This morning, the Astros released veteran RHP, Livan Hernandez. This comes after also releasing veterans Zach Duke and Jack Cust and reassigning several top prospects to the minor leagues. Duke was scooped up off waivers by the Nationals while Cust signed a minor league deal with the Yankees. The Astros rotation is starting to take shape with each release/reassignment made. The top two spots have already been set with Wandy Rodriguez and Bud Norris, but the next three are up for grabs.
My guess is J.A. Happ, Kyle Weiland and Lucas Harrell will each fill out the rest of the rotation respectively. I believe Harrell will beat out Lyles and Lyles will be reassigned to AAA, Oklahoma City. Lyles still has options remaining and Harrell does not, but Lyles could still use some seasoning in the minors. He will join Paul Clemens in the Oklahoma City rotation as they will be the first two staring pitchers called up if a current starter is injured or struggling. Also, Harrell has just flat out pitched better than Lyles. Harrell has a 2.16 ERA stretched across 16.2 innings while Lyles has a 6.32 ERA stretched across 15.2 innings. As I said, this is just a guess as Harrell could also be used as our long reliever and Lyles could win a spot in the rotation, but, if they are truly going by statistics and performance in Spring Training, then Lucas Harrell should win the fifth starting rotation spot. So far this Spring Training, the Astros seem to be making their roster moves based on performance, which they should be, so I see no reason they would stop now.