Three pitchers and one outfielder are sent to minor league camp by the Houston Astros.
The Houston Astros 25-man roster is mostly set, with only a few spots open. One of the open sports appears to be the 13th pitcher in the bullpen. A few people were battling for that spot with the favorites James Hoyt and Jandel Gustave.
Each of the favorites has a plus attribute. With Hoyt, he is very effective against left-handed hitters. Gustave can bring the heat and could be a big piece of the bullpen for years to come. As much as I am rooting for Gustave, Hoyt makes the most sense because he can serve as a left-handed type of right-hander. With Tony Sipp as the only lefty in the bullpen, Hoyt might be useful to complement him.
This discussion also includes Brad Peacock, who is out of options. Should he not make the opening day roster, he will have to pass through waivers to be assigned to the minors. While you might think he will clear waivers, not too many people thought Kevin Chapman would be claimed. Hoyt, Gustave, and Peacock are still in the battle.
Three pitchers cut.
Yesterday, according to Brian McTaggart, Reymin Guduan, Brady Rodgers, and Ashur Tolliver were sent to minor league camp. Tolliver and Guduan are both lefties, putting an end to the talk of a second left in the bullpen. Tolliver was a waiver claim, but he is not out of options like Peacock is. He must stay on the 40-man roster for now.
Unless Tolliver has a good season at Triple-A, his time with Houston might be short. This Spring, he has a 0-2 record with a 13.50 ERA and a 2.14 WHIP. Unlike some members of the bullpen, he is fighting for a job. Just being a lefty reliever is not enough anymore.
Guduan has had a meh Spring, but he needs some more time to develop in Triple-A. In 4 2/3 innings, he had five strikeouts with a 5.79 ERA. Once he’s able to harness his control more, he could be the second lefty to Sipp soon. Despite not making the team, Guduan showed Hinch that he could help the team soon.
Rodgers didn’t have a good Spring, but that doesn’t mean his career is over. He pitched eight innings, with a 10.13 ERA and 1.88 WHIP. After winning the Houston Astros minor league pitcher award last year, he struggled in his debut with Houston. His future will depend on what he does this year in Triple-A. He will get some time with the Astros this year, but he needs to rediscover his success from last year.
Aplin cut as well.
These three pitchers were joined by Andrew Aplin heading to MILB camp. Once one of the better prospects in the system, he has been bypassed by Teoscar Hernandez, Tony Kemp, Derek Fisher, Jon Kemmer, and soon to be Kyle Tucker. Aplin batted .111 with a OPS of .384 this Spring. He batted .223 with five homers and 32 RBIs in Triple-A last year.
These four players were fringe players coming into spring training. They all struggled to make an impression. This past offseason, the team brought in some veteran players. Some of the younger guys will take a back seat for now.
***Stats from MLB.com***