Winter Haven, Fla. Jeriome Robertson's chances of pitching in the majors this season improved dramatically.
Bumped from Houston's star-studded rotation earlier this spring and sent to the minors this week, Robertson was traded by the Astros to the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
In exchange for Robertson, who led major-league rookies with 15 wins last year, the Indians gave up outfielder Luke Scott and the rights to outfielder Willy Taveras.
The deal was announced a few hours after the Astros beat the Indians, 3-2, in Kissimmee, Fla.
Robertson went 15-9 with a 5.10 earned-run average in 2003, but the left-hander was dropped from the Astros' starting staff when Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte signed with Houston.
He went 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in five spring starts, but was optioned Monday to Triple-A New Orleans, where he may have stayed all season with the quality of pitchers on Houston's staff.
With the Indians, he'll move up the ladder much more quickly.
Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro told Robertson that he wouldn't start immediately and that he would begin the season either in Cleveland's bullpen or at Triple-A Buffalo.
"He will start for us at some point this year," Shapiro said.