Will the Astros’ final 40-man spot go to a lefty reliever?

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

The Pedro Báez saga came to end Wednesday night with the release of his contract from the Houston Astros, following one day on waivers. It came as a surprise to no one, as his designation for assignment was in the queue for many.

With the 40-man roster now at 39 players, the Astros have room to add another arm from Triple-A, but as they wait on the progressions of top-prospect pitcher Hunter Brown, their next move could be for a veteran.

Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday Adam Morgan’s first opt out date of his minor-league contract is Saturday. Rome replied to a comment, mentioning Morgan does have other opt out dates. If Morgan exercises his option, the Astros have 24 hours to add him to the 40-man roster or release him.

Without minor-league options left, a move to the 40-man would mean Morgan can’t leave the 26-man roster. Parker Mushinski — recently promoted — and Blake Taylor house the lefty options in relief, but the Astros could take a spin on a veteran.

Will Adam Morgan be added to the Astros’ 40-man roster by Saturday?

In nine appearances in Triple-A, Morgan is sporting 3.12 ERA over 8.2 innings of work. The lefty has earned three of his five runs on a hit-by-pitch, a walk and eight hits — one home run —, but what looks best for the lefty are his 10 strikeouts.

Mushinski only has 3.1 major-league innings under his belt with four strikeouts, while Taylor’s motive of action isn’t to punch out hitters, its to induce ground outs and fly outs. Morgan hasn’t always been a high-strikeout pitcher, but in recent seasons, the lefty is neighboring 10.0 per nine innings.

Morgan brings a veteran arm for left-handed use to a bullpen manager Dusty Baker wants two of. Last season, the Astros leaned on Brooks Raley for that production with Taylor spending much of the season on the shelf.

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Velocity has dropped over the years, but if Morgan’s peripherals are pleasing the Astros, then he could be taking the last 40-man roster spot this weekend. In the end, it pushes Mushinski to Triple-A with Ronel Blanco when rosters decrease May 2.