The Astros have purchased right-hander Felipe Paulino’s contract from the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League, per Mark Berman of Fox 26. Paulino will report to Triple-A Round Rock.
Now 35 years old, Paulino began his professional career with the Astros, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2001. He eventually worked his way to Houston, where he made 47 appearances (31 starts) from 2007-10.
Paulino’s also a former Royal, Rockie and White Sox, though he hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2014. He owns a 5.48 ERA/4.84 FIP with 8.32 K/9, 3.83 BB/9 and a 43.8 percent groundball rate in 403 2/3 MLB innings.
Paulino has recorded somewhat similar numbers in Triple-A, having posted a 5.26 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 across 191 2/3 frames. But he hasn’t taken the mound at that level with a major league organization since a 13-inning run with the Indians’ top affiliate in 2016. Along with his time in the Atlantic League, Paulino has pitched in Japan, Mexico and Venezuela over the past few years. He racked up 63 saves as Sugar Land’s closer from 2017-19.