Astros: Who will be going down to activate Joe Musgrove?

Apr 23, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Houston Astros starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) looks on in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA;Houston Astros starting pitcher Joe Musgrove (59) looks on in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Who will Musgrove replace on the 25-man roster?

Until the Astros rotation gets healthy, there will be a constant influx of minor league pitching. The depth of the team is being challenged with four starting pitchers on the DL. Recently, Dayan Diaz and Francis Martes were brought up. Neither has impressed.

It has already been announced that Joe Musgrove will return to face the Rangers tonight. What has not been announced is who is going down to Triple-A to add Musgrove. The two candidates would have to be Diaz and Martes, both offering different traits.

A look at the two candidates.

Is the question do the Astros need a long-reliever or just a reliever? Diaz would be the one inning reliever who can pitch in back-to-back games. That is if his stats warrant him staying up here. His numbers are inflated from the emergency start versus the Royals.

Diaz has a 13.50 ERA in 3 1/3 innings with five strikeouts. He was a minor league free agent signing this offseason. As he is only a depth option, not sure, he had done enough to stay up here.

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Meanwhile, Martes is the future. He had a rocky debut on Friday night, going 2 2/3 innings allowing four runs. He did allow a homer and walked two batters. Before yesterday’s game, A.J. Hinch told reporters that they would treat Martes like he is in the rotation so that he will throw every fifth day.

Martes debut showed everything that he has struggled with at the Triple-A level this year. Does that mean that he is a bust? No, most pitchers struggle in their first MLB game. Whether it’s nerves or not able to make the adjustment yet, he has improvements to makes.

The verdict.

If for no other reason, I see the Astros keeping Martes up with the idea that he can go five innings in relief. Paulino only went four innings, and Peacock only went three innings.

Next: Astros could target David Peterson if Baz is not there

The Astros need someone to go deep into the games when the starters can’t. I’m curious to see what the top prospect can do given another chance.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***