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Astros manager Cecil Cooper thinks Hampton will add needed experience to his pitching staff.
"I think he could help guys like Wesley Wright and Wandy Rodriguez, being a left-handed pitcher," Cooper said. "I think he'll help those guys and their maturity and their growth."
Hampton chose to wear No. 11 in Houston after longtime catcher Brad Ausmus gave the OK. Ausmus wore the number in his eight years with the Astros, but is likely headed for retirement.
Ausmus hit a home run off Hampton in Houston's season finale this year. The catcher made Hampton promise to share some kind words about him in exchange for the number.
"I wanted to take this number while it was hot," Hampton joked. "He's definitely one of the hottest hitters in the league after that last game and I just hope I can fill it half as good as he did."
Hampton is 141-105 with a 4.01 ERA lifetime. He began his major league career in Seattle in 1993, going 1-3 before being traded to Houston.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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