’ll have family rooting him from a distance.

“They may have a watch party at my house. My dad texted me today and said he wished he and my family could be here. Hopefully, in the future they can make it out,” added Bielak.

The Astros are 6-4 to start the season. Lance McCullers Jr. will start tonight for the Astros.