The Astros have made a couple of roster moves over the last 24 hours. One move that was expected was that pitcher Lance Pendleton is heading back to the New York Yankees. He was a Rule 5 draft pick and since he wasn’t going to be offered a spot on the Astros major league roster, the Astros are required to send him back to the Yankees.
Lance Pendleton, is from the Houston area and unfortunately didn’t have the best showing in spring training. He appeared in seven games this spring with a 1-0 record but an ERA of 5.87. The sinkerball pitcher showed enough to me that he will be a major league pitcher at some point in his career but needs to work on his control and pitch location.
The Astros also made a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that brings back super utility man Jeff Inglett. The 33 year old led the Major Leagues with 20 pinch hits last season. He can play several infield positions and would be a good left-handed bat coming off the bench for the Astros. The question is how this affects the battle for the back up infield positions. Tommy Manzella will most likely be heading back down even though he was brought back up soon after Clint Barmes’ injury.
Best case scenario for the Astros will be having Angel Sanchez, who hit .280 for the Astros last season in 250 at-bats, as the starting shortstop Opening Day. This will allow Inglett and Downs to be the back up infielders until Keppinger comes back, at which point Downs will most likely be sent down to the minors. Inglett and Keppinger provides a pretty solid bench for Mills to use.