Astros: Seth Martinez given much deserved shot at major leagues

Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: MLB photos via USA TODAY Sports /

On Monday, the Astros shuffled their roster, granting Seth Martinez a major-league shot.

A series of transactions added a new face to the 40-man roster on Monday, while also changing a sliver of the Houston Astros‘ bullpen. With Ryne Stanek being transferred to the paternity list, a bullpen spot opened up.

Freudis Nova, member of the 40-man and former top position prospect, was moved to the 60-day injured list due to a left-knee ACL tear. The infielder spent his whole 2021 season with the High-A Asheville Tourists, where he slashed .224/.301/.335 in 73 games. Nova was at Minute Maid Park on Monday, while he will be having surgery soon. The right-hander was on the 40-man, as protection from the Rule 5 Draft.

As a replacement for the roster, the Astros selected the contract of right-hander Seth Martinez from Triple-A Sugar Land. Martinez was claimed in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft from the Oakland A’s, while this will be the 27-year-old’s first shot at the majors in his career.

Martinez has posted a 2.86 ERA over 56.2 relief innings this season with the Skeeters, while striking out 12.1 batters per nine innings. The right-hander could easily start out in low-leverage situations. While also having options to his name, Martinez can be sent to the taxi squad later in the seven-game road trip if a fresh arm is needed.

The organization also recalled Brandon Bielak and optioned Peter Solomon to the taxi squad, who threw 58 pitches on Sunday. Solomon would likely be out for the series with the Los Angeles Angels, so bringing up Bielak is worth it.

For the rest of the taxi squad, only Garrett Stubbs was added as a possible third catching option for the seven-game stretch on the road. It was obvious Stubbs was traveling with the team, after he participated in “Dress Like Zack Greinke Day.” Martinez and Bielak were originally going to start on the taxi squad.

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For Kyle Tucker, the left-hander is back in the lineup after suffering from shoulder discomfort on Sunday. Manager Dusty Baker said Tucker’s swing isn’t affecting his shoulder and he could possibly DH for the next few days.