Prior to Thursday’s doubleheader with the Twins, the Astros added Seth Martinez as the 27th man in Minnesota.
One arm short of an eight-man bullpen, it was evident the Houston Astros would fill their 27-man roster for a doubleheader with a reliever. The case came down to three options with Ronel Blanco, Seth Martinez and Parker Mushinski all available in Triple-A and having also pitched in the Major Leagues this season.
Before Thursday’s contests, Houston added Martinez to the taxi squad — who became the 27th man for the second game Thursday. Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle noted Blanco — who was added to the taxi squad — having a locker in Minnesota, too.
Jose Urquidy won’t pitch Thursday, leading to a bullpen game to finish out Wednesday’s suspended game.
Mushinski — who would have been a second left-handed option — looked to have the strongest case to be added, and with eight of the nine Wednesday starters hitting from the right side, the lefty’s opposite splits would have worked in the Astros’ favor.
Martinez joins the Astros on three days of rest, while his addition to the taxi squad offers a second line of defense if Houston burns through the bullpen in the first game Thursday.
Bryan Abreu kicks off Wednesday’s game in the fourth inning for the Astros at 12:10 p.m., while a handful of rested bullpen arms will follow. The first games kicks off in the top of fourth with Martin Maldonado at the plate with no outs, no one on and a clean count.
Luis Garcia is still slated to start the second game Thursday, while the team won’t announce its plans for the rotation going into the weekend until both games have ended, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
Following Thursday’s doubleheader, the Astros return to play at 6:05 p.m. Friday on the road against the Washington Nationals — former team of manager Dusty Baker.