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Astros option Straw, Urquidy, Abreu back to minors

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 15: Myles Straw #26 of the Houston Astros makes a throw to second base to catch Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 15, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 15: Myles Straw #26 of the Houston Astros makes a throw to second base to catch Kole Calhoun #56 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 15, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /
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The Astros sent three players back to the minors to make room for new additions.

Following Thursday’s game, the Astros optioned Myles Straw, Jose Urquidy and Bryan Abreu back to the minors. This makes room for new acquisitions Zack Greinke, Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini. Straw and Urquidy are headed to Triple-A Round Rock, while Abreu is going back to Double-A Corpus Christi.

None of this is necessarily unexpected, though Straw’s demotion may have surprised some fans. There simply wasn’t a spot for him with the Astros’ desire to carry an eight-man bullpen. They had been using a four-man rotation thanks to off days, but that’s changing with Greinke and Sanchez joining the team. Straw was the odd man out.

Straw’s numbers had taken a bit of a tumble, but he still had a respectable .253/.372/.316 batting line with seven steals in 39 games. He will certainly be back up in September, if not before then should injuries call for it.

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Urquidy was hot and cold, giving up two runs in 13 innings spanning two starts on July 20 and 26. But he got lit up for six runs in four innings on Wednesday, and he had no place left on the roster with Greinke and Sanchez coming in.

Abreu was something of a curious call-up, but he did get to make his major league debut by throwing one scoreless inning on Wednesday. Now the Astros’ No. 5 prospect, he’ll return to Corpus Christi to improve on the 5.17 ERA he has there this year.

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Cy Sneed stays with the big club for now as the long reliever, but when Brad Peacock is ready to return, it will probably be Sneed who goes back to Round Rock. Peacock’s return will be interesting in that the Astros will have to decide whether to put him back in the rotation or have him pitch in relief.

Part of that may depend on how Sanchez handles his change of scenery. He’ll make the start on Saturday, but would likely move to the bullpen if he struggles. Undoubtedly the coaching staff can take time to work with the still-promising hurler.

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With Straw off the roster, the Astros’ bench will typically consist of Jake Marisnick, Aledmys Diaz and Martin Maldonado. It’s a little thin, but it must be done if the team wants that extra reliever. If new acquisition Biagini is as good as they think, there could be no shortage of great arms in that relief corps.

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