Pitcher Jose Cisnero is up next in our series of player cards. Since I already discussed Cisnero and Jarred Cosart in an earlier post, I’m going to turn this into one of those cards that features three players. Remember the old Topps rookie cards? This is my electronic equivalent.
Both Cisnero and Cosart were added to the 40-man roster a week ago to avoid being exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. At this time last year the Astros did the same thing with right-hander Paul Clemens.
I had the pleasure of seeing Clemens pitch for Corpus Christi shortly after he was acquired in the Michael Bourn trade. I had high hopes for Clemens in 2012 and expected to see him in an Astros uniform in September. Clemens had a productive Spring Training and started the season at AAA Oklahoma City. But he was hit hard, compiling a 1.74 WHIP in a little more than 100 innings and was sent back down to AA.
Clemens enters his age 25 season in 2013 having lost ground to prospects like Cisnero and Cosart. The three hurlers will be among those competing for a spot in the Astros rotation next March in Kissimmee. Just looking at the numbers, it would appear as though Cisnero is ahead of the other two. If one of these three wins a spot in the rotation to start the year, I think it will be Cisnero.
Edgar Gonzalez will also be in the mix. Gonzalez, who made six starts for the Astros last season, was signed to a minor league deal Monday. Reliever Jose Valdez was also inked to a minor league contract. Both players had been released on November 1st.