News broke today that Astros right-hander Rhiner Cruz has cleared waivers and been outrighted to AAA Oklahoma City.
Recent additions to the bullpen made Cruz expendable. A history of control problems has finally cost the hard throwing Dominican his spot on the Astros 40-man roster. Houston’s roster now stands at 39. However, Evan Drellich suggests that Jeff Luhnow is not likely to fill the open spot before Christmas. No corresponding move is imminent.
But Luhnow has already made some sneaky moves this winter. Astros fans can still hope to wake up and find a power hitting outfielder or a veteran starting pitcher under the tree. Or maybe even a closer!
The writing was on the wall for Rhiner and the axe finally fell. This move should be reassuring– as it suggests that the bullpen is now stronger than it was last season.