The Houston Astros made a couple of minor league moves on Friday afternoon, releasing first baseman Bobby Borchering and right-handed pitcher Matt Heidenreich from their respective minor league assignments per Matt Eddy of Baseball America. Neither player was currently on the 40-man roster.
Borchering was a former first round pick (16th overall, 2009) of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida. The Astros acquired the first baseman with current Astros outfielder Max Krauss as part of the return for for infielder Chris Johnson in 2012.
Call to the Pen
Despite his solid home run production during the 2010-2013 seasons, Borchering struggled in the jump to Double-A, both with the Astros and the Diamondbacks. Those struggles continued in 2013, when Borchering had to step away from the game for a personal matter during Spring Training, only to resume his career back at Rookie ball. Overall, the 24-year-old owns a .252/.324/.433 slash-line in the minor leagues, with only 51 games played above A-ball.
Likewise, Matt Heidenreich is also another player that was acquired by Houston in a trade deadline swap, coming to the Astros along with Chris Devenski and Blair Walters in the deal that sent Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox on July 21, 2012, just a few days before the aforementioned Chris Johnson trade. Also like Borchering, Heidenreich’s career fizzled shortly after being acquired by Houston.
The 6’5″ right-hander looked solid in his first 8 appearances (7 starts) for Double-A Corpus Christi in 2012, posting a 3-1 record with a 3.93 ERA and 6.8 K/9 ratio in the Texas League. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there, as the former 4th round pick ERA’s of 7.81 and 6.41 over the last two seasons respectively.
Both Borchering and Heidenreich will now become minor league free agents. However, given their current backward trends and rising ages for the levels they are playing at, it would be doubtful that either latch on quickly. Still, someone may take a flyer on some former first round talent in hopes of fixing their flaws and finding a diamond in the rough.